|Image courtesy of Mad Kitty Media - and you can buy the print here!|
I've been wanting to share this story for a while now, but just as I like to give a skincare product a lengthy trial before I review it, I wanted to make sure that I was really in a position to recommend this experience to you. Between January and March this year, I worked with Jo Wren, a coach who specialises in helping her clients to listen to and trust their inner voice. When our time together ended in March, I felt on top of the world and believed I could achieve anything. And as I sit here today, I know that's possible. Last week, I left the job that was making me miserable and I'm taking some time out to explore new possibilities. At Christmas, the very idea of this terrified me, but right now, I'm as happy as I've ever been. All because I listened to my heart, and acted on what I heard.
So, here's the story of how it all happened:
In December last year, I found myself feeling pretty low. I was deeply unhappy at work, a few of my good friends were leaving London, and my first 'relationship' since splitting up with my ex was on very rocky ground. Life had started to feel as though it was happening to me, rather than me playing an active role in it, and I realised that I had absolutely no idea how to take control of things and get myself back on track. Even worse, I wondered if I even had a track to get back onto! I missed my family and friends back home in Manchester, and yet I was in the process of buying a flat over 250 miles away in Surrey, to build a life within commuting distance of a job I loathed. Smart, hey?
On one particularly rainy Monday, after spending all day arguing with the guy I'd been seeing, we agreed to go our separate ways, and I called one of my best friends to share just how low I felt. We talked for a while, and eventually, he asked if he could set up a call for me with the life coach he'd been working with to see if she could help. I'd never thought that working with a coach would be right for me, but I remember thinking in that moment that whatever I was doing just wasn't working, and so I said 'yes' to his offer. The call was set for the following evening, and I spent the next 24 hours anxiously wondering whether I made the right decision. After that first skype session with Jo, I felt inspired, uplifted and intrigued, but despite this, there were two big questions in my mind:
1. Three months was the minimum amount of time that we could work together, and all I could think was 'how will we possibly fill three months?' I was thinking more like three weeks! (I can't believe how naive I was, looking back!)
2. The cost was £1500, and I worried it was a frivolous investment (I dread to think how dwarfed this figure would be if I added up everything I've ever spent on clothes and makeup!)
As I look back, at the end of my journey and feeling utterly fantastic about life, I can answer those questions in two words:
Working with Jo brought about instant results. I quickly learned to stop rationalising away every feeling, and I started to embrace things I'd previously sought to disregard. Making big decisions became much easier, and I pulled out of the flat purchase, accepting that after ten years in London, I'm ready to start moving towards a return to the north. Professionally, I worked hard to effect change at work, but felt confident in my decision to leave and look for something better, rather than to stay in what was one of the most negative environments I've ever found myself in. My relationships with friends and family have become so much more fulfilling, and despite years of yoga and meditation practice, I finally feel able to tune out the noise and live completely for the moment. Life really is too short to do anything else.
I'm careful not to say that I feel like a 'new person' because I'm more 'me' than I've ever been. I know now that the only thing I needed to change was my ability to listen to myself and acknowledge what is important to me. I feel empowered and alive in a way that I couldn't have anticipated. In the past, I would've called the decisions I've made recently courageous: now I know that the best way to describe them is that they are 'right'. Fear holds us back from so many things, but if you know what's in your heart, making change feels like less of a risk.
Nothing in my environment has changed, but how I respond to it has. That is all thanks to Jo's wisdom and uncanny insight. Working with her has been a wonderful gift, and a truly worthwhile investment in the person I've always wanted to become, but never realised was already there.
You can find Jo at www.jowren.com/coaching, and if you have any more questions about my experience, please feel free to leave them in the comments below or email me here.