Archive for the ‘Petrea King’ Category

"All this just by meditating"

“All this just by meditating”

I had so much fun participating in the “Healing your Life” residential program and meeting all the other brave, wonderful participants who helped me so much. Thanks everyone for the laughs, tears and encouragement! It has had a profound life changing effect on me!!!

I wake up smiling every day! I’m shocked! Now my daily ritual, after a sound nights sleep is meditate rather than medicate followed by the occasional “CTMS”.  I’m really surprised by how it has worked for me.

My involvement with the Quest for Life Foundation, meditation and a desire to live life to the fullest, has led me to eliminate my sleeping pills, anti-depressants and sedatives. I don’t take anything and plan to keep myself this way!

My attitude is; “Everyday is my gift to myself so live life to the fullest!”

I also now realise that drugs simply mask the behaviour but meditation helps mould the behaviour without the side effects.

Also, Petrea King’s philosophy on life just makes so much sense and has empowered me to make the big changes that I wanted. I give myself regular top ups of her wisdom via the podcasts on the website with the discussion on spirituality being the most profound for me.

I’ve handed Quest for Life brochures to my GP and psychiatrist. My doctor who I have been seeing for over twenty years commented “All this, just by meditating!”

Thank you Petrea and the team at Quest for Life. My challenge now is to maintain my new lifestyle and enjoy!

With love and loads of rainbows,

Yvonne xxx


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Sometimes Hearts Have to Break

Margie’s bedside table. Sometimes Hearts on top

Book Review

It is part of the good fortune of my life to be a facilitator with Quest for Life and one of the great aspects of my job is to have been introduced to Petrea’s books.

Up until recently I had read all of Petrea’s books bar one. ‘Sometimes hearts have to break’ was sitting there on my bookshelf but with a stack of half read books as my constant bedside companions; this one had not yet made its way from the bookshelf to the stack.

As I age, I find myself increasingly fascinated by the prospect of death and all the societal and personal fear that surrounds the passing from our physical bodies. I have been reading ‘A Year to Live’ by Stephen Levine and his other book ‘Who dies’ and enjoyed both very much as they offer the gift of insight about appreciation for life and spiritual connection. I can also recommend ‘Dying to be me’ by Anita Moorjani which is another amazing book about her near death experience and subsequent healing from cancer.

So it was a natural progression for me to read Petrea’s little gem, who was waiting right there for me! Just when I needed it, this little book beckoned me over to find her on the bookshelf. And I am so pleased that she did!  Of all the books I have read on life, death and finding peace, ‘Sometimes hearts have to break’ is my new favourite.

What a wonderful book of inspirations. Petrea writes with deep respect about the intimate and touching experiences she has had with all kinds of people as they have lived with a life threatening illness and transitioned into death.

We travel with her and these ordinary (yet extraordinary at the same time) people and their loved ones as they wrestle with, make meaning of and come to peace on their paths towards death (which by the way we are all on).

I cried with tenderness when reading about people who have found forgiveness for others and those who died with such dignity and peace. Old and young, rich and poor, man, woman and child. No matter what the circumstances, Petrea supported these courageous people with compassion and love as they travelled on their very personal journeys.

Their stories really helped me to find inner peace around my own fear of death. I will treasure this book and no doubt add it to the list of books I give to others. Thank you Petrea.

I hope you also find peace and solace through Petrea’s beautiful words and the generosity of the people and families who gave permission for Petrea to tell their heartfelt stories.

You can buy your own copy from the Quest for Life shop online or phone Quest on 02 4883 6805 or email shop@questforlife.com.au

Love for now…Margie

Margie Braunstein

Margie Braunstein

Margie Braunstein

Margie is a somatic psychotherapist and counsellor providing psychotherapy services to the people of the Central Coast and Sydney.  Margie lives on the beautiful Central Coast with her husband, two children, two dogs and a cat.

Over the last 12 years, Margie has also been engaged in the design, delivery and marketing of transformational learning programs. During this time she has regularly facilitated personal development programs for up to 50 people on weekend workshops, week-long intensives and advanced programs of 3-4 months.

Margie has a Graduate Certificate in Adult Education from UTS, Diploma in Psychotherapy from the Australian College of Contemporary Somatic Psychotherapy and qualifications in somatic therapy, executive coaching and relationship counselling.

