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.

Connection

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.

Change

You can choose to change or circumstances can cause change to happen in an instant, but there is one thing that is constant…..change is inevitable.

Our body changes constantly although it would seem that the thinking that our whole body is renewed every 7-10 years is not correct. Some cells, the neurons in the cerebral cortex are never renewed and others will renew at different rates.

When it comes to our outlook, a shift in perception or change of physical circumstances can create ripples of change that encourage us to grow. Removing yourself from the hustle and bustle of daily life for a while and taking a short meditation break gives you time to be as one with yourself and review if there are any necessary changes that need to be made.

These don’t have to be done immediately – make a list and have patience with yourself as you implement these changes. Acknowledging the changes you have consciously made will allow you to close the door on the past and open new doors and let you travel forward to new adventures. There may be some emotional attachment to the past or negativity that arises, so take a deep breath in and step back for a moment and review the issue, creating some welcome space in the meantime.

Ask yourself:  “What are the triggers  and what am I going to do about it?”

“How can I learn and grow from that experience or resolve any inner conflicts in a peaceful, loving way?”

Cooperate with yourself  in this process and create more balance in your life.

Three Keys to building your Emotional Intelligence

There is an art to being emotionally intelligent.

How so you might say?

Whilst there have been stacks of books and plenty of research on the subject, when it comes to improving your Emotional Intelligence you have to get in touch with your inner ARTist as I outlined in a recent presentation.

Firstly you have to Assess your emotions. Positive or negative, feel the emotions and name them and then let them go.

The second key is to Recognise that all emotions are feedback in some way.

  • Can you recognise patterns as you experience a particular emotion?
  • Is there a trigger that creates your response?

When you start to recognise these patterns, then you will have created a neural pathway that causes you to respond that way. Once you become aware of your own patterns of action or reaction, then you will also start to notice how other people react to triggers.

The third key is Transformation. This will begin to happen as you acknowledge your emotions as useful tools for feedback. Part of this transformative process is reflecting whether you are doing one of several things.

  • Are you denying the emotion or your feelings?
  • Are you over reacting or are you repressing the emotion?

Take a step back….. pause and do some deep breathing and allow yourself some space. If you feel you need some help in building your Emotional Intelligence muscle, then call or use the contact form to schedule some coaching sessions.

Contact

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5 Steps to value your time

“Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time.”

M Scott Peck

  1. Track your time – create a spreadsheet in half hour blocks for each day of the week. Record when you are sleeping and all your other activities. Initially this may seem like you are “time wasting” but you will be surprised at what actually does take up your time. Include things such as time taken to travel to various places, shopping, showering, eating, etc.
  2. Prioritise – make a list of what is important. Sleep should be up there as a significant block of time as is time to spend with your nearest and dearest ones. Make sure you identify the difference between your regular “to do list” and projects you are undertaking. Set some deadlines for the completion of the tasks. You might also want to identify which activities are “fun” to do and those that are not. Reward yourself by doing the less fun ones first and the enjoyable ones later.
  3. Schedule or timetable everything else. Be flexible – you may want to create several schedules so that you get some variety each week. If you need to be on social media for your business, or answer emails then set aside some time to do that. There are numerous scheduling tools that can be used to automatically post to various platforms, but do make some of your posts spontaneous! For instance, I have a set time once a week to write blog posts (like this one). In that time I will write on a number of topics and save to a document to use later when I have scheduled in clients or have set time aside to prepare for upcoming workshops.
  4. Stop procrastinating – be honest with yourself. What excuses or reasons are you coming up with to justify your inaction? Do you value yours and other people’s time? Have you allowed enough time to get to your appointments?
  5. Focus – or learn the art of mindfulness. Multi tasking is so last century….. when your attention is divided, your energy is scattered. If you are following your schedule then you will complete tasks in what seems like no time at all. If your attention span is short, then schedule the tasks into small but incremental steps… the foundation of successful goal setting!

Dream Stealers

“All our dreams can come true,

if we have the courage to pursue them.”

Walt Disney

There are 3 things that will take up your time and steal from your dreams. One is unavoidable and the other two will creep in and take up time that you could be taking action to move from a dream to reality.

They are:

  • Sleep
  • TV
  • Procrastination

It’s worthwhile to have an honest audit about the time you spend on each of these.

Sleep is necessary for our well being and studies show that poor sleep habits or interrupted sleep has a significant impact on our effectiveness. Too little sleep can be as unhelpful as too much.

TV or other electronic diversions such as social media can consume valuable time and time is the most valuable resource we can access. I grew up with a side plate that my grandmother gave me that had the words “Time and tide wait for no man”. It meant little to me as a child, but as the years have flown by, the meaning has become more relevant. Whilst we are unable to make more time regardless of our means and we can never get time back, we can manipulate it through self hypnosis. Reading other people’s posts on social media can be seen as wasting this valuable resource, so it makes sense to schedule limited time to access the various platforms or watching TV alongside scheduling time to work on your dream.

Procrastination or the art of shuffling papers or doing “busy stuff” is perhaps the most insidious time/dream stealer.

Ask yourself the following questions:

How much actual work am I doing to achieve my dream?

