Letter to the Health Minister of Australia

Dear Tanya Plibersek,

With the Federal Election immanent, I would like to know your future strategy on mental health for the coming term, should you retain power.

My mother is looking after my mentally ill brother and is exhausted. He’s now 46 was diagnosed schizophrenic 26 years ago.

Could you please let me know what your policy will be for mental health support? It has been stripped bare over the last ten years and families all over the country are suffering because there is no federal initiative and state governments are not receiving funding or strategy so are cutting back on resources, facilities and phone support.

With mental illness, bipolar disorder, depression and suicide rates increasing dramatically, it is obvious there is a time bomb waiting to explode. This is deeply concerning and the worrying trend of ignoring mental health support will come at a huge cost to our fabric of society. What is your strategy for dealing with the impact on families and society of mental illness?
Why is no-one talking about this issue?

Your response will be very much appreciated.

Yours truly,
Sarah M Cloutier

The Deceit in Research and the Media – Let’s get back to Truth

What is truth? Stephen Fry, a broadcaster and academic in the UK stated, “Truth is what is felt in the heart.”

Lies are everywhere, we are bombarded by the insidious evil of them – they permeate our thoughts, our language, written word, our entire existence is built on this false foundation.

We use them to bolster our fragile status quo and we create whole belief systems around the lies to justify our actions.

Look at the research around food. One study will say coffee is good for you; another will state the fact that it is a psychoactive drug that harms the nervous system, brain function and liver. Some doctors say that alcohol in moderation is good for your heart and are now informing pregnant women that drinking is harmless to their unborn child, others have proven that it damages the arteries, blood quality and brain function. The dairy industry marketing machine continues to say it (dairy) is our main source of calcium. Yet, facts prove that our bodies retain more calcium from leafy greens/broccoli and that consistent dairy product consumption causes lung, sinus conditions, IBS and a higher risk of cancer in adults.

The research shows that there is a clear distinction between what is considered fact and what our bodies are telling us. And our bodies are shouting loudly with diabetes, obesity, cancer of all kinds, mental illness, suicide and sick leave, to name a few. These are skyrocketing globally.  Multi-symptomatic cases are presenting that require many specialists working together towards finding a solution for people who are desperate for an end to their pain.

It doesn’t make any sense, Does It?

Similarly, the worldwide press continues to print lies and half-truths for the masses that enable a general populace to remain ignorant and misled. Fed on a stingy meal of gossip, tabloid criticism and lies, the world’s population picks up the crumbs of ‘truth’ and builds a whole belief system based on scraps of flimsy ‘evidence’ and innuendo. Our ‘intelligence’ is read, absorbed and regurgitated.

Every press has its modus operandi – to gain more readership than another. The more readers, the more they will come back for another bowl of trifle. Profits have clearly become more important than truth and care, and so the people behind the press (researchers, journalists, marketers) lie to convince you to believe their story. Then they are rewarded for telling lies with higher share prices, promotions, status or awards. Every day we are reading cruel anecdotes passed off as ‘news’ that denigrate people who are unlikely to have the funds to take legal action against the rot of lies flung against them. And we gorge ourselves on it. Why?

Actors, musicians, politicians and their families and their children – literally anyone in the public eye has a target marked on their back. It seems that ‘freedom of speech’ has created the public execution by pen and this modern media expression is everywhere, and can attack by many means. Burning at the stake was the easy way out compared to the long, drawn out torture by faceless perpetrators on Twitter, Facebook, and commenting on blog posts. ‘Perceived strength through anonymous, abusive actions’. Why are they in hiding?

If you deign to stick your head above the parapet and start speaking truth, there are those out there who do not want their life of lies to be exposed – and they will inevitably take a shot. The pen can definitely be mightier than the sword – or so they think.

Lies are calculated and manufactured to mislead, control and manipulate. And whether intended or not, they always hurt people. Even when we lie to ‘protect’ someone, there is always an intention of control and manipulation. Truth, on the other hand, offers the opportunity to see things as they really are. From truth, we can begin to make changes in the world and break from the illusion we are choosing.

The truth can only be veiled by lies – it is never destroyed. What we perceive is truth can only be felt and discerned by one who truly commits to feeling first from the heart. Stephen Fry is one individual who, like many, is observing that we have this knowing within us and can expose the true quality of lies, naturally.

By continuing to allow lies to dictate how we think, we are choosing to stay separate and judge each other in harsh criticism, comparison and jealousy.

By continuing to perpetuate the lies by NOT SPEAKING UP, we allow others to wallow in the rotting waste of misappropriated truths we have been force-fed for millennia. The biggest lie of all is that we think that nothing we say in defence of truth will make a difference. I was speaking with a colleague and they said that speaking out is only a drop in the ocean and it won’t change anything. But this complacency and accepting the current status quo is our own undoing. Only through our responsibility will we be able to shift the current norm.

It’s time to take off the blindfold and clearly see the world. We have created it. Only when we stand up and tenderly and compassionately deal with childhood hurts will we be truly free to choose to take responsibility. With acceptance, humility and deep care for ourselves, we can then choose to feel more and live in a way that honours everyone, equally. When we move past the pain that we carry, we stop living to keep the world out – we can choose to let the world in.  Only then can we truly feel what is really going on.

What I am seeing more and more is that when I come to the truth, I am not alone. There are many others gathering around the world who have chosen to not compromise on truth – to observe, feel and speak it. We have an opportunity to expose lies and their insidious nature in our lives. When I connect to truth, it offers an awareness of the possibility of exploring another way, where we all live and express according to the love that we are within. This will reveal a very different world; the choice rests with us.

Are We Really So Different?

