Archive by Author | happinessweekly

I’m sorry, Stella Young

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The only disability in life is a bad attitude. Scott Hamilton

I’m one of those people who likes to see the best in everything – and in doing that, I can get really, really excited over things quickly.

And now I’m angry.

And I’m writing this blog because I am so TIRED of people being used.

Yesterday I attended TEDxSydney – a dream of mine since I discovered the talks, which empowered at a time I was feeling really weak, and got me back on track after being the target of domestic violence at a time when our systems are forever failing and support networks near non-existent.

Majority of the talks were fantastic and lived well up to expectations. Many of them shared personal stories about thriving during and after adversity. A few people received a well-deserved standing ovation from the audience, and I want to note my two favourites: Dylan Alcott and Nadine Champion.

Wow! Just wow!

Some ideas were awesome!

Some were not so awesome…

Like the Rebel Food fail.

Rebel Food forced all attendees to eat bugs – with no alternative options. What if someone had diabetes and didn’t want to eat bugs? How were they meant to find out how many calories an ant contains? This could have been really dangerous if they chose to eat nothing over bugs.

And why?

All because some girl decided she wanted to stretch us – erm, who here thinks that’s ethical? By the end of the day people were reluctant to accept any food or drink in fear of what may be in it. And that’s disturbing for a place catering for 2,500 people.

So – yes please to the offer of Vegemite sandwiches!

Understandably, you’re probably wondering why I want to apologise to writer, comedian and activist Stella Young – who sadly passed away last year at my age after only appearing on the TEDxSydney stage months earlier?

I’m getting to it, stick with me…

Dylan Alcott was one speaker who was really the highlight of my day. He’s a paralympic champion from the Australian basketball team and he made me feel proud. Proud of him and proud for two of my friends who are in chairs because I felt their messages were finally being conveyed exactly as they needed to be.

I respect all my friends more than anything, but particularly these two: one happens to be a fellow paralympian I was fortunate enough to know from university, and the other a friend from primary school who was second in Australia for racing lightning sprint cars.

Both of them proving often, that they are far more capable than I am!

And I thought I “got it” because of the time spent with them. But Dylan’s talk raised issues that I don’t think I completely conscious of. And it inspired me to want to go back to my friends and share what he said – because it was true! And he delivered it perfectly! (Well done, Dylan!)

However…

Right before Dylan’s talk, his message was hijacked and the entire point diluted.

TEDxSydney launched #StellasChallenge to “significantly contribute to the social inclusion of people living with disabilities” in a legacy for Stella.

The MC mentioned Stella’s parents were in the audience.

They didn’t appear on the stage, and they weren’t invited to.

At the time I didn’t really question that: Maybe it was time constraints? I shrugged.

Not once did Dylan recommend or endorse the challenge.

To be perfectly honest, in the wake of Dylan’s words, I was on a high. He got straight to my heart and whatever they were going to say next, I was going to support.

I was vulnerable.

Yet there was a whole lot more to this, which makes me even more angry!

Dylan had mentioned a story in his speech which stuck with me. He spoke about how his brother used to put the remote control on top of the fridge every time he went to the bathroom so he couldn’t reach it. He had said how this was actually appropriate – because in doing this, he was treating him no differently and that ultimately shaped how he saw the world and was what led him to expect people to treat him no differently.

Yet #StellasChallenge does the opposite!

It asks people to share her TEDx talk. (The more clicks, the more the TEDx brand spreads, and the more likely people will be to watch other talks.)

They asked people to talk to people around them – particularly in chairs – about what they think needs to change. (Yet, if we seek out people in chairs of their opinion, is that not the opposite of what Stella and Dylan just said about wanting to be treated like everyone else and – as Stella said herself – not an “inspiration” to people?)

Finally, and this one NEVER sat right, they asked for donations.

Why would TEDxSydney, a super-powered machine, be asking for donations? Why wouldn’t they say “We’re donating…” – because they’re not donating shit, unless it has their branding well attached to it.

