Having grown up in the gorgeous city of Edinburgh and travelled to some amazing places, I have settled with my little family in a town called Peebles in the Scottish Borders. I love the space, the greenery, the fresh air, the community here and I love that my boys are growing up with all of this on their doorstep. But the city girl in me sometimes misses Edinburgh, the food culture, the beautiful buildings, the fun nights out (what are they again??).
A child of the 80s I grew up in a super-loving family.
My mum and dad worked bloody hard and created a life beyond many of our dreams. Due to their own challenging upbringings, their greatest desire in life was to provide myself and my brother and sister with security, love, education, and experiences. How they encouraged us to explore the world! My mum, a gypsy at heart, would sit with travel magazines and her cup of tea, dreaming up our next adventure. My dad, a true working class lad from Scotland, built his own business from nothing (expect my mum’s love and accounting savvy). He was forever dreaming and creating, weird and crazy inventions sitting on our kitchen worktops.
He received a patent for one of his designs in the 90s and I think it may have been one of our family’s proudest moments. Because, you see, it meant my dad’s mantra of ‘anything is possible once you set your mind to it’ was true. Ahhh, a blissful childhood. One that of course held arguments (I know my sister still has my favourite top), and disagreements, but it also held joy, love, inspiration, the feeling of belonging.
When I was 19 my dad suffered from a catastrophic breakdown.
From my very limited understanding of this it is when there is no light at the end of the tunnel.
He was prescribed some (now controversial) anti-depressants. Within 9 days he had committed suicide.
I was away at the time, travelling in Thailand. I hadn’t even known he was unwell and when I got back he had passed away the day before. Cue: unravelling. I continued with my uni, got my degree (how the feck I managed that I have no idea – I don’t remember much!!), and began a career in international development. Before my dad died it was likely that I was on track to end up in the financial sector – something which, deep down, I knew would suck my soul dry. I was a free spirit. I needed connection, people, love around me.
And so, in a large way dad passing away was my catalyst for taking the path that was most authentic for me.
Losing someone so monumental in your life can have a life-changing impact. It forced me to re-evaluate what was important and how I actually want to LIVE. And I realised that part of this was to live with purpose, to make a difference – to be the change I wish to see in the world (thanks for that one Ghandi, bit overused now but it is just SO GOOD).
During my time working in International development I had the privilege to work with some amazing organisations and beautiful people (inside and out), many of whom had very little but seemed so grateful and driven. I worked with teams all over the world on programme design, proposal development and grant management. It was exciting, it was meaningful, it expanded me and taught me so much about humanity. I met my husband whilst at work (yes we actually even sat across desks from each other at one point…. awkward…) and we shipped off to Afghanistan for a couple of years.
When we came back from that particularly crazy adventure, I felt a bit at sea. I had lost my own amazing mama before we went to Afghanistan (there’s no way she would have let that one fly) to a very unexpected stroke. She was only 58. I found myself looking around and wondering what the F this is all about.
But I just got on with things, and tried my best to bury these feelings away. Michael and I got married on a magical day by a loch – one of the only days in Scottish history when the sun shone gloriously and the temperature rose above 20 degrees. I had our first son that year and life was really pretty good. I went back to work. We then had our second son Angus in 2015 and our family was complete. I, on the other hand, was far from it.
Somewhere along the way, I lost myself.
I was diagnosed with postnatal depression and started treatment in the form of antidepressants (which I was terrified of) and counselling (bloody amazing).
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I had also been introduced to certified pure therapeutic grade essential oils by one of my close friends whilst pregnant with Angus and these proved critical in my recovery – in more ways than one.
It was a long journey back to me, one that is still ongoing as I realise we are never finished, but always learning, always evolving. After losing my dad to suicide I always knew that there would come a time when I would contribute to the work around raising awareness around mental health and wellbeing. In many ways I am grateful for having experienced post-natal depression because it woke me up. It broke me open and begged me to take a long hard look at the way I was living my life, at what I was missing that was right in front of me, and at the potential for amazing things in the future.
Having gone through this, one of the darkest nights of my soul, I am completely dedicated to supporting people to achieve wellness and ‘wellth’. We don’t need to feel exhausted, wrung out, intolerant, at the end of the tether, empty. Listen – I absolutely know it isn’t all picnics and rainbows but really, truly, your life - full of your greatest desires and imaginings - is within your reach.
I feel very much like this path chose me.
I have always been drawn to natural solutions and to holistic healthcare. I am totally inspired by those others leading the way in the Self-Care Revolution. And I LOVE to share this with others.
It is my dream that people all over the world can live to their full potential. That they can do what lights them up and makes them smile. And that they can then shine the light for others. I wish this especially for mamas who give so much and often run dry. It is not indulgent to take care of yourself. It is not selfish. It is necessary. We cannot pour from an empty cup – I’ve tried and trust me – it wasn’t pretty!
I would love for you to join me in the Self-Care Revolution and I look forward to meeting you when the time is right.
Love and light,