Nineteen years ago, I was sitting in the middle row of my enormous lecture hall as our professor peered at us over his glasses “eight out of every ten of you will have in the past, or will in the future experience some form of depression and anxiety” he said. We looked at each other quietly wondering who in this room might admit to it. It was 2001 and mental health still had a stigma attached to it even though we were all here to become mental health professionals.
Three years later I stood at the front of that lecture hall and gave a talk about the hazard of labels, including anxiety, depression, ADHD and so on. I proposed that, while it is important to acknowledge the emotionally, hormonally, and physical-health driven rollercoaster of life would it not be more reasonable if we embraced those as the human experience and focused on creating a society that made the world will live in a safe place for the full spectrum of human affairs.
Afterwards, my lecturer congratulated me for my well-delivered unorthodox ideas and amusedly reminded me that if we didn’t give people names and labels for the highs and lows of life, we would be out of jobs. I decided I didn’t want that kind of job, then, anyway.
Fiveteen years later, I am still trying to find ways to normalise the highs and lows of life, in ways that are inclusive.
Growth and healing are inseparable parts of a continuum, both reaching for wholeness, intertwined like DNA strands.
Depression is when society tells us that we cannot do what our entire body and souls ask of us: to enter a healing cocoon where you disappear for a period of time to be alone, simmer in your own beingness, learn to set boundaries, spend time alone, and in nature so you can be a completely different person when you emerge.
Anxiety is when society tells us that our inner knowing is wrong: and we a told to bypass our jittery nervous system that is asking us to slow down enough to calm down and listen so that we can see that the life choices we have made recently aren’t meant for us.
We live in a world that tells us to transcend the wisdom of our bodies in favour of the hard facts and knowledge of science and technology.
Over and over again, I come back to the question of how I can integrate the natural intelligence of life itself, which makes up all of us and our planets, cosmos and universes, with technological evolution.
In 2004 when I graduated with a psychology degree I had zero interest in the internet.
In 2007 when everyone started using Facebook, I scorned it. My boyfriend at the time set up an account for me because he wanted a way to stay in touch with me when I went away to India for 6 months. Back then I was flaky and unreliable so it was his hope to somehow still hear from me.
I love a story diversion so let me tell you what happened. Three weeks into my trip to India I did a 10-day Vipassana silent meditation retreat during which I decided to end the relationship with him. In the spiritual heights of regaining my senses, I called him from my old silver Nokia to tell him I’d finished the retreat and we needed to talk. The line was bad and my friends were waiting for me so I cut the conversation short, in my ethereal haze leaving the phone on the wooden steps I had been sitting on. He ended up flying to India to find me and we had that conversation in person.
In 2010 I started a blog after years of people encouraging me to do so on account of the monthly group emails I’d send to my ever-growing email list from all the people I met on my travels. Back then, I was still very averse to the whole concept of the internet. I’m a slow adaptor. But, also a fast learner.
I never imagined I’d end up creating a career and a lifestyle that relied so heavily on technology and that I would make that choice specifically because it entitled me with the freedom, space, and time to cultivate my connection to nature, self, spirituality, growth and healing. The instrument that I thought would take me further away from some of my highest values has in fact offered me a way closer to it all.
So as our humanistic, scientific, intuitive, biological and technological knowledge evolves, so does our spiritual, and we have landed at the submission that the human experience is not to be transcended but to be felt fully. In the flesh. That both elation and despair belong. That depression and anxiety are sided by happiness and peace. That we cannot escape pain and grief if we want to have love and joy.
Naming one as ‘bad’ and the other as ‘good’ does not make it easier, better or sweeter. What does offer comfort is in the inclusion of it all, our deeper understanding that we cannot have one without the other, and universal compassion that every life is one hell of a rollercoaster ride.
I’m currently on an assignment to offer more insights, philosophies and tools on this topic of inclusion, where we embrace the hard and celebrate it as much as the light, soft and effortless parts of life. Where healing and growth are two sides of the same coin.
Stay with me here.
Let’s do it.
Today, October 11th marks exactly 1 year since my arrival in Mallorca. Unlike a year ago, when I landed to sunny skies, vibrant flowers and an ache of deep grief in my heart that gave this island a chromatic dullness… today it is pouring down with the first proper rains of the season, vibrant flowers and a renewed sense of joy and possibility in my heart that provide this island life with an animated delight.
