You.

I have written and rewritten this about 20 times. Here goes.

I met my husband for the first time when I was 13. He sat behind me in French class and did everything in his power to get away with learning as little as possible. I was quite the opposite and tried my best to do well and keep my head down when it came to school, I wasn’t very confident you see (….anyone who knows me now may not believe me when I say that). The last thing I could imagine happening would be a BOY noticing me but unbeknownst to me there was one who’s eye I caught. We didn’t really speak to each other until he sat next to me and from there he wound me up constantly for a solid 2 years. He was the boy that would ping my bra strap, hide my pen, scribble in my text book, get me in trouble for talking…the list goes on and it was so very very annoying but he made me laugh! We were 15 when he asked me to be his girlfriend and eventually I agreed to this, it took a lot of asking as I was so nervous and didn’t really think he liked me that way. We spent a lot of time together and he really brought me out my shell, he made me feel pretty and happy. As our high school life came to an end so did we and it was horrid, as all teenage romances coming to an end often are.

After that I spent 8 years in and out of relationships, both long and short, and wondering if I would ever feel quite as many butterflies as I did when that boy from school would look at me and smile. You know the kind of feeling when every single part of you smiles, that smile you can feel in your stomach….the oh no he’s got me smile. Well I can safely say no one ever managed it and I put that down to me hardening over the years after so many horrible relationships had crashed and burned around me. I had the most toxic people come in and out of my life and every time a part of my happy, live and let live attitude disappeared with them. It was really hard to accept that you make your own happiness but I had a fabulous set of friends who helped me on my way.

Then, I had a friend request on Facebook from none other than that boy from school. My. Heart. Jumped. I swear to you all I smiled that smile instantly. I didn’t even think I just messaged him to say hi and then panicked about whether it was weird but luckily it was too late, he messaged back and I was so glad he did.

After that we spoke for a while and then met up. It had been 8 years since I had last seen him and sitting there talking was like we’d never been apart. It was crazy and wonderful and before long we were living together. I had spent the longest time feeling like I had to do it all myself and nobody had ever shown me a reason to let that guard back down until I met him. He was supportive of my life and my choices, he lifted me up when I felt my most down, he’s my ultimate cheerleader and that is just the best. He taught me that you absolutely should be focussed on finding your own happiness, but, when someone comes along who wants to help you find it it’s ok to let them in.

We are now very happily married and we have our tiny human, it’s a long way from perfect but we have a house full of love and laughter. He makes me smile every day and that is so very important. He put me on the path to finding confidence in myself when I was 15 and now he is helping me every day to find out new things about myself. He has loved me in every shape I have been, from a size 6 at 16 to a size 14 at 26, he loved me through the crazy make up fads I went through to the mum bun and mascara basics! I learn to love myself through his love for me, don’t get me wrong I still need to learn to love those bingo wings but I’m getting there.

So I hope you didn’t mind the slightly longer read but this one was important to me. I’ll sign off here I think.

“Keep quiet, nothing comes as easy as you. Can I lay in your bed all day?”

How are you getting on with #SurfLessSept?

Hi everybody!

So I’ve broken the pattern of how I write my blogs this month. Normally I focus on the theme for the month, this month being #SurfLessSept!

So let me resume back to the normal way of doing things again. Just for this blog at least. I think there’s a lot of crossover with this months theme with #MindfulMay! You can recap here.

With our generation, we do spend a lot of time surfing on the Internet. We have our phones, tablets, computers… The list goes on. We have our social media apps, dating apps, emails, games! And to be fair, I know a lot of us find comfort in hiding behind a screen than facing the real world!

Am I scolding you!? Of course not, I’m probably one of the worst culprits of spending too much time on my many computery type things. However, I have to admit, since challenging myself in #MindfulMay I am surfing less and since surfing less, I’m actually a lot happier.

I’m definitely more productive, I enjoy my time off and I’m more present with friends and family. I’m more reflective too and I sleep better! All from using my devices less!

