Category Inspiration & Grace

The Naked Truth… NO HAIR!

 

 ’I hate my hair’…how many times have you heard that from someone with a beautiful head of hair?  Yes, I admit that over the years I have uttered those words.

We really do identify ourselves by our hair. Why is that? We look in the mirror every day and see that crowning glory, we wash it, dry it , have it cut and I don’t think there is a woman alive who does not love being pampered at the hairdresser’s. It is intrinsically tied up in who we think and feel that we are as a woman.

Today I an truly grateful and appreciative for my strong, vibrant, thick, healthy and fast growing hair.

My last blog post was about the ‘going grey taboo’…that was assuming you had hair to go grey. I was comparing the’ going grey naturally’ to ‘opting for colour’. There were a lot of responses and each person had definite and valid reasons for their choices.

On the other side of the coin there are some things we speak about and some that we don’t because of shame, fear and ridicule. STOP! and take a moment to consider – what it would be like if YOU lost all YOUR hair – to suddenly become bald?

Well let’s talk about it now! In fact let’s hear it from two ladies who have alopecia.

WHAT IF YOU HAD ALOPECIA?

  1. How would you feel?
  2. How would you respond?
  3. How would your life we different?

I have a dear friend Pat who has alopecia and she has shared information with me and has given me permission to use her photo – with and without hair.

 

Confident self esteem, low self esteem, baldness,

 

And I am not talking just about the head hair. I mean every hair on the body, face, legs (OK that could be a plus), genital, eyebrows and eyelashes…could you imagine it!

Alopecia is a subject swept under the carpet and not talked about, I knew Pat for some years before knowing her story…I used to think her hair never looked any different, when does she have it cut???? Considering I am like a ‘fluffy duck’ if I go over five weeks between hair trims.

I have watched Pat grow in confidence in herself and in talking about alopecia and I am in awe of her ability to manage and now speak about it. Yes, we are in Toastmaster’s together and she gave a fantastic speech with a vivid visual of a woman with shoulder length hair. As her story progressed, the realisation hit that this was her story. She demonstrated how the clumps came out and you saw her lose her hair on the visual as she had done personally. Her conclusion saw us looking at a bald woman…her naked truth! Very powerful.

 PAT’S 7 FACTS ABOUT ALOPECIA

1. It’s not terribly common or life threatening so it is not something people publicly rally around.

2. For women particularly, and younger men who have alopecia there seems to be an element of being ashamed of our looks, that we won’t attract a partner or if we already have a partner there is a chance they won’t accept us bald…and this has happened to some. The old adage “hair is a crowning glory” still holds true in society.

3. There’s also a perception that we have stressed ourselves which has caused it and which somehow puts us to blame. That in turn tends to make us feel guilty, even ashamed of our looks.

4. Although we have tried many treatments, some of which work for some people but not for others, there is a sense of failure when these treatments don’t work, not for the treatment itself but for how our bodies haven’t responded to it.

5. There is also a sense of being fake when we wear a wig, and some alopecians refuse to wear one for that reason. Others like myself wear wigs because we want to blend into society not stand out and because of that tend to keep it private.

6. There is also a lot of grief losing one’s hair as we become unrecognisable to ourselves. This is especially true if we lose our eyelashes and eyebrows as we suddenly look alien.

7 It is an auto-immune disease. They’re not sure what causes an auto immune disorder. Some say that stress lowers your immune system therefore you’re more susceptible to a virus running amok and taking over…but many people who have it weren’t under any stress at the time so there’s no real answer to it. Also very young children get it, some at a few months old so doesn’t seem probable that stress is the only cause. Maybe it’s one of many, there’s really no answer.

 A TED TALK BY MICHELLE

I have attached a TED talk by a Brisbane woman Michelle Law where she shares her story about having alopecia. You may like to  take a few minutes (11mins actually) to hear how she has learned to live ( not cope or survive) – TO LIVE.    

 http://youtu.be/lrJom48KQA4

To summarise 3 points from Pat and Michelle

 PAT’S  POINTS

  • It’s an auto immune disease and therefore difficult to treat.
  • It’s also very unpredictable, and can come and go without warning.
  •  Coming to an acceptance is the key to coping but for me that took some years, others handle it better, others don’t handle it at all.

MICHELLE’s  POINTS

  • Know your worth
  • Embrace baldness
  • Be visible

 WHAT DO I THINK?

 Life continually throws us curly challenges (no pun intended). What I have learned is to embrace who I am, to accept others for who they are and to live with a confident and vibrant life softened by compassion and caring.

