A Birth Story – In Which We Cover The Why, The Where and The When

The Sensory Coach was, as quick and unexpected births often are, born on the toilet!

There is very little quiet, private space available to me in my daily life. Having been fortunate enough to have an ensuite for the last 6 years, I have taken to making it my sanctuary. Last year I decided I would take it a step further and make it my office. Yeah, I know, terribly unhygienic, but a girl has to take what she can get. Let me be very clear… no business transactions have ever been completed in that office! Ok, we good? Right.

If I was very lucky, I could get around about 20 minutes a day of (mostly) uninterrupted time to myself. I did my journalling,  pulled an oracle card to ponder, and jotted down any ideas that came up. It was pretty successful. Until the toilet sprung a leak towards the end of February – here we are in August and it’s still unusable. Isn’t renting great? Anyway…

It was February 20th. Just another ordinary day in the office. When BAM! A blinding light bulb moment struck. By the time I’d left the office, after my allotted 20 minutes, I had birthed an entire business plan, and had bought the domain name for it! I don’t mess about… ok, sometimes I don’t, though the next stages of the business development have been a rather protracted exercise in fannying around.

The why is pretty straightforward -I wanted a business that could incorporate all of my passions and expertise. It dawned on me, in that toilet moment, that everything I’ve ever been really passionate about, involves stimulating the senses in one way or another.

I’ve always been controlled I guess you could say, by my sensory issues, which were often viewed as a problem by others. I’ve often wondered why our sensory education seems to stop in primary school, so with this new idea as motivation I did some research. The more I learned the more frustrated I became. Why is it that the vast majority of sensory education and exploration is targeted at babies (hello! Could you be anymore of a sensory creature than when you’re a baby?!) young children, and people with disabilities – most specifically autism.

What about the teens and adults? Why weren’t we more interested in what our senses had to tell us about the world around us and our own inner worlds? It was almost as though it was ok to be a sensory being whilst you were a young child, but once you were past the classic playgroup sensory trays, and primary school taste bud experiments, you ceased to exist in any overtly sensory ways.

Learning to become a sensual being was encouraged, in a very narrow, sexual way, but otherwise we seem to be expected to become a one sense fits all body. No matter that, as we move through our daily lives, we exist in a highly sensory world that, depending on our own unique sensitivities, can feel like a commando assault course.

In 2017 I’d had lots of discussions with one of my best friends about business –  could I make my chocolate business (Ayni) a success without losing my passion? Was my dream of a Soul Food Cafe, which would be not just somewhere to eat, but a space to play and explore, just a fantasy?

We had such vivid ideas of what an adult play zone would be like. I wanted to have strong sensory elements (this has been a recurring theme for well over a decade, ever since I was in talks with the local council about creating an educational eco centre).

We are/were both highly sensitive people with a passion for all things sensual, and were keen to share this nuanced way of life with others who were thirsting for such stimulation – no sniggering at the back thank you!

She had other fish to fry though, and I couldn’t see how I could create such a space in real life on my own. Until, eventually, along came that light bulb toilet moment, and I knew it could at least begin as a virtual space.

Of course then life threw a massive curve ball at me when, two weeks before I had planned on launching The Sensory Coach website, my other fish frying friend was found dead.

In that moment everything changed. I wasn’t sure what I wanted the business to look like anymore. I was questioning the point of it all, and just couldn’t get my head into any kind of order.

Bizarrely, the day that she died (unbeknownst  to me until 3 days later), I’d been given a rather incredible opportunity which felt scary, and well out of my comfort zone, but also exciting and positive. I grabbed it with both hands and, two weeks later, I pulled off possibly the most incredible feat of my life! Which is saying something, because I never imagined I’d do anything more nerve wracking than the 3 days I did on the kitchen stage at Alexandra Palace!

This was as woo as it came. I lead almost 70 young, marketing execs from London, in a Midsummer’s Night Shamanic drumming ceremony at an amazing local fire temple! Say what?!  It was exhilarating! I totally rocked it. Even the Miranda moment when I sent someone’s glass of G&T flying across the space was handled with aplomb. We drummed, we journeyed, we chanted, it was really special. It made me feel that I could put my hand to just about anything I wanted to.

Just so you know, this isn’t a totally random thing I came up with! As well as being an Aromatherapist, Reiki Master/Teacher I’m also a Reiki Drummer,  Shamanic Practitioner, and sound healer.

I had lots of great feedback, some verbal, lots experiential – heart and brain entrainment through drumming, with such a big group, was mind blowing to see in action! And the chanting we did at the end was off the scale in energy building. I loved it and so it seems did they.

However. perhaps inevitably, shortly afterwards my confidence crashed again. My friend’s death hit me very hard. It leaves a multitude of unanswered and unanswerable questions; a layer of guilt and what ifs; anger and frustration; a sense of impotence; and a whole collection of other feelings which have been, and still are, hard to navigate.

Of course life marches on its own brutal fashion, and I am left with the need to create a sustainable business.

There can be no more fannying around. I can’t expect a perfect site and fully functioning site and business to be built immediately. To get to that point you have to put on your big girl pants, start and keep showing up. I’ve done it before, I can do it again. This time though, there will be no giving up. There is too much at stake, and besides, the point of The Sensory Coach is that it gives me scope to play and explore; to grow; to indulge my multiple passions. It’s the perfect container for everything I could ever hope to offer.

I hope you’ll come along for the ride with me! I promise you don’t have to chant if you don’t want to 😉