For those of you who don’t know me, my passion in life is supporting people to either make the changes they want to make, or relate differently to the changes that are happening in their lives.

Last weekend I went to a symposium called BetheChange. The symposium ‘takes a fresh look at our most critical current concerns – environmental sustainability, social justice and spiritual fulfillment – and explores and exposes what connects them.’

Although a lot of stuff I heard at the Symposium wasn’t new to me, the way in which it was presented was.  For the first time I was able to connect on an emotional level to what was being said, in a way that I never had before.  I felt deeply upset and realized that although I ‘do my bit’ recycling etc, there really is so much more I could be doing!

What interested me most, was the area of ‘fulfillment’.  I know personally and professionally that if we are not ‘fulfilled’ then we can do all sorts of crazy, dangerous, unhealthy or antisocial things in our search for ‘fulfillment’.  This might be taking Class A drugs, using weapons, doing extreme sports, having unprotected sex with strangers, drinking too much, overeating, gambling, being a ‘workaholic’, having plastic surgery, watching hours of television or playing computer games.  A lot of this behaviour may be considered ‘normal’ and even acceptable, and the more people that indulge in the behaviour the more justification there is for it.

The reality is though that if we feel fulfilled on the inside there is no need to look outside of ourselves for it.  It’s a bit of a ‘catch 22’, the more we search for happiness the more unhappy or ‘disconnected’ we can become.  Think about it, how many people do you know who are searching for happiness? Perhaps you’re one of them. If we are disconnected from ourselves, how are we ever going to be able to ‘connect’ with others? And as long as we don’t ‘connect’ we don’t need to take responsibility for what’s really happening in the world……the poverty, malnutrition, poor sanitation.

Once I allowed myself to connect to my feelings about what is happening to our planet I felt compelled to start doing something about it.  It doesn’t mean I have to join Greenpeace or be chaining myself to railings in protest, but I can do something to make a difference, we all can. By ignoring the ‘problem’ we just condone it.

BetheChange really stirred me, woke me up.  The symposium was not designed to make me feel guilty for what I have or haven’t done so far, but what it did was offer me a place to stand in the matter.

My work is to raise people’s consciousness, because without ‘conscious awareness’ there is no ‘fulfillment’.  When we are connected to ourselves we can connect with others living on the planet.

I’d like to leave you with some wise words from The Wombat …….

To find out more about BetheChange visit

Speak soon

Julie Mann