“To accomplish great things we must first dream, then visualize, then plan… believe… act!” – Alfred A.Montapert
I watched a TED talk a couple of weeks ago by the amazing Patti Dobrowolski about drawing your future and it had me so inspired that today I gave it a go. I have been really interested in visual goal setting ever since I started reading more about the law of attraction and already have a vision board but thought this could be a great addition.
The power of visualisation is incredible. If you can make a habit to mentally visualise an image of what you want or who you want to be your mind will subconsciously start making your dreams a realty. Visualisation also creates an optimistic, positive mindset as you focus on the things you DO want rather than what you don’t and this in itself helps keep you motivated. Adding drawing as a visualisation technique activates the creative right-side of your brain which will help you see new possibilities.
I downloaded a copy of the free template from Patti’s website and also printed the icon guide for some inspiration for what to draw.
Here are some tips that really helped me put this together.
Choose a timeline – Whether it’s a week, a month, a year, or 10 years you’ll find it easier to think of your desired outcome if you put a time-frame on it, this will also help you think of your 3 bold steps.
Create a list – Write a list of your current reality, it doesn’t have to go into a lot of detail, it could just be key words like “stuck” or “bored.” Do the same for your desired new reality. If you’re like me and not a huge visual learner you will find the list as a good trigger for the picture you draw.
Get drawing – My original plan was to start on the current reality side before doing the desired reality side, but I found that once I had that visual of my current reality, I instantly knew what I wanted it to look like instead so drew that straight away.
Colour in – This was my favourite part! I chose to only colour in only the desired reality side of my future as I really wanted to absorb what my desired reality looks like and it also helped me think of what steps I needed to take to get there.
Set your 3 bold steps – So now you know what you want and what it looks like how will you do it? My desired reality is something I want to achieve over the next year so with each of my bold steps I have a list of smaller steps that I can tick off to keep me on track. You can put anything that you want in your bold steps, it can be as simple as “Write my resume” if you are wanting a job change. This is something that is totally tailored to you so there is no wrong or right answer.
This may not work for everyone but I had so much fun doing it and you never know you may discover that you are an incredible artist or in my case an incredible tracer lol.
When I am anxious it is because I am living in the future. When I am depressed it is because I am living in the past. – Author Unknown
Does anyone else get the Sunday blues? Well it turns out there’s actually a word for it which is “Smonday” and is described as “The moment when Sunday stops feeling like Sunday and the anxiety of Monday kicks in.” So many people I talk to experience this and I was really startled when my 7-year-old son started getting upset on Sunday nights because he was sad the weekend was over. If I’m honest the reason he would also feel the symptoms of “Smonday” is probably because my husband and I show them so it’s a habit we needed to change.
Below are 5 really simple tips that I have found make our Sunday’s less stressful and more enjoyable. Considering that on average we only have 4000 Sundays to live in our life why would you want to waste it feeling sad about the unknown?
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 won’t have a huge workload hanging over your head on Sunday. This can be as simple as leaving a “to do” list on your desk at work so you are clear on what needs to be done
Weekday organisation – Don’t leave all your chores for the weekend. I always make sure that I do at least one load of washing a day and spot clean around the house so when the weekend does arrive I’m not spending the entire time cleaning.
Get outside – Whether you catch up with family or friends, check out that market you have never been to or even just walking to your local park, getting out of the house can do wonders. Its proven that having a change of pace and environment does wonders for your physical and mental health.
Schedule some weekday fun – My husband and I did this because we felt like we were stuck in a rut during the week and wanted to mix things up a bit. We find even going out for dinner on a Wednesday, or visiting some family and friends really breaks the week up and means you’re not relying on the weekend to have fun.
Find your why – Okay so this may not be something you can do overnight but I’m adamant that once you find your purpose in life it makes waking up every day that little bit easier as you are able to focus your energy on the things that matter the most.
I hope you find these tips useful and please feel free to share any tips you find helpful below!
I am SO overwhelmed and incredibly grateful to be nominated for The Kind Blogger award by Danielle from The Preemie-Mummy. This is special to me because the award (which Danielle created by the way) means my blog is doing exactly what I had hoped it would, which is to create a little inspiration and positivity in people lives all around the world. Danielle wrote a description of two types of bloggers she has discovered and I want to share with everyone her description of the type of blogger I have always inspired to be and that Danielle is.
“There are those who do it simply because they love it – they love writing posts, reading other people’s posts and are just happy and grateful to have readers who are interested in what they have to say.”
