I often wonder what each night’s dreaming will bring….. most nights are very full of activity and adventure and every dream is in colour.

Quite often the location is an old house I’ve lived in or a school that I’ve been to. Other times I’m in a familiar place but I cannot name where it is.

There are familiar faces in some dreams but more often there is a cast of characters that are not related to any people that I know in this lifetime.

Over the years, I’ve read some books on dreaming, the first was many years ago and was Carlos Casteneda’s Art of Dreaming which I found fascinating. Without using any substances to alter my state of consciousness, my dreams provide me with rich visual and auditory experiences that cannot be found even when viewing a movie. Carlos Casteneda puts forward that there are seven gates to dreaming and to be able to pass through the first gate, one must become aware of the actual moment of falling asleep.

Delving into other books such as Lucid Dreaming by Pamela Ball has expanded my awareness of dreaming even further. It is wonderful to step out of a dream whose script has gone “wrong” and pause and go back to sleep with the intent to change it and make it a more pleasant experience. Pamela Ball writes that “Healing and dreams are closely interlinked” and I’m sure that this is true for the retreat. The powerful combination of the labyrinths and Reiki energy as well as the organic practices used are no doubt having an effect on the land.

The dreams are also affected by my physical location. At the retreat the dreams seem to be set in times gone by and I have woken on occasion to the sounds of sheep and horses passing by then going back to sleep. When I do wake fully from the dream and know that I am really awake, I have had on occasion, needed to check that the troughs and haystacks are not outside the cottage as I had dreamt!

A psychic friend offered her opinion after I had told her of one particularly vivid dream, that I was having historical dreams….. Picking up on the energy of people who had been passing through on the land..

Robert Moss in his course Dream Gates – a journey into active dreaming suggests not only keeping a dream journal (as do many other teachers) to record themes that are relevant to the dreamer, but he gives useful shamanic exercises in connecting with spiritual guides both animal or angelic and how to use dreams in a constructive, healing way.

Frequently remnants of my dreams stay with me for some time during the day, allowing my subconscious mind to process any message that may have been delivered. In one dream, some time ago, I retained the image of a country road and a driveway that I knew was my home. For years as we travelled along country roads and outback Australia, I looked for that driveway, never finding it. When my parents legacy to me was finalized, I began looking for a country property where I could realize another dream … to create a retreat for healers.

Weekends were spent scouring the internet for properties for sale and then making a list, travelling to the area to inspect and although one or two seemed attractive in the advertisements, in reality they were not suitable. One popped up, twice the acreage of what I was looking for and a little over budget, but I decided to have a look to see what it offered. After arranging to meet the agent, we made the 2 and a half hour trip to view it. It was on a road we had often travelled on to go to the Easter Parade, but further down than the usual turnoff.

Turning into the driveway, my body reacted…. this was the driveway of my dream.

A strong feeling of Déjà vu as we drove down the driveway to where the cottage was located. An area nearby was semi cleared similar to a drawing in my vision book, convincing me that dreams are a powerful agent in the manifesting process.

The Power of Metaphor

What is metaphor?

It’s a way of speaking that uses words or pictures to describe something in a symbolic way.

At the workshop I presented at today, I used both words and pictures as metaphors to bypass the conscious mind and get the participants thinking more deeply about their EQ or emotional intelligence in regard to how much balance (or not) is in their lives.

Without giving too much away…. because I’m planning on repeating the workshop quite soon….. I asked them to think about what tools that they might have on hand to apply in various situations.

Using a variety of photos, including that of my own toolbox, we segued into how they might successfully navigate situations or people using various Emotional Intelligence strategies.

My real toolbox actually contains a good selection of Homeopathic remedies and many years ago I used to take it on home visits for some clients who had children diagnosed with ADHD. Much easier than having a bored and disruptive child confined in an office and a wonderful way to observe their behaviours in their natural habitat!

The metaphoric toolbox contains various tools that can be used to change perception of self or situations, to respond rapidly to changing situations or to be creative and innovative in an approach to new or novel ideas.

Life goals are much like having a garden. You’ve set out the garden beds, carefully planned where the trees have been placed and planted a variety of plants – perhaps even a lawn area. But the work doesn’t stop here…. the lawn needs to be mowed on a regular basis, the plants need to be tended and occasionally plants, such as roses…..need to be pruned quite a lot to produce the next seasons lush growth. And so it is with life goals….. You’ve planned the goals, placed a few key elements to stand out. All this needs maintenance…constant action to keep the momentum towards the end result. Along the way you may encounter a prickly person or what you thought was a beautiful flower, turns out to be a weed and needs to be removed.

