Tough Day Ended With A Smile

Have you had one of those days when everything seems to go the wrong way?  No matter what your plan is for the day, life just gets in the way.  Farm life… is always throwing something at you.

What a tough wayward day that sprung on me today!  Working very conscientiously in my office until mid-morning, when the husband asks for help to get a heifer into the yards.  (A heifer is a cow that has never born a calf before.)

Of course, I help.

Now calving season is upon us, and emerging from a drought, following rain, there is a lot of green feed on our farm.  This drought recovery period can create problems for cows, leading to calving difficulties as the calf grows too quickly in the uterus in the last few months.  So we have to keep checking the cows daily, especially the heifers, just in case there may be a calving problem.

So we get the beautiful heifer into the yards and husband does what most farmers do to assist her in the delivery.  Big problem… as the calf’s head is twisted around backward and almost upside down.  Frustration and exhaustion for the farmer, as time is spent trying to turn the calf’s head into the correct position for delivery.  It is just too big and not enough room inside the uterus.  But the calf is still alive… at this stage.

Since we usually breed for ease of calving and select bulls accordingly, the frustration is mounting.  Then comes the phone call to the Veterinarian.  A phone call that farmers prefer to do without, as this means more business costs, when finances are already at an all-time low.

As a farmer, we do all we can for the wellbeing of our animals, as they are our livelihood.

The keen young Vet arrives an hour later and spends hours trying to correct the abnormal presentation of the calf but to no avail.  By now the calf is dead inside as it has taken too long for the birth.

One ordeal follows another… then a Caesarean Section is required.  The quiet heifer is patient, almost understanding, as the Vet performs a difficult Caesarean, needing lots of physical assistance.  The dead calf is removed from the uterus and she starts to suture the uterus back up, but that led to complications.

Late afternoon, the Vet was tiring and needing extra assistance, so she phones for a second Vet to attend.  The heifer is obviously uncomfortable but still cooperating.  Just on dark, 2 Vets and husband finally get her all sutured up, given her fluids and medications, then she is back on her feet just needing some time to heal.

It was a mentally and physically tiring day, with frustration all around.  My day was full of interruption, distraction and nothing went to plan.  Do you find these sort of days, throw you out of order and routine?  The trouble with focusing and juggling tasks in our lives.

Life is overwhelming at times… for all of us.

But my day ended on a high note.  Despite feeling overwhelmed, tonight I still attended a scheduled group Live event (virtually) on Facebook with Katie Godden – Bulletproof Coaching.  Reliability and commitment are important to me.  It was her personality, her energy, and her enthusiasm, all wrapped up in her smile.  A shower of support.

This reminded me of the important things in life.  My values, my family, my businesses, and a compelling future.  What is it for you?  We all have something that inspires us, that motivates us and that lights us up.

Instead of focusing on my tough day, worrying about everything that went wrong and what I did not get done… I choose to focus on what went right and appreciate the good things in life.

The heifer survived the ordeal and will heal.  I got to see my youngest son at lunchtime when he turned up and gave us a hand.  Family is important and will help when they can.  Surround yourself with good people that inspire you, challenge you, motivate you and believe in you.

So no matter how tough of a day… look for the good people around you, refocus on what is important and make every effort to be the best version of yourself.  Be true to yourself, do what matters, and believe there is always something great about to happen.

Take care, Karen.

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Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow.  It empties today of it’s strength.”

~ Corrie ten Boom, Dutch watchmaker.

Another Year Grateful With a Vision

2019 is almost over and it is time for me to reflect upon my year gone by.  A mighty year I have paved my way through, including drought and personal growth.  In review, my vision board has been my regular guidance.

Did you reach some of the goals that you set out to achieve in 2019?

Some goals reached, others still a work in progress.  Overall I am happy with my own personal achievements and what I have been able to extend in doing for others.  I finally learned the importance of looking after myself, something very unfamiliar to me.

This year for me, was one for learning and expanding my comfort zone.  Personal growth was a priority in 2019 and I amazed myself and enjoyed learning in the process.  You just never know what you are capable of until you have a go.

My year started with the creation of a vision board and was used as a reminder throughout the year to motivate and inspire me.  A vision board is a collage of words and pictures to represent your goals and dreams.  It is used as a visualisation tool.

I enjoyed creating my vision board for 2019, as I used pictures, words and colours to personally represent my goals and to inspire my own success.

Vision Board for 2019

Well, how did I go?  Was I successful?

Success is not a destination but a journey. 

So YES I believe I have been successful to achieve and make progress on what is important to me.

OWN WHO YOU ARE!  This was my mantra or affirmation for 2019.  I made a choice to express who I was and love the person that I am, with faults and imperfections.  This is who I am, a unique individual finding her way in this world.  You are never too old to set another goal and dream a new dream.

