The Paramedic and His Quest For a Fear Less Life

The Paramedic and His Quest For a Fear Less Life

The Paramedic and His Quest For a Fearless Life

by Ponderings Radio

by Jasmin Pedretti

by Jasmin Pedretti


The Paramedic and His Quest For a Fear Less Life

Chris Breen is a paramedic, a father and husband, and a friend to many.

He has assisted at terror attacks in Melbourne and saved lives. But one of the biggest battles he faced was the onset of anxiety and a severe panic attack disorder that lead to years of wrangling. After study, contemplation and countless hours of work, Chris has developed a new paradigm for helping others not only cope with anxiety but to lead A Fear Less Life

When did your panic first present itself? 

The first time it presented itself was when I was about 26 years old and travelling overseas.  

What is something many people might not know about fear that you could educate them about? 

Everybody’s natural response to fear generally is to fight it. They fight two things, the thought and the sensation your body produces. A lot of people don’t realise when you encourage and accept the feeling, paradoxically, it reduces the negative feedback loop of fear, because your body responds thinking there’s a continuous fear stimulant. So, most of us feel anxious and then try to fight it. This fuels the fear versus going, yep, I’ve got a bit of anxiety, I am feeling a bit stressed right now, I’m going to work with it. 

If you could say one thing to that young man on the tube in London, your younger self, what would it be? 

Don’t worry; you will find the answers. Even though I had a medical background, back then, I really wasn’t aware of what was going on. I couldn’t find the answers-  why was this happening to me? How did this happen? How could I make it stop? It was completely debilitating to put it mildly. So the short version is- I had to go on a bit of a quest to find out, investigate and test methods to help myself.

This was a mountain climb. But I was successful. Then it came to the point where I wanted to show other people how to do the same. More research and education, and more experience in psychological studies and evaluation which lead to writing about it and creating some steps. This developed into finite resources to live a life with less fear and a better quality of life, management is key. 

We hear so much about men needing to communicate more. But if you haven’t done much of this growing up and have been influenced by society to hide strong emotions – how can men start to talk more about anxiety? 

Lately, I think there’s been a big push for mental health, especially for men. Also, a lot of AFL footballers and cricketers are coming out and indicating that they have some mental health problems. Younger men and kids start to see their idols affected and I think that opens the forum of discussion to go, hang on, these superhero sportsmen aren’t well. That allows for it to be more accepted and I think we’re moving away from the whole ‘it’s just in your head’ or ‘you’re weak’. It has become more freely spoken about part of life. I think there’ll come a time when talking about how you feel authentically will become the norm.


What is your favourite healthy habit? 

Definitely boxing on Monday nights. 

Do you believe people are suffering more now, or simply talking about it more?

I think that people might be potentially suffering more now because of our current lifestyle, our diet, genetics. I believe  anxiety was often misdiagnosed previously. But I believe our lifestyle and technology may have impacted our mental health because no one shuts off. This isn’t something you can quantify right now, but many people in this field will tell you our modern world is overwhelming to our system. 

 You didn’t have any resources that related to your specific experience at the time, is this what lead to A Fear Less Life?

 Yes, because I thought if I can dig myself out of this hole and work out how to fix myself, I had a responsibility to share this template and see it help other people. When this first happened to me, there was not a lot to support you. It’s certainly improved, but there’s a long way to go. I’ve got a template that may help.

You have an Instagram account A Fear Less Life, and you speak at different events, what is your main message? 

Allow people to understand, generally from the anxiety basis, what it is, where it comes from, and what you can do about it, in a simplistic form. I do that because these were the questions I wanted answers to. I had a medical background so you might have  thought I’d have more of an understanding, but I didn’t. It’s giving people knowledge, and the power to make decisions about how they think, act and feel. 

Your favourite way to chill on weekends and why?

Go surfing in the summer. Otherwise, it’d probably be socialising with friends, or just spending time at home pottering around the house.

Tell us your perfect day?

Be associated with great, positive, healthy, happy people. Maybe start with some exercise in the morning to get my endorphins going. Eat clean. And then of course have some great coffee and then at the end have a couple of social drinks.

Who inspires you most?

