Embracing Personal Development to Lead a Happier Life
‘When the student is ready the teacher appears.’ Buddha.
That quotation became a guiding light through dark times for me. Instead of shaping my life as a victim of emotional and physical domestic abuse, I was guided down the pathway of a survivor by numerous mentors. It wasn’t on overnight revelation by any means. Before I tuned into the right vibrations, I lost my way, abusing my body and mind with alcohol and a poor diet. I developed hyperhidrosis and eczema brought on by the stress of divorce and coping as a single mum to three children under the age of six. I lost my job and my home, as well as an entire family unit in the way of mother and father-in-law, sister, brother, nieces, and nephew. I felt very alone.
When my Reiki Master Teacher appeared in my life following a series of events and meetings that I later learned to be synchronicity at work. I realised that ‘I’ the student, was ready. By studying the principles of Reiki, I was able to utilise these lessons and adopt the techniques for self-work. Understanding, finally, that it’s impossible to help others if you are broken. Working on my issues, became a priority and from a more grounded base, I was able to support my children and embrace a solid, happy, and healthy family life.
For the first time, I understood the necessity of being ‘whole.’ Not just someone’s wife or mother. Living by the Reiki principles provided me with a positive structure that allowed me to follow, engage in, and enjoy my life’s new direction. I became open to more opportunities, beliefs, and values which have since provided me with my core principles for this life. Noticeably, our home life became much calmer and more united. The abuse, anguish and fear that enveloped my children and me for so long had been released, and because I was taking the time to develop my spiritual wellbeing, it was having a positive effect on all of us.
The need to feed myself with knowledge and a solid understanding of my emotional wellbeing became strong, and I embarked on a journey to learn a wide range of alternative therapies including; reflexology, massage, emotional freedom technique, crystal healing, and more. Although I could see the thread that connects all these therapies, I was able to learn new insights, alternative processes, and apply them to my personal development.
The biggest learning curve for me was the acceptance that, even though I had gained all this knowledge, my emotions could still swing from positivity to low self-esteem quite quickly. Nurturing my emotional wellbeing would be an ongoing lesson, one that I realised would alter and evolve over time. I started to see how my physical wellbeing is so tightly wound together with my emotions. Alcohol abuse only fed my negativity, and so I chose to become tee-total three years ago. Being pro-active about my physical wellbeing is not something I can do easily. A lack of self-love can cause me to overeat which then creates a whirlpool of denial, guilt, anger, and despair. Using techniques such as meditation has proved helpful when coping with these issues and taking responsibility.
In addition to self-help techniques, I’ve discovered the power of a supportive community. I am hugely fortunate to have parents who were incredibly compassionate when I was coping with my divorce, and have continued to provide my children and me with love, and encouragement. If I think about social wellbeing from a personal perspective, I regret not seeking help and guidance from an association such as Women’s Aid following my separation. The aftermath of dealing with abuse against myself and my children has eaten away at me for many years and only when I started my training did I see how valuable a community could be. I have since developed my writing skills and now share my experiences on my blog and through my books in the hope that my honesty will help someone else seek that care and support they need.
I believe that we each have a choice to become either a victim or a survivor. Over the years I’ve learned to recognise when someone is benefiting from a victim mentality. The power they have to attract sympathy, support, and attention while living in fear of what might happen if they ever became a survivor. It’s my hope to show women that their fear is not necessary and that a simple hug, word of encouragement, or reading how other people coped with their situation is an important part of healing.
Opening my holistic spa for women in 2008 was a huge step in what I thought was the right direction. Loving the work I did and being able to help so many people confirmed to me that I was following my life purpose. Unfortunately, I developed a viral infection two years ago which attacked my body, tested my mind, and threatened to unravel everything I had built up over the years. My faith was rocked when I was forced to close my business. The last few years have been tough as I lost all sense of what I was supposed to do, and how I could continue to help, both myself and others. It’s only more recently that I’ve rediscovered my sense of self through mindfulness, Reiki, and regular acupuncture sessions to reverse or deal with my physical issues.
The importance of occupational wellbeing has been thrust into the forefront for me, and through a lot of soul searching, journaling, and goal setting, I have been able to re-assess what interests, activities, and aspects of my work I can continue with. Working from home has also allowed me to see how my environment impacts on my state of mind and being. De-cluttering, harmonising my workspace, and ensuring I spend time outdoors to compensate have become important daily factors.
Personal development is an ongoing adventure and I look forward to the lessons I will learn as my life unfolds. ‘I’ the student, am ready – are you?
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