The Anti-Self-Help Books that Are Actually Helpful

The Anti-Self-Help Books that Are Actually Helpful

The Anti-Self-Help Books that Are Actually Helpful

Self-help books can be a great source of encouragement, but they can also be idealistic bullshit.

Sometimes you just don’t need the “how to be a high-achiever” and “say yes to everything” crap. Love you Socrates, but what the hell am I supposed to do with “the only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing”.

Anti-self-help books rip up the rule-books and give you real, straightforward advice on how to live your best life. And sometimes it’s as simple as not giving a f*ck. 

Here are some of the world’s best-selling anti-self-help books. 

Anti-self help- quirky phase or wickedly intriguing insights? We check out the top 6 and give you the run down, by Jasmin Pedretti. 

Jasmin Pedretti

Jasmin Pedretti

Journalist

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*Ck by Mark Manson

Forget everything you think you know and let Manson slap you in the face with the secret to a good life. Instead of worrying so much, find one thing that gives you meaning and devote all your fu*ks to it. This saves a whole lot of time and energy. Find that ‘thing’ that aligns with your personal values so you can stop searching for happiness and just accept your wonderful life as it is.

The Courage to be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga

Learn about the theories of the 19th-century philosopher, Alfred Adler, by eavesdropping on a chit-chat between a philosopher and a young boy. The theory is that you can determine your own destiny as long as you dare to live free of the shackles of other’s expectations. Essentially, don’t stress if everyone hates you because being disliked is proof that you are living according to your own principles. 

You Do You by Sarah Knight

Finally, a book that tells you to worry more about yourself and encourages you to fuck up. It might sound counterintuitive. In fact, it sounds like a guide on how to be a selfish mess. But the reality is, looking out for yourself and embracing your imperfections and shitty mistakes can be the answer to happiness. Don’t worry about what everyone expects of you. Make mistakes, bounce back, and continue being your own kick-ass self.  

How Not to Be a Dick: An Everyday Etiquette Guide by Meghan Doherty

An ‘etiquette guide’ does not sound funny or remotely fun to read. However, this is different. It’s basically a how-to-not-be-a-dick guide in a world inevitably filled with dicks. It offers practical tips for navigating 21st-century social situations through comedy and 1940’s retro-style illustrations. You know when the first line of the book is “throughout history, there have been dicks”, you’re in for a good laugh and real-talk advice. 

 

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book about Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson

Lawson uses disjointed, blog-like points to explain how to cling onto your mental stability by your fingernails. Her no-nonsense collection of confused thoughts explores her own personal battle with mental illness. Her advice is to take those “fine” moments and make them “amazing” because they are the moments that we take into battle to fight depression. She says to find joy in being outrageous because craziness isn’t all that bad.

Have you read one of these wonders of wisdom? If so we would love to hear about it! Take a pic of your fave Anti-Self Help and use #ponderingsbook. 

Exercise Myths, Activewear and Do You Want Coffee With That?

Exercise Myths, Activewear and Do You Want Coffee With That?

Sarah Healy Exercise Myths Ponderings Magazine

Sarah Healy physiologist and columnist unpacks the myths about exercise and gets straight to the point!

Extra flexible people are double jointed – Nope, not a thing in humans.

 

Joints can be hypermobile, but there are definitely no extra joints in there! In fact, hypermobility features joints that easily move beyond the normal range expected for that particular joint. Which can be very handy for the contortionist and party trick, but alas, not an extra joint in sight!

 

Running is bad for your knees –

 

Research has found recreational runners have a lower risk of developing osteoarthritis than non-runners.  Everything within reason, of course, as the studies also showed that runners training and competing at a very high level for more than 15 years have the same likelihood of developing osteoarthritis as the general population. If I were talented and dedicated enough to be able to compete at such a high level for so long, I’d be happy to take that risk.

 

You need to wear ACTIVEWEAR to exercise – Definitely not.

 

Anything comfortable to move in will work. I’ve been known to get a few exercises done before breakfast in my PJ’s, so no judgement from me! We know everyone loves a good lycra but its about movement not lorna.

 

When you ride with a group you must stop for coffee – full disclosure, I used to ride in a bunch and more often than not we stopped for a coffee, but I’m just saying you don’t have to.

