Who Remembers black and white photos and TV?

I do… both of them. Having a little trip down memory lane – do come with me.

Remember when black and white photographs and early TV were considered the best?

Remember when colour photos and colour TV were introduced? How excited we all were?

Remember how black and white photos and black and white TV were considered old hat?

Those black and whites were considered the highest art form. Having your photo taken was a big deal. It was very serious business and that is reflected in the faces of my ancestors and probably yours. My grandmother was very serious in her wedding photo in 1908.


serious, mature, black&white


The other option in those days was sepia, not something you see very often today. It has a whole different look to it, a real old world look, yet this was 1953.


not black, different artfom


Then the black and white TV came along – WOW! I remember standing outside a shop window in my home town when TV first came to town. It was mainly snow but we were fascinated and just stood there watching. Marvelling at the technology (it probably wasn’t called that in those days). After just having a radio to listen to this was super wonderful!

I remember my sister’s engagement photo from 1955, the photos were touched up by hand.


hand done, hand painted photography


Many from before that time look overdone and amateurish. Then it was the THING, the REAL THING.

Photography and enhancing are a part of life today and I admit that I love it.

However, the power and clarity of a black and white photo is a joy to behold.

What goes around, comes around. That power and clarity of a black and white photo today is revered. There is a sharpness and strength to the image. The starkness and absence of colour grab your attention.

Can I say that about the movies? Probably not as early black and white movies lack clarity, they did not have everything that we have at our disposal today with which to work.

What got me going today was experimenting with the features on my webcam and changing and coloured photo into a black and white one. The black and white almost look 3D.


power of black and white, sharp and clear


Then I got thinking we had some professional photos taken a couple of years ago and we got 2 black and white shots, the remainder were coloured.


Power of black and white


And I do love the colour.


Colour, depth and clarity




The moral of today is don’t think that ‘old’ is necessarily ‘useless’. When we go back in time we often find a gem that makes us realise what goes around comes around.

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What Does Your Social Media Voice Say?

Does it paint the world as rosy, rosy, rosy?

Does it paint the world as blue, blue, blue?

Are you somewhere in between? Or are you squirming quietly in your chair?


lack confidence, anxious, alone, fearful

Learning the art and surviving caravanning is part of my life right now. You know, you see pictures of people’s travels (that includes mine) showing lovely nature shots, having coffee shots, couple shots, animal shots and you think wow, that person’s life is a dream, they have no worries, they are travelling around living the good life.


beauty, nature, confidence in traveling


Yes, I fell into that category, recently we have been away for 8 days in the van and we had some fabulous times, the scenery was amazing, the coffee was yummy, the animals were cute BUT there a few challenges along the way.


couples, fun, travel, countryside, confidence, no stress


What I am discovering is I don’t cope well with the unexpected. I am Miss Organised, and when things go awry it throws me into confusion and I don’t like a mess.

Life isn’t all beer and skittles, things go wrong, the unexpected happens whether you are at home, at work, caravanning or travelling elsewhere. Yet when we get on social media, we let it all come out as life being one continually happy dream.

Now before you get excited and say I don’t want to hear the negatives, I don’t want to hear your troubles, just bear with me.

fearful, stressed, wantout, lack confidence, lack self esteem

Stop and think for a moment, isn’t that what makes travel exciting. It is not simply where you have been but what experiences you had along the way. And… when you had a challenge how did you cope? How did you get over it?

Yesterday we were sharing what had happened and I was urged to write about it. The reason this came up was I was sharing the downers and having a laugh at our expense.

Come with me on our journey while I share one experience. We were travelling along away from the coast and decided to check out a camping spot. ‘Dirt road’ we were told, ‘not bad a bit rough here and there.  It’s about 3kms’. That is country talk for what we call ‘corrugations on top of corrugations and I find country folk a little elastic with their mileage when telling you distances. The road shook and rattled us, it felt like my bones were shaking.

When we got there, it was not impressive so we had to come back, over that same road.

It got quieter in the car, Pete concentrating on driving, me thinking ‘how much longer’. Was the weight of the world rally on my shoulders?


Anxious, lack of confidence, confidence beyond50, determination, self esteem, self belief


I was so, so excited when we hit bitumen again. We pulled into a rest area and that is when it got interesting. Pete noticed water pouring out of the van. The rattling had dislodged a pipe and a connection under the sink and flooded the van. Right through to and including the carpet.

A silent mop up ensued. Eventually, peace reigned again.

Our time away continued with many highlights, laughs and enjoyments tempered with a few more challenges.

The day we were headed home a light switch had failed and we stopped to pick up a new one in a neighbouring town. The road we travelled was not rough, however, when we stopped there was water pouring out of the van again.

I said ‘goodness gracious me’ – NO, I didn’t!

So, I set to cleaning up, it was not as bad as we had only been on the road half an hour. We were in an industrial area with a big wire fence so after cleaning up I pegged the wet cleaning clothes on the fence while I waited and when Pete got back it looked like a Chinese laundry but everything was dry.

Looking back now, I am seeing that the unexpected bothers me, I did not always react in a positive manner… but today we can laugh about it. And I have a choice of how I will react next time. I can choose how I respond to life around me. Reflection on how we are now and how we were is always a good thing.


wisdom, reflection, insights


So, when you share on social media, do you put on a brave face, do you ‘gild the lily’ and pretend all is rosy in your world? Or do you share on a lighter note life as it really happens?

