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How To Invest Everything Always

3 MIN READ

It’s my birthday tomorrow. I’ll be turning 42. That means I have been alive for fifteen THOUSAND, three hundred and forty days so far. How many hours … ? That’s 368 160 hours …  and counting! I have seen the most amazing sights and experienced incredible moments. I have celebrated jubilant highs and faced gut-wrenching lows. In it all I have come to know that there is never one culminating moment that I will ever arrive, nor a catastrophic day that will see me come undone. I experience my life in all its fullness with every fleeting moment that we call NOW.

Our own unique identity is the pathway to connecting deeply with others in a way that doesn’t run out. (Photo: Bruno’s Garden Marysville VIC)

 

Now

The Now moment is spectacular. Each instant of our life is jam-packed full of exquisite human experience. We each perform actions that keep everything moving along, and each of our moments are held within our own experiential narrative. Everything that has happened up to this point has brought us to now, and it is from the narrative that we have already experienced that we move forward into the next part of the story that we construct for ourselves. Here, in Time itself, we access that pivotal moment which has the potential to change everything that has happened into something new.

Now I Am Myself

We have our own understandings of the world, which are nothing like any other person’s. They have a uniquely individual perspective that we will never be able to fully understand or see for ourselves. How very liberating to know that we are free to simply operate as our own independent souls, operating in powerful autonomy. We make choices to act or not to act, to speak or not to speak, to connect or not to connect. To love or to withhold that love. We reach out to others for relationship, and they may or may not respond. They too are operating from their own autonomy, making their choices in thoughts, words, actions and omissions every single day.

Now I Am Relationship

How glorious it is that from this position of individuality and independence we exist as social beings, connected to each other in a myriad of ways. It is truly marvellous that we can share a moment, a story, an aspiration, a dream. It is not a bad thing to embrace the full power of our own singularity. Indeed, it is wonderful, because it is from this knowledge of ourselves that we can extend to others in relationships that bring honour and respect to each person. When all is said and done, this is the only way we can really experience relationships at all. Both the relationship we have with ourselves, and the ones we have with those around us all hinge on our ability to offer ourselves as we really are.

Now I Define Myself

There are few things that are more destructive than to conceive yourself through the lens of another. Although my parents and others along the way had a significant influence on my development, I am not defined by who they think I am, or ought to be. Although my ideas about being a daughter, sister, mother, wife, and even widow have a powerful bearing on how I operate, these ideas do not define my person. They do not constitute my essence. Although the understandings and expectations of my children, family, friends, clients, and even my partner are important to consider when I make choices, how they see me, and how they see the relationship I share with them is not the absolute reality. Their views do not determine who I am in my own unique self.

Now You Define Yourself

This is not only true for me, of course. It is true for all of us, and it is especially true for you. It might seem painfully obvious here and now that you are your own unique person. In the safety of this Now moment, you can clearly see that you are you. You simply operate alongside others and you craft a life story as you go. But, in reality, these truths become easily blurred. It is oh so easy to forget that who we are does not have to yield to the desires of others. We do not have to meet their expectations or adjust our priorities and preferences to theirs. We can if we choose to, but we are not obliged or compelled.

No.

Who we are can stand tall in respectful confidence and powerful autonomy. In each Now moment, our bodies can work, play and move alongside others without yielding to their controlling agenda. Our minds can think, grow and learn in connection to others without relinquishing our intelligence or our insight. Our heart can invest into profoundly intimate relationships with others without yielding our identity. Our spirits can conceive and stretch out to the other souls around us in ways which preserve and defend our vulnerabilities and still keep us safe.

Oh that we would truly see our infinite power, right here and Now. Oh that we would know, in every Now moment of our lives, that it is only from this place that we can invest all that we are with all that we have.

 

My Bracelet of Love

5 MIN READ

About ten years ago I bought my late husband Alec a sterling silver bracelet. I can’t remember if this gift was for his birthday or Christmas or some other special day, but I do know that I loved buying it for him. One of Alec’s strongest love languages was gift giving, which meant that he received and expressed love through the giving of quality, high value gifts. Alec loved fine things. To buy him a cheap item of jewellery or cologne or other gift would be appreciated, but not treasured. Buying him a bracelet that he wore with pride showed me that he truly loved it. I had spent as much money as I could on the bracelet. He realised that as soon as he opened it, and he savoured the gesture.

He wore the bracelet literally every single day. It didn’t matter what we were doing, or how messy it was, he never took the bracelet off. This meant that the bracelet hung from his wrist when we went to fancy restaurants, attended social events, when we did the groceries, or when we sat down to watch television at home in the evenings. It also meant that it stayed on even when he was repairing vacuum cleaners, or doing odd jobs around our house. It even meant that the bracelet was worn throughout the duration of our home renovation, where it dangled into paint pots, scraped through sanding machines, and slopped through tiling grout.

After a few years the bracelet was a mess. At first I had been so thrilled that Alec loved the gift so much that he never took it off, but as the bracelet became damaged I became annoyed that Alec wasn’t taking better care of it. I remember suggesting that he should remove it when he was doing rough work, but he insisted on wearing it. What could I do? I watched the bracelet being progressively ruined, and I tried to let it go. I reminded myself that I had given the gift to Alec so it did not belong to me. How he treated the bracelet, and the results of this treatment had nothing to do with me.

