To bloom in the garden of adversity...

In the months prior to Leading Ladies I went through some pretty significant upheavals, adversity was starring directly into my eyes. Many personal challenges surrounding my family and life in general.

I was so proud of the event on Saturday, but instead of feeling elated, I was more relieved that I had survived, that I made it to the finish line.

A mentor and friend of mine pointed out to me when she asked how I was feeling about the event, and I said I could have done better. She said. ‘You are underestimating yourself, considering the personal challenges in your life the past few months’.


The tears rolled down my face. I nodded and said thank you ‘I needed to hear that’.   

I am one of those people who never think they are enough, always trying to be better then I was before.  And while there is something admirable in wanting to be better, the passion and purpose, thinking I am not enough is absolute BS.

An ingrained story of my personal history I keep retelling over and over again.


On Saturday, I didn’t even speak my prepared speech, I was too frazzled and worried, I didn’t think what I prepared was enough.

So here it is, my speech about how we bloom in adversity, or I am hoping we do, because it has been my signature look all year….


My daughter Daisy will be 3 in a few months and my down time is filled with watching Disney, she loves Frozen, the Little Mermaid and most recently Mulan.

There is a line in Mulan where the Emperor of China says,

 "The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all."

I felt like he was talking straight to me. You know when you watch certain films or read lines in books and it hits you right in heart. Like there is someone out there in the Universe reminding us it will be okay?

But will it be okay? Really?

2019 has not been the best year for me personally, I am still working out many personal challenges, loss, grief, mental health, even my gallbladder has had enough and wants out.

 I thought I am going to be one beautiful flower after 2019. Look out 2020 I am getting my bloom on to quote a modern muse and trailblazer singer Lizzo ‘I’m like Chardonnay, I get better over time.”

Only I don’t know if I am getting better over time?  Have I reached my peak and I am descending to live the rest of my days as a pressed flower?  

It is the days when we are in the trenches, in the boiling pot of life, where we feel exhausted, we find it hard to breathe and we don’t feel like climbing out of that trench because of fear of what next challenge lies ahead.

Then there are moments where the rage builds, it bubbles in the pit of your stomach and it bubbles its way to your chest. It is so heavy it sits there; the only escape is through your eyeballs.

And then there are days, even weeks where the universe and full moon just cripple you with a series of clusterfucks. Yes, that is a technical term, I have it on good authority from friend.

As women there are so many feels to handle and most of mine happen before 8am on a Monday morning. We tackle everything head on, we wear our hearts on our sleeves and if you are anything like me you don’t have a poker face.

Women take on many forms and roles, we are chef, uber driver, psychologist, artist, joker, cleaner, PR officer, bank manager, professional shopper, travel agent- but we worry about our shape, what we look like, the image we feel we have to uphold to be seen a certain light.  And after hearing Chelsea and Leanne speak at Leading Ladies it is clear that we are so much more than the year model and make our bodies are. That we the resilience and courage within us, we just have to look for it and call on it when we need it the most.

In fact, women have proven pretty much forever that despite what life throws at us, we take the lead, we keep on blazing the trail and we are the muses of our own making.

We just have days that we just don’t know it and need reminding and that is why I created events like Leading Ladies. I am not one for taking on my own advice, clearly.

Even when we are struggling with life and the hurdles it is always nice to remind ourselves, we are all trailblazers who pave their own path.

Yes, we can be trailblazers. It isn’t reserved for Beyoncé, Jacinda Ardern or Reese Witherspoon.

Yes, we can be trailblazers even if we hide from our kids in the pantry so you can eat the last of the chocolate and have a cry, or we wear two different socks, pluck grey man hairs out of our eyebrows. We are trailblazers even if we have one to many teacups full of Rose on a Saturday night alone and are in charge of cleaning the toilet.

Maybe you are thinking really? Nah I am not a trailblazer well do you answers yes to these questions

Do you have the courage to create your own map?

Do you use your voice to stand up for what you want and need?

Do you Dust yourself off and keep going when times get tough?

Do you try and not to worry about other peoples; opinions? That’s a tough one – it’s a work in progress.

Do you try an reshape your own perception of how you view yourself and how to teach others to do the dame?

Do you lead with your heart and teach with Kindness?

We all have the ability, strength and talent to be a trailblazer

Keep blazing your own path….

A mix of nerves and excitement welcoming Body Image Warrior Chelsea Bonner to the stage at Leading Ladies.

A mix of nerves and excitement welcoming Body Image Warrior Chelsea Bonner to the stage at Leading Ladies.