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t h e m a g a z i n e t o i n s p i r e , m o t i vat e & c h a l l e n g e y o u t o i m p r o v e y o u r l i f e




set your goals & coach yourself to success


OCT / NOV 2008

$7.95 (incl GST)

What’s Your love Language

‘ I healed myself

Discover your healer within



Power Up Your Voice


at work




Passion & persistence pays off

f o s e v i l the n e m o w n a i l a r t s u a

! d e l a e v Re Take charge

How to be Happy, confident & in control


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EVERY WOMAN WEARS IT HER WAY sensuousis.com.au

14 It’s a Wonderful World

The gorgeous Natalie Gruzlewski is living life to the fullest. We get an insight into her world, both on and off-screen, to find a gutsy, down-to-earth woman who has pursued her television career with passion, persistence and a whole lot of gratitude.

20 Let’s Talk About Sex

“The most important sexual organ is your voice!” So says the author of a new book revealing the detailed sex lives of Australian women. Get under the covers and read what women are really thinking (and doing) when it comes to taboo topics, such as porn, infidelity and same-sex encounters.


40 Making a Difference

Surviving the 2004 tsunami changed the life of Trisha Broadbridge in more ways than one. The 2006 Young Australian of the Year shares how, even through the toughest times one should endure, she’s turned her life around and helped improve the lives of others in the process.

82 40

8 Editor’s Letter 10 Your Say 11 Meet the Experts 12 Acts of Kindness 26 Try Something New 50 In The Know: Great Reads 52 In The Know: Be Empowered 82 Change Your Life in 15 Minutes...

With our FREE Coaching Toolkit, you can become your own life coach and start creating the life you really want. Make the most of the toolkit with our five-page guide to setting your goals and achieving them.

3 ‘In Life, Your Get What You Focus On’ 4 The Power of the Subconscious

Understanding the subconscious to connect emotionally with your goals.


6 Ask a Coach

Our experts answer your coaching questions.

9 Coach Yourself Goal-Setting Tool

Start your best life today with our 7-step guide to effective goal setting.

14 Winning Pairs: The Last Laugh

How one woman used a life coach to help find herself again, while her coach discovered the power of laughter.

October/November 2008


27 Words of Wisdom

How simple quotes can improve your everyday life

28 The Freedom of Acceptance Why letting go of judgement can increase your happiness

30 Responsibility: A Brave New Attitude Take ownership of your life – be happy, confident and in control

32 Colour Confident

Harmonise your own tones and highlights with colours that make you shine

34 Connect With Your Inner Child Free yourself! Acknowledge the child within

36 Lifting the Veil

Reema Hamadan welcomes us into her peaceful muslim faith

38 Discover... Rebirthing Release your emotions and connect with your inner ‘self ’

43 Friendly Competition


How the realities of female rivalry can actually be a good thing


44 Finding Common Ground Coming together when family values collide

46 What’s Your Love Language?

Discover what makes you and your partner feel the most loved

48 Goodwill for Great Sex

Dr Rosie King shows how a little compassion can lead to sexual satisfaction

53 The BMI – Myth or Measure?


Measuring your health goes beyond the body mass index

54 Spotlight On: Kinesiology We let our muscles do the talking with kinesiology

56 The Healer Within

Change your mindset to discover your body’s own ability to heal

59 Skin Deep Why have a skincare regime?

62 What’s in a Serve? Susie Burrell takes the guesswork out of the recommended ‘serving size’

64 Beautiful at the Top We meet the marketing guru driving the Dove Real Beauty campaign

67 Guilt Factor: Zero

Accept your decisions and say goodbye to guilt

68 Speak Up to Succeed Career coach Kate James offers a 6-step guide to effective communication at work

70 Cuture in Check

How to foster the right culture to move your business ahead


72 Investing in the Future Margaret Lomas explains how to make the most of challenging times

76 Raise Your Energy to Grow Wealth


Nourish yourself to enjoy financial abundance

78 A Life Less Ordinary

Property developer Carly Crutchfield shares how she beat the odds to become a multi-millionaire and budding philanthropist



Editor’s Note W

emPOWER on display: A sample of the many captivating in-store displays created by newsagents.

ow, what an amazing few months it’s been! emPOWER now sits proudly on the shelves of newsagents and bookstores across Australia, and, of course, in the mailboxes of our valued subscribers. Firstly, on behalf of the whole emPOWER team, I’d like to thank everyone who has supported us in the successful launch of this wonderful magazine for women. The week of our launch in late July was an exciting one. For me, it was also one of relief mixed with pride and joy at what our team have achieved, and will continue to deliver every two months. Like any new position, starting with a new team in a new business was always going to be challenging. But, with the right attitude, most hurdles we encountered became mere stepping-stones to success. That was until a boulder in the shape of an office burglary presented itself just a week before our print deadline. All of our computers were stolen and, at the time, the feeling of shock and loss was indescribable. We were being challenged to empower ourselves early on. Thankfully, our team lives and breaths the messages delivered in our own magazine, so it was time to set an example. Personally, I was determined not to give up. We would deliver on our promise to put emPOWER on the market; we would be rewarded for the months of hard work and preparation; and we would realise that, no matter what, we can overcome and achieve anything. Looking back, it’s a coincidence that I actually drew on some lessons I’d already learnt from articles we’d prepared for this issue of the magazine. A key message our director, Helen Rosing, delivers in her article on taking responsibility (page 30) is around how we can’t change other people, but we can take responsibility for how we personally act and react to things. The outcome I wanted was going to be hugely affected by how I reacted to the robbery so, with sheer determination, and a shared positive reaction by the whole team, we got emPOWER to print on time. What was also reinforced is the crucial need for a strong and positive workplace culture. I will always refer to our amazing team because this magazine is the result of many, not just one or two, so it has been important for us to create a culture in the emPOWER office that is supportive, positive and passionate. Without these shared values, we could have easily fallen apart having faced such a crisis. As our business article on page 70 explains, this culture needs to be driven by management, so I knew that my reaction to the robbery was also going to affect the vibe in

our office. I could choose to curl up in a ball, kick, scream and give up, or get stuck in, stay positive, committed and solution-focused. Again, we all pulled together, stayed determined and got the job done. It was a great feeling. This issue is jam-packed with plenty more practical and motivating articles to help you improve each area of life. Be inspired by our amazing success profiles of tsunami survivor and Young Australian of the Year Trisha Broadbridge and young property development guru Carly Crutchfield. And, we go behind the camera lens to offer an insight into the world of the humble and radiant Natalie Gruzlewski. Our special feature uncovering the sex lives of Australian women is revealing, to say the least, and it’s refreshing to hear women opening up about this, often, taboo topic. I hope you were all able to make use of our coaching toolkit by setting some goals and actions to achieve them. If you’re new to the magazine, the toolkit will accompany every issue, so why not start setting some goals for the next couple of months. Finally, I’d like to acknowledge the amazing achievements of all our Olympians who are, at the time of writing, on their way home from Beijing. Not least of which the inspiring athletes – some of whom were medal winners – we profiled in our launch issue. Congratulations to all, and best of luck to all our paralympians who are about to embark on their competition as we go to print. Every day we are hearing stories about how emPOWER is already motivating women to improve their life, and we want to do more. Please keep your feedback and input coming as we want to continually make this magazine the best it can be, for you! Feel free to write to me directly at rebecca@empoweronline.com.au Remember, life’s what you make it!

Rebecca Spicer Managing Editor

Your Say

We loved your feedback on the launch issue of emPOWER. Let us know what you think about this one! I’d just like to say congratulations on a fabulous magazine. Thank you for running an article on able and non-able female Olympians. My daughter is five years old and has Spinal Muscular Atrophy – she will never be able to swim or run, but is loving life in her powered wheelchair. Because of your article (we read it together with her twin sister), she has now decided she too wants to swim in the Olympics. Thank you for inspiring such a young mind and highlighting paralympians. Terri Lockyer, via email

I’d just like to say a huge thank you on behalf of all women for finally publishing a magazine that will certainly help and coach women during any stage of their lifetime. Whether it be in the area of self-esteem, career, health, finance or relationships, I feel you have covered just about every area that we look for motivation and assistance in. After I read my copy of emPOWER I passed it onto my fellow female work colleagues to assist in inspiring them to bigger and better things. I will truly continue to read emPOWER from now onwards. Peta Lang, NSW

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! You are just what I have been looking for – the right balance of information and education that a woman in the workforce needs. There are too many pages to mention where I either attacked it with a highlighter or wrote down some points on my own ‘to do’ list. It’s the perfect time of year – right when I am finalising my own personal development plan. I’ve re-read several sections and each time have been excited to face another day full of challenges in my own attempt to be the best I can be. Amanda Thompson, VIC

Wow! I am inspired. I found the launch issue of emPOWER yesterday and keep going back to it. I’ve already checked suggested websites, talked to friends about the magazine and noted acts of kindness. Congratulations to Helen and all the team for their inspiration and, in particular, for sharing it with other like-minded women. Penny Paxman, via email

WINNING LETTER Congratulations on the first issue of emPOWER! While browsing the newsagent shelves on the weekend I was thrilled to come across your magazine. I could hardly wipe the smile off my face as I read through the cover titles and started flicking through the articles. Finally here was a magazine about real issues that women think, about and some down-to-earth pragmatic ways to guide us into becoming the awesome women that we all aspire to be, and all can be. I found it inspirational to read about the success of other career and businesswomen (‘Inner Vision’ and ‘Dressed for Success’). I also offer praise for the Coaching Toolkit. I sat down with this last night and was a little overawed at how hard it was to articulate what my goals were. Actually, it was a little sad to realise how the first several I came up with were all in relation to my family (husband and two young children) rather than what I want to Be, Do, Have. Nevertheless, I stuck at it and now feel an incredible sense of direction for the first time in a long time. Lisa Furness, via email

Win AN AVON PAMPER PACK WORTH ALMOST $150! The winner’s goodie pack includes Avon’s Anew Clinical Thermafirm Face Lifting Cream ($59.99), Anew Clinical Eye Lift ($49.99) and the Anew Clinical Micro-Exfoliant ($39.99). Total Prize Value: $149.97. For more information, or to contact an Avon representative call 1800 646 000.


empower Magazine, Suite 6, Level 5, 15 Orion Road, Lane Cove NSW 2066, or fax to (02) 9428 3199 Contributors

Managing Director Helen Rosing

Managing Editor Rebecca Spicer

Graphic Designer Jeanne Wu October/November 2008

Tarryn Brien, Susie Burrell, Emily Chantiri, Carolin Dahlman, Tami Dower, Scott Groves, Danette Hibberd, Kate James, Mary King, Dr Rosie King, Margaret Lomas, Karen Morath, Dana Mrkich, Rachel Oakes-Ash, Chris Rewell, Helen Rosing, James Short, Tammy Warner-Wilson

Sub Editor Jo Hegerty


Courtesy Channel 9

Production & Subscriptions Tammy Warner-Wilson admin@empoweronline.com.au

or email admin@empoweronline.com.au

ADVERTISING Sales Manager Losaline Kolomalu, (02) 9424 3929 losaline@empoweronline.com.au

Published by Empower Publishing ABN: 66 127 020 115

Suite 5.06, 15 Orion Rd Lane Cove NSW 2066 P: (02) 9424 3999 F: (02) 9428 3199 E: admin@empoweronline.com.au

Printed by Webstar Print Distributed by NDD 10

Advertisers and contributors to emPOWER Magazine acknowledge they are aware of the provisions of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 and the Trade Practices Act 1974 in relation to false and misleading advertising or statements under other unfair practices and the penalties for breach of provisions of those Acts. The publisher accepts no responsibility for such breaches. Opinions expressed by contributors are their own and not necessarily endorsed by emPOWER Magazine or the publishers. All material in emPOWER magazine is copyright and may not be produced in whole or in part without express permission of the publishers. ISSN 1835-8705

Special thanks to all our expert contributors Tarryn Brien, owner of The Happiness Institute’s eastern suburbs practice in Sydney, holds both psychology and commerce degrees. With many years spent in the corporate sector, she has implemented change management programs, developed and delivered training sessions and departmental strategies. Tarryn facilitates the Institute’s ‘Happiness – strategies for a great life’ course and offers executive and individual life coaching, group and corporate workshops. Susie Burrell is one of Australia’s leading dietitians with training in both nutritional science and psychology. Susie balances her clinical work in weight management with consulting to key food industry groups, and writing for both print and electronic media. Susie is based in Sydney but loves to escape the rush of the city to run around Wollongong’s beautiful beaches, spend time with her beloved burmese cats and reads anything she can get her hands on.

Dr Rosie King worked in general practice for 12 years before specialising in sex and relationship therapy. She is an author, academic, educator and researcher with over 25 years of clinical experience. Rosie lectures and facilitates workshops within Australia and internationally for medical professionals, corporations and the public. She is the author of the bestselling book Good Loving, Great Sex. 2006 Telstra NSW Business Woman of the Year, Margaret Lomas is the best-selling author of six property investment books, the founder of Destiny Financial Solutions, and chair of the Property Investment Professionals of Australia. Margaret is a qualified financial and investment property advisor, and a senior associate with FINSIA. She and her husband own 35 investment properties.

Carolin Dahlman is a love coach and author. Her book Find Love is a bestseller in Scandinavia and will be out in Australia and New Zealand in October. Through her blogs, workshops and coaching business, Carolin has helped thousands of people achieve a happy relationship, better self-esteem and a positive attitude towards life.

Karen Morath is the author of motivational book Palm Trees and Margaritas and principal of public relations and motivational firm M Power. She is a speaker, seminar leader and writer on ‘all things empowering’, small business, public relations and ‘living a big life’. Karen has a Master’s in Communication.

Dana Mrkich is a spiritual intuitive, author of A New Chapter, host of internet talk radio show Visioning the Dream Awake and an inspirational writer, speaker and teacher. She offers in-person, phone and email soul sessions to clients worldwide, and holds a BA in Communications (Social Inquiry/Media) with qualifications in several healing modalities.

Scott Groves is an internationally respected author of six books, including The Power of Subconscious Goal Setting. Regarded as one of Australia’s leading authorities on the subconscious mind, he is a speaker, trainer and business growth expert on subconscious selling and marketing strategies. Scott’s core business, Immortal Entrepreneurs, teaches individuals and companies ‘how to leave behind a legacy by turning your passion into profit’. Danette Hibberd is an international author, speaker, NLP master practitioner, trainer, and a personal development professional. She is the author of How to Find the Goddess In You and facilitates the Women Connect events across Australia to motivate, educate and support women. Her passion is to inspire women to awaken, manifest and achieve the life they desire; the life they deserve.

Chris Rewell is a leading image professional, respected authority and industry trainer, speaker, author and mentor. She is celebrating 25 years in the business and has just published the second edition of her book What Colour Am I? Through one-on-one and group programs, including colour, personal style, wardrobing, make-up and shopping, Chris shows her clients how to take their look, personal skills and confidence to new and exciting levels. The visionary behind emPOWER magazine, Helen Rosing is a dynamic businesswoman with a passion to help others reach their potential. A trained success coach with a double degree in financial administration and law, she has extensive experience in business, coaching and training. Helen is the founder and managing director of boutique publishing house, emPOWER Publishing.

Kate James is the principal of Total Balance Group, a boutique coaching organisation where the focus is on connecting balance and business. Kate helps her clients to find careers that they love, and the confidence to create fulfillment in all areas of life.

Millionaire Mary King is an international author and speaker, pharmacist, wealth coach, psychotherapist and financial freedom mentor. She is passionate about empowering women and showing individuals how to become healthy, wealthy and financially free through her workshops – Rich is Better, Wealth for Women – and her books, The Intuitive Voice and The Patriarchal Voice, and her co-authored book, The Path To Success.


Armed with a degree in human movement studies and trained in neuro-linguistic programming, James Short has been assisting people with their health and fitness for over 15 years. As a leader in the industry, he is a board member of Fitness NSW, is the 2008 Fitness Australia Fitness Professional of the Year, and is currently appearing as the personal trainer for Channel 7’s Make Me a Supermodel.


o cts A Kindness f

We can change the world, one act at a time – a little kindness is all it takes.


t’s quite possible you have changed someone’s day without even knowing it. Perhaps you gave a welcoming smile when they were feeling left out, delivered a compliment, opened a door, offered up your seat on the bus or were generally helpful and pleasant when it was most needed. You can probably also think of moments when someone changed your day in a similar way. What happened in each of those moments is called an Act of Kindness – a small action that can make a big difference.

Here’s how some of our readers are getting in on the act. Why not share yours with us – you could even win some beautiful Emma Page jewellery

our favourite

I live in a country town in Northern NSW and one cold, rainy day I saw an elderly lady in front of a shop carrying four heavy shopping bags. Given I was on my way home, I asked her if she needed a lift. She thanked me and told me she would be okay walking home under her umbrella. I offered again, but she smiled and said that she would be fine. As she started to walk away from the main street, I went across to the nearby taxi rank and asked the taxi driver how much it might cost for him to give her a lift home. I paid him the fare and he drove down the road to pick her up. I felt so good inside. To my surprise, a few weeks later our local paper published a letter from the lady in the ‘Letters to the Editor’ section, saying thank you to the young lady who paid her taxi fare so she didn’t have to walk home in the rain. She commented about how nice it was to feel that people still cared about others.

Earlier this year I was shopping at one of Brisbane’s biggest shopping centres. When I headed back to my car to leave, I found a lady’s handbag in the car park. I returned to the shopping centre and asked them to page the lady, but they couldn’t because the announcing speakers were broken. I decided to hand it in to the local Police and as I started telling the officer about the situation their phone rang – it was the lady calling to report she had lost her handbag. She was incredibly grateful that someone honest had picked it up and offered me a cash reward for my trouble, but I refused her offer – it was just something I wanted to do out of kindness. — Nikki, Brisbane

— Danni, via email

October/November 2008



After a busy afternoon shift at work, I ran to the station so I could catch a train to meet my other half and get a lift home. Arriving at the ticket machine I discovered I only had a $50 note or $13 in coins. The fare was $14.50 and the machine wouldn’t give more than $19.90 change. Trying to work out what to do, I moved away to let other people get their tickets and asked a young couple if they had change for $50. When they said no, the young woman asked why I needed change. I explained my situation and, without hesitation, she handed me the $1.50 I needed to make the fare. I couldn’t believe the generosity this young woman showed to a perfect stranger, so I thanked her very much for her kindness. It was only $1.50, but my night became so much simpler because of her help. — Jana, Sydney

I’m a Canadian living in Australia on a working holiday visa and recently started a new job in Sydney. I was lucky enough to find temporary accommodation in a house at Bondi Beach but, unfortunately, the only warmth in the house is generated by a small heater in the living room. One afternoon at work, I casually mentioned the chill in my bedroom to my new boss. Within a couple of days, he very thoughtfully brought in two spare heaters from his own home for me to use. Noting that I normally take the bus to work, he then drove me home so I wouldn’t have to haul the borrowed heaters on my daily commute. I couldn’t thank him enough for his kindness – he turned my unimportant comment about the weather into a wonderful favour for a traveller. Thank you for showing a Canadian some truly wonderful Australian hospitality! — Jen, Bondi Beach

“We must become the change we want to see in the world” —Mahatma Ghandi

My husband and I recently took our two young children to the Gold Coast for a holiday and, whilst there, we visited the theme parks. In all the excitement of running after his sister from one ride to another, my four-year-old fell over and scraped his knee. He was bleeding and quite upset. While I was cleaning up his knee and trying to console him for the fact that he would no longer be able to keep up with his sister, a young teenage boy walked up to us and handed my son an ice-cream. It was one of the most amazing things I have experienced to see this rough-looking young man with pants around his hips handing my four-year-old an ice-cream to make him feel better. What a wonderful reminder to not judge a person by their age or appearance. — Catherine, via email

My brother and his wife were pregnant with their second child. She is from Canada and has no family here. They live four hours from me and eight hours from my parents. My sister-in-law was anxious as the second pregnancy was unexpected and their son was only 15 months old and becoming very active. When their daughter was born my sister-in-law cried for days – not because she was unhappy about her little girl, but because she didn’t think she would be able to cope with two babies. As it turned out the baby girl had dislocated hips and needed to wear a brace for several weeks, while my nephew was teething and had a nasty virus! This just added to her anxiety. I decided to take three weeks unpaid leave from work, left my husband with meals in the freezer, and set off to become nanny to my 15-month-old nephew. I am now the closest I have ever been with my brother and sister-in-law. As we discussed lots of different tactics over many cups of tea, she discovered that she could cope on her own. She learnt so much about herself and we about each other. I learnt so much about being a mother and how challenging, rewarding, exhilarating and frustrating it can be. I always had great respect and admiration for my mother and mothers all over the world. After that experience it has become even more eminent to me that women truly are the most brilliant, amazing beings ever created! Whether they go to work in an office or stay at home they are all working women. I am no longer scared that I can’t be a businesswoman and be a mum, too. We really can have it all! — Danielle, via email

As a single mum with no family in the area, pressures of work and parenthood can sometimes build from ‘challenging’ to ‘overwhelming’. On one such day a girlfriend from work, Gail, took my daughter for the day to give me the break I needed to regroup and rediscover my sense of humour. Gail took my daughter to the park and out for lunch and her support at this time was appreciated more than I can express! — Jen, via email


Get in on the Act

The reader to send in our favourite and most inspiring act of kindness will win two jewellery sets from Emma Page, valued at a total of $214. Each set contains a Posy necklace and earrings in brown/gold (pictured) and ivory/silver; a Merry cuff in antique gold (pictured) and antique silver; and Rhythmic bangles in brown/ brass (pictured) and shell/silver. To share your acts of kindness log onto our website at www.empoweronline.com.au or email admin@empoweronline.com.au



It’s a

onderful orld

Globetrotting the world for her day job, Natalie Gruzlewski may be the envy of many aspiring women but, as Rebecca Spicer finds out, this down-to-earth, gutsy gal doesn’t take anything for granted.


s another season of The Farmer Wants a Wife comes to a close, it’s no surprise I track down Natalie Gruzlewski mid-travels while shooting for Getaway in New Zealand. Luckily, she’s no stranger to talking long distance so we settle in for a good yarn about her life on- and off-screen. Despite adorning our television screens for some years Natalie has remained mostly under the radar, so I’m keen to find out who’s behind the brunette beauty we see on camera. It’s a pleasure to find I instantly feel at ease talking with her. Nat is real, open and honest, and in no time it feels like we’re old mates catching up. At 31, she is humble in realising her public profile so when asked how she’s gotten to where she is today, she credits “luck, persistence and opportunities combined”. Spending much of her childhood travelling the Australian outback, Nat has been everywhere from Cape York to Kakadu and beyond. “My father was a keen

October/November 2008

adventurer and still is, so I was really lucky and I think that’s where my love and passion for travel stems from,” she says. Nat did much of her schooling via correspondence until she reached high school and her family settled on the Gold Coast. With a desire to embark on a career in media, she studied journalism at university. Knowing the industry would be a tough one to crack, she realised that to ‘make it’, it would take a lot more than a degree. “Early on I knew I would need to put my hand up for work experience, which I did nearly every weekend,” she recalls. “My dad and I compiled a show reel of all the TV and theatre stints I’d done with him, and I sent it to every TV station possible. I was determined to succeed and I really had nothing to lose.” I am awed by Nat’s passion and can relate to what she was feeling. Having also studied journalism, I would constantly call newspapers, magazines and TV programs just to score a week here and there in the newsroom. Doing


whatever it took, Nat put herself out there and went above and beyond, which is daunting, time consuming and hard a hard slog at times. Persistence did pay off for her when she was given the opportunity to do work experience at Prime TV in Wollongong. “I then started filing reports for their local sports show, which was my first professional stint in front of a camera.” Experience at the local Gold Coast TV station followed until, at 23, Nat was offered a role as the local weather presenter for Nine Gold Coast News. “That was an invaluable opportunity. Live TV every night was daunting and challenging. It was a very good learning curve,” she recalls. Not one to rest on her laurels, Nat also started filing reports for a south-east Queensland lifestyle program, Saturday Extra. “I was behind the scenes, writing and compiling everything which I really enjoyed. I then started hosting the show while still doing the weather so it kept me pretty busy.”

Photos courtesy Channel Nine

Her next window of opportunity came with the fitting title of ‘Lady Luck’ on Channel Nine’s The Footy Show. Nat was well acquainted with the world of rugby league – not only had she always followed the game, she’d been the ground announcer for the Brisbane Broncos’ home games for a number of years. She credits this role as one of the biggest turning points in her career. “It opened many doors for me because it gave me a national audience. Not only was the experience fun, working with seasoned professionals allowed me to witness, first hand, the energy and excitement of recording in front of a live audience. I was hooked. “At the same time, I was still reading the local news, so I was dabbling in everything – lifestyle, news and sport.” It was this national exposure that caught the attention of the Getaway producers in 2005 and Nat was initially asked to fill in for one of the presenters going on maternity leave.



“There was a window of opportunity there and I was asked to file a few local stories for the show. From there, the role expanded and now, four years on, I’m very fortunate to still be globetrotting and enjoying every second of it.” In the cut-throat world of television, retaining such a role is no mean feat. While luck and opportunity have come her way, Nat has worked hard to get to where she is. In order to stand out from any career competition, there’s no doubt having the right look is important, but Nat describes herself as the “girl-next-door”, someone who’s likeable

are the same and the opportunities I have to travel the world and get paid for it, and share my experiences with everyone, is an absolute privilege. I still pinch myself. It’s the ultimate. I’m now married and I will slow down eventually.” She admits, though, there are some downsides to the job. While she’s not complaining, it does take a certain passion to be able to live out of a suitcase and sleep in hotel beds for more then 30 weeks of the year. I’m surprised to hear that some people even question if Nat has a ‘real’ job. “It is a legitimate job, I can assure you,” she stresses. “Every aspect of this job requires a lot of patience.” Whether it’s dealing with

been lucky to be brought up with cameras around while growing up with her dad filming documentaries and short films, so her ease in front of the camera is quite natural. Many of us feel cautious about wearing swimmers at the local beach, let alone having it all out there for everyone to see on national television. But Nat accepts this is all part of the job, shrugging off the fact she’s required to be filmed at some of her most bare and vulnerable moments. “You have the opportunity to swim with whales, or you’re helibiking or bungy jumping or rally driving… there’s just so many different situations and scenarios that you’re confronted with daily, so you lose your inhibitions quite quickly – you

“I think it’s the luck, timing, persistence and a good attitude that have held me in good stead for my job”

Living the Dream

While we only chatted for an hour, I have an overwhelming sense that Nat is truly living her best life. She’s got a dream job, married her long time partner last year, just became a first-time aunty, is surrounded by beautiful family and friends and enjoys the good life on the Gold Coast (when she’s in the country). She knows all this and yet she’s humble and gracious in admitting it saying, “I’m just so fortunate and don’t take anything for granted”. “I’m told on a daily basis that I have the dream job and I don’t argue. No two days

October/November 2008


have to. Anyone would jump at the chance be given these opportunities.” Admitting she’s always been a go-getter and loves a challenge, Nat’s role on Getaway has seen her pushed to her limits. It sends shivers down my spine as she starts to recall an “interesting” time when she went shark diving in Tonga. “They were only reef sharks but diving 20 metres down into a cave where they slept at the time was a harrowing experience. “Swimming with humpback whales in the South Pacific was also incredible. It was one of those life-changing moments where it just felt like we were welcomed into their world and they initiated the amount of contact we were to have. It was a really beautiful and touching encounter.” Needless to say keeping fit and healthy needs to be high on Nat’s agenda. “I find exercise grounds me and calms me as well. It’s a really good release, especially when you’re overseas. I try and exercise at least four times a week. Just getting out and moving is an essential part of my life. It clears the mind and helps me centre myself and stay focused. For me, it’s not just about the physical results of staying fit, it’s emotionally beneficial as well.”

Playing Cupid

With her talent as a presenter well established, Nat’s latest gig has been hosting The Farmer Wants a Wife series. She was approached to host the show last year, which she says was an opportunity too good to refuse. Although that was after she resolved some initial reservations. “I guess I wasn’t alone. I felt slightly sceptical initially hearing ‘dating’ and ‘reality show’ breathed in the same sentence, but after

Photos courtesy Channel Nine

and easy to relate to. “I also think it’s the luck, timing, persistence and a good attitude that have held me in good stead for my job.”

jet lag, people of other cultures or waiting in airports, the life of a travel reporter isn’t always glamourous. But being away from home is the biggest challenge. “Missing out on special occasions and moments with family and friends is definitely the hardest part,” says Nat with real angst in her voice. “I’ll be making up for it for the rest of my life.” Time apart from her new niece is especially difficult, although Nat has a good laugh at herself, admitting she sounds slightly neurotic having bought a baby car seat, just in case she has a chance to babysit while she’s at home for those few weeks in the year. “I’m certainly gaining plenty of practice with my niece ... I’m in love with her!” Together for almost 12 years now, time apart is something Nat and her husband Luke Egan are no strangers to. He, a former professional surfer, would also spend much of his time on tour, and with Nat’s schedule in the mix, it’s challenging but they’ve managed to balance it well. “It works because it’s all about quality and not quantity for us,” she says. “We also have a great understanding and appreciation for each others’ passions and we realise there are sacrifices.” And when it comes to maintaining relationships with friends and family, Nat says, again, it’s all about quality time and making it count. “I obviously keep in touch while I’m away. Technology certainly makes life easier. I make the most of my time when I am at home and a few presents via Duty Free never go astray,” she laughs. For anyone else, presenting to an audience of millions might be daunting and carry a certain level of inhibition, but Nat says she’s

I got shown some vision of the farmers involved I knew immediately that this show was going to be something special. It was a show that was tangible, sincere and real. I get along well with the farmers and I’ve got a great respect for the farming community. All in all I think it’s a fabulous heartwarming show.” Not only has the show been a success for the network with series two rating well, and a third on the cards for next year, so too has it been successful for the couples. A wedding resulted from the first season just a year after it aired and it looks like the second season has got some long-term hearts fluttering as well. “The couples are meeting and genuinely falling in love, it’s just the ultimate happily ever after. It’s exciting to be a part of it and it’s lovely to watch it unfold.” Whether she’s sharing the wonders of the world, or a love story with Australia, Nat is again grateful to be involved in such positive programs. “That’s exactly why I don’t take my life for granted. There are two completely different shows that give me so much in so many different ways. I’m working on successful programs that I’m proud to be involved with. I’ve got the best of both worlds.”

