Are you open to what life throws you?

Life has certainly blessed me with diversity.  I wear a variety of hats as part of my professional life walk and more often than not these hats realise many fun-filled experiences.

One of these hats allows me to get alongside self-published authors and interview them as part of their self-promotion and every now again…a glimpse of magic comes through, as I wonder how something  hasn’t been picked up by a mainstream publisher…and then I’m reminded of life’s journeying stepping-stones.

In this role, anything from fantasy fiction to science fiction to autobiographical fiction to real life stories and inspirational messages of ‘how-to’ and hope; in preparation for each of these interview – I have the privilege of reading their stories. Naturally, some resonate more than others.

It struck me the other day while reading someone’s life story, or as he described – his epitaph…a story of a young man born into an unfortunate family situation on the other side of the world, who at the age of 16 literally threw his hat and a hand full of belongings over the wall, ran away from his family home circumstances and never looked back.

His book went on to detail his life experiences, and they were vast – from those first days of homelessness to making new connections to growing up and gaining credible employment to taking his adventure to the other side of the world to take up a whole new life and add more chapters to his life adventure.

At 16, all this young man knew was that he’d had enough of the life circumstances he was born into and while he didn’t really know the first thing about making life any other way – he had dreams… yes dreams.

As a young boy, he would dare to dream about one day being able to fly and photograph the world from a birds eye perspective – had he shared that dream with those around him, I suspect he may have had that dream ‘knocked’ out of him.

At 16, this young man found the courage to leave the supposed shelter of his family home and make his way in the world. It wasn’t easy and certainly wasn’t glamourous, in fact it was downright terrifying and life luxuries of regular food, shelter and basic cleanliness were rare. That said, he held his course and his nerve and as time passed opportunities crossed his path in various order, and he lived to fulfil the dreams of flight and live a life way beyond his wildest imaginings.

At 16, he made a choice that life was going to be on his terms and of his making.

He hasn’t grown to become a Fortune 500 CEO nor am I about to reveal that I’m talking about some high profile celebrity’s back story…had he chosen to do so, I have no doubt he could have…that said, its quite possible his self-published life story could well be the basis for a movie blockbuster – his story has all the hallmarks, tragedy to triumph, adventure, courage, comedy and romance.

So what struck me?

At 16, this young man (now in his 60s) knew what he was no longer prepared to tolerate and had enough belief in his own ability to go out into the big wide world and make it on his own two feet.

How many 40+ year olds do you know, that would give their eye teeth for this young man’s gumption? Perhaps it’s even that gorgeous person you see in the mirror everyday.

Take a leaf out of our 16 year old runaway’s book and ask yourself a few questions:

What are you tolerating? …and what are you prepared to do about it?

What dreams have you given up on, because someone talked you out of them…recognising that someone might be you.

The good news is – You don’t need to run away from home or take drastic action to breathe life into your dreams.

What’s one thing you can do today, your future self with thank you for?

Bottomline, I don’t know how your life is going to turn out…heck – I don’t how my own life is going to turn out and at 16 the runaway had no idea of how fulfilled his adventurous life was going to unfold either.

Take a chance, dream a little…and remember

If its not fun, its not done

THE STRONGEST ENERGY WINS

As the thoughts rattle around in my head, what will I blog about today??….you know I only promised to share at least one blog a week when WTF went live….this blogging gig is harder than I thought.

Seriously, sit me down with a coffee or hey lets open a bottle of fine red and start chatting….we could still be chatting in a week….solving all matter of the world’s problems.

 

Sit down with my thoughts, a key board or pen and paper with the intention to write…..and its cue the crickets…well actually that’s not entirely true…

 

What actually happens are those demons in my head that rise up with all matter of encouragement, and they get really invested in their encouragement, to the point where its like sitting down to write with the intention of inspiring and sharing all matter of FUN to you – the reader of my inner most thoughts.

 

As I go to write the words on the page….this inspired message that’s going to be the light in your day…I take my focus from the page and look to the crowd for inspiration…this crowd of demons, and by now they’ve multiplied – letting all their buddies know about the spectacle about to unfold. Yes I look to this excited crowd and as I do the roar is deafening and dare I say defeating….they even have banners they hold up high to ensure their enthusiasm is enforced….Who do you think you are?…..You can’t say that…..Like that hasn’t be said before – be original…..Boring…..Who cares?…

 

…and you may have worked out by the ‘not-so-weekly’ offerings that this crowd has been victorious in silencing my sharing, writing, blogging…..convincing me that I really don’t have anything of value to add or share with you.

