How hospitality workers can maintain healthy relationships


Work can directly effect any couple, or family, relationship. Long work days, stress filled meetings and exhaustion will carry into the home, damaging not just the employee’s health, but also their loved ones. We see this nowhere more clearly than in the hospitality sector.

In a recent podcast with Ken Burgin of, Colleen spoke about how to maintain work-life balance and reduce pressure. Shedding light on the warning-signs that tell you a relationship is on the rocks, she also explores different communication methods and ways to cultivate personal, as well as professional, success.

You can listen to Colleen’s conversation with Ken about ‘Stronger, More Loving Relationships for Hospitality Workers’ here.

Do you work in the hospitality sector? Are you concerned about your personal or professional relationships? Contact Colleen 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10 minute consultation on how I can best help you or press book now to book on my online diary.

Social Media’s Growing Impact On Relationships

10 years ago we didn't know Facebook from Tinder, and online dating was relatively new. Yet as social media has developed, so has the methods in which we build relationships with one another. In this infographic by Juliana Rae, we are given new insight into the affect social media has had on every part of our relationships. From meeting one another to marriage, breaking up and divorce- social media plays a key role in our lives now.

How has social media changed dating?

The fact Facebook asks for our relationship status means we are automatically categorised as ‘single’ ‘married’ ‘in a relationship’ or the classic ‘it’s complicated.’ This makes it easier for the 54 million singles in the USA to find out the suitability of a partner. In fact, 5.5 million use online dating services. And before you knock it, research shows that courtship is shorter for these couples.

In many ways, social media seems to be having a positive impact on relationships. It has allowed people to meet to keep in contact, but what are the negative consequences of this new phenomenon?

Think about the public response you receive when you post your relationship status on Facebook. The more ‘likes’ you get, the more you feel rewarded for achieving such a status. Your relationship which was once private has now been turned into a public spectacle. And how do you react when your partner’s ex, or even a close friend, comments on their photos? Do you feel jealous, or are you assured of your partner’s commitment?

Once upon a time it was ugly to break up by text message. Today, it is even uglier to break up in the public forum of social media. This infographic says that 25% of people surveyed found out a relationship had ended on Facebook. In this, we see that the old fashioned practice of communicating has been replaced with a public declaration that ultimately hurts everyone involved.

When we share our lives on social media, our personal details are documented for the world to see. When it comes to relationships, this means we will always somewhat be connected to one another. Whether a break up occurs due to the secretive infidelity of someone documented on social media, or a lawyer uses a web trail in divorce proceedings, we can see that for every benefit that comes with social media, there is also a negative.

How do you and your partner use social media? Do you use it as an excuse to avoid conflict or publicly air your grievances? Perhaps you feel safer getting to know someone over a screen before meeting them? Whatever role social media plays in your relationships, come to a mutual understanding with your partner about what information you will share and who with. Make a conscious decision to keep your private moments private, and if you want to make full use of the positive benefits of social media in finding a partner, do so with wisdom and caution. Allow social media to play a part in your relationship, but don’t let it dictate your wellbeing. In the end, the classic relationship where two people do life together off screen is far healthier than one shared with the internet for all to see.



Would you like to discuss how to cultivate a healthy connection with your partner? Are you concerned about the role social media plays in your life? Here’s what you need to do: contact WatersedgeCounselling on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now to book in our online diary.


4 tips to cultivate and enhance your daily life and well being in 2014

cultivate-and-enhance-your-daily-lifeRecently I had the very LIFEGIVING experience of visiting Disney World in Florida.

I am using the word LIFEGIVING very deliberately, because my experience was just that!

For the 2 days that I had the opportunity to explore some of the parks, I could not stop grinning such was my happiness. Being at Disney World was a catalyst for releasing my inner child: I enthusiastically hugged Goofy, the Chipmunks, one or two Disney Princesses; I jumped up and down with delight as I watched the street parades and waved to Mickey Mouse; I sang along with gusto to the beautiful orchestral music that permeated every corner of the parks; I gasped with awe as I witnessed the glorious firework display, and I experienced enormous pleasure at the unfailing willingness and enthusiastic service of every Disney employee I encountered over the two days. If I could bottle my Disney experience and bring it home, I would have the instant ‘pick me up' for every mediocre day forever after! It was a LIFEGIVING experience.

