“What I wish I had known about life when I was in my thirties that I know now” by Yvonne Coburn

Yvonne at David Whyte presentation

Yvonne Coburn is an experienced human resources professional with a background in the delivery of leadership programs designed to achieve cultural transformation for client organisations. She is the CEO of the CreatingWe Institute ANZ, holds a  BCom, LLB (UNSW), LLM (International Law) (UNSW), and Graduate diploma from John F Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Most recently, and relevantly, Yvonne has worked as a Feedback Facilitator at Mt Eliza Executive Education, Melbourne Business School, in Leadership and Management (with particular emphasis on applied leadership in the workplace). Clients at Mt Eliza have included a wide range of top companies from Australia, New Zealand and neighbouring. Yvonne is happily married and a proud mum to daughter Nadia.

“What I wish I had known about life when I was in my thirties that I know now” by Yvonne Coburn 

My first reflection is that I wish I had understood gratitude more and paid greater attention by being awake in the presence of everything that lives within and without us. Gratitude is the deep state of attention that shows we understand and are equal to the gifted nature of life. Gratitude is the understanding that many millions of things come together and breathe together in order for us to take even one more breath of air, that the underlying gift of life ,participating human being is a privilege , that we are miraculously ,part of something, rather than nothing.

I would face my pain and despair and not run away from it. It races towards you unless you lean into it fearlessly. I  would step into difficulty and by taking that first step begin the movement through all difficulties.

Laughter would play a bigger role in my life and I would worry less. Living authentically, being real and surrounding myself with genuine friends would be a priority.

yvonne David Whyte 3

To sit among friends and strangers and learn from the wisdom of elders. I would encourage debate and many opinions and encourage courageous conversations.

Deepening my generosity and presence would be important to me.

Honesty is grounded in humility and indeed in humiliation and in admitting exactly where we are powerless .I would become fully and robustly incarnated in living with not knowing and trusting the process of life. I would live in the past, present and future.

I would risk more, love harder and care about other’s opinions less.

Understanding that pain is the first proper step to real compassion and increases understanding. Pain makes us understand reciprocation and can be an introduction to real friendship, it tests those friends we think we already have but also introduces us to those who newly and surprisingly come to our aid. Pain is the first proper step to real compassion. I would tolerate and encourage pain and accept it as necessary for growth.

I would invest more in exercise and nutrition and appreciate the gift in simply being healthy, of being unconsciously free to move or walk or run. I would leave whatever wasn’t healthy. This might mean people,jobs,my own beliefs and habits and anything that kept me small.

Finally I would love myself enough and start meditating every day. This is a profound act of self-love.

Enjoy your 30’s they will never come back.


If you would like to learn more about Yvonne Coburn and the work that she does visit The Creating We Institute Australia and New Zealand –  www.creatingwe.com.au

Yvonne can also be contacted directly at yvonne@creatingwe.com.au

You can also stay up to date at  https://www.facebook.com/creatingweanz/










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