Updated: Nov 4
IT's probably easier to list what has stayed the same, than to catalogue what is different from this time last year.
I am living in the same house and married to the same gorgeous man, with my daughter, step-daughter, Zoe the dog and Walter the cat. My eldest two are at uni and working...
But otherwise things are very different. I AM DIFFERENT. On 2nd October 2019, I was just back from a weekend away in Ibiza. I was pregnant, sadly not for much longer, but this particular pregnancy was a massive catalyst for change.
My corporate job was becoming impossible to get on with day to day. The pregnancy had jolted me into greater awareness. I felt an urgent need to be free, which overtook the perceived need for security, seemingly provided by a generous monthly salary, pension pot and yearly bonus. I didn't have the courage yet to walk away, but I had started to speak my mind more often, kind of knowing that I didn't have a choice anymore. I was done-in - tired, disillusioned, demotivated and desperate for a more meaningful existence.
The baby, expected around the end of April this year, felt like a get-out-of-jail-free card. I spoke to a trusted friend about what I wanted to do once he or she arrived, about how I was going to use this significant shift as an opportunity to change my career - to work for myself, to do something that was more inline with my skills, dreams and aspirations.
Goodness only knows how I was going to do that with a newborn in tow, but the idea seemed so much easier, and more appealing, than living a lie - ignoring things that were close to my heart and soul, pretending to be someone I was not. Also, I was used to juggling. I had my son at 22, while still at uni, so I was confident in my ability to get things done, as long as I was motivated.
Then I miscarried and I fell into a bad, sad mood. I had been so close to my dream, but now here I was, new boss to impress, targets to meet, meetings to go to, events to arrange... And to top it all off, my daughter was hating school and even more so wrap-around school care - she was miserable. Ron was travelling a lot, I was trying to split myself in two, being neither the mother I wanted to be, nor the model employee - worthy of the salary I was earning. I felt like a fraud. But, I couldn't just leave. I had a mortgage to pay, responsibilities and commitments. I had debt to clear! How could I possibly stop? I felt well and truly trapped.
Now, it is said 'the truth will set you free', in fact it was preached by Jesus (who was a bit of a rebel!):
"Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32).
These words have just become my new and favourite motto! In my case, the truth couldn't be held back any longer. It was seeping out of my pores, I couldn't help rebelling. I heard my claims and complaints in the office, as if they were coming from somewhere beyond myself. How was I meant to work like this? I had started to find myself on late train most weeks, because I wasn't running for this life anymore....and I wasn't giving any excuses, just stating the facts....my daughter wasn't happy, I wasn't prepared to dump her on someone pre-school, just for a 9am meeting, when we could all easily start 15 mins later. It didn't make any sense. And then I was questioning 'why were there no women on the board?' Decisions were made to appease the investors, rather than give credit to the team on the ground. The politics were unbearable. I had always been pretty adept at playing them to my advantage, ducking and diving to get ahead in business. I wasn't ever the model employee, but my creativity and hard work had allowed me to survive. But I had lost any ounce of self-regulation. My words were exposing me.
One day, I heard myself tell my new boss I wanted to work for myself and that I was interested in healing. I was talking myself out of a job!
After that, one thing led to another. I found myself leaning into my truth and started to follow my intuition rather than my intellect. I was heading up PR and Events for a fast-growing firm, with significant high-profile investment. So much of what I did brought me joy. I loved writing and creating events - when doing so brought people happiness and learning. In a way, it was the best 'work' I had ever done. I produced entries which had led to us winning really prestigious awards, we had managed to attract hundreds of new customers and the press coverage we were getting was significant.
But I didn't fit in. I was surrounded by tory-voting, meat-eating, designer-label wearing, hunting, shooting, fishing types. Mainly men....at the top anyway. Where women were getting ahead, it appeared to me they were emulating the men, rather than bringing a female energy to the proceedings. Meanwhile, I was growing out my grey hair, definitely NOT voting tory, trying my best to follow a vegan diet and wearing clothes from charity shops to afore mentioned award ceremonies - to events in Mayfair no less!
I spent a lot of time catching up. I was trying to keep the house going, homework up to date, deadlines at work met...I said to my husband a lot: "I can't cope!" At this point in my life I was content with a lot of what I had achieved. After bankruptcy in my 20s, I had managed to buy my own house - at 40. I raised my son to 18 - and he was a decent human being! I had climbed the corporate ladder - made lots of friends (and had lots of fun along the way). I was divorced and re-married to my perfect man (thank you plentyoffish.com). I had amazing friends - not in large numbers - but enduring quality relationships......But most of all I had been on a healing journey that had brought me to this point of rebellion.
