The Great (Up) Leveller

What’s in a name?

A place to come together in community. This photo was taken in Barcelona where I love the circular nature of the seating. The Great (Up) Leveller is also organic, circular and all encompassing where people gather to create, share and inspire in a non-judgemental but evolutionary space.

I have started a new business which I’m really excited to share with you and hope you will also become a part of. Firstly, what is it all about?

The Great (Up) Leveller is a place to come home to creativity and equality in all aspects of life; the workplace, the spirit, with friends and family. The Great (Up) Leveller is a commitment to our higher selves and is a deep dive into interpersonal relationships so we are not only on a level playing field but we are also collectively playing at our highest level. It is about the empowerment of all through purposeful personal and inner work, group work in collective communities and workplaces then branching out further to global work, making a greater impact and following our own inner calling to contribute on a grander scale than we ever have before.

The Great (Up) Leveller is not about playing safe or being comfortable, it is about testing our boundaries in a nurturing environment where we all have the same desire for excellence and fulfillment. It’s about taking back control of our lives and diminishing those forces that wish to control us and make us conform to their needs and wants. Our needs and wants can be in alignment, however, and if we communicate through a lens of mutual respect, deep listening and creative inspiration. We will all be able to reach a level of true satisfaction that each of us has been independently craving for. We are all one and surprisingly our desires are not that far apart.

This is my wish for you and it’s also my sense that the world is crying out for this interconnectedness in our lives, in our workplaces and in our relationship with the earth. My goal is to create true leaders with a value based system that filters to our families and loved ones and by osmosis we help them to grow and heal so that we may all rise to meet our highest potential and to live and grow in harmony. Isn’t that what we all want, deep down?

I am a Life Coach, Yoga Teacher, Journalist, Writer, Actress and Mum and I would love to work with you to create the platform on which we take a leap of faith to discover our true nature and our true potential for contribution, where we are not silenced by our fears of conformity and are blindly following other people’s agendas. We are included, respected and consulted and in doing so our community’s creativity and inspiration is tenfold whether it is in our homes, our workplaces and in society. We are revolutionists for change and inclusion. The Great (Up) Leveller is purpose driven and strong.

I have a podcast where I interview everyday people who are living in congruence with their purpose and who will inspire you to co-create your own path to freedom. I have an online course called Growing Strong, which I’ll send you more information about shortly. And I offer coaching, both one to one or via Skype and workplace coaching where we take a deeper dive in value based leadership and team coaching to change the workplace culture to one of sociocracy and intrepreneurship. Where people love to come to work, whose ideas and contribution is encouraged and sort after and ultimately will benefit the company and clients alike.

Please visit our podcast called The Great (Up) Leveller and I look forward to meeting you so we can inspire each other to live our greatest life.

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Feminism back on the agenda

Who would of thought that we need to get back on the feminist bus and start waving a few banners with the slogan ‘Hold up, we have cause for concern’. Feminism must be put back on the agenda, front and foremost in our minds in everything that we do.

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We planned sustainable eating..but it didn’t quite work out..

We were lucky enough to take home some newly hatched chicks from my son’s ‘Living Egg’ science project. All the chicks were cute enough but hard to decipher their sex and because I left it up to my sons to choose, whilst I chatted to the teacher, they chose the big ones, in hindsight, this could easily have meant the males.

About 12 weeks later they started showing signs of tail feathers and neck feathers which were different to the other chicks we had had in the past. Only one of the reds remained smaller with a smaller comb and cheek jowls. The others grew as did my fondness for them.

I can honestly say I loved them, they fascinated me, they had ‘boy energy’ and loved to run at each other and chest bump. They were curious and brave and very friendly. When the spurs started growing on their ankles I knew it was time to think about culling.