I’ve written about how cutting down on our devices is good for us in the past so I’m not going to repeat myself. However, I promise you, even if you cut down on your devices, even if it’s just for an hour a day, you’ll notice a world of difference!

I’d love to see how you’re cutting down and surfing less the September, so please keep us updated!

You are all SUPERSTARS!

Until next time,

R

Why I want new legs…

Happy Wednesday everybody! I hope you’ve had a great week since we last caught up and I hope you enjoyed last week’s blog on self care being ‘not so’ cliché!

So I’m sure you’ve been loving our blog posts from our ambassadors! They’re all AMAZING! However, there has been one ambassador in particular who has caught my attention recently and that’s Jarard!

Jarard has been writing about his journey using Rexbionics…and I’m fascinated by Jarard’s journey. You can read his story here.

I originally heard of ‘Rex’ back in 2010/11 when it was very new! It’s an exoskeleton machine that helps individuals with mobility impairments to walk.

When I mentioned using it to one of my friends at the time, I remember how negatively he responded. My friend is also disabled like me. I understand why he was concerned though. To him, it was because I used the exact same phrase as I used above – to be able to walk.

As disabled activists, we have fought hard to change society’s perceptions of disabled people. We actively talk and promote ‘The Social Model of Disability.’ This is the theory that society has a responsibility to remove barriers that disabled people face – both physical and attitudinal barriers. It’s once these barriers are removed so is disability. For example, what makes me disabled is when there’s steps to enter a building. It’s not my impairment itself. Negative attitudes also play a big part in this. For example, negative attitudes or a lack of willingness to adapt to somebody’s needs.

The traditional view of disability has been ‘The Medical Model of Disability’ and this is when the onus of fitting into society is placed on the individual with the impairment. It’s a very unhelpful view and this is where prejudices from other people come from.

So in short, I get why my friend was concerned. In me wanting to be ‘able to walk’ can be viewed as a Medical Model approach. It’s me fitting into society rather than society meeting my needs. And wanting to ‘fit in’ can cause all psychological distress because there’s that element of not accepting who you are.

I didn’t pursue Rex at the time. After researching into it, I realised that at the time, that it was more appropriate for people with Spinal Cord Injuries. However, after speaking with Jarard and doing recent research, I know Rexbionics have started to investigate how this could be used with people who have other impairments like mine.

So why do I want new legs? I don’t actually, but it was a catchy title! I like my legs. And I accept who I am. I actively empower others to accept who they are through my coaching business. And I challenge society’s perceptions on perceived capabilities.

But I am still keen to explore Rex. This is because I know that standing would have huge benefits for me. Even if it’s a little, being able to wait bare would help me sleep and reduce the stiffness in my legs. For me, it’ll be like the equivalent of working out at the gym, rather than being able to walk per se. I wouldn’t be substituting my chair for it, but I do think it’d help with a lot.

I know leisure facilities should do more and society in general to meet disabled people’s needs. However, I’m so excited about the possibilities of what Rex could bring.

If I’m being honest with you, it’s about artificial intelligence too. One thing I hate is to rely on others and rely on ‘accessible facilities’ for me to go to the toilet. I think being a disabled woman also brings its own challenges. I would love to use a device to help me be more independent myself and I know Rex can’t do this but it definitely shows hope for the way the future may go and I know this may be controversial but something that can offer more choice to people.

I’ll keep you tuned on my journey.

Until next time,

Rupy

(p.s. you can find out more about Rexbionics by clicking here)

Pushing Through

First things first, I know for a fact that I have added a year to my life this this month. And with little, well no work. I was contacted by a friend who was reading my bio for You own it. Their message was simple, it said go back to the year you were born and count how many years old you are. So, I did and realised since my last birthday in March I have been quoting my age a year older than I actually am. I was left feeling confused with been happy for being a year young than I thought, but also feeling older for suffering from the memory loss for getting my age wrong to begin with. I am a “the cup is always half full or it is empty enough to top up with Jack Daniels “kind of guy so I took the path of “awesome I’m a year younger” emotionally which obviously feels great. I recommend anyone to have a 2-year birthday just for a feel-good time later in the year when you get to take it back.