People don’t really care about your ‘story’, what grabs their interest is how you dealt with what happened. It is when you show you are real, raw and authentic that you touch hearts.

To quote the American author SARK, ‘Every day we can choose to spin a little silk and let it grease everything we touch’.

Today, I invite you to share what your social media voice says about you.

Your Voice Matters is so many different ways. When life happens, challenges hit, we may unravel a little or a lot and feel we have lost our voice or that what w have to say is not important.

If that is you and you are thinking it is time for me…time for me to re-discover my voice I would love to chat with and see where I can help you. Contact me on di@diriddell.com or give me a call 0409 638 248.


Other places to catch up with me.

Facebook:     http:/www.facebook.com/confidencebeyond50


Pinterest:      http://pinterest.com/dimr47/

Twitter           https://twitter.com/diconfident/
YouTube       https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Di Riddell

#yoursocialmediavoice #yourvoicematters #confidencebeyond50


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Ideas… where do you get your best ideas?

Ideas and challenges are like a bus, there will always be another one.  A phrase, image or paragraph I see is what sparks my thoughts.

Today was no different.

This morning I read my ‘stars for 2019’ in the local paper… it was very relevant and the soap analogy jumped right out at me.


hands, holding on, grabbing, lack confidence,


Life can be like soap – once you have dropped it, it is difficult to pick it up and get to grips with it again.  In much the same way I know in my heart that an idea I had a while ago is a plan worth following through. Even though I have not managed to hold on long enough to take practical steps towards making it my reality.

Consider 2019 as a perfect time to direct my energy into that project – my good idea can become a tangible part of my life.


Energy, desire, confidence, moving forward



Your Voice Matters… here I come. Speaking my truth, here I come, growing from each experience, here I come.

What can you step into for 2019, what sets your pulse racing, sets your soul on fire? Whatever it is, take one step at a time and go for it.  If you need help reach out and accept if you need to work on you, go for it.


Energy, desire, confidence, moving forward


Take a moment to look in the mirror, show love to yourself, hug yourself (you know cross your arms and put each hand on the opposite shoulder. Pat yourself gently and with compassion. That woman in the mirror she is truly amazing.


mirror, self love, self worth, self belief


And share, let’s share how we get and use ideas?

Connecting with me on Facebook is easy, click on the link and pop in and say hello. That would be awesome.

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Generosity of Spirit


Hi there, what pops into your mind when you think of generosity? This phrase has been floating around in my head recently and I felt the need to share my thoughts.

Generosity is a quality, like honesty and patience. When you are showing generosity, you may give away money, goods, time, love or something else.  Beyond that, when you are kind, supportive and gentle it is more than the act of giving, you are showing a generosity of spirit.

kind, compassionate, confident

You share freely with no expectation of a receiving something in return. You find ways to give others happiness for the joy of giving. Generosity is one of the best ways to show love and friendship.

That hand of friendship can come from anywhere at any time, without any indication of what is to come. I am speaking from experience here, and it is a humbling experience.

In the past, I have been able to step in with a generosity of spirit to support someone I believed in, who was having a challenge. Even if you call it random acts of kindness.

Going with random acts of kindness, it makes us (the giver) feel good and can change a moment, a day, a week or a lifetime for someone else. You have no idea of the ripple effect that can occur.

Other times it is simply an extension of friendship and you choose to do it because you can and you care.

Why is generosity important in life?

Because being kind and generous encourages us to perceive others in a more positive light. It fosters a sense of community and connectedness. It makes us feel better about ourselves. It encourages confidence and throws a different light on the negatives in another’s life.

In the fast-paced, gimme gimme world of today, wouldn’t it be a better place if more people showed generosity towards one another.

In the past month, I have had several acts of generosity of spirit extended to me. I am filled with awe and gratitude for the beautiful people in my life. They include personal support when I slipped into self-doubt after a number of life-changing events, a coffee, a phone call and a dose of reality were priceless gifts.

Others were offers of help in monetary form, support in getting my thoughts straight, time and caring extended to me. Because someone believes in who I am and what I do. Their acts of generosity of spirit have helped me to pick myself up and move forward again.

Those who are generous don’t want or need their names in bright lights, yet as they read this article, they know who they are. Thank you, gorgeous people!


Forgiveness, recieving, love, compassion, beyond abuse


Take a moment and think back over your 2018 and write a list of those who have been generous to you.  Did you remember to express gratitude” Have you thought about paying it forward to someone else and make a difference in their lives? If not, now might be a good time.

When I wrote my list, even although I knew it was extensive, I was surprised at the generosity that has been extended to me this year. I find that this is the value of a gratitude journal. A journal where you write 3-5 things that have happened every day and extra entries for the really fabulous ones. It changes your mindset, your demeanour and the filter through which you view the word.

If you are feeling below par right now, if you are having challenges, doubts – please reach out, talk to someone you trust. Inside your head can be a dangerous and depressing place to be at that time.

