How to Feel 10/10 about Mental Health Day Now?

That dreaded phrase that we hear over and over again.  MENTAL HEALTH.  Why does that term make us cringe somewhat?  Lack of understanding perhaps?  Mental health is NOT mental illness

Mental health is where we want our minds to be… this is the good place to be.  So mental health is a positive phrase that we need to make part of our lives.

Today is declared World Mental Health Day… October 10th.  Today we need to feel 10/10 on this 10th day of the 10th month.  Let’s extend that… and learn all that we can about good mental health.  We can also be aware that sometimes life gets too tough… feelings of overwhelm can take over… leading us into depression or anxiety.

In Australia, 1 in every 5 people are affected by mental illness, yet so many people do not seek help because of the associated stigma attached.  We must all drop this perception and shed a more positive light on mental health.

If you had a broken leg, a gash that needed stitches, or an unknown rash… you would seek medical help without feeling embarrassed or uncomfortable.  If you need some help with your mind or thinking processes, seek help… there is no difference.  It is our responsibility to the people of our nation to drop this stigma and support everyone regardless of what medical help they need.  We can all make a huge difference by talking about it positively.

In the farming industry we are built pretty tough, sometimes show a lack of emotion and live by the “they’ll be right” or “no worries” attitude.  The mental health phrase is getting tossed about everywhere we turn at drought support events.  The Government is pumping finances in, to support farmers’ mental health.  Is that what farmers really need right now?  Perhaps… perhaps not.

As a farmer in drought, suffering the physical, emotional and financial strain… life did become too tough for me for a while last year.  Life changes and medical conditions piled on top of that, tipped me over the edge.  I did seek help starting with my local GP and I was diagnosed with depression/anxiety.

Everything around me proved that I was losing control.  This was when I found a way to take back control and to chose to develop a new mindset strategy.  I finally understood that we had NO CONTROL over the weather, the forecast… and relatively little control over our own business and finances during this drought.

But we do have control over how we react.  When we understand that we control our reactions to certain events, especially when things go wrong… life is easier to accept.  Concentrate on those things that you can change.

I chose this option.  Hitting rock bottom allowed me to find a new path… I found a new passion and developed a new business as a supplementary income to farming.  It keeps me going when I concentrate on good mental health and being proactive and positive… despite sometimes feeling that everything is against the odds.

It is important that we think about prevention rather than cure.  But deal with where you are at.  If you need help or support, ask for it.  Talk to your family… talk to your mate… just talk to someone.  Your health, and your family’s health and happiness depend on this.

Each of us deserves to feel 10 out of 10 about our mental health, so today is the day for you to make this happen:

  1. Take Care of Your Mental Health – Being healthy also means to have good emotional health.  We must be mentally healthy to be able to handle the challenges that are presented to us in our lives.  We must learn to be resilient and build strategies to move forward.
  2. Take Care of Your Body – Eat healthy foods to nourish your body, improve your mood and energy levels, making it stronger.  Exercise regularly to allow your mind more clarity and your body to become fitter.  Ensure you always speak positively about your body with your inner self-talk.  Get enough quality sleep to allow your mind and body to heal and refresh every night.  Sleeping well helps you to feel energised, allows you to focus and will protect your mental health.
  3. Embrace Your Emotions – As humans, we are designed to feel different emotions.  Sometimes we will feel sad, angry or frustrated.  Acknowledge how you feel and be aware of each emotion.  Talk about your emotions and then allow yourself to move on, letting new thoughts develop.   Don’t dwell in a state of negativity.  Learn how to manage all emotions… positive and negative.
  4. Think Positively – The way we think can have a powerful way of influencing how we feel.  Think positively every single day to teach yourself new mindset strategies.  When speaking to others, talk about the positive things in your life.  You will start to see the positive side a little more, when that is where you place your attention.
  5. Nurture Your Family and Friends – Form and maintain good relationships with others.  Nurture your family and teach your children how to manage through difficult times.  Foster your friendships and make a point to meet up regularly for social time.  Ensure your relationships are positive and meaningful.  Spending time with your pets is also great to help strengthen your mental health and wellbeing.
  6. Practice Gratitude Every Day – Write down or say something you are grateful for every single day.  Anxiety cannot be felt when gratitude is being expressed.  If you regularly practice gratitude, your mind will start looking for things to be grateful for daily.  This is great for children too.  At dinnertime, every family member can say 3 things that they were grateful for today.  This holds so much power to cope in challenging times.
  7. Focus on the Moment – Appreciate the small things in your life.  Allow yourself time to see the beauty around you.  Don’t get caught up worrying about what could have happened or what might happen.  Put strategies in place and keep making decisions.  Live in the present moment… not in the past or the future.
  8. Open Up to Someone – Find someone that you can trust to talk it through… a family member, a mate or your GP.  Talking about the tough times as well as the good times will enable you to become more resilient.  Attend social events and functions.  Share your load… and connect with others… you will probably find the load ‘magically’ becomes less heavy.  A mutual understanding becomes very supportive during tough times.
  9. Good Habits and Routine – It is important that we identify our own routine and be consistent.  We need to make an effort to structure our days and priortise our own time.  Good habits help us to learn and fuel our minds.  Find support if you need to be pointed in the right direction.  Keep doing the things that you love to do.
  10. Take a Break – We are all so time-poor… juggling work, business and family life.  Don’t forget about yourself.  You can’t be there for anyone else if you don’t take care of yourself first.  Schedule some time out every week… every day… to focus on something you love.  Whether it is a walk in nature, meditation, read a book, listen to music, craft or journalling.  Find what it is for you… to be able to relax and re-fuel your mind and body.

