Category Archives: Year of Gratitude

A motivational read Turia Pitt ‘Unmasked’ review


A motivational read Turia Pitt ‘Unmasked’ review

I finished ‘Unmasked’ by Turia Pitt and Bryce Corbett (336 pages), between writing and other jobs. I couldn’t put it down (but of course I had to or I wouldn’t have met my own deadlines).

Turia Pitt Unmasked, writing computer.

Turia Pitt’s Unmasked, just finished. Next to writing laptop and the essential morning coffee.

From the first chapter, I shed tears. They stayed throughout, but mixed with smiles, chuckles and ‘wow’ moments.

My husband commented, “Are you still crying?” I was up to chapter twelve and had a box of tissues next to me, my head in the book.

This is an inspirational read; not only because of what happened to Turia, but what she did about it. It’s not just about Turia. The people around her show wonderful human spirit and love, particularly her fiancé Michael. Inspiring love flow through the pages.

Have a sense of humour

Turia has a wicked sense of humour and undeniable courage. She probably would have been a motivator, even if the fire didn’t happen to her. Her voice is loud but her physical achievements are thunderous. How many people take on Ironman events, the Kokoda Track, support charities (she did this before the fire), empower other people and live a humble (if not selfie-filled, ha ha) life? See her Instagram account.

Turia is spurred on by those who say she can’t do something. Doctors told her she’d struggle to walk; now she runs, swims, rides and climbs (and not slowly either). It made me realise how insignificant my own struggles were. I have no excuse not to exercise. I cannot complain when I feel pain (arthritis perhaps) in my knees, elbows, shoulders and neck. I will soldier on because I’m very grateful to still be fit and healthy. If I don’t keep moving I may not stay that way. I will stick it out because Turia’s voice is in my ear.

It’s not just a physical lesson

I didn’t just learn a physical lesson. I think the main thing is about our mind and how we use it. Turia breaks things up until she achieves them, be it physical or mental. I’ve always fragmented my writing projects into, words, scenes, chapters, then they become full manuscripts.

With multiple projects on the go it was getting to a point, I thought completing them was pushing my limits. Then I read Turia’s book and I had a light-bulb moment. Keep doing what you originally did; break it up. Finish the first bit, then the second and so on. I’m back to a flow of 3,000 words a day. I’m back on track. Mentally I’m in the writing zone. It’s not the same as an athlete’s zone but it works for me.

We can all be better people.

Turia is proof. She chose not to be bitter and angry; instead to live a full and meaningful life. We would forgive her for the first (considering what she’s been through) but that wouldn’t have been Turia, the person.

As an individual, I choose to be the best I can be. That’s all we need to be. We compete with ourselves. We run our own race. Be proud of what you are doing. If you’re not proud of what you are doing change it. It’s also advisable to keep supporters by your side. The people who love you will cheer you on like no one else. Just like Michael is always the first to greet Turia at her finish lines.

I’d also like to say what an excellent job John Corbett, Turia’s ghost writer, has done to pull the story together. I loved the chapters from the viewpoint of each of Turia’s loved ones. To say I had my heart in my throat, is an understatement. He brought the personal emotions to the surface and made Turia’s tale captivating, engaging and un-put-downable. (Lots of applause going off in the background).

Best advice: Take just one step.

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Positivism can reverse negativity


Positivism can reverse negativity

Change is all around us. One instant in time, the blink of an eye and you can end up in a negative or positive situation. No two people see it the same. Some are glass half full and some half empty.

If something bad happens and you’re sad, angry, grief-stricken, annoyed, frustrated, hurt or a multitude of emotions. It’s a negative experience but what if you turned it positive?

There’s the saying you can’t get any further down so you must go up.

Positivity quote. Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow

It’s not always easy to find a positive thing but it’s best for your emotional wellbeing if you at least try. My mum always says, “There’s always someone worse off.” It’s an apt saying. You have nothing to complain about when you compare yourself to the heartache others face.

Look at inspirational people like Turia Pitt. She looks to the positive to get through something most of us could barely imagine. She has her wonderful bubbles of happiness and humour, and she’s thriving. Yes, she has more guts and determination than most of us would be able to summon, but if she wasn’t positive she’d never get through it (oh and congrats to her and Michael on expecting their first child).

How do you find a positive in a negative?

Let’s give a simple example. You’re a guy and you lost your wallet (no I’m not talking about you Blake). It’s annoying and it makes you angry. You must cancel all your cards and then wait for new ones. You worry about identity theft and you freak out a little about people sifting through your treasured family photos.

Where’s the positive? You can start laughing because if anyone tries to use the credit card they’ll be denied as you just maxed it out (karma). What if you hated the wallet and your coins always fell out of it? You now have an excuse to go buy a new one. Let’s go one step further. That cute girl you’ve been passing on the street, finds your wallet, hands it back and your hands brush at the touch. Electricity and sparks fly. You lock eyes and a happy ever after love affair begins (okay I admit the romance writer in me got carried away with that scenario, but you get the point).

Think up your own positives to negatives

Negative: Stub your toe (ouch!)

Positive: Swear (that always makes you feel better) look what you kicked your toe on. That old diamond ring you had lost.

Negative: Get sick with the flu.

Positive: You’re not the only one and now’s your chance to recover in bed and be pampered by the family.

Negative: Prang your car.

Positive: No one is hurt and it’s just a car.

Negative: It’s raining and you wanted sunshine.

Positive: It’s been dry and the plants need it (and may prevent bush fires this season). They are doing a happy rain dance. I’d probably curl up with a good book.

Negative: The dog ate your homework.

Positive: Well haven’t we all wanted to use that excuse?

Negative: Your flight was cancelled.

Positive: They found a fault in the plane and you’re are very lucky it never took off  (because it could have crashed).

It’s not always easy. Somethings are just too sad (like death and grief). Just try these strategies to get through it and find the more positive aspects of your life.

My own negative thought today is I haven’t had time to blog and keep up with my 365 Days of Gratitude. The positive thought out of that is; the amount of writing work I am embarking on now, is the reason I’ve had no time to blog. Yay me!

365 Days of Gratitude

I’ve missed from Day 191 to today, which is Day 248. I have plenty of gratitude during those 57 days. I have bucket loads of gratitude. Some crappy things have happened (two broken-down cars, an almost fried laptop (yep this very one), but there’s been so many more wonderful moments they outweigh the negative).

  • Visits with the grandkids
  • A free holiday in Noosa
  • Enjoying a writing festival and networking with other creatives (Sunshine Coast International Readers and Writers Festival)
  • Meeting writing goals
  • A friend recovering from a scary illness
  • A visit from my son (he lives the furthest away from us)
  • Coming second in a footy tipping comp (thanks Roosters)
  • Reading some wonderful books
  • My big dog’s lapdog moments
  • Warmer weather
  • More The Zanzibar Moon sales
  • Getting three-quarters of the way through my next manuscript

What are your positives or moments of gratitude?

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