Let me be your guide.
I am a lawyer, mother, spiritual teacher and energy healer. I can show you how to bring more joy into your life, and celebrate the elements of earth, air, fire and water. I have spent a lot of time in the family law system and with professionals all doing their best to move along the path through the system. That path brings unique stresses and challenges… but the path can be different. The path can bring optimism, acceptance and peace. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. Let me join you, and guide you with be fun, hope, community, laughter, learning and healing. Create better relationships, feel happier, find freedom and make a change.
the Woman Behind The Laughter Lawyer
Lawyer | Mother | Spiritual Teacher | Energy Healer
Where It Began
I began my career as a lawyer in 1984 and by 1986 I started my third legal job, in Port Macquarie as “The Family Lawyer “ – This had not been my intention on leaving law school – I loved litigation and court work, the idea of compensation cases, criminal cases, and (sadly, but truthfully) I believe I held a desire to be like those court room attorneys and barristers featured on British and American TV. Alas, life in a regional law firm was not like that. Being the “Family Lawyer” took me deeply into the lives of families who were in stress and distress.
I saw the introduction of the first legislation for domestic violence and spend many years helping women navigate that difficult situation. I was part of the team that formed the Many Rivers Violence Protection Unit in Kempsey on the North Coast of NSW in 1998. These services spread throughout Australia to assist aboriginal families to find help and support with family violence.
When it Started to Change…
Through a series of events with my work as a lawyer and as a result of a deep and inexplixable inner yearning to “help more, to make a difference” in the world I began a deeper inner search and transformation that has resulted in the person I am today. This was a magical, mystical, at times painful journey full of fascinating experiences. During the time between leaving the legal partnership I was in and the present time, today, I have learned many things, experienced different training and entered deeply into life.
I journeyed into counselling – working as a telephone counsellor with Lifeline Mid Coast, then trained counsellors and helped in the opening of the Taree Lifeline services. I trained as a couple and relationship counsellor and explored deeply my own relationships. I had married in 1985 and had 2 beautiful children and was divorced in 2002, experiencing first hand the trauma and emotional impact of separation and adjusting to parenting after separation, managing new relationships and shared care, dividing finances, moving house.
The Journey Continues
I trained and worked as a Convenor of Youth Justice Conferences when they first began as an alternative for young people charged with criminal offences – bringing the hope of restorative justice as an alternative to the criminal system penalties. I later trained in the adult focused Forum Facilitation, designed for adult offenders in the criminal justice system.
I had developed a passion for exploring relationship dynamics, bringing harmony and peace to relationships and families so I trained as a mediator in 1998, and my training in conflict resolution included working as a private mediator, as a community Justice Centre mediator, and for a number of panels of mediators, including The Office of Fair Trading, (Strata Schemes), the Legal Aid Commission (which I remain on today) and many others. I trained in Family mediation, Conflict coaching , Collaborative Practice and I continued to be connected to or working in the legal field, primarily family law.
After feeling very stressed, traumatised vicariously and stuck from my work with those in domestic violence, I decided to try a different forum and became an Arbitrator in the Workers Compensation Commission when it first opened to replace the Compensation Court in 2002. I remained there for 6 years, learning that workplaces are just like families – some good some supportive, many dysfunctional, and usually doing their best.
The “Aha” Moment
By 2006 I was finding the stress of this job bothering me and while driving home to Port Macquarie from an arbitration hearing in Newcastle one day, I said to the universe, to the Divine creator – Please God, I am so sick of being a lawyer, What do you want me to do now? “ To my great surprise, following this plea to the universe an idea dropped into my head – clear as a bell – “Start a Laughter Club. “ Well I had asked – and now I was answered.
What on earth was a laughter club I wondered… after searching via Google, I discovered “Laughter Yoga, something started in India where people got together in groups called “l Laughter Clubs!” Well – who would have thought – there really was such a thing as a Laughter Club - - I soon discovered it involved no jokes, no comedy, yet created lots of laughter and over time I found it brought great transformation to myself, my family and those who came to laugh with me.
My first laughter club took place at the side of Town Beach in early 2006. On the First day the local newspaper, the Port News came to check us out, and our Laughter Club was front page news. My secret was out and soon where ever I went in Port Macquarie people called me – “that laughing lawyer, “ What could I do but embrace that title and turn it into my business name.
Full Time Laughter
From 2005 laughter became an important part of my life and my work. I was constantly amazed and delighted by the change I experienced in myself and those who came to my groups. The ability to laugh in the face of adversity became part of the inner strength for myself and many others. I felt myself transforming to be happier and lighter.
Meanwhile I had entered again into the spiritual path – having started this exploration in 1982 when I visited and studied with the Stayananda Yoga tradition. I learned Pranayama, yoda nidra, meditation and the bliss of kirtan. At that time I attended weekly meditation classes in Manly and later in Taree and had loved the experience and found it a great antidote to stress.
In 2003 a friend said to me – You should go and see Kim Fraser - “she is a lawyer like you who does all that spiritual stuff “, Sure enough to my great delight I discovered the Harmony Centre in Cooranbong, founded by two lawyers, Kim Fraser and Hugh Keller. In 2002 it was a small house in the country offering amazing courses in all I needed to transform my life. It is now a vibrant charity bringing peace to humanity through many aspects including energy healing, music, sacred ceremony, courses and training, as Shanti Mission Harmony centres with communities all over the world. (shantimission.org and shaktidurga.com)
From my first class there I began a profound and deep inner journey which changed me in ways difficult to describe as the change is internal. I now think differently, I feel different, my life is different. It is better. I have supportive loving friendships, I became an energy healer and taught seminars for Shanti Mission, including starting a community and teaching their courses in Port Macquarie in 2010. I then began travelling the world, teaching in the USA, New Zealand and travelling and meeting community in Nepal, India, the UK, France, Canada and South Africa. I am now fortunate and grateful to have close friends in all these countries and more.
In 2013 came a mother’s worst nightmare – my beautiful daughter passed away at age 23. Nothing in my training had prepared me for that – my world shattered into ten million pieces and I thought there was no way I could ever put it back together again. Well I could not – nothing was the same ever again.
With the incredible love and support of my spiritual community friends and family I grew a new different self that was not the same. I was better, more loving, more surrendered to what life throws at us, more understanding of grief and loss, more appreciative of every person in my life,, and so much more. 2 months after the death of my daughter I trekked Nepal with a group of spiritual family – we were 33. It was a journey of deep healing and at the end we visited south India – a small village near Vellore (3 hours from Chennai (Madras). Well if I thought I had been through some personal transformation – I had seen nothing yet !!
I met Sri Sakthi Amma Narayani, (Amma) (see sripuram.org for more info). Amma is an extraordinary being of love, who is in a male body, a man, and yet the energy that emanated from Amma, was unlike anything I had experienced before. On my second trip there in December of 2013 a healer friend told me to take a photo of my daughter with me and show it to Amma. When I did this I almost collapsed from the flow of energy and healing that I experienced – Amma touched the photo and in that instant I knew I was being healed and put back together in a way that has no rational explanation. I also knew the soul or divine essence of my daughter received deep healing and that the healing flowed to our whole family.
My spiritual adventures in India with Sri Sakthi Amma require separate stories to do them justice.
Interested in our events?
Our seminars are presented by Jackie Curran, Family lawyer, Family Dispute Resolution practitioner, trainer and facilitator, wellness coach and consultant with 20 years experience in the areas of wellness and family law.