Thank you Danielle not only for the nomination but for creating this beautiful way of recognising the amazing people around us.
Be mindful of your self-talk. It’s a conversation with the universe. – David James
As I am going through my journey of becoming my best self I have found such an incredible amount of valuable practices, advice, wisdom and lessons to help me along the way. There is no denying that there is a cycle of thoughts, words, actions and attitude that impact everyday experiences. My latest challenge is what I say to myself and yes, I talk to myself a lot lol! I was so disappointed when I realised that the little voice in my head was the biggest negative Nancy I had ever met so I needed to take immediate action to turn her into a positive Polly.
Studies have shown that humans have anywhere from 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day but according to some research, as many as 80% of our thoughts are negative. This research really saddened me and got me thinking about my children’s future because self-talk patterns develop from the day you learn to talk and I want nothing more than for my children to be happy. I hope that by changing my own self-talk patterns it will create a positive habit for my children too.
Here are 3 quick tips to start your process
Mindfulness- Become aware of what you say to yourself throughout the day. We often start the day thinking about the things we don’t want to do or can’t do during the day which has a huge impact on the experiences we encounter. Set little reminders on your phone or sticky notes around the house to remind yourself to be aware of your thoughts so you can identify where you need change.
Find your trigger words- For me I have noticed I say, “I can’t” and “I won’t” way too much so I constantly have this on my radar. When I catch myself saying these phrases I replace them with “How can I” or “I choose” as it empowers me to open my mind and take control instead of giving up. For example, I caught myself saying “I can’t get all my studying done this month” so replaced it with “How can I get all my study done this month?” “I can’t” prevented me from thinking of ways around my situation where as “How can I” prompted me to find a solution to my problem. I now have a plan in place so I can get my study done and I feel far more positive and at ease.
Positive affirmations- Okay so you may roll your eyes at this one as there are probably a million books or cards out there with positive affirmations that people claim will change your life but guess what? Its true! If you create a habit to repeat a positive affirmation everyday that are focused on a goal or outcome your subconscious mind will create situations to make it happen. I have been repeating “My thoughts are under my control” as many times as I can throughout the day and I have noticed a positive change in being able to better control the frequency and severity of my anxiety.
Do you have a negative Nancy or a positive Polly floating around in your head? Dont feel defeated if negative Nancy is dominating at the moment as you CAN change by making some simple changes and I believe everyone has a positive Polly in there somewhere.
“Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more.” – Tony Robbins
Following on from my post “6 Things That Made My January Extraordinary” I have decided that really reflecting on the previous months positives is quite therapeutic so here I am for February’s addition.
The best text ever – You know when you get a random text message and it leaves you smiling for the rest of the day? Well I had the pleasure of getting a text message with a video of my niece saying “Aunty Nat is my beautiful girl” and it made my entire day. I have played it a million times and it continues to make me smile.
New baby feels – We finally got to meet the newest member of the family (my children’s second cousin) and oh my goodness what a bundle of joy he is. His huge smiles are contagious and there’s just something that the joy a newborn brings that is so infectious.
I left the house – Okay so I wouldn’t say I’m a total hermit but when it comes to venturing out to places I wouldn’t normally go my anxiety kicks in and it takes a lot of convincing for me to go. When the mind body and soul festival popped up I HAD to go and what better motivation for me to go than knowing I would be meeting a new friend. It was such a good morning spent with amazing company and another step forward of taking control of my anxiety.
I lost my bridesmaid virginity – I have always struggled to have “girl” friends so I’ve never in my 27 years of life been asked to be a bridesmaid. My husband however is the groomsman in every wedding we have been to, so I’m normally stuck on the “random” table with the people the bride and groom had to invite lol! So when my bestie handed me a bottle of my favourite wine which had been personalised to ask me to be her bridesmaid it was a milestone in my life and I couldn’t be more excited!
My February was far from perfect and there is so much of life that is out of my control but how I respond is. It’s just as easy to sit and dwell on all the things that went wrong as it is to dwell on all the things that went right. In either situation whether you remember the good or the bad you are reinforcing all the feelings you had at the time and I think we can all agree that the feeling of happiness and joy is the one I would rather put my energy into.
As I am sat here writing this, the sun is shining, my children are playing peacefully, my husband is home safe from night shift and I’m enjoying a nice cup of tea. The negative of February has absolutely no impact on my present moment and February is exactly where it will stay.
