Let me introduce myself
It’s time you got to know me
I sat nervously in room 3 waiting for my boss to join me. It was 4pm on a Tuesday afternoon in November 2008.
It was never good when you got summoned to room 3 at 4pm – but that was usually a Friday thing – this was Tuesday. WTF?
He breezed into the room and said, “I’m sorry but I have to make your position redundant”
I was so glad I was sitting down because my legs turned to jelly. And a horrible sinking feeling started to swirl in the pit of my stomach. A bitter taste flowed into my mouth and it took me all my strength not to be sick.
“This hasn’t been an easy decision but with the property crash and recession I have no choice. I’ll have to let you go.”
I felt so stupid. I didn’t see it coming at all.
Have you ever been blindsided like that?
I maybe should’ve seen it coming. After all, a significant number of people had already been made redundant from the law firm I worked for, but I had been told that my position was safe. I worked there for nearly 10 years. I thought I actually mattered to the firm. I guess I was wrong.
Not only that but my husband and I were up to our eyes in debt, we had a mortgage and 2 young kids. I was heavily medicated on antidepressants just to function and keep going – and now this. How much more could I take?!
I went home and went through the motions of sorting the kids’ dinner and getting them to bed. I told my husband we needed to talk and explained what had happened.
As I sat on the sofa crying and telling him that I had just been made redundant. He asked me what I was going to do about it.
I was stunned.
No words of encouragement, support or love. Just “what are you going to do about it?”
I think I knew then that the marriage was over, although it would be several years before I finally left.
When I look back on this time I realise that it was probably the best thing that ever happened to me.
Because it made me stand on my own two feet AND start my own business, doing what I love. I didn’t know it then but it was the start of a deep healing journey that would help me find the freedom and happiness I was craving.
I remember it like it was yesterday. I sat up the whole night on the sofa worrying. Full of fear about what was going to happen and wondering how on earth I would ever pay the mortgage and all our bills.
I earned twice as much as my husband. We were screwed.
I couldn’t bring myself to go up to bed. My husband had pissed me off so much. And I could hear him snoring through the floorboards like he didn’t have a care in the world. Yet here I was alone, cold and confused, lying on the sofa in the living room – trying to work out what I was going to do!
I glanced at the clock. It was 3:33. Again – those repeating numbers I kept seeing.
Silver moonlight shone through a crack in the blinds.
God, I love the moon. There is something so magical about her energy. I feel a deep reassurance knowing that the moon is always there – even on the darkest night
I closed my eyes and tried to get some sleep. But I felt so alone. Water welled up behind my closed eyelids. As I blinked them open hot tears spilled down my face.
From the outside my life looked pretty perfect. House, husband, 2 kids, and up until that afternoon, a decent well-paid job. I should have been happy but I wasn’t – if I’m honest, I had been desperately unhappy for a long time before the redundancy news.
Inside I was screaming for help behind a fog of antidepressants, stress and anxiety. When I looked in the mirror I didn’t even recognise the woman looking back at me. Her eyes were so sad.
As I lay there, deep in thought, failing to hold back the tears, the moon lit up my face and I had a deep realisation. If I wanted to find happiness and freedom in my life then I had to make some changes. Nobody else was going to do it for me.
I began thinking about the things that used to make me happy. Before I locked myself away behind walls of emotional protection when my dad died. (I was only 14 when that happened and I felt so abandoned and shocked. Nobody prepares you for a sudden loss at that age. But that’s a story for another day.)
I remembered I always loved anything magical and supernatural. Totally loved fantasy books and anything that allowed me to escape into my own little world. Writing and art were important to me – when had I stopped being creative?
And I recalled how I always wanted to be a teacher. Funnily enough, in every job I ever had I always ended up as a trainer – the universe really does work in mysterious ways!
Right there and then I made a decision.
An inner fire sparked into life. I never again would allow an employer to pull the rug out from under me. Deep in my belly I knew that I never wanted to allow anyone to have that type of power over me ever again.
This was my life and I wanted to be free! Free to live it my way and to do the things I love. Free from debt. Free from depression.
I simply wanted to be happy!
I picked myself up. Wiped my tears and got myself another job, that same week, to give me breathing space to think.
As I worked for the next year or two I slowly began to put a plan in place. A plan that would lead me to where I am now.
I did courses in Crystal Healing, Aromatherapy and Reflexology. I read a lot of books. I started seeing clients in the evenings and at weekends. I dabbled with Wicca and then the game-changer appeared – Reiki found me.
As I worked with this powerful energy I started to unravel and change. Reiki gently eroded the foundations of the walls I had built to protect myself. And in 2012 as I completed my master level training, the walls I had carefully constructed came crashing down.
The pain seared through my chest as I allowed myself to finally feel all the things I had been hiding. The grief of losing my dad. The anger at having to grow up too fast. The frustration of being forced into a pigeon hole by society.
All of it came out. Along with the stark realisation that my 16 year marriage was over and I was in love with my best friend. She had supported me in ways that my husband never had.
Anyone who tells you healing is easy, is a liar. There is no magic wand. It is messy, painful and downright difficult – but it is so worth it.
For more than a decade Reiki has helped me understand who I really am. It has opened doors that I didn’t even know were there. And it has helped me understand what life is all about. And it continues to do so – every single day.
Even when life gets tough. Reiki has been there to help me navigate the difficulties and come out the other side.
I now have a sense of wonder and excitement about life that I didn’t have before. I feel happy and confident as I go about my business. And best of all, I get to help other people find themselves by teaching Reiki and working with my beautiful community in Soul Food Circle every day.
As I look back now to those sleepless nights, crying on the sofa and feeling alone – I can’t help but feel compassion for that scared, lonely girl. Because despite her pain, she had an inner fire. She had a passion buried deep inside herself and because of that, she found the courage to heal.
She helped me become who I am today. And I know that I am still a work in progress – aren’t we all?!
I am here to remind you that YOU are the driver of your life. Don’t be someone else’s passenger.
This might just be your wake up call.
Are you ready to take back your life and find the happiness and freedom that comes from doing what you love?
Then take the first step with me and make today the day you decide to find freedom and happiness.
More about Shannon
Shannon Barr is the in-house Reiki therapist at Rocks n Rituals.
As you may have worked out, Shannon is my daughter. She is currently studying for a BSc in Psychology and Counselling.
She is an amazing photographer and musician – and she has stunning hair, as you can see!
Throughout 2022 and 2023, she has trained under my close supervision in Reiki, becoming a Reiki Master Practitioner in July 2023. She is registered with the Reiki Guild.
A keen meditator, Shannon has a daily discipline of meditative practice which enhances her Reiki skills significantly.
Shannon offers Reiki & Crystal Reiki sessions on Tuesday evenings, Wednesday mornings and Thursday evenings.
This is Raven aka #reikicat – in this rare photo she is actually not sleeping! Proof that she does venture out and isn’t always on the Reiki table.
She has all of us wrapped round her fluffy paws.
We rescued her a few years back after she was abandoned – she is simply the fluffiest, cutest girl and we love her.
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