Tuesday, 5 April 2016

2Inspire Inspirational Woman: Margaret V Aberdeen, Founder of Break Free from Domestic Violence™




Margaret V Aberdeen, a “human dynamo”, is an advocate for Domestic Violence and injustice to women. As someone who has broken free from Domestic Violence herself, she now empowers women to gain the strength and courage to Break Free from Domestic Violence™ and build a new life for themselves and their children. She has also made several international radio and television appearances, including for Radio 4, Choice FM, BBC One and Breakfast BEN TV (UK), Focus Radio and Spice Morning TV (Grenada, Caribbean). She is a member of Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP) and has received the Peace Ambassador Award for one of her speeches. Life - threatening cancer, domestic violence, the tragic loss of her baby and homelessness. Understanding that life is about learning, she has extracted something of value from each of these life’s challenges.

Please tell us what is a typical business day for you?
I am an early riser to the sweet melodies of Mother Nature. Each morning when I open my eyes, I sit in silence before leaping out of bed; I feel reborn as I embrace life and life embraces me. I meditate for twenty minutes, then take a long deep breath, look upwards with my arms stretched outwards and with every cell in my body absorbing gratitude as these affirmations mindlessly float out of me: ‘Thank YOU for this new positive perfect day!’ ‘Thank YOU that all my senses and limbs are in a perfect working order. As my feet touch the floor I say, ‘Thank YOU!’
Write my thoughts for two hours either in journal or book. Then check my emails and response to who I choose to response too and not too. My day varies: sometimes I usually structure speeches for an event, preparation for a workshop or coach a client via telephone, Skype or one-to-one. Tune into hot press news, attend various events and workshops to keep abreast as to what happening in my field. I also pause throughout the day to be grateful for being able to fulfil my chores. Similar to Oprah Winfrey, at the end of the day, I list five daily affirmations I am grateful for in my gratitude journal which I keep beside my bed. Even if it is a smile I share with someone during the day.

What made you start the business and how did you get started?
My childhood was plagued with physical and mental abuse. I witnessed the horrific scenes of my mother being beaten by the hands of my father countless times. I also encountered an abusive relationship which almost cost me my life and led to the tragic loss of my second child and homelessness. I became infused with passion and determination about all forms of injustice and violence against women and girls.
When I was a child I made a promise to myself to help victims like my mother. Now here I am, ‘a silent voice for victims of domestic abuse’, as a Survivor, a Leader, a Warrior, a Conqueress, a Goddess to help women to help empower women to regain their unique sense of self-worth , courage and strength to break free of domestic abuse and build a new life for themselves and children. 


What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment in the business world to date?
Being an inspiration to others by sharing my life experiences and how I overcame many adversities, including a turbulent childhood, cancer, domestic violence and homelessness - particularly to those who have had similar experiences and are out there in the dark to reassure them that they are never alone and to help give them hope and courage to reap the lessons learned in the darkness and walk into the light to become aware of the multiple choices for a better life.
    
What has been your biggest challenge in business so far?
Believing in yourself. I recently had a good reminder of how important it is to believe in yourself. As I was getting to the end of writing the book, I have recently completed, I started doubting whether or not I want to share my personal life story globally. I was worrying about how I would be judged, and how it would affect my family. Of course this stems from fear. But the interesting thing is: shortly after these hysterical thoughts raced through my mind, I regained my sanity. My passion and commitment to share my life experiences to help and empower others was overpowering and not to be concealed.               

What are your future plans for the business?
Actually, before I get into that, first of all...Destiny is not a matter of chance, but a matter of choice. It’s not something to wish for, but through vision and action its something you attain, because vision with action makes dreams and destiny a reality and changes the world.”
      Well, since I have started locally, my vision is to grow globally with the continuation of writing books, giving speeches and running workshops. Eventually I intend to launch a holistic retreat for women to recover, reinvent, redesign, rediscover, rewrite, reclaim, regain and reconnect with their authentic self, self-worth, wholeness, passion and feminine strength during and after traumatic experiences: abusive relationship, illnesses, depression and bereavement. 





