Saturday, 22 December 2012

Last Train To Shameville

On the outskirts of London at 6.30am this morning it was raining and dark. I told my dad that I wasn’t keen to run in the early morning rain (as I’d done the previous morning), so began getting ready to catch a bus to go to the gym instead. My dad kindly offered to give me a lift.

When we got to the gym, my dad wished me a good workout and I gave him a hug. Great, I’m getting the hang of this “I am loved and approved of by my parents” thing – and I’m even reciprocating. God, I’m good… As I got to the gym reception I realised I’d left my wallet in my dad’s car. I sprinted outside in the hope of catching him. I yelled out and ran harder as I watched his tail lights disappear around the corner, all the while thinking; he’ll see me in the rear view mirror.

He didn’t.

At this point something very interesting occurred.

I began to lay blame on my dad for not seeing or hearing me as I chased his car. This was his fault! If only he was a more vigilant driver and checked his rear view mirror, he would have noticed me scrambling after him, then I could have grabbed my wallet and happily done my workout. And how annoying that he was too deaf to hear me shouting after him. What a stupid man.

Oh. My. God.

I hope you can feel my heart absolutely breaking as I write this. I was categorically stunned at this internal dialogue that was labelling my father as stupid because I had left my wallet in his car. Especially when he’d gone out of his way to give me a lift before the sun was even up.

Shame. On. Me.

So there I was outside the gym with no money to pay the entry fee and no bus pass to get home because that was also in my wallet. Instant karma? Seems the Universe had plans for me to run in the rain despite my best efforts to do the opposite. Having no other choice I pulled up my hood and started to run the 5 km trip back home.

As I ran I began to see how the belief that my dad is stupid has been playing in my mind for a very long time. Realising this explains the bitchy teenage behaviour that I exhibit when I’m with my parents. Somehow this previously buried belief had risen from my unconscious mind into my conscious thinking. Yeah, and not a moment too soon I might add.

FYI I actually feel sick as I write this.

I carried on pounding the pavement and quickly reversed the notion that my dad was to blame for my current situation. Thanks to my decision to take 100% responsibility for every moment of every day, I easily and immediately took full responsibility for the fact that I had left my wallet in his car. Nothing about this scenario was his fault and logically I knew that. It dawned on me that I had been operating from the space of “my dad is stupid” for most of my life. It explained why I speak to him with little more than contempt sometimes. Seriously, I’m ashamed to publicly reveal this but it’s the truth. Sure, I’m not like that all the time, but if I’m going to be honest then I’d say it’s a lot more frequent than not.

As I jumped over puddles and felt the rain splash on my cheeks I wondered what else I must believe about my parents that was triggering less than gracious behaviour from me. I turned my thoughts to my mum. What delights had I laid on her? What belief did I hold about my mum that left her on the end of many spiteful and impatient words? It came to me that I believed my mum was unlovable.

Good lord, and just when I was ready to give myself a pat on the back!

Ashamedly I’ve been carrying around the belief that not only is my dad stupid but that my mum is unlovable. Wow. No wonder they don’t exactly get the best of me.

Now is a good time to explain that fortunately I’m aware that our beliefs are not necessarily tied into what we logically or intellectually understand to be true. I have no doubt that my dad is a smart man. He may not be educated in the academic sense but he can trim a hedge, paint an entire house and do a crossword in less time than it takes most people to open a letter. Similarly, my mum is an adorably sweet woman who is always happy to feed me with a delicious meal and sends birthday and Christmas cards to over 100 people every year. Couple that with the fact that at the age of 79 and 75 respectively, they still go dancing every week, and are always first on the dancefloor and last to leave. Honestly, there’s nothing not to like about them.

So these beliefs that I’ve held are not based on knowledge, they are based on thoughts that I must have formed as a child, (unconsciously) before I was fully capable of understanding the world. But that doesn’t make telling this story any less cringeworthy.

Remarkably though, as I had these realisations it was very easy to logically dismiss them as unwarranted beliefs and to see that by consciously choosing to know that my dad is smart and that my mother is loveable that I could also change my behaviour toward them almost instantly. And you know what, it has.

By the time I got home from my run, I was soaked to the skin, but instead of being snippy and taking it out on my mum, we laughed about the situation. I even felt bad that my dad had driven all the way back to the sports centre when he found my wallet because he felt terrible that I wouldn’t have been able to get in. I wasn’t resentful that he must have driven right past me – a lone drenched female jogger on the main road with no other pedestrians in sight. I’m pretty sure before this new realisation I would have added that to my “god, he’s so stupid” agenda, and not seen the love that must be there in order for him to drive the same round trip in the rain when he could have been at home drinking tea.

I’m actually crying as I wrap up this blog and it’s for two reasons:

1) I am utterly shocked and ashamed of the behaviour and lack of respect I have shown my parents over the years. The love they exhibit toward me is awe inspiring, yet due to a set of unconscious beliefs I haven’t been able to truly see it. Until now that is.

