Change Our World

It is always a bittersweet experience to leave our home state of Tassie. It’s certainly not a new experience for us since our first big move to Sydney in the early 80’s. We left then as young newly married adventurers and idealists wanting to change the world. We had no insight into the changes that would occur in and around us over the years of study and preparation for our eventual move to PNG, where we lived and worked for over 8 amazing years. We have returned home a few times with our ever-growing family of sons for various periods of time. We have also left a few times for long seasons of work and life commitments. And now, we are leaving again.

We are aware it does not get any easier to leave, nor do we think it ever will. We love our beautiful home state! It is a gentle place to live. A place we know so well. We have explored so much of this treasure isle, but know there is always another trail to find, another waterfall, mountain, beach or small town to re-discover.

But even more than the natural beauty, there are some amazing people who live here. We have known, loved and been loved by some beautiful people. Family and friends will always be the reason we keep returning to be reminded of who we are, what matters to us and why we leave to continue to ‘change our world’.  Yes, it is no longer about changing the world, but more about us growing, becoming, risking, exploring, learning, listening and loving our world. We are learning how to allow our faith to change us with each new adventure.

Our latest opportunity will be with a church in Canberra where we at C-Change Counselling and Coaching will be providing a gentle ministry of listening with individuals, small groups and leadership to help them grow together as a community of faith people.

We position ourselves as learners and listeners and look forward to being changed yet again in this ministry framework of dialogue.

We’ll be back. Yes, we will.

A Peaceful Day

In the midst of packing, moving house and preparing to leave our wonderful home state of Tasmania (yet again), I created some precious moments of pause in the day. Yes, pausing in the midst of the adrenaline-fueled craziness that flurries around to distract me from noticing the beauty of simple moments.

We’ve moved this week into a friend’s home that has a wide open northerly outlook facing Table Cape, Bass Strait and a big sky. I’ve been drawn to stand and look out the large windows as huge clouds passed slowly overhead throughout the day.

Oh, this day has included its fair share of tasks; sorting, communicating, cooking (lamb shanks in a slow cooker simmering) and planning for our next adventure across to the mainland. But there have also been pauses, still moments of watching in awe at the beauty in dark clouds scudding by, threatening rain, patches of blue sky and amazing hues and shapes.

I’ve been experimenting with an app by John Eldridge called ‘Pause’. I love the notion of mindfulness and have finally given it some attention by means of a phone app that reminds me to slowly breathe, let go the tyranny of the urgent and enjoy some moments of stillness. It’s all part of this journey, this new intentional journey of going deeper into truth, meaning and purpose.

It has taken some stepping out of ‘liking the idea’ (but not doing it) or waiting for the ‘right time’ (never turns up TBH), into some practical shifts in how I use my time. So here in the busyness of our current circumstances, I’ve downloaded the app and am honestly enjoying the blessing of pausing to intentionally cease for a few minutes to breathe, notice and savour being. Just being.

Life in Time

Oh here we go! Thought I’d write about procrastination this week and guess what? Yes, I see those nodding heads. I immediately headed for the fridge while clutching the TV remote.

What? Why? Is it just me?

If this doesn’t happen to you, please read no further. You’ve no doubt got all your ducks in a row and none of them are tardy, overdue, missing in action or masters of ‘winging it’.

According to my Myers Briggs ENFP personality type, I work best in bursts. Sounds fine, but I look at the other personalities who work steadily with the ‘delayed gratification’ default in their DNA, and I feel cheated somehow.

My ‘burst approach to accomplishing tasks’ often gives me sleepless nights, a churning stomach and a creative chaos of ideas like a mini tornado spinning me out in mind and body. I have many memories over the years of handing in assignments at the very last minute, after pulling all -nighters, to write thousands of words in a well-crafted, reasoned, coherent fashion. The good girl in me (she gives me a hard time on this one) refused to ask for extensions. I couldn’t bear the tension or self-recrimination.

I know! It’s a battle for some of us.

You can always tell a procrastinator. They’ve got all the books on time management, margins, finding rhythms, big rocks, you can do it, etc. still untouched on their bookshelves. And you know why of course! Oh, and they may also have ‘A Round-toit’ hanging above their desk, given by a well-meaning ‘steady as she goes’, worker friend.

I’d love to say I’m getting better at dealing with this ‘natural bent’ of mine. There are times when I’ve recognised my habit and set aside time to engage in the planning, preparation and formulation of the activity well before the due date. Often though, when I do that, I change things at the last-minute, tweaking, refining or totally reworking what I’m presenting.

