A wonderful client asked me today how I got into coaching people and my answer is always much the same; it happened very naturally and kind of found me.
It was writing that led people to me when I first started coaching and it’s so nice to have my new website now launched to get back to the thing I love most; pouring my heart out via words onto a page. I love the medium of podcasting too, which is why my current most prominent project is getting that rebranded in alignment with my work!
Anyway, that’s all by the by but it’s just lovely to be in a place again where I can write and share openly with you all. I sometimes feel like I haven’t spoken to you about all parts of my ‘story’ and why I’ve evolved my mission and work out of just breakups.
The thing is, there is so much more in me to talk to you about. I healed from romantic heartbreak and have helped others do the same, but I’ve healed from so much more too. I’m not underestimating how painful heartbreak is; that’s why I specialised in it for so long! But life is an ever-evolving experience, where we go through things and each one teaches us something of value. I subconsciously hid some parts of these experiences and lessons because I thought that it was only the ‘heartbreak stuff’ that people wanted. Maybe there was also a part of me that wanted to put those other things into a ‘box’. As you read on, you’ll see why doing exactly that, didn’t serve me.
So now I think it’s important to allow you in that little bit more, to see a few of those other things I went through, that you might relate to too. The main purpose of this post though, is to show you that healing from anything that life throws at you is possible. What I’ve gone through is no worse than what you might have been through but it’s still my story and ultimately, it’s what makes me so passionate about what I do today.
Just firstly know, that you can find the same fuel in your story too - whatever that might be.
I truly believe that the universe, higher power or whatever you want to call it or believe in, puts us in these places, gives us these experiences again and again until we learn what we need to. Not to punish us, not to teach us a lesson, not because of ‘karma’ (the true meaning of karma isn’t about ‘what goes around comes around’ anyway - I’ll elaborate more on that another time!) not to be unfair, but for our greater good.
So, I’ll start when things really went out of whack at around age 22. The following 8 years were spent trapped in an eating disorder, which I haven’t really mentioned a great deal about before. When I look back to that time, it was grim. An endless cycle of calorie counting, obsessing, over-exercising (I remember being on the treadmill for hours at a time) lying, making excuses, barely existing let along living.
It’s no coincidence that I found myself in pretty toxic, unbalanced and drama-fuelled relationships during that period too. I was in no place to attract the type of harmonious relationship I craved. When I was going through something toxic myself, what else would I expect to attract? In fact, the one healthy and ‘whole’ person I did date for a few months finished the relationship because he could see I was in no position to be in one. Looking back, I complained and moaned much of the time when dating him. I was so unhappy but channelled it in the worst way, blaming everything and everyone else and refusing to acknowledge what was really going on. He was a good guy and he ended it with absolute love. It was only when I looked back after the process of recovery, I could totally see why he had to do it!
I thought a relationship would be the thing that ‘saved me’. I even placed that expectation on them. They would make everything better and would ease the feeling of discomfort and extreme unhappiness in my body and mind (which of course were also totally disconnected and in a constant battle with each other). Instead, the relationships only served to exacerbate what was going on.
One relationship in particular was incredibly emotionally scarring. It ended in a way that still conjures deep thoughts, feelings and emotion because really, we were two innocent and insecure people trying to find comfort and a home within each other, yet not really dealing with our own issues in a healthy way AT ALL. The outcome was constant drama and just a lot of love channelled in the wrong way. It was the kind of relationship cocktail that brings out the worst in you both in every possible manner!
A few years later and in another totally different but still, misaligned relationship, what really gave me the kick to change was an event that happened just after Christmas. My dad found himself in a hospital bed in a life or death cancer situation. It was very sudden and aggressive. That relationship broke down somewhat dramatically, the very same week this happened so it was literally like my whole world had come crashing down before me.
It was seeing my dad fighting for a life he wanted to LIVE, and me sitting next to him, alive but not living, yet having that choice, I don’t know, that really changed something in me in a big way. That week I found a wonderful therapist and began the journey of recovery.
My dad healed (and actually healed AGAIN after another form of cancer appeared 2 years later - he is the ultimate bounce back King!) and it was that awful situation that inspired my own determination to heal. Sitting in that hospital room, my dad all wired up, not knowing what the outcome of his major surgery would be and my mum scared she was going to lose her husband AND her daughter if I carried on the way I was, well, it put things into perspective.
Even though I worked through the eating disorder via therapy and a ton of personal changes, which wasn’t easy, I had purpose. I didn’t want to exist, I WANTED to live.
What I didn’t realise though, is that whilst I did the ‘work’ and much healing, there was still emotional residue that I hadn’t waded through yet. From past experiences and things that seem so obvious now but at the time, didn’t really register. And so although I was on the mend, some of those previous thoughts and habits that manifested in the eating disorder, started to manifest in other ways.
At first after recovery, I was pretty happy and kind of revelling in the new ‘me’ (despite it also being challenging). But about a year into a new relationship, that’s when all the ‘dis-ease’ started to resurface.
