ALDINE DALLAS is living her best life. Three months shy of 50, she has risen above adversity to achieve significant success, and is devoted to helping others transform their lives from the inside out, her motto: Turning hearts not heads.
Her passion and determination is unmistakable. "So many people are wounded or completely broken; perhaps from physical or emotional abuse, neglect, or being dismissed as worthless or unimportant, often from as far back as childhood. They don't recognise their value and find it hard to have a positive view of themselves or their lives, bringing negativity into their personal and professional relationships. It's my vision to help these people heal their lives and build wholesome, happy and respectful connections. And it starts with building a healthy relationship with themselves."
From the outside Aldine's life looked amazing. By the time she'd finished primary school she was a seasoned television performer, having danced on a show for eight years and starred in numerous commercials and had generated an income from modelling from the age of six. She was also an academic, head prefect and a top sports achiever.
She studied public relations and found a great job in advertising straight out of college. Her career blossomed across operations and new business development and she landed her first directorship and shareholding at 28. "But I was an over-achiever and had never dealt with my childhood brokenness, and I had taken on too much too quickly." With life and work pressure escalating, depression set in. Her marriage ended after only two years and a downward spiral ensued. After 10 years and many poor judgement calls, she found herself stuck in a violent relationship and hit rock bottom.
But she didn't give up. She walked away from her career, moved to Durban from Johannesburg and went into a rehabilitation facility to start the inward journey of healing, and began a new chapter of her life.
The best you
Aldine explains: "I finally built a healthy, nurturing relationship with myself. Through self-exploration, learning from counsellors and coaches and connecting with God, my transformation was dramatic. I realised I could make a difference and in 2008 my journey to help others began. My vision was to take what I'd learnt about brokenness; the importance of forgiveness and being accountable, to encourage people who are hurting to stand up with boldness and courage and step into healing and wholeness."
One of her projects was a workshop for female inmates at Westville Prison. "I have a special passion for broken women, as I can identify easily with them." Aldine points out that there are many reasons that women end up in prison, but that childhood trauma, a lack of self-respect and unhealthy relationships like co-dependency are often a common thread.
Aldine has run her digital marketing agency for many years and is also a qualified life coach. "I help clients become their best selves, and my deep desire was to do this on a bigger scale." She launched her production company and developed, Over 40 and Fabulous, a reality TV show as a platform to help others nationally and potentially, even globally.
"My vision for Over 40 and Fabulous is to neutralise gender, cultural and racial tension. Our commitment is to turn hearts, not heads. We have a team of experts to help our participants holistically to overcome issues that have held them back. We'll guide them into wholeness and help them establish a strong identity, and an authenticity in how they present themselves, so they can pursue healthy relationships. And if they're single we'll even help match them with potential partners, who will be coached as well. I want to uplift and change South Africa one person at a time!"
Inspired by Oprah Winfrey and Steve Harvey, Aldine describes how they overcame poverty and childhood abuse and chose not to buy into negativity. "They rose above adversity and went on to become two of the most powerful people in the media world. They have given a voice to the broken and underprivileged, investing emotionally, spiritually and financially into the lives of others. My mission is to invest love and time, and whatever resources I can amass, into the lives of South Africans."
Finding the balance
Unconvinced by the concept of work-life balance, Aldine points out that work is an important part of life, not a separate entity. "You need to find a balance in your life, and for me that includes attending to my digital marketing clients, consulting with my lifecoaching mentees, working on the production of Over 40 and Fabulous, exercising, salsa dancing, writing books and relaxing with friends and family. Balance is important, but I don't compartmentalise my life, I
prefer to take a holistic approach."
She mentions her 2007 book. "I highlighted that if life is a rocket ship, then every engine has to be equally and consistently fuelled." Referring to areas such as finance, health and fitness, family and parenting, nutrition, emotions, personal character, spirituality, love, career, intellect and education, social, quality of life and life vision, she advises, "Focus energy in each of these areas and your rocket ship will soar to incredible heights!"
Hang in there
Asked what advice she'd give her younger self, Aldine is positive. "Well done on hanging in so magnificently. You got up each time you were knocked down and I am so incredibly proud of you. Never be ashamed of your past - there's way more to you than that, you are defined by who you have become. Be resilient and always remember that adversity doesn't have to hold you back, in fact it strengthens and propels you onward and upward."