I feel very lucky to be able to sit here and write, yes I am blessed. When you look at your life, the highs and the lows, you can see there was a purpose to it all, perhaps not clear at the time and so here we are. I don’t have lots of dosh but I am blessed because I live in a beautiful place, the South West of France with a grand view of the Pyrenees, I have some great friends and I work doing the things I love. Some may say you lucky person others may ask how did you do it? The quick answer is that it didn’t fall into my lap; it has taken a lot of soul-searching, hard work and commitment to achieve something I passionately believe in.
As I sit here I am well aware that there are many others less fortunate than I am and especially at the present time, with no end in sight to the misery caused by the global economic crisis. Indeed, I have to make clear choices as to how I organise my life; however, I don’t need loads of money to find happiness that comes from another source!
I started training as a Shiatsu practitioner 5 years ago in Toulouse France. For those of you not familiar with this term, Shiatsu is a Japanese art of ‘finger pressure’, and we use our hands to manipulate the body and remove energetic blockages, the cause of illness, so that the body can heal itself. This life choice was not easy especially given that I had to learn in French and as French friends are fond of telling me, ‘your French is not good’, ah well we struggle on. So why Shiatsu? In the UK I had been doing Tai Chi for many years, I expect you are asking why so many funny strange terms, and met a guy, an ex policeman who had trained as a shiatsu practitioner and who enthusiastically explained to me what it was all about. It was at the time of the Soham murder investigation in the UK. This ex policeman was treating all the officers involved on the case, who were suffering from stress, with Shiatsu and achieving amazing results. I was already looking for a new avenue to leave my boring and frustrating existence as a local government officer and this seemed the path. I was already interested in the natural healing arts and was thinking I could just scrap a living out of this. To cut along story short, in the meantime, the death of my Mother made it possible to leave the UK and go to France, a country I had loved since my late teens. Having now escaped working for Government, I was now freer to choose my life path.
Please don’t get the impression that everything I have done has followed a smooth and logical pattern, because it hasn’t. At first Gerry (my long forgiving husband, and that’s another story), and I ran a small holding with sheep, chickens and vegetables on our 4 acre patch of land, whilst at the same time renovating our house, a crumbling old French farmhouse, and after 8 years it is still crumbling. I had also trained as a chef (yes another life story) so I was able to kill and butcher the sheep, with the help of a friend of course. There were many adventures and U turns on the way before I was able to find a suitable Shiatsu course, or should I say it found me. Sitting one day in the café drinking a huge coffee and plastering myself with the crumbs of a buttery, mouth-watering croissant, I spied an advert for a Shiatsu course in our local French rag and applied and the rest is history, well almost. You see the sheep that I kept became great friends and literally followed me everywhere; they talked to me, nudged me when they wanted their necks rubbed, so how could I betray these loving animals by taking their lives, and now I am a vegetarian and what a difference to my heath and wellbeing that has made.
I have started this blog leaving many holes in my story and I intend to fill these in over successive days and weeks.
In the meantime, the important information I want to leave you with is the fact that I will be opening my first Shiatsu Clinic where I will also be giving Yoga lessons. This is in Aurignac, a small town of a 1000 souls 10 minutes drive from where I live. Please come and find me, more information on this later but we will be having a grand opening in January, when I have confirmed with the mayor (always important to involve the local dignitary)
Next exciting instalment will be all about Shiatsu.