I’ve got lots of people who inspire me. My mum because she never gives up and she’s got certain physical conditions and health problems that she refuses to bow down to. 

 My wife, Tanya; she’s amazing with everything she does across the board and Kirsten does with all the trials and tribulations she goes through. (insert editor- thanks Chris x)

Treehouse or Cubby-house? 

I think I’m a bit more of a dare-devil, I’d go up the tree for sure. 

A Fear Less Life is a community dedicated to educating and helping others walk in the face of fear and and manage anxiety. Chris is a key note speaker who candidly talks about his personal experience combined with his life’s work to effectively help others who are struggling with anxiety and mental health hurdles. If you’re Chris Breen and the resources aren’t out there, you create them yourself. To get in touch with Chris visit his Instagram Account

Interview With a Real Life Ghostbuster

Interview With a Real Life Ghostbuster

The Paramedic and his Quest for a Fear Less Life

by Olivia - Ponderings Radio

Interview With a Real Life Ghostbuster

What is paranormal activity?

It is the occurrence of inexplicable happenings. Bumps and knocks in the night, an eerie presence, a hovering vision…

The paranormal can be so spooky and quite unbelievable to many, horrifyingly real to those who have experienced the supernatural. How do we explain that which we do not understand? The unseen. To protect our sanity we try to deny it. The transparent, little girl floating down the hall is not a spirit, I imagined it. Must have been the salami I ate with the hot chilly. But here’s the thing, if enough people have these experiences, then surely it’s a subject worth pondering. Who better to ask than a Paranormal Investigator?

So many people are drawn to watching scary movies and like to go on ghost tours.

It seems people want to be scared! There are even those, the bravest of them all, that are determined to face these unseen happenings head-on. Perhaps if they walked in Bill’s shoes, they might not be quite so keen. His stories might just make them shiver and quiver. But then when the salami can’t explain it all, who you gonna call? In addition to this, how many spooky events happen that actually have straight forward answers to them? Not paranormal but in fact events caused by other explainable factors. This is where Bill comes in. 

Move over Bill Murray, Bill Tabone, is the founder of the Australian Paranormal Society. By day he is a dedicated every day human working for a local council, by night he makes contact with paranormal activity. 

Bill has explored the paranormal realm for the last 30-40 years, and is known all over the world. His passion lies in helping anyone experiencing the paranormal in their homes and educating the public through tours and lectures. 

Where is the most haunted place you’ve been?

Aradale Asylum up in Ararat. I’m lucky enough to run an investigation tour there once a month. There’s so much unstable energy there because the old ways of treating patients with psychological disorders weren’t always the kindest. There were a lot of people locked up that shouldn’t have been. Wives could be locked up for hanging out clothes on a Sunday or reading too much. Also, I believe places like that attract negative energy anyway. 

Has there ever been a moment where you’ve been scared for your life?

Oh, for sure. We’ve worked with a lot of dark entities. Not necessarily demonic, but unfortunately when a human passes, their personality doesn’t change. A person that’s nasty in life will be a nasty spirit too. There have been times where I’ve been attacked or seen people attacked from things you can’t see. I’ve had to pull people out of buildings because they’ve been hurt or made ill.

Have you ever been hurt?

I’ve been scratched and bitten, pushed; I’ve had things thrown at me. We do what we call ‘grounding and protections’, spiritual protections to protect our energy. However, one time, when there was a few of us, some were less experienced. So by protecting them, I left myself open and copped some negative energy. I was ill for 4-5 days. 

Not your average job! What do you love about it?

I say there are no experts in the field because we know so very little about the paranormal. We’re out there exploring things that you can’t see, and trying to work out ways to connect with the other side. I find it intriguing that we can have these experiences. To me, it’s just fascinating to be able to make this contact.

Not all our cases are dark, although those involved, the clients, are usually fearful but it has more to do with fearing the unknown that what’s actually there. Some cases are very positive, especially when we find leave peace for the spirit or spirits involved and also for the living. 

Many times we need to help spirits that haven’t crossed over or moved on, sometimes they are stuck, lost or confused, sometimes just stubborn, among other reasons and didn’t cross when their time came. This is very rewarding and positive work and those in spirit are usually very happy to have help. 

