Change Direction


What do you want out of life? Are you on track or are you guessing the route? Don’t rely on a map or someone else’s direction to get you to where you want to go. Make you own enquirers, check the information and follow-up if necessary.

We are currently exploring Canada relying on maps and other people’s instructions.They are not always as clear as they seem. We have often thought we were on the right track, but after double and triple checking realised  we were not. We needed to change direction to reach our destination.

Don’t be afraid of change.  Make any changes necessary, to make sure  you are headed in the direction of your dreams.


How would you cope if you were unable to access social media on a daily basis. Your choice was taken away. It is an interesting experience, which forces you to re think your priorities.

For the last two years, my husband and I have spent a week living in regional China—a place where everyone lives under the same rules. Everything is controlled by the government. This means Facebook is blocked and Google appears more limited than usual. Suddenly I felt isolated even though I knew ahead of time that this was the situation. I wasn’t blogging at the time so do not know about access to WordPress.

My adjustment was quick and as I had no choice I decided to immerse myself in the quiet. No knowledge of the outside world for at least a week, maybe two. As we were travelling alone in parts of the world that few white people go, most Chinese speak limited if any English, and we were unable to understand Chinese TV our communication was limited. We only had each other. I loved the silence and started to realise the time media and social media wastes.

When we arrived at our international hotel in Ghangzhou, by accident my husband discovered that we had access to Facebook again. I was so excited that this become my status update. On Facebook in China, I can’t believe it. We suddenly were connected to our world again. It did feel like we were breaking rules and definitely changed our holiday. We could find out what was happening at home and could communicate with other people again. This was fun but I am glad we got to experience the forced silence—it taught me a lot.

Writing Lessons

Yesterday I attended the NSW Emerging Writers Festival. The first session of the day comprised of 5 Australian authors giving their writing tips—Tom Doig, Delia Falconer, Benjamin Law, Laura Jean McKay and Walter Mason.

This was favourite part of the day. It lead me to think about what I have learnt on my writing journey—from book to blogging.

1. Begin by writing. Don’t worry about order—get your ideas down. Form and order come in the editing process. The more you write, the quicker and more naturally, form and order come.

2. Use every spare moment to write. Half of my book was written in 10-30 minute sessions on my daily train commute. I continue this habit with my blogging.

3. Believe in yourself. Self doubt can and will question your ability. I heard it and kept going anyway. I let my audience decide if my writing was good enough. So far, feedback has been positive.

4. Find ways to talk about your work. Initially, I didn’t know how to bring my work up in conversation. So I focused on it. The more I talked about it, the easier it got. Yesterday, I joined a panel at the writers festival to discuss my work and my ideas. It was fun. Afterwards I was surprised and  excited by how natural it felt.

5. Prioritise your time. There will always be a reason not to write—too busy, too tired, somebody else needs something. Find a way to incorporate everything you want to do in a day. This is where writing in short sessions helps.

The secret is—find what works for you and keep doing it. If you really want to do something—you will find away.


Mindful Exercise

Good news — another hour has just been added to every 24-hour day (don’t ask us how. We have powers). How do you use those extra sixty minutes?

I fit most things I want to do into my 24 hour day. Being given the gift of an extra hour would allow me to have no more excuses for the two activities I run out of time to do—exercise and meditation.

While I walk daily as part of my commute to work, any other exercise program is very hit and miss. I would love to flex my muscles weekly in other ways. Options I would like to investigate include:

  • Aqua aerobics
  • Cycling in the open air
  • Resistance training
  • Swimming
  • Yoga
  • Zumba class

The other area I believe I would benefit greatly from is developing a daily meditation practice. I like walking meditation. My preference is to walk bare foot on grass or sand—connecting with nature. My reasons for this are:

  • Grounding me with the earth and its energy
  • Stimulate the reflexology points in my feet
  • Massage my feet improving circulation
  • Connecting with nature reduces my stress and quickly clears my mind
  • I love the feeling of sand or grass on under my feet—its a different healing sensation


016 - further along the beach still getting wet feet

Walking on the beach as a birthday treat

I believe a nice mixture of both of these activities will be a great way to spend my extra hour. They would be so beneficial to my health that I may need to reprioritise my current activities to include at least some of them each week. Both will give me more energy and creative awareness, which will be a blessing and worth the effort.

