I was very much focussed on being exclusively individual before I came to study and be a student of Universal Medicine. All I cared about was myself. I wasted money while not caring about anyone else. Now my life has completely turned around to one that is re-learning to be a life of love; one that is developing to be deeply loving, deeply caring of myself and humanity… a truly joyful, amazing, incredible, truly charitable, giving back to the community way of living.
Looking back on my life – and I’ll stay with the more recent times, say the past 10 or 11 years – I just wanted to be recognised and seen as being a great yoga teacher, or a famous artist. I might have thought I cared about other people. Yet – if you had asked me at the time – I would have said I did. That was how far gone I was, but truth be told, it was all for “Look at me out the front of the class, look at what I can do with my body, look at how good my art is.” I fed on the recognition, the pictures, ideals and beliefs. I thought I had to be a certain way to fit in.
During this period I also worked in the health and wellbeing industry as a fitness instructor, and you would assume those in a caring, health profession really cared for other people. It may look like that on the outside, and we might believe that we do, but in my experience, many don’t: it’s all built on recognition. How good do I look, my body is better than yours, being recognised for having a great ‘looking’ body, how many clients do I have, how many people come to my classes, how much money am I making? Me, me me: recognition, recognition, recognition.
Same as when I was involved in the art world. There was no making art to serve a purpose. That’s not how it’s set up. The whole art world and art university foundation is built on individuality, recognition and self – not a care for what work is being put out there, nor the energy it is made in; not a care for humanity and other people. The final night Degree Art Show at Uni, the same as any exhibition or show, is all about being seen, being recognised, being better than everyone else, becoming famous, to the point that most of the world’s artists don’t care about the quality of the work they put out, or anyone else – as long as it gets them recognised.
My friendships were based around partying. I didn’t care about the energy I was in or choosing, walking past a primary school in the morning after being out all night, and how that affected everyone else. I only cared about how bad I looked and how ill I felt.
I thought nothing of turning up to the home I shared with my parents on several occasions after being out all night. When I look back now, that attitude and imposition I brought into the house was awful. And I had the audacity to blame my parents at times. I thought nothing of phoning them and asking them to send me things, pay for things for me. I didn’t care about them. Now that is irresponsibility, all about me, and lack of love in full swing.
I had no true friendships. They were based on what we could get from one another, keeping us in the comfort of what we chose, be it irresponsibility, alcohol, lack of commitment to life, keeping us in the same behaviours and patterns. No one would speak up and say, “Hey, this isn’t okay.” I was in unloving and abusive relationships. By abusive, I mean partners who cheated on me, who held me up by the neck against a wall, and also the type of abuse that many of us accept as normal in our everyday relationships: raised voices, arguing, verbally fighting, not speaking to each other at times, being in and out of the same relationship even though we know it is not right, simply not truly adoring and cherishing each other. I didn’t love myself enough or at all to say no to abuse from others or myself.
I never had a proper job. I worked full time, but knowing deep down, though not on the surface, the positions and wages never truly sufficed to pay the bills or to be able to rent a place of my own. Part of this was lack of self-worth. This kept me in irresponsibility, a great excuse to never fully commit to life. I also didn’t care about what state I turned up in at work. Sometimes if I had been out all night partying, I didn’t care about the customers, other members of staff and how my choices may affect them. All I cared about was myself. But I thought and believed I really cared about people.
I loved being an individual, like… I loved it. I relished the recognition, I loved being different. This probably started at school. I can remember wearing stripey colourful jumpers, not part of the school uniform, again being recognised for being ‘different’, being recognised for something, and what I could get out of it.
The really scary thing, if this isn’t enough, is the money I spent over a very short period of time feeding individuality, which provided no true change to myself, other people, or how I was living. This is what really shocked me when I came to have a look at it and it is very sobering to read.
