Finding my Voice 

Even though I started talking at 10 months, I never imagined that I would become a grown up who used my voice for good.

Pretty!’ I said pointing at the lights on the Christmas tree. Curious and spirited, I incessantly asked why, got told off for talking in class and was severely punished for telling the truth. That’s why when I joined the world of corporate marketing, I felt physically sick if I had to speak in meetings or give presentations.

I was smart, I knew words had power, but shaped by my experience, I believed that my words upset others and made them leave me. Unable to say what was in my heart (did I say that my love language is words?), I felt bad and lonely. I tried to hold my words in, but they came out angry or bubbled under as general anxiety.

smiley coach lisa parkes with smiley thought card
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Empowering with Words

The black sheep of my family, generations of heavy, unprocessed trauma stopped with me. Apparently, I’m a #cyclebreaker but I would say I’m a Wildheart – a strong-willed, sensitive soul who uses words for good.

When I found my voice – it took me 40 years – I wanted to create safe spaces where children could blossom, feel loved, welcomed, accepted, and comfortable enough to be themselves without shame, blame or judgement. 

I use my words to connect, heal, inspire and to support children when they feel lost or confused. I find as many ways to let them know they are OK, just the way they are.


Smiley Coach. Author. Creator. Intuitive Educator. Champion of Children. Chitter-Chatter Box.


“Imagine what the world would look like if children were taught creative self-expression, introspection, confident communication, self-compassion and self-care. What would their future look like, if they knew how to trust their gut, believe in themselves and boldly make decisions that followed the beat of their own heart?”


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Brave leap of faith – starting from scratch

In 2009, I left the well-paid job and plunged into the world of self development. Retraining as a Life Coach, whilst on my own personal path to healing. My curiosity was reignited by the likes of Louise Hay and Wayne Dyer who literally kept me alive with their words. Permanently wired up to their audios – they drowned out my inner critic and taught me how to think.

Newly qualified, I made house visits. Some children had been badly bullied, others had learning challenges and some of them were simply exhausted by life. Drawing whilst we talked, I listened and showed interest in their world. I noticed how they let go of their anger and worry. They instantly felt better. Their words had new meaning and somebody understood. Next, I started creative confidence workshops and it wasn’t long before the powerful word spread: Have you heard about Smiley?

A chance article in the Daily Mail maxed out my diary. So, I set up my coaching room – a small, but perfectly formed den filled with crystals, stuffed toys, books, creative goodies and of course, my Smiley Thought Cards. Positive words set to colourful images, that helped children transform their negative thoughts and soothe their worried minds. My spin on Louise Hay’s famous affirmations work.


I was getting tired. There were so many Wildhearts who felt misunderstood, judged and worried. I wondered if there was a better way to reach them all. How could I create that magical connection and empower them without being there?

Remember my love language?

Yes, those words! People magically expand in love. Its transformational energy can be felt no matter how near or far. So, what started with voice recordings of exercises and pep talks to inspire and motivate clients between their weekly sessions, organically grew into Truly Madly Smiley – a pocket guide to life that makes growing up easier.

Ten years of powerful words exchanged in my coaching sessions, are now available for all children to enjoy. From the comfort of their bedrooms, classrooms or when travelling to school. Each inspirational episode beams straight to their wild hearts (we don’t really educate the emotional self at school, but really need to). Truly Madly Smiley is a fun, engaging self development powerhouse that’s growing self-esteem, self-belief and is literally changing children’s lives! 

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