It is with some trepidation I begin to write this article as it is so deeply personal to me. I’d like to share with you my personal experience of The Journey following a head injury with the hope that it will resonate with some and help me share how valuable I’ve found this work, which I sometimes find difficult to put into words.
In early 2013 life was great for me. I had recently moved to Colchester with my husband to be and wedding preparations were in full swing. I was settling in well in my new role as a physiotherapist at the local hospital and really enjoying making new friends. My life was busy but I loved it that way… I always had.
By the summer I was married, had been promoted and had moved into Army married quarters with my husband. I was really enjoying Crossfit training 5 times a week and cycling to work and back each day, focusing on my fitness with the free time I’d previously devoted to horses (I’d always been a keen rider and enjoyed eventing but moved to Colchester without a horse).
I was still doing some rugby physio work outside my NHS work and making time to see family and friends from back home. Everything was playing out as I had hoped and I was happy, healthy and strong.
But a cycling accident at the end of 2013 brought my whole world crashing down. I sustained a minor head injury but in the days that followed I was dizzy, sick, kept losing my balance and my vision was blurry. I was struggling to do even basic of tasks, struggling to work and was unable to train or ride my bike. I could hardly stand up straight or walk short distances at times. After a couple of weeks, my symptoms were worse rather than better and it took me a good few weeks to admit to myself how bad I was feeling and how much I was struggling. I had never been one to sit around and had always been fit and healthy before. I hated not being able to work, train and spend time with my family and friends.
My frustration grew when the doctors told me recovery could take months at best and there wasn’t much they could offer me to help. I was willing to try anything to get back to feeling like my old self and I came across The Journey about four months after my accident by a chance encounter with another physio who is a Journey Practitioner. She had Brandon Bay’s book displayed in her waiting room and a leaflet on display so I asked her about it. I’m not afraid to say initially it made no sense to me. I had never come across anything like it before in my life or my physio training but I felt I had to try it. I was so desperate for some relief from the dizziness and nausea that was dominating my daily life. I listened to the audiobook as I was struggling to read anything as my vision was so blurry and it set my dizziness off. I had a process with her (none of which I can remember) and afterwards booked myself a place at the upcoming Journey Intensive, which is a 3 day course with Brandon herself.
At the Intensive I can remember having to hold the back of the chair in front of me when we did standing exercises because I was so dizzy. My thinking mind still couldn’t make any sense of The Journey but I had a knowing in my body, a gut feeling this was something I needed to explore. Brandon’s stories and teachings made so much sense to me but I had no idea how to ‘get in touch with my emotions’. I realised I had always kept myself busy to avoid feeling. I don’t think I even knew how to feel!
Slowly and gently, I began to empty years worth of stored pain and I started to recognise emotions as they arose in my body. The Journey works a lot with old memories stored in our bodies and with the ‘younger you’ from those memories. Initially all I felt was shame, loathing, even self hatred towards this younger me for not being good enough but I gradually started to soften towards her. I began to feel compassion for her which became a genuine love for her, knowing she was just doing the best she could with the resources she had at the time. After each process I felt lighter and more connected to my body and the infinite presence around us. I had spent so long feeling disconnected and battling my mind and my little nagging inner voice. It was such a relief to realise I am not my mind, that we are all already whole and for my body to start to heal.
After the Journey Intensive I returned home and couldn’t find the words to describe the experiences I’d had but I was amazed to see how many areas of my life shifted afterwards. I felt closer and more connected to my family and I was better able to express myself.
I booked on to the rest of the Practitioner Programme primarily with the aim of healing my body and my symptoms. Over the next few months I gave and received many processes and each one resulted in emptying, clearing and healing different aspects that were no longer serving me. It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life and it has transformed my life. The Journey has opened my eyes to a whole new way of being, living and working. I have come to realise how vast the field of using the mind to heal the body is and how supportive this work is to my own health and happiness, as well as my professional practice. Our minds are so powerful it seems crazy not to use them to help our physical healing and rehab.
Life for me now
These days I hardly get any symptoms. I have learnt to avoid certain triggers and when symptoms arise, it is often a signal to me that I am not listening to my body and not giving it what it needs. I find it really useful to use them as a gentle reminder to keep nurturing my body, taking care of the simple things it needs such as nourishing food, staying hydrated, minimising stress and moving regularly. The Journey remains an integral part of my life and I still process regularly on whatever issues arise in my day to day life.
My invitation to you
My invitation to you as you’re reading this far, is to be open to this work and the possibility it may be helpful to you, even if it feels a bit strange at first. You can read more about The Journey here.
I really highly recommend reading Brandon’s book The Journey, or The Journey for Kids if you’re interested or to contact me to try this incredible work for yourself.