Hi Everyone, I hope you had a fantastic weekend!
Today I realized that not only was I meant to be writing a blog post; I was also meant to be writing a 4-7minute icebreaker speech for Toastmasters tonight. So once I got over the panic of that - I finally figured that I could 'kill two birds with one stone' and inflict my speech on my blog readers! If you don't know about Toastmasters - it's an organisation that helps you learn to speak publicly with confidence (something I definitely need!). An Icebreaker is the first speech you have to do in the course. It's designed to help introduce yourself to the group and tell them about yourself. So here we go!
"Good Evening, Mr Toastmaster; fellow Members and Guests.
What do abseiling out of a helicopter, a crazy sheep named Theodore, scuba diving with whale-sharks and the journey from emotional pain to hope have in common? The answer, is me.
I’ve got five minutes to tell you a bit about me – so I thought I’d carry on with the picture theme from last meeting to help me do this.
Abseiling out of a helicopter is about adventure. I love anything “outdoorsy” and used to volunteer for Civil Defence and Search & Rescue. I have these great memories of blasting around in a huge air force Iroquios helicopter and getting dropped in the bush to look for lost hikers. I grew up in West Auckland: (building huts, climbing trees and skateboarding with the neighbourhood tribe of kids), so I’ve always loved anything to do with being outside – especially if it involved doing something slightly risky!
In life I’ve learned that giving it a go is much better that being great at something. Saying “yes” to a new experience (not without fear of course) and giving it a go (even if I’ll never do it again) has taught me so much! It's also given me some pretty amazing experiences with some fantastic people in various locations around the globe.
Theodore Spotty Dots is an orphaned lamb that we rescued. He represents my love of animals – as well as my seeming inability to set any boundaries with them! We bottle fed Theo until he was weaned; but by then he thought he was a human – and therefore fully entitled to barge into the house and sit on the couch. Not ideal. Luckily now he’s much too fat to squeeze his way through the fence anymore, so my couch – and my garden are safe. Animals have always been very important to me. They help me to feel peaceful and grounded in the moment (except, of course when I’m screaming at them for trampling my garden and peeing behind the curtains).
Scuba Diving with Whale Sharks is a dream for the future. It represents my love of nature and adventure; but also my concern for our planet. I’d love to do this – gliding along beside these beautiful giants! Wouldn’t that be incredible??
But the thought of them slowly being wiped out by overfishing and pollution makes my guts hurt. Did you know that pieces of plastic outnumber sea life in our oceans now by about 6-1? And that each piece of plastic takes about a million years to biodegrade? Even recycling doesn’t get rid of it – it just makes it smaller (and easier for these beautiful animals to ingest!)
Alright, Breathe……Rant over…….(But PLEASE try and minimise your use of plastics – and dispose of them carefully when you are done with them!)
The Journey from Emotional Pain to Hope represents my job as a counsellor; and also this book that I have written. I am passionate about helping people to move from places in their lives where they are stuck in cycles of pain, repetitive negative thoughts and behaviour. The tag line on my business card says “Unlock your Potential.” I know it sounds a bit cheesy, but I honestly believe that there are people everywhere walking around holding onto grief and pain and hurt and shame that they don’t need to; and that these things hold them back from fully experiencing life in the way that they could. There is so much good that each of us could do and experience – and so many people ‘just getting through’ life without actually learning to love it! The purpose of my career and this book is to spread as much hope as possible – and especially for me myself to actually practice what I preach and learn to live without fear holding me back.
So that is a little bit about me. The helicopter, the sheep, the whale shark and the book. Adventure, animals, nature and people. It’s only a snippet I know – but if you want more, you’ll just have to wait till the next speech!"
Have a great week Everyone!