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December 2015




On a Personal Note

This is our last e-zine for the year. In many ways, this has been a year of new beginnings for us. It was a year that saw Jacqui successfully publish her autobiographical book 'Disclosure' and continue to promote better mind health through her weekly and now syndicated radio show and and through social media outlets. We have also both continued our coaching work with clients both here and overseas. I have also begun a process of rewriting material on the ontological approach from our coach training program and I am also working on developing some practical written material that is related to specific aspects of work and life.

As with each year, we like to look back on what we valued during the year and express our gratitude to those who helped us or shared our journey.

As a regularly recipient of 'talking about', we would like to thank you for letting us and our ideas into your world each month. We feel privileged that you allow us to share our thoughts with you each month. We hope
that you will continue to allow us to share a little part your world.

For those of you who have engaged Talking About to work with you and your organisation during the year, we would like to thank you for your trust and support during the year. Obviously without you we would not be able to continue.

For those of you with whom we have personally worked in groups or as individuals, we would like to thank you for sharing your thoughts with us and trusting in us to take care of you and assist you in your learning and journey through life. Your active engagement in our work together makes it a delight for us and, hopefully, a great learning experience for you.

With all that said, Jacqui and I would like to extend to each one of you a fun-filled celebration for the end of 2015 and a healthy, happy and successful 2016. May it bring you greater self-awareness, more fulfilling relationships and the outcomes you desire.

Warm Regards... Chris

Building our Sense of Self

"The pathos of man is that he hungers for personal fulfillment and for a sense of community with others.”

… J. Saunders Redding

Over the past few e-zines, I have invited to create a value set based on the following four questions:

  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 these questions has been "Gratitude", "Balance", "Intuition" and "Trust" (BIG-T). Did you come up with your own responses?

Many people go through a values creation exercise at some point in their life. Sometimes they do it for themselves and sometimes it is within an organisational context. For most of these people, determining their values is the end of the journey. They are often printed out and put on a wall somewhere and that is about it. At best, they may play the part of being an occasional background context to life, however generally life will go on as before. Nothing really changes and it has to be asked why people bothered in the first place. What was the point in doing this?

Indeed what is the point of defining a set of values to live by if you do not make a concerted effort to turn those values from aspirational into a way of being? If we want to make such a change, then it will take more than words on a wall or the occassional reference to a value set. We will have to find a way of consistently applying our values to the situations in which we find ourselves.

If you have been reading Talking About for any length of time, you will appreciate the idea that human beings are very habitual. So, if you want to really live the values to which you aspire, then you have to develop habits to match.

One way of doing this is to anticipate the future moments when we will want to be true to our values, which in theory is every moment, and find a means of applying our values in those moments. We do this is by raising our awareness using a variety of strategies such reflection processes, triggers and feedback loops. With that awareness, we then engage in a process of posing value-related questions to ourselves. Let me use my value set as an example.

The key strategy associated with taking different action in future moments is to have one thing to remember that allows for a flow into other thoughts. My values were Balance, Intuition, Gratitude and Trust. These values can be reduced to the acronym 'BIG-T' which is simple and easy to remember. When I find myself in a situation, all I have to do is recall BIG-T and then ask myself some questions related to my values:

  1. What does balance look like in this situation?
  2. What does my intuition tell me?
  3. What am I grateful for in this situation?
  4. How to build trust here?

As I answer these questions in different situations, I do a number of things.

Firstly, I use my value set to help me orient myself in situations. My values are not just a background context. I am using them to assess situations in a way that is aligned with my desired way of being.

Secondly, I am started to build new habitual patterns of thinking and ultimately the habitual actions that are aligned with my desired way of being.

Finally, every time I ask these or similar questions, I am helping myself understand what balance, intuition, gratitude and trust mean for me. I am building a more grounded story of who am I and who I want to be.

This approach may seem simple, but it is by no means easy. As with the creation of any new habit, it takes a commitment to strategies to create ongoing awareness and a commitment to the approach overall. It can mean overturning the idea that we have to always have the answer and be willing to live in the question expecting that better answers will continue to emerge.

However, from personal experience and observing the experience of clients, it can be a very rewarding experience.


Mind Health Matters

Some thoughts from Jacqui Chaplin

Personally I am not one for making New Year Resolutions.

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Personally I am not one for making New Year Resolutions. I am, however, one for creating a picture of what I want the coming year to look like, feel like and sound like. In the interest of disclosure and keeping things real I don’t always get to where I want to be. Life happens, other interesting things show up or sometimes it turns out that I just didn’t have what it takes to reach a particular goal. And then there are other times when I get that thing done. In 2015 that thing was having my book Disclosure picked up by a publisher and having it launched! That was a “float my boat kind” of goal!

So in thinking about the coming year and what I would like to achieve the first thing I make sure is in place is my headspace. I know that my headspace can be one of the biggest challenges I have to meet at any given point in time. Having a network of support or a board of directors around to check the viability of my ideas is a valuable part of keeping my head space on the level… the thing that will most likely get things happening. One important aspect of head space to keep in mind when thinking about goals for the coming year is to know that sometimes some things just won’t come together. Irrespective of the reason behind missing the goal remember to not be too hard on yourself. Look for the meaning in the failure to achieve your goal. What lesson have you learnt that you can apply in the next year?... to the next goal?