Good mental health and well-being will give us a sense of fulfilment and connection with others.  It allows us to live our lives in a positive and meaningful way.  We become more resilient and can cope with life’s changes and challenges upon our paths.

Take care of yourself and your mates.  Accept that it is OK to not feel OK.  Seek the support you need and adopt strategies to manage stress and keep you physically and mentally healthy.

Take care, Karen.

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“Don’t believe everything you think.

Thoughts are just that – thoughts.”

~ Allan Lokos

 

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Love Who You Really Are

Why do we feel that we must fit in a neat little box in society?  Be the norm… follow procedures from societal pressure… and be who you think you should be.  NO!

Be unique.  Be an individual. Make your own choices.  Be a leader.  Have your own thoughts.  Individuality is what we all should strive for.  Make yourself the person you want to be.  Be the person that you want to see in this world making a difference.

Own who you really are.

I was reminded tonight of the pressure that we put on ourselves if we make different choices to others.  My friend in her forties felt that she was dragging the chain in the relationship department and family scene.  There is no right or wrong in when we choose to settle down, to start a family, to choose a career.

Each of us are different, we have different experiences and opportunities.  That is what makes us all interesting.  It would be boring if we were all the same.  Imagine that… we would have nothing to talk about.  Nothing to share.  Our perceived imperfections would not be of value.

It is our own mindest that limits our choices and allows us to become our own burden at times.  So many of us at some point in our lives, probably many times… feel that we can’t cut it… or we don’t fit in.  We need to give ourselves a break and appreciate the special things that are individual to us all.

We must make our own choices that feel right for us.  And enjoy life.  Seeing yourself through the eyes of your loved one… is a good place to start.  That love exists for a reason.  The love of a mother or father.  The love of a partner or friend.  See yourself and your fine qualities through their eyes.

Treat yourself like you would treat your best friend.  Love and appreciate why you are different.  It is those differences that make you special and will help choose your path in life.  Remember there is no right or wrong when or how we do things… if we just be kind to ourselves and respect those around us.

Take care, Karen.

“EMBRACE YOUR INDVIDUALITY.

Love what you love without worrying about judgement.”

~ Author Unknown

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Rural Reflections #25

Today I am reflecting from the beautiful coastal city of Port Macquarie as I arrive to attend a seminar… and finally catch my breathe.  A busy couple of weeks I have had, from cows being artificially inseminated as we start our first 2019 A.I. program… as well as meetings, business webinars and… oh… my hubby fractured a rib.

He was mustering cows on the quad bike, and a cow somehow kicked the tyre, and tipped it.  Hubby hit the dirt.  Cow 1 versus Hubby 0.  A late visit to emergency and the dreaded wait… wait… wait.  Finally discovered a fractured rib along with a couple of fainting episodes.  No internal injuries, so very lucky once again.  It just required an overnight stay on his part and plenty of good painkillers.

All of this commotion in such a busy week.  But like everyone else, family must come first.  So my best laid plans began to unravel.  He was unable to travel the distance so soon, therefore I arrived solo in Port Macquarie.  Feeling like it has been a juggling act, but finally I can breathe again.

Two full days and one night, at the Agricultural & Environmental Seminar run by the Country Women’s Association (CWA), will start tomorrow.  I had been looking forward to this annual event as tickets sell so fast that I usually miss out.  But not this time.  But then my plans almost went kaput.  Almost!!!

