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


Coaching Toolkit

set your goals & coach yourself to success

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GET INSPIRED Our Aussie Girls


Go for Gold


Is Your Personality Stalling Your



Change your mind Create



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you really can


BE, DO & have it ALL

14 Becoming Kate With a fresh attitude and an eye on the future, Kate Ritchie has come into her own. From on-screen to on-air success, she shares her courageous transition in career, life, love and identity over the past six months.

20 14

Going for Gold

14 20

As our Aussies take on the world in Beijing, we offer some inspiration from eight of our girls wearing the green and gold at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

26 What is Coaching? Coaching goes way beyond the local netball courts these days, with many using a coach to help improve their life, career, business, relationships and so much more.

40 Inner Vision From police detective to company executive, Belinda Sullivan is a born leader who, with unwavering drive and ambition, achieved her goal of becoming a CEO by the age of 31.

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Editor’s Letter Meet the Experts Acts of Kindness Inspiration - Top 5 Films In The Know: Great Reads In The Know: Be Empowered 15 Minutes

26 40 With our FREE Coaching Toolkit, you can become your own life coach and start creating the life you really want. Make the most of the toolkit with our five-page guide to setting your goals and achieving them.

3 Look Forward to Achieve Why past results have nothing to do with what we can achieve in the future

4 BE, DO & HAVE it ALL Using the right approach, we really can have all we desire in life

6 Ask a Coach 9 Coach Yourself Goal-Setting Tool 14 Winning Pairs: Taking Action August/September



28 Motivation

It’s Up To Me

29 A Good Talking To Improve your relationship with your ‘self ’ through positive self-talk

30 The Art of Forgiveness Benefits abound for those who can truly forgive

32 Create Your Signature Style

Look good and feel great – create your own style

34 Time Out

Why taking time for yourself is actually the most selfless thing you can do

36 Feel Your Feelings Listen to your feelings, and express them, for peace of mind

37 Leap of Faith How converting to Buddhism has brought meaning to a woman’s life


38 Discover... Reiki Boost your energy levels with the spiritual practice of reiki

44 No Love Lost

Resolving family conflict, and ways to avoid it in the future

46 The Art of Intimacy How to get the spark back into your sex life

48 Motivated for love

Get motivated to create the relationship of your dreams

50 Entertaining Made Easy


Entertainment tips and recipes for the busy woman

56 Spotlight On: Bowen Therapy A first-hand take on the bowen therapy experience

58 Food Fundamentals We go back to basics to discover what it takes to achieve optimal nutrition

60 Fit for a Laugh Change your mindset and get fit the fun way

62 Fertile Minds Despite statistics about age and fertility, we reveal that with the right attitude and information, time can still be on your side

64 Is Your Personality Stalling Your Career?


How a winning personality can put you ahead in the workplace, and in your career

66 Dressed for Success Meet the dynamic businesswoman behind the Lorna Jane activewear empire

68 Big News For Business

We reveal the power of positive PR – and it doesn’t have to cost the earth

70 Change Your Mind About Stress We pose the question: Does stress really exist?

72 Saving for Wealth

How the benefits of a savings plan can kick-start your investment potential

76 enRICH Yourself A wealthy mindset requires our attention in all areas of life

78 Young & Free

Kirsty Dunphey’s inspiring story of becoming a self-made multi-millionaire, and retireee, by the age of 27


70 72

Managing Director Helen Rosing

Managing Editor

Welcome !

Rebecca Spicer

Sub Editor Jo Hegerty

Welcome to the first of many issues of emPOWER magazine – your bi-monthly dose of inspiration and motivation to really BE, DO and HAVE all you desire in life. As you will see, emPOWER is a vibrant and positive magazine for aspiring women. Using a coaching approach, our aim is to help you fulfil every area of your life and be empowered in five key areas: • YOU: your relationship with yourself, plus personal style and spirituality. • LIFE: relationships with friends, family and partners, social life and creativity. • WELLBEING: improving mind and body through health, fitness and nutrition. • CAREER & BUSINESS: advice, teamwork, leadership and work–life balance. • FINANCES: how to become financially free and grow your wealth. When I started at emPOWER in early March I realised how much women need a magazine like this. I had taken a leap of faith when I moved jobs. Always the ‘comfortable’ one who doesn’t like change, I stayed at the same company for more than five years. As much as I enjoyed my old job, my career was stalling. If I’d had a magazine like emPOWER to motivate me into action, I probably would have made the move a lot sooner. Thankfully, it was one of the best decisions I’ve (finally) ever made – I created real positive change in my life, and you can too! A few weeks after starting at emPOWER I attended my first personal development course and I had no idea what to expect. I was really going for ‘research’ purposes (I felt like I already had most things handled) but I actually came out with a whole new perspective – I had set goals, I had purpose and it helped to show there is always something we can be doing to work on ourselves. After all, my life is the responsibility of just one person – me! For our launch issue, we have some fantastic contributing experts (who you can meet on page 9) and writers on board. Talking with Kate Ritchie for our cover story was a highlight for me. Her humble ‘realness’ in the wake of such celebration of herself recently was amazing, as was working on our Olympics special, which profiles some of our girls going for gold in China right now. I also have to mention how rewarding it was to attend the 2008 Happiness and Its Causes Conference in May. I have never heard so many uplifting speakers, and being able to share it with more than 2,000 other delegates who also just want to know how to lead happier lives, and help others do the same, was fantastic! This and every issue of emPOWER will also include a free Coaching Toolkit as a bonus, which has been designed to help you put everything you read into action, so have fun with that. I’d like to thank everyone who has brought this launch issue together – not least of all Helen Rosing, the visionary behind emPOWER. Almost three years ago Helen set out on a journey to bring this magazine to life, and here it is. Her passion, positivity and can-do attitude has been an inspiration to us all in the office. There is just so much for everyone in emPOWER, so we hope you enjoy reading it as much as we have putting it together!

Graphic Designer Jeanne Wu

Cover Photography: Chris Walsh Hair & makeup: Verity Griffiths at Look, for Stevie English Hair, using Kevin Murphy & Mac. Kate Ritchie wears Emma Page jewellery

Contributors Tarryn Brien, Susie Burrell, Carolin Dahlman, Marlena Davis, Tami Dower, Emma Gardiner, Karen Halabi, Jo Hegerty, Kate James, Mary King, Mara Lee, Margaret Lomas, Barbara Messer, Gabrielle Morrisey, Dana Mrkich, Helen Rosing, James Short, Rachel Smith, Liz Swanton, Tammy Warner-Wilson

Production & Subscriptions Tammy Warner-Wilson ADVERTISING

National Sales Manager Losaline Kolomalu, (02) 9424 3949

Sales Consultant Susan Rudnick, (02) 9424 3913

Directory Sales Raelene Wood, (02) 9876 5096

Printed by Webstar Print Distributed by NDD Published by Empower Publishing ABN: 66 127 020 115 Suite 6, Level 5, 15 Orion Rd Lane Cove, NSW 2066 P: (02) 9424 3999 F: (02) 9428 3199 E: 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

Rebecca Spicer Managing Editor


Special thanks

Millionaire Mary King is an international author and speaker, pharmacist, wealth coach, psychotherapist and financial freedom mentor. Mary is passionate about empowering women and showing individuals how to be healthy, wealthy and financially free through her two-day workshops – Rich is Better, Wealth for Women – and her books, The Intuitive Voice – Your Guide to Successful Living, The Patriarchal Voice – Turn Your Hidden Persuader into a Powerful Ally, and her co-authored book, The Path To Success.

to all our expert contributors Tarryn Brien, owner of The Happiness Institute’s eastern suburbs practice in Sydney, holds both psychology and commerce degrees. With many years spent in the corporate sector, she has implemented change management programs, developed and delivered training sessions and departmental strategies. Tarryn facilitates the Institute’s ‘Happiness – strategies for a great life’ course and offers executive and individual life coaching, group and corporate workshops.

2006 Telstra NSW Business Woman of the Year, Margaret Lomas is the best-selling author of six property investment books, the founder of Destiny Financial Solutions, and chair of the Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA). Margaret is a qualified financial and investment property adviser and a senior associate with FINSIA. She and her husband own 35 investment properties.

Susie Burrell is one of Australia’s leading dietitians with training in both nutritional science and psychology. Susie balances her clinical work in weight management with consulting to key food industry groups, and writing for both print and electronic media. Susie is based in Sydney but loves to escape the rush of the city to run around Wollongong’s beautiful beaches, spend time with her beloved burmese cats Henry and Charlie and reads anything she can get her hands on.

With a master’s degree in Human Sexuality Education and a PhD in Human Sexuality/Health Science, Gabrielle Morrissey has been a human sexuality and relationship expert since 1990. She is the author of three books and regularly writes columns and articles for newspapers and magazines around the world. Gabrielle’s dynamic style and outstanding knowledge has earned her a stellar reputation internationally.

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

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

The visionary behind emPOWER Magazine, Helen Rosing is a dynamic businesswoman with a passion to help others reach their potential. A fully trained success coach with a double degree in Financial Administration and Law, she has extensive experience in business, coaching and training. Helen is the founder and managing director of boutique publishing house, emPOWER Publishing.

Marlena Davis is an image consultant and success coach. With a corporate background in psychology and marketing, she has also worked as a TV model and makeup artist. With a keen interest in people and what influences the way they are received by others, Marlena can help you to look great and be confident in who you are.

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

Armed with a degree in Human Movement Studies and trained in neuro-linguistic programming, James Short has been assisting people with their health and fitness for the past 15 years. As a leader in the industry, he is a board member of Fitness NSW and was recently announced the 2008 Fitness Australia Fitness Professional of the Year.


As valued readers, this is your space to let emPOWER and other readers know your thoughts on, well, anything really. We’d love your feedback on the magazine, how it might have empowered you, your opinion on any of our topics, or perhaps you’d like to make a comment on life in general. In any case, please share it with us and we’ll publish the best selection of letters in the next issue of emPOWER. Our favourite letter will receive a fantastic goodie bag from Trilogy natural skin and hair care worth $160.

For our first issue, we thought we’d share some testimonials we’ve received in the lead-up to the launch:

“The name of this magazine is what attracted me straight away. empower just sounds so positive from the word go, and will make a nice change to some of the other magazines out there that only make us feel a bit down when we read them.” Kate Ritchie

“What a fantastic idea to get together experts in different areas of women empowerment and put their advice and thoughts into one magazine! I’m really looking forward to getting new ideas and learning from the contributors of empower.” Marlena Davis, Image Consultant & Success Coach, Law of Attraction

“Finally a magazine for the thinking woman which addresses all of those everyday issues that we only ever get time to think about in those small snatches of time between work, home and managing a family. It will be like having your own personal networking session, at any time of the day that suits you best.” Margaret Lomas, Founder, Destiny Financial

“In a market saturated with glossy and gossipy magazines, empower offers a refreshing alternative with substance. The journey to empowerment has never been more accessible or more necessary.” Angela Vithoulkas, Director, VIVO Group

“I love the concept of the magazine empower. I look forward to reading the real-life stories of inspiration and motivation and how people have changed their lives.” Belinda Sullivan, CEO, The Eye Foundation

“The time has come for a magazine like this that inspires, empowers and informs women to create their best possible life. We are a product of our choices, and it is only when we are offered a wider, more positive smorgasbord of options that we can select the right pathways and tools for us.” Dana Mrkich, Spiritual Intuitive & Author

“It’s fantastic to know there’s finally a publication out there that is full of inspiring stories about real women. I look forward to enjoying the magazine with a cup of tea at the end of a busy day. Congratulations Helen and your wonderful team. empower is exactly what we needed!” Kate James, Career Coach, Total Balance Group

The reader to send in our favourite letter during August and September will win a Trilogy Advanced Natural Skincare and Haircare pack worth $160. Each product in the Trilogy advanced natural skincare and haircare range contains a unique blend of pure botanical extracts to restore the natural vitality and radiance of your skin and hair by working in harmony with it. The winner’s goodie pack includes the hero of the Trilogy range, the Certified Organic Rosehip Oil, which is clinically proven to reduce wrinkles, scars, ageing and damaged skin, plus Trilogy’s Everything Balm, which can be used for many beauty needs, from soothing sunburn to repairing dry, chapped lips! The whole set includes Rosehip Oil, 45ml ($34.95); Everything Balm, 45ml ($20.95), CoQ10 booster capsules, Ultra Hydrating Cream and Rose Hand Cream ($25.95); Smooth Shine Shampoo & Conditioner ($19.95); and Eye Contour Cream ($39.95)





For more information on Trilogy visit

empower Magazine, Suite 6, Level 5, 15 Orion Road, Lane Cove NSW 2066, or fax to (02) 9428 3199 10

or email

Giving in Kind Imagine setting off a chain of feel-good actions all around the world. In this regular feature, emPOWER highlights how simple actions at a local level aim to do just that.

“We must become the change we want to see in the world” – Mahatma Ghandi, political &

spiritual leader of India (1869-1948)



What is an act of kindness?

An act of kindness is any helpful or kind act that you do for someone else without expecting anything in return. It could be planned or spontaneous and the person may or may not be known to you. Research has shown that performing acts of kindness has many personal benefits. When we do something positive, our bodies release chemicals called endorphins, which are naturally occurring morphine-like substances that create a feeling of bliss. Also known as the ‘helper’s high’, this feel-good sensation is known to boost self-esteem and general well-being. According to Allan Luks and Peggy Payne, authors of The Healing Power of Doing Good (Fawcett Columbine), other benefits of kindness include: • a more optimistic and happier outlook on life; • a heightened sense of well-being; • a sense of exhilaration and euphoria; • an increase in energy; • decreased feelings of loneliness, depression and helplessness; • a sense of connectedness with others; • a greater sense of calmness and relaxation; • increased longevity; and • a stronger immune system.


A growing number of international and local movements have recently embraced the philosophy of kindness, believing the benefits extend way beyond the individuals directly involved in any kindness transaction. Indeed, the Australian Kindness Movement (AKM) has been promoting kindness since 1994, in an effort to “help overcome the apparent drift towards a cold and impersonal society”. In the words of the movement: “Our major goal is to generate a greater sense of friendliness in the community through the medium of simple acts of kindness. When this is achieved, citizens will experience higher levels of caring and safety in the community.” The AKM initiated Australia’s inaugural Kindness Day in 1996, an annual event held on November 6, and is also a member of the World Kindness Movement (WKM). Founded in 1997 and with members from countries all over the world, WKM has a mission “to inspire individuals towards greater kindness and to connect nations to create a kinder world”. World Kindness Day is held on November 13 and promotes the bigger picture idea of global citizenship and peaceful co-existence. Empower Publishing is a member of the World Kindness Movement, too. By publishing our readers’ inspiring Acts of Kindness, we aim to inspire people to take any opportunity to be kind or helpful to others and, through this, to change their own lives, the lives of others and to send ripples of kindness throughout the community. Happy reading! For more information on worldwide kindness movements visit:



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 an ‘Act of Kindness’ – a small action that can make a big difference.

Join the kindness revolution. Share your own acts of kindness, or perhaps others you may have witnessed, in this regular feature. We’ll publish a selection in each issue of the magazine and, to get started, we’ve included some of our favourites posted on “Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair but manifestations of strength and resolution”

After a lovely breakfast at a local café, my husband and I headed back to our car to discover we still had two hours left on our parking ticket. Without thinking, my husband handed the ticket to a couple just about to put money into the ticket machine. They were so grateful and we felt really good for helping them. In fact, I think we benefited the most from that very simple act. - Jane, from Palm Beach I was on my way to work early one morning and noticed a number of homeless people asleep. Having just picked up my morning coffee and toast, my immediate thought was, ‘I wonder if they will get breakfast this morning’. I turned into the supermarket and bought some fruit and muffins and went back to where they were sleeping. On approaching the first man, my heart was racing -- I had always been scared of these people. When he sat up, I saw he had kind eyes and he said ‘God bless you’. It was the best ‘thank you’ I had ever heard. It was such a wonderful lesson in my life about not judging others, I know that I am a different person for it. - Hayley, from Melbourne

We moved into our house just before Christmas and ever since we had to put the bins out for the first time, my husband and I would both come home from work and our bins would have been brought in off the street and put down the side of the house. At first we thought it was each other, until we realised it was actually the neighbours bringing them in for us. Most of them are retired, so they just said they had the time and it at least made it look like someone was home. We feel lucky we’ve moved into a such a friendly and protective neighbourhood. It’s just a small thing, but after working all day and battling the traffic to get home, it’s a really nice feeling to see something like that has been done for you.

My fridge broke down recently and I wasn’t in a position to get it fixed straight away. I happened to bump into a friend at the supermarket while I was buying some really boring pantry food (two-minute noodles actually), and my fridge story naturally came out as we were chatting. To my great surprise, about three hours later my friend turned up with a freshly cooked meal and a bottle of wine for us to share, as well as some left overs in a little esky, so I could just heat it up for the next night. It was so unexpected, I felt so grateful and really lucky to have such a thoughtful friend. - Ana, from North Sydney

– Kahil Gibran, poet, artist, & writer 1883-1931

I was really busy and stressed out at work one day and just knew i’d have to stay back quite late. Everybody else left on time, but a colleague i’d become quite good friends with also stayed behind just to keep me company and to make sure I was okay. It’s a small thing, but she didn’t have to stay back, and it made me feel a lot better to have someone there with me. - Louise, from Newcastle

- Tanya, from the Gold Coast

“My religion is simple, my religion is kindness” – His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tibetan head of state and spiritual leader

Get in on the Act and WIN The reader to send in our favourite and most inspiring act of kindness will win these two beautiful jewellery sets from Emma Page, valued at a total of $260. Each set contains a necklace and bracelet from the Emma Page Treasure range and will come in the rhodium/pearl and gold/pearl colours. To share your acts of kindness, log on to our website at or email us on


Photography: Chris Walsh; vector: iStockphoto; hair & makeup: Verity Griffiths at Look, for Stevie English Hair, using Kevin Murphy & Mac; Kate Ritchie wears Emma Page necklace

Six months after her bold move, Kate Ritchie has stepped out from the shadows of her TV persona and made the successful transition to radio. And, as she tells Rebecca Spicer, she’s enjoying revealing her true self.




ate K



ate Ritchie is fresh from a two-week holiday in Greece and, as we catch up to chat about her whirlwind year, the 29-year-old has a spring in her step that defies the reality of her 4am weekday alarm clock. Kate’s reputation as a ‘joy’ to work with precedes her and I quickly find out why. She’s warm, friendly and so down to earth that at times I need to remind myself I’m talking to one of the most popular female personalities in Australia. In the past six months, Kate has been through some pretty big career and life changes – and another big win at the Logie Awards. Needless to say, her holiday was “very much needed”. “It was almost like the universe was looking after me in that it provided the break at the right time, just so I could go away and think,” says Kate. “I’ve spent so much of my life looking back, just as a result of being on a show for such a long time, that I need to start looking forward. A big challenge I’ve had is leaving Home and Away behind so, for me, this has been a time of shedding a layer and feeling like I’m starting over.” Kate admits that, for a long time, all her conversations have been about what her life has been, rather than what it is going to be, and she’s ready to change that. Thanks to her time away, she has gained a new attitude and perspective, and is able to focus on herself again. Interestingly, a few days after I spoke with Kate I heard her on the radio announcing she’d received a postcard from Greece that she’d sent herself while on holidays. “It may sound strange but if I’m sending postcards to family and friends while I’m on holidays, I will send myself a postcard, just so that I get it when I’m back at work and it reminds me of what a great holiday I had … and of all the positive thoughts I had while I was there.”

Keeping it Real

The most intriguing thing about Kate Ritchie is her realness. Despite the celebration surrounding her of late, or the fact she grew up on our television screens, Kate seems grounded and isn’t afraid to admit that this week’s highlight was going to Best & Less to buy some flannelette sheets. Just as Kate never saw herself winning a Logie (let alone five), she also never really considered herself famous. “Fame doesn’t impress me,” she says. “I just like to think I’m a good person and a good friend, and I’ve been surrounded by some pretty amazing people.” Kate credits her family for helping her maintain a fairly ‘normal’ life, despite being on Home and Away from the age of eight. “It was never an option not to go to school and it was 15

never an option not to do all the things a normal child should be doing,” she recalls. “I was never one of those kids who wanted to be on Home and Away because I wanted to be famous or I wanted to be on TV – it was a hobby. I think that’s why everything stayed pretty normal.” Kate does realise her fame now, but says the part of it that involves being recognised, pointed at and being asked questions by strangers has never been any different since she was eight. “But I don’t feel like I’ve ever sought out that stuff. I’ve just turned up for work and done my job competently, and maybe that’s why all of those good things, especially over the last few years, have come to me. However, there is now a growing interest with what I’m doing outside of work, and I didn’t ask for that either, which is why I find it difficult at times. It can be amusing, being followed in cars by the paparazzi, but I think where I begin to have a problem with it (and I shouldn’t even pay attention to it) is where people assume they know me better than I know myself. “I don’t mind if people don’t like what I’m wearing or like my performance or they don’t want to listen to me on the radio – that stuff is fine because it’s what I’m putting out to be judged. It’s the other more personal things I read about in the media that I find challenging because I don’t even know about half the stuff that is being reported about me.” For this reason, Kate tries to keep her private life to herself. “I feel I have shared so much of my life already – on a daily basis I get asked questions about growing up on TV and getting my first bra. There’s a point where you have to say, ‘some of this has to be just mine’.”

getting recognition for the work I had done, I was feeling more confident as a woman, I was coming into my own a little bit more and maybe it was just getting older as well. “It was either, leave now and have a go or stay on Home and Away, get married, have children, hire a nanny and have a very nice life. There was nothing wrong with that, but I thought, ‘when I’m 70 and a whole lot wiser than I am now, what will I think was the best decision I ever made?’ I knew that would be leaving Home and Away. It was scary and it’s hard to leave a job you really like, but it’s the best thing for me.” Kate’s leap of faith has left her feeling more independent, but she admits to being a little lonely at times. “I’ve learnt a lot about myself over the past 12 months and I think the feelings of being alone have nothing to do with family or friends or boyfriends or anything like that, it’s about this whole part of my heart that is Sally and Home and Away being in the past. I’ve said it before, but Sally was like my best mate and it’s been hard adjusting to not having her.” Nevertheless, it hasn’t taken Kate too long to settle into her new workplace alongside

Making the Move

After 20 years, it was a huge decision for Kate to shoot her final scenes for Home and Away in December last year. “I think a lot of it had to do with confidence,” she says. “I started to realise that I would be okay without Home and Away. Yes, I have had this wonderful life with all these amazing experiences, but the one constant had always been the show. It was a huge part of me and it was all about letting go and having the confidence to do that. “I started to try a few different things and it was like the planets aligned for me because everything started coming together. I was




Merrick and Rosso on the Nova 96.9 breakfast slot in Sydney. “It’s one of the best gigs you can get,” says Kate, despite the 4am starts – “They’re killing me.” Kate has often been reported saying she went into radio to do something completely different. “The last thing I wanted was to leave Home and Away and go onto another television show where I get my gear off or I try and prove I’m not ‘that girl’. Because, you know what? I am that girl, but I’m also a lot of other things as well.” Other than a brief afternoon gig on Nova a few years back, Kate was thrown in the deep end in her new role, but she does credit the support of her co-hosts. Merrick & Rosso have been a strong dual act for many years and Kate says it could have been daunting joining them, “but they’ve never made me feel like I’ve had to battle to be a part of the team. So many people say to me that the boys give me a hard time and, yes, sometimes I probably do struggle to get a word in, but if you listened to the show back in February and then listen to what we do now, you’re probably hearing me 10 times as much now. I’ve learnt so much in just a few months”. Like many, I assume the breakfast gig can’t be too hard – don’t they just chat for a few hours and head off home at 9am? “I wish,” Kate says with a laugh. “There’s so much more planning that goes into it, as well as creating our own content. It’s different for me. I used to turn up to Channel 7 every day and, while I brought something to what I was doing, it wasn’t the script.” Now Kate spends her off-air time researching other famous people on the internet and in the media, trying to find stories to talk about on the show and the trio will often pre-record celebrity interviews off-air. “Also, every film or TV show we talk about we’ve seen it, so i’ve probably watched more television in the last six months than I have in the last six years. “It has been challenging to adjust, but it’s like they say, the hardest things are usually those you get the most out of. Even on those days when I say to myself, ‘do I really need to get out of bed again at 4am?’ I know I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. This is so right for me right now.” With such a high profile and busy schedule, Kate admits the change of job and hours has thrown a “spanner in the works” when it comes

Photography: Chris Walsh; vector: iStockphoto; hair & makeup: Verity Griffiths at Look, for Stevie English Hair, using Kevin Murphy & Mac; Kate Ritchie wears Emma Page earrings & bangle

“The hardest things are usually those you get the most out of ”

Something about

“I really feel like I’m at a point where anything is possible”



Kate Ritchie


I will be 30 in August, which I’m genuinely really excited about.