I am also getting more consistent with all the new things I have adapted into my daily routine for life quality and longevity. The 2 weekly Rexercise sessions at the gym have involved revisiting my home weight programme, reassessing my current weights, and add some more. In doing this we noted a big change in my core strength. I am starting to develop some real core strength and stability instead of fixing my shoulders and using my head for balance when not having the comforts of a back support like I have been doing for years. Those are some good new skills which automatically plant good feelings. Also, the weights are getting heavier and the reputations are getting easier, signs that I’m getting stronger every day. With getting stronger daily tasks are also getting easier and most importantly taking less time. Paralysis from the chest down and taking a wheelchair everywhere means everything takes longer. Some days are a rush and running late with no short cuts to catch up to the clock again. Everything just consumes my time from the moment I wake up till the moment to go to sleep again. I am quite surprised just how much strength and discipline can add extra time to my day.

I recently purchased a shooting chair to make my hunting and rifle positioning a lot easier. The chair I brought was designed for able body full function shooters, it had arm rests but I was still to wobbly to successfully discharge a firearm when I sat in it for the first time, so I pulled it apart and modified it to suit my extra support needs. I didn’t have to do much I just swapped out the seat for a saddle type office chair seat. I also swapped the back support for a bigger more supporting one that I took off an old shower commode I no longer use. I have tested it with my rifle and now supports me enough to be the marksman I need to be to bag my game.

I enjoyed 3 quadbike rides in the last month also finding everything associated with riding my bike a lot easier. I strap my knees to my quadbike with a simple strap around my legs and under my seat. I still normally have some issues with sliding off the seat when I hit the speeds I want to be going to enjoy myself. I found this not to be so much a problem anymore, still happening occasionally but to as much as it used to. My big goal for my quadbike use is to be able to mount and dismount it from the ground and not just my wheelchair. I am a little way off been able to do it repeatedly as fatigue still gets me on this one but I can do it a couple of times a day so that’s a start.

I had an interesting experience one weekend while feeding out to my cows with my quadbike. This winter has been extremely wet and most of my grazing land is either mud or underwater. This particular day I loaded up my quadbike trailer with 100 litres of water and some extra bags of feed for my cows. As I got through the muddy swamp my bike stopped and wouldn’t start again. I knew straight away I should have filled it up with gas but was in a rush so here I was. So, my challenge for this afternoon was getting back to my house through 50 metres of swamp on a wheelchair will super skinny tyres, “better start now” … About halfway through the swamp I hit the wall. Thinking I could go no further but knowing I was getting about a foot every push I just kept going through that mud. A couple of times I did think of lying on my belly and driving through like a snake in the grass but never got to the point of having to go down that path. All in all a good lesson was learnt to not only have more than enough gas that is required for the job but always carry a cell phone on my person.

I am at an amazing point in in my journey right now with pain management under control without pharmaceutical intervention, which has always been important to me. My fitness programme making me want to get fitter and stronger. I’m living natural, preparing every day and am the best version of me I can be today. And tomorrow I will be an even better more advanced version of this.

Self care is so cliche…

Hi everybody,

I really hope you enjoyed my rap from the other week! So I wanted to continue my discussion on self care!

A while back I joined an online dating forum. If I’m honest with you, I hadn’t really taken much notice of the group due to being busy.

However, a week ago something popped up in my newsfeed, something that made me feel quite uncomfortable, something from that group. It was a lady saying something along the lines of:

‘I can’t get a date. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Maybe I should give up dating.’

My response:

‘It’s so important to feel comfortable in your own skin rather than needing another to ‘fulfil you.’ I bet you’re an awesome woman. He’ll come when the time is right, in the meantime, focus on yourself.’

Then ‘all hell’ broke lose and the admin commented:

‘Another cliche! Focussing on yourself rather than embracing may actually be part of the reason so many people are single.’

