Student of Life, Wife, Mother, Grandmother,
Storyteller, Singer, Songwriter, Author, Poet

Welcome to my blog and podcast. Thank you for being interested in what I have to share. It is my intention to write on a regular basis to share my stories, my insights and to explore life questions that may interest you. These are things that have helped me in my own life and I hope will help you in yours. I will share some links I have found interesting, and from time to time I hope to do some interviews. Please share freely with anyone who you think would be interested.....
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Is Your Truth Being Heard?
March 6, 2018
How can we speak our truth so that others get who we are, and we start getting more of the positive outcomes we desire?

Finding the courage to speak our own truth can be hard sometimes, and often when we do finally get the courage up, we are met with a reaction we didn’t expect – and sometimes don’t like.

Do you struggle with other people’s reactions to you? Do you find confrontation difficult and yet feel like life brings it to your door all too often? Do you feel like you are not being truly heard?

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The Reality Of Vunerability
February 13, 2018
There is an element in living with cancer that involves chronic and often acute fatigue. If you have been following my blogs and podcasts, last year I wrote about how I think I am a hare in a turtle’s body. In other words, my mind, my goals, the things that I really enjoy doing all require a fair bit of sustained energy and sometimes physical strength – I like to be a hare – going fast. And yet my body needs more rest than my mind, my energy levels require constant replenishment, my stamina for physical tasks is way more limited than I would like, so I feel like I am in a turtle’s ‘go slow’ body. Having cancer and my increased physical needs have really brought out the ‘turtle’, and I find that it makes me feel incredibly vulnerable.

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End Of Year Blessing For You
December 20, 2017
As 2017 draws near to its conclusion I am reminded of all the wonderful things that I have experienced this year. The year’s end is a time for gratitude, for appreciating the lessons learned, the heartaches lived through, the happy and sad tears.

Those of you who know Carter & Carter music will no doubt know some of these words below, and I wanted to add to them for this last blog of the year. This is me counting my blessings for 2017 and my blessing to all of us as we look forward to 2018.

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Are You Still Bleeding?
November 28, 2017
Are you having trouble moving forward in life because of your past? Do you feel like the world is against you much of the time? Do you feel like you will never get out of the cycle of hurt and self doubt? If you answered yes to any of the above then you are probably still living with open wounds. You are still bleeding.

“Our personal journey is always through our wound. We analyse it, deny it, project it, and consequently repeat it. Freedom comes when we face it. ” Kristen White

Most of us don’t like to think about ourselves as wounded. And yet all of us are. It is an inevitable part of life that we suffer. Suffering is something most of us say we avoid – and yet do we?

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The Power Within
November 21, 2017
Despite many shortcomings, we have one of the better medical systems in the modern world. It’s because of a medical profession diagnosis, I have had the opportunity to confirm that my body isn’t working as well as it could and I can now target what I am choosing to do about it. A diagnosis is good information – knowing means opportunity for change.

But to stay well, or get well, requires understanding that there is a much bigger picture. Sometimes when we are sick we get so frightened that we can overlook the power within ourselves to know what is best for us – sometimes despite the information and advice we are being given, sometimes because of it.

One thing I have had reinforced in recent months is that much of what we understand as the ‘medical industry’ is based around sickness - treating symptoms. Sometimes it even feels like there is a lot at stake in keeping people disempowered. When you are sick, this can be extremely disheartening – you are already struggling with your body or mind, and the information you get is confusing, limited; and in your many appointments there is no time to get the answers you need to make your own well informed choices. You can feel a bit helpless and clueless.

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The Freedom Of Kindness - Part 3
November 14, 2017
Were you able to do kindnesses for yourself everyday this past week? Did you find it hard or easy? If you were able to, do you feel better in yourself? Do you feel more able to do more for others? If you found it hard, did you stop to work out why?

A few years ago I did some casual research on people working in the ‘Caring industry’. I’d been mentoring several people who were very kind in their hearts but were burning out big time by giving, giving, giving – not just in their personal lives, but as their chosen job. The more research I did the more it seemed to me that it was a bit of an epidemic among those who choose ‘Caring’ as their profession. I started to wonder why?

