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Parents of 4 discover the powerful secrets of successful entrepreneurs Sue and Jerry Smart, after 20 years of being business owners have finally found The Secret of what to look for in a perfect home-based business.

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10 Into the Heart of Marcia On the verge of the Australian Idol finals and with the launch of her new book Life – Things to get you by, the heart-felt Marcia Hines talks to emPOWER about those things that have shaped her into who she is today and what she’s learnt along the way.

28 A Cause to Care We meet Tania Menzies, who at just 22, inspired by her godmother, established the not-for-profit organisation, Caring for Kids During Cancer.

14 Celebrate and Dream Celebrate your achievements in 2009 and launch yourself into 2010 to achieve all that you desire.

10 14

16 Building Resilience Learn to deal with disappointment and empower yourself to ‘stick to it’.

19 Messages in Colour Tap into the colours of your enviroment to move in a positive direction.

20 The Law of Giving Give to yourself (and not just others) this holiday season.

21 Being Right v Being Happy Let go of being right in order to be happy in your relationship.

22 Creating Intimacy Turn your bedroom back into the fun-room with greater intimacy.


24 Stop Food Cravings Use self-hypnosis to quit craving chocolate and gazing into the fridge.

29 Set a New Standard What the new National Employment Standards could mean for you.

30 Make a Change Give your organization a cultural health check.

32 Understanding Financial Charts Take the mystery out of reading the financial pages


Editor’s Note

5 Your Say 6 8

Meet the Experts Acts of Kindness

24 28

18 Great Reads 34 Change Your Life in15 Minutes 36 Ask a Coach 38 Coach Yourself Goal-Setting Tool


As this issue of emPOWER goes live, I’m on the verge of becoming a mum for the first time; it’s a time of excitement and also apprehension of what lies ahead. It’s amazing to think of the new life that we are about to bring into the world and it has really given me an enormous awareness, possibly for the first time, of my responsibility in this new little being’s life. Apart from the daily responsibilities, I feel a much greater responsibility to BE the best person that I can be in order to pass these values and qualities onto my child. I’ve had a great example of this during our preparation of this issue. We are privileged to present the beautiful Marcia Hines as our cover story on page 10 and I must say that she is everything you expect her to be and much more. For me, Marcia encompasses everything that I strive to be as a mum and as a person. She is gracious, down-to-earth, open and really strives to improve the lives of all who come into contact with her. And, as you’ll notice, she is incredibly positive. As we head into the New Year, it’s also a time of both reflection and planning. Our special feature, ‘Celebrate and Dream’ on page 14 will certainly assist you with this. Make sure that you take the time this year to celebrate all that you have achieved and learned during 2009 and think about everything that you desire for an amazing 2010. Once again, we’re also joined by our special guest columnist, Charmaine Wilson, who in this issue, shows us how to identify and use the Messages in Colour to guide our decision making process. You’ll find Charmaine’s article on page 19. We hope it helps to move you in a positive direction. An article that particularly resonated with me this issue is Being Right v Being Happy (page 25). Sally Parrish explains that in order to create a happy and harmonious relationship we need to let go of the need to be ‘right’ – something that I did for many years in my search for self-approval. Try Sally’s tips and see how your relationship improves. Our sex advice piece in this issue is all about Creating Intimacy (page 22). It’s time to communicate, have fun, get frisky and invest some time into your romantic relationship. As Natalia Mendez demonstrates, becoming vulnerable and taking a risk can make all the difference. And, we’ve got a great wellbeing piece in this issue on Self Hypnosis (page 24). If you are constantly craving chocolate or some other favourite food, try Martha Follent’s self-hypnosis exercise to see if it can help you. Finally, other news from emPOWER this month is that we have just redesigned and re-launched the website. We hope you like it. The biggest change is that membership/ subscriptions to emPOWER are now FREE. We hope to inspire, motivate and challenge more readers to improve their lives, so we invite your to share it with anyone you feel may benefit. Enjoy! Wishing you are very happy and safe holiday season and a New Year filled with love, laughter and success!

Helen Rosing, Editor

Published online by Realview Technologies

Contributors Peter Barr-Thomson, Martha Follent, Leah Gibbs, Dale Gillham, Kathy McKenzie, Natalia Mendez, Dana MrKich, Alison Nancye, Sally Parrish, Noel Posus, Charmaine Wilson Publisher / Editor Helen Rosing Graphic Designer Suzanne Board Cover Photography October/November 2009 Photography by Peter Brew-Bevan

Published by Indigo Productions ABN: 90 135 381 118 PO Box 1397 Baulkham Hills, NSW 1755 P: (02) 9686 4398 F: (02) 9686 4394 E:

Production & Subscriptions (02) 9686 4398 Advertising (02) 9686 4398


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


to our expert contributors Kathy McKenzie, FIRE UP Coaching director, is a specialist Communications and Leadership Facilitator, Coach Trainer, and Executive Coach. Her qualifications include a Graduate Nurse Program, Masters in Professional Vocational Education and Training, ICF accredited coach and coach trainer, NLP and HBDI trainer. Featured on TV regularly she brings fun and enthusiasm to training sessions. Clients include Queensland Health, Australia Post, Dept of Sustainability and Environment, Shell and ANZ.

Martha Follent is the Director of Creative Future Dynamics, a Sydney based training and coaching company. She is a certified International Trainer of NeuroLinguistic Programming, Time Line Therapy™ and Hypnosis and runs International Institutes of NeuroLinguistic Programming, Time Line Therapy™ and Hypnosis. Martha is certified in Coaching and Modeling for Excellence, MyersBriggs Type Indicator Assessment and Training.

Leah Gibbs is the Founder of Work At Home Mums, Lifestyle Recruitment and the Lifestyle Careers Job Board. She is a Mumpreneur and manages to have a family life as well. With a background in Management and Administration spanning over 20 years, she has outstanding business development skills and specialises in assisting women to be effective work at home mums (WAHM).

Dana Mrkich is the author of A New Chapter, host of radio show Visioning the Dream Awake and teacher of Your New Chapter, a 7-week online course helping you to discover why you have the reality you have, and how to create the reality you want. With over 14 years experience, she offers Soul Sessions, empowering people to step further into their true self and best possible reality.

Noel Posus is a highly recognised leader of the international coaching industry, a master coach with 20 years experience as a professional educator, coach and author. Noel serves on a number of coaching industry boards, lectures at universities and coaching schools, manages a number of coaching businesses and loves to help individuals and organisations develop their own wisdom. He has recently been awarded the prestigious ‘Coach of the Year’ award for 2008.

Wealth Within chief analyst Dale Gillham is a bestselling author, keynote speaker and one of Australia’s leading investment advisors. He wrote the bestselling book How to Beat the Managed Funds by 20%. He also launched Australia’s first and only nationally recognised, government accredited Diploma of Share Trading and Investment course, providing students with a government-recognised accreditation at Diploma level.

Peter Barr-Thomson coaches high-level achievers in corporations, businesses, sport and life to truly be brave at the rarified air of their absolute peak performance. Peter is the founder and visionary of MY BRAVE LIFE. Peter is a Master Certified Coach with the International Coach Federation, a Master Practitioner in Neuro Linguistic Programming, a Graduate in the field of Positive Psychology and Authentic Happiness, holds a Bachelor of Business.

Often referred to as ‘The Sex Chick’, Natalia Mendez is passionate about helping marriages get back on fire and making the bedroom, the funroom! She is the founder of Romance Me - a new concept in Australia catering for couples to add some adult fun into their marriage whilst keeping the sleezy porn out! She has a passion for helping couples develop a greater level of intimacy in their relationship.

Sally Parrish is the Director of the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Coaching (‘ANZI Coaching) a professional association for coaches. ANZI Coaching provides support, supervision and professional development through a comprehensive membership package and attractive accreditation program.

Charmaine Wilson has a gift to reunite those who have crossed over to those still alive. She has been awarded the Australia Psychic of the Year from the Australian Psychics Association and most notably was the winner of The One in 2008, a nationwide search for Australia’s most gifted psychic. She is a writer, speaker and facilitator and regularly holds retreats to help others understand the life/death process to get on the road to recovery faster.

December/January 2010


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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. Recently, my mother-in-law and I atten ded a Baby Expo. After a fun and exhausting day we were waiting in line to pay for parking before leaving. The person at the machine, a very preg nant woman without about ten bags of baby shopping, was obviousl y struggling with the machine – she kept pushing buttons, checking her wall et and then pushing buttons again. We realised that the machine must be playing up and that she didn’t have enough coins to pay cash. Without even thinking, my mother-in-law fished around in her wallet and gave the wom an enough coins to finish her payment. The woman was very grat eful (not to mention the others in line) and I realised that it’s this beautiful qual ity of generosity in my mother-inlaw that is the reason we get along so well.

– Sophie, via email

Big-W store I noticed While shopping at my local had been holding and a young African boy, who to the shelf. He stood admiring a watch, return it s before walking away staring at it for a few minute r and looked at the watch late e littl sadly. He returned a n put it down again and again picked it up and the r who was waiting at the walked across to his mothe a few items. front of the store purchasing the watch and asked the up ked I reached across pic from me, if the watch was boy, who was a few metres posed to be his birthday for him. He said it was sup e enough money. I asked gift but his mum did not hav I the store and told him that him to wait at the front of y onl was it all r him - afte wanted to buy the watch for ch and handing it over to wat the sing cha pur er $29. Aft . ent him his face lit up in excitem greeted by his was I s item my After purchasing in broken english to explain mother who tried her best did not have enough to how nice it was and that she kissed and hugged me She . buy the watch for her son were sore enough to and thanked me till her lips drop off. – Lara, via website

trip to Melbourne I was blown away by the wisdom of I have the privilege of travelling quite a lot in my business and on a recent food so stopped at good old Maccas for some hot chips. soul little a homeless woman named Quinn. I was feeling and in need of a art. As her eyes focused on my chips I asked if she would her admire to stopped I Noticing a homeless woman drawing on the sidewalk treat,” I said. She decided on chicken and fried rice so I set off like some dinner. “You buying,” she said. “Sure, anything you like, its my a Chinese Restaurant and headed back to give it to her. on foot to find some for her. I didn’t have to go far before I stumbled across her for dinner. She promptly agreed and spread out her join could Curious to find out more about Quinn and her art I asked if I and I enjoyed an hour or more together sharing stories blanket on the sidewalk for me to share. With people buzzing past us Quinn Quinn was a highly intelligent woman who due to whatever about life. Looking past her matted hair and toothless smile I quickly realised circumstances in life had made a choice to live on the streets. on homelessness. She said that being homeless simply We talked about lots of things but what will always stick with me is her thoughts family. In fact she had 50 in her family and they all lived in the meant she didn’t have a roof or a letterbox. It didn’t mean she didn’t have said this... “I spend lots of time in the train station you know, park. I commented that the city was busier than I remembered it and she aren’t happy. It doesn’t make sense to me why they keep doing it watching people coming and going, coming and going but most of them fancy roof and letterbox”. a having day in, day out, maybe they don’t realise there’s more to life than – Lyndsey, via website life. my in nt importa Thanks Quinn for helping me to remember what’s

Get in on the Act


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were so good and so supportive. The people I met in Hair when I first came to Australia were a really good foundation for me becoming the person I am now. The show was about positivity and we really thought we could change the world and I hope that we did change it in someway. I still meet people now who say “it really changed my life that play” and that’s a really nice thing.

