I was born in the north of England and grew up in north Wales. Leaving home to attend Queen Mary College at the University of London at 18 I dropped out after a year to join an obscure religious group which later became notorious as the Moonie cult. This was simply a stepping stone on my spiritual path in search of what is authentically true. By the age of 33 in 1985 my time with the Moonies was over. I continued my spiritual search and moved to the US to attend the Summit Lighthouse Mystery School in Montana. It was here that I first began my yoga practice which remained with me and became more important even after my time with the Summit Lighthouse had faded into memory.
I moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 1991 where I lived for 20 years and this was a time of incredible richness in terms of spiritual growth. I deepened my yoga practice and stumbled across Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan which I immediately fell in love with. This practice delivered what I had been sub-consciously searching for in my yoga practice but had not found until then. In 2000 I became a kundalini yoga teacher and taught a regular weekly class at the ashram there in Phoenix for then next ten years. I also developed a chair yoga practice for seniors that I taught in a number of senior facilities throughout the valley at that time.
Concurrently with this is discovered Native American Shamanism which is was heavily involved with for over ten years, including healing ceremonies, initiation ceremonies, sundances and more. This was totally life changing for me, shifting me out of a Euro-centric world view which is patriarchal in nature to a more wholistic matriarchal outlook.
It was in Phoenix that I went to massage school and then became a practicing massage therapist which I have now been doing for 22 years.It was at massage school that I was first told I had healing hands. I was skeptical at first, but people kept telling me this, both at massage school and later when I had clients, so I came to accept it. The reason it was difficult for me to accept this at first was because it had nothing to do with my will; it wasn’t something I had to think about. In fact it tended to work best when I wasn’t thinking about it at all.
In 2011 I moved to Belize and am semi-retired. I still teach my weekly yoga class and I still practice my massage and enjoy a stress free life here in the jungle.
text and photo credit : Caroline Barnes