Anchors Away

This week, I have received two email newsletters with an Anchor theme. The first newsletter asked if you had an area of your life that provided an anchor of security a shelter during tough times. This anchor could be a place you find relaxing to visit, a friend you can talk things over with, a faith you find comfort in, a pet that loves you unconditionally. This got me to thinking where my anchors are, and what I find comforting. I love walking along the beach at dawn, I love the clear air, and I love it when it is low tide. The colours of the water, the sand and the sky all vary, but there is something about being at the beach at this time, that I find restorative. Dancing is another one of my anchors, I find going over and over movements, practising, gives me focus. Art, another anchor, is a time out area for me when I paint, I lose my thoughts and focus in only on what I am doing. It gives my mind time to clear and my house a new artwork.

Then the second email asked if you had an invisible anchor that was holding you back, the question was related to past lives, which I am not really focused on right now as my present life has enough going on for me. However the question really did get my mind thinking about this life now and what anchors I had that may be holding me back.

If you imagine for a moment, about being on a boat in a safe harbour, you want to go somewhere, but your anchor is snagged on something beneath the boat. The snag stops you from going anywhere. You don't want to stay in the harbour, you want to explore. Are there areas in your life that are holding you back? An anchor, that you'd rather not have? Perhaps it is a fear of doing something - like flying. You'd like to travel but fear of flying (crashing really) holds you back. Or perhaps it is a hurt from a past relationship that stops you from trying again.

This morning I am grateful for the anchors that keep me grounded and safe especially at Christmas. I love the ritual of putting up and decorating our Christmas tree. I love providing Christmas spirit, by decorating the topiary tree outside our home to share joy with others, who may not be experiencing joy right now in their lives. This morning I am wondering what anchors I need to let go of that keep me snagged.

So what are the anchors that work for you? And what are the ones keeping you snagged?

Purposeful Problems

This is from Cheryl newsletter this week...

Purposeful Problems

"Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss." --Ralph Waldo Emerson

I love the above quote and today, as I was searching for a newsletter to rerun this week while I travel back from LA, I came across this one. It's about what I learned from encountering problems while finishing up the building of our home. So, think about something that's challenging you right now, sit back and get ready for a new perspective...

After hitting a stumbling block while getting ready to move into our new home, I had a chance to see how my approach to dealing with problems has changed dramatically over the course of the building process. When the carpet installers began laying carpet, they discovered that the color of one large piece of rug was completely different than the rest. I learned about the problem from the installer when we first met in the driveway. His introduction was exactly what you don't want to hear when moving in two weeks: "Hi Cheryl, nice to meet you. Boy do we have a big problem here!"

Now, I've learned a thing or two about problems. First, very few are life threatening. Very few. Yes, a problem may cause a setback, hurt feelings, enormous amounts of frustration and stress, or feelings that are so overwhelming that it makes the situation appear insurmountable, but in the larger scheme of life, if you handle them right, they rarely cause irreparable damage. This little bit of wisdom always reminds me to step back, breathe, and engage my sense of humor. I actually chuckled to myself when the carpet installer gave me the bad news.

Second, I've learned that where "things" are concerned, I'm better off spending my time and energy on the solution rather than rehashing the specifics of what happened. Too often we get caught up in the drama of the details. For example, I don't need to debate how the carpet got damaged or why they delivered it to us in such poor shape. It is what it is. The carpet is defective and needs to be replaced. Once you shift your attention to what has to happen next to get the job done, you'll feel more empowered. And believe me, that's a good thing for everyone involved ☺.

Finally, the most important lesson of all has to do with finding the power in the problem - an opportunity for growth. When Michael and I decided to build a home, we heard everything from, "You must be out of your mind," to "Build a house, lose a spouse." One person, however, had a very different perspective. My friend Kelly said, "This could be an amazing opportunity for personal and spiritual growth." Little did I know how right Kelly would turn out to be. Our decision to take on such a big, soul-inspired project would challenge us in ways we never could have imagined. And, we've grown a lot both individually and together as a result.

