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THE iKiFit BLOG

Join iKiFit founder, Kim Macrae for snippets about education, life choices and self empowerment that encourage us to be the best version of ourselves - Every Single Day! (Click below to hear iKi Crews Every Single Day excerpt. Full version for sale on iTunes).

Life Coach and working mum Amy shares her experiences of how iKi helps her meet the challenges of juggling children, partner and career, while striving to be a happy, healthy strong role model. And staying sane!.

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Secularism is fairest for everyone.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

 

Secularize

Did you know that Australia is what’s called a “secular democracy” which means that everyone is equal in the eyes of the law as regards their beliefs – as well as regards their rights and obligations?

To secularize means to ensure the laws we all live under don’t favour one religions’ beliefs over those of another. Secularism promotes freedom OF belief as well as freedom FROM belief. Secularism protects churches at the same time as protecting those who have no interest in churches.

Religion, spiritual values and beliefs are important to our health as individuals and social beings, but history shows that being ruled by religious leaders can be as horrible as being ruled by dictators or tyrants. When those who don’t agree with the rulers are persecuted, tortured, murdered. History also shows that dreadful things can happen when the state persecutes a religious or church group.

Let’s not forget the Inquisition or the Holocaust.

So, what is the point of saying this?

It’s to remind us of the value of what we have as Australians: Imperfect as our political system is, it’s among the best in the world. Our right to have a say in our government -without being persecuted for it.

It’s to remind us of the rule that our government not favour one religion or belief system over another – particularly if it means that one group of peoples’ reasonable rights or opportunities are overlooked or disrespected.

It’s because religion (as well as some ‘ideologies’) can be intolerant of ideas or practises that really should not be anyone’s business but our own. Laws are meant primarily to protect us from others, more from than from ourselves.

I’m a great fan of a guide used by Rotary Clubs called ‘The 4 Way Test’ that they apply to discussions and then to the decision. It’s not hard to see how relevant it is to many of the challenges we face:

The 4 Way Test

  • 1.Is it the TRUTH?
  • 2.Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  • 3.Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
  • 4.Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

It can be difficult to find the balanced, fair answer when there are conflicting views and interests. But using a test like the one above can make it easier, particularly when we start from a place of respecting other peoples’ beliefs, - even when they are quite different to our own.

 

 

 

 


Fair Rules = Safe and Fun for Everyone

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

 

Fair Rules for Everyone.

Some people seem to think the rules don’t apply to them.

Examples are thick on the ground: – the banks and financial institutions recently exposed for doing the dodgy for decades, politicians and big business abusing the privileges that money and power provide. Not to mention our ‘sporting celebrities’ running amok.

If we’re honest, we all bend the rules at times. In fact, working creatively within the rules is considered valid tactics in business, sport and life. So, does it matter?

It’s worth remembering that the “Rule of Law” - regulations and legislation - have helped change human societies from brutal, exploitive feudal systems and dictatorships, where the majority of people were virtual slaves with few rights and little dignity - into to the safe, free and healthy community we are so fortunate to live in.

On the other hand, we all know there is still inequality and injustice and that some of our leaders, and ‘winners” - sports stars, celebrities, CEOs and other ‘successful’ people, are thumbing their noses and ripping us off. They’re not playing by the rules the rest of us abide by. They’re cheating.

Surely, sport stars,-highly paid and admired role models, should actually be REQUIRED to set a good example, rather than behave as the spoilt, entitled brats some are.

Surely, our political leaders, with larger salaries and better privileges, pensions and perks than most of us enjoy, should be proud to serve the best interests of their constituents – and actually DO it.

A friend recently pointed out that most jobs require strict qualifications: specific education levels, specialist training and ongoing updates. Yet many politicians are that only, politicians, with scant business, community or professional skills. And no rigorous ongoing job requirements.

Progress IS being made – the recent NRL decision to suspend players charged with criminal offences and the royal commission into the Banks are positive steps in the right direction. But here’s a thing. Back to our political leaders: - The Politician’s Pledge -more detail next week - that only 8% of Liberal/National politicians have signed. Surely, we can reasonably expect them all to sign – and be held to it? Just as tradespeople and professionals have to keep up their qualifications and do their job properly.

