Trust: believing in possibilities and good outcomes
Trust is a small word but whether we trust, and who we choose to trust, has huge implications in our lives. When we talk about trust most of us think about building or placing trust in others, believing that another person is good, reliable and honest. We don’t often focus on trusting ourselves and our vision for the future. Life often becomes pressured, intense, even demanding and throws all manner of challenges at us that sometimes prove to be all consuming. It’s easy to lose sight and sense of feeling centred and forget how just powerful we actually are. I am no exception, but I have an interesting and heart-warming tale to share.
For many years of my life I was like a hamster on a wheel. Don’t get me wrong, I felt privileged to have four beautiful children and to spend my life really making a positive difference to the lives of others through my work at the Natural Health Advisory Service. Tens of thousands of women had improved hormone health, higher self-esteem, better relationships and live in the light instead of the dark as a result of my work. I’m proud of that.
Just after the turn of the century, in October 2000, our house flooded and eventually, because of the extensive damage, had to be demolished. Following a three-year legal battle over the rebuilding of the house, my marriage crumbled and a few years later, in April 2009, our 21 year-old daughter passed away after being given a legal high. Life went from manageable, to beyond tough during that difficult decade. Being in the moment became key and taking one day at a time was as much as I could manage.
In the mid-nineties I was given a book by a friend in South Africa entitled Visioning Into the 21st Century which I found fascinating. I was amazed to discover many case reports of people visioning away illnesses like cancer without any trace. I particularly remember the story of a professional baseball team in the US who divided into three groups for 6 weeks. One group continued to train, one visioned they trained, whilst the final group remained inactive. The fitness tests that followed showed that the group who visioned they trained were as fit as those who had actually been training. The story of a lonely old lady who, following the death of her husband, had managed to vision a new partner made me smile and housed itself in the archives of my mind.
As my interest was kindled I began reading other books on the subject including Visioning – 10 Steps to Visioning the Life of Your Dreams by, the Californian Art Therapist, Dr Lucia Capacchione. I got to meet her whilst she was in London and the following year spend a week in Cambria, in the Pine Forest in California on one of her week long workshops. I absorbed the materials like ink on blotting paper and went on to successfully use her system of healing and visioning with many of my patients.
I’d made a visioning board about the house of my dreams by coincidence just prior to the flood. The house on my board was quite like the fabulous houses we see in magazines like ‘House & Garden’ with massive rooms, huge windows letting in the sunlight, high ceilings and large open fireplaces. You can’t imagine how spooked I felt when we moved into an incredibly similar house six weeks after the flood. Many of the pictures on my visioning board could have passed for photos of the rooms in our newly rented house, which by coincidence, was the only house for rent in the area large enough to house our family.
When my marriage fell apart in 2004 and I moved on with my two youngest children, every moment of each day was taken up by caring for them, looking after my patients and survival. As the children grew older and became more independent I began to see a light at the end of the tunnel. By that time, I had my own TV show, The Really Useful Health Show and life once again felt enjoyable. That is until my youngest daughter, Hester, tragically passed away. At that point I could easily have fallen into a black pit never to emerge into the light.
Together with my broken heart I did manage to climb out of the hole and started a campaign, through the Angelus Foundation, which I set up in memory of Hester, to raise awareness of the dangers of legal highs, reduce their demand and ultimately the supply in order to save other young lives. It took seven years to get the Government to introduce the Psychoactive Substance Bill. I threw myself body and soul into campaigning, partly to blot out the all-consuming grief, often working every waking hour seven days a week.
Several years down the line an old friend reminded me that I needed to ease up, at least re-establish the luxury of having weekends off and make time to socialise. Being totally off the social map I decided to register on a number of dating websites and let the fun begin. Whilst the anticipation of each new date possibly being the man of my dreams was fun, the rest was mainly time consuming and fruitless. My frustration drew me back to create a new vision board, this time focussing on how life would feel with the man of my dreams.
The finished board was really a heavenly sight to behold, filled with images of life with a tall, dark, loving and handsome man. As place holders for the man I was searching for I used shots of the actors Antonio Banderas, and Tom Conti who I met shortly after at a cocktail party. He looked a bit worried when I told him I had a photo of him on my bedroom wall but he relaxed and smiled when I told him that he shared the platform with others. I’m not sure I would have been brave enough to tell him had I not had a couple of glasses of wine!