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” – Leo Buscaglia
I’ve had “one of those days” today. You know those days when you feel exhausted but you don’t really know why and it only takes the slightest thing to irritate you? I was doing a quick dash to the shops to grab the one ingredient I was missing for dinner when someone stopped me and complimented my hair. I was a little bit confused as my hair was what I would consider a total mess but the kind comment made me smile none the less. It really got me thinking about compliments and how powerful they can be so thought I would dig a little deeper as to why we should do it more often and this is what I came up with.
It’s free – Seriously though, a compliment costs absolutely nothing but has the power to impact someone’s day so much more than any other gift you could buy.
It’ll create a snowball effect – When you give a compliment to someone they are more likely to compliment someone else or even give you a compliment back. The happy feeling you gave to one person then spreads affecting people everywhere.
Its selfless– Complimenting someone shows that you are paying attention to more than just what’s going on in your own world. It’s also a sign of genuine kindness and is a great demonstration of the person you are, especially if it’s the first time you have met.
You’ll see more good than bad – Once you have gotten into the habit of giving genuine compliments you will start to notice more of the positive qualities in people rather than the negative.
It can change someone’s life– Yep! We have all heard a story about how someones kind words have transformed another’s life. Your acknowledgement of someone’s efforts, actions or appearance can be the motivation they need to keep going.
So go out there, give someone a compliment but make sure its sincere. You don’t just get that warm happy feeling by receiving a compliment, you get it from giving one too.
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”—Maya Angelou
I bet that if your bag got stolen you would never think that you would get everything back? Well neither did I and I’m also one of those naive people who thought “It’ll never happen to me” so when I had my bag stolen on Monday it was a complete shock and I started preparing for the worst.
Now I did not want this to be a sympathy post as what happened after this made the entire experience worth it and that’s why I decided to share.
The first incredible thing that happened was my neighbour alerting me that my bag got stolen as I was none the wiser. He was walking his dogs when he saw what happened and instinctively wrote down all of the car details for me to provide to the police and left me his number in case I needed anything else. This was my first interaction with my neighbour and although it was an unfortunate way to first meet I am so grateful that we did.
The same day after I had finished work my manager sent me a number to call of a person who was trying to contact me in work. I assumed it was probably the police station giving me an update, but it turned out that it was a lady whose son had found my purse on the way to school and held onto it until he got home that day. The kind lady dropped my purse to me which had everything still inside it, even my bank cards and I.D. I was so relieved as my biggest concern was being a victim of identity theft so having my purse back was a HUGE relief.
It was the next day that blew me away. I received another call from a random number and this time it was a lady who had found my bag and saw my number written in my diary so called to let me know she would hold onto it until I could collect it. I went straight to her house after work and honestly expected that nothing else would be in it but miraculously every single thing that was in my bag when it got stolen was still there.
I’ll never understand why the person who stole my bag did but if I’m totally honest, I don’t care. This 1 person taught me that for the bad choice he made I met 3 good, honest, kind people who refused to take any sort of reward for what they had done and were just happy that they were able to help.
I also learnt that I have taken control of my anxiety more than I ever thought I could. Yes I did have some panic-struck moments when I kept remembering what belongings were in my bag but I didn’t hibernate in bed and dwell on what had happened for the rest of the day like I would have a few years ago.
My last thoughts are about karma. It could be pure luck that all my belongings came back to me but I like to think it’s a sign from the universe, almost a pat on the back that the good I have done for others doesn’t go unrecognised and a reminder that the choices I make have a consequence, whether it be good or bad. I feel more inspired than ever to keep giving the universe the best of myself because even if I don’t see the good come back to me I know that I at least would have made a difference and that’s all that matters.
“Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.” – John W. Whitehead
I have seen quite a few of these sort of questionnaires getting around social media and I love reading the responses of other people’s children, not only can it be hilarious but also very insightful. I sat down with my 7 year old son and 5 year old daughter at different times and asked them the below questions. I was actually really surprised by some of their responses and it was super precious to learn a little more about them as well as share some giggles with them.
“Letting go helps us to live in a more peaceful state of mind and helps restore our balance. It allows others to be responsible for themselves and for us to take our hands-off situations that do not belong to us. This frees us from unnecessary stress.” – Melody Beattie
Resentment is a mixture of toxic emotions formed by anger, hatred and disappointment and is incredibly destructive. What inspired me to write this blog was the realisation that I am surrounded by multiple people who are so consumed with bitterness it has changed the person they used to be.
