THE iKiFit BLOG

DO Talk to Strangers!

Saturday, August 23, 2014
One of the things I’ve always admired about my Dad is his willingness and ability to talk to anyone, anywhere, anytime.When I was a child this was sometimes irritating, because of course I had better things to do than wait around listening to boring adult talk. But as the years went by I appreciated his attitude more and more. Not only was it interesting to connect with new people - and surprisingly often led to exciting developments - I learned some profound life lessons. It dawned on me that everyone wants to be liked, trusted and valued, but often hold back because they are afraid!
  
Growing up in a small country town it was normal to know and talk to everyone, but as I started to travel to other towns and then cities I realised that we are trained to NOT engage with strangers - not just from fear, but from a basic misconception ;- Others look, speak and dress differently, therefore they ARE different - and may well be dangerous. We’re taught to be afraid. And the media does nothing to change this – quite the reverse in fact. All news outlets know that bad news sells better than good and as a result 87% of information we encounter on an average day is negative. Yes, it’s been researched!

The bad news is brought to us from all over the world - but we internalise it and as a result, view our surrounds with a fear vastly disproportionate to our local reality. We hear a news story about someone approached by a “man in a white van” and fear there are predators in every street. The reality is there is on average one, that’s 1, successful child abduction in Australia every year. That means the odds of YOUR child being taken is 1 in 6,000,000. Yes, one in six million. But our perception is that it’s almost certain if we let our child walk around the block.We’re bombarded nightly with crime shows and find ourselves believing that every suburb harbours at least one garden variety murderer, and every second one a deranged serial killer.

Ask people if they think we’re safer now than our forebears were 50, 100, 200, 500 years ago and they reply ‘No, today’s world is more dangerous’. The reverse is true. We live twice as long on average than we did 100 years ago, not just because of better medicine and OH&S. Murder rates in all of the western world have steadily, consistently and constantly dropped for the past 700 years - from around 80 per 100,000 per year to less than 3. That’s 3,000% less chance of being murdered in our beds – or anywhere else.

We all “know” that city people won’t engage with strangers. But - using my dad as inspiration - I always make a point of striking up conversations – on public transport, in the street, at cafe’s, anywhere - with strangers. Occasionally I’ll encounter initial suspicion, but almost always am answered with enthusiasm, kindness and interest. Some people are overwhelmed that someone makes the effort to be friendly.

I remember an incident when I was 15, sitting in a public lounge watching people walk in the door. It dawned on me that they were just like me..a bit shy, unconfident and not wanting to stand out. Just like me they were all scared - of stranger danger, rejection, criticism. And just like me they wanted to be liked, to be treated as if they were interesting - and they wanted to meet and engage with interesting people.

One time, a friend and I were trying to get to China town in Sydney, late at night in a taxi. The driver had no clue so we got out in a dark street in a seedy suburb in disgust. We had no idea where we were but saw a group of men about our age hanging around some cars outside a run-down pub. They looked scary to us. Big, tattooed, shaved heads---which in those days was something only “thugs and sailors” did. They watched us as cautiously as we felt about them, but we walked up with apologetic smiles, telling them we were from the country and lost. 10 minutes later they dropped us outside a restaurant in China town they recommended, with thanks, smiles and handshakes all ‘round.

Of course, there ARE people ‘out there’ who will take advantage if we let them, but the overwhelming majority of strangers are just like us. Caring, friendly, interesting people who want to be respected and trusted. Just like us. People who want to live meaningful, loving lives - who may be someone who’ll have a positive impact on our lives. Somebody special we just don’t know yet.

All the best, 

Kim.

Give yourself permission to SHINE!

Saturday, May 24, 2014
They say the teacher appears when the student is ready.

I recently did another workshop with Rebel Black -The Hungry Spirit

It wasn't all comfortable. After all, working on moving onward and upward involves risk, possible pain and definitely hard work. Things we all appreciate from a distance but don't always want to experience first hand. 

Part of the workshop preparation was required regular readings of some of Nelson Mandelas' Inaugural Speech, as follows;-

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. 
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?
Actually who are you not to be?
Your playing small doesn't serve the world.
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others". Nelson Mandela 1994 Inaugural speech.

I know personally that the biggest thing holding most of us back is that nagging voice that tells us we shouldn't get "too big for our boots." That voice that makes us afraid of standing out - afraid of what others think.