 

Until recently…when another voice has emerged, its not a loud voice, its not animated, doesn’t even have a banner…I’ve recognised that my writing is very much like stepping onto Centre Court at Wimbledon, stepping up to serve….whether it’s the opening serve of the match, serving for the game, set, match or Championship point…they’re the moments when the crowd is at its loudest and then the man in the chair – the one who keeps score – calmly leans into his microphone and simply speaks – ‘Quiet Please’….no yelling, no raising of voice….and the crowd obeys the man. In the following silence, my words have been served and the point is in play…well for this paragraph anyway.

 

What does this have to with the strongest energy winning? Put simply, its FEAR versus FAITH…the tragedy in this battle is the strongest energy isn’t necessarily the BEST energy for the intended result.

 

You may already be familiar with FEAR representing False Evidence Appearing Real, and for me FAITH represents Finding Answers In The Heart….and the FEARful crowd lets out a collective ‘awww how sweet’….man in the chair “Quiet Please”….yes Finding Answers in the Heart – that passionate, purposeful all things in harmony, making the world a better place space – simply because you’re an active part of it

 

FEAR’s worst nightmare is that FAITH gets control of the game, as such will bring in all its buddies – comparison, doubt, envy, jealousy, anger, confusion….the list goes on endlessly to keep you from discovering the magnificence that FAITH delivers…..right there FEAR makes promises (that may or may not be kept) whereas FAITH delivers – forever and always.

 

What I know to be true …or as Oprah would say “What I know for sure…” FEAR is always loudest and at its most agitated when FAITH has the most to gain.

 

As I reflect on my life, there are sooooo many times I gave into FEAR and regret moved in (another one of its buddies) – yep FEAR has friends everywhere for pretty much every occasion…enough of the BED-time story (you guessed it, another buddy)…time to make way for OARsomeness.

 

Many moons ago, I developed a healthy addiction to reading –  especially reading  inspirational books and in particular books written by Dr Wayne Dyer…Erroneous Zones in the late ‘80s changed my world view permanently, that was very definitely my awakening. I’ve gone on to devour the inspired writings from Tony Robbins, Deepak Chopra, Sonya Choquette, Louise Hay, Dr Bruce Lipton, Paulo Coelho and the list goes on.

 

There is one demon who has gone to a lot of trouble with their sign, it’s the one that says “What’s the point….no one’s going to read it anyway!!!!”

 

Turns out this demon gets around….shows up in lots of writers, bloggers head…yes even highly successful and famous ones….and you know what they did….they wrote and shared anyway. So taking a leaf from their book (pardon the pun) – I’m writing anyway…I write to let you know you’re not alone in the battle of FEAR versus FAITH and I implore you to seek out the ‘man in the chair’ the one with the microphone that says “Quiet Please”…because FAITH is calling you to be you…even if you are the same or similar to someone else…you will reach the very person you’re intended to reach. It could be one, it could be many…who knows…for the love of all things FAITHful – just do it!

 

You may have also worked out in addition to reading, I’m a lot bit addicted to tennis and will be first in line for Roger Federer’s biography. The 2014  Australian Open Champion, Stan Wawrinka has this at-first-glance a ‘not so inspirational’ message tattooed on his ‘ball toss’ arm – he sees this every time he goes to serve – ”Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”  His explanation is in his awareness – recognising he’s living out his passion with the legendary likes of Federer, Nadal, Jokovic at a time when aspiring to #1 is potentially unachievable….this is however no excuse to not show up, give it my best, do better and do it anyway. Interestingly, within 12 months of the tattoo – he walks on court against his legendary idols and consistently leaves the court victorious. Coincidence?? Quiet Please

HIS-story HER-story YOUR-story

Recently a Hay House facebook post caught my attention and held it….and I mean in that way that it was almost haunting….“Sometimes only paper will listen to you”…what was it about these words that held my attention and championed my inner muse?

Then it struck me like a bolt from beyond and forgive me FUN ones as this is a deeply personal post and honours the legacy of one extra-ordinarily special woman.

The seed for this sharing was planted quite innocently a number of years ago, while searching for an appropriate birthday or Mother’s Day for my mother inlaw. Never really knowing what to get her, I stumbled across this gorgeous mini journal simply called My Mum.

Only she could take a gift meant for her and turn it into a gift for everyone else.

The promo sleeve on the book captures the essence and intention of this journal perfectly:

Mum, tell me a story. She’s our guide, our example, our champion. What made her the wise and wonderful woman she is? Inside are questions to spark the memories of her life. Get to know Mum. Laugh with her, hear her stories, celebrate her life. Create a treasured keepsake.

That’s exactly what happened, a treasured keepsake was created.

