From the Blog:

Louise’s Testimonial

Many people would describe me as outgoing, confident, warm, loving and happy. I live a good life. However, throughout most of my life, since adolescence at least, I have felt at the mercy of my own emotions, mood swings and self-critical thoughts. This has usually manifested in anxiety that comes and goes, as well as prolonged periods of stress. All of this can be triggered by work, poor health and intimate relationships and strained friendships. 
About two years ago, as I approached my thirties, I realised I’ve been working towards goals that don’t, and won’t, make me happy. I set about making some changes in my career and was feeling ambitious and hopeful. Then the pandemic hit and I was locked down in a tiny flat with my partner, unemployed and feeling like I was trapped, at the mercy of feelings of shame, hopelessness and fear.

2020 forced me to reassess my approach to my own happiness and I set a New Years resolution for 2021 to try to be content with what I am and what I have. 

This wasn’t enough on its own and I didn’t really know where to start. It took me a while, but I was encouraged by a close friend and yoga teacher to start practicing yoga and mediation regularly and was encouraged to be consistent before I felt any change to my feelings or situation. I was sceptical and irregular in my commitment at first, and often felt guilty for not doing enough, but was interested to learn more and find connection. 

My friend put me in touch with Sara around March time and after watching a few of her free online guidance sessions on self compassion and mindfulness, I reached out to find out more about her six-week online mindfulness course. It was a game changer. Not only is Sara a great teacher and guides you through mindfulness and self care practice with no pressure or judgement, she is open, warm and gently coaches you to figure out some big things on your own terms. I completed the course with a new found and life long understanding on how to manage myself, my feelings and to bring myself joy and calm. 

One particular subject that sparked my interest the most was the concept of “the wanting mind” and how your negative desires and thoughts may derive from the protective aspects of our own Inner Child. 

I reached out to Sara to discuss further after some reflection on my own desires in life. Through our one to one work over time, I came to realise that I seek external gratification from others, whether they be romantic partners, friends, family or strangers and customers – this need to please others has been the driving force behind my successful hospitality career but also the cause of so much internal pain and struggle. I’ve always felt like I’m not enough, unless someone else tells me I am and even then I struggle to believe it. Rather than love, value and praise myself, I have been relying on the external world to determine my worth. 

We had two long coaching and mediation sessions planned in, the aim was to go deep into myself and find a connection with my Inner Child and the most vulnerable parts of myself, with the intention to build trust over time. It was very powerful work and I felt so open and hopeful. A few days after this initial connection I felt impatient for change and began to question the relationship I was in and how I could grow in the parameters of my living situation. I panicked. Sara knew exactly what to say and ask, and we adapted our following session to focus on addressing more pressing short term issues in my life and I gained an understanding of how to create my own sense of balance and meet my own needs rather than relying on my partner or anyone else. This work has not only re-formed my own understanding of myself, but has definitely benefited the relationship I’m in. 

My work with Sara has led me to understand my harsh judgements of myself and lack of self compassion. It’s made me work towards shifting my own daily internal monologue of unworthiness and shame. Through continued practice of self care, I am gradually making real changes to how I feel and how I speak to and see myself. I’m still figuring out all the things that make me feel myself but my life truly has changed with the following practices incorporated into how I care for myself. These include daily mediation each morning, practising regular yoga and at least weekly physical exercise, reading poetry for the first time in many years, regularly reminding myself of what I am grateful for with lists and affirmations, taking rest as and when I need it, and setting boundaries in my professional and personal lives. 
And while you will learn through mindfulness, calm, self care and compassion that consistency is everything, the biggest thing Sara has taught me and regularly reinforced is that: I am enough, I am doing enough, but I am enough even without the doing. My self worth and value in this life is determined only by me, not what I do or by what anyone else thinks. 

For this I will always be grateful. I urge you to get ready to makes some changes, to let some love in and to find some balance or equanimity for yourself. It’s work, but it’s worth it. 

Louise
Thanks xx 

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