Living Life like my cat "Doo" Whilst having some time to think and reflect over…
Get where you want to be in life, business and relationships
So back in September 2016, my life was not what everyone else perceived… To the outside world everyone thought I had the perfect life, perfect marriage, perfect career because this is how I showed up in the world..
Underneath the exterior was a woman who had lost her identity, had lost her purpose, had more self doubt than belief and was totally miserable.. I had spent the majority of my life helping everyone around me and had forgotten about myself.. I made a choice back in September 2016 to enter the Big Battlefield Bike Ride whilst I was working at Debenhams Head Office.. There were 20 places and at the time 28,000 employees, I felt different inside, something was telling me I needed to do this… For a long time I had been told most of the time that I can’t do things, I wasn’t good enough… and so my belief in myself was at it’s lowest.. I worried constantly and put off making decisions at the fear of looking stupid.. On bonfire day 2016 I received the email from Head office to say I was on the ride.. my initial reaction was Oh s***! but almost instantly I felt this feeling of accomplishment and I couldn’t stop grinning… I thought someone has belief in me.. They are allowing me to be part of this amazing opportunity.. Now the thing was before I signed up I didn’t own a bike, or any other equipment, I hadn’t really done any physical exercise in years, so was unfit, so really didn’t know what I had really signed up for.. When I shared the news you can probably imagine the response as I was always told I wasn’t good enough.. My response to everyone that said “what have you done”.. was I am and will complete this challenge even if it kills me.. For Christmas I asked all my friends and family to get me vouchers so I could buy all the equipment needed.. and then I went about researching and training for the ride.. I did fairly well with all the prior training, bar proper hill training, wet weather riding, group riding.. But the thing was I had set my mind to focus on crossing the finishing line.. I visualised it happening and how I would feel.. I ignored all the unhelpful comments and just purely focused on me achieving the biggest challenge of my life so far.. I arrived at Lille in France ready to face the challenge, the feeling inside of me was like no emotion I had ever experienced before.. I had belief in myself, even though no one else did. The Bike ride was from Tornei in France to Arnhem in Holland, 350 miles in 5 days… I was at the start line with 250 other riders and it was incredible… We all started off and it was all going fairly well, whoops I didn’t prepare for cobbles either, glad I had the best padded shorts on… So imagine this, I am 19 miles in on the first day and it was all going well, we had rules in riding that the person in front would check all junctions and shout Go or Stop, I heard my signal GO, so I pedaled as fast as I could to the top of the hill and proceeded to the junction, at the very last minute he shouted STOP! my instant reaction was to slam the breaks on, which then meant I would fly over my handlebars whilst still being clipped in.. I landed on my hand, which broke.. (I would like to point out though, if he didn’t shout STOP, the alternative was to be hit by a transit van travelling at about 60MPH, doesn’t bear thinking about – Thankyou Leon…)I was told to get in a van and get to hospital.. I said “No, I am here to ride, strap me up, and give me some painkillers and I will be good to go”… and I carried on… Things were Ok, my hand hurt but I focused on the finish line and why I was doing the bike ride.. it kept me going the whole time, we had really challenging weather days, and other people flew off their bikes too, but it was all about using the power of my mind to get me through.. On Day 5 I crossed the finish line and I had the biggest intense emotions release out of me.. I did it… I did it… I can do these things that I have always been told I couldn’t.. I am good enough… What an experience and yes it was life changing.. because the thing is for the first time in a very long time I had freedom away from any limiting, negative or toxic words or actions.. I could purely focus on me and my thoughts.. The bike ride gave me the freedom to think, it gave me the freedom to make choices and it gave me the freedom to start to love myself.. All of these were missing from my world prior.. So on the bike ride I made life changing decisions.. Not everyone involved was happy but I had to put myself first as for the first time I also realised I was extremely stressed and that was the cause of most of my aches and pains.. I ended my marriage of 14 years… I knew I had made the right decision immediately but I didn’t prepare for the aftermath.. Having to deal with everything to do with the divorce, whilst being a single mum, working full time and more, as the boss had also left work and I was clocking up 80/90 hours a week, plus having 2 houses fall through and having to find a good friend to let me move in with my daughter.. Life became too much.. I eventually gave in and went to the doctors to be told I had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).. I thought at the time, I just need a couple of weeks off and I will be Ok.. because I had to be… I was signed off for nearly a whole year.. I was totally burnt out and it was only when the doctor asked if I had thought of ending things, that I put my head up and thought, oh no! I am really ill… All I could think was I have worked too hard for this to be the end, I have been through far too much for this to be the end.. So I made the choice there and there, I needed help! At no point in my life until that day, had I ever asked for help as it was perceived as weak, just like crying and showing emotions… If I hadn’t made that choice, I wouldn’t be here typing this today. I decided to do my life coaching qualification and become a NLP Practitioner and through achieving this, it also helped me become better.. In May 2019 I decided it was time to leave the corporate world, after working for numerous organisations over 29 years.. To set up my own business. You’ll Know When You Get There.. I would say that I only felt ready in September 2019 as it took time to heal myself, it took time for me to re-identify with myself, it took time for me to love myself again and it took time to rediscover my passion and purpose in life… I had spent 20 years working in the Learning and development industry and loved every minute because it was all about helping people to become the best version of themselves.. allowing them to grow and evolve… and so having my own life story and the experience and knowledge my business was born.. Now alongside this, I am a single mum and it has been really challenging trying to work and bring up a child, but I wouldn’t change that decision for the world.. I have never been so happy in all of my life.. Now one of the other big things that happened to me, was I met this man called Toby, who from day one believed in me, in every way.. and that had a profound impact on me and my mindset.. Everyday he would encourage and support me to be more Lorraine… and today I can say.. I am the truly best version of Lorraine I have ever been… Toby brings the best out in me every single day.. He always tells me how proud he is of me and what I have achieved even through the major turbulent times of my life.. and that is unbelievable but so beautiful too.. So in January 2020 I made another life changing decision that Toby was the love of my life and I wasn’t going to wait for him to propose to me.. So on Saturday 8th February in a beautiful ,and of significance location where we shared our first kiss. I got on one knee and proposed whilst wearing a traditional Central European Dirndl ( Toby had always dreamed of seeing his lady wear one since a child).. Stevie played the guitar and our song “A Thousand Years” and Chelsea photographed and videoed the whole experience.. Now I have never been lost for words, but the minute I walked in and got down on one knee, Toby’s reaction was so emotional, it truly impacted me and I struggled to speak… Again I had never experienced emotions like it.. This was real love, pure love and total love…. I wanted to bottle this whole thing because it was so incredible, I think in my mind these things are just part of a fairytale.. but oh no.. it was real… The next 2 hours we just couldn’t take our eyes off of each other.. it was totally surreal.. So what is this all about.. in just over 3 years, how my life has changed.. From having no self belief, confidence or esteem to having total confidence, from hating looking in the mirror to now looking for mirrors to look in, from being unhappy to ecstatic and so much more.. And what made the difference… Freedom, Choice and knowing real love… So if you feel that life sucks right now, remember you hold the key to make the change.. No one can control you when you don’t allow it… no one can tell you what to do with your life.. YES your Life!! You only get one… So make the changes for you!! Life is short, tomorrow is never guaranteed… Make the right choices for you… and help spread the love… Thankyou for reading this…. and Thankyou to all of you that have had belief in me.. You will know who you are… And a special thankyou goes to Toby for saying YES and making me the happiest woman alive… only my daughter has ever given me such Joy!!