A regular 'dose of calm' just for you!

  • Fijian_secret_to_happiness

The Fijian secret to happiness…

Bula… as they say in Fiji, where I’ve just spent a week on honeymoon, right up in the Yasawa Islands. It was bliss and not long enough, but I’m grateful. I was struck by something that has stayed with me. Fijian people are HAPPY!  Not just a few - all of them, all day long! When they introduced themselves and asked, “What do you do back home?” and I said I was a “Psychotherapist”, they [...]

  • balancing_adversity

How to thrive, even in adversity

Mel Gibson is quoted as saying, “I’ve learned that a bitter experience can make you better.” No doubt you have proved this too. It CAN make you better but it requires having adequate support, coping mechanisms and resources. A recent study reported on the critical role that mothers play in helping children thrive or flourish in adversity.* Adverse Childhood Experiences** (ACEs), situations like a family breakup, the death of a parent, living with someone who [...]

Relationships you can TRUST for life!

One of my lovely students shared this summary of Brene Brown’s, Anatomy of Trust, recently and I thought it was worth sharing and reflecting on for sustainable relationships. If we’re contemplating what sticks relationships together and what builds strong connections, one of the most pivotal elements is trust. Often when there’s a relationship issue, the underlying problem is a lack of trust, so how do we build it so that we have friendships you can [...]

  • family_on_hands

Family culture: it’s in your hands

Family... You can't live without them and, sometimes, it's jolly hard to live with them! Whatever the nature of our family and relationships, regularly taking a moment to reflect on what family means to us and the type of family culture we want to belong to, is really useful. If there's a prevailing mood of cooperation and respect within your crew, that's great! If you feel there's room for improvement, that's great too because now [...]

  • Wedding_cake_ruffle

A warning tale … ask for help before crisis point!

I apologise for this being a longer than normal blog but feel free to use it as an amusing short story to enjoy with a cuppa. I can laugh about it now. In my psychotically optimistic mode, a few months ago I decided to tackle making my wedding cake. I haven’t made a fruit cake before or iced a wedding cake, which will become very obvious as you read on. Step One - ask an [...]

  • thank_you_note

Take Time to say Thank You

Taxi driver, nutritionist, chief cook, 24/7 counsellor, cleaner of houses, first aider, dispenser of kisses (and bandaids!), laundress extraordinaire, proof reader, cheer leader, police woman, diplomatic adviser, financial adviser, career coach, keeper of dreams and secrets...all roles that go hand in hand with being a mother. I almost forgot to mention that she’s also the source of unconditional love and wisdom, but that goes without saying! Remind yourself that you're doing a great job As [...]

  • #thank_you_mum

Thank you mum

As you may have heard, on Friday 29th the Bare Hands crew will be down out River Quay, Southbank, between 11am and 1pm. We’ll be asking people to send a message to mum and say, “Thank you”. You’re welcome to join us and say hello. There will be giveaways, freebies and smiles aplenty and we’d love to meet you in person if we haven’t already. I thought it was timely to say my thank you [...]

  • telephone_conversation

Difficult Conversations Made Easy…Easier

You’ve probably discovered, like I have, that some conversations are hard to have. As a result they can be put off; sometimes forever. Usually, it’s the fear of hurting someone’s feelings or of feeling hurt by what they might say that stops us from taking action, but in the end that doesn’t yield the best result for anyone. When situations are left unresolved, angst builds and relationships suffer. Feeling confident to discuss things as they [...]

Patience… who would like more?

My hand is up high on this one! I feel like the girl sitting on the box, unable to open it because it’s not quite time yet. The last 3 months seem to be providing me with ample opportunity to find strategies for gathering patience. As I sit down to write to you I’m still waiting for results. Yesterday was particularly tough, having undergone another thyroid biopsy last week, in the hope of getting a [...]

  • gratitude_makes_it_enough

What Does Your Happy List Reveal About You?

At the beginning of last year, as a grade 9 survivor (no small feat!), Miss 15 decided that grade 10 was going to be a happy year. To her credit, she decided to record one thing on her calendar, at the end of each day, that made her happy. Simple enough. What started out as an idea became a personal challenge to see if she could stick to it. Most days her happy moment was [...]

