Finding my authentic self has been almost a lifelong journey so far. I have had many experiences which have led me to explore the questions : Who am I? Why am I here? and… Am I really happy? My answers to each of these questions I found through writing my book. You will find your answers to similar questions by reading, Are You Really Happy? Understanding Ourselves.
As a child, I was ostracised and bullied at school because I was ‘different’. Through my enforced isolation I created a world of safety in aloneness. I learnt to be self reliant, and not to compromise who I am to get the acceptance of others.
At 17, stunned by the death of my beloved grandmother, the break-up of my first relationship, my best friend moving away and my dog dying, I had a nervous breakdown and was admitted to a mental institution, where I stayed for 3 months, diagnosed with acute schizophrenia. This was the beginning of my journey of awakening, as I learnt to understand my acute psychic sensitivity and how it had been having a severe impact upon my life.
Over the following two years I stabilised from having my breakdown but emotional, mental and physical overload kept building and at 32 years old, I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I was totally burnt out, my body’s functioning was breaking down, I thought I was going to die. I gave away all my belongings, left Sydney and moved to Byron Bay where alternative healing is a feature of the local culture.
Looking for clues to why my life had been such a struggle, I began to write. As I wrote, more information wanted to come through. So, I made a date with destiny. On the days I feel well enough, I sat at my computer and wrote whatever came into my head. In six weeks I had an outline for my book, Are You Really Happy? It took ten years of writing and refining to bring it to it’s first publication in 2004. Every time I wrote a new draft it put me through more hoops of personal learning and growth – all good.
The book is a distillation of all the techniques I used to recover from the chronic physical, mental, emotional and spiritual dysfunction I had suffered from for years. I believe we do not have to be satisfied with learning how to manage an illness. We have within us the potential to be totally well…and happy.
I have healed from various mental illnesses, manic depression, disassociation disorder, multiple personality disorder, post traumatic stress disorder and a whole range of chronic physical illness, including gall stones, scoliosis (crookedness of the spine), a very toxic liver, an ulcerated oesophagus, hernia, sinus, food intolerances, nervous dyspepsia and uplift hip (one leg shorter than the other) and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I manage my wellness and health by listening to my body. I still don’t always get it right but I’m human and open to learning.
I have worked in the electronics industry. I am a ballroom dancer and teacher, I perform stand-up poetry and comedy, I play music, I write, draw, paint and design. I am a spiritual counsellor, healer and teacher, but what I do best is being me. It’s a whole lot of fun and it’s always an adventure.
I suppose if there is a name for what I do and who I am, it would be:
A modern day Shaman. (I’ve learnt how to live my life for the fun of it!)