My Journey and How Hubpages fits into it
How I Transformed My Life - And How Hubpages Fits Into This!
In this article I write about my own personal experiences of surviving a horrible relationship breakup, and subsequently being in personal debt, and how I overcame this and turned it around. I hope that this article will help and inspire others who maybe experiencing some personal problems and/or debts and would like to move on and start creating a better life. I talk about how I coped, the practical steps I took to deal with my debt and the healing I found within that dark place following the relationship breakup. I share how I had to totally re-learn about relationships and what finally helped bring me the relationship I want, how I found my fiancé.
I relate it to my experiences here on Hubpages, what brought me here, my motivations, how I find it, what I like about Hubpages and what I dislike. I write about my desire to earn money with Squidoo and what I have learned about this.
I talk about how I am now creating the life *I* want to live. Also my goals for the coming year on Hubpages, and in my life generally.
Image courtesy of "ponsulak" / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
What Brought Me To Hubpages
Tough Times and some 'Aha' moments!
I have had a rough few years. I have also had an amazing few years.
In the past three years I have:
> Been through a horrendous, soul destroying relationship breakdown which had a big affect on me.
> Moved house 7 times.
> Done a lot of soul searching and 'work' on me.
> Got myself in a heap of debt.
> Had several jobs.
> Set up a fitness and wellbeing business that I love.
> Trained to teach Zumba.
> Realized that stuff does not bring happiness.
> Realized that I don't want to work for someone else anymore.
> Awakened to the fact that I would love to earn some income online and from writing (online).
> Started writing for Hubpages
and documenting this, and more recently started writing for InfoBarrel and created a couple of niche websites.
> Started tackling my debts.
> Started to take steps towards living that life that I want.
> Found a great new relationship with a loving man, and I feel much happier in this relationship than the old one!
Phew, I feel tired just writing it, but also excited too! It has been a rollercoaster few years for sure.
I am pleased to report that my life is a lot calmer now and I am much happier. I've learned a lot. There are still things I want to do including to travel and you can read more about that in the 'Goals' section at the end.
For now read on to find out how I overcame my challenges, and now am creating the life of my dreams, including working from home, and feeling happier than ever!
The Breakdown Of The Relationship
This was an awful stage of my life. It was not simply that my relationship had broken down, that happens to people all the time. It was the meaning I gave to that and the emotional affect it had on me.
In some ways you could also say this was a turning point in my life too. It's when I decided enough was enough and I was going to stop doing what everyone expected me to do, and wanted me to do, and create the space to find out exactly what *I* really wanted from my life. How I really wanted to live. Somewhere along the way I had lost sight of that.
When this relationship started out it was like most new relationships, happy and fun. I made some mistakes, and he made some mistakes but essentially I allowed myself to live a life I no longer felt happy in, and the crux of it is just that this man was not right for me. I watched my once happy relationship crumble around me but because of other things that were happening in my life, and the way I felt about myself at that time, I didn't think I had other options. I thought my world was ending.
It was a desperate, uncomfortable and horrible time that I cringe to write about.
And it was totally necessary to get me to reconsider my life, and start to really get to grips with myself and what I wanted to be, do and get in my life. It was a turning point.
Other Stuff That Triggered A Change
Other things that were going on at the time were that I had a very high pressure job, and I had a lot of my peers, friends and colleagues depending on me at work. I was young to have this kind of authority (30 yrs). I was living in the city, although I am a country girl at heart, and I missed the tranquility of the countryside. I missed my family too, I felt lonely.
I had fun in the city but the fast pace of life was never really 'me'. I didn't mean to end up in such a stressful position at work either, it just happened that was because I like a challenge and did well at work, and so things just grew and progressed.In the end I was in charge of a team of over 40 staff and volunteers, and I was managing large budgets and writing tons of reports. It all got a lot more stressful when we secured a large amount of funding from the NHS (government run health service in the UK). And suddenly I had to report back to them for EVERY LITTLE DETAIL!
My job went from being a fun, hands on community based health and food project, where I got to work with people and teach about a topic I feel passionate about, to endless meetings with funders, managing huge budgets. chained to the desk and churning out reports like there was no tomorrow. URGH!!!!
