Introducing Anchored for Life

It’s been a long road putting together Anchored for Life. A road with many twists, turns and even a few dead ends. Completing my Master of Clinical Counselling at the end of 2017 was no mean feat!

Along the way I’ve been reminded “Why” I chose to do it; been tempted to “cut and run”; had moments of self-doubt and way too many occasions when the financial implications of study, both in terms of overall cost (they don’t come cheap!), but more so the loss of income and cash flow due to employment changes made to accommodate the needs to complete the course and it’s required placement hours, took a hefty toll!!!

At one point I faced the hard conversation that nearly resulted in my inability to cover my mortgage. Talk about stressful!

Yet, I remained dedicated, driven even, in my efforts to finish. There was merit in finishing in and of itself. But there was more to it, at least for me anyway. I’ve long had people joke about me being a psych; psych friends who said I was more psych than they were; others who after talking to me about some concern, challenge or dilemma they were confronted by would comment about how helpful I’d been, how gifted even. Others used phrases such as calling or destined to be a counsellor.

At the end of the day, others opinions, affirmations and accolades, whilst lovely to hear, aren’t my motivation, nor my reward.

I’ve tried to do a one-take video describing the basics of how the unfolding story of Anchored for Life came to be. This blog was really the first “testing the waters” of my larger vision and dream.

It’s now been several years since I was involved in a cause-based role requiring me to advocate the needs of others. Now it’s my turn. I hope that after watching this short video explaining the logo, values and meaning underpinning Anchored for Life that you may give consideration to a concept I call “Community Counselling Fund”.

Simply, would you contribute to the cost of others accessing Counselling who may otherwise be unable to afford it?

Check it out and let me know what you think.

YouTube video: Introducing Anchored for Life

The art of trying…again. 

I’m enjoying a coffee midway into a 50km ride. It got me thinking. I ride to be healthy. I ride to maintain my middle age weight. I ride coz it’s good for me. I ride coz I can. I ride coz it’s free. I ride coz it’s freedom. There are time I don’t feel like riding. I can prepare, fuel my body, ensure my bikes in good order; yet if I don’t get out & ride it counts for nothing. Knowledge alone cannot and will not bring about change.

Academics and industry specific experts would have us believe that science, evidence and data are the essence of improvement, advancement and progression. It’s true that there is merit in monitoring, reviewing and tracking specific indicators that indeed can enhance and explain performance. Yet, motivation, persistence and sheer stubborn determination remain a mystery. The handle of hope after a fall from grace, a failure in business or relationship or the bruising of ego following a demotion or retrenchment can leave an individual questioning confidence, capacity and sense of identity and worth. Therein lies some of the mystery of being human that goes beyond measurement. 

Resilience and overcoming adversity are closely aligned. The more adversity one faces the greater the capacity to overcome and build resilience. Whether it’s a teenager confronted by social exclusion; or worse, bullying; an employee constantly overlooked for promotion or those on the dating merry-go-round going on yet another possibility, there resides an ounce of hope that things will change for the better. 

Mindfulness teaches us to BE HERE NOW. Accepting our circumstances, status, limitations as well as our dreams & hopes provides the platform for change. Denial of our thoughts & feelings simply perpetuates the dynamo of resistance. Acceptance & persistence facilitate change. The art of trying…again. 

Beyond broken…was it worth it?

Anytime we embark on a new venture, whether it be in business, job, sport, hobby, study, relocation or relationship we have times we look back and pose the question “was it worth it?”

Question-asking is important. Questions help explore, unpack, uncover and dig deeper beyond what presents itself as obvious. Questions can be comforting “How are you coping?” Questions can be inquisitive “I was wondering…” Questions can be creative “If there was one thing you’d love to be doing…” Questions can be confronting “What were you thinking?” Questions can give voice to the mysterious “What the hell is going on here?” Questions can be asked of questions “Why is that important?”

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Beyond broken…life lessons from my bar fridge

I hate throwing things away – not that I hoard, but I’d rather reshape, repair or re-purpose than simply go out and replace. It’s why I love restoring old furniture – giving it new life. It’s a core value that I seek to hold true.

My fridge died. My lawn mower died. My dryer died. All within weeks of each other. There were moments of exasperation “You’ve got to be kidding me!”; “You can’t be serious!” and “WTF!?!?!”

Reality is things have a lifespan.   Continue reading

Beyond broken…arising from the ashes Part 1.

2016 commenced with such high hopes, dreams and sense of belonging. At first glance life appeared great but the looming loss lurking below the fragility of the surface was soon broken like a croc lunging from the depths.

What did I learn from a year that nearly destroyed me?

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Personal benchmarking…redefining success

The boys played with intensity, few errors and as always, played above themselves. The team I coach struggles for lack of height and by the end of the game not only could we not buy a basket, we simply couldn’t hold their three talls out any longer. The scoresheet shows we lost. Though narrow, an L is an L. Yet for me, the team played a fantastic game. As ever, sport teaches valuable life lessons: we can’t always win, we do make mistakes and even when we play well, “success” must be measured in other ways. Continue reading