More research indicated that there is a trend for people who have suffered themselves, to reach out to others with an aim to alleviate the other’s suffering. I totally get this. If we have suffered ourselves then it can be easier to empathise with others and show more compassion and understanding - to extend greater kindness than might otherwise be possible. This can be true whether it is our chosen field of work or not.

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The Freedom Of Kindness - Part 2
November 7, 2017
Recently I was in the supermarket when a lady asked me to reach something from the shelf for her. I gladly got her the slice of pumpkin she was after and she commented on how she felt a bit helpless. I enquired if she was injured and she said she had fractured her shoulder and it hadn’t quite healed well, and that she felt awful having to ask people to help her. I of course assured her that it was no trouble at all, and that most people would be more than happy to help her.

She then lamented that she would willingly help others, but found it very difficult to ask for and receive kindness herself. I left her with the gentle comment of ‘I think it’s time you learnt to be a gracious receiver as well as a gracious giver’. She blushed and agreed that yes that was what she needed; we exchanged a meaningful smile and went our separate ways.

It’s a reminder to many of us isn’t it? How hard do we find it to be a gracious receiver of kindness? Why is it often extremely hard?

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The Freedom Of Kindness - Part 1
November 2, 2017
There is something extremely liberating about acts of kindness. Especially true, genuine kindness with no strings attached.

One small act towards us can turn our whole day around. One small act neglected can crush and disappoint for days, sometimes growing into resentment and bitterness.

I consciously try to be the giver of kindness whenever I can. Sometimes I can be very deliberate, thinking about what the other person would like, trying to act somewhat selflessly. Sometimes I succeed.

Other times I am surprised that others consider what I do without thinking as an act of kindness and I find it a bit difficult to accept thanks because I didn’t act deliberately, just out of my own instinct. I learn from these moments and when I reflect on them I am gratified that my true nature is more kindness than not. But I am also challenged at other times as to my motivation, and the shadow of my true nature is revealed.

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My Tree
October 24, 2017
There is a tree just outside my back door.

It’s probably older than me, and the house it shelters. It’s not the prettiest tree around; it’s a bit out of shape, and leans away from the cold winter wind. I’ve been told what kind of tree it is, but I can’t recall its name – yet just knowing the tree is enough.

Although no-one can ever truly own such a majestic outpouring of creation, I call it ‘my tree’.

‘My tree’ is evergreen, giving beautiful shade over our lawn in the hot summer months, and shelter from the rain during winter. In autumn it takes the opportunity to shed some of its leaves and exchange them for new growth for the year ahead, and in spring it blooms and sends pale yellow blossoms floating on the wind, raining down on us, laying out a soft yellow carpet.

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Tonight I'm Gonna Cry
October 17, 2017
This week, there is only a blog, not the spoken podcast. When you read it, I know you will understand why. Thank you.

Tonight I’m Gonna Cry

Life can be overwhelming.

It’s 3am and I’ve barely slept a wink since I laid down 6 hours ago. The events of the last 10 weeks are jumping around in my ‘monkey’ brain.

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World Full Of Angels
October 10, 2017
This week I would like to share with you our new music clip for World Full of Angels, which is the theme song for my Ordinary Angels Podcast.

I’d also like to share with you some more reasons behind why we wrote the song and why I have chosen it for my Ordinary Angels Podcast.

The first verse is all about me – literally.

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Contemplating The Meaning Of Faith
October 3, 2017
The notion of faith and what it really means to me has been very much on my mind. I grew up in quite a conservative Christian environment, which served me well at the time, giving me a secure knowledge that I am loved, and it gave me guidelines and guidance for my life.

Some of the limiting ways God was viewed however, in that, and many other environments, both religious and non-religious, never really sat well with me. Of course, being in a conservative environment meant that questioning the way I did was not always encouraged, in fact in my home, not encouraged very much at all. We were taught that ‘God says it – so just believe it!’ Questioning the clergy’s view points and interpretations, the over literal approach to the stories in the Bible, the desire to explore other religions and expressions of faith and the incongruity of God being a god of love yet all around me was hurt, hatred and war, was not encouraged. Although all these questions were swelling in me from early years, I really had to wait until well into adult hood before I started to get some of the answers, or in fact, non-answers that I was seeking.....

