Sunday, 28 April 2013

Wooohooo 50th post today!

Woohoo! Today I am a little, very excited, it is my 50th post.

 Now my creative brain says 'fantastic 50 fabulous things about rational brain says 'Get real, I haven't got all day!

Then I thought STOP over thinking...50 is a great milestone. And...there has never been a better time to be 50+. Just think back for a moment about the amazing changes that have taken place in the last 50 is mind boggling in every area of life.

Lifestyle, eating habits, society, relationships, health, personal development, exploring spirituality, and yes...even exploring sensuality, opportunities at every corner and none greater than the internet.

Which brings me to...I will have a new website up very soon...focusing on Confidence for Women 50+...WATCH THIS SPACE...

In the meantime a couple of thought stimulators...

How is your life going?
Are you wondering what else is there?
Is it time?.. Time for you to enhance your confidence, style and spirit…by making your 2nd half the best half of your life?

I don't know about you...I love new things and learning new things, it keeps me young at heart.. Ok, the body has a little trouble keeping up...however MIND and I have a special relationship...we simply start without BODY. Whatever gets you moving folks just let it works for me!

You have probably been 'doing it all' for everyone it is time for you! Stop hiding your confidence under  a bushel...let it shine girls!

And... where was I at 50? I thought I had it all mapped out. 

 Wow! Was I wrong... life has dealt me some hefty challenges over the last 15 years and today I am very comfortable with the woman I have grown into. I have been so fortunate to have had the friends and support networks to help me on my amazing journey.

Guess was all up to me! I was the one to reach out, grow, stumble, get up with scrapped knees.. reaching right through to the bone at times. Then pop up and continue this incredible journey called life.
Yet...I am loving the new, softer and gentler me. Now in maturity I see and feel a confident, calm, wise and elegant woman. I have come to like her very much…it has an effect on me and those around me, it is with utter surprise that I note how beautiful it looks and the fragile yet tenacious confidence that carries me as I flow with life’s tide. I have not seen anything so lovely about myself for the longest time…until now.

OOhhh your turn now...I would love you to share your thoughts on your 50+ or nearly there years...women are incredible at connecting and sharing stories...let loose tell me! 

Let's connect and create! And 50 is such a great place to start...

Thursday, 25 April 2013

How precious...a woman's body!

How often do we hear the cry... I am too fat or thin, short or tall, clever or dumb, blonde or brunette, my hair is too long or short, curly or straight.

Girls, embrace your really is the most amazing thing you will ever have. The human body is fabulous and unique machine,  it just keeps going year after matter how we treat we think! Especially when we are young!

I am coming to a time when I realise my energy levels are expendable! Now this is incomprehensible to me.  To describe me as hyper-active in my younger days would be an understatement.  My energy levels were un-expendable! I had energy to burn...and I burnt it from both ends! The sad thing is... half of it went into shifting the furniture every week...after 6 months of marriage my husband and step children were less than co-operative...difficult...refused to help me. Did that stop me...Noooooooo...I just had to empty everything before I moved it as it was to heavy...and that simply took longer!

Today I think 'WHAT' was I thinking! And...Who was I back then?

And yes... I spent years lamenting that I had big feet...I am 5.10, logic should tell me I would fall over if I had small feet! 

And that I was too tall and stood out in a crowd...what was I thinking...height is a super advantage!

My hair 'always looks the same' was another song I sang...never did I realise how lucky I was to have strong healthy hair that looks manicured no matter what I do to it.

To make it even blacker...I am really into it tonight... a couple of years back I had a balance problem...and I was booked as MC for a 3 day Convention that was going to involve a lot of stress. What was my main stressor? That I would not be able to wear heels, OK stilettos when presenting! A friend tactfully...untactfully told me I should be grateful I had feet to put in my shoes. 

Ummm that stopped me...momentarily! What happened you ask?... I wore flatties...a demeaning word in my language. And stepped into my heels when on stage. Why, why, why you may ask? I have been conditioned...Oh OK I conditioned believe that to be 'well dressed' and 'well presented' meant wearing heels.

Now I have also been through the 'bought a pair of earrings' and 'had to buy a dress to match' and the 'earrings and socks from high school still fit'...spare me please, I can hear you groaning!

