Welcome to my blog

Congratulations and welcome to friends, family and others who have found something of interest in my blog. The reason that I have created this blog is to share some of my experiences regarding my own journey of writing and publishing my autobiography. I am really excited and motivated about this whole process. I hope that what I write about is interesting to you and thank you for your encouragement and support.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Goal setting for 2011

Did you know that the majority of people spend more time planning a holiday than they spend setting goals for the future?

So with the eve of the New Year right upon us, what will your New Years resolution be?  Have you ever set goals in the past or have you thought about setting goals for the New Year, but just didn’t know where to start?

Well maybe today is the day!  As I said in my last blog “why put off tomorrow, what you can do today?”  So let’s set some goals together!

I have always had goals and I suspect, so have you, but I bet like most people you never actually wrote them down.  This is a really important aspect of goal setting and one that I will encourage you to actually do!

Now before we get started, I just wanted to point out why it is important to have goals.  So this next point might seem a bit left field, but stick with me and see where I’m travelling with it.

How many of you either play a sport or watch sports?  Football, netball, basketball or soccer?  What is the one common thing that each of these games have?  That’s right, they all have goals.  What would be the point of playing these games if there were no goals.  You wouldn’t know who was winning or how hard you needed to keep trying to reach your goal or even exceed your goal.  Therefore goals are important, they are the guide post that keep you on track and let you know how you’re going.

Now there are many books, websites and professionals such as life coaches that are dedicated to helping you set and achieve your goals.  Sometimes these can be costly, so I am going to try and keep this basic, so that you actually can put these goals into action.

When setting goals, I think that it is important to not only have big goals that may take longer, but also lots of smaller goals that help you work towards achieving the bigger goals.

Often (but not always) bigger goals take longer to achieve, so it’s good to give yourself some more time to achieve those goals.  I find it easier to work from biggest back down to smallest goals.  So let’s break it down into 3 goals per time frame heading.  (you fill in the blanks).  You will notice I am using the words “I will” which I also referred to in my Gain or Loss post; this is because we need to call upon your “will power” to help achieve your goals.

Before I die
  • I will
  • I will
  • I will
In 20 years time (I will be 58 years old)
  • I will
  • I will
  • I will
In 10 years time (I will be 48 years old)
  • I will
  • I will
  • I will
In 5 years time  (I will be 43 years old)
  • I will
  • I will
  • I will
By the end of 2011 (I will be 39 years old)
  • I will
  • I will
  • I will
By the end of January 2011
  • I will
  • I will
  • I will
By the end of this week
  • I will
  • I will
  • I will
By the end of today
  • I will
  • I will
  • I will
Now you still might be sitting there reading and thinking I still have no idea what areas of my life I want to improve.  Well to help you work on this, you can approach it in two ways.

1.         What areas of your life do you want to improve from 2010?
2.         What areas of your life do you currently value?

When thinking about these questions, also remember that often our lives are affected holistically.  This means, that when we have a healthy mind, body and spirit, we think, feel and act so much better.

So under each time frame heading, set one goal for each area of your life (mind, body, spirit)

For example:

By the end of today
  • I will write a chapter of my book = MIND
  • I will take the dog for a 30 minute walk = BODY
  • I will water my garden = SPIRIT
How will you know if it is a mind, body or spirit goal?

Mind goals are things that make your think, get your brain working such as reading, writing, blogging, internet surfing, crosswords, card games, board games, sewing, knitting, talking with others, watching a documentary, scrap-booking, playing, listening to music, painting, singing or acting. (please beware of gaming as these sometimes deaden your mind instead of stimulate it)

Body goals are usually anything that takes physical effort and energy.  Any of the above sports that I already mentioned or swimming, walking, bike riding, table tennis, boxing, golfing or playing darts are also great body goals.

Spiritual goals are very wide and varied.  I want you to remember that this is a very individual goal and basically anything that “makes your heart sing”.  If your heart is singing then you have found your spiritual goal.  So find your most favourite thing in the world to do and just do it!  It’s usually something that you love doing and you loose track of time when you’re doing it. 

The last thing that I want to bring to your awareness, is that most things in this world are better shared.  So share your goals with others and make yourself accountable.   Think about how these goals will impact others in your life and remember that sometimes “less is more”.

So here’s to a Happy New Year and until next time!  Enjoy!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Loss or gain?

Hi everyone, I trust that you all had a wonderful Christmas and hope that you are now heading towards a fantastic New Year.  Today’s blog has been inspired by the fact that the New Year is just around the corner and I’m wondering what the future has in store for us all.

