by Joy Andrews
Never Loose Sight of Who You Are and What You Are Capable Of!
Never loose sight of who you are and what you are capable of’! That is my message to anyone who is reading this and considering embarking upon improving their lives and considering studying any subject they feel passionate about. Forgive the cliché but the opportunities are there for your true vocation!
To help inspire those of you who do not yet believe that you can achieve anything you truly wish to achieve, I am prepared to share my life story. As human beings we are ‘acorns’ with the potential and ability to grow into magnificent ‘oak trees’. Together with self-belief and determination, we can achieve anything our hearts desire. We can handle anything the hand of life decides to deal, as long as we continue to believe in ourselves. It is often said we each have a book within us, so here is a brief résumé of my life story…. so far!!
I began my career in 1994 at the age of 29, after returning to college on a ‘woman returning to work’ course at my local college, where initially I trained in Business Administration NVQ’s and Computer Literacy. I had been unemployed since the age of 17, having married young. I have two of the most wonderful and beautiful children a parent can wish for. Of course I am biased, but they are my world and always will be.
Along with many other children in the 1970’s and regrettably in today’s society too, I experienced many traumas during what can only be classed as a ‘deprived childhood’. However, as a child we had a huge garden and grew all of our own organic root and leaf vegetables and also had the benefits of our own free-range chickens, accompanied by many fresh eggs – one of the perfect brain foods. It is often said that children of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s era are very creative. This could be because we made our own play and, I can assure you, I remember an awful lot of fun, play and laughter with my friends during my childhood.
I wish to add that the friends I had then are still my friends now. I have an awful lot to thank them for! We certainly knew how to have fun, and there were no batteries or computers included! String, conkers, footballs, elastic and pure imagination were the only resources available to us in the ‘good old days’! We ensured we took full advantage of those resources and continued to play, play, play. They were more often than not great times indeed. There is always a silver lining when you are confronted with hardship.
In my early 20’s, life decided to deal a cruel and unusual blow when tragically in 1990, my father was murdered . At the same time, I was going through a painful divorce and was trying to raise two children on very little income. I had no choice, it was return to work or lose the home that was a safe place for my children and me. ‘When the going gets tough…’ there is only one direction to strive for and that is to reach for the stars. The bonus of this is you get the sky in between! Fight or flight defence mechanisms certainly have their benefits!
Having been successful in my college training, I began my career began as an administrator in the construction industry. I then proceeded into the care industry working in Social Services Care Management. My career path then led me into working with long term unemployed people, where I met and spoke with Gordon Brown and other Members of Parliament. I was promoted very soon to a Senior Advisor, then again to Assistant Manager. I could not believe or understand how this could be happening to me, but then, I did not recognise the potential and skills I had. However, my senior management obviously did! I was asked to travel the country sharing best practice experience and I sat on focus groups developing our services. I was asked to promote the charity I was employed by, at an exhibition in Harrogate. “Who me” I remember thinking when the director asked me to represent them? This led me to train for a Certificate in Counselling.
At the Harrogate exhibition I received a free psychological profile which revealed that I was not a ‘manager’ but a ‘people person’. I knew this from my heart, recognising that I was not as passionate about management as I was about sitting with people on a ‘one to one basis’, helping them achieve their goals and overcoming extreme barriers to success.
In 2003 I decided to continue my training at the University of Kent at Canterbury, to secure a Diploma in Counselling. On doing so underwent my own therapy to overcome ‘my own psychological barriers’. I am not ashamed to say that I burst into tears on being accepted as a student at University.
In my youth I wasted the opportunity offered by free education and most certainly did not meet my potential, as all of my school reports informed me. However, I will never forget the feeling of the increased self-esteem I received at my graduation ceremony at Canterbury Cathedral: I felt on top of the world in my cap and gown! This led me to believe that the world truly is ‘my oyster’, but it was my responsibility to make this happen and to make the correct choices for me and to then take the appropriate action.
Having been bitten by the bug of education, education, education, I delved deeper into the essence of being human and was delighted when I found the School of Natural Health Sciences website. Having enrolled, I could not believe that they enabled me to answer some of the most fundamental questions to life, some of which I had pondered long and hard over.