Without knowing their story, a metaphor can be transformative to many people as they apply and adapt it to their own life experience or goals and bring about an inner awareness of their own strengths or weaknesses.

Negative self-talk

Would you put up with someone you barely know constantly criticize you?

I think not.

Yet how often do you do this very same thing to yourself?

There will be some people who don’t, but many of the clients that I see, have a fair bit of negative chatter going on inside. The biggest one is “I’m not good enough”.

Not good enough at what?

When delving deeper the source of the problem usually stems from a childhood perception, although some people are unfortunate in that they have very negative or toxic parents who frequently tell the child that they are “not good enough” in so many ways.

I remember back to my own childhood when I was learning the times tables and I got stuck on 9 times something…even now I’ve filtered the memory so that I don’t feel those feelings of failure!  My brother who is three years younger piped up with the correct answer and my parents were ecstatic at his cleverness.

Cue the negative self talk.…….“I’m not good at maths”, yet years later in high school I got 100% in a geometry test, because I loved the shapes, had an eye for angles and measurement.  Later in life I developed an interest in Fibonacci numbers, Mandelbrot sets and Sacred Geometry. But because I had that label of not being good at maths and seriously didn’t (and to this day don’t) have a clue about algebra and those weird math stories to puzzle over, my teacher thought I cheated and gave me a detention.

But back to you….. and your negative self talk. Think back to a time when you were a toddler. Your subconscious mind knows what we are talking about even if your conscious mind doesn’t a memory of that time. When you were starting to walk. You pulled yourself upright and most probably sat yourself straight back down again.

Did you think you were “not good enough” then? Of course not!

Taking your first steps….. oooops! Down again.

The Japanese have a lovely saying “Fall down seven times, get up eight.” And that’s exactly what you did until you got yourself mobile. If you are prone to negative self talk then it may pay to remember this.

How to overcome the negative self talk? It will have become a habit and habits can be changed. Some habits take longer to change than others, but this depends on how motivated you are.

Practice observing and listening to others and the language you most frequently use. Notice your language. What if you could substitute some key words you are using for something more positive?

The energy of the words and the tonality are all-important ways in which we communicate subtly.

Is your language positive and empowering or do you dis-empower yourself and others when you speak?

Tony Robbins has some comprehensive language lists in Awaken the Power Within. This is just a very small sample:

Negative Transformed to…
Angry disenchanted
Depressed Not on top of it
Hate prefer
Irritated stimulated
Overwhelmed challenged
Rejected misunderstood
Sad Sorting my thoughts
Stressed busy
Terrible different

It’s time to start being mindful –  use some of these alternatives and notice the difference.



30 Days of Gratitude

It doesn’t seem like many days at first, but thinking about what to put for each day would have been a challenge had in not been for a picture that popped up on a social media site at just the right time.

I transcribed each day into my diary and then made a booklet to print off later that has space to diarize each day of gratitude. I had thought to post the next cycle on this blog, but then realized that there are days where I have little or no internet – especially when up at the retreat – so that idea won’t work.

A good friend said “Why stop at 30 days? Shouldn’t we all be grateful for something every day?” and I agree with her. However using the 30 Day Gratitude Journal creates a habit and even though it has been a couple of days since the 30 days finished, I’m finding that I still write down what I’m grateful for in my daily journal.

I will be offering the PDF Gratitude Journal to subscribers in the Autumn newsletter as a bonus for reading the newsletter.


At the time of writing this, I’m up to Day 21 of a 30 day challenge to show gratitude for a different thing each day.

I found the original idea on LinkedIn and started by entering the questions in my work diary at the top of each page. All well and good, but I don’t take the diary with me to the retreat, so I realized that I would miss a few days here and there.

The solution to this was to post these daily questions and answer them on my Facebook business page. It’s interesting reading what others are grateful for as well.

