The essence of what I write:
Hello, I’m Laura.
This is me with a shaved head. It’s true: it’s very liberating.
I shaved my hair off in 2021 after moving to Brighton with my 2 children, Eve and Jack and our 2 dogs, Aslan and Tara.
I’d also just taken up motorbike lessons and started doing what I’d always felt was way beyond me: writing a fantasy novel.
Today, that novel is in the last stages of being line edited and about to be released on Wattpad for reader feedback and life for my children, dogs and I is really very very different to what it used to be…
In 2018, I was depressed and disconnected. With chronic insomnia and acute back pain, intense asthma attacks that brought ambulances to my front door, I was so convinced if I just tried harder to be a better mother, woman, person, to be more understanding, to deny more and more my needs, what brought me joy and who brought joy, life might just work out for me.
My doubt of myself was so entrenched that despite the fact that my heart was desperately trying to speak to me, I kept on refusing to acknowledge it.
Because I was scared of being the cause of hurt and pain to my children
Because I was scared of being judged and so too, I was so scared that my worst belief about myself would be confirmed: I don’t know how life works, and really, I am so unloveable I only deserved crumbs.
I was so crippled by shame, I couldn’t connect to any of the other mothers around me, and my home life was one of intense loneliness.
In the words of a therapist, I was treading water; in my own, I was sinking.
And then I got my wake up call. My beloved dog Bongo died and the way that he died and how he died made me realise I needed to trust myself.
I knew that my neglect and abandonment of what I knew to be true had real implications and impacts: and that the only person who could look after me, was me. And that maybe my sense of what my children and I needed, could actually be trusted. And even though everyone around me was telling me I was wrong. That I should stay where I was, continue. Try harder. I vowed to trust my hearts longings. And instead of making false promises to myself I started to act on what I knew to be true.
Ever since: my life and my children’s lives, has kept on transforming and I will never doubt again the freedom in my heart not only because I now have people in my world who live by their hearts, and know that Source is something tangible to be guided by, but because the freedom in my heart is leading me home to the experiences and relationships that are most precious to me.
And I know this too: the inner healing us mothers do heals our children by osmosis.
Thanks for reading. If this resonates so far, will you subscribe?
So this is my promise to you:
When you commit to trusting your self, it won’t be easy, but the more you trust yourself (and my writing is here to support, inspire and empower you) the greater your confidence and joy in trusting yourself will be.
Also, when you trust your self, when you follow the way of the heart, these are the changes you can expect:
H - Healing - of your body, mind and home
E - which leads to Expansion & Expression of your Essence
A - which leads to discovering your Art
R - which is your way of Remembering & Revealing your true nature
T - which leads to Transformation.
What will you get from my writing?
In the words of Ursula Le Guin: “Freedom is not a gift given, but a choice made.”
And it’s a choice that becomes so much easier to do when you have others around you too, learning to trust themselves wholeheartedly too.
My kitchen table where I do a lot of my writing.
This is our sitting room in our Tatamala: houses that dream so that people can dream. And my 2 children Eve and Jack and one of our dogs: Tara.
If I am able to leave something behind when I die, it will be a wish that my children - and actually I include my dogs here too - that they have this sense that mum, she really wanted us to be our own people.
trust yourself, she’d always say. trust yourself - even if what your self, your heart, body and intuition are telling you goes against me, trust yourself.
And in my writing: I hope for this too with you. That anything you read, you go away thinking, trust myself… trust myself… god, yes, maybe i can trust myself.
Like a beat and a rhythm that sets itself up in your heart.
What my children think of posing for a photo with me.
The first 7 years of my life I grew up with exceptional material, educational and geographical privileges.
I lived on a street called Neville, in London’s South Kensington. My first school we had to courtesy when you arrived, in the winter we wore double breasted coats with blue velvet collars and in the summer, white gloves.
My family had a house in the country, in west Sussex atop the South Downs. My father would change his cars on what seemed a monthly basis. He drove my brother and I in a red tractor to our local pub The Barley Mow on weekends for lunch. I always had the same: a ploughman’s. Which is a stack of white bread, cheddar cheese, pickle and cress. I ignored the pickle.
I loved my father with all my heart.
My father died when I was 7 years old.
The first 7 years of my life the experiences I experienced acute attachment trauma - in that there really was no one adult with whom I had any sense of attachment, anxious or otherwise.
What this meant was that before I found people who would guide me to be with the intense pain in me, aged 10, I came to discover alcohol. Which meant I was no longer the painfully shy child who couldn’t speak to boys.
And despite the memory black out, the throwing up and the hangovers any opportunity I had to drink, I did. On picnics with friends, I was the girl the parents were pulling out of the car later to vomit on the side of the road. Family Christmas gatherings, I was the girl standing on the table blind drunk. In fact I spent a lot of my life from 10-18 vomiting from alcohol.
However, one of the blessings of my life was that my mother practiced yoga when I was a child and also family and friends meditated. So it was there, in the environment I grew up in.
I started practicing yoga when I was 11 years old. At first for my asthma which had started after my father died - and I would practice on my bunk bed at boarding school.
Then, aged 16 I started attending classes at the Life Centre in London’s Notting Hill. Fiona Golfar, the the editor-at-large of British Vogue even invited me to join an article about people and their self care practices. I joined a photo shoot. It was an unfortunate photo shoot. Not that flattering. The only comment I got about the article was from a family friend. Shame about the photo he said. Yes, I said inside, shame is what I feel a lot.
Then when I was 18 i went to Ibiza to attend one of Godfrey Devereux’s Windfire camps for a week. I found out about compost loos, sleeping in tipis, fasting, eating in silence, and being topless at the beach.
