Sometimes it feels like I blink – and another year passes by. It’s hard to believe my two-year anniversary of being unexpectedly locked down in Costa Rica has just come and gone. So, I decided to share a little of what I’ve been up to lately. For those who are only just getting to know me, I had been practising as a barrister for 18 months in London before I took a holiday to Costa Rica, and had my flight back cancelled when borders closed in response to the pandemic. You can read a little more about me and my journey (in particular as regards recovery from chronic illness) on my Bio page.
My first year of sabbatical leave was very much focussed on my own personal healing and development – working on the health of my mind, body and soul. My physical health was a particular priority for me, given the health issues I’d suffered in the past, and which catalysed me to take an extended break from the law in the first instance. As to that, I’m particularly grateful to my clerks and members of Chambers, who really supported me in finding a solution that worked for me once I opened up honestly about my struggles. It’s when you don’t have your health that you realise how much it means, and that without it we have nothing. So to anyone feeling run down, and struggling with health, my message to you is this. Please don’t hide: speak up, ask for the support you need, before it’s too late. Slow down a little, get to know your body, and listen to the warning signs…
I learned a lot about myself in that first year of leave. It was a very inward-focussed year, and I realised how we can get so caught up in external distractions, and spend so much time rushing around, that we can go through life actually hardly knowing who we are. Once I took the time to really tune in with myself, I found that I was reconnecting to passions I had as a child, and I started to see the world with fresh eyes and think in new ways – feeling a general sense of expansion.
This second year, now with a greater sense of who I am, and feeling of wholeness within my own heart and soul, my attention has turned outwards: what is it that I am here to offer to the world?
It was just less than a year ago that I set off to study craniosacral therapy on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast. It also marked a pivotal moment for me personally, as I embarked upon a journey to heal my (then-terrible) vision, holistically. When I left my home on 1 May 2021, I left my prescription lenses behind. Forcing myself to set my gaze forward and commit to this healing path. It all began with a book I read by Jacob Liberman “Take Off Your Glasses and See”, which I would highly recommend. Whether you have eyesight problems or not, I can pretty much guarantee it will shift your perception and enhance your “vision”, in the broader sense of the term. I have made a few sporadic blog posts about my vision-healing journey, which I intend to talk a lot more about in future.
Studying craniosacral therapy was a crucial moment for me in terms of laying sturdy foundations from which to build upwards, and bring together my various skills. I have acquired a lot of knowledge from my own personal healing journey – and want to be in service to others when it comes to health and wellbeing. So, I’ve been adding skills to my toolbox; learning about different healthcare options and systems of medicine. My long-term vision is to establish a healing sanctuary and community centre, a place to host events, workshops, and retreats, and provide community space for gatherings. My mission is to inspire healthy and harmonious living – with each other, and with nature. And I believe it all starts with our own health: if we are not taking care of ourselves, if our own physical body is not in harmony with itself, what example are we setting to others and to the world? And what can we truly give to others and to the world, if we are giving from depleted or leaking cups?
Leaving my health & wellbeing training and projects to the side for one moment, this year I also finished the edits of my novel Siege, for which I am currently seeking representation/publication. It is a fantasy novel about a war between two empires and the destruction of the planet Meridisia, laced with psychological, metaphysical and spiritual themes. The protagonist, Arian is a storyteller and psychic, who has been hiding under false names since birth for reasons even she does not know. When her city comes under siege, she unexpectedly finds herself leading the people into battle.
But all too soon, the troubles within her own heart cause Arian to manifest destructive realities. She is plagued by visions, and is sensitive to the suffering of other souls. When her brother is wounded and she is captured, Arian is finally forced to look her inner shadows in the eye. Will she succumb to the darkness, or learn to love even the enemy? Siege explores how, to end cycles of war and suffering, we must first confront the darkness within our own hearts – the true enemy that external barricades, such as fortress walls, cannot protect us from.
While my quest for a publisher is in process, I am working on a new book, “Calypso, The Pilgrimage: a Novel on Love, Sex, and Spirit”. It is a book about personal and spiritual growth, and the journey to find wholeness, harmonising the different facets of our soul and becoming our own greatest lover, healing the wounded inner child, and balancing the masculine and feminine energies within all of us. It draws from many of my own personal adventures through life, my healing journey, and spiritual experiences. It also comments on and exposes various “illusions” in both the physical/material, and the spiritual, world.
As someone who has dived deep into various “wellness scenes” around the world, I can tell you, there is a lot of woo woo around. There’s good woo woo, that will expand your horizons and catalyse some pretty epic personal growth; and there’s woo woo that’s frankly dangerous. I’ve encountered fake shamans and tantric teachers who are clearly preying on the weak and the vulnerable to fuel their own egos, material greed, and even lusty sex drive. It’s sad. And these people who are abusing their power-positions can give a bad reputation to ancient healing practices, that have the potential to be profoundly transformative. When I lived in London, I supported a venture (actually called Woo Woo) where we trialled and reviewed different wellbeing events, and I wrote a number of articles on their blog about my experiences.