That voice that can sap our energy - or gives us an excuse - to not do the work necessary to create and support our dreams. The often hard, challenging work we need to do, to get to where we want to go.

Martha Graham said "it's none of our business what others think about us." Kind of empowering.

A bloke I've know for a few years amazed me a few weeks ago with some rap songs he's written, but he wanted to get someone else to sing them because he didn't think his voice is good enough. It definitely is, he just needs to get used to the sound of it - and remember that he's his own worst critic, like the rest of us. The great thing is that after a bit of encouragement he's practising, improving and that energy is spreading. THAT's what living the dream actually is. Self doubt, yes. Struggle, totally. Effort, yes. But the doing it, is success in itself, no matter the outcome. Go Nathan. 

Remember, Sing Your Own Song . And to read a great take on "it's none of our business what others think of us click here

This week give yourself - and all around you - permission to shine.

All the Best,

Kim

Play your Part....or Fake it till you make it

Wednesday, February 26, 2014
What’s one thing sociologists, marketers, Hollywood producers, politicians, teachers and the ‘person on the street’ all agree on?

That we humans love stories – and use them, consciously or unconsciously as roadmaps for our lives.

It’s probably been that way since the dawn of man. Our ancestors would sit around with the rest of the tribe, clapping with joy at the pictures drawn in the dirt of how the hunters managed to bag the woolly mammoth they were all now gnawing contentedly on. Then they would gasp with horror to learn how uncle Ugg was impaled on a tusk when his spear proved too blunt and his feet too slow.

Then, as now, stories provide important information about the world we live in. They warn or thrill, inspire and advise, motivate and help us imagine and set goals.

These narratives help us decide how we should look and behave, what to avoid, when to speak or when to run, the rewards we can hope for or consequences we will suffer, dependent on our choices or actions.

To bring this analogy right up to the minute, we choose our favourite book or film, be it Neighbours, The Simpsons, or Fifty Shades of Colour!  We then take on some of the characteristics of our favourite character and mock or shun the ones we don’t like.

The Logies season is here again and we are told that the best actors practise some form of method acting, “immersing themselves in their characters, to the extent that they stay in character offstage or off-camera for the duration of a project”.

They live the part. And there is the theme for this week. Have a good think about our character and make sure we are playing the role. Sometimes it’s about acting. Fake it till we make it, sometimes it’s about looking at our role model and asking, “What would X do?”

On one level it’s just that simple. We’re all playing a part. If we’re genuine about becoming a great footballer we practise and model ourselves on a footballer we admire – who has achieved their goals. We copy their training patterns, eating patterns, thought patterns, to help build our own character.

This week think about how you want the story of your life to go. Are you writing the script or are you being swept along like an extra?

I’m thinking about how I want my story to end, and thinking about what I need to do to make that happen.

I’m  writing a happy ending and WORKING towards it.

And I’m remembering to be careful what I wish for.

Enjoy the rest of your week. 

       

 


Ask and You Shall Receive

Wednesday, February 12, 2014
I finished last weeks’ blog with a promise of sharing an experience I’ve had that shows the value of being open to the world around us.

Before I continue, I will disclose that sometimes I’ve doubted this wisdom. I’ve always prided myself as realistic, pragmatic, and yes, a bit sceptical - in a positive way of course, I’ve added to myself.

After all, the world is a big, tough place and there are lots of dangers out there.

This attitude can conflict with the belief that good things really do flow to those with an open mind and heart, - and so there have been times I’ve struggled with it.

My dad has always been a great inspiration and example to me. There are many lessons I’ve learned (sometimes by initially ignoring them, to my detriment) from him. But one of the habits I’ve always admired,  that he practises brilliantly even at 90, I’ve finally taken to heart.

He will always go out of his way to say hello and find something positive to say to everyone he comes in contact with.

The thing is, it invariably brings smiles all round, but can lead to much more ;-

I was having a coffee with son Nick in Bondi a couple of weeks ago. We were discussing his upcoming three months holiday in South America and the fact that he was keen to sublet his flat for the duration.  A simple thanks for the great coffee developed into a conversation with the waitress who, she soon revealed, was looking for a flat closer to her work.

Two doors away is pretty close. And the great thing was we had already observed that she was a hard worker, neat and organised. Could be a perfect match.

Ask and you shall receive.

I’d love to hear any personal stories you have of similar serendipity.

By the way, the word serendipity means good luck and good fortune. And the point I’m making is that our attitude and actions help us make our own good luck and fortune.