But today, with a speaking engagement tomorrow, that I’ve known about for weeks, I yet again sat down in front of the computer, staring at the blank page until I found the creative burst, ‘drip under pressure moment’, that cheekily turns up in these circumstances, giving me energy and inspiration.

I could try to give advice on this one, but in reality, it is what it is and I’m up for suggestions. My challenge to myself is:

I don’t want to procrastinate on important things that are linked to my passion and purpose.

I want to grow in my awareness and capacity to choose well in each precious moment of life.

I don’t want to procrastinate in any area of life that will enrich me, or those I love.

 I want to notice when anxiety or doubt blocks me from having a go, taking action, risking something new or tackling a tough issue.  

I want to fully celebrate(still getting the job done-even in bursts) and enjoy my remaining moments of this God-given gift of life, beautifully set in the bounds of time.  

Ecc 3:11 NIV
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

The Best Season

Ten thousand flowers in spring,
the moon in autumn,
a cool breeze in summer,
snow in winter.
If your mind isn’t clouded by unnecessary things,
this is the best season of your life. Wu-Men

From when the boys were little my husband and I had a habit of going in and checking on them each night before we went to bed. We would stand together at the foot of their beds and just enjoy watching them in peaceful sleep. Every time, we’d whisper to each other, ‘I wish they’d stay this age, it’s just perfect.’ But each year would roll by and we found ourselves wishing they’d stay the same in every delightful stage of their lives, except maybe late teens when we started going to bed before they did cause we could no longer keep the pace.

But I do remember that beautiful sense of enjoying them, loving them and celebrating the season and stage of life they were at, every year. It changed constantly, of course, but we loved the learning, the growing, the adventures, the discoveries, the ups and the downs and still do.

But there were many times and seasons when my mind was clouded by ‘unnecessary’ things and I, like many busy working parents, found myself struggling with anxiety, shame and guilt which blocked my vision, trapped me in damaging mind loops and left me weary to the bone.

In these times of loss of flow, hope and clear thinking I found my mentors to be life changing. I valued their fly on the wall perspective, their gentle but provocative questions, their support as I learned to let go of faulty thinking and their genuine desire to see me enjoy life to the full.

If you are clouded by ‘unnecessary’ and necessary things and desire to re-gain perspective and find the beauty in each season I encourage you to seek out a coach/mentor who can help you see that this could be the best season of your life.

There is a gift in everything if only we’ll see it.

Questions for Change

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.

Leo Tolstoy

Learning to Hold the Questions

Some time ago I had the privilege of attending an Educators Conference

facilitated by a well-known Australian psychologist, Andrew Fuller.

He had a profoundly spiritual effect when he posed the following questions to the audience:

  • When did you stop singing?
  • When did you stop dancing?
  • When did you stop listening to and telling stories?
  • When did you become disenchanted with the sacred place of silence?

The auditorium was silent for many minutes, considering the questions that he posed to modern 21st Century humanity. There was a hushed reverence as the powerful truths contained in the simple questions filtered through our minds.

We had to acknowledge the reality that we had changed. Unwittingly, subtly and insidiously, external forces and internal needs had conspired to change us without our permission or awareness and we had unknowingly lost something very precious in that process.

A step toward courage:

Notice how the questions challenge you to acknowledge that change has already occurred.

What are you going to do with your capacity to change?

Would love to hear your thoughts!

Free initial consult – no obligation

C-Change began out of a belief that people, including myself, can change and can choose to live life well. A belief that we can learn to respond to contexts, circumstances and challenges in more helpful ways.

  • We go to a personal trainer to change our shape, fitness and health.
  • We go to a plastic surgeon to change our appearance.
  • We sign up for courses to acquire new information, learn new skills and position ourselves for new career opportunities.

The very existence of self-help books, counsellors, life coaches, spiritual directors and psychologists gives some clear indication that for the most part we do believe that with the right help we can change.

Change is all around us. Change is something we are doing whether we are aware or not.

C-Change is about helping you notice the changes, respond in helpful and skilful ways to your life challenges /opportunities and provide you with courage, confidence and compassion to continue your life journey well.

Our current unexpected worldwide circumstances are impacting every area of life for us all. A tiny organism is affecting us far beyond the immediate health concerns. 

The ramifications are already being felt in every aspect of life.

You are not alone and yes you are able to change, to respond and pivot in this season with help.

Contact C-Change on the form below for a free first consult to determine how I can help you through this challenging season and prepare for all that is ahead.