The Spiritual Journey – A Client’s Story
I’ve worked with Guy since August 2019, and it has been an indescribable joy to coach and share yoga with him – and overall witness and assist him through this part of his spiritual journey. His life is a real-life demonstration of the magic that happens when you surrender and trust, and I think you’ll all love reading this post!
When I asked Guy if he’d be ok with me writing a blog post about him and his journey over the last 5 years, I included a few questions that I hoped would shape this post. I was overwhelmed by his response. His answers were so articulate and eloquently formulated that I’m going to include unedited whole passages of his responses in this blog post. Every word is solid gold, and I don’t want to miss anything out! Enjoy the read.
“At the start of 2015 I hated my life. It was the same relentless slog-to-London on the train every morning. I had a shiny sports car, a beautiful wife and daughter, a large house and all the external trapping I’d thought I wanted in my life – but I hated every moment of living in it. I felt trapped and suffocating.
When I started this journey in late 2015 I didn’t want to, but there was nowhere else left for me to go. The idea of spirituality was, frankly, offensive to me. I felt I knew better than anyone with spiritual beliefs and thought they were all deluded. It became apparent I had nothing else left. Despite being intellectually capable of solving any problem life and thrown at me – I couldn’t solve myself and I had nothing left but to try something completely different. My relationship with my wife and daughter was terrible, I had nothing in my life that bought me pleasure, I was resentful, ungrateful and depressed.
I was terrified that going down this path would change me and I wouldn’t be me anymore. The bit I find odd now is that I am a completely different person – but I still feel like me. It’s more like I’ve got to know the real me. I had a realisation at the start of this that I couldn’t answer the question of who am I. I could describe it with factual statements (a dad, a husband, a geek, etc.) – but not with any idea of who I really was. I feel everything has changed and yet I’m more me than I ever was before.”
A Spiritual Journey
Guy’s spiritual journey started five years ago when he hit rock bottom. Spirituality can feel like a cringey word to a lot of people these days, conjuring up images of monasteries in the mountains. You might feel resistance at the thought of being ‘spiritual’ because it feels so illogical to concede the illusion of control. A huge cornerstone of my coaching work is helping others discern between logic and intuition.
I believe that we all already have the answers we need – and that we are SO good at talking ourselves out of acting on them. Do you ever experience that feeling of duality – like, we know what we want to do but don’t do the damn thing? Or having an idea but putting it on hold until something else happens (if it ever does)?
Our logic-filled brain likes order and control so that we can avoid being in scary situations. This mechanism is geared for our survival as it helps us avoid risks. Unfortunately for our brains, we can never control
Yet, we still know what we need to do. This sense of knowing what to do is our intuition speaking. It comes from a deeper place of wisdom, rather than the fear-based processes of our mind. Maybe it’s a whisper for you, or maybe it’s stronger and louder than that.
Trusting that inner voice can feel like madness at first! It’s a surrender of logic and reason, which is what we have been taught to wholly rely on. However, learning to trust your intuition is the greatest step in your spiritual journey.
“Most recently though the biggest change I’ve had is when trusting my intuition. Doing this so much has opened up to me. I always thought I was a thinker and everything was decided by logic – but I’ve realised how much I’ve always relied on intuition without realising it and overruled my logic left-right-and-centre when intuition has been strong.”
Trusting – And Letting Go
If you’re familiar with the Law of Attraction you’ll appreciate the importance of letting go of control. LoA states that we actively visualise our goals (be that a dream relationship, new business, ideal home etc) and then let go of the attachment to the outcome, while still taking action steps towards it. Have you ever tried to work towards something without overly attaching to it? It is not an easy practice!
“That balance between control and surrender is without a doubt the hardest balance in my life. Where do I exert control versus what is just letting things happen? With my businesses for example – I have to have some strategy, some plan, I have to have some way to execute everything. But what’s me forcing my will on the world versus doing what I need to do in the moment? I’ve struggled with this a lot. From day one of this journey I realised I had to let go of control. I used to be the director – trying to put every person on the planet in the place I wanted them to be. “Everything would be so perfect if they’d all just do what I wanted” was a regular thought. The desire to control people went early – but situations is a tricky one.”
As challenging as it may be, the surrender of control is an integral part of transforming our lives. You can’t white-knuckle-grip your way to victory. Falling in love with your spiritual journey or the process is the easiest way to get wherever we’re meant to go.
“Past extremes have, bizarrely, been easy to get through. Once I started having some trust in the universe and the fact that life is a journey from A to B with no set path, rather than a series of points you must visit en-route, it just became easier.”
“I think looking back over the last few years if I’m in alignment with the universe, if I’m doing what I’m meant to be and if I’m not trying to control things “it just flows”. Whenever things feel really difficult or forced it’s because I’m trying to take control of the situation … [When] things are effortless I’m not controlling the situation and when I feel stressed or I’m building up resentments it’s because I’m trying to exert my will on the universe.”
The Coaching Process – And Taking Action
I started working with Guy just a few months after he moved to Edinburgh.
