Brendah Ndebele, health and wellness coach and speaker, joins Kristin Maxwell to share how to live with passion and vitality after adversity. After suffering a series of losses in a single year — including the loss of 4 family members and her mobility — Brendah discovered that, behind all the grief, she had an inner strength. Brendah shares the practical, tangible steps that allowed her to rebuild her life, regain movement and strength (even running marathons!), and connect to vitality. Listen in to discover her process for connecting to one’s inner strength and finding the peace that comes from knowing the universe is there to support you.
Hi Everyone, welcome to Your SuperPowered Mind. I’m your host Kristin Maxwell. And in this show we explore the process of transformation and give you tools and strategies that you can use to transform your own life.
Today we are talking to Brendah Ndebele. Brendah is going to be talking to us about living with passion and vitality after adversity. Brendah’s a health and wellness coach and speaker. And she guides clients to live amazing, lasting lives and make significant improvements in their health and wellness using the power of transformative resilience.
Brendah herself has overcome significant adversity to create this life for herself. And I am so looking forward to having her share exactly how it was that she was able to bounce back after adversity and to create a meaningful life. So welcome to Your SuperPowered Mind.
Thank you Kristin. Thank you very much. I’m honored to be here.
So happy to have you. So my first question is always, what superpower did you uncover as a result of mastering your mind?
I surprised myself in that I had always believed that I was a woman of faith. I certainly was brought up in the Christian faith and somewhere on the line, I think while I was busy creating a career for myself as you do, I sort of do not to connect with that so much, but I then discovered the superpower through the universe, connecting with nature. I have found that it really aligned with who I am in a such strong way. Very much at a much deeper level than I’d been when I was kind of thinking that God and the universe was only found in a building that is called a church. Now I know that is not the case. So a superpower I discovered was very much through that connection with the universe at much deeper level, and understanding that the universe is there for us, and you only need to connect with it for you to get everything that you need in life.
Oh, that’s beautiful. And I want to definitely hear more about how you were able to come to this understanding, but before I do, you have really quite a story and a background. And, if you can share sort of, you know, explain what is some of the adversity that you overcame?
Well, I’m sure I’m not alone in the adversities that I’ve experienced, but I think in a way where, for me, as an individual, is unique, that I experienced several all in a very short space of time. I lost my parents, my two middle sisters in 12 months. While I was really coming to terms with that, but at the death of my mother, with whom I had the strongest bond ever, that two human beings can have, almost, completely overwhelmed me. I was absolutely completely devastated. So when I was coming to terms with that, I then found myself ill. I got diagnosed with osteoarthritis, very advanced. By the time I got the diagnosis simply because the medics kept saying it was. Although I was at work with colleagues, basically, they kept staying, “It’s stress, Brendah. Just rest because you’re stressed out.” And by the time they realized that it was a little bit more than stress, I could not really be helped.
My knee was completely mushed up that I had a total knee replacement, which failed obviously, because the condition was so advanced, so I ended up with a disability. And just my consultant then told me there was nothing he could do for me. To start with, also crutches, of walking with the support of crutches for two years, and then he said, “Well, the only thing I can do is to help you choose a good wheelchair, you know, because wheelchair is not how they look, it’s also how they function.” And I said, “How long for?” And he said, “Well, until you die.” I wasn’t 58, Kristin, and I thought, my parents lived until they were in their nineties. So I could face 40 years in a wheelchair. That scared quite the hell out of me.
So while I was having all of that type of thing, I then decided to go on a holiday of the lifetime, because I’d decided that waiting for a perfect time for me to actually go through my bucket list was not going to happen soon. So I went to the forest because that was always my dream to go to the forest. While I was in Hong Kong, which was one part of that trip, I said, “I’m getting washed up.” I became very ill very quickly. Basically, I ended up with double pneumonia and the doctors there didn’t understand my body, did not, you know, basically underdiagnosed, it was flu. I said, “My sister, no. It’s not flu.” I said, “It’s bronchitis.” By the time I realized it myself, because I’ve had bronchitis before that. I said, “Actually it’s not even bronchitis now. I think it’s pneumonia.” Anyway, to cut a long story short, thank God that I could persuade British Airways to fly me back.
I went straight from Heathrow Airport to the hospital. My consultant told me that another two hours, and this phrase that I’ll remember until the day I die, He said, “Another two hours, you would have been meeting your maker.”
Wow. So how did you come back from that? Because you can walk now.
Yes, I now run half marathons, actually, which I never could do before. I now run marathons. In fact, not just half marathons. I’ve done two in the last two years.
What I understand from people who do that, they’re actually not bad time. Quite good time. So I came back from that because one day I suddenly realized that the organization I worked in was very toxic, corporate world, corporate rat race. I don’t need to say too much. I don’t think I’m sure you audience understands the challenges of working in the corporate rat race. But I underestimated quite how toxic the environment was. I discovered that when I was recuperating because nobody was interested in whether or not I would live, and whether or not I needed any support. They’d just get the phone calls that the nurse took was to say, “When is she coming back to work?”
So that gave me a kick up the bones. I started to realize the universe has been trying to tell me, patiently, “You need to get out of this place.” So I got out of that place very quickly, and I suddenly thought, crutches or no crutches, I am going go walking. First day, I could barely get to the gates of my property, and then after that I thought I’ll get to the post box. I just had small landmarks, baby steps, baby steps. And I suddenly found myself power walking with vigor, daily. Do you know, I have kept that up for the last three years? I don’t miss a day. I actually had a prospective client say to me last week, no two weeks ago, “The weather is turning chilly in London. I see you’re still going out. Are you still going out every day in this chilly weather?”
And I said, “Yeah.” “What if it’s raining?” And I said, “So what?” You know? You get … You know, you don’t. You go out. So I do that, and that just gave me, being out there in fresh air, movement first of all. Our bodies were made to move. But also for my mind, I needed to be in fresh air. I find that sets the tone, the positive tone that I need for the day, to be a positive one, by actually starting by going out there. And do you know, I also discovered a man called John Assaraf. Through him, I’ve discovered the secret. And I have done some fantastic work on my mind, changing my mindset, because my mindset to start with, Kristin, was awful, in the sense that I never understood that I needed to take care of myself. I would take care of absolutely everybody, and their dogs and their cats. Everything. Everybody. But neglected me.
So my self care was non-existent. My eating habits, if you could even call it that, you know, were atrocious. So I ate badly. I slept badly, if I slept at all. I used to sleep like a couple of hours. So I discovered, I changed my mindset completely. Now my self care is top priority. I know, for me, to be the person my clients need, my family need, my friends need. Actually, that person is Brendah. Brendah who was put on this planet to achieve certain things, needs. I need to take care of myself first.
Right. Wow. I really want to go a little bit more into how it was that you were able to shift from essentially unable to walk, in a corporate, a toxic job, to living with passion and vitality now, but we have to take a break. So can you tell listeners where they can learn more about you and your story?
Yeah. My website is called ajoyfullifecoaching.com. So a joyful, as in ABC, joy, as in big joy experience, joyful life coaching. All one word obviously. All there. You can find me there, and yes, I’ve got some blogs there, and yeah. My story is there. A true story that tells you a little bit about who I am and what my background, what I’ve come from.
Right. Thank you. We have been talking to Brendah Ndebele about living with passion and vitality after adversity. We’re going to go deeper into that after the break.