Who/what inspires you? People who work really hard for not a lot of money or recognition. That’s my big thing. I think cash motivates a lot of people. Turning point in your life? When I agreed to do It Takes Two. On the one hand it was the worst thing I’ve ever done, but on the other hand it was the best thing. I was petrified. I was stepping outside of Home and Away and seing there was this whole other world out there. It made me realise you can actually do things you never thought you could do. I needed to do other things to realise how much I love to act. For a while, I questioned whether acting chose me or I chose it, so it was important for me to try other things. Ultimate indulgence / Can’t live without? Red wine and flannelette sheets in winter

What do you do for fun? I’ve got some beautiful friends who are starting families and I feel privileged to be a part of that. I love to entertain at home. I would love to go to Italy and do one of those week-long cooking classes.

to maintaining relationships. “My friends are often wondering where I am (although they’re very understanding) and I have no doubt that was a contributing factor to me not being with Corbin any more [Kate and Corbin Harris separated just a couple of weeks before the Logies]. I have really struggled with my time management, and now I’ve come back from holidays I’ve realised I need to stop trying to please everyone else. It’s the things you let go – you don’t have lunch with your friends or you don’t go to the gym when you need to – because you say yes to things but, in the end, you’re just keeping everyone else happy. That’s my mid-year’s resolution – to manage my time better so I’ve got more time for myself.” Radio is also giving Kate her identity back. Being known as Sally from Summer Bay is being replaced by Kate Ritchie from Nova. “The first time a woman in a restaurant said to me, ‘are you Kate Ritchie from Nova?’, I was shocked and it caught me off guard. But I was proud to say, ‘yeah that’s who I am as well’.”



In terms of what’s in store for Kate’s future, the sky is the limit. “While I don’t think I ever sat down and wrote a list of things I wanted to achieve, I think you always know where you want to be. As you get older it becomes more important and I’ve become more aware of consciously making plans. I don’t think you ever really know what’s going to happen. A few years ago I certainly didn’t think I would be doing breakfast radio with the boys, so I’m not 100 percent sure how things will turn out, but for now I want to be really good at the radio. It’s important for me to prove to myself that I’m not just that girl from Home and Away. With her new lease on life and the fact she is truly coming into her own, Kate says there’s just so many things she’d like to do. “I’d like to act again and I look forward to the day when I’m back on a television set. I don’t know when that will be but I know it will happen. I’d actually like to produce drama here as well, but I really feel like I’m at a point where anything is possible.”


One of the craziest things you’ve done? Earlier in the year I had my nipple pierced on air, which was definately a mistake, and it didn’t last long – I had it in for about half an hour. I did it because I don’t think anyone ever thought I would. I still have it in a jar on my desk at work just to prove I did it. I am not wild and crazy, I don’t have tattoos. I mean, it’s only been this year that I’ve been allowed to put a different colour in my hair. What advice would you have for women to help them realise their full potential? Good things started happening to me when I stopped comparing myself to everyone else – there’s only one me! I’d suggest that we all just need to run our own race. Do what feels best for you. In our industry, there’s always talk about ratings etc, but I don’t worry about stuff like that. I am motivated by what is best for me. I am a self-confessed perfectionist and I am driven, but not competitive. I have also learned to praise others whenever I can. If you think something nice about someone, or you like working with them or think they do a good job, you should just say it because so many people never hear those good things.

Photography: Chris Walsh; vector: iStockphoto; hair & makeup: Verity Griffiths at Look, for Stevie English Hair, using Kevin Murphy & Mac; Kate Ritchie wears Emma Page earrings & bangle

Little known fact? I am a pretty good tap dancer and one of my favourite things to eat – my comfort food – is sardines on toast.

going gold From a very special date – 08/08/08 – the Games of the XXIX Olympiad will be in full swing. Being part of the Australian team is a wonderful honour that comes with talent and years of hard work. Liz Swanton and Rebecca Spicer spoke with eight women wearing the green and gold about their winning attitudes to life.




Libby (Lisbeth)

AGE: 23 LIVES: Brisbane, QLD SPORT/EVENT: Swimming – sprint butterfly and freestyle (50m and 100m). HOW MANY GAMES? Beijing will be my second Olympics. HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE SPORT?

Through Learn To Swim, and I always loved being in the water. I am the youngest of four children so when they were at the pool having their swimming lessons I was playing along in the baby pool. BIGGEST INSPIRATION? My family and friends. WHAT MOTIVATES YOU? Challenging my limits. ULTIMATE GOAL? To be proud of what I’ve achieved. WHAT HELPS YOU COPE WITH THE PRESSURE?

Reminding myself that it’s just a race, ultimately in the broad scheme of things I have so many important things in my life. Swimming should be fun! A LITTLE-KNOWN FACT ABOUT YOU? I’m only 167cm tall. WHERE DO YOU WANT TO BE IN FIVE YEARS?

I’d say I will have finished swimming by then, so hopefully I would have moved into a new and exciting career (in the media somewhere) and contemplating having children. The bottom line is, wherever I am and whatever I’m doing, I hope that I’m happy. TOP TIPS FOR SUCCESS?

Work hard, challenge yourself, reward yourself for your achievements, keep everything in perspective, and make sure you’re balanced. WHEN YOU’RE NOT TRAINING, WHAT DO YOU LIKE DOING? See my family and friends as much as possible, and sleep!

“Work hard, challenge yourself, reward yourself for your achievements” Elise


AGE: 22 LIVES: Fremantle, WA SPORT/EVENT: Sailing – I skipper a 470 – a double-handed, high-performance 4.7-metre dinghy which has been

Olympic class since 1976. My teammate is Tessa Parkinson. HOW MANY GAMES? This is my first Olympics. HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE SPORT?

I was involved in gymnastics when I was young, but my parents were not so keen. When I was seven, I asked if I could go sailing. I was petrified initially – still can be, sometimes! I started racing at eight and winning at nine. I was still scared, but I loved beating the boys! I did my first international event at 11 and sailed solo until I was 14. BIGGEST INSPIRATION?

No single person. I don’t really admire big sports stars for their achievements, however I do admire Roger Federer for his personality and demeanour. I admire people who work in human rights and seek to make a difference. WHAT MOTIVATES YOU?

I still love beating the boys! Plus, wanting to be the best. A lot of sacrifices have to be made to compete at this level and it can get to you, but an Olympic medal represents all the resilience and character it’s taken to get there. I want gold – not to show I’m the best, but for the journey.

Elise Rechichi (left) with teammate Tessa Parkinson.


To win a medal of course! Yellow, preferably. After that, something that will make a difference in society. I’ve been on this journey for myself and while it is fantastic to represent Australia, it doesn’t help anyone else. WHAT HELPS YOU COPE WITH THE PRESSURE?

Our team psychologist gets a regular ear bashing, especially in tough times, [Elise had a serious gastric illness in 2006] but Tess and I perform really well under pressure. A LITTLE-KNOWN FACT ABOUT YOU? I’m a shopaholic.

Photography:Lisbeth Trickett, courtesy Speedo Australia


Walking my dog. Dad and I had a deal where he said I could have a puppy after I had won a world championship, so he owes me! I may do another Olympics, but it depends on the results this year and also what else I am doing. It’s a hard lifestyle. TOP TIPS FOR SUCCESS?

Don’t stress about things you can’t control because it’s a waste of energy. If you’re chasing something, you need to be ready for the challenges. Each obstacle you face and overcome is one step closer to what you want. WHEN YOU’RE NOT TRAINING, WHAT DO YOU LIKE DOING?

Fly. I’m training as a commercial pilot and due to qualify just after the Games. Apart from that, I like picnics, shopping and getting out into the bush.

“Each obstacle you face and overcome is one step closer to what you want” 21


Liesl AGE: 39 LIVES: Brisbane and Sydney SPORT/EVENT: Wheelchair basketball HOW MANY GAMES? Beijing will be my fifth Paralympics; I won silver in Sydney in 2000 and Athens in 2004. HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE SPORT?

I was invited to try wheelie ball by a physiotherapist while I was in hospital recovering from a spinal cord injury [Liesl broke her back in a bike accident when she was 19]. I never ever dreamed it would take me on the amazing adventures I have experienced! BIGGEST INSPIRATION?

My family has given me the confidence and ability to chase my dreams and live the way I choose to live. I grew up in a very alternative environment and lived very closely with nature. I love the ocean, the moon and sunrises and sunsets. I am inspired by people who chase their dreams and strive to be the best they can be, such as Cathy Freeman, Justin Eveson and Kylie Minogue. WHAT MOTIVATES YOU? DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE QUOTE?

“Because I can!” I am prepared to take risks, live outside the box and get the most out of life. I try to live every day to the fullest, fitting in full-time teaching and training, and still trying to find time to work with developing athletes in Australia or developing nations around the world. ULTIMATE GOAL? Happiness! WHAT HELPS YOU COPE WITH THE PRESSURE? The beautiful serenity out the front of my place – doing yoga as the sun rises over the beautiful Brisbane water is an inspiration to me almost every day, plus being fit makes life so much easier to cope with – healthy body, healthy mind. A LITTLE-KNOWN FACT ABOUT YOU?

I grew up in a caravan on the beach in rural New Zealand with five cats, three goats, a pig and a rabbit. WHERE DO YOU WANT TO BE IN FIVE YEARS?

Wow, I have no idea even which country I will be in! My mum would love a grandchild, but I can’t see that happening in a hurry. TOP TIPS FOR SUCCESS? Do it now because you can. Try not to procrastinate. Write lists. Don’t spend too much time on material possessions and wealth – concentrate on the beautiful feelings in life that make you happy. WHEN YOU’RE NOT TRAINING, WHAT DO YOU LIKE DOING? Spending time with friends and family, travelling, cooking, learning the guitar or practising languages, working in my vegie garden, paddling, cycling, camping… There are just too many wonderful things to do!

“Do it now because you can” Chantelle

Ne wbery

AGE: 31 LIVES: Brisbane, QLD SPORT/EVENT: Diving HOW MANY GAMES? I was at Sydney in 2000, Athens in 2004 (where I won gold in the 10m) and I’ll be in Beijing. HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE SPORT? I started my sporting career tumbling, but my mum thought diving would

create more Olympic opportunity, so she took me to a club. I loved it and kept diving to pursue an Olympic career. BIGGEST INSPIRATION?

My coaches, Wang Tongxiang and Hui Tong. I love to train with people who believe in me more than I believe in myself. We are all working towards the same goals and they challenge me to be a better diver every day. WHAT MOTIVATES YOU?

Living up to my coaches’ high expectations and achieving what others tell me isn’t possible. Professionally, I have been selected for three different events in my Olympic career. I have two out of three medals in those events, so now I am focusing on making it three out of three events, and bringing home a medal in the 3m event from Beijing – it is my last chance! I am giving it all I have. Personally, my ultimate goal is to be great at balancing all my roles and doing the best job possible. I train, I work, and I am a mother of two, and a wife. I want to be good at every role I take on. WHAT HELPS YOU COPE WITH THE PRESSURE?

Taking everything one step at a time and trying to remain focused on the job you are doing in the present without letting your thoughts take you into the future. When I am overwhelmed, I also do meditation which helps me slow down, take a breath and refocus on what I have to do next. A LITTLE-KNOWN FACT ABOUT YOU? I work for Diving Australia as the national talent identification coordinator, and I love it. WHERE DO YOU WANT TO BE IN FIVE YEARS?

I hope to have another two kids – I have two at the moment Jet (6) and Ryder (20 months). I will still be working for Diving Australia, working on building the future generation of the sport, and I plan on owning my first home with my husband Robert (also triple Olympic medalist and medical student). TOP TIPS FOR SUCCESS?

Always work harder than the hardest worker. Always take time out for yourself when life gets too overwhelming. Never take short cuts – they always come back to bite you. Find something you are truly passionate about. Think outside the square and build on what works and make it better. WHEN YOU’RE NOT TRAINING, WHAT DO YOU LIKE DOING?

My favourite thing to do is entertain friends on my balcony while watching over my kids play in our backyard. It’s relaxing, social, fun and I get to enjoy my kids and my friends all at the same time!

“Always take time out for yourself when life gets too overwhelming” August/September



Photography: Liesl Tesch, courtesy Australian Paralympic Committee; Chantelle Newbery, by Jimmy Malecki




AGE: 26 LIVES: Melbourne, VIC SPORT/EVENT: Shooting (clay target). My event is skeet, which involves shooting at targets fired from two sources. The

rules say my gun must be on my hip until the target comes out. HOW MANY GAMES? This is my first Olympics. HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED? I watched Michael Diamond in the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 and thought I’d have a go. Dad wasn’t too keen at first, but I kept going. BIGGEST INSPIRATION?

Initially Michael Diamond, then my dad. He’d never done any clay target shooting, but he read up on it and now he’s my coach. My brother Paul, who’s 23, took it up a month after me and he’s also on the team. WHAT MOTIVATES YOU?

My stubbornness! I’m not competitive with others – the battle is in me. I’m always thinking, ‘I can do better than that.’ ULTIMATE GOAL? Gold at this Olympics and at many more Games to come! WHAT HELPS YOU COPE WITH THE PRESSURE?

Having my parents there when I’m competing. That said, I don’t know who is more nervous about Beijing so that might not be so helpful! A LITTLE-KNOWN FACT ABOUT YOU?

I have a temper. I don’t like to lose an argument and I always want the last word. WHERE DO YOU WANT TO BE IN FIVE YEARS? A winner at the Olympic Games in London and the Commonwealth Games. TOP TIPS FOR SUCCESS? Your biggest competition is yourself, so control your negative thoughts. And remember, if you can beat yourself, you can beat anyone. WHEN YOU’RE NOT TRAINING, WHAT DO YOU LIKE DOING?

Make and decorate wedding cakes. It’s a great way to relax. It takes my mind off the pressure of competing. I also love the beach and the snow.

“Your biggest competition is yourself, so control your negative thoughts” Lindy


AGE: 48 LIVES: Sydney, NSW SPORT/EVENT: Cycling – I’ve competed in both track and road events, but am focused on the 3,000-metre pursuit for

2008. I am vision-impaired and ride with a ‘pilot’, Toireasa Gallagher. HOW MANY GAMES? This is my second Paralympics, I won gold, bronze and two silver medals in Athens in 2004. HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE SPORT?

I have the genetic condition called retinitis pigmentosa and started losing my sight in my twenties. I was playing ball sports competitively, but had to give them up. I took up the triathlon, but did my last competition at the World Masters in 1994. By 1996 I was legally blind and lost my driver’s licence, which was very hard. I actually gave up riding because I kept crashing, then I discovered tandem bikes. I have another person riding with me because Harper, my guide dog, can’t ride! BIGGEST INSPIRATION?

As a child, my aunt, who was a doctor of physics. Then Shane Gould. I watched her when she was competing and actually met her last year. Also Jackie Byrnes, who coached Melinda Gainsford-Taylor (and me). She says winning is important, but it’s not everything. WHAT MOTIVATES YOU?

The drive comes from within. I like to live life to the fullest and do the best I can. I think my motto would be that I want to be remembered as a person, not for what I’ve achieved. My immediate goal is gold in Beijing. I’m excited about going to the place of my ancestry. To wear the Australian team uniform and stand on the podium in China is a great motivating force. After that, I’d like to be a successful professional speaker and raise awareness of my condition. It affects one in 3,000 people in Australia and is the leading cause of youth blindness. WHAT HELPS YOU COPE WITH THE PRESSURE? I ‘read’ (listen to talking books), walk with my wonderful dog and spend time with family and friends. A LITTLE-KNOWN FACT ABOUT YOU? There are no secrets. What you see is what you get! WHERE DO YOU WANT TO BE IN FIVE YEARS?

I’m not sure whether I’ll do another Paralympics – let’s see how this one goes! I’ll still be keeping fit, and hopefully I will be a successful professional speaker. TOP TIPS FOR SUCCESS? Do the best you can in everything you do. Stay positive and face your challenges head-on. Have a dream and set goals. WHEN YOU’RE NOT TRAINING, WHAT DO YOU LIKE DOING?

My friends would say talk – it’s funny that I want to be paid to speak when my friends would pay me to stop!

“Have a dream and set goals” August/September



Photography: Lindy Hou, courtesy Australian Paralympic Committee



Penny AGE: 27 LIVES: Melbourne/Moscow/Phoenix SPORT/EVENT: Women’s basketball. HOW MANY GAMES? Lots of basketball games but this is my second Olympic Games. HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE SPORT?

I started when I was four because my older sister Heather played and I always wanted to do everything she did. BIGGEST INSPIRATION?

Michele Timms and Sandy Brondello – these girls paved the way for the rest of us in international basketball. WHAT MOTIVATES YOU?

Trying to be the best player I can possibly be. ULTIMATE GOAL? Olympic gold. WHAT HELPS YOU COPE WITH THE PRESSURE?

My husband, family and dreaming about holidays on the beach! A LITTLE-KNOWN FACT ABOUT YOU?

I’m a bookworm and speak three languages (Italian, Portuguese and English). WHERE DO YOU WANT TO BE IN FIVE YEARS?

On one of those beaches I dream about with a gold medal or two around my neck. TOP TIPS FOR SUCCESS?

Discover what it is you really love and what makes you happy then don’t let anything stand in the way of achieving your goals. WHEN YOU’RE NOT TRAINING, WHAT DO YOU LIKE DOING?

Spend time with my family in Melbourne, read books, go to restaurants and of course shopping!

“Don’t let anything stand in the way of achieving your goal” Lexie (Alexandra) AGE: 19 LIVES: Canberra, ACT SPORT/EVENT: Individual archery. HOW MANY GAMES? This is my first Olympics and I’m nervous and excited. HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE SPORT?


When I was 10, I tried archery on a family holiday in Fiji. Dad also tried it and when we got home, I asked if I could take it up. Dad was my coach for a while, but now I’m at the Australian Institute of Sport. BIGGEST INSPIRATION?

Simon Fairweather, who won gold in 2000, and my family. I’m the middle child of three sisters and the family has made so many sacrifices for my sport, without any complaints. WHAT MOTIVATES YOU?

I honestly enjoy my sport; I want to do it. My family’s sacrifices along with my own competitive instinct make me want to be the best I can. There’s a quote by Charles Swindoll on my wall at the AIS that helps me: “Life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it.” ULTIMATE GOAL?

Photography: Penny Taylor, Getty Images; Lexie Feeney, by Andy MacDonald

I want to be a competitive force in international archery. I want people thinking, ‘She’ll beat me.’ WHAT HELPS YOU COPE WITH THE PRESSURE? I don’t think about it a lot, I’m in there for the moment. The result is not important. You focus on the task at hand. I stress more about school work – I’ve split year 12 over 18 months. A LITTLE-KNOWN FACT ABOUT YOU?

I really like to play the piano. It’s the thing I miss most, aside from my family [who don’t live in Canberra]. WHERE DO YOU WANT TO BE IN FIVE YEARS?

Graduated from uni [Lexie is planning on studying commerce and marketing], earning lots of money, in a happy relationship, living closer to home and still involved in my sport. TOP TIPS FOR SUCCESS? Have a plan, but be willing to change direction if it’s necessary to achieve your goal. Always enjoy what you’re doing. Share your good and bad times with the people closest to you. WHEN YOU’RE NOT TRAINING, WHAT DO YOU LIKE DOING?

I like to go fine dining with my boyfriend – he always pays! There are some wonderful restaurants in Canberra.

“Have a plan, but be willing to change direction if it’s necessary to achieve your goal” 25

Coaching What is


n November 2006, Kate Joannou was single, living in Adelaide and frustrated with her job as an executive assistant. Feeling underpaid and unappreciated, something needed to be done. Kate heard about career coach Fran Whittingham through a friend and arranged to meet her for a coffee. “I wanted to see if she was someone I could work with,” says Kate. “Straight away, I could see that Fran approached things in a very different way to me.” Kate’s initial objective was to get a new job, however this proved to be just a symbol of what she really wanted. “When we started pulling it apart, we realised there were elements of what I wanted in my present job, but I felt I deserved more money and better recognition,” she says. “As I started working with Fran, these were quickly ticked off. Within a couple of months, I was being paid more and had worked out a new role.”



“Things started happening in my personal life too,” says Kate, now on maternity leave with her four-month-old daughter. She met someone at work and they are now engaged and planning to move to the country. “I don’t think it was a coincidence of timing,” she says. “I realised I was being valued at work and I wanted that for my personal life, too. Coaching gave me the confidence to see what I wanted – a relationship I could rely on – and I got exactly that.”

Coaching principles

Although some executive or business coaches may work with teams, coaching is in most cases a one-on-one partnership between a trained coach and a person seeking to achieve a specific goal or goals. Examples of these goals can include a new career, a better work–life balance, improved self-esteem or learning to manage your staff more effectively, and so forth.


There are different kinds of coaching, such as business coaching, in which a coach works with someone wanting to grow or improve their business; or executive coaching, where the coach may work with a CEO, for example, helping them manage their daily responsibilities or communicate better with staff. Kate’s coach, Fran, is an example of a career coach, who may work with someone looking to make the leap into a new field. Another form is life coaching, which can address career, relationships, parenting or overall satisfaction with life. Life coaches may also call themselves a success coach. Where coaching differs from other support professions, such as mentoring or consulting, is that coaches aren’t necessarily experts in the field their clients work in or in the area a client is seeking improvement. If you wanted to start an interior design company and needed someone to show you how to go about it, you might look to


Coaching principles are at the heart of empower magazine. Jo Hegerty explores the growing phenomenon that is coaching, and the potential benefits a coach can bring to every area of our lives.

someone who had done exactly that – this person would be your mentor – or you could hire a consultant with specialised knowledge in setting up this kind of business. If, however, you had some idea about how to set up your company, but were unsure of your capabilities, you might seek a life coach. Or if you were a fantastic interior designer, but had no head for business, you might employ a business coach to help you realise your goal of running your own company. Similarly, coaching differs from therapy or counselling as it focuses on looking forward rather than resolving issues from the past. John Raymond, head of the NSW chapter of the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and general manager of Yellow Edge NSW, puts it this way: “Coaching is goal-oriented and therefore future and solution-focused. It helps you be more of who you are and what you can be. And although past issues are not ignored, the purpose of the coaching is not to address these issues.” Fran Whittingham gives an example of how a coach may use the past to overcome a challenge: “A client may say to me, ‘I can’t change the way I approach my study habits, I leave everything to the last minute and get stressed, then all I do is react’. I’ll ask them to recall something they’ve done in the past that was planned and achieved, such as a holiday, and ask the client, ‘How can you apply those principles to your study?’” A coach and a client may meet in person or talk over the phone, and sessions are usually held weekly, fortnightly or monthly, depending on individual needs. In the initial session, the coach may ask the client to define their objective or fill out a questionnaire to bring to light the issues that need to be discussed. The coach will probably ask a lot of questions, such as: what is your greatest gift? What are you tolerating or putting up with in life? Are you making the most of your opportunities? What is your dream that’s worth living? The point of this questioning – and of coaching – is to get you to focus on your goals and to start observing yourself and others. The coach will help you identify the action you need to take – to start looking at other interior design companies in your area or to write down the skills you could bring to the

Maximise Your Potential!

John Raymond, head of the NSW chapter of the ICF, offers the following tips to help you get the most out of coaching: • First and foremost, you must feel comfortable with the coach. If not, get a new one. • Trust your coach, they have your best interests at heart. • Be completely honest and open and expect your coach to do the same. • Do the work. The coaching session is only part of the process. • Come to each session prepared. Review your last session and think about what you want from this one. I suggest emailing your coach beforehand to outline what you want to talk about. • Make the most of your time – there’s a difference between having an interesting conversation and a useful one. It might be interesting to chat about how things were over the weekend or about other issues, but you can get carried away. These conversations are interesting, but may not necessarily by useful in moving you forward. Take responsibility and be part of the process rather than letting the coach run the session. If what you’re talking about isn’t on the money for what you want to achieve, say so. The coach will be responsive to that. • Use your coach as a resource between sessions.

business, for example. You will also be given a tool to make your actions accountable – a daily journal, inventory or report of some kind.

Time & money

Costs can vary from $100 per session for life coaching to far more, depending on the type of coaching and the level of the person being coached. “The CEO of a major corporation would expect to pay at the upper end to get the level of experience required to understand that particular environment,” says John. The coaching relationship lasts as long as it’s needed depending on the goals set. It may take three to six months to achieve a career goal, or longer if there is more at stake. “Some people just need help to get over a particular bump, for others it’s far more ongoing,” advises John. “I have an executive coach who helps me run my business and we’ve been working together for two years. I find the ongoing relationship particularly invaluable, but there may come a time where the business will be at a certain level, or I’ll decide to do something else, so the coaching relationship will no longer be appropriate.”

What’s right for me?

Although coaches aren’t mentors, consultants or counsellors, they tend to come from varied backgrounds, often with skills in these areas, so sometimes may wear different hats during one session. In addition to this, they aren’t


limited to one type of coaching – Fran does a lot of life coaching, even though she calls herself a career coach, for example – so it’s really important to find the right one for you. Equally important is finding a qualified coach – that is, someone who has trained as a coach and is not just drawing on their experiences in other industries. Coaching is self-regulated and the ICF Global Regulatory Committee works to develop this. To help find the right coach for you, our experts suggest considering the following: • Work out your objectives, then think about which kind of coach – business, life, career or executive – would be most suitable. As the industry develops, some coaches are fulfilling niche markets, such as business coaching for sole traders. • Ask around for recommendations – you’d be surprised how many people you know have used coaching. • To ensure you’re getting a qualified coach, ask if they have coach-specific training, how many hours they have coached and whether they subscribe to the ICF code of ethics (visit for information on accreditation). • Ask them what kind of clients they see and ask for references. • Find out what ongoing professional development the coach engages in. • Meet the coach – many offer a complimentary first session.


