Soulhub Journal

Soulhub Journal 04: The Back Story

It’s summer solstice, and the perfect time to share the Soulhub Journal 04 back story. I contemplated being in Richmond Park with some strangers to celebrate. Or to be on my own and write about something which has been created by the Soulhub community. This feels right. Always back to trusting the gut. Which is a theme of this journal. I’ll tell you why.

We had 16 writers contribute. Some have come and gone. I ALWAYS say that Soulhub is my biggest teacher. Things show up under this umbrella whenever I need teaching something, or reminder. How to let go. How to trust. How to hold my boundaries. How to say I’m not happy. How to not be right.

Isn’t it fascinating. So to start at the end. I had one writer who’s story was written, and she was the last person to give final approval on her piece. It was 11pm, and I was going to bed. And I got a message. On the same day that my only retreat guest was injured and withdrew. It was some day. I asked myself why all this was happening. What am I creating? What am I constricting? Where is this stuck?

I went to bed. A bit p**** to be honest. We were going to print at 8am the next morning. Not only was I annoyed at the late call for ‘don’t print’ but the knock on effect for the delay to all the other writers/artists, and for all the work Perry had done on the design, and Natalie on the copy.  And all my work. I woke up. We had a conversation and I thought she could re-write the piece. For one reason or another, that was going to happen and then didn’t. That evening I went to see Gabor Mate, and I learnt how to be clear with my anger. To express it, there and then. Not make wrong, but to express my disappointment. Which I did. And which it was received. I also expressed that this was happening for a reason. She was learning something about her own boundaries, and what is and isn’t okay for her. And I respect that. I also learnt to express mine. So we both win. Then I learnt that maybe this was the time for me to write my story. So there. It was meant to be for both of us.

On the bus journey to Weston-super-Mare. Good job it took 6.5hrs, I wrote my article. I shared it with Ian, Kevin, my mum and Perry.  And luckily Perry was unbelievable, and put it straight into design. Done. Not too much thought. It flowed. It was part of one of my stories. How Soulhub came about. We all have may stories right. I always think about Elizabeth Gilbert. How her Eat, Pray, Love story ended happily. Then she left him, to marry her female best friend. Her best friend died, and then she met her ex’s friend and is now with him. They’ll all just stories.

So mine was written, and I hope you enjoy some of the back story to why Soulhub.

To the writers. Gaurav Kawar. When we look back on our careers, and lives, it makes sense right? And even some of the jobs which didn’t fulfil us, give us something. If we allow it too. At Jack Wills, when I got real, I had real conversations. Stop pretending that you really care about selling sweatshirts. When you don’t. Do the finance talks that you need to do, then have a real talk. That’s what Guarav and I did one day. And we realised that outside of each other perception of each other, we had something passionate to talk about. Our side hustles. His was Book an Artist. He’d set up a business, bringing together graffiti artists and companies or individual commissions. Quite a ‘oh really’ for someone who appears to enjoy spreadsheets. I couldn’t quite get my head around it, until we talked and talked over many coffee’s in the Mucky Pheasant. And here we agreed for his artists Aspire Artwork and Abigail Burden to create something special for the next journal. Why would we both not support each other in our dreams. They chose their own Soulhub Truths, as all our artists do, and beautifully crafted their interpretation of the truths.  Given Gaurav was leaving work a week before me, heading to Australia to also give his business all his attention, it was only right for me to ask him to write about this paradox!

And so another commercial role of mine at Caxton, meant I met some incredible adventurers, women and men with a zest for life including Anna McNuff, Suzi Chan (SH03 writer) and now Julie Coldwell. Not only does Julie live in one of my favourite places, the lake district, but she also enjoys solo travel. It’s been new for her to do. It’s not always been comfortable for her. But it draws her in. And I love her bravery and courage to get on her bike and just go. Explore. Get lost. Explore more. She’s got a fabulous writing skill and open heart. She trusted me from the beginning, and I love that she shares her photos of her adventures and her home in the lakes with the same passion.

From one adventurer to another. Matt Ogg. I volunteered for Clipper Around the World Yacht Race, race start, the next race after my race. I don’t know why they let me, as I tell everyone it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done….I also tell them the best thing! But I met Matt, who was heading off on his year long circumnavigation. He’s cute. He has a big level of excitement surrounding him, which attracted me to him. I met his mum that day, and he told me about his family. Just a down to earth all round lovely guy, and so it was wonderful to watch his adventure, and relive some of mine, from my couch! We stayed in touch, met when he got back. Bumped into each other on a train to Gatwick, and it was obvious that I wanted him to share his adventure. So he did.

