When you allow the universe to do it's thing and trust yourself to truly listen to you rather than trying to control everything all of the time, it will bring you what you need. My biggest lesson this year which has shown itself to me over and over again.
Following what you are drawn to from your heart is the most powerful gift you can give yourself. It's bringing me freedom which is what I always sought from the confines of my imprisoned mind labelled as mental illness by professionals.
Today for example, saw me sat around a table of psychiatrists in a business type meeting. From my past experience with psychiatrists as a patient it was overall rather damaging. Feelings of judgement and not being heard were strong, this led me to not having a positive view towards them. Today however, they all seemed rather lovely and caring people. That was quite something for me, especially the one I spoke to afterwards whom works for CAMHS. The venue of the meeting was Westcotes House, this too was no coincidence. I had not been there in thirty years since I was a young girl in need of their help. It brought back many very sad memories and tears fell easily from me after I left. I see this as very good and very healing as that has been stuck inside of me for thirty years creating grief as was my experience with revisiting my old school.
Why was I there ? It was because of my involvement with Lamp. Why am I involved with Lamp? Because I got in touch with my true self and wrote my book. Why did I write my book? Because I'd become so exhausted in my first business through having to prove to myself relentlessly that I was not a failure as I believed myself to be. I had to rest, for months. During those months I rested and rested and eventually heard myself so loud and clear with a very clear message. Why did this happen? Because I had a strong desire to help others not feel alone and to inspire them with hope and to also help me with my shame that would not leave me.
None of it is coincidence. None of the people I have met this year are, none of the people I have been reunited with this year is either. It's all happened for a reason and for that I feel blessed and grateful.
As we have entered into the month of December, I have taken quite some time to reflect on this year and my book/author journey.
I am currently feeling very tired but very content with what I have achieved this year since February when I put pen to paper and created my book in sixteen days after it flooded onto the pages.
The past few weeks have been very hectic with an abundance of Christmas inspired events in and around Leicestershire. It has been an excellent opportunity to promote my book alongside the sale of inspired words jewellery. In fact my book sales have increased in the last few weeks with many folk purchasing as inspiring gifts for their loved ones, this really does make my heart smile to picture my book being unwrapped on Christmas morning.
I have been to so many different venues, charming places in the countryside, to Boots HQ at Nottingham to a local Natwest Women in Business Networking event in Leicester city centre.
There have also been further speaking opportunities at a charity AGM locally for Recovery Assistance Dogs for Mental Health and the opportunity to speak to my largest audience yet, 150 school children (teenagers) and teachers at a local secondary school as part of a motivational day.
Most importantly, I have connected to some more amazing people that have bravely shared their vulnerable side with me. A meaningful conversation with an eating disordered lady to a young girl that heard my talk at a library a few weeks ago. She must have listened so intently as she chose to stand in front of her school a few weeks later and talk about me, my talk and what she felt as part of anti - bullying week. These conversations and outcomes are truly priceless.
I would like to thank every one of you for reading my blog, supporting my journey and for being there. I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and blessings for the New Year ahead.
Lots of love - Sam xxx
Arriving early and with an hour to go, I decided on a drink in the bar. With London prices so steep I settled for a cider and sat down to charge my phone up. A few minutes later, an older lady entered the bar and looked a little lost. I ushered her over and invited her to sit with me after realising she was here for the Awards evening too. I warmed to her straight away and not long into our conversation, she told me she was here to speak tonight. This followed onto to what she did, and this lady only turned out to be Irma Kurtz, the agony aunt for Cosmopolitan magazine for over forty years. I was blown away! I used to love her column in my twenties and thirties. I actually felt rather star struck but she was so lovely and down to earth. I listened with interest as she told me about her writing career.
It was incredible and I was so excited for the evening ahead. We all transferred from the bar to our function room for the evening. I delighted in a champagne reception and the chance to be photographed and interviewed about my nominated category, Author Of The Year. Mingling with some of the other guests, everyone in their glamorous outfits. A special atmosphere was growing.
Going through to the main function room which looked stunning, I was seated inbetween Irma and Deborah. I was still chuckling inwardly to myself. The person, Evi, that had nominated me in the first instance had been delayed, as I sporadically checked my phone for updates. I had never even met Evi before, but we had shared many online conversations and felt as though we knew she each a little. Well actually she felt that she knew me rather well, and I reminded her that she had read my book of my life story, warts and all!
The evening began with a brief welcome from our beautiful hostess Placida, the brains behind the event itself and then we kicked off with some entertainment. We heard from the speakers whilst we dined on the succulent Caribbean feast. Sumptuous jerk chicken, curried goat and fish fritters, all divine.
Suddenly I felt someone grab me and give me the biggest squeeze…it was Evi bless her. How lovely to meet her after our intense conversations online. She was so sweet and very petite.
Then it came to the Awards section towards the end…By this point, I was a little distracted as was anxious about my train, it was looking unlikely that I would catch it and started to think of what plan B would be. Spending the night at the train station was looking likely.
