Turning 40 and the Powerful Magic of Personal Development

Angie Simmons remembers being happiest around when she was 30. She met and fell in love with someone. They bought a house, got married and had a baby girl they named Summer. Then, on the day after Summer’s second birthday, her life imploded when her brother was killed riding his motorcycle to her house. That led to a bunch of dark years where Angie felt stuck in an endless loop of things not going well. A chance Facebook message from an old school friend, and a single audio CD changed her life so much that, 10 years later, when her mom died she was able to process her grief and sadness in a much healthier way.

Guest Bio

Angie Simmons is a single mum and pet owner who lives in an old mining town called Mansfield in the UK. She is a qualified coach, personal development and mental wellness mentor, author, Inspirational public speaker, and the founder of the Growth Development Foundation.

Growth Development Foundation was born after five years of intense inner work, therapy, and study. By turning her mental mess into her message, Angie inspires, empowers, and supports open-minded mission-driven Individuals, who are looking for change but are not sure how. Angie helps them create a life of fulfillment, find their unique power within, improve their mindset and gain more clarity by helping them untangle their internal world so they can expand their external.

The Best of Times, The Worst of Times

Angie Simmons looks back at the time she was around 30 as the happiest time in her life. She met and fell in love with her brother’s best friend. They bought a house, got married and had a baby girl they named Summer. Then, on the day after Summer’s second birthday, her life imploded when her brother, who was her best friend, was killed on his motorcycle while he was on his way to her house. 

She felt guilty because she was the one who introduced him to motorcycles. She started drinking to deal with her grief and, on top of some anti anxiety medication, it numbed her out. For the next two years, Angie tried to stay busy but she never really dealt with her grief – she didn’t know how. Then, on Boxing Day in 2009 her husband left and Angie says she hit the self-destruct button. 

She found herself in significant credit card debt, which made her feel like she had to work all the time to pay the bills. She even started a dog grooming business on the side. But that meant that her daughter was with other people most of the time, either in an after-school program, with one of her grandmothers, an aunt or her dad. And Summer wasn’t doing well, either. She was being picked on at school, unhappy, angry, at the bottom of her class. 

Angie says this went on for what felt like forever. She says it was like a bottomless pit. Every time she clawed her way up a little, she slid back down again. She felt like a failure. 

The Day Life Changed

Angie received a Facebook message from a school friend she hadn’t seen in 20 years. They went to get coffee and, when Angie learned she was a therapist, she unloaded. After hearing her whole story, her friend said she might be able to help, but that “help” came in the form of another business – network marketing. Angie was not amused, seeing as she was already on a hamster wheel. The friend gave her a CD and asked her to listen to it on the way home. It was a personal development CD.  

Angie listened to the CD anytime her hands were busy and her mind started to walk. She listened to it nonstop for six weeks and realized it was starting to make her think differently. 

Meanwhile, she was exceptionally stressed and struggling with her emotions so she asked her boss for two days off each month. In response, her boss asked how her dog grooming was going. Angie told her it was earning her a couple hundred pounds each month, which was helpful for paying her credit card. The boss said,  “Well, you need to decide whether it’s your job or whether it’s the dog grooming.” 

If she hadn’t been listening to that CD nonstop for weeks, Angie might have been cowed. Instead, she said, “So I’ve got to decide whether I’ve got to build you your life, your business and your future. Or I’ve got to decide whether I’ve got to build mine and my daughter’s and our lives. Now let me think. You’ll have my resignation on the desk by the end of the day.”

Angie wondered what she had done. Her family thought she’d lost her mind. Even her daughter exclaimed, “Mommy! The bills!” But Angie decided she was not going to build somebody else’s future and her own internal prison any longer. Then she wondered, if this CD can do that in six weeks, what else can it do? Within six months, the dog grooming business was earning a full time income with part time work. She was able to bring Summer to school and pick her up. 

She doesn’t consider leaving that full time job a leap of faith, because she didn’t really have any faith at the time. Her advice for others in that situation is to trust in somebody that believes in you. Borrow somebody else’s belief. Her friend believed Angie could be an entrepreneur. And since her friend believed in her, Angie started believing in herself, which led to her building a life beyond her wildest dreams. 

Tragedy Strikes Again

Angie had successfully taken control of her life. She had stopped drinking as self medication. She was working in her dog grooming business and in her network marketing business. And then, right around Summer’s 18th birthday, Angie’s mom died suddenly and she felt everything starting again. She felt the same pressures from her family as when her brother died. And she started with the same coping techniques, including making herself very busy. She noticed she was drinking more again. But this time she felt like she had a shield around her and fewer of the slings and arrows were getting through to her. She also realized that “no” is a full sentence and started to deploy it to protect her peace. 

