One only need to spend a few minutes with Bo L. Arnold and you recognize you are sitting in the presence of love, true unconditional love itself.
It is rare, but not impossible, to meet someone who is walking his or her divine path literally in the present moment. Read on as you meet such a being, as I introduce you to one of the most amazing humans I’ve ever had the honor to call a friend.
Bo L. Arnold is a writer for Viva Glam Magazine, an entrepreneur, and a seasoned speaker. She has dedicated her life to helping others embrace personal empowerment, high-quality nutrition, and healthy living for more than 25 years. Bo shares her time between Columbus, Ohio and Scotland, UK.
Lisa: So tell the readers how your spiritual journey began.
Bo: About 12 years ago, I had dear friends that were going to a place called Serendipity Stables, where they have these amazing, magical healing horses. Back then, I didn’t know what this meant, so as my friends repeatedly asked me to go, I repeatedly said, “No thanks. I’m busy that day.” Finally, I said I would go just so they would stop asking.
Michele Davis, the caretaker of the horses, was assisting with the readings that day. I was the last to get a message. Michele listened intently to Sere, the lead healing horse, and looked at me and said, “I need to speak to you in private.” “Of course, you do!” I thought. Everyone else had received these amazing messages that they were on the right path, doing all these amazing things. Michele gave me my message. I wasn’t happy with it. Where was my happy message of being a good person and being on the right path? I left there pissed off. I thought to myself, “I’m never coming back here again. I don’t need someone validating for me that I’m not good enough, that I’m not doing enough and there are problems with me.”
A few years later I not only found myself returning to the stables, but I became a board member for a couple of years, an animal communicator and stood alongside Sere providing messages to others, helping them awaken to their spiritual truth through the magic of the healing horses.
Lisa: So you got a message that you didn’t necessarily want to hear. How did you go about shifting your life and becoming the person you are now?
Bo: Things just started to change. After the stables, my friend Oscar Gonzalez showed me how to see the energy around your hand and then I actually started seeing energy around everything.
I remembered when I was 3-4 years of age I would see people at the bottom of the bed. Sometimes they would be skeletons, but sometimes they would be people, animals, just different kinds of things and they would move. I could also see the walls move, it was a different world. But sometimes I would become afraid and scream for my Mom. She told me to be quiet and go to sleep, there’s no one up there, the people aren’t real. Eventually, I stopped seeing all of it.
After Oscar showed me some cool energy things, I began to get more in tune with seeing energy everywhere. I was drawn to pendulums and bought a pendulum kit at Half-Price Books. It was the only one they had and it was obviously there for a reason. I took it home, read the directions and went upstairs to my room to give this a whirl. I asked the pendulum a question. All of a sudden, it started to move. Honest to God, I just dropped it…I scared myself to death! (Giggles) So, little by little I began to work more with energy and pendulums. Eventually, I was introduced to Angel Oracle cards and began doing readings with those. It was all energy though. I could feel that coming through my heart.
One day, my friend, Cathy Gonzalez was at the house. She said she could see an angel in the corner of my living room. I couldn’t see it, but I could feel the energy of it. I took photos of that corner though and caught white figures of energy. There was also a white hole in the corner next to the angel. It was a portal—I learned what these were, too. It wasn’t long after that when I was lying on the floor with the dogs and I looked up at the ceiling and it started to move like it used to when I was a kid. It looks like rivers of clear cells in motion in rivers or streams on the ceiling. Then, as I continued to watch, the entire ceiling became a unified force field. I knew I was seeing the ceiling as it truly was and is for the first time in my life.
I did meditations lying on the sofa looking toward the stairway. One minute the stairway was there, the next minute it had disappeared. In that moment, I realized nothing is really here. It’s all just frequency experienced by consciousness. After that, when I would get ready to go to bed at night and start walking up the steps I would think to myself, “Well, thirty minutes ago, you weren’t even here” (Giggles). I walked gingerly up the steps, as you might imagine, knowing they weren’t real.
And so, the energy just kept developing. I began getting information about people and events that matched what was happening or would happen at some future date. At lunch once with friends, there was a man sitting at a table in the corner of the restaurant with a strange cough. One of my friends made a comment about his cough and I looked at the man. I suddenly saw an entire video in my mind’s eye of exactly what happened to him that gave him this different cough. I could see he lived in India when he was young—out in the country. He was playing on an aqueduct or something. And fell, injuring himself. I could see him at the local doctor, who had few tools to help him. I saw the x-ray of his neck. He had a fracture in the C5/C6 region. The doctor wasn’t able to do much for him so they sent him home. This area of his neck calcified over time due to the injury and the calcification was on the front side of the vertebrae, pushing on his esophagus. This caused his unusual cough, especially when he ate. I couldn’t believe it, it just happened! I just saw the whole thing like a movie, image after image after image. I have no clue how long it took. I just remember explaining the entire story to my friend as it unfolded. When I was finished, I looked at my friends. Their eyes were huge. I realized what had happened. Amazed, I said, “Wow, has anything like that ever happened to you?” My friends just shook their heads, No.
