I was born on July 4th. I share my birthday with America’s Independence Day. The year was 1957, the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Rooster. I am a Cancer, a water element, ruled by the moon. Matariki has always been of significant meaning to me, a cluster of seven stars that the Māori New Year is named for. It is a word that translates to ‘eyes of the god’. I was born in Queenstown during a time when the town was not the tourist hub of New Zealand but rather a small village, quiet and undisturbed––free. It was my backyard, a landscape that I shared with few people and one where I could escape into the wilderness whenever I pleased. I remember my youth as a tranquil place, one painted with younger brothers and kind, loving parents. I remember hokey pokey ice cream dipped in chocolate, Boston buns made from the local bakery, swimming in a freezing lake and looking out at the Remarkables from a window shaped like a porthole. I remember when we were forced to leave, when the government chose to reclaim the land upon which the house built by my father, a 5-year veteran from WWII, had stood. I remember when the time came that I had to forget, to move on, to say goodbye to a home that would never be the same again. The peaceful Queenstown that I once knew is now, and will forever be, only a memory. When I was young, society didn’t want women to be anything other than cogs in a machine. Pliable, easy to control. They wanted us to be nurses or teachers or clerical workers. Rather than study archaeology, as I had always dreamed of doing, I went into nursing. By 24 years old, I had worked my way up to being the unit manager of an acute ward at a well-known hospital in Melbourne, AU. At 33, I was the nurse manager of a rest home in Gisborne, NZ. By 36, I had two beautiful children and a responsibility as a single, working-class mother to give them everything that I was able to.
It was a dream that sent me down the path I am now walking on. I was sitting in a tractor with my dad. All I could see of him were his weathered, lined hands resting on the wheel in front of me. I knew that they were the hands of a man who had worked hard his whole life. He was driving in perfectly straight lines, furrowing the ground, working the soil. I felt immensely proud. Here was a man who knew how to survive, who worked diligently and without complaint, alongside all of my ancestors, to bring me into this world. The dream showed me how an entire lineage spent their lives before me––straight and narrow, unwavering. It also revealed to me a change in direction, a call to work differently and to take the road less traveled. One side told of where I came from, and the other told of where I should go.
In 2006, I started my own business. The focus was––and still is––centered around empowering women. I create unique travel experiences and development workshops that encourage vulnerability, rejuvenation and growth. My goal is to facilitate an unfurling, to inspire a new perspective of empathy and connectedness. The more we can open up to one another, the more we can understand and share in a better world. I have a vision for a civilisation that heals old wounds in order to make space for new stories and healthier communities. I believe in people that care for each other and cultures that accept one another. I do what I do because I am passionate about making a difference in the world and I believe in our potential to cultivate a more harmonious, peaceful planet.
Much love to you all,
NZ Registered Nurse.
The Integrative Nurse Coach