b'Happiness is a choice.Positivity in the face of challenge - is it possible?O ver the last 6 years Ive facedMental strength is key to making good choices. Mentally some immense personalstrong people dont feel sorry for themselves, arent challenges and, yet, I still remainashamed to be vulnerable and cry where needed. They an eternally positive person. dont feel the world owes them anything and they are willing and able to be adaptable. The most challenging of those being in 2017 when myRoss dying was, and continues to be, one of the most painful husband, Ross, died of a rare brain cancer aged just 32things in my life. People often ask how I have been able to and my world changed forever. manage my pain to move forward and why I dont fit the Rewind to 2014 I was happily married with twostereotypical widow image. daughters. My husband ran his own business and I was aThe answer is, I refuse to be stuck in pain. When you are TV actress who had appeared on well-known UK TV showsfocused on an injustice you think has been thrust upon you, such as Waterloo road, Byker Grove and The Bill. I had justyou can get completely stuck there. To become unstuck, you finished filming some episodes of BBC Casualty and hadneed to find a level of acceptance and responsibility.been cast in a film. Our daughter Brooke was nearly 3 and our youngest daughter, Texas, was turning 1.I was a woman with an incredible family and life.The HappyMe Project. then it all changed.The Happy Me Project launched just 3 months after After Ross was diagnosed, I came home, I sat down on theRosss death, inspired by the hundreds of messages from cold kitchen floor and I cried. That crying where you thinkpeople who wanted to know how I coped.youll never stop; but in those moments of grief, I had clarityOriginally a 21 day online self- development course and more raw, brutal honesty than Id ever had in my life.to help people find direction and purpose, its now a I took back my power.successful in-person workshop.I decided that we were not going to be victims of this, thatThe workshop is designed to inspire others that life CAN we could still have a good life whatever timeand WILL be tough, yet it can be amazing at the same we had left together. I made a choice totime.do whatever it took to get my familyItsabout resilience, self- development and doing the Im not special; through this.work to pull yourself through the tough times, whilst still the reason I am Mental strength and observing, appreciating and enjoying the good times.living a happy life making choices As a self-development mentor and NLP Practitioner, I now is because of Pain and hardship are nothelp people to move forward positively.the techniques I pleasant, but there is positivityUltimately, your happiness is down to you. You decide in embracing them. Whenhow you live your life, how you react, how you feel, what have learnt and the you accept that pain andyou say and what you do. Be kind to yourself, forgive attitude I choose suffering are part of our humanyourself and remember that resilience isnt about what to take experience, that its somethingyou can endure, its about resting, recuperating and living that connects us all and that nonefully in your good moments. Its about accepting what you of us are immune, then you cancan control and letting go of what you cannot.learn to create a great life, regardless of the pain. I choose to be happy more than Im dont. Life can still beRemember this Youre not unlucky, things challenging and yet is full of opportunity - its my choicedont come in 3s and its not just you.how to look at it. And its yours, too. 18'