Category Archives: lifestyle

Thinking Differently

Not everyone is traveling the same path… that would be quite boring, not to mention crowded. Quite some time ago I decided to take a different path to what was expected of me and I’m still traveling.

Let’s celebrate those who embrace thinking differently. Recently I came across an interesting topic on the Law of Diffusion of Innovation.

It was exciting to discover that just 2% of the population are likely to be innovators. These people are more likely to be risk takers and have a mindset that sees failure as a setback. 13% of the population are inclined to be early adopters of the innovations, and then we start to see the bell curve form with 34% on each side of the peak as an early majority/cynical majority with the remaining 16% suspicious about the innovations and the inventors.

Martin Luther King told us about what he believed and gave us the famous quote “I have a dream”….it wasn’t a plan worked out to the nth degree, but more of a vision.  Over 250,000 people turned up to listen to him on that day and those words still inspire many thousands more some 54 years later. Another example of a dream is the Wright brothers who were driven by their belief that they could fly way back in 1903.

I hold the belief that the therapies that I offer and teach are part of a much greater picture. Not everyone will share that same belief, and that I accept that. The mind body balance is something that is starting to be explored in more detail by the scientific community and I’m grateful for that.  Recently I revisited an old vision book from 2009 and was pleasantly surprised to read that my vision is still pretty much the same.

At the top of one page I had written  “Vision – Life of no regret….Not a dress rehearsal…. Make it the best it can be” and underneath was  “To create a retreat centre for therapists and teachers to recover from nervous/mental exhaustion.”
Certainly there are a few more steps to take in fulfilling that vision and the big one will be building a suitable place for people to stay, but I feel sure that with continued belief the universe will provide the means for this to happen.

It’s THAT time of year

It can be a challenge to maintain balance in your life at this time of yearbe kind, with parties, pressure to complete tasks before the end of the year and emotional responses sometimes muddled by over indulgences.

Take some time out to nurture and care for yourself and nourish both body and soul by choosing healthy foods and taking a long deep breath and letting go the difficulties that may have come your way. Whatever these may be, respond rather that react in ways that may hurt others. Being sensitive to your needs as well as letting go of self-criticism is one of the best gifts that you can give to yourself and others.

Listen and learn to trust your intuition…..there’s a benefit to it!

Creativity comes from trust. Trust your instincts

Rita Mae Brown

This time of year seems to magnify the challenges and difficulties  as the energy of the Solstice coincides with the religious festivals that start in early December.

This year Bodhi Day, celebrated by Buddhists, coincided with the Full Moon in Gemini.

Hanukkah begins on the 17th December and for the Pagans, Yule is celebrated with the Winter Solstice. In the Southern Hemisphere the opposite festival, Litha & the Summer Solstice is celebrated, which this year is at the same time as a New Moon.

Remembering as well the Christmas energy which builds up to Epiphany, on January 6th, celebrating the arrival of the Three Wise Men who brought gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. The first Full Moon of 2015 is on this day as well.

Whatever problems you may face during these next few weeks, change your mindset to see them as challenges and use the experience and learning from them as stepping-stones to a transformation.

Allow yourself to be vulnerable, as when the heart is open, spirit connects. Use the energy of this time of year to dream….acknowledge your dreams…. trust your instincts and follow your heart’s desire.

The care of your soul is one of the greatest gifts that you can give yourself and by enthusiastically cooperating with your inner being or soul, you will light a spark of creativity, perhaps magic or divine, to shine on  the road to fulfilling your goals.

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.

Australia Day working bee

The Friday before dawned cool and damp. Heavy rain in the metropolitan area and some forecast for the bush, but unless you are there, it’s difficult to know how much will actually fall.
We set off just before lunchtime, this time taking a packed lunch as we didn’t want to sample either the delights of fast food (ugh!!) or the local bakery in Heathcote. Traffic was a little heavier than expected for the time of day and it was bothersome to realize that we had left the keys to the shed and dome behind. Luckily we weren’t yet on the tollway, so we took the next exit and returned home to fetch the keys.
A couple of projects had been planned, so we had the ladder, some pavers and a water pump loaded.

