In 2005, my then boyfriend (now husband) who is half British and I emigrated to the UK, where he had spent many of his earlier years.
I was 30 years old.
A free bird, I closed down my successful bricks and mortar healing practice in my native Trinidad in search of bigger skies. But there was a crucial decision I made at that time that marked the beginning of the end of my former life…
I decided that my more dependable degree in the sciences was going to be the mainstay of my UK career.
I lunged headfirst into the respectable and comparatively mainstream world of administration in medicine and cancer research, and my healing practice became my side gig.
The years which followed were the pinnacle of my double life – the science-led career wired into my head, and my role as a powerful healer, intuitive and guide, wired into my heart.
But by 2011, my soul had had enough of my playing Dr Jeckyll and Mr Hyde.
I struggled through to the end of my pregnancy and a difficult birth until finally, one crisp morning in early spring, I crossed the threshold into motherhood. In the first hours, I was utterly mesmerised by the new and perfect, precious creation that had arrived.
In the days after however, I began noticing that I was inwardly reeling, drifting miles away from my new life as a mother and the capable, confident woman I knew myself to be. It was as if all the structures and labels that had given my life stability and meaning had vanished during her birth. With the sleepless nights and no family nearby for respite, I found myself in an amplified container of grief and loss of the past, and bewilderment and fear of what was happening in the now.
I was overwhelmed and didn’t have the words to articulate myself. I was overcome with a deep spiritual kind of exhaustion. I had lost my identity. I didn’t know who I was anymore. Being a new mum, I told myself that this was par for the course, but 6, 12, 18 months in, nothing had changed.
I was desperate to find a way out. I knew it wasn’t depression and the clinicians were just as bewildered as I was. They agreed. I wasn’t depressed.
Mostly everything at that time seemed hazy, except this:
The separation of being in this inner place of disconnection from myself and my life was so dreadful and painful that I was determined to do whatever it took to find myself again.
I knew that I needed to do it for myself, but also, I longed to be present to my baby, my husband, family, and clients, and enjoy this new phase of my life.
As it turned out, that was exactly what life wanted for me too. Except there was a pact that I needed to fulfil in order that I could have myself and my life back again.
Slowly but surely, I came to see that life was asking that I:
It took a couple years of being lost to myself, to make me appreciate the beauty, majesty, radiance, capability and completeness I AM.
My dark night of the soul was life’s way of making me sit up straight and realise that, not being myself for fear of not being good enough, ridiculed, rejected or whatever other fears made me believe I could exist beneath the parapet leading two completely separate lives, wasn’t going to cut it anymore.
I wasn’t being fully honest with myself or the world, and my playing small served no one.
Life’s vision for me was deceptively simple:
Life was asking that I believe in and BE myself.
And so, with all the courage I could muster, deep introspection and the love, encouragement and support of amazing colleagues, I began to see my life’s purpose being refined before my eyes.
My dark night of the soul was an inner spiritual crisis. It pushed me to release my fears and claim powerful personal qualities, traits and aspects of my work, that previously, I was too scared to own.
Far from being unique however, what I have learned is that my story is a universal one about the resilience, wisdom and courage of the human soul. In addition to childbirth and motherhood, life is capable of orchestrating an infinite number of powerful life experiences such as bereavement, a promotion, redundancy, health-scare, trauma or divorce to wake you up to your full potential – if that is what you choose.
Fast forward several years later and having turned this personal challenge into triumph, I am now in the very privileged position of helping clients experiencing their own dark night of the soul, find themselves and rebuild more authentic, sustainable and meaningful lives. Many are outwardly successful but have lost their confidence. Like I was, they are struggling to cope with a major life event, feel disconnected, lost and are wrestling with deep unhappiness and pain.