So yesterday’s day of gratitude (Day 20) question was “Who in your life are you grateful for?” I could think of many and my initial response was my immediate family. Then later in the evening a cousin contacted me to say her father, my mother’s twin, had passed away that morning, just a day short of what would have been their 91st birthday. Mum had always joked and said she was going to live to a 100 like her Granny, but she left this realm just over 17 years ago. Back to gratitude….. I am grateful to my Uncle (and Aunt) for the many holidays I had with them during the six years we spent in the UK. Memories of playing with my cousins and getting up to all sorts of mischief.

Today’s question is “What song are you most grateful for?”

These seem like simple questions, but there are so many responses that can be made, which is why I’m planning on repeating the 30 Day Challenge again, but with the questions in a different order and created a booklet to print out and write in.

What song am I grateful for? Porcelain by Moby. Don’t know why, but it soothes my soul.

Another New Year

These seem to come around a lot quicker each year! Or perhaps time is really speeding up…

Many of us will have started the New Year with resolutions, new dreams and goals and have reviewed the previous year. Some will have celebrated the various religious holidays and others withdrawn from celebrations as they leave an empty chair at the table for a loved one.

From what I have garnered in conversations with friends, colleagues and clients, is that most people seem to be confident that 2018 will be a good year or better than last year. Personally, I had a reasonably good year last year and feel optimistic about this new year. Late last year I retrained in NLP (with a different trainer) and found that to be very satisfying and am combining all the therapies I use into a Flexi Package for clients.

Another project is the 30 days of Gratitude, which I intend to redo each time I finish a 30 day cycle. As I write this I’m up to Day 9 and today I am asked “What place am I most grateful for?”

No surprises here, I am most grateful for the retreat which I was able to buy with a modest inheritance from my parents and has allowed me to indulge in my labyrinth building passion.

If you would like to follow this cycle then have a look in on my page Balance4Life Programs on Facebook. I’m inclined to post the next cycle here and the challenge will be to find some different things to be grateful for!


Truth, Love and Transformation

Everyone has a different perception regarding events and likewise what is the truth for one person is not for another.

Having respect for the needs and values or principles of others is what contributes to our character.

Too often we place conditions on ourselves and others, but when we begin to take time to still a busy mind, the space that the stillness creates will allow you to achieve more balance in your life.

You may get a sense of this space and take some time to become aware of the many possibilities that the Universe may be offering you.

As you become more familiar with meditation, the chakras will unblock and open. You may start to feel that love is all around you and whilst this may feel unfamiliar at first, once you acknowledge it and let it go, you will start to experience some amazing transformations.


On our soul journey at times it can feel like there is a lack of connection with others during times of change.

There is risk in change, but being flexible and open to change will create shifts in your awareness.

Tuning in to the Universe is much like tuning a new TV or a radio station  – the stations are already there, we just have to find the right frequency or bandwidth.

Whilst in this process of attunement or change it helps to have a sense of adventure and face whatever issues arise.  Be kind to yourself and others during this process as it has been said that kindness is the road to happiness, health and harmony.

On Two Wheels

Why I bought my motorbike………

This was a question posed on a forum of a club that I belong to and I got to reminiscing on why I bought my current motorbike…..not that I have changed bikes in a long time!!!

Many moons ago and last century, I had the experience of riding pillion on a friend’s brand new BMW. My parents disapproved of the idea of me riding on a motorcycle (never mind that both grandmothers did during WW2) and a plan was hatched. I bought a leather jacket, boots, gloves and a helmet and stored them at my friend’s house. Such is the behaviour of a headstrong teenager!

One sunny Sunday afternoon a group of us headed out to spend some time exploring the roads around York. It was my first trip as a pillion passenger and I loved the freedom of the machine, albeit as a passenger.

All was good until we hit a patch of loose gravel on the approach to one of the waterfalls and suddenly my friend had disappeared from in front of me. Time seemed to freeze frame and I slid from the pillion seat onto the tank, just in time to allow my leg to cushion the bike from a roadside culvert. Nothing seemed to be broken – either the bike or me – so it seemed to be best to get back on and have a look at the waterfall down the road.

It wasn’t until later that evening that the knee swelled up and started to turn all manner of colours. My mother asked me why I was limping and I fibbed and said that I had slipped on the rocks at the waterfall.

Shortly afterwards I signed up for lessons to learn how to ride a motorcycle and spent a few Saturday mornings on the concrete pads down near the Perth Lockup on the riverside before being allowed to go out on the roads with my instructor. In those days you had to be accompanied by a licensed instructor who rode alongside you. This was followed by some advanced training at the Safety council where an ex Police instructor taught me to ride over seesaws and through slaloms. All good fun and done on a borrowed 350cc Honda.