So foolishly I didn’t think to question that and just like everyone else in the audience got hyped up in the “kindness” of TEDxSydney in launching this challenge.

And I got sucked in.

As soon as I had reception, I contacted my friend from university about it who I knew was friends with Stella – and who I was hoping to convince to take the TEDxSydney stage one year. I was SO excited that I may be able to get her community involved.

Today he replied:

kurt

Kurt Tweet

And what you can see there is two people liking in support of what he said. Me … and Dylan Alcott.

However, my first thought was the benefit of the doubt for TEDxSydney having the best intentions:

“But the first part sounded good, interviewing people in chairs” – I could see how the rest was all about the brand of the company.

And that was when I realised…

FUCK!

And this is why I want to apologise to Stella Young – because it seems so obvious to me now.

Of course she wouldn’t promote this.

Every act involved in this “campaign” came back to the TEDxSydney marketing machine.

And there I was out on Twitter all in support? Argh!

The thing is, Stella wouldn’t support this because the very things the campaign was asking us to do were the very things Stella was trying to campaign against!

If all her friends and the community she was involved in spoke out against it straight away – then imagine how her parents must have felt in the audience?

They knew her better than anyone.

How SELFISH!

And I just want to scream: How DARE YOU, TEDxSydney!

Hey dare you use someone’s name and celebrity status – who has not long passed – for your gain!

Kurt then pointed me in the direction of Craig Wallace – the President of People with Disability Australia – who had also taken to Twitter about it. Here’s what he said:

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I can’t take back that I initially intended to support this campaign.

I can’t erase my anger over what I deem to be a fraudulent charity campaign.

But I apologise to Stella and her memory.

And I can help her friends and community raise awareness that this is NOT something Stella would have wanted.

TEDxSydney needs to retract this campaign rather than destroying the TEDx brand completely.

For anyone aiding a campaign that Stella would never have supported – now is your chance to retract your involvement.

Because the very act of seeking people out who are in chairs is discriminatory and an act that will only generate further social exclusion. TEDxSydney only demonstrated they don’t understand – and you’ve made me feel ashamed for wanting to support you in this campaign, and for getting sucked in and excited about something that has absolutely nothing to do with Stella or what she wanted at all.

OK, there’s nothing that can take anything back, but there is something that can make it right from today…

First, apologise publicly. (Well done for doing this two days later, TEDxSydney)

Now either drop your campaign or donate the money and corresponding support efforts directly to Ramp Up. Co-brand videos if a compromise needs to be made.

At least make the campaign somewhat about Stella – because right now, this is how the community feels about it:

stella

Speaking of self love…

How awesome is Laverne Cox right now?

We all love a celebrity who uses their status for good, but when Laverne turned up on the red carpet for the 2015 Billboard Music Awards and said “You’ve got to look in the mirror when you leave the house and go, ‘Damn, I look good,’” – we cheered!

Not only did this girl get it, she was feeling it in her Marc Bouwer dress and silver pumps – pictured.

And she didn’t then go on a mission to say she was great at it all the time – the girl kept it real:

“I try, but I’m very nitpicky, so I’m always finding the things that need to be improved,” she said, adding, “But also in that nitpickiness, I try to celebrate myself in any moment. Even if I find a flaw, I have to love that flaw today.”

READ MORE

Do you overshare on Social Media?

My friends know when I’m sick
They know when I’m seeing someone
They know when I have achieved something
They know when I’ve broken off with someone

In fact, they probably know the moment I reach for the bucket of ice cream…

Yep – I over-share on social media.

An article was released this week speaks about why people over-share on social media and why allegedly they shouldn’t.

And I disagree with most of it.

The article claims the person over-sharing wants people to know when they’re hurting – so they can be validated.

Let me make that myth defunct right now. READ MORE

Have you encountered a Tinder tease?

article-2570458-1BA6EE0500000578-82_634x484Up to 42% of people on popular dating application, Tinder, aren’t single according to new research released by GlobalWebIndex which found 30% were married and 12% were in a committed relationship. To break it down a little more this means about 1 in 4 people <br>using the Tinder app are spoken for.

