After spending many years receiving personal counselling to deal with the death of my mother and relationship issues I became interested in how I could share this experience with others. I spoke to my counsellor about this and decided I would do this once I’d paid off my mortgage, built a solid foundation in life (whatever I thought that meant I have since forgotten), waited for the ‘right time’. Following my counselling I felt lifted and engaged in life, put aside many problems and forged ahead, rising through the various ranks in my banking job and got where I thought I wanted to be. In the meantime, I shut myself off from anything that got in the way of this ‘success’ and became detached in some way. But I was doing well by general standards of those around me so all was good.
External situations meant I was now on shaky ground regarding my career and my relationships were also suffering, I returned to the idea of counselling but I couldn’t see how I could give up all I had to do this. I decided to do both and enrolled on my postgraduate diploma course alongside a full time job and various other personal commitments. I also discovered yoga at the same time and had no idea how the two would become so interlinked.
My training to be a counsellor (for me) was basically made up of the basic philosophy that people are good and bad things happen which close our hearts and mean we behave in ways to protect ourselves from hurt. This often results in hurting others along the way and ending up in a mess of second-guessing and general dysfunction invariably ‘remedied’ through antidepressants, alcohol/drug/food/sexual/behavioural addictions or a vast array of diagnoses as long as can be imagined. I learned how it is possible to simply just listen, REALLY listen, putting aside my own experience (but also using this for the benefit of listening), being warm, caring and finding a way to connect with another person to understand their world and show them this; I have also seen how the creation of this type of relationship can be amazingly healing for others and me.
It came through working incredibly hard on my own challenges, by doing so I would hopefully be able to do this work, to really listen. I started to look at my life and see where I had created a world that wasn’t what I really wanted, mostly due to being scared of experiencing anything other than what felt good and safe. I discovered how to accept hurt, difficulty, not being able to please others, look at my faults and learn to love them among many other facets of who I am; I continue to do this by offering myself the same conditions I offer to those I provide support to in my counselling work. Following this I was able to start to see what I really wanted, more importantly what I didn’t and felt able to make these decisions. Those things I had strived for suddenly started to seem less important.
Yoga was something I felt would help me become a better version of myself physically. This has been the case but it has been the perfect accompaniment to me starting to look inside myself for the best answers to my personal challenges and has helped in find peace of mind and heart. I currently look forward to deepening this experience later this year, I will return and share this experience with others when I hope to offer sessions where I can work with people on their interpretation of yoga and how this can benefit them. Yoga has become far more than a physical endeavour for me, it has helped me appreciate the varying motivations for others when they engage in improving the condition of their body. I am delighted to offer classes and 1:1 sessions where people can explore their best selves and their well-being as they condition their bodies.
This brings me to the current time where I have taken the risk to do this work in its own right. I am so passionate about how I can work with others to improve their well-being through conditioning of their body and connection with themselves and others, this is coupled with my determination and ability to work hard to the best job I can as I support them. I have a vision whereby counselling isn’t ‘taboo’, a secret process that only ‘messed up’ people need. I hope for it to be seen as an opportunity for people to connect with themselves naturally, through the supportive hand of another, when feeling unable to work through their emotional dysfunction, just as they would visit a doctor to offer support with physical dysfunction. I believe we all deserve that experience of being really listened to, a sharing of our true selves with someone who can receive this so we can feel good about who we really are, for perhaps the first time ever in some instances. For me this is the start point from where the required changes can occur as we know what we really want for ourselves; or technically put, to operate from our internal locus of evaluation (Person Centred Therapy paper). I am under no illusion about how hard this process is and it requires a huge amount of trust, I offer myself for this and would be honoured to work with anyone hoping to do this work.