One mid morning, not early, my ‘leader’ a white with brown speckles begin to crow, tentatively at first, but he was just starting to know his voice and expand his lungs. None of the others were at this stage. My ‘leader’ started to follow around my hen also, not really harassing but more protective. She didn’t seem to mind and she still looked young – a poulet. But I took all of these things as a sign, they were about 16 weeks old so I began searching the internet for information on ‘humanely butchering cockerels’. Surprisingly, it didn’t deter me but only made me grow more defiant that this was the route to go in my ability to feed my children sustainably.

And feed them I did. Although the meal was on the table before them, they didn’t touch it, but looked at me in horror as I ate mine. Their father looked at me with an expression of repulsion. I had put the chicken stew on the stove and asked him to turn the pressure cooker off as I took one of my son’s to the environmental festival down the road before it was all over. He burnt the food but I was still determined to not have wasted their lives for the sake of it. My ambition for this whole ordeal was to feed my family nutritious food that will sustain us all against the impending winter colds. But the smell of charcoal permeated every morsel of the dish and eating it was probably doing me more harm than good, yet still I persisted.

I was devastated to say the least. I gave the remaining food to the dog and cat and determined to justify my actions of the whole tormented day, I put the remaining roosters in the freezer to make broth at another time when I could stomach it.

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Feeling normal

I want to firstly take this opportunity to thank you for your patience, I haven’t written a blog for a very long time, for over a year, and I’m itching to do so now, so without procrastinating any longer, let’s get started.

I’ve been tossing around this concept of heritage lately and walking in the footsteps of my divine mothers – my Grandmothers – more specifically, who have both died and another who I am visiting regularly at the nursing home. Both biological Grandmothers have passed. My mother’s mother died when my mother was 15 years old. This left an impact on my mother which but as she has recently said, who am I to comment.

The legacy my Grandmothers have left has been wrapped up in betrayal, of infidelity and of alcoholism. I get that. I get the feeling of trying to hold the family together, I get the ropes of loyalty being stretched beyond limitation and the jagged ends fraying in the hand as the grip at first tightens and then loosens in acceptance that it’s not their rope to pull, that the actions of others has little to nothing to do with them. That they are unable to control the situation and in that surrender there comes a sense of deep relief. I get that I too have trodden this path and if you believe in the divine consciousness of the universe, I believe it was my path to travel. But I’ve done it, now it’s time to lay my own path through the terrain that has been untouched, un-trampled. I have carried my load and it’s been a burden that I am now only too happy to unload. I want to thank my Grandmothers and those that have gone before me for it was for you that I found myself in this situation and it was for you that I saw myself through, but it did almost kill me, as I suffered with dis-ease in the body and mind. The grip of control simultaneously took me in a stranglehold, held me over the coals of desire and burnt my flesh and it also set me free of my past and of actions that I found myself in on your behalf. The healing of you was my task to complete, I just didn’t know it at the time.

I found love, hate, betrayal and alcoholism and I stumbled blindly through it all, trying to cope.

Now I wonder if I’m able to discover my life as I should now live it as my future relatives will be led to lead theirs. So what am I talking about here? I’ve either lost some of you on the metaphorical meandering or some of you are walking with me, carefree in the spring field of tomorrow. I want to walk with you hand-in-hand and reminisce our own stories of releasing our own burdens. But none of it is our burden to take and to live in the past is to rob us of our presence and that has been the pity of it all.

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A Letter to Aboriginal People – The time is now.

Please help us move forward. Aboriginal people, native, indigenous people of all the world, it’s now time that you rise up to lend us, humanity, a hand. We need you, our people, our world, our univ…

Source: A Letter to Aboriginal People – The time is now.

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A Letter to Aboriginal People – The time is now.

liberation picPlease help us move forward. Aboriginal people, native, indigenous people of all the world, it’s now time that you rise up to lend us, humanity, a hand. We need you, our people, our world, our univ…

Source: A Letter to Aboriginal People – The time is now.

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A Letter to Aboriginal People – The time is now.

