Category Di’s Words of Wisdom

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.

Read More

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, phone 0409 638 248  or on Facebook on

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 and select your choice for reading. 

Beyond Abuse, living life differently


Read More

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…

If you would like to see me speak in an interview  click here…

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

Read More

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…

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
Read More

3 Secrets to Forgiveness

Have you ever heard the phrase ‘forgive them’ then thought NEVER, NEVER EVER! Holding onto that unforgiveness can cause us physical and emotional issues years even decades later.
Do you think that person who did you wrong is sitting thinking about it? Not likely, they have moved to some other mischief, and you are left hurting you by holding on and refusing to let go.


Forgiveness, recieving, love, compassion, beyond abuse

As a young teen I was pack raped and a pregnancy and adoption followed. Tough stuff to deal with in the 1960’s. Deep down I held that unforgiveness covering it up with being super crazy busy in life. That did help me cope, it covered the pain so I did not have time to think about it.
Then it occurred to me the rapists took one night of my life, I let them take another 43 years. I am sure they were not sitting around 43 years later saying ‘remember that girl’. I was hurting me by holding on.
It took dealing with the grief after my husband passed away for me to make that choice. When I made the choice to say ‘enough’ I started my healing and forgiveness journey. To realise I was losing sleep and holding bitterness in my heart.
Was it easy? No, it wasn’t.
Did it happen in a heartbeat? No, it didn’t.
Did I give up? No, I didn’t.
It started by forgiving myself, that was radical action. Often the hardest part is to forgive ourselves.
Forgiveness is hard because when I stuffed up I wanted grace, but when someone hurt me I want judgment on them. Judgement is not my call, I have made my peace, they will follow their own path.
My 3 secrets to Forgiveness are



forgiveness, secrest, its for you, all about you, confidence, compassion, empathy love, self love


1. Forgiveness, it is for YOU so you can move on with your life and find peace. You are not condoning or saying it did not happen. You are talking care of you.
2. Forgiveness is a choice not a feeling and you can begin the process before you feel you are ready.
3. Forgiveness is not a one- time action, it is an active, daily choice. You may need to do it over and over.
Be gentle with yourself, take the time to pray, write, use rituals I find tapping EFT very beneficial. Take your time, take small steps and again… be gentle with yourself.
 Di Riddell author of Beyond Abuse … a recovery guide for men and women in an era of me, and all of us, too.
Di’s book is about helping men and women recover from mental and physical abuse of all kinds. Get your copy at Amazon: —.
Are you curious? The forward gives a sneak preview you will need to purchase to get the whole story!!
‘Eighteen months ago I interviewed Di Riddel for The Point TV.
I opened with the following statement … “At 69 she is the picture of health and vitality. A confident woman empowering other women. To the observer, her life has a picture book quality, yet, when you look behind the scenes, her childhood was one of sheer terror and emotional deprivation. For years she was subjected to repeated psychological abuse and lived in fear of her own and her mother’s life. At the age of 15 she was gang raped and fell pregnant and was forced to surrender the child. It’s hard to believe “happy ever after” is how this story could end. In the first edition of her book Beyond Abuse, Di Riddell speaks not just of survival…but thrival.”


Read More

The Joyous Imperfection of Motherhood.


Oohh how I knew it all! how I thought I knew it all. What an amazing Mum I was going to be.

 Confidence, overconfident, too cocky, mothers day


Suddenly you realise that motherhood does not come with an instruction manual. When I ponder on this, I would probably have bypassed it anyway – like who… reads a manual?

 All those things my mother did (that I thought could be improved upon) …I was never going to do. All those things other people did to appease their children…I was not going to do them either. Because I knew better, I knew it all.

 Motherhood is not a straight line to success. It is like the image that shows a straight line for success then there is the one that wiggles all over the place. That is motherhood. It is the most exhilarating, exciting, loving, deep and fantastic thing that can happen to any women. It satisfies our deepest need that of reproduction, it creates a bond that is there for life, it creates the next dimension in the relationship with your beloved. Then add into the mix the frustrations, sleepless nights, agonies over am I doing the right thing, tearing your hair out and you have the perfect mix – the joyous imperfection of motherhood.

 To set the scene I am looking back over motherhood from the age of 70 so I have many experiences ranging from the miniscule to the monumental to reflect back over. I thought I would do it over the decades. There have been so many opportunities for self-growth through my years of motherhood.

