• Tam Johnson

Returning To Light

18mths since my last post. I can hardly believe how radically different life is for me and my family now than it was just a short year and a half ago. So much has happened in that short time it feels like forever ago and yesterday all at once. And along that long-short path I’ve lost and re-found myself and Source more times than I care to admit.

You see, it’s hard for someone like me who feels they should know better, who teaches this kind of stuff, to admit that when life gets super busy, or complicated, or challenging (or all three in our case) that even the best of us succumb to our humanness, no matter how enlightened we may or may not be.

I’ll start at the beginning (or rather, after my last post) to give you a quick catch up.

We DID buy the land with the little garden nursery business and it was EVERYTHING and NOTHING like we imagined it would be. We moved here in November 2018 and from the minute our caravan was sited and we were officially “moved in” life, in every facet of its being, changed completely and irrevocably. Suddenly we were living in a colder climate in basically a tin box, with no running water, no flushing toilet and no power except when we ran the generator. It took a full 6 weeks to decide which solar system to install, and a further couple of weeks to actually put it in. Then came learning how to use it. And it wasn’t until the end of March that we had running water. That is always going to be a day I remember as being one of the best of my entire life!

I say all this, it was 100% my husband’s efforts, I pretty much just said “yes” or “no” when asked questions and tried to help with whatever I could, which wasn’t much. Our oldest helped him more than I did :}

But for all that the first few months of living here were extremely hard, we were very fortunate to have met a wonderful couple just a stones-throw up the road who took us under their wing, let us shower and wash our clothes there and even helped us install our wood burning stove, among millions of other small but hugely significant things. It was not easy, and I was constantly worried about my children being cold (some days we couldn’t get out of the caravan because the door had frozen shut) but it was also a huge adventure and it got us working together in a way we’ve never had to before.

Our little caravan from across the lake, on a day we got frozen in.

With such a huge reduction in power, things like watching TV became an event (using the laptop to watch on!) and more often than not evenings were spent with me working on the admin for the business and planning out what we intended to do in our first year, as well as planning our big re-opening festival in April (you can read an article about it in the Welsh Borders online magazine here). But in truth, we just had no idea what we were doing, not to mention that we had this huge area of land and a massive poly tunnel to clear and reorganise and get ready for the festival.

To begin with, though I found it really hard to forego some of the creature comforts and habits I’d put in place for my personal and spiritual needs (salt baths – or indeed ANY kind of bath! – morning meditation and spiritual work, cooking regularly in our healthful way etc), I still had enough of a reserve to work through it. I still felt connected to my Spiritual Team, I still felt healthy even though we were relying on convenience foods much more because of time and power constraints, and I still felt mostly in tune with my inner guidance that not only did I experience some amazing synchronicities in getting ready for our re-opening festival, but I felt at peace most of the time that however things were unfolding, were okay.

But it didn’t last long.

Stress and overwhelm started catching up with me. My energy levels started to flag. The ideas that I thought were brilliant and going to make us a lot of money were obviously NOT inspired by my Higher Self because they tanked big time. I started to suffer from anxiety and a total inability to relax, even when trying to. By August the business was hardly bringing in any money at all, and while we did manage to get our craft markets going, it was a constant juggling act to pay for things we felt we needed for the next step and at times I hit rock-bottom so hard I’m surprised I bounced back at all.

But the funny thing I found was that each time I hit a low-point, the sense of despair and inability to even think about the situation at hand, in its own way helped me to get back up again. It afforded me the rest I couldn’t find a way to otherwise, which of course slowed down my, by then, negatively-attractive energy enough to allow me to pivot to better feeling thoughts. It was like the Universe’s reset button – when you hit despair you inadvertently give up, give in to the situation, and as they say, when you hit rock-bottom the only way left is up.

Those moments served to remind me of why I was there in the first place – I’d lost my connection to my Self, to Source.

And as soon as I reminded myself that Source will always give me exactly what I need, when I need it, IF I let go enough to receive it, BAM! Some kind of miracle always happened. But not before I let go, only ever afterwards. And I’m talking about the kind of miracle whereby helping my husband sort out his new tax status generated a hefty tax return that allowed us to get through the last half of the year. It was totally unexpected, something I never even considered might happen, but there it was. The message was completely crystal-clear – let go, trust, and miracles are all but instant manifestations.

A trail in the stunning Hafod Estate

And then came January 2020, like the car-chase-opening-scene in a novel as Kari Samuels described it in her monthly forecast. The day before my son’s 15th birthday I found out I was pregnant. To say I was devastated and completely blind-sided is putting it lightly. What worked for us in terms of contraception for 10 years, clearly doesn’t work anymore because living so close to nature had shifted my cycles and I no longer had the grace-period that a longer more irregular cycle had allowed me before. Which of course, I would have recognised if I hadn’t gotten so out of touch with my body during a year of eating whatever was at hand, whenever I had time to even think about it.

I knew that no matter what, I did not want another baby. I also knew that taking steps to end the pregnancy was horrifying to me, despite the fact that I fully believe in women’s rights to abortion should they choose it. It was the worst couple of weeks I’d had in a long time. But my beautiful soulful friend reminded me that it was, above all, a wake-up call from the Universe and helped me to realise how much I’d neglected my Soul’s calling, my physical and spiritual needs, and how out of touch I was with Who I Really Am.

I’d spent the whole year cramming my brain with horticultural information and listening to other people (our customers, well-meaning new friends, business advisors etc) and trying to please everyone who walked in the door, flitting between different ideas in a business I knew nothing about, hardly ever taking time to check in with my Self whether it felt right, just focusing on making the money, the money, the money...

I’d lost my way.