2) The second reason I’m choking up is because thankfully, somehow, I know I am freer than I was yesterday. I can now see how much my parents love me as the blinkers that have blinded me for as long as I can remember have somehow, miraculously been removed.

I don’t know how this shift in consciousness has occurred but I do know one thing: the love my parents have for me is so great that not only have they been able to remain loving toward me despite me being a snippy little bitch on many occasions, I’m pretty sure that no matter what I did they would still show the same level of love and compassion. I would even go so far as to say I bet they wouldn’t know how to do anything else.

Wow, I am one lucky girl.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Suck It Up Princess

Wow, I just re-read my last blog post and gee did that burn. I could feel the bitterness and resentment oozing from the page like the aftermath of a vindaloo.

Where on Earth did all that sourness come from?

Taking a wild guess I’d say lack of Self Love and the need to project my crap onto others in order to make myself feel “right”, “safe” and “ok”. Hmm. Not sure that’s really working for me. Maybe it’s time to try a different tack.

I’m currently in the UK staying with my folks, but before I left for this trip, Jacqueline Harrison (author of the soon to be released book How To Create A Business From Nothing – and the reason I’m writing this blog), offered me some advice. She very lovingly (and probably with some trepidation since reading my last blog post) invited me to consider something that she warned “may hit me between the eyes.” She invited me to consider that no matter what it may look or sound like (to me), that my parents love and approve of me 100%. She also offered the idea that each day upon waking, I could choose to know this and to operate from this space of being loved and approved of, no matter what my parents were saying or not saying. Because, she said, as a parent, it is virtually impossible to not approve of your children.

Oh. Hadn’t thought of that.

And she’s right. Of course my parents approve of me – they’re my parents. They are wonderful caring loving people who want the best for me. I however was too busy to notice because I was intent on ignoring that my issues are within me and the "stories" I've been writing all my life. The story in question has kept me locked in a repetitive cycle of Only Getting So Far. Didn’t Christina Aguilera sing “I’m sorry for blaming you for all the things I couldn’t do?” Gee, I’m not even the first one to come up with the “It’s my parents’ fault, not mine” argument. Which means (and here’s the bit I really didn’t want to hear), that I am the only one standing in my way and nobody else.

Oh god, how embarrassing.

So now (while cringing) I have to really look myself in the mirror with the knowledge that if there’s anything I want to achieve then I Can Do It. Aaarrrggghhhhh. The internal dialogue that has kept me “safe” all these years is now melting like the Wicked Witch of the West. If I’m completely in charge of my life then there’s absolutely nothing stopping me from doing or being anything I want?

Deep. Breaths.

As much as I want to crawl back into bed and pull the doona over my head with the excuse of “It’s almost Christmas, nobody starts anything now,” I fortunately hold a strong believe that Truth resides above all else, and those excuses that I appear to keep tucked into my Christmas stocking are not serving me. I’m not going through this process to continue doing what I’ve always done, I’m here to change my life and if that means facing my fears and doing things differently, then that’s the drill.

So, Cherry Blossom Butterfly Cakes, what is it you really want again? Well, first of all, I want to fulfill my dream of becoming All That I Am which includes being a millionaire blogger, running a successful healing practice, facilitating inspirational workshops and editing bestselling books.

It’s easy to see that the Universe has delivered unlimited opportunities for me to address all of those wishes – on many occasions – but rather than accept those opportunities with grace, I unwittingly searched for a reason why it wasn’t possible, therein jeopardising my own chance of success. Good one. My emotional knee jerk reaction was to believe someone else didn’t think it was possible, or “right” which allowed me to hold back in fear masking my defeat as someone else’s problem rather than just get on with achieving whatever it is I want.


So what if I choose to fully believe I can do this and take 100% responsibility for the outcome? What if I choose to feel comfortable during those times when it’s a little uncomfortable (or difficult) and still choose to take 100% responsibility for the outcome? Sounds a bit like all I have to do is put one foot in front of the other, keep an eye on my end goal and vision and just Be Me.

Alrightey then, I guess I’ll get my notepad out and get back to that To-Do list and start making some phonecalls.

Geez, this “becoming” stuff is so easy…

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Parental Approval

Right then, I’m a week into the millionaire blogosphere and I’m slowly learning how to sail this ship. There’s widgets to be added, fellow bloggers to be followed, websites to link to and above all a minefield of emotional, psychological and otherisms to get my head around. Who said making a million was all about money?

Behind a big “scary” To-Do list and endless networking to be done, the biggest spider that’s lurking at the rear of my mind is the one with two heads, four legs and a dinner plate piled higher than the Sydney Harbour Bridge. What arachnid is this you ask? My parents. Well, not them per se, but their approval of what I’m doing. Their approval of me Being Me.

