Debbie Carr Agency

Keynote speaking, motivation, personal development


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I’m a machine and the oil is running out

Stillness

Stillness

I work long hours, and have been referred to as ‘a machine’. Sometimes I forget to stop for lunch which is something I don’t recommend. In fact, yesterday when I dozed off at my laptop I realised that some serious repairs need to be made to this machine as some parts seem to be failing due to lack of maintenance.

Luckily for me I have a great mechanic, his name is Tom Cronin. Tom has been teaching me the benefits of stopping twice a day, for 20 minutes to go into stillness. For someone who is as hyperactive as I am, stillness can be a challenge and I am pleased to say not any more. I have been given a gift from Tom, and that gift is 40 minutes a day where I can retreat to a place of pure bliss.

Here is a podcast I did with Tom on the benefits of stillness. DOWNLOAD PODCAST


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The reason I love this man so much

Yeah! Yeah! You think this is some kind of soppy love story. Sorry it’s not. This is a story about love of humanity and love of people in my life. People I know as Soul Family, people “I have recognized” when I have looked into their eyes. There are not that many of these special people who I instantly recognized, however, there are some who have impacted my life greatly. One such person is Tom Cronin. Tom and I have only known each other for a few months. We connected on LinkedIn and developed an instant friendship online and when we met in person. Tom is now my meditation teacher www.scienceofstillness.com (I highly recommend).

Now this is what is happening in my life at the moment:  I am connecting with people on the same ‘wavelength’. We are people who are not out for ourselves, we are people who want to be part of a community that helps each other. A community where everyone is looked after, a community where there is no competition, a community where there is respect and most importantly a community where there is TRUST and LOVE.

So this is my newest LOVE. No not a romantic love, someone I trust, respect, love and, is part of my win/win community.

Here are some very wise words from Tom: please don’t tell him I’m guilty of 4 points  below 😉

  • Do you check your phone when you are on the toilet?
  • Do you text on your phone when you are walking?
  • Do you check your email and Facebook at the red traffic lights?
  • Do you snap photos of those quiet moments on the beach or park and post it on
    Instagram and Facebook?
  • Do you check your phone while you are in bed just before you go to sleep?
  • Do you send a picture of every meal to Instagram?(Yes, guilty to some of these!)

It appeared to me the other day that I have filled in all the gaps in my day
with the distraction of my phone. I realised that I didn’t have any spaces in
my day that were voids of restfulness and simply ‘Being’.

You know those brief moments of just sitting, be it at a traffic light, in a
park, on the train, or yes, even on the toilet!

When I grew up part of our daily routine was morning and afternoon tea. So
around 11am and 4pm everything we were doing would stop, and the entire family
would sit around for cup of tea and small snack. It was a moment of respite
 from work and ‘doingness’. This tea break would last about 20-30 minutes and
would be spent simply sitting around in the sun on the porch, sometimes
chatting, sometimes just in silence.

Up until 2005, the year the iPhone was born, our days were often filled with
small gaps of emptiness. These were moments of respite to contemplate, ponder
and just BE in a simple state of awareness.

In observing my life and the lives of others around me, I have realised that
slowly we have removed all those gaps in our day and we’ve filled them in with
more and more data processing without even noticing.

Emails, Facebook, Twitter, sms, Kik, Heytell, Instagram, news feeds and Google.
 Data, data data!

Some of our most creative impulses and intuitions are born in those gaps.

At the moment we are relying on someone else’s post of a Rumi quote or a
Youtube clip of a waterfall for inspiration rather than connecting with our own
inner voice of wisdom.
So how do we bring back the gaps?

How do we regain those small daily moments of respite that are free of data?

Get my 6 tips on the blog


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The benefits of meditation

wellnessThere are many things in my life that I am truly grateful for. One of those is meeting Tom Cronin.  Tom and I met on LinkedIn actually and since meeting, Tom has become a speaker on my books, Vox Presenters and my meditation teacher.  I cannot stress enough how I am benefiting from my meditation.  I feel more relaxed, I seem to have more time, I feel peaceful.

