Maureen Sharphouse

Maureen Sharphouse lives in Kinross-shire, Scotland, with her husband Peter, their gorgeous Fox Red Labrador Jackson, and Blue Point Birman kitten Phoebe. She is a daughter, wife, mum, and proud grandmother (to ten amazing grandchildren ranging from 8 years old to twenty-four years old), an award-winning results-driven certified Life and Mindset Coach, Mentor, NLP Master Practitioner, Pain Support and Empowerment Coach, Motivational Speaker, Writer, and Author of #1 International bestseller Unhackable Soul. Despite living with a painful, incurable, progressive neurological condition, she is passionate about the work and enjoys a vibrant enthusiasm for life. 

What were your initial years of growing up like? Tell us about your life before starting your corporate journey/venture/initiative.

Born and brought up in Dunfermline in Scotland, I had a happy childhood and attended Glasgow University on leaving school. I studied hard, gained a Master of Arts degree, and with big dreams and goals, excitedly looked forward to enjoying a bright and rewarding future. My future as I had envisioned it, however, got hacked. And life started to take me in a direction I hadn’t anticipated. I contracted a serious infection on holiday in Mexico at around thirty years old. Despite medical interventions, my body struggled to recover fully, and progressive neurological symptoms, excruciating muscle spasms and severe nerve and bone pain became my constant companion. Whilst I did all I could to continue to make the very most of life, enjoyed raising a family, and continued to follow a career path until I became too ill to work in 1998, in truth, in the last thirty-five years, I have never woken up to a day free of central and autonomic nervous system dysfunction, and intractable nerve and bone pain.

It is only fair to say, my medical file is complex and makes for lengthy reading. I have been given many diagnoses over the years, including Multiple Sclerosis (MS). However, it is now believed that in addition to arthritis, degenerative disc disease, and bi-lateral neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS), I have the rare and incurable condition of full-body, multi-site, multi-system, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) which, due to its intensely high pain levels, is commonly dubbed “the suicide disease”.

In a life-defining moment in 2002, the horror of a lifetime ahead of pain and illness hit me. On that bleak November morning, all became clear for me: whilst I was physically alive and breathing, on the inside, I felt numb and dead.

I was only forty-six years old and felt I hadn’t fully lived. At that pivotal moment, I yelled, “Enough is Enough!” and decided to do all I could to live my life with more comfort, peace, and joy despite my ongoing challenges. I dug deep for strength and courage and committed to doing all I could from that moment to crack open the darkness and let the light stream back in.

Today, some twenty years later, whilst I still live with intractable pain and ongoing health challenges, I work as a coach, mentor, speaker and writer helping others craft positive and meaningful transformational change in their lives also. I am a soul fully alive and with spirit well.

Every industry that is now a large-scale, top-notch business once started as a small idea in the minds of entrepreneurs. What was that idea or motivation that made you start your business /initiative? What motivated you within to say YES, go for it!”

The decision to start my business as a coach and mentor naturally evolved from crafting and manifesting significant transformational change in my own life. It felt like the next best natural step forwards to use what I had come to learn and know on my journey to help others and put to purpose all the darkness and difficulties I had personally gone through—echoing the words of Paulo Coelho, “A warrior of the light shares with others what he knows of the path“. 

When you decide to say YES to what is calling you forwards, park the need to have everything perfectly in place from the outset, and move forwards willing to make mistakes and learn all you can from them, you discover the rest starts to fall into place one next best step at a time. When you believe in yourself, embrace your soul’s calling, and have the courage to expand your world and step into your light, you often find God and the Universe step in and help. 

Tell us something about your initiative or current role. What is it about, and what impact are you trying to make?

I have worked with clients all around the Globe as their coach and mentor since 2010, helping them craft meaningful and positive change in their life and have delivered a wide variety of talks and workshops both online and in person, including to several charities, support groups and members of the chronic pain community. As a writer, I have written many articles for the media—and do my best to help submit valuable content for the media’s audience wherever possible. On social media, I have grown a fairly large following and regularly post uplifting, educational, and inspiring content, taking time to answer all comments on my posts and private messages that come as a result of my posts, personally. The online community I have grown is a community that cares- and I have developed meaningful and beautiful relationships with many of my’ followers’ around the Globe, irrespective of sex, race, creed or religion. I approach all I do professionally and personally from a place of service and freely give of my time when my health and diary allow to those who have reached out to me personally for a safe, non-judgmental listening ear, advice, guidance, help or support. My mission is simple: to empower and inspire others to embrace life fully and live a unique legacy on Earth they are proud of.

Your journey and your vision are very inspiring, but are there any achievements or
accomplishments you would like to mention?

The thing to remember is that achievements and accomplishments can mean so many different things to different people. So it is important not to let society or others’ definition of achievements or accomplishments, or the term ‘success’, define what it means to you

For me, what is most important is living with love and joy, being a lighthouse and leader to others, experiencing inner peace and contentment, and making a difference in the world whilst I am here in human form on planet Earth. Looking back, I want to know that I have made a difference in some way to others by simply being here. I understand pain, life’s challenges and the difficulties living with a physical disability brings,  and being a lighthouse to others puts my pain to purpose. Every morning when I wake up, I remind myself that as I am still alive and breathing, I must treat this day as precious and embrace each moment as it arises, as my work on Earth is not yet done.  

Would you like to share with our young budding women entrepreneurs the change you would like to see in the world if given an opportunity?

I would like to see a world where everyone is encouraged and supported to embrace who they truly are and reach their full potential so that they can step up and serve themselves and others in the way that is most soul and spirit-nourishing and feels like home. I pray for the world to be a kinder, more compassionate, more accepting, more non-judgmental, more peaceful, and more loving place. 

Women are a growing force in the workplaces worldwide, standing shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts. There are cracks in glass ceilings everywhere, with many women breaking through to carve out a space right at the top of the pyramid. What are your thoughts about women leadership today?

Yes, the 21st Century world we live in is seeing more and more women stepping into leadership roles, which is exciting to witness. However, whether a woman or man is in any organisation’s leadership role,  I do not think that is what is most important. Irrespective of sex, race, creed, or religion, I believe it should be about who has the correct values to lead the organisation and whose values align with the organisation’s mission and vision – and who possesses the best bank of relevant skills, knowledge, expertise, and experience. 

What would you want to say to our young women leaders/audience reading this?

Above all, believe in yourself. Remain true to who you are, never compromise on your values, and keep learning! Open your mind and heart to all the opportunities that present. Be less critical of your shortcomings, mistakes or poor choices. Learn all you can from both the good and bad! Be kind, compassionate, understanding, loving and supportive of yourself always. Be your own cheerleader and champion. How can you expect others to be if you don’t believe in yourself and your ability? Think less. Park the need for perfectionism, and halt the inner critic. Focus on progress, one next best step at a time, and allow yourself to feel more. And have the courage to follow the path that fires passion in your soul and feels most in alignment with who you are and where you are in life, calls you forwards, and feels most like home.