By Scottish artist and designer Micheal Homer, March 2009:
Originally published at sculpt-on-line.com
It turned out to be a very unusual Valentines Day this year, and one that changed my life.
For my gift, taking in my birthday and Christmas for a few years to come, my wife handed me airplane tickets for a “Counseling Retreat” in Thailand. – “You”re going to sort your head out once and for all, or you might as well not come back!”
She had booked me in for a holiday with The Life Change People.
Over the last few years I have been through some major life changes; the arrival of our first child, my father dying of cancer, losing my job, moving house and becoming a house husband.
Despite being a happy and loving husband and father to the outside world, I instead became a negative,depressed, volatile and anxious man – apparently determined to destroy the love of my family and heading towards a major mid-life crisis.
This was, of course, oblivious to me as I wallowed in self pity and searched for the love that I was pushing away, angry with anyone who dared to contradict me. Looking back now, I honestly believe that without my life change holiday, I would be separated from my family.
My Counseling Retreat
And so, I set of for my “Life Change Holiday”. Arriving in Chiang Mai in northern Thailand was literally like a different world and the peaceful serenity of the Baan Deva Thailand Retreat hotel allowed me to really relax and enjoy everything.
The “Life Change People” are predominantly Alex Gunn and Chrissy Richman who, with their considerable experience and expertise in the field of counselling, life coaching and Change Therapy decided to up sticks from Britain and set up this unique experience.
I spent the equivalent of about four months of weekly sessions rolled into an amazing seven days. The journey through my own mind was incredible as the sessions just seemed to fly by. I realised my behaviour had become ridiculous and the effect on both my wife and children a dreadful revelation.
I was taught how to recognise feelings of negativity, volatility and anxiety. I learnt how to utilise various mental tools to overcome them and even turn them into positive actions.
And so, here I am back home again several months on. I have created my own website to promote my sculptural works. I am actually sculpting again to add to the collection that I already have and am currently sourcing outlets through which to retail them. I also started the website for the architectural / design side of my plans, currently on line. I am currently working on three projects for Homerworks and am now actively seeking to market my business.
More importantly, my relationship with my wife and children has improved immeasurably. I can only apologise to them for the man that I had let myself become, and continue to constantly remind myself of the lessons that The Life Change People taught me and continue to use them in every aspect of my life.