The! first Harmony Day was launched in 1999 by the then NSW MP Dr. Peter Wong. This was an initiative in respond to Pauline Hanson’s 1996 maiden speech at Parliament describing how Australia being ‘swamped’ by Asians.  According to the 2016 Census, nearly half (49 per cent) of Australians were born overseas or have at least one parent who was. Mandarin came first as the most spoken language other than English.  Eighty-five per cent of Australians agree multiculturalism has been good for Australia (check out the Australian Bureau of Statistics website for more details).


I hope your 2022 began on a positive note! However, I wish you would never get a positive COVID-19 test result. Last month I shared some thoughts about reflecting on the past and making new year resolutions for 2022. I wonder whether you have already set some goals for yourself, and feel enthusiastic about embarking on some new projects!

I woke up on 1st Jan 2022 only to find out that I was at a department store at Chatswood at the same time of a COVID-19 positive case, courtesy of Service NSW. I shouldn’t be too surprised as the daily positive cases shot up to 35,000 on 5th Jan. I’m sure most of you would know someone who unfortunately became one of the statistics. For me, the consolation is I took the first opportunity to receive my COVID-19 booster jab when the interval between the 2nd and booster vaccination was reduced to 5 months.

Talking about grabbing the opportunity offered to you, I also went to Port Stephens to be close to Nature at the first opportunity. I left Sydney for Regional NSW on 1st Nov 2021 when travel beyond Greater Sydney was once again allowed. I was glad I looked after my own mental wellbeing having facilitated a total of four Virtual Succulent Terrarium Workshops during October – the Mental Health Month. I practise what I preach!

Have you ever faced challenges in life that pushed you to seek other opportunities?  Have you turned down offers to start something new because you are scared of upsetting the status-quo?

I have! I was never a born adventurer, but I am a quick learner! I learnt early on my path to become a mental health advocate that I have to reframe difficulties into challenges.  The moment I talked myself into embracing challenges, I could comfortably take myself out of my comfort zone! It is very interesting to see how this change of mindset helped me overcome challenges. When I look back at the years I spent pursuing a PhD, it was like climbing Mt Everest! A positive mind set definitely helps. This video clip of the children’s book The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper about a little train engine climbing up a steep hill to deliver toys to the children. (Skip to 7:00 minute for the last chapter if you have read the story before).  

It sounds simplistic when I said it was just a shift of mindset, but it could absolutely make a big difference in how one tackles the challenges ahead of us. While preparing for this issue, I looked for some useful references to share with you here, I found a few which you may find interesting:

1.       How to overcome self-doubt and turn it into an advantage: Verywell Mind Podcast on self-doubt

2.       Take one more step when faced with challenges:  TED Talk on ‘Turning Challenges into Opportunities!’

3. Once you’ve found your opportunities, how do you set goals to make your dream come true? This article on SMART Goals may be a starting point for you.

4. One of the values featured in the CFS logo is ‘Growth’. Check out this link to read more on ‘Growth Mindset Vs Fixed Mindset’.

In my previous life as a Speechie (speech pathologist), I often set long-term and short-term goals for my little clients (usually between 2 – 10 yrs old). I broke down a complex task into ‘chewable small steps’. That would ensure each step is Realistic enough to be Achievable! The goals in my session plans were also very Specific (targeting one particular language/speech task such as using 2-words: Action and Object) and Measurable (counting the occurrence of the target behaviour) within a set Time-frame (usually 3 months). The rest of the plans were made up of the fun activities to provide an optimal environment for the target language to happen! When a friend commented that how well I relate to the participants during a Virtual Terrarium Workshop, I told her my years of practice as a Speechie paid off! Many of the skills (e.g. establishing rapport) are transferrable.       I hope you have a few spare moments to check out the links I shared with you here. Keep well and stay SAFE! If you would like to share your thoughts (photos or text) at the “Member’s Corner”, simply send me an email: communityflowerstudio@yahoo.com  

Enjoy whatever you are doing wherever you are! 

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