“I love to guide others through their deepest hearts terrain. Our compass is our intuition. Our joint adventure creates your transformation. Our destination is your own, deep truth.”
Chandu brings inspired learning & opportunities for deep, sustainable change to all her clients.
As a gifted transformational coach, a savvy business & leadership trainer, an engaging facilitator & story teller & intrepid traveller & lover of life, Chandu educates & inspires with a fresh, calm & creative spirit that reflects her diverse & inspiring life.
With poetry, pragmatism & a passion for living out our true potential, Chandu offers individuals & groups unique and authentic ways to experience & embrace real & lasting change.
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“As a facilitator, Chandu is generous, challenging, extremely competent & supportive” – workshop participant
“Chandu gives you her all. She facilitates a safe & nurturing space, guiding you to a deep place of healing. Working with Chandu allowed me to open & release on deep levels. Her support & commitment to my process were unwavering. Thank you beautiful woman.” – Julian Latham, Organizational Development Manager
Starting Out ~
Chandu began her career as a nurse in the beautiful Blue Mountains near Sydney, Australia.
In her early twenties, she developed a strong inner desire to answer some of life’s bigger questions.
She set off on a seven month journey to the ‘developing world’.
This journey ended up taking 12 years and took her to some of the most difficult & remote places on the planet.
Journeys & Learning ~
From the high altitude plateaus of Tibet, and the open, wildlife-filled savannahs of Africa, to the deserts of India & the endless mountains of Nepal & China , Chandu travelled, seeking out teachers & opportunities for learning about culture, diversity, change & divinity.
New Eyes, New Beginings ~
Eventually she settled in a tiny traditional East African village where she lived in a mud hut & toiled as local, fetching water & farming corn & beans for many years.
It was here, living intimately with the seasons & without even the basics of electricity, running water, transport or telecommunications that Chandu discovered her true love of business – by watching the local village women.
Over time, she created an international fair trade enterprise to support the impoverished villagers. This provided opportunities for local women to continue their traditional tribal arts & crafts while providing them with the much needed income to support their families.
To compliment her grass roots enterprise work in Africa, Chandu also established herself as a Cultural Educator in Australia – bringing African culture to Australian audiences in the Early Childhood Sector, Primary and High Schools. As a gifted, story teller, performer & educator, Chandu introduced and explored the challenging subjects of culture, diversity, inclusivity & prejudice through the fun & creative programs she developed.
Her love of business & communication found her engaging in further studies & she began a life that straddled two continents & two unique worlds of business, nature, art, change & communication.
Chandu now lives in Australia full time. She continues to draw on her diverse life experiences of travel & time abroad to ever deepen her ongoing studies & work with individuals & groups as they navigate the new territory & times of change, risk & transition.
She is an avid & vibrant writer & poet, an engaging speaker & leader, a dedicated trainer & educator for business students, an advocate for the disenfranchised, a true lover of life & a believer in the deepest potential of anyone who really wants to try.
“Today I learned that the world is an exciting, variable & imperfectly perfect place, filled with imperfectly, perfect people”
– Women’s Retreat participant, March 2017
Coach ~ Mentor ~ Guide
I tailor make intuitive programs for individuals, groups & organisations to support them through times of change, transition & transformation.
I offer specialised small group coaching for workplaces and organisations with a special focus on communication, customer service, team work & change.
I offer private coaching programs for individuals who wish to work on the diverse & multi faceted layers of their lives.
I love to work with both men and women who are ready for:
deep self enquiry & change
lasting, sustainable transformation
exploring opportunities to expand their creativity, dreams & purpose
choosing to live from their greatness.
Group Leader ~ Facilitator
I love people. Especially groups of people.
I love the energy, the collective wisdom, the inspiration, motivation & breakthroughs that happen in shared space.
I create short & longer term workshops & activities for organisations, industry & not for profits that:
boost team-building & team effectiveness
support better communication processes
increase creativity & inspiration in the workplace
promote the acceptance & transition of necessary change.
Benefits for workplaces & groups include:
better communication & feelings of cohesion between individuals & groups
greater understanding of group & individual needs
increased creativity & ability to creatively solve problems
increased ability for individuals to self reflect & self manage
better communication & understanding of organisational vision & values
I create & host intimate, peaceful & inspiring one day & residential retreats to support individuals & groups on the deep journey’s of learning, growth & transformation.
Please see my events page for upcoming dates and venues.
Writer ~ Poet
I love words.