It became too much.
I put on weight and I was suffering with stress.
That combined with the breakdown of the relationship was too much for me. I was 30 years old, overweight, unhappy and single. I looked around at all the people of my age meeting their partners and settling down to get married, I thought about my own failed, almost engagement, and it was too much to bear. But the worst thing is people looked at my life and couldn't understand why I wasn't happy. I had a good job, lots of money (which I spent all of on 'stuff' to try to make me feel better) and I owned lots of 'stuff', so why wouldn't I be happy? But I felt like a failure. I felt so lonely and disconnected. I felt stressed to the max and I wasn't coping. It didn't help that one month after we split my ex met someone else and subsequently married her in a very short time.
I had a bit of a breakdown.
And it was then I decided to quit my job and head home back to the countryside to start a new life that suited me better. People thought I was mad and silly, and my mum was not overly enthusiastic. However I was in bits and I knew I couldn't carry on that way. Something had to give.
Once I had made that decision I felt a lot better immediately. I felt a sense of relief. I didn't have to struggle on, pretending to be happy anymore! But there was still a long way to go. I had a lot still to face. However I knew I was making the right decision.
Tools To Help With Life Change.
Anthony Robbins is one of my favorite motivational speakers.
Back At Home Again
It was a massive relief to be back at home, and there was also a part of me that felt mortified to be living back with my folks again at 30yrs old! I had to deal with feelings of being a failure and lots of questions about why was I back home? What went wrong in the city etc etc.
But mainly it was just a relief to have let go off all that pressure to be the person people expected me to be.
I had this nice romantic idea that I would do some little job, spend time with me family, maybe meet a nice guy down the road and live happily and quietly in the countryside.
Unfortunately I didn't realize just how much debt I had accumulated. This debt had built up through the several house moves my ex partner and I had been through in an attempt to 'make things better', my last big move out of London and also the incredible overspending I had been doing to try to make up for feeling so terrible. When I had been working my job in the city I hadn't really noticed the debt, because I could afford to pay it. Suddenly my income was less than half what it had been, and it began to dawn on me what big trouble I was in financially.
Zumba Comes Into My Life!
About that time a friend of mine took me to a Zumba class. I was sold from the first song. I LOVED it! So I decided to train to teach Zumba. I did the training and set up the classes. It took me a while to build them up and it was hard work, but soon they began to pick up. And I began to lose weight so this was a huge boost.
So despite the lack of other work available to me, my Zumba classes began to do well.
Zumba made me feel happy and alive, plus I was losing weight and making money from it! This kept me going.
The Darkest Hour
So I had all this debt, but at that point the enormity of the situation still hadn't quite hit me. I had some ideas about what I wanted to do. I have always loved health and fitness, I am a qualified Fitness Instructor and I was working towards an MSc in Weight Management (which actually felt like a bit of a joke to me as I was overweight at the time). I was also an accomplished trainer, so I assumed it would be fairly easy for me to get work.
I couldn't get any well paid work using the skills I had gained in the city.
I tried to set up a coaching business to help people lose weight and it just didn't take off. Having no money to invest didn't help. I tried to market it on the internet, but again I had no money to invest and I had no experience of internet marketing. Again it didn't succeed.
Next I tried to set up a business selling Avon products and it totally flopped. I lost a lot of time and money. It was terrible. And just made everything worse. I stuck at it for a year and the Manager kept saying 'it takes time, stick at it' etc but it just wouldn't take. I was not on my path. I just wanted to do something that could be successful but still manageable for me.
Maybe I am an eternal optimist, or maybe I am a fool, but I just had the idea that I wanted to be self employed, and despite the country being in the middle of a deep recession I thought I could make it work. By now I was feeling pretty disheartened and worn out. It had been over a year since I came home and my finances were in worse shape than ever.
In this time I tried many things, and time and time again it just felt like hitting a brick wall. I was frightened to take an another stressful job as I didn't want to risk having a breakdown again, however this pressure was awful too!