The ‘value’ that Australians treasure above all is the ‘fair go’ and the dream we share with the rest of the planet is wanting our children to grow up in a better world that us. That’s possible so long as we focus on what has gotten us here: Fair laws that apply consistently to all, young and old, rich and poor, famous and ‘average.’Fair laws that are for the benefit of the majority and take into account the consequences for success and failure, honesty and cheating.

iKiMagic - teaching simple, fair rules that everybody can understand, is making a difference in hundreds of school rooms. Fair rules with consistent, empowering consequences, help our children feel safe and confident which in turn helps them thrive and learn.

Have a great week.

 


Compromise and Consequence

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

 

Compromise

My dad was great at negotiating deals, solving conflicts and "finding the middle way". His philosophy was that every deal should have "something for everyone," meaning of course that the best negotiations end with all parties feeling that, while they may not have achieved everything they wanted, they got a ‘fair’ amount and that their needs and beliefs are respected.

The art of compromise, when done with honest intention and genuine good will, can solve most problems.

"Compromise, if not the spice of life, is its solidity. It is what makes nations great and marriages happy"
Phyllis McGinley

"In what we call "real life"--if we want to be successful, if we want to get on in the long-term--we always have to come to some kind of compromise with our own emotions: I can't overreact NOW! I have to accept THIS! I have to ignore THAT!

We're forever having to tailor our emotions to the circumstances; - We go easy on the people we love, we slip into our hundred little daily roles, we juggle, we balance, we weigh things up so as not to jeopardize the entire structure, because we, ourselves have a stake in it."

Daniel Glattauer, Love Virtually. 

 But there ARE times when there is no room for compromise. Mostly, the interests of the majority are best served by making allowances, by compromising. But there are times when we benefit more by applying the rules consistently and fairly. There are times we have to take responsibility for the consequences of our actions.
 

Debate currently rages around 'leaders' in the news for poor behaviour: - sports stars like the Australian Test Cricket trio suspended a year ago for cheating, various NRL players facing criminal charges, through to greedy acts by the banks and financial institutions. 

Rules of respect, safety and and honesty exist for the benefit of all and the only real way to lead is by good example. The rules should be strictly adhered to by our role models and leaders in all fields. Actions always have consequences and we are better off learning to take responsibility sooner rather than later. 

Have a fair week.

 


What Really Matters?

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

 

PRIORITISE.

 There's a little - known saying. "If you have more than 1 priority you have no priority"

On first reading I think that's a bit scary. But it's true. On one level. The idea can be challenging because, well, there's just so much to do!
In the modern world, we want it all - or at least like to have a lot of things 'on the go' at once. Being busy can help us feel productive, important and valued. On the other hand, the outcomes can be patchy - and there's always that nagging feeling that something needs attention. If asked, most of us will say that we multi task effectively - but research show very definitely that it is less efficient than we think.

But seriously. One priority? How can that work?

We all know that our life is made up of many elements, so how do we reconcile them - and still do something really well? The answer begins with perspective. Be clear on what really matters.

For example -Billionaire Jamie Packer was once quoted as saying that he's doing really well in business, but the rest of his life is a disaster.

He's got lots of money but he's miserable because his family life and health are a shambles.

I think this a useful way to establish priorities; - Start with the understanding that some fundamental things are not negotiable. i.e put them beyond priority because they 'go without saying'. These things are family, health and social/spiritual/community values.


For example, looking after your health should be a given. Budgeting a certain amount of time to your health and self- improvement each week isn't a priority, it's an essential.
Similarly, if we don't maintain healthy family and community values anything else will feel shallow and unsatisfying.

It's not simple, but at least it's clear. Look after our physical, mental and spiritual health and THEN establish priorities.

Still confused on what your priorities should be? Here's what the gurus say.

  • “Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least." ― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • “You need to make time for your family no matter what happens in your life" ― Matthew Quick, The Silver Linings Playbook
  • "Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important." ― Stephen R. Covey
  • "It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials." ― Bruce Lee
  • To keep your "fundamentals" right, try the simple and effective "HomeworkGrid" 

Have a balanced week.

