Keep Believing

What is the one thing at which you are the most afraid of failing?

In general I look at life through positive thoughts so I don’t think about failing.  I believe in myself and my ability to cope with what life throws my way. If something doesn’t work out the way I planned I look for the lesson for it, make a new plan and move forward. I believe focusing on failure and what I can’t do doesn’t help and fogs up my view of my reality.

This week many things that I couldn’t control came into my life and I was reminded of the above inspirational tweet. It would have been easy for me to focus on the negative aspects however, as challenging as this was, I continued to focus on the positive and believe everything would work out. I focused on what I could do.

To succeed at not letting what I couldn’t do interfere with what I needed to I acknowledged my fears, feelings and frustrations. These were the basis of the negative things that could happen and because I am a big picture person I made a small plan—just in case. That done with support from those around me I focused on the positive. I kept believing that everything would work out.

Now as I start a new week I am grateful that things are moving forward in the right direction and non of my fears transpired. In hindsight, I am happy my mindfulness and positive thinking worked out and should a similar situation happen again, I will again follow John Wooden’s advice.

If you find yourself  focusing on what you can’t do, take a moment believe in what you can do and see where it leads you.

Coffee Catch-up

If we were having coffee this afternoon I hope it is at this amazing coffee shop my work colleagues introduced me to yesterday while we were attending training. Alma Bar and Kitchen on Stanley St Darlinghurst coffee was so good that I returned on my home for a second cup. To my surprise and delight as my second cup was as good as the first. Next time I have a day out in Sydney I will take a little walk and visit my new favourite coffee shop again. Next time I might add a yummy cake to my cappuccino.

If we were having coffee I would tell you how I love Sydney in Spring. I love feeling of the sun on my skin for the first time after the layers of winter. The city comes to life by the colours of the flowers starting to bloom and the lifeguards beginning their patrols of our beaches again.

If we were having coffee I would tell you how much I enjoyed the free tickets my husband won to the movies last weekend. I will be doing a movie review in the upcoming weeks on the film we saw  Blinky Bill: the movie. It made me laugh and I carried on smiling all day.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I walked out of a restaurant recently because I was furious with the chef.  Apparently it is too hard to sprinkle mushrooms on only one-quarter of the pizza my husband and I wanted to share, so he refused to do it. I wouldn’t have minded if the mushrooms were part of a prepared sauce but I thought the other was ridiculous and left because I couldn’t support such a precious chef.

If we were having coffee I would tell you how much I have enjoyed returning to daily blogging through my participation in the latest Writing 101 course. I am meeting many new friends, gaining inspiration and visiting many new blogs.

If we were having coffee I would tell how excited I was this afternoon to achieve a year-long goal to de-clutter and remove several in and out trays that took over the bench space in our office for years. Everyone had used them as a dumping ground for odd bits of paper for years. Now I don’t recognise my desk and its awesome, it may have taken all day but it is worth it and I surethe empty space will create better feng-sui.

If we were having coffee I would ask you how your week has been. Let me know in the comments what you have been up to and if you would like us to have regular coffee catch-ups in the future.

Dear Motivation

Dear Motivation,

Sometimes I wonder why you appear to leave me when I need you most. It’s very frustrating. I have many plans I know I can achieve when we work together.

I really like you. You are powerful. Your very being brings positivity to my life. When you are with me and I use you as a foundation to achieve my goals and dreams, they come together. After all, Motivation, your name means

  • a strong reason to accomplish something
  • desire or willingness to do something
  • enthusiasm
  • incentive
  • reason or reasons for acting in a particular way

and without you I am a much lesser person.

Moving forward I promise to focus more on our relationship and pay you the attention you deserve. Together we can change my life however without you I struggle to do anything.

Thank you Motivation for your support

Yours in success



Let Go

“Getting over painful experiences is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward”     C.S.Lewis

Photo Credit: Google Images

When I was young I loved playing on the monkey bars. I stood on the side rungs, arms outstretched, one on the first top rung, the other on the second as I considered my next move. My heart pounded as I felt the anxiety. Was I was brave enough to let go.

Every time without failure I stood frozen feeling the pain. I knew what I had to do, take a deep breath, a leap of faith and away I went.

Getting over the painful experiences life throws our way is the same. We have to stand on the edge, take a deep breath, reach out and let go. The first time is the hardest, however the more we do it, the stronger we get and the easier moving forward is.

Do you have to let go of any pain at present to move forward? If so, I hope this powerful quote from C.S.Lewis can motivate you in you time of need.


