Sleep is for wimps…

imageAfter spending much of the article saying there is no magic number of hours to sleep this article had the neat graph I thought I would share.  I am whiling away my 4am slot with the usual array of distractions.

While I certainly recall periods of wakefulness as a single, fancy free woman, my sleep patterns altered irrevocably after becoming a mother.  At first it was attending to the needs of an infant; as I has opted to co-sleep that bit wasn’t actually that hard.  But it set up a pattern of night time wakefulness which eventually became the magic 3-5am slot; when I feel refreshed and rejuvenated, and no-one wants or needs me. A profound and productive peace.

This may be why my poor sleep hygiene has proved difficult to shift – I actually enjoy a bit of night time wakefulness. Perhaps it harks back to our pre-industrial roots when sleeping through the night wasn’t so essential because you would be back home for lunch and a kip to rejuvenate.

I certainly enjoy a range of activities which are not strictly pre-industrial – googling on the iPad, or reading a book; or maybe listening to something that soothes me back to sleep.

Overall I do love the 3-5am slot- it’s perfect for this morning’s task, coming up with a tagline to match my new logo while having a quiet cup of tea. Lovely!

So not Haviana weather in Melbourne then?

melbourneIt was awfully easy to get a picture of horrible rainy weather – just google Melbourne weather, and voila!  Certainly wearing my Haviana thongs (flip flops, footwear for those not from Perth) was not my best move.  I had to scrabble through the suitcase to find some warmer footwear before braving the trip to the hotel room.

But quite frankly, I don’t care.  One doesn’t come to Melbourne for the weather – there are endless funky places to eat, art galleries and cultural events, comedy- who cares if it is November and raining?  Especially after a 37 degree day in Perth yesterday with *very* friendly flies and a sudden realisation of how far away February is, the hottest month of the year.

All of this aside, what excites me is going away.  Leaving everything behind for a few days and slipping out of the routine.  Having some time to think, reflect on the recent past and plan for the near future.  It seems such a privilege to have this week for just that purpose.

It makes time seems tyrannical, that I have to jump on a plane to escape its clutches – but really, I am actually in total control of my time.  It just doesn’t look, seem or feel like it.

A hundred little decisions to add a project to the repertoire at work, or get involved in something in the community, or sign up for yet another online training course which really needs quite a few hours to listen to, much less implement… it all adds up to me feeling totally overwhelmed and somehow victimised by my calendar. So it is time for me to sign up to another habit – not just blogging daily, but taking very special care of my time and remaining in control of my diary, not at its mercy.


Running the gauntlet of the Tall Poppy Syndrome

imageComfort zone is a very nice place to be. It is also usually populated with friends and loved ones too. Moving beyond the comforts of internal ease and social connectedness is not something we do lightly. Or perhaps not at all.

My strategy in moving beyond the tall poppy syndrome was to move to Europe for 10 years and try out some things in the safety of a continent’s distance from sneering onlookers (brothers in particular!). But the time comes to re-integrate all the pieces of one’s life, and so back in my home town for more than a decade now surely it’s time to pop my head above the parapet?

I must say that since becoming more serious about  naming my Big Dreams of writing, business ownership and making a bigger difference as a free agent that I have been pleasantly surprised by the reactions of those around me.

What we can often find is that those we think may mock or question us can actually be very supportive. You can have the tall poppy and the loved ones.  That is what I am banking on, anyway!









How being observed changes how you act…

observer realityIt is a fascinating study of quantum physics or just everyday behaviour – that when we are being watched, we change what we do.

I know as an advocate for health consumers, the very fact of your presence at a consultation, even if you said nothing, radically altered and usually improved whatever may have been going on between patient and health care provider.

Like many people I felt that coaching was just not for me.  I couldn’t afford it, what was the point, I knew what I needed to do so why would I pay anyone for that?

The sad reality is that most of us just do not follow through on what we say we will do.  For a thousand reasons, it just doesn’t happen.  I couldn’t believe the difference it made to me to have someone I had to speak to each week or fortnight, to let them know how I had gone with my self-imposed goals.  The many areas I was just not showing up in appeared in stark relief.

We humans are very strange, and making the decision to work with a coach was one of the best things I have ever done.  Apart from becoming a mum that is 🙂

Sprouting wings…

02 freedomThat’s how my mother used to describe that sensation, of a mother suddenly relieved from her duties, able to walk out the house, up the street, on her own.  Sprouting wings.  Of course, she had six children in eight years and clearly had few opportunities to sprout wings and remembers them vividly five decades later.

That’s how I feel today, only this time the baby is not a human baby, but a job baby.

Perhaps I am an orphan, but I usually find that whatever job I end up in becomes an all-consuming passion.  To the point where you can no longer find yourself and you have ended up in a kind of endless flurry, the mouse on the wheel, round and round and round.

Life can seem to be an endless compromise between creative impulses and practical considerations.

All of my life I have wanted to write for a living.  As I am 50 in two years’ time, it is fairly safe to conclude more than half of that life has already passed by with so far just one monograph “The Camera Obscura and Greenwich”

Thanks to the wonders of google even this modest offering is able to be found on the internet.  But quite frankly, that’s not where I want my publishing legacy to end.