 

 


Believing is seeing.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

 Visualise

There’s an old saying. “I’ll believe that when I see it”

But there is mounting evidence that suggests the opposite is more correct – that we see it when we believe it”

I remember being amazed in a class where the teacher asked us to look carefully, from our seats, at the window, and note the position of the fly screen gauze. The question was then asked: “Is the fly screen on the inside or the outside of the glass?”

I was one of the 95% who said it was on the outside. I’d looked carefully and that’s what I (thought) I saw, because I’d never seen a fly screen on the inside before. I ‘saw’ what I expected to see.

We’ve been learning a lot lately about the neuroplasticity of our brains, which means we can “change” our brains and our minds, in much the same way as we can change our bodies’ - fitness, skills, weight, shape, etc.

But never forget that the changes can go either way: - Eat too much of the wrong food, smoke and do no exercise and our bodies will soon be a sad sight to ourselves and everyone around us, just as a bad attitude and lazy mental habits result in a weak mind and a less than lovely personality.

If you read last weeks’ column, you’ll remember we talked about ‘ideals’. How they can be useful as guidelines, or benchmarks. But, here’s a thing: When we consciously “visualise” we can be caught out by expectations or ‘experience’.

When we looked at the window, most of us saw what we thought we ‘should’ see. We didn’t see what was really there.

The same thing can happen when we try to “visualise’ our own perfect self or situation. We see what we THINK we should want, are trained to want or are expected to want – by our families, our teachers and friends as well as our community. So, when we consciously visualise, what we see may not be what WE want. Or believe is right.

The answer is to ask your subconscious. It’s easy to ask - but we have to learn to hear the answer.

Firstly, get into a calm place where you feel comfortable. You know the deal – your own “special place”

And here’s another thing. It doesn’t have to be the traditional waterfall or beach at sunset with movie clouds and butterflies. Hold your breath for a revelation: - some people say they feel most relaxed on the toilet. The point is, your special place is somewhere away from distractions. Away with your own thoughts.

So, get somewhere you can relax, then ask yourself what YOU want and let your subconscious come up with the answer.

And listen. Your gut knows. You might want to be on the inside rather than outside. Or vice versa.
Meanwhile, mold that brain and body with good food, good activities, good thoughts, butterflies and yes, toilets.

It’s all part of life.

Have a great week.

 


The Best Ideal is Fairness.

Thursday, February 07, 2019

IDEALISE

If you’ve just tuned in to ‘An iKi Kind of Life’ - here is a brief explanation.

Each week we release a thought inspired by one of the words or phrases in the iKi Crew song, “Every Single Day” Each word or phrase represents an idea, an activity or choice.

“Every Single Day” summarises a core belief at iKi: that key to living productive and rewarding lives is choosing – and practising - behaviours that lead to positive, fair outcomes for ourselves, our families and our communities. Every single day.

You can listen to a sample above – or find it on iTunes.

This weeks’ thoughts are around the word ‘Idealise’ which means to represent something in an ideal form or character or to measure something as perfect or excellent.

Most of us think in terms of ideals at least some of the time. We might think about the ‘perfect’ job, the dream relationship, an excellent holiday, the best body and much more. We strive to be as good as we can be, to be honest, a great parent, loyal friend, hard worker. We resolve to look after ourselves and our family. But try as we might, there are times we find ourselves falling short of our ideals.

We’re all human, we all have flaws and few things in life are as simple or as easy as we may like. So an important consideration when dealing with ideals is to remember that while they can be great guides they are rarely attainable.

Remember also that there is good and bad in everything. Elements like arsenic, cyanide and selenium are deadly in even small amounts, - but micro amounts are essential to all life. Ideals can be excellent guides to help us visualise where to aim, what to strive for and to provide a benchmark for comparison, so long as we remember reality, moderation and consequences.

Think of “Ideals” like a cup of coffee or your favourite beverage. Taken at the right time and in the right quantity it can be SO good – the signal for a relaxing break, full of antioxidants and energy. But taken in excess, can cause all kinds of problems, like insomnia, nervousness, irritability, stomach cramps, heart palpitations. The list goes on.

The same principle can be applied to "ideal' values. For example, honesty is the best policy, though there are occasional ‘right times’ for a white lie. “Does my butt look big in this” anyone?