Q. At the time of coming to Australia,


Marcia Hines is easily one of the most renowned and loved artists and TV personalities in Australia. Here she talks openly with Helen Rosing about those things that shaped her into who she is today and what she’s learnt along the way. Q. A.



Q. A.

You were born in Boston in the United States. Tell us a bit about your childhood? I think it was magical. I had a really good childhood. I had really good people around me and I had a great upbringing so to me it was a really magical time. You were raised by your mother and it sounds like you had a great relationship with her. Tell us about her, what do you remember the most? Oh, oh, oh my memories of my mother are basically good; accept if I wasn’t behaving, you know. She was a very positive woman and nothing was too much of a chore, and if it were she would just do what had to be done. That’s a great thing and she had a great work ethic, I inherited that. What do you think are the key things you learnt from her? To know that people are basically good and if they’re not you don’t have to stay in their company for long. There’s just so much my mother’s taught me: when things get hard you become stronger; sometimes life throws things in the way

December/January 2010

you can’t change; it’s not what happens to you it’s how you handle the things that happen to you.





You came to Australia to be in the musical Hair when you were 16. How were you discovered and how did you end up in Australia? I was discovered when they were auditioning for the Australian version of Hair. Some friends of mine were in the Boston version and wanted me to audition for the Boston show but I didn’t want to get stuck in Boston, I wanted to travel. And then the auditions came up for the Australian version and I auditioned. It was perhaps nine or 12 days later that I was on a plane to Australia. Tell us about your experience in the musical Hair? (Hair tells the story of the “tribe”, a group of politically active, long-haired hippies living a bohemian life in New York City and fighting against conscription into the Vietnam War.) Oh look, it was a great show, I was the youngest person to ever do it and it was a great experience. You talk about positive. The cast was called the ‘tribe’ and they


and at only 16, you then discovered you were pregnant, how do you remember this time? Well, I really didn’t know at the time what pregnancy was; I just thought I was developing. But, I wasn’t, I was developing into a mother. My upbringing taught me that you had to be responsible for what you do and so I was going to be a mother. I remember writing a letter to my mum saying, “I’m pregnant” and she said, “I know, I was just waiting for you to tell me”. Just like any mum would, she said, “You know, you’ve chosen a strange career path and if you can’t take care of the baby, know that I am here in Boston and will help you out as much as I can”. That was a real load off.

Q. Based on your experience, what


advice do you have for other women who are juggling a career, family and their own needs? I don’t want to pat myself on the back. It was what was happening at the time and I did what needed to be done at the time. To others I would say that it’s the greatest gift that you get given so ‘juggle on’.

Q. You obviously have a fantastic


relationship with Deni. What do you admire most in her? What are you most proud of ? She’s a great girl, a very strong individual. I admire everything about her. I think from a mother’s point of view it’s great, all I ever wanted. I didn’t want an Einstein, I just wanted a humanitarian and she is just a great person. She’s got the biggest heart; she’s always doing great things for people and things that people don’t know about.

Q. A.

Q. A.

Q. A.



Q. A.

Q. A.

Deni has obviously followed in your footsteps being so musical, did you always think that she would get into music? No, she didn’t follow in my footsteps; she’s made her own footsteps. She’s her own person, she just happened to get some of my genetics. And so my genetics mean that she can carry a tune, which is a great thing. But her father is a musician too and I believe my mother was incredibly musical too although I never witnessed it. It’s in the family. What do you think is the key to having a great relationship with your children? Keeping all lines of communication open… when they are speaking to you. And when they’re not… you just have to let them know that you are still there and that you love them regardless. By your mid-20s you were one of the biggest selling artists of all time and you had been awarded Queen of Pop three times. What are your memories of that time? Hard work, that’s all. It’s interesting, you can look at someone else’s career and go ‘wow, look at that’, but when you’re doing it and you’re lugging bags and working out your wardrobe and working out what the song list is going to be… sometimes you don’t even know what city your in. It’s just hard work. You had hit after hit in Australia in the late seventies and the early eighties and then you took a break. What was happening during that time? Nothing much, except that I was bringing up a teenager. Nothing career-wise, but something very important. My teenager was busting out of her skin and growing up and it was good that my mother and I were there. It was really, really nice. Was it Australian Idol that brought you back into the public arena? It was one of many things. It’s a very nice thing that’s happened with Australian Idol and it has introduced me to a totally different audience that I never had. I think I knew what fame was when I first came to Australia and when I had my first hits and so on and so forth but the power of TV is amazing. Especially in a successful show and it’s quite amazing when everybody knows you and everyone speaks to you as if they know you. I quite like that, I don’t mind that at all. So, you started as a judge on Idol four years ago, how did that opportunity come about? I auditioned for it strangely enough. I heard that they might bring the show to Australia and my manager arranged an audition. They had actresses and actors come in who would sing, either badly or very well and I would say what I would think was the correct


Q. A.

Q. A. Q.




What has the Idol experience been like? What do you love most about it? What I love most about it is that I know exactly how those kids feel because all I want to do is to sing. The best thing is uncovering new talent and seeing them when they start to really believe in themselves and you see this light shine in their eyes and you think ‘yes’. What is it that you would most like the contestants on the show to learn from you? To thine own self be true. In your new book, Life – Things to get you by, you say that every year of Idol has been a different ride and that each show changes you as you grow with the contestants. In what way do you feel you grow? I grow because I’m sitting there day in and day out telling them what they could do to be better. So every time I walk on stage I keep that in mind – what can I do to be better? In your chapter on ‘the power of words’ you share a story about being offered the opportunity to perform the lead song in Hair. You didn’t receive the support you wanted from a woman you really respected and admired. How do you think experiences like this have shaped who you are and how you treat people? Experiences like that have shaped me into, hopefully, the ‘nurturer’. I don’t ever think that there is any need to be mean to anybody. It takes a lot of energy to think of something mean to say and if I can think of something pleasant to say it’s much easier. In saying that, I don’t think that the person probably realised how it affected me. There’s that great saying that the only way you ever get disappointed is because of the expectation you place upon others.

December/January 2010



Q. A.


Relationships are obviously a big part of everyone’s life. In your chapter on ‘a love like that’ you talk about ‘getting yourself right and then the relationship will come’. Tell us about that? If you don’t get yourself right, how can you love anyone? I do know that sometimes you can be 70% and meet someone else who will make you a hundred but you have to be at least 70% something and have an idea of what you want from a relationship. You can’t expect that your partner is going to be that whole 100% because where are you going to be? What lessons do you feel that you’ve learnt through your own experiences? Well I suppose, just life lessons. I can only be happy when I am happy. I can’t rely on anyone to make me happy. I will be fulfilled when I am fulfilled. I can’t rely on anyone to make me fulfilled. You are born by yourself and you will die by yourself and so I find if I can be happy with who I am, even in my darkest moments, I’m doing alright. Do you consider yourself a spiritual person? How does this influence your life?

A. Absolutely. I think for me spirituality

is about flying by the seat of my pants and believing that things will work out.

Q. What do you think is the secret A.

to success? There is no secret to success. It’s about hard work, belief in what you are doing and passion. If you have passion and you adore what you do then how can you not succeed.

Q. What is the best piece of advice


you have that might help other women realise they can reach their full potential? I’m a great believer that if you can dream it you can be it. And keep the faith. You’ll get knocked over but you’ve got to get up and wipe your clothes off and start again.

Q. Where to from here for you? A.

What are your goals for the next few years? I have no idea and I don’t want to know. I’ll work as long as people want to see me working and I’ll sing because that’s what I love doing the most. I’ll live my life, I’ll do what needs to be done and I will continue to love as I love and enjoy this incredible journey called life.

“When it was suggested to me that I write a book about my life, the obvious thing to do was pen a memoir of sorts. But, in a world that seems to thrive on endless rumours, shallow gossip, and celebrity quick fixes, I didn’t want this to be yet another ‘tell all’ extravaganza. Who needs another ‘dish the dirt’ memoir that titillates for a short time and then gets thrown away without really benefiting anyone in the long term? Instead, I pondered, what if I did something different? What if I could share the key things that have made a difference in my life so far so that someone else might benefit from the lessons I have learned? And then, it came to me – a question in my mother’s words, that I really wanted to answer: what are the things that get me by?”


Photography by Peter Brew-Bevan

thing to say depending on how they sang and how they looked. So that’s how I did my audition and basically, the same person you see on TV is the same person that auditioned.

