Before you read on, if the photo above speaks to you, explore my Love Retreat in Turkey here or share the link with your lovely friends – they’ll thank you for it! Now on to the blog …
Every now and then, I make incredible stuff happen and I have no idea how I do it.
For someone who struggles with fear, procrastination, indecision, low self-esteem and imposter syndrome – all rooted in developmental trauma (also known as complex PTSD) – it’s a miracle to me that I am where I am.
It’s a miracle that I managed to:
- Overcome an eating disorder that began before I turned 10 and ravaged my body and my mind for several decades
- Leave a super secure, high-profile job as a Reuters political journalist, without any idea where to go next
- Transform my career and start from scratch as a coach, speaker and author
- Write, finish and publish How to Fall in Love – a book that has changed lives, so my readers tell me
- Host eight or nine (I’ve lost count) successful women’s retreats in the UK, Spain and Turkey (we’re going back to Turkey soon – details here) over the last five years, despite a strong aversion to marketing and sales that’s rooted in my childhood wounds (fear of rejection, criticism, judgement, of being seen and heard and subsequently knocked down). I remember my first retreat – no experience of running retreats, no research, just an idea and lots of passion and it was a remarkable success
- Find a healthy and loving relationship and get married to a wonderful man after many years of unhealthy relationships, dysfunctional dating and singleness
How on earth did I do all that?
Little me, with all my insecurities, dysfunctional patterns and unhelpful coping mechanisms.
Courage, I guess.
Courage dug up from deep inside me.
Persistence. Determination. Drive. Vision. A massive survival instinct. Creativity.
The same persistence, determination and creativity that took me from a turbulent single-parent family in Liverpool to Oxford University and all around the world as a foreign correspondent, even if I was using excess food or booze as a crutch most of the time – I accept and forgive myself for those self-harming behaviours as I did the best I could with the tools and awareness I had at the time.
The same courage and determination that helped me recover from binge eating and other addictive behaviours and that motivated me to understand my faulty relationship patterns and find healthy love in time to marry at 48.
The same courage and determination that got me back on my feet after a burnout and breakdown that precipitated my departure from my Reuters position in the Houses of Parliament. I can see myself now, sitting on my bed in tears in my mid-thirties, as the life I’d worked so hard to build crumbled around me.
The same courage and determination that keep me on my journey of healing and growth, always peeling off new layers of the onion, no matter the obstacles and challenges – and there are many of them.
Always learning. Always growing.
The same persistence and determination that sometimes have negative consequences – driving me to work too hard, to push too much, rather than relax, let go and trust.
It’s never ending, isn’t it? This journey of healing, growth and recovery.
And although I sometimes wish it wasn’t this hard – that I didn’t have so many struggles, that I’d had a simple, straightforward life with a steady, low-adrenaline career, a healthy marriage in my thirties and a couple of cute kids (I am childless due to many complex circumstances – ambivalence, childhood wounds and more), I am grateful for the depth and richness of my experience of this thing we call life and all the miracles that have come to pass.
I’m particularly grateful for my ability to feel a whole range of emotions, pretty much every day, from joy to grief, especially after so many years of numbing my feels with food, booze, drama-fuelled relationships and work.
I’m grateful for my creative gifts and my permanently active mind that comes up with a new idea for my business every 10 seconds as well as my writing skills, honed over many years as a news journalist, that mean I can write blogs like this in minutes rather than hours.
And I’m grateful for all the lives I’ve touched and changed and will continue to touch and change through my writing, speaking, coaching and wonderful retreats.
Yes, I have found purpose in my pain.
And here I am, about to touch and change lives again as I prepare to take a small group of women to Turkey on the Love Retreat – my first international retreat since Covid scuppered all our plans.
Marketing is tough at the best of times, and it’s especially tough for those of us who carry shame, low self-esteem, imposter syndrome and the childhood wounds I mentioned above. Add to that the current market conditions and the news we hear every day about the big squeeze on our finances.
But what can we do – those of us who have stepped off the hamster wheel, stepped away from job security and stepped out on our own, driven by passion and a desire to use our experience to help others transform their lives?
We can only trust.
We can believe in ourselves, our gifts, our talents and our offerings and trust that the people who need to hear our message – in the case of my work, the women who are hurting, tired of being single, tired of sacrificing their personal lives for their work and yearning for change – will hear it loud and clear.
I can trust that in five weeks time, I will recreate the magic of my first Turkey retreat, the laughter, the friendship, the adventures, the healing and the growth, as shared on the wonderful retreat videos I managed to put together with help, again against the odds, because my inner saboteur would much rather leave things unfinished (I have lots of things unfinished!).
So today, I choose to trust.
How about you, dear Reader?
Is there an area of your life where you need to dig deep, find your courage and choose to trust rather than roll over and give up?
The choice is yours. And what a gift that we have a choice.
I am a love, dating and relationships coach, midlife mentor, motivational speaker and writer with a passion for supporting people to love themselves, love their lives and careers and find healthy love.
I have a few spaces left on my Turkey Love Retreat, Oct 15-22. Click here for details.
And I have a few spaces left on my How to Fall in Love – Laying the Foundations small group programme for women, starting this Monday September 12th.
If I can support you in any way, please get in touch. Explore my coaching, courses, writing and motivational speaking and book a discovery call so that we can have a chat.