That one personal development CD she listened to, that one step forward, compounded into many other things. Now she’s excited for her future. Her daughter is thriving and following her own dreams. 

When her brother died, Angie realized that she lost her spiritual connection. When her mother died, years later, she found it again. Somewhere along her path of self discovery, Angie learned about journaling. Her first reaction was, “who’s got the time?” She didn’t get it. But when she was cleaning out her mom’s house, she found her mom’s journal that had only two little entries. So to maintain a connection with her mom, she started using the journal. She wrote a couple sentences in the morning and a couple in the evening and monitored three key actions. Then she noticed how much that was helping her, so she went looking for a journal where she could track the daily steps she’d been using. She couldn’t find one so, in 2009, she became the published author of a yearlong undated journal. 

When the Covid lockdown hit, Angie had to shut down the dog grooming business. She decided to become a coach and design her own mentoring program. Today, she’s got big, scary goals, which she contrasts with her old self whose only goal was to get home and open a bottle of wine.


The Forty Drinks Podcast is produced and presented by Savoir Faire Marketing/Communication

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Stephanie: Hi, Angie. Thanks so much for joining me on the 40 Drinks Podcast.

Angie: Hi, Stephanie. Great to meet you


Stephanie: Lovely to meet you as well. You are joining me from Bonnie Old England. Is that right?

Angie: It is indeed. Yeah. I'm based in a mining in town called Mansfield.

Stephanie: Mansfield. Okay. And what part of the country is that in?

Angie: It's near Nottingham. So I'm in the middle of it. Midlands, we call it.

Stephanie: Okay. The Midlands. All right. Great. And I am based on the east coast of the United States. So, just about an, about an hour north of Boston. So just across the pond from you.

Angie: Yeah, not far at all.

Stephanie: I'm really looking forward to our conversation today. I think that you have a really amazing story and I'm very excited to get into it. Mostly I like to focus on turning 40, but for some conversations we need to sort of compare and contrast moments. So let's go back to when you were roughly 30, you had told me that was the time when you were the happiest, so many wonderful things in your life. Tell me a little bit about that time.

Angie: Absolutely. I'd met my younger brother's best friend, Conrad, and we instantly connected, you can imagine that was like a conversation of, "Uh oh, he's got to speak to his best friend, I've got to speak to my brother." But I'm, you know, glad to say that we ended up buying our first home. We got married and we had a beautiful baby girl called Summer. And actually I was attending Notts Trent University, which was a little bit of a shock to me because I left school with two qualifications in art. So for me to go to university was a little bit out my comfort zone, but you know. I'd been in catering for years, wasn't for me, so, you know, I've always loved animals, so I just thought, "Why not? Let's go to university."

Stephanie: And what were you studying there?

Angie: I was studying animal management. I actually originally wanted to go into the zoos, but then found that trying to get into the zoo side of things was a lot harder. So I decided to work with cats and dogs.

Stephanie: Lovely. So you're married, you have a beautiful home, you have a little girl, you're going to the university, you've got a career path picked out. Things are going really, really well. Then what.

Angie: Then on the day after my daughter's second birthday, my life imploded basically. Um, I will never forget the scream that left my mouth as I slid down the washer. When I received the phone call to tell me that my younger brother, my best friend, my husband's best friend had just been killed on the road on the way to my house from motor bike ride. And as I say that, that scream, if I hear it on the TV, or I hear it from another person, takes me right back to that day, if I'm honest, and that day, it's left a scar on my heart that I'll never forget, that I'll know it'll never heal. I'll never forget that day.

Stephanie: Mm that's terrible.

Angie: And to be fair, that the worst part about it all was it was me that introduced him to motorbikes. I used to live on the south coast myself. I decided to leave when I was very young because I wanted a career. When I came back, my younger brother was like, "You can't have a motorbike and not me." So, and he was very, very competitive, bless him. If I got a bigger bike, he had to have a bigger bike. If I was going five mile an hour, he had to go 20 mile an hour. So yeah, I, I went down the path of blaming myself, unfortunately. Um, and you know, it's not something that I'm proud of, but I was already taking tablets for depression and anxiety, even though I've got things going really well, life in the past had thrown me a bit of a curve ball, as it does. Um, but yeah, I, because I didn't know how to deal with the grief. And then the anger that came after that, because grief, you know, it comes out in all different ways. But as I say, I was blaming myself, so there was that guilt as well. And then the anger came in more when other people decided that they were gonna blame me too. So this is when I added alcohol to the mix of tablets that I was already taking.

