I have never been very good at routine, predictability or being cooped up. It became clear to me quite quickly that my new business was going to involve a great deal of those elements. My salon was small with no outlook to speak of. The hours were long because clients wanted to come in the morning before work and in the evening on their way home from the office, so a twelve hour day became standard issue. Happily I was able to add some variety to the slimming treatment work by offering Bach Flower Remedy mixtures to some of my clients. If one of them was feeling low or anxious I would discuss the remedies with them or even give them the guide-book and encourage them to choose an essence or two for themselves. Then I would make up the mixture for them in one of those lovely little brown-glass bottles with a dropper. I found this part of the practice delightful.
The results with the slimming and toning equipment however, were less than wonderful and nor were the treatments cheap. It helped me to realise more fully just how desperate some women can become when they feel overweight and unattractive. Many of them were willing to try just about anything. I found it very difficult to look some of my clients in the eye sometimes. There they were, filled with trust and hope. Was I supposed to promise them a miracle even though my belief in this system was diminishing by the day?
Some people can ‘sell ice to eskimos’ but I’m not like that. If I don’t genuinely believe in something then I can’t share, promote or sell it. After the initial excitement, and unexpected television time, the flurry of clients died down whilst the franchisors opened way too many salons too quickly and too close to one another geographically. Business suffered for all the above reasons and I began to feel that I had bought myself a problem.
Meanwhile my homoeopathy studies had begun in earnest and I absolutely loved every minute of it. I found all the subjects fascinating. It was so exciting to me to be in that environment, surrounded by people who knew about amazing things like herbal medicine, acupuncture and the whole mind-body-spirit approach to life. I was soaking it up like a sponge. Homoeopathy is a very wordy modality, so there was plenty of reading to do. Public transport became my best friend – I didn’t own a car during these years – so a bus ride to the college or ferry ride across Sydney Harbour became useful opportunities for reading and study.
In my first year I became friends with a woman who was about thirty years old like me. I don’t want to tell you her real name, so lets just call her Sally. She had a career as a secretary that she was becoming bored with and was looking for a more meaningful direction in life. We hit it off and became good friends, it was lovely to have someone to discuss homoeopathy and explore spirituality with. One day Sally told me about a spiritual development group she’d been attending. Her demeanour changed as she spoke excitedly about the group of unusual people and the amazing teacher – Marilyn. I didn’t know it then, but Marilyn would become a very influential figure in my life.
All I did know was that I had to attend that group no matter what. It was another one of those ‘ah-ha’ moments and I knew in my heart that this would be pivotal for me.
As it turned out it was more difficult to become part of this group than I had imagined. All Sally knew was that Marilyn was starting a new group. When I phoned for more information I was told to go to the Crows Nest Community Centre on a certain evening and Marilyn would ‘select’ those of us whom she felt were ready. I felt nervous that night without really knowing why. Marilyn informed us that she only had eighteen places available, so at least half of these eager applicants was about to be disappointed. I never expected her to call on me as I had had no experience with meditation, channelling or mediumship and I didn’t know what a chakra was! Despite my appalling ignorance I was invited to join and felt thrilled.
All the meetings were held at Marilyn’s home where it was clear she also saw clients for individual readings and healing sessions. I can recall being intrigued by some of the ornaments in her home. Crystals, figurines, decks of tarot and oracle cards, tuning forks and charts full of symbols that were strange to me. I was horrified to discover that she smoked cigarettes, as did many of the students at the wholistic health college where I studied homoeopathy. This was one of the many illusions of mine that was shattered as I began to mix with the mind-body-spirit community more. With each week and each meeting more illusions would crumble and more dramas would unfold.
Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that this would actually be the beginning of a whole new vocation for me. Homoeopathy was my first love and with that strong will of mine I was going to make my life as a successful homoeopath happen. It was also during that fateful year of 1996 that I attended the Mind Body Spirit Festival at Darling Harbour in Sydney for the first time. Famous authors were giving talks and signing books, the central stage bustled with a continuous flow of musicians, belly dancers and mediums bringing messages through from deceased loved ones for emotional members of the audience. As I walked around, wide-eyed and intrigued I wondered to myself “How do you become one of these people? How does anyone become a presenter or a speaker at an incredible event like this?” To me at that time it seemed like the absolute pinnacle of achievement. Little did I know that one day I would be in that place myself. Back then however, I couldn’t even imagine it.