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Lessons Learned from an Affair – Part 3. If you feel they’re being groomed, YOU possibly are.

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Each year, in a packed classroom, I speak with a group of gifted and talented primary school students  about some of the essential things they need to know about being gifted and talented.

One of those things is personal responsibility.   My gifted and talented wife, Dianne, is a great believer in personal responsibility.    She explains that if you put yourself into a dangerous situation, and something happens to you, then YOU are a key part of the problem. You are not THE problem, but a PART of the problem.   She explains as an example, if you are drunk at 3am in the rough part of town, YOU increase your chances of being mugged exponentially. YOU contribute to the likelihood of the problem occurring.

As I explain to the gifted and talented students, if a plumber accesses a sewer, what is he going to get covered in?   He’s doing nothing wrong, but it’s going to stick anyway.

Young women often wear skimpy clothes to nightclubs and bars.   Some say they should be able to wear anything they like without being harassed. I agree.   However, what they are forgetting is their logic only works if they are dealing with people who are balanced and follow society’s rules of conduct.   What if they encounter those in society who often seek to take advantage of a situation, for example, a narcissist, a manipulator, a paedophile, or a muslim who sees you as ‘uncovered cat’s meat’?   If you access the sewer…..

And the sewer can appear in the most unlikely places.  Here’s a couple of examples…

Former Geelong Hospital heart specialist Associate Professor Alexander (Sandy) Black,  “a substantial contributor to the community for many years”, has pleaded guilty to charges of knowingly possessing child pornography.   Amongst his stash, 39 movies contained acts of child penetration, and,  the material included images of child sadism/bestiality.

61 year old Sydney army cadet officer, Christopher Williams, was charged with using a carriage service to procure a person under 16 for sex.   Previously, he had been sentenced to 3 months gaol (suspended) after being convicted on fraud and forgery charges.   He was also disbarred as a lawyer and has worked as an Air Force cadet officer, at the volunteer coast guard association, Scouts, St John’s Ambulance and the Masonic library. According to a NSW police statement of facts, he exchanged about 2800 phone text and Facebook messages with a 13 year old girl, including this…  “If you want to do something to yourself, do something that will make you feel goodyu can always masturbate, that will make you feel terrific and keep negative thoughts away.”

My then-wife, her sister, and our families used to holiday together at a caravan park in Tocumwal, NSW. Our young daughters were of the age where we allowed them to go to a small lake to feed the ducks. What I didn’t know at first was that among the nearby campers at the lake was a man who wore a small pair of speedos who had an equally small dog. Now I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t begin talking to a group of 4 young girls whilst wearing nothing but speedos, oh, and having a tiny dog under my arm.   Of course, the girls were attracted to the dog, patting it and making a fuss.    When the girls came back to our van, they told us, their parents, about the ducks, the lake, the dog, and the man.    For me, alarm bells rang loudly. Not long before that holiday, I had read a news article by parents of an abused child. It included the ways paedophiles groom children, befriending them, giving them something nice to come back to, creating an air of trust, and grooming the parents into trusting them.   So, when my wife, her sister and her sister’s husband wanted to meet the man, I said, “NO”.

Off they went, and later came back happily telling me that the man was “alright” and I shouldn’t be concerned about our children playing with him and his dog.  In fact, they suggested I should meet him!   It seemed as if everything I’d read in the how-to-spot-a-paeophile article was unfolding before my eyes!   These people had given this man their trust after one brief meeting.  My paternal instinct was in overdrive and I could not believe that these adults would allow, and encourage, their children – and my children – to be in that environment.  Nobody else in the whole caravan park wore ONLY speedos, except at the river-beach. (Even I wore speedos at the beach.)

Who knows if I was right to suspect that man? To me, warning bells were ringing and I spoke with my children about not going to that area again. Meanwhile, my then-wife was encouraging them to go and feed the ducks!

The lesson from Part 2 of this series of articles was, Trust Your Gut. In this case I did. However, this led to my then-wife and I arguing incessantly. My children’s welfare was on the line, and despite what she said, I put my children above her concern of over-reacting.   We’ll never know if I was right or wrong, and I’m glad about that.

So fast forward 10 years… what do you do when your friend buys your 15 year old daughter a $400 ipod for her birthday, and an easter egg bigger than any you’ve ever bought yourself!   I’m thinking she, we, are being groomed for something. What?  I didn’t know.  I was confused, and my then-wife told me she was surprised and hadn’t expected a gift at all for our daughter.

Well, that’s not totally the truth. What she told Alan Workman in a ‘secret’ email to him regarding his giving of the gift, she says, “I knew you would still do it, and yes  she is thrilled with it.  I think the easter egg shocked me more than anything”.   Hmmm, it seems that the only thing my wife didn’t know about was the super-sized easter egg, but she knew far more than I did. I wonder why she told me something different to what she told Alan Workman.

One of the lessons from that experience was how hard I found it to say ‘these gifts are excessive and unacceptable’.  My then-wife said it was simply our friend, Alan Workman, being generous.   Alan Workman made a habit of buying people gifts. Large gifts.   I used to say to my then-wife, ‘It’s as if he buys people off.   It’s just like grooming.    The gifts make it difficult for people to say anything’.