Angie: It was just to try and quiet my mind because it was just on autopilot. Um, and it just, it did, it numbed me for a little bit. And, um, yeah, so that was tragic in itself. I did what I always do and I get busy. I organized my brother's funeral. I was still carrying on with my studies. Um, I designed his gravestone, all the things just to try and say shut things out. They were the positive side, I suppose, not the negative side, but looking back, I didn't give myself that chance to grieve properly. And in 2009, I smashed the self-destruct button because on Boxing Day 2009, my brother's best friend and my husband also decided to leave and I don't blame him because where I was at that time, I wanted to leave, but just not in the way he did. All I could think about was with being with Tony. I'd even told myself that Summer would be better off without me.

Stephanie: Mm.

Angie: It was a very, very dark place. Very dark place.

Stephanie: Oh, that's terrible.

Stephanie: So after this tragedy, you had a couple of years of just struggling and that's what led your husband... was your husband? I'm sure your husband was struggling as well. I mean, you both had major losses.

Angie: Yeah, just in his own way, I suppose. Um, his idea of it was he was going to see him again, it can't change what's happened. So move on. Um, and me, I internalized that, that he didn't care. You know, the communication between us just broke down. You know, we, he was like, "Life goes on, let's carry on, let's do this." And, "Come on, you need to get over this now." And it was like, how do you get over something like that? Um, and yeah, so that, that's what happened. The communication was just broken.

Stephanie: So your husband left and for those of us on this side of the pond Boxing Day is the day after Christmas and then what happened?

Angie: Well, oh, I just had to carry on. I just had to get on with things. So I went into the normal Angie mode of get busy, start decorating the house, do up the house. I needed to get a full time job to support myself. So I started working full time as a kennel manager, thankfully, for the university that I was able to get a well paid job. The only problem with that was, this went on for years, um, was that I was never at home. My daughter was either at after school club or, you know, nursery or with her grandmas or my aunt, anybody that could have her, she was there with them. And that, that was also destroying me because I could see my daughter getting close. Although, it's beautiful to see her with my mom, you know, my mother-in-law and auntie, and I knew she was safe. That was my job. I didn't want to be a mom that wasn't there. And, she was also being picked on at school and she was bottom of her class, she was very, very, very unhappy, very angry. You know, now looking back, I know why. She was just mirroring me to be honest, with all the, doing the house up and going out partying because going out and see my friends when my daughter was with a dad or all that sort of stuff, I racked up a bit of a credit card bill and loans. I didn't see that coming, at all. Until you get a credit card and you're, "Oh, it's alright, I'll pay X, Y, and Z off." And then you get another one to pay that off. And then 15,000 pounds worth of debt.

Stephanie: Oh,

Angie: And so I was telling myself that there was nothing else I could do. I had to do that work to pay that credit card off. I actually started my own little dog grooming business, just to help with that credit card. So yeah, but at that time I couldn't see me being self-employed. I had to be employed. I had to have that money that was a definite to come in to pay my bills, to pay my credit card. So yeah, that just went on forever. It, what it felt like forever.

Stephanie: It just exacerbated the spiral too, right? So you've got this debt that you have to pay. So not only do you need the full-time job now, you're doing, part-time work on your own outside, which is more time you're not spending with your daughter, it's making you unhappy, which is making her unhappy, but it just feels like there's no way out.

Angie: Yeah. Yeah. It felt like a bottomless pit that I was trying to claw myself out of. And every time I thought I'd got a little bit further, I was back down again. You know my idea of an evening by the time I'd got home, picked Summer up from after school club, got home, fed Summer, fed the pets, bath Summer, put her to bed, there was no time. And that's, you know, when I would sit and binge watch any TV, I could watch and drink maybe a bottle or maybe two bottles of wine. Waking up first thing in the morning, running around like an absolute headless chicken, cause I've got to get the pets ready, get Summer set, to race the traffic, to run around at work, to run back home, and it's just like, and that, that was just, that was my life.

Stephanie: And that lasted for quite a while, multiple years.

Angie: It did. It did. And I did, I didn't see it changing at all. And I think now looking back, it was because I got no belief in myself, personally.

Stephanie: Yeah, it sounds, uh, not only exhausting, but also just from the outside, it sounds a little hopeless.

Angie: Yeah. That is definitely a word I would've called how I felt - hopeless.

Stephanie: Wow.

Angie: And a failure. I was brought up with three brothers and I wanted to count for something, I wanted to be something. My dad was a boxing trainer. He was a fly fisherman, so he used to take the boys all the time, and I was at home cooking and cleaning and feeling like Cinderella. So I wanted that career, I wanted to feel proud of me and be somebody and at that age I'm like, I'm still not anybody or feeling like anybody. So yeah. Hopeless.

Stephanie: And so this is really where you were when you turned 40 in this part of the cycle.