More serious can be  political, economic or religious ideology. Capitalism is a theory that insists ‘the market’ is the best way to encourage individual effort. On the one hand it has lifted billions of people out of poverty and helped build an amazing world, where dreams can come true. But taken to the extremes we see all around us, it exploits and damages the environment, communities, families and individuals. Its' “winner take all philosophy” is leaving many behind, just as the overuse of resources for profit is damaging our future.

And sadly, the news is full of examples of political and religious idealists inflicting horrific punishments, torture and mass murder on those who don’t measure up.

So, let’s aspire to ideals that allow for difference, share the benefits of progress and profit, and preserve the future for our children and grandchildren.

This year lets prioritise one ideal – fairness.

Have a great week.

 

 


Let's build resiliance!

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

 

Welcome to work-year 2019

Australia day has come and gone. Again.

I always feel a little sad after the Australia Day weekend, as it has become the unofficial end of the summer holidays. The weather is still unquestionably summer, but school is back and we’re all into full work mode.

Aside from the question of the date, the Australia Day celebrations have some great elements, particularly the Awards recognising outstanding achievements of everyday Australians.

This years’ nominees and winners are mostly involved with the mental and physical well being of our youth. Young Australian of the Year Danzal Baker is a great role model, getting his message of self – respect, respect for others and of doing our best across with his humility, his cool dance moves and his motivating rap.

Joint Australian of the Year winners Doctors Richard Harris and Craig Challen, of Thai cave rescue fame, also have powerful messages to share;

Dr Harris says “I want kids to find their inner explorer by taking a few risks and challenging themselves. getting a few grazed knees and stubbed toes, making them more robust and confident” He reminded parents to avoid ‘helicoptering’ and give children some space to fail and learn.

Dr Challen expanded on this theme by saying “Australia is a place that presents us with so many opportunities and it’s up to us all to step up and give it a go.” He went on to remind us how very lucky we are to live in this country. We have challenges to overcome and issues to resolve but it’s important that we remind ourselves of the very many ways in which we are the envy of the world.

Winners of the Local Hero award, Kate and Tic Everett, who established the charity Dolly’s Dream as a result of their daughter, Dolly’s suicide, say “Many Australians recognise that we have a bullying culture in our workplaces and communities, and we are “up for a change”

C’mon Aussie, as we move back into work mode, let’s consider the things we admire in ourselves as Aussies.Our sporty, “outdoorsiness”, our willingness to have a go, to give a fair go to any one who is trying. Let’s remind ourselves of how good we have it – and to make an effort be kind to those who are struggling - for whatever reason.

And first and foremost to end our tolerance for bullying. 

It's not rocket science. When we treat everybody consistently and fairly, when we hold everybody, including ourselves accountable for the consequences of their actions, we all benefit.

Smile and say G’day. Have a great year.

 


Stop the Hate

Monday, January 14, 2019

Stop the hate

Who remembers "Gullivers’ Travels" the novel in which the hero is shipwrecked on an island populated by two tribes who battle to the death over which end they open their boiled eggs? 
It satirizes the way we humans are capable of hating each other over the most trivial details. 

It's probably fair to say that most of  us can sometimes be unfair in our judgement of others - I know I can be - so  I'm going to share a quote I refer to regularly, to help me keep a healthy perspective. 

It’s from a blog called the 12 Step Buddhist and goes like this; -

“Learning to discipline the mind by letting go of thoughts of attack creates a space for peace to flow into our lives.

‘Attack’ thoughts towards others are also an attack on ourselves, as it comes from a state of fear and blocks the love we all want - and need.

What we see in others is really a projection of how we see ourselves. When we examine, judge or criticise others we are, in effect attacking ourselves.

It’s impossible to judge others without it having an effect on ourselves...so it’s better to make our judgement loving and positive.”

According to this way of looking at things, when we criticise others, we are really attacking our perception of ourselves and when we believe in those angry and negative thoughts it makes it difficult to feel good about ourselves. A false image of self has come to take the place of who and what we are. 
When we think or speak poorly about others we are in effect thinking and speaking poorly about ourselves.
The quote closes by suggesting that when we find ourselves struggling with “attack” thoughts, to consciously choose to see love instead.
Stated another way, be nice to others and ourselves. A win-win! Stop the hate and make it great.

