Doors.  I alternately love them and despise them.   They open wide to beckon us to new opportunities and yet stepping across the threshold is a myriad of ‘what if’s’ and ‘maybes’.

I know what I want.  I also know exactly what I don’t want and that makes life a whole lot harder than you might imagine.  Sometimes having even half the game plan is tougher than having no game plan because you’re partly locked in to a set of circumstances.  You can’t freely decide what it is that you want to do because half of it is already decided for you.  Just BAH HUMBUG!  It sucks the big one.

About a  month ago I left my job.  It was time.  Circumstances conspired to make it happen and frankly, I’ve been very unhappy there for a very long time.  All the chest pains I’ve had along with other ailments can be laid directly at the feet of that place and all the stress there.  I’ve not had one single chest pain since leaving.

So now it’s time to find a new job.  Or is it?  I find myself wondering if I actually WANT another job in another office.  One of the things I really hated about THIS job was being under the thumb of someone else.  Having someone else tell me what to do and control my work environment.  I’m ready to be the boss and control my OWN work space thank you very much.  I don’t think I need a mainstream job any longer even though the paycheck is more secure.

I want to be free to wear my boho clothing and set my own calendar for my days.  I don’t want to have to go out and buy good, respectable office clothing so I can ‘fit in’ to a new work environment.  

I want to be free to choose my schedule for study when it suits me and not have to try to balance it around someone else’s schedule.  Ultimately, I want my own hypnotherapy practice and the desire for that is burning so fierce it’s almost not containable anymore.

But it take time to build up a practice.  It takes time to build up a clientele.  The best advertising is word of mouth, or so I’m told.   And how long does THAT take?

I have some money.   I saved up some while I was working and got a good payout for my annual leave and long service leave accruals.  The question is, will it be enough?

It seems clear that the angels want me to step through this door and undertake the healing work I’ve been avoiding for the last four years.  It also seems clear that it’s feels like quicksand.  

Do I trust the door or not?  Do I step through or not?  Could I possibly bear it working in another office doing dead-end paperwork?  Is shuffling paper enough for me?  I could do it – sure.  But would I wind up with stress ailments again as a result?

How many ECG’s do I need to have before I finally get the message about what’s right for me?  

It’s time to do or do not.  I need to make a very serious decision which is going to affect the rest of my life.  

Am I up to that challenge?  I just don’t know.  I want to be but just wanting isn’t enough.  I have to navigate my way through the minefield to a place of safe haven where I can find peace.

I know I need more control over my life than I currently have.  I also know that swimming down the mainstream job river isn’t for me and it hasn’t been for some years.

I need to be my own boss.  I need to be in control of my destiny. I need to call the shots in my life so that I can live the way I want, no NEED, to live.

Doors.  Just places of emotional entanglement really and they don’t come with a manual to tell you how to sort it out.  I have instinct and I have intuition.  That’s it.

The question is: is it enough?





There’s nothing like thinking that you know where you’re going to derail you when you suddenly find out that you’re clueless.

I thought I had it all figured out. Do my Diploma in Clinical Hypnotherapy, open practice, blah blah. Then life had other plans.

I found a course offered at Deakin University which is a dual Bachelor’s degree in both Psychological Science and Criminology. It sounded very appealing. I’ve always been interested in forensics so the Criminology side should be really interesting for me. Besides, it’s only 4 years of hard study. It’s not so long.

Then I realized that one of the reasons I feel so edgy about opening my own practice is because I have no idea how to run a business. I have no developed skills in that area to draw upon.

So I found a Cert III in Business which looks like just the ticket to give me some foundations on which to build. It includes things such as payroll which will be very beneficial. That might sound stupid because I’ll be the only person on the payroll but knowing how to offset GST outgoing with incoming will be invaluable. I was never good at numbers so any help in that regard is going to go a long way.

What amuses me so much is that given how my family works, I have always been on the bottom of the heap. Scholastic achievement has always been the benchmark for our family in terms of intelligence. The higher the achievement the more your intelligence was valued and your opinion respected within the family.

My brother topped the list. He has a Bachelors in Political Science and was a fellow at the University. My mother came next with a Bachelor of Arts. Then my sister who completed Year 12. Even my Dad slotted in there with his qualifications. I was last. I just barely completed Year 11.