And the common denominator is the gorgeous, humorous, cheeky David Cusworth. From our first meeting. When I turned up hungover for my Clipper interview, I knew we had a similar humour. Slightly naughty. Somehow he and Vicky, let me on the boat. I’m sure my tales from my voyage amused them both. As do many! But David always looked out for me. He cared. He would check in with me, invite me to things, and he made being part of Clipper something much bigger than what I expected. He continues to remind and teach me that life is an adventure. He loves a beer. So do I. Moving with Becks, his wife, and kids to Denmark with no job, is another example that you’re never too old to stop reinventing yourself. Thanks for the lessons!

From Denmark to Hong Kong. Natalie Goni. We’ve never met, yet I think we both think we have. We have so much in common it’s a little strange. I meet VERY few people from Weston super Mare, with an obvious spiritual soul. And so I couldn’t believe that Natalie was from Weston when she commented on a picture of me on the seafront. Introduced to me by the big-hearted Laura Beckingham, there was no question. I’ve a feeling I will be having a tea ceremony with her someday soon. Who knows where that might be. But I’ve no doubt we’ll have much to say. As I can, she picks up the energy of Soulhub from Hong Kong, and she’s been so easy and flowing to work with. Her writing is beautiful.

The beautiful Laura returns. With a poem which is a reminder of the rhythm of life. Not only because when poems come to Laura they just flow through her, but because we often allow things to emerge when they’re ripe. Recently Laura and I met, and she bought me flowers, because I was having a tough time. It touched me deeply. A reminder that our soul sisters are close by. They are with us, and with me, on our journeys, and that it’s not about time you’ve known each other, but about connection. We sit and chat for ours. I’m sure we’re past life besties! Who knows, but it feels so good to be with her. Thank you.

Do you find that you hear something about someone, via friend, and you kind of know that you want to meet them? Well my friend Sarah Ellis talked about Ian Sanders, a coach she’d met and suggested we link up. And I knew we’d connect. Which we did. Both lovers of walking and talking, we did just that. Well first time we drank wine and chatted, and chatted. And both agreed that we enjoyed it so much, we should do it again sooner rather than later. And it’s easy. It once again flows. We talk about everything. No agenda. No outcome desired. The best way. And this is what happens. He’s written about his love of Amsterdam, and I’ve been to his talks on fuelling your creativity and passion. And there’s more to come. We don’t know yet what. But we both know something will emerge. I love these meetings of minds.

Geeta. Geeta Sidhu-Robb and I were connected via the chief alchemist Simona from Hub Dot. Originally for me to support Geeta on some work, but when we talked, I think we both realised that we might have something to learn from each other. In some ways we’re yin and yang. In others, similar. Hearts in the right place. We express ourselves differently. And I love that her writing is about something completely unexpected. CrossFit, and how it feels to be physically strong. A successful business woman, Geeta is much more than that, and her heart brings her to help coaching others. She interviewed me for UK Health Radio, and this is where she’s most authentic. I’ve enjoyed being in her company, and watching what happens next, as something is brewing….

My dear friend Will Hamnett, who makes me laugh more than nearly any man. Except Fred Flintoff! An old, and beautiful soul, he connected Harriet Roberts and I. Harriet and I made connection from Thailand, whilst I was walking along the river in Richmond. I remember it vividly. To hear a young women already in a place of questioning it all, was beautiful to hear.  We could get in the flow of talking about channeling, spirituality, the universe and we understood each other. Another women who I can’t wait to see what unfolds for her on her journey.

Since I’ve been in Richmond, I’ve felt at home. Like no other part of London. And that’s because people have time for you. I make time for them. And Dave Bowman is one of those. Perry and he had connected over coffee and music. As Perry sat at the Alberts Deli in Richmond, Dave would escape his gallery, the Bowman Gallery opposite, and they’d sit for hours. Later I came along, and would swap into that seat. He’s a big heart, and incredible hands. His restoration work is unbelievable. He knows his art and his local history. He’s probably had most local artists work pass through his hands, and he has many a story to tell. So I’m delighted that he’s writing his own story. His book will be out next year.

