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What will you keep for 2016?

Holidays can bring many different experiences. I tend to use the Christmas one to restore my own balance and connect with what’s important again - the people I cherish, experiences that time doesn’t necessarily permit throughout the year and a chance to contemplate a focus for the year ahead. How do you use holidays? Would you like to share? One of my highlights over the last two weeks, apart from family time, was being in [...]

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Good Relationships are Key to a Happy, Healthy Year!

Have you wished family, friends and colleagues, “Happy New Year!” recently? I have. A new year causes us to reconsider what we’ve been doing and plan for how to do more of  what we like, usually more of what makes us happy. It can be a delicate balance...more of this, less of that. I was interested in a recent TEDx talk which revealed findings from the longest known study ever conducted into adult happiness. Conducted [...]

My embarrassing story…What’s yours?

It must be nearing the end of the year because my brain is dipping into crisis management mode rather than Zen-like calm. It seems my organisation skills are going haywire. How do I know this? Well, on Sunday I was in the marking zone, powering through end of year student assessments and I stopped for a lunch break. I was calmly making a cup of tea when panic descended. Oh no - I was meant [...]

What I Learned While Folding Socks

Do socks mount up like Everest in your laundry? Do they threaten to overflow even your largest laundry basket if you dare put off folding them for a whole week? Do you end up with lonely socks that have apparently repelled their mate...two socks on two feet both presumably taken off within seconds of each other, are separated by some strange twist of fate. Then, the day after you finally discard the loner, the missing [...]

5 tips for Surviving Christmas Stress

Are you counting down to the end of the year and a well-earned break? Christmas is that time of year when families come together, work slows down for a few days and it’s time to take stock of another year and rejuvenate for the year ahead. But, for many people, Christmas is not synonymous with ‘time to relax’. Instead, it’s often the cause of feeling overwhelmed, anxious and exhausted, so here are a handful of [...]

Lessons of Loss and Love

Spending time with people who are approaching the end of life is an experience I’ve come to value for the way it helps me put things in perspective. As a result, I’ve discovered that when I approach the week just one day at a time, as you do when circumstance prompts you to remember that each one is a gift, it becomes easier to discern the important  things of life from the not so important. [...]

What we CAN do…

In light of last week's horrific events in Paris and the global shock and trauma that have ensued, I would like to offer some strategies this week to focus on what we can do, rather than feelings of fear and helplessness, which threaten to prevail. This is a time, as a community, where pulling together and staying focused on a greater common goal is essential or we risk succumbing to anxiety, depression and learned helplessness. [...]

Who Mothers Mommy?

Researchers at Arizona State University published a study last week which I found interesting. It was titled, “Who mothers mommy? Factors that contribute to mothers’ well being,” I know, some of us are 'Mum' rather than 'Mom' but it’s still the same role and the outcomes are worth noting 🙂 The study involved interviewing 2000 well educated, upper middle-class mothers to find out what helped them cope with motherhood. According to the researchers this group [...]

The gift of motherhood – thank you my love

This Saturday will be a day of celebration, my son's 21st birthday and I’ve been reminiscing, reflecting on being a mum and spending half my life with this beautiful boy (man). These last 21 years have been mammoth, scary, incredibly joyful and rewarding, yet ever so stretchy. For the mums reading this, do you feel the same? One of the realisations I had while we were stringing up garden lights this week, getting ready for [...]

Two Words That Keep Couples Together

Couples who say “Thank You” have better marital outcomes. Just two little words with really BIG potential. According to Ted Futris, associate professor at the college of Family and Consumer Sciences and co-author of a recently published study*, “Feeling appreciated and believing that your spouse values you directly influences how you feel about your marriage, how committed you are to it, and your belief that it will last." The study involved 468 married individuals who [...]

