I am 29 years old, I had a full time corporate job, I have 3 children under 5 and I have just recovered from a radical hysterectomy. The surgery was due to a disease called endometriosis, a contributing one called adenmyosis and scares with cervical cancer cells before the national UK smear age of 25. I struggled with this disease for 16 years. The anxiety, pain, embarrassment, debilitation and depression that came with it.
I decided to document my experience and share my story. I came up with a blog idea “Find your glow”. I wanted to create a ‘sharing is caring’ website in which I hoped my honest account of my struggle and journey would empower and inspire others to find their own glow.
Whatever made me find that intention – It has changed my life.
I was extremely honest in my story and I shared more than most people would have liked. Admittedly I was so nervous to post it and it took me three weeks to build up the courage to publish it.
But… I had intention and I knew why I wanted to press that button and eventually I did.
The amazing happened, I had an unbelievable response. Family, friends, colleagues, people from all over my network of people sending messages of support and sharing their own incredibly inspiring stories. It made people stop, think, be kind and most importantly go for their smears and check-ups!
I was so incredibly humbled that by just being brave enough to share a story, by acting on a good intention, that I could change so many people’s lives.
So I got to thinking – What if this is it? What if I could do this every day? Intentionally change people’s lives. Inspire people to be more open, happier with themselves – glow!
With that intention I found my glow. This is how.
I had a few people ask – What is glow? Glow is what makes you you! You make yourself the best version of yourself, reach your true potential and that’s it – you glow. And when you glow you subconsciously allow others to do the same.
Glow comes from the inside out – you use who you are to define what you do.
My intention when I started my blog was that I wanted to share, show and support others on a journey to find that glow.
I would share to encourage other people to talk. Get rid of the stigma of not being able to discuss physical or mental health fears, which are ending up in the worst cases as life threatening.
I would show that even at your lowest point in life, when things are thrown at you that knock you flat, you can use any experience to be a positive, fresh start. Show that you can build yourself back up and you can learn to embrace it.
Most of all I wanted to support others to “Find that glow!” Help people become the best version of themselves. Believe in what could be, not what should be.
The issue was I needed to find that glow myself.
My gran always said:
‘You can’t make anyone else happy unless you are happy in yourself’
This is something I have always listened to but have never actually taken a step back and stopped to understand.
I realised what this really truly means is, I had to start with me.
My brother once sent me a YouTube clip of a guy called Simon Sinek, seriously you should watch it.
He talks about what you do, how you do it but most importantly why?! You figure out why and you start with that intention, the how and what come after. I started to apply this to every-day life and asked myself some serious questions:
• Why was I working full time with 3 kids? – Because I thought money was the best contribution I could give to my family. I was showing my kids that mummy works to pay the bills. But then the kids would ask – “Why can’t you be our reader at school?” “Why can’t you pick us up every day?” “Why can’t I go to dance classes?” I would always reply with, “Because mummy has to work darling”. Work had to change.
• Why did I seriously think coffee and cigarettes were getting me through the day? – I told myself that that was my break and that was what helped managed my stress levels. I look back now and think was just being bloody ridiculous it was an addiction, but like any addiction, at the time I couldn’t see past it. My health had to change.
• Why did I think that monetary contribution was so important? – Money makes the world go round right? Earning money and not having the time or energy to enjoy it with my family was pointless. I had to re-prioritise.
• Why was I surviving and not thriving? – I wasn’t trying hard enough. I thought I was – but I was trying so hard to make the wrong people happy. I needed to stop, re-evaluate and restart.
My hysterectomy operation date was given to me and for the first time (and probably the only time in the next 18 years) of my life, I had been given the chance to do just that. Stop, re-evaluate and re-start.
So I did what any normal person would do in my situation – I asked google! A week before my operation I seriously sat there in bed googling – How can I make myself well? ha!
But I found this – a wheel of wellness:
In the state I was in it actually made a lot of sense and I decided that if I could tick off everything on this wheel as I was recovering I might actually get somewhere.
First on the agenda was my health – Nutritional. I am a Gemini, I either do something or I don’t. I’m all or nothing. So I threw myself in! I was determined.
My intention was good and I had a why – The sooner I could get better the sooner I could to get back to my babies.
For four weeks after my operation, from the minute I opened my eyes, I had no tea, coffee, refined sugar, cigarettes, alcohol, gluten or dairy. Instead I focused on vitamins, antioxidants, water and pro-biotics. Me hahaha! Miss smokes 6-10 cigarettes a day and totally addicted to coffee decided to stop cold turkey.
However…I also told my mum what I was doing and it was genius! Why? I had just had a hysterectomy so I was not walking up and down those stairs myself any time soon. I physically couldn’t get to those things even if I wanted to. Mum had a list of all the things I was not having and she kicked my ass just for thinking about it… Thanks mum.
Now this sounds doom and gloom. I bet you’re all thinking what on earth did she eat? But it was actually so so simple to do with the right support.
I think the bravest thing I have done to date is admit that I had a problem and I got help. I had been through years of struggling with different physical and mental health issues and not once had I asked someone for help.
