Tag Archives: be free

No Damage

No Damage
No Damage by K A Hodgson. Available worldwide on Amazon.com & Amazon.co.uk

I can’t stop smiling today because I have finally finished and released my book No Damage. I have been writing my story since early 2012 and simply cannot believe little old me has written a book! What makes it even more incredible and joyful is that REAL people are reading my words and leaving the most beautiful customer reviews. I feel like checking it is me they are talking about.

‘I’m only on page 15 of No Damage by KA Hodgson and I get the feeling that after reading the whole book it will change my perception on life. Incredible book, well worth a read (available on Amazon)’

‘I couldn’t put this book down. The writing is so honest, with such sense of humour. I laughed and cried all the way through. Highly recommend’.

I poured heart and soul into sharing my story, I cried many tears and often felt like giving up but I carried on because I had a dream and I still hold that dream close to my heart and tucked away in my hands. From the moment I began writing, I knew that all I wanted was for No Damage to reach people across the world and inspire them. All I wanted was for my words to bring comfort to those that needed it most, to bring laughter, encouragement and a reason to smile when the going gets tough. I wanted to shine a light on the dark corners of life, talk about the taboos and bring hope to the world. I also wanted to delve into the utter embarrassment of being left at the almost-altar twice, the hilarity of internet dating as a novice and somehow finding myself in a South African prison. Life really did throw some curve balls at me for a few years! In spite of everything that happened during those years, this book is a funny and uplifting look at life that promises to inspire the reader. Please enjoy and help me make my dream a reality by sharing this story with your family and friends.

The true story of a woman on the eve of turning thirty who seemingly had it all, with a successful career and home life, until her first fiancé left her at the almost-altar one Christmas and her life began to spiral out of control. This is the hilarious, brutally honest and uplifting story of one woman’s journey to survive having TWO runaway grooms whilst coping with cancer, internet dating as a thirty year old hairy legged novice and her ridiculous, enormous dogs. This is the story of turning a broken life into something brilliant.

No Damage on Amazon.com

No Damage on Amazon.co.uk

‘A beautifully written book. Fascinating in its honesty, gripping in its drama, entertaining in it’s humor and inspiring in its thought provoking analyses of the difficult situations faced by the author in some turbulent years of her life. I challenge anyone to read this book without laughing out loud and shedding some tears.’

 

No Damage Cover

For the following people and their blogs who inspired me, thank you and Merry Christmas. You are all incredible!

Apartment Wife

Be the love of life

Bucket List Publications

Dave Cenker

Piano with Rebecca Singerman-Knight

Leap life a frog

Miss Lou acquiring love

Letters to Humanity

Less equals more

Cupcake n sunshine

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Dream Catcher

Is there anything more powerful we can do with our life than follow our dreams, our heart’s deepest wishes?

Is there anything more wonderful than creating good in this world from the very act of being happy?

In my humble opinion, the greatest gifts we can give to this world are those of a beaming smile and being truly, soul happy. Where does that happiness come from? I believe it comes from being the unique person that each of us is, from following a path in life that is true to who we are and from walking away from the expectations and demands placed upon us by others if they are damaging and limiting in intent. We are told from early childhood to conform, to behave, to sit down and be quiet and to follow the same life path as everyone else.

We have our magic, unique beauty and dreams educated right out of our hearts as we grow up in a world that places much importance on wealth, success and following the norm as opposed to following our dreams. It is depressing to think that so many potential dreamers, poets, storytellers, healers and weavers of incredible magical lives have their potential crushed as they are encouraged to stop dreaming and ‘get a real job’ when they grow up. As adults we are laughed at if we so much as mention the idea of one day resuming our heartfelt dreams, no matter how small or big those dreams are.

It seems to me that if each of us were allowed to grow into who we truly are from a young age, without constraints, and given the encouragement to follow our heart’s true desires this world would be a healthier, more beautiful place to be. Can you imagine how we would all co-exist if each of us were given the encouragement to be happy? Imagine if happiness was actually a priority in our societies and we were given the support to create, cherish and grow into our true potential.

The beauty of this life is that we CAN, as adults, choose to make a change and actively decide to follow our dreams. It is never too late and in one way or another each of us can follow our heart’s deepest dreams whether it is a complete life upheaval or something as simple as finally pursuing that hobby we adore. We can be who we truly wish to be if we create enough self awareness to let go of fear, quieten our judgmental mind and just do it. That alone is life changing in the peace and mental freedom it brings.

