Dr. Liara Covert

Sunshine Coast, Queensland

Coach, Breathwork Psychotherapist

   

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 “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”

-Harriet Tubman

 

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Wednesday
Feb202019

Interview with Kerrie Atherton

Meeting Kerrie Atherton and learning about her endeavours is heart-warming reminder that every moment is an opportunity to learn more about ourselves and develop strength from adversity. I had the pleasure to meet her through Darron Eastwell whose inspirational story and self-healing show us the universe shakes us up to awaken us to see the world and our evolving purpose differently. 

Like many of us, Kerrie Atherton has faced physical and emotional trauma throughout her life.  Rather than allow adversity to define her, she has used the wisdom gained from her experience to create Empower Life Solutions and become the Founder of Stories of Hope Australia. She has been highlighted in recent editions of Profile Magazine , Sunshine Coast Daily and has been a guest on radio. I am grateful to Kerrie Atherton for creating space to connect and engage in this dialogue:

If you asked someone to describe you, what would they say?

These are some of the things people have said to me: That I am caring, compassionate, bright, bubbly, non-judgemental, creative, wise, resilient and empathetic.

How has your sense of purpose and life focus changed over time?

Once I was able to let go of shame for things that happened to me and for mistakes I had made, my whole perception changed.  I no longer felt like I had to put on a mask or pretend to be someone I was not just to be accepted.  I finally felt I could be my authentic self without concern or fear of judgement or what others thought of me.  And that was a very freeing thing.

Love that your evolving purpose involved getting more connected to community. The more we feace our fear of speaking our truth, the more we come into our personal power This is also a measure of the ability to focus our attention on soul-fulfilling activities.

Indeed. Many people imagine they need to reach for liberation. It is said the hardest prison to escape is our own mind. Your life experience and those stories you share remind us we can change our thoughts and change our life. 

What has been your greatest life challenge? 

My greatest life challenge was when I hit total rock bottom where I planned to take my life as a result of much trauma due to alcoholism and a pill addiction.  

That is a huge thing to acknowledge.  How did you overcome or get through this?

I overcame this through reconnecting with my faith In God that day and through walking into the doors of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Details of your story that you share with people include the internal shift you have experienced to transform your life. It is akin to what we hear about celebrities who beat addiction.  Australian singer- Songwriter Keith Urban speaks about his own addiction and sobriety. He came to recognize that he wasn’t living to his full potential.  Although he wishes he got sober earlier, It seems like you resonate with Jamie Lee Curtis who said on the Today Show, “My recovery is the single greatest accomplishment of my life. Without that, the rest of my life would have fallen apart... Recovery is an acceptance that your life is in a shambles and you have to change it.”

Tell us about Empowered Life Solutions.

EMPOWERED Life Solutions is a business I formed around 5 years ago.

So, your choice to shift your attitude in your life guides you to help others take their lemons and make their own refreshing lemonade. Cool! What fulfils you about mentoring roles taking shape?

After working with many people suffering with addictions and after working with troubled youth in schools for over 11 years, I wanted to devote my time to counselling, coaching, mentoring and running programs to help EMPOWER people who were struggling with different issues in life and to help prevent those people from going through them in the first place. 

What does empowerment process entail? 

To sit with an individual or family after the trauma has happened in their lives, especially due to drug addictions.  This is very devastating at times to see and to help them. That journey of recovery can be a lengthy process.  Prevention or early intervention programs can save so much heartache. Prevention really is better than cure.  Having said that, being trusted by someone with the opportunity to counsel and help them through their hard times is something I consider to be a huge privilege.

Something touches my soul as you describe creating a welcoming space where your clients feel safe to share stories of self-rejection and vulnerability.  Such an environment of unconditional acceptance would benefit many. 

When do you feel most alive? 

I feel most alive when I am sharing my own story or testimony to others about how I have come out the other side of hard times, so I can bring others HOPE.

How does instilling hope make you feel?

