As many of you will already know, I’m deeply passionate about talking and raising awareness around love and responsibility. I have been so since I started seeing a counsellor myself in 1997, when I realised that I had no clue what responsibility and love meant for myself. Marilyn Shearer and Dr. YC Lim, in Singapore where I was living at the time, were the pivotal people who set me on my path of self-discovery and self-awareness. I will always be thankful and indebted to them for that.
Once I’d embarked, it seemed only natural that my responsibility became to speak out and expose what I’d learnt about myself and the way society was going. Regarding what? All the abuse and neglect I’d given to my daughter, my now ex-husband and most importantly, myself, and all the abuse and neglect that occurs all around the world.
To begin with, the love I had for my family and the world was the driving force for my change, things that existed in my external experience. In the past 7 years though, I turned inwards.
I realised that before going out to preach to the world, through my work and social activism, I needed to be the first to take my own advice. I needed to learn how to ‘walk my talk’ by becoming a loving, responsible human being myself, from the inside and out.
In 2001, at one of Tony Robbins’ trainings in Kona Island, I set the intention of writing and publishing my own book. On May 14th 2008, 10 years ago today, that book finally came to life. It was like giving birth to a second child, a demanding labour that had begun 6 years before when I’d started jotting down my first reflections and thoughts in Italian. With the help of a wonderful woman that I met along the way, Lucy Lyon, I was able to turn those Italian ideas into an English narrative. The book came to life with another blessed encounter with Alfredo Villa, who through amazing synchronicity became a good friend and the financier of my book. (Click here for a PDF copy of my book: Stella's Mum Gets Her Groove Back)
It’s been 10 years! 10 years, during which my passion to talk about and expose themes of love and responsibility has increased every day, motivated more and more by the results I saw unfold around me.
Looking inside, getting out of denial and no longer blaming the world for my choices and circumstances, was the first and most crucial step in my journey of self-healing.
And I would love to see more people taking their lives to that next level by becoming authentic with themselves instead of living in ‘auto-pilot’, often dormant and in denial.
This week, and this past year in fact, mental health prevention has been a hot topic in the UK. Looking back on the beginning of my journey, I realised I had done exactly that… become aware of my mental health and prevent further escalation. I recognised that the lack of balance in my family, work and relationships had something to do with my mental health and so I did something about it.
This is what I urge everyone to do today in our society. We all need to be responsible for our mental health because no matter how idyllic our upbringing was, we all inevitably experience traumas, obstacles, self-abuse and neglect (lack of self-love and self-responsibility). All these experiences that come at us affect our mental health, which is a by-product of our emotional, intellectual and physical health.
Recognising and exposing myself and my lack of cognitive, emotional and physical balance was the second major step in the journey.
Asking for help was the third and final one, and usually the step where most people hesitate.
I was a victim, as we all are at one point or another. But it’s a choice to rise up and become responsible out of that.
All three of the major steps that led to change, are steps down a road less travelled that we must venture down if we want to contribute in changing the world. In order to do so, I strongly believe we need two major attributes besides love for ourselves and our lives:
I believe the arduous project of writing and publishing my first book helped me to develop these for myself.
A willingness to maintain my commitment that I’d made to myself when Stella was born, of stopping the chain of abuse that I’d been a victim of in my own family. That willingness was pretty low in 1992, when I’d first set the goal to live a different life to my parents (different, not better). Gradually though, because my vision carried on growing inside of me, my willingness to overcome the obstacles I was encountering on my way became stronger and ever expanding. That vision I set when I held Stella for the first time many years ago, went on to transform into my ‘calling’. A calling is different to a vision: we choose a vision, but a calling chooses you.
Many times after publishing the book, I felt the desire to give up. Just two and a half years after it’s release, my husband of 26 years chose to take a different path and left. With my daughter having also just left to study in the UK, I found myself alone and I day-by-day, I slowly lost my willingness to move forward with my vision. I entered a deep depression, where feelings of apathy, emptiness and loneliness resided and became my loyal companions. But it wasn’t just a vision after all, and the calling continued to chase me.
The calling sent me knew people and connections to help me rebuild trust in myself and re-enter in love and responsibility.
How could I send the world such a strong message through my work, if I could not first embody it in my own life. Growing up is a tough process, it asks us to let go of that childhood experience of not being responsible or having to take responsibility for our lives. But anything laborious also ends up being the most rewarding. I needed to start walking my talk, the past 7 years of total disintegration taught me that.
And the message I want to send to everybody is, let’s all develop the willingness to find our own higher purpose, alongside living our dream life. Indeed, a higher purpose is different from a dream. A higher purpose is not dictated to or limited by our ego. It is inspired by a divine, universal energy that exists all around us. Our job is to get to know ourselves and what that purpose truly is better each day, which requires willingness too.
Courage for what? Well, it’s an interesting question I’m posing to myself this morning as well. I’d say, the courage to walk the road less travelled, often the harder of the two routes to take. The courage to wake up and say to yourself, “enough is enough”. The courage to be humble enough to acknowledge you can’t make the journey alone and ask for help. The courage to go beyond the fear of not being good enough. To go beyond ordinary, one-dimensional awareness and get to know the mystery of extraordinary, deep awareness. The courage to believe before you can see. The courage to recognise your experience as a victim and finding the strength to rise up and become a loving, responsible human being despite of it. The courage to let go of resistance and allow the mystery of faith to fill you up and lead you to places you never thought possible (this was a big one for me!). The courage to be simply who you are… I am an ordinary woman daring to live each day and make an extraordinary life.
So today I celebrate my 10 years of willingness and courage… to be. Worth noting, the journey your about to begin doesn’t require you to do more. I always believed I had to do in order to prove that I was good enough and worthy of love and acceptance. Being is a totally different way of living, and will ultimately be the catalyst for finding personal freedom and self-awareness.
This is how I ended the book and how I’d also like to conclude this blog today:
“It is by focusing on the love for myself and others that I can choose to let go of what distracts me and only give attention to the positive voice coming from within: the voice which reminds me all the time that I am worthy of love and I am good enough. Yes, that indeed, I am ok!
I believe life is like preparing for and running a marathon. To do so successfully, you need action and rest, discipline and tolerance, endurance and healthy submission. In a way, we are all on this earth to prepare and run the marathon of our lives. Are you ready to go the distance?” (Page 32, Stella’s Mum Gets Her Groove Back).
All proceeds from the sale of the book go towards a scholarship fund I've put in place to support individuals, youths, parents and teachers to receive training, courses and tools that will help them make impactful and empowering changes to their lives.
Read my blog post, Do I Need a Life Coach? for some advice on how to find the right coach to support you on your journey.
The following blog posts go into more detail on some of the topics and themes touched on above:
Self-Awareness: A Lifetime Journey
Wholeness: The Search for Our Lost Self
Wellbeing & Happiness: Journey Down the Road Less Travelled
If what I've written has resonated with you and you think I could be the right support for you, feel free to get in touch and schedule a Free 30 Minute Consultation by clicking the button below.