Please share. And have a great week.

       

 


What Excites You?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014
It’s normal to be afraid of new undertakings. It’s very human to feel panic at the idea of doing something different. Getting out of our ‘comfort zone’ can be hard, even though it may be an unbearable place to be.

In 2000 when the Olympics were playing in Sydney, a friend had extra tickets and offered some to me - "enough for several days" spectating for myself and a family member.

I asked my youngest son, who was 14 at the time, to come with me, but he was reluctant and ended up missing out.

However, on seeing my excitement at the experience, Nick vowed to think twice about missing opportunities in the future. Since then he’s spent years journeying, studying and working overseas as well as in iconic Aussie locations, meanwhile ticking off an impressive bucket list. This year it’s South America for three months. Some of that time is scheduled with friends, some left open to whim.

His credo is to do what excites him, with the understanding that excitement comes from the exhilaration of overcoming fear, and doing what makes your heart sing, not sink.

He understands the necessity to plan and prepare properly. He keeps healthy, fit and strong, eats well and takes care to plan his actions rigorously before the event. But he also leaves room to respond to chance opportunities.

It’s his birthday today and I’m proud of him..and admiring his example as well.

This year let’s learn from youth and do what excites us.

iKiFit can help you enhance your excitement. Get fit and learn new skills with Learn Online. Join for free  and download here to set your goals.

       

 


Every single day, in every single way, we’re getting better.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

I must admit there are days, when the planets don’t align or the politicians are particularly pathetic, that I struggle to believe my own song. Sometimes it feels like it’s all uphill. But, as with everything else, hills can be gotten over.

Staying the course requires perspective and being able to recognise the silver lining - or at least admire the scary darkness of the cloud. When we’re toiling up those steep and slippery slopes, muscles aching and heart thumping, be mindful that when we reach the summit, rather than a lush mountain meadow, with butterflies, frolicking lambs and babbling brooks, we may well be confronted by a vista of more parched and rugged mountains stretching to the dauntingly distant horizon.

That’s when a sense of humour comes in handy.

Who remembers the ex prime minister who stated that “Life wasn’t meant to be easy” and some years later found himself outside his New York hotel with no pants and no reasonable explanation?

If we’re actively participating, the ups and downs of life catch us all eventually, but even the most shocking, scary or plain cringe worthy events can bring on gut busting hilarity after a sufficient length of time.

Or at least a wry smile.

The key is achieving distance. Perspective. To step back and admire the comedy of it all.

Life has a way of shrugging at even the greatest achievements, biggest disasters or most mundane non-events, but there’s always a laugh there if we look.

As my wife and Garfield (not the same person) would say, “Don’t take life too seriously, it’s temporary”
This week, let’s look for the laugh wherever we can.

And if it hurts too much to laugh, smile inside.

On a completely different note, take a moment to check out this music video of the band No Shame from Walgett Community School. It probably won’t make you laugh but it will definitely make you smile. Inside and out.
       


Sometimes

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Joe Williams BoxerI’m going to deviate slightly this week from our usual “Word of The Week” blog theme.

The reason is, we have been doing lots of talking over on our facebook page lately about the “Sometimes” song.  And I really wanted to share some the back story with you.

The song was written almost two years ago in response to a period of intense grief - in an attempt to come to grips with life. Some of you will have seen early versions of the video clip. If you have, please take the time to look and listen again. Along with some new images in the video, there is now a guest singer who appears from the second verse who takes the song to a whole new level.

 It’s a tune about light, dark, good bad, happy sad, love and loss - and redemption.

It's about celebrating the diversity of life and remembering that no matter what is happening...in the words of the Dali Lama “This too will pass”

 It’s a reminder and affirmation that we ALL have good days and bad. That’s life and the universe.

Joe Williams has experienced the highs of playing for the Rabbitos, the Bulldogs and France at 1st grade level, as well as boxing at a high level and of being a hero and celebrity. He has also experienced intense lows from the loss of some of those things.

Joe now has lyrics from "Sometimes" tattooed on his chest.

When I asked him why he felt so strongly about the song he replied:

“I am a person who relates my life and how I feel to Music. Having said that, from the minute I laid eyes on the lyrics to 'Sometimes' I immediately felt a connection.

The song relates to feelings & emotions -to who we are & how we feel. To me, Sometimes, directly reflects how I feel & act everyday and knowing that everyone has, and is entitled to have a bad day. I related so much to the songs that I felt I had to have it tattooed onto my body - as a reminder that every day, somewhere, someone else is struggling and I am not alone in this! And it's OK.

