Rising Through Resilience: Louisa Herridge of The Mamas Ignited Movement On The Five Things You Can Do To Become More Resilient During Turbulent Times

An Interview With Savio P. Clemente

Savio P. Clemente
Authority Magazine

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As a Positive Psychology coach, Growth theory can be applied to resilience. Having a growth mindset means that you focus on the journey of experiencing, giving things a go, failing and learning until you succeed. Viewing life events as opportunities to grow. Failures are only setbacks and opportunities for improvement and learning. People with a growth mindset take charge of their success and the process of attaining it and maintaining it and as such show great resilience.

Resilience has been described as the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult life events. Times are not easy now. How do we develop greater resilience to withstand the challenges that keep being thrown at us? In this interview series, we are talking to mental health experts, authors, resilience experts, coaches, and business leaders who can talk about how we can develop greater resilience to improve our lives.

As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Louisa Herridge , 42 from the UK, who is a speaker, author and leader of the Mamas Ignited movement. As a Positive Psychology Mindset and Empowerment Mentor she works with passion-led women in business who are ready to create more impact; this could be by igniting their message and mission, becoming more visible or taking that first step to reinvent their lives and business. Over the last 2 years she has built a business from scratch after pulling herself out of the depths of despair, overcoming domestic abuse, debt and living with chronic pain. Louisa has created a new path in life, helping others and encouraging all women to believe in themselves, to ignite their spark to; be more, do more and have more.

As a solo mum to her 6-year-old daughter, Louisa describes herself as being like ‘the glorious Phoenix, who has risen from the ashes of debt, domestic abuse, trauma, chronic pain and depression to be reborn in flames as the blazing leader.’

Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your backstory?

Gosh! Where do I start? I was a victim of domestic abuse and after a violent assault, I escaped from an abusive relationship. I struggled with my mental health and suffered emotional and psychological burnout which resulted in a breakdown. I really did think I’d lost everything, but I have a beautiful six-year old and she has been my reason for being throughout some of the toughest times.

I’d been teaching for many years, but as a result of the trauma and the various incredible therapies, which had helped me get back on my feet, I decided to expand my own training and qualified as a mindfulness coach. In the middle of the pandemic, I went part time as an English and Drama Teacher at a large secondary school and launched my dream business. The word soon spread and I found all kinds of people seeking my services. Mums were bringing their anxious children and at this point I realised, in most cases, mums also needed support. I started to run Relax Mums’ courses and this was the beginning of my Mamas Ignited movement.

The demand has grown and grown throughout the last two years, as we have all had to deal with the effects of the pandemic, on top of our own already stressful lives and I couldn’t juggle teaching and business full time, so I made the brave move to leave my teaching role.

Via Mamas Ignited, I want to help women to tap into their story and be able to speak from the scar not the wound using it to ignite their business impact. I have had my share of adversity and know how hard it can be to stop listening to your inner critic, voice of doom and the tight grip of imposter syndrome and anxiety; I understand your fear of judgement or failure; I had it too.

Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?

The most pivotal moment of changing career was when I attended a vision board session. I was living in a vortex of doom at the time, and looking back now I can see that I had a very fixed mindset as opposed to the growth mindset that I have now.

I couldn’t see any positivity in my life but listening to Happiness coach and Author, Toni Mackenzie speak about how she overcame adversity it made me realise that I had the power within me to make a change. I decided there and then that ‘positivity was my new mantra’

I created a vision board listing Author, Relax Kids Coach and new house on there and within 6 months all were achieved.

I learned that day that we are all at times struggling with life and adversity but we can be in control of how we think. Making that choice was life changing and was the beginning of my growth and testament to the resilience that I have.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

Everything I’m currently doing is based on my own lived experience alongside my expertise. I have such a story to share and I know that if it’s possible for me, then anyone who has suffered trauma or abuse of any kind, can heal and grow. No one should be trapped by their past, and there’s no shame in calling yourself a survivor. We’ve all experienced life’s hard knocks in one way or another but they can be a springboard for a healthy, whole future, rather than a cycle of shame and despair.

I use the analogy that ‘an ironing board is a surfboard that gave up on its dreams and got a boring job.’ For years I felt that I was the ironing board and although I loved teaching, I wasn’t living my purpose. As an English teacher I felt that I was living up to the saying, ‘Those who can do, those who can’t… teach.’ Creating Mamas Ignited I am a living example of how it is never too late to reach for your dreams.

