Every now and then I would have a dream that really made an impact on me. These occasional dreams were not prophetic in the full sense of that word, but they did sometimes give me a sense of knowing; helping me to have the courage to proceed. Thankfully my subconscious came to the rescue again a few months after that awful, final day in the fashion industry.
Naturally, I had been attending interviews with agencies and fashion firms whenever possible. Filling in a seemingly endless quantity of mind-numbing forms and questionnaires. The answer to the question ‘Why would you like to work for this company?’ was the most disturbing one, “Because I desperately need an income and I don’t know what else to do!”
I had indeed been working in food outlets, cleaning other people’s homes and doing what odd jobs I could so as not to spend all my severance pay. Life was precarious enough at that time, so it felt good to have a little money in the bank. I couldn’t believe how quickly the dollars drained away. No company car meant I now had to pay for my own transport, no big salary meant I had to downsize my lifestyle. Food, phone bills, electricity; everything seemed to cost more.
Then, one of my most challenging problems led to a big breakthrough. My health had started deteriorating a couple of years earlier and I was seeing a wonderful practitioner every week despite the fact that she was two hours drive away. I continued to see her after my rag-trade job ended even though money was tight. She had treated me for about a year, using all manner of modalities such as kinesiology, herbal medicine, NLP and homoeopathy. One day we were chatting and I confessed that I had no idea what to do next. All I knew was that I would like to work in a field that was fulfilling and in which I could ‘help people’. This wise woman suggested I study homoeopathy, a topic I understood little about at the time. I was open to the idea because I respected her as a mentor and because the homoeopathic remedies she had given me had helped me enormously, but that was the sum total of my knowledge.
Back in those days I had a hang-up about my lack of university education and not having any ‘letters after my name’. The early 90’s was the heyday of marketing and advertising and all my friends seemed very qualified and successful. I still remember what she said to me, “Why not study homoeopathy? Its a wonderful modality, you can study at night so you can still work and support yourself. Then, once you have this diploma you will be able to expand from that foundation and do whatever you like.”
So I left her practice that afternoon contemplating what she had said with a strange sense of magical possibility. What did she mean I could “do whatever I like” once I had a qualification. I had no idea if I would even make a good homoeopath, let alone what else I might branch into after that. Then, that night came the dream. This dream was visual of course, but it was so real that there was also a sense of actually being there, of physical sensation. I dreamt that I was inside a big egg shell and I could literally feel and hear it breaking, cracking and falling away around me. Once out of the shell I found myself standing on a beach watching the sunrise over the ocean. There was a large, timber door floating up in the sky and as the sun went up behind the door, the door opened and the sun streamed through, bathing me in its glow. I woke from that dream with such a powerful sense of knowing.
By the end of that day I had enrolled in a three year homoeopathy diploma, given notice on my little apartment and was seriously considering using my severance pay to buy a little business.
I have no idea now, looking back, why I thought buying a business was a good idea. I guess I was feeling demoralised on the work front. Interview after interview had led to nought. So, buying myself a job seemed like the next best thing. The business I bought was a franchise for one of those ‘effortlessly reduce your cellulite and tone up’ beauty salon systems. Back in those days I truly believed that I could make everything happen by the sheer force of my will. ‘Intuition and serendipity? Ha! Forget it! I want what I want and I will make it happen, thank you very much!’
It didn’t take me long to convince myself that I could run this business while studying homoeopathy at night. The business would bring people to me who would slim down, tone up and eventually become homoeopathy clients. It all seemed so logical. After a brief training period and a whirlwind meeting with the very strange South African couple who were the franchisors, I naively handed over a cheque for $20,000 – basically, most of the money I had at that time. I spent the rest decorating my new premises and moving into my new, rather dingy apartment, both in Manly on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
The whole thing came so close to being a total disaster, but the Universe was still looking out for me and was soon to rescue me (yet again) with an appearance on a TV quiz show, a buyer more naive than myself and finally, an excellent job.