“I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath
Scared to rock the boat and make a mess
So I sat quietly, agreed politely
I guess that I forgot I had a choice
I let you push me past the breaking point
I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything”
- Katy Perry, ‘Roar’
This post has been brewing for a while, percolating in my body at a cellular level, needing to be told. 2016 has been one of the hardest years of my life – not the worst, but involved so many swift changes that I am only now just catching my breath. This has also been the case for many of my nearest and dearest, and as much as I would love to quote astrological reasoning’s, in my case I feel it had been a long time coming.
Amazingly, I’ve been able to stay focused on you, my beautiful audience and coach my clients with all the presence I was able to muster from the depths of my soul. When you’re an industry leader or someone’s mentor, it can be hard to step into vulnerability and admit – “I’m human, I make mistakes, I have no idea what I’m doing either”. It hasn’t been the kick ass year for my business I had envisioned, no TV appearances or as many live events as I had planned, but I’ll acknowledge that the old needed to leave to make way for the new.
In March, I left my partner of six years and husband for two. It had become so very evident to me that we were wildly moving into very different directions and energetic vibrations. I deserved better, and quite frankly, so did he. I’m often asked why I stayed so long if I was unhappy, and the truth is encapsulated by one word: fear. Fear of being single, of never having children, of my financial situation, of being with him, of being without him, having to move, who would have custody of our fur baby etc etc etc.
I remember hearing of business coach Jenn Scalia’s story of divorce and financial debt. She took her son, and moved in with her parents. After being down and out for some time, she pulled herself out of the hole and created an empire that now earns six figures. Something in this tale really resonated with me on a deep level, and it also struck the fear of goddess in me… I did not want to lose it all. I was content with a life that looked stunning on Instagram, but felt hollow in the flesh. I knew that on some level that would be me one day, but I ignored that little voice inside, too afraid to play big and step into my power.
All women I speak to when they are breaking up from a relationship tell me that on some level, they knew this was not the right person for them. Denial is a very handy tool that our ego loves to use to keep us safe in the short term, stuck in the long term. It’s terrifying for me to think that so many women stay through physical and verbal abuse, drug and alcohol addiction or even just completely different value systems for years, decades or the rest of their natural life. I also stayed because I didn’t think I deserved any better. Yep, The Nourishing Goddess, preacher of self-love, thought “maybe this is as good as it gets”.
It didn’t get better though. I then went straight from the frying pan, into the fire by moving in with a man shortly after arriving in London. When you’re starved of affection, attention and appreciation, as Katy Perry sings “I stood for nothing, so I feel for everything”. What started out as a passionate and intense courtship, turned into my greatest lesson in life thus far. I would never advise a client to enter a serious relationship straight after leaving a marriage – ever. I still can’t explain to myself why I did, other than it felt right, it felt destined. People in spiritual circles talk about soul contracts, two people who make an agreement with each other before even meeting. We could talk for hours about any subject, he made me feel like the most beautiful woman alive and was on a very similar path to me – or so it seemed.
I’ve never blogged about this before, because as mentioned, I’m still desperately searching inside to find out how things got out of hand so quickly. Soon I was being asked to cook three meals a day, and yelled at or admonished if it wasn’t the case. The pressure being placed on me financially was absurd, and it felt as though my clients were paying for his lavish choices. The constant fighting that eventually became par for the course and alcohol abuse on his behalf was reminding me all too much of my failed marriage. It took him physically shaking my head with anger, because he didn’t like how I had spoken to a driver as we crossed to the road, for me to become fed up. How had this become my life?!
This was not the clean break I had needed. This was not the life of health, wealth and love I envisioned. My nervous system was shot, and anxiety attacks were occurring on a daily basis. I grabbed the bull by the horns, and moved out. Admitting this failure to myself was hard, I had really wanted this to work out, as so many women do. Admitting that many lines I had never allowed a man to cross had been crossed. How could I possibly call myself a Wellness Coach and advocate of women, if I had allowed this to become my reality?
To make matters worse, I desperately wanted to go home to Sydney and recover from everything. There were no flights home for nearly three weeks as Londoner’s were all flying over during school holidays. I cannot express my gratitude enough to all the friends who opened their homes, couches and spare beds to me during that time. My worst nightmare had finally come to pass: I was broke, getting divorced and fleeing the most toxic relationship of my life. I told this to a soul sister of mine who said, “congratulations, you’ve lived through your worst fear and survived”. This realisation hit me like a lightning bolt – this was a gift in disguise. Even diamonds need immense pressure to be created, and this was my baptism by fire.
So here I am, living with my parents now and feeling like the phoenix who has risen from the ashes. I’ve found a strength inside myself that I never knew existed, and can feel a much richer, more rewarding life slowly taking shape before me. Self-love and my emotional and physical wellbeing have taken centre stage, as I walk my talk more than I ever have before. Once again, the gratitude I feel to my Sydney tribe cannot be expressed more deeply, as I have discovered who my true friends are. There are those who have loved, supported, listened and advised me for hours on end. There are those who have betrayed, judged, lost interest or connection with me. Rather than approach these changes with fear, I feel blessed for learning the truth of where I stand.
It is my hope that my story will inspire those of you in an unhappy, abusive or toxic relationship to really reflect on your hearts desires. I no longer want to attract angry men who abuse alcohol – this prototype has well and truly cleared from my life. Each day my aim is to become more gentle and loving of myself, with the knowledge that this will come back to me tenfold.
I'd love to hear from you in the comments below, as I finally take the leap into sharing my truth with you, beautiful goddess.
In love and gratitude