One example is a little girl who was stuck in an old miners cottage, I felt her come and hold my hand because apparently I looked like her dad with my beard and she felt safe, it was a gentle little girls hand holding mine but it was definitely there and was extremely cold. We were ecstatic to help her cross over.

Another is the time we helped an old lady who was stuck in her old house, we actually heard her cross and it was beautiful. We believe the sound we heard was a portal opening, the sound it made was beautiful, and when the sound stops the old lady had gone. We all get shown gratitude for helping in different ways, for example I usually feel my cheek being gently stroked right at the time they are crossing, but others experiences different things like a warm glow over their body of any number of other signs. 

Why do you think some people can see or sense ghosts, while others can’t?

I believe everyone can see to begin with. I can’t, but my partner is a very strong medium. As children, people will say “you’re talking to an imaginary friend, don’t be so stupid”. Kids shut down, so when they become adults, they shut off. I think it depends on how children are treated when it first starts.

When there is paranormal activity, what are the leading scientific indicators that there is activity going on?

Frequency and temperature are part of it. Cold spots, for example, are a sign that there’s a spirit trying to manifest, taking energy from the air. Then again, it could just be an open window. We’ll look at the temperature and work out why the temperature dropped. Is there any black noise, what are the EMF levels (Electromagnetic field), is there anything that might be causing these events that can be explained simply. Then once we’ve eliminated them, if there’s anything else that’s unusual, we can run the investigation. A variety of still and video cameras. These work in the normal light spectrum and some work in infrared, Ultraviolet, multi spectrum and full spectrum ranges. Thermal cameras, and motion sensors, there’s lots of unusual gadgets!


Do you believe humans transmit frequency, so when there is high emotion in the house, there can be disturbances generated?

Oh, 100%. Human emotions create what we call the residual haunting, where the emotion is caught up in the environment and replays sometimes. A classic example is a lady in a castle in England on the 3rd of July every year. Why? She’s doing the same thing. So, she’s not actually a spirit. She’s energy trapped in that environment, in the walls, in the rock. There’s a whole theory behind that called ‘stone tape theory’, but that’s another story. When the environment and time are right, the 3rd of July for example, then you get emotion playing back, so you’ll see the scene that created the emotion. 

What would you say to someone who doesn’t believe in the paranormal?

I never try and push my beliefs onto anyone else. On my investigations, if someone is negative, I’ll pull them aside and ask them to have an open mind. We used to run a public investigation at the Melbourne Royal Hotel. The husbands were bored, but the wives were really into it. We have machines, like modified radios, that allow the spirits to come through, and you can hear their voices. I pulled out the spirit box and just asked to hear someone’s name. It said one of the husband’s first and last name. His mouth fell open. He shook my hand afterwards and just said I’d changed his mind.

If you would like to dive deeper into the Australian Paranormal Society or buy tickets to one of their events, visit their facebook page where they have close to 96, 000 followers.  

Pondering with Kate Forsyth

Pondering with Kate Forsyth

Pondering with Kate Forsyth

by Ponderings Radio

Pondering with Kate Forsyth

Internationally bestselling and award-winning author of more than thirty books, Kate Forsyth ponders with us about her childhood, lifelong love of fairy-tales and her new book The Blue Rose.

Cubby House or Tree House?


Biggest literary inspiration? 

Probably the Bronte sisters.

Favorite book?

On my website, I have a list of the 50 books that changed me. I’ve chosen ten books for each decade of my life, that have most inspired me. My favorite childhood book would be The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. 

How did that book shape you?

It made me long for magical worlds; it chimed very much with the child that I was. Very imaginative and day-dreamy. I still read it every few years.

I read that when you were in hospital as a child, stories were a form of escapism, how does it feel knowing that your books provide that kind of refuge to more than a million others?

It’s part of the magic of stories. A large part of my motivation for writing stories is the idea of giving this gift to people who are in need. 

Creating something out of our mind and spirit, and the enormous challenges that come with writing long-form fiction in that time dominates you for years. So, the great reward is knowing that we’ve moved and helped others. 

You wrote your first novel at age seven, did you always know you would be a writer?

