Calm on the outside, agitated on the inside

Calm on the outside, agitated on the inside. Does this sound like you? How is that for you? Is it working in your favour? Or is there something you’d like to change?

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Picture This

Goomburra landscape
The stunning landscape at The Grain Shed Retreat, Goomburra Valley (PHOTO CREDIT: Darling Downs Wellness Therapies)

I’d like to invite you to picture yourself relaxed and at ease sipping a cool drink as you gaze out at the rugged mountains and the ancient valleys that surround you. A gentle breeze reminds you of the changing seasons. Thinking towards your future, your confidence rises. Your calm demeanour is a reflection of genuinely feeling calm on the inside. You’ve gained clarity about your dreams and goals, and you’ve tapped into your inner strengths. In the company of like-minded women, you’ve acknowledged the challenges that have held you back. The time for change has come. You’re ready to do things differently, to make self-care a priority, to celebrate who you are, and to take actions that align with your values and purpose.

With a clear plan for working towards your personal goals, you know just what you need to do. You no longer waste your energy stressing over things you can’t change. As you focus more and more on those things you have control over, your circle of influence expands. As you become increasingly inspired by your dream, so too you inspire others around you. Despite the inevitable challenges, you stand grounded in confidence knowing that you’re never alone, that you have the inner and outer resources to maintain your momentum.

Does this sound like you? Or perhaps something you’d like to experience in life?

Inner self, outer appearances

No matter how you appear to others, you are the only one that truly knows your inner turmoil, struggles, challenges, and disappointments. You might go through the motions of being a high functioning worker, mother and partner, but inside you could be experiencing agitation or distress. Lost dreams, worries, a lack of fulfilment – these are just some of the experiences women often keep to themselves. Stewing away inside they create a hot bubbly mess that has us feeling bitter and helpless. But still, we push on. Not happy or content. But we keep on going.

What if I told you it doesn’t have to be this way?

It’s true ….. it doesn’t have to be this way. I know. I’ve been there. Several times. I’ve also walked alongside many women who’ve experienced something similar themselves. We all have a different story, different experiences, but there are also many common threads. By sharing these threads, we get to weave a new story. A more powerful story that builds us up, that empowers us, instead of depleting us.

Companionship, community and connection are key factors

Companionship and community are two of the keys to writing a new story. When we’re very isolated from others we have difficulty thriving. Looking back I can clearly see the turning points in my own life when I connected with the people who became my tribe. I’ve had a couple of very special relationships with other women who truly ‘got me’. They accepted me just as I was. They lifted me up and showed me there’s more to life than the narrow window I’d been looking through. They demonstrated assertiveness and values-based action. They were friends and mentors who have had a profound impact on how I saw myself.

In recent years I’ve also had the privilege of being part of a community of women who openly encourage, inspire, embrace, love and connect with each other in incredibly meaningful ways. This tribe of women reflects many of the values so important to me – independence, connection, innovation, peace, creativity, courage, companionship, community. They’ve taught me that I am enough. Just me. The way I am. No labels. No definitions. No limitations. And that’s given me the space to be even more than I ever thought I was or could be.

I’m still an introvert, I still love my time alone. But now it’s not lonely alone-time. I am deeply connected with others and I’m part of a tribe. We don’t desperately need to be with each other all the time. But the fact that we know we’re a stand for each other, that we’re part of a supportive community, makes each of us stronger and enables us to make a difference in our worlds – both inner and outer.

Women Empowered Retreats

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This is my philosophy behind the Women Empowered Retreats. I know the benefits of connecting women together in deep, rich, meaningful conversation. I know the power of sharing stories in safe spaces. The power of connection and community. The power of knowledge and information sharing. The difference that inspiration makes to our sense of happiness, contentment, and fulfilment. The feeling of being calm on the inside, not just looking calm on the outside.

Every woman is drawn to our retreats for different reasons and will have a different experience from anyone else. Each retreat explores a different theme that weaves together elements of personal growth. But at each retreat we come with an open mind. We seek to be informed, inspired and empowered to be ourselves. We offer a gentle balance of information sessions, reflective activities, mindfulness practices, creative arts, movement, nature, and soul-nourishing food.

Whether you are simply looking for time and space to recharge, or if you are looking for a deeper meaning in your life, you will be inspired and empowered to live the life you love.