Margie has a passion for personal development and regards people with respect, empathy and compassion in the belief that while we all do the best we can, a little bit more kindness and care can lead to even greater peace and joy in life.

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Spirited Women by Petrea King

Spirited Women by Petrea King

Spirited Women – Journeys with Breast Cancer by Petrea King

Spirited Women provides a wealth of practical information and support for women with breast cancer. It addresses the emotional and psychological reactions to diagnosis and treatment as well as focusing on the practicalities of living well, once you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer.

It is packed full of information, suggestions, skills, tips and techniques and many refer to it as their ‘bible’ during their breast cancer journey. It is also a handbook for men and women who know someone with breast cancer.

Petrea has allowed women to tell their own stories in this inspirational book. She has conveyed the thoughts, hopes, feelings, joys and frustrations of the many thousands of women who have sought her counsel, either personally or in retreats during the past three decades.

In Petrea’s words

“My role with the women in this book has been one of friend, counselor, nurse, meditation teacher, group facilitator and naturopath. My function has been to minimise their emotional, spiritual, psychological and physical distress and to provide information and guidance about how to regain control over their lives and actively participate in their healing process”.

“Breast cancer can precipitate us into a journey of self discovery, self healing and self accomplishment. In this way, regardless of the outcome of the illness, the destination can become deep and profound peace. To achieve this peace is a victory beyond words”.

Spirited Woman was the first handbook for breast cancer published in Australia and it is equally relevant today.

It is a resource packed with information on the following areas and more:

Reactions to diagnosis

Choosing your healing team

Decision making

Support from family and friends

Work related issues

Peace of mind – what it is and how to get it

Relaxation and meditation – how and why to meditate/relax

Finding support in the community

What to eat and why

Reducing symptoms of disease and side effects of treatments

Managing issues around body image and sexuality

Women who love women

Children – what and how to tell children, rituals which help, understanding children’s behavior

What if I die?

Creating an environment for healing

Talking through the difficult issues in relationships

Unlike other available resources on breast cancer this book focuses on what women can do to help themselves when they are diagnosed with breast cancer.

Gentle, honest, informative and moving, Spirited Women is an essential resource for any woman whose life has been touched by breast cancer. It is also a valuable read for anyone who knows someone who is living with breast cancer or has had breast cancer.

If you are living with cancer you may like t attend Spirited Women An inspiring, practical, educational and experiential residential program for women living with cancer. The next program is in Bundanoon from 8th – 12th April, 2013. Visit our website for more information.

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The greatest of friends. Petrea King and Dame Elisabeth Murdoch

The greatest of friends. Petrea King and Dame Elisabeth Murdoch

Dame Elisabeth Murdoch was a long time friend and supporter of the Quest for Life Foundation.

Always interested in the details of our work, the Dame generously assisted in the completion of the refurbishment of the Quest for Life Centre and was a regular donor both before and since its establishment.

Dame Elisabeth often welcomed Petrea into her home at Cruden Farm and they maintained regular correspondence over a span of more than twenty years.

The depth of Dame Elisabeth’s interest in the charities that she supported was unparalleled. She is greatly loved by all who have been touched by her presence. The example of her life will continue to inspire us to live with such humility, grace and goodness.

Rest in peace Dame Elisabeth.

“Dame Elisabeth has been a guiding light of generosity, humility and graciousness in my life. Her presence will continue to nourish and inspire me in my life and work. She set the bar for living a meaningful life at the highest level and I feel most privileged to have known and loved her.” Petrea King

Petrea King and Dame Elisabeth Murdoch at Cruden Farm

Petrea King and Dame Elisabeth Murdoch at Cruden Farm

Petrea King and Dame Elisabeth Murdoch at Cruden Farm

Petrea King and Dame Elisabeth Murdoch at Cruden Farm

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Cleansing Your Body and Mind

Cleansing Your Body and Mind

The Quest for Life Foundation recently held a webinar Cleansing your Body and Mind; a conversation between Petrea King and Joanna Rushton. You can see the video at the bottom of this post. There were many questions asked and we were not able to respond to them all live, so here are the answers from Joanna.




Candida is a yeast infection of an overgrowth of Albicans strain of yeast.