It’s Up to Me I get discouraged now and then when there are clouds of gray, until I think about the things that happened yesterday. I do not mean the day before of those months ago, but all the yesterdays in which I had the chance to grow. I think of opportunities that I allowed to die, and those I took advantage of before they passed me by. And I remember that the past presented quite a plight, but somehow I endure it and the future seemed all right. And I remind myself that I am capable and free, and my success and happiness are really up to me.


James J. Metcalfe




Focus on You

A good talking to Having a great relationship with your ‘self’ is paramount to living a happy and satisfying life. Helen Rosing reveals how positive thoughts and self-talk can make all the difference.



e live with our ‘selves’ all day, everyday, so without a high level of love, respect and appreciation for our ‘self ’, how are we ever going to be happy? Developing and improving our relationship with our ‘selves’ is really the key to being able to improve any other area of our lives. When we feel happy within ourselves we have much more confidence to take on the world. When we don’t feel happy within ourselves, we aren’t really empowered to do anything. Consider a time in your life when everything seemed to be going perfectly – you were happy with your career or business, you felt fit and healthy and your relationships were good. Consider how you felt about yourself during that time. Now consider a period in your life when things really weren’t going well and you were generally not very happy. Consider how you felt about yourself during that period. The way you feel about yourself and the results you get in every area of your life directly impact each other. So, by improving your relationship with your ‘self ’, you will naturally improve the results you are getting in every area, and in your overall level of happiness. One of the easiest ways to improve your relationship with ‘self ’ is through positive self-talk. When developing and maintaining

good relationships with friends, we show them kindness, respect and love. If we want to develop our relationship with our ‘self ’ we need to give ourselves those same things. Positive self-talk is one way to achieve this. Positive self-talk sounds easy enough and yet it requires consistent effort. Your self-talk includes both your spoken words and your innermost thoughts. If you are like most women I have coached, a majority of that conversation is currently not positive. Initially, pay attention to your thoughts. Notice what you think about yourself. Notice those silent conversations you have in your mind about your body, appearance and intelligence, and about what you can and can’t do. It’s important not to judge the thoughts, just listen and if you can, write them down. Also start to notice the conversations you have with friends. What do you say about yourself ? Do you find yourself making comments like, ‘I feel fat’ or ‘This is so hard, I will never be able to do it’? Or are you more likely to say, ‘I feel like I look great today’ and ‘I can do anything I want’? Every time you say or think something about yourself you are reaffirming it to yourself. Which words and thoughts would you rather reaffirm? Which ones make you feel better about yourself ? Every time you notice what you are saying or thinking about yourself, ask the question: ‘Are these 29

thoughts/words making me feel happy and positive or low and negative?’ Naturally, we want to keep the self-talk that makes us feel good. It’s the self-talk that makes you feel low that we want to change. Each negative thought or word needs to be changed to be more empowering and positive. When you notice a negative thought, pause for a moment. Consider that negative thought and rephrase it into the positive. For example, if you’re standing in front of the mirror in the morning and find yourself thinking ‘I look terrible and I’ve got nothing to wear’, purposely change that thought to ‘I look fantastic in anything I wear’. Repeat your new positive thought over in your mind and say it out loud. Repeat this practice throughout the day. You will notice over a short period of time that you get much better at identifying and changing your thoughts and words, and that you are feeling much better about your ‘self ’. You have started to give yourself the same love and appreciation that you give to your closest friends. With this new inner confidence you will be ready to aim for anything.

Helen Rosing is a trained success coach with extensive experience in business, coaching and training. Helen is the founder of Empower Publishing. For more information visit


The Art of

forgiveness I

n 1993, Californian student Amy Biel travelled to South Africa to assist in the anti-apartheid movement. But in a tragic twist of fate Amy was murdered in a riot by the very people she had set out to help. Amy’s grieving parents followed their daughter’s dreams to South Africa and, inspired by her legacy, chose to forgive the two young men responsible for her death. In a sign of respect and remorse, the men addressed Amy’s mother as ‘Mom’. While this story is haunting and unimaginable, it begs the question: how many of us would be able to forgive when faced with such a tragic loss? Amy and her parents are exceptional people, but their experience is a dramatic example of a rule that applies to everyone – forgiveness is good not just for the person who is forgiven, but also for the person who forgives. People who forgive are happier and healthier than those who hold onto resentments, and it has been proven that the practice of forgiveness has both mental and physical benefits. It has been shown to reduce anger and stress, alleviate depression and contribute to greater life satisfaction.




Forgiveness encourages hope, compassion and optimism. Buddhism sees forgiveness as a method to prevent harmful thoughts clouding one’s mental wellbeing, recognising that feelings of hatred and ill-will leave a lasting effect on our ‘mind karma’. The benefits to forgiveness are clear, so why do many of us find it so hard to do? Stephen Post, co-author of Why Good Things Happen to Good People, believes the greatest barrier to forgiveness is a misunderstanding of what forgiveness really means. Most of us are familiar with the saying ‘forgive and forget’ but do the two necessarily go hand in hand? Stephen believes forgiveness is not about forgetting or condoning a harmful act, nor is it about giving away power. True forgiveness requires tremendous courage and empathy, replacing pain and bitterness with inner peace and happiness. Forgiveness enhances our sense of control and wellbeing, calming the mind and the body. Getting angry is a natural and self-preserving response when we have been wronged. However, this is only useful up to a point, beyond which it starts to erode our wellbeing and, instead of being in control, we end up dwelling on past transgressions, reliving the hurt and anger over and over again.


Forgiveness doesn’t often come easy when we have been hurt or disappointed but, as Tarryn Brien explains, harbouring these feelings can be detrimental to our own happiness.


“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong” – Mahatma Gandhi Happy people spend more time living in and enjoying the present, and forgiveness may be one important way of enhancing our happiness and ability to move on positively. Psychological studies have shown that it is better to forgive than to be forgiven, so start by believing forgiveness is a gift we can give to ourselves. While we should each create our own understanding of forgiveness, many struggle to know where to start. Below, we’ve suggested a few practical tips to help with the forgiveness process: • Acknowledge the pain and hurt you have suffered, as well as the need for relief from that pain. Make a commitment to yourself to feel better by focusing on your own goal of peace and forgiveness. • Know that forgiveness does not necessarily mean reconciliation with the person that

hurt you, nor condoning their actions. Your goal should simply be to find peace. If you are mentally replaying your hurt ask yourself, ‘Are these thoughts and feelings helping me lead a happier life?’ Focus on your actions alone. • Try to put yourself in the shoes of the other person by empathising. What kinds of thoughts, beliefs and emotions might they have had? From seeking to understand others comes acceptance, tolerance and personal growth. We have all made some mistakes in our own lives and would hope others would forgive us. • If you start to feel stressed and upset, use some simple relaxation breathing exercises to calm yourself. Notice the positives around you and practise gratitude – learn to look for the love, beauty and kindness around you instead of focusing on negativity, which saps energy.


• Remind yourself that forgiveness is not giving in, but rather a courageous act that will set you free. • Forgiveness is more than a single event – it takes persistence and perseverance. It is natural that memories of what has upset us will occasionally return so remind yourself of your motives for forgiving. We cannot control all the circumstances and events in our lives, but there is tremendous power in learning that the one thing we can control is how we choose to respond – choice is always present in forgiveness.

Tarryn Brien is a coach, facilitator and consultant with The Happiness Institute ( She can be contacted on (02) 9221 3306 or email


Create Your

SiSt gnatuyrele

The right look has far-reaching effects, writes image consultant Marlena Davis. Here’s how to find yours.


lick through most fashion magazines and the message is clear: finding a style is about choosing a celebrity to emulate or picking a fashion trend to follow. You either steal ‘the look’ from Sienna Miller, Kate Moss, etc, or you stock up on the latest must-have items, throw them together and hope for the best. If you’re happy following the flock, then look no further. After all celebrities pay good money to stylists for the sole purpose of ensuring they look their best whenever they step out in public. But how often does a red carpet outfit translate to your everyday life? Does someone else’s look – or this season’s style – really suit you? And can you afford to revamp your wardrobe yet again? Many women feel under pressure to keep up with the latest fashion and A-lister looks. But looking good and feeling great doesn’t have to be such an expensive, hit-and-miss exercise. There are practical ways to create your own style based on what actually suits you and your wallet. You can say goodbye to all those costly shopping mistakes and hello to a wardrobe that does you justice and lasts a lifetime.

It’s all about you

Remember that creating your own unique style is more than just compiling outfits; your style reflects your occupation, the way you treat people, and how people perceive you. There are a few general categories of style that most of us would fall into: elegant, feminine, classic, sexy, creative, natural and dramatic.





When identifying a style that suits you perfectly, there are a number of things you will need to consider: • what you do during a typical day and night (and how this will influence the style of clothing that will work for you); • what you feel most comfortable and confident wearing; • whether you have a jeans or designer suit lifestyle; and • your budget.



These pieces are classic and can be worn regardless of the current fashion trends. Add personality (and seasonality) with trendy tops, jewellery, bags, scarves and funky shoes.

it s’ all about you Which one speaks to you – and about you – the most? If you are not sure, don’t worry, most of us are a mixture of a few of these categories.

Put your best assets forward Colour is often the first thing you notice about a person – it can affect our mood, body shape, perceived age, the overall impression we make on others and even our outlook on life. Wearing colours that suit you will help you to look younger, healthier, vibrant and energetic, while wearing unflattering colours can make you look older, ill, exhausted or dull. Make a mental note any time someone says you look great in a certain colour, or see a professional image consultant to help identify colours that work best for you. Or, next issue we’ll be devoting the whole style feature to learning to know your colours. Making the most of your best assets is one of the keys to creating your own signature style. Think about the part of your body you like the most, or that most people tend to compliment you on. Then work out how to flaunt it. You can usually highlight your best feature by drawing attention to the area with a scarf, necklace or brooch, for instance. If your eyes are your best asset, try wearing a slightly brighter eye shadow that complements your eye colour.

Other tips include wearing darker colours and avoiding large patterns on areas of your body you would like to slim down. Lighter colours and horizontal stripes can make understated areas, such as narrow shoulders or small breasts, appear bigger.

Go for the cull A good place to start this whole process is to go through your wardrobe and get rid of everything that does not fit, you don’t like the look of, or is an unflattering colour. If you haven’t worn an item for more than two years you probably won’t wear it again – toss it out or give it away! Then, spend time putting together combinations of clothes that make you look good, and feel confident. As a general rule, team patterned tops with a plain skirt and vice versa. Brunettes with strong facial features tend to look great in bold patterns, while blonds are often flattered by more gentle designs or florals. Hang the combinations you love together, and say goodbye to the “what on earth am I going to wear today?” blues. Now you can choose your outfit each day with confidence.

Marlena Davis runs an image consultancy, Law of Attraction, Contact her by email on


Dark, well-fitted jacket

White, good quality shirt

Black straight-legged pants

Pencil skirt

Simple tops

Black shoes

51 2 3 4 5


steps to shopping with

Don’t buy an item of clothing just because it’s been featured in magazines or the shop assistant tells you it’s the look of the season. Assess your body first and make sure it looks good on you. When buying a new outfit take into account the cost per wear. It’s okay to spend more money on something that looks great, lasts longer, and will be worn frequently. A fantastic $600 jacket that you end up wearing once a week will become ‘cheaper per wear’ than a $40 number that you only wear once. Don’t buy something that catches your eye if you don’t have anything that it will go with. Don’t forget accessories – they can jazz up any outfit and help create your signature look. Just remember, accessories are about balance: a round face suits long earrings, and a long face suits hoop earrings. Lastly, if you don’t feel comfortable and happy in a particular outfit, it’s not the right style for you.

Me Time

Time Out Women can be especially good at self-neglect but, as career coach Kate James explains, everyone’s better off when you take some time out.



Me time for ‘You’ Self-care looks different to everyone. Some people find it restorative to spend half an hour at the end of each day sitting quietly reflecting on the day, others need to exercise vigorously and some find that time with friends is their solace. Most of us know inherently what it is we find most beneficial. In order to practise the best self-care, it’s important to begin by spending some time clarifying the things that fill you up. Whether it’s time with friends, time for solitude, one-on-one time with your partner or time to pursue a creative interest, the most important step is to identify your ideal ‘me time’. Often women don’t ask for what they really need yet become resentful when their partner, friends or family fail to offer the sort of support they need. We all need to take responsibility for our own self-care – no one else can do this as well as you can. Once you’ve identified your needs, do some forward planning in order to find and practise your ‘me time’. Where necessary, let the people around you know about your ‘me time’ and schedule it into your diary. If you have young children you may need to negotiate time out for both you and your partner. In the long run, everyone wins. Not only will you be happier in yourself, but your relationships will improve and you’ll perform better in all your roles in life.

Kate James is a career coach who works with her clients to achieve balance and fulfillment in all areas of life. For more information visit


Yourself Take Care of Here are some suggested ways to take time for yourself: • Book a monthly massage. • Set aside half an hour each day for exercise or just ‘quiet time’. • Join a regular yoga, tai chi or meditation class so that you’re accountable for leaving work early at least one or two nights a week. • Talk to someone who will really listen. • Book a weekend away with your partner. • Organise a regular babysitter. • Delegate at work. • Make time for journal writing. • Take up a new creative pursuit such as photography, painting, creative writing, drawing or sculpture. • Make a list of things you love doing and schedule ‘me time’ into your diary. Then, choose whatever takes your fancy from your list that day.



any women find the idea of putting their own needs first completely selfish, and vast numbers find it virtually impossible to do so. They are much more comfortable attending to the needs of partners, colleagues, children, friends and extended family before their own. As a coach, I’d argue that taking care of yourself can be the most selfless thing you can do. Rather than automatically thinking of self-care as indulgent, it’s worth considering the cost if you don’t. Most people have others dependent upon them; we have work colleagues who rely on our contribution, and partners, friends or children who need us for a range of different things. If you take good care of yourself, you’ll actually be better placed to help them. Practising self-care not only means attending to your physical wellbeing but ensuring your emotional, mental and spiritual needs are being met. With recent scientific evidence pointing out that long-term stress eventually leads to physical illness, be aware that neglecting to care for yourself can lead to sickness or burnout. Along the way there are other consequences that can significantly impact on not only your health and happiness, but also that of the people around you. When you’re not taking care of yourself, you’re often less focused and less energetic. You don’t perform as well at work, and at home you may find you’re short-tempered. You may lose the desire for sex and you’re less inclined to interact socially. This can all lead to a self-perpetuating cycle of discontent. The key to breaking this cycle is to implement an easily managed self-care program.


feel your feelings While at times it might seem easier to repress our feelings, Dana Mrkich reveals it’s crucial to allow ourselves to feel and express our feelings in order to move forward, happily, in life. let us know what is true for us, and what isn’t. They provide direct communication from our soul, expressing our deepest needs, fears and desires. They call us to be honest with ourselves and have integrity with our true self. Our body reveals our feelings to us in many ways – a flush of warmth, an air of lightness, muscle tightness, lack of energy, a punch in the stomach, a hurting heart – and every one of our feelings has a message for us, sometimes wonderful and uplifting, other times painful and difficult. Importantly, feelings are telling us that a truth needs to be faced, a situation acknowledged, a behaviour changed or an action taken. But, when we aren’t ready to confront these things, we do anything to avoid our feelings. We usually have a preferred coping mechanism – an activity or behaviour that distracts us from whatever

Key Tips

In order to really feel your feelings and express them more freely, try the following:

• Find and express your passion: Depression comes from our repressed anger, frustrated passion and denied expression. What do you want to express that you haven’t been allowed to or had the opportunity to? What are you passionate about? Think about what you would spend more time doing if you were given an extra hour or a day in the week?



is going on inside us. We create a habit of using these things as a way of keeping our feelings repressed, despite the feelings always being there. Feelings are held and stored by our body for the day when we are ready to face them. Meanwhile, they influence us daily, often in subconscious ways, until we allow ourselves to acknowledge them. This is the irony: unexpressed feelings influence us constantly, affecting our thoughts, words, actions and perspectives. In our attempt to avoid or deny them they start to control our every movement, clouding our vision and blocking our way forward. Just because we don’t express something doesn’t mean it suddenly disappears. All energy has to go somewhere. Often, society requires us to repress and numb feelings, especially in public. Rarely are we encouraged to just feel whatever we are feeling, to express our feelings, and for

• Find healthy outlets for your feelings: Choose something in alignment with how you’re feeling. If you want to express some anger, try a kickboxing class. If you feel sad, put on some sad music and cry. If you sometimes depend on medication or drugs to feel good, put on some trance dance music and dance yourself into that space. Get creative. Give your feelings physical expression.


that to be okay. However, it’s important to acknowledge that feelings are telling us that our soul has something to say. Our feelings will alert us to the root of an issue, to the source of a wound, so by addressing it we can emerge out the other side as wiser, more fulfilled beings. Give yourself permission to feel all of your feelings and embrace them. Feelings are some of the greatest teachers you’ll ever have. Acknowledge your feelings, let them inspire and guide you to who you really are. Allow others their feelings, too, without judgement, letting go of the need to make them feel anything but what they are currently feeling.

Dana Mrkich is a spiritual intuitive, writer and author of A New Chapter (Zeus Publications). For more information or to subscribe to her newsletter, please email or visit

• Paint: Painting is a fun way of accessing and expressing any kind of feeling, including feelings you never knew you had! Get a large sheet of white paper and paint with no plan. Let yourself be drawn to certain colours and let your brush and hand do the rest. • Journal: Journaling is one of the simplest and most effective therapeutic tools you can use to help you connect with your true self and feelings. The process allows you to express your thoughts, tune in to your dreams, desires and fears, and clear your mind.



ur feelings are powerful tools that

In Her Shoes Buddhism Facts

Leap of


What makes a grown woman subscribe to a new religion? Barbara Messer spoke to one woman who discovered true meaning in her life through Buddhism.



ince converting to Buddhism a year

and a half ago, business director Justine Szmajda, 31 (pictured) says she is happier, calmer and healthier. “I first became interested in Buddhism four years ago after moving interstate. My son, Jye, was six months old and I was anxious about going back to work. I wasn’t ready emotionally, but financially I had no choice. “Someone gave me a book called Buddhism for Mothers (by Sarah Napthali, Allen & Unwin) and as I read I thought, ‘This sounds like me’. I learned as much as I could about the religion before I felt comfortable saying, ‘This is how I want to live my life’. “Buddhism is all about self-discovery and self-growth. It’s about questioning things and asking why they occur and what you can learn from them. Now I look at the relationship between mother and child as an example of how every relationship should be – one of unconditional love and acceptance. “Buddha was born into a rich family in what was originally northern India in the 6th century BC. As a teenager he was suddenly exposed to beggars, suffering and poverty. In his twenties he decided to leave his wife and child to live as a monk. He meditated under a tree for days until he discovered a path to Enlightenment that ends all human suffering.

“I don’t have time to meditate for hours every day but I have my own technique that brings me clearness of mind. When I’m getting ready for bed I look back at the day’s events and ask, ‘Why do I judge some events as good or bad? Can I make them better? If not, can I accept them?’ In bed, I spend 10 minutes relaxing from my toes to my head. By the time I fall asleep, I’ve cleared my brain of clutter. “Devout Buddhists shave their heads and wear robes because they don’t believe in vanity, and they’re vegetarian because they believe in reincarnation and karma. I try not to eat meat for three months of every year, but it’s hard being a full-time vegetarian when you have a young child. It’s also difficult to avoid Christmas as my parents are Christian. Jye receives presents, but not from me.


• Buddhism was established by an Indian prince named Siddhartha Gautama. Known as Buddha or Enlightened One, he was not a god, but a human being who achieved enlightenment from his own experience. • Buddhism is a path of practice and spiritual development that provides insight into the true nature of life. • The Buddhist philosophy suggests that the solutions to our problems are within. Because of this, the teachings can be understood and tested by anyone. • There are many different forms of Buddhism, but all traditions are characterised by non-violence and tolerance. • The basic concepts of Buddhism can be summarised by the Four Noble Truths: life is suffering; suffering is caused by craving and aversion; suffering can be overcome and happiness can be attained; and the Eightfold Path leads to the end of suffering. • The Eightfold Path involves being moral, having awareness of our thoughts and actions, developing wisdom, and practising compassion for others. • Practices such as meditation are a means of changing oneself in order to develop awareness, kindness and wisdom. • Many Buddhists believe that the consciousness of a person is brought back in a different form after death, otherwise known as rebirth. This is determined by karma – the law that every action has an effect. Karma emphasises the importance for all individuals to be responsible for their past and present actions. • Approximately 300 million people worldwide practise Buddhism and, according to the 2006 Census, 2.1 percent of the Australian population identify as Buddhist. Sources:,,

“My faith in Buddhism makes me calmer. Instead of reacting instantly to a stressful situation, I can say, ‘Hang on a minute – think about why this happened and be a bit more rational about it.’ “I don’t get sick or rundown from stress anymore and it’s made a big difference to my parenting. I have more perspective and I’m much more positive. I try to live in the here and now, rather than waste time worrying about the future.”




eiki is a spiritual practice based on the idea that there is a natural, universal ‘life-force’ of energy available in us all that can be accessed any time. We can use this energy for self-healing and to transfer healing energy to others via our hands. The word reiki is made up of two Japanese words: Rei (霊), which means higher power; and Ki (気), which means life-force energy – so it literally means ‘life force energy coming from a higher power’. It is not associated with any religion or dogma, but is a spiritual practice used around the world by people from all walks of life.

How does it work? Reiki is generally transferred to students via an attunement from a reiki master. Effectively, it opens up your crown chakra (the energy centre at the top of your head) allowing you to tap into this limitless and abundant supply of universal energy whenever you need it. The energy flows through you, helping to reduce stress, increase energy levels and give you a heightened sense of wellbeing. Reiki works on all levels – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual – and has been known to improve health, ease and even heal all kinds of illnesses and issues. As an energetic form of healing, reiki has an innate intelligence, knowing exactly which part of you needs the healing energy most at any particular time. It doesn’t require your belief or any logical thought process to work as very often it clears things that have their roots deep in your subconscious.



Who does it? To access reiki energy you can either complete a reiki course or visit a reiki healing practitioner. The session is conducted with you lying on a massage table, fully clothed and usually warm under a blanket, while the practitioner places their hands on specific parts of your body, particularly those areas that need healing. Reiki is most commonly used by healing practitioners, however it is also a beneficial practice for anyone who deals with lots of people and are giving out plenty of energy every day. This includes doctors, nurses, counsellors, teachers, hairdressers, beauty therapists, life coaches, retail assistants, etc. When we are not open to this universal energy we tend to give energy from our own energy supply and at the end of the day find ourselves feeling drained and exhausted. When we are open, which a reiki attunement provides, we become like a vessel that is constantly accessing this universal energy, giving us a limitless supply all day that can then flow out to others. The effect on our personal energy of serving others is reduced not only because we are tapping into a limitless supply of universal energy, but also because by default we are being continually replenished as the energy flows through us. We are left feeling much more refreshed and

Do you ever wish you had an endless supply of energy? As Dana Mrkich explains, you can tap into the universal flow and replenish your energy as fast as you give it away. most popular pathways is Usui Reiki. Born in 1865 Dr Mikao Usui (known as Usui Sensei to his students) was the founder of this system. In 1914, during a difficult time in his personal and business life, Dr Usui attended Isyu Guo in Mount Kurama, an intense 21-day meditation course. There is a particular meditation people do here where they stand underneath a waterfall, allowing the water to fall on and over the top of their head – a practice said to activate the crown chakra. Although we can’t know for sure, it is widely believed that Dr Usui may have used this meditation during his time there. Regardless, it was during the Isyu Guo training that the reiki energy entered Dr Usui’s crown chakra and he realised that he had received a wonderful gift – the ability to give healing energy to others without depleting his own energy. He created a set of principles, symbols, hand positions and attunement, which became the Usui system of reiki. For a list of reiki practitioners or more information on reiki training courses, visit the following:, and Also ask around your family, friends and colleagues, as recommendation often a great way to find a trained practitioner who best suits you.

invigorated at the end of the day.