What do you need to reprioritise time for in your life? After all—this is the secret, I believe of getting an extra hour in our day. To make better use of the ones we currently have.

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


One Lovely Blogger Award—2



This week I was nominated a second time for the One Lovely Blog Award by I am thankful and I enjoy reading her blog as she is passionate about many things which this shows in her writing. Stop by its worth the visit. I have chosen to accept this award the second time, so I can pay it forward to other new bloggers.

The One Lovely Blog Award nominations are chosen by fellow bloggers for those newer or up-and-coming bloggers. The goal is to help give recognition and to also help the new blogger reach more viewers. It also recognizes blogs that are considered to be “lovely” by the fellow-blogger who chose them. This award acknowledges bloggers who share their story or thoughts in a beautiful manner to connect with their viewers and followers. In order to “accept” the award the nominated blogger must follow several guidelines.

The rules for accepting this award are:
1) Thank and link back to the person who nominated you for the award.
2) List the Rules and Display the One Lovely Blog Award logo to your post and/or blog.
3) Share 7 facts/or things about yourself.
4) Nominate around 15 other bloggers and let them know about the award
5) Follow the blogger who nominated you (if not already!)

Seven different facts about me:

1. I once set my tent on fire while camping.

2. I love cookies and cream ice-cream.

3. I am looking forward to going ice skating in Canada at the end of the year.

4. I have 2 sisters and a brother.

5. Elvis Presley died on my 15th birthday.

6. I don’t like either classical or heavy metal music.

7. Gone With the Wind is a favourite movie.

My nominations are:

Hay House Writers Workshop

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Upon entering the room you could feel it, the energy of 500 aspiring to be or already published authors, was palpable. Over the weekend I attended the Hay House Australia’s Writers Workshop. This year was the first time this workshop was held over two days in Australia and every minute was filled with inspiration.The shared passion for writing joined everyone together and made it easy to connect with people.

Meeting and hearing the stories of everyday names from Hay House, some via video link— Louise Hay, Doreen Virtue, Reid Tracey and Leon Nacson who facilitated the weekend, was an experience and very empowering. There were people present from all states and territories in Australia, as well as the United States, France, Italy, South Africa, Brazil, New Zealand, Canada and Sweden.

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Reid Tracey and Leon Nacson

The workshop’s practical approach to the good, the bad and the ugly of the publishing industry was refreshing and allowed us to realise it is up to us to ensure our goals are achieved. The following messages are my take away from the workshop:

1. Platform, platform, platform.

2. What message do you need to get out.

3. The book you write should change your life.

4. Write everyday—don’t wait until you are in the mood, snatch every 5 minutes you can to write.

5. Get a team around you to support your creativity.

6. Know your audience and give them what they want more of.

7. Connect with your tribe.

8. Just publishing your book doesn’t develop an audience—you are your own publicity officer.

9. If it is going to be, it is up to me—you are responsible for your own destiny. Don’t wait for somebody else to do it for you.

10. Remember your words could be the pivot that changes someones life.

11. Believe in yourself and your book.

12. The hardest part of publication is getting someone to read your book. I actually agree with this as I had the same problem when giving out my trial books for feedback.

13. Discover what is burning in your heart to write and change direction if necessary.

14. Write not to be misunderstood. This was part of my early learning when writing my book. When I counsel people I can tell if they are confused and  need more explaination however, with a book you don’t have this luxury so you must get it right the first time.

15. Write for your heart not your wallet.

16. Develop your own unique voice.

17. Everyone’s journey is different and there is no direct route to success.

18. You never know where your life will take your work—be prepared to change plans.

19. Own your work and go with it.

20. Be excited by the writing and publishing process—watch it change you as you grow on your journey.

21. You are your own brand. Use your own name to market yourself. Then if what you write changes over time,  your audience will go with you.

22. Join a mastermind group to help keep your focus on success.

23. Create mini deadlines for yourself.

24. The reason people are going to buy your book is because of you.

25. Self publishing your book still make you an expert in your field. They don’t need to be traditionally published.

26. Understand the need to commit to to your book.

27. Simplify your knowledge and talk about your book whenever possible.

28. Understand the gift of education and teaching.

29.Work with my vulnerability in the online arena compared to the security of my hospital job.

30. Have a strong purpose.

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Thanks Hay House for the weekend and my show bag.

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