The Best Meditation Podcast For Beginners

“When your attention moves into the Now, there is an alertness. It is as if you were waking up from a dream, the dream of thought, the dream of past and future. Such clarity, such simplicity. No room for problem-making. Just this moment as it is.” – Eckhart Tolle

On a recent holiday to the Whitsundays I was reminded of a meditation podcast Meditation Oasis I used to religiously listen to. It was almost 8 years ago that I introduced my now husband to the podcast which coincidentally happened to be in the exact same place my sister in law had organised accommodation for our family getaway at Christmas. It bought back a flood of memories of us enjoying the podcast together, before children, before the financial stress of having a mortgage and before starting our business. I’m not sure when I stopped listening to the podcast, maybe it was after my son was born a year later or when I went back to working full time but its something that I probably need more than ever before. 10895446_507160916089428_727455400_n

The thing I love most about meditation oasis is that each podcast can go for anywhere as long as 30+ minutes to as quick as 4 minutes, the guided meditation podcasts are perfect for beginners and incredibly relaxing.  I’m not going to let any excuses stop me from taking a couple of minutes out of my day to meditate.

A special shout out to my amazing sister in law who booked our accommodation (even if it was just a coincidence) as I don’t know when I would have stumbled across these podcasts again.

It was these podcasts that helped inspire my journey of finding my inner zen and I highly recommend that if you’re wanting to introduce meditation as part of your daily routine to give these podcasts a go!

https://www.meditationoasis.com/podcast/

Thanks for reading xo

 

A snippet of my day – (Mum patience being tested)

“Patience is the companion of wisdom.” -St. Augustine

My kids do this wonderful thing when their dad is home which is acting like normal, amicable humans with the odd hiccup but nothing too major. When their dad leaves, whether it’s for the afternoon, an hour or even 5 minutes they turn into irrational, troublesome crazies that I’m sure have stored away a list of ways to test my patience and use them all at once when I’m alone. Today was one of those days and after the final argument of why they can’t play with alien or mermaid poop inside the house I decided that we all needed a walk and some time out of the house.

We got to our local park which also has a water playground section and of course within a couple of minutes both children had “accidentally” got wet so already feeling defeated I thought f*** it, just get more wet 20180105_053059932_iOSeven if you both are fully clothed, no I don’t have towels or a change of clothes, but I can’t be bothered arguing anymore. I sat and watched them run around, laugh and have fun for an hour before I realised the time. We stopped to have a celebratory ice-cream for the miracle that happened which was a calm afternoon without my husband or me having to raise my voice. Sometimes getting out of the house, even it is just for a couple of hours is so refreshing no matter your age. It doesn’t have to cost money, it just uses up some of your time and time is something to be cherished.

So a special thank you to my wonderful children for testing my patience today because it reminded me to pause, breathe and spend some valuable time with them which is just what we all needed.

 

 

10 things I learnt in 2017

“A moment’s insight is sometimes worth a life’s experience.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

