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ERA MAGAZINE

$14.95

SUMMER 2021

www.eramagazine.com.au

A N EW ER A F OR WOM E N IN B U S I NES S

1

ISSUE 1 SUMMER 2021


This is the beginning of a new chapter. The last book has closed and a new one has opened. This is just the start. It’s the first page, and it’s a beautiful one.


Welcome to ERA Magazine A new ERA for women

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging. IFC Photo: TR8 Photography

Welcome to ERA Magazine. To see the evolution of a dream take form makes the soul sing. Like the lifecycle of a butterfly, ERA Magazine has morphed from a long held pipe dream to a wonderful creation that we are extremely proud to present to you. Our dream for ERA is to assist women by providing helpful information to boost selfconfidence and the realisation they too can create and live their dream life. ERA Magazine brings you articles across a wide range of topics. Whether you are looking for marketing, finance or business advice, every quarter we will bring you the expertise of professionals in their field, providing a valuable resource. If you’re looking for inspiration, we have stories of women who are achieving their dreams and inspiring others. The importance of looking after yourself and your thoughts is showcased in our Mind Matters section giving you ideas and advice on topics such as the sleep/stress relationship, self-care nonnegotiables and more. Each issue will include articles on sustainability and how to walk gently on our planet. We honour the environment and local businesses and have chosen to print on 100% recycled Australian-made paper with a Melbourne-based environmentally certified print company. Along with a digital edition, we felt it was important to create ERA Magazine as a print resource because there is nothing better than sitting comfortably with a cuppa, flicking through your favourite magazine while enjoying some down time. We know that you will enjoy the journey of reading the magazine as much as we did creating it.

Sonya & Sue


Contents ISSUE 1

SUMMER 2021

TIPS & TRICKS

4

Starting your Business Checklist

MARKETING & FINANCE

WALKING GENTLY ON THE PLANET

8

32 Going Plastic Free

Sue Williams

18

The Importance of Branding Sonya Murphy

63 Quick Recipe for

the Busy Woman Nicole Murphy

14

A Killer Bio

Simone Dawson

Financial Success Michelle Griffiths

20 Attracting New

Clients with Intuitive Magnetism

Kim Platzer

24 Welcome to the Digital Era

Marina Garbuio

28 Finance – Ask the Expert

Michelle Griffiths

Monica Coleman and Caitlin O’Shea

36 Sustainable Housing Glenda Cass


BUSINESS ADVICE

MIND MATTERS

40 Transitioning to a

72 The Stress–Sleep

New Business Era Luna Wood

Relationship Kathy Jerin

43 Feng Shui your

77 Step Out of your

Home Office

Tina Curro

Comfort Zone

Farrah Graham

INSPIRATIONAL WOMEN

94 Getting Bolder as

I Get Older

Chris Pedley

98 Starting a Business

Brooke Pearce

50 The Power of Choice

80 Pivot or Die

104 Follow your Dreams

54 Neurodiversity in

84 Excelling in a Male

109 Never Give Up

114 Being: Becoming

Bree Cleal

the Workplace

Leigh O’Regan

60 Book Review

Your Next Chapter by Angela Raspass

64 Women on the Rise

in a Post-Covid World

Marion Mundana

Gabrielle Mundana

Dominated Industry Barb Jackson

88 Self Care

Non-Negotiables Michelle Kline

90 Business Made Easy

Claire Chancellor

Jude Downes

Janine Easton

the New

Christine Gladwell


Business startup checklist BY SUE WILLIAMS MARKET ANALYSIS/PLAN

What information is already in the market and what will your point of difference be. Know your statistics and numbers. Create a plan for your business. What is your aim? What is your niche market? Your business plan is your roadmap. Create simple step by step goals to assist you to achieve your plan. Know your strengths and weaknesses and when to ask for assistance. AUTHORITY AND UNIQUE SELLING POINT (YOUR USP)

Define your knowledge and authority to be the professional. What is your unique selling point – use your authority to define this. Determine your pricing structure accordingly – know your worth. VISION, NAME AND SETUP

Check business name availability with the Australian Business Registry. Check the availability of your name on social media. Define your business structure i.e. sole proprietor, partnership. Register your ABN and business name (and GST if applicable). Register domain name – both .com and .com. au (website hosting). Create an email address for your business. 4

ERA Magazine Summer 2021

Open bank account for your business, with GST account if applicable. Build your social media sites (including website if applicable). CORE BRANDING/ MARKETING

Design logo and business cards – print business cards. Create a colour brand and feel for your business. Who is your customer? Where can you find them? How can you connect/ engage? What problem do you solve? How will you solve it? Gather email addresses to create your database Create a monthly newsletter. ONLINE PRESENCE

Create social media strategy/plan. Post three times a week (at least) to share your wisdom and position yourself as an authority in your field. Use your values to create your social media posts, ensuring you outline your point of difference. VALUES AND MISSION STATEMENT

Create a mission statement using your core values. Use your values to solve any issues or questions for your business Always remember your ‘why’ and be confident in what you do. ENGAGE A BUSINESS MENTOR OR BUSINESS COACH

Everyone needs a business mentor.


We l l n e

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FOLLOW YOUR HEART AND

LIVE YOUR INNER TRUTH

Carol Graeme I Holistic Therapist

KINESIOLOGIST | SPIRITUAL WELLNESS COACH | PSYCHIC MEDIUM

CAROL GRAEME is a sought after, experienced, and passionate locally renowned Holistic Wellness Therapist and Psychic Medium who is committed to delivering you support and guidance in every aspect of your life. Transform mind, body and spirit and allow yourself to live a more intentionally minded life in peace, harmony, and health.

Call now lf to receive ha rst price off all fi and consultations urney begin your jo inner to living your truth today

With over 30 years in the healing industry, Carol uses many highly mastered and practiced holistic modalities to bring you an empowering healing experience, allowing you to follow your heart and live your inner truth every day in your personal and professional life. With Carol’s guidance you will learn to recognise issues in life that have been holding you back, giving you empowerment to find physical, emotional and spiritual clarity for a fresh, wholesome newness in your mind, body and soul. If you are ready to follow your heart, become the best version of yourself and live your inner truth, Carol is excited to partner with you as your personal Wellness Coach through your journey of health, wealth and vitality. Carol’s services include Spiritual Life Coaching, Hypno-Trance Therapy, Kinesiology, Vibrational Energy Healing, Psychic Mediumship Readings, Chakra Balancing and Massage Therapy. No matter where you are in the world, Carol offers her services via secure and confidential Zoom calls, or in the privacy of her tranquil setting at Mirboo North in South Gippsland, Victoria.

www.carolgraeme.com.au

carol@carolgraeme.com.au

0429 682 254


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Marketing and Finance A KILLER BIO FINANCIAL SUCCESS in your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and Beyond ATTRACTING CLIENTS WITH THE POWER OF MAGNETISM WELCOME TO THE DIGITAL ERA ASK THE EXPERT – FINANCE


A Killer Bio A STORY OF THIRTY WORDS BY SIMONE DAWSON

Bio – An inimitable feminine figure and corporate pioneer. A powerful mix of laser-sharp business prowess, embracing all the fundamentals of humanity and irreversibly changing the world for the better

I

recently felt blessed by the universe and humbled to receive an invitation to submit articles to a new and brilliant business resource for women, ERA Magazine. Not one to shy away from an exciting opportunity and challenge to share my knowledge and experience, I simply couldn’t resist! Writing is not new to me. In fact, I’ve enjoyed sharp penmanship skills my entire life, that have consistently and ultimately aided me to get what I want! A useful skill indeed, but never have I needed to write within such parameters. Some, yes, but not to the degree required in the space of a professional and high caliber magazine, where there is a mindboggling plethora of talent in this exciting and competitive world. So, here I find myself challenged: the woman that unapologetically dances to the beat of her own drum; resistant, if

not rebellious to instruction; not one to conform, sometimes to my own detriment, now finding myself needing and wanting to play by the rules. And, to do it well. I digress. Aside from style requirements (font, spacing), file types, presentation standards and content word limits, only to mention a few, it dawns on me that I need to find a way to write a bio (biography) in 30 words or less. The mind boggles! This has provided for me an avalanche of opportune experiences in the ten days it took to complete this work. A journey I am now exceptionally grateful for, and I’m excited to share the nuggets of wisdom from this fascinating ride. My approach to mapping this journey was to explore exactly what a bio is, and how and why it can be beneficial as a marketing tool. I’ll share my guidelines, tips and tricks for writing a short and high-impact bio. ERA Magazine Summer 2021  9


‘A good bio goes beyond a resume; it describes who you are as a person, your education, your history and the way that you relate to your industry’. Additionally, it should ‘highlight personal brand by showcasing how unique expertise and personal/professional attributes set them apart from others in the industry’. (imediaconnection.com) Thought leaders consistently assert that a bio should not exceed one page. I can live with that, and have coloured within those lines. There are hundreds of published resources available to help you write a top quality bio; what to include, what not to include, and the process etc.; nobody needs me to do a literature review on this contentsaturated space. Now, back to my point. Whether 3000 words or 30, the treasure often not discussed in the voluminous content on how to write a pristine bio, is the emotional value of doing it! We all know enough about, and accept that our bios ask us to ‘sell’ our best professional selves. It’s our job to showcase, in a humble, yet balanced fashion, why we are the best for the gig. Our bio is one of the most important public-facing pieces of copy we will ever write. Bios are an important first impression and we often neglect them because it is uncomfortable to write about ourselves. We struggle to see ourselves from the point of view of other people, particularly as a woman. It is more than likely at some point our self-esteem has been challenged. To compose a high-impact bio, the ability to look at the situation from 10  ERA Magazine Summer 2021

an unbiased and outside point of view is quite possibly the greatest challenge. Self-esteem is ultimately an individual’s subjective evaluation of their own worth and we understand there are many elements that shape and influence this. Negative filters generate ongoing and long-term limiting beliefs. We know this is significantly prevalent in women who are often required to face this head-on when asked to ‘sell’ themselves. Despair not, knowledge is power and with it comes opportunity. If in writing our bios, examples of negative filters become apparent, we can use these to our advantage for emotional and therapeutic breakthroughs. Examples of these negative filters include all-or-nothing thinking, jumping to conclusions, ‘should’ statements, emotional reasoning and selfblame, to name a few. Beyond injecting some temporary positive self-ideation into the immediate moment because you must or your bio will miss the mark, therapists and coaches can support you on a journey of ‘busting these biases’ and improving self-esteem in the longer-term. I’ve realised great success as a clinician myself, applying Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with many clients who face challenges in this. It’s a fascinating privilege to witness the ‘highs’ we can experience when we are forced to ‘fake it until we make it’, and then subsequently choose to ‘make it’ in the long term. The hidden treasure I’ve alluded to is the most unexpected beauty in light-


bulb moments. Insights and opportunities that arise from writing a bio, even if it’s only a momentary glance at what your best professional self looks like. A quality and well-written bio will have forced your ‘self-belief-hand’. You would’ve had to throw your faulty thinking to the wayside, for at least a moment in order to ‘win’ in the world of business. This is where I get super-excited; psychology and business morph into one, integrating the essence of humanity with sharp business principles. After signing off on my very long chapter as an executive in the world of education technology—software solutions— in April, resigning from my post as CEO of Synergetic Management Systems, I was clear and enthused about my next gig. Having run my own private consulting, facilitation and coaching business for many years prior to my six-year stint in Ed-Tech, I was all set to return to my business with a new focus. This required me to completely reinvent myself and write a new one-page bio. However, in the bliss of magazine article writing, I find myself needing to ‘pitch’ myself in under 30 words. At first, I was resistant and quickly realised the rules apply to me too, and that a ‘30-worder’ needed to be born. Off went the start gun on research and now I feel empowered, educated, capable and in the know when it comes to writing a 30-word pitch. Here are some of my key tips. 1. Use descriptive language – it appeals to all five of our senses: taste, touch, sight, smell, and sound. When used correctly, descriptive words can

entertain, persuade, inform, and educate the reader. 2. Learn how to say more with fewer words – figure out how to position yourself and how to make a big impression with less words. Select words that create sharp visuals, that tap into the senses and are relatable. 3. Don’t use an explanation of who you are and what you’re about when you are word-constrained. 4. This is one of my favorites. Saying a lot with few words is a critical factor in success. For example, ‘if she were a dog, she’d be a Labrador’. I use this example as it drives my point accurately. I have this example from a real-life job interview, where I asked the candidate to identify ‘if he were an animal; what would he be, and why?’ His answer was ‘a Labrador’. Loyal, warm, reliable, fun, trustworthy, inquisitive, determined, plays well with others, smart but humble, honest and loves food. 5. The same can be seen by selecting simple, yet high impact words to describe myself. I am like a tornado, a tsunami, rainstorm, wizard, queen, soldier, artist, orchestra, owl, tiger… you get the point. Single words that create strong images, ideas and visuals. 6. Using word groups can help create clear and high impact mental images (use the table to complete the challenge). CHALLENGE EXERCISE

Jot down five short word sets that describe you (hint – I suggest verbs, nouns and ERA Magazine Summer 2021  11


adjectives will provide you the optimal basis). For example, one word set I would use to describe myself is ‘fearless and passionate leader, like a strong wolf’. WHAT’S IMPORTANT

Knowing your purpose is a critical element of being able to ‘sell’ who you are, what you offer and what makes you special. There are a raft of reasons, at both personal and professional levels, why a clear and defined ‘purpose’ is crucial. Purpose helps us filter what is and isn’t important. It allows us a life of meaning, where we can live authentically and experience being our ‘best selves’. Purpose energizes us, it allows us constant drive, passion and motivation. It affords us to achieve success on our terms. Why does clear purpose matter in writing a killer bio? You have a few words to express your point of difference.

Verbs

Nouns

Describes what a person or thing does, such as: run; hit; rain; be; seem; become; grow.

Identifies a person, place, thing, idea or quality, such as: woman; dog; building; London; truth; birth.

Prepositions

Conjunctions

Describes the position of something, the time it happened or the way it is done, such as: under; between; on; after; by.

Connects phrases or sentences, such as: and; because; but; for; or.

12  ERA Magazine Summer 2021

Beyond my personal fulfilment and enjoyment, I’m very pumped to share my new 30-word bio. An inimitable feminine figure and corporate pioneer. A powerful mix of laser-sharp business prowess, embracing all the fundamentals of humanity and irreversibly changing the world for the better. So, what better opportunity could I have hoped for than to debut my new bio at my business strategy event the very evening that I completed this work. The event attendees were amazing! So supportive, encouraging and best of all, curious. By their own volition,they are now all presenting their own 30-word bio, as a means of introducing themselves and their businesses at our next event.

www. optumoutcomes.com Adjectives Describes a noun, such as: red; bad; giant; hairy; shy.

Determiners Introduces a noun, such as: an; a; every; this; those; the.

Adverbs Gives more information about a verb adjective or another adverb, such as: lazily; easily; abroad; very.

Pronouns Used in place of a noun that is a specific person or thing, such as: she; him; mine; we; I; us; me.


Dianne Marie Healing

Forensic Healing Past Life Regression

Mediumship

Do you want to clear away the blahs of 2020? Do you have pain or stresses you’d like help with? Contact me for a Forensic Healing in a safe and loving environment. info@diannemariehealing.com.au Phone 0422 186 751

diannemariehealing.com.au

ERA Magazine Summer 2021  13


Financial Success in your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and Beyond BY MICHELLE GRIFFITHS It goes without saying that our financial goals and activities will be different as we move through different stages of our life. Here’s a few tips for each stage. IN YOUR 20S

This is usually when you are first starting out in the workforce – forging a career. The focus at this young age tends to be more around learning how to understand where money goes – the pre-cursor to learning how to budget effectively. Positive habits can be built when there is focus on a goal (buying a car/ planning a holiday/saving for your first home, etc.) and where there has been some learning around impulse purchasing. Problems that commonly occur around this age are managing credit card debt (which may be out of control) and feeling of having no control over finances. What to do

Create a ‘dreams list’ of what you want your life to look like in say, five years time. This is the beginning of having a goal to focus on. Estimate

what these dreams will require financially. Write it down. By committing this to paper, it makes it more real. You need to do this to make a commitment to the goal. 1. Find an app (there are plenty out there) that will help you track your expenditure. Use as much automation as possible to make it easy – some banks offer this as part of their reporting systems. 2. Have a monthly finance meeting with yourself. Spend some quality time


thinking about your finances and look at the patterns that come up in your expenditure tracking. Dedicate time to make a small improvement to your habits every month (a 1% change each month will make a big difference if done consistently). IN YOUR 30S

This is when most people are starting to look towards home ownership or starting a family. It will be necessary to have an understanding of what the banks are looking for with loan applications, and how to build a deposit. Assistance from someone who knows the industry may be optimal. Interestingly, some of the problem traits from your 20s can cross over into this age group. If you still have some issues, then it is time to knuckle down and change your habits. It sounds easy, but it’s not, particularly if those habits have been formed and solidified over the past ten years or more. Make no mistake, the banks will see your bad habits while assessing your home loan application. It is important to do the work to get bad habits under control so you can show savings capacity and good financial habits. Those who are on track with their financial goals may be committed to a savings plan, have purchased their first home and be paying off a mortgage. For others, owning and renting will be the method to get started into the property market. Whatever you choose, you need to do your homework. Understand what these choices mean to your future cash flow and

tax implications. Think about how the bank will view your application and how to approach them strategically to get you the best outcome. Whatever choice applies to you, financial independence and responsibility means more than just managing money. You need to start thinking about your personal insurance needs. I don’t mean making sure your car, house and contents are insured – although this is important as well. What I mean, is you need to make sure that if something happens to you or your significant other, then would you be okay financially. You will still have a mortgage and expenses to pay even if you are not earning money – so you need to protect your biggest asset – you. Death, disability, or extended illness can strike at any age, but from our late 20s through to our late 40s, we tend to have a lot of responsibilities that would be significantly jeopardised if you were not able to work for an extended period of time. Insurance for this is something that needs to be explored. Check what cover is appropriate, what type of policy mix you need and how to pay for it.  What to do next (start with 1–3 from above):

Get some assistance to work out what the most appropriate level of insurance cover is for you and your family. Choose the most appropriate insurance for quality of definitions, benefits, tax deductibility/cost. If you have a home loan – then definitely check your interest rates on a regular basis – every 2–3 years. There are


good deals to be had at the moment. Check out https://tag.comparensave.com.au/ to quickly check for alternatives. You only need to enter three pieces of information. IN YOUR 40S

In your 40s you are usually deep in debt with the mortgage on the family home, and a growing family – who perhaps are teenagers now. The expenses seem to keep coming in. Unfortunately, this is also the age where most Australian divorces happens. Statistics show that the most common age for getting a divorce is 45.5 for males and 42.9 for females. This means a complete upheaval of the family, both emotionally and financially. If this occurs it is always best to get some advice, both legal and financial. Make sure you understand your situation clearly and do not make rash decisions when you are in the middle of an emotional crisis. This often result in bad decision making. For those that are financially on track, it is important not to get complacent. Remember this is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s important to start to think about the future now. Have a vision of what you would like your future to look like. Set targets and make plans to move towards that vision. The plans may include making sure your superannuation is working hard for you (making the most of this asset), paying more than the minimum payment on your home loan, or work hard to pay it off early. Having a separate savings plan along with other assets is something that you should be considering. Review 16  ERA Magazine Summer 2021

your insurances again. Start making some concrete plans for your future, and get clarity on what you need to put in place now in order to work towards this. In your 40s, problems are often centred around rebuilding finances. You may not have the financial experience to make clear and good decisions that will set you up for the longer term. If you are not in rebuild stage, take care not to abdicate all your financial decision making to someone else, even if they are quite good at doing this. It is important to be a part of the process, understand what is happening and why, and make sure your goals and objectives are aligned. Make sure you have a financial vocabulary and take some responsibility for your own financial future. What to do next

Revisit your goals (refer to action point 1). Reset based on your new objectives for the medium and long term. Check how your superannuation is performing and understand if it fits into your long term plan – make sure it is working for you. Review your insurance levels again. Make sure you have wills and powers of attorney in place. IN YOUR 50S

Wow! Time does sneak up on you – you really can’t afford to blink. Your 50s tend to be when you are the most productive. You may have finished financially supporting your children, or almost. Based on your experience you will be earning the most that you have ever done. You should have made some pretty


significant progress on paying off your mortgage. This is the time to really start focusing on your retirement strategy. To be on track you need to get very clear about what retirement means to you. For some it means stopping work completely and traveling the world (or at least someday when this COVID-19 pandemic is resolved!!); whilst for others the idea of stopping work completely is not appealing, they just want to be able to scale back their work commitments and focus on other things that are important to them. The most important thing is to know where you are going and the decisions or choices available to you. Make your choices consciously, rather than just drifting along and hoping that it will work out. Problems at this age may include having not made enough progress on your home loan. You may be fighting against high debt levels and therefore cannot focus sufficiently on your savings efforts. You need to start to think about whether this debt is sustainable. Should you start planning to downsize in order to resolve this issue? What you need to do next

Once again need to review your personal insurances. Do you now have too much insurance? Can you reduce the levels of cover? This is pretty important as you will have noticed that premiums are escalating far beyond inflation. By reviewing more regularly, you won’t be overpaying on this expense. Make sure you have a full medical check-up before reducing or cancelling any insurances.