An invitation to discover calm on the inside

If this sounds like a slice of heaven to you, then we’d love you to join us for any of our upcoming retreats. This could be the beginning of your journey to discover what it feels like to be calm on the inside, or perhaps it’s an opportunity to connect with a community who will inspire you as you take action towards your dreams. Whether you’re a local or a visitor to the region, whether you come alone or with a friend, you’ll be joining a strong, growing community of women who know the value of self-care, personal growth, and connection with others.

Our upcoming “Women Empowered’ events include:

“Yarn & Yoga in the Country”
Friday 26th July 2019 during the Jumpers and Jazz in July Festival

(PHOTO CREDIT: Darling Downs Wellness Therapies)
  • Hike Your Mountain (June 2019)
  • Yarn and Yoga in the Country (July 2019)
  • Women’s Health Retreat (September 2019)
  • Spring Retreat (October 2019)

To keep up to date with details as they are released, subscribe to my emails via my website and follow me on Facebook.

Daisy Spoke

Discovering mountain biking as life’s ultimate parallel universe in her middle age, Kathryn Walton shares information and reflections in ‘Daisy Spoke’ that inform, inspire and empower women to a healthy and active lifestyle.

THRIVE for Women Online Group

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” — Maya AngelouDaisy Spoke Banner

I’m so incredibly excited to announce that registrations are now open for my online group program THRIVE for Women! Dozens of women have participated in the face-to-face version of this group over the last 6 years and now at last I’m able to offer it online so you can participate in the comfort of your own home (or anywhere else)!

THRIVE for WomenWho is it for?

Women often have many roles to fill at work, home and in the community. Self-care often comes last on our list of things to do. Yet there are many actions we can incorporate into our day to strengthen us, help us to be more efficient and effective, enable us to think more clearly and make better choices. When we routinely use these actions, we begin to THRIVE – not just survive!

Are YOU ready to take action? To be consistent with the habits that help you to feel strong and capable? To function at your highest level? To get on top of your stresses? To achieve your goals? To develop mind and body strength? To think like a winner? If so, THRIVE for Women is for you!

What topics are covered?

After many years of working with people one-on-one, I’ve created this group program addressing the issues women often share:

  • How can I sleep better?
  • How can I maintain a routine of exercise and nutrition that I love, and that is good for my mental health?
  • How can I choose and stick to goals?
  • How can I get unstuck when things don’t go to plan?
  • How can I juggle the priorities in my life?
  • How can I best manage the stresses in my life?

THRIVE for WomenHow does THRIVE for Women work?

THRIVE for Women includes a weekly group video call on different wellness / mental health topics, handouts on everything we cover in the calls (plus more!), a private discussion page, and a BONUS one-on-one session for participants at the end of the program!

** The live group video calls will be held weekly for 6 weeks commencing Monday 23rd July 2018 from 7:30pm to 8:30pm (AEST). You’ll need a device with a web cam or inbuilt camera connected to a reliable Internet connection (eg tablet, IPAD, computer). We’ll be using a safe video conference platform called Zoom for the video meetings – it’s easy to use and all instructions will be given to you before THRIVE starts!

Why join an online group?

I’ve run face-to-face women’s groups for many years now, and they’ve been so successful that it’s time to take them online! This way you can join in from the comfort of your own home. No more child care issues. No more transport or parking hassles. No more juggling work responsibilities to get to the group.

What are the benefits for me?

There are so many benefits when you join THRIVE for Women:

  • discover the latest PROVEN strategies for MIND and BODY health
  • CONNECT with other women and learn from each other in a CONFIDENTIAL and FRIENDLY atmosphere
  • grow RESILIENCE, INNER STRENGTH, SELF-COMPASSION and WELLNESS
  • develop a range of SKILLS for living a life that THRIVES
  • explore a different topic each week through LIVE ONLINE VIDEO meetings (a recording will be available if you are not able to make it to a live session)
  • PROBLEM-SOLVE the real issues that get in the way of self-care routines
  • access INFORMATION SHEETS, CHECKLISTS and a PRIVATE DISCUSSION GROUP
  • OVER 6 HOURS of access and support in a group that would cost you hundreds of dollars one-on-one
  • guidance by an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker using EVIDENCE-BASED approaches
  • participate in a BONUS one-on-one session to really make the biggest difference in your life!

THRIVE for WomenHow much does THRIVE for Women cost?

To celebrate the launch of THRIVE for Women online, you can currently register at the SUPER-SPECIAL PRICE of $175 with the added BONUS of a one-on-one session at no extra cost. (The total value of this program is over $1000, so it really is amazing value for everyone who registers for this first launch! That’s over 7 hours of contact with an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker guiding you towards a life that THRIVES, plus all the written material and resources for future reference, plus the connections made with the other group members!)