My friend has an incredible business which has pure, safe and beneficial products for health and wellbeing. I just thought a good detox was the right way to start, but I had no idea how it was going to change everything in my life.
I was added to a 30 day to healthy living support group and I got put in touch with some incredibly inspirational people. This gave me a social and intellectual wellness, I surrounded myself with positive people and return became a much more positive person myself.
After a couple of days instead of focusing on what I couldn’t eat and drink I was excited about what I could! Everything that I put in my mouth or on my skin I thought ‘Is this good for me?’ I sort of got a buzz out of knowing that what was going in was going to help, not hinder my recovery.
After the four weeks I felt amazing. I mean the best I have ever ever felt. For the first time that I could remember I went a whole week without paracetamol, ibruprofen or painkillers. Four weeks after major abdominal surgery I needed nothing. I just couldn’t believe it, still to this day I haven’t had any for the first time in 16 years!
Obviously physically I had to take it easy still but mentally, I was on fire! Everything was so much clearer. That foggy feeling every time I woke up on a morning was gone, that self-doubt of ‘can I do this?’, Gone. It completely changed my relationship with food. I now knew how my body could feel and I never wanted to go back the state I was in again.
Next stage – re-prioritise (Emotional)
NO MORE would I put money and work before my health or my family and I quit my corporate job.
The intention and why thing really had worked for me the first time so I tried it again.
I looked at every job I had ever had and I asked myself why I loved those jobs and why was I doing them?
Every why came back to the same thing – I liked to make people happy.
The only part of most of the jobs I did that I actually liked was to help people. That is what gave me a glow, certainly not the money.
On the next list I wrote down all of the people in my life that I loved and who made me happy. They were the people that gave me glow, and they were the people I would prioritise and guess what? They didn’t care about money either.
Once I was thinking much clearer and I had given my body a boost I looked at this list and I discovered that a much bigger thing was going on here. I discovered that I had an addiction. Addiction can be anything. It’s not just alcohol, drugs, cigarettes. Addiction can be any behaviour or habit that you can’t stop, even though you know it’s having a negative effect on you and everyone around you.
Food is a massive one, you feel low energy or upset so you pick up the chocolate or Coca Cola. For for others it’s burgers and pizza! Comfort/pick me up food.
What about exercise? Some people run or exercise excessively if they’re stressed or going through a difficult time. Others are the opposite and stop going to the gym. They think I’ll go tomorrow over and over until they think why bother? Then they tell themselves that it’s not making a difference.
You could be heart broken and addicted to your ex? You sit there thinking what are they doing? Where are they going? You think right I’ll message them, then you watch your phone for hours waiting for a response.
Facebook and social media. The first thing many people do on a morning is check Facebook. That’s not exactly an addiction but if you then have to post about your life to get approval from others – that is addiction. Addiction to others approval.
I had an addiction to coffee and cigarettes but I also an addiction to being ‘successful’ to seeking people’s ‘approval’.
The problem was I was channelling all that drive, passion, motivation and glow that I had into the wrong success, and I wanted approval from the wrong people.
I wanted everyone to see that I was a good mum who could work full time in a big corporate job and people would approve at how well I could handle it. They didn’t see behind closed doors how broken I actually was.
The only people that mattered were the people who were on that list and personal contribution, my time to them was so much more important than monetary contribution. They didn’t care how successful I was or how much money I earnt – they just needed me there. They wanted my time.
Think if the most influential person in your life. I thought of my grandma. My grandma was a reiki healer, a medium, a shoulder and support for so many people. I’ve always said if I could do a small bit of what she could do I’d be happy. She helped so many people in her life it was unreal.
I didn’t idolise her because she used money and bought me the Earth, I idolised her because she helped the earth and everyone she could on it. She gave me all the time in the world – All the world then sixpence.
That’s who I wanted to be.
I had to ask myself what is ‘success’ to me?
I decided success was to keep my family loved, supported, healthy and thriving in whatever makes them happy. Show my babies that personal contribution to people’s lives is more important than monetary.
I thought, If I can make it my business to make people thrive and glow then my children will subconsciously do the same.
I had to find something that I could do to cover all of those aspects. If I truly wanted to help as many people as possible I had to find something that fit. I didn’t care about earning loads of money, I just wanted to give my time (my children’s’ time) and effort to a good cause, really make a difference to people’s lives.
After hours and hours of research and good old google I found this:
A nutritional therapist works with healthy individuals in order to prevent disease and works with sick individuals in order to ease and minimise symptoms of a developed disease.
That was it! That was exactly what I want to do!
Nutrition made such a dramatic difference to my life and nutritional therapy covers so, so many aspects of health and wellbeing. I started looking at different course materials and once I started learning I was addicted! This was a good addiction that was going to bring positivity not negativity. The intention was good, I had a why so the how had been made clear to me.