Your superannuation should be getting to a good level by now and will play a key role in your retirement plans; make sure you are making this work for you. Make additional contributions if you can. Be actively involved in the investment decisions and strategies being applied. Consider how your long term goals are fitting together. You should have some savings strategies in addition to super. This may be as simple as an investment property, or some savings in bank accounts or term deposits. Whatever it is, make sure that it fits meaningfully into your long term plan, and make sure you are using it to practise what you are going to be doing when you do retire or slowdown. Have a strategy in relation to your home and your home loan. How long until you pay it off? Do you need to downsize at some point? If so, will the sale of your home be likely to net you some additional dollars? Don’t assume that it will. Make sure this is all part of your long term plan. Action is where the power comes from in all age groups. Be clear on your purpose and your goals, and then work out what you need to do now to progress towards these. Resources that might be helpful for you

https://moneysmart.gov.au https://tag.comparensave.com.au/ https://www.tagfinancial.com.au/blog/ https://www.youtube.com/channel/ UCYyNCy7b3CdP28ILzhx6qKQ www.tagfinancial.com.au ERA Magazine Summer 2021  17


Where to begin with your business branding BY SONYA MURPHY THE IMPORTANCE OF BRANDING

Branding is an important part of any business. A brand identity creates meaning and value around your products and services. It is the image your business sends out into the world, the personality of your business. Your customers relate to your brand and it is what differentiates you from your competitors. The more people that see your brand, whether it’s via social media, online ads or in print, the more they become familiar with your business. It gives you credibility in the marketplace. Keep in mind you must follow through with excellent products and service, otherwise your brand can quickly become tarnished. A brand identity is so much more than your logo. It is a theme that needs to run through your business, and all of its marketing and customer interactions. It’s the fonts that you use, the colours and images, as well as the tone of language in all of your communication. If your target customers are professionals and you offer a high-end product, it’s better to use more formal language, whereas, if your business is more casual, use a conversational tone in your messaging. 18

ERA Magazine Summer 2021

The easiest way to create your brand identity is to create a mood board. WHAT IS A MOOD BOARD?

It’s a visual representation in a collage format of images, fonts, symbols, and quotes that convey the values and emotions of your business. 1. Find your values. There are many online resources to help you do that if you don’t already have your values in mind. 2. Choose pictures that represent those values. 3. If you don’t have certain colours in mind, there will be a theme running through your chosen images. Choose your colours from there. 4. Create your mood board using images and text from magazines or other printed sources. If you use photos from the internet for personal use that’s okay, but keep in mind, if you want to display your board or use the images publicly, you must have licensed use of the photos. 5. Your mood board will represent your business. Be explorative with different fonts and colours, you may surprise yourself.


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ERA Magazine Summer 2021

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HOW DO WE ATTRACT THE IDEAL PERSON INTO OUR WORLD?


Attracting clients with the power of

Intuitive Magnetism BY KIM PLATZER

What do Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, and Arianna Huffington have in common? They are all successful entrepreneurs who credit intuition as a source for business success. Our intuition is a good guide for communicating when something is right or wrong, even without the facts. It may be experienced as a quick feeling, knowing or inspired clarity that transforms into a spark of creation. Regardless of how it appears, intuition is a guiding magnetic force when it comes to being attracted or repelled by another person, situation, or opportunity. In business, turning the volume up on intuition will increase the power of attracting the ideal customer who will want to remain connected with your business. Before we ask how, we need to know who is the ideal customer? The ideal

customer is not everyone. The ocean is enormous, possessing much life. We only want a portion of what it has to offer, and it must align with the values of the business. A customer can share positive experiences about your service and products, but if the business is attracting just anyone, then the potential to have a negative interaction increases, which then decreases the reputation of the business. Of course, you want a fulfilling, profitable enterprise with positive word of mouth, so, let us begin by thinking about who has been your favourite customer. Were they male or female? Roughly how old? Did they wear colourful clothes or possess a quirky personality? Why did they come to you? How did they make you feel? Take a moment to sit with your answers before visualizing the interaction. Hear the conversation. What was said? What was the ERA Magazine Summer 2021

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tone of voice? Was there emotion displayed with certain words or phrases? As the memory plays out, take note of the emotions, thoughts, feelings,and physical reaction that your body is projecting. A good experiment is to have a mobile phone handy to record video of the exercise. It may be a surprise to see just how much the body interacts with the memory. If the business is e-commerce, connect to the customer’s details, name, address, and prior purchases. There is a pattern to their buying habits that can display what attracts them to your site. Imagine what the customer looks like, the area they live in, what they want your product for, the item they purchased. Hold the visual of your customer in the mind’s eye, take note of your body, emotions, and feelings. Put this to one side and step into your customer, see yourself overshadowing their body. Do this slowly to provide a scope of how and what changes as you step from yourself into their world. Have a sense of their thought processes, body composition, mental, and emotional responses. How does this feel? What is going on in their mind? As you relax into this process think of what they enjoy doing, who do they relate to, what hobbies or lifestyle do they have? All this information is valuable data that will be utilised to see where, who and how your ideal customer lives. They are the ones you want to know where and how to market your product and services to. IGNITING YOUR MAGNETISM

ignite our magnetic power. This is the power that attracts those that will be the greatest resource to our business. They will be the customer that dances to our tune. To ignite our magnetic power we must transform our mind, emotions, and body from within. This transmits positive magnetism on a frequency level that will be felt by those you want to attract. Think of yourself as a radio transmitter. If the dial is stuck on static no-one will hear the message, but when you alter the frequency to a high resonating sound that is appealing, everyone wants to tune in. As a human being, we need to connect the frequency of our energy with a balance of mind, emotions, body and feeling. In turn, we are allowing ourselves to give and receive, to create the circuit that will go on to demonstrate a positive lifestyle and state of being. To achieve a higher perspective on what we want, is as simple as going with our intuition. It can help to take time out to visualise what success looks like. It may be obtaining a thriving business full of ideal customers, or a cozy home surrounded by a magnificent garden. Whatever it looks like, connect with the feeling. How does life make you feel? Perhaps some areas need a cleanout or a more profound reflection. Take the time to allow the process to explore how life, business, relationships, and health all intertwine to create your magnetic force. 

Now we know who we are aligning our mind and energy towards, we have to

www. thebusinesssuccessclairvoyant.com.au

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ERA Magazine Summer 2021  23


Welcome to the

DIGITAL ERA

Mixing the old with the new BY MARINA GARBUIO

The marketing industry over the last thirty years has evolved from boozy lunches, extravagant marketing budgets and a lack of transparency to fuelled, fast, accountability. Digital marketing continues to develop at a phenomenal rate and it’s hard to hide from it. Facebook has been in existence now for 16 years. We have seen it grow from an innocent baby to a turbulent teenager. And this teenager (and all its social media platform friends) demands attention. How many people you have reached or engaged, have clicked a button, downloaded an eBook, watched a video, viewed your story or bought a product, are just some of the measurements we have access to on social media. Used in the right way, it helps us make astute business decisions. Phew! Feeling exhausted? I am not surprised. Marketing itself is an artform. We have university courses dedicated to the subject, with lots of different marketing tangents in which to be an expert. Many hands-on small to medium business owners tend to do their own marketing. A big ask! 24  ERA Magazine Summer 2021

PRIOR TO THE INTERNET

Prior to the internet, a business would either assign one person with expertise and knowledge in each area to analyse the above measurements, or it was outsourced. Image A shows the flow of command and their principle roles. The Marketing Strategist would design and develop the look and feel of a marketing campaign. They would identify trends and new opportunities as well as track and measure marketing activities, response, leads, sales, retention and return-on-investment. A huge job.


The Marketing Strategist would then push the marketing campaign and vision to their team, usually consisting of a Public Relations Advisor and an Advertiser, to execute the campaign. The Public Relations Advisor (or PR Advisor) would use their expertise to ensure that ‘free press’ would state favourable things about the business and publish stories for free. This person (or department) would approach people of influence on TV, radio, or press to seek free sponsorship as well as the general community to help spread the word. Another full time job. The Advertiser approaches the same people but with a different agenda. They pay for the privilege of being exposed to an audience that otherwise would not find them. The Advertiser would approach similar places to the PR Advisor and pay for the privilege. Another huge job! As a Marketing Manager you understand the roles that the PR Advisor and Advertiser play, and trust them to get the job done. This is the luxury of medium to large businesses. PR Advisors would leave the Advertisers alone to find paid opportunities and Advertisers left PR Advisors alone to schmooze the right people and gain free publicity. Pre-internet, it was an easier sell. Less noise. Less interference. Then came the digital era and the ability for everyone to conduct business online. In 2019, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 97.7% of all

businesses were small business. From that, 62.1% were sole entrepreneurs with no other employees. HELLO FACEBOOK

Facebook was the first social media platform to change the way we market. Facebook gave businesses the ability to reach their audience directly. Therefore, in order to cut through the increasing noise and distraction, small business owners needed to understand how each of the above three roles integrated, in order to gain the best outcome, with little outlay. So rather than the Marketing Strategist, PR Advisor and Advertiser structure behaving like a triangle, the structure now turns into a circle. Business owners need to understand how all three jobs integrate on social media. This understanding is vitally important when crafting and amplifying messages on these digital platforms. Who can we blame for this shift? Facebook of course, who is now 16 years old and behaving like an angsty teen. This teenager wants you to figure out their multi-faceted personality all by yourself in order to best approach them. They don’t warn you but their personality changes; all the time. Let’s call the personality change an algorithm. And figuring out their algorithm helps us to proceed the right way. The elements of Facebook apply to different areas of marketing. The image attached is a slice of action from the Facebook Mobile App. ERA Magazine Summer 2021  25


HELLO, MARKETING STRATEGIST

The yellow circle is your Marketing Strategy. Look at Facebook as a whole and answer these types of questions: • What is my objective on Facebook? • Who is my audience on Facebook? (hint: it’s not everyone) • How do my business messages appeal to their desires, beliefs or solve their pain points? • Are my audience likely to watch Facebook Stories, or scroll their feeds? Do they prefer messages or have a conversation via rooms? • What is the tone of voice required? • What will I track and measure to see success? This sets up your brand feel on Facebook, where your messages are succinct, consistent and resonate with your audience.

You may be wondering why bother posting on your Facebook page if not everyone is going to see it? Posting on your social media page gives potential customers confidence you are still active in your business. It also helps your current audience find relevant information. It has the potential to be shared to other people and gain free exposure that you otherwise wouldn’t have had. Having an active social media page reflects the care and attention your customer will receive if they interact or purchase from your business. Solely relying on organic posts, especially for sales, is a recipe for disappointment. There needs to be a mix to attract and notify your ideal audience. Enter advertising. HELLO, ADVERTISER

HELLO, PR ADVISOR

The blue circle are your organic posts within a person’s organic feed. A post is organic when you post your message on your business page and then Facebook or Instagram decide who sees your post. This is free advertising. The person this post reaches has usually already liked your business page, so it is a great reminder for them that you and your products or services exist. The problem is Facebook only shows organic posts to 0–1% of people who like your page. So, if you have 1000 people liking your page, only 10 people may see your post on their feed. 26  ERA Magazine Summer 2021

The green circle shows the advertising slots in between the organic posts. For desktop there are two options, within the feed, or sponsored posts on the right-hand side. Who wants to pay to get customers? The answer is no-one. But it’s not a case of want; it’s a case of what your audience needs. With Facebook’s algorithm showing as few organic posts as possible (and Instagram is not far behind), the complementing option is to advertise, or ‘pay-to-play’. People fear spending money on advertising. But Facebook and Instagram are still the cheapest options compared to money spent on radio, press or TV.


It is also much cheaper than printing brochures or mailbox drops. Advertising can showcase your products and services to people who already like your page, people who don’t like your page, people on your email database, even people who live locally or who have birthdays in December! Having the right message, to the right audience, at the right time will ensure your advertising dollar is well spent. People will generally research a little further after seeing your advertising, by clicking on your business page link to gain proof of your authenticity. With no organic activity shown on the page (from your Public Relations Advisor personality), it may lead to a potential loss of a sale or lead. If the advertisement doesn’t have the same synergy as what is posted on your social media pages, then you are in effect paying for advertising that won’t resonate with your audience and is thus ineffective. In the past, these titles were given to three separate people and they would go and succeed in their jobs. Today, to cut through the endless noise, business owners need to understand how to strategise their message, use their public relations prowess and advertising skills to amplify their message. Understanding how these elements of marketing interact allows you to create a cohesive campaign. One that is costeffective and less time consuming. www.motivatingmarketing.com.au ERA Magazine Summer 2021  27


ASK THE EXPERT

Finance MICHELLE GRIFFITHS www.tagfinancial.com.au

Q   When considering home loan options, what is the difference between a redraw facility and an offset account? A   Whilst both systems work quite differently, when taking into consideration the overall interest calculated on the loan, the outcome on how much interest you will pay is the same. Therefore, why the difference? Well first let’s clarify what they each are. Redraw facility – is where you can pay off more of the loan than the minimum requirements, either in lump sums or on a regular basis (for example paying $100 per month more than your minimum repayments). This reduces the loan amount, and therefore you only pay interest on the outstanding loan amount – you can at any time redraw (or withdraw) the amount of additional payments without having to apply for a new loan. Essentially, you are just getting your additional loan repayments back. An offset account is a bank account where you put your savings. The account is linked to your home loan account. The interest calculation on your home loan is 28  ERA Magazine Summer 2021

only charged on the difference between these two accounts. For example if your home loan balance is $500,000 and your offset account balance is $100,000, you are only being charged interest on $400,000, which is the net amount outstanding. The funds in your offset account are available for you to withdraw. Whilst the interest calculations work out similarly, there are some significant differences which may make one option more appropriate than the other, depending on your circumstances. If the loan is tax deductible, i.e. for investment purposes, the offset account works better because if you do withdraw funds throughout the loan term, then the full amount of the loan will still be fully tax deductible – whereas using the redraw facility makes tax deductibility more complex. From a personal discipline perspective, having an offset account can be difficult for most people to remain committed to. In my experience, they are often a trap. Having a large bank balance can be an invitation to use the money for purposes other than long term goals or targets.


The motivation to pay off your loan is better served with a loan redraw facility. Seeing the loan going down, and the extra money not seeming quite so accessible, makes it easier to commit to the set savings targets. Ultimately these are the financial implications to think about, but then it is equally important to understand the human side of these decisions. Understand your financial personality, and be realistic with what you are able to do. Are you able to commit to your savings strategies? Work with your abilities and motivation; don’t fight those things as it will only make things harder. Get some help to understand what is best for your personal circumstances, as well as for tax purposes. Q   I have additional cashflow and want to reduce my debt levels. I have a home loan as well as an investment loan. The investment loan has a higher interest rate. Which one should I pay off? A   It is quite common for home loan interest rates to be lower than loans for investment purposes (often around 0.5% difference). Therefore, it is natural to think that you should reduce the loan with the

higher interest rate – but this is actually NOT the best thing to do in most instances. Let me walk you through the logic of this. I like to talk about the difference between good debt and bad debt. Good debt relates to investment loans where the interest is tax deductible. Bad debt is any loan that is not tax deductible. They are loans that are usually for the purchase of assets that are not related to investment or income producing purposes – for example, home loans, car loans, personal loans for personal expenditure items. As a general rule you should always focus on paying off your bad debt first. Even though the interest rate on these loans may be less than those for investment loans, when you take into account the tax deductible nature of investment loans, there is usually not much of a benefit in paying these off while you still have bad debt to deal with. Let’s use an example to show this. You have a home loan with an interest rate of 2.5% and an investment loan with an interest rate of 2.9%. You want to pay an extra $100,000 off the debt. The table below shows gives a comparison between the two options.

Home loan

Investment loan

$ 100,000

$100,000

Interest rate on loan

2.50%

2.90%

Interest cost

$2,500

$2,900

Net loan to pay off

  less tax affect (34% tax rate)

$986

Net interest cost

$2,500

$1,914

Net interest (effective rate)

2.50%

1.91% ERA Magazine Summer 2021  29


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30 ERA Magazine Summer 2021


Walking gently on the planet GOING PLASTIC FREE AFFORDABLE SUSTAINABLE HOUSING


Going Plastic Free Good for the planet and good for business BY MONICA COLEMAN & CAITLIN O’SHEA

Did you know that Plastic is a durable, lightweight and very affordable material, making it highly versatile and valuable in many parts of society? It is now used in almost every aspect of our lives: in packaging, healthcare, electronics, and infrastructure.

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33


Many do not realise that each person in Australia uses approximately 130 kilograms of plastic per year, and only 14% of which is recycled. Almost all of this plastic makes its way into landfill and eventually, through storm water runoff, into our waterways. When these plastics break down into microplastics, they are passed up the food chain carrying chemicals and toxins that can have a detrimental effect on human and environmental health. It is estimated 8 million tons of plastic enter the world’s oceans annually. To put that into perspective, it is equivalent to one rubbish truck dumping its contents into the ocean every single minute. Since the current pandemic was declared to be a Public Health Emergency on 30 January 2020, the increase in single use contaminated medical waste has increased exponentially. At the peak of COVID-19, hospitals were generating six times as much medical waste as they did before the pandemic began. Personal use of masks and gloves has also greatly added to the single plastic use waste problem and have become a common sight littering our streets and parks.