Brief history Reiki is only one of many ways to access universal energy, and even within reiki there are many pathways to access it. One of the


Dana Mrkich is a spiritual intuitive, writer and author of A New Chapter (Zeus Publications). For more information or to subscribe to her newsletter, please email or visit



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InnerVision Profile

Belinda Sullivan is a dynamo who reached her goal of becoming a CEO at the age of 31. Emma Gardiner caught up with her to find out what fuels her fire.




iStockphoto Photo courtesy The Eye Foundation

elinda Sullivan experienced a moment of searing clarity when she found herself holding a gun to a man’s head in self-defence. “It was a defining moment. I realised in that instant this was the hardest decision I was ever going to have to make,” she says. From that moment onwards, Belinda knew things had to change. “Ever since I was a child, I wanted to be a leader. When I was working as a police detective, it became increasingly clear that I was as much a part of the problem as the solution. The judicial system was very frustrating; we would find ourselves locking up children who would then get caught up in the poverty cycle.” It took several more physically threatening encounters before Belinda came to the conclusion she needed to exit the force altogether. “I eventually took 12 months leave without pay. I had always thought I would like to be a board director so I set about gathering the information and networks I would need to achieve that,” she says. For the next three years, Belinda worked in the not-for-profit sector and studied her MBA at night, but she found herself labouring within a “non-empowered” workplace. Her time there stripped her of her confidence, but it was faith in her own ability that kept Belinda going. “I wrote a personal business plan in order to identify the core competencies I needed to possess. I was already doing an MBA, but quickly discovered I needed to enrol in a course at the Australian Institute of Company Directors and engage the services of an executive coach. Beyond this,




Favourite inspirational quote

Belinda Sullivan


Omnia vincit amor (love conquers all)

Fact File

Favourite inspiration leaders Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Nelson Mandela Qualifications Belinda is the CEO of The Eye Foundation, the medical eye specialists’ foundation, dedicated to helping restore sight and preventing vision loss throughout Australasia. She is also a director of Vision 2020 Australia, has an MBA from Macquarie Graduate School of Management, and has completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors Course. Achievements At the age of 31, Belinda was a recognised ‘change agent’ and networking specialist in the not-for-profit sector. She won the 2007 Telstra NSW Young Business Woman of the Year Award, 2005 Australasian Winner Boston Consulting Group Business Strategy Team Competition, Graduate Management Association of Australia Prize, as well as receiving a police medal and a NSW Police Commissioner District Commendation for Bravery.

I started to seek out organisations that would allow me to practically apply leadership and management skills.”

Going for Goals BHAGs – or Big Hairy Audacious Goals – have been a lifelong habit of Belinda’s. Growing up in what she describes as a working-class family, Belinda started her career as a stockbroker. Her grandmother’s murder was the driving motivation for Belinda to go into the police force with the aim of joining the homicide squad. She was then promoted to detective in one of Australia’s toughest areas, Sydney’s CBD. Dealing with fraud, murder, paedophilia, armed robberies and extortion on a daily basis, Belinda says a lot of the skills she learned on the job are still relevant to her today. “To be a good detective you need emotional intelligence, high risk negotiation, problem solving and communication skills, and the ability to navigate a complex legal framework,” she says. “There was a lot of skills transfer when I became a CEO.” Her attraction to The Eye Foundation was a fairly coincidental one. “Three of my mentors mentioned it to me quite independently. At the time I was looking around and upon further investigation realised this was something I could do. I had worked in not-for-profit organisations before [Stewart House and Opportunity International Australia] so I knew what a fragmented and difficult industry it was, but I also recognised that these organisations could be run using core business principles,” she says. At the age of 31, Belinda landed the role as CEO of The Eye Foundation. “Becoming a CEO was a huge mental shift. For the first three months, I wrote a plan and tracked each day’s performance,” she says. While this was the huge opportunity Belinda had been waiting for, it became evident that every single part of the business needed a makeover. “We rebuilt systems, strategy, finance, marketing and corporate governance. We even rewrote

the constitution. What had previously been a conservative, non-performing organisation had to be reinvented over the course of 18 months to become a high-performance environment with flexible working hours and professional development opportunities,” she recalls. To say it was a big job would be a gross understatement, but Belinda’s core motivation through her life has always been to make the world a better place. “When you have been in the operating theatre and witnessed a 40-minute operation that has restored sight to someone who has been needlessly blind for 15 years, it gives you a pretty compelling reason to go to work in the morning,” she says. The Eye Foundation, which represents medical eye specialists in Australia and New Zealand, takes a leading role in fundraising and community awareness. Belinda says, “What many people don’t realise is that eye health is responsible for 75 percent of vision loss and blindness is preventable through early identification and treatment. It’s for this reason we came up with JULeye, a public awareness campaign with the dual purpose of raising money for research and getting the message out about early identification. Many people don’t think you can die from eye-health complications, but loss of sight equates to increased risk and a loss of confidence. Cancer and going blind are the two most feared conditions in Australia.” Bringing JULeye to life has been Belinda’s and her team’s obsession for the past six months. “In the same way Movember has raised awareness around men’s health issues and the Pink Ribbon campaign has built a community profile for breast cancer, I hope JULeye will become synonymous with eye health and help raise $3.5 million for research over the next two years,” she says. However, all obsessions come at a price. Belinda says there are days when she has to draw a line in the sand. “My husband will call me and say, ‘You’ve done all you can for today. Come home’. I have learned that a good night’s sleep and a good laugh are an amazing tonic when


you’re feeling overwhelmed. Tomorrow is always a new day; you have to begin your day thinking that today is going to be better,” she says. Walking, reading the papers, catching up with friends and family on the weekend, and going to the gym with her family are Belinda’s favoured ways of winding down, but even this is something she has learned to be flexible about. “Life is unpredictable. I try to fit in relaxation and exercise whenever I can, but I am not going to stress out if I miss a day,” she says. As step-mum to 15- and 17-year-old girls, Belinda always tries to involve her family with her work. “When I won the Telstra Young Business Woman Award last year, I flew them to the ceremony. I want them to understand why I am so passionate about my work. Being a good role model to them is really important to me.” Over the past few years, Belinda says she has been fortunate to have been given some good advice. “The best guidance I have been given recently is to stay in the not-for-profit sector and become an expert in this field. On a more philosophical level, it has been to keep the faith and think big. When you believe, the impossible becomes possible.”

Belinda Sullivan’s top tips for success

1 2 3 4 5

Believe in yourself. Have a BHAG – Big Hairy Audacious Goal. Surround yourself with people who share an abundant, empowered philosophy. Develop your emotional intelligence. Develop holistic relationships – always thank and acknowledge the people who help and support you.

Be inspired to...

Films have a way of moving us, emotionally and physically. Emma Gardiner reveals the top five most inspiring messages from our favourite movies.

1 ...go on an adventure and live your dreams

The Bucket List

Oscar-winning screen veterans Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman unite in this uplifting tale about getting the most out of life. Obnoxious billionaire Edward Cole (Nicholson) finds himself sharing a hospital room with lowly car mechanic Carter Chambers (Freeman). The pair, who have both just undergone intensive chemotherapy, come to realise they may die very soon and should fulfil their wildest dreams before their time runs out. Thus ensues a wild adventure that sees the elderly men skydiving and hooning around race tracks. The core premise of The Bucket List is that there are certain things everyone should do before they ‘kick the bucket’, a concept that provides plenty of room for both laughs and serious contemplation. Also worth seeing: Out of Africa, Into the Wild, Shirley Valentine

2 in the moment

Dead Poets Society

Anyone who has already seen this film will recall the immortal words ‘carpe diem’, which is Latin for ‘seize the day’. English teacher John Keating, played by Robin Williams, joins the faculty at a staid boys’ high school in the countryside and proceeds to turn things upside-down. Rather than drumming the curriculum into his students’ heads, John aspires to forge a deeper understanding of the poetry the class is learning by encouraging his students to “suck the marrow out of life”. His teachings are the catalyst for a chain of events that are at once joyous and devastating for the characters who, once awakened, can never return to the safe naivety they once enjoyed. Also worth seeing: Before Sunrise

3...believe in love

The Notebook

This movie starts with an old man reading a story to an old woman in a nursing home. The story he reads is about two young lovers, which is also played out throughout the film. At the core of the The Notebook is the idea that, at some point, most people are faced with a choice between what they truly want and what others want for them. The Notebook’s romantic tale sees lovers Allie Hamilton (Rachel McAdams) and Noah Calhoun (Ryan Gosling) separated by Allie’s wealthy parents after they have a torrid summer affair. This parental intervention continues with Allie’s mother hiding the letters Noah sends to her every day for the following year. Heartbroken, Noah gives up and pours his energy into restoring a 200-year-old house. Allie meets and gets engaged to a young soldier, but fate intervenes and when Allie and Noah are reunited, their loved for each other is reignited. The ending to this romantic film will not leave a dry eye in the house. Also worth seeing: Atonement, Serendipity

4 ...never, ever give up

The Pursuit of Happyness

Based on a true story, The Pursuit of Happyness follows the life of devoted father and unlikely genius Chris Gardner, played by Will Smith. Chris falls on hard times when his business selling bone-marrow scanners fails due to a litany of misfortunes, and his wife leaves him to care for his son on his own. Penniless and unemployed, Chris flukes a chance encounter with a stockbroker who he manages to impress with nothing more than a Rubik’s Cube. From this meeting, he gains entry into a prestigious stockbroker training program, with the only catch being that he won’t get paid for an entire year. He endures heartbreaking hardships that leave the audience wondering how close the poverty line really is and his eventual triumph is an exercise in pure faith and persistence. Also worth seeing: Million Dollar Baby, Erin Brockovich, Remember the Titans, The Power of One

Under the Tuscan Sun

If you’re going to run away somewhere, Tuscany is an excellent choice. Just-divorced writer Frances (Diane Lane) decides she needs a radical change and buys a rundown villa in Tuscany. Her emotional rollercoaster takes a new turn as she undertakes negotiations with Polish labourers, skeptical neighbours and visiting Americans. This gentle tale illustrates the difficulties of living in another country, as well as the strength of character and eventual joy this exercise engenders. Also worth seeing: Coyote Ugly, Jerry Maguire, The Legend of Bagger Vance


5 ...get out of your comfort zone

Family Ties


Love appy families are something most grown women aspire to have but often struggle to achieve. Sibling rivalry has been known to spill from childhood days into adult years where it can continue to fester if left unresolved. Mother and daughter relationships are also prime breeding ground for conflict, especially when high expectations on either side remain unmet. And, we all know of those relatives who make it their life’s work to enquire, “Why on earth haven’t you found yourself a husband yet?” Whether your particular family grievance is an annoying niggle or a full-blown feud, it’s important to try to resolve it, just as you would with a partner or close mate, says Anne Hollonds, vice president of Relationships Australia. Blood is thicker than water, after all. “Family relationships can protect us when they’re working well,” explains Anne, especially when life throws you a curveball or three, such as a marriage breakdown, career crisis or illness. “Without those strong relationships, you do tend to rely on friends who aren’t always able to help you in the same way.” Siblings in particular may come to play more pivotal roles in our lives as we age. Studies indicate 3.1 million Australians will be living alone by the year 2026, with women projected to make up 57 percent of that total. “We are living longer and living alone more, so those sorts of relationships will become increasingly important,” confirms



Anne. “Parents die and marriages come and go, but your sibling relationships are often the longest you’ll ever have – a good one can be a hugely supportive element in your life.”

Overcoming Sibling Rivalry Unfortunately, sibling rivalry – otherwise known as, ‘mum always loved you more than me’ syndrome – can continue to cause chaos in the family long after kids stop squabbling over toys. That’s not to say, however, that old habits are impossible to break.

“You have to ask yourself how important it is to win the argument over the issue, versus how important it is to strengthen the relationship” “Sibling relationships often don’t start off well because jealousies creep in as kids, and parents may be inept at setting the agenda,” Anne says. As adults, however, you have the power to change the status quo and rebuild a relationship with a brother or sister for the benefit of all involved. Indeed, becoming an aunt motivated Karen, a 28-year-old researcher, to put years


of unresolved arguments with her “barely tolerated” younger brother behind her once and for all. “These gorgeous children made me ashamed of how badly my brother and I behaved towards one another, and I started really wishing I could be friends with him,” Karen recalls. So she took the initiative and arranged a date with her brother to discuss their relationship, which kick-started a slow and, at times, painful process of reconciliation. “It’s been an uphill battle with lots of talks behind closed doors at family gatherings,” she concedes. “But we’re getting on much better and I’m really glad I took that first step to fix things.”

Mother Love Letting go of the past is critical to moving a relationship forward, says Amanda, a 35-year-old website owner and mum of two, who recalls spending her childhood and teen years desperately trying to please her overly critical mother. “I grew up feeling unloved and it just got to the point where I couldn’t deal with her nastiness and negativity towards me anymore.” She left home at 19 and didn’t




Let bygones be bygones and resolve family feuds today – it’s actually easier and more beneficial than you might think, writes Rachel Smith.

Family Ties Ways to Avoid Conflict Dr Stella Cornelius, co-director of the Conflict Resolution Network, reveals the key steps to more harmonious relationships. 1. Learn forgiveness. Being able to forgive someone is a double blessing. You’re suddenly not a victim of the grudge any more and it gives you a new level of freedom. 2. Try to see the other side. Dissipate some of your anger by putting yourself in the other person’s shoes and try to imagine how they feel. Remember, empathy is a learned skill. 3. It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. If you are caught in a confrontation, you’re less likely to cause offence if you avoid statements such as, ‘you always take his side’. Use ‘I’ statements instead (ie ‘I feel hurt when you don’t support me’). 4. Take time out. If things are heated, agree to pick up the discussion when you’re both calmer. Take time out for quiet reflection and some honest self-talk. 5. Ask yourself some questions, such as ‘Is this serving me well?’ or ‘Is there another approach?’

see her mother again for eight years until a self-development course taught her how to view life from a different perspective. “I’m more prepared to let stuff go now and I’m also not scared any more to say things to her, like, ‘Hey, it’s not okay to say that to me’,” says Amanda. “Letting go of the past has made me feel freer, absolutely. I can potentially see a time when we’ll be closer and I’m very open to that.”

New Beginnings Making the first move was both Karen and Amanda’s choice, but how often do we hear about people looking back on their lives and wishing regretfully that they’d made peace with their estranged sister or kept in closer contact with their dad after their parents’ divorce? Is there ever a point at which a relationship has no hope? Yes there is, according to 33-year-old life coach Hally, whose older sister’s path of destruction caused major family meltdowns. Despite years of trying to reconcile with her sister, Hally admits she’s since given up on the relationship, at least for the time being. “I’m not angry or bitter, but I’m sad,” she says. “Five years ago we were best friends. I

hope one day she’ll realise what she’s lost, but she has her path to live and I have mine.” Knowing if or when to make a true break will depend on the situation and whether it’s a serious offence or a petty grievance. But think carefully before closing the door forever on a relationship that could be saved, advises Anne. “Some people can’t tolerate the pain of family feuds; others keep the door open until the end. You don’t know what’s around the corner, so it’s best not to burn your bridges – as long as it’s not compromising your sense of self.” Overcoming estrangements, grudges and resentments to forge positive bonds with family is possible when you make a genuine effort, she says. It’s about swallowing your

pride, reaching out and getting your tongue around that tricky little five-letter word – sorry. “Often, we think, ‘Well, I’m not going to say sorry first, they have to,’ and we get stuck in these sorts of arguments,” says Anne. “You have to ask yourself how important it is to win the argument over the issue, versus how important it is to strengthen the relationship, and be prepared to let things go. It’s so destructive to hang onto these issues long-term because they eat away at you and really compromise your ability to lead a well-rounded life.”

a helping hand • Relationships Australia: 1300 364 277, For online counselling from Relationships Australia visit: • Conflict Resolution Network: • Why Can’t We Get Along? Healing Adult Sibling Relationships by Peter Goldenthal (Wiley) • Everyone Can Win by Helena Cornelius and Shoshana Faire (Simon & Schuster)


Sex Advice

the art of



ow often is normal?” is the most frequently asked question I hear in my line of work as a sexologist and relationship expert. If you go by national Australian research, the average couple makes love 1.8 times a week – and no, the 0.8 does not reflect those times when you thought about it but didn’t follow through! Don’t get hung up comparing yourself to statistics, though. It’s natural for your sex drive to fluctuate with your lifestyle. Some of the biggest libido killers include stress, fatigue, anxiety, worry, illness, and feeling distant or disconnected to our partner. When couples ask me how to bring back the passion in their relationship, I tell them it’s about changing their behaviour and making time for sex – great sex, that is, not perfunctory or slapdash ‘McSex’. Think back to when you first started dating your partner. Your bodies were flooded with chemical messages of lust and a desire for bonding that made any kind of physical intimacy easy to prioritise. When sex becomes an established part of a relationship, the body’s natural ability to give sex top priority decreases. You don’t mean to take each other for granted, but you do, in part because you feel so secure. The danger lies in becoming so comfortable and so familiar with each other that you forget to make romantic gestures or be spontaneous. So, instead of asking, “how often is normal?” and worrying about whether you and your partner match up, you should focus on the issue of “are we connected?” Real intimacy and a healthy relationship is not about frequency of love-making – it’s a balance of quantity and quality of sex. Dr Gabrielle Morrissey is a sexologist and relationship expert. For more information and contact details visit


5 passion 1 principles of

Prioritise. Spending time together should be a priority, not just an afterthought to squeeze in when you can. Aim for at least 20 minutes of quality time each day.


Playfulness. Sex doesn’t always have to be a soap opera seduction. Think of it as your adult playtime and have fun with it! Laugh, giggle, flirt, play games, tease and please.


Pleasure. Focus on the giving and receiving of pleasure, rather than the goal of orgasm, to really connect with your partner. Learn to give each other erotic massages, have a bath together; don’t let your love life get staid and predictable.


Pampering. Take time out to prime yourself for pleasure. Destress, exercise and do things to make yourself feel sexy and sensual, whether that’s having a beauty treatment or taking a dip in the ocean.


Partner connection. Research has revealed that good sex is about feeling connected to your partner – outside the bedroom as well as between the sheets. Share errands, discuss work and have fun together. The more you feel like a couple, the more you’ll want to get ‘loved up’ with your partner.


If your once sizzling sex life has dwindled to an occasional flicker, perhaps it’s time to re-examine your notion of intimacy, writes Dr Gabrielle Morrissey.

20% DISCOUNT To celebrate the launch of empower Magazine, Mum to Be is offering Empower readers a special 20% discount on all products. To take advantage of this great offer, log on to and quote ‘empower’ when you make your purchase online. Offer ends 17 Sept 2008.


motivated for


have a postcard on my wall at home that says, “You need to have a dream to have a dream come true”. These words help to lift my thoughts above everyday entanglements and think about where I really want to go in life. It makes me smile, helps keep my hopes up and gives me strength. We often get stuck in the day-to-day motions of our lives, forgetting our ambition, forgetting to take risks and losing energy on the small stuff. But, when I read the postcard on my wall I keep my dream clearly defined and remember where I am going and how I’m going to get there. It is the same in my love life. I had to have a dream to have a dream come true, so it wasn’t until I defined my dream of a close, long-term relationship that I could lift my head above those casual and uncommitted flings and find my lovely partner. Once I defined what I wanted in a relationship, I saw what was important to



me and I started looking in the right direction. The great news is you can do it, too. I want you to feel passion, butterflies and harmony with a new partner or the one you’re with now. By turning your thoughts around and putting them in motion, you can get there in no time. To reach your goal you need to have a goal. You need to see that bright future in front of you and crave and want it. To find love you need motivation.

Get ready to move

Many people get stuck in their own status quo (such as unwanted singledom or an unhappy relationship) because they are unmotivated to move in a particular direction. Today, not everyone has a strong culture behind them dictating they should settle. It is completely acceptable to be single no matter how old we are, and since both men and women now work and educate themselves,


we don’t have to pair up to survive. Hence, there is nothing strongly pushing us towards a relationship. On the other hand, there is no longer a clear dream outlined for us of how life ‘should’ be. With so many lifestyles to choose from, do we really know what love is? Is it the stuff they show in the movies? Is it my friend’s two kids-and-a-mortgage-life, or my dad’s fourth marriage? One thing is for sure, you’d excused for being confused. It is also natural for us be wary of rejection and being hurt in relationships, and this is relevant for singles as well as those in relationships who are afraid to let go or instigate change. To overcome this fear, we need to know what we want and be motivated to go for the relationship of our dreams – we have to want it so much we accept the risks. You may be terrified but you’ll want it so much you’ll just throw yourself out there, head first.


If you haven’t found what you’re looking for in a relationship, perhaps it’s time to ask yourself exactly what it is you seek. Love coach Carolin Dahlman has this advice.

Are you that motivated? Do you really want it – that close, deep relationship that makes you a part of a team, sharing ups and downs with someone? Most of my clients don’t have a clue about where they are going. Singles just keep on ‘hunting’, being more focused on looking than finding – more into the pursuit than the happiness – and those in a relationship just live next to their partner, not with them. A lot of people crave ‘love’, but I also know through coaching hundreds of clients that many aren’t really sure of what ‘love’ is. They want it because they are supposed to, because the hunt is fun or because they miss something deep inside. Since the dream is so unclear, they keep falling into traps – dating the wrong type of people, being too scared to ask for what they want, ruining relationships with drama and so on.

Take action

If you dance around in life, driven more by chance and perhaps thinking it is more ‘natural’ and ‘meant to be’, you have plenty to win from doing the following exercise. 1. Find a big piece of paper or cardboard and put it in front of you. Make sure you have glue, pens, scissors and a stash of magazines and newspapers.

2. Put on some nice relaxing music and close your eyes for a while. Remember times in your life when you were really happy. Remember people you have loved and think of those you love now. Think about friends who are in happy relationships. Find out what makes you smile. 3. Now open your eyes and get to work. Define your dream relationship using your tools. Choose pictures in the magazines and glue them to your board. Write important thoughts and words relating to how you feel, how you make your partner feel, what you do together, who you spend time with, your energy, how you communicate and your values. 4. Put your masterpiece in a place where you can see it clearly every day. This is where you are going. This is your dream. 5. Say out loud, “My dream is to have a relationship that is… (whatever you have defined). I will now be true to my heart and have the courage to move towards my dream. Now that I have a dream, my dream will come true.” Once you have defined your dream, you will be more focused and naturally brave. You know what you want and deserve, so you will act, think and behave in this direction. You


will hold your head high, have a different look and a more honest smile, you will ask for more and more will be given to you. It’s not magic. It is you creating your own, better future. You are adapting to your new life, and making it happen. When I made the decision that my fun, but exhausting, flirting days were over and I was ready to settle down with someone special, I started moving and breathing in a different pace. I felt awkward in the mini skirts I used to love and I talked to other kinds of men about different things. I wasn’t pretending to be someone else or playing games; I was bringing out other parts of myself, which is something we naturally do, depending on who we’re communicating with. I know it can be scary, but with a strong motivation to step out of your comfort zone and reveal your true self, your life and relationships will change for the better. Talk openly about the challenges you’re having and kill your fears with help from your dream and talk about your future. Do the dream exercise and you’ll be well on your way to a happy and more fulfilled love life! Carolin Dahlman is a love coach. For more information visit or email

Entertaining Made


M Tips to easy entertaining Rachael Bermingham and Kim McCosker, authors of bestselling cookbook 4 Ingredients, suggest the following top tips to entertaining made easy: • Plan ahead. Think about the number of people you have coming and what they like to eat, then source three practical and quick recipes you know will work. • If you haven’t cooked the recipes before it’s a great idea to do a trial run so you know it will all taste divine. You want your dinner guests to walk out with satisfied bellies and tastebuds. • Read the recipe carefully to ensure you have all the ingredients, plus utensils and cookware required. • Prepare as much of the recipes you can before your guests arrive so you can enjoy the night too.



ost of us have been in the situation where, with less than an hour to go, we have dinner guests arriving, the house is a mess and we haven’t so much as peeled a spud. At this point, it’s easy to hit the panic button, but with a little planning and a few clever tricks, a short-notice dinner party can be easy and fun for everyone – including the hostess. The first, and most important, step is to put on some music that makes you feel good. Forget the sink full of dishes and take a minute to get yourself into party mode. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the Bee Gees or Britney, if it makes you feel a little bit silly, put it on and crank it up. Eddie Yacoubian, co-owner of Sydney-based events company Two In A Million suggests one way of taking the stress out of organising the music for the event is to create an iTunes playlist that you can cue up whenever you have guests over. “I recommend an eclectic mix; make it upbeat but not overpowering,” he says. Leona Watson, director of team-building cooking company Cheeky Food Group adds, “Always play party music for the first half an hour. It doesn’t matter if you tone it down later on. Fun music is the best way to warm up your guests and put them in a good mood.” Now you’re ready for step two: wine. Pour yourself a glass, or if you’re not a drinker, pour yourself a mineral water or a soft drink. Ensure that any drinks you are planning to serve are being chilled or are breathing. The easiest way to make people relax is to get them a drink when they first arrive and preparing the drinks beforehand will save time later. “I always serve everyone a vodka cocktail or a margarita when they first arrive as this really gets people into the swing of things,” says Leona. You can also pre-mix basic cocktails in a jug ahead of time so you can pour on demand when people show up.


Canapes (or nibbles) should be the next priority as this is what your guests will be tucking into when they first arrive. Easy but impressive canapes include Vietnamese rice paper rolls, steamed wontons with dipping sauce or barbequed prawn skewers – with the added bonus that you can generally convince one of the guests to cook these for you. If you don’t have time to prepare canapes, Leona suggests going to your local deli and purchasing three good quality cheeses and a few condiments, such as quince paste and olive tapenade. The next step is to get cracking on the mains. People love to serve themselves so rather than ‘plating up’, serve the meal buffet-style in the centre of the table. “Make one hero dish for the main – pasta is great for this,” suggests Eddie. “Always use fresh, beautiful produce. It’s fine to use pre-packaged washed leaves for salads, but make sure you’re cutting everything else – tomatoes, cucumbers etc – right before you serve the meal. It’s also worth having a practice go on the main before you serve it to guests. And remember, don’t be overly ambitious – stay well within the boundaries of your cooking abilities.” Setting the table is next on the agenda. For a simple but ‘wow’ table setting, all you need is an interesting mixture of glassware, some tea-light candles, flowers and linen napkins. Don’t be overly concerned with making everything match and don’t be afraid to mix Nanna’s crystal glasses with your ultra modern cutlery set. Finally, pre-purchase dessert if you really don’t have time to put something together. There are so many excellent options in the freezer section at the supermarket or you can pop into your nearest bakery and pick up a fresh apple pie or fruit flan. All you need do then is add ice-cream, custard or double cream. If you would like to whip up dessert quickly, choose something with minimal ingredients that doesn’t require baking.


