How Does Trauma Impact on Your Self Worth? Are You Punishing Yourself? ( Part 3 of ‘ Surviving In a Spiritual/Emotional Wilderness’)

What Does Trauma Look Like in Reality?


Last week, in How the Trauma of Rejection Contributes to Life Falling Apart. Part 2 of my ‘How to Survive in A Spiritual Wilderness’ Series. I shared the devastating moment when the father of my unborn child rejected both her and I just a few weeks in to the pregnancy with the immortal lines:

‘Well that’s fucked everything up. I was about to tell you that I’ve been seeing somebody else and I want to marry her.”


Later followed by:man-talking-on-the-phone-1582238_1920



” I don’t want to know what it is or when it is born. I don’t want any photos.”




I briefly alluded to the terror that washed through me with these words, particularly the latter ones, as I realised that the total responsibility for my unborn child’s welfare lay on my  shoulders.

I was so stunned by his chilling potion of cold hearted rejection.

When we are impacted so profoundly on an internal level, how does it show itself in our external world?

A Most Defining Moment.

That avalanche of  terrifying rejection became one of the defining moments of my life.

Something in me changed forever but, of course, I wasn’t aware of that at the time. It has taken many years to realise the detrimental impact those few seconds of rejection were to have on my life.

At the moment of traumatic impact we become numb. Natures way of protecting us.  As, however, the numbness wears off,  excruciating pain kicks in and we become only too aware of the many shattered emotions flailing around within us.

Initially, I didn’t have time to worry about that. Like anyone suffering the impact of a traumatic experience, there often isn’t time in the immediate aftermath to deal with those emotions. Attention and energy is required to survive the incident relating to the trauma.

In my case, I had to place all of my attention in to preparing for the baby. There were practical matters to attend to. So that’s what I did. Focussed on the practical requirements for my child alongside ensuring that, even though she was still in my womb, she was receiving the most stable emotional and psychological start in life from me possible – no matter how wobbly I felt.

When Time Catches Up With You.

Yet there comes, of course, a time where it all catches up with us. The range of suppressed emotions lurking under the surface, dragging us silently down on the inside whilst we fight so hard to keep a brave face on the outside.  



As I lay in my bed, following my breakdown, ( How To Survive in a Spiritual Wilderness When Life Has Fallen Apart. Part 1.),  the emotional and practical carnage that had been left in the wake of  the rejection by  my child’s father, I could see all too clearly what had happened.

Rejecting Myself.

In those few seconds that he’d triggered something in me which caused me to reject myself.

With any rejection comes shame. When shame washes over you so many other factors come in to play: loss of confidence, sense of failure, guilt, self blame and loathing. This is all compounded by a game of punishment we can play with ourselves, isolating ourselves from others which then leads to deep loneliness and then, of course, depression.

I became an expert at all of these things. Blaming myself. Punishing myself.

I forgot that I was still a living, breathing and functioning person with needs, wants and desires. That I had rights, tastes and preferences.

I was so cross with myself for ‘choosing’ such a spineless man to be the father of my child and for letting my child down in this way, that I had entered in to a pattern of self punishment and denial where I was not allowed to feel good about myself or my life in any way.

I’m jumping ahead of myself here a little as there is so much more to the story of my breakdown but it feels right to bring this in now because, if you are reading this because you are in the midst of a breakdown,  I want you to explore this self-loathing notion and to check that you aren’t doing this to yourself.  

Are You Punishing Yourself?

How much responsibility for the situation you find yourself in have you placed upon your own shoulders rather than sharing the responsibility with all the relevant parties?

Was there some moment/second where you subconsciously decided that you needed to be punished for these events taking place in your life?

Was there a moment when you, again, subconsciously decided that you had got something so wrong that you needed to be punished for it and the only person capable of truly punishing yourself well enough was – actually and ironically, yourself?


We can do this to ourself in seconds. It only takes a second in time for a switch to be turned on inside us that changes the course of how we are with ourselves and others.





This took me a long time to work out and, to be honest, I’m still a ‘recovering self punisher’. I’m still on the journey of trying to believe that I am allowed nice things in life again.

It took my childs father probably no less than sixty seconds to utter those words to me yet 14 years on, I’m still recovering from the devastating impact I allowed them to have on my personal well-being and self-esteem.


Why had  I let myself take responsibility for the appalling actions of one man to penetrate so harshly in to my own psyche and well-being?



Discovering the answer to that question was to lead me back many years.

To the summer of 1977 when I was just 12 years old. I’ll be sharing that story in a future blog. For now it’s enough to know that when we experience incidents in adulthood that affect us deeply and traumatically, it can sometimes be because we have not yet healed a terrible experience that was reaped upon us in our innocent youth.






But first, I need to tell you what happened next with my baby. About her birth. About what came next. I’ll be sharing that with you in my next blog.

