It is possible to rewire your brain to think positively!

There was a period of time after my first 2 brain haemorrhages where I lost hope. I felt trapped in a body that didn’t function. I felt beyond broken, and I couldn’t see how my life could possibly be worth living. I was very much a victim of my circumstances, and I couldn’t see a way out. I didn’t believe that my life would get better, let alone be extraordinary! I certainly didn’t realise it at the time, that was the key that triggered change – How I believed things to be. When you convince yourself of life being one way, that’s exactly how it is. Why? Because you direct your thoughts to match your beliefs. A pivotal point in my recoveries came when I witnessed people who were much worse off than me, still smiling and remaining positive no matter what life served them, including death. If they could, there was NO reason why I couldn’t. It wasn’t something that happened overnight. It wasn’t a quick fix, it took a conscious effort. The more conscious I became, the more I challenged my thoughts about my current reality. I discovered that our thoughts shape our reality. By changing our thoughts, we can change our reality. Now, that’s not to say that it changed my reality of being paralysed overnight, it did not. Nor did it change the difficulties that I had with my speech, the pretty much non – existent memory, the emotional lability, the intense and very frequent headaches or the learning difficulties. It is easy to get caught up on the actually physicality of the issues that you have, without much though beyond that. What has happened is only one part of the equation. How you choose to respond to what has happened is where you will find either your reasons … More

Dealing with disappointment.

Disappointment is just the action of your brain re-adjusting itself to reality after discovering things are not the way you thought they were. ~ Brad Warner Everything can change in a split second, changing the course of life as you once knew it. I get it. It can be shattering and incredibly disappointing!The reality is – You are here and nothing is going to change what has happened. It is done, and it cannot be undone. While this might be very hard to swallow and accept, it is your reality. So why not deal with things as they are right here, right now? Dealing with disappointment is often complex, as it comes with a mirage of emotions such as anger, sadness, frustration and impatience just to name a few. Learning to deal with disappointment has been a pivotal turning point in my recoveries, and I want to share with the key things that have been fundamental in healing from my three major brain injuries, as well as other life trauma’s. Let it all out. What you have been through is HUGE! It is natural to grieve after experiencing any form of trauma that alters the course of your life. We often spend so much time trying to run from anything that causes us pain or upset, and in doing so, we deny ourselves the first stage of our healing process. Allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling without any agenda or attempt to speeding up the process. Whatever you are feeling is okay. Take some time to just sit with your emotions and experience it without moving to fix or change it. If you need to have a good cry, or express the rawness of how you are feeling (as long as you don’t lash out at others or cause harm to yourself). Do it! … More

No Matter What, I’ve Got This!

“Not everyone can be as positive and grateful after a brain injury as you”. I have heard this statement, or something to the same effect countless times over the years. But let me tell you, it hasn’t all been sunshine and rainbows. After my first brain injury in 1996, life was incredibly difficult. Nothing came easy! I was left with complete right side paralysis, a serious speech impediment, very poor coordination, epilepsy, and a dodgy memory just to name a few in a long list of issues. The icing on the cake came a few short months after – a  second brain haemorrhage.  All of that hard work unravelled faster than a Learjet darting across the sky. There I was again, stripped bare. I hit rock bottom! For years on end, I struggled through the gruelling hours spent in rehabilitation. My childhood a blur of appointments from one specialist to another, surgeries and hours upon hours spent working on all the issues every week. It was relentless and unforgiving to say the least. I struggled. I fell. I fought. I cried. I got angry. I got frustrated. I wished it was different. I wanted to give up….But I didn’t! I was not going to let my brain injury, or any other life struggle beat me. That, I was sure of. I had made up my mind! You see, as humans, we have this extraordinary ability to choose one thought over another. So, I chose to tell myself that ‘no matter what, I’ve got this!’ I said it over and over again, in a million different ways. The more I said it, the more I believed it. The more I believed it, the more my life transformed! No, it wasn’t a quick overnight ‘wham, bam, thank you ma’am’ kind of fix. It took … More

Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional!

