How’s your day? Maybe not so good? Has your year been an absolute shocker? Are you going through a rough patch? Made some major life mistakes? Grieving through separation or death? Feeling on the outer circle, unattractive, a failure or lonely? New to the Sunshine Coast and don’t know anyone? As depression and anxiety continues to rise, I’ve got an idea to support anyone experiencing bad days that extend into weeks.
You may have read the beautiful poem about seasons from Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8 that includes, “There’s a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak…”
Is this your worst time? Take even the smallest step to turn toward someone else’s time. Turn your shocking time into your best time by gifting a service to someone. There sure is a time to grieve and be sad, but one wonderful strategy to move from that time is finding the greatest fulfillment in what I believe is inherent in our human design – serving others. Even you have unique talents awaiting to be gifted to others. A neighbour, a stranger or an organisation will be forever grateful for the day you chose to turn your own atrocious, depressing day into your best. This is the day when you put your hand up and extended it to care.
Last week was the 30th year celebration of National Volunteer Week that gratefully honours volunteers. This year’s theme is “Making the World of Difference” and you can too!
Search #NVW2019 online for inspiring memes and stories. Surprise someone in your street with a home-made yummy something, pay for someone’s coffee anonymously, deliver food hampers, work at the soup kitchen, create, craft or build anything required. If you can’t think of anything, check out www.volunteeringqld.org.au. Here are their reasons why you will benefit as it offers the chance to:
Don’t allow adversity to consume you. Consume it by making a world of difference and one step closer to your time to dance.
Joanne Wilson is the weekly columnist for the Sunshine Coast Daily Weekend magazine, weekly Friday morning radio co-host on Salt106.5, professional relationship counsellor and certified neuropsychotherapy practitioner of TheConfidante Counselling. She is based on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland - Australia. You can contact her at: www.theconfidantecounselling.com or email HERE.
There’s nothing quite like the moving experience of the Sunshine Coast community together in silence in the early hours commemorating Anzac Day. As we remembered those Australian and New Zealand Army Corps soldiers who have fought and died for their country in Gallipoli campaign of the First World War, I contemplated our varied responses to grief.
No one is immune to the death of loved ones, and we lament differently. My surprising response I noticed last year when my brother died, was the urge to find the green thumb I didn’t know I had!
Gardening is a past-time I’ve generally found rather tiresome, hot, fly blown and just so boring. Even worse, I ashamedly have a limited, pathetic botanical vocabulary. In contrast, having returned from my brother’s funeral, I was out there in the wee hours at the Yandina markets solemnly yet eagerly searching for green foliage! The children and I drove home precariously peering through massive flourishing fresh palms, bromeliads and peace plants I’d filled the car with!
Having proudly and tenderly planted, potted and lovingly nurtured them (only one has died so far), I’ve since shared my experience with other grieving humans. It seems many have also turned to the soil for extended hours as they grappled with grief. Why? What’s that about?
I went searching for answers and seems I shouldn’t be so perplexed.
When you think about it, we are surrounded by dying each and every day. Go outside and see an abundance of life. We're also seeing the results of the death, decay, rejuvenation, restoration and renewal as featured in the cycles of life in the garden. It makes intuitive sense that a closer connection to nature can help us come to terms with death and the grieving process.
How about the research around the importance of reconnecting people to nature that proves faster recovery rates, reduced stress, and eased symptoms of physical and mental illnesses? Then there’s the trendy term, “grounding” whereby we are encouraged to ditch the thongs and find health through natural electrical connection to earth by being barefoot.
Here is what one friend said, “It was one of the most powerful experiences of my life. I learned firsthand the incredible role plants play in healing. To be cultivating in nature was to be quiet, to connect, and reflect what is incredibly important.”
It is rather timely the Sunshine Coast Planting Festival is being held again next weekend 3-5 May! The Planting Festival focusses on the important issue of conservation. There will be book writing classes, horticulture lessons and how to recycle and re-purpose clothes. There are also film and comedy showings as well as a full program for kids including singing classes, learning about bugs, face painting, dance lessons, magic shows and art classes.
How fun. I’ll go in honour of my brother!
Joanne Wilson is the weekly columnist for the Sunshine Coast Daily Weekend magazine, weekly radio guest, professional relationship counsellor and certified neuropsychotherapy practitioner of TheConfidante Counselling. She is based on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland - Australia. You can contact her at: www.theconfidantecounselling.com or email HERE.
“I really do have a soft spot for my Mother in Law. It’s out in the garden behind the garage.” said one client last week as she chuckled, guiltily.
Did you hear about the office administrator that said, “Hey Boss, can I have a day off next week to visit my mother-in-law?” “Certainly not!” the boss replied. The office guy says, “Thank you so much. I knew you would be understanding.”
One last one, “I haven’t spoken to the mother-in-law for six months now… apparently it’s rude to interrupt!”.
You guessed it, the focus is your Mother-In-Law. Not just the outlaws, but extended family and friends too.
Starry-eyed romantics are often caught unaware having slipped into that love vortex where clarity is skewed thanks to the love neurochemical, oxytocin that helps us pair up. Many seal their commitment with a kiss and a ring to realise down the marital track there’s a whole new group of influencers behind their beloved.
There’s Uncle Bert who drops in unannounced way too often and your spouse seems incredibly nonplussed. How about your partner’s best friend you’ve never really gelled with from the start? Ever heard of that inappropriate sister-in-law who reveals way too much about your partner’s ex.
Do you have a father-in-law who unashamedly runs a dictatorship around money that you’ve earnt? Speaking of your hard-earnt coin, how are your step-children syphoning that out of your lifestyle?
Then there’s the wedding day - so many expectations for the most wonderful, memorable celebration. It’s too often tainted by the bitter sadness of those family members who weren’t included enough or managed to bustle their way in with way too much influence. This rather excruciating list could go on!
There are so many challenges when it comes to the “free with purchase” extended family and friends. In my experience, the greatest conflict arises when you feel your partner prioritises them over you. Relationships become strained during those times you longed for your partner to have your “back” when you need them to protect and nurture you from the opinions or bizarre behaviours of others.
When I say culture, you and your spouse could have been raised in the same street of Buderim and still experience extreme family cultural differences as if one of you was from Saudi Arabia and the other, Tasmania!
What to do? Watch this space next week when I outline strategies and healthy boundaries when there’s building resentment around your partner’s family and friends.
Joanne Wilson is the weekly columnist for the Sunshine Coast Daily Weekend magazine, weekly radio guest, professional relationship counsellor and certified clinical neuropsychotherapy practitioner of TheConfidante Counselling. She is based on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland - Australia. You can contact her at: www.theconfidantecounselling.com or email HERE.
Joanne will be your Confidante, enabling you to speak freely in complete confidence and serenity. An integrated approach tailored to your specific needs will be utilised.
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Relationship Specialist for Individuals and Couples servicing areas including Caloundra, Noosa, Noosaville, Buderim, Mountain Creek, Gympie.