Reviewing the past…

I thought I’d schedule this as I’ve been reflecting lately about milestones.

Everyone is doing that “10 years: then and now” thing on social media, posting photos of themselves and reflecting on where they were in 2009 compared to now, in 2019. People are getting sentimental about the fact that it’s another decade passing.

Really, though, as much as I like number categories, especially round ones, anyone can celebrate decades passing and milestones. It doesn’t have to be neatly packaged into dated decades. We can celebrate the little and big things all the time.

Humans love time and rhythms. It’s why we love doing the “look back” thing, I think. It’s also a form of processing. I like to remember things – heck, I keep a daily journal because of that (and for processing them).

Just remember, we aren’t our successes or failures – and each person’s story is different. It’s what makes us who we are.

Having said that, I’ve written down some milestones below. There are many milestones I could pick out. I’m young and have been fortunate.

“Little” ones include going to some lovely musicals and participating in lovely choral performances myself, as well as trying new things, like fencing, BodyPump/ gym and the SCA.

Other (bigger?) ones include:

  • joining my university choir (LaTUCS) and travelling interstate to attend my first intervarsity choral festival;
  • meeting my partner there;
  • becoming LaTUCS vice-president then president
    • through these and other roles, learning how to better work in professional teams with people in real ways that uni doesn’t always teach you, including some hefty conflict management.
  • beginning to move out of home, learning how to best take care of myself and what works for me.

This year/ in the past twelve-ish months, I:

  • finished uni and then graduated with a double degree in Bachelor of Health Sciences and Masters of Occupational Therapy Practice
  • moved in with my partner in Melbourne
  • got a job in a specialisation of Occupational Therapy that I really love: Paediatric OT, working with autistic kids.
    • As of Friday the 20th, I’ve officially had a full year of employment as well as four school terms of work. Awesome stuff.
  • bought a car together with my partner and made great progress with getting my drivers licence (I’m hoping I’ll get it in the new year)

Throughout it all, I’ve done a heckton of development in understanding myself, including my disabilities, my sexuality, my faith and mental health – and from that, I’m learning what self-care works for me and how to get it.

I’ve struggled at times, but fortunately I’ve usually had supports around me or have gained access to them. I’ve come through okay.

I hope you have too.

Here’s to the past, the present and the future, for all of us.

Happy New Year.

After that extended break…

Hi there. Hope you all had a good holiday period. My Christmas/ early January holiday was lovely, followed by a great AIV2019. Fun times, nice places, great people. Many thoughts and feels.

Now, it’s back home to work and the like. I’ve started my new job and feel good. I’m looking forward to where 2019 leads. I’ve got a few plans in mind – Monday and Wednesday will be my blogging days, with the occasional scheduled post on other days, due to work commitments. I’ve started a Twitter account today, where these blog posts will also be published under the same handle (@myzania15).

I really hope that 2019 leads to better leadership on climate change; it’s sorely needed. The hot weather lately has been quite something. I’ve activated my “hot weather operating procedure”: any errands to be completed in the morning before 11/12, or after 16:00; windows shut and blinds down during the day, to be flung open if it cools in the evening. I’ll manage. 🙂 I just hope that the weather improves down south so that the fires in Tasmania can be fully contained and put out. It doesn’t look good down there. Meanwhile, in Townsville and far north Queensland, they’re bracing for flooding and thunderstorms. Including in places where I visited earlier this month! Wow.

I’ll write more soon. Below is a picture of sunrise at Pallarenda beach, Townsville that I took during my holiday there. I had to set my alarm for a 05:15 wake up to get it, but it was lovely.

Picture of a sunrise at low tide, with dark shadowed sand stretching out to meet silvery-blue water, touched gold by the yellow sun visible just over the horizon in a pale-blue sky

Fifty Years Ago…

I’m a few days late with this but needed to say something anyway.

On May 27th 1967, Australians voted in a referendum to change how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were referred to in the Constitution (including granting them the right to vote and be counted in the census). Over 90% of those who voted in the referendum voted, “Yes” – the highest “yes” vote ever recorded in an Australian referendum.

Last Friday, May 26th 2017, the summit at Uluru rejected ‘symbolic’ recognition in favour of a treaty and a constitutionally enshrined voice in Parliament.

