Accelerate your Spiritual Development.Join the Watkins Wisdom Academy and learn from the best spiritual teachers in the world.
Polly Angelova3 min

Kindred Spirit Awards 2023

We’d like to begin by extending a huge ‘thank you’ to our readers for showing our nominees their support. We always love witnessing the community come together behind their favourite MBS figures, and this year has been no exception. We were receiving votes right up until the voting channels closed, and it was a close call between winners and runner-ups in several categories – a fine example of just how many brilliant minds and organisations we’ve got in the spiritual community.  The Kindred Spirit team extends their congratulations to all of this year’s nominees – we believe that you all do fantastic work in the community, and lead by great example. It’s fantastic seeing the teachings, creativity and values each of you share with the wider community. Our heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you. Now, it’s time to meet the winners and learn more about their work – read on for the results of the public vote, plus the winner of the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award and our Editor’s Choice. Personality of the Year 2023: Dr Jane Goodall, DBE  Dr Jane Goodall, DBE is a renowned anthropologist and primatologist best known for her work with chimpanzees. Alongside her field work with chimps, she is an avid conservationist and animal welfare advocate, and has founded both the Roots & Shoots programme, and the eponymous Jane Goodall Institute. Jane is also a UN Messenger of Peace, a World Future Council honorary member, and part of the Nonhuman Rights Project board. Category runner-up: Deepak Chopra  Retreat/Healing Centre 2023: Sunsetbay, North Wales Set in beautiful North Wales, Sunsetbay welcomes guests who want to escape their busy daily lives, and dedicate some time to themselves. You can experience the full journey of resting, repairing yourself, and reviving your body and soul with the help of life coaching, yoga and meditation, pilates and paddle boarding, gong therapy and scenic walking. Category runner-up: Our Retreat, Somerset Community Initiative 2023: Witchfest Set up as a non-profit organisation dedicated to raising money for Pagan community causes, Witchfest and its sister organisation Children of Artemis are behind some of the largest witchcraft festivals in the world, all of which are mainly staffed by volunteers. Big events from the Witchfest calendar include Artemis Gathering and Witchfest International, Witchfest Midlands. Category runner-up: The Spiritual Arts Foundation  Digital Influencer 2023: Emma Lucy Knowles After working in the spirituality field for more than 20 years, Emma has built a reputation as a renowned clairvoyant, energy and light worker, meditation guide, healer, and crystal expert. She holds bespoke sessions, where she brings her signature warmth, as well as her eclectic collection of knowledge and experiences. Category runner-up: Alex Gray Emerging Voices 2023: Dr. Jenelle Kim  As a Doctor of Chinese Medicine, Jenelle is dedicated to educating people on finding happiness through a combination of mindfulness and Tao philosophy. Her work incorporates East Asian philosophy into modern lifestyle and medicine, harnessing the power of herbal formulations passed down from her ancestors. Jenelle is also the founder of cosmetic and personal care company JBK Wellness Labs, which specialises in using traditional East Asian herbs. Category runner-up: Jessica Lahoud  MBS Writer 2023: Alice Grist Author of five books focusing on spirituality and tarot, Alice is a prominent figure in the nature and modern spirituality field. As well as advocating empowerment, she mentors other authors, gives talks, and teaches tarot and spirituality worldwide, enabling people to bring the divine into the everyday. Category runner-up: Alison Davies  Lifetime Achievement: Bessel van der Kolk ​Bessel van der Kolk, MD has spent his life and career studying how we adapt to trauma. He set up one of the first traumatic stress research centres in the US in 1984, and has translated emerging findings from neuroscience and attachment research to develop and study a range of treatments. His book The Body Keeps the Score has been translated into over 40 languages and has spent over 245 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list since its publication in 2014. Editor’s Choice: Martin Shaw Dr Martin Shaw is an acclaimed teacher of myth who is regarded as one of the most outstanding teachers of the mythic imagination. In the UK, he is a visiting fellow at Schumacher college in Devon and director of the Westcountry School of Myth, and he also devised the  Oral Tradition course at Stanford University in the USA. Over the past 20 years, he has introduced thousands of people to mythology and how it penetrates modern life. He can also be thanked for his wonderful work as a wilderness rites of passage guide, as well as working with at-risk youth, those who are unwell and returning veterans.