Country Girl to Corporate Leader to Life Changing Accident
I live in Adelaide in South Australia. I grew up in the countryside. I'm a country girl. One of my first memories, even as a child, was one of freedom. I remember feeling absolutely free because we lived on a farm. We had chickens and sheep. We had a big piece of land, and I used to just run around and feel completely free. This is one of the greatest blessings I think my mom and dad gave me. My upbringing had feelings of compassion, freedom, and trust.
At the age of 13, I went to boarding school in Adelaide. I was a very, very homesick child in general; my mom was very worried about me. When I got to Adelaide, I was never homesick. Again, it was as if this whole new world suddenly opened up for me. It was like a brand-new world, and I thrived in it. I loved it.
I guess from a really young age, I had developed a very big sense of self-belief. It actually began around the age of 12. At that time, I was a fast runner. I loved running. We'd have sports days where I ran, and I loved being the fastest. I was growing very quickly. So, around the age of 10 or 11, I grew to the stature I have now which 5 feet, 10 1/2 inches. I'm more than the average height of a male. I've got legs as long as you can imagine. All of a sudden, my legs wouldn't carry me as fast as everyone else because I was so much taller than everyone. I was running, but I couldn't keep up.
I developed really bad, negative self-talk from that. Every time before a race started or we were doing something sports related, I would say to myself, all the time, “Sharon, you're not fast. You're hopeless.” I just remember developing that speech. One day, I was competing in an annual sports day. These negative words were in my head, and I was telling myself how I was not going to win. All of a sudden, I heard a loud voice, a man’s voice. Someone spoke to me over my right shoulder, and I flicked my head as fast as I could, to see who it was that was saying those words to me. There was no one there. I heard the voice again. He said, "Sharon, Believe!" Nobody was physically there. But I heard him say it to me again, “Sharon, Believe!”
It was like an electrical current went through my body. It was a feeling I can’t describe. Something changed in me in that instant. I wasn’t scared at all, instead I felt amazing! From that moment, I changed and I instantly said to myself, “Sharon, believe you're the fastest, you're the fittest, you're the strongest, you've got the longest legs, you're the tallest.” I kept saying these words over and over again. My first race was the one hundred meters free. I kept saying those words over and over as I was running that race. And guess what? I won!
I was just like, "Oh, my gosh, that's amazing." So, I next race was the 200 meter. I've never won that race before. I did the same thing, “Sharon, believe you've got it, you're the fastest, you're the fittest, strongest.” I won that race as well! I went on to win the 400 meters that day, as well. Again, I've never done it. I remember thinking after that day--I have a secret. I have something that no one else has, like a secret ingredient to win!
Self-belief was ingrained in me that day. After that, I used it and kept saying only positive words to myself, and it carried me through with my schooling. In my Year 12, I topped the State of South Australia in my Legal Studies subject, because a teacher believed in me. Most importantly, I believed in me that I could to it, as well. I went on to have an incredible corporate career. I traveled the world; I climbed the corporate ladder in what was a male dominated industry. Eventually, I was living over in London.
My name is Sharon Muscet and this is my Kintsugi Story.
In my PR & Marketing Executive role for a global wine company, based in London, I was required to travel each week to certain countries in Europe. I was single at the time and married to my job. I had no time for relationships, and the more I focused on my profession, the more I achieved. I believed I could do more, and I did. So, I moved to London thinking that this is exactly what I wanted. The moment I arrived in London; I was flooded with homesickness that I had as a little girl up until I went to boarding school.
It all came back to me. I was desperately homesick. I missed my mom, my dad, my brothers and sister, and all my friends. I thought, "Oh, my God. Everything I wanted, I had in front of me. Why didn't I see it?"
London was cold, dreary, and rainy when I got there. In Australia, it was summer and hot and blue skies and green grass. I missed everything from my hometown. I thought to myself, "What the hell have I done?" I just signed a three-year contract with my company. I never wanted to break a contract. If I did, I would owe them over $60,000 in relocation costs, so I felt locked in. I also would never break my contract.
I remember this as it was yesterday; I was walking in the streets of London on a Sunday afternoon. I had only been living in London for four weeks. Sundays were my most homesick of days. I went into a hat shop to buy a hat because it was so cold. Through my sadness, I said to myself, “God, how long am I going be here for?” That was when I heard it. A loud booming voice over my right shoulder. It was the same voice I had heard before, when I was 12. I flicked my head around and there was no one there. He said in the loudest voice, almost yelling at me, “Six months.” I instinctively knew the voice. I spoke out loud and said, “Well, that's not true, because I'm here for three years.”
Life Changing Moment
I dismissed it. I didn't think any more of it. Three months into my experience in London, I had to come back to Australia on a trip with 20 of our top customers from around the world. We were going to take them sightseeing. Our first stop was into Adelaide, my hometown. I stayed at a hotel not far from my home, which was located on this beautiful beach in Adelaide. I had missed the sand and the sea so much, so I went for a little paddle in the water. This moment changed my life forever.