Beyond TV

When Nat isn’t working on either program, she makes time for personal projects, such as her recent assignment as spokesperson and ambassador for the Marina Mirage on the Gold Coast. And, something many may not know about her is that Nat commits time to promoting CanTeen – the organisation that helps young people living with cancer – for which she is an ambassador. Luke has also become involved over the years. “We visit their summer camps and Luke will give surfing lessons and wherever possible we’ll promote the fabulous cause. When

you spend time with these amazing young people who have been directly and indirectly affected by cancer, it’s really inspiring and I think they give you so much back … more than they could possibly know.” Nat knew little about the cause until Luke’s nieces lost their father to cancer three years ago, at which time CanTeen came on board, offering the family help and counseling. “They’re such an incredible support for young people.” Sadly Nat shares with me that she, too, lost her mother to cancer last year. I can hear the grief in her voice as she explains it’s not something she’s been able to share with many people. “Losing my mother and watching her battle with cancer was devastating. Honestly, it has been just over a year and I still find it hard to comprehend she is gone. We were extremely close. I was blessed to have such an incredible, influential person in my life and I’ll never forget everything she was and all she taught me.” Admitting it’s been a very challenging year since her mum passed, I can hear that it has had a huge impact on Nat’s life and I’m reminded that this girl with the dream job and public profile is also a ‘real’ woman going through the same challenges all of us face in life. It’s for this reason Nat feels like, right now, she needs to live in the moment and not plan too far ahead. “Essentially I’m living a pretty darn good life surrounded by beautiful family and friends. Every moment is precious, life is fragile and I want to make the most it right now. “I’m enjoying my involvement with Getaway and The Farmer Wants a Wife and I’ll see where the future takes me. While the opportunities are there I’m going to grasp them by both hands. We only have one life ... I’m going to live it.”

Natalie Name: Natalie Gruzlewski Age: 31 Biggest inspiration? Family and friends, and people who take risks. Biggest motivation? Overcoming challenges & the satisfaction of succeeding. Biggest turning point: Losing my mum to cancer. Although, other more positive moments have been getting the gig on Getaway and marrying Luke. Ultimate indulgence / can’t live without? I love reflexology, but the greatest indulgence for me is time. Little-known fact about you? I’m a bit of a practical joker and am prone to exaggeration. One of the strangest things that has ever happened in your travels? We were filming at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard when the premier of Taking Lives starring Angelina Jolie was on. I was loitering in the background of Angelina’s shot, trying to chat to her on camera, and after many warnings from ‘her people’ I was escorted off the red carpet by her bodyguard. It was both humiliating and amusing.


How many stamps in your passport? I’m not sure but I’m onto my second passport. Favourite place? Italy – I love everything about it. It’s remarkable. The country has everything... from the landscape to the people and metropolitan cities, the culture, their lifestyle – bellisimo! Where haven’t you been that you’d really like to? I would love to explore South America. We’re mostly given our assignments but every now and then if we have a great idea, we can plant the seed then cross our fingers. How far could you fly on your frequent flyer points? That’s a great question, I should find out! I join very airline’s frequent flyer program! What advice would you have for other women to help them realise their full potential? I would say that the one thing we all have in his life are choices. My mum always told me that and it’s so true. Also, pursue your dreams and don’t give up. Believe in yourself and be prepared to take risks.



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Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Talk About

October/November 2008

ex S 20

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We’re more open to same-sex encounters, have mixed feelings about porn and are at the mercy of our hormones, says a new book that peeks into the bedrooms (and backseats and offices) of Australian women. Emma Gardiner climbs under the covers to take a good, hard look.


othing turns a woman on more than a long, hard and preferably sweaty session of… vacuuming. So long as it’s her man pushing the Dyson, that is. So says the results of a survey of more that 2,000 Australian women carried out by Joan Sauers for her new book Sex Lives of Australian Women (Random House). Through the anonymous, online survey of women aged 20 to 70, Joan found that despite the rise in feminist thought, the domestic reality is that women are still lumbered with 70 percent of the housework and 90 percent of childcare duties. “I am incensed by the lack of balance between men and women,” she says. “One of the respondents jokingly commented that foreplay for her would be if her partner did the shopping. Part of the problem is that women tend to resent their partners in silence or start nagging. What I am saying to women is, don’t just whine about it, create a practical solution. The most important sexual organ is your voice.” This idea of open communication is at the core of Joan’s book and was the reason



of women have starred in a sex tape

she decided to allow respondents to remain anonymous. “I wanted to create a forum where women were completely protected so they could really cut loose,” says the author. “As a result, there is the most fantastic candour and detail in the responses.” One of the key findings of the survey was that 57 percent of straight women fantasise about having sex with other women. Joan spoke to a behavioural psychologist about this and he explained to her how men have a very clear sexual orientation whereas women have more malleable sexual preferences.

Annie*, 28, is not at all surprised by this statistic saying, “I think it’s an easier jump in some respects for a woman to fantasise about having sex with another woman, than it is for a man think about being with another man. Women are just naturally more inclined to affection and intimacy, and there is something comforting and safe in the whole idea. “I like the idea of being with girls – not in the same way I think about being with guys, which is more about the sex, the chemistry and the raw sexuality of the encounter. With girls it’s different. It’s more about feeling appreciated and desired; about having fun and getting a different level of intimacy and appreciation than what you normally get from a man.” For some, the fantasy becomes reality, with 22 percent of respondents saying they have had some sexual experience with other women, even though less than 12 percent identify as lesbian or bisexual. Relationship therapist Shirley Smith says she has a lot of female clients who are confused about their sexual preferences. “Many women carry wounds from men through difficult relationships or sexual abuse, have an unexpressed craving for closeness with their mother or were rejected by their fathers. There’s a lot more freedom around sexual exploration these days, meaning there’s an increase in societal permission for women to consider this as an option. I find that a lot of my clients are discouraged by the lack of availability of men – and I mean that emotionally as well as practically – and they want compassion. This is something other women can offer them.”

Infidelity & the Internet Whether they’re finding comfort in the arms of a man or a woman, it’s clear that many women are turning to people outside of their relationships to fulfil their desires. Contrary to what 19 percent of the population would


like you to believe, nearly one in five women admitted to having sex with someone outside their relationship, with a high percentage of those identified as stay-at-home mums or housewives. Joan says this is largely due to the social isolation often felt by these women. Regardless of the circumstances in which an affair occurs, Joan maintains that women


of women look at porn regularly

who have affairs are judged more harshly than their male counterparts. “Women have always been much more put down for having affairs. There is this completely flawed belief that men need sex more often, and can therefore be forgiven for their indiscretions.” Vanessa*, 32, says she never had any intention of cheating on her partner when she first met James*. “I met him at an industry function. A couple of weeks later I had to contact him about some work stuff and it just went from there. We hit it off on email, which moved into text messages and then meeting face-to-face. It was very innocent at first but I think the sexual undercurrent was always there. All it took was one drunken night to go from work associates to lovers. The strange thing was that I never really felt guilty. My partner had been more or less ignoring me for months and, despite the fact that I still loved him, we weren’t connecting any more.” Neglect in relationships seems to be a common thread. Sarah, 19, says, “At the time, the reason I did it was because I was in a relationship that I wanted to get out of, but I didn’t know how. I was really unhappy because my boyfriend treated me like sh*t. I ended up cheating on him with one of his best friends. It really makes you reassess what’s important and it makes the guy aware that when they hurt you and you keep forgiving them, it takes a major toll on the relationship. We’re still together and while I would never do


“Sex is something that should be celebrated. Just because it’s a small part of your life doesn’t mean it can’t empower or infect the other parts of your life”


of women have had sex with someone outside of their relationship end a relationship or don’t know how to meet their own needs. For many people, it’s not even sexual. There is such a thing as affairs of the hearts, which are all about emotional and intellectual intimacy. While these aren’t technically seen as an infidelity, they are just as addictive as physical affairs.” Access to technology – chat rooms, mobile phones, video cameras and email – has lead to a revolution in the way people not only conduct affairs, but also in the way they meet and seduce their partners in the first place. Almost 50 percent of women said they had engaged in phone sex, 64 percent had sent or received a sexual text message, and 22 percent of women said they’d had a sexual experience in an internet chat room. Joan says chat rooms have become very popular among women in their twenties and fifties. “A lot of divorced women whose kids have moved out or those with men who are no longer satisfying them are logging on. Women in their thirties and forties are generally in the early phases of their marriage or have kids at home so they simply don’t have the time to spend online.” “Technology offers us the chance to create a false, adapted self,” adds Shirley. “Many women in their twenties have very little confidence. In a chat room, they can exist in fantasy, interact as an adapted self and experiment in a safe environment. The motivation for women in their fifties is different. They log on because they are

October/November 2008

lonely. They have generally had several breakups and they just want some attention, but are avoiding a fulfilling relationship because they are reluctant to expose their authentic self for fear of being hurt or rejected.” Tantric sex therapist Martina Hughes says using chat rooms and technology is “having an experience in the mind”. She suggests tantra – an ancient Indian philosophy that focuses on moving the sexual experience from the mind and the genitals into the whole body – is one way for people to move beyond this ‘experience of the mind’. “Many people experience longing and attempt to fill the gap with food, shopping, drugs and sex,” explains Martina. “People are doing more and getting really busy, and what they need to do is learn to keep it simple and become comfortable with themselves. That way they are open to connecting with their breath, body and sexual energy. The basic premise of tantra is to work with the sexual energy to support life force. It’s about integrating the masculine and feminine energies within and going on an inner journey that combines sexual energy with spiritual exploration. “When people become stressed and depressed, they lose their connection to their body. Through breath and bodywork, tantra gives people permission to feel whatever it is they have been withholding. I believe that, like our brains, many of us use only 10 percent of our sexual capacity. By increasing this even by a fraction, people would experience greater flow, more ease, more relaxation and more sexual engagement.”

Porn Stars & Group Sessions Contrary to Martina’s hope that women will start to live less in their minds and more in their bodies, Joan’s survey found that one out of four women looked at porn at least once a month.


Annie* says, “I think porn can be a great way to explore your fantasies and desires without putting yourself out there. As a single girl living alone with a big TV, why wouldn’t I want to watch something arousing on a rainy Thursday night? That said, it’s not easy to find decent heterosexual porn designed to appeal to women and I think that’s a real shame. I mean, I don’t know that many women who want to look at fake boobs and blonde bimbos in schoolgirl uniforms. That’s not sexy to me. That’s just lame and cliched.” Dimity*, 22, says, “I’m not interested in porn per se, because I don’t think it’s


of women fantasise about having sex with other women arousing. But I don’t think it’s wrong to look at it. I wouldn’t be happy if I had a partner who was obsessed with porn because I would feel as though there was something he wanted that I wasn’t able to give him”. Porn takes on a whole new meaning when it’s homemade, with one in five Australian women starring in their own sex tape, according to Joan’s research. The overwhelming response was that while it was great fun to record, the screenings were not very well received. Many women were horrified by how they looked on screen, while others spent years fretting about where the final product ended up or who would see it, either by accident or through spite. In Sex Lives, a 33-year-old mother from Western Australia says, “It was fine, but to tell you the truth, watching it again was hilarious, not erotic. My arse was not ever meant to be on tape.” Meanwhile, a 32-year-old customer-care representative from Queensland responded


it again, it actually made things a lot better in the long run.” Shirley Smith says affairs are common. “They occur when people don’t know how to

Juice up

your love life


A little bit of what you fancy can be good for you! But maybe you don’t fancy the idea of petrochemicals (like propylene glycol & paraben preservatives), harsh synthetics, liquid silicones, sugars, artificial flavours & colours in your precious & sensitive body? Thank goodness for Sylk, the unique natural personal lubricant made from gentle, oh so slippery kiwifruit vine extract – clever little plant! Gentle, safe & allergy-free, Sylk feels so exquisite, so natural, so good with condoms & toys. It’s surely the intelligent choice in a world full of unnecessary chemicals.

Sex is natural – your lubricant should be too The beautiful kiwifruit vine provides the key ingredient of Sylk. The extract is actually from the pruned plant, a byproduct of the fruit harvest that would otherwise be wasted. Kiwifruit is high in Vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, dietary fibre & antioxidants, & low in calories, sodium & fat. It’s a good source of folic acid, Vitamin E & Arginine, which helps blood flow & has been used to treat impotence. Sylk has a proven track record along with many satisfied customers as it’s recommended by health professionals & has sold worldwide for over 16 years. Available from larger Coles, Woolworths & Safeway supermarkets, selected pharmacies & health stores or privately & securely online at www.sylk.com.au

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“I wrote this book because I wanted to raise people’s consciousness about sex and the huge diversity that exists out there”


of women have sent or received a sexual text message

whom hired escorts or arranged for friends to be involved. A 24-year-old mother and public servant from Western Australia says in Sex Lives, “I think the idea of threesomes are fine if all parties want to be involved. But guys see them all over porn… They think it is just the best

October/November 2008

thing. Lots of pressure is put on girls to have threesomes.” Not everyone was disappointed however, with a 38-year-old editor and mother from Queensland saying, “My most erotic moment: two men and me. I felt adored – like a goddess”. Gemma*, 36, says, “Years ago, back in my single days, I had a threesome with a couple I met in a bar. The way it happened was I was chatting to this absolutely beautiful woman and as she was leaving she planted this amazing kiss on me. I was stunned but also happy. When she asked for my number, I gave it to her without hesitation. A few weeks later, I got a call from her and I met up with her and her boyfriend for a drink. A few bottles (and joints) later, we ended up in bed. Initially it was just meant to be me and her, with her boyfriend watching, but he didn’t stay on the sidelines for very long. I wasn’t interested in him at all and wound up having sex with him out of politeness more than anything. I know that sounds ridiculous, but I was with his girlfriend and it didn’t seem fair to leave him out. We all had a giggle about it in the morning, had a cup of tea and they dropped me back to my car. I don’t regret it at all. If anything, I’m stoked I got to do it with such lovely people.”

Women’s Business Partners aside, the one thing that rules women’s sex lives is something they have very little power over: hormones. “A woman’s hormones are really important in mood, digestion and sexual energy levels,” says Joan. “One key thing the survey found was that the contraceptive pill destroys a lot of women’s libidos.” Another key finding was that there was very little consistency in terms of libido at certain times in the menstrual cycle. Some women feel more aroused just before their period, while others feel more sexual when they are ovulating. Annie* says, “Hormones definitely affect my sex drive. It usually seems to correspond


with the time I am ovulating, although sometimes I won’t realise this is the cause until I step back and think about it. It’s just biology at the end of the day. But that’s not the only thing that gets me in the mood obviously. A good bottle of wine can help, not to mention the presence of a hot man in the room. That usually gets the sex drive going!” With so many conflicting physical, emotional and intellectual influences, it seems the path to the bedroom has more than a few booby-traps. Joan says, “I wrote this book because I wanted to raise people’s consciousness about sex and the huge diversity that exists out there. We have to fight ‘sameness’ and homogeneousness and make

63.5 %

of women masturbate at least once a month

sure no-one feels isolated. I want women to read this book and realise they’re not alone; that there are other people out there feeling and experiencing the same things. Sex is something that should be celebrated. Just because it’s a small part of your life doesn’t mean it can’t empower or infect the other parts of your life. I just want women to stop beating themselves up and open up the lines of communication between men and women. Men should definitely read this book too.” Shirley Smith agrees that communication and self-awareness are the keys to a fulfilling sex life. “A lot of the time people stop having sex because of unexpressed resentment or feeling hurt or rejected. People want to talk to their partners but they don’t know how. First, you must ask yourself what your needs are, then you need to work out how to meet them, communicate them to your partner and finally, surrender and let go. If it doesn’t work, love yourself enough to walk away. Don’t settle for crumbs.” *Names have been changed for privacy.


to the survey saying, “It was exciting at the time but, now I am no longer with the guy, I often find myself searching the internet to make sure the photos have not been uploaded”. Not all ‘tapes’ are made on video cameras either. Holly*, 31, says, “I was having a very horny relationship with this guy who used to travel for work a lot. We had a lot of phone sex and, in the midst of all that, I used to make videos of myself masturbating and text them to him. It did the trick at the time, but I sincerely hope that he’s deleted them because we’re not in contact anymore. I hate the thought that something like that is out there in the world.” The potential influence of porn extends into other areas too. While it’s hard to say if Australia’s love of erotica has inspired the proliferation of threesomes, orgies and swinging in the average bedroom, it’s clear that many people are going on ‘group tours’, with 26 percent of respondents saying they had taken part in sex with multiple partners. On an emotional level, the results were mixed, with two out of every three saying the experience left them cold. Jealousy and feeling left out were some of the most common complaints, with many women saying they were drunk when it happened and wished it had remained a fantasy. Another gripe was that many women said they felt pressured to have threesomes by their partners, some of

Laughter is the best Medicine

Nothing feels quite as good as a big bout of uncontrollable laughter, but how often do we get to experience this dayto-day? Tammy Warner-Wilson discovers there’s another way to ensure we have a good giggle on a regular basis.

October/November 2008

a laughter yoga leader and engage in a combination of breathing, stretching and simulated laughter exercises. Phillipa Challis is the founder and secretary of Laughter Clubs Victoria, and has facilitated hundreds of laughter club sessions since it began in 2002. “When a laughter session begins, everyone clusters together and you start with some deep breathing and stretching,” she explains. “The leader will then demonstrate what ‘laughs’ you are going to do and the group joins in together. The first laugh could be simply shaking hands and laughing as you do it. Each bout of laughter can take

the equivalent to 10 minutes on a rowing machine), and create better sleeping patterns. It also boosts the serotonin levels that combat stress and anxiety, leading to a stronger immune system and a better sense of overall wellbeing. Linda, 37, has attended her local laughter club in Geelong every Saturday morning for the past eight months. “I was at a point in my life where I really needed to meet some new people and expand my social group. I’d been through some pretty tough things and I just wasn’t laughing anymore,” she recalls. Although she felt nervous in the beginning, it didn’t take Linda long to get

Laughter has been found to increase oxygen supply to the bloodstream, improve cardio-fitness and create better sleeping patterns between 30 and 45 seconds, and is broken up by rhythmic clapping, stretching and deep breathing.” According to Phillipa, there are literally hundreds of different ‘laughs’ that can be enacted during a laughter club session. These include the ‘gibberish laugh’, where participants look one another in the eye as they childishly babble incoherently, or the ‘Zorro laugh’, where the whole group cut pretend Zs in the air with imaginary swords, put their hands on their hips like squashbuckling-buccaneers, and bellow ‘ho ho ho’. While this might all sound a bit strange, the health benefits of a good laugh are worth considering. Phillipa says laughter has been found to increase oxygen supply to the bloodstream, improve cardiovascular fitness (she says one minute of hearty laughter is


into the groove. “I felt really self-conscious, but in the end I started laughing”, she says. “When the session finishes we all go and have coffee at the cafe next door. Everyone is in such a positive, happy frame of mind – I love it. There’s no complaining or negativity, it’s really uplifting.” Having experienced the benefits of a laughter club first hand, Linda readily encourages other women to get out there and give it a go. “It boosts your selfconfidence and makes you feel on top of the world. Now when I’m out socially I quite happily laugh out loud, whereas before I didn’t laugh at all.” So, if you’re looking for a new fun and positive activity that will really get you laughing, contact your local laughter club (visit www.laughteryoga.org).



an you remember the last time you laughed so hard your eyes started to water and your stomach muscles hurt so badly you all but doubled over in joyous agony? For those of you struggling to recall a recent moment when you experienced a big, beautiful belly laugh, you’re not alone. Research indicates that, on average, adults laugh considerably less than children on any given day. With personal and professional pressures mounting in our day-to-day lives, it appears things have gotten so serious we’re finding it more and more challenging to enjoy the simple pleasure of a rip-roaring laugh. Thankfully, we’ve discovered a hobby that promises to reconnect you with your humorous side and have you laughing out loud in no time. Welcome to the world of laughter yoga, a relatively new technique that teaches groups of people to laugh for up to 30 minutes at a time without relying on the usual anecdotes of humour, jokes or comedy. Laughter yoga (also known as a laughter club) was conceived by Indian physician Dr. Madan Kataria. Recognising the immense physical and emotional benefits of laughter, he began the first laughter club with just four people in 1995. Since then more than 5,000 clubs have popped up in countries all over the world, including Australia. So what can you expect to experience at a laughter club? Given most clubs are not-for-profit community organisations, there is generally no fee to attend. Sessions are normally held outdoors at a public venue and run for approximately 30 minutes, during which participants are guided by


Words o W isdom Many of us have a favourite quote that has moved, inspired or motivated us. Karen Morath talks to some successful women about using the power of a few words to be the best person they can be.


uccessful women are drawing inspiration and motivation from everywhere they look, and whether it’s a few wise words from a mentor, or from a favourite song, book or prayer, a favourite quote often isn’t too far from one’s list of motivational tools. While some of the women I spoke to use their favourite quotes for reassurance – they’re on the right track, they’re doing okay – others will use their favourite quote to power up, get motivated and take action. The common thread, however, is that our quotes represent something we hold be true, real and accountable to. Finance coach and property mentor Luca Ricciardiello uses a number of quotes to kick-start her into action. Oliver Wendall Holmes said, ‘A mind once stretched never returns to its original dimensions’. “I use this quote to remind myself to continuously learn and grow,” says Luca. Image consultant Helen Robinett cites a very forgiving quote as something that helps her navigate her days: ‘God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.’ She says, “It inspires me – and one day I’ll get the whole wisdom bit down pat.” NLP practitioner and trainer Martha Follent uses her favourite quote, ‘In every problem there is a gift’ (by Dr Milton Erickson), to help her overcome and find a positive in any challenge she faces. “This reminds me that when problems arise, they also teach me something.” Business writer Sam Leader, on the other hand, sees inspiration everywhere. “Maybe learning is not just about setting aside time to absorb information, but about having your eyes and ears open all the time,” she says. Having just become mum to Amy, Sam believes she has just learnt the meaning of life, but is equally open to learning from less life-changing events, such as seeing a bumper sticker that resonates with how she is feeling at the time. When I think about which inspirational quote most serves me, I would say it is, ‘Ask for what you want’. This gives me the strength and confidence to go after what I truly want in life. Some women are seeking permission to be the best version of themselves, using inspirational quotes that assure them of their beliefs and actions, while others are seeking to improve themselves, using their favourite quote to motivate them into action and take the next step. While most aspiring women are already driven, there’s no doubting the power a few words can have on our day-to-day lives. Which few words sum up how you’re being the best version of yourself today? Karen Morath is a coach and speaker on all things empowering, and author of Palm Trees and Margaritas: Finding Your Oasis in a Busy World (Nuhouse Press). She can be contacted by email on karen@mpowercct.com



In Focus

Acceptance The Freedom of

Many of us judge others without even knowing we’re doing it. Tarryn Brien reveals how accepting others for who they are will help to improve our ‘self’ and promote our own happiness.

October/November 2008

possibilities, or simply a wider understanding of the world. With the misguided belief that it will protect us, many of us put up barriers instead of opening up to others. Conversely, being open promotes flexibility and learning which cultivates greater resilience (the ability to bounce back) and optimism, which are both associated with better health and energy. One way we can start to cultivate greater acceptance is to recognise that our judgements and opinions about people are not always helpful in promoting happiness (negative thinking saps energy) and aren’t necessarily true. Our impressions of others

• We should treat others with the same degree of respect as we would like to be treated ourselves. • Be prepared to listen – effective communication is a two-way process. Ask people how they feel and why they have made their decisions. Seek to understand their opinion. • Be confident to express your own opinion and remember, we are all unique. • Don’t try to change someone. As Jacob M Braude said: “Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you’ll understand what little chance you have of trying to

Learning about others and respecting our differences helps us learn so much more about ourselves are coloured by our own thoughts, attitudes and beliefs. We judge, and then we believe our own judgement, ignoring the psychological phenomena that may be at play. For example, we perceive someone as rude, and then treat them accordingly. The individual picks up on this, feels resentful, and reciprocates, conforming to our pre-existing belief that he/she is indeed rude. Thus we have created a self-fulfilling prophecy. What’s more, we are often ignorant of our own causal role in this process. By contrast, the Latin root of the word ‘respect’ means ‘to look again’. Respecting others requires us to take another look, past our first impressions and unconscious biases. Try the following tips to fostering greater respect and acceptance of others: • Start by realising that being open to others’ opinions does not mean discounting your own values and ideas.


change others”. • Cultivate greater awareness of your thoughts by asking yourself what thoughts and judgements you hold about others. Just because you think something doesn’t necessarily make it true. • It’s easiest to accept others when we feel good about ourselves. With self-acceptance comes a greater sense of peace and caring, which is naturally more inclusive of others.

Tarryn Brien is practice owner of The Happiness Institute in Sydney’s eastern suburbs and offers corporate and individual coaching sessions, programs and corporate workshops. She can be contacted via email, tarryn@thehappinessinstitute.com, or phone 1300 733 743.



ichael Caine’s character in the comedy film Goldmember says, “There are two kinds of people I can’t stand, those who are intolerant of other cultures, and the Dutch”. I love this line because it highlights Martha Beck’s ‘you spot it, you got it’ syndrome. In other words, what we criticise most harshly in others may actually be what we most dislike in ourselves. Improved wellbeing is associated with positive perceptions of self and others. By being open to understanding others we cultivate a broader frame of mind and a greater insight into ourselves. With this comes less rigidity and greater acceptance and tolerance – traits that are not only beneficial for those around us but also for creating more calm within ourselves. It has been said that accepting others means to take them completely, in the moment, without defence. Acceptance opens us up to the true and full reality of who the other person is. It is like opening the blinds in a dark room and letting the light flood in – acceptance promotes flexibility and it is freeing. But if the benefits of being more accepting of others are so clear, then why are we so quick to judge other people? There is no experience or individual that we are ever going to be entirely neutral about. The weather, politics, the taste of food, what someone is wearing… At every moment of the day, something or somebody invites our judgement of it. However, learning about others and respecting our differences helps us learn so much more about ourselves. It promotes self growth, instead of stagnation, and opens doors to many other opportunities, including friendships, work prospects, travel

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In Focus

Responsibility: A Brave New Attitude No-one can stand in the way of your goals once you take complete responsibility for your life – warts and all. Helen Rosing explains how.


ny personal development book will, at some stage, raise the point that to be successful you need to take responsibility for your life. It sounds like a fairly simple concept – if someone approached you on the street and asked whether you have already accepted this responsibility, you would most likely respond with a resounding “yes”. But is that really the case? Many people believe they are taking responsibility for their lives and yet they still don’t achieve the results they want. Often, when we are disappointed or let down, we automatically make excuses for what has happened and lay blame, rather than take responsibility for the outcome ourselves. Blame includes both blaming another person and blaming the circumstances for the way things are, but you do have a choice:

Responsibility OR BLAME To take full responsibility for your life is to stop making excuses for the way things are and when things don’t go your way. It is to say, “I am responsible for everything in my life – past, present and future”. Adopting this attitude is both incredibly empowering and a huge burden at the same time. The power comes from knowing you can achieve absolutely anything you want in life, because no-one can stop you. It involves looking beyond all the things or people that have stopped you achieving what you want in the past, and working around them to achieve what you want in the present and the future. The burden lies in accepting that every result in your life – the good, the bad and the ugly – is a consequence of your actions and reactions. Choosing to be totally responsible for your life requires you to accept that everything that happens hereafter is also your own doing. In comparison, laying blame can make us feel a whole lot better in an unpleasant situation. It’s a lot easier to think that someone or something else is responsible, however laying blame also removes the power that you have over your own life.

What am I responsible for? You are responsible for two things in your life – your actions and reactions. Naturally, your actions refer to every action you take everyday, from getting out of bed in the morning to getting back in at night. In any circumstance you can choose how you act. You choose whether you get out of bed 45 minutes earlier to exercise in the morning or whether to spend your $1,000 bonus or save it.

October/November 2008


Every action you take makes a difference to your results. Just as important is taking responsibility for your reactions. You have a choice in everything that happens to you and how you react in that particular circumstance. We often hear comments such as, “he makes me feel so…”. In truth, no one can make you feel anything. To put this into day-to-day context, consider being out and about in your car. On days when you are happy and feeling great about life, you probably don’t feel bothered when other drivers cut you off or tailgate. You shrug it off and keep on singing along to the song on the radio. But, what about those days when things aren’t going so well, or you’re feeling tired or unwell? Chances are that tailgating will prompt you to complain about inconsiderate drivers who “make me so mad!” What is the difference between those two days? The difference is in how you choose to react. In that moment, you have the choice.

Who am I responsible for? In the adult-world you can only ever be responsible for yourself. You are not responsible for the actions or reactions of others. Naturally, the level of responsibility is different when it comes to the supervision of children. You also cannot be responsible for changing someone else. In my coaching experience, I have worked with numerous clients who aimed to have other people change so that they would be happier or more successful.