I feel most alive when I am playing a part in helping make a positive difference in the life of someone who has lost HOPE.  When I am at my Stories of HOPE events and I see all the faces in the audience this really causes me to know I am fulfilling my greatest purpose and being part of the process of changing someone’s life brings me the greatest JOY.  Especially helping someone who was about to give up on life discover that they really have a reason and a purpose for living.

Tell us about the Stories of Hope Australia initiative. (Some people get a taste via your Linked In)

I got the inspiration for this after I hit rock bottom for a second time in August 2016.  My father had just died, and my husband became very ill.  These things happened on the back of other trauma and grief I had experienced over the past few years.  I just felt like I could barely  go on.  I felt very alone and with little support. 

When did you get the inspiration?

After pulling out of all regular activities and spending much time alone for a few weeks trying to heal and regain my strength, I attended a women’s conference.  There I had a light bulb moment after hearing a couple of other people share about how they had come out the other side of their very hard times.  I knew right there and then that I had so much to share with the world.  That I had not been through all this pain for nothing, that it wouldn’t be in vain, and that I would use my pain for others gain, through sharing my stories of how I had come out the other side of the circumstances which could have easily destroyed me.  I also knew that I had to gather together all the other inspirational people I knew who had also triumphed over adversity and I thought ‘together we can literally change the world’. 

Eureka moments are like what you describe, instances which change each of our lives for the better. Like intuition in action, they prompt us to listen or pay attention to how we feel.  As you imply, we are triggering our own inner shifts in energy, attention and transforming purpose. 

How do you see this brain child unfolding? (and expanding)

I see myself taking my events into different states with some of my team members, and I am now working on my second Stories of HOPE Australia book. We will continue our regular free monthly events where we started two years ago at the Sands Tavern Maroochydore and will also be working on more ‘Men’s Only Mental Health’ nights and separate women’s nights targeting sensitive topics.

Meeting you echoes Pay it Forward movie message. You may be familiar with this flick. Who inspired/inspires you to empower and help others as you do?

There are so many people who have inspired me with both my parents who are no longer here being two of them.  My dad in particular who I witnessed over his many years also in AA, he was 60 years sober to be exact, pouring his life out to help others recover. Other than them, there is no one person more than another.  I guess the thousands of people that I have met in the rooms of alcoholics anonymous who are walking miracles, and all the people I have met through Stories of HOPE Australia.  Some of those people are my closest friends today and they continue to inspire me on a daily basis.  When you go through extensive pain and trauma, it doesn’t just disappear overnight.  It is a slow consistent journey of recovery.  Watching the progress of recovery in anyone who I have seen at the beginning of their journey and who is moving forward through it, inspires me beyond belief.

You have a book coming out soon. Share a bit about your process. Many people dream of writing a book. What is your own motivation? Why now?

The motivation behind me writing a book has always been there.  I have had my story sitting partially written for a few years, but got stuck.  I just really wanted to share a glimpse of the SOH journey and some of the stories to all the people out there who for different reasons, can’t make the events or they live in different states or countries.  I wanted,to take a glimpse of the SOH events and experience out to the big wide world, so I could exponentially share the experience with the masses of people out there, so they too could find the same kind of HOPE  that we have found through the sharing of all these inspirational stories.

This reminds me a  bit of a rendition of Chicken Soup for the Soul by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor HansenYou may know that Chicken Soup for the Soul book series of over 250 titles has sold more than 110 million copies in the U.S. and Canada. Chicken Soup for the Soul books have been translated into 43 languages, have been published in over 100 countries, and have sold more than 500 million copies worldwide. What a backdrop for your inspirational endeavours!

At what stage did you awaken to the importance of feeling the way through life to grow and heal?

At 18 when I was about to commit suicide, I heard a voice I believed to be that of God.  He said  ‘Don’t do it.  If you hang on a bit longer you will find happiness one day.’  And I am so glad I did hang on. Since that day when I walked into AA I have dedicated my life to helping others heal also.  To try and help prevent anyone especially young people going through and experiencing the pain and trauma that I did became like a mission for me.  I never want anyone to get to that point like I did where they feel like they are all alone and that they have absolutely no HOPE.  If I can help provide that HOPE I will.

