I spent most of my working career in a variety of marketing roles in large corporate companies like Centrica, British Airways and BT, always working to keep the customer at the heart of what they were doing. Some of these roles were senior, Customer Strategy Director, for example. I had the office, the PA, the big package…All of which I am extremely grateful for as they enabled me to enjoy some interesting experiences and gave me a great standard of living, but equally importantly, they allowed me to develop some long-lasting friendships and to learn from everyone I worked with.
Is this it?
I enjoyed my marketing career and my desire to help people has now moved from the consumer to the individual. For the last ten years or so I have been increasingly interested in the mind and body connection and the big questions like “what’s my purpose” and “what is the authentic real me”.
I read books like ‘The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari’ by Robin Sharma and anything by the Bare Footed Doctor, Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, just to mention a few names. I started classes in Qi Gong, learned how to meditate, saw some of the big names speak in London, started to reprioritise my life.
Then I got properly ill for the first time in my life. I had always prided myself on my natural fitness and health levels but was suddenly knocked back with an undiagnosed condition. I went from my regular runs around Richmond Park to a shadow of my usual laid back energetic self, waking up every ten minutes in the night choking and struggling to breath.
I also lost the power of my voice, which made working next to impossible, unable to make presentations and participate with my colleagues. Initially, I simply assumed I would soon be OK as I have never really been ill. However, despite managing to eat normally, I began to feel tired and other physical signs started to emerge.
The medical professionals sent me for tests but remained unsure what I was suffering from and encouraged me to start taking a variety of medicines. I felt uncomfortable with this especially as they were far from clear about understanding what was wrong with me.
I then decided to trust my intuition and instincts which I had frankly been ignoring and began to carry out my own research. I discovered some revealing facts around how the mind and body are connected, in particular, how the Autonomic Nervous System (including the Sympathetic and Parasympathetic systems) worked and how these impacted the very basic functions of the body including breathing, heart rate, heart rate variability, blood pressure and digestion. I realised that I had been unhappy at work and felt trapped, having to provide for my family.
I was also dealing with a lot of personal issues – my wife and I could not have our own children and adopted two wonderful girls, but this brought a variety of challenges into our lives including autism, special needs, epilepsy, adhd. Other people often didn’t understand the issues we were facing, dealing with special needs schools, behavioural issues, medical appointments etc. My wife had given up work to care for the girls full time and this put more pressure on me, especially when I was made redundant and struggled to find another senior position in the corporate world. No wonder my emotions were impacting my physical health.
I embarked on a combination of breathing practices including the renowned Buteyko method which I am now a qualified practitioner having trained at the International Buteyko clinic. I learnt a variety of meditation practices that would not only relieve my discomfort in the short-term but would help maintain a sense of calm and peace and support a healthy approach to life. Once I had fully recovered and a stone lighter with raised energy and positive vibes, people kept asking me how I managed this transformation.
The next stage of my journey led to me to a new approach that supports me today, avoiding getting myself into that unhealthy situation again. This involved building my awareness of current and past things that would trigger me and finding ways to accept, reframe and find peace with my emotions, feelings and thoughts to avoid them becoming all-consuming and having a negative impact on my attitude to life, relationships, health, finances, career etc.
None of it was rocket science but it was amazing how much my new approach made such a profound change and returned me to my normal self. This whetted my appetite and I began further investigations into the art of breathing techniques and how combining them with meditation practice and a new practice called Calmology could make such a difference.
Calmology was developed by Sandy Newbigging, who is a leader in the mind-body connection movement. I decided to train with Sandy and qualified as a Calmology practitioner.
More recently, I trained in the Stoan Method which enables me to support people in establishing what really matters to them and what lightens their heart. We then take these heart desires and paint a picture of life where they are integrated and can be realised on a day-to-day basis.
I am excited about sharing my learnings with you because the approaches I have used and am now using with clients do not simply address symptoms but uncover the root cause reasons, reconcile them and encourage a healthier framework for living a more harmonious life.