Here is a short 15 minute interview I recorded with Tom, along with some slides.  Interview with Tom Cronin

Visit Tom’s website www.scienceofstillness.com

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3 Days of Chaos

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Meditation

Day One:  Attended a great wine & cheese evening at Zigis, met some fabulous people and discovered some new things about wines and cheese.  Oops …too much wine maybe and too much cheese, and now I’ve missed my train to the Central Coast so I have to wait another half hour. Finally I hop on the 10.15 pm and Oh No….my boredom saver has run out of battery! My phone is flat and how am I going to “Tweet” “Facebook” and read the news without my phone?

One hour later and only 15 minutes from my station, the boredom sets in and….I crash out like a light.  Finally I wake up to discover we are pulling into my station except it looks nothing like my station, in fact, Oh No where the hell am I???? Oh oh! it’s now 12.00 am and I know I have missed my station. Hop off train and I’m in this deserted, isolated place where I’ve never been before. “Breathe Deb…just breathe Deb and stay calm” I say to myself.

Heart is pumping and panic wants to take over but I know that panic will destroy me so I get a grip. I look up the timetable and the next train back is 40 minutes away. Oh S*** I say!  I’m actually terrified by now but I stay calm, despite the fact I know my phone has completely run out of juice and I have no way of communicating to anyone or phoning for help.

The return train finally arrives and with great anticipation I hop on. I go upstairs and some young guy, who is completely off his face and thinks chatting up an old bird is cool (probably doesn’t realize I’m old because he’s so wasted), tries to have a conversation. Not really wanting to be chatting to my new friend, I go downstairs and I creep by the other weird looking guy who is thankfully, asleep.  Until Sleeping Beauty decides to wake up and pace up and down the carriage like a madman.

I stay calm. I look straight ahead not giving him eye contact and I remember the day I earned my Blue Belt in Taekwondo. I remember when I had to do a spinning back kick and break a wooden board with my bare foot. I remember everything that I was taught in self defence and……

PHEW…I didn’t have to use those skills thank goodness because the train terminates! “WHAT????” I say to myself, I have 4 stops to go. Too bad, end of service for the night, the guard informs me. I race out to the road and thank God a cab pulls up.  I arrive home some time after 1.00 a.m. shaken, but no harm was done. It could have been worse, I could have been attacked while asleep or I could have not woken up and ended up miles away with no return train. I’m so grateful that never happened.

Day Two:  I happen to have a guest spot on radio 2ue in Sydney on Sharina’s show www.sharina88.com – I’m also her manager and she picks me up on the way to the radio station which is a good one hour drive from where we live. I live in a place where there are 50 wooden steps down to the road.  I decide to put my thongs on to go down the steps, rather than the heels and just before I do that a huge storm hits so the steps are wet.  Off I go down the stairs with my umbrella up, thongs on, real shoes in my hand and bag over my shoulder. About  1/4 of the way down I feel my left foot losing grip…slow motion happens now…I know my foot has lost grip, I know I’m falling, I know this could be mighty serious…THUD…and I mean THUD then I start to speed down the steps on my back.  Somehow I manage to grab the railing and stop the slide. I lay there, oh and my umbrella is now inside out from the storm and all I can worry about is turning it back the right way. Then I start to shake and realize I’m actually in quite a bit of pain.  Then the thought comes to me “I wonder if I can move”…YES….I can! I stumble up shaking like a leaf and hobble under some shelter to FIX THE UMBRELLA!  Fast forward I get in the car and we go do the radio show and even though I’m sore I don’t feel that bad and it was a great show, the first for the year.

Until the next day!  OK, my back is not a pretty sight at the moment and I ache all over but do you know what? I could have broken my back, neck, bones or even died.  I’m so grateful that never happened.

