My journey started with setting dream goals, putting everything else on hold so I could achieve them and in the process becoming so disconnected from myself – so good at ignoring basic signals from my body that I ended up in severe pain, unable to sleep, crying a lot. And yet I still managed to keep going. I was too ashamed to ask for help – too busy supporting others. And anyway, asking for help in the past had felt like handing someone in power my weakness card. I didn’t know who to turn to, who to talk to, so I just kept going.
It was only when the pain started waking me up when on holiday that I really started to pay attention. Then I asked for help. I still remember the phone call I made to Gordon Teasdale, my amazing sports therapist who specializes in functional movement. Crying, I blurted out that I wanted someone to teach me how to stand and walk again. I wanted to be able to hold my head up without it feeling too hard.
Ironically writing this I can see just how my body was mimicking (or describing – pointing out – screaming at me till I took notice) the way I felt emotionally. I felt crushed. I had worked so hard to make myself this miserable and ill. This was not the life I had in mind when I signed up to finish my Open University degree. This was not the freedom from anxiety I imagined I would have once I had a real income. This was no fun.
I found a photo of me on my 29th birthday. I wanted that me back – where had fearless Heidi gone? The free-spirited hippy who wanted to have fun and live fully? I made it my mission to find her within myself again. To reconnect with those lost parts of myself that knew who I was and what I really needed.
I started tuning into my body daily in a way I hadn’t since windsurfing and mountain biking in my twenties used to without me having to schedule it. I upped my yoga practice and with Gordon’s exercises and treatment (he’s a fellow yogi so this worked really well for me), I started to heal.
I moved jobs – twice – before finally quitting, with every cell in my body screaming at me to get the hell out. I’d liked to have done it differently. I did try. I retrained as a Zen yoga teacher with the incredible Zenways. I went part-time so I could run my wellbeing business whilst still earning from my job.
It didn’t work. The damage was already done. I was too burnout, too far along my path to be able to cope with difficult students in a difficult school. I came home and cried after the first day. I cried on the way in on the second day. My colleagues were lovely but, in the end, I no longer found my work meaningful.
I thought quitting would solve so much. I couldn’t have stayed but I can’t tell you it’s been easy. I‘ve had to come face to face with every habit and way of thinking which caused me to burnout, to lose a career I loved and was really successful in.
What I found along the way is treasure. I learned so much on my journey back to health and wellbeing. So much that it is not ‘back’ but forward. Like I’ve collected gold coins and treasure along the way. And reached a far dream destination but I’m no longer swept up on a shingly beach, being battered by the changing tides.
What I learnt on the way nourishes me and teaches me how to live now. A whole new chapter with greater capacity for joy – quite literally
And now as I build a way of life that works for me – as I embrace my unique needs and blaze my own path to wellbeing – I am learning to ignore so much of the conflicting advice out there. So many people telling other people how to eat, drink, sleep and breath. It’s well-meant but it certainly contributed to my overwhelm and burnout.
When I tune into my body and listen deeply, as if listening to an old friend (which I am) I find what I need to heal, recover and fill my life with joy.
I’d like to help you do the same. I have created a course for you. It’s online so you can do it in the privacy and comfort of your own home – and I can help you wherever you are in the world.
So, let me help you. Let me show you how to start to allow more ease into your life, to allow the horrid fog and pressure of overwhelm to start to lift.