I’m not sure if people will be shocked by this statistic or not because surely it’s not a new concept that people who are in a relationship will try their hand at online dating because they feel it could be more “discreet” and it provides the immediate ego boost they’re <br>seeking.

In a world where people can no longer work out how to love themselves, make themselves feel special and boost their own ego, it’s no surprise to me at all that they would turn to online dating – even if they’re in a relationship.

The survey was of 47,000 internet users worldwide and discovered 62% are male and 38% are female.

Based on this, I set out to do my own research to find out what men really think of Tinder.

READ MORE

The chronicles of “shoulds”

10930093_945813365463470_713779547856255589_nI was going through my media monitors the other day and one word stood out to me as I browsed through the headlines:

Why you should be masturbating

Things you should do in your relationship

What you should do to make it work

When should it be over

Who should you really be dating

How should someone be treating you

The list went on and on and on…

And it got me thinking about our own little internal rule book. Many therapists are trying to silence it – that’s the voice within that says “you should” do this or that. Is anyone else wondering where this voice picks it up from?

Our media is constantly trying to write our internal rule books for us. And who is saying it? The person behind the screen, and what is their credibility? Why do we often read these should articles and apply it to our own lives before asking the right questions?

Each of us has an internal rule book and sometimes it exists for self preservation. Other times it shows us as a limiting belief, in which case: no we damn well shouldn’t, and let’s do the opposite!

Whether we should or shouldn’t is up to us, but in a world where we’re telling ourselves to say “should” and “but” less and words like “and” more – should journalists also take on this advice? I challenge all my friends to a 24-hour media freeze. For the next 24 hours no news … make your own decisions – not based on what’s happening in the world but based solely on what you want to happen.

Enjoy the freedom!

The closure question: why?

WhyI was talking to a beautiful client this morning who was very distressed about her relationship with a man who had been abusing her for years. “Why would he want to hurt me so badly?” she sobbed. That moment stuck with me and I wanted to share why.

Recently I was dating a respectable man. A 35-year-old lawyer, great family, passionate about his dreams, and he seemed to really care for me. Everything was going along well, he came out to Australia from his country to see me and he decided it wasn’t working out. So in true love-avoidant style, he tried to make my life really difficult so I would break up with him … because then he wouldn’t be responsible.

READ MORE

How average is your dating history?

100712844_smlAccording to an eHarmony survey, the average woman will kiss 15 men, be heartbroken twice (which means she’s fallen in love twice), stood up once and have four disaster dates before they find the man of their dreams – or “the one”.

On a brighter note, during that dating history she will also generally enjoy two long-term relationships – so it’s not all disaster!

The detail continues as the study discovered she will go on seven dates, as well as two blind dates and…

READ MORE

Media Release: Relationship Free announces Self Love September

Media Release

Tuesday, 5 May 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

Relationship Free announces Self Love September
(an awareness month dedicated to loving yourself)

It’s official – 1 September 2015 will mark the inaugural launch of Self Love September announced life coach and founder of Relationship Free, Sarah Webb in Sydney today.

“Most of us would agree that demonstrating love through a variety of ways is an important way to maintain a healthy
relationship and keep love alive – because it keeps it interesting– and self love should be no different,” Ms Webb said.

Self love September is a month where we acknowledge our personal achievements and successes. It’s a month where we thank our mind, body and spirit for working together to get us through our journey. It’s a month where we celebrate ourselves and demonstrate that self-appreciation with an act of love for each day of the month.

Most of us achieve something every day.

Most of us think remarkable things – every day.

And every single one of us has a story – and we’re all inspirational.

These three things demonstrate that we are deserving and worthy of a reward. And while we do deserve it every moment of every day, we will celebrate it every day for one month of the year as a reminder to ourselves: we matter.