This of course meant that I had no standing in the family and was dismissed at every turn. I was someone who needed to be lectured like a child and ‘instructed’ about even the most basic things because I didn’t have the sense to figure them out for myself.

Well, with TWO Bachelors degrees plus all the other qualifications I have, I think I can safely say that would shoot me to the top of the leaderboard. Instead of being the trash at the bottom, I would be basking in the exalted limelight above. What a turnabout.

Of course the only two other members of my family surviving are my mother and brother and to outshine them both would be a glorious accomplishment.

While outshining them isn’t my motivation for undertaking the course, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have it there in the sidelines as a tasty tidbit.

This has all come about as a surprise really. I hadn’t expected to be undertaking more dedicated study but there you go. Life comes with all manner of curve balls.

I am supposing that if nothing else, it’ll be good for keeping me out of harm’s way for a while. Just when I thought I had a path marked and sorted too. Damn.

Polly Pleaser

Somewhere along the way, I grew up to be a Polly Pleaser. It wasn’t a good move.

I literally spent years tying myself up in knots of all kinds trying desperately to keep everyone around me happy. Guess what? It can’t be done. I’ve proved it, time and time again.

All that happened was that I became miserable because it was invariably a recipe for disaster. Too many people left unhappy who all whined mercilessly and made it my ‘fault’ that they weren’t happy. Yes, I put myself through decades of that torture before I finally wised up and realized that life just didn’t have to be that way.

These days, I’m a lot more laid back and have a very different attitude. I used to censor every word for fear of backlash. Not anymore. I will say what I will and write what I like without fear of vengeful repercussions. What’s the worst that can happen? Someone doesn’t like what I said or wrote and they go off into the sulks, right?

Their problem with my contribution is exactly that – THEIR PROBLEM. It’s not mine and I’m under no obligation to make it mine however much I am encouraged to. I AM allowed to stand there and let it all wash past me like water to a duck’s back. I don’t have to take it all on board and suffer over it just because someone else isn’t a happy camper.

If people like my words, great! If they don’t, suck it up buttercup and move it along. I’m not interested in hearing the incessant whining and bitching that invariably follows designed to make me ‘at fault’ for whatever the point of contention is this time.

I am NOT ‘at fault’. I’m not even fleetingly guilty. I may occasionally offer to join you to work things through but that doesn’t mean I’m taking responsibility for them. Your problems are yours. You solve them.

At the ripe old age of 50, I have decided that being a Polly Pleaser just doesn’t work for anyone, least of all me. So I resign from the role. Now I make the best decisions I can based upon what is right for me and what rings true to my morals. I am not just daring to put myself ‘somewhere in the equation’, I am daring to put myself first and claim my responsibility to myself above all else. That’s a change from Polly who never thinks of herself at all to the detriment of her own well being.

So, I am 50. I am opinionated. I am appallingly bad at holding my tongue and while I have no objection to people messing with me, do so at your own risk. I will not spare your feelings at the expense of my own.

One of the greatest gifts this world brings us is the gift of truth. Too many of us compromise ourselves in order to be ‘be polite’ and look where it gets them? Wound up in a tight ball of stress and anxiety over things that they can’t change because they’re not their problem at all in the first place!

I am happy to work WITH anyone to help sort out their issues. I refuse to take responsibility for someone else’s stuff because I’m a convenient scapegoat.

Don’t ever take me for a fool or victim again. Those days are long gone. I am now a strong woman. I stand my ground. My roar echoes across the chasm of space and time like a lion. Strength is my name, truth is my mantra and determination is my path.

This isn’t likely to change any time in the foreseeable future. Get used to it.


So December has dawned finding me suffering an alarming amount of fear which I can only describe as paralysing.  It’s the hypnosis that is the problem.  I’m just so scared of going out on my own and not being able to make it in the big wide world without a permanent “real” job to fall back on.

Will the clients be there?  Will I be able to make ends meet?  What happens when I have a lull and my schedule isn’t full?  How will I keep a roof over my head?  How will I manage the stress and anxiety of not having a mainstream job to fall back on?  I am one person with no partner or family to fall back on.  I’m it.  There’s me and there’s destitution.  If I can’t make it work, what happens then?  This is a lot of pressure which other new therapists don’t have to deal with.