My instructor owned a motorcycle shop and had an immaculately restored BSA C11 for sale, but it was just a little more than what I had saved up. The following week a 450cc Honda came into the shop and was within my price range and I could afford it! That was it…. my first set of 2 wheels! I hopped on and twisted the throttle…. I hadn’t accounted for the extra 100cc that I was familiar with and to the amusement of the guys at the shop; I did a wheel stand down the street, fortunately missing all of the parked cars on either side of the street.

The bike was mine! My friend with the BMW came over to check it out and laughed at hearing about the wheel stand. He offered for me to take his bike for a ride and to learn how to take it easy on the throttle. I hadn’t gone far when the sound of a siren startled me and glancing in the mirrors could see the red and blue flashing lights….. oh no! I had been travelling so carefully, keeping an eye on the speed. I got off the bike and the policeman approached me. My stomach somersaulted… I hadn’t attached the “P” plates and thought I was in big trouble. “How long have you had the bike?” he asked. “Would you like to join the BMW Club?”

Whew! I wasn’t in trouble; he had pulled me over out of curiosity and invited me to the next meeting. Mr Plod, as he was known, warmly welcomed me when I did turn up to the next meeting and introduced me to an interesting bunch of people with various nicknames such as “Bear”, “Goldie” and the like. This was the start of some weekend rides where they were very tolerant of my novice status. Around the same time, my friend with the BMW got involved with a “patch” group and I was invited to accompany them on a ride to Geraldton, where the local constabulary turned everyone back immediately on arrival.

My friend eventually sold his BMW and bought a Ducati which was somewhat difficult to ride as the clutch lever was exceptionally heavy to operate. We planned a trip East across the Nullarbor Plain with him on his Ducati and me on my trusty 450 Honda and upward to Toowoomba – getting no further than Northam when the 860 Ducati “blew up”. Trailered back to Perth, we lay low as we had farewelled friends and family and stayed with a member of the “patch” group until the Ducati was running again.

Totally inadequately prepared by today’s standards, we had no tent or cooking utensils … just a basic sleeping bag each and we carried an absolute minimum of clothing in our army surplus kit bags. We slept on sheepskins that doubled as seat softeners during the day. There was still over 200km of unsealed road to navigate and the closer we got to it, the more stories we heard of the horrific bulldust holes and corrugations. We decided to camp at the start of the dirt and attempt it in the morning; not thinking that the dirt would slow us down or that we were traveling east and would lose valuable daylight to travel by. Surprisingly, I stayed upright for that whole section and we pulled into Nullarbor Station after dark. I was wondering why I was getting strange looks so  I made my way to the Ladies room and had to laugh at my reflection. I had been wearing an open face helmet with sunglasses and the road dust was caked thick on my face except where the glasses had been and lines of mud striping down my face where my eyes had watered from the dust. No smart phones back then, but a photo would have been great to look back on! As it was late in the evening, most of the food in the roadhouse had gone except for a very rubbery toasted ham and cheese sandwich which was micro waved. Hunger won over visual attraction.

Eventually the Nullarbor trip was over and by the time we got to Port Pirie, I decided that a tent was needed, so found one in a disposal store and managed to fit it onto the bike with little trouble. Traveling across South Australia and up through the Hay Plains and the inland route to Toowoomba we clocked up the miles whilst not communicating to each other until we reached the inland Queensland town and parted company.

Months later, after my friend stated that he missed me so (in retrospect a major mistake) I packed up the bike again and traveled – this time solo – to Melbourne, finding a house and a job very quickly on my arrival. I stayed for about 6 months and returned again on my own to Brisbane after my friend was discharged from his Air Force Officer training (this was beginning to be a pattern).  Relationships 101 were not in vogue then and I would certainly not recommend anyone modelling this behaviour…..

A few months later…….I found out that I had been accepted into teacher training college in Perth, which had been planned to coincide with my friend’s posting and training at Pearce Air Force base.. Rather than give up the opportunity for further education, I packed up, rode to Sydney and put the bike on the train and with a student concession card, got a berth for me and my bike on the Indian Pacific train from Sydney to Perth.

