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

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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Own Who You Are, With Audacity

Every single one of us is so unique and perfectly created to be somebody or do something important in life.  Why do we cringe and sway away from the real person we truly are?  Just to fit in within our lives… our work, our family, our social circle… and be the “picture” of the person we think we should be and for others to see.

Sometimes it takes us years to figure it out… to realise that this is crazy.  We deserve to be true to ourselves.  We deserve happiness…. the happiness that lies within us… when we allow the real person within us to be revealed.  And when we discover that person, own it and be bold and fearless in your purpose.

Today I would like to give recognition to three other bloggers, that inspire me… with their wisdom, their compassion towards others and the respect for themselves.  Three strangers whom I have never met… yet I feel like I do know them somewhat, through their personal stories and the way they express themselves in words.

RAMBLINGS OF A WALLFLOWER with Dewni, sharing her thoughts and looking for her place in the world.  It was her blog Embrace Your Magic… that initially inspired me today.  Dewni’s advice is simply stated and is perfectionism in itself “Listen to the depths of your heart and embrace your true self”.

We are told throughout our lives, directly and indirectly, until we tell ourselves subconsciously… we need to fit in and be more like everyone else.  That is an unnecessary and enormous burden for us to carry.  But when we realise that we can let go of that false notion of perfectionism within society… and be less like everyone else… life magically changes when we take that step to just be ourself.

On a personal level, I have married a farmer, an honest man that just thrives in the outdoors and has a love for animals and a passion for breeding livestock.  My love for him in supporting his dreams and being a mother to our children has motivated me for 25 years.  But sadly I try to “fit in” within the farming industry, and part of it fits but many parts do not.  I do have a strong belief in the future and importance of the agricultural industry, but I do not have a love for the hands-on farm work.  So in the process of owning who I am… I now know that I can be an advocate for the rural industry and enjoy my country lifestyle and surroundings.  But I know that I do not need to pretend that I am something that I am not.  We all need to work out exactly who we are, enjoy the process and embrace what we find.

Secondly, BITTERSWEET TURNS with Priya, using tales and fantasy in this medium to depict deep emotions and feelings.  I was captivated by this young women’s blog today Will Power and how she describes that “will power is driven by the WHY of your life”.  I think she is spot on with her analogy, as everything we do has a connection to the WHY.  As she says “the key is to find the why” and we need to be very honest with ourselves to do this.

For me personally… “WHY do you want to farm livestock in a drought-ridden environment?”.  Well, I love my husband and I support him entirely with our farming business.  I love administration and the business models that I am able to utilise to sustain our business.  The drought is somewhat a temporary setback, one that in Australia will be present at times and the weather will turn and be on our side again.  I also believe whole-heartedly that the future of the Australian agricultural industry is important to sustain, so we can feed and clothe our nation and export to other countries for the benefit of our economy.  It is this passion that motivates me to continue in the farming industry.

On another level… “WHY do you want to write a blog?”.  Well, it really started as a way to release my own emotions while suffering from depression and anxiety during this current drought on the farm and coping with changes in my life.  I felt compelled to not hide behind the medication, but to voice my experiences with the world, in a hope to help somebody else going through a tough time.  I wanted to reach out… so others knew they were not alone.

I then was able to be myself… and developed a real passion to motivate others to believe in themselves and accept themselves for who they are.  As I touch others lives and have the ability to support someone else, to encourage someone else… my compassion is able to be shared through these means.  I have raised my 2 sons to adulthood and completed the mothering role for years, now I want to share my warm-hearted and loving nature with others.  I may not be able to put it into words verbally and can be a bit of an introvert, so my blog allows me to reach into the depth of my subconscious and share my empathy and inspiration in a unique way.  This is now my gift and my purpose in life… and I love that I can be who I really am.  I am a writer and I have something to say.

My third and final inspiration for today is from Forty Something Life As We Know It where a fellow blogger shares her journey in life and in her words “searching for wisdom”.  I think she under-estimates the wisdom she actually shares with readers.  I really enjoy her regular blog and inspiring messages. Two simple messages that she shared today, really touched me and is relevant to the content that I write of today.

Her blog How it is supposed to be… has this simple message and is so true… “What screws us up most in life is the picture in our head of how it is supposed to be”.  I think we all have this false perception and are sometimes provoked to be something else.  It is our impression that this image is what we strive for.  We need to take a step back, re-evaluate our passion and our interests… and then just be ourselves and daringly move forward.  Life as we know it, may just change for the better, as we discover the “real” person within and contentment follows.

Another message on her blog It just blooms… “A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms”.  I find this to be an impressive analogy to our friends and associates in our lives.  There is no need to compete with each other, to outdo one another or to be better than another.  If we just be ourselves… we will magically blossom and shine.

Sadly it sometimes takes many years for us to find out who we really are… as we grow and mature over the years.  But it is never too late… to really delve into your own personality, embrace it and courageously reveal the “real” you.  It really is worth it, to accept who you are, imperfections and all… I assure you that you are “imperfectly perfect” and wonderfully unique.  It is with audacity… that you can then OWN WHO YOU ARE and success can reign on you.

Take care, Karen.

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“Be who you are

not who the world wants you to be”

~ Author Unknown