What do I mean by LIFEGIVING? I initially encountered this term through an interest in the study of Spiritual Formation. I discovered that the term LIFEGIVING was a helpful way to recognise good spirit – that which had a calming, nurturing, grounding, centering and positive impact on my well-being. Anything that is LIFEGIVING grows, nourishes and enhances life in me. Conversely, when something depletes, minimises, drains and de-centers, it is a bad spirit and life destroying.

Whilst I cannot bring Disney home in a bottle, I can still encounter that which is LIFEGIVING in my ongoing everyday experience because I have developed the habit of noticing the things in my daily experience that enhance life and well-being in me.

Here are 4 tips to cultivate and enhance your daily life and well-being in 2014:

1. Using each of your 5 senses, take notice of the things in your everyday life that soothe, calm, centre, ground and/or bring you pleasure.
sight – a favourite object, photo or scene
smell – a flower, herb, tree, candle or particular object that calms or holds meaning for you
touch- a smoothe stone, a silk scarf, a beloved pet or a warm bubble bath
sound – the sea, rain on your roof, a favourite piece of music,
taste – a drink of hot chocolate, a glass of red wine at the end of a long day, the first cup of tea for the day, your favourite sweet

2. Take 5-10 minutes each day to journal the things that you notice are LIFEGIVING and reflect on what it is that makes it so.
Is it the colour, the size, the reminder of a pleasurable memory for instance?
Your answers will provide further insight into what it is that is particularly LIFEGIVING for you.

3. Practice DOING MORE of the things that are LIFEGIVING.
Makes sense doesn't it? I have noticed that inspite of what I know about what I NEED for well being, old habits die hard and self sabotage is my brains natural de-fault position! Making a new habit requires PRACTICE. By daily practice and journaling your discoveries you reinforce that which is LIFEGIVING.
RITUALS are a very powerful way of providing order and rhythm to your daily life. It may be as simple as going for a daily walk early morning, lighting a candle each evening or saying a prayer upon waking and going to bed.

4. Make your home/workplace environment LIFEGIVING by using decor that calms and centres you.
Be aware that your mood may well be enhanced by a certain colour or sounds.
Do you function better with more light? Do you prefer a window? Is there a particular plant or flower you would like to bring indoors? Do you require a quiet place where you can relax and find calm?
Consider how the environment you are in, impacts your mood and sense of well-being. You may well have to think creatively about how you can make the environment you are in, more LIFEGIVING for you.
Make a point of removing the things that de-energize you physically, mentally or emotionally.

By following these 4 tips you will begin to develop your own daily experience of noticing that which is LIFEGIVING for you. The benefits will include an increasing sense of calm, inner peace, and centering as you invite more of what is ‘good spirit' into your daily experience.

If you would like to explore this theme more fully within a group setting, Watersedgecounselling will be conducting a Women's Wellbeing Workshop, facilitated by Colleen Morris, on Saturday, February 22nd at 9.30am – 4.30pm, level 1, 24 Moorabool Street, Geelong. For more information, go to or call Colleen on 0434337245

If you would like a personal consultation on how to cultivate and enhance your daily life and well being, you can call Colleen for a FREE 10 minute consultation on 0434 337 245 or if you would like to make an appointment to see Colleen, go to BOOK NOW and you will be able to access Watersedgecounselling's online appointment diary.

6 Tips For Transitioning Into Marriage

6 Tips for transtioning Into Marriage

Introducing Guest Blogger, Anna Kosmanovski

Anna is a gifted and passionate writer and a delightful young woman. As a newly-wed, Anna is eminently qualified to write on the subject of transitioning into  married life. If you would like to read more of her work you will find it at


Having just recently got married, my husband and I joke that we are “marriage babies”, happily waddling around together in our diapers. We have our own experience on how to do married life but considering we’ve just celebrated the three month mark, I feel understandably inadequate to write on that.


