By Laura Exton
This article was written and published in the holistic magazine, one source. It is the ups and downs in my life that were experienced before opening and managing the holisitc centre.
I started my career at the age of 16, just out of school and straight into a local college training in Beauty Therapy and Hairdressing. I always knew what I wanted to do with my life from an early age; I guess growing up with a Mum who worked from home as a hairdresser, you could say I was born with comb and scissors instead of a ‘silver spoon’.
Not long after being at college I was spotted by my tutor and offered a Saturday position in her salon. That position I feel was the making of me. I learnt so much and progressed so quickly that by the age of 19 I had moved to my second salon and was promoted to salon manager within a few weeks. With my beauty qualification under my belt I moved into the Holistic field very soon qualifying in Indian Head, Reflexology and Aromatherapy and embarked at the age of 20 onto a teacher training course.
A twist of events saw me offered an opportunity to open my own business. So at the tender age of 21 I became my own boss, having 2 treatment rooms inside a busy health club. The business took off in leaps and bounds and within 6 months I had employed 2 therapists and had a variety of complimentary practitioners renting space as well. As if this wasn’t enough I decided to go into teaching and was hurled in at the deep end at a local college teaching evening classes in Aromatherapy and Reflexology and Level 2 Beauty Therapy to a rather rowdy group of 16 year old girls. Only 5 years older myself it felt like a lifetime away. I also taught on a much nicer scale in a private school for my original employer, I really can say I owe a lot to her. So there I was working on average 60-70 hours a week over 7 days, and loving every minute of it.
Then what should happen ‘A Man’, and that was me off to get married at the age of 24, giving up my business, my home, my teaching, my life.....I married and moved to Edinburgh.
It was a tough time, my marriage lasted a year and was extremely volatile and in the end I chose to protect myself and leave.
I n fact I left for a life in Saudi Arabia; at 25, there was me still young, blonde and single in a country dominated by men. Having gone to work on a nurses visa as therapists are not allowed, somewhat scared for a while, but it was a very grounding experience and in Saudi I found my Reiki Master.
After the turn of events on September 11th, things got tough in Saudi so I made a decision to move to Bahrain and had a great 6 months, then travelled Dubai and Abu Dhabi before heading home and back to a management position in Edinburgh.
All was going well and then it hit me, I was desperately tired, my whole body hurt, my back felt as if I was being trampled on and my head banged as it never had before. Many, many tests and a six month dose of the wonder drug ‘Prozac’ (haha) and I was no better, in fact I was slowly getting worse. Finally through my own research I discussed what I had been reading about an illness called Fibromyalgia with my GP, her reaction was that she had been thinking of exactly that for some time but as there was no Formal testing for it she decided to dismiss it. She then told me I should consider giving up my career and started to fill in forms for a disability allowance. I was 27 and being written off.
So I took my life into my own hands, I gave up my job for fear of letting people down and I took 3 months off to look after me. I gave my diet a good shake up, looked into various supplements, self healed and meditated every day, generally took time off from life.
After 3 months I made a plan to get my life back together. I took a position managing a small hotel spa on a private island on the west coast of Scotland. It was the most amazing place and I really began to find myself again. Work was busy but manageable and the view of the loch and mountains out of my windows, the amazing fresh air and natural spring water soon got me back to full flight.
In January 2004 I went to spend time with a healer friend of mine in Barbados and once again found myself meeting the most amazing people. On my return from my hol’s I met the man of my dreams and once again found my pathway taking another turn.
Within 6 months I moved my life to Wiltshire and set up home with Andrew. An unexpected turn has now seen me fulfilling a long ambition, to have a business of my own again. In September 2004 we opened ‘Inspiration Holistic Centre’ within a building that dates back to the 1600’s, in a small town called Bradford on Avon about 6 miles outside Bath. The centre has a shop on the ground floor selling all things Holistic and Spiritual and in the basement we have a wonderfully relaxing treatment room which doubles as a great space for workshops and classes. We have been joined by some amazing therapists, teachers, astrologers, readers and things are really starting to take off.
And me, well besides expecting my first child I am feeling so much better, my body tells me when I’ve had a hard day but then its just time to have an early night. My advice, don’t always believe the labels pinned to you and please don’t allow yourself to be written off until your ready, and hold onto your dreams......... give them a chance to come true!!
PS I now have a beautiful 5 month old son, who comes to work with me everyday.......things are not always easy.....but perservere if you think its right!!!
This article was posted by Laura Exton