Multi Level Marketing – Stop the Nay Saying

A bit of an unusual rant from me but I truly felt that I had to speak up on behalf of women.

I recently watched a YouTube clip about a product a friend of mine had started selling. The commentator in the video was against my friends product. His only reason for being against the product is that it was multi-level marketing (MLM). Nothing about the integrity of the company or the quality of the product. Just against it because of the way you buy it.

Let me tell you about MLM and I why I do it and thousands of others do it too. Now, I agree, there are some unscrupulous companies out their, but mostly the MLM products that are lasting and that have successful sales consultants are good products from good companies that chose a specific growth path. And it is a path that empowers its consultants, most of whom are women.

I love MLM. I am not hugely active as for me it is a side line. I have two MLM products that I sell because I absolutely believe in or love the product. I am well rewarded, can work the hours I want and I have fun. I also get to work with some amazing people who bring joy to my life. Most of the women I work with have MLM as their main source of income. They are able to work around children, family commitments and their own commitments. I work with mums of young children, university students, upcoming brides, and women with older children. All express how much they enjoy being able to pick their own hours.

I have heard people comment that I am making money off my friends. Yes, I did, they welcomed me into my home to hear what I had to say. The same as if you bought a product from a friend that worked in a shop or owned the shop. Other critics point to the rewards that can include holidays locally and overseas. My son works for a multi-national company and regularly goes on holidays that he has won on bonuses, or he travels for conferences, planning retreats and any number of activities. This is how businesses in sales work. They reward their top sales people. And that is what MLM does too.

Put simply, MLM is just one of a number of different business models, one that enables women to work part time or full time, when it suits them and their families, and gives them financial independence, boosts their confidence, and in many many cases builds strong lasting friendships.

If you are interested, there are links below are to my business sites and to mine and my friend’s FaceBook pages if you are interested on finding out more about the product.

Norwex – cleaning house with only water. Saving time, money and being environmentally conscious.

Fifth Avenue Collection jewellery – no lead, nickel or cadmium for your skin to absorb. I have a metal allergy and have no reaction to this beautiful, stunning range of high fashion jewellery.

Juice Plus+ – an energising collection of whole food supplements.

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I still call him Bruce!?! Excuse me? The ignorance of some people …

Warning! May contain a bit of a Rant!!

The arrogance of some people to say that they will continue to call Caitlyn Jenner “Bruce”. To me this shows all sorts of disrespect to others and to yourself. It shows me that you not only have low self-esteem but a serious lacking in self-worth. Your statement clearly reflects that you live in a world where you are too scared to be true to yourself and so you seek to keep others down or to pull them down when they stick there head up and try to shine. Your words show that the people around you would not respect any choices that you made, and so because you want to stay being a sheep you mimic those words. Who are you that you feel so threatened by the courage of Caitlyn? Who are you that cannot smile happily and with joy at seeing a person take steps to be the person that they truly are? Why are you so unable to let go of your bitter and twisted views and be the best person that you can be?

I think Caitlyn is a role model for everyone. Not just those of us living with transgender feelings. What a path Caitlyn has wandered? So many decades living within false constraints. I show Caitlyn’s steps to my daughters to say that no matter what the odds are in life you must always be true to yourself. Yes you will be scared, yes you will be frightened, and yes you may lose some people that you thought loved you. All those feelings will be worth it. Once you realise who you are and live true to yourself, good people surround you, you feel empowered, your life has meaning and you discover joy. Living true to yourself brings balance.

A big cheer for Vanity Fair for publishing Caitlyn’s debut on their front cover.

And Caitlyn, I am honoured that I lived at a time that allowed you to find yourself inside and out.

**LoveAndLight**

Be the reason someone soars!

So often we see people crippling loved ones, especially their children; making them dependent on a toxic drama filled relationship. Turning them into people unable to function as grown ups. Lacking in self worth, lacking in confidence. Filled with so much fear they can’t pursue their dreams. Sometimes they have no dreams because all resilience has been broken down and no skills were ever built to make a PACT with themselves and the universe for a truly meaningful life. 