  • Loving_relationships_one_question

One question that could help a relationship last a lifetime…

Easter is almost upon us and hopefully this means some R&R for you. With that in mind and contemplating what type of Easter would be worth having this year, I remembered a conversation with a student last week and wanted to share. My student is a gentleman in his early 70’s who has just retired, survived life-threatening illness and has commenced study for a new career in counselling. We were chatting and he shared he’d [...]

  • letter_and_rose

An open letter to my friend… ‘You are enough.’

To my friend, This comes today to say, “You’re special!” I want you to know how much I value and appreciate you for the wonderful woman that you are; a woman I proudly call ‘my friend’. I see you struggling at the moment and I’m reminded of some wise words written by Brene Brown in The Gifts of Imperfection. She said, “Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that [...]

  • Virtues_vs_wins

Who will you impress and how?

Following on from my last blog, my friend passed away last week and his funeral was on Saturday. Repeatedly people kept remembering how he had made them feel - accepted, loved and included. He lived a life of virtue and valued everyone that came into it and we were all warmed by it. How do you like to impress people? By wins or virtues… When I was in my early twenties I thought life was [...]

  • grow_up_to_be_a_woman

Will Our Girls Grow Up Wanting to Be Women?

As we lead up to International Women’s Day next week, we’ve nominated March to be our month to focus on inspirational women - some that we know and some whom we only know by reputation. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to contemplate what we can do now to improve the conditions of women in the future. As a mother, this is particularly close to my heart as I consider how life will unfold for our [...]

  • coping_with_grief_and_loss

Coping with grief and loss…

Is anyone else finding February an up and down month? I’m feeling more healthy and content than I have in a long time (thanks to more diligence with health and work-life balance strategies) and yet sad at the same time. On Friday night I found out that one of my friends has terminal stomach and lung cancer. It was a shock - sudden, completely unexpected and it’s aggressive. He went straight into palliative care. As [...]

  • kitchen_rules

My First Kitchen Infringement Notice

A few months ago I came across a sign which declared “Kitchen Rules” and I simply couldn’t resist. It was as if I’d written them myself, so I bought the sign and boldly posted it on the kitchen wall for all to see. Over the next few days I got a few comments from the crew, things like, “New kitchen rules? What’s this all about?” Fast forward to one Friday night recently. By some minor [...]

  • #patience

Trying hard to do things right…

Firstly, I’d like to say, "Thank you", for all your well wishes from my last blog. I’m still playing the waiting game due to a combination of events but in the meantime, I’m putting plans in place to regain optimum health and feeling quietly optimistic. The difference a word can make… Trying vs Allowing My acupuncturist and I were discussing the contrast between trying and allowing this week and how one leads to struggle, pushing [...]

  • retrospective_bucket_list

The Retrospective Bucket List – What’s On Yours?

I saw my friend’s eyebrows raise in amusement, perhaps even a hint of astonishment, when I told her, “I’m going surfing tomorrow.” Learning to surf was on THE LIST for Miss 16 and her birthday seemed like the perfect opportunity. In lieu of a birthday party and to honour her wish to make this year one of activity and adventure, the family decided to go along for the ‘ride’! So, there I was with the [...]

  • staying_calm

How to manage fear in those tough moments …

This week I’m playing the waiting game… waiting for biopsy results. It’s never fun when a doctor tells you they ‘need to do further tests’ and it’s in those moments of incredible vulnerability it’s easy to fall prey to fear and anxiety. If I’d been in this situation 10 years ago, my reactions over these last few weeks would have been to panic, start blaming all and sundry and feeling completely helpless. I’m grateful I [...]

  • typewriter_win_win

Feel Like Screaming? Try 4-Step Win-Win Formula

People can be so frustrating, at times. Colleagues, family members, friends and yes, yours truly! We’re all capable of doing or saying things that can cause angst or irritation; learning to negotiate conflict with tact and respect is one of the great challenges in life. If frustrations aren’t resolved early they sometimes escalate, resulting in an outburst of emotion that can be unpleasant, to say the least. Then comes guilt, “Why did I say that?” [...]

Get a regular dose of calm in your inbox!