This morning I was reading a book called “The best is yet ahead” and it made me start to think about all of the people who were missing family over Christmas.  Some are missing family because they just didn’t get a chance to catch up; others are missing family because they have passed away. 

My question is why do we wait for Christmas to all catch up?  Why do we wait until the New Year to set a new goal?  Why do we wait until someone dies before we realise how much we loved them?

Now considering that we just spent yesterday giving each other presents and gifts then the following quote seems quite appropriate.

“There’s no time like the present”

Sometimes it takes for a loss before we recognised what we already had.  It often also takes for a loss to force us to do some things that we normally wouldn’t do? 

This is where the who, what, where, when, how and why questions come in?

Who have you lost or hurt over the past year? 
Who do you need to forgive?

What have you done that you need to say sorry for?
What has this loss forced you to do that you normally wouldn’t do? 
What lessons have you learned from your loss?   
What are you still putting off?
What are you still holding on to?
What can you “let go” of?
What can you do now?

Where is your life headed?

When will you say sorry to someone for the hurt that you have caused?
When will you forgive someone for the hurt they have caused?
When will you know that your life is in perfect order?

How many people do you have to lose before you learn life’s lessons?
How long will it take you to learn your life lessons?
How will you know what you need to do?
How will you move into the New Year?

Why will you make changes in your life?
Why wait until someone dies before you make those changes in your life?
Why not now?
“Why put off tomorrow what you can do today?”
I’ve often wondered why someone makes a last will and testament when they die.  I now realise it’s because this is what they wish they had done while they were alive.  If you’re reading this blog, then that means that you are alive, so why not use your will to achieve all of these things in the New Year.  Instead of putting who, what, where, when, how and why in front of those questions, turn them into an action and say;
I will forgive someone, I will say sorry, I will “let go” of the past, I will learn my life’s lessons, I will make changes.  I will love myself, I will love others.
As Nike says;
Love and Peace everyone!  Until next time!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Joy's year at a glance 2010

Hi Everyone,

Well as another year draws to a close I thought that I’d include you in on one of my annual traditions.  At the end of every year I write down all of the things that I have done and then go over them to remind myself of what I am grateful for.  This year I have drawn some conclusions and listed the lessons I’ve learned along the way.  If you don't want to wade through all of the in's and out's of my year, you will find the summary at the end of this post. Enjoy  :)


·        Continued to support Mum after her cancerous tumour was removed.

·        Was a bridesmaid in best-friends wedding.

·        Attended Survival Day event at Tandanya.


·        Attended a challenging meeting, which ended in a positive outcome.

·        Had lovely lunch with an old school friend at Fasta Pasta.


·        Celebrated my birthday by going to the Deadly Funnies and the Nunga Funny’s.  Brilliant!  I highly recommend it, it was a good laugh!

·        Had body measurements taken in preparation for the Aboriginal Women’s Fitness Program.

Jai's first day of school
·        Keith got given free tickets to go to the Clipsal 500.  Thank you!

·        Attended Jai’s first parent teacher interview.  All good!

·        Had a surprise afternoon tea for my Mum’s 70th birthday.  Made a beautiful PowerPoint presentation for her.


·        Had a lovely quiet Easter with family.

·        Had a week of relaxing annual leave.

·        Started first lot of x2/week gym sessions for Aboriginal Women’s Fitness Program.

·        Went to sister-in-laws 40th birthday.  Nice!


·        Went to Sydney to the “Happiness Conference”.  Brilliant and inspiring!  Caught up with my nieces' and sister while in Sydney.  All beautiful women!
·        Had lovely home cooked laksa at girlfriends’ house.

·        Went to the “Sorry Day” event in Adelaide.

·        Had a 4th birthday party for Violet at Tin Lids Play Café.  Great!

·        Attended Aboriginal Student Pathways Conference at UniSA.

·        Attended Aboriginal Power Cup (nearly had a melt-down, due to technical difficulties)

·        Took caravan away to Goolwa for a little family holiday with the kids.

·        Went to nieces’ 21st birthday party!

·        Attended Lord Mayor’s Morning Tea and the 2010 NAIDOC (National Aboriginal and Islander Day of Celebration) Awards and Flag Raising Ceremony.  Celebrated in UniSA Engineering student’s award presentation.

·        Attended NAIDOC March to Parade Grounds.  Followed up with family fun day.

·        Had a High School Reunion with class of 1989 Elizabeth High School Friends.  Fantastic night!

·        Attended the NAIDOC Ball at Adelaide Festival Theatre.

·        Entered 6 photographs in the “Our Metro Mob” exhibition as part of the SALA Festival.

