June 2020 is the Female Wave of Change Story telling month: Stories matter and we want you to share yours! Today Sophia Hlonipha Sikhosana, Wavemaker Female Wave of Change South Africa shares the story of gratitude.
My Gratitude Story
“I was invited by Regina Huber to the Female Wave of Change conference in September 2019 and my ticket was sponsored by Hazal Lebbink. During the conference I received an opportunity to tell my story and shared my needs. I made two requests and that was Mentorship in personal development and advice on the program I wanted to initiate. Many women responded but there was a deeper connection with Ma’am Yvonne Kgame and therefore she became my mentor. I had recently divorced and had no sense of purpose anymore.
Mom Yvonne’s goal was to help me write a book as it was my dream. We focused on my personal transformation first. We worked on my health, bad lifestyle habits (addiction), healing and forgiveness, self love, self awareness and acceptance. The tools that helped me were, daily gratitude, asking for help when needed and daring to live a purposeful life, just to mention a few. This was achieved through counselling from church, at some point by a professional psychologist and daily devotional prayers. I had special sessions monthly with Mom Yvonne and follow up calls where she gave me advice also reflecting on my progress and struggles. She guided me daily to create moments of silence to make right decisions and choices.
The greatest lesson I took from this journey is, to be the change I want to see. I learned that forgiveness heals; life becomes more meaningful when we know our purpose and that gratitude opens doors we had not expected. Being thankful attracts goodness and positive energy. I now embrace my challenges without self victimization. I’m now more responsible and take accountability for my actions, I value relationships and I’m more grateful than before.
My achievements since the conference
- I registered for a Bachelor Degree in government administration and development with the University of South Africa.
- I registered an NGO (I Too Matter Program which aims to raise a generation of respectable, responsible and accountable young man) this initiative was inspired by my GBV firsthand experience
- I have volunteered and received training for Trauma support and still being trained on Life Coach by an organization named 1000 Women Voice
- I have my Gratitude Journal in the publishing process
- I have my Life With Gratitude website under construction
- I have also found a new interest and passion for public speaking which I have been attending conferences like Toast Masters for advice and training
- I have started my own business fully registered
- I’m married again and have a blessed family
- My lifestyle and attitude towards life has changed. I live daily to inspire those around me.”
Sophia gave Female Wave of Change permission to publish her story