Emma Sharples

EMMA MADE A CAREER SHIFT FROM ADVERTISING TO YOGA AND MEDITATION. THIS IS HER STORY.

What career did you start out in, how long were you in that area and what prompted you to make a career change?

After travelling and working in Australia and South America for 18 months, I arrived back to the UK in December 2011 and to my joy, by January 2012 I found myself in a friendly London advertising agency in the role of Account Coordinator. The agency was fun and interesting, allowing me to put my natural skills of project management to use.

18 months later I moved to another wonderful agency with the title of Project Manager, in the trendy area of Shoreditch. The role was everything I had hoped for and more. Colleagues quickly became friends… I had real responsibility on big-budget projects… topped with a comfortable income on which to make the most of a dynamic city like London.

But something was off. Although the work was stimulating intellectually, and the fast-paced nature kept everything fresh; truth be told, it didn’t make my Heart sing on a deep and profound level. I was called therefore to explore the Unknown, seek out new experiences in different climes, and see from that space of uncertainty what would arise.

That journey took me on a one-way ticket to the Pacific shores of Mexico, where I quickly found myself in a Yoga & Meditation School. I had already been practicing Yoga for a couple of years, but I was brand new to Meditation. How good I felt; physically, mentally and emotionally… it was incredible. I started to feel huge transformations and a vivid connection to Inner Peace. I remained at the School for nearly two years, both volunteering as well as participating in various Courses, Retreats and Workshops; including a 500-Hour Yoga and Meditation Teacher Training and a 59-Day Silent Meditation Retreat.

What were some of the practicalities you managed when transitioning through your career change?

The practicalities only really came into question when my savings account reached near zero. Ultimately I have always wanted to remain part of the World, not escape it, so one of the main considerations was how to complete this natural Cycle of Abundance (Receiving & Giving) – and carve out a way that I could navigate the financially-focused society that we live in. So the following question arose: how can I support myself “financially?” And the answer came very naturally – simply to share what I have learnt and continue to learn with others. As such I now offer weekly Yoga & Meditation Sessions on the island of Menorca (where I now reside) – as well as offering affordable Yoga & Meditation Summer Retreats on the Island.

What was most helpful to you? 

I already had access to the most helpful and important tool I needed through my career change; it just needed to be heard. I listened to my own Heart. Yes, it was deeply inspiring to see people from all walks of life, freely being themselves, following their own Truth – but in the end for me, it boiled down to connecting with my Inner Compass. Yoga (in its fullest sense which includes Meditation and much more) helped me to remember, connect and open my Heart – this deep seat of inner knowing and intuition; producing paradigm shifts in not only how I viewed myself and interacted with others, but also offering transformational clarity with regards to my Life Purpose.

Talk through some of the challenges you faced along the way. 

Obviously periods of uncertainty can trigger “fear” for many of us. However, we always have the choice to sit within these self-made walls of fear or to break out of them.

There’s that beautiful quote which sums this sentiment up nicely:

“What if I fall?

Oh but my darling, what if you fly?”

Some of the challenges I faced (and still face at times) include:

  • Where do I base myself in the World to best suit my needs? 
  • What will happen if no-one attends my sessions?  
  • What if people think I’ve lost the plot? 
  • What will happen if I can’t support myself? 

Overcoming these challenges is like unwiring deeply engrained fear-based habits and beliefs, but at the same time often calls for a practical and well-researched approach to bring dreams into reality. It’s all about finding that Middle Path, trusting your intuition, whilst keeping your feet anchored to the ground and head not lost in the clouds.

Reflecting on the change you’ve made, how do you feel about your current career? 

I feel honoured and blessed to share tools and practices to help people slow down, restore well-being to body/mind/soul and consider a broader perspective to Life in our increasingly stress-inducing World. On a personal level, I am in the process of unveiling Authenticity. There are fewer and fewer reasons to wear different types of masks (such as one for the client, one for a certain group of people, one for my family); I am who I am, no matter what I’m doing or who I’m with, which feels grounding and nourishing.

What, if anything, do you miss about your previous career?

The people. The laughter. The teamwork.

What were some of the highlights you experienced when making your career change?

This realisation that everyday can have that holiday feeling. That sense of freedom that you experience whilst travelling or at the weekend can, fortunately, become your everyday reality. There’s a lot of people who hate what they do, forgetting that (for many of us) we have a choice as to what we dedicate our lives to. Discover what you love, what makes your Heart sing, and then with a bit of give and take, explore ways to support yourself financially doing just that.

What have you learned about yourself through this process?

I realised quite quickly that Happiness is not something outside of us. It’s inside of us. No matter how many pairs of shoes you buy, holidays you book, fancy restaurants you visit – these “objects” just offer a temporary, fleeting glimpse of Happiness, leaving you with an seemingly unquenchable thirst for the “next thing”. On the other hand, permanent Happiness is an innate state – it’s always available and it’s just waiting to be remembered and revealed. It’s all about coming back to the fullness of the Present Moment.

I have also learnt that when I connect with my Heart, rather than the conditioned, incessant chatter of the Mind, I always know intuitively what to do. To the extent that if we stop Doing and start Being (remembering that we are Human Beings rather than Human Doings); the Doing just happens by itself –or as Dilgo Khyentse says “comes as naturally as water running downhill”.

What advice would you give to someone who’s considering making a career change?

Take some time out, just for you, with no plans, no demands. Just allow that which is Inside to flow outwards. From that space you will deeply know what to do. You will awaken to what makes your Heart sing. And lastly, connect with a sense of Gratitude. Remember how fortunate we are to even consider a career change given that a huge proportion of the World still lives in poverty, which is just baffling.

Finally, what are you excited about in 2019?

I am feeling excited to continue my weekly Yoga and Meditation sessions – as well as Massage and Intuitive Healing practices with my beautiful and inspiring friends in Menorca.

I am also thrilled to announce affordable Yoga & Meditation Retreats for Summer 2019 on the island. Being disheartened by the unnecessarily expensive price-tag and stigma surrounding Yoga Retreats, we’ve tried our best to keep these wonder-filled Retreats as accessible as possible, so that they can be for the many, not for the few – starting from £295 for 4 days or £395 for 6 days, featuring:

~ Daily yoga and meditation sessions

~ Daily experiential presentations on Mindful Living topics and practices

~ Twice daily nourishing and nutritionally-balanced vegan meals infused with love and gratitude

~ And much more!

If you would like to find out more or join us on this transformational journey back home to Inner Peace, please feel free to contact us on:

Email: mindfullivingreatreats@gmail.com
Facebook @mindfullivingretreat
Instagram @mindfullivingretreatsmenorca