Transformative Talk


Are you ready to speak your truth, give up fear and risk judgment to share your authentic self? I did just that this week and the outcome was stunning!

In truth, I can be my authentic self in some circles. In others, like the corporate arena in which I work, I haven’t been prepared to speak openly, frankly and in detail about my spiritual orientation. Sure I’ve shared small tidbits over the years and people regard me as a bit alternate and label me a tree hugger (their words, not mine). Many know I’m into healthy eating, opt for chemical free products and spend large amounts of time in nature and visiting sacred sites. Some know I like crystals, have made my own healing drum and read tarot cards. But I have never been comfortable revealing the depth of my spiritual self to my colleagues for fear of ridicule and judgement. The bottom line is, I didn’t want to defend myself to people who I thought simply could not or would not understand.  Until this week.

What was special about this week you might ask? Nothing? Why was I all of a sudden ready to disclose? I don’t know; but this is what happened.

I was at a conference for educational leaders.  We were training in cognitive coaching and I was partnered with a gentleman I’d met the day before. To practice we had to share an issue or situation we were facing. For some reason the only one that came to mind was my waning passion for my work and my desire to move out of the education sector and full-time into my business.  In the process of our ‘coaching session’ I revealed I wanted congruency between my work and my spiritual self; that I no longer felt comfortable in the corporate environment and that I passionately wanted to help people in meaningful ways.

I gained some great clarity in that session about my future but the real learning came on our way to lunch.  We continued to talk and Randall asked me about my spiritual beliefs. Without hesitation I revealed to him I was psychic, that I could feel energy and received messages mainly through clairsentience and claircognizance. I have to admit, it did sound a little odd coming out of my mouth in that setting but it was liberating at the same time. To my surprise and delight Randall never wavered, never smirked, never shrank from me. Instead, he revealed that he was a fan of Eckhart Tolle, that he practices being present, that he understands the impact negative energy has on me and, (this is the kicker) that he had been looking at the aura of our presenter throughout the day.

I can’t begin to tell you how wondrous that moment was for me. Over lunch we continued to bond, not by sharing our spiritual journeys but by sharing snippets of our family life; significant moments with our children and partners. I can’t remember a time when I was more comfortable or more candid with someone I had just met. I feel, after that thirty minute lunch break, that I have known Randall for many years and that we are now, in some way, inextricably linked.

That conversation was transformative. More specifically, my initial disclosure of my spirituality paved the way for a real conversation to take place. If we were all a little more willing to be authentic in any given moment, we could open ourselves up to, not judgement and ridicule as I had feared, but genuine, sincere and transformational interactions with others.

Wishing you many wondrous and transformative conversations with those you meet.


2012-01-21 003 006       “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” Anais Nin


Our ageless spirit


You are not merely the physical body that you identify with out of habit. Your essential state is a field of infinite possibilities. Deepak Chopra

Do you ever look in the mirror and have that split second where you don’t recognise the face you see because it’s an older version of the self you feel you are?

I have, on a few occasions,  been momentarily surprised by the mature face reflected back at me.  You see, in essence, I don’t feel any different to how I did when I was younger. Oh, I’ve experienced a lot, learnt many lessons and grown as a result but the core of me, my true essence, my spirit if you will feels ageless.

I recently had a birthday and was reflecting with a friend that I felt no older but the image in the mirror tells a different story. My friend shared a conversation he had with his grandmother before she passed away at the wonderful age of 97. He asked her if she felt her life had gone quickly and she said it had “been a flash”.  She went on to say that she felt no different then, in the last stages of her life, to how she had felt as a young woman. She did, however, lament that her body could not keep up with her spirit.

I too remember visiting with my beloved grandmother, also in her late nineties when she left this world, and having the distinct sense of her spirit; her young and vibrant spirit. My Nana, despite her beautiful, soft, lived in skin and frail frame reminded me of a young girl. It was obvious over the years her body was deteriorating and she was losing mobility but she was always in essence a young woman in my mind. Her eyes twinkled with a youthfulness that belied her earth years.

Grandmothers are simply antique little girls.

