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Being an Incubatee has been the most valuable personal development program I have ever done.  Like EVER. Fleur asked for a testimonial but looking back at our journey over 8 modules and many group chats – what I said and when I said it and who I said it about – well, you can guess that these words sort of speak for themselves. So I’ve listed them below.  And the words that I sobbed, the words that I typed in wild anger and frustration, the ones that I wrote when giddy with energy are the ones that are really going to tell you what it is like to be an Incubatee.

I can never thank Fleur enough for giving me the opportunity to take part in her Incubator program.  You see, she understands women. Women like me, and you and her.  Women that make mountains out of mole hills, or who doubt themselves or who have ever thought about that their dreams couldn’t be realised because of money, or because of their past, or because of their poor self-worth (or any other excuse we can come up with).

What is below is an extract of my 8 module journey.  From the lies to the REAL truth and everything in between. This is my little way of thanking Fleur. But really it is for YOU because by doing Fleur’s Incubator you could be the most amazing you that you never thought was possible. It’s about accountability. Because this is your one life.  And it’s more than just a read through.

7 May 2015 – Who I was.

Hey girls
So this is me. Aged 40 (yes, true mid-life crisis), mother of two kids who are gorgeous but most of the time I want to kick them in the shins repeatedly. Married to the man I met whilst we were young single and free backpackers in Ireland. I’m a part-time government employee.
I too grew up on a farm and come from that generational family type thing that hold grudges longer than the Amazon. I went to school in Geraldton. Finished high school and thought that things would easily come to me. I suppose they did.  Travelled a fair bit, moved to Perth, went overseas again, met my man, he moved to Perth, then we moved to this town 8 years ago and had our little men.
I guess because I had a pretty cruisy life to date, I expected to be a Natural Mother. That didn’t happen. Bubba 1 was a huge bubba and labour sucked balls. I didn’t realise probably until he was about three (and I had had two miscarriages by that time) that FARKK!! I had post natal depression. (My mum’s favourite sayings of all time is “Push it to the back of your mind and have a dispirin”.) How could I have PND when I have a perfect little boy and a lovely husband and an okay part-time job? Plus my beautiful sister has a child with Autism and her life was such a challenge. What right did I have to complain?
I now realise that those times when I was sitting at home crying or sobbing or feeling my guts churning with anxiety I should have picked up the phone and called my sister or a friend or someone, but I guess my self-esteem was so low that I couldn’t burden anyone with my whingeing …
So, since I was pregnant with Son No 2, I have been on anti-depressant medication. I have seen clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, mental health social workers, and I still feel that I’m not where I need to be.
Last October my sister and the universe conspired so that I could attend Cre8 Ignite Leadership seminar in Perth and I saw human beings overcoming so much stuff in those three days that I knew that I could get through anything. And I also signed us up for Relationship Mentoring which he initially rebuked, rejected and roared about but we are half way through a 12 month mentoring program and our communication is better.

But still I’m not where I need to be.
What I want to have is passion. I was driving to work this morning and feeling so lethargic and I knew why … it’s because I was driving to a job that doesn’t inspire or drive me. I sometimes feel the same going home at the end of the day, coz I’m going to be facing whingeing brats that want to be washed and fed and read stories too.
Imagine if I was so proud of a day’s work that I had done that I feel energised going home and HAPPY to see my kids!!
So that is what I’m looking for. Passion, drive and to rebuild my self-esteem and self-confidence. I want to banish fear and anxiety and SHOUT FROM THE ROOF TOPS my love of myself, and who I am and what I do.
(Does this count towards my final mark?)
Lots of love girls. Can’t wait to be awesome(r). xx

13 May 2015 – the start of my vision board.

VISION - Page 001

15 May 2015

Personality Testing

I took the quiz and words that describe me: relaxed, peaceful, harmonious, depressive, creative, unique, authentic, emotional, loyal, reliable, anxious, skeptical.
Being this type of personality means that your life is a bit of a rollercoaster, Ups and Downs, and highs and lows … maybe not depression after all – just a freaking rollercoaster expert???

