You never quite know how you're going to get where you're going.
Life is fun like that: the future's always a road we've never travelled, and it's rarely a straight one.
The past, though, that's another story. So, in case you're curious, here's where I'm coming from.
(Now would be a good time to make yourself a cup of tea...)
I spent a long time not knowing what I was supposed to do in life. I was a smart kid, but low on confidence, so I'd grab onto little chunks of encouragement or direction – from teachers, family, friends – and build my identity around them.
My high-school english teacher thought I was great with words, so I thought I'd be a writer. I studied English in college. And I did really well. I didn't feel very passionate about the work, but the academic world had a heady kind of buzz to it. I enjoyed the structure of classes and assignments, and the collegiate hum of a thousand twenty-year-olds chatting as if they knew all about life. Even the circular debates over literary theory had a certain appeal, as we endlessly rehashed other people's ideas in an attempt to find our own.
Soon after graduating, I got a job working as a business writer for a marketing company in the heart of London. Again, I was good at it, and again, I struggled to find joy or fulfillment in what I was doing. In a very vibrant city, my working life was a blanket of grey. So I did enough to get by, zoned out a lot, and became progressively more tired and apathetic. Sometimes I'd fight to stay awake at my desk.
I kept asking for raises, and kept getting them. I thought more money would make what I was doing more satisfying, or at least easier to stomach. But it couldn't change the obvious: I wasn't engaged, and I wasn't happy.
So I gave up the job, and my tiny little room in east London, put my things in storage, and took off traveling again. On a whim, I'd started taking yoga classes before I left the city, and I felt curious to learn more about the practice. So I headed to India and found a school to live at for a while. I had some fascinating experiences there, like feeling energy moving through my body for the first time. I felt that I found deeper states of awareness, as well as compassion towards myself and others.
The physical practice of yoga came easily to me. I was naturally flexible, relatively strong, and had enough determination to hold difficult poses. And so this, in turn, became the new 'me'. I got disciplined and serious in my practice. I began to enjoy meditating. And I spent the next few years traveling around Asia and the US, studying with various schools and excellent teachers, and ultimately becoming a teacher myself.
It was brilliant. As a yoga teacher, I felt like I was helping other people while helping myself. I was encouraging people to enjoy silence and find the stillness inside themselves. Often, it felt like I was bringing a kind of covert spirituality into people's lives. Sneaking meditation in the back door. It was fulfilling and challenging, and for the first time in my life I felt passionate about the work I was doing.
And then at some point, a few years in, it began to feel like I was missing something. Yoga can stir up all kinds of emotion, and as I worked with more people and listened to their stories, I'd often hear the same struggles with destructive patterns of thought and behavior. The practice would help my clients feel calmer and more centered for a while, but then their old habits would bring them back to feelings of worry, frustration or stress. The next time I'd see them, they'd need the yoga class just as much as the last time.
What was happening here? I wanted to help people break free of this cycle, but it almost seemed like I was contributing to it. Something was out of alignment, and it wasn't the yoga. I've seen enough major shifts in people's lives to know that in the right hands, this ancient practice can be transformational. So why did something feel off?
Eventually, I tracked it back to me. I wasn't walking the talk. I didn't want to admit it, but yoga didn't feel good in my body the way it had, and I was pushing myself to find the spark again.
It was a struggle to do my own practice. So here I was, after years of training and effort, trying to teach others something that wasn't resonating with me. Maybe it would again one day, but in the moment I recognized I wasn't being authentic to myself or to my clients. It was a tough insight.
I realized I needed a new language for the way I wanted to work with people. Something dynamic but completely accessible, that could create quick, deep and lasting change in their lives. Something that would let them transform their most fundamental beliefs and habits so they could become the people they deeply longed to be.
Enter tapping. As fate would have it, my first introduction to Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) came from a visiting practitioner during a yoga teacher training course. I was dubious when he told me what was involved. I thought: 'You want to me to tap on my face and say “I completely accept myself.” Alright, pal. How long is this workshop?' But a voice within told me to put aside my skepticism for a moment. And when I did what the teacher suggested – bringing to mind a difficult memory and really tuning into what I was feeling – a felt a major shift occurring.
As it happened, I was focusing on a memory of feeling lost. Seventeen years old, crumpled and crying on my parents' kitchen floor. I felt disconnected, isolated and powerless, like I had no control and I'd never truly made a decision for myself in my life. My poor folks (the sweetest people in the world) could only look on with alarm and try to find something to say that might be comforting. As I recalled that moment, all its emotional pain suddenly felt fresh again. I could feel the tightening in my left shoulder that had been getting worse for the last few years. But as I did the tapping, it started to change. I felt like I could bring compassion to that younger version of myself, like I could reach him now, even if no-one could make it better back then.
Feeling a little more freedom now, I let myself go deeper into the hurt, and realized it was more powerful than I thought. It wasn't just the pain of understanding how much I'd let other people dictate my life. It was the pain of having had that insight eight years before, and then carried on as if nothing had happened. Jumping through the hoops, getting the grades, finishing high-school, getting the degree, the job, the apartment, the commute, the nine to five. For years. As I tapped on my chest, I felt something crack inside me. I quietly stood up, walked across the room, buried my face in a stack of cushions, and let out a howl like nothing I'd ever heard. The primal scream of something buried very deep, and breaking.
As I sat back down, I felt the tightness float away from my shoulder like a breath. And I'm not just speaking poetically here: it was a tangible feeling of something leaving my body, as if a wind blew right through me. And then it was gone. It was like I could feel my shoulder joint in a way that I hadn't been able to for nearly a decade. I'd gotten so used to it being tight, that I hadn't noticed how stiff and sore it had become over time. But now it was loose and easy and free. It was at rest.
Perhaps more importantly, my mind was changing too. I could now think back on the memory calmly, without the same feelings of frustration or sadness. It didn't seem perfect, but I recognized how everything I'd done in those intervening years, and all the time I felt I'd wasted, was really just part of my journey to this moment. Without all of those experiences, who knows what I would've been doing, or where. In place of the dark mass of regret and resentment I'd been carrying, I now felt a deep sense of peace.
This experience convinced me that EFT tapping was something I needed to integrate into my life. And as I sought out more training, and had even deeper and more profound experiences with the practice, it became clear to me that this was my new direction. If I was going to create another new 'me', it was going to be one aligned with the kind of peace, contentment and connection that tapping helped me feel.
So that's what I did. And a couple of thousand hours of training and practice later, I feel more passionate about my work and more aligned with my purpose than ever. There's a profound sense of wellbeing in that: knowing I'm on the right path, simply because it feels right.
It wasn't always an easy transition. I wasn't immediately ready to let go of teaching yoga. I tried to bring it together with EFT, and it sort of worked. But deep down I knew I needed to dedicate myself completely to tapping if I wanted to make it work as a real business, and serve people in the biggest way I could. It required my full attention. All the while, my intuition gently guided me in the right direction. When I didn't listen, it was less gentle. Either way, I'm grateful for all the lessons. And grateful to be able to help others in a way I really believe in.
I've seen miracles happen with tapping. I've helped people overcome lifelong phobias in less than an hour. I've watched someone with a crippling fear of public speaking get up and take the stage with confidence and authority. I've coached people through their deepest childhood trauma and watched it release its grip over their lives. And I've witnessed these same people make dramatic and powerful new choices: creating nourishing relationships, thriving businesses, and vibrant health, while living out their purpose every day.
My wish is for you to have all that and more. You're worthy of it. I'm dedicated to helping you in every way that I can, and I hope you'll join me on the journey today.