OMG...what next...How many of us have beliefs that defy logic, that put us at risk, that show us we are not grateful for the magnificent body we have?  

Oh dear...I am not finished yet!  I have  even thought my weight was a problem... I really am tall and slim...yet I have spent years worrying that I will become a 'fat old lady'.

Ok now...Are you all laughing at me?...Or thinking 'Yep, I know where she is coming from!  Admit it... we  girls do have this unrealistic thought pattern, fully supported and exploited by the media, parents, teachers, siblings, partners and friends that we need to be young, slim, beautiful and not a wrinkle in sight.     

Everybody is beautiful, our aim is to be beautiful on the inside and the outside.  A healthy woman is gorgeous no matter what her age. And dancing with life is a matter of choice...a  rather good one I think!

Dancing with your feet is one thing...dancing with your heart is another! tha creates pure magic.

Take a moment to ponder and think about how you 'have' or 'have not' shown gratitude for the magnificent body you have?

I would love you to share your experiences!

Whatever your thoughts, embrace who you are, be grateful for your health and love your gorgeous body! I have decided mine is pretty good, OK fabulous!

Monday, 22 April 2013

For the love of ironing...oops life...

Iron...irony...time for some light heartedness tonight I thought.

Now how do you define irony you ask? Using words to express something different from and often opposite to their literal meaning. Or an incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs!

Today I have been reflecting on how a mature woman of today compares with one of yesteryear. Now am I actually defining 'mature'?...Well actually yes I am...65!

I am looking at 3 generations of women in my that were taken when they were 65. The women - my grandmother, my mother and myself. Yes here we are...



Imagining Grandmother (no shortening to Gran, Nanna or any other frivolous term in her time) or Mum doing anything whacky and outrageous...that would be unthinkable, just would not have happened. Yes I know society has changed, today we have so many opportunities available, better nutrition, better standard of living all round blah, blah, blah!. These ladies were not frivolous, to them life was a serious business. So was ironing, cleanliness was close to godliness and ironing was right up there with it...

Women of 65 then tended to be old, in looks, dress and attitude. My mother would be shocked and my grandmother horrified to come back and see me today. Sometimes, I shock myself...but that is another story.

For the 'love of ironing' meant what you did after washing using the copper,  rinsing in blue, starched, hand wrung then hung out on the old clothes line  supported with clothes props.

The dry clothes were sprinkled with warm water and rolled, then the ironing would begin. At least Mum had electricity, Grandmother started with a Mrs Potts iron. Heaven forbid...imagine having to heat this heavy cluncky object on the old wood stove and actually iron your clothes with it, quickly before it cooled down!  Mr Google to the rescue again, an advert for Mrs Potts iron of old.

Today for the love of ironing...oops life for a 65 year old could look like this?


Girls whatever you age, love your life, life your life and for the love of ironing...oops life... ensure you find something to have a belly laugh about every fact several times a day is even better. 

Is that me in the surf or on the ironing board...noooooooooooooooooo!

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Having a cuppa...maybe not her cup of tea!



I suspect Margaret Thatcher was not talking about 'the curtains' or 'what Sally said' in this image!  


Having a cuppa for me means having a relax and a chinwag... I'm like that.


However, I felt drawn to take a peek at this woman's life, her strengths and to  catch a glimpse of the challenges that she lived through. Now I am not suggesting you are only strong if you are involved in politics. We all have our strengths and yet so many of us fail to recognise ours or downplay them. Playing small does not help us. Margaret Thatcher certainly didn't downplay hers.


Today I invite you to reflect on your strengths as you read, and consider the values and convictions that you hold dear. You may even see some similarities. Above all, she was still a woman.. with thoughts, feelings and emotions. 


Margaret Thatcher was a remarkable woman and a figure of who evoked the strongest feelings and emotions in people, communities and countries.  Love her or hate her...she portrays confidence, strength and power. As a woman...and as a lady.



Nicknamed the Iron Lady, she was known for her strong will and resolute devotion to conservative politics. There was no middle of the road for her, 'that's where you get run over by both sides' she said. . Now this is not a political viewpoint by me, I am simply fascinated by the character of this strong confident woman. 