Unbeknown to all of us, and perhaps not so surprisingly…in her quiet times…and she had a lot of quiet time, she had been answering the questions posed in this gorgeous little journal.

Some of the questions:

  • Mum, what kind of house did you grow up in, and what was the old neighbourhood like?
  • Mum, what were some of the best presents you ever received when you were a kid?
  • Mum, which were your favourite pets, and what made them special?
  • Mum, when you were a child, what did you want to be you grew up? When you were a teenager? When you were a young adult?
  • Mum, what’s your favourite memory of your mum? Your dad?
  • Mum, what rules did your parents have, and which ones drove you crazy?
  • Mum, what was the worst mischief you got into when you were younger?
  • Mum, what music did you grow up listening to?
  • Mum, what’s the best thing about being a mother? What’s the hardest thing?
  • Mum, what is your perfect day?

In June 2014, this amazing, patient and gracious woman passed – the woman who raised my husband and father of our sons, the woman who welcomed me without question into her family, the woman who lived and breathed kindness everyday in every way through to her dying day.

During the days following her passing, while gathering her possessions from the nursing home, we found the journal…every single question had been answered.

As a family we read every word, as we read her detailed answers – we heard the answers in her voice. What a priceless find and timeless legacy!

Thanks to my sister inlaw, every member of the family now has their own copy of this treasured keepsake.

A keepsake that thankfully had the presence of mind to pose the ‘life’ questions and be ‘the paper that listened’ to her stories…and her hand writing the voice to ensure her story will never be lost.

Margaret Hann was no Hemmingway or crafty wordsmith….most of us aren’t. Family was her life, the common theme in each answer centred around family, her love, her service, her pride, her joy and purpose all centred around family.

Thanks to the creative genius of some inspired soul, Margaret could share HER-story – her personal history with her family – those that mattered most to her.

So what’s YOUR story? Or whose story do you want to preserve?

Just Kiss

Sometime ago I remember listening to a keynote speaker who opened his presentation using the humble of cup of tea as his metaphor for life. In essence, his metaphor centred around the simplicity of choice, once upon a time – the humble of pot tea was the centre piece cure-all for many of life’s perplexing situations. Furthermore, the only decision we had to make was black or white (with or without milk) and one lump or two. Fast forward to our current times and the humble cup of tea has transformed into a kaleidoscope of options from white (not talking the milked up version) to black to green and then there’s the gardener’s delight from herbs to fruits to infusion…you get the picture – his metaphor represents our masterful qualification in over complication.

This is representative of many areas of our modern life, especially where invention and innovation are concerned, there are times in my day where sending a seemingly simple email is suddenly a complex exercise.

So what does this have to do with ‘Just KISS’?

Well firstly, lets hone in on the word ‘just’…you know it’s a four letter word right? Sure we can reference just as being short for justice and use it in the context of circumstances and outcomes as being fair and just in a legalistic judicial manner, however just is frequently swapped in for a minimalistic perspective… I’m just grabbing a break or I’m just over here or its just your imagination or its just….you fill in the blanks.

Just can be used as an encourager, made famous by Nike – Just Do It – minimising the potential overwhelm, agonising and anxiety associated with a certain something – to simply step up and get on with whatever it is you might be facing.

My favourite line about just comes from the movie Finding Neverland, where Johnny Depp’s character responds to Peter’s “he’s just a dog” comment with “Just a dog? Porthos dreams of being a bear, and you want to shatter those dreams by saying he’s just a dog? What a horrible candle-snuffing word. That’s like saying, he can’t climb that mountain, he’s just a man, or that’s not a diamond, it’s just a rock. Just.”

Relevance: to Just KISS (Keep It Super Simple) denies the possibility of the ultimate realisation of what-it-is that’s in motion.

If you’re in start-up or operating from limited resources, find the value in simplicity, getting back to basics – like the humble cup of tea.

The undoing of many innovative ventures is in the notion of running before they can walk, striving to have all the latest and greatest business tools, investing in resources they don’t yet need.

Make the most of the resources in your hands and KISS…that’s right, drop the just, drop the need to minimise the cut through power of a crisp clear KISS, a good KISS is far from ordinary.

Simplicity in its purest form is powerful. You may be familiar with some of these scenarios:

  • Remember Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc and Toy Story? Pixar rewrote box office history with some their movies – most of which were story-boarded over lunch in a café on nothing more than napkins or serviettes as we say in Oz.
  • WC Fields wrote a movie plot on the back of shopping receipt and sold it to Universal Studios for $25,000 – which was a big deal in 1940.
  • Lionel Ritchie wrote the hit song ‘Lady’ for Kenny Rogers on toilet paper while …well let’s not over complicate the simplicity of the moment.
  • Spanx – started with a pair of Sara Blakely’s cut-off stockings. Her tenacity transformed her KISS from $5000 savings into a multi-billion dollar business. Remember when Oprah said she doesn’t wear underwear anymore – she wears Spanx. The rest is history.