These children grow big not knowing they need to find their Passion and Purpose. Unable to ACT as all Ambition Courage and Tenacity has been stripped from them by vicious tongues that denigrate, belittle and wound; words that should be loving are instead used as weapons, emotional blackmail to manipulate accompanied in a package of twisted love so that the person subjected to it has difficulty in finding good healthy friendships and relationships; and if they do manage, they behave so appallingly that the relationship dies or becomes toxic replicating what they grew big with.

How wondrous is it when you selflessly love and strengthen another person and they choose to stay in your life? And if they spread their wings and fly, you find joy in knowing that a little bit of your loving kindness is soaring with them. 

 

Menopausal Madness & the Working Woman

I always wondered why women would take Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) especially when all the news linking it to the development of cancers started arising (see link below). That is until changing my bed linen became a daily occurrence and the slightly strange moods morphed into feelings of being overwhelmed or disengaged and unmotivated, we won’t even discuss the bizarre feelings of anxiety! I have always prided myself on being a strong woman that will always step up to the plate when needed. I am the person who makes the hard decisions. I’m the person the family calls on for answering questions like “should we turn off the life support”. Serious. That’s me. I’m the Aunty people call when there is a problem that needs a person who can act sensibly and responsibly under pressure. Not to mention being the super-organised one at work who just rolls up her sleeves and gets on with it. Now I find myself with eye leakage at cute puppy and kitten memes. As I dragged my jumper off for the nth time yesterday, I wondered how professional me would be coping.

Currently I have the luxury of working from home and videoing in for meetings. During my last face to face meeting I was only having slightly warm flushes of an evening. Now the most recent ones are noticeable. So, how does the professional woman manage, in a room full of clients, peers and subordinates to not rip off her shirt and madly fan herself with the most recent financial report? How do you deal with brain fog? What are the alternatives to HRT? Because, I have to say that a couple of days ago if I was working in a corporate environment I would have considered it.

When I went to the TCM Dr she commented that “I’ve caught it early”. This means in terms of treatment my menopausal symptoms will respond better. I now have 15 little black ball shaped pills to take twice a day and acupuncture once a week till I get some balance back. Given I am a holistic health coach myself, I understand that unlike harsh Western medicine, I will not see immediate results. I am also a firm believer in not trying multiple therapies at once, so I am not trying any essential oil or homeopathic treatments; as yet. But I can assure you that at 3am, with zero sleep and another flaming hot wave sweeping through my body I could easily set aside my do no harm principals and eat the heart of a frog, or drink the urine of the endangered long-eared bat! And, and this is an important AND, I am NOT having severe symptoms, not only am I in the early stages, my  plant-based (mostly organic) eating habits mean that I am less exposed to hormones and chemicals in the food chain.

I have been doing a bit of research. By this I mean I activated the female friendship tree and got some tips. I have heard that I should wear waterproof makeup that allows you to sweat, no ladylike glow here, or where no makeup at all, or get your eyebrows and eyelashes tinted (something I already did until my recent accidental conversion to plant-based eating). Put a bundle of tissues in each armpit and leave your jacket on during meetings. Keep a diary to see if you can time the flushes and only schedule meetings when you think you won’t have one (can you imagine what that notation would like it in your diary? 9am Meeting with CFO, 9.45am Hot flush …). Drink as much water as possible. Avoid eating foods that cause your body to smell when it is sweating. In fact, try and avoid altogether because apparently you can just get smelly. Oh, and one last one, always wear at least a panty liner, because minor incontinence is also on the cards. Menopause Australia list 34 symptoms of menopause and peri-menopause. If you weren’t depressed at the thought of menopause, read the list, I promise you will be at least sad and apprehensive. On the upside, you will be informed and better able to manage and make tough decisions.

On a professional note, I recommend being open, whilst you don’t have to discuss each and every symptom, which would also be tactless, you can do what I do, drag out my trusty fan and fan myself. I say nothing unless someone looks at me questioningly, at which point I simply say “that time of life” and move on. You will also be surprised at how accommodating men of your age group and older are. It appears that as we get older there are less and less social taboos. I had a man at the airport the other night regaling me with stories about his wife’s flushes and how he often ended up on the couch!