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Special In Focus

lps oel Posus he N r, e th o n a f o ly e beginning e able to tru th ’r d u n o a y r t a a e th y 9 so f one ments in 200 e At the end o v ie h c a r u o y ou desire. y te t ra a b th le ll e a c e v you to 2009. Find 2010 to achie to in e time to review lf m e so rs te u ca o di y de garden or launch tion, such as your n from those

a nice loca hing to lear re you won’t be don’t have anyt ve even more coffee shop, whe ha a ite e d w ur of , g vo ct fa in fa m In co . e u your journal an d by the experiences ’t work so that w ed. Take with yo always get excite w dn rb ne di stu e t . di th ha 09 w of 20 e m m us fro st beca to learn ar or diary fro new year, not ju our and actions also your calend calendar ange our behavi also because of t ch t bu n , ea ca gs gr in a ok through your ’s br lo re it n, he gi T t. be things an To w to e es w t you’ve unity it provid to achieve what rent results d yourself of wha ffe in di m ct re the great opport y pe ar d ex di ’t an s or on onth ed to you in phrase I use - ‘d evious twelve m hat has happen thing’. w e d m an sa e , ne th ed reflect on the pr g do ev in hi the personal ’s if you keep do all I’ve already ac r last New Year ar. Look at both be ye st em d pa m to e re d to take stock of th e, an pl ed For exam things. You’ve ha g r what I’ve gain essional side of of those excitin of l to al pr e d th ad to be grateful fo an bo m in u es yo ce experienc Eve when e learned. ? No doubt, sin e ive and negative ns th l sit tio celebrate what I’v na po lu ur so jo re ’s n, , ar he hs strengt New Ye have not. arn from. T e le d m so an d e at an Celebrating our br ck le d ce stu ills an then some have dn’t ts, values, new sk , the ones that di and accomplishmen ng following steps: ps ki hi u’ve ea ns sp tio ly la al re er d en ol a G d ng an vi of everything yo w ha ne up e, knowledg d not end t we’ve • Make a list di ha rise, w ly y d ab pa an a ob d pr ng ce ck tti ly fa sti es we ed, from ge . Making on ev em hi th ac a ith even the struggl w us d es co te ship, be ming eve plan connec part of what mak pairing a friend re going to achi re . u’ to on yo rs at learned, are all pe th n ise io w at d ng go of a the the declar sourceful an althier and letti ite cut it most of he qu t stronger, more re n’ n es he do w n ng io mptat somethi tionship; e are like a ship Of course, the te destructive rela me overly ithout a plan, w co W e. be to tim n to each item, be tio n la ca re Then, in looking back . • d er ish pl dd m ru a co t ac e ou ’t with ths, qualities an be som we didn list what streng , there may also critical of what lped e ck w he ba t g at ha in th w ok ve iss g. Lo ha sm rin u s to di teristics yo are still linge ac at ar th ch ts en or to find reason ry om ve s m ‘not happy’ those things; Nevertheless, it’ although we you to achieve did accomplish. eful too because, exploring, us to e lf ar se se ur of he of the goals you t yo T ou lis te vo ways came ext, make a t al N e w st… important to de • it, year pa ise e al th re g t may no n times eve during the d celebratin ut didn’t fully achi tle stronger. Whe (o lit remembering an you ur a ts ts ho en en an lf om om se m m those give your side and e ‘tough’ in th ep as l de el g w di as to even if you only nd are tough, we te ess to deal ar!) to do it. experienced; and resourcefuln y of the whole ye h pl gt sim en ite str e these items, qu th is d is fin th r fo on as tion to each of re la re The In out • e th l u’ve learned ab easily discard al e down what yo rit e w v l. that we can too a ra h ne ge e w and life in yourself, others t things that a lessons re g e th s e positives and u g th c n ng ti fo di ra ad p to b ee t le K a Ce keep moving know wh to s to your list and u d s ne ar lp le e h gative self talk achieved stall or your ne t n’ do – ard. p in; d keep e will start to cree on going forw the moment an in n tio th lists and com ua sit e e with th considering bo to celebrat n, ed he t ne T e no I t W • by . ha er st w at pa w s a result of n from the our head above in insight up with three ‘a useful informatio ,I t we need And, we also ga ye . d hs gt an it en achieved in 2009 to str d e n an io os th and others tter experienced e paying attent ly w be al d w re an ho to t w ry ou ne T e ab to mak ements. and wisdom t out of certain learned…’ stat that information om to gain the mos elebrating the w C . ho re st lessons or wisd e, tu at be fu er e e e th th op r t tiv en ga es ne g t pr rin re en choices fo ev du pr w to we have achieved situations and ho you’ve gained. great things that haviour be t pping up again. ha po w this knowledge m ow fro kn ns to tio us ua s s! lp sit ve he el write three ‘with ar rs n ou g he e T in the ye dg go le • at ow pe kn cus on and re It’s time to ac to and actions to fo firstly you need some of our e us ca be gin the process, st ju be , To nd A d. e ar w rw n fo t mea achieved, doesn’ goals didn’t get


December/January 2010





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Often when we have a negative experience or disappointment, our initial inclination is to give-up. Peter Barr-Thomson shares his tips for becoming more resilient and empowering yourself to ‘stick to it’.


nyone who has ever achieved greatness has suffered periods of negativity, disappointment, failure and probably many times when they wanted to throw in the towel and give up. And, yet they went on to greatness. So what is the difference between someone giving up in those moments and someone going on to achieving their goal? Albert Einstein got it right when he said “It’s not that I’m smarter, I just stick with the problem longer”. It is truly the ability to stick with the problem that is the mark of greatness and having a high level of resilience will allow you to do that. I believe that there are five ways of building resilience to bounce back from any negative experience and stick to it. So, if you are tired of the same old excuses and justifications you have, what follows could be the kick-start you need to build resilience in your life.

Define and remind yourself who the best you is It’s important to know who you are when you are at your best and to be able to remind yourself of that. Who is that person and what qualities define you in that moment? Write down four words, for example, focused, fun, creative, strong, confident and ask yourself this powerful question: “what do I need to do right now to be more (insert the 4 words)?”

Create great goals that give you a deep sense of meaning and purpose Danah Zohar, in her book Spiritual Capital says “the major cause of stress in our lives today is a lack of meaning”. When you have a deep sense of meaning and purpose you will naturally be driven to get through any negative that attempts to hold you back. Every great goal in life (think of all

December/January 2010

the great medical, science, literary, artistic advancements), has been met with great opposition. It is those who found a deep sense of purpose and meaning and who stuck at it that achieved success. Remind yourself of this during the tough moments.

Let go of that which you can’t control (at least for the time being) When the chips are down, focus on what you can control and influence and let go of that which you can’t. Sometimes, we are like the fly bashing itself against the window over and over. The fly is not going to break the glass or open the window and yet it just keeps trying to control that which it cannot. Martin Seligman’s message in his book Learned Optimism is that if we are given a negative experience continually over time AND we feel it is not in our control to change it, we will give in and become helpless – just like the fly. So, rather than continuing the same behaviour or mindset, consider what you can’t control and need to let go of and let it go.

Be flexible Life has a tendency to be, well life. Look at nature. Every magnificent piece of natural beauty – from the tallest oak tree to the blade of grass under your foot has evolved by adjusting to its environment: if it didn’t it perished. Yet often we tend to not allow ourselves to mould and adjust to our circumstances. Ask yourself: ‘where am I being inflexible in my thoughts and actions and therefore not getting what I want? Be ok with a lesser outcome, a longer

time frame, a bigger budget, a change of anything you had your heart set on.

Create a disaster plan – and shelve it All great strategists in history considered the worst case, strategised the possibility - then locked it away and only thought about it if a set of defined circumstances occurred. Often, we do the opposite – we think about the worst case and have it in our mind all the time. We then create an energy drain and focus that takes the eye off achieving what we want. Create your disaster plan and then forget about it and keep going. Resilience will not be built from the words on this paper. And ultimately it is a choice – one that I know you can make.

Peter Barr-Thomson is a coach, trainer, speaker and NLP practitioner with more than 20 years experience in business. For more information visit


GREAT READS Enjoy some time out for yourself with these new inspiring and motivational books.

Life Things to Get You By By Marcia Hines Hay House, $24.95 In LIFE: Things to Get You By, Marcia Hines delivers a highly motivating insight into her philosophical ideas and perspectives that have helped her to “get by and get by well”. According to Marcia, wisdom that isn’t shared is knowledge wasted and in this book, the Boston born musician tells how she has survived the challenges and obstacles that she inevitably faced on her journey to stardom. Spanning her illustrious career, LIFE: Things to Get You By brings you the very best of Marcia Hines. In her own words, Marcia tells how she has achieved peace, success, happiness, and a quiet wisdom – and suggests how you can too!

Telling it Like it is 3 Breast Cancer Journeys By AnneMarie White, Harper Collins, $32.99 In Telling It Like It Is, acclaimed Queensland sports journalist and breast cancer survivor AnneMarie White OAM brings together the stories of 21 women and one man who have encountered this disease, while also telling her own story of survival with remarkable honesty and humour. Although their experiences have all followed a familiar pattern – the shock of diagnosis, the challenge of absorbing medical information under extreme stress, the treatment, and the emotional and physical highs and lows – each person interviewed in Telling It Like It Is has a unique and compelling story. Liddy Clarke was diagnosed as a baby, national netballer Elissa McLeod at 19 and Daphne Pirie at 75.

Understanding the Dalai Lama

Tapping the Power Within

By Rajiv Mehrotra Hay House, $34.95

A Path to Self-Empowerment for Women By Iyanla Vanzant Hay House, $26.95

His Holiness The Dalai Lama, the remarkable exiled spiritual and temporal head of Tibet, is a statesman for our troubled times. This collection of 11 essays by scholars, writers, theologians, and others whose lives he has touched represents a broad spectrum of perspectives on this Nobel Peace Prize recipient who is also a living Buddha to six million followers. Included among the contributions are personal reflections by those who have been privileged to get to know His Holiness, as well as illuminating introductions to some of his core beliefs.

We cleanse and renew our physical self, but what about our spiritual side? In Tapping the Power Within, Iyanla offers advice and techniques that empower, illuminate and inspire your spirit within, such as blessing your head to accelerate spiritual development and strengthen consciousness, focusing on breath to regulate and calm our emotions and looking into the mirror of self for developing positive thoughts and manifesting life experiences.

Why Men Want Sex & Women Need Love By Allan & Barbara Pease Harper Collins, $29.95 Relationship experts Allan and Barbara Pease are back with their ultimate book, lifting the lid on what men and women really want out of sex and relationships. Translating the latest scientific research for the layperson, they gently guide us through the minefield of relationships in their trademark witty and entertaining style. Whether you’re with the love of your dreams already or still searching for the perfect match, Why Men Want Sex & Women Need Love provides all the info you’ll ever need to understand the opposite sex – what motivates them, how biology and environment affects their behaviour, and their fundamental needs.