What I can give my thoughts on, however, is the transition process from being single to being engaged, and then from being engaged to being married.


1. Get pre-marriage counselling

We did a five week course with two other couples. This included a dazzling array of desserts and complete privacy as a couple for the group conversation time. We went over common issues like household chores – who does what – as well as gave us insight into important issues we hadn’t even thought of yet!
For us, this represented a conversation, or series of ongoing conversations, on how we were planning, and wanting, to do life together after the wedding.

Looking back, this counselling was so important to our relationship.

It helped us both recognise how we naturally respond to situations and what our personality types were. Personally, I realised that I tended to naturally bottle some things up and needed to work on my confrontational skills. I also realised my husband-to-be was unable to read my mind. Even just recognizing these things is helpful and gives you consideration as you go into marriage, as well as areas to “work on.”


2. Talk about expectations

We naturally talked about our hopes and dreams but it was very useful to also directly discuss what each other’s individual expectations were for our marriage and then our collective vision for this. Doing so brought about compromise … which they say marriage is all about. So doing this exercise – and working out what’s non-negotiable and what needs to be compromised – you can meet in the middle.

Talking about this can involve expectations big and small, with no topic big or small.

For instance, would one spouse expect the other spouse to do most of the cleaning? Do you both expect to share the cooking and cleaning? What kind of expectations do you have in parenting? Even talking about how you would both like to do the holiday season with children – if you are planning on having them – is a valuable expectation to discuss.

For us, even talking about how we envisioned Christmas to look in our household was a point of differing expectations with one issue. I am so glad we found this out before we were married – and worked out a compromise – otherwise one of us may have been surprised!

Relating to having children down the track, does one spouse expect the other spouse to be a stay-at-home parent, get back to work after six months or do whatever felt right to them? These are good questions to ponder for your future together, even if the future seems very distant!


3. Make a plan for finances

As well as the pre-marriage counseling, we also did a three week budgeting course. We were not yet engaged at this stage but both knew that it would be a good thing individually and as a couple.

We spent late nights working on Excel spreadsheets and figuring out the structure of our finances, as well as discussing our thoughts on giving and saving. The reward for that comes into play after you are married. It saves you from having arguments when both parties naturally want to structure finances the way they’ve always done it when that may not simply work now life has changed from one to two.

So much tension in a relationship can revolve around money: how to use it, how you save it, etc. Some couples like to pay themselves a “pocket money” into their personal account and have a main joint transaction and savings account. Others like to have just the joint account. Some spouses need tight organisation in this area to feel at ease while others are just happy to go with the flow. Whatever your thoughts are on money and marriage, make sure you are both at peace with this.


4. Do your homework – learn from other people

We all need people to look up to and learn from; people to inspire us. In getting married, it’s no different. We need to learn from those who have strong relationships. These couples could be in their mid twenties or late sixties.

We gratefully accepted dinner dates, afternoon teas and the opportunity to meet with other couples we respected. We found these couples happy to speak into our lives and give advice and experiences and answer questions. We observed how these couples communicated, noticed how they valued their spouse in public and heard wisdom and tips on marriage. Simply speaking, we were lucky enough to see how other people, “did life together” and learnt from them.

In this way, we saw practically what we aspired to, which helped build our own unique relationship, as well as vision for it. This was a privilege to see healthy marriages and be inspired for our own relationship.


5.  Put up boundaries to protect your relationship

This is a really important one and will look different for every couple. It’s an exercise in both protection and safeguarding your relationship. What was good, helpful and supportive from family and friends when you were single may have the opposite effect when you are married.
For us, we put our faith in God first, then each other, then family. By identifying our priorities, we cut through some ambiguities which could have potentially lead to boundaries being crossed.

