Celebrating 25 Years Anniversary of Love and Trust

Today marks the day… 25 years of wedded bliss… and successful challenges overcome!  It seems like a lifetime ago, that I walked down that aisle proudly taking my husband’s name.  Young, sweet and innocent… yet full of hopes and dreams.  Similarly, it seems like only yesterday.

Reflecting on the last 25 years, I surely would not change a thing.  I met the man of my dreams, far from perfect, but perfect for me.  We fit like hand-in-glove.  I am so grateful to have my husband as my best friend.  He has been my support, my rock and encouraged me throughout our married life.  We raised 2 wonderful sons now pursuing their own successes in life.

Remember that feeling of a new love… the excitement in a relationship, the unpredictability and exploring new emotions in unchartered territory.  Those feelings developed and togetherness just felt right.  25 years on… through the raising of a family and business ventures… those feelings still reside.

That love becomes comfortable and secure.  Sometimes we do not appreciate what we have and who we have in our life every day.  We must stop… think and feel.  That love that surrounds us and is enduring, but still needs nurturing and protecting.  The small things really matter.

Life throws us challenges and obstacles in our path.  It is how we handle these situations, that will make or break us.  We can only control what we do, think and say.  We cannot control those thoughts and feelings of our partner, nor should we want to.  Tolerance, patience and understanding is a big part of the balancing act.

Thankfully, our marriage has survived 25 years, mainly due to mutual support, passion, friendship, respect, communication and encouragement of each other.  Life has not always been a bed of roses, however, it is with inner strength, faith in our marriage and commitment that we can celebrate today.

I am so grateful for my husband… for the support he has given me in the good times and the encouragement through the bad times.  I love him for all that he is and all that he brings to my life.  I believe that he has helped shape me into the strong, determined and motivated woman that I am today.

Happy Anniversary to my wonderful husband Peter and thank you for 25 beautiful years and making life so interesting.

Now all I want to do in my life… is to help others… feel contentment, speak freely and love who they are and what their purpose is in life.

Take care, Karen.

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“A wedding anniversary is the celebration of love,

trust, partnership, tolerance and tenacity.

The order varies for any given year.”

~ Paul Sweeney.

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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The Trust Crisis: Forgive or Forget?

Trust takes us years to build… but only a few seconds to break.  But can trust truly be repaired in a relationship?  You can’t truly love without trust.  We have all had partners, parents, children, siblings and friends… and at some point in our lives, the issue of trust has been diminished.  Some relationships can be mended, depending on the severity of the fracture in our faith.  But for other relationships, it is best to move on and start afresh… allowing both parties to heal.  But how does one decide what to do?

Trust is an emotional and logical act.  It is where we expose our vulnerabilities to people and believe that they will not take advantage of our honesty and openness.  Trust is a feeling… that we associate with love, friendship, comfort and relaxation.

A person who is trustworthy is considerate of others and cares for their wellbeing.  When you trust someone, you believe in them.  Trust also means that you know what is best for yourself and believing that you are worthy of trust.

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To trust… is to be honest and believe that you would never hurt your significant other, and to care deeply for them and their broken or painful past.  A desire to protect their esteem and believe in them.

To trust… is to know that your parents have your back and they love you unconditionally.  A belief that you are accepted just the way you are and that they are proud of you, your personality and your achievements.

To trust… is to raise your children into kind and loving adults, trusting that they will make their own mistakes in life, without harm.  It is believing that they will learn from these mistakes and we continue to love them unconditionally.

To trust… is to respect our siblings and be mindful of their feelings and to accept personal perceptions.  A family connection to help each other, encourage them, but also give them the space that they need.

To trust… is to have a friend that you can confide in, someone you trust in sharing your private thoughts.  They are your “confidante”, the keeper of your secrets and someone you can be yourself around.

Sometimes in our lives, whether it be bad judgement, outside influences or a mistake… trust can be broken.  Then we are left to evaluate, whether our trust has been misplaced or misunderstood.  I don’t believe the question is “should we trust again?”… but “how do we build trust so our relationships can grow and thrive?”.

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Communication is the biggest factor.  Communicating your expectations early and understanding the needs of your partner, is the foundation for building a long-lasting relationship.  To be in love with your partner, trust must be present.  Any relationship that is not built on a secure foundation of trust… will ultimately break.

