Posted: by Jo Tuesday, 26 May 2020 @ 10:21
As we continue our My Best Self campaign, we are asking some of our Mantra friends and followers to share their stories with us, of how using mantras helps them.
The idea is to share stories about how we can all step up and be our best selves in life, and how having a mantra – a memorable set of words – in a given moment can really help to change our thoughts and our behaviours.
Our June interviewee is Sandra Garlick, a remarkable woman who runs the ‘Woman Who’ network, which encourages and supports women in business, and who was awarded an MBE last year for her work. I met Sandra first when she was a practicing solicitor, but knew little of the detail of her background, so it has been fascinating finding out more about her.
Jo: Tell me a little about yourself, Sandra, to introduce you to our followers.
Sandra: I’ve had a varied career to date which spans many sectors. I started out not knowing what I wanted to be in life. With virtually no qualifications my sole aim was to earn money, buy shoes and meet boys (I went to an all-girls school!). I fell into secretarial work and ended up as a PA. From there into banking, estate agency and ultimately sales. I was always searching for that elusive career and failing to be inspired. I had no role models.
Always unfulfilled. It took a divorce and two children to really make me focus on a career, and after 8 years of study and training, I qualified as a solicitor.
It didn’t really inspire me. I still had no role model. After running my own law firm for 8 years, I completely stepped away and after a very low period in my life, coupled with a badly broken ankle, I completely refocussed and ignited my passion to work with women in business to inspire them and be a role model to others.
Jo: Your work now does a lot to encourage businesswomen and give them support, with your ‘Woman Who’ organisation. Tell us more about that, and what drives that work?
Sandra: I founded ‘Woman Who’ to inspire women in business to recognise their achievements and celebrate them. Many women lack the confidence to put themselves out there or believe that they have the capacity within them to inspire others. It was simple, I’d hold a one-off Awards event and I’d achieve my purpose. Little did I realise that this was the catalyst for a whole new business venture. From there the network events followed and subsequently books produced annually featuring the stories of these women in business who are now role models who inspire others. I now educate women through the Woman Who Achieves Academy.
If I can create more local women in business role models to inspire others, I will achieve my mission. The Awards and the Network are now entering their 5th year and I love the face that each winner at the Awards is presented with a Mantra Necklace.
I must be doing something right, as I was awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List for my services to women in business.
Jo: Talking of inspiration, you have ‘Be Inspired and Inspire Others’ engraved on your myMantra necklace. Tell me more about that phrase – why you chose it, and what it means to you?
Sandra: Woman Who is all being inspired and inspiring others. I want to take each woman who I engage with on a journey to be inspired and to take that learning and inspire others with the philosophy that ‘you can’t be what you can’t see’. Research has shown that we need more local women in business role models. They are so important and that’s the meaning behind it and it’s a phrase I use frequently.
Jo: And do you find yourself holding onto your necklace, or saying those words to yourself at various times? Does it encourage you / change how you feel?
Sandra: I wear myMantra at all Woman Who events, and socially. I love it! I find myself gently holding onto it unconsciously when I’m reflecting. The words ‘Be Inspired and Inspire Others’ run through everything that I do and subconsciously they are with me when I wear my Mantra. I feel that it’s a part of me when I’m delivering my events and beyond… it’s a constant reminder of my purpose.
Jo: Which design of myMantra necklace did you choose, and why?
Sandra: I chose the Ornate Lotus in Rose Gold, as it just felt right. I visualised wearing the necklace and it just felt as though it belonged to me. It represented the real me and I almost felt as if it had been personally designed for me.
Jo: And talking of the Lotus Necklace, I know you also chose that same necklace for your Mum, for Mother’s Day last year. What did you have engraved on it for her?
Sandra: This was a particularly special mantra. My Dad was terminally ill and my Mum was providing 24 hour care. She’s in her late 80s and not in great health herself. I felt that the necklace which was engraved with “Strength” would give her exactly that. She needed it. She cared for Dad for a full 12 months before he passed away. We don’t know where she found the strength but I like to think that the Mantra helped to remind her and gave her that inner strength that she so needed. It also made me realise that I’ve had a role model all along… my Mum.
Jo: Thank you so much for sharing your story, Sandra. It’s fascinating to hear more about your life and your work, and what drives you. We are very honoured to be involved with your ‘Woman Who’ awards, and I love seeing how excited the award-winners are when they are called up on stage. We love gifting them a Mantra Necklace as part of their award.
The Ornate Lotus Necklace is our ‘Mantra of the Month’ this month, which you can buy at 15% off here.