W Guidelines

W for Wellbeing is not for any monetary or business purposes. No money, products or services are exchanged for content posted on the blog (or Facebook Page). The aim is to share the www warriors which inspire my journey, in the hope that they may also inspire others to look at different ways of doing positive things for wellbeing. As well as sharing the WWW Warriors, I include a variety of other related sites. I have an open mind when it comes to reading & learning about health & wellbeing. Personal experience or interest in all areas may not be the case. I am not anti-western medicine, nor am I advocating any one particular path or method. Where possible, I am trying to include worldwide information, although many times you will see Australian or U.S.A. based posts. All content & images within each of the blog posts - WWW Warrior, W-Guest & W Awareness - are as sent by the specific person/organization featured. I do not alter any content before or after uploading, unless a reason is agreed upon. Please do not take or use any content from the blog (or the Facebook Page). I encourage you to click the Share button on the blog & Facebook instead. Be respectful of all content & those who own it.

W-Guest #5 - Thandi-Claire

I AM ~ Thandi-Claire van den Heever. An optimistic woman who believes the world has the power to be at peace and harmony and that we don’t need to eat animals ever, they are part of that peace and harmony.

I LIVE ~ in Melbourne, Victoria with the trees and the birds & those funny things called people.

I AM ~ a Vegan, a spiritualist and a LOVER of all things and everybody. Vegan means not having any animal derived products in your diet and in your life. It is a journey being Vegan as so many things contain animal products and you learn everyday what to do and what not to do.
I practice Transcendental Meditation twice a day. I was taught this technique when I was 14.
I have been a VEGAN since 1/11/2011 & have never felt better or more beautiful inside.

I AM ~ a remedial massage student part/time and work in administration full/time - I hope to finish my course at the end of 2013 & be a full time masseuse. I LOVE natural therapies.

I AM ~ in the process ~ slow process of developing a fashion label with a friend. The website will be:
www.veganenvogue.com (we are yet to develop the design for it with our web designer). The Facebook Page is: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Vegan-En-Vogue/122514297907943 The Twitter is: @veganenvogue1

I can be contacted at: veryhappyangel@gmail.com


Words to remember & take a closer look at!

W Awareness #7 - Reuben & Chloe Cunningham :: Angels Goal


Who: Angels Goal - Australian Anti-Bullying Organisation

Where: We are in Launceston, Tasmania - 330 Invermay Road, Mowbray, 7248.
Location Online: www.angelsgoal.org.au
What: Our goal is to protect children and young adults from bullying in our communities and to eventually help to prevent bullying, along with giving victims and bystanders the fortitude to deal with this issue

When: It began in February 2011 but became fully active in July, 2011. 

Why Bullying is so Prevalent: It is so prevalent because statistics show that one in 5 children who are bullied has a mental health issue that costs the Australian economy around 6 billion a year, not including all other types of bullying eg workplace etc which costs up to 36 billion. The Australian Bureau of Statistics of 2009 stated that there was up to 6 children per 100,000 from ages 13-19 commit suicide. This alarming statistic means that there are more children dying from suicide than in car accidents. A Great Britain study done by Beat Bully stated that 50% of youth suicides are directly attributed to bullying, whereas in Australia, the statistics we found show between 6 and 10% through bullying. 

Why we began: After having first hand experience. Chloe's speech is below.

My name is Chloe Cunningham. As you may be aware I was bullied from the age of 12 through to 17 in school and my chosen sport and this became a daily occurrence. Please forgive me if I falter it's due to my condition. There were many different forms of bullying I encountered such as: social exclusion, cyber bullying, name calling and making fun of my body image.

My first encounter of bullying was grade 7 camp where all the girls from my grade wanted to go into the boys' section. I wasn’t comfortable with this arrangement so I stayed behind. In the meantime, all the girls were caught. The punishment was all girls were back at school during lunch and were made to take all chewing gum off the classroom tables. The teacher involved said “No you don’t have to, Chloe, I know you wouldn’t do that”.

