10 days ago I nervously boarded a flight to Barbados on my own. Negative PCR firmly in hand, immigration paperwork complete, mask firmly on.
If I'm honest I was scared, was I making a mistake travelling to an island mid pandemic.
But this was a long planned trip. To a now green zone to see a dear friend. To rest, recoup and find some inner peace after a very long 5 years. We all have journeys and at different times they can be uphill or downhill.
Loss, bereavement, house moves and adult children moving onwards coupled with health blips pushed me onto that plane.
Feel the fear they say. Oh boy I did, coupled with bubbling excitement that threatened to be swamped by anxiety.
A trip to involve yoga, massage and lots of swimming. The plan: 2 weeks working including remotely online followed by 2 weeks R and R.
The past version of myself trained at Tisserand in London as a clinical aromatherapist. That's where I met my dear friend who had travelled over to England to train. Fast forward 17 years and I'm back here visiting.
So big girl pants on, I became the intrepid traveller once again. My last big adventure was Peru. Not to mention a recent hilarious trek to the Outer Hebrides to a tree house no less.
It was a Bridget Jones moment of I CAN. And that's the message to send out. You CAN.
But this was different
This was 4 weeks away from home, family, pets, friends and staying in an apartment on my own. Space to be, think, work and write.
The ultimate in self care but also the reality I would be alone with my thoughts and that meant unpacking and acknowledging past grief.
Often we package emotions away, sometimes for many years in order to navigate the chaos of life. And now I was ready to be gentle nurturing and kind to myself. And what better space! And having my dear friend nearby to giggle and laugh with, which is after all the very best medicine.
On the journey here the plane was delayed on the ground for 3 hrs. As I sat on that plane I found myself relaxing into my seat.
Thinking what a treat to just be! And sit with complete strangers all around me, the unknown ahead. I popped in my headphones and watched 2 films in total blissful silence.
I actually cried as we took off, not because of fears of flying but because I felt utter gratitude at being on that plane. And for those friends who had supported encouraged and helped me to get here.
I felt grateful for my mother, her loss more prominent than ever but equally her presence more evident than before. Her love of travel put me on that plane just as her love of reading had filled my case with books!
It was a Bridget Jones moment of I CAN.
And that's the message to send out. You CAN.
You can do anything if you truly believe in yourself. 5 years ago I didn't believe I would up sticks and fly 9 hours across the globe over the Atlantic Ocean to work on zoom no less.
And Oh what tales so far........
From giant African snails
To wild monkeys running into the garden
To realising centipedes Bite!
Palm trees and singing frogs galore.
Amazing wild and beautiful birds singing throughout breakfast.
There are tales to tell and lessons to learn.
I journalled the entire flight and landed in Barbados lighter and more self aware than ever before.
I'll be bringing stories of those lessons learned to this page. After all I'm only human and whilst my role as therapist is a huge part of me I am also a mother, a friend, a daughter, a sister and a human being.
So here is the beauty of Barbados in full colour as I start my journey tentatively into self care.
And a reminder that self care coupled with self awareness allows us to become the very best version of ourselves.
I'm Becky, a mother, counsellor, writer, traveller and founder of Willow Therapy.
I believe in living our best life. My goal is to encourage and support others on their journey.
My life experiences inform the unique way I work. The diverse training, I embarked on spanning 20 years has created firm foundations.
I offer Supervision, Family Therapy and Parent support whilst managing a small team at Willow.
I'm passionate about body mind connection as a former holistic practitioner teacher.