This is a happy story. A wonderfully happy tale of inspiration and overcoming fears and anxiety to live your life to the fullest. A true Happiness Cocktail kind of thing. It’s also a festive kind of thing, because as you bring 2012 to a close, it’s important to start looking forward and ensuring you’re on track to all the goodness you deserve.
Here’s a real-life story for you, Happies:
It starts with a woman called Ashleigh Kajan, who I had the pleasure of meeting when I visited her delightful day spa in Camden, NSW. It’s called Eden, which also happens to be my favourite girl’s name, so it was just meant to be.
Ashleigh is currently living the dream. She has a wonderful husband, children and a thriving business that helps people cope with the day-to-day stresses of life. Sure, it’s a day spa with all the traditional trimmings of facial, massage, body treatments (I highly recommend the Javanese Lulur) and mani/pedis, but it’s so much more than that. It’s a place of healing.
And here’s why.
Ashleigh has overcome a lot to get to where she is now. She suffered severe workplace harassment and bullying at the tender age of 20, and completely lost her worth. “I was only 20 at the time; it stripped my confidence and self-esteem completely away from me. I felt worthless. I was a very confident girl growing up but after having someone I initially looked up to as a role model and mentor daily break me down took its toll. I felt like I wasn’t good enough, which turned into anxiety attacks during work meetings and then to depression. I had to leave, the thing that still upsets me is that I loved my job; I was so passionate about all the tasks involved in my role however the daily bullying broke my own,” she says.
But now, thanks to her bravery and self-belief all that is behind her and she’s focussing on a future bright with positivity. “It took about 2 years to overcome everything I went through and retrain my brain to think differently about people, life, dreams etc. I am a better person today. I think it’s important to experience different and difficult situations in your life because it makes you a stronger person.
Her advice? “I would say ‘go for it’, create a vision board and write down your goals and stick to it until you achieve them! Don’t let anyone tell you that you cannot achieve your goals because you can. All it takes is passion, determination and the drive to hang in there through the tough times, there will be many stressful hurdles you will need to overcome before you reach your goal, but that’s what makes it even more rewarding once you get there.”
So, this festive season when you’re taking a little time for yourself, use it as a period of reflection. Bad things often turn into ‘phew’ moments. So, see what you need to change in order to be the best you can be, and above all…