This was when my nightmare started, in the shower at camp and change rooms during PE where the group of girls made fun of my body image as I was a slow developer for my age. This kept going right up to grade 9. By then I had body image problems, major social exclusion, name calling, food thrown at me. My coping strategy was to block all the experiences out because I figured it was the only way. Halfway through grade 9 I moved schools and found that bullying wasn’t normal and learnt that school was meant to be fun and including.

There was only one more problem I also had to face every day since I was 13. This was bullying in swimming where I was a state competitive swimmer and ranked highly. The bullying became more personal attack from social exclusion, vomiting on my personal possessions and cyber bullying. This then made me feel unworthy, ugly and not deserved of being loved. It became so horrific that it was investigated and proven that bullying did occur.

In late 2010 my subconscious brain received bullying as a threat to my wellbeing, then it turns all the stress and trauma into physical symptoms. I had symptoms ranging from tremors to paralyisis. I was sick for 10 months and wheelchair bound for 5 months. This was a very worrying time for my family and friends as they could tell I was in so much pain every second of every day. I remember the time when I saw my mum crying on my shoulder and my heart was breaking; my dad forcing to hold back tears and telling him not to go and my best friend telling me not to give up, not to leave her. I can’t put into words how hard it is too see the people you care about most in pain and you can’t do anything because you’re the one they're crying about. All my symptoms were so severe that it pointed to a neurological disease and I am very lucky that it wasn’t.

My message to all children and young adults: Anyone can be a hero, it can even be you. Be the voice for the person who is too afraid to speak up. Be a leader not a follower. I understand there are many victims like me that are suffering from the effects of bullying. That is why I have come to the conclusion the only way to help is speak up and to let them know they are strong enough to fight and not to give up, even in the darkest hours. We are not Victims, we are survivors, and we will fight and we can do it together. Believe in yourself because I believe in you. Our awareness and accountability programs will help communities address all forms of Bullying. Angels Goal would like to thank King David school for this opportunity and it is a credit to you all for being proactive in this cause. Thank you.

Angels Goal Anti Bullying National Launch

W for Wondering!?

I'd like to thank those who have taken the time to contribute to or support my blog (& associated Facebook Page), so far. I truly appreciate it. 

As you can see, I haven't been blogging here long, but I am now wondering if this blog is worth continuing or not... 

To be honest, I am feeling disappointed! None of the websites or people that I have wanted to feature recently have bothered to respond & even tell me they weren't interested. Just no response at all... Is it because I am not a well known blog? Is it because I am not paying them? Is my blog simply boring?

I was always taught to treat others as you want to be treated & to support those who support you. Hmmm... Maybe my values are too idealistic in 2012's online world?! 

Feel free to enlighten me on your thoughts...

Sunshine & Facebook

"Like" W for Wellbeing on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/WForWellbeing ::  Be sure to keep up with the Facebook Page as it has many extra posts & things that don't appear here on the blog.

WWW Warrior #7 - Jess Ainscough

Who: Jess Ainscough

Where: Offline - Coolum on the incredible Sunshine Coast :: Australia.
Online - www.TheWellnessWarrior.com.au. You can also find me on FacebookTwitterYouTube, PinterestInstagram.

What: I’m Jess Ainscough — a writer, health coach and very proud pug owner. I’m the creator of a website called The Wellness Warrior, where I share my cancer recovery story, and write daily articles on courage, kindness, self-respect — and of course, nutrition & movement. 

I just launched my very first digital experience: The Wellness Warrior Lifestyle Transformation Guide. It’s a whole world of information & support for people to want to look & feel better, heal their bodies from stress & disease, and keep their own wellness promises.

When: I launched The Wellness Warrior in April 2010.
Why: My website began as a personal blog, somewhere I could share my cancer recovery journey, share everything I was learning, and keep my family and friends up to date with my progress. Over time, the site has morphed into a popular sanctuary, a source of inspiration, and a resource for all things natural health and wellness.