Writing was not a skill that came naturally to me. However, the more I wrote the easier it became. And the more I loved it. When I began my book in 2009, my style was very formal. “It doesn’t sound like you and that’s what works” was the feedback I was given. I considered this statement briefly and knew it was correct. I had to find my voice. Editing my book helped me do this and I have carried this voice onto my blog.

For me, writing begins in my head. I think about the topic I want to write about and make a plan as I go about my daily business, which sparks an angle for me to come from. Then I take my plan and write my thoughts out by hand. To make this easier I always carry paper in my handbag in case inspiration strikes.

These days I mostly write at my desk. However, I can and have written anywhere and everywhere—3/4 of my book was written on the train during my daily commute. The big problem of writing everyday is lack of ideas. I am looking for inspiration and to make sure I am giving you my reader what you want I would like your ideas. Please take a moment to complete the attached poll–I thank you for your opinion.


What is home?

For many people it is where they live, however as this is regularly changing I believe the consistent factor is yourself. For me, home is a place of security and I am the only person who can be responsible for my security. I create my security in me, which is why I agree with the following quote on Twitter. Home is myself.

When I think about the factors that make home myself—I think of my personal values.



Mindful motivation


As home is myself when life gets tough I  take a few moments, recentre myself wherever I am around the world and recharge. I hold the power and can go home, wherever and whenever, I choose. It’s a powerful skill—going home for me doesn’t need to wait for my physical return to my residential address in Australia.

Things I’ve Learnt

Have you ever considered what you have learnt? The following list reflects my first thoughts after pondering this topic.

  •  I can do anything I want by breaking my goal down into small practical steps
  • Adequate sleep is essential for my mental health
  • Connecting with people brings me joy–in person and in the blogging community
  • Acknowledging my feelings takes away their power over me
  • I can do anything I really set my mind to by seeking the right help and guidance
  • Asking for help is not a sign of weakness but one of strength
  • My choices need to reflect my priorities to achieve my goals
  • Mindfulness colouring-in books are great for stress relief
  • We teach others how to treat us by how we treat ourselves
  • Colour lifts my mood
  • Positive thinking is powerful
  • When life is difficult I work out what I can practically do in the moment—the rest can wait till later
  • Drinking water makes my body work better
  • Spending ME time daily is important
  • Spending time visiting others blogs is an important part of the joy of blogging
  • If I just do things instead of procrastinating about them I save time
  • When one door closes a window with a better view usually opens
  • Getting back to nature grounds me
  • Get the facts then make decisions—don’t assume
  • If in doubt—Google

My Creation

All of my adult life I have had a creative side. Not arty, but creative. Initially it was my knitting. I can knit in the dark and even as a 9 year old my tension was so perfect the teacher didn’t believe that I had completed my project. She thought mum had done it for me—no chance ever.

During my training as a psychiatric nurse in the 80’s picture knitting was in fashion. So you would find me at the back of the room taking notes and knitting with 20 little balls of wool running down the aisle—to match the number of colour changes I had in my self-designed picture. Occasionally a teacher who didn’t like our class would not let me knit and you would find me asleep. Being creative and productive with my hands helped me concentrate. Something I only recently found out is actually based on fact.

neon fields jumper

Photo Credit: Google Images Example of 1980’s picture knitting

In my 30’s I learnt to cross-stitch and I enjoyed creating my own designs. The creation factor was similar to picture knitting except that you could do more intricate work. I designed and made many children’s name plaques for their doors when they were born. It puts a smile on my face today, when I would go into their homes in their teenage years and still see them in their rooms albeit now they are in a corner.

My creativity has changed hands again. Today my main creative outlet is my writing. It began in 2009 when I set my goal for that year as becoming a writer. As a result my most prized possession was born. My book. It has been 5 years in the making, although during this time I took twelve months off due to life circumstances. This turned out to be a good thing for my book, as my writing style changed and suddenly everything fell together.

It is now 12 months since I completed my first draft. My next step was to test it out. I had to give it to others to read. I had mixed feelings about this. What if they didn’t like it? Who am I anyway? I knew everyone was exited about my book and thought that I was the perfect person to write a book on how eating disorder recovery is possible as I had been working in the area for over 20 years. The answer was that I had to back myself—believe in my self. I knew my book was good, practical and factual. I needed to put it out there and see what happened. So with pride I handed it the first person. And the next. And the next. That wasn’t so bad. I even had people coming to me to be reviewers, as they wanted to know what I had to say. Now I was excited, when I saw how excited everyone else was. The feedback form my patients was the most important to me. I wanted to make sure I didn’t come across as confusing or offensive in any way. The good news was that they loved it and thought it was the most comprehensive book on eating disorder recovery that they had read. Yes—I had achieved my goal.

