Who am I? A quiet and laid back (most of the time) former country boy, generally a peacemaker. I like to make friends, and have the amazing privilege to have many great people in my life.
I have never been an academic person, although can be quite good in that world if I am focused; however I have always much preferred to work with people, or do practical things...
I love to connect with people, to make them feel welcome in whatever situation they find themselves in. I like to see the big picture and this often enables me to see more in others than they see in themselves.
I tend to be laid back, and there are moments when I let doubt about my abilities have a strong effect on the way I approach work, people and life in general. Reading about mindset framing and letting my beliefs in my place in this world as a child of God sink in, has begun to build a more consistent acceptance of who I am, and a peace with my strengths and weaknesses...and with this acceptance comes empowerment!
Purpose and Passion
When I am doing something that is my purpose, then I am passionate about whatever that may be, this is when I am at my best! That is why you are on this site reading this...because I found a purpose that I am passionate about and wanted to share it with the world...you!
Back to my Beginnings
Born near the Victorian coast in the city of Geelong, the youngest of 7 children, I have happy memories of my childhood. Even though I was born in Geelong, all my memories began at our home in the country, 25 Kilometres west of Ballarat, due to our family moving to Tasmania when I was just under 1 year old, and then to our home near Ballarat before I was 2 years old.
I have fond childhood memories of going on long hikes and bike rides in the forests near our house, sometimes alone, sometimes with my brother and sister. We shared many adventures! There was a time with my cousin, that we accidentally started a bush fire! Fortunately with the help of an older sister, we had it contained but the time the Fire Department came! Looking back, I guess I was a free spirited kid, who loved to roam free and not feel confined. Not much has changed in that regard.
The many hikes and rides exploring the local bush land is why I see the natural world different to many of my friends and associates...I would describe my demeanour when I am in the forest or on a mountain range as a state of focused calm. It is where I go for rejuvenation and clearing of my mind...my place for clarity. Thinking differently to what is considered "normal" (whatever that is) is a mindset that I have been blessed with...
Because of our remote location, most of my schooling was carried out through Distance Education - Home School. This did help with my self drive, when it came to accomplishing tasks. I did get to spend three years in the classroom, which did wonders for me socially, and helped me to learn a whole lot about daily interacting and just living with people who were not my family!
High School Years were shared between school and working at our fruit shop ( Family business). I wasn't very inspired by school as I really had no idea where I wanted to go as a career, and left after Year 10 to begin work full time.
From the age of 13 - 17, I was also a member of Pathfinder club (like Scouts, but included both boys and girls), and along with my mates from church, this was another fantastic growing experience in my life, both socially and in giving me grounding in life. The camping and hiking experiences are something I will treasure always.
Work Work Work
My working life has taken me to various places. I began in retail at our family Fruit Store, then worked as a Contract Cleaner before becoming a Furniture Builder...Back into cleaning then into my most recent occupation as a Sports Remedial Massage Therapist which commenced in 2008 after three years of study. In between I have had short stints in Plastering, Gardening and Youth Ministry (After completing an entry level course in Ministry).
Most recently I have been introduced to an opportunity which allows me to follow my passions while making an income, and to be time flexible which is vitally important to me! And that is the reason I have been inspired to have this blog site!
The Beauty and the Pain of Life
As I have mentioned, I love hiking in the mountains and one of my favourite places to hike is Grampians National Park - Gariwerd as the Traditional owners of Australia call it...a place where 90% of the hikes take you to a place with a stunning 360 degree view! A beautiful place to reset your mind.
I love making music with my musician friends, and I am blessed to play guitar, bass guitar and keyboard/piano. This is an amazing creative outlet for me!
As with every life it's not all roses...my oldest brother died in a road accident when I was 9 years old. My brother was my hero, and losing him was such a harsh life experience! Losing all of my Grandparents was tough, but this was a whole other level of intense grief! I know that compassion for the pain of others was largely borne out of this tragedy...
I believe it is vital in life to have a winners mentality...by that I mean it can make or break us as as people, (people who have an influence on those around them even if we don't recognise or acknowledge it) how we view the world - as victims - or as people who overcome ! The most inspiring people are not those who have had an easy life where everything was handed to them, and everything came easily for them. The most inspiring people are those who have been through hell, and come out the other side smiling and spreading love to those all around them!
(Slight tangent there - back on track now...might write a blog post on that topic!)
We lost Mum in 2011, and for the first time I stopped playing music (playing guitar or piano), which is something I have always turned to when life has become painful. My Mum was the musical one in my family, and picking up a guitar just didn't seem right for quite a period of time. I am so grateful for my Mum's love and pouring of herself into me, and my brothers and sisters! I miss her, but I am eternally thankful for what she gave to my life!
Marrying my wife is just the best thing! We've had our struggles as relationships do, but it has made us stronger! (I'll perhaps share more on this at another time)
At the place where I connect with my Spiritual family, I am privileged to be a mentor to young adults...seeing them stride into adulthood and leadership is so good to have a small part in! I/we love to plug in to our local community to serve and assist where I/we can...often the best thing I can do, is listen to people share their story, and their struggles.
I have a passion to serve, and one of the ways I have been able to do this is through my work as a Remedial, Sports Massage Therapist, essentially helping people move freely, without pain, and in some cases, helping them move again after an accident or super virus!
A great privilege of mine was to go along with my wife to Nepal in 2014 on a service trip to a country school and community. We along with two teachers and three other adult mentors, accompanied ten High School students (from Melbourne) who had just completed their final year! I know we gained just as much if not more than those we served! If you get the chance to do something like this, please do it!
Travel is something I love, whether an overnight camping trip, or an overseas holiday...or a trip to tropical far North Queensland, the place where the Rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef! I just absolutely love it! All of it is so good because it re-frames my attitude, teaches me to step back, and helps me to refocus on what matters - My calling to love and serve, family, friends, neighbours...people. Even my weaknesses...No! Especially my weaknesses give me an opportunity to serve others! Nobody relates to the guy who appears to have it all together!
Finally I want to say, whatever brought to be reading this...wherever you are in life, whether in a good or bad place - If I there is one thing I have learned it's this - You are here on this earth for a purpose! Put one foot in front of the other, reach out to others, pour in to the lives of those around you, and have a positive effect. You never know, you just might change the World!