Sometimes it freaks me out how comfortable I feel meandering in the morbid gardens of my imagination, quasi fantasising about the ruin that could befall me.

What’s wrong with me, I wonder? Why does my mind keep pushing me into dark corners, forcing me to answer the call of the weeping widow, the mother burying her child, the woman publicly shamed for her past sins or the sins of her forefathers. It’s so familiar here, so welcoming. There is something so sweet about the solitude of sorrow…

But what does it say about me? Am I depressed? Surely not! Suicidal? Not a chance – I love life too much! Do I wish for these dreadful things I dream of to become my reality, for the bubble of my amazing life to burst and the debris of my existence to become scattered far and wide? Never! So why then, does misery’s sweet lullaby keep me so mesmerized? Why am I so unavoidably drawn to the depths of despair and destitution, that are sewn together by the fragments of my imagination?

As a master manifestor of my own life, I have a deep understanding of the mechanics of the universe. I know that where thought goes, energy follows. I have seen the evidence of what pure intention and belief can create, and have reaped it’s rewards a hundred times over. How then, do I dare to dabble in the dark? When I know that I create my own reality and that I can have whatever I imagine, what draws me to imagine the very worst? This dance with the devil shakes me to my core and when all is said and done, it’s my own power that scares me the most.

For years I have searched for the answer, tried to escape the hold that this melodrama has over me. For the longest time I blamed my parents, held them accountable for all that was wrong in my life. I have judged, I have blamed, I have shamed… but somehow none of these tactics have helped heal my aching heart, no amount of fire thrown at others has ever diminished the blazing inferno inside me.

Each time I look outside myself for the answer I realize the same thing – that they may be to blame, but it is not their fault – that the answer can only come from within me. The light that I seek is buried deep under the darkness that taunts me and the only way to access it is to burst through the confines of my own beliefs.

Enter, stage right: The Path of Love.

What can be said of this institution, this sanctuary, this merry-go-round of raging lunacy that offers itself to my aid, and to the aid of whosoever dares to knock at it’s door? How can such a complex being be described in words? Can catharsis be expressed in two dimensions? How do I dare to bind the spirit of a living, growing, evolving creature by the limitations of prose?

I shall not attempt it. I shall not endeavour to live up to your expectations. I cannot describe the indescribable. Only first-hand knowledge of The Path of love will do it justice. Herein I cannot. I will not. So we shall move on.

Buzz and excitement builds as my 40th birthday draws closer. Tick tock, tick tock! “Let me take you to the Maldives” offers the soothing voice of my loving husband. “Let’s go back to that water villa and spend a week basking in the glory of the winter sun”. Hmmmmm, the Maldives? Sounds wonderful doesn’t it? Sounds like just what the doctor ordered…. Just what the body needs. What a heavenly offer! But what of my soul? Of my spirit? What of my inner yearning to know more, understand more and embody more of who I am and why I came? Can the Maldives offer me all those things? I look up into his warm eyes, place my hand upon his and tell him that there’s only one place in the world that I wish to celebrate my 40th birthday, that place is Abergavenny.

So after some serious bartering with Rani (Supreme head honcho of all things Path of Love) we squeeze ourselves onto the staff of the November 2018 process and with delight and jubilation we cast aside our beachwear and instead pack our slouchy clothes and begin the journey from Johannesburg to Wales. Stopping only momentarily at the Upper Crust in Paddington Station to fuel our bodies for the train ride, we charge straight for our chosen destination, the ever sublime Buckland Hall. Our home. The place where we go to come back to ourselves. The place that makes us feel as though we never left and have always belonged.

As we walk through the stone threshold there she stands arms open waiting to receive us – Turiya Hanover, Pachamama extraordinaire. The deep ancestral wisdom that flows through her eyes makes me feel instantly grounded, yet at the same time I feel the infinite possibilities of the universe are being channelled through me. As she stands in front of me with her arms wrapped around me I am simultaneously rooted into the earth and drifting freely like the puffy white clouds in the sky. This is true belonging, right here in this embrace. This is the return to innocence.

She is flanked by a man who can only be described as equal parts Dionysian Hero and Heavenly Father. The embrace that awaits us now is that of Rafia Morgan. As I melt into his arms I feel that every part of my being is satiated. When necessary he can stoke a fire like none other, but when the time comes he quells the heat and soothes the soul like a rippling stream of fresh cool water bubbling up from the core of the earth. This man has true prowess.. His knowing is not of this world or time or place – it can only be described as celestial. He understands what it feels like to be me.

What’s most amazing about these two extraordinary human beings who co-created The Path of Love, is that they choose to stand shoulder to shoulder with the rest of their team, be it their facilitators, witnessing staff or even the participants undergoing the process. They don’t overshadow, instead they stand as a foundation through which all others can rise up. It is their united intention to educate, empower and lovingly support as their students transcend the barriers of their individual human experience. As they remind us over and over again: “Everything is welcome here”.

So, how do they achieve this? Well, you truly have to see it to believe it! Alongside their team of incredibly qualified, empathetic, professional and juicy facilitators they will walk you down into the depths of despair and keep close watch as you claw your way back up to sanity. And when you come back to the surface they will help you shake off any of the remaining shackles as you dance your way through the greatest party of your life.

The Path of Love allowed me to experience the true meaning of ecstasy, the kind that rises up from inside my soul and explodes out from every pore in my body. Surely this has to be the greatest show on earth?

So, why have I chosen this place above all others? It’s because I have come to understand that home is where the hell is, and hell is where the heart is and The Path of Love is the key to uniting all these places. After 8 days in this transformational space I can feel the cool breeze of pure love wafting through every room in my house. I am a-new once again. Happy Birthday to me!

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