That is an inspiring wake-up call. It reminds me a bit of an experience of a man who was intent on committing suicide and the touching story of his Golden Gate Bridge Survival.  His will to live sent out a vibration that brought the aid of a sea lion.

If you could share a single message with the world, what would it be?  

When you are able to be your authentic self, you unlock the door to freedom.  When you have Freedom to truly be yourself without fear of judgement, that opens the door to true connection with others, which is something we all need and have a deep longing for.  My mantras of Don’t do life alone and together is better ring loud in everything I do.  Also to believe that there is always HOPE.

Based on many shared stories, hope feels like a stepping stone to trusting ourselves more.

If you could share a meal with 5-10 people, who would they be? 

Jimmy Barnes, Mother Theresa, my grandfather Bert Fisher (who was the Tivoli Conductor/ composer and violinist who I never got the chance to meet), Brett Whitely, and the queen.

An intriguing combination of individuals would be sitting at your table...why them?

The reason I would pick all these people, is because they have all experienced deep trauma and lived both complicated and exciting lives.  They have all been through extremely sad and hard times and all reveal depth and great talent.  They all show resilience in the face of hard times.  All these people would have the most amazing stories to tell.

Love your choices! What the public hears about famous people is often only a glimpse of the truth or tip of the iceberg of deeper truths. It is also interesting that everyone we draw to us is revealing things about us we may not yet know. It is said we are drawn to or inspired by people who’s admirable traits we are in the process of recognizing, loving and accepting within ourselves. In a similar line, we can also imagine which fictional characters we would invite to dinner and the underlying reasons for doing so. In addition, it has also been said that anyone who is born into this world experiences birth and/or pre-birth related trauma and this is another possible avenue for investigation and healing.

Please share anything else you wish to add:

Our book launch is on the 28th of Feb at Venue 114 Lake Kawana.  Tickets must be purchased by next Tuesday 26th and are available via our Stories of HOPE Facebook page.  For anyone who would like to purchase a copy of my book  Stories of HOPE Australia ‘Everyday People, Extraordinary Stories’ which will be sure to change the way you look at life forever, you can do so via my website www.storiesofhope.com.au

If you are someone who feels you have a story of HOPE that you would like to share to help change lives for good, I would love to hear from you.  Until then,  ‘don’t do life alone, together is better’.

Thanks Kerrie, for creating the Stories of Hope initiative and inviting people to come together to reassure, empathize and support others.  I certainly look forward to taking in more of the events. You set an example to us all that we are not the body, not the mind, but the Soul in the process of experiencing different facits of life necessary to become a butterfly. Highly recommend people come attend one or more of the monthly events to get a taste of speakers who regain their personal power by sharing their stories, shifting their attitude and direct experience of what is possible in a group setting. Contact Kerrie Atherton for more details and visit the FB pages.

Leave people with a story:

Moving Mind from 10 Zen Stories 

Two men were arguing about a flag flapping in the wind.

“It’s the wind that is really moving,” stated the first one. “No, it is the flag that is moving,” contended the second.

A Zen master, who happened to be walking by, overheard the debate and interrupted them. “Neither the flag nor the wind is moving,” he said, “It is MIND that moves.”

Meeting Kerrie Atherton and learning about her endeavours is heart-warming reminder that every moment can be understood as an opportunity to learn more about ourselves and the strength we can develop through adversity.

 

Wednesday
Feb132019

10 Things to reflect on about Love

Here are 10 Things to reflect on about Love:

1. Each person is a unique expression of Love

From this view, love is not an action, not a commodity that we give or trade. We cannot leverage this kind of love, barter or exchange it as currency. We cannot brag about having more or less Love than another being because the Love we are is incomparable.