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Why Me? Why Not Me?
September 26, 2017
Following the 2009 Black Saturday fires here in Kinglake my hometown, in Victoria Australia,  I was talking with a beautiful and wise woman recently who was telling me her story of losing her grandson in the fires and how he didn’t even live in the area but was visiting for a birthday.

He was just eighteen. It was a very sad story.

As I listened I sensed her strength, her acceptance of this turn that life had brought her and her determination to keep living life to its fullest despite her grief. She had no sense of being the victim, no sense of why me?

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Loving Our Wrinkles
September 19, 2017
I have been blessed with great ‘youthful’ genes. I have always been told I look at least 10 years younger than my age, and as my children were growing up I was often mistaken for my daughter’s sister! Only recently have people started believing that I actually am a Grandmother of 3 and that my children are in their 30’s.

I have loved this. It has appealed to my vanity.

Now in my mid 50’s however, the challenge is on. I stood looking in the mirror today and noticed wrinkles, lines, and grey hairs that I haven’t seen before. (Maybe because I had my glasses on.)

I suddenly felt challenged. Very challenged......

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The Language Of Love
September 12, 2017
What is it that happens when we do or give something we think is special to the ones we love, only to find it seemingly unappreciated.

We feel disappointed and may lash out saying how ungrateful the other person is. We may feel inadequate, unappreciated, misunderstood and even unloved.

The other person probably also feels these things and responds accordingly. The whole situation ends up in chaos.

The first and best place to start understanding the other person’s language of love better, is simply to ask. ‘What would YOU like?’

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Washing Our Rubbish
September 4, 2017
To me the need to 'wash our rubbish' is metaphoric to our lives. Is there a 'bit of rubbish' in your life that you'd like to get rid of? 'Washing Our Rubbish' will lead to a healthier, happier life.

Some years ago the hot topic in our local councils was washing our empty recyclable food containers before placing in the recycling bin to help alleviate the rat, mouse and other vermin problems at our transfer and recycling centres, and essentially at the time, to save our councils, and therefore us, money.

During a discussion with friends regarding reminding each other to be diligent and do this, one friend commented

‘Why should I wash my rubbish? – that’s someone else’s job’.

I suspect she wasn’t alone in this opinion, but it got me thinking then and I’m still thinking many years later.

I often talk and think about the high sense of entitlement we have in many western countries, particularly it seems, here in the ‘lucky’ country of Australia. Off to the dictionary I go for a definition of entitlement…

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The Miracles That Saved My Life
August 29, 2017
There’s a lot of talk about miracles in the world – a lot of people believe in them, a lot of people are desperate for one to happen, some people believe they can all be explained away via science. Some people are in complete denial.

Merelyn interviews 'Ordinary Angel' Clare Parslow as she shares the miracles that saved her life.

Clare: I guess beginning with what I believe a miracle is. A miracle is something I believe is beyond human capacity.

So when things happen to me that I know I couldn’t do, or mum and dad couldn’t do and all the powers around me couldn’t do - I understood that to be a miracle. Like learning to read when nobody was teaching me and seeing things happen that fade in your memory with time, that are wonderful, but miracles don’t, they stay as fresh in one’s memory today as they were as long back as I can remember as a little child.

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August 22, 2017
Poem by Merelyn Carter

This week’s blog just has to be read out loud, by the young at heart, to themselves, to other young at hearts and to the young themselves. You are never too old to enjoy a good rhyme.

Tomothy Thomas, Tomothy Thomas
Who ever heard of Tomothy Thomas?
Tomothy Tim or Timothy Tom
But Tomothy Thomas
That’s got to be wrong

Right or wrong it’s hard to tell
‘Cause Tomothy Thomas fell down a HUGE well
And from that well a story he told
A story of stories for young and old

It starts at the start...