From what I have read she was not quite the immovable object she was portrayed as...but rather she was a woman of reason...if you had the courage and wit to challenge her will.

I’m only as strong as the hairspray I use, the amount of alcohol in my drink, and the friendships I have!” Could this have been her mantra?
In other words, look the part and present brilliantly... indulge in a fortifying glass of gives you energy and top it up with a Vitamin B shot (that's what I read she liked). 

Were there chatty, girlie friendships?...I don't think so!  Friendships of meaning would have been more her forte, her closest friend being listed as her husband Denis. Mr Google tells me she had few close personal friends.

Her death stirred up intense feelings and emotions... maybe that is easy for me to say as I did not live in England while she was in office and the rights and wrongs of her decisions will be debated forever.

Have we forgotten what an amazing achievement her career was, how she had to fight sex and class discrimination?" 

After her death Meryl Streep who portrayed the former PM in the movie  'The Iron Lady', paid tribute to her 'grit' and model as a female leader. Margaret  has been a pioneer – "willingly or unwillingly" – for the role of women in politics, allowing females from across the globe to dare to dream of leadership. To have come up, legitimately, through the ranks of the British political system, class-bound and gender-phobic as it was, in the time that she did and the way that she did, was a formidable achievement."

To have won it, not because she inherited position as the daughter of a great man, or the widow of an important man, but by dint of her own striving.

To have withstood the special hatred and ridicule – without corruption – I see that as evidence of some kind of greatness, worthy for the argument of history to settle. To have given women and girls around the world reason to supplant fantasies of being princesses with a different dream: the real-life option of leading their nation; this was groundbreaking and admirable.


I was honoured to try to imagine her late life journey, after power; but I have only a glancing understanding of what her many struggles were, and how she managed to sail through to the other side.


How tragic that a woman of her calibre finished her life with dementia.
Finally she appears here to be contemplating life...with a hint of a smile...I would like to think she was thinking I've had my cuppa...let's celebrate with a whiskey and soda.

Farewell to one amazing woman!

Friday, 12 April 2013

You used a ‘what’… when you started school?

A slate…would you believe I used a slate and a slate pencil. Many readers would not even have heard of it.  

And what reminded you of that… I hear you ask?

Every now and then some little thing (OK a big thing) comes up to ensure you realise how life has slipped past and how much the world has changed.

I am currently doing a program ‘Get Up To Speed’ which you could sum up as being web and social media based. It is definitely a challenge and stretching me in all directions…and one such stretch happened last week.

Included in our weekly lesson was a YouTube video by Erik Qualman
                            ‘The Social Media Revolution’  

Erik talks about many things that have been… and then been superseded. I have included the link; you may find something that even surprises you or that you had forgotten about. 

Would you believe ‘tablets’ are being issued to children at kindergarten? Now that should not surprise me, as my two young granddaughters 5 and 2 have one each. The 5 year old about to become 6…and 15 in her head…is very proficient and forever organising me…


The flexibility and dexterity of her little fingers…and her command of using the features are amazing. 

 It was not till I saw the video clip that I started thinking…Wow! When I started school I used a slate and a slate pencil and that scruffy rag that smelled disgusting to wipe it clean and then start over.


My next thought was… where will I find a photo of one of those? Of course Mr Google was very obliging…and here it is!

 It seems incredible in today’s world that such a basic tool was used in schools. Now I know we mature people shouldn’t go on and on…but I will!

I also sat on a stool with no back and had the privilege of Miss Lowe…a truly wicked huge frog eyed monster of a teacher (she wasn’t my favourite…can you tell?) come and jab me in the back with the end of a ruler if I dared to slouch. It sounds and was absolutely archaic…

It was not that long ago…hang on… I just counted … eekkk yes it was…60 years ago!  Where have the years gone?

So we have the slate of yesteryear, the tablet of today...what will the next 60 years bring? The mind boggles.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Taking ‘having a picnic’ to a whole new level…

Now just how would you define a picnic? Let’s check it out together…

The dictionary meaning says it is ‘a pleasurable excursion including an outdoor meal, something agreeable and easily accomplished’.

Yes…that concurs with what I considered a picnic to be from my growing up years where we took sandwiches and cake and the thermos flask for Mum and Dad …plus the cordial for me (that warmed up horribly with the day) and set off for a drive.

