You want to show up in life as the vibrant, energetic, whole-hearted person that you know you are, but something is getting in the way.
Maybe it’s exhaustion, anxiety, or long-term illness. Whatever the challenge, the result is much the same: You feel held back from fully accessing all the beauty and wonders of this life. You feel limited. And you’re sick of feeling limited.
Pills, prescriptions and diagnoses aren’t going to cut it for you. They feel like sticking tape over the holes of your leaky bucket – they have their place, they may be necessary, but you need something more. You’re ready for something different. You’re ready to put in the effort – the exploration – to find a path that leads you to true health and wellbeing.
That’s where I was several years ago, and I’d love to share with you the tools that got me to a stronger, healthier state of body and mind.
So where did my own journey begin?
I used to be a real mess.
From my earliest memories, I struggled with pain, major sleep disorder, and chronic fatigue. But I barely even recognised those as problems, because I had bigger battles to fight. My true fight for survival was with depression, anxiety, and a bunch of other difficulties that would have probably gotten me diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder at some point if I’d ever told anyone about them. Which I didn’t, of course. I shamefully hid and repressed my self-destructive tendencies with a kind of resolve that I really have to admire. I encased my mess in a hard shell of stubbornness and academic achievement. And when some of it inevitably leaked out, I lied about it.
I never expected to make it past 16, but by the time I did, my mask had begun to slip. Luckily, soon after, I herniated a disc in my lower back, and it left me all but crippled, shuffling around with my back at a 45-degree angle and my arms tucked up for balance, doing a bizarre impression of a Tyrannosaurus Rex. The cocktail of painkillers I was prescribed did little to dull the physical agony that quite nicely mirrored my internal state. It was the perfect excuse to privately descend into apathy, hopelessness and misery while telling the outside world I was staying home because my back hurt.
After a year of slow improvement, I was pressured into surgery, being told I wouldn’t be able to walk by the time I was 30 if I didn’t have it. I hated the idea, but agreed nonetheless. I broke down in tears in the middle of maths class when I got the news my surgery date had been moved up.
After the surgery, nothing much seemed to change. I plodded on, gradually getting a little better at coping with life. I finished college, although my standards had categorically slipped. I learned to live with the pain, and simply tried to ignore it.
I had big plans for myself, but my life seemed to take me in mediocre and frustrating directions. Something always came along to interfere with my designs. I thought I was following my heart when I traded my lofty aspirations for a bad relationship, but, really, I was hiding from my fear.
Still, through sheer grit, I made some good things happen.
Three years later I was enrolled at University, loving my course, and living in a rustic cottage in a beautiful village with a pub and a shop, exactly as I’d envisioned. I had two gorgeous horses living idyllically on a hill nearby, fulfilling a childhood dream. I even finally had my first car. But I’d also become severely insomniac, felt perpetually at breaking point, and found the daily effort to maintain my life had all but eroded me.
After years of struggling uphill, trying to achieve my ambitions while carrying my massive, ugly, unspoken burden, I’d finally had enough. I ended my toxic relationship and, nestled in the foothills of the Cambrian Mountains in Mid Wales, I began my Work.
It would be a long road.
First, I needed to completely fall apart. See, all that was holding me together was that rigid shell of stubbornness. As soon as I relaxed a little, the whole thing shattered and my mess came pouring out.
It was a huge relief to fall apart, as it turned out.
I actually started to feel happy and hopeful for the first time in ages. But after operating under so much stress for so long, my systems went into meltdown. My heartrate became irregular, I felt weak and dizzy, my brain felt like it was smothered in treacle and the slightest exertion left me exhausted to the point of being unable to lift an arm. I went from not being able to sleep, to barely being able to keep my eyes open.
It was bad timing. I was in the last stretch of my degree, with a physically demanding dissertation project, I had two young horses to take care of, and my expenses were piling up now that I was single. I needed to be able to cope, but I couldn’t.
My doctor prescribed me beta blockers, but they only made things worse. I never went back to see him, knowing that the next course of action would be SSRIs, which were a drug I really didn’t want to get involved with.
I surrendered, and lived a pathetic life for a while. I came to terms with what it would mean if I never got better but, gradually, I adjusted and was able to see a little improvement.
And then, as I was fumbling through my life, just about making it to work every day, just about making ends meet, something beautiful and terrible happened.
I fell in love.
Inexplicably, irrevocably and without reciprocation.
It threw my fragile world into chaos, and frankly is a whole other story. But, importantly, it forced me to lose the distractions and sent me on a journey into myself, which was exactly where I needed to go.
The period that followed was filled with wandering of all kinds, as I gave up my ailing life in Wales to travel across America searching for answers to the vast questions that loomed on my consciousness. It was a strange, intensely beautiful and, at times, painfully lonely journey, that eventually dropped me back in a small and quiet life in Wales.
Outwardly, not all that much had changed, but inwardly, I was radically and permanently altered. I was ready for a very different life.
I found Reiki in 2015, and it provided me with the vehicle I needed to start making intentional and long-lasting change to my health.
My first attunement was a mystical experience. I had vivid visions of ancestral stories, and dug up huge epiphanies that changed how I saw myself and how I approached life. I knew I had stumbled upon something powerful and important.
When I continued with my self-treatments, I felt the chronic pain that I had always lived with as fact completely disappear for a time, and the relief was incredible. Plus, I could go from completely exhausted before a treatment, to refreshed and raring to go afterwards.
Moreover, I found myself becoming happier without the need for anything outside myself. I found myself being braver, kinder, more resilient. I felt wiser and more connected. I made better choices about my diet and my lifestyle, and I reached out into the world in ways I wouldn’t have dreamed of before. I finally felt like I was functioning.
Witnessing this in myself, I became quite single minded, studying furiously until I achieved my Master certification, and practising on anyone, human or animal, that would agree to a treatment. I was obsessed with unravelling my own mess, and I was also deeply inspired by the change that was possible, and wanted to offer it to others.
It soon became clear that I had made healing my life’s work, and Reiki was my tool of choice.
I’ve been through several transformations in the few years since.
Moving across the country back to my hometown, starting a master’s degree in psychology, putting that master’s degree on hold to become a mother, and facing new health problems brought on by pregnancy. It hasn’t been an easy time – life really put me in the crucible – but along every step I have gone deeper with my own healing, gradually removing layer upon layer of dysfunction, and revealing inner truths. I’m finally reaching the resolution of some of my most long-standing health issues – issues I’d long accepted were unchangeable – and I feel more in tune with my in-built happiness generator than ever.
My practice has also evolved into a confident melding of science and spirituality. This meeting of two worlds brings me huge amounts of joy and satisfaction, and I feel deeply honoured to offer it to others.
My own journey has been long and arduous, but I have learned so much about making it shorter and easier. I endeavour to instil that wisdom into every session, so that you can overcome your challenges in ways that far surpass what I’ve been able to achieve.