Non-Toxic Mother’s Day Anyone?

Non Toxic Mothers Day

by Liz Sefton.

With Mother’s Day approaching the retail catalogs are overflowing with perfumes, scented body wash & lotion packs and scented candles as gift ideas!

Before starting my low tox journey, I would have been seduced by this marketing. But now I know the effects of chemical exposure in these types of products are very real, and I hope to give you something to think about before you purchase a gift for someone special in your life including yourself!

Planet Spectrum

It can be overwhelming

When looking at the ingredients list on products keep it simple! One word you can search for is the word parfum or fragrance. If it is listed and is not derived from essential oils, it means this product is made up hundreds of synthetic chemicals including hormone-disrupting chemical, phthalates.

Many of these chemicals do not have to be disclosed or tested for safety and unfortunately, a product doesn’t need to be tested until there is a known issue! Exposure to these products is linked to many health conditions including headaches, migraine, allergies and respiratory problems like asthma. The accumulation effect of these chemicals could potentially be making you and your loved ones sick.

Medicine bottle with poisonous liquid

Back in the day

In my 20’s I had a vast perfume collection with designer perfume, washes and lotions brands taking a proud position on my dresser! No longer. Have you noticed that every time you buy your favorite perfume, it smells the same? This is because it is a synthetic product and that is replicated en masse in a lab. Global company marketing determines that it must last, must smell the same- the only way to do this is with an injection of chemicals.test tubes and pipette

Warning: Marketing!

Marketing is also very clever by using words, colors, and packaging that entices us to think the product is natural. They can technically put on the packaging that the product is organic by just including one organic ingredient into the product! This is called greenwashing! Only trust products that have the certified organic symbol and you can be guaranteed that the product is 100% naturally derived!

If you would like to investigate more about the products you are using I suggest the Think Dirty App or Chemical Maze book or app. Safe replacements are not too hard to find, and over time I have eliminated all these products from our home and replaced them with essential oils! Today I simply massage Twenty8 essential oils into my skin after a shower and make my roll on perfumes. I have more comments today on how lovely I smell than ever before. ! As a bonus, I’m not exposing those around me with the toxic smell of a synthetic fragrance. Plus, I am also increasing my vibrational energy and essential oils it is a great way to bring nature indoors.

Fresh lavender, essential oil and bath salt on wooden background

Mother Nature

Mother Nature has provided us with a complete beauty and cleaning cupboard of products if we dig a little under the surface of what the big marketing gurus “want us to see and use.”

So, show your Mum you care by only buying “REAL” natural products that will genuinely nurture her and her health.

Liz Sefton is a Qualified Food Coach and Health & Lifestyle Educator and an advocate for living as naturally as possible! She knows it isn’t always easy, and the simplicity is the best policy for health! For more information about Liz, recipes, tips and all things natural, go to The Nourishing Home Facebook Page and her Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/lizsefton/

 

The Case of The Exploding Brain

by Kirsten Macdonald

What will it feel like?

It will be like nothing you have ever felt.

How will I know?

Oh, you will know! It will be the worst pain you could experience in your life. You will either be dead or wish you were.

Good to know.

Social Skills may not have been in his repertoire but hard facts certainly were.

When someone tells you this, you don’t forget it.

I forget my pin number and my sunglasses. But never this.

Then it happens. The Thunderclap headache. Standing in the kitchen having a conversation, perfectly normal. No build up. No symptoms, no warning. Instant projectile vomit and what feels like someone shooting me in the brain from across the room. Shock. Trauma.
Ouch.
Not in that given order.

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The pain. Today, some six months later I can’t believe I could be in that much physical pain and not be dead.

The ambulance came quickly that night.

Then the sirens. My name, over and over again. Kirsten, can you hear us?

She’s not breathing; BP is dropping. I answer. Why can no one hear me? They can, someone is screaming. I think it’s me. Don’t leave me.

The rolling vomit, the wave after wave of nausea surges through my body, like nothing I have known. The entire contents of my body feel like they are pouring out of my mouth. A tsunami I have no control over, and my whole body shakes and shudders from the violence of it.

By the time we got the hospital I was passed out, pupils dilated, and I was in trouble. A suspected brain bleed. 25% of bleeds cannot be picked up on an MRI; they require a lumbar puncture. I had one of those once. Never again. When one’s spinal chord is impaled with a thick needle by an intern with shaky hands, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth. I awoke in time in between vomiting to say No thanks. They were not happy with me.

By Friday I was washing the dishes and planning dinner. At my kitchen sink, with what felt like a hangover but no other symptoms. How? How is this possible?

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Gratitude, wonder and then Uh Oh set in. Then “everything is fine today, so let’s move forward, nothing to see here” set in. Its the survivor in me. Thinks she’s a cross between Charles Bronson and a Williams sister. No one likes a martyr. The grief counselor reassured me this sweet denial was a path to potential disaster. It happened. It happened to me, it happened to Lothario, my children, my brother and a lovely friend we had visiting at the time of the “Incident.”

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So I went to Magnetic Island with my youngest son and Mamma bear for a month. I wrote it off, played with him, had adventures, explored my second home some more in all of its pre Summer glory. I enjoyed the company of my island friends. I walked the beaches alone and cried out my fear, my panic. Papa G and I had many conversations on that beach. He was helping me mourn.

What was I mourning?

Well, it’s more than easy, in fact it is downright intoxicating to forget you are unwell when your symptoms do not stop you. You are invigorated by the hypnosis of a fulfilling life and do not want to subscribe to fear. EVER.

But then there is being emotionally truthful. The fact is unless someone comes up with a solution, I am not going to hold my grandchildren. I will not get to be old and grey with my boy. I will very possibly die from one of the most physically painful experiences you can have. Or I could end up a vegetable sucking bacon and eggs through a straw and getting Sunday visits. Sound depressing? It is! Bring on the Tropical Island and a few well deserved Margheritas. 

Rule: don’t ever talk about this to people. They will stop you immediately with: Well I Just Know You Are Going to Be Okay, I Can Feel It. Or No Kirsten, Don’t Say That, YOU WILL BE FINE.

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Here’s the thing, I am really glad you can feel it.

I know that the love we have for people makes us want to make them feel better again. For those reading this that have said that to me, I love you for caring enough to say it. I am invested in believing that I am going to be fine too, 365 days of the year which is 825 days longer that they expected me to live. BUT sometimes shit gets real.

Sometimes it JUST IS. Left with the facts you then rely on your faith to surge through again, creating an equilibrium that is a force to be reconned with. In the meantime? There are moments of emotional truth. Good or Bad. Pretty or Ugly. They just are. But this can be distressing to others. So I don’t do that. I take it to God. I take all of those “thoughts” and talk to God about it. We are sitting in a kitchen eating pancakes and discussing matters of the universe. Like what on earth is She going to do with Stephen Hawking now? Whoa. That’s a big one.