So much heartache comes from unhealthy relationships and lack of respect about boundary issues. The television show, Everyone Loves Raymond, paints a hilarious picture of this. When we were dating, my husband joked that he watched that show with the intention of learning “not to do” in our marriage.

We all need to be in community with our family and friends, but in a healthy way. Particularly in your first year of marriage, you need lots of space to well, just be with each other and be able to make mistakes and learn together how life is best for you both. Plus, it takes time to simply get used to being married and even living together for those who did not live together before being married.

Use the transition period to find out your boundary issues. Your spouses, too. Counselling will help with this. Consider if there are any minor – or major – relationship adjustments which need to happen.

If you can help it, this is not the time to move in with your inlaws or even live in a share house with other people. You are forming your own household, physically speaking, and need the freedom to do this just you too. Emotionally speaking, some – or perhaps more – relationships with friends and family need to change. The relationship is still there, it just needs to be tinkered slightly.


6. Learn – and celebrate – your differences

The thing is, opposites attract. You can’t tell when you’re dating and engaged because it’s so exciting but there’s a good chance your partner is opposite to you in a lot of ways!

You might be surprised to learn that your spouse is naturally introverted. Or perhaps you’re an introvert who has been pretending to be an extrovert during the dating/engagement period. You get married, life settles down to normalcy and your secret is revealed: you don’t want to have dinner parties every weekend! Or, maybe it’s the opposite!
Whatever your natural tendencies, it’s helpful to be aware of this and share it with your spouse or spouse to be!

This will give you both more understanding about each other, not to mention yourselves. Are you energized by people or energized by the solace of reading a book by yourself? By finding out how you are naturally wired, you can save time and tension in your marriage. Again, the compromise word comes into play! I’ll add another one too: respect. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to lean towards. Extrovert spouses can learn from more introvert partners and introverts are challenged by their more outgoing partners. Celebrate your differences and respect how the other person is naturally made, although don’t put them in a box either. People change and grow all the time: expect that will happen too!


7. It’s not about the wedding, it’s about what comes after

Some people thinks weddings are spelt “stress” not “wedding”, and with good reason too. Anyone who has been closely involved – parent, bridesmaid, groom, bride, sister, etc. – in a wedding knows exactly how stressful weddings CAN be. Table setting planning, costs involved, not being able to invite everyone you would like, civil wars within extended families: the list goes on!
Sadly, some couples have even separated during the engagement process because of the sheer stress of wedding planning, interference from others and other wedding related issues alone.

Two new families, two sets of values, a whole lot of differing expectations coming together and all of a sudden you have a wedding which is bigger than Ben Hur and nowhere near as noble.

In the busyness of this time, it’s a good idea for you and your spouse to take a step back and ask yourselves – are you even happy with how things are going ahead?

We needed to do this. Somewhere down the track, I realised that we had fallen into the trap of planning a wedding to please other people, the expense being ourselves (and our bank accounts.)

Tip: if you find yourselves constantly “joking” about how much easier it would be if you just eloped, you need to revisit your wedding planning with a very good tip which my husband’s aunty gave me.

It’s quite catchy, really: your day, your way!

If you need assistance to to navigate your present transition experience or need support as you experience your own transition contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or go to to book an appointment.



Transitions: The Secret Of Change

the secret of change

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old but on building the new. (Socrates)

Put simply, look ahead instead of looking back if you want to change.

As I have thought about this, a Bible story that I was taught during my early years attending Sunday School came to mind. It was a story that put fear in my heart telling of a couple who lived in the city of Sodom, infamous for some of its resident’s depraved behaviour. The couple had been instructed by God to flee from the city without looking back. Failure to do so, God warned, would be grievous. I can only guess what Lot’s wife was experiencing: curiosity, confusion and uncertainty, feelings of loss, doubt? The consequence of her action was swift and dramatic: she turned to a pillar of salt there in the desert.

