Things I love…
Spending Time in Nature
There’s nothing like being in nature to help you to feel abundant. It’s where I go to wind down, calm my nervous system and get inspiration.
I have this thing where I fall in love with a gorgeous notebook…and then get too scared to write in it, in case I ruin its beauty!
My Personal Journey
Buckle-up! I’ve poured my heart out here.
Trigger warning for trauma, infertility, addiction, self-harm and suicide.
My childhood was very chaotic due to my Dad’s alcoholism. I remember once having to pack all my things up when I was about 8 years old, as we were being evicted by the council for not paying our rent arrears. Thankfully a kind elderly couple in our village who my dad had done some gardening work for offered to pay it for us on the day we were due to leave. I remember feeling vulnerable, scared and angry with my Dad. He had been so desperate for money, not only had he not been paying the rent, he had been also breaking into our electricity meter and taking the money out to buy booze.
The lack of money meant we couldn’t afford to run a car, so we rarely left the village we lived in. We’d frequently ran out food and electric – “Mum! The leccy’s gone again!” we’d shout as the house was plunged into darkness. As a kid it was actually quite exciting to sit around in the dark with only candlelight to rely on. I was often sent down the the local shop to put stuff ‘on tick’ (take the goods now, pay up on payday!).
Being the eldest girl, I loved playing mum to my 3 younger brothers. I have fond memories of making mud pies in the garden, picking apples and blackberries, going to the stream to catch tadpoles, cycling round the village and building dens.
As a pre-teen I was exposed to drugs; I remember running down to the local dental surgery in the early hours with my mum to phone the police secretly (she was the cleaner there and had a set of keys). My dad had invited random people back to our home from the pub after closing time and it turned out they were all using drugs.
Eventually we got some family support, as someone reported my parents to the NSPCC, who then referred us to social services, so although the drinking didn’t stop, we had a social worker who came to our home to help our family.
My dad died aged 50 from alcohol related illnesses in 2000. I grieved for the father I had seen glimpses of; the man who loved growing vegetables, the man who liked to make people laugh (like really make them laugh, he was quite the comedian), the hard worker providing for his family. I was frustrated and angry he couldn’t overcome his addiction for us. He didn’t get to meet my children and I’ll always feel sad about that. As an adult, I can finally understand how his addiction took over his life.
I now volunteer for the charity NACOA (National Association for Children of Alcoholics) and help to raise awareness of the issues facing children and adults who have grown up with an alcoholic parent. You can read my story here.
My mum finally left my dad when I was about 14 (for my step-dad, who is still her partner), but the family ended up splitting as my 2 eldest brothers wanted to stay with my dad. I was relieved to be away from the chaos but I was stepping into more upheaval as we didn’t have anywhere to live and I missed my 2 middle brothers terribly. The council wouldn’t rehouse us as it was deemed we made ourselves intentionally homeless, so we ended up living in a tent for a few weeks and then a caravan for a few months. I was fortunate to have an outreach teacher come to the caravan to tutor me a few times.
We finally got housed in various B&B’s, which although weren’t great (we had to be out of the house after breakfast and then couldn’t return until 4pm) it was a roof over our heads. After a few months were housed in a flat. Mum went on to have another son with her partner – my 4th and final sibling.
I completed my schooling, scraping through with a few GCSE’s to my name and went straight out to work when I was 16. My first full-time job was working as a Grill Chef in a local cafe.
Over the next few years I had various jobs, ranging from retail to factory work. I also lived and worked in London for a short time until I met my husband at age 21 and ended up moving back to Devon, UK. We were together for 7 years before getting married in 2001 in Mombasa, Kenya.
We’d been together for a couple of years when my husband was diagnosed with the life limiting condition called Cystic Fibrosis (CF). There are thousands of genes that make up the disease, and he has a milder form of CF than many sufferers, hence him being diagnosed as an adult (it’s usually picked up in early childhood).
He’d had various lung related conditions including asthma and pneumonia as a child and young adult but it wasn’t until he saw a locum GP who put two and two together and sent him off to see a specialist. I think I was in complete denial to start with, we both were and didn’t realise what a huge impact it would have on us.
Having CF means my husband has a strict daily medical routine. There are often times when he has to go into hospital for medical treatment, or he is so ill that I need to care for him. These times are particularly tough going and now of course I’m so grateful that I have the ability to work flexibly around the needs of my family.
Becoming a Mother
After we’d been together for a few years, my partner and I decided we wanted to start a family. I’d always wanted to have children in my twenties and with us both being from larger families, we were keen to have a large brood of 3 or 4 children…or maybe more!
Unfortunately life doesn’t work out as you expect it. After a few years with no happy news to share, we discovered we couldn’t have children naturally. People would tell us to go on holiday, just relax or stop trying because then it would happen. It didn’t and it wouldn’t. Unfortunately there was no chance of conceiving naturally.
If you’ve ever experienced infertility along with IVF/ICSI/IUI etc. you will know how much it takes over your life. We spent over 25k on various treatments and procedures at different hospitals, hoping that it would work.
We missed out on holidays, days out and family events because we were either saving money or I was a hormonal wreck and couldn’t bear to be around pregnant women or friends with babies. It was awful and I hated feeling that way but I was never going to give up.
Finally, after over 7 failed cycles, I got pregnant and in 2005 I had my first child, a baby boy. I’d mentally prepared for a serene (!) birthing experience but it ended up being a back-to-back labour and was a stressful 37 hours long. It was quite apparent after he was born that he was struggling to breathe and and he was rushed to special care after contracting pneumonia in the womb. I remember asking the doctor if he’d make it and she said “I don’t know” – I felt like the bottom of my world had dropped out. Thankfully after fantastic NHS care he was eventually well enough to come home.
