Blog Beverley Densham’s Story
My life started off Disney like, with an inner happiness I didn’t know at the time was what most people strive for in life, with a happy family life and wonderful holidays in Dorset in the summertime, staying on a farm and going to the beach hut and beach hut in the day with my two brothers, sister, Mum and Dad.
I fell in love with Dorset there and then. There was one thing that I did really struggle with at times which was shyness and not being able to express how I felt or ask for help when I was upset (apart from an obvious hurt wrist or arm). Something that started from a young age was back problems and back pain.
I was a national junior squash player from a young age, winning all the age groups in my county and playing tournaments all over the country, also loving running around athletics tracks in 800m and 1500m races, although it hurt by the end of every race there was exhilaration of running.
A passion. But I was always in a vicious cycle of in and out of injury and back pain, and lost count of the number of Physiotherapists, Osteopaths, Chiropractors and consultants and MRI scans have had over the years and even a spinal injection.
My other passion was designing, I loved to design things and graphic design was my favourite and best GCSE. So young and undecided what to do I ended up graduating with a Degree in Sports Science from the University of Brighton, I did have moments whereby I ‘thought’ about changing degree to graphic design, but I kept going, I can now see how its helped my career, me and those that I help and inspire.
Have always had a love for travel and after University, worked for a year to save up to travel and work my way round the world, enjoyed travelling around America, the Hawaiian Islands (my favourite, especially the Big Island with the lava caves, black sand beaches and hikes), the Cook Islands, New Zealand and Australia.
It was whilst I was living and working in Bondi Beach, Australia that I suffered from yet another re-curring back problem and went to a Physiotherapy Clinic, that really helped and they recommended Pilates, so off I went to classes which really helped the back.
The travels continued and during an early morning cycle to work I was unfortunately hit by a car, the car hadn’t stopped at the crossroads. Smash. Luckily I was wearing a bicycle helmet to protect my head (please wear a helmet on bikes and scooters), my helmet smashed the windscreen, my wrist shattered on the bonnet and my back landed on the road.
Lying motionless and not sure if I lost consciousness, I remember lying very still on the road. Everything stood still, having difficulty to breathe.
The initial impact left me in physical agony that no level of pain relief touched and my wrist was operated on, with a plate and 5 screws to help mend the multiple fractures.
Apparently they did a good job. Flying home was very tough, at that point hadn’t realised the mental and physical impact the accident had created. Slowly and surely the physical injuries re-habilitated, the mental suffering took longer, with post traumatic stress, panic attacks, depression and chronic fatigue taking hold, but I remembered something that helped me in Australia, Pilates.
So I dragged myself to London and got training, both for my own body and mind and then trained as the first teacher in the County of Hertfordshire.
Straight away opened my very own studios for Pilates and soon one studio became 2, I wanted to help people, to help others who’d been through back pain, prolapsed discs, suffering and pain. Most people come to Pilates for their body, but what I find exciting about it is it helps the mind, emotions and happiness as much as your body.
It’s not just about the exercise, it’s much deeper than that. It gave a focus and helping others helped heal me too. I am grateful for every person I’ve helped and inspired. It’s mindful and you’re in the moment.
You can’t change the past, something I would change if I had the chance is meeting my ex husband, but I did, and here’s the story (in brief), could write a book on it, but definitely won’t waste my energy on that!!
I got married in 2002 and by 2005 gave birth to my son Sammy and probably one of the most horrific days of my life, we nearly died, after hours of non stop agonising labour (clearly the hypnosis didn’t work at all, the pain levels definitely didn’t dial down at all!), and nearly giving birth naturally, my body gave up and had a very severe pre-eclamptic fit, if only they’d listened to my midwife sister Julie and not let me go through labour, I’d already been in an ambulance to the hospital prior to this, nobody listened.
My body had blown up like a balloon and yes I did look like a pig with all the extreme swelling, I went unconscious and the crash team came in, tears still in my eyes as I write this, there was a thread I believe between me dying physically and going to the spiritual realm, wherever that might be, think my inner spirit was determined to live for my son to provide, care for and protect my little family like a warrior.
