Something I learnt

#contentology

#somethingILearnt

It’s that if I say I’m going to do something and actually put a deadline on it, I
tend to get it done. I was meeting with my small mentoring group yesterday
and talking about my program Glimmer that I wanted to get out as quick as
possible, because later in the year I’m getting busier and busier with
delivering other parenting groups and face to face groups with children. So I
was saying that I had a small window to get it ready for launch, with only a
small amount of time to let people know it was available. The consensus,
was that I just do it and make sure I can adjust my expectations of what
‘success’ meant considering how much marketing of it I would be able to
achieve.

So on Friday afternoon during the Facebook Livestream I did, I mentioned
Glimmer in there briefly and that it would be available very soon-I think I said
Monday. I did this deliberately, because I knew that if I said it would be
available, I would make it happen. So Saturday I did some work on it, but
also took some time off to spend with the family, because I need to have a
break from work if my brain is going to be clear enough to focus (also
something I’ve learnt and am slowly become better at putting into practice!),
and then by Monday afternoon/evening it was ready to go!

So the important thing I have learnt is to have great people around you to
guide you, have a great mentor that will give you the confidence to just do
things, use the support of others for to help make you accountable and
create a deadline for yourself-can be keys for creating change.So if you you are keen to learn, grow and do it within a group where you will get support and accountability, then I’m giving you a short deadline to make the decision by-as I have just launched GLIMMER—my online autism parent program which begins on the 7th September.

I can assure you there will be more than one thing that you will learn in this
group!

Family Games

#contentology

#makingfunfamilygames

During iso, we’ve gotten our hands on Cards Against Humanity-Family
edition and this has been a great lot of fun for everyone. And during the first
iso in particular we were playing this a bit. And UNO Flip, which is a new
edition of UNO and lots and fun and laughter for everyone-with games
becoming quite competitive at times!

The kids have also been playing another called Exploding Kittens, that I’ve
not had a go at yet, but looks like lots of fun. Our latest thing, whilst not a game, is getting out on our bikes and heading
for a ride down to the river, with my youngest deciding reluctantly to join
myself and my eldest daughter.

And although she found it fairly tough on her legs at times and her hands
could not move by the time we got home (it was very cold!), she seemed to
really enjoy it.

I think it’s time to get into some more family games and I might try out
Exploding Kittens with the girls next time!.

It doesn’t really matter what game you play, but making sure you have some
time to focus on making fun family memories, can be one positive to come
out of the restrictions off after school activities we have seen happen this
year.

Bath or Shower

#contentology

#bathorshower

I’ve always loved baths-but since having children, the bathroom got taken
over by the needs of young kids, and I would just not think about having a
bath in the evening or even other times-that kind of time just didn’t seem to
exist. However in more recent years, my girls have moved away from bath’s
now that they can all independently shower. So unless they get in and use
some of their bath-bombs, the bath mainly goes unused.

During iso, I have on occasion remembered how much I used to love taking
relaxing baths (candles, music or reading a book), and have hopped in, but
generally I just don’t think of doing it.

However, we are currently designing some house pans to renovate our
existing house and this involves putting a full size bath in our ensuite!
-Something I’ve always wanted to do. My sister drew up the rough plans
I’ve made into a digital 3D planner she has and I have to say seeing the
plans is exciting!


But in the meantime, I’m going to schedule in some self-care bath time!

PS.
Speaking of self-care, if you need some support on attending to yours-as we
know how important this is for parents-I’m letting you know that my newest
online autism program for parents has just been released. Check out the link
to GLIMMER if you want to know more.

If not now when?