In Focus

Putting it into Practice Follow these key steps to taking responsibility for your life right now:

1.Take stock of where you are now. Jenny*, for example, came to coaching unhappy in her relationship. There were so many things that her partner did and didn’t do that made her crazy. Although she didn’t want to leave her partner, she was at ‘wits end’ to know what to do next to make him change his ways. From not offering to wash up after dinner and spending too much time with his mates, to never giving her compliments, Jenny had a list of complaints. After setting an inspiring (and slightly outrageous) goal for her relationship, one of the first questions I asked Jenny was, ‘where is your responsibility in this?’ My question was met with shock. Jenny

blamed him for not feeling happy in their relationship, she started to realise that she was also playing a part in her own unhappiness. Jenny is not alone. I have many other examples of clients acting and reacting in the same way and I’m also guilty of this myself. The difference comes in making the decision to notice when we do this, and then to change our actions and reactions in order to get a different result; it is to start taking responsibility for our own lives, instead of waiting for someone else to. Jenny decided that she needed to communicate better with her partner to explain how she was feeling, without

“The power comes from knowing you can achieve absolutely anything you want in life, because no-one can stop you” could not see how she was responsible for how she felt in their relationship. ‘Well’, I said, ‘you cannot take responsibility for your partner’s actions, you cannot change him, you can only change yourself. So, if you were to take full responsibility for the way your relationship is, where are you currently not taking responsibility and what can you do differently to get a different result? As you change, I guarantee you will notice changes in him’. After many more similar questions, Jenny realised that she actually wasn’t communicating very effectively with her partner. Rather than ask for help, she purposely waited for him to offer, knowing that he wouldn’t, and then got upset when he didn’t. She purposely turned down his invitations to join him in going out in the hope he would stay home, only to be disappointed again. And, she realised he probably had no idea that she was upset by the lack of compliments. Jenny started to see a new perspective. Where she had naturally

assigning any blame to him. After everything we discussed, she also felt that she actually needed to apologise to him. She realised that she had been giving him a very hard time and expecting him to ‘make’ her happy when really, she had that power herself. She also decided that she would start to notice her reactions and take more control of how she dealt with things in her relationship. Of course, every relationship requires compromise, so there were things Jenny’s partner needed to take responsibility for as well, but she was at least able to start on a more positive road towards improving their relationship by, first, improving her attitude and taking responsibility for her own life. * name changed for privacy Helen Rosing is a trained success coach with extensive experience in business, coaching and training. Helen is the founder of Empower Publishing. Visit empoweronline.com.au for more info.


This is one of the most important steps towards taking responsibility for your life. Consider each of the areas of life included in the goal-setting tools in the Coaching Toolkit – self, partner, family, social, wellbeing, spirituality, business/career and finances. Make an honest appraisal of your life, identifying areas where you are not really taking responsibility.

2. Make note of areas needing improvement. Mark each area as a subheading and make a list of everything you are currently doing or not doing which represents you not taking responsibility. Be really honest with yourself. Perhaps you have let your health and fitness slip, or left a relationship in tatters. As you are thinking about each area, take notice of your thoughts and reactions. You may find that you immediately start laying blame on someone else in your mind. If so, these are the areas that need work.

3. Make a more empowering list. For each area, make a list of those things you are now going to do or stop doing, in order to be totally responsible for your life – remember to think in terms of actions you could take and reactions you could choose to have in different circumstances. Try to decide, for instance, how to deal with those tricky situations at work and within your family, before they eventuate. Now look who’s in control!

4. Focus on your actions and reactions everyday. Make a mental note to yourself about moments when you don’t act or react with full responsibility, and think about what to do differently next time. Most importantly, when you do notice that you have taken responsibility for your actions and reactions, congratulate yourself. After all, you’re on your way to success in any area that you focus on.





Wearing the right colours will accentuate your best qualities and really make you shine. Image expert Chris Rewell explains how to choose the most harmonious tones for your personal colouring.

October/November 2008

The system continued to evolve and, in the mid to late 80s, ‘flow’ colours became de rigueur and, rather than the categories of summer, autumn, winter, and spring being used, the elements of colour – undertone, depth and clarity – became the focal point around which an individual’s colour palette would be determined. Was an individual’s colour undertone warm or cool or in between? Were their most flattering colour tones lighter or deeper or in between? Were they more attractive in pulled back, muted tones or in clear bright colours? These were the questions on the lips of every colour consultant. These six elements were refined even further in the early 90s to create a twelve-sector colour system, however for the purpose of this article we’ll work with the six-element colour system of warm, cool, light, deep, muted and bright to keep it simple. Below is a definition of each of these colour elements and the types of skin, eye and hair tones, which fall into each. Check which one relates to your own colouring and read our tips on which colours will help make you glow.


Skin tones: Fair to medium, often freckled and can burn easily. Can acquire a soft golden skin tan. Eyes tones: Deep to medium greens, browns and hazel. Some lighter brown and green colourings. Hair tones: Auburn, titian (reddish–brown), golden browns and strawberry blondes. Overall: Think redheads, such as Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York. Those with warm colour elements have a variation in contrast between skin and hair tones. Colours to make you shine: Core colours are all yellow-based, including brown (light, medium and deep), olive (light, medium and deep), lime greens, gold, mustard, coral, salmon, terracotta, orange, russet reds, creams, tans, camels, gold, rust, teal, turquoise and periwinkle blue. Colours to avoid: Pinks, fuchsias and burgundy tones. Blue-based colours clash with your warm undertones. Tip: Deeper redheads can go richer and more muted, while lighter redheads can go brighter in the colours mentioned above.


Skin tones: Medium – can look English rose and ruddy. Eyes tones: Blues, greys, greenish-blues, cool browns. Hair tones: Light to dark ash browns. No visible red. Overall: Think Dame Helen Mirren and Minnie Driver. Those with cool colour

elements have little or no obvious presence of warm undertones. Skin and hair contrast varies. Colours to make you shine: Blue-based pinks, reds and fuchsias, purples, royal blue, true and mid-blues, navy, charcoal, cocoa brown, blue sea-greens, silver grey, soft white and pure white. Colours to avoid: Yellow-based tones clash with cool undertones and can give your skin a jaundiced look. Tip: Stay cool – you are best in blue-based colours. Some can go deeper in their tones, while others are able to go medium to lighter in the above colours.




rom birth we are branded with a genetic blueprint that contains our seeds of possibility – our potential skills, talents, abilities, attributes – both physical and mental – just waiting to be unwrapped, explored, developed and used. A major portion of this blueprint is our personal colour palette. Colour is the first thing we notice about people when we meet them face-to-face, so understanding your own colour is a fun and useful skill to develop. It can build confidence and might even save you time, money and angst when you shop. The outward indications of our genetic colour palette are revealed through the colour tones of our skin, hair and eyes. The undertone, depth and clarity of these natural pigmentations contain the secret to your personal colour palette. So how can you discover which colours make you radiant; those colours that attract compliments; the colours that straighten your back, make you feel sexy, tap into your psyche and boost your self-esteem? What do you look for? Every individual is unique but, just as we can divide flowers into colour tones, so too can we group individuals’ skin, hair and eye tones, albeit some more easily than others. Over the years, personal colour systems have become more sophisticated, evolving to accommodate the individual rather than the individual being shaped to fit the system. Personal colour was the secret domain of the movie studios. Long before the general public knew of it, the studios understood the value and effect of a brilliant and beautiful lip colour on a starlet’s eyes. Yes, eyes! It wasn’t until the book Color Me Beautiful hit the shelves in the very early 80s that members of the public could enjoy the same indulgence. Summer, autumn, winter and spring were everyday words that suddenly had a different meaning and women were speaking about ‘having their colours done’.




Skin tones: Fair – may tan slowly but usually burns from the sun. Eyes tones: Lighter blues or greens, or a mix of these two colours. Hair tones: All blondes. Overall: A Scandinavian-type appearance – think Meg Ryan or Liz Hayes. There is

often a low contrast between skin and hair tones. Colours to make you shine: Reds, corals, pinks, turquoise, beige, blues, periwinkles, navy, mid-blues, violets, blue–greys, sea greens, soft whites and creams. Do all of the above in pastels and gentle brights. Colours to avoid: Vivid brights are too strong, they’ll wear you, rather than you wearing them. Avoid any colour containing too much black, such as burgundy – they are too heavy for your colouring. Tip: Your colouring is light, so gentle brights and soft delicate tones are more harmonious for you. Some in this group can add camel, lime, yellow and orange, while others could benefit from adding cocoa, soft fuchsia, soft raspberry and light blue–reds.


Skin tones: Warm to dark and usually quick to suntan. Eyes tones: Brown, greens and hazel. Hair tones: Mid-to-dark brunettes, through to blacks and dark-chocolate browns. Overall: A Mediterranean-type appearance – think Selma Hayek. There is often a low

contrast between skin and hair tones. Colours to make you shine: Deep, rich tones of red, russet, mahogany, chocolate, pink, turquoise, teal, strong blues and navy, deep pine greens, royal purples, black and charcoal. Colours to avoid: Pastels. Tip: Deep, rich, strong colours harmonise best with your colouring. Some in this group can add fuchsia and burgundy, while others can add terracotta.


Skin Tones: Medium. Eyes Tones: Medium to deeper green/olives, browns and hazels. Hair Tones: Medium to dark with warm glints. No obvious red. Overall: A softened presence, a blending of personal colourings. Think Julia Roberts.

There is generally a low contrast between skin and hair tones. Colours to Make You Shine: Rich (not bright) reds, all the turquoise family, teal greens and blues, chocolate brown, coffee brown, mid-blue (but no vivid tones), rich raspberry, deep rose, periwinkle blue, petrol grey–greens, forest greens, salmon. Colours to Avoid: Bright, vivid tones. Tip: Some can add charcoal and burgundy, while others can add terracotta and chartreuse (yellow–green).


Skin tones: Medium to fair. Eyes tones: Bright jewel tones – vivid blues and greens. Hair tones: Dark, creating high contrast against the fair skin. Glints of warmth but no


obvious red. Overall: Clear, bright, jewel-like, vivid and strong. Bright colours light up your skin and eye tones powerfully. Think Elizabeth Taylor, Jennifer Kyte. Colours to make you shine: Fire-engine red, fuchsia pink, navy, charcoal, bright (slightly warm) pinks, hot turquoise, Chinese blue, royal blue, royal purple, violet, crisp bright blue–greens, daffodil yellow, crisp white and fresh soft white. Colours to avoid: Muddy, muted and faded colours. Tip: When the hair is darker, black can be stunning; and when the hair is in mid tones, charcoal and navy may be better than black. Once you know your colours, let your personality and preferences swing into action. Extroverts, for example, may love to play dice with the strongest, brightest colours and combinations within their palette, while an introvert with the same palette may choose to relax into the pulled-back, sophisticated portions of the palette. The beauty is that you have both options at any time to combine your palette to be whatever you want, while always looking great, feeling fabulous and becoming more confident about you.


Giveaway Want to learn more about how to discover your own colour palette, and what colours will look great on you? Chris Rewell’s interactive book, What colour am I will help you do just that, and we have five copies to give away. Designed and printed so you can discover your personal colour palette, What colour am I is an innovative and fun way to self-analyse your colouring. Test pages are printed in mirror-imaged text to allow you to easily read your book in the mirror. Colour palettes show your full wardrobe colour range plus blush, lipstick, hair colours and even your most flattering metals. Simply write in and tell us in 25 words or less how a colour makeover could change your life, and the most inspiring entries will win a copy of this interactive book. Email admin@empoweronline.com.au with ‘Colour Book Giveaway’ in the subject line or post your entry to empower Magazine, Suite 6, Level 5, 15 Orion Rd, Lane Cove, NSW 2066.

Chris Rewell is a highly regarded image professional, speaker, coach, trainer, author and mentor. She is the author of interactive personal colour book What colour am I? For more information visit www.chrisrewell.com.au




with YOUR

Inner Child

Is there a pattern occurring with the type of situations you constantly find yourself in? If so, it’s possible that an old memory or ‘story’ from your childhood is being triggered, calling out for attention and healing. Dana Mrkich explains how connecting with our inner child can set us free. Make the Connection

October/November 2008

nor was he emotionally available to her as she was growing up. She consistently attracted non-committal partners who let her down and treated her less than she was worth. Trish also regularly found herself in work situations where she was underpaid and undervalued. On a subconscious level she was re-creating the dynamic she’d had with her father, this time trying to get the support and acknowledgement she’d never received, which would finally allow her to feel loved and worthy. We all want to feel special and valued, so often we rely on others to make us feel this way. The problem is, it’s not someone else’s job to provide us with the emotional connections we lacked in childhood. However, certain relationships do bring our attention to any lack of emotional connection felt by our inner child. Trish had to learn to love herself no matter what, tell her inner child she was worthy and of value, and stand up for herself by honoring her true needs. We have to give ourselves everything we feel might have been lacking in our childhood, including nurturing, protection, unconditional love and support. Until we give our inner child our full love and attention she will, without doubt, sabotage many aspects of our life – just like any little child would that’s feeling neglected or ignored!


Dana Mrkich is an energy reader, spiritual intuitive and author. For more information, or to subscribe to her newsletter, email dana@danamrkich.com or visit www.danamrkich.com



ave you ever had an intense emotional reaction to something and thought, ‘Where did that come from?’ Chances are it didn’t come from what is happening in real time but from somewhere deep in your memory – a reaction to something hidden and protected by your inner child. Even as adults, we all have an inner child, which affects us every day. It represents who we were before we picked up layers of influence from parents, teachers, family, friends and society. Unable to deal with any negative thoughts and experiences that might have occurred during our childhood, our inner child, taking most of it personally, gradually retreats into her shell where she feels safe. Nevertheless, those feelings are still there, waiting for the day when we are emotionally mature enough to deal with them. When we catch ourselves repeating a pattern in life over and over again, it is often caused by our inner child getting us to replay a story in the hope that, this time around, we can change the ending. Until we have re-connected to the parts of us that may have been wounded when we were younger, life will continually provide opportunities to heal them. Take 36-year-old Trish, for example. Her father didn’t adequately support her financially,

As an exercise, think of an intense emotional reaction you recently had to something or someone; a type of person you regularly attract or a pattern you experience that evokes the same kind of feelings within you time and again. Did you know that about 90 percent of that strong emotional energy has nothing to do with the situation in front of you? Either in meditation, through journaling or with the help of a therapist, recall a time in your childhood when you felt that same way, or experienced this same pattern. Ask yourself: How do I feel whenever this happens and who made me feel this way when I was younger? Trust the answers, words and memories that come; they provide a clue as to the wound that is trying to be acknowledged now. When we take responsibility for finding the real root of our strong emotional responses, we experience great liberation and freedom and allow ourselves to live in a much more authentic and conscious way. What can you tell your inner child that she needed to hear all those years ago? Ask her what else she needs. You may be surprised by the simplicity of the clear responses that come. Finally, take your inner child out of the closet and say: “You are good enough. You are loved and worthy. It is okay to speak up and express your truth. You will be safe. I will protect you. I will love you.” In accepting our past we free ourselves to create a new story for our future. We can then start attracting people and situations that resonate with our newly-found emotional wholeness and inner sense of self-love, acceptance, security, and connection, making for much healthier relationships and life experiences.

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Spiritually Rich Y

ou don’t meet too many fashion retailers who are not-for-profit, but Jayasri [pronounced jay-shree] is one of them. She runs Lotus Pod, a boutique located in Darlinghurst’s chic shopping precinct. On the other side of her retail premises stands Govinda’s, a Hare Krishna meditation space, restaurant and movie room. This is not a geographic coincidence as much of Lotus Pod’s profits go towards its operations. So what could possibly be the motivation to work full-time for absolutely no financial gain? Jayasri explains that key to Hare Krishna beliefs is an inherent responsibility to provide the opportunity for other ‘seekers’ to gain access to the teachings of the Bhagavad-Gita – the Hare Krishna’s primary spiritual text that Jayasri calls the “ABC of spiritual life”, which is why she supports an establishment like Govinda’s. It seems very fitting that I meet Jayasri and her daughter Sita here, which is where they eat dinner most nights. Before delving into any heavy religious discussion, we share a girly chat about trashy mags, the rag trade and indulge in an Indian-style vegetarian buffet. Jayasri explains that the rationale behind places like Govinda’s is that Hare Krishna’s don’t believe in conversion; they believe in choice. So by providing access to

October/November 2008

transcendental knowledge through places like this, they believe that people have the opportunity to progress in their spiritual growth and understanding. The Bhagavad-Gita contains knowledge essential for understanding our true spiritual nature, explains Jayasri. “It distinguishes between the gross material body and the soul, which is purely spiritual and resides within the external covering of the body. It explains how the living entity, due to a false conception of identifying with the body, tries to find happiness through pounding the bodily senses and accumulating wealth and possessions. The happiness found in these activities is flickering and unsatisfying. The Bhagavad-Gita explains the process of elevating ones consciousness through the eight-fold yoga system, culminating in Bhakti-yoga. The BhagavadGita is a conversation between Krishna and his friend Arjuna where Krishna explains the path of enlightenment to Arjuna. “When the living entity reconnects to its spiritual source in pure love and devotion, this is called Bhakti-yoga and is the ultimate goal of the yoga system. Yoga means to link or connect the self with the supreme soul. “As a yoga practitioner I seek to control both my mind and senses,” adds Jayasri. “I meditate on the Hare Krishna mantra for two hours each day. This is a very powerful


spiritual mantra which frees the heart and mind from contamination and links us back to our original source –Krishna. In endeavouring to live purely I only eat vegetarian food offered to Krishna and refrain from intoxication, gambling and illicit sex. Each day I try to put Krishna at the centre of all my activities. By doing this I experience an intimate relationship with Krishna as friend and protector which is fully satisfying and full of joy. “Krishna consciousness or God consciousness is about living life in full consciousness of our true spiritual nature, placing Krishna at the centre and being loving and compassionate to all living entities. It is not a sectarian religion, its essence is common to all sincere followers on any religious path.” Krishna knowledge is handed down by both


Emma Gardiner speaks to Hare Krishna devotee Jayasri about living a spiritual life in a material world.

In Her Shoes

spiritual master to disciple, and through the ancient Vedic scriptures which were compiled in India 5,000 years ago. When one chants “Hare Krishna” one is actually addressing the Supreme Person, explains Jayasri. Krishna means ‘He who is all attractive’; Hare addresses ‘His divine energy’, which takes away all stress and anxiety; and Rama is the ‘Supreme in His feature’ as the giver of spiritual pleasure and bliss. Devotees of Krishna, commonly known as the Hare Krishnas, are part of a spiritual movement introduced to the western world in the late 60s by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Prabhupada translated many of the essential Vedic texts into the English language so this knowledge could be understood and embraced by all mankind. Hinduism is also based on the Vedic texts but the books studied by the devotees of Krishna are primarily those who deal with Bhakti-yoga.

Choosing Her Path Jayasri first became attracted to the Hare Krishna movement when she was sixteen. She recounts her first experience of attending a Hare Krishna feast where she was not only served taste bud blowing prashadam (blessed food) but also served an amazing philosophical explanation of life and its apparent dichotomies. “All the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle finally fitted together,” she explains. The experience struck such a powerful chord in her that four years later she travelled to India to pursue the path more seriously. Born in Auckland, New Zealand, Jayasri’s birth name was Janet. Her name change occurred when she took initiation, a ceremony whereby a formal bond between ‘Guru’ and ‘disciple’ is formed. “We are all given spiritual names that are names of Krishna because when they are spoken they have a spiritual vibration which both purifies us and reminds us of our focus,” she explains. Despite this, Jayasri’s parents still call her Janet from time to time. She says they were initially concerned when she became a devotee as they didn’t know much about it but have now come to accept it as a positive thing. “When I first went to India, it definitely helped that the girl who lived up the road from us in Auckland was also a Hare Krishna. She would go and visit them and help them

understand that I hadn’t run off and joined a cult,” she laughs. Jayasri was 22 when she first moved to Sydney to serve her ‘Guru’ (a senior devotee). A year later, she was married. “I actually had an arranged marriage,” she explains. “I thought Tony [Pratapana] was rather cute but he had his eye on someone else. The senior devotees thought they were mismatched and thought we’d make a really good team because we were well suited. We had faith in their judgement and got married. Twenty eight years later, we’re still happily married.” In an arranged marriage many aspects, such as background, personalities, values, intellect and shared goals are taken into account, explains Jayarsi. Arranged marriages are the exception in the movement today, however there is a tendency for devotees to take guidance from senior personalities in helping them choose the right partner. The responsibility of the final decision, though, always lies with the individual. Beyond the tenet of no sex outside of marriage also comes the belief that sex is purely for procreation. Jayasri now has two children and explains how, before she tried to


There are around 100,000 Hare Krishnas in Australia & eight Hare Krishna temples conceive, she and her husband would chant in order to attract a pure soul into the womb. She admits, however, that like most aspects of her faith, there are degrees to which people follow the rules. “The guidelines around sex for procreation are something that individual couples will adhere to according to their ability and desire,” she explains. “It is actually liberating to be able to control the senses rather than have them control you.” While Jayasri chooses to follow the more traditional beliefs around marriage and sex, as we talk I get an understanding that she is completely at ease with her choice and doesn’t feel she needs to justify to ‘non-followers’ her commitment to this. Hare Krishnas don’t typically celebrate Western holidays but Jayasri’s children still enjoy things like Easter eggs, Christmas


trees and birthday celebrations, although she concedes they don’t really go overboard with gifts. They also have many of their own celebrations throughout the year. They are usually held at their temple and focus on dancing, singing, remembering particular pastimes of Krishna and his devotees, offering sumptuous foodstuffs and joining together for a feast. Sound, vibrations and chanting are all critically important in Krishna consciousness. The chanting, called jappa, is performed on wooden meditation beads they carry in a small cloth bag. One mantra is chanted on each of the 108 beads, forming a strand. This is repeated sixteen times daily. “Transcendental sound vibrations are different to normal sound,” explains Jayasri. “There is a divine presence within it.” The Hare Krishna mantra, is ‘Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare’. For people unfamiliar with this, it’s worth listening to The Beatles’ song, My Sweet Lord because it’s featured within the lyrics. When asked whether Krishna consciousness can cleanse a guilty conscience or wash away sins, Jayasri explains that chanting the mantra does have this effect but they accumulate again if one does not change ones lifestyle. Unlike the temporary nature of materialistic activity, actions performed on the spiritual platform have an eternally lasting benefit. Krishna states in the BhagavadGita, “In this endeavour there is no loss or diminution, and a little advancement on this path is eternally beneficial”. What challenges does Jayasri face pursuing a spiritual path in a materialistic world? “Swimming against the current is never easy but when you are faced with a choice of temporary gains and losses, or pure love and joy, the endeavour is well worth what may initially seem like sacrifices but in reality actually leads you to liberation.” In a society where so much attention is focused on the body, the accumulation of wealth and the way people look rather than the way they act, I found Jayasri’s concept of being free from the tyranny of objectification and material judgement incredibly refreshing. It is in this that Hare Krishnas are incredibly wealthy but in a way that can’t be traded, stolen or lost. They are spiritually rich and this, for me, appears to pay the highest interest rate.




Rebirthn ig

Quite removed from the literal definition of its title, Rebecca Spicer discovers rebirthing to be an energising breathing technique used to release untapped emotions, and to connect with one’s ‘self’.


ntrigue’ is all I can say prompted me to deliver an article on rebirthing. Sure, I’d heard of it before – on an episode of CSI where a young boy was almost smothered to death during a process where his mother wrapped him in a blanket in an effort to re-enact his birth – but my knowledge was almost certainly tainted. Indeed it was. Michael Adamedes, a veteran in the field with 25 years experience in counselling and rebirthing, almost forgives my ignorance, admitting there can be confusion around the name of this technique. “If you were going to give it a title that really describes what it is, you would call it conscious connected breathing,” he explains. “It’s a form of yoga, akin to pranayama, that’s a couple of thousand years old, and it’s a breathing technique used to energise your body.” Rebirthing primarily helps release deep-seated feelings held in the body, he adds. “Initially when I’m working with people, they’re working through blocked emotions, old patterns from childhood, old hurts, ideas about who they are and how they feel inhibited. But if they break through all that, they actually connect to something beyond themselves and it becomes a tool for enlightenment.” This is where the practice of rebirthing, for some, can be quite spiritual. While the concept of ‘conscious connected breathing’ has been around for centuries, the name rebirthing came about thanks to Leonard Orr who popularised the breathing technique in the early 1970s. “He was of the opinion that in order to clear your emotions and to clear your blocked personality, you had to go back to your birth and re-experience your birth trauma, so to speak,” explains Michael. “In doing that, you would release the inhibitions you were born into. He called it rebirthing, like being reborn again, and then the whole thing stuck.”

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Michael admits this way of thinking was a little naïve. “Yes, a few people do carry birth trauma and yes it can really to resolve that trauma, but birth trauma is not the beginning and end of everything – it’s just one thing. You may have had a wonderful birth but you may have had an alcoholic father, and that’s going to create a big problem for you in your life, and the birth has nothing to do with it.

Release to Grow As a “detective into the unconscious mind”, Michael usually helps people through a crisis or upset they’re facing, or he’ll work with high achievers to see what is preventing their performance from moving to the next level. “Essentially what I do is look at the present circumstances that are occurring in someone’s life, then backtrack from that to work out what the subconscious belief patterns are that are creating those results.” Rebirthing is only part of this process. Michael uses two basics strands of work. The first involves using the likes of counselling, neuro-linguistic programming and hypnosis, to work on the concepts/issues at play and unhook whatever the inhibiting mental patterns are. “Then, often you have to work emotionally and help people to release the feelings associated with those concepts and ideas. That’s where the rebirthing comes in,” he explains. “When you’re talking to someone in the first instance, you’re dealing with what they think they know, and when you’re rebirthing you’re dealing with what the real issue is because it’s the body that holds the real issue.” A rebirth is usually done lying on your back on a mattress and involves continuous deep breathing through the mouth. A qualified rebirther will support and guide you through how to relax and breath. “Rebirthing is very slow, induced and controlled. You can stop it at any time you want and you’re just


breathing, breathing, breathing until you reach a point where you start to experience physical tension,” explains Michael. “Sometimes I may get people to express how they’re feeling, they may emote, and the rebirther is there to guide them slowly and gently and to help them get in touch with something that is usually a bit scary for people. Basically I’m teaching the person to be in that emotional state and to be detached from the emotional state.” Rebirthing can be done one-on-one with a supporter or in groups. “One-on-one is more private so if you feel at all inhibited, you don’t need to worry if it’s just the two of you in the room,” explains Christina Bakker who has tried both options over the past three years. “The advantage of the group rebirth is there’s an enormous amount of energy in the room that can be really quite delightful. Usually you’ll work in a pair with one person doing the rebirth while the other supports them and that’s a lovely experience as well, to be the supporter.” While you need someone to support you initially with rebirthing, Michael believes once you become comfortable with your emotions, you can do the breath work on your own. Catherine Lezer, 37, has used rebirthing for almost 10 years. Michael introduced her to the technique after they’d had a few counselling sessions and she recalls being surprised to find how physical it is. “That’s funny to say because you are just lying down breathing, but it is quite a physical thing. The closest thing to it, I think, would be yoga where you hold certain postures and you start releasing stuff.” While Catherine didn’t have any horrific memories from her childhood to deal with, she’s been able to use rebirthing to address some very practical issues in her life now. One session saw her overcome a fear of flying. “Obviously I wasn’t born with a claustrophobic fear of flying, so at some point when I was a child something happened and I developed the fear. When Michael is dealing with a problem


Check out the following links for more information on rebirthing and how to find a qualified practitioner near you:


• www.australianbreathworkassociation.org.au • www.innerpeacemastery.com • www.naturaltherapypages.com.au that’s presenting now – the fear of flying – the techniques he does and the rebirthing goes back and fixes that problem from when you were three or four. That’s the amazing thing, because you’re just dealing with an upset now, but resetting it back in your past is hugely powerful because it really does change. You have no idea the far-reaching ramifications of it. In that case, I walked out of there and not only was I desensitised to my fear of flying, I could deal with my dad better because, even though I don’t remember it, there was some issue with him and the claustrophobia when I was three … it’s amazing.” Christina, on the other hand, has used rebirthing in a more literal sense of the word. “My way of explaining it is not so much that I re-experienced my birth but I understood it in a different way. I had that sense of being born, but I knew I wasn’t being born. It was like being introduced to myself. “I also went through the motion of my own conception and it sounds bizarre but in that moment I understood something very basic about my own conception and that it was okay. I did have a fairly difficult entry into the world being born prematurely and being very ill, so I’ve probably got some interesting issues around birth. Now I’m training to be a midwife and it’s quite connected with me in a strange way.” Christina remembers the breath work being quite uncomfortable to begin with. “For me, you’ve really got to work at it, but eventually you get passed the point where you have a dry mouth and as long you’re just concentrating on your breath, you completely forget about any discomfort and it just takes you into the absolute here and now. This is why you have a supporter, reminding you to focus on the breath. They’re big deep breaths and if you focus on that there’s no more room for thought. “For me, it helps clear my mind and either takes me into a very blissful, deep meditative state, which I’ve had on maybe half the occasions, and the other half I’ve had memories or associated feelings from the past when I’ve felt not very safe. I was able to identify where that feeling came from, clear it,

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and walk away never thinking twice about that fear again. It’s quite a release mechanism.”