  1. Time is precious – As I’m sitting here writing this blog I can’t believe a whole year has passed already and what’s even scarier is that I can barely remember what happened. Am I confident that I cherished my time the same way I cherish food or any other life essentials? Definitely not, but it’s something I’m learning to do and will continue to priorities my decisions on how I use my time just as much as I cherish anything else because time is something that cannot be replaced.
  2. I am blessed to live where I do – In April I went on a cruise and visited some of the most beautiful Islands I have ever seen and are home to some of the poorest people in the world. I’ll never forget how incredibly happy, friendly and polite the people were. Driving around and seeing the poor living conditions some of the families live in and the limited opportunities they have yet they seemed more content than any of the people we met on the ship.
  3. Breathe – The power of taking a breath before reacting to a situation, making a decision or relieving stress is amazing!
  4. The importance of communication – My husband and I live busy lives and the time’s where we noticed we started getting more frustrated with each other than normal was when we stopped communicating. The lack of simple communication like how we were feeling or what was going through our mind started taking its toll on our relationship but once we realised that we were lacking a simple chat, things immediately improved.
  5. How much I value our friends – Over the years our family have established a solid group of friends most of which are more like family to us now and were actually the results of friendships our children have made at kindy and school. I love and appreciate every single one of our friends and am so thankful for another year of making memories with them.
  6. I know what I want to be when I grow up – It only took 27 years but this year I finally found what I really want to do. I started reading about LNP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) which is defined as is an approach to communication, personal development, and psychotherapy. It’s basically a set of rules and techniques recommended for changing behaviour to achieve self-improvement, self-management, and more effective interpersonal communications. I have enrolled into a professional coaching course specialising in wellness and will also do an extra course on workplace coaching.
  7. Healthy eating is a must – I admit that the results of eating a lot of junk food is finally catching up with my body and general health. The experts aren’t joking when they tell us to be mindful of what we are putting in our body and a nutritious diet is key for our general well-being.
  8. Crystals are so much more than a pretty rock – I have always been interested in crystals but never really knew the purpose of them. It’s during the last few months of the year I have been learning about the energy of individual crystals and how the vibrations they give can help us.
  9. Some things are better left unsaid – It’s as simple as that.“Speak only if it improves upon the silence.”- Gandhi
  10. The older kids grow, the harder parenting gets – Seriously though, what a challenging part of daily life parenting is, and I always thought that it would get easier with age! I’ve learnt that EVERY child is different and the worst thing you can do as a parent is compare your child to others (no matter their age). I’ve also learnt that you can’t control who your children choose to be friends with, but you can teach them right from wrong and guide them to make good choices.

I could keep adding to my list all day but these are my top 10 learnings for the year. I hope everyone had a fantastic end to 2017 and I’ll be sending the most postive vibes to everyone for an unforgettable 2018!

Thanks for reading!

The joy of pre-travel anxiety

“Every day is a good day to be alive, whether the sun’s shining or not.”- Marty Robbins

We have just landed to spend a wonderful 5 days with our family, doing nothing but relaxing and having fun and now that I’m here I feel totally fine but I did put my poor husband through a bit of stress before we left.

I know that the majority of people would get anxious about making sure everything is good to go when you arrive at your destination or making sure that nothing has been left behind but for me that’s the easy part. What makes me anxious is the potential that we’ll rush out of the house leaving it messy and unorganised! Yes I know it’s ridiculous but I just can’t seem to feel comfortable leaving until my house is clean, organised and fully prepped so when I get home there is nothing to do.

I have been like this for as long as I can remember and my family know that when I’m in this anxious bubble of mine to just leave me alone and let me do what I need to so the rest of the journey is a peaceful one.

I know it’s probably not that uncommon to have some sort of apprehension when it comes to leaving your home especially if your home is your sanctuary like mine so it’s not something I’m going to stress over changing any time soon.

My advise to anyone else who experiences anxiety whether its similar to me or not is to make sure you communicate how your feeling with the people around you because the vibe that you radiate makes the situation feel far more toxic and stressful than what it needs to be. Ask for help, be mindful of your emotions and remember that what will be, will be.

 

Start making success happen today!

“The only thing that’s keeping you from getting what you want is the story you keep telling yourself.” – Tony Robbins

It’s that time of the year when everyone starts thinking about new year resolutions and I’m one of them. This morning I did my usual routine of watching a TED talk while getting ready and coincidentally stumbled across “Programming your mind for success by Carrie Green.”  This is seriously now in my top 10 favourite TED talks and I cant believe I hadn’t seen it before. Below are the main things I took from watching Carrie talk about how she became successful and some tips we can all incorporate into daily life to help us reach our goals too.

The power of our mind is incredible- Fear, obstacles and lack of motivation can greatly impact the decisions we make, it may seem obvious to some but when I started thinking about the opportunities I have had in the past that I didn’t take the reasons all link back to the above. It’s crazy to think about how different my path could have been if I was able to overcome the fear of failing, getting through the couple of obstacles that were in my way or ignoring that little voice in my head over analysing the consequences of the decision.

If we can make our minds certain that something will happen, our minds will figure out a way- So many of the most successful people in the world will tell you that they got to where they wanted to go by programming their minds for success. Its first important to know what you want to achieve, why you want to achieve it and the person you need to become to make it happen. I know that not everyone knows what they want to do which is totally fine but while you don’t know what you do wantavoid doing the things you don’t want until you figure it out.