I continued to do various things to earn money, however at the end of the month there was never enough and I couldn't make the basic payments on the debt I owed. I couldn't even go bankrupt because in an effort to mange my debts I had borrowed several thousand pounds from my mother to pay off creditors who were chasing me, so the majority of the debt was money I owed her. It was the emotional impact of owing all this money, and being dependent on my mother that really got to me. And in the next year and a half it just got worse and spiraled out of control.
I did learn one very important lesson during this time though. And that is that I don't need all the 'stuff' I used to think I needed. AND STUFF DOESN'T MAKE YOU HAPPY! I began to learn about living frugally and managing my finances. Despite this being a very scary time in my life, and me not knowing whether I would be able to turn it around, it did teach me some very important life lessons.
Make A Plan To Help You Get Out Of Debt
For me following and sticking to a plan was essential to getting out of debt.
This book has incredibly positive reviews.
Coping With The Anxiety Of Being In debt
If you are in debt no doubt you will be dealing with some anxiety. I had a LOT of it. Some ways I coped were drawing on support from my family and friends, talking about it (complaining :-) ) when I needed to. Taking time out and having a break to have a bath, go for a walk, just whatever to stop the anxiety from taking over.
Having a plan and talking to National Debtline helped. Also visiting the website I mention below (manvsdebt) on a daily basis helped to calm me down, not least because it made me realize I was not the only one in this boat.
Another thing that really helped me during this time was EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique, which works with your energy chakras and can help you to release negative emotions like anxiety.
I have included some tools below for you to explore if you are interested in learning more about EFT.
When I Finally Began To Take Control Of My Finances
The financial turnaround came for me when I realized that I just couldn't continue on how I was, and that I needed to tackle this problem head on. I had already cut down my spending as much as I could, and I was doing everything I could to earn money. So I went for help.
I did my research and I contacted National Debtline who are a registered charity that provide help FOR FREE in the UK. Be careful as some debt management companies will charge you and it is unnecessary when there is free help available. National debtline were able to calm me down and help me to face up to the reality of the situation, and then talk through my options with me.
But the real help and inspiration came from a website called
. This website helped me to get and stay motivated to sort out this issue. More than just being a website that helps you deal with your debt, and it will do that too, it is also the blog of a family who sold all their stuff, paid off their debts and traveled the world. Its inspirational. Plus the people who write the blog share their own journey of paying off debt, including disclosing all their monthly figures, and how much debt they were in.
So now I had the motivation and the plan. But it was still a struggle. I was still living at home and at this rate it would take me YEARS to pay off my debt. So I decided to do the one thing I had always said I would not.
I am lucky enough that I had bought a share in property in the city, back when I had money, and I decided now to sell this. My long term plan had been that this would be my investment, and I was hoping to increase my share, but was I prepared to live my life in pain and misery to fulfill this idea? NO! So much to the dismay of all the really sensible people around me, I went ahead and started the process to sell my share.
Again I had to come to terms with feelings of being a failure, and MASSIVE anxiety about whether this was the right decision etc. But the truth (MY truth) is, YES it is. Without a doubt the best decision for me at this time. Again maybe I am foolish, and I would rather live my life happy!
Now don't get me wrong. I have learned my lesson, and I AM thinking about the future. I have plans to make money and save money, and I truly understand the value of this now. However I needed to sell this to release some money and get me free of this black hole of debt that had swallowed me. And the emotional freedom it will bring is worth any money!
Currently as I am writing this (Jan 2013) we have found a buyer and so fingers crossed. That money will pretty much wipe out the majority of my remaining debt. I am so looking forward to that moment.
Links To Help You Overcome Debt
Please note - these links are for people living in the UK. I am sure there are similar services for people living in the US and other countries, however do your homework. Make sure the service you choose is a free service. Charity, Trusts and Government run services are normally a good bet. And read around in discussion forums to find out which debt and money management services people are recommending.
- National Debtline UK
For help and advice for people in debt.
- Money Advice Service
For help with managing your money and debts.
- Money Saving Expert
Martin Lewis is a great money saving expert. His tips and advice really helped me to save money and be wise about my choices.
