MY STORY

My Journey of Self-Love

I didn’t always love myself and feel confident as I (mostly!) do now. I was a rather podgy teenager, with ‘thunder’ thighs, terrible haircuts, no style and three older brothers who took the piss, a lot! I never used to feel very feminine – I was a tom boy wearing hand-me-down trousers in an unambitious, working-middle class, Northern family.

As I didn’t know any differently, I wasn’t very embodied (as I now understand the term), I was actually pretty disconnected from everything but my head! I wasn’t listening to the other wisdom found in my body, life-force energy, emotions and intuition.

So I ended up in a career and work path that was very logical but wasn’t really in alignment with my values (marketing in the mainstream beauty industry). I would have loved to have studied psychology or sociology instead. So I found work draining, stressful, exhausting, plus I was sick a lot with what I can now see were stress-related illnesses (bad back, headaches, fatigue and poor digestion).

As a way to escape my reality (and I’m also a bit of an adventurer), I was quite a hedonist. In my 20’s (ok, and half of my 30’s), I partied a lot, drank too much & took recreational drugs regularly, always wanting to be the centre of attention, to fill the emptiness inside, to feel something other than not being ‘good enough’, not fitting in, feeling flat and unfulfilled.

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Knowing it wasn’t ‘right’

I knew things weren’t right in my life but I didn’t really know what was wrong, so my decision at first was to go down the hedonistic route, run away and go travelling, to Australia and S.E. Asia for a total of 16 months – all on my own! People said I was brave, to me it was exciting. I had a ball and I had my eyes opened too; to poverty, but also to simplicity, community, family, spirituality and the happiness and peace that brings people.

Already into t’ai chi, I started to get into meditation and self-help books and inspired by a Buddhist teacher I met, I went vegetarian on my return. I was slowly beginning to awaken to my heart’s truth.

I didn’t want to go back to the same situation that I knew wasn’t me, but I didn’t know what else to do, so I got stuck in London and got another job doing what I’d done before: Brand Management in the beauty industry (although with a more ‘fun’ company) – I felt I had no choice!

But, this nagging doubt, these thoughts of, “there must be something more to life than this!” didn’t go away, in fact, they started to get louder!

Trying to Figure it Out

I knew I wasn’t fulfilled (in corporate, media London) at the time. I gradually realised I wanted to do something more important in the world, something that really benefits others (rather than being in the business of making people feel bad about their looks so they’ll buy more ‘stuff’ filled with chemicals and toxins – aka the mainstream ‘Beauty Industry’).

I soooo wanted to make a contribution, to make a difference and do something more ethical.

I thought about what other career I could do that was more in alignment with who I really am, with my passions and values. I thought and thought, going round in circles, trying to figure it out, but I couldn’t find the answer in my logical mind.

The answer was in my HEART. And my heart needed time and space and the right environment in which to flourish. So I went travelling again, this time to Latin America, but in a much more focused way (not running away). I went to volunteer on organic farms and permaculture projects – a new passion of mine and to find myself.

Hils in Nicaragua

After 10+ years of reading self-help books, practising t’ai chi, chi gong, Buddhist meditation and yoga, I went to my first group personal development workshop in 2010 when I lived in an eco-spiritual community in Nicaragua (Central America). It was in tantra, and boy I was in at the deep end – we had to get naked and allsorts – eek! It was a stretch I can tell you, but a challenge that worked.

As I released and started to deal with all the ‘stuff’ I’d been suppressing, all the past hurts, shadows, pain and disappointments, I was totally set free! I didn’t know all my ‘stuff’ was holding me back and keeping me feeling flat & numb and not living my purpose. I didn’t know that was what was causing my problems and I finally found the solution!

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Listening to My Heart

Part of my self-love journey has been the decision and practice to follow my truth, my soul’s purpose, to awaken my heart to who I really am, after years of being ‘asleep’, living someone else’s idea of my life. This really helped shift things, as it increased my self-worth and sense of fulfilment.

Upon my return from Latin America, I lived with my parents for six months and sat patiently with the question of where I wanted to be as I knew London and the life I’d had and work I’d been doing, was no longer an option. I followed my intuition, my heart’s inner wisdom and eventually moved to a totally new city, Bristol, which I’d never even been to, I just knew deep down it was ‘right’!

I followed the breadcrumbs (each small step taken revealing the next). I re-trained (see my qualifications here), studied and practised my ass off. And in the process, did the tough and necessary personal development work, which enables me to hold you safely and with high integrity when I work with you.

I trained in various modalities. I went part time. I sold my flat in London.  I awakened my creativity and real me. I stopped drinking and partying because there’s was no longer a hole to fill! I’d found more of my true purpose!

I changed everything about my life.

I made the leap of faith and finally left my ‘proper’ job in May 2014, waaay before I felt ready. I didn’t really know what I was doing so I started running women’s empowerment workshops and courses, then Heart IQ events, circles and courses, 1-2-1 coaching and creating online courses. Plus picked up some freelancing and VA work along the way to make ends meet!

Then a funny thing happened, that wasn’t part of my ‘plan’ but has been a huge blessing! I started working with a couple of friends and their business (The School of Natural Skincare), using my extensive business knowledge of the beauty industry but this time in a way that feels great. Together we created an online program called Build Your Beauty Brand through which we teach and I mentor budding beauty entrepreneurs to create and grow their own brand of natural and organic beauty.

I’ve now taken all my experience of helping people live a life true to themselves, a life of courage, self-belief and self-confidence and I’ve niched down to specifically helping women entrepreneurs to create an authentic business they love. Check out ways of working with me here.

