It’s certainly been quite a while since I last blogged on here. In fact, as life took me off course from Healing Beauty over the past few years, I wasn’t sure that I would again. Perhaps though, renewing the domain name each year was on some level my small commitment to the possibility that I would return.
To explain the rather exaggerated hiatus, I suppose you could say that I just haven’t been in a very healing space these last few years. And being who I am (a perfectionist with a rather frustrating need to be as accurate and honest as possible in anything I say or do), I didn’t feel I could write with integrity during this time about a healing approach to living. Quite frankly, I wasn’t living one and was in no position to preach! (Although, what I’ve also learnt a lot about over these past few years is balance. But we’ll come onto that another time.)
Around about the time I ‘quit’ Healing Beauty, I ‘quit’ a number of other pretty significant things too – namely my job, my long-term boyfriend, and my home – upping sticks and going travelling through South and Central America for six months. With little prior warning (I took myself by surprise as much as I did others), I abruptly abandoned the path of life which I had quite methodically and calmly been following throughout my early twenties, threw caution to the wind, and buggered off to ‘find myself’… or something like that. What I realise now I was actually doing was an act of rebellion and escapism. Suddenly feeling overwhelmed by the circumstances which I’d found myself in, which seemed suffocatingly bound by convention rather than choice – moving in with my boyfriend, progressing but feeling unfulfilled in a 9-6 office job, which I didn’t really enjoy, bar the obligatory boozy Friday lunches and after work drinks, obsessively planning and looking forward to that one 4* package holiday a year, and then when two of my friends got pregnant, starting to envisage my life changing even more dramatically in the perhaps not so distant future…
I ran away. Far away.
On 1st March 2012 I flew to Rio de Janeiro with six months of freedom ahead of me – single for the first time since I was eighteen and with thousands of hard-earned cash in the bank ready to be blown on as many fun, exciting and enriching experiences that the Latin American continent had to offer me.
I think I had in my mind that this was to be the last big shebang – just one more carefree, essentially purpose-less, travelling stint, which I just needed to ‘get out of my system’ before ‘settling down’. (All of this sounds so banal now.) Nevertheless I didn’t come back with the answers I was hoping for (‘who am I?’, ‘what is my purpose in life?’, ‘what are my passions?’…et al.) I did have a bloody great time though!
Unfortunately the year that followed was perhaps the hardest I’ve ever been through. Coming home I had to face reality (I was skint) and without much idea of what else to do, ended up in another online marketing job that I didn’t really have my heart in from the start, where I didn’t ever really feel myself, and which proved to be very challenging from an emotional perspective. Coupled with that I was consumed in a very destructive relationship, followed by the sudden and traumatic end of said relationship, which left me feeling broken, exhausted, and lost.
In shock and certainly not ready or able to deal with the loss and trauma I’d just been faced with, I found myself embarking on another rather unsatisfactory relationship, which in hindsight served only to put a plaster over my wounded heart, never really showing any real promise of the love, respect and support which I so craved and needed.
Living in denial for a while was pretty damn fun though, to tell you the truth. The summer of 2013 will certainly go down in my personal history as being one of the most exciting, liberating, and outrageous of my life. And through the haze of parties, fancy dress, and dancing until the sun came up (and oftentimes, went down again too), I met some incredible people, some of whom I’m confident I’ll still call my friends in many years to come.
So, through the dark times there was certainly some light. By the end of the year though, I was completely burnt out, physically and emotionally. Daily stresses at work filled me with self-doubt, manifesting in an almost constant feeling of anxiety and dread, which took its toll physically too. I of course numbed all of these emotions at the weekends with all-nighter parties, which of course only made me feel ten times worse come Monday. And, afraid of being alone, I was desperately trying to nurture a ‘relationship’ with aforementioned self-confessed commitment-phobe, which, surprise, surprise, didn’t end well. All of which culminating really in ending the year feeling, well, profoundly sad.
There was a light on the horizon however (this isn’t intended to be all doom and gloom, honestly!)… In a slightly bizarre twist of fate I heard about Chaya Yoga Retreats, and before I knew it, I was queuing for an Indian visa and booking a flight to Goa…
As I write this in fact, I am sitting on the plane on my way home from ten days of yoga, meditation, life coaching ‘group therapy’ sessions, delicious food, sunbathing, and many, many engaging and heartfelt conversations with the most wonderful people with whom I’m so thankful to have shared this amazing experience.
Now, although I am by no means ‘healed’, I am in an exponentially better place than I was when I left, and am very much ready to move onwards and upwards. But more to come on that in my next post…
It’s good to be back!