18 May 2015

So, I struggled with finding action items after Friday’s catch up. My main action item is to find self-worth and self-confidence but actually thinking of a way how to put that out there has evaded me until about 20 mins ago.
But of course, all I needed to do was think over stuff that I have been avoiding thinking about and then the action items came to me.
1. Make an appt with a psychiatrist in Perth and ditch the old psych guy who wears the cardigans who asks me “if I feel mostly happy or mostly sad” (stupid questions for someone who has a three year old and a six year and a penchant for over analysing things!).
2. Take control/change anti-depressant medication. I have a friend who is a bit psychic and she said to me last week with that knowing look “well, you ARE on the wrong medication, you know”. And as soon as she said that I felt so relieved that whatever feelings of misgivings were valid – just because I don’t wear a cardigan and have a psychiatric degree doesn’t mean that he knows ME.
3. Everytime I feel overcome with negative feelings (self-doubt, anxiety, I’m not good enough, yadda yadda) when it feels like a million ants are crawling over me, I will (as Taylor Swift says) Shake Them Off and imagine them to be rays of sunshine and love washing over me.

My real wish at the moment is that I could turn and RUN from this amazing Incubator group and not have to face up to this. But I know I can’t. And I wont. I fear who I will be in seven weeks time, but I know that I can’t hide forever, because if I did I would be the only loser and have only myself to blame. Thanks for helping me through these coming weeks girls. My guts is churning in fear but I think this fear of change is what is really holding me back.

Darn you Fleur!! I love you!! xxx

29 May 2015 – Everyone crying and hating Fleur


7 June 2015 – Push back

Pushing back. It’s not just physical changes that occur to me when I’m pushing back against something that is foreign, unfamiliar and challenging.  My brain goes to drama, to sabotage, to thoughts of ending it all.  This was when it hurt the most, but it also became the start of the wheel that now turns itself.

When I saw this quote at the gym I wrote in the Incubator group :

gym quote

“And then Ghandis quote was on the window. I had thoughts of surrendering today but then when the sign is an ACTUAL sign … I guess I can’t really give up”

9 June 2015 – my first Oh Durr moment 

Hey loves. Today after my visit to the gym, I had an appt with the clinical psychologist that I have seen about four times before (over a period of about 6 months I suppose).  I was catching her up on what I have been doing in terms of self-worth, and work and family life and Incubator and I said that it has been occurring to me that I’ve been on the roller coaster of (a few weeks ago) just being able to function and NOW I’m feeling energised and clearer and more focused.

AND GUESS WHAT! She thinks I’m not depressed! (caveat regarding current medication notwithstanding). She thinks that me seeing relationship mentor, clinical psychologist, GP and psychiatrist is me in a way “Dr Shopping” (she said it in a nicer way than that) for some sense of self fulfilment to justify feeling that I’m not satisfied with my lot in life.
And do you know what the most unsatisfied part of my life is. IS ME! My worth, my value, my treasure, my – well, let’s face it, all 8 freaking Incubator modules could be inserted here.

Anyway – of course you know that I’m taking this very seriously (I just have to throw in a few gags because I love a cheap laugh!) and just because lovely psych has seen me a couple of times over the past few months when I have been on the various roller coaster ups and downs doesn’t mean she gets everything, but READ THIS – this is what I wrote at the start of Module 2:

“I don’t understand or really know if I actually have depression or if I just am not in a place where I want to be and it is THAT that is making me so fucking miserable.
I don’t know if I am on the right anti depressant medication.
I fear that going to another psychiatrist will mean that I will just end up on more medication but no closer to figuring out the why. Why do I feel like this? Can those people that say “oh, well, everyone gets a bit low every now and again” be right and I just need to suck it up and ignore my diagnosis of “Chronic Severe Depression” that the professor in the cardigan said I had.
Some days I know I use the ‘chronic severe depression’ like a business card and hand it out to my husband and my family when I cant face the world. Is that stopping me from pulling my socks up and actually doing what I’m afraid of? Do I need to retract all of these business cards and just put them in the shredder and not be able to play that card again?
I’ve betrayed myself by not looking too closely at my mental health. It’s a big can of emotional, intellectual, expensive, druggy, push-it-to-the-back-of-your-mind-and-have-a-dispirin, worms.”