In time, I knew my gut feeling about something being wrong, was right. How?  Because I found that the day after providing the gifts, Alan Workman emailed my wife to say, “I  have been thinking of your inner thighs and back.  Love the touch of your fingers on my stomach yesterday.  loved my hands around you (briefly) could do with more of that xxxx
So I had better find out what work I have to do today.  thinking of you in front of that fire, with champers and oil to poor over your back and thighs. Yumxxxxxxxx
Alan xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxmwaaxxxxxxxxxxxxxx”

Both Alan Workman’s wife and I didn’t know our spouses were having an affair. Grooming is a method of making people relax, or stay quiet, so they feel comfortable or obligated in an otherwise uncomfortable situation. It does not have to relate to paedophilia.   With Alan Workman’s ‘generosity’, I certainly felt uncomfortable about speaking out.

Although, I had already felt total unease when, during his birthday speech a couple of months earlier, Alan Workman, in reference to my daughters had said ‘I love those girls’…. I squirmed rather than spoke out.
And there was the time my daughter was invited by Alan Workman to stay at his home by the beach… I said NO to that, but my then-wife allowed her to visit with a friend.
Alan Workman once  bought my ex-wife’s parents a 4.5 litre bottle of Johnnie Walker scotch… Interestingly, I heard they also weren’t enamoured with Alan Workman, but decided, ‘It’s not our place to say anything’.   I wonder why they thought that?

And so on…..

Trust your gut. The lessons? If you feel they are being groomed, YOU possibly are, so speak up about what your rules and boundaries are.

Next in part 4:   More on grooming, aka ‘Wrestling’.

Lessons Learned from an Affair – Part 2. Trust your gut feeling, or, I’m a mate and I’m here to betray you.

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My ex-wife, Sheena, and I used to visit Alan Workman and his second, or was it third wife, every few months. Let’s see… first wife was Lynne.   Lynne was a school friend of Sheena’s and later worked in the same building as Alan & I.   Alan & Lynne married in 1984, one week prior to Sheena and I. Alan was about 32 and Lynne ten years younger.  I always thought their age gap was too big. I’ve since heard of the relationship age rule of thumb – halve your age then add 7. Anything less is too young.   And this rings true to me regarding Alan & Lynne.   They separated about 18 months later.  Interestingly, Lynne hated Alan so much that she has not even told her now-adult children that she has previously been married.

Next partner that I know of is Joan. Alan and Joan were together about 7 years.   I recall Alan boasting to Sheena and I that he walked out because ‘Joan and her kids were always arguing’.   That’s interesting, as we’ll see later .   Alan continued, ‘I sued her for $35,000 I loaned her’.   Another bitter split.   But, Joan and Alan were defacto, not married, although they were together longer than both his marriages combined.

And then there was Rosemary. They were separated less than a year after being married. Rosemary wrote to her friends…


An Update.

To those who came and celebrated our marriage, gave gifts and smiled with such pleasure, you were probably surprised when I informed you of our separation in April this year.

We will divorce in April next year.

He loves someone else and always has….she also came to the wedding.

Guess I should have been more careful with invitations it seems!


Rosemary was furious with the betrayal by Alan and the betrayal by Sheena, someone who was a close friend. Rosemary’s elderly mother was very succinct. “Alan. You’re a rat”.   Imagine an elderly woman, who doesn’t swear, furious at this betrayal of her daughter. In this context, “You’re a rat” is scathing.   Rosemary used to say to Sheena and I, “You are the only couple we have as friends. All our other friends are single and mine. You are the only friends Alan has”.   Typically we’d go out to dinner, visit their home, or see a movie.    

Inevitably, I would not have a good time.   I had recently overcome depression and was on my way to discover peace of mind.   My attitudes and values had changed.    Alan was  still “good ol’ Al”. Just like the old days. Smiling while insulting someone. Saying things that others wouldn’t get away with.   That’s why his nickname was “Mad Dog” – always doing the shocking and unexpected.    I certainly did not like the way Alan would insult Rosemary’s young daughter (let’s call her Etta, then aged about 10 yo), calling her a ‘wilderbeast’ and other variants meaning fat pig.   I used to speak with Etta about her karate practice or school and try to re-direct the conversation. To my eternal regret, I did not stand up or speak up against what Alan did. You know, the ‘only joking’ scenario.   So how did Etta go after her mother’s divorce from Alan? Rosemary explains….


The fall out for me has been my kids, especially Etta who is just feral. I hardly ever have contact with her and if I ever mention Alan’s name she nearly goes berserk.


Wow.   Aside from his insulting of Etta, Sheena and I saw how Alan manipulated Rosemary. During our drive home, we’d discuss how Alan had constantly insulted Rosemary, and how she would do anything that Alan asked of her. She even told me stories about how Alan had bought her some wrestling gear so they could engage in his aggressive fetish with women.

My gut told me to leave this friendship with Alan. Yet, I didn’t. Soon enough Rosemary would be on the phone saying that Alan wanted us to go out again.

If we visited their house, somehow, Rosemary and I would end up in conversation in front of the tv while Alan and Sheena would be quietly chatting on the other side of the room.   On the way home, I’d say, “Alan seems to have the hots for you”.   Sheena would dismiss my argument as me paranoid. My gut feeling was strong.  As I trusted Sheena, I did nothing more. 

Alan wanted us all to go to France on a cycling tour. That was too much for me. My gut told me it was his way of getting  closer to Sheena. Alan would send Sheena letters and brochures. My response – “No chance France”.

One day we were leaving their home, and they walked out together holding hands!   I asked Sheena what that was about. She replied, they were just messing about. “It was nothing”.  Still, I trusted Sheena and did nothing more about it.