34  ERA Magazine Summer 2021

Thankfully, there is plenty that can be done about this plastic-coated issue. By reducing plastic consumption in your personal and professional life, you can lighten your footprint on the earth whilst also boosting your social conscience. Rather than allowing plastic pollution to get you down, let the severity of the problem inspire you to act now and become EPIC! Becoming educated is an important first step towards a plastic-free future. Local and international NGOs (nongovernment organisations) such as Plastic Oceans Australasia, are working to spread awareness and provide educational programs for schools and businesses to change people’s relationship with plastic. With resources like the EPIC (Engagement in Plastic free Innovation for Change) program, you can empower your contacts by educating yourself on how to reduce single use plastic and then passing this knowledge on. There is also a wealth of information online, ranging from scientific papers to highly researched documentaries such as A Plastic Ocean (available on Netflix).


As awareness of the impacts of plastic, on both human health and the health of the environment increases, people have become more motivated to reduce the amount of plastic that is used in their daily lives. It is important to be conscious of plastic packaging in the products that we purchase and use. By altering our shopping habits to seek plastic-free alternatives, we have the power to slow down the volume of waste ending up in landfill and making its way into the oceans. From packaging-free fresh produce and reusable shopping bags to solid shampoo and refillable detergent bottles, there are alternatives for most everyday plastic items. While acting on an individual level to reduce the amount of plastic that you use, it is crucial that businesses lead the way in the fight against plastic pollution. Becoming plastic-free is not just good for the environment, but also has many direct and indirect benefits for businesses. It strengthens bonds within teams by providing a common goal to work towards, and by reducing waste, businesses can in turn reduce waste collection costs. Plastic-

free businesses are also recognized by other organizations,reflecting positively on Corporate Social Responsibility business outcomes. Green consumers are now a growing population whose loyalty is worth earning. If you share the same ideologies and thoughts in protecting the environment, they are highly likely to become your new customers for good. With a clear strategy to reduce plastics, you can communicate this to your customers with confidence in the actions you are taking. Although plastic pollution right now is an extreme challenge in modern society, we know that people are able to make significant and impactful changes. Banding together to fight plastic pollution inspires a sense of community and solidarity. If you are interested in taking a stand and in making a meaningful change by treading lightly with your environmental footprint, Plastic Oceans Australasia is here to help you. For further information www.plasticoceans.org.au

ERA Magazine Summer 2021  35


Affordable sustainable housing – the future is where? BY GLENDA CASS

As a single middle-income earner of a certain age (over 55), I have been exploring options for a home that I can live in now, while working full time, and still afford to enjoy in the future when my income reduces. I have been looking for the right blend of personal space and privacy, within a supportive community, without having to pay exorbitant upfront and ongoing fees. In my search for something that fits the bill, I stumbled across cohousing as an option. The first example that I found was 36

ERA Magazine Summer 2021

courtesy of a real estate ad for a beautiful earthy home with spectacular views near Healesville, priced well below the usual market value. I was curious and went on a tour of the property called the Moora Moora Co-Operative Community. I loved the environmentally sustainable ethos and the sense of community connection. There were 36 private dwellings spread out in clusters of 6 homes on an isolated 254-hectare site. However, to be an effective member of the community, one needed to contribute a ‘fair’ amount


of physical labour to help maintain the extensive property, which is in bushfireprone zone and it was a long drive to my current place of work. Without a job I couldn’t afford to live there, so it didn’t really fit my long-term needs. So, what exactly is cohousing? Well it is not a hippy commune with peace, free love and total communal living (not that there is anything wrong with that). This is a genuine opportunity to have a privately-owned home, situated in an intergenerational community with a

group of likeminded people. Cohousing projects may vary greatly in detail, but the overarching principals are similar. Residents decide what communal features they may want—such as a common room with a kitchen for group dinners, group exercise or yoga classes, a craft room, a workshop, a music room, a community garden and barbeque area, or even a guest room for visitors. Cohousing is common in other parts of the world such as Europe and Canada, but is very new to Australia. In the past it ERA Magazine Summer 2021

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hasn’t been easy for local councils to allow such proposals to proceed. In fact I have learned the way planning permission and bylaws are structured, even when local council agrees with the concept, they are restricted by the existing laws. Some potential cohousing developments have also been thwarted by community objections, causing long delays and eventually resulting in projects being abandoned. The Bellfield Baugruppe (named Bellfield for the suburb location and Baugruppe, German for building group/ collective) is a new project currently in development in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. The final building design is being shaped by the people who have committed to the project. The homes will be built to suit the needs of interested residents with a mix of apartments and townhouses and a balance of private and common areas. They will be highly energy efficient and will use sustainable, affordable and aesthetically pleasing materials to reduce the impact on the environment and keep costs reasonable. It looks promising, as the local council have already approved cohousing in principal, which will reduce the number of possible objections. The development is being guided by a group of professional advisors who work under the name of Property Collectives. They are collaborating with the interested potential residents to create their own community. The Bellfield Baugruppe is at the Expression of Interest

38

ERA Magazine Summer 2021

stage and will take several years to reach completion. This project is a really promising cohousing concept, however, it’s not in the right location for me. There is another potential project based in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, currently in its infancy, that I am looking in to. Development Victoria have acquired a 19 ha site in Knoxfield with a view to building affordable, sustainable housing. I attended a virtual community workshop outlining the draft Masterplan. At this stage they are proposing 450 townhouses priced from $620,000. This development looks to be suitable for a cohousing community to be included in the design. They have asked for feedback and small group of interested people (including me) have suggested cohousing as an option. Right now, there are only a handful of cohousing opportunities around Melbourne but I believe that in the near future they will become more and more common. Hopefully, in my lifetime. REFERENCES Cohousing Australia: https://communities.org.au/ Moora Moora CoOp: https://mooramoora.org.au/ index-2.html Property Collectives/Bellfield Cohousing development: http://propertycollectives.com. au/2020/05/bellfield-baugruppe-projectinformation/ Development Victoria/Knoxfield Affordable Housing Project: https://engage.vic.gov.au/ new-community-knoxfield-feedback-draftmaster-plan


Business Advice TRANSITIONING TO A NEW BUSINESS PARADIGM FENG SHUI YOUR HOME OFFICE THE POWER OF CHOICE NEURODIVERSITY WOMEN ON THE RISE TO LEADERSHIP IN A POST-COVID WORLD

ERA Magazine Summer 2021  39


Transitioning to a new business paradigm BY LUNA WOOD

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ERA Magazine Summer 2021


We find ourselves in a time of great change as all the secure systems we identify with destabilise around us. How do we adapt our business in this time of change? By understanding that we are in the midst of shifting our business philosophies; moving from an ego-centric economy to an eco-centric ecology, creates the need to transition from one form into another.

ECO-CENTRIC ECOLOGY

BUSINESS WITH A CAPITAL B

An eco-centric ecology is the feminine way of empowered embodiment where all life thrives within the system. It encompasses the health and wellbeing of all aspects of business, personal, family, environmental, cultural, and economic ways of life. The balanced wellbeing of all within the system is nurtured.

We are beginning to realise the power of our intelligence and the information it holds, and the need to engage our business in a whole new way. This becomes sacred business, Business with a capital B. This holds a fundamentally different point of focus that is healthier, happier, sustainable, and more connected. This Business tends to the conscious connection of all the interconnecting systems that make up our business, not just profit margins and shareholder gains. Indigenous cultures talk about ‘proper business’ which supports and sustains the whole collective within a dynamic, sustainable, sensitive and healthy culture. We are being called to evolve into a more mature and conscious system of care taking, within our living practice, our business. The Dalai Lama shared that it would be western women who would lead the world into a new consciousness (2009 Vancouver Peace Summit). We are a generation of women that have the privilege of education, awareness, health, spiritual focus, financial freedom, adventure, technology, and deep compassion. This is the holistic combination required to shift our planet into a new cultural paradigm.

EGO-CENTRIC ECONOMY

An eco-centric economy is the masculine way. It is hierarchical in nature. It upholds a dominant power within the whole, while depleting all lifeforce through its harvesting of nature. The sacred feminine becomes depleted, while the masculine grows stronger. This is why we find ourselves in the world we do at present. All the base systems feed the leader at the top who holds the dominant power, to the exclusion of all else. The hierarchies are currently toppling over into an independent, interconnected web of centralised hubs. Intelligence, artificial and natural, is becoming the focus of our economies. The question is, what do we choose to do with this intelligence that is within each of us?

ERA Magazine Summer 2021  41


Many women are creating their business in the hope of freedom. This is the collective fuel to ignite a new pathway. It is these very women who are tending to home, family and community while running their businesses at the expense of their personal health and wellbeing. This is where the paradigm fundamentally shifts. We are being asked to access a vastly different state of being in order to thrive. Having had the privilege and opportunity during lockdown for supportive deep rest, it became very clear that a new way of living is possible, and now is the time to honour it. • What does it feel like to be financially supported with a basic income? • What does it feel like to not have to entertain all the people all the time? • What does it feel like to be able to rest at home? • What does it feel like to be lovemaking during the day? • What does it feel like to be cooking and baking yummy food? • What does it feel like to be able to have private time at home with loved ones? • What does it feel like to have time to tend to odd jobs, clarifying home and business? • What does it feel like to not be chasing the dream? This time requires a very strong practice of containment and coming home to self. We are within a passage of time that is completely unique. Nothing like this will present again in our lifetime. We are 42

ERA Magazine Summer 2021

being supported to deeply reframe from our habitual nature, from our habitual business, from our depleted, stressful striving and driving. We are being asked to come home to new way of living that is more sustainable, quieter, loving, and generous. What does it mean to no longer be in a fragmented, disassociated, and disconnected way of living? As we witness the excess of our lives fall away during this quarantine period, we begin to rebalance and feel into how we really wish to be living. We have the power to welcome it in, receive it and live it. It is our business to tend to our lives as a living prayer based on gratitude, creativity, beauty, wisdom, integrity and honesty. It is our business to establish clear boundaries for ourselves and our business in a way that is healthy for us, our family, our home, our environment and our technology. No one is going to do this for us. Sustainability is the key for longevity and if we wish to be here for the long term, we need to reframe our living to that which supports the best version of ourselves. We are the dreams of our Great, Great, Great Grandmothers. We are the third wave of feminism and have the capacity to engage empowered embodiment as our business. Personal business. Collective business. Cultural business. We do have freedom. We have choice! What to do with the power of our choosing? How do we re-write the story of our living practice? How do we become our living prayer of connection? www.lunawoodsacred.com


FENG SHUI Your Home OďŹƒce

BY TINA CURRO

If you worked in an office environment prior to any Covid-19 restrictions, you may now find yourself working from home. Creating a comfortable and functional office environment at home is conducive to promoting productivity and success. Working from home presents numerous challenges, particularly when you find yourself working alongside other household members who are also working or studying from home. This situation may also be compounded by other factors, including babies or young children who are no longer able to attend childcare or kindergarten.

Identifying a suitable working space is the priority. This may vary depending on your individual home, circumstances, and needs. Where space is at a premium with many competing priorities from other household members, more than one space may also need to be identified. The practice of Feng Shui can assist in creating an environment where balance and harmony are achieved, thus stimulating positive energy, regardless of whether you are working from your kitchen or a dedicated office space. Before we discuss the elements of setting up your individual workspace, we need to consider the three major Feng ERA Magazine Summer 2021

43


Shui School Practices to get a better understanding of Feng Shui. FENG SHUI SCHOOL PRACTICES Bagua School or Black Hat Sect School

The most common and well-known Feng Shui School in the Western culture is called Black Hat Sect. This school was introduced to the United States in the mid 1980s. This school was originally created by the Tibetan Buddhist Monks, using the bagua system which is divided into nine areas:

1. Wealth 6. Children 2. Fame 7. Knowledge & 3. Marriage Self-cultivation 4. Family 8. Career 5. Health & 9. Helpful People Wellbeing & Travel This system does not require the use of a compass and is known as the one-size fits all system. It is a generic approach that lacks individual tailoring, akin to a ‘one size fits all’ item of clothing. It is considered a questionable form amongst classical or traditional feng shui consultants and Masters alike. Eight Mansion School or Bazhai

The Eight Mansions School uses the Chinese Lo-Pan compass to measure the 44  ERA Magazine Summer 2021

direction a building sits, and faces, on the land but does not take into consideration the time dimension. This system is made up of the two life groups, West and East, which are depicted in the Magic Square, a 9-square grid. The Eight Mansion School takes into consideration your Kua number, derived from your birth year, and determines the directions that are favourable or unfavourable regarding the different areas of your life, wealth, health, relationships and personal development. By facing the four best directions for each of these, it aims to capitalise on the benefits of the auspicious energies and simultaneously avoids facing your four worst positions, to negate their inauspicious influences. The Eight Mansion School is like adding a belt and basic accessories to complement your one size fits all work uniform, giving it some individual style to complement the generic outfit. Flying Star Feng Shui School

The Flying Star Feng Shui School, also known as Xuan Kong, is one of the traditional schools of Feng Shui which uses time dimension. Like the Eight Mansion School, Flying Star uses the Chinese Lo Pan compass to measure the direction a building sits, and faces, on the land. It also takes into consideration the external and internal environment. Flying Star Feng Shui is based on the 180-year cycles divided into 20-year periods. This system is used to record the celestial pattern of feng shui stars. These


in the first method, while the second adds a few accessories allowing for some individuality, The Flying Star School is a personalised approach resulting in a bespoke consultation based on the six aforementioned elements. The Flying Star system is the most powerful of Feng Shui practices and is practiced by ninety percent of traditional and classical Feng Shui masters and consultants. FENG SHUI TIPS FOR A HOME OFFICE

calculations are then used to transpose the Magic Square, made up of a 9-square grid, also known as a Lo Shu. This is like taking an x-ray vision of a building to determine the auspicious and inauspicious areas through time. It takes into consideration: 1. The construction date. 2. The compass direction. 3. The birthdate of each person in the household. 4. The Kua number of each occupant. 5. All the data is then correlated to give a distinct blueprint of the best areas in your home. 6. This allows a charting of current energies within a home or office, also taking into consideration annual and monthly auspicious and inauspicious energy. So unlike the two previous Feng Shui Schools with fairly basic and standard approaches, i.e. a one size fits all approach

As each home or apartment has its own individual internal layout, finding the right area or desk positioning is especially important to create a comfortable, productive, and prosperous workspace. We will cover specific Feng Shui areas and desk placement guidelines to sustain a prosperous home office. Desk Placement

Sitting with your back to the door is a big Feng Shui taboo as you are unable to see who enters the room, leaving you unsupported and vulnerable. It may cause feelings of insecurity, and can affect decision making. If you were in an office ERA Magazine Summer 2021

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building you could become the victim of backstabbing and office politics. Power Position

The most prosperous position is the ‘Power Position’ also known as the Emperor’s position. In ancient times the Emperor sat with his back up against the wall facing the open space or door to see who enters. If you are working from home and have clients or colleagues entering your office, it is best to take command of the room as you can see who enters. The power position is diagonally opposite the door. Solid Back

Without knowing your Kua number you can still position your desk diagonally opposite the door to avoid any surprises. (There are free Kua or Gua calculators online to calculate your Kua number and determine your favourable position). Floating desk

Avoid placing your desk in the middle of the room, this is known as a ‘Floating Desk’. It leaves you feeling like you’re in a boat without oars, helpless, as you do not have the required materials to partake in each task. You sit at the desk feeling stuck. Ideally it is best to sit with your back to a wall which provides security, support, and direction. Shar Qi or Poison Arrows

You may not feel supported if there is a window behind your desk. Cover it with curtains or blinds, or have a high-backed chair to add stability and keep the energy from flowing out the window. It is best to have a solid wall behind you. Favourable Position

From your year of birth, you can calculate your Kua also known as Gua number. This determines your favourable position. 46  ERA Magazine Summer 2021

Shar Qi or Poison Arrows is the attacking energy that can deplete and weaken one’s own energy. Sharp or pointed edges are ‘Poison Arrows’ and represent a cutting edge pointing towards you. They can make you feel like something is stabbing you. It is best to position your furniture in a way that keeps sharp, pointed edges away from you. If you cannot reposition your desk or furniture, soften these edges by placing a plant or fabric in front of the edge pointing towards you. Avoid sitting with the door opening to the side as this can create Poison Arrows. Beams

Beams symbolise oppression and that you are under pressure all the time. They also create a Poison Arrow. The effect is dependent on the height of your ceilings.


The negative energy is not as bad from high beamed bearing ceilings, whereas low beamed bearing ceilings are detrimental. Avoid sitting directly under a beam. Avoid sitting in direct line of the door

unavoidable, especially in small apartments and shared homes. To keep your desk separated in the bedroom use a screen or a divider. At night turn off all electronics at the power point to achieve a restful sleep.

Sitting with the door opening to the side, or in direct line with the door, is another form of a Poison Arrow. The desk location should be as far from the door as possible. If you have no choice then place an indoor plant, low shelving, or a low table to redirect the Qi flow.

Kitchen Office

Office with a view

Cluttered office or desk

Staring at a blank wall can be very uninspiring and can make you feel like there are obstacles. Try and face a view that is inspiring like a garden, or open area. If you have no choice then place a beautiful picture of a garden, bed of flowers, or inspirational images, mottos, or symbols on the wall. Unpleasant view

If your window faces the top level of another building, or the view is obscured by a concrete hedge or protrusions, then the home office is affected by a Sha Qi (negative energy). If you cannot change the view place a row of indoor pot plants on the windowsill or mask the window with a translucent curtain or blind still allowing some natural light in. Bedroom Office

The bedroom is considered Yin (quiet) whereas the office is Yang (busy). By placing your desk in your bedroom, you are likely to have work on your mind when you need to relax. Sometimes this is

To achieve better concentration it is best to keep your home office separated from the rest of your home. If you must use the kitchen table as your working space, try to sit in your favourable position and have your back up against a solid wall.