For the girls with hair fabulous, love it, enjoy it and experiment with it. And always show your respect and care for those who are learning to live without their hair.

 

Confidence, baldness, fear, anxiety

 

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

I would love to hear your stories of the hairy or the hairless… let’s bring it out on the open and discuss it.
 

 

 

 

 

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Was I Inspired?….Yes I Was!

 

What is inspiration to you? Is it…

  • Stimulation of the mind or emotions to a high level of feeling or activity?
  • Appreciating the skills of others?
  • Being positively impacted by another’s story

Confidence, sharing, support

Last week I was MC for an Inspiring Nambour Women‘s event.  This is  a part of the Inspire Australia network started by Paul Timms in Brisbane. The amazing Leeann Butler-Sanders http://www.justdivinefashions.com.au/  has run with the concept.

She has combined with her passion for helping women with her passion for the town of Nambour and created an amazing event. The first one was in September and the next one will be February…look out here we come!

In my words, the event is about show casing local,  incredible and amazing women by providing a platform for them to share their message. It is about building your community and supporting each other.

It is my privilege to be Leeann’s resident MC. The whole event echoes my thoughts of supporting women through confidence so they can share their message to the best of their ability.  Being MC gives me that opportunity, I just love to see women blossom.

The four speakers were very different, all were engaging and inspirational. Here are a couple of snippets about each.

Confidence, mature women, nervousness

Cindy Vogel from The Devoted Milliner  was born into a world of ‘Handmade’ and ‘Pretty Projects’ learning while paying from her talented Mum and started a groovy street wear label in her teens. Millinery was an extra curricular activity while studying fashion. Cindy’s devotion to high-end millinery and empowering women to feel and look their best for special occasion dressing is the very ethos of her brand.  She shared how Lady GaGa came to be featuring her creation.

Dianne Graham from KORU Colours delved into our uniqueness. She is an amazing healer, and a gifted trouble shooter with a unique appreciation for your divinity. She is a known authority  and her expertise and anchoring energy stabilise your soul in these changing times.

Janine Hall from More Than Skin Deep shared her story about her passion for better choices within the cosmetics industry for women.  In doing so she created the “The You Are More Than Cancer Project” which supports women going through Cancer by donating organic skincare packs.

And what is really fabulous is Leeann has chosen too include one young speaker each evening. This time we had Cortney Claridge a Year 11 Student. She is a member of the 2015 Leadership team, is  involved in hocky playing, coaching and training up to state level, a member of STUFF, a Student Film Festival which gained national recognition. And a member of the Youth Engagement Committee which allows her to nurture her passion for youth mental health.

With young ladies like Cortney our future world will be in good hands. What a powerhouse she will be.

Prior to the first event in September Leeann and I discussed how we could further support and encourage  women. Many women who know what they want, they have the knowledge and skills…they lack the ability to express themselves…to speak out.

Out of that conversation the ‘Speakers First Workshops‘ were born. Why you ask? Do read on…

For many, public speaking carries a huge fear…a fear large enough to stop you in your tracks.

My question to you is ….Do you feel. look and SPEAK with confidence? If fear of speaking is holding you back then these workshops are designed to assist you to find, develop and refine your style so you can shine and be the best in your business

The ‘Speaker’s First’ workshops are based on speaking effectively, getting it together, personal presentation and delivery… when you become the speaker first, everything else will fall into place as speaking in public for most is the difficult part.

Anyone can become a confident speaker…yes you can… using proven tips, practices and processes these workshops  will increase your confidence, and allow you to impact more people with your message and communicate and connect more effectively.

Natalie said these words after being a participant.

I recently finished a public speaking course with Di Riddell and found her to be outstanding at not just motivation, courage and her true calling “Public Speaking” but also in listening and asking the right questions to find the real reason as to why public speaking challenged me.  

She listened, the class was small and intimate which was the reason I joined.

The way Di used her skills, critiqued (which only helped me improve ) and managed our class was fantastic, I was very nervous about the whole idea. Di made me feel very comfortable the entire time and I have no hesitation in recommending her services now and in the future. 

On a final note: Since then I have delivered my first public speech at a business networking night, and whilst I was still nervous, I can tell you right now if it wasn’t for the help and guidance of Di I would NEVER  have done it. Thanks Di for helping build my confidence not just as a speaker but as a person.

