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ERA MAGAZINE                          AUTUMN 2021

www.eramagazine.com.au

BUSINESS FROM THE HEART

E M P OW E R 2

AUTUMN 2021

RESPECT

ALIGN


When we shed our limiting beliefs like the trees of autumn shed their colourful leaves, we open our world to the wonder of infinite possibilites.

Thank you

Gratitude is the most beautiful way to express all that’s in your heart


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.

We are thrilled to bring you another excellent issue of ERA Magazine. In March we celebrated the official launch of ERA. Unfortunately, due to restrictions, the number of invites were limited. Look out for our first birthday party in January, 2022. By then you can all come and celebrate! This issue features helpful articles on money. The way we think about money, meeting financial goals and why changing your focus on money will allow your business to grow organically. Working from home has become more common in recent times. We take a look at workspaces in the home and how best to optimise your working environment, as well as some advice on making working from home work. Writing in general, or for your business, is not easy. In this issue we have an in-depth article on how to tackle a task many of us procrastinate over. As businesswomen we often put ourselves last. Meeting our own needs is important to enable us to live life to the full. We have a series of articles on self-care, nutrition and goal-setting. Michelle Griffiths answers questions regarding superannuation in the financial expert column. We also introduce Claire Chancellor as our new women’s empowerment expert. Michelle and Claire will answer your questions in each issue. Email them at editorial@eramagazine.com.au. We are strong believers at ERA Magazine in the balance of science and spirituality. We see this reflected throughout the magazine and are proud to offer many different perspectives on life. As always we’d love your feedback and comments, and don’t forget to check out our socials. Grab a cuppa and enjoy the read.

Sonya & Sue


Contents

ISSUE 2  AUTUMN 2021

TIPS & TRICKS

18 The mastery of time

Sue Williams

MARKETING & FINANCE

WALKING GENTLY ON THE PLANET

8 Seven steps to

40 The journey to

36 Polpette with

Pomodoro Sauce Nadia Fragnito

38 Benefits of a retreat

Sue Williams

achieving your financial goals

Michelle Griffiths

15 Master the gram

with six easy tips Marina Garbuio

20 Rewriting your

money story

Tamra Mercieca

28 Ask the expert —

finance

Michelle Griffiths

32 Removing the need

for money in business Kim Platzer

sustainable business is a team effort Daniel Starcevich

45 The point of walking

Su Rule


BUSINESS ADVICE

MIND MATTERS

48 Eight post-pandemic

76 Imposter syndrome

trends for a better workspace Heather Knowles

54 Make working from

home work

Sonya Murphy

58 Say it plain, say it

clear, say it easy

Lesley Humphreys

66 Ask the expert –

women’s empowerment coach Claire Chancellor

68 Finding the Sweet

Spot

Luna Wood

Anne McKeown

81 Tips to gain

motivation and mental strength

Leanne Sklavenitis

84 The power of habits

Anne Hartley

INSPIRATIONAL WOMEN

104 Experiential

Cath Connell

92 Beating burnout

Carrun Squires

100 Energy drain to

energy gain Kathy Jerin

Brooke Pearce

110 Trading a uniform for

business

Alexandra Browne-Hill

114 The older woman in

88 Do we need a better model of success

fragmentation

business (aka The Crone) Jude Downes

117 The journey to

Aurora Life Felecia Bath


20th March 2021

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We were joined by our families, friends, contributors and advertisers to celebrate the first issue of ERA Magazine. Thank you to everyone who attended.

ERA Magazine Autumn 2021  5


SUBSCRIBE to ERA Magazine Become a subscriber and have first access to all our inspirational articles and resources Enjoy receiving every issue of ERA Magazine delivered direct to your door or your inbox $14.95+p&h for print edition $6.50 direct to your inbox

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Marketing and Finance SEVEN STEPS TO ACHIEVING YOUR FINANCIAL GOALS MASTER THE GRAM WITH SIX EASY TIPS REWRITING YOUR MONEY STORY ASK THE EXPERT — FINANCE REMOVING THE NEED FOR MONEY IN BUSINESS


Seven steps to achieving your financial goals BY MICHELLE GRIFFITHS

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I am going to be a bit controversial with what I am going to share with you today, but it’s because I want to keep things real. So many financial planners and accountants will espouse the benefits of good budgeting – and I don’t disagree per se, but I find that for most people it does not really work. It’s like dieting, you might be able to stick to it for a few weeks or months, but what is far better and likely to give you longer lasting results are the small changes that you make, because they make you feel healthy. As someone who loves food, going without is something that I resist every step of the way. How does this analogy match up with my thoughts on budgeting? Well, I have found that most people see the process of budgeting being about what they are not allowed to spend. Each assessment of why they are spending more than their budget (even when they set up the budget personally) is an attack on their sense of self, independence, and freedom. They resist and resent the feeling of failure that comes from not sticking to their budgeted plans. Some people even develop an anxiety response when they hear the word

budget. This is not a recipe for a good relationship with your money. So, what do we do then? We need to come at this from a different angle and acknowledge that good money management is just as much about the thoughts that you have about money, as it is about what you do with it. 1. Get clear on your WHY and your financial goal (using SMART goal setting) Having a goal or a particular target is always a really great place to start. You might even start small and work your way up to larger goals, so that you can experience some wins along the way. Or, if you have a large goal, make sure you break it down into smaller checkpoints so you can celebrate your journey towards achieving your goal. Start with saving for your next holiday, or a deposit for your first home and then build up to the likes of paying off your mortgage. Naturally, it is likely that the last two will take you more than 12 months to do, so you want to make sure you have some milestone goals you can tick off along the way.

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• Take a moment and make a note of what you want to save for, the what is your WHY from a financial perspective. You can be focused on your personal finances or your business, or both. Make sure it is important to YOU as this will empower you more than a weak goal. Infuse the goal with emotion and the desire that you really want to achieve it. • Be SMART with your goals – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Bound. Jane wants to buy her first home and wants to save up a deposit in the next 18 months. She currently has $20,000 saved but she needs to build this up to $60,000 by November 2022. 2. Expand on why your goal is important to you – make it personal To maintain the commitment to your WHY, it needs to be important enough to you that you stick to the processes that we will build next over a long period of time. Having a strong WHY will make it easier when things get difficult to stick to your plan. You will keep reflecting on how you are getting closer to your goal rather than focusing on what you are ‘missing out’ on. To expand on your why I want you to give it some more context and purpose. Add to your notes on your various why statements with the following: • What would it mean to you to achieve your goal? How will it make you feel? How will it change your life?

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• What sort of person will you be or need to be to achieve this goal? Is this the type of person that you will feel proud to be? 3. Share your goal with someone Is there someone who will share this goal or journey with you? Get them on board with answering these questions as well – it is always easier if you have someone that you can share this journey with. If not, then is there a friend who might have their own separate goals that you can share with each other and spur each other on? Sharing your goals with someone else once again helps provide you with an accountability point and helps you stay on track. Jane reflects that it has been her dream to own her own place, that this will make her feel in control of her life and her future. She loves the idea of having her own place that she can decorate with her special touches putting her personality into the place. She starts a Pinterest page to start saving pictures of how she wants certain rooms in her home to look and colour themes.   Jane is going to share her journey and savings plans with a friend Anne who is looking to save for her first home as well. They will be able to share their tips and ideas, keep each other accountable and celebrate milestones together.


4. Set up a separate savings account A great place to start is to set up a separate bank account to put these savings, one that is separate from your everyday account. Some banks offer interest bearing accounts that reward you with higher interest rates when you deposit into them regularly and make no withdrawals, so these are ideal for our purpose. If you have a mortgage already, see if your bank can set up an offset account that you can use for these savings. Then make a commitment to making regular deposits into this account. 5. Make your savings commitment happen automatically each pay cycle Make sure that you match your regular savings with your regular income. If you get paid monthly, then your savings go in monthly (the day after your pay is deposited). If you are paid weekly, then pay into your savings weekly, and so on. Have the savings deducted from your account so that this happens automatically, or better still if your employer will pay into multiple accounts then set it up so that you never see the savings money at all – it just goes straight into the savings account. This is known as paying yourself first. It is your top priority. The other bills and commitments will be met somehow, but you will always start with paying yourself first (you will work out how to pay the telephone bill!). Do not wait until the end of the month and then whatever is left over you will put into your savings; this will not work

(or is certainly not as effective). Having your money readily available to you in this way is too much of a temptation. You will find it difficult to stick to your longterm plans, when short term options that will provide you with some pleasure are within easy reach. When you are dieting, you would not have a block of chocolate on your kitchen bench to taunt you as you go through your day. 6. Set up tools so that you can track how much you spend and where Another key to this process is to understand where you spend your money, and to make more conscious decisions about this. There are several apps that you can use for free, or your bank may have an expense tracking tool that you can use. The idea here is to start using these tools to identify where you may have financial leakage that you can attend to. Let’s face it, we all have financial leakage in our lives – it is about trying to re-direct these into your savings plans instead. Financial leakage is a very personal thing and encompasses anything that you spend money on that does not provide you with value or add to your standard of living. For example, for some people buying a coffee every day may be something that they get a lot of enjoyment from, whereas someone else may do it just out of convenience. The latter would fall into the category of financial leakage. Try to find one or two things to focus on each month in your spending pa­tterns that will help improve

ERA Magazine Autumn 2021  11


your savings capacity, without reducing your quality of life. That way you won’t feel like it’s taking away from you, but rather you’re just changing habits that will help you reach your goals. Jane sets up her different savings account and starts tracking her expenditure on her bank provided expense tracking tool. She gets paid fortnightly and arranges for her employer to direct debit her wage into two accounts – one being her everyday bills account and then to also put $800 into her savings account.   She then starts working through her patterns of expenditure, knowing that she needs to find where her financial leakage is that she can start to target, to help her live within the new financial framework. She starts with seeing how much she spends on eating out and decides that whilst she does enjoy eating out with friends, buying lunches every day at work is adding up to around $60 per week – so she is going to start making her lunch four days per week and have one lunch per week that she buys as a treat. She is also going to try to limit her dining out with friends and cook for herself when she is at home. She is going to start practising these new habits and then look for something else to improve in the following month. Dealing with two items at a time is all she needs to do, and then continue to build on these.

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7. Set up your milestones, keep yourself accountable along the way, and celebrate your success Keeping your enthusiasm and commitment along the way is not always easy. It is important to acknowledge your successes along the way and reward yourself. Now, that doesn’t mean that all your good habits get cast aside. You can still make your rewards financially prudent, but make sure that you get some joy from them. Maybe when you get to a certain milestone you take a day trip to a place where you can go for a special walk or hike that you have always wanted to do. Maybe it’s to have a celebratory meal with your goal partner – you might even choose to eat in. After all, it is being together that is the most valuable part. Maybe you buy yourself that item that will help towards you longer term goal. Jane had set up some quarterly mile­stones, which she measures herself against each month. She also sets up what her rewards are going to be in advance, so she has something to look forward to. She hits her first target, and her reward is to buy some furniture that she knows she will need for the new home. She sets a spending limit and goes out shopping with Anne for the coffee table that she needs. Anne understands what this reward means to Jane and the importance of the milestone.   Jane reflects on how important it has been to have Anne as an accountability partner. She has


helped her to celebrate her progress, encouraged her along the way, but also she’ll ask questions, knowing Jane’s bigger objectives – is that how much you want to spend on that? You said your budget was only $xxx. No judgement but just being there to help keep her on track. It is so much easier than trying to do this alone. The journey that you are on with this process is something that can be useful for any financial goal, but also for any stage of life. Understanding how much you spend and making more conscious decisions on that, as well as reducing your financial leakage is a mindset that will serve you well for a lifetime. With your goals, it is important also to celebrate your progress. If you don’t reach your goal quite as quickly as you wanted to, this is not failure. You are still working towards the goal, and you will get there much faster than if you didn’t have a goal in the first place. Make sure you keep a

record of your starting base and then your various milestones so that you can reflect on your progress. Resources that might be helpful https://moneysmart.gov.au – for some great articles and tools to assist with financial literacy. https://tag.comparensave.com.au – for a quick comparison on home loan interest rates that could save you thousands. https://www.tagfinancial.com.au/blog and https://www.tagfinancial.com.au/videos – for more articles and videos about financial affairs for business owners, superannuation and investing. www.tagfinancial.com.au Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is general in nature. Professional advice should be sought before acting on any aspect of this article. Financial planning services are provided by TAG Financial Advisors Pty Ltd (ABN 77 154 205 017 AFSL 415632).

ERA Magazine Autumn 2021  13


Focusing on your financial success BUSINESS SERVICES / WEALTH CREATION SUPERANNUATION STRATEGIES ASSET PROTECTION / TAXATION ADVICE

Become “money smart” and join our online community where you will receive TAG updates and invites to info sessions and webinars. www.tagfinancial.com.au/join-our-mailing-list

Michelle Griffiths Partner, TAG Financial Services michelleg@tagfinancial.com.au (03) 9886 0800

DIGITAL AND SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGIST | EDUCATOR | SPEAKER Helping businesses boost their bank balance by improving short- and long-term marketing communications A team of marketing experts that will enable you to wholistically:

• Back your business vision and objectives. • Get the support you need to lead and grow your business. • Create communities, lead generation and client conversion systems. • Have the latest digital changes so you adapt quickly and effortlessly.

Phone 0418 309 753 marina@motivatingmarketing.com.au

www.motivatingmarketing.com.au 14  ERA Magazine Autumn 2021


Master the Gram WITH SIX EASY TIPS BY MARINA GARBUIO

For a new business or a business that has halfheartedly dabbled on Instagram, it can be quite a daunting experience to view the high caliber of Instagram feeds. Marketing Comparanitis (a hideous disease where you compare your marketing to other people’s marketing) is what stops business owners from showcasing their value on their own social media platforms. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, a strong social media presence can equal new customers and clients. Instagram is your photographic and video album to showcase the values your business portrays and how it can benefit various people. Although Instagram has the bells and whistles of Stories, Reels, Advertising and IGTV, it is still vital to keep your posts up. This is what Instagram uses for algorithms and it is what potential customers see when

they are checking out your Instagram Profile. With these simple tips, you can get the most out of your business Instagram feed. 1.  Take quality photos It might seem obvious, but as a business owner you need to show off the absolute best possible version of your business. This means, as a business, you shouldn’t post a photo unless it is clear, visually interesting and can relate back to your business in some way. You don’t need to spend money to hire a photographer if you have a tight budget. Thankfully in this day and age, the current generation of smartphones have cameras that take crisp photos and have basic editing applications that can take your pictures to the next level. Take the time to learn some basic photo composition and see how a little effort ERA Magazine Autumn 2021  15


goes a long way. It just means, while taking the next picture, you need to think like a photographer. Is the lighting right? Are all the aesthetics in place? Is the product the focal point? I had a client who took photos of her products near her bed. The lamp looked gorgeous on the bedside table, but all I could focus on were her creased bedsheets. The bigger players would iron the sheets, making sure there were no other distractions to deter from followers looking at the product. 2.  Use sneaky hashtags Some people say three. Others say twelve. Some people believe because M.A.C Cosmetics (23.4M) and Myer (433K) don’t use hashtags, that they shouldn’t either. Big mistake. Not everyone who follows you sees your organic Instagram post or video. Due to the algorithm, Instagram only shows your post to about 50% of your followers. Last year it was about 65% of your followers and over time it will be less and less (in comparison, Facebook only shows organic posts to 0-1% of the people who like your page, so you still have a bit of traction on Instagram!). Hashtags are a powerful tool to reach people who may not have heard of you or your business. That’s why Instagram gave you 30 hashtags to play with. And when you are starting out, it can be quite confusing to know which hashtags to use. Think like a buyer NOT a seller when creating hashtags. Consumers use hashtags to look for things they want to buy. They 16  ERA Magazine Autumn 2021

hashtag where to get coffee when they are in a new town or country. People follow their favorite hashtags. See it as a form of self-expression and as a tool for content discovery. If you’re an artist based in Melbourne, you can use #melbourneartist #melbourneart #australianartist and #prestonartist. If your artwork is blue, try #blueart, #blueartwork or #bluepainting. Try industry hashtags, your brand name, mediums used, meanings or what the picture relates to. I’ve witnessed awesome reach due to hashtags. I’ve seen an Instagram account with 60 followers reach over 1000 people on Instagram due to hashtags. However, hashtags are an artform. If you don’t want to pay for advertising, then use hashtags. 3.  Set the theme While each individual Instagram post has importance, collectively they should tell a story about your business. By keeping a theme of photos, you can maximize the visual power your Instagram has. Some ideas for theming your Instagram: • Keeping a consistent color scheme • Posting in groups of three, six or nine • Creating collages from your photos. These are just some ideas. The only limit is your creativity. You will find ways to tell your own story with a theme behind your posts. 4.  Different is better than better If you’re starting Instagram now, then you’re a late bloomer. Other businesses in


your industry have had a 5-year head start and many followers. But you are unique. Your business is unique. Capitalise on that aspect. The solution? Be different. By being creative with your posts you can get more results and attract new followers. Look at trends and find creative ways to subvert audience expectation and go against the grain when it comes to posts. If everyone is doing one thing, do something different. 5.  Interact with people People connect with people, not concrete buildings. An important part of Instagram is to interact with like-minded people on there. The more you like, comment and discuss, the more people recall your business. About 10–15 minutes before your post is live, visit some of the hashtags you’ve used in that post and comment on other people’s posts. They are most likely like-minded people. People are curious. Usually, they respond back, visit your profile, like or comment on one of your posts in return. They may like what they see and may DM (direct message) you or purchase.