So that was it. We got into a heated discussion about self care which lasted gone midnight, until I decided to leave the group!

The lady that I replied to, actually thanked me saying that I really helped her. So at least that was a good outcome but I did make my views quite clear to the admin.

I told him that focussing on yourself is not cliche. Rather society makes you believe that you need somebody in order to be fulfilled. We don’t need a romantic partner to feel fulfilled.

Anyway, he didn’t like that comment and the discussion unnecessarily went on and on because I just think he liked winning an argument. Such a shame, when there’s so many singletons out there with confidence issues!

I’m not going to go into the rest of the discussion but I’m here to tell you, self care is the least cliche thing you can practice. It’s fundamental for you to grow and thrive as a person. We live in a world where we are programmed to focus on the negatives instead of the positives. This can lead to all sort of challenges.

Practicing self care takes courage and bravery and I bet there’s a lot of you out there who still think it’s cliche.

I ask you to be open and try it! It might transform your life, as it has done mine!

Until next time,

R

How the council damaged my sense of self worth much more than my parents ever did…

Hi everybody,

As the Founder of You Own It and a Lifestyle and Psychology Coach, I thought it was time to get vulnerable and share my story.

This story is not about fluffy ‘inspiration.’ It genuinely is about liberation and empowerment. It’s about how the council/my local authority, damaged my sense of self worth much more than my parents ever did.

I was born in Birmingham in 1987. My biological father left before I was born and my biological mother left me around the age of 4. I’m not going to go into the ins and outs because to be honest, it’s not relevant. However, I was blessed to be raised by the most two amazing individuals; my uncle and auntie and I’ll always be grateful to them.

Now as an almost qualified psychologist, one of the things that we’re quite obsessed about is childhood, and rightly so. Somebody’s childhood can affect an individual’s life forever, a miserable childhood can even affect the way somebody’s brain develops- we all have a collective responsibility to ensure  children and adults can thrive!

As psychologists, we mainly look at the family unit. A lot of learnt behaviour and self worth develops within this unit. What did I learn from my unit?

– to treat others with respect and love them
– to treat yourself with respect
– to challenge yourself, raise the bar, test your own capabilities

My family have always been my cheerleaders, and thank goodness!

The ironic thing though? We had various ‘professionals’ in and out of my childhood life. Especially social services, checking up on how we were doing, offering ‘advice’ and opinions, but no real support.

I remember my uncle turning around to a social worker who came unannounced one day saying, ‘Rupy is fine, we’re fine, now let us get on with the day.’

Rather than being presented with a  social worker, I now believe each disabled child should be given a psychologist to work with. Somebody who can teach them about self worth, confidence and never forgetting to love themselves – something that I perceived social services took away from me.

My perception? I don’t actually believe that social workers/managers in local authorities are bad people. They are put in a profession where there just isn’t the budget to meet everybody’s needs. And once you have been in that role for a number of years, I bet you can get numb to scenarios.

But do you see what I’ve done up in that paragraph. I’ve demonstrated understanding and empathy. Tried to see it from their side: something that they lacked with me and a whole other lot of disabled people I know. I understand that in their eyes we need to be ‘catered for’ in a ‘legal way’ to ensure the budget is spread out ‘equally and fairly’ as possible. But to them? It’s a job that they can turn off from at the end of the day. Once they’re home they can distance themselves away. But for us, it’s something that we live with. Once the budget and the hours have been set, we live within those parameters and live with the fear that if we use more budget, say, using it to go to the loo between the hours of 7-10pm, that we can be penalised. That’s the reality.

I wish the economy and the politics of this world were better. And that’s why we need to keep working together to ensure it gets better and better!

But all I ask to all ‘professionals’ is to remind yourself as to why you entered that profession in the first place. To help others. And if you know in your heart that meeting somebody’s needs is going to be difficult, then show empathy and don’t get defensive. Defensiveness damages self worth and confidence much more than you can imagine.