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Living In The Crushing Wake
August 15, 2017
When we begin a relationship, whether it be a casual friendship, a close ‘inner circle’ friendship, a romantic liaison, a partnership, a marriage or one of the many other relationship possibilities, we often go into it hoping for the best – that it will live up to our desired expectations and that it will be fulfilling, rewarding and sustaining. Sometimes we go in a bit blind, or naïve. Sometimes we go in for all the wrong reasons, and sometimes for all the right reasons but inevitably some of these relationships go wrong, some horribly wrong, and we are left living in the crushing wake of grief, anxiety and uncertainty. Often our self-esteem is smashed to smithereens and we wonder why we got into it in the first place and if indeed we would ever want to embark on another such relationship.

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Why Doesn't Everyone Like Me?
August 8, 2017
At first this can sound like a primary school yard question. If we’re honest though, elements of that school yard carries forward with us into adulthood, and we still ask some of those seemingly childish questions. Point of discussion today – Why doesn’t everyone like me?

If we are honest, and stop for a minute to feel deeply, I’m pretty sure most of us will find this question lurking just below the surface. So what is going on? As adults why does it bother us so much?

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Who's Pushing Your Red Buttons?
August 1, 2017
As we move through life and interact with each other, we can often be puzzled by our own or someone else’s behaviour.

After a particularly unpleasant encounter with a man in the main street of my hometown, I was stunned, hurt, angry and felt a strong sense of injustice that I had been on the receiving end of his pent up anger, insecurities, grief and frustration at life. I hadn’t done anything merely said ‘hello how are you?’ and he had unleashed a powerful emotional force that literally blew me off my feet. Not much was actually said, but it didn’t have to be – he was not at peace with either himself or the world and I happened to be the one on whom he chose to vent his negative energy.

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I Am An Addict
July 25, 2017
I have always thought that I do not have an addictive nature. Gratefully, I have not struggled with substance abuse, eating disorders, obsessive negative behaviours or the usual things we attribute to being an addict. Or have I?

I live with someone who does recognise his addictive tendencies and works on management on a daily basis and I have seen the devastating effects addictive behaviours have on our wider family, community and world.

Recently, I have however, become aware than I am indeed an addict.

I have been addicted to my own opinions.

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Mobilising Humanity to Help Humanity
July 20, 2017
My first ‘Ordinary Angels’ interview is with Rosalie Pace – Senior Manager for Social Inclusion and Regional Development with Red Cross in South Australia.

Rosalie has many years of experience working in communities to help deal with the many social problems we continually face. The age of our social digital interface has created many new problems around loneliness and isolation even in city communities.

Rosalie talks about the challenges in her current role as well as what she has learned from past roles to give us a wise insight into what we can do to help ourselves and each other.

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I Remember You - Being Lovingly Present Through Dementia
July 18, 2017
After my father Norman passed away on September 13th 2014, it started to become obvious that he and my mother Norma (yes that is their real names – cute isn’t it?) had been doing a pretty good job at covering up the signs of what we as a family now know, to be the early signs of dementia in my mother.

It slowly but steadily became worse and we realised as a family that she needed assessment. Dealing with dementia can be very challenging to navigate, but putting the practical issues aside, the hardest thing is watching someone you love dearly slowly drifting away.

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Choosing The Path Of Lesser Pain
July 11, 2017
Through observation, it seems to me that very often we will choose the path of lesser pain when dealing with difficult situations, particularly in regard to relationships. This may ease the pain in the short term but could very well cause more pain in the longer term.

For example, when something upsets us or we are hurt by the actions of another, instead of looking deep into why we are hurt, what triggers or ‘red buttons’ have been set off in ourselves, we often step over or ignore the problem pushing it under the carpet, so as to avoid conflict with the other person and thus avoiding pain.

