Tag Archives: personal growth

Growth opportunities in 2012 e-book

I have a special gift offer for you today. It is a free e-book “Opportunities for personal growth – Grow and Flourish in 2012”

My friend and colleague Marian Kerr has collated, edited and published this e-book. No easy task to encourage and cajole contributors to meet mid December deadlines and then to put the e-book together in time for the early new year.

Around 15 different writers, coaches, leaders, educators have contributed their thoughts and wisdom on personal growth and ways to facilitate this. I hope you will enjoy the e-book and feel free to pass it on to anyone who you think would enjoy it or benefit from it. There is no cost or charge attached to it. It is simply a gift.

For those of you who have been following my blog ( and thank you for doing that!) you may read my pieces and think “this is familiar”. You would be correct. With a family wedding on 24th December I had no spare time to write fresh material on personal growth so Marian edited some blog posts of mine as my contribution. I think she has done a great job on them.

If you would like a copy of the e-book emailed to you please contact me: qdeckchapman at clear dot net dot nz

I will also post information about the e-book on the “New” page on my blog.

Grow well!!

“Don’t Quit” poem

The author of this poem is unknown, but it is widely read and it is timely for me today. I hope it inspires you too!

“Don’t Quit”

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow –
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell just how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit-
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

Author unknown

Saturday tip: On which side of the line are you?

I was offered this question at a training event I attended some years ago. Karen Boyes of Spectrum Education showed this to the group:

On which side of the line are you operating?

Ownership
Accountability
Responsibility
—————————————————–
Blame
Excuse
Deny

I’ll leave it to you to decide about this tip but I find it very, very useful to be mindful of….and it is a quick jump to go back over the line to the top!

Books that have mattered to me in the past few years

Here is a list of books that have mattered to me or influenced me in the past few years. Many of these authors have websites and blogs to explore.

The Mindful Woman – Sue Patton Thoele

Buddha’s Brain: The Practical neuroscience of happiness, love and wisdom – Rick Hanson and Rick Mendius

A return to Love – reflections on the principles of a Course in Miracles – Marianne Williamson

A walk on the beach – Joan Anderson

A year by the sea – Joan Anderson

An unfinished marriage – Joan Anderson

A cup of sunlight – Juliet Batten

Growing into wisdom: change and transformation at midlife – Juliet Batten

Listening below the noise: a meditation on the practice of silence – Anne D LeClaire

The church of 80% sincerity – David Roche

The Happiness project –Gretchen Rubin

Focusing: how to gain direct access to your body’s knowledge – Eugene Gendlin

The intention experiment – use your thoughts to change the world –Lynne McTaggart

Everything I’ve ever done that worked – Lesley Garner

Love the life you live – Anne Hartley

The sword of heaven – a 5 continent odyssey to save the world – Mikkel Aaland

Transforming depression – the Heartmath solution – Doc Childre and Deborah Rozman

The artist’s way – Julia Cameron

God is no laughing matter – observations and objections on the spiritual path – Julia Cameron

Letters to a young artist – building a life in art – Julia Cameron

The vein of gold – a journey to your creative heart – Julia Cameron

Walking in this world – practical strategies for creativity – Julia Cameron

Your body speaks your mind – Debbie Shapiro

A complaint free world: the 21 day challenge that will change your life –Will Bowen

Wherever you go, there you are –Jon Kabat-Zinn

Full catastrophe living – Jon Kabat-Zinn

Common Ground – the true story of 2 friends and 2 very different gardens – Janice Marriott and Virginia Pawsey

Common Table – an uncommon tale of friendship and food – Janice Marriott and Virginia Pawsey

Changing patterns: discovering the fabric of creativity – Daena Giardella and Wren Ross

Plan B – Ann Lamott

Grace (Eventually) –Ann Lamott

Operating Instructions- Ann Lamott

Traveling Mercies- Ann Lamott

This piece of earth – Harvey McQueen

Shift happens – Robert Holden

Simple Abundance -Sarah Ban Breathnach

Books I dip into regularly

I love books and turn to them on a daily basis for either relaxation, information, inspiration, or wisdom.

Here are a few of my regulars:

The Mindful Woman, by Sue Patton Thoele

Plan B. Further thoughts on faith, by Ann Lamott

This piece of earth, by Harvey McQueen

Shift happens, by Robert Holden

Simple Abundance, by Sarah Ban Breathnach.