I returned when I was 19.
Meanwhile, in a parallel life, around the age of 15, I started experimenting with cocaine and ecstasy. The later which taught me how to dance. I am grateful for it for that. But the cocaine just gave me never ending self loathing.
Then one day walking in Battersea Park I realised that the high I got from the drugs was nothing compared to the high that I got from yoga and so I quit the drugs.
I was 19 or 20.
Though I would still drink to black out and memory loss about 3 to 4 times a year and then when I was about 25, during a period where I attended 2x weekly Jungian sessions to look at my dreams, I got into 5 rhythms dancing: finally, I had found my cure to the part of me seeking release from the dark. For in dancing I could access the wildness I loved in getting blind drunk, and also get very very close to what alcohol gave me and what a friend said he missed when he got sober: oblivion.
After studying history at Trinity College, Dublin and then moving to Goldsmiths London to read English and history, my 20’s were spent creating events: tiny, medium and large.
I was a part of a small band who formed the Human Rights Watch London Network. We hosted out first event just around the corner from Neville Street in South Kensington where i’d grown up.
After visiting Rwanda, I created an event with a friend called the Why Not Event? Raising money for orphans of the Rwandan genocide. We had Jude Law the actor present it - due to my friend having exceptional contacts with people in the world of entertainment and media. And yet even though it was a glossy event and a really fun party, afterwards, I asked myself; but did we really make change?
After that event, I was asked to go on the committee for HRW film festival and there I met a man called Michael Young who the film that year was based on, and he said okay yes, when I asked if I could take him out for lunch to learn about his work. And it was a wonderful time my twenties, when things like this happened a fair amount. Life leading me to incredible people who i’d just happily go up to and chat with. I found that confidence ebbed and disappeared a lot in my 30’s, but don’t worry, if you’re reading this and you’re in a dysfunctional relationship to yourself, it will come back, with a fire and a groundedness: you just need to find the environments where it comes effortlessly. find your swans. that’s key. how? Trust yourself.
And then after that I sent up something called wonderful women and marvellous men with a friend and then my own Business Bonding For Good, and then London for London with another friend where on on a night in October 2009 we worked with 750 bars, clubs and pubs to raise money for young people whose lives had been affected by violence in the capital.
The event secured around £1.5m worth of media value form partners that included Capital FM, London Tonight and GMTV. And backed by everyone from the then popular Major Boris Johnson to Prince William.
That event was a gift in many ways, but in one key way: to have an experience where something you have been a part in creating becomes bigger then you. The moment I realised that the campaign had truly become London’s: when our media partners helped us launch a t shirt competition to design the t shirt volunteers would wear on the night. And i realised: wow, people have their own relationship to the campaign that has nothing to do with us the founders.
This experience is so similar to being a mum. which I became in 2012 and then in 2017.
There is this point with your kids when they are going out in the world and having relationships with people that actually are truly their own and don’t have anything to do with you, and you realise, kind of the same thing. wow that relationship is independent of me.
It’s like an offering -and essentially that’s my understanding of the potential we have in this human life: what are we offering and what are we creating? And what are we watching become bigger then us then?
Another experience that has shaped me was when I was working in Cambodia to set up a pilot project for a UK based foundation I was setting up for a company.
I had got the job suggesting the type of project I’d launch and I went out to Cambodia with IDEAS and then in having ideas LIFE happened: I was sitting there in the car waiting to have an appointment with someone who was important because part of this job was that I had lots of money to invest in this project from the company I was working for, and then there I am and Nharn, my Cambodian friend who’s making all of these introductions for me is sitting beside me in the car, and he asks what book I’m reading. I show him - its one I’ve poached from my brother. So I have this book and it’s talking about eco villages, and Nharn says well actually we’re working with Max Lindegger who set up an eco-village in Australia which won a UN award and are you interested doing something similar here? And in that moment my body says YES and we cancel all the meetings we had planned and go in a completely different direction.
Another experience that shaped me is Vipassana. I’ve served on 2 whole retreats and for a few days when I was in Cambodia as well. the two full retreats i served on even tho, we were meant to be in silence i still remember the feeling in my body of the way we worked together in the kitchen. silent. sensing each other. the moving as if one.
One of the unnatural things about being a single mother is that we carry so much alone.
And so I tell myself, and I tell you too: if you’re a single mother carrying so much, every time you feel most alone is actually when you have the best company. For out there, here in our world, so many other mothers are feeling lonely most probably at the same moment as you as well. Just as mothers have before and just as, most probably, others will too, in the future as well.
You can try connecting to them when you’re washing at the kitchen sink: can you feel them? Other mothers in this moment now, your ancestors and also your descendants calling you…
Infinity connects us all.
Here’s our other dog: Aslan.
You see about me, is about you is about us is about who we’ve been and who we are becoming.
Also, PS: I’m deaf and wear hearing aids in both ears. But that’s another story. one i will share. But at another time.
My book Travels With My Daughter: An Experience of Motherhood is available on Amazon.
I’m just about to release my first novel on Wattpad. Just. A word with a moving deadline. I’ll let you know when it’s released! Set in Brighton in WW1. About a local girl, Emily Parker who amidst the madness that is the rush to war has lost her gift of Knowing… until she meets an Irish Traveler, Shelta Appleby who claims she’s here to help Emily reclaim it.
Eve and I. Eve and Jack teach me the big stuff. I teach them them the every day stuff. like how to cross a road, brush your teeth and open the curtains when it’s day time to let fresh air in.
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