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

Toastmasters Reclaims Motivation

How does one go from feeling overwhelmed with a mind full of chaos, to a sense of calmness with empowering motivation?  Step outside your comfort zone, play the game of life and allow Toastmasters back into your busy schedule.

My mind was feeling like a complete mess with so many work activities and commitments.  I was starting to feel like that image of the calm looking duck upon the lake… with those webbed feet madly paddling beneath.  At what point do we say enough is enough?

How many times in life do we question our direction and our choices?  We allow ourselves to be dragged along, ensuring that we do everything that we must and somehow try to saviour a little time for yourself.

I had been crossing off events from my calendar and any activity that was not work-related got scratched.  Trying to free up some space in my daily schedule.  But was I crossing out the correct choices for me?

Tonight I made that decision, without planning, stepped outside my comfort zone once again.  I had not attended a Toastmasters meeting for months.  Thinking I needed a break and I wouldn’t miss it for a while.  But what I noticed was that I was losing my confidence.  That confidence that was starting to develop when speaking to a group… had started to be lost.

Nervously I jumped into Tamworth Toastmasters again tonight and I am loving the outcome.  Feeling full of motivation with a feeling of complete support and friendship, I have realised that Toastmasters is what is missing in my life.  I am keen to work on my next speech already.

From a morning with back pain and lacking the enthusiasm to do anything more than office work… to a vibrant and interesting evening.  Have you ever felt the need to pike out and push something aside?

After nearly 12 months of no real haircuts because farming finances became far too important to be spending it upon me.  I finally went back to my hairdresser, feeling guilty that I wasn’t able to support her business when the drought had impacted farther afield.  Almost like magic, a simple haircut… no colour, no style… just a haircut, lifted my spirits.  It felt like a load off.  A fringe that had grown out.  A good tidy up, far exceeded expectations.

Then the doctor visit for the dreaded pap smear.  Ladies, I know you understand!  Say no more.  The anxiety and stress around this visit clearly subsided.  Then to review my health care plan.  NOOOO!  I have put on 2kg.  Feeling sorry for myself again about now.

Waiting at the pharmacy for medication, one brief phone call was to change my thought process and how I might react.  A lady cared enough to phone to see how I was going and to make sure everything was OK.  Truthfully no not OK, but I was reminded of what Toastmasters could do for me.

A simple phone call encouraged me to come along tonight.  Without any paperwork, no plans, no badge… I rocked up to the meeting.  Within minutes I felt almost at ease, was speaking on an impromptu task and took on the task of evaluating a speech.

It absolutely amazes me how I can be so nervous yet so calm and excited, all at the same time.  I am so very shy when it comes to speaking, but something ignites within me and I share my passion verbally.

The highlight of the Toastmasters evening for me, was being told that my impromptu speech comes straight from the heart and is spoken with complete honesty.  That is exactly what I want to be able to do when I speak to inspire people.

I think we all have more ability than what we realise.  Every time I hear somebody speak, whether it is a newcomer or a more experienced speaker… we under-estimate our own ability yet think everyone else speaks wonderfully.

Toastmasters gives you the opportunity to improve your communication skills, build confidence and leadership skills, all within a fun supportive learning environment.  We all share our experiences, share stories and help each other.  We laugh and enjoy the evening, and we listen to interesting speakers.  Some of us share knowledge and educate, some share inspiration and uplift us and some share their unique passions in life.

I would like to extend a formal invitation to you if you live in the Tamworth area to attend our next Tamworth Toastmasters meeting, as a Guest.  It will be held on 9th September at West Tamworth League Club, Phillip Street, West Tamworth, 6:45 for 7pm start.  Come and see for yourself what Toastmasters can offer you.

If you live outside this area, I invite you to seek out your closest Toastmasters club and encourage you to challenge yourself and see how your life will improve.  You will be more confident, will have better communication skills and life just becomes more interesting.

Be the best person you can be and with Toastmasters you may just discover that person hiding within.  If I can do it… so can you!

Take care, Karen.

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“The Three C’s of Life:

Choices, Chances, Changes.

You must make a Choice

to take a Chance

or your life will never Change.”

~ Zig Ziglar

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