Guestlist met transformation coach Ava Brown during a volunteering day on Christmas Eve who not only went from being homeless in her younger days to now becoming a prominent life coach. Intrigued by her life journey so far, we asked her a couple of questions:
In your book The Mango Girl you talk about your experience of homelessness, how would you define those experiences?
I define my experience as someone who was vulnerable and sexually abused. Therefore, I have no options than to either endure sexual abuse or become homeless. The choice was an easy one for me.
How long where you homeless for?
I was homeless for a short period, however, it was a very harsh period of my life especially as a teenager. It’s not how long or short one has been homeless but it is the impact it has on people who go through it. My experience has definitely made me more sensitive to the cause.
What was the greatest life lesson you’ve learnt during that time?
How resilient I was and how few people around me cared. We live in a world where we can become so self-absorbed that we forget about the less fortunate around us.
Give us one piece of vital advice that came out of that time period.
Homelessness is scary, but it makes you more appreciative of the simple things around you. We are all one paycheck from being homeless so don’t look down on homeless people, homelessness has no face, no nationality, no colour, it could happen to anyone.
What triggered you to change your life?
I needed to live differently from what I was raised in. I did not grow up in a positive environment and so I wanted more. I was not sure what was in store for me but I knew there was more.
How did you overcome homelessness?
A family member took me in and helped me to find someone else who could give me shelter for a while.
So why did you become a life coach?
I happen to become a coach by what someone would call an 'accident', but it was after people heard my story that they started asking me for help, speaking at their events etc. Gradually, I realised that I had been coaching for years but have never charged anybody for my services. I decided that I needed more time and space to help people, so I trained as a coach and its been the best decision I have taken in the last 3 years.
Tell me us about your book and your upcoming movie The Mango Girl?
The Mango Girl tells the story of my journey from my native country Jamaica to the UK. Efforts are underway to begin filming a movie in 2018, and the project has secured significant funding from a cross-section of investors, mainly outside Jamaica.
There is interest in securing funding from the Jamaican community and leveraging the resources of the Caribbean diaspora in the United States, UK and Canada to support the movie. With a message of female empowerment and the triumph of the human spirit, Mango Girl is the right movie for the times we live in. The book is on Amazon.
How has writing helped you to overcome difficulties?
Writing has been cathartic to me and a way of escapism, I advise anyone to try it.
What is the worst trouble you have ever been in?
I spent a night in jail, something I will expound more on in a book I am now writing.
3 empowering words to lift up someone in any situation?
I will, I must, I can. And I must add…Look at how far you have come.
What is your everyday Mantra?
I am possible.
Three people, you would take with you on a desert island?
My daughter, my friend Audreia or someone I am dating and my son.
Something you have to do before you die that you have not done yet?
Learn to play the piano so I can serenade my hubby.
You can find Dr Ava Brown on Facebook // Twitter // Instagram