The Jasmine House: How I made my dream come true

This month’s Tip is a little different from usual (and longer: perhaps print it out?) for I want to share with you how I have made one of my big dreams come true. I hope it will inspire you to ‘go-for-it’ with one of your dreams too. I have used lots of coaching tools along the way and these appear as subheadings in the article. What follows then is how The Jasmine House has come into being. It all began more than a decade ago…

The first inkling of my dream

Late 1990s. The idea began to form in a conversation I had with my parents. Inspired by several alternative health therapists who worked from home, I thought it would be great to bring lots of therapists together under one roof but still in a home-like setting. I wanted for both the public (and the therapists) to become more aware of the rich diversity of help and treatments available so that people could improve their health and well-being. I told my parents that when the day came to move on from Impressions Design (my graphic design business at the time) this is what I would like to do.

July 2001. I took Tasha and Tabitha on a round-the-world holiday to see all of the places they had lived as young children. We also spent a truly amazing week white-water rafting through the Grand Canyon. In between the exciting white water rapids, we floated silently through the ever-deepening canyon. It’s awesome beauty seeped into my soul. With nothing to do other than to just ‘be’ in this magical place, I thought about my life. I had achieved a lot – but there was a sense that I was no longer on the right path – especially with my work. With fingers trailing in the icy cold river, I daydreamed about owning a centre for therapists.

Fact finding

May 2005. Red Dandelion was beginning to thrive. I had sold Impressions Design in 2002 and I had trained to become a Life & Business Coach. I needed to promote my new business further, so I joined a business ladies networking group.  A talk on Ayurveda, organized by this group, caught my interest. It was to be held at The Bell Trees Clinic – just outside of Oxford. On the day, I was driving around, trying to make sense of the directions, for I was in a residential area and I thought I was in the wrong area. Then I saw the sign. The clinic was a magnificent, very large house, with beautiful trees and a water fountain at the front. Wow. This was like a version of my vision – and I hadn’t even known of its existence! After the very interesting talk, I spoke to June, the director of Bell Trees. I cheekily asked her if I could invite her to lunch to hear about how she had created such a wonderful place. A week later, over a delightful lunch in Woodstock, I learnt so much about how such a centre could be created and run.

The Astronaut Hat stage

November 2005. I was about to take a small group of business owners on a 5-month workshop journey to create their own business plans. I planned to show them that it could be more than just a boring document for their bank manager: rather a business plan could be a living, breathing and even exciting document to help them create both a profitable, fun business and a good life. They would start with a section called: “My Big Dream”, a chance to write about what they would truly love to do, be or have – and not to worry about ‘how’ it could happen. I would ask them to write it in the present tense as this helps the subconscious mind shift into the new reality. My group would be encouraged to make their dream really big. I was updating my own business plan for Red Dandelion, and I planned to use it as an example, so in My Big Dream I wrote:

I own The Jasmine Centre – it’s healing and healthy lifestyle centre that brings together lifestyle gurus, therapists and healers. The Jasmine Centre is an old house that has been converted into the centre and is on the outskirts of Weymouth. The centre has a reception, 4 treatment rooms and 1 large teaching room. There is ample parking. The Jasmine Centre has it’s own aura of peace and well being. Everyone who is part of the Jasmine Centre gives back to the community by giving regular free talks and being a model for a better life.

In the section called: “In 3 Years Time…” I added: At the end of 2008 I have a detailed business plan for starting and developing The Jasmine Centre and I’m actively looking for a property in the villages surrounding Weymouth.

Act as if it’s already true

April 2006. I moved to Weymouth. My new home had stunning views over the harbour and looking towards Portland. I loved my new life living by the sea. Every now and again, I would drive to one of the surrounding villages to see if there was a place that would make a good place for The Jasmine Centre. I was always slightly bemused by my behaviour, as I didn’t have a pot of money to buy somewhere even if I saw the ideal place! Even so, I kept looking, believing that someday, somehow my dream would come true. I also knew I needed to do something that told my soul things were happening, and for my analytical mind to have some evidence of this too, even if it was a really tiny step forward. So, I purchased the domain name: thejasminecentre.com