If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?
Life is a mystifying journey. We are on a journey in everything we do. Nothing in life is perfect, even though we may have spent many years mapping out our hopes and dreams. Life doesn’t always turn out the way we plan. In spite of what we think, we are not in control of our lives. The reality is that we can’t know what will happen even one moment into the future or what our next thought would be. This was certainly true in answering these questions. I hadn’t the slightest clue how long each answer would be.  Life is a lesson-ground we simply just have to keep moving forward.

Why is it so important to inspire young women in particular to follow their dreams?
What is the fairytale myth we have fallen for? I think we’ve all felt this way at one time or another. I know I did.  Ah, yes. Once upon a time the Cinderella myth was that little girls were brainwashed, groomed, prepped, and primed that on becoming a woman she will become a Princess and will meet a Prince Charming, her knight in shining armour, who will come galloping on a white horse into her life. If the glass slippers fits, he will scoop her up and carry her off and they will live happily ever after. Now, say, if she fell off the horse. (Ouch!) It would be tough landing, especially when there was no one to pick her up. The glass slippers shattered. Stranded and alone she have to pick herself up and the broken pieces.
     I think girls should be told at an early age to let go of the fairytale myth, and that it’s okay to spend time on their own, to get to know and take care of themselves and to fulfil their dreams, hopes and aspirations. Oh!, one last thing. Get to know people really good before you enter any sort of relationship with them. 


What advice would you give to somebody who wants to start a business in your industry?
Hmmm… let me think. Well, these five tips came to mind:
Self-Inventory Regardless of your age, level of education, intelligence, current income or situation, look back and revaluate your life with a critical eye. Everybody is unique and has a story in them. What were your dreams, hopes, ambitions, true passions, burning desires? Write them all down and the reason why you wish to do them. If you have more than five, reduce them to two.                                                       
Decisions What is restricting your choices? Identify your priorities and be ready to sacrifice some of what is less important. Make sure it will give you stimulating satisfaction and rewards and greatly increase the chances of your successful choice.
Curiosity – Be like a spy. Research your target market. These days everything is publicised on the internet and you can snoop on your competitors via their websites, blogs and lots more. Do some networking, attend workshops and seminars. Though women may live longer, you certainly do not want to waste time if someone is doing something exactly what you wish to do.                                                        
Seek Help No one expects you to know how to do everything. Get help from the right people and resources; there are tons and tons of on-line webinars services and career advices. Some are minimal in cost, and some are free.                                                                          
 Action Plan You now know what you want to do and why. Make it a dominant thought and it will come into existence. Pursue it. Set a plan as to what you wish to achieve with approximate timings. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Be flexible. Remember, though, that without action your dreams and desires will remain right where they are: in your head. 
                                                                  
What or who inspires you in business and why?
I think I may have answered this question earlier as to how I started my business, but I will expand on it.
      My overriding memory is the moment my life miraculously began to change is a book I read a few years ago called Man Search for Reason by Viktor Frankl, these words inspired me: Everything can be taken from man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms, the ability to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.’  And that’s not all. This book made me realise that in life we have a series of choices. What we do with them is up to us.  With the realisation that I had multiple CHOICIES, and was the only who could take ACTION to make CHANGES to consciously reconstruct my life and connect with my true self, the core of who I was born to be; to know why I am here and what I’ve come here to do.

My burning desire: “To drag domestic abuse more into the spotlight, as I am ferocious about any forms of violence and injustice to women and girls. Not just for them to survive, but to strive and thrive to a better life.”

What is your favourite inspirational quote?

Gosh! I have so many favourite quotes but not enough space to share them all with you, so I am going to close my eyes, take a deep breath and whatever comes to the forefront of my mind I will let it flow:
“Be the change that we want to see in the world.” Mahatma Gahndi


Margaret V Aberdeen

Founder of Break Free from Domestic Violence™

E: margaretaberdeen@yahoo.com

www.margaretaberdeen.com

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