Ali and Olivia talk about Grief and Healing our wounded hearts.
About the Guest:
Olivia Hahn is a 16-year-old in grade 11. She lost her mom who also happened to be her best friend a bit over a year ago to breast cancer. Olivia uses writing and dance to cope with her grief and as a way to connect with others. Her goal for her book is to let others know that grief deserves to be heard.
Olivia Hahn, Saanich Arts, Culture and Heritage Award winner 2022
Olivia’s book “Healing Our Wounded Hearts; A Real Life Story About Loss In The Voice Of A Teenager” can be found on Amazon.
About the Host:
Alison Perry-Davies (Ali) is intentional about Finding Joy in her life
Sustaining a brain injury, diagnosed with PTSD and raising a daughter with a variety of challenges, Ali decided there had to be more to life than what she was experiencing and began her journey to find more joy.
Ali’s belief is that wherever we come from, we have all known some level of pain, loss, and trauma, these things do not need to define us. She doesn’t ignore that these things have happened; however, she decided this is not the way her story ends. Using integrated creative therapies along with sound and vibrational therapies she continues to explore and share complimentary healing modalities.
Ali is a recent winner of the WOW Woman of Worth 2023 award for "Community Spirit" sponsored by Global TV
Ali hosts the podcast, Find Your Joy. She is also a co-author in 2 WOW (Woman Of Worth) Books as well as a Family Tree series book on Mother Son relationships. She went on to write her own book,
“The Art of Healing Trauma; Finding Joy through Creativity, Spirituality and Forgiveness” which went to number one best seller in seven categories on Amazon.
A motivational speaker, singer/songwriter, poet, blogger and author, Ali also shares her thoughts and ideas through her blog and website at aliwayart.com
Ali continues to use humour and compassion to invite, inspire and encourage others to Find Their Joy.
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sleep. Let it sweep you off your feet. Hi, you're listening to find your joy. If you're looking for ways to thrive rather than survive in a world that can seem rather chaotic, you're in the right place, we will be sharing stories of our own, as well as those from guests who have found ways to bring hope, healing and freedom into places where trauma has impacted them. I'm Ali, author of the art of healing trauma. And I'm here to remind you that life is sweet. Now, let's dive in and find ways to create our joy. Hi, this is Ali and this is find your joy. And I am so excited today to have an amazing young woman on Olivia Hahn is an author. She is a public speaker. She is a motivational, inspirational, do it all kind of gal already at 16 blows my mind. And there is so much more that I'm really excited to learn about. Olivia, welcome. Thank you. So let's, you know, get this part. I'm just gonna say it's Mother's Day and your book. Now you're gonna be able to you just correct me as I go along here. My understanding is you lost your mom, you were 15. And you were looking for some books some way to process this. When you couldn't find one. You wrote one? Yes. That's a pretty big deal. Yeah. And so here we are now Mother's Day. And you know what your dad and I talked about this when we were talking. We're we're setting up for today. And then I and then I thought, oh my gosh, this is going to be a Mother's Day. So first. My first stupid question will be, and there will be many I promise. It's Mother's Day, how are you doing?Olivia Hahn:
Um, for now. All right. But there's just like, there's lots of reminders like this always like, on Instagram, like, all my friends are posting like Happy Mother's Day and like always things. And then like, I had dance yesterday. And the ballet teacher was like, don't forget to hug and kiss your mom's? And it's like, just like always these like, reminders that's like, oh, my gosh, well, I do that. So like,Ali Perry-Davies:
yeah, that's hard. That's hard. And you know what I was, I don't know, I was in my 50s when I lost my mom, and it was art. So I can't even get my head around what it's been like for you. And I suppose the other part of it, though, is that you've written this book. And when I read it, I know that it's a lot about helping other people and for yourself to process it. And it's also I've called it crushingly beautiful, and, and healing at the same time. Because your your words, one of the first poems that I read, Grief is a gunshot. Tell me a little bit about how that how that I mean, I mean, it's obvious, it's, I get that part, right. So, but your words are powerful, and your analogies are so vivid, and it's so easy, it draws a picture to our mind. So when you Where did you come up with that? Where did your suit I want, I would love to hear a little bit about how you wrote that.Olivia Hahn:
Yeah, um, so it was in like, the beginning, few months of my grief. And like, I was just kind of getting into writing. And I had, like, I forget what day it was, but I had like, come home from school, and I was like, feeling all these things. And I just, like, took out my laptop and started typing. And it just kind of like all came out onto the paper and like, I kind of left it for a few months, and then I rediscovered it. And I was like, Whoa, I was like I didn't How did I write that like that? I didn't even Yeah, like it's it's crazy to like, go back. And like, that's how I felt that it was like, yeah,Ali Perry-Davies:
yeah. And I think that, like, I'm a writer. And I think most writers we would say, I mean Any writers, I would say? We write something and then need to read it later? Because it just pours out of us. We don't even know what it said. Yeah. So, so since then. So you, you wrote this book and you're a self published author? Yes. And what was your view around? When did you release it? And the things I'm looking at all this happening?Olivia Hahn:
Like, it was just this March.Ali Perry-Davies:
So your book came out in March? Yeah. Yeah. Awesome. Now since March, you've been doing speaking engagements now where your speaking engagements before the book came out? Or if that is that all been happening since thatOlivia Hahn:
have been happening since then? Oh, my gosh. SoAli Perry-Davies:
that's like, in two months, this is just taking off. So yeah. That, and how does like, how does that even feel for you? Like you, you wrote this book as, as a way to purge, I'm guessing and a way to heal and, and hopefully to help? And then now you've been? You've been on global? And you've I mean, you've been on so much like, what's that? What's that? Like?Olivia Hahn:
It feels really good to like, be able to know that I'm like, reaching a bunch of people who really need that, like, yeah, like, need that support. And that's like, the whole reason why I wrote is, of course, to help myself. But also, I knew that there's like other teams who are going through the same thing and need a resource. But then also, like, having to repeat talking about it. A lot is like, a lot like it after it feels like I've just been like emptied like all over again. So it's a lot of like, it's good, but it's a lot of like nobodyAli Perry-Davies:
Are we are you okay, if we chat about that a little bit? So, I'm guessing, I don't know. But I'm going to guess that you maybe didn't expect those feelings. And I didn't know that it would that it would bring up stuff again. And that those feelings come up again. And that there's and so so I'm guessing there'll be a whole other book on that. Yeah, and that's something I think that's, that's a really good point is that when we share this stuff, I know that when I shared my book, and then people, my book is all on healing from trauma. And I know that people started contacting me and talking about their own trauma. And, and I have years of experience dealing with that. So I'm imagining when I, if to pour out your heart, and I just want to say this, like your book, I get it, that you're a teen and that your focus might be for teens. But I'm a Nana. And I got things for myself. I mean, it's it's really powerful. Olivia, it's, it's raw, and it's vulnerable. And it's honest, and you are an exceptional wordsmith. You do that really well. And so when so it's for when it first started happening, and people are asking you questions, and you're going on, well, how are you? How are you processing that? What ways are using to process that?Olivia Hahn:
I kind of am one to like, internalize things and like bottle things up a lot. So I kind of am like, used to dislike being brave, and like, kind of doing that. So like, but then after like I've been asked all these questions, then it's like, I'm left with like, feeling like, I'm like sinking in my stomach or something. I don't know. It's just like, like, there's like all these feelings that I had before that all like just came out and they're like, they're still there. Like, there's nothing to like. Do with them? I guessAli Perry-Davies:
like Right. When you talk about that, right? Is it what do you do? I'm going to try to I'm going to try to just remember this right off the top of my head five myths about grieving. Yes. And one of them. And one of them that you talk about is like that there's like going to be some end to this thing. You And for you, it's very fresh. Like it's only just over a year, isn't it? Yeah, yeah. So it's so it's still it's still really fresh. So yeah, that's amazing. Okay. But from all of this. So you have a you've had a speaking engagement at UVic. You're going to be speaking at a high school at St. Andrews High School.Olivia Hahn:
