top of page


Dear younger Renée...

You will have moments of utter joy, and your heart will get shattered, many times, but you will live up to your name which means “Bringer of good news” and “Reborn”.

Whenever you look back down the passage of time, you decide what you learned, what meaning you ascribe to happenings and circumstances, and when you look down the corridor of your future, you need to see a vision that you created for a better life.

When your vision or thoughts are written down, they begin solidifying. The vision written down will help you to start making a path or business plan that you accomplish. If you do not write the vision down, you quickly forget it.

"Renée, a double minded person is wavering and unstable, so make up your mind, and stick to your decisions. Put the vision up where you can see it and run with it, do not look to the left or the right. And make this your motto: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.

And above all, remember this, ALL things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.”

I was wondering how I can inspire other women, with lessons I learned, and I decided to share this with you:

Today I am grateful for a circle of quality friends, who love and accept me, who encourage me, and believe in me. Many years ago, a mentor advised me to build a support system, and although it took me many years to realise that quality beats quantity, time taught me to surround myself with positive, intelligent, loyal people. I learned somewhere that you can never be more than the average of the five people you spend most time with. I ONLY spend my valuable time with people who I love, and who loves me back.

The most important thing life taught me was to anchor myself above the line (it is an imaginary line), which means even in the worst storms of life, it is okay to sink below the line, but to never stay there, choose to pop back like a cork. This is resilience, agility: the CHOICE and DECISION to bounce back, to stay steadfast, and sometimes, just be in His rest. Sit, lie down, but get up, and if you feel as if you cannot, ask for help. Unresolved trauma manifests physically as well as emotionally, sometimes as themes for example anxiety, vague feelings of depression and helplessness, physical pain, and sadness.

Understand your authentic self, discover your core values (not the pre-conditioned value system you adopted and want to believe is yours), because if you do not honour your true self and live according to your own sense of purpose, you will feel unfulfilled, experience inner conflict and general dissatisfaction.

Invest in your personal development, emotional healing, and growth. In the end, you come into this world alone, and you leave this world alone. God is IN you, so take good care of yourself. Personal growth comes from renewing your mind, and there is wisdom and safety in a multitude of counsel. It takes courage to make yourself vulnerable, choose wisely who you share your heart and thoughts with. Being in business requires masking your depression, feeling off, sad, and I have written articles on the psyche of an Entrepreneur. Make time for yourself and talk to someone about how you really feel.

Choose a simile for yourself, or a word, that you can cling onto, to remind you of who you are and where you are heading. I chose the Phoenix a mythical bird of great beauty, rising from the ashes as it is a symbol of rebirth, to emerge as new from something that has been destroyed. It also represents grace and virtue. It is the victory of life after death, portraying immortality. Phoenix is an emblem of reborn idealism and hope. I chose the Phoenix as a symbol of my recovery from severe burnout.

Renée Phoenix van Wyk (BA(SW) Hons TIR NLP NET NBI)) is registered as a Practitioner in private practice, with the SACCSP (South African Council for Social Service Professions) and the BHF (Board of Healthcare Funders). She practiced as an Industrial Social Worker, majoring in Therapeutic Psychology, before she embraced her true passion of working with adolescents and young adults individually and in the family context. Social Workers are renowned in academic circles for the depth of the exposure that they have had in systemic Psychology. Renée specialises in family dynamics and is passionate about seeing families thrive. She is the Founder and Owner of My Best Gap Year International, which is a holistic gap year programme, designed to give young adults direction, confidence, and an impressive CV.

Where to find Renée van Wyk:

Social Media:


bottom of page