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Kelly Corlett

Kelly Corlett

Beautiful reflections from Kelly Corlett. Thank you Kelly!

The best gift I’ve given myself was attending Quest for Life.  I’m a slow learner and unfortunately needed the terrifying jolt of breast cancer to ‘bring me to my senses’.  I had not been living MY best life and had ignored my own needs and desires.

My time at Quest left me excited and exhilarated to live a better life.  A more fulfilling and meaningful life.  As Petrea’s book says – “Your Life Matters – we are not here by accident, we are not a mistake.  We are not here for the kids, a career, the mortgage.  We are here to make the journey of our lives and it matters more than the destination.

I met some beautifully brave and inspiring people that I will never forget. The facilitators are compassionate and passionate in their delivery.  One poem that was read by Noella has stayed with me – “Blessed be the longing that brought you here, and quickens your soul with wonder.  May you have the courage to listen to the voices of desire that disturb you when you have settled for something safe.”

I had quite a few light bulb moments.  As each hour of each day unfolded exquisite pearls of wisdom would be divulged and I clutched these close to my heart, hungry for their sustenance.

I can’t say my life as such has changed since doing the course (it has only been a few weeks!) but my outlook on life has.  Instead of worrying continually about the cancer coming back, I spend more time on what I can do to “fluff ME up” and also live to MY full potential.  It’s incredibly exciting when the whole world opens up for YOU.

Am I happy I was diagnosed with breast cancer? No.  Would I have made these changes without it happening?  Probably not, although there was always a quiet yearning, I was ‘too busy’ to listen or MY needs were never important enough to listen to.  This course has given me a much healthier respect for myself and that it is crucial for me to look after my body, my mind and my spirit.  I am responsible and I am worth it.

I wholeheartedly recommend Petrea King’s Quest for Life courses as it will enrich your life.  If you are fortunate enough you will hear Petrea or Wendie speak and they are truly inspirational.  If there is one ‘tool’ that I picked up and hope never to put down from the course, it would be ‘coming to your senses’, or meditating.  Stopping for moments in time so you can just BE.  It’s those moments when you can really hear your own heart’s desires.

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The better response will become your new default reaction

Keep a journal of your triggers

The five-step process below came into my computer’s inbox today, and I believe it is beneficial to be reminded that we do have the power to make different choices around our ‘habits’.

Meditation/mindfulness is a wonderful tool to support us on this journey.

Five Key Steps to Habit Change

Tara Bennett-Goleman’s new book, Mind Whispering: A New Map to Freedom from Self-defeating Emotional Habits, explains the neuroscience of habit change. She recommends mindfulness as a way to bring unconscious habits back into awareness where they can be changed. And she outlines a simple five-step process for making that change.

1) Familiarize yourself with the self-defeating habit. Get so you can recognize the routine as it starts, or begins to take over. This might be by noticing its typical thoughts or feelings, or how you start to act.  You can also follow Paul Ekman’s simple suggestion: keep a journal of your triggers.

2) Be mindful. Monitor your behavior –thoughts, feelings, actions – from a neutral, “witness” awareness.

3) Remember the alternatives – think of a better way to handle the situation.

4) Choose something better – e.g., what you say or do that would be helpful instead of self-defeating.

5) Do this at every naturally occurring opportunity.

Tara cites the neuroscience evidence that the more often you can repeat the new routine instead of the self-destructive one, the sooner it will replace the self-defeating habit in your basal ganglia. The better response will become your new default reaction.

Shared by Alexia Miall

Alexia is co-facilitating one of our Meditate for Life courses in Sydney commencing in August. These 8 week courses are conducted in a variety of locations. You can visit our website for all the details.

Alexia Miall

Alexia’s career began in banking and then moved via advertising to a major career change in 1980 to Adult and Transformational Education.  She has been privileged to share this incredible journey with 1000’s of like minded souls through her extensive experience as a facilitator, trainer, life coach, therapist, and mentor.  She managed her own training company in Victoria during the 1990’s, and during this time was the Course Leader for a training program from which the Banksia Environmental Foundation formed.

Alexia has acquired further education in Adult Education in Training; Somatic Psychotherapy; Life Coaching; Conflict Resolution; plus Accreditation in many behavioural and culture change models. She is an Associate of EcoSTEPS, a niche Sustainability consultancy, which supports her love of the natural environment.

The river of kindness rises to the surface of our lives

The river of kindness rises to the
surface of our lives

“When we let things be as they are
The river of kindness rises to the
surface of our lives.
One sip and the spirit is renewed…
Drink again.
Drink deeply.
That water will flow in your veins.
And you will become fearless…
Free to care about others
The way you care about your
hands and feet.”

Krishna Das

I believe the simplicity of this poem is what makes it so beautiful.

