Our guest today is Gill Hicks MBE, a survivor of the 2005 London bombings and one of the most powerful and thought-provoking advocates on the value of each individual, how we are all responsible for the evolution of Humanity, and the sustainability of the world around us. She was left severely injured in the 2005 London bombings that changed her life forever. In this episode, she shares with us the importance of timing, how her near-death experience completely transformed her life, the power of compassion, and how we are all equally valuable and have an important role to play in our lifetime.
Gill’s First Life
“My urgent folder was perhaps the equivalent of a Bible, the most important book in my life”
Gill grew up in Australia and lived there until her parents passed away when she was just 18 years old. To rebuild her life, she moved to London and immersed herself in her work. Gill worked tirelessly for 10 years, and although she became very successful professionally, she rarely took out holidays, smoked heavily, and wasn’t present in her life at all.
She was at her desk at 7:30 in the morning and left the office at 9:30 in the evening every day. The only time she was ever late for her work was the morning of the suicide bombings.
July 07th, 2005
“So I had 30 seconds to front up, Otherwise, they would have all agreed and said it's time to call time of death.”
On that particular morning, Gill was rushing to work. She got on the subway and a 19-year-old suicide-bomber boarded with her as well. Gill shares the chilling and unimaginable moment of the bomb going off, and how she first thought she had passed away. She was able to keep her calm, even though she lost both of her legs, and she and the other passengers had to wait for an hour for their rescue. It is a miracle she stayed alive.
During her hour in the tube carriage, Gill witnessed a dialogue between the voice of life and the voice of death. She explains in the episode, how she made a conscious choice to stay.
However, her condition was so severe, that after being rescued her heart stopped for 30 minutes in the hospital. She came back to life in the last 30 seconds of her resuscitation, which made her realize how every single moment and every single human counts.
“I realized that I was loved. And it didn't matter who I was, all that mattered, was that I was a human being.”
Gill’s life changed forever after the attack. She realized in the hospital that her mission in life was to help people who feel isolated and disconnected. She advocates the value of each and every individual, and that we are all connected.
Gill doesn’t feel anger for what happened to her. She felt loved the whole time she was rescued, and all she has is love and gratitude in her heart. Love is always stronger than fear, and if you let yourself love then you can achieve anything.
Palma’s Contemplation On Timing
This week, we would like to invite you to reflect on the notion of timing, that no moment is ever too short, and that your life could change in 30 seconds.
In this episode, Gill talked about her challenge where she asks herself to change someone's life in 30 seconds.
We would also like to invite you to reflect upon the idea that everyone and everything matters.
About Our Guest, Gill Hicks
In a time of rapid change, of growing fear and uncertainty of the world around us, we, more than ever, need to value the voices that bring calm through real and lived experience.
Gill Hicks is one of the most powerful and thought-provoking advocates on the value of each individual, how we are all responsible for the evolution of Humanity and the sustainability of the world around us.
Her vital work, particularly in countering violent extremism, became her focus after she was left severely and permanently injured from the actions of a suicide bomber in the co-ordinated attack on London’s transport network in July 2005.
Prior to the bombings, Gill was a respected figure within the fields of Architecture and Design in London, from Publisher of Blueprint to Director of Dangerous Minds Design and then Head Curator at the Design Council, Gill was and has continued to be recognized and awarded for her many contributions to the Arts, Health care and Peace Building.
Combining her passion for Design and her devotion to Communicating the importance of the individual, she formed both M.A.D. Minds a ‘Think and Do’ agency and M.A.D. Music Art Discussion, an Arts-based social enterprise.
A published author, musician, artist, and Mother, Gill’s appreciation and gratitude for life is prevalent, she is certainly a living testament to what can be achieved through courage, belief, and absolute determination.
Special thanks to Gill Hicks for taking the time to share her inspiring story and uniquely powerful voice with us.
Continue Your Journey
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