Mandy Ayriss has a message for everyone: ‘You can be happy.’
“I want people to realise that happiness is so easy and it is in your grasp,” says the bubbly blonde, from Gosberton.
However, there is a rider. Mandy says happiness is only achievable if you change the way you think.
She should know. Abused as a child, Mandy understandably grew up with a negative attitude to life and became depressed. As well as once having an eating disorder and attempting suicide, she has been diagnosed with ME and fibromyalgia.
She calls it “a bleak life” and it’s easy to sympathise when she tells you she once felt “so much bitterness, hate and unhappiness”.
However, the former exams officer at Boston College describes her personality these days as “happy and vibrant” and she is clearly incredibly enthusiastic about the path she has chosen to follow.
Mandy wants to share some of the skills that have helped her improve her life with other people.
She has started Spalding Positive Living Group which meets at 7pm on Monday evenings during term-time only at the Pennygate Foundation in Spalding.
The speaker at the first meeting was happiness and empowerment coach – and Secret Millionaire – Sue Stone.
It was reading one of Sue’s books that started Mandy on what she calls “this journey of healing myself”.
Mandy realised that her negative thoughts were self-fulfilling, and were even leading to the ill health she was experiencing.
She says: “You don’t understand how powerful your thoughts are.”
What Mandy read in Sue’s book made her realise that the only person who could improve her life was... herself.
She says: “Being negative was my normal stance so for me changing my thoughts required a big shift. Sometimes it is so much easier to stick with what you know, even if it’s not good.”
Mandy has gone on to qualify as a Sue Stone coach and is continuing her studies so that one day she can specialise in helping people with chronic illness or who need to let go of past traumas.