To answer my original question…was I inspired? Yes I definitely was…

Remember confidence adds that little extra ‘sparkle’ …

 

Confidence and self esteem

 

If fear of speaking is holding you back… I would love to hear from you. The next workshop commences in February. Contact Di di@diriddell.com for further information.

And…I would love to hear stories about your speaking and confidence experience.  Di xx

 

 

 

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Inspiration…Never Judging A Book By It’s Cover…

Two things stood out for me last week when I was MC for the Inaugural Inspiring Nambour Women Event. Firstly…’never judge a book by it’s cover’ and secondly ‘like attracts like’.

‘Inspiring Australia’ is a not for profit organisation that encourages local people to step up and share their stories. It is communities being inspired by their local talent. My beautiful friend Leeann Butler-Landers. hosted the evening.  And what a powerhouse of inspiration she is… it was a night of inspiration, connecting and  networking.

 

Inspiration, confidence, public speaking

 

Above, Di MC, Leeann Butler-Landers, and speakers Tania Hubbard, Jaya McIntyre and Brigette Landers as we were getting organised. What a great night, the warm atmosphere, the buzz of people connecting…lots of women, and it was fabulous to see men there..

To use Leeann’s words “These four women speakers have all had a profound effect on my life this is why I have asked them to share their stories with others.‘ It was indeed a night of local women sharing their passion, success and fulfilment.

She then went on to say ‘Have you ever walked away from an event and thought to yourself, I really don’t know what happened in there, but it was absolutely freaking awesome !!! Well that was me last night, when my family finally dragged me out of Outback Jacks Nambour after my very first ever Inspiring Nambour Women Event.’

‘What I do know is that I am the most grateful woman in the world to have such amazing women around me. Tania Hubbard, Jo Twidale, Jaya Mc Intyre & Brigette Landers, I am in awe of you beautiful, beautiful women. Di Riddell & Emma Gunns, I could not have done this Event without you. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. I love you ladies to bits !!! xo’

Tania Hubbard expressing herself beautifully.

 

Inspiration, confidnece, inspiring Nambour women n

 

In brief the keynote speaker,  Tania Hubbard spoke about her journey to become the guru on gluten free. She was the original owner of the organic cafe Husk and Honey in Nambour.  Tania speaks and travels extensively. Jo Twidale Creative Director at Twidale Hair and Make-Up Artists who has 3  amazing and successful businesses, Jaya McIntyre from Empire Art Photography sharing her personal story post breast cancer. It was the first time Jaya had shared her story in public. And the amazing young lady Brigette Landers who spoke with such power, confidence and clarity about her journey and future. I am constantly being blown away by the talents of our young women. If Brigette is an example of our future then we are in excellent hands.

Jo Twidale showing her passion as she spoke.

 

Confidence, inspiration, inspiring Nambour Women

 

Tania, Jo and Jaya have overcome challenges and become extraordinary women in their fields and faced and overcome challenges ranging from the miniscule to the monumental. Brigette shared from her young perspective, she has amazing insights and vision.

Hence my first point never judge a book by its cover…My second point ‘like attracts like’. I have been observing networks I am connected to over the years… and the person behind the network att5racts those with similar views and values. This was so obvious in the audience on the night. Leeann’s bubbly beautiful personality attracts the best, and brings people can’t wait to jump on board with her. And look at her positively glowing.

 

Confident, inspired and inspiring Nambour Women

 

This event will be held every three months so watch this space for the next round in late November. We will again hear four amazing speakers, have great company to chat with in between speakers, yummy finger food to nibble on all for a $10.00 Donation. The beneficiary this time was the Cancer Council Queensland. That is amazing value for your money !!!

It was a honour to be part of this great evening…saying my final thank you…and was I inspired? Yes I was… Was the evening a success? Yes…the buzz continued after the formal part of the night and many stayed round to chat. Di saying her thank you’s at the end of the night.

 

Confidence, inspiration, Inspiring Nambour Women

 

Leeann is such an inspiring woman and that is what she attracts…inspired people and those who wish to be inspired.

For those who are not aware, Nambour is a small country town near the  Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia.

Lastly on  ’attraction’ – Mike Korsos from Korsos Photography is an awesome photographer who offered to take the official photo’s which I am sharing with his consent. .

When were you last inspired and by whom?

Love to hear your thoughts from my heart to your heart Di xx

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‘Thank You’… 2 Of The Most Powerful Words

 

In today’s fast paced world have you noticed how pleasantries like ‘thank you’ and ‘please’ are slipping  away?

