As keynote speaker at the Sisters U-Night event on Friday in Romsey, Anita Bentata gave a punchy and passionate talk that touched on her own experiences as a young school-leaver, teen mum, and survivor of abuse.
It is particularly moving for me to hear her story, given our chequered relationship as sisters. Anita and I were very close when we were young – allies in our difficult childhood environment where communication was unclear and disempowering as both our parents reacted to past traumatic experiences. But in our late 20s we drifted apart during a long difficult period during which our different perspectives caused us to clash repeatedly.
Strangely, our lives have mirrored each other’s in some ways: we started a new, significant relationship within weeks of each other, and parted from that partner within weeks of each other. In my case it was a temporary separation but Anita had to make a secret escape with her daughters from an abusive situation.
Fortunately she was guided to ‘Family Life’ where she was counselled through the initial trauma, and then decided to train as a psychotherapist in order to help other women change their relationship with power and healing.
Her journey took her through much sadness and anger – and frustration with institutions when she spent some seven years in the court system seeking justice. Finally she wrote a book about her experiences, The Wolf In A Suit, and this triggered another level of pain and trouble as her now adult daughters grappled with what this book brought up about their childhoods.
Ironically, it was the very messages I have taught for years through The Mastery Club that lifted Anita out of the heaviness and exhaustion she was experiencing, although those messages came to her through the inspiration of the Hicks/Abraham teachings. She embraced them because she was recognising that she needed to stop reacting to life and become a deliberate creator, that there was always one area where she could grow and change even if there were other aspects of her environment that she couldn’t change.
In my case, I had become derailed too: while I knew the theory, I’d lost confidence and had become so distracted by appearances that I was no longer walking my talk. I was living in reaction too, dragging my past with me and losing confidence. My Mastery Club tagline, ‘Master Yourself And You Can Master Anything’ jarred every time I wrote or spoke it because I felt like such a fraud.
It took a lovely young woman crashing into my car for things to change in my relationship with my sister. That crash broke some entrenched patterns for me. In the aftermath, Anita talked me through some EFT and as I cried, I felt the old crusty withdrawn me shatter, and a softer, less resistant me emerge.
We have been much closer since then, and I’ve become a fan of the Hicks Abraham teachings too, which demonstrate how to apply the principles I’ve always loved, but with extraordinary ease and effectiveness. It’s a little embarrassing that it’s taken me so long, but we wouldn’t have our moments of enlightenment without our periods of endarkenment, would we?
Anita’s and my greater closeness culminated in me suggesting her as keynote speaker for Friday night’s Sisters U-Night event at Romsey, and then proudly introducing her in my role as MC.
She held the group of 80+ women spellbound as she shared her story and encouraged them to recognise the limitations of the current accepted model regarding domestic violence, and to reach out for information that will most effectively enable them to help themselves and others.
For example: Don’t ignore or minimise feelings but recognise them as brilliant sources of information. Every client who was abused could recognise a moment or moments when their intuition warned them.
For example: There are 19 types of abuse, not just 9, and 34 myths about abuse. The purpose of this larger number is not to be depressing or petty; the point is that when we are able to see something clearly and give it a name, we are already on the way to transforming the situation.
For example: Much as we might want the new car, better job, slim body, house, career, partner, the reason we want them is to be happy, and we can be happy right now by just making a decision to focus on what gives us pleasure.
I encourage you to visit her website and explore her products and services.
Okay, at one level that’s a weird question because obviously anyone can set goals, and certainly anyone who needs to achieve a big task is wise to break it down into achievable goals. But I thought I’d share a few related ideas about feminine energy and the goal-setting process...
For example, have you heard of Claire Zammit and her organisation Feminine Power / Evolving Wisdom? She offers some wonderful courses (that I intend to do some time soon!) in which she explains her perspective that men and women should go about their goals in quite different ways because men are more externally-oriented and focused (refer physiology!) and women are more internally-oriented and ‘diffuse’ (ditto!).
Claire warns that you can’t do your new powerful game-changing thing on top of your old story/pattern. The latter will always pull you down… unless you decommission it! That seems like common sense for both men and women, but she makes the point that it's particularly self-defeating for women to go into action if our goals are not progressing. She provides clues to
Last Saturday my two sisters and I shared stories about our childhood and the many books we read and how our mother's childhood trauma affected our lives as part of a presentation at Mentone Public Library. We were all very big readers and my younger sister Anita remembers us sitting around the kitchen table engrossed in our library books while eating fresh peas out of the pod. Occasionally she would discover a worm, and then feel sick at the thought that she might have already eaten one…
My older sister Yvette remembers us reading as we walked to and from our primary school. She distinctly recalls the day that she was so caught up in her book that she walked slam-bang into a telegraph pole. Like most of us, she immediately looked around to see if anyone had noticed…
And then there’s the story of the Woodcutter in the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale. Did you know that his role is to teach us the importance of listening to our body and intuition?