After that I began to sense where people had injuries or could get a feel for where energy was missing and that took me into energy healing. I became a Reiki Master under Cindy Riggs. The entire process of realizations, awareness and experiences beyond my mind’s capabilities to come up with, or even understand, just evolved. I began to open up more and more. The only thing I ever did was honor that there must be something other than my own thoughts that are going on here because I wasn’t thinking any of that stuff up, it was coming from somewhere else.
I had a huge shift about 11 years ago, while going through a rough break up with someone I had been with for a long time (discussed in the book). I went through 3-4 weeks of wearing black, not going out and just being really despondent and crying. I was sitting on the ottoman downstairs with my dogs, feeling sorry for myself and crying, when all of a sudden, the crying just stopped. I sat up and heard this voice say, “What are you doing? This is so out of balance. This isn’t necessary. You aren’t special because someone else thinks you are, you are already special, and you don’t need someone else to love you, you need to learn to love yourself!”
It wasn’t my mind talking. It was something much deeper. It was me—the real me—soul me and consciousness me. I knew it in my heart. I became so aware that day there is some other beautiful, loving, powerful, gentle, peaceful being inside of me that was the real me. That was the beginning of knowing that I am not my thoughts.
Lisa: You’ve spent the last 30 years writing and speaking on behalf of Safety and Risk Management work. Can you elaborate on this?
Bo: Yes, I have been published in professional safety and risk management magazines for years. The articles were all technical in nature. I have also spoken many times all over the country, even in the United Kingdom at an International Construction Symposium. I have done a lot of writing and speaking, but that type of writing, the technical stuff, fed my mind. The Great Mind column in Viva Glam magazine and my newly released book, Mood, Food and Gratitude: Healing from the Way We Think is completely different. This writing feeds my soul.
Lisa: So this is a different type of writing than what you had ever done before. When did you start writing to feed your soul?
Bo: About 8 years ago, I was talking with friends about writing a book about why we are so miserable and how to make it different. Then I met you at Serendipity Stables and you gave me the message from spirit that it was time to write my book—the book I came here to write. It was then I started writing to feed my soul, that was 6 ½ years ago.
I sent the first draft of the book to publishers. Some liked it, some didn’t. A few wanted the whole manuscript after they read the table of contents and a small excerpt of the book. But I never heard anything back from anyone after that. I took a closer look at the book I had written. I realized the first draft had a lot of unhappiness in it. I must have needed to get it out and I certainly did in this first draft. I decided to re-write the entire book from a different voice, one without the unhappiness, one from the perspective of love.
Not long after this, I began writing weekly for Viva Glam magazine in a column called Great Mind, thanks to Katarina VanDerham, founder and CEO of the magazine. I was writing in essay form and that became my natural style of writing. So, when I hired Heather Doyle Frasier as my creative editor and book coach, she quickly asked me to do something that made all the difference in the world. Heather recognized the success of the Viva Glam articles as she was an avid fan. In a meeting at her house one day, Heather asked me to reconsider rewriting the book in the same essay form. She was right. So, I rewrote the book again for a third time.
It has been a really interesting journey. I’m so grateful for Viva Glam magazine. Having a weekly column has made me a better writer and this is reflected in the book. But writing the book in the same essay format went easily for me, unless my mind was in town that day, having a go at me and my life. Heather and I worked through these moments and the book was eventually completed and published—a feat my mind hated but that my soul always knew was going to happen.
Lisa: Did you always want to be a writer?
Bo: There was part of me deep down, even when I was little, that always knew I was going to be a writer. When I was about ten years old, I spent the afternoons in Florida sitting in the corner of my bedroom, typing away on my little light blue Smith Corona typewriter. The paper was my Dad’s business leftovers with printing on the other side. I didn’t care. I just needed paper for my typewriter. I started writing a book that was about how silly we are as human beings, which I realize now, was the kid’s version of Mood, Food and Gratitude.