I could now list a whole bunch of scenarios where a lack of empathy damaged my self worth but I don’t think this blog could handle another 1000 words. However, here are some memorable things social workers/council workers have ever said to me:

Aged 11 (just started my period) – ‘we can’t provide you with support so it’s probably best you go on the pill.’

Aged 17 – ‘There’s nobody that we know of that’s managed to get into university who is also disabled. Yes, you’ve got the A’levels but why don’t you stay at home and do a learn direct course?’

Aged 21 ‘We can only fund 21 hours of support, if you want more, you’ll have to move into a nursing home.’

The list goes on, including a very flippant email that I received from a manager last week! Something which if I received a year back, would have caused me to have a meltdown.

Why haven’t I broke down? Good family, good friends and a lot of work on myself. Mainly, self care. Being compassionate to myself and loving myself. Something that Dr. Paul Gilbert has taught me through reading his work. Something that all professionals need to read if they are working with ‘vulnerable’ people.

Empathy and compassion cost nothing. Damaging somebody’s self worth can cost them their lives.

I’ve not written this blog to express my anger. Rather my concern. We have a duty of care to look after one another. We all have a CHOICE to do so. Whether you’re a professional or not. Choose your actions wisely, compassionately and empathetically.

Until next time,

R

When Planning an Accessible Holiday

I’ve travelled a lot in the UK in my work for Tourism for All, a charity tourism information service for disabled people, working with the industry & government. For holidays I’ve been lucky enough to visit wonderful places such as Egypt, Turkey, Mexico and Mallorca, and most recently city breaks to Barcelona, Rome and Pisa. I’d love to go to Perth in Western Australia next as my best friend emigrated there a few years ago.

I prefer beach holidays and city breaks; in fact Barcelona was a perfect mix of the two. I’m not very adventurous in the outdoors, although I had a fabulous stay at the award winning Hoe Grange Holidays in Derbyshire, and using their Boma 7 off-road wheelchair enjoyed a 5 mile trek over all sorts of terrain, and met horses, mobility scooters and even a tractor!

The least accessible place that I’ve travelled to would be Tunisia. Though ramps are provided in places, they are too steep for a wheelchair user to use independently. Curb drops are also huge, and accessible toilets difficult to find. Barcelona is without a doubt the most accessible place I’ve travelled to. The city’s Olympic legacy means that accessibility just is a part of every day life, and I had no issues at all accessing accommodation, transport, attractions, beaches, and places to eat and drink.

Barcelona is actually the only place I have confidently been able to use public transport outside of the UK. I think public transport which is accessible enables everyone to experience a place ‘like a local’, which is how I like to travel. It’s relatively easy to find an accessible taxi in most places, but that doesn’t always feel like an authentic travel experience.

When planning a holiday, I usually start with a couple of destinations and a budget in mind, then research accommodation for accessibility, good reviews, and location – I like to be able to reach bars, restaurants and places to visit easily. I’ll contact the accommodation directly to confirm they can meet my access requirements, and ask for photos. This helps to ensure nothing gets lost in translation when booking overseas. I always ask for confirmation that the accommodation, airline, transfer company etc. can meet my requirements in writing.

I’ve been working in the accessible tourism industry for 12 years, and it’s my job to research accessible holidays, so I tend to travel independently using my own resources. However, specialist tour operators can provide a level of assurance that your needs will be catered for. Companies like Accessible Travel & Leisure only suggest accessible holiday locations that are tried and tested. If they haven’t visited a location, they won’t recommend it!

My experience of air travel is generally good; I am fairly mobile so as long as I have seating near to the bathroom I’m happy. There have been a few hiccups over the years, which I think are caused by communication breakdowns – when requesting assistance from the airline you’re potentially dealing with a chain of 4 or 5 people who are all trying to communicate your needs – it can become a bit like Chinese whispers!