 

You need to be fit to attend an aerobics class (now known as group exercise classes) – the class is how you get fit not the other way round. Stand up the back, do what you can, adlib the rest.  

If you have a sore knee, treat the knee – nope.

 Teknique Health Sarah Healy Ponderings Magazine

Remember that song “the hip bone is connected to the thigh bone, the thigh bone is connected to the knee bone…?” Well, when one area of the body hurts, it is often also influenced by another area. It’s amazing how often my clients with chronic shoulder pain have low back pain as well. Treating one specific area doesn’t address the rest of what is going on in there!

 

Our bodies are very good at compensating and finding the easiest way to do something. If we can’t squeeze our shoulders back, we’ll arch our lower back by tilting our hips to create a similar movement. This compensatory action can create strain or overuse of the lower back muscles.

If you’re not losing weight, your exercise isn’t working – WRONG.

 

There are endless benefits to exercise, and I will gladly list a few for you – improved heart health, lung health and mental health, decreased the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, many cancers. Regular exercise reduces the inflammation in your body, decreasing strain inside and out. There is more, but I have a word limit, you get the point though.

 Want to get in touch with Sarah and find out more about healthy healing? This inspiring human can be found HERE.

Sarah Healy Teknique HealthAbout Sarah Healy:

Exercise Physiologist – AEP AES ESSAM | Bachelor of Applied Science – Human Movement |Graduate Diploma – Exercise for Rehabilitation | Cert IV – Training & Assessment An Exercise Physiologist with over 13 years of experience and has been employed in the sport and fitness industry since 1996. Sarah works with individuals experiencing pain, musculo-skeletal injuries, posture/muscle imbalances and those that have developed anxiety relating to exercise and movement.

 

 

Reishi Mushroom Magic

by Jasmin Pedretti 2020 is the year of the rat. Thankfully, it’s also the year of the reishi...

A Period Through Time

The design of sanitary period items are made to conceal, discretion please! We don’t want everyone knowing our uterine wall is shedding

 

 

 

 

 

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When you subscribe each story will be delivered to your inbox and you get a special gift- the Anthology Edition. 

 In December you will receive your special limited Edition Ponderings Anthology Magazine delivered to your home address. Some of the country’s best writers and the stories of of some our bravest, most courageous and interesting fellow humans selected and printed in a high quality eco friendly magazine.

You will also get stories emailed directly to your inbox so you can keep up to date AND you will receive a special link so you can get discounts and offers from our amazing advertisers and sponsors. 

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The Colourful Magic of Food – What You Need To Know

The Colourful Magic of Food – What You Need To Know

Susan Byrne Feature Bioflavanoids

These days, there’s a lot of hype about organic, raw food.

But is it really all it’s cracked up to be? It sure is! There’s a reason naturopaths and the health conscious are paying more attention to how they prepare and cook their produce. It all comes down to a phytonutrient called bioflavonoids (also known as flavonoids). These are mainly found in the natural pigments that give fruits and vegetables their vibrant color. Flavonoids are decomposed over time, and this process is accelerated by cooking. This is why “fresh is best” is more than just a catch phrase. It’s imperative for getting the most from fruits and vegetables.

World’s Healthiest Foods says that up to 80 per cent of flavonoids can be lost in the cooking process.

So, what’s so good about flavonoids?

These naturally occurring substances are an antioxidant superpower. They help the body absorb vitamin C and protect your cells from free radical damage.

Dr. Gary Heiting says that flavonoids, combined with vitamin C can:

– prevent cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease and infections

– reduce the harmful effects of diabetes

– have certain anti-ageing effects

-improve blood circulation and liver function

– decrease blood cholesterol

There are currently 6000 different flavonoids.

by Kirsten Macdonald Ponderings Magazine Australia

Some of the best ones are Quercetin which prevents seasonal allergies, Rutin which helps ease bruising and other bleeding abnormalities, Apigenin which may reduce the risk of ovarian cancer and anthocyanins which has potential eye benefits.

These magical disease-fighting machines can be found in most fruits and vegetables but as a general rule, the more colorful the food is the higher its bioflavonoid component. Foods that are blue or purple like blueberries, blackberries and red cabbage are very rich in flavonoids. However, they’re also found in dull colored foods such as onion, garlic and buckwheat. The best news of all is, red wine and dark chocolate are full of flavonoids too!