Seeing is believingWhen you know what you do want visualising it is a powerful way to trick your mind into believing that you already have whatever it is you want or that you have achieved the goal you are wanting to hit. Our subconscious will act upon the images you create within, whether they reflect your current reality or not. Guided visualisation involves you vividly imagining what you want to achieve, seeing it happen and feeling it happen as if it was happening right now. Creating a vision board with all the things that motivate you and placing it somewhere you’ll see every day will remind you to do some visualisation exercises that will work with the universe to get what you want.

Do you have a vision board? If so please feel free to share as I love seeing what motivates others!

Thanks for reading! ♥♥

Everything happens for a reason

“Be kind. Be thoughtful. Be genuine. But most of all, be thankful.”

I have a couple of people on my bucket list that I want to see before I die and one of them is Jack Johnson. There’s something about Jacks voice that instantly soothes my soul, I have so much appreciation for his natural talent with all things music and even just listening to one song can change my whole mood around. As you can imagine when I found out he was finally touring Australia I registered for the pre-sale and got the tickets within seconds of them being for sale. So here we are, it’s the day my favourite singer is performing and I’m sitting at home writing a blog.

Last night I did not get any sleep at all, I randomly get severe heart burn which is so painful and no matter what I do to relieve the symptoms nothing works, the last time I had heartburn this bad was over a year ago and for some unknown reason it decided to return last night. So, because of this and my sleep deprivation I made the hard decision to resell the tickets on to someone else. I was contacted by a lady who offered me money for the tickets and explained that her daughter was in hospital and she had just missed out on the tickets from someone else. My natural reaction was to give the tickets away, I mean the thought of having a young child in hospital is heartbreaking and the pain the entire family must be feeling is indescribable. Of course, the gesture was very much appreciated, and I learnt more about her daughter’s illness which has already meant the removal of a tumour from her brain and will involve another year of treatment and recovery.

For me my sleep deprivation and severe heart burn is the best thing that could have happened and it randomly coming back last night was a blessing. I would never have spoken to this beautiful family today and would never have been able to have the opportunity to help them even if it was just a small gift. My husband and I have also spent the day reflecting on the things we normally take for granted and after having a rough week this was the reminder we needed to be grateful for every moment we have together.

I have mentioned before that I believe everything happens for a reason and today is the perfect example of the universe making things happen for the best.

Find out who you are (Q&A)

“You have to start knowing yourself so well that you begin to know other people. A piece of us is in every person we can ever meet.” John D. MacDonald

This post was inspired by one of my favourite bloggers discoveringyourhappiness who posted this a while ago. Its a great way for others to get to know you and for you to get to know yourself. I hope you enjoy!

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What I learned from the judgements of being a young mum

“People take different roads seeking fulfilment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.” ― Dalai Lama

When I fell pregnant at 19 I knew that it would come with a huge amount of challenges, but I wasn’t prepared for the brutal amount of judging that would come from complete strangers. As well as being a young I looked (and still do) younger than I am which back then I felt was a curse (now I’m so grateful for my genes.) I remember walking around with my pregnant belly and seeing people stare or shake their head at me and would always feel like I was being talked about. When I was heavily pregnant I went for one of my last check-ups in hospital with a new doctor I hadn’t met. When he asked me how I was feeling I told him that my back was causing me a lot of pain and he responded by rolling his eyes and told me “well then you should have used a condom.” I get it, of course his response was true to a certain extent, but I bet he wouldn’t have given that same response to a 30-year-old suffering with back pain from pregnancy.

The little comments, head shakes, stares and judgements got under my skin for years and I would dwell on every interaction. I would spend so much time on trying to find ways to make myself look older and wishing that people would just get to know me before assuming the worst but it was exhausting. I finally accepted that I can’t change what people think of me, but I can change what I think of others and more importantly how I make others feel.