I have seen exactly what resentment does to people and how it impacts their quality of life. In the words of Malachy McCourt, “Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” While you’re latching on to the negative thoughts and emotions you are damaging the relationship with yourself with the people who care for you the most.
I don’t want to seem like a martyr in this blog because I myself have identified that I am resentful for things that have happened in my past too which makes sense as to why in certain situations my anxiety and depression can dramatically spike.
Forgiveness is the answer to letting go of resentment and now I have identified this in my life I can start making a conscious effort to do exactly that, forgive. Maybe if I am able to admit this I’ll inspire others to do the same so we can live in peace and happiness and repair any damage that has been done to ourselves and others.
“Children have neither past nor future; they enjoy the present, which very few of us do.” – Jean de la Bruyere
If there is one thing I have always been certain about in life, it is that I wanted to be a mum. It may have happened a lot sooner than I had planned but it was meant to be and has been an incredible journey so far. I love listening to the things my children have to say, the way they see the world is so simplistic and not yet tainted by ego or judgements. I still have a lot to learn but so far these are the five lessons that I value the most.
The beauty in the small things – Our son notices the tiny details of everything he sees. His inquisitive nature means slowing down at any construction site we go past as he is in awe with how things work. Our daughter is very similar but she will hear the birds singing before anyone else and she will ALWAYS stop to smell the flowers. It’s so sad how blind we become to the environment around us as an adult and it results in us missing the small yet most beautiful things.
To slow down – As an adult we get stuck in the rut of rushing to get things done, even something as simple as reading a book is a whole different experience with children. When I read a book with my children they will ask questions after every sentence, they’ll analyse the pictures to help make sense of the words and once its finished its almost a guarantee they’ll want to read it again. These are the best times to practice being present and treasure it while you can.
Experiences have more value than things – Whether it’s as big as going on a holiday or a little as going on a bike ride its guaranteed that you’ll hear children talking more about the things they have done rather than the things they have been given, a valuable lessons for the whole family.
The power of laughter – There is something about hearing a child laugh that brings so much joy to our lives. The best thing about this, is that it doesn’t take much to make you laugh even if it is just pulling a silly face or hearing a lame joke. If us adults had more of a light-hearted attitude to everyday things maybe we could learn to still smile even when things aren’t perfect.
To be a better person – Before children you live your life how you want with little thought to anyone else. Then when you have children you have these little people who idolise you and copy everything you do. This in itself has taught me SO much, I know that if I expect my children to make good choices that I need to make them too. I want to be a good example to my children so that they have a positive impact in our forever changing world.
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough.” – Melodie Beatty
I’m sure in January there were many times when I thought “Could the day get any worse?” but now we’re in February and I’m reflecting on all the things that made January great those unpleasant days are so insignificant as the good always outweighs the bad. These are just a few things that I am grateful for this month, I keep a gratitude journal that I write in daily for all the little things in between.
Work/Life balance – January was a breath of fresh air when it came to the balance of work and home (mainly with my husband). Normally when I get home from work I have the crazy rush of hurrying the kids to shower and do chores while multitasking dinner for the night and making lunches for the next day so pulling up into the driveway and seeing my husband’s Ute, smelling dinner and seeing washing already hanging up on the line was amazing! If my husband is reading this, THANK YOU!!
School success – The anxiety I had built up about my “baby” going to big school has passed and just as I always knew she has settled in well with no issues. I’m also so happy with the teacher my son has this year and I think she will have a huge impact in his life, not just with learning but helping him be his best self.
Cheerleading – Yes, I found a sport I was meant to do in life, so I enrolled my daughter instead lol! Okay so I most definitely do not part take in cheerleading, but I love how genuinely happy it makes my daughter. The hour training also gives me a chance to study and spend some quality time with my son so it’s a win, win for all.
Get togethers – We had quite a few social events on in January which meant delicious food, baby cuddles, lots of laughs, afternoon swims, catching up with friends and family, taking photos and making memories in general.
Positive blogging – January seemed to be a huge success for my blog and I received some of the most beautiful feedback and comments that I will treasure forever. I get so much joy from writing so knowing that others get joy from reading my blog is the best feeling and I’m so incredibly grateful.
Interior styling – I’m a sucker for changing my house around and I’m obsessed with all things interior. In January I had a huge clean out of the house and added some new items which was the fresh start to the year I needed.
