There is always a desire to celebrate the good stuff and brush off the crap of the preceding year, hoping that the next 12 months will be better.  But we could be missing out on a lot of positivity by doing this.

It is very easy to write off bad experiences by not accepting what has actually happened or appreciating the lessons that can be learned, or even realising the positive things that can come from bad situations.

In my own case, I started 2018 with a painful and debilitating shoulder injury as well as getting tangled up with some very unscrupulous, “wizard of oz” type business characters.

However “The lotus flower blooms most beautifully from the deepest and thickest mud.” – Buddhist Proverb, and the combination of these crap situations heralded a lot of magic for me in 2018.

My shoulder situation gave me time away from depth training to work on relaxation skills, peeling back to reveal further layers of calm focus that helped me go deeper with better technique when I did finally get back to the ocean.

I got to spend more time with my family which is very precious to me, as well as enjoying the beauty of spring and summer in the UK, which I usually miss due to being away training.

This recovery time also afforded me the good fortune to meet and work with the master storyteller, Simeon Quarrie from Vivida, who spent hours listening, making copious notes on my story and went on to create the extraordinary film “Helena’s survival and triumph over mental illness.”

This film was released on the 10th October, World Mental Health Day, as a message of hope about what is possible for anyone and the feedback has galvanised me to spread this message as far and wide as I possibly can.

I could have chosen to see the start of the year as a bit of a write-off and bury my head in the sand but instead I used these situations to kick-start my next steps. No shoulder or conmen were going to prevent me from doing what I wanted to do.

Since then I have done speaking engagements at the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors on Parliament Square and at my old school, Downe House as well as others. I have done breathing workshops for a Cancer Support Group, many other one-2-one sessions and I have launched a blog, which if you are reading this means at least one person has!

One of the things that I haven’t enjoyed and am struggling with for the 4th time this year is Shingles. I’m sure it is my body’s way of telling me I have further work to do on my relaxation and stress relief in the coming year.

So before you write off all of the bad parts from 2018, perhaps you should make sure they didn’t actually help you transform for the better.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2019.

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