According to experts, one of the ways to make the vision board become reality is to gaze at it several times each day and vision yourself living it. I figured it could be time well invested and, if ‘Prince Charming’ didn’t fall into my life, I would have at least spent many pleasant hours distracted by the contemplation of what life could be like with him in it. As I’ve always dreamed of living, for at least the winter months, in a warmer climate, my daily vision included walking along a beautiful sandy beach, with my feet in the surf, hand in hand with my gorgeous man, deep in conversation and wonder. This dreamlike state became part of my daily routine; always a welcome break from reality. It went on for a few years, by which time I felt certain that I would recognise him instantly.
Through a series of unforeseen circumstances, which included more dating disappointments, I found myself with a ticket to Florida and, as well as meetings to attend, agreed to meet up with some old friends also holidaying in the area after Christmas. On the evening of 21st December 2012, an idea lit up in my head like a flame of a candle. I felt drawn to look to see if there was anyone online in Florida. I opened my computer and spent time browsing. I wrote notes to two potentially interesting prospects and then went to bed. By the following morning I had a reply in my inbox from the man who sounded the most interesting of and he suggested we speak. We spoke on the phone for an hour that afternoon. His name was Ben and we seemed to have similar outlooks and much in common. He must have thought so too as he invited me to have dinner with him on New Year’s Eve.
What then followed still seems completely surreal. I only needed one date to know that my search was over. When I entered the reception of my hotel to meet Ben I first saw him from behind. It was a good look; he was tall and clothed in a fresh white shirt and dark pants. As he spun around to greet me, I felt totally spooked, as he was the image of the man I visioned walking on the beach with. It was a challenge to stay centred and not look like I was blown away. He took my hand as we walked out of the reception. Normally touch at this early stage would feel like an invasion of my personal space, but instead it felt like I was holding the hand of a very old friend. We began talking and never stopped until midnight, by which time we were in a park listening to live music, and he leaned in to kiss me and wish me a Happy New Year.
He asked to see me the next day. Uncannily he lived on a gorgeous beach and we did end up walking hand in hand in the weeks that followed, totally absorbed swapping stories about our lives, hopes and dreams. I began pinching myself each day to make completely sure he wasn’t actually still a figment of my overactive imagination. Thankfully, he seemed grateful to have found me to and we both agreed that it felt like we had known each other forever.
By the time I was due to fly home to London I had agreed to return to Florida weeks later to spend more time with Ben, starting by celebrating his special birthday. My family thought I was deluded if I thought it would turn into a sustainable relationship, but a few months later, when Ben came to England to meet them, they, like me were suitably impressed and, began to hope this might possibly have a happy ending.
As well as being physically appealing Ben is gorgeous on the inside too. He spoils and cares for me like no one ever has before. Nothing seems to be too much trouble for him and he is always looking for little ways to please me, whether it’s with flowers, my favourite food and drinks in the fridge and even ordering stocks of sun screen without parabens and my preferred brand of face wipes and toothpaste. I reciprocate, as I feel certain that good relationships are based on making your partner feel important and special every day of your lives together.
It’s been four years now and I continue to pinch myself each day to ensure it’s real. I felt inspired to write this on the beach. I’m sitting on the warm sand and listening to the waves lapping on the shore. Ben is sitting opposite me reading and has no idea that I’m writing to tell you that I feel incredibly blessed to be living the life of my dreams. He proposed to me last summer, he got down on one knee, and in June this year, in London, just five weeks before my mother passed away after her battle with ovarian cancer, we shared our very special wedding day which couldn’t have been any better if I’d had a magic wand. Each day with Ben feels like a gift. The love and trust between us continues to grow beyond all expectations.
I felt compelled to share my very personal story to remind you dear reader that we are the architects of at least part of the journey through our lives. I truly believe it’s important to have a positive outlook and trust that manifesting your dreams is possible. Simply enjoy living your dream in your imagination believing that on one special day, hopefully in the not too distant future, it will become reality as mine has. Until that time, take one day at a time and mindfully enjoy the process, trusting that you can manifest anything you dare to dream.