- Step Change
Debt charity that offers free advice in the UK
My Happy Relationship!
While my financial life had been collapsing around my ears I had had some luck and success in another area of my life. Between all the working I had been processing my damaged emotions and pent up feelings from the breakup of my last relationship. Being at home gave me a safe place to process my emotions, come to terms with what I was feeling and begin healing. It didn't matter if I came apart a bit and this was a release.
I read everything I could get my hands on about men, relationships, dating and love. I learned a ton. There was a lot of helpful information and obviously some utter drivel. I began to make changes. But nearly all the advice and information I found kind of skimmed the surface, until I came across a dating coach called Rori Raye. Her stuff seemed a bit different and I became curious.
I bought her e-book as it was not too expensive, and I began participating in discussions with other women on her blog. Rori had a completely unique approach and the book was full of practical tools that I could start practicing straight away. I began to see my lovelife in a different way. I began to realize I had options. I had more power over my choices than I had ever realized. I began a long process of dating and experimenting with the tools and this new approach.
I had success straight away in that I attracted lots of men, but the biggest difference was in how I 'FELT'. I felt stronger. I didn't get so attached and the 'bad boys' who I used to feel attracted to lost their appeal.
About a year after I started trying all this I met my now partner. At first I wasn't sure but because of Rori's tools I gave him a chance and stayed open. We had some stuff to overcome and he is a lovely man and I have never looked back. We plan to marry next year.
I feel happier than I could ever have imagined. I've learned to deal with my emotions in a whole new way and I have attracted a man who treats me like a Queen.
So despite all the financial woes something was working out!
You can click through to Rori's website to get some free help and advice, find out more about the e-book and Rori's other programmes.
The Good Things I Now Have In My Life
Which I Am Thankful For
1) I have the loving, happy relationship I wanted.
2) My finances are improving and when my share in the city property sells most of my debt will be gone.
3) I am 'working' doing things I love, teaching Zumba classes, Pilates, Pole Fitness and working online (Hubpages and blogging). I actually get to earn money doing what I love!
4) I am healthy and so is my fiancée.
5) We are planning to marry next year.
6) We are planning our great escape to go traveling at some point in the near future
7) I live in a cute country cottage in a cute country village and I LOVE it!
8) I have some GREAT friends who were there even when times got rough.
So life is pretty sweet.
(Image courtesy of "graur razvan ionut" / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
Baby Stepping To Success
Building On What Works!
So now finally things are beginning to improve for me. I am not out of the woods by any stretch and I know there will always be challenges in life. However I feel like I am on the right path. So where from here? And how does Squidoo? fit into all this?
Well Squidoo has been a sort of milestone in the journey for me. Coming here. Having fun creating lenses. Finding Potpiegirl (see below) and realizing that maybe I CAN make money working online from home (or from wherever we are when we travel). Getting to be creative and make lenses (free webpages) about stuff I love and hone my writing skills at the same time. And all this for FREE, what could be better? Plus I get to be part of this amazing community here and learn so much.
And I am working on some stuff just now, to really give myself the BEST chances of creating my happiest, healthiest most passionate life. I think of the babysteps like stepping stones.
The first ones are to get my attitude right and aligned up for what I am intending to create:
> Looking into some energy healing to remove emotional blocks (to wealth).
> Taking care about what I am thinking (yes I do believe what is in our head and psyche affects what we get out here in the physical world)
> Acting As If - this basically means acting as if I ALREADY have the life I want, and I already have the wealth I want, so that I can really FEEL what it feels like, develop the right mindset to accommodate and be open to it.
> Practicing an 'Attitude of Gratitude' This ties in with the one above, focusing on and being appreciative of the things I do have creates positive focus to bring more of the same.
> And well basically, just NOT taking any prisoners.
The practical things I am now doing to create my dream life are:
> Continuing to build my fitness business.
> Saying NO to situations I am not happy with. For example I was working for one organization as a Tutor/Fitness Instructor, and they were unwilling to compensate me fairly for my time. So I left. It was scary to do, however it was once I started doing this in my personal life that things really changed for me. It was once I believed that I could actually have more. So I am applying this to my work life too.