I love the quiet potency
the moment of opportunity
that sits poised
beneath a pen
as a poem forms
in my pulse.
I love the way words capture the curious, the chaotic and sometimes crushing truths we can’t we won’t touch.
Please see my poetry and blogs for my recent and archived writing.
Trainer & Mentor
Business and leadership are two powerful ways we can bring our passion into the world and make a positive impact.
As a trainer and mentor of both business and leadership, I bring my own inspiration and passion to fan the flames of your ideas and dreams.
Specialty areas include:
presentation & interview skills
change & its management
culture, diversity & inclusion
Keynote Speaker ~ Story Teller
With passion, humility & humour, I bring my real life experiences as an Australian woman living & travelling Africa, India, China, Nepal & Tibet to your local audiences.
I draw on decades of thrilling travel & at times diabolically diverse lifestyle choices to tantalise & encourage audiences to reflect upon their own lives, unique gifts & circumstances.
I use story telling, poetry & prose, to help us all find our common ground. I speak not to the ears, but to the heart.
“I speak not to the ears, but to the heart.”
With passion, humility & humour, Chandu brings real life experiences and the sometimes tough topics to your corporate, organisational, women’s and youth audiences.
She draws on decades of travel & diverse lifestyle choices, to help listeners enquire deeply, think differently and find their own place in humanity’s common ground.
Using story-telling, poetry and the art of conversational leadership, Chandu invites each listener into her dialogue with thoughtfulness, pragmatism and wit.
As an advocate for equality, diversity and clear, courageous communication, Chandu champions those who work for and support others.
She has been an educator, trainer and performer, leading groups in Australia and around the world for over 15 years.
What others say about Chandu: “Chandu is a compelling speaker and great facilitator.” – Fiona Kane
“Chandu is a wonderful speaker and extremely inspiring.” – Mandy Searle
“Chandu has great empathy and insight and was able to guide a practical and helpful discussion.” – Fiona Donnelley
This retreat is an opportunity to get away from civilisation, to open ourselves gently and deeply to the sacred energies of the land and to reconnect with the indigenous archetypes within us, whatever our cultural backgrounds.
Our home base is an established bush camp in the middle of the exceptional Mount Gibson Station, five hours by road from Perth in the semidesert midwest region of Western Australia. The property, a former sheep station and more recently a conservation sanctuary, is a unique and beautiful mix of acacia and eucalypt wood land, quartz ridges, a massive salt lake and multiple micro environments.
Spiritually, it is a powerful place with multiple sites and is the intersection of a number of song lines connecting with Uluru, north NSW and the Northern Territory and extending into the mid and south-west of Western Australia.
Daniel has a long association with the property, having led regular retreats on it from 1996 to 2007, having fallen in love with it on his first visit. For the following decade, it was closed off to the public for conservation reasons and was only recently re-opened.
To enhance our connection to this land and its spirit, the program will include daily circles, meditation, ritual and ceremony, visits to local sites and bushwalks, led by Daniel and Chandu Bickford. This will be supplemented by a presentation from the conservation staff, sessions on the WA bush flower essences with specialist Cloudia Defrenne, and a rich day with the senior Budimia elder Darryl Fogerty.
The pace of the program will be gentle and unhurried, with plenty of time in between experiences for sharing meals, enjoying the campfires under the full moon, for contemplation and private walks.
THE SACRED MARRIAGE INDIA TOUR October 5-20 2019 ~ Ganeshpuri, Maharashtra State, India
* dates subject to change by a day or two. For Both Men and Women, Singles and Couples With Daniel Sowelu and Chandu Bickford.
This tour and retreat is an opportunity to go into the heart of Indian culture to explore inwardly and outwardly the Shiva Shakti traditions of India as reflections of the different faces, the power and the joy of the sacred masculine and feminine within each of us.
Our venue is a home stay in the small pilgrimage town of Ganeshpuri with a local Indian family. From there we will be visiting temples in the region to the deities, including Shiva, Laxmi and Ganesh, Rama and Sita, Saraswati, Krishna and Radha, Lalita, Kali, Parvati and their local representatives.
Our stay coincides with the festival of Navratri, 9 days of honouring the goddess, culminating in the Durga Ashtami, the day of the year dedicated to the Goddess Durga. Each evening the normally quiet village erupts with joyous chanting and celebrations.
Our daily program includes meditations, astrological circle work, chanting, mantras and ceremonies to prepare ourselves inwardly to open to the grace of the sacred marriage, to open to the possibility for life-changing spiritual, emotional and tantric awakenings.