At that time, I was walking knee deep in the water, and I was being silly, kicking my feet up with water splashing everywhere. There was a stingray hidden in the sand. The water was a little murky, I didn't see it until I started to step down. I saw it as it saw me. The defense mechanism for stingrays is that they'll flick their tail up. If you remember the famous Australian Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin, he died from a sting to his chest, they are very poisonous. I stepped on it. This is when my life changed forever. From that moment, my corporate career ended. I was off my feet for two years in and out of hospitals.
Initially, I did go back to London for another three months. I had three operations there before they told me they were going to amputate my foot. My employer said, "Let's get you back to Australia with your family. We will look after you where the healthcare is also better." There, I would have support since I was off my feet. So, that is how, in three months, my life changed dramatically including being back in Australia.
Amazingly, it was six months from the time I moved to London to being back in Australia, just as that voice had told me that day whilst I was out shopping. It was incredible.
I went from this 60-70 working hours a week in corporate, traveling the world to flat out on my back fighting to save the use of my foot. On two occasions, I was fighting to save my life. I had 10 operations in that time. I had a permanent PICC line in my arm, which was feeding me antibiotics around the clock and turned the whites of my eyes orange.
I was so sick. It was so debilitating to my liver. The recurring infection wouldn't heal in my foot. It ended up killing the bones in my foot. Now, my foot has plates, screws etc, inserted. Not only did I lose my career, I lost my independence; I lost my financial security. I was partially disabled. I lost my life as I knew it.
Blessing in Disguise
I can honestly look back and say the best thing that ever happened to me was the accident because it brought me back to Australia. You know, I was desperately homesick. I think the universe had other ideas for me. I've reconnected with my family and my friends and I changed the whole direction of my life.
I've never been back into the corporate world since. I found my passion; I found my purpose. I became a mother, which was something that wasn't even on my agenda when I was a corporate career woman traveling the world. Now, my two boys Luka and Hugo are the biggest loves of my life. Without that accident, I would have never been back to Australia and would have never met their father and would never have had my children.
People ask me, “What did you do for two years?” I was in and out of hospital and off my feet. Plus, in order to heal, I chose to do the things that made me happy. I decided that I needed some joy back in my life, because so much of my life was doctor appointments. You see, my problems didn’t end with my foot. I also had a blood clot at one stage in my lung that nearly killed me. After that I had a heart attack, it was just so stressful on my body. About a week after that heart attack, I had an epiphany at that moment.
The Bigger Reason
I felt that if I was supposed to be gone, I would have been dead by now. But I wasn’t. "I'm here for a reason. I'm here to live out my purpose.” From that moment, I always felt indestructible. I don't fear death. I don't fear any of that anymore. I know I'm here to live out my purpose.
Changing the Narrative
Until I fulfill my purpose, I'm going to be here. I never speak negatively about my experience. People wanted to know the details but I started to find by telling and retelling, it brought me down. So, I decided first up, I'm not going to talk about it anymore. I'm just going to say to people that it's a work in progress. I'm getting there. It's great. The doctor said it's great.
A great empowering quote, which really helped me, is from Dr. Wayne Dyer. He says, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” So, I changed the way I looked at everything. My belief system became strong. “I'm going to get through this. I'm going to keep my foot. I'm not going to lose my foot.” I started doing all the things that made me happy. I took up singing lessons. I'm an awful singer but who cares? I've always wanted to sing. So, I found this man, an opera singer, to teach me how to sing. Then I took up mosaics, which was a form of meditation for me. I was always been a spiritual person. I've always meditated. I had a spiritual counselor I've worked with off and on for over 30 years.
I learned how to teach other people to meditate. I started holding classes from my home with my foot up. I learned how to do numerology charts for people. It's something I always wanted to do. I learned how to do energy healing. I took up Reiki as well. All of a sudden, people were coming to me. So, in one of the hardest moments of my life, I learned I could be of service to other people and hold my meditation classes and energy healings. I was receiving the healing myself. By being of service to other people for a moment, I stepped outside of me and my troubles. By giving to others, I was getting in return. Being of service was one of the biggest lessons for me during this time in my life.
I surrendered to the thought that if it's meant to be good, it will be. If I am meant to lose my foot, I will. It took me two years to lose that fear. I surrendered to it and said, "Okay, I'm not controlling this anymore." I asked for a direction of my healing. I began healing.
Finding Her Path
During that time, I studied to become a marriage celebrant. I thought, "God, it would be fun to marry my nieces and nephews and some of my friends were having second weddings." I knew that would keep me busy for the next six months. So, I took the course, I could do it from home, so it was perfect. I became a marriage celebrant.