Until then, wishing you peace,  self nourishing love and tranquility.

Karen xxx


Karen is a #1 Best Selling Author & Spiritual Healer who runs on-line and live wilderness retreats for adults who are in the midst of their own spiritual wilderness so that that they can re-claim their joy and purpose in life.

She is currently writing the book: The Love Millionaire – Cultivating the Art of Inner Richness.

To find out more about Karen, visit: About Karen!

To work with Karen, visit: Work With Karen

To connect on Facebook, visit:

To connect on Twitter, visit:

Email Karen at

© No part of this blog may be reproduced without the written permission of the author.

Karen would like to thank her daughter for giving permission to publish the story of her birth within this blog series.



My Life.








How the Trauma of Rejection Contributes to Life Falling Apart. Part 2 of my ‘How to Survive in A Spiritual Wilderness’ Series.

Trauma:  ” … A deeply distressing or disturbing experience…”

Rejection: ” … the dismissing or refusing of a proposal, idea, etc…. the action of spurning a person’s affections.”


Trauma visits most of us at some point in life. Often, by it’s very nature, it arrives out of the blue, taking us unawares, leaving us rocked, shocked and quaking in it’s wake. The physical, emotional, psychological and often practical impact on us can be long lasting.

I’ve often pondered on the fact that some people seem to suffer more trauma than others.

Or, more truthfully, that my life seems to have experienced more trauma than others.

 In Part 1 of  my  How To Survive in a Spiritual Wilderness When Life Has Fallen Apart. Part 1. , I briefly outlined the time following my breakdown, specifically the immediate aftermath of waking up one evening and discovering that something within me had broken so irresolutely that I was scared to breath for fear that the fragility within would bring me to a final, deathly breakage. 

Questions. Questions.

It’s now several years since that fateful night yet I’ve never forgotten how, once I began my slow crawl to recovery, there were two questions that kept turning over in my mind:

 Why had this happened to me?

How was I ever going to recover?

I found myself focussing, inevitably, on the first question:

Why had this happened to me?

 What a journey that questioning was to lead me on.

 A Journey Into The Caves of the Past.

A journey in to the caves of my past where all my hidden hurts and sorrows, losses and grief were hidden.  A journey back in time, uprooting pretty much every pain I had gathered along the way. A journey in to the depths and breadths of my core wounds.     


 Is, however, it right to drag up the past?

Many people might wonder if that was the right thing to do. When life was already in such a difficult place, why drag up pain from the past? Wouldn’t that be detrimental, keeping me stuck in a state of un-wellness, prolonging my journey back to wellness?

 I’m sure others might feel that to be true and there does come a time to release the past and welcome in the future but, at that point, for me, it was the only way. I had to try and make sense of all that had happened to bring my life crashing down.  My healing instinct left me in know doubt: 

the past was the road to the future.      



 Although this journey was to eventually take me back many years to when I was just a tiny child, it was to the life of another child that my journey initially led me. A more recent traumatising event. An event that had taken place just three years before my breakdown.

To the birth of my own child.


 September 2002.


The clear blue line gently came to life, resting strongly in parallel synchronicity with the model line to it’s left.






A new life growing inside me.


I’d just left the security of my teaching job and opened a restaurant, working long days often finishing in the early hours of the morning. I’d also just relocated from the South of England to the Midlands, buying a new home in a small and isolated rural village, leaving behind friends and community. Ready to begin afresh.

My life was on the cusp of so many new uncertainties that had felt, at the time of the change to be big adventures yet now here was the biggest cusp of all.


 I instantly loved this unborn child with every fibre of my being. I had no doubt:

 This child coming to life was heaven sent, my soul purpose in life, my reason for living.

 Knowing what I now know of what was to come, it was good that I felt so strong and positive.

 The Father Receives the News.

I spent a few days taking in the news in my own personal way, quietly sitting by myself. Not speaking, just being and feeling. Connecting with my child. I wanted this sacred time with my child before bringing the news of my pregnancy out in to the world. I had no idea how anyone would react, most of all the child’s father whom I’d only been dating for just a short while.

 One afternoon a few days later, sitting on the floor of my dining room with a shaft of bright afternoon sun streaming on to the floor in front of me, I called him.

man-talking-on-the-phone-1582238_1920 He answered in a nonchalant manner. It was hard to know what to say, so I thought it best just to get on with it:

 “ I have something to tell you.” Deep breath.  “I’m pregnant.”

 Without a pause, he replied:


“ Well, that’s fucked everything up. I was going to tell you that I’ve been seeing someone else and I want to marry her.”


I hadn’t really known what to expect but, as you can imagine, I wasn’t expecting exactly that as a response.


