At the crack of dawn, I packed up my lovely new car and headed off to The Passenger Shed in Bristol for a weekend of networking and conversation, inspirational speakers, food samples and fun at Achieve Bristol. I was co-exhibiting with my friend Lottie Moore, Firewalk Master and mindset coach. Lottie was going to be one of the speakers on the main stage, and we were both very excited about the event.
The event, which was organised by TV property expert Martin Roberts, was held in the Passenger Shed, and was filled with gorgeous stands, with exhibitors from all types of wellness businesses. There was massage, swimwear, pilates, fitness wear, essential oils, chiropractors, machines that test your health vitals, yoga, books and more. There were cookery demonstrations from a dedicated Panasonic bread machine stand, as well as the main cookery stage which featured demos from Christine Bailey and Gregg Wallace to name but a few. I was there of course, sharing breathing exercises, talking about my book and recovery, and talking about wellbeing in the workplace.
While the event sadly didn’t attract as many visitors as had been hoped, it was a fun event, and I enjoyed it a lot. What really made it special for me was hearing the fantastic speakers, and picturing myself up on that main stage next year, sharing my message and inspiring others
Dilys Price – the oldest skydiver
Within the first hour of being there, I was given my first gift of the morning when I saw the legendary Dilys Price. I know of Dilys from several friends who know and have been involved with her charity, The Touch Trust. Dilys was delighted when I told her that she trained my best friend, Suzanne, remembering her fondly and blowing a kiss into the selfie we took for her.
After we spoke I was thrilled to watch her dancing her way to the main stage area, with the graceful, lithe movement of a woman in phenomenal health and vitality at 86 years old. Dilys was one of the first main stage speakers, and the first one I watched. Her story, of overcoming mid-life depression through gratitude, positive thinking and the discovery of adventure and skydiving. Dilys shared many insights with us, including her four ‘hooks’ for us to take away, which were
- Positive energy always has positive results
- Every day make sure you
- Think of something beautiful
- Look at something beautiful
- Listen to something beautiful
- You MUST find the jewel in the dirt
- Be grateful
These are all very yogic lessons, and I can certainly relate them to my own recovery from addiction, grief and depression. The one that particularly resonated with me this time was the ‘jewel in the dirt’ – the worst of life experiences can give us the most wonderful of gifts when we look closely enough. I am writing this on the 13th anniversary of my brother’s death. While this was obviously a devastating experience, as a direct result of his death, I started walking for pleasure, and will always be grateful to him for this legacy he left me with.
Dilys Price’s overarching message was ‘it’s never too late’. At 86, with no signs of slowing down, and a zest for life and colour that would put many people half her age to shame, Dilys is a wonderful example to us all of just what is possible in life if we only make the effort.
The charity that Dilys set up, The Touch Trust, provides support and therapy for the most isolated and vulnerable people in society. If you wish to find out more about The Touch Trust, you can do so here
I missed Calum’s talk on Mindfulness with his business partner Mark Joseph, but Dilys referenced it enough to make me wish I had attended. Calum was there promoting his BestMeLife planners, which aim to help you reduce procrastination and acheive your goals. I was lucky to have my stand situated close to the BestMeLife stand, and introduced myself to Calum, and gave him a copy of my book, which I hope he ia able to find time to read!
My friend Lottie was one of the main stage speakers, and it was with great excitemetn and pride that I sat and listened as she shared her story of adventure, growth, and breaking free of comfort zones. Lottie’s adventures take her all over the world, scaling mountains, exploring mountains and encouraging others to do the same. Lottie is a firewalk instructor, and leads firewalk events, and trains others to lead their own (you can find out about her next training in Ireland here)
Lottie ended an entertaining and inspirational talk with an invitation to the audience to push their limits and try a glass walk. The idea of voluntarily walking on broken glass sounds ludicrous doesn’t it, it goes against everything that is ingrained into us since childhood. And yet it is possible to do it without causing pain. As Lottie explains, it is about being fully present and listening to the messages your feet give you about where is and isn’t safe to step.