I'm really excited. Yeah,Ali Perry-Davies:
well tell. Tell me about that. Like, what? What kinds of what are you going to be sharing? I mean, I know, it's gonna be a big surprise for them. But what kinds of things do you share? Typically, when you're going to go speaking?Olivia Hahn:
A lot of it is I kind of let the people ask me things. And then I'll kind of like, go off from there. Because like, there's a lot of, like, stigma around grief and death. That like, I want to try and, like change that, I guess. Yeah. So I'm going to be like speaking to a group of, like, 15 teenagers, I think. And they can just kind of like, ask me anything, and we can just, like, have more like a conversation, rather than like, me, like just, blah, blah, blah. I think that's more effective.Ali Perry-Davies:
Yeah. And, and how, how wonderful for them, that they actually get some intimate one on one time with you? And are they typically? Are they maybe kids who are going through a similar thing? Or I think they will be here? Wow, that's, that's going to be powerful for all of you. Yeah. So and then your book has. So the cancer clinic is, is having it, the funeral home, has put it in part of their package. I mean, this is huge. This is just, it's really impacting people. I was I was thinking about, I'm just going to some of the things because I really people, anyone listening if to get this book, tell us the full name of this book.Olivia Hahn:
It's called healing our wounded hearts. A real life story about loss in the voice of a teenager. Yeah.Ali Perry-Davies:
And in the way, like, I'm just going to a few things that you've said. So you felt like in some of your poems that that it was like a puzzle piece was missing, and it could never be put back. It felt like you'd been kidnapped. And there was no way to escape. It felt like a gunshot and that it had like, ripped through your stomach. These are such powerful analogies for exactly how it feels. And it's just so I just want everyone to know, like, if you have a teen who has lost someone, or is about to, or anyone like I, I'm thinking of a very, my godson passed very unexpectedly a few years ago, and his mom is processing and I'm, I'm definitely going to, I bought the book for myself, I'm definitely going to buy the book for her. Because this is a book that is it's so well written, written, but at the same time, it's raw. Yes, it is raw. And I love that. I love that about that. That it's that it's yeah, really captures how it feels.Olivia Hahn:
Yeah, cuz I didn't want it to be like another book that's just like, about grief. That's like, putting flowers all over it, like the pain whatever. So like, because like, you grief and death doesn't get like talked about very much. And that's why like, especially as young people but also for like, everyone, when we get there, it can feel very, like isolating because we don't know how to deal with it. We've never like learned about how to deal with it or like anything. Yeah,Ali Perry-Davies:
right. I don't even I can only imagine the songs and poems that were proud of me, let alone you that line that you didn't want another book where flowers were just put all over it around the subject of death. And I think that's part of what makes your book so incredible is although it's lovely and I love the pictures of your mom and your family and and that helps us all to feel like we can really take a look in and see what life was like before a diagnosis and and and sadly a death but the flowers on it and I think That's the part right? Because so many times books try, or we always want to just make each other feel better. It is and that and that's because of our discomfort, right? If, if if someone is hurting, what do we want to do right away? What do we say a little child falls down and hurts themselves and start to cry. What? Don't cry Don't cry. Okay. Well, no, it flippin hurts. And I just want to scream for a while. And and I think what I love about your book is it hurt. And you just screamed for a while? Yeah. And I really, really felt that. And I think anyone reading this book, that's what they're gonna feel. I I don't want to forget to ask you about the dance that you do. Like, like, literal dance. You're a belly dancer, your ballerina? Clearly, I've watched a few videos. So you've been studying? How long have you been studying ballet?Olivia Hahn:
Since I was two years old.Ali Perry-Davies:
Oh my goodness. Okay, so that it's, it's I watched some stuff that you did on the beach. A video I don't remember where I saw that from, but I, I saw it. It was so so beautiful. So the dance therapy and I know I'm skipping around a lot here because we have a limited amount of time, what I really want is to have you on, you know, basically, four or 500 more times to everything that you do that might feel to fit in wonder it is Olivia? So, the dance therapy, do you? Is this for you? Or do you do dance therapy with others too? This is justOlivia Hahn:
for me. Okay, um, I really got into it more in like, I guess the last few weeks, mostly, or months, I guess. Because like, sometimes when I can't find the words to what I'm feeling dense is like a big way that I can express it. Because sometimes I just like, feel super, like, all these things. I can feel it in my body. And I'm just like, I just need to like, move. And like, I love going to the beach because it's like, in nature in the water. Like, it's just it feels good to like have a change of scenery as well.Ali Perry-Davies:
Well, I saw it and you could feel the passion behind it and and the angst there was angst in it. That was sold lovely. Olivia really, really lovely. And I it's funny because I thought we do wellness retreats, I have a team of people I thought, I wonder if Olivia does dance, dance therapy. So, so let me tell you, there may just be a time, when I'm gonna contact you love to do that. I would love the amazing. And you just it is because of when I saw it, I thought the first thing I thought was, I think this might be for her. And I think this could be not that I'm trying to carve out your career for you. But also a way to help others too. Because you do a very, it's a very free form. Flow of dance. It's a much like you know, I paint so I might paint something realism where my healing lies, is I'm just paint like it's just, I'm Yeah, I might it might be about how it feels or what I slap onto it. Or maybe the colors have something to do with it. But it's that's where my healing comes out. Is that type of painting.Olivia Hahn:
Yeah, like I'll like go to my ballet class. And right after I'll like go down to the beach and just like put in my own music and just like free dance because like, I like I had that like rigid class, which is very like, it's I love LA I love having that structure. But then I'm like, now I can dance for myself and like for letting it all out.Ali Perry-Davies:
It's beautiful. What well, you know, what it reminds me of is musically when we're when we're training to I don't know if you play an instrument other than everything else that you already do, but you learn you learn when you learn to either read music or you learn scales. It's because you learn all that so that you can do this other thing. Like your dance, because without all that I get it without all that structure that feels like sometimes too restrictive, maybe you would not be able to so beautifully perform. Although what I was watching wasn't a performance, it was more a cathartic, just a release of so much. It was really powerful and beautiful. So where do you perform? Do you? Or do you? Are you performing? If you can people go see you? AndOlivia Hahn:
I'm not really?Ali Perry-Davies:
Oh, they will be I'm pretty sure. They will be I, I see it all.Olivia Hahn:
I love, I would love to perform for people though. I'd love to I love being on stage.Ali Perry-Davies:
And we can talk after about this because I'm just, I'm thinking, you have the book. You're you're doing Hello Rollo. You're doing Fox. Okay. One of my favorite dogs ever who is no longer with us. His name was Rollo. And he nificent he was a magnificent, beautiful dog. But there is a way it's like, it's like me writing and painting and doing sound therapy and art therapy. It's it's all kind of one. So I see a world Olivia, where, where a person could go and listen to an author and a poet, read her work, and then dance out a few of those. Right? I mean, I see a world where that fits quite beautifully. I see a wellness retreats where someone like that could fit in. I mean, to me, like you're 16Olivia Hahn:
Yeah, I guess asAli Perry-Davies:
well. It's, it's for me, too. It's it's like sometimes you will firstly, you know what your whole generation blows my mind. You're, you're an amazing generation. You really are. You've had to be, there's been so much stuff happen. That's and I get it we all every generation, we stand on the shoulders of the generation before us. And that's what gives us the beautiful view. But you haven't, you know, it is a really, my grandkids are in your generation. Right? So, so of course I'm a little bit, you know, maybe I'm a little biased there because they're the most amazing people in the world. But when I chat with you, it's like I see it. I'm like, this is an amazing generation and then you are like the shining light. I know this is 16 I don't mean to be just thinking you're thinking oh my god, shut up. Please shut up remembering what it's like to be 16 the love of waker stop. Are you are you're, you're a rather remarkable human and I so Okay, so there's more books coming. poetry readings. There will be so much I you'll be doing public speaking for I'm sure sometime. Dance there, you'll be giving dance therapy. You'll be dancing and people will watch it and and I really believe that watching someone dance much like much like when we hear a favorite song. And it releases something. I think your dance will do that.Olivia Hahn:
Yeah, like I was dancing on speech, the one this one time and it was like a very busy beach. And then a bunch of people were watching they all like pulled up their phones started videoing. And they're like it's just so beautiful. Like to have this beautiful scenery and like dance on it just like they just felt so good after and that made me feel good to like to do that for them as well. Like I was doing it for myself but then to be able to connect with others to is like, just so nice.Ali Perry-Davies:
So beautiful. I love that and what oh what a gift for them to just be going down to the beach that day. And all of a sudden this world class speaker and author and fillerina is right there before them. It's Oh no, but you've been doing things from even before because well, you're I think your dad mentioned to me you had a business. That wasn't wasn't joy like pure joy. Didn't you have a business? I guess for a smallOlivia Hahn:
business called Pure Joy I just made like, tote bags and soaps and like bath products and stuff. And IAli Perry-Davies:
just did that.Olivia Hahn:
I sold it like a summer market, it was really fun. I loved like being crafting, like making things like that. And like, I'd always make a big mess. And I just remember my mom always telling me like, Olivia, like clean up your mess before you move on to the next thing because I'd always like start something and then move on to the next thing. So like always have that voice now before I like, move on to the next thing is just like this funnel.Ali Perry-Davies:
Because creative types. We were just so funny, my husband, I were just talking about this last night. Like I'm really all in on something and then the moment my gaze shifts, it's like that didn't even now I'm on to the next point get it your mum, what great words of wisdom. Olivia because it's true, because you would have never finished your book if you do that. Right.Olivia Hahn:
And I like there's a few months where I like stopped writing it. And I just suddenly, like gave up. I was like, there's no I'm finishing this book, it's too hard. And then like, I just like remembered how my mom would say to like, never give up. And so I just kind of like, knew she would be proud of me if I push through it and like finished it. So I like I remember sitting in my room and just like, typing so much and just like getting out all the last like, things and like going back over everything. And just because I knew like this had to be done like it this is gonna help other people and like, that's what I want to do. And like, my mom always told my brother and I how like, our kindness is gonna like change the world. And, and I thought how like, beautiful that was, um, and so I used to be like, Okay, I don't know about changing the world. But now I can see like that. Maybe we canAli Perry-Davies:
Yeah, maybe we can. I think I think that absolutely. We can absolutely kindness can change the world because we've already seen what frenzy and judgment and fear does it changes the world really quickly. And if we I believe strongly that if we come back with love and kindness in this and just let that be our our guide can't go wrong if kindness is your guide I bet there's what are some of your other favorite Imam isms? So she taught me kindness will change the world. Olivia clean up your mess before yes on.Olivia Hahn:
She always told me how she'd rather like stand alone and be right than stand in a crowd and be wrong. Hmm. Which is like takes a lot of courage and strength to be able to like to do that.Ali Perry-Davies:
Yeah. Yeah. And I think when I like in reading the book, it is really feel it really did feel like your mom was writing it with you. Like there was places I I felt like I got to know her. I felt like I wished I could have had a tea with her.Olivia Hahn:
I should it be so fun to have a TVAli Perry-Davies:
I can tell when I read some things. I thought oh my gosh. What a what a beautiful, beautiful. Yeah, just I eat. She comes through in the book. I'm sure she comes through and you I'm sure that people don't know. It's just one of those things that I love that you talk about that like where are you even know? It's true, right? We think about like, like, we know that. And then gone gone. Where I love that when you ask that go gone gone. Where? Yes. It's true. I roll out your okay, buddy. Oh, it does feel very much like that. But I just hope that I hope that you can see how much she was with you in that book. Yeah. It's funny too. You know, people who do brilliant many brilliant things. Always think Oh, it's just so that that you already had how old? Were you like 12 or something when you started pure joy? How old were you?Olivia Hahn:
Like 30 I'm probably like 14 actually.Ali Perry-Davies:
Okay, so 1414 Oh, you were already the ripe old age of 14 when you started your own business. So, so so just to recap, you're 16 years old, you have you are a brilliant dancer and dance for therapy for yourself. But also for the therapy of others. You are a poet, you've written your own book, you've had your own business. I just want to suggest that possibly Olivia, you are, you are a rather bright shining beacon of love and light. Already at a very young age, I can't even imagine what you are going to do, and your mom is so right, you are going to change the world. You are, you're going to change the world. And Rollo can lead the way.Olivia Hahn:
back all the way.Ali Perry-Davies:
All the way. It'll be awesome. He will clear a path for you. Yeah. Wonderful. So you've got so I, I hate that we're running out of time. And I do hope that, that you'll come back that you'll be a guest again, because I would love to. Okay, that's awesome. Because there's there's so there's so much that I want to ask you about and and but before we do sign out just anything that you would, how do people get a hold of you? How do people get a hold of your book? Let's start there. How do people get a hold of you? Do you want them to? And and and and how do they get your book? I got mine off Kindle. But I really want a paper copy because I I like to hold it in my hand. I like to be able to do that. Oh, there we go. Oh, I love it. He did hearts. That's gorgeous.Olivia Hahn:
It's right now available on on Amazon. And then also some of the proceeds will go to BC palliative care, okay. To support them, because my mom was being taken care of by palliative care for the last, like few months of her life. And they did like an incredible job taking care of herself until I get that.Ali Perry-Davies:
Absolutely. That's amazing. Now, is there a way for people to get the book? Not through Amazon? Like do you have a place? Where is there have? Or is it in any bookstores yet? If not, it will be? It will be and or can they send away and you send them out copies? Yeah. Is there a way to do is there is there? Is there something like is there an email? Because I can keep all I'll have all this in the show notes. So you know, thatOlivia Hahn:
Instagram that like people can like message me on? Okay, beautiful. Yeah. And so I'm gonna say like the username thing, or likeAli Perry-Davies:
Han and we'll also get it and I'll make sure it's in the show notes. Because it's a little bit but what is your what is your? I can just send it to you. Okay, that's awesome. Yeah, and it's also one of the, I mean, Amazon, you know, it's great. My books are on Amazon, too. And also, if I sell them on my own through my website or something. Financially, it is more helpful to the author. Yes. So So that's so that's just something to consider us and plus that, you know, signed copy that we exactly signings, there'll be all these things up and it's gonna be great. Oh my gosh, well, Olivia, sadly, I have to say goodbye. Anything that you would like to say before we sign off? Is there anything that I haven't covered that you would like to share with anyone?Olivia Hahn:
Um I guess one thing is I just want like everyone to know that it's okay. To not be okay. And that like it's okay to feel anything that you're feeling and that like grief? deserves to the heart.Ali Perry-Davies:
Wow. How do you follow that? Well, thank you Olivia for for being here. I'm, I feel blessed to have spent even this little bit of time with you. When you go on to be the next whoever you're about to be. I feel blessed to have met you at this at this on this day. You're a gift. So go out and find her book. I'll have all the information mission will be in the show notes. This is Ally and find your joy. Thanks so much for joining us, and we'll see you next timeAli Perry-Davies:
thanks so much for joining me today. If you found a piece of your joy in this episode, I would love to hear about what came up for you so that we can continue to grow the impact of this show. Thanks again. See you soon and remember find your joy