Anxiety and the need for perfection: a Q&A session

Over the years I’ve covered many questions and answers personally, in my books and via the internet.  When anxiety is high, there is always a quest for more reassurance, more information and more certainty.

Here’s a recent interchange between me and a special client who made a long trip to Melbourne to spend a week experiencing SMT. Read more


What can we offer you for 2015?

Sometimes we’re asked what we actually do here!   So as we commence this New Year, let’s give you an overview of the power of Stillness Meditation Therapy.

We first get to know our client – and allow that person to get to know us a little, too.  Here’s an example of first meeting.  Read more


Peace on Earth – is communication the key?

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
George Bernard Shaw
Though that’s a fairly profound statement, somehow I’m reminded of the old song and the familiar lines of disagreement … Read more

Change without Fear Tips

5 Easy Tips for Change without Fear

I recently came across a witty little sign at a Cafe counter that said: “If you don’t like change, we’ll have it”.  It is a clever way of asking for tips and I’m sure many of their customers like me appreciated their sense of humour by leaving them some loose change.

What is even more clever, is that they have honed in on something that just about everyone fears at one time or another.  The vintage coffee pot they have as a tip jar is always full; a sure sign that lots of people don’t like change!

Change, of the ‘other’ variety, is one of those things, isn’t?  We all want it or recognise the need for it at various stages of our life, yet very few of us find the process easy.  We might imagine how much better our life would be if things were different and while the end result is appealing and desirable, making the necessary changes to get us there, is often difficult, challenging and even fearful.

The prospect of making changes and ‘new beginnings’ as a brand new year approaches is exciting and promising as many of us make a list of our ‘resolutions’!   But what are New Year resolutions about anyway?

When you think about it, it is usually all about doing more or less of something or trying something new – work less, spend more time with family; read more books; travel more; eat healthier; stop smoking (or drinking!); worry less;  exercise more; be more assertive; be less aggressive, take up pottery,  do more gardening, go parachuting, etc.  All of which require change – change of habits, change of routine, change in the way we think, behave or feel.    No wonder most of these resolutions are ‘broken’ very soon into the new year.   Because change is difficult at the best of times; and big changes are even more so if we have been ‘stuck’ in a particular pattern for a long time.

That does not mean that we avoid change; but rather than trying to change the world from one day to the next so to speak, why not take little steps to changing little habits that won’t necessarily make or break you. Why would you want to do that you may ask, if it won’t make any difference to my life?  Well, it’s all about getting ‘unstuck’; getting used to the concept of change – re-wiring your mind if you like, to accept things differently, to break your routine and habits in small ways so that the significant changes you want to make won’t be so scary.

So here are five easy steps to change without fear and without waiting for the new year to start!

• walk on the opposite side of the road than the one you are used to.  You will be amazed at how different everything looks, even your own street.  It opens up a new perspective of your neighbourhood and suddenly you’re thinking new thoughts!
• buy a new brand of toothpaste (or something else you routinely buy).  Instead of reaching for the same old brand without thinking about it, stop, have a look at what else is available and you’re taking a little step to changing a habit
• take a new route to work, school or your local shops.  Whether you walk, drive, cycle, or use public transport, there’s bound to be another way of getting there; again shaking up your routine in a small way
• If you ‘always’ have the same thing for lunch (or breakfast), consciously decide to have something else.  Again, you will be breaking a habit, re-igniting brain neurons to take a different path and in the process you might discover something much better than what you’ve been used to
• Tune in to a different radio station.  Yes, you might like ‘your’ particular presenter, or the music they play or the talk-back or whatever else you might be attached to.  But how much harm would it do, if you got to know another radio station and other presenters, or even different music?  You might like it better, and you will be sending a little message to your brain, that you’re open for change!!

There are countless other ways you can begin to introduce small changes into your life that are not scary or challenging and doing something outside of your routine often, will set you up in the right frame of mind for the big, important changes.   I realise that listening to a different radio station is not the same as getting out of a bad relationship for example, but you’re learning to listen to a different frequency that can carry through to other areas of your life; you’re opening up to new ways of thinking, of expression, opinions and different points of view.

Sometimes life throws us curve balls and change, big change even, is unavoidable if not forced upon us, no matter how much we want things to stay as they are.  But if we train ourselves to embrace small changes into our daily life, we can handle the bigger changes with less stress and fear.   Lots of small change in that vintage coffee pot eventually builds to a significant amount that has impact.