This was all well and good until the clasp on the bracelet became so stiff and warped that it no longer closed, meaning that Alec couldn’t wear it any more. He asked me to take the bracelet for repair. This made me really annoyed, because I had been working so hard to release the ownership of the bracelet to Alec, and to not be offended that he was slowly wrecking the gift that I had given him. I resisted taking the bracelet for months and months because of this offence, but finally I yielded. It was embarrassing to show up at the jewellery shop with a bracelet that looked more like a string of aluminium can ring tabs than the piece of fine jewellery that I had purchased only a few years ago. It was even more humiliating to have the perfectly presented woman behind the counter raise her eyebrows at me as she described the state of the bracelet to me. I blushed and didn’t know where to look or what to say. I knew better than anyone else that the scratches and chips and build up of grout in the joints of the bracelet were horrible.

As she mustered up her most patronising version of customer service, this glamorous woman told me that the bracelet was no longer worth the cost of the repairs it would take to restore it to a modest version of how it used to be. I nodded my understanding, thanked her for helping me, and bundled up the bracelet into the small yellow envelope that she gave me. I went home and to my great shame and regret now, I gave Alec a good old fashioned “I-told-you-so” speech. I did not hold back. I let him have all of my hurts and offences as I berated him about the lack of care he had taken with my gift.

My gift.

Yes … that’s right. I was hurt because over all of these years, that bracelet felt like something that was mine. I had a sense of ownership that I should never have had, and created an offence that I should never have experienced.

This offence went on literally for years. I knew Alec wanted me to replace the bracelet with another one, because he mentioned it before every Father’s Day, birthday, and Christmas. And every year the offence smouldered inside me, like an evil cauldron of boiling hot poison bubbling away the love of our marriage. Every year I saw that Alec wanted a new bracelet, and every year my heart responded with “Why should I? You wrecked the last one I gave you.”

This is a shameful blog to write, because you can see how truly horrible I was. The bad news is that if we let offence build up like this, each one of us run the risk of corrupting the love we have for those closest to us. My self-righteous hurt prevented my from loving Alec with openness and liberty. It stifled my love and implanted a spur of withholding into our most intimate connection.

But the good news is that there is another way. I held onto that hurt until I couldn’t bear it any longer. And then, one day, I tripped over that little yellow envelope as I was cleaning out my sock draw. By that time we had moved to Melbourne and we were both working together full-time to build our vacuum parts website. We had both grown so much over those years. Our life had changed dramatically, and our investment into our shared journey had never been deeper. That broken old bracelet inside that envelope didn’t fit the picture of our life or our love any more. I decided to make things right.

Professional Melbourne Speaker

When we hold on to offences we mar the capacity of our Infinite Self to give and receive love without limits

That Christmas I bought Alec a 9 carat gold version of that same bracelet. His face beamed as he opened the green velvet box and then he looked at me with eyes of love. With great relief I was able to say sorry that I hadn’t bought it sooner. He put it on straight away, and I was thrilled, but this time, my heart was filled with happiness for him only. That night, we had a massive discussion about the bracelet which redeemed me from the years that had been marred by my selfish resentment.

Alec wore the bracelet most of the time, but I noticed that it came off when he was doing messy jobs. I was grateful, but in my heart I had changed. I wasn’t holding on to this bracelet like I did the last one. This bracelet was truly Alec’s. I had given it freely, which released me to loving him freely. There were no bumpy, glitchy bits of selfishness that had previously corrupted my ability to give and receive love.

That Christmas was in 2014, and only five short months later, I came home to find Alec dead in our kitchen. I cannot emphasise strongly enough how grateful I am at the fortuitous timing of repairing this part of our relationship. Of course, the reality is that if I hadn’t changed my attitude and worked through this offence I would have carried it around unresolved for the rest of my life. Now, I wear this bracelet every day, to remind me to never withhold love. This bracelet is a tribute to the infinite capacity that we all have for love, when we step outside of our pride and freely open the doors of our heart.

Reflecting On The Truth We See

3 MIN READ

If we are to be defined by freedom, we have some cleaning house to do, so that we see a clean, powerful reflection of ourselves when we look into the mirror. Our mindset is everything. If we are to enjoy a freedom that is truly unstoppable, we need to see ourselves as the person who is defined by our passion, and this has to start with how we see ourselves. I say all the time, how we see changes what we see.

When we look in the mirror we need to see someone who is already embracing the new chapter they are in, and who is living up to their best selves, now. For us to be able to do that, and to keep going with that forever, we need to establish some truths that will act as a strong reliable foundation that will then serve as the launchpad of our lives. Let me help you to see what you should be looking for in the mirror.

Melbourne public speaker

We can choose what we see in the mirror

You are Change

Firstly, I want you to know that changing your old mindsets, beliefs and actions is something that actually comes naturally to you, because you are change. You are more than just an observer of change, or the driver of change, and you are certainly NOT the victim of change. You are actually change. Change is a defining aspect of your identity. It is who you are, and who you will continue to become.

