Thursday, August 3, 2017

Passive aggressive is still aggressive


Have you ever had a sick day rather than have to deal with a supervisor that has been riding you like a pack mule?

Or fantasised about holding an imaginary voodoo ritual conducted on a family member who insists it is their birth right to prove your stupidity at every family do?

How many nights have you lay awake arguing with a phantom work mate?
(If this scenario just took a romantic turn in your head this blog may not be for you.)




One of the most empowering things I have done in my work/life history was not learning to fire a semi automatic glock (albeit badly), but to get down and dirty with a communication professor to learn true communication terms and how they can impact on our ability to deal with stress.   I really had to have a good hard look at my assertion and listening abilities so that I can develop a better way to work and play.  And most significantly - the ability to develop strategies to eliminate bullying, domestic violence and war.  Yes peeps - the big stuff.  But we are the shittest of the shit at communication.  Hence, an Australian woman's greatest threat to her life is her current or former partner, and we are teetering on the edge of World War III.

Maybe people get to the point where they believe, "Man, it's tough, I don't want to have one more thing I have to do... think.... say...  I would prefer it just all went away."  #ponderingmylifeasarapper

Maybe this is why people say 'I don't like confrontation', and are supported with knowing nods.  And if anyone were to say, 'No, I do like to put it all out on the table,' people take a little step away and look upon said self confessed confronter with a tentative curiosity - wondering where we store this one-eyed, war-scarred unicorn. Is this person dangerous?  Or are they useful?  (And, how can I use them to my advantage? Hmmmm.)

But it is our inability to confront people that could be eroding away at our mental health, our family life and our workplace performance.

Confrontation is one of the most poorly understood terms in the English language.  Hollywood has brain washed us to invoke images of strapping on a fully automatic weapon dripping with ammunition and a sweaty head band to make good on a cause.  There are connotations of witty verbose, yelling, name calling and courtroom scenes.   However, the true, literal definition of confrontation is much more benign and calm.  It is almost bland. Confrontation in its purest form is an attempt to bring awareness of a significant gap between a persons actions and their words.

For example:
I am here to tell you that what you doing, and what you saying, are not the same. 

No blood shed, no screaming, crying, streaming snot bubbles.   No steely glances, fist pumping or spitting.  No one gets sacked, killed, or hot water thrown in their face.

Just one soul telling another soul that something isn't adding up.

The words 'I don't like confrontation' becomes an excuse, or a validation, to remain passive.  And this is the most simple definition of passive aggressive behaviour.  By avoiding confrontation, the very drama the person is claiming they are seeking to avoid is actually being created - but on a different level.  A level of avoidance, complacency and a general expression of "I can't - you do it."

An example of passive aggression may be:

"I didn't do what I said I would.... because I was sick, tired, busy, busy, busy."

Hey, don't think I don't see the #irony here.  There are only so many balls in the air that we can all juggle before they come crashing down.  But in the spirit of learning and teaching better communication I no longer regale people with my lists.  Because a communication expert taught me that this is just me being passively aggressive. And she is uber smart. Even when she was shining a light brightly and solidly at my big pimply communication flaws, I still enjoyed the process - and didn't die.  I just had to squeeze a bit to get to the core of the matter.  (Try and get that image out of your head).

And more importantly I needed to learn this:  Passive aggressive is still being aggressive.

And I made a decision - that is not how I want to roll (anymore).

I don't want to be aggressive anymore.

I don't want that flittering, unhinged feeling anymore.  So now, instead of the passive aggressive lists, I apologise and acknowledge my actions, and propose solutions to said inadequacies.

Likewise, if I see that a person's actions and their words are on two seperate paths I make a judgement call as to whether it needs to be addressed for the sake of my work life, family life and mental health.  Once I recognise it, I confront it, and I deal with it.  I wash the dishes so I can get an early night.

I don't need to name call, or blame, or say "You let me down you doe brained fly penis, don't you know how busy I am?"

That is just plain aggressive.

I am also more cognisant of 'poor me' statements like "You make me feel... [insert superimposed feelings of guilt, shame, inadequacies here]."

Nobody makes me feel anything but me.  It is my job to confront it and deal with it.

And I will also confront a person (my children are definitely not exempt) if they say to me: "You made me...", "You make me feel..."