On a further professional note, it is worth your while to be familiar with these symptoms as we all manage or work with a diversely aged population. To date I have worked with: women going through IVF and men whose partners were; colleagues with children and with children facing difficulties; women going through “the change”; and people my age and older dealing with becoming grandparents (sometimes very unexpectedly) and often at the same time becoming the carer for an elderly parent. All these outside engagements can affect performance. To keep employees productive we need to be understanding and able to provide a flexible and harmonious workplace. Who knows, it might be you who needs a special consideration one day!

After my meditation retreat I will be recommencing my martial arts training. I am hoping that meditation and the discipline of martial arts will assist me in regaining and retaining my focus and sharp thinking.

Some further reading on menopause…

Menopause Centre Australia: http://menopausecentre.com.au/menopause-symptoms-index

Cancer Research UK http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/causes-of-cancer/hormones-and-cancer/hrt-and-cancer

A little happy note from me…

I wish that all of you whose meanderings in the Red Dust have brought you to the menopausal stage of your journey are able to embrace it as the next big adventure. I personally am looking forward to seeing how the way I view and respond to the world changes. And while I probably can’t dance like I used to (in fact, after my nieces 21st recently, I know I can’t), there is always a dance to be found! So I will continue wandering my Red Dust Way and hope I can bring you some wisdom from my menopausal journey.

Menopause? Now!? Really!?!

Yes, Really! At the ripe young age of 48 I am heading into menopause. Don’t ask if it is peri-menopause or menopause. I have been too paralysed with fear to do any intelligible research. I didn’t even know there was more than one stage. I did try to do research. Really. I googled “symptoms of menopause” and in the search results was an article on “38 symptoms…” At that point I truly wished I drank alcohol so I could drown my fears, sorrows and anything else. I refused to read further. The symptoms I have include random memory loss, fuzzy thinking and a huge, almost crippling inability to focus. And, as if that isn’t enough, I am spending the entire night on a rolling wave of hot AND cold flushes. My mother has some serious explaining to do. This part of my life was left out of the “Talk” we had when I had meno-start.

Now I must say I was relieved to discover that the brain fugue is part of menopause. Even if it was delivered via the oh-so-not hilarious taunts of a friend on Facebook. Well, okay, they were funny taunts but that is not the point. I had been starting to think I might have an early onset of Alzheimer’s so I was glad to know that I would stop forgetting important stuff, of course I can also continue to remember dancing on pianos when I was younger. Perhaps I can organise a selective forgetfulness? I was also pretty okay with the flushes. Although my sleep was disturbed, I was waking feeling rested. The flushes started of as mildly warm and stayed that way until about a week ago. Now it is total strip off time. This is all fine and good until you are a guest on a bed in the lounge room and wake to find yourself with blankets kicked off and no t-shirt! My son assures me he doesn’t have to burn his eyes out!!

And again, all that I could have coped with, until I started getting more than one or two mild flushes through the day. Now I get several through the day and they require me to strip off my outer layers. And I have many layers as just before hand I would have had teeth-chattering cold and bundled up. Fortunately, being a born and bred Melbourne girl I am used to dressing for 26 seasons in one day, but I have to tell you on my recent flight back from Sydney on a tiny plane there wasn’t much room for on again off again clothes. Well, not unless I wanted to elbow my fellow passengers, which I confess is something I have thought about on previous flights but these fellow travelers were nice people.

Anyway, after the son nearly burning his eyes out incident, I had decided I needed a Plan. I find things work better when you have a Plan. Even if you can’t stick to it, you still have an idea of where you are meant to be heading and what you are meant to be doing. My plan – always wear a t-shirt and jacket instead of sweaters. Simple! I thought I was so clever. Well the weather was not conducive to the t-shirt and jacket so I had to wear a sweater. On one occasion, Sydney got a lovely eyeful of my middle-aged pale midriff as I ripped my sweater off. My daughter-in-law at least had a vague idea of what I was going through so did not die of embarrassment at the feral stripping off on the busiest thoroughfare in the city.