What a difference a year makes. What a journey this has been. How much I’ve had to move through. And you, probably too.
I want to write about the hypnotherapy sessions I’ve been doing, but I’m still in the midst of them, so I will save them for when I feel more complete and all the pieces have settled. But alongside that, with the craniosacral sessions, and all the practices I teach in RENEW, I’ve been able to cultivate and curate a whole new perspective and experience of the world. One that is more honest than ever before, while also being more playful and light.
I don’t want to be one of those people who keeps going on about how challenging life has been the past couple of years. But there are two reasons why I do want to keep speaking about it.
1. I know I’m not the only one, in fact, I’m one of the lucky ones. And the more we admit and share and speak to the fact that life has been filled with provocation and collapse lately, the less isolated and ashamed we all feel in our journeys. Surely, this is all for our highest good, I have no doubt. And also: it’s been HARD.
2. I see people who aren’t equipped to face and feel their own emotions all the way through bypass just how difficult these times have been for all. I see how stuck they are. In their growth as a human, in their emotional maturity, in their ability to relate and communicate their own feelings and experiences, as well as hold space for, and having compassion for others.
We have to talk about things. We have to admit our vulnerability. We have to learn to surrender and hold each other through the challenges that grow us.
Earlier this year I taught RENEW. A 5-week live-led prescriptive journey to move through the chaos of reinvention.
It was an incredible expedition for all of us and the connections and revelations made among the 40 students remain close to my heart. The past couple of months I have reflected more on the renewal cycle.
We don’t live life in a straight line. Life is a spiral: a series of cycles through which we are moving and, hopefully, growing.
There are 5 phases to the renewal cycle.
It is a process of teasing out what is most important for you. Across 5 phases:
Phase 1: FLOW
This is where you expect to find yourself most of the time: positive, goal-oriented, and committed to living the life you have set your trajectory on. This is the phase that most of us find the most comfortable… until it isn’t. FLOW is the place where your skills and the challenge of performing are in agreement. Too big of a challenge and we become stressed; too small, we become bored. But at some point, old challenges become smaller, routines get stale. Subsequently, opportunities for flow decrease. We feel dissatisfied.
Phase 2: SPACE
In phase 2 we might feel trapped by everything in our lives, and have this strong sense of wanting to burn it all down. This may be experienced as ennui and a feeling of being “out of synch” with other people and with life in general. You feel “stuck” and are unsure of how to free yourself.
Sometimes people get stuck in Phase 2 longer than anywhere else in the cycle because they feel . . . immobilized by forces beyond themselves.” In reality, the person in phase 2 is not trapped at all. What they really need is to create space from everything to be able to redefine their lives and begin the renewal cycle again. This is has more to do with the regeneration of positive feelings of self-regard and spiritual trust beyond yourself than with ‘doing’ anything
Phase 3: EDIT
In phase 3, a person turns inward. This is a time to heal, to reflect, and to begin to consider new possibilities. People in this phase are “quiet, withdrawn, often emotional, and unsure of themselves”. A person doesn’t have to withdraw from work or life entirely to EDIT, but instead withdraw some of the energy you put into your old life to edit out anything that is no longer in alignment with who you are becoming.. Editing leads to a profound renewal of energy, purpose, and hope.
Phase 4: AWAKEN
The person in phase 4 begins to explore possibilities, to network, and to train for the next chapter of her life. It is a time of learning new skills and of thinking in new ways. It is an exciting time, a time for dreaming and for creating and for testing out new possibilities. This is where you tap into core values and finally awaken – like a butterfly leaving the chrysalis. You begin to disengage from the previous life that no longer satisfies you.
In phase 4, you get to try on new roles but without committing yourself to any. Eventually, one path will feel “right” at which point you will you write the script for the next chapter of your life and plunge into it, leaving your transition with gratitude.
Phase 5: EXPAND
The Outer Journey always reflects the Inner Journey. Although we don’t always realize it, the cycles repeat periodically throughout our lives. To experience the fruits of our inner journey we have to expand beyond our previous horizons and integrate this expansion into our daily lives. The inner journey is focused on inner work, with renewal and rejuvenation, with feelings and introspection. The outward journey is concerned with work in the world, with achievement and results, with thinking and doing.
