Welcome to the ‘Upset to Set-Up’ Series: Interviews with Inspiring Women
This occasional interview series shines a spotlight on inspiring women and shares their stories of resilience in the face of upset. Here we interview women who have overcome significant tragedy, loss or upset and used that experience to set themselves up in a new and different way. They have turned their upset into a set-up. Each guest generously shares what they have been through to find the joy in life.
Patricia McPhail. Photo: Emily McPhail
Today we meet Patricia McPhail, Founder of HopeforOllie. HopeforOllie designs and sells handmade children’s clothing and accessories for 0-10 year olds.
Patricia created HopeforOllie in 2010 after her son Oliver was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) at 10 weeks of age. DMD is a fatal genetic condition which causes muscles to weaken and break down, leading to progressive difficulty with walking and general mobility. Currently there is no cure for DMD, and suffers have a 20 to 25 year life expectancy. Patricia is a mother who wants to make a difference to the lives of all DMD boys and their families by raising funds for clinical research into a cure.
I loved this interview, and I am sure you will too. Patricia is an absolutely inspiring woman.
Our home is a place where ideally, we feel most ourselves. It is a place of shelter and sanctuary that offers security and comfort. Our homes also hold many of our most valuable things; our loved ones, treasured heirlooms and possessions, as well as precious memories.
We are currently in the process of preparing to move house, and as a result I am feeling like Marie Kondo on speed! I’m touching every single item in my home and asking not only does this spark joy, but is it useful, do we need it, do we love it and will we need it in our new abode. That is a lot of questions to be running through your head, let me tell you!
When we lose a baby, it’s not just us who experience grief and mourn. Those around us, our parents, our siblings and any children we already have, also all grieve.
Of course, we know this, but it can be very hard to recall when we are consumed by our own loss and the associated pain.
There are valuable upsides in allowing ourselves to experience feeling sad and the so-called negative emotions.
Over the past couple of decades, there has been an increased labelling of emotions as positive and negative. As part of this, sadness has been seen as a negative, and something to be avoided at all costs. And, happiness is seen as a positive emotion, and one we are all striving to achieve. But, in order to live balanced, well-adjusted lives, we need to experience both emotions.
A few days ago I read a post by a fellow life coach, who was predicting that creativity would be a big theme this year. I noted this with interest, and yet also felt like it was a not really news. You see creativity, the need for creative expression and allowing space for creativity in my life has been a constant since I was a child; it’s a lifelong theme, not just something for this year.
Creativity has been my comfort and go-to approach at many times of my life, but it really came into its own when we lost our son.
When we change our habits and routines, or take a break and leave town, almost magically, the way we experience time feels different too. It feels slower, and more memorable. We recall in more detail what we did, who we saw, what we ate; our lives feel more interesting.
Knowing this, and using this to our advantage can assist with coping when we have experienced loss.
Learn how to manage your heightened emotions at Christmas time in this guest post by Intuitive Coach Laurelle Wishart.
Ho ho ho! Christmas is really close now. Can you feel it? The air feels supercharged, with people racing to get things done, buy final bits and pieces, finish up at work, make last-minute arrangements and attend family dinners, presentations, celebrations and endless ‘occasions’.
Christmas is an emotional time, there’s no getting around it. And if you’ve experienced a significant loss in your life, so many moments this time of year can trigger sadness and grief – the conversations with loved ones and strangers, the music, food, smells and memories that seamlessly and sometimes painfully bring the past into the present.
Rituals and traditions play an important part in our lives. Whether we identify as religious, spiritual or neither, rituals and traditions are forms of structure that help life flow more easily.
As bereaved parents, the importance of tradition is particularly felt around the holiday season and Christmas, when having traditions, or creating new traditions can help us get through potentially challenging times.
Trusting our instincts, or listening to our intuition, is something we women are supposedly good at. But, it can take life experience and practice to really learn what that really means. Learning to trust our instincts can take time.