The Long and Winding Road

The path to peace is a long and winding road for survivors of violence.
There may be no guiderails. We get near the edge or end of the road often feeling discouraged.
But when we look around, we discover great beauty and comfort during our travel to wellness.


A problem that really exists – Media, Advertising, Family.
People believe and perpetuate what they see, read and hear.

Time to Heal
End the old
Begin the new
Reflect and hope
This is a safer year.
Meet new people
Find new places
Comfort and help
This is a better year.
Replace a memory
Discover a talent
Peace and laughter
This is a happier year.

The long and winding road
That leads to your door
Will never disappear
I’ve seen that road before
It always leads me here
Lead me to you door

The wild and windy night
That the rain washed away
Has left a pool of tears
Crying for the day
Why leave me standing here?
Let me know the way

Many times I’ve been alone
And many times I’ve cried
Anyway you’ll never know
The many ways I’ve tried

And still they lead me back
To the long winding road
You left me standing here
A long long time ago
Don’t leave me waiting here
Lead me to your door

But still they lead me back
To the long winding road
You left me standing here
A long long time ago
Don’t keep me waiting here
Lead me to your door


Fall2011 – Voices

Winter2012 – Voices

Summer2012 – Voices

Fall2012 – Voices

100 Four Letter Words to Celebrate 100 Blog Posts

OBOE – REED – SOLO. Yes, those are four letter words. SWAN – DUCK – BIRD — they are too. So what’s so FOUL about 4 letter words. Those last words were simply FOWL.

For years when my oboe students voiced concern and discontent about the troubles they had with reeds, I would remark that OBOE was one of the few four-letter words they could speak openly and NOT get in trouble. Then I’d move on to REED. Then SOLO. Students would need a moment to ponder my comments, and then snickered with the flash of insight to the coincidence of their troubled feeling as countered with their LOVE for the same unique instrument.


I find that writing my blog has allowed me a way to be FREE with words.  At least I hope I don’t end up in jail for something I write here especially after breaking free from a “domestic” prison last year . . .

A month ago I was chatting online with a young gentleman (Daniel) who frequented the studio and coffeehouse that I owned and operated up until November 2011.   He works 2nd shift — as I do.  We had a “heart to heart” discussion about the difficulty in finding people who are capable of less than shallow conversation and behaviors.  Even at his young age of 24, he had an insight about how a building is nothing without the person or people who existed there.  He reminded me that the home/business I had to evacuate a year earlier was just a building, a shell with no soul.  The life created, the joy projected, the creativity encouraged, were GONE when I left.

Replacing ME with a photography studio was a bizarre way for an abusive spouse to gain power and control.  Was control more important than stealing my earned income?

I was given a small green notebook entitled GRATITUDE by the couple that gave me a room the first night I evacuated my home.   It took several months till I felt like making note of anything. The words finally came.   After I listed the freedom from abuse, my precious cat Carmel was next on the list of entries.

After chatting with Daniel, I began a list of all the FOUR letter words that popped into my head – most were POSITIVE.    Here are some of the words:

life – cool – hope – oboe – home – game – mini – food – heal – swan – head – love – book – mind – bake – town – song – sing – rest – feel – care – rain – kind – text – call – talk – blog – cook – note – safe – have – look – lake – cake – cafe – save – rose – tree – leaf – bulb – type – able – good – more – many – most – each – will – want – wish – past – take – show – wise – wait – best – soul – wake – dawn – moon – star – wing – full – help – even – ever – grow – sign – gift – last – lark – part – harp – find – seed – bulb – read – seek – calm – free – milk – fork – high – draw – clay – blue – post – flag – frog – meet – horn – meal – meat – stay – gone – sink – soap – knob – roll – wall – bean – need – pack – oven – band – bell – make – mask – loaf – soon – line – fine – fill – soda – time – pure – sure – move – give – snow – word

Struggles and Strength

During my online studies, I often become aquainted with information that springs out of my search results. An intriguing article caught my attention. It is titled “Why Positive Thinking is Bad For You.” That is not the typical trend of teaching in the last several decades.

There’s so much push to be sure everyone is “happy”. “Have fun,” the parent says as they drop their child off at private lessons (art, music) or at a dance class. Since when did instructors have to take on the role of ENTERTAINER while working at teaching skills to children?


I contend that we will encounter many situations in our life that will test our ability to adapt, change and find a solution for improvement.   Being skilled at any task does not happen in an instant and it is often beneficial to have constructive criticism early on.  Another generation may grow up thinking everything they do, say, make is cute, clever or creative.   Most children have creative abilities — but only a few will excell beyond a standard skill.  That goes for any form of knowledge be it math, science, music, athletics, reading, writing, history.

We need to be corrected when we give a wrong answer.   We need to be encouraged to improve our skills.   It is a rare 8 year old who “already knows how to draw” as I’ve heard retorted by students in the last 10 years.     How can a child have that much self-confidence — or lack of interest in learning anything more — at such a young age?     Perhaps parents hang every piece of artwork on the refrigerator — instead of sorting out a couple exceptional pieces.

Kids expect to get stickers, prizes, badges, trophies — just for showing up to an activity.   How can we build strong, motivated learners and active, productive citizens if we continually say everything is good?