Barriers to access are often about attitude and service, which are easy to rectify. Personally, I will always recommend a venue where the staff went out of their way to accommodate me over one with good access, but bad service. Disability awareness training gives staff members the confidence to welcome all customers, without worrying about saying the wrong thing or booking someone in to an unsuitable room. It’s not about offering ‘special’ service for those with access requirements, but the very best service for everyone.

I think we need to continue to raise awareness of accessible tourism, and champion the businesses that are doing it right. Being accessible is not about protection against the law, or even how to avoid problems, but about an opportunity to raise standards and to grow. Accessible and inclusive tourism is about making tourism possible for everyone – whether you are young, old, a mum pushing a buggy, a wheelchair user, a visually or hearing impaired person, a carer or someone recovering from an accident or an illness.

Good information can make a world of difference. I hear from many disabled travellers who have to search dozens of different websites to find the information they need, literally spending day and night online just to book a simple break. Thankfully I can help them to find suitable, accessible accommodation and places to visit using websites like www.openbritain.net.

Overall, the thing I love most about travelling is the sense of independence. Travelling alone or with my husband, managing it all, and sometimes struggling but pushing myself to carry on, gives me a huge sense of achievement. Sometimes it’s a harsh wakeup call going somewhere new and having that comfort taken away, but isn’t that what travelling is all about? Going to new places, seeing things with fresh eyes, taking in new experiences. Sometimes it can be a little more difficult for me, but that’s not going to stop me any time soon!

You can follow my travels and read expertise and inspiration for your own holidays on my website www.carrieannlightley.com.  Feel free to contact me if we can collaborate, work together, share stories or just have a chat.

Queen Of My Own Affairs

So I thought I’d portray the importance of self-care and ‘growing’ with a new kind of style!

Now, this is a story all about how
My life’s no longer flipped upside down
And I’d like to take a minute
To sit right there
I’ll tell you how I became the Queen of my own Affairs

In South Manchester not born but raised
No playground was where I spent most of my days
Not really chillin’ out maxin’ relaxin’ all cool
And all shootin some b-ball outside of the school
When a couple of ‘professionals’ who were up to no good
Started making trouble in my neighborhood
I got in one little fight and my sista got scared
She said ‘Now I’m teachin’ you the skills to become the Queen of your Affairs’

I begged and pleaded with her day after day
‘Can’t you just fight for me, just for today?’
But she said ‘Princesses just sit, whilst Queens mean business’
‘I’m not fighting your battles – You gotta OWN IT.’
She gave me a kiss and then she left me to it.
I put my Walkman on and said, ‘I might as well kick it’.

First bash, went bad
I began feelin’ sad and more sad
They defined my worth and I soaked it all in.
Is this what people are living like?
Hmmmmm this is not alright.

But wait I hear they’re prissy, bourgeois, all that
Is this the type of place that they just damage a cool cat?
I don’t think so
I’ll see when I get there
I hope they’re prepared for the Queen of her own Affairs

Well, I smashed through education
A mix between Psychology and Politics
I read books and through the bull s**t
Realised I was a diamond
Worthy of greatness
Practiced to self-love
Nobody messin’ with this Miss

I reaffirm my self-love day by day
And I wanna teach you to love yourself in every possible way
Compassion is rare but it’s there!
Now when people put me down
I say ‘Nah, forget it’ – ‘I’m the Queen of my own Affairs!’

I do still wobble now and again
But acceptance and forgiveness is key for healin’
Showin’ up for yourself is your greatest gift
And I yell ‘smell ya later’ to those who take the mick
I now look at my kingdom
And I’m finally there
To sit on my throne as the Queen of my own Affairs

 

Until next time,

R

It’s all a bit new!

