Emily Cleghorn of Better Life Coaching: “Courage- keep going!”

Courage- keep going! I know this can be incredibly hard especially in the midst of a massive loss but courage during this time can look like courage to face all the heavy emotions instead of repressing them. The world seems to be reeling from one crisis to another. We’ve experienced a global pandemic, economic uncertainty, […]

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Courage- keep going! I know this can be incredibly hard especially in the midst of a massive loss but courage during this time can look like courage to face all the heavy emotions instead of repressing them.

The world seems to be reeling from one crisis to another. We’ve experienced a global pandemic, economic uncertainty, political and social turmoil. Then there are personal traumas that people are dealing with, such as the loss of a loved one, health issues, unemployment, divorce or the loss of a job.

Coping with change can be traumatic as it often affects every part of our lives.

How do you deal with loss or change in your life? What coping strategies can you use? Do you ignore them and just push through, or do you use specific techniques?

In this series called “5 Things You Need To Heal After a Dramatic Loss Or Life Change” we are interviewing successful people who were able to heal after a difficult life change such as the loss of a loved one, loss of a job, or other personal hardships. We are also talking to Wellness experts, Therapists, and Mental Health Professionals who can share lessons from their experience and research.

As a part of this interview series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Emily Cleghorn.

Emily is a Self Empowerment coach, self published author and keynote speaker on a mission to help her clients to find purpose in their pain and metamorphosize their lives

She learned early on that with a little grit and determination nothing is impossible. Which inspired her to share her story and what she discovered on her own journey in her book “Rising from the Ashes: How to Reclaim your Life after a Traumatic Childhood”.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

I was raised primarily by my paternal grandparents and my parents were in and out of my life. When I was around the age of 6, I went to live with my dad and stepmom which ended up to be a very bad idea. That time ended up dealing with abuse for about 18 months until I got the courage to speak up. My grandparents were my constant. I have been greatly impacted by the abuse I dealt with as a young girl and have spent much of my life searching for that one way I was going to overcome it.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right” -Henry Ford.

Much of my life has been a series of negative self talk. Over the past few years, I’ve been on a journey learning about the power that I hold within myself to change my life. I’ve learned that everything really comes down the my belief in myself.

You have been blessed with much success. In your opinion, what are the top three qualities that you possess that have helped you accomplish so much? If you can, please share a story or example for each.

1) The first quality that I believe has helped me achieve so much is Resilience. I can think of so many different examples of this. Mainly though, I think of the perceived rejection I faced as child each time a parent didn’t show up for me and how I didn’t let that keep me down for long.

2) The second quality that I believe has helped me is Perseverance. I think of 8th grade math. I had this horrible teacher who wouldn’t take the time to help me and then would blame me for my results in class. As much as I would have loved to give up, I had a vision for my future that far exceeded this teacher so I kept going.

3) The third quality that I believe has helped me achieve my success in life is Courage. I was born with a courage to go against the norm. To push boundaries set by the mainstream.

Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion about ‘Healing after Loss’. Do you feel comfortable sharing with our readers about your dramatic loss or life change?

My husband and I had been married for about a year when we decided that we were ready to start trying to conceive. We tried for about a year with no luck. We went to my doctor and she started doing testing. When that all came back clear, she put me on medication to force my body to do what it was supposed to be doing.

I think it’s important to note a few things.

1) I had dealt with issues for many years so it was no surprise that our journey to conceive was not an easy one. 
2) About 6 months into our year of trying, I had reached an all time high with my frustration level. I felt unheard so I wanted to educate myself on my body.

So, I was on that medication for 1 month and it worked… almost. We had conceived! However, that medication did not offer my body enough support to get through the early stages of pregnancy and I miscarried.

What was the scariest part of that event? What did you think was the worst thing that could happen to you?

The scariest part of that event was the severe pain that I had the morning before I miscarried. It was enough to bring me to my knees. It didn’t last long but it was sharp. At this point, I had been disappointed on a monthly basis for a bit more than a year so I had convinced myself that babies just wasn’t in the cards for me and I would end up alone.

How did you react in the short term?

Immediately following my miscarriage, I went into a depression. From my perspective, I was the only person who was upset by it. I thought no one else cared so why should I. I was also angry at so many people. I was angry at my body for not doing what it was supposed to. I was angry at my doctor for not listening. I was angry at God for taking my baby away before I had a chance to love it.

After the dust settled, what coping mechanisms did you use?

After about a week of being at a serious low, I was so exhausted that I just couldn’t deal with it anymore. So, I did what I have done very well for most of my life… I built a wall around my heart. I stopped talking about the miscarriage. I pretended it didn’t even happen.

Can you share with us how you were eventually able to heal and “let go” of the negative aspects of that event?

Eventually, with some space I was able to see that the situation was not all bad. I learned how to honour my grief while still being able to move forward.

Aside from letting go, what did you do to create an internal, emotional shift to feel better?

Making an internal shift was hard for me. I had to come to a place where I was okay with either outcome. Babies or no babies, I had to be okay with both. This took a lot of soul searching, praying and personal development.

Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to cope and heal? Can you share a story about that?

There are a few people I am thankful for in this situation.

1) My husband– He was supportive through it all and so patient with me when the miscarriage happened. 
2) My doctor for showing me what I didn’t want my care to look like 
3) My Naturopath for helping me to understand what my body was going through and how I could support it. Also for showing me the tools I needed.

Were you able to eventually reframe the consequences and turn it into a positive situation? Can you explain how you did that?

Yes, I was able to take a step back and look at the situation with a little bit of distance. I chose to use the experience as an opportunity to learn and move forward with because it did teach me so much about myself and how I want to live my life.

What did you learn about yourself from this very difficult experience? Can you please explain with a story or example?

I learned that I am stronger than I often give myself credit for.

In the past, I have believed myself to be weak like if another terrible thing happened to me that I would crumble under the pressure. This event taught me that, that is not true.

Fantastic. Here is the main question of our interview. Based on your experiences and knowledge, what advice would you give others to help them get through a difficult life challenge? What are your “5 Things You Need To Heal After a Dramatic Loss Or Life Change? Please share a story or example for each.

Based on my experience, the 5 things I would suggest to anyone facing a Dramatic loss or life change would be:

1) Courage- keep going! I know this can be incredibly hard especially in the midst of a massive loss but courage during this time can look like courage to face all the heavy emotions instead of repressing them.

2) A support system- your people will be okay with your healing process. Anyone who isn’t okay with how you heal, aren’t your people.

3) Perseverance- That bigger motivator that drives you to get out of bed every morning. Find that and hold it tight.

4) A safe space- This could be physical and/or emotional. A place where you can let your guard down.

5) Desire- Better put, your vision for your life.

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?

I am on a mission to end the cycle of trauma. Childhood trauma or trauma in general does not have to be a life sentence. It comes down to a choice that we must all make. A choice to be empowered. A choice to be different. A choice to life each other up rather than rip each other down.

We are very blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment 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 if we tag them. 🙂

I would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with Oprah because she inspired me as a little girl watching her show that just because life might start out rough that it doesn’t have to stay that way.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Website- www. withemilyc.com
My Facebook community- Fierce & Independent Women
Instagram- @abetterlifewithemilyc

Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!

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