Time to change tactics. This was when I decided that a fan would be a lovely complement to my plan. Do you have any idea how stupid you look fanning yourself in freezing cold weather? I do. Especially when all the trendy young hipsters surrounding you have no clue as to why you would be fanning yourself. I suddenly felt awkward and gauche. Not something that is foreign to me, but it has certainly not been something that has caused me concern for decades. I rarely give a toss what strangers in crowded restaurants think about me. I dress for me and behave for me and choose to have the friends I have. And quite frankly I can’t be bothered with people making vapid judgements. So why the insecurity? Or rather, anxiety? Ah, yet another symptom. Something I also know nothing about. I actually had some anxiety two weeks ago and had to phone a friend to ask what was wrong with me. When she told me I laughed and told her I didn’t get anxiety. Guess I was wrong on that count.

So, where does that leave me? Well, I wasn’t planning on going through menopause until I was 55. Guess that schedule needs reviewing. So I thought, oh well, no biggy, I’ll just suck it up and get through it. I mentioned to a friend how uncomfortable the symptoms were. She told me she has a friend who has been having the symptoms for 10 years. 10 years!!! Another woman I spoke to mentioned that her Aunty has been having symptoms for over 15 years. So NOT A HAPPY CAMPER people. What next? I have decided I need to do some research and I went to see the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Dr. I have had a treatment of acupuncture and started taking a herbal remedy. I’ll let you know how it works out. And any interesting tidbits from my research. Hopefully I’ll have my happy dancing feet back on in no time at all.

**LoveAndLight**

Happy Mother’s Day … Or grin and bear it day?

I came across this post this morning. It really challenged me and I felt disloyal to my mother even reading it. My mother and I have a great relationship that is touched with moments of awkwardness. Mostly because she doesn’t understand me and lacks the skills to understand me. Sometimes in a darker, less charitable moment, I think she doesn’t want to understand me. But I know that is only because her life would be easier for her if I fitted the mould of what a daughter should be. What I do know is that she is incredibly proud of me, and even though she can’t understand how I am “happy”, she is pleased that I feel I live a life with meaning and fulfillment.

For me, I confess that in my early 20s I really didn’t like or respect my mum very much. The whole, I should stay home and bake, 1950s housewife model never ever appealed to me. I wanted to be a trailblazing career women in a black suit. It was a very intense time of my life. I am incredibly honest and have always sought to live my life with honesty and (later) integrity. I agonised over cutting my mother out of my life and the lives of my children. I realised then that I had two choices … a life without a mother or a life with occasional (and not-so-occasional) moments of biting my tongue. Fortunately for me I chose life with the tongue biting. I decided to accept my mother for who she is. Warts and all, you could say. And how glad am I that I did. Once I stopped measuring her against my ideal, I discovered a wonderfully generous (if somewhat sexist) woman, who has turned out to be an amazing grandmother and great-grandmother.

So for all of you out there struggling with horrible and not-so-horrible mothers, perhaps see her against the backdrop of her upbringing and her own relationship with her mother. Think about how that might have impacted her and your relationship. And remember always that we aim to meet all challenging people with loving kindness and the challenges they throw at us with equanimity. Only by owning our part in the relationship can we know peace. The choice to be present in that relationship allows the little taunts and digs, and the odd public humiliation, and the sometimes complete and utter lack of their ability to understand and accept you to no longer matter.

Of course, some people are truly toxic and there may come a time in your respective meanderings where you need to wander without each other. If this is the path you feel compelled to take, try to do it without acrimony on your behalf. Own the decision and explain why you are making it. And only do it once, and be absolutely resolute about the changes you require before repairing and rebuilding the relationship. And be fair, there will be changes that your mother may request, and you need to hear those requests and consider them. Lastly, if you are a mother yourself, remember, your children will model their relationship with you on your relationship with your mother.

For those of you that have fabulous mothers, I am so happy for you. And for those of you that are missing their mothers, who are either far far away or have moved on to the next cycle, hold that love in your heart and let it be a beacon of light in your life and the lives of those around you.