Feng shui is not about clutter. We do know that if a room, area, or desk is organised and free of clutter than Qi flows freely without obstacles. A clutter free desk always reminds me of an Albert Einstein quote: ‘If a cluttered desk is sign of a cluttered mind, of what then is an empty desk a sign?’ An empty mind allows thoughts to flow freely, unencumbered by clutter. Plants

Plants purify the air and activate positive energy, getting rid of negative energy. Studies have shown that certain plants can actively absorb radiation like the electromagnetic energy coming from your computer. Good plants for a home office include the snake plant, also known as Mother-in-law’s tongue; Chlorophytum ERA Magazine Summer 2021  47


comosum, commonly known as spider plant. Stone Lotus plants or succulents are great to absorb electromagnetic radiation. Areca palm and Peace Lily plants are great air purifiers for a home office. Office colours

Every colour has a different influence in a home office. Depending on the sector of the office placement in a house, certain colours can enhance or weaken the energy of the room. Unless you have had advice from a Feng Shui consultant, I would recommend using a neutral colour such as a shade of white to stay on the safe side. Lighting

A workspace or office with natural light connects you to the outdoors. Not everyone has the luxury to have natural light, therefore placing a desk lamp or floor lamp to brighten up your workspace will keep the area lively and not too dull. 48

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Our current circumstances have resulted in changes to the way we work, meaning many of us are required to work from home. Many industries now find that a standard five-day week or 9–5 workday at the office can be conducted just as efficiently with staff working from home. For those who can work from home, creating a comfortable workspace or permanent office will be essential for both current and future business endeavours. Utilising some of the Feng Shui tips provided will improve harmony, balance, and success. In some cases, the changes are drastic while others are more subtle. The benefit of implementing Feng Shui is quite rewarding and prosperous. To achieve the best results and a truly tailored plan, engaging the advice of a qualified Feng Shui consultant is also recommended. www.design2fengshui.com.au


NeuroDiversity Works Here! Consultation, training and development for businesses who have neurodivergent employees Statistically, all businesses with more than 10 staff will have neurodivergent employees. Our practice works on three levels, for 1. Businesses wishing to engage more dynamically with their neurodivergent employees and the neurodiverse community as a whole. 2. Businesses who want to improve and develop their emotional intelligence throughout the organisation, but particularly throughout their management teams. 3. Businesses who want to improve their productivity through the integration of innovative leadership and management strategies. This innovative book illuminates new ways of doing business with neurologically diverse employees as a competitive advantage Have you ever wondered about how to effectively manage your neurologically diverse employees? Or been challenged by how to get the best out of them, so that your organisations benefits? This book will not only show you how your neurodivergent employees may be affected by their state, and how you can simply and easy make changes that accommodate their needs; but also help you identify and explore innovative ways in which you can capitalise on your employees’ skills-sets and specialist expertise to optimise productivity and profitability in your organisation. Order your copy today at www.amazon.com.au ISBN 978-0-648-9357-9-7

www.neurodiversityworkshere.com

Bright Northern Lights We work with businesses and individuals to provide training, consultation and team development in a wide range of areas. Below are some samples of the workshops we have run for our business clients. They might give you ideas for ways we can help you, individually, or within your organisation, to enhance your life and lifestyle for the future. • Developing Cultural Competence in the Workplace • Developing Soft Skills • Life Skills for Every-Day Living • Developing Communication Skills for the Workplace • Developing Emotional Intelligence in Senior Management Leadership Teams • Creating Congruent and Effective Communication from a Bunch of Words • Developing Strategies from Ideas, Presentation & Facilitation Skills for the Beginner • Why Solitude and Wellbeing Aren’t Always the Best Companions • Wellbeing and the Getting of Wisdom in the Workplace – What Managers are Missing Out On! • Post-COVID Workplaces – The New Frontier. Due to COVID restrictions, all training and development is currently conducted via Zoom. Retreats for both business and personal development workshops will be advertised on the Bright Northern Lights website by mid-February 2021.

www.brightnorthernlights.com


The Power of Choice BY BREE CLEAL Over the last 12 months I have been forced to work out what choice means to me. I’ve been challenged to stand behind my own choices, despite others’ misgivings, like the mast of a boat in a rough sea. Tall, strong, powerful. My greatest epiphany was when I realised one cold winter’s night last year, sitting in a tumultuous mess on the floor, that if I wanted my life to change, I couldn’t continue to make the same choices. Isn’t there something about a definition of insanity I should quote here? Ah! Here it is! Making the same choice, over and over again to please others keeps us in the same place, even if it no longer suits us. It takes courage and guts to create the life we want. Every day we wake up and we make choices, easy choices, hard choices – hey, just deciding to get out of bed each morning is a choice! Our choices might be difficult, they may require reflection and thinking time. They might evoke an avalanche of grief and even hurt people

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results ALBERT EINSTEIN

we care about but they are there for us to make in all our power, so that we can lead the happy and fulfilled life we deserve. THE NO-CHOICE-CHOICE

For a considerable proportion of the last decade I have been in a situation where my choices were limited. I was living my life to care for, support and do what was best for my husband as we walked his long journey of brain cancer together. I chose, in the midst of chaos not to rock the boat, ERA Magazine Summer 2021  51


May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears NELSON MANDELA

demand, or set boundaries beneficial to me, in order to keep him and our family safe and happy. On reflection, I realise now that I did actually make a choice. I made the no-choice-choice. I made the choice to survive so I could keep a family together. I often ignored my own needs and prioritised everyone else’s happiness and security above my own. Sometimes the no-choice-choice is unavoidable. THE LETTING-GO-CHOICE

As this point in my life has passed, there is room now for me to make different choices. Choices that befit the life I want to lead now and for my own self care. Weighing up the new environment I find myself in, I have decided that the cost is simply too high for me not to stand by these choices, however unhappy others are about it. And so, letting go is another choice we sometimes need to make. The lettinggo-choice is a deep acceptance of another person’s pain. An honouring of their journey with the ultimate acceptance that their pain is actually not your responsibility to solve. 52  ERA Magazine Summer 2021

I continue to sit in my journey through grief and it is now that I find myself at a crossroads. After my husband’s passing I felt it was expected that I continue to be the carer, the giver, the mother, the wife, the lover, the friend; when the time for these roles had passed. The option for different choices naturally appeared and it is with great courage that I continue to make them. Consciously activating my letting-go-choice. Letting go of things and those who don’t serve me well, with love and compassion. THE UNKNOWN CHOICE

In writing this article I remembered a story from my childhood which was pivotal in understanding the power of owning one’s choices. My Dad grew up in a working class family, his father worked at the Pura Milk factory and his mother was an usher in the local cinema. At 15 he was given a Gladstone Bag, a bag used by tradesman in the 50’s and probably onwards. This was a sincere and heartfelt gift from his parents on his birthday. But rather than accepting the bag, and in turn accepting his fate to become a tradesman he promptly threw the gift back at them, announcing boldly ‘I will NEVER do that with my life!’ His parents looked on dumbfounded. Fast forward to now and my Dad, having retired successfully at the early age of 55 has spent the last 20 years of his life travelling, playing the piano, playing golf and writing the odd, sad, country song. My Dad made a choice to challenge the expectations of those around him and


embrace the unknown. The unknownchoice is probably one of the hardest choices you’ll ever have to make. It’s a choice that you can’t see the end result of but you know, deep down in the thick of it, it’s the right choice for you. You can feel it. It’s like a warm sticky date pudding in the pit of your stomach, solid, stodgy and deliciously right, for you. WHAT IS RIGHT FOR ME NOW?

Have you ever sat down and asked yourself this question? ‘What’s right for me now?’ I can guarantee that what’s right for you now, is probably not what was right for you ten, five or even a year ago. But asking yourself this question regularly will enable you to introduce the concept of self-care into your life on a regular basis. Because, I believe, self-care is a contributing factor to the choices we do, or sadly, do not make. I find myself constantly asking ‘Who was I then?’ and ‘Who do I want to be now?’ It is hard to stand in your truth. It’s sometimes scary and unsettling. It can evoke criticism and dislike and can edit or even delete people or things that you once held dear, but it can also birth a new you and all the wonderful aspects of life this brings! My favourite saying is ‘Onwards!’ but I can’t take credit, it is the creation of the wonderfully articulate Elizabeth Gilbert who always has a pearl of wisdom to share. So I ask you… if you’re faced with a difficult choice ask yourself these questions: 1 Is this a choice I’m making for me or for someone else?

2 Where in my life have I made a choice that was influenced by other people? 3 Have my choices always been what I want? In situations where I have felt wobbly about a choice, I have often journaled the reasoning down. Not an essay. Just a few short paragraphs in a book placed in my bedside drawer. Something I can refer to in my wobbly times and remind myself why I made that choice. However you want to live your life, do it consciously and with the full knowing that you do have the right to choose. No matter what your background, present or future may or may not look like. The power rests with you and your ability to create the life you want through powerful choice. www.breecleal.com.au

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Neurodiversity in the workplace BY LEIGH O’REGAN

Neurodiversity is an interesting word if you haven’t come across it before. Most of you will be thinking, what does it actually mean? You may have heard of the concept of diversity. Most of us are aware of what diversity means. It is used to define the many differences between individuals. Generically, we have differences in hair colour, eye colour, the way we walk and run, the types of houses we live in and the different foods we like to eat. These all show the diversity of individual personalities. In the workplace we are encouraged and compelled to be inclusive of a diverse working population. This includes individuals from all walks of life who have a range of skills, experiences, beliefs and backgrounds. In a business context, diversity generally relates to one of four things: • Demographic • Experiential • Organisational • Cognitive

DEMOGRAPHIC DIVERSITY

Demographic diversity relates to equal employment opportunities, social equity, human rights, the NDIS, Fair Work and Safe Work/WorkCover, HR procedures and practices, and other workplace standards and legislation. As employers we are bound by these obligations, and the moral and ethical ‘rules’ in relation to business engagement, and development of internal organisational culture. EXPERIENTIAL DIVERSITY

Experiential diversity, in a business context, relates to the many different ways in which we use our skills, knowledge and experience in the workplace. Each employee’s journey in different workplace situations provides an opportunity for them to learn and grow. They then bring those skills and experiences into new places of employment. ORGANISATIONAL DIVERSITY

Organisational diversity relates to the differing roles, positions and task groups ERA Magazine Summer 2021  55


within an organisation. So, for instance, all of the managers, team leaders, project managers and the CEO may come together to talk about managerial issues, as they all do the same kinds of roles, even though they are within different departments. You may also have all of the individuals who use the database or CRM system come together to complete a project, even though they come from different departments. This is because they have organisational diversity, they also have organisational (task group) commonality, and can complete collaborative work together. COGNITIVE DIVERSITY

Cognitive diversity, in a business context, relates to the different ways in which we use our different problem-solving skills, and minds, to do the work we are required to do as part of our role. This is why we have the IT section all sitting together, using their cognitive capacity and unique skill sets to complete specific tasks. In effect, cognitive diversity is another way of saying neurodiversity. However, from a scientific approach, neurodiversity also relates to the fact that not only are there different ways in which we use our brains, but also different ways in which our brains are ‘hard-wired’. This is the distinction. So, what does the term neurodiversity actually mean? From a scientific perspective, neurodiversity refers to a normal, natural variation in the human genome (an organism’s complete set of DNA) which 56  ERA Magazine Summer 2021

influences the way in which the central nervous system and the brain responds to the world around it. From a medical, or clinical perspective, neurodiverse experiences of the world also include those of people who may have acquired them through injury, illness or health conditions. From a social or environmental perspective, we could say that everyone responds to their environment (workplace, home-life, social setting) in different ways. This includes how we communicate, how we socialise, and how we move through our day-to-day world. The standard neurotype (i.e. brain and central nervous system, as it functions on a day-to-day basis) is scientifically termed neurotypical. This means that a neurotypical brain responds to the world in a sensory and cognitive manner with a pre-determined, measurable set of scientifically standardised responses that can be analysed. Individuals who do not have a brain that is wired in a neurotypical way are known as neurodivergent, meaning their brain diverges from the standard or ‘typical’ way a brain works. When we are referring to a whole group or community of people, like a workforce, they are called a neurodiverse group. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO HAVE A BRAIN THAT WORKS A LITTLE DIFFERENTLY IN A WORKPLACE?

An employee who is neurodivergent and part of the neurodiverse community will not do, see, or respond to events, or their environment in the same way as other


employees may. This is for a whole number of reasons that are outside of the scope of this article but are covered in my book NeuroDiversity Works Here! The term neuro relates to the brain, or cognitive abilities. The term diversity relates to the wide range of ways in which the brain functions. This is specifically in relation to communication, sensory processing, executive functioning, environment and response to the world. It also includes the ways in which a person thinks through problems and issues, deals with demands throughout the day, focusses on big issues and engages in some higher order skills such as planning, problemsolving, critical thinking, concentration and so on. SO, HOW DOES THIS IMPACT ON THE WORKPLACE?

Some of the ways in which a neurodivergent mind may differ from a neurotypical mind include: • being more attuned, therefore stimulated by and sensitive to, the sensory or external environments • having alternative, or preferred, ways of communicating with others in their environment • struggling with changes in work pace • being able to engage with deep focus on tasks and workloads, for long periods of time • having a higher need for quiet space • being able to ‘think outside the box’ • having a greater degree of insight and/or innovation

• being able to use their insight to problem-solve at a much quicker rate, or with more depth • unable to process written work whilst distracted or otherwise stimulated by external events • unable to read serif font (the one with tails on it), which is why Arial, a sans serif font, is preferred • a need for extra or specific periods of downtime, or a slower work pace throughout the day, due to chemical or hormonal changes in their brain • having a more insightful emotional attunement and connection to others in the workplace I can see some of you shaking your heads and wondering why you might want someone who is neurodiverse on your team or in your workforce. Firstly, it’s more than likely that you already do have someone who is neurodiverse on your team. You just may not know it. They are most likely already a highly valuable and contributing team member. Secondly, if a neurodivergent individual has the capacity to work, it is highly likely they are very aware of their neurodivergence and also their uniqueness within the workplace. They may have already identified the areas in which they have some emphasised skills, special abilities, or innovative ways of addressing organisational issues, and providing alternative solutions. Thirdly, it is really important that all employees are given the maximum opportunity to thrive in the workplace ERA Magazine Summer 2021  57


catapult you further than you may have and are offered opportunities to grow imagined was possible. and flourish. Even more importantly, Many neurodiverse people have it is in your best interest to ensure that a flair for gathering knowledge and employees have their needs met and want investigating things in very fine detail. to stay within your workplace; especially if They can be very creative, innovative those needs fall within the parameters of and lateral in their thinking. At first business ethics and principles, or are an their solutions may be seen as very outintegral part of your ongoing corporate of-the-box or as an alternative tangent leadership model. It is far more expensive to a new concept pathway. to keep losing good quality, However, as neurodivergent responsible, committed, employees are often so trust-worthy and reliable A neurodiverse innovative, they are employees. just the creative Finally, mindset is so unique element that the neurodivergent organisation needs employees and so diverse in its way to move forward! can be one of of thinking that Ultimately, your greatest neurodiversity workplace assets. anything is in the workforce Neurodivergent possible brings with it deep employees can offer thinkers, minds that you innovative thought can think big-picture, processes that can enable and deliver fine detail all at the your business to prosper and same time! They can assess and analyse a grow. They can alleviate the need for ‘situation’ from a very lateral and oblique whole-team thinking, by setting to work stance. They like to metaphorically throw on fine-tuning project ideas and coming up with creative solutions that neurotypical caution to the wind and pull a rabbit out of a hat! It is often a purple rabbit with employees may not. kangaroo ears and a donkey tail that looks A neurodiverse mindset is so unique nothing like any animal you have ever seen and so diverse in its way of thinking that before. But, with a tweak here and there, anything is possible. If you have more the collaborative innovation team can than one neurodivergent employee, you make it work better than any other idea the may find that as a collaborative team, they organisation has ever had! can formulate concepts and ideas that can They will have spent all day and all support the growth and diversification night thinking about that rabbit (in the of your business. They may help to lead process of resolving your so-hard-to-solve you into new business arenas, and even 58

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challenge) and most probably will have come up with 10 alternative solutions for you to choose from. This is not because they are workaholics, but because their minds, more often than not, find it a big challenge to stop thinking once they get started! It’s a funny thing, but, once they are committed to something, they do not stop until they achieve a result. They are loyal, reliable, and focussed on what they say they are going to do. Honest, sometimes to the point of you wishing everyone else would be that honest, or not! You really did think the apple pie you made for Friday’s staff get-together tasted okay, this time, even though you replaced the sugar with zucchini! Yes, neurodivergent people of all varieties really do love to have friends, join in with conversations and be a part of the team. Sometimes, they are in the middle of quiet time or personal space, which is of ultimate importance. Other times, it is a challenge for them to switch gears and move from work to social chat easily. Sometimes they may not feel as willing to be a part of the conversation, especially if they have some prioritised work that needs doing, because their focus is pretty solid!

Neurodivergent people might seem to be ‘the quiet ones’, but they are really just trying to process all of the sensory stimulus around them, as it often seems that the workplace is one big carnival environment! The noises of telephones ringing, people talking and laughing, the incessant buzzing from the electronic equipment often seems like a cacophony of sound to them. An open plan office is very, very challenging and difficult to work in. This is where you come in. Show the world how innovative and inclusive your organisation truly is by ensuring the best practice for management, positive workplace psychology, enhancing your organisational culture, and ensuring your ethical principles and practices are in place. You can be the business leader you know you truly are by bringing a little more harmony, cohesion, congruence, and integrity back into your business world. Embracing neurodiversity and all of the positive benefits that having a neurodiverse workforce can bring; your organisation really is the new black! www.brightnorthernlights.com ERA Magazine Summer 2021  59


BOOK REVIEW by Mags Sheridan Your Next Chapter: Ditch Your Doubt, Own Your Worth, and Build the Business You Really Want by Angela Raspass Published in 2020 by The Self Worth Institute Pty Ltd ISBN: 978-0-6450081-0-4 237 pages $29.95 available at www.angelaraspass.com There is something stirring inside you, a ‘gentle but insistent pull’ towards sharing your experience, skills, and values as an entrepreneur with a purpose. It’s time to ‘step forward with a fiercely beating heart, inspired by your desire to make a difference in your next chapter’ and this book will embolden you and show you the way. Mentor, podcaster, and self-worth advocate Angela Raspass has written a book that’s a brilliant blend of practical wisdom and inspirational guidance for women on the edge of change. The Next Chapter Change Cycle starts with acknowledging your discontent, which provides a push to leave dissatisfaction behind, but because this push is not enough to catapult you fully into the next stage, you are guided through feeling the pull of a new desire, making the decision to pursue it, and creating a business that’s perfect for you. Angela’s conversational style allows her to make directives gently, in an encouraging and illuminating way, without seeming pushy or insistent. She includes her own story in vulnerable detail to show both how the model works and how it was developed. The chapters start with quotations from people you may already know; then the text expands upon this with anecdotes from the women in her community, giving the reader real-life examples of how the principles apply. 60 ERA Magazine Summer 2021

The book covers weighty topics with a light heart, sometimes even playfully, explaining and guiding the reader through deep self-examination and the creation of their new lives. You will enjoy practical advice on how to dig in for the evaluation and how to really hear and follow your own inner wisdom. Complex concepts are presented with beautiful visuals for easier understanding and acronyms for easier remembering. The work synthesises business expertise, psychological theories, and personal development principles into a wholehearted framework that can help women in any type of work figure out what’s next and even begin to figure out how to get there with small achievable steps that create a life that is both sustainable and fulfilling. Importantly, Angela also explains common mis-steps women make when doubt gets in the way of a re-make of their lives and includes ways to avoid and recover from those detours and distractions. Your Next Chapter is a highly recommended read for you or the women you know who are entering a new phase of their business and life or who are feeling discontent without knowing where to go next. It’s a wholehearted guide that throws the door wide open to new possibilities. www.SoberMojo.com


Life’s too short not to be doing the work in the world you’re here for … Once you’ve written a new story of being enough, once you know your value, once you change from the inside out, it can never be “business as usual” again. Inspiration, guidance and simple tools to help you navigate doubt, anchor into your true worth and access your courage, confidence and creativity.

$29.95 plus GST & postage Book Bonuses include: access to Your Journey Board and business and personal resources with a value of more than $395.

In this book you will be guided Angela’s proven Next Chapter Change Cycle framework, to help you: • Travel away from discontent • Decide to go after what you desire • Hurdle your doubt • And confidently design and deliver your ideas in a business that’s perfect for the woman you have become By blending your skills, experience and values into a sustainable model of contribution, fulfilment and financial reward, you’ll absolutely love life in Your Next Chapter.