First project to tackle was sorting out the gas bottle.

With a decided lean on it, the regulator had started to come away from its fastening on the wall.

The paver supporting it was not only a little too small but had subsided since the original installation.

A larger paver had been purchased and this one was going to be re-purposed for the next project.

The bullants generously donated some of their ant sand/gravel to seat the new, larger paver & in return got some food scraps later.

The next project was a little larger.

We had been generously gifted a tank stand by a friend, whose copper tank once graced it…..until some unfriendly passers by “liberated” it.
It was the perfect size to relocate the 500litre tank next to the cottage.
The tank had been installed with no room to add pipes to take the overflow away, so any excess water flowed directly onto the wall of the cottage and onto the ground.
A half brick held the downpipe in place at the top of the tank.

In order to move the tank, the water needed to be drained.
Rather than wasting it, some was pumped into clean 20litre drums and the remainder pumped into the main concrete tank.
The residual was tipped out and allowed the silt that had build up to clear from the bottom of the tank.

Gingerly, we rolled the tank away from its base……

The bottom of the tank was rounded from the weight of the water once the original wooden stand had rotted away.

Also resident was a large redback spider and a family of fat huntsman spiders lurking in the holes of the bricks……

The redback was dispatched to its maker and the huntsman spiders scuttled off to find other accommodation.

Gloves on, the rocks and bricks were carefully removed to reveal how badly rotted the timber supports were.

Lifted off with a shovel and put aside they will eventually form part of the environment or be used once the firebans are lifted as small kindle for the evening fire.

The tankstand was set in place and the pavers lined up.

A little work to level them all out, then the empty tank was lifted up onto it, and some work done to shorten the down pipe.

The overflow was placed away from the house and will have pipe plumbed in to divert the water away from the cottage.

The tap was located (to the right in this photo) so as to make it easier for hand washing and shelf will be added later.
A small retaining wall was built to divert the natural runoff away from the pavers and eventually garden drains will be added as part of the plans to have paved areas around the cottage.
 The leftover bricks were used to form a platform for the rubbish bin which is currently used to collect greywater from the kitchenette and also form part of a temporary splashback for any overflow if the tank fills.
Water from the 20litre containers was pumped back into the tank to provide weight, so that any strong winds don’t catch the tank and blow it away.

Another project that was underway on Saturday was the restoration of the futon mattress.
A distinct “parfum le chat”  assailed the nostrils on awakening and the mattress was removed out into the central area and washed with a mixture of laundry detergent and PineOClean.  A parting gift from the mad cat that lives downstairs……
Perhaps the cleanse and a couple of days of strong UV would restore it to almost new….

Sunday’s projects were a little less obvious, but still industrious.

With plenty of sunscreen on, the dirt and lichen was removed from half of the Observatory.
From a distance the lichen looks like holes and can’t be good for the fibreglass.
Two buckets – one of soapy water and alternating between the use of a scrubbing brush and a tea towel, the dirt was cleaned off.  The other bucket was for rinsing off the grime.
 It was easier at times to pick/peel the lichen off once it was moistened.  
Heat and flies got the better of us and we retired for lunch.

More projects are planned over the coming months, such as creating either a paved area around the cottage or constructing a verandah.

Sunday afternoon saw the temporary placement of “pegs” to mark out the proposed area.

This is something to contemplate for a while as drainage needs to be considered.

Later in the afternoon, an amble down to the front boundary fence to check out what needs to be mowed, slashed or fixed.
Apart from the gate posts, there are a number of posts that have rotted or been damaged by falling trees, so there is no possibility of having any animals on the property for agistment.
The local kangaroos have well worn pathways where the fallen branches have flattened the fences.
Again, another job to be put on hold for when we can safely use the chainsaw.