Later with my own family we would pack a picnic, ‘all bar the kitchen sink’ my beloved used to say…to which I would retort…’tell me what you don’t’ want and I will take it out’…that kept the darling quiet, he never did come up with an effective reply…and I never took anything out…but I digress.

Off we would go to the beach, the boys off fishing, the girls playing, me reading and sipping a wine, all of us having a swim…a BBQ, food, sunlight and activity.


They were great days, in time, in place, the family playing together and for that time in my life.  It was simple entertainment…it was what you did on Sunday…as opposed to going to the shopping centres and wandering about –oohhhhhhh of course there were none and Sunday trading had never been heard of in north Queensland…

Where am I going with this? I am reading ‘A Woman’s Worth’ by Marianne Williamson at the moment and the author is talking about our being our authentic selves, knowing our worth as a woman, connecting and having someone with whom to connect.

Marianne has a different kind of a picnic…she has ‘picnics on her bed’…it is not about food…it is ‘picnics with fun and talk and feelings and friends’. Her king size bed is a meeting and sharing place for family and friends alike…

Where have you had a ‘picnic’ on the bed…just for fun and talk and feelings and friends?

That got me thinking…when you were little wasn’t it wonderful to have someone snuggled up in bed reading you a story? It was for me… they are powerful and wonderful memories which I hold dear.

Then with your girlfriends… how many problems did you solve sitting on each others beds …whispering, sharing, learning and giggling.  About life, boyfriends… how to get them, how to keep them how to get rid of them…girlfriends…who said what to whom and why…clothes…can’t you hear the “I’ve got nothing to wear… Makeup…how does she do that?…let’s experiment…You know all those important girlie issues…

Ahh and I clearly remember the first time I shaved my legs…after a long discussion with my girlfriend aka ‘picnic on my bed’…and just knowing that her advice was always best. She said you do it first…then I will go next!

At all of about 14 years of age…I waited till Mum was out…went into the bathroom, closed the door. Knowing I was being daring…I took Dad’s safety razor, used his shaving brush to run it all over the shaving stick (do they still exist…they are probably a museum piece by now). My mistake was in then running my hands over it to make sure the bubbles were evenly spread.

With wet hands I picked up the razor and…you guessed it…the razor slipped sideways and left a very creative curved slice across the calf of my leg. Have you any idea how far a small amount of blood can spread? It went up the wall. All over me, in the sink, over the floor…just everywhere…I panicked!

I am dying! ...drama queen activated.
Mum will kill me!…drama queen cranked up a notch …with a grain of truth.
How can I cover up?... drama queen trying to be creative and failing.

As I frantically tried to stem the flow of blood, grabbing at anything towel, bathmat, clothes…sobbing… very loudly by this time…I burst out of the bathroom to find Mum standing there…HELL SHE IS HOME AND HOW DID SHE KNOW?

I always said mothers know stuff…She was home, she knew what I had done…she was waiting…

Contrary to popular belief the world did not end that day and I lived to tell the tale…after much berating by my long suffering mother. So much for my girlfriend’s teenage advice…and letting me go first.

My next recollection is from nursing days…now I trained back when nurses had to live in the quarters. Matron took it 100% to heart to keep us ‘safe and protected’! It was the 1960’s. Those words are euphemisms for control, power, punishment, deprivation and manipulation. OK I exaggerated…only a little bit!

We would spend countless hours sitting on someone’s bed having our ‘mind picnic’ and discussing the ups and downs of nursing, the patients, the sisters, Matron, the Doctor’s, each other… was what I would now call ‘stress relief ‘.

Now my youngest granddaughters aged 5 and 18 months enjoy that ‘picnic on my bed’ when I stay. They both come in and lie and share, giggle,  tell stories…and how much they teach me…the wisdom of children never fails to astound and delight me.

And finally going to Conventions with groups and that fabulous time when a few friends gather in someone’s room...on the bed, floor and talk about the wonders of life… a little wine helps lubricate the conversation.

What I love is the communion of women, particularly across the generations. As I sit up in bed all alone (but not lonely) today, I reflect on the beautiful life I have, the amazing friends I have… all the sharing that has happened with someone who cares while sitting on someone’s bed… that is when our authentic selves appear, we recognise and acknowledge our worth as a woman, we connect and share love, light and laughter. 