See this link for a great resource of history leading up to the referendum, what happened after it and where to now. I’m going to find time to read/watch/listen to them all (I’ve just skimmed a few for now).

Another excellent article is linked here, from The Monthly, making the point (as I discuss below!) that “all such attempts [at engagement] must start with a genuine effort to listen” and providing some voices to listen to. The quoted text below comes from the Uluru Statement From the Heart and deserves to be read in full.

“We seek constitutional reforms to empower our people and take a rightful place in our own country. When we have power over our destiny our children will flourish. They will walk in two worlds and their culture will be a gift to their country.

We call for the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution.

Makarrata is the culmination of our agenda: the coming together after a struggle. It captures our aspirations for a fair and truthful relationship with the people of Australia and a better future for our children based on justice and self-determination.

We seek a Makarrata Commission to supervise a process of agreement-making between governments and First Nations and truth-telling about our history.

In 1967 we were counted, in 2017 we seek to be heard.”

~ Uluru Statement from the Heart


I am conscious that as a white Australian, I need to listen to the stories of Indigenous Australians – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders – and hear them, to amplify the stories. It won’t be comfortable but it will be powerful. See this link for an example of what I mean. Let’s practice dadirri, a Nauiyu Aboriginal practice of “inner, deep listening and quiet, still awareness….There is no need to reflect too much and to do a lot of thinking. It is just being aware.” The example of dadirri given in the link above is in a health context and speaks to me. In order for trust and relationship to be built, we have to let go of our own ways of doing things and listen to the ways of others. To find the common ground. From the article:

“DADIRRI HAS TAUGHT me to let conversations move at the pace of the heart, so pain and complexity can bubble up without being stymied by a hasty solution. It has taught me to let stories leave an impact, to alter me as the tide alters a shoreline. Held in the boundless embrace of two humans connecting deeply, I have learnt even the most awful stories can find an inexplicable buoyancy, a possibility our hurting nation desperately needs. Aboriginal men and women have redefined what listening means to me, and given me a glimpse of what ‘reconciliation’ could really mean.


As non-Aboriginal Australians we must learn to listen to things we find difficult to hear. We need to stop interrupting and speaking over Aboriginal people, slow down and enter the deep stillness that will help us to hear something new. If we held open the connection long enough, the full, complicated story could come tumbling out, and we might experience the buoyancy and hope that comes when humans truly listen to one another. There, in that inestimable space of human connection, we might finally begin to reconcile.”

Please read it and the other links in full. There’s so much good stuff there.

Here are a few other links I found over the past few days too:

Songlines – the Indigenous memory code: I’d known before about the way songlines were and are important as memory-aids. I hadn’t thought about applying it myself. Maybe I should….I love song and my memory isn’t the greatest at times.

Indigenous weather knowledge site (Gariwerd calendar): Indigenous peoples have a different understanding of weather seasons. Perhaps wider Australia should adopt them too. There are different weather calendars for different parts of Australia, too. Gariwerd is the one listed for Victoria…. six seasons. We’re in Chunnup right now.

Finally, it seems appropriate to end with this song: Treaty.




Impostor Syndrome 

Definition: “a concept describing high-achieving individuals who are unable to internalise their accomplishments and live in persistent fear of being exposed as a fraud.”

Or in my case, being intimidated by others in a group even as they’re friends, feeling like I’m not going to “do it right” because I’ve not done the role before and I’m younger/ less experienced etc. than them. I don’t like conflict either, so negotiating all that has been tricky. Subconsciously or not!

This has led to me feeling like I need to check in with people a lot before doing things while also feeling like I need to be seen as “keeping it together”. It wasn’t helped by the fact that I shared the role with someone else. To my mind, that meant we should act more-or-less as a unit – when actually, it turns out, we could operate separately and not always need to check in with each other before doing something.

Meanwhile, the others in the team think that I’m doing a great job with some great ideas. I just need to have more confidence in myself.

Interesting, as I hadn’t even realised I was undermining myself to myself while being thought of highly by others. Might clear up a bit now though because due to circumstances my role is going shift slightly soon. Instead of sharing the role, I’m going to take it on as a single position that’s supported by others when needed.