The outer adventures include day long and overnight trips to significant goddess temples, including the great mountain temple of the Saptashrungi Devi, one of 51 Shakti Peethas of the goddess found across India and Tibet.
To honour the sacred masculine, the trip will also take in the ancient Jyoti-linga Shiva temple in Trimbakeshwara and the Kumbla Mela pilgrimage site in the town of Nasik.
THE HARVEST ~ A day retreat for women to rest, reflect & reap. March 23 2019 ~ Blue Mountains ~ NSW.
We are currently in the height of summer.
Everything feels lush, green and abundant.
All around us nature feels full and ripe.
But what is happening inside us?
What areas have we been tending well?
Which parts of our lives could use more care?
What are we ready to end, remove or finish up?
What fruits are we ready to reap?
The seasons are shifting.
Autumn is soon to arrive and with it the natural desire to slow down and soak in its golden sunshine.
Join us for a day of contemplation and conversation.
A day of guidance that will help you enquire into and get clear about what you really want and why it is important to you.
A day just for you, to look deeply within, to soften into the season of autumn and listen to the questions and the answers of your heart.
This one day retreat for women is hosted in the beautiful Blue Mountains by Chandu Bickford. As an educator, coach, mentor and guide, Chandu has been leading groups here and abroad for over 15 years. Her gentle, conversational leadership style invokes, uplifts and inspires others through her one on one work, groups, teaching, writing and public speaking events.
What others are saying about Chandu’s retreats:
“Chandu is respectful, experienced, wise, knowledgeable and caring.” – Y.Sangster
“As a facilitator Chandu makes it easy to work on the hard things.” – D.R.
“I appreciate the non-intrusive style of facilitation and workshop design. It feels honouring of self and personal process.” – L Rummery.
Our day will be a mix of conversation, enquiry, individual and group work. We will include some guided meditation, gentle movement and a labyrinth walk.
No experience is necessary.
Simply come with an open heart and mind.
All resources and a lovely vegetarian meal, and refreshments are provided throughout the day.
Venue: Blue Labyrinth Bush Retreat, Woodford, NSW
Date: Saturday 23rd March
Cost: $145 or $99 for concession card holders.
For bookings and more information contact Chandu at Email: Connect@chandubickford.com Phone: 0487 808 030
THE GIFT ~ A day for women to relax, reflect, release and renew. December 29 2018 ~ Blue Mountains ~ NSW.
It’s been a long year.
We know. We’ve all felt it.
The demands, the responsibilities, the commitments, the crazy pace and goings on.
We have done well.
We’ve made it… almost to the finish line.
But we are tired.
All year we have been showing up, serving and giving to others.
Fulfilling so many different roles. Not checking in with ourselves as often as we’ve needed to.
It is time to pause. To rest and breathe out.
The year is almost over. Now it’s time for you.
Join us and give yourself – The Gift.
The gift of –
time & space.
To review your last twelve months.
To release any of its hurts, disappointments, stress & strain.
To restore your energy and
Re-ignite your vision, your inspiration and focus for the year to come.
We will gather.
In the gentle and sacred space of the Blue Labyrinth Bush Retreat in the beautiful Blue Mountains.
We will connect.
As women, as mothers, sisters and friends.
We will create.
A safe and welcoming environment for all of us to relax and lean into.
And we will journey.
With guided activities to help us reflect on our year, release the old and renew our vision, choices and intentions for the year ahead.
Our day will include gentle movement, solo and shared reflection activities, guided meditation and a beautiful labyrinth walk.
My name is Chandu and I will be your host and guide for the day. I was born and raised in the Blue Mountains and I have been leading groups both here and overseas for over 15 years.
I am an educator, a facilitator, a poet, mentor and mum.
I am passionate about creating opportunities for connection, conversation and change, and am so looking forward to sharing this day with you.
Please wear clothes you feel comfortable in.
Bring a water bottle, a shawl or yoga mat and a journal to write in.
All other resources will be supplied for you on the day.
A wholesome vegetarian lunch, morning and afternoon tea and refreshments are provided.
Cost: $135 or $85 for concession card holders.
I am also creating a number of places for women facing financial hardship.
Please contact me if this is you and you wish to join, or if know of a woman who would benefit from joining the retreat. There is also an option for waged women to give back and help subsidise the gift of this day for a less fortunate sister.
For bookings and more information contact Chandu at Email: Connect@chandubickford.com Phone: 0487 808 030