Nope, nope, nope.  I understand you feel a certain way.... and I am compassionate to that.  But they are your feelings.

I have no control over you, or your feelings.

But I do have control over my response.  And my response can be one of compassion, and one can should never confuse compassion with submission.

Just like if I saw somebody in pain standing on a bridge contemplating whether to jump, I would not hesitate to confront them.  I would not walk away with a subconscious passive belief that it was someone else's job to help them.

I would say something like this:
"You don't have to do this.  Not today.  Not here.  I will be affected by what you are about to do forever."

There are only two real emotions - fear and love.  We get to choose which one we are going to run with.  Which one are you taking out on to the track today?


Does your training officer need to get onboard with workplace stress and communications training?  Send them this way, I will sort them out.

Who is the twit writing this blog?

What do people think about RAVES and RAVES courses?






Monday, May 1, 2017

8 Tips to Prevent Child Abduction

This is not click bate,  here are eight (8) really important lessons to teach our kids about safety and what to do to prevent child abductions.  It and has been applied to real life child snatches that I have investigated, or researched.




So buckle up and let's get our safety on.

Tip One:  STOP REWARDING YOUR KIDS WITH JUNK FOOD

Apart from the obvious health concerns, predators will use chips, lollies and ice creams the same way that parents may bribe and reward: as an incentive to do what they want.  Be careful with the lessons that you are teaching.

Tip Two:  TEACH YOUR KIDS TO SCREAM AGAIN

If you hear your child screaming because they are hurt, or being hurt, don't 'shush' them up.  Instead address the reason that they are screaming.   The scream is their go-to alert system, and instinctual way of facing down fear.  Give them sports and activities where this is encouraged.  If they don't use it, then they will lose it, and this is not a survival skill that you want to die.

Tip Three: SECRETS ARE ONLY FOR BIRTHDAYS, NOT BODIES.

Abusers use threats and intimidation to keep children compliant.  Things like, "Don't tell mummy or daddy about our secrets or I will....".  The next time you hear yourself say "Shhhh this is a secret..." reinforce the learning that secrets are only for birthdays and Christmas parties, and not for bodies.  If a secret feels bad, it is not the kind of secret that you keep.

Tip Four: EMBARRASSMENT makes good victims.

If you are embarrassed about your body, bodily functions and sexuality then you are teaching your child the emotional tools that predators will use to to foster their silence.  Tools like shame, guilt and fear.  If we continue to teach our children these dysfunctional emotions then we are creating a fertile ground for dysfunctional sexual behaviours - whether that means your child will be more likely to be a victim, become a predator: or in fact, both.  Learn what are normal sexual behaviours of children and what are red flags for abuse so that we don't project our own sexual maturity onto a child's normal development or curiosity.  For example: a red flag for abuse or inappropriate exposure is when children pair sexual behaviours with adult framed sexual words.  This is now a major concern with children as young as 7 being exposed to online porn.

Tip Five:  THRASH, SHOUT and JUMP about.

Punching and kicking in a traditional martial arts setting have been proven in U.S. College Studies to slow down victims of sexual assault.  There are far more bio-mechanically efficient ways for a child to instinctively and instantly become slippery hurt machines. Big movements like thrashing the head, pumping the arms and stamping the feet.  Couple that with an ear shattering yell and your child will no longer be seen as the 'best' victim.  A test you always want them to fail at.

Tip Six: NEVER LEAN INTO A CAR WINDOW - FOR ANY REASON.

If someone strange pulls up in a car beside your child, teach them to TURN to the rear of the vehicle AND RUN.   It will buy your child some time, or hopefully, make them a less attractive target.  It is good practice for us all to take leisurely runs and walks on the footpath that faces toward traffic.  Then it is obvious if a car is pulling in toward you.

Tip Seven: GET RID OF THE 'Our Family' STICKERS FROM YOUR CAR.

Scratch those suckers off right now.  Stop advertising what precious cargo is within.

Tip Seven:  THE BOGEYMAN IS A MYTH.

The reality is that your child will rarely be snatched by the bogeyman that lurks within the recesses of their fears.  Your child is most likely to offended against by someone that they know, or has been invited into the family to a position of trust.

This is most certainly the case when parents estrange and during custody disputes.  This is the time that your child is most likely to be abducted: by yourself or your partner.