I see it every single day … there are different skin, hair and eye colours. Height, weight, feet and hand sizes are different. We look around everywhere and see difference. Not one of us looks the same. We’ve created a world that celebrates that we are all different. You have to have your niche, stand out from the crowd, and elbow your way to the top. Being different is championed! We hate to see someone else wearing the same shirt/dress/jacket/shoes because it feels like they have taken some part of our individuality. Our idea that we need to be unique drives everything from fashion to food, music to books, computers to cars, studies to jobs, movies to make-up, hobbies to hair styles – the list goes on!

So we’ve created a world to cater for all the individualism.

Before I go on, I wish to clarify that we need individual professions and occupations. We have created a world that is complicated and involves the services of people to support the world, as we know it. That expression is vital to bring harmony back to how we live. We need lawyers, shopkeepers, managers, nurses, builders, fishermen, gardeners, doctors, mothers and fathers.

But what if we are miles from the truth? What if the individualism keeps us from our one-unified-soul? What if we are all in a glorious constellation that keeps us in a divine flow, naturally? What if we are feeling everything all of the time? What if we can express our unique divine light without all the unique, individual distractions?

What would happen if we allowed ourselves to feel the truth that we have separated from our true nature and load ourselves with all the myriad of distractions available to us to NOT feel that we have separated! Whew! That was a mouthful.

So could it be said that, as a direct result of our indulgences in being individuals, we are stopping the fact that we are feeling everything all of the time and in doing so resist what and who we naturally are?

New Years Resolution – More of the Same Please!

It was Christmas Eve and I was in the supermarket. Suffice to say, it was heaving. The queue was particularly long, though moving quickly. The store manager was walking along with a tin of chocolates to keep everyone smiling. The mood in the queue was cheery and expectant and some of us were chatting to each other.

The man in front of me in the queue was telling me about his Christmas lunch plans. He was cooking a veal fillet stew for his friends, an Italian recipe traditional in his family. Of course I asked for the recipe!! Sear the cubed fillet in a heavy based casserole dish and add in sliced brown onions, carrots, leeks, tomato puree, bay leaves, fennel seeds, fresh parsley, fresh thyme, pepper, sea salt and almost cover with stock. Place in a slow oven for a couple of hours till everything is divine.

When I finally got to the checkout, the lovely man asked me whether I was looking forward to tomorrow. Quick as a whippet I replied, “I look forward to every day, every single one is awesome”. His eyebrows raised and he smiled. “Wow, that’s unusual!”

I have gathered so many amazing recipes from the ladies at the checkout, people in the queue and my friends at work. What would happen if we connected with people all the time? What if we actually let them into our lives, even if only for a moment?

How often do we really connect with people in our lives? Why do we walk around looking down?

Maybe life is truly about expressing love to each other. Not just our families, not just when we’re drunk and definitely not just at Christmastime. Love thy neighbour rings true – they way we speak to the people in the bank, in the local supermarket and at work should all have the same respect and care we treat our families. Why do we feel we can treat those people differently to our blood relatives?

This year I have made a choice to connect with people and let them in. No matter if they are on the tube, in the butcher or the dry cleaners. Every one has smiled back and even if we don’t utter a word, there is a connection there that lights my soul. It’s so simple and yet we think we are all separate – how wrong we are!

Sharing recipes and ingredients is my way of connecting with people. Whatever way we choose, there is a chance, just a small chance, that we may receive a little treat, a smile, a tip on how to cook aubergine, a fish recipe and a way to make Dahl that we never would have considered. When we are open, we allow for magic to happen.

My New Years’ Resolution is to have a year even more amazing than the last one! More love to be in the magic of my life, to see more butterflies, receive more tenderness, allow more flow, ask more questions, be open to new recipes, to see glory in everyone and most of all, be open to more love.

Who knows… it might just be the best year of my life so far. Give it a try – maybe, just maybe, you will see the sparkle of love too.

My comment on JK Rowling’s Leveson Inquiry Response

I’m disappointed that Mr Cameron is submissive to the press and not able to stand up and do what is right for the people of the UK. He is the elected leader of this country and he is not taking responsibility for the whole, but bending to a few ‘in power’ to not be the true leader we need now.

The Leveson Inquiry was an expensive, time consuming exercise intended to support the ALL the citizens of the UK, with no bias. The outcome should be for the benefit of the whole and a true leader would see the impact on every individual and not the profits of a few. These few have too much power, are unaccountable and Teflon.

It’s appalling that the recommendations are not being fully considered before being rejected. I agree that all people should have the opportunity to hold the press accountable for lies, intrusion, manipulation and harassment of ordinary citizens.

Mr Cameron could have used this as an opportunity to be strong and decisive and make a stand for truth. We will have to wait to see if the PCC is dissolved – and what then will hold the press accountable?

Finding My Inner Nemo in the Sea of Commuters

I laughed as I came out of the London Tube this morning. A few people looked at me like I was from another planet – not many people laugh on the tube! Oxford Circus is a very busy station and I really saw the humour in how we interact with one another.

Remember the film “Finding Nemo” and the scene where all the fish are in the current? Little critters simply holding themselves in their aquatic constellation. They never bump into each other or impose. They have accepted the flow and swirl they are in and are masters of just letting go and being in harmony with each other.

Resistance is futile!

There is a graceful power in letting go and simply allowing the current to take us as we weave and curve around the subterranean world below London. When I resist, or try to force my way through the crowd, it just doesn’t work. I bump into people, bags and feet. The impact of others fighting against it is also felt as a harshness, a force. The resistance to the natural flow around us all equally.

Today I felt the joy of being with everyone, letting them in, feeling everything and being me. It’s like being a fish in the sea and not getting wet!