Don’t Be Strong

14 June 2020

This was an article I wrote for International Women’s Day, 2020. It’s as relevant to women as to men and to anyone who needs to hear this message today.

I’m going to make a stand and encourage YOU to pause, to slow down and to not feel you have to keep going and be strong every day.

This is tough advice for me to take and I have spent most of my life, looking out for others and doing everything I can to make sure everyone around me is well looked after and cared for, before acknowledging my needs – I do this because this is what lights me up, what energises me, but what has also cost me.

A second cancer diagnosis has made me STOP and reflect. And with the help of those around me, I’ve given myself permission to pause and actually be the one asking for help and support. I found it incredibly hard, but it’s what’s needed right now and I’ve been truly blown away by how much kindness and love has been presented and the greatest thing of all, is that everyone that has offered, has benefitted from me receiving it with warmth. People like helping each other – FACT.

I’ve had the most amazing week celebrating IWD – sharing Resilience messages with a new Women’s network (WISE) in Slough, leading a panel discussion and talking life and ALL it’s ups and downs with year 11 & year 12 girls at Westgate school. But I’ve also had to slow down to manage my treatment schedule this week. We all have choices we make on a daily basis. I chose how I could manage my treatment, & look after my body, knowing these events would energise me like no medicine could. That wasn’t me being strong, that was me being realistic with what I could/couldn’t manage and allowing those around me to look after & nurture me.

I’m proud of myself for creating a business in which I get to thrive everyday, giving back on a daily basis to support people to create their own best lives in a way that’s meaningful to them & asking for help along the way. You know you’re doing the right thing when one young lady from the school we visited shared this as her feedback “Thank you to the lady who started her own business on resilience. Thank you for sharing your story and helping me realise the lessons learned from your hardships in life are what carry you through future challenges”.

So, I’ll end by saying Don’t be strong, be kind to yourself, ask for help, your strength is in your vulnerability. When you look after yourself, when you nurture your body, your mind and your spirit – everyone around you will benefit, most importantly YOU – YOU will thrive!

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