This is what I have learnt

  • We are all different – Just because you have been taught to do something one way or have been brought up to live with a set of values it doesn’t mean this is the right way or the only way. Educate yourself in the area you are about to make an assumption about as knowledge is power.10390909_10152991825510569_6269588378585546019_n
  • Appearances can be deceiving – The person wearing scruffy clothes doesn’t necessarily have less money than the person wearing a suit. Too often we are quick to judge a book by its cover and their cover isn’t necessarily their real or whole self. This is similar to how we judge someone who has a disability, unless we can physically see it we assume the person is lying. We tend to believe what we see; and if it can’t be seen, it simply doesn’t exist.”
  • Give the person the benefit of the doubt – I learnt from working in retail that sometimes people’s actions don’t reflect who they are. I have been yelled at more times than I can remember but there was a particular time where I had a very irate customer come into store yelling at me about something that was out of my control. I instinctively judged him as being a bit of an ass hole but I did my best to help and once the customer had calmed down he apologised and explained that his wife had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and he needed to rush back to the hospital. Of course, it doesn’t make his actions right, but it did teach me to be mindful that we don’t know what battle others are fighting or what their situation is.
  • Be mindful – It’s hard to not react instinctively when it comes to our judgment so its important to practice pausing before reacting. Think about the consequences your words and actions may have and if you know they have the potential to do harm, then think of a way to make your response or positive one or at the very lease a neutral one.
  • Focus on personal growth – Be yourself, improve yourself where you can, and accept the parts of yourself that you can’t change. When you become happy internally it changes the way you see things externally and you’ll notice you’ll instinctively see more of the positives rather than the negatives in others.

    “When you judge others, you aren’t defining them, you define yourself.”

The 1 ad everyone needs to watch!

“Everyone smiles in the same language.” George Carlin

It’s a simple video that has an important message and in a short 3 minutes it has the power to change the way we see others and find something in common with people we assume we wouldn’t. I was captivated from the very start and since watching it I have shared it with family, friends and even my team in work as it’s a message we need spread.

We tend to focus too much on what divides us rather than what binds us and are quick to judge without even talking to someone. It’s amazing how asking a few simple questions can make you realise we’re all more a like than we seem but our differences is what makes us unique and the world would be so boring if we were all the same.

In diversity there is beauty and there is strength and it’s really the one true thing we all have in common.

We Are Our Choices

“The key to accepting responsibility for your life is to accept the fact that your choices, every one of them, are leading you inexorably to either success or failure, however you define those terms.” —Neal Boortz

Grade 1 has been quite the challenge for my son and has really tested mine and my husbands parenting skills. For some reason Xavier-Lee decided that this year he would do whatever other children would tell him to do even if he knew it would get him in trouble. His poor choices resulted in him missing out on a few events and losing some of his toys and he’s finally learnt (very slowly) that the choices he makes determines the consequences he receives.

While on my own spiritual journey, I recently came across articles about the law of attraction which is more or less what I’ve been teaching Xavier-Lee about his choices having a consequence but of course the law of attraction is on a far deeper level. The law of attraction does make sense though as for every decision we make no matter how big or small there’s always a consequence which can be either positive or negative which means we have the power to choose whatever consequence we prefer.

Some choices will be harder than others and some will have a small impact while others will have a huge impact but most importantly you need to own the choices you make. We can all choose what we think, what we believe and how we act and we generally know the consequences of the choices we make and although we can’t control every situation  we can choose how we react to it.

I am still very new to the law of attraction and the science behind it so I’m in no position to give any advice but so far I’m enjoying expanding my knowledge and combined with my “Buddhish” values I think it will have a really positive impact on my life.

 

50 things that make me happy

“People tend to dwell more on negative things than on good things. So the mind then becomes obsessed with negative things, with judgements, guilt and anxiety produced by thoughts about the future and so on.” Eckhart Tolle

I always think that we tend to focus on what makes us stressed out or anxious about daily life, whether we do it consciously or subconsciously it uses up a lot of our energy which doesn’t leave a lot of focus for what makes us happy. I am the biggest culprit for doing exactly this so I’m trying to consciously change my thought pattern to have an automatic focus onto the positives and what makes me happy. I stumbled across a “50 things that make me happy” blog and thought I would challenge myself to do the same but change the quantity to 20 because there’s no way I could think of 50!? I was so wrong, thinking of what makes me happy was so much easier than what I thought which gives me the hope that I eventually will subconsciously think of what makes me happy rather than stressed or anxious.