If you know someone who is feeling below par right now, who is having challenges, doubts that are pulling them down. Extend your generosity of spirit, call them, have a coffee, talk to them.


together, helping, friendship, collective consciousness


Generosity is a quality of unselfish concern for the welfare of others. It brings meaning and purpose to our lives and is a true expression of our soul.I

If this post touches your heart and would like to check me out a little further I invite you to click on the links below.

Link to my book Beyond Abuse – a recovery guide for men and women in an era of me and all of us too-  http://wp.me/P3QTcY-v4

Facebook:      https://www.facebook.com/YourVoiceMattersTVwithDIRiddell/ and  www.facebook.com/confidencebeyond50 or

Pinterest:        http://www.pinterest.com/dimr47/

Twitter             https://twitter.com/diconfident

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You can HEAL from Betrayal and LOVE your LIFE again

If you are dedicated to improving the quality of your life and cultivating more happiness and peace – then KEEP READING this email.

I have a HUGE surprise for you, that I think you’re going to love…..AND its 100% free, as a GIFT from me, simply because I think you’re worth it.


Trust, respect, betrayal. forgiveness


Have ever experienced the shock and pain of betrayal from someone you trusted?  And do you still feel affected by it?  If so, then it is still controlling your life and you’re not fully healed – and so this is for you!

  • Perhaps you feel a part of you was ‘stolen’, because now you struggle to trust anyone?…..and you wish you could.


  • Or maybe now you just feel flat in life, without the joy and zest you once knew.


  • Does it still ‘niggle’ away at you – and every time you think of it, ‘burns’ you up inside? You feel angry most of the time and find yourself over reacting to even the smallest of things.


  • Perhaps even your health is suffering as a result of the shock and aftermath of the betrayal.


I understand how you feel.  I have experienced all of that during my journey to wholeness and I am here to tell you – you CAN heal the emotional and spiritual wounds of betrayal – I did.

So what’s my GIFT?

Sheilagh Mac (psychotherapist and spiritual teacher), has just pulled together 5 leading transformational experts for a 5 day, information packed tele-summit: Elixir For Soul Freedom Summit.

And not only does she want you to attend COMPLETELY FREE OF CHARGE by simply registering here:


she has invited ME to be on the panel of experts!

I feel excited for you, because of what you are about to learn in this online event:

  • The powerful way to restore your ability to trust after betrayal… (if you struggle with trusting others, then you are going to LOVE this talk!)
  • The #1 way to prevent abuse and betrayal from happening again (that you probably haven’t thought of).
  • The most powerful way to find your voice so you can develop the confidence you need to set boundaries”
  • The powerful 4 step process, to dissipate ANY çharged’ emotion.
  • The keys to unlocking and releasing destructive beliefs on a cellular level.
  • How to prevent spiralling into depression without the use of soul-killing antidepressants.
  • The keys to forgiving and moving on from your story of betrayal.
  • And much, much more!


Trust, betrayal, love, compassion, forgiveness



But here’s the best part:

You can attend the tele-summit from the comfort of your bedroom, if you want.

Because this event is going to be delivered directly to your inbox every, single. day. And if you miss a speaker (for whatever reason) you’ll have a chance to access the replays for up to 72 hours after the event.

So here’s the recap:

5 leading experts (myself included) are going to be sharing their stories, their wisdom, their knowledge, on ways to release your emotional wounds AND find peace…..

And you can watch it from the comfort of your own home without having to pay a dime.

So, what are you waiting for? Reserve your spot now by clicking on the registration link below:


If you know of a friend who can also benefit from this event, please share.  The free gifts alone are worth it to share.

Do join us


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An Experiment of Separating Triplets Through Adoption

Nature versus nurture

In the 1980’s a psychologist took on a macabre experiment of separating triplets placed for adoption.  Only he and the adoption agency were in the know. None of the three adoptive parents was told their son had 2 brothers, that in fact, they were triplets. The psychologist has now passed away. I think the report said the documents were sealed until 2065 (I am not sure I heard the date right but it was years away) before the truth can be revealed.

Three guys met at a University, one mentioned how two of them looked so alike, like twins a mirror image of each other. They began searching and it was uncovered that those two were part of a set of triplets, the 3rd guy had similarities and it further searching and it eventuated that he was the third triplet.


confidence, lookin out, adoption, forced adoption, triplets,  self worth

They all asked their adoptive parents and they were never told their son (one of 3) was a triplet.

They studied together, lived together and played together all along trying to find out what had happened. It became too much for one of them and he committed suicide.

Can you imagine the trauma created through this incredible set of events? The birth mother would not have known, the adoptive parents were not told and the triplets were not told. What hurts, pain and anguish as they found out the circumstances around their lives.


learning, pain, sepaeration, adoption, forced adoption

Why did this catch my attention this morning? Because I have recently started a search for 2 children who were adopted out by me in the 1960’s. the whole gamut of emotions are involved.

When we undergo a healing process, it is not just for ourselves, we are doing it for others too, like a ripple it spreads. It is coming up healing and raising consciousness for us all. I am honouring that process. We start from where we are now and do what we can do going deeper each time. When we look back over our lives there are things, places, events that require healing. It becomes our choice to do something different and live differently.