 Reflecting on my Mum from when I was a child – she taught me was unconditional love and a love of reading – my fondest memories were of sitting before the wood stove in winter all curled up listening to her soft voice reading the same stories over and over. She also taught me about love, respect and listening. She never tired of hearing about what I was up to until she passed away aged 92.


 babyhood, no pics with mum, smiling, motherhood,

In my teens, I was a victim of pack rape. A pregnancy and adoption followed, they were my darkest days. It skewed my idea of motherhood for a number of years. The welfare workers of the day (this was the 1960’s) told me I was beyond redemption, a disgrace to myself and everyone else up to and including the Universe. ‘Go nursing’ they said, ‘no decent man will ever want you’. So I did, I did not think marriage or motherhood was ever going to be for me.

 Moving into my 20’s I met this wonderful man who thought the sun, moon and stars shone out of me and we married. I was 24 and he had 4 children aged 10-16. Being a stepmother was never in the plan and in the 70’s it made me an oddity in the community, blended families were a change from the norm… A year later we had a son together. Having 5 children blew every notion I had about motherhood out the window. I was so busy doing what had to be done all fancy thoughts, judgements and high and mighty ideas disappeared. Looking back now there were so many things I could have done better. A wise friend told me in later years that ‘I did the best with the skills I had at that time.’ Sure, I would do it differently today, hindsight is a wonderful thing.


Motherhood, happiness, unconditional love

Into my 30’s I became a mother -in -law and a grandmother. I was definitely not ready to be ‘Granny’ at 35. My 30’s and 40 saw me as a mediator, supporter, sometimes the enemy, organiser, fixer and confidante. The kids grew up, the grandchildren grew up and my role changed with every season.

 My thoughts today are that motherhood is not a right and children are not possessions, we do not own them. It is the greatest privilege that can be bestowed on a couple to become a Mum and a Dad. We are their caretakers, there to love, cherish and guide them into adulthood. To give your children the skills to fly alone, to support them through difficult years, be that shoulder to cry one, the best cheerleader in the world and to teach them to be independent is a huge responsibility.

 In my mid-fifties, I became a widow and the children came to my aid. It changed the relationships and they became the carer when I was again in a dark place. Today my grandchildren ranging in age from 6 to 36 and there are now great grandchildren. Families are not all about everlasting happiness, not about never having a challenge, not about agreeing all the time. Things happen, life happens. What is important is to always leave the door open and use your unconditional love in the way that best suits your situation.

 My wish now is to be a role model for my grandchildren and great-grandchildren so in time they will look back with love and fondness and cherish their memories of Grannie Di. For them to she had her ways, but it is Ok that she was ‘perfectly imperfect’.

 Parenting has changed and I am in awe of how young mothers cope today. Each generation has their own challenges and triumphs.

 Wherever you are in your years of your motherhood, know you are beautiful, watched over and you enjoy the privilege of experiencing the joyous imperfection of being a mother. I urge you lose yourself in your unconditional love and to forgive yourself for the times when it goes belly up. It truly is the most rewarding role you will have ever.

 Even when your Mum drives you crazy, remember she brought you into this world and made sacrifice’s you may never be aware of…love her anyway.

 Huge hugs and happy mothering.

Di Riddell

Confidence for Women 50+ after facing a life-changing challenge

Author of “Beyond Abuse’





Read More

Transforming ANTS into PETS


Now this is not first thought when I find ants, pets indeed! What next?  And as a child ant study was not one of my pastimes.
This morning I was having a delightful discussion with Michael a retired pastor and we were talking about our reactions to people and situations as a result of an ‘incident’.
This story I am sharing with his permission is about his Mum, she was open, friendly, would talk to anyone and everyone, and she had a big warm smile for all. She found starting conversations, drawing people out and making them feel comfortable easy. Another who found approaching people and starting conversations difficult asked her ‘how she did it’. ‘’ That’s easy, I know they love me’ she replied.
It begs the question what if they don’t…her answer was ‘they must be having a bad day’. Then the biggie what if they showed over and over they don’t like you… she said ‘then they don’t know me’.  She had a total, complete belief in who she was and what she had to offer. Her unerring belief system was that people loved her. What a gem of a woman.
That bought us to the title ‘making ants into pets’ –
ANTS being ‘automatic negative thought structures’

negative thoughts, put downs lack confidece lack self esteem


and PETS being ‘performing enhancing thought structures’.


support, love, performancing enhancements



Are you one of those people who find going up and speaking to someone about as appealing as going to the dentist? Would you rather stay home or sit in the corner and wait and wait for someone to come to you? Now you could be saying I am an introvert, that is me. And that might be right.
If this is you could it be that your automatic negative thought structure like ‘I don’t want to be here’or ‘can I go home now’ are holding you back.
Remember thoughts, your thoughts are not set in stone. You can change them. Yes you will likely feel vulnerable.

lack confidence, anxious, alone, fearful


When you first step out of your comfort zone you might even feel like this little ant. Those ‘automatic negative thought structures’ have got control.