Day three: I decide with all my soreness I best go for a walk to keep my muscles from getting stiff and off I go. Hmmm this isn’t quite as pleasant as normal because I’m actually in pain and the wind is blowing a gale off the bay. I soldier on.  Phone rings. It’s my mum who has a disability because of two strokes and is in a flap because dad is so sick (he has heart problems) an ambulance is on the way.  They live nearly 3 hours away in the country and I’m hobbling along on my walk in agony, wind is nearly knocking me over and I decide not to panic.  I realize the best thing to do is get to my destination, which is the local café, have something to eat because I’m starving and sit down figure out the best options. I realize ambulance is on the way and dad is in the best of care and they will take mum too.  As it turns out dad had an allergic reaction to his medicine and all is ok. I’m so grateful for that.

OK, three days of chaos and now it’s time for me to get some serious peace.  Lucky for me I have a new friend, Tom Cronin, who is a meditation expert and also a speaker on one of my bureaus, Vox Presenters.  I told Tom about my chaos days and he had me organized to start his stillness meditation course in no time.

I’ve had two sessions of stillness at time of writing this and I am looking forward of getting up tomorrow for my next 20 minutes of stillness.  Just what I need in my time of chaos and….I’m so grateful for that!


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Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life

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“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”

Confucius: 551BC – 479 BC

My eldest daughter, Emma, always puts a lot of thoughts into her gift giving. Last year, Emma bought me some delightful gifts for Christmas and one of those was a little book of inspirational quotes. She knows what I like! I love this little book and I’m using the quotes in some of my posts, like the one above.

I can relate to those words from a very wise man all those years ago.  That’s because I’m always in trouble from my family for the amount of time I spend working, to me though, it’s simply not work. I love what I do. I love blogging, booking speakers for events and recruiting – all things I believe actually help other people. I love it when I put a keynote speaker in a conference or training session and people are inspired. I love it when I put people in jobs, it really makes me happy.

The most thoughtful girl on the planet (in her mum's eyes).

The most thoughtful girl on the planet (in her mum’s eyes) and chicken lover.

Along the way I’ve met some very inspirational people. Some of them have gone through very challenging times in their lives like Carol Cooke, Kate Allatt and Erin McNeill who are all now on my books.  Their stories inspire me beyond words and it fills me with gratitude that, so far, my challenges have been nothing compared to these ladies. Yes, I have my own health issues, however by choosing not to focus on that and being totally in gratitude that I can keep myself pretty healthy by diet and my attitude, I manage OK.

I’m loving what I do, so even when times have been tough, I have never given up and I’ve forced ahead despite the naysayers who have tried to convince me otherwise.

I feel I never work a day in my life, because I’m so happy with what I do. I’m so happy with the people I meet. I am so happy that I can work the hours I want. I am so happy that I’ve met people from around the world that make a huge difference.

Find your passion, find something that you love to do and you, too, will never have to work a day in your life.


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I’m a confident woman

NYC - Bank of New York Building

NYC – Bank of New York Building (Photo credit: wallyg)

Last November I visited New York for the first time in my life and I was a woman on a mission.  I wanted to experience being a mature woman on her own who was confident enough to go to a bar by herself order a drink and not feel intimidated. I also wanted to be able to do this without being self-conscious or be someone who had to be playing with her mobile phone for security.

Did I do it? YES! I didn’t have a choice really. This is what happened:  I landed after the very long trip via Hong Kong (which adds more hours on), and when I finally arrived in New York and I went straight to my hotel www.yotel.com (I highly recommend this place…so trendy).

Now picture this: I had flown over to New York because my business was nominated for an award. I arrived at my hotel around 11.45 pm. On the way via to NY I had stopped in Hong Kong and had dinner with my brother who is an international airline pilot and flies to Hong Kong frequently.  I boarded my plane for NY and he boarded his plane to fly it back to Sydney.  As I enter my room filled with excitement, happiness, achievement and elation I look at the window and soak in the fact I’m in the one city I always wanted to be in.

Phone rings.

