According to my 2019 wall calendar, which had served as my health diary, what I now consider my ‘tipping point’ had started with a simple cold after a very busy period in June 2019. As a contractor for many years, I worked well with change, so to be a bit worn down was familiar territory. I had just travelled overseas, was three months into a new job and had recently moved house. I had also had an interaction with a family member that had left me a bit worse for wear. So I visited my local organic store and started natural supplements to help me along.
Not long after starting supplements I was consistently falling asleep around 8.30pm, waking to burning eyes in the morning that were hard to open, and then the night sweats started. With a stressful job and having bought a new set of sheets, both were easy to excuse. I simply had low energy or iron because I was adjusting to my new flat and job.
I went to my doctor and got a blood test which revealed everything was normal enough, so I started super-charged vitamins and medication to look at improving my experience of being tired all the time. As I was susceptible to being anxious and lower-in-mood than most, this seemed like a logical stop-gap.
Everything continued much the same, but my need for sleep grew. I started having trouble arriving to work on time and simply couldn’t wake up properly. Three weeks of this (and numerous repeating alarms and breakfast meal changes), I had another doctor’s visit which saw a referral to New Zealand’s leading Chronic Fatigue specialist.
With overseas viral nasties and exotic diseases ruled out, I left the specialist appointment with a new list of vitamins. I was told that six more weeks of no improvement would confirm a diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - currently I just had Chronic Fatigue.
For the next 10 weeks (I’m a bit stubborn) until November 2019, I followed a strict morning and night vitamin regime, added in saunas in lunchtime, tried hypnotherapy, joined a step challenge and was taking off almost every Friday from work at building myself back up. I had become so weak that a PT session (booked in a fit of desperation) saw the PT bundle me up with supports for the most simple of stretching exercises.
Determined, I started back full time late November of 2019, pushing myself back when I felt I should be able to cope. I was scared I would lose my job, or slip behind in my work, but I simply felt worse for going back. My weekends and weeknights were designated for rest, so my social life moved to simply messaging friends, all with the goal of getting marginally better and beating a Syndrome diagnosis.
When 2020 started I admitted defeat for the sake of pragmatism. I couldn’t cope with full time work, I needed more sleep and fulltime work was making me feel worse. Something was wrong, but no amount of will power, vegetables, vitamins, meditations, medications or sweaty lunchtime saunas seemed to help. I was approved for part-time work on a three-month basis and started an anti-inflammatory diet – the diet was my choice. I dropped dairy, red meat and all processed foods. Although I was in disbelief by what I was potentially facing long-term, I still couldn’t accept that this was beyond me to turn around. At this point I was waking up two to six times a night, changing my sheets regularly, and bedtime was just on 8pm without fail.
A friend had mentioned the Lightning Process to me a while ago. She had seen a close friend of hers go from a state worse than mine, to achieving a full recovery. Another mutual friend described going through a Neural Linguistic Programming course with similar results. I was skeptical. It seemed odd to me that you could change so much without any external aide like a pill, eating regime or physical task. It reminded me of the fad self-help books of the 90s that worked off the karmic idea that if I thought I was well, I would become well. I did and do still think that’s bullshit. The issue to me was a physical one and my mind was fed up with my body for not getting on board.
The first opportunity I had to move forward was in my initial conversation with Libby. I had reached out to a few Lightning Process coaches in New Zealand after finally reading Phil Parker’s book on it. Libby asked if I had considered that ‘my story’ could equally offer a tale of healing just as much as it detailed my fatigue and anxiety/depression? This seemingly simple question stopped me in my tracks.
In the same way I had tried to pummel my chronic fatigue into submission, I’d done the same with my anxiety and depression. I had had 16 years of managing depression, was skilled in the art of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, had tried meditative yoga, mindfulness, prayer, learnt how to take holidays, celebrated being a melancholic creative, gave up sugar and tried multiple versions of medication. I could be on or off medication, knowing exactly what to do if feeling low, and what situations were best avoided if tired – I was a pro.