The story reminds me of the real challenges a person faces when confronted with any transition in their life. Some transitions such as developmental changes, workplace changes, or the loss of a loved one are forced upon you. Other transitions are a consequence of the choices you have made: living together as a committed couple, marriage, moving location, a change in employment, recovery from an addiction are just a few examples. Irrespective of the nature of the transition you are going through, it is a stressful and emotionally challenging time. The story reminds me how easily you can become ‘stuck’ and even feel like you are ‘losing yourself’ during transition because nothing is familiar or predictable anymore. The ground is shifting beneath you and the natural desire to turn back and look at the old  familiar ways can be a temptation difficult to resist. It is a human tendency to go back to the comfort of what is familiar, even if it is doing me harm; to avoid the discomfort of the unknown and unfamiliar.

Trusting the process of change; permanent change takes a long time and tests our tolerance and patience. Transition is not a linear movement but a movement back and forward, testing out new behaviours, falling back on the old, learning by trial and error.

Fighting the old reinforces the old

  • You are confronted by ‘demons’ of the past
  • You experience an ongoing struggle to resist temptation
  • You become physically and emotionally exhausted
  • You are more vulnerable to the very thing you are fighting against (‘I feel like giving up’; ‘It’s too hard’; ‘Why am I even bothering?’)

Building the new inspires hope and purpose

  •  Your back is to the old
  •  You are thinking about possibilities and dreams
  •  You are focused on finding solutions
  •  You are focusing on the goal

Whatever transition you are presently going through, be it as an individual, a couple or as a member of a community, remember Socrates advice and focus your energy on building the new.

If you need assistance to  focus your energy on the new, would like to know more about how to navigate your present transition experience or need support as you experience your own transition contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or go to to book an appointment.

9 Keys to Strengthen and Improve Your Relationships

light_by_captivatedimages-d5dvvlqDo you get along with most people? My own experience when working with people suggests that whilst most of us get on with most people, there are always certain people that we find difficult to understand and get on with.

Sometimes you may struggle to understand why a person thinks the way they do, or holds a differing belief or value system to you evoking anger in you or by contrast, intimidation. Sometimes you feel irritated by a particular person or find yourself in frequent conflict or you just don’t like them for no apparent reason. Getting along with people is a skill we all need but how and where do we learn the skill?

Your family of origin is the context in which you learn how to do relationships, as you observe your parents or significant care-givers relational style. As a child, you developed your own relational style within your family context, responding to the specific stressors and challenges you experienced. If there were frequent arguments between your parents, you may have taken on the role of a mediator, prioritizing the need to keep things peaceful and settled. If your father was abusive towards your mother, you may have taken the role of protector out of the need to defend your mother. Some of us feel very isolated and abandoned as children. If that was the case for you, you may experience yourself as being different to others, having learned to live within your own imagination.

Relational styles vary. Have you noticed that some people seem to get on with others effortlessly whilst others struggle to get on with people?  Whilst your relational style worked for you as a child within your family context, as an adult you are exposed to a much broader range of relational styles that frequently challenge the way you do relationships. This becomes particularly apparent when you experience a life crisis and discover that the skills you have relied upon to relate to others, no longer work and even keep you stuck in problematic situations. It is at this stage, people often choose to see a counselling professional in order to understand themselves and others in relationship.

It was during a period of personal crisis that I became aware that I needed to understand myself at a deeper level and change the way I related to other people. At that time I was experiencing chronic depression and felt crippled by fear. I withdrew from life, seeking to protect myself from other people’s judgements and expectations, feeling inadequate and insignificant. My recovery from depression was significantly facilitated by the decision to pursue personal self-awareness and the way my relational style impacted others in relationship.

Whether you are at a time of personal life crisis and/or relationship crisis or simply want to strengthen and grow your relationships, I recommend these 9 keys (known as The Enneagram). These 9 keys provided me with a very accurate psychological tool that helped me understand and work effectively with other people instead of being fearful of them. I have since used this tool in every area of my life; my marriage relationship, my family relationships, my personal friendships, my workplace relationships and in my work as a therapist.