The highlight of the next 6 months or so was, after having stayed friends with the other officer cadets and reconnecting,  was riding to the graduation ball at Pearce in a ball gown with flying boots and jeans underneath and high heels packed in my backpack and then riding home safely again after the event ended!

Not long afterwards, my Ducati friend phoned to say he was missing me (again… another misjudgement… or was it part of my lessons to learn?) and “would I make the trip back to Brisbane?”  Which I did. He welcomed me with a pretty sapphire & diamond ring…. another story for another time……

Travel still beckoned, so I sold the 450 Honda and we headed across the Tasman, landing in Auckland where I found a cute red 350 Honda which we rode down the east coast to Wellington and then after a stint packing apples in Nelson to replenish the wallet…… down the west coast and back up to Christchurch. I sold the bike and came back to Brisbane with just a few dollars left!

Word came that I was required to attend a civil court case in Perth, so we loaded the Ducati (which had been in storage) and set off. We didn’t quite do the land speed record, but we did get to Perth in 3 and half days from Brisbane, riding some nights behind semi trailers with the sleeping bags wrapped around us with “ocky straps” to hold them on. We ran out of money as we filled up in Norseman and a quick reverse charge phone call to my parents was made to wire money to Coolgardie Post Office, which they very kindly did and that funded the petrol money to get to Perth in time for the court appearance.

The court case didn’t go ahead with a last minute out of court settlement for a reasonable amount. I decided to buy another bike after the bank wasn’t keen on lending an extra $2000 to a 20 year old female to buy a terrace house in Fremantle. No point in having regrets over that. I would have been stuck in the one place and not had the adventures that were to come.

I reconnected with the BMW WA Club and it wasn’t long before I found an R100RS advertised in the Sunday papers. I was ready to buy it, but my friends in the club knew its history and advised me to look around a bit further. Fortunately, my old instructor had given me a job in his bike shop and the use of a nifty little 400/4 Honda, so I was able to get around on my own again. Eventually another bike – a R60/5 was advertised and with friends Goldie and Chris in tow, we checked it out. A guy had brought it over from South Africa, intending to ride around Australia, but family issues and lack of finances put a stop to that and it was up for sale. Getting the seal of approval, I bought it and finally had my own distinctive BMW as it had what was called an American or “toaster” tank and it was a perfect birthday present to me from me, in what was turning out to be my “Annus Horribilus”.

I am forever grateful to these guys in the WA BMW Club who taught me how to buy the right tools and how to service my bike. Tappets, timing, oil changes and general maintenance. Saved me a fortune….

Then when all seemed to be on track, a  friend of the Ducati rider turned up from Brisbane, which was awkward as it was clear it was more than just a friendship and  it was now time to bow out as gracefully as possible…..

A group in the BMW Club was heading East in September and I asked if it was OK to tag along so that I would have company traveling across the Nullarbor on my way back to catch up with friends in Melbourne. Unfortunately I had to have some surgery a week before their departure date and I wasn’t sure if I would be able to make it, but I decided that I would make myself better so that I could make some positive changes in my life.

What a trip! With a well loved teddy bear in the bottom of my kitbag, some good clothes for job interviews, a change of daily clothes and a one person tent and some cooking gear were put on the bike. I also packed  my archery bow and competition arrows along one side of the BMW……..and then fell off on a dirt road after my first freshwater shower in a while…. A few of the group looked out for me and then I was ready for my next adventure…….on to Melbourne…..

Coaching vs Counselling

What suits you?

Both have advantages and disadvantages, but having received sessions in both, I feel that the coaching model is more effective.

With coaching you don’t need to stay stuck in our stories, in fact the coach often doesn’t even need to hear your story, just where and how you want to move forward. Combined with some NLP (neuro linguistic programming) techniques and a little Hypnotherapy, personally I have found that amazing changes can be made with a minimum of fuss (and no snotty tissues…… bonus!)

Athletes have been using coaches for decades to improve their performance and there is a growing number of people using coaching for various other pursuits. Many executives and business owners have a business coach, singers have a voice coach and there are other niches such as health coaching and of course, Emotional Intelligence coaching.

However, for certain people, counselling interventions such as CBT are really valuable in changing thoughts and behaviours over a longer period of time. Most importantly, the rapport you have with your coach or counsellor is the defining factor in the success of your session.