Steve, married to Sue and father to two grown men and a grandfather, was a highly ambitious and very successful Sales Manager working for Clarks shoes, enjoying driving 1000 miles a week in four days, then flying to either Scotland or Ireland on the fifth and motivating a large team of shop Managers across the UK.
Never having had a day off ill, when he was struck by a chronic incurable and progressive illness, multiple sclerosis (MS), eventually forcing him to retire, Steve became deeply depressed. His nights were spent on the phone to the Samaritans with a bottle of whisky and prescribed tablets on the table in front of him. Then he heard an article on the radio about meditation.
The next day he looked in a shop, brought himself a book on Meditation, and set about practising, what was to him, a totally new concept, in a very disciplined manner. It is precisely from the disciplined regular practise that the benefits come.
Not immediately, but over the course of about three months, the world looked to be a very different place to Steve.He says “it was unbelievable that such a simple technique could be so powerful. I felt compelled to share what I had discovered with others”. Steve qualified and has been teaching Meditation ever since, originally to people with similar health issues, but he was then persuaded to teach others and has, over the thirty years taught literally hundreds of people.
“The good news”, he says, is that you don’t have to be suffering either a chronic illness or serious depression, to benefit from meditation. It can help to beat stress, anxiety and even panic attacks as well as increasing self confidence and self image. It can also help improve sleep and lead to finding peace and tranquillity.
Steve initially imagined that he would teach people the techniques and that they would go away and meditate on their own and indeed, some did, but he quickly discovered that others appreciated coming along and meditating with others, on a regular basis. His classes therefore include absolute beginners as well as “practised” meditators (people who have done a t least a term with him).
Steve also founded a charity, Speakeasier, which provides speech aids for people with MS.