I began my spiritual journey around 1980 when at nearly 40 years old, and having come through a painful divorce, I had remarried and given birth to a son. I was very excited at becoming a mother again for the third time, although with my husband Stephen was away a lot of the time in the services, looking after two lively daughters (one a teenager), rebalancing and establishing a new home life for them all, along with a new baby was a full time job.
At the age of 18 I had been diagnosed with arthritic activity in my body and by the time Ross, our son, was five he had developed asthma after an ear operation to fit grommets. What a big mistake that had turned out to be, or so I thought later. But much later it actually all proved to be the beginning of my remarkable journey. Between the two of us, asthma and arthritis proved to be a lot for us both to handle. At the same time I had my Mother to support and look out for, as she had had several strokes and was being cared for in a stroke unit near to our home, thankfully.
In retrospect the stress levels at that time in my life were huge. I had hit the menopause at I believe just about the time I fell pregnant, and I experienced being prone to dive into deep depression. So a young child with asthma, two older children trying to find their feet, a frequently absent husband and a very poorly Mum, sure didn’t do a whole lot to improve my painful body. One day I was sitting in the dentist’s waiting room when I picked up a magazine and read an article on the need for homeopathy alongside modern medicine. Instantly a light went on in my head, all I was reading was making great sense to me, it was almost as if I had written the article myself!
You could say this was the point when the journey took off into second gear. I knew all of this made great sense, and I worked with a homeopath for some time before moving into other fields of healing for both my son and I. Seeking more and more information, studying with passion everything I could, I was totally inspired by the thought that we created our own health and what was even more exciting was that we were actually responsible for it. The mind-body connection really lit my fire.
This bore out feelings I had long held, as in the past I had been threatened by one doctor that if I didn’t care for my son as he recommended “they” would take him away from me. I just knew there had to be another way, and I was to discover many. Suddenly I felt I was at last on the right side of the track, and over the years that followed every healer I worked with, studied with and read about was confirming all of that for me.
Having become impassioned and totally inspired, I had to find a way to share with others what was working and unfolding for me. This came about as if by magic and I took off again into third gear this time. I opened a small café cum “learning centre”, where, using my background and formal training in hotel catering, I offered real food cooked with love, and a place where people could learn about health matters and healing.
This little place became a beacon of light and as that light spread, so did word about the talk evenings and workshops that were held there. People were drawn as moths to a flame and I was at last opening to the infinite possibilities of sharing all that I knew with others of like mind. This little café I had called 'High Energy', I refer to as my “university education”, but after 5 ½ years it became time to move on. Moving my studying more into the field of nutrition and therapy, I trained in various disciplines of massage, but soon came to realise that the role of therapist was not for me. I felt strongly that my role was that of a communicator and teacher. This, along with my continuing self study, led me to start to bring people of like mind together. People who like me were also searching for answers and I began to offer groups for personal and spiritual development. Group work was something that felt like second nature to me and continues to be so, a great inspiration where healing happens for folks by natural organic means.
In the late 90’s I was drawn into training with the Interfaith Seminary, then known as the New Seminary, and today has become The One Spirit Foundation. The training was for Interfaith Ministry and Spiritual Counselling. This was a mighty step. It really shifted me into top gear, leaving me continually wondering what on earth was I doing! Religion had never featured highly in my life before. I had attended Sunday School and church services as ordered by my parents and subsequently, had encouraged the same thing with my own children. Why? Because it was what one did, so I thought. So to be studying to become a minister was pretty random and yet, I came to realise that there was something strangely familiar about the whole thing. My inspiration and my mentor during this time was the Seminary Director, Miranda Holden, also the UK founder of the New Seminary. Miranda inspired in me something that had been asleep for many years, and that was, the feeling and familiarity of the role of the minister which I was to discover, I had actually been doing for many, many years. It was pointed out to me that that was simply what I did ‘minister’ to people. I was also told later that I had trodden the path of the minister and experienced this in many other previous lives. This actually helped me enormously to come to terms with my training. I now had a feeling that I was surrendering to the greater purpose of my life, a feeling of joining and of being a part, of “coming home”.
Bringing people together has always seemed easy for me. My passion for life and humanity, for sharing, empowering and allowing people to find their own voice, eventually found its way to forming an inspired group that I called “Conversations that Count”. This was a group predominantly attended by women, but with a very simple concept. Sharing our stories and in a safe space, allowed us to be “real” together, to speak with an open heart and to feel supported by others of like mind. Sharing time, sharing food and the love that was generated there, allowed for healing to happen naturally. Over many years of organising groups, I have observed that in bringing a group of like minds together, healing just unfolds through the sharing of loving energy.
I like to recall how many years ago (not all that long after Ross came into my life) I was told in a reading, that I was never to own anything again. On the basis of that information, I encouraged my husband to have a little faith of his own and to sell the only home we had bought together and to live in rented accommodation. Something we still do to this day. When I received that message I was also told that I would be looked after, because I was told, there is always enough to share. There simply is enough in the world owned by the greater number to share with everyone. For some reason, I believed what I’d heard implicitly and, therefore, was able to trust in the process. Looking back, I’m not sure how - but it happened anyway.
Today, after living in many wonderful places in the UK and abroad, in gorgeous houses we could never have afforded to buy, we now live in a beautiful part of North Devon right next to the sea where we have always wanted to live
For many years I have said, “I am only here to serve, please show me how?” As I’ve learned to get more and more out of my own way, the journey has got easier. Having faith, feeling the love flowing from nature and all that is, is all, in simple terms, that we need. Finding sustainable ways of living simply means going back to nature, recognising what is given, receiving with grace, giving thanks each day, being present, being a part, surrendering and trusting your guidance - for the Universe knows it all.
Throughout my journey from 1980 onwards, I would probably say that I have always felt supported, although I haven’t necessarily known by whom or by what. Over the years, I have acquired a strong sense of my guidance and a profound connection to the Divine. My focus is to help others find that Divine connection for themselves. I am now in a position to offer spiritual retreats with this focus. Held at the beautiful Kingcombe Centre in Dorset I call the retreats Reconnecting the Heart. In today’s world of such chaos and instability, anchors need to be in place. That anchor, I believe, is faith. Not a religious faith, but firstly a faith in self - leading to faith outside the self, as in God, Spirit, Divine Nature, The Universe, whatever feels right for the individual. The training in Interfaith encourages diversity, therefore there is no judgement on what or who supports you as a faith tradition, only a hope that you have or will find one. I believe we are all ministers, teachers and healers, this is not an exclusive club this is God given and as such up to us all to discover the ways in which it plays out in your life.
Thirty plus years is a long journey, from poor health to whole health, from pain and suffering to freedom and choices, from love to loving. What a gift it is to be on the planet at this momentous time! We are only here to serve; ourselves and each other and every living thing that breathes and moves. Give thanks for the Blessings of life in every moment of every day. Then………..
Reconnect to the Heart of the Matter and life will give all that it has to give to you.
Always In Love