As I went through the forgiveness process for my father and the teen rapists, I gained peace, an openness and a sadness as I did wonder what had happened in their lives to cause them to hurt others so deeply. The guilt and fear I had carried for decades I was then able to put down.  I don’t have to understand them, that is their darkness, their wickedness and their stories that they inflicted on me affecting what is one of the most beautiful experiences a woman can have. In forgiving them I have set me free. That was when I knew I ready to publish ‘Beyond Abuse’ in 2006.

There are many examples of separation of mother and child, my story and the story of these triplets is the same dark energy. My journey is not bad, it just is. I am cleaning it up so I can move forward into a new and clean space ready for my beautiful future.

Just when I thought I had all this under control, my mind decided it was ready for me to take on a new challenge, to look deeper. I revisited and re-wrote my story adding men and women’s stories (yes abuse happens to men also) and the day I saw the book online in Amazon, I just knew that I was ready now to begin a search for my two children.

Adoptive Services under Dept of Communities have uncovered the dates and places for me. It was deeply buried I could not access it consciously. It brought home to me that horrendous, horrible and heartbreaking time around the birth of my first son. With my 15 years of self-development work I am now in deep self- work dealing with that coming from a place of loving support and engaged action.

My journey of searching will begin soon through the Post Adoption Services. In fact, it has, I have already had several conversations with them and last weekend I was a speaker at a workshop for people affected by adoption.

The story this morning touched me deeply.  It has been made into a movie and the subject of the movie has caught the attention of the media.

 Nature versus nurture –how blasé a comment! I ask you where is the humanity in that?


At last, looking after you

 Do you have a story to share around adoption and secrecy? If so, I would love to hear from you.

You can connect with me at di@diriddell.com, phone 0409 638 248  or on Facebook on https://www.facebook.com/ConfidenceBeyond50/

News on my recently released book

Beyond Abuse: A Recovery Guide for Men and Women in a Era of Me, and All of Us, Too

 Are you caught in the cycle of abuse?  Or is someone you know and love in an abusive relationship?

                                              THIS BOOK IS FOR THEM AND YOU.

Speaking from my heart to your heart act now… before it is too late.

This book is an inspirational self- help read for anyone who has been affected by any kind of abuse- mental, physical, sexual, non- violent within a marriage, or harassment.

The key word is ‘beyond’, this book has tips and strategies for living life differently. You can’t do that if you maintain the same mindset as that of a victim.

For your copy click on http://wp.me/P3QTcY-v4 and select your choice for reading. 

Beyond Abuse, living life differently


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What Did We Do Before Technology – on the lighter side

Every second Thursday I am thrilled to be part of a 3UA Writing for Pleasure Group. We are led by Margaret Hede an amazingly compassionate and supportive lady. Each fortnight we have a topic, write on it and share in the group. I am amazed at how one topic can take so many different twists. It is a delight hearing how others create their stories. We all love stories.

Today I am sharing the stories of Roma Hines and Marjorie Edwards as they reflect back to a life without technology. 

Roma’s story…

Technology is all around us.  Transport and  Communication are the BIG ONES.

Let’s start with TRANSPORT.

The year was 1944 and my first year at High School.   Living in country NSW, just arriving at High School in Newcastle needed a well -constructed plan.   Leave our farmhouse at 6.30 am on my pushbike, ride 2 miles to the main road.  Park the bike at a nearby house, catch the school bus to Stockton, catch the ferry to Newcastle side of the Hunter River, catch a bus to Newcastle West, then walk another mile to reach high school before 9 am.  Country kids are very adaptable and I accepted this as the norm.   But when Winter started, my bike ride was not pleasant.  In fact, it was freezing when the Westerlies were blowing a tailwind.

 My brother to the rescue.   Rabbit trapping being his great hobby – and source of income; he tied a rabbit skin over each handlebar with a nice wide opening for handlebar my hands inside on to the warm fluffy fur.     The warmest gloves ever.   Then he turned the wretched westerly wind to an advantage.  He constructed a little sail out of an old chaff bag, held upright with sticks threaded each side and top of the sail.  This was attached to the back of my bike rack.  Thus, providing me with protection from the cold wind, at the same time, increasing my speed by a couple of knots.

There was not much finesse with this new technology, but as the only ones to gaze suspiciously at the contraption were the cows, it didn’t matter.

And COMMUNICATION:  it’s all about getting the message through.    Right? Alexander Bell had no idea what he’d started with his invention of the telephone. In rural areas ‘the party line’ was a huge jump in technology.   Also the source of breaking boredom associated with living 5 miles from your nearest neighbour. Our call sign was two long rings and one short.   We can be excused for picking up the receiver with our hand carefully covering it, so our breathing wasn’t detected,  just in case the call wasn’t really for us.   And hanging on long enough to hear the conversation between the other two parties, just to make sure.   And anyway, if the call was to say that those Uptons were getting another visit from that drunken sod of a brother, it was only right that we should know so we could warn the other families.

Then there was Market Day.  Usually a Friday.  The farmers and their wives would down tools and head for the village centre.  Stocking up with goods, and all the local gossip.  Exchanging ideas on new farm developments over a beer in the local.    And the ladies swapping recipes at the CWA tea rooms. Communication of facts gleaned with warmth and good cheer.