A Spiritual Connection While it will depend on the philosophy of the practitioner and the beliefs of the client, Michael says rebirthing can be used purely as a psychological, emotional discharging process, or it can be used as a spiritual process as well. Catherine falls into the former category. “Everyone’s interpretation of the word spirituality is different and it’s a very personal thing. I think rebirthing is more of a releasing tool, rather than a tool to get in touch with your spirituality – that’s how I’ve used it because I’m a very practical person.” For Christina, rebirthing has actually played a big role in helping her become spiritually connected with her ‘self ’. “I started off as an atheist but somewhere along the line I’ve developed a different sense of the world, and it has had a lot to do with the rebirthing. “During my first rebirth I experienced a sense of absolute and total peace. The closest experience I’ve had was with hypnotherapy. There was a sense of transcendence, a sense of being outside by body but not looking down on my body; a sense of oneness and safety. I just remember lying there in this wonderful, relaxed state, almost wondering around inside of myself. “The sense of connection and oneness on that initial rebirth had a big impact on awakening a consciousness within me that had probably always been there but I never really had an outlet for. Rebirthing gives me a totally transcendent experience where I’m at peace – colours are brighter, I hear things differently, I’m just more tuned in to the world around me, and much less involved with the voices in my head. Mostly I’m aware that I’m able to help myself through the processes of the ups and downs of normal life, but when I start to feel like I


really need to connect to the peacefulness, I’ll do another rebirthing session.” As a practitioner, Michael takes a very spiritual perspective: “I believe it’s a very spiritual thing. Buddha said, ‘Before enlightenment, chop wood and cart water’, which was basically a metaphor for, ‘carry on your everyday living’. Then, ‘After enlightenment, chop wood and cart water with awareness and detachment’. “Enlightenment, or the spiritual path then, is learning to be your own internal observer and learning how to emotionally detach, which is what we’re doing with the rebirthing.” Michael warns, however, that people often start on a spiritual path, taking up spiritual techniques without working on their underlying psychological issues. “What I’m doing is helping people emotionally and psychologically balance themselves so that their spiritual side can unfold. This will unfold naturally when you don’t have psychological baggage in the way – it’s a natural state.”



Making a Difference

At just 27 Trisha Broadbridge has survived a tragic event no-one should have to endure. Here she shares with Rebecca Spicer how sheer determination and survival tactics have seen her turn it all around.


hile travelling around Thailand in 2005, I remember arriving at Phi Phi Island for the first time and wondering what everyone was raving about when they’d talk about coming to this “amazing” place. Sure, the colour of the water was spectacular but it did little to detract from the barren wasteland before me. I wasn’t quite sure what to say to my partner who had been here before and had geared me up to be wowed by this place, but he was utterly speechless as well. He had last been here pre-Boxing Day tsunami 2004 and “utter devastation” was the only words he could use to describe the change in scenery. Small amounts of rebuilding had begun but as we chatted to locals and realised the extent of the devastation, I gained a whole new appreciation for this small wonder of the world. Upon returning home, a friend leant me a book, Beyond the Wave, by tsunami survivor

Island on December 26, 2004. Battered and bruised, Trisha survived but, sadly, Troy didn’t. Almost three years after reading Trisha’s story, I have a chance to talk to this amazing woman about all she has overcome and achieved since that fateful day. She is open and honest about her experience and, while there will always be a degree of sadness when speaking about the tsunami’s impact, I am in awe of her positive outlook on life. With a degree in sociology, Trisha is a qualified youth worker and is currently doing her Masters in Social Science (International Development), so has always had a passion to help others less fortunate. Given Troy’s public profile, Trisha received a lot of media attention following the tsunami, which compelled her to write a book for a number of reasons. She wanted to tell the real story about what happened to her and Troy, as apposed to the media-edited version of events, and the profits from the sale of the book would also

“I don’t think there’s anything I can’t do. It’s not that I’m overly confident, I just have an absolute belief in myself” Trisha Broadbridge. Her real-life account of the events that day, the love story that leads up to it, and what happened in the days, weeks and months that followed, literally moved me to tears. Her story of survival, loss, guilt, courage and strength is a true inspiration. Just eight days after marrying the love of her life, 23-year-old Trisha and her husband Troy Broadbridge – an AFL footballer with the Melbourne Football Club – were bowled over by the unexpected tsunami that struck Phi Phi

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give her the opportunity to start the Reach Broadbridge Fund. On a return trip to Phi Phi a month after Troy’s funeral, Trisha spent time getting clarity and understanding about the devastation the tsunami had caused, not least of which to the island community. This gave her the idea for the Reach Broadbridge Fund – a fund established in Troy’s honour to make a positive difference in the lives of young people both in Australia and Thailand.


The book kick-started her project to raise the $400,000 the Broadbridge Fund would need to rebuild one of the schools on Phi Phi. Thanks also to the help of generous donations, Trisha found herself back in Thailand with the rest of the team from the Melbourne Football Club (MFC) building the school just seven months after the tsunami struck. To date, Trisha says opening the school, aptly named the Broadbridge Education Centre, has been the most memorable day in her life since the tsunami. The Fund has also helped establish a branch of the Reach Foundation in Troy’s home state of South Australia. Trisha has had a long association with Reach – a notfor-profit organisation established in 1994 offering programs for young Australians – as a teenager herself and then as a Reach facilitator helping to mentor young people. Troy was also involved – football and Reach were their two shared passions – so it was a natural fit for Trisha to affiliate the Broadbridge Fund with the organisation. She is now an ambassador to Reach.

An Emotional Journey With gashes as deep as her bone caused by the disaster, Trisha still needs regular treatment for some of the scars on her arms and legs but, in all, her physical recovery has been a lot quicker than her emotional one. Not only did she have to deal with the loss of her husband at just 23, she was wracked with survivor’s guilt and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress six months after the event. In the year following, Trisha checked herself into a psychiatric clinic on two separate occasions, the latter of which being the most difficult. “After the book was published and after I’d built the school and come home from Thailand, I spent another two months in a psychiatric clinic. That was lower than any other time because I’d worked so hard to build that education centre and, when I came home, all of a sudden I didn’t have this purpose anymore. It was a time when the footy players and I needed to say goodbye and move on, and I found it really hard because they were able to, and I couldn’t. “It was also leading up to the one-year anniversary of the tsunami and my first wedding anniversary – it was leading up to a lot of those first dates for everything. I know,

as each year goes on, it will get easier, but that first year was a lot harder to get through. While Trisha didn’t officially work during that first year following the tsunami, she had the Reach Broadbridge Fund to keep her busy, all the while knowing she was doing it for Troy. While this also meant she wasn’t earning an income, she gives great credit to the support of the MFC for helping her financially. “They ensured I was able to go through that process where I didn’t have to worry about paying my mortgage and I could really do what it is I love to do. “I think a lot about people who might be in my situation as a young widow. It was a big lesson but Troy and I didn’t have wills or life insurance, so we were in debt because we’d bought a home. All of that could have been so much harder for me if the MFC hadn’t assisted me financially. It just made such a difference at the time, and to where I am now, so I know that in that way I’ve been very lucky.

Photographs courtesy National Australia Day Council

New Places Twelve months after the tsunami, Trisha realised she needed to get a little bit of herself back and admits escaping Melbourne to do a six-month contract with World Vision in WA, working on their corporate and major donor strategy. “It was a good thing for me to get out of Melbourne. There have been a lot of moments when I’ve found life in Melbourne is hard because I’ve got so many memories of such a different life for me here. “I think it really helped me get away from the media a little bit as well. The media has been my best friend in so many ways because I wouldn’t have been able to raise the awareness for the Fund without them, but there came a time when I needed to just start feeling like Trisha again. That was a great process for me.” The year of 2006 was also a big one for Trisha, winning the prestigious title of Young Australian of the Year, which she describes as “one of the most amazing feelings”. “I think I won because of building the school in Thailand, but I also think a lot of people were inspired by me within that 12 months because in the hardest time (I’m hoping) I’ll ever go through in my life, I was able to bring something positive from the experience.” What most people wouldn’t know is that Trisha was actually nominated twice before for Young Victorian of the Year due to the work she was doing with Reach. “I remember getting the letter saying I had been nominated when I was 20 and Troy put it on the fridge and was really proud I was even nominated,” she recalls. “So when I actually won Young Victorian I didn’t think I was going to win, so I didn’t really talk to people about it. It was more of a bitter sweet thing to win, but when I won Young Australian it was probably one of the most amazing things to feel – to know that within my country people were standing and acknowledging me for what had happened in the last 12 months. “At the time I was 25 and it was something I never dreamt would happen and I think it was such an honour to be named in one of those awards. I definitely felt like I could enjoy it a bit more [than the Victorian awards] but there were always moments when




The Broadbridge Education Centre is officially opened in September 2005. Trisha participates in a celebrity fun run, Run Up The Rialto, on Boxing Day 2007 (the three-year anniversary of the tsunami).

Trisha meets Pad Pong on her first return trip to Thailand.

Trisha has the honour of participating in the 2006 Commonwealth Games torch relay.

Fact File

Name: Trisha Broadbridge Age: 27 Achievements: Ambassador to the Reach Foundation; founded the Reach Broadbridge Fund; 2006 Young Australian of the Year; business development manager, charitable trusts, ANZ Trustees. Biggest inspiration? The person who has had the most influence on me is Jim Stynes from Reach. He’s an amazing man who’s done many amazing things, so as my mentor, friend, and someone I know will always be there, it would definitely be him. Most memorable moment? The opening of the Broadbridge Education Centre. Little-known fact? I definitely have an obsession with DVDs – I’ve got about 1,300. I also train for kick-boxing, it’s a great outlet. Goals for the next five years? CEO of an organisation like Reach. I know where I’m going to end up, I’m confident of that, but I’m not 100 percent sure how I’m going to get there yet. Biggest life lessons: • Don’t sweat the small stuff. I don’t get angry or frustrated over anything anymore because I know that whatever happens I am going to get through it – the little things don’t matter anymore. • Your ‘dash’ is so much more important than the dates on your tombstone. The dash is what you’re remembered for, not the day you were born or the day you die. • Take responsibility for your actions but don’t be too harsh on yourself. We all make mistakes. • Have the right people in your life who are going to stand by you whether you win Young Australian of the Year or you’re sitting at home crying in your PJs needing help. • Realise how important family are. I don’t think I ever appreciated my family properly until after this and if that’s the one thing that I take from it, then that’s the best life lesson I can get.

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I knew that I wouldn’t have won this award unless I’d gone through what I had – I never would have built a school in Thailand after the tsunami if I hadn’t been involved and I’m very aware of that. But, the people I met and the way people made me feel in that time, was something that helped me. I think it really gave people an opportunity to see a different side of me and what I had achieved. “I had a lot of issues with being portrayed as a tsunami widow and a footballer’s wife because I felt like people had put me in some sort of box. But when I got a chance to speak to people when I’d won Young Australian, they realised I’d been doing charity work for my whole life and this is my passion and this is why I’m able to do what I do – I really felt like people were getting to know me for who I am, not just for what happened to me. That had a really big influence on me personally.” Travelling around Australia on a road show with the other winners, Trisha talked to people about her journey and what it means to be Australian. She is especially grateful for the opportunity to visit places she otherwise never would have, particularly remote indigenous communities. It was also the year the Commonwealth Games were held in Melbourne, and a highlight for Trisha was having dinner with the Queen. “She is a pretty inspiring woman and she is so articulate, which I didn’t expect, so I felt very privileged to hear her speak. Also, during the Commonwealth Games, all of the award winners from each state were in the opening ceremony. So for someone who loves sport, it was an amazing thing to do and a lot of fun as well, and the people I got to meet, I felt very privileged during that time.” Trisha moved to Sydney for a while that year to participate in Dancing On Ice, before moving back to Melbourne to pursue her career and spend some much-needed quality time with her support network of family and friends. “I moved back to Melbourne and talked to a few different people about where they thought my career would go. I thought the obvious path I would choose was corporate social responsibility, but then I came across the idea


of actually working within trustee companies or within the philanthropic area. Philanthropy is a very emerging market in Australia so to be involved in it from now will be great for my career.” Trisha started work in the trustee division of ANZ bank in January 2007, assisting people who want to start up a charitable foundation go through their granting process and strategies. “These charitable foundations will be continually distributing to the community, and that’s something I’m really passionate about because not only are you leaving your legacy – which is what I’ve done with Troy – but for these people their legacy will always live on.” Other opportunities have presented themselves to Trisha, including a recent six-month secondment in Cambodia, working on a mobile phone banking project, assisting micro finance institutions. Ambitious and driven, Trisha is always looking for her next challenge. She admits to never wanting to have an “ordinary life”, having always pushed boundaries growing up. “I think people respect that in me. I’m given a go on so many things because they know my attitude and I think that makes such a difference, especially within the corporate world. I know if I’m given something to do, I will do it and I make things happen and it’s something that’s worked for me.” At just 27, the sky is the limit for Trisha and this year she finally feels as if she can think about her future beyond the next month. “For the first three years, all I wanted to do was survive, and now I know I’m starting to feel better in that I’m thinking about the future for the first time. “When I was 15 I was telling everyone that I was going to be the Reach CEO, and everyone used to laugh. But the reality is, I have to go back and remember what I was thinking at 15, before any of this happened – what were my goals? That is still my ultimate goal – one day I will be the CEO of an organisation like Reach. I am building myself to a point where that will be the next natural progression. “I actually don’t think there’s anything I can’t do, and it’s not that I’m overly confident, it’s just that I have an absolute belief in myself and it makes such a difference.”

Photographs courtesy Trisha Broadbridge

Trisha launches her inspiring book, Beyond The Wave.


Friendly Competition Healthy Rivalry

Girls don’t go for one-upmanship, do they? Yeah right, says Rachael Oakes-Ash. Here she explains why a little female competition can be healthy, as long as it’s used positively.



ou may not think you’re competitive, but have you checked out another woman’s shoes, hair, handbag, makeup or figure today? Have you ever breathed a sigh of relief when your ex’s new girlfriend turns out to be fatter or uglier than you? Or maybe you’ve bitched about another woman as soon as she’s left the room… either verbally or in your head? It’s hard to escape female competition. As children, girls are told to play nicely with the other girls and share Barbie dolls while the boys are applauded for wrestling for the Tonka Truck in the sandpit. Boys play team sports where they learn about working together – the person who sets up the goal is just as important as the person who scores it. Meanwhile, we’re twirling on our ballet slippers saying “look at me” at the annual concert. We play elastics and jump rope in the playground where only one girl at a time gets the stage while the other two are obliged to stand there until she trips up. In the playground we learn that language and information is power – passing notes in

class, declaring ourselves ‘best friends forever’, saying yes when we mean no for fear of exile from the all-important group. We learn to define ourselves externally from a young age when our outfits, hair colour, eyes, beauty – or lack of it – are constantly commented on by our parents’ friends. Later on, our persona is defined by how many invitations we get to sleepovers, the designer clothes we wear, which bands we like or how many friends we have on Facebook. We share our innermost secrets with our closest girlfriends, then stay friends with her no matter how she treats us for fear that, if we ‘break up’, she will share our deepest secrets with others. Knowledge is power in the world of female competition. When one girl falls out with another, the ripples impact an entire group as girls are forced to take sides and risk being frozen out themselves. No wonder the silent treatment is the single most effective and damning tool in the complex negotiation of female friendships. It’s easier to freeze someone out without telling them why than to speak up.


As adult women we present a ‘press release of life’ to the outside world lest they find out the truth – that we’re flawed. If only the yummy mummy would reveal she had botox, or the super mum admit she buys store-made cakes or the high-powered executive that she suffers from insomnia. Being honest, truly honest, with both ourselves and others gives us breathing space, a chance to sigh in relief as the press release is revealed as just that, smoke and mirrors. The truth is, we are all competitive and that’s okay – without competition the human race would simply not exist. We just need to use competition in a positive way. Compassion for each other’s flaws and stresses, understanding our own feelings of lack, and expressing empathy for other women may mean fewer of us will find ourselves binge eating at two in the morning. It’s about speaking up and speaking the truth, understanding that competition is not just masculine, it’s feminine, too, and it doesn’t have to be aggressive, instead it can be inspiring and healthy. But if you constantly compare, you will despair. You can’t compare an oak tree with a willow, a water buffalo with a dairy cow. Each has it’s own unique attributes – as do you Let’s try applauding each other’s successes, having compassion for each other’s setbacks and going easy on ourselves when negotiating friendships. These relationships take work and understanding and we don’t get it right every time, that’s the joy of learning. Have the courage to speak up when something doesn’t feel right, admit feelings of envy out loud and enroll daughters into team sports. It’s time to applaud our girls for who they are on the inside, to ask them what they think about interesting topics outside of beauty and clothes. We are the future generation – our own children will speak our words, the way we hear our own mother’s voice escape our lips.


Finding Common Ground M

ost of us can recall a time when our values were challenged by those around us – perhaps your date clicked his fingers at a waitress, leaving you aghast, or you felt your colleague was not pulling their weight at work. To a large degree, the values we hold as adults are ingrained in us through our upbringing. This may be anything from basic manners or gender roles, through to things such as religion, politics or fundamental ethics like honesty and integrity. According to the most recent Relationships Indicators Survey conducted by Relationships Australia, the top three issues that impact negatively on relationships between couples are work, money and kids. Underpinning attitudes to these issues is a raft of values that often have their roots in our early experiences of family life. In terms of work, it may be that the partners have differing values about how to balance the competing obligations of work and family. Where money is at the root of the problem, it may be that one partner values thriftiness while the other sees it as something to be enjoyed. And, where kids are concerned,

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parenting styles can open up a whole other pressure-cooker of value-laden variances. Petah-Jane Anastasas met her husband on a cruise ship. His opening line was, “Hi, I’m divorced with three kids”. She was separated with a one-year-old. Within a year, they had a child of their own. Now, eight years on, Petah-Jane is still adamant that she has found ‘the one’. But it hasn’t all been smooth sailing. “When all the kids came together, we discovered we had very different parenting styles,” she recalls. “He was highly protective of and slightly over-indulgent with his children. On the other hand, I am someone who is not afraid to set boundaries.” In the early days, the couple clashed. “I disagreed strongly with his approach with the children,” she recalls. “At times he would become defensive. He would give me feedback as well, then I would also become defensive.” Petah-Jane and her husband eventually managed to work through their divergent values with a healthy dose of tolerance and good communication. “It was a matter of sharing what we knew and compromising where we could,” she says.


“Clearly the families we grow up in have an influence on our attitudes,” says Anne Hollonds, vice president of Relationships Australia. “But sometimes that influence makes us become quite different to our own families, so it’s not a one-way street. What the actual impact of our upbringing is and how it’s played out depends on the individual and their other life experiences.” “My experience of more than 30 years as a relationship psychologist has taught me that differing values are the greatest cause of relationship failure or conflict,” says psychologist Toby Green. “The disciplining of children is the most common value conflict between couples, in-laws and step parents.” Value clashes are certainly not limited to the home. The workplace, in particular, is a melting pot of differing family values. This can manifest in a number of ways including differing styles of communication through to assumptions about the varying roles and responsibilities of individuals. Recognising that we all see the world through a slightly different-coloured lens can help to maintain healthy relationships in our


We are deeply influenced by the values instilled in us from childhood. But what happens when these collide with others’ values? Tami Dower explores how different folks can resolve their different strokes.


Family Ties

work, home and social lives. Conflict coach Rho Sandberg says developing an insight into our own family values is critical. “Normally people just take these values for granted – as fact – and impose them on the rest of the world as things that are right. We don’t see other values as potentially important until we start to examine them.” Being aware of our own thought patterns is a useful starting point in addressing a clash of family values. “There are two things happening here,” explains Anne Hollonds, “The other person’s doing something and you’re interpreting it. So it’s best to start with what you’ve got control over and that is your own stuff. You’ve got to think, ‘Why am I interpreting it that way? What is pushing my buttons about this situation?’ The more you understand yourself, the more you’re able to take responsibility for your contribution to a relationship.” In some cases it comes down to simply looking at the problem from another angle. “People get themselves into tug-of-wars where it looks like it’s a win–lose situation, but if you look at it from a different perspective, you can see a much greater variety of options,” explains family therapist Annabel McGoldrick. “It usually requires someone from the outside to say, ‘Hey have you thought about looking at it this way?’ and then the parties can put their tug-of-war rope down.” There are always win–win options, she adds: “A lot of it is accepting that someone else’s version of reality is different to yours and that you don’t have to persuade them to see it your way.” Rho agrees that an adversary approach is usually not the best solution. “You see some people who go into a path of mutual self-destruction for the sake of winning and

being right,” she says. “Sometimes in these situations we need to say, ‘Do you want to be right or do you want to have the relationship?’ There’s no point destroying what you really cherish in order to prove that you’re right.” A lot of the time, it’s not actually about finding a solution, contends Annabel. “It’s about people hearing each other and accepting different versions of reality. It all starts with awareness of the self, and awareness of which feelings, beliefs and thought systems are driving you.” For Petah-Jane, it was a matter of understanding the values underlying her husband’s parenting style and letting go of the things she couldn’t change. “I now accept

forward without addressing it, then you have to find a careful way of raising it,” she says. “Rather than saying things like ‘you always do this’ or ‘you never do that’, take ownership of your reaction and say, ‘When this happens I experience it in this way. I’m not sure if you intend it to be that way, but that’s the effect on me’.” Dealing with these sorts of issues in an open and honest way is essential to bringing about compromise and evolving our own family values in a constructive way. As Rho points out, it may be that the values we developed through our families of origin are no longer serving us the way they once did. “Our childhood set of values is often

Being aware of our own thought patterns is a useful starting point in addressing a clash of family values that’s his way of showing love and just as I have my style, he has his too. By picking my battles, I was able to determine what I could leave and pass through to the keeper,” she says. “In some cases it’s important to let go of the outcome.” There are, however, some family values that are so fundamental to the individuals involved that they must be tackled head-on. “[In a couple relationship] both individuals should be aware of what values they hold and whether the breach of them by a partner constitutes an annoyance or a ‘deal breaker’,” says Toby Green. “That it’s rude to leave your damp towel on the bathroom floor expecting someone else to fix it is a lot different to thinking that extramarital sex is okay.” Where the issue is something that may be able to be resolved, the important thing is not to approach it from a position of blame, says Anne. “If you decide that you can’t go


simplistic,” she says. “Our directly inherited values were often appropriate at a point in time. They worked for our families, but they may not work in a workplace or a new family situation. They may need maturation.” So while we all carry with us a strong sense of values, influenced in one way or another by our childhoods, these values are by no means stagnant. Over time we must learn to adapt them. Interacting with those who don’t necessarily share our values forces us to re-evaluate the beliefs we inherited from our families, suggests Toby. “In terms of altering our values, we work through it in time, depending on the changing status of the world, social and environmental circumstances and, most importantly, our ability to develop our own autonomy – to separate out from being our parents’ daughter or son to becoming our own person.”



forelskelserakkaus armast sevdali cintalove szerelem amours astfanginn amoreliefde What’s Your

Love Language?

You’re shouting it from the rooftops, yet he still doesn’t hear – it’s as if you’re speaking a different language. Well maybe you are, explains love coach Carolin Dahlman.


ould you speak Swedish to a Chinese woman or serve red meat to a vegetarian? In most aspects of our lives, we listen to other people and try to please them, but often in relationships we tend to love a partner in the way we want to be loved, rather than the way they need to be loved. The reality is, we all want to be loved in different ways, and if given the wrong kind of love symbols we can start to feel empty. There is no point cooking amazing dinners to show you have deep feelings for your partner when he really just wants to spend some quality time with you. Have you ever asked your partner, ‘What makes you feel most loved?’ My client Louise called me in complete frustration recently. “I’ve done everything for him, but he is still complaining, calling me selfish.” I asked her what she had done to show him that she loved him and she replied, “I always put little notes in his wallet that will surprise him during the day”. Then, she continued in an angry voice, “He

October/November 2008

never does the same for me. All he does is to ask me if I want a ride to work, and then he’s mad at me for using him as a driver and says I’m not being grateful enough”. Most conflicts arise in relationships due to miscommunication, or lack of it all together. We interpret each other’s behaviour out of how we ourselves would react or act. We give love in the way we want it to be given to us. Louise and her boyfriend had forgotten to ask the simple question, ‘what makes you happy?’ and kept on giving love in the way they would want to receive it. Sound familiar? A golden rule in love is to be humble and kind if you want it to work long term. In the long run you gain from being receptive of your partner’s needs and unique way of being. It’s important not to judge a person based on your own expectations. We are all individuals, shaped differently by our personalities, emotions and childhoods. A great couple I know have a saying: ‘You have to say what you want, otherwise you


will eat oranges for the rest of your life’. The story goes that early in their relationship Helen used to ask Tom to buy fruit in the shopping, which he happily did, but the funny thing is that he always came home with oranges. Helen wasn’t very keen on them, but was grateful for him buying the fruit so she didn’t say anything. A few months later she did manage to ask Tom why he always bought oranges. He looked confused and replied, “Because they’re your favourite!” Obviously, at some point, Tom had gotten the idea that Helen loved oranges and, since he loved them, he assumed she did too. They both acted out of love but with some communicating, they finally got what they really wanted. Listen & Learn Dr Gary Chapman is an American marriage counsellor who has described and clarified these differences in a very interesting and useful way. In his book The Five Love Languages (Northfield Publishing), he reveals the theory that there are five key ways of showing love and that every one of us has a preference for what makes us feel most loved. The five languages he describes are:


szerelem cinta tus amor forelskelse astfanginn sevdali szerelem amour de愛情rakkaus liefd 사랑

Words of affirmation: Compliments, notes, nice words and verbal encouragement are important. Those who speak this language are tend to be sensitive to negative critique and may show their dissatisfaction by nagging or using sharp words. Quality time: For a person who speaks this language, quality conversation and eye-toeye contact is important, as is shared quality activities. If their partner just sits in front of the TV, they will be unhappy. Focused time with their mate is important. Receiving gifts: If you are with a partner who

loves gifts you will constantly get surprises, flowers or a new shirt. This is how they show love and want to be loved. They feel this is a way of ‘investing’ in the relationship. The gift of ‘self ’ – being there for someone – is also an important symbol of love to these people. Acts of service: Some people find pleasure

in doing things for others. Acts of service may require both mates to do some chores and services that aren’t usually expected from them, however they should be done out of love, not obligation. Physical touch: If your partner talks this language they will be physically affectionate a lot of the time. They feel sex is much more than an orgasm, so can feel unloved if you don’t have time for sex with them.

So which language do you speak and, just as importantly, which language does


your partner speak? Try not to assume what their response would be. Be sure to ask them directly. Many of us might like a combination of these love symbols, but Dr Chapman says we are usually more fluent in one of the five ‘love languages’. To use five languages does simplify things. The value of creating just a few categories to put people in serves mainly to raise awareness of the fact we are all different. When you find your place in one of the languages, you can understand yourself

individuals. To speak ‘giving gifts’ does not mean the same for everyone. For some it means getting expensive earrings and for others it is about getting something personal and sentimental. For some people ‘quality time’ means longer holidays, for others it’s a shared dinner every night. The key is to ask, listen and tell. Ask questions such as, ‘What would make you happy?’, ‘How can I make you feel loved?’ or, ‘If you could ask me for anything, what would that be?’ It seems like a simple rule to listen and act on your partner’s needs, but when I talk

Once you and your partner have established your love language, you need to continue communicating what it means to you as individuals better and dig deeper into what your own personal language is. Maybe you like steak, but mostly the medium-rare style with a salad to go with it. Maybe you are a person who loves physical touch, but mainly when it is delivered in public, where everyone can see how you are loved. Perhaps your language is none of Dr Chapman’s five? To find out, ask yourself and your partner: • When do I feel most loved? • How do I give love? • What do I usually get upset about? • If I was to create a perfect evening with my partner, how would it be?

to my clients about it I often get a lot of resistance. Most people don’t see how their partners can be so unlike them. The best advice I can give is to be kind and humble. Accept that you are not the centre of the world. Just as you have a preferred clothing style or like seafood better than meat, we are all individual and feel the very best when treated as if we’re special. If you love your partner using the right language, he or she will be happy and want to love you back. Love is truly contagious.

When you and your partner have established your love language, you still need to continue communicating what it means to you as

(www.coaching2love.com) or email coach@coaching2love.com


Carolin Dahlman is a love coach. For more information visit her website


Sex Advice

for Goodwill is the foundation stone for a mutually satisfying sexual relationship, says Dr Rosie King. She reveals how it can either make or break your sexual connection.


oodwill is a disposition of kindness and compassion towards your partner. It manifests in a benevolent wish that your partner be happy and prosper, and a willingness to do whatever it takes to bring about your partner’s happiness. Goodwill also: • shows itself in a friendly outlook towards your partner. When you have goodwill towards them you are happy to oblige him or her, to give aid, support and encouragement; • has a selfless element, where you are prepared to make sacrifices for your partner without expecting a reward. You are cordial, generous, tolerant and helpful. You cherish your partner at least as much as you cherish yourself, if not more; • suggests prompt forgiveness and lasting forbearance, soft-heartedness, empathy and sympathy; • is good-humoured, interested, appreciative and respectful. It means giving the very best of yourself to your partner; and • lifts your partner’s spirits and makes them feel good about you and about themselves. It creates a sense of trust where you can rely on one another to always do the best by each other. Goodwill is absolutely essential for a good sex life. Goodwill makes us willing and happy to meet our partner’s sexual needs, wants and desires even if they differ from our own. It motivates us to go more than half way, to make compromises and to tolerate minor disappointments in our sex lives. Goodwill brings a measure of good humour and light-heartedness to sex so it becomes more like play than hard work.

October/November 2008

If your relationship is characterised by ill will your chances of having a satisfying sexual relationship are slim to none. The first step in solving your sexual problems is to get your relationship back on track.

Investing in Your ‘Goodwill Account’

Imagine that you and your partner share a ‘goodwill bank account’. You make deposits in your bank account by meeting each other’s emotional needs. When both of you are constantly working to create a happy relationship you add to the goodwill level in your bank account every day. Early in the relationship, investing in your joint account is relatively effortless because just about everything you do pleases your partner. However, as your relationship matures you need to make deliberate, specific contributions to your goodwill account based on your partner’s unique set of emotional needs. To do this effectively you need to know your partner well and build a high level of intimacy. When you fail to nurture your partner and your relationship you stop adding to your goodwill bank balance. If you behave badly towards your partner, you make withdrawals and the goodwill balance drops. There are many ways couples can make withdrawals from their goodwill accounts. You can do this by raising your voice, swearing, sarcasm, criticism, threats, giving the silent treatment or walking out on your partner mid-conversation. You become a bank

Goodwill makes us willing and happy to meet our partner’s sexual needs, wants and desires even if they differ from our own robber when you goad your partner into escalating conflict and argument, or when you can refuse to apologise or to accept an apology. You diminish your goodwill when you persist with habits that annoy your partner and it’s important to never speak disrespectfully of them, even if they’re not there to hear. Be loyal and respectful at all times. One habit that has a profound negative effect on goodwill and love is dishonesty. Some people lie outright. Others lie by omission, withholding information that they think might be hurtful to their partner. Lying destroys trust, one of the foundation stones for love in any relationship. A common source of lying is cheating. For a happy relationship and a satisfying sex life, fidelity is essential. Commitment to your partner is like being pregnant. You can’t be a little bit or somewhat committed. You either are or you aren’t. Early in the relationship both partners invest enthusiastically in their joint goodwill account. The goodwill level peaks and you feel truly, madly, deeply in love. After a while, when the romantic gloss wears off the relationship, the goodwill balance drops a little but you still feel love for each other. Ideally you will endeavour to keep your goodwill


Sex Advice

balance around this level in the long term by making at least as many investments as you do withdrawals. However, if you make more withdrawals than investments your goodwill balance drops and you start to fall out of love with each other. This disconnection not only creates unhappiness but will also disrupt your sex life.

