I’ve been a city girl all my life – born and raised in Sydney with a stint in London a few years ago. But I’m now in the pretty amazing position of laying down roots in country NSW. Our new home is in the Southern Highlands, backing onto a bush reserve.
When we first saw the property I was overwhelmed with emotion – I literally cried as we walked around and keeping a straight face in front of the agent was not an option!
The previous owners built it all, starting with a bush block in the 1980s and over time creating a beautiful timber house and a garden based on permaculture principles, abundant with food.
So I guess I’m a country girl now.
You will still find me in clinic (West Street Wellbeing in North Sydney) on Wednesdays and Thursdays, talking hormones and playing detective to help you better understand your health concerns.
But life has changed a lot! The slower pace is a lovely contrast to the energy of Sydney and I’m learning new lessons about work-life balance, the rhythms of commuting and the therapeutic effect of getting my hands in the dirt.
So if I seem a little more relaxed than usual when you see me in clinic – this is why
As a naturopath it makes sense that my work would influence my life. Through these years of study and practice I have learned many valuable lessons about how to live my life to encourage health rather than disease. I love that a big part of my work is to share this with my patients and to empower them to make small changes that I know over time will lead to huge benefits.
I was originally drawn to study and practice naturopathy because many of the professional roles I found myself in made it difficult to make health an ongoing priority in my life. I got to a point where I was done with sacrificing my health for my work.
Now I have found that my work as a practitioner has become relevant to my own life in more ways than I ever expected.
My husband and I have had difficulties with our fertility for the last few years and this has been the most challenging experience of my life so far. I understand the processes and problems of infertility in more detail than is probably helpful for someone going through it themselves..! A big challenge has been stepping back and accepting that it is not up to me to ‘fix it’ for myself. I have sought support from a team of brilliant practitioners and this has helped. A lot.
But I can never really let go of my need to understand why. This drives me through every day of my own health journey and it absolutely drives me in my work with patients. I want to help people learn why, and how, and what can be done. But I also recognise that the answers to these questions are not always available to us when we want them. I trust that in the future we will be able to look back and realise what this was all about. We will realise what we learned in the process, what we never would have learned if we hadn’t gone through it.
Until then, I am going to keep asking why, and how, and what can be done.. But I will also remember to let it all go once in a while.
Dear 2014, thanks for being excellent.
I have had the great pleasure to work with so many wonderful people this year. Thank you to all of my patients, students and colleagues for the challenges, successes and constant learning! Special thanks to my colleague Lara Briden for sharing so much wisdom.
Personally there has been a lot happening this year. 2014 saw me get married, travel to Mexico and New York for the first time, move house and support my husband in his change of career and new business. So much action has been very satisfying (and a little exhausting!).
I am left thinking about balance and restoration of energetic reserves to face another big year… or maybe not. Maybe 2015 will be a more moderate, settled time which will require a softened approach, a loosening of the drive to create and change to allow a different kind of growth. I am excited to find out
As I wrap up my last clinic day for 2013 I can’t help but reflect on an incredible year of naturopathic practice.
All intentions for regular posts went out the window (clearly ) with the challenges and excitement of each new patient and the inevitable work load of a small business. This has been a year of great learning (as they all seem to be) and a number of themes have emerged:
- The contraceptive pill is offered with ease and removed with difficulty. I have worked with a number of women of all ages this year who have had far from straight forward experiences coming off the pill. This is not the case for everyone, of course, and thankfully I feel well placed as a naturopath to support these transitions. I do feel that women need to be better informed about the end game of their time on the pill, preferably when making the decision to start.
- Sometimes the diagnosis is misleading. My work with women who have been diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) has really highlighted the flaws in this diagnosis. PCOS is not a great name for what is really going on and there are many underlying, modifiable factors that have nothing to do with cysts. I am excited to see that treatment can bring real change to symptoms.
- Health is dynamic. It is dawning on me that the quest for balance and ‘perfect’ symptom-free health is unrealistic. Not because we are all doomed to be unwell, but because our bodies are dynamic, reactive and changeable. There are cycles that drive us through the day, month and year and through our lifespan. This is part of the magic of being alive. The goal of any practitioner can be to support this constant change with a flexible approach.
- Symptoms are our bodies way of telling us.. something. My own health journey this year has opened my eyes to the role of symptoms and the importance of allowing the space to listen to the message that is behind those symptoms. Do you need to slow down? Do you need to get up and move? Do you need to open your eyes, or your heart to something bigger?
I have been honoured to play a role in the health and lives of so many incredible people this year. My life has been changed by you as well, so thank you.
I’ve finally got a new picture to add to my ‘About’ page! Thanks to my man behind the lens for putting up with me being an uncomfortable model. I have also put up the link to my new clinic in North Sydney. It is a wonderfully soothing place to practice and the tea cupboard is always well stocked. I’ll share some photos soon.
Happy Spring! It has been a big two months for me, getting back in the swing of Sydney. There have been hugs, tears, and time reconnecting with family and friends. Inspired by our little village in north London, I am building a community around our new home on the northside. You can find me working here, exercising here, and hopefully back in clinic very soon. The gorgeous Sydney weather is inspiring new detox diet ideas which I will be putting together into a spring wellness program. Stay tuned!
When you fly from one side of the world to another it is always a shock to the system! It is lovely to arrive for the end of winter, the crisp air is like an echo of our first month in London, like we have come full circle. The distance from there to here and then to now seems vast. For the last 8 months I have been able to hold my home at arms length and bring into focus the things that really matter. I feel so lucky to be able to come back here with this fresh perspective on life, work and what makes me happy.
The waiting and wondering was worth it! For the first time in my life I am living in a new city and experiencing a lightness that I never expected. It helps that my new home is a place that speaks the history of my family, my culture and my profession. London I am yours.. for a while at least.
I am living through a very strange few months. For the first time in my life the immediate future is completely up in the air as we wait for confirmation of a grand adventure which will mean a new home in a new country. This has involved more back and forth communication than I would have thought necessary and more waiting than I knew I was capable of. And so as the time ticks down we proceed with hope and optimism as though it will happen. I really hope it does!
Time flies, and so have I!
A month in Europe was the perfect way to escape the coldest part of winter and have a well needed re-boot. It is easy to forget the value of a good holiday, I have certainly been reminded of the impact a real break from every day life can have on psychological well being.
I came home with fresh perspectives on some of the patterns I was stuck in and renewed creativity to help find a different approach. The challenge is to hold onto this freshness and integrate the new ideas with the rest of your life, and the other people you share it with!
Overall a valuable process which I recommend highly!