It is better to teach children that everyone is human, but sometimes some humans make our tummies feel funny, and this is an early warning system.  Talk to your child about trusted humans, and humans that make us feel bad, and give them the time and space to tell you if someone makes them feel bad.

The greatest gift we can give our children is to be free of fear and brimming with self worth.  The child that grasps for love and attention - from anyone, for any attention, whether it be positive or negative - is also the child that becomes the 'good victim'.  And the only way to teach your child self love is to practice tolerance and unconditional love for your child - and for all humans.  Not just some humans.  But all humans.
No name calling.
No hate.
No fear.
Just Love.

Oh yeah, l have also reached the learn-ed realisation that kids never listen to their parents.  That's where I step in.   My kids don't listen to me either, but by some divine providence your kids will.  So send them to me....



https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01KK9RUGM/ref=rdr_kindle_ext_tmb


BRAVE kids self defence - more than building muscles, but also building big voices and bigger hearts.







Monday, March 13, 2017

What predators look for when you post photos of your children.

Posting seemingly innocent photos of your child or teen has a sinister outcome that you may never have considered.

WARNING: 
THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE CONTAINS ADULT CONCEPTS AND EMOTIONAL TRIGGERS


Your child or teen could be a poster child for a pedophile ring - and you may never know.
Australia made world news in 2016 with a website trading explicit photos of local school girls.   The site even had pages dedicated to local Brisbane and Gold Coast high schools and fan pages - offering money to men who could find more explicit photos of their favourites.

Attempts to close down the site have been thwarted in a brazen disregard of the law.  And these girls, whose images have been used without consent, could be to this day, oblivious.

Police CANNOT ALWAYS LOCATE YOU if photos of your children have been found to be used in connection with pedophile rings.  Due to the ability to mask IP addresses and identities with overseas servers and false identities it is not always possible to link an identity to these photos.  There are even sites dedicated to teaching online predators how to cover their tracks.

A photo of your child could be part of a pedophilia ring that has been uncovered by Police, and you wont even know about it.

The Task Force I worked for busts pedophile rings - and makes arrests of pedophiles in our neighbourhood.  This article is an insight into what they do, and how close to your home they come to arrest offenders.



A pedophile or predator will not play fair, nor think like the average person.  They therefore look at images and their erotic 'potential' differently to how the average population does.

Here are some things that pedophiles may find attractive when looking at photos on social media:

  • The obvious stuff - like children in bathers, underwear, having a bath, or in a state of undress.   Even well placed emoticons covering your child's genitals can be photoshopped off and genitals photoshopped back on to increase the 'value' of the photo. You can take me to South Bank beach at Brisbane on any given day and I will be able to point out lone males taking photos of children.... your children.   And yes - Police do patrol this and regularly confiscate cameras and phones.  I have seen it happen meters away from parents and they are completely and utterly oblivious.  The Police do not have to approach the parents, because it is not an element of the offence to have a complainant.  Importantly, there is rarely time in these situations to locate and talk to the parents about what has just happened - Police are too busy dealing with the offender.
  • The less obvious stuff that predators find irresistible: like photos that they can alter to make your child or teen look they are part of a sexual act.   These photos can be altered to have a male person in the photo in a state of arousal.  Or they can simply overlay a lewd comment so that the photo becomes a pedophile photo 'meme'.
  • Children of social media celebrities.  The more photos posted, and the more coverage the images gain, the more likely they are to come to the attention to pedophile groups and be subjected to their monstrous conversations and attentions.  Similar to a teenage crush of a pop star, these photos become a platform for imaginings, fantasies and lewd behaviours.  The internet has now allowed predators to openly discuss their fetishes, and because they have the support of their monstrous tribe, they now have a place to 'normalise' and 'strategise' dysfunctional thoughts and fantasies.

Things to consider when posting photos of your children:

  • Is there enough room to 'superimpose' another figure into the image?*
  • Are they in a state of undress (even with emoticons placed modestly - these can be removed and body parts can be photo shopped in).
  • Do you have a public social media page?  Pedophiles can develop 'child crushes' and the child does not have to be posed or in a state of undress for the photo to become a commodity.