Did you know that all of the cells in our body continue to live and function by dying and replacing themselves? There is a myth that our bodies regenerate themselves in seven year cycles, which is not true. Our stomach lining cells die and replace themselves every two days, our skin cells every two weeks, and our red blood cells every four months. Our physical bodies live and function by the very act of changing out old for new. I love that metaphor. When you look back over your life you know that this is what you have done to survive and function throughout it all. Old parts of you have died and new parts have come to replace them. Old thoughts and old views become new. This is how we live. So today, you have everything you need to follow your passion because YOU ARE CHANGE. This makes you Unstoppable.

You are Infinite

The only exception to these patterns of cell regeneration is in our brain cells. The cells in our brain never replace themselves. We are born with as many brain cells as we will ever have, and when they die, they die. So if you have a high impact bump that rattles your brain around inside your skull, the cells that die never come back. Or if you have a big night out on the town, and you drink some of your precious brain cells to death on the best Saturday night you have ever had, you never get those back either.

So Kerry Anne how can you expect me to believe that I am infinite if my brain cells are the only ones that die forever? Well, it’s because the brain cells actually do two remarkable things. Firstly, they continue to live after the body dies, for up to three days according to some studies. Secondly, there are developing theories that suggest our brain cells might be able to live forever. Recently scientists have been conducting experiments on rats where they attempt to transplant brain cells into new hosts. Not only have they been successful with these transplants and the transplanted brain cells have been accepted and function perfectly well in their new home, but the new brain cells can continue to live longer than they would have in their original home. If the transplanted brain cells find a home in a younger, healthier host, they can actually outlive their original owner. In theory, this means that brain cells could transplanted again and again to live forever.

I love this! This means that the cells in our brain, the operations centre of our bodies, reflects the reality that we are Infinite. These cycles of change happening though death and new life in our cells, and permanence happening from our brain, teach us universal truths about the importance of holding on and letting go. Surely then, if we can see in our metaphorical mirror that we ARE Change, and that we ARE Infinite, then that can allow us to believe this third truth:

You are Enough

There is nothing more that you need. You are adequate. You are beautiful. Gifted. Perfectly blessed. You have every asset gifted to you, and you possess now every single thing that you will ever need to be free.

This quest for ourselves is where freedom starts, because if we are successful in our quest, nothing can hold us back from our passions. When we know who we are, and when we are confident about that person, we run at our mission like a bull at a gate.  When we like who we are, and we see ourselves without destructive filters we are free to follow our deepest passions, with abandon.

Why You Should Blow Off The New Year

4 MIN READ

I wonder how many goals are set at this time of year that should really have been left in the realm of “wishful thinking.” How many people are setting resolutions even now, hoping that this year their dreams really might come true. How many are enjoying the field day of their best intentions, even as I type up this blog? Forbes tells us the shocking fact that only 8% of people who set New Year’s Resolutions actually achieve them. At this time of year we get crazy! We try to conjure up success from nothing. We wistfully dream that this time will be different. This time, the magic wand will work. This is a miserable and defeated way to start the year.

Or is it? What if knowing that the odds are against us could actually work for us? This likelihood of failure could be the permission that we need to take all of that pressure off ourselves. We could start this year without wishing that we could be someone different overnight. We might even be able to let go of the idea that we need something else, something more, something new, something different? Perhaps our ambition for this coming year could be to accept how things are, and work from here? Maybe, knowing that we are unlikely to achieve our New Year’s wishes might be just the tip we needed to let us off the hook this time around.

Kerry Anne Nelson Professional Speaker

Lets celebrate how far we have come this New Years

Please understand. If you have read any of my writing, or spent even ten minutes with me in the flesh, you will know that I am the Queen of big dreams and crazy ambitions. I live to throw all of my eggs into the one basket of my most daring imaginations. I am a picture of drive and the master of motivation. I am a big thinker, a busy doer – I am an ideas woman who puts her money where her mouth is.

But I have solemn convictions. I believe that we should not come at the process of goal setting from a light-hearted, flippant, dare I suggest drunken state of mind. The turn of the New Year does not have a mystical power that makes our wishful thinking suddenly work. The words that you say, and the lofty heights that are set require a serious commitment. I am a believer in the importance of goal setting, but I am mindful of the power of this process. Setting goals is fraught with a couple of specific dangers that must be handled with caution.

  1. Our Self Respect Hinges On Reaching The Goal

You see, to set a goal is to establish a standard, and once it is set, it must be reached. This is vital. Because we draw confidence from the goal. Self-esteem. Self worth. Self respect. Our goals are the pivot point of how we see ourselves. If we fall short of the goal, or if we achieve it but then go back to our old ways, we undermine the pivotal trust we need to have in ourselves. Without this trust, we simply cannot be free. We can’t be truly liberated, powerful, passionate people who throw themselves into life with abandon if we know that we are the ones who gave up, or relapsed.

The first risk that comes with goals is in the effects of failure. Setting the goal is fine, healthy, productive, powerful. And I admit that I do set my own goals regularly and often. But achieving them is essential. Once the goal is set, there is no looking back. I hesitate before I set any goal. If I achieve it and make the success last, it is a powerful, transformational win. But if I don’t, the goal has done more damage than good. Blowing off the New Year’s resolution all together means that we don’t face the threat of losing our self respect. Let’s leave the goal setting for a time that we can give it the honour it deserves.

