Posted in Book Reviews, Happiness, Health and fitness, Women's issues, Writers, 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.

Posted in Animals and conservation, Charity, Elephants, Happiness

There’s still time to give a gift that keeps on giving.


It’s Christmas Eve but it’s not too late for the most valuable presents of all.

We used to always buy a gift and put it under the Kmart Wishing Tree. My youngest, Blake would help pick the gift and I enjoyed watching him giving to a child who didn’t have the same opportunities as him. He’s 21 now and asked if we were going to do it this year.

I said, “It’s okay we’ve done our giving this year by sponsoring our elephant Tundani and a staff member at Umoja Orphanage Kenya.” Plus, there is no way I’m going back to the shopping centre in the madness that is Christmas Eve. “We’ll check out if we can do it online.”

The chances of carpark shopping rage, shopping trolleys with a life of their own hitting my car, crazy women running me over (that actually happened at Robina Shopping Centre and lucky her bonnet only clipped me and I wasn’t hurt. And no she didn’t even stop to check on me), so no I’ll keep safe and finish my giving at home.

It’s the 29th year of Kmart Wishing Tree and if you can’t make it into a store today you can still donate online. All gifts are distributed by The Salvation Army and Mission Australia. It helps families who can’t afford Christmas gifts to enjoy their Christmas and reFoster parent program the david sheldrick wildlife trust. Elephant.ceive something nice.

Last week I re-sponsored our baby elephant Tundani. Tundani is part of The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Baby Elephant Foster Parent Program. These elephants have been orphans (often through poaching) and the DSWT have carers who first rescue the babies, hand-rear them at the nursery and gradually reintroduce them to wild herds and transition them back into their natural wild life. Each elephant has its own personality just like a human child. I’ve found the greatest joy of being a foster parent to Tundani is seeing his personal journey through the diaries of his carers. DSWT keep extensive records of the orphans’ progress and plenty of photos as well. It’s a gift of giving that you and your family will get so much joy from and hopefully elephants will not become extinct.

 

If you’d rather be involved with something closer to home, you could volunteer at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. From meet and greet of visitors to helping out at the Wildlife Hospital there’s plenty to do for our own Australian Wildlife. You can also foster an endangered native Australian animal like bilby, echidna, wombat and Koala.

If you read this blog regularly you’ll know of my support for Umoja Orphanage Kenya (founded by Australian Cathy Booth). You can do all sorts of sponsorship but their Christmas appeal is about sponsoring the staff. For as little as $5 a week you can help this wonderful cause that, not only helps orphans in Ukanda, Kenya, but the community in the surrounding area. This is a self-sustainable orphanage project that helps break the cycle of poverty. You can set up a recurring donation via Rotary at http://bit.ly/2hfV3QN.

While most of us are enjoying a nice home, copious amounts of food and alcohol, pressies, family and friends; spare a thought for those who have very little, particularly the homeless. You can give them a gift by donations or volunteering your time. The Bill Hoyer House was opened on the Gold Coast 20th December. You can go online to donate for the accommodation and support of homeless youth. For more information on other homeless support services the Uniting Care Community have hubs both ends of the Gold Coast.

My favourite giving gifts list:

So giving doesn’t need a wrapped present. It just needs to be heartfelt and meaningful.

Enjoy your Christmas whatever your religion, culture or country. I wish for you happiness, health, shelter, love and kindness, not just at Christmas, but always.