2. True Love is sometimes misunderstood as affection and attachment

As we feel our way into this kind of Love, we can no longer view it as an external factor or affected by external events or actions.  Whenever we view love as external, we encounter conflict with external conditions.

3. Love can mean letting go of attachments

This is an invitation to let go of the conditioning that objects and affection are scarce so we are taught to cling to what we have. In clinging to our preferred people, objects and experiences, we overlook examples of the infinite within and around us.

4.  Love is about releasing fear and hatred through forgiveness

This is a reminder that as we recognize our enemy's potential for Love, we connect with this individual's heart centre and hostility loses power.

5. Sometimes Love may require you to accept nothing exists for you to do

A higher level of understanding of Love imply embracing the pwoer of wholeness, which is all-inclusive.  This involves a 'leap of faith' or trust consciousness.  This said, different degrees of understanding are all valid.  Some people need to be taught how to survive or helped in some way. Thus, Love can be an expression fo empathy and compassion also.

6. Silence can be the greatest expression of Love

Inner wisdom reminds us that infinite wholeness is the Source energy that commands life, shatters it and rebuilds it according to universal laws. To be an observer allows us to tune into the power of synchronicity, to sense separation from creation is illusion. This gives us broader understanding and we grow conscious of the nature of Love as immortality.

7. You are an extension of the Creator not a created 'Thing'

8.  As Love, you embody the activating power of further creation

9. Love is a vibrational DNA imprint, universally resonant with all of life

10. You have the right to honor within yourself all that Love brings you

Sunday
Feb102019

7 Signs our reality is shifting

Imagine for a moment, that everything we notice is synchronicity inviting our closer attention.  Consider 7 signs our reality is shifting and expanding:

1. We feel awe of everything and blessed by grace

2. We feel at peace with the holistic nature of life

3. We endure considerable challenges along uncharted paths

4.  We notice the social structures that deny the greater power of love

5.  We take responsibility for our perception, beliefs, feelings and harmony/ disharmony 

6.  We recognize we create every encounter to love and accept more of ourselves 

7.  We consciously shift energy from within, redirect it for the betterment of ourselves and others

 

We shall not cease from exploration

And the end to all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know that place for the first time.

-T.S. Eliot

Monday
Feb042019

5 Things to learn from a pineapple

It is easy to forget how much we can learn about ourselves from the external world. We are taught to see difference or separation rather than sameness or opportunities to shift perception. When on an exotic vacation or noticing the exotic where we are, we invite getting to know the unfamilliar in ourselves, making the unconscious, conscious so that we can see differently. Consider 5 Things to learn from a pineapple:

1. Recognize appearances are deceiving

Pineapples as spiky. Some might judge them as weird on the outside.  Yet, they can be sweet, juicy and full of pleasant surprises on the inside.  The lesson is we are each more than we appear.  Each of us can grow aware that we are more than we are taught to see about our external selves. Part of our deeper purpose is to explore and expand into more of our untapped potential.

2.  Intuit hardness hides softness

Although we can seem hard, stoic, unapproachable or hard to get -to-know on the outside, just like a pineapple, we all have soft inner core.  We stand tall but do we silently feel confident or put up a front?  The more we are kind to ourselves, the more we allow ourselves to speak our truth and be vulnerable, the more the outer hardness softens, the more we attract people and situations into our lives that empower us.

3. Know growth only happens in the right conditions

We are each like a pineapple which only grows in the right conditions. It cannot be too hot or too cold. There has to be enough sun and water, the right nutrient-rich soil. As we get to know and listen to the seed of our true selves, we naturally plant ourselves where we grow best, or move, transplant ourselves in spaces suited to different stages of our evolution. What feels right nurtures our soul growth. 