I was one of several people who braved the glass, and was very glad I did so. Another empowered moment for me thanks to Lottie and her mindset metaphors!
Eddie The Eagle
I remember hearing much about Eddie the Eagle when I was young, but hadn’t really ever taken much notice – I was more impressed by pop stars than athletes at the time, and didn’t really register the full extent of his achievement in being the first ever UK Ski jump contender in the Winter Olympics. Eddie was an engaging and entertaining speaker, telling tales of (mis)adventure from his youth, when the only thing he wanted to do was become a ski jumper, but life threw numerous obstacles his way, namely being poor, clumsy, with little access to ski jumps due to living in the UK. Eddie endured much to pursue his dreams, and was so determined to give it his best shot that he made sacrifices that most of us would not consider, including scraping food out of bins in order to eat while training.
If you have a dream and you wonder if you should abandon it for a ‘regular’ life, I highly recommend you go and listen to Eddie speak, he will totally inspire you to keep going and stick to your dream!
I was standing at my stand, wondering which of the rest of the day’s speakers I should listen to when I read the details of Charlie Webster’s talk. I don’t have a TV, so don’t really recognise many TV celebrities, so hadn’t heard the name, but I was very interested in the subject of the talk – PTSD, resilience, and survival. I found Charlie on Twitter, tweeted that I was looking forward to listening to the talk and put my phone in my pocket. About 2 minutes later, I saw Charlie walking towards me, and introduced myself to her and her Mum. We chatted for a while, and she started telling me something about the topic she was going to talk about. I was so glad I had decided to go and see her talk.
I was not disappointed. As Charlie told her story to the small group that was gathered in the breakout room, I found myself taken on a real emotional roller coaster. Charlie’s story of adventure, fitness and a glamorous TV lifestyle rudely and brutally interrupted by a terrifyingly close brush with death touched me on many levels. Sitting next to her mother, and being a mother myself, I found myself empathising completely with her. Having had a family member who died after being in a coma, I was greatly moved by the idea that he may have been aware of the love that surrounded him in his final days. And through Charlie sharing her experience and what she has learned through her subsequent I learned enough about PTSD to be able to recognise how it has manifested in my own life. Charlie’s talk was moving, humorous, harrowing and inspirational, sometimes all at the same time.
I was so glad I went to see Charlie speak, and that I was lucky to be able to talk to her and her lovely Mum, Joy, for so long. After the talk, they came over to our stand where we had some photos together, and Charlie and Joy both did Lottie’s glasswalk. Joy, in particular, seemed very excited by doing the glass walk, it was wonderful to watch!
The final speaker, for me, was Becky Walsh. Becky is an Intuitive Life Coach, and runs a personal development training centre in Weston Super Mare, as well as being a TV presenter, comedian, and author. She was the first person I spoke to at the start of the weekend, and I had hoped to attend her talk on Emotional Intelligence, but that hadn’t gone to plan. I was pleased to be able to make it for her final talk, in which she shared some tips for getting into the media for business PR. Becky knows quite a lot about this, having worked in the media, and having worked at getting PR for her own business. Becky’s talk was entertaining and very helpful as she shared her best tips for getting noticed by the media.
Balance and Breathe at Achieve
While I wasn’t speaking at the event, I did enjoy sharing my message of recovery and stress reduction through Yoga at Achieve. I hope that next year I will be one of the speakers, as I have an important message to share and valuable tools that can help make life in the noisy 21st Century much happier.
Stress is a massive problem in the world as a whole. The World Health Organisation has declared itThe Health Epidemic of the 21st Century. It is a factor in the 6 biggest killer health conditions in the world. And it costs the economy billions. It will be costing your company as well.
If you would like to talk about how I can help you reduce stress and promote wellbeing in your organisation through the practices and ideas of Yoga, then please do get in touch and let’s talk about your business needs. I am here for you, I have the tools that can improve the health of your workforce and your business and I want to help.