Have you said ‘it’? Have you said ‘thank you’ to someone today?

I am saying thank you to the amazing networker Terri Cooper http://www.terricooper.com.au/  for inviting me to an event this morning that sparked this blog post about World Thank you Day. Terri shows support, encouragement and a genuine warmth at her networking events and what a pleasure it is to work with her when she is on the Sunshine Coast..

And a photo shot Di with Vicki and Terri.

Confidence at World Thank You Day

I would love you to consider for a moment  that saying ‘thank you’ to someone is a high vibrational energy exchange. It raises your vibrations and theirs.

Just think back…how did you learn about saying ‘thank you’? From your parents? Your teachers? Your community? Most likely it was from your Mum first. I can hear My Mum saying it to me as a child as  if she were standing beside me today.

Speaking with confidence in expressing a sincere thank you gives you a good feeling and the person you thanked a good feeling. That good feeling then gets positively carried across the day of both people and everyone they meet that day.

This morning I was privileged to attend the Inaugural World Thank You Day Breakfast hosted by the co-founders Charles Alder and Geoff Kirkwood. It is a simple and powerful concept – saying thank you. If you would like to get more information slip over to http://au.worldthankyouday.org/ and take a peek you may even wish to be involved.

The guest speaker Leigh Mathews well known AFL Coach  talked about appreciation, gratitude, leadership and the importance of saying thank you. Leigh gave us all food for thought by relating stories of sport, team work and lessons learned.  Things like in life…often no praise is given but you hear about it big time when you ‘do it wrong’. Does that sound familiar?

A ‘thank you card’ for everyone was on the table. Donated by John Hinwood, his wife led us through a visualisation to support each of us in saying thank you to someone today.

This sample is an image of the cards.. isn’t it just beautiful in its simplicity.

Thank you card

Yes, I did say send, and yes,  I do mean hand write your message. No, I don’t mean a quick email.  A card with a thoughtful message is something that people hold dear. They appreciate a personal message in your handwriting and they really will appreciate your thank you.

It makes you and them feel good. I have file of ‘thank you’ notes and cards going back decades… on a ‘down’ day I flick through them and remind myself all is well in the world, no matter how rough the day I have been appreciated. Sometimes we forget the difference we have made in someone’s life.

It got me thinking today about the power of a thank you.  Not just one but several as I drove home.  I don’t know all my readers personally so I am popping up my so here is my expression of a sincere thank you.

My expression of thanks quietly confident

In my life I have so much to be thankful for and high on my list is the love and support I receive from my friends. I could not imagine a life without them. Gosh I could make a long, long list… and I might do that just now!

I would love to hear your thoughts on ‘thank you’…and who would you send your card to?

Or would you express your thanks with chocolate, flowers or dinner?

Much love and hugs Di

 

 

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300 Words… Say It In 300 Words… Who Me I Mumbled Un-Confidently????

 

Where was my confidence in my hour of need?  I found it languishing beneath 3,000 words… 300 words. When I read that I thought.. no way… I am way, way too verbose… what can I say in 300 words?  Quite a lot I now believe… more on that later…

Today I am sharing about an amazing young lady I met some years ago, she knew she had something to offer and wow has she proved it!

Emily Gower, a writer and a word artist now has her  own publishing company and I am thrilled, blessed and excited to be a part of her latest project. As part of the support Emily pops up gems frequently to keep us motivated as I pour over the word count silently willing it to reduce automatically! .

Emily’s gem today is around gratitude and presence.

 

Emily image in support of Inspiration Bible

I hope you enjoy her words… as she demonstrates an effective use of 300 words.

Gratitude and presence are two of the most powerful states of being from which to write your piece for the book. They are hands-down the most powerful. I am deeply open-hearted tonight, and here is what just came out of me (AND, it is less than 300 words! ):

“Life is made up of moments; fleeting seconds in the ocean of time. We are so focused on ‘things’ that we forget that getting those things is just part of another moment – another fleeting second of life. It is how we spend our seconds, our minutes, and our hours that contribute to how we spend our lives. It is how we experience life in those moments that makes up what we know about life; and to what level we feel we lived thoroughly, fully, with nothing left and everything gained on the last day we breathe.

When you are struggling, ask yourself how many seconds of your life you want to spend this way. When you are complaining, ask yourself how many seconds of your life you want to spend this way. When you are comparing yourself to someone else, ask yourself how many seconds of your life you want to spend this way. When you are regretting, judging, fretting, worrying, ask yourself how many seconds of your life you want to spend this way.

