Monthly Archives: July 2014

New Look

There must have been something in the air – certainly change……

I’ve changed my personal website as well as this business one and feel like I am starting to get the two more aligned. I’ve even imported all my old posts from a Blogger account that I started posting in …way back in 2008 … to this one and am thinking that towards the end of the year I might even migrate the blog here to my personal website. Not sure what Mr Google will think of that….

July has seen me reviewing old business plans and I was really surprised when I dug an old one up from 2009 and discovered that my plan back then was really ahead of its time. This time, as I review it, I have decided to run it past a person with a more positive outlook and entrepreneurial attitude than last time. In fact I might even listen to my own intuition and not give away my personal power…..

A dream is just a dream…. A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline……

Needless to say, there has been some serious planning with 90 day goals set over the last few weeks, both business and personal. I’m happy to say that most of the goals I have set for July have been achieved and there’s still 3 more days to go!

GoalsUsing the SMART model makes it really simple to test whether the goal is realistic or not and of course that is the key. Set achievable goals and  not only the does the conscious mind do a “happy dance”, but the brain creates new pathways, the subconscious mind stores the positive experience to be applied to other future projects…..

Winter plantings

Sub zero morning

A recent bout of the flu slowed down the plans for planting more productive trees and herbs, as well as the cooler weather and the likelihood of losing plants to frost.

However, over the last month a lemon tree has been planted where the “wild area” meets the paddock and seems to be surviving quite happily.I keep meaning to take up some citrus feed for it….and to start looking around for some other citrus varieties such as oranges, mandarin and grapefruit to plant nearby as well.

A passionfruit vine Chilly Winter's morninghas been planted along the fence that marks the paddock boundary and I discovered  that getting organic certification for the property will not be possible – even though most permaculture sites have articles about safely composting everything – including properly composted humanure – and no pesticides or chemically based fertilizers will be used. Its new leaves and tendrils have been a little tinged by the frost, but otherwise seems to be liking where it is.

The plan is to have mini orchards or small groves of productive plants scattered around the property, modelling permaculture principles. For instance, the pomegranates will go on a slope below the labyrinth where the Biddy Bush has been cleared and to the south, on the rockier slope near the wild area, is a site more suitable for a small stand of olives. Both are relatively hardy species and should do well.

Had the government kept the Carbon Tax, I could have planted an area of non fruiting trees for carbon credits, which would have been an appropriate thing to do as we are spending a lot of time travelling back and forth from the city to the retreat. Not to worry, I shall proceed anyway….it’s all in the planning of where the best locations are for various species.

Already the damp winter has taken its toll on the Pinwheel Hakeas – they were originally found in Western Australia – a couple have “turned up their toes” and fallen over. I’ve harvested a few seed pods and they reside for the time being in a paper bag on the dash of the car, where the heater warms them up. Once open, the bag will be held over an open, smoky fire to encourage them to germinate.

An almond tree and the pomegranate trees live in pots back in suburbia for the time being and will travel up to the retreat inFlinders Ranges Wattle the next couple of weeks to acclimatize before planting out. I’m thinking that the almond tree will replace one of the fallen Hakea trees (which means I will have to get a couple more- maybe 3 – for pollination) along the driveway. That will certainly add some colour and if the almonds set, I’m sure that the Cockatoos will be pleased.

? Bent Leaf WattleAt present there are a couple of varieties of wattles in glorious yellow. One of these is a Flinders Ranges Wattle according to a weathered nursery tag at its base. I will have to watch this one and quite possibly won’t be propagating any more from seed- if it sets any. It’s not listed as a weed in Victoria to my knowledge, but is in Western Australia. Over on the north eastern edge of the property is another small stand of wattles, which I think are bent leaf wattles.  Around the cottage and the labyrinth are Mallee Wattles, whilst the wild area has some scattered specimens of Spreading Wattle – which is white and quite prickly and has been happily flowering since mid May. Spreading Wattle

To further attract the bees and to add more riotous colour to the driveway, I would like to put in some Jacaranda trees. They seem to grow quite happily in nearby Tatura and Shepparton, but I need to investigate further to see if they are likely to end up as a weed. Because the retreat is close to the State Forest, I’m happy to include other species of deciduous trees and shrubs if they are productive and contribute to self sufficiency.