Alan often invited my daughters to stay at his home by the beach. My gut feeling was so strong that something was wrong, I would not let them.   But Sheena took one of my daughters and a friend and let them stay there.  But still I was too timid to break off our friendship with Alan.   Later, I heard that my daughter’s friend saw an “NQR moment” –  Nothing exactly wrong, just Not Quite Right! Alan and Sheena just a little too close, and a quiet whispering between them.

When Sheena and I were on the rocks, we had an agreement not to tell anyone of our troubles. We’d sort out the details of our imminent separation and then make an announcement. Along the way, Sheena suggested that I should have some to talk to. Someone independent. She suggested Alan Workman.  I said, “NO”.

And then Sheena suggested we have one last holiday together before we split.   I agreed.  But then she told me it was all arranged. Alan and Rosemary were holidaying at Rutherglen and attending a Chrismas in July at a winery. I said, “NO”.  Sheena said they had already paid for us. I repeatedly said, “NO”. Sheena persisted.  ‘They’ve already paid, we have to go’. I relented.

In the week leading to our holiday, Sheena and I had gotten on well. We’d been intimate, and I wondered if there was a chance of re-building our relationship. My gut feeling was warning me, but my logic was that nobody knew of our troubles, so we could work on it in confidence.  

But here’s what their email tells me was going on behind the scenes…   (the “RL” they refer to is me)

6 weeks before our Rutherglen holiday, when I was told that Alan had already paid for our room, he wrote this to Sheena. “What are you doing for the long weekend?  Want to visit?”   “Have you spoken to RL re Rutherglen?  We need to finalise shortly.”

Sheena’s reply. Would love to visit on long weekend but dont know about RL.  I am working all day Monday.  I was going to ask you guys up for a visit to see the dog for Etta, but that excuse has gone now.  I will speak to RL about Rutherglen and let you know.  May have to wait until then to see you.

Alan replies.  Speak to RL about Rutherglen and we can sort it out.

On another email he writes, Re Rutherglen, I will leave as planned.  Will leave it  up to RL to change anything.  No news is good news. 

To which Sheena replies, He seems fine with Rutherglen at the moment, changes like the wind. Hopefully we can all have an enjoyable time together for the last time.  : ))))

Alan sounds happy. I will ring later re Rutherglen.  Seems as though off we go xxxxx

Remember, I had been told that the trip had been arranged AND paid for. I was supposedly in debt.   But Sheena was happy too. Her email  to Alan continues  …… drive 15 minutes down the freeway and come and see me. : )))))   I could buy you coffee and we could  discuss Rutherglen, and I could give you a big hug.  Now isn’t that the best offer you have had today!!!!

And she finishes her email with, Thinking of you. mwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa   xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxRutherglen only 10 sleepsxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

During this time, Rosemary’s sister, Cathy, was dying of cancer.   I met her at Alan’s small birthday party. She looked gorgeous in a blue dress with a stylish wig.   However she looked quite frightened when Mad Dog Alan stood behind her and threatened to remove her wig. Once again, I didn’t speak up, and I felt ashamed.

When Alan was giving his birthday speech, he was giving thanks to the people in attendance. There was about a dozen of us. My family made up 4 of them. And when Alan spoke about my daughters saying, “I love these girls”, I shivered in horror.  And although I refused permission to have them stay at “Alan’s home by the beach”, in hindsight that wasn’t enough, especially when Sheena would take them herself.

But although Cathy was dying Alan’s primary thought was not about supporting his upset wife, Rosemary, or her dying sister, Cathy, it was simply about getting Sheena to Rutherglen. Referring to his wife he writes, Battler on way home from work.  Nothing further re Cathy.  That is about it.  However, it all changes very quickly and without much notice. Prob the reason I have gone off wine for the time being.  hate to settle down to a glass and then get a call and off to hospital.  rutherglen will be the exception but I will dirve and wish to keep sober so that I can look aftter you xxxxx


Now I wonder what he means by keeping sober to look after my wife?   Maybe Alan’s next email gives some clues…

Rutherglen will be fun.  I see it was -7dg there yesterday morning (brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr)

Ice cubes and toes.  Imagine a hot day and me running an ice cube over your stomach xxxxxxx

Gym tonight to work on,my back muscles xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx yum xxxxxxxxxxxx

Love the thought of you hovering over me xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

mwaaxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx ice xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx you



So, despite our intimate week leading up to our departure, we got to Rutherglen and , once we arrived at Rutherglen she was as cold as the ice was outside.   At one stage, Alan and Sheena went for a walk without Rosemary or I.  I wonder what was on their mind?   Alan’s email may give a clue.   You have driven me mad with the pic of the SP thong!!!  You have the cutest butt.  I hope it can withstand my exploration activities I have planned for it xxxx

And later….

Nice pic you sent me from Rutherglen.  Much prefer raspberry sp.  Oh yes!!!!

mwaaxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx lots xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


And later…yes, she did change her underwear to the raspberry color Alan had requested.

Rasb G completely made my day 🙂 God what a wonderful butt you have!!!!!!!  Am looking forward with much glee and anticipation to exploring it in some detail 🙂  God yes!!!!!