Angela Raspass – Business Mentor, Podcaster, Speaker and Self-Worth Advocate Angela is a mentor for women in their 40’s and beyond who are yearning to step into their Next Chapter – their full potential, in business and life. She brings a valuable combination of insight, empathy and experience to her programs and retreats, helping women give shape and form to their ideas as they create a new business or redesign the one they have so it’s a better fit for the woman they are today.

Access the first chapter as an audio file and order your copy at:

www.AngelaRaspass.com


Become a Master of Language, Communication and your Power of influence with Sandra Madafferi

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is a proven and potent method for achieving what you want in life. Coach yourself and others in Business and Personal domains for Outstanding Results and Success.

Model Excellence and discipline and install any behavior you desire at the unconscious level! For seven incredible days, you will train in a way that will open your mind and align your body to incredible success. At the end of the course you will have qualifications as an NLP Practitioner, Time Line Therapy® Practitioner, Hypnosis Practitioner and NLP Coach Practitioner. Melbourne 8–14 Feb Brisbane 7–13 April

Adelaide 10–16 March Sydney 13–19 May

The Institute of ONENESS INTEGRATION 0413835902 admin@sandramadafferi.com.au www.sandramadafferi.com.au

The Diamond Light Healing and Workshop Centre

Loving every facet of yourself Assisting you in your business from a new conscious perspective

Our therapists are dedicated in supporting you to move through blockages, limitations, old belief systems, pain, patterns and spiritual growth, bringing you back to your heart centre and improving your health and wellbeing. Enjoy shiatsu, reiki, massage, naturopathy, chiropractic, physiotherapy, tarot readings, forensic healing, Psych-K® and more. Located in beautiful Warburton, east of Melbourne. We have gorgeous rooms and a large workshop space for hire. Mention this ad to receive a complimentary heart-shaped natural soap. We look forward to meeting you. Phone Jennie 0438 706 135

www.thediamondlighthealingandworkshopcentre.com.au www.facebook.com/TheDiamondLightHealingandWorkshopCentre

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Asian chicken salad RECIPE BY NICOLE MURPHY

INGREDIENTS 2 poached chicken breasts shredded 1 200g pack thin rice noodles (prepared as per instructions) 2 tsp thai seasoning stir in paste ¼ cup shredded mint ¼ cup shredded coriander ¼ cup sliced spring onions

1 large carrot grated or julienne 1 Lebanese cucumber julienne 1 cup shredded cabbage (red/ green or both) ½ cup dressing 2 cups of bean sprouts ¼ cup crispy fried shallots ¼ cup crushed peanuts

NO TIME? QUICK OPTION Buy pre-cooked supermarket chicken and use Vietnamese salad dressing from Asian section. Gather ingredients and toss into large salad bowl. Garnish. MORE TIME? Poached chicken breast 2 large breast fillets covered with water in pot, with ¼ cup soy sauce, 1 small knob of ginger sliced and 2 cloves of garlic. Bring to gentle bowl then drop temperature to just under simmering for 15 minutes until it reaches 70degrees. Remove from liquid and shred for salad.

Dressing ¼ cup fish sauce ¼ cup water ¼ cup rice vinegar 3 tbsp sugar 1 clove garlic crushed Chilli and lime juice to taste Whisk all these ingredients together until sugar dissolves

Crushed peanuts 200g peanuts toasted for five minutes in oven at 180°c 100g sugar Blitz together in food processer until lightly crushed

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Women on the Rise to

Leadership in a Post -Covid World BY MARION MUNDANA

It’s a wild ride, this one we call COVID-19. It’s a storm that’s engulfed us all, even though we sail in different boats. People’s experiences range from intense sickness and personal loss, juggling home schooling, loneliness and mental illness, job loss, business stress, financial insecurity or accepting the change of routine and enjoying quiet refocus and reflection time. As the impact is measured, an emerging pattern identifies young people and women to be suffering the most upheaval in their levels of security, income and choices. Economists have even called this the ‘pink recession’.1 What does that mean? It means that women are now worse off than before COVID-19. Prior to this pandemic, Australian women already earned 21% less than men, had lower superannuation, and a 1 in 3 chance of having no income after the age of 55.2 I believe that it’s a time for the gutsy to rise up. In recession and times of great challenge those willing to let go and re-form themselves will become the foundation of a new era. To me, ERA 64

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magazine is all about that. We, the readership and writership, are the foundation of this era. So how do we rise up? If the past months have shown us anything, it is that we cannot rely on the ground on which we once stood. Shifting sands of nations, rising footpaths of our daily life, landslides of assumption, security and financial smugness have rolled down the hill. Life is not as it once was. What I have noticed is that many people have been in a state of frozen immobility during these last months. Life has been put on hold. Decisions forestalled, courage and risk have hidden in the shadows. But this cannot go on forever. Necessity and survival will force us out of either comfort


or fright, and life will have to move on. It will not be the same. The shift has already happened. How we respond to it is our choice. My call is for us to rise up and be part of the solution. We need to put on our working boots, roll up our sleeves and get on with it. Take a look around, see what’s going on, step ahead of the wave, and don’t get caught in the dumpers. Metaphors aside, let’s talk about money, trends and opportunity. Brian Sher wrote a very interesting article called 14 Powerful Megatrends Post Covid World. I quote here from one of those 14 trends; ‘Cashflow is King’ ‘What (people) are seeking now more than ever, is new Cashflow opportunities. (reference *that is all a job is, for many people – an unsophisticated cashflow system). These traditionally abundant cashflow systems are disappearing fast and when they do some people make do and cut costs, but many others have no choice but to seek out new ways (ways they would otherwise never have considered before) to find additional or supplementary sources of cash flow. This will require new skills and training in most cases but also new vehicles to provide them with these opportunities other than jobs.

This is why businesses such as franchising or MLM ( Network Marketing or NWM) distributors’ sales seem to do much better in recessions. They are easily proven and relatively low cost to join and provide people with immediate access to products and warehouse systems.…’ Brian Sher (2020).3 For many readers this will not be a newsflash. Globally, The Network Marketing Industry grossed $193 billion in 2018. A whopping $208 million a day earned in commissions with 95% of this money paid out in amounts equivalent to part or full time wages. In Australia, 77% of this income went to women. In 2014, 90% of the women who earned over $100,000 / year in the US did it in Network Marketing.4,5 Make no mistake; this is women’s business and it’s serious stuff.


In the months and years ahead, women in particular are going to seek out opportunities which can supplement their income, offer a Plan B solution, or set themselves free financially. Whatever the dream, it has become obvious that we can’t rely on our jobs, businesses, even retirement plans or super to provide the one solution for our financial lives. It’s time to pivot, rethink and open up to new opportunities. Consider this: as people scramble to create more cashflow and turn to Network Marketing, the real opportunity lies in being a leader of these people, being the trainer, the expert who guides the process. As Brian Sher says, ‘So as marketers, how do you help these people? Look for ways to help (both find and train them) to create additional cash flow opportunities they won’t find themselves or have never considered before.’6 That is what it means to be ahead of the wave. Many women have exactly what it takes to rise up into leadership positions within Network Marketing (NWM) industries. Unlike job applications where your experience, qualifications, and dare I say, age, are what count, all that matters here is your capacity to learn, have a work ethic, and a driving ‘why’ that outweighs your resistance and takes you through the rough times. Don’t be fooled by the humble dressing of Network Marketing – she is a Queen in disguise! It’s about so much more than selling or home parties. It’s about residual income – where you do the work once and keep getting paid. If set up right, it can 66

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carry you through recessions, pay off your debts and set you free. Very importantly, it’s about finding a platform for growth and personal development, about having the opportunity to become a leader, who leads from ‘the inside out’, based on the integrity of her own growth. It’s a powerful engine for personal empowerment—on all levels. When I first saw network marketing, I was only 18. It immediately struck me as a system of equality, where equity and a way to advance financially wasn’t tied to ‘an hour’s work for an hour’s pay’. Even at 18, long before hearing about residual income or leverage, I didn’t believe that the job system was the way to wealth. To cut a long story very short (see Lessons I learnt: ‘Making a Living while making a Difference’) – I spent many years in and out of the industry while also pursuing a career in education. Was I ‘successful?’ Not really. But along the way, I Iearned some very valuable lessons about how to select a Network Marketing company.7 When assessing a NWM business opportunity, there are three areas in which key questions must be asked: the product, the compensation system and the company. It boils down to qualities: having a differentiated, sustainable advantage. When making a decision to work with a networking marketing business, how do these qualities present across the three areas? THE PRODUCT: KEY QUESTIONS

Is it consumable, high impact, life changing? (Yes it has to be that good.)


How is your product different? Is it a ‘me too’ product? Are there copycats? Advantage – how competitive? How much better? Is it unique? Is it patented? What’s the market saturation level of your product/s? Why would a customer choose you over (i) retail (ii) online (iii) another company (iv) another distributor from the same company? See how I answer these questions on my website.8 THE COMPENSATION PLAN: THE KEY QUESTIONS

Can someone explain it to you clearly? How many ways do you get paid? (there should be multiple). Is effort to help other people rewarded? How are people rewarded for helping you? Are there rewards in both depth and volume? Price of minimum monthly orders? (shouldn’t be obstructively high). Cost of joining? (shouldn’t be too high – it’s illegal to pay people recruitment only). THE COMPANY: THE KEY QUESTIONS

The longevity of company – how long has it been established? Start-ups are bigger risk. Does it rank in the top 50 Direct Selling Companies? Has it moved position in last five years? What is the trend? What is the mission of the company? Does it have an ethical framework? If not, why not? What message is coming from the company and leaders?Do you align with it? Who is running the company? How stable is the corporate team? Beware of takeovers and revolving doors in upper management.

Is the company debt free? How many countries does it operate in? How much do they pay out in global volume to the distributors? What’s the relationship between corporate and the distributors, support, returns, rewards, communication; absolutely vital if you want to benefit from their logistics and support. Remember residual income isn’t residual if there is no company to pay you. You want to make sure it’s going to be around for the long term. Although the company questions are not the most obvious, they are the most important.9 Ultimately we need to have a sense of integrity around what we offer to others, whether it be a product experience or business opportunity. Unless a company’s values align with our own, we will always be conflicted. If someone had given me this advice and decision making matrix 20 years ago, I would have saved a lot of time and money. ‘You don’t know what you don’t know’ is a dangerous place to be when making initial business decisions. The reason I wasn’t successful was because I didn’t know the basics. When I found a breakthrough health science product and company which matched these criteria, I knew I had ‘come home’ and could really commit for the long term. It was like finding a good partner in life after several false start relationships that taught me what I didn’t want! RETURNING TO LEADERSHIP

I would encourage people who may be considering NWM for the first time to ERA Magazine Summer 2021

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look upon it as an incredible opportunity to grow as a person, and to take your place as a leader in the post COVID-19 world. The best companies are poised for growth and should be able to tell you how they are going to grow over the next five years. They will have expert leaders and leadership training to help you along the way. These elements, in combination with the megatrends of microbusiness and NWM being on the rise, are a winning combination. It is critically important during these times for women to rise up and take our financial power into our own hands. We cannot rely on one stream of income anymore – it is vital for our future that we open up, diversify and create an empowered place on this planet. To become leaders we must learn leadership - the NWM industry is a place where we can learn to lead from our truth, our interest, our passion, our homes and from online. Working with the right NWM company can provide you with an independent business at a low start-up cost, and offer a platform to make a difference while making a living. It can provide the right environment to foster your growth and leadership skills, enabling you to participate in moving the world towards a compassionate, socially just future, where income is more equally distributed. As you do so, you can turn to offer a helping hand to others, to help them rise up and take their sovereign place as well. This is the true essence of pay it forward network marketing. 68

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REFERENCES 1. Bronyhady, N 2020 ‘Blue Collar Jobs not enough to fix ‘ pink recession’, Sally McManus says’ Sydney Morning Herald, June 16,2020 https://www.smh.com.au/ politics/federal/blue-collar-jobs-notenough-to-fix-pink-recession-sallymcmanus-says-20200616-p552zu .html 2. Australian bureau of Statistics 2018-19. Retirement and Retirement Intentions, viewed 18th July 2020 https://www.abs.gov.au/ ausstats/abs@.nsf/ 0/abs.gov.au/ausstats/ abs@.nsf/0/ CAD65B89AC59461B CA2581F7001548F1?Opendocument (3,6) 3. Sher,B. 2020 14 Powerful Marketing Megatrends in a Post Covid 19 world , viewed 15 May 2020 http://www.14megamarketing.com/ thanks/ 4. Australian Direct Selling Association Report (2017-18) Statistics & Research, viewed 1 July 2020 https://directselling. org.au/statistics-research/ 5. WFDSA Global Direct Selling Association, Global Statistics (2019) viewed 1 July 2020 https://wfdsa.org/ global-statistics/ 6. Mundana, M, 2019 ‘ Making a Living While making a Difference’ in S Jansen (ed), Lessons I Learnt, Samantha Jansen Publishing, pp.77-91 7. Mundana,E & Mundana,M, 2020 Meet your New Future in a Time of Transition www.mundanaglobal.com/redox 8. Mundana,E & Mundana, M, 2020 What is Your Plan B? www.mundanaglobal.com www.mundanaglobal.com/redox


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Mind Matters THE STRESS–SLEEP RELATIONSHIP STEP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE PIVOT OR DIE EXCELLING IN A MALE DOMINATED WORKPLACE BUSINESS MADE EASY SELF CARE NON-NEGOTIABLES


BY KATHY JERIN

The terms stress and anxiety are often used interchangeably. Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress and can actually be beneficial in some situations. Anxiety, however, can become so excessive that it negatively affects our day-to-day living if it is not dealt with. There is a risk of constant stress turning into trait-anxiety; meaning a person becomes fixated with the emotion and expression of stress in their daily life. Studies have shown that breathing, meditation and relaxation methods significantly reduce anxiety states and lower stress levels. ERA Magazine Summer 2021

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Mindfulness and meditation are techniques created to bring oneself back into deep inner harmony through a state of peace and silence. When we experience ongoing negative emotions such as anger, frustration or anxiety,heart rhythms become erratic or disordered and the nervous system reduces to chaos. In contrast, positive emotions such as appreciation, love or compassion are associated with high ordered, systemwide organisation. When working with mindfulness, the end goal is to accomplish a mind state that is free of stress. Research studies show that after practicing mindfulness, night-time sympathetic activity (our get up and go response in the nervous system) is decreased. The follow-on effect is an increased ability to fall asleep and improved sleep quality. Improving your ability to fall asleep is good news for your wellbeing. What you will notice is the mood pattern of low energy and high tension transitions to high energy and low tension. A highly proficient state for the enjoyment of excellent health.

memory, traffic accidents and work and athletic performance.

SLEEP HYGIENE

Create an optimal sleep environment. Completely darken the room. Leave your phone out of the bedroom. Minimise sound by using earplugs. Keep a peaceful, soothing sleep environment in your bedroom by using it only for activities that are relaxing. Pay bills, watch tv, study, and talk on the phone in other areas of your home instead of your bedroom.

Although we spend a third of our lives in bed, sleep hasn’t been seriously studied. Sleep deprivation has become much more common in this day and age, and we now know that insufficient sleep adversely affects mood, immunity, insulin resistance, levels of stress hormones, heart disease rates, energy levels, weight gain, 74

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TWO FACTORS THAT DETERMINE GOOD SLEEP

• The first is the amount of sleep. Most adults need more than eight hours per night to feel and function at their best but the typical adult gets less than seven and carries an accumulated sleep debt that exceeds 24 hours. One good night’s sleep will not pay off this sleep debt, but will instead tend to make one feel drowsier the next day. • The second factor for good sleep is regularity. The brain regulates sleep rhythms which weaken as we age. To keep sleep cycles regular we need regular sleep and wake-up times. We tend to shortchange ourselves during the week and then try to make up the lost hours over the weekend. This disrupts sleep cycles and promotes insomnia and daytime drowsiness. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even on weekends, varying these times by no more than an hour, from one day to another. AIDS TO A GOOD NIGHTS SLEEP


Wind down before bedtime. Write down your worries and/or plan your next day at least an hour before bed. Turn lamps to their lowest setting or use night lights to allow your brain to wind down. Strong lights signal the brain to stay awake. Go to bed when you feel sleepy regardless of the time. A warm bath an hour or two before bed promotes sleep. Meditate.

their natural course, can often result in a ‘running out of things to think about’ kind of thought – when all of the protests have been heard. Sometimes this even may mean sitting up all night with our thoughts and really hearing them out. If that is the case you may want to plan a time or work with a coach and have guidance through this practice.