Similarly, friends can disappoint you, if your concerns are not communicated clearly and a greater sense of trust has not been developed.  Trust is the single most important component of any healthy relationship.  If trust does not exist, you are unable to get close to that person and rely on them for support.  Without trust, you cannot be vulnerable and reveal your hopes, dreams and worries.

After trust has been broken, the key is to decide if the relationship is worth repairing and if trust can be restored in time.  The degree, as to which the trust has been compromised, will determine the action to be taken.  And as each person is unique, the decision will vary for all.  Some trust issues are deal-breakers and unable to be restored.  But other trust issues are repairable and worth it.  The key is knowing what is best for you…each and every one of us are worthy and it is for us to decide for ourselves.

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Sometimes, we need to make that decision to walk away and accept that our happiness is more important and we deserve better.  If trust will never be restored or will always be a major hurdle… then moving on is the answer.

Sometimes, the relationship is worth it or the trust issue can be resolved in time… that we can accept the mistake and try to rebuild the relationship again.  To build trust or re-build trust in any relationship we need to:

  • Earn It – Stop taking trust for granted and make it a priority in our relationships.  This will allow us to be conscious of our actions and understand how our partner or friend will perceive our actions.
  • Be Supportive – In a stage of building trust, being supportive of each other is of utmost importance.  Each party needs to feel that they can take a risk, make mistakes or try new things… and have the support that they both need.
  • Keep Secrets – Rather than keeping secrets from each other, instead keep secrets “for” each other.  Personal conversations in a vulnerable state, bring a sense of connection through this sort of trust.
  • Be Vulnerable – Allow yourself to be open and really honest when sharing things that you often keep hidden.  The ultimate sign of trust is allowing the other person into your emotional world and sharing your inner thoughts.
  • Do Not Judge – Although you might not understand why something is important to your partner or friend… but the fact that it is important is all that really matters.  We all have a history and a tangled web of emotions, so respect each other and your unique differences… without judgement.
  • Keep Your Promises – Make keeping your promises a priority and refrain from overlooking the little things.  These little promises may be small, but they go a long way towards building trust.
  • Communication – Be open and honest in your conversations and ensure you are both understood.  Each party has a need to be heard and understood, and trust is built when each party is honest.
  • Disagreements – Voice your issue and discuss privately, never in public to shame or humiliate the other person.  This will keep your lines of communication open, allow your thoughts to be voiced respectfully and ensure trust is retained.
  • Personal Growth – Take the time to work on your personal growth, which will give strength to not only you, but your relationships as well.  We all have something we need to work on… for our own well-being.

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Forgiveness is the key factor.  To forgive is not to excuse the behavior of the person that has offended you… but rather a process of allowing us to let go of anger, bitterness and resentment.  It is about us… it is about releasing yourself from the control it has over you. Forgiveness is genuine compassion for those who have wronged us and the ability to move on… for the sake of our own emotional well-being and happiness.

Trusting does not mean mistakes won’t happen.  Any relationship brings two people together with their own beliefs, ideas, emotional baggage, burdens, past history and personal perceptions.  Letting go of past transgressions is the only way to move forward and resurrect any relationship.

Letting go of the hurt and the disappointment, accepting the apology and be open for trust based on truth and love.  Time will heal… but you have the control, to control your own thoughts and actions.

I believe the significance of trust… is in yourself.  Trust that you have the ability… and the power… and the strength… to believe in yourself.  Life gives us ups and downs… but it is our choice what reactions we have and the decisions we make.  The decision is yours and you are worth it.

Take care, Karen.

“A bird sitting in a tree is not afraid of the branch breaking,

because her trust is not in the branch,

but in her own wings.”

~ tinybuddha.com 

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It’s Not Worth The Anger or the Heartache

The year is nearly over and we are starting to think about New Year resolutions.  2019 can be the year for us to learn how to LET GO.  Let go of all the “crap”… the negative feelings… the anger building up… or the headache of our life spiraling out of control.

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How many of us get worked up over things we cannot change?  Most of us, I think.  We worry about everything… our children, our relationships, our friendships, our finances, our health.  The worry exists daily and is normal to a point, but we can control the extent to which we worry excessively.

Some form of worry is essential so we are aware of danger, giving us an understanding of others, allowing us to care, or building strategies for prevention.  It is the excess worry that I think we can shake.  If we come up with a plan by playing out any “what  if” scenario’s, the worry is challenged and can be somewhat relieved.  Challenge your own thinking and decide if the worry is affecting your health.  If it is, decide to be pro-active and let it go.