__________________________

 

The bad news is that cooking can decompose the flavonoids, leaving your fruits and vegetables drained of their nutrients.

The way to tell if your food is losing nutrients is by its color. Your food is losing its phytonutrients if its normally vivid colors start to fade while being boiled or cooked.

The more fresh fruits and vegetables are the better. If you look at the cultures that live the longest, their cuisine celebrates fresh, locally grown, seasonal ingredients rather than the imported and packaged. For example Japan has the highest life expectancy in the world. Chiyo Miyako just died last year as the oldest person in the world at 117 years old.

We can also be wary of how we prepare our food.

The skins of fruits and vegetables are often where the flavonoids are concentrated. So, to help retain the flavonoids, it is better not to cut up fruit, which damages the skin, until you are ready to eat it.

We don’t all have the time or the means to grow our own produce or the money to buy organic food from health stores. This doesn’t mean, however, that we can’t get the most out of our fruits and veggies. Little things like cooking veggies and cutting fruit less can ensure we’re getting the most flavonoids food has to offer. Healthy is being mindful.

As a naturopath, I am so passionate not just about helping people get balanced and healthy but also education.

So many people I meet don’t know about bioflavonoids. Many  are not sure how to practise healthy eating habits that keep these valuable sources of nutrition in tact, it’s all about getting the most from our food. But it is also about identifying when you are lacking them as well so you can remedy the body and bring it back into health.

Susan Byrne:

Susan Byrne is absolutely passionate about health and wellbeing with a focus on people being empowered and lifted in the knowledge that they are healthy and happy. Susan specializes in women and children’s health. Susan has over 20 years health experience and in-depth qualifications in Nutritional Health, Herbal Medicine, Supplementation and Flower essences including a Bachelor of Health Science, Dip. Herbal Medicine and Dip. Nutrition as well as being a member of the NHAA. She is a well known public speaker on Naturopathic subjects and is an advocate for women’s welfare. Click here to speak with her about your health needs. 

 

Reishi Mushroom Magic

by Jasmin Pedretti 2020 is the year of the rat. Thankfully, it’s also the year of the reishi...
The O’Donnell Sisters Guide to Mama’s Survival

The O’Donnell Sisters Guide to Mama’s Survival

The O'Donnell Sister's Guide To Mama's Survival

How has your day been Mama?

Right now, you might have your magnificent offspring on your hip while talking on the phone- stepping over blocks and shooing the dog away from lunchtime spills on the floor. Between ubering, cheffing, counseling, diplomatic rationalizing and smashing the glass ceiling you may well be wiping wee off a toilet seat and mentally preparing a list of everything you NEED to do while pondering Marie Kondo and realising how many things are just NOT sparking your joy… Welcome, you are not alone!

According to research by Griffith University, many women struggle with being time poor and the demands of being a mother, the requirements of being an employee and “getting it all done.” No kidding. I mean, really? “IT ALL” is a broad term to throw into inverted commas people. C’mon already. We are amazing, we are warriors- tell us something we don’t know! But let’s be serious. It can be so hard.

Mother guilt can be heavier than a bag of bricks.

The old phrase “a woman’s work is never done” could not be more ‘en pointe in our western–i-can-do-it-all-because-bras-were-burned-for-me world. Life is busy. Busy women doing many things with as little mistakes as we can manage because the world is watching right?

So, as busy mums how do we lessen the burden and start living our best life? What is this magic that will give us more energy and propel us out of the world of Mombie and into the land of the living and being present?

Now we could sit here and tell you like everyone else to meditate the proverbial out of yourself, however, let’s keep it real. We are modern women with modern needs, and sometimes it’s the little things that put a smile on your face.

The Road For Hope Cancer Journey From Ponderings Magazine

1. DITCH THE GUILT

We are living in a time where women are waving the feminist flag with one hand and holding the washing basket in the other. The load on the mother has increased to include basically EVERYTHING! Working, childcare, home duties, meal prep, bikini waxes or if you are liberated- not- corporate takeovers, Bachelor Degrees in OMG I AM A MOTHER NOW WHEN AM I GOING TO SLEEP AGAIN- to hang on, I love this, this is WORTHY.  Oh and worming the dog.- don’t forget that. Are you Vegan and gluten intolerant or maybe your child has allergies? Put the whiskey down, its ok, we have more… point is- GUILT is too heavy an emotion, it holds a heavy vibration that will zap the energy you are already lacking. So give it a miss and send it on its way. Good vibes Mama, more of this in your life will do nicely.

