Honour ٠ Accept ٠ Release ٠ Trust
Like most of us, I have experienced several major transitions so far in my life. To give you a flavour, these include: fleeing a war zone as a toddler; the sad ending of my first marriage; living through thyroid issues and adrenal fatigue to diagnosis as a coeliac; meeting and marrying my husband; adjusting to life without having children; deciding to lessen my reliance on a corporate career and committing to pour my energy into the work I love as a Holistic Therapist, Birth Doula, Independent Celebrant and Rites for Girls Facilitator.
They say that ‘change is the only constant’ and for that I am glad as it means that there is always the possibility for us to learn, grow and become the best version of ourselves. I am equally glad that it has been acknowledged (not least by my very wise Grannie) that ‘a problem shared, is a problem halved’ as this means that there’s an open invitation to receive help from others, as we move steadily forward in our lives.
Each one of my own transitions, whether of my choosing or not, have helped shape who I am today and, honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. During these times (or in some instances, years later) I have learned how to make use of my holistic training and been grateful for the support of my own trusted advisors, therapists and mentors.
Throughout these transitions, I realised that I made the most significant and long-lasting progress when I sought help for my body, mind and spirit. I navigated my own way through the various disparate types of support available, working with individual therapists to address each one of these – up-weighting and down-weighting as felt most helpful at any particular time.
This got me wondering about how I might be able to provide more holistic support to my clients. Ultimately, this led me to tie all of the disparate trainings and experience I have gained over the last 20 years into one guiding principle, which I call the HART Process. It began as a way of explaining the philosophy behind my work but quickly expanded to become the more formal process that I infuse through all my work.
I know that I would have been thankful for this kind of holistic care during the most overwhelming stages of my major milestones, which is why I am grateful to be able to offer it to my clients through the HART process and use it myself as I continue to navigate my current transitions through menopause and return to the academic world to undertake PhD research.
This is about focusing on the here and now, without worrying about what has happened in the past or what might happen in the future. This allows us to remain in the moment, without being distracted by ‘if’s, ‘but’s and ‘maybe’s.
By cutting through someone’s tone of voice, their turn of phrase and our own visceral response patterns we can hear what is really important and find the real story behind the words. When we listen in this way there can be no misunderstandings.
This means saying how we feel, honestly, openly and always with compassion for ourselves and others. When we are courageous enough to speak our truth we encourage others to speak theirs and true communication can begin.
By remaining open to all possibilities and not attached to any specific one we give ourselves and others permission to change and grow and flourish. The future is unknown so holding on to any particular outcome is impossible.
* These principles were introduced to me by one of my mentors, Anja Saunders, who adapted them from the teachings of ‘The Four Fold Way’ which itself was the distillation of thousands of years worth of indigenous wisdom undertaken by the late Angeles Arrien.
Whether supporting the miracle of birth, honouring a death or acknowledging the many transitions along the way, I am astounded with the power of the human spirit. The fact that we have been created with so many inbuilt abilities (among them resilience, strength and courage) is truly awe-inspiring.
To be able to offer support to these natural capabilities is a rewarding and humbling experience for me.
Prior to my current practice, I have been Co-Director of The Academy of Natural Health – where I worked with a dedicated team of tutors to inspire the next generation of holistic practitioners in the UK – and Editor of In Touch Magazine, the in-house publication of the Massage Training Institute – where I was lucky enough to meet and share the wisdom of many of the industry’s leading lights.
I have also worked in the corporate world for many years so can fully appreciate the stresses and strains that this can bring.
Now, having found work that I love, I hope to bring all my experiences together to work alongside my clients to create outcomes that inspire them (and me) to be calmer, braver and stronger, even if we meet at a difficult time.
As a member of The Centre for Educational and Life Transitions, I have embarked on a PhD to explore what value and impact marking our milestones might have on our lived experience of them.
Rites for Girls is a ground-breaking Community Interest Company (CIC) created to support girls’ rites of passage around the world. Training is led by the inspirational Kim McCabe and Helena Løvendal – both of them passionate and highly experienced facilitators and therapists.
Masters-level academic programme created and taught by pre-eminent author, Dr Lara Owen to explore menstruation in multiple contexts, from business and health to popular culture and technology.
Undertaking regular CPD keeps my knowledge up-to-date with the changing environment and Supervision encourages me to critically question my practice to ensure I am undertaking my best work.
At The Fellowship of Professional Celebrants I studied with founder Terri Shanks, one of the most respected Independent Celebrants in the UK.
The Academy of Natural Health, founded by the visionary and inspirational Anja Saunders in 1989, was one of the trailblazing schools of holistic bodywork in the country; although, sadly, now closed it was based in Neal’s Yard, Covent Garden.
Well Mother is a pioneering force in the field of supporting natural pregnancy and birth; I trained under the tutelage of founder, Shiatsu and massage therapist and author, Suzanne Yates.
Initiated by Reiki Master, Christina Tinkler, I am a tenth generation Usui Reiki practitioner in Madam Hawayo Takata’s lineage; Madam Takata was initiated in 1939 by Dr Churijo Hayashi, the dedicated student of Dr Mikao Usui who rediscovered Reiki in the early 1900s.
My studies were led by Kim Bradley, as an officially licensed trainer of the techniques developed by Sylvia Hartmann, co-founder of the Guild of Energists – the world’s first certifying body for modern energy.
Also certified by the Guild of Energists, my training with Silvia has given me another raft of additional techniques to support emotional transformation. Modern Energy Tapping was formerly known as Energy EFT.
The Thai Massage School of Chiang Mai was launched in 2001. This award-winning training academy is dedicated to offering a high value of education to students seeking knowledge of compassionate and sincere Thai massage.
Training developed and primarily delivered by experienced Registered Paramedic, Alex Brazkiewicz.
*Held since 2003, renewed every three years.