*  I used to pray that when I saw a photo of a baby in a nappy and a sexually aroused man in the image that the image was 'superimposed'.  I didn't always receive this comfort from the government classifier or the photographic specialists.   This is is the horrific reality of child sex crimes and trafficking in the 21st century.  There is one photo in particular that I remember which causes me pain daily - a 6 month old in just a nappy with the most beautiful angelic smile laying on a bed - and a naked man entering the babies bedroom.   This child looked like my babies - your babies.  And the horror that I could not reach through that screen and save that child scratches at my brain.

Things to be considered with your teens social media images:

  1. Duck faces and posed photos are used as baseline trading images on predator sites.
  2. Swimwear and underwear shots become more valuable.
  3. If their account is public then the predator 'ring' can approach friends (or enemies) of the teen and pay money for more explicit photos.

It has taken over a decade for me to write this post because I know that I will have re-visted images and situations from my career that haunt me.  There was a time when I would physical hit my head and moan to stop the memories - but I hope that I have now developed better coping strategies.   I now have a practice of offering it 'up', or surrender.  I take the time to do a short meditation where I hand the image and the horror over.  This then allows me to focus on the present.   If it re-surfaces I repeat... repeat, repeat repeat - just like my rules of self defence.  Because to submit is not an option for me - or my children.

If you have been affected by this article please make an appointment with your GP.

Or ring lifeline.  Or the sexual assault helpline.

Here are some things you may need to know when reporting sexual abuse.


Empower yourself and your family with an online interactive self defence e-book.
Because self defence isn't something that you had 'wished' you had learned.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Women killing women - by silencing their voice.

One in three Australian women will be in a battle for their life against an ex or current intimate partner during their lifetime.  It becomes a fatal battle when the woman is strangled or smothered (because, can you believe it, they are trying to shut us up????) or when they are bludgeoned to death.  This is the common way for a woman to die at the the hands of someone that was, once or currently, claiming to love them.

Australian women die when they try to use their voice.



We are all guilty of being at a party and watching a violent argument without stepping in.  Listening to a neighbour being berated and threatened but we decide not to call police.  Because we have all been conditioned by that little Australian voice that says, "it's none of your business... stay out of it.... they are just drunk...".

Our conditioning starts in the classroom.  From the earliest age little girls are repeatedly praised and rewarded for being quiet, conscientious, listening, participating...  Little boys are expected to be loud, rambunctious, active.   When a boys academic ability naturally kicks in, they receive the academic accolades, and the girls are left with the residual messages of, "you have to be quiet, conscientious, and listen more if you want to receive recognition of this stature again".  And so the conditioning is ingrained.  It is further ingrained when we look at the traditional sports and recreational differences between girls and boys - girls dance and perform, are graded on perfectly slicked hair buns, silence, weight management and demure outward presence and a pleasant smile.  The gentleman run, kick, shout commands, tackle, grunt, throw, defend.  Their voice is a mark of their strength.  Their leadership.

Women are taught to make themselves as small as possible... make yourself smaller on that bus seat, lose weight, cross your legs, don't lose your temper.  Don't let your daughters get under anyone's feet.

If I had a penny for every woman who said, "I would like to train with weights, but I don't want to be bulky" I would retire.  Because God knows, you don't want to be physically dominate, do you?  That would be too much for the world to bare.
Australians left an indelible mark on the world stage by being the first country, in the world, to be more fixated on the colour of their first female Prime Minister's pubic hair, then her intellectual and political contributions.
And I witnessed educated women joining in on that conversation.  I saw the pleasure and venom with which they jeered at her.  Like returning to a 1980's school yard and dragging new girl off the popularity perch, so the boys won't take their attention away from the resident preening cool girls.

I will say no more on that.

No matter your political background, nothing screams 'insecure' and 'bigoted' more than people using name calling rather than rational intellectual and political argument.

Which I think our education system fails poorly in cultivating.  Who here has done courses on argument, reasoning and critical thinking????  Right.  Que crickets here.  Teaching people to think for themselves.... mmmmmm..... I wonder what would change if that was the basis of our school curriculum?

But name calling.  Australians are gold medalist in that.

But it is not my intent to bemoan and gesticulate.

My intent is this:
Before we as women silence other women with glances, behind hand whispers and social exclusion... could we perhaps teach our daughters there is another way? To teach them that we are all connected,  and when united we cannot be hurt.  That we will not give away our power by allowing others to hurt us.