Oh, yes, always. I was writing stories from the time I could hold a pencil, so I was writing poems by the age of four and five. It’s always been a burning ambition; a vocation, rather than a job.

What is it about fairy-tales that captivate you? 

When I was a little girl, I was quite sick. My tear ducts had been destroyed by a savage attack by a dog when I was a baby. I spent a lot of time in the hospital. I’d be rushed there in the middle of the night, and my mother had to leave me there. It was very frightening and lonely. I was hooked up to all these machines, and they’d bring up the sides of the bed, so it’s like you’re in a little prison. My mother gave me Grimm fairy-tales to read. So even though my body was imprisoned, both literally and metaphorically, when I opened the pages of that book, I could escape into the gateway of fairy-tales. At the time, I didn’t know why they meant so much to me. I just knew that they enchanted me. But as an adult, interrogating my enchantment with these old tales, what I came to realize is that they offer hope.

What is your favorite fairy-tale?

I don’t like to answer that question because my relationship with fairy-tales is far more profound than having a favorite. But Rapunzel is the tale that speaks to me most powerfully because it was about a girl that was in prison just like I was. My tower was an illness and a hospital bed. It wasn’t a real tower, but the effects on me were the same. I was constrained; I was shackled. I was held, impotent and powerless. In the story of Rapunzel, the prince is flung down from a tower height, and he’s blinded, so he cannot see. Rapunzel finds him, and she weeps, and her tears fall upon his eyes, and he’s healed. Which makes Rapunzel an extraordinarily, powerful agent of healing and redemption. Well, I was in the hospital because of my inability to control my tears. And so, without a tear duct, my eye wept constantly. So, I was constantly sick, in pain, and made ill by my own tears. Rapunzel gave me hope that I would escape my tower one day, and I would be healed one day. And that’s a powerful message to a sick and frightened little girl. Fairy tales carry messages of hope that you can change your world. 

Also, Sleeping Beauty because it’s the story of a young woman woken from a form of death. As a child, I awoke from a six or seven-week coma, which is not something that many people can say.

Have any of your stories characters been autobiographical? 

Frederic Fellini, a famous Italian film-maker, says all art is autobiographical. You could also argue that no art is auto-biographical because what happens is a creative artist takes their own life. They transform it in the crucible of the imagination, into something very different, and so all art arises out of us but is transformed into something else.

You recently published ‘The Blue Rose’, set during the French Revolution, what inspired the premise of the book?

I’ve wanted to write a book set in the French Revolution since I was a teenager. There’s something poignant about love during a time of such bloody turmoil and violence. Also, roses are my favorite flower. Reading about their symbology, I discovered that in 1792 a fabled, blood-red rose was smuggled out of China and brought to Europe, and it was the ancestor of all the blood-red roses that we have today. 1792 was right at the beginning of the French revolution. I was fascinated by the fact that this rose was smuggled out of China by an Englishman but was hybridized in France, even though England and France were at war with each other and China, at this time, was closed to the western world. So, my two interests, France during the French revolution and the history and meaning of the rose, struck sparks off each other. And that’s how things work for me. I have an idea, but I need another idea that somehow has a charge of electricity between them. It’s a true, old-fashioned love story. I felt like the world needed a grand romance at the moment.

I mean, all the best romances have arisen from the darkest times, right?

I think so. One of the things I was grappling with is this idea that romance, which foregrounds and long-sustains human happiness should be something to aspire to. It has become something to be sneered at. To long for love is seen somehow as being weak, childish and unsophisticated. I think that the longing for love is makes us human. And I do believe in its redemptive power. I made the deliberate decision to write a book about the longing for love; the need to fight, work and suffer for it. Not this easy kind of idea that love can come and go.

Is there anything you can tell me about the book you just finished?

Yes, so I’m the direct descendant of the woman who wrote the first children’s book published in Australia. Her name was Charlotte Waring, so the book I’ve just finished writing with my sister is a combined biography of our ancestor with a memoir. A memoir of our search for the truth. Because we were brought up on all these old stories, you never knew if they were real. It’s a memoir of what it’s like to grow up in a writing family. It’s the most astonishing story of grief and struggle and violence, and triumph over absolutely overwhelming odds. My sister and I have been working on this book all year. It’s to be published in late 2021, which is the 188th anniversary of my great-great-great-great grandmother’s books publication.


