“What goes around comes around,” the quote says. It’s interesting how life keeps repeating some chapters until we learn the lessons we need to learn.
I’m clearly still learning…
I first started writing the Surplice of Spirit blog (The First Edition) in 2008, after two years of training as a reiki practitioner and holistic massage therapist in London. I was fascinated by what I was learning and the blog gave me the perfect outlet to share it.
At the time, I was also working in a full time, crazy busy public relations role for one of the world’s largest media companies. The more full on that role became, the more I was drawn to the world of holistic therapies. It provided solace. A retreat from the 24×7 digitally connected world, and a much needed re-connection with myself.
The seeds had been planted long ago
I had been fascinated by personal development since reading Stephen Covey’s book, the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People when I was about 18. It felt completely natural when my curiosity led me to explore subjects like astrology, tarot, numerology, crystals, mythology, psychology and pretty much every self-help book I could get my hands on.
Then came the energy work. I can’t remember how I became fascinated with Reiki, but I did – and I completed Level 1 and 2 workshops in Usui Reiki one cold UK winter during my 4-year stint there. I loved that I could feel the energy coursing through my body, and out of my hands. And more importantly, that it was helping whomever was receiving that energy.
But I was skeptical. Or more to the point, I was skeptical in advance of everyone else’s perceptions of Reiki. I felt that it was a bit too ‘woo woo’ for public consumption and general acceptance. I felt like a fraud, because I didn’t know much about anatomy and physiology, and therefore had no idea of what was going on with the client when I felt heat or cold, or denseness or light.
So I decided to study holistic massage. That opened my eyes to an entire new world. I learnt about the importance of exercise and nutrition for peak physical performance and disease mitigation. I learnt numerous techniques to detect and relieve tension in the body. Hundreds of hours of holistic and seated massages later, I felt like Reiki and massage were a powerful healing combination.
I also learnt about mindfulness and meditation, and began to explore the relationship between mind, body and spirit.
A move back to Australia and a slight change of focus
Having been a professional marketer by day for over 10 years at that point, one of the other massive realisations I had, was that massage therapists were really not taught how to market their holistic therapies businesses
My idea to combine my personal and professional passions, and develop marketing workshops for holistic therapists brewed in my thoughts for about six months. At the same time, I was desperately homesick and really started to feel the distance between the UK and my family back in Australia.
In June 2008, I moved to Brisbane and started a marketing consulting business called Revive Holistic Marketing. I designed and delivered workshops and networking events, mainly for massage therapists. This work connected me with other therapists and key industry associations. I wrote for industry journals and did the odd bit of seated massage on tradeshow booths. I still believe that the corporate wellness market is massive, and largely untapped.
After a couple of years of working as a solopreneur on Revive, I felt like I was going a bit crazy. Working off the dining room table in my one-bedroom apartment pretty much broke every rule about best practice in working from home. It felt like it was time to head back into a bigger company and be part of a team again.
Another few twists and turns in the path
I found a full time marketing role at a local software company, which developed salon management software for hair and beauty salons. It was sort of related to what I had been doing and it allowed me to tap back into my technology marketing experience.
Over the next couple of years I moved companies another two times, although I stayed in the technology marketing space. I all but pushed holistic therapies to the side. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe in it all – it just hadn’t worked out the way I had envisaged.
It felt like I started to get back into crazy busy, 24×7 digitally connected roles, most notably as the marketing communications and PR manager for one of Australia’s largest software companies.
After a couple of years in that role, it happened by chance that I came across a marketing role for Endeavour College of Natural Health. As soon as I saw the ad, I knew I needed to go for it. Some part of me knew that THAT was the sort of environment I needed to be in – a place where I could combine my passions for lifelong learning, holistic therapies and marketing!
As soon as I accepted the role at Australia’s largest provider of natural health education, my passion for holistic therapies came flooding back. I started to think about reviving my Surplice of Spirit blog. And I decided I wanted to get back into energy work – specifically Reiki-infused crystal healing.
There’s a huge sense of deja vu for me at the moment. Certainly the circumstances are different, but there are huge parallels between this part of my journey into holistic therapies and the first part.
More than I ever, I believe we are all seeking ways to feel better; to feel more in control of our lives; to find balance and cope with stress; to experience connection, quietness and peace in a world that can sometimes feel anything but connected, quiet and peaceful. I also believe that Reiki, crystal healing and other forms complementary therapies can help us in this regard, and truly enhance our wellbeing.
And so the next chapter for me and energy work has begun.
At work, I am surrounded by expert academics and students who are all passionate about complementary therapies. I truly believe we are educating our students to become tomorrow’s leaders in natural health.
Out of business hours, I now offer Reiki and crystal healing treatments and create magical crystal gifts, and continue to learn more about all forms of energy work and deeper levels of personal development.
I invite you to follow along on this blog, and hopefully gain some insights that will help you on your own path.