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Finding Your Passion in Your Fifties

By:Caroline Nettle
Date: Fri,21 Sep 2018
Submitter:Caroline Nettle
Views:1291

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The Journey So Far...

I have been thinking about writing this for the longest time. Life has shown me that holding off doing what you need to do sometimes means that it doesn't get done.....

My life has been varied, wonderful, tragic, and illuminating and as I venture into my 50's, I am amazed how young I am at heart, and how painful parts of my body can be if I exert myself too much. Which I do constantly, but more of that later.

So that this article is not too long, I will summarise my life up to this point thus-

Visited 69 countries- mostly looking for myself in the early days, but most recently looking for a good site to set up my project.

Worked in the corporate machine for 17 years in one company- great money, worked too hard, became very sick, and left to find myself.

Which meant getting sober 11 years ago, quitting my social circle, and stepping out into the journey of me.....ridiculously scary, and hard work but such a blessing to me now that I know who I am.

Which also meant learning about the skills I had- I became a BodyTalk Practitioner, as I discovered a healing ability that I had not had time to listen to in the corporate world. I also trained to give Angel Readings in Hawaii. I worked in a treatment centre in Kentucky for a short while, and have lived in a variety of different spaces, including off grid in a community, and in a variety of places around the globe.

These days, it is very rare that I get woken by an alarm, hit rush hour traffic or am surrounded by really stressed out people. I found out none of that is any good for me.

The Journey So Far...

I have been thinking about writing this for the longest time. Life has shown me that holding off doing what you need to do sometimes means that it doesn't get done.....

My life has been varied, wonderful, tragic, and illuminating and as I venture into my 50's, I am amazed how young I am at heart, and how painful parts of my body can be if I exert myself too much. Which I do constantly, but more of that later.

So that this article is not too long, I will summarise my life up to this point thus-

Visited 69 countries- mostly looking for myself in the early days, but most recently looking for a good site to set up my project.

Worked in the corporate machine for 17 years in one company- great money, worked too hard, became very sick, and left to find myself.

Which meant getting sober 11 years ago, quitting my social circle, and stepping out into the journey of me.....ridiculously scary, and hard work but such a blessing to me now that I know who I am.

Which also meant learning about the skills I had- I became a BodyTalk Practitioner, as I discovered a healing ability that I had not had time to listen to in the corporate world. I also trained to give Angel Readings in Hawaii. I worked in a treatment centre in Kentucky for a short while, and have lived in a variety of different spaces, including off grid in a community, and in a variety of places around the globe.

These days, it is very rare that I get woken by an alarm, hit rush hour traffic or am surrounded by really stressed out people. I found out none of that is any good for me.

Spiritual Growth Tools

In 2010 my Godfather died and left me a sum of money which I used to set up the website that was going to bring together all the things I loved doing- helping others, beautiful products, and learning how to love yourself. The name I chose was Spiritual Growth Tools, as that is what I had needed to help myself get well.

I also dabbled in other things to keep life interesting, but set my life up so it could work for me from wherever I chose to be. Travel had always appealed to me- the meeting of new ideas, people, foods, experiences- and particularly for me, I loved to see wildlife where it lived, and had always had a deep passion for the environment.

Many of my articles chronicle my struggles with ill-health due to toxins, inherited diseases and lack of self care- so learning to love yourself has been an important part of my journey.

Torn Ligaments and Being Unable to Walk for a Few Months...

On a second trip to Australia to meet some old friends, snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef, and look for some land to start a project I had thought of, I tripped and tore some ligaments in my left foot and could not walk....so I returned and stayed with my lovely sister in the north of England as I recovered....and discovered Youtube, or more specifically.....gardening, permaculture, organic and biodynamic growing and much more!

It was as if a whole new world had opened up to me. I was just 50, and gardening to me had always been lots of plants inside the house, and a weekend or two each year tending to the garden outside. I had never grown food or wanted to, and was totally surprised at how much I suddenly wanted to now.

