Next in our blog series of masters of mind & body..
Back to that question – Ever wondered what real-life masters of mind & body look like? Who they are? What do they do with their lives? How do they think, speak and act? And the answer – Would it surprise you to learn that by and large, they look very much like you and me, and that they mostly live in our own communities? Though some do choose to be renunciate monks and nuns and live in splendid isolation at some of the most spectacular places on earth (like the Himalayas) while yet others choose to live nomadic lives, spreading goodness and inspiration through the world (like the famed Sadhus and Fakirs of India). Invariably each has a keen sense of how they can help make our world a better place, and go about their work in their own unique ways – sometimes in the glare of public limelight, but most often just quietly, and with great dignity.
Having show-cased some who have spectacularly renunciated from the world and their identities in their quest for mind-body mastery in our previous two blogs, this time we venture close to home, with Liz Schiemer of Pt Stephens, NSW, Australia, a Master of Positive Thinking. Her untiring work in improving mental health in her community is an inspiring story as you will see.
(What follows was first written by Dr. Ian Gawler OAM, Founder & Creative Director of Imageryworks, for his blog “Out on a Limb” posted on 07 July 2014)
Positive thinking is very different to wishful thinking. Wishful thinking is where you hope for the best and do nothing about it. Positive thinking is where you hope for the best and do a lot about it! It usually takes commitment, determination, perseverance, resilience – a fair degree of focused attention and hard work. Liz Schiemer organised a recent workshop I presented in her hometown of Pt Stephens recently as my wife Ruth and I toured up the East Coast of Australia. Liz is deeply concerned about the health of her community. High levels of cancer, heart disease, mental illness, even suicide. However, Liz is a genuine positive thinker. Not one to sit back just simply worrying, what Liz has accomplished is truly inspiring.
So this week, as a model of what positive thinking can look like in reality, we share some of the initiatives Liz has taken that are making a significant difference in many lives. During the road trip Ruth and I are on we will be hosted by quite a number of remarkable “positive thinkers” – people who have had the wish to make a difference to the health of their community and then dedicated their lives to that end. Could have chosen any number to highlight, but for some reason here is Liz’s story. Liz Schiemer retired from her nursing career to focus on a more natural approach to health and wellbeing. She studied hypnosis, NLP, Life Coaching and meditation – which is how we came to meet.
But not content “just” to develop her own new style of practice, Liz has become actively involved with the Port Stephens Complementary Health Services Association Inc. and the PS Suicide Prevention Network of which she is secretary. At her clinic, Liz sees people privately and brings to this her professional experience with addictions, epilepsy, disability and a wide range of health issues from stress management to major illness and wellness. Liz also leads a regular meditation group that starts with Qigong, and she hosts regular meetings for Women with Cancer. The Port Stephens Complementary Health Services Association is an Association of leading healthcare practitioners with a common vision for the ongoing education, nurture and wellbeing of their society. The group is drawn together by their dedication to the promotion of natural healing, and to enabling their community to better manage and enhance their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. To achieve this they work on a shoe string budget with volunteers and any money they make goes back into promotions. The PS Suicide Prevention Network has its main focus on public education. But Liz is also secretary of her local parks and reserves committee that is sponsored by Council. That group are working with PS Suicide Prevention to establish a dedicated memorial park at Boat Harbour. Several local groups, including youth groups, are working together on that project which it is hoped will be opened during International Suicide Prevention week in September.
So I guess the trick with some of these exceptional “Positive Thinkers” is not to be overwhelmed or intimidated by what they do! Just writing this I marvel at how much Liz does accomplish and want to celebrate it. However, knowing Liz I have to say how modestly and easily she carries all this. She has a natural enthusiasm – perhaps obviously! – but a natural ease as well. Things just seem to get done with a minimum of fuss and with the people involved having a good time; happy to be a part of it all. Maybe Liz is just lucky. Maybe it is the meditation. Maybe it is the commitment to service – and the associated commitment to her own good health that is the essential ingredient in providing an ongoing service on such a scale. Whatever it is, I know it has not been easy for Liz. There have been plenty of ups and downs like there are for most of us. What I delight in with Liz is her commitment to do all she can for the betterment of her community – and the fact that in reality she does it. A true positive thinker. More power to you Liz .
And now for our standard 2 questions to Liz:
1. What makes you laugh?
“Human foibles and animal antics make me laugh. I have Ashleigh Brilliant’s pot shots in my waiting room for he has some enlightening reframes and I can hear the laughter when someone is reading them.”
2. What do you do about mosquitoes?
Swear and slap, or use “Ya Mate” mosquito repellent – a locally made product using only natural ingredients that I sell in my natural health