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Piles of PaperworkAfter a long bout of being unwell some time ago, I one day felt compelled to dig out and organize my desk, as I must so often do, and catch up with my filing so that I could more easily get on with my work.  Feeling inspired is one thing, but fortunately I know how to organize a year’s worth of paperwork, as organizing is my thing.  I jotted down how I did it as I went, so I might inspire or help someone else who has gotten a little (or a lot) out of control with papers piling up too.

My desk can need digging out after only a few days of neglect.  Although I do follow my own system for being organized, the sheer quantity of stuff landing on my desk every day soon piles up if not attended to.  Every day bills, forms, notes from the schools and the kindergarten, kids’ artwork, projects I’m working on and lots of little handwritten notes to myself (or sometimes really long ones) pile up on my desk, mixed up with ballet shoes to have ribbons sewn on them, toys to be fixed, and any random stuff for mummy to deal with – my desk is one big in tray and the organizing hub of my home.

Woman stringing beans outdoorsMy basic approach to being organized and having my home and my time run as smoothly and easily as possible is having a good, workable daily routine and establishing good habits (and re-establishing them over and over again if necessary).

Our routines are the stuff that holds our life together and keeps it functioning, and prevent the need for floundering around wondering what we should be doing.  Good routines kill self-doubt.

When we manage to get a routine going which is working for us, something really cool that can happen and which should be encouraged and nurtured, is that we somehow, accidentally, start finding pleasure in it.  When we do find pleasure in our daily routines, it makes it easier to reinforce the good habits we have developed, and the pleasure is also valuable in itself, as any genuine healthy pleasure makes us more mentally healthy and resilient.

Lots of loose family snapshot photographsDoes the idea of having all your family photos organized seem like an impossible dream that might take a lifetime to achieve, or would require hiring a team of experts for a month?

I know it can seem like an impossible task, but it can be done.  I’m not saying it will ever be finished, as you’ll always be adding new photos, but you can get all your old ones sorted out so that you can enjoy them more and have them stop bugging you.

I’m not a scrap-booker, and I’m no kind of photo expert.  All I have done is scan all my family photos, and all my parents’ family photos.  That included photos in albums with the sticky backing which were fading fast and old black and whites with peeling corners.  There were about 10 of my parents’ family albums, about 9 albums of my own before digital cameras, lots of packets of unsorted photos and lots of strays.  There were also photos in frames and cardboard folders.

There is more work to be done with labeling, looking for the negatives for ones we know are missing, choosing pictures to print and so on, but the feeling of achievement at getting this done was wonderful.  I did it while I was pregnant with my middle child and was not working, and it took several months of doing several hours per day.  Believe me you get better at it as you go along, but it is tedious.

Pregnant womanTalking to people about childbirth, as I often do whenever the opportunity comes up, I have found many people don’t understand the nature of the pain we experience during labour.

Men often feel fear, frustration, and worry for their partner.  Wishing there was something they could do to help her, and feeling useless is a common comment..

When speaking to women who are pregnant with their first child, their fear of the pain of childbirth is often made worse by not really understanding the nature of it.

So I like to take the opportunity to explain my experience and understanding of it to expectant parents, hopefully without being intrusive or boring them too much.

My own fear of childbirth pain, when I was expecting my first child, is the same thing I have often heard pregnant women tell me.  I knew that the labour pains were caused by the contractions of the uterus, but I was more afraid of the head crowning than anything else.

Kid in a pile of washing

How good would it be if you never had to worry about your washing again?  I hate being hassled by the kids about items which I “should have” washed by now, lack of school socks and so on. 

By the way, in Australia we say “doing the washing” when we are talking about washing our clothes and linen, rather than cleaning laundry.  “The laundry” is the room where the washing machine goes, which is usually a separate room here.

We hopefully already have a rough idea how to do laundry or washing.  Washing laundry is just something we need to keep up with and keep under control.  Like anything, having a system and a routine is the answer.  You find a way that works, and stick with that, not altering it if possible unless a better way presents itself.

Almost MidnightIt’s that quiet week between Christmas and New Years.  What should we be doing?  Should we:-

a) Go shopping in the sales and max out our credit cards if we have not already done so?
b) Clean the house like a maniac because we need to be perfect by the end of the year?
c) Write a massive list of things to do, or maybe a series of massive lists of things to do in order to be perfect for the New Year?
d) Flop down exhausted and eat potato chips and watch DVDs?

That’s right, there is no correct answer, but I do have a few ideas.  Perhaps like me, you do have a few things you’d like to get done this week to start the New Year feeling like you’ve got it together.'m going to start this category off with a great video from You Tube which is hysterically funny and made me feel great. I watched it with one of my kids and we nearly wet ourselves!

It sums up one of the most important things about parenting that comes to mind for me, which is that we are here to provide leadership for our kids and be rock solid for them, setting an example and showing that we care enough to enforce what we know is best for them.

Be strong, mums and dads, believe in yourselves, and watch this cool video clip by Anita Renfroe.


Couple holding handsWhat's the deal with relationships?  Why the hell are they so hard? 

Despite my own obvious limitations in this area - (er, three ex-husbands) - I sense a few ideas taking form which I'd like to explore, none of which refers specifically to any person, relationship or situation in my own life, by the way.  It's all general ideas.
Whether it's a friendship, a family relationship or a romantic relationship, a common factor is how well you can see yourself as a separate person from the other.  What was it they said at one of my weddings, something like "drink not from the same cup"?