The other project I'm super proud of at the moment is healthtalks - a wellness web TV show I am starring in with three other amazing wellness experts. We post short segments each week, educating and inspiring our viewers to take control of their health and claim brilliant, vibrant lives.

W for Wellbeing Thoughts: 
Jess's website is very bright and informative - covering many, many topics. Her blog sparked & inspired my journey from the beginning. I look forward to Jess's daily posts as she always has something new & thought provoking to share. She has led me to a number of other wellness warriors too.

W Awareness #6 - Jay Allen :: SUNBEDBAN.COM

Who: I'm Jay Allen, a married 37 year old father of 4 children and a stage 3 melanoma survivor.

Where: I currently live in Sydney, NSW Australia.

On line I am an anti solarium campaigner, who feels my solarium use contributed to my melanoma. So want to do all I can to ban solariums around the world. 
Website - www.sunbedban.com
I began my campaign to ban solariums around the world in December 2008.
So far I have had success with NSW and South Australia announcing bans in the coming years.
I do not want anyone else to endure what I have gone through, if I can help it.
It's a very scary journey to be on. 
A solarium is any tanning unit that a person might use to tan their skin using ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Other names for solariums include sunbeds, sunlamps or tanning beds.
Solarium tans are not safe tans. UV radiation from solariums can increase your risk of developing skin cancer. Solariums can also cause eye damage and immediate skin damage such as sunburn, irritation, redness and swelling. A solarium tan won’t protect your skin from natural UV radiation when you go out in the sun. 

W Awareness #5 - Get Smart About Antibiotics Week

Who: Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work. 

Where: This program is housed within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, GA, USA. 


The focus of our program is to promote appropriate antibiotic use in the community (outpatient) setting.

Get Smart About Antibiotics Week has been an annual effort to coordinate the work of CDC’s Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work campaign, state-based appropriate antibiotic use campaigns, non-profit partners, and for-profit partners during a one week observance of antibiotic resistance and the importance of appropriate antibiotic use.
The campaign organized its first annual Get Smart About Antibiotics Week in 2008. During November 12-18, 2012, the annual Get Smart About Antibiotics Week will be observed. As in past years, the effort will coordinate work of CDC’s Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work campaign, state-based appropriate antibiotic use campaigns, non-profit partners, and for-profit partners during a one week observance of antibiotic resistance and the importance of appropriate antibiotic use. As with the past observances, messages and resources for improving antibiotic use in healthcare settings from CDC’s Get Smart for Healthcare campaign will be included. Get Smart for Healthcare is a program housed in CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases.
The 2012 observance also marks the third year of an international collaboration, which will coincide with European Antibiotic Awareness Day, Australia's Antibiotic Awareness Week and Canada's Antibiotic Awareness Week.

Additional information about Get Smart Week, including Fact Sheets and graphics that can be used on the web can be found here:

Additionally, the Get Smart program (@CDC_ehealth) will be hosting a Twitter chat on Tuesday, November 13 from 1-2pm Eastern Time (#SaveAbx). The chat will focus on appropriate antibiotic use and symptom relief tips for upper respiratory infections, like the common cold, sinusitis and bronchitis. Please feel free to join the chat and share this information with your blog followers and other interested parties. I know the time difference may make participation difficult, but feel free to check out the Tweets after the fact.

W Awareness #4 - World Prematurity Day :: Australia

Who: World Prematurity Day - November 17, 2012 :: National Premmie Foundation.
Where: Australia wide.

What: Saturday 17th November 2012 is World Prematurity Day and the National Premmie Foundation is once again participating in the international campaign to raise awareness of preterm birth. We are asking people throughout Australia to get behind World Prematurity Day. In 2011, the Empire State Building was lit up purple and it will do so again in 2012 with other buildings from around the world. This year in Australia, the Questacon building in Canberra, is lighting up purple. You can be a part of our “light it up purple” campaign in Australia by purchasing a National Premmie Foundation candle and lighting it at 7pm in your own home.
The National Premmie Foundation (NPF) is the peak body in Australia for charitable organisations that operate to provide support to families who experience premature birth or neonatal loss. With member groups across Australia, the NPF is the largest organisation in Australia representing the interests of families of preterm infants.