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How Can I Serve?
July 4, 2017
Poem by Merelyn Carter

Anticipation, Expectations, Responsibilities, Freedoms
Wrap around me like a warm summer's mist
Swirling, flowing, touching every part of me
As I breathe into my body
Touching my mind
My soul

The days ahead hold me as

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  I have recently had an epiphany about poetry. I had formerly thought of poetry being the style of verse that rhymes and has a definite rhythm, not unlike the song writing that I have done for years - the form of story-telling that falls into a particular expectation of format.

Lately though, I have had some very intimate experiences with what I now understand as a different form of poetry, that is free verse. Story telling that doesn’t hold to the traditional or expected (at least by me) form of rhyme and rhythm.

I have seen the beauty of the spaces in between the lines. The things that are not said, the rhythm that is left open, the rhyme that is not stated.

This has helped me see even better the spaces in between all forms of poetry. It feels to me a bit like our general scientific understanding of the atom. We have until very recently thought of the atom as being made up of electrons, surrounding a nucleus of protons and neutrons. Now our scientists are telling us that there is more in the spaces in between the spaces in the atom. Amazing.

Similarly (though I am obviously no scientist) I have now expanded my view of poetry to see not just the lines, or the spaces in between the lines, but the spaces in between the spaces. I love it. I have found a new freedom to express myself. I hope you enjoy my free verse!   Merelyn Carter
Hare Or Turtle?
June 27, 2017
Hare Or Turtle - what kind of body is yours?

‘We are fragile beings - I think we’re like a really beautiful vase, if we are knocked around and not looked after we fall and break but if we take the time to love and care for ourselves the true beauty from within really does shine through.’ Kath Targett

‘God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.’ Reinhold Niebuhr

I have always been a bit envious of people with great bodies. I don’t mean to make a judgement call on beauty, or shape or build. I mean bodies that work well, seem effortless at sport, are resilient and whose owners seem to not have to do too much to maintain the status quo.

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Rest In My Patience
June 20, 2017
At a recent family gathering for my 54th birthday, there was, as always in our family, much philosophical chit chat about life. I was commenting on how sometimes instead of rushing in to fix things, we can just let the situations play out and more often than not they sort themselves with a minimum of fuss and a lot of learning if we are willing to see it.

My son in law Michael, replied that something he has been learning in the past few years since he turned 30 was to be mindful to ‘Rest in My Patience’.

What a great saying. It got me to thinking. So I googled the meanings of the key words.

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Love is a Choice
June 13, 2017
On May 6th, 2017 David and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. Something we both feel pretty proud of, especially knowing that many of our friends haven’t made this marital milestone, and knowing that we shouldn’t take our relationship for granted, but continue to work at it.

When David and I married, we loved each other intensely, and the intensity of our shared love didn’t just flow between us, but also out into the universe, surrounding those close to us in its light and drawing strangers in to experience a glimpse of true joy. Sounds idealistic doesn’t it? - romantic love can lead us to spout all sorts of amazing things, the big questions are ‘do we really believe them?’ and ‘can we live up to them?’

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What’s Your ‘Why’?
June 13, 2017
“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

“Like the bobo doll is weighted to enable it to bounce back up, understanding my ‘why’ is what weighted me and enabled me to rise after every fall. I’m not saying it was easy, but it gave me strength to keep going.” Daniel Flynn (Co-founder, Thankyou TM – from his book ‘You have the power to change stuff – Chapter One’

“When you discover your Why? it opens the doors to also discover your Who?, What? and How?. Who am I? What am I meant to do in this world? And How am I going to go about it?. “ Merelyn Carter

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  Faith is about new possibilities when we realise this we are freed from the extremes of absolute belief and absolute scepticism   Deepak Chopra
Words Are Important
June 13, 2017
Have you ever stopped to think about how the words that you utter affect your whole life?

Words are powerful and once spoken, remain ‘out there’ and cannot be taken back. Our vocabulary, the words we choose in our conversations and also our own self talk – that voice inside our head, can profoundly affect our moods, our expectations, our relationships, our successes.

Have you ever stopped and listened to yourself? Are your words positive, realistic and uplifting? Do they express your own values and truths?

Or are they bathed in negativity, self doubt and a lack of self love and respect? Do they reflect automatic learned responses that are based on values that are not your own?

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