RENEW is going to take you through these 5 phases in this order.
One phase is not better than another and all are necessary. Where ever you are, whatever phase you are in, there is work for you to do to learn and to grow. And I want you to trust your process and do each section in your own time as feels right to you without losing the thread. Come back to it at least once per week and pick up where you left off… until you reach completion.
In response to emphatic demand, I have added this new perspective and freshly filmed each section of the course, added journaling prompts to each of the five sections, some more guided meditations and audios, plus an integration sleep hypnosis at the end and turned it into self-study program.
To do in your own time, on your own timeline.
Because renewal is timeless and cyclical. PLUS, you get lifetime access.
Learn more and register for RENEW here.
“How can I find my purpose?”
I’ve been there. I spent endless hours searching, wondering, and “not knowing.” I wanted to discover my purpose so badly. I would journal, walk, think, vent, meditate, ruminate, and stress about it. On multiple occasions, I literally burst into tears of frustration.
Then one day… I realized that you don’t “discover” your purpose. You don’t “uncover” it. You don’t “find” it. You pick something that is meaningful to you and you do it. There’s no reason for you to be contemplating the cosmic significance of your life while sitting on your couch all day eating Doritos. Rather, you should be getting off your ass and discovering what feels important to you.
I don’t believe that people are looking for their purpose in life… As much as they are looking to find meaning and the feeling of aliveness in their life.
We revisit this question “what is my purpose” several times across our lives as we change and our priorities change. Perhaps we begin by thinking of our purpose as our way to MAKE money. But ‘purpose’ is actually so much more than that.
In this masterclass, I take you through the 4 step process that will help you finally answer this continuous and timeless question.
- Find your unique flavour and essence.
- See your purpose right in front of you.
- Promise yourself to a project.
- Commit to your purpose.
You are bridging the divide between the seen and unseen. You, and our world, are made up of empty space filled with energy. Energy that whirs and vibrates and pulses in a symphony of responses to each holy instant. To now. And now. And then now, again.
Cosmic rays, high-energy intelligence from outer space smacking into our atmosphere shower down on the surface of the Earth and pass through you at a rate of about 10 per second informing and causing subtle mutations in all of us.
There is so much happening within and without us.
Subtle, nuanced, ethereal energetic shifts that our neural pathways can only catch as a side glance and our mother-tongue languages miss altogether. But it is here. An inner knowing, a constant wide awake and watchful awareness for these mysterious that we are born into bone and flesh of.
When you are interacting with another, you are offering them an opportunity to interpret their personal reality — how they have been shaped and defined — through the mirror of your presence and Being. One energetic sequence activates and reflects another. A relationship holier than words but defined by the limitations of communication.
You have tapped into the transcendent and important skill of being able to read between the lines. To observe and feel the nuanced energetics that is at play in the person whom you are facing and holding space for.
That requires presence,
your ability to stay out of your head
and softly anchored in your body.
Where you are not thinking about the next thing to say,
but feeling in your body and letting the essence and energy
of the other person land with you.
Through your energetic presence, you are able to help people answer the seminal questions they have always struggled with: How do I perceive myself? How do I perceive the people in my life, and why do I relate to them in the ways that I do? How do I encounter the world in a more meaningful way? And, what is my higher purpose in having incarnated here?
Your presence becomes a grand voyage of self-discovery where your counterpart can encounter the multidimensional aspects of their own inner and outer lives.
Your presence animates their life and allows them to acknowledge their own power, how they use or deny their power, presenting them with an opportunity to step out of their past. This is the mystical grace of human-to-human contact through space holding.
Nobody talks about it or teaches it
because it is intangible…
and hard to explain in words (though I will try).
It can only be felt.
As a devotional act.
Immersed in inner guidance and trust.
An imperfect practice.
In each and every holy instant.
I am speaking to the unseen, unspoken art of reading between the lines when you are mentoring another. Which requires the ability to feel the nuanced energetic intelligence sparking off them beyond and betwixt the things they say. Words are often overshadowing the real truth and truth is what you are here to witness, see and draw out. As divined by your unique perspective and offering to the world.
But it comes at a price. The price is owning your truth, first.
Mentorship is unsexy because it requires personal responsibility.
It means owning what is silently running the show in your life beneath it all.
