About

LISA Jan 2016

It truly fills me with gratitude that you found your way here .. to my little part of the online world.

I’m Lisa, and I live for sharing my big (and little) life lessons to inspire and support others. I am living proof that there are lessons, and even beauty, to be found in the darkest of times.

Before I launch into the serious depths of my life story and the heart of all this, here are a few things ABOUT ME:

Mean people scare me, I adore meaningful conversation, charity and doing good are my favourite hobbies, Motherhood breaks my heart and repairs it at the same time, coffee is the fuel to my mornings, I start the day by being grateful and stretching my body, I am not afraid to speak my truth and stand up for what matters, I believe that your relationship status and your weight have nothing to do with your worth, photography is my creativity of choice, blogging is my way of shining light where it is needed most, I am far from perfect, my home is my sanctuary, money does not blow my hair back, kindness does.

My life took the most traumatic turn when my beautiful Mother and best friend crashed her car on a slippery road near our home when I was 16 years old. She was only in her late 30s, brain injury suddenly became our unimaginable new reality, and we became a family of carers. It was during those years after her accident that we learned the harsh truth about brain injury, it often steals the person you knew and replaces their soul with an emptiness .. this is impossible to explain adequately, and it will haunt me forever.

Several years later, broken but slowly healing, she was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer. How much could one 40 year old single Mother endure?

Proof that a Mother’s love will survive almost anything, she lived for 11 years longer than anyone predicted. Defying any medical explanation, grinning through constant pain and only letting go when her body could no longer carry her. This woman taught us all about resilience.

Mamma

My life twisted and turned through those years, I was too young to comprehend the darkest depths of such tragedy. My family was torn apart and put back together again. I succumbed to the allure of escapism, not the healthy kind, the kind that involves an abundance of alcohol, substance and self abuse and more damage than I care to remember.

It was only when I learned of the self-love concept that I was able to steer myself towards recovery and the process of forgiveness. Anxiety and depression often accompany young carers into their futures, if they survive at all. This post I wrote for Tiny Buddha tells the story of my own survival in more detail.

I honestly believe that:

The ability to look back on a tragedy, a loss, a challenge of any sort and see through eyes that have healed, a heart that has been broken and patched up—this is the ability to grow and become a person who is shaped by the darkness.

My story does not define me, it empowers and shapes me. It also equips me with the unique ability to empower and shape others who need it most.

If you are able to discover a calling or your life purpose that has come from a tragedy then you are blessed beyond measure. 

My career in the charity world (Fundraising and Marketing) was born from my desire to give something back to the cancer cause when my Mum died in 2000. Beyond the flowers that I left with her nurses that day, I knew that there was so much more to be done. I left the corporate world determined to make a real difference and have never looked back. My work is not simply work, it is driven by passion and purpose and I infuse it all with the lessons learned through my tragedy.

Ultimately these lessons led me to Motherhood, a child of my own to whom I could soulfully impart the beautiful way that my own Mother raised my brother and I, mostly on her own. Single parenting often comes out of the blue, if we choose to embrace the unexpected we can take it on wholeheartedly and make it our own. This is what I  have done for almost 6 years now.

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the art of joy is where it all comes together. Writing, sharing, supporting others and connecting authentically light me up.

the art of joy is a guide to living a life less ordinary.

If not for the sharing, my story would be wasted.

If not for the lessons, my tragedy would be nothing but darkness. 

It is here that I will continue to honour my great loss and reach out to those who need it most by sharing authentically. It’s not all rainbows and unicorns, the reality is that I live with and ‘manage’ anxiety and depression on a daily basis. I choose the bright side simply because I have had enough of the darkness to last a lifetime.

If any of these things blow your hair back then you’re in the right place:

♡ Photography, creativity and self expression

♡ Parenting with peace, grace and honesty

♡ Raising humans who are spirited, kind and a little extra-ordinary

♡ Charity, compassion and making the world a better place

♡ Joy in the home, making a space your own and creating a sacred sanctuary

♡ Living authentically, with honesty and non-judgement

♡ Self care and self love

♡ Surviving and thriving beyond anxiety and depression

♡ Devouring the LIFE LESSONS shared by others so that you feel less alone

♡ Life Coaching 

If you share my passion to make a difference, appreciate kindness and hope to leave the world a better place then I am sure that you will enjoy being a part of the art of joy!

These are some of the posts that I believe are a great place to start to explore:

How to be a Good Friend to Someone Living with Depression

20 Simple One Word Ideas to Change Your Life

Simple Ways to be a Nicer Person

Why You Should Do More for Charity + How

Do Your Acts of Kindness Matter

It is with much gut wrenching purpose, nerves and excitement that I am working on extending this sacred space to reach and support as many people as possible, especially those who are in need of hope and guidance! Click here to learn about my study to become a Life Coach and my plans to open up this heart centred service to the world.

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4 Comments

  • Reply sprinklesandsprouts May 21, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    A friend sent me a link to your blog.
    When I read this post I knew why!
    This post had me in tears.
    I wrote about my mother’s death on my blog last October during breast cancer awareness month, it was such an emotional post to write but I feel so happy that it is on there.
    Signing up for your newsletter as pretty much everything on that list blows my hair back. After a really terribly tough week, I am grateful to have found some positivity xxx

    • Reply admin May 23, 2016 at 10:48 am

      OH Claire I am so pleased that you found my words, and that it has given you some comfort.
      Thank you so much for letting me know, I am really happy you are here xx
      Remember that you are never alone in your grief ..

  • Reply Teach me | How to be more charitable March 24, 2015 at 11:01 am

    […] of giving is quite possibly the most powerful way to turn a bad mood or a bad day around! It was during some of the darkest days of my life that I stumbled across this life-changing discovery. So many people go through life focused only on […]

  • Reply Sunday Reading - Working Mums Collective January 11, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    […] Lisa from the art of joy has shared 20 simple one-word ideas to change your life in 2015. This woman is […]

  • Your words matter, I would love to hear your thoughts xx