Choose to read it a number of times, and I am sure you will find something extra each time you read it, as I have.

Enjoy your day, enjoy your life, enjoy your family and friends, enjoy all that life chooses to share with you.

Shared by Alexia Miall

Alexia Miall

Alexia Miall

Alexia’s career began in banking and then moved via advertising to a major career change in 1980 to Adult and Transformational Education.  She has been privileged to share this incredible journey with 1000’s of like minded souls through her extensive experience as a facilitator, trainer, life coach, therapist, and mentor.  She managed her own training company in Victoria during the 1990’s, and during this time was the Course Leader for a training program from which the Banksia Environmental Foundation formed.

Alexia has acquired further education in Adult Education in Training; Somatic Psychotherapy; Life Coaching; Conflict Resolution; plus Accreditation in many behavioural and culture change models. She is an Associate of EcoSTEPS, a niche Sustainability consultancy, which supports her love of the natural environment.

"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

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.

meditation as a life skill for our youth

Meditation as a life skill for our youth

I recently introduced my 13 year old daughter to Petrea King’s meditation CD.  Emma has a short term memory problem which has made learning very challenging for her. She’s a talented artist and singer but struggles with learning in a school environment. Over the years we have spent thousands of dollars on learning support – speech therapy, occupational therapy, kinesiology and more recently with counseling sessions with a child psychologist to help with her self-esteem. Both the primary and secondary schools she has attended have provided excellent learning support and have supported me, as her fiercely loyal advocate, with encouragement and advice along the way.

The greatest improvement and benefit however has come from her meditation sessions which she now initiates herself. She will head off to her bedroom after school, close the door and meditate to Petrea’s CD for 30 minutes. When she finishes her ability to articulate is so greatly enhanced that I am often left speechless. She is able to “slay” her brother at the dinner table with confident, insightful and humorous conversation that has previously evaded her. Meditation obviously clears her neural pathways to allow her memory to function normally. She is generally less anxious and has become more confident at school and in social situations since starting to meditate. She quickly recognized the considerable benefits gained from meditation and now considers it part of her life. She chooses when she wants to meditate which is generally three or four times per week. I can see it will eventually become a daily ritual for her which I know will support her well through the teenage challenges ahead.

No-one had ever suggested meditation as a support tool and it makes me wonder how this could benefit the hundreds of thousands of families out there dealing with learning difficulties and trying to navigate their way through a winding road, lurching from one solution to the next, often being confronted with issues of whether to medicate or not and being out of pocket thousands of dollars along the way.

So it has got me thinking about the broader benefits of meditation as a life skill for our youth. With so many issues impacting on our young people today, an increase in learning difficulties, a huge increase in youth mental health issues, eating disorders, body image issues, cyber bullying and the anxiety and stress they deal with preparing for their HSC. The fear of failure if they don’t get that high Atar score. If meditation was taught to our children as part of their PDHPE curriculum what impact would we see? A start to each school day that involves 30 minutes of meditation perhaps? Sounds like a worthwhile research project to me.

Vicki Miller
Guest blog

Live Your Dream

Live Your Dream

How often have we followed our ‘dreams’?

Too often lack of time, lack of finances, so many responsibilities, etc stop us from taking the steps to achieving our dreams.  Is there something that you have always wanted to do?  What stops you?  Is that realistic, or is there a fear of actually having/achieving what you want?

There is a little book in my library called “Living Juicy. Daily Morsels for your Creative Soul.” By Sark

I love what she has to say about dreaming.

“Dream on …

Each of us has a dream – at least one!  Not living that dream ever, can be an unfulfilled path.  What could be better about being human than living our dreams?

My father didn’t exactly understand my creative spirit while I was growing up, and would sometimes sarcastically say to me, ‘dream on, kid’ about various ideas and plans I would talk about.  Well, I took it literally, and I did keep on dreaming…

Let dreams surround you …

Move to Alaska; Be a Mom; Be a Painter; Change the School System; Invent a new Ice-cream; Publish stuff …….”

What is your dream? Share it! Give it wings!

Shared by Alexia Miall

Alexia Miall

Alexia Miall

Alexia’s career began in banking and then moved via advertising to a major career change in 1980 to Adult and Transformational Education.  She has been privileged to share this incredible journey with 1000’s of like minded souls through her extensive experience as a facilitator, trainer, life coach, therapist, and mentor.  She managed her own training company in Victoria during the 1990’s, and during this time was the Course Leader for a training program from which the Banksia Environmental Foundation formed.

Alexia has acquired further education in Adult Education in Training; Somatic Psychotherapy; Life Coaching; Conflict Resolution; plus Accreditation in many behavioural and culture change models. She is an Associate of EcoSTEPS, a niche Sustainability consultancy, which supports her love of the natural environment.