So as you can see with the photo that I share with you today… I made it to Port Macquarie this afternoon.  I snapped this photo as I strolled along the water’s edge, deep in thought.  My mind wandered.  I enjoyed the smell of the clean, salty air.  Dust-free!  Only a farmer in drought knows the true value in that word… dust-free!

Rural Reflection #25…

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It reminded me that as farmers, we take on a mighty workload normally, but the drought has taken its toll upon me.  It wasn’t until I was walking here, that it struck me… that we all need a break.  A break from drought feeding.  A break from worrying excessively.  A break to really breathe again.

A short half hour walk, with the spectacular coastal views, cleared my mind.  It reminded me, that self-care is important.  We tend to all get caught up in our busy lifestyles, business commitments and family routines, that we forgot to look after ourselves.

I like this photo with the purple flowers in the foreground and the rocky embankment holding those cool waters.  A short walk that gave me so much more than I expected.  I encourage you all to take a short break and allow yourself to see the beauty in the world around us.  A couple of days away from the farm will work wonders.

Take care, Karen.

“Sometimes you gotta take a break from all the noise

to appreciate the beauty of silence.”

~ Robert Tew

Taking Control of Business and Empowering Life

An incredibly inspiring 2-day event with knowledgable businesswomen, Katie Godden and Sharon Jurd, leaves motivation within me.  Motivation to take control, stop procrastinating and put the success strategies learned into action.  My personal experience was shared with other business attendees.

Katie Godden, a mindset strategist, business and life coach, is based in Tamworth NSW.  Her passion has given country business people access to business strategies and techniques shared at specialised events, usually held in capital cities.  This weekend business owners had an incredible opportunity to learn skills from an enthusiastic and empowering businesswoman, Katie Godden, right here in Tamworth NSW.

Together with Sharon Jurd, an extremely knowledgable growth strategist and success coach, based on the Gold Coast QLD, they shared business strategies to bring success in business.  Sharon Jurd is incredibly experienced with a passion to help people succeed.

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These two extraordinary women shared their unique knowledge and wisdom with business attendees.  Information learned ranged from management of databases to strategic alliances and client relationship building.  The networking opportunities gained by all attendees were appreciated.

I enjoyed the strategies of developing rapport and connecting with clients.  The language predicates of visual, auditory and kinaesthetic… I found very interesting.  Sensory acuity and personality profiling really intrigued me.  Client satisfaction and staff interaction is very important in business.

SMART goal setting was fine-tuned and understood to be very specific.  Personal values and business values were concluded for each of us, and an opportunity to re-shuffle our values to be in alignment the best possible way.

Limiting beliefs are the foggy cloud that dampens our positive thought process, so the strategies to challenge and remove these limiting obstacles will be a wonderful technique for all.  It is us that puts these limiting beliefs in our own path to restrict our opportunities.  It will be a relief to challenge these restricting thoughts.

Value levels thinking, a psychological model of a person’s development that influences their behaviour and views.  This introduced an interesting concept from basic human survival mode through to the greater universe.

Setting boundaries for business interactions and expectations will prove to make life less chaotic and work more effectively in both business and our personal life.  I look forward to implementing my boundaries and time management skills.

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The idea of stepping outside our comfort zone has always been a little daunting, but this new concept learned, of expanding our comfort zone is simply amazing.  The visual concept of still feeling somewhat comfortable, yet excited for a challenge, is positively accepted in my world.

These new strategies and thought-provoking notions have enabled me to think a little differently, implement some helpful business ideas, add value to my business and be passionate about the direction my business is going.  Helping people is what I love to do.

I was extremely grateful to have these two businesswomen present engaging content and useful business strategies at this 2-day event.  If you get the opportunity, I would recommend Katie Godden and Sharon Jurd for business events and life coaching.

The kindness, motivation and expertise of these two unique women, drive me to succeed in my business and my life.  I was even brought to tears today, when they offered a great deal for a magnitude of future events for the business attendees.  The generosity and heartfelt desire to help others and motivate… I did see first-hand.

My tears flowed when I realised these women had a passion to give support, business direction and advice to us.  Truly remarkable women!  I felt a connection and look forward to future workshops and seminars with both of them.  Thank you ladies!

Take care, Karen.

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“Gaining knowledge, is the first step to wisdom.

Sharing it, is the first step to humanity.”

