I was 25. Everything was wrong.  Personal relationships, where I lived, worked, my health. Everything.  I was stuck in a tangled knot of miserable traps I had somehow unwittingly set for myself.

A lady I worked with talked me into joining her on a Tarot Reading course.  I went along for a laugh, and found a group of wonderfully warm and welcoming women who wouldn’t have dreamt of laughing at me.  Every class began with a seated meditation, which sent a nerve in my neck into spasm!

With my pride, ego, and neck in pain it was clear something big had shifted and I was ready to explore.  The tarot course taught me to seek to understand what I see with my intuition and an open mind.  To be ready to receive guidance from within.

It was a short hop-skip-and-jump to Kundalini Yoga, and then on to coaching.

I went to every yoga class and workshop, website and magazine I could.  I read a heap of self help, personal development books and began working with coaches.

So what really changed?  I fell down the rabbit hole of self discovery, self love, compassion and acceptance.  I discovered how meditation can change how I feel and understand everything going on in my life.

I realised that as a free spirted, and sometimes lone, wolf I could make these practices my own.

There was no one telling me what I had to do to be right (I didn’t go back to those teachers!)

I learnt that my happiness is key to everything that happens in my life.  It isn’t selfish to put my needs first and doing this actually helps me help and serve others better than if I am putting everyone else first and my life is a mess.  That is just inefficient!

By putting my happiness first I could begin to untangle the knots.  Bit by bit.  Making small changes allowed me to create bigger and more fulfilling shifts in my life. I can focus my energy and achieve what I want!

I couldn’t see that in the beginning.  I needed the help of the yoga and coaching to really understand and take control of my mess.  Now I love that mess for all it has given me.

10 years on I live in a beautiful part of the world with nature all around.  I love my work as a yoga instructor and life coach.  My son is a healthy and high spirited toddler that gets to play in muddy fields with the sheep.  Apart from my true friends and family, in every way my life is almost unrecognisable to how it was. I am happy.

There are still things on my wish list I am working on.  I still rely on my yoga, mediation, coaching, and the odd tarot card to help keep me focused and sane.  These are joyful practices now.  They are building on solid foundations.  They are flexible, allowing me to change track when new opportunities present themselves or something isn’t what I thought it would be.

They are loving, inclusive, compassionate, always supportive, and they have a sense of adventure and fun.

So, I have three simple suggestions to get you started; and would like to ask you…

1.What might happen if you stopped for 10 minutes.  Closed your eyes, and just breathed? Try it!  If you dont have 10 minutes or find it uncomfortable start with 10 simple breaths.  Count them to help focus your mind from distractions.  Then try a couple of minutes and see how you get on.

2. What might happen if you committed to change one bad habit this week? Make a list of a few ‘bad habits’ or negative patterns of behaviour. Smoking, drinking too much?  Laughing at other people? Getting sucked into work politics?  Feeling obliged to fix things for other people when you are depleted and tired yourself?  And now pick one to challenge yourself with this week.  You don’t have to conquer the world or your whole list in a week.  Just try combatting one thing you do that bothers you and see what happens.  Explore the challenge.  Don’t beat yourself up if you fail.  Try again if you want to, or pick another one from your list.

3. In what ways could you be more loving, compassionate and forgiving to yourself? If you are stuck ask yourself “what small things make me happy?” Again make a list and commit to at least one thing this week.  Then repeat!

And always remember this if you feel dispondent or bored…..quote of the week border

With lots of love

Charlotte xx

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