People are very receptive to businesses that interact and by putting in the extra time to join the conversation, your business can increase customer loyalty and exposure by word of mouth. 6.  Keep it consistent You need to show up. Consistently. Make a schedule and stick to it. Going AWOL for weeks or even months at a time can hurt your business. Having an inactive business Instagram account can make potential clients and customers think your business is dead. Even worse, it makes people think you don’t care for your business. And if you don’t care about your business, then how on earth do they think you are going to take care of them? Out of mind, out of sight. People will forget you exist and all that hard work is gone. Ideally if you are just getting started, you should be posting 3–5 posts a week to ensure that your Instagram is still able to get likes and be discovered. These tips are just some of the ways you can make your business stand out on Instagram. The common theme is to simply put in effort. As a business, you have a duty to make your public image a cut above the rest. If you are creative with your approach, show up and be actively present, you’ll set yourself up for a stronger social media presence.

www.motivatingmarketing.com.au ERA Magazine Autumn 2021  17


The Mastery of Time BY SUE WILLIAMS When we master the concept of time everything seems easier. In many places time is of little consequence, yet in our society everything runs by the hands of a clock. Time is a man-made construct; it is finite and infinite at the same time. By mastering it, we can create an efficient way of living, bringing peace and satisfaction into our lives, and increase our productivity. Here are a few time mastery tips   1. First realise that we cannot manage time. We can only manage ourselves and what we do with the time we have.   2. Time wasting. Journal how you spend your time each day. Be honest. After a week, refine or eliminate your time wasting habits.   3. Everyone should have a to-do list. Each morning prioritise this list. This will soon become a valuable routine. Know when you work best and schedule the more challenging tasks for that time. Then work through your list. Don’t deviate from the list. Just do it.   4. Do one task at a time and finish it. You will be more efficient and less likely to miss something. Should another task or thought interrupt you, write it down and action it when you are finished your current task.   5. Create systems and processes. Ensure that you streamline your business to run as efficiently as possible.   6. Delegate the tasks you are not efficient in. Outsourcing may seem expensive but so is your time. Concentrate on the things you do best and outsource 18  ERA Magazine Autumn 2021

the things you dislike or that take more time than is viable.   7. Take adequate breaks during the day to maintain productivity. Get up from your desk, stretch, go for a walk, eat properly, drink plenty of water.   8. Avoid distractions. Switch off your notifications. Have certain times where you check and action emails and phone calls. Constantly switching tasks drains your mental energy, making you tired and less productive, and open to making mistakes.   9. Design your perfect week. Create time blocks for work, rest and play. No-one is productive without balance in life. When its time to stop work, stop work. 10. Say NO when you need to. Stay out of the people pleasing mode and know when it is right to say no for your own self-care. There are a myriad of time management tips. Find what works best for you to create harmony in your life and gain more precious moments of time. www.abitza.com.au


ARE YOU UNHAPPY WITH YOUR BUSINESS IMAGE? Do you create your own marketing material, but it never looks right? Do you struggle and procrastinate when it comes to writing content? Is your branding inconsistent? Writing and Editing If you can’t find the time to write or you’re not confident to write for your business, we can help with all facets of business writing. If you’ve already done the writing but would like a second pair of eyes to catch any missed errors, we can do that too!

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Rewriting your MONEY STORY BY TAMRA MERCIECA We all have a money story. Some people’s money stories are full of abundance, with the lead characters feeling good about earning money, having money and spending money. These people have ease and certainty around money, trusting that money will always be there for them. While other people’s money stories are well, more like romantic tragedies. Think struggleville, stress and emotional spending. Can you relate to the latter? Well, here’s the thing: Money wants to support you. Money wants to ride on into your life, in abundance. Money wants to show up for you, and most importantly, money wants to commit to you and offer you the support and financial security you so deserve. But in order for this to happen, you need to be willing to look at what you currently believe about money. For that really is the key to rewriting your money story. Until you’re willing to re-evaluate your preconceived ideas and beliefs around money, then chances are that money will be a point of stress in your life. If you feel like there’s never enough money or that you’re working hard but never reaching

your financial goals, if you avoid looking at your bank statements, feel ashamed talking about money, or guilty when you spend it, if debt rains on your joy-parade or you fight with your partner about money, then you know that you’re holding onto some unhealthy beliefs about money.

Your beliefs = Your reality Yep! What you believe about yourself, what you believe about the world, and what you believe about money is creating your physical reality right now. Let me give you an example. When we’re getting to know a new person, it’s almost impossible not to make up ideas about who we think they are, what they value, how they treat others and what they’re like to be around. Maybe this person told you they were a doctor, which instantly made you assume they’re intelligent, they earn good money and they’re a secure person to be with. Or maybe, due to your upbringing, and having met a doctor or three, you think ‘Oh this person is way too boring or straight for me’. ERA Magazine Autumn 2021  21


Before we’ve had a chance to really get to know the person, we already think we know them, because our mind has created an imaginary person in our head, based on our existing beliefs. And then we project these ideas of who we think they are, onto them. If for example, when this person said to you, ‘I’m a doctor’, your initial thought was, ‘This person is totally out of my league, they’ll never go for me’. Then you might start unconsciously acting disinterested or saying and doing things that sabotage your connection with that person, and as a result, this person stops calling. It’s not that this person was actually out of your league – no-one is out of your league – this person did a runner, because you started acting weird or aloof, due to your beliefs about doctors. This is how powerful we are in creating the experience we have with other people. It’s also how powerful we are in creating the experience we have with money. If your beliefs about money are of a negative nature, money will reflect this right back at you. In this sense, your experience with money is an exact mirror image of the beliefs you hold about it. The thing is, money is not good or bad or available or not available; it only shows up this way for us, because of our beliefs about it. Beliefs that have been directly handed down to us from our parents and carers, who received their beliefs from their parents and carers. Unfortunately, however, what most people believe about money, is not true. 22  ERA Magazine Autumn 2021

These beliefs have nothing to do with money and everything to do with our past. What our parents said to us about money, how they acted around money are all demonstrations of their beliefs. As children, we are very impressionable, we learn very quickly, and we learn best from the people we spend the most time with. What we learn, is not always helpful. In fact, many of the beliefs you will have adopted from your parents, will be causing you pain in one or more areas of your life. Now this is not a reason to get angry at your parents for handing down dodgy beliefs that have tainted your experiences with money. I share this information so you know why you’re having difficulties with money, so you can change the beliefs, and thus, rewrite your money story into a love story.

How do beliefs work? We all have thoughts, lots of them, pretty much all of the time. These thoughts create specific feelings in our body. Those feelings inspire us to take certain actions or make specific decisions. It’s these actions and decisions that lead to the results we get in life. What then creates our thoughts? Our beliefs. The beliefs we hold about ourself, the world and money. See the connection? Our beliefs have this domino effect that contribute to us experiencing ease around money and being wealthy, or they can contribute to us experiencing scarcity, lack, never quite having enough – being super stressed about money all the time.


All you need to do is look at your current financial situation – the current results you’re getting around money – and that will let you know if you’re holding onto some limiting money beliefs. Yes, our external experience of life is a dollarfor-dollar reflection of our internal world. What this means is that if, for example, you believe that money is hard to come by, then that’s exactly what you’ll experience. You’re not experiencing it because it’s the truth, you’re experiencing it because that’s what you believe. There are a-million-and-one possible ways money can come to you at any given moment, but if you whole-heartedly believe that money is hard to come by, then you won’t see the opportunities to allow in that money. And if by chance you did see a money-making opportunity, if you believe that you’re not worthy of receiving, then you’d pass it off as something that was out of your reach. This is how our feelings inform our decisions, and result in our outcomes. So you can see how your relationship with money – and the exact figures you have, or don’t have right now – can be directly tracked back to your beliefs. If you want to change your financial situation, and how you feel about your financial situation, then you need to go to the root cause, right? The root cause being your beliefs. That’s where the money problems all began. Yes, it’s your beliefs that script your money story. Sure, you can track your money each month, you can work longer hours to try

and earn more, you can set up a savings account, you can invest in the stockmarket; you can do all of these physical things. Many of them are great actions to do. But if you’re holding onto unhealthy money beliefs, then no matter what physical actions you take around your money, you’ll manage to sabotage yourself time and time again. This is because in order to be a match for money – so money comes into your life in abundant supply – you need to

ERA Magazine Autumn 2021  23


believe positive things about money. You can’t become a money magnet if you have beliefs that go against having money. Believe money is scarce and that will be your experience. Believe you’re not worthy of charging for your services, and you will never get paid for what you do. What’s great about all this though, is that you have the power to change those beliefs, and thus, change your reality. Yes, you can rewrite your money story so you have more money. And you can attract in more money in an honest and authentic way that serves the greater good! There are always unseen ways that we can create or attract in abundance. Nothing is capped. The only problem is your belief that your earning potential is capped; not the job, not the employer, not the state of the economy. If you believe these kinds of things, you were simply misinformed as a child.

Money beliefs that block out abundance There are stacks of money beliefs that cramp our money-making style, but one of the common doozies is: ‘It’s not okay to have money’. Even if you don’t think you feel this way, this view is so pervasive in our culture that you could experience its effects without even realising it. Most people will not allow themselves to be prosperous because deep in their core they’ve been programmed to believe that having money will make them greedy or corrupt or evil. Sure, some rich people are greedy and corrupt and you might consider them 24  ERA Magazine Autumn 2021

evil, just as some poor people are greedy and corrupt. It’s not money that makes people this way. They were that way before they got rich. Money creates more of what you already are. Money may show you a person’s true colours but it doesn’t change that person. If you’re a good person with good intentions, then money will help you do even more good in the world. When a generous, loving person gets rich, they become more generous. It’s far easier to show up and be of service to the world if you’re not worrying about paying your rent or mortgage and putting food on the table. You can use that energy to help others. Yes, having money – and plenty of it – frees your mind so you can live your purpose. Look at Oprah. She’s one of the richest women on the planet, and she’s changed millions of lives. But she wouldn’t have been able to have such a huge positive impact if she’d stayed poor like she was brought up. If you’re a good person, who genuinely wants to create good in the world, then you having money just means you’ll be able to do that in a bigger way, with more ease. Let me say that again, Money simply amplifies what you already have going on. Money doesn’t make you good or bad. It doesn’t have that power over you. It’s just a resource. A tool that can be used for good or bad, depending on the person’s intentions. A hammer works in much the same way. You can hit someone over the head with it, or you can use it to build a house and shelter people.


Which leads me onto a sister belief: ‘I will become less spiritual by having money’. Somehow, somewhere along the way, many of us got the memo that it’s not spiritual to be rich, especially if you’re a moral, spiritual, service-oriented person. There’s a cultural thought virus that tells us that if we want to be a good person we must sacrifice our own needs for the needs of others. There’s a major flaw in this way of thinking. The universe is abundant. A part of being spiritual is tapping into all of the beautiful qualities available to us, including abundance. There are hundreds of trillions of dollars in the economy. What that means, is that there is more than enough money for everyone who is willing to receive money into their lives. You having more money doesn’t prevent anyone else from having it. This is scarcity thinking that’s based in fear. The fact is, when you have more money, it means you have more to share with others. You can be a positive role model for others where you inspire them into a healthy relationship with money. A relationship with money where they feel confident to invest in their business venture, or pursue a career that perhaps in the past, they’ve been too scared to explore. You having money is a win–win for everyone involved. You can make a much greater and more sustainable contribution to other people’s health, happiness and prosperity when you have enough of these things in your own life to have surplus to give to others. When we sacrifice our own

The universe is abundant. A part of being spiritual is tapping into all of the beautiful qualities available to us, including abundance. wellbeing in the hopes that our sacrifice will help someone else, we just get two broke people. If we look at health, one person getting sick doesn’t help others suffering with illness. Being sad doesn’t help pull someone else out of depression. Losing all your money doesn’t help people in poverty. And being hungry doesn’t help feed the starving. If you want to help people, you need to help yourself first, so you have more to give. And having money means you can give more. It’s like oxygen in the universe. By taking a big inhale you’re not depriving the next person of a full breath. Next doozy belief? ‘Money’s not important’. Now people who say money is not important tend to follow this up with statements like, ‘Oh my health is more important than money’. But this isn’t an either or situation. You can have both. You don’t say, ‘Oh my arm is more important than my leg’. You accept that you can have both and they both play important roles in your life. So it is with money. You can have money and great health and love, and whatever else you want, if you’re super clear on why you want it. ERA Magazine Autumn 2021  25


All of these things are important. And money is important, because we live in a world where money is the main form of exchange. Just as the air we breath is a resource we require to live in this physical world, so too is money. If you believe money is not important, then the simple truth is, you won’t have much of it. It goes without saying, if you want money to support you, you want to release beliefs like, ‘I only need enough money to get by’. While that may be the case, you are not here to just get by. You are here to thrive. By believing you only need enough to get by, you’re essentially rejecting money. Rejecting the full abundance of who you are, and in doing so, stopping money flow. Let’s go back to the breath. If there was limited air supply you would be constantly shallow breathing, your cells wouldn’t get oxygenated properly and that would impact the quality of your life. It’s same with money. Why limit it to just enough, when there is more than enough, more than enough for you to have an abundant supply of it.

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Let’s look at one more belief: ‘I’m a failure’. If you believe you’re a failure, that nothing seems to go your way, no matter how hard you try, this will be reflected in your relationship with money. If you’re worried about being disappointed by your efforts not bearing fruit, don’t be. When you give something a go, you either get the result you want, or you get a lesson. If you pay attention to the lesson, then it will help guide you to the desired result. So, in that way, you can never fail. You’ll either get the results you want around money or you’ll get super valuable lessons that are all designed to help you get closer to the results you want. Maybe a project fell on its head. Maybe you lost a


lot of money in that process. Great! ­This has shown you what not to do, next time you take on a similar project. These kinds of learnings are gold! You know all the people who make a lot of money? They didn’t get there by giving up. They got there by falling over, stumbling, tripping up LOTS of times, and then finally figuring out the perfect way to make things work for them. Like a child learning to walk, they need to fall over numerous times, before they comfortably find their stride. It’s the same with money. It’s a learning process. The only way you can lose out is if you don’t try in the first place. Any action is better than no action at all. Because remember, you’ll either get the result you want, or get a learning to help you get the result you want.

Money is not the problem, your beliefs are Believing in lack or limitation is what limits us and our earning potential. If you want to transform your relationship with money – so that you feel good about money and money flows into your life in one continuous, easeful stream – then you need to be willing to let go of what you previously believed about money. And that starts with kindly questioning what you currently believe about money. As hard as your mind will try to justify and cling onto these old beliefs, know that anything that makes you feel fearful or constricted around money or life, is not serving you. Releasing these beliefs is

important, not only because they hurt you and hold you back in life, it’s important because they’re not true. These beliefs are essentially errors in the script of your money story, that prevent you from living happily right now. The kinds of beliefs you want to adopt around money are ones that are based in love and make you feel expansive. Beliefs like ‘There is always more than enough for me’, ‘There is plenty more where that came from’, ‘I am worthy of living an abundant love-rich life’, ‘Life is full of abundant possibilities’, ‘Money flows to me from anywhere and everywhere’, ‘I serve therefore I deserve’, or come up with your own. Try them on and see how they feel in your body. The truth is, money wants to be there for you, in abundance! But in order for that to happen, you need to be willing to take a radically new approach to how you treat money. You need to be willing to stop hating on money and start treating it the way you would treat something you truly valued and respected. If you do this, you’ll start to realise that money isn’t the baddy you may have perceived it to be, but simply a reflection of what you believe about it. Change what you believe about money, and you can rewrite the script of your money story into the love story that you are so worthy of starring in! Listen to the FREE Money Magnetism meditation and learn how to rewrite your money story at www.gettingnaked.com.au/ money-and-me ERA Magazine Autumn 2021  27


ASK THE EXPERT

Finance MICHELLE GRIFFITHS

www.tagfinancial.com.au Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is general in nature. Professional advice should be sought before acting on any aspect of this article. Financial planning services are provided by TAG Financial Advisors Pty Ltd (ABN 77 154 205 017 AFSL 415632).

Q What is the difference between an industry super and a self-managed super fund? A Superannuation is superannuation, and the legislation, rules and regulations around it are the same regardless if you are an industry fund, retail fund or SelfManaged Superannuation Fund (SMSF).

Industry Fund

The tax deductions available and rules about whether you can take money out of superannuation are the same across all these superannuation styles. The key differences between the superannuation products available, how they are run and who runs them are set out in the table below.

Retail Fund

SMSF

Who are the trustees / controllers?

Board of Directors of the Trustee Company.

You (every member must be a trustee).

How many members?

Varies between funds – but there are often thousands of members.

Can have between 1–4 members (legislation to increase this to 6 members is pending).

How are fees calculated?

Often there is a minimal member fee and then a fee calculated based on the amount of your balance (often around 0.7%–1.2%).

Most often there is a fixed fee for the accounting, tax and audit functions – beyond that it depends on what you are investing in.

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Industry Fund

Retail Fund

SMSF

Can I direct where my money is invested?

Yes – but to a limited extent. Usually there may be 4–10 options of pre-mixed investment alternatives for you to choose from.

Yes – and the nature of retail funds is that they have far more options available for investments. You could go as far as to select specific fund managers or even a direct share portfolio if you wish.

Yes – this is the ultimate in investment choice. You can invest in managed funds, direct shares, property, or other investment types. If you go beyond ‘traditional’ investments then you need to check with your advisor if this is allowed as there are strict rules that must be followed.

Can I borrow to buy a property in a Superannuation Fund?

Technically yes – but there are no Industry or Retail funds that will allow you to do this.

Yes – There is a lot involved to do this, but there are also some great benefits as well. You need to be clear about what you want, how much you can borrow, understand the process and have a specialist advisor helping you. You cannot rent a residential property to family members if owned in a SMSF.

Will my employer pay into this fund?

Yes – this is often the default option by many employers, and the fund can provide you with the information that your employer will need.

Yes – the super fund will have the notification forms for you to be able to provide to your employer.

Yes – generally an employer will be fine to do this (and in fact must do this under the new superannuation choice rules). However, you need to have the fund set up correctly and provide the employer with the information they need so they can report this as part of their payroll.

Can I have a financial advisor assist me with investment decisions?

Yes – however, Industry funds will generally not pay for external advisors. They may have some limited advice available through the Fund – but this is generally not comprehensive advice.

Yes – and your advisor may also be paid from your superannuation monies (within some limits). This is often a good way of getting advice which is more holistic.