 And remember Cricket in Bradman’s Day? Dad was cricket mad and a great fan of ‘The Don’.  When the Test was on between the Aussies and the Poms, we had a pre-arranged signal.  As I was the ‘housekeeper’ while Mum worked in the Packing Shed, I had to listen to the wireless; and when Bradman made his century, I would hang a big white bed sheet on the clothes line, then prop the line up as high as I could, so Dad could see it from the paddock up the farm.  So, the message got through!

                Communication whose process harmed nobody!

                No trolls telling you to ‘self -harm’.

                No one falling down the steps whilst thumbs were working the iphones.

                And best of all.   People looked into each other’s faces and SPOKE.


Confidence, standing together, facing fears

And Marjorie’s story

Neighbours gathered around the greengrocer’s van and chatted. Another day it was the horse-drawn bread truck. These purveyors of fresh goods could rely on customers, because life was simpler, one income enough, and Mum stayed at home to wash, clean, cook and sew. We were the children of post-war homes that started, however, to see a great leap forward in technology. We were amazed by flicking a switch to turn on lights and power electric appliances. The toilet moved inside!! Soon there was more power for hot water, so we didn’t have to scavenge for wood offcuts from houses being built nearby. The frig improved, and we saw the demise of the visiting ice truck delivering dry ice for freezer boxes, and then bakers and greengrocers. Cars became a necessity and convenience. Public transport lagged behind, as ever! Planners couldn’t cope with the new urban sprawl.

More and more conveniences made life easier, while more jobs and less arduous housekeeping enabled women to go out to earn extra income. More income meant wonderful consumer goods not known to us before, with washing machines, electric ovens, nicer cars, a second car, and oh, the wondrous television set! We didn’t hanker for more. It simply had us trying to keep up.

We already had the telephone in most cases. This heavy black item with twisting cord became essential. The twisting cord you might say was symbolic of future communications, that even now has many problems to untangle. But with the advent of electronics, everything we touched was constantly upgraded. The consumer society was in full swing. You had to have this new product, even that vehicle because the family next door or down the street had it. And advertising was big business.

Then came the digital revolution. Wow! It invaded everything we did, absorbing us, informing us via the internet, connecting us with family and friends anywhere, anytime. Children claimed to be smarter than their parents because it was easier for the kids to just grow with it. The adults of our generation were struggling digital immigrants. We had to migrate into a new age, piecemeal. Information technology and social media were not in our DNA.

Is this revolution good or bad? We are better informed than any peoples before us. Developing nations benefit from faster progress and cheaper goods. Sadly their peoples are exploited too. We need to be aware of that. To be responsible, as we benefit from being so well informed and easily connected across the world. And just watch for the downsides in our own lives. Being always connected to our “essential” devices, by some invisible umbilical cord, can seriously invade family time and even chatting with friends. We are expected to carry a phone everywhere, for security and safety and connectedness.

Time is spent on computers in some form, rather than getting out and about and enjoying the world in nature. Even walkers have their eyes on a little screen and their ears plugged. They can’t hear the birds or the sea, or the wind in the trees, and can’t see you! There is no break from it. While more opportunities for business, travel and recreating open up, we can’t have a day off from the phone, from the tensions of keeping connected. It must tag along.

The revolution in technologies is marvellous overall. And it needs power! We forget that just complaining about its cost. The cost of petrol, of heating our homes, of bills for phone and internet. These are closer to us than the problems arising from producing this power, and their effect on the health of our planet and ourselves. In Australia, electricity consumption per capita increased five times between 1962 and 2014. Add to that the considerable offshore energy consumption by companies like Google and Facebook. The data we use. We also produce, in a year, about 20 metric tons of carbon emissions, each! Let’s all slow down a bit. Go outside and tend that tree.

Sharing our stories are a wonderful way of connecting. Have you thought about talking to you Grandma or nanna and hearing her stories of life before technology as we know it today? if not these stories may prompt you to do so. I hope so. 

I invite you to post your story for the pleasure of other readers. 

You can connect with me at di@diriddell.com or on Facebook on https://www.facebook.com/ConfidenceBeyond50/

News on my recently released book

Beyond Abuse: A Recovery Guide for Men and Women in a Era of Me, and All of Us, Too

 Are you caught in the cycle of abuse?  Or is someone you know and love in an abusive relationship?

                                              THIS BOOK IS FOR THEM AND YOU.

Speaking from my heart to your heart act now… before it is too late.

This book is an inspirational self- help read for anyone who has been affected by any kind of abuse- mental, physical, sexual, non- violent within a marriage, or harassment.

The key word is ‘beyond’, this book has tips and strategies for living life differently. You can’t do that if you maintain the same mindset as that of a victim.

For your copy click on http://wp.me/P3QTcY-v4 and select your choice for reading. 

Beyond Abuse, living life differently

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Accidental Author

I am an accidental author. It never crossed my mind to write a book.


accidental author, writing, blogging, overcoming fear,

My background was nursing, writing especially writing creatively was not part of the job description. 40 years ago I joined Toastmasters and began writing speeches. Most of those for 5-7mins. Not exactly committed writing is it?

Yet reading has always been a passion. “Words and books have the power to ignite our imagination, to help us see the world through perspectives other than our own and leave us in awe and wonder of the marvels of the human spirit.


reading, fun, passion, joy,

You get to love the characters and live their life. To put yourself in the ‘for instance’.

Reading took me to places I had not contemplated – it allows you to lead a vicarious life.