WHERE THOUGHTS GO ENERGY FLOWS

AS HUMANS WE ALL SHARE FUNDAMENTAL COMMONALITIES – CORE NEEDS

Most people notice that their thoughts obstruct them from the blissful surrender to sleep – lots and lots and lots of thoughts. An endless barrage of thinking, thoughts about the thoughts, blah, blah, blah. Anxiety about the anticipation of not going to sleep, planning for the next day, remembering things from the day, checking and cross-checking tasks that need follow up. HOW TO SLOW DOWN THE THINKING MIND

The key to better understanding the mind is that there will always be some kind of mental activity present. One of the biggest misconceptions around meditation is around having to empty the mind. There will always be some kind of movement present. The very nature of mind is to have and to hold thought. Adopting an attitude of it’s okay – or by saying to yourself – ‘I am aware of that thought’ begins to create a separateness from the stream of thinking. Allowing the thoughts to simply be there, and to run

The need to be seen. The need to be heard. The need to be understood. And the need to belong. It’s the same for our thoughts. Our thoughts want to be seen. Our thoughts want to be heard. Our thoughts want to be understood. Our thoughts want to belong. At the heart of it – your thoughts are learning to trust you. Mindful meditation helps us go beneath the place where our mind chatter lives. As we do this meditation we learn to experience our core self. Our true calm nature whose natural state is compassionate, loving towards ourselves and others. We realise we are vast, dignified, humble, clear, simple, peaceful and whole. From the clear and vast perspective of the wisdom mind, we view our thoughts simply as things that come and go, not who we really are at the core. In this way we become aware, rather than overwhelmed by our thoughts. www.bodymindandyou.com.au

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Upgrade your sleep with the following sleep mantras Bring mindful attention to the area of your heart. Give your mind time to settle here. If you find this difficult – at first think of your little finger, then of your big toe, then of your left shoulder, then of your chest area. Now think of your heart space. Let your mind settle here in the area of your heart, breathing a little deeper and slower than usual. You can place your hand directly over your heart to help you make that connection. Stay with it for a minute or two. From the steadiness of your heart space, softly speak these words letting them become your words. My breath is calm and steady My arms, legs, head, shoulders, hands and feet are warm and heavy My heart beats calm and steady My body breathes by itself Whole body calm and peaceful My whole body is calm and peaceful My body is calm and peaceful. I am aware I am aware of my thoughts I am aware of my feelings

I am aware of my breath I hold my thoughts, feelings, sensations in calm awareness. My body breathes by itself I welcome peaceful slumber I surrender to deep restful sleep In sleep, my body restores In sleep, mental entanglements unbound In sleep, my mind is freed In sleep, my soul unites with the beloved In sleep, I am restored whole

Follow this QR code to hear Kathy’s deep sleep meditation

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JUMP! out of your comfort zone BY FARRAH GRAHAM

Stepping outside your comfort zone comes with huge rewards


At this moment, I find myself, like most of the world, living in a time where everything is unfamiliar. The world is currently experiencing a pandemic and our very familiar world, that is comfortable and safe, has become very uncomfortable. My name is Farrah, I am a single mum of three boys and run my own business – Accessing Possibilities. Now more than ever, I have had to step into being ‘more uncomfortable’. However, for me, this has had amazing results. I had to face my fear of online Zoom and Facetime calls, as all my classes and sessions have been moved to these platforms. I love that I was willing to step up and try something new and now I can access people all over the world, not just in my postcode. It has helped my business grow and given me the confidence to expand even further. What does stepping outside your comfort zone mean? I like to think that when you are comfortable, that is the time to do something to change it up in order to progress or become more successful. The vulnerability of being outside of your comfort zone provides an opportunity to create something totally new. What if you could sit in the uncomfortable and actually start to create something different in your life? How would that feel and what would it look like? Jumping out of your comfort zone means you have to speak up even if your voice shakes. You have to raise your hand when you’d rather shrink back. You have to say ‘Damn it, let’s go’ and be willing to try something unfamiliar. 78  ERA Magazine Summer 2021

Let’s think about it this way. Our comfort zone isn’t actually a very comfortable place. Yes, staying in our comfort zone means we can avoid feeling scared or vulnerable but it also holds us back. The comfort zone is a confining and limiting place. When we let fear keep us stuck, we are denying the world of our greatness and our true light. While we may think we’re protecting ourselves from feeling fear, the fact is that we’re actually letting fear call all the shots! So today, what if you could be willing to do things that might feel a little awkward or unfamiliar at first. Try them, and trust that the Universe has your back. Stepping up comes with huge rewards. Here is an example. Next time you have a date, a get-together with a friend you’re not super close with or even a work meeting, give that person your whole personality. Do your best to drop all your pretences, lower all your barriers and act the way you act in your most comfortable relationships. Bring your positive, enthusiastic self to the table. Stepping out of your comfort zone can also bring up some uncomfortable emotions and self-doubt, such as listening to your own negative self-talk. Let’s say you have a great idea for a new business or side project. Maybe you make beautiful jewellery and you’d like to open an online shop and start earning for your awesome work. There’s a good chance that once you get this cool idea, the fearful voice will start getting louder, saying negative, self-conscious things like ‘Is anyone really going to want to buy my


homemade jewellery? I don’t have enough experience to be selling my art. How am I going to fit this in anyway?’ Does this sound familiar? Is this your default thought mode? Negative self-talk takes over due to limiting beliefs and negative thoughts about our own selfworth. So when this happens, this is the time to stop listening to your negative monkey mind. A useful tool to stop negative self-talk is to flip it. Turn all your negative thoughts into positive ones, such as, ‘It’s really amazing that I’m putting myself out there. It takes guts to share my work and I am proud of myself. How much fun can I have setting up an online business, and what can I learn along the way?’ When you reframe your thoughts and turn the negative self-talk into positive self-talk, your energy vibration is raised which then allows everything else to flow more freely in your life. This also makes stepping out of your comfort zone much easier. What would you do differently if you felt more confident, positive and supported? Grab a piece of paper. At the top of the page write: What would my life be like if I jumped out of my comfort zone? What would I create? Then set a 5-minute timer and freewrite your answer. Let go of all your fears and negative thoughts and imagine what life would be like if you didn’t have the fear. Let your pen flow. Now you can read what you have written. This exercise can bring great insights about what it is you

wish to create. Once you have this list, you can start looking at each idea and create action steps towards achieving these goals. Trust your intuition and the Universe to show you the way. If you were willing to jump out of your comfort zone, what could you create, especially in this period of isolation? Maybe it is time to write that book or blog, create that jewellery business, start that project you have been delaying until the time is right. Just start, and when you do, you will step out of your comfort zone. Don’t let fear or negative thoughts and beliefs call the shots. This is where the magic starts to happen. www.farrahgraham.com.au ERA Magazine Summer 2021  79


Pivot or die BY GABRIELLE MUNDANA A FEW YEARS AGO, A VERY SUCCESSFUL FRIEND OF MINE SHARED THEIR LIFE MOTTO WITH ME: ‘PIVOT OR DIE!’AT THE TIME I REMEMBER THINKING ‘WELL – THAT’S A LITTLE EXTREME’.

It’s only now, in 2020, that I have begun to understand the deeper meaning behind what would otherwise appear to be a somewhat blunt motto. Let me explain why by telling you my story, beginning a little over three months ago. When coronavirus came knocking on our doors in Australia, it caused huge shockwaves across the country and with it some very challenging times. Jobs were lost, businesses shut down, working from home measures were adopted, isolation cut us off from our loved ones. This is not to mention the emotional toll on our mental health. In my case, it caused a huge upheaval in my then job which led me to losing it. It was a hard moment for me. I have never, in the span of nine years, been without some type of job. I felt vulnerable, powerless, angry at the circumstances of why I lost my job, and worst of all, I felt so lost. Because here’s the thing. I never wanted to admit that deep down, I was not really happy. My unhappiness stemmed from a

lack of purpose that I felt was constantly evading me. Blaming my job was an easy out, and when that disappeared before me, I was faced with the reality that my time for excuses was up. I had to make a choice. Do I: a. keep fighting the same battle and find another job that I can start to blame all over again for my dissatisfaction, or; b. dive into the uncomfortable, scary deep end and finally start my own business; an idea I had been flirting with for over six months. As you may have guessed by now, I chose option b. I literally had no more excuses. I had savings to live off for a while, I could keep a roof over my head with the support of my partner, and there was no other job to juggle and pull my focus away from running my own business. You see, if I had chosen option a, this would or could have been the ‘…or die’ part of my friend’s life motto. My ‘death’ would have been my inaction, which would have restarted the same unhealthy cycle of blame all over again. ERA Magazine Summer 2021

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I realised that what my friend was actually referring to was how we respond to an unexpected change that charges towards us, whether we like it or not. And in that moment, we have to decide. Do we fight it, or do we accept the challenge and adapt? I believe that change followed by action is what stimulates growth, development and problem-solving. It’s the magic ingredient – albeit an uncomfortable one – that can steer your life into a whole new arena you never knew existed. And there was no greater gamechanger for me at the time than a global pandemic. While the physical world went into lockdown, our virtual world kept expanding and I couldn’t ignore the call to action any longer. Two months later, I am now a proud owner of my own online content management business – Content Curator (just writing that gave me goose bumps!). It was my new arena and for the first time in a long time, I was excited to play. Sure, it has its self-doubt potholes, unexpected curve-balls and is riddled with even more pivots – but I was finally playing with purpose again. Not only was I able to finally tap into my creative flair, but I was providing a service that could give a voice for businesses

aspiring to have their brand stand out online. Just like a shop window needs to be staged to enhance its appeal to potential buyers, I became their visual curator for their online space. To say that I never thought I’d be waking up excited every day to start work, is an understatement. And all it took was one, important pivot. I want to finish off by acknowledging that there are many different actions to take when we are faced with the option to pivot, and starting a business is not always one of them. There is no ‘one-size-fitsall’ approach. The bravery, resilience and pure grit that I have seen others around me display since the pandemic came along has motivated me every day to continue what I am doing. I am equally inspired by the self-reflective approach people have taken since slowing down and having to stay indoors, actively working on their inward, personal growth. I commend each and every one of you for both the big and small pivots you have taken this year in order to grow, adapt, solve and even thrive from a place of challenge. And if you’re a little stuck on what to do next, just use my friend’s motto to move you forward: ‘Pivot or Die!’

I believe that change followed by action is what stimulates growth, development and problem-solving

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www.contentcurator.com.au


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Excelling in a male-dominated workplace or industry BY BARBARA JACKSON  

As women we often find ourselves working in environments where we have to prove our worth in order to succeed. It’s common in some industries for women not to be taken seriously either in the workplace or in business. Where do you believe you stand in your organisation? Take a moment to reflect on what it is you are accomplishing and if you have the respect and support of the management team of your clients. When you acknowledge your self-worth and honour who you are, you can walk tall and command respect. I have experienced male dominated industries where women work for a lower 84  ERA Magazine Summer 2021

income even if they have the required skills, knowledge, experience and qualifications. How does this sit with you? Are you prepared to accept it or has the time come to challenge this hierarchy? It’s vital for women to value themselves and know what they have to offer. No person


As we journey through life, we are conditioned by external influences: where we belong in society; how we should behave; and what value we bring to the world.

has the right to tell another that they are not worthy of holding a position because of gender. FINDING THE COURAGE

As we journey through life, we are conditioned by external influences: where we belong in society; how we should behave; and what value we bring to the world. When we mature and see life through the eyes of experience, we often find ourselves changing our views and aligning our values with the essence of who we are, not who we are told we should be. We all have our unique place in the world. One of the bravest things we can do in life is to step outside of the box we have been put in by others: parents; teachers; peers; family members; or workplace superiors. This can take courage. Feel the FEAR

(False Evidences Appearing Real) and do it anyway. CONFRONTING A SITUATION WITH CONFIDENCE

Whether you’re applying for a more senior role, asking for a pay rise, or dealing with difficult clients in your business, be prepared for discussion. Have your information at your fingertips, speak with confidence, hold yourself with the energy of someone who deserves what they are asking for, because you are worthy. One of the biggest challenges some women face is becoming emotional and this can be seen as weakness. Seek support prior to the meeting or give yourself a pep talk. See your manager or client as another human who has their own story to tell. This by no means condones poor behaviour from others, but can provide you with the strength to honour yourself and what you are asking for. You do not need to sacrifice yourself for others. WHAT TO DO WITH CONFLICT?

Conflict is frequently used as a tool to diminish another person. You may reflect back on your life and realise that it’s sometimes easier to avoid conflict and say yes when your heart and mind are screaming no. If you know you are going into a situation where there may be conflict, take note of how you feel. This may be a trigger from your own personal life journey. Many women have experienced conflict in their relationships throughout their lives and find it difficult to step forward in their ERA Magazine Summer 2021

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work role. They may even take on a very masculine energy in the workplace, as this is where they feel they can assert themselves. When we enter a situation where another may use dominance, whether it be from their own insecurity or from the perspective of a bully or narcissist, you do not have to tolerate that behaviour. It is not acceptable, and you have a right to call it out. You may be able to have a discussion with the person or you may feel that approaching your Human Resources department is appropriate. If the person is a client, you can decide not to continue working with them if the conflict can’t be resolved in a mutually acceptable manner. EXTERNAL SUPPORT

If you are an employee and you believe that you will not receive support from within the organisation, then you can look externally. This may be through Fair Work or you have the option to ask for assistance so you can learn strategies to speak with integrity and honour. When we can step back from the situation and be the observer, we gain many insights into the other person and our own behaviour. Another option is to learn why this behaviour is impacting you and how you can find the courage and strength within to speak up for yourself. When we heal our past, we can step into the future with a new sense of being and purpose. We may be aware that we are taking our patterning into our work role, or we may just know that it is difficult to be seen for all we have to offer. 86  ERA Magazine Summer 2021

There are many inspirational women in the world who have started at the beginning, just like you. Who do you look up to and what is it that appeals to you about this role model? Most importantly, what aspects of them do you see in yourself? GOALS AND ASPIRATIONS

What goals and aspirations do you have? It is important to write these down, set a timeframe and know what support you will seek along the way. This may include study, climbing the corporate ladder, setting up, or growing your own business. You have the intellect, the drive and the ability to achieve your goals. The next step is to take action to bring these goals into reality. You may find a business coach to guide you. If you are holding old patterning around asserting yourself, it is important to heal and dissolve those behaviours. This enables you to shine, to be paid your worth or more, and live according to your values. We cannot change the behaviour of others, however, when we change the way we respond to situations, our world becomes a vastly different place. Other women may look to you as an inspiration and come to you to learn how to value themselves. What support do you need to be all you are here to be? What you are ready to let go of so you can honour who you truly are? We are all worthy of being seen, respected, honoured and paid for what we do. The world is waiting for you! www.firststepstohealing.org


What if you could access all of the magic within you? Access Bars® The Bars® are 32 bars of energy that run through and around your head that connect to different aspects of your life. By gently touching these points we can dissolve any limiting beliefs with ease. By using a variety of clearings we can create change & space. People feel calmer, clearer, more creative and have a deeper awareness of their choices. They are able to let go of physical discomfort or an emotional issue, their mind is clearer (no more monkey mind). Many people have come to get their bars run almost as a last resort. They were depressed, suicidal, hopeless, unable to see a way forward and have now turned their lives around.

Farrah Graham Access Bars Facilitator & Self Development Coach Meditation and Empowerment Classes | Intuitive Readings Phone 0408 682 632

www.farrahgraham.com.au

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Products sold at Yarrawonga Newsagency North East Victoria Showcasing new pieces on Facebook cherylsdivine@icloud.com  Phone 0477 640 528

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Self-Care

NON-NEGOTIABLES BY MICHELLE KLINE

Do you ever feel like no matter how much you apply yourself, you never quite get on top of things? Juggling career, family and everything else; performing under stress is the new norm. There is no doubt there are some benefits to a little bit of pressure. We all know how Diamonds are made, however, the only real difference between stress that poisons versus stress that drives us, is dosage. And getting that balance right for you is the key to your best self showing up each day. If I could send a message to myself of 10 years ago and impart some wisdom, it would go something like this: ‘Hey you, I know you are a passionate, driven and caring woman, who will slay giants to fulfill her responsibilities. But just remember you need to nourish others from your overflow, instead of always finding new ceilings. Avoid the Burnout Blues with a set of Self-Care Non-Negotiables. Love Always Michelle. P.S. Your gut is always right, remember to listen to it.’ Many people believe that self-care is a luxury, so they allocate time and money towards other priorities. The truth is, we 88

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are bankrupt without our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellness. Health is your greatest wealth, so today let’s talk about getting you the best returns on those share prices. Firstly, you have to get the basics right: Water, Sleep, Nourishment. I know some people with house plants that get more care than they do, so hydrate, rest and eat well. Secondly, you need to review your current weekly load and recalibrate your expectations. One thing my clients all have in common when they first come to see me is, they are all flouting the Law of Diminishing Returns. LDR is actually an Economic principle that refers to a point at which the level of profits or benefits gained, is less than the amount of money or energy invested. When we translate this into a holistic health ethos, it means neglecting our self-care is actually counter-productive in the long run. It eats away at our abundance. I encourage you to take this opportunity to review your current timetable. Is there time allocated for exercise and self-connection? Exercise can be a walk, yoga, bike ride or even my


personal favourite, angry cleaning. Selfconnection can be meditation, a bath, breathwork or just a mindful cuppa in a quiet part of the house. The ‘what’ is insignificant but honouring your own promises to yourself is non-negotiable. Lastly, don’t underestimate the value of receiving. On my monthly calendar there are always three self-care non-negotiables: a Kinesiology session, it’s my profession and the area I do the most giving, so this is my ultimate investment of equilibrium. I also go for regular saunas where I get a great mind body reset in under an hour. My last monthly self-care option is always changing. It might be another modality like acupuncture or osteopathy, or I might

take myself out for lunch or gift myself a new essential oil or face mask. As long as it makes me feel balanced, relaxed and uplifted, it’s on the list and in the budget. If you don’t already have your own set of self-care non-negotiables, now is the perfect time to create one. Have some fun; it isn’t meant to be another burden on the to-do-list. This is a turning point and a moment of self-reflection and recognition. This is a moment to stop and say to yourself, I love you, I appreciate you, you are my most valuable investment, and if you don’t believe me yet, I’m going to prove it to you. www.vitaminearth.com.au

Hey You I know you are a passionate, driven and caring woman, who will slay giants to fulfill her responsibilities. But just remember you need to nourish others from your overflow, instead of always finding new ceilings. Avoid the Burnout Blues with a set of Self-Care Non-Negotiables. Love Always Michelle P.S. Your gut is always right, remember to listen to it.

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Business owning easier BY CLAIRE CHANCELLOR


For some people owning their own business is exciting, liberating, and successful. It’s their dream come true. For others, their business takes a lot of effort and is stressful, driving them to sleepless nights and burn out. This stress can seep into other aspects of their life, not only cutting off their ability to generate profit, but causing tension in their relationships and health issues. The question is ‘How can we make business owning easier?’ A client came to me asking that exact question. She had been sweating the small stuff, feeling lost and stuck in the process. It was costing her enormously. She was ready to give up the business altogether. I told her ‘Life works well when you know what to work on. As an Empowerment Coach, it’s my job to help create fast transformations.’ For the last ten years, I’ve been coaching clients from all over the world. For me, it’s easy to see the patterns that keep us from having the business we want. All it takes is just one powerful decision to change. For example, when you think about your business and the services you provide, is there a part of you that doubts, fears or judges your goal? This critical part of you won’t be quiet. It causes stress or illness in your body as a way of sabotaging your ability to see opportunities and take action. How many times have you felt pressured to be on time and yet caught every red light? Or felt overwhelmed,with nothing going right as the workload gets heavier and heavier? We seem to attract more

stress when we are not looking inward to identify what part our mindset plays in this. This is the time to challenge your thoughts. Are they real? Are they yours? What can I understand from these thoughts?’ This is one of the quickest ways to bring awareness and take control of your actions. In a one-on-one session I will go deeper with a client to deactivate these limiting thoughts altogether. For ongoing success, it’s important to create empowering strategies: • Focus and plan your day before you get out of bed • Start with what you wish to achieve for the day • Have a deadline • List small achievable steps to move forward toward this outcome • Take action and celebrate the results After all, it’s this sense of accomplishment that makes business owning so worthwhile. It’s simple strategies like this that have worked for elite business coaches, psychologists, solicitors, award winning business owners, and inspiring workfrom-home mums. For my client who wanted to make her business easier, we tailor-made her oneon-one program to take her on a deep inner journey to look at her abundance blocks, her leadership abilities, her thinking styles and her limiting beliefs. She went from being riddled with debt to earning six figures. With her decision to change, business became a lot easier.

www.clairechancellor.com.au ERA Magazine Summer 2021

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TIRED OF RIDING THE ROLLER COASTER OF LIFE? Unsure of why you bring the same situations into your life time and time again? Are you constantly getting caught in the drama of life? Do you want to live a differently, but are not sure how to? Do you know that there is something bigger out there for you ? Join Sue Williams for this fabulous five week course designed to assist you to discover the patterns, re-design your life and learn to live with your new beliefs in place.