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There are people out there who walk around with some disease inside them, not of their own making. Someone operated on me and made a mess of my brain. The entire contents of my cerebrum, my grey matter, the old think tank and noggin is being held together with a microscopic thing called a FRED which isn’t doing it’s job very well, because it has slipped and has created a high volume bomb ticking in my head. Sneezes- dangerous. Flying – Dangerous. Humidity and the Common Cold ain’t great.

Constipation now holds a genuine concern. Vomiting? Forget it. Anxiety, Stress, and a raised heart rate are the worst. But head knocks? I can take those. I have titanium in there. One unfortunate head butt from my husband getting out of the car almost knocked him out, and I didn’t feel a thing. It was quite amusing.

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As much as I love Louise Hay, I did not manifest this. I am human. Therefore I can break.
I did not have unresolved anger issues, but thanks and no Frankincense oil under my tongue each night won’t cure me or special drops made from a rainforests Monkey’s toenail clippings, as delicious as that sounds.

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There is a process involved, and it has taken me places I never dreamed possible.

So is it a dis-ease? Or is it a blessing of the most peculiar kind? Depends on the day. Everyone lives and everyone dies, why does dying have to be the worst thing that happens to us in the Western world? Why can’t it be a celebration of how we lived and then the next journey begins? Like saying “Wow, you lucky thing, you are off to Hawaii now! Good luck and see you soon!” “She’s gone to walk with Jesus, lucky bugger.”

Because time is relative don’t you know? A word of advice- religion is not just a safety net for the emotionally weak. I am strong. I did my research. I believe in Physics. I believe in science. I also do not believe in chaos, but design. Conclusively. I do not believe in some Zeus like Gandalf in the sky. Please with a cherry on top, do not spruik your disbelief about the existence of a universal architect to the possibly dying. It is unkind. It’s just a shitty thing to do.

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This journey is upsetting at times. Especially times like “the Great Vomiting incident.” If I can change that fear, that sadness I will. Purely because the vibration is heavy and it doesn’t feel very nice. Good one Captain Obvious.

But it is life.

It is. None of us get out of it unscathed or without learning, so why pretend we do or can? For me, its the faith I foster through it and the learning it presents me that creates joy within the crisis, as I have mentioned before, the alchemy of it all is the light that changes any darkness.

Think of it like walking in a deep dark cave, you know you need to turn on the light, so you do. You find yourself looking at a cave filled with magnificent, luminous waterfalls, diamond-lined walls, and beauty. But you are still in a cave. You have stumbled over sharp rocks, trying to find your way in a cold and hard place, and everyone else is standing in the sunshine. You are in a cave. No denying. There’s the emotional truth bomb. It’s what you DO with it that counts.

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Sometimes the message is clear for me to write about this path I walk.

Other times I don’t think it’s a great idea. I enjoy writing other things more. I enjoy writing for others more. But I am reminded. It’s not just about me.

I reminded that there are 1 in 50 aneurysms out there. I am reminded that there are people out there in Australia who have a Used By Date that just keeps going. There are people out there that every time they cringe with a tiny pain, their child looks at them with fear and they must wrangle with the conversation “no sweety, I don’t plan on dying today, did you put your uniform in the wash?

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There are people out there who are losing friends and family because the journey they walk is too painful for others to bear, so they walk away. Sometimes it’s time. It takes too much time. Seriously? You keep going on about dying, but you are still here.

Sometimes some desperate people feel it would be easier to bring that final journey closer because then it’s in their control. That’s a scary one. Researchers at Baylor University Medical Center believe depression, grief, and suicidal thoughts affect up to 77 percent of people with a terminal illness. Would you like an after dinner mint with your taboo topic?

There are people out there who have been told they are going to die and it feels like someone took your arse and shoved it through your nose and out your ears.

Then you have to get back to being “normal.” You have to make sure it doesn’t ruin you, consume you or turn you into a victim. Becoming a victim to me is like denying the existence of a JEDI, somewhere a light saber just dropped dead. It’s just not cricket. (I was only joking about the Light Saber thing if you doubt my cred about the whole God thing.)

You are out there. Hopefully, you are reading. Hopefully, you feel a sense of connection that says I am not alone.

I see you. You are not alone.

PS- I know Mr. Hawking was an Atheist, but at the same time I wonder if he is having maple syrup with those pancakes?

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Beyond Blue: https://www.beyondblue.org.au

LIFELINE: https://www.lifeline.org.au

BRAIN FOUNDATION: http://brainfoundation.org.au

 

 

 

Bronte, Anxiety, London and Back Again

By Cassidy Krygger

The United Kingdom has always held a certain magic for me, a girl growing up in Australia looks afar. So far away, the magical land of England almost seemed untouchable. Especially given that I was a girl who lived with a debilitating anxiety disorder since the age of 12. But last November, the impossible became possible.  I stepped on English soil for the first time. All by myself.

My Social Anxiety Disorder was pretty intense. I was diagnosed right after I graduated from Primary School and was unable to attend mainstream High School.

Eccentric teenage years were spent soaking anything up to do with history and reading; I loved it!  I was obsessed with the royal family and was in love with the idea of London. All the books I read seemed to be set there, and of course, it was home to the British Royal Family. It was a dream that deep down I wanted so much to experience.  

But for a girl who couldn’t leave the house without her Mum at 16 years of age or even answer the phone, that dream seemed pretty impossible.

The road to recovery was long and hard and filled with many moments of amazing triumphs and frightening setbacks. But slowly I was beginning to live a life and being able to cope with my anxiety.

I’d been talking to my friend about going to London for over a year, but we could never get the dates right. In May 2017, I got fed up. I decided that I wanted to go on my terms and I booked a trip to the UK.

By.

My.

Self.

Of course, I was freaking out.

As the November date loomed closer, I thought of a million and one ways to get out of it. My most creative idea was the good old fashioned fall and leg break trick right before I left.  I wouldn’t be able to go, and I might get the money back from insurance, it was a win-win solution!

Panic attacks ensued and I was sure something horrific was going to happen to me overseas. I kept thinking ‘How silly am I to think I would be able to travel to a country I had never been to before all by myself?’ These thoughts kept playing over and over in my mind, but  I pushed through.

Finally, the big day arrived, dread-filled would be the way to describe it.

I am pretty stubborn, and I didn’t want to waste all that money I had already spent on the trip. Something inside me just knew I had to go. This was my motivator.

The flight was long but nowhere near as scary as I thought. People are kind, especially when you are a solo female traveler. But I was pleasantly surprised to see I wasn’t the only one. Young women taking on the world filled the flight. It was awesome.

As the flight descended into a gloomy and cold London evening, the pilot announced our arrival with ‘Welcome to London’ over the speaker. It was and will always be one of the most defining moments of my life.

I couldn’t believe it.

Everything I fought for, everything I went through, from the days thinking I wouldn’t survive the black beast that is anxiety, had finally paid off. I was actually in London… the magical city. A real-life Disneyland.  I couldn’t wait to explore.