It’s my brother who I had seen a number of hours earlier in Hong Kong. He says, “Mum has had a massive stroke it’s really bad”…..

I sit down in disbelief.  Total disbelief.  This can’t be happening, this can’t be true.

By now it is midnight.  After my phone call I decide I can’t sleep, I can’t think, I want to scream and I’ve already cried. There is only one thing to do. Go out by myself and go get a drink in a bar.

I did it! I did it without feeling self-conscious, I chatted to a local and for 30 minutes and shared my story.

Today, mum has had another stroke and we battle on.  As I close this year off I think back and really have to admit it’s been a hard one, yet I type this smiling.

I’ve had more experiences to add to my already very unusual and eventful life, and one of them is….I can go to any bar in any city by myself and have a drink and just watch the people go by….and of course chat to those that come up to me. 😉

I wish all my readers a Happy Christmas and a fantastic 2013….. I look forward to the coming year with great anticipation and I have a goal…..I’m going back to NYC!

I have one tip: Get out of your comfort zone it does wonders for your life.


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HOW WOMEN CAN COPE WITH THEIR PERSISTENT FEARS AND STRESSES by guest writer Stanley Popovich

StressBy: Stanley Popovich Some women deal with persistent fears and anxieties. Here is a brief list of techniques that a person can use to help manage their most persistent fears and every day anxieties.

When facing a current or upcoming task that overwhelms you with a lot of anxiety, the first thing you can do is to divide the task into a series of smaller steps. Completing these smaller tasks one at a time will make the stress more manageable and increases your chances of success.

A lot of times, our worrying can make the problem even worse. All the worrying in the world will not change anything. All you can do is to do your best each day, hope for the best, and when something does happen, take it in stride. If you still have trouble managing your anxiety of the future, then talking to a counselor or clergyman can be of great help. There are ways to help manage your fear and all it takes is some effort to find those answers.

A person should visualize a red stop sign in their mind when they encounter a fear provoking thought. When the negative thought comes, a person should think of a red stop sign that serves as a reminder to stop focusing on that thought and to think of something else. A person can then try to think of something positive to replace the negative thought.

Another technique that is very helpful is to have a small notebook of positive statements that makes you feel good. Whenever you come across an affirmation that makes you feel good, write it down in a small notebook that you can carry around with you in your pocket. Whenever you feel depressed or frustrated, open up your small notebook and read those statements. This will help to manage your negative thinking.

Learn to take it one day at a time. Instead of worrying about how you will get through the rest of the week, try to focus on today. Each day can provide us with different opportunities to learn new things and that includes learning how to deal with your problems. You never know when the answers you are looking for will come to your doorstep. We may be ninety-nine percent correct in predicting the future, but all it takes is for that one percent to make a world of difference.

Take advantage of the help that is available around you. If possible, talk to a professional who can help you manage your depression and anxieties. They will be able to provide you with additional advice and insights on how to deal with your current problem. By talking to a professional, a person will be helping themselves in the long run because they will become better able to deal with their problems in the future. Remember that it never hurts to ask for help.

No situation is hopeless. Your loved ones, friends, relatives, God, mental health counselors, priests, ministers, etc. are all good sources of help. They are all willing to help you and they can make a difference, but you must be willing to take advantage of this help. Regardless of your situation, take advantage of the help that is around you. Remember: Every problem has a solution. You just have to find it.

Dealing with our persistent fears is not easy. Remember that all you can do is to do your best each day, hope for the best, and take things in stride. Patience, persistence, education, and being committed in trying to solve your problem will go along way in fixing your problems.