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Q What is the best superannuation for someone who is self-employed? A There is no easy answer, as it is a very personal decision. When considering this, some of the important factors include: • Your superannuation balance • Your age • Your plans, including superannuation contributions, retirement/pension expectations • The level of investment choices that you would like to have, and if you plan to make these investment decisions yourself or have a financial advisor assist you • Your ability to manage the administrative functions of a SMSF (which does take a bit of work – but certainly does not have to be overly onerous if set up properly). Talking with a financial advisor can help with narrowing down your options and understanding the respective costs of the alternatives. A good rule of thumb is that a SMSF is not usually economically viable if you have less than $500,000, unless

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you have a particular strategy that you want to adopt that you can only do in a SMSF. Whilst this guideline is useful, it is not a one-size-fits-all solution and it is best to talk to an expert to discuss your plans and objectives. Resources that might be helpful Download our Simple Guide to SelfManaged Super Funds https://mailchimp/ tagfinancial.com.au/tag-smsf-guide Want to learn about what is involved in running a Self-Managed Super Fund? Watch our 40 minute Trustee Training Webinar https://tagfinancial.webinarninja.com/ live-webinars/675889/register?in_ tok=690dcea4-5f07-4ed1-858726436c97ee78 Some easy reading blogs Buying a property in Super https://www.tagfinancial.com.au/blog/ buying-property-in-super/ Industry Funds – how do they compare? https://www.tagfinancial.com.au/blog/ fee-increase-for-industry-funds/


Design 2 Feng Shui When your home or business is aligned, by focussing on harnessing the natural energy flow within a building and the environment, then prosperity arises. When we can understand the self through our own potentials given to us at birth, our background, talents, relationships, health, successes & challenges, then personal prosperity arises. Tina Curro founded Design 2 Feng Shui in 2008 and is an accredited Classical Feng Shui consultant, speaker, and teacher. She is based in Melbourne, Australia. Trained in Classical Feng Shui and an Accredited Member of the Association of Feng Shui Consultants (AFSC), Tina provides Classical Feng Shui consulting services for homes and businesses, personal Chinese Astrology readings and Auspicious Date Selection. Tina also founded the Design 2 Feng Shui Academy, dedicating her teachings to Chinese Astrology (Four Pillars of Destiny) training program, Feng Shui Practitioners Training program, and a 2 Day Basic Feng Shui Program. All programs are recognised by the Association of Feng Shui Consultants (AFSC) and the International Institute of Complementary Therapies (IICT).

Training Programs begin in March 2021, see www.design2fenghsui.com.au/courses for dates and schedule plan.

Phone 0409 795 664 Facebook: Design2FengShui Instagram: @design2fenghsui

www.design2fengshui.com.au


We all have the ability to transform ourselves and with it, a direct link to create anything


Removing the need for money in business without compromising heart and soul BY KIM PLATZER How can you remove the need for money and still be aligned in business? This is a question that prompted a group of businesswomen to breathe a sigh of relief. Finally, the subject of money and business became an open book for what many women consider to be a taboo subject. In many households, women were raised not to discuss money. Traditionally, men would earn the weekly wage and be revered as the breadwinner. A woman’s business was viewed as a hobby, creating (spending) money while raising the family. Little value was placed on her need for independence, even if the extra cash saved the family from going without. Unfortunately, some antiquated beliefs still exist in the subconscious mind, gently triggered whenever a bill needs paying or raising prices is considered. Our deepest feelings awaken to release beliefs masquerading as apprehension, anxiety

and logic. No-one will pay for that, better keep it as it is, or I will give my all and charge little so I feel validated in my worth. Before long, an emotional connection between feeling and thought leads to an alltoo-common outcome. The fantastic idea becomes a failure to thrive and grow the business, as the commitment to keep going becomes overshadowed by the need to make money instead of expanding the passion and purpose towards abundance in all forms. Excuses such as, it’s too hard, the economy is down, or people don’t want what I have to offer, becomes the self-talk preceding the final straw. The mind, body and soul take on a new wave of perception, translated into a sad realisation that the business cannot go on. The inspired dream of creative freedom and financial independence is merely an out of reach goal. The desire and drive for success dissipates, and the potential for a thriving business enterprise is lost. ERA Magazine Autumn 2021  33


Don’t let this happen. It is time to strip back the need for money and embrace your worth, beginning with the conversation between you and the Divine/Universe. THE CONVERSATION BETWEEN YOU AND THE DIVINE/UNIVERSE All of us are transmitters for thought, feeling, and emotion. These held experiences then transpire to beliefs, fears, and uncertainty, creating the signal for what we send out and receive. What we hold onto within, becomes our signal that we transmit out. Have you ever met someone that gives you an instant feeling of sadness, anger, or joy before you have even gotten to know them? This instant feeling is the sensory connection we make. It is the indicator of the signal we hold and receive from others. The same applies when you walk into a room; you may feel a vibe without knowing why. It may be that a wonderful event or trauma has occurred previous to you walking in, and the residual energy remains to create a signal for anyone who enters. The signal we project does not discriminate. It does not depend on how good or bad you have been; it relies on the feelings that you align with. For example, the mental or emotional relationship with money can significantly trigger and affect the signal we transmit. This determines success from failure. 34  ERA Magazine Autumn 2021

It is not enough to just think good thoughts. Thought is linked to the mental aspect of our being, which is fueled by feeling and emotion. It becomes necessary to strip back the actual thought to reveal the alignment of feeling and emotion. The emotions we harbour towards money become suppressed when we are not able or wanting to discuss them. Instead, we create a belief and emotional attachment that may encompass anger and resentment, and this results in a disassociation from abundance. Such emotions may be viewed as unfavorable and therefore are pushed down into the depths of our deep, dark vault in the hope of never being seen. What would be healthy, is to look at the emotions as an opportunity to examine the relevance towards our view on money. This valuable insight will instigate healing the relationship with money, and in turn, altering the signal to the Divine/Universe. BE IN THE FLOW OF RECEIVING Archetypes represent characteristics that flow into the world as an expression of the individual and how they wish to be perceived. Many women lead with the archetype of giving outwardly to the world, often at a cost to themselves. Such traits may be recognised as: nurturer, mother, caregiver, damsel, lover or healer. To give is wonderful; to receive is a necessity. Unfortunately, women are taught to give, while receiving is considered selfish. The personal cost of giving with lack of reciprocation will drain the energy system leaving the individual with physical side


effects including lack of energy, impacted self-worth – no one loves me, emotional heartache and the thought form of giving is better than receiving. The impact on business is to give all you can, while the profits (if any) are minimal. The signal that is aligned with the Divine/Universe is to give, give, give and therefore experiences and opportunities are created that honour that signal. The Universe is giving what you have asked for. Hopefully, the time has come to alter the signal and be aligned with a balance of give and receive. We always hurt the one we love most – ourselves. The negative self-talk, the lack of nurturing or following what we want, often comes last, if at all. Use these steps to begin altering your signal: • Take some deep breaths, clear the mind, relax the body, and focus on what you love unconditionally. Allow the feeling of love to move into your heart space. • Be aware of the body’s reaction to love. It may incite tears or physical response. Let it flow. • Let the love you feel come back to you. See it, feel it, emote it, but above all, allow it to enter your being. Changing the signal for receiving takes repetition. The mind is strong and so is the will. Altering the core of your being will unravel any fear of money you may have. This fear is often hand in hand with the fear of your power. We all have the ability to transform ourselves and with it, a direct link to create anything. It is integral that the mind is open to shifting the signal of heart and matter.

THE MINDSET SHIFT The best way to begin shifting how we think about money is to start talking about it. Find friends or networking groups of women that are like-minded and have successful businesses. Open a discussion regarding beliefs about money. Do the old sayings resonate, money is the root of all evil, no one rich died happy, you cannot be spiritual and be accepting of money at the same time. Talking about something creates change and allows us to view our perceptions and beliefs around money and abundance. Help yourself by understanding and learning about money and business. Many organisations will provide free information sessions and documents about all facets of finance. Business mentors for women are available and can assist with financial planning. Above all, write a post-it note on the bathroom mirror as a reminder that ignorance is not bliss, education eliminates fear. By aligning your feelings with your emotions and mind, you will transform the signal that you are sending outwards. New experiences with business and life will emerge as if out of nowhere. It is the Divine/Universe honouring your core creative ability, altering the conversation and signal to be an open line that is ready to receive. www.thebusinesssuccessclairvoyant.com.au ERA Magazine Autumn 2021  35


Polpette with Pomodoro Sauce

RECIPE BY NADIA FRAGNITO

Polpette (meatballs) are traditionally made with ground meat. Of course, you could use a store-bought vegan mince, but I love the rich texture and health benefits of walnuts. Not only are these polpette simple to make, they’re also nutritious and oil-free. If you’d prefer a completely oil-free dish, infuse the garlic in the passata instead of frying in oil. MAKES 15-20 POLPETTE | 40 MINUTES

INGREDIENTS Walnut Polpette 2 cups walnuts 2 slices of sandwich bread 1 tablespoon ‘beef’ style vegan stock powder 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes handful of fresh parsley few drops of liquid smoke (optional)

Pomodoro Sauce 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 cloves garlic, finely sliced 700g tomato passata ½ teaspoon salt few basil leaves (optional)

METHOD Polpette In a food processor, pulse walnuts and bread briefly. Add remaining ingredients and process until it begins to resemble mince. With the processor still running, pour in ¼ cup of water. The mixture should now be moist and malleable. Preheat oven to 180°C. Roll the mixture into balls the size of a walnut shell and place on a large oven tray lined with baking paper. Bake for 25 minutes and carefully turn over half way through. Meanwhile, make the Pomodoro sauce.

Pomodoro sauce In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over a low-medium heat and add the garlic. Allow the garlic to infuse for 1-2 minutes, stirring often, ensuring it doesn’t brown. Stir through the passata, salt and basil leaves. Cover and simmer over a low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once out of the oven, drop the Polpette gently into the Pomodoro Sauce and simmer on low for 5 minutes so the Polpette soak up the liquid. Remove from the heat and stir through your favourite pasta or enjoy on their own as a side dish.

COOKING TIP These can easily be made gluten free – simply replace with slices of your favourite gluten free bread or breadcrumbs. ERA Magazine Autumn 2021  37


BENEFITS OF A RETREAT Rest, reflect and relax BY SUE WILLIAMS What a wonderful opportunity to step back from your everyday life to ~ find time for yourself and time for rest ~ nourish your soul and learn new skills ~ gain new perspectives and clarity in life ~ connect with an amazing new tribe of friends Retreat life is a blend of educational, therapeutic and leisure activity away from the noise and distraction of your everyday family responsibilities. You are cared for and nurtured in a safe and respectful environment, where you have your meals cooked for you and the washing up done! Retreats assist you to find your own personal time, as well as spending time with

other like-minded people, creating a wonderful new tribe to belong to. Retreats allow you to connect with your true self. You get time to stop, reflect and breathe. You begin to inhale the positive vibes that come from being in holiday mode, and exhale all the self-sabotaging beliefs that keep you bogged down in life. Experiencing the magical days away in a peaceful location and being led by professionals in their field, your retreat will provide you with lifelong memories, lessons, clarity and friendships; assisting you in your journey of growth and prosperity.


Walking gently on the planet THE JOURNEY TO SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS IS A TEAM EFFORT THE POINT OF WALKING


The journey to sustainable business is a team effort BY DANIEL STARCEVICH As environmental awareness improves in our community, the benefits of operating your business sustainably continue to grow. With over 90%1 of Australians concerned about the environment and sustainability, the market for sustainable business is there, and targeting it can be a profitable venture, as well as being an ethical one.

Image by Michael G Spafford


Through reassessing your procurement, and shifting to sustainably sourced and delivered products, you can greatly improve the environmental footprint of your business. Shifting to environmentally-friendly suppliers can be a daunting prospect at the best of times, let alone during the challenging climate we currently find ourselves in. However, the success stories for business in this area are numerous and the financial and environmental benefits are well worth the effort. When approaching sustainable procurement, maintaining clear communication and strong business relationships with your suppliers and stockists is an essential step for success. Teresa Dominik, Mentoring Leadership Coordinator at Plastic Oceans Australasia, recounts a success story from her career in reducing plastic waste. In her experience in local council, orders of furniture such as chairs always meant large volumes of plastic. The mountains of bubble wrap filling up the rubbish bins was also a source of tension in the office. In engaging with the supplier, they were able to see a transition away from single-use plastic to reusable fabric packaging which saved waste and possibly even money for the supplier in the long run. You may prove to be the first to broach the subject of sustainability with your suppliers, but with the majority of businesses wanting to be more sustainable2, you can be reassured that you’re more likely to be met with enthusiasm than not. 42  ERA Magazine Autumn 2021

When pursuing sustainable changes to your procurement, it’s important to be thorough and informed. First, it’s important to have a clear idea of your current processes of purchasing and of any problem areas. The more quantitative you can be when assessing your supplies, the more you’ll understand which areas present the greatest opportunities for improvement. Using invoices, receipts, or bin audits will allow you to track products on a unit basis. It’s also important to consider the whole lifecycle of your products, from production, to transportation, to disposal. Should a product be problematic at any stage of its usage, it may be worth investigating an alternative. Whether you’re working with your existing supplier or looking elsewhere, finding sustainable products can be challenging. The first stumbling block is often that sustainable alternatives are not necessarily well publicised. To alleviate this, you may be best to start at a specialist environmental store such as Biome or Flora & Fauna. Such stores aggregate ecofriendly products and can give you a good indication of available alternatives. Having established your options, the next challenge is choosing between them. Here are some important factors to consider. COST Assessing the cost of the products over time is an important first step. Sustainable products can occasionally be


a pricier option to begin with, but through re-use will often work out cheaper in the long run. AVAILABILITY Among those that are available to you, it’s worth prioritising products that are produced locally and can be purchased in bulk. This will help you reduce transport emissions and packaging waste. DISPOSAL Disposal of products is an important factor in their environmental footprint. It’s important to ensure that you have access to the proper facilities to dispose of potential products correctly. For example, compostable bioplastics are a popular alternative to petroleum plastics. However, you should only consider these products if you can be certain that they will be properly composted at the end of their use. Bioplastics will often behave similarly to regular plastics in landfill and in the environment, posing the same risks to wildlife and human health. It’s also important to thoroughly assess the sustainability of potential alternatives, to ensure that you’re not simply replacing one problem with another. Significant facets to assess include water use, energy use, forestry, transportation, animal welfare, and ethical labour. An easy way to assess these is to look for reputable certifications such as B Corp, FSC, or Fairtrade. Businesses will often advertise other initiatives that they’re undertaking, such

as using recycled marine debris or donating profits, and you can use this information as part of your research. Although, it is important to approach these claims with a critical eye as greenwashing—making unsubstantiated sustainability claims—is unfortunately quite common. Ultimately, the decision you make will come down to your values, your budget, and your circumstances, and (with some healthy scepticism) you should be able to find a sustainable product that suits you. There are also a number of support systems that can help you along the way. You can foster greater support for your organisation by communicating your success, internally and with the public. Social media is a great, cost-effective mode of communication, but posters and displays around your workplace can be just as effective. Environmental messaging will be a powerful tool in your marketing and can open your business to new markets. Similarly, just as you may use certifications and awards to choose your products, you can use these certifications to market your business. Community organisations such as Responsible Cafés will advertise sustainable businesses in their database to reward positive measures, while government and industry awards will publicise your innovative sustainability initiatives. Seeking out financial support can also help to get your ideas off the ground. Local councils and philanthropic organisations can provide seed funding ERA Magazine Autumn 2021  43


through various sustainability and small business grants. A number of organisations catalogue available grants, the Australian Government maintains a Grants & Programs page which filters available grants to your circumstances and Business Australia makes a business grant finder available with a free membership. Finally and potentially the most important step, is to be persistent and patient, both with yourself and others. We’re all becoming very conscious of how pressing the dangers of environmental degradation can be. This can mean that we’re very anxious to do better quickly. This is a good instinct, but it’s important not to allow yourself to be overwhelmed by the challenge. Because it’s so easy to become disheartened when you feel like you’re not making progress, it’s vital that you set yourself realistic goals, acknowledge the scale of the challenge you’re tackling, and celebrate the little wins. Overall, the journey to sustainable business is a team effort. In working with your suppliers, stockists and customers, you’ll be able to make amazing progress in driving positive social change. Although the process will no doubt be challenging, if you maintain clear communication, strong relationships and aren’t too hard on yourself, you’ll be well on your way to success.

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REFERENCES 1. https://breakdownthebeast.com/report. pdf 2. https://environmentjournal.online/ articles/majority-of-business-ownerswant-to-be-more-environmentallysustainable/ www.plasticoceans.org.au


The Point of

Walking BY SU RULE

Practicing Taoist exercises in the beautiful Birdsland Reserve in the hills outside of Melbourne, our attention is drawn to our inner state of being, and our connection to the environment.


The class brings our being into relationship with the earth as we often stop to listen to the birds, to feel the sun and shade, to notice a small flower beneath our feet. We move gently, breathe quietly. We feel with all our senses and finish each session with a sense of wellbeing and connectedness, immersed in our natural environment. Body, mind, and soul merging as one to clear blockages, to feel fluid, and to feel a part of this revolving planet. It is quite a conundrum to me to see so many people exercising in the park and totally missing this aspect and this connection. Headphones on, phones in hand or pocket; talking, messaging, organising; carrying noise wherever they go. We are not going to waste a second of the day, are we? I can make seven work calls in the time it takes to walk around the track. I’ll call Mum, cancel the nail appointment, and ring the school, while I’m out walking. I’ll do six laps today and see if I’m any faster than yesterday on my fit watch. Focus, people! We have become obsessed with the physical and disregard the other two thirds of our life here on earth – mind and soul. Not to mention our dismissal of the rest of the earth’s inhabitants (plant and animal) as surplus to our needs. Our very being remains in this state of disconnection even when we are invited to connect. All the 46  ERA Magazine Autumn 2021

Leave the human world to its own devices for a while signs are pointing clearly, even to the point that alarm bells are going off regularly! It’s all about time and numbers, when we need to recognise it’s all about time and quality. We are now so attuned to the norms of gyms and fitness centres, that we believe loud music, mind-numbing TV shows, and constant chatter must accompany any form of exercise. Not so! One day, leave your headphones, mobile phone and fit watch in the car. Leave the human world to its own devices for a while. Take an hour to walk just once around the track. Sit quietly for a time; walk slowly; look, feel, smell, and touch the forest, dip a toe in the creek. When you get back to the car, think about how you feel. Compare this walk to previous walks. Compare this walk to your post-gym trauma. Try making this a regular part of your exercise routine, turn everything off and become connected to the earth again. Your world will still be there when you get back, but perhaps you will have a better perspective of that world in body, mind, and soul. www.chigeneration.com.au


Business Advice EIGHT POST-PANDEMIC TRENDS FOR A BETTER WORKSPACE MAKE WORKING FROM HOME WORK SAY IT PLAIN, SAY IT CLEAR, SAY IT EASY ASK THE EXPERT – WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT COACH FINDING THE SWEET SPOT


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Eig­ht postpandemic trends for a better workspace at home By Kirby Roper As we reflect on our collective lockdown, many of us have discovered precisely what works and what doesn’t when it comes to working from home. One thing we’ve noticed is that iso has expanded everyone’s understanding of working from home. Now that almost everyone, including CEOs and HR experts have experienced this, most work from home stigmas and prejudices have been debunked. Yes, there are pros and cons, but perceptions that people aren’t productive or that they are somehow less committed to their job when working from home have been tossed aside.