In 2002 my world as I knew it ceased to exist. My beautiful husband of 31 years left for the heavenly fields and I will ill-equipped to cope. I was terrified of being alone, terrified I would not cope, terrified of facing a new life. So, I did what I knew best and that was to push myself until I dropped. One year later I did exactly that at 51kgs I was a physical, emotional and spiritual wreck. And just to add to the mix I was computer illiterate. Les had done all my computer work for me.


writing, healing, time for you

At my lowest point, I began journaling. I am on such a deep journey of healing: the kind where all my walls came down and I was faced with the raw emotion and truth of who I was and how I felt about life. I had lost my identity along with my husband

It wasn’t easy. I was facing my own vulnerabilities and a pile of negatives you could not jump over. I was seeking, seeking, to let go, to see myself in a new light and move forward. Who can Di Riddell be in this world. What is possible for her?

My heart took me to great places and I began to understand that love conquers all and it starts with self- love.


wisdom and weeping and quiet confidence

There were serious challenges along the way that dented my confidence, coping, handling things I had never had to handle before. I was letting myself think that my shortcomings were failures and that lessons were burdens, and I was carrying them on my own shoulders.

Yet journaling and a serious move into anything about self-development took hold of me and took on a life of its own. About this time, I joined National Speakers and Robyn Henderson said those magic words – I think you have got a book in you’ – I looked at her aghast! Like what????

Time to ‘fess up again, I could not create or write at the computer. I would write in longhand and then type. My typing could not keep up with my thoughts and if I stopped to correct I would lose my train of thought. By that time, I was learning more about technology. How many times I sat and sobbed, and cried and sometimes screamed ’I love technology, technology loves me’ over and over again.

My plan to write then got all muddled up with my personal story. A story that had been kept secret for 45 years. To tell it I knew I needed to dive deeply into forgiveness for my father who was a violent alcoholic and the 3 guys who pack raped me as a teenager resulting in a pregnancy and an adoption. It was when I got to that point that I could write openly, authentically and from my heart.


process, organise, write, enjoy, edit, publish, link

I did not have a clue where or how to start. My process on Robyn’s advice was to do a brain dump. I dedicated my spare bed downstairs for the exercise. Every time I thought of something I would write it on a post- it- note and leave it on the bed. No judging, every thought was worth a note. After about 2 weeks I had exhausted that avenue.

Collation came next, into piles covering topics. If I had 20 in one pile, I broke it up into 2 or 3 areas. Where I had 2 in a pile, I either incorporated it into another or thought it not relevant and discarded it. Each of those plies went into a plastic sleeve with the topic on the outside.

You see when I thought I would write from the beginning, I would get blocked, not knowing quite where to start and getting hung up on every sentence,

The plastic sleeves were my saviour. When I was ready to write I would choose what I felt like writing about that day. That way my creative spirit was happy and words flowed freely, by this time I was typing.

I mean like how long would it take me to hand write then type?

What was I thinking?

Where was my head?

As I wrote I looked for other styles, what others had said. But this was my story. My lesson was “When You Write the Story of Your Life, Don’t Let Anyone Else Hold the Pen”. My writing is real, raw, and authentic – just like me!


writing in your voice, real, raw, authentic

Once I had covered all the topics, I collated them into an order for the book then wrote the links to draw them together. The opening and closing chapters I wrote last.

Next came the editing, book cover, typesetter and publisher. And just when I thought I was done… the launch and marketing, speaking, more writing. I thought sending off the manuscript was it. ‘Beyond Abuse’ was out there, my secret story now public knowledge.

Why would I do that? If I can prevent another woman going through challenges like mine then my job is done.

Completing that book opened doors I had never seen. I moved in different directions, started a support group for women who had been abused, created a 6 week program for women starting over, spoke to groups and continued writing. The cover of the original book.

Fear, anxiety, lack of confidence, resilience

Writing for the web and a blog were my next challenge. My first blog was called ‘Paint the Ceiling Beige’ after regaling a blogger with stories of internet dating. I will let your mind take you from there. That kept me out of mischief for a few years.

Then, in the process of doing a promotional video for my website, I was challenged to do an update, to answer questions I had been asked over the last 10 years. I sent the original files to a new editor, then found out she lives in New York not SE Qld like I thought. Nic came back with several areas she considered I had glossed over. I wrote on those, I did answer questions I had been asked. Then she suggested I add men’s stories, abuse happens to men also, so I did. Men are not being heard and their suicide rate is increasing. Then Nic thought we should balance it with women’s stories and I did.

My greatest surprise was when I went to incorporate that new writing into the original copy…it did not fit. I had changed that much. We put the new material at the end of each chapter as well as doing chapter revisions. A new opening and new closing and a new forward completed the writing.

2 weeks ago ‘Beyond Abuse- – a recovery guide for men and women in an era of me, and all of us, too was released. In 3 days it was No 1 best seller on Amazon Australia for new releases in self- help.


Beyond Abuse

The day I opened the link and saw it live on Amazon…I thought I am ready…it’s time’. My author journey has opened me to search for the 2 children I adopted out as a teenager. That journey may well be my next book.