My 2019 goals were to:

Write a Book – My talent had blossomed this year and my passion for writing has developed.  Through my words in this blog, I have been able to inspire and help others to shape their lives by making better choices and believing in themselves.  As an Author, my book may not be complete but it has progressed in some way.  For this I am grateful.  This goal has also diversified into 2 separate books that I want to write.  My blog is the basis of those books remaining within my mind.  I attended a workshop with a published Author at the Rural Women’s Gathering this year in Walcha and I have learned specific techniques for my writing to use in the future.

Public Speaking – I joined Tamworth Toastmasters to tackle my fear of public speaking and gain confidence in communication skills.  I have learned great techniques and met some great people that encourage me.  I also attended a Grow your Speaking Biz Workshop with Sharon Jurd Events and I now enjoy speaking to others with a specific message to inspire the listeners.  I have also had several opportunities to speak to community groups on agricultural issues, hypnotherapy, my business, anxiety and to inspire students at my former primary school.  My greatest fear has been conquered.  I still get nervous but more excited now. 

“Country Heart Spark” Blog – My unique way of sharing experiences, thoughts and motivation to inspire others.  Like a journal, but for the public to view, I can connect with people, encourage and support them through my writing.  To have found that something special in me and be able to share with others, is enormous.  I love to write and express myself wholeheartedly in the hope that someone really needs to read what I have written today.  The feedback I receive is what keeps me going and I love to know when I have helped someone in some unique way.

Improve Health – I have struggled with my weight, emotional eating and lack of self-care of myself over the years.  This year I have had a few tests with my doctor, had a diagnosis and dietitian advice.  Finally, food started to make sense with how my body was reacting to certain foods.  It was the first time that I actually made a connection.  I also participated in coaching with Katie Godden on Simple Steps to Better Health which was a great motivation and support.  Although limited by finances in this drought, I was able to understand my health issues and start making progress.  I had been eating much better, with more salads, vegetables and meats.  Unfortunately, over the festive season I have made some unhealthy choices but my body tells me when I forget to listen.

Financial Relief – Drought has been crippling us and business choices have been limited for over 2 years.  Whilst experiencing the worst drought in 100 years, we still have been making decisions, right or wrong, to sustainably remain in farming.  We did make the decision this year to sell part of our farming property, subdivided and put it on the market.  We are down-sizing and business will change and I will find off-farm income.  With this land sale, we will achieve some financial relief.

Design Website – I have now created 3 websites from scratch.  I love to be creative and design marketing material.  Self-taught with information online, I managed to create these websites to reflect the businesses using my good eye for detail.  However, I have even surprised myself with the results and how much I enjoy it.  Completed in style!

Spend Time with Family – As a mother of grown-up children, I miss not having dependants.  But our children are always our babies, so being there to listen, to advise when needed and to help teach them adult lessons… becomes a new task.  Drought has made time a huge limitation, but I have managed regular contact with my sons and family.  It was lovely to have both of our sons home for Christmas with their partners and to see their personalities shine.  In October, I also enjoyed a few days with my Mum and valued the one-on-one time I was able to spend with her.

Time-Out – I have been using a visualisation technique.  Visualising myself as a jug full of water, giving to others.  As I started to run dry, I realised I can’t be there for others if I do not refuel myself first.  When I learned to do this, my jug was full enough to share around and help others.  I now find time to write, to unwind and to express myself.  I also give myself time-out away from work, to connect with local organisations, volunteer my time and communicate with others.  During this drought with the mental and physical exhaustion, I still found a little time to relax, feel calmer and be happy in life.  Whatever it is that you love, find time to do it.

Our performance is so much better and we are much more productive when we acknowledge that we are worth it.  We need to take the time to meet our own needs, nurture ourselves from the inside and embrace our capabilities.

Take time to reflect on your own year, your own goals and your own achievements.  It is surprising, in our review, that we have been very successful and made mighty progress in our lives.  Be kind to yourself and be kind to others.

Enjoy your New Year’s Eve festivities.

Take care, Karen.

“Starting today I need to forget what’s gone,

appreciate what still remains,

and look forward to what’s coming next.”

~ Author Unknown

 

 

 

Rural Reflections #29

Life is like a book.  Some chapters in our lives wear us down.  Sometimes we experience sad times, but sometimes we have good times and excitement in our lives.  If we never turn the page, we will never know what our next chapter in life holds for us.  Who knows it could be our most exciting chapter ever.

Times have been very tough for all of us on the land, especially in this region.  But knowing that we are all going through this together, somehow gives reassurance and strength to believe in our soul purpose to produce food for our nation.

Life is about to change for me.  With the downsizing of our farming property in the near future, I will take a step back from it all… to pursue work elsewhere in an effort to support the ongoing operations on the farm.

Rather than view this change with hesitation, I choose to see this as an exciting chapter about to reveal itself.  Learning new things empowers me, and on my latest journey of personal growth, I am eager to see where life takes me.

When one has not experienced the job interview process, after 25 years of self-employment… this process could be a little daunting.  Strangely enough, however, I am not nervous at all.  I believe I know what I am capable of and what special gifts I can offer the wider world.  Nobody else knows us better than ourselves.

I have had a couple of job interviews and applied for a couple more in the business administration area and am ready to see where this takes me.  With nothing set in stone yet, I am allowing myself to blossom.