~ Author Unknown

CWA Conference Aspires Leadership & Friendship from Albury

Country Women’s Association of NSW (CWA) members bring an abundance of knowledge, energy and inspiration into Albury NSW for this year’s Annual State Conference.  From business meetings, honourable guests and informative workshops… to social activities, historical tours and State Committee displays… there was never a dull moment.  And I have caught it on camera, then compiled a video to share with you today.

I had the privilege to attend as a Delegate for Tamworth Evening branch along with my friend Kylie and a group of ladies from our region.  Women from all walks of life coming together with their unique backgrounds, experiences and expertise to seek a mutual resolution of motions.

CWA aims to improve the lives of women and their families through their democratic process of a policy-setting agenda and an extensive range of activities.  Many opportunities lie within all levels of CWA to be involved and seek the support of local issues of grave concern.

Starting with a combined Ecumenical Service and raising $2,884 for the Albury Wodonga Cancer Research Fund, members once again unite and connect socially.  The Official Opening entertained and inspired members prior to the Business Sessions commencing.  The keynote speaker was Her Excellency The Honourable Margaret Beazley AO QC Governor of NSW.

The CWA Medical Research Fund has raised $34,000 to donate towards endometriosis.  A debilitating disease affecting many women with symptoms of pelvic pain and fertility issues.  An interesting medical presentation has identified through research the importance of potential protein biomarkers of endometriosis.  CWA members have voted to continue supporting endometriosis through their Medical Research Fund for another year.

Interestingly CWA has opened 12 new branches over the last year; 11 Evening branches and 1 Sunrise branch.  CWA is now appealing to younger generations and working women that have a desire to become involved, having an opportunity to attend meetings that are more convenient.

Women join CWA for a variety of reasons such as friendships, social connections, educational opportunities, sharing of experiences, learning cookery skills, creating handicraft items, to discuss local agricultural concerns, the policy-setting agenda… and the list goes on.

International information was shared on the CWA Country of Study for this year which is Papua New Guinea.  Other cultures are interesting and CWA members have the ability to learn new and fascinating information.

Business Sessions continued throughout the Conference where policy motions were discussed, amended as needed and then voted upon.  A diverse range of topics arose in the scope of agriculture and environment, health and social security, transport and telecommunications and Constitutional changes.

Important resolutions were sought from CWA branches and successfully made CWA State policy for topics such as rural crime, improper use of drones, travelling stock routes, food safety standards for meat and milk, erecting a wildlife overpass, dairy industry issues, public cancer clinics, post mortems, supporting nurses, health industry pricing, drought relief funding, scoliosis, Automated External Defibrilators, horse traffic road rules, and truck-specific rest areas.

CWA, as the largest women’s organisation in Australia, plays an important role in lobbying the Government for change and improvements across so many aspects of our lives.  I am very proud to be a part of such an hounourable and progressive organisation.

As a shy individual, with the thought of public speaking terrifying me all of my life, I chose to step up and speak at this year’s State Conference.  This decision aligned well with my current journey of personal growth and challenging myself.

I spoke against a motion and explained my reasoning, without falter, in front of 500 other members.  When a Past State President asked for me (and another member) to assist in the re-wording of the motion to incorporate the relevant concerns, it felt amazing to be part of this process, working together for the desired result.  The motion was to review a weed classification, educate and research.

Another highlight for me, was winning 3rd place in an annual essay competition presented by the Honorary Editor of the CWA Journal.  This was the first time I had entered a CWA competition, so I was very excited.  The essay topic was “In modern times, do we have the capacity to harness the power of empathy for one another?”  I found this topic very engaging and relatable, therefore very passionate to write about.

Socially we had a very entertaining week away, with plenty of laughter, great meals, dancing and friendly conversations.  I also caught up with some old friends and was delighted to see them again.  CWA brings a great bunch of women together with big hearts, thoughtful personalities, compelling stories and a myriad of experience.

Since the drought has been ever so heavy upon my shoulders, I valued my week away so very much.  I spoke with my husband every night, checking that all was OK on the farm, and appreciated the time out with CWA members and the uplifted feeling that had surrounded me.

I would like to share my amateur video with you all reflecting on the fun, the engagement and the memories of the happenings with CWA State Conference in Albury… through my eyes.

Take care, Karen.

 “Don’t let anything defeat you.”

~ Governor of NSW Margaret Beazley

Video Credit: YouTube and Karen Weller

Rural Reflections #19

Opportunities are all around us to get involved with our community, seek new connections and make a real difference in this world.  To see the bigger picture and what you can offer… will also bring you personal contentment.