It means identifying your gifts. And your weaknesses.
It means reaching out and asking for help and support. Which feeds into sisterhood.
It means being vulnerable and having the integrity to know that you don’t know it all. That you don’t have it all together. That you are a messy human like all of us.
Still being willing to play the part in this cosmic dance that we are dancing. To see and feel the parts of life that are the mystery and hold it gently in your hands so we may all drink from its precious source of wholeness and wellness. Without each other we are nothing.
We need each other to be the life spark that reflects us and reminds us of what we are capable of in a physical world that is mostly an illusion made up of legions of flickering vibrations beyond our capacity to hold in our minds. We need each other to remind us that we are limitless and capable and the desires in our hearts are the same flames as the dead stars that sparkle in the skies and this is how we walk each other home.
The Mentor Training enrolments close in 3 days.
Join us if your soul strings are tugging out a new melody in response to this.
Self-actualisation is the process of becoming “everything you are capable of becoming.”
There’s no script for that. Everyone has to find their own unique ways to hear the inner wisdom that can help them live a life of truth. Only you can determine what living your fully expressed truth means for you.
Self-actualisation doesn’t involve perfection or things always going smoothly. You can become self-actualized and still face difficulties. But it’s not something you can do alone. You will always be influenced by the level of guidance, support and mentorship you receive.
We live in a culture that values instant gratification, superficial beauty, lavish possessions and excessive consumption making up for what it lacks in emotional depth, community, creativity and meaningful connections.
When things don’t work out or we don’t get what we want or feel empty inside we often try to fill our time, space and home with more perfunctory things, people and experiences. Every dysfunctional human behaviour is an attempt to escape suffering. We don’t stop for a moment and consider that perhaps what we feel we are really feeling is the disconnection from our truth.
This is where mentoring steps in. A heralded guidance back your own potential, knowledge, wisdom and heart. Your return to self-actualisation.
But first, let’s explore the difference between mentoring, coaching & therapy.
Therapy also called psychotherapy or counselling is a treatment process about healing hurts, re-parenting, and bringing resolution to personal pain. It focuses on problems, their sources, the symptoms that result from those problems, dysfunctions, trauma and diagnosis of disorders. It is a doctor/patient relationship where the therapist/psychologist diagnoses and prescribes remedial ‘solutions’ to the patient.
Coaching is a process of using questions and feedback to facilitate the client’s capabilities and resources into self-generated change and action. Action that is designed to achieve goals and take a client from where they are in life now, to where they want to be. A coach assumes the client is the expert in their own life, and that the coach is simply there to help the client elicit their own answers. This unique distinction enables the client to develop their own capability, creativity and resourcefulness from the coaching process.
Mentoring is an approach that involves providing advice, guidance, and sharing one’s own personal story. The focus here is on a particular skill, knowledge or experience that a mentor has deeper background knowledge in, that is passed on. Mentoring is particularly effective because it offers you access to someone who has been there and done that and can guide you through the same thing. They can understand you and where you are at so intimately because they have experienced it.
Mentoring also tends to be a longer-term relationship in nature. Many of my private clients work with me for a year or more. Coaching, in contrast, tends to be shorter-term, as it is only necessary to help people achieve certain goals. Once a person has achieved a goal, they are typically done with that coaching experience.
Mentoring tends to be a more informal and friendly relationship, than perhaps coaching and therapy because instead of deflecting and separating yourself from your client’s experiences you openly offer vulnerable and truthful insights into your own experiences and challenges which makes them feel less alone. By holding space and witnessing someone without judgement you help them to feel when they are not able to and thereby regulate their emotions and experiences. You co-regulate by being calm, loving and compassionate and liberate people from their “self” stories, narratives by holding them accountable to them.
Neuroscience tells us that brain development depends on a human to human responsiveness. Many of us had times in our lives when those around us were not able to be present with and available to us. Mentoring as per The Mentor Training program ensures that your clients feel heard, seen, witnessed, accepted and enjoyed to restore and repair imbalances in their lives. So they can return to your natural state of living a fully expressed life. A self-actualised one.
What I am teaching is an intelligent heart-mind-body approach to holding space for people in a safe and beholden way. If you have lived life and moved through challenges, whether personally, in a specific career, in your spiritual journey, your relationships and more, you certainly have the natural skills there already. What this training will give you is a framework with which to move forward.
