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October 2015




Dealing with an Uncertain Future

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”

… Steve Jobs (1955-2011) US Computer Entrepreneur and Businessman

Once again this month, I will continue our journey to establish some foundational values based on the four questions I posed in the August e-zine:

  1. What is at the heart of how you want to experience life?
  2. What is most important to you about what you want to create in life?
  3. What is central to how you want to approach life given an uncertain future?
  4. What is the basis of how you want to relate to others?

My responses to the first two questions has been "Gratitude" and "Balance". What have you come up with?

This month we will explore the question, "What is central to how you want to approach life given an uncertain future?"

The first aspect to be addressed in answering this question, is whether you believe the future is uncertain. Over the millennia, human beings have spent a lot of energy seeking to predict the future. Once we looked to the skies and saw foretelling in the arrival of a comet. Today we are much more sophisticated and look to the scientific method as a predictive approach. As a result, we have become much better at predicting some aspects of the future. For example, we now believe that Halley's Comet will come around every 76 years or so with the next arrival due in 2061.

Many people do not want to believe the future is uncertain and act as though it will come to pass as they wish. These people tend to seek control and structure in their lives. Although a certain amount of planning and structure can be valuable, too much can create a great deal of stress. For those of you who watch, 'The Big Bang Theory', Sheldon Cooper is a great example of such extremes.

Much as we might not like to admit or think about it, the future is inherently uncertain. Halley's Comet might be hit by another object and may spin off into the universe never to return. Sure, we would like to think that we control our destiny, and to some degree we do, however none us knows what tomorrow or even the next few minutes might bring. The only thing we know for certain about our future is that it will at some point involve our own demise.

Life is full of what we term 'breakdowns' in the ontological world. A 'breakdown' is any circumstance we assess requires addressing in life. Some of these situations will be good for us and some not so good. However, as we go through life we will have to deal with foreseen and unforeseen breakdowns that may be very new for us. How we deal with these breakdowns will ultimately dictate how we experience life. As Julio Olalla has said, "Mastery in life is mastery in breakdowns".

Dealing more effectively with breakdowns always involves learning in some form or other, so when I considered the question of how I want to approach life given an uncertain future my thoughts revolved around what learning means to me. Over the years, I have always been curious in nature. I was around when personal computers became available and spent a lot of time learning in that domain. In 1994, my life took another tangent when I was exposed to the ontological work and I dived into that. As I reflected on how I went about learning, in those and other domains, there was a theme that kept coming up for me. I have long thought that one of my gifts has been that of seeing patterns. Indeed the body of work I have created in the ontological domain is heavily based on certain patterns appearing to me. My own story about this is that they are born of my intuition. Some patterns just appear to me. Sure they have been based in a lot of reading and listening to others, but I have not worked them out as a result of a rigid logical process. They have come to me in a flash of inspiration and insight.

These flashes of insight come from my 'Intuition' and so this is my answer to the question of dealing with an uncertain future. I will always seek to learn and look to my 'Intuition' to do so.

How about you? What is important to you in dealing with an uncertain future? Is it learning like me? Does it relate to the support or growth of others? Maybe it is a positive approach to life?

As with the first two questions, there is no right or wrong answer, just your answer. Indeed it is the process that you go through to come to your answer that is most important for it is how you start to give meaning to your answer and therein lays the key.

Next month, I will focus on the last question, "What is the basis of how you want to relate to others?"

Mind Health Matters

Some thoughts from Jacqui Chaplin

“Get around people who have something of value to share with you. Their impact will continue to have a significant effect on your life long they have departed.”

... Jim Rohn

“I don’t want to talk about it!”

Everyone Has A Story… Will you be part of the telling?

I’ve been openly disclosing my mind health challenges since 2013. The forthcoming publication of my mind health memoir Disclosure  has two parts. Disclosure: Casting Out The Shadows is really going to put my story out there plus  part two, which is called Black Dogs, Rollercoasters and Pink Elephants | Strategies for Mind Health Resilience,  is a practical guide to navigating mind health challenges and building resilience.

Since November 2013 I have been delivering a weekly radio program called ‘But I Feel Good’ …talking about mind health matters focusing on pink elephants (positive resilience strategies) and black dogs (the lowest of low moods and their impacts and how to more effectively deal with them). I’ve been running the ‘Pink Elephant Project’ which is all about taking a Selfie with the Elphie (‘But I Feel Good’s’ mascot), with the aim to get 1,000 people to have their picture taken with the pink elephant to help us move beyond awareness of mind health matters into greater understanding, deep compassion and genuine acceptance for people living with mental illness and those who care for them.

I’ve also had the pleasure and the privilege to speak to dozens of Rotary and Lions Clubs as well speaking on behalf of the Black Dog Institute on the topic of mind health and resilience.

Here’s what I’ve noticed…

98.79 times out of 100 when I speak with someone about one of the things I do to make it OK to talk openly and comfortably about mind health matters they have their own personal story to tell about their experience or the experience of someone they know. I get to hear a lot of the tragic and life affirming stories about how people deal with mental illness and suicide.

My standard follow-up questions go something like this:

So, I’m curious, how often do you talk to people about this story? And would you be interested in being interviewed about your life as a carer or your lived experience of mental illness so that others can learn more about how to speak openly and comfortably about mind health matters?

When I extend that invitation I tend to get the same response. “NO.”

