WORDS BY CLARE JOHNS
Do we really hear our inner knowing?
During this strange time we find ourselves in I think we can all agree that a certain amount of reflection has been on the cards for most of humanity. Dealing with a host of emotions, feelings, challenges and re-adjustments. Not just in our working lives but also our personal. Our world seems to be in a time of shift and change. So below, I react on a shift and change. I have experienced in the lead up to lock down and share my experience and findings with you here. Perhaps some of it will resonate and offer a path of connection into your own soul whispers.
18 years ago I followed a calling. I quit my A-levels before I’d finished them and I went to train as a Beauty Therapist. It was great. I was so in love with what I’d chosen to do. I still look back on it and just beam. It was a career path which lent itself to raising my baby boy alongside work. Although it was hard, I loved it all. I worked for great salons and went through training with some of the most iconic beauty houses out there. My favourite being ESPA. I didn’t know it at the time but this training was a huge opening for me spiritually and would be an influence that serves everything I do to this day through my love of holistic and soulful products and therapies. The feeling I got from connecting with my clients was incredible. To make a person feel better about themselves, to soothe a person’s stress, to encourage a healing to occur either in a relaxing treatment or a painful waxing session was a skill I possessed and I loved allowing this to play out in my service. In 2010 I’d had enough of lining others’ pockets and the entrepreneur came out in me. I rented my own space, made it pretty, wrote a business plan and worked myself silly to make it work. But my baby was only 5, I didn’t drive, I was parenting alone and it got too much to pay rent and bills on two properties and keep up with everything. I had to give it up after just less than a year. There we had it. I’d failed. Que the shame, the guilt, the destructive thoughts. I closed the page on it and told myself I wasn’t cut out for running my own business. I was in a bad way mentally, spiritually and physically. It was an exceptionally low point in my life and I just did not have the support. Not from my surroundings or most importantly, from myself. I was very lost.
As time went on, I survived for a while. Barely living and battling depression and a generally low vibration. It wasn’t an enjoyable time. But along the journey I had connected with several wonderful humans who came in as friends I met during training and even a handful I met as clients plus a few I’d known since school. Their presence was always a healing force and gently, over time I began to slowly allow myself to accept their love and support. Always the hustler I had by this time continued to work as a therapist from home and dipping in and out working for salons. Because, of course, I’d told myself I couldn’t run my own show. But the hustle was becoming tiresome. I’d feel tired after not even working for many hours and I was confused. How could I be feeling so drained for just seeing a few clients? You see we can feel physically tired and we can feel soul tired. Noticing the difference would be a powerful insight as to what I needed to pay attention to.
I had begun practising yoga around 2012 and also running. I trained myself to run half marathons and I was progressively finding my own strength and peace within. It was lovely and I was feeling happy most of the time. But still work and some social situations would drain me out. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. It was a niggle that kept whispering. My solution was to drink through it. As long as I had a glass of prosecco I wouldn’t have to face the reality.
Despite the drinking, I began to invest my time more in healing practices. Learning about plants, healing in nature, becoming more reflective. It helped and provided me with tools to feel better. Interestingly, as these practices featured more in my life, I noticed shifts in other areas. Over time, friendships seemed to shift and fall away. I was beginning to see that some of the energies I was surrounded by were not serving to me anymore. I wont lie it was a strange time. I felt guilty for moving away from people but also couldn’t remain there. It was like we just didn’t fit anymore, and I had to learn to notice where I felt most at peace and allow myself to remain there more than to tend to the urge to please others. My beauty career had given me many gifts but one element of it was becoming more and more clear to be the culprit of the unrest. The niggle. The whisper that began to become more and more of a big loud bang on the door of my consciousness. I was over serving. I was inherently un-boundaried within my giving and I was in dangerous waters. Over time I began to resent my work. Dreading my first client arriving, feeling desperate at times. I knew I didn’t want to do beauty anymore, but I just didn’t know how to escape. It all became fickle to me. I didn’t connect with it and I began to hate having my space invaded with client after client each day. I was suffocating in misalignment and over giving. It’s nobody’s fault or wrong- doing, I had just spent so many years operating from a place where I didn’t know how to honour myself or my boundaries. What was happening was probably the most uncomfortable time of my life. In hindsight these feelings of discomfort were as sign of healing, growth and evolution.