Visualization

September 2007. I worked with Linda Green of Frontier Intelligence. She specializes in helping people with visualization and kinesiology – allowing you to sense the energy in your body so you can ‘feel’ what is ‘true’ to you. After one session, Linda wrote what she had ‘heard’ from me. This is part of that:

“You have manifested a work balance of some ‘higher tempo’ corporate coaching combined with helping people heal and go through a transformational process at The Jasmine Centre. You have a full waiting list and people from all over the world are coming to see you. You see yourself saying goodbye to a group of people who have flown in from Europe to stay at The Jasmine Centre. See them thanking you and saying how wonderful they feel after working with you and they present you with beautiful flowers as an appreciation of their gratitude and especially their love. You feel loved, connected and peaceful and are smiling and embracing them, showing the exchange between you all. You have immense gratitude for what you have achieved in your life and feel a deep inner peace.”

Reading Linda’s account for the first time felt slightly strange: her words described my dream, but it seemed even bigger – people coming to see me from all over the world?!!

I don’t remember when I decided Portland was where The Jasmine Centre would be – perhaps it was just looking out at the island each day through my windows! Nor when or how the idea of people coming to stay came about. Perhaps Linda helped me tap into my future without me realizing it at the time!

Affirmations

January 2008. I wrote a new affirmations list and stuck it on my fridge. One of these was: “I own a delightful house with a walled garden and views of the sea. Inside there is lots of natural light and also an open fire” and another one of them was: “I own the Jasmine Centre”

Universal Guidance?

April 2008. The Jasmine Centre still seemed a far off dream, but my gypsy nature was ready to move – and moving to Portland ‘felt’ right. Late one evening, I entered these details into RightMove’s search form. Portland; House, Min 2 beds, Min £150,000 and then, instead of hitting the tab button to enter the maximum amount, by mistake I hit the return button. Up came all of the expensive, way-out-of-my-price range houses. Mmmm. No harm in looking I thought! So I flicked through a couple of pages and then I saw this house with amazing views over Chesil Beach. I read the details and there was something so magical about it, but it was far too expensive and too big just for me. None-the-less I printed off the details and filed them away before going to bed.

Being open to what arises

June 2008. My searches on RightMove intensified for I was ready to move, but there was still nothing that ‘felt’ right. I noticed the ‘magical’ house was still for sale and that the price had dropped quite substantially – but it was still out of my price range. On a whim, I picked up the phone to the Estate Agent to ask more about the house. It was now empty the agent said – would I like to see it? I hesitated for just a second, and then said, “Yes!” The front garden was walled. As I walked into the house, it was filled with beautiful, natural light. There was an open fireplace. All as I had written about before! And then there was the attic room, with the view that made my heart soar. But it was too big for just me and too expensive, so I thanked the agent and walked away. However, I put the house details on my fridge door.

September 2008. Tabitha had just come back from 4 months in Ibiza and she was staying with me until she found a new job and home. She asked me about the house details on the fridge door. Another agent was marketing the house. Could we see it again?  Viewing it second time around felt even more special. Tabitha thought the house was lovely, but so big and SO much work to be done on it too. When I began looking at this house, I had seen it as a home, not The Jasmine Centre I had dreamed of, but an idea was dawning: this house could become my home and a retreat house – for to bring people to this space would be healing in it’s own right.

At the end of September I called the agent again. It was an intuitive response: I just felt compelled to find out what was happening. He told me the house was going to be rented for 6 months and it would then be but back on the market in the Spring. I know it sounds daft, but I was glad the house was going to be heated through the winter!

My Master List

January 2009. I updated my Master List, which includes things to do, ideas, stuff not to be forgotten. On this list I wrote: The Jasmine Retreat House /  The Jasmine Centre / B&B / Mortgage / Get £25,000?

Mid January I made an appointment with my bank manager who told me I would be able to get a slightly larger mortgage than I thought. I asked him how the bank would feel about a shared ownership with the current owner. Surprisingly, he said with the amount of equity I had, this would not be a problem. Although the house was still being rented, I put forward an unusual offer on the house. I proposed to buy 80% of the house whilst the current owner (now living in Canada) would retain 20%. In 5 years time I would buy the 20% at the market rate of that time. With the improvements I was planning to make plus the ‘Olympic’ factor (Portland is hosting the sailing) it would give the owners the opportunity to get back some of their loses. The owners did not dismiss it out of hand, but said they preferred to have an outright sale.

