Hello – I am Gemma Ford, an Intuitive Life Coach & Yoga Teacher – welcome to my online home!
So you already know what I do…so here’s a little bit more about who I am…
Originally I come from Zimbabwe, as does most of my family. I moved to Europe as a child and since then have lived in Germany, England, Australia and South Africa. I’m lucky enough to have 4 parents (a team of parents!) and lots and lots of siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles and I LOVE hanging out with my family.
As a teenager I was a rebel – oh yes – my poor parents. While the other kids were perfecting their hockey skills, I was perfecting the art of rolling the perfect spliff, I was pretty fucking good too! At university I studied Psychology as people had always been what I was most interested in, although I wasn’t too keen on the psychology of disease. I didn’t want to work with severely mentally ill people. In my last year at uni I was diagnosed with social anxiety disorder so I started taking beta blockers but declined having therapy. Not knowing what to do with my life after graduating I travelled around the world looking for answers and, to be honest, trying to escape the crippling anxiety I was feeling. It was only when I got as far away from home as humanly possible, in Sydney, I realised that no matter where I went I wasn’t going to be able to escape myself and my own issues.
So I flew home to London as quickly as possible and started Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. It was not an easy decision and I felt like a failure for admitting I had mental health problems. I hardly told anyone as I was so ashamed but I did the work and it helped me hugely. My first experience with yoga was at school, and I had been going to classes on and off since then. My psychologist recommended I try doing it regularly to help calm my nervous system, so I did. I enjoyed it so much and was fascinated by the eastern traditions and yoga philosophy so I decided to spend a month in India training as a yoga teacher. I lived in an ashram in Vrindavan, the birth place of the Hindu God Krishna, in a very basic setting doing lots of karma yoga (chores) and starting everyday at 5.30am with meditation and chanting. My anxiety was high on the trip there and when I arrived in India I calmed myself with a cigarette and a beer. The month long course, and living in India, was one of the hardest and best things I have ever done. There is so much I could tell you about it…the main thing I took away from it was my anxiety had disappeared. No more medication, I didn’t drink or smoke for months afterwards and I felt absolutely amazing! I had so much energy and was sparkling from the inside out.
On returning to the UK I left London life for Cornwall, to live with my boyfriend who’s life was there, as were the waves – very important to him as a surfer. I started a business teaching yoga in hotels, at people’s homes, on the beach, in offices – anywhere people would do yoga I was there! My next venture was to create an online yoga business to enable people to learn yoga at home, called Love Yoga Online. I found as a yoga teacher people tend to open up to you, to tell you their stories and allow their vulnerabilities to show. I loved ‘coaching’ people through happy, sad and hard times in their lives, so I trained as a Practitioner Life Coach with the Handel Group in New York.
During these years in Cornwall I married my love and we bought a home…life progressed as it does. After 3 years of marriage we separated (a very long story for another time). I was devastated, I went to stay with my parents far away from home and I felt like I had lost so much from one day to the next; my home, my job, my husband, my friends, my day to day life. Although I didn’t realise it at the time I was in the middle of an emotional breakdown. It had been coming for a while, there was trauma and toxicity in my relationship, and the way I was living was not working for me, to the point that my body put the brakes on big time. I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue and life came to a complete stop.
I believe the body doesn’t lie, we can live in a lot of denial without even knowing it. But eventually the body will makes its needs known. During the healing process I discovered so much about myself, my life, my marriage. One of the most important and healing lessons I learnt was to reconnect with my intuition. I had been disconnected for so long, seeking external validation and pleasing others, that it was such a relief and now is the mainstay of how I live my life and make decisions. My biggest support in that time was my Intuitive Coach and Mentor, so I then decided to train as an Intuitive Life Coach to support others in the beautiful, loving and healing way I had experienced.
Now I live in London with my fur babies (two Ragdoll cats) and am re-building my life with love and consciousness. I love my soul work of coaching and teaching yoga, it is my most favourite thing to spend time with my clients reflecting back to them the exquisiteness of their own spirit.
Sending love to you xxx