London was everything I expected and more. I saw Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, Hampton Court Palace and The Tower of London (I told you I was a royal nut!). I went up to Yorkshire and saw the home of my favorite writer, Emily Bronte.

London culture filled and exciting. Every train station had a bookshop, and every building was bursting with history. I caught the tube everywhere and felt like a real Londoner.

I could totally be free. I felt like I was completely alone in the world and yet I was in one of the busiest cities. I found myself so quickly when there was no one else to talk with.

I got to know myself in a way I had never been able to before, and I realized that I am pretty impressive and strong. It was the best week of my life.

I believe that if you are lucky enough to be able to do it, that every young person should travel by themselves somewhere.

I totally had to rely on myself. There was literally no one else to lean on for support. And I had to grow up super quickly.

It could be the most terrifying thing you will ever push yourself to do. But it will also be the most liberating. I promise you’ll come back a more grounded, mature and all-round better person. You will find yourself in ways you have never encountered yourself before.

I came home a different person. Things that worried me don’t worry me anymore. I found new parts myself. Great parts. I think that is the most awesome thing you can do.  

Bio: Cassidy is a social media influencer, with her Instagram account one of Australia’s most popular! You will find Cass taking on the world one day at a time as authentically as possible. Her love of stories, in particular Bronte has her head in a book at some stage during the day and she has a love for the written world that shines through in her work. She is an advocate for Young people finding their inner strength and pushing through what can be a difficult world to be in. She has triumphed.

Little Shape Changer

By Kirsten Macdonald 

She was sure she heard someone call her name. The voice had a feminine lilt with gentle humor etched on the edges. She opened her eyes, dry from the flight and the voice bearer was not near. What did the sleep doctor call it? Hypnagogic state. A foggy place. The peripheral. 

This reminded her of when she was tiny, sleeping in the bunk of the truck cabin. The scent of leather cleaner and dust was familiar and warm. She was left there to sleep in the locked metal hulk while he went in the roadhouse. She could not remember why or where she was there, six-year-olds are not concerned about locations. But the girl was snug in her travel space. 

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The veil between dreams and here lifted slowly, and a pale light drew her eyes over to the driver’s seat. Her ankles squeezed as did her little heart. 

A striking tall illuminated shape, something like a person, transparent radiant blue, like a human firefly sat there.  She could not see a face but sensed a watchfulness. A sentry, a nutcracker soldier, guarding.  

Fear was not there, but wonder filled the girl with a particular type of awe like the time she first saw a rollercoaster. Struck with an intense wonder she stayed very still. 

The girl blinked, and blinked and then it was just gone. As she woke, the wonder disappeared like a popped bubble. Who was her visitor? Her human firefly was from that moment tucked under the file called ‘To Be Explained.’ She did not mention it to the busy and faded grown-ups. 

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During the day she was tucked into her world titled The Bunk. 180-degree views through the elevated truck cabin around her made her feel like she was floating above the world,  a princess being carried on her throne. 

Occasionally she was fed small packets of potato chips and bananas, golden with brown splotches, ripe from the heat. Dried banana chips were the best, the squeak they made when you bit down was bliss. 

She remembers her fear of bones, after reading Jack and The Beanstalk, the fierce roar of the Giant grinding Jack’s bones to make his bread. When they got Chinese food, she licked a Prawn Cracker, and it latched onto her tongue, she bit down and wondered if this was what Jack’s bones felt like. She retched. Sometimes she felt like Giants drove trucks too and she was the stolen harp. 

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A tin of hard-boiled lollies warm to the touch was empty when he wasn’t watching she opened the lid. The small popping noise of the lid made her smile; she would lick her finger and dip into the little crystally shards of leftover pieces sitting in the powdery sugar. Like sweet little pieces of glass, they would sit on her tongue, and she would feel them dissolve and time how long it took them to disappear. She did this all with very quiet joy. She was already learning; she had to be careful not to upset him. Princesses were only princesses when they were quiet. 

The crackle of the CB exploded with male conversations, gravelly like sandpaper and littered with swear words and laughter beyond her understanding.  They had a magic to them, messages floating through the air from truck to truck that the little people driving their cars did not know about. They knew where the coppers were, and did you see that Sheila in the blue Datsun? She had no idea who Sheila was, but apparently, the menfolk liked her a lot everywhere they went. 

The hills rolled by, carpeted with green grass then within kilometers were replaced with paddocks, crisp dry clumps of grass and sheep that were skinny after their haircuts. She imagined the lives she had lived here once before where many little animals could speak and be friends. There were no grown-up people there, just grown up animals. Wise and strong Aslan types who laughed hearty laughs and gave hugs that did not hurt but made you feel all wrapped up.  

In the here -now- life the little one knew that animals could bite. Like the spider at school. All black fur and spiky legs, she wanted to look closer but was scared of being eaten. Some creatures bit, not because they were nasty but to protect themselves. How she wished she could communicate that she was different. To the others. 

She did not know why she just was. The mean just didn’t live in her. She wanted more than anything to brush the hair of a lion, to ride on the back of a bear, to be piggybacked through the jungle by a gorilla. 

She once had a butterfly land on her finger. She believed with her whole body it was because she had asked nicely from a gentle heart. 

It would take many decades for her to learn her same feeling for human friendships. Biting happened frequently. 

She created the stories; she lived on that hill where flowers sang her name and tales of Briah Fox were true. Very tall trees were an escape to another world. 

A tree striking up like an old man alone in the dusk challenged her to remember its shape. She held up her hands up like a camera and took a photo with her mind; then it went into a file cabinet in her head. It was a faded green color like the one in Pa’s office. So many files in her cabinet tucked away for later. 

As a grown woman she cannot recall what she was saving them for. Perhaps it was for right now, right at this moment as she sat on an airplane high above the ground remembering the age of six.

The plane is nearly empty, and she looks over the next aisle. He is watching her. He is her Aslan. Sometimes his wildness scares her, his distant self when he needs to walk alone can make her feel like she’s vulnerable. Her fierce woman fury rises from the depths of survival when this happens; her eyebrow raises in haughtiness challenging everything that might bring her undone. He has taught her that men can be good. She is safe and does not need to draw her sword. 

She touched the gold cross that sits on her chest. The full, rounded aching now in sweet and sour waves that is 2018. 

Author’s Note: certain things happen to us on the fringe of life, at the tips of our memory, the edge of awake and asleep that echo of a story. Like a haze above the hot road and the magic of a firefly, if you look directly, it peaks out of view. Peripheral wonder. To remember we were all children once, that wanted to shine, not from attention but for want of harmony and joy is timely.  The wildness of joy may scare people, but your tribe will arrive. You might even stumble across a human firefly together. 