2. Setting A Goal Asks For More

At this time of year we can all become quite the reflective philosophers. We look around our lives and we consider our progress, significance, worth. We measure the value of our lives, the contribution we have made, and the progress we have gained so far. Our view during these times can easily become tainted with comparisons which create feelings of inadequacy, insecurity, deficiency, lack. This is a dangerous attitude to bring to any season of goal setting.

There is more to you than the shortcomings you see at New Years. You have come so far! You have done yourself proud. You have given your all. Now is the time to celebrate and pat yourself on the back. It is not time to figure out how you could do more, be more, have more. At least, not from a mindset that starts from a sense of personal deficit. There is no goal of performance or achievement that will tell you the thing you need to celebrate most at this time of the year. You! Let’s blow off that thinking this New Year’s. Instead, let’s embrace this:

You are already enough.

You are not your work. You are not your actions. You are not your achievements or your decisions. Who you are cannot be measured by the things you have done or the goals you have reached. You are more than these things. Your substance is richer, fuller, deeper. You are more than the work of your hands or the striving of your goals.

As we welcome the New Year in we bid farewell to the year that has past, and we embrace the year that lies ahead. Let’s do this with care. Let’s set our gaze on the year to come through eyes that embrace our own perfection. Let’s make it our aim to pursue change only from a place of Acceptance. Peace. Security. Wholeness.

If you are to set a goal at all, let it start with this pledge:

2017 I welcome you with open arms. This is the year that I accept I am already enough. I will act on the conviction that everything I need is already within me. With all that I am now, I will dream new dreams, face new challenges, pursue new directions, and follow my deepest passions. I am endlessly empowered and permanently liberated to grow, evolve and change through each new season. I will work hard to bring my best game to the opportunities afforded by each new day. I will be confident that there is nothing more that I need to do, earn or become. Nothing can make me more valuable or worthy than the person I am now.

Three Mirrors

4 MIN READ

We all dream of living a fulfilling life. Every one wants to be happy and healthy, enjoying success in their work and meaningful relationships with the people closest to them. Coming to know ourselves in fullness and truth is foundational to our ability to be successful in our lives. Understanding our strengths and preferences, our nature, our temperament, and our own unique needs provides the platform we need to launch into our personal significance. It is when we see ourselves as loved, and worthy of success, and connected in belonging to the people we care about, that we are truly free to pursue our deepest passions. Helen Keller put it perfectly:

What I am looking for is not out there. It is in me.

This quest for ourselves is where freedom starts, because if we are successful in this search, nothing can hold us back from our passions. Knowing how to meet our own intrinsic needs allows us to get on with the business of pursuing our purpose with unfettered passion. When we know who we are, and when we are confident about that person, we run at our mission like a bull at a gate. When we like who we are, and we see ourselves without destructive filters we are more free than the American dream.

Melbourne public speaker

How I see myself reflects my capacity for success, influence, and ultimately, love

What Is In The Mirror?

When we look into the mirror, what do we see? Over the course of my life I have had several experiences of reflecting on my self concept. Each one of these times speaks volumes about how I saw myself at the time. In retrospect I can see that how I perceived myself directly affected the opportunities and outcomes of my life.

The first mirror memory I have happened when I was thirteen years old. I’d just had yet another a massive fight with my stressed, working class parents in our over-crowded army home. After standing my ground for ages, I finally stormed off to my bedroom and slammed the door behind me. I don’t remember what the fight was about now, but I do remember catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror that hung to the left of the door, just above my dresser drawers. The anger inside me was a raging torrent of teen hormones, and the tears I had been trying to swallow back in pride were released the moment that door crashed shut. I stopped and looked at my crying self in the mirror, and it was surreal. I saw the resentment I had towards my life, and the defeat in my outlook. I saw someone who felt trapped and disempowered. My tears were those of a victim who could barely see out of them. I sat on my bed, and just cried. My dad opened my door and barked further at me, “What are you doing?”

“I’m crying.”

He didn’t know what to do with my candid response. It silenced the argument. He left. Even though I felt trapped in my family situation, I still stood my ground and owned my feelings and my reaction. I felt trapped in my emotions, but in my response I showed I was free.

The Mirror Showed My Reality In The World

My next significant mirror moment happened two decades later. I was thirty-three years old, and I was just back from a run. I had been slowly developing my fitness, diligently doing the evening jogs that helped me recover after losing my voice. Those runs were brutal. I was desperately overweight and the isolation of the voice strain injury had left me depressed, anxious, and broken. I saw my reflection in the mirror as I opened the glass shower door. How could this be? I had run for a good half an hour, but I was still the same size as before I left. I felt thinner. With all of those endorphins buzzing and my muscles zinging from the work out, I felt like an olympic athlete. Surely I should look like Beyonce by now?

But no. I was still this overweight person whose reality in the world was still pretty far away from the reality I was hoping to create. When I looked in the mirror that evening, I realised that my circumstances provided me with a limited view of the greater picture. The full truth was that I was already healthy and whole in my person, but my circumstances would take time to reflect that. When I looked into the mirror this time, I realised how I see myself on the inside will always become evident on the outside, if I just give it enough time.