The awards were being called out, several categories to go through, wonderful to see the winners being cheered and congratulated. You could tell that everyone in that room was dedicated to their cause, their why and were driven to achieve what they had. I loved that. Passion and determination, two of my favourite traits in a human. The other nominee I was sat with, thanks to kind Evi, won her category. I thought that there was definitely no way on earth that I would be chosen too. When they called out my name for the second time, I had to be prompted by my crowd, that they had called my name out, for my category, I had won! I was so shocked and walked over to the stage to collect my award in a daze. I remember grabbing Placida, hugging and thanking her and telling her how much it meant to me. I fought back the tears and then jumped off of the stage in a whoop! I was ushered out of the room for another photo holding my beautiful glass award. It felt so incredibly personal and special to me, as I’d won this for sharing my story. I cannot even begin to explain the depth of that for me, as the former “Invisible Girl” and how moved I was by the occasion.
I resigned myself to the fact that I’d be spending the night in the station after missing my train. However, nothing could dampen my spirits at this special time. I whiled away the next, almost six hours in St Pancras train station, writing and drinking coffee. I sat and pondered over the events of the evening just gone by, how incredible had it been.
I donned my headphones and listened to music as I scribbled my notes and mini mind map, designed to prompt memories for writing purposes. I’d always half lived in a fantasy world for when the real one was too hard to be in and it had remained a habit. I found visualisation very powerful for me and it can do so much good.
It was as busy in this café throughout the night as it was during the day at a Leicester café, incredible. Quite fascinating to watch the variety of customers there were around me.
At around five thirty, I grabbed a takeaway coffee and raisin pastry for the journey and went to board my train, with my second train ticket. Sitting down, now feeling the exhaustion of the evening’s antics but a proud glow and smile plastered across my face, as I was homeward bound.
Several days ago I went to see a film that moved me greatly and I said how it had inspired me to want to write again.
Well I've just had a meeting and am delighted that I've just been commissioned to write a book for someone about their true story about overcoming adversity and going on to be very successful in business.
Am so excited as it is an incredible story and a true privilige to be asked to write it. Nothing excites me more than overcoming adversity - turning the struggle into success!
Also massive gratitude to the universe for bringing this forward 💟💟💟
A few days later....
Coffee, Nero's, notes, laptop and my imagination.
Set up for a writing frenzy today...creativity is flowing as I start work on Chapter One of my new book as a ghost writer.
So very excited by this story!
The following day...
Love the message on my little orange book. It's true.
Am in flow - yesterday I wrote the first two chapters of the new book which has to remain a little mysterious for now.
Just about to start on Chapter 3 - I have already visualised this book winning awards for my client....
Yesterday was somewhat of a milestone for me and for my book, "The invisible Girl".
I was just reading through and replying to my emails in my inbox, when what popped up was only an email telling me that I had been shortlisted for an award...Author Of The Year.
Excited did not come close, as I whooped loudly as the words processed in mind whirling mind...in fact I kept on whooping seeing as I was alone in my home and had no one to share it with. It felt as though it deserved the biggest whoop I could muster, as it really has been a whirlwind six months since first putting pen to paper in February.
The wonderful reviews have kept coming and sales have continued as the time has gone by. Every single time I sell a book, I really do perform a happy little dance in my head as sharing my story feels so empowering and I know what other peoples stories did for me when I was in a dark place.
To be nominated feels very humbling and to have reached the final four in my category feels very inspiring to me when I recall the girl I used to be. She would have so wanted this but felt she did not deserve it or had the confidence to reach that place. So that to me is hugely powerful and enables me to realise my potential and my potential to keep on keeping on.
The awards evening takes place next month, November, in our capital city. I look forward to sharing the evening with you.
I did this for a good 25 years.
I pushed all of the painful feelings down, a lot of anger, sadness, fear, shame and guilt using food binges and purging, alcohol, relationships, work and even the internet.
Anything to escape focusing on my deep pain within. I was running from myself continually.
The pain frequently surfaced as time progressed but I'd just push it down harder.
I did not realise then the further damage I was doing to myself and intensifying my pain. All I knew is that I could not bring myself to fully feel it without making it go away.
It was too much, consuming and once I began to feel and grieve for everything, I feared I would never stop.
So numbing it out became the way to cope, as damaging as it was, it worked to an extent which is one of the reasons an addict.continues to use their methods. It does half solve their problem.
Getting to the day when I was able to trust myself enough to let go and fully feel was the turning point of recovery. Then with guidance, I had to keep on feeling and work through my intense built up pain. Grieve for all I had lost and then eventually I was able to let in good feelings and gradually I felt more happiness than sadness.
It can always be tempting to numb painful things out but now I'm knowing and wont hurt myself deliberately.
If anyone reading this is numbing out their pain, I urge you to get some help. Talk to someone you trust and know that you can confidentially reach out to me.
I am thrilled to bits to have my book in a shop for the first time...another dream come true!