The G-Factor for Sex

How is your relationship? Do you feel goodwill towards your partner most of the time and vice versa, or is your relationship characterised by ill will and hostility? When partners lose goodwill their sexual relationship inevitably suffers. Sexual desire is often the first casualty of a relationship lacking in mutual goodwill, with loss of libido as the first symptom. If you don’t have goodwill towards each other you will be unable to resolve conflicts about sex or anything else. Nor will you be able to negotiate compromise, an essential skill when dealing with differences in sexual wants and needs. Some might ask, ‘why go to all the trouble of working on our relationship? Wouldn’t it be easier to accept how it is or simply walk

away?’ According to research, people who are married (or in a committed relationship) are significantly happier than those who are single, divorced or widowed. If the quality of the marriage is good, then men and women are more likely to report that they are happy with life as a whole. Only one in 10 people not in a ‘very happy’ marriage report feeling happy with life as a whole. So work on your relationship for selfish reasons if you must, because if your relationship improves, you will feel happier in general. You don’t need to have a perfect relationship to have a good sex life. All you need is a relationship that is ‘good enough’. Once you have re-established mutual goodwill then you can work together to overcome sexual difficulties and improve your sex life. Having a good relationship doesn’t guarantee your sex life will be problem-free. There are many other causes of sexual problems apart from a poor relationship, including medical reasons, sexually transmitted diseases, medications, smoking, ageing and so on. However, you will be able to deal with your sexual problems more effectively if your relationship is sound and stable.

This is an edited excerpt of a presentation made by Dr Rosie King at the 2008 Happiness & Its Causes Conference. Rosie is an author, academic, educator and researcher with over 25 years of clinical experience. She is the author of the bestselling book Good Loving, Great Sex.

Increasing Goodwill These seven strategies will help to strengthen the friendship that is at the heart of every loving relationship. They will help bring your love for each other to life:

1 2 3 4 5 6



Know each other. Learn all about each other’s likes, dislikes, wishes, hopes and dreams. Interact frequently, tell each other about your day, your thoughts and your experiences. Don’t expect your partner to read your mind. Regular self-disclosure promotes intimacy and emotional closeness. Focus on the positives. Concentrate on each other’s positive qualities, feelings for each other, and the good times you have shared. It’s easy to become fixated on what’s wrong with your partner and your relationship. Work hard to tune out the negatives. Accept your partner as he/she is. Release your partner from your demands (explicit or hidden) to behave in a certain way before you can feel good about him/her. Respect his/her choices in life and take a lively, non-judgemental interest in him/her. Let minor irritations go. When you are irritated and want to criticise, don’t. Most complaints are petty in nature. If something is genuinely important, bring it up later when you are no longer feeling angry. Be slow to blame, quick to apologise and eager to forgive. Take advice from your partner. Allow him/her to influence you in your decisions. Research has shown that men who allow their wives to influence them have much happier marriages. Allowing your partner to influence you is a way of sharing power. It means believing that your partner’s opinions, choices, experiences and decisions are of equal value to your own. Be guided by each other and take note of each other’s opinions. Love generously. Express your feelings of love every day as if this moment is the only chance you will ever get to do so. Look at your lover and smile. Make eye contact before you hug and kiss. Really connect with each other. Don’t forget the golden rules: never leave the house without an affectionate goodbye; greet each other enthusiastically; never go to bed angry. Cherish your partner. Express your love and gratitude consistently through your choices and your behaviour. Make your partner’s happiness and wellbeing as important as your own. Make your partner feel special and important every day. Become the partner you would love to find.




A selection of the latest personal development books, and a sample of books that have motivated the emPOWER team into action.


A New Chapter By Dana Mrkich Zeus Publications, $29.95

The Girl’s Guide to Kicking Your Career Into Gear By Caitlin Friedman & Kimberly Yorio A&C Black, $24.95

Money, and the Law of Attraction By Esther & Jerry Hicks Hay House, $26.95

Are you experiencing profound, intense shifts in your life? Wondering what is going on as you look at the major changes happening all over the world? Humanity is at a crossroads. Now is the time to remember who you really are and do what you came here to do. A new chapter in our evolution lies before us. According to Dana Mrkich, each of us is a page in this new chapter. All you have to do to make your page the best possible is be your true self. A New Chapter is your personal guide to show you how.

If you’re struggling to make ends meet financially, it’s possible you may need to consider a drastic life change. Do you want more financial stability? Do you want to pay off your mortgage fast? Are you seeking good health and a more rewarding career? Esther and Jerry Hicks shine the spotlight on two key subjects affecting people today: financial and physical wellbeing. They show you how to attract wealth and the things you desire by harnessing a few simple life-changing tools.

Offering plenty of practical advice on how to get ahead at work, this upbeat read tackles a whole host of key issues, including asking for what you deserve, the fine art of delegating, getting promoted, glass ceilings and how change can be a good thing. The Girl’s Guide also covers key skills such as negotiating, resolving conflict, working with difficult people and finding the right balance between your job and other areas of your life.

True Green @ Work By Kim McKay & Jenny Bonnin ABC Books, $22.95. According to a Newspoll survey, 84 percent of Australian workers believe it’s important to work for a company that lists the environment as a top priority. True Green @ Work is an essential reference offering sensible and effective advice to assist everyone in contributing to a healthier workplace and planet. As part of the hugely successful Clean Up Australia team, authors Kim McKay and Jenny Bonnin are at the forefront of the grass roots environmental movement.

CHANGE YOUR QUESTIONS, CHANGE YOUR LIFE, by Marilee Adams Reading this book was such an eye-opener to the fact that I could change the results I get in life by changing the kinds of questions I ask myself. The author taught me to move from asking ‘Judger’ questions, such as ‘Who’s to blame?’ or ‘Why won’t this work?’, to asking more powerful ‘Learner’ questions like ‘How am I responsible?’, ‘What can I learn?’ and ‘What’s possible?’. Although I don’t always get it right, I’ve never looked back. – Helen Rosing, Managing Director

October/November 2008




YOU INC., by John McGrath This interesting book by property guru John McGrath motivated me to become a better salesperson. Teaching the reader to work smarter and use the power of visualisation, You Inc. outlines how to use traditional sales techniques to become an exceptional salesperson. Highly recommended for marketing and sales professionals, or anyone wanting to achieve success in all areas of their life. – Losaline Kolomalu, National Sales Manager WHY MEN DON’T LISTEN & WOMEN CAN’T READ MAPS, by Allan & Barbara Pease This humourous, yet honest and revealing, book offers an insight into the communication differences between men and women. Based on years of research, its advice and anecdotes really helped me to understand why men have a different reaction to things and how to use this knowledge to bring a better level of understanding and acceptance to my relationship. – Rebecca Spicer, Managing Editor EVERYDAY ENLIGHTENMENT: The Twelve Gateways to Personal Growth, by Dan Millman Insightful and motivating, Everyday Enlightenment provides useful tools and methods that enhance professional, personal and spiritual growth. Using ‘12 Gateways’ the book addresses issues including self-worth, exercising your will, energising your body, managing your money, and accepting your emotions. A one-stop-shop to enlightenment, it helped me to create balance in different areas of my life. – Tammy Warner-Wilson, Production Coordinator IT’S NOT HOW GOOD YOU ARE, IT’S HOW GOOD YOU WANT TO BE, by Paul Arden In this widely acclaimed and distinctively original ‘pocket-bible’ to success, Paul Arden, Britain’s renowned advertising guru, redefines the path to success and explains why it is better to take a risk and be wrong, than to play it safe and be right – because when it comes to success, it’s all about the attitude. – Jeanne Wu, Graphic Designer



be empowered

All-in-one Motivation Filled with inspiration and knowledge for women of all ages, this four-CD set includes empowering lectures by four motivational women: Louise Hay, metaphysical lecturer and teacher, and the bestselling author of numerous books, including You Can Heal Your Life and Empowering Women; Carolyn Myss, pioneer in the field of energy medicine and human consciousness; Susan Jeffers, noted speaker and best-selling author of many internationally-renowned books, including Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway; and Christiane Northrup, visionary in women’s health. This empowering gift collection aims to bring together the best of conventional, alternative, and mind/ body healing. Hay House RRP: $34.95. www.hayhouse.com.au

Combat Women’s Cancer

Your Ticket to Financial Freedom

It’s time to the kick out the men, ship the kids off to your mum and invite your best friends around for a night of girly indulgence! The Cancer Council is once again asking women all across Australia to set the date for a ‘Girls’ Night In’ during October to help find a cure for women’s cancers. Holding your own Girls’ Night is simple – invite your girlfriends around for a night in and ask them to donate the equivalent of what they would usually spend on a night out to the cause. Lock in a diary date this October by visiting www.girlsnightin.com.au or call 1300 656 585. You can also contribute to the fight against breast cancer by purchasing merchandise in support of Pink Ribbon Day on October 27.

Ever wondered why only two percent of people manage to achieve financial freedom? Check out Total Wealth, an event being held in the Sydney CBD on November 14 that promises to deliver real strategies showing you how to get ahead financially. Leading wealth creation experts will share vital information outlining how you can invest in a range of asset classes, including property and managed funds. Pow Wow Events are offering free tickets for emPOWER readers, valued at $59 each – visit www.powwowevents.com.au/empower to claim your ticket today!

Pregnant Pause

Stepping Out

Women Unite Online

Planning for baby can be a daunting and time-consuming task, and one which a new service, Baby Concierge, hopes to help expectant parents with. Through face-to-face or phone consultations, Baby Concierge’s services include locating healthcare professionals (obstetricians, midwives, doulas), arranging professional lactation or sleep consultations, nursery preparation, organising post-baby fitness, meal planning, sourcing childcare and more. For more information visit www.babyconcierge.com.au

Did you know that the majority of women in developing countries walk more than five kilometres every day, carrying up to 15kgs of water for their families? To support these women, UNIFEM Australia (the United Nations Development Fund for Women) is holding its annual Spring Walks starting on Sunday September 21, the International Day for Peace. These walks are an opportunity for you and your local community to support women across the world. To organise your own walk, participate in a walk close to you, or simply make a donation, go to www.unifem.org.au to register.

A new online community, Business Women Unite, is the latest way to do business, network, and increase profit and productivity. It is a free membership-based website for businesswomen who want to connect with others and get access to the latest business growth tools, experts and advice. It provides all the benefits of networking by giving you the opportunity to make valuable business connections, without leaving your desk. www.businesswomenunite.net

October/November 2008



The latest tools, techniques and resources to help you lead a more empowered life.


Ways to Measure Up




Myth or Measure

Rating your health by a simple, catch-all test doesn’t paint the whole picture. Fitness guru James Short says you should weigh things up in relation to your specific goals.



or many years, the body mass index (BMI) has been a measuring tool used by individuals to determine if they are underweight or overweight/obese. It is a simple formula calculated as a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of their height in metres. For example, if a 32-year-old female weighs 80kg and is 1.5m tall, her BMI would be 35. In terms of the ratings on the index, this would indicate she is overweight. Work out your BMI at www.health.gov.au But is this test truly accurate? How can such a simple formula tell us if we are overweight, underweight or in a ‘healthy’ weight range? Firstly, let’s look at why it is so commonly used. The BMI has been used for countless research projects, government health surveys and by general practitioners, but why? Think about how easy it is to calculate someone’s BMI. There is no pinching or prodding, no underwater weighing, no sprinting between stations or gruelling step-ups,

it is simply a division of two numbers. Why wouldn’t it be commonly used? But the golden question remains: is it valid? The BMI is valid to a degree of ‘generalisation’. There is no other test that captures such a wide audience as the BMI – it brings awareness to your body. If you have a reading over 25 (which is overweight), alarm bells should start ringing. This awareness gets you to start investigating and asking yourself, ‘am I really overweight?’ The BMI will always be put under the grill. I am the first to put my hand up to say, “the BMI is not for me”, especially as it lands me in the overweight area. That’s right, according to the BMI, I am overweight. This is difficult to fathom, given I compete in ironman triathlons, train twice a day and follow a strict eating plan. So, how or why? Well, the BMI does not take into account your lean muscle mass. As muscle weighs more than fat, it can throw the whole BMI concept out the window. Hence the search for a more accurate measuring tool.


Are there other ways to measure fitness, health and weight? You bet! First, it’s important to identify your goals so you know what it is you want to test. Do you want to lose a couple of kilograms of fat, increase your fitness or add a few pounds of lean muscle? There are numerous ways to work out where you’re starting from, and these can help set some achievable goals along the way. If shedding some kilograms is what you’re after, measuring your body fat is the only way to go. Throw out the bathroom scales and go down to your local gym to get a ‘pinch test’ or a bioelectrical impedance test (no, it doesn’t hurt – it just sounds like it does). These will tell you how much body fat you have and what is healthy (the healthy range for females is 25 to 35 percent, and it’s 10 to 22 percent for males). Even the waist-to-hip ratio gives you an indication as to whether you are carrying a little extra weight around the stomach. Get out the measuring tape, take your waist measurement and divide it by your hips. A result of 0.8 indicates you are low risk, 0.81 to 0.85 indicates moderate risk and 0.86 indicates you are at high risk of health problems such as heart disease and diabetes. For the guys, below 0.95 is low risk, 0.96 to 1.0 is moderate risk, and 1.1 and above equals high risk. If fitness is your forte, then there are countless ways to measure that. From the good old ‘beep test’ or ‘shuttle run’, to the bike, treadmill or step-up tests, the list goes on. If you play a sport, I recommend you look for a test that correlates with a similar activity and do that one. For example, if you like playing netball, the beep test is a good one as it’s a very similar stop-start, sprinting-off-the-mark type activity. The BMI certainly has its place, but if you really want to find out if you are fit or fat, dig a little deeper and use that awareness to find out which test really suits your goals. James Short is a fitness expert, presenter, trainer and coach. He is the 2008 Fitness Australia Fitness Professional of the Year. Contact him at www.jamesshort.com.au


Spotlight On...



ention the word ‘kinesiology’ at your next social soiree and it’s quite possible you’ll be met with evasive nods and distant expressions. Like many people, I had heard of kinesiology, but was absolutely clueless as to what the therapy involved or how it might be of benefit. A quick survey of close friends and family proved this point further – one colleague was certain it involved putting magnets all over your body, while others considered it to be a special kind of massage. Most just stared blankly and pretended they hadn’t heard the question. Being a curious lass who’s partial to a bit of self-discovery, I embarked on a mission to acquaint myself with this somewhat mysterious therapy. A short Google search later and my first appointment was scheduled with Sarah Gilmour, principal of the Mindbody Potential clinic in Sydney’s lower north shore.

Session 1 After rushing straight from work to make my 6pm appointment, I arrive in the lounge area of Mindbody Potential where the relaxed ambience instantly puts me at ease. A few moments later, Sarah collects me

October/November 2008

from the lounge, extending a warm welcome as she leads me into a private therapy room to commence the session. Before my consultation begins, Sarah provides some insight into her profession. “Kinesiology is based on the premise that the body has an innate ability to heal itself,” she explains. “But often, there is a blockage in the body that prevents the natural healing process.” To establish which blockages are present in the individual client, kinesiologists use a technique called muscle testing. This draws on the concept that particular muscles can provide information about a specific meridian (flow of energy) in the body. Sarah explains the process further, saying, “Muscle testing is where I use neurological responses from your muscles to find out what is stressing your body, brain or energetic system. It might be an emotional stress, a physical stress or a biochemical stress.” Still a little uncertain as to how my body is going to reveal its various grievances, Sarah invites me to lie fully clothed on the therapy table so we can begin the session. With my head propped up on some pillows, I lie on my back as she performs some preliminary muscle testing to ensure my body is responding accurately. Asking me to stretch my right arm out in front of me, Sarah encourages me to think


about a happy or enjoyable experience and hold that thought in my mind. While I stare at the ceiling with my arm extended, she applies firm downward pressure to my hand – instead of moving, my arm remains rigid and ‘locks’. Sarah explains, “This is a sign there is a neurological connection in the body relating to the meridian being tested, meaning the chi (life force or energy) is balanced.” Next, I am asked to recall a stressful situation and conjure up the negative emotions associated with it. To my great amazement, when Sarah repeats the same movement and applies downward pressure, my arm ‘unlocks’ and collapses on the bed. This is known as a stress response, indicating that an energy blockage is present in my body on some level. After a few more tests, Sarah asks which area I would like to focus on in order to create a ‘goal statement’ – the ideal outcome of my kinesiology experience. Admitting I can get angry quite easily and suffer from emotional stress, I decide it would be nice to feel a greater sense of calm when faced with challenging situations. What happens over the next hour is like nothing I have ever experienced. After some initial questions that delve deeper into the emotional issues surrounding my goal statement, Sarah begins the muscle testing on


Ever wondered where your body hides its deepest, darkest secrets? Tammy WarnerWilson lets her muscles do the talking as she shares her experience with kinesiology.

Spotlight On...

my outstretched arm. With each muscle test she quickly articulates a question or statement, observing if my arm ‘locks’ or ‘unlocks’ while consulting a multicoloured wall chart. She then repeats this over and over again using my arm’s responses to guide the following questions and statements. Throughout the session Sarah refers to a folder of ‘balances’, flipping through its pages to locate the relevant information. At times, she also uses ‘finger modes’ – holding her fingers together in positions that relate to particular body systems and correction procedures. Despite the fact I don’t really have any idea what’s going on, my arm faithfully responds with a ‘lock’ or ‘unlock’ every time a muscle test is applied. Sarah stops often to both share and question the information my muscles are communicating, and I am astounded at the level of detail she is able to obtain about events, people and beliefs in my past and present. Having identified several ‘self-limiting behavioural programs’ in my subconscious mind, Sarah begins to clear them by getting me to tap on a particular point of my body and repeat an affirmation that specifically addresses the issue. In addition to this, I am told to train my eyes on a black X that is moved in slow circles above my head. “To clear a self-limiting behavioural program, we work with systems in the brain called neuronets. If you think a particular thought a lot, it will create a strong neuronet in your brain,” she explains. “Tapping on particular meridian points disrupts the energetic flow while we use affirmations to help break away old neuronet fibres and create new ones.” When the session is complete, I am surprised to feel so relaxed and peaceful given kinesiology is such a non-invasive therapy. Sarah attributes this to the new energy that is now flowing freely in my body and encourages me to go home and ‘nourish’ myself with an activity I enjoy. Floating out of the clinic, I make my way home and fall into a deep sleep. Throughout the following week, I have a greater awareness of my actions. When my husband and I have a petty argument a few days later, my anger subsides quickly and I am able to consider the situation rationally instead of succumbing to an old behavioural pattern. “A huge part of kinesiology is bringing self-limiting programs out of the unconscious mind,” explains Sarah. “When somebody is conscious of something, then they actually have a choice. It brings their power back.”

Session 2 I arrive at my second appointment with Sarah feeling absolutely exhausted. I’ve been so busy with work and personal commitments since my last session that my body feels lethargic and I’ve developed an eye twitch. After listening attentively to all of my woes, Sarah completes the preliminary testing before we get started again on my goal statement. Still in awe of the process, I notice that I feel even more open and comfortable compared to my first session. Given I now have a greater understanding of the therapy and what to expect, I’m able to delve even deeper and address further emotional blockages.. Again, I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

Needless to say, I’m addicted. After just two sessions, there is a significant difference in my behaviour. No longer stifled by outdated beliefs relating to myself and the world, I feel renewed and capable of living a life of my design. The number of sessions required in order to see results can vary. “It depends on the client and their needs,” says Sarah. “Some clients have had phenomenal results after one session, where others have needed five or six. My ultimate aim is to empower you to have all the tools you need to deal with the issue on an ongoing basis yourself.” One thing rsemains certain – after experiencing such outstanding results, my next kinesiology session definitely won’t be my last.

THE FACTS ON KINESIOLOGY Origins: In the 1960s American chiropractor Dr George Goodheart discovered there was a direct correlation between energy meridians and physiological structures in the body. He assembled a group of chiropractors to do further research and developed applied kinesiology. Growth: One of Dr Goodheart’s colleagues, Dr John Thie, went on to develop a system of kinesiology called Touch For Health. Designed specifically for non-medical professionals, it is recognised as the cornerstone of specialised kinesiology and is now taught in more than 100 countries. Touch for Health was introduced to Australia in late 1970s and today there are almost 500 [CHK] practitioners registered with the Australian Kinesiology Association. Methodology: Kinesiology is a holistic modality that combines the mind and body. It combines muscle testing with the core principles of traditional Chinese medicine involving chi (or life force) to assess and correct imbalances in the physical, emotional or biochemical aspects of our being. Correction techniques can incorporate acupressure, nutritional support, lifestyle improvements, reflexology and chakra balancing. Specialised streams of kinesiology include energetic kinesiology, sports kinesiology, integrative kinesiology and neuropsychological kinesiology. An effective therapy for children and adults alike, kinesiology can assist with the relief of pain, stress and confusion, depressive tendencies, digestive disorders, fatigue and tiredness, back pain, learning disabilities, sensitivities, nervous disorders, sports injuries, personal development and overall wellbeing. Specific benefits for women include overcoming infertility, menstrual problems and general female empowerment. Duration: Sessions are usually 60 to 90 minutes, including a progress check at the beginning and debrief afterwards. The initial consultation incorporates a detailed introduction to kinesiology, where the therapist will explain what will be involved and they will enquire about your medical history. Cost: Sarah charges $195 for an initial consultation and $160 for follow-up sessions, however rates will vary between practitioners. Depending on your provider and level of cover, private healthcare rebates are available if you visit a kinesiologist who is a professional member of a national kinesiology association (see contacts below). Qualifications: In the 1980s, Dr Bruce Dewe developed the first professional training program available in kinesiology, called the Professional Kinesiology Practice (PKP). Today, this internationally recognised course is taught at certificate or diploma level and is nationally recognised training in Australia. When seeking a practitioner, ensure they are accredited by a national kinesiology association. More Information: Visit www.kinesiology.asn.au, www.akakinesiology.org.au, or www.atms.com.au to find out more and locate an accredited practitioner in your area. Sarah Gilmour of Mindbody Potential can be contacted on 0433 108 793 or www.mindbodypotential.net





Healer Within

Australians are increasingly turning to alternative therapies to answer the questions conventional medicine cannot explain. Tami Dower explores the healing properties of the mind.


he doctor’s frustration was mounting. In an apparent act of utter denial, her patient, who had just been diagnosed with a life-threatening tumour the size of a football, was refusing surgery. “I can’t let you do that Doc, I’m in the mind–body healing field,” the patient pleaded. “I’ve got to be given the chance to walk my talk.” Grudgingly, the doctor agreed to give her patient one month to put the fanciful plan into action. Six and a half weeks later, the tumour had disappeared without a trace. The patient was

through the power of the mind – in everything from general aches and pains to allergies, asthma, digestive disturbances and even serious illnesses like multiple sclerosis and cancer. Purists, such as renowned author Louise Hay, argue that we actually create every illness we experience. “The body, like everything in life, is a mirror of our inner thoughts and beliefs,” she contends. Louise, herself a cancer survivor, believes there are two mental patterns that contribute to a state of what she describes as ‘dis-ease’ – fear and anger. “These are thoughts that poison the body. When we

“The better state of mind people are in, and the more content they are with their emotional life, the more likely they are to heal” Brandon Bays, cancer survivor and author of the seminal self-help title, The Journey (Atria). In her book, Brandon details her own extraordinary journey of recovery by releasing the repressed emotions she believes were responsible for her cancer. “Once the issues were completed, healed or forgiven, the tumour was able to leave,” she proclaims. “It had fulfilled its purpose and given me its teaching.” She now travels the world, showing others how to tap into a deeper consciousness and heal themselves. Brandon is one of a growing band of subscribers to the notion that we each have the ability to control our physical wellbeing

October/November 2008

release this burden, all the organs in our body begin to function properly.” Others simply believe the mind and body are inextricably linked and that when one is out of kilter, the other follows suit. “We’re not only bodies of atoms, cells, molecules and DNA, we’re also a kaleidoscope of emotions and thoughts and they all connect with each other,” explains counsellor Margaret Madden. “When you feel sad, your body changes; similarly when you’re angry, your body’s very tight.” Whether this mind–body connection actually causes illness is a highly contested issue. There is, however, much wider


acceptance of the idea that positive thought patterns can assist in the management of illness. Remarkable anecdotes of serious illness being conquered through the power of the mind abound, but the scientific evidence is inconclusive. “Some people have big shifts like that, but other times the shifts may be smaller in that the illness is slowed down and there is a lessening of the physical condition through the emotional change,” says Margaret. Ian Gawler was one of the lucky ones. In 1975, he was diagnosed with bone cancer and given no more than six months to live. With no medical options left open to him, Ian turned to natural therapies. “When I recovered, it was pretty clear to me that the things I’d been able to do for myself, such as learning to use the power of the mind more effectively, and meditation, were the critical things that had helped me to survive,” he asserts. In 1981, Ian started up one of Australia’s first support group for cancer patients. “Our original intention was to help people with cancer to not only improve their quality of life, but also to improve their chances of survival,” he explains. “The better state of mind people are in and the more content they are with their emotional life, the more likely they are to heal.” These days, The Gawler Foundation has a strong focus on helping cancer patients, but its function has expanded into a general centre for wellbeing. One of the Foundation’s guiding


principles is to help people be at ease with themselves, using the likes of medication and exercises designed to help them express their emotions more freely. Indeed, the concept of emotional freedom is at the heart of many natural healing philosophies. There is even a mind–body therapy practice called emotional freedom techniques (EFT). Ten years ago, qualified medical practitioner Dr David Lake turned his professional focus from conventional medicine to this emerging field. EFT, as David explains, employs a tactic called ‘tapping’ – a process of stimulating energy points by rubbing or gently tapping them while focusing on a negative emotion – to address physical and emotional problems. For Brandon, the essence of her recovery was attaining emotional freedom from a long-held resentment. Based on her own experiences, she developed The Journey, also known as journey therapy – a process of ‘guided introspection’ to assist people in uncovering their own emotional ‘blocks’ and repressed negative feelings. “All of us have learned to shut down or explain away our emotions, or to run away from them,” she says. “The Journey enables everyday people to uncover those old stored traumas and emotional issues and go through that process of forgiveness and letting go.” While forgiveness is a recurring theme in the literature on mind-body healing, Margaret cautions against over-emphasising it. “Twisting somebody’s arm to say they have to forgive can sometimes be a big ask,” she says. “Some people are not able to go to forgiveness directly but they may be able to work on their pain and then start on the various steps towards forgiveness. If somebody has been raped as a child, saying ‘you have to forgive that guy in order to get well’ mightn’t be the best place for them at that moment.” Margaret believes any therapy that helps someone to better understand themselves and their own emotions will be beneficial in addressing physical ailments. She cites meditation, hypnosis, counselling, kinesiology, psychotherapy, psychosomatic therapy, reiki and even laughter therapy as examples of natural healing techniques that may contribute to a better state of physical wellbeing. One thing the experts tend to agree on is that emotional healing is best used in conjunction with conventional medicine. David warns that using natural therapies such as tapping to mask the pain of an underlying medical condition can be dangerous. “You should never be tapping on a physical problem unless you’re aware of what it is because you can eliminate those symptoms and you could be eliminating a very important alarm or warning from your body that there’s something quite wrong,” he says. “There are always exceptions, but in my experience, considering your emotional life is best done in the context of a fully integrative program,” adds Ian. “To do natural therapies in isolation is to run the risk of missing out on things that could be really useful.”


Emotions Behind Dis-ease As Louise Hay says in her book, You Can Heal Your Life (Hay House), “The body, like everything in life, is a mirror of our inner thoughts and beliefs”. Here is an extract from her book, which describes the possible emotion behind certain illnesses, and the thought patterns we can use to adjust this emotion. PROBLEM



Abdominal Cramps

Fear. Stopping the process.

I trust the process of life. I am safe.


Not trusting the flow and the process of life.

I love and approve of myself and I trust the process of life. I am safe.

Breast Problems

Refusal to nourish the self. Putting everyone else first. Overmothering. Overprotection. Overbearing attitudes.

I am important. I count. I now care for and nourish myself with love and joy. I allow others the freedom to be who they are. We are all safe and free.


Deep hurt. Longstanding resentment. Deep secret or grief eating away at the self.

I lovingly forgive and release all of the past. I choose to fill my world with joy. I love and approve of myself.


Feelings of anger you do not have a right to have. Hopelessness and anger.

I now go beyond other people’s fears and limitations. I create my life.


Resistance, boredom. Lack of love for what one does.

I am enthusiastic about life and filled with energy and enthusiasm.


Fear, need for protection. Running away from feelings. Insecurity, selfrejection. Seeking fulfillment.

I am at peace with my own feelings. I am safe where I am. I create my own security. I love and approve of myself.

Stomach Problems

Dread. Fear of the new. Inability to assimilate the new.

Life agrees with me. I assimilate the new every moment of every day. All is well.


Nursing old hurts and shocks. Building remorse.

