Spreading love one t-shirt at a time
‘It never ceases to amaze me where life takes us with its unexpected twists and turns, ups and downs. Each is an opportunity waiting to be taken advantage of, even if we don’t see it at the time, so best we just roll with it and enjoy the ride. Resistance is futile’
Hi there! I’m Barb, a single Mum from the North Shore in Auckland, New Zealand who simply wants to make a difference in the world.
As a child growing up, my ‘inner’ world was a pretty confusing place. From my earliest memory, I remember just feeling sad and not knowing why. I did well at school throughout my childhood but I was struggling emotionally and started having suicidal thoughts at the age of eight.
When I was around 14 in High School, I just decided I didn’t care about anything anymore and as a result, my grades dropped drastically and I turned to external vices.
I didn’t have anybody to turn to for help, and not for a lack of reaching out for it. I held down good jobs and appeared to have it together on the outside but on the inside, I struggled throughout life emotionally and mentally.
It was when I ended up in a toxic relationship and hit my rock bottom that I knew I had to take a long hard look at myself if I wanted to create a better life for myself and my daughter. That was in 2009 and after leaving that relationship, I started what was a 10-year journey of self-healing to put an end to the generational and dysfunctional behaviour patterns that I had perpetuated in my own life.
It was while I was on this journey, and after slowly eliminating all my vices and distractions, that my depression and anxiety really kicked in because I had to face everything I was feeling head-on. I never sought help specifically for my depression, instead getting counselling for some other issues and was introduced to the notion that I was codependent.
It was through a lot of brutal self-reflection and inner work of exploring my feelings that I’ve been able to understand my patterns and put an end to them so I can create the life I deserve. And through various self-care practices such as mindfulness and exercise along with deep trauma healing, I’ve been able to manage my depression and anxiety, and eliminate it.
It hasn’t been an easy road but I’m sure it would have been a lot easier if I’d had the support I needed, not just as a child but as an adult as well. Perhaps my life may have turned out differently and I wouldn’t have had to go through what I went through – numbing my hurt and looking for love in all the wrong places. But without all those experiences, I would never be the person I am today and I have so much more compassion for humanity the suffering people go through.
Between the pressures of life, influences such as social media and circumstances out of our control such as the unprecedented events that started in 2020 and are ongoing, life is even harder than ever before. I believe each person is precious, unique and full of beauty, inspiration and love. We each need and deserve support when faced with difficulties – people need more love, not less.
I want to share my story and what I’ve learned to help people navigate their own emotions and experiences so they can create the life they deserve and so Open Heart Open Soul was birthed. My mission is to value, encourage and empower people and the wider community through our inspirational messages and through support, which can sometimes just be a kind ear and an open heart.
Ultimately, Open Heart Open Soul is an ever-evolving journey and it began with learning how to love myself.
We’re in business to serve humanity.
To value, encourage and empower
members of our community through
our inspirational messages.
Truth, integrity and transparency are key.
Our mission is to be an example of the
change we want to see in the world.
· Be responsible and accountable for all areas of your life –
mental, emotional, physical, financial, social & spiritual
· Be accepting of others – we’re all on our own journey
· Respect the environment and all that dwells in it
· Give, without expecting anything in return
· Practice gratitude every day
· Do the right thing
· Love yourself