December/January 2010


In this issue, special guest columnist Charmaine Wilson suggests we should tap into the colours of our world to guide us in the right direction.


oday, we live in a fast paced world filled with television, internet and radio constantly streaming with current events and entertainment. In a strange way, these modern day appliances are taking away our need to let our bodies and the environment alert us to upcoming events in our own lives. My observation is that we have stopped living in the present moment and we no longer notice when our environment is trying to tell us how to make wiser choices. Just as indigenous man used the wind or the movement of animals to alert him of any changes coming into his world, we can use the colours in our environment to guide us in a more positive direction or to assist us in making decisions…if we pay attention. Consider the following colours and their meanings: • Red is often seen as a powerful colour or on the flipside danger/stop • Orange is exotic and sexual • Yellow is bright and optimistic. It can represent that ‘gut’ feeling • Green is healthy living colour and go • Light blue is flowing and communicative • Dark blue is mystical, the colour of night and insight • Purple and lilacs signify spirituality • Gold is rich • Silver is rich and cool • Grey is steely and determined, unchangeable, lonely • Pastel pink is a maternal and also a

girly colour. It can represent security and calmness • Bright pink/crimson is outrageous and flamboyant • Brown is an earthy colour • Black is unyielding • White is pure Keeping the above colours in mind, use them to give you clues as how your family, friends, work associates and lovers may be feeling. For example, A lover who constantly dresses in black and orange may be feeling mysterious and sexy. A boss who dresses in red may be driven and powerful. A friend who is always in purple may be on a spiritual journey. A child who prefers yellow may be optimistic, cheery and living in the moment. I always look at what people are wearing to give me a clue of their state of mind and work with the above meanings to give me the correct tools to deal with their personality. I also use these colours when I am having an inner dilemma. Not all that long ago I was worried about my relationship with a dear friend. Though I had called her often she had not communicated back very much and I thought I may have upset her. I decided to ask my environment for the answer. If I noticed a lot of green then the friendship was fine however red would mean danger to me. So as I was driving along I kept a careful eye on the traffic and for the next five minutes took notice of the major colours out of the two. I was passed by three green cars and got every green light in that time frame. And even


better, she called me that very afternoon. The universe had listened to me and, it appeared, had answered accordingly. If you are worried buying a big expense item such as a house or car, colour may be a way to approach the situation and get the yes or no answer you need. All it requires is staying in the present moment and really looking at your environment. Go for a walk and really pay attention. Colours in gardens, house colours and cars observed in a five-minute time frame may help you decide. Reds, bright pinks, blacks and greys may signify the need to be very cautious however light pinks, greens, gold and silver may mean the time is right. Let the universe know that your intention is to work with colours for an answer. Put a fiveminute time frame on when you will take in the colours and then be very discerning in what you pay attention to eg. Grass and trees would have to be eliminated. The universe has been talking to us since the beginning of time and though we live in a fast paced world, we can still ask the universe to help us with the answers we are seeking. Staying in the moment and having faith is the key to reading the messages in colour. Charmaine Wilson is a writer, speaker and facilitator. She has been awarded the Australian Psychic of the Year award and was the winner of The One in 2008, a nationwide search for Australia’s most gifted psychic. For more information visit www.


In the lead-up to the holiday season, Dana MrKich inspires us to practice the Universal Law of Giving, not only in giving to others, but also to ourselves.


ecently I discovered the book 29 Gifts, inspired by the true story of Cami Walker. Cami was going through one of those times in life that we can all relate to one way or other: her health, relationships, work, finances, general happiness and life fulfilment were not going well. Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and in need of healing, Cami came across South African Medicine Woman, Mbali Creazzo, who gave her a cure to all her troubles: give something away every day for 29 days. Cami took that advice and says that by day 29 “I was astounded by the magical and miraculous shifts in my energy for life. I was feeling happier, my body got stronger and I was able to stop walking with a cane. My business exploded with new, unexpected opportunities and I was able to go back to work part-time after months of being too sick to work.” This got me thinking about the Universal Law of Giving, which states that

the more we give the more we receive. When you give, your energy is sending the message “I have more than enough to share, and I can always get more if I need to”. According to inspirational best-selling author Wayne Dyer, “we have to give before we get. We must plant the seeds before we reap the harvest. The more we sow, the more we reap. And in giving to others, we find ourselves blessed.” During this Christmas and holiday season the spirit of giving is all around us and it’s a great time to give. And, don’t forget to give to the most important person: you. You cannot ‘trick’ your energy into being in true giving/receiving mode, if deep down you feel empty. If you are giving while worrying that you can’t really afford it, then your worry/lack energy will block all the good that’s wanting to return to you. For some this means a daily walk or 15 minutes of quiet meditation time, for others it is a weekly treat of fresh strawberries and cream, a luxurious bubble bath with

The more we give the more we receive There are many simple ways that you can give this holiday season, often only requiring your time and kindness and not requiring excessive spending. May they inspire you to act this way the whole year round: • Send positive thoughts toward yourself and others; • Call a friend who’d love to hear from you; • Cook a meal for someone or help out in a soup kitchen; • Get creative and make presents this year; cupcakes, bath salts and chocolates are all fun and easy; • Freely share your expertise, knowledge or contacts with someone; • Go through your closets and garage, give away any clothes, toys or furniture that are no longer being used; • Write down 5 other ways you can give.

December/January 2010


aromatherapy oils or curling up with a good book and some chocolate while your husband takes the kids out for the afternoon. All of these things require that you decide: ‘I am worth it’ and state ‘this is what I need and deserve.’ By making giving to yourself a prerequisite, you are in a much better position emotionally and energetically to give to others, allowing the Universal Law of Giving to work effectively. One of the immediate benefits of the Universal Law of Giving is obviously the feel good factor. Whether you are giving to yourself or to another, there is something very fulfilling about putting a smile on someone’s face, about contributing in a positive way to a life. The other benefit is that as you send energy out, it comes back to you. When you are giving from an authentic and whole place, not giving to get something, but giving because you believe you have plenty already, you are sending out thoughts like ‘I believe in abundance’, and ‘I always have enough and plenty to share’. Those thoughts attract their counterparts in the form of opportunities, fortunate meetings, unexpected income, inspired ideas and all kinds of magical synchronicities.

Soul Intuitive and Social Activist/Writer Dana Mrkich is the Author of A New Chapter, a Radio Show Host and Teacher of Your New Chapter, a 7 week e-course helping you to discover why you have the reality you have, and how to create the reality you want. For more information, visit


Being right can feel good… for a little while, but as Sally Parrish explains, sometimes we need to let go of being right in order to be happy.



e’ve all been there… arguing with someone who is adamant that they are right when we know for sure that they are wrong. They have the facts upside down or the details inside out and we go round in circles trying to make them understand. We aim to prove that we are right because let’s face it, none of us like being wrong! As children, we were taught to consider whether things were good, bad, correct or incorrect. As adults we are often still operating with these inherent mechanisms, even though on a conscious level we know that we can get far greater satisfaction from being happy than we can get from being right. The other problem with being right is that it usually means that another party has to be ‘wrong’. And when we understand this, we appreciate that ‘winning an argument’ means making a loser out of another person. That doesn’t feel so good. Even when there is a right and a wrong in a situation, going all out to ‘win’ can work against you. Consider Julia who worked in a compliance department with a specific set of rules. She would go to the extreme of photocopying reference material, highlighting the relevant text and sticking it under her colleagues’ noses or abruptly leaving meetings to retrieve evidence to prove that she was right. Rather than creating the reputation of being credible and knowledgeable, she was regarded as being difficult, immature and painful to work with.

Relationships are one of the most important facets of life. The relationship will still be there long after the argument is forgotten. We forget the details of past disagreements, but we never forget negative feelings that we associated with them. When we coach couples we spend a lot of time discussing the importance of communication and how it can make or break a relationship. In fact the way a couple communicates is often a good indication as to the quality of the relationship and can even be a predicting factor for how long that relationship may last. Emily and Bryan got into a pattern of almost keeping a scoreboard as to how many arguments they had each won, and being ‘ right’ was a massive issue for them. It became a contest within their marriage. In coaching, Emily said “I got the wake up call when my best friend’s husband left her saying that he felt that he couldn’t do anything right. Like me, she was always picking holes in the way he did (or didn’t) do things. Bryan and I are much better at communicating now, but we have to stop ourselves and think sometimes. It doesn’t quite come naturally yet. My instinct is still to win, but I know that in the longer term I would rather be in a great relationship than win a few fights”.

Letting go of being right • Recognise that there are very few things in life that can actually be right or wrong. Most things are subjective, they are viewpoints influenced by our own personal opinions and frames of reference; • Focus on the relationship first and foremost. Is being right more important than the quality of your relationship? • Find better ways to measure yourself or to demonstrate your knowledge; • Understand that being right can be deemed a negative quality if it is done at the expense of the feelings of others; • Don’t allow yourself to get drawn in. Is there someone in your circle of influence who is making you feel that you want to prove that you are right? If so how can you rise above that feeling? • Lighten up. Give in every now and again. Most arguments are not worth participating in. The earlier you concede, the easier it is to move on; • Listen well. Listen to what the other person is saying; you may actually prefer their viewpoint to your own if you keep an open mind. When you take away the need to be right, you take a lot of pressure off of yourself. Be kind to yourself, and to others and notice how happy you’ll feel.

Sally Parrish is the Director of the Australian and New Zealand Institute of

Coaching (‘ANZI Coaching) a professional association for coaches. ANZI Coaching provides support, supervision and professional development. To join ANZI Coaching or to find an accredited coach to work with visit


Sex Advice

We would all like to experience more intimacy in our relationships and as Natalia Mendez explains, we can, if we are willing to take a chance and be vulnerable.

December/January 2010


This is usually easy for us girls because unlike men who speak in minimal sentences, we do it in paragraphs. Don’t be afraid to talk about sexual expectations, yours and his. If you have needs that are not being met express them in a kind and loving way. Bare in mind that he will also have some of his own so see this as an opportunity to discover how you can work together to meet both yours and his needs.

Have fun together

Remember once upon a time when you both did silly things that made you laugh and enjoy each other’s company? Make time to get away from business, kids, home, pets, neighbors, chores, the telephone, computers, the mother in law and TV! Do something a little crazy and youthful, something that would be out of the ordinary for you both. Be spontaneous - kiss him when he least expects it. Work out ways to please each other. Maybe have a ‘Fun 4 him day’ and a ‘Fun 4 her day’.

Get Frisky!