The Country Women’s Association of NSW (CWA) gives me a strong sense of community with valuable knowledge, friendships and a mutual commitment to improving people’s lives.  Today marks the start of another Annual State Conference, this year held in Albury NSW on the Murray River.

With the drought over-powering my strength on the farm and a need to so something more purposeful at the moment and restore a sense of life control… I arrive here enthusiastic and ready to be enlightened.  The opportunity to be a delegate at this Conference and represent our region with the policy-making decisions of a strong women’s organisation… is an honour and something I look forward to.

As I left home feeling somewhat excited about the CWA business meeting events to follow and connecting with a larger community… I also felt a little sad to be leaving all responsibilities upon my husband to solely deal with drought-feeding livestock and the hopeful anticipation of rainfall.

Fortunately, I do have a supportive husband and he encourages me to take these opportunities within my life.  He understands what makes me happy and allows me to grow as a person.  I do know if I feel strong, in control and have a sense of purpose… then I can be supportive to the rest of my family.

I always think of that image of a “jug of water” representing our own self… when we run out of water, we have nothing left to give another.  We need to refuel first, so we have something within ourselves to give to the other person.  Knowing when you need to look after yourself, seems to be the forgotten issue, especially for women.

The photo I share with you today, reflects upon my escape from farming life as I travel down the road heading for another opportunity.  The photo was taken about 10km from our property heading towards town.  Every time I go to town, this is a part of my journey.

Rural Reflection #19…

19 The Road to Opportunity

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I like this photo because of the beautiful coloured sky with the blue, pinks and mauve.  The sky looked so lovely that I stopped to capture this image.  I also like the contrast of the cultivated paddock and the dry grass along the roadside.  The cloud configuration reflects the beauty of our natural country landscape.

So as I anticipate my involvement within the CWA State Conference, I also appreciate my roots back home.  An appreciation for our beautiful country, the support of family and the new opportunities that await us all.

Take a look around you… acknowledge and appreciate what you already have in your life and have the courage to pursue personal growth by accepting new opportunities that spark your own interest.

Take care, Karen.

“Alone, we can do so little;

Together, we can do so much.”

~ Helen Keller

 

Perfectionism is an Agonising Myth With Inferiority

When does our self-confidence start to become debilitated in life and we begin to doubt ourselves?  What makes us question ourselves and start to feel insignificant in other peoples eyes?  It is all a perception… yet so difficult for us all to see.

When we are little girls… we are full of confidence… nothing can phase us.  We are full of life, energetic and our strength is abundant in play.  At some point, at this very young age… we fall into a tangled web, as our peers’ question our relevance and we start to doubt our significance.  Differences are pointed out loudly and doubt sets in, upon our somewhat immature minds.

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This negatively conceived concept of perfection develops and sadly becomes the ideal for young girls to strive for… to fit in with a childhood society as a pecking order develops.  The unfortunate part is that it can take many years for these pre-conceived notions to be challenged and overcome.

As young girls develop through their teenage years and grow into young women, these perceptions are carried into adulthood and can burden our personal relationships.  Inferiority complexes have become the norm and media continues to depict the symbol of perfectionism as beauty without flaws.  Visual attractiveness becomes the image for one to endeavor to assume.  What are we teaching our young women and our young men of today?

As women are exploited on television and in magazines, our society is sending this message that perfection with our looks is the ideal.  We place unnecessary pressure on these young developing minds, that our appearance is more significant than personality, behaviour and attitude.  Those less fortunate in the beauty department are left feeling inadequate and unworthy.  Self-confidence has been lost and takes years for one to resurrect.

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Women can spend a great part of their lives, feeling inadequate and defective in some way.  They then feel accustomed with these faulty impressions and perceive that their partners will see the vulnerability beneath.  Men become confused as to what role women play in our society… beauty or brains… one to look at and one to hold.  They may fail to realise that women are far more complex than either.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder… and this rings true.  But beauty is far more than being skin deep.  Beauty is a package of love, emotions, attitude, behaviour and values.  Attraction is complicated and not something to be evaluated.

Beauty is not in our appearance… real beauty is in our overall take on life and our confidence to be who we are.  It is our passion, our natural ability, our differences… those special little quirks that make you distinct and stand out in this world.  Everybody has something that makes them special, allowing them to shine with their true beauty when it is discovered.

We are who we are and why would you want to be anybody else.  Be true to yourself and own who you are.  Show the world what makes you tick… show the world that perfection is a myth and you are worthy just the way you are.