Last blog I mentioned that I have a new Mastery Club Facilitator on board. Nicky Manning first contacted me five years ago expressing interest in training as a facilitator – but life had other ideas! (No straight lines…)
When her family decided to start home educating in 2019, she contacted me with plans to begin the school week with a Mastery Club session. The group would include her 12-year-old daughter, her daughter’s friend (also home-schooling), and her 24-year-old daughter-in-law, and we’d meet via Skype due to the distances.
We scheduled our sessions for 9 a.m. Mondays and, aside from the odd technical issue, soon I was visiting their lounge room via Skype and leading them through the 10-week course.
The beauty of this program is that it combines powerful information about the mind and universal laws (via video clips, stories and activities) with a goal-setting support group. Each person chose a goal to achieve by the 10th session.
I’m delighted to announce a new Mastery Club Facilitator – more about her and her first course next blog! Meanwhile, here’s a snippet:
Nicky Manning completed The Mastery Club 10-week program with a small group of daughters + friend earlier this year via Skype. She loved it and signed up to facilitate her own programs – and is beginning her first 10-week program tonight in Mt Evelyn with nine women. This lady is a mover and shaker! The plan is for those women to learn some skills and then empower their children. Such a great approach, since we know that family culture is a critical factor in our success and wellbeing.
Have you followed the news story about Canadian PM Justin Trudeau’s apology for blackening his face as part of an Arabian Nights costume some years ago?
He’s been criticised for invoking racist and offensive stereotypes that signal to people of colour that they are second-class citizens.
I have never understood the need for racial slurs. To my mind all people are worthy simply because they are human – and that applies to all life forms: I’d like to see all humans, animals and the Earth itself treated with respect. But something that troubles me about Trudeau’s apology is the increasing weight of political correctness.
If you think you need a cracker up your bum to start taking money more seriously, watch this 3-minute video that features Camilla Mendoza, the passionate creator of Money Mastery For Teens and the instigator of the Quest For Riches novel, in which Swedish students talk about their relationship with money and what they are learning from Money Mastery For Teens and Quest For Riches.
(NB. If you'd like to recommend Quest For Riches to your school, you can share the book review (below) by Ann Ruckert of the South Australian English Teachers Association (SAETA).)
I’d actually first asked Jacob to create a new cover for The Mastery Club,
I often hear people say that they don’t read fiction – it’s too ‘fictional’! They prefer real-life content and books that focus (seriously) on current issues or research rather than ‘made up stuff’.
But what they don’t realise is that more and more studies are finding that reading fiction develops the brain and awareness in ways that non-fiction doesn’t.
Any reading is good for us, of course – it develops our vocabularies and general knowledge – but reading meaty, character-driven fiction enables us to share the minds and emotions of others and to ‘live many lives’.
I’m absolutely chuffed to announce that Touch Of Spirit Tours is hosting a Creative Writing Tour through North India – with me as the writing facilitator!
Mela Joy, the founder of this company, was one of my sources when I was researching India for Quest For Riches. Right after the book launch she came to me with the idea of a trip that would be interwoven with a creative writing course.
I was particularly delighted because I just love the way that my life echoes my art!
Schools around Australia are celebrating books and writing and authors and the imagination starting tomorrow for the Children's Book Council of Australia's annual BOOK WEEK!
If you're the parent of a younger child, you've probably been roped into making a costume of one of their favourite book characters. I was very chuffed a few years ago to receive a photo of a girl dressed as Nina from The Mastery Club! A green wig was the key to that costume :-)
This week an article in the Herald Sun declared that 'Aussie kids were scammed out of more than $170,000 last year according to the latest Australian Competition and Consumer Commission scam activity report' – significantly up from previous years. Suncorp behavioural economist, Phil Slade, said 'Kids were particularly susceptible to being ripped off by dodgy operators' and 'One of the best ways to help our kids avoid being scammed is to teach them financial literacy skills at an early age, to help them question things when dealing with money.'
Probably one of the questions I am asked the most often is, 'How are book sales going?'
Those who ask are genuinely interested and caring and want the best for me, but when book sales are trickling it's an uncomfortable question to answer.
Sales for the majority of self-published author are usually quite low; I remember my printer of The Mastery Club telling me that it was rare for self-published authors to return for multiple print runs in the quantity and frequency that I was doing. Even more rare are the international bestseller results. These low sales are why the average Australian self-published author earns about $11,000 per annum...
So let me give you the best question you can ask a self-published author. Banish 'How are book sales going?' and instead ask, 'What can I do to help?'
I promised to give the backstory to Quest For Riches, so here it is:
Camilla Mendoza had been working with divorcées as a mortgage broker when she realised she had to do something about the number of women telling her that they left all money management and financial decisions to their husbands. Determined to change that dynamic, she created a workshop called ‘Money Mastery For Women’. Before long, those women were asking her to create a similar workshop for their children – and ‘Money Mastery For Teens’ was born.