My name’s Dominique and you are very welcome here!
In 2012 I quit a lucrative but soul shrinking career in marketing to travel the world. In other words I “heeded the call…”
Are you ready for an extraordinary adventure?
I ask that in all seriousness because as I’ve discovered listening to your heart and then following it’s path, embarking on the heroine’s journey and leaving the soft lights of home and hearth for the darkness and glitter of those enchanted woods. That takes guts.
I worked for over a decade in some of the most most masculine industries in the corporate world: property development, railways and finally football. Then I remembered something. I hate football! Gradually I became disconnected from my creativity, splintered from my softer, sexier, feminine self and ruptured from the whisperings of my heart. I achieved great success - I launched a train station to the Queen, I met the players of one of the world’s greatest Premiership teams. I was absolutely miserable. So I left telling my boss I was going to travel the world, write poetry and fall in love.
Oh I thought I had my spiritual path all figured out. It was all strictly scheduled and tightly itineraried! It worked for Elizabeth Gilbert right?
I embarked on a whistle stop tour of the globe, crossing 12 countries in 9 months with barely time to breathe. As a not very active 37 year old with absolute no interest in sports (and very little ability to boot) I studied Argentinian Tango in Buenos Aires, rock climbed the Karsts in Halong Bay, zip lined over jungle canopy in Laos and trained in Shaolin Kung Fu for a month with a bunch of 18 year old boys in rural China.
"I’m not trying to find myself " I’d say smugly.
"I’m just trying to expand the limits of who I already know myself to be."
HAH! the universe has a habit of picking up on grandiose statements like that I’ve learnt….
Oh this journey…. This exquisite, sacred, terrifying, beautiful, wonder - ful, journey….there may be romance and sunsets ahead even the odd handsome knight or two... but careful! The shimmer of the lakes belie their depths, the whispers of the mysterious ferns in the forest don't speak of the shade or the brambles that will snag and draw blood, the daring and despair. Steel yourself for pain, setbacks, tears and heroic amounts of bravery and courage - the sheer bloody boldness from the heart that will be required to keep going.
At the end of 2013 I headed home again (resisted the call) and to my absolute dismay - managed to repeat every single one of my old patterns in men, money and yes marketing. I became desperate, dark and very very sad. I watched in great pain as many of my family connections and oldest friends drifted away, or needed to be let go, as they became outright judgmental and condescending about my temporary confusion and what they called “ the selfishness and self indulgence” of taking time out to “find myself”
I felt increasingly disconnected, isolated and alone. I was trapped on the outside and looking into an old way of life, society and relationships that I no longer understood or felt like I was a part of. I could no longer hear my heart's desire and the compulsive repetition of self sabotaging patterns had left me feeling that I was powerless and change was utterly hopeless. What had gone wrong? I thought i'd been investing in myself for years? and yet here I was still at the start of the bloody journey. I also wasn't prepared for the sheer brutal, physical exhaustion of depression - hours spent lying on my couch shallow panting from my throat my entire body aching all over, with absolutely no motivation or any ability to do the simplest of tasks.
As if that wasn't bad enough I was consumed with guilt. Guilt at betraying my own inner voice so many times that I could no longer hear the whisper of my heart and what she truly wanted. Guilt that as an affluent woman I couldn't in the words of some of my "friends" just pull myself together and realize how lucky I was.
As Marianne Williamson says - sometimes we don't start to pray until our knees hit the floor. Well my knees hit the floor and I was desperate. I prayed.
One morning - drifting out of a dark and dreamless sleep I woke up with the still voice within - speaking a very clear message to me.
“Don’t give up. Giving up is more difficult than surrender. With surrender there is beauty, light and hope.”
I didn't know where that voice came from: God, my higher power, angels, Buddha in a tea cup. And I didn't care. I still didn’t really have a clue what surrender meant, but it was enough to give me the hope I so desperately needed.
I ignored the anti depressants my Doctor had prescribed me and the counsellor who insist I sign up for a year’s worth of Group Therapy.
I was determined to find my way back to my own heart and do it in my own way.
Somehow I knew that travelling again held the answer. I was very sure of one thing. The wanderer archetype was in my blood - not to mention the poet and the princess ;)
I bought a one way ticket to Peru and this time there was no travel itinerary, no schedule and no heading back.
This was to be a journey into my inner world via the healing energies of the outer one. At the start of 2015 I headed straight for the Andes in the bosom of the divine feminine - Pacha Mama herself and I haven’t looked back.
By September I had healed my own heart break enough to hear her next whispers and embarked on a teacher training course in Mexico to become a Hridaya Hatha Yoga and Meditation teacher. Hridaya means the Spiritual Heart in Sanskrit and these beautiful teachings combine all of the strands of wisdom on listening to and honoring our heart - this sacred seat of the divine within us - from all of the major spiritual traditions.
Perhaps you, like I, have felt the sting of loneliness as old friends and family have fallen by the wayside as you gradually change and transform. Maybe you've taken time out for meditation and retreats but frustratedly find yourself always falling back into the same old patterns once you return home and are around old friends and family members without any likeminded people who understand your journey. Or maybe you're life has been ticking along nicely enough - you have the job, the partner, the house. Except for one thing. That nagging, uneasy feeling as you wonder "is this is it...?" Something's missing and that feeling is just beginning to grow into a looming sense of dread. “What if you've left it too late," that you've ended up in a life that seemed to happen while you were (to quote my fave Beatle) "busy making other plans” with your creative dreams shelved and you're not quite sure who you are or what really lights you up anymore?
I know how you feel and I learnt the hard way that ignoring it just led to a greater sadness and a disconnection in my own heart and soul that I just couldn't shake.
I have two pieces of good news for you!
The traditional Hero might have set out on his own voyage and chartered his own ship, but us heroines? we don’t have to navigate stormy waters by ourselves.
Firstly - I don't believe that God, our divine power contained within our own beautiful hearts (whatever you'd like to call it) wants us to suffer and sit in pain and distress any longer than is absolutely necessary.
The truth is, whilst the journey may be challenging at times the treasures waiting to be discovered if we dig in and keep going are far greater than the road is rocky. We also get to experience the absolute majestic beauty of our own authentic self and the great, glittering sacred mystery of our life.
My second piece of good news is that you don't need to do this alone darling!
What is WanderWomenCLub about?
CONNECT Connecting with our hearts, our feelings, our authentic self, each other and women everywhere.
EXPLORE - Exploring ourselves, our world, our dreams and our potential.
INSPIRE - Inspiring ourselves and each other, sharing our projects our success and our stories.
DEVOTE - Devoting ourselves to our development and our path, nourishing self love, and living a life of passionate purpose.
Join the club! Sign up to receive a FREE Heart Connection Meditation course here and visit the Resources page for tools to help you on your way or just reach out and drop me a line. Tell me your story. I love stories and I always reply! :)