I lovingly release the past and turn my attention to this new day. All is well.


ACTIVE SKIN_FP_prf.indd 1

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Body Wise

SkinDeep How often do you give any thought to why you have a skin-care regime or whether you’re using the right combination of products? Jo Hegerty goes in search for what’s really needed to maintain healthy skin.


t all started in my mid-teens with the Clinique 3-Step system. I cleansed, toned and moisturised twice a day, later adding a weekly exfoliation, the occasional mask and the odd facial for special occasions. Things have slipped somewhat in recent years as work, money and time make their presence felt in my bathroom cabinet: I’ve had the same bottle of toner for well over a year, have very sporadic use of an expensive eye-cream and I’m fairly certain my one-handed smear of moisturiser in the morning is less than effective. But what’s a busy girl to do? Rather than wallow in guilt, I decided to find out more about skin care from those in the know.

Introducing: Your Skin Before we get into what is actually needed for healthy skin, let’s examine exactly what our skin looks like and the role it plays for the body. Our skin is the keeper of the balance, protector of the organs, and that which prevents us from shrivelling up like a prune – it’s really a wonderful thing. It is a self-regulating and self-sufficient structure, and the largest organ of our integumentary system – but let’s not get too technical. What you do need to know is that the skin is made up of three layers. The outermost, protective covering is called the epidermis and is actually a layer of layers. Within this structure, new skin cells are constantly being formed at the bottom, changing shape and composition as they move upwards to the outer layers where they dry out and are shed – this is what beauticians refer to as ‘dead skin cells’. The epidermis is where your hair and nails are made and also produces pigmentation, which gives your skin colour and some protection from the sun.






Beneath the epidermis lies the dermis, which is the skin’s support layer and is largely made up of interlocking fibres that keep the skin strong, supple and firm. You’ve probably heard of these fibres, they are the proteins collagen and elastin, and are often features of expensive beauty products. The dermis contains tiny blood vessels and many of the nerves that give us our sense of touch. Sweat and sebaceous (oil) glands are found here, as are hair follicles. It is here in the dermis, rather than the epidermis, that permanent marks such as tattoos, wrinkles and stretchmarks leave their impression. The third and final structure of the skin is the thickest and is known as the sub-dermis or as subcutaneous tissue. This is a layer of fatty tissue that protects the organs and tissues, such as muscle, which lie directly beneath this layer.

A Matter of Time Let’s face it, the main reason we have been buying skin-care products since we were teenagers is to preserve that fresh-faced look. The ageing process starts from around 25 when the rate of skin cells being produced in the epidermis starts to slow down, along with the turnover of surface cells. Collagen and elastin suffer damage and skin loses elasticity and strength over the next couple of decades and from our mid-40s, skin thins and is more prone to abrasions and irritation. This is all stuff we can’t control and it will be affected by our genetics, so it’s best to accept this as part of the miracle of life early on. There are other factors, however, that we can control. “Nothing is more true than the saying ‘prevention is better than cure’ when it comes to limiting the signs of early ageing,” says dermatologist Dr Tanya Gilmour. While ageing is caused by intrinsic factors, such as those mentioned above, she says there are three more culprits: excessive sun exposure, smoking and gravity. Now there’s not a lot we can do about gravity, but the other two factors can be taken care of.


Body Wise

I’m all for the ‘prevention is better than cure’ argument, but surely the billions of dollars spent in the cosmetics industry every year suggests that having an effective skin-care regime works.

Three Steps to Success It seems that every woman I speak to refers to the ‘three-step process’. What are the three steps and how do I know which products are best for me? And what about the myriad of other products outside those basic three steps? 1. Cleanse: The first step in the process is to cleanse which I’m told will remove any makeup, oil and dirt from my skin surface. Dermatologist Dr Natasha Cook believes that choosing the best cleanser is the basis of good skin care. Cleansers that lather up (these include shampoo-like formulas and bar-soaps) can be too drying. Foam is created by substances called surfactants and these strip the skin of its natural moisturising factors disturbing the skins natural balance of oil production and impairing its vital barrier functions. The best cleansers are those containing the right concentration of solvents (rather than surfactants) to gently dissolve dirt and make-up ready to be rinsed off the skin with lots of water. 2. Toner: Toners are said to finish the cleansing process, removing any last traces of make-up or cleanser that rinsing has left behind. Once the toner has been applied, the skin is ready for step three. 3. Moisturise: Natasha – who has created her own range of products – says that a moisturiser’s main role is to firm up the protective barrier of the epidermis, preventing loss of moisture and keeping out irritants. She advises women to look for a product with the

correct balance of lipids or light oils, such as triglycerides; humectants, such as glycerine; moisture bonders, such as hyaluronic acid; antioxidants, such as vitamins A, C or E; and anti-inflammatories, such as liquorice extract. It is best to choose the lightest product you can that leaves your skin feeling refreshed. Dermatologist Tanya Gilmour adds that alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs) are other wonder ingredients to watch look for. These fruit-, sugar- or milk-derived acids are natural exfoliators and have been seen to reverse some signs of photoageing. “Moisturisers do not prevent or erase wrinkles,” Natasha says, by way of reminder. “This is because dry skin does not cause wrinkles. Wrinkles are caused by the sun and facial expressions. Regardless of how dry or oily your skin is, everyone should use a moisturiser.” Those with oily skin, she says, can just use a good quality sunscreen as their moisturiser. What about exfoliation and masques? An exfoliant generally includes some type of small bead that assists in removing dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. Natasha says that virtually all skin types can benefit from exfoliation. “If you have oily skin, daily exfoliation with an Alpha/Beta hydroxy acid (AHA/BHA) product can help unclog pores, also helping to prevent breakouts. For those with dry skin, using an AHA/BHA product daily can help slough off dry skin cells resulting in a softer, finer, smother skin surface. You should check with a dermatologist before using an AHA or BHA product. Masques also have a purpose. A good quality masque will draw out excess sebum (one of the main causes of acne) and debris from the pores. Masques are said to improve the skin’s texture and smooth the surface.

And, of course, there are hundreds of other products all serving a different purpose – from eye creams, lip balms to vitamin C and intensive repair serums – that are beyond the scope of this article. However, keep an eye out for this regular Body Wise feature addressing different issues to do with the skin each issue.

What Skin Type am I? Naturally, before choosing any skin care regime it’s important to understand your personal skin type and requirements. The best way to do this is to seek professional help. In the absence of that, though, a simple test may suffice. Standing in front of the mirror, find your ‘T-zone’ – the strip of skin up the centre of your face from chin to forehead and then across your forehead (in the shape of a ‘T’). Over the period of a day pay attention to the appearance of oil on the skin. Generally, skin types are classified as oily, dry or normal. If the skin appears oily or shiny by mid-morning, it is likely that you have oily skin. If the skin appears oily or shiny by lunchtime, chances are you have normal skin, and if it’s oily by mid-afternoon, your skin is likely to be classified as dry. Obviously, this is not a definitive test but it may give you some guidance. Some people do have sensitive skin which is a skin ‘condition’ not ‘type’, so if your skin tends to react to certain products, a visit to your dermatologist or GP will head you in the right direction in terms of the best types of skin-care products for you. With all this newfound knowledge, there’s no doubting I’ll be having a good hard look at my own skin care regime, wipe the dust off some of those bottles I have piling up in my bathroom cabinet and put them to good use.

your skin

Dermatologist Dr Tanya Gilmour gives her advice for skincare throughout the ages: In your 20s: General skin care is important to prevent

In your 30s: Women in their mid-thirties should adhere to the

40s and beyond: As women

ageing. Important steps are to use a soap alternative or PH-neutral product to wash. In the morning use a moisturiser with a sun block and in the evening use a moisturiser with an alpha hydroxy acid. Most important, however, in the battle against premature ageing of the skin is to stop smoking and to limit and protect from excessive sun exposure. Limiting these two factors is most important in anti-ageing skincare.

skin-care regime as for women in their twenties. Added to that they may what to use a vitamin A product, such as a topical retinoid (one that goes on the skin, rather than being ingested as a supplement), which is prescription-only and the most effective. An over-the-counter product containing retinol may also be sufficient. The retinoid or retinols will help reverse some fine wrinkling, even out uneven skin colour and help smooth the skin’s surface.

reach their forties and beyond, they may need to use slightly thicker moisturisers as the skin becomes drier. Some women may benefit from a peeling or exfoliating moisturiser, which contains glycolic acid or AHAs.


October/November 2008

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Introducing Dr. Spiller’s new Hydratain™ Emulsion System which takes the concept of natural skin care to new levels of gentleness, effectiveness and results - not just ‘natural ingredients mixed into a cream’ but formulated in a way that imitates the protective barrier found on young healthy skin. Dr. Spiller’s Hydratain™ emulsions succeed in reproducing the conditions found in the acid mantle, our skin’s natural protection. They are gentle on your skin, and ensure it remains beautifully hydrated all day long. Skin friendly actives like vitamins, peptides and skin-identical substances develop their full potential for a healthy, radiant and smooth appearance. “A new customer was describing how frustrated she was with her skin. ‘My skin feels lifeless – tight and dry. I’m not getting the results from my [salon brand].’ I gave her a sample of Dr. Spiller’s Sanvita Cream, with Green Tea and Ginseng extract. A few days later the client was surprised at how well her skin was looking and feeling. It’s great to be able to help my clients with a product that really works.” says Eleni Dimitriou of Eleni for Beauty in WA.





What’s in a

Serving sizes can be confusing – or even misleading – yet they are often the benchmark for dietary advice. Here, nutritionist Susie Burrell explains exactly what a serve entails.



he term ‘serve’ is used frequently in nutrition guides as a reference point to how many ‘serves’ you need of different types of food each day for optimal health. Unfortunately, the term is used rather loosely, with many foods packed in quantities that are two or three times larger than what is recommended as a serve. Research indicates that the average energy intake of Australians has increased by at least 15 percent since 1985 – an amount that can easily be explained by our tendency to choose larger serving sizes in many of our food choices. When was the last time you purchased a soft drink in the regular 375ml size, or some potato chips in a 50g bag? And it’s not limited to packaged food choices. For example, studies have shown restaurant meals can be equivalent to three regular meals. To get back on track, here is your guide to the right serving sizes for your optimal health.

CARBOHYDRATES These foods include bread, rice, cereal, fruit and sugars. They are the primary fuel for muscles and important sources of dietary fibre and B-group vitamins. Daily requirement: 2-3 serves at each meal and 1-2 serves at each mid-meal for optimal energy. What’s in a serve: 1 serve = ½ cup breakfast cereal / 1 slice of bread / 4 cracker biscuits / 1 piece of fruit / ½ cup juice / ½ cup uncooked rice / 1 cup cooked pasta / 1 potato (150g) Tip: Always choose wholegrain or low-GI varieties of carbohydrates.

PROTEINS These foods include meats, dairy foods, beans, tofu, soy products and eggs. Proteins are used for muscle growth and repair, and are important sources of key nutrients including calcium, iron and zinc. Daily requirement: 3-4 serves of dairy or calcium-enriched soy, plus 1-2 serves of lean meat, chicken, fish or egg. What’s in a serve: 1 serve = 100g lean meat, chicken or fish / 1 egg / 250ml soy or dairy milk / 40g cheese / 100g low-fat yoghurt / 100g tofu / 10 nuts / ½ cup beans

VEGETABLES These foods include all salads, leafy green and red vegetables, and are needed for fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Daily requirement: At least 6 serves. What’s in a serve: 1 serve = ½ cup Tip: Always include half a plate of salad or vegetables at dinner and add extra salad to your lunch.

FATS & OILS These include nuts, oils, margarine and avocado, and are sources of essential fatty acids. Daily requirement: 3-4 serves. What’s in a serve: 1 serve = 1 teaspoon of oil or margarine / 15 nuts / 20g avocado Tip: Watch how much oil you are using, always measure it with a spoon when adding to food during cooking.

Includes wine, beer and spirits. Daily allowance: 2 serves maximum. What’s in a serve: 1 serve = 30ml spirits / 120ml wine / 375ml beer Tip: Aim for two alcohol-free days each week.

October/November 2008




Sample Eating Plan Try this nutritionally-balanced eating plan, using accurate serving sizes.

Check out empower online

1 cup wholegrain breakfast cereal = 2 serves carbohydrate

The Right Mix When planning a balanced diet, there are some common mistakes people make that can be avoided:

1 cup low-fat milk = 1 serve protein 1 piece of fruit = 1 serve carbohydrate


1. Too much carbohydrate, not enough protein or vegetables Meal choices based around bread, rice, cereal and pasta can have up to six serves of carbohydrate, which is a lot of energy to burn. Solution: Always order extra vegetables with meals of bread, rice or pasta and try to stick to cup-sized serves of each at meals.

3. Not enough lean red meat Again, women aged between 20 and 50 need lean red meat in their diet at least every second day in order to get all of the iron and zinc they need. Solution: Add a little red meat to salad or sandwiches to increase your intake of iron and zinc. For the vegetarians, eggs and beans are relatively good sources of iron.

4. Too much good fat While olive oil, nuts and avocado do contain the heart-healthy good fats, it is also easy to overdose on them and eat too much fat in total. Solution: Remember that just a teaspoon of oil, a few nuts or a few slices of avocado are a serve, and you only need a few of these each day.

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2 crackers and 2 slices low-fat cheese = 1 serve carbohydrates + 1 serve dairy 1 skim-milk latte = 1 serve dairy

Mid Morning

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Large vegetable soup = 2 serves vegetables

2. Not enough dairy Women of child-bearing age need at least three serves of calcium-rich foods every day to get all the calcium they need. Solution: Choose snacks such as cheese, milk-based drinks or yoghurt to make sure you get 3-4 serves of dairy every day.

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Grain bread roll + tuna + avocado = 2 serves carbohydrates + 1 serve protein + 1 serve fat

Feel great â&#x20AC;&#x201C; share an Act of Kindness lunch

Nut-based snack bar = 1 serve fat 1 apple = 1 serve carbohydrate

afternoon 150g salmon cooked in olive oil = 1 serve protein + 1 serve fat 1 jacket potato = 1 serve carbohydrates

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Green beans, broccoli, carrots = 3 serves vegetables 1 glass white wine = 1 serve alcohol


Berries + 2 spoons thick yoghurt = 1 serve carbohydrates

dessert Susie Burrell is a qualified consultant dietitian. She can be contacted on email, susie@susieburrell.com.au or visit www.susieburrell.com.au



Women’s Business

eautiful Top


at the

Driven, passionate and balanced, Lauren Nye tells Emily Chantiri about her rise to responsibility for one of the world’s biggest beauty brands in Australia.

October/November 2008

as was being in the right place at the right time. Although, it did have its challenges. “Moving into a new role, new category, and new team, meant that I had to start again,” recalls Lauren. “I had to build relationships, understand each individual’s role, and seek opportunities to work together. I had to ask myself, what could I bring to the role? What do my colleagues expect of me coming into the new role? What are the current business issues and dynamics of the category?” Apart from the Dove master-fund and skincare range, Lauren oversees Dove’s ‘Campaign for Real Beauty’ and the Dove Self-Esteem Fund, which is a project close to her heart. The fund has been set up to educate and inspire all young people on the wider definition of beauty. “Dove recognises the need for educating young people to have a positive body image and self-esteem, and on how images are often manipulated in the media,” explains Lauren. The Self-Esteem Fund supports programs such as the BodyThink workshops implemented by the Butterfly Foundation

throughout schools and other organisations such as the Girl Guides to address this exact issue. The program aims to reach 45,000 students by the end of the year and, globally, Dove’s mission is to reach five million young people by the year 2010.

Taking the Challenge “The variety in my job is one of the things that keeps me motivated,” says Lauren. “I generally arrive at the office between 8-8.30am, check my emails and meet with either the sales, brand or product development team. We meet with the different advertising or media agencies to discuss upcoming events or launches and there is the occasional fire-fighting when things aren’t going to plan. There are always instances where there are deadlines, product launches or visitors from the global team and longer hours are required but, generally, it’s fairly manageable. “Unilever is a great company to work for. As soon as I mention I work on Dove everyone acknowledges what an exciting brand it is to be a part of.”

Bold brand: Many will recall the ‘natural’ women starring in Dove’s Real Beauty campaign – a brand Lauren Nye is now largely responsible for in Australia.


Images courtesy Unilever


sk marketing manager Lauren Nye about her job and her face lights up. Not surprising for this 28-year-old who has recently landed the enviable role of working as marketing and brand manager for beauty giant Dove in Australia. When Unilever launched its highly successful Dove ‘Campaign for Real Beauty’ in 2006 the world took notice. Who could forget the images of ‘real’ women of all shapes, sizes and ethnicity parading on camera, clad in only white underwear, promoting natural beauty. For the past four and a half years, Lauren had been working in the marketing department of Unilever’s ice-cream division, Streets, starting as assistant brand manager and working her way up to senior brand manager. “This was not only an exciting brand to work on, but challenging as well,” says Lauren. “I’d been working in the ice-cream department for several years and knew the category. Through my progress I had the opportunity to demonstrate my abilities across a broad range of challenges, including developing my team, reaching goals and achieving results.” When Lauren’s predecessor went on maternity leave in March this year, the role on Dove became available. “I was up for my next challenge. I’d always been interested in Dove as a brand and what it stood for. “The whole concept of featuring real women is quite unique in today’s society,” adds Lauren. “When you look at a lot of beauty ads they feature young women with a lot of re-touching and these images portray unrealistic and unattainable images to women. The fact that we featured real women, plucked straight off the streets, from sizes eight to 16, ages from 25 to 90 plus, demonstrating that women from all these backgrounds are beautiful and happy – this has definitely touched a lot of women.” Lauren says it was her work ethic that put her in good stead to take on the role,

Like any senior role, Lauren admits hers comes with some challenges but says the secret is to “take time out, step back and look at the challenge with fresh eyes. Sometimes I try to rely on my experiences from the past, even speaking with my colleagues here and externally. I ask for their advice on how to tackle some of the issues. I don’t have a mentor, but I do have a couple of people who I regularly check in with. We have a coffee and chat; relationships like these are important”. Almost six months into the role Lauren is still learning, but one area she finds extremely rewarding is people management. Teambuilding is strong on her agenda. “Building relationships doesn’t happen overnight, particularly working with the global team does take time. When I started in the role, the expectations I’d placed on myself combined with the company’s expectations of me moving into that role, and knowing how highly regarded Dove is as a brand, meant I felt I had a lot to accomplish.” With billions of consumer dollars being spent on beauty products across the world, Lauren has a big responsibility to keep her brand one step ahead in such a competitive industry. “Dove is a brand that will not be swept up in the stereotypical view of beauty and will stay true to its values,” she says. “Its focus on real women, and being so different from the rest of the market, has created debate among the media. This has also raised Dove’s profile because we have taken such a strong stance on that. It has created a lot of positive PR coverage. Dove is a down-to-earth brand that women can relate to.”

There is no doubt that the success of Dove falls largely on the fact that the brand has an affinity with women, adds Lauren. “What has been very clear to me since I’ve been in this role is that people, particularly women, feel they have an emotional connection with what the brand stands for. Dove’s mission is to make more women feel beautiful every day by challenging society’s stereotypical beauty. There is no re-touching in the advertising we do. It shows that we stick to our philosophy and that we are honest in trying to help women re-think what beauty is about.” While Lauren crams a lot into her day, she is also very keen to keep her life in balance. In 2006 she married her university sweetheart, accountant Andrew Nye. Spending time with her husband, family and friends are high on her list of priorities, as well as keeping in shape. She jogs three mornings a week. One passion Lauren attributes to helping her keep a clear perspective on life is travel. This year, she and Andrew travelled to Nepal, and last year they visited South America. “When I travel to countries less developed than Australia, I come home and really appreciate the simple things. It helps me to get back to the basics and think things through. Sometimes things are more complicated than they need to be.” And on the work front Lauren says it’s important to celebrate the wins. “Particularly when things have come through to the other side and your team has been working hard for a period of time... I always remember to acknowledge the hard work that has been achieved by all.”

Fact File

Name: Lauren Nye Age: 28 Biggest inspiration: I really don’t have just one person who inspires me. It’s really the different attributes from people I have met over the years. For instance, some of my past managers have been incredibly visionary and creative. Biggest motivation: I like a challenge, particularly when I come into a situation where things are not going well. I get stuck into it and look at what is driving things and why this happened, and then I ask lots of questions to get to the bottom of the problem. Most memorable moment: I’ve had a jam-packed career with lots of opportunities. I recognise that I am quite young to be in this role. When I started on Streets Paddle Pop, the brand’s performance wasn’t so good, and by the time I left the brand it was in a much better position – from a pure marketing perspective, coming into a brand and leaving it in a better place is very satisfying. Biggest achievement to date: Where I am now. I’ve always been fairly driven. Little-known fact: I love a home project, like renovating. I love to cook and entertain. When my work is challenging, I try to switch off by cooking a nice meal. Sharing time with family and friends is incredibly important to me and it does take juggling to make the time. Recently, I completed a photography course with my Dad. Where do you see yourself in THE next five years? Definitely to progress from marketing manager to marketing director, and perhaps work overseas to get more experience.


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October/November 2008


Work to Live to Work



Whether it’s to do with work, family, friends or lifestyle, women often feel guilty when they can’t be all things to all people. But, as life coach Danette Hibberd explains, there are a few things we can do to strike the right balance.



here are many things I have felt guilty about in my adult life: going off to work and missing the kid’s school play, not exercising as much as I could have, smoking when I should have given up, eating that piece of chocolate cake, wasting money on frivolous items because they were on sale, things I’ve said to someone, not being an attentive listener/mother/daughter/friend/lover, taking a sickie when I probably could have sat through that meeting with a box of tissues… Sound familiar? Many of us could continue adding to this list because women, especially (even the younger, educated generation of today) are often weighed down by feelings of guilt in some form. This often stems from feelings of desire – for our career, motherhood, sex, food, body image or any form of personal gratification or indulgence. Meet Jennifer, a 30-year-old marketing manager. She is single, doesn’t have children and earns a six-figure salary, yet she feels guilty about spending her hard-earned money on stylish clothes and parking her new BMW next to her parent’s 15-year-old station wagon. Then there’s women like Susie who, in her mid-thirties, is a highly regarded solicitor, but often feels guilty that due to work commitments, she frequently cancels social arrangements, continually defers marriage to her long-time fiancee who needles her to start a family, and forgets to send birthday cards to her friends. Fast-forward to motherhood and the guilt increases a hundred-fold. Beverly, 37, is a corporate executive and mother of two young children who laments she feels guilty for putting her career ahead of her kids most of the time. This causes anxiety and stress, and she often takes her anger out on them

when she gets home as she tries to cook dinner, supervise homework, do the laundry, bath the kids, feed the dog, sort out the bills and then be a great bed partner to her excited husband. The next day, Beverly will then feel guilty at work because she has to leave early to attend an important parent-teacher interview.

Drawing the Line I believe these feelings of guilt come from a deeply embedded sense, tattooed into our psyches through the generations, that we are not meant to be selfish. The thought that we might desire or enjoy something for ourselves is still hard to accept as our gender has traditionally been, and continues to be seen, as carers, nurturers, givers and supporters of our children, our husbands, our friends and our elderly parents. Consequently, there appears to be a very blurred line between not caring what others think (and being self-fulfilled) and simply not caring about other people at all. In fact, it is only our own individual consciences that can

1. Learn to manage your guilt by accepting the choices you have made and decide to feel good about them. Know that when you are happy, the emotion is contagious and those around you will be happy too. 2. Recognise that your life will be full of negotiations and compromises – one day an element in your life will be the priority, and something else will take the fore on another, and that is okay. 3. Be flexible. Without a bit of give and take everything in your life will remain constant, and neither you nor your family will have the opportunity to grow. 4. Take charge of your thoughts and language. The ‘poison’ phrases of ‘should have’ and ‘ought to’ only increase feelings of guilt, so should be removed from your vocabulary. 5. Set rules. Understand what is important to you and ensure that firm boundaries are in place. If your family enjoys a picnic lunch every Sunday, make it a point to never miss it. 6. Keep a realistic perspective. Identify where your guilt is coming from and assess whether it is warranted or not. If so, what steps can you take to change things?

QUICK TIP Next time you feel the guilt coming on, take a quick measure of it and noticeably reduce the amount of guilt you feel. Lift your chin while taking a deep breath, and smile. be the judge of how distinct this line is in our own lives. Guilt is a substitute negative emotion that is actually hiding what you are really feeling. A good place to start is to ask yourself, “What am I not wanting to feel, and what am I hiding from?” You can then begin to break free from the pattern and discover what is real. The following tips will also help you overcome challenges around guilt:


Remember, you must consciously choose to feel good about your decisions, and accept the results. Danette Hibberd is an international author, speaker, NLP master practitioner, trainer and personal development professional. For more information visit her website at www.fabulousbeyondforty.com



Speak UP! Regardless of where you are in your career, the way you communicate within the workplace plays a crucial part in how you are perceived by those around you. Career coach Kate James suggests the following six steps to becoming a great communicator.

While it’s tempting in a new role to want to get along with everyone, being a ‘yes’ person won’t win you any real friends. Allow your intuition to guide you towards the answers that feel most authentic for you and be willing to stand by what you believe in. It’s important to be open to new ideas and not to discount other people’s opinions too quickly, but you’ll earn the respect of your peers and managers by being someone who is willing to express their own point of view.

This helps to clarify that you understand the key messages.

4. Develop a leadership presence

Before any important meeting, spend some time reviewing agendas and meeting notes to make sure you know your stuff. Prepare your responses to key areas so you can speak with confidence. If necessary, organise a discussion with other stakeholders prior to the meeting to gather any information you don’t have. Make sure your body language communicates confidence too – look people in the eye, don’t fidget and remember to smile.

Most of us can think of a leader who has an incredible ‘presence’ about them. Modelling some of their behaviours can help to develop your own leadership style. Leaders who command respect have an air of confidence about them. When they walk into a room they shake hands and engage immediately in discussion with others. Great leaders have an air of ‘unflappability’ about them. They maintain a sense of calm in all situations and have the ability to provide a soothing influence on others. Exceptional leaders communicate with passion and honesty – they are able to engage others easily and have a natural charisma that makes others want to get on board with their ideas. Leaders with presence generally come across as being warm and sincere in their communication. Look around you for good role models and adopt one or two of their behaviours.

3. Become a great listener

5. Learn the art of good small talk

Possibly the most important element in effective communication is to really listen. Notice where your thoughts are while the other person is talking – are you already jumping ahead in your mind with your own response? Slow down your thinking and learn to really pay attention to what is being said. Practise ‘active listening’ where you reflect back to the person what has been said if you are uncertain about a point they have made.

While engaging in small talk isn’t everyone’s idea of fun, it is an important element in being a successful communicator. Small talk is where we all begin when we connect with strangers so it’s an essential factor in developing new relationships. The art of good small talk requires preparation. Read the newspaper and a variety of magazines so you have plenty of general knowledge. It’s useful to list a range of topics and think about what you have to say

2. Communicate with confidence

October/November 2008


on each. Make your list diverse enough for you to be able to speak to men and women of any age – learn about cooking, soccer, painting, foreign affairs, the environment or anything else that’s outside your general realm of interest. Try new things – drive home a new way, learn to speak Italian, cook a different dish, visit a new restaurant. Immerse yourself in new things so that you stay interesting. Then force yourself into small-talk situations – practice makes perfect.

6. Be effective at speaking in front of a group Public speaking is something many people avoid, but if you want to succeed in your career, it’s well worth getting some training to help you speak with more confidence. Many people make the assumption that speaking well means being an entertainer. Good public speaking is much more about feeling comfortable to be yourself in front of a group. If you are well prepared and you speak with sincerity you will rarely go wrong. The best thing you can do is practice. Find out about a local Toastmasters group [networking groups that help people become more competent and comfortable in front of an audience]. Just six months of attendance will make a difference. Kate James is a career coach who works with her clients to achieve balance and fulfillment in all areas of life. For more information visit www.totalbalance.com.au


1. Don’t be a ‘yes’ person

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Culture in Check

Whether it’s to do with staff, productivity or profit, an organisation’s culture affects all areas of a business. Rebecca Spicer explores how taking stock of the culture in your workplace could help take your business to the next level.


very workplace has its own unique culture made up of the human interactions between management, staff and, by extension, clients. Certainly it reflects the nature of a business and the type of environment being worked in. The question is, who is creating the culture and is it the right fit for a productive and profitable business? Michael Rooke, principal of Sydney consultancy Attitude Works, believes the culture in any organisation is a telling indicator as to how the workplace is faring. “We call it ‘the climate’ and it’s in the groups that form within a company. They’re the people whose interactions will tell you whether things are going well or not. I liken corporate culture to a hidden force, rather like gravity. You know it’s real and you can feel its effects, even if you can’t see or touch it.” All the experts we spoke to agree that the culture within any workplace is (or should be) driven by the business owners and managers, so if real leadership is lacking, the results can be catastrophic. “There are all sorts of theories about workplace culture but, in our experience, it’s set by the people at the top and reflects their personalities,” says Dr Brendan Coutts, co-founder of the Sydney-based Hawthorne Academy, which specialises in teaching CEOs and senior management how to get their ailing companies back on track. Fundamentally, he believes a poor workplace culture is the result of undervalued staff. “Under-performance is a classic sign that a business is in trouble. If staff are treated poorly, morale and productivity soon plummet and the reality is that the best, most qualified people leave first.” While keeping staff happy is always important, it’s especially so at the moment given the skills shortage, adds Brendan. “And it’s pretty well established that people tend

October/November 2008

to leave managers, they don’t leave jobs, and they often leave for political or cultural reasons because they don’t fit in the environment.” He warns, however, keeping staff happy is more than just offering pay rises, or providing coffee machines and other perks. “It’s about people actually wanting to work hard and it’s about giving them the support they need to do what they do, as well as they can.” This was certainly the case for Vanessa Williams and Koni Anastasiou who started their own accounting firm, BTA, earlier this year. “From a business perspective, we saw in our old workplace that a lot of the staff had to be largely handheld or were left to their own devices without the right support and guidance. When creating our business plan we were providing for a particular type of culture,” recalls Vanessa. “It wasn’t set out in black and white but it was behind all our decision-making and planning. When we were deciding how to do things and set things up, the culture we wanted to create was underlying everything we

trying to improve productivity. Engineers were running it and the factory staff had no say in how the factory was being run. While there was no animosity between management and staff, it had become a disengaged culture. By empowering the factory staff, giving them a voice and putting them in charge of the factory, the company had 60 percent growth in productivity in six months. Michael acknowledges that for small and medium business owners, especially, workplace culture can be one of those things left hanging on the ‘to-do’ list with so many things competing for their immediate attention. The important thing, he says, is not to personalise the situation by blaming yourself as a manager if the culture isn’t where you want it to be. It’s about being able to say, ‘okay, it’s not the environment my people are telling me they want, so what role do I now play in changing that, and what do we want it to look like?’ There are a number of ways business owners and managers can identify issues

“If you’re creating, changing or shaping a culture, firstly you need to ask, ‘what are the things we value in this organisation?’ ” were doing. For example, when we were looking for the right office space, we wanted to ensure it was a nice place for staff to be in. “As we developed our business plans, ideas sprung to mind around how we would like the employees to approach work and us. We know the type of person we want – someone who’s dedicated and loyal and feels a part of the firm and the family. In order to create that, we need to be accessible, we’ll need to ensure we’re friendly and that we do things that involve them.” The hardest thing for business owners and managers, Brendan says, is acknowledging or recognising if a culture problem exists in the first place. As an example, he recalls being called into a manufacturing business that was


around culture in the workplace. Brendan suggests looking at key indicators such as staff turnover, the level of absenteeism, productivity, and human elements such as office moral. Also, what are people’s preparedness to put in a little bit extra, adds Michael. “If you‘ve got a good culture, people will go the extra yard.” The key will also be to talk to staff and get their feedback – open the lines of communication. In Brendan’s experience working with hundreds of under-performing businesses, he says the answers can almost always be found by talking to the people that work there. If it’s difficult for the business owner to see things they perhaps don’t want to, it might be an idea to seek external (more objective) business advice. Or Michael

suggests conducting a cultural survey with staff, and this could be as complex as engaging a human resources company to do it for you, or by using a multitude of survey templates that are available online. It comes down to timing, budget and, of course, the outcome you want to achieve.