Photo by Jacqui Henshaw

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As architects, it’s our job to think about the future; after all, we design homes to last for generations, not just for a year or two. So, how do we contribute to the work from home movement? What are the better ideas for homes and design that respond to changing work, social, cultural, and physical needs in the current climate? Here is our pick of eight trends we think define better workspaces at home. 1 Biophilia + wellbeing Our wellbeing is intimately linked to connecting with nature. Mental health has never been as topical as it was in 2020. We expect to see a resurgence of interest in external spaces, especially private external spaces that connect with interiors. Greenery, natural light, and ventilation can be introduced via often-overlooked spaces such as a lightwell, balcony, verandah or courtyard. Incorporating these elements into the home office is especially beneficial for reducing stress and fatigue. Windows that open, views to nature and window coverings that control heat, glare and privacy are also essential to include in your brief if you plan to improve your home office. 2 Private workspace Separating work and family life was a challenge in 2020. Having a separate room, with physical and acoustic privacy, has become essential to a successful and satisfying work from home experience. 50  ERA Magazine Autumn 2021

The trend for touchdown spaces and informal workspaces has been turned on its head. In 2021 we expect strong demand for well-designed, compact but physically separate work areas, so you can work and Zoom in private, away from the family. A separate space means closing the door at the end of the day and refocussing on family time. We acknowledge that for many of us, a positive aspect of working from home was more time with partners, kids and four-legged friends. 3 The blended week In 2021 and onwards, the reality is most of us will spend some days at the ‘officeoffice’. We think the 2:3 approach, with two days in the office and three at home or vice versa, is likely to be the new norm. With a blended week scenario, it’s possible to desk share at home, so that everyone in the household can access that coveted private focus space. In that case, good storage will be vital to allow everyone to keep track of their personal tech devices, notes, paperwork, and other tools. Speaking of paperwork, has anyone else noticed that without ready access to the office photocopier/printer, the use of paper and printing has plummeted? A fantastic win for the environment and the trees. 4 Hello family Now that working from home is for everyone, not just for working mothers, it’s been lovely seeing men enjoying more time with their children. The flexibility


to throw some hoops at lunchtime or being home for bath time is priceless. For women, less time commuting often translates to less pressure. However, with everyone at home, the juggling act that so many mothers experience intensifies. Saying no to endless requests for snacks and attention can be hard. If possible, arrange your workspace away from the kitchen in a separate setting with a door that you can close. If that’s not possible right now, pop in earphones as a visual way to say ‘do not disturb’. By the way, we are curious to see what this experience will mean for the children who have now actually seen their parents working. Quite possibly, this is the first generation in well over a century who have been present in the workplace. Time will tell what this generation make of how we go about our jobs in the 21st century. More changes could be afoot as the younger generation work out better ways to arrange their work lives.

effortless. The payoff is our home desk can be smaller. And when the lid is shut on the laptop at day’s end, it’s a clear signal to all the family that the working day is done. You can even pop the laptop into a draw or cupboard if a clean, uncluttered work surface is important to you.

Photo by Jacqui Henshaw

5 Tech change Did anyone else notice people struggling to move bulky tech equipment, monitors and the like at the start of lockdown? We are freer to adapt our work habits when our tech equipment is smaller. The desktop computer has been an endangered species at home for a while now, but maybe the days of rows of desktops in offices will be over soon too. If we adopt a blended week, taking the laptop or tablet home needs to be ERA Magazine Autumn 2021  51


6 Whose responsibility? We’ve been assisting the Association of Consulting Architects (ACA) to consider some practical implications of working from home. Remember the scramble for monitors, decent chairs, desk space and upping the internet data package as we all went Zoom. Many of us were thrown in the deep end when lockdown arrived. When setting up our staff to work from home, we devised this simple TEST approach with a scale of 1–10. When working from home is optional, this test gives a metric to determine whether working remotely is doable. a. Task Define the task and outcomes. b. Expectations Agree what are the office expectations around working flexibly, how will they be achieved and identify the essential skills that are needed. c. Scale Assess the size of the task – is it doable while working flexibly? d. Talk Commit to regular communication, use whatever channel suits you – teams, Zoom, email, phone, etc. Ours is a small business, and we trusted our staff to take equipment to their home. We made sure they had an ergonomic chair at home, even if we had to buy them one. Whether our team are in our studio, on site, or working from home, a safe workplace is essential all of the time. Also, it’s worth checking how your insurer covers equipment that is not at the official work premises. 7 What’s the routine? The private self and professional self are now a bit blurred. One of the lovely things 52  ERA Magazine Autumn 2021

has been that little Zoom window into people’s homes; we feel we know them a little better now that we can see their bookshelf, the pictures on the wall, and the small personal details of home. In return, you have opened up your home to the world a little. You may find that showing a space that is calm, organised and friendly does wonders for your reputation. The downside of all this flexibility and accessibility is that it can be hard to know when to switch off. As architects, we embrace the discipline of timesheets. The benefit of timesheets is that they make the working hours visible and remind us when it’s time to turn off. 8 Evolve and repeat We’ve learnt to change so fast. We have all amazed ourselves, haven’t we? If iso has taught us anything, it’s that we can have confidence in ourselves knowing that if we have to change, we can do it. We can do things better; we can learn fast and direct our attention with energy, curiosity and the focus to do our work in a new way. Successfully. Overall, we can feel proud that we’re getting along better, we’re kinder and a bit more patient. When we need to, we love that we can put down our work and take a walk, do a few exercises, breathe, stare out the window or get up and have a play with the dog or the kids. Hopefully, we will all stay well, mentally, physically and financially as we put our trust in ourselves and the future. heather@121design.com.au


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Make working from home work BY SONYA MURPHY Working from home can be a great thing when it comes to having flexibility and a sense of freedom, especially if you have young children or family responsibilities. But how does it work, really?

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I started working from home 34 years ago, when my first child was born. In those days, if you were an employee, working from home was not an option. The technology wasn’t available to allow it. Even in current times, with the technology at our fingertips, working from home wasn’t an option for most, until the pandemic hit in 2020. It was then that working from home became commonplace. With the recent easing of workplace restrictions here in Victoria, many still choose to continue working from home, for at least part of the week. When I became a mother I had to make a decision about work. Do I have my baby cared for by someone else, most likely my mum, or start my own business and set up a home office. From the time I entered the workforce I had dreamed of working from home. The decision was easy. I was going to become a business owner. I wanted to continue doing the work I loved, so my only option was to purchase a computer. Computers in those days were very expensive, and in the publishing industry, the computers used were specific for that use. I spent half the cost of a house at the time on that computer, and yet I had no print facilities. To buy the backend of that computer to allow printing, I would have had to spend more money than I could afford or was willing to spend. One font— think Helvetica Roman—cost in the vicinity of $150, so to own just one font with roman, italic, bold, and bold italic was a $600 investment.

That was double my husband’s weekly wage at the time. Studios who operated on a large scale back in those days would invest hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars into their equipment. I was one woman, who just wanted to work from home. I had no vision of building the business into anything larger than that. I felt the fear, and moved ahead with my plans. Soon I was working from a corner in our dining room. It was somewhere I could keep an eye on my baby while she was awake and still hear her cry when she was in her cot for a nap. Luckily, she was an easy baby. I was living the dream. Not making a huge amount of money, but enough to help the household budget. I worked when I could and looked after my baby. Life was good. Two years later, our second child was born. Things became a little more difficult with two young children. I had to juggle my time between childcare and work. I managed, albeit sleep deprived. Before I knew it the girls were both at school and I was free to work during the day. It was then that the business began to grow. I would drop the girls off at school, work during school hours, and again in the evening after they went to bed. I’m sure that routine is familiar to many women who run businesses from home. The benefits of working from home I enjoyed the benefits of my lifestyle. The flexibility that came with working from home was helpful with two school-aged children. I was able to drop them off in the

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morning and pick them up in the afternoon. After school we could talk about any concerns that came up during their day. I was able to attend their school sports days, concerts and even help out in the classroom once a fortnight. Even though my work day may still have been eight hours, I didn’t have to add commute time. It worked perfectly for me. The drawbacks Working from home can be isolating. Juggling work and social life can be difficult, especially if you have friends who don’t work. It’s important to set hours for work and try to stick to those as much as possible. Let your friends and family know what your work hours are and set boundaries around visits and phone calls. Ask that they respect that you are working and not available during those hours. If they need you urgently, at least you can be flexible, but don’t allow interruptions for minor issues. Being alone all day every day can be difficult, especially for extroverts who need to be around people. I am an introvert, so I didn’t mind spending my days alone, however, after several years my communication and conversation skills began to suffer. It’s important to get out and network with people. Networking not only helps your communication skills, the collaborations formed from networking are a boost for business. 56  ERA Magazine Autumn 2021

Handling client meetings and phone calls If you don’t have a dedicated office space it can be difficult to find a quiet place to take calls, especially when there are young children in the house. You can easily be distracted by children while at the same time trying to speak to your clients. Try to time your calls when you can have someone with you who can watch your children. If that’s not possible be open and honest with your clients. Tell them you have your children with you. If you are having a quick conversation most will understand. If you need to have a longer, more in-depth conversation, book a time that will suit you both, when you can have your children minded. If you are a dog owner, try to keep them out of your office. I have had moments during calls when my dogs started barking, or playing with loud squeaky toys. It can be very disruptive. Put the dogs outside, or somewhere else in the house before making your calls. Time management Managing your time while working at home can be difficult. It’s very easy to get distracted by household jobs that need doing, friends dropping in for a visit or even having tradies in the house. Ensure you get all your domestic jobs done out of your work hours. It’s very easy to be distracted by wanting to tidy the kitchen or hang out the washing. You wouldn’t be able to do those things if you were at work, so don’t do them during your working hours at home.


Try to have the same mentality you would if you were working for a boss in a workplace. When you’re at work, you’re at work, don’t let other things distract you. Staying Focused There are many distractions when working from home that you wouldn’t have in the workplace. Find some ways that suit you to help stay focused. • Get dressed! I can’t stress the importance of this enough. Staying in your pjs or trackies all day doesn’t auger well for productivity. You would go to work dressed like that so why would you work at home like that. Getting dressed in work clothes sets your intention that you are going to work. It makes you feel more professional and helps you slip into work mode. • Know when you work best. Some of us are more productive in the morning, others in the evening. Schedule your work hours around your most productive times. • Take frequent breaks. Get outside if you can for a short break. Breathe in the fresh air or go for a short walk. • Schedule your tasks. There are oodles of apps on the market, or get yourself a planner and a nice pen to plan out your days. • Don’t get on social media constantly. There are apps you can use to block certain websites. Use one of those so you can only access social media on breaks, or not at all. They also work on your phone, so you are not tempted to pick that up to take a quick look at your newsfeed.

• Do your least-liked jobs first, as soon as you start work for the day. That way you won’t procrastinate. • Know when to switch off. When you work from home it can be difficult to turn off. This is why it’s so important to set work hours. Get work done in those times, so the rest of the day/evening is yours for the other things you need or want to do. • Don’t forget the importance of self-care, family and friend time, and relaxation. What if you can’t make working from home work Working from home can provide flexibility and freedom and it can work well, but it’s not for everyone. Some need the distinction between work and home, and others need to be around people. If that’s you, there are plenty of options available. Co-working spaces are available in most areas. Some are run by small business owners who get together in local cafes. There are also large, modern office buildings containing co-working spaces springing up all over the place. Often these spaces will have social groups and networking events you can attend. Another option is to approach other small businesses and enquire whether they have spare office space you could rent, or find friends or colleagues to share an office. It may work out more affordable than you think.

www.adalagroup.com.au ERA Magazine Autumn 2021  57


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Say it Plain, say it

Clear, say it Easy BY LESLEY HUMPHREYS

The most effective way to get a message across is to write or speak it, in plain English. Communicating clearly whether writing or speaking uses the same principles. By following the tips below, your writing will be easy to read and your message clear. 1. Keep sentences between fifteen and twenty words and vary sentence and paragraph lengths. 2. Only include one message per sentence. 3. Keep paragraphs succinct, no more than five or six sentences. 4. Do not use unnecessary words, jargon, cliches or overly indulge in academic language. 5. Use the active voice. 6. Plan what you want to say, why you need to say it, and who you need to say it to. Sticking to these six basic principles will ensure your message is not lost in a clutter of unnecessary words or incoherent messages. The harder it is for the reader to plough through the ‘noise’ around your message, the less likely they are to stay engaged. Plain English writing also makes writing easier and less arduous. For some, the practice of plain English writing will mean letting go of long held practices, beliefs and patterns of writing. Let’s have a look at each of these principles in a little more detail.

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1. Keep sentences between fifteen and twenty words and vary sentence and paragraph lengths Any more than twenty words, the reader will have to work harder to stay engaged with the message. Fifteen to twenty words and the message stays clear. Changing the length of sentences will vary the tempo of your writing and will prevent it from becoming stilted. If you are tempted to add a coma, then consider whether you are saying too much in that sentence. Instead, consider using a full stop and starting another sentence. Not all comas are redundant, as in the case of the previous two sentences. However, these sentences still conform to the word count principle of fifteen to twenty words. 2. Only include one message per sentence Applying the word count principle will generally mean compliance with the one message per sentence principle. You will find it nigh on impossible to include any more than one message in a sentence of twenty words or less. Keeping to one message per sentence will minimise the likelihood of the reader becoming overwhelmed, distracted, and potentially disengaged. In this day of information overload and hectic lifestyles, the reader wants the crux of the information or message quickly. 3. Keep paragraphs succinct, no more than five or six sentences As a general rule paragraphs should be kept to no more than five or six sentences. This will minimise the likelihood of the reader being visually overwhelmed by large blocks of text. Paragraphs that are too long or that don’t vary in length can become visually monotonous and overwhelming. In some cases, paragraphs will be quite short and consist of two or three sentences in order to draw the reader in or add emphasis. In other cases, they may be longer as when deeper consideration of the issue is required. 4. Use fewer words Unnecessary or redundant words, jargon, cliches and complex language clutter writing and detract from the key information. Sometimes we use unnecessary words because they have become habit. Sometimes we use them to pad out our writing when: • we don’t have enough important information to communicate;

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• we are trying to say too much or have not filtered out unnecessary information; • we have not ordered our thoughts or planned out what we have to say; • we try to overly impress. The following provides examples of opportunities to reduce wordiness. 4.1 Examples of cliches that should be eliminated because they increase wordiness and can be irritating • With due respect • At the end of the day • Think outside the box • Bring to the table • Moving forward 4.2 Examples of redundant words that should be eliminated Absolutely perfect (‘perfection’ is absolute, we can’t make it any more perfect) Cancel out (‘cancel’ is to cancel out, so don’t need ‘out’) Eliminate altogether (‘eliminate’ means ‘altogether gone’, so altogether is redundant) Consensus of opinion (consensus automatically implies ‘of opinion’) Past experience (experience is in/from the past, so don’t need ‘past’) 4.3 Examples of common ‘turn of phrase’ and a plain English alternative to use instead • As a general rule – generally • At a later date – later • Due to the fact that – because • At this point in time – now • Perform an analysis of – analyse 4.4 Examples of pesky little words that can be ditched by restructuring the sentence. Eliminate ‘of the’ in a sentence . • The captain of the brigade becomes the brigade captain • The chairperson of the committee becomes the committee chairperson • The presenter of the forum becomes the forum presenter

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Eliminate ‘that’ – remove that from the sentence and you will generally find ‘that’ is not necessary. • Cr Maxwell said [that] he would explain council’s requirements • They promised [that] they would complete the survey • She explained [that] the fine had to be paid before she could… 4.5 Eliminate as much jargon as possible. Business, government and academia have their own jargon and acronyms. Unless the reader is familiar with the jargon used, they will have difficulty understanding much or any of what is written. This is why it is important to, as much as possible, eliminate jargon and language that isolates the reader or diminishes their self-esteem. Eliminating jargon will generally require the use of more words, not less. This might seem contrary to the principles of plain English writing where the aim is to use fewer words. However, it is pointless using terminology or ‘catchall’ phrases the reader does not understand. Examples of jargon and the plain English alternatives follow. • Tachycardia – fast heart rate • Capacity – the human and/or financial resources • Capability – the skills and/or the knowledge • Negotiable instrument – a legal document • Benchmarking – comparison with similar organisations, groups of people, etc. 5. Use the active voice In some sectors, in particular the government sector, the passive voice is overused. The passive voice slows writing and reading, requires more words, dulls writing, and is uninspiring. The active voice makes our writing stronger and more direct because it ‘assigns responsibility’ for an action. Generally, sentences written in the passive style will include the word by, they may also be written in the past tense e.g. was or were. However, some will not have these clues. In the active voice: • the doer/person comes first, then the action (the verb), then the object. e.g. The report will be sent out by the council tomorrow, becomes the council (doer) will send (action) the report (object) out tomorrow. 62  ERA Magazine Autumn 2021


