Reflection on the Launch of Shared Stories at AFTRS-1 DECEMBER 2017

I feel very proud to have been part of this amazing film initiative and want to thank all concerned at MY CHOICE MATTERS for this opportunity.

My …Choice … Matters= very pertinent words

 Firstly I d like to Thank Tammy Burnstock for her unbelievable dedication in producing these empowering stories and to Brandon Bear and staff of My Choice Matters, AFTRS and to our audience.

 **MY CHOICE MATTERS slogan - Voice Choice Control

I will now like to add REJOICE – what a joy it has been for me to share some of my story. I feel like singing the song “I DID IT MY WAY”

 **I believe sharing stories is so powerful and I am happy that this will be the third short film I have co-designed in the last 2 years.

 As Brene Brown says “Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing we’ll ever do” .

It was wonderful to meet all the other storytellers and I enjoyed their films.

**SHARING OUR STORIES is empowering and telling my story through film has been truly engaging, liberating and fun. – I didn’t realise you could Bushwalk only 5 minutes from the bustle of Bondi Junction.

I was involved in the entire process and it was amazing to work collaboratively with 2 dynamic young professionals =cinematographer Maia Del Berger and Director Ash Meeirya. Maia thanks for capturing my true spirit and Ash your interviewing and director skills are amazing. Thanks guys FOR YOUR FRIENDSHIP –I enjoyed working with you - I have learnt so much from you both!

 From developing the script, to deciding film locations and to the final editing of my story – we worked together. Wow we had hours of footage which had to be edited into 3 minutes- what a process. It was fascinating how we had to match the content of what I said to other scenes and the magnificence visual images of the forest scene we captured.

 This amazing inclusive experience has given me the knowledge of film production and… in fact every time I now watch a movie and eat my popcorn, I respectfully stay back to read all the credits!

 This experience has given me the opportunity to DISCOVER MYSELF-explore my creativity, my passion of photography, filmmaking and to be proud to share some of my story.Film stories captures the essence of a person and offers the audience knowledge, builds empathy by helping break down the barriers and stigma. I believe that the Film documentaries produced collaboratively such as the stories we see tonight, is the way we will break down barriers and show the world that all our lives are valuable. Lets continue to advocate=moving forward to a more inclusive world.

 MY CHOICE MATTERS slogan - Voice Choice Control

So everyone lets  REJOICE in our strengths and abilities!

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TIPS on Diet & other strategies affecting your Mood

By Barbara Beinart

December 2017


Key tips:

  1. Pause and Take 4 deep Breaths every couple of hours.
  2. Drink more water and add lemon or mint for a refreshing taste.
  3. Remove sugar from your diet, as sugar is found to cause inflammation which has been scientifically proven to cause mental health distress.
  4. Start your day with an energising smoothie. ( see my “Smoothe your Mood” recipes)
  5. Have a gluten-free diet. Gluten is known to cause brain fog.Eliminate Pathogens. The aforementioned culprits, and notably herbicides, gluten grains, and genetically modified foods, promote intestinal permeability, changes in our intestinal flora that facilitate growth of pathogenic bacteria, yeast, and fungus which keep our immune systems in a state of alarm,
  1. Say No to Chemicals, Pesticides, environmental pollution from industrial waste, hormonally-modulating plastics, fire retardants, and cosmetic additives. They all stimulate our immune systems to varying extents and disrupt optimal production of energy on a cellular level, particularly in vulnerable tissues like the thyroid.
  2. Include foods that promote gut health: yogurt, garlic, leeks, artichokes, kefir,
  3. Add turmeric in your diet. Turmeric helps prevent inflammation.
  4. Add cinnamon- excellent properties enabling Sleep.
  5. Add foods rich in dietary fibre (whole grains, plant foods) and colourful fruits and vegetables.
  6. Add foods rich in omega 3 oils. Nutrients such as fish oil, B vitamins, and vitamin D have all been shown to interact with multiple pathways in our body that are can affect mental illness.
  7. Be aware of malabsorption and/or deficiencies
  8. Moderate red meat consumption (that is 3-4 65-100g portions per week) may be beneficial for depression and anxiety.
  9. Implement sustainable changes in your diet, as evidence supports the importance of long-term diet on mental health – swapping an unhealthy afternoon snack for a healthy one, eating vegetables at each meal, etc.
  10. Add one good food strategy at a time. Incremental steps are the key to sustainable good health.
  11. Incorporate coping strategies that are not related to food: evidence supports exercise, good sleep, socialisation, meaningful activities, work, volunteering (helping others), meditation and mindfulness.
  12. Be mindful and grateful while eating. Good food, Good mood, Good lifestyle choices= Optimal mental health


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Giving Thanks- noticing the greatness in the smallness


24 November 2017


As Americans gather to feast on the traditional turkey dinner today, many will follow the custom of having everyone at the table sharing something they are thankful for.

I am in Sydney, Australia and Today,  is a day where I too will bet thankful. I am thankful and celebrate my story, and keep in mind in how far I’ve come, enjoy the present and continue to dream about where I  want to go.  


Noticing 3 things I am grateful for everyday has been instrumental for me in coping with mental distress and living a full life.  Today I am thankful for all my experiences – good and bad, as it has made me recover through discovering myself.  It has taught me so much about myself, my life, the world, and others and humanity.



