Turn Your Adversity Into Your Greatest Opportunity!
If you’re suffering from symptoms of uncertainty, worry or fear that is holding you back, I totally get it!
It’s easy to hear “I understand” or “I’ve been through the same thing” from someone, when you know nobody can truly relate to your personal experiences. That’s why this page is dedicated to my own story of resilience, so you can see why we started inspireResilience and perhaps even connect to some of the hardships I’m about to share with you below...
Hi, Resilient Bev here. Regardless of who you are, what’s happened to you in the past, I believe that God has a plan for YOU to live an optimal life.
You might not express your spirituality as I do or follow the same faith, you may not believe the same things at all, which is absolutely fine! - We all have our own guiding principles in life.
What’s important about this story is that you glean the insights that apply the most to YOU.
It Took A Miracle… Part 1
My personal story of resilience is no accident. Doing what’s closest to my heart came as a result of overcoming my own hardships.
A Family Dream Under Threat!
It was an unexpected blow, yet I uncovered something important about myself. As it says in Philippians 4:13: “I CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” What do these words mean! read on, it all become clear below.
Let me tell you how it began...
After being married to Owen, my husband, for 10 years we decided to start a family.
We dreamed of raising a family in the a small village in the country surrounded by nature. In a house that we might even retire in. So that's exactly what we did. We sold our home in Edinburgh and moved in to a beautiful detached 4 bedroom house in the Scottish Borders.
Yay, it's been confirmed, I'm pregnant. Everything was going plan until March 5th 1995, 08:30am and I’m 12-week pregnant in excruciating pain. I’m driven to hospital by Owen in the snow over the hills in the Scottish Borders to the city of Edinburgh.
For 22 miles I feel every bend and pothole bump in the road - the pain is growing more intense by the minute.
But we finally arrive at the hospital.
I’m examined by a confused looking nurse, a Registrar and a Consultant.
As I watch the doctors, I try to listen to what they’re saying. All I can think is, 'why do they look so confused? What’s so wrong that they can’t say with confidence?'
Bewilderment is all around me and I see clear signs of uncertainty, worry and fear.
Well, despite their training and years of experience, they are now looking at an "unfamiliar case".
They can't be sure if it’s a ruptured ovary or a twisted fibroid without
reluctantly performing a threatening surgical procedure!
Hours go by and the pain is almost paralysing, but they can’t prescribe any painkillers because there’s still no clear diagnosis. The hands on the clock are circling round and round until 11:30pm.
Yes, you’re right... I'm in indescribable pain for 15 and a half hours.
A desperate call is made by the head consultant, a decision has to be made!
"We're going to operate, but there is something you need to know. Your 12-week developing baby has almost zero chance of survival if we do. You have a 50/50 chance of survival yourself. Your life is our priority Mrs Anderson, we have to operate."
These words brought floods of tears to my eyes; firstly, not because of the insurmountable pain I was in; but mostly, because of the risk of losing my first child.
And lastly, I wouldn't have time to personally say 'goodbye' to the people I loved.
With the life of our baby at risk, my husband and I decided we must break the good, the bad, and the ugly news to our family.
They were two difficult calls for Owen to make to both sides of the family. We remember it like it was yesterday... "we're expecting a baby!" As they expressed their joy and excitement he reluctantly interrupted with the bad news: "Beverley is about to go into theatre." The ugly news: "we could lose them both", they responded with silence.
There was only on thing we asked of them, and that was to pray for us all!
It’s 6th March and I’m recovering from the operation. Two miracles took place that day - I’m alive and to the pleasant surprise of the medical staff, so is my 12-week developing baby!
Two miracles are witnessed - I’m alive and so is my 12-week developing baby!
It's 8th March, 3 days after my op and Owen is due to arrive for an afternoon visit.
A nurse encourages me to get out of bed and make my way to the bathroom before visiting time begins. It's important to get the blood circulating again. As I make my way to the bathroom, I pass out and fall onto a cold hard floor in the hospital ward.
My world becomes silent and surreal…
After that deadly moment, I'm back. What just happened? I can barely make out the nurses and doctor’s faces in front of me.