Yet I was weak as anything waking up in the middle of the night in intensive care, my sister by my side. I fleetingly woke to ask: ‘Is my son alive?’. She reassured me he was and showed me a photo of him.
Sammy with this cute little blue hat on. That was the first time I saw him, in a photo. The next time in real life I don’t remember.
He was in the special care baby unit. We united, bonded and that bond will never be broken. Even by the abuser I married. The charming, good looking exterior and what appeared to be a charming personality was buried in an abusive person, after becoming so weak after childbirth, it was a golden opportunity for my ex to up the domestic abuse, and can you believe it isolating me from those I’d loved the most my whole life, my sister, Mum and Dad.
Isolation is common in domestic abuse, I didn’t see my sister and one of my brothers in 3 years and Mum and Dad for 2 years. Unbelievable when you look back. By 2008 things got dire, I can’t share all the details however what I can say is it was frightening, there was a lot of shouting and violence and anger and I called the Police, social services took me and my then 3 year old son away, recommending a refuge in another county. We ended up living with my parents for 3 years and started the healing process. A very long journey indeed.
You’d thing the story would end there, but it seems like I was one of those people like a cat with 9 lives, there was more to come. I endured several other health problems along the way but I made a decision, I set a goal to move to the sea to make a fresh start.
This wasn’t an easy decision as I had a stable 6 figure business, so from a financial perspective in hindsight not my best decision but overall it was. I was finally free to move to Dorset, my childhood happy place and that’s where my heart and soul wished to live the rest of my life.
I was back close to my family again, gratefully the unconditional love was never broken and they let me back into their lives straight away, the hurt though took many years to heal. I had a bit of a spiritual awakening after all the trauma and got into angel cards and the angels and even wrote a bestselling self help book at the beach called ‘I Talk to Angels’, which I’m very proud of.
It's been quite a journey starting all over again, it has been a financial and mental strain, and at times depression, anxiety and panic attacks crept in when I was struggling to earn a living, let alone a pandemic hitting the world and you having to work out how on earth to not just survive but thrive and triumph, because triumph you must.
You too are here to serve a purpose. There’s one last sad, sorry little story to tell you, and also perhaps my second proudest moment, my first proudest moment is being a Mum to my son Sammy, and the second this moment. In 2015, what seemed out of the blue half of my vocal cords paralysed.
There was a large non cancerous tumour on my thyroid, I was feeling very ill and took time off work, at that time I wrote some positive affirmations for children. Something miraculous happened, the vocal cords healed, they’d not seen this happen before.
I believe the Happy Kids Cards I created gave me a voice, a voice I never had as a child, an ability to express how I feel and ask for help. It was like a missing piece in the jigsaw, a tool not just to help me but to help every child, family, teacher and school on the planet, to bring more happiness, confidence and calm to children’s lives and you. Roll on another 7 years and was extremely inspired to create an adult deck called Happy & Calm Cards, also ideal for teenagers too. On a mission to give everyone a voice and we must start from the grass roots.
My wish is every child has a set at home and school. And every child that’s been through adversity. Always tell someone you trust or a trusted professional what’s wrong, there is always someone to help. My favourite saying is:
‘There is always a solution, but the solution might not be immediate’
I had to pivot in the pandemic, the famous pivot word. I created a Mindfulness Pilates zoom Studio so I could help people all over the country and world, I have worked long hours to create a stability in my business and it’s on the up, teaching properly with good alignment and technique clients both in classes in the membership as well as one to one programmes are benefitting as much as in person work which is fantastic, including meditation, mindset, positive affirmations, goal setting, visualisation and 1 minute journaling.
The ultimate personal development experience. I teach clients how to do 1 hour a week together, 6 minutes practice a day and incorporating it into their lifestyle. Rewarding.
Recently I discovered what my core values are, which are family, making a difference and wellbeing. To help families make a positive difference in wellbeing in body and mind. You hear all the time, you must have a niche, I suppose I have 2, helping people after back pain and prolapsed discs and helping female entrepreneurs be strong in mind, body and business.
But ultimately I want everyone to live happily ever after! I did. You can too.