So I moved to Wales- because it called to me, and found a farmer who would lend me some land- I say land as it had no soil, and had had farm machinery parked on it for many years.

The Beginning of the Project. Losing Everything in a Fire, and Gratitude for the Garden!

I started in January 2018, with no experience, and a lot of questions, but just decided that instead of talking myself out of another opportunity, I would give it my all and see where that took me!

So much has changed since then. Tree Planting Holidays has been put to bed due to lack of funding and interest.

Also, 7 days after this video was taken, I lost the home I was living in on an off-grid community called Heartwood as it burned to the ground when the chimney caught fire along with nearly everything I owned. Being made of wood and natural materials, it burned really quickly and I went into shock for around 8-10 weeks. I am not sure I ever really considered what it was like to be in shock and until it happens to you I am not sure that you can. It is all consuming, a mixture of anger, tears, rage, fear, more tears and numbness. Well that is how I experienced it.

People were so unbelievably kind and generous to me as a result of the fire and strangers from the US, and Australia sent me seeds, I received parcels and packets, clothing and much more. For someone who had completely lost faith in her fellow man, it was an amazing lesson in 1) I am loved and 2) People are inherently kind in the face of adversity.

It was such a blessing to have somewhere I could go that was remote and natural and allow myself time to grieve and heal. I could really see the value of it as the tears subsided, and I began slowly to get back to normal- whatever that is!

What Can Be Achieved on A ShoeString in 9 Months!

9 Months Later ...

So in the 9 months since I started in January, I have grown everything from seed apart from some fruit bushes I bought or was donated, I have sold some vegetables and salad and plants in a market from July onwards, I have lost many plants due to inexperience and heat waves, floods and howling winds, and most of all I have discovered a passion for growing food, superfoods and herbs!

I have changed the name to Wild Nettle Gardens, and have set up a Facebook account to keep folks up to date with the project. You can find us here - https://www.facebook.com/wildnettlegardens if you are interested in what we are doing.

Successes this year have been plentiful-

1) I discovered a deep love for planting and growing herbs and fruit and veg

2) I learned how beneficial being in a garden can be when you have suffered any kind of trauma

3) The plants that I really want to grow next year are berries, including the currants, honey berries, sea buckthorn, aronia berries and physalis or cape gooseberry. Also, love the squashes, and the artichokes - both normal and Jerusalem. Asparagus was a favourite and also who knew growing lettuce could be fun? Sunflowers and borage and calendula so far are my favourite flowers.

4) A wonderful volunteer has been coming since just after the fire one day a week, sometimes 2. He definitely could see the garden before I could and has been a wonderful addition to the project!

5) People are enjoying my food- that is a real gift!

6) I have learned a tremendous amount about what is needed for next year and beyond.

7) I want to do this going forward and incorporate my healing and the healing that the plant world offers.

How You Can Support Us.

Wild Nettle Gardens has set up a Patreon account to try to raise some funds for next year- so that we can buy polytunnels, irrigation, netting and more that we would need to avoid many of the losses from this year. If you are interested in supporting us from as little as $1 a month, here is where you can find out more information - https://www.patreon.com/wildnettlegardens.

Finding Your Purpose in Your Fifties!

Well I hope you have enjoyed reading about my journey to this point. I wanted to share it because I hear twenty somethings really worrying about not knowing what to do- and I am only just now finding out in my fifties! The rest of my life has been a slow meandering journey through a few different choices, and some of them better than others! However, if you are truly struggling to discover your purpose, path or reason for being here, maybe I can help you with that- I offer a few options on the website which may help you?

For me, I think other paths will open up from this one. I think it is a stepping stone to some healing modality yet to be invented or some such thing, but for today I have my hands full picking what nature has provided for me!

Whatever you decide to do, do it with love and try different things- you never know if you will like it until you try. I had no idea that growing food would give me so much pleasure, and no one is more surprised than my friends and family! However, I needed to try it for myself, and sitting here, writing this, I am very pleased I gave it a go!

What is waiting for you?

Written by Caroline Nettle
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