These 9 keys give insight into what a particular personality type values and prides themselves on. By identifying the others personality type on the enneagram, you begin to become aware of how they function and how to initiate a relationship based on an appreciation of one another’s strengths and differences.

Here are the 9 keys to strengthen and improve your relationships:

Type 1    The Perfectionist; ‘I am right’

Type 2    The Giver; ‘I am helpful'

Type 3    The Performer; ‘I am successful’

Type 4    The Romantic; ‘I am different’

Type 5    The Observer; ‘I am knowledgeable and wise’

Type 6    The Loyal Sceptic; ‘I am loyal’

Type 7    The Epicurist; ‘I am fun’

Type 8    The Protector; ‘I am strong’

Type 9    The Mediator; ‘I am settled’


When you begin to pay closer attention to what a person is saying you will hear what a person frequently states or implies about them. Noticing what a person prides themselves on, you can start to appeal to that part of them.

For example, to get along with a Type 1, you need to allow them to feel that you value their advice by asking them what they think, listening carefully, and giving respect to what they say. Whether you agree or not, this person is more likely to support you, because you have given value to them. To get along with a Type 4 it is important to acknowledge that they are different, invite them to share their unique perspective and in particular their creativity. Give them the creative director job and they will do it with flair!

If you want to know more about these 9 keys, look out for more articles to help you to understand your self and others so that you can continue to strengthen and grow your relationships.

 If you want to grow personally and in your relationships, experience wellness and reach toward your full relational potential then here’s what you need to do contact me on 0434 337 245  for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how I can best help you or press book now to book on my online diary.






How Do I Find Happiness?

hugs_no_2_by_captivatedimages“The habit of being happy enables one to be freed, or largely freed, from the dominance of the outward conditions.” -Robert Louis Stevenson

I have noticed that I often speak of happiness as something that I receive when the focus of my happiness is attained. You might be familiar with some of these statements: ‘I will just be happy when the car is fixed’; ‘I will be happy when the kids go back to school’; ‘When I stop smoking I will be happy’; ‘Buying that house in the country will be pure happiness’; ‘Having that dress would make me so happy’.

Contrary to Robert Louis Stevenson’s assertion that the habit of happiness will free you from the tyranny of your needs and wants or ‘the dominance of the outward conditions’, statements like these communicate the belief that happiness IS dependent upon your outward condition, having your needs and wants met.

What makes you happy? Are you happy? Have you mastered the ‘habit of being happy’? Are you ‘largely free’ from the dominance of the outward condition? These are the questions that I have been asking myself, leading me to some interesting answers.

The Grammar of Happiness

I was fascinated by a documentary I saw recently called ‘The Grammar of Happiness’. The documentary followed the story of a missionary amongst the extraordinary ‘unconvertible' Amazonian Pirahã tribe, a group of indigenous hunter-gatherers who the missionary experienced as a ‘happy’ people. My fascination was aroused by the fact that the Pirahã have no words for ‘the ‘past’ or ‘the future’ in their language. These people live ‘in the present’; they have all they need, when they need it. They appeared to be a secure people, experiencing order and stability. It was apparent that these people had a strong sense of connection to each other, of belonging and being loved; a ‘happy and contented’ people.

I wondered how this ‘living in the present’ contributed to their happiness, after all they still have needs to be met, children to feed, a hostile environment to live in. Their outward condition is still a reality, yet they live as a people who have made peace with it, have learned how to have their basic needs met within its context and be happy. Their inner attitude is not dominated by past regrets or future desires, but by a calm acknowledgment and acceptance of what they have in the present, producing within them an internal freedom.

Part of the Pirahã’s secret to happiness is their interdependence. Living, eating, working, playing – they do it together. Unlike our own western society where individualism and self-actualization is celebrated, these people live as one, sharing their lives together. They are generative, passing on their knowledge from one generation to the next as they live and work together for the common good. The habit of happiness is a reality for the Pirahã because they accept that the collective and individual needs will be met at the time that need arises.

