Have you ever turned up somewhere, looked about you and wondered how on earth you arrived there? Well, this is exactly what happened to me:
One day I “found” myself at the beach where I had gone for some important thinking time.
Because, a few days beforehand, I was actually considering taking an overdose, drifting off into a drug-induced sleep, free from pain. I had sat in my lounge, with sleeping tablets in my hand and anti-depressants in my bloodstream and actually considered how everybody’s life would be better off without me in it.
I felt at the time that I was a failure. A failure as a mother, a failure as a wife, a failure as a teacher… so who would really lament my passing anyway…?
I felt so disconnected from all the people around me. I felt completely adrift, swaying this way and that on the tide. I didn’t recognise myself anymore. I couldn’t equate the dynamic fun-loving person I had been with the shell of the person I had become, sitting folorn and lonely on the beach… and part of me didn’t even care. I had lost all sense of myself.
Have you ever felt like that? When you have wondered where the essence of “you” has gone?
Now, the reason that I say I had “found” myself on the beach is because, at that time, I didn’t know what I was doing… I found that things happened without my knowledge! Somehow the chores were done – yet I wasn’t really fully present for any of it. I was showing up but not connecting with my work, my family or my friends. I struggled to get up, to get dressed, to wash my hair… Even on better days, when people didn’t know how low I was, I was really only playing a part…
I felt that there was no-one I could turn to.
No-one I could talk to. You know that feeling of being surrounded by people but feeling so incredibly alone and isolated? I was tired of struggling and trying to please people being someone I wasn’t. I tried to talk to people but I got the sense that nobody really “got” what I was trying to say.
This created situations or problems when that hadn’t been my intention. I felt like I was getting everything wrong. Eventually, I lost my voice and couldn’t actually talk at all for what seemed like ages.
Was this Nature’s way of telling me to stop banging my head against a brick wall?
That was when I had my light-bulb moment.
In that moment I realised. I realised that I had to come back to me. I had to find my true essence. I had to reconnect with myself. I had to learn to love and forgive myself. No-one else could do it but me. But I needed a bigger version of myself – something greater – a version where I could find strength and courage. I needed to feel connected internally to a greater source. I had to do it for myself… to live! I actually made a choice between life and death. And I’m not saying that to be overly dramatic or to elicit sympathy. It is simply what I realised in that moment… in that moment that proved to be the turning point in my life.
I understood that I could no longer play the part that I had been assigned. The words stuck in my throat and my feet could no longer traverse the well-worn stage. I was created for a different stage, with different actors and a different story. I had to change what I was doing, thinking and accepting. BUT I WAS TERRIFIED! Because I understood the emotional abuse; I understood my role and what I was expected to say, having practised since childhood; I understood narcissistic behaviour. I understood that I was a kind, loving and compassionate person who helped other people feel better. I understood that I had to protect my children from emotional bullying. I understood that I was playing the “middle class, living-in-the country, husband-in-the-city, teaching-in-a-village-school, belonging-to-the-tennis-club” game and I was good at it. Except it wasn’t really who I was. The cap didn’t fit.
With realisation comes fear. Because with realisation comes the need for action. For stepping out of comfort-zones. For crossing new thresholds and opening new doors. And taking the dreaded “leap of faith”. I remember with absolute clarity the image of balancing precariously on a vertiginous cliff top. I was looking about me with a sensation of wonderment at the space… I had not felt so much space for a very long time… I filled my whole body with the blue sky. I breathed in it, and then in my mind’s eye, I prepared to jump. And that’s when the voices started. “What if…”. What if I don’t make it? What if I fall and break something? What if I’m too weak? What if it’s safer to stay where I am? What if I can’t play the new role? If I fail the audition?
NO! I knew that was no longer an option. I had to jump into the void. I had to take a leap of faith. I had to understand that I was being supported in my actions by a divine force. I HAD to say YES to myself. I had to learn from the lessons of the past otherwise I knew that they would keep repeating themselves – and I had almost died. I couldn’t take that risk again.
