Leanne Barrett: I don't have time but I found time to have an Evening with Emma Grey

Saturday 27 May 2017

I don't have time but I found time to have an Evening with Emma Grey

I don't have time, do you? Do you know how to say No? When someone asks 'How are you do you?' do you respond with one of these words - Busy, Exhausted? 

This is the premise of Emma Grey's book that she co-authored with Audrey Thomas,
I don't have time: 15 minute ways to shape a life you loveThe authors bring to the front of our mind that in our society today being busy is means that you're important and valuable, exhaustion has become a status symbol. We are so busy that we often neglect ourselves. We don't have time to follow our passions, make appointments that we should nor do we spend enough time with people that we love.

On this specific evening Emma made time to speak to the Canberra Wise Women audience. When Emma came onto the stage she sat in a yellow easy chair. She spoke to the audience in a relaxed a friendly manner as though we were in her lounge room catching up over a coffee or wine. One couldn't imagine that Emma used to fear that she would forget what she was talking about or being asked a question that she couldn't answer. Because Emma has a confident, easy-going manner that makes members of the audience feel comfortable, like you've always known her.

'Let me tell you a few stories from the book', says Emma leaning back slightly into the yellow easy chair. She then began to weave her book's stories into the conversation so well that you would be forgiven to think she was just telling a stories about her life rather than about the book. That is because the stories in the book are filled with little personal stories from Emma's life to help the reader relate to the concepts within the book.

Emma shares one of the book's stories 'What am I doing here?' the Impostor Syndrome. When  I read this part of the book I felt that ah ha moment, as there have been many times that I have questioned why I was sitting at the table or attending a night like this event under the title 'Canberra Wise Women'. Interestingly the Imposer syndrome has been getting quite a bit of press recently. Including a new story that Emma had come across earlier in the week about Neil Gaiman.

Neil Gaiman is a famous and highly successful children's writer. On tumblr site he shares a story about attending a conference and wondering what he was doing there with scientists, writers and inventors. During the conference he began to talk to a man who said, 'I just look at all these people, and I think, what the heck am I doing here? They’ve made amazing things. I just went where I was sent.' could you believe that this man was Neil Armstong? A reminder that we can all feel like impostors at times.

However by using this story Emma reminds us that we are all capable of amazing things. Emma suggests that if we put our fear of failure aside and put ourselves 'out there for something to work...see what happens,' then amazing things can happen in our life too. Including obtaining bandanna worn by Harry Styles for a girl receiving treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

To obtain what you want from life Emma asks us to 'Be open. Make the time. Check your heart!" Especially after the sudden death of her husband, Jeff, to heart failure. With tears in her eyes Emma told us about how she realised that she had two ways to deal with her grief 'by standing still or moving.' Emma's book gives a fabulous story about how to achieve what you need by asking for help and to move forward.

Emma is now ready to pay back the help she received after her husband's death through a new charity called Canberra's Heart. 

But Emma has been giving to people in the community for much longer than through this charity. Her book is giving people opportunities to rediscover their life  by making time for things that matter. By learning to say No we are open to being able to say Yes to things that matter to us. 

Say Yes to getting your hands on a copy of this book, I don't have time and please do the experiments as you are worth spending time on. 

Emma's children's novel Unrequited: Girl meets boyband will be released by HarperCollins Publishers on 18 September 2017. The book is currently being made into a musical by the Canberra school St. Clare's College. The musical performances will be held on Thursday 2, Friday 3 and Saturday 4 November 2017. For more information see here.


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