I took the leap. I signed up to a nutritional therapy diploma, I had to learn from home because I couldn’t get out and about so I chose an online course with a designated tutor and I studied – really hard! I read and read and learnt more and more. Every day, every night, every opportunity I had for the 12 week recovery period, it took me longer than I expected but last week I did my final assessment and guess what – I qualified!!
Qualifying to me was an amazing feeling, but I just wanted to get going! To help!
I asked a friend of a friend, one I thought would be most in need of my help as he was having a pretty hard time so asked him to be my first client. I met with him and did my first consultation. I asked him everything I needed to ask, went away, looked at the results and put together a personalised plan. I created something that I thought suited him, fit in with his lifestyle and enabled him to enjoy his life but also reach his short term and long term goals. A week after he started the plan I had a phone call, I was a bit nervous to pick up the phone but the response I got was one I will never forget. “I don’t know how you’ve managed it but I feel fantastic”. His main daily symptoms had gone, he was feeling more energetic, clear minded, confident in himself in his own words ‘better than I’ve felt in years’.
That was it – I found my glow!
So I thought why stop there? That wellness wheel stuck in my mind. Nutritional, emotional, physical, intellectual, social. Spiritual was one that really resonated with me. I had grown up with reiki healing, energy healing. My grandma was a Reiki master, a teacher. She was an incredibly spiritual lady, a medium, a wonderful friend and always seemed to know the right thing to say. When I was ill, run down, particularly if I was emotionally upset she would lie me down and give me a reiki. I’d never felt anything like it, it was wonderful. She always told me I should do it (she actually said will do it and she was never wrong the white witch!) so I thought right I’ve got the time, I’ve got the intention – and off I went.
I booked the course and it was the most amazing experience. I will never forget leaving, calling my mum and saying ‘This is it mum, this is what I was supposed to do. I’m going to help so many people with this’ and I have.
I did the same thing, I was drawn to people in different parts of my life that I thought would really benefit from a session and I asked them, can I come and help? I had the best intention and with that intention the effects were unbelievable. Some cried, and said they felt like they had a weight lifted. Some felt clear minded. Some didn’t feel an effect straight away but then slept like a log and called me the next saying ‘what did you do? I feel completely different’.
What happened as a result of this outcome? I glowed! And so did the people I treated!
I glowed even more!
Even better I could work this around my family. So I could get to those reading sessions, I could go pick my kids up from school. I spent more time with my baby boy, my daughter started her dance classes and they are all glowing now in their own way. I was still working 2 days a week in an admin job so I didn’t have my corporate salary but did I care? The look on my kid’s faces when I turned up at their open day:
Did I hell care! I gave them my time and look how happy they are!
I was putting my energy, passion and drive into the right people. Success. Finally I knew what it felt like!
I’ve still got a long way to go but – here it is!
Ignite wellness – Find your glow.
After working hard at the right thing I can now help other people with hundreds of different issues. Depression, eczema, diabetes, cancer, addiction, weight management, endometriosis the list was endless! I’d completely gone full (Wellness) circle – from being the person in desperate need of the help, to being in a position where I can provide the help.
Was starting a business my intention – no. It just came to fruition naturally. I started with the why, I found my how and I was brave enough to take the leap and now I have my what – a business that helps people. I help others and in return the people around me are happy and they thrive – not survive. They glow!
Every day I refer back to my why, and every day I think of other ways that I can expand that intention.
I vowed to donate a percentage of my earnings or time to charity. Endometriosis, cancer research, hospice care and more to give back to the reason I was able to make this change. I was given a fresh start, so I will always help others have the same.
I’m also finding new ways to help others, I love meditation and mindfulness it helped me so much! So I’m half way through a mindfulness diploma to coach others. When I feel crap I love a massage so I am also doing a course which covers reflexology, aromatherapy and massage. By the end of the year who knows what I’ll have achieved?! I’ll keep adding to that wheel of wellness to appeal to as many different people as possible and it all comes down to intention – finding a why.
If you’re a teacher, and you become the best version of yourself, happy, healthy, you learn to manage your stresses and self, you become the best teacher and you can change children’s lives even more than you already do.
If you’re a mechanic, and you become the best version of yourself, happy, healthy and you can manage your stresses, you can be the best mechanic and you’ll help people in need more than you already do. Even better you could help others learn what you have to continue that cycle.
Or you might do like a friend of mine did, she found the why and decided to do something completely different. She had that intention, she quit her office job to look after animals that was her passion, with this she had her why. She became a dog walker, then a trainer and now she is truly thriving looking after lots of different animals. She is totally glowing, so are the animals as are the owners! She has built herself a very successful business that she adores and that makes others happy.
She had the intention – she didn’t fail! I’m so proud of her.
I got to thinking that if everyone I knew in any job or any walk of life could find that intention, that why and be the best version of themselves. If everyone could thrive and find that glow – what happened to me could happen to them. It could happen to YOU!
YOU could intentionally and unintentionally allow others to do the same. You sometimes just need a bit of help and to ask yourself why.
Find that glow, keep it, look after it, use it to change your life and in turn inspire others to do the same.
That’s my intention – what’s yours?