A second lived is a second spent. Spend them wisely. Save the seconds ahead of you for the most precious of all experiences. Allow life to unpredictably surprise you with its hidden blessings. Allow the way you step through the seconds of your life to lead you on a path that you soon realize is your destiny. Meet God. Explore the Universe. Understand yourself. Share what’s inside your heart with others. Accept the gift of every second. Change the nature of the next one if you want, with a new thought, a different choice, a new philosophy about life.

They’re yours. All the seconds. For the rest of your life.”

So – look after your heart and soul, and the words will follow. TRUST yourself.

Emily Gowor

The project is inviting 365 people to share in 300 words their inspiration. I feel blessed and excited to a part of Emily’s ‘Inspiration Bible’  as she continues to create her special magic in this world. with her words. Emily is wise beyond her years.

There is still time.. if you have something you are burning to share here is the link.   www.inspirationbible.com

 

Inspiration Bible confidence and inspiraton

And just to keep me interested and motivated.. my cover photo…now I simply need to complete my contribution. Easy she says…. 300 words.. not a bother.. as she struggles to slip under the 500 words barrier…you can do it Di… you know you can!

 

Di Riddell photo cover...with confidence

My question for you is… what could you share in 300 words?  

                                                                                            I would love to hear your story…

Warm regards Di Confidence Coach for Women 50+

I am passionate about mature women having the confidence and personal presentation to support their life choices.

If that is not happening for you…

Slip over to  http://diriddell.com/confidence-coaching-2/

Facebook http://facebook.com/confidencebeyond50

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

 

 

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Fire and Flames Within & Without

flame of confidence and letting go

This morning a post on Facebook by the wise gentle and amazing Janet McGeever http://www.theconsciousheart.com got me thinking, then moving. I have been procrastinating about my next blog as I share the journey of recovery in my body and my mind.

My last blog was just prior to surgery. A few days back I posted on Facebook …. Learning my lessons slowly…Recovery takes a little longer in maturity…I thought I would be sort of up and running by now after my surgery (yes about 4 days ago, I think I was born without the patience gene).
Funny how you think the rules apply to others…could it be the old RN in me rearing it’s ugly head?
Even thought I would do a blog post today…uumm I think I will put that on hold…not quite up to it yet.
Indulging in a bit of self care and receiving lost of supportive care with Vince.. I am very grateful…

 So I procrastinated and Janet’s words this morning fired me up and got me thinking and moving… as I just said.

Janet’s words…I’ve been putting out fires. Some have gone out, others are still blazing, some are simmering. Seeing that some things are completely out of my control… Again and again. That another’s destiny is not my business, that perhaps it was always meant to be this way. All I can do is show up the best way a woman can, with love in her heart and acceptance of what is. The spiritual journey is more than love and light and happy pictures. It is entering the dark alley ways, the treacherous terrain and being with, being in and being for what shows up in life and sometimes that brings you to your knees and in this position all I can do is surrender, finally let go and be in prayer to simply accept and be grateful for what is. There is a soul shaping in the process… Think I can feel it.

 The subject of this post of for Janet, her words had me reflecting…what fires do we have that we put out, watch as others blaze or simmer away? I thought I knew best…didn’t listen…then wondered why my body reacted in a less than ideal manner!

Wise advice may have been to ‘show up the best way a woman can, with love in my heart and acceptance of what is’. Funnily enough prior to surgery I had taken time for self care in many heartfelt ways.

However post op….Was I showing kindness and loving to myself? Nooooo I wasn’t.

Did I accept what was? Noooo I didn’t.

Did I push the boundaries? Yes I did.

Did it help? Noooooo.

What did I learn? Y Accept that some things are beyond my control. To surrender, let go and accept and be grateful for what is.

Yes I did a complete turn, surrendered, let go of ‘why can’t I…blah, blah, blah and accepted what was. My body needs time to rest and recover and heal. I am now prepared to let that happen.

Oohh that control is a wily little devil…she gets in there and digs in! As I lovingly acknowledge her, knowing that while she has my best interest as heart, there are other and more effective ways. I know better now, so I can do better. That shell of control I have held up for years was a protection mechanism.

And to show my gratitude. Y I have so much to be grateful for…including the love and care lavished on me by the man in my life…thanks honey. For the friends and family who were there for me in so many ways.

Yes I did receive some beautiful flowers… the simple beauty and intense warm colour of the sunflower. Just gorgeous!