• Training will be commenced by ABC Group Training next week, becomes ABC Group Training (doer) will commence (action) training (object) next week. • The policy will be completed by the department by April 1 becomes The department (doer) will complete (action) the policy (object) by April 1. 6. Plan what you want to say, why you need to say it, and who you need to say it to It is essential that adequate time is given to the planning and structuring of writing as well as to the writing itself. Good writing takes time and perseverance, and thoughts and information need to follow in a logical sequence. Start by clarifying or understanding the purpose of your writing. Is it: • to educate, inform, to put at ease, to solve a problem; • to get a decision; • a ‘call to action’; • to entertain. In order to achieve the desired outcome, you need to consider the audience you are writing for. Regardless of the purpose of your writing, take your reader on the journey to the outcome you desire. Next do a head dump of all the considerations/thoughts/information etc. going on in your head or that you need to consider, to achieve this outcome. Don’t worry about structure at this stage. It is good to engage with other people who may have valuable knowledge, information, or expertise about the subject. This way you will get a comprehensive understanding of the scope of the subject you are writing about. Group related issues, ideas, and information together under themes that run through different clusters of information. The next step will be to structure the information so that it logically and clearly takes the reader to where you need them to be. To best understand the needs of your audience, consider: • who your primary, and perhaps your secondary audience is; • the reading/comprehension skills of your reader; • the way your audience best takes in information – short, brief, with diagrams, dot points etc.; ERA Magazine Autumn 2021  63


• what your audience already knows about the subject/issues; • the questions, bias, or concerns you need to address. A note about barriers that prevent clear written communication Barriers preventing clear written communication can be personal, or they can be rooted in the culture of an organisation or industry sector. Some of these barriers will be easier to overcome than others. The most common barriers are: • An organisation culture that is wedded to an outdated style of writing. • No agreed or consistent approach to writing style. Even if you work for yourself, it is important to have a consistent style and approach to writing. For example, is your style conversational or is it more direct/to the point? Is the writing of your content consistent in terms of being in the first, second, or third person? • Fear / risk aversion / reservedness / sense of inadequacy. In many of these cases wordiness can creep into our writing. This might be to hide/disguise the real message or lack of knowledge, or because you are trying to address every eventuality or angle regardless of how insignificant. • I’m not the problem / self-importance / desire to hold the floor. This is where the ego might have to be managed, particularly if we are wedded to a historical style of writing that is difficult to read. • Academia – Academic writing is generally not easy to read, particularly for the lay person. • Not knowing the audience – literacy level, comprehension level, knowledge of subject matter. • Too much to say – too little to say? This can also result in excessive wordiness. In summary if you follow these six basic principles your writing will be easy to read. Importantly your reader will understand what you have written and what you need them to do, if anything. If this is a new way of writing for you, over time you will find writing more enjoyable and far less arduous. www.throughmyeyesbook.com.au 64  ERA Magazine Autumn 2021


Relationship Strengthening Your wedding lasts for one beautiful day, your marriage lasts forever Invest in your forever future, together. – discover your sameness and your differences – explore your family values and backgrounds – different styles of communication – share the views on finances and spirituality Book 2 x 11/2 hour sessions – Special offer $250 for both sessions Daytime and Evening sessions available Christine Pedley – Marriage Celebrant & Social Worker Phone 0474 128 869 christine@soulfulceremonies.com.au

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ASK THE EXPERT

Women’s Empowerment Coach CLAIRE CHANCELLOR www.clairechancellor.com.au As a business owner I’ve always done my best. Having meaningful and life-changing conversations with clients is my passion. However, all too often I look­back on my old Instagram posts or marketing, and think to myself, ‘If only I knew then what I know now. I should have done this better. I should have talked more on this topic.’ I catch myself thinking about the way I should have done things (shoulding all over myself ) and very quickly the guilt pattern sets in. For me, it’s that kick in the guts cringe kind of feeling. That’s the tricky thing with guilt, it creeps in after we have learned all the hard lessons. Eight years ago I studied NLP. It was then that I learned one of the key presuppositions to life – everyone is doing the best they can with the resources they have. This knowledge helps me look back on my early business days with kindness. I was doing the best I could. The question is, what advice would I give a woman starting her own business? Here are the main points. Build your business one conversation at a time. You have this amazing service or product to get out into the world. It’s so easy to go in to overwhelm – where do you even start? 66  ERA Magazine Autumn 2021

Instead of focusing way out there with this massive task, bring your attention to ‘what’s important to me right now’. Is it to pick up the phone to talk to a potential client? Is there a conversation to be had with a web designer? People are driven to connect with one another. If you can find ways to connect with people, one conversation at a time, your business will grow naturally. Focus on the end result of what you want to achieve and reverse engineer. As a woman who likes to be two steps ahead, I found this tip to be liberating. When you have a big goal in mind, let’s say a two-year goal, get an idea of who you want to be in two years. Ask yourself, ‘What will I offer? How will I show up? Who is buying my service?’ And then create small steps backwards from that goal to formulate an achievable plan to get there, e.g., ‘what do I need to have done within the year to be closer to that goal?’ (maybe that’s renting a new office space). ‘What do I need to have done this month?’ (work out a marketing strategy). ‘What am I getting done this week?’ (what days am I allocating to clients?), etc. People are far more productive when they can see their goal in sight.


Not every client is yes-worthy. I laugh to myself as I say this and think back to the pressure I put myself under to persist with clients who were not a good fit for me. Initially I thought they were a good learning experience to upskill. However, when I recognised I was in scarcity mode with this mentality (what if I can’t get clients?) it was kinder to let them go. The universe then delivered five suitable clients when I let the difficult client go. See the client in their full potential. Do not get sucked into their victim story – this will lead you to burn out. If you are in a service-based business, it is important to maintain a composed, yet compassionate state. Clients come to us with their painful stories, searching for a solution. I have found many empathetic therapists/coaches too easily put themselves in the client’s shoes and almost try on their victim story. This will very quickly drop your energy and lead to burn out in the long run. I highly recommend you see the client in their full potential, as if they have already received your service and are reaping the benefits you delivered. This way you can guide them to an achievable result. Your audience grows and evolves as you grow and evolve. At the beginning of my business journey, I spent many hours perfecting the message of what service I offered. I was a spiritual life coach and I thought that was it for the rest of my life. I worked with lots of women fresh out of Uni wanting to

discover what path they should take moving forward. It was great to connect with these people, but there came a time when I found it difficult to relate to them. In fact, many of these clients were close to my daughter’s age, and I didn’t like the responsibility of the mother role I found myself in. It was difficult to let go of that identity, but that is all it was, an identity. After I revamped my business to be a Women’s Master Empowerment Coach, I found myself passionate to serve again. Your ideal client is you – five years ago – you don’t need to look very hard at avatars. When I was first asked, who is your ideal Avatar, I must have looked at the person sideways and said, ‘what alien concept are you talking about?’ I soon discovered that an avatar is a fancy way of stating who your ideal client is. As a black and white thinker at that time, I thought that comment was rubbish – my ideal client is someone who appreciates my service and pays me abundantly. If only someone had told me that my ideal client is me, where I was five years ago. Why? Because of my experience I know how to help that woman get from where I was (stuck) to where I am now, which is living in an empowered state. With the benefit of my experience, I know I can help women achieve their goals much faster. Do you have a question for Claire? Submit your questions to editorial@eramagazine.com.au ERA Magazine Autumn 2021  67


SEASONAL BUSINESS PLANNING FOR OPTIMAL FLOW TO MAP OUT THE YEAR AHEAD

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Finding the SWEET SPOT by becoming SUPER ORGANISED BY LUNA WOOD Creating the connected Practice for optimal work-life balance consumes so much of our energy as we continue to place so much pressure on ourselves to create the perfect lifestyle for our work, our family and ourselves. Juggling many roles and responsibilities each day, each week, each month, each season and each year, we tend to find ourselves deeply depleted before we have managed to get into our systemised flow. We are usually the last on our to-do lists, and whilst everyone and everything else gets our attention, there is usually very little space, energy and time available for ourselves. Workplaces were originally designed by men, for men, before women entered into the realms of business, and we have adopted this scheduling as the only option available for our survival and success. Becoming aware that there are two fundamentally different flows aligned for the masculine and for the feminine, provides a whole new

understanding of how to accommodate both our Yin (feminine) and our Yang (masculine) Principles for our optimum flow and lifestyle. The Feminine Yin Principle is aligned with the cycles of the moon, the lunar cycle, and this affects our monthly physical, emotional, mental and spiritual body. If we have a womb, we are cyclical in nature and feel energetics of life more deeply. Every three days the moon shifts into a new elemental alignment, activating this new tone of air, water, earth, fire and spirit within the feminine body. Our womb is also seasonal in nature and every seven days we move into a different season within our menstrual cycle which also affects our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual energy levels. The aspects of the lunar cycle, especially the portals of the new and full moon, are creating the cyclical waves we are all riding each month. There are thirteen lunar cycles each year and the feminine womb cycles thirteen

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times over a yearly flow. Our Feminine Yin Principle is emotionally and spiritually orientated as she feels her way through life. She is changeable, fluid and sensitive. Our Masculine Yang Principle is aligned with the Sun and the solar cycle which is a regulated daily cycle. The sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening, regulating day and night every 24 hours for 365 days a year. It is much simpler for men to turn up each day and follow the same routine, tend to the same business, eat the same lunch, do the same exercise, relate in the same way, day in and day out all year round. Our Masculine Yang Principle is physically and mentally orientated as he manifests his way through life. He is stable, regulated and surface oriented. To connect into our most productive and successful flow, we require both our Feminine Yin and our Masculine Yang Principles to be honoured, nurtured, nourished, supported and celebrated. In order to achieve this, we require strong boundaries to support each aspect of our being. Optimising our time schedules and organising our flow in a very detailed manner supports us to find our Sweet Spot. Within the discipline of yoga, finding the Sweet Spot within any asana/pose brings us to a state of connected bliss. The Sweet Spot is experienced as the refined balance

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between relaxed engagement, centred stretching, present awareness, willing acceptance and feeling where our body’s edge is. This is a State of Being that is a Sacred and an ongoing daily Practice. How we ebb and flow through the full gamut of shadow and light that is our cycling lifestyle, can be managed to nurture, support and celebrate the healthy balance of all the facets of ourselves as we flow through each day, each week, each month, each season and each year. There are thirteen weeks in each season, four seasons in each year, with a changeover season between Winter and Spring. Each season aligns with an elemental tone and Virtue of Becoming. Spring activates the element of Air, our mental body and the Virtue of Detachment. Summer activates the element of Water, our emotional body and the Virtue of Devotion. Autumn activates the element of Earth, our physical body and the Virtue of Discipline. Winter activates the element of Fire, our spiritual body and the Virtue of Discernment. We are seasonal in nature and are activated and toned with each aspect of each cycle every year. There are three lunar cycles in each season with each lunar cycle activating a focus of growth for the month, with thirteen aspects of holistic health activated and grown each year. We have the capacity to align ourselves and our lifestyles into these natural rhythms and cycles creating a disciplined, devoted, discerning and detached flow of optimum wellbeing.


To bring this into a simple connection, we can divide our lifestyle into four aspects: self-care, home-family (Yin), work-business and creative-play (Yang). Self-care and home-family are the Yin aspects of our lifestyle and are nurturing and nourishing, and do not generate income. Work-business and creative-play are the Yang aspects of our lifestyle and support the generation of our income, security and expression in the world. It is helpful to have two income streams available for our security and creative expression. Over the past twenty years I required a very disciplined practice in order to tend to each aspect of my living in a healthy, dynamic and vital way. I created the Sweet-Spot Calendar Flow to map out my daily, weekly, monthly and seasonal flow for the year ahead. The effects from this is becoming extremely organised, vital, effective and efficient; connecting the Sweet Spot as a lifestyle flow. My capacity to manifest my goals and KPIs each season has been my reward for establishing this disciplined Sacred Practice, whilst loving my creative and vital connection in a blissful and healthy flow. My self, home, family, creativity and business have flourished accordingly with ongoing annual growth. CREATING THE SWEET-SPOT CALENDAR FLOW

1.  Seasonal Schedule Create a schedule that covers a 13 week seasonal cycle. With children at school,

working with the school term and holidays aligns with this quite well. We only have the capacity to focus our energy for a 12 week cycle. After 12 weeks we become bored, tired and depleted from the same routine and can create a reset and refresh every 12 weeks, every season. We as women require this. This allows for optimum health, vitality and regeneration within our lifestyle on a seasonal basis. Map out each season for the year ahead.

2.  Regroup Time When we unplug each season, we let go of all time schedules and allow ourselves to flow naturally with our impulses. This is our time to rest and regroup. This is also in place to honour our Feminine Yin Time. Here is the fundamental first step in creating My Sweet-Spot Calendar Flow. UNPLUG FOR A WEEK EACH SEASON (EVERY 3 MONTHS)

Map out a week each season for time out. Scheduling resting times as the first step is important, as we would never usually allow ourselves this space to regroup, as it feels too indulgent. It is in fact vital. This supports the 4 week holiday policy with most employment contracts. There are 6-8 week holiday, sick leave and time-inlieu policies in most fulltime workplaces which can be integrated into this scheduling. I personally like to book this in at the end of each season as this allows me to review, refresh and renew before the next season begins. I enter into each

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new season feeling clear, inspired, vital and focussed. We can gift the best version of ourselves to our business and work through this practice.

the family weekend unfolds. Salaries do not need to change with this shifting as productivity over the 4 days increases and becomes more effective and efficient.

EVERY 6 WEEKS SCHEDULE A LONG WEEKEND

4. Daily Breathing-in Yin, Breathing-out Yang

Half-way into the season we naturally begin to lag in our performance, and this is the perfect time to regroup our energy. It is helpful to schedule in a long weekend at this point in time to regroup, refresh and renew our focus. It also supports our beloved and family relationships to have an extended 4 day weekend together.

Our daily practice already supports an ebb and a flow for our nurturance, nourishment, family and work flow. Bringing a deeper awareness to the balancing of our Yin-Yang ebb-flow can support us to be fulfilled from our daily scheduling. The morning, lunch and evening is our Yin Time to honour, prepare, nurture, nourish and connect into self. This is where we gather our energy, re-fuelling our vital connection from which we step out and serve the world from. We cannot breathe out before we have breathed in! This is our breathing in time where we nurture and tend to our Divine Feminine. We begin each day by touching in with our Sacred Space, lighting a candle and picking an oracle card for the day, cleansing, nurturing, nourishing and adorning our body in preparation for the day ahead. It is helpful to keep our Yin Time technology free. Once we are ready for the day, then we step into our Yang Time; technology on, transportation into the world, office and service to other. It is helpful to enjoy a Yin Moment every 2 hours, to unplug from technology for 15 minutes and enjoy a step outside into nature, a cup of tea, something to eat and breathe back into heart.

3.  Four Day Business Work Week Now that we have scheduled in our Yin Principle that supports us to regroup, revitalise and refocus, we can schedule in our Yang Principle which becomes our weekly work routine. For optimal health and wellbeing, the optimal working business week is a 32 hour, 4 day working schedule with a 3 day weekend. This scheduling allows for everything to be tended to in a dynamic, efficient and effective manner. We can achieve our goals much more effectively in a 4 day business work week, 1 day selfcare and 2 days family weekly schedule. Yes, we do have to be organised and disciplined to hold this Practice, but having a personal day a week to regroup is worth the discipline. Taking a Monday/Friday as a day to tend to personal connection and preparation for the week ahead is extremely supportive before or after 72  ERA Magazine Autumn 2021


At the end of the day, coming back home into Yin Time, removing shoes, lighting a candle, cleansing off the day, nourishing and sharing with family, then an evening relaxation with a final 10 minute touching into heart-womb before sleep, supports a truly balanced harmony.

5.  Top 5 To-do-list We can become quite neurotic by creating endless to-do-lists. Creating a top 5 todo-list with no more than 5 goals on the list supports a very efficient and effective management for manifestation. Focusing on 5 goals at a time creates enough space and focus to manage and manifest each aspect with ease and grace. This is a great practice to tend to each new moon for the month ahead, with 28 days to manifest them. Here is a helpful breakdown for your goal manifestations. I personally

May you be Nurtured, Nourished, Supported, Connected and Protected in your Connected Flow. create a Top 5 for my year ahead, then break it down into Top 5 for each season, Top 5 for each month and Top 5 for each week. My entire year is mapped out and I can create collaborations and delegations for every step along the way. Any aspect that has not been achieved, gets put into the next Top 5. www.lunawoodsacred.com

MY SWEET-SPOT CALENDAR FLOW TOP 5 TO-DO-LIST GOAL Strategy KPI’s Actions

Steps

Outcome

By whom

When

Date

Milestones

Signed off

Top 5 Table acknowledgement – Rachel O’Brien

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Mind Matters IMPOSTER SYNDROME TIPS TO GAIN MOTIVATION AND MENTAL STRENGTH THE POWER OF HABITS DO WE NEED A BETTER MODEL OF SUCCESS BEATING BURNOUT ENERGY DRAIN TO ENERGY GAIN


IMPOSTER SYNDROME

What it is, and how to deal with it BY ANNE MCKEOWN Some days I look in the mirror and wink at myself. Why? Because I don’t recognise the woman in the reflection. She is confident, successful and happy. I like to see her wink back because then I know she’s real! You see, looks can be deceiving. What we see on the outside is not always matched with feelings of confidence, success and happiness on the inside. In fact, I used to look in the mirror and see a confident reflection but think – I’m not qualified enough to be coaching others (even though I’ve been doing it for 25 years). I’m not smart enough to run such a growing business. I don’t deserve this; it must be luck. Fear of being judged as a tall poppy, blowing my own trumpet or upsetting others kept me stuck for longer 76  ERA Magazine Autumn 2021

than it should have. There was a little voice in my head saying, who do you think you are? Every day I meet capable women who suffer from these symptoms, which are a result of what psychologists call Imposter Syndrome. So let me ask you… Who lets this imposter into your head? You do! Who lets this imposter speak? You do! Who gives this imposter her script? You do! We all do this to ourselves – crazy right? So why do we do it and why do we allow it? The reason is that throughout life someone, or society, tells us what life should look like; what we should achieve, how much money we should have, etc. The crazy thing is that those messages are


probably a reflection of what they want for their life, and not what we want. So, when we exceed these expectations (that others put on us), our mind can’t fathom it. We struggle to reconcile those old negative messages with our new-found success and happiness. In order to make sense of it all, we pass it off as luck. My sister used to say, ‘it’s funny, the harder I work, the luckier I get!’ How true is that? When women learn to deal with imposter syndrome, they soar! I’ve seen it time and time again. But how do we deal with it? Firstly, let’s look at how the experts describe it and then I’ll show you how to make it surrender.


WHAT IS IMPOSTER SYNDROME?