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


Holding onto those negative thoughts and emotions drains your energy. Have you ever thought how much energy it takes to build up a negative case in your mind? That negative energy is projected out and warns people off.
Energy from past experiences like ‘I hate going to parties, no one talks to me’ re-inforces your emotional attachment to your current circumstance.
What would it take to use that same energy and transform it into a smile, a kind word or offering a helping hand. I have found when you have a go people respond. It does not happen immediately, it takes time and practice. If those beliefs have been there for decades they don’t disappear in a heartbeat.
When you can transform that energy you can create a new and different outcome – you Can experience a state of gratitude and joy. You may even be happy and inspired just because of who you are.
Life’s experiences, what you read and what people say can have long standing effects. And now when you see someone holding back, reacting in a way that is les than supportive, reach out, that person may be feeling lost, inadequate, not know what to say so they blurt out the first thing that comes into their mind. My guess is they are ‘ants’ wanting even trying to be ‘pets’. Love them anyway… you reach out to them.


happy, confident, loving, kindness, compassion


How do I know? I have been there, in fact I have been there this week. It was a lesson in self awareness about my reactions– the wisdom from Michael and my reflections have created an opportunity for me to rise above my current limitations and be greater than my conditioning and circumstances.  This is my opportunity to turn my ants into pets.

helping, loving, confident, olive branch


This post may speak to you, it may be your current experience. If so reach out, call a friend, call, email me on or contact me on FB through Confidence Beyond 50

Acknowledging that the ‘ant and pet’ exercise came from ‘It’s Your Life What Are You Going To Do With It’ by Anthony Grant and Jane Greene




Read More

Could it be called Future Wisdom?


I Remember Being Told That….

  • Don’t touch a hot stove – well before I could reach the stove top

  • How to keep a job… years before I applied for one

  • Advice on marriage… years before I started dating

  • The value of loving yourself …years before I understood what it meant

  • That confidence was a gift…. years before I had any

 Wisdom, confidence, advice, learning,

The list goes on and you can probably add your own particular ‘for instances’. As you reflect many of those things will make you smile, you may remember the good advice you were given, then ignored and paid the price later.

 I could not use that advice when I was a child or even some of it as I grew up certainly on confidence. However, I listened.  When the day came I knew not to touch hot stoves, and when I got my first job, got married and started loving myself I had a storehouse of good advice to draw upon.

 Yes, I had my very own library of advice to pull out as I faced life and sit’ highs and lows. It formed the basis on which I could decide to use as is, add to or delete. In fact, it formed my internal compass.

When someone gives you advice, avoid the urge to turn out because you don’t need it now. Keep it in reserve in your personal ‘library of advice’. Who knows it might be just what you need in the future… your future wisdom.

Remember the ‘shelf life of good advice is forever’.  

  1. I will leave you with two questions about your future wisdom…

    1. Has someone given you outstanding advice that you have tucked away for future use? if so what is it?

    2. Why do you think it is a good idea to store good advice before you need it?

To learn a little more about me I invite you to check out…







Youtube Di Riddell Confidence Beyond 50

Di Riddell Linkedin

Read More

No one NEEDS Toastmasters


I am so often asked about Toastmasters, why I joined, why I stayed…especially now it is 40 years own the track. This is a great time for me to reflect on my personal journey, a time to remember how scary it was to walk in that room, how scary it was to stand and introduce myself and how scary it was to admit my confidence was at an all-time low which was affecting how I communicated and lived. 

Last weekend I received my 40-year pin


Recognition, communication, leadership



This is a wonderful article saying no one needs it… or says ‘I must find Toastmasters’.


hearing, listening, Toastmasters, communication

What I am hearing is….

  •  Oh I don’t like giving presentations.
  • I don’t need to give presentations.
  • I am speaking at a wedding next week. Can you help me?
  • I am running for provincial/state/federal office in the next election. Can you help me?
  • I have to give a presentation at work next week. Can you help me?
  • I am already comfortable speaking in public. I don’t need Toastmasters [or any other training].

