Most children enjoy being creative with pencils and crayons. But did you know there are an impressive number of reasons why both kids and adults should partake in this peaceful pastime? 

The significant benefits of coloring are now being realised for all age groups as it takes its place alongside yoga and meditation as an enjoyable way of improving mental and physical well-being.

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Art and music have been used for years in various forms of therapy due to their healing powers, but many people don’t understand how big a part they can play in boosting mental health and overall well-being. Not only do they promote wellness by giving an individual an outlet for stress and anxiety, but they can help you socialize and provide a confidence boost, two things that are important for all ages but that are essential for young people.

Music, especially, can make a big difference in the life of someone who is battling stress, depression, anxiety, or substance abuse. It can help a student do better in school by waking up the part of the brain that processes language, and it can help young people get involved and active in school activities. Music can also help form bonds with other people, allowing the individual to stay social and connected. read more →

 

This inspirational video has a wonderful message to inspire children and help them see their worth. Show this video by Meir Kay to demonstrate to your children or students that no matter what happens in life, they are worthy and valuable members of society. read more →

Launched on 15 July 2016, it’s been an exciting time as Nourish Network finds its feet and place in the local community.

Nourish is a volunteer-based, holistic outreach program developed to educate, empower and support parents and guardians finding it difficult to provide for their families.

Working with local schools in the Yarra Ranges (outer east of Melbourne), families are selected based on circumstances and their willingness to participate and eventually give back to their community.

A member-only program, Nourish partners with SecondBite and local businesses and organizations to provide a weekly allocation of fruit, vegetables, bread, eggs, recipes and nutritional information, wellbeing resources, friendship, and support.

As well as providing nourishment for their bodies, we also aim to help heal their souls by providing a place for respite where people can connect with others in similar situations and enjoy a variety of activities and therapies.

We used 2016 as a pilot year with a small group to gain insight into the social, emotional and financial struggles our members face so we are better able to provide for their needs. read more →

You often talk about the positive influences of teachers on Ripple Kindness and I couldn’t agree more, and I want to share how a teacher has helped me.

I’m a student and I was struggling recently with an issue that I didn’t feel comfortable sharing with my family. I have a teacher who is a very compassionate woman but also quite firm in the sense that she doesn’t overlook bad or cruel behaviour. She noticed that I was upset and because she is such an empathetic and thoughtful person, I felt comfortable enough to confide in her. read more →

Cathy Domoney shares her very personal journey through depression and anxiety.

I’m stubborn, really stubborn, I mean I hate being told what to do (as my poor long-suffering husband will happily verify). Some people say that this is my strength; some say it’s my weakness. I’d say it’s my motivation, my driving force, my rocket-fuel. When people tell me that I can’t, I go out of my way to prove them wrong. This has led me to overcome illness, have children, change careers, publish a book, move countries to mention a few things. This can have the opposite effect on the person hearing it, however. Let me explain.

The Mistake

When I was a child I was affectionately described as a ‘mistake.’ (I prefer the term a wonderful surprise). My parents had their pigeon pair at the appropriate age and place in their lives, they were complete and content. But when they went from the UK to Australia for a holiday, they came back with a stowaway! Being the youngest sibling by ten and thirteen years, I got told what to do and think from a very young age, by multiple sources. Of course, when your sister is ten years your senior and bullies and belittles you relentlessly, and frequently informs you that she resents the day you were born, it translates as pressure.

I lived in fear and was constantly the recipient of emotional abuse. I behaved the only way that brought me peace. I began to be the best possible person I could be and made sure not to make any mistakes that may be used as ammunition against me in my already powerless world. I would never be told what to do as I’d already done it, I never had arguments because I’d done nothing wrong and I pushed my voice way down where it couldn’t be heard and, therefore, couldn’t ‘rock the boat’. This was a short-term solution which got me through my childhood but was to have long-term consequences anchored to years of depression and panic attacks in my adult life. It’s something I still struggle with today and it can be exhausting. These ridiculously high expectations that I placed upon my child-self, because of the actions of others, kept me in an emotional prison for decades.

It’s also had a huge impact on my health. I now have three auto-immune diseases. I’m the sort of person that believes that illness of the body has deep routed emotional triggers. I’ve taken pills prescribed by doctors, but until I investigated why I was feeling the way I was, my illness remained dominant. Wasn’t it Sigmund Fraud who introduced us to the term ‘sublimation’? Where we push down emotions but they later manifest somehow? Well, I believe that in me, it manifests in chronic illness. From the age of 18, I’ve danced with chronic illness. That’s when my journey into self-discovery and my thirst for knowledge of the human condition was born. read more →

To Those I Love,

A Letter from the Heart

If I cannot come to see you, or to see you if you come to see me, know that it’s not personal; it’s never you.

If I try and I fail, it is better to be happy for me that I tried than to be sad or frustrated that I failed. Every attempt, no matter how far I get, is a step I am taking back to you.

If I am able to reach you physically yet cannot meet your eyes, speak, stay or seem to be comfortable in your company, it’s not personal; it’s never you.

If I try and I fail to be there emotionally, please try to remember that it is because my demons are taking my attention away from you and making me uncomfortable.

If I seem selfish in my behaviour, it is because I am trying so hard not to be selfish. I am trying to find myself and reclaim my mind from my demons so that I can be there, in mind and body, for you.

If I become so uncomfortable to the point my behaviour screams that I want to get away, know that it’s not because of you. Sometimes I have to leave in order to redeem myself and to protect you from feeling uncomfortable or from worrying about me quite as much. Sometimes I have to say to myself, “I’ve done all I can for now. I will try again another day.” I will come back to you. If not that day, then another day. read more →

Happiest people.
On a little family outing last weekend, we were at the train station and a fellow with special needs was asking people on the platform a question. Most ignored him or brushed him off. He sat next to us, so we chatted to him until we got off the train. He was friendly and harmless and there was no need to treat him otherwise. I was proud to see my son ask the man to sit next to him on the train and see it as no big deal.

On our walk home from the station we met a lady who was a little lost so we gave her directions. read more →