In high school I was the feature editor of the school newspaper. I wrote big, full page articles. One article that was particularly interesting came about because the Seniors at my high school had their photos taken at a place called Troup and Pluto. This photography studio was in an old home converted into a business. This home belonged to Don Mellett, editor of the Canton Daily News. A long time ago. I grew up in near Canton, Ohio, which was known as Little Chicago back in the 1920s and 1930s. The underground (the mafia) was alive and operational in Canton back then and Don Mellett was uncovering their activities in his editorial column. The mafia didn’t like that at all. One night, Don and his best friend and their wives went to dinner. Don dropped everyone at the front of the house and then went around the block to park the car in the garage at the back of the house. This is where he was gunned down by the mob. For the feature, I interviewed the babysitter from that night and Don’s best friend who was kind enough to provide me with all the newspaper clippings of the day. The feature article was used in history classes at my high school that year.
Writing was a part of my life as my Aunt Marian (Glick), who graduated from Indiana University in journalism, was one of the pioneers of women in her field. Aunt Marian traveled all over the world for the AP and UPI news services. She worked at CBS as Walter Cronkite’s editor, took the first call regarding the Kennedy assassination and was in Houston at the first moon landing in 1969 covering that. She was amazing! My aunt always wanted me to go to Indiana University as a journalism major and follow in her footsteps. I was super close to her. I know she saw something in me that I hadn’t yet seen in myself.
Writing has just always been a part of my life. I didn’t consciously know that I wanted to be a writer, but my soul has always known. It’s just so natural and feels so lovely to write. Once, while writing the book, my editor, Heather, said to me, “When people ask you what it is you do for a living, tell them you are a writer.” When she said that it brought me to tears. It still does… I just know that’s why I am here.
Lisa: So you write for Viva Glam Magazine’s weekly column Great Mind. How did that column come about?
Bo: I’ve known Katarina VanDerham, the founder and CEO of Viva Glam Magazine, for a long time. I picked her up at the airport for an Arnold Classic event years ago, and we hit it off right away. She’s like a little sister to me. We were texting late one night and when she found out I was writing a book she offered to promote it in the magazine once it was written. I asked what I could do to repay the generosity and she said, “Write for the magazine.” She created a column called Great Mind and I started writing for the magazine. It was just like that… It just happened. It’s been so great!
Lisa: What kind of topics do you write about in the weekly column?
Bo: They are similar to the kinds of things I write in the book. I write about bringing love back into relationships, about connections, and families and the beauty of smiling and the healing of gratitude; just anything that deals with all the aspects of love. Katarina never tells me what I can or can’t write about and she never tells me how long or short they should be, she has given me total freedom.
Lisa: Are the magazines on-line or are they available in print?
Bo: It is an on-line digital magazine and is also available in print. You can subscribe to either or both. The magazine was created to celebrate the beauty in women. Katarina wanted to bring awareness to the ethical treatment of animals and she really wanted to introduce healthy, whole, vegan foods to the world, exercise, and travel that feeds the soul. Katarina knows all women are goddesses. The magazine celebrates this in all women. It’s an all-around stunningly beautiful magazine. There are a lot of great contributors to the magazine and the energy behind it comes from pure love.
Lisa: So you have written a lot of articles for the magazine? Are there any that stand out as your favorite?
Bo: I have been writing a weekly column for the magazine for four and a half years. One that stands out as one of my favorite to write was an article I wrote on the healing benefits of classical music called The Amazing Health Benefits of Attending the Symphony published March 13, 2016. This came about because of an experience I had while attending the symphony while in Scotland, my other home. My pineal gland was tingling off the charts! I could just feel so much energy moving back there that I started researching music and metaphysics as soon as I got home that night. Music is the language of the universe. I loved writing it! That article had almost a half-million hits on-line.
I also had a three-part series in February-March 2015 titled The Experience of Real Love. Part one is titled Is it Love or Just Your Ego, part two is about Uncovering the Tricks of Ego Love and part three is Transcending Ego Love to Find Real Love. The articles uncover our motivations in our relationships. The article questions us: Are we in a relationship because we don’t love ourselves and we’re hoping someone else will fill that painful void and love us? Is this where dependency begins? How do we love freely and openly? And if we could love without conditions and expectations, would we still love the same person?
My most recent article written was about books, Share the Health this Holiday Season: Gift Someone a Book. The article talks about how reading books are so healthy for people, not electronic books, but actual paperback books. Now, that might seem self-serving, but what I realized through meditation, especially based on the things that I’ve learned about myself, I am so much calmer at night when I read before I go to bed instead of watching television. I could binge watch 4-5 hours of television and be wide-awake, but I could hardly get through 4-5 pages of a book. Why? Science can tell us why. That article was a lot of fun to write, too.