The School of Natural Health Sciences courses presented me the opportunities to further my studies in Nutrition, which are without doubt the most important learning I have ever experienced. I recall thinking, why on earth is Nutrition not part of the national curriculum, to help children learn about how their bodies work and to make informed choices about the food they eat? I was ecstatic when I graduated with Grade A in both my Advanced Nutrition Diploma Diploma and my Life Coaching Diploma.
Later I attended a seminar presented by the world-renowned nutrition expert Patrick Holford, who I have to say I admire because he has faced a long and difficult road for 30 years. Having once qualified as a psychologist, he then discovering for himself the importance of nutrition. He then embarked upon a career illuminating the importance of nutrition to our human existence. I saw Patrick on TV recently and he had cured a woman of her diabetes purely by prescribing his Glycaemic Load (GL) Diet. He was then ridiculed by a GP on national TV, but calmly and professionally turned toward the woman he cured and asked her once again, have I cured your Diabetes? “Yes”, she replied. The presenter then asked the GP, “would you prescribe the GL diet to your patients, or would you continue to prescribe medication”? How fantastic, the GP then became very defensive, as one would only expect!
Glycaemic Load is a new concept which was developed by scientists from Harvard University in America. It addresses concerns about rating carbohydrate foods as either “good” or “bad” on the basis of their glycaemic index. There is no such thing as a good or bad carbohydrate food. All carbohydrate foods can fit into a healthy diet, it all depends on when you eat it, how much you eat and what you combine it with.
I met Patrick in London and discussed my new business venture (Kent Coaching and Counselling, which I established on January 1st 2007) with him. I also asked Patrick to sign one of his books, Optimum Nutrition for the Mind. He wished me luck in my new business – every bit of support and encouragement helps! He later emailed me and kindly sent me his own power point presentation on ‘Optimum Nutrition and Depression’. I was delighted and have to say, felt very honoured.
Previously I had been requested to run two Nutrition Therapy seminars for the therapeutic arena – and so soon after qualifying – the world certainly is becoming my oyster! However, it is my aim to champion the importance of a holistic approach, combining nutrition and psychotherapy or life coaching, when helping people overcome emotional and physical difficulties. I will continue to help educate my clients on how to achieve better emotional and physical health. I believe strongly that the therapeutic alliance should be about helping clients understand themselves and what it is to be human, working with them as a whole person, not just a mind.
Business was slow to begin with and it was difficult to stay focussed and maintain self-belief during this time. However, I am delighted to say that my client base is growing steadily now. I even have a local millionaire amongst my clients!
I believe that we must connect the mind and body when working with clients. The Nature/Nurture debate is of course a significant contemplation and I have strong ideas about it. The body is made up from many of the components of sky, land and the sea so Nature must be given as much weight as Nurture, when helping clients overcome emotional disturbances.
Without doubt Sigmund Freud over-emphasised the importance of nurture. Defence mechanisms should be respected, however I believe that ‘nature has the upper hand’. The body is made up of 50 or so components of the earth, causing the bodies biochemical reactions. This fundamental contribution from our earth plays a major part in the essence of being human. This leads me to an assumption that without doubt, Freud’s displacement on nurture is one of the fundamental reasons why every university teaches psychology, but very few teach Nutrition. Darwin, in my opinion, was an absolute genius!
I am about to commence another diploma with The School of Natural Health Sciences on Stress Management and will incorporate this learning into my holistic practice at Kent Coaching and Counselling.
Recently I saw on National TV news that the ‘powers that be’ are extending the Seven Wonders of the World, and quite rightly so. In my opinion, first on the list should be the ‘Human Body’. It is the most incredible phenomenon of this earth and without which, the other wonders would not exist.
I wish to end this story as I began, by reiterating to anyone who is reading that you can achieve your dreams if you have self-belief, determination and the passion that is required. You to become who you truly want to be. Feel the fear and dare to be true to yourself, in whatever you decide to do. It is possible, you are capable, and you deserve it! Seize the day, eat healthily and if possible eat organic foods, supplement your diet with good quality multi-vitamins and minerals, exercise both your body and your mind and, if you are considering to study with The School of Natural Health Sciences – Just Do It!
I send my best wishes to you the reader, in your personal development, your studies and your life journey.