Grandmothers are simply antique little girls.

My friend reminded me that while our bodies age our spirits do not. I find that at once sad and yet incredibly miraculous. Sad, because the husk that is our body changes so very rapildly and often before we are ready. Miraculous, because I believe we have a soul, a part of us that lives long after our body.  I’ve seen the soul of another shine through the eyes of a 95 year old woman, my friend has also. I’ve seen a body without the life force within it and it truly was just a shell. I’ve felt my soul, within this body of mine.

As my body ages and skews out of shape; as my hair turns silver and my face looks more like a hiking trail than a smooth untrampled plain; I am buoyed knowing my spirit, my soul, doesn’t  age. Each day I become more aware of my spirit. Each day I sense my own essence more deeply. Each day I understand better that there is a part of me that will continue long after my body retires. Each day I learn to trust and to embrace this knowledge and each day it brings me a greater sense of peace.

Within each of us lives a fascinating, vibrant essence that shines brightly.

Four hundred and forty four reasons to smile

imageIt’s my birthday today and I stopped for a moment to reflect on my life, as you do, and I discovered I’m pretty happy with where things are at! I thought, fleetingly, of making a gratitude list of forty-four things to be grateful for, hell, I could even make a list of four hundred and forty four things to be grateful for but you’d probably get a bit bored with that and I have a few other things to do today. So I took a few minutes just to review the last little while.

Life hasn’t been all sunshine and roses, neither has it been all cloudy and thunderstorms either. I don’t always walk around smiling and full of cheer; sometimes I feel like I’ve been swallowed by a black hole and I struggle to get my head above water. I do, on occasion, lament my inadequacies, my misgivings, the gaps I perceive in my life compared to those of others.

At times too, I begrudge the challenges I face. But it is, I reckon, human to sometimes compare and strive to be, have, and want what others do. So I’m not going to beat myself up about that and I’m not going to take the moral high ground and tell you not to do it either. Despite all this, I do though recognise the good in my life and the skills I have and the love and the peace and the joy – the real riches – that fill my life.

I know that light partners with the shadow and I appreciate the rewards that follow the challenges. So, instead of a traditional gratitude list, here is a little insight into the workings of my mad, mad mind. It’s a list that balances the shadow with the light in order to give thanks for forty four wonderful years into which I have squeezed a lot of living.

I don’t have Miranda Kerr’s looks nor am I as fit as Stephanie Rice and yes, I could always do more to support my health and wellbeing, but I’m extremely grateful that I enjoy a level of fitness and good health that allows me to lead an active and full life.

I wasn’t born a millionaire, nor did I marry into money yet I’ve traveled and explored the world.

Paris is not my home. I do, though, live in a great city in an amazing country.

I don’t have Einstein’s intelligence nor am I a brain surgeon. I am grateful for my mind and my intellect and the opportunities they have afforded me.

My family wasn’t exactly the Sullivans but I had a good upbringing.

My mother showed me tough love and made me a strong woman.

My father parented with more mercy and taught me that being kind and gentle wasn’t the same as being weak.

My sisters often played together. I watched from the sidelines and I learnt to enjoy my own company.

Tim Winton’s list of published works inspires me. I’ve started my writing career with this blog page.

I am no Louise Hay yet I’ve learnt and continue to learn so much about the mind, body spirit connection.

My house is not a mansion. It is though a place where I can retreat from the world and feel safe. It is my refuge, my place of joy and of love.

While I don’t paint with Picasso’s flair or Michelangelo’s skill I do enjoy creating little pockets of beauty in my world.

Nigella Lawson and Donna Hay, I am not. I do, however, have a skill and a passion for food that brings smiles to faces and delight to tummies.

A modern lifestyle doesn’t afford me the luxury of sitting atop a mountain to meditate and find myself. The small windows of time I do etch out for personal reflection, prayer and meditation are very precious to me.

While I may never achieve the flexibility and physical control of Yogi Pattabhi Jois, I will continue to enjoy my Ashtanga yoga practice until I’m a hundred years old. Then I might rest.