Thoughts I would like to share as I dive into an extension of my writing is I am planning a Web TV program ‘Uplifting Humanity’ – one person at a time. it is 2018 we are shifting humanity and raising consciousness – not playing I’m going to get you, you bastard games. We are opening to more expansive views leading to deeper conversations

We are never done, this story is just starting. Abuse is not going away despite the millions of $$$ spent on it. I am asking what can we do differently? As a catalyst for change, I am seeking answers to questions so those who are hurting badly, coming though, knowing where to go and, what to do. I am there as a guide and a resource.

Writing my books has gone beyond the pen, it has opened up new and varied avenues. Together we can help to make the world a safer place and I would love to say one free of abuse. Love will conquer all.


Confidence, standing together, facing fears

I bless being a writer and bless even more those amazing beautiful people who assisted me and those who will be with me on this journey.

If you would like a copy of the book click on  the link…  http://wp.me/P3QTcY-v4

If you would like to see me speak in an interview  click here… https://youtu.be/oxDiR5uskdctt

If you would like to make contact with me … drop me a line at di@diriddellcom

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Dianna, Dianne and Di

What’s in a name?
‘Sticks and stones will break your bones but words will never hurt you’.  have you heard those words before? My guess is a resounding yes.

True words don’t break bones, but they can have a massive negative impact on a person for days, years or decades.

When I was 4, it was my grandparents 60th Wedding Anniversary. It was a big dinner and my Dad was a man around town and thought he was pretty good. As he was speaking he said something that was not true. I don’t remember what it was. What I do remember is getting a humungous hiding.


old times, grandparents, austere, celebration

What my four-year-old mind took from that was –
  • What I have to say is not important
  • It is not safe to speak up
  • He told a lie and I got into trouble for pointing it out.
A big burden for a little girl to carry, and she carried for decades.
My birth name is Dianna, then I was Dianne, today I am Di.
Is that significant? Ye,s it is! As a child,  I detested Dianna and never knew exactly why! That is not exactly a smile you see on my young dace.


ages of Di, sulky child, confident woman and compassionate in maturity

I grew up in a violent alcoholic household and grew up keeping quiet, staying out of the way with no self- confidence, no self -esteem and no self- worth. At 15 I was a victim of pack rape and a pregnancy and adoption followed. The welfare workers told me I was a disgrace to my family, my town, country and Universe and I should go nursing, get out of society’s way as no decent man would ever want me. So I did and became officious and efficient, after all, I thought that would be my future.
Despite their dire predictions, I met a wonderful man, gosh he was a blind date. That’s what happened in the 60’s guys would ring the nurse’s quarters looking for a date. As the self-appointed officious one, I would send them off with a flea in their ear, until that fateful day I answered the phone. This polite male voice said he was in town for a Conference and was looking for someone to accompany him to the opening dinner. Before I could think, I had said yes. I think partly because it was whoppee a free meal! Nurses were poorly paid back then.
Nurses also have a wicked sense of humour. When someone was going on a blind date we would turn off the verandah lights, sit on the floor and peer through the railings and watch the circular driveway. Our observation included – was it a decent car, could he drive straight, when he got out of his car was he well dressed,  could he walk straight and what was his manner when asking for you. Based on those criteria we said a yes or no and either we dated or we didn’t. for me, it was a yes and off I went.
The rest is history, we married. He had 4 children aged 10 – 16 and I was 24 and I had a past. What a combination, yet it worked. We had a wonderful 31-year marriage until his death in 2002. Was it all roses? Noooooooooo but I kept him on his toes and we had many a spirited discussion on our differences and life was never dull.


love, respect, relationships, caring

He encouraged me to join Toastmasters. There was a time when I found looking after 4 teenagers and out baby took more time and effort then I expected. Learning to entertain and be the corporate wife gave me plenty of scope for self-improvement. My confidence plummeted and Toastmasters was my answer to moving forward.

Our adventures are too many to mention but it was good…

In 2002, the unthinkable happened. Les passed away. Life then challenged me after his death. I ran myself into the ground and dropped to 51 kgs.  I was like a match stick with the wood scraped off it. A health scare put life into perspective. Then began an amazing, crazy, challenging fun and a not so fun self- development journey which will continue till I leave this earth.
Some of those things include joining Al-Anon, Wildly Wealthy Women, Wealth Dynamics, Toastmasters, National Speakers. Doing amazing workshops and learnings from books like Michael Rowlins, Louise Hay, Brandon Bays, Julia Cameron and Sark.  I loved great activities like mind mapping, meditating, vision boards and journaling. Each thing I did opened the door for me to go deeper and deeper.


learning, doing, susceeding, confidence,

As I dealt with my grief, my past came bubbling up, journaling became a way of life. And it evolved, taking parts from the journals,  writing to become serious writing and that culminated in my writing and self-publishing my story ‘Beyond Abuse’ in 2006. I wrote about it, ran programs about it and took on  speaking gigs about it
Other things started happening creating a website, blogging, interviewing and having fun for 6 months as host on a blog radio show and creating videos maybe even a web TV will happen. Something like ‘Uplifting Humanity…one person at a time.’
6 months ago I became a Christian and realisation of the power of the Divine Hand that had my back all along while giving me challenges that would put me in the place I am in today. . Did I mention I have that special man in my life Pete… he’s a great guy.