How do I register?

Registrations are easy! Simply click here to go to the booking site where you can make a secure payment online and provide your contact details. Once registered, you’ll receive an email from me with more details about how we will connect together.

What women are saying about Kathryn’s face-to-face groups

100% of past participants have strongly agreed that the group assisted them to develop new knowledge and / or skills in managing their mental health.

The best part of the group was “…..meeting new ladies and realising I wasn’t alone in my feelings or shortcomings, but then learning there are ways I can improve my life.”

“To feel comfortable with the group in a non judgemental way. Learning new ways to think and put into practice stress management. And let go of things out of my control.”

“Realising there are other ways of thinking. There are some things you just can’t control…..no matter how much you worry about them.”


THRIVE for WomenI have some questions ……..

 

If you have any questions, simply send me a message or give me a call on 0455 992 419. As always, I’d love to hear from you!

The Fearful Adventurer: 5 hacks to turn fear into adventure

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I’ve always believed I operate best when I can plan ahead and organise or control the situation around me so it was with a deep breath that I set off on my current journey with barely a glance at a map. In fact I didn’t even pack my bag till the morning I left, and had so much on my mind and so many work tasks to complete that I hadn’t given the two week “April Adventure” road trip covering approximately 4200kms much thought at all. 

RainforestMy Year of Adventure in fact began on New Year’s Eve as I set off on a week long road trip with my family to Melbourne and back home again traversing half the eastern side of Australia. With one daughter now settled in Victoria, I refocused my attention on developing new online programs and resources for women. I was thrilled to take my “February Adventure” to Hahndorf in South Australia to participate in and present at the Thriving Women 2018 conference. My “March Adventure” was closer to home with weekends and day trips to several magnificent National Parks, immersing myself in one of my great loves – bushwalking. 

So here I am on my “April Adventure”. This journey has snuck up very quickly on me, and if I had paused for a moment to think about it, I’m sure I would have had2 single tents a lot of “what if’s” and identified as a fearful and hesitant adventurer rather than a brave one. My April Adventure has brought up a number of ‘firsts’ for me – I’ve left half my family behind, I’m travelling with only one companion (my younger daughter) through some fairly remote parts of Australia, I’m camping in a tent by myself, I’m having to step up and make decisions I’ve not been responsible for previously, and I’m operating a business far from home and frequently without mobile reception or internet connection. 

With a firm belief in stepping outside my comfort zone in order to learn and grow as a person, I chose to embrace the opportunities that my April Adventure has gifted me. And to satisfy my need for structure and predictability, I’ve created 5 hacks to manage potential feelings of overwhelm and anxiety about the ‘bigness’ of this adventure. I know you’ll find them useful too if you ever experience a sense of trepidation when stepping outside your comfort zone. 

5 Hacks To Turn Fear Into Adventure

1. Break the task up into smaller tasks (or adventures) and focus on one at a time. 

For me, I’ve been focusing on the day and night ahead – my next destination, my next meals, my next fuel stops – instead of worrying so much about the camp site and weather conditions at my final destination. Each day is a mini adventure in itself. Don’t miss out on these little adventures because you’re looking too far ahead. 

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2. Look around you, focus on the moment.

I never tire of looking out the window on road trips. The subtle changes in scenery, weather, road conditions, flora and fauna, lifestyle, language, and local industries. I absolutely love it. I wonder what it would be like to live here, to have been here hundreds of years ago, the stories of the First Nation’s people in this area, I wonder who built these roads and when and how,  what do the local people do in their everyday lives…… Captivated by my immediate surroundings, I’ve found my wandering mind is creative and free, and not constrained by my fear mongering reptilian brain. 

View of landscape

3. Maintain a routine

My social media posts on Facebook and Instagram during my trip have reflected a very important part of my routine that keeps my mind, body and spirit healthy – morning exercise! It’s not always possible to complete my entire routine but by taking a flexible approach I’ve kept my head and heart on an even keel. 

Bushwalking

4. Listen to podcasts, Commonwealth Games news, audio books, music, anything of interest!

How lucky was it that my trip coincided with the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. Never a dull moment on the radio when we can pick up the commentary, and always opportunities to listen to pre-downloaded podcasts, training videos or catch up on a bit of blogging! Giving your attention something to hook onto prevents it from wandering away into the land of the most feared!