The National Premmie Foundation was formed in 2007. The first World Prematurity Day was held two years ago and is held every year on November 17th.

Each year Worldwide 13 million babies are born too soon. Approximately 23,000 of these babies are born in Australia. We want everyone to honour the 15 million babies who struggled to survive this year and over 1 million babies who sadly lost their fight for life.
The rate of preterm birth is increasing and yet the general public knows little about the prevention of preterm birth and the problems and risks involved in the development of a preterm infant. Preterm or premature birth, birth before 37 weeks gestation is the second leading cause of newborn death globally. Babies who survive an early birth often face the increased risk of health challenges such as breathing problems, cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities and many other hurdles. For many families, preterm birth brings with it neonatal or infant loss. So we want you to join the campaign to raise awareness of the issues these vulnerable newborns and their families face.

To participate:
  • Purchase your very own candle for our “Light it up purple” campaign via our online store
  • Join the official World Prematurity Day Facebook page and add your story
  • Light your candle on the 17th November 2012 @ 7pm; take a photo of you and your family with the candle and post it on the NPF Facebook event page and the Official World Prematurity Facebook page.
  • Make a donation online so that the National Premmie Foundation can continue its important work or simply in honour of someone whose life has been touched by a preterm birth.

WWW Warrior #6 - Kindness x 3 :: RAK Foundation, World Kindness Day/Week

Who: The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation is an internationally recognized non-profit organization founded upon the powerful belief in kindness and dedicated to providing resources and tools that encourage acts of kindness.

Where: www.randomactsofkindness.org  

Kindness: We believe kindness is a distinct action we choose to take to better ourselves and the world around us.
RAK Foundation: See mission statement above. We have focused our efforts in the field of educating children on pro-social behavior. Children have an innate tendency to be kind and we believe this tendency can be nurtured and cultivated through classroom activities and lesson plans.
World Kindness Day/Week: We hope that people practice kindness every day, but we take a few days each year to focus on being kind to ourselves and others in a worldwide celebration!

World Kindness Day - Nov. 13, 2012 
World Kindness Week - Nov. 13-20, 2012 

RAK: Established in 1995 as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
World Kindness Day/Week: World Kindness Day has been widely recognized since 2000.

Why RAK began and has continued? The foundation started in the early 1990’s after a summer of violence in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. A reporter coined the phrase “Random Acts of Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty” in response to all of the negative media coverage. The foundation was born soon after. It was purchased by a private funder and brought to Colorado in 1999 and has remained in Denver ever since.
Why World Kindness Day/Week began and has continued? The roots of WKD are not totally clear, but it seems that the movement became widely recognized and celebrated over the last 12-15 years.  There are kindness movements all over the world who focus on different ways to be kind. We have chosen to spend the majority of our efforts in the schools teaching kids about kindness.

W for Wellbeing Thoughts: 
Sounds like a wonderful idea! Great website full of ideas for lessons/activities in a classroom. 

WWW Warrior #5 - Natalie Kringoudis

Who: Natalie Kringoudis. I'm a Dr of Chinese Medicine (herbalist and acupuncturist), natural fertility educator, writer and speaker. I've been fortunate enough to have features in many of the major publications like Marie Claire, Cosmo, Pregnancy magazines and Body and Soul. I've also been on the Morning Show as their natural health expert.

