The childhood bit – From the very start my life has been a bit unusual. I was born with hip dysplasia which wasn’t discovered until I was 18 months old. As a result I spent my early years in splints, plaster, or on crutches. I didn’t walk until I was 5 and had several surgeries up to the age of 12. I therefore adopted a personality of happily sitting still and observing the world around me. Often when I tell people this they say ‘oh you poor thing.’ However I wasn’t a poor thing. Hospital was also fun. The best part was the giant skateboard that was steered by my hands as I lay on my stomach. I would visit all the other children doing my best to make them smile.
‘I adopted a personality of happily sitting still
and observing the world around me’
The teenager bit – At the age of 13, I became a Third Culture Kid when my family moved from London to Tanzania, East-Africa for a job. I spent my first few teenage years in Africa before moving to New Zealand at 15, back to Africa at 16, to Canada at 17, and to Norway at 18. Although I was shy during my teenage years, and still liked to sit back and observe the world, I also had an amazing time. I sailed in Africa, explored in New Zealand, Had fun in 24 hour Toronto, Canada, and was able to learn a new language in Norway. Life was one big adventure. I stayed in Norway, married at age 20, brought my first son home on my 21st birthday and my second son home when I was 23.
‘Life was one big adventure’
The should bit – Then the hard work began. In order for me to be allowed to work, we opened our own retail business in our early 20’s. I worked long hours, sometimes 7 days a week. I was exhausted but convinced myself that working hard was the thing to do in order to achieve a happy life. There wasn’t much time for play. My inner creativity suffered. I was unaware that I was slowly disconnecting with who I truly was. Eventually I was allowed to work, so I piled on a couple of other jobs to help the finances while my husband studied. I didn’t mind because we were working towards the life we wanted. Finally the hard work paid off, when in my mid 30’s, my husband was offered a job in The Netherlands. We moved with two boys in tow, creating a 2nd generation of Third Culture Kids. After a year, my husband was offered the dream posting in Singapore. Life was an adventure again.
‘I convinced myself that working hard was the thing to do
in order to achieve a happy life’
The shattered dreams bit – It didn’t turn out to be the dream I had hoped for, when just a short time later our marriage ended. I didn’t see it coming. I was devastated, lost, and stunned. I just wanted to go home. It was then that I realised that after so many years moving around, I didn’t have a place to call home. Not knowing where to go in the world, I decided I would try New Zealand. I was half way there anyway. So my youngest son and I ventured to New Zealand. Starting again in another country wasn’t easy. After living in many countries, my education and working background was scattered. I was worried about how I would earn money. I was also facing constant immigration changes which made it difficult to settle. What could have been an adventure, was tainted by my worry, not knowing what I wanted, and my serious attitude.
‘What could have been an adventure,
was tainted by my worry,
not knowing what I wanted,
and my serious attitude’
The ‘who am I?’ bit – I had no connection to who I was anymore. I found myself constantly testing the waters, so as you can imagine it wasn’t smooth sailing. I made a lot of ‘mistakes.’ Although I tried to keep a positive frame of mind, I struggled emotionally. No matter how I appeared on the surface, underneath I was feeling constantly stressed. I felt as though I had followed the rules, played the game of life as I had been taught, yet still I was losing. I was slowly falling in to a deeper depression.
‘I felt as though I had followed the rules,
played the game of life as I had been taught,
yet still I was losing’
The wake up call – I was completely lost in a haze of stress. I weighed a tiny 43 kilos, my body was constantly shaking, my mind was driving me crazy, and I was losing the ability to think for myself. I was about to give up on my dream of creating a better life, when one evening my son gave me a hug and said ‘Mum, when you get up in the morning, you could choose to be happy.’ The words woke me from my numb state. Shocked in to a state of new awareness, I went to bed wondering what kind of person I was becoming. I realised I wasn’t participating in the world. I was reverting back to the young child observing the world from afar. My son was right, I did have a choice. I could continue to stay in a constant state of stress, or I could choose to be happy, relaxed and playful in life.
‘I could continue to stay in a constant state or stress,
or I could choose to be happy, relaxed and playful in life’
The choice bit – So I made a choice that took me on a completely different path to the one I was heading for. Instead of sinking further in to the stressed state I was in, I started a journey of discovering how I could live an Almost Stress Free life. 10 years on, and with much research, I have discovered that there are 3 main elements to living an Almost Stress Free life. These elements are 1. Knowing what you want, 2. Seeing each moment as a new opportunity, 3. Transforming your worry energy for positive use. It sounds simple, in many ways it is, however it does take practice. There are tools to help you on your journey and I will be sharing these with you.
I started a journey of discovering how I could live
an Almost Stress Free life’
Now I am on a mission to show you that your life doesn’t have to be so stressful either. life can be a fun and playful journey. Join me on this journey as I discover and share what a living an Almost Stress Free life is all about. Learn how to playfully create your version of an Almost Stress Free life. Are you ready to join me? Sign up for updates below and let the fun begin.
‘Now you can also playfully create
your version of an Almost Stress Free life’
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Bachelor in Health Science
Bachelor in Metaphysics
Initiatic Art Therapy Certificate
Stress Management Coaching