Lisa: So 6 1/2 years later the book, Mood, Food and Gratitude: Healing from the Way We Think is finally written and was released on July 27, 2016. Tell me what the book is about.
Bo: The book is about the way we have been taught to think is completely out of alignment with who we truly are. And because we follow that line of thinking, those beliefs are what create all of our unhappiness and all of our preventable illnesses.
The book is split up into three parts, 1) Mood, 2) Food, and 3) Gratitude. The first section, Mood, really talks about the development of the mind, or the Thought Self, as I call it. This is the person we are trained to believe we are, but we are not. The false self, or ego, was created for us, not by us. This error in training causes us unhappiness and preventable illness. This section reminds us of who we truly are—love itself. A life lived as our authentic self looks and feels completely different than the life of the Thought Self.
Food is about how are you nourishing your whole self. Everything is energy, and so food isn’t just the food we eat, it’s also how we are nourishing our whole selves. What are we reading? What are we watching? What are we talking about? What are we listening to? What are we thinking? What are we projecting into the world and what residue are we leaving behind us? Food is all of this.
As adults, we can correct the training that we have had and it is our job to do that. I wrote about this in the book, I went to see a Native American speaker one time, of all the beautiful things he said, I remember, “What could be more hellish than living in a place and not knowing who you are.” It was poignant. It was lovely. That’s really what we are dealing with. So, this book, in Mood and Food, helps us to see whom we really are by giving us a chance to become an observer of the one that thinks all the time, to allow the one whom we truly are to come through, because that one is always there.
The Gratitude part of the book is everything that has to do with love because gratitude and love are the antidote to lack and fear. So, when you’re grateful and loving, it’s very hard to be lacking and afraid. There’s a lot of support for love and balance in nature, in smiling, in quite moments and more. Peace brings healing and connection to truth. So, there are a lot of beautiful things in gratitude that are available for people.
The book is set up so you can read it from beginning to end, or you can read each essay separately. You can read it any way you choose. You do whatever you feel is correct because there is no right or wrong way to read the book, it’s just your way…it’s there for you.
It was a fun book to write once I let go of my minds’ idea of me and it. Without this mental chatter of fear and incapability I was able to write the book from my heart center—from a level of consciousness not found in the mind. And, I must say, I’m so honored and grateful for the lovely comments and the amazing support for the book, too.
Lisa: It’s a fantastic book! I loved reading it! Where did you get all of the material for the book?
Bo: The book really came through the soul-self of me, the truth of me. I drew on my life experiences to give examples of what I’m talking about in the book, things I was afraid of, things I felt about my work, my relationships and other parts of my life. If I was suffering from my beliefs and thinking, I figured other people must be experiencing the same or similar things. So, I wrote the book for all of us.
Lisa: What did you learn most about yourself through this writing experience?
Bo: I learned that I had a mind that really wants me to fail at everything. This is nothing more than a set up, so I stay busy trying not to fail. This only serves the mind; it doesn’t serve me. That was a big lesson.
This book was a massive challenge for me in my mind, and yet when I wasn’t in my mind writing it, it was never a challenge at all. It was actually enjoyable. And I didn’t struggle anymore. So, I think the one thing I learned about myself most was how much my mind was running my life instead of being run by my heart. I’ve also learned to look beyond what we have been trained to see, knowing this is also distorted by the mind. It has been said, “Don’t see with the eyes in your mind, see with the eyes in your heart.”
Just because I wrote the book doesn’t mean that I have transcended it all, it’s that I’m living this stuff every day. Some days I break down with the realization that I am afraid to not be perfect. Perfectionism had motivated me to do things that actually took away from my health, my life, my family, my loved ones and myself. It is now, when I remember and I am the observer rather than the participant, that I am able to correct my training. That is why the book comes from life experience. It’s not because I’ve transcended it, it’s because I’ve experienced it.
Bo: I realized the book is more of a movement—it’s a movement of remembering, of connection, of joy, of vitality, of peace and of love. There is a massive shift going on all over the planet and this book is part of that shift. I call it a movement back to love.
Lisa: What do you enjoy most about connecting with your readers?
Bo: I love to hear their stories of trials and triumphs. It makes me realize we are all suffering with our beliefs and thoughts but so many people are also waking up to the powerful truth within. It’s really exciting to watch.
