1. What is SELF-LOVE PLEDGE about and why did you write it?
Self-Love Pledge is a book that takes the reader on a journey back to themselves. It is one where I share my own story from being someone who had incredibly low self-esteem and a sense of worth and how I moved to a place of real and love and acceptance for the woman I am. Throughout the book there are also exercises that the reader can do to start their own journey to loving themselves. I wrote it because I was seeing more and more people in my coaching that were struggling to like themselves, let alone show themselves any love. As someone who has lived through it, I knew that sharing my story of how I changed my life could be very inspiring and helpful. Although I didn’t understand why I went through so many challenges whilst they were happening, I now see that these things happened for me, not to me. My journey so far has unfolded the way it has so I can help others on similar paths.
2. Can you share some times in your life when you have difficulty loving yourself and how you handled that?
The key moment that stands out for revolves around my relationships with men. For the longest time I believed that I got my sense of worth and validation through being in a relationship but, because my self-esteem was low, I tended to attract men who were not great for me in some way. Consequently, I ended up in relationships that were toxic and unhealthy, and I tended to stay in them for longer than I should because I was scared of being on my own. One in particular was incredibly toxic because he was mentally and emotionally abusive. Whilst I was with him, he managed to wear down any confidence I had. I stopped seeing my friends, stopped making an effort with my appearance, and generally stopped believing in myself altogether. Any scrap of self-love that may have been within me was completely destroyed, and it was a very dark place in my life. As strange as it sounds, I am thankful that I saw the signs of him moving towards physical abuse and that, along with the support of my parents, was enough to wake me up and get me out of there before things got any worse. I know that there are many people that don’t have the support or realisation to leave when a relationship turns violent, and I will be forever thankful that I was blessed to have both of those things.
3. How do we balance self-love with giving to others, such as our parents, children, or significant other?
So many of us are over-nurturers. We give and give of ourselves to those that we love, and many times that means putting ourselves at the bottom of our lists (or not being on the list at all). And yet, you are not really helping anyone if you’re not helping yourself first. When I gave birth to my twins, my health visitor came to my house to weigh them and check up on us all. Despite having recently given birth, I immediately jumped up to make her a cup of tea, and promptly got a telling off to boot! She asked me how I expected to look after my twins if I wasn’t looking after myself; that you can’t get water from an empty well. And this is the thing that we all have to remember. Happy you means happy children, partner, friends, co-workers, and family! If you find yourself giving everything you’ve got to those whom you love, you will eventually find yourself becoming resentful and bitter that you aren’t getting the same in return. Despite the fact that you will probably bat away any offers of help when they do come in!
We have to realise that our needs and self-care are just as important as anyone else’s. Self-love isn’t selfish. It means that we are laying the foundation so that we are in a stronger position to be there for those who we love. Plus, we will hopefully inspire them to start loving and caring for themselves in the same way too.
4. What advice would you have for someone who has been having difficulty loving themselves?
Start by making time to sit in front of the mirror undisturbed; just you and your reflection. You may want to run away or laugh uncomfortably, but make yourself sit there for a least 5 minutes. And make sure that you are looking yourself in the eye during that time. As difficult as it may be, it’s also an incredibly powerful exercise. The more we are able to look at ourselves, the more we will start to see beyond the layers of labels, fears, and social conditioning that have been placed upon to us. We will start to see ourselves as we really are; the bright light within. We will see our soul. You will realise that none of that other stuff really matters because you are love. We all come from love and love we will return. Love is the pure essence of who we are, but it gets clouded and forgotten in our daily lives. the more we are able to sit with ourselves without distraction, the more we will remember this and start to open our hearts to loving ourselves.
5. You do work with Angels? What is that like and any compelling or interesting stories about how they have helped you or other people engage in more self-love?
I have been working with angels now for around 10 years, and I am so thankful for their love, support and guidance; as well as how much they have helped me to pass this onto others. The key moment that stands out for me was when I was going through the breakdown of my marriage. Despite us separating in April 2017, it took another 13 months for my ex-husband to move out. During that time, our finances were incredibly pushed, and the stress I was under caused me to suffer with IBS, bad ezcema, and put me into counselling. I was in an incredibly dark place and lost a lot of hope that things would ever get any better. One evening, I remember sitting on my bedroom floor, sobbing. I had come to a breaking point with it all and, through painful cries, I called out, ‘Help me, please!’. A small voice called to me to start loving myself, and I know now that it was my angels; they were answering my prayers. Their guidance that day saved me, because there wasn’t much more that I could take, mentally or emotionally. Learning what self-love really was and how to move myself into that space gave me the strength to keep going until the situation changed, as well as dealing with my new reality as a single parent.
6. Any interesting stories about serendipity or synchronicity and how that is affected your journey to self-love?
For the longest time, I had held the dream of being a writer. From a young age, I loved reading, but I never thought myself good enough to actually make my dreams come true. So I ignored the call and did other jobs instead- all of which left me feeling miserable and unfulfilled. And yet, it would seem that the Universe wasn’t about to let my dreams go that easily! I finally worked up the courage to write my first book after I gave birth to my twins. I found myself a stay at home mum, and I was determined to use the little time I had for myself to do something productive. Although I ended up self-publishing that and my next book, it was an important step to take on my writing journey. However, it was what happened next that has proven to be extremely serendipitous! My third book (Happiness: Make Your Soul Smile), was published a year after my ex-husband left; I was offered a contract for Self-Love Pledge on the same day that I was accepted as a tenant for my house; and that book is being published nearly ten years to the day that I lost my grandparents. Some may say that that these things are merely coincidences, but for me they are winks from the Universe that I am on the right path, and that writing is a huge part of my purpose. That is something that definitely make the self-love want to shoot out of me like sunbeams!