Photography by Mia Tengco
Photography by Mia Tengco


I am a bit of a storytelling fanatic, I must confess. I honestly can’t remember a time when storytelling was not part of me. This is how we relate to ourselves and create connection, understanding, and change in our lives and our world. This is how we expose ourselves to the experiences and truths of other people. This is how we learn about different colours, flavours, and melodies of life.

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In 2013, I started my life as an online entrepreneur as a virtual assistant. At the same time, I became a co-founder of SwanWaters— an organisation I headed as its operations manager for many years. The team and I supported survivors of abuse, like ourselves, overcome their trauma and thrive in life.


Through this work, and my own journey through trauma, low self-esteem, and PTSD I became aware of how judgemental and cruel my own inner voice was. I became increasingly aware of the stories I was telling myself, about me, the world, my relationships. It all fed into how I made choices in life. I realised that I was trying to bully myself into success and happiness. That was never going to work, and it had to change!


So, I started learning a new language. A language of self-love, compassion, and optimism. As I learned this language, I started to feel lighter, happier, more relaxed, more optimistic... I started to achieve my goals and come up with exciting new ideas. My life started to work for me, instead of the other way around.

Through my own healing and my continued work with SwanWaters, I realised how difficult it was to keep reaching back into my own story and experiences. I found befriended healers and coaches ask me how I managed it, because they struggled striking the balance between sharing vulnerability and authentically, and caring for their mental health.


This is when I started talking and teaching about boundaries, about self-compassion, about vulnerability. I began talking to people about their inner voice, and how the stories we tell ourselves inform our choices and success in all areas of our lives. 


From these experiences, came the idea of House of Hives, a collaborative business support service where my team and I help female coaches, healers, mental health professionals and changemakers connect to their stories, and share them effectively and collectively in order to co-create reach and impact. I was honoured with a BRAINZ 500 Global Award for this work in December 2020.