Impostor syndrome is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their skills, talents or accomplishments and has a persistent internalised fear of being exposed as a fraud, despite external evidence to the contrary. They believe they do not deserve all they have achieved. Doubt is the key word in this description of Imposter Syndrome. When we doubt ourselves and our capability, we feel anxious. We then act from a place of fear, and to protect ourselves (from ourselves) the brain shuts down. We can’t think straight, we can’t concentrate, we start to make mistakes and then our fears seem true, and we believe, I really am an imposter! Wrong! Let’s go back to that word doubt – it’s such a powerful word. Do you realise that we doubt everything but doubt itself? We need to be convinced about most things – except doubt. We are very quick to jump on the doubt bandwagon. We think doubt keeps us safe, and yes, it does give us time to logically think through complex ideas, but it is not at all useful when it comes to measuring our own value. So, how do we deal with Imposter Syndrome so we can live life to the full? There are many techniques, but I’m going to share two quick things you can do right now called STOP and T.H.I.N.K. Firstly, we need to interrupt the pattern. Easier said than done I hear you say. How do we do that, when the unconscious mind is rattling off its litany of failings on automatic pilot? 78  ERA Magazine Autumn 2021

Answer – we use the body to interrupt the mind. You’ve probably seen in movies, when someone is angry, ranting and raging, they are stopped by being slapped across the face. This sharp sting to the body is a shock and brings the conscious mind to the fore. The person is brought straight back to the present moment. They stop what they are doing and can then focus on their thinking and unacceptable behaviour. Now I’m not suggesting that you go around slapping yourself on the face, but there is another gentle technique that works as effectively. Get an elastic hair tie and put it on your wrist (I wear mine all the time). When you ping it on the inside of your wrist it is painful enough to catch your attention. Now we have your attention it’s time to pause and T.H.I.N.K. Using this acronym, ask yourself the following questions in a calm manner – you can even look in the mirror as you answer them. Is what I’m thinking really True? Am I a fraud; am I no good; am I undeserving? The answer is usually no. Instead say, I’ve worked hard to get where I am in life and work. I do know what I’m doing. I deserve all I have achieved. I am skilled. Is this way of thinking Helpful? I bet the answer is no. These negative thoughts are sending negative messages to your brain, which in turn create negative feelings about yourself, causing you to react in a negative manner and sabotage your own success.


Is this way of thinking Inspiring? Probably not. In fact, quite the opposite. This way of thinking brings you down and affects those around you who feel the ripple effect of your anxiety and negative mood. Is this way of thinking Necessary? This way of thinking and talking to yourself is not necessary, so why do it? You don’t need to think like this. You can adjust your thinking to be more useful, positive and create uplifting change. Is this way of thinking Kind? Mentally and verbally beating yourself up is not being kind to yourself. In fact, often the way we talk to ourselves is worse than anything we would ever say to a friend or colleague. WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO?

Ask other people who love and care about you what they think and say about your achievements. Do they think you are an imposter or are they constantly trying to

convince you that you deserve all you have earned? Do they believe you are gifted in your field? Stop labelling yourself. There are enough people in the world that are quick to judge, criticise and wrongly accuse us. It’s time for you to let go of that badge and say, I am me, nothing more, nothing less just me. I like me and I’m happy being me. You probably don’t feel like an imposter every day, so you’ve already proven that it’s something you can pick up or leave behind. Why not make the decision today to let it go, forever. When you loosen your grip, you loosen the anxiety that is tying you up in knots. It will be easier to breath and enjoy each new day. Next time you look in the mirror, wink at yourself and say, well done. You are using your gifts and talents for the benefit of others. You’ve worked hard and you deserve everything you have. www.annemckeown.com

When women learn to deal with imposter syndrome, they soar!

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Tips to gain motivation and mental strength in all you do BY LEANNE SKLAVENITIS

We all want ongoing motivation and mental strength, but what is it really, and how much do you have?   Motivation is defined as the reason you do something, or the level of desire you have to do something. It is the desire or enthusiasm to accomplish or achieve something. If you want to lose weight to get healthier, this is an example of motivation to improve your health. Keeping motivated and having mental strength can be a hard tool to learn for some. In this day and age, there is so much pressure on us to

perform as a parent, career person and housekeeper, while all the time staying healthy, fit and active. It is of great importance that we have the confidence and unwavering belief in our ability to reach our goals. Having the motivation and mental strength to tackle all the hurdles that come our way is a foundation for success.  The following are some tips and ideas that could work for you. Breathe deliberately Focus on your breath by practicing deep, diaphragmatic breathing. This helps clear your mental chatter so you can then focus your thoughts on gratitude, what you want to achieve, and the belief you can do it. ERA Magazine Autumn 2021  81


Use body scanning When you wake up, get into the habit of scanning your body for any tension. Recognise tension as negative energy stored in your body. Identify the intensity of the tension by scoring it on a scale of 1–10, with 1 being very low negative energy, and 10 being major negative energy. Having established where you are on the scale, do the following. Remember a time when you were at your best. Give that feeling a positive energy scale of 1–10, 10 being the best. Find a time when you would give a high score of at least 8 to your memory. Visualise it and remember how good it felt. Notice your breathing changes. Your breathing rate is very powerful, it changes the tension in your body. Hold this memory and begin to change your breath. Inhale for 6 counts and exhale for 6 counts. Do this for approximately five to ten minutes. Then smile and look up at the ceiling. Keep your gaze there, still smiling for at least 30 seconds.  Sounds crazy – try it once, try it every day! Change what is bugging you The only way you can change your mood and increase your motivation is to make active attempts to do so. Instead of dwelling on dark or angry feelings, decide to focus your thoughts on solutions. For example, if the sound of your alarm clock makes you feel like smashing it to bits, don’t continuously think about how much

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you hate your alarm clock. Instead, shift your thinking to what type of sound you would like to hear, or the manner in which you would like to be awakened in the mornings. Then, make a plan to get a new alarm clock or wake-up device with a new sound.   Eat well If you don’t drink enough water, or ignore your daily nutrition needs, you may find yourself in a bad mood more often than you want. It is impossible to be motivated if you are hungry, overeating or continually focused on food when you are trying to perform business tasks. Learn from others Research the success stories of others. What were their setbacks? What obstacles did they face? Find books, listen to podcasts, read about how they achieved their success. How did they overcome the mental stress to succeed? If they can do it, then there is no reason at all why you can’t.   Consistency  It is important to remember that success can often take a lot of effort, over a longer time frame than many of us are wanting. This can lead to frustration, and when immediate results are not shown, sometimes the option to give up is all too easy. Learn to go with the flow and train your mind to push through those barriers of doubt and be confident in your ability to succeed with a little perseverance.  


‘What if’ thinking The pattern of ‘what if’ thinking needs to stop. This way of thinking creates doubt in our mind and invites fear to rear its ugly head. No matter how confronting or difficult, if you push yourself, even in small steps, out of your comfort zone you will inevitably grow. It is important to realise that without those unfamiliar and fearful thoughts there can be no growth. Ask positive questions like, ‘What do I need to do to achieve what I want?’ This is solution-based thinking, and more often than not will lead to a positive response and give you the answer you need to move forward and succeed. Journaling can help. Ask yourself things like, ‘What did I accomplish today? What went well? What can I do better?’ etc.  There are many ideas listed here. Find a few that resonate with you and try them.   www.fitnesstips.com.au

Without any motivation or mental strength there can be no success! ERA Magazine Autumn 2021  83


The power of

HABITS BY ANNE HARTLEY


Habits are passed down from one generation to the next and often go unquestioned. Yet, unconscious habits are one of the most powerful forces in our lives, that we cannot afford to overlook. It is estimated by cognitive scientists that 95% of all behaviour is subconscious. During the early 1900s, Claude C Hopkins was considered an advertising guru. He was known for creating a set of rules that created new habits amongst consumers and these rules are still used today. So, when Hopkins’ friend wanted to market a new product, a toothpaste called Pepsodent, he asked Hopkins to help him. Hopkins declined because in those days hardly anyone bought toothpaste. His friend, however, was persistent and kept appealing to Hopkins’ ego until he eventually agreed to help. As part of his contract, he wanted a six month option on a block of the company’s stock. It turned out to be the wisest financial decision he ever made. Within five years Pepsodent was one of the best-known products available all over the world. Hopkins’ model for establishing habits starts with a cue. The cue needs to be simple and obvious. This cue needs to be linked to a routine which leads to a reward, and the reward needs to be something worth working towards. Let’s say you often feel stressed, this feeling could become your cue to be mindful, or to stop and do a five-minute meditation. The feeling of calm you get from engaging in these practices is your reward.

You cannot change a habit with just willpower. All habits need to be replaced with another habit. Habits, when repeated often create neurological cravings, and most of these occur so gradually we don’t even notice them. So, habits can help us become calmer, wiser and happier, and ultimately more successful. Habits that are associated with endorphins, or a sense of accomplishment, are more likely to become an automatic response. One good habit can lead to the establishment of other good habits. Studies have found that when someone meditates regularly, even for short periods of time they are more likely to be less reactive, calmer and more focused. The same with exercise. Even people who exercise once a week are more likely to eat healthier, be calmer and more productive. The way to improve your life is to cultivate keystone habits that provide you with small but regular wins. Elite athletes use these principles all the time. Many get out of bed in the early hours to hone their skills, regardless of the weather or how they feel. What all good trainers know is that they can’t control every aspect of an athlete’s life, but what they can do is support the establishment of a winning mindset through healthy habits. Michael Phelps, the American swimmer, holds the record for being the most decorated Olympian of all time, winning a total of 28 medals. His swimming coach Bob Bowman set up the ERA Magazine Autumn 2021  85


habits that set Phelps apart from all other swimmers. One of the areas he targeted was to create the mindset of a winner. He established a series of behaviours that enabled Phelps to feel calm and focused prior to a race, and behaviours for after each race. At the end of each race, and before he went to sleep each night, Phelps would visualise himself swimming the perfect race. Eventually all his trainer had to do was whisper, ‘Get the video tape ready’, and Michael knew to start visualising himself completing the perfect swim. The question we all need to ask ourselves is, ‘Do my habits support the life I want to create?’ Having worked with clients since 1984 my experience has been that most people’s habits don’t. That’s because habits are old friends, they are so familiar we don’t even notice or question them. Procrastination is a habit. Selfdoubt is a habit. Complaining and talking about problems is a habit. The way you respond to other people’s behaviour is a habit. When you change your habits, you can literally change your life. You can use the same methodology to improve your life by saturating your consciousness with messages of how to live a positive, happy life. I started listening to inspirational audios when driving, way back in 1979, and it’s a habit I still engage in today. I credit this simple habit as being one of the most powerful influences in my life. There was a time in my life when I had a lot of self-doubt and that doubt 86  ERA Magazine Autumn 2021

The way to improve your life is to cultivate keystone habits that provide you with small but regular wins kept me stuck for quite a while, in both my business and personal life. One day I chose to say to myself, ‘What I think about me is more important than what anyone else thinks about me’. This became my mantra whenever I started worrying about what other people would think, or when I doubted my choices. I also chose to be a trusting person and over time, acting like a trusting person became my automatic response. These simple habits enabled me to finally let go of self-doubt. Author Denis Waitley said, ‘Habits begin as offhanded remarks, ideas and images. And then, layer upon layer, through practice, they grow from cobwebs into cables that shackle or strengthen our lives. Habits are like submarines. They run silent and deep. First, we make our habits, then our habits make us. Habits are like comfortable beds. They are easy to get into, but difficult to get out of. Winning and losing are both learned habits.’ anne@hartlife.com.au


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Do we need a better model of success? BY CATH CONNELL

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‘Nothing should go back to normal. Normal wasn’t working.’ It’s a statement that caught my eye amongst the sourdough starter pics, Zoom chat screenshots, and remote learning grumbles on social media in the early stages of the pandemic. For a long time I have been thinking about how we can move our world towards one that is kinder, more connected, and honours our planet with the love and respect it deserves. We were chasing the wrong things. Wealth, power and status were never going to give us the peace of mind we wanted, but even the most enlightened of us would still complain about needing to earn more money, build our personal profile or get more followers. Let alone the fact that at the big end of town – in our corporations and governments – measures of success seem to be centred around those three things.

My own experience with success has been an interesting one. I started my first business following a global financial crisis (GFC) redundancy from my corporate marketing job. My dream was to create a big, albeit deeply meaningful and sustainable, stationery brand – and I put as much time, energy, and money as I could into pursuing that. Things did not go to plan, and four years later, I had to shut it down, liquidate as much stock as possible and decide what to do next. I had failed. It was during this time that I first realised that what mattered most in life was not those traditional measures of success at all. While we had lost a considerable amount of money, every other aspect of my life was far better than it had been before. I was a better parent and partner. I loved working every day. I had built up a wealth of skills and experience, and was


healthier, happier and far better connected than I had been in years. I had slowed my life right down and had time to savour the lovely tiny moments that make up a life. Was this what success actually looked like? I decided to start again and have dedicated the past seven years helping small and micro business owners achieve a more balanced view of success for their lives, as well as their business. I’ve also spent a lot of time exploring – reading, journaling, talking with others – trying to work out what a new, more wholehearted model of success might look like. Here’s what I’ve come up with. PURPOSE

We all need a reason to get up in the morning. We need to identify our big

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life goals and put our values front and centre, in everything we do. Each of us has a unique set of skills, knowledge, passion, and experience, and are able to put these into use in our work and personal lives each day. This will ensure we thrive. PROSPERITY

Broader in scope than wealth, and less individualistic than abundance, prosperity is about ensuring that you have enough money, time and energy to be your best self, without drawing excessively from the limits of the natural world. It’s also about growing in ways that don’t deplete resources or exploit others, such as wisdom, contribution, and love.


CONNECTION

If there’s something we learned during our time in lockdown, it was exactly how much we need to connect with others. Yes, even the most introverted of us! We need the security and safety we feel when we are with our loved ones, while connecting with others outside our immediate circle builds acceptance, kindness, and compassion. My hope is that this time helped us appreciate exactly how much our strong communities can look after each other in times of need. JOY

We need joy as we need air! A permanent state of happiness may elude us, but moments of joy are always available. They lift our mood

and allow us to appreciate the moment. Find whatever brings you joy. It doesn’t matter whether it’s playing with your kids, listening to, or making music, being active, losing yourself with a hobby or craft, cooking a delicious meal, relaxing with a good book, spending time in nature, or even doing your work – the result is the same. The more you do things that bring you joy, the more successful you will feel. Success doesn’t have to be elusive. Nor should it be driven by other people’s expectations and values. It is simply your unique way of thriving and living your best possible life. What does success look like to you? www.wholeheartedmarketing.com.au

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BY CARRUN SQUIRES Burnout. It’s a term we use casually, almost flippantly on occasion, but burnout is a real thing and the consequences, if not addressed, can be dire to your health, wealth and relationships. As businesswomen we tend to continue to do it all – working, running a business, looking after children and partners, organising and attending social commitments, doing housework, looking after elderly parents, maybe volunteering, being mum’s taxi and generally saying yes to almost everything. We often invest body and soul into the creation and development of our business, but it can also be a significant source of stress and overwhelm and expose us to the possibility of serious burnout.

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BURNOUT MEASURE If you would like to determine your burnout level please use the following scale to answer the question: When you think about your life overall, how often do you feel the following? 1 = never, 2 = almost never, 3 = rarely, 4 = sometimes, 5 = often, 6 = very often, 7 = always ____ Tired ____  Disappointed with people ____ Hopeless ____ Trapped ____ Helpless ____ Depressed ____  Physically weak / sickly ____  Worthless / like a failure ____  Difficulties sleeping ____  ‘I’ve had it’ ____ Total To calculate your burnout score add your responses to the ten items and divide by 10. Now that you have taken the measure and determined your overall burnout score, what does it mean? According to Malach-Pines (2005), if you scored between 0 and 2.4 you have little or no burnout (yay!). A score of 2.5 to 3.4 indicates that you are at risk for burnout (time to think about implementing preventative measures!). Unfortunately, a score of 3.5 or higher means that you are burnt out with high burnout being in the 4.5 to 5.4 range and very high burnout in the 5.5 or higher range – act now!

