I'm Susan Dunlop. I work with people who want to live a life by design, not by default. People choosing to create a life and business that they are excited to lead.
This is my passion project, Coffee & Contemplation with Susan, the cross-generational sharing of women's stories from every decade of life.
The guests I invite have stories to share, even if they often first think they don't! Sharing the dark and light, memories, lessons learnt, what makes them who they are, their outlook on life, words of wisdom and a few favourite things.
The value of shared stories cannot be underestimated.
Today’s guest I heard about, long before I met her. As a business owner myself here in Noosa for some 20 years, I have always liked hearing news of business successes and applauded businesses focused on providing friendly, safe, respectful, individualised care. That mattered to me back in my days of owning RNS Nursing, and now in coaching.
Kate Davidson, award-winning business woman and owner of the EFM Health Club franchise in Noosaville, takes it absolutely seriously too, in a way that quality service incorporates a magic mix of fun, variety, great music, a good chat, the celebration of consistent effort and achievements of her members.
This episode touches on Kate's life lessons learnt. From acknowledging the reality of crippling social anxiety as a child and the repercussions of that in the form of being the target of bullying; to her decision that she alone had to take the steps to seek help, in her desire to live life on her own terms as a woman.
Kate has consistently stepped up, hurdled over and skipped through health, life and business challenges. Navigating her way through life and business and becoming the woman she is today, Kate shares how she often has to remind herself how far she has come and how:
"old me would be so proud of me. In fact, old me would probably not believe that this version of me was for real."
We talk on where Kate's life originated; her dreams of what or whom she wanted to be when she grew up; health and life hurdles that she's faced and how she's overcome those; her passion project; what (OK, who) is the most important thing (person) to her in the world now; and what would be the most valuable advice Kate could give 7-year old her, that she wished she'd have received from her own mum when she was 7. Plus Kate's favourite sing-out-loud song revealed!
As for me, I am a professionally trained coach and NLP practitioner, certified in hypnosis and therapeutic arts coaching; a member of the International Coaching Federation and American Board of Hypnotherapy.
I coach my clients in all areas of life and business.
I offer 1-hour introductory coaching sessions where we talk about what it is you truly desire in your personal life or for your business, and how coaching can help you with making that your reality. If you aren't certain what it is you truly desire, that's just another kind of starting point to put a pin through on your life map and then work forwards from there.
You can book a time directly via my website or, if easier, please email me and we can line up a time to suit directly.
EASY LINKS TO REACH ME:
SEND ME AN EMAIL
WEBSITE FOR MORE DETAILS
Episode 37's guest is Nuray Ozden, a woman in her 40s and 4-years new to the sunny Sunshine Coast in Queensland.
Nuray knew she was going to be a health care professional when she was 3-4 years old, telling her aunty 'one day I will fix your voice'. Before leaving high school Nuray was clear about her career path to become a Speech Pathologist.
As a Speech Pathologist of some 25 years' experience, her private speech pathology practice focuses on the whole person. That came about naturally to Nuray, having chosen a non-pharmaceutical path to heal her own body from within, from fibromyalgia, whilst still at university in her early 20s.
Nuray's name can be translated to "a new ray of light" which she portrays in every day life. Nuray shares how she picked herself and her heart back up, over a long 10-year journey of grief, having suffered devastating loss, as a young mum in her early 30s. Nuray saw, from within that dark space, the weak foundations of her marriage; and with courage and determination went about all that was required to leave what didn't serve her behind. With new-found excitement, Nuray took her 2 children, to find what was next for them, something new, something better, someplace different.
It was what Nuray referred to as "jumping off the cliff and landing with trust that it just had to work, and there was no doubt she would make it work."
A shift of thousands of miles from her established life and career in Melbourne. A 20-hour drive with just 3 suitcases, her 2 children and herself, packed up in her car, to find a new soft spot to land in sub-tropical Queensland. Here, Nuray has started over, bringing her speech pathology patients, her unique holistic approach.
Nuray shared that "we all know when it's time for change and we know when something is completed. Really trust and follow your heart, because your heart will never lead you astray."
Content: If this episode touching upon Nuray's stillbirth affects you, I have sourced details of the Pink Elephants and SANDS support organisations and their chatlines (see below).
If you have any questions or would like to find out how to contact Nuray, please don't hesitate to reach out to me at email@example.com and I can provide you with her details.
As for me, I am a women's coach in life and business; business mentor and trainer of teen and young women in the skills of life that fall outside of the high school curriculum. I would be only too happy to offer you a discovery call, for a chat about what it is you truly desire in life, and how coaching, mentoring or training can help you with making that your reality. You can book a time directly via my website or, if easier, please email me and we can line up a time to suit directly.
EASY LINKS TO REACH ME:
SEND ME AN EMAIL
WEBSITE FOR MORE DETAILS
2 x MISCARRIAGE AND STILLBIRTH SUPPORT ORGANISATIONS WITHIN AUSTRALIA:
I had the pleasure of being interviewed on 15 March on Noosa.FM 101.3 - Shaken & Stirred with Synoxie Program (Synoxie is the radio name for Nikki Creber). Nikki has kindly shared the recording of the interview with me this week. So, where better to listen to it than on my own podcast show #coffeeandcontemplationwithsusan.
Nikki asks me a number of questions including what is life coaching? We chat about the development of my craft as a coach and touch lightly upon all the arrows I've got in my quiver these days.
Thank you Nikki for the opportunity to be your guest.
PS. Nikki, when will we get to share that lychee martini?
I am the coach to women who have set their intention to be the highest expression of themselves and follow their highest vision.
psychological and spiritual health;
creativity, exploration & play;
livelihood, career & influence; and
intimate relationships & family life.
In opening up to explore their highest vision, and why it is important to them, they:
gain understanding of what has been holding them back;
acknowledge where they are in relation to the vision already;
accept what they want to, or might need to, let go of;
find exciting avenues that are open for them to explore;
decide what they need to start doing; and
then take a step forward
PLUS so much more!
That is such a freeing, pleasurable, life-enhancing experience to gift yourself as a woman, at any age.
Come coaching with me and I will guide you on that exciting journey.
Interested in coaching? Book an intro session directly into my scheduler via this link to my homepage at www.susandunlop.com.au. I'd be honoured to support you as your coach. Not sure? Have a look at these kind words from women who've coached with me - happy clients.
You might also like to join my members community - a link to the sign-up for that is also available on the home page.
If you would like to be kept abreast of my memoir discussed in the interview, I did hit the target of having the first full draft ready for the editor by 14 April! It is now churning carefully away through its next editing process. To be kept abreast, place pre-orders and receive alerts of proposed dates for publishing, please also join my member community.
Follow me on FB and Instagram too if you aren't already: you'll find me via these 2 links: Facebook | Instagram
Please rest assured that if you do join my members community, I know how much we're all being bombarded with newsletters, sales funnels and all kinds of information overload. I've been in the business world before the advent of the first eNewsletters and I promise that I will not be contributing to that bombardment of your inbox. Worthwhile content guaranteed!
Take care of yourself today,
Professional Coach ICF NLP | NLP Practitioner
Certified in Hypnosis and Therapeutic Art | Member ICF and ABH
www.susandunlop.com.au | firstname.lastname@example.org
Content warning - we touch briefly on the topic of Alexandra's experience of sexual abuse. If anything discussed in this podcast causes concern for you, the incredible counsellors at 1800respect are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by phone on 1800 737 732 or web chat via their website at 1800respect.org.au.
Alexandra Skoeld, is a woman who found her soul's calling, her purpose, as a result of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and what happened to her as a young teen. The light that came from that darkness has led Alexandra to found, then grow, her successful sex and intimacy coaching practice, "Soul Intimacy", in Sydney.
Some of Alexandra's words that stood out the most to me during our podcast chat:
"Have a look outside the bedroom first. Do you allow yourself to receive outside the bedroom? Very often as women, we are nurturing everyone else, making sure everyone else has everything they need, before we look after ourselves.
Start outside the bedroom and allow yourself to receive. As women, when we allow ourself to be turned on by life; and we allow ourself to feel sexual and sensual; and we access our sexual energy, our creative energy, we are able to move forward towards our goals and dreams; because we are starting to learn to trust the wisdom of our body."
We talk about:
Alexandra's entry into this field of coaching; the difference between sex therapy, sexology and intimacy & sex coaching.
What are the most common worries women and men bring to coaching; and the most common desired outcomes they wish to achieve from working with Alexandra.
A tip of the ice-berg chat only, in relation to worry, shame, guilt about masturbation/self-pleasure, unresolved trauma, struggles with body image, feeling safe to fully open, disconnection to our own body and sexuality.