Angie: Absolutely.

Stephanie: But as I like to say, and as I've seen over and over again in these conversations and in the people that I've been meeting, the time between 35 and 45 is a major time of transition in most people's lives. It doesn't always happen on your 40th birthday or because of your 40th birthday. It can happen earlier. It can happen later. And for you, you were 41 when your life changed.

Angie: Absolutely. It was, I'll never forget that day.

Angie: Lights me up, in fact. You know, I talk about my brother and my daughter and I don't cry. I think of that day and it makes me cry. In fact, I've got big goosebumps Um, makes me cry because it was such a sliding doors moment that I could have missed, mine and my daughter's life, wow, I'll be honest, not sure if I'd still be here.

Stephanie: Wow.

Angie: That's how bad I felt. So yeah, this, this day just I'll never forget it. I had a message from a friend that I went to school with. I'd not seen her in 20 years. Just a message in Facebook. "How are you? How are your babes? How's life." Wow. You know, I'd love to catch up. I'd love to have a coffee. Wow. So I was like, oh, okay, I'll go and have a coffee. But Stephanie, she told me she was a therapist. So you can imagine I just went,"Blegh."

Stephanie: Oh no.,

Angie: She had all, everything crying, anger, she had the works chucked at her. Poor girl wanted a coffee and I end up getting a therapy session. Um, and she just said to me, "Look, you know, you mentioned the debt," and I was like, "Yes," "You mentioned that you want more time." I was like, "Yes," she went, "I might have something for you." And I was like, "What, what? Pardon? No, give it, give, give, give," She wouldn't give it me. She said, "I'm really sorry. I need to show it you, I'll get in touch with you when I get home. And I promise we'll meet up again." You can imagine. I really wanted to see what this lady had got that could get me out of that hopelessness place. So believe it or not, I am working full time as a kennel manager. I'm parttime as a dog groomer. She introduces me to another business. You can imagine my face. I was like,

Stephanie: I bet.

Angie: Are you serious? Are you really serious? I think I were a bit more explicit in my words, at that particular point,

Stephanie: Right.

Angie: What she said was "Look, it's a unique opportunity. Listen to this CD on the way home. That's all I want you to do." Now at this particular time I was angry, I was listening to all my heavy thrash, ah, music, anything that was angry, I'd listen to it. So she gives me this CD and I put it in the CD player and it's an American guy and I was thinking, "What is this stuff?" She's talking about, me being an entrepreneur. What the actual, I've got a dog grooming business that's only making 200 pound a month. Entrepreneur, is she wired? So, I got in touch with her and I says, "I don't understand why you've given me this CD," or whatever. And she was like, "Right, okay. I need to show you this business model." Most people have probably heard of it. They might dis it. And that's absolutely fine. To me, it was a game changer for me, a life changer, it's network marketing. She introduced me to this network marketing business that I was already a customer of, but didn't know there was a business side. So I was like, "Wow, so I can earn money from being this customer." She was like, "Yes." Wow. Okay, give it a go. Let's give it a go. What I didn't know was it was a personal development model and it was personal development. That's what the CD was. It was about becoming an entrepreneur and getting into personal development. I remember my mum getting in the car and going, "What is this brainwashing crap?" And I was like, "Look, you watch news. It's fine. I wanna listen to this. Cause it's making me think differently."

Angie: You see she asked me to listen to it on the way home, but what I actually did do was listening to it on the way to work and then on the way back from work. So what I liked to say, anytime, these were busy and this got to walk, I was listening to audio. So I started listening to it when I was dog grooming. When I was just clipping the dogs. Started to make me really think, and I were noticing the stress was really taking over and I was really struggling with my emotions.

Angie: So I asked my boss for two days off a month and she said to me, " How's the dog grooming business going?" And I was like, "Well, it's sending me a couple hundred pound a month." Absolutely chuffed pieces, 'cause it was paying my credit card off. Her response to that was, "Well, you need to decide whether it's your job or whether it's the dog grooming." Boom. And I looked at her and if I hadn't listened to the CD, I probably wouldn't have said what I said. "So I've got to decide whether I've got to build you your life, your business and your future. Or I've got to decide whether I've got to build mine and my daughters and our lives. Now let me think. You'll have my resignation on the desk by the end of the day.' And I walked out the office and I walked around at work all that day, going, "What have you done?" I drove home going, "Oh." I told my daughter, she was like, "Well, Mommy, the bills!" Straight away. My family thought I'd gone mental. And I was like, "No, no, no, no, no, no. I am not building somebody else's future and my own internal prison no more."