Shortly after that, my best friend's father passed away. As I was a celebrant, she came to me and she said, “Could you do the funeral for my dad?” I've never in my wildest dreams imagined myself doing funerals. To be honest, I was fearful of seeing a dead body, and I was scared of my own emotions. She explained that because I knew her dad, I would talk to the point, and it would be meaningful. I love public speaking; I've always been a speaker. So I said, "Of course, I'll do it for you," not having any idea what I was doing.
I did the service for her dad; it was the most rewarding thing I've ever done in my life. Knowing that I brought the family peace meant the world to me. I can in all conscience say my whole corporate career of traveling the world and climbing the corporate ladder, I'd never ever had the feeling that I experienced that day of truly being of service. I never felt so of service before.
I realized that I've just lived on purpose!
At that moment, I realized that I had a purpose, and it hit me--this is my purpose. The funeral really changed my life. It was a large funeral home where I had conducted this service. I was told by the funeral director that I portrayed death from a completely different point of view. I looked at it from the eyes of love, as celebration of life. He asked me if he could put me on the books as a female celebrant, which was rare.
Within six months, I conducted over 100 funerals, and it just grew from there. I've been doing that for ten years. It is a passion for me. There is nothing greater for me than to be of service to a family when they're going through one of the toughest times in their lives. My accident led me on this healing journey, which I had to surrender to and from there everything changed.
I've become an international public speaker: I speak on loss, I speak on love. I have discovered the work I am meant to do. I've worked with thousands and thousands of people now dealing with the realities of death. What I have discovered is that it's all about love. I work in what I call the love industry; I don't work in the death industry.
Each family shares with me the most amazing love stories. When they share these love stories, the pain goes away, and they are flooded with love. I write their love story. Then, I deliver the love story in the service. It is challenging and emotional but extremely rewarding work.
I have to really look after myself. There's a lot of self-love and self-care going on, so that I can be the strongest version of myself for them at their most vulnerable time. I just get so much pride from that. From discovering all about the love, I talk about the love in death. So, in July 2019, I founded a movement called ‘The Love in Death’ movement which is the coming together of people from all around the world who share two things in common – they have all loved someone, and they have lost their loved one through death.
The Love in Death movement is literally changing the way we view death by shifting society’s focus from fear, to one of love, through focusing on love stories and the incredible life lessons that can be learned.
The Love in Death movement is so much bigger than me. I am merely the messenger – delivering a very important message worldwide.
In November 2019, I published my first book, The 7 Life Lessons Learned through Loss: Powerful Stories of Love, Hope, Transformation & Legacy. Time is precious, life is fragile and we are all here for a reason. Through my own personal experiences, and with wisdom and grace, I share powerful and moving stories of those passed to inspire people to reflect on their own story, motivate them to step forward in the direction of their dreams and bring to light ways to live their best life.
Today, I am called upon as a celebrated international keynote speaker, inspiring audiences all over the world to reflect on their own life, to transform them to take action and change not only the way they die but the way in which they live their life.
I had this amazing fantasy about my life, from a very little girl, about how it would look. My life has looked nothing like that at all. I know that to be where I am today – fulfilling my life’s purpose – I had to pay the ultimate price and go through all of my adversities - my accident which kept me off my feet for 2-years, facing death, giving up my corporate career and my independence, becoming partially disabled and enduring great financial loss.
Some people become a victim to their life’s adversities, others find meaning and purpose in their life and use it for the good of others. The latter was the case for me. I found meaning in my life through all of my adversities. I discovered my life’s purpose. Through my work as a funeral celebrant, I have worked alongside thousands of individuals experiencing the realities of death. As a healing and loss expert, I discovered The Love in Death global movement and am on a mission to be of service and change the way society views death.
Gandhi said, “In a gentle way, we can shake the world.” I believe in a gentle way, we can do just that. The Love in Death movement can literally change lives. Death is LOVE, and with the focus being on LOVE, it will aid in the healing of people all around the world.
Through my adversities, I learned how to live with purpose and on purpose.
My name is Sharon Muscet and I am Kintsugi.
Sharon Muscet is one of Australia’s foremost experts on healing and loss. She is the founder of ‘The Love in Death’ movement, an award-winning thought leader, international speaker, published author and funeral celebrant. Her latest book ‘7 Life Lessons Learned Through Loss’, Sharon shares powerful stories of love, hope, transformation and legacy. Sharon is dedicated to sharing life lessons, transforming the fear of death and celebrating the power of love.
To contact Sharon: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit Sharon’s website: www.sharonmuscet.com
To view 'The Love in Death' movement: https://youtu.be/0tX_vnZW4Kk
Purchase Sharon’s book: 7 Life Lessons Learned Through Loss: Powerful Stories of Love, Hope, Transformation & Legacy: https://www.sharonmuscet.com/product/7-life-lessons-learned-through-loss/
Visit Sharon on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sharon-muscet-26904876/
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