Flowers love and confidence

As Looked out my bedroom window and felt so grateful for where I live….my personal view…

Di's bedroom window view

My soul is indeed developing as I allow and accept and grow as a result. The fires are slowing fading away as I lovingly allow myself to recover…and if it takes longer than I expected so be it.

I was told to really rest for 2 weeks and then take it easy for 2 more weeks. At 10 days it is Ok to now sit back, giggle at myself, support myself lovingly and allow. Those embers are fading.

Now it’s your turn…a few points to ponder?

  • Where in your life have you been creating, fanning or putting out fires?
  • In what ways do you show up the best way a woman can, with love in your  heart and accept of what is?
  • How have you tried ‘control’ as a means to an end?
  • How do you take the time to express gratitude for the fabulous and not so fabulous things in your life

 My heartfelt thanks and gratitude to you Janet for being the catalyst for my thinking and moving today. You are such a shining light for women.

Confidence caring hearts

To all the women I know and the women I am yet to know…

How special you are said with confidence

 

Warm regards Di…and what …you are asking… does this woman do?

I am passionate about mature women having the confidence and personal presentation to support their life choices.

If that is not happening for you…let me help you… please do contact me for a chat.

Would you like to know more?  Slip over to  http://diriddell.com/confidence-coaching-2/

Or Facebook http://facebook.com/confidencebeyond50

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

 

 

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Wide-eyed With Weeping to Wisdom…

 

Today it was my privilege to address a group of girls who I have the utmost admiration for. Are they out there… had it easy… or had no problems?

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo they are not!

These girls happened to fall pregnant due to a variety of circumstances and had to leave school without completing their education.

Life happens…and it is not up to us to pass judgement….as they say ‘walk a mile in their shoes’ before you comment. Remember there but for the grace…

These fabulous young girls were wide-eyed with what the world had to offer. Maturing, finding their way, experimenting and it was not what they expected. They found themselves pregnant. No doubt there was weeping and wailing involved.

weeping - can you do that with cionfidence

 

The girls have now had an opportunity to return to school and are complete their education, going on to TAFE or University and the pride on their faces even though they were not feeling confident in sharing was evident.

And…I give 100% credit to the staff who support them. They are among the unsung heroes of this world. They are true earth angels. The program for the girls is STEMM Supporting Teenagers with Education Mothering and Mentoring - take a peek at http://www.stemm.com.au/

Their ‘about page’ tells us they are ‘Empowering pregnant girls and young mums through support and education to gain independence’.

Why would I support them? Because when I was 15, I was pack raped…a pregnancy and adoption followed…it was the early 1960′s and no such program existed. There was no support available at that time and the social stigma was firmly entrenched.

I went looking for love…rape found me! It was a similar story with one of the girls in the group today.

In the 60′s it was hush, hush…snigger, snigger…isolate, isolate…hide away, hide away…isn’t she awful!

Part of my journey in moving forward was writing and self publishing my story ‘Beyond Abuse’…there comes a time when you just need to speak out. My  time came and  no more hush, hush….

child - the wisdom and confidence hidden

 

Today, there is support available so these girls can keep their babies and make a great life together. Their education provides not only conventional  education but includes practical how to be a mum.  How good is that?

What could I as a mature woman offer these girls? It was to show them that whatever happens…no matter what…it is possible to rise above it…transcend it…call it by whatever name you like. Life can still be amazing, productive and fabulous.

If my words this morning make a difference to one of those girls then I am thrilled. If they were to take one thing away from my presentation today it was to have self belief…and to step away from being a victim.

Yes, when you are challenged it is so easy to fall into ‘victimhood’ a place where you don’t have to (meaning avoidance) take responsibility for yourself or your actions. Someone else will look after you.

I am open to sharing my story, and more importantly how I stepped beyond it. There is no ‘right way’ I shared my way with compassion, tact and love and they responded.

Imagine the wisdom these girls are acquiring at such a young age . I am in awe of their courage, resilience and tenacity.

Imagine the confidence they will gain through their experiences…

wisdom and weeping and quiet confidence

 

Imagine the wisdom they will be able to impart to their children….yes they will be wide eyed with experience, shedding tears of joy as their wisdom becomes a catalyst for a better life.

I am the woman I am because of my life’s experiences…if in sharing not ‘the story’ but examples and strategies for moving forward whatever your life challenge happens to be…then my life purpose is on track.

Is this program delivering ‘Empowering pregnant girls and young mums through support and education to gain independence’.?

