By Dr Brooklyn Storme PhD
When I’m not being a spiritual life and business coach, I am a psychologist working in my practice on the Peninsula. Serving families here has been my passion for as long as I can remember perhaps because I was born and raised here. Yes, I grew up in Winton Ave, went to Overport Primary School and then to Frankston High.
When I was eleven years old, my father left and overnight my mother became a single mum to six children, all younger than me. There was no single parent pension! No baby bonus! Nothing! I remember having to take mum’s passbook to the State Bank in Foot St and seeing next to nothing it. I also remember, as a little girl, being visited at home by people like the Sheriff.
My mum did the best that she could and now that I’m 44 years, single and no children, it baffles me just how amazing she really is. I make more of a point of telling her that now than I did when I was younger.
Perhaps it was my experience of growing up below the poverty line, of having to go down to the Brotherhood in Rosella Street to get the free clothing and food because we had none, that contributed to shaping who I would become as an adult. Growing up, I just remember watching mum struggle so much and saying to myself, “That will never happen to me”.
One day, I recall mum sitting the six of us down at the kitchen table for a family meeting. She looked nervous as she proposed this: “I can go and work at Bata shoe factory in which case we will have a little money coming in each week, or I can go and study at university and get a professional job but it will take a little longer” and we discussed it, then took a vote. It was unanimous and we all supported her in going to university.
She must have been in her mid 30’s when she applied for university and guess what? She was accepted to Monash. It must have been so overwhelming for her and hopefully it was exciting too. For the next years she studied and eventually she became a psychologist.
I remember she had a really large desk in our loungeroom and her books, notepads and pens were neatly piled up all over it.
One day, I was looking through her text book and I thought, “This looks really interesting…”. Then I kind of made a of habit of getting up in the middle of the night to go and read them. As I grew older, the time came for me to apply to university but I was so scared I wouldn’t be smart enough, wouldn’t be good enough or would disappoint my family and so I put off applying. After a gap year or two, I bit the bullet and applied and got into the same course as mum at Monash, Peninsula.
It took a grand total of fourteen years of study to earn my undergraduate, post graduate and then my PhD in psychology and I love working in this role. One of the things that brings me the greatest pleasure is helping families that have been through challenging times. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about alignment so thought I’d share it here.
Alignment is really an idea that our experience of the world should ideally match up with our beliefs, thoughts, feelings and behaviours.
To demonstrate, imagine I have a belief that my family should be healthy. If I break that down, I might segment ‘healthy’ into different areas like social wellbeing, physical health, mental health, economic health and so on. But let’s say I’m talking about social health. If my children come home from school and immediately jump on to their devices until dinner time, eat dinner and then hop back onto their devices, is this behaviour aligned with my value or belief of ‘health’? No. It is not.
Your family is so important for so many reasons but often we simply become too distracted by life to really sit down and think ‘What do I want for my family?’ and figure out a way to live our values. By living your values, you can have a very powerful and positive impact on your children not just now, but as they develop into beautiful adults and into beautiful human beings.
What do you value for your family and what could change so that you can live them?
Dr. Brooklyn Storme, PhD is the Director and head psychologist at All Psyched Up, a mindfulness-based allied health practice on the Mornington Peninsula. When she’s not at work, she’s usually teaching Gabe new tricks or spiking up his purple Mohawk.
allpsychedup | Ph: 8765 2434