My advice to anyone going through a change right now… just breathe, do your best to showcase who you are and enjoy the opportunities before you.  Life will not give you too much to handle… just keep making decisions to get through it.

Today I found this photo to share with you.  I took this photo in June this year when I thought that after a shower of rain, maybe, just maybe, seasonal conditions would turn around for us.  A shade of green was scattered through the back paddocks.  Although temporary, it gave us all a boost to soldier on.

Rural Reflection #29…

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Why I like this photo?  It serves as a visual analogy.  The older large tree on the left with the deformed tree growths… is feeling the struggle of conditions yet not inhibited to serve its purpose.  In comparison, we may be getting a little older, a little tired and feeling the struggle in this drought… but we have a purpose to share our talents with the world and provide a little shade of comfort for others.

Similarly, the small green tree on the right is growing from an old stump of a tree that would have been cut down many years ago.  From the centre of an old hollow stump, this seedling would have grown, feeling the protection from the environment until it was able to blossom.  Even in drought conditions, this beautiful tree looks healthy and is still growing.

This just shows that we depend on one another in our personal development.  But more importantly, change is how we evolve into the person we truly are.  Through change…  whether it is changing our perception or thought processes… or with life-changing events… we evolve and progress through the chapters in our lives.

So be kind to yourself, be kind to others and enjoy your next chapter!

Take care, Karen.

“Change is inevitable,

Growth is optional.

~ John C. Maxwell

Motivated Excitement & Country Charm at Coolongolook School

Primary School Students are the true essence of our future and learning the ways of the world in their younger years.  Today, I had the privilege of speaking at Coolongolook Public School as an ex-student Guest Speaker.  My intention was to inspire these beautiful students to believe in themselves and focus on a future without limitations.

I am passionate about helping people with my encouraging and motivating speeches.  Challenged to design a speech… to connect with students from Kindergarten to Year 6, as well as relating the information to benefit adults.  My speech was incorporated into Grandparents Day with visiting parents, grandparents and special friends.

Successfully, I delivered my message to keen listening ears and interested individuals.  What truly captivated me… was the attention span of these primary school-aged students.  During my 30-minute speech, all students were focused with engaging eye contact and listened so intently.

It was a pleasure to speak to a group of individuals that showed me respect and could relate to the information that I presented.  I thank the Principal and Staff of Coolongolook Public School for their kind invitation to return to my own Primary School to speak on this special day.  I have so many fond memories of my primary school years here and I enjoyed the morning reminiscing and seeing the changes within the school.

Coolongolook Public School is a small country school with a charming country community.  Similar in size to when I attended, the opportunities of attending a small school proves there is no disadvantages to success in life.

I was so grateful to be able to speak with several students over morning tea, lunch and when visiting their classrooms.  From interesting conversations, expressed thank you’s, hugs galore and a personal drawing… my morning was truly inspirational from both sides.  Small country schools offer a special something and I witnessed this today in the welcoming atmosphere… from students, parents, grandparents and teachers alike.

Two students had impacted me through our conversations, their attitude and heartfelt interactions.  So I gave them both “My Journal” as a gift to encourage and motivate them in their future.  We can all do with a helping hand in life so should be looking for opportunities to help somebody else where we can.

I was very impressed with the musical learning opportunities now at Coolongolook Public School and enjoyed a performance.  When I was at school I played percussion instruments like the triangle, castanets and tambourine.  With their real musical department having progressed enormously, to learning guitars and drums… simply amazed me.

Feeling nostalgic, I was also able to sing along with the School Song.  Surprisingly, I even remembered most of the words, even after 30 years.  It was great to see and hear familiarity, but also to see progression.

Speaking of my fond memories of Coolongolook Public School and how the impact of my education led to my success in life… was encouraging for listeners.  The highlight for me, was meeting students and the dedicated school community, and listening to how my words were perceived and related to their individual lives.

Once again, my passion to share my love for life and the motivation to persuade others to see their own beauty within… makes me feel empowered.

Take care, Karen.

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“If you can believe it, the mind can achieve it.”

~ Ronnie Lott

Rural Reflections #27

Reflecting from the rural coastal region of my hometown of Coolongolook NSW watching the smoke from bushfires in the distance near Forster/Tuncurry NSW.  Here I am spending some time with my Mum and preparing for a speech at the local Primary School tomorrow.

It is beautiful to see some green foliage within the scene and beneath my feet for a change.  My Mum loves her garden… from shrubs and flowers… to growing plenty of fresh produce to make into jams and relishes.  The coastal region does attract a lot more rain than our western area.

Today, it is a beautiful day in paradise and I am appreciating my beautiful surroundings.  Roses in full bloom, flowers sprawled across garden beds and healthy vegetables growing in abundance.  This morning I helped my Mum pick fresh blueberries and strawberries before breakfast.

We then enjoyed fresh fruit with yoghurt and her variety of home-made jams on toast.  Whilst my Mum and visiting Aunty are working hard in the garden, I have been catching up on some work and preparing for my speech tomorrow.