Could we re-learn to use our voices?
Could we question our use of 'outdoor voices' and 'indoor voices' with our children, before social conditioning means that they have forgotten how to use their voice, when they need it the most?

Could we eradicate shame and guilt, and make these statement sentences a tool on a young girls tool belt that she brings her no embarrassment, only boundaries?  Sentences like:

  • No stop
  • I need some help today
  • I deserve respect
  • I am your equal
  • My feelings are valid
  • I deserve to be heard
  • Put on a condom
(Ladies, I teach teen girls that if we aren't mature enough to insist on a condom, then we are not mature enough to have sex).

It is not enough to stop the hands that beat us down.  We as woman must stop with our own judgement, reach out and lift up the voices of ALL woman.

We all know when our words come from a place of fear, and we know when our words come from that expansive, warm, tingling place of connection and inspiration.  Everyday I am working to come back to that, instead of that fearful, spiteful place (I fail quite regularly, but to ere is human).

When I teach you and your daughters, that is the place I want to open and ignite.  And then I watch it catch like wildfire as social conditioning is questioned, and connections and protections are cultivated.

Be that torch - you are that torch.  Don't silence women.  Give them a safe place to use their voice, and teach them the difference between words of fear, and words of truth.  This is how we shine light into the violent world of darkness.




Have you or a friend experienced a life threatening situation?
Are you looking for strategies to empower yourself and regain a sense of self and safety?
RAVES self defence now has an interactive e-book.




Saturday, April 30, 2016

Should our kids show anger? And for how long? Knowing this could save lives.

How long is a child allowed to outpour anger?



According to the clinical poineer of palliative care and emotional intelligence, Dr Kubler-Ross:
15 seconds...
15 seconds! 
That is a flip flop long ding dong time for any parent in the firing line.
But it is now recognised as on of the greatest failings of Western social conditioning to discipline our children to suppress emotion in favour of social convention. 
Teaching our children healthy outpouring of the natural emotions: fear, anger, grief, jealousy and love - is a sure fire why to raise a healthy, productive generation and short circuit our violence fuelled, emotionally crippled community.
If we don't teach out children that anger is an ok emotion and it is ok to display it - safely - then we get teens and adults who spontaneously rage. This translates to one punch killings, domestic violence and active shooter massacres.
  • Jealousy turns to possession.
  • Grief becomes depression.
  • Fear becomes obsession. 
(Did you like that? That is the result of a double shot coffee).

Could teaching our children to be angry change our poor domestic violence record?

We could, quite simply, change the world by teaching our children it is ok to be angry, and show them safe ways to discharge anger.
The buddhists uphold the same belief - to be childlike is to be god-like.
So the next time you encounter a moody person, or deal with a tantrum, or  find yourself simmering in an unexplained mood... let's ask ourselves how we provide safe havens for the children and people in our lives to outpour emotion (safely).  Do we afford ourselves the same safe, judgment free space to allow emotional recognition, and in turn, spiritual growth? Do we acknowledge our anger, or suppress it and push it down into a furness where the pressure is building and seeping out of structural weaknesses?

Anger is ok... rage is not.

#‎DVmonth‬ starts with teaching emotional intelligence.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Why American self defence is irrelevant to Australians (we even spell it differently), but every American should learn it the RAVES way.

Australian self defence SHOULD to be taught differently to the US.  But Americans would benefit greatly from the "Ossie" style of RAVES self defence.


Please note the iconic thongs and singlet of our 'bogan attacker'.  No hoody, or high top boots on this dude.
He is true blue.














































Here are some reasons: 

Australians look out for each other.  We do not have to yell "FIRE" when we are being raped. Australians will listen - if you know how to get above the industrial noise and complacency that urban living has created in our busy lives.  

And we need to be taught HOW to protect other people, while keeping ourselves safe.  This is an easy skill... and should be taught from an early age.

Mace, pepper spray and guns are illegal to carry in Australia: and like our football, we don't need body armour.   The number one reason you should not rely on weapons, alarms, sprays and powders are: they are largely money making gimmicks that feed off fear and insecurity, and if you don't know how to use them correctly, or freeze, or can't find the bloody thing, then you have wasted precious moments trying to retrieve it, and will fall prey to fear.    