With these tips and recipes you can be the perfect dinner-party hostess – even at short notice, writes Emma Gardiner.

Try this quick and simple menu that you’ll be proud to serve: On arrival


• 300g can chickpeas

• 440g can cream of asparagus soup • 220g can red salmon • 300ml cream


• 1 garlic clove crushed • 2 tbs. lemon juice • 1 tbs. tahina Blend all ingredients in a food processor. Optional: serve with olives and toasted bread.

Salmon & Asparagus Soup (serves 4-6)

Drain salmon, removing skin and bones before pureeing in a blender. In a saucepan, mix blended salmon with cream of asparagus soup and 1 cup water. Add cream to the mixture, heat without boiling, season with salt and pepper if needed.

WIN Write into empower and tell us in 25 words or less one of your most humorous entertaining moments. It may not have been funny at the time (or maybe it was), but we’re sure you can look back now and have a laugh! Our favourite entry will receive a free copy of 4 Ingredients – a fantastic cookbook full of recipes using just four or fewer ingredients. Sounds good to us and we think you busy women will love it too. With ‘4 Ingredients Giveaway’ in the subject line, email your entry to


Rosemary and Thyme Potatoes (serves 4) • 4 large potatoes • 2 tbs. olive oil • 1 tbs. dried fresh rosemary • 1 tbs. thyme Preheat oven 180C. Peel potatoes and halve. On the non-flat side, make 4 or 5 slices across the potatoes, slicing about three-quarters of the way through. Combine potatoes with oil in large baking dish, sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Bake for approximately 20-30 minutes until potatoes are browned and tender. Mix herbs and sprinkle.

Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms (serves 4) • 4 large organic field mushrooms • 4 rashers of bacon • ½ cup breadcrumbs • ¾ cup mozzarella cheese

Crunchy Snow Peas (serves 4) • 400g snow peas Top and tail snow peas & place in a sealable container. Boil your jug, cover peas with boiling water and seal container for 3 minutes, drain and serve.

Chicken Pie (serves 4-6) • 2 sheets puff pastry • 440g can condensed cream of chicken soup • 1 cup cooked chicken without skin, cubed • 500g good quality frozen mixed vegetables, thawed


Apple Crumble (serves 4-6) • 1 can apple pie filling • ¼ - ½ cup soft butter • ¾ cup brown sugar • 1 cup plain flour Place apple filling into a baking dish. Sprinkle with 2 tbs. of brown sugar. Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl (reserving 2 tbs. butter) with a knife until crumbly. Sprinkle on top of apple filling and drizzle with reserved melted butter. Bake in a 200C oven for 30 minutes or until crumble is golden brown. Optional: Add ½ tsp. mixed spice to the apple mix. Serve with custard or ice-cream. * Recipes courtesy the 4 Ingredients

Preheat oven to 180C. Line a greased pie dish with the first sheet of puff pastry. Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and pour into pastry. Cover with remaining sheet, seal edges well by pressing with a fork. Cut several slits in the pie lid and bake for 30 minutes, or until lid is golden brown.

Preheat oven to 180C. Remove mushroom stalks. Cut bacon rashers into fine strips and lightly fry. Mix breadcrumbs and cheese together and add bacon. Place mushrooms, top side down, on a lined baking tray. Spoon ingredients onto the mushroom and bake for 15 minutes.

Optional: Brush with beaten egg or milk for a

Optional: add red capsicum and garnish with parsley.

presentable finish. 51


A selection of the latest personal development books, as well as a sample of books that have most inspired the emPOWER staff.


a burqa and a hard place

By Sally Cooper Macmillan Australia, $32.95 On the cusp of her 35th birthday, Sydney radio producer Sally Cooper felt that something was missing in her life. Six weeks later, she packed her bags and headed overseas. Sally’s memoir, A Burqa and a Hard Place is a fast-paced look at daily life in Kabul from the viewpoint of an Australian aid worker. The book chronicles her time spent in Afghanistan – three years training journalists at a remote outpost of the United Nations – navigating work, life, friendship and unfamiliar territory from a female perspective.

gorgeously green By Sophie Uliano HarperCollins, $26.99

Adopting a green lifestyle in this day and age is among the most positive, forward thinking, and fulfilling choices anyone can make. An upbeat and practical guide, Gorgeously Green shows the modern woman the simple steps she can take to become more aware of her impact on earth, update her beauty regimen, create an eco-friendly home, adopt a healthier diet and fitness routine, indulge in guilt-free shopping, and more.

happiness: A guide to developing life’s most important skill

By Matthieu Ricard Atlantic Books, $26.95

In his new book, Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard shows that happiness is not just an emotion, but a skill that can be developed. Free of arcane jargon, Happiness contains 20-minute exercises to train the mind to recognise and pursue lasting happiness.

The good giving guide

By Lyn Amy & Mary Pearce Penguin, $26.95 Australians are a generous bunch – in the twelve months to January 2005, 87 percent of us gave to a not-for-profit ($5.7 billion in cash donations), but most of us had to be asked first. The premise of The Good Giving Guide is that more people would ‘give’ if they had more information about charities and how best to support them. The guide includes practical tips on individual giving, setting up trusts, business giving and corporate volunteering, along with in-depth analysis of 100 Australian charities.

the power of now, by Eckhart Tolle The Power of Now is not just to be read, it is to be experienced. Tolle takes you on a blissful journey of self observation and discovery, showing how to free yourself from the clutter and busy-ness of your mind and to live “present, fully and intensely, in the ‘now’”. His teachings on “watching the thinker”, “dissolving the pain-body” and “the meaning of surrender” have changed my life forever. Helen Rosing, Managing Director





our favourites

our favourites the 7 habits of highly effective people, by Stephen R.Covey

So many people are good at organising their time, setting goals, making checklists and reminder notes, yet they are always frustrated with the end result. Why? Because the object of management is you! The book teaches you to “do the right thing” as opposed to “doing things right”, which is the difference between being effective and being merely efficient. WOW! Powerful stuff – highly recommended. Losaline Kolomalu, National Sales Manager

beyond the wave, by Trisha Broadbridge Following the tragic loss of her husband while honeymooning on Thailand’s Phi Phi Island in 2004, Trisha Broadbridge shares her grief after the tsunami and how it motivated her to set up the Reach Broadbridge Fund, established to honour Troy Broadbridge and make a difference in the lives of young people in Australia and Thailand – a true inspiration. Rebecca Spicer, Managing Editor

succulent wild woman, by SARK

Create boldly. Laugh loudly. Dance wildly. Take a journey with your creative child as Sark encourages you to be a juicy, fabulous female filled with succulence. Her zest for life is infectious; embark on an outrageous adventure, laugh at cellulite, paint with wild abandon and take more naps! Colourful and flamboyant, Succulent Wild Woman inspires a celebration of everything ‘woman’.

Book covers supplied by...

Tammy Warner-Wilson, Production Coordinator

cradle to cradle, by Michael Braungarts & William McDonough Cradle to Cradle is a collective work that illustrates the inspiring ecological vision of an architect (William McDonough) and a chemist (Michael Braungarts). The book challenges the conventional attitude of “reduce, reuse and recycle” that aims to merely minimise environmental damage. It urges designers to develop a new “cradle to cradle” approach that eliminates the use of natural resources. Jeanne Wu, Graphic Designer



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

Wealth for Women

Are you manifesting your inner millionaire? Presented by Mary King, Rich is Better – Wealth for Women is a two-day workshop for any woman who aspires to be wealthy. Discover the secrets to creating abundance and learn practical strategies you can apply on your quest for personal freedom. Mary is an international speaker, wealth coach, psychotherapist, best-selling author and financial freedom mentor. Workshops are being held August 16-17 in Sydney, $590; October 18-19 in Brisbane, $590; and November 15-16 in Melbourne, $550.

Heal Yourself

From Hay House comes the debut of the first-ever DVD on the life and work of Louise Hay. You Can Heal Your Life – The Movie gives penetrating insights into Louise’s fascinating life story and provides clarity on how her views on self-esteem, abundance and the metaphysical causes behind physical ailments were developed. Louise is a metaphysical lecturer and teacher, and the bestselling author of 27 books, including You Can Heal Your Life and Empowering Women: Every Woman’s guide to Successful Living. Her works have been translated into 25 languages in 33 countries throughout the world. Available from, $29.95 ($39.95 for the extended version).

Meditation Made Easy

Pam Abeling’s latest meditation CD, On the Go for Busy – Frantic! – Women, offers the perfect solution for women who are time-poor but still want to enjoy the benefits of meditation. With music by Marc Allen, the CD includes tracks ranging from three-minute meditations to lift your spirits and clear your mind, to 12-minute journeys that truly relax you. Play it when you have a few free minutes and squeeze in some well deserved relaxation time. Available for $30 from

Employers of Choice

The Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency has released this year’s Employer of Choice for Women list. Ninety-nine non-government organisations that recognise and advance their female workforces were acknowledged for their efforts in the area of equal opportunity for women. Six prerequisites have been introduced for companies on the list, including a minimum of six weeks paid maternity leave and the ability for female managers to work part-time. For information about the organisations advocating women in your state go to

Forget days spent trawling the streets for an internet cafe – thanks to Unwired, you can surf the net in the comfort of your favourite cafe or bar for free! In response to the increasing cafe culture and internet dependency in Australia, Unwired is providing hundreds of uConnect wi-fi hotspots across Sydney and Melbourne. This wireless internet service uses high-speed wi-fi technology and is completely free for the user. Visit to locate your closest cafe or bar offering the uConnect service.





Stay Connected on the Go

Spotlight On...

Bowen Therapy

In our regular column exploring a different complementary therapy each issue, editor Rebecca Spicer starts off with her first experience at bowen therapy.




he first time I’d ever heard of bowen therapy was my first week on the job at empower when our director was racing out the door one night to get to her bowen session on time. Ever the agreeable ‘new’ employee I nodded as if to say, ‘of course, bowen therapy’, even though I’d never heard of it before. The inquisitive journalist in me then wanted to know more. I started asking around and received mixed responses – some had tried it (with glowing reviews), some had heard of it and many had vague looks on their faces. While our director could offer some insight, like many things, it’s a personal experience – different for each person. So she recommended I see her therapist, Susan Lagats of Bowen Essence in Blacktown, Sydney, to get a first-hand perspective. All I knew was that it involved hand-to-body techniques, it wasn’t massage but it was just ‘yummy’. So, with few expectations, I just went in with an open mind.


Susan’s therapy rooms are located behind her home in a detached building dedicated to her business. Set out professionally just like any beauty salon, but more cosy with soft music, incense and asian-style wooden furniture with beautiful pictures, books and her own personal touches, I felt right at home. I was greeted by Susan who was friendly and comforting. We sat for a while to chat about her business and so I could get some background on bowen before we officially started my ‘session’. Susan describes bowen as “a gentle treatment that allows the body to self-adjust”. As a qualified bowen therapist, Susan uses gentle and specific moves over muscles and connective tissue to send messages deep into the body to begin a healing process. “The body then makes the changes itself,” she explains. “You also have pauses in the treatment so the body has time to respond to the messages that the treatment gives. When it’s time for my session, I fill out a typical client form, including any specific issues I might like her to target. As a self-confessed ‘sloucher’, the tension through my neck and shoulders has been a definite concern, as well as some digestive issues. Susan explains how we’ll generally address those concerns, as well as some potential causes and things I might like to consider beyond bowen to help. According to Susan, bowen should really be able to address any type of condition – from general tension, through to muscular, organ or hormonal concerns – but many of her patients come to her because they’re in some sort of pain. Either way, she structures the treatment specifically to the client and their needs, based on things they say, movements they make, as well as her own judgement on where the body is pulling and where the tension is during the treatment. My personal treatment begins face down on a typical massage bed, still surrounded by soothing music and scents. Susan is able to work through light clothing, so it’s a relief to know I don’t need to strip off. She begins applying gentle, precise moves on various parts of my back, ensuring what she does for one side of my body, she also does for the


Session 1

Spotlight On...

The Facts on Bowen Therapy

Session 2 other. A few movements in, she pauses and I am left on my own for a few moments. For those who don’t expect this, it might seem a little strange to be left alone at first, but I knew what to expect so actually found this the most relaxing part of the whole process. It was hard to switch my mind off the tasks at hand later that day, but I think this is the crucial time to focus on yourself and just relax. Various movements were repeated and new ones used with a few pauses in between. The same occurred when I rolled onto my back, with different moves used on my front – arms, neck, legs, etc. Some were felt more strongly, but after several more moves, returning to that same sensitive pressure point actually felt less painful. This was my first indication that bowen was working (other than to put me in an intense state of relaxation). Susan finishes off with a light massage of the face and head (which really is ‘yummy’) and I have to say I was disappointed when it was over. She helped me get up slowly and we did a few exercises to test certain movements. As we debrief afterwards, Susan insists I have a drink of water and tells me its crucial to continue drinking it all day, as well as try and stay active. The important thing is the treatment doesn’t stop when you walk out the door, explained Susan. “It switches the body on and, in the days following, adjustments are still happening. For some people the progress can be very fast and very quick, while for others it may take longer.” I walk away from my first session feeling slightly light-headed, but pretty good. I did do as I was told with water and staying active, and literally crashed into bed that night sleeping better than I had in a while. Strangely, though, night two after my treatment I barely slept at all. I was awake, tossing and turning all night for no particular reason, and I was very anxious thinking how tired I would be the next day. But I actually managed to get through the next day quite easily and even accepted a last-minute dinner invitation. I’m unsure if any of this had to do with the bowen therapy, but I thought it was worth noting.

Six days after my first treatment, I headed back to Susan feeling very excited about how relaxed I would soon be. It was a Friday afternoon, so I was feeling quite tired and tense after a big week. After a quick debrief, we got stuck straight into the second session, which actually lasted a little longer than the first (sessions usually last between 30 minutes to an hour). Using a few different moves, Susan really focused on my tense shoulders and neck. I was going out afterwards and it really relaxed me into enjoying the night, rather than being tired and worn out after a long week. I will admit, however, given I didn’t go home, I didn’t drink anywhere near enough water I should have and I also didn’t have the opportunity to move around very much. I think this really would have made all the difference to increase the results. At the time of writing I am scheduled in for session three. Susan suggests clients need at least two to three sessions in order to really feel the effects of the treatment and encourages people come back for maintenance thereafter. This can be anywhere from fortnightly or monthly to every six months, depending on the client. Overall, I was really pleased with bowen and it’s something I’m going to continue working with. As Susan suggests, it can be even more effective if used in conjunction with other methods (from simple things, such as positive self-talk and deep breathing, through to using suggested supplements or even life coaching). In general, I also find it extremely relaxing and given it’s so non-invasive; there’s no discomfort during or after the treatment. As mentioned, though, all therapies are different for everyone, so don’t take my word for it… try it out for yourself or read future issues where we’ll look at other alternatives that might better suit you. More information: The official site for the Original Bowen Technique – – is a good starting point. Susan Lagats of Bowen Essence can be contacted on 0418 470 166, or visit to find a practitioner near you.


Origins: From the 1950s until his death on October 27, 1982, Victorian man Thomas Bowen developed a unique soft-tissue therapeutic technique that is now known as the Bowen Technique. As Thomas made no notes or charts, at his request, one of his students Ossie Rentsch took on the task of documenting his work. Ossie and his wife Elaine then developed the Original Bowen Technique and have taken it to the world. Growth: Instruction and training methodology have only been delivered outside Australia since 1986, resulting in more than 20,000 bowen practitioners in 32 countries worldwide. The Bowen Academy of Australia has 76 accredited instructors worldwide and to date, courses have been held in 24 countries. Methodology: The bowen technique

is based on the principle ‘less is more’. The practitioner applies gentle, precise moves to specific points on muscles, tendons and/ or nerves, stimulating the body to reset and heal itself. The moves only last a few seconds and are organised into sets with frequent and important pauses between each set to give the body time to respond to the messages that the treatment gives. The healing may occur at all levels as needed: physical, chemical, emotional, mental, energetic and so on. Bowen is appropriate for everyone from newborns to the very elderly and frail. Highly trained athletes and pregnant women also benefit equally, each according to need.

Duration: Actual bowen sessions will take between 15 and 60 minutes with more time allocated for the introduction and debrief afterwards. Cost: Susan charges $75 for an initial

consultation and $55 for ongoing sessions, but rates will vary between practitioners.

Qualifications: As from 2006 the Diploma in Bowen Therapy (Bowtech) is now nationally recognised training in Australia. When looking for a qualified therapist, check they either have this Diploma or they are accredited as an Advanced Bowen Therapist (the highest qualification prior to the introduction of the Diploma). Susan advises also checking if they are recognised by health funds.

FOOD Fundamentals Become a food expert and make the best choices for your body. Dietitian Susie Burrell takes you through Nutrition 101 – and, no, you don’t need a four-year science degree.


ou only need to switch on the television, open a newspaper or overhear a conversation at the gym to hear about nutrition and weight loss. Due to the fact that we all need to eat, most people have an opinion on what constitutes a good diet and are happy to voice what they believe is the right (or wrong) way to eat. Despite the vast amount of information available on health, nutrition and weight loss, the truth is that healthy eating and nutrition are actually reasonably simple concepts to understand once you know a few basics.

What is good nutrition?

In scientific terms, optimal nutrition means giving your body the key nutrients it needs in the right amounts, at the right times. The three key nutrients are carbohydrates, protein and fats, and different foods are made up of different combinations of these three nutrients. For example, a slice of bread consists of a mix of carbohydrates, proteins and fats while fruit consists solely of carbohydrates. The relative proportions of carbohydrates, proteins and fats determines how many calories or kilojoules each food has. For example, an apple contains approximately 15 grams of carbohydrate, and carbohydrate provides 17 kilojoules per gram, which gives an apple roughly 240 kilojoules. Food also contains water and micronutrients including vitamins and minerals, such as iron, zinc and calcium, which the body needs in relatively small amounts to function.



Ever since Jennifer Aniston swore off them, carbohydrates have been banned on many a weight-loss diet, but carbohydrates are the sole reason we are actually alive. Carbohydrates provide the body with its primary fuel source, glucose, which is what the brain and muscles rely on for energy. Carbohydrate-based foods are plant-based foods and include bread, breakfast cereal, pasta, fruit and rice, as well as simple sugars such as honey, juice and jam. For many years, carbohydrates were grouped into complex or simple varieties, but as science has advanced it has been found that the key difference between the various carbohydrate foods is the rate at which they release glucose into the bloodstream. Low glycaemic index carbohydrates (known as low-GI) release glucose relatively slowly compared to that of high glycaemic index (high-GI) foods. Low-GI carbohydrates include grain-based breads and cereals as well as low-fat dairy foods, stone and temperate fruit and pasta, and are known to have a number of health benefits, including reduced blood glucose levels. These foods help support long-term weight control.

The power of protein

Unlike carbohydrates, protein will only be used as a fuel source for the muscle in times of severe fuel shortage (starvation). Instead, proteins have a functional role in the body. They consist of a range of amino acid building blocks, which form the basis of muscle, skin and connective tissue in the body. As proteins are not the primary fuel source, they are digested after carbohydrates and are hence thought to have a powerful effect on satiety or fullness signals in the body. Protein-rich foods include animal foods such as meat, fish, eggs and dairy as well as nuts, legumes and tofu, which are also foods that supply a number of key micronutrients including calcium, zinc and iron.



While fats are rarely thought of as a positive in the diet, we all need a certain amount of fat in our diet as every single one of our cells is surrounded by a wall of this substance. The key thing to know is that there are two main types of fat: • Unsaturated fats – comprising two varieties, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. This type of fat is found largely in plant foods such as nuts and oils. • Saturated fats – found in animal-based foods such as dairy and meat and used to make many processed foods. While unsaturated fat has a functional role in the body, saturated fat has less so, hence the reason we need little of it in our diet. The average female needs just 40 to 60 grams of fat each day, ideally getting fewer than 20 grams of this from saturated fats and the remainder split evenly between polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. It is actually very easy to get your fat balance right. Aim to include one to two serves of monounsaturated fats from avocado, olive oil or almonds, add one to two serves of polyunsaturated fat found in linseeds (flaxseeds) or walnuts and then some oily fish or fish oil and you will be in perfect balance with your fats.

What about vegetables?

With the exception of potato, sweet potato, corn and parsnip, vegetables are basically a mix of water and vitamins and minerals – they have little (to no) calories and can literally be eaten to your heart’s content! A general rule of thumb is, the brighter the colour of the vegetable, the better it is for you. Having a serve of vegetables at both lunch and dinner is a good way to obtain all of our fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, every single day.


The truth about carbs


Vitamins & minerals

The body requires a certain number of vitamins and minerals to function. Iron, calcium and zinc, as well as all of the vitamins are well known, but there is also a number of lesser-known micronutrients including selenium, chromium and manganese, which also have important roles to play. The good news is that a balance of the three key nutrients – carbs, proteins and fats – will ensure you receive all of your micronutrients.

Achieving nutrient balance

Once you have good knowledge about what food is made of, thoughts shift to achieving the right balance of these nutrients for optimal health and wellbeing. A basic rule of thumb is to try to team low-GI carbohydrates with lean proteins for each of your meals and snacks – wholegrain cereal with low fat milk, tuna and wholegrain crackers or yoghurt and fruit – this way you receive both quality carbohydrates for energy and protein for fullness, and a nutrition hit of key micronutrients such as calcium and zinc. A common nutrition mistake people make is to rely solely on carbohydrates, eating just toast for breakfast or biscuits or fruit for snacks, which can leave them unfulfilled and more likely to eat higher calorie foods through the day.

example, a low-carbohydrate diet consists largely of vegetables and proteins, and a low-fat diet is made up largely of carbohydrates and vegetables. The truth is that most diets will work to some extent for different people – the trick is to pick a style of eating that is right for you. In general, low fat and moderate-carbohydrate diets (carbohydrates in the day with fewer in the evening) tend to work well for most people. Making sure the diet you choose has all of your key nutrients and gives you enough energy is a good marker of the right diet for you.

What about treats?

When considering healthy eating and nutrition, it can be easy to develop a purist mindset and think that avoiding all high-fat foods and alcohol equates to an ideal diet – but this is not the case. Remember, eating is a social experience and enjoying food may also mean enjoying high-fat foods and treats occasionally. An active female can include 400 to 500 kilojoules worth of treats each day without putting her into overload. This is equal to a glass of wine, a row of chocolate or a small piece of cake – no need to feel guilty!

Nutritional Plan Develop a Susie’s top tips for developing an effective nutrition plan: 1. Always eat breakfast. 2. Choose low-GI carbohydrates, including grain-based bread and breakfast cereals. 3. Aim to eat low-GI carbohydrates with lean proteins. 4. Eat two pieces of fruit a day. 5. Include three cups of vegetables or salad a day. 6. Go for low-fat dairy foods. 7. Choose the leanest red meat. 8. Include oily fish three times a week. 9. Snack on nuts, fruit or dairy foods. 10. Use olive or canola oil for cooking.

Different diets, different people

Any diet you see – whether it is low fat, low carbohydrate or increased protein – are simply combinations of the key nutrients. For

top nutrient-rich foods • soy and linseed bread • walnuts • olive oil • salmon, tuna • bran-based cereals

• broccoli • eggs • carrots & red capsicum • lean red meat • kiwi fruit, berries & oranges

a balanced diet Consider the following for a successful balance in your diet: • Avoid an ‘all or nothing’ approach. • Think of your diet as your lifestyle choice. • Include regular treats. • Move your body for an hour each day. • Never skip breakfast. • Keep your meals lighter at night. • Always order extra salad and vegetables. • Avoid fad diets. • Spend some time developing a diet that works for you. • Plan your food each day – planning is the key to dietary success.

Susie Burrell is a qualified consultant dietitian. She can be contacted on email, or visit



Fit for a Laugh Exercise need not be a chore – the greatest benefits come from activities you enjoy, says personal trainer James Short.

Perception is everything

We all have our perception of exercise and what it means to us. This perception was probably created by a past experience or a certain event. It may come from your sports teacher at school, your fellow students or your parents. Was it years of practice or no practice at all? Being teased or praised? No matter what happened, it happened back then.



Understanding our beliefs about exercise is the first step towards viewing it differently. By being aware of where those beliefs come from, and seeing them from where you are right now, you can be aware that, that was in the past and this is now. This is a very powerful exercise to do. Many of my clients have massive “aahh” moments when they realise how they used to view exercise. With this understanding you now have the inner power and confidence to look at exercise and its benefits differently. I could list them all here, but I know deep down you know what they are (yes, you do!), so I don’t have to repeat them. Besides, everyone has different reasons for exercising. I believe the only reason people really want to exercise is because they want to feel good about themselves. People want to have self-love and inner confidence, that feeling of wanting to hug themselves while standing naked in the mirror… Now wouldn’t that be fun! These feelings and emotions are the essence of exercise. If we could only look past all those lunges, step-ups, crunches and laps of the pool, and see what exercise can do for us, then the “aahhs” start kicking in. This is when it can really start to become fun.