But there are also great days and they will always come again as long as I look after myself, follow my dreams in a disciplined manner and keep the perspective. This is firmly imprinted on my chest - I see this reminder every morning.”

Please have a look at the video and see for yourself why Joe is so attached to the song - and it to him. And please share it.

Meanwhile remember what that wise old guy said... “This too will pass”

Here comes the advertorial; - iKiFit offers activities and tools we can use to manage the challenges and the moods - and make our lives better - to keep up our strength so we can handle the ups and downs, the challenges and opportunities when those "sometimes" occur, as they inevitably do.

 

 


Every Single Day

Tuesday, August 06, 2013
Every Single DayHere at iKiFit we’ve been working at making our Learn Online Energisers quick, fun and effective. Each week, you’ll get an idea and an activity. Featuring regularly is the song Every Single Day which you can buy at iTunes. This weeks’ active Energiser is me doing as version of the song.

Today's blog is inspired by my good friend Patrick Moore's book "Touch the Sky".  If you want to know more about Patrick check out his website One Billion Punches

There's an old saying; "If you want something done properly, do it yourself" There's no doubt that in some cases this is true. However, someone else said; "I have so much to do, that I'm going to bed" Sometimes, life can be so overwhelming we just want to stop.

Doing things yourself is a great strategy, but getting some help can be smart. If you can't get everything done it may simply mean you've got too much to do, or that you are trying to do things you don't have the skills or aptitude for.

It can even be poor management to try to do everything ourselves. Sometimes it's more efficient to focus on the things we do well and get help with the stuff we dislike, or aren't so good at. Smart companies get extra staff when there's too much work to do or when they need specialist services. So should we.

There are times it can be a good idea to get someone else do a task for us because it is empowering for them. Remember the old adage, "Give as person a fish and they eat for a day, teach them to fish and they eat for life".

There are other times people really want to help, for any number of reasons.  If they offer, let them do it. If they don't offer, ask them. Or hire someone. An occasional baby-sitter, cleaner,  gardener or ironing helper can be a gift from heaven.

Don't forget to get your free download Every Single Day

Go on, delegate something today. You’ll both be glad you did.

The first day of the rest of our lives

Monday, July 22, 2013
Today is the first day of the rest of our lives.... a phrase that resonates as I enter my 58th year.

Like anybody, I can look back and tick off things that I’ve achieved and things that I haven’t. Happy times and not so good. And like anybody else there are things I would like to do better with the rest of my life, things I can do without and others that are working fine, thank you very much!

One thing I’ve learned is that it’s up to each of us as individuals to create our own future.  Our attitudes, our actions and our beliefs make us who we are and create our opportunities.

Another certainty is that the only place we can create a future is in the present. Putting it off till tomorrow, waiting till our ship comes in won’t result in the change we want

Today is the first day of a new series of Energisers. Each week on Monday I’ll send a simple theme, activity or attitude to work on for a few minutes, a day, week or lifetime.

And, yes, I’ll be suggesting, hassling and hopefully motivating you to do an iKi Energiser or SOME physical energiser. At 58 I really do know that works.

So, let’s get back to creating a better future right here and now. How?  Visualise. Take one minute and dream about the rest of our lives. OK, mind off the lotto win. Could happen. But lets’ think of what matters. Happy family.  Healthy activities. Laughs and love. Satisfying work with some security. Being able to do the things we enjoy, with people we like. That’s what I want anyway. I can see it and feel it now. And seeing and feeling is believing.

Kickstart the rest of your life today. Do an iKiEnergiser or  get up, breath and feel the way you want to feel. Like you have a great life ahead.

 

The Sandpiper by Robert Peterson

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

We see heaps of this kind of story in social media nowadays but this one really resonated with me, I hope it has the same effect on you.....

The Sandpiper

She was six years old when I first met her on the beach near where I live.

I drive to this beach, a distance of three or four miles, whenever the world begins to close in on me.

She was building a sand castle or something and looked up, her eyes as blue as the sea.

"Hello," she said.

I answered with a nod, not really in the mood to bother with a small child.

"I'm building," she said.

"I see that. What is it?" I asked, not really caring.

"Oh, I don't know, I just like the feel of sand."

That sounds good, I thought, and slipped off my shoes.

A sandpiper glided by.

"That's a joy," the child said.
 