Getting the core right was one thing. Now I needed to ensure the minor detail—editing, order-flow were the best that they could be and that I had left nothing out. To some of my patients surprise, I did find 3 more topics to add. Now the next challenge. Getting it published. This has been a step learning curve. I sent out a chapter early to Allen and Unwin’s The Friday Pitch and heard nothing back. Initially, I felt rejected but in hindsight I understand why and it helped me take my book to the next level. At present, I am preparing my final pitches to get my book traditionally published. I now know a lot more about it, than when I first pitched to Allen and Unwin and if I have no success I realise it is the process, not a validation of my book. My plan B is to self publish next year. Either way my prized possession will transform itself from its current chunky manuscript form into a beautiful, lighter book form that can help people everywhere.


Making Changes

You wake up one morning and decide something in your life needs to change. You have been thinking about it for a while and suddenly you decide today is the day. How do you make the change?

Firstly, you need to know, what it is you need to change. Is it a big or small change? A small change may simply be a matter of substituting one thing for another e.g. having a glass of water instead of wine during the middle of the week. Other changes may have a bigger impact such as focusing on recovery and improving your mental health e.g. drug and alcohol rehabilitation or eating disorder recovery.

Whatever the reason you want to make the change, it is important to realise the benefits that you got from the behaviour / behaviours, you want to change. If it was a coping strategy, albeit an unhealthy one, you need to find a healthy option to substitute for it. There are no right and wrong answers here. Get support if necessary, do whatever you need to, to find alternative behaviours.

Break your change down to make it clear and easier to start. I like the What, When, Where, Why and How method. I find it makes planning simple and helps with accountability—I can easily see if I have completed the change. For example, using the initial change of wine into water, the plan is:

WHAT – Stop drinking wine mid week without a special occasion to celebrate

WHEN – Mondays through to Thursdays

WHERE – At home

WHY – It has become a habit and my body will function and sleep better without it

HOW – Drink sparkling mineral water instead using a splash of lemon or lime to make it                  special

If the areas you need to change are broad, break them down into smaller sections. Keep a list and prioritise which changes to make first. Focus on 1-2 areas at a time, as spreading your focus too thin means that you won’t change anything. It takes 3 weeks to change a habit, so practice each area for a month. This way you have the 3 weeks to change the habit and an extra week to maintain your behaviour change. Adding a few small changes together over a month—makes a significant difference to your life.

By constantly reviewing where you want to go and what is holding you back—you are able to keep your life moving forward in the direction you want it to go. Using these skills, when you get to a certain point and you find that life isn’t what you thought it would be—you can simply change direction by making a new plan.

Out Of My Comfort Zone

I don’t have any fears that paralyse me or cause me a large amount of anxiety that I cannot manage. However, networking is the activity that stresses me the most. It takes me out of my comfort zone. I have no problem talking to people—1:1, in small groups or even giving a speech to a large number of people. In fact, working with people is what I do for a living and I am confident at it.

When it comes to work social engagements, where networking comes into its own—this is where my confidence wanes. I am getting better however, as I realise that I am actually an introvert, not the extrovert I always thought I was. Being an introvert means that I recharge myself by quiet time not by mixing with others.

Becoming a published author hopefully next year, will require me to challenge this fear. As a result, I practice at every opportunity and I am definitely becoming more comfortable. The things I am doing to help improve my networking skills include:

  • Joining Toastmasters where I practice social chit chat with a mixture of different people and cultures
  • Designing my own one minute speech about myself, my book and my job
  • I seek out people who I feel a connection with, rather than attempting to work the room
  • Learn ways of remembering others names and details about them
  • Find ways to give myself down time after the event and know when to leave
  • Know the purpose of the event and set my own goals for attending
  • Work with my strengths and personal values
  • Be mindful of my surroundings and use my powers of observation to my advantage
  • Be interested in others and ask appropriate questions
  • Limit alcohol intake
  • Keep up with current affairs to make conversation easier

While I may never be the social butterfly who can work a room and have people eating out of their hand—I can and will learn to network. It is important to be able to sell yourself. I have found becoming a part of the blogging community has helped to force me to reach out to others and gain the rewards of getting to know others with similar interests. By continuing to test my skills, who knows where this journey will take me. Do you have any other ideas on ways to improve one’s networking ability. I would love to hear them. After-all,

                                             “If it is to be,

                                             It is up to me.”

                                                     William H. Johnsen