Lady Kendal Jaggar is a freelance Current Affairs News Reporter, Travel Journalist, Author and World Critic. Education is extremely important to Lady Kendal, as increasing her knowledge has helped her understand the ways of the world. On top of being a well-renowned businesswoman, she is also a driven and passionate advocate for Mental Health Awareness and Personal Wellbeing. Lady Kendal believes in the utilisation of one’s true voice to express themselves and share their journey. In this interview, she opens up to us about her life’s journey, sharing a truly touching and inspirational story, that led her to the realisation that she has always been enough.
“I am enough. Here is my hand that will help, my ear that will listen and, most importantly, my voice that will reach out to you.”
How does your personal life coincide with your Travel Journalism career?
My quest for life is one in which I enjoy the wonders of the world, through the eyes of media and travel journalism. It is about understanding that if we step outside of our comfort zone, there is a world that is full of diversity, history, culture, and cuisine. A colourful road on our journey of human existence, taking moments of joy as memories we leave in our legacy. We must look after our planet, we must look after the climate, the animals and all that the universe has laid out for our personal journey, to reach our destination.
As a Travel Journalist, you have visited various locations around the globe. Where was your favourite place to visit?
I am often asked where my favourite place is that I have travelled to, the answer for me is the Maldives. This is the closest I felt between the connection of peace, harmony, and freedom of the mind. This is where I experienced the simplicity of just allowing your mind and body to relax, where my mind’s pre-conceptions were not challenged. The image of bone-white sand beaches and luminous blue waters become visible to the eye. The reflecting rays of sunshine peeking through the scattered clouds. Where powdery sandbanks and wooden huts were perfectly positioned to bring a magnitude of peace and solace, leading my soul to release any form of stress – bringing the freedom to relax in the warm and clement Maldivian climate.
What led you down the path to become an advocate for mental health awareness and wellbeing?
The answer is first-hand experience with adversity. I believe that when I contracted meningitis, at five years old, this changed the dynamics of my brain, and the mechanics of my human body. I had to be taught to walk and eat again, but it was my mother’s love that brought me back to health. I will always recall my mother saying that she could hear my screams from the lumbar puncture, as she desperately wanted to stop my tears.
I had changed into a young lady, at nine years old, with an early development in my reproductive system. I was then at the hands of my first trauma, bullying. The nights I cried into my pillow, frightened to go to school, made me physically sick. I then began to withdraw – suppressing my feelings, hiding the bruising and the internal pain from my family’s view. By the age of fifteen, the intensity was so overwhelming that I could not eat. I weighed 40 kg. I ran away from home; I could draft a separate book on mental health and abuse received as a child. My parents were desperately trying to find out how they could help me. This was my experience of trauma over a number of years.
My trauma then reached a new dimension, catapulting me into a complex trauma, where nothing was going to stop me from destroying myself or hurting others. Giving birth to my child, and losing her, was the most painful experience. I cannot express it in words. Unless you physically go through it… you will never understand. The consultant informed me that I needed a hysterectomy, and my ovaries were also to be removed. Why let me live on to continue the punishment?
My complex trauma reached a dangerous level. I returned home broken and empty. A knock at the door came from my baby brother. He came in and told me it would be okay. How could it possibly be okay ever again? My brother left later that day and had a car accident that took his life… BOOM! My mind was now exterminated from my body. No help from the doctors for my grief, my early menopause, the loss of my child… no help anywhere. I was a walking bomb, ready to explode. Until that explosion goes off and you are willing to seek help, or help is given to you, you will continue on the path of self-destruction. I allowed my brain to self-destruct after the death of my beautiful mother.
How did you manage to cope with these challenges that you faced?
I was in the hands of doctors and counsellors who rebuilt me. I know I am here for the journey; I know that I am enough! These lessons of pain taught me what love is – I know the true feeling in my heart of how love feels. This led me to train my mind fully in all aspects of mental health, including law, disabilities, body language, grief counselling, child psychology and so many certifications in mental health.
My brain was absorbing every tiny detail, as if to surround me with such knowledge as insurance, to help when a trigger moment may arise. Yes, I suffer with hidden disabilities, however, I am allowed to stand tall in a world that does not label a person. We must work with our disabilities and our characteristics, we must have diversity and equality to share the positivity of our journey. How can we be better versions of ourselves if we do not take care of our own wellbeing? We must know there is no shame if we fall. Stand up! If you take one small step at a time, you will find the best version of yourself.
I will always fight to remove the stigma and say “I am enough. Here is my hand that will help, my ear that will listen and, most importantly, my voice that will reach out to you.” There is no shame, stand up and rise like a Phoenix from the ashes.
You have studied a vast number of different subjects to further increase your knowledge. Why was it important for you to continually expand your current knowledge?
My mind – now free from trauma and feeling like a rebuilt human being – felt the lust for life and education. I was free to be whatever I wanted to be. The lost years of my childhood and adulthood were no longer visible. I was like a machine, hungry for knowledge – almost like an addiction to understanding the world. The power of education is a tool that we must not underestimate.
I have a substantial number of certifications. I got rather greedy at some point… I suppose it is my over-indulgent behaviour. Nevertheless, my brain was like a robot, absorbing everything I found interesting. I was so happy; studying and finding answers to questions I would have never asked before. I wanted to now be the best version of myself, I wanted to understand not only the mechanisms of the human, but also the reactors and bioscience behind it. I wanted to know that I could understand the world and its reasoning.
Education is fundamental to our human existence; we must use the tools of the alphabet to educate and equip our minds with the power of knowledge. To have a journey that we were given from the universe, to collaborate and converse with the Cosmos. We must use the power of education to empower ourselves first, in order to help others later.