Addressing candida is similar to addressing fungal overgrowths where the following foods need to be eliminated from your diet;

  • All processes sugar and foods containing sugar
  • Fruit – fruits contain natural sugars that can still support the growth of yeast. As dieting protocols can often be very restrictive and hard to adhere to, I would certainly look to eliminating fresh stone fruit, frozen, canned and dried fruits and juices.  Limiting ones intake of green apples, blueberries, strawberries and other fruits low in sugar.
  • All foods containing yeast such as; pastries, breads, crackers, bagels, muffins, wine, beer
  • All foods containing gluten; bread, crackers, pastries, sauces
  • All vinegars;  white, rice, balsamic, red, apple cider and any foods made with vinegar such as; Mayonnaise, commercial salad dressings, ketchup, Worcestershire  sauce, steak sauce, BBQ sauce, soy sauce , mustard, pickles, pickled vegetables, relish, horse radish and chili sauce to name but a few.

An emphasis is placed on quality sourced meats, fish, low starch vegetables, fresh salads and high enzyme foods. If using fermented vegetables during this period, prepare yourself using filtered water and quality salt eg Celtic sea salt or Himalayan rock salt.

Foods to limit but not rule out:

  • All dairy products. Candida is thought to impair the body’s ability to digest fat, so dairy should be had sparingly.
  • Creating a natural herbal remedy for addressing candida needs to be done on an individual basis and often includes garlic, oregano oil, colloidal silver, edible clay, pre and pro biotics, caprylic acid in conjunction with an anti-candida diet. However, I would consult your naturopath as the program needs to be individualized.

General Wellbeing and the CSIRO diet

I’ve been asked to share my thoughts on the CSIRO diet. I’ll start with the fact that there is merit in the overall philosophy where no foods are excluded, and variety is encouraged. However, my concerns lie in their recommendation for low fat products, the use of grains and unstable vegetable oils. It also doesn’t put any emphasis on where and how we source our foods and it advocates low fat options which I avoid even when assisting people to lose weight.

Choosing an eating plan that meets your individual biochemistry is exactly that, individual. We must move away from the mindset that a ‘one size fit’s all’  works for everyone and instead educate ourselves on firstly where we source our foods from and ensure that all foods come in their complete ‘form’ as mother nature intended, without human intervention.

To increase your energy levels follow the 3 steps in the webinar;

  1. Drink more water  according to the formula .033 x your body weight kg =Lts per day
  2. Learn how to breathe diaphragmatically
  3. Follow a diet that honours the LHI philosophy (Low Human Intervention)

If you missed the webinar that Petrea King and I did on the benefits of cleansing, you can listen to the replay here:


In terms of the need to cleanse your body, learning to listen to your body and how you feel will guide you as to your need to cleanse.

If you are ticking all the boxes, however, still not feeling energized, clear headed and vibrant then clearly something is still not functionally optimally. It is at this point that I would have the function of your gut addressed by your naturopath. In my experience time, money, and energy can often come of no avail when the function of the digestive system is not functioning as it should.

Water; tap,  purified or bottled?

The topic of water is a loaded question and often rich in debate. My personal experience in  Australia, UK, USA and parts of South Africa, are that in the built up areas of industrialization, tap water is no longer the healthiest option. The main concerns being Fluoride and Chloride and trace chemicals.  I therefore recommend filtered water, I’ve used a Dalton counter top filter system that filters all chemicals except Fluoride. Systems that extract Fourfold are often costly however I would invest in such system for home owners.

Brita water filters in my opinion are the least effective as they don’t extract many of the chemicals, the filters require changing far more regularly than other systems.

In terms of bottled waters, I would recommend ones that have a minimum of 350 tds (total dissolved solids), minerals and trace minerals and bottled in glass where possible to avoid xeno estrogens.

If using a home filtering device, that extracts all minerals and chemicals, it is important to re-mineralise your water with quality salt. I would always recommend a small pinch of Celtic or Himalayan rock salt.

Dairy and yoghurt

As a rule with dairy in general, because of the pastuerisation process that the milk goes through, any value dairy could offer us is essentially made redundant.

All beneficial enzymes and bacteria are destroyed in the pastuerisation process of heating.  Common dairy allergies and intolerances such as lactose intolerance, stems from the inability digest lactose, which requires the digestive enzyme, lactase, to break down the lactose. Lactase is naturally found in raw dairy products.

