Back then, Twitter was still a baby and the concept of freelancing was just becoming an almost viable alternative to commuting.
There I was sat at my kitchen table wondering how on earth I was going to pay the bills. I decided to try my hand at writing and journalism, I took some courses and started writing. Then I realised that online PR and marketing was taking off and that there were opportunities to create a viable web-based business. So, I created a web-based business... I became a Multi-Media Marketing Consultant.
A chance meeting with someone calling herself a Life Coach set me off on another path and I started coaching. Mostly, I coached people who wanted to expand their businesses. It was very clear to me that in order to grow businesses, the business owners had to change too and that there was a holistic psychology to this.
I was fascinated and spent several years doing evening and online courses in psychology. I qualified and started my psychotherapy practice. I loved it and felt that I had really found my calling.
9 months later, I had a stroke. My life was gone. I lost my mobility, my speech and some cognitive function without any warning.
"There have been times when I have just wanted to lay down and stay down. To let my soul drift off. Fortunately, there was more time when I was just so angry that I got up and fought. After a period of mourning my old life and accepting my new reality, I did everything I could to get my life back (not quite as simple as that one sentence would suggest!)."
It turns out that fighting was the last thing I needed to do, what I actually needed was to live quietly. To step away from all the noise that was stopping my brain from healing and to be more conscious about how I was looking after my body. My process also involved deciding which day-to-day interactions were worth my time and energy.
I have had a marvellous life, I don't regret a moment of it - the people, the jobs the dancing, the travelling and all the experiences that have influenced me.
I live very differently now, I have the space to enjoy things in a way that I never did before. I see things with more clarity. I have my voice back and my brain functions adequately enough for me to be working again. Living quietly didn't just save my life, it gave me a completely new life.
Living Quietly is not about becoming a hermit and cutting yourself off from everything. It is about being more connected to your life. It is about taking responsibility for yourself in a very conscious way. It is about learning a completely different thought process.
If you feel that the noise is getting too loud, please come and speak to me.