There wasn’t a thing I hadn’t tried and completely exhausted (excuse the pun). I found myself almost angry at the thought that I was being asked to consider there WAS something that would completely eliminate the issues I had worked so hard at fixing for years. Angry because I had adopted my issues! At this point they were ‘mine.’ I had in a rather stoic manner simply gotten used to the cards I had been dealt. I didn’t know how to live unrestrained without these issues. What use would these experiences and management/coping skills be now? I was afraid. What happens when you have no ‘go-to’ excuse or reason?
That simple question put everything into perspective. When I looked ahead at my life, living with fatigue and continuing to muster strength to deal with depression, I simply couldn’t imagine being happy. It felt like a reduced life. And when I imagined living without either of those issues it felt like being shot out of a cannon! I had no idea what it would look like, but it felt like it had more of a chance at making me happy. I know that might seem obvious from the outside, but when you’re so used to something it’s destabilising to consider removing it – rather like a dodgy hip (I imagine).
What became clearer in talking with Libby and in the moments after our chat was that I was being asked to trust there was a way to concretely change my life - not just remove my fatigue. With a sliver of trust in the unknown I signed up, thankfully was accepted, and stepped through Libby’s front door in the last week of January 2020.
Over the next three days threads of what I had picked up from mindfulness, stress management and counselling over the years were woven together with new information about stress and the human brain. Everything came together and really hit home. This formed a mirror for me to hold up to myself and my experiences. As I completed the homework each night of the course, I felt like I was learning to walk again. This wasn’t simply a coat of fresh paint on old boards, I was being challenged to rewrite all of my assumptions, stop my current habits and form completely new pathways forward. And the process wasn’t focused on fatigue or depression – it was focused on healing. There were tears and fears, but there was also a growing emotional and mental freedom that put no issue beyond reach.
The night of the last day of the course I slept straight through without disturbance for the first time in six months. Driving home I was practically euphoric, singing to music in my car, relaxed as could be in traffic back to Auckland. The tap in my head had turned off. The next Monday I worked a full week without issue. It was an overnight ‘night and day’ difference. Most things completely stopped, with others lessening over the next few months. No night sweats, no restlessness, no burning eyes and my bedtime crept past 8.30pm. I stopped all vitamins and ditched the anti-inflammatory diet – but kept my new favourite soy milk 😊 Within a month I was at a birthday party chatting, and someone else left the conversation to go to bed – because it was 1am!
When lockdown happened in March 2020, I decided not to renew my depression medication. This was the longest standing physical aide I had had, and although I had come off it before, it was always to come back to it a few months on. The timing could seem crazy but working from home was a calm environment for me. So with follow-up coaching booked in, and a history of asking for help when things got hard, it didn’t seem risky.
Going back into the office at Level One in June only served to up-the-anti. Because of Covid-19s impact on business I had twice the workload of the year previous. I also had to give up my controlled home environment for a noisy office, social interactions and travel. After just a few weeks of being back I was in a dark mood. I had bought sound-proof headphones to cope, was overtly snappy and found myself considering whether medication would help. When I realised what was happening, I chose to double-down on my Lightning Process teachings. I knew what to do and I knew it worked. Months later my manager confided her relief when I had come into work the week after with a completely different attitude!
Over the next year I enlisted Libby’s expertise through additional coaching sessions that offered me growth in leaps and bounds! Her ability to truly listen and her personal embodiment of the Lightning Process meant that she picked up on my habits of speech that pointed to unhelpful mental habits. In some sessions my unconscious beliefs or values were unearthed and acknowledged through her considerate questioning. This led to further growth and personal insight that rewrote some of my life’s hardest moments. With wisdom and experience Libby would at times challenge how I positioned my frustrations or disappointments to avoid old habits reforming. As an encouraging and wise coach there was never a time where I felt our sessions were unnecessary, repetitive or overkill.
Actively using the Lightning Process I’ve been experiencing personal growth and expression again. The first thing I noticed was laughter. I didn’t think of my life as being without humor, but I’ve started laughing out loud far more, smiling and rediscovering joyful memories I had long forgotten - which is nothing short of precious. I’m far more present, barely anxious or depressed, which means rediscovering what it feels like to just be nervous or simply ‘fine.’ Hardly any of my reactions are forced either, I’m not ‘faking it til I make it’ or ‘just pushing through.’ My interactions with the world are more balanced and my energy better channeled.