BIOGRAPHY: Stan Popovich is the author of “A Layman’s Guide to Managing Fear Using Psychology, Christianity and Non Resistant Methods” – an easy to read book that presents a general overview of techniques that are effective in managing persistent fears and anxieties. For additional information go to: http://www.managingfear.com/

 


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Locked-in Syndrome: A survivor story, Kate Allatt

A couple of days ago I woke up and went to check my email. I had received an email from Kate Allatt regarding her speaking career.  As I read her email I started to have tears in my eyes because Kate’s story is truly inspirational. The reason I had tears was that Kate had suffered a brainstem stroke and as a result had Locked-in Syndrome.  I guess I related emotionally to Kate as my mum had a stroke a year ago and another one since. Luckily mum’s stroke only left her with paralysis in her left arm and hand, not like Kate who had a fully functional mind trapped in a body that could not move.

Imagine this: Waking up in hospital with tubes attached to you everywhere, not knowing why you were there and not being able to talk, move or communicate in any way to anyone.  Imagine being stuck in such a body where the doctors don’t even know you are actually 100% conscious and there is no way you can communicate to them how you feel or ask questions? This is Kate’s story.

Kate is a walking miracle because she recovered and is now a advocate for stroke victims and works tirelessly in her charity www.fightingstrokes.org I am so inspired by Kate that I immediately added her to our books.  She is a remarkable woman and you can read more here: Kate Allatt


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Diem….a remarkable woman!

I’ve been watching the plight of Diem Brown for months now. Diem is going through her second round of Chemo. She is fighting Ovarian Cancer and she is only in her late 20’s!  Diem’s fame has come through reality TV, fitness and……. let’s face it, her good looks. Especially her gorgeous long blonde hair.

This young lady has filmed herself TWICE on what it’s like going through hair loss with chemo. This is the second video she made (see link below) and I have to say, following her journey and watching what she goes through, somehow you start to focus on the soul of this woman. Not her looks…but who she really is.  I no longer look at Diem’s beauty as physical, I see something much deeper and more beautiful. As Diem shares with the world what she is going through exposing the ‘real’ Diem you get to see her for who she really is. I can’t help but admire the courage Diem has and I continue to support her, even though we have never met in person.

Diem has founded a charity www.medgift.com to help other people going through illness to lighten their burden.

Judge for yourself – here is real beauty. http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20645867,00.html

NOTE TO TROLLS: Don’t even bother with your cowardly and pathetic comments I monitor every single one of them and you won’t be published.


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So what’s the big deal about going to hospital?

This is a post for fellow Crohn’s Suffers, I’m sure you can relate to this story.

For the last 8 weeks or so I’ve steadily noticed that my Crohn’s Disease was playing up, but as I’m always too busy to be sick so I just ignored it. That was until the last few weeks when it became difficult to ignore as the pain would grip my stomach so badly it would make me scream, take my breath away and turn me temporarily insane – for a minute!  I’m talking pain that travels like a wave from stomach, around to my back, up to my shoulder blades and  is so intense I can only describe as being like a labour contraction.  Seriously bad pain with one good feature – it’s not constant, it comes in waves and at any time when I’m least expecting it, so at least it’s not continuous.

I gave in last week and went to the doctor. Of course she starts to send me on the medical merry-go-round of blood tests, scans etc and doesn’t give me anything for the pain.  Two days ago I rang her and told her I was at home alone and was in agony and she said ‘ring an ambulance’ as she could clearly hear it in my voice that I wasn’t well.  I decided against that, because I hate being in hospital so hung in there, hoping if I cut out eating solid food for a few days I’ll get better.

Yesterday, I couldn’t hang in there any more so I took myself down to the doctor and to ask for some pain relief. Of course I got a telling off for not going to the hospital and she said she’s writing me a letter and I have to go to Emergency. Here’s the scenario: I’m sitting in her surgery in tears and the pain grips me again and I’m withering around in agony when she takes a phone call!  It’s another patient and to my absolute disbelief she says to this patient “I’ve faxed all your scans and tests to the emergency department at the hospital, they are waiting for you as it looks like you have bone cancer!”  OMG…she tells her that on the phone as if it was like telling her she had a cold!  Meanwhile I’m crying in agony and her other patient is literally screaming at her hysterically on the phone in disbelief, I could hear her! The patient ends up slamming the phone up on the doctor! Doctor proceeds to give me my letter for the hospital when the phone rings again.  It’s the poor patient ringing back.  So I get pushed out and sent to hospital grateful I’m not the one with the suspected bone cancer!