My chat with Kate left me spellbound. Her way with words and passion for history, love and magic left me inspired and desperate to read all her books. 

You can find ‘The Blue Rose’ in most bookstores or on Amazon.

Talking Transgender Truth and Trials with Melissa Griffiths

Talking Transgender Truth and Trials with Melissa Griffiths

Talking Transgender Truth and Trials with Melissa Griffiths

Words by Jasmin Pedretti

We sit down with Melissa Griffiths, transgender authority and advocate, to talk about her personal experience as a transgender person and her role in raising awareness and inclusivity in the workplace.

Talking Transgender Truth and Trials with Melissa Griffiths

by Ponderings Radio

What is your favorite thing about being a woman? 

Being a woman is who I am. My favorite thing about being a woman is that I can be myself. It’s pretty simple.

 In The Guardian, you said, “I began to believe that being treated like this is part of being a woman when it is not and should never be.” How were you treated differently as a woman? 

There’s a lack of respect. People think they can make fun of you and get away with it. They think, “she won’t mind, she’s a good sport”.

What was the most unusual part of transitioning? 

Probably some of the questions and funny looks I got. That’s probably the hardest part. I’ve been asked to access the bar through the back door instead of from the front. Like I’m an embarrassment. I get yelled at on the street.

How does this societal stigma affect you?

It’s quite hard. You’re quite vulnerable, being part of a minority group. I have moments where I need to take time out to cry. The pain I go through makes me stronger. I know that if I keep pushing on like I have been for the past three years, that it will create change and hopefully in 10 years we won’t be having these sorts of conversations.

You teach businesses about how to be inclusive and supportive of transgender people transitioning in their workplace. This is so important for social acceptance – has this been positive, negative, easy or difficult? 

It’s not an easy thing to do. We speak to management about the challenges they might face while someone transitions in the workplace and some of the issues I encountered. I think sharing these stories is a powerful way to create change as well. Also, giving people the space to ask questions, for example, what pronouns to use when referring to someone non-binary.

What has been the most inspiring success so far? 

I spoke at RMIT this year for International Women’s Day and did a TEDx talk. I can’t believe I got through it. They have the smallest stage ever, and I managed to remember my speech and get my jokes in. For me, speaking is a journey. One YouTube video I love is by Admiral Raven from 2014, where he talks about being a sugar cookie. He says, no matter how well you prepare, sometimes you’ll fail. He calls it ‘just get over being a sugar cookie’. I love it.

What is the best part of your job?

Helping people behind the scenes. When I wrote about my experience getting through anxiety and depression this year, well most of it, people commented on Facebook that they had experienced it too, and it helps to make those human connections.

Melissa is a Global Goodwill Ambassador and was a Finalist of the 2019 AUS LGBTI Awards, yet she was so humble, you wouldn’t know this.

As we ponder with Melissa, we were reminded of people who are brave and the importance of kindness. In addition to a conversation about inclusivity, it is about a person forging through and advocating for others, paving a way in a changing world. For tips for employers for a transgender person transitioning in your workplace and to find out more about Melissa you can visit and her podcast

Ten Tantalizing Reasons to Love Turmeric

Ten Tantalizing Reasons to Love Turmeric

Ten Tantalising Reasons to Love Turmeric

by Ponderings Radio

Ten Tantalizing Reasons to Love Turmeric

words: Jasmin Pedretti 

Turmeric. Is it worth all the hype, or is it just a trendy fad loved by hipsters who want to spice up their lattes?

We break down why this yellow herb is the real deal; the extraordinary benefits and the sneaky trick to make it more effective.

It originates in China and is rooted in thousands of years of Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Basically, the herb is ancient, and we are only just starting to recognize its potential. 

If you want to be “that” person, call it by its scientific name, Curcuma Longa.

It will be sure to impress… no one ever, but sometimes it’s cool to have different names for things.