Once you have given due consideration to your head space being effective, the next cab off the rank is to consider where you want to be. As humans the majority of us have a tendency to want to belong to a group, organisation, family or partnership. Consequently when we start making plans we can be easily influenced by those around us, those we care about.

In giving thoughtful consideration to people in our world we often severely limit what is possible for us when we put other’s needs ahead of our own.  It can be particularly tricky for parents… they want to give their all to their kids but somewhere along the way they can lose themselves and who they once thought they wanted to be. Either way, parent or not, there will be someone in your life that you’ll want to take care of. What I am inviting you to do in the next step of your imagining is to put that relationship aside for a minute.

If you could be anywhere you want to be, doing anything you want to be doing, free of any or all expectations of others, what would that be?

What things would you see happening?

What things would you be hearing people say around and about you? What would you be saying to yourself?  What would you be saying about others?

How would you feel about it happening?

To give you an example of how it works I’ll share one of my 2016 goals and answer those questions.

The goal is to be speaking at as many local, national and international conferences, educational, community and corporate events making it ok to speak openly and comfortably about mind health matters.

I see crowds of people in front of me when I speak.  I see me on many different stages. I see people nodding in acknowledgement of my experiences. People come and share their experiences after I speak. People are asking if I am available to speak at another event. People are asking where they can buy a copy of my book Disclosure. I feel fantastic, elated, like I am making a difference to people’s ability and willingness to speak openly and comfortably about mind health matters.

That’s an example of what I will see, hear and feel when I achieve my goal.

This ability to visualise, hear and feel how you want things to be is an essential part of getting to your goal.  There’s a saying about it that I love and use a lot… “Your language generates your reality.”

Being about to talk and use all your senses to create the image of where you are heading will help you get there faster and more easily.

I’ve talked before about conserving and expanding tendencies.  When it comes to going your own way, being able to tell when your conserving tendencies are in play and when your expansive tendencies are in play is crucial to being able to go your own way.

Conserving and expansive tendencies are neither good nor bad in and of themselves… however too much of either can be unhelpful. Depending on what you are going through at any given point in time leaning towards either your conserving or expanding tendencies can helpful.

Conserving tendencies are helpful when you are feeling challenged by life. Focusing on the things you do regularly and enjoy doing, the things that are familiar, can be helpful. Conserving the way your life operates in times of difficulty or rapid change can help you through. However if you get stuck there it becomes difficult to welcome anything new or different to your world.

Expansive tendencies are all about growing and changing… reaching out and experimenting and experiencing new ways of doing old things or doing completely new things. Expansive tendencies are helpful if you feel like you’ve been stuck in a rut and feel like it’s time to get out!

As with too much of the conserving tendencies, too much time spent cavorting in your expansive tendencies can be unhelpful. Constantly looking at new ideas, new actions can leave you feeling scattered, unfocused and disconnected. Not so helpful when you are seeking to achieve new goals.

So as you set about identifying your goals for 2016 remember to check that your head space is in the best place it can be. Ensure you have an identified Network of Support that know your goals and can help keep you on track. Before you think about where you want to be give some thought to the likely influences on you and release their influence on you for the duration of your imagining. Be aware of the role of conserving and expansive tendencies in succeeding in reaching your goals.

And just because you blaze a new trail it doesn’t mean you have to leave everyone else behind.  It might just mean that you are able to quest out beyond what you and they might have previously thought possible.

Sometimes we have to step into unknown spaces to find our place and to go our own way!

Why? …because your mind health matters


Disclosure Now Available Globally


Check out Disclosure: Casting Out The Shadows plus Strategies for Mind Health Resilience.

For European readers you can purchase the book by clicking here.

For the Americas you can purchase the book by clicking here.

And here in Australia the book is listed but as yet unavailable in online book stores. So, for a limited time I am keeping distribution going for those in Australia. Email me your postal address and I will email you a PayPal invoice for the Australian RRP of $39.99 (plus $5.50 P&H).

This option also provides the opportunity for you to request the book to be signed.

I’ll be travelling around like a Leyland Brother 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).

'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 in Melbourne's east on 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 to over 100 episodes 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.

I’d love to hear your ideas for mind health topics you’d like to hear 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!

“One advantage of talking to yourself is that you know at least somebody's listening.”

... Franklin P. Jones

The Monthly Diversion

In the spirit of the season and in closing the distance between us, we would like to offer you the following:.

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral, celebration of the solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. . . . . . and a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted (by the Christian) calendar year 2016, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make Australia great, (not to imply that Australia is necessarily greater than any other country), and without regard to the race, creed, colour, age, physical ability, religious faith, choice of computer platform, or sexual preference of the wishee.

(By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms. This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for her/himself or others, and is void where prohibited by law, and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year, or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.)


We have a saying that language conceals as much as it reveals. This seems to be a great example of this - a long way of say Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

"Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday."

… Don Marquis

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 in-depth 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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