When you mention following your dreams to most people, they laugh and push it aside saying it is pointless, there is no value or gain in pursuing dreams and it is impossible because of….insert a million and one reasons. It doesn’t pay the bills, it doesn’t contribute to a pension and dreaming is a childish habit that should be forgotten. I utterly disagree. I wholeheartedly believe that if each of us commits to what truly ignites our soul and keeps practising, it will eventually all come to good. There is no instant reward or success with giving up a routine life to follow dreams but there is the journey of a lifetime and, with persistence and effort, there is reward in the long-term.

When I was about to take my leap away from a routine lifestyle, I asked myself one simple question over and over again. It never failed to help me understand my true purpose in life and if I was on the right path for me.

If money were no object, if you knew you couldn’t fail and if you had no fear….What would you do?

That simple question has taken me both within myself and across the globe. I am still in the early days of following my dreams, I am working incredibly hard to make it work but I can tell you this. I have never been so happy and that alone is worth everything to me and to those I touch with my genuine, beaming smile.
Take a moment today to consider what truly lifts and inspires you forwards in life and follow that thought. Lift your head to the sky, close your weary eyes after a week of work and fall back to your dreams. If money were no object, if you knew you couldn’t fail and if you had no fear….What would you do? May you have the courage to begin to follow those dreams.

Following My Fear

Simons Town Lighthouse

The grip of fear. It is something we all feel at times and it literally chokes the zest of life out of us and keeps us standing still in a thick bog of self doubt at times. Can you remember the last time you felt that way? Are you there right now? I certainly am.

It is the madness of my mind that one day I can be full of life and belief that anything is possible and then, the very next day, nothing is possible. Suddenly I am standing in a smelly, wretched bog of fear and my creativity has flown away into the distant sunshine. How does the mind play such tricks when nothing, absolutely nothing has changed to cause that fear to rise in the first place? That alone is a reminder of just how powerful a tool the mind is if we harness it correctly. It certainly is a master of chaos when left alone.

So, I am standing in the middle of my fear at the moment and, as the mud is seeping into my boots, I have been struggling to set myself free. I have been fighting against my fears, wriggling this way and that to get away from it in a fit of huffing and flailing arms and then giving up until I get my breath back. I have been feeling lost and unsure of which way to turn to rid myself of this state of mind.

But then it occurred to me this morning what the real problem is. Instead of allowing my fear to exist and following her to see why she is here I am fighting her. Since when did fighting get any of us anywhere other than into trouble?

I need to stop that right now. Instead of fighting my fear I am going to allow her to sit there quietly next to me and see why she is occurring in the first place. Fears are based on irrational lessons we have learnt at some point and, to our subconscious mind, those fears make sense. Perhaps by getting to know my fear instead of batting her away, I will set myself free. Perhaps simply by knowing that it is okay to feel fear, by allowing her to sit quietly at my desk as I write and watch as I show her an alternative life of joy and laughter, fear will in time settle down.

When fear loses its significance and power over me and becomes an acceptable, perhaps welcome, visitor I can transform her. I can mould her gently into something new that need not hold me back as I pursue my dreams in life.

 

Fear can become my friend, my way of knowing when I need to look deeper to heal old wounds.

Isn’t it sad that we allow our fears to hold us back instead of them being a tool of discovery and investigation? Each of us has fears, whether we choose to admit it or not, and we hold ourselves back from our true power and beauty in life by sitting in the shadow of fear. We all have dreams we didn’t pursue, talents and passions we thought were second rate and not good enough to be shared. How different would the world be if each of us allowed ourselves to shine and let fear fade away?
That is my work at the moment, allowing myself to reconnect to my peace and begin to shine again in my own small ways. I am starting with a healthy dose of play this weekend amongst nature, my favourite breakfast and a reminder that I am doing my best to transform. I am trying every day to follow my dreams fearlessly, I am trying to make a difference and it is okay that right now I feel a little lost as I stomp about in the bog.
Today I am going to sit in my mud pit of fear, eat my marmalade on toast and raise a big steaming mug of English tea to the sunshine. I am going to make it a comfortable place to be, hope the mud doesn’t ruin my clothes and see what the day brings.

Inspire Me

Endless Light and Love – Life is so ironic

Prose over Bros – Relax

Miss Centsible – Speak quietly to yourself

Totally Inspired Mind – Do It badly, do it slowly

Bourbon Tea – Hooray for play

What’s your elevator pitch?