Fire Baked PotatoThe labyrinth sage still seems to be quite happy and the kangaroos still have enough feed to ignore it. A couple more weeks to go before I start to grow more from seed to plant out in springtime. A Rosemary cutting has been planted near the fire pit – nice and close to reach for if there is roast lamb cooking in the camp oven! The mallee wood burns well, but it was a little too chilly this weekend to stand outside in the evening to enjoy the fire! Very grateful that it wasn’t raining as well.

With the low temperatures this weekend, there is serious investigation into purchasing a wood heater for the cottage. The small electric heater that is installed is not very efficient at coping with O’ C  and below and extremely power hungry. The challenge now is to find one that is the right size for the current cottage and will also be efficient in heating any planned extension. With plenty of fallen wood on the roadside verge and around the property, this seems to be the most cost effective heating option.


Listening to the clues….

61de5-labrainDo you believe in synchronicity?

I do…

Yesterday I received an audio study program and took a break from it to have a Skype conversation with a LinkedIn connection for the first time. We shared thoughts and I reflected on how clever the universe is to allow like minded people to connect over the ether!

I decided to start today with some energy work, a meditation and some Reiki for friends in need, then on to working on a new business plan for this financial year. Part of that was to merge my original blog “Meg’s Place” with this one.

Taking some time out for a tea break (a big cup of Bengal Spice), I decided to draw 3 cards from The Ascended Masters with a question about how to resolve any spiritual blocks I might be experiencing in regard to my business.

I got a pretty clear answer:

  1. WRITE ; either daily journal, channel messages from my guides and angels and my life purpose is to write a book…the kernel of which is forming already….
  2. TAKE CHARGE OF THE SITUATION:  I have the tools/power to heal and alter my current situation. Take charge and assume a leadership position
  3. FOCUS ON YOUR STRENGTHS: ..not on the weaknesses. The more one blesses and appreciates the strengths – the more they will grow. The final part of this card also suggested to begin an exercise program, which I had a chuckle about!!

This afternoon’s tasks are to begin to move the face to face workshop material developed over the past 5 years to downloadable files so they can be accessed anytime, anywhere.

My skills as a teacher and the years of writing curriculum documents are standing me in good stead….The Meditation workshop has already been written up and most of the recordings done…

Polarity Therapy, Homeopathy and Coaching will follow, but Reiki will continue to be taught face to face.

Wintry Weather

winter temperatureWinter has definitely set in up at the retreat.

The purpose of the trip was to make sure that there had been no storm damage or trees blown over in the last couple of weeks. We always seem to bring the rain with us – even in summertime – although it was mostly showers, which meant we could get out for walks.

This means mud inside the cottage and the next priority is to pave an area near the door and put a verandah up so that boots can be taken off and left outside.

Not being a huge cottage – it’s 6 metres by 6 metres – there is not a lot of floor space to have to wash, but after this trip I have decided to wash it on arrival instead of on departure;  as I’m wondering if leaving the damp floor to dry in our absence is what is causing the condensation overnight.

Friday night was a chilly 3’C outside and although there is a small wall heater in the cottage and we had a nice fire outside, it was bedtime by 8.15pm  as that was the warmest place! Saturday wasn’t too bad as the rain clouds kept the chill away, but Sunday morning was clear, bright  and brisk. Inside the cottage humidity rose to 90% and we opened up the doors and windows to air out the place…… equilibrium was reached just after midday with the temperature rising to 11.3!!

The pace of this visit was somewhat slower than before as I was finishing with a bout of the flu and the paddocks were too wet to take the tractor into. A little yabbie fishing – only small ones, which were returned – from the bottom dam…. which was surprising, although the neighbour did let us know that  he often saw people jumping the fence and putting nets in there.  A couple of larger  ones from the top dam provided an entree for Saturday night’s dinner. On a side trip to Echuca on Saturday, I saw a resin crocodile head that floats and thought that would make an interesting visual for the bottom dam – especially if it it didn’t float away down the overflow!!