There’s traps, pitfalls, illusions, in all walks of life. The “Western” and the “alternative”. So, having walked both paths, I see myself as here to burst bubbles, as well as build bridges, between different ways of thinking and living. To encourage you to question everything, and believe nothing, as you connect deeper with yourself and unlock your inner wisdom that will guide you through life – to make the best decisions for yourself, to take care of your own body and health, and to find your own sense of purpose and meaning. I believe that everyone is their own teacher, and while others can be a source of inspiration and support, ultimately it is our journey of reconnection to self that will empower and liberate us – offering us the feeling of true bliss and freedom in our lives. My work transcends particular spiritual beliefs, and ultimately comes back to love and empowerment, helping others to express fully and authentically, and discover their own teacher within. This is the focus of my set mentoring programme, as well as at the core of all the work that I do with others – from sharing my creative arts, to one-on-one healing sessions.
In this regard, I see myself as a bridge between different “realities”. I’ve lived diverse lives, from the city professional, to spending time in the Costa Rican jungle with one of the indigenous communities here, and learning from a teacher who works with shamanism and sacred cacao medicine.
Now a little about my daily life out here in Costa Rica. Well, it comes with all of its ups and downs; as life does anywhere. At the beginning of this year, after lots of time, money, and energy invested, I had a property deal fall through the day before closing. It took nearly a month for me to get my deposit back, during which time I heard many rumours that sent my insides turning. My trust and patience was tested to its absolute limit. Despite having a detailed Sales and Purchase Agreement in place (worked on extensively by myself), as those of us who work in the law know, the time and energy that can be spent on enforcement of a contract (not to mention the limited available remedies) is sometimes just really not worth pursuing a dispute. I preferred to release my attachment to that beautiful property, to surrender and let go, and turn my sights to new opportunities.
Day to day life out here is so varied and never gets boring. In some ways it is “simpler” than my life in London, in other ways more complex. Mostly, my days end up being pretty full simply with the practice of living. Taking time to be in ritual with the basics of life: cleaning the house, preparing food, watering the plants. Expanding deeper and deeper, into the present moment. Too often we get caught up in what’s next on our agenda. Yet the destination of life is death, and if we are always just racing through, we’ll have missed the beauty in the tiny details of each second.
I create a lot: and am increasingly sharing my music, poetry, and stories in public venues. Although I have memorised some “popular songs” that I’ve written, most of my gigs are improvised, allowing me to ebb and flow with the mood of a particular place, and adapt my messages depending on current topics and issues that are alive to me, my community, or even the world. Recently, the waters by my home have been suffering from a particularly bad “Red Tide – I speak a little about this issue in last week’s blog post and you can sign a petition if you want to support bringing these matters to the attention of the Costa Rican government. I’ll share some songs about this soon.
I have hosted personalised “retreat” experiences from my little home, pending the creation of the sanctuary and healing centre that I envisage. I believe in always taking action in the present, in order to manifest and create the future that we dream of: and for me that means doing what I can with the resources and space presently available to me. It was a pleasure hosting a friend from London, who works in sustainable architecture, at the beginning of this year – kicking off a new chapter for me, as I step out into the world and start to share with others the tools, therapies, and knowledge that I have gained along my own healing path.
This year I have also been delving deeper into work with sacred cacao medicine, led by my shamanic teacher. The deeper I go into this work, the more I am realising how for me, deeper connection with spirit means finding deeper connection and grounding with the real world here on earth. The higher we fly, the further we need to dig our roots deep: expansion is in both directions.
Exciting seeds are also being planted – with regard to collaborations with the indigenous communities out here in Costa Rica. A regular music venue for me is Indigena Café – a small batch chocolate making shop and eco-social business. The owner, my friend Gianni, buys his cacao directly from the indigenous people (from the Ngobe Community) and is working with them to support the establishment of a school that will keep the indigenous traditions alive. I will write more on this as things unfold, and how you may get involved and support if it is of interest. I made a visit down to the community last month – it was a beautiful and eye-opening experience.
Well, that’s a little summary for now! Stay tuned for more to come, keep loving and living in gratitude for each day, and take action to make your dreams come true…
I believe you can have it all. It’s a question of mindset, discipline, and having the courage to pursue your passions…
p.s. I have just created a channel on YouTube where I will share more of my music/poetry/storytelling videos… if you want to follow my creative work you can subscribe to that too!
If you want to support me, you can also donate through the link below or by buying me a coffee. I mostly work on donation basis, or exploring alternative ways of exchange for my services, as I do not believe in systems of fixed pricing. Economic models based on fixed pricing totally fail to take account of differing individual needs and circumstances, and are built upon arbitrary labels of what is valuable, that are inherently limited in what they can describe in monetary terms. Furthermore, by subscribing into such a model we simply perpetuate and support a system that has given rise to the class divides and separation our society suffers from. I will be writing much more on this topic soon, but for now you can read my poem “Economy of Love” which gives a sense of my beliefs.
I also believe that health & wellness is a universal human right and want to always ensure accessibility of my services to all. Even by suggesting a price for exchange can bring expectations and connotations along with it that can make those who cannot afford the suggested price feel inferior, or put them off from opening up and discussing what they might be able to offer, from a non-material perspective. Wealth is so much more than money, and I believe it’s time to shift our perceptions around material abundance, reflect deeper on what it is that we really need, and the different ways that we can give to one another.
Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you have a beautiful weekend!