For John xxx

Savvy Duo Shine Bright

Channel Nine Superstar Jo Munro and powerhouse Marketing expert Regina Pascuzzi are joining forces in an exciting new enterprise in 2018. The dynamic duo are set to transform the lives of people as they enter the media industry. Ponderings got to hang out and palaver with these two and find out what makes them tick and we find out if David Campbell really is the nice guy we see on TV.

As we sit together in the kitsch setting of Novel Kitchen in Williamstown, the friendship between these two women shines through with inside jokes, grins, and full, hearty laughter. They are infectious, and I can’t help but admire their path to this point.

Regina, fondly known to us at Ponderings as Reggie, has had a successful career in marketing and PR back in the day assisting the likes of Tina Turner (she told me an awesome disaster story of lost wigs on an Ansett flight during an Aussie tour), Michael Jackson, Robert Palmer then on to the fashion shows of Melbourne. Reggie is the founder of boutique fashion agency Miss Scarlett Did It. A lingerie fashionista and advocate for the curvy girl Reggie is a wealth of business knowledge.

I know I am in the company of awesome when a 30-minute interview becomes 2 hours of stories shared. It is hard for me to draw breath! Our cafe table has become a lively discussion seasoned with knowing nods.

But it hasn’t all been smooth sailing for Jo and Reggie. A road of turmoil, discovery, and realizations have driven the two to the point of epiphany- integrity, wisdom and experience can be welded together in a way to help others ready to shine.

So what inspires them?

Regina: people who make a difference inspire me. Those that live their truth and are aware that there is a need in the world, then actually DO something about it. Action people, not necessarily the “celebrity” but the ones who are getting in at a grassroots level, often unrecognized but actively and positively impacting the world. PR for example, while it makes for great stories now, was such a long time ago. My career in marketing, communication and as a businesswoman is my “now” and I love it! I meet those grassroots folk that inspire me most.

Jo: People who can see what others do not see inspire me. The ability to see the gaps. When a solution is so simple, and yet it is blindingly obvious that no one has thought of it before is inspiring. Those that think differently inspire me, they see an opportunity that no one else may see, a vision that comes from a different angle!

2017 was a big year for so many people, what did it teach you both and how has that prepared you for 2018?

Reggie: 2017 taught me my worst, so many events happened during the year, and a lot of it was difficult on every level. I discovered I am much stronger than I thought I was. I had to fight for what I believe is right. Thankfully I have some strong-willed and wonderful people in my life that were there for me in that dark time. It was a time when I was questioning my worth in the world. What was I entitled to in life?

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Getting to the understanding that there is no obstacle to achieving what you want to. We can be so held back by limits others can place on us, and you can choose to let that disable you, but you are much more capable of achieving whatever it is you want in your life.

2017 was big! Now this year is clearer. I like unicorns and rainbows, but sometimes you have to make a stand for yourself and others to protect what is important, to uphold integrity, this is what I take into 2018.

Here Here.

Jo Munro: The theme that ran through my head- It was the best of times and the worst of times. 2017 presented amazing opportunities, and I also had awful things happen. Both of which occurred in equal amounts, testing me down to the soul.

Those fantastic opportunities make you look like the luckiest woman in the world! Yet the personal fortitude I had to grasp, to step into the land of sink or swim, that never-never place- was a fear to be grappled with. To say to yourself you’ve got this can be scary stuff! But I am riding that wave and if I can influence other lives in a positive way, I am doing it! regmo2

Jo’s success as an author alongside her popularity as The Savvy Shopaholic  lead to her current career on television, lighting up the screens with bubbly enthusiasm. Aussie audiences know her as the Queen of Luxe for Less, bringing shopping tips that are en pointe to bargain enthusiasts. She is a TV presenter on Ch9’s Today Show, A Current Affair and is The Carousel’s resident shopping expert. Also recognized as an expert in corporate leadership, business, and channel strategy Jo Munro is a force to be reckoned with.

This is all the stuff that echoes the word impressive for sure, but there is something other than this well earned success that strikes a chord with me, Jo Munro is an exception in the crowd.

Why? It is not often you meet a person who is profoundly professional wearing intelligence like designer perfume that is also warm, caring and fun. Those big eyes look at you, and you know you are in the presence of someone with a special edge that says I AM HERE with a certain elegance and grace, reminding me of the likes of an Ita or an Isabella.

Her beautiful friend shares that X-factor. Regina’s background in media and communications is fascinating. From her work for 7Up Lemonade to bringing salads into a famous Pizza company, or what about hanging out with the likes of Michael Jackson? I’m looking forward to seeing the next chapter reveal itself and how all of this translates into helping other people. I know this lady and her service to others and dedication to helping those she believes in screams of real.

KM: Reggie, Michael Jackson was one of my childhood heroes. I could moonwalk with the best of them; I still have the glitter glove! I get so excited when we talk about who you have worked with.

What was working with and knowing celebrities like?

Reggie: It is so funny, because in fact everyone has a remarkable life, and at the time you don’t think they are remarkable, because you are in it. It was the heyday of the eighties; I was in my twenties. You have no fear at 21 because you don’t know the consequences! Michael was like a child, asking are we there yet? The incident of Tina’s wigs on an Ansett flight… a whole other story. (Some parts of this interview remain off the record- haha.)

This is a woman who loves and radiates a great sense of humor. Her eyes always look like they have some cheeky joke hiding in them waiting for fun. So I asked Reggie what makes her laugh the loudest?

Reggie: Clever people make me laugh the loudest, a play on words will do it. I am not a slapstick person, I appreciate someone’s brain, like Stephen Fry. People who can take the Mickey out of themselves is another. Wit. Your Cats make you laugh.

One thing I have noticed, is these two make each other laugh, a LOT.

Jo, what about you?

JO: What makes you laugh the loudest? Definitely intellectual humor. Graeme Norton or Stephen Fry at the BAFTAS: hilarious! No slapstick for me either and I am not into the American roasting style. Again people who look at the world from a different angle with humor makes me laugh. Smart people who call people out on their silly comments. Cats make me laugh too.

I become more than aware that cats are coming up in conversation, could I be in the presence of crazy cat ladies?

Jo, I know you were a dance teacher and performer: what makes your foot tap now?

Jo: I struggle to watch ballet; I get frustrated with technique. I love musicals and stage shows! (Grins inserted) In fact, we went to see Dreamlover to watch my gorgeous co-worker David Campbell. He is beyond talented! An all-encompassing talent. His voice is not light on; it’s full on and in one word: Amazing. His energy fills the theatre, and he is an all-rounder. He is a darling man. He is adorable and sincere.

So tell me about what you are doing this month? I heard whispers of a media-savvy workshop for up and coming folks is that right?

Jo: Our new project is Media Savvy workshops. When I got started, there just was not a Course with those insider secrets and tips. Things like what to take, what to ask, what to expect, interview styles, what happens when a segment runs long or short? How to get invited back! So we are rolling out these workshops to give people exactly that! So they can be ready and prepared, that opportunity to promote their brand, expertise, their product on TV, Radio and Print can be done with confidence.