I challenge everyone to do the same for January, it doesn’t have to be 6 things, maybe you can only think of 3 but anything is a start. Gratitude can change your life so this month stop waiting for something positive to happen before practising gratitude and find the good in every experience because you never know when it’ll be your last.
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”
The quote above is from one of the most amazing speeches I’ve seen on YouTube given by Steve Jobs to the graduates of Stanford University in 2005. I watched it multiple times this week and the timing was perfect as yesterday was Australia day which also marks the anniversary of me becoming an Australian citizen and a day I always like to reflect on how much my life has changed.
I was born in Cardiff, Wales and spent 15 years of my life there. When I was 11 my parents took me out of school for 3 months and we travelled around Australia with a stop off in Hong Kong which gave me life experience you could never learn in a school. We all fell in love with the State Queensland and just after my 15th Birthday my parent’s dreams became reality and we moved to Australia leaving behind our family, friends and life as we knew it.
I have had some of my darkness days in Australia, but I’ve also had some of my best and for a long time my life had been a graph of dots scattered randomly with no meaning or purpose. Finally, at 27 years old and looking back at those dots it has clicked as to how they all connect, and I understand that if it wasn’t for all of the ups and downs I’ve endured over the years I wouldn’t be on the path I am today.
Now I know that Australia day is quite a controversial day to some with all of the politics and protests, but I like to keep it pretty simple. I see Australia day as a time to express my gratitude for the country I live in. I am so incredibly thankful that my husband and I can raise our children in such a beautiful country that has so many opportunities for them as they grow . I am grateful to my mum and dad for making the bold and brave decision to move our family here with little support. Lastly, I am blessed to have met the most genuine friends that I have over the years and its those friendships that make Australia feel like home. Now that is something worth celebrating!
They may forget what you said but they will never forget how you made them feel. – Carl W. Buehner
Tomorrow my youngest will be starting school and just like many other parents I’ve got a whole lot of mixed emotions going on. I often hear of people struggle with the loneliness of their youngest child growing up and of course that’s a huge part of what I’m feeling today but the feeling that has been overwhelming me the most is guilt.
Whenever your child reaches any milestone you tend to reminisce about all the memories you have of them before they got to where they are today and of course the usual question of “where did the time go?” always comes up. Now when I did this with my son 3 years ago on his first day of school I would always reassure myself that although one baby had grown up I still had my little girl who was still dependant on me and wasn’t going to school anytime soon. I remember thinking that I would try to make the most of every second of her being so little so when this day came along I would be ready for it. Well I was wrong, and I let my work consume me which didn’t leave a lot of time for me to absorb those precious years before big school and that’s time I can never get back. I think this is why I’m consumed with guilt on top of all the other emotions I had when my son started school and it’s hard to move past.
Lucky for me I have one of the best friends you could possibly ask for and a while ago now she shared with me some advice her mum gave her and its always stuck with me. Her mum said that the most important years to be there for your children are the tween/teen years as this is when they really start to be confronted with a whole lot of changes, not just with their body but with their relationships, school, independence and responsibilities. It’s during this time that being more present and building trust with your children can have more of an impact on the rest of their lives than whether you were there for them to witness their first step or not.
I don’t want to be feeling this same way when my children graduate from high school so although I may have missed some of their milestones in the early years I have made a promise that I’ll be there for them in their adolescent years when they need me the most.
Good luck to any of the other parents reading who are going through the same thing!
“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.
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!
“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 even 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.
“A moment’s insight is sometimes worth a life’s experience.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
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.
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.
Breathe – The power of taking a breath before reacting to a situation, making a decision or relieving stress is amazing!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Some things are better left unsaid – It’s as simple as that.“Speak only if it improves upon the silence.”- Gandhi
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!
“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.
“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 dowant, avoid doing the things you don’t want until you figure it out.
Seeing is believing– When 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!
“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.
“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!
“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.
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.”
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
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.
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
“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.
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. 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.
“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” Abraham Lincoln
When I turned 18 I was probably the most lost I have ever felt in life. I was confused, anxious, lonely and desperate for some guidance and acceptance as I felt like I was constantly failing. It wasnt until I met my now husband just before I turned 19 that things started falling into place for me and a lot of that was because I spoke to my doctor and discovered that I was suffering from depression. Everything happens for a reason and im positive that I wouldnt be where I am today if things didn’t happen the way they did but there are some things I wish I had known back then to make it a less painful time.
I really hope these tips can help others and it’ll definitely be something I will share with my own children as they grow.