Just questions, pressures and no kind of answers forthcoming.

I have had some very unhappy moments here at work this year.  Having a new Manager and finally getting rid of that incompetent troll who called herself our Manager was a bonus.  A massive bonus.  Seriously, there wasn’t one person who was sorry to see her go.

I had personally tolerated her unmitigated ineptitude for a very long 15 years.  Hearing that she had been promoted to a role in the Corporate division and wouldn’t be our Manager any more was like being given notice of parole.  Our entire department was ecstatic over the situation and looking forward to a new Manager as a breath of fresh air.  We all had such hopes.  Mine were quickly dashed.

Being dragged to HR twice and given two warnings was a highlight.  Having the new Manager go after me like a bulldog at HR was a massively disappointing shock which had me in tears on more than one occasion.

Not in front of her mind you.  I don’t cry at all regardless of the situation, and least of all in front of someone who has become the enemy.  It was just that I thought I had a good relationship with her and was going to be treated with some respect by Management at last.  I never saw the fierceness of that attack coming and it was brutal.  She went for the jugular without reservation and now in the aftermath, she can’t work out why we’re no longer friends. 

Since then, every communication I’ve had with her has been yet another episode in the endless litany entitled “Things I’ve Done Wrong”.  It’s genuinely demoralising when your Manager incessantly berates you for trivial things just to have something to rail at you about.  I mean, this is how you treat me and now you can’t figure out why we don’t enjoy a friendship anymore?

So the universe is pushing me to get out of here and open my own practice – and there the anxieties begin and swell to truly epic proportions, then it’s paralysis city all over again.

This has got to stop.  I cannot continue procrastinating about starting my own practice because I’m living in fear 24/7.  It’s not sane and it’s in no way healthy.

So to this end, I put out an SOS.  I posted to one of the hypnotherapy groups for some help saying only that I had issues which I felt would benefit from time line therapy and would someone be free to work with me.  I had several responses and chose a therapist.

Thus far we have had two sessions.  Naturally they required a brutal level of honesty about what is going for me.  I would normally, and have, kept those feelings hidden except from a few select people – until now.  If you’re one of the few that knew, count yourself as one of my highly valued, extreme inner circle.

So I have sucked it up and spilled my guts about the specific pressures I am under plus how I have always felt WORTHLESS and undeserving of any kind of respect.  That’s how I grew up.  I was always being treated as “the CHILD” and never given any kudos at all no matter what age I was.

I still am treated as insignificant and inconsequential by my family.  They are more than happy to lecture me and speak down to me confirming those feelings of worthlessness any time I care to ring them and entertain them.  To them, I’m still a 5 year old who needs constant instruction and to be ordered around. 

Additionally, I am always seen as STUPID in their eyes.  I have no intelligence, no anything of substance to contribute to any conversation.  Thus I am consistently shut down when I try.  It’s demeaning and debasing on so many levels that I can’t even begin to list them all.

This would be why my family and I have spoken but a single handful of times over the last 16 years and I’m in no rush to repeat the experience.  I received no support, no encouragement and no help from them on any matter.  The first time I heard someone say they were proud of me I was 15 years old and it was a school friend who said it.  My family never have and I have no doubt that proud is one attribute they would never ascribe to me.

In an astonishing and somewhat amusing turn of fate, they have outlasted their value.  I no longer need them to give me those sour, miserable, demeaning messages.  I can do it quite capably for myself and by now, I’m a constantly achieving expert in the field.

Would it surprise anyone, therefore, that the inner voice was the place I needed to start working?

So my therapist and I set about working on ‘worthless’.  A tough ask indeed but in the week since, I have noted some differences in myself so we must have made some break-throughs.

For one thing, I feel that my speech pattern has changed.  It is no longer simple language but far more complex in its structure, more adult.

I have also managed to take some initial, but essential, steps in working towards my own practice.  Things I couldn’t do before because they scared me too much as part of the overall picture.

I also began to do some pro bono sessions with volunteers as a means of building my confidence.  Unfortunately I ran into a tough nut who is more in his head than connected with his feelings.  Working with him is challenging me and forcing me to think outside the box and stretch myself.  This is in no way a bad thing.