Where is a safe place to start? Alexandra's 6-week online course for women "My Voice, My Body, My Pleasure" starts in early May. That's one safe place to start. The details of Soul Intimacy's instagram page are available via this link: www.instagram.com/soulintimacy
If you listen to this episode after May 2021, yet were interested in attending My Voice, My Body, My Pleasure, Alexandra has a waiting list for future dates so please reach out to her via Soul Intimacy directly; and have a chat with her, about whether that course is right for you.
Alexandra and I are going to have a further podcast chat after her 6-week course ends in mid-June; so please also feel comfortable to send questions through that she can answer, not just for you, but for the other listeners who might be wondering the same thing.
Thank you Alexandra for sharing your story today.
Do you have questions you'd like me to ask Alexandra in the 2nd episode? Please email me: email@example.com.
Coffee and Contemplation with Susan is a podcast of real women doing extraordinary things. A place where stories are shared, for the storyteller's benefit, as well as those listening.
I'm Susan Dunlop, a professionally trained life & business coach, from Noosa, Queensland, Australia.
If you, or someone you know or love, would like to step up to share your story, please reach out and email me.
Likewise, if you have plans for doing great things, and could do with a thought- and belief-partner, by way of a life or business coach, someone with plenty of experience behind her, email me and we can chat.
Professional Coach | NLP Practitioner | Member International Coaching Federation
I met Lucy Holland, senior social work clinician, psychologist, researcher, personal and professional coach at an International Coaching Federation #ICF members event recently.
Lucy, now a Sunshine Coast local, is founder of Simplify Coaching & Consulting, a woman in her 30s, with a background of 15 years working in health and adolescent health. Lucy's specific expertise is in social work care and counselling of young people and families and in the context of chronic disease and palliative care.
Lucy talks today on what led her to become involved in adolescent health in the first place.
We centre our conversation around the most significant darkness-to-light piece that Lucy experienced in her life. Particularly, the learnings Lucy has taken from that major life hurdle, that "blew apart my world and really shattered my sense of self, worth, direction, home and life." Lucy shares the messiness and the blessings that were the reality of what she experienced and came out stronger from. Lucy shared that it wasn't easy, yet her life is just much more full and real now than it ever was before.
We talk about working with young people, in relation to managing relationship breakups; the education system; and the false image social media platforms paint - devoid of reality and real connect, which leads to difficulty in drawing together an authentic, caring, loving tribe, when you need them most.
Lucy shares what her mum's best words of advice were to her that she's brought forward into life today.
Plenty more... I won't be a spoiler!
Thank you Lucy for sharing your story today.
Coffee and Contemplation with Susan is a podcast show of real women, doing extraordinary things.
A place where stories are shared, for the storyteller's benefit, as well as those listening in.
I'm Susan Dunlop, a professionally trained life and business coach, living and working in Noosa, Queensland.
Our heads are full of stories. I get to listen to stories everyday in my coaching and see the benefits of my clients' sharing their stories out loud, then exploring those more deeply. Reflection is also an incredibly powerful tool that's not put to use so much in modern society. Reflection and the sharing of stories across generations cannot be underestimated.
Please contact me if you or another woman you know is a real everyday human-being doing extraordinary things and has a story to share.
Also, if you, or someone you know or love, is a real everyday someone with great plans to do extraordinary things, and could do with a thought- and belief-partner, by way of a professionally trained life or business coach, to help you get where you want to go!
#icfcoach #lifecoachnoosa #leadbelievecreate #thekidsarewatching.
Part 2 of 2 Parts: Mish Thurlow wrote her first book in the year of 2020 when everything was topsy-turvy in our world, and her support network back home in South Africa, seemed more distant than ever before.
Through the process of writing her book "Truth Seeker - finding your light" Mish explored her own inner truth, and on reflection, came upon a significant acknowledgement of her truest self that she hadn't expected.
Mish gathered up her courage and spoke her truth, to those she loved most. The most freeing, albeit risky, choice she could make to be the truest version of herself. Expecting to be burnt in the process, or to be rejected, Mish is instead full of love and admiration for the incredible people who love her unconditionally.
It made me think of the quote:
"By coming out to ourselves, we free up the energy we spent keeping that part of ourselves hidden." - Patrick Califia, Author.
We talk on:
the meaning of Truth Seeker and Finding Your Light;
as an author, how she's going about getting her book out there;
Mish's sincerest wish for those who read it; and
given this is Coffee and Contemplation time, Mish throws in a fabulous metaphor about coffee and alignment.
We end with:
Mish's favourite quote;
her 3 Key Pieces of Day-to-Day Wisdom she lives by; and
as a music lover, her favourite sing-out--loud song and why.
Thank you so much Mish for coming back to chat today.
You'll find Mish's beautiful smiling face and can buy her book directly at www.mishthurlow.com.
Coffee and Contemplation with Susan is a podcast show of real people, doing extraordinary things.
A place where stories are shared, for the storyteller's benefit as well as those listening in.
I'm Susan Dunlop, a professionally trained life and business coach, in Noosa, Queensland.
Our heads are full of stories. I get to listen to stories everyday in my coaching and see the benefits of my clients' sharing their stories out loud, then exploring those more deeply. Reflection is also an incredibly powerful tool that's not put to use so much in modern society. Reflection and the sharing of stories across generations cannot be underestimated.
Please contact me if you or another woman you know is a real everyday human-being doing extraordinary things and has a story to share; or if you, or someone you know or love, is a real everyday someone with great plans to do extraordinary things, and could do with a thought- and belief-partner, by way of a professionally trained life or business coach, to help you get where you want to go!
#icfcoach #lifecoachnoosa #leadbelievecreate
Part 1 of 2 parts: Mish was introduced to me by our mutual friend, Rae (Episode 3). At the same time as I was inviting Mish onto the podcast show, I heard that her book "Truth Seeker' was being launched here on the Sunshine Coast. I was intrigued to find out more.
Today we speak on all manners of important life decisions and serendipitous moments that led to Mish turning all the rich ingredients of her life, so far, into a captivating guidebook for readers who seek to live life to its fullest and most vibrant capacity.
We step back firstly to Mish's leap of faith 11 years ago. A gigantic leap of faith at the age of 18, leaving her close family circle and a small town in South Africa to find herself on campus at the University of Sydney. From 'fitting in' to 'finding the light'. Making a life that honoured her mind, body and soul, in that very bright, eclectic, alternative and busy end of the city. Mish is now living a joy-filled life on the Sunshine Coast as the truest version of herself.
I'll let you listen to where we take the chat. This is Part 1 of 2 - being all the stepping stones that led to the launch of the book.
Part 2 next week will be Mish sharing what change the actual writing of the book brought about in her own life, in which she went next level in finding her own truest self, during the process. We talk on where she's taking the book, and her wishes for people once they've read it; plus plenty of words of wisdom.
I said I would share the contact details for Mish here if you'd like to make contact or purchase her book:
www.mishthurlow.com - ha, that just made me smile again. Click on that link and the brightest, smiling face that greets you, is the one I just had the joy of sitting opposite in recording this podcast show. You know, those conversations, that leave you smiling long after they're finished.
That's Mish for you!
Coffee and Contemplation with Susan is a podcast show of real people, doing extraordinary things. A place where stories are shared, for the storyteller's benefit as well as those listening in. I'm Susan Dunlop, a professionally trained life and business coach, in Noosa, Queensland. Our heads are full of stories. I get to listen to stories everyday in my coaching and see the benefits of my clients' sharing their stories out loud, then exploring those more deeply. Reflection is also an incredibly powerful tool that's not put to use so much in modern society. Reflection and the sharing of stories across generations cannot be underestimated.
Contact me if you're a real everyday person doing extraordinary things and have a story to share; or if you're a real everyday person with great plans to do extraordinary things, and could do with a thought- and belief-partner, by way of a life or business coach, to help you get where you want to go!
Jodie was referred to me for the podcast episode by her sister, Lisa Williams (Episode 11) as a woman doing purposeful, extraordinary things for her community.
Jodie Williams, is the founder of Black Ant Gourmet, commercial kitchen, cafe and store in Kin Kin; co-owner of Mayan Farm, accommodation her partner and his team have built from rammed earth and recycled timber, with a Tuscan / antique / industrial / hippy feel and helipad in the hinterland of Noosa; and a woman with incredible vision and entrepreneurial spirit!
Jodie is a woman in her 40s, born in Cooroy and has lived here almost her whole life.
We talk about childhood in this once quiet holiday town we call Noosa; roller skating down Goodchap Street and riding horses along Noosa River; and what it was like to know everyone and that everyone knows you too; what Jodie has seen change - be it good, bad or otherwise.