2: Hire a cleaner!

Good thing I mentioned ditching the guilt first right?!  

Regardless of who does what in your abode, stats from Macquarie University tell us that in Australia 86% of women do the majority of the housework. Would you like some gender inequality with your smashed avo?

Hiring a cleaner may sound like a luxury for some- however, hiring a cleaner even once a fortnight to do the tasks you hate or don’t have time to do (insert scrubbing bathroom grout, the laundry pile, cleaning the oven) is a winner.  By outsourcing, you are giving yourself time to do less obligatory tasks and allow more meaningful moments. Take time for yourself, make memories with your kids (the fun ones!) and the job still gets done. Can’t afford it? Try and work it into your budget by ditching the lattes and takeouts- substituting things in your budget to make life easier may become your next best trick. $35 every two weeks for an hour of those jobs might be a life-changer.


planet spectrum

3. Organisation time

There is no way we can remember everything. Keep an electronic diary on your smartphone with alerts and reminders. Keeping track of events, library day, bills, appointments, due payments. It’s like having a free PA that reminds us of the important stuff. Have you checked out Google Personal Assistant? If not.. do this today!  If you make time to check your phone once a day, you won’t find yourself red-faced in the school car park- it is not Crazy Hair Day and your child is walking around the playground looking like Johnny Rotten.

4. Learn to say NO.

You don’t have to explain yourself to anybody. No is a lovely word when it is used in the right context and when it comes to you Mama, saying No sometimes can be your saving grace. It might be no to catching up, no to attending something, a party, or a favor. You and your children come first. There is a time in adulthood when we need to conserve our energy for the important things. Those moments are when we bravely decide to sidestep the “have to’s” and permit ourselves to opt out. And if you pause and think about it- who deserves the best of you? You. What you take from one bucket you give to another.

Everyone else can wait, and if they don’t understand that it might be time to rethink who your tribe is.

Leaderboard Ponderings Australia

5. Take 10 minutes.

When the kids are asleep, or entertained, take ten. Go outside, put your feet on the grass- adorn your head with headphones playing soothing music and thank yourself for being you. Yoga Nidra meditation is really awesome too. Or….if you wanted to you could put on your old Doc Martins and smash out some interpretive dance to Four Non-Blondes. Your own silent disco. Cool doesn’t have a used by date in your loungeroom.

We will leave you with our parting gift of advice: NETFLIX. Gorging pure escapism for the sake of sanity. We are talking Outlander, no limits, no judgment. Soulfood. Mr. Grey is a thing of the past- we’re talking kilts, rolling hills,  a thick Scottish accent, and a sporran. Did someone just say “Sassenach?”

 The O’Donnell Sisters
One is a celebrated author, mother, and teacher, the other is the black sheep and ratbag wordsmithing her way through life with gusto. Kate O’Donnell and her sister Kirsten can often be found reminiscing and talking women’s business over a peppermint tea (Kirsten’s is often laced with Gin) and knitting. Kate knits, Kirsten does not. Mind you Kate does play a mean steel six string guitar and loves a good Xavier Rudd concert. Her big sister loves popcorn, gardening, Hemingway, quantum physics and is quite partial to a pirouette. She is not certifiably crazy but on the quiet- she thinks she might be the OA.

The Blazing Heart of Community

Words by Kirsten Macdonald Like many all over the world, our hearts are left swollen and aching as...
A Buddhist Point of View

A Buddhist Point of View

A Buddhist Point of View Drol Kar Buddhist Centre

It goes something like this;

If you are involved in an inter-religion soccer competition and you have the choice, challenge the Buddhists first, they are the ones most likely to offer you the victory. Intended as a joke it conveys a misunderstanding that suggests that they are the easy beats and, in some way, soft and weak. This misapprehension needs to be addressed so a more accurate understanding that Buddhism is tough may be recognized. This toughness is based squarely on the teachings that prescribe the most searing of investigations into self, framed in the unrelenting reality of the situation of our lives.