Please help us move forward. Aboriginal people, native, indigenous people of all the world, it’s now time that you rise up to lend us, humanity, a hand. We need you, our people, our world, our universe needs your guidance. We are looking to you to heal yourselves, to awaken from the slumber where you’ve been for the past wee-while, several hundred years, but small in the scheme of things.  We are now asleep and we lay dormant through ignorance and we are calling upon you to raise up our awareness to connect to spirit, to source, to evolution and we instinctually know that you hold the answers or at the very least, the clues to moving forward. You hold the light if only you can see the light for yourselves first. It’s gone dim over time but it’s still slowly flickering, the moon has grown strong in protest of a screaming from the earth to sit up, pay attention and to take heed. I heard you in my sleep dear earth and I hear you when I’m awake but I’m lost to know how to change the culture of my surroundings.  I know it’s the original peoples’ of the earth that she is wanting, that she is calling on, to heal her, to heal us all, so we can make amends for our mistakes and we can find love and nurturing in our hearts to heal our own woundings first, to heal our relationships with each other, to heal the mal-alignment between men and women to be the pillars of strength and support for our children. We long for this, we yearn for this but we also need you to share your spiritual knowledge, to click back into the truth of who you are and then we too will find ourselves.  You have a lot to prove, you have been damaged but not beyond repair, we too are damaged by depression, anxiety, by emotional abuse, by misunderstandings and now is the time to rise above this.  Our women, our feminine selves need to be set free, need to grow wings. We will not be suppressed any longer, we can not be suppressed any longer, our souls demand more. SHOW US HOW TO RESPECT AND HOW TO EXPECT RESPECT, show us how to forgive and move forward. There is a yearning through the nights, it’s there if you take care to open your ears and listen. Because mother Earth, she is screaming “WAKE UP from your slumber”, it is time. WAKE UP to your potential it is time. She has placed many enlightened individuals throughout time and although their massage has been great and very influential, it is time to wake up en masse and your job, my sisters and brothers, is to show the way because we have been blinded and have taken the path that has led to a dead end, we should have taken the path less trodden but we were scared and now we are scarred as is our mother Earth and for this we need your knowledge of thousands of years of peace, harmony and balance that you have known but of which you have briefly lost sight of. She wants you to take back your connection to land to be the transmitter of the energy of the earth to the wrongs of society. She knows that you have been given the kernels of knowing in your DNA, that we all have, that we humans are in essence one, to act as her protector, that we are one to unite all of us with the truth of which is love. There are rumblings in the community, if you are silent enough you can hear the murmurs, you are ready Earth, but we are ready too. We take the challenge, we just need the position of leaders to be filled. LEADERS WANTED PLEASE REPLY WITHIN – and my dear Aboriginal people you are the most experienced and this job requires knowledge and strong hearts. It’s just your time to become leaders in the path that lays ahead of us and we will follow, but not if you are maligned, this is why you need to heal yourselves first, get rid of corruption and malignancy of the soul.  We have been misled through the industrial age, through the ‘enlightenment’ of Western thought, now it’s time to get back to basics, it’s time to connect to culture. If you can show us how quickly you can heal, not only yourselves but the whole community, and then the whole race, the whole culture of Australia will follow suit and then we all will unite to become leaders in this floundering world, we will hold the beacon to others to heal, thanks to you fuelling the flicking of light.  So we beg you in desperation that now is the time to stand your ground and to lead us to a better future, to be the example that we seek and that you are destined to become. I beg you for our children, for tomorrow’s generation, to awaken and to lead the way. We are clasping at straws and for those of us who are gradually awakening to spirituality, to the realisation that we are all one, that we have one consciousness, and work with the ebb and flow of the land, the skies and the seas, we look to you who have known this for thousands and thousands of years. You, my Aboriginal family, you may think you have forgotten because you have suppressed this for so long, but you know in your deepest essence that you are connected to all, there is no black and white or right or wrong or blame and forgiveness, or will or won’t. There is only tomorrow which has got to be brighter than today.

by Kim Balmanno mother of two boys who also require guidance to navigate in this indeterminable world.