I smiled the entire way through making this list and challenge everyone to make some time to do the same.

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Tips on how to make your home your sanctuary

“I believe your home tells a story about who you are and who you aspire to be. We represent ourselves through the things we own. I don’t believe in trends. I believe in collecting things that you connect with. We should surround ourselves with things we care about, that have meaning.” Nate Berkus

My house is literally my favourite place in the entire world. I know it may sound closed-minded or maybe a little boring but for me my house is my sanctuary and I love everything about it. Don’t get me wrong I love going on holidays and getting out and about during the weekend but nothing beats that feeling of walking into the house and being hit with the comfort and safety of being back home.20170408_091525221_iOS

If you have browsed through my Instagram page you would probably notice my slight obsession with interior design and I’m often asked why I haven’t pursued a career in it but to be totally honest my love for interior design is totally selfish as I only like improving my own home.

I may not be able to help with the placement of furniture or what theme you should go with for your house but I can share some tips on how to make your house feel more like a home.

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Don’t dull in the darkness of bad news

A great man once said, “Be a lotus.” Which means, no matter how ugly, how evil, and how sinful everyone around you might become, do not allow yourself to be stained. A lotus remains beautiful even as it lingers in the filthy waters of the pond. Don’t be contaminated, do not be influenced by worthless means, remain radiant among the shadows of darkness. Be a lotus. It has to start with one, to fill the pond with more.

There’s no point in pretending that evil isn’t a reality and that the world will one day make peace with their enemies (although it would be nice.) Instead of avoiding the bad news all together I think its important to be informed and have a healthy balance of both the good and bad.

The bad news often has a lesson to learn and can motivate us to change our behaviours to make a change. Quite often we see communities who would normally avoid each other come together in the event of a tragedy and consequently put any racial, gender or sexuality biases aside which proves we can live in peace.

Sometimes I wonder what sort of future my children will have as it’s easy to get consumed in all the negative happening in the world. Thankfully recent studies are actually showing that a good news story is shared more than a negative one on social media and good news can be just as easily found as the bad. A simple google search such as “good news stories” will brings up a huge selection of websites that share good news stories from all over the world. Instead of dwelling on the negative it’s important to teach our children that there’s also so much joy that can be had and is happening all around the world right now.

I hope that my children always remember that they can be the light in the darkness and their positive actions no matter how small can make a difference.

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

Why postnatal depression was my blessing in disguise

“Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better take things as they come along with patience and equanimity.”  Carl Jung

I’ve mentioned in previous blogs how I have always struggled with this dark cloud of misery hanging over my head and impacting my everyday life.

When I fell pregnant at 19 I was happy, my pregnancy was not planned but I was confident everything would be okay. I finally became a sister when I was 13 years old so I was familiar with the baby thing and was quite content of changing poo explosions and smelling of vomit 24/7.

After a long, painful and scary labour I gave birth to a healthy baby boy in November 2010 and after just 1 night in hospital we were sent home as a family of 3. As soon as I got home I immediately burst into tears, reality hit me like a tonne of bricks and I had no idea what to do with this tiny human who had joined our family. Thank goodness, my amazing husband had organised my mum and little sister to visit for a week which helped lift a couple of those bricks. I cried every day during the week my mum was there but was told it was part of the “baby blues” and totally normal and my hormones would settle in a couple of weeks and I would feel better.

A month passed and I was doing a pretty good job of being a first-time mum but I still couldn’t shake this incredibly sad feeling. I remember being so exhausted of feeling anxious, stressed and negative but it just wouldn’t budge. I eventually reluctantly accepted my husband’s advice to go and talk to a doctor. Straight away the doctor identified my symptoms as being postnatal depression and gave me a script for anti-depressant as well as recommending some coping techniques to use at home and referring me to a counsellor.

