To view more of Sophia's art go to

www.sophia-elise.artistwebsites.com/ or

to purchase prints and cards of her artwork go to

www.fineartamerica.com/shop/sophia-elise.html


If you see an artwork on this website that you like but it's already sold - please contact Sophia as she does commissions.





Saturday, February 6, 2010

Gratitude is the Key to Happiness




If you are a regular blog reader of mine you will know that I'm not one to dwell on the negative side of life and that I see obstacles as opportunities. For me most of the obstacles have been opportunities for personal growth and also what has developed my strong belief that gratitude is the key to happiness. Even in the negative events that we have in our lives there is always something positive to come out of it - you just need to change the way you look at these things. It is so empowering and freeing when we don't allow set backs, hardships etc to get us down. We don't have to be a victim of our life.

Last year HER Business magazine put a call out for Kiwi Business Women who had overcome hardships to be successful. (Success is quite subjective in my opinion) I decided that even though I don't dwell on the darker side of life I would like to take the opportunity to tell my story in the hopes that it might help other women out there who are going through what I have been through. That they will see you can get through these things and have a great life on the other side. To show what can be achieved through passion, vision and determination and hopefully by sharing my story inspire others to never give up on their dreams.

My story was simple really - in the past year I had gone from redundant Registered Nurse and solo mother to award winning business owner that had helped raise $85,000 for various charities in the past 14months. Ok maybe not that impressive in the scheme of things but add in various dramas over the last 5 years including (in no particular order) - depression, divorce, infidelity, betrayal, physical assault, 2 redundancies, major surgery x 2, broken ankle, sexual assault, corruption, sour business partnership, stalkers, hacking, malicious attacks, broken engagement, court cases, custody battles, .....

in fact my life was like a really bad soap opera ... Move over Shortland Street ... Actually at times my friends, family and I could only laugh as some of the things that happened were just so surreal.

It was a really hard decision to make to share some of the things that had happened in my life as they are deeply personal. There were things that I asked not be put in the article for that reason and also to protect identities and reputations of the other people involved. I wanted to maintain my integrity and my reason for speaking out wasn't to slur them but to give hope to other women who may have gone through the same.

So here is the article which is out now in the February 2010 issue on HER Business Magazine. (Thanks to my gorgeous boy Ryan for taking the photo of his mum)




8 comments:

Kay said...

Your "going public" will give strength to a lot of other women.

We never know how far the ripples will reach when we throw a pebble in a pond.

Well done, it is not an easy story to share.

Sophia Elise said...

Hi Kay - Thanks heaps for your support as always :-) I hope so - it was the same reason I went public 18months ago my struggle with post natal depression - had kept it very private up to that point - but thought I could hopefully do more good by breaking the silence and helping break down the barriers. The response I got after doing a radio interview for the Mental Health Foundation was great and was definitely worth going public.

Kay said...

I agree... I always claim that John Kirwan's biggest contribution to NZ was going public about depression, not his rugby feats, although one gave a huge boost to the public accepting the other.

I had magazine articles that I kept for years, giving me strength when the chips were down.

Sophia Elise said...

Couldn't agreee more!! It was great that had such a high profile with a huge fan base and then had the courage to go public about his struggle. It's harder for men to admit it and seek help so having a strong male role model talking openly has made a huge difference. :-)

cathsheard said...

Fantastic Sophia - good for you. And good for others to read what you have been through.

Sophia Elise said...

Thanks Cath! :-)

virin said...

Hi Sophia...
So much suffering, and so much courage...
I can only salute you !!
You are such a wonderful example for others to follow.
Wishing your life is full of happiness and cheer from here on!

Sophia Elise said...

Thank you so much Virin - very generous wrods - you're making me blush! :-) I am so happy with my life - changing my whole philosophy and way of looking at things was the catalyst for the enormous gratitude I feel for everything :-)