The Rat Race to Retreats
As I lay tossing and turning in bed on yet another sleepless Sunday night, stressing about the week ahead a thought went through my head – what is my life all about?
You may have gathered from that statement that I was unhappy in my job – but the reality was actually very different, I loved my job. I had put many years of loyalty and dedication, plus much hard work into getting what was the perfect job for me, as an Education Executive for a cosmetic company. Each and every day was different and interesting and I was constantly learning about subjects that interested me such as Natural Ingredients from the land and sea, what they were and how they could benefit us not only in lotions and potions but on our mind and spirit as well. So, you may ask what made me walk away?
Things had not been quite so sunny a couple of years previously when out of the blue I started getting hideous headaches, which quite literally felt like a clamp tightening around my head and sent me to my bed. After numerous sick days and doctors visits, two things happened almost consecutively, I saw a different doctor – who correctly diagnosed that I was clenching my jaw so tight I was pulling the muscles around my head and giving myself the headaches – and my then boss enquired as to whether I had considered that I may be a little depressed? As soon as she said it to me it was like a flood gate opening and I just cried and cried with the realisation that what she said was so true. I cannot tell you how it happened or why it happened but the fact was IT HAD HAPPENED!!!!
On the road to recovery there were many different stages, from panic attacks in social situations to an inability to leave the house; to thinking I was getting better and not realising I was fluctuating between being manic one day and so down the next day. But the main thing was I felt so alone, as if I was different from everyone else. I used to question whilst out with my friends ‘What’s wrong with me? Why can everyone else just be having fun and I’m having a panic attack?’
I was and am very lucky in that I have fabulous family and friends, however very few seemed to understand. I tended to categorise the people around me into three groups: 1. The Sympathisers, actually the best people to be around as they just let me talk and offered cuddles and distraction 2. The fixers, they would try to tell me how to fix my situation, some in an aggressive manner, even though they had no clue as to what I was actually going through and 3. The Pretenders, who were basically appalled if I was to bring up such a subject as psychological health, so pretended it wasn’t happening.
Through all of this time I refused to go on medication, however in a very privileged way, through my companies’ private healthcare, I was under the care of a fantastic psychotherapist. I started seeing him maybe a couple of times a week, then as I felt better, once a week, then less and less as time went by – until one day I had to cancel an appointment, and I never made another one !!! Although he helped me considerably over the year that I saw him, the one thing that I will always be forever grateful for was his insistence that I needed to learn to breathe properly and should therefore take up yoga.
I started taking lessons a couple of times a week at my local gym and loved it, then unfortunately the schedule changed and I could not make any of the classes, so I bought some DVD’s and continued
my practice at home. It was at the end of a Yogalates™ DVD, that I happened to notice that they ran home study training in the Soloman Yogalates™ Method, although this was put to the back of my mind as life continued as normal.
A year went by, as fast as they do, and I found myself getting ready for New Years Eve’s celebrations, shall we just say I peaked a little too early that night, I basically got so drunk, so early , I can’t remember the night, but it was the catalyst that changed my life!! It made me ask that question – What is my life all about?
I was bored!!! A lot of my real friends were married with kids and I was going around with a younger and younger crowd who had years of partying ahead of them, but I had done all that and I was just bored of it!!! So what did I want my life to be all about? What did I want to do? As I lay there in my bed, I realised that I wanted to move back to Mallorca, where I had lived when I was younger and travelled to every year on holiday– It was my happy place and I loved it there, but how?
I called it ‘Project Me’ and within five days I had handed it my notice at work and instructed an estate agent to find a tenant for my house – I won’t say it wasn’t scary because it was, leaving behind all that was secure, my family and friends, however I was so excited it simply overpowered any fear. It was at this stage, as I worked my notice and packed up my house that I remembered the Yogalates™ Training Course. I knew that in Mallorca I would probably have to do bar or restaurant work, but I also know that I didn’t want to that forever, so I started to enquire further. I learnt that you needed to do five months of home study and then 2 months Training with Louise Soloman in Byron Bay in Australia to complete the course, which had always been a place I has wanted to visit.
My arrival in Mallorca coincided with two full weeks of rain, I couldn’t believe it!!! I was cold, stuck inside, missing my friends and family………and then like magic the sun came out, and my new life began. I got a job in a bar and the owner and other girls became like my second family, we all did everything together that summer– beach days, shopping trips, nights out and got invited out on boats- it really was the best time of my life. The summer whizzed by and in the September I started my home study course in Soloman Yogalates™ cramming during the day and working at nights.
It was with a huge amount of excitement and nerves that I took three months off from my job and decided to combine the necessary completion of my studies in Byron Bay, Australia with a once in a lifetime mini round the world trip, seeing as many friends and family as possible on route in England, Dubai, Sydney, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Florida- what a trip!!! At times it was lonely, but being on my own for much of that period of time, especially as I was absorbed in studying Yoga, again allowed me to evaluate my life and I came back slimmer, fitter and calmer than I had ever been.
My return to my beloved Mallorca was in May 2008 and I started teaching straight away, with open classes and private sessions in clients own homes, which I have been doing ever since. I am at present the only certified Soloman Yogalates™ Teacher/Trainer in the whole of Spain. Two years ago I realised another dream and ran my first Yogalates™ Retreat here in Mallorca, and very excitedly I have two more organised for 2013. In getting here I thank many people, my family and friends for telling me to go for it; my old company for opening up the realms of the mind, body and spirit connection and my interest in natural ingredients; and my psychotherapist for his insistence on my taking up yoga.
I believe that my life is on the right course now. I love and appreciate Mallorca so much and feel so lucky that I can get up on any morning and take a walk along a beach, hike up a mountain or practise my Yogalates™ outside looking out to sea – and it is the beauty and serenity of this wonderful island, plus the powerful stress relieving and toning properties of Yogalates™ that I want to share with others at my retreats in 2013.