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I’m Paula, mum of two boys and two girls. I have a passion for live music and adore going to festivals. Glastonbury is my soul home and I try and get back there any chance I can! I love travelling and believe moments and memories are far more important than trinkets and things … although I am a HUGE crystal lover, they’re essential shopping, aren’t they?!
Life throws us curve balls all the time. It’s thanks to some of those tough times that I have become the person I am today. My cousin had severe learning and physical disabilities and visiting her as a child I was spellbound with how she would light up the room with her personality despite being immobile and non-verbal. In retrospect, this set the scene for many future decisions regarding study, and career. Most of my work life has been spent supporting adults and young people with learning difficulties and / or mental health problems.
Let’s rewind to 1997. The Trafford Centre was being built and I worked in the supermarket opposite. I was 17 and spent most of my working day crying in the toilets with no idea why. Following a couple of suicide attempts, which later I realised were cries for help, I was assessed by a Psychiatrist and diagnosed with Clinical Depression. It was to be an infliction I battled all my adult life and resulted in missed opportunities, fraught relationships and difficult times.
It did however inspire me to study the human brain further and with a fascination in criminal behaviour, I went on to receive a BSc (Hons) in Psychology and Criminology. From there I went into management of supported living accommodation and achieved my NVQ 4 in Health and Social Care. Helping promote independence of adults and young people with mental health issues was rewarding, challenging but also heart-warming to see people almost forgotten by society go on and get jobs, do their own chores and manage their money effectively. Some things we can easily take for granted.
I had a stint in locked ‘forensic’ units and Psychiatric ICU units too. I loved every moment, but the time came when I was starting a family and the realisation hit me that I was not entirely untouched by the stories I was hearing. So, I changed career direction and began working for my local council in affordable housing and homelessness.
It was at this time I became pregnant with my first child and at almost six months gestation was advised he would not make it. The words hit me like a bullet train. ‘He would not survive outside the womb’. I gave birth to our beautiful baby boy on 15th July 2004 in between visiting my father-in-law who was on end-of-life care at the other side of the hospital for lung cancer. To say this was a difficult time just doesn’t give it justice. My heart was broken, and I was lost for a little while. But I made it through and went on to have four other beautifully healthy babies who I will forever be grateful for.
Another curve ball came my way in 2009. My best friend, my greatest ever cheerleader, my mum was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. After a short course of chemo and radiotherapy, it was found there was little that could be done. I was privileged to have nursed her in the final four months of her life and she died peacefully on the 18th March 2011.
With my history I knew I couldn’t make it through this one alone. I sought help and also found ways to help myself – I discovered we can rewire our own brains! Through grief, heartache, stress, there are many ways you can get a hold of these emotions and put them to better use. I have always been a spiritual person and although my beliefs don’t lie in traditional religion, I went back to the things I used to enjoy. I got back in touch with nature, looked at more natural ways to live and opened my mind to possibilities of a brighter future.
In 2013 I started my own business which is when ‘Don’t Just Imagine, Achieve It, Own It’ was born (each word one of my child’s first initial!) and in 2015 I was fortunate enough to leave the corporate world behind completely.
Losing mum brought me to the realisation that life can be short. If we don’t do the things that truly light us up, then have we even allowed ourselves to fully live? I knew my heart was set on helping others – it’s what I had done my whole working life! So I became a certified Law of Attraction Life Coach and introduced the concept of 'Pharmacy for the Mind' under the umbrella of my existing business. A natural progression that reflects my personal development, I now work empowering individuals and families to discover what they truly want out of life and start putting those things into action!
To those of you that feel forgotten during recent world events or even before they happened, be assured that we've got your back.
Love and light. Px
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