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Discover how Chris Cozens’ career in the RAF led him to become a reflexologist and founder of Life Arts and Wellbeing Festival.
My father has been my greatest teacher, from a very young age he was very abusive to me, as a result my early home life was blighted by his emotional and physical abuse. I could dwell, but I needed to move forward with my life and naturally was keen to leave home at the earliest opportunity. In the end it came down to a choice between art college to study graphics or a career in the RAF. I chose the RAF as it made me financially independent and gave me a new roof over my head.
I was naïve and young, but the RAF gave me a strong sense of belonging, which was very important to me. Here I worked in supply and logistics but always studied outside of the RAF to prepare myself for life in civvy street. Growing up I didn’t have any strong role models and I struggled with relationships. Aged 20, I met someone and fell head over heels in love. She already had a child, but I didn’t care, within three months of meeting we were married, and we moved into married quarters. The marriage didn’t go well, and just three months later, she moved out, a few weeks after that I discovered she was pregnant with my child. I was desperate to keep in contact with my child, but my ex-wife didn’t make it easy and I was travelling hundreds of miles for a very short meet with her. Eventually I fell into depression and my counsellor advised ‘letting go’, I tried, but I never forgot.
Life continued and in 1982 I married again and had two more children, we stayed together, but in 1995 there was a series of events, including a Christmas with my father, which led to my breakdown on New Year’s Eve. Mental health wasn’t something you discussed in the RAF in the 1990’s, so support from my work colleagues was in short supply. I was living in South Wales and turned to a reflexologist to help me, she was great, and it was a support, but her husband was a counsellor and he really helped open the door to a new future for me.
Over the next few months and years I spent time finding myself and discovering what had held me back for all those years. I saw a psychic, crystal healer, attended meditation classes, and went on a spiritual journey with a Shaman and a group from Wales on a spiritual journey to Nepal, meeting the King of Sadhu’s and walking the Buddha Trail. I was on the road to recovery, and I was changing for the better, but my wife was not prepared to travel this new road with me, so our paths took a different turn in 1998.
By this time, I was in civvy street, with the cost of a divorce I was almost penniless. But a fresh opportunity came my way, the company I was working for went into liquidation; with redundancy came enough funds for me to train as a reflexologist. As a reflexologist I could help others and have more control over my own life and wellbeing. I started attending yoga sessions and the teacher there wanted us to run wellness and yoga breaks. We started to work together and that was the beginning of my own business, Life Arts.
Over the years Life Arts has grown from offering mini breaks to delivering reflexology, Indian Head massage treatments and training courses, as well as Life Arts and Wellbeing festivals that attract thousands through the doors. Each mind, body and soul event benefits from attracting only the best practitioners and workshop leaders to help each visitor, from small children to OAPs, find the best therapies to support their needs. Throughout my life I’ve needed to seek alternative therapies, learn new ways to be the best that I can be, and I’m keen to share my skills and knowledge to help others. I can also say I’ve finally found love and contentment and re-connected with my long lost daughter.
Chris’s Life Lessons:
- We are responsible for our own life. Own it.
- Forgive those who hurt us, love them and let go.
- Live in the now. Everyday is a gift – ‘the present’.
- You can create the life you want.
- Give compassion for other people, animals and the planet.
About Chris Cozens
Chris Cozens is the founder of the Life Arts and Wellbeing Festival which takes place at the Chelmsford City Racecourse on 15-16 June 2019. Chris is also practising Reflexology, Reiki and Indian Head Massage.
To discover more about Chris’s reflexology services and the Life Arts Wellbeing Festival, visit www.lifearts.co.uk