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Hosting a podcast to help women thrive through their menopause Menopause Morph and setting up a platform of all things menopause :) www.menopausemorph.com
I was born into a family of Irish descent in Glasgow, Scotland, the third of ten siblings.
At the age of seven my teacher asked the class to think about what they wanted to DO when they grew up. I decided I wanted to make people happy. She slapped me over the head and told me “Not to be cheeky!” but I never let that stop me.
When I was fourteen I was invited to attend a free introductory class at the Glasgow Arts Centre. As the evening drew to a close, the headmistress asked if I would be continuing. I told her I would not be able to. Realising that there were financial restraints. She then offered me a scholarship program for teenagers with exceptional talent. I attended that school for four years and learned about stage theatre, song and sculpture. Also during that time I learned to play the flute at school and taught myself guitar.
At the age of sixteen I organised my first major charity event, using the proceeds of a talent competition, to hold a Christmas party for the local mentally handicapped teenagers. I was high on seeing so many people happy at both events.
I grew more and more into the arts but also I was fascinated with science, so on leaving school I trained in medical laboratory science in Stobhill hospital and Glasgow College of Technology. By night, though, my heart was still in the arts and I sang in bars and nightclubs and performed with the Glasgow Apollo Players theatrical group.
By 1984, I had finished my medical laboratory training but felt called to do vocational work. With an international volunteer group I was able to travel to many countries and help in orphanages, a medical camp, cleaning up the environment and teaching and often held concerts to raise money for the projects. I enjoyed the cultures, the food from many parts of Asia and Eastern Europe, then eventually ended up marrying an Icelander and settling in Iceland.
Life in Iceland was difficult in some ways, I had two sons both of which had developmental problems and during my first pregnancy I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and then a host of other auto-immune diseases.
One of the things that made life easier was being involved in an ex-pat group called “The Society of New Icelanders.” Multiculturalism already being a great part of my life, I felt at home. Eventually I became the president of SONI in 1994 and have had so much fun organising multicultural events. It was also an honour to be able to take new immigrants under my wing and help them adjust to life in a new country.
My health continued to be difficult. On good days I could do some charity work but more often I was housebound. On one such occasion I was ill in bed with pneumonia and had been for some weeks. I ordered some DVD’s on how to learn to oil paint and watched them every day for the next few months until I was well again.
By the “Law Of Attraction” I found my teacher Vera Sörensen who changed my life. Vera was very patient with me. I was nervous and in a lot of pain so could not hold the paint brush up for any long periods of time, but with her great teaching skills I walked out four hours later with my first masterpiece :)
Learning to paint opened my eyes. If we are not blind we can see but how often do we actually “Look!” I began to notice all the different shades in the sky and clouds, and all the myriad shades of green in nature. It became difficult to drive as all I wanted to do was observe the detail around me. You cannot imagine how beautiful Iceland is, an absolute heaven for painters and photographers.
On the 8th August I was again ill and I began to think of the date 08/08/08 and what certain numbers mean in different cultures. Eventually my thoughts focused on the year 2012 and I realised that it is the only year in the century that ends in a 12 and has 12 months. I thought “How can I use this conflagration of the magical number 12 to make something amazing?” My passions are world peace, the sharing of our cultures and taking responsibility for our Mother Earth. The idea for 2012 Project 12 blossomed.
People all around the world taking photographs or making art at the same time every month in the year 2012, or expressing their inner desires throughout the year, being able to share our cultures, our nature, our passions with each other. A mosaic of life on earth though a global art project!
I worked hard on Project 12 but did not manage to get funding and so it did not do very well but we had 84 people taking part. Sadly just as it was coming to an end the website crashed and we had some other technical difficulties so everything was lost :( I'm told that there was some way to save most of it and got someone to do that but the only copy got destroyed when my computer crashed. I'm not a techie and felt so sad that this great project died due to my inexperience but everyone who took part enjoyed the process. I learned a lot hosting this event.
Life can be difficult but we have so much to be grateful for. My travels have taught me that everyone is looking for love and beauty and goodness and a way to express themselves as co-creators.
The last few years I've been doing a stage show called The Pearls of Pauline - Pearls of Wisdom, Compassion & Joy for Menopausal Women. Then this year 2015 I started a podcast Menopause Morph. I'm in the process of building a whole platform of all things menopause :) Yes, I am menopausal myself :)
I also have a small Icelandic souvenir candy business that keeps the whole family busy :)
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. We are all part of the one big family. Let me sing and I'm happy.
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING
Try to volunteer as much as possible. If something needs done, I try to do it. I often take people in difficult situations into my home, sometimes whole families, until they get on their feet. Other times it is someone just travelling around Iceland. Currently I'm not in the position to host anyone as we are refurbishing our business building and all of our equipment is taking up all the spare bedrooms, hallways and sofas. Hopefully in a month or so we can take guests again.
Been hosting couch surfers all my life without knowing it was called that :) I also spent 18 years as a voluntary worker around the world and slept in some of the most unusual places :)
Joined this CS website at the beginning of Sept,2011 as I was desperate for a place to crash while attending a conference in New York and that worked out great for me.
Since coming home from NY I have been hosting about twice a week as I am the only person in the west of Iceland hosting. It has been great and I have met loads of wonderful people, but it is exhausting (and this is the OFF season!) and perhaps I will take a break sometimes from hosting as we need some private family time. The next few months will be mega busy for me with the 4 big art projects I am involved with so I cannot show anyone around, but you are welcome to crash at our home (and help me with any of the art projects)
Helping people, singing, holding festivals and international events, oil painting, motivational speaking, supporting women to thrive through their menopause :)
Music, Movies, and Books
The Dark Crystal, The Shawshank Redemption, The Davinci Code, The Law of Attraction
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
Saw a UFO over Kirkintillock, Scotland about 4 am in the morning with my husband beside me, we both saw it. Must have been about 1982 or 83
Teach, Learn, Share
I'm currently hosting a podcast to help women thrive through their menopause. It is called Menopause Morph and can be found on iTunes and Stitcher Radio. I suppose I am becoming somewhat of an expert on all things menopause :)
What I Can Share with Hosts
Lots of amazing stories of my travels as a volunteer and life in Iceland. I can sing for them :) and make a mean Indian curry :)
Countries I’ve Visited
Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, Ukraine, United States
Countries I’ve Lived In
Bulgaria, Iceland, Malaysia, South Korea, United Kingdom