I just need to remember my confidence – boosted by my other team members who gave me a wonderful, affirming pep talk at our last meeting. It feels good to be appreciated. Now, I’m re-energised by the challenge rather than daunted. Though I do find it ironic that the week that I researched assertiveness for a uni assignment was this week just gone.

Evidence of the renewed confidence: last night I sent off three important emails and, while I discussed relevant details with some other team members – who helped clarify a few points – there were also times when I said to myself, “Ah, wait – do I really need to ask them about that, or am I just seeking reassurance?” The upshot of that is that the emails were sent, ready for viewing in the receivers’ inboxes when they opened them this morning – and one has already got back to me!

Confidence: level up.

Let’s continue like this, shall we?

Bring it on.



Hi everyone. This week has been pretty busy, as I just moved out. It means I’ve been learning and experiencing new things this week. Like: doing all the cooking and meals, with all the flipping planning that involves; being mistress of your own space, the sole person responsible for keeping it clean and so on; following your own schedule and being accountable to yourself only. Oh yeah and paying rent! 😛

On top of that, my Occupational Therapy Masters has just started up for the year. It’s the reason I moved! It’s a bit earlier than some other courses start up, but that’s okay. It’s an intense course from here on in. I’m looking forward to the year ahead.

One of my recent posts was about goals. It’s a bit ironic then that just yesterday, one of my classes focused on goal-setting in a therapeutic context. I thought I’d share a bit of what I learnt – after all, explaining things different ways is supposed to help learning, right? 😉

Goals are defined as statements that people make about what they want to achieve. In a clinical/therapeutic context, they are established collaboratively between a client and therapist.

Goals work best if they are SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-dependent. I also have to think about them in an occupational context – what does the goal help the person to do as an achievement?  In contrast, a physio or different health professional might be more focused on the biomedical context.

Something interesting that was covered in class was the idea, from Park (2011), that there are four different types of goals, each with a slightly different purpose as denoted by their time periods (from the immediate to the aspirational). The four types are tasks to complete; short-term goals; long-term aspirations; and dreams. They can lead on from each other or be separate

  1. Tasks to Complete
    Immediate things that need to happen in the next day to week. Like “paying rent”, “cooking dinner” or “doing a load of washing”.
  2. Short-Term Goals
    Things that we want to achieve over a time period of weeks to months. For example, “continue blogging several times a week”, “become more familiar with new house routines to become a good housemate”, “find some good walking routes near my new home”.
  3. Long-Term Aspirations
    Things that we see ourselves doing in a few years or more. For instance, “work as a OT, eventually in Paediatrics”, “volunteer with refugees in a professional capacity”, “get married one day”.
  4. Dreams
    These are things that might not happen but are nice to think about – probably in order for the dream to come true a number of other things would have to fall into place. These include: “travel the world without worrying about money”, “have my books be as successful as J.K. Rowling” 😛


  • Gives clarity on how to achieve aims
  • Provide a time frame
  • Gives purpose & direction, accountability
  • Measure results
  • Reference point which can be reviewed later


  • Lack of motivation to complete goals
  • Uncertainty about capabilities leads to overconfidence or lack of confidence impeding goal realism/achievability
  • Lack of connection to a time-frame
  • Difference in needed goals and wanted goals (i.e. if someone needs to do something but they want to do something else, contradictory to the need)


  • Person whom goals are for must take ownership of the goal-setting process
  • Give time to validate your own experiences and concerns in order to explore your goals
  • Reframe the goals differently to focus on your interests (more interest = more motivation)
  • Find examples of successful goal achievement (from others and yourself)
  • Break goals into achievable parts to build confidence and success
  • Focus on a small selection of goals, e.g. tasks and short-term goals, then gradually build towards any long-term ones.

I’m definitely thinking about these things in terms of my own goals now. So if you’ll excuse me I need to go see about doing that load of washing….

Oh, if you’re in Melbourne city today come down to Bourke Street Mall. All buskers are holding a special concert of sorts in support of the Bourke Street Victims Fund (after the awful event of a fortnight ago). All funds go to the legitimate Bourke Street until 10PM! There’s even a two-disc CD being sold with one track from each busker on the CD. Ge down there!


Park, S. (2011). Chapter 8: Goal-setting in occupational therapy: a client centred perspective. In E. A. S. Duncan (Ed.), Skills for Practice in Occupational Therapy (1st ed., pp. 105-123). Elsevier Health Sciences UK.


