Posted on: December 16th, 2014 by admin

The government is calling for a national eating disorders strategy – does that mean a new strategy? We have a new strategy, one that we have been working on for a few years now. We think it’s time that true innovation in eating disorders receives the funding it needs so we can get our center open. At New Pathways Retreat Center, there are no dangerous side effects nor is the therapy harmful in any way.

Below is my letter to CBC in response to this interview.

Hello CBC,

This letter is in regard to your interview about eating disorders.

I am glad to hear that the government is declaring the need for a new strategy for dealing with this growing epidemic.  A new strategy calls for a new perspective and greater understanding of little-known causes and potential cures. Might I suggest that innovation does not come out of existing institutions graduated from their own belief systems.  I have been working to establish a Retreat Center with an innovative approach to healing eating disorders for four years now.  New Pathways Retreat Center is ready to receive support to get our innovative center open!

I challenge existing beliefs that Dr. Pielan espoused, such as the idea that a person with an eating disorder needs to be “taught” how to eat again. People with eating disorders are the cream of the crop, brilliant individuals, and the issue is not relearning a forgotten motor skill of eating.

The main mode of rehabilitation is talk therapy. When an individual is in the grips of this illness they are not thinking clearly, so why would anyone try to appeal to them on this level?  For example if someone was drunk, would you try to have a conversation with them about why they had gotten that way? A famous quote says it all, “You cannot solve the problem of the mind on the level of the mind.” Starving the body and mind creates distorted thinking.

A holistic mind-body approach believes that you must change the physiology to change a person’s psychology. This is where an innovative natural approach comes in.

Regarding drug therapy, when an individual is already in a weakened state this type of therapy is dangerous and does not bring greater clarity or self esteem. Using drugs just numbs the mind. Based on experience I believe that the highest rate of suicide for any mental illness comes from, since the side effects of the drugs people with eating disorders are given may make people anxious or suicidal.

The myth that eating disorders reflect family problems also prevails, dredging up every unpleasant life event and even rewrite history to fit a theory that it must be the mother’s fault for being too close to her child. If you were to say this to a First Nations, Jewish, Italian, East Indian, Greek, or Chinese family they would laugh at you. I think it’s noteworthy that no one ever mentions the sexual abuse that plays a big part in the development of an eating disorder. By deflecting to “it’s a family problem,” no one has to assume the culpability of a whole culture that creates the perfect environment for sexual abuse to flourish.

For us to truly move forward in progress, we need to override the monetary incentives by doctors and drug companies that stand to make big profits on the systems they already have in place. It’s a conflict of interest and only citizens with pure intentions can make the difference for worthwhile change to happen.

Warmest Regards,

Barbara Nirman of New Pathways Retreat Center

Potential funders have asked; “where is our proven done-before, profit-making business model?”  While each healing module is scientifically validated or evidenced based to work, it has not existed yet as a program. This is the nature of innovation.

Posted on: November 26th, 2014 by admin


I am writing you here to ask for your help by way of a generous contribution so that I can get  to the next level of developing my desperately-needed social service business, New Pathways Retreat Centre.  When it works for you I would like to share my deepest motivations that truthfully have only become clear to even me in the last few months.  I am forever astonished that the truth is indeed stranger than fiction.

It is true that it is my intention to turn existing institutions and mistaken beliefs on their head regarding eating disorders. I wholeheartedly challenge the notion than an eating disorder is the fault of the mother.  It is not my intention to focus on existing disturbing methods of rehabilitation that have resulted in the highest rate of suicide of any mental illness, but instead to follow the advice of Buckminster Fuller, “to create a new model that makes the old one obsolete.”

I don’t believe the popular myth that it’s the mother’s fault for being too close to their daughter or son. Really? Tell that to a Jewish, East Indian, Italian, Chinese, First Nations, or a Greek mother and they will laugh at you. I believe this is a convenient cover up story to a much more disturbing factor that implicates everyone in our culture that is full of passive non-resistance in regards to the proliferation of objectification and projections of young girls and women as commodities for exploitation.

It is no surprise that one in four girls who go off to college can expect to become a victim of sexual abuse. For what some cannot obtain easily they will simply steal. Why this significant correlation to eating disorders remains obscure is another subject of my mission, for we all know of the unconscious burden of guilt that all women bear no matter their age, owing to the belief in a very old story of original sin.

