Celia Says.

Working with Women

Opinion & Comment

The seductive nature of the modern world allows us as human beings to believe we are in charge. In today’s world we think we are in charge. Technological advances and intellectual knowledge we continue to acclaim, leaves us with the sense that we are in control and that there is enough time to achieve what it is we want to achieve.

We become complacent about the need to take care of ourselves… always something more to do. Some of this is driven by our desire to save the world, others driven by the desire we have to reach the many goals we have set ourselves - many of them superficial.

The simple reality is that we are not in charge and that moment of realisation comes to us when we learn of the fragility of the human spirit. For some, that lesson comes unexpectedly and hard.

Late last year I slowly became unwell. The stress of the lifestyle I was living, the demands I made of myself, the demands other people made of me and expected to meet became too great and as 2014 closed I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer that had spread to my liver. No treatment, no cure, only palliative care. I’d waited too long to look after myself and my body broke.

To say that it was and is a shock is a major understatement. and as I look at the amazing family and group of friends I’m surrounded with as I now travel a different journey warms my heart. At the same time, there are feelings of trepidation about what lies ahead.

I’m now focused on the moments of magic that are appearing in front of me: The laughter of my grandchildren; a smile of a friend attempting to walk this journey with me and the pure beauty and strength of my adult children as they battle their anger, grief and sadness at what is happening to their beloved mother.

It’s time to leave the work to others now.

My wish is that others will learn to stop before I did, to take into account the limitations of their physical bodies and to take the time to listen to the yearnings of their soul. It is in the taking care of ourselves we learn the ability to take care of others.

“When we walk to the edge of all the light you have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown, you must believe that one of two things will happen :

There will be something solid for you to stand on, or, you will be taught to fly.”

“Faith” by Patrick Overton - “The Leaning Tree”

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Boys Work

Thoughts & Comment

There can be no doubt it is a challenging task to raise a boy in today’s world. It’s challenging to raise children, both boys and girls and those challenges present themselves in many different ways.

In my view there is a specific challenge facing the women involved in raising adolescent boys. Why? As adolescents, our boys make so many of their decisions within 30-second moments. The decision to run an orange traffic light; the decision to hit someone in a random interaction on the street because they’re angry about something else that’s happening in their life; the decision to end their life because trapped inside a particular moment, they can’t see an end to the grief they’re feeling about the collapse of their first serious relationship. 
That boys, specifically adolescent boys, live inside moments is a given in my mind. When challenged about that in the course of one of my many discussions with boys during the Good Man Project, a gorgeous year 11 boy looked back at me and said ‘But we like living in those moments, Miss’. How right he is.

The immense difficulty most women face, me included, is that just as they begin the process of adjusting to the fact their son is now an adolescent, they also begin to truly take in the evidence surrounding them of the vulnerability of adolescent boys and the fragility of these young men’s lives. 

Every child is born pure and filled with their own particular brand of magic.

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