SPOILER ALERT: The below is a shameless plug written out of love and respect - and is long overdue.
If you had met me just a few years ago, you would have observed a very different person: a quiet, shy, reserved and nervous individual, unsure about himself, his opinions, his wants or his desires. Full of self-doubt, insecurities and fears, he struggled to be authentic around other people. He was unable to deeply connect to his friends, unable to express his love for the people in his life, and unable above all to love himself. Lost and confused, he had spent years jumping from city to city, from club to club, and from job to job in the search of some release, some hope and some fulfillment.
Nowadays, I am settled, grounded, happy and fulfilled. I Love (with a capital L) my work and my businesses, I have great friends to whom I am deeply connected to and who support me in all my endeavors, and I have a fantastic loving relationship with my family. I am able to be my authentic self in all situations, and to express my true desires, wants and opinions.
One person has had a huge impact on my transformation: my great friend, business partner and coach Tony Selimi. Here is our story:
HOW I MET TONY
When I met Tony, I had already began my journey. After a depressing few years, some little voice inside of me had guided me to finally settle down, and to start a work I could enjoy. I met Tony on the gym floor in 2010: he offered me a free healing in return for a PT session. Intrigued, I went along, with little expectations.
Looking back on that first session, I remember how uncomfortable I felt. I felt prodded, nudged and gently wrestled into opening up and talking about myself, my feelings and my emotions. As a British passive aggressive introvert, it was my idea of hell. My ego kicked in with a vengeance: "Who was this man asking so many questions?" "Who did he think he was?" " How dare he make me feel so uncomfortable!" Part of me doubted and distrusted, another part of me was intrigued. But I knew deep down that I was exactly where I was supposed to be.
Tony was patient, and gave me the space to slowly feel more and more comfortable. Although part of me was screaming to run away back to my comfort zone, at the end of our session I chose to accompany him to dinner. As we chatted about spirituality, our lives, our dreams and our desires, something in me clicked and I knew that my life was about to take a turn for the better.
After agreeing to provide Tony with some Personal Training in return for more coaching and healing, I left feeling elated, as if something in me had shifted, some hope had returned. There was light at the end of the tunnel.
MY INITIAL RESISTANCE
I would be lying to you if I said that I had jumped head first into my new path. Even though I could catch a glimpse of where I was headed, a big part of me resisted the process. The concepts of energy, of manifestation, of law of attraction etc were all new to me. Years and years of belief in the physical world as the only reality held me back, and it would take me many months before I could fully release my doubts and trust what Tony was talking about.
At the same time, I still held on tightly to my old destructive habits, my old thought patterns, my old conditioning. For over a year, I went through many ups and downs: one day feeling elated and on top of the world, the other back to the grey gloom and doom. I caught a glimpse of the happiness and self-love Tony talked about, and then found myself doubting I had ever experienced it.
In hindsight, these cycles matched the times when I listened and nurtured my inner voice, my truth, and the times when I blocked it out, doubted myself, and forgot my heart. Time after time I returned to see Tony, and at every single session, I opened up a tiny bit more, learnt a bit more about myself, and felt a bit more hopeful.
STEP BY STEP
Little by little, with Tony’s constant, loving yet patient support and understanding I started to see clearer and clearer. I discovered a new awareness of myself, my thoughts and my emotions. I began to understand my past behaviors, my day-to-day feelings and my future desires. And I embarked on a journey of tremendous change that has not stopped since.
The fog slowly started to lift and I saw my life with a whole new perspective. I was able to see how for years I had avoided looking deeper into myself, always scared of what was inside. I was able to see how I had blamed my lack of love on everyone else but myself: my family, my friends, my clients. And I was able to see how much better my life was when I trusted and followed my intuition.
It wasn't always plain sailing, I made many mistakes and put myself into many difficult situations. However Tony always empowered me to turn the situations around, to gain learnings and insights from them, to forgive myself and to move on quickly.
In doing so, I started to trust my instincts, and built a new-found respect and esteem for myself, my desires and my choices. I re-discovered love for life, for those around me and for me - for Will. My resistance dropped, and I became eager to learn more and more about the healing and coaching process, about our minds, our energies, our emotions - and how they all interact.
And as my inner world changed, so did my outer world. I stopped my old destructive habits, and began to nurture the parts of my life that needed me. My business began to take off, I attracted new wonderful friends, and re-connected with my twin, my brothers and my parents. My life slowly began to fall into place.
The job of a good Coach is to allow you to come to your own conclusions, make your own decisions, and choose what is right for yourself. And that is exactly what Tony did. His greatest skill has been to help me believe and trust my instincts to achieve my potential. We are all born great, with unique gifts, talents and personalities - however many of us suppress our true selves and forget our dreams and desires. Drawing on his learnings from many avenues including his own life story, Tony empowered me to push my boundaries, transform my mind and release my inner self.
Tony has a positive energy and a love for life and for others that is contagious. He is a loving, warm and kind man, and keen to help everyone he meets. He has inspired me in many ways to do the same: to inject love into everything I do, everything I see and everyone I meet. He has become one of my closest friends, a trusted companion and a fantastic business partner.
However, if I were to name one of Tony’s top strengths, it would be his integrated and in-depth knowledge of both Coaching AND Healing. Through my own experience, I have realized how important they both are, in conjunction with one another. Any healing of the physical body is far more powerful when one can understand the root of the symptom in their subconscious, and make changes to their mindset through coaching. And coaching is far more powerful with the understanding of energy, vibrations and manifestation.
Tony has been an avid learner for many years, and has done all kind of certifications (each with different initials and abbreviations !). Rather than sticking to one particular school of thought, he happily uses the best bits of each one, and tailors his approach depending on the situation. This integration of the mind and spirit has really opened up my eyes to the world around us, and has helped me transform the way I see my business, my training and my relationships.
Of course, it goes without saying that I would wholeheartedly recommend Tony to anyone. I truly believe that everyone could benefit from a bit of coaching and healing, and that the world would be a better place if we all applied just 10% of what Tony can teach.
START YOUR OWN JOURNEY
For me, Tony has been a fantastic catalyst for change, a great influence in my life, and an astounding friend. Thanks to him I have learnt to love, be loved, to express myself, and to reach for the stars. I have kickstarted an incredible transformation and have found my true self. I feel authentic, fulfilled and content - and so very excited about what the future will bring.
Looking into yourself and committing to your own personal growth is best thing you could ever do. Yes it will require some work. Yes it may be uncomfortable at times. And yes you may have many layers and issues to unravel. But the long-term reward you will get is immense, immeasurable, and most likely impossible to even imagine.
Happiness and fulfillment is inside of you. It may have been locked up by fears, doubts and insecurities - but it is within your grasp. I dare you to go find it.
Will Pike - 30 January 2013