I have a job, that feels a little familiar and routine just now, that allows me time and money to explore my passions

I grew up in the eighties and saw florescent clothing make its first debut so I know it isn’t a good look and I’ll gladly pass this time around.

I had friends growing up who caused me great angst and confusion. I understand them better now than I did then. I know at times I’m not easy to understand so I am more patient with people today than my younger self ever was.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. My life is full of things to be grateful for, as I mentioned earlier I could spend the day making a list that goes on and on. I do have a few items I’d like to share that would be at the top of my list of four hundred and forty four things to be grateful for and they are:

My grade one teacher who taught me to read

My aunt who taught me the beauty of pottering barefoot on the earth

My garden. It brings me great peace.

My four grandparents whose company, wisdom and love I grew up enjoying.

The wonderful people who share my passions and interests in all things magical, weird and wacky who have taught me so very much about myself and spirit.

My other friends who keep me grounded when I could fly off with the fairies.

Above all else, I give thanks for my son and my husband; the two most important people in the world to me. The two people I could not and do not wish to live without. I am grateful for their continual love and support; God knows I’m not easy to live with or to love at times.

Life is precious. I may from time to time waste a few precious moments thinking about and wishing for things I don’t have but I am also acutely aware of how very rich my life is, how fortunate I am and I give thanks for it all: light and dark, good and bad, the challenges and the rewards.



Books, Bunnings and blasphemy

Things have been really great lately. I’ve developed some new interests and I now spend my time in different, very productive ways.  Despite my excitement around these new ventures I stopped, momentarily, just this week and questioned my priorities.

You see, I love books and bookshops.  Novels, big coffee table picture books, children’s books, books of poetry, books on yoga and cooking. History books, books on travel, even very old, musty smelling books. I love them all.

I love bookshops too. Did I mention that? I used to hunt out new bookshops and travel the city to visit an unexplored bookstore.  Small independents, book exchanges, online sellers and even the big commercial bookstores. I love them all.

So, you’ve probably gathered I have a love of reading. But I also love the touch and feel of books. The quality of the paper, the thickness and the artwork on the cover all appeal to me. I’ll buy a book simply because it feels good. I absolutely adore the feel of a book with rough cut pages (deckled edges). Embossed and gold leaf covers also grab me.


So great is my love of books I’m rarely without one close at hand. I was travelling in France several years ago and I’d finished both of the books I’d packed. I went three weeks without a book to read and couldn’t find an English book anywhere. I couldn’t read the magazines or newspapers I saw on the newstands and in supermarkets as they were in French. I was starving for a book to read. There was a physical ache in my gut.  My fingers were itchy. I was tormented.  Then, just when I thought I would implode from the dire craving I had to read, I happened across a secondhand shop with a small cardboard box of English novels out front. I spent a good half hour pouring over each and every book; reading the front and back covers, scanning the inside; carefully selecting my treasure. I was sated, topped up and refuelled in those few moments with that box of books. I’d found heaven, hugging a book to my chest in pure delight.

Recently, I’ve begun to have similar feeling towards my garden. For the first time I have a garden and I’m experimenting with the planting and germination of herbs, vegetables and some pretty flowers. The joy that comes from seeing something you plant grow and then yield fruit and offer sustenance at your table or delight the senses is truly something. I long to be home to potter barefooted in my garden. It rejuvenates me and calms me.  Whether I am planting, watering, weeding or digging garden beds I am at home and content in my garden.

When one has a love affair with gardening one also needs to buy supplies: soil, compost bins, bird netting, seedlings, hoses, stakes etc. This new passion of mine has led me to haunt a new type of store. The hardware store!

imageYou’ll not find me in a bookshop as often as you will my local Bunnings hardware.  I have found myself standing outside waiting for the doors to open on a Saturday morning. I am fascinated by the range of products on offer. I know my way around the aisles better than my husband, so familiar am I with the place.

And this is where I began to question myself and to (lightheartedly) evaluate my priorities.  Maybe you can help me?

Is it blasphemous to love Bunnings more than books?

Here’s to enjoying new opportunities and indulging your passion, whatever it might be.


