From redundancy to Bellingen bliss

Helen Lambert found doors opening in Bellingen as they closed in Sydney.

BURNT out and traumatised by corporate bullying, Helen Lambert met the news that she’d been made redundant with an open mind.

Living in Balmain in Sydney’s Inner West, the onset of pandemic lockdowns in 2020 saw her role in employee engagement – often involving live events – shut down.

All One Under The Sun FestivalAdvertise with News of The Area today.
It’s worth it for your business.
Message us.
Phone us – (02) 4981 8882.
Email us –

“It presented me with a turning point,” Helen told News Of The Area, sharing her story as an inspiration to others.

“I recognised that as a midlife single woman, living in Balmain in a very expensive apartment, I could either stay there and look for another job or start the process to move and create a new life.”

Helen had sold her house in Padstow “on a whim” the year before with the intention that she would buy a one-bedroom unit in the Inner West, however kept “getting outbid by young corporate women”.

A moment of truth came when she was chatting with her mortgage broker sister.

“I asked her how much she thought I could borrow, and she calculated around $300,000 based on my salary.

“I asked her how long it would take to pay off that mortgage and she said: ‘Working through your 70s’.

“It scared the wits out of me.”

The anxiety and worry of financial commitments can be debilitating for many midlife women and Helen was not about to take it on.

A picture was painting itself that saw Helen reconfigure her thoughts and consider leaving “it all” behind.

At her age, thinking about her finances, she thought there had to be an easier, more sustainable way of living.

“I needed to find somewhere to live where I could reduce my mortgage and start to create a different lifestyle.”

She looked at areas two to three hours out of Sydney but nothing gelled.

“Having a chat with a friend a while back who mentioned the town of Bellingen planted something and I couldn’t get the town out of my head, even though it meant living six hours away from my sons in Sydney.”

Having researched the area, Helen found she could buy something that would reduce her mortgage while cutting down her work hours, with more time to connect to nature and community.

With 20 years in corporate roles, having trained and started working as a chef, including studying nutrition, she felt the flexibility of her working life had sown the seeds for her evolution now in her late 50s.

She had pivoted before and felt she could pivot again, especially when doors had closed in Sydney but were opening in Bellingen.

Admitting to “moments of wobble” around missing her boys, she made an offer on a town block in Bello and set about the whole new challenge of building her home.

She also began to think about starting her own business; something she was passionate about that could create an income.

“I’d experienced a Hawaiian Heartworks Lomi Lomi massage in Balmain and it just awakened something in me.

“I felt really energised and alive.

“I went home and thought: ‘This is actually how I’m meant to feel all the time, so why don’t I?’

“I had always yearned to learn this massage modality as it was so powerful; then a course popped up on Facebook.
“It was another nudge by the universe and the stars aligned to do the course.”

She absolutely loved it, felt inspired and thought she could make it work as a business.

Integrated with her qualifications in Reiki and Bioresonance she developed an in-home wellbeing clinic in 2023.

Helen worked through the government’s Self Employment Assistance (SEA) program, which provided some financial support to create the new business.

In support of building her own business, Helen has also built a small clientele in domestic cleaning.

“Cleaning people’s homes is humbling, and I remember thinking about the zen teachings of becoming enlightened – just keep doing ordinary things with intent and presence – which has become my philosophy.

“Away from corporate life I do ordinary things, with presence, and have never felt more alive,” she said.


Leave a Reply