The Mirror Reflects My Choices

The last significant mirror moment occurred  a couple of years ago, after my husband died. I was getting ready to go to work at the warehouse I used to share with him, and reached across the mirror to the shelf where my perfume lived, only to find that the bottle was just about empty. Now this might seem an ordinary event to you, but for me, it was pivotal. It might seem absurd, but I had never bought perfume before. As the oldest of five in a poor family, this sort of thing was considered an unobtainable luxury. Then, as Alec’s first lady, perfume was always gifted to me for Christmas and birthdays.

As I looked in the mirror, I had to decide how I saw myself. Would I see the oldest of five and mother of two who always put the needs of others first, and didn’t indulge in luxuries? Would I see the grieving widow whose greatest fear was that she would never be loved again? Or would I see myself as beloved? Worthy? Connected in belonging? And as I looked into the mirror I realised that the only view that suited me now was to believe that I was beautiful, and only I could give myself the gift of self love.

The next time you look in the mirror, take a closer look. Examine behind the reflection. Be transparent with yourself. What do you see? And promise me, that you will keep looking, and keep refining, and keep cleansing, until you see the truth. Because in the mirror is someone who is beautiful on the inside and out, valuable to connect with yourself and others, and worthy of all of the love you can give and receive. You are Infinite. You are everything. And you most certainly are enough.

The First Christmas

4 MIN READ

This is it! Today is the day! There are no more sleeps left till Santa comes. It is here! This is the day the world counts down for. If you are in Australia, it is the one day of the year where all the shops are closed, and the streets are quiet. Families and loved ones join together to celebrate life and love. Even if you weren’t brought up in church, Christmas is still a sacred day many of us set aside to splash love around with the people we care most about.

Kerry Anne Nelson Professional Speaker

Christmas means gratitude, hope and love to me now

For most of us, Christmas is something to look forward to, but there are some of us today that have been dreading this day since the day that our entire life was turned upside-down. I have heard many people say just how bad 2016 was, and how tough it’s been for them to get through. I have had my own years just like that. I know what it’s like to face Christmas after my world changed completely. To be able to muster up any kind of celebratory feeling after the crisis has hit like a tidal wave is a feat that hardly seems worth the effort at all. There have been three Christmases I have faced that were certainly the toughest ones of all, but they each taught me a profound lesson that I have carried into every Christmas since.

Cash Is Not Wealth

My first tough Christmas was the Christmas after we had come to the very brink of bankruptcy. We had rolled one business over into another and then a third, but the ebb and flow of our start-up cashflow simply couldn’t keep up with the invoices that followed us each step of the way. Those who knew, our accountant and closest friends, thought we were completely mad at the time. We had been advised to call it quits and face the brutal reality that our businesses hadn’t worked. We were told that there was no way out, no other option. But we persisted. We didn’t want the embarrassment of the label, or the shame of leaving our creditors high and dry, or the opportunities of the future to close if we shut up shop. So we kept going. Even though we finally managed to pay all of the debt back over a decade later, we made it. But on that first Christmas, we felt the pinch like a green ant bite. It stung hard. Our Christmas tree hosted a few odd gifts, and the dining table was laid out with some special treats. But more than anything else, this day slapped us hard in the face with the fact that we simply couldn’t afford our usual fanfare. It was a shameful, empty feeling that threatened to swallow our joy and our pride.

But that Christmas taught me to be grateful. We still had our kids and our health and modest celebrations that highlighted just how truly blessed we were, every single day of our life. If you have your back against the financial wall this Christmas, look around. There is so much more in your life than the emptiness of your bank balance. The best things in life really are free.

Silence Is Golden

I celebrated my second tough Christmas for the most part in silence, because it was the year after I lost my voice. This had been another gruelling year, but the challenges this time had bowled me over psychologically. Initial anger and resentment towards the voice strain injury quickly developed into depression and then further into an anxiety sickness called an adjustment disorder. The isolation of the silence, combined with the darkness of the depression, and the panic of the anxiety disorder to create a highly stressful, teary Christmas. It would be another year before I saw my way clear of this awful sickness, so on this Christmas I was up to my neck in mental illness.

But that Christmas taught me to be hopeful. I had started jogging by this time and had cut my drinking back enormously. I wanted the day to be spectacular. The laughter of my children, the delight of them opening their gifts, the indulgence of the food, and the love of my husband filtered through the cloudy state I was in, and I saw glistening sparkles of hope that shone through in flashing moments of beauty. If you are depressed today, have hope. Time passes and things change. It won’t be like this forever.

True Love Lasts Forever

My last horrible Christmas was the one after losing my husband Alec. My usual excitement and child-like anticipation of Christmas was replaced that year with dread. I didn’t want to face the void that had been left in place of Alec, and I wasn’t sure if I could handle any more overwhelming feelings of grief. The emotion I was most imprisoned by though, was guilt. Even on the days I was able to muster up a smile or momentary happiness, this positivity was quickly swallowed up in self-loathing disbelief that I could ever let Alec go.

