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Fanning the embers of life or burnout?

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All play and no work makes Jack a mere toy*

Let’s get some balance in life?  The old proverb gives us a hint that it’s not a bad idea to do just that, yet sometimes it’s a bit tricky to get the balance just right.  We all must work in one way or another and while we all need play for recreation and refreshment, we can’t rely on play for life satisfaction.  However and unfortunately for many, our desire for ambition and independence, our easy access to international travel and all that entails and our ready access to technology of many kinds can mean that work can become far too constant.

That’s when burnout begins to make its presence felt.  Read more

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Mingling with angels

Have you ever considered that in any ordinary day, your guardian angel just might be taking care of you?

I’m a great believer in Destiny and so therefore there simply must be an angel nearby to ensure that Destiny is fulfilled.  You might like to find a moment right now to recall and consider the many ‘near miss’ incidents that have touched your life from which you have lived to tell the tale.  How remarkable.

Some might put these occurrences down to fluke or luck or even their own good thinking.  On the downside of course, there is the mystery of ill health, accident or misfortune as and when it does occur – a topic that has been pondered for time immemorial.  Why did this happen to him or her … why to that small child … why to that very young and decent person … so many questions that can never really be answered.  Unless of course, we believe in Destiny, in which case perhaps a glimmer of hope can shine through the darkness to bring acceptance and a sense of trust that sometimes bad things do happen to good people and there simply must be a purpose to it all. Read more

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Paralyzing panic and other outcomes

Recently I had reason to reiterate to a new client an outline of the effect of anxiety, panic and the outcomes of these reactions. Since there seems to be quite a deal of ignorance about the physiology surrounding anxiety, I decided to talk about it again.

Anxiety is part of our survival.  Yet anxiety levels can creep out of control when, via the brain, emergency messages arrive at the nervous system creating distressing symptoms.  It is this sequence of events within our body that creates panic to the extent that people may begin to live a life of compromise, founded on fear. Read more

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Nurture strengths to assist our journey

And so we begin the month of February in this New Year of 2014.

Barbara 2In this ‘job’ I’m extremely fortunate to meet a very wide range of people from all areas of life and across all age groups – from very small children to those who used to be known as ‘elderly’ (or the ‘older’ generation).  Looking at those small children and knowing that one day, if all goes well, they too will join the older group I can’t help wondering what lies in store for them as they travel toward the autumn shades of life.  In this, a picture of utter tranquility, Barbara demonstrates that the mature person can find a new way, a meditative way, to ensure that life can become easier, healthier and far more enjoyable.

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Christmas – peace or turmoil?

Red tinsel, silver bells, bundles of holly and an pulsating hum of expectation is in the air.  Christmas is approaching again and how this year has flown by!

Perhaps I remain a child at heart but I can never forget little girl Christmases … the religious significance (whatever our belief system, the birth of Christ and his message of peace is the actual reason for upcoming celebrations), the excitement at school as studies were put aside to be replaced by carol singing and story writing, the wishes and hopes and dreams – and an awareness of limits, too. Read more

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A question of balance

I often wonder whether all the commodities we have today makes a world that is not that great for emotional health.  Often I’m wondering these things as I press the start button on the washing machine or the dishwasher or as I Google for information or glide along the road with ease in my faithful car.  So a keen observer would see me smile wryly at these thoughts.  Because we like these things; these elements of modern life that aim to make it all easier.  And so they do.  Sort of.  But maybe they don’t make life simpler. Or maybe they detract from natural things – our innate self … our natural environment … our appreciation of real living.  Or maybe they create those unseen stressors that contribute to emotional disquiet.  And could it be that these elements might contribute to the emotional disquiet experienced by so many in Gen Y and Z – our youth of today?

These questions were certainly what I wrote about in my small children’s book Quiet Magic, something slightly prophetic in that story actually … as we see more and more kids joined to their iPods or iPads and clicking away – unnaturally – with eyes fixed as if glued to the screen. Read more

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Three Funerals and a reflection

To have attended three funerals within one week is perhaps rather unusual.  Though not family or very close friends, it was really important for me to be there, with respect and appreciation of the reality that our lives had intertwined.  Each experience moved me deeply and for special, distinctive reasons.

The first was a long time neighbor whose children were of similar age to our youngest and the boys had lots of memorable times together.  As families, we were all on friendly chatting terms; and then we moved house and life moved on for everyone. Read more

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Spring clean your mind

As the August chills begin to fade, color and music land on the winter palette as bright shots of blossom, bunches of wattle, tiny green buds and early morning birdsong hint that spring is in the air!

As my four children grew up a small competition arose between them:  who would bring home to Mum the first sprigs of spring from the trees on the nature strip!  They haven’t been doing it in recent years – too busy raising their own families! So Don has taken over the task and there it sits before me as I write this, now wilting gently in the vase, but offering the promise of sunshine and the prospect of a warm summer with long days and balmy nights.
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Pearls of Wisdom

August 2013 marks the 30th anniversary of the release of In Stillness Conquer Fear and my foray into practice as a Stillness Meditation therapist specializing in anxiety relief and stress management.   My book was launched on ‘The Mike Walsh Show’ and lots of other publicity followed.  For someone who had experienced life crippling anxiety to recover, write her story and go public was very unusual and something the press devoured.  I feel proud to have set in motion the recognition that anxiety, depression and related disorders own today.   But better than that: that the practice of SMT greatly enhances life! Read more

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What does freedom mean to you?

“Most of life is so dull it is not worth discussing, and it is dull at all ages.  When we change our brand of cigarette, move to a new neighborhood, subscribe to a different newspaper, fall in and out of love, we are protesting in ways both frivolous and deep against the not to be diluted dullness of day-to-day living”.

This somewhat negative passage is taken from a novel by Truman Capote (Summer Crossing, circa 1940’s).  Still, he’s making a point for personal freedom – the ability to freely choose what we might or might not decide to do.

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