Jodie, her partner and children decided along the way that they wanted to have more of a say about the food they would choose to put on their table, and thus one of Jodie's many great projects was born - Black Ant Gourmet.
Jodie is very much a woman creating a ripple effect from her passion for sustainable living. She shared that "supporting local businesses has an amazing benefit for the whole community. Keeping the economy in a tighter unit, with a village-like relationship, has an incredible impact for employment, everything!"
Jodie is also in the planning stage of her new project of affordable housing, something she has just tabled to her local MP and Mayor. A project that she and her partner had a vision for 6 years ago. They can now see there is far greater urgency for this alternative living, given the impact of Covid-19 on the housing and rental situation in the Noosa shire.
I smiled at seeing Jodie come online to record our episode this week, after our having first met on screen a week ago. It was immediately obvious to me that something had caused a massive shift for her, in little over a week. She was positively glowing! What could that change have been? Jodie will talk on that in our chat.
'The way the body functions or nature functions are all miracles, despite our ability to name the individual aspects. Just because we are now able to name them, they are no less awe-inspiring (or at least they shouldn’t be). The deeper I get into this, my ideas of healing and practice continue to evolve, and have lead me to the energy work and an appreciation for the quantum.' - Marti
Marti Davis MD of Denver Colorado and I continue with Part 2 of our 2 episode chat focused on what came next in Marti's search for understanding healing from a more complete incorporation of mind, body, and spirit.
If you're interested in getting in touch with Marti, I said somewhere along our 2-Part chat that I would share details of her practice, #IntentionalBalance here:
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/IntentionalBalance
Thank you for listening today.
Professional Coach ICF NLP
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Mobile: +61 0439 333 740
Marti Davis MD of Denver Colorado shared with me that her path into medicine, her studies to become an Emergency Doctor, and then what led to her departure from that profession, has been circuitous. Her words made me visualise one of those childhood dot-to-dots; which then led me to think about Steve Jobs’ words:
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So, you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”
~ Steve Jobs
In Part 1 of Marti's episode, we look back, to what were the dots that influenced Marti to depart from traditional western medicine, retiring at the age of 49, and come to be in the place we met, and where I joined in singing "happy 50th birthday" to her, at Ayurvedagram in Bangalore, India.
That was in July 2017.
I invited Marti to be my guest as I was curious about what had led Marti to retire from the noble profession as a doctor; to be exploring Ayurvedic medicine; and where Marti's taking her practice, Intentional Balance, now and into the future.
This is Part 1 of 2 Parts. Part 2 next week we'll continue our chat about Marti's passion and work in delivering personalised, balanced, consciousness-based health and healing. We'll begin with contemplating Marti's words:
'knowing that the entire person needs treating for a healing to actually be possible, I started asking myself if I wanted to be a doctor who brought in the spiritual or a spiritual guide who brought in the physical.'
'more and more people are becoming convinced that they have more control over their own health (not simply the absence of disease) and that the western approach, while appropriate at times, is less effective and more harmful, than more ancient methods.'
Hello, I'm Susan Dunlop Life Coach of Noosa, Queensland, Australia.
Coffee and Contemplation with Susan is a podcast series across 8 platforms, of conversations with extraordinary real people I've met in my travels, or whom have intrigued me along my own life path. As I coach people in all areas of their lives, I listen to people's stories every day. As a coach I see it as my role to hold space for people with a fierce tenderness and a warm tenacity. Remembering that it is the client's journey, not mine. As an extension of that work, I decided to spread the benefits of storytelling further, and that led me to try my hand at hosting this podcast, launched in February 2020.
As said so beautifully by Michelle Obama "It's the sharing of stories that reminds us of the humanity in each other. When we take the time to understand each other's stories, we become more forgiving, more empathetic and more inclusive."
Our brains are boxes full of stories. If, like these real extraordinary people, you have a story you'd like to share, or would like the opportunity contemplate a series of questions, that are both a reflection on your past, as well as a vision of your future and life purpose, please don't hesitate to reach out to me at email@example.com.
Please take care until next week,
Find me also on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
Making Sobriety Sexy? Yes, Rebecca (Bex) Weller is doing just that!
One day Bex took a leap of faith in herself and left her old life behind. She embarked on a 3-month sobriety experiment that became a quest for self-discovery, and transformed her entire life.
Bex shares her own story for the benefit of others. How she took her own experiment in sobriety to creating a growing business that was recognised nationally.
Bex is the writer of A Happier Hour and newly released, Up All Day, plus the award recognised creator of sexysobriety.com.
I invited Bex to come on the show today with our coffee and contemplation focus point being on binge-drinking and the slow creep of increased drinking.
Bex' work has been featured by The Telstra Business Awards, The Australia, Sydney Morning Herald, The Huffington Post, MindBodyGreen, Better Homes & Gardens USA, SBS Food, Good Health Magazine, Marie Claire Australia and Elle Quebec, to name a few.
It's crystal clear in listening to Bex that she's positively impacting the lives of an ever-widening international community of followers.
Bex talks about her desire to provide her online members with a 'soft place to fall' as they take baby steps towards a new life. The questions we contemplate range from:
1. when you are planning your 90th birthday party, what 3 things would you like to think your 3 favourite people will say you achieved already in this one precious life you've lived?
2. The feeling and impact of being recognised as Finalist of the Telstra Business Awards - just 3 years into that business' life cycle.
3. What's the last straw, if there is one, that Bex sees as the most common STOP SIGN for someone signing up to experiment in sobriety.
4. How can we change from 'oh, really, you're not drinking tonight, go on, just have one...' to 'oh, you drink, I don't do that anymore / I don't have time for that anymore'. How not drinking is seen as the odd behaviour.
5. Bex shares her thoughts on two quotes from one of the world's most revered thinkers on the psychology of addiction, Dr Gabor Mate's book 'In the Realm of the Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction
'Not why the addiction, but why the pain'.
'It is impossible to understand addiction without asking what relief the addict finds, or hopes to find, in the drug or the addictive behaviour.'
Plus the usual favourite quote or mantra - in Bex' case she has 2 favourite quotes she'll share.
Thank you for joining me in this very comfortable chat with Bex today.
If you have any key takeaways from today's episode I'd love to hear. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Professional Coach ICF NLP
Having recently listened to Clarissa Pinkola Estes' "Women Who Run with the Wolves" audiobook and enjoyed Clarissa reading out old fables or fairy tales and the relevance and meaning of them to us as women; I then stumbled upon a beautifully presented book when I walked into Berkelouws Book Store in Eumundi, that I knew I had to buy. The book, written by author, Lucy Cavendish, is "Magickal Faerytales", an enchanted collection of retold tales.
Both of these brought back memories of me as a little girl, going to the library on a Thursday night, with my dad. I knew exactly where the Fairy Tale Book section was and would walk out holding a library bag full of new wonders, to go home, find a quiet corner, and get lost in the magic and adventure.
Lucy explains in her book what fairytales, such as Red Riding Hood, were about. That they're "about survival. Surviving our families most often, and being sent out into a world which is hostile and navigating the new worlds in which we find ourselves, without bitterness or rancour".
Sharing stories is the theme of this podcast series, and stories read by us at an early age might be something to contemplate as well.
Serendipity: these 2 books - one a beautifully illustrated hardcover and the other, a worthy 2-hour audiobook, both appeared in my life, in the same month, this year. A month earlier, in August this year, I gained my certification in hypnosis. In hypnosis, we use metaphors (stories). My plan is to incorporate hypnosis into my life coaching as a value-add service to my coaching clients and also as a separate service where requested.
Hypnosis is beneficial for anxiety relief, stress reduction, releasing bad habits, making the change to become lean and healthy, or quitting smoking and best of all, performance enhancement. I wrote metaphors and they even mesmerised me when writing them!
Maybe, it is just my time to have returned to the magic of storytelling. Maybe, I am adult enough now to understand the magic of stories shared, even more.
Yesterday I opened registration to "Your 4-Week ELEVATE Course" (starting Monday 16th and Tuesday 17th November). So, yes, you'll guess right, that it does incorporate a bit of magic across each week of the 4 weeks of 1:1 coaching and group sessions. How could it not?
Maybe, it's the right time for you too, to re-explore your childhood enjoyment of reading fairytales or your favourite stories - whether to benefit yourself or a child you love, or both.
'I think if you are unhappy, try and talk to somebody positive. Ask, because people are happy to share with you, if you’re nervous.'
This week's guest is octogenarian, Jill Shaw, from Tewantin, on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. Jill lives in a residential aged care facility, Carramar, one of the 2 facilities owned by not-for-profit, Noosa Care Inc.