Reading at camp

5. Chat to people around you. 

You never know your connections until you have a conversation with someone. Connections bring the world closer together, enhance empathy, and create opportunities for sharing stories and understanding. Looking outwardly minimises anxiety about our own situations and relaxes our mindsets. 

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NOW, has anyone got any hacks to help me deal with the outback flies????!

What hacks do you have for managing the discomfort you feel when stepping outside your comfort zone?

Discovering mountain biking as life’s ultimate parallel universe in her middle age, Daisy Spoke aka Kathryn Walton logoKathryn Walton shares information and reflections in Daisy Spoke that connect, inspire and self-empower women to make healthy choices for themselves. She integrates her love of physical exercise, family, nature, gardening and creative arts with her professional background in mental health social work to facilitate change with individuals, groups and communities of women who are committed to living life to the full. 

 

 

 

Women Empowered: Life Without Limits

“Life Without Limits” is the first Women Empowered retreat for 2017 being held in Warwick on the Southern Darling Downs on Saturday 25th February.

This tranquil day of RETREAT will have Kathryn Walton guiding a small group of women through reflections, discussions and creative activities as we explore the perceptions and experiences of  barriers, obstacles, restrictions and limitations in our lives. Identifying and acknowledging these issues is a step towards EMPOWERING ourselves to step into the LIFE we want to live, the ATTITUDE we want to be living with, and the very real POSSIBILITIES this opens up for us. We want to do more than survive – WE WANT TO THRIVE!

By taking time for your own self-care, you will be modelling effective life strategies to your family, colleagues and the wider community of women AND men AND children. Remember, you can claim a 10% DISCOUNT when you register with a friend!

Refreshments, a delicious morning tea, and workshop materials will be supplied for participants. In order to keep costs as low as possible, please BYO lunch. Refrigeration is available, as well as crockery and cutlery.

So ….. are you ready to LIVE a LIFE without limits? Information and registration is available on the link below, or email me for more information 🙂

https://www.trybooking.com/ONZJ

kwalton@condamineassist.com.au

Women Empowered: Living a Life With Meaning

Join me for an INSPIRING and INFORMATIVE day of retreat that will guide you through the maze of opportunities, choices and dilemmas that face women in our society.

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Women Empowered: Living a Life With Meaning” is suitable for women of any age and walk of life. We’ll be tapping into our inner strengths, values and what creates meaning in our lives to identify the ways each of us can bring unique leadership to our families, work places and the wider community. You will develop a deeper sense of your own value and identify purpose-driven pathways into your future as you live a life with meaning.

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The day is suitable for PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT as well as PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT. Come along knowing that your workplace, friends, family and the wider community will all share the benefits of your participation.

The JOHN WALLIS FOUNDATION has generously supported this event through the provision of a grant so your financial outlay is only $20! Where else do you get such great value for so little expense!

Here are all the details:

Who: All women with an interest in developing their personal or professional leadership qualities in formal and informal roles in their families, workplaces or the wider community.

When: Thursday 15th September 2016 9am – 4:30pm

Where: St Mary’s Parish Centre Palmerin Street Warwick (between Wood St and Pratten St next to St Mary’s Upper Campus)

Fees: $20

Registration Fee includes m/tea, lunch, a/tea and handouts.

To Register: https://www.trybooking.com/LVQX

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This project is supported by donations to the John Wallis Foundation Small Grants Program, an approved project of the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR). FRRR is a government philanthropy partnership, supporting projects that benefit rural, regional and remote communities.

Empowering Women Through Retreat Days

Condamine Assist’s Kathryn Walton is adamant about the benefits of “Women Empowered”, a series of retreat-style workshops offered to women in small groups within their communities. Kathryn brings a unique blend of enthusiasm, compassion, knowledge and skills to offer women an experience of self-awareness, insight and hopefulness.

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The first Women Empowered Retreat Day was developed and facilitated in Warwick by Kathryn and her wonderful colleague Janine Hills in April 2012. The project grew from the community’s response to several extreme weather events which highlighted the benefits of individual and community resilience in managing and recovering from uncertainty and unpredictability. The retreat days were designed for small groups of women with the following objectives:

  • identify sources of inner strength
  • identify strategies to effectively assist with managing daily stresses of personal, family and community life
  • build personal and community resilience in the event of unexpected, unwanted and natural events
  • enhance a sense of well-being and connectedness among women
  • promote mental health as an integral part of the wellness of individuals, families and communities
  • develop skills and confidence in goal-setting and decision-making
  • support the development of cognitive skills which enhance mental health

Activities during the retreat included mindfulness-based practices and reflective activities interwoven with information and discussion sessions. Feedback highlighted that Women Empowered successfully informed and supported the participants in a genuinely caring, safe and warm atmosphere.