Pinwheel hakeaA Pinwheel Hakea decided to turn up its toes on Saturday afternoon which was a shame as it was a good size tree. I have harvested a few seed pods and we already have 4 seedlings growing as an experiment. Pinwheel Hakea blossom

When it browns off, I will drag it to a small pile where 2 others are and burn it. Apparently the seeds only germinate with bushfire smoke and it will be interesting to see if this creates a small colony of hakea seedlings! Saturday also saw the planting of a passionfruit vine along the home paddock fence. The first of the composting toilet buckets was tipped into a very large hole and the vine duly planted on top. I think we may have to wait a bit longer for the other buckets to be used, although perhaps the holes can be dug for the proposed fruit trees whilst the soil is damp and easier to get through…. I’m also wondering if the composting process wouldn’t be quicker in the ground…..

On Sunday, a few of the wattles lining the driveway had branches broken off, presumably by some over excited kangaroos on their way through … I was fortunate to be standing quite still (I was checking my step tracker app) when 3 large roos bounded past within a metre of me. I don’t know who was more surprised ….!!  A walk around the perimeter of the retreat is about 2500 steps, not accurate as I got sidetracked going back to look at a couple of things and made a small detour here and there.

The main water tank retank leakmains a problem… there are several leaks which seem to be made worse by the increased pressure as it fills….The small tank next to the cottage only holds 500 litres and is filled quite quickly. To prevent damage from the overflow, it is regularly emptied into the big tank which would hold an estimated 40,000 litres when full. At present it is still only half full even though we have had some good rains.

The recent visitors helped to paint on a compound which is supposed to react witTank leakh the water and create crystals in the cracks to seal the leaks, but it is only partially successful so far.

At one stage there was a significant leak and a patch of tractor tube, wood and held in with a fencing post sufficed until underwater cement from mending the pool tiles at home was applied.

Fingers croOrb in labyrinthssed that the repairs can continue successfully – otherwise it will mean a new tank as this is the main water supply for the retreat.

The labyrinth was walked … the sage and the lavender continue to stay green and not nibbled by animals. The wattle trees inside the path are just about to bloom and will add to the ambiance…..

I didn’t have the energy this trip to re-define the pathway. Tiny toadstools

Just to the north of it lies what I call the “wild area”.. fenced off, it has a stand of tall gums, but mostly bush mallee and rocks.  I discovered a mossy “pathway” and thought immediately of faeries and the like….


Learn from the Past

With the field I’m in, personal development is ongoing …. it’s not always about professional development…. something that I believe that some organizations lose track of. Even as a teacher, I believed it was necessary to explore new horizons… not necessarily education based.. in order to bring something holistic to our own sense of self.
Currently, I’m revisiting course notes from a few years back as the New Financial Year means making new business goals.  Part of this it to review where I have come from and build upon strengths and discover any areas that need work.
One of my challenges is that I have been susceptible to frequent colds …. self analysis came up with needing better winter protocols to avoid infection, which I duly wrote about in a newsletter. But of course, I missed the obvious…..stress reduces immunity and recently there has been a bit of stress in my life.
The last few days have been spent in using hypnotic methods to improve my immune system, regular HeartMath sessions, plenty of vitamins and a nice warm office.
Those of you that know me, know that I enjoy networking….. so when I encountered a new face in the tea room at the office complex where I work…. I got to chatting….. He told me that he used hypnosis/meditation for a style of martial art that he did……
Before I knew it, I discovered that he held in high esteem a man that I had previously worked with. My blood ran cold… my stomach flipped…. I thought I was going to be sick.
My experience with this same person was different… in that moment, I relived the pain, the angst, the sorrow, the anger….. this was the “why” I left teaching. Why I shredded almost a ream of abusive emails….Why I gave up……
I managed to get back to my room and smiled as I turned the page on the manual I was working through…
I chose to quit that job because I no longer wished to be treated like I was.
I chose to quit because I felt unsupported.
As a result of choosing to leave, I retrained as a Hypnotherapist and found another passion to pursue.
 I chose to be brave and start my own business.
I chose to forgo an easy salary for other benefits, like meeting some amazing people who choose to make changes in their lives!  
 I know that I was good at teaching. I know too that I am good at what I do today for my clients….
What a gift that moment in the tea- room was!
Two perceptions of one person – polar opposites!
The eddy of feelings changed in an instant….. why was I hanging on to that pain?
It was a choice … and I have now chosen to no longer need it…….I have survived a heart attack and subsequent surgery and can choose now to be empowered, to have a full life.
I choose to feel gratitude at being here …right now!