I have had my share of adversity and now I am surfing to success showing other mamas that they can be more, do more and have more… and that never involves more ironing!

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

My daughter is my inspiration. There were some very bleak times in my early recovery and she also suffered from anxiety. She is an incredible individual and we are totally on this journey together.

I’m also privileged to know a whole raft of fabulous women who are being more, experiencing more, achieving more and overcoming more! Everyday we encourage one another and celebrate our wins!

Meeting Dani Wallace who is also a survivor of domestic abuse, helped me to see that things have happened ‘for’ me rather than ‘to’ me and that I can use my story to help inspire others. I am grateful for meeting her, I heard her speak at an event in March 2020 and I said to myself, ‘This time next year I will be up on that Stage.’ And I was.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We would like to explore and flesh out the trait of resilience. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?

Resilient people are honest with themselves and others. They don’t sweep things under the carpet and pretend their way through life. I’ve learned that if you don’t deal with something, it will eventually deal with you.

Resilient people are strong enough to adapt and change… and we can’t despair if we feel like that’s an uncomfortable place to be. It comes with experience. I often think of the palm tree — able to bend in the storms, but rarely uprooted. You may feel like that today, but don’t be troubled. The storm makes you stronger!

Resilient people know who they are and accept themselves, both the good and the bad.

Resilient people have a strong support network; family, friends, peers, work colleagues. We don’t need an army of support, just those significant individuals we can turn to when life gets rough or the waves feel too strong to navigate.

As a Positive Psychology coach, Growth theory can be applied to resilience. Having a growth mindset means that you focus on the journey of experiencing, giving things a go, failing and learning until you succeed. Viewing life events as opportunities to grow. Failures are only setbacks and opportunities for improvement and learning. People with a growth mindset take charge of their success and the process of attaining it and maintaining it and as such show great resilience.

Courage is often likened to resilience. In your opinion how is courage both similar and different to resilience?

Courage is the ability to do something that frightens you and a sign of strength. Resilience is the all-round mental, emotional, and spiritual capacity to recover and overcome from difficulties.

Both are traits that show strength of character and a need for grit, however in my opinion they are different as courage can be drawn upon when you choose to tackle something whereas resilience is a trait that needs to be called upon and doesn’t involve choice as it is a capacity that we all have the potential to tap into when needed.

When you think of resilience, which person comes to mind? Can you explain why you chose that person?

I think of all the women I’m privileged to work with in particular Lisa Johnson and Abigail Horne who on the surface may appear to have had, ‘overnight success’ but have in fact shown great resilience in overcoming personal adversities alongside building empowering businesses. Both Lisa and Abigail speak openly about the bullying that they have endured and I admire the resilience that they both continue to show within their personal and business lives.

Has there ever been a time that someone told you something was impossible, but you did it anyway? Can you share the story with us?

I’d say the main person to blame for telling me that something is impossible is myself. Limiting beliefs and fear have stopped me doing things over the years. This question brings to mind the time when was in Sydney and I continually had been telling myself that it was impossible to think that I could climb the Harbour Bridge.

I met a lady in her eighties at Ayer’s Rock who had climbed the bridge and she made me promise that I would try!

When I returned to Sydney, after months of telling myself it was impossible I did it. As I climbed that bridge, the terror gripped me, my inner demons told me I couldn’t do it, but I dug deep and knew that it was just my inner voice trying to stop me. The euphoria of reaching that highest point lives with me now and although, over the years, my inner demon has got the better of me, I have always known deep down that I could achieve anything that I set my mind to.

Did you have a time in your life where you had one of your greatest setbacks, but you bounced back from it stronger than ever? Can you share that story with us?

In 2019, I faced an epic eight-month long family court battle which pushed me to breaking point and in December I was reached an all time low. I was in a very dark place mentally and subsequently suffered emotional and psychological burnout. My mental health declined and I hit rock bottom. I was signed off work and took the first steps towards recovery — I had an occupational health referral and had CBT, which were incredible. As well as healing, it was also very forward thinking and positive and I realised in these sessions that I didn’t need to be a teacher for the rest of my life… which was an assumption that I had made. Alongside this, I was recommended to try Relax Kids for my daughter who was also suffering with symptoms of PTSD and anxiety. We had a mindfulness session and it changed both our lives. We experienced the incredible power in dedicating time to be mindful, close and together.