And I have two new books that I am dipping into for the first time:

A cup of sunshine, by Juliet Batten

Growing into wisdom, by Juliet Batten

Do you have books that you regularly dip into? I’d love to know about your favourites.

14 years ago

It was very wet here all weekend and we needed to find a videotape to record on. So I dug into a box of tapes and came upon one that was named (that was a surprise) describing an evening held in my honor 14 years ago. Yep June 1997.

I watched it this morning and had a real trip back in time as a non-profit group honoured me with Life Membership. Among the gathered group were some people who did not know each other particularly well and so introductions were done around the group. This proved to be really interesting as details were given and connections made, legs pulled and funny anecdotes shared.

It reminded me of a very, very happy period in my life as part of an organization I had gained so much from and which I loved giving back to.

The fashions, earrings, and hairdo’s were worth a wee giggle and the telephone (landline) was mentioned so often as being a life line to all of us personally and organizationally. That was startling given how often we use texts, emails, social network sites and cell phones now to communicate.

I’ve made a note of who attended and will get this archival “gem” transferred to DVD to help ensure it remains as part of my family history and my memoirs.

I felt quite overwhelmed on the night with lots happening but I am so pleased that someone thought of videoing most of the evening and giving me a copy to look back on.

Autumn scatterings

I planned a day at home, taking it easy and the autumn weather has meant it was a good decision and an easy option. It has been dark, cloudy, very gusty and the autumn leaves have been scattering.

So what have been the scattering of activities of my day?

A prayer and good wishes to the people of Christchurch early this morning as I learnt that two nasty aftershocks had rocked that ravaged city early this morning. One shock was large enough to cause a brief power outage. I wish those tired, stressed people so much peace.

Humming Joni Mitchell’s song “Big Yellow Taxi” which we learnt at singing last night.

Monitoring PG, the cat to determine his intake and output. The vet was happy today to let him track on in the hope that the extra fluid interventions he has had on Monday and Tuesday this week had helped him regain his appetite. More monitoring is required just in case he needs another sub-cutaneous bolus of fluid tomorrow.

Watching more tree felling happening in our neighbour’s backyard.

Finishing a small knitted toy and trying to embroider a face on said toy……more practice needed on that skill, but the end result is good enough.

Hearing on the radio that it is 25 years since Paul Simons’ “Graceland” album was released and singing along to some of the familiar tracks off that.

More synchronicities found in the blogosphere as I find links between several blogs that I enjoy reading and one written by a woman who taught me my first computer skills way back in the late 80’s. The course was called “Computer Confidence for Women” and was nothing short of brilliant.

Collecting two books from the library which look particularly interesting for where I find myself these days.

And I took a few photos in my garden this afternoon but for some reason WordPress is not playing the upload game right now and I need to go and prepare some dinner…..

Nice day……

Winter gardening and personal growth

Daylight saving has just finished here and I am noticing people commenting  with little enthusiasm that winter is coming.  The clock going back is a sure signal that another seasonal change is drawing closer.

I love gardening and all the many benefits being in the garden brings me.  I have been thinking about winter and how down people feel about its approach and how we garden in the winter time.

It seems to me that winter can be an excellent time to consider what in our lives or activities could lie fallow and resting during winter, in the same way the soil does during the long dark and often cold and wet days.   What can we prune or trim that will, in time, mean a burst of new growth and harvest once the light begins to return?  What might we prune or cut out completely from our lives?  Are there things that do not serve us well that need “the chop” and will allow a space for something new to be planted, in time or when conditions improve or alter?

How can we as gardeners rest and reflect when our gardens are too water-logged and unpleasant to be out in?

What needs to be planted in the winter months that allows for something to take hold even in the dark, cold, miserable conditions?  Gardeners are advised to plant large trees, shrubs and roses in the depths of winter to ensure time for settling before the burst that spring brings.

How can we prepare for winter and the challenges it brings to us?   Do we need to feed some things, do we need to mulch for protection and potential? 

What reserves have we got to draw on through the bleaker months?

And what might the benefits be for us, on some occasions in winter, to rug up, pull on gumboots and “get out and do something” in the garden?  To draw forth our determination, our energy and creativity?

How is winter time for you?