Numb with shock, I don’t remember too much about the ensuing conversation. It was clear that he wasn’t interested in becoming a father. He decided to take some time to explore what kind of a role he wanted to play in the child’s life agreeing to ” … get back to me …”  


Needless to say, he didn’t ‘get back to me’. Several weeks later, I called him again where, once more, he made it clear that he wanted nothing further to do with me or his child:

 “ I don’t want to know when it’s born or what it is. I don’t want any photos. I don’t want to know anything.”


I held the receiver to my ear taking in this rejection, my hand placed protectively over


 my stomach shielding my child’s ears from these harsh words from it’s cruel father, aware of only one sensation:




The overwhelming awareness that I was now solely responsible for this precious unborn child growing within me.


No words will ever describe the awareness that such a responsibility brings with it.


But there was something else too.


Washed in with this terror was a resoluteness, a silent promise to my child:



 I will never let you down. I will do everything in my power to bring you in to this world safely and to provide you with everything you need. You will never go without and that includes sufficient love. I will love you with the love of a mother and a father. I will never allow you to feel anything other than what you are:

the most precious gift to this world and the most precious gift to my life.



Little did I know, however,that my life was about to spiral further out of control. Little did I know that in a just a few short months, three months too early in fact, my child was about to make an early and traumatic arrival in to this world.


 Whilst I kept my promise about love, I was soon to learn, as I’ll share with you in my next blog, that a fragile young premature baby needs a whole lot more than love. 

And so does her mother.

 Sending You All My Love, 




Karen is a #1 Best Selling Author & Spiritual Healer who runs on-line and live wilderness retreats for adults who are in the midst of their own spiritual wilderness so that that they can re-claim their joy and purpose in life.

She is currently writing the book: The Love Millionaire – Cultivating the Art of Inner Richness.

To find out more about Karen, visit: About Karen!

To work with Karen, visit: Work With Karen

To connect on Facebook, visit:

To connect on Twitter, visit:

Email Karen at

© No part of this blog may be reproduced without the written permission of the author.

Karen would like to thank her daughter for giving permission to publish the story of her birth within this blog series.


My Life.















How To Survive in a Spiritual Wilderness When Life Has Fallen Apart. Part 1.

Dictionaries define the words wilderness, spiritual and falling apart thus: 


Wilderness:  ” … a wild and uncultivated region, as of forest or desert, uninhabited or inhabited only by wild animals; a tract of wasteland…” (1)

Spiritual:   “… relating to deep feelings and beliefs …” (2) 

Falling Apart: “… to lose one’s emotional or mental composure…” (3)

Once, however, you’ve found  yourself ‘fallen apart’  in the midst of a spiritual wilderness,  you know that, in reality, these  descriptions are tame. In fairness, it’s hard to find the right words or phrases to describe the living hell that is at the heart of a true spiritual wilderness. For me, the one word that comes close to summing it up is: bereft.

Bereft: … feeling great loss … a sense of deprivation or lack… ” (4)

But even that doesn’t quite get to the nub of it.

Those of you that have been there will know exactly what I mean.

I first, consciously, found myself in the heart of a spiritual wilderness ten years ago following a massive breakdown.


shame, weakness, failure …

In the middle of one dark February night, I awoke and fell apart. Quite literally shattered in to smithereens. My life was about to change course – drastically. 


For the better.

Of course, I didn’t know that then. All I knew then was that I was completely unable to function. As the lone mother of a young toddler, I should have been terrified. How on earth was I going to cope?

Interestingly, I wasn’t terrified. I was too broken and numb to know what I was feeling or thinking. I wasn’t thinking or feeling. I wasn’t even being.

For the first six months of that period, I did nothing but sleep. I even had to move in to a relatives home in order to be cared for.

I have absolutely no memory of those six comotosed months.

What I do remember is waking up, the sensation of ‘coming too’.



the black hole …


Unable to open my eyes, I lay there, simply sensing what was going on within me.

It was my legs that caught my fleeting attention first with their weak weight against the mattress. I knew that there was no strength in them to move. 

 This awareness was followed by my first thought in over six months:

‘ My life will never be the same again.’

It came in rapidly, as thoughts do, leaving just as quickly. Washed away by a tsunami of terror that crashed through me, reaping destruction on every shred of my confidence and former life along the way.


complete and utter overwhelm…

How would I be able to survive this inner natural disaster ?

I had a young child to care for. I had myself to care for yet here I was – utterly broken.

The tsunami was swiftly followed by  bleak depression which became an unwelcome resident within me, an unwanted partner in crime on what was to be a long, lonely and lost pathway within my own inner wilderness.

It’s a good job that I didn’t know then that I was going to be walking on that desolate road for several years. It might, however, have helped me to know that I would, one day, look back and be so deeply grateful to have had the rich gifts of that journey.


blood, sweat and tears..

For it was on that journey, where I often felt as if I were dying or yearned to die, that I came back to life. I was re-born and reconnected with a part of myself that had died a long time ago. Way before the actual breakdown occurred.