**LoveAndLight**

#choices #stepup #ownit #mothers #relationships #family #meanderings #wanderings

Optimism, realism and pessism

We all know the glass half full story, or rather stories … half full is the Optimist, half empty is the Realist. I would like to introduce the Pessimist who knows the glass is half empty and full of germs. And don’t forget the Opportunist who drank it while we were working out if it was half full or half empty.

As a metaphor for life it works pretty well. There is also the Pragmatist who doesn’t care whether it’s half full or half empty but will take what is available, roll up her/his sleeves and use it to get on with the task at hand. Occasionally,  someone asks, how do I get my glass to be half full instead of half empty? And this is the person you want to be.

To be a half full person you don’t need to overdose on positivity and I’m not going to drown you in cheerleader type exhortations. I am not going to teach you to be an Optimist. We are going to embrace the Pragmatist that takes what is available to build the next step. In our case, the next step is to be a person who lives life on equal terms, meets challenges with equanimity and, through that, finds a balance between life’s demands and life’s joys. Finding contentment rather than the hypomanic happy that is euphoria.

We cannot go through life attached to a feeling as powerful as having won Tattslotto or climbing Mt Everest. This is not a natural state. Neither is sadness or depression so we shouldn’t spend too much time there either. 

What you are going to do is become your own censor. You are going to filter the messages that your brain receives from your eyes and your ears. You are going to look and listen for negative and self defeatist messages and think about how you can reframe that message. And then reframe it. This doesn’t mean sugarcoating.

Some events are disastrous. Acknowledge that something bad happened but reframe, ie, that job interview or that presentation or meeting could have gone better; or, I could have managed my staff members lateness better. Never say I blew that interview/presentation/meeting and then beat up on yourself. Don’t berate yourself for overreacting to a staff members poor performance or for letting a staff member walk all over you. .. acknowledge that it was not your best performance and …. This is not where I tell you to walk on … This is where I suggest,  most strongly, that you sit with a pen and paper and do some really thorough analysis.

What were your expectations before the event? What role did each actor play in the event? What could you control? What couldn’t you control? Then step up and own the actions that you could control. Consider whether right in that moment if you could have chosen a different path and what that path might have been. Decide that you will behave that way in the future. Then chalk up this incidence to experience. Acknowledge that you are building resilience, take your learnings and continue to wander your path with a little more knowledge and a better understanding of yourself. The next time you are in a similar situation you will view it differently because you have taken those lessons on board and you know that the outcomes will be better … glass half full … and who knows .. One day it might be a full glass!

Happy wandering!

There is NO magic pill!!

My recent red dust wanderings have seen me lose about 20 kilos in weight. I didn’t starve myself and I didn’t exercise like an olympic athlete. In fact, the most I would do in the beginning was a gentle 20 minutes on a mini-trampoline in front of the TV. I do none now but I walk more often and am more active generally so I manage about 5000 steps a day. So many people have commented on how well I look and want to know my “secret”. They are so disappointed when I tell them. Most are  expecting some gimmicky magic diet pill that allows them to keep eating the same and behaving the same. So here’s the bald truth. I chose to follow a plant-based eating lifestyle. That’s it!

I confess to being an accidental vegan. I wasn’t motivated by the wholesale abuse of animal rights, nor was I inspired as to this being an appropriate lifestyle for my spiritual beliefs. Rather, I had become so ill that I could barely keep anything other than soy/almond milk or vegetables down. Despite the nausea I didn’t lose any weight. So I decided to step up and commit to taking charge of my health. I decided to practice being vegan for six months and see what would happen. A friend of mine put me in touch with a great vegan program as I was nervous I would end up malnourished and hungry. Never been healthier, happier or fuller. When I was on the formal program I struggled some days to eat the allocated food. And, yes I did a juice fast. Ten fabulous days. Four litres of the most beautiful tasting organic juices (except the cabbage juice!) plus a fabulous detox drink every day. I’m planning a 60 day fast for September.