Why not have a one night stand? With your partner of course! Marriage is a long term commitment and sometimes the flame dwindles. It needs to be stoked up and given oxygen to get it firing again. As an example, leave a little note in his lunch box, suit case, jeans pocket (you get the idea), with relevant information such as where to meet you for dinner and what time. Don’t forget a dress code! You can fill him in with the rest of the


details throughout the course of your dinner. Surprise him and suggestively rub your foot up his leg. See if you can get a fresh smile

Investing in the bedroom

It amazes me to see how people invest time and money into their business, kids, their appearance and other hobbies but forget about one of the most important things of all. Investing in their relationship and sex life. Imagine if you spent some time and money into resourcing your marriage bed. I’m not talking about a new mattress (unless you really need one), but rather things like learning how to be a better lover, sexual techniques, some bedroom toys and games. I know you may be thinking that is a bit confronting, but it may be just what your marriage needs to add some spice. It is about turning your bedroom back into a fun-room. Last but not least invest in yourself by placing value upon who you are as a woman. Life and Love are there to be enjoyed. Remember, creating intimacy is what you make of it so get out there and embrace the adventure of creating bedroom bliss! Natalia Mendez is the founder of Romance Me - a new concept in Australia catering for couples to add some adult fun into their marriage whilst keeping the sleezy porn out! She has a passion for helping couples develop a greater level of intimacy in their relationship. For more information visit



was listening to an advertisement for the magician’ David Copperfield’ who was touring Australia. ‘An intimate performance at the Acer Arena’ was the description they used. If you’re not from Sydney, Acer Arena holds around 20,000 people. Is it possible for any performer to get ‘intimate’ with such a huge crowd? Some would say no, but actually it is very possible. In fact, anyone can create intimacy simply by being willing to take a risk and become vulnerable. The same is true in your relationship. ‘Becoming vulnerable’ is a key concept here and something that can be difficult to achieve. This can be the result of a past broken relationship, shattered trust or even something we have learnt unconsciously from our parents and their marriage. Our tendency can be to protect ourselves from the possibility of emotional pain should things not work out. As a result, we can find it hard to experience the level of intimacy we really desire. In your relationship, intimacy is when you and your partner create a safe environment in which you allow each other to become vulnerable and open. In this state you are connecting heart to heart and feel absolute trust for each other. Naturally, intimacy takes time to develop and must be maintained. It’s never too late to make the necessary changes your relationship needs to experience a greater level of Intimacy. But it does require effort and at times it may seem challenging or a little one sided. Stick at it.

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Do you often find yourself craving chocolate or gazing into the fridge even though you know you aren’t hungry? Hypnosis expert, Martha Follent explains self-hypnosis and provides a simple exercise you can do yourself to stop those food cravings.


f you have ever day dreamed, found yourself ‘lost’ in a book, or been so absorbed in something you lost track of time, you have been hypnotised. Hypnosis intentionally induces a state of focussed relaxation, allowing us direct access to that part of us that creates change. While most of us are aware of our rational, conscious mind, we may not be as aware of our subconscious mind. Our subconscious mind holds our memories, experiences, emotions, beliefs, habits and behaviours. Krasner in The Wizard Within, The Krasner Method of Clinical Hypnotherapy refers to our subconscious mind as the ‘servo-mechanism’, meaning, it responds to, and acts on, information stored within its memory, much like a robot or computer. This memory is built up from the acceptance of repeated ideas and suggestions from our conscious mind. Our subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between what is real and what is imagined so, it accepts our thoughts as real, and acts on them. To see how this works, try one of Krasner’s simple exercises: Close your eyes and vividly imagine holding a big, juicy, yellow, lemon. Feel its weight and shape. Notice its crisp, lemony aroma. Cut a slice of the lemon. See the juice, smell the freshness. Bring the slice to your mouth and, just before you take a bite …. open your eyes and notice. Has the amount of saliva in your mouth increased? If it did, and it usually

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does, your body responded automatically to your thoughts, as if the lemon was real. Our subconscious mind will also react automatically to our beliefs, which often have behaviours linked to them. So what can we do if we want to change our beliefs and behaviours? Let’s look at this, using the example of a food craving. A food craving is not usually a response to hunger, but an automatic, learned, behavioural response to an emotion. Just like you salivated when you thought of the lemon, you may reach for a certain food when you feel a certain emotion. You might consciously think ‘I will not eat that food’ but, once the emotion is triggered, so is the automatic, ‘robotic’ behaviour. Hypnosis works so well because it provides the relaxed, focussed state of mind required, to allow direct access to our subconscious mind. In the hypnotic state, our subconscious takes on suggestions, with no interference from our conscious mind, because we bypass the critical faculty. We can re-write our subconscious programmes, resulting in new outcomes to old problems. Here is an easy, step-by-step process using self-hypnosis to change a food craving.

Before you start:

Know what you want. Ask yourself: • What do I want? • Why do I want it? • How will my life change when I have achieved this?


• What will I see, hear, feel, be doing, when I have achieved this? • Where will I be? • Who will I be with? • When will this happen? The more specific you are, the more vivid your visualisation and suggestions will be and, the greater the impression you will make upon your subconscious mind.

Write your suggestions:

Base these on your above answers, following these simple guidelines as outlined by Krasner: Be Positive: make your suggestions goal oriented, focussed on your success. For example: don’t say ‘I no longer crave xxxxxx’. Say, ‘I enjoy eating healthy food that is good for me’. Be Specific: Make your suggestions sensory specific. For example: ‘I look fantastic, I am full of energy’; I feel strong and confident with my food choices’; ‘I listen to my body and eat only when I am hungry’. Be Realistic: your goal can be challenging but realistic. For example: don’t say ‘I never eat xxxxx again’. Say, ‘I am delighted with the healthy food choices I make’. Be Repetitive: the subconscious mind needs repetition, so, in each session, repeat your suggestions of success in different ways. For example: ‘I choose only healthy food; I feel elated with my choice of portion sizes that satisfy my hunger; I always eat food in appropriate quantities’.


Use Present Tense Verbs: word your suggestions in the present or the future, not the past. For example: ‘When I choose to eat, I am calm, relaxed and make the perfect nutritional choices for me’. Knowing that food cravings are usually the result of an emotion, you might write suggestions to address the underlying emotions that trigger that behaviour. For example: ‘I am grateful for, and I listen to my emotions. I focus on what I need to do to work through my emotions, and learn what I need from them’. ‘I am calm around food at all times, and easily choose well’. Add your own details of success and desired outcome into your suggestions. Keep your suggestions simple and direct. Focus on one goal at a time, until you achieve your outcome. Now you are ready for your selfhypnosis session. Allow ten to fifteen minutes, find a place where you can relax and not be disturbed. Turn off the phone. Sit or lie comfortably.


– Relaxation

Visualise yourself, as vividly as possible, somewhere you love and feel at peace; a place you feel only positive emotions (eg the beach, bush, mountains). If you chose the beach, imagine you are walking along the beach. See the ocean, the seagulls; hear the waves, the birds; feel the gentle breeze and the sun warming your body; smell the salty air. Find yourself at the top of ten steps. Slowly walk down, and silently count each step, from one to ten. On the first step, count one, think ‘my relaxation doubles’; feel your body relax. On the second step, count two, think ‘double the relaxation’; feel and enjoy the relaxation. Continue doing this with each step, until you are at the bottom.

Step – Hypnotic suggestions and visualisation Visualise yourself, in detail, having achieved your outcome and give yourself the success suggestions you previously wrote. For our example of food cravings, visualise yourself in a situation that triggers your food craving.

See yourself making different choices. Notice how relaxed, confident and calm you are. You might choose an activity such as going for a walk, or writing in your journal, rather than eating. You might choose food that is healthy. Whatever your desired outcome, the key is to vividly and repeatedly, see and feel the positive emotions of your success, while you simultaneously give yourself the suggestions for your outcome.


– Awakening

See yourself at the bottom of the steps. Count backwards from ten to one, as you slowly walk up each step. As you count, think to yourself, ‘awaken one tenth of the way with each step’. By the time you reach Step one, you are fully awake, alert, eyes open, refreshed. Hypnotic experiences can fluctuate, depending on your mental and emotional state at the time. Some times you may not feel you were hypnotised, you might feel like you had a restful nap. But, hypnosis is not sleep. No matter how light or deep your hypnotic state, if you commit and practice regularly, plus hold the belief and expectation for your outcome, you will see change. Martha Follent is the Director of Creative Future Dynamics, a Sydney based training and coaching company. For more information visit or contact Martha on P: 02 9436 1246 M: 0407 300 888 or E:


Hypnosis is extremely effective in facilitating change for a multitude of issues, both independently and in combination with other modalities. The processes outlined in this article however, should not be interpreted as a replacement for any ongoing medical or psychological care.


Relaxation is a critical part of self-hypnosis: 1. Fix your eyes on a spot in front and a little above your line of sight. As you stare, notice your eyelids getting heavy. When your eyelids are almost too heavy to keep open, think to yourself ‘My eyes close and my body relaxes’, and close your eyes. Notice the feeling of restfulness that flows through your body, when your eyelids close. 2. Slowly breathe in and out for a few minutes. Think, ‘double the relaxation’ with each out breath, notice your relaxation double. 3. If your body resists relaxation, tightly contract your muscles, while thinking, ‘tighter, and tighter’. Then think, ‘now, let go’, release the tension, and feel your body go limp. Repeat a couple of times.)

Step – Deepening and concentration



At just 22 years of age, Tania Menzies founded the not-for-profit organisation Caring for Kids During Cancer and has made an impact on society that will inspire us all. She talks about her passion for children and assisting families and cancer sufferers with childcare during their cancer treatments.


e’ve all dreamed about Age: 24 having a career Inspiration: The magic of life and my god mother who was that makes a very influential in the set up of my business the Caring for difference but for the majority of Kids During Cancer program. us, our aspirations to enter into Motivation: I love my work and the constant challenges professions of goodwill are never and adventures it brings. I also have a wonderful fiancé who is now also my business partner and motivates me to keep actually realised. Tania Menzies going when times are tough. however is one woman who is Biggest Life Lesson: Life is short and we should take realising that dream. advantage of each opportunity life throws your way. For the past five years, Advice for other women looking to make a difference: Tania has devoted herself to Believe in yourself and you will be unstoppable. improving the standards and services of childcare available to parents in Australia. Launching her own childcare business Jelli Beanz, today Tania leads a flagship of qualified childcare workers who provide high quality nannying, au pair and respite care services throughout New South Wales and Western Australia. In conjunction with this, inspired by her late godmother Donna Goudie, she has also established a not-for-profit organisation – Caring for Kids During Cancer – that provides free childcare for parents diagnosed with cancer, during their treatment. Tania has always had a love of children but it was while on an overseas holiday that Tania’s commitment to caring for kids developed to a new level. “I travelled around Europe for six months with a friend, planning to work as a nanny in London for a year, however, when my friend fell ill, she had to return home early. I wasn’t ready to come back to Australia at that point, so I applied to volunteer in orphanages and schools in Thailand”, Tania says.