Angie: So that was it. I sacked at the boss after listening to this CD for six weeks continuously. And I thought, if this can do that in six weeks, what else can it do? Because I made that dog grooming business my full-time business within six months, money wise, but I was still working part-time. I was able to take Summer to school. I was able to pick her up from school. I was able to take her to sports day. I was able to be there for her, that dream that I wanted, had started to come to a fruition just from that one CD.

Stephanie: So I'm interested though, because you were in a place of being on that, hamster wheel of debt and money and debt and money. What gave you the gumption to quit the job that was paying you most of the money?

Angie: I'd say it was that sentence that she said to me, that ultimatum that she gave to me. And I thought, well, if I don't, 'cause she'd said my "dog grooming," she didn't say business, but you know, I was thinking, "Well, actually it is my business. I've built this up. I've brought all the stuff I've got the customers in. This is my business." And it was that turning point of if I didn't make a different choice, my life would've stayed the same. I didn't see what I was gonna be able to do. I wasn't goal setting, far from it. I'd got no vision whatsoever, but I was running away from where I'd been.

Stephanie: And she gave you this ultimatum after you asked for two days off a month.

Angie: Yeah. Yes. After telling her that my mental health was starting to plummet.

Stephanie: Right, right. So this was really a leap of faith.

Angie: Yeah,

Stephanie: Was it even a leap of faith? Did you even have faith at that point or was it just a

Angie: Actually, no, it's not leap of faith. It was a "I'm done. I am done." It was just, you know, I was running around like a headless chicken for this woman going above and beyond, going in early, sometimes staying a bit late, sometimes and you know, that's how much I meant to her? You know, that she could not have given me that extra two days, knowing what my life was like with my daughter and the stress. Yeah, it was just I've had enough. So yeah, there was no leap of faith 'cause I didn't know what was gonna happen? I just thought do it, just do it.

Stephanie: This CD that you had been listening to for six weeks, it was the same CD, right? It was just one CD. You just kept listening to it over and over again.

Angie: yeah.

Stephanie: and It was just telling you things that were different than how you thought.

Angie: Definitely. Like there was a couple of really key takeaways that I took from there, but the biggest one was from a guy called Jim Rowan and he said, "For things to change, you've got to change. For things to get better, you've gotta get better." And I was like, "How the chuffing heck am I going do that?"

Stephanie: Mm-hmm

Angie: And then it was, yeah, listening to that. You see, I didn't know what it was doing to me, but I didn't know what it was doing to my daughter either, because at one point I decided to change the CD and I got told quite quickly to put it back in.

Stephanie: By your daughter?

Angie: Because she wanted to listen to Mr. Part-timer. And I was like, wow, if this has done this to me, after all these years have been what I call programmed, you know, the stuff that's given to us that are not ours. If it can do, what is it gonna do to a nine year old girl, who's not got all them imprints. Yeah. Huge.

Stephanie: Wow. So tell me about dog grooming after you left your full-time job. What happened then?

Angie: Well, it was, um, make it or break it to be honest, Stephanie, I was like, right, I'd already got all my equipment and stuff. So I just literally spoke to my customers. Do you know anybody? Then I used Facebook, Facebook, Pages for sales sites. I got one little thing and and I just kept putting that up, putting that up, constantly two or three times a day and yeah was in six months, I was fine.

Stephanie: Within six months, you were making the same money that you had made before,

Angie: combined.

Stephanie: combined from both jobs

Angie: Yeah.

Stephanie: and you were working less

Angie: Yes. And being able to support my daughter.

Angie: I know a lot of people that just get so scared of the unknown. But if anything I can share with them, just take that leap or just trust in somebody that believes in you. You have to borrow somebody else's belief. And that is what I was starting to do because my friend, she had belief that I could be an entrepreneur. The people that I started associating with had belief in me. And I was like, right, well, if you can believe in me, then I need to believe in myself. And that's what I started doing, working more on me and that other quote, uh, you know, I mentioned one from Jim Rowan, the other one was "Work harder on yourself than you do on your job." And I was like, right. And I took those two quotes and I thought, right. So yeah, just one CD. I've got loads now. I've got hundreds of CDs, audio books everything now.

Stephanie: Right. I love what you said a moment ago. You said if you can't believe in yourself yet, borrow somebody else's belief.

Angie: Absolutely. it's what I talk to my clients about when they're having that lack of belief. I'm looking outside in, I can see what you've got. Sometimes we can't see what we've got inside ourselves, but it's all in there. We just need somebody to support us, to help us see it. And that's what I started surrounding myself with people that were seeing that in me.

Stephanie: It's interesting because as you were doing this personal development, this personal growth work, I'm guessing that lots of elements of your life are changing. You just named one, you are surrounding yourself with different people.