How good does this sound Ponderers?

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Well, I am excited about these two beautiful humans, and we wish them all the best. The first event I have heard this weekend is nearing a sell out (no surprises there) with another coming in May, but Jo hints there might be one to two tickets left.

For more information about Media Savvy go to:
http://www.mediasavvy.info

Moments of a Possibly Dying Chic otherwise known as the Adventures of the Last Week of February

What is that smell?

It is my feet.

Hard working people, fun people and people with awesomeness dancing in their soul like Michael Jackson on crack have smelly feet. It is a fact.

Truth is I do not own many pairs of socks. They don’t like us here. I like bare feet. Bare feet and a nice Jimmy Choo do not mix. Neither do Kmart boots. Just saying. Information is information.

Polished floorboards and a soaring roof glide above like a church cathedral, of glass angles and the smell of the ocean is drifting through the wide open doors. It reminds me of my old ballet haunt. My children are laughing at some random joke they made, most likely inappropriate and just out of ear shot. He walks in and kisses me on the cheek, asking how many goals I kicked today. A little warm and fluffy ewok like animal otherwise known as My Dog licks my ankle. My heart gets big. So big it feels like it will take off like hot air balloon right out of my chest and my eyes start to water. It is too bright in here. So much light.

Love

Happy

Contentedness

Will it leave?

Will it last?

Maybe that is not an ewok licking your ankle darling maybe its the black dog? He is here to ask you Who Do You Think You Are. You Cant. People Will Say Things. People Will Poke At You. Be Smaller. Cmon Turn Down the Volume on that Light. That Little Light That You Let Shine. No, surely not.

Fear

Loss

Gulp

Fear knocked and the door, faith answered, and no one was there. Ah ha, I remembered we aren’t mates anymore.

Gratitude pops in for a cuppa and a squeezey hug. Fear is losing his grip people, he is losing his grip. Fear is a big ogre with nostril hairs so vile Roald Dahl would dry reach. The man has sold millions of copies of books. He would be a great judge.

There is a place we call cuppa snuggles. It is the time when all the ODonnell women folk make a cuppa and jump on my king size bed for gossips and chats, laughter and silly reminiscing. Remember the time Nanna spat her teeth out? What about that time we ransomed the dog for chocolate biscuits?

Sisters Friendship Ideas Imagination Creative Concept

Her and I stand and look at the ocean together and smile, it is happening. It is really happening. We spoke of this, we whispered about this place when we were smaller. When the world was big.

Sacred.

Special.

Mum, why can’t you?

I am so sorry, but I am really tired, it has been a big day, and I am a bit dizzy.

You have time for other people, but not me.

No sweet child, if you only you knew. All my love goes to you and your siblings. I do what I do for you. Your smile makes me breathe, and your heart is my treasure to protect. The universe gave you to me, and now I must give me to you. It is written in the stars and in our biology. We have been friends for eons you and me.

When they are so small and tiny they need you; when they are big and independent, they need you. Balancing…on a budget

I haven’t heard from you; you sound really busy. Things must be going well. You must be doing alright if you are in Point Lonsdale now, business is good huh? Its a bit far away from the go-to people in town though isn’t it? Oh well, each to their own.

Each

To

Their

Own.

That is correct.

Is this a hairdresser? We need a hairdresser. I do hope you are useful here.

No, its a social media wordsmith agency of awesomeness.

Least do no harm, that is my motto, this anti-seizure medication will do the trick.

Yes Ok Doc.

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Why am I SO HUNGRY, its the anti-seizure medication. That cow is making my mouth water. What the actual hell is going on? Put down the bacon. I said put down that bacon.

To be fat and live or to be thin and sick? That is the question.

Mum! Dad is going to be pissed, your dog ate his new Yukka plant.

For the love of Jehovah. Eye Twitch.

That bloody dog! Three dogs. Why do we need three dogs?

Its a pack thing. One needs a tribe and a pack. Now we have a pack.

Mum! Dad is going to be cross, your dog just ate his new socks!

Yup.

The actual pair of glorious cotton foot pockets that matched had now crossed into the abyss of dark matter otherwise known as Kelpie.

Awesome.

I have never felt so inspired, your story, omg your story! I was so scared to put myself out there; now I know I can do it. I know I have to do it. Because my story matters. My story needs to be told, and I understand it isn’t just because its mine, its because it will help someone else, and that’s more important than being stuck in fear. It is about communication and human interaction. Smile. Yes my dear bright and shiny human, it does. You matter. You all matter. So much.

Chairs are pushed in, the looks on faces make my heart swell again. They heard. They felt, and they understood. These beautiful seeking, learning humans.

Planet Spectrum

Fear once knocked on this door but doesn’t any more; he’s gone up the road for a listening ear. He worked out his BS isn’t welcome here anymore.

Mum have I told you today that I love you? Would you like a foot rub?

Yes please favorite child, but first may I make you some pancakes?

Let’s turn up that French jazz music, how groovy is it?

You guys are seriously messed up, and lame. Who listens to Jazz Music and talks like that?

You once did before hormones took over you child.  This one still has at least a years worth of reciprocal love left.

Hey, Dingus, do you need me to get milk on the way home? (Heavens open, choir sings.)

Why am I so tired? I wish that nerve would stop twitching every time I exercise. It makes me nervous.  What if its the aneurysm?

Don’t think about it; it will go away.

No

It

Won’t.

It will just pop on you, exploding in your head bigger than the Sydney NYE Fireworks and Y2K back in the day, and Bobs your Uncle you will be standing there looking at yourself wondering what the hell happened and who’s that standing over there? Archangel Gabriel? Wow, you’re much taller than I imagined, Gabe those wings are working for you.

Did you come to meet me personally? What do you mean what am I wearing? I am stuck with this for the Afterlife? No, I did not know that there was a fresh hole in my pants near my… Bikini waxes are so yesterday…

My bad.

You really need to buy some better activewear. You old fave puma trackies and holy t-shirt are so gross. You are not a hot mum. What will you do if you actually die on one of these walks? You know how people are, they won’t stop they will think you are a homeless person. Of THAT ILK, the low brow type. You know what people think of homeless people. Except you and a few good eggs. You know what its like to have no home.

F%$k it, and f$%#, Lorna Jane.

Bikini waxes are out of fashion; bikini waxes are out of fashion.

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Monash University would like to congratulate you on finishing the first part of your certification.

Mindfulness. Breathe in. Breathe Out. I am that I am. This too shall pass. God give me the strength to move through this world and do not harm but to radiate all that is good and pure.

MUUUUUUUM! Do you shop? There is NO FOOD!

Superb.

We would like you to get on board and donate your time to the cause; we only need you to drive over 6 hours to do it, it will be great for the organization. They need people like you.

My kids need people like me.