Reconnect by disconnecting: are you a stakeholder in your own health in our information, data driven world?

Frayed and frazzled by data overload

Frayed and frazzled by data overload

Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Linked in, Flickr, Skype, You Tube, Pinterest, My space, Google Plus, Instagram, Mylife.  Are you feeling a little frazzled due to the increase in social media options, notifications, updates, requests and the need to stay informed and up to date with what’s new, what’s on offer and the advantages of joining in?

Do you recognise the signs and symptoms of social media and sensory overload? Have you noticed a slight irritability, frustration, tiredness and just a little crankiness clouding your days? Have you noticed an increase in muscle tension, headaches, clenched jaws, fogginess and brain drain? It could all be associated with keeping up with and managing your email accounts, news feeds and blogs. Not to mention tapping into your social media sites and dealing with requests to join others. The TV, radio and newspapers also contribute to the maelstrom churning in your head.

The problem is you’re too connected. Yet at the same time, many of you feel isolated and on the fringe. So what’s the solution? You need to take action to reconnect and return to your centred, grounded place; your place of peace, of confidence, of joy.

If you’re done, for a while, with the constant barrage of smoise (social media noise) the obvious thing to do is log off and tune out for a while. Sever the link and exit the social media vortex and really connect with life. But let’s be real about this; many of us simply can’t live without social media, smart phones and the like for extended periods. In the interests of self-care, self-preservation and sanity commit, instead, to reducing the number of times and the length of time you check in. Turn off your notifications and check in once a day to catch up on all the ‘news’. Set yourself a target of say a day, or a week of reduced input and, in that time, rebalance yourself.

Rebalance, refresh and rejuvenate by creating a list of things that make you feel good and commit to doing one or more of them, each day, for at least a week (without phones, iPods, iPads, laptops etc). My list includes things like heading off into the forest to enjoy the wildlife, taking a walk on the beach and burying my feet in the sand, meeting a friend for coffee at one of my favourite cafes. Meditating in the garden, tending to my new herb garden, buying a beautiful book and reading it on the deck, with a pot of tea, are also high on my feel good, reconnection list. Get the idea?

Might I suggest that you include a sojourn into the natural world somewhere on your list. Go hiking, surfing, bike riding, pack a picnic – anything to get outside into the fresh air. Greater benefits will be felt if you connect with the skin of the earth. Take your shoes off, stand, sit or lie down on the earth and breath deeply.

Find some quiet time, in a space that makes you feel calm and relaxed, to just sit. If you are not a regular meditator don’t worry. You don’t need to sit in silence for hours. Some days five minutes is all I have but those five minutes make all the difference. A teacher once told me to simply sit and concentrate on the breath. Feel it being drawn into the nostrils on the inhale and feel its warmth on the upper lip on the exhale. He suggested, instead of trying to clear my mind completely, I should start by trying to empty my mind for one complete breath. Sounds so insignificant doesn’t it? Let me reassure you, one whole breath without a thought is pure bliss.  Give it a go. You can work your way up to 10 or 20 breaths. Eventually, you won’t need to count your breaths, you’ll be able to sit in peace for the time you have.

What about your diet? How aware are you of the impact your food choices  are having on your brain and your body? When we are stressed and overloaded we often make poor food choices for a whole range of reasons. As part of your rebalancing regime limit processed and refined food. Nourish your body and brain by eating fresh, real food. Drink more water and less coffee. Start by planning a healthy eating menu for one day, it will be a good start to taking the toxic load off your body.


Do you value yourself enough to step out of the information vortex to reclaim your equilibrium?

Are you ready to short-circuit the overload, to rebalance and reconnect with yourself?

Are you ready take action?

“Yes?” Then go ahead, make your list. Commit to a time frame and “just do it”. You are so worth the effort. You never know, what begins as a day of self nurturing may become a habit. Now, wouldn’t that be something?

We can’t escape our modern world but we can live in harmony with it when we make taking care of ourselves a priority.

What will you do to rebalance, reconnect and re-establish your equilibrium when you find yourself overloaded by the torrent of data and information that bombards you each day?