I have been invited to Coolongolook Public School… to speak about my childhood, my life, my businesses and to inspire these young students.  It will also be Grandparents Day with special visitors.  This is where I attended Primary School many years ago, so I am very excited to return as a guest speaker and to see the changes first-hand.  My intention will be to motivate my audience, encourage their confidence and dreams, and to inspire success.

Travelling down the mountain yesterday, heading towards the coast, I noticed very thick smoke on the horizon and high winds which would be causing havoc and spreading the fire.  The bushfire is in the Forster/Tuncurry region, with people sadly losing their homes in nearby areas.  Volunteer firefighters are doing what they can, around the clock, trying to keep people and their properties safe.

The smoke is not blowing in this direction, so cannot be smelt at all where I am.  My hearts goes out to those victims and those in the vicinity of the bushfires.  It doesn’t matter where you live… you never like to see fire threatening lives nor belongings.

So today, I share with you this photo, showing the smoke in the distance and ask that you spare a thought for the NSW Rural Fire Service volunteers protecting others and working in harsh conditions of heat and thick smoke.

Rural Reflection #27…

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I like this photo because it depicts my upbringing with my family, the beautiful surrounds and Mum’s passion for gardening.  The gazebo was an addition that Mum erected later in life, that has a special connection to a family friend and is indicative of life and death.  That special friend was taken far too soon as a result of a farm accident.  For me, this gazebo is a symbol of him and the value of family friendships.  His memory will always live on through his beautiful family.

I also appreciate having some time out here today at my Mum’s place admiring her garden and the effort that her and her good-hearted sister put in to keeping it so beautiful.  I do not have a green thumb so lack the expertise and passion this involves. But I certainly do grasp the beauty here, and understand that water in our environment makes all the difference.

What better place to feel motivated and inspired?  I feel like I can breathe here and relax.  Admiring the beauty around me, whilst holding my family close to my heart.

Take care, Karen.

“We might think we are nurturing our garden,

but of course it’s our garden that is really nurturing us.”

~ Jenny Uglow, Author

Speaking to Inspire at Empowering Anxiety Event

Last night I had an opportunity to speak at Katie Godden’s Anxiety Solutions Workshop at Nemingha.  This empowering event, with 50 attendees, shared strategies to help women manage anxiety and stress.  Courage and confidence to find our own way by prioritising our own wellbeing was the key message delivered.

I shared my personal story when anxiety was crippling my life and when life changes revealed a future that scared me.  After raising my children and now needing a new life purpose, it was scary not knowing what the future will hold.  As women, we do question our position in life, our purpose and knowing who we really are.

When I started to lose that grip on my life, worry set in.  The WHAT IF cycle had hold of me.  As a renowned control freak, I love order and structure.  I was the organiser and the strength to get things done in my family and beyond.  This was proving to be a struggle.

Anxiety used to rule my life.  Anxiety used to control all of my decisions and lack of decisions.  Anxiety doesn’t discriminate and can affect anyone at any time.  We can experience anxiety at different levels, in different ways, sometimes more severe than others.

It is not about the anxiety… it is about… WHAT YOU DO ABOUT IT.

I made a choice to get help and put myself first.  I was determined to change my life around.  I put strategies in place.  I learned to say NO.  I set boundaries for my family to know what was important to me.

I realised that I cannot be there for anyone else unless I take care of myself first.  I set my own goals for my own future.  This formed part of my mission of personal growth and self-discovery.  Whatever it is that you want in life, you are all capable of achieving it.

I am now able to manage my anxiety and convert it into nervous energy that motivates me.  I listen to my body and mind to know what is best for me and the ones I love.

When you are back in control, the anxiety doesn’t control you.  There is so much self-satisfaction about taking on challenges and no longer worrying excessively.

If somebody told me 6 months ago that I would be public speaking, there is no way I would have believed it.  I feared public speaking all of my life.  Now, it is just another challenge and an opportunity to share my story to inspire others.

All we want in life is to be the best person we can be.  To be at our best, so we can take on life.  When we are at our best, we are happy, really happy.  Everyone deserves to be happy.  That happiness is contagious and will flow through to others.

It was a privilege to be able to speak and inspire other individuals last night on a topic that is rarely spoken about.  I am grateful that those 50 attendees walked away knowing their own worth and have started that inner process of taking back control.  50 beautiful normal everyday women, just wanting the best for themselves and the ones they love.

We all have the capability of being true to ourself, taking care of ourself and accepting that we deserve it.

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Thank you to Katie Godden for putting this empowering program together to help us all change our lives for the better.  And thank you for giving me this wonderful opportunity to speak and connect with others.

Also thank you to Nemingha Public School P&C for applying for funding through the Primary Health Network (PHN) to bring awareness and assistance on a very important topic that needs to be spoken about. Anxiety is very common, yet very misunderstood.  This event brought clarity and useful strategies for moving forward.

Take care, Karen.

“You can’t stop the waves,

but you can learn to surf.”