·        Went to see Darryl Braithwaite in concert at the Highlander.  Brilliant night had by all!

·        Went my Bosses 60th birthday lunch at The Lakes Resort.  The loveliest meal with friends ever.

·        Went on the radio “Nunga Wanga” to promote “Our Metro Mob” exhibition.  My kids were at home wondering why Mummy wasn’t answering them back when they yelled at the radio.

·        Went to a meditation / yoga class at Mawson Lakes.

·        Took Mum and Keith to the launch of “Our Metro Mob” exhibition at Tandanya.  Was joined by a few faithful friends, which I was very grateful for.


·        More yoga!

·        Started the Corporate Cup for (12 week) with work colleagues – 4.5km walk around the River Torrens.

·        Became involved in a very rewarding Community Service Learning Project through work called the “Learning by Walking Together” Project.  6 Aboriginal students and mentors working together to develop a tourism brochure and tour for Kaurna Park (a local revegetated wetlands area).  The most rewarding activity that I did all year.  It was full of ups and downs.  I was stretched beyond my comfort zone and I learnt so much from this whole experience.

·        Participated in an artist talk at Tandanya talking about “Our Metro Mob” exhibition.  Very challenging, especially getting used to being classified as an “Artist”.

·        Joined Jai’s schools Aboriginal parent support group.

·        Attended my nephews’ 18th fancy dress “Country and Western” birthday party.  Fun was had by all.  Great band and highly recommend “City Cowboy’s”.

·        Entered 2 pieces in another art exhibition – Gawler Community Art Gallery. 


Jordan and Jai at the Show
·        Took the boys to the Royal Adelaide Show.

·        Attended my first and last “Zumba” class.  Great fun, but decided I need a whole lot more stamina and co-ordination for that one.  Too much like hard work.  Lol!

·        Started community engagement work with a local Aboriginal Community Arts and Craft Centre in Salisbury – Marra Dreaming.  This is a fantastic place that is just full of lovely people from all walks of life.  They are extremely welcoming and dedicated people and they need as many volunteers as possible.  Especially in the grant writing area, if anyone is interested.  I can guarantee you get back so much more than you put in with these beautiful people!

·        Travelled with one of my sistagirls to Canberra to meet an inspirational Aboriginal woman “Anita Heiss” at AIATSIS (Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies).  Got the fire in my belly to really get stuck into finishing off my book “Finding the joy within”.  Thank you Anita!  I am forever grateful to you!

·        While in Canberra (before the meeting) caught up with my beautiful friend from High School days, during a trying time in her journey.  Thank the Lord for the timing of that trip!

·        AFL Grand-final – Went to sister-in-laws for this big day.  It was between St Kilda and Collingwood!  Only to end in a DRAW!  Voiceless and frustrated we all went home for it to be continued the following weekend.

·        Another week of annual leave – got busy with researching and writing my book. 

·        Jai’s 6th birthday – Small party at my Mum’s, went to St. Kilda playground and another small party at sister-in-laws.

·        Went to Murray Bridge Aboriginal Football and Netball carnival -  Whoop there it is!  Raukkan won! 

Stall at Tandanya Art Fair 2010
·        Had a stall at the Tandanya Arts Fair.  Fun was had by all!  What a great way to spend a weekend!  Catching up with family and friends.  Made a few new friends too!  
·        Went to the Desert Country Art Exhibition Launch (SA Art Museum).  Awe inspiring art!  Beyond words!


·        Kids’ friends’ birthday parties all weekend – Oh Joy!

·        4 days of pure bliss!  Travelled to Queensland with 2 of my girlfriends and stayed on the Gold Coast in the most beautiful apartment (Magic Mountain) Highly recommend.  I am sooooooo grateful for the opportunity to join these lovely ladies.  A brilliant weekend was had by all!

·        Caught up with my beautiful niece and spent a day of quality time together.  Can’t get better than that!  I was reminded of what a beautiful country we live in while on my weekend get-away.  Sun, sand, sea and lots of love and laughs!  Thank you everyone!

·        Took kids to free Playford Alive Fete!  Great event for the whole family!
·        Decided to try and get rid of a long term wart from one of my little toes.  Went to podiatrist at Muna Paiendi.  Had a trial of new treatment, which involved numbing my toe and then stabbing it relentlessly until it started to bleed profusely.  Yukkkkkk!  But guess what – hey presto!  Nearly 12 weeks later it’s just about gone.  Yeah!!!! Sure was worth the small amount of pain!

·        Took kids to the local Christmas Pageant!  They loved it and it was all that much better sitting there in the soaking rain!  If you haven’t guessed it already – I love the rain too!