Your exercise of choice

With this insight, it’s time to turn to what type of exercise to do. In my seminars I often get the question, “What’s the best type of exercise I can do?” My response is, “The best exercise is the exercise you are going to do”. That’s right, the one you are going to do, and continue to do. The one you enjoy, the one that makes you feel good, the one that makes you sing in the shower (well, maybe not literally). It has to get you excited, an activity you want to tell your friends about, that you feel alive from doing. There are many forms of exercise to choose from, but some you might consider include: • Running: for some, this can be quite euphoric. Some of my clients who have run events, such as fun runs or half marathons, get a buzz from training and crossing that finish line. • Yoga: many of my clients who do yoga express a feeling of stillness and calmness. They feel more centred and have firmer muscles, yet they’re relaxed. • Pole dancing: a close friend did pole dancing and she couldn’t stop talking about it, and this is what’s important – the exercise should give you a feeling of joy and excitement. • Dance classes: express your emotions and feelings through dance, from ballroom to the cha cha. Learn to swing those hips and move those toes.



hen we think of fun, many might think of watching movies on the couch with a hot chocolate, shopping for new shoes or going out with friends to a magnificent restaurant. How many of you have had fun while pounding the pavement, sweating on the gym floor or busting your backside with all those squats? Truth is, there is a way to combine fun with exercise, and it all comes down to how you view it. What do we think of when we think of exercise? Is it a stroll by the beach, a walk in the park, boxing classes, saluting the sun with a downward dog, boot-camp classes at the beach or your own personal trainer? Do these images have fun all over them or do they represent something else? Maybe burning muscles, beads of sweat or gasping for air?


Key Tips Doing the exercise you like to do will result in having fun and getting fit at the same time. You will view exercise differently and start feeling the benefits overnight. If you get bored, change it, if you find it too easy, step it up a notch – increase the frequency or intensity of each session. Take some time out to look at what exercise means to you. Write it all down, express it, be descriptive and write as much as possible. Try answering the following: • What does exercise mean to you? • When did you start feeling that way? • Was there a certain event that made you feel that way? Describe the event. • Is there anything else you think or feel when it comes to exercise?


The golden rule is there is never an ‘I don’t know’, there is always a reason – dig deep. Then, list the reasons why you would want to exercise. Finally, write down any form of exercise you’ve wanted to try, or even something new, and give it a go. Enlist some friends or go it alone. There is a whole world of fun things to do for exercise, just go exploring and start reaping the benefits.

James Short is a fitness expert, presenter, trainer and coach. He is the 2008 Fitness Australia fitness professional of the year. Contact him at

James’ top tips to get you going and overcome some typical barriers to exercise: 1. Create a journal of what you want your new body to look like, and try to keep this in line with your natural body shape. Be as descriptive as possible. Use all positive emotions and feelings, and describe how your new body looks and what other people are saying about it. Gather pictures and stick them in your journal. Write in it every day and outline the daily activities you did in order to reach your goals. 2. Get an accountability buddy. Being accountable to someone is always a great motivator. We can come up with a million and one excuses for ourselves, but when we are accountable to someone else it is a lot harder to say ‘no’. 3. Find it hard to get up in the morning? Place the alarm clock on the other side of the room so when it goes off you physically have to get out of bed to turn it off. Or, schedule a wake-up phone call from a friend or wake-up service. Place the phone in the other room so you have to get up and answer it. 4. Place pictures and motivating quotes all over the house, especially the fridge. Constant reminders of why you want to achieve your fitness goals are always good for motivation. Think positive, be positive and you will achieve! 5. Keep a food diary. Writing down everything you eat increases your awareness of what you are really eating. Many of my clients don’t realise what they are consuming, especially when it comes to the 3pm sugar hit. Writing it down gives you control and, with this, changes can be made. Remember, food makes up 70 percent of your goals when you are talking health and fitness. 6. Make three-week commitments. By looking at smaller blocks of time we can conceptualise those commitments (exercising four times per week, no alcohol, small dinners etc) as do-able and easier to maintain. At the end of the three weeks reward yourself. This will break down those bigger goals into smaller, more manageable parts.



Fertile Minds

Think you’ve left it too late to have a baby? Relax. With the right information and attitude, time is on your side, writes Mara Lee.

Getting Positively Pregnant Things every woman should know, according to Dr Elizabeth Muir: • Every woman who has not finished her menopause is potentially able to have a baby. • The fact that a woman has been trying to have a baby, successfully, for several years does not mean her body is unable to do it. • The focus must be on fertility, not infertility. • Women have more control over their reproductive ability than they appreciate. • There are natural and noninvasive ways of helping women to have babies – rushing into IVF without exploring natural ways of sorting out the issue can be counterproductive. • Creating empowering beliefs improves your chances of conceiving (think: “I menstruate, therefore I am fertile.”)




egan was 37 when she finally found Tom Bradfield, aka Mr Right. The couple immediately began trying to have a family and, after two unsuccessful years, turned to IVF to help them achieve what they so desperately wanted. Four failed attempts later, Megan and Tom resigned themselves to a life of childlessness, bought a dog and moved into a four-bedroom house in the suburbs. “I don’t know why we chose that house because we certainly didn’t need all those rooms,” Megan recalls. “We figured we’d missed the baby boat and, while that was very sad, the dog was going to be our substitute child.” Three months later, however, Megan was pregnant with her first child, and two years after Emma was born, Megan gave birth to Harry. Both children were conceived naturally when their mother was 39 and 41, respectively. Ask around and you’ll find plenty more women with ‘miracle baby’ stories. Take Sarah Pope. She also met and married her husband Chris in her late thirties and, conscious of her biological clock ticking, they decided to try for children straight away. “I was very concerned about my age and half expected we’d need IVF,” Sarah says. When nothing happened after one year, they decided not to waste any more precious time. Sarah was mentally steeling herself for a second attempt at IVF when she discovered she was pregnant, naturally. Her daughter Ellie was born when Sarah was just shy of 40. It is often reported that a woman’s fertility begins to wane from around the age of 30 and takes a nose-dive at around 35. Assisted reproductive techniques, such as IVF or fertility-enhancing drugs, can help to overcome this biological hurdle, but are by no means 100 percent guaranteed, as Megan and Sarah discovered at their emotional, physical and financial cost. According to the experts, women should have children before they turn 30 when they


are, technically speaking, more fertile. But while the medical community remains convinced age and fertility are inextricably linked, another school of thought has begun to champion the role of the mind. Dr Elizabeth Muir, for example, is a clinical psychologist and director of Elizabeth Muir’s Clinic, a private practice in London that uses a combination of psychological and hypnotherapeutic techniques to treat medically unexplained infertility. It is your attitude not your age, Elizabeth argues, that helps or hinders your ability to become pregnant. The notion that women are “leaving it too late” to have babies is untrue and damaging, she says. “Our society is full of limiting beliefs about age and fertility,” says Elizabeth. “I have found how much women are actually influenced by these negative beliefs and adopt them as dogma. “The body knows very well how to conceive a baby, how to nurture it in the womb and how to deliver it. Unfortunately we don’t always trust the process and we impose on our body our own ideas, pushing the body [to do] what it may not feel safe at a particular time to do.” The pressure of getting pregnant, especially if a woman is obsessing about it, will automatically delay that very thing from happening, she adds. Elizabeth also believes there can be subconscious reasons why some women are inexplicably infertile. “There are emotional issues which are triggered by the idea of having a baby and that can stop a perfectly fertile body from manifesting fertility,” she says. Left unaddressed, these issues can act as roadblocks to conception. Often these issues are related to a woman’s true feelings about pregnancy, labour, giving birth, hospitals, motherhood, career, finances, childhood, relationships with partner or parents, or even previous sexual behaviour or medical history, such as having an abortion. “I firmly believe



that women in our society suppress their natural fertility,” says Elizabeth. “They worry about not having enough money or a big enough house or that having a baby will spoil their career. “Emotions affect our physiology. By addressing feelings of fear and insecurity, for instance, the body becomes free to conceive,” she adds. The relationship between positive thought and pregnancy shouldn’t be underestimated, agrees Francesca Naish, founder and director of The Jocelyn Centre for Natural Fertility Management in Sydney. “Certainly there’s a link between stress and fertility problems,” says Francesca. “Feeling positive is a way of reducing the physical effects of stress and gives you the motivation to do something constructive about managing your fertility.” It also gives you the ability to make clearer decisions – and to ensure those decisions are right for you. Francesca’s mission statement for The Jocelyn Centre pays tribute to “the inherent and natural capacity of women and their partners to manage their own fertility, in order to avoid or achieve conception and, in their right to information, which will enable them to do so without unnecessary recourse to drugs, devices, surgical or technical intervention”. In other words, medical science is not the only option for couples who want to conceive – even if they are worried they’ve “left it too late”. Instead, Francesca recommends a preconception program for older parents – and yes, that means the male in the baby-making equation, too.

“Studies show that men are responsible for at least 50 percent of fertility issues, as well as the outcome of the pregnancy and the health of the baby,” Francesca says. “We definitely recommend that both partners take on our pre-conception program, and it’s especially important for older mothers.” The program is undertaken at least four months before couples plan to conceive, and includes a combination of monitoring diet and nutrition, charting ovulation, medical screening, protecting against and recovering from lifestyle “poisons”, herbal medicine to treat existing health conditions, and stress management. The aim is to get the mind and body of both parents in tip-top shape, for a more successful pregnancy and a healthier baby. While our experts believe women can take control of, and manage, their fertility in a positive, pro-active and natural way, the first step for women is believing that you and your body are infinitely capable of making a baby – whatever your age. “Every woman who has not finished menopause is potentially able to have a baby,” says Elizabeth. “By creating empowering beliefs that support the positive outcome, they improve their chances of conceiving.” Source: Fertile facts courtesy of Professor Robert Jansen, medical director of Sydney IVF and author of Getting Pregnant: A Compassionate Resource to Overcoming Infertility and Avoiding Miscarriage (Allen & Unwin).


NOW? DID YOU K • Timing is everything when it comes to making babies. Ovulation occurs more often in the afternoon, so having sex in the morning is your best bet when trying to conceive. • The lower your partner’s sperm count, the more you need to have sex in the lead-up to ovulation in order to improve sperm vitality. • A glass or two of wine can help a woman conceive – but don’t go overboard.


Is Your


Stalling Your


If you’re feeling frustrated at work, it may be because you’re not letting your best qualities shine through. Career coach Kate James has this advice for getting ahead.






n an ideal world you would have the opportunity to observe the culture and the day-to-day workings of an organisation before you commit to taking on a new role. You’d make sure it was a place that would bring out the best in your personality – somewhere you’d feel supported, valued and respected for who you are; somewhere people would understand you and where they wouldn’t take it personally when you were having an off day. As it happens, you generally know very little about the team members or managers you’ll work with, or the company culture before accepting a new position. There’s really only one thing you have control of in your workplace – you. Without question, your personality has the ability to make or break your career. No matter how great your technical skills are, if you’re working with other people you need to know how to get on with them. More importantly, when you want to get ahead in your organisation you need to ensure your personality isn’t holding you back. Regardless of where you are in your career, your attitude at work will be noticed by the people around you. As much as you’d like to think people will just accept you the way you are, there’s every chance that a lack of confidence or motivation, or the fact that you choose not to interact socially, will go against you when it comes to being considered for promotion, a pay rise or even just being given more rewarding tasks. It’s not always easy to stay upbeat and positive at work. There are many factors that play a part in how you approach each day. Invariably you’ll behave differently in the various roles you have throughout your career. Even the city you’re living in can make a difference to your approach. Take one of my clients, Emma, as an example. Emma moved home to Sydney from London to take up a role in her old company. After being back for eight months, she felt as though her personality had regressed three years. All the confidence and business savvy she’d developed during her time overseas seemed to have been left behind. Even in a new department with a


fresh set of colleagues, she had the sense she was completely stunted by a version of herself she thought she’d long outgrown. Emma continued to feel her confidence slip every day. She’d been overlooked for promotion and she knew it was justified – her heart just wasn’t in her role and her enthusiasm for work was at an all-time low. Just turning up for work every day was taking enormous amounts of her energy. She barely had the inclination to chat to her colleagues, let alone speak up at meetings or perform her role in a proactive manner. Emma knew she was being perceived as unfriendly and uncommitted. Emma’s situation is not uncommon. When you leave your home town and make a fresh start in a new city or country, it’s easy to leave behind the version of yourself you’ve long wanted to outgrow. At home, people have a tendency to pigeonhole you. Your parents remind you of who you once were. Old friends are sometimes more comfortable to view you the way they always have, and even you are reminded of your old self when you head back to familiar surroundings.

“Confidence can be created by approaching a situation differently” Personality check From time to time, we need to reflect on our personality traits and make a decision about whether it’s time to change one or more aspects. It’s more common for this to occur when we’re faced with a crisis or a challenge of some kind and, for many of us, these challenges begin in the workplace. While your immediate reaction might be to leave your role (or the country), look at the situation as an opportunity to grow. Generally speaking, successful people have a handful of characteristics that make them stand out from the crowd. They are confident and friendly and they go beyond the call of duty. They are willing to help others, have a ‘can do’ attitude and they avoid office gossip. They are solution- rather than problem-focused and they are able to move on from conflict without bearing an obvious grudge. If you are someone who finds it a challenge meeting new people, be aware that your shyness at work may be interpreted as unfriendly or unapproachable behaviour. If you’re someone who struggles to arrive at work on time, stop kidding yourself that it won’t be noticed. If

you’re not meeting deadlines or being proactive – if you’re unmotivated or lacking in confidence – it’s time for a personality overhaul. Most of us are self aware enough to know where we let ourselves down. If you know which aspect of your personality holds you back the most, you’ll like yourself better once you set to work on developing new habits. Confidence can be created by approaching a situation differently. With some career coaching, Emma made a commitment to take control at work rather than giving in to her desire to jump on the next plane back to London. She knew there would be another opportunity for promotion later in the year so she set herself a goal to build her confidence and go after that promotion in a proactive way. She stepped away from feeling powerless and made a conscious choice to take control of the situation. The first steps involved putting herself outside her comfort zone. She made a commitment to arrive at work half an hour early to prepare herself for the day. She made sure she was focused on completing tasks ahead of deadline and she cut down on her personal phone calls. Emma spent time preparing for meetings and made a point of speaking up whenever she could. She also started to interact differently with a difficult colleague – instead of complaining to a workmate about the colleague’s poor performance, Emma was proactive in asking them for what she required. She made sure her request was professional, succinct and non-threatening. Emma found it helpful to select a businesswoman she admired as a role model and she spent some time reflecting on the qualities that made that person successful. When choosing a role model, you don’t need to admire every aspect of their personality, just draw on the qualities they have that you need to work on most in yourself. Imagine how they would respond to a challenging workplace scenario and model this behaviour until it becomes comfortable for you. In Emma’s case, her commitment to reclaim her confidence and motivation paid off. Within twelve months she had achieved a promotion and a salary increase that took her to six figures. But most importantly, she was proud of the person she was being. The even greater thing is, you can be too! Kate James is a career coach who works with her clients to achieve balance and fulfillment in all areas of life. For more information visit her website at


Tips to a winning personality at work 1. Greet your colleagues with a confident smile and “good morning” as you arrive at the office. Be someone who is known to bring a breath of fresh air into the workplace. 2. Go above and beyond the call of duty. Be proactive – anticipate what needs doing ahead of time. 3. Learn how to think creatively so you see a problem from all aspects and put out fires before they occur. 4. Help out a colleague where you can. 5. Avoid office gossip at all times. 6. Look for the positives in others and be willing to praise people openly where it’s deserved. Never take credit for successes that aren’t your own, but be willing to give credit where it’s due. 7. Be direct. Ask for what you want from others, but try not to make people wrong in the process. When you play the blame game, people are defensive rather than cooperative. 8. Learn how to put the ‘confident you’ in the driver’s seat. We all have the ability to draw on that person… Sometimes you just need to make the decision to do so. 9. Communicate concisely. There’s nothing worse than someone waffling on. Prepare your points ahead of time and learn to communicate in a succinct but friendly way. This goes for meetings, emails, all business correspondence and telephone calls. 10. Get the balance right. Don’t take the nice thing too far – no one likes a person who is sickly sweet!

Women’s Business

dressed for

success With an exuberant personality and an endless supply of energy, Lorna Jane Clarkson is the successful businesswoman behind the multi-million dollar Lorna Jane activewear brand. Barbara Messer reveals how she built her retail empire from scratch.


n the days before Lorna Jane Clarkson established her own business, she was a dental therapist and part-time aerobics instructor. Establishing her own line of fitness clothing was something of an accident when, in 1990, Lorna began creating sportswear from the back room of a Brisbane gym. As demand increased she decided to commit to the venture full-time, opening her first concept store with her (now) husband Bill Clarkson, who is managing director of the company. Today, the Lorna Jane empire has expanded to include 35 concept stores in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, and employs 200 staff. The Lorna Jane company also includes a chain of Bodywize Wellbeing Clubs, a bottled water brand, Your H2o, and is on the brink of a US launch. We asked Lorna how she’s achieved such great success.

Were you nervous? I remember the owner of the fitness centre sitting me down and saying, ‘You’ll pay too much rent, you’ll be too tied down, you won’t have the freedom you enjoy now’. I remember trying not to cry. Here was this big businessman telling me what to do. But he rang me 10 years later to apologise for trying to talk me out of setting up my first store.

Why did you self-name the brand? I don’t really know why I picked the name ‘Lorna Jane’. My maiden name is ‘Smith’ and I wasn’t going to use that. I don’t think it was a conscious decision, it was more about putting a signature to my designs and it grew from there. I know some people still ask my staff, ‘Oh, is Lorna Jane really a person?’ I guess the brand is bigger than me now.

What is the vision behind the brand? I didn’t actually make a conscious decision to start a clothing label. I was working as a part-time aerobics instructor in the evenings when I started making my own outfits. The girls in my classes noticed my designs and began placing orders. I had no idea what I was doing – I was just combining my passions for fashion, health and wellbeing. I remember one morning looking at my kitchen table and there were patterns and fabric everywhere, and I thought, ‘I don’t want to go to work today, I want to keep doing what I’m doing’. It was an epiphany. I was based at a gym in Brisbane until my husband and I realised the potential of the business. We did the figures and realised we could cover the costs of running our own store, so we took the plunge.



Lorna Jane is all about inspiring women to achieve their best through ‘active living’ by leading an energetic, balanced and healthy lifestyle. It’s about being actively engaged in your own life and actively contributing to your community. This is the driving philosophy behind the brand and the business. We also encourage our employees to live healthy, balanced and energetic lifestyles. How have you grown the business? When we started, I was getting a bit bogged down with managing everything on my own. I remember very clearly we were sitting on the verandah when my boyfriend (now husband) said, ‘How about I come on board and help you?’


Photography courtesy Lorna Jane

What inspired you to set up Lorna Jane Activewear?

Women’s Business

I said ‘yes’ immediately. Bill is much more business-focused than me and he’s very entrepreneurial. I think a lot of people who run their own business end up managing other people rather doing what they love to do. I’ve been fortunate to be able to delegate tasks to other people as the company evolves. Our first store was very successful, and since then we have been committed to retailing through our own stores so our customers have a unique experience when they shop with us. We winged it for a while, but it’s a much more serious company now. I don’t stick to a strict business plan because our plans evolve continually. I might walk into a meeting and completely change my opinions by the end of it – we have an open forum and all staff are encouraged to contribute ideas.

Do you have any regrets? I’m not the kind of person that regrets anything I do. If something goes wrong, you always learn from that experience and you just move on. Sometimes I regret something I’ve said, but on the whole I think things happen for a reason. Having said that, I didn’t start Lorna Jane until I was 25, and I would have loved to start younger. It took me a while to realise I needed to be in an environment where I could control my own destiny; where, if I worked harder and smarter, it actually made a difference to my life. I wish I’d had the knowledge I have today when I started out. It took us a while to begin our expansion and perhaps we should have started sooner but, it gave us time to make our brand stronger.

How would you describe your attitude to life? A lot of my friends say I’m their little ray of sunshine. I’ve always been a very positive and uplifting person and I don’t have to work at it. When you look at my mum’s old videos, I’m

always the kid running around with a big smile on my face. Everything I do is from my heart – it’s based on how it makes me feel or how it makes others feel. I really believe in good and evil. There is a clear line between whether something is right or wrong. And I do think people should make a mark and leave their own footprint on the planet. I don’t really dwell on my fears (although I hate cane toads). When it comes to the business I believe anything is fixable.

What are your goals for the future? We don’t have a clear international expansion plan – it really depends where the demand comes from. We’re negotiating licensing deals and just set up a distribution centre in Hong Kong. We’re also growing rapidly in Australia, particularly in NSW and Victoria – Bill says we’re aiming for 65 stores nationally. We’re opening a store in Hawaii very soon as a stepping-stone to the US. Aside from business growth, I really want to continue to inspire women to lead active, healthy and energetic lifestyles.

How do you stay positive and focused? I’ve always had balance in my life. It’s important to make time to relax and refocus. I’ve always been a good sleeper – if there’s something on my mind I might wake up at 2am, write it down to get it out of my head and go back to sleep. I’m not super-fit but I’m definitely health-conscious. I run three or four times a week and do a little Bikram yoga or go to the gym. My body starts to ache if I’m not moving. I’m very fortunate to be able to wake up every morning and be passionate about the way I live my life. I want my business to be financially successful but I am not primarily motivated by profit. Still to this day, the most rewarding thing for me is to walk down the street and see someone wearing Lorna Jane. It still makes my day.

Lorna Jane’s

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Top 5 Business Tips Be passionate about what you do. You’ll face many hurdles and challenges but passion will help see you through. Recognise your strengths and weaknesses. Try to add value to your business where your strengths lie and if you can afford to do so, employ talented people to assist you in areas where you are not so great. Hire good people that share your passion. Staff that are talented and passionate about what they do are the backbone of a successful business. Never, never, never give up! I believe in this so wholeheartedly that I have even done a line of Lorna Jane singlets featuring this very motto. Find balance. This will not only stop early burnout, but will enable you to take a step back from your business and look at the big picture; at changing world trends and how they might impact on your business.

Making her mark: Lorna Jane Clarkson (pictured left) wears the Lorna Jane fundraising t-shirt for the Heart Foundation’s, Go Red for Women campaign – just one way she aims to inspire women through her brand.


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he late founder of The Body Shop, Anita Roddick, was no stranger to media attention. Her illustrious relationship with the media began way back in 1976 when she opened her first Body Shop. Wedged between two funeral parlours, her neighbours took objection to the name ‘The Body Shop’ and complained to the council. Roddick took it upon herself to alert the local newspaper, via an anonymous phone call, which became her first piece of free press. She was one of the great champions of ‘PR’ (public relations), well before the term gained traction in public parlance. Essentially, PR is about “doing good things and telling people about them,” says Karen Morath, managing director of public relations consultancy M Power. Usually this means telling the media, but it can also involve communicating directly with your target audience through things like events, newsletters and online. For a fledgling business, PR can be an attractive alternative to advertising because it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. The big question for smaller business owners, though, is whether or not to go it alone. Obviously if you outsource, it will add significantly to the cost. The decision ultimately comes down to finances, and whether you have the skills, time and resources to successfully manage your own PR. “Most people underestimate how much time is involved in a PR campaign,” says Suzy Yates, managing director of Bay Street Mediaworks. “It is not as simple as sending out a press release and waiting for the phone to ring.” It can also be a challenge if you don’t have contacts in the media, says Caroline Siler, director of Keep Left PR. “The advantages of outsourcing are that you have a team of people whose role it is to be on top of the media discussion and who know the right approach to take with individual journalists.”



You don’t have to be big to make a splash in the media. Nor do you need a bottomless publicity budget. Tami Dower looks at how business owners can harness the power of PR.

That’s not to say do-it-yourself PR is out of the question. If you do decide to go it alone, you need to start by understanding your target audience and how to reach them. “The best thing to do is read,” advises Dani Lombard, ‘chief talker’ of Dani Lombard Public Relations. “Read the papers and magazines that your target audience is reading. Look at who is writing different sections and articles where you could envisage your business being featured. Call up the publication and ask for the contact details of the appropriate writer.” Most importantly, make sure you have a story that’s newsworthy. What is interesting to you is not necessarily going to be interesting to a journalist. Research your target media and make sure your story is going to be relevant to them. Think outside the square; don’t just tell them about what you do as a business. Are you doing something that’s unique or groundbreaking in your industry? Are you doing something for charity or do you have survey results or research that might be of interest?


If you don’t feel that you have the time or the necessary skills to handle your own PR, outsourcing may be a better way to go. If you choose this path, finding an agency or PR consultant who will complement your business is critical. “First and foremost, make sure you look at their credentials, background and experience,” says Rochelle Burbury, managing partner at Access Public Relations. “Sadly, anyone can hang a shingle on their door and say they work in PR – and the results speak for themselves.” Talk to people you know and ask for recommendations. Then, make a shortlist of potential firms and arrange to speak to them. During this phase, Sarah O’Brien, director of Square One PR + Communications, suggests asking the following questions: Can they show me that they have achieved results before? Do they have client case studies? Have they worked with a client in my industry before? How do they intend to quantify their value and measure results? What is their reporting method? Are their fees within my budget? Are they prepared to create a fee structure that is reflective of my particular business needs (e.g. hourly rate, project fee, monthly retainer, flexible retainer)? Do they charge day-to-day expenses (e.g. phone calls) separately?