~ John Kabat-Zinn

Outspoken Transformation & the Beauty of Speaking to Share

How can your life change in only 3 big days?  Connect with a room full of inspirational like-minded men and women.  And what better place for my soul searching journey… than the Gold Coast QLD Australia!

I had no idea the powers that be would ensure this time that I didn’t miss the obvious clues.  The solution is to take that energy and wisdom within my heart, mind and soul… release it… and allow myself to change people’s lives.  What a beautiful future before me!

How did I not see the obvious suggestions and requests over the last year or so?  People were asking me to speak at certain events.  People suggesting that I had the capability of coaching and guiding others.  But why wasn’t I forthcoming to accept this path.

I was standing in my own way… doubting myself… yet so passionate deep down to expand my circle of helping people.  How many of us become our own barricade that stops us moving forward and seeking our real destiny?

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My life has been transformed.  I now believe it.  I am a Speaker.  I have a story to be shared.  A story to allow others to be inspired, to connect and to feel worthy.  A story to lead others into my safe haven to be guided in life and business.

Real strategies, real changes… guaranteed to improve your life by following my specific techniques.  Whether it is to find your passion, strategies to identify your goals, support with hypnotherapy, writing business plans or writing a blog.  The key is to bring you back in control of your life.  I have the tools to get you to where you want to be.

My latest transformation has been unveiled at a 3-day Grow Your Speaking Biz Workshop with Sharon Jurd Events and SMJ Coaching Institute.  Our presenter Sharon Jurd is an international best-selling Author and has been awarded over 36 Industry Awards including the Australian Franchise Woman of the Year.

Her 2IC (second in charge) Diana, is the most organised and efficient Personal Assistant (PA) that one could ask for.  With her organisation skills and structure, the events progress perfectly.  Not only is she great in her work ethic, but she is friendly and helpful… and one of those women that everyone wants in their circle.

Sharon Jurd is a very knowledgeable woman in business and life.  She has a passion for helping people learn and provide real encouragement for you to step up and put it into action successfully.  Her workshop was both informative and very entertaining.  Sharon Jurd just has this unique ability to get in your head, find that soul that needs reviving and may need a little guidance in business and life.  A strong and capable woman that I am honoured to now have mentoring me.

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I was so fortunate to be able to meet one of her mentors Kawena.  A remarkably wise lady at 90 years young… living an extremely fulfilling life… still helping others.  Kawena is an Inspirational Speaker, Winner of the 2013 Psychic Hall of Fame, and a Spiritual/Personal Guide and Mentor.  She shared with us, the power of quality breathing and true happiness.  Her kind words were so captivating, extremely motivating and gave me the inner strength to follow my varied business path.  An amazing guest speaker!  An amazing woman!

Another guest speaker that we had the pleasure of connecting with was Karen Sydne from New Zealand.  She shared her wonderful story and passion for life.  Karen Sydne is a Speaker, Author and Coach.  Her words of encouragement, motivation and very helpful business advice, were all delivered with perfection.  A very inspiring woman with a real story to share and a powerful message to deliver.

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My business journey has been shared alongside other inspiring business owners.  Being in a room full of like-minded, caring and passionate people, with a desire for personal growth is simply amazing.  These are the sort of people I love to be around.  People that intrigue you, delight you with their stories and spark that little something within you that brings you to the top of your game.

My time was shared with these successful people and I was honoured to share my journey with such spirited individuals:

  • Rosemary O’BrienRosemary O’Brien Coaching, a Mindset to Success Coach.  Rosemary is an amazing woman that is passionate about inspiring and empowering people to respect and believe in themselves.  A beautiful woman with valuable skills in this industry, bringing so much value to her clients.
  • Suzanne McTier-Browne, Good Health & Pain Relief Clinic, Rockhampton QLD.  Suzanne is the Author of Drug Free Pain Relief, an advanced Bowen therapist, reflexologist and massage therapist.  An inspiring woman with so much knowledge to share.
  • Melanie Tate, CEO and Founder of Puddle Jumpers, Adelaide SA.  A non-profit organisation set up to support the most vulnerable children in need, those who do not live with their birth parents.  Melanie was inspirational in her determination to succeed with this much-needed charity and her genuine love for its purpose of allowing kids to be kids.
  • Bailee Phillips, a Support Volunteer at Puddle Jumpers, Adelaide SA.  Bailee is a kind and fun-loving young woman, with a passion to help children overcome obstacles and enjoy time to be kids.  She has a truly beautiful soul and a very caring outlook.
  • Kim BorgOzwide Photography based on the Gold Coast QLD.  Kim is an amazing Professional Photographer that shared his beautiful photos with us and spoke of his photography tips.  I loved his perfection of natural beauty captured in his photographs.  A versatile man offering his services across the nation.
  • Eliza Job, Turf Tines, Gold Coast QLD.  A renowned innovative business and home of the Phantom Tine developed for maintaining beautiful lawns and turf.  Eliza is a talented, self-motivated business woman who is very pro-active in her fields of expertise and encouraging fairness in the workplace.
  • Pauline Swain and Graham Swain, Farmers and business-owners.  They are renowned in the local farming community for their family farming businesses in Somerton, near Tamworth and Gunnedah NSW.  An inspiring couple with skills in Hypnotherapy and Speaking.  Pauline and Graham are a wonderful couple that will bring inspiration and support to the farming communities into the future.

