Three years ago I launched myself into the scary world of self employment with one huge enthusiastic leap. My vision was clear, to create a sacred space for people to relax, destress and re-connect. A year before, my husband (then 38) suffered a massive heart attack. A fluke thrombosis in his coronary artery that saw him in hospital for 11 days with intense one on one nursing care. It was the most devastating and scary experience I have ever encountered. An experience that change my direction in life entirely, life really is too short.
So after thirteen stable years of employment with the Metropolitan Police, and my desire to have a job that would help enable my husband to stop working shifts, I purchased an exceptionally run down beauty business, in a pretty quaint town in Kent. The sale wiped out every penny I had ever saved, but we were confident with my experience as a therapist and in management (I had trained whilst in the police), coupled with my my overwhelming desire to make a go of it, we would be o.k.
Three months after acquisition the worst global recession struck the planet. To add to this stress we discovered the lady I had purchased the business from was far from honest with her ‘accounts’ and the staff we had inherited could only be described as ‘challenging’. Very swiftly reality kicked in, like a blow to the stomach that makes your knees buckle. Every ounce of success we had envisaged for my business and our new found ‘calmer lifestyle’ suddenly seemed beyond our grasp.
My working week began to average 80 hours and every waking moment was consumed with ideas of how to simply survive. I wasn’t sleeping as I was stressed to the hilt and every penny earned simply went straight back into the business. I was the poorest I had ever been, and I was angry that we had been so naive to believe everyone was a ethical and honest as we tried to be. To add to my frustration I was also totally and utterly exhausted. Life suddenly wasn’t fun.
Looking back now, I am surprised I didn’t end up at my doctors sobbing into a tatty old hanky pleading for some magic wand to be waved that would miraciously ‘make everything alright’.
Three years on, and only through my sheer hard work and determination, I have managed to totally turn the business around. The same business that we estimate was in fact losing thousands when it entered our world.
Is it still challenging? Yes of course it is, but the light at the end of the tunnel is definately closer.
I have always believed every single challenge sent our way, is sent to teach us a valuable lesson. My business journey sent me, into a space I had only explored briefly in my adulthood. I found myself vulnerable and whole heartedly exposed. What I failed to acknowledge at the time, was in order for me regain peace within my soul, I needed to learn to let go of the all familiar human condition of desiring to control every outcome in life.
For a brief two years I completely forgot to connect, I let the importance of my business consume my every atom. I didn’t have time to meditate, in fact I didn’t have time to do anything. Time with my husband was few and far between and when we were together we were either too stressed to have a rational conversation or too tired to speak. My gym visits vanished, I rarely saw my friends as I couldn’t afford to go out and my life simply became a continuous blur of work and sleep. In short, I completely forgot about me.
The whole experience brought me a barrage of lessons, but most importantly it taught me the value of never forgetting to ‘simply be,’ even when I’m living within the tornado of life, desperately clinging on to anything to help reground myself.
Beautifully Zen was born to share, muse and ramble about all things beautiful and good for the soul. Beauty is my business, zen is my way.
I hope you may enjoy sharing some time here with me, and most of all I look forward to walking the journey with you.