Jill was referred to me as a positive, happy 81 year old lady to have on the show. Jill had literally celebrated her 81st birthday the week before our first meeting. I hadn't realised at the time that Jill is also a long time sewing buddy of my mum, Aileen, who lives in Tewantin too.
Jill and I meandered across her life which started 1 month after the Second World War began. Jill was then living in Scotland, and spent most of her childhood and adult life in Bristol, UK, before coming to Australia 25 years ago, with husband, Brian.
We talked TB, favourite visiting day treats and plaster-cast beds for 2 years of her childhood. Going home to war-time bomb shelters and rations. Also, what we take for granted now that women of Jill's era wished in their hearts they had access to. Like many women who've been on the show, Jill turned her own heart-wrenching experience of motherhood, into something that is about doing good. Jill, in a non-professional capacity, said yes to mentoring other mums who'd experienced miscarriages and stillbirth, until they were ready to get on their feet again. Jill talks about her very happy and long marriage to Brian, now passed on, and her own choice to have the support provided within residential aged care. Aged care - now during Covid, and in general: the good things and what it was like to move in. On the flip-side, Jill ponders what it would have been like for her, if she'd continued to stay, and care for herself, in her own home, particularly given the risks involved for our elders this year.
I so absolutely love that Jill's favourite song is "You Are My Sunshine", given Jill's nickname was "Sunshine" as a child. Today, Jill had a beautiful sunshine yellow frock on, with a little yellow sunshine badge attached at the bodice.
Keep loving life Jill and keep sewing that stash of fabric you have.
Thank you for joining me on the podcast.
This week's Podcast Guest is Ann Harrap who shares just a few wise words, including "things often don't turn out the way you planned and you need to be flexible, adaptable and resilient. Because the way in which you cope with challenges or things, that aren't going according to plan, is actually what will define you”
Ann had always wanted to be a journalist, and when backpacking as a young girl through South Africa in the 1990s, found her plan change, in something as simple as the accommodation she stayed out, was that of a Diplomat. There she found that all the talents required of a journalist - to stay curious, be interested, liking to ask questions and tell stories were mirrored in the role of a Diplomat... and so Ann chose a different path.
The new path led to Ann eventually being appointed Australia's First Female High Commissioner to South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Lesotho and the Ambassador to Angola.
In 2013, Ann retired from foreign affairs and established her own consultancy centred around leadership and diplomacy training and workshops.
No longer being greeted as "Your Excellency", Ann is now happily settled on Australian soil, here in Noosa, Australia, having decided a sea change was in order. Ann is the former member of the board of trustees of Brisbane Girls' Grammar School and is currently President of the Board of Noosa Care.
In the podcast Ann will share how her journey to such an esteemed title unfolded; some 'pinch-me' moments including being the recipient of Nelson Mandela's full attention as a junior diplomat. Also, reminisced on some of Ann's greatest achievements - both in terms of significance and at a heart-felt level. We chat over the most common myths or comments that make Ann smile or shake her head in relation to having had the position with such a Title and more.
Since Ann's return to Australia, her contribution to the benefit of young women and elders of our community, are just new ways in which Ann uses her leadership to contribute to the greater good of society.
Ann was referred to me, by a previous podcast guest, as an inspiration and a woman with a good heart. You'll agree I'm sure.
Sharing here the words of Calvin Coolidge's inspirational quote that Ann received in a frame from her dad at age 12. I know that part of the podcast got a little echoey, so don't want you to miss out on an opportunity to contemplate their meaning in today's times:
“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
Nikki Creber is my guest this week on Coffee & Contemplation with Susan.
This Episode focuses on what Nikki called "my mission - my everything". In 2019 Nikki was awarded a Community Hero for her work. Nikki is a Parkinson's Advocate and Coach on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia.
What is Parkinson's Disease? It's a disease of the central nervous system, which includes the brain and spinal cord, and controls everything you do, including moving. It affects all systems - motoric, non-motoric and neurological too. A person with Parkinson's disease gradually loses the ability to totally control body movements.
Parkinson's Disease is the 2nd largest neurological disease suffered in Australia. 200,000 people currently live with Parkinson's. In 15 years, it is predicted to be double that number, and the cost of individual Health Department services across Australia will be exorbitant and prohibitive as the nature of the disease means that hospitalisation often means an upset to medication maintenance, and results in those living with Parkinson's will have a much longer hospital stay with much more expensive specialist medical interventions.
Nikki shares her own story about her experience of being diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in her 40s. The initial darkness of that reality and subsequent light and epiphany that came to her in the form of an offer of a sabbatical.
Nikki took back her power and began the path to reclaim the functioning of her body.
Our contemplative chat includes demystifying the myth that Parkinson's is just an 'old people' disease; the signs and symptoms you might observe in either yourself or someone you know and love; and will Parkinson's actually kill you? What Nikki wanted to be when she grew up but her dad said 'no', the work she loved before her diagnosis with Parkinson's disease and her mission in life now; plus favourite pastimes that feel really good outside of work; and favourite quote and song.
Currently, Nikki's most important mission is continuing her campaign to gain effective on the ground/in the community clinical care for people living with Parkinson's as well as their carers. This is sorely missing in regional and rural areas across Queensland. Nikki wants to establish a pilot study in setting up 3 Specialist Parkinson's Community Nurse Practitioner positions with the SCHHS in order to establish an efficient, sustainable and transportable model. Queensland is the only State in Australia not to have such nurses.
Nikki's contact details: email@example.com and website: www.nikkiacreber.vip
Tewantin-Noosa Parkinson's Support Group contact details:
Nikki's "Shaken & Stirred" Radio program can be found at Noosa.FM
The poem Nikki shared was "Thank You Coronavirus" by Riya Sokol. This is Nikki's favourite lesson in gratitude at the moment and a COVID lesson that is timely for us all. It's available on YouTube at: https://youtu.be/sgm9E_cmvWA
Thank you Nikki for sharing your story today and also thank you for letting me test out the podcast platform... no more Zoombadaboom!
A short lesson shared by Susan about Spinners and Sailors.
From a chapter I read in a book, "Life's Golden Ticket", written by Brendan Burchard. It came as a lesson at just the right time. You’ve maybe heard the saying ‘when the student is ready, the teacher appears’. It is a simple lesson, written in the form of a parable, and now it’s something I read to coaching clients, who are stuck or spinning in the one spot.
Can you recall a time that you felt as if you were spinning in place; going nowhere fast? Maybe that time is right now?
Before I share the lesson, just letting you know that from now on, you’ll very likely identify, in yourself, or in other people in your personal or work life, times that you or they are being a spinner or a sailor. A good thing to be aware of perhaps.
Today is International Podcast Day.
This week's Coffee & Contemplation with Susan podcast guest is Megan D'Elton, CEO of Noosa Care.
Megan is a recognised leader in aged care, responsible for ensuring high quality care of 229 people, across 2 sites: Kabara Hostel in the hinterland town of Cooroy, and Carramar, in Tewantin, just over the bridge from Noosa, Queensland.
Megan shares today about the effect of Covid-19 at work and in life and the resilience, compassion, patience and calm evident in her team, her residents and their families. About a 4pm call on a Friday from Noosa Council asking her to fully evacuate Carramar in the midst of the 2019 bushfires, her only answer to that being "yes, will do". Adjusting to the current 'new safe normal' that the 'covid cloud' has brought upon aged care.
For me, having served the aged care industry, in my previous business of RNS Nursing, I met many people in similar roles to Megan's. Megan would have been the only aged care leader whom I met, to have been recognised at State level in the Telstra Business Women’s Award for Queensland.
Aged care is a Business and roles like Megan’s are not for the faint hearted. Pressure from every angle, every day, in an industry that is about legislation and staying focused on doing the best for her residents - our community’s elders and loved ones. Megan sprinkled a lovely mix of gems of wisdom in her chat today. That 'just because you live in aged care, it doesn't mean your life stops. You still get to live the life you choose', was one of them.
Megan stumbled into aged care. As a teen, Megan got her dad's leave pass at Year 11, having negotiated a plan to instead gain skills as a 'Receptionist Centre' girl. Megan was a girl seeking travel and to enjoy life. Megan began in aged care in an admin role and rose through promotion and interviews to her current role as CEO.
Sound quality alert: today's session was recorded via Zoom and at times the sound dropped to quietness at Megan's end, but mostly it was clear as a bell :)
Thank you for listening,
Professional Life Coach ICF NLP
The Feather, the Brick and the Truck is Susan's story about the messages the universe sends to us, in all areas of our life. In this instance, Susan talks about an example of each message in relation to one major business upheaval experienced and, thankfully, survived! The lessons learnt, massive changes, determined focus on a desired outcome, and growth is the upside of this particular set of Feathers, Bricks and Trucks. You'll very likely have some of your own messages come to mind as you listen to this story.