Professionally I’ve had positive comments about how I’ve dealt with difficult personalities and seemingly stressful situations – including a recommendation from senior leadership that my manager should do the course! As a person whose been called ‘fiery’ and ‘dogged’ before, I can now leave an argument at the table, or simply choose not to engage. I no longer lean into my stress, trying to make it productive, or challenge myself to grow by going through more of it – which is ludicrous when you think about it. Switching off from my day completely is now a possibility and I can take on activities after work too! All of this has meant I’ve started growing some of the skills I’ve always wanted (like negotiation and healthy boundaries) and I’m being trusted more in the workplace.
And it’s important to note that my environment hasn’t changed. My job and home life are the same as they were the year previous. I’ve actually added in the addition of an eBike, Greek lessons and a personal business project!
This last year has truly been the proof in the pudding for me that the Lightning Process was not intended as a fad, or a solution to just one issue. Reading over my calendars and diary to write this, I really empathise with myself from 2019 and all of the years before going through mental health struggles. The Lightning Process continually gives me a framework which enlightens my perspective of self, others and the situations I find myself in. There’s no new spiritual beliefs involved, or dedication to some pyramid scheme.
I purposely didn’t want to give Libby a testimonial until enough time had passed for me to be sure I wasn’t imagining the difference the course and her coaching had made (sorry Libby!) Over one year on now, I still can’t believe it but I know it to be true. After about eight months, I said to Libby that I felt like I did when I was in my early twenties! This experience has meant that I get to feel that exciting optimism and hope again – it’s renewed my life.
After struggling with what I was told was hemiplegic migraines for years, they gradually got worse and the symptoms increase, to a point where one bad episode just never went away.
I had seen multiple doctors and specialists who had told me I was suffering with chronic migraines that may never go away, and that the only solution was a cocktail of medications that may not work and would leave me with a multitude of side effects. Hearing it may not get better was a huge hit, my mental health fell into a downward spiral pit of anxiety, I felt completely out of control and helpless.
When I first contacted Libby, I had doubts about my own ability to overcome my struggles. However, after our first phone conversation I was blown away with her belief and confidence in not only the process, but that I had the ability to take back power over my health both mentally and physically. She provided me with a new found hope and motivation to make a change.
Libby’s skills, knowledge, intuition is so empowering. She encouraged me to confront deep-seated negative perceptions and beliefs, some of which I had not even noticed in myself. Doing so in such a caring, encouraging and supportive manner that there was never any sense of blame. Instead of focusing on the problem, and highlighting the ‘pain’, which was the focus of so many medical professions. Libby and the lightning process encourage me to focus on what I want to feel, looking forward to the positive rather than back to the negative. Learning all about how the mind works and how it processes things like pain, made everything click and make sense. I was able to recognise all the unconscious habits, or thoughts I was doing that were ‘non-life enhancing’ and was amazed at the power I had to change them.
By the third day of the course, my headache had almost completely disappeared, I felt energised and clear headed, more than I had felt in months! Libby gave me tools to retrain my brain and harness control of my mental and physical health. The most empowering thing about the lightning process was that the techniques I learnt were not just strategies to overcome one problem, but were tools I can use to enhance every aspect of my life now and in the future.
Completing the lightning process in Hamilton, away from home in Wellington was the best decision ever! It was incredibly powerful to leave home feeling terrible and to return completely refreshed and revived. I found I was able to retreat and completely immerse myself in the process without the distractions of my everyday life. I Couldn’t recommend, Libby, the Lightning Process and a trip to Hamilton more!!
11 months on, and my life has improved dramatically, I am more productive than ever in my work and University studies, I am energised and present in my day to day life. Overall, I have seen a dramatic reduction in migraines and perpetual headaches and have realised that I was contributing to it through the way I approached my life—by taking back control rather than feeling like a victim. I feel clear-headed, and notice when I slip into bad habits which contribute to migraines and bounce back significantly quicker.
The Lightning Process exceeded all my expectations. It was completely life-changing! The power of the mind is unlimited!
I'd tried to overcome my fears by working with a counsellor who specialised in anxiety. That helped me identify things that had led me to becoming an anxious person, and those insights did reduce some of the symptoms I had at that time. But I wasn't sure how to really change my thinking.
