• Grace Cobb

Bush the key to well-being

Psychologist Chantal Masters has transformed her lovely home at their family farm ‘Mundine’ into a healing house. The home and garden are a sanctuary - for people to experience mindfulness, personal development and staff coaching in a calming rural setting.

ABOVE: A Breathe session underway at 'Mundine'.

More than a decade ago, after a time working in politics and public relations, and having married farmer Simon, Chantal was living in Goondiwindi and started Border Living Magazine; a celebration of the rural stories from the region. It wasn’t long after that Chantal began to study psychology and balancing work, study and a new born was a lot to take on. Chantal sold the magazine to her sister-in-law Erin Corish and focused on her career in psychology. “In hindsight, I ended up where I was meant to be – in helping people to find their potential and live more full lives” Chantal says.

“Psychology is such an interesting field and has a massive variety of specialisations. Intellectually it’s incredibly stimulating and I can’t imagine that I will ever stop loving learning about new scientific breakthroughs in brain and behaviour research, and applying that for the benefit of my clients,”Chantal reflects.

As many rural people are aware there is a huge shortage of mental health professionals in the bush. Chantal says that while she finds that the mental health providers being sent from city based organisations caring and professional, they are limited on time due to the distances they need to cover. And are also often restricted in their understanding of what it is really like to live and work in the bush.

ABOVE: Chantal at home at Mundine.

For the past two years Chantal has been running a lovely group for women at home on Mundine, “Breathe”. Breathe is an empowerment and mindfulness workshop that rejuvenates and inspires women to find their confidence and life balance.

"When my clients can confidently use their intuition, and courageously explore the outer reaches of their creativity in their public life and in private; and allow those around them to do the same without judgement or fear, then I know I have done my job."

“Then I know that I have expanded their emotional intelligence to a point where they will be able to continue on their own healthy journey towards true purpose and fulfilment." Personal growth and happiness go hand in hand with a high emotional IQ and a focus on wellbeing.

When you know, and believe in yourself, and are clear about where you are heading; and when you have greater empathy and understanding for others, you will experience less stress, higher productivity, greater engagement with those around you and generally much greater life satisfaction. Chantal believes that rural Australia has a lot to offer people through reconnecting with nature and visiting the Australian bush.

“We have great potential with our natural environment to play a pivotal role in health and wellbeing on the global stage.”

ABOVE: Chantal's home and garden, the peaceful environment now key to her workshop delivery.

“I think as the world becomes more populated they will be clamouring for a taste of the fresh air, clean water, starry night skies and pristine environment that we cherish out here.” “We are really lucky to not have to be driven mad by constant noise and pollution. I want to play a role in preserving that for future generations.”

For more information about Chantal’s coaching or programs you can email Chantal at chantal@ruralsky.com.au