Developing Your Culture While it’s good to sit down and decide exactly what type of culture you want in the workplace – whether it’s an entrepreneurial, friendly or competitive culture, for example – and then design structures and policies in the business to support that culture, Brendan says it all comes down to the leaders in the organisation embodying that culture and holding people accountable. He believes that “imposing” a culture through rules and regulations will often be far less effective than “releasing” a culture through the people at the top really valuing the culture, not just giving it lip service. “The more you try and regulate something, the less you know about the culture, which is why a culture can’t be imposed, it has to be released,” he explains. Michael agrees workplace culture is all about the shared values people have within an organisation. “So if you’re creating, changing or shaping a culture, firstly you need to ask, ‘what are the things we value in this organisation?’ For example, it could be that customer focus or something as simple as ‘listen’ is a value. You then have to articulate exactly what that value means to the organisation and how you’re going to measure that.” He suggests implementing this through the recruitment process. “When interviewing someone you would always include some questions around people’s values to get an idea whether they’ll fit within the culture. The company’s culture and/or values should be outlined in job descriptions and company policies to reinforce it, and businesses should also have it as part of their performance review process – that’s where the measurement and feedback from staff comes in.” “It’s good to introduce the cultural expectations of the business at the interview

stage because people sign on knowing it from the beginning,” concurs Vanessa. “I was told once in my old position that beggars can’t be choosers when it comes to recruiting new staff, and even if someone wasn’t perfect for the job it was better than having no-one. My approach is different. I believe having the wrong person is worse than having no-one at all.”

Considering Other Cultures In developing your ideal business culture, many will need to consider Australia’s multicultural society and the increasing number of skilled migrants moving here to work. Naturally, negotiating their way through the ‘Aussie’ language, customs, work practices and social conventions can be difficult for newcomers to Australia. The challenge for business managers is to build awareness and understanding in the workplace, says Kees Hoefsloot, co-director of Sydney’s Culture

“‘They never put their hands up’, or ‘They don’t participate in meetings’ are the sorts of things we hear from bosses,” says Kees. “All they can see is a lack of initiative. What they don’t understand is that they’re getting reactions shaped by very different, deeply embedded cultures – like being respectful and waiting to be invited, or deferring to superiors.” Simply being culturally aware and accepting is a good start, but in order to develop best practices in an organisation, Kees believes leaders need to develop ‘cultural intelligence’ or CQ. “CQ is having the knowledge to understand what the differences are between people from a cultural perspective. You have to have the motivation and open-mindedness to look for those differences and to interpret people’s behaviour,” he explains. “Then, the business owner needs to ask themselves, ‘how can I change the behaviour of the organisation, or myself, or my team, in

Key Tips To An Effective Workplace Culture • Strive to be in a situation where all staff look forward to coming to work every day. • Foster trust and communication between employees and management. • Always remember that people have feelings. Give them positive and constructive feedback. Never give negative or unconstructive feedback in public. • Recognise people for the work they do and their contribution – what do you value most in your team members, beyond whether they got the job done (i.e. how they got it done, personal attributes etc)? • Constantly ask for individual’s views and respect their opinions. Within reason, be open to acting on their requests. • Develop a level of intelligence around other religious or cultural backgrounds. • Roll up your sleeves every now and then, get out there and be visible.

Resource Centre. “Approximately 120,000 skilled migrants are coming to Australia each year, so having a multicultural workplace will become even more prudent than in the past. “In many cases, though, new skilled migrants are moving from another country and they’re put in multicultural teams, when they’ve probably never worked with people of other cultures before, and they’re immediately expected to understand how Australian workplaces operate.” The result is ineffective work practices and a lot of talent going unrecognised and unrewarded.


a way that we can have an effective workplace relationship? “CQ goes a lot further than the superficial levels of culture, such as religion, dress, food, language – we’re looking at the cultural values that impact how people work. “With CQ you’re looking for best practices that work for everybody – finding a balance is crucial. We can’t have a team that facilitates everyone’s preferences, so we have to have a team that facilitates best practices for the organisation. Everyone has to give a little bit and everyone will benefit from that.”


Rising interest rates aren’t all doom and gloom – not for canny investors who take advantage of the situation. Financial advisor Margaret Lomas explains your investment options.


y now it’s no secret the economic situation is set to worsen before it improves, and while we are still a long way from record interest rates, the sheer number of rate rises we have experienced over such a short period of time is record enough. For those paying off a mortgage, times are tough. And of course the rising costs of fuel and food are presenting their own challenges. But during this time we also can’t afford to ignore the raft of investment opportunities that inevitably accompany a rising interest-rate market. For those who have commenced an income and expense management plan (as outlined in issue 1 of emPOWER) and are exercising good savings habits, the next step will be to commence an investment plan. Since so many investing opportunities do exist, with varying degrees of legitimacy and chances of ultimate success, it is vital to gain a basic understanding of the investment classes available and how you go about choosing the one that best suits you. Of the literally hundreds and thousands of avenues available to an investor, all fit somewhere into one of the following asset classes: shares, property, fixed-interest securities and cash. Each of these asset classes is explained below.

When a company wishes to raise revenue, for expansion or to continue to operate, and it does not wish to borrow from a lender or cannot raise funds through its own cash

October/November 2008



Shares, Stocks, Equity

Wealth Creation

Investing in the Future

flow, they can do so by essentially selling off small bits of the company through a public listing. To do this, a remarkable amount of compliance and due diligence needs to take place, after which a public offering is made via a prospectus, which is a document outlining the risks and opportunities available to anyone who wishes to buy a part of the company. Units of ownership, known as shares, equities or stocks, are made available and can be bought directly from the stock exchange, (via a broker or online) or indirectly (through unit trusts or managed funds). Owning a share means you own part of the company, and the initial value of the share at the time of its first listing is determined by the underlying value of the assets of that company. The subsequent price of a share you may own can then be influenced by different factors, including how a company performs over time and how the overall share market reacts to economic, social and political influences. It is possible that you can own a share in a substantial company that plummets in value due to a bad day on the share market or a poor global economic outlook. It is important to note that a share can be very volatile. Because they can be so quickly bought and sold, the price or value of them, can be affected and change very quickly. This means you can have shares that are worth a reasonable amount when you go to bed one night, but that have plummeted and lost a significant amount of their value by the time you wake up the next day. However, the very opposite can also happen and you can actually make a significant amount overnight.

While a share can return a dividend to its owner (that is a small share of the company profits), the main return seen by owning a share is its increase in value over time, therefore it is known as a growth asset. Buying shares in solid companies and holding them over time has usually resulted in good growth.

Investing in Property This asset class includes any residential, commercial, industrial or retail property that is bought directly, or indirectly through a property trust. When you invest directly into property, you take ownership and your name is on the title of that property. You might use cash to buy the property or a combination of cash and loan funds, known as a mortgage. You receive rent as income and must meet all of the costs of that property, including the loan repayments. In the event there is a

amounts of properties and sells the units via a prospectus, or through a syndicate, where essentially you buy property with a group of other people, using the expertise of a syndicate company. Both of these avenues allow you to invest smaller sums of money into property while still gaining exposure to this asset class. Property is both a growth asset, due to its ability to increase in value if held long enough, and an income asset, given the return available through rents.

Fixed-interest Securities A fixed-interest security is an instrument that has a higher degree of security than the above two asset classes, and involves an investor placing their money with a high expectation that the money will be returned, with interest, at a time in the future. This includes investments in debentures, bank bills and bonds, commonly issued by government and semi-government bodies, banks and companies. A fixed-interest security is really an agreement whereby an investor agrees to lend money to a company or government body for an agreed term, and at the expiration of this term that money will be returned. Depending on the terms of the agreement, a pre-agreed rate of interest may be paid regularly throughout the term, or as a lump sum when the original investment is repaid. Fixed-interest securities can be bought and sold, with the value of the security being linked to interest rates. If interest rates rise, the value of the security decreases because a new

We canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t afford to ignore the raft of investment opportunities that inevitably accompany a rising interest-rate market shortfall between what you make in income and what you pay out in expenses, you may claim a tax deduction, for which you will receive a tax refund up to your top marginal rate of tax. In the event that you receive more income than you pay out in expenses, you will pay tax on that gain. If you wish to invest in property, but do not have sufficient funds to raise the required deposit, there are avenues available that allow you to invest indirectly. When you do this, it will be either through a property trust, where a fund manager sets up a trust to buy larger


investor would see a better return by buying a new fixed-interest security rather than acquire one from someone else. Of course, if interest rates fall, then the value of the security increases. Given they are usually offered by the government and large companies, fixedinterest securities are generally considered less risky than shares and property. Because of this, the returns can be lower than either property or shares. Like any investment, their sale value can rise or fall at any time in line with market sentiment.


Wealth Creation

A fixed-interest security is thought of mostly as an income asset, due to the payment of interest during or at the end of its term, however it can also grow (or lose) value if it needs to be on-sold prior to its maturity.

Cash Cash is, of course, considered to be the least risky of all the asset classes. In essence, when you invest your money in a cash security, you are probably putting it into a bank, building society or credit union that will, in turn, use it for a number of purposes – to lend out to others, to pay dividends to members or to invest in the short-term overnight money market. Because of this safety, the trade-off for investors will be the return, which is traditionally very low. Although investors have lost money in the past when a building society or credit union has crumbled, the risk of losing your money is relatively very small and mostly unheard of. Investing in cash securities is considered an income-only investment, since cash does not necessarily grow (unless invested in foreign currency).

What about Super? When I talk to people about investing, I am always asked about superannuation. It’s important to note that superannuation is not an asset class in its own right – it is merely a vehicle through which you can obtain the range of assets that most suit your personal needs for safety. A super fund has special rules and advantageous tax treatment. If you contribute your own funds through a salary sacrifice, you essentially invest the whole dollar you have earned, rather than what is left after you pay income tax. That dollar only has 15 percent tax payable on it (which your super fund will take out) and no tax when you withdraw it. However, this concession comes at a cost – you cannot touch your money until you reach ‘preservation age’, which is at least 55 (check with your provider). A super fund will choose a range of asset classes designed to suit the needs of its investors. If you wish to put money into super for your retirement, be sure you ask several funds about where they will invest so you can match a fund to your own personal security needs.

October/November 2008

Which should you choose? When and where you should invest is dependent on a number of things, including: • the sum you have available to you; • the time you have available to tie up your funds; • your personal needs for income and/or growth; and • your personal risk profile. For investors who have a smaller sum, say from $1,000, investing in a fixed-interest security may be a good place to start, especially if you have a savings goal in the short to medium term, such as saving for a holiday or a car. If the intention is, however, to commence an investment portfolio for a longer term, say to commence a retirement fund, then it may be prudent to consider one of the other options, such as a share portfolio. If you are nervous about starting a share portfolio, you can do so by investing through a managed fund. This is the collective pooling of investors’ funds to allow the purchase of a greater array of the aforementioned assets. Your small amount of money is pooled with the small amounts of money from others, and an experienced manager chooses what to buy and when to invest or disinvest. A managed fund can be a great way to get involved in investing

mean that now is a bad time to buy – on the contrary, for those prepared to become educated and take the time to research well, many property bargains exist today in areas that are ripe for investing success.

Risk v Reward Just because a particular asset class has the potential to give higher returns and more growth than another does not mean we should all be investing our hard-earned money in it! Someone who is by nature a very cautious person may not be able to stand the stress of riding a very volatile share market, while another person who has plenty of disposable income might become frustrated by the low returns of a fixedinterest security. Add to this the fact that some people have many, many years until they need their money, during which the up and down value of their portfolio will not overly bother them, while another may specifically need their funds in a year or two, quite possibly at a time when the markets are at their worst. When choosing where to invest, all investors must consider their personal needs for safety, along with how much time they have available before they will need their funds. It is perfectly okay to start with one type of investing and as your risk profile

Investors must consider their personal needs for safety, along with how much time they have before they need their funds without taking the risk as completely or as directly. Be warned, however, that just because an experienced manager takes care of these funds does not guarantee their success – while we would hope that they would be more experienced than we are ourselves, no-one can ever second-guess the market or be assured of good returns. If you have already saved a larger sum and are confident about your ability to borrow, you may wish to explore investing in property. Don’t be caught out by thinking that this form of investing requires no experience – many property investors have purchased property that did not perform well and with our markets suffering everywhere, a large amount of knowledge and research is crucial over the coming years if you are to successfully buy property. However, just because we are facing uncertainty does not


grows or diminishes change to another. Whatever you decide to do, be sure to obtain plenty of advice from someone qualified to give it. Your best mate may have had a great run with their technology stocks, but this should never be a recommendation for you to follow them into this market. Stay tuned for the next wealth creation instalment in emPOWER, which will include a questionnaire to assess each reader’s risk profile and explain how to choose the best investment vehicle to match that profile. Margaret Lomas is a qualified financial and investment advisor and is the director of Destiny Financial Solutions, www.destiny.net.au. She is also an author and chair of the Property Investment Professionals of Australia and the 2006 Telstra NSW Business Woman of the Year.

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Raise YOUR

energy wealth

to grow

To be open to opportunities that lead to financial freedom, it’s important to be nourished physically and emotionally, and to be aware of the different selves that reside within, says wealth coach Mary King.


o become wealthy and stay that way, it’s important to develop and grow yourself. Part of this involves raising your energy so you can hold more and more wealth. Stuart Wilde, author of The Quickening says, “When you raise your energy vibration you become more attractive. When the people show up, bill ‘em!” Many of us have been conditioned to believe in scarcity and lack when there is actually plenty for all. We need to constantly remind ourselves that the universe is infinitely abundant and there is plenty of money to go around. Money is energy and energy cannot be destroyed. It simply changes form. You are energy and you have abundance available to you. The question becomes, how do we raise our energy? It doesn’t happen automatically and takes dedication to the cause. Look around you. How many people do you see who you could say have a high-energy vibration? When I was starting out, I learnt from Stuart Wilde, listening to his tapes and soaking up his teachings as I drove up and down the highway between my businesses. As I practised what he preached, I raised my energy vibration.

Raising Your Energy Each of us is a divine energy (a spirit) in a body. To raise your energy vibration, you have to raise the energy of the body that holds the spirit. This means charging up your transmitting and receiving instrument (your body). In addition to this, you are constantly sending out and accepting resonations with your thoughts and emotions. To attract and retain wealth you need a high vibration. To charge up your energy, I suggest the following: • Eat nourishing, balanced, fresh and high-quality food. • Strengthen your body with exercise. • Clear out mental and emotional blocks – work on yourself through workshops or counselling if required. • Read the symptoms your body sends you, heed the message, act on it and become your own healer – illness is a teacher you can learn from. • Honour your spirit by giving it freedom from transmissions that distort its ability to remain clear (for example, television). • Detach from emotions that pull you away from your ‘self ’. The emotional body is at risk from world events that create fear. Develop an ability to have compassion

When you grow personally, your wealth also increases because you are stronger and able to attract and hold more energy and more wealth By practising the following principles, I have manifested wealth for myself. This came in the form of fortunate opportunities I could recognise and take advantage of, and I now have financial freedom. A word of caution about embarking on this process, however: if the people around you don’t also raise their vibration, they could drift away as you start travelling at different speeds. As a result their personalities can become less appealing to you.

October/November 2008

and distance. Create your own emotional reality. I no longer listen to the news, for example. • Live within your means – if the money coming in is less than the money going out you are out of balance. If you aren’t earning a huge amount, start reducing your needs. Live simply. Until you display that you have mastery of your physical dimension you won’t advance. It’s not


• • • •

about earning more money; the answer is in discipline and balance. Get on top of what you already have and prove you can handle more. Balance your life with play, work and rest. Practise meditation, yoga or tai chi. Learn to trust your intuition – start with small steps. Discipline yourself to remember you are a spiritual being and practise humility. Say to yourself every day, “I’m immortal, eternal and infinite. I am what I am.”

Like Attracts Like Oprah Winfrey has introduced the world at large to Ekhart Tolle’s book The Power of Now (New World Library). In this, Ekhart teaches how to experience ‘presence’. He refers to the ‘pain body’ as the thing that stops you from being able to get into the now. Another way of expressing the idea of the pain body is to talk about our ‘disowned selves’. I’ll give you an example. There was a time in my life when I felt very unhappy. My marriage had broken up and I felt it must have been my fault. I was in a very negative frame of mind and my thoughts focused on my limitations. After a while, I learnt to say affirmations such as, “For every negative thought, I now have three positive thoughts”. I soon changed from being a negative person to being a very positive person. In the process, I disowned my negativity. Before long, I started to notice I had negative people around me, which I didn’t like. Then I went into partnership with someone who was as negative as I was positive. We balanced each other out. After a while it became a challenge for each of us to appreciate the value of the other. It was at this time I met the founders of the psycho-spiritual consciousness method


Voice Dialogue. Hal and Sidra Stone explained the theory behind Voice Dialogue, which is that we are all made up of a number of internal selves. This clarified for me why I was suddenly noticing so much negativity around me. I learnt that the reason I had attracted so many negative people was because I had disowned the part of me that was negative, rather than accepting it. So I learnt the value of being able to see both sides and to honour my negative ‘self ’. I also learnt to complain, just a little. I accepted responsibility for being the cause of having people in my life that I could not stand. People you don’t like or who push your buttons are in your life to teach you about parts of yourself that you don’t like, or are afraid of (your disowned selves). Once you embrace the disowned self into your life and honour it, those people will no longer cause you upset. When we push down, repress or are afraid of a part of ourselves, the universe will bring us somebody (or something) to carry that energy for us. They will reflect back to us (like a mirror) the part of us that we disown, and we will usually feel uncomfortable around them. It’s not always the ‘nasties’ that are reflected back to us either. Years ago, there was a woman in my neighbourhood who seemed to me to be perfect. She was attractive, well groomed and seemed to know exactly what to say in all situations. I admired her enormously, but I felt like a real klutz around her. My mind would go blank, I didn’t know what to say, I bumbled and stumbled. That woman carried my disowned energy. Repressed inside was a part of me that is articulate, appropriate and knows what to say in conversations. It was many years before I felt I had embodied her good qualities. Eventually, I claimed that self and I no longer feel uncomfortable when I am with her. You may have someone in your life who pushes your buttons and causes you discomfort. Are you willing to discover the part of yourself that person represents and honour its energy in your life? It may be challenging at first. You don’t have to become like that person, you just need to recognise, acknowledge and allow yourself to have that energy. Disowned selves pull you out of yourself. That energy finds a match in someone around you and causes you emotional disturbance. This is why I suggest you work on yourself to clear out mental and emotional blocks – when you grow personally, your wealth also increases because you are stronger and able to attract and hold more energy and more wealth. Working on yourself, disciplining yourself, practising some form of meditation and keeping fit are ways to attract, recognise and act on opportunities that appear to you. The fortunate opportunities you are able to draw to yourself because of your high vibration may cause others to think you are very ‘lucky’. You will have done the hard work and, when money flows easily into your life, your reward will be just. Mary King is a millionaire and women’s wealth coach. She conducts two-day workshops, Rich is Better – Wealth for Women, in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. For more info, visit www.maryking.com.au or phone (03) 9882 1886.



In Pursuit

When not negotiating multimillion-dollar property deals, Carly Crutchfield is rolling up her sleeves to help those in need. Tami Dower found out what makes this extraordinary young woman tick.

October/November 2008

A life less ordinary.indd 78




t the age of 19 Carly Crutchfield was told she was dying. For two years she had been pushing herself to the limit, juggling a myriad of jobs in a desperate attempt to make ends meet. With four property investments on the go, she was up to her eyeballs in debt – and paying for it with her health. “Toothpaste was a luxury,” she recalls. “I’d have a can of soup a day. That’s all I could afford.” At the time, she was running three businesses, one of which was a domestic cleaning service. “My business partner and I were driving to a cleaning job and the car ran out of petrol. We were so tired, so hungry and so burnt out that we just looked at each other and started crying,” she remembers. But the worst was yet to come. Carly ended up having a mild stroke and, as she says, “I was diagnosed with all sorts of different things”. Carly knew something had to give. “So at that stage, I just let everything go. My partner sold the business. I realised I had been doing it the wrong way.” Ironically, Carly had entered into and started up her businesses so that she could create a better life for herself. “I had gotten way too bogged down in the mechanics rather than the purpose,” she says. “I just had to pull myself right out of it and remind myself of what was important. The problem was I got way too serious about it.” Eight years later, Carly’s more lighthearted approach to life has paid some big dividends – financially as well as medically. At 27, she is now a multimillionaire, having been involved in more than 340 property transactions. She is also a highly sought-after public speaker and tireless philanthropist. All this from her humble beginnings as a high-school dropout. From very early on, it was clear Carly was going to follow an

unconventional life journey. At the age of 12, headstrong and convinced she knew it all, Carly marched home and told her mother she wanted to leave school. In her mother’s typically open-minded manner, she asked her daughter to write a list of the good and bad points about leaving school. “I don’t remember what I wrote, but I remember going over it with her,” reflects Carly. “From my point of view I should have left, but from society’s point of view I should have stayed. So I went with mine.” For the next 12 months, Carly worked alongside her mother – until the law caught up with them. “I basically got dobbed in,” she admits. “You can’t be out of school unless you’re 14 and nine months. So mum said, ‘There’s a legal situation here so you’ve got to go back to school or you’ve got to leave the country’. I think she said ‘you’ve got to leave the country’ as a joke.” But for the feisty young Carly, the seed had been sewn. “I just was not going back to school. I didn’t want to be told about life anymore. I just wanted to start it.” And with that, she went to live with her godmother in Los Angeles. For the next few years, Carly bounced from job to job – doing everything from PA work to selling vegetable choppers in shopping centres. Without a work visa, she was forced to take whatever cash-in-hand jobs she could get. By the time she turned 16, she’d had enough of flying by the seat of her pants. It was time to get a ‘proper’ job. But there was just one problem – the huge amount of money she’d need to be eligible for a work visa in the US. So she decided to come back to Australia to save up the cash. “That’s when I started to realise that when you have money you have control,” says Carly. “So I was looking in the newspaper for every job where you’d make at least $100,000.

Photos courtesy Carly Crutchfield

A Life Less


2/9/08 12:32:31 AM

In Pursuit

fact file Name: Carly Crutchfield

Age: 27

Role: Property developer, public speaker, philanthropist.

A helping hand: With an unwavering passion to help those in need, Carly first assisted with disaster relief during the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami.

Worth: Multi-millions. Number of properties: In her own name: none; developments she’s been involved in: more than 340. Biggest inspiration: My mum. Best piece of financial advice she’s received: My dad always told me to put away 10 percent and don’t touch it, even if you’re desperate. Her advice: Believe in yourself and just do it. biggest motivation: Helping others. Key philanthropic causes: Drug education, disaster relief.

I was completely delusional. I’d be like, ‘Yeah hi, I’m calling about the market analyst job’. And they would say, ‘What experience do you have?’ And I’d say, ‘Oh, I’m a quick learner!’”

A New Direction Carly never went back to the US. She ended up landing herself a job working for an organisation that taught people how to invest. The experience introduced her to concepts she’d never thought about before. “I always thought you had to sell your time to make money and this was about letting your investments make money for you,” she says. It wasn’t long before she decided to leave the company to put her learning into practice. At 17, she made her first foray into the real estate market by coming to the rescue of a struggling property owner. “I didn’t have enough money to put a deposit down so I offered to take over the mortgage and leave the owner a joint interest in the property,” she explains. “It got me into the market without having to save up a deposit.” This early dabbling gave Carly a voracious appetite for real estate, but over the next couple of years she would end up biting off far more than she could chew. The constant stress of having to scrape together the finances to fund her penchant for property was what ultimately led to her physical breakdown. The turning point was when she met her mentor, property developer Stephen Fagan. For 12 months, Carly paid Steve to teach her the basics of property development. “He taught me the strategy of how it worked; how to find a potential property that could be turned into a development site. That’s when I realised there’s a whole market for finding development sites for other developers. You

don’t necessarily have to buy properties.” Her first deal earned her a handy $35,000, just for finding the property and negotiating with the vendor to sell it. “The trick is to find a property that has potential to be built into something else,” she says. “So you’re looking for either a house that’s on a block of land that can be

“You create what you want, you change what you want, you get the results that you create” subdivided, a piece of land that could have property built on it or a block of units that can be regenerated, gutted and reborn.” Despite having made her fortunes out of property, to this day Carly has never had a property title in her own name. “I’ve never bought a property the normal way,” she says. “I’ve never saved up a deposit and gone and got a loan. People think the only way to buy property is to save a deposit and then pay it off for 30 years.” Although Carly enjoys the freedom her financial success has afforded, her real driving force is her passion for helping those in need. Her philanthropic attitude was instilled in her by her mother. “My mum is completely about other people,” she says. “She brought me up with that viewpoint from a very young age. She’s very causative – you create what you want, you change what you want, you get the results that you create.” Throughout her life, Carly has supported many causes, but one that remains very close to her heart is drug education. At the age of 11, Carly’s uncle passed away from a drug overdose. The funeral left an indelible scar on her young mind. “I remember watching everyone cry,” she recalls. “It was very


A life less ordinary.indd 79

surreal, throwing dirt onto the coffin and just knowing that drugs did that. For me, it really hit home.” As well as campaigning and handing out information about drugs to young people, Carly has been involved in a number of disaster relief operations, the first one being the 2004 South-East Asia tsunami. “I was

sitting home on Boxing Day and I was watching it. I just had to go. I didn’t know why, I didn’t know what I was going to do but I jumped on a plane and flew over there. Since then I’ve done many, many trips. I think if people need help, you just go over there and help.” While she admits there is “definitely a bit of capitalist” in her, Carly says it’s the philanthropy that really makes it all worthwhile. “It’s a lot of fun having the choice and the opportunities that money gives me but I give a large proportion of it away,” she says. “My ultimate aim for creating money is to be able do that sort of thing. Because once you have it, all this material stuff becomes quite numb.” FREE DVD: Visit www.empoweronline.com.au to order your free copy of Property Development Secrets of the Wealthy by Carly Crutchfield. This 90-minute DVD reveals Carly’s seven stages of property development and shows you how to develop your own property portfolio.


2/9/08 12:32:43 AM

Happy Natural Therapies.indd 1

26/8/08 9:56:57 AM

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Imagine having everything in life you could possibly want. Danette Hibberd explains how creative visualisation can transform your dreams into reality.


ou are probably aware of the amazing benefits of the Law of Attraction and the powers of positive thinking. Essentially, the message behind these is that we can live the life we desire because whatever our minds can conceive, we can achieve. When people practise these skills, their life can become prosperous in many ways. Similarly, creative visualisation is the process of forming a vibrant and detailed image in your mind of whatever you wish for or want to come true. When concentration and feelings are added, a great creative power is formed, allowing your thoughts to focus on, and to manifest, into their physical components. It is with this power we can cause events to occur, alter our circumstances, attract wealth, possessions and career opportunities, improve relationships, change habits and better our overall health and lifestyle. It is this creative mind power that can create success. Whatever has happened in your past – and whatever will happen in your future – is all caused by the powers of the mind, and through creative visualisation you can harness these powers. Our perception of reality is created from the time we are born as we experience life, and through the years as we grow and develop.

