As we come to the close of 2017, I've been looking back at my footprints in the sand (I do live in a desert after all) and wow, what a year it has been!
To be honest, I don’t know where to begin other than to thank all of those who have been with me throughout what has been a fairly rocky road up a pretty tall mountain. I must say the views are looking pretty good as I approach the summit though!
Going through my Saturn’s Return
I don’t know if you’ve heard of a concept of Saturn’s return, I think Shannon Kaiser sums it up quite nicely as a:
“crisis that will put you face-to-face with your deepest fears. Everything you thought you wanted comes into question, as you realize you are not who, what or where you want to be.”
It happens around every 29.5 years - the time it takes Saturn to orbit the earth.
It happened to me at 27 years of age.
Suddenly I realised one of the biggest wake-up calls you can ever get. That your health is not indispensable. If you don’t treat your body with the respect it deserves, it will physically bring you down until you do.
I’ve seen this pattern play out for a number of people. From someone who blames her cervical cancer on not respecting herself sexually, to one who blames having a brain tumour on a negative mindset. If you are suffering repetitive health issues, I would really encourage you to dig deeper into associated mental feelings and explore the work of Louise Hay.
When I was stuck in intensive care, I was told by someone who knew me extremely well:
“nothing but ending up in hospital would have slowed you down”.
And I agree. I had tried to push myself through another physically and mentally tough time by forcing myself to carry on, go out and drink through the pain.
But it was one time too many for my body.
First lesson learnt:
Don’t take your health for granted. Your body eventually won’t let you.
Healing from a broken heart
The last thing I thought I wanted after going through a pretty brutal break-up was an unlimited amount of time to think. But that’s what I was given. A month off work where I wasn’t allowed to leave my apartment.
All I did was sit and think about it (and watch the Olympics, whilst also thinking about it).
I struggled big time to start with. But as a wise, and very dear, friend said, maybe it was a good thing to actually think it through rather than distract myself and convince myself everything was OK.
In hindsight, she was completely right.
Old habits die hard though. As soon as I was back on my feet again, I threw myself into a new relationship with a guy that had EXACTLY the same issue. It was great whilst it lasted, but it was just a classic distraction away from actually dealing with a root issue.
Second lesson learnt:
Trying to cover up issues on the surface and convince yourself you are OK only deepens and prolongs the issues. Face up to them, let all the emotions surface and then allow yourself the time to heal.
It was also a clear example of patterns repeating themselves until you learn the lessons.
Only now, when I have realised the patterns I classically fell into with relationships, do I have the strength to know when these arise again and have the confidence to walk away.
Walking away was one of the hardest, hardest things I’ve ever had to do. But the toughest lessons reap the greatest rewards.
Third lesson learnt
If patterns are repeating themselves, you still have something to learn from them.
Not waiting until tomorrow
I had always known I didn’t want to stay in law. In fact, I was already in it for longer than I ever thought I would ever have been. And full credit to two amazing bosses (one in London, one in Dubai) for keeping me there.
But, when you’ve had an encounter that makes you really realise your own mortality, the “life is too short” mindset kicks in big time.
Through a roundabout way, and with some gentle encouragement from the absolutely wonderful Daniela I realised my skills are in listening and helping others, not writing contracts for them (though in case any clients are reading, I am obviously highly trained and wonderful at writing those too).
Making the decision was the easy part. Taking the first step was the most difficult.
It’s at points like that when you realise why your best friends are your best friends.
They know you better than yourself and they’ll help you jump off the cliff that they know you can fly from. Even when you’re convinced you can’t. Whilst skiing in the beautiful Swiss alps in March, one of those friends told me straight out to just do it, and trust that everything would work out as I flew off the cliff.
And boy, has it.
Fourth lesson learnt
*You grow wings when you start flying. Don’t be afraid to jump off the cliff, because if you never try, you’ll never know.*
Trusting that everything will come together
As I jumped off that cliff on the 32nd floor in a meeting room back in Dubai (metaphorically, not physically), I had no idea how my boss was going to react. Other than being completely bamboozled by how I had gone from corporate law to life coaching with horses, he was amazingly supportive.
It was the biggest sign that I was on the right track. I was able to decide the hours that would work for me as I transitioned into my new career and direction.
Not only that, but the perfect training courses, support and people all came into my life to guide me through my transition. I’m ending the year a Catalyst life coach, a hypnotherapist, an (albeit basic) nutritionist and an Equus coach in training (half way through!). I'm so excited to be working with the wonderful Maru to grow my business in 2018.
I've helped clients move countries, change careers, reevaluate their health as well as deal with more minor day to day issues that were really getting them down. I'm so proud of each and every one of them.
Fifth lesson learnt
*If you don’t ask you don’t get. Trust that the help you need is there, you just have to ask for it.*
Trust your intuition
In April, I was meant to fly to the states and spend a weekend with a pile of Equus coaches and students (horsie hippies as I thought at the time). Everyone was telling me it would be an amazing experience - a weekend on a beautiful ranch with the experts in the field, as well as chances to be coached myself. In my head it sounded perfect.
But something was telling me not to go.
I didn’t know why and it didn’t make sense. So I let my head rule and booked my tickets anyway.
48 hours before I was meant to fly, my passport vanished. Literally vanished. I had had it two days previously and knew exactly where I had put it. But it wasn’t there.
A very close family friend arrived that evening and turned my apartment upside down over two days looking for it. But it never reappeared.
I had to cancel the trip.
As it turns out, I flew out to an even better weekend in October to the same ranch, as part of my Equus coach training. I essentially saved myself several thousand dollars by not going in April.
It was the clearest sign from the Universe I’ve ever received: if you don’t listen to your intuition, the Universe will damn well force you to.
Sixth lesson learnt
*Trust your intuition, and don’t let your ego override it.*
Keeping going until you get to where you need to be
When I was out at Apache Springs in October, I kept waiting for my “break down” moment. Convinced there must still be some unhealed traumas inside me that I needed to “fix”.
Four days later, nothing major had come up. Sure, there are still things I’d like to improve in my personal life. And I definitely still have up days and down days.
But I realised I was starting to feel “together”. Life really is working out the way I want it to now. And that’s something I never thought would have happened.
Seventh lesson learnt
*If you keep going, you'll get there. Always appreciate how far you’ve come. Don’t constantly be looking for the next thing to fix.*
I could go on and on about the many lessons I’ve learnt this year, but it's Christmas and I have gingerbread cookies to bake.
Ending this year looking like this
Looking back, I realise a lot of those lessons come down to trust.
Just be you. Trust yourself.
Do what you want to do. Trust that it will get you to where you are meant to be.
Keep going. Trust that there will always be good times ahead.
You’ll get there. Trust that you will make it.