 It has prepared me to be a person of perseverance, determination, courage, empathy, resilience and hope.    I’m familiar with what it means to struggle, suffer, to be in need, and to hope, and to experience love and friendship in a way that I don’t know would’ve been possible without my lived experiences.  


For many years, I felt that I was missing something, but possibly what was wrong was not so much me, but how I allowed  my depression and doctors determine who I was, coupled with my perceptions and limiting beliefs about myself.


 By removing labels and seeing that my mental health issues  in my life not as the destination of a sad life, but the beginning of a good new life, reframing my thoughts and acknowledging my strengths, I have been able to live more engaged by discovering more about myself and experiences that bring me joy. Also by reaching out and acknowledging the wonderful support and love people in my life have given me.  I have found my creative side, contributing a meaningful life through the work and activities I pursue. Each day I’m so happy to be doing the things I do- I write, I teach, dance, sing, am mindful and help others. Each day I am thankful for the skills I can share with others enduring a similar path that I have walked. I am so happy to offer others hope.


While none of us chose to have any either physical or mental issues, we can choose to look for rays of  better ways to cope and manage our challenges. We all can make choices that can move us in the right -light direction, and to appreciate the small and great victories in our journeys, and to keep on living knowing that,” this too shall pass”. Remembering discovering and growing ourselves ....blossoming.



2a meaningful life through the work and activities I pursue. Each day I’m so happy to be doing the things I do- I write, I teach, dance, sing, am mindful and help others. Each day I am thankful for the skills I can share with others enduring a similar path that I have walked. I am so happy to offer others hope.


While none of us chose to have any either physical or mental issues, we can choose to look for rays of hope today, we all make can make choices that can move us in the right direction , and to appreciate the small and great victories in our journeys, and to keep on living knowing that,” this too shall pass”.


By Barbara Beinart

24 November 2017


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August 2017
By Barbara Beinart
Today I went to the beach for a beautiful morning walk and as I was walking towards my peaceful place, I came across a huge spider 
I stopped walking and I observed the spider for a while noticing each delicate movement it took and I was in awe. I noticed the deliberate small yet significant individual movements and how this was absolutely vital in the spider moving forward. What a special moment!
This amazing witnessing of this hugely powerful "flimsy" creature made me think about how for every creature large or small, human or animal, that incrementality is so important.
Then I reflected on Other examples of incrementally......
singing - each sound then breath,
then each sound + breath=word.....
this in turn forms a song.
I notice this often when I sing with The Daydream Believers Inclusive Choir.
Dancing - also one step -One step at a time -then one movement. This then becomes a step, more movement which becomes a dance. Enchanting to be dancing.
When I'm singing or dancing, I'm in the moment. I'm so mindful that I think of nothing else. By being Incremental you are living in the moment. By living in the moment and being fully present- your life becomes just that- a gift, a blessing—-a present 
Beyond the fact that "incrementality is essential " - when we chunk challenges into manageable challenges------ anything and everything is possible!
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In March 2017 I travelled to The Fargo Film Festival in North Dakota, USA to receive our award for Best Experimental Film

and in May 1 organised an Event on Mental Health Awareness.

Here is my blog posted on Bus Stop Films website,


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Hi everyone

Thank you for coming to our Mental Health Awareness event on May 1 2017.

This is what I have learned and would like to share with you..
If we have holistic strategies, we can learn to manage our mental health more effectively.

We briefly touched on some strategies:


Having an attitude of gratitude can change the way you think and behave. Gratitude is a powerful emotion and calibrates at a high level of energy and attraction.

Begin your day with GRATITUDE.
Simply write down 3 things in your life right now that you're grateful for.
1. About yourself
2. About friends, family and people in your life
3. About Nature and the universe.

When you feel grateful your biochemistry changes; your energy and awareness is heightened towards bringing you greater good in your life..

I now believe that every situation you're faced with is somehow specifically and masterfully designed for your growth. However sometimes when you're in a difficult situation you don't realise it. By being aware and thankful for what you currently have, makes you somehow get exactly what you need to learn, experience, reinforce or practice. You then respond in ways that propel you forward.

By making gratitude a daily practice, it becomes an inspiring way of looking at the world regardless of whether or not your current situation is ok, a feeling of appreciation, can also put things in perspective.

Gratitude also allows you to be at peace with yourself and with all you have. Interestingly when you practice this feeling of gratitude, it attracts even more things into your life for which to be grateful. Another way to be grateful is to be kind. Always look for a way to contribute to others. Communication, community and connection Is the most impactful way to engage with others. You can display your appreciation by the integrity of your word, by simply listening and the gift of your full attention.

Join my gratitude page on Facebook. Friends attending

So practice looking for and being grateful for the value in every challenging moment - it's changed my life!


Best wishes


Barbara ?


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Barbara Presented and judged films produced by high school students atThe at Dramatic Minds Festival in Temora NSW and facilitated a workshop on mental health awareness at Temora high school  


see blog below for more details

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Our film "Gratus " -a documentary on mental health, won an international award at The Fargo Film Festival in North Dakota USA for Best Experimental film!

I will be going to receive our award - leaving for LA on -18 March.

Sooo exciting !

For more info please visit:


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