We all have a story and often it’s our own personal story that shapes our life. I believe it’s what we do with our story that matters the most.
If you have heard me speak, you’ve most likely heard my story. For those who haven’t, I’m grateful to have the opportunity to share it with you now.
I’m Philippa Seldon, Pip for short (although that hasn’t always been the case). I’m the youngest of three with two older brothers. Growing up, I was the tomboy. The only girl in a street full of boys, so it was Phil. Phil stuck all through school and to this day, my nephews still call me Aunty Phil.
I’m a Construction Operations Manager, Yoga Teacher, ZUU Trainer, Primal Health Coach, TEDx speaker, natural lifestyle lover, spirit junkie, mountain biker and runner. I wake up each day with the intention of doing something that makes me feel ALIVE and brings me JOY!
My career in construction started in 2009. I didn’t have the University Degree. Actually, I didn’t have any tertiary building and construction qualifications. What I did have was life experience, gut instinct, an ability to communicate, curiosity and an eagerness to learn. I started out in this male dominated industry with the mindset that I would simply commit to learn, most likely fuck up, learn some more and commit again, and again and again. I was committed to showing up and doing the work.
As a Project Manager I’ve spent time in both Australia and New Zealand, working with some incredible clients and contractors. Many in our industry are driven by the desire to work on large scale construction projects, but for me, the most memorable was building the Australian Memorial in Wellington, NZ to honour the ANZAC Centenary. The opportunity to be a part of such a significant project ignited a spark within me to dive deep in to discovering my purpose and how I could be of service to others.
Even though I still have a tonne to learn, I’m proud to say that I’ve grown from a shy, very green Project Administrator to now confidently leading a team of Project Managers in my role as Operations Support Manager for a commercial builder in Canberra, Australia.
I thrive on having the opportunity to support others to be the very best version of themselves that they can be!
At times life can throw you some massive curve balls and 2009 was my year to receive them!
On a professional level, the company I had worked with for 10 years prior to construction went in to administration. No entitlements, no long service leave payout, zip, zero, zilch, just a thanks for your 10 years, see-ya later.
But the universe had a plan and my door to the construction industry opened. I moved from Brisbane to Canberra on a brand new journey.
Just two week in to my new job, another curve ball, although this time it was one that would turn my world upside down, more than the loss of any job. I was woken to a midnight phone call. My eldest brother, Dale had taken his own life.
There is nothing in this world that can prepare you to hear those words. I struggled just to comprehend what I’d heard. It made absolutely no sense.
Dale was carpenter. The casual tradie. The mate organising the annual boys’ fishing trip, the mate you always caught up with for a beer and a chat.
But more than a mate, Dale is a son, brother, uncle, partner, godfather, nephew and cousin. He was the eldest and I was the youngest. We shared a special brother, sister bond.
It was only after experiencing the loss of a loved one that I turned my attention to suicide and learnt just how many people take their own life every year. In the construction industry alone, every second day a construction worker takes their own life.
I struggled without answers. Why didn’t he talk to me? Why didn’t he reach out? Why didn’t he ask for help? Why did he think death was the only solution?
In my search for answers I trained in ASIST – Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training.
In 2011, I founded Cycle 4 Life and together with a good friend cycled 1600km from Canberra to Brisbane stopping at every Lifeline office along the way.
Our journey wasn’t just about raising funds.
My mission was to start conversations and connect with people. I wanted people to understand what we can all do to support others who might just be going through a tough time in their life.
In 2015, I stumbled on a business course with a twist. A course designed for the soulful entrepreneur. A course for those wanting to build a business that not only looks good from the outside, but feels good on the inside. Welcome Soulpreneurs. It was through Soulpreneurs that I uncovered my WHY in order to live my TRUE PURPOSE.
My brother Dale was a carpenter. My brother Owen is an electrician. I’ve worked in the construction industry for close to a decade now. It was only natural that I gravitated toward supporting those closest to me.
I immersed myself in health studies gaining my Primal Health Coach Certification. I studied yoga and meditation at the Baptiste Institute in the USA and then became a certified ZUU Trainer. I read every book I could get my hands on discovering the impact of the food we eat on how we feel, how we move, our energy levels, even how we think.
My philosophy for living a healthy life? It all starts with movement, mindfulness and nutrition.
I’ve felt the benefits of yoga and ZUU, not just for the physical body, but for mental and emotional wellness. I live mindfully through a daily meditation practice. Working in the construction industry, breath is my go to tool to help me better cope with the pressure and stress of our industry. I live an organic, whole food lifestyle. I know first hand how good life can feel when you nourish your body with all it needs to thrive.
And that’s why I became obsessed with sharing everything I was learning. It’s time to lose the macho culture in our industry. It’s time to connect with people. It’s time for tradies to know that vulnerability is OK. It’s time to give tradies the tools they need to make healthy lifestyle choices.
It’s time we come together to build a healthier construction industry!
Because losing a construction worker every second day to suicide is NOT okay.
We learn so much about ourselves and our capacity as individuals through hardship.
I believe that wellness exists in all of us and through the right nutrition, exercise and lifestyle practices, we can each unveil our healthiest self – physically, mentally and emotionally.
In my quest to implement a proactive approach to suicide prevention, I founded the Healthy Tradie Project. Mental Health Week 2016, we launched into the construction industry with a bang! The news was awash with footage of tradies in high-vis, boots and hard hats practicing meditation and yoga on construction sites.
We are continuing to bring Healthy Tradie Workshops, Health & Nutrition Coaching, Yoga, ZUU and Mindfulness Meditation to construction workers. You can find our team on construction sites around Australia leading teams of tradies through movement, breath training and mindfulness meditation. We like to say that our Toolbox Talks are a little different to the norm!
Simply put, we give tradies the tools they need to make step-by-step changes in their lifestyle unlocking the keys to looking, feeling and living better!