If you're faced with a problem right now, remember this: There's gold hiding somewhere and it has to do with the growth of your soul. Building our home has given me this gift. Every problem carries a possibility for us to become better people - great listeners, more compassionate, resourceful, or decisive, for example. Surrender to the gift and let it lead you to an even better life!

The Power of One

I have been learning about mindfulness and I visited - I watched a very inspiring youtube video... I have placed a copy here... to learn more about Mindfulness you might like to visit the site too...

One grain of sand can turn the tide
One single spark can light the night
One simple dream
One gentle word
One act of love from someone
Can start a Chain Reaction
It all begins in the heart
The Power of One

Are you unhappy?

Are you unhappy? Would you like to be happier?
The ABC has just produced a series on Making Australia Happy... you can watch the series here....

Your creative self... an uplifting podcast with Julia Cameron

If you are looking to develop your creative artistic side, I can't think of a better person to refer you to than Julia Cameron author of The Artist's Way. The Artist's Way online community has many resources to assist you on your journey. Here is a snippet from Julia's website...

A Guide for Starting Creative Clusters
When The Artist's™ Way was first published, I expressed a wish for Artist's™ Way groups to spring into being. I envisioned them as peer-run circles – "creative clusters" where people would serve one another as believing mirrors, uniting with the common aim of creative unblocking. It was my vision that such circles would be free of charge, that anyone could assemble one, using the book as a guide and a text. Many such peer-run circles did form and many more are forming still. Such artist-to-artist, heart-to-heart help and support are the heart of The The Artist's™ Way and The Vein of Gold.

Not surprisingly, many therapists, community colleges, wellness centers, universities, and teachers soon began running facilitated Artist's™ Way groups, for which they charged a fee. The Artist's™Way groups were led rather than simply convened. To the degree to which they adhered to the spiritual principles of creative recovery and introduced people to the use of the tools, they were – and are – valuable. Any group that starts with such a leader should, however, rapidly become autonomous, "graduating" to a peer-run, nonprofit status.

Another of my favourite people Cheryl Richardson, has recently interviewed Julia Cameron, if you would like to listen to the interview click here.

Cheryl Richardson has many interesting, uplifting and informative Podcasts (audio talks and interviews) online to listen to and can be found at Cheryl community click here.

If you would like to explore The Artist's Way, I will be running a small group in August 2015. click here for more details

This Christmas - celebrate in a new way - remember - you - are the greatest gift

This Christmas what about celebrating in a way you never have before?

Do you get stressed about presents and what you are buying? Well, stop worrying about what the reaction is from the person you are giving to, and instead think of the wishes that you hold in your heart for that person. If it is love and caring, include a beautiful little heart - the one pictured here was picked up at a local beach, write a message to go with it. One shop we have in our town sells carved hearts starting at $6, but you could also cut up some fabric in the shape of a heart.

One of the best Christmasses we ever had was a Christmas in July. Only one present was to be brought along - something that you had that you held dear, and it was to be given with a message. When it was time to collect a present, we all received a treasure. I received a beautiful shell that held meaning for the person who gave it. It was touching at what people brought with them to give.

My husband's family all had a Christmas draw. All the names went into a hat, you pulled out one name, and that is the only gift you had to buy. A price was set so you didn't have to spend a fortune, and everyone received a treat. One year we all decided to shop in The Salvos, so that the charity received the money, and the price was set at under $10. The person who bought the best present for the cheapest, got a prize - a loud cheer!!

This Christmas we are repainting old baubles and gluing glitter on them. I currently have orange glitter all over my family room, and my husband has told me it's even downstairs out the back. I love glitter, it's great all sparkly and fun. We are decorating our tree in a way we never have before in brightly coloured orange, hot pinks and golden yellows. All old baubles renewed, and the tree looks very delightful.

But remember the most important thing you can do for your family at Christmas is to be there. You are the most beautiful gift, and things are very secondary.