I still came away from my second session with him and the first thing I did was tell a confidant that “I suck at this”.  Even as I wrote it, a part of my head was thinking “no I don’t” and it meant it.

Challenging that huge monolith of mental messages is a big ask by any stretch of the imagination.  I have 50 years of set-in-stone habit to try to kick.  If you thought giving up smoking or weight loss was hard, try this! 

So in my latest session we did some work around all those mental messages.  In the imagery I had set myself at Badger Weir which is a place I absolutely adore.  I haven’t been there in about 2 years and I will give myself a treat by going there again at the earliest opportunity just to walk around and soak up the air.

And what changes have I noticed thus far?  Well I’m blogging again for one thing.  I’ve been exceptionally silent this year and writing again is something out of the ordinary.

Secondly, I had a dream yesterday which just about brought me to tears it was so frustrating and depressing.

In the dream, I was working at a conglomeration of places I had worked previously. They were all mixed up.  However, the upshot is that in the dream one woman who was an executive secretary had chosen to resign very quietly.  She was leaving that very day and hadn’t made any announcement about it to the other staff.

When I found out, I went to the Office Manager she worked for and asked him if I could have her job.  That was a huge thing for me.  Even in my dream I was anxious and terrified of making the request and I was absolutely positive that I would be turned down.  Happily, be broke into a huge grin of relief and told me I was EXACTLY the person he wanted in the role and so he was delighted that I had asked.

I took over the job that day and had the inestimable pleasure of writing out my resignation to the previous department I had worked for.  I can’t even begin to describe how joyful I was to be able to deliver it  although I was leaving them in the lurch because I was supposed to work the following two weeks and had been rostered on for them.  However, I was wanted in my new job immediately and since my new Manager trumped my old one, I was transferred instantly and the old department could just go sink.

I woke up believing I had written that resignation for my current work and overjoyed that I had.  Not one more day of this living hell I call a job.  I was so soul destroyed to discover it had been only a dream that I almost broke into tears right then and there.

I make no bones about it.  I despise my job.  Answering a hospital switchboard is a job a monkey could do.  It has no prospect for advancement.  It is nothing but a dead end job that I could sit here and do until the day dawned that I was to retire and/or they dragged me to HR one time too many and sacked me. 

This is not a job that is going to provide me a future.  It will not allow me to amass enough money to fund my retirement.  It will not provide me enough assets to buy a house.  I will go from working here to spending all my money on paying rent and finally destitution.

Even if I found another job at retirement age, it would still be a stop gap measure until I was forced to give up mainstream paid work.  The question of “what then?” looms large on the horizon.  I am 50.  My working days ahead are numbered and it’s high time to start thinking of the future and planning solidly towards it.  I can no longer afford to be reckless.

So I have come into work tonight and found myself posting the following to my Facebook page.  “I despise my work.  Let’s just get that out there up front.  It’s a dead end job in a toxic environment.  I could find another job easily but I think I’d be just as unhappy there as I am here.  So it’s time to set a timeline.  I want to be out of here by June/July 2017.  The happiest day I have will be the day I write out my resignation from this place.”

What change indeed!  I am now not only lacking in fear of the future as a solo practitioner, I am looking forward to resigning and getting on with it.  Yes, okay, while it’s true I look to resigning for a number of reasons, they are no longer the ONLY reasons.  That is an important distinction to make.

I have also found myself mentally setting a timeline date as well.  This has been brought to my attention by another member of staff who IS retiring in July.  She has mentioned several times her ‘cut off date’ and seems buoyed by the substantiality of it.  It isn’t a pie-in-the-sky date or a general time frame.  It’s a fixed, it’s-happening-then date that is not negotiable.  This has impressed itself upon my psyche no doubt.

I am looking at June/July.  My therapist did some ciphering and has decoded that I need just 8 clients a week in order to come out with a paycheck somewhat equal to what I make now in a fortnight. 

While I am planning, and have always planned, to work at hypnotherapy only on my days off while I continue to hold this job, I feel that 8 clients a week or some combination equalling that is more than doable for me.  Surely if others can do it, I can also?  I AM smart and I AM capable.  I CAN do this.

