top of page

My story

I appreciate you taking the time to learn more about me and my story.

For most of my life, I've been called to support others in their own growth, whether in coaching, writing, speaking or teaching. It's an honour to have that as part of my time here on the planet.

However, my journey to share affordable, embodied and spiritual self-help with others has not always been filled with joy, ease, confidence and all those other good feelings we all desire.

In sharing my story I hope to offer you insight into the changes that are possible when you choose to move past what has held you back and begin to experience life in all its glory and lushness.

My early years were delightful.

Pinned to a cork board on my desk is my very first school report, aged 5.

My teachers describe me as enthusiastic, a pleasure to have in class and "always tries hard". I remember with great fondness learning to read, playing with coloured blocks, seeing the tadpoles in our school pond grow and become frogs.

When I was still little, an adult asked me: "What do you want to be when you grow up?". Without thinking, I answered: "Happy!"

That was the wrong answer.

nikolas-noonan-fQM8cbGY6iQ-unsplash.jpg

As I got older, things felt harder and harder. Rather than freedom to focus on feeling happy, I found myself swallowed up by experiences and structures which restricted my joy.

At age 11, after several emotionally turbulent years for my family, my parents divorced. That same year, I enrolled in a strict, results-focused secondary school.

 

My mind felt overloaded and I spent early teenage-hood exhausted and lacking in emotional vocabulary to express how I was feeling. I was experiencing severe executive dysfunction: one of the signs of ADHD that wouldn't be diagnosed until I was 35.

In frustration, I rebelled, in all the classic teenage ways, including having my first 'proper' boyfriend at 15.

 

Then at 16, I experienced in-relationship rape.

These first teenage experiences shaped my life for years to come.

Lacking emotional awareness, in an educational institution that overworked me, suffering from the aftermath of multiple personal traumas, I found myself going deeper into difficult psychological territory.

At university I became mentally very unwell. Suicidal ideation was normal, as was starving myself, drinking heavily and taking lots of romantic risks. My family relationships broke down and I struggled to maintain friendships.

Learning was my haven, yet as I progressed through to postgraduate studies, I floundered. The simple joys I'd found as a child felt very far away, disguised by layers of pain and frustration.

In an attempt to find something to move towards that would bring me the happiness and meaning I so craved, I chose to focus on the values which had been driven into me by my schooling and upbringing: work hard, be successful, achieve status.

I threw myself into every professional opportunity, frequently overworking and suffering with poor health. I ended up in marketing, using my abundant creative abilities to sell people stuff they didn't need with reasons that weren't really true. It helped me feel useful, secure, successful.

But it was also completely soul-sucking.

In another fit of rebellion, I flew off on a two month solo sabbatical where I travelled to Japan, China, South East Asia and Australia. On my return, I made a decision.

I couldn't keep pushing myself to the brink of burnout just so I felt like I deserved to be on the planet.

I couldn't keep ignoring how I really felt about who I was, what I had experienced, the relationships I wanted to have and the identity I was coming to terms with.

I couldn't keep pretending that this was what I wanted. That this was all there was to life.

So I quit my job and started working for myself.

And I kept on doing exactly as I did before.

Image by Zoltan Tasi

People will often say working for themselves set them free. For me, it only put me in a tighter cage, this time of my own design.

 

I was the worst boss I had ever had. I knew all the things to say to myself to keep me working incessantly, avoiding what I really needed to address, and convincing myself that unless I gave and gave and gave, I was worthless.

The result was, at 30, I had a breakdown. And at 30, I finally had my breakthrough.

It took a shamanic sound bath, trashing a 4 year relationship and financial fuck ups to teach me a very simple lesson.

I'd spent my adult life up to that point searching for love, purpose, enjoyment and enthusiasm in all the places I could never find it.

I'd placed my happiness into the hands of others - the hands of my partners, my employers, my parents, my friends; even my students and my clients.

 

I made my joy their responsibility.

 

All because my true happiness, that which I'd felt as a child, had been buried under layer upon layer of pain, distrust and frustration. It felt so far away from me I thought it didn't even exist.

It did. I was just looking in the wrong places.

So I started looking in the right places.

Over the following years I focused my attention not on the outside world but on myself.

What did success really mean to me?

What was my purpose in this lifetime?

What work felt good and meaningful to me?

And most important of all: How could I make myself happy?

annie-spratt-hX_hf2lPpUU-unsplash.jpg

These questions felt selfish and uncomfortable for someone who had spent the last three decades justifying their existence because they felt so worthless, confused and alone. But I tried. And I started to notice a pattern.

I noticed that even when I had felt lost, disturbed and frightened, I'd not given up. I found ways to be joyful, even momentarily.

I noticed that even in the darkest moments of despair, I had always found a way to turn shit into compost, often helping others in their flowering with stories of my own experience.

I noticed that unexpected opportunities had flowed to me, and when I had taken them up in a snatch of madness, they had led me right to where I wanted to be.

This recognition is what led me to the work of self-help. It's not something I do. It is who I am.

Z61_8491.JPG

Now, I experience the joy of being alive every day. I am grateful for all I've experienced, because it led me to where I am now.

The conflict in my origins and family system led me to become expert  in emotional intelligence and empathy, showcasing the impact of loving and heartfelt communication in my writing and speaking.

The lack I felt when I pushed myself to 'achieve' according to other people's definitions of success led me to redefine what success truly is and give others the confidence to do the same.

The overwhelm I experienced at school and work led me to re-imagine what is most important, celebrate our unique ways of thinking, and engage others in this reflection through self-help tools.

And the discord I felt when my body was harmed by others and then ignored led me to integrate moving embodied practices into my work and highlight the incredible creative power of sensuality.

Mountains

Everyone has the ability to transform their stories of pain into ones of joy.

The problem is that to start this work feels hard.

Moving through conflict, lack, overwhelm and discord feels difficult in a world built on suffering.

Giving yourself the gift of joy, ease, confidence and boldness feels uncomfortable, perhaps even perverse, in a society which values misery so highly.

This is why we need to help ourselves, and then others.

This is why my work exists.

I appreciate you, I honour your journey, and I am excited to see how your story is about to transform.

bottom of page