Haulwen's Story - first published 27th August 2017
Have you ever felt like something isn't quite right, but don't know what it is?
Have you ever felt disconnected? Though you're not sure what you're disconnected from?
Like you're looking for something but don't know what?
Do you search the internet hoping it will give you an answer to a question that you don't know?
That's exactly how I've felt for more years than I care to remember.
I've spent years looking for something that was missing, going through the day to day motions, working in jobs that I did well, but never felt right.
Purchasing treats, stuff and things as my next fix to help me get through the next day, the next week, the next year.
Every Christmas, every holiday, saying this was the year I'd do something different, but within hours returning to my daily routine.
I had quite a number of moments I should have stopped and re-evaluated;
- Glandular Fever
- bouts of stress induced illness - IBS, asthma, headaches
- being diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, endometriosis and adenomyosis
- My brother dying suddenly
- my dad and mom being ill
- friends and loved ones dying from cancer, car accidents, even murder...
The normal stuff all of us go through in life.
But not one of those things made me stop and re-evaluate...
This all changed on 1st December 2016.
I was so tired, I almost crashed the car driving home.
When I got home I argued with my husband (we never argue).
I threw something at him (I've never done this in my life), admittedly it was only a cushion, but it would have been whatever was near my left hand.
I stormed out of the house and disappeared for 2 hours just wearing a dress, leggings and slippers on a cold winters night.
I walked through the village - stomping down the street, tears streaming down my face. I wished I'd picked up my car keys so I could drive away, but didn't dare return to the house.
I was so ashamed of my actions, but also so angry, so frustrated, so tired and so scared. What was happening to me?
I ended up by a small pond.
I stood gazing at the perfect reflection and imagined there were steps going down into another world.
A world where I could lie down.
A world where I could silence all the voices, all the noise of this world.
I didn't want to kill myself.
I wanted quiet...
The next day I resigned from my job, giving 6 months notice, having no idea what I'd do next, but I knew I needed to find that missing thing.
Roughly 9 months later...
It's funny looking back, but that 6 months notice period was one of the most stressful times of my life.
I've coped with worse - yet not having a job to go to, the first time in my life where I wouldn't be employed since I was 13/14 years old, was one of the scariest things I've ever done. I can say now it's the best thing I've done.
I really wouldn't recommend doing it unless it's a last resort, but that's where I'd got to, this was my last resort.
Looking back I can laugh, but I'm a completely different person and that's what's made me develop this website.
I've learnt so much, particularly in these last few years and I really wish there'd been somewhere to go to help me figure out, what it was that was missing from my life.
I've had counselling and coaching in various forms - and although they were useful for some aspects, they weren't helping me find that missing thing. I also realise that they aren't for everyone.
If I'd had this, I may not have quit my job, though I may just have done it in a less stressful way.
I realise talking to people, that many have gone through what I have, or are going through it now.
Some are in the early stages. Some may be getting close to making a rash decision like me, or be on long term sick. But many people just don't know where to turn or what to do. They don't think they're ill so why would they go to a doctor or a counsellor? They want to help themselves, just like they'd do if they had a sports injury.
And there is the Taboo.
l realise there is still so much "Taboo" around looking after your mind and spirit. Yet everyone will have a need to nurture their mind and spirit in their lives at some point, just as everyone will have some form of illness that impacts the body.
I want to make taking care of the mind and spirit, as normal as going to the gym or doing exercise for your body.
Why do I want to do this?
Well I've always liked helping people, that's me and I really don't want anyone to go through what i did that night or what I've seen others go through.
I'm hoping that the tools and techniques I show, will help people find that thing that is missing or isn't working for them. If I can help just one person, that will be a real blessing, but let's give people some tools to help themselves.
Going back to my story - what was I looking for?
1) Me - I didn't know who I truly was. I'd spent my life operating as a leader, living up to, what I thought, were the expectations of the world. I didn't do things which were congruent with my values and beliefs. I did what I thought other people expected of me.
2) My comfort zone - everyone tells you to step outside your comfort zone, like it's a bad place to be. I've done that all my life. Yet now I know operating in my preferred way is where I gain energy. Yet I hardly went there! No wonder I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome! A mobile phone has to be recharged daily, if you use all the features, yet I was only recharging myself twice a year on 1 week holidays and was using all my apps fully.
3) My spirit - Some of you might call this your 'self', your soul, your being, etc. We all need to look after the spirit - my husband is an excellent example - he has to play guitar everyday, even when we go on holiday we have a guitar in the car. (we rarely go abroad!) That's how he connects with his inner self or for our purposes the spirit. I've learnt I need to do something with what I call my 'Wytchy" side - using herbs, aromatherapy, crystals - for cooking, beauty, in the garden or crafting gifts and tokens for good fortune.
4) My mind - when was the last time you learnt something? I'd stopped, not out of choice, but I was too tired to do anything outside work. I tried to do it in work, but there was little opportunity to develop in my profession. I'm now spending time learning, I can't learn fast enough. I love it.
5) My body - how often do you talk about your body like it isn't connected to you - that was me. My body this, my body that. So I'm listening to it more, acting on the messages it sends me and through it, finding the exercise and food I love.
6) Reconnecting with my values and beliefs - working against them is exhausting and now I've reconnected, it brings me light, energy and opportunity.
7) The connection to bring all of the above together - over the centuries mind and body have been separated by the medical professions. Yet as any of you know if you have any issues in your mind, it impacts your body and your spirit. If you have any issues in your body it impacts your mind and spirit. And if you neglect your spirit then it impacts everything.
I am now in a place I never imagined existed.
I sleep for 8 hours and feel refreshed - in the past I'd have said it was impossible to feel good on only 8 hours sleep, I really thought I should just sleep for ever.
My outlook on life is positive - I see more wonder and opportunities and they land on my doorstep.
I listen for the signs - I sprained my ankle and realised actually it was the universe making me stop, slow down and go in the right direction. It's really made me appreciate how fortunate I am to be able to walk.
I have will power - food, drink, spending. -- (Though may still have a book problem!).
I want to eat healthy, I want to exercise.
I never thought this possible.
I know you're thinking - well it's ok for you, you've quit your job.
Yes and for me that's what I had to do.
But we're all different, some of you may need to make a career change. Some of you may just need guidance into how to make the job you have now the one you love. No one should get to the point I did.
So just like an exercise routine for your body, I'm developing routines and habits for your mind and spirit. But first of all we have to find out your comfort zone, your preferences, what your values and beliefs are - so that you can reconnect and make a brighter future for your 'self', by learning new skills to develop you.
Every time I help someone, I'll grow and together we'll learn to bring about balance.
I look forward to welcoming you into this community and to a bright new future.