A leap of faith

February 2009. My dream did not have a chance of coming true without the sale of my flat. I knew too I was only interested in this one house. The Estate Agents thought it was madness to pin my hopes on just one house. They would have thought I was even madder if they knew I still hadn’t figured out how to buy the house and have enough money to do the renovations. None-the-less I put my flat on the market.

Creative thinking

March 2009. I had received an offer on my flat. Before accepting it however, I had to find a way to be able to buy the house, AND have enough money for the renovations.

Through my window I could see the houses of Fortuneswell. Somewhere in those rooftops was the house. How could I find £25,000 for the renovations? A lottery ticket? That seemed highly unlikely. I didn’t have anything I could sell, nor savings of any amount. Time for crazy ideas! Could I offer life-long coaching paid up front? I mentally went through my client list – no, that didn’t seem likely either. Then a brainwave. What if other people had a share in the house? With the return on savings at an all-time low, would there be people who would to invest in the house for a few years? Their investment would be linked to the value of the house, and whilst there would be no guarantee of the amount they would get back, again with the improvements, there was a very strong possibility that their investment would give a much better return than an ISA. As ‘interest’ I could offer them a 4-day personal retreat each year they invested with me. The £25,000 between 4 or 5 people was not a huge amount to ask for. Besides, there was nothing to lose by asking! So I sent out an email to two-dozen people all of whom I knew well. I also included a lady called Hilary who I met years ago at a Silent Retreat. She was on my Tips list from this time and she had just sent me a lovely email – and it just seemed intuitively right to include her too.

Within hours of sending that email out, I had a reply saying, “Yes I’m interested!” I was over the moon. And within a couple of days I had 4 people who between them, could invest the money for the renovations. What was most humbling was their reason for them doing this. Not only did they see it as a good investment, but most of all they wanted to support me and my dream of what I now call The Jasmine House. I was deeply touched. My mum said they were my angels – and so they are.

Trusting the Universe

April 2009. The buyers of my flat, Sue and Andrew were delighted with my news that the purchase was going through. They were my neighbours from a few doors down the street and they were buying my home for their elderly mother, who rented the flat next door to me.

May 2009. Everything was going well and I was really getting excited with a move date agreed for mid July. Then one of the angels rang me to say with deep regret, they could not go ahead with the investment. I understood their situation, and knew their decision was the right one, but it left a big hole in the money side of things for me. Over the years I learnt to my intuition. Everything about this house had ‘flowed’ into my life. As challenging as it might be, I knew that it was somehow meant to be like this. That all I needed to do was to wait and trust it would be OK. And it was. In a very short space of time, another angel stepped in to help me.

Serendipity!

June 2009. I was speaking to Sue and Andrew about the progress on the sale/purchase. Sue then asked me, “Where exactly is the house you are buying?” I told her it was 4 Spring Gardens in Fortuneswell. She suddenly became tearful. She then explained that this house had belonged to her grandfather who had been the Mayor of Portland. She had lived in this house when she was small child!

The Jasmine House – first part of The Jasmine Centre?

23 July 2009. I became the owner of The Jasmine House! With the help of my angels Jeannette, Hilary, Denise and Helen I was also able to begin the renovations to transform the house. Over the last 6 weeks, I’ve played musical bedrooms as different parts of the house are upgraded. I have a small team of great tradesmen who are doing a fantastic job and I’m pitching in as a labourer when I can. When finished, The Jasmine House will have 2 guest rooms and The Sky Room with its amazing view. I hope to be able to welcome guests for personal retreats in just over a month’s time – I will keep you posted!

The Jasmine House isn’t the same as the centre I dreamed of, but it’s close and it’s filling me with joy already! The Sky Room will be for people coming personal retreats and occasionally other therapists will be able to come to use this space too. Intriguingly though, at the back of the house there is a small courtyard and a gate that leads into another courtyard – shared by 2 very small houses. Maybe (just maybe!) in the fullness of time, one or both of these houses could become The Jasmine Centre – who knows! But for now, it feels like a wonderful dream of mine has finally come true and I am a truly lucky woman!