Kindness, compassion and an understanding for others are the real qualities that make us beautiful.  There is no need to strive for perfection.  Our flaws are what make us unique.  If you always look for perfection, you will never be content.  Have faith that you are perfect just the way you are.

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We can always strive for personal growth to benefit ourselves in our health, our mind and our wellbeing… but not competition or comparison.  Love the person you are.  Flabby arms, speech impairments, baldness, lack of coordination, shyness, wobbly tummy, big nose, cross-eyes or a physical limp… does not define who you are.  They are just imperfections that should be accepted and thought about no more.

Our flaws and imperfections are the beautiful attributes that make us unique.  There is an untold story beneath each and every attribute.  Claim those stories… claim your individuality.  Our behaviour is not perfect either, we are all human.  Our mistakes are our lessons in life.  Learn the lesson and move on.

Too much of our life is wasted upon how we think we should hide, disguise or shield those unimportant visual discrepancies and our misaligned conduct.  We are what we are and we must feel comfortable in our own skin.  We need to boost each other up and encourage everyone to reveal the real beauty within, rather than battle a comparison war and feelings of inadequacy.

Love yourself first and foremost… then you will attract others into your life naturally and not by any false means of advertising.  You will be happier and more content if you allow yourself to be confident and believe in yourself.  Those little things that make up who you are… is what really makes you beautiful.  Believe you are beautiful and the world will see that you truly are.

Take care, Karen

“The biggest challenge of life is to be yourself

in a world that is trying to make you like everyone else.”

~ Author Unknown

 

How to Reclaim Your Power and Proudly Own Your Individuality?

How many of us get lost in this big wide world trying to fit in with family, our workplace or our environment?  Who has tried to be the person that they think they should be, but in the process the real YOU becomes hidden?  We all have… at some point in our lives… at all ages… felt the uneasy feeling of fitting in and conforming to pressures in society.

The power is in finding yourself again, accepting your unique qualities and allowing yourself to own who you are.  From our childhood years, teenage pressures and growing into the adult for all to see… our individuality is somewhat contained until we place value on our own attributes in life.

It is my niece’s birthday today, she is 15.  These teenage years place so much pressure on our young ones.  I am so proud that she is the mirrored example of accepting her differences and allows her true beauty to shine.  I wish we could all have that strength and capability at such a young age… to proudly be the person we truly are.

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The pressure of fitting in as a teenager… to be cool, popular and socially acceptable.  The pressure that these young people place upon themselves, is disheartening as a parent or caring adult.  For teenagers to overcome that pressure and allow their unique or even peculiar personalities to be released… that is where the real strength lies.

My beautiful niece amazes me with her diverse interests in life and her mature attitude towards relationships and interaction.  She has a passion for animals, a caring heart, a love for horses and showing cattle.  Yet she also likes organisation within her life and she has a gift for cooking.  Her attitude to give it a go and commit to doing her best… I find exemplary.

The maturity beyond her years is also inspiring and I hope that the warped sexual maturity of teenagers today is not a negative influence.  Our teenagers are forced to grow up too quickly and the mental capacity to embrace this advancement puts far too much pressure on our young ones today.  I just hope she can keep true to that individuality in years to come and inspire others to be true to themselves as well.

Children and adults alike, we all sometimes tend to re-shape our personality to assimilate the norm and be accepted in a judgemental world.  Strangely enough, with being divergent… we don’t really need to conform to societal pressures, as our unique qualities are what makes us all special and adds value to the people around us.

Sadly, it can take years or decades for us all to realise our real potential, value and purpose in this world.  We need to teach our children and grand-children early, to accept their differences and realise their own significance which allows their passion in life to develop naturally.

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Never sacrifice who you truly are… because somebody else may have a problem with it.  Be true to yourself… and be comfortable in your own skin and in your own mind.  Understand who you are and accept those beautiful unique attributes that you bring to life.  Authenticity inspires respect… so be courageous and own who you really are.

We are all a work in progress, regardless of our age.  As each year passes, our passion or interests may vary, our purpose may alter… but be true to the person you are and shine light on our world.  By being yourself and sharing love, kindness and compassion… you reclaim your power to make a positive difference in your life and the life of those around you.  Be PROUD of who you are!

Take care, Karen.

“Your self-worth is determined by you.

You don’t have to depend on someone telling you who you are.”

