WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN LIFE HANDS YOU LEMONS WHEN YOU WANTED LEMONADE?
This website is all about how to harness our own happiness. What do you do when life hands you lemons and you’d rather have lemonade? Use the lemons and transform them maybe? But how? On this website we can share ways of how can we cope in an increasingly fast-paced world. How do we rid ourselves of unwanted tensions and become more peaceful and happy? Is it even possible in today’s world? Can happiness be within our grasp? The answer is most definitely YES!
We’re going to be looking at ways we can re-shape our lives, how to begin to bring more joy and zip into our lives even when we may be seriously struggling to cope.
It’s not difficult to do and we can all do it – we just need to have the right tools in our tool-boxes, and many of us don’t even have a toolbox let alone the right tools in it. So, I’d like to share with you some of the things that I’ve learned over the years, and look forward to your ideas and comments so we can all benefit from each others’ experiences.
Debra teaches Mindfulness, Meditation, Yoga and Relaxation, in Suffolk, with classes in Woodbridge and Snape. She is also a Mindfulness Practitioner and Coach, supporting staff at St Elizabeth’s Hospice, Ipswich.
She is an accredited and registered Yoga and Meditation Teacher, and a registered member of both the AHCP (Association of Holistic and Complementary Practitioners). She has a special interest in Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and meditation, having studied with Geshe Kelsang Gyatso’s New Kadampa Buddhist organisation in London for four years.
She is married to a barrister, and has three sons.
Debra is also a freelance writer and journalist, and until recently headed up the charity ‘Talking About Cannabis’ which she helped set up in order to support and inform families affected by ‘skunk’ cannabis use. Her eldest son became addicted to the drug after beginning to use it at school, at age 14. She began writing and speaking about the way this distressing experience impacted on her family and has appeared on numerous radio and tv programmes: Woman’s Hour, ITV’s This Morning, BBC News, Newsnight, GMTV, LK Today, BBC Breakfast News, Sky News, ITN, Channel 4 News, BBC World Service’s ‘World Today’, BBC 5 Live, Radio 1xtra, LBC, Radio London, and many local radio stations. She and her son appeared in two documentaries – ‘Real Lives’ for Sky 1 and ‘Cannabis Farms’ for BBC 3. She has written for the Guardian and Daily Telegraph, and appeared in newspapers and magazines: Daily Mail, Observer, You magazine, Good Housekeeping, Evening Standard and the Sunday Times. She has also spoken in the House of Commons, and at conferences in the UK and abroad. Along with another mother she gave evidence at the Government’s Cannabis Reclassification Review panel in 2008. Her book: ‘The Cannabis Diaries – a mother’s struggle to save her family’ was published by Hammersmith Press in 2010 and is available on Amazon.
She had a difficult early life too: her parents died when she was a child – her father from suicide in 1960, when she was 2, and her mother from cancer, in 1970, when she was 12. She was brought up by a her widowed mother’s subsequent partner; no family member stepped forward. So she knows what suffering looks like! She is passionate about the skills we can all learn and implement in order to move beyond depression, loneliness, stress, anxiety and despair. Frankly, if she can do it, then anyone can! The going can get very tough, but there are things we can learn to do to help ourselves, and to become our own best friend in a sometimes very hostile world. Stilling the mind is key, and meditation shows us the way. Understanding how the mind works, and how it influences everything we think say and do can be revelatory, and when we change our minds we change our lives. We can also learn to be our own best friend, and be compassionate towards ourselves aswell as to others.
She and her family moved to Coastal Suffolk in 2013, having lived in London since 1987 – and she is loving it! Suffolk skies, the proximity to nature, the beaches…..heaven really is not far away!
Her sons are now all in their twenties and doing well. The family survived the experience of teenage drug addiction. Her eldest son is now 28, and is a graduate from the London College of Communication, with a degree in Sports Journalism (2015). So it really is a happy ending to what was a very sad story.
Why not share your story of having survived difficult experiences, on this website – so we can all learn from each other? I look forward to reading them.