I am a counsellor, teacher, writer and coach with over 25 years’ experience of nurturing and empowering adults and young people to reach greater levels of self-awareness and to break through into their fullest, most heart-and-soul centred selves.
Qualifications and Training:
- Diploma in Person-Centred Counselling
- Diploma in Professional Coaching
- MA in Creative Writing
- BA Hons in Philosophy
- Post Graduate Certificate in Education
- Experienced trainer and group facilitator (Circle Time trained)
- Reiki Practitioner at Levels 1 and 2
- OLEVI Programme training in Outstanding Teaching, Facilitation and Coaching
- I am an experienced meditator
- My most recent CPD has been in Shamanic practices, Kundalini Yoga, Wealth Consciousness and Poetry and Mental Health.
I feel most at home by the sea and in the mountains.
I love islands and shores, forests and streams.
I love the Greek island of Crete which is my soul home.
I am a poet and have recently qualified as MA in Creative Writing.
I am highly visual and love to photograph my travels and experiences. I have an obsession with capturing the waves and moods of the ocean.
I am crazy about books (and stationery!)
I love music, dance and song and am a keen participator in all three.
I am a mother with over thirty years’ experience of supporting and guiding my son through his life.
I have always been a highly creative yet driven person. In my early thirties (for reasons that were totally valid at the time) I decided to ditch the idea of following my passion and running my own business alongside my creative projects and get a ‘proper’ job, so I entered the teaching profession. I was able to express many of my best qualities as a teacher and then manager of teachers, I had the security and safety of a regular income, I had the privilege of changing the lives of thousands of young people and influencing the teaching philosophy and direction in a range of schools and settings.
BUT this came at a high cost. I regularly had to stifle and suppress my own creativity so that I could nurture young people in large groups all day and every day. I had to ignore the crying inside (and often hiding at work to cry) that was telling me to ease off the pressure that was coming from outside of me from a political criticism and control of the entire system of education and filtering through my need to be perfect. A powerfully damaging combination! My health gradually began to seriously suffer and I was diagnosed with an autoimmune dysfunction and prescribed damaging drugs to control it and dampen down the inflammation that in fact was a reflection of my anger. Eventually, I was a burnt-out husk, not addressing the root cause of my own suffering.
But I carried on, and driven by ambition (and ability) I climbed the career ladder available to me and totally put on hold my own creative projects. My creative impulse was totally channelled into the work I was doing with troubled young people, helping them access their own creativity and facilitating a range of exciting transformational projects that took them from self harm and thoughts of suicide to empowerment and purpose.
Over a period of 3 or 4 years, following a period of economic recession-induced government cuts, the work became increasingly demanding but I was also creatively stifled.
Again and again I was told ‘No’, denied access to the funding, training or staff needed to carry out the work in the best interests of the young people. A culture of cutting corners and neglect took hold as staff cuts were put in place. I had become a round peg in a square hole, and my discomfort increased daily. Before finally resigning from my management role in education, and the job I previously loved, I experienced a series of wake up calls. My first wake-up call was a brush with my own imminent death. I woke up in the middle of the night with an intense feeling of anxiety such that I had not yet experienced. In order to alleviate it I went into my study and sat at my PC preparing to check my work emails!! As soon as I did this, my chest tightened, my entire left hand side went into spasm and I could barely breathe. I thought ‘this is it, I am having a heart attack and I am going to die. Alone. Checking my emails’. I woke my husband up and very soon I was on a call with a doctor, who after asking me a series of questions told me that I had had a panic attack and instructed me to take two weeks (at least) off work. This was the permission I needed. Within a few hours of taking this time off, I began to feel…well – happy, relaxed, myself again!!
The second was when I realised that I no longer felt compassion. I simply did not care about any of my clients, and this was SO unlike me. My third wake-up call was a vivid encounter with nature that shook me to the depths and saved me from emotional breakdown and spiritual death and then I finally began to wake up from the nightmare that I had co-created. I did a series of trainings and worked with several coaches throughout this time. In one life changing event, I discovered that by accessing the wisdom of my body I could actually receive messages directly from nature. And I received a message loud and clear from a tree that we are all one (I already knew this cognitively but to receive it in my body was the certainty that I needed). I knew that I had a new calling to pursue, and it did not involve doing something I now hated. It was time for me to BE ME. And DO WHAT I LOVE.
So, I know what it’s like to be lost to myself, and I know what it took to find myself again. And the joy is that now this amazing CREATIVE learning journey of astounding discovery and adventure that is my life continues to gather momentum day by day!
I now live my LIFE as a creative project and am committed to helping others do the same.
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