So I am delighted to announce that today I took another big stride towards a less committed work life; and that means carving out more of a space to write in.

Just want to let out a loud WOOPEE!

And there is Day 2 of 30 day blogging challenge.  Who said I couldn’t be consistent?


Some morning inspiration

imageI am having the most beautiful, indulgent weekend at a retreat “The Courage to Lead” in Bindoon.  I went in fairly blind, on the recommendation of a colleague I trusted and her gentle prompting that the retreat would be “ideal” for someone going through transition.

That would be me!  Just weeks now separate my old life from my new – on my daughter’s birthday, applications for my job will close and the process of appointing and handing over to a new person to take on my job will be complete.  The space I am opening up will lead me goodness knows where in the long term, but right now I am just enjoying the uncertainty.  Like coming away for this weekend, not really knowing what to expect!

I found myself indulging in an early morning Inspirational Listen – I have (of course) signed up to the latest Hay House Summit and have been occasionally listening to one of the day’s speakers when I have a moment.

This morning’s was Joan Borysenko I loved her simple conversation about how to remain in your “wise mind” when feeling stressed or depressed.  She suggested a very simple breathing technique – in through the nose, out through pursed lips like you are breathing through a straw – and allowing your breath to assist you in re-establishing a healthy internal environment.  Short circuiting the stress chemicals, if you will.

She also said that she starts the morning with facebook to connect with her community, and share something nice.  What a perfect start to the morning, I thought!

It is actually addictive…

imageMy name is Pip Brennan and I am a trainaholic.  I think I realised this week that my case had become quite serious. I went to my inbox, absolutely determined to resist all siren calls of small businesses with just the right solution for getting started as an entrepreneur, sorting your website, selling and marketing to bazillions with ease and grace. No, this time I would resist it all, tie myself to the mast and sail into my inbox and emerge without having bought or downloaded a single business development training package. Quite frankly I have more than a lifetime’s listening already loaded up and ready to go.

But alas, the wise resolution lasted no more than three emails and before you could say “tag line!” I had downloaded yet another hour long segment of audio training that I simply could not live without.

But this time it really really will change my life! Honest!

I couldn’t help feeling a bit naughty when one of the teachers on an audio program cautioned against having more than one teacher. So I guess five is not quite the ticket then?

I prefer to think of it as market research, and once you find the same advice coming up over and over in a range of different programs you know that you have mastered another piece of the puzzle.

What is exciting too is actually trying stuff out, making the learning stick. There seems to be no more sensible way of proceeding that following the footsteps of others who have been there before. And now I really really am not going to download anything until I have finished all my courses!! Really!

But please don’t forward me any training offer emails because the odds are not in my favour for resisting – I am just in the early baby steps of recovery!


Lighthouse beaming to all and sundry

LighthouseTo make progress in life, one needs a coach. I have heard this so often in the last few years and eventually this year I finally heeded this advice.

The energy changes immediately – you know that you are going to be held responsible at the end of each week  for those things you said you were going to do.

I started to see her 10 weeks ago when the siren song to leave my day job became more and more irresistible.  Of the many pearls of wisdom she shared with me was to visualise myself as a lighthouse.  Be still,  but be very visible and people will find you.


Work is progressing on my website as you can see, and  I am definitely on the road now to whatever is next.  Terrifying, but the only things worth doing in life are the things you are scared of.  Must be on the right track then.

Some Resources…

Some women (and men) may be triggered by reading posts in the Not My Story Blog.  I have put together a simple list for Western Australian women of support services they can access.

For those in Western Australia, the main referral agency is the Sexual Assault Resource Centre (SARC): SARC 24-Hour Crisis Line: 9340 1828 or Freecall 1800 199 888

They also offer counselling for historic assault or abuse, and they have a range of good group programs.  Call 9340 1820.

Allambee offer specialist counselling services in Mandurah: 9535 3869

Victim Support Services: they offer a range of support services especially during any justice processes

WA Police: if it is not an emergency it is really important to make an appointment to see someone senior.

Victoria’s Centre Against Sexual Assault is a great resource too

A breath of fresh air…

imageThere is nothing like a week’s retreat in Bali to freshen the senses and make everything seem like new.  Especially in the middle of a cold, wet, Perth September which is showing no signs of relenting for Spring and then Summer.  It is so magical to be able to fly in just over three hours to another country with a whole different climate, culture and pace.  Ah, Bali!

An even bigger treat to indulge in an art and yoga retreat in a little villa just above the teeming bustle that is now Ubud.

The edits from the draft I submitted to a professional editor were all there for me to complete – and yet with all the excursions, downward dogs and painting, they only half got done.

Since coming home to the cold and rain, some intense sandwiching issues of mother and daughter, I have nonetheless managed to get these done. So now, the first three chapters at least are edited.  I even met with a colleague who had read through and unlike everyone else I have submitted the book draft to, she has actually supplied her edits.  ‘Just go for it and publish it how it is!’ she advised.

Looking into online publishing options….