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It was a pleasure to meet these inspiring individuals and to hear how they all want to bring value to so many lives.  These are the sort of people I hang around… wonderful people that bring out the best in you.

And of course me, Karen Weller ~ Freelance Writing & Admin Services, Tamworth NSW.  I am passionate about encouraging individuality and self-acceptance, bringing clarity and order to business and personal lives, and seeing people happily succeed.  With a background in farming and agribusiness management, I am pro-active in keeping up with resources and expanding my knowledge base.  I enjoy learning new skills, meeting interesting people and challenging myself where I can.

My stay at the Mantra Legends Hotel in Surfers Paradise QLD, whilst attending the Grow Your Speaking Biz Workshop has been wonderful… a home away from home.  Large rooms, comfortable surroundings, delicious food and lovely staff.

I ended up with a King Size bed, which was very comfortable, although I still managed to almost fall out.  Not used to sleeping in such a large bed without my hubby next to me and I slept right on the edge.

Whilst I have been enjoying myself, perfecting new skills and networking here on the Gold Coast QLD, my wonderful husband and youngest son have been managing the farming property and business.  I am so grateful to have been given this opportunity to pursue something that I am passionate about.

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The next phase of my life will involve setting up my new business with more focus on the direction and the services that I now provide.  The farming business will run alongside, whilst I share my time between both businesses.

Now that I have raised our 2 wonderful sons, this is my new purpose in life and I am taking the opportunity to enrich many lives.  So now my life has been expanded as I now will speak at events or functions.

When you let your guard down, show a little vulnerability and take on the challenge… life feels magical.

As your story begins to unravel and listening ears are quiet in wonderment… changes are taking place for others.  It is beautiful when someone understands that they have the power to improve their own life and I have the tools to get them there faster.

Take care, Karen.

“Too many of us are not living our dreams

because we are living our fears.”

~ Les Brown, American motivational speaker & Author

 

How To Be Successful In Your Life?

Society tells us that we go through childhood, get an education, follow a career, add a family and life is successful… in that order.  NO… this is certainly not true, as life does not fit inside that small perfectly-shaped box.

Everybody is different and has the ability to pave their own path and make their own successful journey.  Tackling life in the correct order… making the correct choices… as to how we live our lives.

“Correct” in who’s eyes?

Sometimes we need to approach life with a different perspective… do things out of the ordinary… as a means of living up to our own standards and not those of everybody else.  Be unique and follow your own purpose in life.

In our early years of childhood, we were unique individuals and free to explore the world around us… without inhibitions or feelings of inferiority.

Then FEAR sets in… with the pressure of our peers and our need to fit in.  We question ourselves and the barriers are formed.  These limiting beliefs are then carried with us into adulthood.

The toughest walls are those we put in front of ourselves.  When we realise this, life can change dramatically.

Rather than stepping outside of your comfort zone… look at expanding your comfort zone.  This thought seems to give me a feeling of not being exposed and being in control of my own choices.  I can take baby steps or a great leap… but I control how far I am willing to expand my comfort zone.

It is never too late… to try something new… and give it go.  Many people are discovering their talents, later in life and that is OK.  We pave our own path and are capable of making our own choices.

I admit… my aspirations at 18, was to get married and have 2 kids… as family was more important to me, than a career.  This did not fit in well with my Careers Advisor at high school.  But I did work in the banking industry, got married at 19, first baby at 20, then another 18 months later.

I did what I wanted to do.  I raised 2 great sons now living independently in their early 20’s.  I have been married for 25 years this year and I wouldn’t change a thing.

My point is that each of us follow our own path and believe in what we do… living with purpose.  But it must be our own purpose.

Now as an empty-nester, I concentrate on the next phase of my life.  I just started a new business, separate from the farming industry.  I offer freelance writing & administration services.  And I also have this blog for conveying my inspirational messages in writing.

I didn’t achieve success in the correct order according to many people… but it was correct for me.  We just have to believe in the choices we make, take the responsibility when things don’t quite work out and then move on.

Inspiration surrounds us every day bringing us great opportunities.  We hear about famous people bringing inspiration into the lives of many.  But you don’t have to be famous, we are just everyday people making a difference in this world.

Look around you… there are people in your circle… family, friends or colleagues… that will inspire you.  Be that person that inspires others… by being true to yourself and showing kindness and compassion to others.

We all bring something special to the table, possibly without even realising it.  We are not famous, just everyday people, inspiring others in an extraordinary way.

We never stop learning and our personalities will evolve through time as we continue to be the better person.  Strive for personal growth and you will see the success reign upon you in many aspects of your lives.

Work hard for what you want, for what makes you happy and what makes you feel whole.  Being true to yourself is where the success starts.  So hold your head up high and walk proud.