No, I do not want to lock the door and put on my sneakers. It’s Tuesday.  What! Is it Saturday? Oh wow, that went quick. Where are those Nikes?

Marlborough Sav Blanc

Tryambakam Yajamahe

Snooze.

Good morning Monday! ALARM SCREECH.

Read More From Ponderings….

Australia You Have Your Very Own ‘Yoda’!

 Over the last 50 years, there have been treasured yet humble contributors to our well-being and health. One such Australian has dedicated his entire life to the discovery, research, and formulations to support our health. He cannot levitate, or throw misbehaving Jedi across the room, he can, however, weave some pretty impressive feats. His name is Des Lardner.

Des LardnerThe beautiful landscape of the Wimmera is the home of Des Lardner’s Headquarters. Amongst the offering of therapies, organic food, consulting, etc. there is a Dark-Field Microscope for live blood viewing in the store. Giving practitioners and patient the ability to view patient’s own red and white blood cells in real time on an LCD screen. Sounds like Star Wars right? Nope, it is right in Horsham Victoria. Build it, and they will come here with people traveling Internationally and Nationally to get assistance. w1200_h678_fmax.jpg

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 31% of the burden of disease is preventable in Australia. Many Aussies recognize the need for health prevention, and while biological systems have similarities, each of us is very different in our body’s response. It is how we activate the most premium health in our very individual physical makeup that matters. Des Lardner believes that the focus on the history of medicine and reviving old formulas in combination with using more powerful herbs to good effect is a dynamic key to prevention. But more importantly? The knowledge needs imparting to young naturopaths and health professionals. (It screams of Jedi doesn’t it?)

There is a common thread in the diverse field of health that information needs to be hoarded and tucked away, a competitive field of “wellness experts” has instigated this trend. However, not this inspiring alchemist! 2018 presents expansion, Des Lardner, plans to get this lifetime knowledge out to those that need it while taking it to the Digital Space. While the format is still “under wraps” there is a buzz in the air, and it is contagious- (naturally!)

Des Lardner

He is the genius behind the natural herbal colic mixture, renown all over Australia for relieving bubs tums and Mum and Dad’s nerves, later taken up by a leading pharmacy chain. More than 103 products formulated by the dedicated consultant pharmacist and herbalist have hit the shelves. One of his most outstanding achievements was the discovery of 2 novel pain compounds in rose hips while studying his Masters at Sydney University at age 60. Did I mention the word impressive?

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Des now leads an entire team of qualified practitioners specializing in Naturopathy, Herbal Therapy, Sleep Apnoea (accredited services), Iridology, Nutrition, Homeopathy, remedial massage and cranio sacral massage as well as organic produce and products from food to makeup.

For more information about Des Lardner and his amazing use of the “force” for good health  go to: http://deslardnerorganic.com.au  or jump on Facebook and see: https://www.facebook.com/Des-Lardners-Organic-Natural-Health-Clinic-165724976826271/

 

 

You Are Not My Guru

Welcome to 2018.

Got a catch-cry thrown in your face yet?

Don’t die with your music in you.

Blah de blah. Pulease.

Ok, sure. Is that because I am filled with 2000 unplayed hits from 1976 to 2017 that have not been amped up? You’ve  heard it before.

People telling other people how to live their lives is not always great. It’s kind of hierarchal and patronizing. It’s kind of like sucking eggs. It’s a little bit of I’m better than you, like Tina Turner in a Bald Man’s Support Group. “I’ve worked out how to have a perfect life, I shall assume yours is worse than mine, so I shall tell you how to live it and you too can be like me.” Heard that old song? Enter Fade to Black Riff and Sinatra’s My Way- LOUD. Unless you are of course a self-help junkie.

Enter the commercial guru. I have news: you need to pay for self-help like a fish needs a bicycle. Good luck with that. It can cost you even more. Unless it’s a super good psychologist, those humans are worth their weight in Peppermint Crisps.

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There might be an exception to the telling though. The telling of truths might need an ear. What if, just for a moment, someone had actually seen behind the curtain for a peek, a preview of the matrix and heard the warning call. Perhaps it is like watching everyone around you and you know there is a tsunami about to hit but you don’t tell anyone. You know it like you know how to count your fingers and toes that the water is rising and all of these people may suffer, they are oblivious to the life rafts tucked behind that tree, and you don’t even whisper a “look out.”

Now what? You don’t want to get preachy, you don’t want to tell anyone to suck anything, let alone an egg and yet here the burden of the truth sits in your lap. Quite heavy.

What if that little peek turned everything you ever knew on its head and inside out, leaving you with so many answers to questions and so many questions to answer?

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In the Western world, we are so hypnotized by the social rigmarole of expectation and reward that we sink into the achievement of it like quicksand. By doing this and not paying attention, you can slip.

If you are happy to live that quiet, calm and uneventful life, not noticing, then good for you. The world needs peace, tranquility and comfort. More of it probably. Comfort is the root of all yearnings. Since dwelling in caves, we have sought the soft bed and warm soup, cold water on a hot day, the soothing song of a mother’s love. Comfort is a psychological carrot dangling in front of our eyes. There is nothing wrong with it, so long as the chase for it doesn’t have us blindfolded.

Are you there God? It's me Rod.1

Many of us have a calling. Have you felt it? It sits deep down within us, it’s a path we are called to walk. Who calls it? Maybe that is your journey to discover. That’s not up to anyone to define for you. But it’s there, an intrinsic calling to go your own way. It might be all leading to the day you are at University as a 37-year-old, and you save a young man from being hit by a bus because in 10 years time he comes up with an algorithm saving lives in a hospital. It might be to quietly inspire others to be brave enough to grab onto love or something new. Or you might be a movie director in the wings, burgeoning to changing the world with a documentary up your sleeve. You could be a carpenter, a sheep herder or a mother of 4 and a wife to none. Who knows? You do. Deep down.

Don’t pretend it isn’t there.

It is.

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The problem lies in the lack of attention we pay to that whisper within. Filling one’s life with have-to’s that are mere echoes of our social environment’s expectations is as hypnotic and fulfilling as a hearty Italian lasagne. The essence of self-virtuosity will become a drug. Except for that niggle. It says “there’s more.” You ignore it at your own peril. Sometimes you might even project it onto others as a displaced issue. Because in that virtuous hypnotic everyday ordinary there are rules. Step up, don’t step up too high. Too much, but don’t do too much. Find a girl, settle down, if you want you can marry… you get the drift.