Where: I established my own women's health and natural fertility clinic, The Pagoda Tree in Melbourne in 2003. www.thepagodatree.com.au
You'll find me online on my blog - www.melbournenaturalfertility.com.au.
I'm also on -  
twitter: NatKringoudis - https://twitter.com/NatKringoudis 
instagram: nattykringoudis

What: My site helps people to become the most healthiest, fertile version of themselves. It educates the ins and outs around fertility - which isn't limited to babies but extends to women's health (PCOS/Endometrosis) as well as men's fertility and wellness. It is about helping people be at their best. Fertility is an extension of ones overall health - for me it is about helping people understand their bodies better and connect with themselves.  

When: I started my blog in Feb 2010.

Why: Felt like a fun thing to do at the time! It was just as blogs were becoming cool. I thought, 'why not?' I never anticipated it would become what it is today. It's almost like a full time job in itself! And I have a full time job already! But it gives people who would never have access to alternative health advice the opportunity to get educated and ensure they are making the best decisions for their health. Nobody knows how you feel but you, and so wellness starts within. It takes commitment and support. I can offer all of this via the blog.

I relish any opportunity to educate women on the use of alternative therapies and nutrition. This is how I arrived at my first book, Fertilise Yourself, which is available from the iBookstore and as e-book - here http://melbournenaturalfertility.com.au/fertilise-yourself/.  
Since its release, I've gone on to co-write a new book called, Eat Fat, Be Thin with Andi Lew, which is due on shelves 3 December. The e-book version and more information is available here - http://www.eatfatbethin.com.au/ and on the facebook site here http://www.facebook.com/EatFatBeThinSugarFreeDairyFreeWheatFreeRecipes?fref=ts
W for Wellbeing Thoughts:  
Natalie's blog is visually appealing & contains a plethora of ideas, recipes & facts. Each day I am inspired by her new posts. I look forward to my copy of Eat Fat, Be Thin. 

WWW Warrior #4 - Karen Horneffer-Ginter

Who: My name is Karen Horneffer-Ginter and I'm a psychologist and author.

I live in Kalamazoo, Michigan in the USA. You can find me online at www.fullcupthirstyspirit.com or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/karen.hornefferginter.3

The aim of my work is to reconnect people with the wisdom of their inner life by reclaiming what gets lost amidst the busyness of day-to-day life: qualities such as stillness, self-care, creativity, joy, humor, gratitude, and compassion. My intention is to support people in finding a sense of balance and sacredness in their lives.

I started my www.fullcupthirstyspirit.com website in March of 2012.

I wanted to share monthly newsletters and articles, offer resources to help people slow down and recharge--like "wisdom cards" and a poster on "50 ways to take a break." I also wanted to include updates on my December 2012 book release, including videos on YouTube and articles posted on the Huffington Post, DailyGood, and Beliefnet. In upcoming months, there will also be a book giveaway through GoodReads and a book blog tour kicking off in January of 2013.

I'm so glad when my words or resources can help inspire and support others!  It makes my day to hear that feedback!

W for Wellbeing Thoughts: 
Karen's website has some interesting facts. Her 50 Ways to Take a Break poster is quirky & inspiring.

I love this attitude & it is a positive one to adopt in your life! Although, I have always made time & effort to do things for others, no matter what the circumstances. That is just me. I guess my blog is a good example of that. :)

W Awareness #3 - World Diabetes Day

World Diabetes Day (WDD) is celebrated every year on November 14. The World Diabetes Day campaign is led by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and its member associations. The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) is an umbrella organization of over 200 national diabetes associations in over 160 countries. It represents the interests of the growing number of people with diabetes and those at risk. The Federation has been leading the global diabetes community since 1950. IDF’s head office is based in Brussels, Belgium. 

WDD engages millions of people worldwide in diabetes advocacy and awareness. World Diabetes Day was created in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat that diabetes now poses. World Diabetes Day became an official United Nations Day in 2007 with the passage of United Nation Resolution 61/225. The campaign draws attention to issues of paramount importance to the diabetes world and keeps diabetes firmly in the public spotlight. 