Angie: Absolutely. I hardly drink now, as I say, I used to drink to numb my brain. I drink now to socialize with my friends and be happy. And sometimes I don't even wanna do that. I mean I wanna be happy with my friends. Sometimes I don't even wanna drink, but it was a, a necessity at the time.

Stephanie: It was medication.

Angie: Yeah. Yeah. self-medicating.

Stephanie: Yep.

Angie: Things have totally, beyond my wildest dream, put it that way.

Stephanie: So your early forties are a time of wild transition because you are growing into a completely different person based on exposing yourself to new thoughts and ideas. And then a few years later there was another tragedy in your life. Talk about that.

Angie: Yeah, like I said, I'd taken control of my life. The drinking had more or less stopped. I was doing my dog grooming part-time I was working on that other business, part-time, so I'd got two part-time jobs. I was earning a little bit more money. And I didn't know who this work would enable me to become. And I definitely didn't see what I was able to overcome because in February, again, my poor daughter, she hates her birthday. Bless her. The 3rd of February 2018, my mom suddenly died from cancer and everything started again. The same people started again. I started again in the getting busy, um, and I wasn't drinking as much, but I'd noticed it was slowly creeping in. Um, and I was very worried, extremely worried that I was gonna go back to that person that I was. You see, sometimes we're working on ourselves, we don't see all the stuff that's happening, but if we don't keep up that work, we can quickly fall back. Like I said earlier, it takes so long for you to get to where you are now. It doesn't happen over month. And I know a lot of people, oh, I've read a book, I've read a CD, I've done this. I've read hundreds. I've listened to thousands of the amount of hours I put into my inner work now, which is just unbelievable. Whereas I didn't even have five minutes for myself not long ago. But when my mom passed away, it was, have you heard of the cartoon character Batfink?

Stephanie: No,

Angie: no. Oh, wow.

Stephanie: no,

Angie: Right. So an old cartoon character, called Batfink, and he's a bat and he used to turn around and he was going against the villains and he were like, "My wings are like a shield of steel, your bullets cannot harm me." That's how I felt. I felt like I'd got a bit of a shield around me, you know, steel shield around me, but some bullets were getting through. I knew I needed more. I wasn't sure what it was, but I knew I needed more. The insight, knowing that I was able to get through a lot of it without faltering was when I realized the full sentence - No. People don't understand, it is a full sentence. Protecting your peace, your self from others, is paramount to your own health and wellbeing. Literally, when those other people started again, I just went, "No." That was it. "No. I'm not going here again. The last time I made excuses, for you. This time, there is no excuse." I just left the funeral parlor. I just, um, picked up the death certificate when I got that call. So you can imagine my emotions were everywhere. And it was literally no, and I just put the phone down and I've not spoken to them since.

Stephanie: Wow.

Angie: And that's family. So my thing you know, what I talk to people about a lot is your family don't have to be blood. They're the people that elevate you, the people that support you in life, not the drainers, what I call the Mood Hoovers, the people that keep pulling you back to that old life, that getting drunk and sitting and watching TV and not serving you. It's the people that elevate you, the people that give you their essence to support you.

Stephanie: Mm. Sometimes the people who are around us, whether it be our family or our friends from, you know, way back from our formative years, sometimes they're invested in keeping us who we were because it's comfortable for them. They like the situation, they like the interaction. And so when we grow, when we evolve, we get a lot of push back on that because they want you back in that comfortable place.

Stephanie: You were experiencing some of that.

Angie: Absolutely, you know, that CD that I talked about, there was an analogy and I shared this with somebody the other day and they went, I have never heard of that. It was an analogy between crabs and humans that the, both the same, apart from one lives on land and one lives in the water. So when the fisherman puts the net out and the basket, all the crabs jump in for all the food. When there's no food, they wanna get back out. And when the ones that want to get out, keep trying, the other crabs will pull 'em back in and they will actually eventually kill the crab if it doesn't stop. So I look at that now and, you know, humans don't go around killing people cause they're changing, hopefully, but they, they are literally killing your dreams by pulling you back into that life for their own comfortableness.

Stephanie: Yep. But it's interesting because it does take an injection of a different point of view because sometimes, had you not listened to that CD, had you not had coffee with your friend that would've remained comfortable for you. And not comfortable in a good way, like a great, seat on a couch, but comfortable in a, this is easy, this is the way it is, way.

Angie: Yeah, that's what my life was worth. That was, yeah, comfortable. I didn't for one minute ever think that things could change, but yeah, that was my comfortable. And I took the uncomfortable action, which is scary.

Stephanie: Mm-hmm.

Angie: But when we take that uncomfortable action to move forward, our lives can be limitless because then we start believing in ourselves.

