• balancing_adversity

How to thrive, even in adversity

May 25th, 2016|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , |

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 is depressed for more than [...]

  • family_on_hands

Family culture: it’s in your hands

May 12th, 2016|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , |

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 is the perfect time to [...]

  • telephone_conversation

Difficult Conversations Made Easy…Easier

April 14th, 2016|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , |

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 arise helps avoid misunderstandings and [...]

  • gratitude_makes_it_enough

What Does Your Happy List Reveal About You?

March 31st, 2016|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , |

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 something simple...taking the dog for [...]

  • letter_and_rose

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

March 17th, 2016|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , |

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 we will ever do.” Our [...]

  • grow_up_to_be_a_woman

Will Our Girls Grow Up Wanting to Be Women?

March 1st, 2016|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , |

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 daughters and their daughters. The [...]

  • kitchen_rules

My First Kitchen Infringement Notice

February 16th, 2016|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , |

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 miracle the entire clan had [...]

  • typewriter_win_win

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

January 20th, 2016|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , |

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?” “I should have known better!” [...]

Two Words That Keep Couples Together

October 28th, 2015|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , |

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 were asked about how financial [...]

Feeling stuck? Give up these 5 habits and break free

September 30th, 2015|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , |

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 a desire for something different. [...]

5 things I learned at Boot Camp

September 2nd, 2015|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , |

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 the challenge, this is our [...]

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

August 19th, 2015|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , |

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 hours at work after school [...]

  • Linda Cliatt-Wayman

Four little words for peace of mind…

July 22nd, 2015|Categories: Blog, Communication & conflict, Unappreciated|Tags: , , |

I was inspired recently watching Linda Cliatt-Wayman’s Tedx Talk on schools and how as a principal she has transformed handfuls of low sociodemographic schools in America. Her motto is to “lead fearlessly and love hard”. What inspired me most was her saying “So what! Now what?”. When a child behaved badly and blamed it on their past or circumstances, she would say, “So what! Now what?”. When staff complained about the lack of resources or low interest from students or [...]

  • kaizen 4 steps

4 Steps To Continuous Improvement

July 17th, 2015|Categories: Blog, Communication & conflict|Tags: , , |

The Bare Hands team is having a two day ‘Kaizen’ this week. We called it a ‘Think Tank’ but when I came across the concept of Kaizen, a Japanese word that describes the practice of continuous improvement, I realised that this describes much more accurately what we’ve been up to! The Kaizen process involves 4 steps that are just as relevant to each of us as individuals and to our families, as they are to business. Step 1 - Plan [...]

  • Woman thinking

What’s wrong with me? Maybe nothing at all…

June 10th, 2015|Categories: Blog, Isolation, Unappreciated|Tags: , |

I don’t think I have the brain power to count the number of times someone has told me they’re anxious and asked, “What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I …?” . As I listen, invariably they’re beating themselves up, looking for all the reasons that they’re to blame, feeling ashamed, picking out their faults and assuming that they are deeply flawed. Followed by, “Help me to fix this please.” by which they mean, “Fix me, I’m broken.” I’d be anxious [...]

  • Stale bread

Is something a bit stale?

May 27th, 2015|Categories: Blog, Low mood|Tags: , |

Here’s a quick tip to freshen things up a little… While out on a ride today, doing the same 45km circuit around the Brisbane river that I’ve been doing for years, often 2 to 3 times a week, I thought I’d try a strategy to freshen up the ride and it worked! I rode faster today than I have in months and I enjoyed the ride more than I have in a long time. Is there anything in your life [...]