The Pirahã people teach us that the Habit of Happiness is possible when you:

1. Live in The Present Moment

Living in the present, often termed ‘mindfulness’ is a discipline that makes you calmer, peaceful and feeling more in control. Where your mind is often preoccupied by matters of the past or the future, even while you are actively engaged in the present, when living mindfully all your energy is conscripted into focusing on the here and now: the conversation you are having, the work you are doing, the meal you are preparing. You make fewer mistakes because anxiety is not present to distract you or rob you of energy. Relationships are potentially stronger because being fully present to the other person minimizes misunderstanding. When you encounter personal or interpersonal problems, mindfulness allows you to ground yourself, feel calm, think clearly and come to a successful outcome.

Doctor Timothy Sharp, Chief Happiness Officer of The Happiness Institute in Australia says about the pursuit of happiness; “It’s about facing up to [our problems] in a constructive way so that we can come to the best solutions.” His statement reminds me that when you choose not to face up to your problems, choosing instead to dwell on the past or dream about the future or distract yourself by the endless pursuit of your wants; then you choose to be dominated by your outward conditions. Dr Sharp implies that happiness is gained when you look within yourself to deal with the challenges of everyday life. To look within your-self is a mindfulness act. You are mentally disciplined to be present to your own inner experience, bringing a calmness and clarity that helps you find the best possible outcome at the time. In time you learn the mindfulness principle that ‘there is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so’.

2. Cultivate Strong, Supportive Relationships

Human beings are interdependent creatures, needing each other for support, help, encouragement, comfort and company. The successful interdependence of the Pirahã people is based on the individual’s commitment to, and respect for the other. Parents raise their children to understand and value the collective experience, and work with each other toward the common good.

I wonder what that would look like in your daily experience if you applied that same principle. In our Western society, individualism is often celebrated over the group experience and children are raised with the belief that to have one’s own need met, you have to protect and promote yourself above other people’s needs.

Cultivating strong supportive relationships requires that you have a co-operative and compassionate attitude towards the other rather than a competitive attitude; that you become more intuitive and thoughtful towards other. To achieve these qualities, it is necessary to be more internally driven rather than externally controlled or, in Robert Louis Stevenson’s words, be less dominated by outward conditions. Cultivating inner qualities such as kindness, patience, gratitude and optimism not only make you a better person but a person internally driven and therefore a happier person.


The Habit of Happiness – is it possible? I believe it is if you are prepared to apply yourself to the practice of mindfully focusing on the present and consistently seeking to connect with others in ways that are kind, considerate and thoughtful. Will you take that challenge to develop the ‘habit of happiness’ with me?I look forward to hearing your feedback about it.

If you want to grow, experience happiness and wellness and reach toward your full potential then here’s what you need to do contact me on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how I can best help you.

Issues With Alcohol: How Do You Know You Have A Problem?

You love a drink. It relaxes you, you feel more confident and sociable, you have more fun. Recently, someone has been telling you that you have an alcohol problem – your partner, a parent, a close friend, maybe your boss? You can't accept what they say, after all everyone enjoys a drink every now and then. All your friends drink, if you drink a bit more now and then, it doesn't hurt anyone, you reason to yourself.

I understand that you don't want to be told that you have an alcohol problem. It feels like you are a child again, being told that you have done something wrong. It can feel embarrassing, humiliating and possibly frightening, especially if you had an alcoholic parent.

So I simply want to ask you a few questions that can help you make up your own mind. Be aware that if you do have an alcohol problem, you won't want to admit it. You will feel really defensive as I ask you to take an honest look at how you are doing.

1. How many times a week do you drink alcohol?

  • The recommended limit for low risk drinking is 2 standard drinks a day including 1 alcohol free day a week. Can you stop at 2 drinks? Perhaps you could test yourself over the next couple of weeks and keep a diary of how much you drink.

2. How much do you drink in any single episode?

  • You may drink just on one or two nights a week. How much do you drink on those occasions? The recommended limit when drinking on those occasions is 4 standard drinks. 
  • Binge drinking to the point of intoxication as a regular occurrence is a risk to your health. Are you frequently intoxicated? Over the next fortnight, keep a count of how often you drink to intoxication.

