FINDING GRATITUDE: Karen Purves will discuss the highs and lows in her life that led to writing the book Gratitude Prompts.
FINDING GRATITUDE: Karen Purves will discuss the highs and lows in her life that led to writing the book Gratitude Prompts. Lucy Rutherford

From Managing Director to homeless within a year

WITHIN a year Karen Purves went from working as a Managing Director of a marketing college to living on the streets.

The author sat down with the Western Star to discuss the highs and lows in her life that led to her writing her book Gratitude Prompts.

In 1999 Ms Purves' marriage of 14 years and career both ended, which resulted in her becoming homeless for six months.

"The marketing board had voted me off, I was abandoned by my friends and I had no clear direction in my life," Ms Purves said.

"People assume that homelessness results from having a drug or alcohol problem - I was well educated and had a top-paying job and still ended up in that situation."

"I learnt to become grateful for just opening my eyes in the morning and being able to see the clouds in the sky."

After getting back on her feet, Ms Purves began working with homeless and disadvantaged social people for seven years.

"I knew what it felt like to be in their situation, so I wanted to do everything in my power to help out anyone down on their luck," said Ms Purves.

Ms Purves' daughter Evie died at the young age of 22 in 2013 and dealing with the grief inspired her to write a book about the importance of gratitude.

"My daughter was even more generous in death then she was in life," she said.

"The answers were in the grief, so I sought the gems in the darkness."

"If we carry grief on our back it ends up being in our bodies. Its much better living with joy, then with unresolved grief."

It took her a mere four weeks to finish her book after setting the goal of writing 1000 words a day.

The 65 topics and suggested actions discusses the power of gratitude in everyday life and its chain reaction in changing your life for the better.

"Gratitude is the key to abundance. If we learn to be generous to ourselves and others, then we will wake up every morning appreciating what we already have," Ms Purves said.

Ms Purves will be at the Roma Library on Wednesday from 10.30am.