Anxiety Free Gift Giving

Here's another Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice - 11/24/10 - "Anxiety-Free Gift-Giving"

I hope that you have given some thought to those pet peeves that drive you crazy during the holidays, and have created your own interventions to alleviate the stress and tension. In fact, when you have a moment, I'd love to hear about some of them. We are a community, you and I, and I'd like to pass along your good ideas!

One of the biggest anxiety-producing events of any holiday season is Shopping For Gifts. "What am I gonna get.?" "How am I gonna find.?" "The store is only open when?!?!" and the ever popular, "What if they already have.?" All in search of the impossible - the "perfect" gift.

I hear, "I don't have enough money," or "There just isn't enough time," even with the power of internet ordering, I still hear, "It won't get here in time." And then there is the ever-popular, "What if?" usually ending in "it's not good enough."

I watch people put tremendous pressure on themselves, agonizing over "the gift list." Little kids are easy, because a lot of them have their "Dear Santa" letters ready in October. And have you noticed that, by and large, little children don't agonize over what to give Mom and Dad. They know what they want to give, and as parents, I know that our hearts have melted over the precious hand-print in clay, the glittered candles, or the handmade card that says, "I Love You, Mommy and Daddy."

Perhaps it is time to remind ourselves of our "littler" selves. Put aside the expectations and the stress, and remember that it is the time devoted, the intentions and the love involved that make any gift truly special. When all is said and done, it won't be the gift that is remembered. It will be those moments of true connection with loved ones that live in our hearts and minds forever.

Lou Tice
The Pacific Institute

the season for stress? change your thoughts change your christmas

From Lou Tice - newsletter

This week, at least here in the United States, marks the beginning of the holiday season. And for some of us, it becomes the "season of stress and tension." The good news is it doesn't have to be.

Today, let's talk a little bit about how we perceive holidays, regardless of where they land on the calendar. For most of the world, upcoming holidays signal a lot of preparation - to get home, to physically connect with family and friends we haven't seen in a long while, the food, the weather, the endless lines/queues, and on and on.

When we look at these events, and all the effort that goes into making them happen, it would be easy to slip into panic mode. "How do we get there?" "When am I going to have the time to get the grocery shopping done?" "The timing has to be perfect, or we'll miss the plane!" "What on earth am I going to get for presents?!?!?" Do you recognize anyone you know in these sentences?

With all the "how's" and "have to's", we get ourselves tied up in knots - literally and figuratively. Every traffic tie-up becomes a crisis. Finding a parking place becomes the ultimate in gladiatorial combat. "To do" lists grow lists of their own. We seem to lose our ability to make even the simplest of decisions. Headaches ensue. At its worst, all some of us want to do is pull the covers over our heads, and avoid the holidays altogether.

So, how do we get past the stress and tension? I want to talk more about this tomorrow. In the meantime, give some thought to those stress points that cause you tension during the holidays. Ask yourself "why" they do. This is a little self-reflection exercise that may uncover some "old tapes" you can throw out. Talk

Lou Tice

I think of life as a wonderful play

"I think of life itself now as a wonderful play I have written for myself, and so my purpose is to have the utmost fun, playing my part." Shirley MacLaine
You cannot be lonely if you like the person you're alone with. Wayne W. Dyer


If you are interested in reading more and learning how to work with your mind and emotions, I can't think of a better person to refer you to than Lou Tice. I receive his newsletter regularly and I share here, one I received this one this morning from - The Pacific it's easy to join up to receive the newsletter, and they are all gems.

Best of the Winner's Circle Network with Lou Tice - 11/9/10 - "I Am Fear"
What are you afraid of, and what does it cost you? Today, I want you to read one of the best descriptions of fear I have ever heard. I don't know where I got this quote originally, but it is one of the best definitions I know, and it seems to be appropriate for the world in which we are living:

"I am Fear. I am the menace that lurks in the paths of life, never visible to the eye but sharply felt in the heart. I am the father of despair, the brother of procrastination, the enemy of progress, the tool of tyranny. Born of ignorance and nursed on misguided thought, I have darkened more hopes, stifled more ambitions, shattered more ideals and prevented more accomplishments than history could record.