It is also true that truth is contradictory.  Note to self – no matter how much we may be encouraged in popular thought to “reach beyond what might be considered possible in order to achieve something great in order to make a real difference, when you actually set out to do just that you are given the feedback, “ this is just fictional right?” while they silently think to themselves ”and just who do you think you are and where are your credentials?”

I say to them that innovation never came from the inside of conventional thought and institutions! I am counting on women to drop the female competition and start supporting other women so we can begin to move forward towards real liberation for women, one business at a time.

The easiest way to make a contribution is through our website

Warm Regards,
Barbara Nirman

Posted on: November 5th, 2014 by admin

New Pathways Retreat Centre is being created with the wise words of Buckminster Fuller in mind; “There is no use in fighting existing institutions, the only thing that works is to build a new model that makes the old one obsolete.” Birthing a true innovative solution to healing eating disorders is challenging for someone such as myself who is a visionary designer who has contributed my time and energy as my main human resource.

No matter how well each healing modality is proven to work for healing eating disorders, financial institutions, including ones that claim they support innovation, are really only interested in supporting proven profitable business propositions. Hence, there is a glut on the market of businesses that we have more than enough of already, such as addictive coffee shops. Actually, I believe there is a link to the rise in popularity of coffee shops to the rise in eating disorders, because coffee does serve to exhaust the adrenals which contributes to the depression that is associated with eating disorders. So many college students rely on this popular drug of choice.

Where this leads us in terms of bringing true progressive innovation to the table is you and me, those of us who resonate with a natural healthy way of living and healing. As Russell Brand says so clearly in his call to Re-love-ution, it’s up to us to empower ourselves to bring about much needed social change in our ways of living and doing business by collectively organizing and supporting each other. We have not been interested in bringing in just any business investor with only an interest in profit. We are interested in aligning with individuals who appreciate the value of our innovative social service business within an ecologically sustainable community. Together we will provide a framework for supported self-healing for individuals who are looking for safe healthy ways to secure a full recovery from an eating disorder.
Please contact us to learn more about how you can be part of building this new model.

Posted on: August 25th, 2014 by admin

It is a little frustrating that we are not open yet. It’s not easy being a pioneer of new ideas and ways of doing things, against the odds besides. We do see evidence that our ideas our circulating and making a good impact. We are very happy about this.

We are currently working on opening a pilot program in Vancouver, and we are just waiting for the funding to be approved. In my business plan that I submitted I said, “What did you think innovation would look like? Innovation doesn?t show up in conventional places in conventional ways.”

This is the challenge for innovation because the basic business strategy is to back a known financial winner. This explains the glut of unneeded businesses that keep flooding the market. Do we need another clothing store? Another coffee shop? Our pilot program will be offered for significantly less: only $5000.00 per month. Our objective is to get it open and helping those who need it right away. We can simultaneously work on taking the steps to get Pemberton open.

Posted on: July 25th, 2014 by admin

A current art show at Vancouver’s main gallery is a reflection of prevailing unconscious attitudes towards women. The show we are referring to features a photo exhibition of Dorothy Stratton, a young woman who achieved a high level of fame for having been a “Playboy” bunny of the year.

In contrast to the message contained in this display is the one from a proposed art show that intends to inspire women to align themselves with a higher ideal of the misunderstood true powers of the feminine through taking a close look at the deeper meanings of the goddess in history. “The Everyday Goddess: Women Reclaiming Their Feminine Power” show intends to shift misconceptions about women from a consumer-oriented society that has materialized her for exploitation back to understanding and appreciating the value of her feminine powers exemplified in the ancient Goddesses of history. She is the everyday Goddess, the woman who graces the home and workplace, young and old in every culture.

