Enjoying a trip to the theatre as an act of self care

Seeing a play is one way that I revitalise myself. For me, a trip to the theatre is an act of self care and pure pleasure. I feel given to, with nothing expected in return. There’s a feeling of connectedness with the actors and the audience which I never get from watching a screen. As a psychologist, I advocate for self-compassion, self care, and connectedness, so it’s important that I walk the talk.  This weekend I indulged myself with two plays.

The Mathematics of Longing

Theatre as self care - The Mathmatics of LongingWatching the Mathematics of Longing at Brisbane’s Le  Boite theatre, I immersed myself in another world for an hour.  I love this smalltheatre in the round. It feels so intimate, and I intensified the experience by sitting in the front row.  A friend insisted that we do this at the last play we enjoyed, and, somewhat reluctantly, I acquiesced. Unexpectedly I discovered that I loved the closeness to the Continue reading

Creating calm and safety in the counselling room

Image may contain: living room, table and indoorA warm welcome, a cup of tea, a comfy place to sit, beautiful surroundings, gentle music and the waft of fragrant oils.  We hope our clients experience a sense of calm and safety as they enter our counselling space at Little Window – Counselling, Psychology and Wellness. The house, with frosted glass windows, provides complete privacy and scatters a soft light through the rooms. A sanctuary and an inward-looking space. Ideal for reflection.

Created with intent

Image may contain: living room, table and indoorThe directors of Little Window, psychologists Thania and Christina, created this space with intent. They lovingly chose and positioned every item for the rooms and behind their artful decoration lies neuroscience. Their intention is to provide a calm and safe space, which helps interrupt the fight, flight or freeze response clients often experience. These responses begin in the amygdala, the area of the brain that processes memory, interprets emotion, and often drives Continue reading

The Seduction of KPI’s

How easily seduced are you?

I guess the answer depends on who or what is doing the seducing.

Let’s put this into context. I’m talking about the age old problem of becoming seduced by the task, at the expense of the end game, or the bigger picture.

"KPI" Tag Cloud Globe (key performance indicator data targets)The quality, or absence of key performance indicators can do that to you. We all deserve to know where we are heading, how our success will be measured, and what role we play in getting there.

I for one want to know (or at least be reminded) that I’m on the right track and focussing my effort on the things that matter, so having a quantifiable and regular measure to keep me on task is welcomed. This could be a self-imposed measure, one Continue reading

Women’s Work is Never Done

TableRecently we went to the launch of Be Enterprise, an innovative social enterprise program of Logan Women’s Health and Wellbeing Centre. The evening combined the launch of the program with a healthy amount of fund raising. The invitation to attend had been extended to me by Liz Irvine, Chair of the Board, and since I’d had a role in her being on the board in the first place it was an offer I really couldn’t refuse.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a women focused event and it was great to step outside my normal routine. I felt recharged after the night as I listened to women with conviction and passion speak about the work they do to make a difference to women’s lives.

Shannon Fentiman MP – Minister for Communities, Women and Youth, Minister for Child Safety, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Member for Waterford reminded us that the gender pay gap is still alive and well, with woman being paid, on average, 17% less than men. I thought of a recent conversation Continue reading

What have you left behind?

Have you ever stopped to think about what you’ve got to show for the years you’ve invested into your career? I’m not talking about your pay check, but the other tangible and intangible results or outcomes that you can hang your hat on and say with pride…..I did that.

P1140497

I guess that’s exactly what I’ve done over the past week whilst packing my office and readying myself to leave the Queensland Government. I’ve been there eleven years, and it’s the longest period I’ve spent with Continue reading

The times they are a changing

Sometimes, the easiest thing to do, is to do nothing. Maintaining the status quo is comfortable. Many years ago, I remember asking Anne, “What’s wrong with easy?”  I still like that question by the way.

take_a_chanceChange is difficult, change is confronting, and change is risky. Change takes you out of your comfort zone, so why would you want to go there if you didn’t have to? If life and work is treating you well, providing the rewards and personal satisfaction you desire, then there is no need for change. You just need to nurture the things you have and embrace them.