October/November 2008

We learn from patterns of repetition and their associations with rewards and/or punishments. In short, our reality is simply our perception of what reality is. We become what we think. Do you constantly think negative thoughts? When thoughts are always centred on lack of money, what turns up? More bills, more debt! However, when you are naturally positive, the manner in which you approach situations will attract positive results. If we can change our perception of reality – and change it with positive suggestions – we can then change that reality into one that is more conducive to overall health and wellbeing. Visualisation focuses your brain by programming its reticular activating system (the control centre for motivation and arousal) to notice available resources that were always present, but were previously unnoticed or not apparent. By simply altering a state of relaxed consciousness, between wakefulness and sleep, positive ideas or suggestions are embedded in the unconscious mind, allowing you to gain more control of your life. In fact, these are one of the most powerful and under-used success tools we possess that can be used to accelerate and accomplish our goals. Your every thought has a frequency and vibration and therefore you become


Danette Hibberd is an international author, speaker, NLP master practitioner, trainer and personal development professional. Discover more about guided creative visualisations in a free report, along with a range of success tools at her website: www.fabulousbeyondforty.com/visualizations



what you think about. The sooner you think positive thoughts and turn them into positive vibrations, the sooner you will bring about positive changes in your life. Suppose your car is old and battered and you would love to update it with a newer model. Instead of complaining that it is a bomb and you can’t afford to replace it, simply visualise yourself opening the door of a shiny new car – the brand, the model and the colour you desire. Feel how excited you are as you breathe in the smell of new leather, then turn the key in the ignition and hear the gentle purr of the quiet engine. You press a button and notice the convertible roof fold back and hear it click into place as you effortlessly slip the gearstick into first and push your foot down on the accelerator. Driving down the freeway, listening to the sounds of your favourite tunes playing from the awesome stereo system, your hair flies freely in the wind as the sun warms your skin. It is important that you see yourself in your imagination presently enjoying whatever it is that you wish for. The power of your thoughts will work for you and, before long, the opportunity will present itself. Like attracts like, and we are all magnets. Creative visualisation magnetises and attracts you to people, resources and opportunities that will propel you forward and allow you to achieve your desires. Every time you think, your mind emits energy. That energy can be transformed into something tangible – something real. Create those vivid and compelling pictures in your mind and manifest your dreams. This is what creative visualisation is all about. Creating pictures or holding concentration may be difficult for some and using guided creative visualisations allows the listener to be taken on a journey, with positive suggestions and images being implanted in their unconscious mind. Imagine how amazing you will feel when you can achieve the things in your life that you desire. Today, you can create a new choice and create a new reality.


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“In life, you get what you focus on” You have no doubt heard of the Law of Attraction or the Law of Manifestation. Often these concepts are presented in such a way that we cannot help but be sceptical. Removing every essence of ‘airy-fairyness’, allow me to present the concept of the Law of Attraction as the above: ‘In life, you get what you focus on’. While there’s a lot more to the Law of Attraction than this one sentence, let’s start with the basics. It makes sense to think that those things you give focus to will come to fruition. If you focus on losing weight and getting fitter, you will eat healthier and do more exercise. If you focus on saving a deposit for a house, you are likely to be more thrifty with your spending. Just the same, if you focus on how bad you look and feel, you will naturally see more things you don’t like about yourself, ensuring you feel even worse, leading to lack of exercise and more overindulgence. If you focus on being in debt and never having the money to buy your own property, you’ll naturally reach a ‘why bother’ stage and forget the whole thing. Oprah Winfrey once said, “If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough”. Coaches see this principle at work nearly every time they meet a new client. In coaching, some of the first questions I would ask a new client include, ‘how can I help you?’ and ‘what is it you’d like to work on?’ I would always receive varying responses such as, ‘I don’t want to be in debt anymore’, ‘I’m unhappy in my relationship’ or ‘I’m sick of being single’. This is a clear signal that the client is focusing on all the things they don’t want, rather than those things they do want. Goal setting is a great way to shift your focus in the right direction. Setting goals in accordance with the E.M.P.O.W.E.R. principles (see page 10) ensures you have meaningful goals written in the positive, and that you are focusing on where you want to be, rather than where you currently are or have been. In this issue, Scott Groves takes this principle one step further to show how having a ‘meaningful’ goal that you can get emotionally connected to will help you to achieve it faster. For me, I aim to live by the above principle everyday – in my language, thoughts and who I’m being. I am generally a very happy and positive person to be around. Do I always get it right? Absolutely not. But, I’m aware of it and always work to focus on the positives and what I do want. As an exercise, think about where you could test this principle in your own life. Perhaps in your relationship, decide for one week that you will focus only on the good things about your partner and the happy things in your relationship. Or, in your finances, take on an abundance mentality where you dream a little and make plans for the future. In your career, you could choose to focus on the positives about the people you work with and what opportunities your current role could bring. You’ve got nothing to lose, so give it a go.

Helen Rosing



c u n u c o io S b s s

The Power of the


ave you ever really wanted to achieve something, set a goal, then a few weeks later found the desire is all gone? Maybe you still desire your goal but as you look back you realise you’ve taken no action. For as long as humans have existed, the desire to own, do, be and have things in life has driven us to extraordinary achievements. But why is it that some people still flounder from one ambition to another with no real progress in life? This was a question I asked myself almost 10 years ago. Fortunately I found ‘an’ answer. Not ‘the’ answer because I’m not sure a complex subject that includes a myriad of personality types and individual motivations can be narrowed down to a single solution, but the answer I found has changed my life, and now many others.

Your Mind Working with the mind can be difficult when talking in abstract terms. The human mind likes to think in pictures and does so very easily. Yet, we do not have a clear picture of the mind. Because of this, I adapted the work of earlier experts to create a model for the human mind that people can easily understand. There are typically two parts to the mind: the conscious mind and the subconscious mind. Conscious Mind

Subconscious Mind

October/November 2008

In the model, the top circle represents Once an idea has been accepted (either your ‘conscious’ mind and the lower circle inductively or deductively) it enters the (body) represents your ‘subconscious’ subconscious mind. The purpose of the mind. The butterfly represents the heart subconscious mind is to produce results and is there to remind us of the powerful consistent with whatever has been accepted effect emotions have on the subconscious by the conscious mind. The subconscious mind. Ancient Greeks used to say, “As you mind is our internal ‘goal-seeker’. This is believe in your heart, so you become”. one of the most powerful concepts to fully The conscious mind is that part of understand, and respect. the mind that accepts or rejects ideas. So how do you know when you’ve It is the ‘thinker’. As you can see in the accepted something? The best way to tell model, the conscious mind itself also whether you have accepted something or has two parts – an inductive side and a not is by your emotions. If you ‘feel’ an deductive side. When you are using the emotional shift, for better or worse, then inductive part of your mind, you are you have consciously accepted something. ‘consciously’ choosing to accept or reject When you accept a gift, you feel good; things. For example, when someone when you reject an idea, you remain presents an idea or opinion that you don’t where you are; when you accept an insult, agree with. you feel bad; when you reject insults, you When you are using the deductive remain happy and unbothered. part of your mind, you are not consciously choosing which ideas you accept or reject. The Subconscious & Goal Setting The deductive side of your conscious Given that the subconscious mind is our mind has an ‘automatic acceptance’ goal-seeker and that whatever is accepted switch, which means whatever enters your by the conscious mind will enter the conscious mind is automatically accepted. subconscious mind, we can program our For example, as children we generally conscious mind to use our subconscious accept what we are told. This difference mind to achieve our goals. I use the is important to understand because following formula to show this link. whatever you accept will enter into your subconscious mind. What you reject Programming Thoughts Feelings Actions Results will have no effect on you whatsoever. In fact, you have the power to completely By purposefully programming our shape your life based on what you accept conscious mind we accept thoughts into or reject. our subconscious mind. Those thoughts This is also critical because ‘who’ and give us feelings, thereby connecting with ‘what’ you surround yourself with affects the heart of the subconscious mind. Our you. We cannot concentrate 100 percent emotions then work to give us the desire to of the time. When we are not consciously take actions to achieve the result. choosing the ideas we accept or reject, Subconscious goal setting changes we are open to accepting the thoughts, the rules. It’s built around the successful opinions and ideas of those around us. layering of exercises and thought patterns, This is why, to be successful, we are often so the subconscious patterns you have told to surround ourselves with other played out in the past don’t interfere with successful people. your success in the future. It allows people


Image courtesy Scott Groves

Scott Groves takes goal setting to the next level by explaining the role the subconscious plays in connecting us emotionally to our goals.

Key Tips to Subconscious Goal Setting to set goals based on their potential, their true identity and passions in life and, best of all, it gives them a blueprint to make it ‘gel’ in their mind.

Subconscious Layers Your subconscious mind is made up of distinct layers that operate without your conscious awareness and they differ in levels of depth. In order of conscious awareness they are beliefs, values and identity. To achieve your goals, you need your goals to be congruent with all three layers. For example, if you set a health goal, and you simply don’t see yourself (identity) as a healthy person, or health really isn’t something important to you (value), then you will have enormous difficulty in maintaining any real discipline. Let me lay out some clear points of distinction and how you can apply these to your everyday life to get the results you want. Inside the human mind exists ‘psychological triggers’, which are natural ways to think that become triggered in people. For example, pretend for a moment that you just set a goal to own a new home (the ‘what’) by Christmas (the ‘when’). What’s

you must get emotionally involved with an idea. Thinking about the achievement of your goals should fill you with exciting, positive, wonderful feelings. Whenever people fail to follow through with their goals, it can only be because of two things, and the biggest reason is that they didn’t have a big enough reason. When you have a strong reason (‘why’) you want to reach your goal, nothing will stop you. It is critical to write down what you want and why you want it, and look at that list regularly. A powerful list of reasons will ignite the fire in your belly every single time you read them. Reasons can be both pleasurable and painful. There are countless examples in history of people achieving amazing things because they wanted to resolve some pain in their life. When you write down a goal, make sure the next thing you do is make a list of reasons why achieving it is important to you. Why not give this a try now using the emPOWER goal-setting tool on page 9. The other reason why people fail to follow through on their goals is because their goals aren’t in harmony with their highest

Subconscious goal setting allows people to set goals based on their potential, their true identity and passions in life the very next question your brain asks? If you just answered ‘how’ then you have just experienced this ‘trigger’ phenomenon. The next thing that happens is the brain now tries to figure out the ‘how- tos’ and, in many cases, the mind cannot find the answers and it experiences an emotion called ‘doubt’. Now picture this: you start out with a goal to have a new house by Christmas but you are filled with doubt. Positive Thoughts + Negative Emotions = No Result

You do not have to have a Masters in Metaphysics or even be well read on the Laws of Attraction to understand that positive thoughts mixed with negative emotions is not the best combination for success. To succeed,


Write down what you want and why you want it (give this a go using our goal-setting tool on page 9).


Get clear about why you want to achieve your goals – reasons why are like rocket fuel. As Shakespeare once wrote, “Strong reasons create strong action”.


Understand that a genuine desire to be, do or have something means you possess the potential to be, do or have it. Life is not a trickster. It won’t give you the desire unless you have the potential to fulfill it.


Stay fixed on your goal but remain flexible about how and when you get there. Timelines are important but not as important as finishing what you start.


Walk before you run. Start by setting small goals and achieving them. It’s like building a mental muscle. You become conditioned to success. You’ve heard the saying, “Winning is a habit”, and all habits are built through repetition. Achieving lots of little goals strengthens your habit muscle and helps you believe in the bigger goals.


Take action. Getting started quickly is the key to success. Don’t procrastinate or hesitate. Move yourself forward even when you don’t feel like it. The goals you achieve are a reflection of your ability to keep going – it’s your personal challenge to yourself.

values. As an example, a lot of people tend to do this with money. They get all fired up and set a big financial goal, only to find their lives unchanged six months later. The simple fact is that there are more things on their ‘subconscious mental list’ and money wasn’t important enough to make the necessary habitual changes. 7 Stop letting emotions rule your life. If you wait to get in the mood you will If the effort to focus on something is never have big success. When you have too great, then maybe you don’t want it the thought, take the action. The feelings as much as you think. When something is will follow, and so will the results! really important to you, it’s easy to think about it all day long. What’s important to you – the values you hold closest – will always override a conscious goal. When Scott Groves is a trainer, speaker, advisor and you set goals in areas of your life that are author of six books. For more information visit truly important to you – it’s easy to follow www.scottgroves.com through.



a s a k o A C ch


We moved to Australia from New Zealand four months ago. We thought it would be a great adventure and my husband was offered a job at the time, so we took the opportunity. This is my first time without my three girls and my only granddaughter. I don’t have any other family or friends in Australia. I left teaching in order to pursue a career as an artist but can’t seem to get started. I’m struggling to motivate myself, I miss family and friends and human contact, a lack of income means I’m unable to buy things for myself and I feel inadequate (although I think my husband holds some resentment that I’m enjoying ‘the good life’ at home while he’s working). Where can I go from here?



I have big dreams to achieve both life and career success, but each time a fantastic opportunity presents itself to me, I’m consumed with fear and self-doubt. I always do something to sabotage my efforts and it drives success away from me. I feel inadequate and dissatisfied with my life. Why do I keep doing this and how do I learn to overcome my self-doubt? Self-sabotage is a combination of negative thoughts, feelings and actions that create an obstruction to success. It occurs when you unconsciously allow your insecurities to take control of your life. It is most recognisable by the internal tug-of-war between having a desire to do something and feeling like you can’t. Its self-defeating nature damages your self-confidence, motivation and worth. Start increasing your awareness around where ‘you’ are standing in your own way. Detect self-sabotage by noticing recurring negative themes in your life. Are you constantly looking for someone’s approval, trying hard to impress someone, worrying about what others think of you, fearing success or creating unrealistic expectations? Here are some suggestions to help you break free from your self-sabotage: • Establish empowering beliefs about success. • Know what you really want. • Make a committed decision to succeed, then follow through with your goals. • Align yourself mentally, emotionally and physically to your desired goals. • Seek your own inner approval. • Love and nurture yourself daily. • Believe and have faith in yourself. • Take charge and accept complete responsibility for your own life. • Positively shift your relationship with success and achievement. • Practise living life with stilled calmness and patience. When you want something desperately you only end up pushing it away further. • Be wise. Use your life to your advantage. Make the best use of your strengths, energy, time, skills, and knowledge to make your life greater.

Wow, you certainly have a lot on your plate. My initial suggestion is to work with yourself and your relationship with your partner first. What I often find in coaching is that when one area of life improves, this has a natural flow-on effect into the other areas. You can absolutely get yourself into a better position. I consider you the most important, so let’s start with that. I feel that you are in dire need of some positive self-talk. Start being your own best friend. Treat yourself the way that you would talk to your best friend or grandchildren. Really start to pay attention when you say negative things about yourself or have negative thoughts. When you notice this, turn it around into the positive and remind yourself how unique and brilliant you really are. Also, think about how you hold yourself and your body language. It’s amazing what a positive and confident posture can do. Exercise can also give you a sense of empowerment, even a short walk. I suspect that once you start feeling better about yourself, you will also start to feel better in your relationship and other things will flow. Until then, I would suggest having a good, solid and open conversation with your partner about how you are feeling. Ask for his support and perhaps provide some specific examples of how he can support you. Remember, though, this is not about blaming him and telling him all the things ‘not’ to do. What you might enjoy (and it also may help getting you motivated) is to create a dream board. On a piece of cardboard, create your vision of how you would like your life to be – happy relationships, beautiful paintings, family, wellbeing. It’s a really nice activity and will help you to focus on the positives that are to come.

Source: Savleen Bajaj is an international success coach, Source: Helen Rosing is a trained success coach with

psychologist, speaker, author, facilitator and consultant who works with her clients to achieve personal breakthroughs and holistic success. For more information visit www.savleenbajaj.com or contact her on (03) 8802 7983.

experience in business, coaching and training. Helen is the founder of Empower Publishing. For more information about her visit www.empoweronline.com.au

October/November 2008




My partner left me for another woman 18 months ago and now I’ve heard he’s having a baby. He’s moving on but I can’t seem to find someone else, and it’s so painful. It’s just not fair and I feel so angry.

I feel like I am in a never-ending cycle of credit card debt, where I’ll often use one to pay off the other, only ever paying off the minimum repayments on each one. If I’m offered another credit card or an increase, I’ll always take it up. How do I get out of this vicious cycle?

You need to heal your heart after a breakup. When you rush off to find a replacement you could hurt yourself even more. While you can’t get the last 18 months back, you need to start by focusing on your own happiness. Here’s some solutions to help get you back on track:

Firstly, you’re not alone. I often get asked about similar scenarios. Unfortunately credit cards are designed to have a very small monthly payment that, if paid, means the balance can take anywhere from 15 to 20 years to pay off. If you can pay off the balance of your card each month, credit cards do have their advantages but, if not, that money becomes very expensive. If you have consumer debt on your credit card my advice is to eliminate your credit cards. The first step will be to cut up the cards to stop yourself using them, and start paying with cash. If you have no cash find a way to survive without buying the item you believe you must have. You will then need a strategy to start eliminating your debt. Start by adding up all the minimum balances due on each card, then add 10 percent. If you have more than one credit card, pay the minimum required amount on all cards with the exception of the one with the smallest balance. Pay the extra 10 percent (of the total of all the minimum payments) off the card with the smallest balance on it. Pay it off regularly each month until it is gone. Then write to the bank and close the account. Next, roll over the money you used to pay off the first card to the card with the next lowest balance, and repeat the cycle until all cards are paid off. The further you go the quicker your debts are paid off. Once you’re back in control, by saving the interest you used to be paying, you can now start to think about growing your wealth.

1. Be open and honest about how you feel. Make sure to clear your system from questions about the breakup as they may be stopping you from moving on. The anger you’re feeling is normal. Let yourself feel your feelings. Say positive things to yourself like, ‘I understand you feel angry and sad, but things will be better’. 2. Remember all the good things you had with your ex and be grateful about them. Write a thank-you letter to him (without sending it of course). Thank him for all he made you feel, and for giving you these memories. 3. Wish each other good luck, and then stay away. I don’t recommend trying to stay friends. You need to move on. 4. Draw a vision about your bright and happy future. How do you want to live, be and feel? Write a letter to yourself in one year. Describe where you are, what you have achieved and how you feel. 5. Make a list of what makes you happy, and smile as if it’s happening right now – and do more of this, you deserve it! Breakups are always sad, but there is often a very good reason for it. You now have the strength to create a happier future for yourself. Try not to dwell on the past. You can truly feel better if you choose to.

Source: Mary King is a millionaire and women’s wealth

coach. She regularly conducts two-day workshops, Rich is Better – Wealth for Women, in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. For more info visit www.maryking.com.au or contact Mary on (03) 9882 1886.

Source: Carolin Dahlman is a love coach. For more

information visit www.coaching2love.com or email coaching@coaching2love.com

&WIN em

Ask a Coach

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Coach Yourself

live your best life







Use this goal-setting tool over the next two months to achieve your goals and improve your 0 social finance social life. Our step-by-step guide will help you get the most from your coaching sessions.



ily m

ily m




ne r



ne r




week 1 10





el w





/ ss ne er si re bu ca

/ ss ne er si re bu ca


Firstly, mark on your calendar the dates when you are going to have your personal coaching sessions at weeks 1, 2, 4, 6 and 8. Write the dates next to each week below and commit to begin your coaching on the start date. 10



Set Your Goals

self Welcome to your first coachingself session and congratulations for taking the first step to improving your life. 10 10 In this first session you will be setting two or three inspiring goals for different areas of your life. Using the coaching models provided, complete the exercises for: family partner partner • Where are you now? • Where do you want to be? 5 5 • Create your goals self


















s/ eser sin re bu ca







Where are you now? 0 finances





On the chart, rate yourself on a scale of 0 - 10 in relation to where you feel you are at in each area of your life right now. Then, draw a line around the chart, joining the dots where you have marked your rating in each area. social






partner 10



A ‘10’business/career means you consider that area is perfect and a ‘0’ means major improvement is neededspirituality . finances



eg. wellbeing 7




5 8

2 2

3 4



Where do you want 0to be? finances

Imagine your life with these results
























December/January 2009







Next, give yourself a rating in relation to where you want to be in each area of your life in the next 1 - 2 months. Again, use a scale of 0 - 10 and draw a line around the chart, joining the dots where you have marked your rating in each area. Don’t be afraid to dream a little but consider what you can realistically achieve in that time. There’s no need to aim for a perfect 10 in any or every area. wellbeing business/career



Coach Yourself

Areas of life: self



This is your relationship with your ‘self’. Consider how much love, appreciation, acceptance and respect you have for yourself. Do you feel 100 percent happy and confident with who you are, or could this improve?

This area refers to how you feel about your relationships with family members. The rating you give this area should be an average for all family relationships. While some will be strong, others may not be so good.

If you’re a spiritual or religious person, this area refers to your level of connectedness with your beliefs. If you’re not spiritual or religious, think about your level of contentment with life in general.



Think about this area in the context of whether you’re single or in a relationship. If you’re in a relationship, it refers to how you feel about your life with your partner. Is your relationship what you want it to be? If you’re single, think about your level of satisfaction with being single. Some people would love a committed relationship and others are content as they are. How do you feel?

Similarly, this area refers to how you feel about your relationships with friends and your satisfaction with your level of social/fun activity. Again, provide an average rating of your relationships and social activity.


This is your overall sense of wellbeing and how you feel about your health & fitness.

business & career

This area considers the level of success and/or fulfillment you feel in relation to your business, career or current employment situation.

finances This final area refers to how you feel about your level of financial freedom and/or your progression towards your desired level of financial freedom.

Creating your goal Now it’s time to create your goals. To begin with, choose one area of your life that you would like to improve. Say it’s ‘Partner’ and you want to go from a rating of 4 to 8. Using the goal template over the page, create a written goal outlining what that new rating means to you – perhaps it’s about finding a soulmate or re-connecting with your husband.

E p s cific Meaningful insPiring pOsitive it! oW En pr sent Realistic

Every goal that you write should be an empower goal. Think about the empower principles as you go through the process Write your goal in the present tense, as if you’ve already achieved it. Make it meaningful, including some strong emotions, and make sure your goal is inspiring to you. Use only positive words and be specific – focus on what you do want instead of what you don’t want. Be a little realistic (but not too much) about what you can achieve in the timeframe chosen. Remember, too, your goal needs to be your own, not a goal to change someone else. You can only take responsibility for improving yourself and your life.



Coach Yourself

Goal 1

Write your goal

Fill in the spaces below to create your first goal. Remember, you’re writing in the present tense and be positive – with the right attitude you’ll get where you want to be much faster. It is .............................. and I feel so .............................................. and .............................................. [Date] [Emotion1] [Emotion 2]

What you want to achieve

I/We................................................................................................................................................................................... I/We................................................................................................................................................................................... I/We................................................................................................................................................................................... Now I/We........................................................................................................................................................................... and I feel............................................................................................................................................................................. [Emotion3]

Why you want to achieve it




of February It is the 1st el excited 2009 and I fe We have and optimistic. sit for our saved the depo We have been first house. d a mortgage an approved for r ok for ou we can now lo Now we can perfect home. family and I finally start a g ly amazing livin feel absolute use. in our own ho

Goal 2

It is th e 30th of Janu 2009 an ary d I fee l so ha and prou p p y d of wh at I ha achieved ve . I have reached goal we my ight of 60kgs a I look nd fantastic . I am healthy fit, and have so muc more en h ergy. No w I can into tha fit t sexy b lack dre and I f ss eel fabu lous.

Write your goal

Fill in the spaces below to create your first goal. Remember, you’re writing in the present tense and be positive – with the right attitude you’ll get where you want to be much faster. It is .............................. and I feel so .............................................. and .............................................. I/We................................................................................................................................................................................... I/We................................................................................................................................................................................... I/We................................................................................................................................................................................... Now I/We........................................................................................................................................................................... and I feel.............................................................................................................................................................................

December/January 2009


Coach Yourself

Goal 3

Write your goal

Fill in the spaces below to create your first goal. Remember, you’re writing in the present tense and be positive – with the right attitude you’ll get where you want to be much faster. It is .............................. and I feel so .............................................. and .............................................. I/We................................................................................................................................................................................... I/We................................................................................................................................................................................... I/We................................................................................................................................................................................... Now I/We........................................................................................................................................................................... and I feel.............................................................................................................................................................................

Required action: Your only action for the next week is to read your goals every day. Read them out loud and, as you read each one, experience how you will feel when you have achieved what you want. This is called visualisation and is an important step in the goal-setting process – visualise your goals as if you have already achieved them. In your mind, create a visual picture of you achieving your goal – think about where you are, what you are doing, what you are saying, who is with you and, most importantly, how you are feeling.

week 2

Making it Happen


Now that you’ve been reading your goals for a week, consider whether you need to change or add anything to your goals to make them even more meaningful and inspiring. In this session, it’s time to start setting (and doing) the actions necessary to achieve each goal.

Required action: 1. If necessary, add to or change your goals. 2. On the action sheet provided, make a list of the actions you need to take in the next two weeks to get closer to your goals. Remember, these are your goals and you’re responsible for the actions, so be as detailed as you can. 3. Choose a motivational book to read or course to attend to expand your learning. 4. Continue to read and visualise your goals everyday.

Goal 1 Completed


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Coach Yourself

Making it Happen (cont.)

Goal 2 Actions


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Goal 3 Actions


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week 4


Reflect on your goals and actions. Are you achieving what you’d planned to by this time? If you feel that you’ve lost some motivation for achieving your goals, or that you aren’t getting any closer to achieving them, it’s quite normal for people to experience this at some stage during the coaching process. To give you a reminder, and a shot of motivation, do the first action suggested below. Consider your results from the last two weeks. Have you completed all of your actions? If not, what got in your way? What can you do differently to prevent the same outcome in the next two weeks? If you’ve completed all of your actions, perhaps you can now push yourself a little harder.

Required action: 1. Meet with a friend or partner and share your goals with them. Explain to them all the reasons why you want to achieve each goal and how it inspires you. Ask them to hold you accountable. 2. On a new piece of paper, set some new specific actions for each goal over the next two weeks. Remember to challenge yourself. Anything worth achieving may be a little uncomfortable. 3. Continue to read and visualise your goals every day.

December/January 2009


The Last Laugh When Jocelyn’s marriage ended after 19 years, the 40-year-old knew her life was going to change dramatically. She started looking for a career counsellor, but ended up finding life coach Noel Posus. Through just eight meetings over two months, Jocelyn discovered who she was again and Noel learnt a valuable lesson about the power of laughter. Jocelyn says:

At the time I was going through a lot of change, I didn’t realise I needed to talk to someone, but now I understand it’s something I really needed to do. I really needed to work on me. I was actually quite lost without realising it. Very lost. I’d spent many years in a stable relationship and had no idea about where to go from there. So, one of the most confronting things Noel got me to do was write out a list of values – 12 or 13 things I thought I lived my life by. The first few were really easy, but when you get down to the last few, it’s like, what else is there? Once I had the list of values, Noel would ask a few questions to explore each value. It was difficult, but really interesting as well. We did a lot of other exercises as well, like a questionnaire to try to work out which career I might be suited for. I had a few ideas and we talked through them. I found that extremely helpful; I had some crazy ideas and talking through them made me realise some weren’t so good. I actually realised I

October/November 2008

quite liked what I was doing and I ended up staying in my current job. I was static, not moving forward at all. I wasn’t even sure about my own taste in things. I’d spent so many years buying manchester based on the fact that I lived with someone. I didn’t know my own taste in furnishings and ended up standing in the furniture shop thinking, ‘I don’t even know what I like’. I actually had to make up my own mind and it was scary, but quite exciting at the same time. Through the course of the coaching I started to believe in myself a bit more. I ended up moving house to a completely different area, bought a new car and just did things for myself. I often refer back to my notes. I have a little journal that I write things in, with at least three of the exercises Noel and I did together, as well as my budget. I hadn’t looked after money for such a long time, so there were quite a few life skills I had to learn at a later age. The whole process has been really very rewarding.


It’s pretty rare to meet someone like Jocelyn who has such a positive attitude about the opportunities ahead of her. It was quite exciting to work with someone who wanted to move towards, rather than away, from something. We spent a lot of time celebrating the foundation she had and getting really creative with her choices. It was set in her mind that she was ready for a change. Some people desperately want to make a change because they don’t like where they’re at, but Jocelyn was just ready to take the next step in her own personal solution, so thinking she might need to change her career was part of looking at everything. It turned out she was actually quite happy with her work. One of the things she and I worked on was budgeting and how to plan for moving out and getting her own apartment – things someone might have figured out on their own 20 years earlier. At work Jocelyn is a very good organiser and project leader, so it stands to reason that those same skills are going to work in setting up a personal life and a new home. I had such a great time with Jocelyn, because we would spend much of her coaching sessions in laughter. I became interested in how that was working so positively for her, so I started doing some research on it, and one of the things I found is that, in the moment of abandonment, in laughter we are the most honest – the most ourselves. All the ego states – those voices that say you can or can’t do something – stop when you’re laughing. After we had laughed about some silly thing, I could ask Jocelyn a pointed question from a coaching perspective and she wouldn’t have any time for the little voices in her head to come up with a story. She would just answer immediately, and it would be the most honest answer she could come up with. Since working with Jocelyn, I’ve studied more about how humour and laughter can play a really big part in the relationship between a coach and a client. * As told to Jo Hegerty


Noel says:

Thoug hts areThings I hold it true that thoughts are things; theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re endowed with bodies and breath and wings; and that we send them forth to fill the world with good results, or ill. That which we call our secret thought speeds forth to earthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s remotest spot, leaving its blessings or its woes like tracks behind it as it goes.

We build our future, thought by thought, for good or ill, yet know it not. Yet so the universe was wrought, thought is another name for fate; choose then thy destiny and wait, for love bring love and hate brings hate.


Henry Van Dyke



Profile for Indigo Productions Pty Ltd

emPOWER Magazine Oct/Nov 2008  

emPOWER Magazine is the leading personal and professional development magazine for women. Browse the free online version of the magazine to...

emPOWER Magazine Oct/Nov 2008  

emPOWER Magazine is the leading personal and professional development magazine for women. Browse the free online version of the magazine to...