Fast forward another month and I was feeling the happiest I had felt since I was at least 15. I had been living with this relentless depression for a large majority of my life but didn’t know it and the happiness I was experiencing from getting help was totally normal for most.

I do have some tips to share which I hope will help others going through some sort of mental health problem but mainly focusing on postnatal depression.

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5 tips to supercharge your Sunday!

Sunday or Smonday? Yes I’ve seen a lot of people using the word Smonday lately with the description “The moment when Sunday stops feeling like Sunday and the anxiety of Monday kicks in.” I used to feel this way about Sunday too until 20170708_005534631_iOSI realised that worrying about Monday was doing me more harm than good and also having a negative affect on my family. Below are some tips that have turned my Smonday into a SUNday!

  1. Prepare for your Monday on Friday – It’s easy to get caught up with the excitement of the long-awaited weekend and wanting it to start as quick as possible but if we invest a little more time into doing things that will make your Monday that little bit easier you wont have a huge workload hanging over your head on Sunday.
  2. Plan your weekly meals – This is crucial for us as we are an incredibly busy family and we don’t have time to be thinking of dinner ideas last-minute. We do a big grocery shop on Saturday so the lunches, dinners, snacks and all the little things are taken care of before Sunday which leaves more time for relaxing!
  3. Invest in rest –  So this is easier said than done when you have children but is so important and sleeping isn’t the only way to do it. Having at least a 30 minute break from technology can have many benefits for your mental health, sometimes we get so caught up in multitasking between watching a TV show, checking out social media and catching up on e-mails that we miss the small things happening around us. Physical rest for me is actually making the time to go for a walk and if I’m lucky, sneaking in a 30 min nap. Of course spiritual rest is also important so taking the time to meditate and focus on mindfulness will help you take control of your emotions and give more clarity to your thoughts.
  4. Get outside – Whether you catch up with family or friends, check out that market you have never been to or even walk around the block to your local park, getting outside and enjoying nature are a must. Having a change of pace and environment does wonders for your physical and mental health.
  5. Prepare for Monday – I generally keep on top of my cleaning during the week so I normally only have washing to put away on Sunday. I’m lucky that my husband loves to do all the food preparation for Monday lunches and Sunday dinner which gives me time to set out school uniforms/work clothes, get our bags organised and do a quick review of my calendar to make sure nothing catches me by surprise.

Having this routine gives me peace of mind that I can enjoy my Sunday without having the anxious thoughts about Monday ruin my day.

How to beat the holiday blues

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It’s the Sunday after a 3-day getaway with my husband and children and I have the holiday blues (yes after only 3 days away!)

My husband runs a very busy business, I work full time in a management role and my eldest is in school while my youngest is in kindergarten so it’s not very often we get to spend time all together. We went away to Byron Bay which if you’re not from Australia it is famous for being the most relaxed alternate lifestyle capital of Australia and I LOVE it. We spent our days picking fresh macadamia nuts at the farm, going for long walks, building sandcastles on the beach, shopping at the markets and of course lots of eating at the many different restaurants and cafes.20170708_005315003_iOS So now here I am writing about my 3-day weekend after I have just unpacked, organised the kids ready for tomorrow and am about to start making dinner. It all seems a distant memory and now having to settle back into “reality” may seem depressing to some so I thought I would share my tips on how I ease back into it.

  • I always remind myself that “reality” is what enabled us to have this holiday. We are so incredibly blessed to live the life we do and although at times it feels exhausting, hard work is what lets us provide for our family, protect our future and celebrate the now.
  • I get organised. I make sure that when I wake up the next day that my routine is set up and ready to go including cleaning the house so the morning isn’t a crazy stressful rush for the family.
  • I start a goal! I find this a perfect time to start working on a new goal I have been putting off for a while, for example tomorrow I want to start eating healthier so I have made myself a yummy green smoothie to start my day off which I know always makes me feel good.

Just because your holiday has ended it doesn’t mean your relaxed attitude and holiday vibe must end too. I am going back to work tomorrow feeling fresh and ready for whatever challenges the day brings because life is all about balance and just like seasons you wouldn’t appreciate the warmth of summer without experiencing the chill of winter.