I always try to look at the bright side and have appreciation.  If I had a choice between Crohn’s and Bone Cancer, Crohn’s is the winner for sure. So I feel very grateful I’m not in the dire situation the other patient is in and I can’t stop thinking about how awful it must be for her.

Fast-forward to the emergency room.  It’s my lucky day!  There is hardly anyone there and no line up at Triage. Nurse greats me with a grunt, I give her my papers and she indicates with a nod of her head to come to the door.  She’s a mean one this one!  She finishes her assessment and sends me back out to the waiting room.  I notice all the doctors in the background, some very young good looking ones and pray I don’t end up with any of them….this is a private matter after all and I don’t want some hunky young good looking doctor treating me for my Crohn’s!

I was lucky only about half an hour wait and the doctor comes to get me.  Of course he’s one of the good looking hunks.

6 hours later they decide I’m going home because I really need to see a specialist as they have ruled out I don’t have a rupture just a nasty flare up!  So whilst the doctor goes to get my letter for my doctor, who had sent me there in the first place, and to get me some strong pain killers to take home, I have another vicious attack.

The doctor returns to the room and I’m standing up as if I’m in labour having a contraction, half bent over his chair, clenching my teeth with tears streaming down my face, obviously I’m in agony. Actually I was sobbing with the pain.

He looks at me with empathy and tells me he can see I’m in a lot of pain so gets me a cup of water and gives me two of my strong painkillers and ……Yep, sent me home!

At least I don’t have bone cancer and I’m truly grateful for that, it really puts everything into perspective.


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Dealing With Change

Last year’s birthday before the change

Today is my birthday.

I woke up thinking…hmmm what is in store for the next year because the last year has been, shall we say, challenging.

Challenging is good, challenging makes us stronger.

So the last year I’ve had to: change things in my business; mum had two strokes; I moved out of Sydney and I won’t bore you with the rest!

I’ve spent this last week looking after my mother at my parent’s country property in NSW, and this is why I’m writing this post. You see, I’m used to being a free agent, do what I want when I want, used to my own space and basically totally self-absorbed – if I’m to be really honest.

But not this week! My mum needs someone with her all the time, she can’t dress herself, she can’t be left alone, she can do limited housework, can’t shower herself and she can’t use her left arm and hand.  I’m up here  to care for her because dad had to go away for a few days, and he’s her full-time carer.

What a shock for Deb!

I’m humbled that I’ve had the opportunity to learn from this experience. For the last few days I haven’t been able to do what I want, I can’t  go to the coffee shop for the soy latte, because I can’t leave mum alone and she doesn’t want to come. I haven’t really been able to work, however, I did manage to get a new website up and running www.invitesbyvideos.com and what’s nice about that mum was able to be involved by giving me her opinion on the videos.  No I’m not saying “Poor Me” I’m actually getting to the point, so stay with me.

Watching my mother go from being an able-bodied woman to having to have a constant carer has meant a change for all of us, but especially mum.  Dad had to quit his work to be a full-time carer, mum had to learn to walk again and many other challenges, I’ve had to make changes to try to help, and we all wish we could have our lives back the way they were.

There have been times where I’ve wondered ‘why us?,’ and wished life could go back the way it was.  I’ve come to learn that you live in the ‘now’ because that’s really all there is….now!

What has come out of this is that a family has united together, made adjustments and dealt with a change we didn’t want! I think we are doing a good job actually.

As I enter another year I’m thinking it can only go up from here.


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It’s not as bad as it seems really

Janine is a keynote speaker who I have known for many years and her story is incredible.  To find out why Janine received a standing ovation in front of 1600 people just watch the video below. If you would like to know how to book Janine to speak at your conference email bookings@voxylady.com.au