WATCH THIS SPACE for the results.
> Proactively pursuing my online career, on here and also by blogging and creating some niche websites. I am doing this by working the One Week Marketing plan (see below).
> Continuing to work with One Week Marketing and creating lenses,.
I have yet to see what works out but something will and I will report back on my progress.
Image courtesy of "Evgeni Dinev" / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Making Money Online
My Online Career
Being able to earn money online was something I had stopped believing I could do. Until I came across Potpiegirl and One Week Marketing Potpiegirl provides training, mainly based around Squidoo (and later you can progress to other stuff) which helps you to implement a very effective system that will allow you to earn money online.
I HIGHLY recommend her training. It took me several weeks to decide whether to purchase her training, I am very suspicious and skeptical around this kind of product because I know there is so much tat out there in this field, products and training that promise the earth (and cost the earth) but just don't deliver. Also I am very careful with my money now and I wasn't about to waste any money unless I was sure. However ALL the information and reviews I found about this training were positive, so eventually I went ahead and bought membership. And I am pleased to report, this training IS THE REAL DEAL! I signed up and had been working the system for 2 weeks when I got my first sale. My lenses are all ranking well now too, which they weren't before. This training is absolutely worth gold and I have learned things about making money online which will serve me for many years to come!
The training is easy to understand and follow and I whole heartedly recommend it for anyone who wants to make money online. And the best part about it is that you can sign up for free to start with and get a sneak peek, with no obligations to buy anything if you don't like it. So basically you can get loads of good info for free.
I have included the link below for you to grab your FREE sneak peak into OWM.
Your Hubpages Journey.
What Does Hubpages Mean To You?
My Goals For The Future
> Overcome my fear of trying new work opportunities (this stems from when I was unable to cope with my job in London)
> Continue to work online. I intend to continue building up my Squidoo lenses and other sites and get some passive income coming in.
> Blog about what I love, share my passions and what I have learnt and get some money back for it!
> Overcome my own judgements and negative voices in my subconscious about wanting to earn money easily doing something fun!
> Enjoy my country life with my fiancée and our dog.
> Continue to grow and enjoy my fitness business in a way that feels manageable to me.
> Continue to be healthy and happy.
> Save enough money to travel with my fiancée.
> Start to earn a some noticeable money with Squidoo. This looks like around Â£50 per month to begin with, ideally within 4 months, and then Â£100 per month within 6 months, and then hopefully more.
Image courtesy of "Hinnamsaisuy" / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Update Feb 2013
I completed on the sale of my share in the flat in the city last week. This means I was able to write of nearly Â£19,000 worth of my debt.
I still have about Â£5000 in total to go, however this is manageable! I have created a realistic repayment scheme for this last bit which I feel like I can manage!
This feels like a HUGE weight lifted off my shoulders. I am very lucky.
Now I actually get to keep most of the money I make, and don't have to juggle so much. Plus we can start some savings for the future.
I am very happy.
I will continue to create the life of my dreams.
Check back often!
Update March 2013
I Finally Have The Relationship I Want!
I am engaged! To my lovely fiancé. I got the ring yesterday and I feel SO happy. It feels like everything is finally falling into place for me! To be honest there is still a little fear as well, I mean it can be difficult to 'trust' in happiness when it finally shows up if you have always lived with struggle!
And I KNOW these are my own issues... this is where to work is for me, allowing that happiness and just enjoying what it, instead of looking for the next problem. What we focus on grows so it pays to develop an attitude of gratitude!
ALSO - I finally started to see a trickle on income on Squidoo. I have earned about $10 pending so far, and my share in the ad revenue has not been calculated yet. We are due a payday soon. I am also earning around $100 per week through O Desk, which allows me to work from home AND I am starting to build up small income streams elsewhere onliine eg InfoBarrel so things are moving in the right direction.
Check out my hubpagesto keep tabs on what I earn. My next goal is to cut down on my other work so that I can focus more on the online stuff.
Click below if you are interested to find out more about earning from home with Odesk.
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