The life-death-rebirth cycle has been an important part of my world from the very first moments of my life. I was born ‘in the caul’, which means I emerged from the womb wholly encased in an unbroken placenta, in my own little bubble of peace and tranquillity. Births of this type are extremely rare… only 1 in 80,000 babies are born this way.
According to Celtic mythology, a person born in the caul is a Selkie: a mystical, magical half-human, half seal, mermaid-like creature who has a powerful connection with the ocean, their intuition and a certain comfort inhabiting the liminal spaces. I have always had an affinity for nature, the mystical and for sensing into the depths of this world and into other humans. Diving into these otherworldly interests has been a life-long passion of mine.
However, the world I grew up in convinced me I needed to be a ‘normal’ person with a normal life and job… so I tried my very best to follow the path that had been modelled to me.
After finishing university, I began paving my way to a conventional lifestyle in Brisbane, doing the 9-5 thing and working my way up the career ladder. But I was miserable! This wasn’t the life I’d dreamed of, and I found myself having so many “I want more” moments, I felt like a real life version of The Little Mermaid.
I decided to uproot everything and move to Ireland to pursue my dream life. I was sure that’s where everything would come together for me: the dream man (with a gorgeous Irish accent), the dream job (as a broadcast journalist for the national radio network) and the dream home (a stone cottage by the sea). It was a great plan. The only problem was, this was not how it panned out at all.
During my ‘working holiday’, I experienced a series of tumultuous and unsettling events that toppled my sense of safety and shook the person I thought I was. I was living on the other side of the world and found myself, in the midst of the global financial crisis, living below the poverty line with a broken heart, some deep friendship betrayals and the after-effects of a serious head injury.
Towards the end of my time away, a close friend committed suicide and I was so distraught I lost the ability to cry. My staple diet at that time was half a bottle of cheap red wine and half a supermarket-bought lasagne each night. I fell into depression, loneliness and uncertainty.
Thankfully, the unhealthy spiral was interrupted by a forced return home: my visa expired.
When I landed in Australia, I wasn’t doing so well. I felt as though I had left my own body and someone else had taken over. I didn’t recognise the new version of me and my friends and family didn’t either. The vivacious and confident person I used to know had vanished. I was depressed, panicky and sometimes, on the verge of suicide. I lost many friendships and no longer had the drive or capacity to be the person I had been, or to accomplish things I’d previously achieved with ease.
I knew I needed help so I tried psychology, but it didn’t work for me… I was more concerned with trying to find the right answers for the therapist than really feeling into what was going on for me in my body. I was really great at disconnecting from my feelings and communicating eloquently just how well I was doing. I tried three different psychs, who all signed me off their books, convinced I was coping well, but my body knew otherwise.
What I needed was not to get the answers right, to analyse the situation or to relive those traumatic memories. What I needed was for someone to hold me and love me while I could not hold and love myself. I needed someone to tell me that even though things were shit, one day they would get better. Someone to help me come into my body, so my emotions could have a chance to be processed, rather than staying in my mind, where they simply wrought havoc.
The professionals who did this best were the nurturing and compassionate healers and bodyworkers. I spent weekends travelling across the state to visit this intuitive massage therapist or that reiki healer. These were the most precious moments of my life back then, the moments in which I didn’t need to pretend everything was ok, when I didn’t need to solve any of my problems. I could just BE, exactly as I was. I could sob for an entire session, and that was ok.
These practitioners nurtured me, held me and guided me back to myself. It was a long, slow journey, but eventually I regained a grasp on my life with the help of these wonderful humans, along with my family and some very understanding friends.
After my incredible experiences with energy workers and bodyworkers, I realised this was the work I wanted to do in the world. This was work that deeply mattered to me. This work had not just changed my life – it had saved my life.
And so I embarked on my own spiritual journey, so that one day, I’d be able to help others.
This very big redirect led me to study Reiki, spiritual development, intuition, energy medicine and eventually, Rebirthing Breathwork. For the past 11 years, I’ve delved deeply into all things personal and spiritual development. Through that journey I’ve realised I wasn’t broken (truly, none of us are!) but that I needed support for where I was.
I still do.
And you know what?
We all do.
That’s the beauty of being human – we can help and be helped by each other.
Between 2020 and 2022 (yes, the pandemic years!) Rebirthing Breathwork took me on my very own journey of death and rebirth, which I’ll share in another article. I found Rebirthing Breathwork accidentally, and discovered it to be the key that integrated all my previous experiences with energy work into one very simple yet very powerful modality. With Rebirthing Breathwork there is less talk, more allowing and the profound potential to shift energy, emotions and trauma through the body in a way that is safe, gentle and unique for every person.
And so here we are. From my own peaceful birth via a number of unexpected tsunamis, floods and droughts, I’m now helping others through their most challenging times and towards their own peaceful Rebirth.
A note on psychology: I actually love it, and in the years following this experience have grown to value the place of psychology and a well-developed client-practitioner relationship in the maintenance of optimal mental health. I have an excellent psychologist that I trust and work with on specific issues, however I see the body as integral in the wellbeing/mental health equation and so I also choose to engage in conscious dance, massage therapy, breathwork, and energy healing etc. to maintain my mental health and wellbeing. Please trust your own guidance and the guidance of any medical practitioners you work with when choosing which mental health, energy workers or somatic practitioners to work with. Your body and soul know what they need :-)