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Parenting Solo

Being a single mum is tough, no doubt about it and I’m sure I’ll have no arguments from anyone on this one. As I’m sure it’s equally hard being a single dad with the full-time role of caring for the kids, but as that’s not our situation, I will take a moment to lament on the tribulations of being a single mum. Both mine are pre-school aged (2 & 4), both boys and both high energy, which is lovely, if I’m peering in through the window at their antics; ‘gosh, they’re funny, so much exuberance etc’.  Then I would peer away and smirk ‘but sure glad I don’t have to look after them’ – WAIT A MOMENT – gasp. They are wonderful boys and I am trying really hard to be calm, cool and collected and remain a ‘positive’ force in their lives and not completely screw them up for life by ruining this ‘nurturing’ relationship I am so desperately trying to implement….but, like I said, it’s not easy! Distraction is the key to success when I’m feeling overwhelmed, let’s get in the car and go…somewhere, anywhere, but not too far, or else as you know, the whining starts. I remind myself not to get bogged down with the stress, the constant attention seeking, seeking for approval, it’s endless, probably (or hopefully) worthwhile in the long run s it’s developmental – age related, but relentless from day to day, in the moment. Ah, breath, centre and RUN!! Take 2: breath, centre and RELAX. If I actually stopped the internal dialogue and realized it was what I was feeding my thoughts that made moments unbearable maybe I would have a different experience. Whatever the case my hat does dip profoundly to those care-givers out there doing it solo. A tough road and hopefully a road less traveled..but I know it’s a well traversed path and one which our society is supporting more and more. I know there is support out there and others in the same boat, maybe a community of ‘single parents’ gather to look after each other’s children, have playdates, celebrate their new found freedom or their drowning in the onset of reality, depending on the amount of time out on their own I suspect as to the stage of their acceptance. I feel the weight of stigma, the weight of ‘how do you cope’, the weight of ‘they couldn’t make it work?’ and ‘how will it affect the kids?’ Even if most of those statements are in my head. What I miss is adult conversation and I guess it’s a good time to reach out to others and invest in interests outside of day to day living and mere survival wishing I was in my 20s not 40s. Next time you meet a single parent, give them a wink and a smile and say – ‘well-done, you’re doing a great job!’, you might just make their day and, who knows, you may have unknowingly given them a hand up out of their darkest hour in their day.

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Liberation Libretto

A libretto to Women’s Lib. I love that word – liberation, and I love being a woman, but geez it’s tricky. I massaged a girl yesterday (I do Kahuna massage, dedicated to releasing energy blocks) who needed to talk, as she spoke her body tensed, emotion was being released through ‘off-loading’ but as quickly as that happened, her energy was caught up again by more anxiety as memory, thoughts and words are immediately transferred into our muscles, every fibre and every cell, so instead of being healing and therapeutic the massage became a tug-of-war between anxiety and cathartasism. When I suggested we talk after she flatly said, ‘no I need to talk, I’ve come here to talk’. And what transpired was a libretto of oppression and angst of being a woman in a draining, unfullfiling relationship.