Anxiety is real and sometimes over-powering.  Sometimes we are able to manage our thoughts and feelings by shifting our mindset and focus differently.  Sometimes we need to ask our GP for help.  Take that step if it is needed.

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ANGER!  Has something happened in your life that has made you so angry that it continues to build up for many years?  Were there any incidents over Christmas with family members or friends that really annoyed you and now you feel angry?  It is not worth the anger at all.  Regardless of what has happened to you, or what someone said to you… it is not worth holding a grudge, battling feelings of contempt or a will to seek revenge.

It is just ridiculous, that we all allow differing opinions, perceptions and arguments to scar relationships.  It is only stubbornness, selfishness and a lack of empathy that causes the anger to fester within.  The anger may have started because of one single incident but as time passes and you play it over in your mind, the anger builds up for a variety of reasons that you create within your own mind.  We just need to LET IT GO.  Holding on to anger, serves no purpose whatsoever.

In fact, anger becomes debilitating over time.  It just eats away inside of you and makes you bitter.  Anger also affects your health long-term.  A build up of anger will affect your brain, your immune system and your stress hormones.  It will cause increased anxiety,  high blood pressure and headaches.  Anger has the most damaging effect on your cardiac health and it will increases your risk of heart attack and stroke.  Holding on to anger is not only needless… but necessary to let go of, for your health’s sake.

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Relationships are breaking every single day… loving relationships are ending, family break-ups and friendships destroyed.  Heartache is the end result.  We mask our heartache by staying angry… determined never to forgive.  This is so sad.  The anger serves no purpose and is harmful to your health.  When we allow ourself to forgive… a simple action within ourselves to stop feeling angry or resentful… we do feel hurt but relief.  Hurt can be dealt with, allowing closure or acceptance over time.  The constant heartache will subside when the anger is removed.

We get so worked up over little things… things we cannot change.  There are just some things we cannot control or change in our lives.   We must accept that.  People cannot be changed either.  We must learn to manage our own actions and our own reactions in our relationships and in our life in general.  This is what we do have control over.

Stop being angry with the world and holding on to the anger.  Whatever happened… just happened.  Let it go.  Apologise if you should… if you said or did something that you shouldn’t have.  Show forgiveness to others… to release yourself from the anger and resentment.  Control yourself and what you have control over.

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If you have a fractured relationship with a family member.  Repair the relationship if possible, as family is the most important part of our lives.  You can control your side of the relationship only… be nice… be respectful and be prepared to accept that you cannot control the other persons thoughts, feelings or actions.  And do not try to persuade or invite others to join you in the rampage of hateful anger against a family member… as this only reinforces anger to stay in your life.  Let go of the anger and resentment allowing relationships to be healed or accept the irrepairable outcome without contempt.

If you have friends that don’t seem to want to be friends with you.  So what!  You can control how you treat them… be nice… be respectful… but be prepared to let go and walk away if these friendships become toxic to your own health.  We all deserve real friendships yet some of these friends are not for life.  Some friends serve a purpose in our life and both parties need something from the friendship.  But sometimes things just change, we grow apart, our differences may become more prominent or we just don’t see “eye to eye” anymore.  It doesn’t matter.  Learn to accept that things do change.  Let go!

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Life just gets so busy… that sometimes we feel like we have been thrown under the bus.  Feeling restrained and not seeing a means of escape?  We are always busy, balancing work, children, routines, schedules, relationships, sport, health, voluntary activities, friendships, recreation and sleep.  Many of you will relate to this at some point in your lives, if not right now.

I used to feel like… and visualise myself being dragged by a rope called “life”… tied around my ankles, pulling me in and out of all my responsibilities in life.  It is exhausting and tiresome.  Recreation and “me” time became non-existent.  I am learning to treat myself as I would treat a friend or a loved one.  I am starting to get back that control in my life.  Now “I am pulling” that rope in my life… and I may have a few bumps here and there, but I choose how I manage the hurdles or challenges in my path.  I guarantee it is worth getting that control back.  It is worth kicking anger to the kerb and the heartaches will resolve.silhouette-3333895__340.png

Make a promise to yourself heading into the New Year.  “I deserve to be happy and feel whole.  I will live with purpose and let go of anger and heartaches.  I deserve to feel healthy without the stress of life getting in my way.  I control my life… my thoughts, my actions and my feelings.  I will love and cherish those important to me and treat everyone with respect.  I will accept others wanting to be a part of my life and I will accept those that choose to walk away, without resentment.  I will control only what I can and I will LET GO of everything else.  I deserve real happiness, health and contentment.”  2019 here we come!

