This blog is a chapter I was kindly asked to contribute for Sue Willams book ‘Believe You Can’, a compilation of inspiring life stories by 23 women whose self belief was tested by many different situations but stayed strong and with courage enabled them to achieve and claim the life they desired!
Belief is everything and if we are living our life with all the wrong beliefs made at the time of trauma we will never be free of negative patterns returning!
“Everything happens for a reason.”
This is what I truly believe now, but to reach this point I have come a long way along a journey that began nearly 11 years ago.
So rewind back to August 2005.
My three children and I had recently relocated to Bath for a new start. Now a single mum after a divorce, new City, new house, new schools, new puppy! Life was feeling good and there was new hope and belief that things were getting better, with new opportunities on the horizon. I even found myself in a new relationship, after what had been a difficult and emotional few years. I felt it was our time to be happy again, and we were being given another chance.
I decided to take my three children Floss (14), Ollie (11) and Ben (9) on holiday to Menorca, where my brother had a villa. We were going for two weeks to enjoy some special time together in the sun. We relished nearly a week of travelling around the island, exploring the beauty of the beaches, swimming, laughing and just appreciating each other’s company as a new family unit.
One particular day, 5th August 2005, started out like another day in paradise. We packed a picnic and set off for an idyllic beach on the northwest of the island. Interestingly, looking back now, there were little signs that the day was not ‘in the flow’ as the other days had been. The sea was so salty it stung the boys’ legs and they kept running out of the sea in agony, and the wind was fierce and strong, blowing sand everywhere. The beach itself wasn’t as tranquil as we had expected. It was very busy, not like the quiet, tucked-away little cove we usually had to ourselves. There was also a big cruise ship that had pulled in and we watched it anchor.
Later, as we got into the car to leave we discussed where to eat that night and decided on a little taverna that had live music. Just as we were going over the brow of a hill, I noticed a car overtaking – heading directly for us. It all happened so fast, but just before we had a head-on collision the other driver looked directly in my eyes for a split second. I now know and believe that this was a moment of destiny and a soul life contract/purpose.
Then there was silence apart from the CD playing and hissing from the engine, and the smell of burning rubber. My first instincts were to get everybody out of the car and I didn’t even realise the injuries I had sustained. Floss and Ollie had only minor injuries and stumbled out of the car. But Ben didn’t move. Thinking that he must be concussed I tried to keep him awake. I asked him who he was and where he was and who his favourite toy was. All of a sudden, he started foaming at the mouth. Hit by the shocking realisation of the severity of the situation, panic set in.
Questions flooded my mind: “How can this be happening?”, “Am I in a dream or nightmare?” In a split second my great life, only recently returned after so much pain, upheaval and change was once again snatched away. Time stood still. My belief about life in that moment was… well, I had no belief. I felt cheated, let down and alone. The children were taken away in different ambulances, so you can imagine my traumatic emotions as a mother of being separated from them in their moment of need.
When I arrived at the hospital, I had no idea how my children were or what was happening to them. Communication was minimal due to the language barrier. A doctor came to see me. Just before he began to put my knee back together – it had been torn apart to the bone – and to set my broken wrist, ankle and toe, he informed me: “Your son has just had a life-saving operation. He was bleeding to death and had to have 60 cm of his ileum [small intestine] removed. He’s now being flown to Barcelona by air ambulance. There is one more thing I must tell you… .”
Those words chilled me to the bone. I knew something terrible had happened and I didn’t want to hear it. I was still in a surreal state, wondering what on earth was happening, worrying where Floss and Ollie were. As my senses resisted hearing the words they escaped inexorably from his lips: “Your son will never walk again.”
I let out a piercing cry which came from the depths of my soul. My entire body shook uncontrollably. The doctor proceeded to stitch me up; it was all so clinical and I had no-one to give me a hug or console me. I felt numb.
Eventually, I was reunited with Floss and Ollie. Floss had ruptured ligaments in her leg and Ollie experienced internal bleeding and a deep wound to his chest caused by the seat belt. Looking back, I am so proud of how they both acted at the scene of the accident, especially Floss. She had taken over and seemed so calm and responsible, whereas I went into freeze mode and as a result fainted for a brief moment. Ollie had screamed “Get my brother out of the car!”, his only wish as he was being told to lie down on the floor by the paramedics.
Ben had been transferred by air ambulance to Barcelona for the specialist treatment a small island hospital was unable to provide. I flew out to join him, leaving Floss and Ollie behind in Menorca for a week. Ollie was unable to fly due to the internal bleeding he’d suffered. It was excruciating to be separated from two of my children. Floss and Ollie were also at a loss, feeling numb and ill-equipped to deal with such sudden trauma. Both were sad and worried for their brother.