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Following the pilot project, a further series of Women Empowered Retreat Days was facilitated by Kathryn and Janine in 2014 for the communities of Warwick, Maryvale and Emu Vale. Participation and feedback from the women involved in the retreats once again reflected the beneficial nature of this style of program for women.

In early 2016 Kathryn offered a Women Empowered Retreat Day in Killarney with a focus on creative and expressive arts to explore the topic “Me, Myself and I”. The combination of reflective and creative activities in the tranquil surrounds enabled new insights into self care and role identity for participants.

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Responding to community feedback, further Women Empowered Retreat Days will be offered in the future with a focus on various aspects of life relevant to women in our society. The next Women Empowered event is “Living a Life With Meaning” to be held in Warwick on Thursday 15th September 2016.

To keep informed of Women Empowered Retreat Days and other events, sign up to our email newsletter list, or send Kathryn an email kwalton@condamineassist.com.au

 

INSPIRE Mentoring Programs for Women

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INSPIRE combines the warmth, reflection and connection of Condamine Assist’s much-loved retreat days with the essential elements of a skills training program to provide you with support and guidance as you journey towards your professional or personal goals.

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FREE start-up sessions are being offered for a limited time. Find out how INSPIRE Group and Individual Mentoring Programs for Women can guide and support you as you work towards change or growth in your work or personal life. Contact Kathryn (kwalton@condamineassist.com.au) to arrange a FREE 45 minute start-up session for yourself or a small group of friends. 

INSPIRE will commence in August 2016 with the launch of the foundation group “INSPIRE: Now has the power!”

INSPIRE: Now has the power! will:
• Bring clarity to your professional and personal goals
• Empower you to bring your goals into reality
• Create a safe space for you to explore your inner world of thought
• Support you as you develop a deeper awareness of the power of your own thought
• Challenge the mind habits that get in the way of achieving your goals
• Provide a stepping stone into your future by focusing on the power of ‘now’
• Engage with your inner inspiration and empowerment
• Connect you with other women who are stepping into their power of ‘now’

What format and structure does INSPIRE use?

When you participate in INSPIRE, you will have access to 4 x 90 minute face-to-face structured sessions with a small group of women held fortnightly in Warwick and facilitated by Kathryn Walton. A group using SKYPE may be offered in the near future as an alternative for women unable to access face-to-face sessions – please email Kathryn if this interests you! (kwalton@condamineassist.com.au)

You will be provided with inspiring and enlightening pre-session preparation material so that you get the most out of the face-to-face sessions.

Your post-session reflections and action-based tasks will bring your goals closer to your reality.

A private online discussion group will be available to you and other members of your group program so that you can keep the conversations and inspiration rolling along between sessions.

You will have access to individual online support with your facilitator, Kathryn Walton, for the duration of the program.

What investment do I need to make?

The time and energy you commit to INSPIRE: Now has the power! is in itself an empowering investment in yourself and your future. Your commitment includes 6 hours of face-to-face mentoring, pre-session preparation, post-session activities, and private group and individual online support over a 2 month period. And what an amazing investment that will be in your personal and work life as you literally begin living the reality of your goals! 

To celebrate the launch of INSPIRE, a special rate is being offered. Your financial commitment to this inaugural program is only $290. This is a unique opportunity to engage in an inspiring and empowering program that is valued at over $490. (And an added bonus is that you may be able to claim professional development points for work-related mentoring, as well as claim expenses against your income for tax purposes – check with your employer, association and / or tax accountant).

If you have a keen commitment to ongoing growth and development you may choose to follow up with the subsequent program INSPIRE: Into the future! which will take you further on your journey of exploration, resilience-building, sustainability and inspiration.

How does individual mentoring work?

Individual mentoring is available as an alternative to the group programs. Individual programs are uniquely tailored to meet your particular need. A regular commitment to face-to-face sessions, pre-session preparation, post-session activities and online interaction will maximise the benefits for you over a minimum period of 2 months.

How do I find out more, sign up for a free start-up session for myself or a small group of friends, or register my interest?

If any of the above information sparks your interest, send Kathryn an email kwalton@condamineassist.com.au or phone 07-46670171.

Remember that limited free start-up sessions are available to give you and / or a small group of your friends a taste of INSPIRE before making a full commitment. I’d love to hear from you. Please share this information among your friends and colleagues who may be interested in this opportunity.

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