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Online searches for symptoms with terms such as ‘signs of burnout’ increased by 24% in 2020 compared to the previous year, highlighting the rise in stress, anxiety and overwhelm. Despite this recent peak, on average, total searches like this have increased by 41% annually since 2017. I wonder if we are heading towards a tsunami of burnout? Burnout is often confused with stress but it is much more than that. There are several definitions but generally burnout is a state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged exposure to stress. It’s this exhaustion that is the real key to burnout. Some of the signs of burnout include: • Chronic low energy, fatigue and exhaustion; • Insomnia; • Lack of concentration, attention and focus; • Physical symptoms like headaches, digestive disturbances, weight gain / loss and increased illness; • Mood disorders like depression, anxiety, anger or loss of enjoyment. A psychological scale that is often used to assess burnout is the Burnout Measure (short version) by Malach-Pines (2006) which you can find in the breakout box to the left. Overwhelm, stress, anxiety and ultimately burnout have been linked to many health issues, such as: • Lowered immune system; • Depression and mood disorders; • Nutritional deficiencies;


• Hormonal dysregulation; • Insulin resistance / Metabolic Syndrome; • Type 2 diabetes; • Digestive disorders; • Heightened pain perception; • Difficulty maintaining a healthy weight; • Hypertension, hypercholesterolaemia and other cardiovascular disorders; • Sleep disturbances. I see all of these health concerns in Clinic, plus more on a daily basis. Whilst these conditions can present due to many different reasons, it’s always important to address the underlying cause and what I’m seeing more and more recently is women on a fast-track to burnout from trying to do it all. So how can you guard against the detrimental effects that stress, anxiety and overwhelm have from negatively affecting your health and therefore your ability to give and share your gifts with the world? How can you thrive doing the work you love within your businesses? How can you maintain optimal wellbeing, resilience and vitality with all that you want to give and share? Food is medicine Nurturing and nourishing your body with foods that provide balanced levels of macro-nutrients and optimal levels of vitamins and minerals is a great place to start. It’s so easy to reach for something quick and easy when we’re busy but it’s often full of salt, sugar, refined carbohydrates and unhealthy fats like seed oils. These foods will drive up your blood pressure, mess around with

your blood sugar and create chronic low grade inflammation throughout your body. Ensuring a balance of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats is important to maintain muscle mass and repair, support a healthy immune system and provide the sustained energy you need to get you through your busy days. A Mediterranean-style diet has been shown to reduce chronic inflammation, improve mood scores, assist with weight management, gut health and improve cardio-metabolic health such as reducing hypertension, improving cholesterol levels and preventing against the onset of type 2 diabetes. Include as many colourful vegetables and some fruit into your diet – every meal, every day. This could look like spinach and tomato in an omelette for breakfast, a big salad with dark, leafy greens, yellow capsicum, tomato and roast sweet potato with chicken for lunch, and more salad with legumes like a lentil or chickpea casserole packed full of herbs and garlic with fish for dinner. Don’t forget the olive oil on your salad or in your cooking as it contains important polyphenols that provide a myriad of positive health effects to help combat the effects of stress. Snack on almonds or walnuts and a piece of fruit like pear, apple or berries to provide healthy fats, fibre and pre-biotics to keep your gut bugs happy. Give those processed foods the boot and choose foods that are as close to nature as possible, seasonal and preferably organic. ERA Magazine Autumn 2021  95


Nutritional medicine When we’re busy, over-committed and stressed, food often becomes an afterthought and we grab whatever’s quick and easy. Or if we’re in serious burnout our appetite might be low, apathy or fatigue might be high, and we literally just can’t be bothered. Sometimes it’s just not possible to eat all the nutrition our bodies need daily. Being low in certain nutrients, like B vitamins and magnesium, can contribute to low stress tolerance and an inability to cope with seemingly normal everyday tasks. Being under chronic stress creates a higher demand for these nutrients, so it can become a vicious cycle leading to even more fatigue, a foggy brain and generally feeling unwell. B vitamins are important for energy production, healthy brain function and cell metabolism and are crucial for supporting a healthy nervous system and stress response. Magnesium is important in energy regulation, blood sugar balance, muscle and nerve conduction and a healthy 96  ERA Magazine Autumn 2021

immune response. Our poor adrenal glands take a hit too and we’re often not providing them the vitamin C and zinc they require to thrive. Supplementation may be necessary to improve your health and seeing a qualified natural medicine practitioner who can comprehensively assess your diet and nutritional requirements and prescribe high dose nutritionals can be key to getting you on the road to recovery. Herbal medicine There are many key herbs I use in my dispensary to assist with nervous system support, fatigue, insomnia, digestive issues, lowered mood and adrenal support during stress and recovery from burnout. Winding down in the evening with that steaming cup of chamomile tea is a calming and soothing ritual but if you are exhausted and suffering overwhelm and burnout you need a more comprehensive and targeted herbal medicine approach. There are literally dozens of herbs that nurture the nervous system back from stress and burnout. These are just a few: • Eleuthrococcus senticosus (Siberian ginseng) – to improve mental and physical performance and assist with exhaustion from environmental and occupational stressors. • Withania somnifera (Ashwaganda) – a wonderful Ayurvedic herb to improve


stamina, as an adaptogen during stress and as a tonic for debility. • Verbena officinalis (Vervain) – fabulous as a nervine tonic and to improve lowered mood. • Hypericum perforatum (St John’s Wort) – excellent for mild to moderate depression and as a nervine tonic. • Piper methysticum (Kava) – specific for anxiety but also helps with muscle tension and reducing stress. To receive a safe and effective outcome, see a practitioner who is trained in nutritional, dietary and pharmaceutical contraindications who will ensure that you get the right dose of the right herb. Please don’t Google and buy from overseas companies – you really can’t be confident of what you are putting into your body as they haven’t been assessed by our rigorous Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration. Functional and pathology tests If you think you’ve hit burnout or have been under a lot of stress and just haven’t felt energetic and motivated, there are tests that can help. Pathology tests – your annual pathology test reveals an absolute goldmine of nutritional information that can be used to improve your health and protect from the effects of chronic stress. Are your B12 levels low due to stress or diet? Are your electrolytes tending towards a chronic metabolic acidosis that can drive inflammation? Are your iron levels and haemoglobin low revealing anaemia and

contributing to your fatigue? Did you know chronic stress can cause your thyroid to produce an inactive hormone called reverse T3 that can cause fatigue and lowered mood? When we know what effect stress has had on your biochemistry we can take action to get you feeling good again. Genetic tests – as individuals we all have certain little genetic quirks, for example, some of us have brown eyes and some of us have blue eyes. But gene technology today lets us look at how efficiently our bodies utilise certain vitamins, enzyme pathways, neurotransmitter production and a lot more. Your DNA can provide information to help guide what diet and lifestyle will work best for you. Did you know you can even find out when you most effectively metabolise carbohydrates? Now that’s got to be good for assisting with blood sugar regulation and energy levels. A CAR test – CAR stands for Cortisol Awakening Response and it’s a very helpful salivary cortisol hormone test that lets us know how well your body is coping with chronic stress and your degree of adrenal fatigue. Self-care for overwhelm Self-care is often at the bottom of our to-do list as busy businesswomen. But self-care can help us to keep a clear and focused mind. It resets our adrenals and lowers our cortisol levels. It brings back our motivation and gives us perspective on our business and life. It allows us to stay healthy so we can manage a healthy work/life balance. ERA Magazine Autumn 2021  97


• Bookend your day – start your day and end your day with something you enjoy. It’s a way of creating a healthy boundary between your business work time and your personal time. Whether it’s a walk, reading a chapter of a book, pulling an affirmation card, some yoga or stretching, or a run around the park, it doesn’t matter. Just start and end your day with something you enjoy. • Create space for journaling – Get the stuff out of your head – the thoughts and ideas that go around and around contributing to the overwhelm and sense of failure because you can’t keep up. Download them onto paper. • Turn off all the notifications and messages at the end of the day. Put down the phone, step away from the computer. Please do not take your laptop, tablet or smart phone to bed with you. They do not belong in your bedroom. Exposing yourself to artificial light dysregulates your circadian rhythm and reduces the amount of melatonin produced to ensure a healthy sleep/wake cycle. • Connect socially – Reach out to friends for a friendly chat, join a women’s business group to discuss challenges, or meet a neighbour for a regular walk. Social contact is nature’s antidote to stress and talking face to face with a good listener is one of the fastest ways to calm your nervous system and relieve stress. • Meditation, deep breathing and stretching have all been shown to have a calming and balancing effect on the nervous system. Being truly present and 98  ERA Magazine Autumn 2021

in the moment gets us out of our head and in tune with our body. • Learn to say no. If you find this difficult just remember that no doesn’t mean never, it can mean just not right now. Also remember that it frees you up to say yes to the things you really want to find time for. • Exercise. I know it might feel impossible to find the energy, time or motivation for exercise but even a ten minute walk can help break the cycle of overwhelm. To maximise the benefits of exercise for stress relief, concentrate on how your body feels while you’re moving rather than focusing on your thoughts. Burnout is a gradual process that can creep up on you. The signs and symptoms mentioned above can be subtle at first but will become worse as time goes on. These are the red flags that something is not quite right and needs addressing. Listen to your body and take steps to reduce your stress, or put measures in place to prevent a major burnout crash. One of the most pro-active and preventative approaches is to see your natural medicine practitioner for a comprehensive wellness check. It’s a holistic approach that might include specific dietary advice, stress management strategies, nutritional medicine or herbal medicine to get you back on track. That way you stay healthy, vital and full of energy to continue to work in the business you love, providing the world with the unique gifts only you can give. www.carrunsquires.com


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Energy drain I wonder, can you remember a time in your life where you were stress free? In your mind’s eye, take yourself back to that moment and see yourself. What were you doing, who were you with and what were you feeling? This is a great exercise to do from time to time, to remind yourself of what life is like without stress, and how good it feels. Stress has been classified as an epidemic of the 21st century by the World Health Organisation, and amid the current conditions of COVID-19, stress levels have significantly escalated. The year 2020 was 100  ERA Magazine Autumn 2021

a year for the history books. Without any preparation we had to adapt to rapidly changing conditions, and, truth be told, many struggled with the changes. The emotional climate we are still experiencing is turbulent and uncertain. New problems require new solutions. In order for us to survive and thrive in this new climate, we need to search and draw on inner resources in ways we may not have done before. This will help us to rise above, adapt and evolve into the new era – post COVID-19. In thinking terms, it is no longer about doing more, having


BY KATHY JERIN

to energy gain more or being more. This kind of thinking exhausts the body of energy. More so, it’s about using our inner resources to create the solution. We are already empowered and have the necessary strength and knowledge existing within us. The biggest dilemma for small business women is how to manage personal energy. Energy is an invisible and intangible force that is difficult to pin down, and to get working for us. Right now, whether you like it or not, the outcomes in your business and personal life in general, could be said to be a direct result of where

your energy is being directed, or possibly, your lack of energy. Understanding the framework of energy expenditure and energy renewal is hugely important. Once better understood, you become more consciously aware of your energy drains and energy gains, and this allows you to direct your energy more purposefully. Basically, at the core of it, we are energy systems. Our body continually uses and renews energy. How we move our body, how we think, how we feel and what gives our life purpose and meaning – is all energy. One of the ERA Magazine Autumn 2021  101


body’s biggest sources of energy drain is our emotional domain. It’s our emotions that drive our physiology, either speeding up and using energy, or slowing down and conserving energy. Just like you are aware of how you drive your car in peak hour traffic – the constant stop/start uses more fuel. Our emotions equally create wear and tear on our body vehicle. Stress comes from activation of a set of emotions that release biological and hormonal changes in the body. Each time you feel frustration, annoyance, irritation, agitation, impatience, it is an energy drain. It’s the little annoyances that accumulate throughout the day that have a detrimental effect on your health and wellbeing – like leaving the car lights on overnight and finding the car battery flat in the morning. The new solution We learn how to counterbalance the everyday irritations and learn how to refuel our personal energy tanks throughout the day, so we don’t find ourselves depleted, flat and unenthused. Emotions that renew our energy are emotions strongly associated with the heart. These heart-based emotions activate a different set of hormones and biological changes in the body. They uplift and motivate us, and help us move forward in the world. The more we access these, the more our body is geared toward the direction we want to go.

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Ancient texts and the study of philosophy throughout history show that the heart has long been associated with wisdom, intuition, inspiration, love, creativity, tolerance, patience, perseverance, faith, hope and optimism. These types of emotions drive decisions, actions and change in a positive way and ignite passion, purpose and meaning. Heart-based conscious leaders in business, and in life, represent the symbiotic relationship between the masculine and the feminine energies, beautifully balanced and harmonised. Heart breathing technique As with anything worthwhile, doing it does require the right effort. To begin, weave moments in your daily life to connect with your heart. Here is a simple practice to get you started. Step 1 Bring your attention to the area of your heart. Place your hand on your chest if this helps you to connect. Step 2 Breathe a little slower and deeper than usual. Step 3 Imagine your breath is flowing directly through your chest wall into your heart, breath out from your heart. (This doesn’t make sense but stay with it.) Step 4 Notice the subtle shift in your body as you move out of your thinking mind and into your heart mind. Step 5 Nourish yourself in this heart focused breathing technique. www.bodymindandyou.com.au


Inspirational Women EXPERIENTIAL FRAGMENTATION TRADING A UNIFORM FOR BUSINESS THE OLDER WOMAN IN BUSINESS (AKA THE CRONE) THE JOURNEY TO AURORA LIFE


BY BROOKE PEARCE You know that experience you sometimes have, where a seemingly insignificant incident or isolated event happens? An ordinary occurrence, that you actually feel and know will play a significant part in the bigger picture of your life. This happening can be as simple as a comment from another, and if you’re open to it, can cause dots of knowing to join and form a profound awareness or revelation. I am not new to such experiences. However, I did not fully appreciate the weight they carried, nor the gravity of selfrealisation they could be a catalyst for. I’ve just had one of those exact small happenings. The effects of which are huge! I think it is something many working mothers can relate to. I had an experience of self-integration. Integration, by nature, can only occur as a direct result of a preceding fragmentation. So, to self-integrate, I must have been self-fragmented. What fragmented parts

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I am one being, whole and perfect. Anything that exists opposed to this is no longer attracted to me. Beautiful.


of myself did I experience integrating? The two main ones that have dominated my entire adult life. The ‘mum’ Brooke and the ‘work’ Brooke. Sound familiar? I am only one woman, yet these two domains of my life have led me to feel that I have been living two very different lives. This could be the underpinning ache for many women. Personally, I have felt this compartmentalisation of my life – this fragmentation of myself – for a long time. It developed and solidified over years, beginning when I returned to work after my first daughter turned four years old. Within this obligatory, gainful employment I was expected to conform to a working for the man model of work that called upon me to relinquish my own natural potential, time, and energy. To remain at the mercy of the inherent limitations of industry and operate within the parameters of the company I worked for. The thought-enticing book The Wife Drought by Annabel Crabb discusses this social conundrum, as it relates to women. ‘The obligation for working mothers is a very precise one: the feeling that one ought to work as if one did not have children, while raising one’s children as if one did not have a job.’ This well-known quote has sparked open global debate about the impossible place women find themselves in when they are both mother and worker.

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Phew! What a moral paradox to live in as a woman. One that reveres both motherhood and employment, yet fails to shine light on the inextricably woven nature of these two life roles. Ignored is that whole space in between that gives birth to the constant, relentless tear in a woman’s spirit between her primal instincts to care for her child, and the obligatory obedience to the life-governing structure of employment. I do not wish to dive headfirst into the intellectual rabbit hole that is ‘figuring this out’ here, as I believe one’s life is exactly that, one’s life. Everything that happens in your life is yours and deserves acknowledgment and acceptance. To figure something out, in my belief, is to render it complete and therefore negate its potential for growth and development. I simply wish to share my personal experience of this enigma. This description of employment is my personal opinion and experience of it, taken from a retrospective stance. I, in no way mean to impugn the integrity of companies in general, nor their employees. There are many companies today who are socially and politically conscious, and act to serve their employees, their business, and humanity. As much as I didn’t have the experience of working for such a company, employment has served me well for years. It provided me with the income I needed to survive. Without it, I would not have the self-realisation enabling me to write this article.


I had somehow, somewhere along the way, come to accept and embrace my fragmented life as it was. I knew I needed an income to support my family and, as is the way with my generation X, the only known and proper way to do this is to get a job and work hard, then harder, then more, until you retire. This concept is ingrained in one’s psyche from childhood. I now see my generation, and the generations that have followed, as being in an advantageous position. These generations have expanded their ideas of generating income potential through being innovative and creative with how they earn an income. There are teenagers today earning millions simply from streaming videos of themselves. The notion of an income being so easy to establish is nothing short of inspirational to me. The acceptance of my fragmented life was not a conscious decision. I often asked myself how could my life change? Was I supposed to just quit my job and hope for the best? Should I start my own business and try to find the time and energy to invest in it after work? The transitional period between ending my employment and beginning my self-generated income eluded me greatly. Now, as much as I say I had accepted my life roles, living the daily grind tore at my soul. Getting up to the alarm each morning, rushing the kids to get ready, hopefully without too much resistance, and making sure they had breakfast in their bellies. Then leaving the house on-time, only to realise someone had

forgotten something, quick, forced goodbyes at school, daycare and kinder drop-offs, then the clock watching rush to work, already late. Exhausting! But I did it. Day after day. It was all I knew how to do. There was no way I could have known that my acceptance and surrender to this lifestyle would be the cause for such an intense breaking down of my fragmented existence. As discussed in my first article Starting my business: an organic process of growth (ERA Magazine, Issue 1) it was the reprioritising energy of lockdown that afforded me the time and space to create this shift in my life. I believe there are always opportunities in one’s life to embrace what is desired. I had no idea that lockdown would be mine. Now to explain that specific, small happening in my life that is the pinnacle of this story. I have just set up my second business, creating and selling gluten, dairy and sugar free, vegan, paleo and low fodmap treats from my home. It has really taken off in my local community. I feel I am providing a needed service for those who find it difficult to fulfill their sweet cravings


inside of their dietary restrictions. Currently being in stage four lockdown in Victoria means my children are home with me 24/7 (aaarrrgghhh, a paradoxical adventure of building and enjoying more family unity and at the same time needing to get far away from that very unity). So, my children have been home while customers have been coming to our home to purchase treats. After about a week of daily customers to our home, my 10-year-old daughter said to me, after watching me closely as I had spoken to a customer who had just left, ‘I don’t like you selling food.’ It was not the selling of food she disapproved of, it was my behaviour while speaking with customers. She told me I sounded fake. Wow! I was left feeling a little perplexed. My initial, internal response was that of feeling judged. This is a default setting of mine, that is slowly being reset as my life journey continues. There was also

another, overarching feeling arising within me, one of integration and deep connection. Connection within my being. My daughter had never experienced me interacting with others in a professional manner. She had never seen my behaviour in any context outside of mothering or social situations among family and friends. Now, she had. I knew then and there that my ‘work Brooke’ had irrevocably entered my ‘mum Brooke’ life. I intuitively knew it was good and true and needed. And there it was… bang! My starting moment of core self-integration. My two dominant fragmented selves were beginning to merge into one. So, after explaining to my brutally honest daughter (a clear blessing in disguise),

When you are being 100% yourself, your life will flow effortlessly, and love will sparkle in your eyes.


the importance of customer service and creating social environments that were welcoming and positive (especially in business), she went off to her own activities. I was left to contemplate the length of time I had spent being two different people, and the effect of this on every level and aspect of my life. Although this contemplation was loaded with realisations of the personal, social, and political effects of this persona split, it did not last long. My connection to some universal, numinous knowing, took over and was bubbling up within me; I wasn’t meant to be fragmented. I desired to live my life guided by my true purpose, utilising my graces and talents. Luckily, that had been my last customer for the day, so I could enjoy this new joyful buzz that was pulsating through me. I have come to understand this joyful buzz to be the physical response of my spiritual being upon recognising, or remembering, a foundational knowing or truth. A knowing separate from intellect and any other mind-bound faculty. If this response is engaged, I know whatever it is that I am experiencing, is what my soul desires and needs to experience, in order to grow and be nourished. The after-effects of the buzz have created a powerful revelatory energy that has cemented in a new default setting in my life. I am one being, whole and perfect. Anything that exists opposed to this is no longer attracted to me. Beautiful. The capacity to let things flow has developed from my life experience. It is

this ability that has been the defining (but not sole) skill that has driven me to go into business for myself. Owning and operating my own business has added to this whole revelation. Yes, of course my daughter played her part, and what a powerful part it was! The mental dot-joining moments, such as the one I have recently experienced, are completely personal and contextualised within one’s own life experience. I know that this was one of those beautiful moments of accepting what is, and letting things flow. If you, like me, live the parallel life of a mother and employed professional, you too have the potential to burst your own paradox open, offering you the opportunity to start your own process of self-integration. The only requirement of you is to let go and roll with it. I will leave it here with a quote from Sri Avinash, Spiritual Energy Worker and Healer: When you are being 100% yourself, your life will flow effortlessly, and love will sparkle in your eyes.

www.letsplayyoga.com.au ERA Magazine Autumn 2021  109


Trading a uniform for a business BY ALEXANDRA BROWNE-HILL Is your mind tossing around thoughts of your expertise and knowledge, and what you might create with your talents, genius and potential? Perhaps you consider your next savvy move into business mastery. Then do congratulate yourself for your bravery, acumen, versatility and enthusiasm, since being a business woman is not for the faint hearted. Yet the inner growth, creative development, developing competency and satisfaction is truly exponential on this journey. When the initial excitement and joy of developing my own business dream began to show an unwelcome reality of challenge much bigger than I imagined, it was a bit of a shock! With a gasp and my palm slapped upon my forehead, I began to see that I was going to have to slide into my Big Girl Pants. My years of direct nursing had transitioned into my own business and I could no longer problem solve in the treatment room with the girls.

