Archive for the ‘Quest for Life Foundation’ 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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Janice, Peter, Daniel and Kate Marshall

Janice, Peter, Daniel and Kate Marshall

Janice kindly shared her courageous story as part of the Quest for Life Foundation Mothers Day Appeal. You can read the full letter here. Thank you Janice for sharing part of your journey with us.

I am the mother, and until recently, the main carer, for Daniel, my gorgeous 24 year old son who is autistic. Then 6 years ago, my husband (of 32 years) Pete, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. After the nearly 24 years of grief (for the son we had expected and never had) and the stress that  came from living with him and his bizarre throwing and destructive behaviours, the blow of Pete’s diagnosis hit us for six. We’ve always felt that the prolonged stress of Daniel contributed to Pete’s disease. It may well have also contributed to our daughter, Kate (23), suffering from anxiety over the years, including being seriously ill with anorexia at age 11.

I am however a ‘fixer’, and have spent many of the last years trying to ‘fix’ Daniel, Pete and Kate. The cumulative stress and anger over these years has taken a toll and I have burned out and felt totally useless. Although I am on the surface fit and well, the added grief of watching my wonderful, strong, fit and capable husband slowly decline has been almost more than I can bear.

But together, and despite the restrictions of conventional western medicine, we have never given up hope that Pete can be well again. He continues to ride his mountain bike and we have adjusted our already healthy diet and exercise program. Then we came to Quest for Life, which provided us with the missing link, a program which taught us how to harness the power of the mind and how to live a ‘weller’ life right now. It taught me to live in the ‘now’, which I found so difficult before, and to slow my overwrought nervous system to find peace. One of the toughest lessons for me was learning that I also deserve to look after me and ‘fluff me up’ and that ironically is what best helps Pete, Daniel and Kate! I am learning that I can’t control everything and that is OK and yet ironically, the more both    Peter and I meditate and slow down, the more in control we feel. We hope to incorporate what we have learned into Daniel’s confused world as well to help bring him to his own peace. For both of us, the program has been life-changing and we look forward to our future lives now with hope.

Janice Marshall

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Who cares for you?

Who cares for you?

This blog was originally posted on The Happiness Institute website and has been reproduced with permission.

Do you look after someone with physical and/or psychological health problems? Does it impact on your happiness? If so, consider these statistics:

  • According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, within any 12 month period approximately 20% of Australians are affected by depression and other common mental health disorders
  • Similarly, approximately 20% of Australians experience chronic pain (defined as having pain every day for at least 3 months) at any one point in time
  • More than 100,000 new diagnoses of cancer are made each year
  • And these are just a few of the many “ailments” people experience!

What does this mean?

It means that even at a very rough estimate there are probably 4-5 million Australians, at any one point in time, experiencing a significant and ongoing physical or mental illness.

And all of these people have “significant others” or carers.

Why is this important? Because research indicates that approximately one third to one half of these carers suffer significant levels of psychosocial distress.

So in Australia alone there are probably about 2-3 million carers who’re struggling to care for themselves and to care for their loved ones.

And, I suggest, these people could significantly benefit from some help!

So today I bring you a few simple tips for taking care of yourself, if you’re one of these very important “significant others” so you can enjoy a better quality of life AND so you can care more effectively for your loved ones. Because you can’t help any one else if you can help yourself…

  • Firstly, don’t feel guilty for taking care of yourself. Remember, even if your primary goal is to love and care for another you need to remember that you can only do this if you’re relatively fit and healthy yourself
  • Along the same lines, recognise that it’s normal and appropriate to experience a range of emotions, in relation to your situation, from anger and frustration to guild and sadness. Accept these feelings for what they are, try not to fight them, and don’t be hard on yourself for them being present
  • Do all you can to stay (realisitically) optimistic and to maintain hope. Your attitude and emotions will impact on how well you can support your loved one and they’ll also impact on how well you feel yourself so it’s in everyone’s interest for you to try and focus on the positives, where and when they’re there, and to encourage all around you to do the same
  • Reassure yourself that it’s OK to have some fun and pleasure at times; this will boost your mood and as already mentioned, allow you then to support your loved one more effectively and with more energy
  • Understand that support and love are very important BUT oversupportive behaviours, such as doing everything for the other person, are not always ideal. That is, where and when possible try to help your significant other to do as much as they can for themselves so they continue, as best they can, to feel useful and compentent and so they don’t lose confidence and control over their lives
  • Remember that there’s no one perfect way to support others; it depends on you and them and the context and more. So do your best to support in a way that’s best for you and them and as much as possible, support with and from your strengths

So, that’s the short version of a huge topic on which much as been written. What do you think? Do you support another and if so, do you have any thoughts on what’s most important? If so, we’d love to know what you think and we’d love, as always, for you to post your comments.

Professor Tim Sharp

Upcoming Webinar and Workshop: If you are interested in this topic, Petrea King and Prof Tim Sharp are co-hosting a free webinar and a follow up workshop. All of the details are on our website, if you would like further information.