‘You betcha’… says me with confidence!

 

Wisdom if accumulated in any ways…I would love to hear your stories of wisdom gained, or share the wisdom of someone special to you.

 

Special Note…the images here are by courtesy of Larry Mann, do take a peek he is amazing. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Creative-Pictures-By-Larry-Mann/461021063967288

 

Warm regards Di…and what …you are asking… does this woman do?

I am passionate about mature women having the confidence and personal presentation to support their life choices.

If that is not happening for you…let me help you… with one on one coaching, small group activity or workshops…

Would you like to know more?  Slip over to  http://diriddell.com/confidence-coaching-2/

Or Facebook http://facebook.com/confidencebeyond50

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

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It touched my heart …. you could just feel it!

 

What did? The confidence, openness, support,  encouragement, inspiration and motivation I saw and felt at a Toastmasters meeting this week.

 

It is about how we see it…

Confidence, glass half full

Yes I am passionate about this organisation. I have seen it transform people’s lives, provide them with the skills to improve  their professional and personal lives, take on leadership positions or simply to improve their level of confidence.

 And yes…I have been a member for 35 years. Why did I join? To improve my level of confidence…more about my journey in a future post…today I am talking about the ‘heart in Toastmasters’

It was started in 1924 by an American Dr Ralph Smedley who saw a need for his fellow businessmen to improve their communication skills, it has flourished and grown into 122 countries and expanded their communication and leadership training materials to meet the needs of today’s world. His intent and the success of the program is that the training is conducted in a pleasant social atmosphere.

    Dr Smedley established Toastmasters with four principles

  • Let’s keep it simple
  • It is a do-it-yourself activity
  • Based on belief in the individual
  • We learn in moments of enjoyment.

 

These four elements were delivered in action and in bucket loads this week. It is not just about the program, it is not just about how wonderful someone is, it is not about being in your face.

It is about how the amazing members of this club support each other. This is not something you can write in a manual…it is something you see, hear and feel. The human spirit being touched. And I was!

So why you ask was this different? Because they have 3 extraordinary members who touched my heart.

Confidence caring hearts

One young man who has recovered from a major stroke when he was 15 [now 22] which took away his powers of speech. He has recovered remarkably and has almost all his speech back: he wears very dark sunglasses, because he is susceptible to minor seizures, and consequently has trouble reading fine print. He responds better to what he can see than what he can hear.

♥  A young lady who has  mild/ moderate cerebral palsy and is can walk unaided but slowly. She  needs the lectern wheels locked so that she can stand and use it as a support. The area most effected by her palsy is her speech where she is very self-conscious as it can be hard to understand. When she makes a manual speech she usually gives the audience a copy so that we can follow her: this de-stresses her and her fluency increases.

And the other young man who has severe cerebral palsy and is wheel-chair bound. His speech is clear and easy to understand although he finds it difficult to control his eyes while he is talking.

These three young people were bubbly, chatting, involved and loving being there.

The other members of this club are incredibly ‘there for them’. In the words of one member… they support them in everything they try – they are gutsy young people who definitely have something to give to society.

Many of us struggle with confidence at some stage of life and come up with 101 excuses about why we can’t do X,Y or Z.

These young people have taken what they do have (not on what they don’t) and are making amazing progress. Three gutsy young people stepping way out of their comfort zone. I am humbled to see how effectively they deal with their world.

Confidently connected

And… I absolutely admire and am inspired by the support of the other members of that club. These members have made it possible for these extraordinary young people to develop the skills to express themselves and make the difference they want to make in their world.

Yes it touched my heart…that is what I love about the organisation…the level of true support, encouragement and inspiration that flows. And yes you can’t pin that down, or weigh it… but you can see, hear and feel it!

I feel blessed that I was part of that club as a guest for a moment in time.

What obstacles have you overcome to be where you are today?

Who has touched your heart?

Confident questions and roses

 

As always I love to know you have been … I would love to hear your story or thoughts……

 

Warm regards Di…and what …you are asking… does this woman do?

I am passionate about mature women having the confidence and personal presentation to support their life choices.

If that is not happening for you…let me help you… with one on one coaching, small group activity or workshops…

Especially The 3B’s ..Be seen, be heard and be visible. (available soon)

Would you like to know more?  Slip over to  http://diriddell.com/confidence-coaching-2/

 

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4 Words That Changed My Life

Only 4 you say!     What were they?     Come and join Toastmasters!

