When I decided about five years ago that I'd like to teach my first yoga retreat, the words that kept coming to me were "embracing change". I'd recently moved to Wales after living in Liverpool for the past 15 years and was really enjoying the change of environment, living in my little bungalow by the sea in Limeslade.
When I found a retreat venue I was happy with and excitedly booked my first weekend retreat for June 2013, Embracing Change was the inevitable title. At that stage in my life, I guess part of me believed that the pace of change in my internal and external worlds would slow down after making the big move from England to Wales. I laugh now at the notion, as the last 5 years have been the most intense and transformational of my life by far - and not always easy! Things don't show any signs of slowing down just yet either, but thankfully the many ups and downs I've experienced in recent years and the practices I've committed to have made me stronger and more able to embrace life's challenges. I wrote about sadhana (practice) and its ability to increase our sense of spaciousness and resilience last year, so I'm not going to repeat that here. Blog post here.
My big news is that I'm on the move again soon, but not so far this time. I'm looking at properties in Carmarthenshire, as I hope to find somewhere with space for me to teach classes, workshops and maybe even small retreats from home. I haven't found the right place just yet, but the heat is on as I received an asking price offer on my bungalow from the first person who viewed it yesterday! It may become clear now why my newsletter was late this month and why this blog post is brief.
My main reason for writing today is to reassure people that I'm intending to continue my yoga teaching in Swansea and Gower as much as possible. A few people have expressed dismay that I'm leaving, so it feels important to be clear about my intentions. Obviously, time will reveal which work I can continue with longer term and which will no longer be possible but, for the time being at least, you shouldn't notice any radical changes in what I am offering.
My other big news is that I will begin my training to be a psychotherapist at the end of September. I wonder sometimes at the wisdom of relocating whilst simultaneously starting a new course of study, but I feel a sense of momentum at the moment and it feels like both things need to be pursued. I have been drawn to the idea of counselling and psychotherapy since I left university in 1997 but, at that stage in my life after 3 years of degree study, I needed to earn some money rather than pursue another course of study. Now that I have greater freedom in my working hours, I feel able to take on this part time course, which I have no doubt will make me a better yoga teacher and a more rounded human being.
Completing the trauma sensitive yoga training in 2016 was the catalyst for me now pursuing this new path. I'm already privileged to share trauma sensitive yoga with people who seek out my support, but I feel I will be able to help more people if I combine my yoga teaching with a counselling and psychotherapy service. The two practices are complimentary and will certainly inform and support one other. I'm very excited to discover where this will all lead and am, as always, hugely grateful for my yoga practice which supports me through these transitional times.
So, for now I'm going to sign off as I have more viewings on my bungalow to honour today, as well as a whole day viewing properties in Carmarthenshire tomorrow. It is wonderful to drive around the area and to begin to become familiar with more of the beautiful green land of Wales. I am visioning a place to live and share my work, surrounded by tall trees and birdsong. I hope one day you will join me to practice yoga in this beautiful place, wherever it may be!