I am a transformational life coach and mindfulness practitioner. As an experienced medical practitioner and former GP, I combine this professional knowledge with a personal understanding of healing and recovery which I share, hoping to enable others to flourish.
Our story shapes who we are and how we see ourselves. Reflecting on our story allows us to clarify who we are and where we come from. It allows us to see repeating patterns of behaviour both helpful and unhelpful. When we acknowledge and accept challenging parts of our story we can move on and write a different story for the future.
My story is no more special than yours but I seek to share it with the hope it will be helpful to you.
I became a doctor because of family expectations. I had a year off when I did VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas) in Malawi before starting at Girton College. After Cambridge I completed my medical training at King’s College Hospital (KCH) Camberwell London.
Having qualified I did a number of junior hospital jobs including Anaesthetics at KCH and then trained as a GP. I tried my best to balance work and family life. None of us can predict what life will bring, and when I found myself bringing up my two small daughters on my own my career had to take second place and I developed a portfolio career.
I have been a partner in General Practice, worked in Health Screening for Bupa where I managed Women’s Screening nationally, worked in the Benefits Agency Medical Service and in Occupational Medicine, looking after people at work.
A series of major life events occurred over a short period of time without allowing me time to recover between each event. I became very vulnerable and an incident, that I almost certainly would have coped with under different circumstances, precipitated a mental illness. This could happen to any of us: one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. Life deals us blows and setbacks over which we have little or no control.
It never entered my head that I would not recover but it never occurred to me that it would be such a difficult journey and take so long. I was compliant with all the treatment I was offered but my mental health continued to cycle up and down. I would get a little better and then worse again. Eventually I realised that doing as I was told was not getting me anywhere and I needed to do what was right for me!
When the healthcare system saw me as “Caroline” rather than as “a patient with depression” and we worked together I recovered. I now feel at peace and I love my life which is filled with joy and blessings. I have found an inner strength and security I had not known before and I feel I am stronger and wiser than I was. I would not change what has happened because what I learnt on that very painful journey has made me who I am today.
Mindfulness and coaching have both been very important in my recovery. Mindfulness moved me from being seriously ill to being unwell and when I started having coaching I move forward even further and began to flourish. I knew that I had found something I was passionate about and wanted to do.
I trained as a transformational life coach at an accredited training centre called Animas Centre for Coaching. I retain my professional values and standards participating in regular Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and supervision.
Building on my years of experience as a medical expert and my experience gained “on the other side” as a patient I developed Aspiring 2 Wellness. My experience is that the combination of mindfulness and coaching is greater than either alone. People on the Aspiring 2 Wellness programme discover that achieving mind, body and emotional balance is possible, and they leave with tools that allow them to take personal responsibility for achieving this balance.
Mindfulness and Coaching changed my life and could change your life too.