To which Sheena replied…

Sorry about the distractions.   I don’t want the hospital to have a fatal floor (sic-  flaw) in their computer system because i sent you a picture of my butt and you missed that one important factor of the program.  I could not live with myself.  :  ))))  Will keep distracting you if I can xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

And it continued, and continued……


My gut feeling during these times was not paranoia. Nor was it jealousy.  People who operate on those levels create problems rather than remove them.   However,  if you smell smoke……   And the evidence proved there was a roaring fire!

Next in the series, part 3…the similarity between paedophiles and Alan Workman.

Lessons Learned from an Affair – Part 1. Delete those photos of my butt!

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“Delete those photos” she demanded.   “But they’re mine. You gave them to me”, I replied.

These were the photos she had sent to my phone. Taken herself , her butt decorated by a rainbow assortment of G-strings, a couple bare skin, and, I’d only had them on my phone for a few months.    Surely this brief time wasn’t long enough. You see,  for twenty years I had endured a modern man’s lingerie nightmare.    Day after day I got to see my wife wearing daggy undies with the days of the week emblazoned upon them.   Undies her mother had given her years earlier.   Well-made undies unfortunately. They seemed to last forever!   And suddenly, to have her text photos of her butt to me? Wow, that was something I NEVER expected. EVER!

But now we were getting ready to separate and so she demanded that her butt-revealing underwear had to be removed from my phone.


We all have our own experiences, and if you look at your thumbprint it can be confirmed that we are unique individuals. Yet, if we all hold our thumbs up and compare them, we see that although we are unique, we also, actually, are VERY similar.

When I talk with people about overcoming depression and how to discover peace of mind, I find that many of these people want to know the stories…. how hard it’s been to endure a divorce, an  Intervention Order (IVO), a betrayal by a friend. They want to know how I came to have depression. What helped?   What hindered?  This public interest is what motivates me to write these articles.   In his book, Stumbling on Happiness, Harvard University’s  Professor Dan Gilbert says, “The best way to predict how you will feel  is to use someone else’s experience”.


One of the great benefits people receive when they overcome depression is that they can acknowledge their  mistakes. Let me clarify…. Although I can explain ‘reasons’ for having done things a certain way in the distant past, I no longer ‘have to’ rationalise or justify.

I believe what I write in these articles to be true.   Even if those characters involved in these stories want to argue about technicalities, it is easy to prove that what I write is substantially true. Why?  I have their own words in my files , yes, that they have written,  telling the story! Of course, much of it is my opinion.

I know that the people involved in this series of articles may have a different interpretation of events. During heated discussions, they have said, like our former Prime Minister Julia Gillard in her role in the illegal AWU Slush Fund, ‘I have done nothing wrong’.  The rebuttal to that defence is “If you did nothing wrong, what was it that you did right?”


In this series of articles, I will share with you some of my experiences so that you may learn from them. What did I do wrong? What did I get right?     You may not have a direct replica of my experiences, but yours may be similar enough, just like our similar thumbprints.


My thumb pushed the delete button, and the photos were gone from my phone.   She was relieved, I was sad.    And then I found the photos had reappeared on somebody else’s phone!   The phone of a mate. A mate whose wedding my wife and I attended just a few months earlier.    A mate who was a former boss of mine. A mate who I had shared a house with 25 years ago.   A mate named Alan Workman.

…and the lesson here?   If your wife suddenly changes her underwear selection and habits, something or someone, is on her mind.


Another star admits drugs, and gets it wrong

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Eddie McGuire reports that former star Collingwood 1990 premiership player Gavin Crosisca has blown it all on drink and drugs.   He lost his house, business, coaching career and, for a while, his family.

Imagine the cost of losing your house, business and career. That’s big bucks. Then divide the pittance that’s left with your wife. She gets more because of the kids. You’re left with a hessian bag for a blanket, and compared to what they’re used to, you’ve condemned your family to live on nine-tenths of stuff all.   And that is simply the financial side.    How about the emotional toll on the children?   A lot of guys say, “They’ll be right”.    That’s a cop out.    This situation is not a great place for anybody, so the secret is to stop this scenario from happening.

Somebody MUST have the balls to break the cycle and make things happen. In the case of Gavin Crosisca, it seems he didn’t have the balls, his wife did. She was the one who got things moving, getting Gav into rehab. Nicole Crosisca writes how to save her family, she had to trick Gavin to get him to rehab.   Gavin knew he had a problem but simply didn’t deal with it.   Well, actually, he did deal with it – by hiding it.   Of course, his wife and family wore the outcome of his problem.  She kicked him out because of his poor behaviour.

Gavin is just another whose first repsonse was to blame others.  How many time’s have I seen that?   He knew he had a problem and still blamed others. No matter what the other person’s role, you MUST take responsibility for you, and it’s up to YOU to break the cycle.   It’s a defining moment in life. Who can make the big calls? Who can make the crucial decision under pressure? Can you?   Some guys think they can make the big calls through multi-million dollar deals, running large organisations, and hiring and firing. That’s nothing compared to potentially destroying your own family, and your own career.   So, no matter how ‘successful’ you may be in the corporate world, the challenge is to make the big calls where they really count – for YOUR family.

Gavin admits to covering his feelings and emotions. This is another symptom that is common amongst blokes. When guys deny they have feelings and emotions, they are saying they are independant of nature. Nature has given us feelings whether you like it or not. You CANNOT suppress feelings. Often, these guys get angry too. What is anger? It’s an emotion and a feeling!   They angrily deny what they are demonstrating!   Gavin even had the nickname of “Bagger” due to his confrontational attitude.   Gavin now admits that covering his feelings, in practical terms, was simpy telling lies and being manipulative and dishonest.