·        My family and I (Aunty, Uncle, Nana and Dad) all went to the kids Christmas Concert!  Fun fun fun!  All these little kids are soooo innocent and cute!  I wish that they could stay that way.  On this day, I was also strongly reminded to be grateful for my healthy kids!  Sometimes we all need this hey!

·        Found out some really sad news, nearly a year to the day from last year.  Despite Mum’s year of chemotherapy, another tumour needs to be removed in the New Year.  On the bright side, I have been able to spend another year with my Mum and I am beyond words grateful for that! 

·        Went to a Christmas dinner dance at Central Districts footy club and watched an 80’s band called “Fever”.  Lots of fun was had by all! 

·        This month I was let down in a big way!  I had been hoping, praying, affirming and believing that I would have been on/at the Oprah show in Sydney.  This wasn’t to be and I was devastated!  I am still reviewing what went wrong with my plans, but I think it’s  time to “let it go” and I know that there are bigger and better things awaiting me.  I did go for a lovely walk around the lake that day to try and make myself feel better.  Not quite the same impact! Lol!

·        Spent the most beautiful day with a few of my special work friends.  We shared a beautiful meal together followed by sharing our positive thoughts and comments about each other.  A few tears were shed by all, men and women alike.  I thank the Lord for my fantastic and faithful ISS (Indigenous Student Services) Team.  Love you all!

·        Went to my works Christmas lunch!  Had a beautiful meal at the Bombay Bicycle Club.  Then went out on the town to celebrate a year well spent!  Spent the next day remembering, why I hardly ever drink!  Final lesson for the year!

·        Went to watch someone get given a surprise car for an early Christmas present!  What a beautiful act of kindness, organised by the most giving person I know!  I am so grateful to have been witness to such a loving moment!

Well the years not quite complete, but so far it has well and truly out done all of my expectations!  I have learnt so much, which I will now try to briefly share.

Joy's 2010 Lessons in a nutshell

·        Forgiveness is the key to healing.

·        A life full of friends is like a garden full of flowers.

·        Laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and the world cries with you.

·        Be happy with who you are!

·         Be grateful every day!

·        Home is where the heart is!

·        Live in the present moment!

·        Children are our future, so let’s invest our time in them!

·        You gotta be in it to win it!

·        Stretch yourself regularly! (Mind, body and spirit)

·        Do something you love and you’ll never work another day in your life!

·        Culture cures!

·        Work, rest and play makes for a happy Mummy.

·        Happy Mum equals Happy family!

·        Live life to its fullest!

·        Never ever give-up!

·        Dance with abandonment!

·        Instead of worrying about what you don’t have, appreciate what you do have.

·        There’s a reason for everything

·        Giving is so much better than receiving

I hope you have enjoyed this year as much as I have.

Until next time  :)  Joy 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Peace of Art

Hi everyone,

You might realize from my relaxed tone that I am on holidays and have found some spare time to share another one of my passions with you.

For the past 6 months I have started to really enjoy photography and would love to share some of my photographs with you.  

I really enjoyed capturing these moments and hope that you can feel the essence of each photo.

Here is an extract of my artist statement:
"The majority of my photography has a strong Australian flora and fauna feel and emphasis.  My photographs reflect that I have grown up in the bush and have a  strong connection with the land and country that I come from. I feel that in some way they depict who I am and where I come from."

If you would like to continue to receive regular updates of my photographs you will need to keep a copy the following URL:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/joymakepeace.  On the flickr website you can click on the RSS feed and add it to your favorites.

Until next time  :) 


Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Big Ego Trip

“Gee he/she’s got a big ego!”  Have you ever used those words before?  Do you really give much thought behind what you are really saying?

I must admit that I have used those words before without really understanding the complexity of our egos.

Today’s blog is going to look a bit deeper at the meaning of ego and how it impacts on our daily lives.  Since beginning to write my book “Finding the joy within” I have changed the book title a couple of times.  One of the previous titles was “Who am I and what do I know?”  I initially thought that it would be a suitable title, because my book is about my search for my identity and ultimately trying to find out “Who am I”. 

To my surprise, I have discovered the opposite, which I explain in more detail in my book.  I have learned from Aymen Fares – author of “The key to life” that the;

“Ego hides the real you and stops us from remembering who we really are.”

The ego is in actual fact the false self and identity that you show to the world.  It is like Nikki De Carteret – author of “Soul Power” says the external mask that we put on for everyone to see.

Our egos are the part of us that drive our emotions and feeling to want, need, desire and accumulate and be more.  When we don’t achieve those things or other people do achieve them then we get jealous, envious, angry and resentful.  It is then that we become unhappy. 