 

Fear lady pink border

 

WHAT I screeched..are you out of your mind … me … stand and speak in front of  a group NOT ON YOUR NELLIE!  Not interested.. not going to happen…NO, NO, NO!

 

Next thing…there I was…dumbfounded as I knew I would be, nervous,  felt ill, wanted to throw up could not think clearly or think. My hands shook, my palms were sweaty and my tummy was turning somersaults.  And with that mindset no wonder. I was so, so, so confident about being un-confident and I was telling the world all the reason why I couldn’t. Have you ever felt like that? Or experienced that gut wrenching fear of making a fool of yourself?

 

 

And why am I sharing these ghastly unflattering memories? Because it is a milestone in the organisation right now. It is 40 years since women were officially allowed to join.  I have been a member for 35 of those years and what a journey it has been. Women joining changed the face of the organisation in many ways. I am polishing some ideas on my journey and will share them at a later date.

What began as an all male organisation in the US in 1924  is now in 116 countries around the world. And from an all male membership we now have 52% female and 48%male. Now I am not coming from a bra burning (hell why would I do that, I need all the help I can get) fanatical point of view. But from a  softer, inclusive viewpoint of working together for improved communication.

 

Di 2002 scroll

Di confident DG 1985 scroll

 

It happened that when I was District Governor ( our District is Queensland, Northern NSW, Northern Territory and Papua New Guinea) the first time in 1985/86 I was privileged to work with the 1st female International President Helen Blanchard. Then I had a re-run in 2002. It is definitely not rocket science to see which year is which!

 

There may be some readers who do not know what Toastmasters is. Simply expressed, it is a communication and leadership organisation based on helping the individual. Broadly speaking the pr0gram covers four areas prepared and impromptu speaking, evaluating and meeting procedure all within a time frame.

How relevant is that in today’s world? We are all time poor… if you can confidently communicate your message effectively and succinctly that puts you ahead in life personally and professionally.

So what have I got out of my 35 years…..

  • Bucketloads of gratitude for the fabulous experiences and friends I have made in the process.
  • Confidence in abundance which led to developing a faith in myself that I could do it….firstly for me, then in helping others.
  • Effective evaluation techniques have assisted me in every area of my life and made me a more compassionate person.
  • When my communication skills improved leadership skills were revealed.
  • Life long learning on raising my level of communicating effectively.
  • Honed my listening skills…how many of us ‘sort of’ listen’?
  • Developed  a passion for service…to be there and assist others as I was helped over the years.
  • Amazing and incredible friendships..I feel it is because of the nature of sharing stories, personal stories…..in a supportive and non judgmental setting. The perfect spot for friendships to blossom
  • The absolute confidence to support me as I shared my life story, wrote and self published and started speaking to Women’s groups.

And of course having word or three at my 35th celebrations!

Di 35th Confidence border

 

To sum it up…I have had many opportunities for self growth, I have met some who certainly gave me incredible opportunities fore self growth and I met bucketloads of the most extraordinary people on this planet many of whom are my friends.

Toastmasters my not be for you…and that is fine…you may have another avenue that worked even better. Life is about making choices and stepping up in out own way to enrich our lives and grow. This organisation was my gi-normous stepping stone….

Ok ‘fess up time….

 

confidently having a crack - border

 

I actually have another 4 words that are going to have an impact eeekkk.’Where is your WordPress blog? Well, I was waiting for everything to be just perfect…and we all know confidence is not spelt P.E.R.F.E.C.T. I was waiting for all my ducks to be in a row,,,and when I thought they were…you guessed it they were not my ducks! So here I am imperfectly having a crack yet with confidence getting it up and out there….

For the next couple of posts I will post in Blogspot under ‘Paint the Ceiling Beige’ as well as here so those who have enjoyed my writings and sharings can continue to do so. Thank you beautiful people for my almost 9,000 page views and your comments from 75 blog posts. Woohoo today is No 75!

Now it is my turn to ask you….What 4 four words have had a major impact on your life? Did you jump up and grab it with both hands or did you need a teensy bit..Oh OK loads of encouragement like I did?

I love to know you have been here…please do share what has had a major impact on your life…other readers also love to hear.

 

Warm regards Di…and what …you are asking… does this woman do?

I am passionate about mature women having the confidence and personal presentation to support their life choices.

If that is not happening …let me help you… with one on one coaching, small group activity or workshops…

Especially The 3B’s ..Be seen, be heard and be visible.

If that sparks your interest contact on di@diriddell.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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