Things were so bad for Gavin Crosisca he spent 4 months in rehab. Remember, he didn’t have the balls to break the cycle, yet spent 4 months recovering. I hear of blokes who don’t want to spend two or three days with me to nip their problem in the bud.   “I haven’t got the time”, they say. So, often, their family will simply leave them, and leave them alone, except for the huge financial burden. Then they have time-off forced upon them.  Gavin Crosica says his problem started at 15. He thought he could grow out of it. ad he tackled his problem when he was 18, 25, or 36 he would have had a far different life to how it turned out. Fortunately, it’s never to late to discover peace of mind, as long as you start dealing with your problems NOW.

I commend Gavin Crosisca for recovering. He’s changed his life, his career, his attitude. So why do I think Gavin Crosisca gets it wrong. He said,  “That first drink, that was when I knew my addiction started”.   I can guarantee Gavin Crosisca that his addiction started before his first drink. The drink is just a symptom.   As if to explain his addiction, Gavin goes on to explain how his father and grandfather were alcoholics.    What is the underlying message there?    So what does that say to Gavin’s son?

I also think Nicole Crosisca gets it wrong. In her article she says, “Addicts are not responsible for their disease”.   I can only guess that Nicole has been told that by someone in the medical profession.    Firstly, addicts are ABSOLUTLEY RESPONSIBLE for their own lives. You may not be responsible for what happens to you as a child, but once you are an adult, YOU and only YOU are responsible for recovering from whatever has been thrown at you.   This applies regardless of whether you are addicted to alcohol, drugs, the gym, smoking, work, status symbols, anger, chocolate, green tea, tv, or any other addiction.   Is being addicted to green tea a disease? How about excessive tv watching?   Alcohol and drug taking is a symptom, not a disease. Depression is a symptom, not a disease. There are many in the medical profession who agree.   Saying these things are a disease is helpful to remove the stigma, but not helpful to someone who often blames external factors.  Blaming a ‘disease’ or ‘addiction’ or ‘addcitive personality’ is nearly like blaming someone else. ‘Oh, poor me, I have an disease that makes me drink too much alcohol.’   What’s the implicit suggestion in that type of belief?

Gavin Crosica has been through the wringer. A lifetime of problems, fractured marriage, and now he is happier than ever. He’s off the drink, drugs, and (hopefully) the excuses. He seems to have discovered peace of mind.   Yet Nicole goes on to say, “Recovery is day by day and for the rest of our lives”.   But if depression and addiction can be ‘triggered’, can recovery can be ‘triggered’?

Discover Peace of Mind in one weekend.   All you need is an open mind.

Contact me for your personal, one on one Discover Peace of Mind workshop.

Rodney Lovell

PS.   If Doctors’ prescribe exercise to overcome feelings of despondancy and depression and Gavin Crosisca was an elite footballer…..



The Power of Pumpkin Pie

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What will be your Pumpkin Pie Moment?

Eighteen hours flying, and another two hours to get through immigration and to our motel.  Then, a quick decision had to be made – to sleep, or, to eat?   Blearily, my wife and I agreed, and soon we were outside in the afternoon sunshine, looking for somewhere to eat on the streets of suburban San Francisco.

The little coffee shop we discovered looked perfect. Not only did we want something to eat, we chose to have something ‘different’.   Pointing at a selection of food on display, we found we had ordered pumpkin pie.   We’d never discovered Pumpkin Pie before.  During my life, nobody talked about pumpkin other than mashed or boiled , and do you want sprouts with that.  Hesitantly, we took a bite, and discovered a new sensation.   We looked at each other – “Why hadn’t we had this back home (in Australia)?”

Well, why hadn’t we?

(1. Insert your answer here, but, don’t answer aloud if you’re on a train or bus – people will look at you strange…)


We’d both just had a belief change – a “Pumpkin Pie moment”. Previously, Pumpkin Pie was one of those things that ‘somebody else’ had.   Pumpkin like that? Impossible.    After tasting it, how did Pumpkin Pie sound to us now?

For the remainder of our trip, Pumpkin Pie, was regularly ordered. Yet, when we returned to our normal environment back home, what do you think happened?   Yep, no Pumpkin Pie.


(2. Insert your answer here….)

One year passed, then suddenly I heard those words again. “Pumpkin Pie”.   And soon we were outside in the afternoon sunshine, looking for somewhere to eat on the streets of suburban Brisbane.  We found “Carolina Kitchen“, a little taste of the USA right here near home.

But why rely on someone else to provide me with Pumpkin Pie. What would be better still?

(3. )

That’s right, and all I had to do was find a suitable recipe. Then I can have Pumpkin Pie whenever I want to, with or without pecans on top.


Now, reread the above, but substitute the words “pumpkin” or “Pumpkin Pie” with “Peace of Mind“.

It may sound a bit strange in places, but if you get the gist, you will understand that obtaining Peace of Mind, especially if you are overcoming depression, may sound impossible, but it’s not.

So try new things, because if you think you’re stuck with depression, think again. The greatest satisfaction will be where you least expect it to be. Possibly in a ‘half empty glass’. And that will be your Pumpkin Pie moment.


Discover peace of mind….it’s the adventure of a lifetime.

Rodney Lovell


ps – the best pumpkin pie recipe is at


Here is how easy it is to lose trust…

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Lack of trust is not just the domain of ‘used car sellers’, it is obvious in areas such as politics, workplaces, many Ebay sellers, local clubs, and even amongst family and neighbours. The stock market can show us a very simple example of how to lose trust – Make a statement, then don’t back it up.