This is over a period of two years:
|Yoga teacher training||£3500|
|Extra Yoga courses||£2000|
|Yoga Classes||£1,200 minimum|
|Partying in its heyday peak||£100-300 week (let’s average it out £3000 for the year as I didn’t party every week –though it was more)|
|Working at an art festival||£1000|
|Self Help – New Age books||£200|
This is only the tip of the iceberg but add up just this and it comes to – £11,900. Now that makes me feel sick. Now I look back and see money totally wasted on nothing but feeding individuality. That’s a deposit for a house and a whole lot more. Now there is no regret: there’s just a very huge ‘ouch’ learning, and the knowing that I have been very irresponsible. That will not be done again, ever, in any lifetime.
All of the above may to some sound too harsh, that I’m taking it too far, surely some of that was ok, right? For me, it is actually very freeing, to speak with an absolute honesty and understand that the insecurity I have felt for most of my life that drove me to seek all of that recognition – even at the expense (pun intended) of my health – is underpinned by a desire to be individual.
In essence what this meant for me is that I preferred to run away from hurts of not being truly seen for the beautiful light I was as a child, being the individual therefore meant I could do whatever I wanted to myself or others because “I was hurt.” I totally get that mentality having lived through it all as said above, but there is so much more to life when we can truly let this go and not be a part of the way society is that just keeps the same hurts, insecurity and recognition going.
And now – oh my, how the tides have turned, with a completely different ripple effect.
Since coming to Universal Medicine events in 2011, my life has completely changed. It has transformed beyond my wildest dreams; it’s turned upside down. It is amazing – like truly amazing, beyond belief.
I now have a full time job I have been in for four years, which I absolutely love and adore, and am very committed and responsible in. I feel joy in my job. I rent my own beautiful apartment, I have a car I paid for, learnt to drive and paid for this myself. I am in an amazing, committed relationship with a very sweet, adoring and gorgeous man – a relationship that is truly loving, adoring and evolving every day. We are best of friends and we love talking every single day about incredible things – things that really matter. We talk about what hurts us, we support one another, have fun; we have amazing kids, and the relationship never ends – it keeps evolving.
In terms of my parents, I ask them for nothing except for support at times if, for example, I am ill. I deeply love, care for, and adore them: they are so precious to me. I visit them several times a week, speak to them on the phone, have incredible conversations with them about life. I listen to them, to what they need, cook them dinner, talk and hang out. I hold my parents in absolute love.
I have let go of so many family hurts – hurts from my childhood; I am learning to respect people’s choices. I have healed huge hurts with my sister and hold her in absolute love. My relationship is evolving with the rest of my family, where I am learning to respect them and their choices and understand them more deeply.
I can spend a Saturday night cosied up with myself and just feeling. No TV on, no food to snack on, simply lying on the couch feeling the most incredible yumminess in my body: or I can be with my partner and kids, hanging out, tucked up in bed by 9pm, and it feels amazing. So joyful and there is nowhere on earth I’d rather be. There is no feeling on or in this world that can even touch the sides when it comes to feeling the love and divinity in my body.
I work as a volunteer on global projects with people from all around the world. I run community courses and workshops in my own local area. I now know what true charity is and that is giving back to the community, be it locally or globally. I do this through these volunteer projects, writing, editing, admin work, website work, public online resources pages for my day to day line of work that people can use to support them in their workplace; connecting with people all around me, from in the supermarket, to the gym, people at work, everyone I meet. For me that is true community and true charity.
What money have I spent supporting me to live more deeply connected to my body? To re-turn to a way of living, The Way of The Livingness, I know to be the absolute truth, a way of living that is truly joyful and evolutionary with no perfection?
Money Spent over the past 6 years:
|Universal Medicine courses||£2000|
|Healing symbols and products||£250|
A grand total of £5,150 in 6 years. That’s three times as many years than what was spent in my two year calculation for developing individuality.
You do the math.
The past six years have seen my life completely transform beyond words… and I know there is way more to deepen to: it’s a Livingness that can be felt and everyone reaps the benefits.