When I was introduced to Libby, I hoped she would give me some practical tools to turn my negative thinking around. But even taking that step felt risky. Would I learn enough to make a real difference? What if the things I gained from her didn’t help? These were the doubts that filled my head at the time.
Most of those doubts melted in our first session. You realise very quickly that Libby’s confidence and happiness comes from a place of competence. And she's really easy to talk to.
I was also impressed that she didn't settle for easy answers. At the time it felt a little uncomfortable, but that made me work harder, to think for myself and be more creative in coming to better conclusions. I think I had learned to be a bit lazy in my thinking patterns.
How did life change?
Libby gave me the tools to retrain my own mind. I no longer take on other people’s emotions or think that I'm responsible to carry their burdens when they’re not mine to bear. I’ve also left behind a lot of anger and cynicism.
Now I feel confident in who I am. My emotions are balanced and I’m a much better mum, able to parent my kids with confidence and positivity. And I can now do things that I have always wanted to do but shied away from due to fear. Like public speaking!
Am I happier? Absolutely! My confidence is up, which allows me to take responsibility for who I am and what I do. If I knew someone who needed to shift their thinking, I would definitely direct them to Libby.
"I didn't want to leave the house or have to talk to anyone. Some days it was a real struggle to pull myself together and go to work. I would bury my head in a pillow and just cry." (Female, 48 yrs)
I was struggling emotionally and physically, finding it challenging just to do my day. My weight had been a problem as long as I can remember. I was very self-conscious of my size and it had become painful to move.
I'd tried numerous weight-loss programs over the years. Almost always, the initial results were positive, and I could see and feel the progress. Then I would put all the weight back on. I can’t tell you how devasting it was to see that pattern repeat over time. It left me so frustrated, hopeless and disappointed with myself.
Over time, I became tired and withdrawn; I didn't want to leave the house or have to talk to anyone. Some days it was even a struggle to pull myself together to go to work. I had mornings when, after the rest of the family had left, I would curl up, bury my head in a pillow and just cry. All I wanted was to pull the curtains and stay in the dark. I couldn’t face the day.
To make things worse, I didn’t understand why I was in this state. On the surface, life was good; I should have been happy. I wasn’t. I was depressed, and I now realise that I had been in that dark space for eight months. After being diagnosed with depression, I was advised to see a psychiatrist.
But I chose to follow a different path and see Libby instead. I wanted to address my overall wellness as a whole - the physical and the emotional.
When I approached her for help, I had serious doubts about my own ability to overcome my challenges. And I was anxious. It’s not easy to be totally honest with yourself let alone expose your inner thoughts and feelings to another person.
I needn’t have worried.
Libby works with skill, insight and ability. She's confident and capable, caring and encouraging. She's able to drill down to the core concerns where the real problems lie. Dealing with historical beliefs can be painful, but with her, there was no sense of blame. Instead, she helped me to properly understand myself and her coaching gave me the tools I needed to become a stronger version of my current self.
I was surprised at how quickly I could see changes in myself. I've become far more active and my joints are not as painful as they were. I’ve lost weight and even the eczema rash that I have had for 20 years has gone! As my confidence has increased, all of my relationships have improved, and opportunities have opened up to me professionally.
Not only have I gained things with Libby’s help, I’ve also left bad things behind. My negativity and self-doubt have gone. So have the feelings of frustration and hopelessness. In their place I now believe that I can do whatever I put my mind to!
I look forward to tomorrow again.
Coaching with Libby has been incredibly effective and I've found it an amazing, positive experience. I want to thank her for the work we've done, for the tools and insights she's given me and for the positive impact she's had on my life. I am stronger and more assertive, yet more gentler than I've ever been.
"Before coming to Libby, I had no idea what was causing my problems. I honestly thought others had the issue, not me. I couldn’t have been more wrong." (Male, 43 yrs)
Libby helped me in the biggest way possible. She gave me the ability to see what lay behind my negative behaviours, which for me actually went right back to my childhood. I hadn’t realised how my inner thoughts were affecting my outward attitudes and actions, which in turn were impacting how others perceived me. This affected all aspects of my life; both work and personal relationships.
I didn't expect someone so intuitive and understanding. In the very first session, Libby shifted deep-seated and lifelong perceptions and emotions. She showed me how profoundly I could change and how, with the right tools, I could heal from a lifetime of hurt.