Speaking, evaluation, communication, connecting



  • To provide valuable information to niches and build connections worldwide
  • Personal growth
  • Creating incredible lasting friendships



Some people could benefit from the training experience provided by Toastmasters.  Here are some ideas that might help you target specific segments with specific interests:

  • job seekers – job interview skills
  • employees aspiring to higher management/leadership – to practice running meetings, leadership roles and speaking
  • anyone aspiring to become an elected politician
  • team leaders – to develop or hone meeting and speaking skills
  • entrepreneurs – to present their product or service
  • sales and selling – duh!
  • inmates – to build positive life skills
  • people in rehab/recovery – to build positive life skills
  • English as a second language (ESL) students (or the languages of your Club)
  • authors – to present their material and market their book(s)
  • high school students – to become comfortable with public speaking and running meeting, through the Youth Leadership Program before the skills are required
  • post-secondary students – to prepare for the job market or to present their thesis BEFORE the skills are required
  • contest judges for other organizations
  • marketing and communications professionals (who actually know what MARCOM means)
  • speechwriters – nothing like first-hand experience to know what works and what doesn’t work
  • corporate communications professionals – to practice and hone their craft
  • video and media students – great place to practice creating how-to videos, articles, press releases, and reports
  • people who generally struggle with interpersonal skills
  • people with dating challenges

better listening, thinking, speaking, connecting


The following people might already be comfortable with public speaking, but could benefit from experimenting and practicing in a place where the results don’t matter:

  • professional speakers, comedians, actors – new material
  • public speaking trainers, presentation coaches – to practice methods and material; to develop clients; referrals
  • storytellers
  • poets who read their own work
  • middle and executive managers – elevator speeches; speaking with credibility; networking
  • sales managers
  • college instructors and university professors


The following people and organizations might benefit from knowing about the Toastmasters training program even if they do not personally attend. They would refer the program to others:

  • human resources/training coordinators – to understand and refer employees to the program
  • job seeker services – to refer job seekers
  • sales managers – to refer their salespeople
  • high school teachers, university professors, and college instructors – to refer students


Confidence, communication, reaching out, support

No one needs Toastmasters! Instead of selling it – Connect people with the idea of resolving their [specific] pain or receiving a [specific] pleasure/benefit/success. Many people need the benefit of the Toastmasters training program, primarily to develop communication and leadership skills in an environment where the results do not matter… BEFORE those skills are required.


The link to Coach Craig and the full article


If you see yourself in parts of this article maybe you are ready to reach out. My journey has taken me beyond membership to using my skills in my community, making my difference. I have taken my skills and created my programs, presentations and videos using those skills.

Action, doing it, confidence, stepping out

If that speaks to you, and you would like your overwhelm taken away, so you can shine and tell the world your message in your way let’s chat. If your skills need updating let’s go to it! 

If a 4 week program to cover ‘presenting the best of you’ would suit your needs email me at or call 0409 638 248. 

#confidencebydesign #toastmasters #presentingthebestofyou



Read More

Have You Asked Someone Today… R U OK?



Ladies there times in life when life gets overwhelming, times when life seems to throw everything at you, times when you wonder will you through it. It might seem you have the weight of the world on your shoulders.


lonely, isolated, challenged, no confidence, no self esteem


This is the time that you look after you with love and respect. If a friend was telling you a litany of things going wrong would you be harsh with them? No you wouldn’t would you? Now is the time to cut yourself a little slack – be kind to you. It is Ok to put some of those balls you are juggling down.

Today, September 14th, is R U OK Day, a day to ask, listen and encourage. Your call, concern and kind word could make all the difference. have you called someone today? if not its not too late, pick up that phone.


busy, exhausted, overwhelmed


When challenges seem to be multiplying, when overwhelm and fear take over it leads to what I call ‘mushy brain. It is when coherent thought and action seem a million years away. From there it is so easy to spiral down to not coping, feeling anxious, isolating yourself, feeling depressed and you even contemplate darker actions.

It is important to realise you are not alone. There are people in the world who will listen to you. When you are in that ‘mushy’ state you tend not to see the people who are there for you and want to help. Seek out the people in your life who will listen with kindness and without judgement.


kindness, OK, listen, encourage


Tips you may find helpful are:

  • Call a friend or someone who can help you and talk to them, just venting your feelings can make you feel better.
  • If that is you right now, take a moment to stop and breathe.
  • If you don’t have anyone around you there are other steps for when you feel isolated, hopeless and alone’
  • Examples are Lifeline 13 11 14 and Beyond Blue 1300 22 46 36
  • Journaling, writing down what is happening for you and what is causing your overwhelm. It can help you make sense of what is happening.
  • Go for a walk, get put in the fresh air for 20mind admire nature, you will feel better.


tips, hints, help , OK , reach out, overwhelm, alone, lonely


These tips will allow you to be open to a change in perspective and remember each day has only 24 hours. Tomorrow you have a new day and a new chance.

In reaching out as a confidence mentor, that is someone who is there to call, listen and encourage, just saying ‘ I am there for YOU’. Reach out and call for an  a 20min obligation free session. Di xx



Read More