Sometimes I wonder if it wasn’t so much that something had died, more like I just hadn’t given birth to the part of myself that was to come to life while I walked what I now describe as:  The Wilderness Way.

So what did come to life? What did I give birth to?

The answer is quite simple.

I gave birth to my life as I am truly meant to be living it.


when the smile finally returned….

I gave birth to freedom of self, to honouring my true needs, to understanding my true worth and value, to appreciating my self-esteem, to acknowledging my gifts and how I want to express them in the world from a stance that is perfect for my own highest well being. I gave birth to the rhthym in which I wish to live my life.

You see, I had to reach a point of breakdown. I was so far removed from who I truly was that I just couldn’t function any more. We are not born to live false, dead lives. What is the point in that? We are born to live according to our own precious uniqueness. We are here to have fun and to laugh – a lot. We are here to adventure with ourselves – taking delight in all that we are capable of. We are born to get to know ourselves on every level. We are born to be, quite simply, happy. On our own terms. For the greater good of all.

When you are in the wilderness, you might feel like the most lonely and lost person in the world, yet all you are really doing is embarking of a journey of discovery. You are on the pathway back to finding yourself. Behind every tree or under each moss laden rock, there is a part of you to re-claim. On the bank of each wild river there is a  ‘you’ who is eager to swim courageously to the other side to meet a brand new part of your self.  Beside each roaring fire, there is part of you ready to re-ignite your life in so many exciting ways. Under each full moon, there is part of you ready to sit in peace and silence, knowing with surety that you did what you came here to do.

‘But Karen,’ I hear you ask, ‘I have a yearning for this way of living but I haven’t had a breakdown,  yet I feel so lost. I want to feel these things you describe. I want the courage to swim that river and to feel the peace under the moon. I  want to sit by that fire and re-ignite my life.


Are You Doing What You Came Here to Do?

Do you have to have had a breakdown in order to feel as if you are living in a wilderness?’

The answer is simple:


You do not have to have suffered an horrific breakdown to find yourself in the wilderness.

The wilderness will reveal itself in different ways to different people.

For some, like myself, it came as a dramatic occurrence, manifesting as a long-lasting debilitating illness of some kind whilst, for others, it can be a more subtle, nagging ‘knowing’ that all is not well. You know, where you find yourself sighing a lot or having that ‘ there must be more to life than this’ thought regularly.

Take my advice. This is the time to act. Those sighs and thoughts are clear indicators that part of you is living in the wilderness, where many aspects of your life are depleted, malnourished or out of balance and where you have a yearning and knowing that all is not as it is meant to be. They are clear signs that your life essence is calling out to you, screaming:

‘Come back to who you were always meant to be.’

I didn’t listen to those signs. I was too busy living life at too fast a pace, giving way too much to others, ignoring my self and, quite frankly, just too ignorant to even know that those sighs and yearnings were internal gifts trying to nudge me in the right direction. I urge you – don’t be like me. After all, look how I ended up. Seriously ill and at a place where it has taken years to recover.

Then I hear your next question:

‘How Karen? How do you do it? How do you recover from a breakdown? How do you pull yourself out of depression? What do you do with that ‘ there must be more to life than this feeling?’ 

I’d love to tell you that there is a simple and easy answer to these questions but the truth is, there isn’t. And I’m not going to lie to you.

My recovery from my breakdown and depression has been one of the hardest, loneliest and most terrifyingly complex experiences of my life. It has destroyed me on the inside and crumpled my life on the outside. It has been a long slow crawl back to life. 

But it has been worth it.


joyful fun with my daughter!

I am genuinely happier than I have ever been before.      


Ultimately, my breakdown liberated me. 

I have rarely spoken (or written) in depth about my journey of recovery, mainly due to the fact that it’s taken all my effort to just do the work I needed to do to come to a place of wellness again.

Another contributory factor is that behind any breakdown there are, often, deeply personal and traumatic experiences that can be painful to re-visit. It’s desirable to deal with those and move on. 

 Now, however, due to the interest demonstrated by readers of some of my recent blogs, I’ve decided to devote my writing this year to telling the story of my recovery – in the hope that it might help others who are living with the horror and terror of such a difficult experience.

 I shall be posting these experiences on this blog on alternate weeks. If you would like to follow my story of recovery, please feel free to follow me here. 

In my next blog, I shall be sharing the heart-rending story of one of the key life changing events that triggered my descent in to my breakdown, casting me in to my own spiritual wilderness, leading me in to the heart of The Wilderness Way. 

 If you are struggling to survive in your own spiritual wilderness, please know that I am sending you love, strength and courage. I urge you to believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I hope my sharing my story and, more importantly, how I dug my way to recovery, helps you do the same. In the meantime, you might find these two articles that i wrote at the end of last year helpful:

1: How My Breakdown Helped Me to Learn to Trust my Inner Wisdom

2: 4 Nourishing Ways to Cope With Falling Apart.