Of the many companies that have lost my trust, such as Clean Seas Tuna, Matrix Composites, Neptune Marine, and Nufarm, Rodinia Oil, an exploration company, provides the latest example. On 4 May 2011, they proudly announced that their join venture partner, EnSearch, was no longer under Administration. WooHoo! Rodinia went on to say how they had “liaised extensively with them in order to protect and secure its financial and operational positions”. Well done Rodinia! Rodinia is managed by very experienced people overseen by a very expereinced board. Obviously they know what they are doing. They had plans to drill 4 wells with an option to drill some more.

However, by November 2011, just 6 months after Rodinia assured us of ‘securing its financial and operational positions’, they have served “default notices on its Officer Basin joint venture partner for failure to pay its share of costs”. This joint venture partner has responded by serving dispute notices on Rodinia! “The parties are about to commence a dispute resolution process”. “Rodinia’s ability to finance its future operations is dependent upon its ability to obtain new sources of financing and the existence of economically recoverable hydrocarbons.”

The management and Board of Rodinia, experienced in their field, have made a statement about “securing” their positions ,and, planned to drill 4 wells. Instead they have drilled and abandoned 2 wells, and placed themselves in a disputed position.

Of course, “Rodinia will be conducting a comprehensive review of operations for 2012” and “opportunities are currently being evaluated, with interest being expressed by several oil and gas companies.”

Here we are in April. No resolution to anything. No update at all to investors. It’s not just Rodinia have done or said, or what they have omitted to say or do. There is also implied meanings. Fine print is obsolescent.

How to get people to trust you

Trust has evaporated.

If you’re a rosy, glass half full type of person, how would you look at this situation? To me, the glass is half empty, warning bells are ringing and the drop from $2.10 to 10 cents is indicative that no matter what expertise the board and management have, it hasn’t meant much at all.

What does this mean for you and I? In simple terms, if we want to be trusted, be trustworthy. Look inward and evaluate what you do and say to others. Are you trustworthy? Look inward to do better outwardly.

I often make a statement that I can help people overcome depression in 3 days, sometimes less, provided they have an open mind. A recent client said he learnt more in one weekend with me than 9 years with a psychologist! 9 years!
The psychologist no longer asked questions, checked progress, or requested the client’s opinion, just wrote another medication prescription. Would you continue to trust?

Trust will often be broken or misplaced, however, life is to be managed not mastered. Only then can you truly Discover Peace of Mind.

Rodney Lovell


The Glass Is Half Empty, and that’s ok

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This week I decided to change the name of my blog.   I love the old name – “Thoughts are Things” – borrowed from Napoleon Hill’s classic text,Think and Grow Rich.   The idea that thoughts ARE things is something that is so profound. Sometimes a profound truth is found in a simple sentence.   Napoleon Hill espoused a postive mental attitude (PMA), which he meant to overcome fears and unhelpful thoughts and look for the helpful, positive side to situations. Great advice.

It seems to me, however, that the word “Negative” has been somewhat misconstrued over the years. For those that have attended my workshops you will know that I love to embrace the negative, for within its crusty shell lies a pearl waiting to be discovered.

Embrace the negative for within its crusty shell lies a pearl waiting to be discovered

As Ralph Waldo Emerson said way back in 1841 in his essay titled Compensation, nature has polarity in everything. You can’t have one end without the other.   Nature has seasons, cycles, north/south. Remember, a battery requires both positive and negative to harness energy.   Having both positive and negative, as appropriate, is part of a positive mental attitude.

Recently, I had a visitor to my house. In our yard is a large pot that my wife has made into a fish pond.   Sometimes the pond’s little fountain directs a trickle of water over the edge, slowly and discreetly draining the pond. Our visitior saw the pond and said, “What a lovely idea, half filling a pot and making it into a fish pond”. I looked at it and said, “The pond is half empty”.   It’s all a matter of perspective, and, if I didn’t stop the water draining, the pond would have been totally empty!   I often see problems, things that are wrong, out of place. Does that mean I’m negative? “Hey Rod, you always seem to spot what’s wrong. Why can’t you see what’s right?” I do see what’s right, it’s the part that’s not wrong!   And usually, what’s right doesn’t need fixing!

Fortunately, I was able to see what was wrong with being ‘treated’ for depression.   Depression is not an illness, it’s a symptom. Once I saw what was wrong, I was able to work on fixing it. And here I am now helping others. What a positive.

Over the years I’ve grown sick and tired of hearing people say, “Are you a glass half full person or a glass half empty person” in a lame attempt to coerce others to their way of thinking.   Usually, these people don’t even come close to meeting their own lofty standards.   Happy to demand others live a particular way whilst not having their own life in order. When I encounter them, my bullshit meter goes off the scale!   Trying to “be positive” all the time defies nature’s polarity!

The phrase, “The Glass is Half Empty” has been stolen and misrepresented. I’m stealing it back. There is nothing wrong with identifying when the glass is half empty.   And I’ve found that there is much to be learnt in embracing the negative.  Of course, sometimes the glass is half full.   You just have to know which is which.

What in your life has been stolen that you’d like back? A great holiday spot, stolen by a bad experience?   A nice tasting meal, that was once made by an ex-spouse?   A song? Whatever it is, steal it back and Discover Peace of Mind.