Some of the things we commonly do which get in the way of keeping our relationships healthy are: 

You know how sometimes a conversation just seems to go bad, and you didn't see it coming?  You end up feeling awful, sort of know it's not right, but don't quite understand it?

It's possible to prevent bad things from happening, by slowing down and noticing our reactions.  Our initial reaction to something somebody says, is not necessarily correct, appropriate or helpful.  We might feel sad, hurt, angry, but it doesn't necessarily follow that it's the other person's fault, or that anything is really wrong.  Sometimes it's just a knee jerk, subconscious reaction, that can be sorted out.

Instead of saying something to try to 'hurt the other person back', we need to stop and think first, and let our feelings settle before we do or say anything.

Laying back in a field of flowers looking at the skySo yeah, I've talked about not rebelling against ourselves, trusting our own decisions and so on, but what about that rebellious streak that just won't go away?  What about that need to just do whatever we feel like doing at that moment?  What about our creativity and inspiration?

Yeah, I know that's all bollocks, an excuse.  And yet....

I find it necessary to find pockets of time for myself where I can feel free.  I need it.  I need a chance sometimes to just find a flow and go with it, or just sit and think, or not think.

This could lead into me simply saying to set aside time that is free.  But its way too complicated to do just that.  The free time will come up and you'll just rebel against it by doing laundry or something.

There's a fine art, a delicate balance, a tricky manipulation of the psyche involved.  We can't trust ourselves, so we have to have a part of us that steps back and analyses, then gently guides us somewhere constructive, letting us think it was all our own idea.

Typewriter question markI’ve said before that the best motivation for doing something is a conscious knowledge that it is in our best interests.  That’s a sensible, positive source of motivation, as opposed to negative ones like fear.

How do we get that knowledge.  It’s one thing to know that if I go for a walk every morning it’s good for me and is consistent with my goal of being healthy, but what if I don’t know exactly what to do for the best in some situations?

What if there are days when you really don’t feel like there is something definite you can do right now that is the best thing to do?  What do you do when you’ve got that blockage thing going on?  You want to do something constructive, important, useful, practical and which you feel confident in.  But none of your options seem to fit in with those ideas.

There is always the routine, the mundane, the necessary, the essential to fall back on.  And that is certainly what I recommend as a way to keep moving forward, not do any damage, keep it all together whilst waiting for the immediate problem to dissolve. 


"I am grateful to Yvette for the changes that she has facilitated in me. I feel that my learning from Yvette will stay with me for the rest of my life, and has brought me to a brighter, positive more confident and happy place in my family and work life."

Anshula Ohri, Toronto,

"Before I met Yvette I had many opportunities in front of me but I was feeling overwhelmed and I had no confidence in making the decisions.  I was feeling stuck and confusedd.  My career has progressed in a positive direction and I am now functioning better in physical and emotional health.  Thank you Yvette for your help.  This was one of the best decisions I have ever made."


Sarah Grudzien,
Melbourne, Australia

"The coaching with Yvette was very beneficial. In just a few weeks I had achieved so much. I am so thankful. I found Yvette to be very patient, professional and reassuring. I would definately recommend NLP now that I have seen the difference it has made to my life. I have left the past in the past and I am happier within myself."

Western Australia

"Your belief in me gave me the confidence to work out ways of improvement, knowing how important it is that these answers be found by me within me to enable them to be so powerful and successful. I loved the CD you sent as your voice is so easy to listen to and reassuring as it imparts great words of wisdom and strengthens the concepts taught within your life coaching sessions. These life skills are amazing!"

Lynne from Lowood,
Queensland, Australia

"I consider myself very fortunate having chosen Yvette for coaching.  It has turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made. I started from a place where I was stuck in procrastination and everything seemed so overwhelming that I didn't really know where to start.  I love the freedom and empowerment I now feel.  Yvette's methods are personalised and very effective.  I have looked forward to every coaching sesssion."

Melbourne, Australia

"Yvette is a great coach who inspires you to overcome the obstacles that she finds in working with you.  She is highly motivated and has worked hard to increase her knowledge in many areas that in turn help her clients.  Yvette draws on her own real life experience adn studies to help those of us who have to juggle many responsibilities and mangage the conflicts in thinking that come from that.  I am looking forward to working with Yvette again in the near future"

Liz Jarvis, CSI Business Solutions, 
NSW, Australia

"Through my coaching experience with Yvette I was able to shift my awareness onto my value system as opposed to staring at my circumstances each day and feeling pulled in a hole.  It's powerful because I want meaning, I want to live up to my values and what's right and good for me!  So, I truly learned the value of letting go and receiving the abundance of knowledge for every situation that gives life, love and meaning to who I am and what I can do, with this fearless self awareness."

New York, USA

"Yvette.  Many thanks for a wonderful experience... Our sessions were productive, really interesting adn I so looked forward to them each week with anticipation of what I can learn about myself and my behaviours.  Every session seemed to flow right on topic of what was present in my relaity at the time and your effortless guiding of my strategies never ceased to amaze me.  I highly recommend you as a life coach and thank you again for the experience."

M Shears, 
Melbourne, Australia

"I really questioned my future career ambitions and thanks to Yvette I changed direction from something I felt I had to do, to something I know I will love to do.  I was stuck on this topic for quite some time and Yvette really helped me shed light on this.  I changed the MBA I signed up for and feel excited about my careeer and all the opportunities in the future."

Sabine Mascarenhas, 
Wollongong, Australia