Hi Disturbers, welcome to a brand new year and a chance to realize more goals and dreams.

During the Christmas break of 2013 I receive an inspirational email from a person who had attended a Proteus event and been encouraged to make personal changes before her situation changed her. This is Michelle’s story:

Hi Des,

The Merriest of Christmases to you! I have wanted to pen you an email for the past few weeks, and the first opportunity of doing so, is in the quiet still hours of Boxing Day.

You may not remember me, but you and the Proteus Group have had a profound impact on me and certainly on my life. I first came across the Proteus group some 3 Years ago whilst working in the Fundraising Industry. I have only ever attended the Business Breakfasts in Adelaide, but certainly feel I have gained much more than I have invested. I was working as a Fundraising Manager for a couple of charities – a Not-for-profit Terminal care Hospice in Adelaide for nearly 8 years, and then moved on to take charge of the state Fundraising for SIDS and Kids SA for 12 months. After a difficult week where nothing was going right, I decided in a snap, that I wasn’t enjoying the 3 hours I was spending in the car every day, I really wasn’t living my passion, my calling, and that everything inside of me was calling me to ‘Live my best life’.

Since a small child, I had wanted to work in the field of death, and mostly leading funeral services as a funeral celebrant. The Breakfast I attended that week changed my life. I needed to trust in the universe, and ask it to take me where I was needed to be.

That Friday I resigned my position, giving 8 weeks’ notice. I had no secure job to go to, only a dream and a family of seven to support. My full-time working husband was extremely supportive (I am sure more than nervous, but nevertheless very supportive), and I drove home that day feeling like I had won lotto. The stress I had been feeling just lifted from my shoulders. I was as happy as I had ever been.

The following day, I sat out on my deck, drinking my coffee, as I always do and opened the Saturday paper to the employment section. I have done this since I finished school as I like to keep my finger on the pulse of Adelaide.

There it was, a large advertisement for a full time Funeral Director and Funeral Celebrant.

Ironically, the job was with a local family owned funeral home, five minutes from my house with a company that I had enlisted as a key sponsor for one of the charities I worked with. I knew at that very moment, that job was mine, and, at the interview, I accepted the job I was offered on the spot albeit a significant pay drop. Again, I was as happy as I have ever been. I was so close to my dream, I really believed I could stand out on my deck, looking at a star sparkled sky, reach out and grab the one that was mine.

The Universe was listening!

I have been extremely privileged the past 14 months to have worked for that lovely local family funeral home, and I have loved and cherished every minute of it. My calling however, has persisted that past 4 months, combined with more than several requests to perform funerals privately, (and ethically and morally, I couldn’t do this), I have taken the biggest leap of faith to date and resigned. BUT…………

I resigned and started my very own business. Yes Des, hold onto your pants my friend, I am now Director of my very own company, The Organic Celebrant – A freelance funeral celebrant business (for both people and Pets) that works with ALL the funeral homes and Vets in Adelaide. I have created my own website and are guns a blazing!

I am bouncing out of my skin with determination and anticipation, already have several funeral homes vesting interest in working with me, and I really now believe I have reached my dream. I am so incredibly blessed.

I look forward to seeing you at the next Proteus Leadership Breakfast and I know in my heart, my new Business will go so well.

Thank you again Des, and PLEASE know what you do has a significant IMPACT (although you may not always be able to see this first hand).

Take care, and keep up the wonderful work.

Michelle Jewels-Parsons

Director & Funeral Celebrant


What an inspirational story about someone who dared to make the decisions that were right for her and to make happen a dream that she had been incubating for many years. The lesson in all of this is that when we make the right decisions doors open up!

My Proteuslife magazine article in the February 2014 edition entitled ‘ Love What You Do’ will expand on this theme further.


So disturbers, do what you do well and enjoy doing it!

Des Penny

The Optimistic Disturber

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