And I’m super proud of myself!
When I look back at who I was 1,000 days ago it feels like 1,000 years!
Back then I was scared, unsure, small, and ultimately I was an abuser. I abused my body with substances, with no care or thought about what I was doing to myself: I was ONLY interested in instant gratification, smothering and suffocating the real me that was underneath, for an artificial high.
I can see now that I was escaping.
And at the time I couldn’t work out what I was running from: I had a brilliant childhood; loving parents; fab sister; and all that I ever needed materially and emotionally.
So what was it that I was hiding from????
Now I know the answer, and it’s so simple, so undramatic!
I was escaping from the REAL me.
As we grow up we try to ‘fit in’ with the other kids at school, no one wants to stand out. Some ‘make it’ to the coolest gang, others with the geeky crowd, but all of us ‘fit in’ to a group and then we ‘grow into’ that facade.
We become it.
…..even though it’s not really who we are.
Then we leave school with this newfound identity and go to college/uni/get a job. We think we ‘know’ who we are and we continue to play out this role.
I started partying, smoking and drugging at 17
It was fun, exciting, and I thought I was so friggin cool!
Back then I could handle the all-nighters before a full day of work, could handle the come-downs and no one could have talked me out of doing this for the next 20 years.
In my mid 20’s I started to hear deep within me:
WHO AM I?
Of course on some level I knew there was more to life than partying, hangovers, abuse and discontentment.
So I started to ‘search’ for ME.
This is how I found yoga in the mid 90’s. I had actively started looking for answers that my soul was asking. And the first ever yoga class that I did, back in a 6th floor meeting room in John Lewis Oxford Street, was the epiphany moment that I’d been longing for.
In that 60-minute period I connected back to my source.
It sounds corny but I found myself!
I approached the teacher at the end and said,
“I know I’m rubbish (tight hamstrings, hips, lower back) but I am going to become a yoga teacher”
I had started my journey home
At last I was doing something FOR ME, and not simply because everyone else was doing it.
I felt liberated.
And this was the beginning of a long journey back to who I REALLY am. Up until 1,000 days ago there were 2 Jo’s:
1) the one I showed the world
2) the one I was underneath
I knew the 2 needed to join together to create a much stronger force, an authentic person who what you see is what you get: someone who doesn’t need to ‘pretend’, and my search continued to find her…..
Yoga then led me to Buddhism and meditation. The journey unfolding in sometimes surprising ways (after living in Thailand which is a Buddhist country for 6 years, it was only when I went to India that I ‘found’ Tibetan Buddhism, of which I have a huge connection with), and this is really where my true purpose became clear and the ‘WHO AM I’ question was answered. Don’t get me wrong I still love yoga but my focus has moved to meditation, which for me is where the power lies.
My daily priority is to ‘sit’ in meditation
And over the past 9 years that this practice has been strong, I’ve sat and got to know the addictive urge so that I know it intimately.
It became my teacher.
And somewhere along the line in one of my meditation sessions there was a shift, and suddenly the addictive urge was quashed.
I was finally free
I had allowed the REAL me to emerge.
There is no separation between inner and outer.
Now the struggle has totally diminished with not a single addictive urge able to pull me back in.
And the complete beauty of these 1000 days is I now have a template to offer others that long to be their true selves too.
And whether you are looking for an exit from substances (alcohol, cigarettes, gambling, food) or destructive emotions (anger, fear, shame), you don’t find this gorgeous freedom outside of yourself.
It is within…
And WE ALL have it
So who is ready for the journey home?
Who wants to find connection to something so pure, so joyous, so expanding that you wake up in the morning and your heart sings and continues to sing all day?
Because that is my reality.
And I want to share it with the world xx
So I’m writing a book.
The HOW to be free.
All of my secrets, no holds barred.
And it’s so obvious that everything that I’ve experienced in my 43 years was meant to be there so that I CAN write this book.
So that I can reach anyone that wants it.
The promise of freedom….
….is waiting for YOU xxx