Today’s guest is Clare Stewart, the recently sworn in, first woman, to become the Mayor of Noosa, in Queensland, Australia.
In my planning today’s coffee and contemplation episode, curious to hear Clare's story, the thought I had was in relation to a statement we often hear: “Believe in yourself and never give up!” As a life coach, I find that people often can't see how they might apply that, especially when the world is even more topsy-turvy than normal right now. To me, I feel that this is where the value of hearing other people's stories comes into play.
Clare talks us through her decision to run for Mayor, the hurdles she personally faced in making that choice; how she got through the turmoil of Covid-19 shutdowns, that shook up the usual process of voting, at the most critical time. Also, the importance of having a strong team and support network around her, in her pursuit to do good for her community.
Becoming Mayor in the middle of Covid-19, Clare shares about the first 6 months in her new role and a "pinch me" moment.
Clare loves to incorporate inspirational quotes in her work, so shared some powerful quotes, that she draws upon when needed.
Remembering too, we all have strengths and weaknesses, Clare was happy to share some of the things that she's NOT very good at.
3 of Clare's favourite tunes: Robert Tepper's "There's No Easy Way Out" from Rocky IV; Bruce Springsteen's "The Rising" and Whitney Houston's "One Moment In Time"
Sandy Bolton is the Independent Member for Noosa, in Queensland, Australia. For the purpose of this podcast series of interviews with women from every decade of life, Sandy is a quinquagenarian, a woman in her 50s.
Sandy has got 2 mantras that get her through: a long-held one of "It's Not What Happens To You, It's How You Respond" and Sandy believes that "it is now the time where I don't want to hear anymore the reasons why we can't, it's now about all the reasons why we must".
A longer podcast chat compared to earlier episodes before it. Sandy has a very full storybook of life and professional experience to share.
We began with Sandy's origins, that made it obvious, where Sandy's empathy and understanding of what the average person faces began. Sandy's mum brought up her children alone, through tough times, and in a way that created a platform for Sandy to develop as a self-reliant and self-sufficient person. Sandy's mum was very much a roll-your-sleeves up, "if something needs doing, just get in and do it", kind of role-model.
I invited Sandy to come on as a guest, having had a few chats in passing over the past year, which made it immediately clear to me as a life coach, that Sandy is a leader and role-model, aware and reverent to her core values and purpose. I had also found Sandy's Facebook feed during the fires and Covid-19 times, the easiest, no-drama, go-to, as compared to the fear-mongering media.
In our conversation today we cover the hurdles Sandy personally has faced; how she got started on her journey to the current position as a Member of Parliament; some common myths that make her (a) smile) and (b) shake her head about the day-in-the life of a Member of Parliament. What else...? What alternate profession Sandy would like to attempt; the one question Sandy is grateful that she's never been asked in an interview; a curly Pearly Gates one and her favourite 'happy dance, sing-out-loud' song.
2 Favourite Songs of many: Let's Go Crazy, Prince and Peace Train, Cat Stevens
[Sound effects & online quality alert: 3.45 on a Monday afternoon, after school, in Old Tewantin had the sound go scratchy on my end via Zoom but we kept smiling and got through; plus Sandy's computer had bells & notifications going off... Two women can't let a good chat be stopped by things that get scratchy or go "ding".] #sandy_bolton_mp
The episode most listened to; take-aways women have shared; guests coming up soon and how to join me as a guest if you or someone you know has a story to share... and we all do have stories to share. Thank you for following the episodes so far. Very grateful for your feedback.
(Note: the other reason for this interlude is, as my 100-year old guest doesn't have a computer to meet me via Zoom, I'm setting up my laptop and testing out the microphone, to go visit her in person. Over a cup of coffee, we'll contemplate what the most important things in her life might be).
If you think of any questions you'd like answered by a woman in her 100th year, please don't hesitate to send them through to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you and take care,
Professional Coach ICF NLP
This took some time to come together and in all stories I share there is patience. Beth intrigued me as the owner of her registered charity, Miss Piggy's Guinea Pig Lair, at Eudlo on the Sunshine Coast, Australia. I've watched Beth love and advocate for guinea pigs, or as she put it, be their voice, because they can't speak.
Beth shares some insights into her starting the guinea pig adoption centre, for these exotic pets, many of us know to love and care for... with their teeny tiny feet and trusting hearts.
Beyond that tale there was the story that possibly led Beth to that place of purpose, in caring for those soft, gentle souls.
We didn't intend for that story to surface, but in sharing with Beth the questions as prep, she crossed out the "Life" questions so I asked why (given I'm a life coach and all!). We talked, then talked some more, and with a space of trust between us Beth shared her story of being 17, an innocent, picked up, or picked out, by a 32 year old man, who took her on an 8 year journey of narcissistic hell.
I have the greatest respect for Beth - today even between recording the episode and publishing she tossed and turned about whether sharing was brave or stupid. I vote BRAVE! You are a light Beth, for other women. Thank you so much for sharing your story for other women to benefit from.
As mentioned in the podcast, before Beth talks on this topic of narcissistic abuse, it may cause triggers for some of you. Please reach out to 1800 RESPECT for support if you need that love and care on your side. If you'd like Beth to go into any greater detail with her story she's said she would.
Love to you all and thank you so much for having the courage to speak up today Beth. Love to you and your piggies and I'll work out how to get you and Rodney that holiday once a year not once every 4 years... I'm sure others will be with me on making that happen. Any ideas please contact me on email@example.com.
PS. loved the pictures you sent for the profile Beth... but this is my favourite xx
I believe you and believe in you.
This week's guest on Susan Dunlop's Coffee and Contemplation with Women is Madi, a tricenarian, 30, from Noosa, Queensland.
Madi's Favourite Quote: (1) as a teen “this too shall pass”; and (2) now “growth requires accountability”
Madi's Favourite Song: Piano Man, Billy Joel – always brings happiness and happy memories.
Madi shares the identity crisis experienced when becoming a new mum and how important it is to “let yourself feel what you need to feel, when you need to feel it – and don’t be ashamed about it”.
As an adult, mum and teacher, Madi is happy with society’s shift in better managing mental health issues at school. As a teen, Madi experienced undiagnosed depression and an ‘old school’ treatment of being sent away to boarding school in the city and enrolled in anger management classes, run by the school’s ancient nuns.
Now flying solo to raise 2 toddler daughters, Madi is clear about making conscious choices relating to use of her time vs getting caught up in guilt. Now studying a degree in psychology remotely, and with a degree in early childhood education behind her, Madi has a dream to work in child psychology.
Today's guest is Lois Ronsisvalle, 91, of Neutral Bay in Sydney. Lois is my first guest in the nonagenarian decade of life. I asked, via my mum, if she could line up Lois to join me on the podcast. I recalled Lois always to be a positive, laughing, keep it sensationally simple, kind of lady. Lois lived across the road from me during my childhood in Beverly Hills, Sydney. Her family of 4 children, all a decade or so older than the children of our household, now has expanded to include 11 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. During today's episode we had Lois' 1-year-old great granddaughter doing beautiful backing vocals.
Lois shares her earliest memories, she didn't have any 'naughty' memories to share, as the middle daughter of 5 children; she was a good girl. Her adventurous spirit moved her away from home to work across New Zealand before a planned trip around the world in 1947 after the war had ended. She got as far as Sydney.
Still living in Sydney, surrounded by her family, Lois walked across the Sydney Harbour Bridge this past weekend. Lois shares about her passion for fashion and all things sparkly filling her up via her years as a business owner. We talk technology... and then Lois had to get going to help with the great granddaughter and head out for a walk to the park in the sunshine.
This week's podcast took a more focused format, rather than a variety of questions across a woman’s whole life journey.
Meet one extraordinary real woman, who shares how she developed a passion, the knowledge and experience of working with craft beer, via a rich tapestry of 9 years' travel and work internationally, between the time she left school and now.
Sianna Lucas, 26, of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, shares how she's taking her lessons learnt to shape a business plan, to come out the other end of this Covid-19 tunnel with a plan to thrive, not just survive.
You’ll possibly have listened to Episode 13, our 70-something nanna – Marg, who had been put forward as a guest by her granddaughter. As always, the women who put someone forward, that they admire, also catch my attention. Today’s guest, Sianna, is Marg’s granddaughter, and also the partner of my daughter, Danielle.
On Sunday this past weekend we were having lunch with Sianna and Danielle in our garden. Sianna casually showed us she’d launched a new Instagram page for her new business "Craft Not Krap". As a business owner and coach, I know the exciting feeling that breathing life into a new business has on you. So, on Sunday, it was a pleasure, to sit and happily listen to this lovely young woman’s idea, that was part of her business sparkling into life, just by summoning up the courage to take that idea forward, first one step, then the next.
