A Zen Story About Karma Mindfulness & Who Makes the Best Xmas Cake? An opportunity to say THANK YOU

Team hands on knees xmas meditaiton


(A Visual Tutorial Below of some very advanced Mindfulness Techniques)



(A note in advance; apologies and please forgive me if I have forgotten anyone, my usual 8pm bedtime has been taken over by some very advanced Yoga + Mindfulness Practice lately ~ proof is in the pudding they say – but in this case it’s in the clip below;)

Please read to the bottom as there has been some very inspirational people and partners behind sharing this story and echoing its ripple effect. By making Yoga + Mindfulness accessible and affordable in our community and beyond and to those who have been insturumental in our Yoga + Mindfulness Teacher Training Programs across Australia and New Zealand.


Adapted from the wise words of Ajahn Brahm:


Two woman were baking a Xmas Cake

The first woman had miserable ingredients.

The old white flour had to have the green mouldy bits removed first.  The cholesterol-enriched butter was almost going rancid.  She had to pick the brown lips out of the white sugar (because someone had put in a spoon wet with coffee), and the only fruit she had were ancient sultanas, as hard as depleted uranium.  And her kitchen was of the style called pre World War – which world war was a matter of debate.



The second woman had the very best of ingredients.


The organically grown whole-wheat flour was guaranteed GM-free.  She had cholesterol-free margarine, raw sugar and succulent fruit grown in her own garden.  And her kitchen was state of the art, with every modern gadget.


Which women baked the more delicious cake?


It is often not the person with the best ingredients who bakes the better cake – there is more to baking an Xmas Cake than just the ingredients.  Sometimes the person with miserable ingredients puts so much effort, care, and love into their baking that their cake comes out the most delicious of all.

It is what we do with the ingredients that counts.

There are some who have miserable ingredients to work within this life:

Being born into poverty, possibly abused as children, not clever at school, may be disabled and unable to play the sport.

(This is the part where you may even want to list your own challenges)


But the few qualities they do have were put together so well that they baked a mighty impressive cake.  I admire them greatly.  Do you recognize such people?


There are others who have had wonderful ingredients to work within this life.  Their families were wealthy and loving, they were intelligent at school, talented at sport, good looking and popular, and yet they wasted their life.


Half of the karma is the ingredients we have to work with.

The other half, the most crucial part, is what we make of them in this life.


After reading this story I took my westie for a walk, that alone brought tears of gratitude to my eyes to be lucky enough to have Penny Margaret, as I looked out surrounded by the best beaches on the planet, a safe place to live and getting to fulfill one of the most rewarding callings (Teaching Yoga)…this had nothing to do with “luck” really but

A LOT! OF GREAT HUMANS in my life especially the ones that although they are from the ’70-’90s had the courage to learn how to floss (thought it was something worth sharing;) in the film clip below.  Our “Team Meeting” ~ making time out to do stuff just for the sake of having fun together and enjoying each others company is a

VERY ADVANCED YOGA + MINDFULNESS Practice, especially in this day and age where success is viewed on how much you “do”.



The other day I read a post from someone who had done Yoga Teacher Training who openly shared on aspects of this topic of the gap between coming from rich/poor.  This and an opportunity to say thank you has been the inspiration in sharing the story.


Although it is no secret that I’m not the worlds greatest in the kitchen, ( its not how I have chosen to spend my time in this life;) I am very very thankful to some key people (ingredients) in my life that if I wasn’t lucky enough to have mixed with you , my life would not have tasted as good.

One gift we can all give this Xmas even if we are not great in the kitchen is the gift of thanks.

Maybe before you make your “What I want for Xmas List”



Don’t leave me hanging, spare a few minutes to write your list

Even if you do not write a list, the next time you go for a walk and look out at nature, reflect on where you have come from, how far you have come and the key ingredients (people) that helped you along the way. And maybe let them know…… (here’s is my attempt below)


Tammy xox


  • My teachers (that includes every single person that has come to a Yoga / Mindfulness Class , Training or Mentoring Program THANKYOU (Thank you Trudie for starting a ripple effect here on the Sunshine Coast with the first Power Yoga Studio in QLD)