Following that trauma, in 2020 I trained in mindfulness and relaxation coaching and during the pandemic began to deliver much needed family well-being classes in my local area and on zoom. It was at this point that I realised, in most cases the mums also needed support. I started running Relax Mums’ courses and this was the beginning of Mamas Ignited. My all-time low was a catalyst for the some of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

How have you cultivated resilience throughout your life? Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Can you share a story?

The year before I started high school, we moved house to a beautiful four bed detached house, with a double garage. It was a new estate and much bigger than houses in the area. One of the worst things we ever did was move to that house as that’s where the bullying began. I was ridiculed, excluded and made to feel an outsider. I yearned to live in one of the ‘normal’ houses with only one bathroom! I worried about inviting people round, as even the nice friends would comment on the size of the house.

From a positive psychology lens I have been able to reframe this story, I learned to deal with it and stand up to the bullies and looking back I do believe that having to be resilient and stand up for myself from such a young age has shaped who I am today.

Resilience is like a muscle that can be strengthened. In your opinion, what are 5 steps that someone can take to become more resilient? Please share a story or an example for each.

For this I would like to share with you my SPARK system. This is my mindset and well-being system linked to positive psychology coaching.

  1. STRENGTH — Celebrate your own strengths and be clear on your values. My key strength is ‘Humour’ and I know that this is one of the ways that I am so resilient as I can use my humour and bring joy to difficult situations.
  2. POSITIVITY — Positive self-talk. Don’t keep looping that same old junk. Set a different mental course, write things down if you need to, and then look at yourself everyday and talk through the positives and affirmations. ‘I am strong, I am calm.’
  3. ACCOMPLISHMENT — Reflect on your own life lessons, celebrations and move forward. There are things you may have done differently. Celebrate your awesomeness, and learn from any mistakes. The great news is, that tomorrow is a new day and you can choose to learn from the past and start afresh! Grit is needed to accomplish things in life, Passion + Perseverance = grit. This makes you more resilient.
  4. REFRAME — Look at the things that have happened ‘for’ you and re-tell the story to show what you have learned. Also, forgive yourself! 9/10 times the trauma is not your fault but many of us torment ourselves with what if’s: what if I’d said no/spoken up sooner/ not gone out with him/ left at the first sign… None of these things are your fault. Reframe the story.
  5. KINDNESS -Accept that making mistakes is a fact of life and you’re not perfect! Take the pressure off and be kind to yourself. Take time to ‘just be’ and restore your mind through breathing, visualisation and activities that help to keep you in the moment.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

I’d love to inspire a movement where we all ignite the spark of self-belief in other people and extinguish adversity and fear to live a more fulfilled life.

This movement needs to start with children too and so my even bigger mission is to take my coaching it back into schools and for all children to believe that they can be anything they want.

We are blessed that some very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them :-)

A leader that I have great respect for is First Lady Jill Biden. I find her so inspiring and in particular the fact that when she was second lady she remained in her teaching position. I love the story of her marking papers ahead of attending a black-tie event at the White House. She is a great role model for women and girls and I would love to chat about the future of bringing well-being and mindfulness into schools more prominently.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

www.mamasignited.co.uk

www.instagram.com/mamasignited

www.facebook.com/mamasignited

Louisa’s book is available https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09RGGGG58

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

About The Interviewer: Savio P. Clemente coaches cancer survivors to overcome the confusion and gain the clarity needed to get busy living in mind, body, and spirit. He inspires health and wellness seekers to find meaning in the “why” and to cultivate resilience in their mindset. Savio is a Board Certified wellness coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), stage 3 cancer survivor, podcaster, writer, and founder of The Human Resolve LLC.

Savio pens a weekly newsletter at thehumanresolve.com where he delves into secrets from living smarter to feeding your “three brains” — head 🧠, heart 💓, and gut 🤰 — in hopes of connecting the dots to those sticky parts in our nature that matter.

He has been featured on Fox News, and has collaborated with Authority Magazine, Thrive Global, Food Network, WW, and Bloomberg. His mission is to offer clients, listeners, and viewers alike tangible takeaways in living a truly healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyle.

Savio lives in the suburbs of Westchester County, New York and continues to follow his boundless curiosity. He hopes to one day live out a childhood fantasy and explore outer space.

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Savio P. Clemente
Authority Magazine

TEDx Speaker, Media Journalist, Board Certified Wellness Coach, Best-Selling Author & Cancer Survivor