#contentology

#ifnotnowhen

“If not now when?” speaks to the art of procrastination which affects us all, but it’s an important question to ask-(even the monkey’s pondering on it). ⁣

It is making choices and deciding to take action that whilst may be uncomfortable, is the only way that things are going to be different. ⁣

Excuses are easy to make, they are harder to believe, but the end result is always the same-we stay stuck, we stay unchanged. ⁣

Deciding to take action is not just one decision. It’s deciding again and again to do the hard thing, to do the challenging thing and to do the thing that causes anxiety and uncertainty. ⁣

But it is also doing the thing that bring our goals and dreams closer to reality. ⁣

No one knows what tomorrow will look like and our future is not a given. Sometimes a reminder of this, is the push we need, to take action now. ⁣

I write this, knowing that it is hard to do and I’m offering to be with you for the journey.⁣

Kate x⁣

Slot Machines

#contentology

#ifnotwhynot

I can recall when my friends and I were one by one turning 18 there was a bit of a thing about being able to go into the area where the poker machines were at the local Club. When we were old enough, to head into the ‘adult area’ order a drink and play the machines a little. I remember thinking that putting money into a machine (with little to no chance of getting anything back) seemed like a strange thing to do and I was not interested in ‘throwing money away’ like that. And with no income of my own then, there was little to no chance I would do that. So I didn’t.

As years went on and I began my university degree and I learnt more about chance, odds and about how intermittent reinforcement was the most addictive kind of reinforcement for human behaviour-and exactly the kind of algorithm that poker machines used to get people to keep playing-my disinterest turned to something much less benign.

And once I began my career as a psychologist, I got to witness the impact of the these machines on those whose gambling had turned into an all consuming addiction. So I’ve seen the impact that a gambling addiction can have on peoples mental health, wellbeing, their families, their families finances and the community as a whole-and I knew for sure then, that those very early instincts to be uninterested and distrustful of those loud, ugly machines, to be the correct one for me.

So I’ve never put money into a machine or on a table, have never felt the interest or attraction, not even for ‘fun’ (because I do know that some people only play occasionally and do enjoy them). But for me, this early instinct, feels like it was a good one to have and to trust in.

And it also tells me, that sometimes NOT doing something can be the best action to take.

Who would you interview?

#contentology

#whowouldyouinterview

When I have my own podcast, I’d love to interview all the great names in the autism space including our very own Australian experts in autism Dr Tony Atwood and Michelle Garnett, that I’m lucky I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a number of times over the years.

I’m currently reading a great book by Dr Barry Prizant who seems to have a met many of the famous and amazing minds in the autism arena, such as Temple Grandin, Carol Gray, Stephen Shore and Steve Silberman.

Each of these would be wonderful to interview, but I’d also be keen to interview more women in the autism space that are beginning to be heard from more and more such as: Jennifer Cooke O’Toole, Hannah Gadsby, The Girl with the Curly Hair, Michelle Garcia-Winner.

And in the Australian space again Chloe Hayden-Princess Aspien, has been doing some great work on her own, but also in conjuction with the Yellow Lady Bugs. Another cool Australians is Yen Purkis-who has some great books already published (on mental health, autism and resilience) and has more on the way on autism and gender diversity.

And I love hearing the story about Chris Varney, who is inspirational for what he has done in creating the I CAN Network which is where his organises adult autistics mentoring tween and teens and young adults, so they grow up being mentored and supported by others on the Spectrum.

I’m really interested in learning more about play therapy and autism and so interviewing Jason Grant wold be great (as he has developed AUTPlay).

And the last name that comes to mind just off the top of my head, would be interviewing Martin Seligman (‘father’ of positive psychology movement) as his viewpoint on life is just uplifting.

So these are just some of the names that have interested and affected my journey so far that would be fascinating to talk to, but I’m sure there are many more out there that would also be wonderful to speak with and to learn from.