~ Beyonce’

Euphoria Restores My Heart & Mind

Do you need to relax and unwind from the daily stresses in life?  Of course, you do.  Today was the day… for me… to relax and be pampered with pure indulgence.  I had forgotten how nice it was to feel pure relaxation and calmly rejuvenated.  Euphoria Hair Beauty Spa in Tamworth was the answer to my much-needed time out and pure serenity has remained.

My dear mother gave me a beauty voucher for Christmas several months ago… The Gift That Keeps On Giving.  The voucher contained 4 beauty treatments with upgrade options and is used over 4 separate visits.  The pampering package included beauty treatments such as massage, facial and manicure/pedicure.

Today I opted for the full body exfoliation, body wrap and massage.  OMG… I feel like a queen… treated like royalty by the lovely beauty technicians at Euphoria Hair Beauty Spa.  I was a little nervous about being somewhat exposed and I am naturally self-conscious.  But Amanda, with her friendly and calming disposition, was discreet as she used the highest quality products to buff my skin and rejuvenate my weary body.

In fact, my modesty was preserved by all means and I felt very relaxed beneath the warm towels in the dim lighting.  Each area was discreetly exposed, scrubbed and revitalised with moisture.  A warm shower to generously cleanse my body and a soft-velvety gown with slippers to wear… an experience that was fit for a queen.  Then a deep and relaxing hot stone massage to calm the body to unwind and release those toxins from life.

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Euphoria is experiencing a state of intense happiness and self-confidence.  A feeling of extreme elation or wellbeing.  The feeling of being on “cloud 9”.  That is exactly what journey Euphoria Hair Beauty Spa provided to me today.

A little tired yet refreshed and rejuvenated… ready for life again.  My skin feels luxuriously silky smooth and beautifully moisturised.  Thank you to my mother for this kind and thoughtful gift voucher… a gift that truly did keep on giving.

Thank you to the management and staff at Euphoria Hair Beauty Spa for their friendly natures and professional beauty expertise.  Special thanks to Amanda for ensuring my comfortability and relaxation element was met.  You are an angel… bringing life back into my weary body and energy back into my mind.  This experience has completely revitalised me and I can proudly recommend your services to the good people of the Tamworth region.

Book in some time to pamper yourself… you deserve it.

Take care, Karen.

“We have to REJUVENATE ourselves taking a break from day to day activity

which is like REBOOTING a computer for an outstanding PERFORMANCE.”

~ Kumar Aakash

How Ironclad Organisations Empower You With a Sense of Pride?

What a jam-packed but empowering week!  From business meetings and training forums, personal growth events and social outings, I am feeling mentally exhausted yet strong and uplifted.  Involvement with renowned voluntary organisations and business training has released empowerment upon my own life and allowed my authenticity to flow.

MONDAY:

Excitement with prize-winners at Wanthella Group CWA Cookery and Handicraft Day at Kootingal.  An interesting day where the elite cooking skills are tested in competition by entering delicious baking at Group level, as per the state cooking schedule of the Country Women’s Association of NSW.

Our CWA branch, Tamworth Evening branch, had 22 cooking entries with 14 place-getters on the day and 5 winning entries to go to CWA State Conference in May.  I received a First Prize for my Chocolate Sponge.  Our branch also took home several trophies.

The Handicraft Competition displayed intricate work handmade by some very clever ladies.  My friend entered her gorgeous crotchet dragonfly baby blanket and a 3-piece crochet baby set.  I admire the handicraft skills of these women.

Whilst judging occurred, CWA members had the opportunity to listen to a talk about bees and honey production.  The bee-keeping industry was fascinating, very informative and an interesting discussion was presented.  Honey is the primary product studied by CWA this year.

My involvement with CWA makes me feel enthusiastic and passionate, as their aims resonate with me personally.  I am proud to be part of a well-renowned organisation that makes a difference by improving the lives of women and their families.  Personally, I also like the friendships I have developed, the knowledge I have gained and the forum provided giving women a voice to make positive changes.

Later that night, I attended a Toastmasters meeting, another renowned organisation aimed at developing confidence, leadership and public speaking skills.  I delivered my second heartfelt speech reflecting upon my personal experience with this heartbreaking drought, the emotional challenges and the community support.  I was awarded the “Best Speaker” award on the night, so after sharing my heart-wrenching thoughts, I felt pride that my audience was able to resonate with my words.

After I shared my personal experience, many people thanked me for allowing my vulnerability to show in an effort to connect with people.  What I found… was that there are so many kind people in this world, compassionate and understanding people.  Tamworth Toastmasters is a wonderful club, with a group of individuals that encourage personal development with public speaking skills, in a very supportive environment.