Take care, Karen.

“Success is the result of perfection,

hard work, learning from failure,

loyalty, and persistence.”

~ Colin Powell

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The Heart of CWA in the High Country

After enjoying a High Tea at Guyra yesterday, catching up with some former CWA friends, celebrating with new friends and listening to the powerful inspirational stories of the guest speakers… my soul has been enriched.  The dynamic force that CWA brings to our rural and regional communities is so very compelling.

The largest women’s organisation of Australia, the Country Women’s Association (or CWA for short), never ceases to amaze me through their support network and advocating to improve the lives of women and their families.  The newly formed CWA Guyra Evening Branch has proved to be a friendly, inspirational, youthful-toned and welcoming bunch of ladies.  My good friend and I travelled to Guyra to celebrate NSW Women’s Week in the high country on the Northern Tablelands with these mighty women.

A beautiful old-fashioned High Tea table layout with modern touches, made for a visually appealing morning tea with good friends.  Ceramic teaware just delivers that special something with each tasteful sip and delicious morning tea was in abundance before us.

Laughter, support and fond memories were on the menu at each table.  CWA members from many branches were in attendance from the Northern Tablelands Group and we were welcomed in from outside the zone, representing Tamworth Evening branch, Wanthella Group, along with new friends that were tantalised with what CWA membership can offer them.

We also listened to 2 inspirational guest speakers that delivered life enriching words.  These 2 wonderful women are members of CWA Guyra Evening Branch, and truly are very empowering and uplifting to all of us fortunate listeners.

Firstly, Marni Hietbrink a psychologist from Peak Psychology in Guyra, spoke about mental health in rural areas, healthy emotional wellbeing, happiness and the challenges that stress brings to our lives.  I really liked her analogy about how stress works, as each stressful event forms layers upon us, one on top of another… and how that stress needs to be relieved by doing something essentially in the form of self-care and something that is a passion.  She explained if we don’t look after ourselves that those layers of stress will get to a ‘breaking point’ and tip us over the edge… a place we all need to avoid.

She also explained how, as women, we try to be the best possible person we can in all facets of our lives.  But by trying to be the best at everything, which is really an impossible and unrealistic task… these thoughts and actions cause us to feel an unecessary failure in many aspects of our lives.

Her friendly, bubbly personality… made for an informative and understandable speech that all women could relate to.  Thank you Marni Hietbrink for your knowledge, compassion and meaningful words.  CWA Guyra Evening branch and the Guyra community are very lucky to have such a strong, capable and caring person like you, with such knowledge in the industry.

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The second guest speaker was Kylie Woods, a down-to-earth mother that shared her personal emotional story with us about the trauma with her young son and his eventual diagnosis of ‘Type 1 Diabetes’.  Her comprehensive knowledge of ‘Type 1 Diabetes’, the indiscriminate kind, opened my eyes to an enormous challenge exposed to children and their parents alike.  Her story was emotionally heartfelt which engaged us all with overwhelming compassion for her, her family and all those families that suffer these incredible health and financial challenges for the ongoing management of Type 1 Diabetes.

I really enjoyed her honest open story as she allowed us into her world for these brief moments.  I can already see the need for a CWA Motion being formed for State Conference next year, to support the many people in need with the financial challenges faced every day to manage this incurable disease.

I spoke with Kylie Woods afterwards, a shy, but incredibly strong woman.  I do not think she even realised the extent of the powerful effect her emotionally-charged personal story, had upon the listeners.  She also shared in conversation with me, her 2 business ventures, Glenella White Suffolks (sheep) and Ram’s Head Bats (cricket bats).  She is an avid supporter of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and Breast Cancer Research.

A truly remarkable woman, a great asset to the CWA Guyra Evening branch and a passion for significant causes worth noting.  Thank you Kylie Woods for sharing your heartfelt family story with us all and giving us a means of understanding Type 1 Diabetes.  Also thank you to your daughter for her assistance with the slideshow.

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My good friend and I really enjoyed our day out at Guyra, the friendly conversation, the delicious morning tea and the inspirational guest speakers.  Personally, my spirits needed a lift, so this day out was perfect as I was surrounded by friendships and optimism.  My soul has been refreshed and I have been reminded of the real value of friendship and support.  Thank you CWA for being the true essence of harmony, delight and support.

Take care, Karen.

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“The best and most beautiful things in the world

cannot be seen or even touched ~

they must be felt with the heart.”

~ Helen Keller

Relationships Are The Focus For International Women’s Day 2019 (What This Means To Me?)

Every year on 8th March International Women’s Day is celebrated with a focus on women’s rights.  The achievements of women from the past, the present and the future is what we celebrate.  This year’s theme is relationships.  Our personal relationships, our business relationships and our friendships.

This is by no means to exclude the men in our lives and does not make men inferior at all.  It just celebrates a movement whereby women have equal rights and now have equal opportunities in the workplace and home environment.