The following week in Barcelona unfolded like a movie or out-of-body experience. I seemed to be in super slow motion as the world went on as usual around me. Ben was in the High Dependency Unit ward and that’s were our life was for that very long week. Ben – a very special, wise soul – continued to be a complete superstar. He didn’t complain at all apart from stating that he couldn’t understand the nurses.
Ben had been nearly lost three times in the air ambulance, but it wasn’t his time to pass on. He had a purpose to achieve in life, and lessons to teach others, especially me. Now he lay hooked up to all manner of machines, with staples keeping his belly together after his life-saving operation. A very scary place to be for a young boy.
Visiting times were strictly limited to just a few hours each day. There was no special children’s ward and I couldn’t handle having him there alone all day, not understanding a word and feeling so isolated. I remember the next day he asked me why he couldn’t feel his legs. I yearned to be honest, but couldn’t tell my sports fanatic son that he may never walk again, especially when I had to leave him in the hospital with no emotional support. We didn’t know the exact damage yet, so I told him that the bruising around his spinal cord could take weeks to go down and was affecting the movement of his legs and once the pressure was relieved it would be ok.
The next day the consultant took Pete (his father) and I into his office and gave us the results of the MRI scan. This showed his spinal cord injury at T9 (just at tummy button level) and also the L2/3 lumbar fracture, which would need rods and screws to stabilise. Again I was told, “He will never walk again.” It was all so surreal and I just couldn’t take it in, but looking back now with my beliefs and learning’s from numerous years of releasing trauma through energy psychology and techniques and my huge spiritual awakening, I realise that Ben and I did have a sense of inner calm and knowing, and it was life playing out the way it was destined to.
The next four weeks were spent at Frenchay Hospital, Bristol, where Ben had his stabilisation operation, and 4 months at Stoke Mandeville Spinal Hospital for rehabilitation. To me, the latter was like something out of the Jack Nicholson film ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’. It was a place that tested all your senses and every emotion and patience. Because I was living there 24/7 with Ben, I lost track of the outside/real world and just became immersed in this suffocating, hideous existence. Did I believe that life was going to get better at that time? No, not in the early days. But I had to try to give Ben that belief. I hope I did that, but at times it seemed he was the one giving me the hope.
Ben was the only child apart from two older teenagers in the ward and he had to go to the spinal gym, recreation hall to play table tennis and cafeteria, integrating with all the adults from all walks of life, suddenly all finding themselves in this paralysed life and not quite knowing how to cope. But Ben was a saviour to them all, as he always had a smile and just got on with life. Many of them used to say to me that when they didn’t want to get up in the morning or go to the gym, they would look at Ben just embracing life, doing his physio, standing in his callipers and standing frame, and it made them think that if that little guy could do it then so could they.
When we were allowed to come home four months later, it was a joy. But it was also very hard – we had left to go on holiday with an active little boy who had run around all the time and now he was disabled. What’s more, our family had been split apart as Floss and Ollie had had to go away to boarding school whilst we were in hospital.
Integration back into life was a slow process, but Ben’s school and friends were fantastic. I found it very hard to juggle all three children as a single parent, keeping up with the new demands and coming to terms with everything. It was almost easier being in hospital, where we were in our own bubble, as when we were home we were so different to everybody else. I got to a point where I thought: “What’s the point?”, “I can’t go on.” I had reached my limit and had no belief left. Life was a series of medical appointments with numerous different consultants, medication, physio, urinary tract infections, ulcers on ankles, incontinence and there seemed to be no joy anymore. I tried to be upbeat and positive for Ben and for Floss and Ollie, who needed just as much support. They felt alien to what was going on and also felt that survivor guilt: “Why him, why not us?” I remember Floss saying to me, “But we are still here too,” after I had uttered in despair: “What’s the point in life anymore?”
It was at this point that I knew I needed to do something. I had been on antidepressants, but they didn’t really help. I had also tried sessions with clinical psychologists at Stoke Mandeville, which had made me feel worse as we just talked about the situation. Then my dear friend Sarah introduced me to a wonderful lady called Rowena Beaumont, who was an EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) Practitioner, and Reiki and Angelic Reiki Master. And that was when my life changed forever!
I started having fortnightly sessions and the first time I really got a sense of the power of the mind-body connection was when I went to visit Ben during a week’s rehabilitation at Stoke Mandeville. We had been back before for calliper fittings and full body braces, which had been an awful experience. I was dreading returning to the place.