So I have my time line.  Within this time frame I know when I need to have things done by.  I have already spoken to my web person about my upcoming needs and that is in progress.  I have my ABN and have registered Dream Esteem as a current business name.

I was amused to find that Business Affairs wrote back to me to confirm the name has been added to the register and to quietly inform me that for $120 I could register the domain name as well.  Sorry, I think I can do it for less than $120 or get myself a fantastic deal for that price, ie: several years worth of registration.

Another, and perhaps most important, change I have noticed is that I am sitting here writing this piece with full intention of publishing it to my blog for all and sundry to read, and I’m not afraid of that either.

As I mentioned, there are an awful lot of things I have kept within my inner circle.  I have been very reluctant to bring them out into the public eye despite the fact that I’m pretty honest about the rest of my life.  Suddenly I am no longer reluctant.  I am able to sit and write this piece knowing that I am being brutally honest and yet, without anxiety about it.

Perhaps I am coming to accept that the things I have kept hidden aren’t anything to be ashamed of and in fact, have value.  Perhaps I am also coming to accept that I am becoming less ruled by fear as each day passes.

Whatever the reasons why and whatever the outcomes, I can see myself in private practice as a reality rather than as a pipe dream.

I have taken some giant steps over the last two weeks and I’ll give myself kudos for that.


I was once asked for advice about what to expect when adopting a new kitten. It’s really very easy.

There will have moments that melt hearts and moments that rage. Do as you may, the cat remains unimpressed.

The days of showering or going to the toilet alone are done. The cat will insist upon supervising.

Your furniture has now been declared a scratching post.  Get used to it.

Your clothing will be forever covered in hair.  Invest in lint rollers.

You will awaken to a soft face near yours.  The cat is not swooning over you, it is hungry.

You will buy dozens of expensive toys for your furry bundle and they will sit idle while your cat plays with the box.

The cat will curl up on your lap or other body part.  Any movement on your part for any reason is forbidden upon pain of claws.

You will trip over your cat more times than you can count.  Relax.  It was all intentional and the cat is delighted with how well it panned out.

The cat will skid from one end of the house to the other in a mad panic chasing nothing.  You will learn to lift your legs out of the way as it zooms by.

Blood and scratches come with the turf.  Band aids and Betadine are your friends.

You will spend much time telling your baby how pretty and beautiful it is and be met with indifference.  However, failure to fawn shall be met with claws.

The cat will make you feel like the worst kind of slime for taking it to a vet. Be strong.

The cat will love you when no one else seems to. Be grateful.

Above all, take a million photos and videos, collect fallen whiskers and when you brush the baby, keep the fallen hair in a ziplock bag.

One day, these things will be all you have to remember your child with and you will treasure each one as it is worth more than any amount of gold.

Two Options

Life is about just three things:  two options, one choice.

Everything comes down to just two options and the choice we make between them.  We’ve all heard it a hundred different ways.

Get busy living or get busy dying.

Have a pity party or get up and do.

Speak your truth in a situation or let the situation screw you up.

Do or do not, there is no try.

It is the values placed between these extremes which determine the quality of a society.  It is the values on which we base our choices that determine the ethics of an individual.

No matter what the situation, everything funnels down to a single moment when the choice is made.  It all comes down to one choice – to do, or do not.

One choice will make you happy, the other will not.   One choice will empower you, the other will not.  One choice will allow you to be your authentic self, the other will not.

No matter which route is chosen, both will provide an opportunity for growth and new lessons.  Have you ever noticed though, how some lessons keep repeating themselves?  We keep finding ourselves at a place where we have to make similar choices to those before and will keep doing so until we finally ‘get it right’.

The option to ‘do’ is never an easy one and the cost can feel quite extreme but it is the only choice if we wish to spare ourselves a circular and unfulfilling life. 

So perhaps the true choice is one concerning only inner strength.   Ultimately we must do as we can until we cannot do so anymore.  Then we must do differently.  

Two choices:  to do or do not.

One choice:  yours.


It’s been a week for me. It feels like whatever blockages I had have been cracked wide open and finally things are happening.