Today, Sianna and I focused on career, profession, passion, business, a pivot and how all of that is coming about in this time of covid-19 disruption to business-as-usual.
If you'd like Sianna or any other guest to speak in more detail on an area of focus in their story, that you wished we'd have gone further with, please don't hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My Episode 14 guest went AWOL, so it was a case of good luck vs good management that I spotted myself in the mirror as I passed by, pondering who could step-in last minute. Today, I not only got to see what it was like to contemplate and answer the questions I put to my guests but I got to be Episode 14's 'save-Susan's-arse' guest.
My daughter just asked 'so you asked yourself the questions... and answered them?'. Well, yes I did and it was kind of fun.
From the list of questions sent out to all my guests, I covered some of the ones today that I've noticed women highlight the most, but others they've skipped around, or had wanted to answer but not on-air, or not just yet.
The episode touches on the topic of society's most common of all cultural taboos, incest - the great unspoken! Not in a deep dive details way. Sibling Incest was unfortunately a part of my early life, and it's something I am taking my learnings from to do good with in the world. My intention in sharing my story, lightly in this episode; in the book I'm writing; and raising awareness of it via speaking, is that: as I have the intelligence and voice to share my story, it would be wrong for me to not share and do something about it to reduce the occurrence of this form of sexual abuse. In the past 18 months I've researched and read expansively on the topic, on top of what I knew from my own experience, to share the ways in which it's possible to heal from this 'great unspoken'.
My dream is that other mothers and fathers become more aware or intuitive about what might be going on in their own home; and that the daughters and sons of our world might find the courage, to break the bonds of guilt, shame and self-blame, that suffocate and silence so many survivors into never ever finding their voice. "Shame cannot survive being spoken" - Brene Brown.
Two other mottos: "children should be seen and not heard" and "your brother's in charge - do what he tells you" were buggers of mottos for the 3 younger Catholic children of 4 in our family, back in the 1960s and 70's. Something we've seen coming to light, in cases such as Cardinal Pell's recently.
I'm in the quinquagenarian decade of life, 54, mother of 3 daughters in their 20s, wife to a beautiful supportive husband and all the other roles I've played, discarded, leapt away from and run towards with my arms open. I'm a mixed bag of magic really.
If this episode includes anything you'd like to be spoken about in greater detail, or if the episode's inclusion of the subject of incest may cause a trigger for you, please reach out - my email is email@example.com. If you, a child or someone you know is at risk or you believe is experiencing family abuse, of any type, reach out to the good people at Phone: 1800RESPECT.
Love to you all,
Marg is our first brave Nanna, put forward by her granddaughter, Sianna (pictured) to share her story.
Marg simply began with "I think my life has been fortunate... like everybody I've had ups and downs, but more ups than downs. I think as you get older you learn to roll with the punches and I do think of myself as a survivor, so maybe that helps."
Marg, our first septuagenarian, or woman in her 70s, of Verrierdale, Queensland, shared her own backstory today, as our chat cuts across the most decades of life of any episode... starting with Marg's first memory at 2 and a half. That was back when being in hospital didn't include being permitted to have your mum sit by your bedside or give you cuddles - but rather she had to make do with seeing you through a window.
Follow the episode today and listen to Marg's journey.
I know a few of you will have stories along similar lines.
Before you listen: technology and the world in which Marg and I both live and work, tried their hardest to disrupt our chat recording. Between tree removals, a house-demolition, doors slamming, dogs barking - Marg was so gracious in tolerating having to stop, start, stop and start again... and she did it with a laugh. Thank you Marg for persevering despite all the disruption, adjustments to sound quality. You kept your story flowing well.
If there's any part of Marg's or another guest's story that you'd like them to elaborate on further, or you would like me to bring on other women to speak about a topic in greater depth, please don't hesitate to reach out to me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Similarly, if you or a woman you know are willing to share your/her story, that's what this podcast is about. Contact me and I can set you up ready for a comfortable easy chat. My guests so far have been chosen from my heart - no 'show-ponying', 'empire-building'... sorts - just beautiful spirits I've met on my life's journey, who've endured ups and downs and have come to where they are now through hard-lessons learnt, perseverance, loss, love and lightness.
We timed this episode very nicely, without even knowing it!
Given my guest, Lynde McKinley's nursing career has evolved to far greater heights than she'd ever have imagined, and today being the 200th Anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale. Florence having blessed us with establishing the nursing profession, it was perfect timing!
Lynde lives in Saskatchewan (say that 5 times) province, Canada. A quinquagenarian in terms of decades of life, Lynde is about to turn 51. A Professor of Nursing, Lynde holds a Masters of Nursing and a Doctorate in Integrated Medicine. She has also studied Ayurveda with the Chopra Center and the Kerala Ayurvedic Academy. I met Lynde in Kerala, India, and cheer her on, in growing her "passion" business, The OM Experience, where Lynde specialises in Mindfulness, Meditation and Ayurvedic Wellness.
Today, we began with the question 'what does Florence Nightingale mean to you?' Lynde: "To me it's that powerful woman's roar of Here I Am, Let's Make This Better" and from there the conversation went.
Lynde talks about life being a roller coaster ride, the experiences she's survived and doesn't regret, as they've led her to thrive. Her nursing career and her business that lights her up and how mindfulness is the safety net in any moment, particularly in managing her diagnosed anxiety disorder.
Lynde shares tips for the simplest form of mindfulness practice... useful right now in this very 'mindful' period we're experiencing in lockdown. That and other gems you'll find throughout the episode.
Like all the other guests so far, Lynde has kindly offered to come back as a guest in future episodes. If there's anything particular you would like Lynde to discuss at a deeper level from today's episode, please reach out and let me know. Email: email@example.com.
Lisa Williams is this week's guest on Susan Dunlop's Coffee and Contemplation with Women.
A little background on Lisa:
Lisa is a quinquagenarian, or woman in her 50s, whom I met 10 years ago court-side at Noosa Basketball, whilst we cheered on our young daughters' team early one Saturday morning. At that time, underneath the friendly chat, I could feel Lisa's struggle to remain strong and positive, having survived a difficult marriage split. She was suffering depression. Lisa was parenting her two young special needs children, keeping it all together, clearly loving and caring for her family, whilst juggling a full-time job and putting herself last.
I invited Lisa as a guest as, two years ago I ran into Lisa at the One Billion Rising dance on Noosa Beach. Lisa was what I'd describe as a vibrant, smiling, bundle of white glowing happiness, waiting in the wings for the main dance. She was laughing and chatting away comfortably with her work colleagues and mates. It was such an incredible change in between when we first met and then - a completely different woman. I was intrigued in a "can we all have what she's having" kind of way, and from there have been connected with Lisa ever since.
Lisa has clearly set a new standard and stepped up as a role model to her children and other women. Lisa is very much about finding the positives in every situation, enjoying the relationship with her adult children, and making choices that bring peace, happiness, enjoyment and contentment.
Today Lisa shared that her favourite song is Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive", which I'm sure you will agree is fitting as Lisa's Theme Song, and also possibly a timely reminder, that we will survive these times of Covid-19. If you'd like Lisa to share any part of her story, at a deeper level, please don't hesitate to contact me. Lisa said she'd be more than happy to come back and chat.
Today's guest on Coffee and Contemplation with Women is Lucy Wilkie-Boulus, our youngest guest so far. Lucy is a denarian, or 18 year old woman, from Dalby, Queensland, Australia.
Lucy is the daughter of Lyndalee Wilkie (episode 8) who spoke on christianity, sexuality and the magic of her country town. In helping us set up the Zoom call that day, Lucy put her hand up and said "I've got a story to share. I'm the elder sibling to 15-year old triplets, have lesbian parents, am being co-parented across 2 homes, can't see my boyfriend and can't start uni til 2021 due to Covid-19, and I've had anxiety and depression for 4 years."
Lucy, like all the other guests in the series looked across the questions I shared as prep but knew what she wanted to speak about straight-up! Particularly sharing her journey through grief over the loss of her grandparents, that turned into anxiety and depression and how she was supported by her mums, sought help and rose to the challenge to find who she is and 'make her own box'. It was the love of her mums and family and consulting with a kinesiologist that has got her back to where she is today.
Where Lucy's journey has come to at the age of 18 is only the beginning. Lucy shares her plans to contribute through the education system in demystifying mental illness, in an age-appropriate way, to earlier grades at school than is done currently.
A courageous beautiful woman, inside and out. Lots of great take-aways today no matter who you are.