Our ego can only exist by attaching itself to an identity.  From an early age we start collecting experiences and material things and begin to strongly identify with them, to the point that we believe that we are them and they are us. 

We also begin to believe that we own those things, they are ours and they make up who we are; our identity.  We become so attached to these things that when they are gone or we lose them we start to question, if I don’t have my job, my culture, my house, my opinion, then who am I? 

So in the attempt to keep our egos in tact it begins to play the “blame game”, which is based on fear.  At all costs the ego must continue to strengthen its identity because it fears change.

This is when you see the “big ego” behaviour swings into action. 

Eckhart Tolle author of “A New Earth” states that the ego is the blueprint for dysfunction that every human being carries within them. 

People get offended and angry, have to be right, are self-centered and put themselves first in an attempt to keep their identity in poll position. 

In doing this, people do not learn “How to Win Friends and Influence People” as Dale Carnegie suggests.  A great piece of advice being;

“The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.” 

Yet you can see those who just can’t let a good argument go, are not able to realise that everything is “not about me”.  To be the silent observer in the situation, to step back and not become a participant in the human drama, takes a profound amount of awareness. 

“Awareness is the first step in healing or change”

Some say that time heals all, but Eckhart Tolle points out that “time is what the ego lives on.  The past for your identity and the future for its fulfillment”.  The longer that we stay blissfully unaware, the longer it takes for us to remember who we truly are. 

So as Eckhart Tolle recommends;

“In the seeing of who you are not, the reality of who you are emerges by itself.”

From a counselor point of view, I agree with Lynn Andrews who wrote a chapter in "Healers on Healing"

“I can not really help you; I can only help you see yourself”. 

I love this Youtube video on the ego; get your tissue box ready.  
Until next time, be kind to yourself and others!   :)

How To Win Friends And Influence People

Monday, December 13, 2010

Life patterns

What do you feel when you hear the words, life is a journey, life is full of lessons, we must learn from our mistakes?

Throughout my book I have looked back at my own life and have identified some of my own life patterns, journey, lessons and mistakes that I have made.  So today, instead of looking at my life and what I have learned, I want you look at your life, so that you can become more aware of some of the patterns that have occurred in your life.

Wouldn’t life be so much easier if it just came with a user manual which you could look up a problem in the index and work out how to fix it quickly?  Unfortunately, there is no such manual and yes all of the above clichés do come back to haunt us.  So let’s take a look at some of these sayings and see if you can see any evidence of them in your own life.

Life is a journey!

Yes I think we can all safely agree that life is a journey and it begins from the minute that we are born.  However, we are often all so worried about the destination that we forget to enjoy the ride. 
~ Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it. ~ Greg Anderson
I love this quote because so often we spend so much time looking at the past hoping to find answers there, then we worry about the future and we just forget to live in the only moment; which is right now, in the "present".   

Here’s another quote to help you think about this point.

~ Yesterday’s history, tomorrow’s a mystery, but today is a gift.  That’s why it’s called the present. ~
Author unknown

I admit that I have spent the majority of my life, living in the past or worrying about the future.  I  remind myself daily that “now” is the only moment that I have, so accept it and enjoy it .   When we focus on the “moment” our thoughts become still and at peace.  This is the only place to be!

Life is full of lessons!
"Ah ha"
It is true that life is full of lessons.  These lessons are repeated over and over again until we learn them.  Often we don’t notice that the same lesson is occurring, but disguised in a different situation.  Life is very creative and tries to create a new experience from a different angle so that our subconscious minds might be more open to learning the lesson.  This continues endlessly until we learn the lesson.  These lessons are very subtle and you may not even notice the signs unless you are looking for them.  These signs or patterns only become evident when we stop thinking and quiet our minds.  When this occurs you will reach a new awareness.  It’s what is known as an “Ah ha” moment.  This is similar to a “light bulb” switching on in our minds.  Everything just becomes clear, all of a sudden you know what you know.  

It is only after this “moment” that you can move forward into the future.  When this occurs you take ownership of your life.  You take responsibility of your own actions and you no longer blame the past for your current situation.  It is a very powerful moment that impacts the rest of your life.  This is when you give yourself the best present of all; the ability to change.  

This next quote by Abraham Maslow wraps this thought up perfectly.  

"What is necessary to change a person is to change their awareness of themselves"

We must learn from our mistakes!
I know that we all have made mistakes, but who says they are mistakes?  When we shift our thinking to realise that there are no mistakes in life and our lives are always in perfect order, then real change can occur.  

Until next time!  Joy  :)