25 June 2015 – Even my body could tell.

{WINNING} Just had a chiro appt and my body adjusted so easily. Normally my neck is so tense that it doesn’t do the satisfying “Crack” thing without a lot of force.
Today – no effort at all and I said that to my chiro. And she said “Yes, your body and your energy is definitely changed since I last saw you a month ago”.
And I know why … do you?? Because of Incubator!! My body and brain is freer. And my heart too. Thanks Mumma Hen.

30 June 2015 – Magic Everywhere

Good morning girls. I have a kid free and husband free day today and I’m going to be starting to write my story.
I stopped for a coffee and stared too long at the ocean and felt the beautiful cool breeze wafting like real freaking magical sweet stuff.
I was gazing at the boats and took notice of their names. How is this for SIGNS FROM THE UNIVERSE!
In no particular order – the boat names that I could read (with my failing 40 something year old eyes!) were:
1. Inner Visions
2. Awesome.
3. Ocean Spirit
4. Independence (I know, right!!)
5. Reel Affair (okay, so this is a bit of a stretch, but I’m aligning this to my husband, because he is the Reel(!) one for me!
6. Zanzibar (let’s face it, who doesn’t want to go to Zanzibar and see the Zanzibarbarians!)
7. Caruccio (checked out Italian dictionary, means “Value/Expensive/Pricey” – it’s all about values).
8. Emorea – this is a killer. Checked out Baby Names dot com and it says “Work” “Rich” “Powerful” “Ruler”.

Even the boats are telling me something. And how many boats?! EIGHT (as in SAME AMOUNT OF MODULES IN INCUBATOR!!!!!).  I don’t feel like so much I’m going to be hatching from an egg, I feel like I’m going to be EXPLODING out of this Incubator!

Mrrwaaa xxxxx

1 July 2015 – The answers are in us


2 July 2015 – Then Fear Again, but fear is boring so it’s okay.


You know when you are so excited or nervous you feel like throwing up? This is what I felt like when I had shown my skills and my strengths that I have hidden or never acknowledged or never thought were valuable.  It’s a good sort of vomit!! 🙂

21 July 2015 – Her advice to me on getting my WHY out

Fleur – It is truly, truly, truly such a beautiful, true, honest, real piece of writing. It will touch people and move them and also give them the opportunity to know you and know why you even give a shit about their weddings or them. It’s a love story and real life. Take a big breath. You can so do this and there are so many people waiting to read it xo

So, what is my review of 8 Week Incubator?

Painful: but not as painful as where I was.

It made me scared: but never as fearful as times in my life when I have been rooted to the spot with my hand on my face wondering with so many thoughts going through my brain that I couldn’t even do one of them.

Magic: Yep, bloody magical.  The universe, the timing, the people in that group.  Bloody magic.  The people that have led me to where I am, have done so with their best intentions.  It may not have been perfect, but there is no point in saying “I wish my childhood was different because …” And the people that are in my life have helped me, guided me, been my people for a while and maybe aren’t anymore. That doesn’t mean that I don’t value the lessons they gave me.  It is all a part of the magic.

Responsibility: I’m owning my shit, and others can choose to own there’s too.  I want to lead by example.

It’s like my blinkers have been taken off and I can see the world again.  And now the world looks like I’m in it, not just a character playing a minor role.

Incubator came along at the perfect time.  And I’m pretty bloody perfect too.

Thanks again Fleur.  You are fucking amazing.  xxx


Author Fleur

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