In John Wyndham’s words :

“The essential quality of life is living; the essential quality of living is change; change is evolution: and we are part of it”  (The Chrysalids by John Wyndham)

NOTE: For specific advice on change without fear we strongly recommend you read “Living Calm in a Busy World” by Pauline McKinnon; in particular Chapter 6: “The Steps to Change”

© Lucy Louca, Melbourne, December 2014

Please get in touch if you want to book a session and commence your journey to Change without Fear.



How exciting it is to receive a formal invitation to a special occasion! These are communications of great personal value, where someone has honoured us by having included us within his or her chosen relationships.

In the days before the convenience of the phone or the speed of email, invitations of this kind generally arrived in the post and were easily distinguishable from the usual flurry of accounts payable. Read more


What would have happened if …

Mental illness or mental health?  What if I hadn’t recovered from agoraphobia?
A lifetime reflection

When life crippling fear has become a constant companion, it’s not difficult to imagine a future of limitation, negotiation and masquerade.  And a lifetime of mental ‘illness’.  What if I hadn’t recovered from the constraints of fear?  What if the hesitancy, the headaches, the churning, the avoidance and depression and all the hideous symptoms of anxiety had continued to rule my life?  Read more

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Where have goodness and kindness disappeared to?

I used to look forward to reading the morning paper over breakfast, an easy, informative and recreational start to the day.  But things have changed.  The paper I used to enjoy has lost its noble restraint.  Now in tabloid form with too much colour this paper is filled with dramatic and revealing photographs ranging from local football angst to the horrors of war in other lands.

Words that carry foreboding abound:  threat, arms, step up, deal, break trust, fixation, jailed, extremists, fears, detainees, activist, deceptive, banned, militant, nude, fails, suspended, victim, forces, abuse, blasts, ice, famine, serious, split … and more. Read more


Personal Peace for World Peace

Personal peace for world peace – Within the family, between friends, across cultures 
My thoughts in this blog are especially with the Maslin family of Western Australia who lost their beautiful, treasured children and their children’s much loved grandfather in the recent horrific attack on flight MH17.   I have never read anything that moved me as greatly as the message from that family to the world.  That these wonderful people could so profoundly express graciousness, resilience and the power of love despite such unbearable pain; that they can still access their ability to pray; and that they are able to find some measure of solace within the care and company of others is the most poignant of all love stories.

My prayer for them is that they may perhaps, at a time still distant, be able to reclaim the gift of hope, that powerful presence that sustains the spirit and eventually restores personal peace.  Read more


From Fear to Freedom

With an engaging smile, one of our regular clients said to me recently, “I like to keep coming here often – this is my brain gym”! What a great way to summarize meditation, a regular fitness skill, just made for our brain.

And why do we need that regular brain gym? To manage stress of course, because no life ever escapes the influence of stress – and here’s the how and why of it all. Stress, if not managed, is a trigger for fear; fear then converts to anxiety, anxiety leads to raised tension levels and tension in turn, raises anxiety further. These combined influences produce the debilitating symptoms we hear of so often today … those negative mental disturbances that fill the daily news, the many physical illnesses related to stress and, very significantly, the current epidemic of depression. Read more

Embrace Desire for Change

Setbacks are Okay. Is it time to embrace your desire for change?

When someone has lived with anxiety for a long time, it is often difficult to imagine a life without it. The desire for change however is strong along with eagerness and impatience.  “How long will it take” or “how many sessions do I need to do” are very common questions, to which there is no simple answer.

Stillness Meditation Therapy is a very personal process – it can be slow or fast; it can be easy for some, more challenging for others. Even one individual can experience these differences at various times. And almost inevitably, everyone will experience a setback of some description.  This will differ from person to person depending on what he or she is dealing with; a common response for some however is to lose heart, to be disappointed, to become doubtful of one’s ability to overcome anxiety, or perhaps even to revert to old patterns.

These setbacks are understandable responses to change; the old part of ourself, who is used to anxious feelings and reactions is suddenly feeling ‘different’, even better. The only way it knows how to respond is the ‘old way’ – tension, panic, stress – the very things we set out to overcome in the first place.  To this, there is a simple answer: patience and perseverance.

Trust yourself, believe in your desire for change and ability to overcome anxiety, persevere with your practice and seek support from your Stillness Meditation Therapy facilitator.  Understand that setbacks are OK.  You can overcome them and get back on track.  Imagine if you were planting a vegetable garden; you would take every care to prepare the soil, select the best seeds and seedlings and start your planting; before soon you will be watching with joy little shoots coming through, fragile green leaves with the promise of a rich harvest; but suddenly an unexpected frost, or wild winds, or garden pests, interfere with all your good work, and you have suffered a setback.  But you don’t abandon your garden; you safeguard against these setbacks and you start again – patiently.

Get in Touch with one of our Stillness Meditation Therapy facilitators