Reaching my business goals is about so much more than ticking off a list and meditating on a vision. For me, it’s about unblocking the drain that’s been backed up since I was knee high to a redback. It’s not my parents’ fault, they did everything they could to feed, clothe and love me. The issue is in my perception of what they did for me: a distorted and self-centred perception at best.

Or is it?

Maybe they really don’t approve of me wanting to be a successful businesswoman? Maybe they just think I should be happy with my lot. In my ears, they have always hushed my entrepreneurial dreams. Any notion I’ve had of hitting the “big time” which included launching a natural therapies website, setting up and running a healing practice in Adelaide and rising from magazine journalist to editor, have been met with silence. I take their non-communication as a form of rejection. And it hurts.

Whenever they’ve asked about more stable work, I’ve regressed into a fifteen-year-old and internally run the “oh-my-god-that’s-so-boring” mantra. But as a parent, it’s probably comforting to know your child is going to have regular work and a roof over their head. Sounds quite reasonable when I put it like that.

To me, however, freedom is stability. My dreams are where I find peace, not in a white picket fence and a mortgage. With such disparity on what security is, it’s no wonder I’ve never felt approved of by my folks. Their lives exist within an immaculately trimmed hedge and very few wants. Being non materialistic is a great quality and I have inherited the ability to be happy with few material belongings thanks to them. Conversely though I have immense ambition and an urge to speak up about the things that matter to me – namely how people (me) think and operate. I want to share my life stories because I think my life is fascinating and worth shouting about. I mean, when I do reach millionaire status, it won’t be thanks to any middle class upbringing. On the contrary, mine is a tale of rags to riches.

My early days were spent living in a caravan on the outskirts of Greater London. My family (five of us in total) moved into our first house when I was seven. Silver spoons were something my grandfather won playing bridge and most certainly were not placed in my mouth at birth. Life was a humble existence for us. Not meaning this to be a reminisce for me and incredibly boring for you, I’m covering some of my earliest ground to help paint a picture. You now know I began life with a reasonably low economic start.

Being at the lower end of any socioeconomic scale has consequences, not all of which are poor. For me, I will be eternally grateful for such modest beginnings. The day that I move into that four-bedroom house in Queensland, I’ll know that I worked for it. I’ll also know that the house is not the answer to my happiness, because I knew happiness even when my bedroom was the width of a large safety pin.

But I don’t honestly think it matters if you grew up in a 10-bedroom mansion or a cardboard box; we’ve all got issues. And if the few people I’ve come across in my 41 years is anything to go by, many of us have issues with our parents. Or more precisely how we were parented and how we reckon we could have done it better.

All very well to say when you’re on the receiving end.

I believe every child on the planet seeks parental approval. Whether you’re 5 or 55, it’s a common story. If you openly receive praise, support and approval, then you’re lucky. If, like me you don’t feel approved of, (even just some of the time), it can be a source of inner torment and potentially undermine your best efforts to succeed, without you even realising the cause.

The laughable thing about me feeling unsupported is that I’ve actually done a fair amount of stuff that I wouldn’t blame my parents for disproving of. Only they don’t know that stuff cos I’ve never told them. (So much for me being the open communicator in the family). Truly, I’ve created a lose/lose situation for myself, despite feeling certain I was doing the opposite. But no matter how much self development a person does, if someone else doesn’t want to read Wayne Dyer’s latest book, they’re not going to read it. Likewise, if my parents are happy with their lives, why should they think mine is so much better just because I do?

Yes, parental approval is something that came up when I began this journey to go from being in debt to Becoming All That I Am (and a millionaire blogger to boot). I’m due to spend a month with my folks as of Monday and I’ve decided to actually ask for their approval. Communicating openly to them that one of my greatest fears is that they don’t approve of me, is the only way I’ll really know the truth, right?

When telling friends of my decision to question my parents outright, they have raised their eyebrows and tentatively asked; “What if they say no?” Well, the beauty of them declining is that it will also set me free.


Because if my holding back is about seeking their approval then I can free myself by asking them and receiving it. That’s obvious. If however they are not happy with what I’m doing or writing about, I will no longer be laying bricks over my own dreams based on an assumption. If they say no then I can discard my assumption and know that for whatever reason, my parents are not able to approve of me, and they’re entitled to do so. However, if anyone disproves of me wanting to Be The Best I Can Be, then their acceptance (in my eyes) is not worth worrying about, which means I can happily Be All That I Am with peace of mind. Hurrah!

When it comes to my requirement of external (parental) approval, the key to unblocking the drain was to understand what my issue was and ask for the truth. As it turns out, I didn’t even have to actually ask because I was the one who had the key the whole time.

Monday, 10 December 2012

And the list goes on

Ah yes, my list.