Anxiety (I wasn’t really aware I even had anxiety), stress and unknowingly putting my inner unhappiness down to other things. I attributed it to the relationship I got into at the time, my current work, where I was living, a situation with a friend…..there was always ‘something’ that I blamed for the cause of my perpetual unhappiness.
This was around the time I delved more into spirituality when I randomly stumbled across a Gabby Bernstein video. I suppose she was my gateway drug into it all. I watched and saw this girl who was rocking an amazing dress and killer heels talking about higher power, meditation, the universe and overcoming her own battles and immediately felt a connection, despite it seeming a bit ‘out there’…..but also not. It made sense. So that’s what really propelled me into tapping into something much deeper that just myself.
The idea of helping people heal really resonated in a big way and I guess I just became a lot more aware of the concept that we have control over our life and how we react, regard and view things that have happened to us. I just didn’t know how it would take shape for me yet.
The next big event that occurred was ‘the’ breakup that inspired my work into heartbreak. I won’t write about that again because I’ve already written dozens of posts and articles on the experience so there’s no need to repeat it all.
After my breakup, I thought I healed pretty well. I did a lot of work around it (as you will know if you’ve read any of my posts from around 3 years ago.)
Whilst I was happy with that relationship ending after all the to-ing and fro-ing, I was becoming more and more immersed in this world I’d stumbled upon around coaching, personal development and spirituality. I was writing on my newly launched blog, which was to soon turn into my website and business, and I really felt like that experience had given me true purpose. I was able to help people. It was an incredible feeling.
I was happier but I still didn’t fully address that emotional residue, which was now manifesting in gradual health issues.
I was ‘busy’ living life but started suffering more and more with insomnia, stress, anxiety, hormone imbalances and was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. Again, not really getting crux to what was going on internally or linking all of these physical symptoms to the stress itself or suppressed emotions. Instead, putting it down to ‘work’ and a myriad of other external things.
Cut to Feb 2016 where I missed my best friend’s wedding due to being in A&E and everything come to a massive head. After a huge dose of antibiotics from Feb - April 2016 time (which definitely contributed to my gut health issues), things weren't good. It was from then until around a few months ago after coming back from a 3 month stint to LA, which was an amazing experience but on hindsight I really wasn’t well enough to do it, I had a whole other host of physical things going on. I felt like my body was giving up.
Extreme food allergies leading to a substantial decrease in weight (after working so hard to get it all back on those few years before!) and my hormones being well and truly out of whack, pain, digestive issues, fatigue - the lot. My busy life and lifestyle completely had to change and whilst I never saw myself as the ‘victim’, I was still placing my ability to heal in the hands of answers from other people. I was desperate. Which is normal to an extent; we have something wrong, we go a doctor and trust they’ll know what to do. The thing is, everything every person in any sort of medical authority suggested, I did and it didn’t work.
WTF was happening?
I wasn’t getting better, was constantly exhausted, could barely get out, was hungry and never satiated, had severe brain fog and in pain. It came to the point where I was depressed and feeling like this would never end.
I then saw a Kinesiologist and an Ayurvedic and Reiki specialist and everything changed. Both of these women tapped into yes, identifying the physical issues (SIBO, candida, toxins from radiation and chemicals, leaky gut, hormone imbalances and parasites) but also and primarily, the emotional ones too.
I can’t even really remember what clicked. But it was something deep within me, possibly after meditation, around the same time I found these women that told me….I had to get my anxiety and stress levels sorted and face the buried emotional stuff head on. Only then, once I really started to take care of myself, would things change.
Guess what, when I even just admitted that to myself and acknowledged it, I started to heal.
As my Ayuervedic practitioner said to me:
‘There comes a point where we have to take full ownership of our own body. Claim it back. Right now you don’t own your body, you’re scared of it and you’re fighting it, so it’s allowing all of these other external symptoms to play host. You need to be the main host of your body’
What had happened, was all the stress and anxiety had created a toxic environment for all of these things to house themselves within. (Along with the antibiotics back in February - April 2016 too.)
Now, I’m not saying that the answer to any physical problems will lie in the hands of a Kinesiologist or an Ayurvedic and Reiki specialist. I’m certainly not dismissing doctors either. After all, they’re responsible for saving my dad’s life, which I am eternally grateful for. But what I am saying is that by understanding that I had so much more power than what I realised, it changed the game.
I went off all the numerous supplements I was on, bar 2 (a probiotic and digestive enzyme) and things improved. My self-care become a non-negotiable and things improved. I amped up my mindset practice multiple times a day. Things improved. I took a step back from how I thought I ‘should’ run my business. Things improved. To other people, it might not seem like I’m ‘hustling’ or ‘bossing it’, but that clearly didn’t work for me so erm, yeah, I’m done with that way of operating.
And a note to anyone running a business, or wanting to, you can totally do it YOUR way and in a manner that allows you to put yourself and your health first!
