Time to inspire: Karen Patchell de Ladera

Over the next few weeks I will be asking some people a question, one that really makes them dig deep inside themselves. The idea is to inspire them to really think about their journey to date and also to think about themselves, which is something we can forget about with our busy lifestyles nowadays. I hope it will also inspire anyone who reads it, and that’s why I’ve called this series “Time to inspire”.

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The first person up is my big sister Karen. Karen has always been a massive inspiration to me and has taught me so much, especially when it comes to writing! Karen always made up stories to tell me before bed. My favourite being “The boy who never brushed his teeth” – it’s safe to say that even to this day I always brush my teeth before bed lol!! She is an avid writer and blogger herself, and will most likely be found with her head stuck in a book! Karen emigrated to San Francisco 2 years ago to marry her long term partner and while I do miss our chats after a few glasses (bottles) of wine (that could go on until sunrise) I am so happy to see her follow her dreams in America.

I asked Karen: “What does good health mean to you?”

I’ve come to learn that good health is about finding balance. Too often we think of being healthy as solely about the physical, but to be truly well, you need to nurture your mental health too.

When I was younger, I always cared about what everyone else thought, not taking the time to think about what I thought. All of my fears, anxieties, and negativities were festering in my mind, and I think that tends to affect your overall energy and focus. When I finally concentrated on what those negativities were, I also asked myself how I could change them.

As I took those initial (frightening) steps to change the negatives into positives, my motivations and energies began to increase. Instead of seeing a workout as something that took a lot of effort, I found myself eager to let the muscle memory take over, and let me focus on my thoughts. That being said, I also think it’s important to find an activity that works for you, and that you find fulfilment in.

For me it was dragon boating. I couldn’t wait to get out on the water every week. It became almost meditative for me.Since making these changes, I’ve become a different person. If something is bothering me, rather than trying to push it away and ignoring it, I address it, even if it’s painful or makes me admit to myself that I should have done things differently. Throughout this process, I have come to love and accept who I am, and what I am, and with it, I’ve become a happier, healthier woman. I may have lost 40lbs, but the mental baggage I’ve lost weighed so much more.

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