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Coming Home - there's nothing like it

Coming Home – there’s nothing like it

Coming home after a holiday you breathe in, you’re in your own space, it’s familiar yet we see it with different eyes. We can relax spread out, Let down and breathe…

I love coming home after a program at Quest or after any retreat.  Yet I remind myself there are so many chances to ‘come home’ to myself all day long.

On the program, throughout the day we ‘come to our senses’, we do mini meditations which bring us back home to ourselves: to the peaceful, unchanging part of ourselves that is so ever present that we miss it.

To be reminded of this and to live the experience of it for a few days is life changing.   We have great food, friendly staff, and a beautiful environment, fresh mountain air – come to Quest and you will feel like you have come home!

See you there!


Bernadette Arena

Bernadette Arena

Bernadette Arena

Bernadette has worked with the Quest for Life Foundation since early 2006 and is the Senior Facilitator on our residential programs.  Her work is treasured by our participants and our team. She has also been developing and refining a deep understanding of the use of appropriate yoga and meditation approaches for use in oncology and with serious illness.

Bernadette maintains close association with International Yoga Teachers Association and is a senior lecturer for their Teacher Training Course.  She has designed and delivered yoga teacher training courses for other organisations.  During 5 years in the UK she taught retreats, workshops and classes across the UK and in Europe and worked as a personal ‘lifestyle’ coach.  Bernadette brings a gentle and loving nature with insight and compassion borne out of her experience. She can assist a deeper connection with the body as a means to rejuvenate the spirit.

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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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Sue Inspiration Compilation

Sue Inspiration Compilation

This is a guest blog from our wonderful Program Co-ordinator, Suzanne. Thank you again Suzanne for your heartfelt wisdom.

My sister made me a compilation CD when I once broke up from a long-term relationship.  I found it the other day and listened to it.  It had been many, many years since I had heard it.  The theme was moving on from toxic relationships, strength, and independence.   My sister wrote on the CD the title “Sue Inspiration” in felt pen. Each of the 17 songs had been carefully chosen – for inspiration value.   Some of the songs included; Independent Women by Destiny’s Child, Beautiful by Christina Aquilera, Survivor by Destiny’s Child, Respect by Aretha Franklin, Don’t Worry Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin and various Pink tunes.

I remember those songs became my anthems as I rebuilt myself and healed.   I did not realise at the time what a small token of support can do for someone facing challenges.  That CD was such a gift of love and hope.  Listening to the songs you could not help but feel stronger and inspired.

It made me also reflect on how amazing humans are at supporting each other.  I then recalled many conversations I have had with people each day who are concerned for a mother, father, sister, brother, son, daughter wife, husband, partner, uncle, aunt, grandchild, grandparent, cousin, work colleague, friend, etc.  They all call searching for information to share with their loved one in the hope there is an answer to help them move through their challenges; which could be illness, depression or some other trauma.   I have seen so many people join our programs because of a caring relative / friend, and their simple gesture to forward on an A4 flyer of information has ultimately changed so many people’s lives.

Can you remember a way you supported a friend or relative in their time of need?

Or what did a friend or relative do to support you to move forward?



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That changed my life – feeling love unconditionally.

That changed my life – feeling love unconditionally.

When I started work at Quest for Life two years ago Petrea said “It would be good for you to sit in on the program”.   So I did. I remember thinking I will be good for me to ‘see what we do’.   I am a self confessed self-help junkie having listened to endless motivational tapes and cd’s, attending seminars and reading endless bookings for the last twenty years.   I really did not expect to get much out of the program other than to see ‘what we do’.

Boy was I wrong!!!   I started listening; the words were all resonating with me.  That’s when emotionally I erupted; it would seem that there were so many emotional issues I had forced down deep inside and not allowed myself to feel.  Sure I was motivated and obsessed with the success principles but my spirit was emotionally malnourished.   I had been on a two year rollercoaster after my dad passed away and I kept pushing the natural grief process away.  I never gave myself time to get over that, I just made myself busy.

That is all it took, the session on emotions and the permission to feel the way I felt, and the tears started to roll out, which even then I felt guilty and embarrassed for displaying. Somehow I continued to listen, hiding behind a tissue.

We had a tea break and a complete stranger walked up to me and said “I think you need a hug”.  That changed my life – feeling love unconditionally.

I came away from that day with some new values – all about me for a change.   I learnt how bad I was about looking after how I was; I seldom took time to do anything for myself.  I learnt about fluffing myself up and recognised people around me who did this were not selfish!   I learnt about my emotions, experiencing them and allowing them.   I learnt about communication, not only with myself but with others.   I turned a corner that day in relation to my dad’s death. I have new meaning for that now and can speak openly without feeling dark, but instead feel a love a connection with him.

So now when I sit at my desk answering calls from people in very challenging places, I honestly say to them, it is a very loving and nurturing place to move through any challenges.   The participants I have seen on the last day are filled with such a confidence and look of inner peace, it is like they have had an internal makeover. This still gives me Goosebumps when I think of the transformations. I still use all the practical tools I learnt and feel blessed for taking time to ‘see what we do’.

If you are interested in a program, I am on the other end of the phone to answer any questions you may have just phone 1300 941 488.

Suzanne x

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