It began 8 days ago when I listened to an hypnotic recording which promised amazing results from just one playing. I was a bit skeptical but willing to give it a go. It didn’t lie.

As most people would be aware, I have limited energy and have to use it wisely. That means prioritizing my life into ‘stuff’ and ‘really important stuff’. Anything in the latter category cannot wait and must be dealt with. The rest of it will get done when I can get around to it. That may be tomorrow. It may be never. Who knows?

Whatever the case, when I’m doing things I tend to do them in very small doses. I can iron one dress and have to sit down for a few hours to recover. As a result, I choose where to spend my energy judiciously.

Hours after listening to the recording, I had done both the regular and recycling garbage bins, washed dishes and done a full load of laundry. To have done so much in such a short time was incredible for me. I have no idea what shifted, but something certainly did.

Having listened to the recording, I am convinced it can be done better and, using it as a basis, will record my own version for use by myself and my friends. I will also look at incorporating my own version as a therapeutic technique in practice.

I really do feel that it can be of great help to a number of people and abreactions are low, so I’m told which makes it a perfect tool to use over skype.

The funny thing is that I keep seeing how more and more is shifting all the time. It is not that I listened once and had a bit of movement and that was it. This has been a result which continues to unfold.

For example, for two years I have looked at my back room with dismay. I have never really sorted it out since I moved in. It remains cluttered with boxes and half organized cupboards. I have wanted to sort it out many times but utterly lack the energy or simply feel overwhelmed by the size of the task.

These last few days have found me seriously wanting to get in there and get it sorted. This is a far more serious drive than I’ve had in years and for the first time, I actually feel it’s manageable, that I can do this.

That’s a huge shift towards more positive energy for me, a massive change in both my physical and mental processes which is now manifesting in my daily life. I can’t wait to record my own version and play it through as I’m sure it will be more powerful than the first.

I was also told that usually a client need only do the therapy once and not need a follow up visit. I can see how that would be the case. When you experience the shift so rapidly and it’s highly visible in your life, one may feel that follow up visits are unnecessary.

While that may sound bad for the practitioner, it actually sounds fairly good to me. I like to help people reach resolution rather than having them come back endlessly for appointments.

In fact, I feel that to keep having people coming back means that I’m not doing my job right and that I’m almost defrauding my clients by doing so. I don’t mind having repeat clients of course, I just mind if they’re doing so because I’ve lured them into it for the benefit of my own hip pocket. I would rather fewer appointments and a happy client than endless appointments and a client who is getting nowhere. Of course, that’s just my own ethics speaking there.

I will try to set aside some time this weekend to focus on my recording. That is, unless I get stuck into the back room and can’t drag myself out of there once I’ve started.

I have a whole game plan in mind for tackling it. I will simply sort things into junk and not junk. Anything junk gets tossed in boxes and put to one side. Then I will call someone like Got Junk to come and collect the boxes. They will take them away, sort through and recycle what can be recycled and do whatever with the rest.

This will take the whole process of having to sort things into various boxes out of my hands. I won’t have to worry about making boxes for the Salvos and boxes for Freecycle etc. I also won’t have to worry about getting rid of the stuff. It’s all in one place and gone when it’s gone.

That will leave me with much less to worry about. I hope to cull by a third, if not a half. Organizing the rest will be much easier once that’s done.

Given my careful lifestyle over the last decade, to have made such decisions and feel able to follow up on them is a shift of truly biblical proportions.

Maybe this is what I have needed. A key to crack the psyche and allow things to flow again. No matter how it happened, there can be no doubt that something pretty major has shifted. I just have to begin wrapping my head around it and figuring out what it is.

Of course, I don’t actually need to know. I could experience the changes without knowing exactly what is going on in my head but I’m self-analytical and like to ponder these things. Besides, understanding how it has changed me will help me understand how the process works for my clients, thus I will be better able to support them.

Right now, I’m a little gobsmacked by how much I’ve managed to get done in such a relatively short time. Yes, things are definitely happening and changing for the better. In fact, I suspect it would be impossible to have a negative outcome of the process. I’ll wait and see how that unfolds with others. Thus far, I have seen only positives.

It’s nice to see good things unfolding for a change. It’s certainly a change we could all use from time to time.

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