What might be more likely to impress is knowing what gives the spice it’s golden hue. Curcumin is Turmeric’s primary active ingredient that is behind the color and most of its health benefits. The curcumin, along with the herbs other constituents, work together to achieve results. Therefore, it’s much preferred by the human body than chemical-based medicine.

For all its magic, Turmeric’s bioavailability is quite low.

This means that when consumed, the substance struggles to enter the bodies circulation and have an active effect. HOWEVER, the remedy is a sprinkling of pepper. Not only will this enhance Turmeric’s bioavailability by up to 2000%, but it will also add a subtle earthy spice that will leave your taste buds very happy.

Everyone knows Turmeric for its anti-inflammatory properties, but there is so much more to this aromatic condiment. There are myriads of health benefits.

Here are ten tantalizing reasons to love Turmeric:


  1. The warming and bitter effect stimulates blood circulation 

  2. Liver protection

  3. High in iron, one teaspoon of ground Turmeric has 1.65 milligrams of iron which supplies 9 per cent of a woman’s and 23 per cent of a man’s iron quota for the day 

  4. High in antioxidants

  5. Decreases cholesterol 

  6. Assists with settling down the inflammation associated with asthma 

  7. Is a potent antagonist of numerous cancer-causing cells 

  8. Regulates blood sugar 

  9. Supports neurological, cardiovascular and immune system 

  10. There is even evidence suggesting that Turmeric may prevent replication of H.I.V.1!

Sounds pretty healthy, right?

Good news is, you don’t need to lash out on an overpriced beverage at a trendy Melbourne café, to get your Turmeric on. There are numerous culinary uses. It can be added to curries, soups, or even a poached egg.

If a Turmeric beverage is more your thing, here is a recipe you can make yourself and enjoy the liquid gold in the comfort of your own home.

Simple Turmeric Tonic Recipe:

 (makes two serves) 


3 cups of boiling water 

¼ tsp of ground Turmeric

½ tsp of ground Ginger or 1/4 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

½ tsp organic Apple Cider Vinegar

½ tsp of honey 

Splash of lemon juice



Add all the ingredients together and stir.

Allow to infuse for at least 3 minutes and enjoy! 


We acknowledge the people of the Kulin Nation, on whose unceded sovereign land we work. 

We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging.

Meet The Mother Who Turned Grief Into A Refuge For Kids

Meet The Mother Who Turned Grief Into A Refuge For Kids

Meet The Mother Who Turned Grief Into A Refuge For Kids

Deborah Saunders experienced a mother’s worst nightmare when her son was killed in a tragic car accident at age 17. 


She recalls how the press bombarded her family, and mainstream media reported misleading articles. Everyone deserves a chance to tell their story. Here, Deborah explains in her own words how she coped with her son’s death and has healed her broken heart by looking after children.


The Barnardo’s Mother of the Year VIC 2019, has raised four children independently and fostered countless teenagers. She has devoted her life to providing young people with a home, a safe space and a chance for a better life. Deborah’s guiding light has saved those who have found themselves travelling down a dark and troubling path. Her home has been a place of protection and nurture. 


Children, entrenched in a world of drug and alcohol abuse, in an endless cycle of poverty, full of uncertainties such as when or where they will get their next meal, yearn for the love and stability that Deborah provides. The number of children dependent on this support continues to rise. 


The latest figures from the Australian Institute of Family Studies have shown that the number of children in care has risen in Australia by 18% from 2013 to 2017.


Winning Mother of the Year has in no way affected her humility. Throughout our small chat, Deborah oozed motherly compassion and a determination to help kids that need it.  


What would you say is your biggest passion?


I think the rights of young people. Definitely. The rights of dignity and respect. Some of the young people I work with don’t have housing. They’re living in poverty and experiencing drug and alcohol abuse, childhood abuse. The worst part is it just keeps going. It doesn’t get addressed. There’s no healing, so that’s my job. 


Has there been an experience that inspired your passion for helping foster children? 


I think it was my childhood. I didn’t realize it at the time, of course, but it was a bit rough. I think also being a young person growing up in poverty, and then being able to reflect on actually how tough it is for these kids. I was one of the lucky ones because I had a family. Also, my kids would always bring friends home. We ended up with some staying, and these moments would help me reflect on how fortunate I was.