It was 1993 and I was a freelance TV Producer in Advertising located in Sydney.
I had worked in several Ad agencies, and had my own film production company working on television commercials. The workload was intense and pressure was on when we had on air dates looming. I was lucky enough to work on some memorable commercials and many involved traveling overseas or interstate in remote and often very beautiful destinations. I loved working on car commercials as these were invariably shot out in the country using helicopters and all the toys used to shoot at high speed and get the spectacular shots, often at sunrise!
I spent 20 years in the business starting out in a film editing company moving on to casting films and commercials then working as a junior tv producer in a large Advertising company and moved on nto film production. Even though this was very exciting, fun and full on there was a part of me inside that was empty. I seemed to be running on empty a lot of the time and my adrenials were burnt out by the time I left Sydney to make the sea change to Byron Bay.
In that moment (which I can still remember distinctly) I said “nothing!” So three weeks later I moved up and never went back.
That was a big risk in those days as there was no film scene really happening in Byron and I moved to property and knew no one. OMG that was a big challenge. My life in the hills was very different to my fast paced life in old Sydney town. So I looked around and bought a shop in the main street and became a retailer.
This proved to be quite a challenge as I had never sold clothes before and I was not used to being stuck in a shop 7 days a week! I had to learn quickly how to stay afloat in a small town that was very quiet in those days. I decided to travel to Bali three times a year and produce my own label and pick up some interesting clothing from new wholesalers to give the shop a fresh injection which it desperately needed.
Looking back it was a great way to meet the locals and I even joined the Chamber of Commerce, something I would never have done in Sydney. I met interesting and like minded people who had also done the sea change from big cities and decided to change their life for the better.
The journey was not easy. The first year was like an initiation as so many emotions came up! It was like my life flashing by and reassessing who I was, where I have been and now here I am in Byron Bay. I certainly wasn’t making the money I was used to and my lifestyle had done a complete 360 degree turn.
But looking back it was probably the best thing I could have done. I had a burning desire for something else to come along in my life. I was deeply dissatisfied and depressed really. I needed to find a deeper part of myself instead of running on empty and doing too much to fill the gaps of silence or ‘alone’ time. I didn’t even know how to be alone and be content.
Moving to Byron I walked the beaches alone or with my dogs so many hours of that time just for myself. I sat on the hill at home admiring the beauty of my new environment overlooking the hills to the ocean. I listened to sounds of nature, with no cars, just birds and cattle. I started to slow down and allow myself to feel emotions without wanting to block them out. I joined a yoga class and made new friends. I booked in for the Yoga Teacher Training 10 days later and the journey began.
Life took on a new meaning one of simplicity and fun. My outlook changed and I actually felt a new feminine energy emerge. I was used to working in the business world which is dominated by men and to be around the women of Byron was new and different for me. Sometimes it was a little scary and awkward and other times it was truly liberating. This I feel really helped me to love myself again and open my heart to others instead of having the armor around me to be strong and protected.