Ralph & I

I love Bristol, I feel so at home here. I’ve found my tribe both locally (through networking) and globally (through Heart Intelligence and The Art of Feminine Presence) and I’ve now finally met my beautiful forever man (Ralph), my soul mate I’d been calling in for some years :-)!

Now, no matter what’s going on (good or bad), no matter how I feel, whether I’m really wobbly emotionally, feeling sad or scared, vulnerable or whatever, I never lose my sense of self-love and strength in who I am.

Walking the Heart Path of truth isn’t the easiest path, I can tell you, but one I will never regret.

And I’ve never been happier…

Save

My Journey of Self-Love

I didn’t always love myself as I do now. I was a rather podgy teenager, with ‘thunder’ thighs, terrible haircuts (think perms!), no style and three older brothers who took the piss, a lot! I was a tom boy wearing hand-me-down trousers.

In my 20’s (ok, and half of my 30’s), I partied a lot, drank too much & took
recreational drugs regularly, always wanting to be the centre of attention. I made unhealthy choices when it came to men and got stressed out and drained working hard to climb the ladder in the corporate world (a job and culture that wasn’t really ‘me’).

All to fill the emptiness, the hole inside, the feeling of not being ‘good enough’, of feeling lost and alone, of feeling flat and unfulfilled.

Trying to Escape

So I escaped and went travelling, flying out on my first big trip. I cried when my mum said she loved me (it was a rarity although I knew she did). I spent a year in Oz travelling then working in Sydney, then 4 and a half months travelling around S.E. Asia. I had a ball and I had my eyes opened too; to poverty yes, but also to simplicity, community, family, spirituality and the happiness and peace that brings people.

Already into t’ai chi, I started to get into meditation and self-help books. Inspired by a Buddhist teacher I met, I went vegetarian on my return. I was slowly beginning to awaken.

I didn’t want to go back to the same situation that I knew wasn’t me, but I didn’t know what else to do, so I got stuck in London and got another job doing what I’d done before: Brand Management in the beauty industry – I felt I had no choice!

But, this nagging doubt, these thoughts of, “there must be something more to life than this!” didn’t go away, in fact, they started to get louder!

For years I tried to ‘find myself’ because I knew I wasn’t there yet, I knew I wasn’t being authentically ‘me’!  For me, finding myself was a journey of discovering and cultivating a deep love and acceptance for myself.

It has taken me a while to get here.

I remember an ex boyfriend (over 10 years ago) who struggled with depression saying to me “its ok for you, its easy for you, you’re always happy” and I recall strongly defending that with “NO, I’m not having that, I work bloody hard every day to feel good about myself!“.

And its true, ‘self love’ (the pathway to happiness) is a practice, and something that can be learned.

I know I wasn’t fulfilled back then (in corporate, media London). I gradually knew I wanted to do something more important in the world, something that really benefits others (not being in the business of making people feel bad about their looks so they’ll buy more ‘stuff’ aka the mainstream ‘Beauty Industry’).

I soooo wanted to make a contribution, to make a difference.

Trying to Figure it Out

I thought about what other career I could do that was more in alignment with who I really am, with my passions and values. I thought and thought, going round in circles, trying to figure it out, but I couldn’t find the answer in my logical mind.

The answer was in my HEART. And my heart needed time and space and the right environment in which to flourish. So I went travelling again, this time to Latin America, but in a much more focused way (not running away). This time, I went to find myself and to volunteer on organic farms and permaculture projects – a new passion of mine.

 

After 10+ years of reading self-help books, practising t’ai chi, chi gong, Buddhist meditation and yoga, I went to my first group personal development workshop in 2010 when I lived in an eco-spiritual community in Nicaragua (Central America). It was in tantra, and boy I was in at the deep end – we had to get naked and allsorts – eek!. It was a stretch I can tell you, but a challenge which worked.

As I released and started to deal with all the ‘stuff’ I’d been suppressing, all the past hurts, pain and disappointments, I was totally set free! I didn’t know all my ‘stuff’ was holding me back and keeping me feeling flat & numb and not living my purpose. I didn’t know that was what was causing my problems and I finally found the solution!

Part of my self-love journey has been the decision and practice to follow my truth, my soul’s purpose, to awaken my heart to who I really am, after years of being ‘asleep’, living someone else’s idea of my life. This really helped shift things, as it increased my self-worth and sense of fulfilment.

I no longer needed to fill an empty hole.

I became a workshop junkie and I soaked it up like a sponge. I quickly knew it was what I wanted to do. So I dug deep to find the self-belief and self-confidence necessary to make the change.

Listening to My Heart

After returning from Latin America, doing more volunteering, living with my parents for six months and being with the question of where I wanted to live, I followed my intuition, my heart’s inner wisdom and moved to a totally new city (from London to Bristol) that I’d never even been to (I just knew deep down it was ‘right’)!

I followed the breadcrumbs (each small step taken revealing the next). I trained, studied and practised my ass off. And in the process did the tough and necessary personal development work, which enables me to hold you safely and with high integrity when I work with you.

I went part time. I sold my flat. I re-trained. I stopped drinking and partying because there’s was no longer a hole to fill! I awakened my creativity.

I made the leap of faith and finally left my ‘proper’ job in May 2014.

I changed everything about my life.

Walking the Heart Path of truth isn’t the easiest path, I can tell you, but one I will never regret.

I love Bristol, I feel so at home here. I’ve found my tribe both locally and globally (through heart intelligence) and I’ve now finally met my beautiful soul mate, the man I’d been calling in for some years :-)!

Now, no matter what’s going on (good or bad), no matter how I feel, whether I’m really wobbly emotionally, feeling sad or scared, vulnerable or whatever, I never lose my sense of self-love and strength in who I am.

And I’ve never been happier…