This is the last part in the series about Anita’s and my trip to Askham Grange HMP. In this post, we reflect further on the lessons we learned from the ladies, and how this can apply to anyone wherever they are in life.
Anita and Rebekah’s visit to Askham Grange HMP
Reflecting on the trip to speak to the ladies in residence at Askham Grange, one of the biggest thing that stood out to me was their strong drive and willingness to start again and rebuild their lives after things went wrong for them. They are seeking out the opportunities available to them where they are, and are probably, in some cases, finding out things about themselves such as talents and skills that they would not have discovered or had the chance to use had they not had to come to Askham Grange!
The same can be true for anyone in any situation. Things may not go the way we plan, or we may make mistakes and end up somewhere we did not want to be, but if we take stock of where we are, find the people around us, and find the opportunities to learn and develop, we can find ourselves succeeding in unexpected ways. This has been true for myself in many ways, as well as Anita, and this is why we are where we are today.
The ladies are in a place surrounded by mentors and cheerleaders and encouragers. They are helping each other through a difficult time with friendship, and supporting and championing each other.
There is something powerfully motivating about positive reinforcement and kind words. As I said when I spoke to the ladies in my brief 10 minute slot, it is vital, wherever you are at in life, to intentionally surround yourself with encouragers and people who have good things to say to and about you, and to stay away from people who will tear you down and diminish your sense of worth.
Even if negativity has become normal for you, endeavour to avoid people and situations that affirm the bad things you might tend to think about yourself, and replace them with the opposite. When you do, you will slowly begin to flourish. It may be so slow that you don’t notice it at first, but when you do notice, you will be amazed!
We saw a glimpse of this at Askham Grange. These amazing and precious ladies may have a long journey ahead of them, but they have started on their way to somewhere better. We are glad to have met them, and swapped stories and experiences and dreams and ambitions with them.
Melissa Brannlund is the features writer and editor, for author Anita Frost.
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