Working with my husband and trying to come to decisions in the business together, from very different perspectives didn’t help either. It’s a lesson we’re learning together, and just to diverge for a second I have to admit, that apart from occasionally missing the freedom his night-shifts gave us, we both love working together every day (well, mostly), which surprised the hell out of us. It was something I didn’t even allow myself to worry about before we moved because I knew it was up to us to make it work and that with good communication, we would. And we have. Mostly.

When I got pregnant, it came right at the point that I thought I knew what needed to be done over the next year, and was feeling quite sure about it. It would be another crazy busy year but that was to be expected right? I was supposed to be okay with sacrificing personal needs for that of the business for the first few years, wasn’t I? I had to be okay with putting my kids and our family’s needs second for at least another year or two, didn’t I? After all, that’s what it takes to build a successful business, doesn’t it?

The crazy thing is, the enormous earthquake that happened in our lives (especially in my mind) as a result of two little lines on a stick, was actually a miracle in itself. Because when I came to the decision that there was no earthly way I could bring another child into this world, let alone into the situation we’re in, it made me realise just how much I’d lost sight of what really mattered, of why we were here in the first place. And it had very little to do with the money.

We came here to give our kids a better life, to be more self-sufficient, to run a small but profitable business that relied on physical labour and being outside most of the year round, something I always wanted because despite how much I love my creature comforts, I also love how good I feel when I consistently spend time out in nature and moving my body.

It also served to powerfully remind me just how much I have to appreciate despite the setbacks we’ve had over the last year, because there have also been many small victories.

After all, we live in my personal idea of paradise, free from debts and most of the constraints we were slaves to all our lives before. But more than that, it reminded me of the potential we have here. I’d spent so long seeing it as just a huge mountain of expensive work to be done, that I’d forgotten just how much potential for amazing things we have here. I’d stopped dreaming, and so doing killed my inspiration and connection to my Inner Being. Not to mention all the small things that make every day here a joy, like how much I adore the trees around me, and watching seeds sprout, and seeing a million stars on clear moonless nights, and being beholden to no one but ourselves.

The nursery in August

But it also gave me pause to realise that I was setting myself up for another year of difficulty. Too much on our plates, not enough time to be a family (or to take care of our physical health), and not enough space to breathe and reconnect with my Self and Source on a regular basis. I realised I had to renegotiate my plans for 2020 and pare things down significantly so that I can build a foundation for abundance and health rather than slaving away for a superficial purpose that ultimately would get me nowhere fast.

So renegotiate I did, extensively. Pared down our opening hours, removed work to do that wasn’t essential and focused only on what really worked last year and to improve on that, delayed plans for things that would be better off coming later once we’d established a smoothly-running system for what was already in place and working. I also added things like a home routine that would allow time for cooking and getting the kids back into the habit of doing educational work and physical exercise, and getting up BEFORE noon.

And when I went to the hospital with a clear mind about the decision I had made, I was prepared to do what needed doing, because I knew I had acknowledged the powerful message and lesson behind the manifestation. And then another miracle happened, though I’m sure many women would argue that it wasn’t a miracle but a tragedy, but to me it was just the biggest blessing someone in my situation could ever ask for. There was no embryo growing in the gestational sac. It was a blighted ovum. And though I was only 6 weeks pregnant at the time it was clear that it was never going to be a successful pregnancy, and a week later I started bleeding naturally to my huge relief.

I never ever wanted to take the pills, or have surgery, and although I turn to herbs and natural remedies for nearly everything, I never dared to take the chance of doing something so potentially dangerous as to use herbs for something like this. How could I? Not only is it extremely risky to self-induce a miscarriage with herbs that could lead to haemorrhage and even death, when women everywhere have fought so hard for so long to enable someone like me in this position to have a safe abortion (and here in Wales it’s free to boot). There are still far, far too many women in the world who have to choose between unpredictable and dangerous herbs, or shady back-alley “doctors”, or just to suck it up and have another one anyway, because their country doesn’t believe they have the right to choose. I won’t shame those women who fought so hard by endangering my life when I have no good reason under the sun to do so.

But more than the physical relief of having a completely natural miscarriage, it was like the Universe’s way of saying, “See, just a wake-up call. Not a call to arms.”

And now, as I wait for the blood to finish cleansing my womb, and I work between writing a newsletter for the nursery, baking healthy paleo carrot cakes for my family, and writing this blog-post, I am overcome by just how extraordinarily blessed I am to have total control over my body and life, to have my family on the road back to healthy habits and productivity, and to have the opportunity to share my experience with others just in case it may help them in some small way to make sense of what they are going through, or perhaps went through in the past.

I am also much refreshed in my determination to ensure that whatever happens this year (because it's promising to be a BIG year, in terms of the energy coming in), I maintain my connection to my Self, to Source and to my reasons for being where I am. That no matter how “great” an idea sounds in my head, that I take the time to check in, to deeply sit with it before going ahead so that my Self has time to come through the haze and offer me the kind of guidance that makes the difference between a beautiful, synchronistic, easy and joyful success, and an expensive, humiliating and despair-inducing flop.

In finding my way back to the light, I’ve realised that despite how much I know, that knowledge means nothing without consistent practice.

It’s always the small things that matter most. The small daily habits that accrue monumentally over time, whether that habit be good or bad. Just like eating a big sugary doughnut everyday will make you fat and sick over time, so will meditating for 15 minutes a day make you peaceful and wise over time. It’s always the small daily things. Brushing your teeth, hugging your kids, eating an apple, watching the sunset with a smile and gratitude in your heart, sweeping the kitchen floor, making your bed, watching the bees...

So if you take nothing else away from this post, I wish it would be this. Remember that it’s the little things that really count. That make life into what it is.

So much love to you,

Tam x x

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