Lactase however is killed during the pastuerisation process. Lactase is a digestive enzyme that we do not produce ourselves, hence, the common problems associated with diary with respiratory issues such as sinus, excessive mucus production.

Only raw dairy such as raw goat or sheep products that are legal in Australia offer us beneficial gut flora and enzymes. Cleopatra milk (for cosmetic purposes only) is another well-known brand of raw cow’s milk.

All homogenization, where the blending of the fat into the milk, changes the molecular structure of the fat, making it harder for us to digest. I there for recommend, at the very least, sourcing biodynamic or organic unhomoginised, full fat dairy products. A word of caution for all low-fat dairy products, where the fat is removed, additional sugars are added in replacement of the fat.


Cleansing your digestive system is firstly a process of avoiding all processed foods and excessive sugars. Working with your naturopath to support the killing off of unwanted bacteria/parasites/fungus and then re colonizing the gut with beneficial gut flora. Supplementing each meal with a tablespoon of fermented vegetables, aids in supporting us with digestive enzymes and gut flora.

There is no need for fermented vegetables to be pastuerised, traditionally they are prepared with sea salt as the preservative and if available to you, a whey protein as a starter. Whey protein is the bi-product of raw milk and can be easily sourced by working with Cleopatra’s milk.

Chewing our food is essential in supporting optimal digestion. By chewing our food to a liquid, (known as ‘Chew’) we utilize the digestive enzymes within our saliva to assist in the pre digestion process. By  breaking down the food particles, the bacteria of our food can be neutralized by the hydrochloric acid released from the lining of our stomach, therefore aiding in a healthy digestive system. Undigested food particles contribute to immune responses especially in a leaky gut, where these food particles pass through the cell membrane wall into the blood stream where they are attacked by white blood cells creating excessive inflammation and food intolerances.

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Community Bounce Back

Community Bounce Back

Inidviduals and communities across Australia are still coming to terms with the 2011 natural disasters and some have been affected again in 2012.

Two well established and innovative not-for-profit organisations, Quest for Life Foundation (QFL) and Queensland Rural Regional and Remote Women’s Network (QRRRWN) have partnered to develop and deliver the “Community Bounce Back” program to assist these people in the months ahead.

Funded through the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation, a series of webinars, DVDs, a workbook and workshops have been developed to assist individuals and rural communities recovering from trauma.

The resources have been developed and are now being made available free online for individuals everywhere to access.

Georgie Somerset, President of QRRRWN says “We are excited to be able to share these resources with the wider community”.

“Trialling this pilot program in Queensland, and with workshops on the way in St George and Theodore, we know these resources can make a difference in people’s lives, and we are delighted to see the resources go online and spread far and wide.”

Susie Cameron, Business Development Manager for Quest for Life adds “We’re  proud to be able to provide these valuable no cost resources to individuals and communities across Australia”.

“The resources give people strategies to assist them in the process of recovering from the trauma of lost lives, property and livelihoods. They are for anyone recovering from traumatic events, grief, depression and anxiety.”

The resources available online include, three DVDs and a workbook. Quest for Life Founder Petrea King and facilitator Wendie Batho will be presenting workshops in Theodore and St George throughout March, April and May 2012.

For more information or to access resources online:



or contact QRRRWN on 1300 795 571 or Quest for Life on 02 4883 6599


The Queensland Rural Regional and Remote Women’s Network (QRRRWN pronounced Q-REN) was established in 1993 to meet the needs of women in rural communities throughout the state. Since then it has grown into a progressive organisation running a series of programs in regional centres as well as being involved at a national and international level. The focus is on all rural women and their families, communities and enterprises.

QRRRWN – Media
Karen Brook – 0438 022 006

Quest for Life programs provide practical techniques and strategies, enabling participants, despite their circumstances, to feel more confident in their ability to meet whatever challenges they face.

Quest For Life – Media

Susie Cameron 0411 663 926


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Over the past twenty seven years I have counselled many doctors when they have a diagnosis of cancer or other life threatening illness. Our conversations have not been about whether to embark upon rigorous treatments but on how to resolve painful issues from the past, heal their relationships and improve their quality, and sometimes quantity, of life through utilising complementary therapies. This article highlights a common perspective from medical colleagues.

A Doctor on How Physicians Face the End of Life

Petrea King

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