I am Nicole Barton, often described as something of a unicorn within the self-help industry for my candid notion that nobody needs self-help. Committed to supporting people in finding freedom from whatever their particular form of suffering is, my message is often defined as a breath of fresh air in my admission that while meditation, yoga and anything that leads us into soul-led expression can be useful to drop us out of our heads and into our hearts, none of these practices are prerequisites to peace. Profound, in that my life thus far has not been devoid of challenge or trauma.
It was the first day of primary school when my father left the family home. The pain was magnified because that was also the week that my mother was due to travel to Romania to collect Marianna, a little girl of the same age whom my family had already adopted. The dissipation of my parents’ marriage put a sudden end to my dreams and plans for the sister I had met in Eastern Europe; the red fluffy pencil case I had lovingly chosen for her would never have an owner.
My father dipped in and out of my life for the duration of my childhood after his sudden exit following the marital breakdown, and aged 10 I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome having lost the ability to walk overnight.
I missed an entire year of school and recall being wheeled around the house in an office chair by my granny, and transported to psychiatrist appointments by my mother. Eventually life resumed a semblance of normality and I recovered, returning to school. Aged 17 however, soon after my father bought me Slimfast for my 17th birthday, I developed an eating disorder which claimed three years of my life. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy seemingly helped me to work through my issues but perhaps more aptly, planted an early seed about the influence of our thoughts in creating our experience.
Six years working as a brand manager ensued but when the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome returned, I embarked on a relentless mission to ‘fix’ myself.
A chance meeting with Mandy Spray, a mentor of the Three Principles understanding, changed my life, offering the missing link. Originally conceptualized by Sydney Banks who went on to share what many would describe as something of a divine download after a psychologist with whom he’d confided he felt insecure responded “you’re not insecure - you just think you are,” the Three Principles explained how our reality is experienced from the inside-out. It compared the mind to a film projector, suggesting that 100% of our experience of life is created from inside us and our movie is projected out into the world. We cannot therefore, be truly impacted by suffering a unless we think we are. And - even better - our true, connected nature is always there underneath!
My digestion of this understanding came to me through a series of insights and realisations which came from beyond the mind, transforming my outlook - and my life - almost overnight.
Today, age 32, I am a Life Mentor who helps people to find freedom from suffering through monthly workshops, global retreats and one to ones. Having written for a plethora of publications including Tiny Buddha, McGill Media (Simple Reminders), Yoga Magazine, Your Healthy Living Magazine, Natural Health Magazine, Wellbeing Magazine and Sivana East, I am currently working on my first book.
All we really need to do is see that we aren’t who we think we are, and return to our truthful connection. I invite you to hold my hand and join me to find freedom from your suffering.