Gareth Edwards Are you ready to be happy?

Mihi - A Maori Greeting

Kia ora - "be well and healthy".

Or as we like to say where I’m from - ey up chuck!

I was born and raised east of Kinder Scout on the River Irk in Manchester, England.

My ancestors are Celtic from Scotland, Wales and Ireland.

I live with my family at the foot of Takaka Hill by Takaka River in Te Waipounamu, Aotearoa / South Island, New Zealand.

I am Gareth Edwards, a.k.a. Ganapati and The Laughter Guy.

Or simply 'G'.

I am a …

Writer
I write to inform and inspire improvements in your life.

Singer Songwriter and Musician
I create and perform to bring you solace and joy.

Laughter Yogi
I share merriment to help you remember 'real laughter'.

Healer
I do energy work to help clear mental junk restricting happiness.

My Story (So Far)

I am interested in what makes us tick.

For over 25 years I have been exploring scientific and spiritual understandings of what makes us human. Especially what makes us happy.

My purpose is to pass on what I learn in ways that are joyful and useful.

In youth I experimented with religion and psychedelic drugs, looking for connection to others and to myself. I was also drawn to study, with degrees in psychology and artificial intelligence, before starting a PhD.

My 'tick' went 'tock'.

I experienced extreme lows and highs. Despairing depression and suicidality followed by soaring mania and psychosis. I ended up homeless and then forced into hospital with a diagnosis of bipolar.

I rebuilt my life.

Music and writing became important in healing myself. And I started working to improve the system I had been through. I was doing fine until I hit another wall, with chronic adrenal fatigue and panic attacks.

I reframed my life.

Yoga, meditation and spiritual growth became the focus. I moved from the city and started a permaculture farm. And I began sharing my music and writing with others to help and heal them.

I live my life.

I have found a way to embrace the tick and tock of my own life and share this through my writing, music and healing work.

Credentials

Laughter Leader
Trained and qualified in Dr Mandan Kataria's Laughter University.

Angelic Reiki Master
Trained and qualified as Master (Level 4) in Angelic Reiki, including past life healing.

Access Bars® Practitioner
Trained and qualified as practitioner in Access Consciousness® Bars.

Best Solo Show and Best Show | Nelson Fringe Festival 2015
My one man show "Mad Love" won two awards at the first fringe festival.

Mantra Diksha
Initiation with Swami Niranjananda Saraswati, Bihar School of Yoga.

I studied the chakras, prana vidya and ajapa japa at two ashrams and received the name Ganapati (a.k.a. Ganesha) - the placer and remover of life's obstacles.

Director, Positive Thinking
My freelance consultancy advising governments, health services and universities around the world about how to improve their populations wellbeing.

Specialising in:
  • suicide prevention and discrimination
  • promoting and enforcing human rights
  • fostering self-help and peer support
  • using eHealth as alternatives
CEO and Co-Founder, MH Interactive
I ran a start-up tech company to develop one of the world's first eHealth platforms.

National Manager, Lifeline New Zealand
I ran 10 helplines and built the counselling services for the Depression Campaign led by Sir John Kirwan.

Consumer Academic, University of Auckland
I was one of the worlds' first consumer academics with publications on:

  • "Doing it together: a story from the co-production field." | Qualitative Research Journal (2016)
  • "Suicide Online: Portrayal of website-related suicide by the NZ media" | New Media and Society (2015)
  • "Reporting of Suicide by the NZ Media" | The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention (2015)
BSc (Hons) Psychology | Sheffield Hallam University, UK
Dissertation: "The Beer Talking, Four Lads, A Carry Out and the Reproduction of Masculinities" | The Sociological Review (1998)

MSc Applied Artificial Intelligence | Aberdeen University, UK
Thesis: "AMI - Artificial Musical Intelligence. A Music Composition Program"

PhD (incomplete) | Sheffield Hallam University, UK
Thesis: "Creativity and Computers" - discourse analysis of the social construction of technology and it's impact on creative peoples’ use of computers.