Alan Hughes – my life up to now…
I was born in England, but moved to SA with my parent and my brother, when I was less than a year old, and grew up on the East Rand, JHB. After matric I spent three years studying for a National Diploma in Photography. I then spent a year and a half doing “National Service”. My feet were itching by this point, so I headed off overseas for a year, working in England and then traveling the last few months in Europe. Most of the jobs I did in England were either challenging or tedious, but the lessons learnt, and the wonderful experience of travel and holiday at the end made it all well worth the while.
On returning to South Africa, I was unable to find employment as a photographer, so I did a “crash course”in programming. I was fortunate enough to get a good job, “on condition” that I move to Cape Town. Best move ever! I spent over four wonderful years here, enjoying the mountains, beautiful beaches, and the Cape Town social scene. It was also during this time in Cape Town that I began to question, look within, and search for more. I did a Personal Growth course with Life Line, which helped kick start my journey. It led me to more courses, and then to counseling with Life Line and even facilitating on a few of their courses. I also began my journey into meditation and began to meditate regularly.
In 1996 I again headed to Europe, looking to work there in IT. I only intended to leave SA for a year or two. My plan was to find a six months contract, make lots of money and then travel six months, work and play. I was offered a contract in Dublin, which paid very well. But with the money came a lot of responsibility, and the “six months” contract kept getting extended. At first I was enthralled with all this money I was earning, lots of daydreams of what I could do with it. However, I was living a lonely life, my lifestyle was not great, and gradually I realized that the cash was actually just a number on a piece of paper. It wasn’t real and I wasn’t spending it or getting joy from it. While my bank balance grew fat, my spirit withered, the rat race and big city life taking their toll. After a couple of years I was stressed out and had enough of Dublin. I had continued with my meditation in Dublin, and I had also started investigating different forms of healing in my spare time. I decided to take six months out for myself, and use some of that money I was hoarding. I took a two week holiday out in West Cork, to visit a small Buddhist Retreat Center called Dzogchen Beara. I was very taken by this special place and returned to live there for six months. During this time I was blessed to meet amazing people, learn many lessons, and to receive teachings from several great teachers and Buddhist Lamas.
Towards the end of this retreat time, I began studying Healing in earnest. I met a lovely Healer woman from England, with whom I was in relation with for a brief spell, who expanded my concepts of energy in many ways. At the same time I began a two year Professional Healing training with Doctor Ruth Doherty of the The Annwn Institute. In retrospect, this course was largely a journey of self discovery, gradually stripping off layers of armor, to reveal and develop talents and abilities which I had hidden deep within me. It involved working a lot with my own issues, in order to become clearer, and be more able to help others deal with their difficulties. It also taught me an extremely refined way of working with energy, developing huge sensitivity, with which I could gently bring about profound change and healing. At the same time I also studied Aura-Soma Colour Therapy, and explored some other modalities, doing shorter courses in Indian Head Massage and Reiki.
On completing my Healer training, I returned to have another look at South Africa. I was torn between the me I was developing in Ireland, and the me that loved Cape Town. Undecided, I set off to travel again. I first went to Thailand where I had fun in the sun, studying Thai Massage, buzzing around the countryside on scooters, visiting beautiful monasteries and enjoying the local cuisine. Then I moved on to Nepal following a more Spiritual trail, meeting wonderful Lamas, and soaking up the energy of awesome Holy places. From here I was able to arrange a trip to Tibet, the most wondrous place I have traveled. I spent a month there, traveling to Holy mountains, lakes and Monasteries, hanging out and visiting Holy sites in Lhasa, and even going to Everest.
During these travels, I missed my life in Ireland, more than SA, so I returned to settle in West Cork, and gradually established a Healing practice there. I began studying again, doing a two year Diploma course in CranioSacral Therapy with the College of Cranio-Sacral Therapy, graduating in July 2003. This became the mainstay of my practice. I continued to to do post-grad studies in CranioSacral Therapy, as well as learning new skills, such as Hawaiian Massage, Sound Therapy and attended Buddhist workshops, learning much about the cycles of living and dying. During my years in Ireland I learnt African drumming, danced the Five Rhythms and spent a lot of time swimming in, walking next to, and bobbing around on the sea in a kayak.
As the seasons passed, the winters seemed to grow longer, I grew sad and pined for the beauty and sunshine of Africa. So in 2006 I again jumped continents, returning to Cape Town’s beautiful shores. It was again time for a change, and I needed an income, so I got back into IT, working for a dear old friend, who runs a big website. Lots to learn, new skills and ways of thinking. I only took the job four days a week, giving me time to re-acquaint myself with all Cape Town has to offer, as well as to keep doing my Healing work part time. It was while working for this website company that I came across the guys from “Evolved Coaching”. They did a couple of days with the whole company, and I was blown away by what they were doing and how effective it was. I knew straight away that this is what I wanted to do and immediately approached them to learn their way of working….
In mid 2011 I chose to take another break from IT work, giving myself a year to focus on Life Coaching and Healing work. While I enjoyed exploring this, I was not generating enough work to keep me busy, and soon got bored and financially strained. I returned again to IT, with a job that taught me some newer skills. When this company folded, I got another job, which gave me the opportunity to relocate to the winelands. This was a great move, getting out of the city, living somewhere more rural. I was also able to negotiate a four day week again, enabling me to keep enough “free time” for myself, to learn new things, to enjoy quiet meditative time in nature and to enjoy my various hobbies and interests.
Alan Hughes, my life now…
I am living in a lovely little cottage, set within the beautiful surroundings of a wine farm. I have nature space around me, room to garden and to keep a few pet chickens. I now work two and a half days of the week, using the other three days to enjoy doing things I love.
I keep fit and healthy. While I am game to try most sports, my staple is dancing, swimming, and walking in hills and forests, or by the sea. Nature is my solace, so I love to get away camping, or doing beautiful hikes like the Otter trail. I also enjoy drives through beautiful Cape scenery in my toy, a little red classic sports car.
For the last decade I have been doing a lot of Biodanza, a “movement therapy”. I have completed the Facilitator training twice, with different instructors and lead Biodanza classes. I also explore other areas of movement such as “Movement Medicine”, and “Contact Improvisation”.
I still do a bit of drumming and singing, when the opportunity presents itself.
My latest interest is Family Constellations which I have been studying over the last couple of years and in which I will soon Graduate.