Isabelle. Isabelle. Isabelle Jan. Our French contributor. Instagram does work sometimes! Isabelle had seen Soulhub through the eyes of Dave Muir (SH03 surf dude) and loved the feel and tone of the brand. She was drawn in. Rightly so! And we chatted over DM, until she said she was coming to see her sister in London. We met at the Royal Festival Hall, as I was with Rachel (Allan) to listen to a classical concert. Very rare! And so, how very rare, that Isabelle and I talked about men, dreams, intention and men. He he. There was a gentle spirit in the air, and we smiled as we both kind of knew that we were meant to meet, and that there will be more. She’s now part of the Soulhub team, as a wellness expert, and she’s written a poem for us for 04.

And so to Rachel. Dear Rachel Allan. Friends for over 10 years, we’ve been a constant reminder to each other to keep growing. That there’s more out there. That life is to be lived. I’m either in Patagonia, and she’s in London, or I’m in London and she’s in India. Whatever the combination, we’re still connected and we share so much. She’s my teacher. And I’m sure I’m hers. A mirror. A reminder. A spirit and soul-sister. We know each others triggers. We know each others pain. Joy and tears. It’s rollercoaster life, and I’m so happy that she’s alongside me, as we navigate it. Thanks friend.

My dear friend Teresa Lipinski, who will write one day! Took me to Sharon’s performance at the Peace Hall in Halifax. A few days before, one of my other writers withdrew, and so I was looking for something else to land. Of course I was. And here it was. I cried as the women presented their core woundings, and their lives. Sharon beside them. Sharon amongst them. She shared their pain. She helped them in their pain. And when I asked her to write. There was no hesitation. So thank you Sharon Marsden.

Tim, my favourite yoga teacher, was finishing his class, and Carey Davis-Munro asked for volunteers for her food coaching. I jumped to my feet and just knew I wanted to give her my Soulhub Journal. And once again it was also so easy. She’s passionate about our relationship with food, for all the right reasons, and it shines through her work. And for me, it’s so important to look at food as a relationship. Not just fuel. Not restricted. There to be enjoyed. So I’m delighted that she shares her passion in our Q&A.

And near final, but no where near a shrinking violet. Mr Kenny Mammarella d’Cruz. A name you won’t forget when you meet him. Connected via my dear friend Paul Maloney, who also gets this journal to print and to your hands, bought us together at the RSA. I think the first thing Kenny pretty much said to me, was that I was a tiger. Okay!! So now what. Am I going to eat you? Yes, pretty much so. And that was the level we remained at. Humerous. Light-hearted. Big-hearted. Not afraid of big issues. Not afraid to challenge and explore. He’s full of life. And I’m attracted to what he does and who he is. He’s also now part of the Soulhub Team, as his work, especially with men’s groups, is second to none. We all need the person who asks us straight. And the tiger in me, knows exactly what he means!

And finally, our front cover artist Nathan Reid. I shared how we met here  and so won’t repeat myself. Only to say he’s the last part of the jigsaw, and one of the magical ones from the Do Lecturers. Who’s hidden talents are weaving their own web, and I’m proud that he’s shared his artist creativity with us, as we build iconic front covers for our journals.

With Soulhub Journal 05 already having 12 writers lined up and crafting away, it’s incredible how the weaving of these unfolds. How I come across people at the right time. Back to the lessons. Trust. Trust. Trust. It will all work out. Don’t push it. Allow it. And it’s when life is most beautiful.

Thank you as always, to Natalie Hewlett for being in my painful process of sharing copy in a mess and non-timely fashion. To Paul Maloney for reacting to my flow of going to print. For Perry Rendell for all his patience, better eye for detail than me, love and support. And to Paul Foster, the talented photographer who’s eye has given both Isabelle’s and Laura’s poems flavour on the pages. We worked together previously, and we’d often make sure we had time to be creative together. His mind wants to express himself, and his work is doing it for him. He has a powerful portfolio, and go here to see his work. It’s beautiful.

Enjoy the, now 68 pages, and if you can share it, please do. It’s a cost to Soulhub, and one we do want to keep doing, but we do need you, your friends and family to buy it, so we can continue. It’s only £19 to subscribe to this and the 05 issue. Not bad for one a year investment!

And any pictures of you reading it, please share with us. We’ve got a page in the journal called ‘where are you reading yours’, and I’d love to see that grow. I’m always intrigued where you save it for, and when. It’s the curiosity in me….


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