Happy Australia Day!


Happy Australia Day! It’s a day that gives pause for thought both for those people who are Australian by birth and those who are Australian by choice.

Coming from Scotland I’ve often been asked whether I was torn between the country of my birth and the country I choose to live in, but I don’t actually see a dilemma. Just as a person grows up and gets married and goes to live with their new partner and subsequent family I see Scotland as the place where I grew and formed and Australia as the opportunity for my next adventures in life. No place can take the place in my history or my heart of Scotland, and it may even have a place in my future. In the meantime I live in a country I love so much that I chose to become a citizen on the very day I became eligible to do so.

There is a lot of talk about the political and social issues du jour here in Australia, but for a moment I’ll give you a snapshot of my little corner; I live in a nice suburb in a slightly daggy but loveable house that contains a happy family and three dogs. In our corner of the street our newest neighbour moved in ten years ago, so we’ve seen each other’s families grow up and we all know each other and know we can chap on anyone’s door for help or coffee (though we rarely do – should do the coffee more). We can chat over the back fence – when we got  new fencing done I had to put an old upturned plant tub to be able to see over for the chats. And in a rare event a house around the corner was up for sale just before Christmas and was bought by our neighbour’s daughter and her family, so the suburban idyll continues.

The neighbours are mostly Italian migrants or the sons and daughters of Italian migrants. Exceptions are us and Tony and Robyn across the back who are of UK extraction. The commonality is that no matter whether our accents hail from Piedmont to Sicily, from Glasgow to London, or from Port Hedland to Geelong and anywhere in between, we are all Australian – and that’s the key – the diversity.

This song says it all: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjkrjYitgeA

Happy Australia Day!

The Effort of Doing Nothing

Its good to have a place for some mental downtime
The Thinking Chair

My very writing of this blog post is one big ol’ piece of irony.

I’m actually contravening what I’m writing about, in writing about it! Let me explain.

The topic of this post is giving yourself permission to do nothing. Today is Sunday, it’s a sunny afternoon after a period of gloomy rainy wintry weather.

I’ve been working hard in the past few weeks with plenty on my mind to mull over. Today is an ideal opportunity to sit down and look at the blue sky, feel the (relative) warmth of the sun on my skin and just take the time to take a breath.

I know intellectually that this will be very beneficial for me; it will give me some headspace and recuperation, it will help me be calm and it will take me back into the now.

However, inside, there’s a slight feeling of panic at the thought of not doing anything, not achieving anything, not being productive. So instead of using this time wisely I’ve written this blog, attended to some correspondence and booked flights and accommodation for a trip. That’s all well and good but the truth is that  it could all be done tomorrow without suffering any setback.

I’ve become so accustomed to being busy that I’m losing sight of why I’m being busy. Busy-ness for its own sake is ridiculous – it’s a pup chasing its tail, its treading water – plenty of action but not much progress in the long run.

Mental downtime is essential for the proper functioning of our minds in the same way that rest helps the physical body recover. It’s not rocket science but, boy,  I do need to do a facepalm now and again just so’s I follow my own advice.

The sun is shining, the breeze is blowing and my thinking chair awaits.

Checking out for now to take my own advice.

Have a great week!

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The Servant’s Heart

Good god! I haven’t written on here since last September! Apologies for my absence (if I’ve been missed). Its been a life changing set of months which have blurred into a flurry of work, study, coaching and business building.
I’ve been keen to stick to the Brad Sugars quote that we should ‘learn before we earn.’ I find that’s good and it sits well with my values, so my head’s been in the books and I’ve been doing much pro bono work, as well as a little paid work, to upskill as much as possible. It’s amazing how much I’ve learned, too. I only realised myself when I acted as a listener to someone who is six months behind me in the coaching journey and I was able to add such value for them.
One thing I have learned, this stuff that I learn, and that I now coach and teach, has allowed clients to make such huge changes in their lives that it is very humbling. And it’s only when I’ve been able to feel that humility that I understood totally what my school means about approaching everything with a servant’s heart.
It’s possible that this kind of skill could be seen by some as a kind of power that reflects more on their own abilities, and in the wrong hands it could go to the head.
So, servant’s heart it is, and in that way, standing not in front, nor behind, but beside the client, I can share in both the struggle to change and transform, as well as the joy of the victory when they succeed.

The First Step to Transforming Your World

Hi there,

Yep it’s been a while again between posts, with lots happening. 

Do you like the pic? It’s my new business’s logo. Elegant Concepts Group will bring together and deliver a whole host of elegant concepts to help people live the lives they’ve always wanted.

As well as working full time and rehearsing for the south Australian premiere of the stage play Calendar Girls, I’ve been getting into my studies and been coaching as much as possible.

Clients are already coming back to me with amazing changes they’re making in their lives via our sessions and its wonderful to see. The fact that people are making it a priority to invest in themselves is reaping rewards both for them and for the people around them. For me, it’s gratifying, fulfilling and tells me I’m right where I need to be.