Often people tell me, “I need this book!” In that moment, I know people want to heal. You can see they realize there is something other than what we have been taught to believe, think and do. Whenever we have a deep knowing that is validated in some way, it feels nice—reassuring. Perhaps that is what Mood, Food and Gratitude can do for people—validate what they already know to be true in their hearts.
Lisa: Are you going to be writing any other books?
Bo: Plans are to start writing early in 2017. I’ve got another book all ready to go from an outline perspective, I just need to start writing it. I can’t tell you the name of it just yet, but it’s really going to be so much fun. There will be a lot of great information in there, things to look at from a different perspective, to see things from a holistic, true, authentic point of view rather than the typical point of view, which is how we’ve been incorrectly trained to see life.
Bo: I love to go out in nature. I do this a lot in Scotland and I absolutely love it—it’s so beautiful there. I love to walk and climb mountains or take walks by the North Sea. I go out and find little places to get a bite of lunch and then go explore. It’s just really great. And you know I’m a big gym rat, so being in the gym is a total blast for me. It’s like a meditation for me–zen-gym time. I also like to read. Imagine that! I’m enjoying spending more time with my family and making shifts and adjustments in my work schedule so that I don’t work as much.
Lisa: Who is Bo Arnold?
Bo: (Giggles) That is a really good question. Bo Arnold to me is like the authentic consciousness of someone that you really can’t describe. I can tell you who Kim Arnold is. She is the President/CEO of a risk consulting firm. She likes Ralph Lauren, good food and dogs… and so on. But when you get to Bo Arnold, it feels a lot more existential. Bo is my nickname and that’s probably why I’m drawn to it because it just always feels relaxing and more natural. It certainly came out of a loving place—my sister started calling me that years ago, and it just stuck. I can’t describe Bo with words really; it just feels like energy to me. I think that’s why I write using that name, it just feels like freedom.
Lisa: If you had only three words to describe yourself what would they be?
Bo: I would say, here, there and everywhere because I’ve had the experience of being here, there and everywhere. That’s it.
Lisa: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Bo: (Without hesitation) Free. Free to love. Free to experience joy all the time, not just some of the time. I just want to be free. That’s it.
Lisa: What do you want to be remembered for?
Bo: Being remembered has never been important to me, so I don’t have a great answer for you about that. I think people will remember whoever they want to remember in whatever way that will suit them, and that’s just fine with me. No one needs to remember me in a particular way.
Lisa: What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment in your life so far?
Bo: Remembering who I am. (Eyes begin to well up with tears and we both begin to cry and laugh!)
Lisa: What is your favorite quote? What is something you always say?
Bo: “Energy never dies.” It’s my own quote. I’ve been saying that since I was little.
Lisa: Whom would you like to thank for being the greatest inspiration in this lifetime?
Bo: That’s a long list. I’ve been inspired by so many people in my life along the way, by you, by beings that I don’t see in human form, by my grandmother, by my mother, my sister, my brother… I mean I’ve been inspired by so many people I don’t know if I could tell you just one person that inspires me.
I would thank everyone who was mean to me in my life and I would thank everyone who was kind beyond measure because… here I want to cry again (eyes well up with tears) …because it’s the contrast of those two that helped me remember who I truly am. So, that would be the truest answer. It all works together, it’s all divine.
Lisa: What’s your favorite joke?
Bo: My favorite joke is a clean one. Grandma and Grandpa were sitting on the porch watching the sunset on their swing. The kids are grown, it’s just them. It’s out in the country and there’s a light breeze blowing when grandpa looks at grandma and says, “I’m hungry.” Grandma says, “I’m hungry, too. I’ll go make us a couple of bologna and cheese sandwiches.” Grandpa says, “No, no, no, you just sit there. You’ve been taking care of me and the kids for 50 years. I’m going to make the sandwiches for us. Grandma laughed. Grandpa asks, “Why are you laughing?” Grandma said, “Because you can’t make sandwiches, you’ll never remember …you can’t remember anything anymore.” Grandpa said, “Well, I’ll prove you wrong.” So, he goes in the house to make the sandwiches. He’s in there awhile… the sun is starting to set… pretty soon grandpa busts through the screen with a tray and two bowls of soup and grandma starts laughing. Grandpa asks, “Now what are you laughing about?” And grandma says, “See, I told you that you wouldn’t remember.” He said, “What did I forget?” She said, “The crackers!”
That’s my favorite joke because my Mom told it to me. That lovely woman doesn’t even swear. All the jokes my Grandmother told me, I really can’t repeat in public. (Giggles)
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