Pocket the Change

If you change nothing, nothing changes

Written by Sally-Anne Blanshard
Imagine being on a train. You know where it is heading, how many carriages it has, what stops have gone by so far and what stops are ahead of you. Feels safe. Secure in the knowledge you will reach your chosen destination. Now imagine someone asking you to get off that train. Step onto another. With a blindfold on! No idea what the journey looks like. Not quite sure where the train will stop.How would you feel now? Uneasy? Nervous? A little scared.Making changes in any aspect of your life is hard. It takes commitment, focus and a belief in yourself and your future.Change can be exciting, exhausting, fantastic and frightening.I have had a whirlwind two months. My husband arrived back from a business trip announcing that he had been approached about a job in Brisbane. And from there our family was catapulted into change central.I tried my hardest to remain calm throughout the lengthy job interview process. I openly accepted that change was here to stay for a while. What was normal to us was thrown into a blender and mixed on high setting for many weeks.It would have been easy to take the easy option and not move interstate.Less to think about.
Less to plan.
Less to do on the to-do lists.Yet the unknown future was something that was appealing. It was exciting. We could not cover our eyes to what was calling and when we took a peek with a weekend up there, to remind us of what change offered, we liked it.

The other thing that is good about change is the big conversations it starts. What you want for your future. Your children’s future. Where you are at and where you want to be. What you like about your lifestyle and what you would like to change. It enables you to start over with some of those lingering habits.

I personally think change is something we start to fear, as we get older. We can get set in our ways. We react to certain things the same way. I remember having a chat with a friend who shared her concern over what I must be going through. I explained that with such mammoth amount of change going on I wanted to challenge my usual reactions. So, what may have normally been a high stress situation with a reaction of high stress emotions I was channeling as much calm through our family as possible. I think it worked.

It has been an exciting, exhausting, fantastic and frightening 8 weeks. We arrived in Brisbane last week, unpacked, explored and tomorrow my husband starts his new job.

Change is here to stay for a while.

What are you going to change this year?

Where are you going?

Written by Heidi Cornelisson
I am part of a coffee and connection group that meets once a week. Being a regular commitment I have a set route to and from the venue. But one day this was challenged when I left with a friend heading in the same direction as me. He was in front of me and I saw him drive straight at a roundabout where I usually turned right.”Where’s he going?” I wondered, “Is there another way to the freeway?”But I turned right as usual, staying with the familiar. As I stopped at the red traffic light leading onto the freeway I saw my friend whizz past from another side onto the onramp.”His route is obviously quicker,” I thought again and never caught up with him on the freeway. He’d made significant headway.The following week I still turned right at the same roundabout not willing to go straight and potentially getting lost. Sure enough, this time, despite having left after me, I saw my friend whizzing onto the freeway again.”Damn! I should’ve tried the new route,” I muttered.I have since eventually taken the alternate route and it’s not only quicker, but simpler. My route was a huge detour, catching more roundabouts and traffic lights. Although familiar I’d settled for a difficult route.I’m using that roundabout as a metaphoric decision-making point for your life.

  • How many potential decision points do you have in your life?
  • Do you keep turning right because that’s familiar or are you willing to try something different?
  • Which decisions do you continually make that are merely habitual?

Familiar and safe options may have served you well in the past. But, as you know, if you keep doing the same things, in the same way, thinking the same thoughts … you’ll keep getting the same results. I see so many people who feel stuck in their lives because of old habits.

Some people who have started exploring personal development realise the impact of their past on who they are and how they live.

They then get stuck all over again, but now, consciously, in the past.
“It’s because I never had a father that I can’t keep a relationship now.”
“It’s because my mother was too concerned with my weight and appearance that I have low self-esteem now.”
“It’s because my teacher told me I’d never amount to anything that I have a fear of success.”

Whatever the case may be, what you’re saying is probably true and the thoughts you have about yourself are as a result of that particular experience. But remaining in this excuse-place keeps you beholden to the past repeating same behaviours. Is that what you really want?

Once you’re aware of old beliefs and you hang on to them for too long, they’ve become excuses. These excuses are then like carrying around a ball and chain with you, preventing you from moving forward. This would’ve been like my car automatically turning right each week and me feeling powerless to change its direction. I had to consciously fully engage the vehicle and take a different route. I then found myself, within seconds whizzing onto the freeway as well.

As with driving a car, you have the power to change the direction of your life as well. For example:
“Although I have picked up a low self-esteem, a fear of success and an inability to have a meaningful relationship from my past, I can now choose to let these go. This is not who I am as I now choose differently. I am willing to change, believing my life can get better and I’ll ask for help if necessary.”

  • What is it time for you to change in your life?
  • What from your past have you been holding onto
  • Where are you stuck in a repetitive rut?

Stop using the past as an excuse for where you feel stuck. It may be the reason, but let go of attaching to the excuse. Kick off those shackles, choose differently and take a self-empowered step forward in a different direction with new thoughts and beliefs. You may even move through life with ease and learn that the more you trust yourself, the more your self-esteem, your fears and relationship skills will evolve naturally

Time moves in one direction, memory in another.
William Gibson