The next time you catch yourself talking yourself out of opportunity because of what you perceive you don’t have…take a breath and reconsider what you do have, what are the resources at hand, take another breath and KISS…you may be pleasantly surprised by want comes next.

Each of the above examples could easily fit into the category of ‘they just got lucky’ – well maybe not the Lionel Ritchie example. Truth is all of the above hustled their backsides off to breathe life into their creative genius.

No one just gets lucky. Luck is a myth – there is only ever that moment where opportunity and prior preparation collide. The value of that meeting is determined by your readiness to step up, follow through and make the most of the KISS resources at hand.

This Valentine’s Day – KISS with passion, purpose and conviction…and perhaps a cup of tea.

Breaking up maybe hard to do…Its time….Its OVER!!!

Breaking up maybe hard to do…Its time….Its OVER!!!

For as long as I can remember, I have been in an ongoing argument with the fat cells that contribute to number on the scale that is my weight. Across the years, this number has expanded and contracted and expanded again.

As I reflect on this life long dispute, I feel like I’ve done everything but call in the UN – and recognise the delusion of my first ever diet (when I was skinny by comparison), for crying out loud – I am woman (hear me roar) not a rabbit – loading up on carrots, celery and lettuce…when those fat cells returned with their offspring (apparently fat cells breed like rabbits too)…its as if they’ve come back with sage wisdom encouraging their crew to stick around, let the fun begin.

Turns out they were right, over a few decades they’ve witnessed my attempts to banish them by sacrificing carbs and embracing proteins, make low cal/fat options (which I now know are chemical shit storms); I’ve liver cleansed, detoxed, cut dairy, cut meat, popped pills, swallowed an ocean of water, fasted, meditated, walked, ran, jumped and pumped. I’ve resorted to trickery, bribing my fat cells with one way tickets to famine stricken countries, sending them on their way with a humanitarian heart, turns out their visas expired and were returned to sender *heavy sigh*

Then one magical afternoon while researching (much nicer than stalking) one of my favourite modern world contributors Dr Wayne Dyer, I discovered the story of his daughter Sage and how she ‘broke up’ with her bumps. In short, as a young girl (age 5-6) she had a skin condition that wasn’t responding to a variety of treatments and were about to go down an extreme treatment pathway that the Dyer family were not all comfortable with, when quite literally overnight (like actually) Sage’s bumps disappeared. Sage (now a radiant woman) shares the story of how she had an intentional conversation with her ‘bumps’ that night, talking to them gently about how it just wasn’t possible for them to stay with her body any longer and that it was time for them to go…and that’s exactly what they did – go! That night, they left her body and have never returned.

So it struck me, its time to break up with my Fat Cells….I ran the whole ‘its not you its me’ routine. OMG!! Did they get the message Nooooo – quite the reverse, its like they staged their very own Occupy rally fully supported by social media.

Then it hit me!….. cue profound …AHA MOMENT…I’ve been arguing with the wrong entity!

This bit is hard to relay without sounding like some kind of pity-party BED time story, but I suppose in many ways that’s exactly what it is…my personal BED time story of self-imposed limitation and deprivation all based on what I now recognise as one massive lie.

There was a brief moment in my adult life when I was loving myself sick over how fabulous my body was and weight wasn’t remotely on the agenda – believe it or not – its was my post baby body! Damn straight! I was sooo proud of my body……it made 2 amazing boys and rebounded into a new improved version of my pre-baby body.  Ahhh…those were the days, I knew who I was and I was super proud to be me, wore clothes like a super model, had my sexy sizzle on and confidence was my middle name  – PUNCH THE AIR!!

Who knows what the actual catalyst was or has continued to be…..but somewhere along the line I’ve bought into a whole bunch of head junk around what’s right or wrong, good or bad, appropriate or inappropriate…..influences from across the spectrum of life from inherited family values to media to movies to books and the list goes on endlessly…..nonetheless, this endless internal banter with “Weight Issues” has been the welcome mat and comfort blanket that has made it easy and interesting for my fat cells to stick around.

HEAR THIS!!!…. Weight Issues – It’s Over!! And by the way, its not me its definitely YOU!!

…and Fat Cells, its up to you – stick around if you want, but you will have to get comfortable with getting out of your comfort zone more frequently, that sky dive earlier this year was just the beginning – its your choice now.

I declare from here on, I promise to embrace who I am, for what I am and live a life that’s truly FUN-filled.