I was out for the count for almost 3 deadly minutes!
In the visitors area, Owen’s anxiously wondering why there’s an unexplained delay in allowing him to see me. Not until the consultants have checked in on me first.
The uncertainty, not knowing what happened is eating him up.
After an MRI scan and thorough investigation by consultants in various disciplines, it transpires that I experienced major clots to both of my lungs, a Pulmonary Embolism.
A substance that had moved through the bloodstream from elsewhere in my body had blocked an artery in my lungs.
The vast majority of people to experience this level of embolism die suddenly.
But not me.
In the early hours of 9th March, I’m taken to the intensive care unit.
Recovering from a heavy anaesthetic, my eyes are blurry but I can make out the people all around me - transplant patients, road accident survivors, and then there's me - a pregnant mum, fully conscious, listening to the moans and groans of patients fighting for their lives. Watching and anguish of families as they visit their seriously ill and loved ones.
I'm under 24/7 observations, my body feels like a pin cushion. There is no natural light, just bright artificial light. I’m disconnected from the outside world.
Every now and then I can muster a smile when I’m visited by Owen. He sits at my bedside every day and brings words of encouragement through his heartfelt words, scripture and prayer.
One day up. One day down. One day up. One day down. A cycle of emotional highs and lows emerges. A caring nurse, seeing my destress said something that may have just saved my son's life. She said, "Beverley you're doing so well. If you want your baby to survive you must remain calm. Just stay calm and rest, allow us to take care of you".
"Calm and rest", everyone who knows me knows I'm not very good at doing that. I'm a strong, independent, busy woman. I'm normally the one caring for others.
I have to be strong, reminding myself of our dream, I tell myself. “I am strong. You can do this Bev, you can be calm”. Who would have known that my health, the life of my baby, that our resilience would be dependent on my ability to remain calm, rest and to allow the HDU nursing staff to take care to me. This was the advice I needed hear. I had to make a conscious decision to surrender to rest and allow people to care for me!
Finally, after 2 weeks in intensive care, the pattern breaks. I’m well enough to go back to a recovery ward.
Fast forward a few weeks later… It’s 12 noon.
Look at me now, I’m sitting up in bed and laughing with the other patients. Some are still healing. Others are packing their bags to go home. Finally, after 2 and a half weeks, I’m told I'm well enough to go home. Thank God!
But the remaining months of my pregnancy are accompanied by episodes of uncertainty, worry, and fear as the medical team grow unsure about the best way to deliver my baby.
...6 months later I am blessed with a perfectly formed baby miracle boy (as described by nursing staff) named Jayden is born.
A concern is raised by an observant nurse who notes postnatal depression is on the verge, but thankfully, I am spared by God’s everlasting love and mercy. The words of a song continually plays out in my heart, Mercy Said No!
4 years later, at 8pm on 3rd September 2009, another birth takes place with zero complications. My gorgeous daughter, Chantae.
Through this experience, I've learned that when we ask for help in challenging times, we never know where that help will come from. Receiving help and resting in the care an expert is not a sign of weakness, it's a sign of resilience.
It Took Spiritual Resilience… Part 2
If we are to live an optimal life, we must develop a good relationship with ourselves, others and have faith in a greater power.
I’m healthy and in good shape, well that’s what I thought at the time.
It’s 3pm, 31st February 2015 and I’m at home with my husband and children to celebrate my birthday. Owen prepared a delicious meal and treats for after. It was a wonderful celebration, but it soon felt like a nightmare…
At approximately 12 midnight, a 999 call is almost made. I’m feeling ill, very very ill! Symptoms of nausea and violent shaking occurs throughout my body.
Am I having a fit?, I wonder. Food poisoning or a virus perhaps?
What follows is a series of insomnia, IBS, sensitivity to bright lights and loud sounds and symptoms of uncertainty, worry, fear and pain! This goes on for several months and the months turn into years.
With no clear diagnosis from doctors, this episode in my life is much more challenging and drawn out than my first ordeal.