Stephanie: Yeah. What I love about your story is that at the beginning, you had one thing, you had one CD and you just listened to it over and over again. I bet after a couple of weeks, you could recite it, you knew what was coming next, but still, it was just sinking into your head, sinking into your heart, sinking into your being this different way of thinking this different way of approaching life. So that when your boss gave you that ultimatum, you were able to separate yourself from your current life and see that, that wasn't okay.

Angie: Mm. Yeah.

Stephanie: And without that CD, you wouldn't have been able to.

Angie: Not at all.

Stephanie: Yeah.

Angie: Not at all one. And you know, one, one CD, one sliding doors moment. One step forward, which compounded massively into other things. And I think sometimes, a lot of people, we, we are just so busy. We're like those busy ants, that we don't see the opportunities that are right in front of us. And I'm grateful that that CD allowed me to see that opportunity.

Stephanie: Yeah. For those people who haven't seen the wonderful movie, Angie has said a couple of times she's had sliding door moments. I highly recommend you go back and watch the Gweneth Paltrow movie Sliding Doors, it is such a great movie. Probably I don't remember, or mid to mid two thousands early two thousands, but it's just a great illustration of the way life can change when you walk through a door or when you don't walk through a door.

Stephanie: So tell me about now, when you look back now, what do you think?

Angie: Wow. How do I feel now? I am proud. I've got belief in myself.

Stephanie: mm-hmm

Angie: I'm excited for my future. Things are just totally different now. First and foremost with Summer. Just looking at Summer, oh, she's still got the temper. She's never gonna get rid of that. She's 17. So she's hormone-ing and she knows everything. She's never gonna get rid of that. And unfortunately, kids don't come with a freaking manual, I wish they did or an off button, but they don't. But I look at her and I just go, "God, she's like me," apple doesn't fall far from the tree, but she followed her dream. She wanted to become an actress. She's been on the West End twice. COVID put a stop to that. But what she's been doing since then, and working towards is a singing career, her voice. Wow. Um, and she's decided that when she leaves, she's going to London to drama college. She walked out with scored with four A's and two a stars, and now doing her A levels. And that girl does not get bullied one iota. What I didn't share was when I found out that she was getting bullied we both went to kickboxing. Not only did it help us both get fit, but also look after ourselves. But that was also great because it was enabling us both, but without realizing at the time, getting that aggression out.

Stephanie: And building confidence in your body and being able to stand up for yourself. That's amazing.

Angie: It did, because I'd put a lot of weight on as well. Not realizing that that was affecting me mentally. So when I started losing the weight, I was like, oh, check me out. I fluctuated, as you do, especially as you get older.

Angie: So now I have still got my dog grooming business, but it's very, very part-time and I still do, the other networking business. That's earning me a residual income. I've got another one besides that, that's earning me a residual income, which is great because I want them to replace the dog grooming and they're getting there. As I said earlier, I hardly drink now.

Angie: When my brother passed away, actually I lost a lot of my spiritual connection, and my oneness. When my mom passed away, it opened again, which was quite bizarre. And I think that I learned a lesson from her funeral because the way she wanted to be buried who with, and she didn't care, she did 'cause she thought she wasn't loved. But the amount of people that turned up to her funeral was phenomenal. Stephanie, we actually closed off three Manning villages with the entourage. And this woman though up that people didn't care. So when I saw that, I just thought, wow, wow. She was true to herself. And I knew that I needed to be true to me, to myself.

Angie: Me, dog grooming, my other businesses and then through my path of self discovery and recovery, I'd heard about journaling. I didn't get it. Honestly, I did not get it. I was like, what are you talking about? I haven't got time to sit there writing. This is why I used to listen because I was always busy. I did actually start reading a couple of pages of a book a day, but it was literally a couple cause I didn't have time, but yeah, journaling. Right. Okay.

Angie: In my mom's effects, I found what I call my golden gem. Another sliding doors moment, because I could have just tossed that with everything else. My mom - love her, miss her, bless her, she had a council house and she was a creator of her own life. In other words, she was a hoarder. She never threw anything away. And I don't know if you know, you have two weeks to clear a council house.

Angie: So I'd got all this looking after Summer cause she was grieving, my brothers, my dog grooming, all this and organizing this funeral. So getting busy, getting busy again. So I noticed these patterns and I was like, this golden gem was her diary. She'd never, well, she'd put two little things in it., Two little entries. In a way to keep a connection with her, I started using it. I started writing down in the morning, a little couple of sentences and then started writing down in the evening and I was monitoring three key actions. I noticed how much that one little thing was now helping me again. So I went to find a journal that I could use that I could implement my daily steps that I'd been using up till then. I couldn't find one. So in 2009, I became a published author of my own unique yearlong undated journal. And I never thought that was possible. Ever. Me, author? But it was just out of that tragedy came possibilities for me to see how much further I could grow and how much I could help other people, which I'm doing now. And it's my absolute passion and I love it.