Did I have detox symptoms you ask? Well there’s the kicker. I had a guaranteed way to relive the symptoms … organic coffee enemas. Yes! You heard correctly, coffee enemas. I was shocked at first too but quickly mastered the art. Well, there were a few accidents along the way, but I kept my sense of humour. You need to when you are placing a hose connected to a litre of coffee to a place where the sun doesn’t shine.

I became so happy with my lifestyle that I have thrown in my career as an Analyst and am studying to be a Health and Nutrition coach and learning some other healing techniques along the way.

If you are thinking of making some changes I strongly urge you to follow a plan or get some good vegan cooking books from the library or the bookstore. One I love in particular is Oh! She Glows! A great cookbook, filled with scrumptious recipes that turn out exactly as they should. Each recipe comes with a great allergen guide as well.

Some pointers about my plant-based eating lifestyle, no animal products at all, this includes dairy and eggs, no gluten, no peanuts, and wherever possible, I choose organic produce. There are some vegetables that are so laden in pesticides, let alone genetically modified that I won’t eat at all. We are lucky here in Australia but if you can, buy organic. I also don’t drink alcohol, but there are organic wines and beers on the market now and the key to all things is moderation.

Lastly, some people find that making gentler changes works for them. I’m an all or nothing kind of person, but I do think that you can make small changes like changing your portions. Rather than committing to a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, commit to ahealthier you and your family. Make meat the smallest portion on your plate and coloured vegetables the largest portion. Try scrambled eggs on a bed of spinach instead of three pieces of toast and cut out the bacon. Try a couple of vegetarian dishes each week. Who knows, you might like them. And, simplest of all, grab and apple instead of the chips.

A couple of blogs you might enjoy.

http://ohsheglows.com/

http://rawganicvegan.com/

Happy meanderings my fellow Red Dust Wanderers

The Fairy God-mother syndrome

Fairy God-mother
Fairy God-mother

Do you suffer from the Fairy God-mother syndrome? If you don’t, congratulations! So many people are curled up in the foetal position letting life walk all over them. All the while waiting for someone or something to come into their lives and suddenly make everything better. Waiting for the proverbial fairy god-mother to wave her magic wand and turn them into a prince or princess so they can go to the ball/live in the palace (a metaphor for the perfect life they imagine they are missing out on)

If you are suffering from Fairy God-mother syndrome, what you are not doing is living your life. You are not looking at what you did or didn’t do to get you to the point you are now at. You are not acknowledging the choices you made, and you are certainly not stepping up and owning your life. You are not accepting that the only person that can pick you up and put one foot in front of the other is you. You are failing to understand that the only person who can create the life you want is you. Not your partner, not you friend, and definitely not your children. If someone tries to pick you up and you are not ready for it you will not be able to stand. And if you stay upright, it will be them manipulating your feet and direction like a puppet meister. If you follow a path that someone else says you “should” follow then you will find another cliff to fall off. That cliff may be an abusive partner, a dead end job, a manipulative friendship, or the bottom of a bottle.

Getting the life you want takes effort, takes focus. It takes a desire to receive everything you deserve, and a matching mindset that set the bar high on what you think you deserve. If your life is crappy, it’s because somewhere deep down you believe you deserve a crappy life, or you are so locked down by fear of what your different life might really be like that you are paralysed. Sometimes when our life changes we will lose people that are close to us, but we will also gain new people. We may need to cut or reshape family ties, and this is scary and we worry about hurting those people as much as they have hurt us, and fear retaliation. Once you make the choice to own your life you will breathe easier, think clearer and see for miles. There will be high moments and low moments, but each step you take, each decision you make increases the highs and decreases the lows. One day something will happen and you will think, “if this had happened to me before I would have given up” or “I would have yelled/cried/got angry/sullen”. You will be surprised and pleased at how the little trivial things no longer bother you because you are living a big full life.

As a coach I will offer my hand to help you up as you reach out and grasp that hand. When you make the conscious choice that you want life to improve,  I will assist you. And I will happily, and encouragingly, walk alongside you, offering tools and health and wellness guidance, as you, the most important person, determine what is the best life for you. And then together we will work to achieve that. My happiest moment will be when you own your life and walk away from me.