"Like the changing chameleon, I assume many disguises. I masquerade as caution. I am sometimes known as doubt or worry. But whatever I'm called, I am still fear, the obstacle of achievement.

"I know no master but one; its name is Understanding. I have no power but what the human mind gives me, and I vanish completely when the light of Understanding reveals the facts as they really are, for I am really nothing."

You see, if you have the courage to acknowledge your fears, you will be taking the first step toward controlling them instead of them controlling you. And if you take the next step toward understanding, you will be able to move past them to empathy, perhaps even to love.

Lou Tice
The Pacific
The effects of The Pacific Institute's education are reverberating around the world. For weekly updates, go to TPI Global

communication techniques 'I' statements

An easy technique in communication is to use 'I' statements in your communications not only with your partner, but everyone you are communicating with. People who use 'I' statements take responsibility for their feelings and behaviours. People who use 'you' statements, can be perceived as blaming and judgemental.

When you are next in a conversation and about to start a sentence with 'you' - replace it with an I, and share from your perspective. For example; instead of... you did well today, replace 'you' with 'I' then what you have noticed... for example; 'I' appreciate all the work you have put in. When you tell people 'you' it can seem as though you are being superior to them.

'I' statements also share more of your inner world with the other person, and can help them to understand what you are experiencing.

For more information: read People Skills by Robert Bolton

i love you

You really shouldn't say "I love you" unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.
Author unknown, attributed to an 8-year-old named Jessica

neediness in relationships

In counselling sessions I watch couples attempting to reconcile in their relationships. Often the partner that is the one 'trying' to get back together, is the one that succeeds - not in getting back together, but pushing the other partner away - by neediness. They realise that they have done the wrong thing or said the wrong thing,haven't been there for the other person, and now they will do anything to set 'the wrong' right. The only trouble with that is, the willingness to do anything after so long not doing... well it can seem false, and the neediness and clinging that goes along with the behaviour, feels claustrophobic to the person on the receiving end.

If your partner agrees to see you and you go out after being separated - do so like you are going out on a first date, enjoy yourself, enjoy your partner, enjoy the place you are in or the activity you are expereincing. Don't plead and beg, and remind them of how wonderful it used to be. How it used to be, got you separated, it needs to be different this time. Let your partner have some space, allow them to initiate contact, they may just find out in time, what a great person you really are.

Behave your way to success.

Keep active

Here is a snippet from Beyond Blue
Exercise is important for maintaining both good physical health and mental health.

Start small and build up slowly - If a person is going through a period of depression, they may have difficulty with simple things such as getting up and getting dressed in the morning. Don't try to do too much too early. It's a good idea to start with easy activities and slowly build on them.

Include other people - When people don't feel like doing much, planning social outings/activities can help them get moving. If the person doesn't have an established social network, they could consider joining a local club or group.

Don't be too hard on yourself - A plan is only a rough guide that should be flexible. If an activity runs overtime or can't be completed, skip it and move onto the next one.

Reward yourself - Allow time to do enjoyable, interesting, relaxing and satisfying activities. Some cheap, entertaining and easy pass-times include reading, listening to music, watching movies, gardening, going to the beach or park, taking part in sporting or creative activities, shopping, seeing friends and playing with pets.

all the advice you ever gave

"all the advice you ever gave your partner is for you to hear" Byron Katie

Drawing Mandalas

"When I began drawing the mandalas, I saw that everything, all paths I had been following all the steps I had taken were leading back to a single point - namely, to the midpoint. It became increasingly plain to me that the mandala is the centre. It is the exponent of all paths. It is the path to the centre, to individuation." Carl Jung

creating and interpreting mandalas

How to create and interpret mandalas a youtube video with Susanne Fincher
click here for Susanne's website Creating Mandalas.