On that Christmas morning my 19yr old Zac sat beside 17yr old Isabelle in stoney silence. None of us knew how to be or what to say. Yes, there were gifts to open, and breakfast traditions that should have seen us through, but all of it felt wrong. It would never be the same again. Even though we had made it to the lounge room and tried to take up our usual positions, we had hit a road block. Alec had always played the Santa role, distributing gifts and making lame Dad jokes that inspired smiling groans every time. We had no Santa now, and we didn’t know what to do with ourselves. We just cried.

Eventually I asked Zac if he wanted to hand out the gifts. He reluctantly took up the offer, allowing us all to take our first steps towards redefining what Christmas is to us now, in this new normal. On that Christmas, we blindly pushed through to work out the new pathways through this day. That Christmas two years ago taught me new meanings of love. We all loved each other through the loss, and loved our way towards blending old traditions with new. If this Christmas is the first Christmas you have to face without your loved one, please know that you will make it through with the power of the love in your heart. The sadness and devastation of the loss are markers of the deepest love you have ever known. Although that grief feels insurmountable, there is beauty in it, because it is a flag that waves a signal of that love. To feel this pain of loss is to know that you have loved in purity. This love itself is a stunning wonder. Take the depth of the loss and use it as a reminder of the capacity you have for love. And share this love around with your people. This love is the very meaning of Christmas.

Mirror Mirror On The Wall

4 MIN READ

It is always my pleasure to speak about Unstoppable Freedom. I love teaching people how to find and follow their passion, and to show them that they already have everything that they need to transform the landscape of their lives into something that reflects their innate purpose. When I share with my audiences, I remind them that my words will not make them free if they hear them, or even know them. Unstoppable Freedom only comes when we act.

Each of us want to connect. To love and be loved is our life’s highest calling. In our daily lives we are on a constant quest, searching for the place that we fit best. When we meet someone new, we conduct the obligatory “get-to-know-you chat.” We ask about them and tell stories about ourselves, and we begin to create a profile of who this new person is. What are they about? Where do they come from? What are they like? Where are they headed?

Now I am passionate in my love of humans and humanity. Give me all things ‘People’ and I am a happy camper. But even from this perspective, I do not necessarily see the human race through rose coloured glasses. Seriously, if you are going to really love humans, the only way to do this is warts and all. At the end of the day, our deep desire to connect may not always be about the high calling to selflessness, altruism and unconditional love. If we are brutally honest, we must admit that our own gain is one of our strongest motivators. Most, if not all, of our life choices are driven by the universal question: What’s in it for me?

This is true when we are connecting with people. Old friends, new friends, old enemies, new enemies. It’s all the same. Our relationships only work if we know exactly what we get out of what we put in. And what do we want more than anything else? To be valued. To be seen as significant. To be accepted and appreciated. When we connect with people, we are on the lookout for evidence that we matter. When we have those “get-to-know-you conversations”, we are really just doing yet another round of the same thing. We are investigating how they are like us. We are looking for ourselves.

Let’s see if you can see yourself in the highlights of my story. As you read through this list, why don’t you tick to see how many connection points we have? I want to spoil us both with the chance to find ourselves in our connection:

  • Leader: Oldest child in a large dependant family
  • Adventurer: Have always travelled and moved house a lot
  • Pioneer: Left home at a young vulnerable age
  • Conqueror: Terrified and overwhelmed teen mum
  • Battler: Divorced single mum of two fighting the odds
  • Romantic: Married again with the starry-eyed hope of having it all
  • Driver: Ambitious business owner pushing forward into growth
  • Teacher: Educator of people of all ages
  • Widow: Lost husband at thirty-seven to face a new world
  • Mother:  With two adult children now leaving the nest
  • Lover: Enjoying the delights of new love in rich new ways
  • Author: Writing blogs, stories, books, talks
  • Sharer: Of love and connection with those close to me
  • Dreamer: Optimistic about possibilities always. My future is bright because my outlook makes it so

As you read my highlights, you are looking for your own. Think back to the last time you watched a movie, read a book, chatted with a friend, worked on a project … in everything we look for ourselves. We search for our person. We endlessly seek acknowledgement of our identity.

Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?

Professional speaker melbourne

The mirror reflects only what we are ready to see

The wistful romance of this fairy tale question resonates in all of us, because we have all asked ourselves a version of this question. We all want to be certain that we are beautiful, worthy, successful, accepted, happy. Too often, we act like the Queen who asked that question of the Mirror. We become insecure and threatened by those around us, as if the beauty of others has any impact at all on our own. She looked into a place that should have reflected her own perfect image. In reality, as the story goes, she was truly beautiful. But something went wrong … the way she saw her own beauty made it not enough. She was vain, but not content with who she actually was. She wasn’t satisfied with her beauty, so the reflection she saw in the mirror was marred by her own doubts, fear, insecurities, hurts, offence, worries.

I wonder about that day when the mirror told the Queen that it was Snow White who was the most beautiful … was this the day that the Queen’s downtrodden view of herself finally got the better of her? The mirror couldn’t tell the Queen that she was the fairest of them all, because the reflection of a mirror can only show us what we are able to see. The Queen’s shortcomings allowed her to believe that her own beauty was not enough. So the mirror couldn’t tell her any different.

