Dr Julie-Anne Sykley

Dr Julie-Anne Sykley is a psychologist with various academic and written achievements. She has worked as a helping professional for about 20 years. From inner city Sydney to the remote Territory outback, Julie-Anne has helped people from many walks of life with mental health problems.


Dr Sykley interviewed on blogtalkradio about issues related to HPP, including how the book helps youth deal with stress. (click on 1 August on demand episode).

Author interview featured in IP eNews 41 as Highly Commended in IP Picks Best Creative Non-fiction Competition

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Can Tragedy Increase Power?

As the magic world of Harry Potter shows, power – the ability to be your happiest, healthiest and highest self – arises from the strangest and most unexpected places. This includes dark and difficult situations such as abuse, illness and injury – even the violent death of a loved one. Tragedies, which arrive in shocking shapes at first, can also be incredibly empowering. The worst times in life – as Harry and his friends show – can bring out the best in people and free the most important power of all: your inner psychological power.

In Harry’s world, many tragic events, bad conditions and hurt things invoke power. After all, didn’t a strike from a deadly serpent free Harry’s courage, which called to a fabulous bird? Didn’t the right magic words spoken in a cold spooky place underground shift apart stone walls, carved with snakes, to reveal a secret chamber? And didn’t a wounded key – the old one with crumpled blue wings – help Harry to unlock a heavy door deep inside the heart of Hogwarts Castle? It might seem strange that misfortunes should increase our personal power. But they can – and do. Would you like to acquire a Philosopher’s Stone in real life? Well, tragedy could help you find one.

You see, a crazy and often overlooked side to tragedy in life is its powerful flip-side. Adversity is a fierce force that bursts closed doors wide open, bringing people in touch with their true inner selves. It’s only when people stare for too long at the closed doors that they miss all the other doors that tragedy has opened for them. There’s no doubt about it. Big problems can free big personal powers that might otherwise stay unseen, untapped, unknown and out of our reach… forever.

Some people already know how to turn tragedy inside out, upside down and all the way around to their advantage. Tragedy might break some people, but it sure makes others. As a wise Zen monk in Anthony de Mello’s tale put it:

When my house burnt down
I got an unobstructed view
Of the moon at night!

So if you really want to, you can find the best beauty, freedom and power in the worst situations. Maybe you have suffered a tragedy. Or maybe your life has been extra tough lately. Whatever hardships you may have, there are sure ways to free your inner power.

Do you dare to explore tragedy more closely?
Do you wish to be wiser, truer and more powerful?
Already, here you are – a sign of true power.
Clearly, you are someone destined to be powerful.
Just like Harry Potter and his friends.

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