I teach you to use tools readily at your disposal (your voice, hands, knees, feet - BRAIN!), without years of martial arts practice, and without needing strength and brute force.  And the options taught are limitless!  They are limited only by fear, which is the greatest tool in my arsenal.... my ability to dissolve fear and ignite your fight.  With escape options fear goes out the door unlocking your brains to access intuition, power and prowess (all the ESCAPE drills that I teach will come flooding back).

I will teach you the RULES of RAVES self defence.  RAVES RULES use the logic of physics, the mechanisms of the human body and brain, and draw on strategies and thought processes that survivors of rape and extreme violent crime (and even natural disasters) have used to turn from victim to victor.




Just a few of the crucial RAVES rules, follow them for escape success.
Underpinning these rules is the concept of KISS.  A dualistic concept that only a female can understand and teach.  Read more about the concept of KISS here.

But most importantly, I will teach you skills to respond quickly, skills to empower yourself and your family.  Check out my book "Empower Yourself" - an interactive online self defence e-book.  If you read it - you may never need it... and then, my job is done.


Have you or a friend experienced a life threatening situation?
Are you looking for strategies to get empower yourself and regain a sense of self and safety?
RAVES self defence now has an interactive e-book.



www.sweatdepot.com.au home of RAVES self defence

Friday, March 11, 2016

Do you have a defiant child or teen? I have a little meltdown strategy....

So, Madonna had a custody dispute with her ex-Ritchie over their son's refusal to live with his Mum anymore.

So it went to court.


At the basis of the argument, would be the rationale... 'Does a 15 year old get to decide his fate?"

Yes?  No?

Let's look at the assumptions behind this argument:

1.  That the mother has a right to parent a child?
2.  A father has a right to parent a child?
3. The child has the right to tell one or both parents which parent they prefer to reside (predominately) with?

Let's look at the behaviours behind these assumptions.

Would Madonna have taught/ shown her son that he was:
  • very special
  • his opinion was valid
  • that he could do, be or have anything he wanted in this world.
Madonna may be able to say, yes, she has taught her son some of these realties.  Or, maybe we can assume that Rocco has seen his Mum's mega success and what behaviours she uses to take what she wants, when she wants it, because that's how highly motivated people roll.  

She may have taught her son that it is ok to ask for something, even if it hurts someone else's feelings.  Or maybe, even despite it.  Or maybe, even to hurt someone's feelings.

Should she go back through time and change anything - HELL NO!!!!  That's ridiculous.  Children are sent to us as our greatest teachers and our best reflection of the reality that we create around ourselves.

So before we judge our children's behaviour, or force them into a state of submission or compliance, could it be helpful to see what our children may be seeing and replicating in our lives?  Because there is only one person I can change in this world... me.  I am the only person who I can control.  And that is a fundamental truth.  As it should be.

So, a parent who says, "I have been through so much, I deserve so much better..." will be given the ironic manifestation of a child that grows and says to that parent, "I deserve so much better.... (than you Mum/ Dad.)"

Is that wrong?  No.  Nothing is really wrong or right, if we look a the assumptions behind most of the arguments that we have with each other (or with ourselves, in our head).

So I teach something special at Australian day care centres as a strategy to this defiance - otherwise know as a 'tantrum' in the early education world.  If you have a toddler having a meltdown, you have to try this, get down on their level and say, "Yes, this made you angry.  Gosh dang it.  Stomp and shout.  Let it out...."

Or another great example, "Suzy has the shovel and bucket, and you wanted it!  I know how much you were enjoying it.  Oh no!  You can have a cry, and a shout.  That's ok, let it out!"

No judgement, no lectures on the virtues of sharing to a two year old that has just pee'd their pants, is dehydrated, and wants a hug or a cool fan but doesn't have the words to tell you.  Leave those lessons for later when they are dry, cool, hydrated and calm.

Just sit with them in their defiance.... and watch it all ebb away.  Without you being drawn into the drama.  Because if we do get drawn in... what does that say about our love of drama?  Am I right?

Get through this parent: we need you in the front line.




www.sweatsystems.com.au.  
Tackling the big stuff that makes everyone poo in the nappies: like tantrums, personal protection and sexual assault prevention.