We know that the Queen’s corrupted outlook was toxic. Her distorted view sent her on a quest for answers where they could never be found. Instead of seeing her own beauty, the Queen sought to destroy it in others. She was convinced that beauty must be somewhere ‘out there’. Hidden in the outside world. In someone else. And she hated that. The Queen shows us perfectly how not to be free.  In three easy steps she created her own demise:

  1. Refuse to be satisfied by your own beauty
  2. Compare yourself with others
  3. Seek to destroy the beauty in others, because you can’t see it in yourself

I wonder if Snow White really was the fairest of them all? Or was she simply the one who innocently accepted her own beauty, without question, shame or guilt. The mirror could tell the story of Snow White’s beauty, simply because Snow White accepted this as being true.

This metaphor of the mirror speaks volumes about our own quest for freedom. We search for ourselves because we all need to be truly free. To be free to love and be loved is our highest calling. Deep inside every one of us is the voice that directs us towards the fullest expression of our potential. To ensure that we arrive at this place of freedom, we must ensure that we have our eyes on what is real. We need to look only into our own perfect reflection. We must rid ourselves of the lenses that blind us and contort what we see. We must remove doubt to reveal our optimism. Rid ourselves of hurt to enjoy wholeness. Replace shame with confidence. Apathy with investment. Indifference with enthusiasm.  Hopelessness with hope. Confusion with clarity. We must boldly say, “No more!”

Love Letter

3 MIN READ

I went for a walk today. It was the first walk I have had in a while. Life is busy. I work long and hard through days that sometimes feel like they are getting shorter. I love it all though because I am passionate about my work. I am fuelled by a sense of mission which drives everything I do, and everything I have, towards the fulfilment of my purpose. I do get tired, I admit … but I never grow weary of this mission. It is an honour and privilege that I appreciate every single day. What I do is directly connected to my Infinite Self.

Now I am home from my walk, and I have pulled my laptop out. I am sitting on the small balcony that connects my bedroom to the view of my little street. It is not glamorous, but it does make me feel special. It is a private little space that I use to press the pause button on my life. From my spot here I reflect on life. I think about me, and I think about you too. Right now, I am bursting! For the past hour and a half I have been consumed by thoughts that were ready to explode out of me … here is what I am compelled to share with you today:

You are spectacular. There is no-one like you in the entire world. No-one has ever been like you, nor will there ever be. No one could take your place. You are the only one of your kind. You are more precious than rare. You are a one-off. A singular, never-to-be-seen-again treasure. You are perfectly unique and especially distinctive.

Kerry Anne Nelson Professional Speaker

Your beauty cannot be equalled or surpassed. It is beyond compare.

You are priceless.

You are worthy.

You are enough.

You are everything.

 

You have a heart of gold that is made full as it flows in love to your people. You have a unique compassion, a sharp insight, a profound understanding, an endless investment. You care deeply about those around you, giving selflessly and without question to meet the needs of those you love. You are a bastion of love, a defender of justice, an advocate for those who can’t defend themselves. You have so much to offer. Safety. Acceptance. Warmth. Strength. Hope. Empathy. Encouragement. Support. Courage. Momentum. Promise.

The gifts that you have for the world will leave a lasting impact, and you are the only one who can bring them. Only you can walk the steps of your journey, combining moments of opportunity with your inimitable offering to enhance your world. You make everything better simply by doing your part. You make the most of every opportunity that comes your way, because you exist to make a difference.

Sometimes your involvement feels small, and it seems to dissolve away quickly. Other times the ripples of your influence spread far and wide, creating changes that last. In it all, you have an effect on the world that can only be made by you. Only you are able to steer your course. You make decisions, connect people, resist wrongs, keep trying, win battles, maximise opportunities. In your powerful autonomy you do the big things and the little things that only you can do. 

Champion the cause of the incredible human being you see in the mirror. Care for them with fondness, compassion, grace. Nurture them with tenderness, optimism, hope. Protect them with strength, pride, importance. Nourish them with rest, health, well-being. Expand them with learning, risks, action. That person in the mirror is your greatest asset, your most valuable prize, your most precious resource. They are the victor of your battle and the hero of your story. They make it all happen. They make it all worth it.

And now, I would love you and I to make ourselves a cup of tea. Let’s just linger here and inhale the significance of the moment we have just shared, together …

Don’t Rush Out Of Church

3 MIN READ

Life is often busy and rushed. Sometimes the rushing comes from deadlines and the pressure to keep up. Other times it comes from anticipation and the excitement of something new. Whatever the reason, rushing can feel stressful and scattered, and it can often result in us neglecting the most important parts of life.

When Alec and I were married we did what everyone does and employed the services of a photographer. Fortunately for us, our photographer ran his business from his home, which was right next door to ours. It was wonderful to share the day with a neighbour and friend. The exceptional service he gave us on the day, and the jaw-dropping quality of the photos he provided after, showed that he deserved his outstanding reputation.