4. See groundedness nurtures growth

The pineapple's root system is broad and shallow with roots that often extend beyond its leaves, which can reach up to 5 feet long.  What does this tell you about feeling spread out, over-extended or properly grounded in your life? This invites you to discern activities that feel too confining, be unafraid to shift focus, orientation to face and absorb more sun. Its always okay to put down new roots.  (pineapple rows image by Nigel Goodman)

5. Discover what is self-seeding

Cut off the bottom of a pineapple and plant it to grow another.  Each of us is birthing something new.  When we are ready to express a vision or intention, we let it blossom. Upon closer look, a pineapple looks like a giant pinecone. This symbolizes the pineal gland or third eye (of the endocrine system), immortality and enlightenment that we can each evolve into. Light flows downward from the heavens into the green leaves. Pineapples offer a direct example of co-creation, self-directed growth, expansion, and regeneration.  Ask how a pineapple invites us to flower from within. (pineapple planting image by huffpost.com)

Monday
Jan282019

5 Ways Breathwork empowers us

People increasingly ask about breathwork psychotherapy, what it is exactly, and how it can empower people to shift perception, energy levels, paradigms, timelines, and ultimately, life conditions.  Consider 5 ways breathwork is a tool that empowers us:

1. It empowers us to make the unconscious, conscious

Its one thing for someone to tell us something.  Its quite another to experience it for ourselves. Breathwork has completely shifted how I see myself and the world, and shows me the language of the breath reveals how we each breathe life into stories. When someone suggests an idea or speaks from experience, we can choose to believe it or not.  As we tune into ourselves, sense something is off, we may not know exactly what, but we are always guided to uncover what we are ready to see.  Breathwork empowers us to flow as energy to make unconscious emotional trauma conscious.  Thus, we see through misperceptions and feel everything, so we can let go.

2. It enables us to breathe our way to clarity

Different breathing techniques exist that draw our attention to our own rhythm and where it originates, in the present moment. When ready, each of us can recall how to read our breath like a horoscope. Ask yourself what leaves you breathless, when you feel light-headed, why you get the 'wind knocked out of you,' and where you are prompted to breathe deeply.  Every breathing rhythm emits a vibration that echoes specific emotions.  Knowing this helps us understand if we are approaching or getting further away from something. Notice the spectrum of feelings and emotions, from fear and anxiety to peace and joy, and how each vibration is sharpening or obscuring clarity.  As we master the power of the breath now, we know we exist neither in past or future.  It is being the breath that effortlessly allow events to unfold right where we are.

3. It guides us to shift models of reality 

Getting in touch with breathing rhythms empowers us to grow aware of dis-empowering models of reality as well as our unconscious decisions that cause them. As the result, we can empower ourselves to accelerate huge life changes. We cannot begin to imagine the profound impact and far-reaching implications of stepping into more of our hidden personal power. We can reclaim what we unknowingly give away.   Whatever we believe to be true comes true until we see through and transcend our own misplaced perceptions. We unconsciously give meaning to every experience and adopt distorted models of reality until ready to upgrade them.

4.  It enables us to release suppressed energy

Rather than taking pills, or engaging in unhealthy patterns or habits to suppress emotions, breathwork is one process which enables us to access underlying reasons for stuckness and release it, permanently.  What's inspiring is how fast and powerful transformations are.  Breathwork raises awareness of and enables us to consciously shift energy.  We can combine (compliment) it with acts of meditation, gratitude, compassion, forgiveness (everyone of everything) and other spiritual practices that guide us to tap into something above or beyond ourselves. Such practices engage us energetically on an authentic feeling level in this moment. Releasing suppressed energy is allows constricted inspiration and genius to flow freely.

5.  It enables us to rewire our brain

Each of us has insight into levels of happiness.  Yet much of our conditioning focuses our attention to stress, anxiety, depression, fear and instances when are convinced that we are not happy.  Breathwork empowers us to release dense energy so we can refocus our attention on being happy.  From here we naturally feel our way intuitively into choices that feel more exciting, fun, myserious and inspiring. The result is we rewire the brain to visualize and believe in things that intensify these uplifting and energizing energy bursts and flows. 

If this article resonates, contact us for a pre-requisite questionnaire for our 12 week coaching program and also read the insightful Interview With Dan Brule.