The divine discovery that I was an empath, Reiki and the miracle of plant medicine.
Towards the end of my beauty career, alongside the spiritual exhaustion I was feeling I was also experiencing physical signs from my body that I needed to slow down. Many years of firm pressure massage were beginning to take their toll on my wrists. It was affecting my yoga practice and my ability to work. Repetitive strain injury some would call it. I truly believe it was just another knock on the door from my soul. Each time I would push my wrists to carry out another massage treatment I’d be faced with the message that I needed to keep my hands still. I began to incorporate a stilling of my hands in some treatments with willing participants and soon noticed that channelling the healing energy was creating a far more effective shift in the body and mind of the client (and me) than beating away at their sore, tight muscles. The pieces were beginning to fit together.
I had been having reiki treatments for years at this point and had completed my first training in around 2013. I always felt that my abilities were strong but didn’t quite tap into them for many reasons. I was worried what people might think. The more I was being led to slow down, the more I was tapping into this ability. In turn this taught me lots about myself with regards to the fact I was extremely emphatic. It made sense as I had spent my days connecting so deeply with client after client. Most appointments would be more like counselling sessions than centred around the physical beauty needs. My skills in beauty therapy seemed to take an autopilot role whilst a deeper need was being met. The problem here was that I was unaware for so long that this was occurring so naturally that I was absorbing everything. Literally taking on other people’s problems, moods and energy and holding them in my body and mind. No wonder I was so exhausted. One time when I was experimenting with a little reiki on a friend I literally experienced her hot flush in my body. My eyes were closed and reiki was flowing and all of a sudden I was dripping with sweat. It was a physical sign and a real eye opener.
You can read a little more about reiki on my website… thelittleholistickitchen.com/therapies
I decided to go and complete my second qualification last summer and it opened up so much understanding for me. It taught me how to protect myself from absorbing energy that doesn’t belong to me and confirmed to me that I needed to be away from one to one human appointments all day every day.
As I made the big, brave step toward leaving my role as a therapist I was met with such resistance. So many questions, judgements and doubters. Literally every opinion was thrown at me from all manner of points of view and quitting my job was one of the heaviest experiences I’ve had to date. It was like breaking up with hundreds of boyfriends at once. But I soon learnt that I trusted myself more than the opinions of others and began to muster up the compassion that people were just having their own reactions to change. As we all do.
During the glorious time that unfolded after my last ever day as a therapist, I was finally free to explore the wonders of energy work on my terms and throw myself into my work with my beloved essential oils that had always featured in my work and life. This led me to meet some very wonderful people and I honestly feel surrounded by light these days. I found my affinity with the divine plant medicine of ceremonial Cacao, I found time and space for creativity, to create an online space (my own website!!) to unlock places in me I hadn’t realised I was allowed to journey to. To take my time, learn new skills and discover a whole new world of business, revenue streams, content creation and collaborative, soulful connections. With special mention to Southwood Social Hub and Lisa Pauley Rise and Bloom Essential Collective. A dream come true that is still just beginning to unfold. I’m sure any entrepreneur can relate to coming face to face to face with doubt. It’s how we move through it and learn new mental pathways that is important.
This journey unfolds on a daily basis. I have so much to be thankful for that I listened to my soul’s whispers. No matter how long it may of taken to implement change it has truly led me to true wholeness within myself. It has led me home.
If you resonate with any of my experiences here or would like to learn more about healthy energetic boundaries, self-care, soul work and plant allies you can subscribe to my website. My aim is to always create my content at a pace that it unfolds naturally for me, but my passion is to help others based on my own experiences. So stay tuned.
Sending love to all xx