"It's a what?"

"It's a joy. My mama says sandpipers come to bring us joy."

The bird went gliding down the beach.

Good-bye joy, I muttered to myself, hello pain, and turned to walk on.  I was depressed, my life seemed completely out of balance.

"What's your name?" She wouldn't give up.

"Robert," I answered. "I'm Robert Peterson."

"Mine's Wendy... I'm six."

"Hi, Wendy."

 She giggled. "You're funny," she said.

In spite of my gloom, I laughed too and walked on.
 
Her musical giggle followed me.

"Come again, Mr. P," she called.. "We'll have another happy day."

 The next few days consisted of a group of unruly Boy Scouts, PTA meetings, and an ailing mother.

The sun was shining one morning as I took my hands out of the dishwater. I need a sandpiper, I said to myself, gathering up my coat.

The ever-changing balm of the seashore awaited me. The breeze was chilly but I strode along, trying to recapture the serenity I needed.

"Hello, Mr. P," she said. "Do you want to play?"

"What did you have in mind?" I asked, with a twinge of annoyance.

"I don't know. You say."

"How about charades?" I asked sarcastically.

The tinkling laughter burst forth again. "I don't know what that is."
 
"Then let's just walk."

Looking at her, I noticed the delicate fairness of her face.

"Where do you live?" I asked.

"Over there." She pointed toward a row of summer cottages.

Strange, I thought, in winter.

"Where do you go to school?"

"I don't go to school. Mummy says we're on vacation"

She chattered little girl talk as we strolled up the beach, but my mind was on other things.

When I left for home, Wendy said it had been a happy day.

Feeling surprisingly better, I smiled at her and agreed.

Three weeks later, I rushed to my beach in a state of near panic.

I was in no mood to even greet Wendy.

I thought I saw her mother on the porch and felt like demanding she keep her child at home.

"Look, if you don't mind," I said crossly when Wendy caught up with me, "I'd rather be alone today."

She seemed unusually pale and out of breath.

"Why?" she asked.

I turned to her and shouted, "Because my mother died!" and thought, My God, why was I saying this to a little child?

"Oh," she said quietly, "then this is a bad day."

"Yes," I said, "and yesterday and the day before and -- oh, go away!"

"Did it hurt?" she inquired.

"Did what hurt?" I was exasperated with her, with myself.

"When she died?"

"Of course it hurt!" I snapped, misunderstanding, wrapped up in myself.  I strode off.

A month or so after that, when I next went to the beach, she wasn't there. Feeling guilty, ashamed, and admitting to myself I missed her, I went up to the cottage after my walk and knocked at the door.

A drawn looking young woman with honey-colored hair opened the door.

"Hello," I said, "I'm Robert Peterson. I missed your little girl today and wondered where she was."

"Oh yes, Mr. Peterson, please come in. Wendy spoke of you so much. I'm afraid I allowed her to bother you. If she was a nuisance, please, accept my apologies."

"Not at all --! she's a delightful child." I said, suddenly realising that I meant what I had just said.

"Wendy died last week, Mr. Peterson.  She had leukaemia. Maybe she didn't tell you."

Struck dumb, I groped for a chair. I had to catch my breath.

"She loved this beach, so when she asked to come, we couldn't say no.She seemed so much better here and had a lot of what she called happy days. But the last few weeks, she declined rapidly..."

Her voice faltered, "She left something for you, if only I can find it. Could you wait a moment while I look?"

I nodded stupidly, my mind racing for something to say to this lovely young woman.

She handed me a smeared envelope with "MR. P" printed in bold childish letters. Inside was a drawing in bright crayon hues -- a yellow beach, a blue sea, and a brown bird.

Underneath was carefully printed: A SANDPIPER TO BRING YOU JOY.

Tears welled up in my eyes, and a heart that had almost forgotten to love opened wide.

I took Wendy's mother in my arms.  "I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry," I uttered over and over, and we wept together.

The precious little picture is framed now and hangs in my study.

Six words -- one for each year of her life -- that speak to me of harmony, courage, and undemanding love. A gift from a child with sea blue eyes and hair the colour of sand - who taught me the gift of love.

Footnote:

Life is so complicated, the hustle and bustle of everyday traumas can make us lose focus about what is truly important or what is only a momentary setback or crisis.

This week, be sure to give your loved ones an extra hug, and by all means, take a moment... even if it is only ten seconds, to stop and smell the roses.


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