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“Working in the orphanages was a real turning point for me. I fell in love with the children I was looking after and it was extremely difficult for me not to bring all of them home,” Tania explains. “I loved everything about them, particularly their culture. People in Thailand are just so happy with what they have, even when it’s very little. They are truly the most grateful and hospitable people I’ve ever met. The hardest thing was seeing children without people who love them.” When Tania came back to Australia she had a new understanding about what it was that gave her satisfaction and ideas about how she could have a positive impact through her childcare endeavours on home soil. “I realised how much I loved the one-on-one contact with children that I got through nannying so I started taking on more and more jobs until, eventually, I needed some down time and decided to hire some other people to help with my workload. It was at this point that Jelli Beanz was formed. Tania’s initial goals for Jelli Beanz were put on hold however when her godmother and prospective business partner was diagnosed with cancer. Growing up, Tania’s godmother always played a pivotal role in her life, “she was more of a best friend, confidant and mentor then a godmother”, Tania says. Spending so much time with her godmother during treatment they both saw firsthand the amount of mothers in the oncology wards and the little care that was available to them for their children who had to tag along. Tania was inspired by her godmother’s wishes to assist families with childcare who needed it in a way that she was already providing to more fortunate parents. Driven by her desire to make her


godmother’s wishes a reality, the business plans for Jelli Beanz soon expanded to incorporate the idea of a not-for-profit community organisation that can assist with child care during this time and Caring for Kids During Cancer was born. This initiative continues to be an important part of Tania’s business and life as a legacy to her godmother who has since passed. The Caring for Kids During Cancer program works through referrals from social workers and oncology nurses. From that point, Jelli Beanz matches a trained volunteer with a family needing care. For the initial two years, Tania was able to fund the ‘specialist’ nannies to provide care, however due to funding cuts, the program now works on a volunteer basis. “We are constantly amazed at the number of generous people who are wanting to assist our families. These young, experienced nannies give an amazing gift of time to parents when they need it the most. The nannies that have assisted with this program have almost all been effected by cancer themselves, either directly or indirectly and want to give back in a very real way. In addition, we have volunteers who may not have the child care experience to work hands-on with the children, so they offer their time in the office or fundraising as well,” Tania says. Caring for Kids During Cancer is currently operational in Metro NSW and has been funded by the NSW Cancer Council for the past two years. Tania was able to secure funding from the Cancer Council NSW initially as the Cancer Council’s practical support team were in the process of trialling the provision of additional assistance to people with cancer. This assistance included such things as a financial assistance programs and home help. Tania’s program fit within the required scope and the Cancer Council was able to fund a trial project. Unfortunately due to funding cuts however, the Cancer Council are no longer able to provide this funding. Still endorsed by the Cancer Council, the Caring for Kids During Cancer program is now seeking funds to enable them to continue the program. Tania has seen some inspirational parents and people whilst providing this service. “The most touching story has been that of Fatima*. Fatima lost her four-yearold child to cystic fibrosis five months before her husband was diagnosed with

a rare and very progressive type of skin cancer. She was also 37 weeks pregnant when this happened. Having no family in Australia, and being sponsored on her husbands working visa, she has could not access any government support. I met Fatima when her baby was six weeks old and arranged care for her child for eight hours a day, twice a week so she could make the one hour journey by public transport to sit with her husband in hospital. Despite the adversity she was facing, she was the most inspirational and strong woman I had ever met. She had an air of grace and determination. She was also incredibly grateful and never appear to be stressed or sad. Instead, she me that everything would be ok and told me not to be sad. Her husband passed away a few months after his initial diagnosis. Having lost her four-year-old son only months before and now her husband, and having a young

child to care for, she found the inner strength to continue and do the best she could with what she had. Her strength at a time when most would fall apart was truly inspirational”, Tania says. The impact of the service on the children and families has been life changing. “We receive some wonderful feedback from families who have said that it has been a saving grace - they were able to recover and relax knowing their children were in good hands. Many parents said they couldn’t have coped with out the service as they truly did have no other options available to them.” It’s this feedback that keeps Tania going when things are challenging; knowing the families whose lives she touches and being able to assist them on a day-to-day basis is a driving force. * Name changed to protect identity. Tania Menzies and her Inspiration for Caring with Kids During Cancer, Donna Goudie

Caring for Kids During Cancer is a unique welfare service in Australia that provides free childcare to families when a parent is undergoing active cancer treatment. This much-needed service is in desperate need of funding in order to keep providing assistance to families who have little or no support or who have exhausted all other resources. You can help ensure that this vital service continues by donating via or 1300 799 860.


The Optimist Creed Promise yourself...

To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet. To make all your friends feel that there is something in them. To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true. To think only of the best, to work only for the best and to expect only the best. To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own. To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile. To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others. To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

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– Christian D. Larson


Workplace relations may be perceived as a dull subject, but Leah Gibbs has found a reason to be excited about the new National Employment Standards that become law in a matter of weeks.


he Global Financial Crisis, death and destruction from natural disasters in countries neighbouring Australia and debate over the proposed Emissions Trading System have been dominating our national media, so it’s understandable how major changes to the national workplace relations system which will be introduced across Australia on 1 January next year seem to have been overlooked. While it may fail to grab headlines, the 10 new National Employment Standards are essential information for employers and employees because they will impact some key entitlements, procedures and responsibilities in the workplace. When operational, the National Employment Standards will set out:


• maximum weekly hours • requests for flexible working arrangements • parental leave • annual leave • personal, carer’s and compassionate leave • community service leave • long service leave • public holidays • notice of termination, and • redundancy pay.

For employees earning under $100,000 a year, the Standards will be complemented by Modern Awards that have been tailored to the needs of particular industries or occupations. The National Employment Standards

and Modern Awards are part of the Fair Work Act 2009 which came into force on July 1 and replaces that which operated under the Workplace Relations Act 1996. The exciting news is that an employee’s right to request flexible working arrangements will become law. Juliet Bourke of Sydney management consultancy Aequus Partners sees it as ‘a golden opportunity’. “For years Australian employees have talked about the need for greater work/life balance and employers have resisted by raising concerns about whether flexible work practices might hamper productivity and performance”, she said. “From 1 January we will have access to a National Employment Standard to help resolve these tensions in a practical way.” The `right to request flexibility’ Standard would give permanent or long-term casual employees the right to ask an employer to change their work arrangements to enable them to care for their children under school age or disabled children aged under 18. This could include, for example, working from home or starting work an hour earlier twice a week and leaving the workplace two hours earlier another day. Employers would be required to respond, in writing, to all requests within 21 days. Mother- of-two, Michelle Burn, was working for a communications company when she first broached the subject

of flexible work arrangements. “I had returned to work after the birth of my son and asked if I could compress my 38 hour week into four days so I could be at home an extra day”, she said. “No one had actually made such a request before and being able to do it really meant a lot to me. I think it’s a step forward to be able to request changes to work arrangements.” However, Ms Bourke is concerned that the opportunities for parents to access flexible work arrangements could be lost because of a lack of awareness about the new National Employment Standard. A survey of more than 500 human resources, diversity and law practitioners conducted by Aequus Partners and CCH Australia, revealed that more than 80 per cent believe employees and managers within their organisations have little or no knowledge of how to request flexibility or respond to applications. Federal Workplace Relations Minister, Julia Gillard, believes Australia’s new system also has the balance right between the needs of employers and employees, “a balance that will allow us to become more competitive and more prosperous without taking away the workplace rights and guaranteed minimum standards we’ve historically enjoyed”, she told the National Press Club in September. For more information call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 or visit the Fair Work Australia website,

Leah Gibbs is the Business Manager for Lifestyle Careers a new online job board aimed at professionals wanting to balance their work and personal life. For more information or to look for flexible working opportunities visit



rganisational culture is the psychology, attitudes, experiences, beliefs and values (personal and cultural values) of an organisation. Culture operates at a deeply unconscious level and manifests as assumptions and beliefs that are shared by members of the organisation. Culture can often go unchecked if the leaders of the organisation are not proactive in reviewing how the people in the organisation internally perceive the reality or how the organisation is perceived externally from customers and stakeholders. Dysfunctions in a culture are quick to show up and there is nothing like a financial crisis to make leaders do some serious reassessment about what works and what doesn’t. The first step in an organisational culture health check is to analyse the existing culture. People need to acknowledge what the current perceptions, assumptions and beliefs are in the organisation. Behaviours are the manifestation of culture and it is essential to evaluate whether the behavioural norms in your workplace are what you want or not. Take time out at the beginning of the new year to identify the behaviours that

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have negative and unproductive results for both individuals and the organisation. This can be done formally or informally. Doing a walk around and asking people how they feel about the company is a simple culture check. Or, a customer survey is powerful way to get an external perception of culture. There are various formal surveys that can analyse behaviours and culture in varying levels of depth and complexity. One such cultural evaluation cited in the June 2007 Harvard Review relates to the work of Robert Blake and Jane Mouton in examining how the culture of an airline determines whether a co-pilot is likely to speak up or not in the face of a potential incident. Blake and Mouton demonstrated that the pilots habitual style of interacting with other crew members directly impacted on whether the crews were willing to speak out when they knew something that another crew member did not. Further research by Malcolm Gladwell into data from numerous airline accidents showed “the kinds of errors that cause plane crashes are invariably errors of teamwork and communication. One pilot knows something important and somehow doesn’t tell the other pilot”. This type of research indicates that assumptions and beliefs that go unchecked,


such as the assumption that the other pilot will realise the danger, or that you don’t have the seniority to challenge the decisions he is making, can result in catastrophic consequences. Likewise with unchecked assumptions and beliefs in your workplace. How healthy is the culture? How long is it since it was consciously examined and analysed for its impact on the organisation being financially, socially, ethically and environmentally sustainable. I know one of the companies I used to work for many years ago is quite open about not hiring for long term retention. Churn and burn is the belief and as a result many highly skilled people walk out their door and directly to the competition to get better work life balance. They also haven’t got a very family friendly environment and have little flexibility around part time work, so spend time and effort training up good people only to lose them once again when they want more flexibility around working hours. Creating healthy organisational cultures or to turn around a toxic workplace culture requires the development of candour according to Bennis and O’Toole in the June 2009 Harvard Review article, What’s needed next; A Culture of Candour.