Isn’t it strange how we feel fear when someone asks us to define our hopes, desires and dreams? As if it is somehow selfish and unrealistic to have them? In this day and age the world desperately needs more dreamers, more creators and people who are willing to step up to the mark and create a better future for mankind. Nonetheless this question fills me with fear. So….what is my elevator pitch?

I am excited about inspiring others that feet lost and unsure about their path in life to step outside of the conventions of society, outside of their fears, dream big and lead a life that is true to the person they are. I am excited about reconnecting people with the natural world around us, specifically the oceans and those magnificent, awe inspiring creatures called sharks.

 

I am also excited, deeply excited, about writing. More than anything else in this world I want to use my words and create new worlds.

I am excited about this because I know how inspiring words can change a life. I have been incredibly lost at times, an outsider full of fear, and it is an incredible gift to now be able to pass on my knowledge, experiences and passion to inspire others to step up and make a change for their future. I am so crazy excited about the possibility of inspiring others to make a positive change within this world.

It ties into my story because I turned my life around against the odds and I know how it feels to be in need of support. I have such passion to inspire others, to speak up on behalf of those that can’t and I have plenty of experience of life’s pitfalls and getting up time and again to keep creating. I can relate to people, I care about them and I can  create bonds that I believe lift people and make their day that much brighter just by reading my words.

My elevator pitch isn’t very refined yet, it isn’t as short as it ought to be (1-2 sentences max) but I can hear the passion inside me trying to overcome my limiting beliefs, I can feel that I care and it is giving me an idea of how to define and act up on my passions. Take a moment yourself and have a go at creating your elevator pitchThe Live Your Legend guidance to do so is here. Go for it!

Inspire Me

The Other Side of Ugly – You are not a tree

Totally Inspired Mind – Yesterday I was clever

Mastering Today – Change your life

Princess of the light – Be the little engine and believe

Positive Outlooks – Regret is not an ideal way of life

Putting on my Happy Shoes

This week I am mostly learning the art of awareness and stepping back from overworking myself.

It has a busy time for me as we are launching our charitable cause and super exciting venture Friends for Sharks. We had an absolute hoot filming our promo video for this. I couldn’t stop laughing every time I forgot what to say, the sun shone down on us and we got to spend time at the beach talking about oceans, inspiration and following your dreams. What more could I ask for?!

It feels incredible to be following this journey after some difficult times recently. Yes I am a little apprehensive at times, having given up our paid work to do this (eek) but I’m also feeling pretty perky and bold as I put on my happy shoes and have a metaphorical dance around the room each morning. I love my life!

Please take a peek at our promo video.

Enjoy the scenery, the oceans and us having a little chat about our plans.

It is awesome for me to think we are committed full time to raising money for charity for an entire year. Life is too short to focus solely on personal financial gain and already we are enjoying devoting ourselves and our voices to a good cause. I am determined we will raise enough sponsorship and donations to make Friends for Sharks a success and, best of all, we will inspire people around the world to be the change they wish to see. What is not to love about a plan like that?! I am over the moon excited that we already have our first talk booked; at Melbourne aquarium next year.

Do you know anyone that would like to host us as guest speakers?

Please point them in the direction of our tour itinerary.

If you feel inspired to support us with a donation, please check out our happy little GoFundMe campaign and share it with your friends and family. Every penny counts to us and it is all for a fantastic cause.

One of the challenges for me throughout this venture is finding my balance, my happy, and not overworking myself. I am often like an overeager puppy, with bucket loads of enthusiasm and no ability to stop myself until I become exhausted. The challenge for me right now is to rein myself in and make sure I give my body and mind time to rest. I am slowly starting to recognise that actually it is inefficient working all day long anyway. Our minds are capable of being more productive and efficient if we give them a chance to rest, to daydream and be creative.

The biggest thing I can do to help improve my work output is actually to work fewer hours and spend some time watching the world go by in my daydreams. One of my favourite ways to do this is my Daily Walk and I am trying hard to make sure I take time off every day in addition to that. Admittedly it is not always happening but it is a journey that I am committed to.

My other learning curve this week is about being fearless. I am practising pulling on my superhero pants, reminding myself I can do this and being fearless about the future. I waste far too much time on pointless worries and ‘what ifs’ and I don’t want to be that way. I have no idea how the next year will pan out (will I end up homeless with fleas? Possibly, maybe not, I don’t know) but I can choose not to be fearful and to embrace whatever lies ahead with absolute acceptance and a pretty welcome mat.