Costs & R.O.I. According to the Public Relations Institute of Australia’s 2007 benchmark study, hourly rates can range from $40 for a junior right up to $485 for a company director. On average, an experienced publicist will set you back around $200 to 250 per hour. For longer campaigns, a 12-month retainer can cost anything from $2,000 upwards. Then there are also out-of-pocket expenses such as travel, phone, couriers etc. “Be really clear from the outset and get a ballpark for their out-of-pockets,” advises Suzy Yates. “A company that has a low retainer will load up the expenses, so be warned – cheap is not always what it appears to be. Get an estimate


Photos courtesy Vivo Cafe

! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! for expenses for the month – $250 to $350 is reasonable – and make sure you know what it covers upfront.” Don’t be afraid to ask the agency if they have any special packages for small businesses. Some offer DIY packages or flexible arrangements where the PR function is split between agency and client, which may provide considerable savings. In the end, the value you get out of your PR investment will depend on more than just the money you pay. “If you are going to outsource PR, it’s essential you understand that it’s not going to be totally removed from your areas of responsibility,” says Caroline Siler. “For an agency to do a good job, they are reliant on you keeping them up to speed with developments in your business.” You should also try to be as accommodating as possible when it comes to providing information and making yourself available to the media. “Openness and timely assistance is important with regard to all information required to put media releases and pitches together,” emphasises Sarah O’Brien. How you measure the performance of your PR is something of a grey area. Traditionally, agencies measure the ad value of an article and then multiply it by three. While some agencies still use this method, the emphasis now is on more comprehensive analysis. This might look at things like whether the key message was delivered, the overall tone of the message, the reach of the campaign and whether the message was delivered to the target audience. None of these measures is foolproof and there is still much debate as to the relative merits of the different measures. Ultimately, the best measure may simply be to look at whether your business has benefited. Did you get more people contacting you or visiting your website after a story ran? Did your share price increase? Did you sell more widgets? After all, a large number of stories might be nice, but the number that really counts is the one on your balance sheet.

Guidance from the Gurus Here’s what some of Australia’s most successful businesswomen suggest when it comes to winning PR campaigns: “Keep your press releases down to one page. And don’t just send it and wait for the email to flick back. Call them up and ask them if they’ve received it and if they’d like more information. Keep yourself front of mind.” – Janine Allis, founder of Boost Juice “PR is a journey, it’s not an activity. Too many people think ‘I’ll do a bit of PR’ and they write a newsletter and they think they’ve done it. It’s ongoing.” – Naomi Simson, founder of RedBalloon Days “Look around at various companies and individuals that perform PR [when choosing a PR agency]. Really be clear on what you would like to achieve and make sure that the PR company you engage has the same mindset as you.” – Fiona Scanlan, founder of BIG (formerly of Scanlan and Theodore)

Creative Stunt a Success In 2006, Sydney’s Vivo cafes won five business awards, but founder Angela Vithoulkas was frustrated. She wanted to tell the world about it, and despite having engaged a PR agency, she still felt Vivo’s story was falling on deaf ears. So, prior to launching the third Vivo café last year, she engaged Red Agency. The result was Australia’s Biggest Cup of Coffee – a launch stunt that saw Angela doing 35 media interviews in under two hours and resulted in former Prime Minister John Howard coming down to have a coffee and talk about small business. “We built this huge Vivo mug which fit around 7,000 lattes,” recalls Angela. “We started filling it at about two o’clock in the morning and went till about seven o’clock.” On the day, local identities Elka Graham and Bessie Bardot tested their barista skills behind the counter, while Miss Bondi Blonde winner Jaime Wright was also on hand to help fill the giant cup of coffee. Proceeds from all coffee sales went to cancer charity The Nelune Foundation for the first week of operation. Since the launch, Angela has maintained her media presence and the results speak for themselves. “We’ve measured the way our third business has grown versus the way our second business has grown, which operated on almost no PR. The rate of growth on our third business is 200 percent faster,” she says.


Work to Live to Work

stress change your mind about


tress is a word thrown around a lot when we feel overworked or out of control but, it’s also something we use to blame others or outside forces when things aren’t going well. So what exactly is stress and, more to the point, does it actually exist? Firstly, it’s important to realise it is our choice how we react to things going on around us. The fact is, how stressed we are has nothing to do with how busy we are or how much we have going on in our lives, it’s all in how we deal with it. Some people get bad tempered and impossible to live with, even violent, and lash out at people around them, while others become nervous or there are those who just sail calmly through troubled waters. It’s all in how you react. Some people also like to create drama and stress in their lives – perhaps it’s the adrenaline that keeps them going. The most interesting explanation of stress I’ve heard is that stress is actually a good thing – it tells you that you are alive, making choices and growing as a person; that things are happening in your life. Stress is what spurs us into action. Of course too much self-induced stress can produce the negative effects we all know



of – it’s even been connected with many medical conditions. So, if you’re the kind of person who just can’t help creating stress around you, try to think about why you might be feeling that way and how you can put yourself back into balance. There are lots of things you can do to cope with so-called ‘stress’, such as exercise – swimming, going for a jog, or yoga will all reduce your stress – deep breathing exercises, laughing classes, or even making lists to better organise your time. Meditation is the best way to achieve relaxation and regain focus. The key thing to consider is, don’t stress about stress. Sure, try different ways to reduce your stress levels but also take a step back and look at the situation. Is it really there or are you creating the stress? Is it all in your head? At the end of the day, we all need to take more responsibility for what we choose to do in life, to be more positive, to have faith in our own choices and find balance in the present, rather than being torn between our past, present and future commitments which generally creates overwhelm and burnout. According to Eastern philosophies, stress is the by-product of thought – our own thoughts. If we examine the nature of the thoughts that each of us experiences from


moment to moment we will find that they all relate to one of two things: events that have occurred in the past or events we think or anticipate will occur in the future. Whether the event was an argument with a friend yesterday (past), unpaid debt (future), a troubling childhood experience that has become part of our subconscious (past) or anxiety about what might happen with the housing market (future), all of these troubling thoughts, and the resulting stress they cause us, have arisen from the tension between past or future, when we should really be just living in the present. Consequently, Eastern philosophies such as Buddhism and other New Age approaches that have borrowed from this theory (such as Eckart Tolle’s The Power Of Now) teach us to live in the moment – be here now, experience the world as it’s happening right now. The extension of this is that there is only the present moment – everything else is only preserved in our continuously wandering minds. So next time you think you’re stressed, think about it again and ask yourself, ‘why am I thinking and feeling this way, and how am I going to change it?’


When life becomes unbalanced the ‘stress’ word often reveals itself but, as Karen Halabi questions, does stress really exist?

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Wealth Creation

Saving for Wealth You can save money – no matter what state your finances are in – thanks to this straightforward approach by finance guru Margaret Lomas.



hether you are completely money savvy or a financial novice, you won’t have been able to ignore the fact that our economy has been in the news lately. With 12 interest rate rises since 2002 at the time of writing, a share market that resembles a rollercoaster ride and a property market zooming out of reach of many, you would not be blamed at all if your head was spinning in circles about your personal finances. The important thing to remember is that, no matter what the circumstances, there will always be exponential benefits to having a savings plan. Many might assume they don’t earn enough to save, however there are holistic benefits to be gained if we make the choice to save, rather than considering it a chore. I actually don’t like the term ‘budgeting’ – it sounds like a long and arduous attempt to work out where you spend your money. I prefer the term ‘income and expense management plan’. By choosing exactly how I will allocate the resources available to me, by building in a contingency that will allow me to spend less than what I earn, the result is that I also save money. When I save, I am able to invest and, better still, leverage my investing through borrowing to buy appreciating assets.




Wealth Creation

Starting Point

To begin, it helps to understand exponential growth and how it applies to money. There is an old story that talks about one cent doubling every day for 30 days. After 10 days it is worth $5.12; after 20 days, $5,242.88; after 25 days, $167,772 and after 30 days it is worth a massive $5,368,709. Likewise, saving into a vehicle (such a long-term savings account) that earns interest becomes exponential – the bigger the sum gets the bigger it can get as there is more base to grow. Take 28-year-old Jane, for example. She saves $60 every week for 37 years, (10 percent of her weekly net income of $600). She invests into an account with five percent interest paid into it on a quarterly basis. Balances at the end of each five-year period and the total sum at age 65 are illustrated in the table below:


$ 17,869


$ 39,695


$ 68,281


$ 106,497


$ 151,916


$ 215,060


$ 293,251


$ 330,130

While it takes many years until the sum becomes worthwhile, in the final few years, more than $19,000 per year is added – only $3,120 of which is Jane’s money. Imagine if Jane saved 10 percent of her ‘income’, as it increased. Based on her wage increasing by three percent per annum for inflation, and five percent per annum for age and responsibility increases, the table below shows the increase in the sum saved and the end results after 37 years. YEAR 5

$ 20,307


$ 55,832


$ 115,361


$ 212,228


$ 366,607


$ 618,892


$ 984,684


$ 1,186,691

As the example shows, while saving $60 per week created a tidy sum, saving 10 percent of one’s income is a lot more appealing, and illustrates the power of habitual saving. If we take this habit and use it to invest as well as save, we begin to see the true power of money

Be Strategic

In order to save (or invest or accelerate debt repayment), it is crucial to begin an income and expense management plan, and by this I mean controlling how you earn and expend income. The following key steps highlight how to put your plan into practice: 1. Commit. Rid your mind of all the reasons why it cannot work, and think positively about committing to your plan. 73

2. Calculate how much income you receive weekly. 3. Deduct 10 percent. If you bring home $600 a week, work with just $540. Forget about the 10 percent, it is not available to you. If you run short in any one week or month, look at the items you can compromise on. 4. Add up every expense you are likely to have. There is no such thing as an unexpected expense. If you have a car, you will need new tyres every 30,000 kilometres or so. You will have registration to pay. You will have services. Even if you have children, you can estimate the costs involved. 5. Start with ‘must pay’ expenses, then allocate the remainder to ‘like to have’. 6. If your plan has more allocated to ‘outgoing’ than there is income, it is unworkable and you have to change something. It’s important to not simply get a credit card or a loan – this delays the inevitable and can make the situation worse. 7. Split all income and expenses into weekly amounts. Remember, there are more than four weeks in a month, so avoid simply dividing a monthly income or expense by four. 8. Start tracking. If you write a comprehensive plan, don’t wait a month or two to look back only to find you overspent – it will be too late. You must record what you actually spent in each category, each week. 9. After two weeks, perform a check. Ensure that your two-week expenditure has not exceeded the total allocated amount in any one category. If so, you must make up for it by spending less in another. Savings is not an area from which you should take funds to make up any shortfalls. 10. Build in rewards. If you can stick to the budget and deliver a surplus for three months, reward yourself – dinner out or some other item that you value. But ensure the funds for this reward do not come from your savings.

The Pay-off

Let’s take a look at the Bakers and the Greens who have equal income and expenses. The Bakers earn their income, pay bills and are unsure of where their money goes. The Greens, however, have a carefully constructed expense management plan in which they allow for savings first, allocating the remainder to expenses. Both families have a $150,000 home loan at seven percent interest with a repayment of

Wealth Creation $1,060.17 per month. Both own property with a six percent per annum growth rate. The Bakers pay their loan religiously every month. The Greens do too, but they have chosen as their ‘savings plan’ to allocate 10 percent of their income to additional repayments. Every time their property increases in value and the debt reduces enough to create a deposit from equity for another property, they add to their property portfolio. In effect, their savings (allocated to loan repayment) is creating equity, allowing them to buy more growth assets sooner. Here are the numbers after 15 years: If we deduct the value of the Greens’ home, assets of $1,895,601 remain, as well as mortgage-free property with a value of $778,857. This provides an additional income from rent of $38,942.85 per annum. They own appreciating assets (the properties), which will continue to grow exponentially, adding more net worth each year.

the barkers

How did they do this? By saving and allocating resources to where it can do the most good. For any financial management plan to work, the key is to create habits. Saving 10 percent becomes a habit; tracking your plan every week becomes a habit; becoming educated about investing, so that you always know the best place for your money, becomes a habit; and being the one in your circle of friends who chooses to get ahead and seek out success and financial independence, despite the temptation to blame others for their lack of progress, is the best habit you can ever adopt!

Margaret Lomas is a qualified financial and property investment adviser and the director of Destiny Financial Solutions, She is also an author and chair of Property Investment Professionals of Australia and the 2006 Telstra NSW Business Woman of the Year.

the greens

Home value:

$ 599,139


$ 91,308

net worth:

$ 507,831

(Their own home which cannot provide an income)

total property value: $ 2,494,740 debt:

$ 1,116,744

net worth:

$ 1,377,996

(All investment debt – the personal home loan was paid off in year eight)

Planning for Success To develop your plan effectively, Margaret Lomas suggests the following: • Don’t bemoan the fact you are paid too little and simply don’t earn enough to survive. Live within your means or be proactive about changing your incomeearning capacity. • Your plan should ensure that at least 10 percent of what you earn remains after all expenses are met. • You shouldn’t have unexpected expenses – there is little you cannot plan for with a fair degree of certainty. • Monitor and control your plan, and put in place safeguards that allow you to recognise a deficit before it becomes a problem. This isn’t about planning how to allocate income and checking back later to find that you were unsuccessful. If you do this, you will have a feeling of failure and a plethora of excuses as to why it happened. If you are going to formulate – and stick to – an effective expense management plan, it must have a monitoring process built in. w Read more empowering articles w Ask a Coach your personal coaching questions w Use our online goal-setting tool w Submit your act of kindness or success story w Visit the em Directory for products and services relevant for you w Send a friend a ‘thank you’ note w Join in our monthly survey w Purchase a gift or subscription from the em Shop August/September




RICH Wealth is about more than just money and possessions. Wealth coach Mary King reveals how taking control of our finances starts with taking responsibility for our inner child, and growing our wealth in all areas of life.


ne day I was searching for something in the self-help section of the library when a book fell off the shelf. I don’t remember the title, but I’ll never forget that what I read inside literally changed my life. It simply stated that we are responsible for everything in our lives – we choose to be here at this time, in this place and we choose everything that happens to us. Once realised, this concept can make a real difference in our lives. A woman recently contacted me for help with her finances. Though earning a good wage, a series of family challenges left her carrying a large debt. She felt both burdened and restricted under such a load. Just as I told my client, life deals us many challenges but it’s how we handle them that determines the outcome, and who we become in the process. If, in the growing-up process, we are rewarded for our capabilities and achievements we are likely to get stronger in that area of our personality and character. This ‘achieving’ way of operating may dominate our character to the point that we deny some other part of ourselves. Disowning or denying a part of ourselves can become very costly, both personally and financially. That denied or disowned part will eventually find expression somehow, and that ‘somehow’ is often expensive. When we disown a part of ourselves, the energy of that part has to go somewhere – somebody in our lives will carry it, just as it did for my client. At one time in my life I was the owner of a pharmacy. I was busy being ‘the powerful businesswoman’ and disowned the ‘needy child’ in me (yes we all have one in there



somewhere). Frankly, others’ neediness made me uncomfortable and one day I noticed how needy my husband had become. He had lost his high-paying job, he became worried and depressed, so he decided to take advantage of his paid-up health benefits and have surgery. From the surgery he got an infection and his neediness increased. Just like the woman who came to me for financial advice, I felt overwhelmed and exhausted at the heavy load I was carrying on my own. From this painful time I eventually learned that I shared responsibility for my husband’s distress (because I had disowned my own needy child). So once realised, I began to accept and honor my own neediness. The needy child is in all of us. This inner child is poor, helpless, fragile and vulnerable. It has been with us since childhood (and never grows up). It is the part of us that dreams of that knight in shining armour who can rescue us and carry us away to a life of love and luxury. As I’ve found, it’s important to not ignore or disown this part of us. I suggest getting into a bath and spending time with your needy child. Let her think over all the reminders of being poor, helpless, fragile and vulnerable. She might cry, whine, complain, rage or worry. Allow yourself to feel the emotions she is feeling – really honour her. When I honoured my needy child I no longer drew in others to carry my neediness and it no longer caused me upset. You don’t have to become needy, you just have to recognise and accept you have that particular energy in you and acknowledge and respect it.


These ideas were included in my recommendations to the woman who took on her family’s emotional and financial burdens. I encouraged her to recognise her responsibility in her relationship and strive for balance. Some time later I asked her how she was getting along and she replied, “Firstly, I had to accept that I was the creator of my reality. When I could accept that, the resentment/ victimhood stopped. I started to be aware of my thoughts. The cause of my reality was that I had not previously wanted to examine my life or do anything about what wasn’t working. “I had to learn gratitude for what I already had, which was a great job and income. I always saw that as never enough, because all I could see was the debt. I still have some financial issues, but they’re improving, and little by little can see the light. “I think my attitude has shifted. I keep surrendering every time something challenges me so that the universe can provide the solution and, in the midst of that, doing as much as I can and knowing when there is nothing more I can do.”

More than money As you can see from my client’s example, while she initially came to me with financial concerns, there is much more to creating wealth than just making money. So what is wealth? One definition of wealth comes from Roger Hamilton who says, “Wealth is what you are left with if you lose all your money”. Wealth, prosperity or abundance involves a spiritual connection – realising there is a power greater than our individual self. We are


part of a greater good, a higher intelligence that seems to know what we are thinking and responds to our thoughts. You can call this higher intelligence God, the Universe, the Source, Consciousness, Divinity or whatever suits your particular frame of reference. It is an important aspect of wealth to respect and acknowledge that higher power. You can do this by going for a walk in nature and just allow yourself to appreciate the trees and the sky. Without our good health we also cannot be truly wealthy. Our health can be physical, emotional or mental. This is one of the biggest aspects of wealth. Be sure to feed yourself well. Have a hearty bowl of nourishing soup. Give yourself time to rest. All is one. Everything is connected. Knowing this means we realise our bodies and our relationships are also part of our health and, therefore, our wealth. Give yourself time to sit and perhaps meditate to experience this sense of oneness. Healthy relationships are vital to our wealth. Surround yourself with people who uplift and inspire you to be more of who you are. Your relationships can lift you up or drag you down. Have a look at who you are in relationships with and then ask yourself where your responsibility lies in relation to the people you have around you. Make a conscious choice to reduce your exposure to unhealthy connections. New friends will come in to fill the gap. Material possessions are a reflection of how wealthy we feel. We cannot truly feel rich if we focus on what we don’t have, if we are constantly comparing ourselves to people who seem to have more than we do. It is part of wealth to have possessions that exemplify

comfort, elegance, and beauty and give you feelings of joy. Give yourself a treat (that fits within your means) to make you feel special. It could be a massage, a lovely dinner out or that pair of shoes you’ve had your eye on. When it comes to money, simplification is an important aspect of your net worth. If you live relatively simply your income will be greater than your expenses and you will achieve financial independence. To be truly financially free the goal is to have a ‘passive income’ (i.e. money that works for you, rather than you working for it) coming off your investments or businesses, which is greater than your expenses.


For me, the idea that we are responsible for our own lives works, and as a result I have freedom. When I take responsibility for myself, for my life, and everything that happens in it, I’m free. If I don’t like something in my life or I want to improve some aspect of it, I can work to change it. You can too! Mary King is a millionaire and women’s wealth coach. She regularly conducts two-day workshops, Rich is Better – Wealth for Women, in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. For more information visit or contact Mary on (03) 9882 1886.


espite making her first million at the age of 23, and ‘retiring’ as a multi-millionaire four years later, Kirsty Dunphey doesn’t own a flashy car and you won’t find her swanning around in the latest Gucci or Prada. She’s “not much of a shopper” at all, except perhaps when it comes to shoes. The current tally stands at something like “a couple of hundred pairs”, she admits with a chuckle. The Tasmanian footwear fiend built her fortunes on the back of a real estate agency she started at just 21. Undeterred by the fact the bank wouldn’t grant her a business loan, Kirsty marched back in and told them she was going to buy a car. She was approved for a personal loan on the spot. One of her two business partners did the same and M&M Real Estate was born, wholly funded by two $10,000 personal loans. In 2001, she created history by becoming the youngest ever licensed real estate manager and owner in Tasmania. From there, the accolades flowed thick and fast – Telstra Young Business Woman of the Year in 2002 and Young Australian of the Year (Tasmania) in 2004, to name just two. Now 29, Kirsty is a self-proclaimed ‘retiree’. Since selling her business in 2006, she has been working on a number of



young free


She says there’s no such thing as a ‘get rich quick’ scheme, but this young multi-millionaire has come about as close as you can get. Tami Dower spoke to the 29-year-old retiree.

projects, including her second book, Retired at 27, If I Can Do It Anyone Can. “Retired, by my definition, means that if I don’t want to work another day in my life I don’t have to,” she explains. “But that doesn’t mean I just sit around at home on the couch eating lollies and watching Oprah. I still work, but now I just get to pick and choose the work that I do.” Aside from writing books – her first was called Advance To Go, Collect $1 Million and she’s currently working on a third – Kirsty has been carving out a name for herself on the motivational speaking circuit. She’s also launched a new business called, designed to help real estate agents write more effective ads. And then there is her growing property investment portfolio, which began in 2000 with the purchase of a one-bedroom unit for a modest $33,500. Although real estate has been a persistent theme in Kirsty’s success, it wasn’t always her passion. Her first taste of the industry came at the age of 15, through a part-time job as “office slave” at a local agency. As she went about the business of filing and making coffees, she had no idea that in six years’ time, she would be opening up her own real estate business. The only thing she knew was that she was going to do something that made her money – and lots of it.


The entrepreneurial spirit

The entrepreneur in Kirsty had an early awakening. As a child, she was forever cooking up her next money-making scheme. She had roadside lemonade stands, sold pine cones to kids at school and tried to sell pirate video tapes (inviting a stern warning from her primary-school principal). At one point she even attempted to make money in the literal sense, melting scrap metal with her toy chemistry set to shape it into coins. “That was not one of my more successful business plans,” she concedes. Those early enterprises paved the way for her first legitimate business. At 15, she put her entire savings of $1,000 on the line to start Santiago Silver, buying jewellery from Melbourne and then eventually wholesaling it from Thailand to sell it at markets and to shops in Tasmania. Around this time, she also started up a web design business with a friend – in addition to the two part-time jobs she already had. Kirsty attributes her enterprising streak to her parents’ influence. Her childhood years were spent working in the family’s succession of small businesses, doing everything from making biscuits to working behind the counter of a petrol station. “By the time I was 10, I had a better resume than some

Photos courtesy Kirsty Dunphey

In Pursuit

In Pursuit name

Kirsty Dunphey

age 29

position held

fact file.

Founder of M&M Real Estate, CEO of, author, motivational speaker and ‘retiree’.

best known for

Becoming a self-made multi-millionare at 25, followed by ‘retirement’ at 27.

favourite inspirational quote

“You may not realise it when it happens but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” (Walt Disney).

top tips for growing your wealth Invest in something you understand. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

record number of shoes bought on a trip 13 pairs.

25-year-olds,” she quips. “Growing up with pretty entrepreneurial parents, I was always surrounded by examples of people who were getting out there and having a go and I always wanted to do it.” However, it could have just as easily gone the other way. The family businesses were not always roaring successes, and financial hardships eventually brought her parents’ marriage undone. But rather than let this hold her back, Kirsty has – in her characteristic style – used the experience to fuel her ambitions. “I saw the pain it caused my mum not to be able to give us absolutely everything she wanted to. So the money side of things has definitely always been a motivator for me,” she explains. “To me, money is nothing on its own, but it can represent freedom – freedom to be able to support your family, do the things you love and to be able to do work you’re passionate about.” It took an ill-fated stint at university for Kirsty to work out her true passion. After moving to Melbourne to study business and information systems in 1997, she quickly became bored and disillusioned with her course. Desperate to get back into the real world, she took on an administrative role at a prestigious real estate agency in Mount Eliza. Her rising esteem at the agency corresponded with her declining interest in university. She started to take on more and more hours at work and progressively scaled down the time she spent studying. Not long after her first year, she dropped out altogether. “I think I just went to uni because everyone expected me to,” she says. “I didn’t take much time to think about what I actually wanted for my life.” Although university hadn’t panned out quite as she’d expected, Kirsty was thriving. She had two reasonably well-paying jobs – one at a restaurant and the other at the real

estate agency – and had snared herself a great house on the beach. Then, in a matter of weeks, her financial situation took a nosedive. The restaurant closed down and her mentor at the agency left to start his own business and couldn’t afford to take her with him. With barely a penny to her name and without the degree she set out to achieve, she returned crestfallen to Tasmania.