It’s a vicious cocktail of physical, psychological, emotional, social, occupational, financial and spiritual warfare. It literally feels like someone is throwing daggers at me from all sides.
In my desperate search for relief, I turn to acupuncture, reflexology, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, detoxifying teas, massage, cognitive behavioural therapy, exercise, raw diets – if you can name a natural remedy, I’ve tried it!
The trauma has such a hold on me that I feel like giving up, but no, I must keep going. I have a purpose.
My husband and children need me. My family need me. My clients need me. And there are people around the world who need me. I still have much to learn, share, and give.
In an effort to break free from encumbering thoughts, I am forced to step away from work for a while to allow my mind, body, heart and soul to heal.
I seek solace from the ‘1’ person I hadn’t turned to enough - God. Yet, he saw me through my first ordeal.
My Transformational Change
Now in midlife, when I look inward, I’m shown a portfolio of suppressed hopes, dreams, visions and goals that never materialised.
I was fearful of embracing the true 'me', too concerned about what people would think if I shared my vulnerability publically.
This fear created a tension in me that finally blew like a fuse. The pain could be felt from my head down to my toes. Uncertainty, worry and fear had almost burnt me out!
Somehow, at my weakest point, I became resilient. Resilience is like building muscles, by practicing a number of special "bounce back" strategies, enabled me to come back strong. Was it easy to keep going? Absolutely not but my reliance on a greater power from God kept me going.
I felt bewildered, exhausted and fed up but I held on because I had reconnected my mind, heart, body and soul. I developed a strong set of beliefs which led to discovering my life purpose.
Life's up and downs feel unfair and cruel at times, and there are times where there are no clear answers, just like my non-diagnosis. My recovery required a renewed mindset - a new way of thinking. Finding my purpose, developing a set of core beliefs and pillars of resilience.
My mission became inspireResilience.
Resilience started in my mind and stemmed from my outlook on how I chose to see my challenges. I saw it as an opportunity for growth, to gain strength rather than let it become a self sabotaging act of weakness.
Each time I’ve taken faith-driven action, a soulful change in my attitude, people around me, the projects I can take are more successful.
I see many more open doors of opportunity
I’m learning to make the most of what I have and value the skills, talents and natural gifts God has blessed me with to live out His purpose for me in this life with joy and vitality.
Our core beliefs influence the way we see ourselves, other people, the world and the future. They motivate our behaviour and how we respond to people around us.
It is often our beliefs that keep us stuck in repetitive negative cycles that we no longer enjoy or pursuing dreams not yet realised.
I realised that if I wanted to be successful in all areas of my life, I have to be willing to challenge my core beliefs to overcome fear and dismiss untruthful stories through the renewing of my mind.
Often when we find meaning, we find purpose, motivation and strength. The motivation to get out of bed in the morning, the motivation to care for ourselves, the motivation to love, and the motivation to start again!
Looking back, this was perhaps the most important characteristic of building my resilience. It became my big WHY and provided the driving force that pulled me forward and bounce back quickly from my adversity.
For you, you may bear a title such as business leader, business owner, coach, consultant, lawyer, financial advisor, service professional, author, speaker, etc., but underneath, you’ve been given a higher calling and a unique mission to share with the world.
Without building your skills in resilience to help you along the way, you’ll find yourself in hardship and tempted to take the easy road or give up.
Do any of these resonate with you?
If they do, you're in the right place to be guided, supported and inspired by an amazing team of real people who’ve experienced the highs and defeated the lows of a trying and difficult life - and now, they’re passionate about giving their strength right back to you!
Each of us have extraordinary possibilities and strengths. Each of us has the capacity to get back up and carry on, whether we use it or not.
Turn Your Adversity Into Opportunity!
You can acquire the inner strength necessary to shift your mindset from 'can't do' to 'can do' in less time than you think possible.
Each of us have extraordinary possibilities and strengths. Each of us has the capacity to get back up and carry on, whether we use it or not.
This is resilience.
YOU ARE READY?
'Life's up and downs provide windows of opportunity to determine your values and goals. Think of all the obstacles as stepping stones to build the life you want' - Marsha Sinetar
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