Life sure does throw some curve balls. Sometimes it even throws you ones that you thought you’d never have to face again. You see, this isn’t the first time I have been down this road. This was my third brain haemorrhage, in my short 30 years walking this Earth. Some would call this unfortunate and unlucky. Not me! I believe that everything in life happens for a reason. And while some experiences are difficult, painful and damn right challenging – they tend to teach us an extraordinary amount about life… if we are prepared to listen. As a child, it taught me patience, determination and resilience. As an adult, it is teaching me that accepting things the way they are, and the way they are not, is where inner peace and calmness can be found. It has taught me that suffering IS optional. What do I mean by this? Well, we live in a world where there is an extraordinary amount of suffering that goes on around us, whether it be our own personal suffering or the suffering of others. Suffering, to me, is a state of mind. It is a choice – a choice in which we have control over. Pain is just a fact of life – each person will experience pain, in varying degrees. Some more than others. But as an individual, we have a choice over the impact that pain has on lives. We can carry it around with us and let it weigh us down. Or, we can acknowledge that it is there and make a conscious choice to let it go. I continue to witness so much unnecessary suffering, day in and day out, over such trivial and small issues in the grand scheme of things. I see the impact that this suffering has … More

A different kind of extraordinary.

Life as you have known it, can change in a split second. It will never be the same. And just like that, YOU have another chance of creating a different kind of extraordinary!!! While it may not feel like that right now. I can promise you, that all that is standing in the way of living a truly remarkable life – is you. Regardless of your brain injury, or any other challenge you face. I understand only to well, the seemingly impossible task of a massive recovery. One that feels like it will be a long uphill battle that drags on, and on, and on, with no end in sight. It is easy to get swept up in feeling defeated, lost, lonely, bitter, angry , frustrated –  the list goes on. And, for a time, its ok to go through these emotions. You are human. It is a part of your healing journey. Healing is just one aspect of a long road to recovery. Especially for people who have had moderate to severe trauma. It can change ones emotional and mental state, just as much (if not more) than the physical. It is known as the ‘hidden disability’ for many people, because it can affect ones behaviour, cognitive functions, their ability to communicate, emotional instability, impaired executive dysfunction, hormonal imbalances and memory – just to name a few! It it a monumental recovery process on so many levels. But just like anything, it is possible to achieve great things, regardless of how hopeless the situation might feel to you now. And it all starts with your mindset… ‘Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.’    Napoleon Hill How does one create a strong mindset with the pieces of a very broken body and the now distant memories of a life that once was? … More

Hello 30….Hello Third Brain Haemorrhage!!!

I brought in the New Year, 2017, in Fiji with my partner.  Celebrated my 30th birthday a few days later, with much excitement building for my trip to Canada, and to top it off I had just started studying for my dream job – to become a mentor…and not just any mentor – A brain injury mentor. I have always felt incredibly passionate about wanting to help people who have experienced brain injury, create and build a life that they truly love living after brain injury. I worked so hard to get to this point. I was right where I wanted to be, and it felt amazing!!!! Fast-forward to the 10th of January 2017, when I landed in Canada for a dream snowboarding trip that would see me road trip solo from Vancouver to Fairbanks in Alaska, and back down through the Rockies, Banff and Revelstoke before making my way back to Vancouver…I was on top of the world! Under an hour later, I was asking a staff member at the airport to call me an ambulance as I was certain I was having another brain haemorrhage. I wasn’t wrong! After brain surgery to remove a large AVM (arteriovenous malformation) and evacuate a heamorrhage, I was on a flight back to Australia 17 days later with 50 staples in my head and feeling very ordinary! Utterly devastated, yet so incredibly grateful that I had pulled through my third major brain haemorrhage in my 30 years of walking this planet. Now I am someone who is incredibly active and spends that majority of my waking hours outdoors, doing something physical whenever I can. But over the past few months, I can’t tell you the amount of times that I struggled to get out of bed. All I wanted to do was … More