“I had absolutely no idea what to expect when we started working together … Instead of moving to Costa Rica we’d postponed it and moved to Edinburgh to focus on work for a while. I’d bought some nice clothes and a nice car again and we had a lovely house, I had an office, was going to take on staff and it felt “OK” but just “not quite right”. I’d decided I wanted to look at coaching but really had no idea why or for what purpose. Maybe someone could tell me what to do or fix my problems with my business and I’d manifest some wealth? I’m joking a little there – but genuinely wasn’t sure what I wanted to come from it. I think it took a while to actually find it and we’ve touched so many areas in the last year – my relationships with food, fears, my relationship with my past-self, desires for life and my intuition.
“I think the obvious change is that I’m back in alignment with myself. I’m living in Costa Rica, we threw Edinburgh and our fancy-pants-middle-class life in the bin and embraced what we really want. It took a while to get there though and a lot of exploring what really mattered.
“The thing I remember most vividly is a session in March where I discussed all the reasons why I couldn’t go to Costa Rica. I’ve said a few times that I can solve any problem that appears in front of me – but instead of solving it there were all these impossible walls starting to make me feel trapped again. Over the course of 90 minutes (I think I came prepared for 45 minutes of yoga that never happened) it just clicked how mad all of what I say saying really was … Every reason I gave was true but if I just did the thing then I could deal with the consequences and be doing the thing – rather than not doing it and feeling sad about it.
“[As] soon as I switched the mindset from “I can’t do this because” to “I’m doing this so we need to do this to make it work” everything just became easier.
“Well almost everything. Covid-19 happened and lockdown.”
I remember an email exchange between me and Guy who was then at Gatwick Airport; boarding passes to Costa Rica in one hand (and return tickets to Edinburgh in the other). This was less than a fortnight after Guy’s realisation that there was nothing standing between him and Costa Rica.
“We got as far as our bags on the plane before offloading. The FCA “do not travel” guidance came out between check-in and security. Fear got in the way – the borders were shutting the next day, we had no idea if we could get food over there, what would happen with our cats, would we ever see our family again. We offloaded and came back to Edinburgh and I felt terrible and I couldn’t understand why it had happened.”
So close but yet so far. More than the anxious nail-biting, and suspenseful popcorn-eating meme exchanges that day, I felt strongly this was an opportunity for surrender. Happily, Guy and his family were on Costa Rican soil by August! It was an honour to witness his practice of trusting that things were going to work out as they were meant to – and watch it all come to fruition.
“Turned out Covid-19 worked really well, it got me and my customers used to working together remotely and then by the time I’ve moved to Costa Rica nobody has been surprised by it. Things worked out exactly how they needed to on many fronts – I just couldn’t see it at the time and it took quite a while to work through it. Once I accepted it everything got better and better.”
Embracing The Spiritual Journey
“I genuinely don’t think before 2015 I’d ever actually just known what it was like to feel truly content and present in the moment before. I remember the first time I felt it – sat looking out over a [field] on an autumn day late in 2015 – and it was a really strange sensation. I would have said I’d felt relaxed before at various points but my mind was always running a hundred miles an hour and I’d never really been present in any moment. It took 31 years but I think that was the first time, even for a brief second, that I’d been present – even in all my memories of being a child. It only lasted ever so briefly and I wasn’t even sure what had happened, but I felt it was an important moment at the time. Since then I’ve been able to transition more and more into being at peace. I can’t do it all the time and I can’t just stay present indefinitely – but it’s something I’ve found more and more easy over the last five years and with an ability to remain present and not lost in my head for longer periods.”
“Since the start of this journey my relationship with my wife and daughter is amazing. I’ve gone from not wanting to be a dad to absolutely loving it and making a pretty good one, even if I do say so myself. My relationship with my wife (we’ve been together for 16 years now) is better than it’s ever been – and our understanding of each other has deepened in even more significant ways than it has before.
“From a “practicalities and things that happened” perspective – over the last five years I stopped drink, quit my job, became bankrupt, swapped two Range Rovers and a Porsche for a car with mould growing inside it and that I eventually sold in exchange for a Nandos, moved to Wales, went to university to do a PhD, dropped out after a year when I realised I only wanted the “Dr” title, got to travel to new places around the world, helped to launch an investment fund start-up, tried to launch a bank, covered a large amount of myself in tattoos (which I would have never done before), starting a consultancy firm that’s doing surprisingly well, moved to Edinburgh, moved to Costa Rica, started to wear tie-dye and harem pants (gone are the designer labels) and found a degree of financial success again. It’s been quite the journey.
“Despite all that though I think I’ve got to come back to knowing what it is to truly be at peace. When I’m willing I can achieve it almost any time and that has underpinned everything – better relationships, the journey I’ve been on, removing fear, gaining trust, gratitude. I think the best part is I still feel I’m totally rubbish at being present in the now – but rather than beat myself up about it I’m just taking that as a sign that even more amazing things are to come.
I’m so grateful to Guy for sharing some of his story in this blog post today! We are all on our own spiritual journey and we all need support from time to time. Coaching is a powerful form of support that can help you achieve your goals, whatever they may be.
I’ve worked with many people who felt lost and purposeless, to help them find their path again. I have helped others who have been clear on what their goals are but were procrastinating to avoid implementing them. If you feel a pull towards coaching, or are interested in finding out more, book in for a call with me today. You are welcome to send me an email if you prefer.
I hope you enjoyed reading about Guy’s spiritual journey thus far! Drop me a comment below if you’d like to hear more clients’ stories like this.