If the discussion around depression and anxiety or Lucy's sharing of the loss of her best friends, aka her grandparents, hits a nerve or causes you upset, in anyway, please reach out and speak with someone you trust, who can support you, or contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Today's guest on Coffee and Contemplation with Women is Naomi Peake, a vicenarian, or 25 year old woman, from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
Naomi shares that she began to travel the path as an apprentice chef, from the early age of 16, and switched paths, by choice, a few years into that career. Putting the importance of her intimate relationship and her social life also on the table, Naomi shifted gears up a few notches to tackle TAFE then 4 years of university study in Medical Science, plus get married, develop new life-long friendships, travel overseas, dance up a storm and set up a home with her lovely husband. Naomi now works as a Haematology Scientist in Brisbane.
Naomi will share some happy memories and her belief that all our choices in life aren't permanent. That it's OK to change paths, as you might learn the most wonderful things about yourself if you do change your path.
I've known Naomi, from a distance, for the past 5 or 6 years and was intrigued by her launch recently of a public Facebook group "Frugal Isolation Meals", that made me curious about where this passionate Scientist's love of cooking sprang from. Through that Facebook group Naomi gets to share her skills and knowledge, showing members how to cook beautiful, yet low-cost, meals during these times of Covid-19. Teaching others to find the valuable resources on the supermarket shelves that go into the mixing pot of a variety of menu options. Naomi has also just created a YouTube channel, demonstrating step-by-step how to prepare the meals.
Naomi had first suggested I invite her mum as a guest, which is so lovely, knowing a daughter believes her mum has a story worthy of sharing for other women's benefit. I felt that at 25, Naomi has her own very worthy story to share and I was grateful for her offer to contribute to the podcast series this week.
Episode 8 of Coffee and Contemplation with Women welcomes guest, Lyndalee Wilkie, a quinquagenarian, or woman in her 50s. Lyndalee is a registered nurse and midwife, a parent of an 18 year old daughter and 15 year old triplet daughters and a son.
I met Lyndalee some 17 years ago as a rural remote nurse relocating with her partner and young daughter to the Sunshine Coast and joining my previous nursing agency business. We've remained in touch, celebrated births, birthdays and watched each others' children grow, since she moved back to her hometown of Dalby, in Queensland, when their family doubled in one beautiful birth experience.
Lyndalee is one of the most open-hearted women I've met in terms of there being no judgment and real care when sharing thoughts, experiences and feelings are concerned. Maybe that's because Lyndalee has had first-hand experience of mis-guided words, beliefs and judgments upon her since she was a young girl.
Lyndalee wanted so dearly to commit her life to Christ as a young teen, yet, because she was a lesbian, she didn't feel worthy, and moved away from God for 10-15 years. We talk today around the topic of christianity, sexuality and the magic of a country community; a belief in love, which Lyndalee has instilled into her way of being in her personal and professional life.
Lyndalee talks about her passion for midwifery, her experience of the births of the 4 beautiful souls she and her partner, have nurtured to be kind, fun and loving teens. If you didn't check out the trailer, Lyndalee also sings an affirmation "A Tower of Strength" she finds powerful when needing strength for herself, and when others she cares for, might need to find their own strength too.
Covid-19 being all pervading, we were both aware today that the conversation would drift, and we agreed to no unrealistic expectations of a polished recording. Lyndalee shared many small and large gems - you'll pick up on them throughout - and hopefully can take those away to contemplate as your week unfolds.
Lyndalee Wilkie, a woman from country Dalby, Queensland. Lyndalee is 59, a registered nurse midwife and parent to an 18 yo daughter and 15 yo triplets.
In Episode 8 coming up this Thursday, I ask Lyndalee what her favourite quote was. She doesn't have one but did offer to sing this affirmation.
It’s I Am A Tower of Strength that Lyndalee sings when she needs strength and has sung to palliative and other patients she’s cared for as a nurse.
Sharing as a trailer now, because you never know when you might need an affirmation that draws out your own inner strength, just like this one does, for yourself or those you care for.
Today's episode of Susan Dunlop's Coffee and Contemplation with Women is with Linda Villines, a tricenarian, or woman in her 30s. Linda lived most of her life in Los Angeles, and has recently moved to beautiful Ojai in Southern California.
A little about Linda: Linda is an artist, a songwriter, a wellness coach and healthcare consultant. Linda will be giving her own backstory today as it is actually what the conversation is all about. I will tell you though that I first met Linda in Kochi, in Kerala, India. We connected immediately, yet even so, Linda did not share for the first few days that she had been recently widowed. I remembered looking at Linda when she first spoke of this and thinking 'how often do we skim the surface with light chit-chat across a table, whilst maybe not listening as deeply as we can, nor following through on our intuition that there is more to the person opposite us.'
Linda was in her mid-30s that year, in 2017, when we met by chance on her journey of study to become a wellness coach and Ayurvedic healthcare consultant. Linda's story today is one of her own self-healing and recovery from multiple serious health issues and also of deep love. Linda's late husband, Matt, the director of Saturday Night Live, has a key role in Linda's story today. Matt filled a place in Linda's heart and soul and will be there for evermore, no matter what new love, new adventures and new paths Linda chooses for the remaining decades of her life's journey.
Thank you for sharing your story today Linda.
Today's episode is with Vera Byzova, a quadrigenarian, or woman in her 40s, living in Yoshkar-Ola, Russia.
I first met Vera in March 2017, as a fellow guest at Gaia Pollini's "F**k It" Retreat, held at Tenuta Santi Giacomo e Filippo at Urbino Italy. My husband, Tom, gave me the book, "F**k It. The Ultimate Spiritual Journey" by John Parkin, for my 50th birthday. A very timely gift and a very enlightening read! John, Gaia Pollini's husband, wrote on the final pages of his book, 'come and see us in Italy on the "Hill That Breathes"'. So we booked it, as one of the only pre-booked dates in our Gap Year of Travel, and got to meet some of the nicest people in the world, eat the best organic Italian food on a vineyard in East Italy!
I vividly recall introducing myself to Vera and likewise her to me. Vera looked straight into my eyes and said "I like to hug", which was lucky, because so do I!
An outline of Vera's story: Vera has 4 cats, no children, is Russian, and born in 1975. So Vera remembers the Soviet Union, Perestroika and many other unpleasant things and shares her memories of those times.
Vera has a degree in English and French and works as a translator from home, although she has also worked as an English teacher, volunteer care assistant to a disabled person, was a housewife for a while and even sold souvenirs to American tourists on a boat.
Vera has lived most of her life in her home town and a bit (just over two years) in England. Some days she doesn't go out at all, other days she does - right now she can't for obvious reasons! Vera, unlike others in home town, has a love of travel, has hiked up active volcanoes in Italy and has a bucket list of where to go next!
Vera will share how the questions she pondered in preparation for the podcast made her reconsider some ideas and beliefs she had about her childhood; her memories of hard times, that she had thought were 'normal' as a child, and how each of our perception of 'normal' is based on our lived-experience as a child. We talk about Covid-19's impact on Russia, what life is like in Vera's small town of 300,000 people and Vera's desire to learn, grow, travel and make friendships throughout Europe (and Australia).
We kept having time-delays given internet is a little busy right now but it was a pleasure learning more about Vera's life. Vera has the best laugh, so an added bonus, is Vera will share that laughter with you throughout. We could all do with a shared laugh right now, all the way around this globe we call home.
Today's episode is with Katie Wass, the first vicenarian, or a woman in her 20s, to step up to contribute her story in Susan Dunlop's Coffee and Contemplation with Women podcast series.
If you're new to listening to the podcasts, this series is about women from every decade of life from the age of 10 to 110, from Australia and abroad, willing to contribute their story for other women to hear.
By way of prep, each woman contemplates a wide range of questions, which we may or may not use in our chat. It helps to ease into the chat and we just go with a comfortable flow. In every podcast, the women courageously share early memories, most fulfilling or challenging experiences, and how they survived and thrived. Plus some cheeky stories, life lessons and their favourite quotes and songs and why - for the benefit of other women and therapeutic for themselves as well.
Katie's background: Katie Wass, is 28, from the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. She is a creative and the owner of a successful and thriving graphic design business called Rise and Roar Design. I met Katie 6 weeks ago, when she became a private coaching client of my Lead Your Business to Thrive Program.
Until this year, Katie had worked as a designer for leading brands and businesses, but decided to take ‘a leap of faith’ and pivot her business and change the way she lived - that is, to ACTUALLY enjoy her work, who she works with and make more of an impact.
