Crash Landing .... Humble Beginnings ....
Our living place is in the hills of Perth WA. Kalamunda was a small, but getting bigger by the day, community. Thriving. We are international by trade – oil & gas engineering and operations; international hotelier – top executive management both. It was hectic – rough and tumble. It handsomely paid the bills. It was hard on family. It was a world (literally) of learning and experience – dealing with organisation and people (lots of people) in both our vocations.
Cheng Lye started out with this idea that she (she’s the boss) wanted to run her own business….. So we (that’s a we) did so with her sister. The first attempt was in Malaysia was an experience of blazing start, slow tortuous death. A learning experience in every way…
The international oil & gas work blows up in my face. We come back to Australia. No jobs for executives in a downturn… A door opens… for Cheng Lye. Diploma in Remedial Massage Therapy. Where did that come from??
She steps out. A year and half later, she qualifies in Remedial, and with the top distinction as student of the year.
Cheng Lye gets a referral from one of the AIF Coaches. An unadvertised opportunity. Suddenly, she’s taking over from a retiring practitioner in a leading West Perth clinic, Centro Innovative Health. A ready made client list, and the awesome support of the Principal who is a practising naturopath and specialises in both allergy management and fertility.
Cheng Lye discovers Anatomy Trains and Thomas Meyer in the US. She Pursues!! Leading the pack – this not just myfascial cupping. This is deep knowledge and understanding of soft tissue networks and structural balance.
Throughout training, Cheng Lye has volunteered at Linear at the QE2 Hospital complex. She practices massage relief for stage 4 terminal cancer patients, who have volunteered themselves to participate in advanced medical research programmes. That leads to training in Decongestive Lymphatic Therapies, Casey-Smith Method with accreditation in Brisbane.
The practice grows. It’s not a fast process. Repeat business is survival. We maintain our commitment to Centro – such a blessing to our pursuits. Growing with the growth. We establish therapy rooms in the hills. A couple of days down the hill in the CBD, a couple of days up the hill in Kalamunda. And then home visits for Lymphodema patient needs. The client base is different all around. People like local.
Somewhere in there, I discover the Australian Institute of Professional Counselling. First a diploma – the projected time is 18 months and takes 6. It’s a discovery of language and modality. I’ve spent the last 30 plus years leading / organising people within the business units of tier one corporates. My Strategic HR was old school. My vintage. They taught me all I know haha. Engineers need HR haha. They made us learn stuff we didn’t know we needed – until we had done it. Ah ha moments….They were linchpins in growing a business those days.
A breakthrough!! – Centro gives an invitation. So Good!! Do I want to join the clinic and pursue counselling within the practice. So much help from the Principal!! It’s unbelievable!! Slow beginnings. Perseverance. Patience. Continue the personal development – in the middle of Masters now. Everything taking shape. Will go well with MIEAust….
Then… Come and join MCCO they said – a friend of a friend recommendation.
Be there for the broken, those in need, give them a meal, listen to them. Empathy, non-judgmental, listening skills in the extreme. Put a smile back on their face is counted success. Make them feel valued. See them rise up, come out of their pit of desolation – the ultimate. And then nudge them back out into the world again – see you in a fortnight ….
Rapid engagement. Learn to connect at their level. Meet them where they are. Just be there for them. Next time, when they come back, and they looking for you, they ask for you – then you know you are making a difference…. These are the people in distress, perhaps the most lost, definitely in need, putting on mostly brave faces. 35 tonnes of food given out to them each week. Amazing!! If they migrate to the counselling services proper, these ones are free.
Where is it going? Who knows? God knows. In His Hands….
Another door opens, accreditation with LifeLine to man the national phone lines as a Crisis Supporter. Helping people get through their dark times. A further development to help in the teams that train workers in industry to hear, see and know that a peer is in need of help in their journey through life, and guide them to additional resources for that help. Such a privilege to be able to work in this organisation, LifeLine!!
And another door – a lady walks past and, off the cuff, says, “You need to apply for that Chaplaincy position in that school”. Someone, completely unconnected says the same thing. Confirmation? I get an outright rejection on application. The story is told, no worries… Someone else talks to someone else, a cup of coffee is organised, and Adjunct Chaplain is born to join the teams serving in hospitals and palliative care. Guidance through the journey – end of days…