Remember: ” … the greatest adventure is the journey of our own transformation once we begin to honour our truth…” (Karen Packwood – The Love Millionaire).

Sending You Much Much Love,



Karen is a #1 Best Selling Author & Spiritual Healer who runs on-line and live wilderness retreats for adults who are in the midst of their own spiritual wilderness so that that they can re-claim their joy and purpose in life. 

She is currently writing the book: The Love Millionaire – Cultivating the Art of Inner Richness. 

To find out more about Karen, visit: About Karen!

To work with Karen, visit: Work With Karen

To connect on Facebook, visit:

To connect on Twitter, visit:

Email Karen at


© No part of this blog may be reproduced without the written permission of the author. 




How To Bring Light to Your Life This Winter.

A Winter Offering To Nourish Your Soul:

” I arrived feeling empty and exhausted, I left feeling nourished and held.” 



“…I felt reassured…”


I’ve recently returned from a week long retreat where, during one meditation, Spirit gave me the following piece of sage advice, so perfect for this crazy time leading up to Christmas and these dark winter days:

‘There has to be room for you in your life.’  

How true that is at such a busy, and dark, time of year?


With that in mind, I’m delighted to invite you to explore The Spirit Spa’s winter offering that is full of nourishment, self-care and up-liftment.




“‘… I found the whole experience healing …”         


Come In.



Nourish Your Soul.







From November 27th – December 22nd, inclusive, I’m offering, on-line or in-person, the following:


A one hour in-depth Clairvoyant Reading


  30 minute soul nourishing Spiritual Healing treatment


“… I arrived feeling empty and exhausted, I left feeling nourished and held.”


30 minute chakra cleanse and balance


( a little added extra!)

A reading from my ‘ soon to be released’ Angels of the Wildnerness Oracle cards.



Glögi and Mince Pies for live clients



“…I felt totally at ease, loved, and supported…”

All for the amazing investment of:


75 GBP (a saving of 165 GBP!!)/97USD/€85





Working with Karen was an incredible experience. Her caring comes through completely in her communications. I felt totally at ease, loved, and supported even though we were working via Skype and talking about personal matters. I was amazed when she tapped into some childhood issues that have troubled me throughout my life. She got them exactly right and helped me see how they are connected to a current challenge I’m having. She answered one big question I had without me even asking it. It was about something deeply personal, and she handled it in such a kind manner that I felt supported in letting go of something that I worried would be painful to let go. I left the call feeling very affirmed in knowing what I needed to do as my next steps to take good care of my self.


Karen is a very gifted healer and works at a very deep level safely, working at the pace that was right for me. I wanted to find the blocks getting in the way of my financial goals. She was very patient, caring and creative and was not thrown at all by my attempts to self-sabotage. She has an uncanny ability to hone in on the important stuff and I was amazed at what emerged. If you are also feeling stuck and have no idea why Karen is the woman to go to.

Linda Barbour

For more testimonials, please visit:

So why not treat yourself, or a friend*, this festive season!

Make some time – just for you – so that you can breeze through the hectic haze of Christmas or, if you don’t celebrate Christmas -just bring some lightness to these dark winter days!

All readings can be done in-person or via Skype/Facetime/Google Hangouts.

To book, email:  and we’ll set up a time to suit you!

Wishing You Peace, Love, Nourishment and Up-liftment during this time of darkness. 

All My Love,




Karen is a #1 Best Selling Author, Clairvoyant and Spiritual Healer who runs, on-line or in-person, spiritual retreats for people who feel exhausted, overwhelmed or depleted by life so that they can relax and release tension, bringing a fresh state of peace and calm to their lives.  

To find out more about Karen, visit: About Karen!

To find out more about working with Karen, visit:  Work With Karen

Karen is also:

Co-author of:

‘ 365 Ways To Connect with Your Soul’ – #1 Best Seller on Amazon     12243522_10153296698132945_2086924774713413110_n

Co-author of ‘Superwoman Myths’. #1 Best Seller on Amazon.


Co-author of ‘365 Days of Grace.’ #1 Best Seller on Amazon.


To connect on Facebook, visit:

To connect on Twitter, visit: @karen_packwood



* Gift Vouchers available and may be used after Christmas.

It’s Okay To Begin Small….


It’s okay to begin small.

It’s in the beginning small, that we grow tall. 


Wishing You a Peaceful Day,


All My Love Karen.

cropped-l_0143441.jpgKaren is an  #1 best selling author, clairvoyant & healer specialising in healing the wounds of the inner child in order for each of us to live our most nourishing lives possible.


To find out more about Karen’s work, check out her Work with Karen page or email:



A Morning Message From Spirit.

Do Not Give Up.


Do not give up on this adventure in life. On this adventure in to your heart and soul that is your journey with your deepest self and your highest self and, of course, Spirit Most High who holds you all preciously in it’s bright loving light of pure truth.