I have been fortunate to have been raised in a family where my parents allowed me to make my own decisions and make my own mistakes.  The value I place on my upbringing has made me grateful.  It may not have always been a bed of roses, but parents do the best they can and love unconditionally.  My parents loved and respected me and taught me to seek love and follow my values in my own life.  Their influence has been the underlying factor, of the woman I am today.

As I found love with my husband, a man that respects me and encourages me to be the best person I can be, I am very grateful.  Like any relationship, we have our ups and downs, but it is how you get through those ups and downs that matters… together.  Mind you, we may need to experience a few Mr Wrongs before we find Mr Right.  My advice is find a partner that is supportive and brings out the best in you.  Love, honesty, support and communication is what I treasure in my marriage.  As a woman, I choose nothing less.

When I became a mother, another women’s “role”… I found this was my calling in life.  I absolutely loved raising my 2 children.  I did not have the honour of raising daughters, as we had 2 sons… a wonderful privilege that I embraced.  Born only 17 months apart, I was determined to be the best mother I could be.

Now as a parent myself, I understand the sacrifices that parents make for the love of their children.  We sometimes think that we should give our children the best of everything… but it is our TIME that children need.  Not expensive gifts, treats or anti-social activities.  Our children deserve our undivided attention to know that they are loved unconditionally, but they also need to be taught manners, courtesy and respect.

As working women, time is limited, so we need to schedule time for each child and make it important.  It may be a juggle or it may be that we sacrifice something else in our lives… but they are only young once and we need to focus on the person we are raising for the sake of future society.

The “tooth fairy” antic really annoys me, as parents feel an overwhelming desire to keep up with their children’s peers.  I remember only giving 50 cents for teeth, now it is in the larger notes category.  What are we teaching our children?  I think children need to learn to work for their money and appreciate the value that they have earned.  My sons used to do their daily chores with encouragement from a chore chart, maybe earning several dollars each week, not that much at all.

We taught our children the value of money and their childhood was treated as a learning experience.  By no means did I do everything perfectly, but I did the best I could with what I had.  Now our children are in their early twenties, living their lives independently and I know that they will be OK.  We never stop learning throughout our lives at any age.

Today marks a very special achievement for my youngest son, as he has just purchased his first home, at almost 22 years of age.  He saved for a deposit and applied to the bank for a home loan.  I am proud of the responsibility and independence he has displayed in the process of this big life venture.  My eldest son at a similar age did the same thing.  As a mother, I know that we have taught them financial responsibility and I am so proud of the lives they are now leading.

Although now I find it challenging that my guidance and womanly advice is much less regular to when they were dependents.  Life has changed and is different.  I am always here to emotionally support or advise if necessary, in their adulthood.  One day I look forward to the next chapter of my life, when I will become a grandmother.  With no plans for either son at the moment, I will focus on my relationship with the rest of the world.  But I do look forward to being a guiding light for my grandchildren and spoiling them… but assist by instilling those precious morals and values in this tough challenging world.  More importantly, they need to know their own worth and believe in their own abilities… boy or girl… men and women of the future.

My involvement with the Country Women’s Association (CWA) also provides me with a network of support and friendships.  The CWA is the largest women’s organisation in Australia and aims to improve conditions for country women and their families.

CWA is known for bringing women together to improve their lives and providing a network of understanding and welfare of all women.  They also provide a forum to give women a voice within our nation.  They do this by lobbying the government for change, helping the local community and creating a network of support.

We sometimes under-estimate the true value that our friendships bring to our lives.  I have been fortunate to have made friends through this renowned women’s organisation in many regions and have met some strong women making a real difference.  It is amazing what a bunch of women can do when they put their heads together.

Through my farming business, I have also had the opportunity to meet and associate with many women with unique strengths.  Some women are a supportive partner in the farming world and some women paving their own way.  It doesn’t matter what we choose to do in our lives, as women, we should just do it with passion, commitment and a big heart.

Let go of all the debates of unimportance and accept we all have our own unique paths to follow.  Working women versus stay-at-home mothers.  Feeding style, sexuality or life choices… is only important to the person making the choice… everyone else needs to stick to their own opinion without pushing it upon others.  What is right for one person may not be right for another.  Acceptance is needed in life.

Good manners, kindness, compassion, understanding, love and support is what really matters.  If we all stick to this, life is so much more content.  Appreciate the iconic women that have shaped our lives, the strong women that are in our lives and the young women that are awaiting the future.  As women… be the woman that you admire or aspire to be.

Women need to be celebrated today for how far we have come over the years… individually and as a group.  Thank you to the men in our lives for giving us the freedom, equality, love and respect that you give us every day.  It is this support that brings balance to our lives.  Remember, we all have the responsibility of shaping our future daughters and developing them into strong capable women of the future… and raising our sons into the respectful beings that show a mutual support.

Happy International Women’s Day!

Take care, Karen.

P.S. In the words of Quentin Bryce, an iconic, influential and inspirational woman.  Also, the first woman to become Governor-General of Australia.

“Yes, you can have it all, but not all at the same time.

Set your own priorities, trust your gut and follow your heart.

~ Quentin Bryce, 

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