I have been venturing into a new realm – one that I have stood around and outside of for many years, but never officially entered to seek a place in for myself; it’s the World of Wellness. Honouring a feeling that has been alive in me since early childhood, I have decided to be true to my heart – by trying as best as I can to live my life by doing the things I love, things that will be meaningful to me and to others, things that can create a positive change in the world, rather than just prioritising the need to earn a buck or two.
It’s pretty hard – especially as I am currently out of a regular job, while living in a country where wealth and work are elusive and overtaxed, and I am thus not as able yet as I usually am to help support my family, and myself. Ever since I finished my MA some 20 years ago, I never stopped working. In journalism. I’ve always found ways to live life to the fullest – travelling, experiencing things that drew me, manifesting my passions in what I did, but always staying within a certain realm. My last job was prestigious, a position at a leading business that I had literally wished hard for several years earlier. It was practically handed to me on a silver platter – but I was living quite unhappily trying to live up to standards that made no real sense to me and in fact drained me of the creativity, adventure and purpose that have always felled me. It was no one’s fault, it was just not right for me. It was a perfect place for someone who needed that kind of placement, and that someone wasn’t me.
When that job ended quite suddenly, I was momentarily hurt and scared, but deep down somewhat thankful, because I would never have had the courage to leave a position like that during a financial crisis and as a mother. Now I had the opportunity to try to start again, afresh, to seek ways to live life in a more meaningful way, more rewarding and true to who I am. In a way that could actually honour my being in this world, and my purpose here.
Working does not have to be one way or another – what working means, in essence, is applying one’s skills, education, expertise and abilities and time to a certain job at hand, to create a result and hopefully earn a rewarding pay. For me, working has always been something that requires focus, energy, commitment, loyalty, an innovative outlook, enthusiasm, playfulness, intelligence, seriousness and gall. Importantly, it can be done anywhere. I have never understood or been able to swallow the concept that work should be done in an office.
The way we work is changing and will continue to change – you don’t need to be a psychic or a genius to predict that, (just Google it!) It simply makes no sense to work in offices when you could be working anywhere and in any way you choose, keeping your freedom as an individual while meeting the commitments of your assignments or business perfectly well. Indeed, the freedom to work as we please infuses our efforts with a different vibrancy. More and more visionary business leaders are realizing this, and making changes accordingly, by offering more flexibility and personal reward to their employees and improving the environment and conditions within and around the workplace. Our society, through technology and ideology, inspires us to think and function as individuals who want their needs met, so paying the price by being part of a conformist mass to a professional system makes no sense.
Some say you come to this earth having chosen your parents so you can learn particular lessons, in most cases the most major ones. If that’s true, I have learned a great lesson from my father, a brilliant, highly intelligent, loving and intuitive man who dedicated himself to his job as a highly successful career diplomat, working even on Sundays, offering his all, only to be betrayed by the very system he gave himself to. The betrayal later led him into depression and a state of never being able to fully recover from the fact that he had been so maltreated by the system he had so staunchly believed in. As his daughter, I carried his suffering in my heart, because children do that – they take on their parents’ pain in order to feel close to them and to connect deeply with them, believing on some level that by suffering with them we are helping them carry their burden. I even went through many years of depression that came and went in my teens and until my early 30s, telling myself I was just like my father, until talking with a CBT therapist led me to understand that I could love my father and feel for him without having to actually take on his pain. So I decided to keep all the good stuff – his dedication, his focus, the seriousness with which he applied himself to his work, his wicked, delightfully surreal sense of humour about life – while also enjoying my very own perspective – that work is a part of existence, not life itself, that it is a way to offer as much as to gain – self discovery, money, ways to discover the world.
For years I have known I must honour my dreams and have faith in all of my abilities, talents and powers – as we all should, although we live in a world that encourages us to buy things because we deserve them, but at the same time slyly tells us that we are never going to be enough, or have enough. None of us is a one-trick pony; excellent accountants can sing, chefs can be masters at maths, lawyers can heal with their hands. I have now carved out a new path for myself, and I am praying and hoping that as I walk – sometimes imbued by fear and trepidation – other times with a confident stride – along it, I won’t be led to a stale pond, but to a sparkling beach with crystalline cobalt waters where I can throw my clothes off and dive in, playing like a dolphin.
I am on a new adventure, with this website as my snazzy new vehicle for driving from place to amazing place. I am actively, dedicatedly exploring, learning, and yes, even transforming every day. I have made so many wonderful acquaintances during the last few months, and I feel I can finally communicate with others as my true self. With most people now I find I can talk mainly on a heart level rather than a mind level because I am more true to my intent, I am not trying to be something I am not, perniciously guarding my every word and action, feeling I might get “caught out” for saying or doing the wrong thing. I am in a state of flow – regularly meeting charismatic, high-minded, big-hearted people who, through their work in wellness, sometimes change other’s lives in incredible, empowering ways. Usually they can achieve this great feat because they are good at reminding them that they can heal their self, and that the power to do so comes from within themselves, not from the outside.
I’ve been trying all kinds of interesting experiences in healing – sometimes through actual study in a workshop, other times just through hearing about various techniques, or just observing. Some of these therapeutic experiences and people shake me up or disturb me, perhaps because I am not ready for them or simply because they are just not right for me, while others make the following day, and the day after, and the day after that, infused with an ebullient new energy, a reviving awareness and heartwarming light, even if only in moments of change. I am learning every day, I am dreaming wildly, I am working delicately yet with absolute devotion, I am rediscovering the meaning of words like respect, communication, exchange, vision and success.
I have no idea where this is all taking me, but it’s exquisite, and every day I am thankful. This new way of life transpires in all areas of my being – in the way I am with my child, my partner, my friends, my self. I have a new sense of self-respect, and at the same time appreciation for life. Yet almost every day I am also visited by fat, persistent flies like dread, guilt and shame, that buzz around my head until I manage to swat them away with my intent, (as at least I’ve learned the trick – thoughts only make them stick harder). “What the hell are you doing?!” they ask. “Who do you think you are, trying to change your professional direction like that? Quit the magical thinking!”
MANIFESTO: I have absolute faith that Greece and the world have so much to be discovered in terms of holistic wellness, incredible locations where just visiting restores your faith in life, individuals who are improving lives in the best possible ways, healing methods from the scientific to the surreal that are proving effective on many levels, businesses that can earn money and at the same time make the world a better place!
And I want to be part of that – to explore, discover, live, create and share it with anyone who will listen. So here’s to staying on track, and making it work. To live life in all my colours and seeing with my heart, and helping others do the same.