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The Policy on Returns

April 5, 2011

Under the Trade Practices Act 1974 and state fair trading legislation, your return policy must allow a refund to a buyer if the consumer goods you sold (other than by auction):

  • are or become defective through no fault of the buyer;

  • are not for the purpose you stated or the purpose the buyer made known to you;

  • don’t match your description or sample; or

  • have defects that were not obvious or that you did not bring to the buyer’s attention.

When a product does not meet the above requirements, the buyer can ask for a refund within a reasonable period of time. There is no set time limit for a buyer to obtain a refund. You can ask a buyer for proof of purchase. You can also ask them to demonstrate that any problem with the goods was not their fault.

Mineo Minuzo Untitled Moss-Covered Thingo, 2008

Image Credit: Mineo Mizuno

Anxiety: the gift to make you grow

By Pauline McKinnon (C)
Perhaps the title of this article surprises you? You may be startled at the concept of viewing anxiety as a gift – not a problem. You may initially think that I’m uninformed or that I don’t understand the pain of anxiety. Preferably though, this title may cause you to be curious enough to read on!  
 
Let me assure you that I know only too well the immense pain of living with anxiety. My own experience manifested as agoraphobia. It well and truly grounded me and I fought it hard for 8 years until I finally found the way to freedom. That was about 25 years ago and it’s been that long since I last experienced a panic attack.  
 
To my joy, those 25 years have been fully lived – in contrast to living with agoraphobia, where life is so limited. Those years have also produced 4 editions of my story In Stillness Conquer Fear, the establishment of my consulting practice, professional training as a family therapist and several other publications, some relating to children and anxiety. All that experience has helped me distil a different view of anxiety, something I’d like to share here.  
 
We know that anxiety can manifest in panic attacks, obsessive compulsive conditions, eating disorders, depression and various psychosomatic illnesses. We know that anxiety can cause immense unhappiness and emotional anguish and that the symptoms it produces can severely spoil people’s lives. Since I first told my story, anxiety disorders have become recognised as conditions to be diagnosed and treated in various ways . and many support organisations have developed to assist sufferers. This is excellent progress. But it highlights too, just how prevalent anxiety is within our community – and throughout, especially, the Western world. Therefore it seems to me that this prevalence is telling us something far more important than simply statistics. In my experience, everything happens for a reason! So for what reason might we be experiencing anxiety?  
 

Image Credit: Altered Cigar Box, etsy.com
Usually, we assume, for no good reason. But we can make a choice here. We can choose to accept that anxiety is a diagnosable condition and that it happens because we are predisposed to such conditions, or that we’ve experienced a traumatic childhood, or that we’re unable to cope with difficulties such as the state of the world and so on. Certainly those factors give rise to anxiety, and we can settle for that view if we wish. But that would be a fairly limited view and may keep us well and truly stuck, helpless in our anxiety. Alternatively, we can choose a positive, liberating view of anxiety!  
 
Just suppose that anxiety, rather than being a ‘disorder’ was actually a gift to help us grow! Imagine how liberating that could be. Imagine that you could actually benefit from your anxiety by listening to the messages it has for you. You could heed those messages, learn from them, change something and lose your anxiety!  
 
Most of us need a bit of change. We grow out of childhood rather like a house that could do with some maintenance or renovation or even an extension that might make that house better, more whole, closer to completion. When we want to change our house, it’s often because the roof is leaking or the plaster is falling off the walls. To fix these, we need some help from the experts and some tools to work with . but it’s the signs of decay that get us started on the changes that are needed.  
Anxiety, in whichever form it affects us, is like the leaking roof or the cracks in the walls. The reason for our anxiety just might be a sign that can get us started on necessary change. So let’s begin to view anxiety differently. OK?  
 
Then we need to listen to its message. What’s going on in our lives to increase our anxiety? Have we been experiencing stress – and what is stressful for us? Are we caring for ourselves, eating properly and resting adequately? Are we overworked and exhausted, living with a sense of urgency? If so, why? Have we forgotten how to laugh and have fun? Maybe. Have we learned to be self-conscious, afraid of rejection? Where is this coming from? Are we too critical or judgmental of our self and of others? Why? Do we feel threatened by others? Why? What expectations do we have of ourself or of others? What pressures do we place upon ourself to achieve these? How do these pressures make us feel? Do we fear failure, rejection and isolation? How has this come about? Do we hold all our longing, regret, shame and concern within ourselves, burying real feelings and pretending all’s well when it’s not? How many roles are we playing . what are we pretending and what are we trying to prove? How much anger, frustration and disappointment gnaws at us deeply within, propelling us towards panic? How much tension are we carrying because of all these questions? And how depressing is all this?  
 
These questions usually reflect the beliefs we have about ourselves and how we fit into the society in which we exist. And because today’s society places tremendous emphasis on achievement, material possessions and personal profile, we are constantly receiving messages that incite self-judgment. This is the stressful stuff that makes people anxious. Especially those who are sensitive, conscientious and intelligent! Not surprisingly, these are the very things we also hear linked to problems such as drug abuse, chroming, youth suicide etc. These responses and the anxiety they create are all parts of the human whole of the 21st century. No wonder the statistics show a society that is slowly becoming crippled by its own anxiety!  

 
Let’s look a little more closely at agoraphobia, for example. This outcome of anxiety is regarded as the most severe. In my experience, the bottom-line message that agoraphobia hands out is this: I need this person beside me outside of home, or I need to feel safe by remaining in my room or in my home, or in my car or in my restricted comfort zone, because when I am alone or unsupported I fear I’ll collapse and be lost, without identity . swallowed up, somehow, which leaves me terrified, helpless, ill and insecure.  
 
The Spittoon from the Muse
 
In 1991, Pauline McKinnon taught me Stillness Meditation. Her autobiography inspired my recovery process….however, before I began to see Pauline, I had started taking Australian Bush Flower Essences, and with the whole she-bang – meditation/flower essences/CBT/sheer guts – and in 1987 had peeled back the corner on my soul……then there was that Saturn Return….
My perception of agoraphobia is more quirky, no less prosaic, and inspired by Robin Williams:
Agoraphobia is God’s way of telling you…..
.you’re spending too much time and money at the Mall.
There’s a No-Return Policy on Divine Gifts
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