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March 2016




Our Energy Crisis

"The energy of the mind is the essence of life.”

… Aristotle

This month, I would like to invite you to think about energy. Not the energy you have to pay for through your electricity bill but your energy.

In the ontological approach we talk about your ways of being and how it sets up your predispositions in life. Simply put, our physical state predisposes our mood state which in turn predisposes our emotional responses which predisposes our thinking patterns and actions. A key aspect of our physical state is our energy levels and these have an enormous impact on how we experience life.

Here is a simple example. Think of a time when you had very low energy, say at the end of a busy day. As a result you are feeling tired and irritable. You come home to be greeted by a family member who wants to tell you all about their day but all you want to do is sit yourself down and watch some TV. You find yourself snapping at others and their response simply creates more irritation. Sound familiar?

It may be stating the bleeding obvious but our energy levels play a huge role in our experience of life and our relationships with others. So how much time do you spend reflecting on your energy levels and, more importantly, making sure you have enough energy to experience life as you wish? If you are like most people, the answer would be "not much".

When people are confronted with the importance they place on their energy levels, they will roll out the usual excuses. "Too busy" pretty sums it all up. Yet we pay a big price of we don't keep our energy levels up. We get sick, our relationships suffer. We suffer.

It is a trusim in the world of those who care for others that you can't look after others for very long if you don't look after yourself. The difference we make in the world is dependent on our daily capacity to engage with the world. This means we need energy.

How we can maintain our energy levels is not new to anyone. Eat well, sleep well, exercise well. We all know these things, yet how many of us do them?

Here is an invitation to you. For one week, keep a track of your energy levels three times a day - morning, noon and evening. See how they shift? Think about what you could do with more energy during the day. Think about how your experience of life might change if you had more energy and then think about what you might do to get it!


Mind Health Matters

Some thoughts from Jacqui Chaplin

“The human mind likes a strange idea as little as the body likes a strange protein and resists it with a similar energy.”

... W. H. Beveridge

Why is it so?

I was wondering recently, as I often do, about the stigma associated with mood disorders and mental illness. Why is it more acceptable to talk about 'it' in some domains and circumstances and not in others?

Is it easier for those struggling with some of the tougher challenges in life to open up about how their situation is affecting their mind or mental health status? I’m thinking about chronic or terminal illness, relationship breakdowns, bullying or harassment in the work place, loss of employment or a home burning down… Is there a more empathetic connection with those events that people find easier to accept? At least they can point to a “justifiable” reason for any mind health challenge that may result.

Whereas with mental illness, that same level of empathy seems to be missing, presumed missing having a good time elsewhere. I often reflect on what stories, values and beliefs people might hold that prevent their empathy from being offered to those with mental illness. One thing I can be sure of is that no-one that I know would knowingly withhold empathy from a person in mental distress on a conscious level. So, what exactly gets in the way?

Here are some personal thoughts on what can create an empathy deficit when it comes to mental illness:

  1. Preconceived values and beliefs about what having a mental illness means about a person.
  2. Being in denial about your own or a loved one’s mental illness.
  3. A lack of awareness or understanding of the causes of mental illness.
  4. Being unsure of how to handle your relationship with someone with mental illness.
  5. A busy life, that’s filled with personal, family and employment challenges.
  6. Being born in a generation that did not talk about mental illness, talk about private matters or that learnt how to be a whole different sort of resilient in a whole different time.

The list is not exhaustive by any means, yet they are the top six things that come to mind based on my experiences and open and comfortable conversations about mind health matters over the past three years. Over the coming months I’ll speak to them in more detail and perhaps go some way to helping more people understand their discomfort or reasons for not wanting to talk about mental illness and other mind health matters.

In the mean time I invite you to reflect on whether any of the above factors might be the cause of an empathy deficit for those living with mental illness by you or by others you know.

Why? Because your mind health matters.

For crisis support in Australia call Lifeline 24 hours a day 7 days a week on 13 11 14. In Australia, in case of an emergency, call 000. 

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 North Americans 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... 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 inner east on 94.1fm 3WBC, on your fav smart phone app or streaming live at www.3wbc.org.au every Monday 12-1pm AET.

A list of all of ‘But I Feel Good’ Content Only episodes is available for your perusal and listening pleasure at http://jacquichaplin.com/BIFGarchive.

‘But I Feel Good’ is still heard via syndication in central Victoria on 94.9 MAINfm Mondays 1-2pm AET.

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!

“There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory.”

... Josh Billings

Are You Interested in a Ontological Coaching Workshop?

Talking About has always sought to promote the ontological approach to the world at large. I would like to think that in our own way we have made a difference for people in their lives through our work with individuals and groups as well as our publications.

Our early formal introduction to the world of ontological coaching came through what is now known as Newfield Institute and they continue their work to this day running workshops and coach training programs.

There is no doubt that my learning with Newfield was central to the early development of my work in the ontological field and I still use many of the distinctions I learnt then.

If you are interested in exploring the ontological approach in a public workshop setting then you might be interested in Newfield's upcoming workshop to be held in Queensland in early May.

The workshop is being run by one of our readers, Jeanette Mundy, and Newfield Institute's Alan Sieler.

Just click on the image to the right to find out more.

The Monthly Diversion

This month you get three jokes, short and sweet!

A teacher asked her students to use the word "beans" in a sentence. "My father grows beans," said one girl. "My mother cooks beans," said a boy. A third student spoke up, "We are all human beans."


A boy asks his father, "Dad, are bugs good to eat?" "That's disgusting. Don't talk about things like that over dinner," the dad replies. After dinner the father asks, "Now, son, what did you want to ask me?" "Oh, nothing," the boy says. "There was a bug in your soup, but now it’s gone."


Every ten years, the monks in the monastery are allowed to break their vow of silence to speak two words. Ten years go by and it’s one monk’s first chance. He thinks for a second before saying, “Food bad.” Ten years later, he says, “Bed hard.” It’s the big day, a decade later. He gives the head monk a long stare and says, “I quit.” “I’m not surprised,” the head monk says. “You’ve been complaining ever since you got here.”


"I can resist everything except temptation."

... Oscar Wilde

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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