On this beautiful afternoon I am practising creating that welcome mat in my mind and it looks a little like this.

Be fearless, enjoy today and accept whatever comes your way with a welcome mat

and your favourite pair of happy shoes.

Onwards we go!

Inspire Me

There are so many awesome blog posts inspiring me right now. Here are my favourites that are definitely worth reading.

In the Stillness of WillowHill: Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet

Totally Inspired Mind: Words of wisdom found this week

Leap Like a Frog: Living your life happily ever after

Apartment Wife: Hopeful beginnings

With Love from CA: A look inside the art portfolio

This Italian Family: The world’s largest tree house

Life Paths for Better Endings: The quest

Just keep walking

Throughout daily life there is one simple habit that has kept me on an even keel; walking.

I have always referred to my daily walk as my Sanity Walk and refuse to miss a single dose of it. It doesn’t matter where I am walking, what has happened in the day and whether it is pouring with rain or bright sunshine. It can be morning, noon or night, I don’t care. It is my moment to stomp, march, skip, meander and wander along paths of every kind and in every country I visit. No matter how grumpy or miserable I may feel beforehand, my Sanity Walk uplifts and inspires me. Some of the greatest decisions I have made in my life have occurred during my walks. Stepping one foot in front of the other has  seen me through devastating times and serious injury when it was all I could do to keep walking whilst tears filled my eyes and threatened to trip me up.
In honour of my humble, yet irresistible, potters I am sharing some of my favourite walking moments from the years gone by, just as I step out of the door to go on my next adventure.
Keep treading those paths and life will continue to unfold.

I am NOT my story (and neither are you)

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It was whilst having lunch with new friends this week that I remembered I am not my story.

I really enjoy listening to other peoples’ stories; their history of triumphs and failures, joy and loss and the moments they choose to share and believe define who they are. It is a privilege to hear such tales and be trusted not to judge but to listen with an open mind and enjoy a moment immersed in someone else’s world. Though perhaps it is not that I am trusted to not judge but more that they don’t judge themselves for their history, their story, and so it doesn’t matter what I think. I always admire people that have the courage and honesty to just be themselves warts and all.

My journey with my past is an ongoing one and I struggle to admit the recent years of my life when people ask me how I came to be where I am today. I gloss over it as quickly as possible with a series of short sentences that define four painful and embarrassing years of my life because a part of me still feels ashamed. There is a piece of me that is still working on coming to terms with the fact that in the space of four years I was left at the almost-altar by my fiancé just weeks before our wedding, my mother, my best friend, died of cancer and ultimately I lost my career, my home and a whole lot more. Heck, my life was a nightmare at that time and I fought tooth and nail to create something positive from that wreckage whilst also being hideously embarrassed by my circumstances. I have worked on my self-esteem, built a new career overseas and made life choices that have led me to where I am today which is a place of happiness and a lot less drama. I have taken responsibility for my part in each of those moments in my life, I have forgiven others and yet I still feel ashamed to admit it all. I can’t bring myself to say it out loud without turning that series of events into a joke or a flippant tale as I mutter and stare at my glass of wine and shrink into my chair. I am all for listening to other peoples’ vulnerability and stories but less of a fan of sharing mine.

So today I am taking a step away from my shame and a step towards remembering I AM NOT MY STORY by writing that series of events out here. Yes it hurt like hell, it still does on some level, but it does not define me and it changed me in ways I am utterly thankful for. I have more compassion, empathy and understanding than I ever did beforehand and I am adamant that I will use my story to inspire others once I have finished writing it all out in my up and coming book. In the spirit of doing so here is my first admission, with bells on:

I was left at the altar not once but twice.

Yes, you heard me correctly.

I have TWO runaway grooms to my name.

 

I would like to say I feel less ashamed by saying that but I mostly feel like an idiot. On the other hand though, if one person reads this and feels less alone, less embarrassed by their history, then it was worth it. Ultimately all I want to do is help those in similar pain know they are not alone and speak up without shame. If I could survive all of that, which I did, then they can and will too. Keep walking forwards all and don’t let your story, whatever it is, define who you are.

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Inspire Me
Luca’s Cloud What would you do if you were not afraid?
Princess of the Light Seize Every Opportunity
Brene Brown Listening to Shame
Brene Brown The Power of Vulnerability