Ok, so it rained hard. All day and all night it rained. But in true flourishing style, those who ventured off their cosy sofas to attend the launch of my Flourish Handbook at Hursley Parish Hall on 9th November had a great night out doing something a little different.The event doubled up as a gift fayre showcasing a range of handmade gifts from local suppliers. A big ginormous thank you to every person who came along including the wonderful stall holders and helpers.
Joanna Francis added:
“It was an amazing evening! I felt so uplifted and it was great for the children to listen to the talks given. It was a positive and empowering experience and reinforced the idea of how we must live in the here and now.”
During the evening, I took to the stage (eek) to talk (see above) about my journey and why the book and my mission, “to make the world a little less frowny and a lot more appreciative” became all the more relevant to me as, in June this year, in the midst of editing the chapter on resilience, the unthinkable happened, as, over the course of three weeks my dear dad was diagnosed and passed away from asbestos-related cancer.
The words I had written in The Flourish Handbook about resilience and supportive relationships became poignantly relevant and my sense of purpose, to do all I could to empower others to make the most of their one and only life, became all the more powerful and meaningful to me.
Sometimes life delivers harsher than harsh stuff which can break our hearts. We have a choice. We can stay down or we can access our inner reserves and bounce back, just like those we've lost would want us to. And so I took the opportunity on this special evening to remember my amazing parents and remind people that they still have so much to be grateful for, no matter what life throws at them, to take the rough with the smooth; accept, learn and enjoy the journey, becase we are the sum of all of our experiences, both good and bad ones. If we got rid of all the heart-breaking stuff we wouldn't be us.
As I said in my talk, being positive and flourishing doesn't mean that nothing bad will happen to you ever again. Sh1t happens. It simply means you will be better able to cope with and respond more positively to it when it does. I also tried to explain why positivity, well-being and flourishing means so much to me, why it's proven to bolster resilience and why I feel that the immense amount of research I've done plus the loss I've faced in my own life qualifies me to help other people to make the most of their lives and bounce back from whatever is chucked their way.
I concluded my lil speechy by urging attendees to count their blessings by jotting them down, arranging a dinner date with their mum, dad or both and finding ways to use their strengths each day.
Mandy left the audience awe-struck with her tales of flying her frontline Tornado GR4 squadron at 700mph and training youngsters. The focus of her talk was about the importance of pursuing your true passions and purpose in life, rather than doing what you think you ought to do. She was firing on all cylinders and motivated us all.
We washed down our motivation with some incredibly tasty locally-made elderflower wine and champagne from Droxford-based local suppliers Poppydown Vineyard and stocked up on books, bowls, bunting, cushions, cakestands and satchels from local business women.
The icing on the cake was that the charity raffle raised just under £200 for Multiple Sclerosis and Cancer Research charities. Thank you everyone who donated prizes.
"The launch captured the spirit of community flourishing perfectly. The hall was bursting with an uplifting vibe that was so fitting for the occasion. We were treated to a warm welcome, elderflower wine and empowering speeches that inspired us all to consider what subtle mindset shifts could bring about 'happiness with staying power' in our own lives. Cheryl is a fine role model. She embraces positivity in the face of adversity and the evening gave us all a glimpse into how the Flourish Handbook can help us aspire to and achieve the same.”
The Flourish Handbook provides practical tips, to-do-lists, planners and worksheets to help you develop the five pillars of sustainable well-being and make positive changes so that you are better equipped to make the most of, appreciate and respond appropriately to whatever life gives you.