Tuesday 1st March, 7pm -8.30pm, Boronia Victoria To book: www.trybooking.com/BOAIB

Sue Williams

0416145476

sue@abitza.com.au www.abitza.com.au

Children can have difficulty expressing their emotions The therapeutic powers of play in play therapy can help Play Therapy is not about diagnosis or pathology. It’s not about trying to find out what’s ‘wrong’ with your child. Play Therapy, a method of counselling that embraces the therapeutic powers of play to connect with children where they feel seen, heard and understood in terms of their struggles, unmet needs and feelings. It is about accepting your child for who they are and teaching them healthier ways to cope, communicate and solve problems. We help build a child’s social competency, attachment and empathy, promote self regulation, self esteem and enhances resiliency. Want to know more about how we can help your little people flourish and enhance your parenting? Get in touch to request a free 10 minute no obligation chat with our team. Phone 0412 189 398 or info@playtherapyhub.com

www.playtherapyhub.com

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Working Together to Strengthen Families


Inspirational Women GETTING BOLDER AS I GET OLDER STARTING A BUSINESS FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS NEVER GIVE UP BEING: BECOMING THE NEW


Getting Bolder as I get Older BY CHRISTINE PEDLEY ASPIRATIONS GROWING UP

I was the youngest child of eight,raised on a dairy farm in New Zealand. I was in a hurry to leave school and get on with becoming an adult. In my mind, turning 18 was going to be a magical moment – an age that I rather thought would be perfect to stay at for a few years! I had wondered about teaching as a career but anything that meant further schooling felt like it was hampering my entry into grown up life. The next best thing would be to put my typing, short-hand and bookkeeping skills into practice and take on office work. WHAT ACTUALLY TOOK PLACE

I had left home, and even my home country, and found myself living independently aged 16 in Australia. I was happily working in an office—I had always loved playing ‘office’ as I was growing up— and I was good at it. But life at 18 wasn’t quite as I expected, and before I turned 19, I was single, 94  ERA Magazine Summer 2021

pregnant and facing life as an ‘unmarried mother’ (as it was referred to in 1975). I did marry six years later and had two more beautiful children. I slowly came to the realisation that while bookkeeping and typing were somewhat enjoyable, it was working with people that provided a much greater sense of satisfaction. And so I entered the ‘helping profession’, first qualifying as a welfare worker at the aged of 35. The next step was to qualify as a social worker which required a university degree. In my mind, I was not sure if I was up to that, after all


I had to believe in my own skills and I found that by cultivating my power partnerships, I was able to offer and accept enormous support. I had left school at 15. I had a preconceived idea that one needed to be ‘especially bright’ to even consider attending university. Challenges have always been rather appealing to me. I often find myself choosing the ‘road less travelled’ and the rewards have always added such richness to my life. So, with three children aged 20, 12 and 5 years old, a full-time position as a Domestic Violence Outreach Worker and a husband battling an illness, I began a Bachelor of Social Work, studying off campus.

I graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW Hons) in 2001, quite obviously older than so many other graduates but so bloody proud of my achievement. Nothing could stop me now. Completing the degree had propelled my belief that ‘achievement is possible at any age’. DENIAL OF GETTING OLDER

My oldest sister is 21 years older than me, so I have always been considered ‘the baby’ in the family and the youngest by far. I felt that way when I was a social worker, and still feel that way now. Some might suggest ERA Magazine Summer 2021  95


I am in denial of ‘ageing’ – but I look to women much older than me, including my sisters, and know that I have so many more adventures left yet. It is after all, not the years left in life – but the life left in years. I worked as a social worker for many years and when I reached senior management, I had realised my dreams. This is what I had worked so hard for – but there was still that voice inside that kept nagging – so what’s next? TRANSITIONING TO AN ‘OLDER’ WOMAN – TURNING 60

For some unknown reason it felt like an enormous leap from being a woman in my 50s to a woman in my 60s. As I approached my 60s, I couldn’t quite grasp the difference. Perhaps it was because I was about to reach the temporal marker – living past the age my mother was when she died. Whatever occurred, it challenged me enough to decide to retire from being a social worker and in my 7th decade start a new career as a celebrant. Again, I gave myself permission to honour my desires, and the doors opened, slowly. I WANT TO BE A CELEBRANT, NOT A BUSINESS OWNER

I will not be robbed of the richness of who I am because of my age. 96  ERA Magazine Summer 2021

Initially, I just wanted to practice being a celebrant, something I had qualified for several years previously. Little thought or understanding was given to realising I was establishing my own small business. Small business was what other people who had a business brain did; not people like me. I just wanted to be a celebrant.


I even went as far to think that if I was a ‘businessperson’, I would have to use the other side of my brain that didn’t seem to work so well! The closest thought I had to developing a business was when I got my business cards printed. Surely this is all I would need to attract people to come and request me as their celebrant. IMPORTANCE OF EMBRACING A FEMINIST APPROACH TO BUSINESS

It took some time to realise that my positions within previous organisations had been operating within the masculine power system. If I were to develop my success as a celebrant, I now needed to develop a new process that would take me there. I discovered that my feminine power was the answer to unlocking my future, as not only a successful celebrant, but as a successful small business operator. I was able to harness my own feminine power, which was deeply embedded in my own spirituality. This is where love, creativity and intuition lived. This is where I belonged and felt the possibilities were only curbed by my own imagination. I felt that in some amazing way I had stepped into my truth. I could be my own, authentic self and all my practices were so comfortable and always transparent. I was being me. BEING BOLD, EMBRACING BUSINESS, EMBRACING BEING OLDER

So here I was, an older woman discovering how much I enjoyed being a marriage celebrant but also embarking on developing my own small business. At this point I must

emphasise that I could not have traversed the road of small business without amazing support along the way. It felt like an internal compass had been unlocked and I just happened to be in the right place at the right time, with the right people. I have always welcomed synchronicity and within my experience of my feminist principled world, sharing a journey with others always generates better outcomes. As a mentor and coach, Sue Williams was always there, encouraging me, helping me to learn to trust my own inner guidance and encouraging me always, to manifest my dreams. It felt like I had unlocked a connection to such strong support and it guided me in ways I had never thought possible. I have always chosen to live in the centre of my destiny and as I grow older this will not diminish. Starting, developing and growing a small business can be scary, especially as an older woman. By cultivating our ‘power partnerships’ it becomes so much more achievable. I could continue by listing all the practical and technical aspects of growing a business, but I firmly believe these aspects follow when we honour and trust ourselves. Believing in our own success may start with small steps, but my experience has been that the ‘older I get, the bolder I get’. If you have a dream, follow it and do not let age be that deterrent. I will not be robbed of the richness of who I am because of my age. www.soulfulceremonies.com.au ERA Magazine Summer 2021  97


Starting my business An organic process of growth BY BROOKE PEARCE

My name is Brooke and I am a single mother of four children, residing in a small regional town of Victoria. I am completely normal (insert perplexed emoji), my house has dirty floors, my laundry houses way too much washing, and I get frustrated when it takes the kids longer to get ready to leave the house, than the task we are leaving the house for! I am a real-life single mum, whatever that means! I have spent more than 12 years studying, teaching and working in the early childhood industry and am now the owner operator of Let’s Play Yoga: Children’s and Family’s Yoga sessions that come to 98

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you. I am also the current inceptor of an upcoming food business, selling a line of vegan, gluten free and sugar free treats; and now it seems, article contributor for ERA Magazine. So, after pondering how to approach this article for quite some time, I’ve decided to share with you a simplified snapshot of how my business, Let’s Play Yoga: Kids Yoga Sessions that come to you, came to fruition. I will make clear the main contention for me is that business and personal life are not two separate entities. These two areas of my life are intertwined, growing from, and with one another.


I knew after the birth of my first daughter I wanted to work with children. I use the term ‘work with children’ with the awareness that any potential role with children in the modern world, with the exception of mothering, is bound by the conventional parameters of employment. My desire was and is more holistic in nature, characterised by wanting to understand how humans develop in space and time. I also wanted to have a positive impact on the lives of children by being a support, reference point, and grounding presence for them. Having the experiential knowledge that young children are so vulnerable and fragile, yet so numinous

and worldly at the same time, I knew I wanted to guide my own children, and all children, through a positive and selffulfilling life. I wanted to help equip children with the tools and resources to be self-aware and self-accepting. So, I started studying children’s development and working in early childhood education. I was a job hopper. I always found roles in day-care or pre-school settings, where I felt my passion and skills would be best utilised but I never stayed long at one setting. Why? In short, I never found a place where I could work under my own philosophy, and I never found my tribe; you know, that group of people who you ERA Magazine Summer 2021

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work really well with because your values align and you are all working within the same pedagogy, toward the same goals. This, alongside management and governance issues, lead to great job dissatisfaction. In my personal life I have always loved and practiced yoga. I use it to decompress and relax, connect with my body and mind, and feel every level of myself. One day, as I was scrolling through social media, an advertisement promoting a kids yoga teacher training course caught my eye. The ad sparked my interest and it sounded amazingly fitting for me but I didn’t have any strong conviction surrounding it. In no way did I believe I was capable of completing any such training or applying it to a new work role. Yet, I was sick and tired at this point of working for ‘the man’. Looking back (hindsight is a beautiful thing right?) I can see that I was in, or at least feeling on a deeper than physical level, some sort of paradox at play. I was tired of everything, yet feeling something more within me. I believe this was the point I opened up to my higher self/realm/ entity/energy/source/divinity… whatever label you like to give it. I let myself travel so far into what wasn’t serving me, that it opened me up to the prospect of finding something that would. Not that I knew any of this at the time. Let’s broaden the picture a little here. All my life I have had a feeling of ‘I’m going to being okay’, a feeling of being protected and guided forward no matter what circumstances I found myself in. 100 ERA Magazine Summer 2021

I have made life choices that have put me in varying degrees of intensity. Without delving too much into all the layers of my past, I want to focus on the last year of my life and how it relates to starting my business. It has been a year that has had an energy of magnificent self-propulsion for me. I have recently turned 38. Last year, just after my 37th birthday, I decided to see a naturopath. I was feeling low, had a lack of energy, was highly stressed, felt like all my life circumstances were out of my control, and had intense brain fog. Put simply, I just felt crap on every level of my being and existence. I had seen a naturopath years before and have always revered natural health and holistic wellbeing as an optimal method of living. So, I booked in and showed up at the said time. Wow! I was blown away. She assisted me to do an emotional reset surrounding latent loss within me, performed a nutrition scan with crystals, and did some other things that I can’t remember specifically. I just remember the resonant feeling I had throughout, and particularly after the session, that I was breaking through some unseen barrier. I told her during this session about my interest in undertaking a kids yoga training course. Well, she took that little nugget and rolled with it! She had me visualise myself as the children’s yoga instructor I could be and identify with it. Again, I can’t remember the specific tools she employed, but it was extremely effective. I now owned that vision. I owned my intent. I had made it real, gave birth to


it, aired it, projected it outward and away from me, into the vastness of the universe. It had now become its own energetic entity; not just thought energy inside my own vibrational field. In the days and weeks after that session with the naturopath, that breakthrough feeling really opened up within me. I felt renewed and rejuvenated. This created the foundation of my energetic shift. A shift with so many layers, including a complete overhaul of my shopping habits and pantry items, completely changing the way I ate. I eliminated gluten and dairy and adopted an ‘earth food’ based lifestyle diet. It felt right, and true, and good. Lo and behold, it was during this time I booked in to do the kids yoga training. Another wow moment for me. The training course arrived and it was absolutely amazing! This confirmed for me, that I was indeed entering a space within myself that I had always felt was there, but wasn’t ready for. I was having regular sessions with the naturopath and using a myriad of techniques and approaches. We delved into my physical, mental, emotional, spiritual health and wellbeing. After a few sessions she felt that I needed some clarification, focused intent, and awareness around my identity so she gave me the details of an energy intuitive. I booked a session and it resulted in yet another wow moment. I came away from the session with the energy intuitive with affirmations that I was encouraged to say daily in front of the mirror, and I did! For anyone who can talk positively to themselves in the mirror, well

done! What a powerful self-actualising tool this is. I could feel the affirmations working as I said them. I got goosebumps. Joy bubbled up from my stomach causing me to giggle and wave my arms around. I rolled with it and let myself feel everything that arose. I was revelling in the rippling aftereffects of all the ground-breaking work I was doing. I could feel that I was raising my default setting in many areas of my life. Over the next couple of months each visit to the naturopath ended with me having more glow and a higher vibration. I had done the kids yoga training but hadn’t yet taken it any further. I was letting everything flow and play out. I dealt with whatever arose, that felt good and right at the time. I had a new-found trust in the universe and my own ability to find what I needed in my life. Eventually I decided to create my own business and website. I had never created a website before, and I have very basic technological skills. It took a lot of hours. I didn’t track them but it was a lot! It wasn’t stressful, or tiresome, or frustrating, even when the bumps rolled out in front of me, and they did. I was owner of my own professional and live website and I was ready to advertise my business – woohoo! It was very exciting, but natural and levelled at the same time. The feeling I can liken it to, is when you’ve been using a really old tool, like a food processor, and you’re so used to it you don’t realise how sluggish it is, then you finally get a new one. It’s so exciting, you want to jump up and down. It brings relief and ease at the same time. ERA Magazine Summer 2021

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This leaves you sensing the long-term benefits and questioning why on earth it took you so long. And there it was; a new default setting. I was no longer going to be dependent on employers and unfair industry systems for my income. Even if I had to still work in that paradigm (which I did), it wasn’t going to be ‘it’ for me. I had a new ‘it’ unfolding before me and it felt more wholesome and fulfilling. I had one more session with the naturopath before we mutually felt that I was able to sustain my own health and vitality. I would call if I felt I needed to see her. I haven’t seen her since then. The next few months after creating my website, I proceeded to build my business profile. I had no plan, no set agenda, no targets I wanted to hit; I just did whatever came to me that felt right and good at the time. Community interest in my business was building beautifully. I ran a few sessions at the pre-schools I was already working at. They went fantastically and provided a great opportunity to refine my skills and approach. It all felt right, everything was where it was meant to be and I was content to let things be, to enjoy 102  ERA Magazine Summer 2021

them growing and unfolding as they did, without pushing or coercing anything. Then… Lockdown. Round One. Bang! The COVID-19 pandemic. It certainly has had, and continues to have, an impact on so many levels of human existence, and on that of the earth. As dire and destructive as the physical ramifications of this virus may be, the energy of renewal and rejuvenation it has brought into the world has served to illuminate and amplify all I was feeling. I have fully surrendered to it, savouring the time at home with my family, resting, not having to wake to an alarm before rushing out the door. What this energy is continuing to cultivate in my life is nothing short of outstanding. It is the latest attribute, propelling me towards doing what I love for a living. Now, I’m not saying that I needed a global pandemic to come about in order for me to gain more momentum. I am saying that it simply provided an enhanced environment for me to do so. Had it not existed; I believe another experience would have arisen in its place to offer such an opportunity.


In the last few months I have engaged in more self-actualising experiences that now seem to flow into my life with ease and joy. These positively fulfilling experiences and intuitive hunches have continued to guide me toward higher realms of potential, possibility, opportunity, and realisation. Among significant and pertinent personal events, I have recently completed Ho’oponopono training and started breathing, movement, and Qi Gong trainings, all of which are having profound effects on the health and vitality of my body and mind. I have also pulled some Rumi cards. These are renowned, self-actualising cards that aim to re-align one with their hearts desire. The two cards I pulled from the deck have reinforced enormously that I am walking, beautifully supported, guided and encouraged, into my life’s purpose. My most recent wow moment was in a session with the delightful Sue Williams, co-creator of this contemporary and poignant magazine. The visions that emerged from this session gave me those same joyful goosebumps. I am currently partaking in further personal identity clarification, that I trust will lead to wonderous endeavours for me. Within this culmination of the past years of self-realising experiences, there is no separation between my personal life and my business life; they are one and the same. Business is not some foreign entity that I sacrificed real life things for, like chilling on the couch in my trackies in front of Netflix, or spending time with the kids, or sleeping in. Had I started a business whilst

existing with my old energy patterns, it is probable this is what it would have become – another spectre of hard work I had to add to my list. Being that it arose from my new energetic default setting, it really is happening effortlessly. I simply follow my intuition toward what feels right and good at the time. I let it all happen without force. This approach really resonates with the Taoism principle Wu Wei, which means effortless action, allowing things to happen without exerting force upon them. This is how, business and personal life are not separate entities. These two areas of my life are intertwined, growing from and with one another. My business has become my daily life, not because I’m a workaholic, and not because I miss out on my life in order to run my business. I simply started living my life, doing the things I loved doing, and what I love doing has naturally progressed into a business. This is also the case for my newly proposed business of selling a line of healthy treats. It is part of the same organic growth pattern from which my yoga business grew. I now realise that the feeling of something bigger than myself waiting for me in my life, was all of this. I am in it now, it is the journey into living my life purpose. I will remain in it for the rest of my days, allowing it to wrap itself around me, until I can’t see where it ends, and I begin. I will end here with the words of the Nahko and Medicine for the People song Manifesto – ‘Find your medicine and use it.’ www.letsplayyoga.com.au ERA Magazine Summer 2021  103


FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS BY JUDE DOWNES

There is often a defining moment along the road of life when you begin to understand your purpose. That moment for me was my second journey to the desert, to be in ceremony with the Elders in Central Australia. This particular journey, many years ago, cemented a knowing of working with women’s business; my own way through to my own creative spirit. In 2007 I had a journey, that I remember so clearly. Whilst waiting for the Elders to begin ceremony, I took a walk with a friend away from our campsite. We turned around once we were out of the line of scrubby trees and there in front of us was Uluru, the heart centre of Australia and the solar plexus chakra of the world. She rose majestically from the red earth, vibrant against a clear blue sky. Her beauty in that moment took my breath away. 104  ERA Magazine Summer 2021

I stepped away from the track to sit on the warm red earth facing her. I was in awe of her being right there in front of me; my friend and I just sitting on the earth with Uluru. After a few short moments, I felt her connecting with me as I was pulled into meditation with her. Closing my eyes, I could see the spirit Grandmothers. I felt their innate power as I journeyed inside the rock. A huge sacred fire, several storeys tall was being tended by the grandmothers. Suspended above the fire was a large, pink faceted crystal. The crystal turned slowly above the fire. As my gaze moved upward, I saw the loving energy of the sacred fire and crystal flow out the top of Uluru and down into the landscape. In those sacred moments I was told that my work with women would grow and that I was doing the work


I was supposed to be doing. Everything I would create would be about Divine Feminine empowerment. The meditation was beautiful and I put it aside for a while as I was flying into the busy metropolis of Sydney a few days later. Arriving in the hustle and bustle of a busy city after the quiet power of the desert assaulted my senses, with every sound jarring my nerves. A woman I shared a room with asked if I would like to visit a new age shop she knew nearby. I answered ‘sure, why not’. I needed to ground myself into where I was in that moment. Entering the store, and feeling the relative peace that comes from such a space, the first thing I noticed was a cabinet directly in front of me. Sitting in the bottom of the cabinet, on its own and lit by a light above, was an exact replica,

in glass, of the crystal I had seen in my meditation in the desert, including the exact shade of pink. To me, this was a tangible confirmation of what I was supposed to be doing with my life. Empowering women to empower themselves. Of course, the crystal came home with me and it sits next to me as I write or run my workshops, to remind me of the loving journey I have agreed to undertake in this life. Many years passed and I was standing in my own ‘standing stone circle’ which is dedicated to the spirit of the Goddess at my beautiful property in the highlands of Victoria. The dark of the moon created a beautiful inky stillness around me. I was setting my intentions for my work to include the Wise Woman and the Crone. Nearby, I could hear an owl talking along ERA Magazine Summer 2021  105


with me. She had been coming to me in unusual ways for several months to confirm that the Sacred Feminine path was my way. I finished my prayers and she also stopped talking. I stood in the quiet stillness of the night, waiting, just being present to the moment. I felt her wing brush my hair, before I heard three flaps of her wings and she quietly moved on into the night. I love this path of creating ‘women’s business’ that I have chosen, or perhaps it actually chose me. It not only fulfils me; it encourages other women to follow the path they know is right for them. As the years passed I began to write books for the journey of the Divine Feminine. This became a part of my work on women’s business. I have known since my early forties that I would write a book one day. Time flew by on life’s everyday journey. As I moved through my midfifties and my early Crone years, I became an author for the first time. I know that I was born for just this time. I am the Crone, the Wise Woman, the Elder as I journey now (seemingly quickly) toward my sixty fifth birthday. In 2019, with a book and a deck of cards already journeying around the world, I felt a push to publish three new manuscripts, all within one year, for the Divine Feminine journey. I have long trusted my intuition when it pushes me toward something, even when I don’t know what the ultimate outcome might be. We always have choice in life; to feel love for 106

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what we do and push forward with what we know is true in our heart, or feel the fear and just dream of what we want; of what is possible. I chose to jump in and see where these next three books would take me. I wrote them for me. I published and released them because I knew in my heart and soul this is what was right for me. I knew their value, and if they helped someone along the way, well, that was good enough for me. Once I decided in January of that year that I would take the steps along this path, everything opened effortlessly and quickly. It was a drive I knew I had to follow, however, the why of that drive eluded me. I didn’t need to know that – yet. The third book was released in November of the same year and as I felt each book’s birth deeply within me, this last one was the completion of the journey. As we approached Christmas, all of them began to journey far and wide around the world. Then the bushfires happened here in Australia followed by the global pandemic, global riots and talk of a recession. Book sales dropped for a time but I knew their worth, my worth in a changing world. I had written them for me, however, I also saw their worth to encourage and empower women on their journey. I felt the drive within me to ‘get them out there’ in the world, without the need to know why. Two months after the shock of life’s changing perspective began to wear very


thin for many, women began to see these three books and the value they would add in their own life. The journey is still unfolding and will likely continue to unfold, as I trust my intuition and the overwhelming drive to do something for me first, that flows into the greater world. I believed wholeheartedly in this journey, even when others doubted it on my behalf. I self-published and it was easy. I poured my passion for my subject into each book and birthed them into the world. It was heart opening because I believed in their worth, my worth. The key is to follow that drive in life, that dream. Do it for you first, and follow the signposts of life. You don’t always need to know why you feel that inner drive to do something powerful, to feel passion for what you choose to do in life, however, that drive and passion might just lead you further along life’s trails, with an open mind and heart. It is when you decide to believe in what you are offered as your purpose, that you must back yourself in life and value your worth. Keep putting one foot in front of the other to create what you know in your heart is right for you and those around you. Follow life’s signposts as your intuition leads you along your path, offering joy as well as great learning as you take a chance on you.

