Lying on the floor under a hand-me-down blanket, my mind returned to my body and I started feeling alive again. Just as the journey of a thousand miles began with a single step, I rebuilt my happiness, moment by moment, breath by breath.
I’d stayed busy for almost a decade in order to avoid the feelings of loss and grief that my son’s life-altering diagnosis brought with it. I couldn’t allow myself to drop my guard and risk hitting rock bottom and not being able to pick myself up again. I felt as though I was living through an out of body experience, my emotions blunted by separating myself from my reality.
And here I was, lying on a church hall floor, surrendering to the power of mindfulness. It was the hardest thing I had tried to do in years. I struggled with the silence, the relaxation, the stillness and the letting go. I spent the first session with my body in constant motion and my feet pointing at the door. Halfway through the course, in that church hall with a group of strangers, I finally surrendered and allowed myself to feel exactly how I felt in that moment.
I realised that this was the life that I had been given to live and that I was doing my children a disservice by not being the best version of myself for them. Accepting that my son was exactly who he is supposed to be and realising how much being his mum had taught me was also a revelation. Accepting that he was the only brother my daughter was going to have and that I couldn’t change that for her was part of the process of coming to peace with the cards I had been dealt. I needed simply to play the best game I could with the hand I held.
Living with love and joy felt possible again, and I chased every opportunity to do just that. Just as I felt that I could live again, my husband’s mental health took a nosedive and without warning, my hero crumpled before me into a bearded heap of depression and post-traumatic stress. His shutters were down, and I couldn’t get through to him. I did what I knew how to do. I fought. I researched. I learnt and I persevered. This time though, I did it with presence. I did it with kindness and with love. I lived through the worst times, the times when I thought I might lose him, with love and commitment. By living with love, I found a depth of strength I didn’t know I had, and I was more able to roll with the punches and bounce back from each setback with resolve.
‘No matter the question, love is the answer’ has become my way of life. Even in the darkest of times there is still room for love, and there is still the possibility of joy.
I know the fear. And I know what’s on the other side. We can keep looking backwards, at what hurt us, or we can choose to look forwards and choose to live a life of our making.
I’ve walked the path and I know the way. And that’s why I coach. So I can show you the way back to love and joy, no matter how lost you feel right now.
If you’re feeling lost, frightened or you don’t know your purpose any more, I’m here to show you the way and to hold your hand so you’re not on your own through the process.