Welcome to Daily Connect

My Daily Musings on Life, Self-Awareness, Art & Spirituality

A personal photograph of Deborah Christensen

Hi,

I started this publication to record on a daily basis my writing related to four areas of my life. These are Life, Self Insight & Growth, Art and Spirituality as they currently are the areas that encompass my focus. In the past, my family has taken up most of my time, and then my education (as an adult student) but in recent years I have had the luxury to drop back to work part-time and focus on other interests, as well as being able to spend more time with my husband and adult children.

I wished to create a forum where I would need to be disciplined enough to write on a daily basis (even if only a few paragraphs). I still hope to be able to write for other publications on Medium, and also write individually on other subjects, but for these particular areas, I will be writing daily and publishing on Daily Connect.

About Me

I have lived in three countries. The United Kingdom (where I was born), New Zealand and now Australia. I married and had four children and then after my marriage ended, I lived on my own with the children for a number of years. I went to University during this time and graduated with a Bachelor of Science (majoring in Psychology). I completed postgraduate courses; being a diploma in Correctional Management, and Certificate 4 courses in Drugs and Alcohol, Mental Health, Sexual Offender case management, and Aged Care.

I left my marriage of 13 years in 1999. I was on my own with four children for a number of years. I then met my husband Brett and we became a blended family when we married in 2008. We now have 6 adult children between us. They all have moved out of the home and are getting on with their lives. We have one little dog that keeps my husband and I company called Lily. Our first grandchild is due to be born in early 2019.

Photo by Brett Christensen

Major Life Changes

When I was in my early 30’s I left the religion I grew up in which was Jehovah’s Witnesses. I was then shunned by all whom I knew who remained in that faith, including family.

The experience of being shunned after I left Jehovah’s Witnesses, and treated as if I was dead by my mother and all Jehovah’s Witnesses I had ever known, triggered an emotional journey of both breakdown and recovery.

I spent years intensely researching and investigating other faiths both Christian and Non-Christian. I read some amazing books and formulated a God of my own understanding from a smorgasbord of different ideas I had exposed myself to. I did not find a community that I felt was non-judgmental enough or inclusive enough of others that I felt comfortable enough to regularly engage with.

I then let go of my search for spiritual meaning for quite a few years whilst I focused on completing higher education. I completed my degree in 2014 after studying for 6 years.

Publishing a Memoir

I self-published my book Inside/Outside in January 2014 under the pseudonym Jenny Hayworth.

It has been listed as a No 1 Best Seller on Amazon on more than one occasion. My memoir is available on AMAZON as a soft cover book, large print and also an ebook. It has over 200 reviews with nearly 70% being 4 and 5 stars. My book is also on GOODREADS where it has 98 reviews. It averages 4.79 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.

In 2014 I entered my memoir into 4 book awards. I won the Silver Medal in the 2014 Readers Favourite book awards in the Inspirational category. It won second place as a Finalist in Memoir in the Beverly Hills Book Awards 2014. It was a semi-finalist in the 2014 Kindle Book Awards and it got an Honorable Mention in the Writers Digest 2014 Book Awards.

‘Inside/Outside’ also made the IndieReader’s list of the Best Reviewed Indie Titles of 2014.

My memoir describes how mentally, psychologically and emotionally I was altered by both the abuse and my religious upbringing, and how I struggled to undo certain patterns of thinking and behaving because I wanted a deeper and different experience of life than I was having.

My identity, my social connections, my family, my community, and my belief systems all were redeveloped.

I rebuilt my life. This is what I wrote about. How this happened.

Employment

  • After my marriage broke down in 1999 I completed training as an Enrolled Nurse and worked for a few years in the areas of palliative care, and also at a dual diagnosis unit caring for those with an acquired brain injury plus a mental health diagnosis.
  • In 2012 I commenced work as a Probation and Parole officer. I spent 5 years of that time as a Senior Case Manager dealing with those deemed by the court or parole board to be serious violent offenders and also sexual offenders. I left there at the beginning of 2017.

Burn Out

It was a turbulent time in my life. I hit both an emotional and spiritual crisis in my life again. For many reasons this occurred. However suffice to say, I picked up a paintbrush in early 2017 and discovered a passion and a gift I did not know I had.

I wrote extensively during this time (for my eyes only) as part of my healing and recovery and filled up multiple journals with my thoughts, feelings, and poetry.

Art (Painting)

It was a major part of my healing journey and recovery over this time. I sold over 80 paintings in my two years of intensive immersion in my art. Selling was a necessity for me to be able to afford to keep buying paints and canvases. I explored painting in many different mediums and also many styles and subjects. I LOVED every second of it. I am no longer focused on painting commercially but I am currently painting purely for my own pleasure.

And now I have returned to writing.

My husband writes for a living and has a website called Hoax-Slayer which debunks hoaxes and scams on the internet. His site has been archived in the National Library of Australia as being of significance. Andrew McMillen published an article on him in the well known online magazine The Kernel (The Daily Dot) in 2016.

He regularly has over 1.5 million visitors a month to his site. He encouraged me to start writing again and was the one who told me about Medium as being a platform I might enjoy using.

I joined early November 2018 and I love it. I am in awe of all the great thinkers, ideas and writers I am discovering and it has renewed a passion in me for putting pen to paper (figuratively speaking) and focusing on a daily commitment. It is great to have a platform to develop and grow as a writer and expand my thinking.

If you have got this far, thank you for reading. I hope as time goes on, and I am adding articles daily that you find something that may be of interest to you or stimulate your thinking.

If you read something I have written and no longer feel so alone, or feel a sense of kinship, or it sparks something in you — then I will be satisfied.

when the night
gets too dark
and the road
is too long,
remember that
stars live
within you
and in you
lies the light
that will guide you home.
— Gaby Comprés