I remember stopping at a service station just near the hospital and in the entrance to the shop I saw this huge, life-size cuddly lion which was just like Little Li Li, Ben’s favourite cuddly toy that he had lost in the accident. I had always thought how cruel it was that when Ben needed him most he was gone. Because I had been releasing the trauma of the accident with EFT and discovering new beliefs and learning’s I felt so excited about buying this huge lion. I drove off to the hospital and walked up to the door of the ward and there coming towards me was Ben in his wheelchair, but all I could see was my gorgeous little boy – before this all I had seen was the wheelchair and the fact that he couldn’t walk. This was the moment I knew life was going to be ok for us all and my life especially would go to new levels. This is when my belief came back!
Six months later I took the three children skiing to Austria with the Uphill Ski Club of Great Britain, which enables children with all manner of disabilities to learn to ski. It was a testing week but it made us realise that we needed to get back on the slopes! As I mentioned earlier, Ben was a keen sportsman – rugby, cricket, hockey, golf and tennis – but our passion was skiing which he had learnt from the age of 4yrs old and was an advanced skier.
Now fast-forward through the next nine years to 2015. For seven years running we have been to Whistler in Canada, where Ben learned to mono-ski. This was the most amazing gift, as it gave him the freedom to leave his wheelchair and be just like everybody else on the mountain. Ben excelled at skiing. Now he is in the GB Paralympic Ski Team and is currently a full-time elite athlete in his gap year before university, where he is going to read sports psychology. He flies everywhere by himself, and recently drove alone to Austria for training and racing, which at the age of 18 is a remarkable feat. He has no fears or worries and just gets on with life with an amazing positivity and belief that all will always be ok! Ben is competing in the Alpine Skiing World Championships in Canada in March 2015and his goal is the next Winter Paralympics in South Korea in 2018!
My belief in life has been transformed over the last ten years. I have trained in many energy-based therapies, which have released me from the prison I was in and also enabled my children to be free to live the lives they wish with acceptance and happiness, so I believe passionately in them. I feel my soul contract was to learn from Ben’s paralysis and realise my gifts and purpose to share the therapies with anyone who needs them. I am now a trauma specialist and life coach, bringing back people from the darkest place imaginable or helping them regain the life they once had. I guide them to release the negative energy stuck in their body, find the beliefs made at the moment of trauma which then run their life’s patterns (keeping them in a downward spiral of negativity), uncover what these beliefs teach them, and then change the memories in the subconscious through Matrix Reimprinting using EFT and Colour Mirrors (an amazing system of coloured bottles containing essential oils allowing perfect spiritual understandings and learning’s of situations as colour is energy and vibration). This then allows them to be free of all negativity and brings them to a point of acceptance, peace and joy.
I also use PTT (picture tapping techniques), META-Health, a fantastic tool for diagnosing the start of the disease process when in stress, and I am a Reiki and Angelic Reiki Master. So I see myself as an Energetic chef using whatever the client needs!
I feel so grateful for my life and everything that has happened in it, as otherwise I would not be the person I am today and would not have lived my soul purpose. I live life in the present moment every day, and feel so happy and joyful that I can see life from a positive perspective. Seeing what can come out of the deepest, darkest trauma is amazing and as I said at the beginning: “Everything happens for a reason.”
All you need is to BELIEVE!
1. Use Heartmath breathing techniques whenever you feel stressed as it brings your heart rate into coherence. Breathe in for 6 seconds and out for 6 seconds for a period of 2 minutes. http://www.emofree.com/everyone/tapping
2. Keep a daily gratitude diary – list even the smallest of things.
3. Set goals with a timeline of actions needed to achieve the goal. Consider where you are now and where you would like to be in your life and what is stopping you from reaching it.
4. Choose a colour bottle or spritzer each day to deal with whatever is causing you negativity and to support you and release the energy.
5. Smile and laugh even when you don’t feel like it as the mind can be fooled into a more positive different thought pattern and the brain will release the feel-good hormone oxytocin.
6. Meditate, listen to music or go for a walk in nature and breathe and smell the air.
7. Learn the tapping points using EFT to dispel any negative thoughts http://www.emofree.com/eft-tutorial/tapping-basics/how-to-do-eft.html# or Meridian Emotion Spreadsheet Sheet1-4.pdf
8. Visualise where, who and what you want to be in vibrant detail and colour, and describe the texture, taste, smell, sound and feel of the experience, along with vision boards to support it.
9. Always live in the question, “How does it get any better” “What else is possible?!” Being open and allowing and having the BELIEF is always surprising!!