This month we’re not sending you our normal newsletter. Instead, we’re sending you a personal message. A message about something very close to our hearts and something that Founder and CEO, Maria is intensely passionate about; so passionate that last week she walked 140km to raise money and awareness – It’s called The LifeChanger Foundation.

The LifeChanger Foundation is on an epic mission to turn these stats around and create a generational shift in society. LifeChanger believes that by providing young Australians with the tools to develop a positive self-identity, they will be empowered to live their best life.

The LifeChanger program develops an adolescent’s self-identity by nurturing the individual across five key pillars; Wellbeing, Life-Skills, Self-Awareness, Purpose & Meaning and Connections.

This revolutionary approach will give every young Australian unprecedented access to programs within their community and a first-of-its-kind digital platform providing a pathway to their best life. Moreover, the digital platform and community engagement will mean ongoing, responsive support.

As well as Maria, LifeChanger already has over 14 Ambassadors, including names like World Champion Surfer, Layne Beachley, Australian Netballer, Shae Brown, Ironman, Trevor Hendy and so many more backing the foundation.

Small steps, Big Journey – Marias 140km trek to raise awareness

Last week, Maria embarked on a 140km trek through Western Australia to raise money and awareness for the LifeChanger Foundation. On top of walking through sand dunes, camping out under the stars and discovering how uncomfortable hiking boots are, Maria explained to us her experience of taking the first step off a 52 foot cliff. For Maria, this was putting her teachings into practice and testing the boundaries of what your mind and body will let you get away with… and it had us in stitches.

Abseiling is not something Maria had ever done before or necessarily ever wanted to do, but as she watched each member of her trek team lazily roll back over the edge of the mammoth cliff and bounce their way down a 52 foot drop like it was just another Friday afternoon, Maria couldn’t not give it a go!

And here’s where we begin to run the gauntlet of emotions.

Maria Smiths Guide to Emotional Abseiling

Step 1: Fear.

Become so scared that you question your instructor’s ability and sanity – “What do you mean put my hand behind me?! Where behind me!? It doesn’t make sense!”

Step 2: Anger.

Out of pure unadulterated fear, once again question your instructor’s capabilities but this time be less polite about it – “I’ve never done this! You need to check all my belts again!”

Step 3: Denial.

Express your pure terror by exploding into tears, shaking and flat out refusing to move while your instructor calmly tells you that you’re perfectly safe and you’re going to do a great job – “No! Nope. I’m not doing it. You can’t make me do it!”

Step 4: Regret.

Allow your body to go numb from fear exhaustion and slowly back your feet over the edge of the cliff… then immediately look down. This is the feeling of regret – the biggest regret you have ever had.

Step 5: Bargaining.

Now that you’re over the edge of this stupid cliff that you have stupidly decided to stupidly fall down, attempt to follow the words of the instructor by laying back and straightening your legs while simultaneously attempting to hug the wall with every available body part. Realise that this is a physical impossibility and resort praying to any higher power that will listen, not to let you plummet to your death.

Step 6: Shock.

While still frozen solid, dangling from what now seems like a piece of rope constructed purely of heavily abused dental floss, finally calm down enough to hear every single person in your trek team cheering you on with claps and ‘woots’ – well, sh*t. You’re actually doing it… and you’re not dead!

Step 7: Acceptance.

Realise that you’re completely nailing this whole thing and start slinking your way downwards like some weird Cat Woman/Spiderman hybrid, taking in the absolute beauty of the whole situation and feeling an overwhelming sense of peace.

Step 8: Exhilaration.

Finally, let your feet touch the ground with the consistency of mash potato stuffed into water balloons, laughing and weeping uncontrollably until the trek guide hugs you to stop you shaking like you’ve just been electrocuted. You did it! You ran the gauntlet of emotions, overcoming your terror and showing yourself that you are capable of much more than you know.

Even though Maria has returned safe and sound from this incredible adventure, she could still use your help to raise funds towards this ground-breaking initiative.

Every cent raised goes directly towards getting the LifeChanger programs out to youth all over the country, giving them the opportunity to develop their wellbeing, life-skills, self-awareness, purpose, meaning and connections. Donations are tax-deductible, so there is nothing to lose!

Help our kids get the chance they deserve – just 1 dollar, and you can change someone’s whole world.

Launching LifeChanger in Maryborough

Due to the amazing support of the Avoca Community Bank, Life changer is launching in Bounces very own hometown of Maryborough! An information session focusing on The LifeChanger program is being held on Monday the 19th of March and is open to anyone interested in the initiative.
Hear what Australian Hall of Fame and a six times Iron Man champion Trevor Hendy has to share along with, Scott Watters, ex AFL star player & Coach and also the LifeChanger Founder.
Head to the Facebook event to find out more!

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