It’s about building trust, knowing and owning your own projections so that they don’t interfere with your clients, and offering a container that allows them to self-remedy. Because we all have access to the answers but need to feel seen, heard, and witnessed in our human journey. Like the way small children always say “watch me!” when they are trying and learning something new… we never stop needing to be validated and supported in our growth end evolution.
Mentoring offers that witnessing that we would otherwise receive from our elders, community and wider family that is lacking in our societies today, from someone who naturally falls into that position because of their unique insights, experiences and predispositions. The fact that you have both: extensive life experience and an intuitive knowing and ability to tune into people and hold space for them, makes this training the perfect springboard into turning these skills into a service that is sorely needed.
Join The Level 1 & 2 Mentor Training program here.
Level 1 takes you a deep dive into your own mind, heart and intuition in order to become an effective mirror and sounding board for your clients and others in your life.
Level 2 gives you the pragmatic structure and processes required to have in place to hold mentoring sessions.
“I feel like I found my people!” she burst into tears looking around at the Zoom-circle of women smiling back at her hands on hearts. Eyes shining with emotion we all nodded in agreement. It was the final call for Her Way 2021. We had come together and found each other.
She echoed the profound ache of every human. The deeply honed instinct to find people with common interests, aims and values, with whom you can share your journey, and feel safe, held, supported, guided, mentored and understood.
The question “What is my purpose and what is the purpose of life?” is a modern one. A reflection of the paramount disconnection that we feel from life and each other. For the most part of 30,000 years, we have come together in small communities and existed as an extension of the natural world around us living the answer to that question. Beholden custodians of the physical world we took care of Earth and she took care of us.
Our purpose is precisely that. To have the living, breathing, tangible experience of being alive, being a part of the natural world and tending to it. It’s a psychedelic trip of seeing ourselves mirrored by the world around us and yet also being of it. Something we have not managed to evade, even today. Though for many of us the detachment we feel from it is much more real.
One of the things I am strongly yearning for is a return to the village, the circle, a strong sense of community. I spoke to my experience with feeling lonely and without community in my podcast episode ‘redefine depression & anxiety caused by loneliness‘ and how this is a new phenomenon in my life, but one that crushes me frequently. My yearning to come together with others with a shared cause is stronger than ever.
There was once a time when we would come together and contemplate the forest floor or the field or the meadow of sweet herbs and flowers and name the plants to each other by way of use: edible, bitter, poisonous, healing. Knowledge that was passed from woman to woman culminating in the encyclopedic plant knowledge we have today. This sharing of knowledge nourished, saved and restored lives across centuries. It was a form of mentorship.
There was a time once when we would come together under the guidance of elders that would tell stories of the world and its nature, our ourselves and our nature, and how we are one and the same. They counselled us on the simple yet profound mysteries of life: as above so below, as without so within. The human experience from the wisened perspective of all the all-seeing crones and her forebearers gave us insight into how to coexist with each other and the natural world.
There was once a time when we would come together in the centre of a village or town and turn it into the marketplace, trading wares, skills, stories; entertain, where we would hold and scold each others’ children; and teach, offer and share whatever we had. Because we knew that together we are stronger.
I am on an assignment to reclaim this sense of coming together. Teaching, learning and growing together, both in the physical world and in the digital. We live in a time with more access to information and different types of tribes than ever before. We can find our people across thousands of kilometres of land, seas and cultures. We can discover more in an hour on google than ever before. But what is missing is the container to hold all these pieces together. A space where we are seen, met and held through our evolution and integration.
It’s why I created The (Level 1 & 2) Mentor Training programs.
Mentoring returns us to the ancient art of sharing wisdom, knowledge and skills. It used to be a natural part of our lives. We are all intuitively drawn to certain things that become a defining theme, profession or craft for us. These unique strengths can be shared and offered to others that can then grow from and build on them. What effective mentorship really requires is emotional intelligence, self-growth, honesty and love. The Mentor Training is a 6-month live program with a mind-heart-intuition approach, to learn the method and cohesive framework to become a skilled and impactful mentor.
If you feel drawn, there’s something here for you. Let it simmer within you and when you are ready, join us. We can’t wait to meet you.
Discover The Mentor Training here.