Once considered ‘new age’ or ‘alternative’, our quest for personal growth, self-improvement, professional success or spiritual enlightenment is now a vital element of 21st century mainstream society.
From meditation and mindfulness to yoga retreats or motivational seminars we can now access a huge range of practices and philosophies essential for our personal wellbeing.
Whether you are searching for answers to life’s big mysteries – Why are we here? What is my purpose? – or seeking guidance and skills to help you through one of life’s more difficult challenges, I know from experience that reading, talking and sharing with others, can be a powerful supply of energy to feed our often waning spirits.
It was my husband Steve who really introduced me to spirituality; he was very open-minded and interested in life coaches such as Tony Robbins as well as meditation and emotional freedom techniques.
Although I attended a Lutheran school, I grew up in a non-religious household. While I was open to the possibilities of religion, I was also sceptical of the other-worldliness of it all. ‘We’re all part of the universe’. ‘We’re spiritual beings having an earthly experience’. Hmmm…sounds a little out there!
Steve and I owned a lovely bookstore and café at Garden City for four years. There I witnessed first-hand the popularity of authors such as Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay and Marianne Williamson, among a large selection of other writers in this broadening genre. Not only did we sell the books, I read them too .
In July 2013 life as I knew it came to an end when Steve died from suicide. He had been battling depression for many years and tried so many doctors and so many medications but in the end, he just couldn’t fight any more. Words can’t really express the shock, disbelief, confusion, guilt, anger and utter heartbreak that followed for all of us who knew and loved him.
After he died, I needed help, I wanted answers and I found several great internet support communities and went to several different counsellors. In the early days it was just about unloading to someone impartial, crying and beginning the early stages of grieving. I felt loved and supported by them but after a while, a little stuck.
I started seeing Dr. Clive Williams, author of A Mudmap for Living who bases some of his work on that of Joseph Campbell. For me it was a different approach; it was about moving forward; about being brave, following your dreams, examining yourself and learning. Learning from the hardest thing that has ever happened to me.
Clive is caring, humorous and encouraging but he calls you on your bullshit as well. He’s helped me with grief, and the resultant anxiety, but has also helped me find the strength within myself to not get stuck. He helped me move forward.
“We must be willing to let go of the life we had planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us” Joseph Campbell.
I know with all my heart that Steve would want me to move forward as well. I know that he’s around, watching and wanting only the best for me and for all of us.
Bliss Books & Gifts is a manifestation of my personal journey and new-found spiritual understanding – although I’m only just beginning this journey. I hope it is a source of nourishment for your heart and mind as you move forward along your own path of life’s fascinating journey.