Founder of Big Happy Life
I always felt destined for great things. As a kid, I thought that meant I was going to be an actress and win Academy Awards. I was going to star in my own show – ala Cagney and Lacey – and be awesome! I’m not sure why I’d be winning Academy Awards for my show…clearly not a plan I thought all the way through but hey, I was just a kid.
Trouble was, even as I got older, I failed to figure out what I really wanted and what I needed to do to get it. I spent 3 years at Drama School only to become a waitress and bartender and eventually work my way up to management.
One year, I wrote a goal list. I wanted a job where I travelled the world and earned great money. A couple of years later I achieved it. I was working as a trainer in the Hospitality industry and spending most of my time travelling.
I hated it. There are only so many airports, hotels and taxis you can tolerate before the shine of a travel job wears off – or at least that’s how I felt about it.
My career took many twists and turns until I eventually started my own business. Again I had big dreams but no real plans and, although I made a great living, it never quite delivered on the promise of bringing me the happiness and fulfilment I so desperately sought.
That’s when I figured I must be barking up the wrong tree. A career wasn’t going to make me happy. It was family! That’s what I needed!
I wanted to adopt rather than have children biologically so 3 years and a lot of paperwork and approval panels later, our children moved in and my life was complete.
Except it wasn’t. Instead of happiness and fulfilment, I got crushing self-doubt, self-judgement and guilt. No matter what I did I felt like I was letting my kids down, failing as a parent and, since I didn’t have the time I needed for work, failing as a business owner as well.
Things got progressively worse and eventually depression took hold and my doctor recommended anti-depressants. Not wanting to medicate – and REALLY wanting to become the parent I thought I’d be prior to adopting – I made it my mission to figure out how to turn my big life into a happy life.
It turned out the answers lay inside me – in the relationship I had with myself – my mindset, emotions, values and beliefs. To access, understand and manage all those things, I also had to change my habits. I had to quit using food and alcohol to numb my feelings and learn how to navigate the world from a place of calm and balance.
Now I help other people do the same. It’s my hope that if more of us feel better, more of us will do better and when that happens, each of us can help those we love and those who look to us for leadership to do the same.
My mission & Purpose
The Big Ideas
Starting the ripple effect
As a parent, I am deeply conscious of how my children follow in my footsteps and role model my behaviour.
I believe this is true in families, schools, businesses and communities – where one person can have a huge impact on many others.
I hope to help 1 million people develop the mindset and habits needed to feel and do their best and so create a ripple effect that will improve the lives and futures of many millions more.
The Big Dream
I tried so hard to be a good parent and always felt like I was falling short. It wasn’t until I learned to cultivate self-acceptance, self-compassion and self-love that I became more like the mum I imagined I’d be prior to the children’s arrival.
My big dream is to develop a movement that builds such strong acceptance, compassion and love within each of us that it can’t help but spill out and change every interaction we have, every relationship we build and every person we encounter.
I believe this is how we’ll change the world.
Underpinning my work
Two beliefs underpin my work.
1. When people feel better they do better. My approach is all about making changes in our lives from a place of self-love rather than self-judgement.
2. Your life is a collection of habits. Change your habits, change your life, change your legacy. It’s the tiny things that add up to make the biggest difference.