World Diabetes Day is a campaign that features a new theme chosen by the International Diabetes Federation each year to address issues facing the global diabetes community. While the themed campaigns last the whole year, the day itself is celebrated on November 14, to mark the birthday of Frederick Banting who, along with Charles Best, first conceived the idea which led to the discovery of insulin in 1922.

Diabetes Education and Prevention is the World Diabetes Day theme for the period 2009-2013.

The International Diabetes Federation website is www.idf.org, and the WDD website is http://www.idf.org/worlddiabetesday. You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or you can subscribe to our YouTube channel:

W Awareness #2 - Skin Cancer Action Week :: Australia

Who: Skin Cancer Action Week, Cancer Council Australia

Where: Sydney, NSW :: Australia

What: This November’s Skin Cancer Action Week (Nov 18-24 2012), Cancer Council Australia and the Australasian College of Dermatologists will urge all men aged 45 and over to watch their backs. Men in this age group are almost twice as likely to develop melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, than women the same age. Although melanoma can develop anywhere on the body, around 1 in 3 cases in men occur on the back. John Newcombe and Tony Roche will be joining forces with Cancer Council Australia during Skin Cancer Action Week to urge men aged 45 and over to watch their backs in two ways; always protect yourself in the sun and check your entire body for skin changes. Ask your partner or a mate to check your back and anywhere else you can’t see yourself.

When: Skin Cancer Action Week is held every year in November. In 2012, it will be held on the 18-24 November.

Why: Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world and two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they are 70. Skin Cancer Action Week brings awareness to the high incidence of skin cancer in Australia and promotes ways we can protect our skin from the damages of the sun and reduce the incidence of skin cancer in Australia.

To protect your skin, we recommend a combination of sun protection measures:

    Slip on some sun-protective clothing – that covers as much skin as possible.
    Slop on broad spectrum, water resistant SPF30+ sunscreen. Put it on 20 minutes before you go outdoors and every two hours afterwards. Sunscreen should never be used to extend the time you spend in the sun.
    Slap on a hat – that protects your face, head, neck and ears.
    Seek shade.
    Slide on some sunglasses – make sure they meet Australian Standards.

Extra care should be taken between 10am and 3pm when UV levels reach their peak.

W-Guest #4 - Lina

Who: Lina Cuartas. I am a Colombian Writer, Teacher, Artist and Mother who loves to share my passion for books and lifelong learning.

Where: I am based in San Antonio, Texas, but travel all over the world with my books and my camera. 

My company has a website, www.lunitacompany.com, I blog at jungeleeyes-amazonquest.blogspot.com and at jungleeyes-luzdeluna.blogspot.com and have a Lunita company Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/lunitacompany) and a personal Lina Cuartas Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/lina.cuartas)too. My public email is linacuartas@satx.rr.com.

When: My company was founded in 2007, but I have been writing, creating and teaching for over 20 years.

What & Why: I write, create and present conferences and create videos and publish books because I believe we were meant to be light for others, to share what we have learned and to strive to lead better, longer, healthier lives. I especially think that we have the very important assignment to teach what we have figured out throughout our lives to our younger generations, but we are being distracted by technology and are relying on screens to teach our children what we should be showing them through relationship. I post weekly meditations on my Facebook page and help people to publish their own books and recommend books and teaching material on Lunita's Facebook page. I look forward to being an active part of W for Wellbeing!

W Awareness #1 - World Vegan Day :: Melbourne, Australia

                                              Garth Lategan - Event Director

Who: World Vegan Day :: Melbourne, Australia

Where: Melbourne :: Australia

Listen to the below video for the rest of the details.

W Awareness

W Awareness will appear on this blog... What does W Awareness mean? You will meet everyday people who work in organisations promoting an interest in health knowledge/ideals.

WWW Warrior #3 - The Vitamin D Council

Who: The Vitamin D Council is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. Our founders, staff and board members are a diverse group of professionals with backgrounds in medicine, public health, education and business.

Where: The Vitamin D Council is located in San Luis Obispo, CA, United States. Our outreach is more national/global scale.