What changes do you need to make to create goals to achieve your dreams?

What steps do you need to take?

How will life be different for you after making these changes?

What will this allow you to do?

Thankyou for taking some of your valuable time to read this reflection!

 

August Retreat

It’s been a while since I wrote anything about the retreat.

Still there…. the grass is growing and the wattles are out and I can see the capeweed coming out of its winter hibernation. The positive side of that is the bees will love the swathes of yellow and will feast on the pollen.

A few more trees have been planted around the labyrinth.

I’ve been nurturing some pomegranate saplings in the city garden for a couple of years and as they needed thinning out, thought that they would add to the charm of the larger labyrinth. In addition to the mini olive grove, I now have a space where I can contemplate and cast my mind back to a couple of Ancient Greek myths.

Obviously, the olives are associated with the Oracle of Delphi and it was said that the first temple was constructed out of olive branches. Then there is the story of the labyrinth with the Minotaur at the centre. With the addition of the pomegranates, I’ve added a reference to Persophene…

I’m going to leave you to conduct your own searches either online or in perhaps long forgotten books to read up on these myths and legends.

From time to time we have visitors staying and it is great to be able to share with them the serenity of the place. Accommodation is still very basic and rustic and for the most part BYO. It’s not camping, and certainly not glamping…. at least not yet…. but the ambiance around the campfire each evening certainly adds to the experience. We’ve hosted some candlelit, sit down, share dinners in the shed which have been a great success. The chairs are courtesy of the hard rubbish collection in the city and with a couple of trestle tables…… what more could you want?

Each visitor experience is different.

For the last few years I’ve hosted the BMW MCC for a “Back to Basics” weekend. We supply the wood and water and those who are interested turn up with tents, swags, caravans and campers of all types and dimensions.

The Ambassador Suite (an ancient, original 1970’s caravan) is often pressed into service. We’ve even moved the old potting shed nearby and put in another composting toilet and euphemistically called it the “en suite”.  This actually provides more options such as designating male and female toilets as well as alleviating the need to build a “drop toilet” or put in a septic system (which would use up our precious water). More on that in a later post…

This year we hosted the BMW Club a little earlier than in previous years as the local township had listed a Wildflower Walk for that weekend.  We had most of the wildflowers they were talking about on the property appear last year and I was a little concerned this year when I couldn’t find any sign of them appearing in the weeks prior to the event. Not to worry……. We had 16 people attend and looking for wildflowers was low on the list…. socializing and experiencing the outdoors was on their minds. We all forgot to wander out to the observatory and look at the stars later that evening as the bush TV (fire) captured everyone’s attention.

It was reasonably mild overnight ….no ice in the hand washing basin…. and breakfast was around the fire again…. jaffles, cups of hot tea and then trips down to the dam for the youngsters to catch some yabbies (and return to see another day) and a walk around the retreat to look for wildflowers and to chat. Most managed a walk around the labyrinths and although I’m not trained as a labyrinth facilitator, it was interesting to hear from each person who did the walk how they felt about the experience.

Most departed just before lunchtime as the clouds looked quite threatening and it was reassuring to find those who came by motorbike all made it home safely. One of the guests made a great video about his trip up there and back which I have been given permission to share.

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Achieving Your Goals

What sort of goal do you have in mind?

A great big one that seems a little audacious?

A smaller goal that will serve as a stepping stone to greater things not yet envisaged?

Achieving your goals, be they big, small or somewhere in between all have something in common. They are all about movement….action…… moving from one place (it may be from “Stuck”) to another place and if you are not sure about the way there it is easy to get lost or sidetracked.

How would you like to have a map of sorts? Sounds good to me!

Firstly, to achieve your goal you must be specific and the goal must resonate with you. For instance, I was given an example of how to be specific a few years back and it doesn’t really resonate with me.  I was told that “you don’t go into a bookshop and say you want to buy a book… you have to know the title.” Why didn’t that work for me? I love to go into bookshops and peruse the shelves. My goal is to find a book that will interest me. My bookshelves are already full of titles that have been suggested to me and remain for the most, largely unread… because they haven’t resonated with me.  The right book will literally jump off the shelf into my hands!

Back to being specific…. It’s about answering the following questions:

WHEN do you want to achieve your goal?  Set the date that you want to reach your goal.

WHAT exactly do you want? This one is really important especially for weight loss clients. How many kilograms?  What do you want to change? What do you need to add or subtract to your life to achieve this?

WHERE … state the location of your goal. If you are looking to change jobs or purchase a new house, where do you want to be located? If it’s about weight reduction … it is exercising at home or taking a gym membership?

HOW will you achieve your goal? What steps do you have put in place for you to make it happen?

WHO is on your team to help you achieve your goal?

and lastly WHY is this goal important to you? What are the benefits to YOU (no one else) by achieving this goal?

If this is a very large goal, break it down into smaller, more achievable steps and apply consistent action. What can you do daily, weekly, monthly to focus your attention on a productive outcome?

Review regularly and create a Plan B if you feel that any of your original steps are not working satisfactorily. With focus and a success mindset, you can expect to see positive outcomes as a result of your planning.