Angie: It was through lockdown that things shifted a little bit for me with, you know, obviously I had to shut the dog grooming business down. And then I just decided, "Right, I'm gonna become a qualified coach. I'm going to design my own mentoring program." And I've got big, scary goals now that I'm working towards. Whereas, you know, I hadn't, got a goal. My only goal was get home and open that bottle of wine. Thank you very much. But now I have got lots and lots and lots of goals and I, as I say, I'm excited and very proud of myself and yeah. For all the stuff that we've done.

Stephanie: That is an amazing story and such an amazing transition from in the rat race and hopeless and stuck to just absolutely thriving and inspiring other people. It's. Really,

Angie: Thank you.

Stephanie: really amazed and impressed with your accomplishments. I'm proud of you. and we've only just met.

Angie: Bless you.

Stephanie: Tell me a little bit about the journal. How is it different than what you found out there? What did you need a journal to be able to do for you that you wanted to create your own?

Angie: Right. So I couldn't find a year long one for a start, and I wanted something that was structured. Because one of the things I found, when you're trying to achieve something, having some sort of structure helps you get there quicker.

Stephanie: Mm-hmm mm-hmm

Angie: So I wanted some sort of structured journal. I wanted to dedicate it to my mom as well. That was another reason, and I wanted to bring in the aspects of all the stuff that I've been doing, the reading, listening. So I can monitor my daily thoughts, feelings and my actions, because your thoughts affect how you feel, how you feel affects how you act. So I started monitoring my thoughts and my feelings. I was looking at what I was grateful for. I wanted to write down whether I was meditating and what I was getting from it, my affirmation for the day, what was my priorities. And then celebrating every single day. Those little small daily wins, that compound into the results that we want. It's inspired by nature as well, cause I'm a very earthy person. Um, And it was really strange cause in my mom's diary, I saw the moons, the different cycles of the moons and I thought, "Why are they there?" And when you ask the answer does come if you're present.

Angie: So I'd say, what are the moons there for? Two weeks later, I ended up in a moonology class. Oh, that's why they're there. Now I I'm helping others achieve their goals through the moon and the Zodiac, which I've learned since mum passed away, which I've studied, knowing the grit in it's just, yeah, because I think a lot of people just think it's this meat suit, but it's not, there's so much more to be felt, to be seen, to be heard. Then what the meat suit gives us. Does that make sense?

Stephanie: It does.

Angie: So yeah, that, that the journal it's not small, is it okay if I show it?

Stephanie: Yes. And as a matter of fact, we'll include a link somewhere for people to be able to get it.

Angie: I show it because of the size of it. It is not something small. So it's year long undated structure. it's it's my program that I deliver in a journal to keep people accountable to themselves. Because if you say you're gonna do something, you don't do it, you start beating yourself up. So if you're gonna write stuff in it, you've got do it. So that's one of the reasons make myself accountable.

Stephanie: Yeah. I love how on the cover. It said, how am I feeling today?

Stephanie: That also feels like an easy way in, right? It doesn't, you, you're not setting the bar so high that I have to do X, Y, and Z. It's just, how am I feeling today?

Angie: Yeah, one simple question. So many people don't ask that question because they're not present with how they're feeling they're just doing,

Stephanie: Or they don't really wanna acknowledge the answer.

Angie: Or they don't want to feel it. Yeah. And I'll be honest. I have had some really dark times going through my journey when I was alone, because what I've realized sitting and being with my thoughts, those feelings, those horrible thoughts, those horrible feelings and processing them. Wow. The more clarity you gain is priceless.

Stephanie: Yep.

Angie: I had somebody say to me years ago about being alone, I'm not a lonely person. I'm not a loner, I'm a full out yellow play and all that sort of stuff. So me being on my own, whoa, that's scary. But it's been so powerful. Yeah. Just how am I feeling today?

Stephanie: That's great. Angie, I'm so happy that you were able to join me today. This conversation has been wonderful. Your journey is amazing. Tell me before we go, where people can find you online if they're interested in checking out what you're doing?

Angie: Oh, thank you so much, Stephanie. I am on LinkedIn as Angie Simmons. I'm on Instagram and, Facebook at Growth Development Foundation. And I've also got a website which is www dot growth development foundation dot co dot UK.

Stephanie: Wonderful. And I'll include those links when the episode gets posted.

Angie: Thank you. I appreciate that, my love.

Stephanie: It's my pleasure. Thanks so much for joining me today.

Angie: Thank you.

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