The beginning of the new year is an ideal time for a culture health check in your organisation. Kathy McKenzie explains the basis of organisational culture and what you can do to make a change.


Some of their ideas for creating a culture of candour are to start with your own behaviours and: • Tell the truth • Admit your mistakes • Diversify your sources of information • Build organisational support for transparency • Share information freely • Encourage people to speak truth to power ie: “tell higher ups unpalatable truths” • Practice having unpleasant conversations Creating a culture where things get questioned is important to avoid situations such as drug company Merck found themselves in with the controversial arthritis drug Vioxx. Because the underlying assumption of the physicians and scientists developing the painkiller Vioxx was that they had personally invested in bringing a best seller to market, they defended it even when there was substantial evidence of serious side effects in some users. Hundreds of Australians are now involved in legal action against the manufacturer. There was a strong culture even after Vioxx was pulled from the market of defending each other and that behaviour got the company into a lot of trouble. Leaders don’t always make the right decisions which means you need a culture of openness for followers to feel comfortable reporting information that may not always be what a leader wants to hear. The success of organisations in the future will depend on a much more collaborative approach in working together. In the 1970s it was accepted that you would show up to work and be told what to do. That was part of having a job. In the 1980s and 1990s cultures changed to be much more about developing teams and I know I attended more than one conference where we built boats and sailed

across miniature lakes in 5 star resorts. Still though, there was a clear delineation of who was in charge and a directive approach to management and leadership. The challenge in this new decade is that there is a whole new generation of employees who grew up being parented in a very different way to the 1960s and 1970s. They want to be fully engaged and collaborate. There are new expectations of everyone in the workplace to demonstrate emotional intelligence and an emphasis on work-life balance. There are different expectations about when you can expect promotions. There are also the challenges of information overload and technology moving so fast that it is not possible to keep up with all the new ways in which we can connect, access information and communicate. There are challenges around how much freedom and access do you give people in the organisation. For you to contribute to having the desired culture start to think about the unconscious drivers that are operating. The unconscious influence is now recognised for the powerful impact it has on what behaviours are manifested in the workplace so start to think about how to make conscious the type of culture you want. Articulate clearly the vision of how the culture could be. Think about the training needed to get people thinking differently. I have done a number of projects where we began the process of cultural transformation by engaging every person in the company in a session around the power of thinking positively and utilising coaching questions such as “If a miracle happened and tomorrow you arrived at

work and the culture was ideal - what would be different?. Once we have a gauge of what the perceptions are internally about the company we can start addressing the key areas for change. A significant shift for many companies now is to incorporate coaching as a leadership style. Incorporating coach training for all leaders changes the focus. Leadership becomes more supportive and collaborative rather than directive and authoritive. This creates a very different culture as people feel engaged and empowered. Other very effective ways to create large scale organisational culture change are introducing training and coaching around positive psychology. The work of Martin Seligman is well recognised for the shift it can create from people having a problem focus to being solution focused which is key to productive culture. Rather than focusing on problems think about what it is that you want and how you may possibly get that? There are many valuable tools and articles on Seligman’s website The more we learn to understand and appreciate the diversity in our workplace the healthy our culture becomes. So take the time now to start the conversation about your organisational culture. Be courageous if you do not naturally consider yourself in a leadership position and start to open up the conversations (if you need some help Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott is a great read). If you are a leader engage everyone in the conversation about how 2010 can be the year to create the culture of choice.

Kathy McKenzie, FIRE UP Coaching director, is a specialist Communications and Leadership Facilitator, Coach Trainer, and Executive Coach. Her qualifications include Masters in Professional Vocational Education and Training, ICF accredited coach and coach trainer, NLP and HBDI trainer. Featured regularly on TV she brings fun and enthusiasm to training sessions. For more information visit



Do you often look at the financial pages in the newspaper and just see a blur of numbers? Ever wondered what it all means? This issue, trading expert, Dale Gillham takes the mystery out of understanding financial data.

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letters. Therefore, you can either look up the company by name or the ASX code if you know it. Below is a snap shot from the Australian Financial Review. See if you can locate ASX Ltd (company name) with the company code ASX. In a lot of cases the letters in the company name are used in the code; for example Arrow Energy has the code AOE. When reading different papers you may find the information displayed differs slightly, although you will always find the lowest and highest price that the stock was traded for the day, the Bid and Offer Price (or Buy and Sell quote) which are the prices the buyers and sellers were willing to pay before the market closed. You will also find the Last Price quoted, which is the official price the stock was bought and sold at when the last trade occurred for the day.

When you look across from the ASX code in the table above, you will see all of this information displayed. In the financial industry it is often said that the uneducated open the market and the educated, or those in control, close it. Therefore the Last Price quoted for a stock each day is probably the most useful if you are looking at the data in isolation, as it provides the value of the shares on a particular day. If you were to record the closing price of a stock over a number of days, you could ascertain whether it was moving up or down over the short term. While I encourage you to do this, it is important to understand that you shouldn’t focus on the short term price action when analysing a stock as it can be an emotional roller coaster ride, particularly without the

Source: The Australian Financial Review 12 November 2009




n the days before computers became common place, newspapers provided the necessary information for people to stay informed about a company’s share price, and despite the advances in technology most newspapers today still allocate sufficient room on a daily basis to report market information. If you are not familiar with the financial pages, you may find you are overwhelmed by the fine print, but don’t despair as most people have this initial reaction when attempting to make sense of the information although a lot of successful investors started out their share market journey this way. Now let’s take a closer look at exactly what is reported. You may want to grab a copy of the Australian Financial Review or The Australian as you read this article. When reviewing the financial pages, you will notice the tables contain a list of stocks in alphabetical order to make it easy for you to locate a company. There is also a series of columns with market data pertaining to each stock. To make it easier to read the data, I recommend using a ruler and a highlighter. The source of the market data supplied in newspapers is provided by the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX Ltd), which is a listed company in its own right. When a company transitions from a private company to being listed as a public entity on the ASX, it is given a unique identification code consisting of three


right knowledge, and it is certainly not something you would use on its own when making investment decisions. Most successful investors focus on the medium to longer term direction of a stock and trade with it, as this increases the probability of a profitable outcome. The financial pages do provide some sense of the medium term direction by quoting the highest and lowest prices for the past 52 weeks. Have a look at these figures for the ASX and AOE and ask yourself whether price has been rising or falling. If you are interested in understanding of how a stock is moving over a longer period, or even how it moved during those 52 weeks, you can find a weekly bar chart of the open, high, low and closing price (OHLC bar chart) on the ASX website, as well as a lot of other information about a company. The most useful piece of information in the financial pages, besides the stock code, the Last Price and the 52 week range, is the dividend yield (DY), which is the income you can generate by holding a share as a percentage of the share price. Generally blue chip companies pay shareholders close to or above the market average, which is currently around 4.8 per cent of the company’s share price. If you look at the ASX’s DY, is it close to that. By comparison, AOE does not currently pay a dividend. Given this and the fact that AOE is a smaller company by market capitalisation (the value of the company) compared to the ASX, the price action will probably be more volatile. Not all papers will display a company’s market capitalisation but you can do a company search on the ASX website. Another piece of information that is useful is the volume of shares traded for the day (usually displayed in 000’s). This assists in determining the liquidity (the ease with which you can buy and sell a stock) of a stock which is achieved by multiplying the Last Price with the volume of shares traded. Bear in mind, depending on the stock and market activity these figures could vary considerably from day

Key Terms 52 Week High

Highest price traded in last 52 weeks

52 Week low

Lowest price traded in the last 52 weeks

Day’s high

Highest price on the previous day’s trade

Day’s low

Lowest price on the previous day’s trade

Last Sale

The official final sale price at the end of the previoius day’s trade when bids from the buyers and sellers are matched

+ or -

The change in price from the previous day’s close expressed in cents Vol 100’s – The daily volume of shares traded for the previous day’s trade

Quote Buy

The final asking price from buyers at the close of trade on the previous day

Quote sell

The final bid from the sellers at the close of trade on the previous day

Dividend – c per Share

The distribution of part of a company’s net profit per share Dividend – Times cov – Ratio of the number of times a company’s dividend is covered by its net profit – low dividend cover means the company is paying out most of its net profit


Net Tangible assets are the net physical assets owned by shareholders of a company

Div Yield

The dividend shown as a percentage of the last sale price for the shares

Earn share c

Typically expressed as EPS or earnings per share, calculated by dividing the company’s earnings over a twelve month period by the number of shares on issue

P/E ratio

Shows the number of times the price covers the earning per share

to day. As a general rule you can generally buy/sell shares without the price getting away from you too quickly if you invest in companies with a minimum of 1,000,000 units and $3,000,000 traded per week. Obviously the higher the liquidity the less this becomes an issue. For those starting out their journey in the share market, you may find a newspaper has the basic information to enable you to become familiar with a number of terms, however, it is by no means a tool to assist you in selecting stocks to invest your hard earned money in. At some point you need to take your interest from scratching around in a newspaper and getting ink on your fingers to a whole new level and I encourage you to do this. Having educated many traders over the years, I have always said that women make better traders than men as they tend to be less gung-ho and take a more considered approach to investing. What are you waiting for? Dale Gillham is the Co-founder and Chief Analyst of Wealth Within, a specialist share market educator and boutique investments company supporting individuals to maximise their investments in the share market. For more information visit



your Passion We’ve borrowed a recipe from Alison Nancye’s book Recipes for Everyday Life to help you cook up the life of your dreams and discover your passions.


ne of my biggest passions from childhood is my love of stories. My grandmother and I would sit in her kitchen for hours and listen to each other’s stories. But, when I grew up, I somehow lost my passion for storytelling. The older I got, the more nervous I was speaking in front of a group. I lost my confidence to write and share my stories. I wanted to, but I became more focused on what people might think of my writing rather than on my passion for it. So, I took one step at a time to re-discover my passion. As soon as you pursue one passion, you gain more confidence and enthusiasm about pursuing other passions. And, the biggest lesson I learned was that it didn’t matter what others thought of my cooking, the state of my garden, the words on my page, or those that came from my voice. The important thing was I enjoyed them. Ironically, the more I enjoyed doing them, the more people enjoyed receiving them. The key ingredient was to express myself from my heart! Have fun in your life and be passionate about it!