  • My family : especially my Gran who encouraged me to keep going when I was finding it almost impossible to pay for and go to Uni full time and work almost full time – and most of all to My Great Aunty Cath and Uncle Al who gave me a roof over my head in my final year of Uni studies – in order to be able to complete my Nursing Degree which without I would not have found Yoga.  Thanks Mum & Jack for being great examples of the above, no excuses work hard regardless. To Dad for your Gentleness. To Ken and Rhonda who without your generosity I am sure Doug and I would not be where we are today. To Jason and Tanya & the Club 76 girls for the desert in life! (and the love infused sarcasm)
  • And to whom I spend most of my moments in some way shape or form (SO GRATEFUL) to the  Yoga NRG Team of Teachers, Students and extended community well over 200 students have gone on to Teach or Share Yoga &/or Mindfulness in Australia and different parts of the world in their own unique way. because of you the hard work is beyond the reward I never thought was possible – without you I would not have been able to learn, grow, and share what I am forever grateful for, for making life sweet: Yoga + Mindfulness. There have been very key partnerships in making Yoga + Mindfulness affordable and accessible across the Sunshine Coast this year and who continue to do so thanks to the Healthy Sunshine Coast Partnership between Sunshine Coast City Council, Mooloolaba Tourism/Chamber of Commerce, USC and Yoga NRG – the Get Out and Get Active Program has meant that so many more people get to access Yoga.  This has had a ripple effect across the entire community.  Providing a sense of social inclusion, community and most of all CONNECTION. With that comes true integration of health and wellbeing.
  • Thankyou to the NRG Students / Trainees some who have been coming for over 14 years .  To the NRG Teachers & Team : Barb, Nik, Nan, Helen, Katie, Kate, Lee, Rosie, Jackie, Josh, Suzie, Suz, Tracy, Brendan, Ellie, Elise, Jess, Chad, Christie (you’ve come to the rescue many times!) , to Kylie for helping with “Saucha” professionally cleaning the Studio many times prior to trainings and events creating a nice environment for us to enjoy our Yoga and learning  (grateful beyond measure) to Faraday & Mary Ann for being part of and helping to run/support the first ever NRG FOR SOUL RETREAT to be held in Bowen (already planning to make next years retreat great together!) , to Paul & Suzie for hosting NRG YOGA TEACHER TRAINING in Gladstone.  Lee in Perth , Kelly in NZ, To Guest Teachers Bryan Kest , David Swenson , Lee Heron for traveling as far as you did to share your wisdom with our community.  Lee, Ellie, Pearl, Talita, thanks for also being part of an online presence to help support our Teacher Trainees in Remote & Rural Communities. We continue to build our NRG Online Program to help stay inclusive and make Training Accessible. To Teachers this year who have created space and time for silence and support, Richard, Laurie, Richard and Mary, Niki, Heather and Justine.   To Jody who has trained with us and taught for us on the odd occasion at Coolum and Peregian also was part of what inspired sharing the Zen Story above, and to Regan for not only the book from where the story came but for playing a very key role as key choreography coach! The unconditional support each and every one of you give to the community and each other is something I will be forever grateful for. And to your loved ones who support you to do what you do (They are very special people who I give my utmost respect to)
  • please forgive if I have missed anyone (my excuse is I have been up past my 8pm bedtime lately practicing a very advanced form of Yoga & Mindfulness……. (proof in the clip below) 
  • Thanks to Yoga “Practice” I do not see any ingredients given as poor but the creator of the biggest gift
  • And to the Undercover Yogi – no words do justice, but hopefully, my love to you can come in at a close second to the amount you give tirelessly and quietly.

Merry Xmas and THANKYOU YOGA for helping me see how mind-blowing it is to have the life we’ve got, to live where we live, and to get to share it with amazing human beings.


xox Tammy

On behalf of Doug and myself THANKYOU ALL !

We wish you a Very Merry Christmas

Thanks for making life so rich !

Yoga + Mindfulness although very sacred do not have to be serious

Remember (although my Mum would say “after” the hard work is done;) to have FUN

Do what brings you Joy! ~ Regardless ………


Staring NRG YOGIS :

World Class Choreographer / Producer – Regan Smith

Elaineasana Expert (that move can’t be shown on television) – Katie Adams

Queen / Boss of timing Helen Lake and Niki Herbert (dual award for early double pump action in the final show)

Ride My Pony & Cha Cha Expert Lee Churcher

Star rap vocalists – Josh Turner  & Chad Barakat

Best costume on the day – Josh Turner

Star Solo Mover and Groover (We can’t show you that on tv either) Barb Rose

Front Rower / Wardrobe Design Rosie Overfield

Golden Globe for getting her husband involved – Kate Barakat

Star Crazy Cat Mover – Suz Goldin

Floss Try Harder & Dyslexic on the Day – Tammy Williams

Performance Rating : 11/10

Latest Reivew by the Undercover Yogi :

“Mate do you still think you are 14!”  And to the boys on the team ~ Don’t let those girls who are trying to re-live their youth make you do stuff you don’t want to do even for Yoga”

Those that deserve the biggest award – those who sat through the whole thing and clapped;) ~ No one left Helen like you predicted;)


Leave a Reply