Kate x

Light

#contentology

#light

Get out of the dark, physically and metaphorically to lift your mood and to
illuminate your path!
Light has the capacity to brighten and invigorate us, it helps to reset our
circadian rhythm which is responsible for our sleep/wake cycle. So get as
much natural light as you can during the day to help with your mood and
your sleep! Then in the evening limit the light from screens before bed so
you can fall to sleep more easily.
I’m super-excited to be noticing that there is more light in the evenings lately
as the days are getting longer. This and the days of sunshine will be used to
motivate myself and my family to get out into the days more in the afternoon
and evenings (#spring is coming)!
And it’s interesting that when our mood is elevated by sunshine and extra
daylight, I notice that my body feels ‘light’, like I weigh less (which I don’t),
but that my body moves with less effort and actions flows more easily! It still
never ceases to amaze me that our emotional moods have such a physical
component to them. So I hope you have found something to make you feel
‘light’ today,


Kate x

Something they don’t know

#contentology
#somethingtheydon’tknow

Something you might not know is that my passion for helping others as a psychologist has led me to push, stretch and sometime leap into realms of the unknown, into the world of business, of the entrepreneurial, and into pockets of learning that I could never have imagined, not even two years ago when I’d been in business for myself for quite a while.

Deciding to work for myself, so I could focus on doing the kind of therapy with the kinds of people that I felt the strongest calling for, has led me to create Side by Side Psychology, a practice that speaks to a group in the community where autism has touched them.

I have a strong passion for providing therapy and guidance in this area as I find it interesting and rewarding work and I feel that this group require skills that I have in understanding autism and mental health.

However I could never have imagined that becoming sought after for doing this work, would lead me to need to become more creative about how I service my clients and learn about all kinds of different things, some of which seem to have nothing to do with psychology!

Like how to build a website, how to build platforms for online resources, how to make resources, how to write policy, how to employ staff, how to write contracts, how to make and edit videos, how to run social media and the list goes on (and on)!

All of my interests and new-found skills though, have led me to most recently developing an online program for families affected by anxiety (which is most of my clients). Life has also pushed me to think about how I can touch more people with the knowledge and skills that I have, because there is just such huge demand for it.

So 2020 (despite it’s bad rap so far!)… is going to be the beginning of many more new positive things, new group programs (for adults and children), now online offerings and other innovations, so that I can keep doing my soul-work with my community and clients.

I think the main insight for me, is that that you just never know where things might lead you or what skills you will need to learn along the way to make those dreams a reality, and not knowing is probably ok.

Fun Fact

#contentology
#funfact

Some of you may know that I enjoy yoga as my exercise and mindfulness practice, but you may or may not know know that I also love handstands, headstands and for a time I got to attend Aerial yoga when it was available here, which I absolutely loved-so much so that I bought a silk for my kids (and me, a few Christmases ago!).

I love being inverted (upside down) and the new challenges this brings to my core and my balance, as well as the benefits of increased alertness and energy. It’s a great way to shake things up and get a fresh perspective on life too.

When I’m getting back into practice with my handstands or arm balances, all of a sudden my kids get into it again-showing how influenced by modelling they are.

I also love that although I used to do lots of these things when I was younger (as most kids do!), for many adults we stop playing and being adventurous in this manner.

So I’m glad that I’m still working on these skills and have not succumbed to the false believe that I’m ‘too old’ to try!

Family Dinner Table

#contentology
#dinnertable

The dinner table is a lively place at our house, often a jostling for a seat at the head of the table (the youngest!) and a loud jumble of talking, laughing, reminders about table manners, complaining about the menu, complimenting the chef and shooing the pets away from the table.

To try and bring some order and positive reflection I usually try and steer the conversation into a reflection at least a few times a week to their ‘best/favourite thing’ of the day. This is always interesting to hear stories that otherwise be told until bedtime or later, or maybe not at all. Connecting with one another about their day is important when we usually head off into different directions for the rest of they day and it helps me to reconnect with where everyone’s mind-space is at before heading into the evening routines.

Eating at the dinner table is something I’ve always done since my childhood (with 8 in my immediate family) and I hope that we will always do this as well. We only don’t eat at the dinner table on Friday or Saturday nights if we are doing movie or game nights, or when we have lots of after school activities on (silver lining of COVID-19 restrictions!).

I know this ritual of eating together, talking with one another is one of the best rituals and best predictors of positive mental health that we as adults can cultivate for our children, so despite the chaos and calamity at times, it’s not a routine I’ve any intention of stopping!