Anxiety, stress and depression had accompanied me through much of my life. Mostly triggered by an event aged 15, but also, from a very young age, I was deep....I was quiet, introverted and I thought about things A LOT. Thinking a lot is both a blessing and a curse. So often it had cursed me with ideas of not being good enough, whether my looks, personality, drive, self-control. Conversely, these thoughts had spurred me on to achieve, then break-down, then achieve, then break down and so on and so on in a perpetual loop.... The only time I ever felt OK was when I was either escaping (drink, drugs, parties), when I was hooked on a project OR an idea I had ascertained from a book I had been reading. I've had counselling and other forms of therapy, but it was self-care and self-development that led me to find the truth I was seeking.
I've always read lots of self-help books. I think they're amazing....although no one book gives all the answers. I had been reading 'The Surrender Experiment' by Michael Singer (2016), having found his earlier classic guide 'The Untethered Soul' (2007) incredibly significant a couple of years earlier. I realised I had started to follow the advice - to surrender, stop trying to control things, to go with the flow, let go, to follow my gut. I decided at that point to go for it. I was going to actively pursue whatever came up. I wanted to really tap into my innate wisdom and stop being scared.
So, I continued to speak my truth! I meditated and journaled more than before. I knew I wanted to coach, I've always been passionate about mental health. But healing kept coming up for me - then I attended a sound bath locally, pulled an oracle card there which said 'Dive In' - was asked by the leader 'was I a healer?', I told her I was feeling called to it and she informed me she was running a qualification in giving sound healing with Tibetan Singing Bowls nearby in a couple of weeks, there was a place left, it was over 2 weekends - so I signed up.
Intuition can show up in various ways. It could be a niggling feeling you can't shake off, words you hear, a sense of knowing, visions or dreams. Maybe it's a combination of all the above. And/or like me, you might also encounter 'signs'. Whether, these things are divine intervention or convenient distractions from everyday life, is irrelevant. Because, what matters is that you are identifying truth. Your intuition is pointing you in the right direction. It is guiding you towards your freedom. Herons had been showing up for me for years, but more so now. When I read the symbolism of these magnificent birds it resonated with me so deeply. The independence, determination and self-reliance.
As if to clearly demonstrate my point I just happened upon a blog, where the author describes her encounter with herons: “During that morning yoga practice where I'd seen the first heron, I had been attempting a mantra practice. With my in breath, I was repeating, "May I fully come into my truth" and with the out breath I was repeating, "May I fully express my truth and may others know and practice the same." http://www.beingbreath.com/blog/the-message-of-the-blue-heron.html Her mention of 'truth', being that it is the subject matter of this post, is so reassuring. Thats the thing about synchronicity, once you tune in, it rewards you with further winks and nods that you are on the right path. It's fun!
The message here is to surrender to whatever arises in you and have some fun along the way. Try it for a week, see what happens!
Anyway, it is now 2nd October 2020 and I am happy to say I am closer to my truth than I have ever been. I feel a sense of excitement and wonder that can only be achieved by letting go to the flow of life, following my desires and allowing things to unfold.
Doing so released me from my corporate job (I left a few days before Christmas with a big smile on my face!); got me into panto (I'd been wanting to do it for years): allowed me enough money to clear debt and set up on my own; gave me the skills to to sound healing; inspired me to start Heron Moon and get back into coaching (a skill I had learned 15 years earlier). With trust and courage I have been able to recruit wonderful coachees and devoted sound healing enthusiasts; set up a women's circle with my best mate; take up art practice; read loads; sleep when I feel like it; give up connection to material objects and find my tribe. I am learning and growing every day and I have so much ambition for the future - there is so much wisdom still to discover. Even the pandemic didn't get me down. Once you realise and then accept you have no control and surrender to the flow of life, you are better able to relax. And the pay-off is freedom. Unbound from the fakery you try to uphold your mental health improves significantly too.
So yeah, a year can make a big difference! So can a few weeks...
Recently, I ran a course called Be True to You with 6 amazing women over 6 weeks. Along with the progress of 121 clients, I am happy to see my ideas resonating and these women finding their own truth too. My joy is found in the healing of others. I want to share what I have found and spread the wisdom of truth.
Well, if it was good enough for Jesus, it is good enough for me! ;)
With love, joy and gratitude,
NB: My next Be True to You course starts on Monday 5th October at 8pm BST, online. It costs just £149. There are concessions available if affordability is an issue. Here is the link if you want to join and use the code FULLMOONOFFER to save 25%:
Or please send me a message with any queries.