Reblog: Resolutions: Good or Bad

I find resolutions interesting. As I commented on Noelle’s post (linked below),

I like ones that are “commitments to try”, so to speak. You know they’re goals and things you’d like to do, but they’re not “have-tos”.

Setting unattainable resolutions can lead to trouble or so it seems – we gain only negative emotions when we revert to old habits after promising to keep to a path for a year.

I remind myself that these are goals, to be practiced and worked on during the year but not mandatory.

With that in mind, some ones for this year are:

  • Do well in my Masters coursework etc.
    – Ask for help if I need it and monitor myself so that the changes of this year don’t cause my grades to drop.
  • To listen twice as much as I speak;
    –   I’ll be addressing this in more depth later, but as I’m a talker and social person who also is a “Feeler” (high F in Myers-Briggs, for example), I worry about my ratio of talking to listening. So I’m working on it.
  • Alongside the above is my want to actively practice my Feeling
    –   Again, I’ll explain in another post, but cultivating my empathetic presence is important to me. These first two are very connected.
  • To get back into blogging
    – I fell off a regular blogging schedule a bit over the second half of 2016, but I’d like to be more consistent.
  • To get back into writing my story.
    – I’ve done quite a lot of backstory-work but haven’t actually done any story-writing for a while. I need to get back into that.
  • To be more active and finding more walking spaces.
    –   I’m not naturally a person who gets active, as I’m not sporty. But I like nature and I like walking and I know I ought to be sitting less. I’m not interested in overdoing it though, as I’m skinny enough as it is.

Idea taken from the post linked below:

What are your thoughts on setting New Years Resolutions? Have you completed yours in the past or are you one of those who forgets what they are? Come read about the good and the bad of setting reso…

Source: {DISCUSSION} Resolutions: Good or Bad

Positive Action for Refugees


In the upcoming election (which will be my focus for posting this week), remember:

Last time I talked about not being silent. Implicit in that call was a promise to do something, or some things, to help. Currently, I connect with refugees in my local community and support them through going to rallies, to luncheons and other fundraising/ activism community events.

I also follow a number of pages through social media, who suggest further things to do.

One is Sister Jane Seeks Asylum. Sister Jane is a nun who set up camp in from of Parliament House in Canberra last December (in Advent) to raise awareness about Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers. Right now, she’s running a “Make a Ripple” campaign – each week listing actions one can take to help – like sending phone credit to Manus, so the men there can keep in touch with their families. Check it out!

Here is a Pledge one can take, supporting the action we want to see. Somewhat symbolic, but sets out the objectives clearly, asking that the signer commits to working towards these goals:

  1. Immediate release and settlement for all those suffering at our hands;
  2. End mandatory detention; 
  3. Raise the refugee intake substantially;
  4. Safe and just passage of asylum seekers to Australia, with no punishment based on means of arrival;
  5. Give permanent settlement visas, citizenship with full rights including work and family reunion.”

Here is Julian Burnside’s explanation of why we should care, as a reminder, with some potential humane solutions.

Also, if you’re so inclined, here is an open letter from CAPSA (Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum):
They, too, have a list of points:

  1. Offshore, mandatory and indefinite detention are wrong.
  2. The principle of deterrence, by which people who have already tried to come to Australia to seek protection are treated harshly in order to stop others doing the same, cannot be justified morally.
  3. People seeking asylum in Australia should live in the Australian community. Those sent to Nauru and Manus Island should be returned to Australia
  4. Those living in the community should have the right to work, access to basic services, and to some financial support if they cannot find work.
  5. Children should not be held in detention anywhere, but be housed in the Australian community with the full range of services necessary for their welfare.
  6. In the Catholic tradition, if people are to live with dignity their family ties are essential. People should have the opportunity to be reunited with separated close family members promptly once they are found to be refugees


Finally, to end on a happy note – a post on Facebook I saw:

The kids are all right, I reckon.




REBLOG: Not Doing Lent

For those who commemorate it (like me) today marks the start of Lent – Ash Wednesday. When I was in primary school, the thing that I’d always give up would be chocolate. Simple and basic, but hard at times … it got into a routine, but was good for young me. In Year 12, I forbade myself from going to certain websites which were major distractors to study. That was helpful then. Over the past few years I’ve tried to do something different instead. I try to be kinder to certain people I tend to get annoyed at, or something like that.