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Kerry Anne Nelson Professional Speaker

It is easy to get caught in the rushing whirlwind of the every day

This was a busy day full of gushing rush and organised chaos. It was a day filled with a whirlwind schedule and emotional moments that swept us off our feet. Alec and I were both the same on that day. Even though we loved every minute, the day was fast and furious and sometimes felt like a blur. It would have been easy to miss the flashes of sparkling moments that showered all around us that day. With so much to do, and so many feelings buzzing around, we could have floated away into our own reality, not noticing everything that made the day so spectacular.

Our photographer was a seasoned professional, having been in the industry for decades. He knew that it was typical of the bride and groom to become caught up in the thrill of the day. He had seen people miss out on the special moments that time would transform into life long memories. To help us connect with our guests straight after the ceremony, he passed on advice that remains with me to this day:

“When the ceremony is over, don’t rush out of the church. You will want to go fast because it is so exciting and new, but if you leave the church too quickly, you will find there is no-body outside. All of your guests will be inside with you, so stay there with them, and share the first moments of your marriage with the people you love.”

I was so grateful for his suggestion, because it was the one tip that made me focus on savouring precious wedding-day moments with my loved ones. These moments would never come around again. Without this advice I suspect I would have rushed out of the church, and missed out on priceless moments of connection with my guests. The words of my photographer expanded the meaning of my wedding day to include the connection and relationship that I share with all of my loved ones.

To this day, those words from my photographer still ring in my ears. I reflect on the wisdom of this advice regularly. As I get older I see more and more clearly that our lives are made full only when we share them with the ones we love. I know what it’s like to feel rushed and pressured. It is a sensation of frenzy and adrenalin that can have us racing right past the life we live today. To be caught in a life that becomes a blur of forward pursuit and anticipation about the future is to overlook the defining importance of the relationships we share with our people. We must come to value the time and attention that it takes to connect with the people who share our journey. This investment provides us with the support, significance and compassion that we need to sustain a life of unstoppable passion.

It Hurts Us To Withhold Love

3 MIN READ

To love someone in fullness and truth is to express the most powerful part of our Infinite Self, without restriction or limitation. Love is our greatest strength and our most pure source, so operating from this deep part of our core allows us to open the floodgates of our own pure power. Unlike other kinds of force though, this power is perfect, and can only bring goodness to ourselves and to the world. Expressing our love to those around is releases an energy that nourishes ourselves in ways that only love can, and also allows us to pass on that nourishing flow to the other people that we get to share our lives with. To deny this flow of love is to hold back an essential source of energy. Without sharing our love we can’t regenerate love, and instead of replenishment and fueling, we immediately begin to tax our core systems of wellness and survival. When we hold our love back, we block the very flow we need to live.

It was my daughter’s nineteenth birthday yesterday, and I experienced this truth in more fullness than I ever have before. The relationships we share with our children is often the easiest situation to demonstrate this kind of unconditional love. We have a connection with them that was born even before they were. Whether you are a mother or a father, the relationship you have with your child started before they took their first breath. This is as true for biological parents as it is for adoptive parents. To choose to raise a child trough their life journey is a decision that starts first with love.

Our love was always purposed to flow freely

Our love was always purposed to flow freely

Connecting with your child in this journey of nurturing and equipping is an honour. To work towards that final day where you release this child into their own adult journey is to activate this endless source of love every day. This is not always easy. Let’s be honest, even the most angelic of children have an uncanny knack of being able to press just the right button at just the right time to make things challenging. We all have those human moments. But these moments are set within a wider landscape of relationship and connection. There is more to the love you have for your children than could possibly be measured in any given moment. The love you have for your child is a love that will last longer than your lifetime for theirs. This love is infinite.

Withholding Love Comes From Negative Mindsets

To withhold this sort of love is to allow hurts, fears and other items of baggage from our past to block our true, deep love. Yesterday I shared beach walks, hamburgers, and chocolate birthday cake with my girl. In this space, I realised that to not love her openly and freely would hurt me. To hold my love back would require me to operate from a mindset that wasn’t open, compassionate, nurturing, patient, understanding, optimistic. To not act lovingly towards her would mean that I was drawing from a source within myself that is corrupt and spoiled. This source is not life. This type of source is something that needs to be deconstructed and reconciled. We can’t allow its effects to diminish our greatest power and source of all freedom – LOVE.

Looking at this issue from this perspective made this issue of love simple for me. If this is the sort of love that I can extend to my children, there is nothing that should stop me from extending this same kind of love to those around me. The dynamics of other relationships are certainly different from the ones I share with my children, but the source from which I love them is not. The way I demonstrate my love will be vastly different depending on the circumstance and nature of the relationship I share with each person, but my source of regard for them will not.

For me to operate in the fullness of my power, pursuing my purpose with a passion that has no limits, I need to access a genuine care, an unconditional regard for others. From this perspective I consider theirs, and I take up courses of action that bring benefit to all of us sharing the journey together. I certainly love myself by continuing to nurture myself and my need for love, and this sometimes means taking care of the depth and the nature of the connection that I share with others, but in all things, my heart is to love others as I love myself. In truth, respect, compassion, optimism, and unconditional acceptance. Every person has infinite value, and every person is worthy of love. By showing this love to others, I allow it to flow freely through my entire being, nourishing myself with its cleansing, healing flow.