“Even the most successful people regularly forget to reward themselves or don’t know how and this month brings everyone
together to share their experiences and to love yourself completely the way you want to be loved,” Ms Webb added.

Throughout September Relationship Free will talk about self love and how you can not only demonstrate self love and self care, but also help you realise it, even in the most painful situations you may find yourself in. The awareness month is designed to help people find ways to strengthen and enhance the relationship they have with themselves, whether it’s barely
existent or you have mastered it and are interested in some new tips to re-ignite the love or looking for some tricks to keep the self love alive.

“We’re very excited to be launching this awareness month for all ages to enable everyone to receive the unique love that only they can give and to do this we will be particularly active within the community to spread the word during September. More
information about Self Love September will be available via our blog on our website – http://www.relationshipfree.com – and on our
social media (Facebook and Twitter) in coming months,” said Ms Webb.

Can’t wait for it to begin? Relationship Free is releasing an e-book on Amazon 100% Self Love: the roadmap to the love and life you desire, which is available for pre-order now, and due for official release on 15 May 2015. Order yours today: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00WOAMG88

About/Bio

Relationship Free is a life coaching company based in Sydney, Australia that works with people all over the world to enhance their self love and understanding of themselves.

Our mission is to assist people to learn to love themselves holistically and understand their actions, words and thoughts in a way that develops self-compassion and self-trust while enhancing the person’s self esteem and self worth.

Relationship Free is forward thinking, forward focused and forward moving in all approaches. We help people to identify
positive steps forward and take actions to achieve the best outcome for them, with our main concern being what we can do now – because most people make mistakes and it’s just part of the journey.

Our support is vibrant and energetic to create a comfortable, positive space to resolve problems, transform them into
opportunities and thrive to your full potential. Because the world needs the special love only you can give!

Read the full release here

May is National Masturbation Month – say what?

masturbation-4574-2121National Masturbation Month has officially made it into the calendar year and if you haven’t started, now’s the time because we’re well into May now! The idea of this month is to celebrate and raise awareness of things such as female masturbation which some people allege carries stigma. However, some may argue having an entire month dedicated to female masturbation isn’t a feminist act but something that causes discomfort to many and perhaps it even makes some people feel pressure.

A lot of people think this is a great opportunity to bring up the “self love” conversation, and perhaps that’s true if love is defined as a physical act – but Sarah Webb, Director of Relationship Free, feels differently saying:

“I’m set to release my first eBook: 100% Self Love: the roadmap to the love and life you desire … it makes it a little awkward to announce that to my family and friends, when so many people believe that self love is masturbation. What do they really think they’ll see between the pages of my book? The best positions to do it when you’re by yourself? Where that spot really is?”

Ms Webb points out that masturbation is an act of self love but not a defining feature.

“My book is not about any of these things – it’s a lot more holistic and masturbation actually doesn’t factor in – that’s optional…

READ MORE

Narcissist or love avoidant – what’s the difference?

I Love You

The following is a depiction of a love addict’s view of a love avoidant. All characters in this work are fictitious. And resemblance to real persons, living or dead is purely coincidental.

So there I am, sitting on the floor of my apartment in floods of tears.
My heart so broken that my throat hurts.
I’m crying so hard it feels like my oesophagus is burning.
I hadn’t dated in over a year and a half. This was my first venture back into “the game”.

Sydney can be brutal, so I tried something further away.
We met in January, he was American. I thought he was perfect.
After two months long distance he returned, because he couldn’t be without me any longer.

He was talking about rings, marriage and children. I thought he would propose.
He didn’t.
From the moment he touched down, it wasn’t the same. He wasn’t the man I met before.
I tried to make it work anyway – because that’s what I do.
I kept trying. It still wasn’t working.

Then I started crying. Tears of frustration. Tears of anger. Tears of devastation.
I wanted him to understand.
A part of me thought it would be different if he could see.
But he couldn’t see – and he wouldn’t.

READ MORE HERE

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