In my head, I would build it and they would come! It was kind of like God and Noah when he was told to build the Ark. Only it involved me, years of nursing, some developing natural healing wisdom and a drive to go forth and heal that was wider than the big blue sea! The Universe called and I heeded. I marched into Business Land with my shoulders back and arranged my ABN, my insurance and my logo. I threw myself into a shop and made a pretty room. It was really pretty you know… and people would have loved it, if they knew it was there! Like Noah, not many unwell clients looked for my wondrous care (True story, it’s wondrous!) and nor did I see any animals, so that put Noah in an even better position than myself. What else did I need to do? When Great-Grandpa had his corner store, the community flocked to it with horse and dray, old Austin’s and bicycles, all filling the space out the front of his ERA Magazine Autumn 2021  111


I threw myself into a shop and made a pretty room. It was really pretty you know… and people would have loved it, if they knew it was there. roughly hewn abode. The goods shot off his shelves without advertising and the apples from the orchard, kept in the oak cask, efficiently landed in paper bags that marched out the door under many an arm. Every day was a busy day with orders flying around between delivery, shop and frequent buyers. There was no need for a media representative, a marketing guru, an accountant, a project manager, a website developer or a business consultant. Indeed, Grandpa’s challenges looked altogether different and much less complicated. However, the businesses we dream of now have the same core as days gone by with our passion and desire to create something from our skillset and ideas. We have a love of an idea that we wish to share. If we can share something we love, and ultimately eke a living from a venture that makes our heart sing, then our ideal has been met. How very exciting and wonderful. This is a great dream. A dream that needs to be nurtured and respected. These days, however, it also requires a little more patience and dare I say it, faith. Yes, faith to keep going and determination to 112  ERA Magazine Autumn 2021

offer the world your unique gifts. This is because the outcomes we seek in our busy, tumultuous modern world as business women require patience, courage, belief in yourself and the understanding that things in the world of today take a little longer. There is information that we must grow into and stages that must be carefully prepared before the growth we desire falls into place. My career as a nurse lasted many years and my calling to bring the medical world and natural healthcare together with educative courses is highly ambitious. Yet I am driven at deep levels and stubbornly continue on. The years of transition from bedpan queen to princess ward director and on to CEO of my business was a learning curve of mammoth proportions and as I sip my pretend martini in the evenings, reflecting back on the journey so far, it is easy to see that despite the many challenges, I have followed my passions and my joys. My new desires to impact the world with positivity back then, became an opportunity that led me into a vastly different space which now brings me joy,


satisfaction and abundance. I begin to see the purpose in these changes and the importance of the call to arms. I see the rise of the world’s frequency towards a more loving, warmer and caring growth. Our working environments are exploring a better and healthier method of leading their way into future change for the betterment of mankind. This is a process that will take time and can only be done one step at a time. Laying the foundations for our dreams is essential and this means being focused. In my early days, whenever I looked around at other businesses, I would alternate between feeling suddenly uncertain if I wasn’t following the crowd or I would lose focus and start adding in things that I didn’t need in my business. As I grew up and began to fit into my new identity with my business, I learnt to strategise and plan for what was exactly right for my heartfelt offerings. I learnt to research and follow my intuitive responses for the right fit. I discovered that I could not speed through the growth and that each stage needed to be complete before the next stage. When at last, I focused on my direction and kept it simple, I could determine what assistance I did and did not require, and could stay focused on my direction without distraction. Creating each level of my dream in stages that were and are manageable as I grow ever onwards, has helped me to stay in alignment with myself.

The most powerful realisation amongst the step from the expansion of one role to another, is the importance of recognising our values and not deterring from them. For me, the inner guide was never straying from my core values of honesty and integrity. Being authentic in business and carrying our true values across both personal and professional dealings in our lives ensures satisfaction and success, resulting a truly honourable connection with ourselves and our community. Listening to our own individual wisdom is the key. It has been an interesting journey and at times, a wild ride. I am gradually and continuously developing into greater territories. In spite of the many lessons and ongoing overcoming, I have no regrets. Often, I flow into unimagined opportunity and it guides me to new adventures, previously untapped knowledge and wonderful people with dreams that are dear and incredible. If you are niggled by the voice inside your being, the desire to walk another road and a sense of purpose that will take you elsewhere, or a sudden inner option becomes apparent, then consider the thought that there is much you could wind up doing to care for the world. Perhaps you discover your method of making the world shine more. We all have unique and precious work to do. Allow yourself to get out of your own way and instead follow your heart. It will be worth it. www.alexandrabrownehill.com.au ERA Magazine Autumn 2021  113


The older woman in business (AKA The Crone) BY JUDE DOWNES


I see the Crone as a vibrant, sassy, woman of a certain age, or rather ages. She begins her journey into her crone years beyond fifty as she embraces menopause. In the early Crone years, I call her the Crone Mother as she often has children still at home. She may be a grandmother. She is often still working, and she is navigating the world between younger entrepreneurs and the journey into older age. As the Crone ages she becomes the Elder Crone. The Elder Crone is a woman who deserves respect. A woman to be honoured, as ancient and indigenous cultures honoured their old ones. She is the Wise One or the Old One. Once upon a time, in a land close to home and not so long ago, older women were classified as irrelevant. They were disrespected and considered to have no real value in a world geared toward younger leaders and entrepreneurs. However, older women are now coming into their own. They are vibrant, sassy and they know what they want. They tend to speak what’s on their mind as they no longer accepts any BS from life. They know there is no time to waste in these years, on anything that doesn’t serve their journey. As the Crone ages, she dives deeper into these fabulous years and rather than being put out to pasture, she embraces a time to simply be herself. I have seen so many women reinvent themselves in these years. There is no need to be told to do this or that, or have limitations put upon you just because you are ageing. You can do whatever feels good for you. Older

women give themselves permission to do what they want. I had spent my whole life searching for something. Searching for who I was and where I fitted into life in general. I so often felt out of step with those around me. On the outside I looked pretty much the same as everyone else. I was looking for the right job, how to make a living, how to lose weight, blah blah! The search was a constant, as I lurched from one thing to another, in a bid for self-discovery. Who the heck was I? The day I turned 60 was the day the search ended. It was the day I woke up, literally and figuratively. I realised I was enough, and whatever I chose to do in life was enough. Up until that day I would often ask myself what I wanted to be when I grew up. It was a question that couldn’t be answered until I reached that sacred milestone birthday.  Outwardly nothing changed immediately. It was the inner feeling that began the change. I was already an author in my Crone years. I was already a clairvoyant and workshop creator, so what could I possibly bring into the world at sixty years of age? The answer was, whatever the heck I wanted!  When I stopped concerning myself over money, weight and racing toward retirement age with little money to rely upon for the future. When I stopped thinking I had to be the best at whatever I put my mind to, I found peace within and my business began to grow organically. I could choose what I wanted to do. I could ERA Magazine Autumn 2021  115


choose what days and times I wanted to work. I could choose to step forward with my business or I could choose to step away. It was my choice and as a result of those personal revelations, my business began to grow. Opportunities came and I embraced them. I owned being an author. I backed myself, because if you don’t back and honour yourself, who else will? I wrote and published three more books, all in the three years after that milestone birthday. I flew to Bali and was honoured by a Balinese Healer as a teacher and healer, whilst co-facilitating a retreat at age sixtythree. Now at age sixty-five there are retreats and a festival in my year ahead and perhaps more books to come. However, it is all on my terms. Older Women have so much value in this world. They are choosing now where to place their energy. They choose how to run a business on their terms. They are taking up new businesses or reinventing their current business. They are, in perhaps the most creative time of their lives and are choosing who to work with,

When I stopped thinking I had to be the best at whatever I put my mind to, I found peace within and my business began to grow organically. 116  ERA Magazine Autumn 2021

and how to achieve their dreams and goals. They have learned to say no and move on. They have learned to ask for help, and to say yes when it feels right to do so. The older woman, the Crone in business, is about knowing her value and celebrating it however she chooses. I know many women in their seventies who still run their businesses and on their terms. So, as I sit in my office, overlooking my lovely garden and mountains, with my laptop and a cup of Crone tea, I say to you. Dear Crones, dear Wise Woman, go for it. However, ‘it’ looks for you. Do it your way. Do it on your terms. Say no to some, and yes to what makes your heart sing. We are at the beginning, not the end of the journey, and its on our terms. Your business is your business! www.judedownes.com.au


The journey to Aurora Life BY FELECIA BATH

When it comes to my choice of possible career paths, I have dipped my toe in many ponds, from retail to childcare, project management, administration and sales. I was not a great student at school but managed to complete a Certificate III in Business. In my early 20s, I settled for jobs that would simply pay for my lifestyle. I never lasted very long in them as I always felt a deep urge to help people and make a difference. The jobs I held didn’t fulfil that need. I studied a Master in Personal Training in an attempt at a career where I thought I could make a difference. Shortly after completing the course, I was offered the opportunity to become a part of a personal training business. The company was well established, and they allowed me to manage my own clients. I was mostly focusing on my client’s mental wellbeing, helping them through personal situations ERA Magazine Autumn 2021  117


and assisting them to overcome their mental hurdles, rather than focusing on their physical requirements. After six months of struggling to adapt to the superficial side of the personal training industry, I realised this wasn’t where I was supposed to be. I changed careers again and began working for a Homelessness Service. I have been working in community services for almost three years now as a receptionist. I’m the first point of call for the homeless when in crisis. Being exposed to mental health issues, addiction, domestic violence, abuse and a large range of other human and social issues, it became blatantly obvious to me that I was on the right path in my career. However, my current role has limited scope and I still yearn for more. I feel like I have so much to offer. Personally I struggled with my own mental health, drug addiction and trauma from the age of 14. I was diagnosed with bi-polar and borderline personality disorder when I was 24 years old. I was referred to psychiatrists, psychologists, and mental health workers. Throughout this process I was put on a range of medications and was lost in the mental health system. I feel as though it completely failed me. I thought no-one would ever be able to help me. None of these processes worked for me and I felt even worse than before, helpless. After a year of being on heavy medication, I experienced a pivotal moment. When thinking about giving up on my own life, the thought came to me, 118  ERA Magazine Autumn 2021

‘No-one is going to help me, no-one can save me. I have two options; I can choose to give up or I can save myself.’ I didn’t have any idea how I could change my life. I realised that I was more than my mind and did not want to listen to what my mind was telling me anymore. This was my first real awareness. Something changed within me. Change my mind, change my reality. I was always interested in things like astrology, tarot cards and mediumship. Coming from a long line of mediums, I was aware that there is a lot more to this life than what we can see or what we are taught. I turned to spirituality to save myself. I dived into learning about it on all levels. A book by Eckhart Tolle The Power of Now, is where I began. This book impacted my life immensely. It was the catalyst for me to begin to realise I had lost myself completely in trauma and emotion and social conditioning. I realised I needed to focus on healing myself. To get to know and understand myself without judgement, just awareness. I began to explore how to build my life on a holistic level. To find my true essence and discover my purpose by listening to my


soul. This process was long, and at times difficult and painful. However, I would do it all again tomorrow because of the positive impact it’s had on my life. I began participating in yoga classes and meditation groups. I read books and practised awareness and mindfulness. I explored consciousness, energy, and frequency and so many other things. In 2019, I attended Soul Quest Retreat in Bali, hosted by Sue Williams, which completely flipped my world upside down. I had been working on myself for over a year and thought I had done a lot. It wasn’t until this retreat that I realised how much still needed to be done. I spent the week in intense self-discovery, meditation, yoga, and connection to spirit and was surrounded by a group of accepting and supportive people. I came home from this journey my true self. After 27 years of feeling lost, I finally felt the connection between my heart, my mind and my soul. I felt like I found myself. I felt whole. I started working with Sue one-on-one after the Bali retreat. This assisted me to continue to find who I was at the core, who I wanted to be, and my purpose. I learned the tools to work through all of these things in a holistic way. I was taught to empower and help myself, and find my own strength, rather than relying on others. Sue asked me what I truly wanted, and to feel into my heart to find the answer. ‘I want to do what you do. I want to empower people to live their life in the happiest way they can, and to help them find themselves,’ was my reply.

I am currently studying a Meditation Teacher Diploma alongside a 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training course and a Diploma of Spiritual Life Coaching. I am a natural psychic medium and intuitive healer. In the next 12 months I will be opening my own business, Aurora Life. Not just a business, but my purpose. A way in which I am blessed to be able to live out my dream of empowering people to live their best life. Aurora Life came to fruition as I wanted to find a way to provide an alternative holistic approach to living life in a purposeful way. I know it is my journey to have experienced what I have in life so that I have the knowledge and ability to guide and empower others through similar situations. I want to bring the awareness that there is an alternative way to heal and find purpose, and approach and deal with the not-so-easy parts of life. With guidance and knowledge you can be in control of your life and approach situations from a new perspective, in a new light. I can’t wait to share Aurora Life with the world and watch this business that has been created from soul, bloom into something beautiful and assist in creating a new world full of love, compassion, and joy. If you are feeling suicidal, thinking about hurting yourself, or are concerned that someone you know may be in danger, call Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14

ERA Magazine Autumn 2021  119


Editors Sonya Murphy & Sue Williams editorial@eramagazine.com.au Designer Adala Group info@adala.com.au Editor’s Assistant/Proofreader Gwen Wright Sales Consultant Farrah Graham Contributors Thank you to the inspiring writers who generously shared their stories and expertise with us. Michelle Griffiths, Marina Garbiou, Tamra Mercieca, Kim Platzer, Nadia Fragnito, Daniel Starcevich, Teresa Dominik, Su Rule, Heather Knowles, Lesley Humphreys, Claire Chancellor, Luna Wood, Anne McKeown, Leanne Sklavenitis, Anne Hartley, Cath Connell, Carrun Squires, Kathy Jerin, Brooke Pearce, Alexandra Browne-Hill, Jude Downes and Felecia Bath. © 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.

ISSN: 2652-9238 (Print) ISSN: 2652-9246 (Online) Printed on PEFC certified stock using soybased vegetable inks. 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. Subscription Enquiries info@eramagazine.com.au Advertising Enquiries advertising@eramagazine.com.au Distribution Integrated Publication Solutions To Contribute editorial@eramagazine.com.au NEXT EDITION OUT JULY, 2021 Did you enjoy reading this issue of ERA Magazine? Subscribe now so you don’t miss out on future issues. Visit our website www.eramagazine.com.au/subscribe or scan the QR code

ERA Magazine Shop 5, 1526–1528 Mount Dandenong Tourist Road, Olinda, Vic. 3788 Phone 9751 1610


When we shed our limiting beliefs like the trees of autumn shed their colourful leaves, we open our world to the wonder of infinite possibilites.

Thank you

Gratitude is the most beautiful way to express all that’s in your heart

ERA_Autumn_2001_Cover.indd 2

15/4/21 3:47 pm


Editors Sonya Murphy & Sue Williams editorial@eramagazine.com.au Designer Adala Group info@adala.com.au Editor’s Assistant/Proofreader Gwen Wright Sales Consultant Farrah Graham Contributors Thank you to the inspiring writers who generously shared their stories and expertise with us. Michelle Griffiths, Marina Garbiou, Tamra Mercieca, Kim Platzer, Nadia Fragnito, Daniel Starcevich, Teresa Dominik, Su Rule, Heather Knowles, Lesley Humphreys, Claire Chancellor, Luna Wood, Anne McKeown, Leanne Sklavenitis, Anne Hartley, Cath Connell, Carrun Squires, Kathy Jerin, Brooke Pearce, Alexandra Browne-Hill, Jude Downes and Felecia Bath.

ISSN: 2652-9238 (Print) ISSN: 2652-9246 (Online) Printed on PEFC certified stock using soybased vegetable inks. 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. Subscription Enquiries info@eramagazine.com.au Advertising Enquiries advertising@eramagazine.com.au Distribution Integrated Publication Solutions To Contribute editorial@eramagazine.com.au NEXT EDITION OUT JULY, 2021 Did you enjoy reading this issue of ERA Magazine? Subscribe now so you don’t miss out on future issues.

Visit our website © ERA Magazine 2021 www.eramagazine.com.au/subscribe Opinions, views and comments expressed or scan the QR code 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 www.eramagazine.com.au advertisements. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form or by any means without the ERA Magazine prior permission of the ERA Magazine. Shop 5, 1526–1528 Mount Dandenong No responsibility can be accepted by the publisher for errors or omissions.

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ERA Magazine Issue 2 Autumn 2021  

ERA Magazine is a publication for women in small and micro business. Information and inspiration to help women live life to their full poten...

ERA Magazine Issue 2 Autumn 2021  

ERA Magazine is a publication for women in small and micro business. Information and inspiration to help women live life to their full poten...

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