“To me, money is nothing on its own, but it can represent freedom – freedom to be able to support your family, do the things you love and to be able to do work you’re passionate about” Mainly for reasons of convenience, she went back to work for the real estate agency she’d held a part-time job with years earlier. She badgered her boss until he let her start selling – a 19-year-old girl selling real estate was unheard of in Tasmania. The experience ignited Kirsty’s fervour for the business of property. It was during this time that she and her two eventual business partners, both more than 15 years her senior, conceived the idea for M&M Real Estate. With unstoppable determination, Kirsty embarked on the journey that would change her fortunes forever. “I left a secure, quite well-paying job to start up the real estate agency and not be guaranteed of any income – but it was the best decision of my life,” she recalls. 79

Can-do approach

Throughout all her endeavours, Kirsty has lived by a personal mantra of ‘anything is possible’. To listen to her speak so adamantly about her goals and ambitions, it’s easy to imagine she hasn’t had a moment’s doubt in her life. Not so, she says. “I think people mistake the fact that I’ve had a go at lots of things for unwavering confidence. I do believe that pretty much anyone can achieve almost anything, but I’m a bit of a cynic and I’m a bit of a worst-case-scenario girl. All the decisions I’ve made have been, ‘Well this is what I want to do, I’m not going to look back at my life and wish I’d had a go at it. And if it doesn’t work out, there are other things ahead for me.’ So it’s not necessarily confidence, it’s just that I’d rather have a go than not and I’ve always got a back-up plan.” Not all of Kirsty’s business ventures have been wildly successful. “I was counting the other day the number of businesses I’ve started up and it’s either 10 or 11 and some have definitely had more success than others,” she admits. However, to Kirsty there is always a silver lining: “Even the businesses I’ve had that haven’t set me up financially for the rest of my life have still been great learning experiences. I guess there are different definitions of success. In my mind, not everything is a success just because of the amount of money it makes.” A big part of Kirsty’s idea of success is simply doing something you enjoy, something that “makes your heart sing”. As for what will be making Kirsty’s heart sing in the future, she has no idea. “I couldn’t tell you,” she says. “I want to keep starting up different businesses and I want to keep having fun with what I’m doing. There will be a couple of new shoes in the collection by then – that’s about all I can guarantee.”

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With Thanks The true benefits of gratitude go way beyond the ‘feelgood’. Some experts believe making a conscious effort to express thanks regularly can change your life.



Rhonda Byrne, author of well-known film and book The Secret, would agree, having produced The Secret Gratitude Book (Atria Books). She starts by saying that whenever she is asked which is the best way to use ‘The Secret’ (the law of attraction), her answer is always “gratitude”.

“To transform your life, you must find a way of being grateful for what you have right now” “As you focus on gratitude and think, speak and feel gratitude, you are transferring your energy frequency into one of the most powerful and highest frequencies of all. Gratitude attracts like energy of gratitude to it, so as you are feeling grateful you are powerfully bringing like energies to you, which will have you experience more things to be grateful for.” Why not start your own act of grateful thinking right now? Take just 15 minutes and write down what you are most grateful for. Doing this on a regular basis, either every day or week, could really start changing your life. As Rhonda says, “To transform your life, you must find a way of being grateful for what you have right now.”


While Rhonda has compiled her own gratitude journal for people to use, you can easily create your own using her tips to maximise the benefits of the process: 1. Before you write anything, sit quietly saying “thank you” 20 times in your mind. Feel the gratitude as you silently repeat the words. 2. Always list the things you are grateful for in the present tense, whether you have them now or not. If you write the things you want as being in the future, then they will always be in the future. 3. When writing your list, begin each sentence with “I am truly grateful for…” or “I am so grateful now that…” or “Thank you for…” or any other similar words of gratitude that feel good to you. 4. First write down the things you are grateful for in your life right now and feel the feelings as deeply as possible. 5. Then write down some “gratitude intentions” (remembering to always write them in the present tense). This is your gratitude list for all the things you want to come into your life. Again, begin each sentence with “I am truly grateful for…” or “Thank you for…” or the like. Why not give it a go? Take just 15 minutes and start giving thanks today.



id you know people who regularly practise grateful thinking can increase their ‘set-point’ for happiness by as much as 25 percent? This is true according to Robert Emmons, author of Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier (Houghton Mifflin), who has spent years studying and understanding gratitude. He has published much in scientific literature about how gratitude is linked not just to happiness, but also to health and wellbeing, success and many other positive outcomes. In Thanks! Robert explains that the evidence on gratitude contradicts the widely held view that all people have a “set point” for happiness that cannot be reset by any known means. He says, “In some cases, people have reported that gratitude led to transformative life changes. And, even more important, the family, friends, partners and others that surround them consistently report that people who practise gratitude seem measurably happier and are more pleasant to be around”. While gratitude is pleasing and feels good, Robert says it is also motivating. “When we feel grateful, we are moved to share the goodness we have received with others.” His research has also found that keeping a gratitude journal for as little as three weeks results in better sleep and more energy.

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“Your past results have nothing to do with what you can achieve in the future”

This principle changed my life, which is why I wanted to share it with you in this very special launch issue of emPOWER and our Coaching Toolkit. When I was first introduced to this principle, I was in the middle of a downward spiral of self-destruction. I didn’t have a great relationship with myself and really didn’t believe that I deserved very much. Thankfully, when I heard this principle for the first time, it was like a positive light had been switched on in a pretty dark, negative tunnel I had created. I was given a clean slate, a fresh start to make my life whatever I wanted it to be. I could let go of the past, of guilt, of hurt, of disappointment. I could start again and change the results I was getting. With this new knowledge, I set about changing my life. I started to set goals and dream about what the future could hold. I soon came to learn that the best way to learn something is to teach it, so I trained as a success coach (or life coach) and started to coach some amazing clients. The really rewarding thing was that, I learnt as much about myself from my clients as they learnt about themselves. It also really showed me the benefits of goal setting and having a coach. A coach is someone who believes in you when others don’t, someone who encourages and supports you as well as holding you accountable for your goals. Through coaching I was truly blessed to see people achieve things beyond what they ever thought was possible. This Coaching Toolkit provides you with an opportunity to coach yourself. With every issue, the Toolkit will provide some coaching insights and advice as well as a step-by-step guide to goal setting. If you already have a coach, you can use the toolkit to complement your coaching sessions. In this issue we look at the concept of ‘Be, Do, Have’ – the key to achieving anything you want. As you will discover, to achieve anything, you need to ‘Be’ the person who will ‘Do’ the necessary actions in order to ‘Have’ what you desire in any area of your life. Every issue of the Coaching Toolkit will also contain our ‘Ask a Coach’ section. This section allows you to write in with your coaching questions to get some coaching assistance with your individual goals. For the first issue, we’ve included some common coaching questions received by our expert coaches, Kate James, Tarryn Brien and Carolin Dahlman. Proceed through the steps that follow to then create your own inspiring and motivating goals. Develop your action plan and consider who you need to ‘Be’ to achieve your goals. Take action and remember to celebrate! With goals in place, check out our regular ‘Winning Pairs’ feature. Here you’ll gain insight into the coaching experience as a coach and client discuss what they’ve learnt from each other and how coaching has worked for them. Believe in yourself! Everyday you have a clean slate to Be, Do and Have whatever it is that you want. Life’s what you make it!

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Be, Do AND O

f course there is a catch to HAVE-ing all we desire, but the good thing is, it’s pretty straightforward. In order to HAVE anything we want, we need to BE the type of person who will DO the actions necessary to achieve what we want. Most people want to HAVE the object of their goal without changing anything in relation to what they are DO-ing or who they are BE-ing. But, as entrepreneur Justin Herald says in his book Would you like attitude with that?, “if nothing changes, nothing changes”. If we keep doing exactly what we’ve been doing, we’ll get the same results.



The BE, DO, HAVE principle is about making that change. Put simply, first decide what it is you want to HAVE (your goal), then determine the actions you will need to take in order to achieve what you want. And finally, BE the person who will take the necessary action and achieve the goal. A common question then arises – ‘What does it mean to BE?’ In this context, BE means the person you are BE-ing everyday. It means your energy and the qualities you are portraying. Who you are being is demonstrated by your every action and reaction. As an example, consider your interaction with other people. How would you generally describe your energy? Are


you upbeat and bubbly or sluggish and dull? What qualities do you portray? If asked, how would people describe you? Would people describe you as positive or negative, are you approachable or standoffish, confident, friendly, fun or impatient? The way you act and react is a reflection of these qualities and your energy. In any moment you can choose to act and react in any way. You can choose to BE whomever you want. In order to know who you need to BE and what you need to DO to HAVE what you want, we first need to know exactly what it is that you wish to HAVE. This Coaching Toolkit has been designed to assist you with


We all have needs and wants in life but they don’t have to be those things we simply yearn for at a distance. As Helen Rosing reveals, using the right approach, we really can HAVE all we desire in life.

Have IT ALL this. The steps provided on the next few pages will assist you to create one or more goals for the different areas of your life. Perhaps take some time now to complete steps 1, 2 and 3 to create some inspiring goals for yourself. Once you have created your goals and know what you want to HAVE, the next step is to determine what you need to DO in order to achieve the goal. At Step 4, space has been provided for you to list all of the actions you need to take in order to achieve your goal. List as many actions as you can think of and, if needed, continue on another sheet of paper. This is the ‘DO’ component. Then, ask yourself these questions for each goal that you’ve written in relation to the BE component: • Who do I need to BE to DO the actions to HAVE what I want? • What does my energy need to be like everyday? • What qualities do I need to demonstrate?

Let’s say that you have a goal to pay off all your credit cards within the next six months. Paying off your credit cards is the HAVE component. In relation to what you need to DO in order to achieve your goal, let’s say you decide that you need to: • return the dress and pair of shoes you purchased yesterday; • cut your credit card in half so you cannot use it again; • determine how much you can pay off the credit card each week; and • create the plan on paper so that you can see the balance of the credit card reducing. Then we look at the BE-ing component. Who do you need to BE in order to take these actions? For the above goal, it is probable that you will need to be positive and focused, as well as determined and committed.

The BE-ing component is the most important part of achieving your goal. When you change who you are BE-ing, you will naturally start to change your actions and reactions. You will do things differently than before and you will find that the DO-ing part becomes easier – this is the key to changing your results and achieving your goal.

The Principle in Action

Let’s consider a couple of examples. When Gwen* came to see me for coaching, she was estranged from her son after a falling out three years before. She set an inspiring (and emotional) goal to rebuild that relationship and meet her daughter-in-law. As part of the DO component, Gwen decided that she needed to: • forgive herself for her part in the falling out; • forgive her son for the hurt he caused her; • let go of the past; • contact her son to apologise; and • maintain contact with her son to rebuild the relationship over time. In this case, the BE-ing was a large part of what needed to change. Gwen admitted that to date she had been fairly negative, stubborn and accusatory. She decided that in order to achieve her goal she would need to have an open and approachable energy and that she needed to BE patient, forgiving, accepting and non-judgemental. In every communication that Gwen had with her son after this, she focused on who she needed to BE and was able to gradually rebuild the relationship. Gwen also found that her new way of BE-ing improved the other relationships in her life. Her new qualities meant she was much more approachable and a nicer person to be around. Jody*, on the other hand, came to coaching because she was struggling in her 5

career. She had recently received a negative performance review and although she wanted to stay with the organisation she could not see how she could advance in her career. Jody set an exciting goal that within six months she would be promoted to the next level within the organisation. Although she didn’t really feel that it was possible, Jody persisted and came up with the following actions: • visualise achieving her goal everyday; • discuss with her manager her desire to be promoted and why; • always be on time or early to work; • develop her relationship with peers and managers; and • always under-promise and over-deliver.

It was during our discussion on who she needed to BE to achieve her goal that Jody had a real breakthrough. She realised that she absolutely was not BE-ing the person who would get promoted within her organisation. Jody admitted that at work she was negative and had low energy. She complained whenever anything was difficult and she was always the last one to volunteer for any new work available. Jody could instantly see why her performance review was so bad. Her colleagues did not like to work with her. She realised that she needed to have a much more positive and dynamic energy at work and decided she needed to BE more friendly and approachable and enthusiastic to receive new work. She also decided to BE more confident and have a can-do attitude instead of complaining. While it wasn’t always easy, Jody put her plan into action and was promoted in the next bi-annual performance review. From these examples we can see that, as we change, our results change. So, give the BE, DO, HAVE principle a go and see how it can start to improve things in your life. * Names have been changed to protect privacy.

ask a coach




It has taken me more than a year to admit this, but I’m lonely. I’m 29 years old and still live in Sydney where I grew up. I’ve always had heaps of friends until recently – suddenly everyone seems to have a partner or has moved overseas. I’m spending most Saturday nights at home in front of the television and it’s really starting to worry me.


I work in a high-pressure job and find it really hard to ‘switch off ’ from the workday when I get home. I have trouble sleeping and constantly wake up thinking about work. I’m concerned this might be affecting other areas of my life. How do I learn to de-stress?

Source: Kate James is a career coach who works with her

Stress is so common it’s almost accepted as a normal part of working life, but this doesn’t mean we can’t learn to manage it more effectively. I would suggest the following to help you find more balance: • Change what you can and accept what you can’t change. • Make a commitment to focus on getting through it one step at a time – remind yourself that the stressor is temporary. • Learn to be aware of your stress signals earlier to be able to deal with it sooner. • Enlist the support of others and/or appropriate resources. • Practise relaxation strategies regularly to ensure you remain calm, and breathe slowly – our breath is faster and shallower when we are stressed. • Fully assess all your options for action – then take it. • Think about the situation as optimistically as possible. Challenge negative thoughts, such as ‘this is all my fault’. • If you can predict an imminent stressor, such as an upcoming deadline, then develop a plan to manage it as well as you possibly can. • Regular exercise and lots of sleep are also extremely beneficial. • Take a break, even if it’s short. • Socialise with friends and do more of what you enjoy. • Shift your attention to the positive and think about three things you feel grateful for in your life. Just five minutes of engaging in a gratitude exercise can shift us to a significantly calmer state.

clients to achieve balance and fulfillment in all areas of life. For more information visit

Source: Tarryn Brien is a coach, facilitator and

Loneliness is one of the most devastating social problems of our society, and you’re certainly not alone in feeling it at your age and stage in life. During school and university, you’re usually surrounded by people of similar ages and life circumstances. Once out in the workforce things often start to change. As you have experienced, people pair up, travel or start having families, and friends tend to become dispersed. Admitting you’re lonely is a great first step because now you can act on it. Here are a couple of options to help you connect with new people: • Join a group that interests you, or look for adult education courses. Search online for adult or continuing education. • Become a volunteer. Helping others is a great way to feel good about yourself as well as meet new people. If you can’t commit to ongoing volunteer work and you live in Sydney or Melbourne, check out to donate your time and professional expertise. • Rekindle an old friendship. Don’t worry that it’s been years since you’ve been in touch, just make the call today. • Be bold. Ask an acquaintance to go out for coffee. • Don’t restrict yourself to one age group. Some of the most valuable friendships are those where we have something to learn from one another.

consultant with The Happiness Institute. Visit their website at ( or contact her on (02) 9221 3306 or email







I’ve lost my drive and direction at work. I don’t know what to do other than take a break and find a new job. Do you have any suggestions? I agree that you need to take a break. Time away from work can provide the opportunity to re-ignite your passion and identify your purpose before making a decision about finding a new job. Your first priority is to organise a week of annual leave and indulge in some thinking time. Attending a personal development program, reading self-help books or having a personal coaching session may help you find the answers. And never underestimate the value of meaningful and challenging conversations with a trusted friend. However you choose to spend your break, make sure you identify what is important to you in the way you live your life – some people call these your personal values. Ask yourself, what are the things in your life that are not negotiable? For me, these are love, happiness, honesty, trust and freedom. Work out what yours are, then answer three critical questions: 1. Which skills do I enjoy using? 2. Which roles do I play in life (wife, mother, daughter, friend etc) and who are the important people related to each of these roles? 3. What do I want to be ‘known for’ in each of these important roles?


List your answers to all these questions in order of priority. You’ll then have a clear idea of what’s most important to you and can use this information to assess how much or how little your career fulfils your needs. From there you can decide whether you need a new job or whether there are specific changes you can make to your current position to make it more satisfying.

I always get very nervous when going on a date. It normally ends with me behaving strangely so my date doesn’t want to see me again. How can I get more confidence? A lot of people are nervous before going on dates – what to say, what to do, how to behave? There are so many things to think about, but if you prepare yourself well it’s easy. Before going on the date, you probably think about what to wear and where to go. I want you to prepare your emotions in the same kind of way. Here are some things to think about: • Make sure you know what your goal is for the date. Don’t talk to your date about it, but it’s good to have the right focus. • Decide how you want to be perceived. What kind of ‘you’ do you want to bring out? What do you want to signal? • Practise being that person. Talk to yourself in a happy tone or a confident one, depending on what you want to be. • Wear clothes you feel comfortable in and which signal the above. • Create an image in your brain of how you will feel and look during the date, and how you and your date will interact together. Make the image as clear as possible. • Remember to focus on whether you actually like your date – it’s not all about what they think of you! If you are the picky one, you’ll feel more relaxed. • Say to yourself, ‘It’s interesting to meet a new person and have a fun night. I will be positive, curious and open’. Source: Carolin Dahlman is a love coach. For more

Source: Kate James is a career coach who works with her

information visit or email

clients to achieve balance and fulfillment in all areas of life. For more information visit


Ask a Coach

Send your coaching questions into emPOWER and if we publish your question & answer in the next issue, you’ll win a prize pack of three beautiful books from the M.I.L.K. range from Hachette. Submitting your question through the website at will ensure a response, regardless of whether it is printed in the magazine, or send your questions to Ask a Coach, Empower magazine, Suite 6, Level 5, 15 Orion Rd, Lane Cove, NSW 2066; or email, and we’ll have your questions answered. 7

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Coach Yourself







Now is the time tofinances start living the life you100 want. Simply follow empower’s seven-step guide social to setting and achieving your goals. You’ll be amazed at the results. fa

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step 1


Where are you now?business/career finance

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wellbeing social


On the chart, rate yourself on a scale of 0 - 10 in relation to where you feel you are at spirituality in each area of your life right now. Then, draw a line around the chart, joining the dots where you have marked your rating in each area. 5self

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A ‘10’ means you consider that area is perfect and a ‘0’ means major improvement is needed.



spirituality 5













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2 2

3 wellbeing






finances business/career

step 2

social wellbeing




Where do you want to be?

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



Imagine your life with these results






SELF: This is your relationship with yourself. Consider how much love, appreciation, acceptance and respect you have for yourself. PARTNER: Think about this area in the context of whether you’re single or in a relationship. If you’re in a relationship, it refers to how you feel about your life with your partner. Is your relationship what you want it to be? If you’re single, think about your level of satisfaction with being single. Some people would love a committed relationship and others are content as they are. How do you feel? family: This area refers to how you feel about your relationships with family members. The rating you give this area should be an average for all family relationships. While some will be strong, others may not be so good. social: Similarly, this area refers to how you feel about your relationships with friends and your satisfaction with your level of social/fun activity. Again, provide an average rating of your relationships and social activity. WELLBEING: This is your overall sense of wellbeing and how you feel about your health & fitness. SPIRITUALITY: If you’re a spiritual or religious person, this area refers to your level of connectedness with your beliefs. If you’re not spiritual or religious, think about your level of contentment with life in general.




BUSINESS/CAREER: This area considers the level of success and/or fulfilment you feel in relation to your business, career or current employment. FINANCES: This final area refers to how you feel about your level of financial freedom and/or your progression towards your desired level of financial freedom.


spirituality 9

Coach Yourself


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

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

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

Goal 1


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

What you want to achieve

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

Why you want to achieve it

“Believe in yourself and there will come a day when others will have no choice but to believe with you.” Cynthia Kersey, author of Unstoppable Women




Coach Yourself

Goal 2


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




of September It is the 1st el excited 2008 and I fe We have and optimistic. sit for our saved the depo We have been first house. d a mortgage an approved for r ok for ou we can now lo Now we can perfect home. family and I finally start a g ly amazing livin feel absolute use. in our own ho

Goal 3

It is th e 30th of Octo 2008 an ber d I fee l so happ and prou y d of wh at I ha achieved ve . I have reached goal we my ight of 6 0 kgs and I look fantastic . I am healthy fit, and have so muc more en h ergy. No w I can into tha fi t t sexy b lack dre and I f ss eel fabu lous.


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


Coach Yourself


Once you’ve written down your goals, the next step is to make a complete list of the specific actions you need to take in order to achieve them. Remember, these are your goals and you’re responsible for the actions, so be as detailed as you can.

Goal 1 Action


................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. .................................................................................................................................................................................

Goal 2 Action


................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. .................................................................................................................................................................................

Goal 3 Action


................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. .................................................................................................................................................................................





Coach Yourself

step 5 visualise

It’s a well-known truism in life that we get what we focus on. If you really want to achieve your goals and improve your life, you need to focus on them and make each one a priority. Read your goals on a daily basis, say them out loud and visualise your life as if you have already achieved them. Make time each day to practice this simple visualisation technique. Sit in a relaxed position and close your eyes. In your mind, create a visual picture of you achieving your goal. Think about where you are, what you are doing, what you are saying, who is with you, what they are saying or doing and, most importantly, how you are feeling. Create such a detailed image that you start to feel excited and happy. Put a smile on your face, mentally congratulate yourself and celebrate your success. Open your eyes and continue your day. This process may feel strange to begin with, but keep going. It will become natural and enjoyable over time and will definitely help you to achieve your goals.

step 6


This is the most important step. You’ve created your goals and your action plan to achieve them, now it’s time to take action. Some actions will be easy and some may require courage and determination. When faced with a challenging action, don’t chicken out. Just remind yourself why you have these goals and what your life will look like when you achieve them. Remember, if you keep doing what you’ve always done, you will keep getting the same results you’ve always gotten. If you’re looking to make improvements, you need to do things a little differently.

“It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief, and once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.”


It’s important to congratulate yourself and acknowledge the positive action you are taking to improve your life. Celebrate every little step, even if it’s just a quiet smile to yourself. When you achieve your goal, how are you going to celebrate?

Good luck! And if you need further help along the way, please get in touch with an empower coach. Simply email or submit a question to ‘Ask a Coach’ at and we will have it answered for you.

Claude M. Bristol, author of The Magic of Believing 13

* Name changed for privacy

– As told to Jo Hegerty

When Claire Glover, 34, was struggling with a difficult boss and a big decision to make, her naturopath recommended she speak to life coach Tina Stanton. The relationship lasted more than two years and would have a great impact on the marketing manager’s life.

Clair says: The first session with Tina was different to what I expected. I thought I would just unburden, but I found she actually talked more than I expected, describing how she would work with me. I remember coming away from it feeling that I didn’t care what she thought of me, which was quite an unusual feeling for me at the time. I was very conscious about how people perceived me and I felt she was completely free of judgement, which was very liberating. She asked me to write an inventory every morning to set up what I wanted to achieve that day. It’s a five-minute exercise, but it really allows you to focus on what you want to get out of the day. She also asked me to look at my own values – what’s important to me. I learned it doesn’t matter what other people think and have, you’ve got to be true to yourself and really understand what’s important to you. I’ve become more assertive with my boss. He’s still difficult, but I’m stronger within myself when dealing with him. I can’t change him and I’ve accepted that I can’t control everything in life. Another big change has been the relationship with my boyfriend [now husband]. In the beginning, I was very nervous about communicating what I wanted out of the relationship, but now I



aking Action Taking Action Taking Action

can say anything and things are completely open between us. I’ve lost a lot of fear about deciding whether to move home to England or stay here in Australia. I worried that one way was right and that I was going to make the wrong decision. From coaching, I’ve realised there isn’t a wrong, it’s just a decision and that nobody’s opinion is wrong, it’s their opinion and they’re entitled to it. I also recieved very practical, workrelated support from Tina, such as planning, delegating, time- and people-management skills. This led to me being promoted and I think I’m a good manager as a direct result of the coaching. After two years, I finished my sessions with Tina. They were weekly, then went down to every two or three weeks, then one day I just decided I’d gotten everything out it I could, even though I know that I can always call her if I need to. Initially, I thought I was quite weak for wanting coaching, but now I feel empowered. I’m much more my own person. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it’s actually a sign of strength because you realise that you need help in an area that will then make you stronger.

There is a lot of information out there. If someone comes to a coach, they’re usually willing, intelligent, and motivated enough to have already explored some of this information. So I look at ‘what is hidden’, then we begin the process of understanding how these previously hidden issues play out; the consequences on their daily progress, as well as the bigger picture. It’s very much about connecting those dots. I look at my client’s overall life. As an example, if there’s a dynamic that isn’t working in their personal relationship(s), then it will be playing out in their work relationships, too. When a client can identify these patterns they can attend to these other areas as well. All progress needs to be measurable. The inventory is not just about me telling them what to do, it’s about them doing it themselves. You can look at a bicycle, you can do a PhD on bicycles, but until you get on a bike and ride it you don’t understand how you actually ride it. I have developed a number of tools and processes over the past 22 years that I’ve been working with people. My clients learn practical skills which enable them to develop an internal mentor. It doesn’t matter if they’re a CEO with a billion daily tasks, a stay-at-home mum with four kids, or a 20-year-old who wants to stop binge drinking, the action/experiential aspect of coaching is easily integrated into their life. Coaching gives me an unshakable belief in human potential – that all of us are doing the best we can with whatever tools we have available. I came from a difficult family background, which I pulled myself out of, and all the processes I apply in my life coaching have been tested on yours truly. I walk my talk and it fuels me.



Taking Action

Tina says:

emPOWER Magazine Launch Issue - Aug/Sept 2008  

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

emPOWER Magazine Launch Issue - Aug/Sept 2008  

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