The Buddhist study demonstrates what at times appears to be contradictory lessons. How can an enhanced familiarity with death improve the quality of our lives, how can a knowing of impermanence improve our enjoyment and how can the act of giving enable true receiving?

The first teachings of the Buddha are the Four Noble Truths, the first of these speaks directly to the suffering nature of our circumstance.

That we are born, age, and suffer sickness and die, a death that will inevitably occur and that its timing is unknown, therefore we are faced with a fundamental uncertainty. This uncertainty underpins every waking moment and with understanding has the potential to enhance that moment, such that it is valued and truly appreciated. How fortunate are we to have such excellent circumstances?

The second of the Noble Truths speaks to the cause of this suffering and for this we must accept responsibility, that it is our misdeeds that give rise to our unhappiness. This immediately strips us one our most preferred defences, that is blame. The family violence perpetrator blames the victim’s behaviour as the cause, the gambler blames bad luck and the protestor blames the other for all manner of suffering. The acceptance that we are responsible enables the consideration of transforming behaviours to better achieve happiness.

Buddha Quote Ponderings Magazine

The teachings on impermanence is yet another example of how a deeper understanding of the true nature of our circumstance can improve the quality of those circumstances.

To purchase a new item is fraught with misunderstanding, the whole concept of new, a misapprehension. What component of the item is new and how quickly does it cease to be new? Our acceptance that all things deteriorate, a deterioration that commences immediately enables us to appreciate the item as it changes, not to be at some time shocked by its deterioration. The new flash car ceases to be new in the misdirected perspective only when it’s scratched or damaged. Once again, the greater the understanding of the true nature of us and the things we surround ourselves with the greater our capacity to find happiness.

The next aspect for consideration is the insistence that the Buddhist practice is elaborated by introspection, an honest look at self. The self that is self-centred, discriminative and is infused with feeling, such that every awareness registers as happy, unhappy or neutral and our responses to the feeling that can provoke love, consideration or envy, anger, jealousy and a whole range of thoughts, speech and behaviours.

planet spectrum

What makes Buddhism tough is the honesty of looking and adjusting to live in the real world, that sees our reliance on all others and one in which we take responsibility for the consequence of our actions. Working to make the intention of those actions to benefit all others so we experience a more enduring quality of happiness.

by David Mayer

Drol Kar Buddhist Centre

Drol Kar Buddhist Centre was initially established in 1999 by Geshe Sonam Thargye and a group of his students in Geelong. It is a not for profit Incorporated Association with the sole purpose of providing Tibetan Buddhist teachings, dharma practice, meditation and study, in the Mahayana tradition.

Contact:

Drol Kar Buddhist Centre

Telephone: 03 52661788

Email: info@drolkarbuddhistcentre.org.au

Website:www.drolkarbuddhistcentre.org.au

 

Want to become a VIPonderer?

 

Ponderings is completely self funded and certainly not owned by a big media organisation. In order to deliver REAL news and great stories we need your support. Running Ponderings Magazine now requires a team and a whole lot of work and we need your help to keep it going! 

 

When you subscribe each story will be delivered to your inbox and you get a special gift- the Anthology Edition. 

 In December you will receive your special limited Edition Ponderings Anthology Magazine delivered to your home address. Some of the country’s best writers and the stories of of some our bravest, most courageous and interesting fellow humans selected and printed in a high quality eco friendly magazine.

You will also get stories emailed directly to your inbox so you can keep up to date AND you will receive a special link so you can get discounts and offers from our amazing advertisers and sponsors. 

Our gifts to you. Because we believe the stories of our collective humanity deserve to be shared- with integrity and without the tail wagging the dog. 

 

Yes I want to support Ponderings and subscribe

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The Mysterious Case Of The Twisted Knickers

The Mysterious Case Of The Twisted Knickers

The Mysterious Case Of The Twisted Knickers AUDIO VERSION

by Ponderings Radio

by wordsmith Kirsten Macdonald

The Mysterious Case Of The Twisted Knickers

So what gets your knickers in a twist? What cooks your wig?

Are you about to have kittens? Are you all horns and rattles? Madder than a cut snake? Are you going to lose the proverbial? Get your dander up? Perhaps you are up in arms about to blow a fuse, a gasket and bite someone’s head off? You might be tempted to get someone’s goat and fly off the handle while giving someone a tongue lashing- but we urge you to ponder. Why?

