Thoughts on the world, homeopathy, mindfulness and food...
A collection of blog posts - feel free to respond with your thoughts and comments - I love to have feedback - thank you!
Watching a video about David Bowie and the change, overcoming adversity and reinvention he undertook this morning inspired me to share a little of my story. I was 7 when I knew what I wanted to do with my life. I would be a vet. As I grew older this idea evolved further and by the time I was 17 I knew I wanted to be an equine acupuncturist, which meant I would study to be a vet, then study acupuncture (I don't think I was aware of specialist equine acupuncture courses back then and I was doing it the full way anyway). I realised, and recounting my story this weekend, I recalled the moment that I realised, that this was no longer my dream.
As I stood watching the vet, arm inserted to nearly shoulder, inside the horse, I realised that I was more interested in people. I was more interested in the owner than what was happening way up there. How was he responding, what was he thinking? So people it was to be. It was around the time I was filling in my UCAS form for university entries so it was a slightly interesting time to be making the decision to change, but change I did. It was the first time I remember feeling that passion, drive, knowing, burning excitement in my belly when I read the Psychology and Neuroscience prospectus at Manchester University. Other Psychology courses were interesting. But this was fascinating. Brains. Nerves. Interconnection. And the links between the two.
Friends of my parents tried to dissuade me. Being a vet would bring money, financial freedom, the good life. But I knew it wasn't for me. There was something different out there. I didn't know what it was, but knew this was the next step.
I went, worked hard and, aside from applying for information about homeopathy (I remember where I was reading that too - in my attic room where I stencilled the sunflowers and ivy), but realising I wasn't old enough (they wanted you to be 21 before you started studying), I didn't really know what I was going to do, really do with my life after uni. My dissertation supervisor encouraged me to look at doing a PhD, and whilst I was flattered and gave it an evening's thought, I realised that it wasn't the right path for me, so when the opportunity came to travel I did. Australia for a year. Good times. And some really tough times. Life I guess. Returning with a self esteem of 'pretty low' to 'could get lower' (and it would), I continued in the slightly 'what was I doing in that?!' relationship til finally realising enough was enough and left. I remember waiting in a stormy downpour, you know the ones, after the summer heat, for my sister to collect me so I could leave and get out of there.
It was from that place of what felt like rock bottom that I began my journey with homeopathy again - my mum thankfully pushed me to go as I was lacking motivation to do much (I must have been a bit of a nightmare and wouldn't leave the house by myself, I remember being so terrified one time I stood on a friend's doorstep and wet myself - it wasn't a fun time). I'd already used homeopathy for headaches and migraines, when, at 17 I'd ended up on beta blockers - which wasn't really ideal, and started the process of dealing with these more naturally. So I began to rebuild. I'd studied a diploma in reflexology, some Reiki whilst I'd done my degree, was always intrigued by essential oils, had done a degree in counselling and they were all interesting. But there was something, something just out of reach.
That, it turned out for me, was homeopathy. It connected so much. Like the neural networks we (well most of us at least) know so little about, the connections here too are immense. Looking at the world through a holistic lens instead of a reductionist one. Seeing how our behaviours can be shaped by our 'non-human song'. Seeing how one person will respond to a situation like this and seeing how another like that. Putting it together. Seeing the patterns in the people, in nature, in the world around us. Understanding we are nature, in so many ways more than we realise.
Thankfully my homeopath saw something (or maybe she just suggested homeopathy to everyone!) and suggested I might want to look deeper at what had brought me back to being able to go out again, to laugh again - to have full bladder control (or at least til after I was a parent ;) again). And so it began.
It wasn't easy. But it was amazing. And that fire? I felt that again. Studying alongside working full time, moving twice, getting married, having a baby, breastfeeding through College (she was just 17 days old when she was first in school), divorce, single parenting, actually the other way around, single parenting, divorce, moving again, with an increasing number of books and remedies! I supported us with work that made initially no sense to me, but each time taught me so much. I guess I did what I had to. As any mother does. And I realised through it, though I got taken off track several times, this, this is where my heart lies. This lights the passionate fire in my belly.
It's still not easy. I work hard and I don't get to make everyone better, though I would really like to. Looking through cases, it feels like around 70% of people get to much improved places. Maybe that's no longer needing medication they may have been on for years, not having chronic pain, migraines, headaches, constipation disappearing, depression or anxiety improving, sleep improving... or even just managing symptoms better. Getting through chemotherapy, radiotherapy with less symptoms than many, or helping their symptoms when they arise.
It still lights that fire. There is nothing like this stuff. For me. So I guess the moral of my story - if you've made it thus far, is if there's something that makes you feel this, go for it. Pursue the dream. Do the badly paid jobs that support you whilst you make it happen, keep going. Because you know what? It's amazing. Life is pretty awesome. And I think we get this one shot in this one body (that's a whole different blog..) but let's not be held back by someone saying there's more money elsewhere, that we should follow their dream. Go. Do. Live. Love.
I'm a Homeopath working in the Skipton (North Yorkshire) area. I am also able to offer food intolerance testing using Kinesiology and advice around diet and lifestyle.
Em Colley MARH, Practitioner of Classical Homeopathy
BSc(Hons) Psychology and Neuroscience
Laughter Yoga Leader
Focussed Mindfulness Practitioner
Dip (SNHS) Kinesiology
Dip (SNHS) Holistic Nutrition
Certificate in Whole Food, Plant Based Nutrition