2nd relationship, fun, caring, trust

Now, my updated book ‘Beyond Abuse – a recovery guide for men and women in an era of me and all of us , too is published on and Amazon. The last 2 weeks have been a whirlwind.


Beyond Abuse

Do pop over and take a peek… http://diriddell.com/beyond-abuse-recovery-guide-men-women-era-us/

Now about those names… it has clicked how my name has had an effect at different stages of my life.  All the bad stuff happened to Dianna. I matured into Dianne the productive, active, energised community-minded bombshell. Today I am Di, and have mellowed into a caring, compassionate and confident woman. It is my mission to uplift humanity one person at a time by demonstrating how to find hope and possibilities through before, during and beyond challenges.

What’s in a  name? Everything. The first thing you learn about someone is their name and from that moment we start making judgments and forming impressions… I am often asked ‘what would you know about not having confidence Di?’ the Di of today bears no resemblance to that scared 15-year-old.
Let’s support each other, build up not tear down, support not hinder and love… starting with self-love.


Love, self love, self esteem, sef worth

If the book touches your heart and you would like more information email at di@diriddell.com
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‘I love technology, technology loves me’

‘I love technology, technology loves me’ That was my chant for years as I said the words over and over, and there were rivers of tears to accompany it. Gradually they grew less and I improved.

At this moment I am a part of a 3 UA group Writing for Pleasure , this week out task was to write on technology…


technology, confidence, no confidence, fear, anxiety, can't do it, yes I can

Technology, I feel, has this little imp in it that waits for you to ‘feel you are catching on’ and it slips in a challenge and says ‘whamo…see how you like that!’ And then laughs and laughs and laughs.
Back in the 80’s when we got our first computer, it was a word processor, a TRS80 and next we got a real PC. I could not see myself ever using it. As a matter of fact, when I ventured near it my husband sent me scuttling off. Gosh every time I touched it, it would have a hissy fit.
The conversation would go something like this:
(Him) What did you do?
(Me) Nothing
I don’t think I need to go further. The rules were set in stone… I asked and he did whatever I wanted.
This was a time when I was very involved in a number of organisations, I would come home and type it up then he would ‘organise it’ and ‘correct me’ – you can imagine how that went down. Some very spirited conversations ensued.
All went perfectly until his death in 2002 – that was when the rubber hit the road. I was still heavily involved and had not a clue what to do with ‘the machine’ which by this time had been updated a number of times.
Saying it was a steep learning curve is a truth. Saying I became proficient overnight would be taking liberty with the said truth.


learning, doing, susceeding, confidence,

Gradually, I learned, grew in confidence, tried several things, succeeded in some and failed miserably in others. Now, I am far from an expert but I manage quite well.
Today some of what I do is maintain my own website, write a blog, have a personal and business Facebook page (Confidence Beyond 50), am an Admin for 2 wonderful FB Groups ‘Health From The Heart’ and ‘Learn with Grandma Australia, run a online 21 day Challenge, discovered the delights of Pinterest (I can get lost in there for hours), play as often as I can in Canva creating images (more hours). Power Point I have used to create a photographical life record of several family members and I have just about conquered my mobile phone intricacies.
For 6 months I had the privilege of hosting for a blog-radio station interviewing amazing mature women. A whole new level of technology was required for me to run my studio and it was broadcast out of the California all through my computer.
Does all that make me super technie? NO! Do I still have challenges – you betcha!
 help, being open, overcoming fears, confidence, no confidence
What helped me?
• Listening and taking notes, I go back to them all the time
• Learn by doing, someone flicking quickly does not work for me
• Always being willing to ask for help
• Getting involved in FB groups and asking away and participating
• Being prepared to have a go, once I realised I could not break it
• Realised that when something happens it is not always me at fault. I used to beat myself up on this one.
• Being Ok with having the occasional hissy fit, it makes me feel better
• Keeping in very, very good with my IT son
• As a last resort turn everything off and turn it back on again – it fixes many ills
How amazing and lucky we are to live in this time, to have the technology to reach out into the world. As I look forward to my future when I may not be as mobile as I am today technology will keep me connected and switched on.
What thrills me right now is my book, just released. Titled “Beyond Abuse – a recovery guide for men and women in an era of me, all of us, too’…. It went up on Amazon last week and within 3 days was #1 best seller for Amazon Australia in self- help. This book was originally written and self-published 10 years ago and it was my story. The new book is an extension of my story and also includes men and women’s stories. An editor/publisher was suggested to me, when I contacted her I found that she lives in New York. All our business has been conducted online, Nic and I have not met.
Then out of the blue I was contacted and asked would I like to be part of an Author’s Expo locally on June 9th with an opportunity to speak on my author’s journey.
I have now also made the decision to follow through on an adoption issue, it is like when you complete one thing another door cracks open giving us a choice to step through or not. I have chosen to step through. Stay tuned for updates.
Over the years there have been many podcast interviews the latest by a lady from NZ who made contact with me through a FB group.
None of this would have happened without technology.

I say ‘I love technology, technology loves me’ for different reasons today, I have learned to embrace it and roll with the punches.


embracing technology, confidence in technology

 How has your journey with technology gone?


The new book…. the link if you would like to grab a copy


abuse, knows no boundaries, self help, confidence, fear, anxious


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