How to become desirable and popular, guaranteed…

Recently I was the last keynote speaker of the day at the Samford Chamber of Commerce’s Big Day Out. It was an interesting day for me. I enjoy speaking. It feels comfortable to stand in front of an audience and chatter away for hours on end. This day the line up of speakers was excellent. John Moodie started the day and had the audience in stitches, told us of his arduous personal journey with ill-health [...]

A Lesson In Compassion

An elderly friend recently recounted to me what she called her ‘first lesson in compassion’, a story worth sharing. One day, when she was just seven years old, my friend pointed to a girl walking down the street outside her house and told her mother, “That girl, Irene, is in my class at school.” The girl was walking alone, her clothes outdated and her hair untidy. My friend’s mother looked down at her daughter and [...]

The science of connection – 2 powerful strategies

Last week I was standing at the bus stop. A massive storm had just passed over the city and it was still a little drizzly. Thanks to my mum, I have a handy-dandy, pocket-sized umbrella in my bag, which she gave to me for my first day of lecturing as a surprise, “Good luck, you go girl!” gift. That lovely act of unexpected kindness has had an ongoing ripple effect. While waiting for the bus, [...]

Feeling stuck? Give up these 5 habits and break free

Have you ever heard someone say, “I wish I could ________.” Maybe, like me, you’ve done it too. “I wish I could _________” You can fill in the blank with almost anything...have a holiday, lose 5 kg, have a date night, play an instrument, stop smoking, get fit, get the boss to notice my efforts, stop arguing with my teens, stop arguing with my parents... The potential list of  ‘wishes’ is endless. It starts with [...]

How to learn anything in 20hrs…

Nod your head quietly if you’ve ever started something then given up in frustration shortly after beginning. I have! Learning new computer software quickly makes me feel incompetent, overwhelmed and wanting to do other things, like cleaning the car or baking. I’m not sure if you’ve heard the dictum that, “It takes 10 000 to be an expert or master anything.” I have lived under this premise for many years and it is true (if [...]

Lost your cool? Don’t beat yourself up…get back on your bike!

When did you last lose your cool? I ask 'when', because I assume that you may be a little like me and ‘lose it’ from time to time. What happened? Like falling off a bike, it can happen suddenly and unexpectedly. Can you remember what the trigger was? Do you remember how you reacted or responded? Then what happened? Did you beat yourself up for days… “Why did I say that?” “What possessed me to [...]

Worried about someone who may be anxious or depressed?

A conversation could make all the difference… Tomorrow is national R U OK? day. This is a day to follow your instincts if you’ve noticed that someone you love or care about isn’t quite themselves. Perhaps their behaviour is different lately. Maybe they seem a bit overwhelmed or flat. This week, we encourage you to start a conversation with them. Take some time out and ask them, “Are you okay?”. You don’t need to be [...]

5 things I learned at Boot Camp

Just over 2 months ago Miss 22 asked me, “Mum, do you want to enroll in a boot camp with me?” My response? “Are you serious? I’m too old for that!” I couldn’t see myself pushing tyres around a park with someone cracking a whip behind me; the mental image I got as soon as I thought about what a boot camp would be like! Fast forward 8 weeks…I decided I’d take her up on [...]

New feature horror movie takes world by storm

Have you heard about the latest horror movie, which some critics are saying is the scariest movie ever made? Featuring iPhy, the deadly phone, with bings and rings that can crack even the sanest person in seconds. iPhy knows when someone is stretched to capacity and overwhelmed,  striking its victims senseless when least expected. This ruthless beast is waiting to pounce on the vulnerable whose sense of obligation leaves them prey to its unquenchable need [...]

Swap your ‘got’ for ‘get’ and feel better immediately

It happened in the car on the way home this evening. My daughter and I were talking about the day tomorrow, commenting that it would be particularly full. I have week four of a six week bootcamp which starts at 5.30 am, she has an orthodontist appointment at 7.15 followed by orchestra rehearsal before school at 7.30, I have a team meeting to attend at 9.00 followed by clinic appointments and then she has three [...]

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