I trusted my journey. Sometimes, when I jump into what is true for me, there is a big learning curve to be experienced and other times the path opened up effortlessly. Life is a story made up of many chapters. When you can look back at the many chapters in your story thus far, you will discover keys for the journey to know how to back yourself. So often it is about trusting that you know what is right for you. Trusting you know how to take a chance on you and your journey. The summer solstice has now arrived and fills my heart beyond words. The Jupiter Saturn conjunction was already beginning to pull at my heart and soul as we moved into the Age of Aquarius. With the completion of ancient ceremony at Uluru by the Elders on this powerful day, a loving gateway to our future is ensured; a glimpse of what is possible if we all work collectively. My journey in 2007 in ceremony with the Elders and the meditation with Uluru felt complete on this 2020 solstice. This powerful turning point in our lives was shown to me all those years ago but the completion of this part of my own journey interwoven with the original vision wasn’t done until 21st December 2020. A completion of something is but a new beginning.

If I can perhaps offer you one piece of advice, trust you first

www.judedownes.com ERA Magazine Summer 2021  107


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Never give up the fight to be truly yourself

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DEDICATED TO TRANSITIONING HER OWN LIFE FROM SALARIED EMPLOYMENT TO SMALL BUSINESS, JANINE EASTON TALKS OPENLY ABOUT THE PROCESS OF TRULY BEING YOURSELF. INTERVIEW BY SUE WILLIAMS

I was blessed to meet this beautiful lady in early 2019. Janine has led an interesting life and has decided to transition into her own spiritual practise from her career as an educational leader. It is not easy to change career paths particularly to one that has always been considered as ‘against the grain’. I caught up with Janine in her beautiful home in Sassafras, in the Dandenong Ranges of Victoria. Sue: Transitioning from the corporate world to entrepreneurship is going to be one of the most impactful decisions you may make as a woman in business. Janine, I believe you spent a good length of time in the education industry. Can you explain how this made you feel and what was your catalyst for change? Janine: I initially started university with the intention of being a counsellor, however, I found I actually disliked psychology and decided that this diploma wasn’t for me. I changed to the educational pathway, completing a Master of Education (Gifted Education). For the next 18 years I was constantly ill; hospital visits, chronic fatigue, flu, migraines, and stress related illness. I felt that, while I was working in the education 110 ERA Magazine Summer 2021

industry world, I was not particularly happy, and this was reflected in my health. After many years I decided that this industry was not for me. For all my working life I kept my spiritual capabilities hidden for many reasons, however, over the last few years I chose not to ignore them any longer. I have had to find my place in the world of small business, by adapting with intent and constantly absorbing any enlightenment I could unearth. I recently heard a term ‘we can all have a lot of health ego.’ This means, we think we are okay when we are not. We believe we can continue working within a stressful existence and survive. I eventually allowed my intuition to guide me into leaving the education industry and begin working for myself. It took a long time, way too long, but I’m so glad I did it. I’m glowing with vision and wellbeing waking each day with gratitude. Sue: Starting your own business requires money and financial security. This is especially important. Did you experience fear around this? And how did you financially plan to begin your new career?


Janine: The question plagued me of how do I successfully leave the education industry and the safety of a regular income and regular school holidays? By having a long term financial plan, I was able to abate the fear of entering the world of small business. I used a portion of my income from teaching to prepare financially, ensuring all debts were discharged, and making provision business set-up and further education expenses. By doing this, the bubbling anxiety and fear dissipated. I would highly recommend this preparation. I’ve unleashed the block of abundance, accepting the value of my service, and have succumbed to the pure joy of being in business in a spiritual advisory capacity. Sue: Having a paid job provides a level of security and respect. How did it feel to give that up? Janine: I struggled for some time with the trepidation of leaving the financial security and respectful title of my career, to be visible in the world as a spiritual advisor. This fear, coupled with the degrading response from my younger brother, made being visible extremely daunting. It has taken a number of years to work through these uncertainties. I invested money in business mentoring, with Sue Williams from Abitza, and varying spiritual educators. It was worth every cent. Sue: As you start your own business, there can be negative responses, both yours and others. Did you experience any of these and how did you deal with them proactively?

Janine: Choosing to let go and not listen to negativity, working with likeminded positive people, educating myself with courses, and attending networking and mentoring meetings, helped me to prepare, grow, and learn. This has given me the strength to believe in myself and my business. It is my observation that when you are on the right path, all the energy, joy and gratitude in the world appears daily. Sue: Sometimes, you need more extensive education or licensing to begin your new career. What skills did you need to obtain to begin this new role and how did you find out what you needed? Janine: I believe in cultivating yourself when approaching any business. I have completed many counselling courses, comprehensive developmental workshops, and attended many seminars. I have committed myself, over recent years, to seeking and learning from spiritual teachers to improve my psychic and mediumship abilities. I have also read numerous books on small business, asked for advice wherever possible, and have been prepared to be directed to people from whom I can learn. I honestly believe that I will never stop learning in my endeavours to support my clients in my spiritual advisory services. On my ‘To-Do List’ was creating a business name, designing my business logo, creating business cards, establishing Facebook and Instagram sites, and creating a business plan and a place to work at home. I had to ask for assistance on how to ERA Magazine Summer 2021

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do all of these things, nevertheless people happily shared their knowledge. I’m learning to use my intuition more when planning Facebook posts and advertising. Taking advice from others, completing online courses and reading inspirational business literature, has enhanced my skill level. Sue: One aspect of changing careers that often gets overlooked by women is the emotional side. This includes many pressures of balancing life, family, and work. How do you cope with this? Janine: With any issues that arise, I tend to deal with them as soon as I can. I will seek people I know for counsel or people who can direct me to where I need to go. I’m a wife, a mother, a mother-in-law, a grandmother and my family is everything to me. Making time for my family is something I prioritise highly. When my family needs me, the kettle goes on, we grab a cup of tea and talk through any issues. I believe the value of health and energy in the western world is low on the priority list. I recognise the need for ‘me time’. At 58 years of age, I’ve learnt the hard way; your health suffers terribly when you do too much for everyone else. In 2019, I went to Bali on a journey called Soul Quest, organised by Abitza. It changed my life; I came back a different person. As a result, self-care has become an important and necessary part of my life. Having always been a very social person, I have realised that I need to be in optimum health in order for me to give to Spirit, my clients, and the ones I love. 112 ERA Magazine Summer 2021

Sue: Working from home or in a small business reduces the amount of support that you would receive if you went out to an office to work. How have you overcome this? Janine: I have two rooms that I work from; one at Elle Naturale, Olinda, for face to face appointments, and a space I have created in my home for zoom appointments. The moment I walk into these rooms I’m switched on to Spirit. Both are my happy places. I have joined networking groups that provide incredible support and help me feel connected to other women in business. I use a planner where I set goals each day, week, and month. This helps me to remain focused. I am ‘To-do List’ person, so it provides peace of mind for myself when my goals are written down and ticked off. Sue: Not enough is said about prioritizing self-care as a business woman. Women very often neglect their own wellbeing for their families, friends, and work. There are times when self-care needs to be your No. 1 strategy. What do you do for your self-care and time-out? Janine: I’m a life-long learner and feel enhanced when I learn from others. This is my way of being and staying motivated. When I need time out, I have a number of strategies that I use. I close down technology for a day, meditate, or have a hot aromatherapy salt bath, whilst listening to beautiful music. I create space and time to spend with my grandchildren, with whom I share a deep


love. Reading historical fiction is also one of my passions. Spending time with my wonderful husband, family and friends, all help me to remain centred. Sue: Your business is in an extremely competitive industry; how did you know you needed a point of difference and how did you find it? Janine: The spiritual industry has taken off in the last 30 years. There are many competent and skilled mediums in the industry. I found it necessary for me to have a point of difference. I love working with women to provide insights and assistance to them. I ensure that I am constantly upskilling; believing that an educated mind, with a professional approach is an absolute necessity to provide the best level of integral service. As a point of difference, I provide a gift to each of my clients. Essential oils are a passion of mine. I believe they are beneficial to us and each client that books a session with me receives an oil as a gift. The oil I choose depends on the insights and information I receive prior to the client arriving. With my spiritual advisory guidance and mediumship, my clients leave with a strategy, a direction and clarity. What I love to see the most, is a smile of contentment; a happier person leaving the session with me, eager to get started on their new strategies. Sue: What would you say was your greatest challenge and your greatest success in making the transition? Janine: My greatest challenge really was my doubts. Once I started to address them,

my confidence lifted each time. I had to fight against the ‘Who AM I’ question. My belief is that our society is based around the value of money, and that this gives us meaning and placement in this world. I grew up very poor and money issues were a constant battle. By carrying this belief into adulthood, I constantly asked myself, can I pay the bills if I go into my own business? I’ve spent a lifetime in the shadow of not valuing or being my true self. I’m so very lucky that my immediate family are so wonderfully supportive. I’ve spent a lifetime in the shadow of not valuing or being my true self. I’m so very lucky that my immediate family are so wonderfully supportive. My greatest success is never giving up the fight to be truly myself. At my age it can feel quite wretched that I’ve taken this long to be ME, however, I take my spiritual work very seriously and I believe this is part of my success. Sue: Do you have any advice for our readers who are thinking of doing the same thing? Janine: Seek every bit of advice you can get in your chosen field. Learn from others and prepare yourself in every way possible through education. Never stop learning and evolving in your business. And importantly, listen to your intuition. If it feels wrong, it is wrong. Sue: Thank you, Janine, we are incredibly grateful to you for your time and inspiration. www.sassafrasspiritualadvisor.com.au ERA Magazine Summer 2021

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Being

Becoming the new BY CHRISTINE GLADWELL


the process of writing flowed through my heart, resonating and changing me


Today as I write this article I find myself reflecting back over the last ten years, a decade of great upheaval and change for many. It was back in 2010 when I noticed in my journaling and free writing—a technique where I put pen to paper and allow a natural flow of writing that comes from beyond me—that I was going to write a book called Being – becoming the new human being. I was surprised but accepted this idea with excitement. Yes, I thought, I can do this! This writing has come intuitively and I would gladly be the scribe in the physical and just follow instructions. When I told my dear friend and mentor Mary, that I was going to write a book, she just said ‘Oh, everybody says they are going to write a book.’ I had to agree with her and decided not to take the idea too seriously. A few days later Mary visited me, telling me that spirit had confirmed to her that I would write this book but the message was very clear – it had to be simple, so that anyone could understand it. Every time we met, she asked ‘what’s happening with the book? Remember you must keep it simple.’ I kept re-reading the title. How was this going to be simple? Who was I to write about the change in humanity? All of my self-doubt started to creep in. Instead of writing, I kept myself very busy, constantly reading, researching, finding all kinds of amazing modalities to learn about. Following the many I admired, I convinced myself to stay small and continue to be a

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follower. I love the spiritual path I chose over thirty years ago and it was easy for me to just continue along the same path. Time quickly passed by. My dear friend Mary grew very frail. She didn’t want to die as she felt she had more to do. She hadn’t finished her spiritual work yet, but right to the end she kept reminding me to ‘keep it simple’. She never doubted I would write the book. In 2018, I was spurred into action after doing a weekend workshop, ‘How to Write a Book in a Year’. I started the book with a file on my computer called Being. Enthusiastically, I gathered up all the years of my journaling, messages, and writings that had flowed freely from I know not where, and wonderful epiphanies I had experienced. From these gatherings, what surprised me most of all, were the times when words would just form in my head, repeating over and over, almost melodically. I quickly learned to grab a pen and just write what I was hearing, allowing it to flow. I would somehow feel into the words as I slowly wrote them down. They formed through me and became poetry upon the paper. I felt a knowing. There was no hesitation or questioning as the words sang through me, I wrote them freely. When I read them back I just sat and stared in awe. ‘What is this?’ I asked a friend, ‘Where do they fit in?’ I knew I had no beginning, no middle or an end to this book. There was no outline and I felt overwhelmed.


I once again began to question everything, all of my abilities; even my computer skills were negligible. So many experts had written it all before, so why even keep going? Mary’s voice flickered on and on in the background, ‘Just keep going, remember, keep it simple.’ Nine more months passed by. During these months I had continued some writing, but so much more was happening. I had constant conversations with myself; it was as if there was a battle raging within me. I became aware that it was a processing between my persona (ego); the face I showed the world; the one where I liked being in control, taking the wheel and steering the course. The one that had many points of view, and doubted and worried about what others would think? Then there was the other little voice of calm and reason, that surfaced when I allowed myself stillness and space. Words of wisdom, of comfort and encouragement flowed. I finally gathered my thoughts, realising that I needed to get out of my own way! I became aware that this was to be a joint venture, so I needed to just let go, show up and be in the flow of allowance. Trusting this newly formed partnership of my higher self and the ‘I am’ of Christine, minus the egoic fear that took over when I was in overwhelm. I opened up a new folder on the computer and named it, This is It. I now had ten weeks left to bring this writing together in order to fulfil the requirements of the

course. I allowed the process of the writing to flow through my heart, resonating and changing me. I no longer felt separated, I no longer felt like just the scribe taking down words. By being in every moment with this flow and with a sense of ease, brought the pieces of Being together. I had always had a knowing this was to be a small book; an introduction to the changes in the world that were coming. I have always held a vision of a New Earth – the promised land of Peace, A Heaven on Earth. I overcame more challenges of formatting, proofreading and editing, which unfortunately I didn’t get done professionally but at last, in July 2019, my book was published. Now, as I write of this journey, it is July 2020 and I find myself participating and witnessing a time in history that will be recorded as the end of an era, and the beginning of a brand new paradigm. Worldwide changes bigger than any of us could ever have imagined; not a War, a nuclear explosion, earthquake, or any of the climatic disasters that we have been struggling with. No, it is a virus, so minute and unseen by the naked eye, but potent and deadly if not heeded. It has stopped the world. The skies and seas are in lockdown, all borders are closed and each and every one of us are anchored into our own space. Humanity, the rat race, is halted. This wave of COVID-19 has engulfed the planet, affecting the rich, the powerful and famous, along with the young and old, the

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most vulnerable and innocent among us. None of us are immune. We are all at risk; fear is rife. Our world, and our own lives, are faced with unknown outcomes. No one is untouched. This is the cause for The Great Change which has been prophesised as the heralding of a New Era in Time. A crisis which has never before been experienced, a planetary shift forecasted by the seers of old. This is an energetic vibration which is affecting all of us, every cell of our bodies are feeling the changes. An energetic shift that is uncovering broken systems and corrupt power players. This is a transparency that is highlighting all of the inequalities and atrocities of

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humanity as ending. Now we have a new opportunity, as we awaken slowly, to become aware of our similarities, seeing with eyes of compassion and wanting changes for the good of all, not just the few. I have great faith that our human race will embrace the changes which will allow us to rebuild and reconnect with all the diversities of humanity and all other lifeforms. Together, with inclusion and co-operation, we can be the change for our beautiful planet and our environment that supports all of us; by becoming the new human being. www.christinegladwell.com


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Editors Sonya Murphy & Sue Williams editorial@eramagazine.com.au Designer Adala Group info@adala.com.au Contributors Thank you to the inspiring women who generously shared their stories and expertise with us. Simone Dawson, Michelle Griffiths, Kim Platzer, Marina Garbuio, Monica Coleman & Caitlin O’Shea, Glenda Cass, Luna Wood, Tina Curro, Bree Cleal, Leigh O’Regan, Marion Mundana, Kathy Jerin, Farrah Graham, Gabrielle Mundana, Barb Jackson, Claire Chancellor, Michelle Kline, Chris Pedley, Brooke Pearce, Jude Downes, Janine Easton, Christine Gladwell. © ERA Magazine 2021 Opinions, views and comments expressed by individuals do not necessarily represent those of the publishers. No legal responsibility can be accepted for the advice given in this publication, either in editorial or advertisements. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior permission of the ERA Magazine. No responsibility can be accepted by the publisher for errors or omissions. NEXT EDITION OUT APRIL 2021

ISSN: 2652-9238 (Print) ISSN: 2652-9246 (Online) Printer: Printgraphics Printgreen Printed on PEFC certified stock. PEFC certification is the highest environmental standard achievable for paper stocks, ensuring traceability and verification of well managed forest timber, from mill to printer, to you. Printed in Australia under ISO I4001 Environmental Certifications using vegetable based inks. Subscription Enquiries info@eramagazine.com.au Advertising Enquiries advertising@eramagazine.com.au Distribution Integrated Publication Solutions To Contribute editorial@eramagazine.com.au


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