I really started to handle my stress and anxiety levels in a deep way. I let go. I went to places emotionally I haven’t been before and everything just feels….different. It's not like there were severe things or events from my childhood or anything like that - it was a really happy time! It was more around those things that many of us go through that build up. For me, being chronically shy when I was younger, never feeling 'good' enough, afraid to speak up, not feeling safe in myself, feeling everything at an intense level (hi, fellow empaths!) comparing myself to others....
There's a balance between over-analysing things but also recognising where these old emotions and triggers can filter into adulthood and how we live our life today. The more they lay buried, the more dis-ease they can create.
With this new perspective, I’ve rediscovered my passion for helping people heal but on a much bigger scale. I’m taking my Reiki 1 in September and hope to then progress to Reiki 2. I'm taking a nutrition course. I’m allowing myself to explore various modalities and alternative ways of healing because I’m genuinely fascinated and going to admit it, I LOVE all things woo-woo! I’m creating meditations, reading more about astrology and crystals, reading books I WANT to read, not books an article on business or entrepreneurship tells me I SHOULD read.
I’m curious and allowing myself to explore it. I’m taking a totally different approach to life, love, my business and myself. I never fully took responsibility before. Now, I take care with my meals as food and mindful eating has been an integral part of my healing. Again, not following what an article or random person on the internet says I should do.
The body is unique and there is not a one-size-fits-all to health. I go for massages (they’re amazing for boosting the immune system), I meditate, I read, I limit screen time, I have a night-time routine, I let negative situations and people go without worrying. I give myself permission to be myself, to love my body, I experiment with new foods and recipes that are great for healing (I’m becoming quite the chef - if you know me in person, don’t faint ha!).
This is all the stuff I want to share more of and help people with. All in all, I fully and intuitively understand what THIS SELF-CARE shizz is about and understand the impact stress and our emotions can have on our physical bodies. I've become the investigator of my own physical, emotional and spiritual health, acquired information, skills, insights from practitioners and developed my own bespoke techniques that are all aiding my healing.
Of course, it’s a constant path and many of the physical things happening have in-depth nuances so it's a gradual process in terms of nutrition and supplements. But I’ve found the right path for me right now and I'm sure that will evolve too. It's just my approach and the 'why' behind it is now coming from a much more authentic place. THIS is why I’m so passionate about now helping people find the same for themselves.
So what I ultimately want you to know, is that life can present us with things. Traumatic experiences, stressful ones or just everyday things that are a pain-in-the-arse! But we have a choice and oftentimes, we’ll be handed these things as a way to learn.
I recovered from my eating disorder, but I guess didn’t TRULY recover so I got presented with these health challenges to know what it means to really get well. And to know that relationships never ‘fix’ anything, which is why I haven’t been in one for 3 years, to take that time out and get to know my true self. I've dated but enjoyed that experience as opposed to being outcome dependent. Now I feel equipped and ready for something long-term but it’s from a place of a relationship enhancing my life as opposed to it being the sole source of happiness.
My experiences might have seemed ‘unfair’ initially but I honestly do see them as a gift. Now I’ve gotten to the true crux of it and the real, authentic healing has taken place.
I also want to say that these types of events can also be a way to steer us into the direction we’re really meant to go. Into what some might call our Dharma. I NEVER knew back in my 20’s that helping people heal would be something I’m so fiercely passionate about (and good at!).
Through my most recent health struggles, I’ve discovered a new found love for health, cooking and spirituality. It’s a dimension to me that has evolved as a result of all of I've been through and I'm loving it! I have big dreams, ambitions and goals but appreciate the smaller, more subtle things too.
It’s also important for you to know that your past experiences don’t define you, but they DO shape you. The more you can accept that there are gifts and lessons in each one, the better equipped you’ll be to come out of this more ‘you’ than ever before.
Seek help from people along the way too. Coaches, practitioners, doctors, friends, family, resources but also YOU. Support from all of that list has been an integral part of my own journey but it’s also being about trusting myself to know what I need and then acting on that. Not solely relying on someone or something else to just make it all better. You do have to dig deep and I hate the phrase, but ‘do the work’. It really is so worth it. I do wholeheartedly feel that I am living proof of that.
At the same time though, you also have to know that life doesn't have to be hard! Yes, our experiences are tough but much of the time, the resistance to change is what also keeps us trapped in the stagnancy of it all. Plus, people are very quick to tell you that that's the way life goes. Here's the thing; it doesn't have to be that way. So my personal mission is now all about making life EASY, having FUN and just RELAXING more! It doesn't have to be hard! The past couple of months where I have really lived into that have just gone to show how much of a game-changer it is.
I hope you found this post helpful or insightful in any way at all. I think it’s just nice for you to know my whole story as opposed to just snippets to see why I’m so hell-bent on helping people beyond just romantic heartbreak now :)
I really do believe I am proof of how you do have the power to change what you want to - no matter what your circumstance.
Of course, if you would like to work with me one-to-one to guide you through that, just reach out to me here! I’d love to hear from you.