Now, I’ve got to work out how & when to change the heading of my blog. My diary is half full, or is it half empty?

Rodney Lovell



Live outside the Matrix

posted in: depression, Imagination (Tags: , , , , , , ) - No Comments

Have you seen the movie, The Matrix?  If you haven’t,  I urge you to do so. I’m not a big sci-fi fan, but I loved this movie.  

Billions of people roaming through life as best they know it. For Mr Anderson, aka Neo, life is missing something. Without  fulfilment, acceptance, control and energy,  Neo delves into his one passion,  which links him to new acquaintances.   For so much of the story, Neo is looking for answers.

During his journey Neo begins to recognise his inherent talent. He has hope, which quickly fades as his questions are unanswered. His belief begins to waver.  At the point where Neo is most in need of his amazing talent, he is ambushed and is suddenly shot. This analogy is so similar to the spirit of people who suffer from depression. Glimpses of hope. Recognition of talent and passion. Looking for answers. Often their spirit is ambushed….and in its weakened state spirit is easy to kill off.   A man with no spirit is quickly fading, not vitally thriving. All that survives is a faint glimmer of hope.

At his moment of ultimate darkness, Neo returns to life. The most infinitesimal illumination is brightest in a dark room. Having hit rock bottom, he can drop no further. His resurrection is wonderfully sudden. As quickly as he was shot down, he is able to rise….but with the benefit of his journey, he now sees the answer.  He could not have arrived at this point without his failures to learn from.  Nature is an amazing thing. Mistakes and challenges lead to advancement, fulfillment, control, acceptance and safety. Experience leads to growth….sudden growth.

A question can be answered in a few seconds. If that answer resonates with you, your change can be that sudden…a few seconds.    Just look how quickly your mood can change when somebody dangerously cuts you off on the freeway, or, when you get promoted.   It’s the same to escape  depression.    The moment of change can be sudden.    Your career may take some years, but the promotion is simply a moment in time. Your drive may be just a few kilometres, but being cut off takes just a moment.    Your life has taken many years to reach its current point and along the way, there has been many ‘moments’.  You will be reading this for a reason, so you will be looking for your moment, your answer.

For me, I escaped depression in under one hour. Firstly, one simple phrase was the answer I was looking for. Secondly, a trip to the library to research my new understanding was enough to lift weights from my shoulders that I’d been carrying for years. I saw the world in a whole new way, recognising systems, signs, and symptoms.

But knowing the answer is not enough for lasting fulfillment. Neo, and I, had to apply these new insights. Knowing the answer can help you escape from depression.  It is the application of knowledge that is the ultimate transformation.    

 I see people time and time again who say to me, ‘Yes, I know that’. They know it intellectually, but they certainly do not apply what they know.   The word “but” is used a lot. ‘ I know it, but…’   The answer must be lived, not filed.   You can be a beacon of inspiration by doing no more than your daily routine, and yes, it must be a different routine than what you have now.

Neo coupled his new knowledge with application and conquered The Matrix.   His results were astonishing….like yours will be.  

If you think you’re stuck with depression, think again. Discover Peace of Mind.

Happy new year,

Rodney Lovell

Frustration – Or How to Permanently Relabel USB Drives!

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All sorts of things get us frustrated. Often it is because we want to do something and don’t know how to do it.

Take learning for example. There are degrees of confusion, frustration, and clarity as you step along the path to learning whatever you set out to learn.

Computers are one of the great sources of modern frustration. I’m in the middle of reloading a computer for the fourth time in eight months. It’s not just loading program that’s frustrating; it’s the sequencing of loading programs.    When my computer was returned from repair this time, all my programs had been wiped and I needed to reload them all…again….arrrgghhh!   The Vista Home Premium operating system remained. (By the way, I like Vista.)

I decided to update to Windows 7 to keep up to date with technology….well at least a little bit.   However, I couldn’t update until I’d loaded the Home Premium Service Packs, both 1 & 2.   I couldn’t check my email until I’d reset my network and wireless connection to get on line. I couldn’t open my files until I’d reloaded my Microsoft Office.   The sequencing is so important but it can be so frustrating. This time though, I’ve written myself a help sheet, so if I need to reload another computer I will have the quickest and easiest sequencing steps at hand.   

I have a lot of information on portable hard drives yet one thing that has frustrated me has been that whenever I plug in the portable hard drives, my computer always allocates different drive letters.   It simply depends on what I plug in and in what sequence I plug in. What was the letter “J” last time, may be the letter “G” this time. It mucks up all sorts of connections and links. I simply want to permanently relabel USB drives.

I sought help from people who were supposed to be cutting edge computer gurus. Yet, all I found was temporary solutions, incorrect information and partial information. It reminded me of looking for help to overcome depression….temporary solutions, incorrect and incomplete information.   Sometimes the information was out of sequence.   “How can I do ‘abc’, before ‘def’…it’s just not possible. Arrrgghhh!”

However, I persisted and slowly learnt a little more about this aspect of computers. That is, how to permanently relabel the identifying letter for an external hard drive.  I actually entered a world I didn’t know existed.   “Wow, I didn’t know this screen was here.”   Bit by bit, I obtained little pieces of information, and, by tossing out bits that were obsolete, and re-sorting some information, I was able to eliminate frustration, discover peace of mind and achieve my objective…..relabelling external hard drive letters.

All systems need to be in sequence…computers or they get bugs, and ours, or we are at risk of depression.