Have a loving week.

 

 


Happy New Year. Make it great!

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Make it great 

Please take a moment to consider this question:- Are we safer now than at any other time in history? Or not?

Studies show that more than 70% of people will answer “No” to this question. Which is understandable given the trouble, strife and disaster presented every day in the media.
Yet for most of us, it’s absolutely true. As a species, we have never enjoyed better health, higher standards of living or more diverse opportunities. One simple statistic – longer life spans, proves the point.
 

So why do we feel so worried?
We are designed to focus on the negative. When we evolved in the jungles and on the savannahs, it was important that we took serious notice of the grass that moved a little differently, or the leaves that rustled when others didn’t. It may have been a tiger, python or neighbour planning to have us for lunch. Or it may have been potential lunch for us. Either way it was important we took notice of things that were different, or negative. It was a matter of survival.
To illustrate the point in a different way, consider this quote from Margaret Attwoods’ novel, ‘Blind Assassin’ - “Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement”.

To achieve anything, we have to ‘have a go’ - and having a go involves risk and failure. Achieving ongoing ‘success’ involves learning the skill of ‘Failing forward’ which means learning from our mistakes and moving on - applying the lessons learned along the way.
So here is the summary. We are built to focus on the negative. That’s a survival trait. To achieve we have to strive and when we strive, we will sometimes fail. This can add up to defeat if we don’t cultivate the habit of remembering that ‘failure’ is one of the most important ingredients of a ‘successful’ life. The key skill is to find the “good” in the mistakes – the ‘silver lining in the cloud’ and consciously focusing on it. The silver lining - rather than the cloud.

American neuro-biologist Dr Rick Hanson author of Hardwiring Happiness says “taking in the good” each day trains the brain to turn transient positive moments into something more long lasting and gradually attunes and sensitises the brain to positive experiences. To help, he offers this formula:

H.E.A.L

H - Have a positive experience and notice it , whether it is a physical pleasure, feeling or sense of determination.
E - Enrich it. Consciously stay with the positive experience for 5 to 10 seconds and let it fill your mind.
A - Absorb it. Let the experience sink in so it soothes you. Nourish it. Savour it. Enjoy it. Celebrate the satisfaction.

L - Link positive and negative material. Be aware of a negative experience while feeling the positive one. If a dark thought hijacks your attention, focus on the positive and try to let go of the negative. Or laugh at it.
Or, in the words of Monty Python. “when you’re chewing on life's’ gristle, don’t grumble, give a whistle, and this’ll help things turn out for the best”

This year will be like those that have come before:-  wonderful, as well as not so nice things will happen. It’s possible some truly awful things will happen as well, because that’s a part of life. But we can decide how we respond to whatever comes our way, the good, the bad and the ordinary. There will be silver linings to be found if we choose to look for them. It’s up to us.

Have a happy, healthy strong new year!

 

 


Alliteration, an awesome activity.

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Alliterate

This weeks’ word is Alliterate, which means to rhyme. Rhyme and its’ close cousin rhythm can help us celebrate success, face our fears, soothe our sorrows. Or just make us feel better, brainier or braver.

Melody, rhythm and rhyme is in our souls, our hearts and our heads. It helps whether the weather is woeful or when we are hurt. Or happy.

Sometimes the simplest, silliest sounds soothe our scarred souls better than the smoothest, sugary sauces or the rarest, rich rewards.

Most creatures, great and small, are musical and probably poetic. Yes, we can dispute the virtues of some: - a cicadas’ song may seem loud and lousy, like the latest pop or death metal track - but it’s music to the ears of those it’s intended for. Girl Cicadas.

Research shows that swearing spectacularly helps us feel better when we‘ve been hurt, whether we’ve hit our hand with a hammer or are suffering some sort of seriously sad situation. Surely there are similar studies somewhere that show the productive power of punning to provide a positive perspective to bothersome boredom or hearty health and happiness.

But seriously, the point is, we can make wonderful whoopie with words. Sometimes be silly with sentences. It costs nothing and makes us think.

So, this week alter your attitude with alliteration. Whip up wise words with wit. Write a response with riotous repartee.

Go on, have a rhyming, riffing, rapping week.