After a day of procrastination I opened my notepad and took a glance at my To-Do List. I realised it really was just a list, and if I just plodded through the items one by one my tasks would be done. What was there to be concerned about?

So that’s what I did. To refresh your memory, the list is basically a wish list that will get me from where I am now (in debt and not fulfilling my dreams), to where I want to be (a millionaire blogger). First up was discovering out how much a four bedroom house on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland costs. And well, what a surprise that was!

I discovered that a four bedroom, two bathroom house within close vicinity of Maroochydore beach could be snapped up for less than a 1-bedroom unit in Bondi. Gulp. Suddenly my dream became less of a fantasy and more of a potential reality. Right, I really could afford a house on the Sunshine Coast. All I have to do to achieve that is earn a decent wage (for me, the plan is to double last year’s income so let’s say $90-100k by the end of 2013). Sounds doable (as long as I continue crossing things off my list).

Second was to continue writing my blog (tick) and to find out how to build my audience and understand the world of blogging in general. Writing is the easy part, I have plenty of material there, but I know next to nothing about blogs and blogging (never even read one before I started my own), so that research saw me dive onto my MacBook and not even surface for a drink of water before two hours had passed. Wow, there’s soooooo much to know (and read!). To grow my audience it was suggested that I connect with fellow bloggers who are covering a similar subject to mine. By commenting on their posts, their readers would become aware of my blog and with any luck, click through to me and become engrossed in my story.

There are so many blogs out there, I barely knew where to begin, so I went straight to the Top 100. Interesting. Not a single personal development blog in sight. The top spots are held by news, entertainment and political bloggers. It seems the general public are more interested in what’s going on around them than what’s going on inside them. Fair enough. I did manage to find a couple of sites that were relevant in terms of them being for women (I at least fit into that gender graphic), and from there I discovered a few other blogs that interested me, namely, and There were others with large numbers of visitors, but when it came to posting a comment in order to raise my profile, I felt fraudulent and couldn’t think of anything genuine to say. I realised that becoming a millionaire blogger is my aim, not to lose all morals in the name of wealth and status. Becoming All That I Am is more about how I feel than what I will be able to buy. It was refreshing to know that I maintain 100 per cent integrity even when clambering to the top of the BRW Rich List!

I could easily have spent the entire day checking out blogs and posting about them, but with each bullet point calling, I was happy to have gained some new insights and moved onto the next point at hand: meeting Mike Dooley. Part of my blogging research involved finding his blog, but it seems Mike keeps his thoughts to himself, as all I could find were people blogging about him. A bit like I am! I am aware that Mike runs workshops throughout the year so I have made a note under the heading of “Wouldn’t It Be Great” to attend his Thoughts Become Things training in Orlando next October. It’s doable. All I have to do is keep working, keep earning and keep the end goal in sight.

If Jacqueline Harrison’s book How To Create a Business From Nothing becomes a NY Times bestseller then my goal to edit bestselling books will have been achieved. But point three: how does one attain such a moniker? It seems pretty straightforward. You have to sell a truckload of books. However, bookshops are not the only outlets that are counted. Wholesale sales are also considered, as are ebook sales. I know that sounds obvious but there is a mystery surrounding the NYT bestseller list, and I’m sure there’s more to know. Fortunately I have industry contacts with authors who have enjoyed bestseller status, so I will delve further into this point and gather some inside info.

Writing about all this now, it doesn’t seem like much, but gathering data on these few points actually took me a whole day. The upside of all this work is that I now feel as though I have given myself a “real job”. Instead of knowing in the back of my mind I can do all these things and therefore not actually doing them, (a bit like the way you never go sightseeing in your own city), I’m now putting pen to paper, fingers to keyboard and simply working from a backlist of what I want. And so far it’s been easy. My next move will be getting on the phone and emailing people I know, (or don’t know) and asking questions. Before beginning this process, asking vague acquaintances for information or advice seemed pushy and manipulative. Now, thanks to a succinct list and a future vision that I can share (if I want), contacting people has become simply a quest for knowledge. And who doesn’t want to share their knowledge?

With this new methodology, my energy is coming from a more humble position and seems to be founded on connecting and having a conversation. Previously, that same conversation felt unconsciously loaded with expectation (of what, I didn’t even know). Just talking to someone feels a whole lot easier and more authentic than hoping someone can help me fulfil a dream that I’m not even able to articulate! Now that’s a big ask!

So, with only a few days before I board a flight to South Korea and head off for a month’s holiday, I have plenty of points still to work through. As is becoming clearer every day, this list is about so much more than just a list. It is also unlocking the answers to questions I didn’t even know I was asking. After a few days break in Seoul, I’m departing for the UK where I’ll spend Christmas with my parents. I haven’t spent Christmas with my family for 15 years.

I wonder what they’ll think of my blog? And, more fittingly, I wonder if they’ll approve…?