The journey to Gavle (pronounced Yarvler) in Sweden started 28 years ago when I was 15 years old. I was walking down the street on a beautiful spring day feeling fantastic, the weather was beautiful, and all was right with the world; then I took another step.
In that moment I went from a happy, carefree teenager to a terrified one, and I can't tell you why.
For the next 28 years I struggled against acute anxiety, doing things that really scared me and getting through them but never comfortably and certainly never easily. I'm proud of myself that I never gave in, but that pride didn't negate the struggle I lived through every day, beginning when I woke up in the morning.
I used to say that I was grateful if I managed to stay sane until I went to bed, because I spent so much time in fear of losing my mind.
I had a list of things that scared me that was long and completely unreasonable, and for someone who found it difficult to leave their own home flying was pretty near the top of that list.
Even so I managed to go to New Zealand with my husband and meet his family in 1993 but I haven't flown since, until this weekend.
As many of you will know I am a working Psychic Medium, writer and inspirational speaker, and I work very closely with my Spirit Guide Amos. You will also know that I have never pretended to be more than human and I have always made it clear that I empathise because I have struggled too.
A few months ago, through a friend, I was invited to go and work in Sweden and I said yes. I still felt scared but I also knew that it was time that this fear went. I waited for the panic to appear and it didn't, however I was concerned that it would.
Then Amos asked me why I "made up stories". I discovered that he was referring to the fact that unreasonable fear causes us to make up scenarios in our minds that aren't true. They are based purely in a fear-induced over-active imagination.
As is my way when I am provided with wisdom of that kind I listened and I began to consciously work with this idea. When the day came to get on the aeroplane I waited for the fear and it didn't come. I did have a small wobble every so often but I walked on to the plane confidently and happily.
I had made up my mind that I would watch the cabin crew and if they remained relaxed then I would too. So when there was a little bump or rattle, or the alarming sound that turned out to be the wheels retracting into the fuselage, I checked the cabin crew and the faces of more seasoned travellers and if they looked comfortable I chose to allow myself to feel the same way.
I flew into Sweden's Arlanda airport with my nose buried in a book, barely raising my head when we had what my seasoned traveller of a husband called an interesting landing. I spent the weekend in Gavle enjoying every second of my time without once considering the flight home. And I danced onto the return flight with a new book and no concerns whatsoever.
My journey to Gavle led me not only to meet wonderful people, but also to spend time in a country I have discovered that I can completely relax in. What it is about the energy of the country and its people I do not know, what I do know is that all the niggles that prey on my mind when I'm at home ceased to exist and I am filled with gratitude for that.
It might have taken me many years hard work and a constant and complete determination never to give in to that fear that was often exhausting but necessary in order for me to overcome it, but it was worth it to get on that plane and visit a place where I can relax and forget myself.
I will always have Gavle, I will always have the wonderful friend I made over there (Pierre Hasselbrandt) and I hope I will get to know better the many lovely people he introduced me to and who supported my work when I was there.
What I won't have is the fear I've battled for 28 years, and I am more than happy to kiss that goodbye once and for all.
For many people they have a long hard road to hoe when it comes to their inner demons, but I'm proof that if you don't give up and if you work with the ideas that others give you, using them as tools for change, you too can go and find your own Gavle.
If you have an Amos it helps too, and my gratitude in being a guided Spiritual worker knows no bounds. If you don't have an Amos you have me.
Wishing you happy days and peaceful nights, knowing that if I can overcome my inner demons so can you.