TUESDAY:

My husband and I attended a Southern Beef Technology Services (SBTS) Breedplan Regional Forum in Armidale NSW.  Breedplan is a cattle industry based genetic evaluation of stud stock.  As a seedstock producer, producing Hereford stud bulls, this day was very informative and provided an update and useful information for Breedplan Fundamentals.  Sometimes a reminder on why we measure the traits on our cattle and how it all comes together is very intriguing.  I believe we are never to old to learn and we have the ability to continue learning throughout our entire lives.

On the way back home, later that night, we attended a NSW Farmers’ Association meeting at Tamworth.  An ironclad organisation that brings farmers and agricultural enthusiasts together to discuss the challenges faced and identify issues within the agricultural industry.  I am proud to be a supporter of this renowned organisation making a difference in securing the future of our primary industries in Australia.

At the AGM, I ended up taking on the role of Treasurer, for an organisation I believe whole-heartedly in.  In a voluntary capacity, individuals accept executive roles within prominent organisations, as a sense of pride empowers the connection to their distinguished aims and objectives.

WEDNESDAY:

Back to Armidale for Day 2 of Breedplan Fundamentals, to learn more about the role of genomics and DNA of our stud stock.  Producing bulls is no longer just a business, it is a scientific progression of producing better livestock through DNA advancements.  Over the last few years, I have found breeding cattle very interesting, as we have accepted the new technological opportunities presented to us and put it into action.

Our business is Swanvale Herefords and we focus on breeding cattle with a quiet temperament, good weight for age, carcase and maternal traits.  Our fundamental aim is to produce soft easy-doing cattle with structural soundness and long deep-bodied cattle with plenty of thickness that perform well on grass.  With the adoption of DNA and genomics, we have a greater opportunity to meet the needs of our clients in the livestock industry.

THURSDAY:

Drought feeding livestock eventuated at a more reasonable hour today… in the daylight hours and not quite as rushed.  But then followed by personal dentist appointments and health appointment, necessary to retain our personal health and well-being.

Later that night, I enjoyed a Flavourista social event, hosted by a new friend with deliciously cooked dishes by Sarah.  An organisation that blends flavours and cultures… with tantalising spices, balsamic vinegars, unique oils, flavoursome syrups and dessert sauces.  I already have a few favourites and am enjoying cooking new dishes with the ease of these new items in my pantry.

Friendships and connecting with other women is empowering in itself.  But sharing stories and conversation over the dinner table, brings a powerful element to enjoying the fresh food that our agricultural industry provides us every day.

FRIDAY:

A few hours in the office whilst hubby feeds the hungry livestock, before heading to Willow Tree for a Practical Systems information field day.  An organisation that provides computer programs for livestock manageability, farm mapping and financial management of our businesses.  The objective for the day was utilising Stockbook functionality, a herd recording software program, that can collect data, analyse reports and improve herd productivity.

With a presentation and information provided by Practical Systems, we were able to discuss issues that we would like added to the program and were able to see the program being used at the stockyards with Live Data Entry.  I was able to see the opportunity we could have by making a few changes to better utilise this program at the stockyards when scanning, weighing, drafting and preg-testing livestock.  The possibilities enlightened me and I look forward to better time-management with this incredible technology on the farm.

I am a satisfied user of Practical Systems software for many years and am grateful that technology has provided our business with the programs to better manage our business over the years.  Stockbook is a database of all livestock that we own and have owned, that has all historical records available at the touch of a button.  I use Cashbook for the financial management of our business, budgeting and accountant-based livestock trading accounts.  We also use FarmMap for property mapping, paddock management, crop allocation and proposed on-farm planning.  Technological advancement has provided the agricultural industry with the software to better manage our farming enterprises.

SATURDAY:

After an exhausting and mentally advanced week, I lay in bed this morning listening to the much-needed rain that finally opened upon us in the early hours this morning.  The best rain we have seen on our farm for over 2 years… uplifted our spirits… giving us hope again.

The organisations in our lives that provide us with connection, training, knowledge, friendships or personal development… all have a place in our hearts and minds.  These organisations do give us a sense of belonging and empowerment in many aspects of our lives.

We all need to find those organisations and businesses that meet our aspirations and grant us opportunities to improve our lives and our well-being.

Take care, Karen.

“We cannot do great things on this earth – only small things with great love.”

~ Mother Teresa

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