Eighteen months later we had more fertility treatment for baby #2; sadly one of the pregnancies ended in miscarriage but we tried again and my daughter was delivered by C-section, beautifully pink and healthy, in 2007.
Wanting to expand our little family, we tried for a third baby but it wasn’t to be. Due to my age at the time (38/39), my hormone levels were much too low and our 3 cycles failed. Of course I was very upset, but feel incredibly grateful to have son and daughter – they’re amazing!
My unusual tendencies were probably the first memory I have of struggling with mental illness. What I now know to be anxiety and O.C.D. started when I was about 3 years old with me spitting into stacking cups because I developed a fear of swallowing. A later experience aged 7 saw me picking off the balls of fluff from blankets and shoving it up my nose. My parents had to call out the doctor because I couldn’t breathe. I’m sure they were pretty surprised when he inserted tweezers into my nostrils and I sneezed out fluff!
Later on I developed more unusual habits such as being obsessed with things dying and having to touch my alarm clock every night to keep people and pets ‘safe’.
As a teenager I self-harmed on my legs and wrists. I had no intention at that time to die but nonetheless felt some kind of release from seeing my skin pierce as the blood oozed out.
Thankfully I’ve never wanted to end my life. Although I have had suicidal thoughts in the past, they remain just that and tend to be fleeting moments when things are particularly bad.
Using EFT Tapping and other healing modalities, I’ve recovered from complex PTSD, depression and anxiety. That’s not to say things are always hunky dory and I still get times where I need to take a step back and focus on my well-being, but I’m in a better place now than ever before.
For years I used alcohol to escape the pain I was feeling. I used it to relax, to help me sleep, to help me deal with all the problems I was experiencing. I was most definitely addicted to alcohol.
Every weekend I would drink wine, without fail. I became more sensible about my drinking as I got older, but would still struggle to know when it was time to stop, often getting irked when I knew it was time to go bed. I was never a person who could have ‘just the one’. More and more frequently the drinking would spill into week nights. There would always be an excuse – bad day, good day, hot day, stressful day, sad day, birthday etc. I remember coming home in the car after being out all day and frantically thinking what food we ‘needed’ so that I had an excuse to stop at the supermarket and pick up a bottle of wine.
Although I never drank in the day and had a few alcohol free nights a week, I knew it was a problem when I started to feel guilty when I awoke the morning after drinking. Plus, there were a few odd nods and signs from the Universe that it was time to stop.
Giving up was really tough, but I did it, and found a clarity I never knew before. I think it was the catalyst which made me re-assess my whole business.
My skewed money mindset…
As you’ve probably realised, all the above life events really affected my world-view of wealth and money. I can definitely relate to having had a ‘lack mindset’ and defaulted to victim mode whenever anything bad happened, or was likely to happen.
I had this need and desire to be rescued, which again came from childhood. My mum once wrote to a Saudi oil billionaire, a begging letter for him to help us. I remember seeing the special air mail envelope and feeling really excited. Of course there was never a reply. This theme followed me into adulthood and I’d wished and hoped that I would win the lottery, a new house, or that some rich relative would leave me money…which was odd being as I didn’t have any rich relatives! In business, I’d hope that successful entrepreneurs would notice me and invest in me, or invite me to enrol in their programs at no cost.
The numerous failed IVF’s made me kinda blame money as well – thousands of pounds wasted with nothing to show for it but injection bruises and heartache. Then there’s all the things I haven’t shared; accruing large debts, relying on pay day loans, living day-to-day not knowing how to pay for our next meal and choosing to sell our own home because the alternative was to struggle through a recession with uncertainty about whether we’d come out the other side.
And there’s so much more. Yes, I need to write a book, honestly this is the longest about page ever.
There was a moment that everything shifted for me…
I made the decision to go all-in with my money stuff and basically spent about 18 months working on myself. I read a lot of books and consumed a lot of online content to expand my awareness, and for the inner work, I was using EFT Tapping, journaling self-hypnosis and meditation.
One day, after many months of healing work, I experienced the ever real shift I had felt before…
I had to look at some business money stuff with my husband, which would usually trigger me like crazy; I’d feel sick, my heart would start pounding and I’d always end up crying. My husband dreaded our conversations about money and would always be on the back foot at my confusing emotional outbursts.
That day, we got out our paperwork and opened up our online accounting on the computer.
For the first time, it was different. I felt calm…grounded…safe…I could actually look at numbers and money properly, with no emotional charge.
My husand actually said to me “you do realise you didn’t get triggered?” and I was like “OMG yes! You’re right!”.
What I had been doing actually WORKED! My mind was blown! I know this is such a small thing, but to me, this was huge.
I knew then, in that moment, with absolute certainty, that if I could overcome that trigger, then I could 100% overcome ANY other area in which I felt money blocked and worthless…I could feel emotionally free.
Since then, I’ve levelled up! I feel more worthy, deserving and confident. I attract money instead of repelling it, I feel abundant and aligned.
I’ve worked with hundreds of women through my Tapping into Money challenges that have all been through some kind of emotional pain when it comes to self-worth and money.
If you can relate, just know that it’s totally possible to create powerful shifts as you identify, heal and release old stories, beliefs and wounds when it comes to money. No matter what your finances look like, you can invest time and energy into self-education. Whether you feel confident right not or not, remember that anyone can learn to be a confident person.
You are worthy and deserving of the success and abundance you desire.