2004 it all changed!
At the end of 2004, aged 45, I was just about to take voluntary redundancy.
I’d worked in IT since 1981 (yes in the days of mainframe computers and punch cards!). By 2004 the Information Technology role I had (Domain Architect for Supply Chain and Head Office Systems for Vodafone UK) wasn’t giving me the buzz it had done. I loved my colleagues and the role to some extent but found I was covering old ground too much.
Half the strategy team had the opportunity to take voluntary redundancy. I qualified for the maximum redundancy package and my intuition told me it was time to move on but to what?
My life was of balance.
I felt it was time to stop being identified by my job title.
It was time to find “me” again, then put my life into balance with “me” firmly at the centre of it.
There was a need to do something for a living that I could continue until I “dropped off my perch”, and I love learning!
At home, there was just me and my two German Shepherd Dogs. My ex- and I had separated amicably in 1999 (he had been smitten by alcoholism for years).
My life had become crazy – I lived in a beautiful Warwickshire village yet was paying people to walk the dogs at lunchtime; to do the housework; to do the garden… and I was driving a 120-mile round trip to work in Newbury four days a week!
I had loved my job but I wasn’t living my own life any more!
My new life evolved
I had some nice ‘garden leave’ after I’d handed over my knowledge before the official leaving date of December 2004.
I found public footpaths and bridleways I had no idea existed. It was delightful being able to walk in daylight with the dogs and appreciate nature and the gorgeous countryside.
I hadn’t realised quite how burnt out I was after all the long hours and big projects at Vodafone. Taking time out to relax and potter about getting stuff done at home was just what I needed.
Paying the bills
In February 2005 I was offered an IT contract role (again a long drive away but with flexible hours). It paid the bills and ended up lasting nearly four years! I did a bit more IT work for a local company for a while after that and then waved bye-bye to IT for good!
The “retraining phase”
I entered a period of three years or so that felt like a training treadmill. My intuition and various synchronicities led me to completely change myself and my life!
Peru, Alberto Villoldo and shamanism
In April 2005 a chance conversation with a friend led me to read “Shaman, Healer, Sage” by Alberto Villoldo. I loved it so much that I went to Peru with The Four Winds (Alberto’s school) that June and visited lots of sacred sites. It changed me in a way I can’t explain. I remember sitting in the garden upon returning realising it was the same but I wasn’t so it looked and felt completely different to me.
I knew I had to train with them. I was so lucky that the Four Winds started to run UK courses in 2005. I attended a catch-up South direction in the summer and then did the other directions of the compass and masterclasses over the next two to three years, including their Sage mentored programme after the initial ‘Healing the Light Body’ training.
This was extremely expensive but I had the money and absolutely loved it.
I “saw” my father a lot during this training. He had died in 2000 and I’m sure he led me to this path.
Working with spirit did freak out my logical mind at times. It is so expansive, creative deep acting that I really love it. Over several years I continued to work with a variety of awesome teachers in this tradition from Peru and around the world. It is really awesome!
In September 2005 I was drawn to also train part time as a homeopath, having used homeopathy for years. After a year in the midlands, I changed to the wonderful Lakeland college, attending their Ambleside campus mostly with a few trips to London if I couldn’t make one weekend in Ambleside.
For me, homeopathy training felt confusing. I never really knew why I was training in it but whenever the thought of stopping occurred I bumped into homeopaths (on the shamanic course, walking the dogs in Solihull, on dog activity holidays… really weird synchronicities) so I got the message that I was meant to do this!
It felt as though I was on a learning treadmill for a while.
A fellow homeopath and I set up a kids homeopathic clinic for a year or so before she moved to Cornwall. We really enjoyed that experience and practicing together helped us gain confidence.
2008 – a new phase
2008 did mark the end of the training treadmill phase.
Sadly, Chad, my older GSD, died in March, aged 15. He’d done really well though, having been diagnosed with CDRM and given six months to live about seven years earlier. Homeopathy slowed the disease’s progress right down and kept him off having to have strong painkillers too. I was more than impressed.
Holly kept me company after that.
I graduated from homeopathy college in the summer.
In June I was guided to go on a ‘pot luck’ sailing holiday to Croatia… and met Chris, now my husband!
In 2009 I set up Refreshing Horizons Limited, I was self-employed before that.
In 2011 I invested a sizable sum in an e-Lybra9 bio-resonance system. This looks like a scientific box connected to a computer yet is mind-blowing. My skills from the shamanic and homeopathic training, IT career, and so much more are used to tune it to do some really incredibly powerful healing. I have written a lot about this elsewhere.
Now, revisiting this in March 2021, my passion is still to “inspire natural wellness” practicing as a therapist myself. I spent a few years hosting other people’s seminars for a few weekends until my practice got too busy for it to be feasible.
The difference holistic therapies can make is humbling at times, undoing the damage we do (or life does) to ourselves in natural ways.
I remember a shaman in Peru saying just before we left in 2005 that they had “planted the seeds” and now it is our “responsibility to grow and nurture them”. I have certainly been driven to do that.
There is always lots to learn and do, yet the magic and slightly off-the-wall nature of this work is truly rewarding for me.
I’ve gone from being one of the few women in a masculine profession to working in a predominantly feminine profession. From a very logical “left-brain” profession to one that uses empathy, intuition and things that are frequently good sport for comedians because they sound so bonkers. Yet I see results!
My clients are all delightful, some local and others are from elsewhere in the UK and world.
This means I can now work from home. I am with our animals (Holly was joined by Kiwi, an ex-gundog, and some cats in 2013, then Jack another rescue GSD in 2015. Sadly she died in 2016 aged nearly 14, again supported well by holistic therapies.)
and, last but not least, Chris my (now retired) husband.
… what will the next years bring I wonder.
Following my intuition has really worked for me and led me into a very different life. Why don’t you give it a try too?