Anya Harris is a single mum, in her forties, happily divorced with two young boys aged eight and four, the lights of her life. With a background in finance and in the Healing Arts, she likes to bridge the two worlds, bringing practicality together with intuition – a kind of spiritual awareness in an increasingly hectic world. She loves a laugh and girlfriends are her mainstay.
Describe a typical day for you?
I make a point of getting up before our Foreign Language Students so I can nip in the shower before them, which means the day starts before I’m really ready, but after dropping off the kids at school I try to take some time for myself. I either leave the car and walk home along the coast, or go for a latte. Lately, it’s the latter.
I think when you’re a mum, people don’t give you that kind of time, it’s something you have to make, so that’s when I do it. I’m also in a ‘recovery period’ right now where my littlest has only recently started full time school and, having had him on my own because I asked my husband to leave whilst I was pregnant with him, this is my first real breathing space since even having my eldest.
There will be lots of stuff to do when I get home – with two kids and two students and two blogs – but I don’t mind doing any of it. It means I can’t be a slave to social media like some professional bloggers are, but it doesn’t mean I won’t be when the time is right if writing is my future. At the moment it’s the last thing to get a look in after taking care of everything and everybody, but I fit it in where I can and now there is more opportunity during the day. My evenings are spent reading and writing with no-one bothering me and I love that peaceful time.
I also still work occasionally at a clinic as a practicing Healer. It’s a bit sporadic. Something is going to have to give soon, because my bills need paying!
What do you feel are your biggest achievements?
My children, definitely. Having had them late in life – 41 and 45, I feel very blessed to have them at all. They completely wear me out, but I always wanted two boys after watching ‘Butterflies’ when I was young and I wouldn’t have things any other way! They’re fit, healthy and clever, for which I am always grateful.Before they came along though, something else I’m proud of is the kind of spiritual awakenings that I inspire in people.It’s not easy to walk away from a top job in a Money Broking company and the six figure salary that comes with that, but I did and people are intrigued. It’s simple really, I was too unhappy and it was affecting my health.There’s no price you can put on those things.
I took some breathing space then – a bit like I’m doing now – discovered natural medicine and the inner awareness – ‘inner tuition’ – that most of ignore at our peril, because it’s that ‘something missing’ that a lot of us feel when everything else on the outside looks fab, but we’re just not feeling it on the inside.
I wrote a lot of it down to make a book or two and need to dust it all off! My blogs are about this – being a voice for older single mums, because despite the media portrayal, only 2% of us are teenagers and The Healer is my way of introducing these alternative – or more natural – concepts, some thousands of years old that really support us on the inside. I’ve been doing that work for 20 years now (although the blog is new) and love the way people come forward to share their experiences, validating it all. There’s a real call for it.
What’s in your handbag/satchel etc? There’s a Scaletrix piece at the moment to match up some extension pieces! There’s always a bit of make up – I never leave the house without a bit of eye stuff on, in fact I don’t feel dressed without it, my ipad and iphone (which calls into question how little a slave to social media I really am doesn’t it?!), some business cards, those free CDs from newspapers because my car wrecks them and my kids won’t let me have Radio 2 on all the time and lots of leaflets about places we’ve been or that look really interesting to visit. Too many and too much. And an apple. I always have an apple!
What are your ambitions in life?
To make this all worthwhile. To bring to fruition the books that needing dusting off – either through the blogs or some other way. Years ago, I woke up in the middle of the night, found myself writing out chapter headings for the three books, went back to bed and have watched my life pan out in the order that they were written! I can’t explain it and don’t often think about it, but seeing as you’ve asked… Plus, I’m already brainwashing my kids to get married and have theirs young so I’ll actually be here to enjoy my grandchildren!
What advice would you give your pre-baby self that you now know having children?
To take my time more, not worry so much, get rid of people that hurt me much earlier, to keep all the pictures I collected on my travels and not think I didn’t have room for them! To stand up for myself more.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
I have enough trouble seeing past the present day, so this was tricky. I’d like to be somewhere warmer, sat on the fruits of my labour, looking out to sea, doing what I’m doing now really because I feel I’ve waited a long time for it. I’m happy with my life and hoping not to have to jack it all in for a job back in finance. I harbour no real desires for another husband but wouldn’t rule it out. I’m practicing what I preach at the moment, knowing that the answers will come from the inside. My ties to this country are not binding. The world is our oyster.
What advice would you give a budding blogger and writer?
Also to take their time, let their blog lead them, don’t force it. It kind of takes on a life of its own. To interact and visit other peoples blog a lot, because that’s where the real joy is and to always interact with those who visit theirs.
Finally, happiness is… Singing silly songs with my children, being on a beach with them or both!