TEDxHyderabad calls Ms. Colleen Lightbody as “The Brain Guru”. She is the owner of Brainwise Coaching and Learning Systems as well as Managing Director of the NeuroLeadership Group South Africa. She is a respected Coach, Trainer, Mentor and Assessor in South Africa as well as Singapore, Malaysia, Paris, Berlin, Japan, Ireland, the United States and India.
TEDxHyderabad 2015 happens to be the first time when Ms. Colleen shared her personal story on a global stage. She talked about the magnificent concept of Neuroplasticity and the unimaginable challenges that life threw at her. She shares from her experience that the brain is like a muscle. The more you use any parts of your brain, the thicker and denser and stronger your brain becomes
Ms. Colleen shares her story of becoming a “Warrior” from a “Worrier”. She adopted her second child, Gabriel, even after knowing that he has congenital hip displacement. Gabriel had a few operations after birth and possibly will have many more. 5 years after birth when Gabriel was about to enter formal schooling, he was diagnosed with permanently and irrevocably brain-damaged. He suffers from something called fetal alcohol syndrome because her biological mother had been drinking in her pregnancy. Alcohol has irrevocably damaging effect on the baby’s central nervous system and most tragically on the brain. Alcohol literally shrinks baby’s brains by cooking them.
Ms. Colleen formed a foundation called The Flutterby Foundation to build awareness for drinking in pregnancy. She changed her life around from being an overweight smoker and alcoholic to a 90 kilometers marathons runner and a mountaineer. She completed Ironman competition which includes a 3.8 kilometers swim in the sea, followed by 180 kilometers bike ride, followed by 42 kilometers run. The next day in hospital, she was X-rayed and had a fractured spine and concussion. But she also had a medal and learnt that hardship and difficulty can be conquered and can be overcome.
Life still hadn’t finished with her yet. She went through most of her greatest fears, she lost her cousin and her best friend, her beloved aunt and she noticed her dad through the final stages of brain cancer. Her marriage collapsed unexpectedly and devastatingly and she was financially devastated. She was also incredibly lonely and cried a lot. But she still says and we quote, “Don’t think that it’s all about crying — crying is good but I’m also extremely happy because I made the decision in my life never to say no to anything that scared me ever again and that’s why I’m standing here today.”
Today, she travels the world teaching people about the brain and possibilities which she wishes she had known earlier. She has learnt to be friendly and appreciative of others from Gabriel. She challenges us to become the warriors of our mind. It is a choice, it takes commitment, and it takes control. She says and we quote, “You are the painters of your experiential canvas and you are the architects of its form and structure. So, make that choice, make the commitment, have the courage and the discipline to become a warrior of your mind.”
TEDxHyderabad salutes the incredible believer and DOer, Ms. Colleen, and wishes her the best of life. TEDxHyderabad has always been the platform for many international speakers. Having Ms. Colleen as a speaker just added another star to it. Watch her complete talk at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmdp7tr8UFc
Do you also want to be a part of TEDxHyderabad family? Come join us on September 24, 2017 at TEDxHyderabad 2017!
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