Do not give up.

For every wounded child within you, there is a child already living in bliss, who never moved out of bliss, who is waiting to be reborn. Do not give up.

Sending You All My Love,




Karen is an author, clairvoyant and healer specialising in healing the wounds of the inner child following breakdown, trauma or grief in order to restore life to the most joyful  place possible. 

To work with Karen, visit her ‘Work with Karen’ page: 


Visit Karen’s Facebook page: Karen Packwood – The Love Millionaire

or follow her on Twitter: The Love Millionaire@karen_packwood

The Myth of Self Love.

You’ve Just Got to Love Yourself.  Excuse Me?



Recently, I’ve become really weary of the phrase: ‘You’ve Got to Love Yourself’, even though I also, paradoxically, totally support the view.

I’ve seen it bandied about throughout social media as if it is some kind of instant cure all. I might even scream the next time I see an image posted with a ‘beautiful’ woman smiling brightly with pearly white teeth and ‘perfect’ hair dancing through a wild flower pasture accompanied by such captions as:

‘Love Yourself And Attract the Happiness Your Deserve’

Why Does This Annoy Me? 

Because it’s unfair. That Why.

It creates, in my opinion, a type of myth.

The myth that ‘Loving Yourself’ is easy and light and fluffy. And quick.

It’s not.

It’s hard. Really hard.

It’s raw and gritty. It can be excruciatingly painful. It can be agonisingly lonely. It can be expensive. It can take up years of your life with no guarantee of success. For some, it can take a lifetime, for others it remains, despite immense hard word, simply out of reach.

A Wilderness of Cracked

I’m sorry if that sounds pessimistic or negative. It’s not meant to. It’s meant to sound real. Many, many people struggle each and everyday to find goodness within themselves, to overcome a sense of failure or lack of self worth. Others live with the overwhelming bleakness of depression or the darkness of shame that has often been caused by some very difficult experiences in life, often caused when they were tiny, vulnerable children. These people live with an inner landscape that is arid, dehydrated and barren. It is a wilderness of cracked hopes and broken souls.


When you confront people suffering in such a way with the bland phrase/advice: ‘ You’ve Just Got to Love Yourself’, it might not come across as particularly loving or helpful. It might, potentially, come across as judgemental, punitive and deeply shaming.

There might be a sense that because they are not ‘attracting the  happiness you deserve’ as they are not ‘loving yourself’, then they are failing. Again. They now, therefore, have one more dollop of punishing beliefs heaped upon them by virtue of the fact that they are now also failing to ‘love themselves’. That’s not fair, is it?

It got me thinking. 

What could we do, or say, instead to genuinely help and support those who are currently walking through the mud of their own lives?


Maybe we could begin by immediately taking away the demand to ‘Love Yourself’.


How amazing might it be for a person on their knees with punitive self doubt and shattered self-esteem to hear something like this instead:

                              ‘I Love You’.


I accept all of who you are, no matter how uncomfortable that might make me feel.


If you want me to, I’ll walk beside you as your tears fall and, again, if you want me to, I’ll help you pick up the pieces of your broken heart. Even if it takes a long, long time.

However, when the time is right, I will also step back, allowing you to do what you need to do in your own time and in your own way but, please know that I love you more fiercely than ever at precisely those moments in time.

 I admire your strength to valiantly conquer your inner demons even though to me, standing here on the outside, they are invisible.

 Do not be afraid or ashamed of showing your pain or your vulnerabilities, your fears or your sorrows.      

 Let your grief flow freely. I will catch your tears, if you want me to.

When anxiety and panic overwhelm you and you don’t know which way to turn, stay still. Sit with nature. Even if it is for many seasons. Sit still. Rest peacefully in the strong arms of Mother Earth and let her rock you back to wellness, until you are soothed back to a sense of calm. 

When you are terrified, breath deeply. Keep breathing until the fear recedes even though it might take a long, long time.  Eventually, it will turn in to something else but, for now, just focus on breathing. Deeply.

And, remember, I love you.   IMG_1503

Do not be afraid to let your rage roar. It’s a vital part of  your deepest healing, of who you are.

I repeat, do not be afraid.

 I respect your right, and need, to fall sometimes and admire you with all my heart when you rise back up.

Let your wild energy break free from the prison within. Release yourself to the wind of your life.

Let your soul do all it needs to do to heal. It does know. Please trust.

 Travel very slowly. As if you were a snail. Perhaps even slower than that. 


Sit around fires with good friends. Put your naked feet on warm soil.  Feel the breeze upon your face. Hear the distant roll of the waves. Let the bright sun warm your face and the sweet moon soften your heart. And eat good wholesome food – let it pass through your lips. And do not be afraid to laugh.

There is no need to rush or push or twist or pull.

Be Silent. Be Slow. Be Still. 