What: Research on vitamin D is pouring out and it’s hard to keep up with the latest information. Recommendations on vitamin D and sun exposure are confusing, conflicting and inconsistent. We’re here to help both the public and health professionals sort through everything. The Vitamin D Council serves as a center for evidence-based vitamin D research and is a reliable source for the general public.

When: The Vitamin D Council was formed in 2003 by current Executive Director John J Cannell, MD. He believed that there were likely bad consequences in getting so little sun exposure (cough, vitamin D deficiency) and wanted to do something about it. So, he founded the Vitamin D Council to educate the public on the importance of sun exposure and vitamin D.

Why: Simply put, humans do not get enough sun exposure in the 21st century. Because of this, many — if not most — humans are deficient in vitamin D.

“What’s so wrong with that,” you might ask. Researchers are beginning to discover that vitamin D deficiency is a risk factor for many diseases, including heart disease and cancer. Furthermore, researchers are discovering that vitamin D deficiency may make some diseases more severe. Even more, researchers are discovering that vitamin D can be an important piece in the treatment of some illnesses and diseases.

We’re here to help and educate. We work to educate patients, families, doctors and health professionals on vitamin D and what the latest research shows, to improve the quality and longevity of lives.

W-Guest #3 - Kayte

Who: Kayte Heard – single mother, child of the Earth.

Where: Live in the beautiful scenic hills of the Yarra Ranges :: Australia

What: A natural approach to living, growing organic vegetables, buying organic products, vegetarian/veganism, yoga, meditation, spirituality.

When: I began my journey in 1995 and am still learning.

Why: I had a breakdown at 17 and have dealt with serious depression since. I discovered I had issues with my reproductive system when I was 19. Being told you will never have children is a difficult thing to be told at such a young age. Around the same time I discovered I have an intolerance to animal fats.
All of this led me to explore an alternative way of life. In 1995 I became vegetarian and began researching food combining, natural medicine, meditation, yoga & spirituality. I got in touch with my higher self and began to see positive changes in the way I felt. I began looking in to Naturopathy courses before plans changed in 2002 and I headed to the UK.
In 2003 I discovered I was pregnant. This was an amazing moment in my life but was marred by an unhappy relationship and being half way around the world from my family. My ex-mother-in-law tried to feed me up on the food she cooked for the family. I gained an excessive amount of weight and returned to Australia in 2004 unhappy. I struggled to maintain my lifestyle while living overseas and I had lost who I was.
Being diagnosed with cervical cancer in early 2005 was the final straw. I need to get in touch with the person I used to be.
It took me a few years to find myself again. I became a single mother before my daughter’s 2nd birthday which was the best decision I could have made. I threw myself back in to yoga and added running and Zumba to my weekly routine.
When my daughter was 6 years old, she made the decision to become vegetarian. Her reason for this decision, stated very seriously for a 6 year old was “because killing animals for food was cruel”. She is now 8, has experimented with being vegan and is exploring Buddhism. We still eat predominantly vegan but make allowances for a few animal products (eggs, honey, cheese). We have discovered she has food issues but she amazes me at how well she understands what she can and can’t eat and why. She loves to cook and create new dishes.
She is an incredible soul and understands more than a child of her age should. She is concerned about her impact on the environment as well as how others treat the Earth. She is a very spiritual person and a deep thinker. This has led to social issues as other kids don’t understand her. A recent relocation to an area where others live a lifestyle similar to ours will hopefully help her find like-minded children. But I have always taught her to be a leader, not a sheep. She makes me proud to be the vessel that brought her in to the world and I believe she will do great things.
I dealt with cancer for 7 years. I received the all clear in October 2011 and have remained clear so far (touch wood!). I still want to study natural medicine and recently started a basic course in herbal medicine.
Being surrounded by caring, grounded, spiritual, artistic, talented friends provides me with the support I need and positive influences for my child.
You’re never too old to make changes in how you live your life. You just need to take the first step. The rest will happen.