Take care, Karen.

“Forgive others,

not because they deserve forgiveness,

but because you deserve peace.”

~ Jonathan Lockwood Huie

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How to Find Peace In Our Life By Self Domination

Life is way too short to leave the key to our own happiness in someone else’s pocket.  We are responsible for our own thoughts and actions.  We cannot control other’s, nor should we even want to.  Everyone has their own opinions, but we choose how we react to them.

The moment we realise that our happiness and contentment is upon our own shoulders… life can truly begin.  Sadly we find fault in others, which seems human nature, when we should be looking within.  We all need to look within ourselves to find the answers and not rely on someone else to make us happy.

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I have found that I am starting to look at life very differently, almost philosophical, and have assumed alternate views.  I used to react to situations that were outside of my control.  I used to worry excessively and aim for happiness as if I am on a journey to find “it”.   A journey without a final destination.

When we are younger, we think that our happiness is a direct result of finding the “perfect” partner, building an exquisite home, having a child, finding the ideal job, buying our favourite car, following the latest fashion fair or finding real friendships in our lives.

The truth is we do not need someone else to find happiness in our life and we do not need materialistic objects to “complete” us.  These people and items may bring us enjoyment and a feeling of closeness or inclusiveness.  But real happiness lies within us and we have the key to our own happiness.  We need to shift our mindset and look at the bigger picture.  Then almost magically, you will see the right people drawn to you and happiness will blossom.Heart, Butterfly, Flight Path, Spring

I now choose to look within myself and change my own thoughts, feelings or actions in order to create my own contentment.  The beauty of this concept is that we can control all of this within… and we will see personal growth along the way.  We do not need to rely on other peoples conduct or behaviour, which is out of our scope.  Our own behaviour then becomes less reactive and more actionable.

We spend our lives trying to figure out who we are and what we want.  We worry about what might have been or who is “on my side” in life.  We tend to overthink situations and possible scenarios.  We can also create an issue based on our own perspective.

Perception is a powerful reality in life.  One person’s perception can be entirely in contrast to another person’s interpretation.  Right and wrong is not the issue.  Personal perceptions are just that… PERSONAL… to each individual.  We imagine things through our own perspective only.  The same situation or incident will be interpreted differently by those involved.  We are all unique and have our own emotional response and reactions.

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How many of you have had someone you trusted disappoint you?  How many of you have broken relationships or severed family ties?  How many of you feel overwhelmed with the impact these fractured relationships have had upon you?

We all have our own issues and baggage within our lives.  We are all human and a hurricane of emotions are inevitable.  If somebody says or does something which annoys or upsets you… you have the power to not react negatively and allow contempt to consume you.  Consider that you may be understanding from your own perspective only… and the other person from theirs.  Both parties can be unaware of the real situation and missing the intent of the discussion.

Forgiveness is often an understated action, if this reflects any situation in our lives.  To forgive, is to stop feeling angry or resentful towards someone for an offence, flaw or mistake.  The necessary process of forgiveness… is not to “let someone off the hook” or excuse their behaviour, ignorance or impoliteness.  Forgiveness is a process to allow our own growth and happiness.

A lot of us fail to realise that forgiveness is not about the offender, it is about us.  When we hold on to the hurt, pain, resentment or anger… it harms us far more than it harms the offender.  Forgiveness allows us to move forward without anger, contempt or seeking revenge.  This is essential to release yourself from any situation and to move forward in your own life.  Forgiveness “frees” you by taking control… and peace will remain.

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We waste too much time worrying and forget to just breathe.  We need to learn how to appreciate and just “exist” in the moment.  The time has come for me… to stop the overthinking and worrying.  When I decided that I was “done” with anything that does not bring me peace, my life changed.  I feel content… I feel calmness… I feel happiness embalming me.

Then the magic begins… when you see your loved ones with a sense of adoration in you and inspiration in their own life.  Not only do they see the real you, they are inspired to become the better version of themselves as well.  It then becomes contagious.  Be yourself, love your family, appreciate your friendships, practice forgiveness, just live in the moment and peace will be the cherished outcome.

Take care, Karen.

“If you want to be happy, 

do not dwell in the past, 

do not worry about the future, 

focus on living fully in the present.”

~ Roy T. Bennett 

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