Trying to make sense of life from a young age, I spent many years attempting to find a cure for my ills. Periodically suffering with intense anxiety and often struggling in relationships, I felt as if I was fundamentally flawed or broken in some way. Like many of us do, I went to a variety of psychotherapists and other practitioners, but never really found the healing I was looking for.
In my twenties, I was a community development worker in an inner city area. I also played bass in an all-women band. After a near-breakdown, a precursor of the dark night that was to come years later, I changed direction in my early thirties and became a complementary health practitioner. I seemed to gradually get back on track, and ended up setting up a health-focused social enterprise which won a national award just before the government funding ran out.
Having lost my beloved job and all that went with it, my life – and I – fell apart. I experienced a four year dark night of the soul. My persona, the identity that I’d built to compensate for the inner sense of brokenness, crumbled. I began to look more deeply, mostly because there was no other option. I had to face the pain of my difficult and sometimes traumatic childhood. Whilst often desperate for some relief or solution, it became clear that this was a process of unbecoming, of unravelling. The awakening process that began during this time continues to this day.
After a while, despite continuing difficulties and struggles, I began to learn how to be with myself, how to accompany myself regardless of whatever state I was in from day to day. I also began exploring ways of continuing the deep looking that had begun in the dark night, and ended up becoming a practitioner/facilitator of a kind of organic, embodied, living inquiry. This work, which continues to evolve, takes us deeply into mind, body and soul. Often, there’s a discovery of the wisdom that lies therein.
It’s a real joy to work in this way. To hold the space whilst someone connects with or remembers long-forgotten or neglected parts of themselves. To witness the transformations that occur when someone is able to finally express what has been silenced, hidden or unacknowledged. To take a dive into the unknown, into the deep creativity and intelligence that resides in all of us, if we are willing to look.
I continue to do my own inner work, and I now experience life in a different way than I used to. I no longer feel broken. My life is – as with all of us – a mix of tragedy and comedy, challenges and joys, and yet there is an aliveness in me that wasn’t there before.
I am the author of The Dark Night of the Soul: A Journey from Absence to Presence, a profound exploration of spiritual crisis and the dark night journey. In 2021, I graduated from the University of Nottingham with an MA (with distinction) in Philosophy.
Fiona is deeply compassionate, wise, and skilled while being completely flexible around any structure or process, so flexible she can venture into the total unknown, whether that is the abyss or nirvana. Truly exceptional!