During last week one of my precious New Chapter clients was booked in for her final session, her graduation. A celebration of how far she had come.

She and I met during a networking meeting where she heard me talk about the work I do. She was ready to begin looking forward after 37 years of exploring the pain she suffered as a child. What she heard me say was ‘Change is forever but the pain doesn’t have to be’.

It must be the right time for change in your life.

It is important to explore the path behind you before you can really move forward onto firm, solid ground. The importance of digging over the soil, exploring the painful experience thoroughly maybe with a professional but also with trusted friends, colleagues, maybe using a reflective journal and other useful tools. Allowing yourself to do this prepares you to truly find your way forward into the sunshine. Some might even be discovering the sunshine for the first time.

When I have done an initial discovery call I generally know what someone needs. Sometimes it is to guide to explore the path behind them but if they are ready I can join them as they take those precious baby steps forward towards a New Chapter. The new part of the book of life that is just waiting to be written.

Anyway, back to the graduation..

A few weeks before I had been part of the baby shower committee making the arrival of my eldest daughter’s first baby a special and memorable experience. Her sister had suggested that we give everyone a going home gift and she chose a candle to light when he was born (she must have got that from me as I have always created special going home gifts at events including their birthdays). Each tag was lovingly written by Di Burgess and packaged beautifully in the way only Di can do (Di and I are grandparents to the same bubba and share a love of creating meaningful special  experiences with our work and in the shop).

It said:

‘This is a gift for you today

So when I am born you’ll light the way

With the Flicker of the flame

Please make a wish in my name..’

My client and I met the day I found out about becoming a Nanny and ironically her graduation was exactly 24 hours after his actual birth. I had 2 candles that I suggested we should light together at 15.42pm.

The real irony was that it is exactly the time she was graduating from her New Chapter program. It had taken her to the stepping stone where she felt comfortable and confident, and with tools to ensure she was going to be able to stay on the path ahead of her.

However,

Even having done this important work she still needed to have the awareness that she was going to be taking ‘baby’ steps forward into her new chapter. ‘You cannot run before you can walk…’

A baby of course generally learns to walk, they will occasionally fall down but as time passes they gain in confidence and are eventually able to walk forward without pain and discomfort.

I believe it’s why many people maybe go back into therapeutic work – they feel better because they have done the work, but they maybe haven’t fully connected with themselves again, found solid ground (and in some cases have never done that). They maybe haven’t prepared fully for the journey ahead, know where they are going or even know what they need to live a happy, pain free, joy filled life after the difficult life change they have experienced.

I for one am realising I am only just personally really finding my feet on the path ahead. I am firmly stood on my steppingstone and feeling confident about moving forward in my life and work. I am clear that New Chapter personal recovery coaching work is as important as the therapeutic healing journey we need to go on before it and I am excited that I am here to ensure that it becomes known about.

If you are ready to explore the journey ahead of you or indeed just want to find out what you need after difficult or traumatic life change just get in touch. You will be guaranteed a very warm welcome.

My book - The Grief Garden Path

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