P1140500 (2)After returning from our six month adventure, there was no status quo. There was no normal. There could have been though, if we let it happen. It would have been very easy to step back on to the treadmill of work and life as we knew it, and that’s what we did……..well at least initially Continue reading

Losing my comfort in the vortex of change

P1140494 (2)I’ve been back at work for five weeks now and feel as if I’m stuck in the spin cycle of the washing machine. The organisation I work for quadrupled its size in the last two months after winning a government contract. There are lots of new offices with minimalist fit outs in new locations, new staff, not enough staff and IT systems that just can’t keep up with the new demands.

The story of my laptop illustrates the chaos and frustration I have experienced since I’ve been back.  On day one I asked for a laptop to be issued back to me. I need this to do my work as I was told there was no computer for me at the offices I was assigned to.  Apparently this was quite an outrageous request in this new world of work. Continue reading

8 or so weeks on the run…

No sniping ....... yet
No sniping ……. yet

I am enjoying the wonderful absence of urgency and stress. We have had two weeks at home after the trip to New Zealand and there is plenty of time to do anything that needs to be done, but nothing seems particularly important.  I love lazy mornings with slow starts, problem is my lazy mornings can easily run into the afternoon.

Make new friends but keep the old

One is silver and the other gold

This old refrain keeps echoing through my mind. These eight weeks have been full of precious new and old friends and family. The intensity of the delight in reconnecting with people has surprised me.

We have had many conversations with friends about how much you need to work at our stage of life.  Could work look differently than it does now? Longer leave periods? Part time? Less stressful jobs? Can you retire too young? How much money do you really need to retire? How do you have Continue reading

And so the adventure begins

Sometimes, despite the planning, things don’t quite go the way you envisaged. Anne and I have been working toward running away for a number of months, and today we set off……on a bus, and 5 hours late.

imageA bus was not part of the plan, but it became a late inclusion when last night Vigin Australia advised us that our 9.15am direct flight to Queenstown today was cancelled…….”but do not fear Steve, we have booked you on a flight from the Gold Coast to Christchurch at 5.45pm, with an overnight stop, continuing through to Queenstown on Thursday morning, arriving at your final destination at 9.50am”

Great I thought – that  means I only miss 18 hours of my holiday, a night out with friends in Queenstown, and the bus to connect with our 4 day Otago Rail trail bike trip.  mmmmmmm take a deep breath.

After a long wait on the phone, we finally saved the Otago Rail Trail bus connection, getting an earlier flight out of Christchurch and arriving in Queenstown at 7.50am – still a long night ahead, but hey – it’s an adventure.

We followed Virgin’s instructions today, and caught a cab to the Brisbane domestic terminal (a little early because that’s how I like it), only to be told…. “sorry Steve, you should have gone to the International terminal…. you were given the incorrect information last night…. here’s a ticket to catch the shuttle bus to the International terminal”. So dutifully, we headed back outside and caught the shuttle. Arriving at the International terminal, where we were met with nothing… the place was deserted!  Still holding things together, we found a cleaner who was very helpful….” go up there” she said. So we did. From up there, we were directed, back “down there”. Gee, this is great. Finally, we found a little Office with a Virgin sign outside, so I knocked. A young lady directed us back “up there…… someone is on their way to assist”. We didn’t find that person,  At 2pm, when the bus was due to depart, we were still lost, when our names were called over the airport public address system……. asking us to hot foot it to level 2, as our bus was waiting. Finally, acknowledgement that we were expected.

imageI’m writing this blog on my iPhone (that’s interesting…. I need my young eyes on for that) sitting on the bus from Brisbane to the Gold Coast to connect with that Christchurch flight, looking forward to a Bloody Mary (our favourite holiday starter).

I’ll see you on the trail…..no doubt starting out with less sleep than we had planned.

If everything else from here on in goes to plan, this is just a hiccup. What’s your worst travel planning story?

 

One Fine Day We’ll Fly Away (and that day is now)

Do you ever have that moment when a song pops into your head and you can’t shake it?

I had that moment last night as I walked in the door at home after my second last day of work before running away. The song was Morcheeba’s “Rome Wasn’t Built In a Day”.

I can’t help think how appropriate the words of the song are for Anne and I.

“You and Me were meant to be, walking free in harmony, one fine day, we’ll fly away, don’t you know that Rome wasn’t built in a day.”

Well that fine day to run away is finally here! Its 5pm and we have just walked out the door at work for the very last time in six months.  It feels amazing!

I’m really looking forward to walking free in harmony……… Anne and I were meant to be, so lets go and build Rome together.

I hope you join us.