liberation pic


It’s not the first time I’ve heard the lament, our conversation reminded me of one I had had recently with another female friend, actually at a massage course. She was constantly apologising for herself and this was something I could relate to and something that I’ve been trying to work on (see my previous post: Hey I’m actually OK). She was so emotionally damaged and psychologically oppressed that her libretto was one of self-destruction. Both of these women are warm, intelligent and naturally happy beings until they’ve allowed themselves to be sucked dry by their egomaniac, narcissistic, alcoholic partners, and once again, I know where they are coming from, I’ve been in the same cycle. But I have to wonder what allowed us all to make the mistake to share our lives with these people in the first place and to be devoted to them throughout and even after the abuse. Is it Stockholm Syndrome? or simply a lack of boundaries and low self-esteem to begin with? One thing is for sure, we have all been emotionally crippled by the experience and it takes time and a concerted effort to heal. The liberation comes from realisation that the situation is no longer sustainable but who actually leaves? In this example of the three of us, it was just me who had made the shift and in part it was due to listening to friend’s woes in similar situations which made me break the tie. It’s not been easy, however, and with two small children to look after it certainly is a daily challenge but despite the longing I have and the memory of our relationship at the beginning, I know that where there is alcohol in the family unit there is only destruction in its wake. In truth we three have similar traits, we are all flexible, warm and kind-hearted and easily manipulated. I don’t think any of us stood our ground, not aggressively, but from a core of strength and a belief in our own self-worth, that we will not tolerate anything other than respect. In these relationships respect on both sides had been eroded and then the soul begins it’s deterioration process, dislodging from the tissues of our body and withering under the strain. And before you know it, you wake up tired, confused and depressed. I was strong enough to ask for help, I went to my GP, I got an emergency crew around me of professional people who saw this sort of thing all the time. I realised that no matter who we are if there is the bottle, it will always come first to an alcoholic, no matter what you do, say or feel, all is pale to the call of the disease.

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Hey, I’m actually OK.

How confusing has my life been to date. I have been following my arse about but with my head so severely turned I’ve not allowed myself to notice what is in front of my nose and that is the world around me and what’s more my needs and desires to live the life I want to live are right here within me, not behind me or in front of me but here where I dwell, where I am, where I have landed from my past and in the present waiting the future. I have realised that my downfall was my lack of acceptance of self. I have been so busy trying to be somebody, or be what I thought I should be that I have done a gross disservice to myself and neglected what is most important and that is to allow myself to sit comfortably in the who I am. The acceptance that ‘hey, I’m alright just the way I am’. I am OK, I am enough, it’s all good exactly the way it is right now at this moment with the skills I have, the talent I have, the children I have, the home I have made for myself, my relationship to myself, it is exactly the way it should be and I am more than OK with that. I have been diving into self-help literature, raising happy kids books, becoming an empowered woman webinars, business start-up help forums, I have even seen a psychologist to realise that hey, I’m all good. From my research I can tell you it has come to a head in what the books, the divine inner wisdom have been telling me and that is just write, just do yoga, just be a mum, and schedule your time to fit in these things – full-stop. Stop wanting more, stop chasing your tail, you are fine just the way you are, no more and no less. I have spent the better part of my life beating myself up emotionally and mentally and now the time has come for a deep level of self-acceptance and nurturing that my creativity and sense of abundance has been craving. A recent yoga workshop with Bryan Kest from LA made sense, as I sat with tears streaming down my cheeks, with my emotions just below the surface of the skin ready to explode, I had only been in the class for 5 mins until I released not noisily, not obscenely, I just let go of the façade. I made up my mind in the car heading there that that was precisely what I was going to do in the class, allow myself to heal, say here I am I will give myself the 3 hours of yoga as a gift to my inner well-being and just let go of the hurt. I didn’t expect to cry, I didn’t expect to find meaning in his words I just longed for it. With over 30 years of teaching experience, however, he certainly knows what the soul needs to hear but yet, I can’t tell you exactly what he said. The main things were that yoga is not a religion, that yoga would never tell you what to do, it’s not dogma, it will ask you to just notice what you are doing. Gold! That intimacy is really listening, listening to your lover, listening to yourself. Beautiful! That we must touch ourselves gently, that we must be kind to ourselves. The man seemed to have peered into my head, into my own dilemmas and gave me the answers I was looking for. Accept the way we are, not go beyond what we can do, don’t go too far, go to your capacity, push the boundary but don’t go beyond. The man touched my soul unbeknowingly and told me it was indeed OK to be me.

Bryan Kest is currently touring Australia until the end of August.

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