Diving for Pearls with Maggie Kay
Life Changing Miracle
My son Jamie’s conception was a total, and somewhat miraculous, surprise to us. Colin and I’d had an easy-going relationship for a few years, but by the time the pregnancy test announced its astonishing news, we were edging towards going our separate ways. Despite the shock, and the complete life change that it implied, we each found ourselves inexplicably delighted about the new life insisting its way into our world.
We were both ordained Buddhists, with overlapping but independent lives as part of a modern Buddhist community in London. As such, we lived and worked in neighboring single-sex community houses and co-op businesses. Before Jamie came along, our relationship consisted of Saturday evenings catching up over an Indian meal and the night at my open-to-visiting male- guests community. That was provided we were both in town that week. We occasionally had a holiday or a weekend together and spent Christmas with Colin’s mum and dad. It was good, even if it was beginning to wane.
With the prospect of our impending arrival, however, our slow drift apart came to a halt. Colin dropped plans to move to Amsterdam and I let go of an idea to relocate to Edinburgh. It was an easy mutual decision to stay in London and find a place to live together and bring up our child. And so we became a family unit. The first couple of years were occupied by establishing a home, changing working arrangements, and adapting to the whole magical adventure of being parents. We were thrilled and stretched by our new lifestyle and adored our wonderful baby boy.
Colin and I got on well, though we were rather like two single parents sharing one home. One of us was always working or leading Buddhist activities while the other took care of Jamie. Certainly we were good friends and loved each other – considerate, cooperative and communicative – but we were not IN love.
What passion we shared before Jamie was born had now dwindled. This bothered me more than Colin, a deeply contented and self-contained soul, but it was becoming more and more painful to me. I was only in my early 30s (Colin is 11 years older) and it felt like part of me was dying. We did talk about it, but couldn’t find a way to address it.
When Jamie was a toddler, I tried to fill myself by taking on a challenging new Buddhist business project – developing and managing the ethical gift shop, Evolution, which needed an injection of new energy. It was consuming, successful and great fun, but it didn’t hit the increasingly big and unsatisfied ‘love spot’. I started to wonder about Colin and I remaining together in the future.
“But he’s such nice guy!” everyone protested. And they were right. Colin was a lovely man, a wonderful friend and a great dad. He still is. Yet much as I appreciated him, I was increasingly frustrated in our relationship. We just didn’t meet on all levels, and a vital part of me remained unexpressed and unfulfilled. But how could I justify wanting to break up with this ‘good man’? Surely it wasn’t worth wrecking a family over?
Aged 33, I was asking myself, “Is this it? Would I never again share my life with a true love that lights up my heart, mind, body and soul? What had happened to the wild, free, passionate young woman that I used to be?”
Then, something happened. A friend introduced me to the liberating dance meditation practice, 5Rhythms. The first time I found myself moving at a class, huge waves of ecstatic joy and release flooded through my body. I was waking up a part of myself that had been asleep for years. It wasn’t long before I had thrown myself into regular 5Rhythms practice, and boy oh boy, look out now!
Within six months, I had shed the two stones (28 pounds) of excess weight I had been carrying since I had become a mum. As this comforting, but numbing layer of protection melted away, the real ‘me’ re-emerged and I became alive to my whole self again. I could no longer deny my desire to have a ‘proper’ relationship again. Before long, I said to Colin that I thought it was only a matter of time before I met someone else. And I did.
Sebastian was a smoldering Spanish guy from the 5Rhythms class. We found ourselves drawn together in dance and then afterwards in the bar. A week or two later, we arranged to meet at a dance party and connected with a kiss. And so began the most intense relationship. A torrent of passion erupted through me; a decade’s worth of repressed energy expressing itself all in one go.
Both men knew about each other as I kept everything sensitively honest. Sebastian was understanding, and Colin and I agreed that we would continue living as a family while I explored having a boyfriend ‘on the side’. But it was not long before that just did not feel right anymore. As synchronicity would have it, we temporarily moved into a larger house while some repair work was done on our home, so at least Colin and I now had our own bedrooms. When it was time to return, however, I just could not fit myself back into that old mold.
Prompted by me, we decided to separate, made much easier by the availability of a small flat just a few doors away. Colin moved into the flat, and Jamie and I back to the bigger apartment. Jamie could stay with Colin a couple of nights a week and otherwise run freely between homes via our back gardens. Apart from living under two roofs, it seemed nothing would be much different as we continued to co-parent between us.
Although the practical arrangements were uncommonly smooth, and Colin and I continued to be extremely calm and friendly with each other, the actual separation was a lot harder than anticipated.
Firstly, and mostly, it was agonizing breaking up Jamie’s secure family unit. It just felt wrong at an instinctual, maternal level. The anguish I felt one bedtime as Jamie sobbed, “I want my daddy,” was almost too much to bear. Grief and anguish seared through me. Was this too much of a price to pay?
Most of my friends and family were shocked and upset at the news of our split. They posed the question that I had been asking myself for years: couldn’t I just sacrifice my personal happiness for the sake of keeping our family together? After all, Colin and I weren’t actually falling out. Their understandable concern hit a nerve of doubt, but it did make me realize I was long past that reasoning now, even if I wasn’t 100% sure.
Within a month of separation, the emotional impact started to catch up with me. First of all, I hurt my back which laid me up for a few weeks. This meant I had to drop out of yet another new Buddhist business project I had just taken on leading the vegetarian restaurant team. And so I found myself to be a broke, unemployed, single parent in emotional turmoil.
Known as the Inner Wisdom Coach and formerly an ordained Buddhist, Maggie specialises in meditation, mindfulness, law of attraction, metaphysics and spiritual intelligence for life, love and business.
As well as coaching one-to-one, she trains accredited Thrivecraft life coaches and meditation teachers and runs retreats and workshops for soulful entrepreneurs, coaches and well being professionals.
In 2016, with her son Jamie grown up, Maggie established Thrivecraft Home Hub, a riverside country retreat in Cornwall, UK, where she lives with her soul mate husband, Patrick.
Her new book – Diving for Pearls: A Wise Woman's Guide to Finding Love (O Books) – is a highly readable true love and spiritual adventure story laced with tips and teachings on meditation, Buddhism, inner wisdom and relationships relevant to all.
Maggie's vision for the future includes taking Thrivecraft worldwide via a new online academy; continuing to mentor coaches, well-being professionals and meditation teachers to grow and prosper their businesses; producing audios of her full range of guided meditations; and writing further books to inspire and support everyone to create rich, happy and fulfilling lives.
Buy Diving for Pearls on Amazon.
Thrivecraft with Maggie Kay
Wisdom. Inspiration. Self-belief.