The key to this shift in perception is for women to begin to understand and honor their own inner goddess; that is not just a mythological figure or concept from antiquity, somewhere out there, but inherent to their nature, at the very core of their being. Women are Gaia, Goddess of the earth, from which all life has sprung. A woman embodies all the elements of and as such, is also her representative. Creative nurturing, compassionate, kind: these qualities of feminine energy, are gentle and soft in nature, but are true underappreciated powers!
In ancient Vedic knowledge, every God had his female counterpart or Goddess; all aspects of her nature were personified by her different Goddess forms.  Saraswati is the Goddess of knowledge and education, of the self being at the core of all learning. Lakshimi is the goddess of true wealth and power, from an intellect refined and a cultured heart, reflecting itself in all forms of beauty and love. Kali is supreme power of unlimited shakti: she cuts through our barriers in our mind, to exist in a transcendental state, to release us from the suffering of our limitations within physical time and space. Durga has multiple arms representing her many talents and abilities of an ancient efficient multitasker, who rides the lion of her animal nature, in command of her senses.
Contained also within ancient yogic knowledge, female energy is represented by the moon, as reflective, receptive, and passive in nature. While male energy is the Sun, active, projective and generating. The polarity of male and female exists within all of us, as in the image of the serpent that intertwines up the spine in the logo of modern medicine. Some women are more male in character, and some males are more female. The larger point, often lost to many present day cultures, is that one is not more important, anymore than your right arm is more important than your left. They are complimentary, with each playing a significant part. When we urge women to reclaim their feminine power, we are not saying in a femme fatale way, the one associated with Eve, to which many a women has paid the price for a story that insists she is guilty of “original sin” for her power of attraction to men. This story has its roots deep in the mass unconscious, justifying violence against women. We are talking about the feminine energy that is an extension of Mother Earth: creative, life-giving, nurturing holders of a sacred space.

We draw attention for women to lovingly reject any story that casts a shadow of doubt on their worth, by the omission of their mention. In the name of the father, son and the holy ghost: where is the mother and daughter? We urge them to rise up and claim their goddess-like feminine powers and refuse to play a part in materialist views about them, solidified by buying into stories that portray them as a material objects for exploitation. We urge her to reject ideas and pictures that suggest that a woman should look and behave like playgirls, tarts, and cheerleaders; to pass on buying shoes that an animated character from Walt Disney might wear, and pass on underwear from stores displaying women looking alluring and scantily clad, for our truth can no longer be kept a secret.
Our shows message to women will counter the one in the present display at Vancouver’s main gallery, that features as photo art a young Canadian woman who allowed herself to be objectified and exploited by Playboy magazine in the eighties. She was murdered by her jealous husband who no doubt reasoned that as the “object” of his affection he had the right to take her life when she took her affections elsewhere. The compounding tragedy is that her image has been resurrected so we can exploit her some more in a show where outside the gallery walls hangs her face on enormous banners. Inside, in a corner of the third floor, a movie of her life features her rise to fame as a playgirl next to photos of her with Hugh Hefner smiling proudly. Other “Playboy Magazine” images of her sit, cleverly folded in origami shapes, while nude photos of her hang on the wall, her head missing – a sure sign that her value lie not in who she was, but in her parts.
We are long overdue  to lay our claim to ourselves as the Everyday Goddesses, the divine feminine extensions of mother earth, because everyone stands to gain. We can take an honest look around to see what has been missing in our hearts and consider what kind of energy has been in the driver’s seat, in a reckless pursuit of material gain. We can confirm that contained within the power of the feminine, by owning this as our ideal is also our power to transform and heal.
Barbara Nirman Ward 5/ 11/ 2014

Posted on: July 17th, 2014 by admin
New Pathways Retreat Centre is presently working on stating up with a pilot program in Vancouver.  It is our plan to get our innovative program up and running right away. We are offering our innovative program for only 5000.00 for the first month. Please contact us to learn more. We are looking to be open by Sept,1st.
Posted on: May 11th, 2014 by admin

A Mothers Day message written by a woman and a survivor of an eating disorder reads, “Forgive your mother, Forgive yourself.”
I take the time here to let you know that the true message is “Honor your Mother and Honor Yourself!”You are the divine feminine, under-appreciated holders of feminine power and extensions of mother earth. Do not applaud only your masculine side; your feminine side is exactly what we desperately need. It is your strength, not your weakness, to be nurturing, kind, forgiving, holders of a sacred space. You do not need to be forgiven, for you are not guilty of anything. Do not give your power over to any story that says you are guilty of original sin for your powers of attraction to men, that justifies their violence against you. You are the divine feminine, representative of mother earth standing her ground. You are what’s been missing too long from the equation, for those who would exploit and commodify you as a female would also exploit the body of mother earth of her resources.

Posted on: May 7th, 2014 by admin

Hello Jennifer and Everyone at the Representation Project,
This initiative is getting closer, but it does not take a strong enough stand in addressing the bigger picture about advertisements and how they affect our world culture, since the western world sets the standard. Yes, lets have an initiative called “Truth in
Advertising” for no air brushed to perfection models, but more to the point would be an initiative called “Responsible Advertising for the Welfare of Women.”

Propose a ban on larger than life-size posters of women scantily clad on the sides of buildings, buses, store windows, in department stores, looking like come-ons. It’s becoming overwhelming this advertising that sows the seeds for the materialization and objectification of women as something to be consumed. What some cannot obtain easily, they may try to steal.