And eventually, eventually, you will feel it returning. That which you have been distanced from, forgotten long ago or perhaps never  even knew, it will come. That which you learned to reject or mistrust. That which once terrified you. It will come. Safely and securely. It will come.

You will feel it in your tears, you will hear it in your howls, you will sense it in your aching muscles and cells until one day the ache no longer exists and in it’s place you will find:


Pure Love.

The love of the earth for you, the love of universe for you, my love for you but, most importantly, one day, when you least expect it, you will feel your own love for you. A warmth will stir in your being and you will know that you have been reawakened. That you will have been transformed. Come back to life. All that you once hated about yourself, you will now love. You will learn again and again, or perhaps for the first time, to listen to the to the divine whisperings of your soul guiding you to nourish yourself fully.

You will know that you have evolved way beyond all that made you unwell.

You will see your raw, naked, natural, stunning beauty.IMG_1505


You will be living in a new landscape. The landscape of inner richness and this will be reflected in the world around you.

Then, finally, finally, finally you will have the courage to be honest with yourself, with those you love, with Spirit most high and with life in general about all of who you are and all of what you desire most deeply in life.

For you will have returned to yourself – To who you were born to be.

And when you slip, as we all sometimes do, remember: 

I am here.

Ready and waiting to begin the whole journey together again.

Because I love you.

And, for all that you are and all that you are not, I always will.



Please, the next time you come across someone who is lying at the bottom of their life with a cracked heart and a broken soul, weeping tears of misery and despair, don’t say:

‘You’ve just got to love yourself.’

Because they don’t know what this means.

Begin by telling them:

I love you.

I will walk with you.

One step at a time.

Until you find your way.

Back to yourself.

I will walk with you.

Because I love you.

If you have a story to share about how you found your way back to feeling love for yourself or how someone has supported back to this place, I would love to hear it. Please post in the comment section below.


With All My Love,


‘The Love Millionaire’



Karen is a #1 Best Selling Author, Clairvoyant & Healer specialising in healing the wounds of the inner child following childhood trauma with the aim to restore self esteem to the highest and most joyful level possible.

To find out more about her work please visit her ‘Work with Karen’ page.

Join her Facebook book page: Karen Packwood – The Love Millionaire. 

You can also email Karen on




Paint A New Picture for Your Life.

Letting Go of All That No Longer Serves.

“If only she had known her worth, she would’ve stopped begging for the crumbs of other people’s hearts.”

Chishala Lishomwa



I once owned a beautiful sofa. I loved it so much. It was deep purple with soft, voluminous cushions. Friends would remark on the elegance of this prized possession of mine. This was back in the day when I was living a conventional life as a teacher and owned a small semi-detached house on a housing estate in a London overspill town in Suffolk, UK. It was my first proper ‘upscaled’ owned house. My former home, also owned, had been a tiny one up one down affair in a rural village not so far from my newly acquired semi-detached. I was in my early thirties and doing what I thought I had to do:

conventional job + conventional home = conventional life.

The home had everything you would expect a home to have, including the aforementioned magnificent sofa that cost me three months wages which I, following modern day convention, purchased with my credit card.

How very, very grown up I felt.

On the surface.

Job +Home + Credit Card + Sofa = Grown Up = Happiness

That’s the right maths, isn’t it?

That’s what we’re taught to aspire to in this society. Right?

The trouble was, I wasn’t happy.

I was actually deeply, deeply unhappy.

And sad.

And – mostly – bored. Life had no colour.

I would come home from my job, exhausted by my own ‘ fed-upness’  and sink in to that sofa with a sense of overwhelming gloom and loneliness. The truth was my ‘ job + home + credit card + sofa = grown up = happiness’ equation just wasn’t adding up for me. I was unsatisfied, with a profound gnawing sense of wrongness about my own well being.

A Grand Life Decision:

In those days, I had no qualms about making grand life changing decisions in the blink of an eye – normally on dull weekends in February at the heart of winter’s darkness. This particular year was no exception. I decided to quit my job and open a restaurant. Like you do.

Within six weeks I had resigned, rented out my home, bought a second home back in my home county, bought a restaurant and moved. Taking my oversized credit card purchased sofa with me.

Did I mention that I knew nothing about running a restaurant? My greatest experience linked with the restaurant trade had been back in my teenage days working as a waitress with my mates in a Wimpy Bar!

It turned out, not surprisingly, that this was not the best grounding for owning and running a restaurant serving a full a la carte dinner menu. It also turned out that:


1: It’s hard to earn money in the restaurant trade, and:

     2: I didn’t like owning, running or working in a restaurant. 


In fact, I hated it more than I hated my former job.


I actually did sink in to that oversized sofa, symbol of my ‘grown-upness’, every night – often falling in to a gloomy sleep upon it.

Needless to say, I didn’t last long in the restaurant trade. Unlike my ‘ safe’ teaching job which I stuck at for many unhappy years, my decision to leave the restaurant trade was swift. I exited within a few painful months.