For as long as I can remember exercise has been a dirty, filthy, awful word to me. Don’t get me wrong I have always been aware that it is pretty much essential that you take care of your body, “you only get one”……etc. Making a start on these 7 minute work outs seemed quite daunting but I knew the first one would be the hardest. So I get up, put on some stretchy clothes and realise I have no idea what a burpee is. Google to the rescue! I sit and read through the variety of exercises I’ll be doing and watch YouTube videos of people doing them. Wow, they all look like they do this in their sleep, toned would be an understatement. I got up and I worked my way through the 7 minutes and you know what, it did it’s job. It got my heart going and my tiny human only tried to join in right at the end, which if I could have filmed I would have because she sat on my head whilst I was doing some leg raise things.

After a few days I had got the hang of a few more of them, it was still not my favourite thing to do but as far as exercise goes, it was ok. I then had to go to hospital and for various reasons have been told to avoid food that contains animal and dairy fats as well as sugar. My reaction was to agree politely whilst screaming WHAT?!?!?! on the inside. Obviously this is for health reasons so I had to follow their advice. But no cheese, are you serious? Essentially my diet is heavily plant based now, almost vegan but I throw in fish. It has shown me just how badly I was eating before this because all of a sudden I had to really look at the food I put in my mouth. I have to read labels and take notice of what exactly is in this food and that can be quite scary. I will never be the person who goes on and on about how life changing it can be or how much better it is for you because it is all personal choice and that is everybody’s right. What I will say is that, for me, it has been brilliant for my energy levels, my skin and lastly I have lost weight. The best thing is that I feel in control of my body more so now than ever. This is a huge thing for me as I have felt out of control for so long, I gave my body up to grow another person and now it is finally starting to feel like my own again. You know what, it feel bloody amazing.

So once again I thank you for reading and if you choose to join me next time I will update you on how the new exercise and diet are all going. I’m trying out a vegan brownie recipe soon so I’ll let you know how it is……I don’t have high hopes but you never know!

As the ever fabulous Kate Nash once said “and this is my body, and no matter how you try and disable it, yes I’ll still be here.”

So I’m not engaged, married, have a baby, or some kind of pet…but I’m ok with that

So I’m 30 next week! And you know what? I’m not engaged and therefore obviously not married. I don’t have a child and neither do I have a pet!

You see, I made a plan. Apart from getting a ‘pet’ – I’m not a huge fan of animals (shock, horror!). But my plan was:

  1. To fall in love a uni
  2. To be married by the age of 25
  3. To have my first child before the age of 30
  4. To be a manager in my line of work and be earning bucket loads!

But what actually happened? That plan was farcical!! Ha!

There have been many interests and thoughts of becoming married but it’s not happened. There’s certainly no child. And I’m not employed (thank goodness)!

If somebody told me this a few years ago, I would have been distraught! But after a year of self-care and ‘finding myself,’ I’m actually rather content!

My confidence has grown exceptionally in the past year and I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. This time last year I was anxiously searching for â€™the one.’ But in searching for that and hitting a brick wall, I’ve actually found myself. Cheesy but true.

I’ve sat back and re-examined EVERYTHING! Like who I want to be and what kind of life I want to have.

I’ve been blessed to work with experts in my field who’ve taught me about the lifestyle that I crave for. Who’ve taught me to challenge my limited beliefs. And who’ve helped me discover my mission in life: to empower 1,000,000 people to realise that they can live the life that they truly desire! And this mission gets to the pit of my stomach every morning and I’m truly grateful for being alive!

In focussing on the needs of others, I’ve let go of things that once controlled my thinking.

The man, the babies and the possibility of having pets can wait for now. They’ll come when the time is right. But I’m at the start of a new adventure. The leader of my own destiny. It feels awesome.

I know a lot of you will be thinking ‘what is she on about?’. That’s fine. If I read this a year ago about somebody else, I would have rolled my eyes and taken the p**s!

But the purpose of this blog isn’t just to tell you about my wonderful breakthrough. But it’s to encourage you to look at your life and challenge your limiting beliefs if you’re not quite happy with where you are.

It’s not been an easy ride. It’s been raw and scary and I’ve been broke. But looking at who I am and what I stand for has reduced my anxieties about the future as I know I’ll be ok!

Get real with yourselves and Own It!

Until next time,

R