As the summer fades away and autumn starts to make itself known, with green leaves turning golden and the sun losing it’s harsh heat and becoming more mellow, I could decide to make plans to rest.
After all, the last harvest is near and our ancestors would have been stocking up on foods and materials to see them through the winter, and pretty much spending time with the family indoors. However in the Northern Hemisphere, September is the start of a new school year and so since the age of 4 I’ve always felt it’s the beginning of something new, a new start.
I’ve not had much energy this year, my creative drive has almost disappeared as much as my need to sleep has increased. Whilst it’s put me on the back foot in terms of achieving what I’d hoped to for 2018, it’s actually been a blessing. The rest and inactive periods have allowed space to think, assimilate and join together different parts of myself.
Last autumn, winter and spring was a really busy time for me with lots of new beginnings. I completed my life coaching course, I completed a year of Druid study and I set up my coaching business and took on some wonderful clients alongside a demanding day job and busy family life. It’s no wonder that I’ve needed to rest over the summer! Rest isn’t something that is valued in our modern society – I saw a gym tshirt yesterday with ‘rest day: only joking’ printed across the bust and thought how typically it represented the constant strive forwards and how exhaustion is sometimes seen as a badge of honour. I’ve wondered how any of us feel whole when we keep moving, keep doing and keep exhausting ourselves. How do we even know that the things we are doing continue to be the right things for us if we don’t stop and reflect every now and then?
This time last year I felt very lost and unwhole in myself. My clients have shown me time and time again that I’m not alone in these feelings. Feeling lost, like there’s something missing in your life can be lonely, frustrating and can lead to low mood, agitation and a sense of helplessness. Searches on the internet will guide you to some key questions you can ask yourself to ‘find’ what the missing part is, but they are generic and won’t fully hit the spot. I knew that I needed to return to helping people in order to feel fulfilled, but I couldn’t work out what that looked like and I felt trapped in my current situation as the end goal felt so far away and required significant resources to make it happen.
I became paralysed by that end goal and so for a long time I existed in the state of agitation and loneliness. What I’ve learned in the last year and been reminded of in the past couple of weeks is that all we need to see is the next step forwards. Forget the end goal if you can’t get there right away, understanding what the next thing that you can do to help yourself understand or uncover something is what is important.
Embracing wholeness is a huge huge task and it grows bigger every time you explore! I don’t say this to put you off, but to show that it needs to be broken into achievable and satisfying chunks in order to move towards it.
The things that have reminded me of the steps we’ve taken towards a greater wholeness, is knowing about family and friends who have recently had their GCSE or A-Level exam results. Hearing the delight or disappointment about the grades reminded me of how great or awful it feels that day and then how it really doesn’t matter in a week or so time, because you move onto the next step. Receiving your exam results is a culmination of tremendous work and whether you get the grades you need or don’t, you still move forwards onto something else. Maybe a college or university place, maybe a job or maybe take some time to decide on a different route to the one you planned for. After a while, the results cease to matter because you’ve grown and stepped forwards. And embracing wholeness in life is just like that.
I couldn’t work out what was missing in my life and how to scratch the itch, I had some vague ideas though. So I took time to talk to a coach who helped me to make sense of my thoughts, and to prioritise what was most important to me. And this is key – getting it out of your head. Thoughts swirling around your head make little sense. You’ll miss the themes and the finer details that someone else can pull out for you and present back in a way that is clear, or ask you more questions to really clarify your emotions around your thoughts. I realise now that I’ve been on the same path my entire life but the road hasn’t been straight and I still don’t think I’m at the end of my journey towards wholeness. I also have never known what the next steps have been without talking it through, doing some research and trying a few things to see whether it’s for me or not. At the moment I feel more fulfilled and whole than I ever have in life, but I also know there’s more to come. And being ok with knowing there’s more shows me that I’m happy to accept I’m now moving step by step towards that end goal of wholeness even if I don’t know what the end looks like. Maybe I never will! But I’ve invested time in myself, I’ve given myself time to stop and think and not rushed into another new thing that might be exactly the same as the last one and doesn’t give me any feelings of fulfilment or feelings of furthering my skills.
My journey has gone something like this: Dressed up as a nurse as a child, followed the midwife around intently watching her when my brother was born, made flower remedies and perfumes from the garden, helped the ‘picked on’ child to play with me and my friends in the school playground, volunteered to work at an additional needs school in the summer playscheme, helped others out with pets including always having my own, worked as an Occupational Therapy Assistant and later as an Occupational Therapist, worked in health and social care change & project management, supervised and supported many people (often those who were seen to be poorly performing elsewhere), improved tarot and oracle card skills, been the ‘go to’ person for advice amongst my friends, embraced and enhanced my intuitive skills, studied as a Druid and returned to enjoying the earth and nature, trained and working as a life coach, training as an energy healer, training as a herbalist.
I could look back at my Occupational Therapy career and say it was wasted because I no longer practise, however it was part of my step forwards. I learnt so many skills and spent time with so many different people from all walks of life that will have prepared me for a different and deeper healing role than I could have coped with at the time. At each of the stages, I didn’t know what was coming next, it hasn’t been a linear plan! And now I feel comfortable stepping into my healer title, knowing I have a huge resource behind me, and this leads to embracing my wholeness.
So, as we move into Autumn and traditionally it’s a slower pace of life, I’m ready to start my new beginnings as a healer, because this is what I’ve always been. Embracing my wholeness as a human being has given me the confidence to be myself. I won’t say this is the end though, there’s plenty more wholeness to come! And the cycle continues as my Daughter starts her first ever day at school this week, can’t wait to see how she becomes whole and the journey she takes to get there.