Cosham woman uses her own ‘devastating’ loss to help others in new wellness studio

But it took a series of life-changing experiences to help him build his business.

Now 32, she was in her twenties, the time in your life typically to experiment, to make new friendships, to fall in and out of relationships – enjoying life and its beauty when it all falls apart.

But like so many others who go through traumatic experiences – which Amy says are all valid regardless of the circumstances – she has often found herself feeling completely alone during this key decade.

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Amy Butler in her studio in Wickham. Photo: Habibur Rahman

His peers did not have to bear the burden of such devastating loss and grief.

It was the seemingly endless turmoil of trauma that hampered his life.

Sometimes she was so overwhelmed with fear of what those negative thoughts were doing to her that she tended to self-destruct, to lock herself in, to detach herself from everything until her reality was built so strongly on them. foundations of his own thoughts. – that its hold on the real world has disappeared.

And 10 years later, after a difficult journey that led her to discover herself, it’s as if a switch had turned on in her head.

Amy Butler with her late sister Christie and her late father Steve.

Amy knew she wanted to help others.

“I wanted to start something that was local and not out of reach for people to learn and practice with us,” says Amy from Cosham.

“Sometimes I think mindfulness can relate to rich people because pensions are so expensive and access to wellness seems to be really expensive.”

Currently, Amy’s studio in Wickham Square, Wickham, is also home to a yoga teacher who aims to help people on their journey towards self-care, self-acceptance and self-awareness, and a lady who practices sound meditation to promote general well-being.

Amy says, “I hope that someday it will be a collective of many mindfulness teachers and lecturers, because mindfulness is not just a definite thing that you follow. It’s a way of life. You have to practice it.

“We’ve been conditioned to habitual thoughts that we react in certain ways and it’s kind of unlearning everything to change that reaction. Your overall result may be different.

“I think being surrounded by like-minded people is also important, people who empower you, empower you, see your vulnerability.

“I think so often we can find ourselves in circles that don’t serve us in the right way.

“We don’t put those limits. It can be really damaging.

And Amy knows full well what that feels like – not just in terms of letting go of what was no longer needed, but also accepting the fragility of life and the importance of living in the present.

In just five years, Amy Butler lost her father and younger sister to cancer.

Christie, who Amy described as “so full of life,” died at the age of 19 after an 18-month battle with an aggressive brain tumor. Amy was 21 at the time.

Two years later, a close friend she had known since they had been in school together, died of a rare form of cancer.

And just five years after Amy’s sister died, her father Steve died at age 58 from high-grade cancer. Of course – Amy curled up in a very dark place.

“It was just my mom, dad, me and sister – so I lost half of my family really quickly,” says Amy.

“All my 20s, I barely had time to get over the loss of one before the other happened. It was my sister, my friend and then my father. It was between 21 and 26 years old.

“I was constantly anxious and worried and just scared the whole time that something else was going to happen and then it would happen. It was a complete fog.

Over the past 10 years, Amy has dived in and out of mindfulness practices like meditation and observing what is going on around her so that she can be more present and aware of herself. .

And after another difficult year during the pandemic, she found that some of the techniques didn’t seem to work, so she went back to therapy – and it all started from there.

“I decided, ‘You know what, I’m going to graduate in this field. “I’m going to learn a lot more,” and I graduated in Mindfulness and Mindfulness Education.

“Now I have a place starting in February at the University of Oxford Mindfulness Center, which is a world-renowned mindfulness center.”

Even after these dark and depressing times, Amy started to come to terms with everything. She explains, “I realized that I had spent a large part of my own life watching life pass by, it’s almost like realizing that in death I don’t have to die too.

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“I always get waves of sadness, it’s good. But you just have to let it invade you. You need to feel it rather than ignoring the fact that it happened or pushing it away or making it your own fault.

Amy has rebuilt herself into someone she loves and is living her life to the fullest in order to help others do so.

The goal of his studio is to speak openly about mindfulness and its origin – Buddhism.

She believes everyone runs into obstacles in life, whether it’s trauma, family issues, mental health and everything in between, and her base in Wickham teaches people how to ease that tension through breathing work. and mindfulness techniques.

“It’s about compassion, non-judgment and living in the moment. It helps people find these techniques, especially when they’re feeling incredibly overwhelmed or anxious to step back from their thoughts and be in a place where they can’t be in their thoughts.

“My life has had a lot of losses, but this type of trauma can also happen to people in terms of traumatic family experiences, childhood trauma, anything can really impact you and that’s not just one thing. linear.

“It really helped me get back to the board because it was the very first time I had seen it all from a bird’s eye perspective. I was able to see myself again instead of locking myself up.

“Sometimes we say, ‘I want to go for a bike ride because I want to lose so much weight,’ instead of just going for the bike ride and seeing the trees for no other reason than just to have fun.

“What is life without joy? Is there no point in doing something if there is no joy there? ‘

Amy will be hosting a three week mindfulness practice class starting in February which can be booked through her bemindfulcollective website.

A message from the editor, Mark Waldron

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