We need to start connecting the dots to irresponsible advertising and how it promotes irresponsible social behavior as in violence against women.

Posted on: May 3rd, 2014 by admin

This is the short version of a tribute I wrote for Eileen Poole, an amazing woman of significant influence in my life and an unsung hero for natural health and healing who passed away recently at the age of 88.
If I were to name anyone who has profoundly impacted my life for the better, it would be Eileen Poole and her husband Richard, my high school art teacher and his wife, an uncommon nutritionist, who went way above and beyond their job descriptions to
become my most pivotal of teachers. Eileen healed and transformed thousands through her ability to tap into the body’s wisdom. I credit her with single-handedly inspiring a movement back to healing through whole foods. Recently I proposed an art show to be called, “The Everyday Goddess,” about women reclaiming their feminine power. Eileen embodied this better than anyone I have ever known. She showed us how powerful a woman can be when embodying a beauty born of immense love, compassion and insightful humor, with an ability to hold a loving space emanating from a transcendental reality.
The first time I went to see her at their house. I arrived early, I remember Eileen saying to wait in the garden outside. By her description I expected to see the Garden of Eden, but when I went outside; I found a small yard with a pool with lots of leaves in it. I wondered where this magical garden she described was. Eventually, I came to understand that everything seemingly normal took on a magical quality when filtered though her consciousness. As I left that day, I laughed when I over heard Eileen say how much her next appointment needed her, when they tried to park parallel in the round cul-de-sac at the end of their street.

Eileen helped to call me out of my own stupor of self un-acknowledgement when she told me, “I know you know this already”. How did she know that I wondered? The larger question being….was I willing to accept the responsibility that owning this knowledge entailed? It took a few years of negotiating with myself over what would replace the food I would give up, till finally I was happily adapted to a simple diet that included the famous Bieler broth described in the classic, “Food is your Best Medicine” by Dr. Henry Bieler, that with time became my favorite comfort food. I had shown up a sluggish depressed teenager, brilliantly creative, she for years reminded me of that, but weighed down by eating habits that included, after school snacks of ice cream with peanut butter or white bread with butter and cinnamon sugar; I also liked milk and yellow cheese. No wonder by the time I had the grace to have my first appointment with Eileen, I was covered in acne. In addition to learning what was best for my body, I learned that what was most important was to enjoy and love everything one consumed. After a few years of making my body and food my personal battleground, I came to a truce and a lasting peace agreement.
For years to come she was there when I needed her, guiding me and my family with her wisdom at what were major turning points. One significant story I will include here in this short version is about my daughter. When she was twelve she developed a concerning wandering eye. Doctors said there was no underlying condition and recommended her taking strong dose of steroids that had the potential side affects of an ulcer, depression, and weight gain. I told her to tell her teachers that “ her mother dared to say no to drugs,” since this was a popular slogan by the republican party that was never intended for going against drugs prescribed by who I dare to call the drug lords of the medical profession. We drove 300 miles each way, to see Eileen, followed her prescribed diet to a T, within weeks the condition disappeared on it own, providing further proof of the infinite power for a healing transformation in our body if we could only tap into what is needed in the moment.
To say that Eileen?s presence in my life was anything less than the “ Grace of the Guru,”one who removes the darkness or gue of matter, would be lacking in the full expression of the gratitude and love that I feel for her. I hope her family finds comfort knowing that the essential Atma of Eileen as Rumi says, is undying and unborn, water can not wet it, fire cannot burn it. Her eternal soul lives on, free of the limits of her body and mind. May her life serve as a reminder to us of the possibility of an exalted human existence and her memory continue to grace us into eternity.

Posted on: April 25th, 2014 by admin

When I started this work of establishing New Pathways Retreat Center, an evolutionary approach to healing eating disorders, I never expected that I would be joining in and adding to an international movement of true liberation for women; described in the New York Times’ best selling book Ascent of Women, a new age dawning for every mothers’ daughter. Our contribution to this work is that we declare that we are not buying into the myth that its the mother’s fault in the case of eating disorders for being too close to their daughters, any more than its the fault of women in Africa for spreading Aids. Moreover, where the focus needs to go is onto a culture complicit by its passive non-resistance to media projections that objectify and diminish the value of women. These projections set them up to be preyed on by a culture that has become used to turning every aspect of mother nature into a resource to be exploited.