Mother - Photographer - Happiness Author - Motivator - Broadcaster - Speaker
There is no question that grief changes the direction of your life. It starts on the inside. Your insides get destroyed and then you, slowly, find the pieces and start to put yourself back together again. To the outside world, you look the same but inside, you know you are changed forever.
There is no way of dodging the pain of loss but what you can do is develop skills that mean that when the pain in your life shows up, you have the tools to use to get through to the other side. This is what I did after my dad took his life.
My first significant pain point arrived unexpectedly with my dad's suicide on the 28th October 1994. I was happily married, seven months pregnant with my son, Lewis and my daughter was just two years old.
Losing dad was a pain like no other. Not only the loss of the first love of my life but I felt rejected and very angry with this abandonment for many years.
When I heard the news that he had died, I recall looking at my two-year-old daughter, Iona, and as she slept, I whispered an apology to her that this was a pain I wouldn't be able to protect her against.
Back then I had no tools in my emotional tool box, either to help me or protect my children.
Six years later I would have a breakdown and lose my marriage. Then I would discover a system to happiness that would change my life...
Finally, my broken spirit said enough was enough. No more faking life and pretending all is well. It was time to start living my life again.
Previous to losing dad I was a freelance hairdresser with a successful 5-star business in Edinburgh and I was also the original founder of the Freelance Hair and Beauty Federation (This is now the Freelance Hair Association)
After six years of doing my best with a broken heart and not living true to myself. My journey back to me and what I bring to the world began with a charity hike to Machu Piccu, raising funds for disadvantage children.
When I returned home, I realised how lost I had been and decided to follow my passion of becoming a professional photographer. For three years I studied and gained a BA Hons in photography in 2005.
The stock market crash of 2009 meant I would lose my commercial photography business but as one door closes another one opens...
One of the last commercial jobs I did was to create 13 images that represented a system to happiness and success. This system was the same one for how I found greater happiness and strength after losing dad. The images were to illustrate the book The Path To Riches, published by the Napoleon Hill Foundation. They also asked me to be a contributing author.
Suddenly, as my commercial clients were disappearing, people bacame intrigued to learn more about the power of this system.
It wasn't long before I became recognised as a Happiness Expert, a speaker and a trainer and my business Happiness Millionaire Ltd, was born December 2011.
After being requested many times for my book, I took time out to put everything I had learned and taught, including the images, into a very powerful book about a fail proof system to happiness. In 2017, my book won the Janey Loves Platinum Book Award and in 2013 I won the best Speaker/Trainer category for the Women Inspiring Wome Awards.
Regardless of all of this, on the 14th of July 2019, everything I knew about life would be shattered and leave me wondering if what I had written about and taught could help me now...
These moments come out of nowhere. One moment I am watching the men's Wimbledon finals with my daughter, recognising the simple beauty of being together. My son's are having a fun time in Scotland and all is wonderful with the world.
Then comes the unimaginable call. The call that erases all previous moments. The call that swoops you up into a direction you really DON'T want to go in. You have no choice, as you are told your youngest son is dead.
First, there is no man's land. It is desolate and you are so very wounded and lonely. Some days you wonder why you keep breathing, then the day comes you tell yourself to keep breathing, then the day comes where you see your first chink of light.
When I started to wake from this nightmare into a world I didn't recognise, I realised how many people were thrown into the pain of grief on a daily basis and I began to wonder if I had anything good to offer them.
Knowing I had a journey to go on, I wondered if I could go on that journey and take others with me, inspiring both them and me to continue to live our best lives. To learn how to grow and be inspired by our compulsory changes.
That was the beginning of The Good Grief Conversation on UK Health Radio.
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