3. Has the issue of alcohol caused conflict in your relationship? 

  •  your partner nags you about your drinking 
  •  you frequently fight about your drinking to the point that you avoid coming home
  •  you are more irritable, distrustful or aggressive

4. Are you noticing that your behaviour is frequently out of character?

  • acting inappropriately
  • making poor decisions
  • telling lies
  • driving under the influence of alcohol

How did you do as you answered these questions?  If you could identify yourself in these four points, I encourage you to seek some help. You can find help on the internet by putting the word ‘alcohol' into the google search engine. You will be able to research what is available near your location. If you live on the Bellerine Region of Victoria, contact watersedgecounselling for alcohol counselling on 0434337245 or book now.

If you want help to overcome your alcohol issue, grow, experience wellness and reach toward your full potential then here’s what you need to do contact me on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how I can best help you.

6 Tips For Managing Anger

 A regular weekend leisure activity that my husband and I enjoy together, is going to watch the AFL football game in Geelong. Last week's match didn't let us down as our team ( Geelong of course) put on a good performance to win the match . By the last quarter, the crowd's excitement was at its fullest as people yelled at their own team, at the opposing team, at the umpires and at just about anything else that moved!!

Team sport evokes great passion from its followers and for many people it is an opportunity to vent the ‘pent up' anger  in a context where it is seen to be acceptable and appropriate. You could describe it as a ‘cathartic' experience – given expression, anger is released and you settle once the game is over.

If you have an anger issue, you will know that the anger rarely settles. It may recede for a time, bubbling just beneath the surface waiting for an opportunity to erupt again, but it never goes away. Feeling helpless to control it, the anger controls you.

 Here are 6 tips to help you gain some control over the anger:

1. Regular exercise

Going to the gym, jogging, swimming, biking or whatever it is that you enjoy, you need to incorporate into your daily schedule.
If daily exercise is not part of your regular routine include it with something else you enjoy. For instance, ask a friend to do it with you and reward yourselves with a coffee afterwards. Use the opportunity to nurture your relationship with your partner or another family member. Do the exercise down at the beach, river or local park. Take the dog for a run with you and invest in some headphones to listen to your favorite music. The ways to approach your daily exercise routine are endless.

2. Calm Yourself

Understand what it is that calms you, and put it into daily practice. Begin to take notice of the times when you feel more settled. What are you doing (or not doing)? Is it when you are walking, swimming, resting, gardening, reading, having a cup of coffee or focusing on something else in particular? Do more of it. Think about how you could integrate that into your everyday life. If you are aware that there are times when you are particularly vulnerable to the anger, could you do a calming exercise before that event to settle you?

3. Creative Pursuits

Expressing yourself creatively can give expression to the anger that you hold.
Art, dance, drama, journalling, blogging are some examples of creative expression. Imagine what it is that you might enjoy creating and have a go. Creative pursuits allow the anger to be expressed and its energy released, in a positive way.

4. Volunteering your time for Others

I have found that individuals who struggle with anger, are frequently highly compassionate people who are strongly motivated to help others. When you choose to focus on how you can help others more ( in particular your family who will get a full serving of your anger fairly regularly) rather than focusing on having your own needs met, you will feel better about yourself and the anger will diminish.

5. Pursuing your Dreams

As a young person you had a dream about who you wanted to become and what you wanted to achieve. What happened to your dream? Have you achieved it or has ‘life' got in the way? When you are doing what you have a passion and vision for, you will find that anger will lose its power. How could you get back in touch with your dreams?

6. Deal with Unresolved Issues

This is the most difficult because it is about honest self- reflection. While you choose to blame others for your anger, you will continue to hold on to it. When you are willing to go to the places within yourself that hold pain and begin to talk it, you are on the road to healing.

If you want to grow, experience wellness and reach toward your full potential then here’s what you need to do contact me on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how I can best help you.