December/January 2010

Cooking Time: 60 minutes Ingredients:

• Notebook • Diary, calendar or schedule • Favourite CDs or iPod (optional) •


• Get comfy on the living room floor or at a large table or desk space. • If you want to have some background music on that inspires you and puts you in a passionate mood, go for it.


How To Cook Up Everyday Passions • Jot down every hobby or passion you remember being interested in. Don’t fuss about the order, simply scribble them all over the page. • Now, spend a couple of minutes going back in time. Think way back to your

early childhood, then through your teens, on to becoming an adult, and right through to the age you are now. During any of those stages, were you interested in something you haven’t already noted on your page? Whatever it was, just ask yourself, “Did I really enjoy doing this?” If the answer is yes, make a note of it. If there were things you enjoyed doing in another environment away from home, such as on holidays, at a friend’s house, school or somewhere else, make a note of these too. Keep writing until you feel complete. Read over your notes. Is there anything not on your page that you know you are really interested in pursuing? Be honest with yourself. Don’t worry about the obstacles; just write it down if you want to do it. Look at your list and ask yourself what you are already doing (if anything) and write them under the heading, “Passions I am currently pursuing.” Then, circle, tick, or mark these in some way on your list to note you have these covered. turn up the heat Now, look back at the remaining items on your list. What else would you really love to be doing right now, or later this year? There must be at least one or two. Don’t hold back; just write everything you would really love to do. Write these under a separate heading entitled, “Passions I want to pursue.” Date your page. taste test Cull the list. That doesn’t mean you have to let go of anything; it’s simply about choosing one or two new hobbies or interests to focus on for now. Choose a start date to pursue your chosen passions. Don’t let yourself be limited by obstacles such as time, money, resources, limiting thoughts, or beliefs about yourself. There is always a way to change your situation. Grab your diary and write the start date of your new passions in it. And when that date arrives, DO IT! No excuses . . . simply get on with it. It may take a little bit to get started, but once you are on a roll, nothing and no one can stop you.

Alison Nancye is a writer, life mentor, mum and author or Recipes for Everyday Life. To find out more about Alison or to buy her book, go to



I am really struggling with my future direction at the moment. I have recently landed my dream job, but two weeks into it, and I am still having trouble settling into the role. I am originally from the country and find the city absolutely stifling. I dream of moving back to the country to be more involved in my family’s farm, and possibly run my own business, but it feels like such a distant (and unattainable) dream. I fear I lack the confidence to see it through. I am also having some family and relationship conflicts - my family is going through a very messy succession planning process and I have just broken up with a guy I’d been seeing due to his lack of effort and interest. Any advice you could offer would be very gratefully received. – Renee

I have been married for 11 years now to a man from overseas. In the beginning we had many crosscultural issues but I remained married because despite all this I still felt love for him. He has an older sister who is his only family in Australia and she has been worse than 10 horrible mother-in laws. Thankfully, all that mess is over, however I feel that my husband is still resentful towards me over the issues with her in the past. He can spend hours chatting to his friends but we hardly talk and I feel that there is no real loving connection. My question is how can I bring love and friendship into the marriage to prevent us drifting further apart? We do have three gorgeous kids. – Lara

So many dreams and desires. My first question would be, what is truly stopping you from living them? What is stopping you from moving to the country now? What are the fears? Remember that “FEAR” is just False Evidence Appearing Real! If you could just up and go tomorrow, what is this business you would like to start in the country? I suggest that you write the plan and meat it out! Get passionate about it and flow some positive feelings into the plan. You landed your dream job…great! Unfortunately, our dreams can come with challenges too. Be grateful for the opportunity to learn and experience and perhaps either allow yourself to settle in some more, or realise that you may want to rethink your dream. What you dream of and desire is what you get! You have seen proof of this first hand. The guy? Well, who wants a guy who is not as interested? It’s time to let this one go. You may feel disappointment at the wasted time and energy but hopefully you had some good times and now you can move on. It’s time to think... Next! Every unsuccessful relationship just get’s you closer to the perfect one. In this respect, I would suggest that you create a list of all the attributes you want in a relationship. If you find this challenging, use your experiences from past relationships that were not positive to write your ‘don’t want’ list then re-state each attribute into the positive. For example, if you don’t want a man who does not put in effort, you want a man who goes out of his way to make you feel wanted! If you don’t want a man who has a beard, you want a clean-shaven man. Write all of your wants and be as clear as you can. Then, write out 1 or 2 affirmations that encompass your new inspiring list. Focus on these affirmations and know that what/who you are seeking is seeking you too! Another suggestion is to take stock again of who you are and what you bring to a relationship. List your attributes that show what you will give to your dream partner and relationship. In relation to your family, look at what you can do to help solve the situation. Do what you can but also know where to draw the line. There will only be some things that you can change. Many things will not be your ‘stuff ’ to fix and in this respect you will need to just accept the journey.

Prolonged interpersonal conflict is usually very uncomfortable for both partners. It can lead to the surfacing of many negative feelings and misunderstandings. Aloofness, drifting apart and emotional withdrawal is some of the common symptoms. Managing these feelings carefully can bring positive changes in your personal relationship. What it requires is a conscious effort, patience, and a willingness to solve things with an open mind. Here are some steps you can take. • Be authentic – Being your true self arouses positive emotions that bring out the best in others. It will unconsciously give your partner permission be his true self with you too. • Talk, listen and learn – Talking, listening and learning are the most important skills in rebuilding a relationship. Communicate your feelings honestly and tactfully. Share words of love, understanding and friendship. • Compromise – Approaching your relationship with a right v wrong attitude leads to a win or lose situation. Compromise provides a win-win situation. • Stick to the issue at hand – Don’t bring up previous misdemeanours or other things you’ve been meaning to say. Let your opinions stand on their own merits and don’t be tempted to bring in other people’s opinions. • Communicate assertively – Start sentences with “I” - for example, “I felt upset when you...” rather than “You upset me when...” And “I would like to go out more often,” not “We should go out more often.” • Own your feelings – Your partner can’t make you feel something. Your feelings are under your own control. If you’re angry, say “I’m angry because...”, not “You made me angry.” This will keep you out of the blame-game. Source: Savleen Bajaj is an international multi-award winner, success coach, psychologist, speaker, author, and spiritual healer who works with her clients to achieve personal breakthroughs. For more information visit

December/January 2010

Source: Malti Bhojwani is an international life coach and NLP practitioner. For more information visit


My husband and I have been married for 10 years. We both dislike the ‘rat-race’ but have felt that this is the only way to finance the things we want in life. I recently got fed up juggling work/home life and started freelancing. At the start it was great but now I eat alone as my husband is too busy at work. I feel betrayed by my husband. I feel like I am competing for attention and questioning whether I want to continue my life this way with him. – Tina

I am finding it a challenge to work out what I would really like to do with my life. I did consider some studies, pursued them but found it wasn’t really what my heart wanted. I would like to return to the workforce but I don’t know what my real passion in life is? – Artemis Discovering your passion is about finding what you love to do the most and what gives your life deep meaning. It’s about being in sync with who you really are and living a life of purpose. It is essential that you take a heart-based approach to discovering your passion and become aware of what is influencing you and what drives you to take action. Discovering your passion and finding career direction is a process. The more effort you put into the discovery and planning stages the better your results as you end up with a clear sense of the direction. Here are some steps in discovering your passion and career direction. • Explore – Look deep inside you and ask yourself; “What do I love to do that makes my world a better place, or in some way contributes to the lives of others? What do I have the most fun doing? What do others look to me for? What strengths am I most often complimented on? What do I do where I lose all track of time? What do the people closest to me say my passions are? What ideas, things, places and/or people am I most inspired by? What were the activities that I loved doing as a child that allowed me to experience passion?” • If you could be in a fulfilling career without regards to money, time, or education… what would you do? What do you want to accomplish? What motivates you to choose a certain career path i.e. life coaching? Why? What kind of person do you want to become? • Brainstorm and use your answers to identify the top three personal strengths or passions that you must use. • Make a short list for yourself starting with “I want to be…”, then prioritise the list so that it aligns with your passion. • Live your passion. Move toward your dream. And enjoy the journey toward its realization

I have looked at your situation from a logic perspective first; although I also appreciate the emotional impact you’re currently experiencing. Some logic questions that come to mind: • Have you and your husband discussed this, and to what degree? When was the last time you discussed this, and have you shared with him your current feelings? • If you consider going back to the rat-race, then get very clear about your reasons and weigh-up the pros and cons. Do you feel it is possible to get back what you feel you have lost with your husband? If recreating your past dynamic isn’t possible, then you would need a better reason to go back to the rat-race, and you and your husband have to work out a new agreement about how you work together as a couple. • If you decide to go back to the rat-race for totally your own reasons, what makes you think that you can’t draw on your contracting experience to present an even more attractive and robust CV to a potential new employer? Ensure you’re not creating a limiting belief here for whatever reasons might be present. • You could potentially really benefit (as could your husband) by dedicating some time/energy/attitude to really thinking about what you each want your life to look like separately and together in the next year, five, ten, twenty and so on, and be a bit more strategic in your discussions about it. • Finally, I feel there are some deeper issues here that I don’t have enough information to coach you and which you might find it helpful to speak with a counsellor about. In particular, it may be useful to explore your feelings of loss/ grief related to your career, qualities of the relationship with your husband, etc. Consider going with your husband so that you both can understand what you’re each going through as well as what the other person’s experience is.

Source: Savleen Bajaj is an international multi-award winner, success coach, psychologist, speaker, author, and spiritual healer who works with her clients to achieve personal breakthroughs. For more information visit

Ask a Coach

Source: Noel Posus is a master coach with 20 years experience as a professional educator, coach and author. He is founder of www. and


Send your coaching questions to emPOWER and if we publish your question and answer in the next issue, you will win a fantastic gift pack from Affirmations. Each pack, valued at $110 contains one each of the Suzanne Maher quotations books – ESSENCE, SPIRIT and SOUL, plus a gorgeous Photographic Address Book and six inspiring Affirmations gift cards. To view the whole range of Affirmations products visit Submitting your questions through the website at will ensure a response, regardless of whether it’s printed in the magazine. Alternatively, email your questions to


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December/January 2010



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