For many, a negative health diagnosis brings the questions and answers on, flooding you with insights like that very tsunami. Sometimes it’s a death of a loved one. It can be a tiny peripheral spark of the divine that starts it. It might even be in the bottom of a cereal box. For some, it doesn’t come until the last moment of our stay here, because the music of the world was too loud for us to get our rhythm on. Sometimes it’s an 8-hour operation, and a peek behind the curtain…

Planet Spectrum

The world will tell you not to listen. It will beg you to be a part of its groove. He needs to get a job; he needs to do this, she needs to do that. She did what? Who told you that? Who says so? Find your rhythm and be accountable to it. If you want to live on a pittance and never work a day in your life other than to volunteer feeding the homeless while you live in a caravan on an abandoned building site? Knock yourself out. If you want to go back to university and become a doctor and adopt 150 labradors? Go for it. Or perhaps you want to have a career writing what you love, traveling and playing chess with your kids, baking cakes and selling tyres. Whatever it is, don’t waste that precious time you have here pretending the inner calling isn’t there, hiding from the whispers.

Dance in the quiet as much as you can until you can hear the formation of something. Spending time in solitude can do it. Walking in nature a LOT, or on the beach will do it too. Meditation and chanting are known to assist. Yoga and Tai Chi are rippers. Prayer is the big one. Many different amplifiers will help you hear the whisper. It doesn’t cost you a fortune; you don’t necessarily have to go to India and live with a guru for 28 nights (mind you I have heard it can be quite effective too).

A program on a cruise ship that cost more than a month’s wages with someone yelling at you using NLP and ABC won’t really do all that much in the long term. You have been provided with everything you already need to hear your own whispered tune. It won’t necessarily be an epiphany, it might be the tiniest step, the microscopic pinch of an idea but it will lead to a mighty treasure hunt filled with rewards that lift you up out of the mire and into the truth of everything you are here to do. Pay attention, write it down, be accountable and tap your foot. Watch what happens when it turns into a deafening orchestra.

A whole heap of space matter, minerals, and infinite energy went into creating your existence, so please use it wisely. Take it from someone who’s clock is ticking as loud as the rhythm, it will be worth every bit.

PS-, there are some lifeboats behind that palm tree.

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Kirsten

Dear God, it’s me Rod

The final part of my interview with Fr. Rod Bower, we talk heaven, kingdoms, Shakespeare and prophetic wisdom.

Kirsten: So Father Rod, heaven. What is is all about?

Fr. Rod: We get obsessed with the how do we get to heaven thing? It’s become a Christian obsession!

Ultimately Jesus was only essentially concerned with one thing. That’s what he called, ‘Kingdom’. The Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of Heaven depending on which gospel you read, and that has nothing to do with the afterlife at all. People make that mistake. He’s a first century Jew; he doesn’t care about the afterlife and what comes with it. We have a system on how to get to Heaven and such, but they don’t.

Kirsten: So, it wasn’t relevant at that time at all.
HealthPost natural supplements and skincare

Fr Rod: It’s become a Christian obsession. It certainly wasn’t in the first century Jew or even possibly the modern Jew. First century Jews had this concept of time, which was the current time we are in,  and the time that is to come. And for them, that was one of the post-Messianic time. They were very caught up in the Messianic stuff. So, the world has a future of being that is different to what it is now, and that is in part only brought about by living it and saying, ‘the kingdom of heaven is here.’ It’s kind of almost here, and you can reach out and touch it, it’s kind of here, but it isn’t yet. So for me, part of that manifestation of the Kingdom is the social ethic stuff and how do we do things? And that’s the big question he’s asking.

Fr. Rod: I’m quite orthodox. I mean what I find with the conservatives who try to drag me down from time to time, is that they have an idea that there’s an orthodox theological line in the sand, you’ve crossed that, and therefore you’re a heretic. Many don’t have a deep questioning of what that particular doctrine REALLY looks like, where it came from, why do we have it, what did that mean in the 3rd century?

Kirsten: Yes, the cultural context of the Bible, do you find that people tend to generalize and they take it for today, and it has nothing to do with today?

Fr. Rod: Oh yes. Take the sexuality debate; it’s a classic example. The modern Bible translates a word as homosexual. It’s not;  you can’t translate that word like that. The whole concept doesn’t exist in the first century. And so people are thumping and turning up on your doorstep with their Bibles open to 1 Corinthians or whatever text they’ve found, and they’ll point and say, look it says ‘Homosexuals.’ And I say, No, it doesn’t!  

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Kirsten: Yes,  it’s fascinating that people can take ancient text and wrap their agenda up within it. We’re such complex psychological creatures with so many different layers and levels; it’s a narrative between the line of virtue and excess, I suppose? Jesus was by all accounts a disruptor that challenged the status quo at the time, by asking those questions. I come from a bit of both Anglican-Lutheran hybrid, and in my experience, the Anglican Church can be very stoic and stiff upper lip, in many ways, and we haven’t always seen eye to eye, lol.  You come across as an incredibly warm and engaging person and very progressive. Has this always been a part you or is that something that’s evolved through your career? How have the heck have you gotten away with it?

Fr. Rod: My parents were graziers from country NSW in the Hunter Valley and so I grew up with a very conservative, nominally Christian Country Party environment, and indeed I was very politically conservative for a long time. I know that Tony Abbott referred to me as left wing, as he was wheeled out to counteract what I said about Mr. Dutton. But I certainly would reject that. I certainly am not a left wing. I’m a centrist. I grew up with very conservative beliefs. I remember there was a rejoicing in my family in 1975 when Whitlam was sacked. My father said, ‘if he hadn’t been sacked, the communists would come and take everything and blood would flow in the gutters.’

EVERYTHING

(Laughs) But I grew up in the Fraser Liberal years, and I became more aware of a centrist conservatism when I was in my early twenties.

Kirsten: Oh wow, that’s very passionate conservatism. So how would you describe yourself now?

Fr. Rod: I’m a fiscal conservative and a social progressive in that sense. My passion for marriage equality is not at all a progressive thing; it’s a very conservative thing.

I think marriage is important.

Kirsten: I have noticed that the message you’ve put across to people is to remember the very fundamentals of Christianity and if you do this, you’ve got the rest sorted out. It looks after itself, doesn’t it?  Hospitality and kindness and you know…

Fr. Rod: Justice!

Kirsten: Yes, justice! So marriage equality, talk to me…

Fr. Rod: Yeah, I have a very conservative view of marriage. I think it’s important; it’s one of the cornerstones of our society. And therefore, it ought to be available to any two adults who want to form a life together because I think it’s good for society.

Kirsten: I know for many leaders in the church you are held to account by your parish, you can’t just suddenly start jumping around changing things up. The church can be very staunch and unchanging and “color within the lines” so to speak in practice. So you must have a wonderful balance of respect from supporters within the Church community for you to be able to live-stream and be the way you are out there in social media- would you say this is true?

Fr. Rod: It’s been a very long evolution, and then you need a long period of creating trust and evolving together in mutual respect, to a point where the congregation can do what we are doing.

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Kirsten: When they go, he’s got this?

Fr. Rod:  Yes, but we’ve had a small number of people leave. Over the last 4-5 years, as we become much more vocal on social issues, although we have had many more come. The congregation has grown substantially.  