The transformation was profound and took me completely by surprise.
The benefits have been huge. I've learned to trust and connect with people far more than ever. It has strengthened my relationships at work and at home, and my loved ones have noticed significant changes. I now function better on an emotional level and can deal with daily situations better.
Libby turned my life around. She gave me the tools and understanding I desperately needed to get free of the pain and turmoil. I am eternally grateful to her. If you are in anguish or despair, I would absolutely recommend her, without hesitation!
"After a minor adenoidectomy and grommet surgery, our son Michael reacted unusually during recovery. Within 48 hours he was given a wheelchair and no diagnosis." (Boy, 8 years)
After a minor adenoidectomy and grommet surgery, our son Michael reacted unusually during recovery. In the first 24 hours post-surgery, he experienced increasingly severe lower-limb pain and loss of function. Within 48 hours he was given a wheelchair and no diagnosis.
Over the following 12 days a full suite of tests was performed with no consensus being reached as to the cause of his symptoms. Things were getting progressively worse. We began planning for a life with a child permanently wheelchair-bound.
I knew Libby and of her experience in personal coaching and ‘brain training’, so I approached her with Michael’s situation. When she suggested that she could talk with Michael I was open to the idea, although I made it clear that I was sceptical of what I perceived to be pseudo-scientific, eastern religious practices.
These fears were alleviated as I sat in with Michael during the consultation with Libby.
She was very pragmatic and reassuring in her manner and explained what was going to happen before the formal exercises began. The treatment consisted of a personalised guided visualisation process. I had experienced something similar when studying sport psychology and in learning complex physical tasks. Consequently, I was aware that the practice related to cognitive training rather than anything mystic.
At the end of the one-hour consultation, our son stood almost entirely unaided for the first time in nearly two weeks. In the hour that followed, he left his wheelchair and began using a walking frame, which he quickly discarded as he started to walk independently.
Michael had one more dose of pain killers approximately eight hours later, but apart from that, has been completely restored to full health.
I was very impressed with Libby and her approach; clearly the results speak for themselves. She took my personal beliefs and concerns seriously and did not minimise them. We couldn’t have asked for anything more! I wholeheartedly recommend her.
After 8 heart attacks I finally got to a point in my life where I had to give up smoking.
Before I met Libby I had tried to quit smoking plenty of times. I went cold turkey six times, tried gum, patches, pills, even hypnotism. Nothing worked.
Even though I knew what smoking was doing to me, and how likely it was the next heart attack would kill me, I truly believed I could not rid myself of this addiction; that I couldn’t quit. I had given up on life.
Libby asked me if I was serious about quitting and said she could help. She displayed such a calm confidence in her own abilities, I actually believed her! I just knew that if anyone could help me, it was this knowledgeable, well-considered woman. That said, I was deeply afraid of failing. This was my last chance and I knew it.
As I worked with Libby, it became clear that I was not just an exercise. She actually cared. I also discovered that she is far more skilled than I first believed. In spite of my long history of failure, she quickly convinced me that I could stop smoking, and that is quite something!
Libby gave me the real-world tools to beat this addiction, tools that I still use today. One thing I found liberating was the understanding that this addiction was in my mind, and that my mind could be reshaped and strengthened just like a muscle. This single concept gave me a sense of control that I hadn’t felt for a long, long time.
The results? I've stopped smoking! I'm healthier and I'm more financially secure because of it. My whole outlook on life has changed. I used to think that my life span would be short and that nothing I did could change that. That suffocating sense of powerlessness is gone now. Libby has shown me that with the right mental tools, I can overcome any addiction and control my life and the outcomes.
I’m enjoying life again and I wake up looking forward to the future. Libby, you are the Liberator! Thank you!
Life gets messy for most of us and it is hard to make change on your own. Knowing the value of working with a skilled, professional coaching practitioner, I am very selective about who I ask for help.
Libby was my first choice.
She is insightful, present and compassionate, with a tremendous range of practical coaching tools that she uses to great effect. Purposeful yet unhurried, Libby takes you through awareness and understanding and leads you to insight.
The ‘aha’ moments continue on reflection after each session, deepening awareness through application.
If you are looking for specialist coaching that really works, make time to see Libby.