Maybe it means taking a brush and painting your thoughts and feelings...


Or Maybe simply laying back being supported by the universe with butterflies as a symbol of transformation around you.

I invite you to reflect for a moment and think about how you have taken ‘having a picnic’ to a whole new level? I would love to hear!  

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Just a phrase…was it?

Dave, a friend of mine posted a question on Facebook yesterday that got me thinking.  Why would a question get me going…because it is the second time he has asked me a deep, meaningful and life changing question!


There comes a time when we stop jumping at shadows… and get real!

The first one, posed some years ago was ‘what are you getting out of playing victim?’ 
I was shocked…it was like someone had thrown a bucket of cold water over me. Yes there was a lot going on in my life at that time, yes I had had some major challenges…in fact I had written and self published a book about them.

Yet I was still stuck in what I now call ‘victimhood’. I did not recognise it then, I had come so far…but not far enough. I seemed to be in a space of thinking “I have faced my challenges’ life will be fine now. Nooooooooooooo it wasn’t, and nooooooooooo facing one challenge does not conquer all.

The ‘meaty’ bit is learning strategies so you handle the next challenge better. Have you noticed that life simply keeps giving us a better class of challenge…a bit like the Universe saying…Ok let’s see how you handle this one! Hence the value of a strategy and process to assist you becomes invaluable.

Do I get it right every time? I wish….. or do I? For years I thought I was Manager of the Universe no one could get along without me! What a shock when I realised I was a mere mortal. Speaking for me…my challenges have been wonderful stages of growth.

Now don’t think I am going soft and considering sitting on the verandah in my slippers and spend the rest of my days knitting…Just saying the Universe manages extremely well without me.

Back to yesterday’s question –
Is vulnerability our most accurate measurement of courage? Ah ha! this is when I discovered my education was lacking…I decided to ask Mr Google the question and ….discovered it arose out of a TED talk by Brene` Brown.

This is the one that inspired me!

After a TED talk Brene` says she had the worst ‘vulnerability hangover’ ever after sharing. ‘There are parts of us that want to play small, to stay under the radar’ and her research has led her to the statement ‘vulnerability is out most accurate measure of courage’

There is a connection with deeply embedded shame which is described as the ‘swampland of the soul’ – it is not about building a home and live there with shame but to put on some galoshes and walk through and find our way around. 

Shame comes forth with the “I’m not good enough’,  and ‘who do you think you are’  – when we can quiet that down and say ‘I am going to do this’ that shows your vulnerability and courage is your getting up and having a go.

Shame is about self (I am bad), guilt focuses on behaviour (I did something bad).

Brene` was asked what about men? That is relevant to me…I have often been asked why I work with women...don’t I think men have issues to. Of course they do…I simply thought my skill base was relevant to women…yet I have helped many men also. I definitely value the men in my life.  

Here was her answer in brief - Shame by gender – for women – do it all, do it perfectly and never let them see you sweat. There is a web of unattainable conflicting expectations of who we are supposed to be. It is like a straight jacket. For men shame is not about unattainable conflicting expectations it is ‘do not be perceived as weak’ 

Brene` talked about connecting with each other…research was do women need to do to conform to female norms – tops answers were nice, thin, modest and use all available resources for appearance…for men to conform to male norms the answers were -  emotional control, primacy of work, pursuit of status and violence.

To find our way back to each other we have to understand empathy…empathy is the antidote to shame. Shame needs 3 things to grow – secrecy silence and judgement. If you dose shame with empathy it cannot survive.

The 2 most powerful words when we are in struggle are ‘me to’. 

How often do we think I will do it when I am perfect and bullet proof…it actually never happens like that…when you get in there perfection is not what we want to see…we want to be in there with you, sitting across and connecting. 


How often have you thought I would rather die than do X, Y, Z …….remember...what does not kill you makes you stronger.


My take from here is how powerful showing your vulnerability is, and how that powers your courage…perfection is an unattainable ideal…whatever you  do just get in there so go for it! Be the real, authentic and vulnerable you...that’s right a courageous woman making her difference in her world.

I would love to hear your thoughts on vulnerability and courage.