So I have a congregation that doesn’t blindly follow what I say. They will question, and they will challenge, and they will say, ‘come on, maybe that wasn’t such a great idea.’

Planet Spectrum

Kirsten: Wow, so this means they’re really invested in the Church. That’s wonderful. There’s a relationship there.

Kirsten: So when was the first time you decided to put a sign out the front?

Fr. Rod: June 2013, Dear Christians People Are Gay, Get Over It, Love God.

It went viral and gave us a platform. Our facebook went from 150 to 3000 likes, and we thought that was a lot then! We have weeks of 2 million hits now.

Kirsten: This is both extraordinary and wonderful what made you decide to put that up?

Fr. Rod: It was a specific event, I encountered a gay man and went to give him the last rights. The idea that the family was afraid that I would judge this man, so disturbed me. Their fear of my judgment. I felt I needed to say something about that. It was a watershed moment, and it was a profound moment. It went crazy, and it hasn’t really stopped being crazy.

Kirsten: Your brave move to disrupt and create waves… it takes courage to do that. I am in awe of your bravery, within your backyard and the greater community. It reminds me a little of someone…

Fr. Rod: Well, you know it’s the prophetic voice. A prophetic voice is a disruptive voice. Traditionally in the 8th century, prophets, they were social commentators, they came into town they looked around and said if you keep going down this track, this is where you are going to end up. So it is a disruptive kind of ministry.

For example with refugees, if you keep treating them like this you re going to damage your corporate soul. You can’t do that; you just can’t.

There are three aspects to that kind of prophetic ministry.

1) You have to be prepared to live on the edges of your community, and I do, I live on the edge of the church.

2) You have to be really clear. You can’t prevaricate. You are not the academic that sees both sides of the argument, that’s a different kind of ministry. You have to be entirely clear on what you are saying.

3) You need to be prepared to be outrageous to be heard, and stand out. But it’s not about standing out for yourself. If you do that, you will come crashing down very quickly. The only reason you want to stand out is for the sake of what you are saying.

Kirsten: I think it is so important for religious leaders to do this, as it may encourage other people in positions of power to speak out. Right throughout history, religious leaders have been the social commentators of moral guidance don’t you think?

Fr. Rod: Absolutely. Look right back, to the civil rights movement, Martin Lither King was a, Christian minister, South Africa has Desmond Tutu,  an Anglican bishop, Oscar Romaro Maro, Gandhi… Go back into the anti-slavery movement that came with John Newton’s journey with Amazing Grace, he was an Anglican Priest, there are SO many.  St Francis is another,  hey even the boss himself! There’s a long tradition of the meddlesome clergy. I love a bit of Shakespearian reference. Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?

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Kirsten: And that dear Ponderers, is how I made a new friend and a new found respect for leaders with beliefs who are brave enough to speak out about moral imbalances and injustice. For it is this attitude and dedication to truth that keeps the balance, provides safety and clears the dark corners from shadows. You see I have come to believe that any areas in this world where power exists has the potential for personal shadows to invade and commit acts that are wrong. When light-bearers speak out and bring the glow to those shadows, goodness has a chance to prosper. Any organization where power exists, be it economic, personal, sexual or cultural there needs to be a leader of light to keep the moral compass firmly in position and help keep people safe.

 

 

Girl Boss

A few years ago now, a young writer who worked for an eco-mag got in touch with me to do an interview about my business at the time. When I read the article I was so taken with her work deciding then and there that this was one human to watch. A couple of years later and her journalism degree complete, the young woman who started to emerge was even more talented and dedicated. To put it simply, she is a marketing genius, a social media influencer and fashionista with a pedigree background in fashion and design. She is also the owner of the dynamic Melbourne Social Media. She is a a wordsmith, a sweetheart and a really nice human! I asked Renae recently what it felt like to be a girl boss. She smiled, and said “I hadn’t really thought about myself like that.” Humble and brilliant. Ponderers, I would like you to meet Renae Failla- A Girl Boss! 

Renae:

I’m 22 and I can officially say that I am a GirlBoss. Funny word it is. Some of you may have heard it, yet, it’s only been in the past couple of years that it has really taken full force. 

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The Urban Dictionary defines a GirlBoss as “A woman in control, taking charge of her own circumstances in work & life. Someone who knows her worth and won’t accept anything less…She is empowering and inspiring to those around her. She kicks ass! A girlboss knows that if you don’t have big dreams and goals, that you’ll end up working really hard for someone who does.”

I didn’t realise years ago but now I can really recognise just how empowering that word is.

 

From a very young age, I was always drawn into the power of communication and
maybe a slither of the glitz and glamour of the Fashion Industry. The movie Suddenly 30 was released in 2004, I would have been 9 years old. The one thing that I took away from that movie -I wanted to work for a magazine. I wanted to be a writer and I wanted to experience the satisfaction of putting your heart and soul into a physical thing which women, young and old, would buy as an escape from the real world.

I loved to read – in fact, you would regularly find me with the latest version of a fashion magazine reading for hours. I would read cover to cover and run my fingers along the charming graphics and text.

Following this, The Devil Wears Prada came out in 2006. I was 11 year old. This has now become my favourite movie of all time. The drive, passion and determination of both Andy and Miranda motivated me. So I thought to myself I need to stand out from the crowd and I need to take every opportunity head-on! (the movie industry as an influence- who knew?) 

Year 9 was a life-changing year. I met a lady who fuelled my passion and helped me snag an amazing opportunity. She was my English teacher, lets call her Miss D. With her assistance I was offered work experience at Dolly Magazine in Sydney. I assisted with every little thing possible living out my real life The Devil Wears Prada dream, although I must point out that I had a very different experience than Andy.

Getting that working experience helped to evolve my determination even more, fuelling it with a design set out in my mind of what would come next.

I had my life planned out. I was going to finish my University Degree, get a good job and work my way up in the corporate world. I was quite happy with this plan and I was doing just that in a marketing assistant role.

Joseph Campbell said “We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us,” I was forced to do this one day when an opportunity came my way that I never dreamt was possible. A lady whom I aspire to and look up to gifted me a business. That business was the product of a successful social media business. No strings were attached only a true belief in me and my writing. That business is now Melbourne Social Media and is one of the things I am most grateful for in my life.

I was told, “I wish that somebody had given me an opportunity like this when I was younger”. I was scared, nervous and excited at the same time but I knew that if I didn’t take it on I would not be living to my fullest potential. And so a piece of advice to all of you young budding dreamers out there, when someone believes in you hold onto that with all of you might because it is one of the greatest things of you will ever experience.

Everyone has a few rare pivotal points in their life. I lived through my two that have made me the person I am today and I can undoubtedly becoming a GirlBoss was the third.

I now work in marketing, alongside growing my new business every waking hour. Who knows what the future holds, but you never find out what the possibilities are unless you step into new spaces!

For more information about Melbourne Social Media visit www.melbsocialmedia.com or email Renae at office@melbsocialmedia.com.