April Life Strategies Workshop

I’ve listed the times for my next Life Strategies Workshop.
This workshop is for people who’ve already done some personal development work before so if this is your first ever workshop please call me to discuss your options.
The date for the next Life Strategies Workshop isSmiley Orange sxc.hu 318931

  • 30 April 2006 1pm – 5pm
  • YWCA Sydney
  • $100 per person includes a delicious afternoon tea

Bookings essential. Call Affie (02) 9214 7429

  • Join an experienced group who have done personal development work before
  • Take the focus off others and put it on yourself
  • Overcome obstacles and blocks to your goals and dreams

Manipulation – a dysfunctional behaviour

At some time or other we have all been the target of manipulation – a dysfunctional behaviour. It appears as emotional blackmail; an attempt to rescue us from making our own mistakes; foisting a guilt trip on us in an attempt to control us and many other examples. Unfortunately, we also are subject to doing the same so as to influence others to do what we want them to do. That is human behaviour, nevertheless, we can free ourselves of it because it can contaminate our own wellbeing.

How tempting it is to use tricks to get you to
do what I think is good for you, and me!
But I have learnt the hard way when it was done to me
and I dislike it so much, not to mention how obvious it was!
Manipulation – a dysfunctional behaviour which is
like a tumour in my psyche, whether I do it to you or
you do it to me – it still has the same outcome!

Living alone – a free agent

Some of us are in relationships – some fulfilling, others distressing. On the other hand some of us are living alone – some having a fulfilling life, others overcome by loneliness. Nevertheless living alone can be peaceful because we are responsible for our own needs and maybe that of plants and pets. This means quite often that we do what we want when we want and how we want. That sounds pretty good apart from those few moments when loneliness reminds us of our need to live with another.

I thank my stars that I only have to worry about me
and my fish and cat and two plants
my grandkids bring me joy too, when we see each other!
Every day I do what I want when I want
trying to be healthy in my choices
at times my friends and I are drawn to watching what I call
humorous, romantic, codependent drivel!
and that is fun but I do miss living with another person
in a loving relationship, that is
nevertheless living alone is my choice for now
and until I’m ready to take that other step again
I’m enjoying the benefits of being a free agent!


Even the most able of us need to have someone as a sounding board – a mentor. Therapists are crucial and have their place in our lives too. Mentors are those people who will listen and share their knowledge and skills with us. Nevertheless we find strength in making a commitment about our own plans, in their presence, – a contract we make for our own improvement which they witness. It seems more binding that way.

How many times have I promised myself to follow a plan
for my own wellbeing and for improving some aspect of my life
some of these life strategies work smoothly and the outcome is
Now and then however, I come across an obstacle
then I discuss it with a mentor and it seems
easier to commit to
it’s all about accountability

13th Step – Don’t Screw Anyone Crazier Than You

It is not helpful to enter into an intimate relationship with someone who needs our assistance to recover from any illness or needs to improve their skills. In other words, whether we are their counsellor or their sponsor or their coach, as we are in that moment a guide and they are reaching out for help from us. So we should not become intimate with them then as they are more vulnerable than us and need to be protected.

A panel of professionals shared their
experience, strength and hope
leaving us in awe of their knowledge about the
12 Step Program which nowadays contributes to the
Twelve Step Facilitation method of recovery
and as a professional in that field I asked one of
those experts to inform us
on the 13th Step as I knew it was helpful information but
not officially acknowledged as such!
His answer was well put and cool
“simple, don’t screw anyone crazier than you!”
this acknowledged that we all have our own craziness
but when we are assisting others we must take care not
to take advantage of their vulnerability!


Being busy can be another way of running away from our inner turmoil. In this way we do not face what is troubling us, hoping it will go away if we don’t focus on it. Of course that is not the case. The turmoil only becomes trauma and harder to resolve when we don’t identify its existence and make an attempt to transform the conflict into peaceful outcomes. Awareness of the problem is 50% of the solution and education is the other 50% – the ‘what’ and ‘how’ to change it.

I was so stressed from the activities
I had committed myself for
it appeared as those there were not enough
hours in the day
I know this feeling, I’ve been there before
too busy to even relax and catch my breath
what am I trying to avoid?
what am I in denial about?
today is my birthday and life seems to be
flying by me!
now that makes sense and I need not stress
just need to have more fun

With one finger pointing, three point back

It can be easy to blame others for unappealing behaviour because it then makes us feel not so dysfunctional as they seem. It is more important to realise that with one finger pointing, three point back. In other words how much of the unappealing behaviour is that which we reject in ourselves and find it easier to see in others?

Whenever I am tempted to criticise someone else
I remember what a wise person once told me –
with one finger pointing, three point back
so I first assess how accurate my comments are
and whether it is because I see in the other person
that behaviour which I try so hard to avoid in me
and perhaps am failing to achieve at the moment
then if that is not the case I check what other
negative feelings this process is camouflaging
for example, is it that I feel envious or
suffering from self pity?
usually this makes the situation clearer for me
and I can choose my words more carefully and caringly
should there still be a need for me to say anything at all
for that matter!