empower women
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Empower a woman, empower a nation

This commanding slogan used on the website of the United Nations for Women brings the promise of all that can be achieved for the world when the contributions of women are fully recognised, valued and properly employed.

We may find humour in women’s ability to multi-task. Yet there is little doubt that women are those who have the capability to work their way through a range of obstacles within whatever challenge may cross their path.
Women are intuitive by nature. Intuition is power and can be the best guide in making decisions with good judgment.
Women are reflective, owning a gift that provides the wisdom of experience. Mistakes made in the past will not escape the memory of a reflective woman.
Women are compassionate. As nurturers, like the lioness and her cubs, a woman will protect those dear to her – at family level and far beyond.
Women become familiar with the responsibility of many roles very early in life. This is where the juggling really begins. The balls are in the air as life roles unfold: juggling parental behaviour, siblings, friendships, relationships, various attachments, colleagues and the wider world beyond.
Women possess immense internal strength. Even at her most vulnerable, a woman’s strength can provide the determination and tenacity needed to hold together; to move forward and to rise up again despite the odds.
As the saying goes, you never know what you can do until you try – in other words, you never know what you can do until the challenge presents itself. Challenges can be chosen or thrown upon us! Those we choose are easier to meet because we have the desire to fulfil them. But the unexpected challenges – disappointment, plans in disarray, illness, financial strain, loss, grief and more … these are the challenges that women will work their way through until some resolution occurs.
All that being said the slogan presented by the UN is a fitting reminder that worlds can change when women are empowered and respected. Too bad Hillary didn’t quite break that glass ceiling … but there’s still the future with a wealth of potential and anything is possible.
My grandmother used to say: a woman’s work is never done. I think she meant housework! But times have changed Nanna and a woman’s role in the world has vastly expanded. So now we can and surely will successfully apply our strengths and talents to the urgent call for a better world.

Pauline McKinnon ©
Melbourne, March 2017

managing the mind
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Managing the mind – our most precious possesion

Lots of information is available these days on how to improve mental health, manage our mind, control emotions, find inner peace … and so on. In a flush of interest over the past 5 years or so, the significance of mental health has become public property and, thankfully, mental health issues are at last being recognised as valid – and treatable – and certainly no longer subjects to be avoided at all costs.

Within that information the word ‘mindfulness’ has emerged as a sort of cure-all-cum-trendy practice as well as a catch word within our vernacular. The word ‘mindfulness’ is also attached to the word ‘meditation’ and so, for many uninformed people, mindfulness means meditation. Wrong!

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The birds are singing!

birdbath2Well, it was a hot Christmas Day around Melbourne and beyond and even if the weatherman hadn’t predicted that, the early morning birdsong certainly did.  How lovely are the murmurs of early morning awakening  … and the scents, the warmth rising as the sun also does … and the birds singing – chortling, and chirping, their melodic messages … darting in and out of the trees, plunging into the little birdbath (or Charlie’s drinking water!) as they scuffle and scuttle for breakfast.  Their message is clear – welcome to another day.

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The age of anxiety

This header is perhaps a harsh reminder of an uncomfortable truth so maybe it’s time to take a long look at some of the influences that currently result in the way people are managing their lives.

If levels of anxiety have indeed increased in the last twenty years, then this increase obviously correlates with our increased interest and dependence upon technology.  Yes, technology is a fabulous tool.  But technology has also become an integral part of the game of life.  Apps and games can be used efficiently or negligently.  Efficiency results in assistance and related achievement leading to satisfaction and generally good feelings.  By contrast, negligence creates disappointment, frustration and anger.  Overall, on the down side of technology, comes the expectation of fast – or even immediate – results.  As technical functionality and therefore the pace of response is rapidly rising, so are expectations – and when these are not met, along comes a sense of negligence followed by disappointment, frustration and anger. Read more

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The power of four

A very odd thing happened last week. Within four days, on four separate occasions, quite accidentally four former clients approached me in random places for a brief conversation. The first was at an auction, the second while I was choosing fruit and veg, the third in a church and lo and behold the fourth – one who returned to recommence – “with commitment” she said – a new course in Stillness Meditation.

It was great to reconnect with those four people, spontaneously, unexpectedly and enthusiastically. Though in all cases we hadn’t seen each other for quite some time, the links were still there as well as the mutual exchanges surrounding the experience each had shared. After a brief chat, to each, I just had to ask: so have you continued to practice what you learned with us? Read more

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Conquering Fear

For me, October 2016 brings with it a great sense of satisfaction:  the new, fully revised and updated edition of my book In Stillness Conquer Fear will shortly be released and my hope is that it will help bring comfort and healing to many.  This achievement is very exciting because I now offer not only a personal recovery story, but over 30 years’ professional experience in working to assist others with stress and anxiety.

So here’s a little ‘teaser’ from Chapter 18 to capture your interest and to spread the word – anxiety does not have to be a lifelong companion.

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The word ‘disappointment’ is surrounded by a host of negative concepts, and therefore, negative energy.

We can feel disappointed when misunderstandings occur.  We can feel disappointed when hopes have been dashed.  We can feel disappointed when plans must change and life takes a turn beyond hopes or dreams. Read more



Sometimes a day comes along that seems to produce just too many things to do.  Yes, we all have regular tasks and responsibilities.  But sometimes a whole new bundle of duties seem to make their appearance all at the one time.  For me, this took place on a recent day when my diary was looking free enough for me to spend the morning finalising some fairly detailed written work.  Read more

SMT dandelion

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Managing times of change

Do you ever pause to consider that your life is like a story, unfolding day by day – or page by page if you were to read it literally.  How interesting is each person’s life!  And how little it matters that we might describe ourselves as ‘just an ordinary person’ when we recognise that each life is filled with precious moments and memories, coloured by times of change.

As each birthday is celebrated we can be sure that the preceding year has called for some new adaptation: friends come and go, family life changes, study is completed and work life shifts direction, illness and loss makes its mark and successes give cause for rejoicing.  But what happens when too many negative events collide?  And how do we respond to the collective change that is occurring all the time throughout our world?  Read more