So, that’s when I decided. I decided to leave my husband. I decided to raise my boys on my own, on my terms, to model authentic relationships. I decided to get a better work-life balance. I decided to put my spiritual, emotional, mental and physical health first. I had no idea how I was going to manage any of this, but I knew I had to survive. That I had a reason to be here – a calling, a mission – and that I was going to discover it. But I was SO SCARED! I kept having nightmares that I would be homeless, begging on the street with my boys, a bag lady. And I have been guided that this is actually what had happened to me in a past life… which is a story for another time!
After that, it felt like the world around me was amplified – the sky seemed bluer, the gulls louder, the sand whiter. I felt a rushing in my head and a lightness in my chest. I was under no illusion that the journey was going to be an easy one. But at least it was going to be one of truth. My truth. I also knew something else. That I couldn’t make this journey on my own. That I was going to need help, and that I was going to have to ask for it. These were two quite new observations – ones which didn’t feel very comfortable if I’m honest.
My journey to wellness began with healing. I had heard of “healing” and had realised that anti-depressants and sleeping tablets weren’t healing me, rather numbing the pain (for which I was grateful at the time, I won’t lie). I had even been told that I was a natural healer but ignored that for some years. Out of a mixture of curiosity and desperation, I located my nearest healer and paid what I considered then a lot of money, for my first energy healing experience. Since then, I haven’t looked back. The treatments were so effective. The easiest way to explain my transformation is to use the metaphor of a flame.
When I first went for healing, I was broken, vulnerable, depressed and grieving. The flame in my belly was small and blue, barely burning at all. In fact, it had almost been extinguished. During a nurturing course of healing treatments, massages, acupuncture, reflexology, osteopathy, counselling and life-coaching my flame grew brighter. I was adding the fuel I needed. I was adding compassion, forgiveness, kindness. I was adding self-care, self-nurture and self-love. I was taking my time.
I was also having fun – Some mums at the school gate possibly thought I went a bit crazy! I learned to fly a light aircraft – to see life from a different perspective. I started walking regularly, and then running. This re-aquainted me with nature and again helped my perspective. I understood how I was connected with the rhythms of the Universe. I understood how the seasons would come and go, whether I took action or not. Since that time, I walk every day and for me this connection with Nature is crucial and beautiful. I re-invented myself. I had to get used to going out, socialising, meeting new people. I re-ignited my interest in music and live bands. I started drumming again. I started dancing again. I started doing activities that gave me joy and made me feel fulfilled. And I make a point of doing these activities regularly and consistently, because I need them to be the whole me (not the flying though – that was a one off!)
I also decided to contact my Reiki Master to train in Reiki healing myself. I set up my own practice and have helped women and children over the years, with anxiety, panic, grief and stress, just as I was helped. Eventually I decided the time was right to train as a Reiki Master so that I can attune my clients to help them with their own healing and that of their families.
Certifying as a life-coach also turned my life around. I was able to leave my job and set up my coaching practice, to have the flexibility I so craved. I am able to serve others – pregnant couples – to help them connect with their baby and to master their mind-set before the birth.
I use my mentoring, teaching, coaching and healing skills that have been honed over the years so that these couples can operate from a place of expansion and love; can become a strong, loving bond who support each other as a team and give their baby the best start in life. And I have been guided that this too is something that I have done in a past life as far back as the Saxon times. A midwife and a healer of women and children.
I am able to support my boys emotionally, financially and practically and I am at home with them when they need me there. No guilt. NO GUILT! As a single mum – that takes some saying!
Our children are a reflection of us. How wonderful then that my sixteen year old son said to me that he was glad that I divorced his dad. To say I was surprised is an understatement! But Alex went on to explain how we both seem happier. His dad has moved on and is in a healthy relationship with a lovely person. And I am too. But more importantly, our boys can sense and see that. They can see that relationships can be different. They have understood that there is a way through. They know that to compromise oneself is not an option. My boys are supported and encouraged by me to step into who they really are and go for their dreams. And this is the greatest gift I think I can give my children. I harbour no ill-will towards their father. I have forgiven my mother for her harsh treatment of me as a child. I understand that everyone is just doing their best with what they have and what they know. And we are all on this journey called life.
So, now I live an authentic life – a life where I am ME, with all my glorious imperfections. A life where I embody my spirituality instead of hiding it; a full and abundant life… a life where I am an active participant, connecting with people from a place of unconditional love. A life where I can speak my truth and I am heard, acknowledged and appreciated.
A fearless life.