It’s a simple principle – change your thoughts and you change your world – and yet many people shy away from really looking at their thoughts, from examining how they can change them and thus live better lives. It’s not rocket science but it does take fortitude and persistence and that’s where having a coach to support you and help you stay accountable for your progress is gold.

I’m running a workshop in a few weeks – Reignite! It’s primarily aimed at those of us who have lost their way, forgotten where their passion lies and need to remember just why they get up and show up every day. But it’s also useful for anyone who wants to just get some down time in a beautiful setting at a great price ($25). It’s my way of giving back to the world some of the great stuff I’ve been receiving, so if you’re interested go here for booking details – I’d love to see you there.

In the meantime have a great week and look out for things to appreciate in the everyday sense – it’s the first step to transforming your world.


Enough To Be Pondering On

Where does your divinity lie?                       

Is it something or someone in the sky you implore in times of need?

Is it something you tap into daily in a conversational style?

Is it something you work with cooperatively, not minding whether it’s god or just the set of physical and metaphysical laws we can’t yet identify?

Is it something you absolutely identify with and use to label yourself and your life as opposed to people who don’t consider themselves ‘spiritual’?

Or is this a stupid question, because after all there is no deity or divinity beyond what we see?

This Coaching journey I’m on, this learning and this helping of people is teaching me so much – about myself and my life, my beliefs and my view of the world.

I’m seeing more and more the divinity in the everyday, the perfection in the flaws and the beauty of humanity and its potential. It seems that divinity, the sacred, is everywhere in general, commonplace in its nature and, paradoxically, nowhere specifically.

Don’t have much more to say than that of a Sunday morning, and it’s probably enough to be pondering on a sunny winter’s day.

Have a great week!


Gratitude – The Law of Attraction’s Rocket Fuel

I have a fabulous friend and mentor, and when we get together our discussions around everything from business to peoples’ potential and metaphysics can really take us to places of new discovery.

One such discussion took place a few weeks ago that really gave me food for thought. We came around to the subject of  gratitude, and how, when we’re looking to bring about or manifest a situation, if it is visualised in a general atmosphere of gratitude then it tends to lend the whole exercise a power that’s not there without that mindset – I’ve started calling it Rocket Fuel for visualising!

And it’s great to know this, that it works and it can really power a visualisation, but how does it work? These were the things we were discussing when I realised the answer – currency and vacuums!

No, not money and carpet cleaners – let me explain.

When I was a much younger student of Tai Chi and Chi Kung, our Grand Master would teach us that to properly breathe deeply we must not begin on the in-breath, but on the out-breath.

He explained that we need to expel as much of the old air from our lungs as possible, and just when you think it’s all gone, then use your stomach muscles and diaphragm and perhaps even bend over (as in some of the Chi Kung exercises) to expel even more.

This space becomes a bit of a vacuum which then assists in drawing a larger proportion of new air in when you take your big in-breath. Try that two or three times and you’ll actually feel quite giddy because your body isn’t used to all that fresh air – its used to a good proportion of the old stale air.

The other aspect of our discussion about gratitude led me to thinking about energy. Energy isn’t stagnant – it needs to keep on moving to be effective, much like an electrical current.

And that’s when it struck me – conscious gratitude is an outpouring of positive energy from your being-ness to either a specific (God, the Universe etc) or non specific target (the world etc). Where it goes doesn’t really matter. What does matter is the mood and movement of the energy, and that outpouring of positivity then creates a space, like the lungs empty of expelled air.

And because like only draws to like, it creates that space specifically for positivity to enter, and that’s how it rocket fuels your visualisations.

The great bonus of cultivating gratitude is that it has a side benefit – it puts us in a better, nicer and more positive space than we would otherwise be if we were worrying or panicking because if that is what we’re sending out, then that is what  we would get back.

So, next time you find yourself with an air of negativity of whatever type, put it to one side, draw out your gratitude and send it out, creating the space for more good stuff to come right back atcha.

Fertilise with Only the Best

It seems to be a week with a theme. This one being the value of people.

A few things have happened this week that have really opened my eyes to see  how some people are very willing to devalue others in the interests of their own pursuits.

I can’t go into details (damn) but in general it’s all about other peoples rights and value being depressed in order to support, however shaky, the beliefs and values of others.

Weeks like this are a gift. They’re a gift because they help you clarify with razor sharpness which side of the fence you fall. For me it was fairly easy. My belief is that if you care for people, look after them and give them a safe place where they know they are respected and valued they will blossom, and I’ve never felt as strong in that as I do now with this week coming to a close.

One detail that I can go into is a Facebook post from one of my comedy friends who declared he was holding in a shit so he could claim 99% adherence at his desk for the day. I think he was half joking, but bloody hell – we’re treating people as badly as we treat battery hens – even if it’s a nice clean office cubicle they’re working from.

Everything stems from people, whether it’s love or money or anything else, why would we want to fertilise that particular ground with anything less than the best?