The "no" gets couched in lots of different ways. Sometimes it’s a quiet and shy “Oh, no I couldn’t do that” and sometimes it’s an incredulous “You’ve gotta be kidding! No way! I couldn’t do that!” When I dig a little deeper it turns out it’s OK to talk to someone who has been there and done that and truly understands but talking about mind health matters is not something people are prepared to do openly and comfortably because they believe there is just not enough understanding, compassion or acceptance for those who have a lived experience with mental illness.

If you think it’s better for you, me and everyone that more people speak openly and comfortably about their lived experience with mental illness, the loss of someone close by suicide or caring for someone with mental illness and you happen to fit into one of those categories… here’s your chance to make a difference and be part of breaking the stigma by helping people develop their understanding, compassion and acceptance.

I’d love you to be part of a conversation about mind health matters on the ‘But I Feel Good’ radio program. You can listen to the podcasts of the show at www.jacquichaplin.com/bifgondemand and you can call me to find out about being part of the show and the solution to stigma on +61 (0) 412 741 531.

Because your mind health matters

Disclosure Hits The International Stage

If you've been reading the back end of these newsletters or have been on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram this year you'll know what’s coming next!

European Publishing Group Mill House publishers & Whyte Tracks publishers and Cambridge Scholars Press are in the imminent process of international distribution for Disclosure.

For European readers you can purchase the book from

For the Americas you can purchase the book at

And here in Australia  at you can order the book at

It is available to pre-order until its official international release following the book launch on November 7.

'll be travelling the country like the Leyland Brothers talking about the lived experience of mood disorders and how to build resilience! Hook up any way you prefer to keep yourself informed of the latest news... drop me an email to find out how. Or follow the news at my website or sign up to Talking About's  monthly, complimentary  e-zine (that’s what you’re reading now!). If there is somewhere you would like me to speak, then please let me know.

To hear Jacqui speak:

November 26 | 7.30pm for 7.45pm | YERING MEADOWS GOLF CLUB LIMITED | 178–180 Victoria Road Yering Vic 3770
Please RSVP to Clea Barr T (+61) 3 9738 9000 or at clea.barr@yeringmeadows.com.au
Jacqui Chaplin
+61 (0)412 741 531

'But I Feel Good' Radio Show

Radio ShowRemember to tune in to ‘But I Feel Good’ ...talking pink elephants and black dogs at its new home broadcasting across Melbourne at 94.1fm 3WBC, on your fav smart phone app or streaming live at www.3wbc.org.au every Monday 12-1pmAET or listen on demand at www.jacquichaplin.com/bifgondemand

‘But I Feel Good’ will still be heard via syndication in central Victoria on 94.9 MAINfm Mondays 1-2pmAET.

Keep sending me your ideas for mind health topics you’d like to hear more about and any mind health resources you’ve found helpful. Email me at butifeelgood@jacquichaplin.com

If you’d like me to speak about mind health matters and resilience at your conference or to your organisation please contact me at jacqui@jacquichaplin.com or +61 (0)412 741 531

We invite you to read Jacqui's blog here

More on Mind Health Matters next month!

“[Smart] is an elusive concept. There's a certain sharpness, an ability to absorb new facts. To ask an insightful question. To relate to domains that may not seem connected at first. A certain creativity that allows people to be effective.”

... Bill Gates (b. 1955) US Businessman and Software Pioneer

The Monthly Diversion

As you may have guessed from a previous e-zine, I am a big fan of the Bill Murray parody account on Twitter, so here are a few more of his one-liners. Enjoy!

  • Whenever I have a panic attack, I put a brown paper bag over my mouth… and drink all the vodka inside… It seems to help.
  • My favourite outdoor activity is going back inside.
  • My dream job would be the Karma delivery service.
  • My relationship with whiskey has been on the rocks lately.
  • I’m absolutely positive I’d accidentally kill myself within 3 minutes of owning a light sabre.
  • I’m not lazy, I’m in energy saving mode.
  • I’m in a long distance relationship. Sure, some people refer to it as a restraining order, but still.
  • I don’t make mistakes too often, but when I do it’s your fault.
  • Just once I want my skills to be so urgently required that a helicopter is dispatched to pick me up.
  • How can I be expected to make life choices when I still use my fingers to count?
  • If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, you’re drunk. Ducks don’t talk.
  • If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you.
  • Politicians and diapers have one thing in common. They should both be changed regularly, and for the same reason.
  • If you think nobody cares if you’re alive, try missing a couple of payments!

"Nothing is more terrible than activity without insight."

… Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) Scottish Essayist and Historian

Join Us Online

LinkedInDo you want to explore some of these ideas in more depth? Then, we invite you to join our LinkedIn Group and share any insights you may have. As others have done, we also invite to offer your own thoughts and conversations if they relate to the ontological approach. You can find us on LinkedIn by clicking here.

Want to Read More?

Since the formation of Talking About in 2005, we have published our e-zine every month. Before that, Chris wrote regular newsletters and e-zines with Gaia Consulting Group dating back to 1995. If you would like to explore more of Chris' ideas then you can access our e-zine archive and view any newsletter written since 2005 by clicking here or to look at all the articles Chris has written over the years simply click here.


Chris has also written some indepth essays on a number of topics related to the ontological work. If you would like to explore any of these essays then please click on the relevant image below.


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