Mandala - Labyrinth

This is the Labyrinth Mandala that I did when working through Susanne Fincher's book Creating Mandalas.

understanding a negative emotion

Tree Mandala Mosaic in the pavement outside the Great Northern Hotel Byron Bay

'A clear understanding of a negative emotion dismisses it.' Vernon Howard

Our emotions are the ways that our body gives us information on what we have been thinking. Byron Katie explains our thinking this way... our bodies breathe naturally and by themselves - we don't have to consciously control our breathing by saying to ourselves 'breathe in and breathe out'... and our thinking is very similar. Our brains simply think thoughts, and then the result of thinking a thought ends up in our emotions. Thinking a happy thought results in our body reacting to that thought, thinking a negative thought results in our body reacting to that thought.

To experience this for yourself try the following exercise, take a few moments for each, after you have read the exercise close your eyes and allow yourself to think the thought -
  • Think of something that makes you happy - now what is the reaction in your body?

  • Think of somewhere you find relaxing - now what is the reaction in your body?

  • Think a stressful thought like being in a queue waiting for the cash register in a busy store, and only one person on the till - now what is the reaction in your body?

  • Your reaction to the stressful thought will depend on how you process the thought, if you think, 'well this person only has one pair of arms, and I can wait peacefully, maybe take time to deep breathe and have a relax before continuing my shopping' you will have a different emotion and reaction in your body, than if you think, 'this is frustrating, this is ridiculous, why doesn't this store put on more staff - they make so much money I am really getting angry' and so you can imagine the difference in the body - the blood pressure is starting to rise, teeth are probably getting clenched, agitation is starting.

    Now breathe in and breathe out a few times and let go of that exercise - take time to think of somewhere you love to go in nature, imagine yourself in that space for a while and relax there.

    When experiencing a negative emotion, Byron Katie suggests, we ask the mind 'is that true?' and then if the answer is yes to ask again 'is that really true, can I be absolutely sure it is true?' questioning helps the mind to face the negative emotion, understand it, find information from it, and then release it. There are a few more parts to Byron Katie's The Work that helps you to understand the negative thought process.

    For more information on Byron Katie's work go to: The


    The message of frustration is an exciting signal. it means that your brain beleives you could be doing better than you currently are.
    Anthony Robbins

    commitment to life

    “I believe life is constantly testing us for our level of commitment, and life's greatest rewards are reserved for those who demonstrate a never-ending commitment to act until they achieve. This level of resolve can move mountains, but it must be constant and consistent. As simplistic as this may sound, it is still the common denominator separating those who live their dreams from those who live in regret.”
    Anthony Robbins

    art journalling - you tube video

    Bring some fun and colour into your journalling with art, stamps, old newspapers, here's a video from you tube for inspiration...

    accept your anxiety and watch it diminish

    The following is from an article by by Paul Coleman, Psy.D.
    To read the full article go to:

    The Effects of Accepting Anxiety
    What if instead you could emotionally accept that you’re feeling anxious? Emotional acceptance does not mean you like it; it means that you will not emotionally oppose the reality of the anxiety you feel in that moment. Using a different example, imagine that you discover your tire is almost flat. You can emotionally accept the situation and arrange to fix it, or you can emotionally oppose the situation (get upset, angry, frantic, and so on) and arrange to fix it. Which is better?

    getting even

    The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you. John E. Southard

    Remembering Sept 11

    "Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future." Paul Boese

    at this moment

    At this very moment, you may be saying to yourself that you have any number of admirable qualities. You are a loyal friend, a caring person, someone who is smart, dependable, fun to be around. That's wonderful, and I'm happy for you, but let me ask you this: are you being any of those things to yourself?
    Phillip C. McGraw

    Self respect

    Self-respect cannot be hunted. It cannot be purchased. It is never for sale. It cannot be fabricated out of public relations. It comes to us when we are alone, in quiet moments, in quiet places, when we suddenly realize that, knowing the good, we have done it; knowing the beautiful, we have served it; knowing the truth we have spoken it.
    Whitney Griswold

    Act as if what you do makes a difference

    "Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does." - William James