Humans can be at times- how shall we put it? Complex. Some of the time they are in a state of ascerbic reaction. Or as this wordsmith puts it: arseholicism. Yup, it’s my word. Coming in a close second is anger. All the heavy stuff.

Underneath the surface of almost all humans is the need to be significant in some way.

The good old “default modes” we have learned, the sum of all our experiences and perceptions drives our behavior.

We are born as a fresh new being, shiny and new without any learned behaviors. Then the learning begins, and the filter kicks in. The filter through which we view the world is different for everyone. So what happens when one filter bangs up against another in opposition? Chances are it can lead to anger.

How does one deal with anger in an emotionally intelligent way?

Do you act in accordance with what makes other people comfortable around you? Do you behave inappropriately, blaming others for triggering you?

Anger can be traumatizing for the empath.

The air will crackle with it in tiny waves, you can almost taste it in the air. If you are not the passive-aggressive type, what comes next? An outburst or a big internal swallow where it can be like a bad seed ready to grow a vine?

So we did like all good ponderers do, we sought an international expert on positive psychology.

 

Aussie author and applied psychology coach Catherine Bell explained to us what  anger is and how it impact our lives.

 

1. Anger can actually be beneficial for a few reasons:

a) It lets us know when boundaries have been violated. That is, we feel angry when someone has done something that violates our personal boundaries like physically hurting us, or emotional / values / ethical boundaries – like when they do something that we think is wrong, and it makes us angry.

In that way, anger can be very useful in showing us what’s important to us, and telling us where corrective action needs to be taken. When we strike back in anger without thinking, we often hurt the other person, which can be negative, but really all we’re trying to do is re-establish our boundaries and make things “right” again.

Anger, expressed appropriately, is assertive but not aggressive – it makes clear what is, and is NOT acceptable, and re-establishes firm boundaries.

b) It is useful also in fight-or-flight scenarios, where survival is at stake because it helps us focus our energy and power towards defending ourselves and our loved ones and re-establishing the “right” world order.

Unfortunately, we can tend to suppress anger, which just builds up over time, and instead of positively and assertively dealing with small boundary violations, we wait until that LAST time where we can’t take it anymore…and then completely overplay our hand!

Better to recognize anger for what it is, and use it as an indicator that it’s time to establish boundaries EARLY, respectfully and assertively, rather than waiting to go crazy and then regretting it!

c) It is a great motivator, and has a lot of energy about it – so can be harnessed for positive results. For example, the person who gets angry at themselves for putting on 5kg then uses the energy of that anger to motivate action, like exercise. But again, it’s all about balance – a little anger is great to motivate, but it’s not sustainable if it becomes your ONLY way to motivate yourself. Then, it becomes an unresourceful pattern.

I like it when I am (temporarily) angry about things because it shows me how much I care about this thing and that I’d better get on with doing something about it! I have learned to harness my anger to help me achieve great things with energy.

 2. Unexpressed and unresolved anger can be very detrimental to our physical, emotional and mental health. Unexpressed or suppressed anger has been linked to a number of health risks including increased risk of anxiety, high blood pressure, headaches, digestion problems, insomnia, depression, heart attack, and stroke.

This is due to the chemical and metabolic changes that occur in our body when we feel anger and don’t find a way to healthily release it. From a social side, your relationships can be damaged too, as unexpressed anger can change our communication patterns and quality of relationships.”

 

So what comes next?

Well for this little Vegemite, time for more growth and a whole lot of grace, contemplation, and letting go of certainties. Some of the most challenging and stressful moments in our path can lead to the most magnificent vistas and mountain tops. Trust me on that one.

If you are a joy junky like myself, reveling in life and experience and love- the heavier emotions like anger can be harder to handle. I am enjoying the learning that strong emotions present an opportunity to identify and access positively for growth. Not suppressing. As always taking a pause to ponder and seek answers about our humanity should always win in the end. We are a complex design after all.

For more information about the divine Catherine Bell go to: https://www.belltraininggroup.com.au

The Blazing Heart of Community

Words by Kirsten Macdonald Like many all over the world, our hearts are left swollen and aching as...

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