This year, I’ll be following the advice given below…looking at what I really love and why, then trying to do more of that and less of other things. As well as practice my sense of situational awareness.

I Don’t Want To Do Lent This Year

by Michael K. Marsh

Lent, Ash Wednesday, Matthew 6:16 16-21,  Mary Oliver, Reflection, DesertAs I write this reflection it’s the third week in Epiphany and I’ve been thinking about Lent for a couple of weeks now. I am thinking about Shrove Tuesday; the pancake supper, the palms we will burn, and the ashes we will prepare for the next day’s liturgy. I am thinking about the fragility of life, mortality, and the ashes that will mark our foreheads on Ash Wednesday. I am thinking about the Church’s invitation “to the observance of a holy Lent by forty days of self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word.” The old voices in my head are asking, “What are you giving up for Lent this year?”

I’ve been thinking a lot about Lent and the truth is I don’t want to do Lent this year. Now maybe that’s something a priest isn’t supposed to say but I did and I mean what I said. I don’t want to do Lent this year. I don’t want to just get through Lent. I want Lent to get through to me. I want Lent to do me. …

Read more by clicking on the title.

REBLOGGED: Life As Spiritual Practice


[Words in italics are myzania‘s. Everything else above the line are the musings of Espirational.]

Copyright 2015 by R.A. Robbins
Copyright 2015 by R.A. Robbins

I originally intended to write about creativity as spiritual practice, but realized all of life is spiritual practice. We can study, meditate and perform other spiritual practices to achieve enlightenment, but it’s in the big and small stuff of daily life where we learn how to live as spiritual beings in physical bodies. Many of the troubles in the world seem to come from the disconnect between God and daily life [*].

Now is the time to realize that God is with us every minute of our lives, not just in church on Sunday. How do we do this? How might the world change if we did?

  1. Remember our thoughts are prayers. The Bible tells us to pray without ceasing and that God knows our need before we ask. Every thought and word that comes from us goes out in the Universe and comes back to us in one way or another. Doesn’t this make you want to be more careful in what you think or say?
    “For every action there is a reaction.”
  2. I Release and I Let Go is not only a song with catchy tune, it is a reminder.  Releasing and letting go of the stuff that no longer serves us is something we need to do often.
    I’ll look up the song later. I should practice “letting go” more often. Think about it. There’s a reason Frozen‘s most popular track was titled that – look at the lyrics. To paraphrase the words of another singer/songwriter, Taylor Swift – “haters gonna hate” and it’s our reaction that can determine how much power they have over us. So “shake it off”. Easier said than done!!
  3. We are one with God, each other and the earth. Separation is a myth. If we could begin to see God in others I guarantee the world would change.
    Replace God with “the humanity” in the above sentence if it doesn’t resonate. The world is full of numbers….but those numbers – statistics – are people, animals, plants. If we would just listen to each other, then maybe things would be a little different. We need to listen to the Earth, too. Whether you think Climate Change is man-made or not, something is happening and we need to slam on the brakes before it’s too late. 
  4. God doesn’t always speak to us in big flashy ways. Listen for God in the silence.
    We all need the moments of stillness to just “be”. Listen to the power of the waves on a beach, or rain on a tin roof (I love that sound) or watch the sun rise…and just “be”. 

Living the spiritual life doesn’t always come easy.  That’s why we call it a practice.  What are some of the ways you practice your faith in daily life?

* = I [myzania] think another problem-layer occurs because different groups don’t usually agree on what the disconnect – or perhaps the main disconnect – actually is. Or if they do, the other little differences trip them up. For example, I think that Christianity (an e.g. used because it’s the religion I am most familiar with) has a broad spectrum of belief/ traditions…ranging from the ones everyone of the faith knows or follows to the ones that only certain groups practice. Even those vary along the spectrum depending on individual, familial and local-communal belief. There is also the slightly-separate-but-somewhat-related broad spectrum between ‘progressives’ and ‘traditionalists’ and those in-between which is not necessarily defined by which sect you belong to.

We need to listen to each other. Reach out and talk. Not just within individual religions but to others of different faiths or none at all.