And for those who want to know how to relabel the letters on external hard drives. Here is the solution for Windows 7. I’m not sure if there is an easier way, but easiest is not always best.

Push the Windows key with the letter R (or go to Start, then Run)

Type mmc then click OK (continue through whatever message may appear)

In the new Microsoft Management Console window, click File, then New

Click File, then Add/Remove Snap-in

Click Disk Management, then Add

Click OK, then select This Computer, then click Finish and click OK

Click on Disk Management in the menu on the left hand side

Wait for a few seconds and your various drives will appear on the right hand side

Right click the USB drive you want change the identifying letter, and then click “Change Drive Letter and Paths

Click on Change, then select a letter from the drop down list. It’s best not to use letters A to E.

Click OK, acknowledge any warnings, then select File, then Save. The computer will save these new settings in a default directory.

Check to see if it worked for you. Change ports, turn drives and computers off and on. Whatever you like….and see how the new information in your computer system makes things change just how you’d want them to be.   Now, where did that frustration go?

Sounds like a good time to pop on over to and grab a fantastic world-famous gift to celebrate!   

Rodney Lovell

Fixing Computer Bugs

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Computer problems! Arrrgghhh!    Recently, I’ve encountered two persistent problems that have stopped me in my tracks….but wow, what a feeling when I finally managed to solve them.   To me, it felt like the feeling I had when I knew I had overcome depression to discover peace of mind.   It’s great to confront a challenge and prevail.

Computer bugs really bug me, yet computer bugs became a fantastic analogy for me to use when talking about depression.  I have worked with a number of computer systems in the business world. It quickly became apparent to me that one bug caused many others. One bug was the root cause while others were the symptoms.   What surprised me was how many colleagues didn’t recognise the pattern. People would often complain about the symptoms and not hone in on the root problem.

It’s the same with life.   I recently saw a current affairs article where a student had been expelled from school four weeks out from final exams, all because she wore the wrong colored stockings.   Her mother and others complained bitterly. They can argue all they like about the validity or reasoning of the rule. However, to finish the year, all the student had to do was wear the correct stockings.   The expulsion was the symptom.    The cause was the student deciding to constantly wear the wrong stockings. Bloody hell! Wear the right stockings – finish your exams. Easy!

With depression, many people treat the symptoms.   The lethargy is treated with a need for exercise. The chemical imbalance with drugs.   The disinterest in life is countered by doing something you love.   And though those options may treat the symptom well, they do not remove or remedy the underlying root cause. I know. I tried them all.

When I had depression, I often searched the internet, as it evolved, for new information about depression cures.  There is a lot of symptom treatment but nothing focussing on a root cause. Adding to the mix was that there is differing opinions amongst researchers as to what causes depression.   I had a similar  experience when I began to research the first of my computer problems this week. Microsoft Outlook would not fully open. As the ‘waiting’ icon went around and around for hours on end, a small word appeared in the bottom left hand corner: “Databinding”.

Obviously, the word ‘Databinding’ combined with Outlook not responding simply were a symptom of a computer bug.   I researched the internet and found that the common suggestion was that Outlook had corrupted ‘pst files’ and that I needed to run a program called scanpst.exe.   The instructions that people offered caused me no end of confusion and I could not find one person who verified that the recommended and common solution actually worked.   Where was a practical step by step solution?

The solution was unlikely and came from an unlikely source. I stumbled upon a forum post by a man named Andrew Wallace. Andrew is a “Junior Member” of  the forum with only a few posts to his name. Andrew had stumbled across the solution himself whilst applying a fix for a different problem.

In contrast to the complexity of other solutions, the simple solution that this junior member was able to post was stunning and simple. It also highlighted, once again, about life being a paradox. The solution is often found where you least expect it.

The solution to the ‘Databinding’ and ‘not responding’ error in Microsoft Outlook is: Open Internet Explorer (an apparently unrelated program), go to Tools / Internet Options / General Tab / Browsing History and delete all history for all options.   That’s it.   Outlook then worked perfectly. There were no corrupt pst files. I didn’t need to run complex programs like the consensus was saying.

Now where else have I heard this type of thing? That’s right…depression cures. Depression is not an illness, it’s a symptom. Commonly misunderstood but entrenched by consensus.   But I digress.

The second computer problem I had was with my Skype connection. I have a Skype number and can dial landline phones from my computer. It is very handy when I’m travelling. However the sound became garbled and conversations were impossible. Skype had no answer to this problem.

Again, searching the net offered more ‘expert opinion’ rather than usable solutions.   There was talk about changing programs, buying compatible equipment, and running support programs, however, one post had a passing reference to a file named index.bat becoming ‘bloated’ with use.   This file can be deleted but reappears. However it reappears without being  bloated.   Now I don’t need to know how a common file named index.bat links with Skype, all I need to know is how to delete it.   For that, a nice simple little program named Crap Cleaner did the job. I’ve used this program for quite a while now and found it to be practical.   That’s what I like.   I simply selected every ‘delete’ option and it quickly cleared index.bat, as well as a stack of unnecessary other, um, crap!   Skype was now connecting me loud and clear.

Two computer symptoms cleared by totally ‘unrelated’ bugs.   Imagine how quickly you could clear depression if you knew where the root cause lay.   Look at depression as a symptom, not as a disease.

If you think you’re stuck with depression, think again. 2010 is the year to Discover Peace of Mind.

Rodney Lovell