From a small child, I consumed Oprah. That's it. While tucked away in my quiet attic bedroom away from the noise of my large family and the outside world, she was the only voice I had coming into my head. She was my role model and through slowing down my thinking and cutting off from the noise, it enabled me to believe anything was possible and to not be defined by stereotypes - all except one.
My father didn't want to know me and for that wee boulder in my life, I labelled myself incomplete. I grew up in the days when we were intravenously drip-fed the 'Peter and Jane' books at school. They were the Instagram and facebook of today depicting the oh so perfect lives. In trying to get back at my father I achieved extraordinary success in business alongside exceptional skills in broadcasting and public speaking. This was in the hope that he would see my name one day and squirm with regret. All at the cost of my physical and mental wellbeing.
In any case, driven to the brink of insanity in my quest to make my father pay, on one miserable rainy day in a pub in Balham I stopped. I pressed the pause button on my life and suddenly said to myself, enough was enough. I was perfect just the way I jolly well was.
The opposing external messages and stereotypes were so powerful, nonetheless, that I found there was only one way to cut through the negative messages in my mind - to get badass!
Holding the pen like a knife, I scrawled my father's name slowly on a napkin, went outside and burnt it. With each flicker of flame, I forgave him and forgave myself for choosing to give him this power. I cried non-stop from the release of what felt like taking a heavy rucksack laden with bricks off my back. Under the intense heat, the post-it-note label, that is, the incomplete label I had allowed society to place on my head for not having a dad, lost its glue and fell from my forehead too.
I now use the speaking skills I acquired to get back at my father to empower women. To help them raise their consciousness above the stereotypes that limit them. For them to be strong enough mentally, spiritually, physically and emotionally to power through the hurdles that come their way.
ABOUT INGRID - THE RESILIENT WOMAN
HER BADASSERY IN FAMILY
In order for her son to reach his full potential, as a single mother, Ingrid has moved her son in total three times from schools that had limited expectations of him. One of those moves was mid-secondary from a school riddled with unconscious biases and more. Despite an impeccable behavioural record and leaving his primary school with straight fives in his SATs, they refused him and those of the same race and ability, the opportunity to do treble science in their GCSEs. In the new school, one with a growth mindset and with their unconscious biases in check, although still a minority, among a string of A's and A*'s in all academic subjects in his GCSE's, in the treble science he was previously denied he achieved an A* in Physics, A* in Biology and an A* in Chemistry. Further evidence that stereotyping and our unconscious biases are preventing women and minority groups from reaching their full potential. He is one of the few black boys recently joined a Russel Group University. All this took an impact on Ingrid's health, nonetheless and brought her to her knees.
BADASSERY IN HEALTH
To empower women, at age 50 she then totally transformed her health by running every day for 30-days in the rain and killer snow the media dubbed the Beast From the East and vlogged it. Looking nothing like the stereotypical park runner, it was to demonstrate growth mindset. To illustrate that age, outward characteristics, social status or the size of your butt, has nothing to do with your ability. To show that through the gentle art of placing one foot in front of the other, you can make the seemingly impossible, possible.
BADASSERY IN BUSINESS
As a single mother, over fifteen years ago, she founded the kickass prestigious French lifestyle store in Islington that turned over a quarter of a million within just a few months of trading. She owned properties and with no family support funded her son's private school education.
Indeed, Ingrid bought her first property at age 23. A three bedroom semi-detached in the Guildford Suburbs. Although it ultimately didn't bring her fulfilment as the sheer ambition that got her there was to get back at her father (see that story here).
Ingrid also retrained as a Chandler and Herbalist in her fifties.
In her earlier career, Ingrid worked in Account Management serving major financial institutions, such as JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley. Her communications skills have led to voice-overs for radio ads aired on the BBC and local radio stations. She was a life coach columnist for The South London Press Newspaper and radio station Asian Star. She has appeared as an expert on Nick Ferrari's LBC radio show and joined panels on OH TV sky 199 alongside MP Tessa Jowell and UK Olympian Will Bayley.