It's a very special shop too, Emporium at 57 in Loughborough, Leicestershire, a treasure trove of hand crafted delights and some made by folk that have experienced mental health adversity in their lives.
Big thank you to lovely Helen for my invite, and its wonderful to be collaborating with such like minded people. I am excited to be speaking at the Wellbeing Cafe's World Mental Health Day next month also and will be book signing too.
My book, story from the heart, has come such a long way in such a short time, since only April this year when it was published and launched. The continued feedback has touched my heart beyond anything I could have imagined and I understand that it has already helped some readers to change their lives.
It is also available from Amazon here and also as a kindle version: https://tinyurl.com/krpbfja If a signed copy is preferred please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange with yours truly.
I have so much gratitude to all those supporting me on such an enlightening and exciting journey .
It's such an emotional time at the moment with getting ready to let my son, Joe, leave home for university and speaking today about my suicide attempt. I love to speak, and very openly, but have never focused solely on my suicide attempt before.
I am lucky to still be here but others are still grieving their loss. This wonderful event was created by a community that lives have been affected by suicide in some way.
It was an incredibly moving day and I loved speaking from the heart and am so touched from the feedback I received, especially from a young teenage girl that was listening and messaged me privately later on.Thank you.
These days I feel life is amazing!
The universe is taking me to the most wonderful and exciting places, I am so relieved and proud that I am here to experience it. I have let go of so much negativity in my life to enable me to fly and be the person I always was.
A fantastic day book signing yesterday on September 2nd 2017 at Leicester Gay Pride.
I chose to be here as many people, particularly in the transgender community, have deep struggles with their mental health. My own gender/sexuality has never been an issue for me but I do know what it's like to struggle with deep heart wrenching emotional pain for a long time. I also know what I finally did to move forward from that place and want to share that with as many troubled people as possible. I was so touched to have so many honest conversations and feel honoured that people bravely shared their stories with me.
To feel alone in the world is a very sad and can be debilitating feeling. I understand that a lot of the LGBT community have experienced this and I can very much relate to this. To feel stigmatised and picked on too. When you personally feel as though you are a misfit and not sure of where you belong, and if you do anywhere.
I came to the conclusion that actually no, I was not made to fit in, to conform with society's idea of how I should be or think. Part of my struggles were with my identity, not sexually but me, as a person, an individual.
When you do not have an understanding of whom you are, or what makes you tick, you search. Some people, myself included, attempted to become someone, because I really didn't know whom I was. In my inner world, I would change whom I thought I was. When I found that one identity never served me or I felt I outgrew it, I would create the next one. It was rather like living in a fantasy life.
The trouble with this, well there's many, but the major struggle is because you are trying and not being , it is exhausting and very very confusing to your self. This leads to unhappiness and many other negative feelings. You become trapped in a spiral of self sabotaging behaviour and the longer it continues the harder it becomes to free yourself.
I know my experience of living this way comes from my childhood developmental years. As a young person, finding out about themselves, finding their path in the world, is challenging. If you do not have a solid support from your caregivers, parents, guardians etc this natural period in your life is hampered. Young people need clear guidance, encouragement to follow their interests, passions and dreams. Especially if you are a more introverted person, that finds it difficult to share their thoughts and feelings. This helps to shape you as a person and to trust your own intuition and gut.
Without knowing whom you really are it is difficult to branch out as an adult into the world, with the responsibilities it brings. Hence grasping for identities to model yourself on. I think we all do this to a degree, having role models and suchlike but when it is lived at such a depth that your true self is hidden underneath layers and layers of untruths and you spend a lot of energy convincing yourself that this is your true self - argh just typing this feels exhausting.
I take my hat off to those I met yesterday that are very braveley being their true selves and with our judgemental society. I especially feel deeply for transgender people because that takes a confused identity to a whole other level. So proud of those that are being themselves after many years of pain and untruths, hurting themselves.
A mentoring session or course of sessions with me will be based on these main purposes:
Specific/Targeted - to help with a particular emotional/mental health issue or issues.
Changing Behaviour - we look at ways to effectively change troublesome behaviours, thinking patterns and perceptions/beliefs.
Supportive - to build rapport and trust which, reducing isolation, provide a reflective listening ear, support to make decisions, encouragement to follow personal dreams.
Develop Personal Skills - Confidence building, resilience, overcoming fears, goal setting, decision making, assertiveness, defining personal values, self motivation, understanding and dealing with emotions, self discipline, increasing self esteem, creating balance in your life and boundary setting.
Firstly, we will break the ice gently, I will explain a little about myself and what I do, giving you a chance to ask any questions.Then we can discuss what brings you to the session, a brief bit about your history and we create a confidential and trusting environment and relationship.
I will help you to identify what is troubling you using my experience, intuition, skills and what you bring to the session.
We then look at ways to help and overcome difficulties using mentoring/coaching techniques, setting goals at the clients pace and discussing any problems along the way. Sometimes there will be work to do outside of the sessions.
We will regularly reflect on our sessions and the progress made.