Poverty, Debt and Another Grand Idea:

There was, however, one tiny glitch to this particular spontaneous departure: lack of income. An equally, perhaps not surprising, swift spiral downwards equation occurred:

no income + utility bills + credit card bills + the need to eat  = poverty & debt.

Thank goodness I had my oversized sofa to sink in to each night. I could even hide some of the unopened and ignored demand letters under the vast cushions. Many of you might be familiar with this equation:

out of sight = out of mind – not.

It wasn’t long before the inevitable happened. Increased debt. Fear. Worry. Full depression resulting in me having to sell my homes and move in to rented accommodation. Thank goodness I had my sofa to remind me of my former ‘glory’ days when life was ‘ sweet’, when I was conventional and safe and ‘grown up’.

The only house I could afford to rent was a tiny, tiny terraced cottage where my sofa took up most of the space in the living room. I had had to ‘let go’ of most of my other furniture but nothing was going to persuade me to get rid of my sofa – my one emblem of my former ‘ successful’ life. Besides, I was still trying to pay for it and I was convinced that ‘one day soon’ I would have a new home where it would fit in perfectly. No – the sofa must stay. At all costs. Until one day, out of the blue, a thought arose within me bringing a new type of equation in to my life:

‘Let it go. What are you holding on to it for? It’s overtaking everything. Let it go.’

So I did.

I donated my oversized and over expensive credit card purchased sofa ( for which, remember, I was still paying) to a charity for homeless people and immediately felt a whole lot better. I quickly realised that this sofa, a former symbol of sophistication in my life, had actually become a millstone around my neck entrapping me in a life for which I had no desire. I had, in effect, been living a life where I had been offering myself crumbs of joy, barely touching the surface of all that could make me happy. 

Letting the sofa go was, it transpired, one of the most freeing acts of my life. 

Liberation –  And What the Sofa Taught me About Love:

After that, my life followed a pattern of letting go of everything from furniture to locations to people to expectations. A process of clearing and cleansing on every level of my life. A process of discovering who I really was, what I really wanted and needed for my own well being at the highest level.

Although sometimes frightening, it was mainly liberating.  I honoured this new found freedom in my life and slowly but surely, bit by bit, a new life formed.

A life where I felt happier ever. More real. More vibrant. More alive. More excited. More genuine.

I began to find out who I am and what makes me tick. Joyfully.

Do I ever miss that sofa? No! Not for one second! Ditching that sofa was the most freeing act of my life! It taught me many things, including lessons in love:

You can’t hang on to love because of memories and nostalgia. There has to be a positive sense of self esteem and self worth in the love in the here and now.

Love has to feed you in the here and now, bring you what you want in the here and now – not as an attachment to the past or hope for the future but right here, right now it must nourish you, bring you joy and nurture you. It must help you flourish and create a sense of bloom within you.

Are you being fed or starved by love?  Not just tickled with the hint of potential happiness but with a full on daily deluge of joy?

You can’t stay in a relationship because you pity or care for someone and that includes yourself.  You must be in a relationship, any relationship,  because you feel valued and appreciated, because you have fun with someone.  And that, I repeat,  includes a relationship with yourself.

Neither can you stay in a relationship as some form of passive aggressive way of getting your own back or proving your point or getting your own way. You have to be there because you want to be there. Because it serves you and nourishes you at the highest level. And this must, I emphasise, include your relationship with yourself. 

Love does not drag you down, make you small or ignore you.

Love worth it’s weight in gold does not offer you crumbs. 

Love raises you up to your highest height.

Love, in all its forms, cannot be, must not be an oversized, bulky lump of furniture in your life.

And that includes your love for yourself.

Isn’t it time to discover what you need to ‘let go of’  in order to ‘liberate’ your life?

 Regrets and A New Equation:

Do I have any regrets about getting rid of my precious sofa?

None at all! Getting rid of my sofa taught me:

Letting Go = Relief = Liberation = Freedom to Expand = Honesty Living = JOY!

‘Letting go’ of that cumbersome, bulky, hefty, debt-inducing sofa brought me nothing but liberation and freed me up to  to paint a bright new picture for my life!

Never Be Afraid To Let Go of All that No Longer Serves You. 

A Question for You: 

If you had to think of one thing right now to release from your life that would make you happier and more joyful,  what would it be? 

Leave A comment to Let Me Know!

I’d love to know what your version of my sofa is or has been?!

Never Be Afraid to Paint A new Picture for Your Life. 













Welcome to The Love Millionaire

What Does It Mean – To Love Yourself?


In short: loving yourself means that you know what nourishes you deeply.

And you honour it. Completely. Without fail. Always.

But first, it is my belief, that before you can truly know what and, equally importantly, how to love yourself, you must first know all the ways in which you hate yourself.