Katie will share her thoughts about how the news of Covid-19 has affected her in such a short time and how she adapted the way she operates her business. Katie gives her perspective on this first worldwide pandemic event she's experienced and how it has made her feel. Also, what she's done to 'shake it off', both by finding ways to mix up her leisure time with activities she enjoyed as a child and in taking steps to innovate and adapt her graphic design business, to better serve her new and current clients, during these challenging times.
Katie gives some useful insights about the profession of graphic design; plus what she wished she'd known before she began her career in graphic design. Our chat flowed naturally along this creative theme today, with empathy for people who have just been laid off, or had their walk-in face-to-face business close, due to the Covid-19 preventative measures announced since Sunday. Katie kindly shares tips for those who are possibly really needing to get their business online fast, yet also have it look beautiful and professional at the same time!
Today's episode is with Jeannine Rashidi, a quadrigenarian, or woman in her 40s, from California USA. I first met Jeannine in Kerala India in 2017 on a mutual Journey to the Roots of Ayurveda adventure.
An outline of Jeannine's story:
Jeannine shared that the county in which she lives in California is now in 'shelter-in-place' and how that is impacting her, her community and business.
Jeannine shares multiple 'take-aways' for women in this podcast, that would be incredibly valuable to have in 'ordinary' times, and are even more so right now, as the world grapples with Covid-19.
Jeannine's childhood creativity, imagination, play and career desires, that came as a way to cope in a family 'dark' with addiction and abuse, inspired her and gave her strength to step out of that darkness. Jeannine ran away at 15, to marry and have 2 daughters, before leaving that abusive marriage. Jeannine sought counselling to heal and find a life for herself and 2 young daughters, a life that is now full of joy.
Jeannine is a young-at-heart 42 year old grandmama, mother of 2 biological and 2 bonus children, and a wife.
Jeannine has worked now for the past 18 years with women and children. Her health and wellness business, "Goodbye Tension", is designed to help women understand their tension - physically, mentally, emotionally and digestively. She is also studying a doctorate in Ayurvedic medicine and teaches the basics of the ancient Sanskrit language at Kerala Ayurveda Academy in the US.
It is lovely to hear Jeannine describe her grandma's imaginative stories of 2 gnomes that enthralled Jeannine as a little girl, and how the memory of those stories was awoken 5 years ago, when she was gifted a gnome by her 15-year-old bonus daughter. Jeannine has since re-established the tradition of story-telling in the stories of her own 2 mischievous gnomes to her own children and grandson.
'Strange and odd is OK. It gets you out of the seriousness of your mind', Jeannine said.
Sharing the two links here as mentioned in the podcast:
Jeannine's favourite song: https://youtu.be/E3LHSW3eUZs - 'my favorite is the Sanskrit part beginning at 2:05'
Jeannine's health and wellness practice (online consultations available): http://www.goodbyetension.com/
In the Facebook post on @susandunloplifecoach I'll share a snapshot of Jeannine's Gnome 1 and Gnome 2 :)
Today's episode is with Rae Richardson, a quadrigenarian, or 48 year old woman, from Sunshine Coast, Queensland.
An outline of Rae's story:
From hairdressing and a 'bad-hair-day' fix-up for her Barbie doll, to a last-minute ditching of an accounting career that went against her dad's plan for Rae in life.
Rae chose a career in nursing. She crossed out all the accounting courses on her university entry form and replaced them with the nursing course, with the help of a guidance counsellor.
Rae shares her experience of nursing as a hospital trained nurse through to being the Director of Nursing at Buderim Private Hospital. In between which, she also managed the change and transformation of the private hospital in Hervey Bay - the first fully digital hospital in Australia. Rae was recognised as a Telstra Business Woman finalist for her achievements as a nurse and leader of a hospital. Rae shares about her being seconded, the 'roll up her sleeves' and get things done and bringing "Moet" moments of celebration into the cycle of achievements of the team working up at Hervey Bay.
We talk about Rae's perception of 'what's old mean to you', her naughtiest moment, earliest memory, her happiest memory of her mum and what she'd tell her 10 year old daughter now ie. something that Rae wished she herself had been told as a girl.
Rae it was a pleasure as usual chatting with you over coffee. Thank you for sharing your story.
This week's learning curve: use headsets Susan, it's a bit echoey! But we couldn't, we only had one pair! Well, OK then... but next time!!
Please give Rae some love with a ❤️ in the comments below.
In time for International Women's Day 2020, our first podcast interview on 6 March 2020 was with Lisa McKay, talking from her farm in the hinterland of Sydney.
When I asked Lisa if she'd be my first podcast interview, she was surprised that I considered her to be an inspiration to other women.
An outline of what Lisa shared with us in this interview:
Lisa is 34, little sister of 3 big brothers. Lisa always held her own and knew her brothers had her back and she had theirs! Lisa, from very young would say 'just get on with it!' or 'just get over it!' Where did that attitude come from?
At 3 Lisa fell ill, due to a mosquito bite and got Ross River fever. Lisa shared how she, from an early age until now at 34, managed the serious health challenges, the dark moments and cross-roads, that could have ruined her life. Lisa had both hips replaced at the age of 12.
Lisa's story includes her falling in love at 16 with her beautiful husband, Steve. How they travelled the world and have done things she never thought was possible. Lisa runs her own company, Help Nursing Agency, whilst raising her 2 young children, living on a farm with her menagerie of furry fluffy friends.
Lisa bravely shared about 2013 when she received the worst news any sister could ever imagine. In 2013, Lisa took a lead roll... because her parents were shattered. Lisa showed incredible strength no one would know could be inside such a petite young mum of a 3-month old baby and toddler.
Lisa's life has had its share of incredible grief and challenges but also great happiness, love, adventures and celebrations. Lisa has made choices at cross-roads from the time she was small, and is still making choices that are always about living the best life she can live, both with, and giving to, those she loves.
Lisa McKay, you are a role model to say the very least. Yes, Lisa, you are an inspiration to other women, both older and younger than your 30-something years. What a kick off to the stories we'll be sharing in this series. Thank you Lisa.
It's International Women's Day tomorrow. Women supporting women is one way we can share strength and love to other women this year. Please don't hesitate to share this episode with any woman or women's group you are a part of and please give Lisa some love with a "heart" or comment below.
Note: Lisa and I agreed that the uncut version is how we'd roll with this first podcast. We were nervous but we 'just got on with it' as Lisa would say. Little Rosie, Lisa's wee dog had her few words to share, excited about the new guinea pigs in the yard... someone rang while we were talking. "Welcome to life on the farm" as Lisa put it!
Hi, I'm Susan Dunlop and I've collated a list of questions I will put to women in every decade of life, from the denarian (10 to 19 years of age) to the supercentenarian (110 years of age).
My idea is to connect women through coffee and contemplation. A series of interviews with women, who with full vulnerability, openness, wisdom and lightheartedness, maybe a giggle or a tear, will answer questions that connect with their true desires and purpose. Questions I have also polled my social media connections for - questions women would love to ask a woman of one decade or another.
In Western Society we don't have the easy access to wise women of our villages to learn from, to support or be supported by. Our society has moved to one of "One in four Australian adults are lonely. One in two (50.5%) Australians feel lonely for at least one day in a week, while one in four (27.6%) feel lonely for three or more days. Nearly 55% of the population feel they lack companionship at least sometimes." [Source: Australian Loneliness Report, Australian Psychological Society]. I hope to connect women in our community through this shared experience, over a coffee (or an adult drink like 'water'), and empower a tribe of women to take their own journey of self-discovery.
What's a journey of self discovery? About living life every day as your authentic self and your actions being congruent with your core values. I run a 7-week coaching program online (self-directed) or as 1-on-1 personal coaching sessions with me. In coaching I believe in being kind to yourself. This program is a gentle start to creating lasting change in your life. We begin with sessions to boost your self-confidence and self-awareness, finding the fun and happiness in life; then we go deeper and explore what really matters to you, your daily experience of life and we look for deeper meanings in symbols and dreams (I am also a therapeutic art coach - creativity is fun); then take a first look at your inner-critic and how it operates. I developed the course to give women strong foundations for any other coaching they're looking for. You've got to do the deeper work first. Coaching is never about choosing a goal and just going for it! If you don't do the foundational work first, going for a goal is like you're pushing a wonky cart full of stones up a hill.
As I mentioned in the podcast, my motto is "First is Worst! Dare to Suck" so I have posted Episode No. 1, I didn't read a script, I spoke from my heart, I stumbled a bit... can't believe I stumbled over the word 'perfection' haha, oh well! Now onto Episode No. 2... and the only way is up!!
PS: If you know any really amazing woman in any decade from 10-19 to 110 and beyond (and that woman can be you), who would like to contribute to this year's interview series, please put them in touch with me.