“Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed. Always aim at purifying your thoughts and everything will be well.” – Mahatma Gandhi
I recently spent what was the best 10 days of my life in the most beautiful place on earth that I have travelled to so far, Bali. I think what brings me to make this huge statement is the rich culture, the feeling of togetherness in the community and how inspirational it is to watch the Balinese maintain the balance of the spiritual and physical worlds.
Since our visit I have been obsessed with bringing the peaceful, Zen vibe I enjoyed in Bali home with me to Australia and so I thought I would focus this post on the Balinese life concept of ‘Tri Hita Karana’ that has the rough literal translation “three causes of well-being” or “three reasons for prosperity.”
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.
It quite frequently feels like there is no escape from the sad and troubling news stories from around the world. Often when we log on to social media or turn on the news there are reports of gun violence, acts of terrorism, murders, missing children, or a scary epidemic and it seems as if the world is growing ever more disturbing.
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) and I do think that we need to keep ourselves informed to a certain extent.
I sometimes worry about the kind of future my children will have as it’s easy to get consumed in all the negative happening in the world and want to shield them from some of the harsh realities, however we need to remember that bad news can teach us valuable lessons and motivate us to change our behaviours to make a difference. On so many occasions 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. So 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.
Here are some pointers I like to remind myself of when it comes to keeping updated with the latest world events.
Be informed but don’t obsess – If you do like to be updated with world news I would choose a time of the day to update yourself and then completely disconnect until the next day.
Do something positive to help – If there is a headline that has really captivated you find a way to help, no matter how small your action may be it could have a big impact.
For every piece of bad news make the effort to find some good news – It’s really easy to find good news stories and even typing into google “Good news” will bring up hundreds of websites and articles that share inspiring stories and uplifting news.
Accept uncertainty – Instead of letting uncertainty break us, paralyse us with fear and fill our heads with doubt we should embrace it. We should instead ride the fear, make changes, keep learning and always keep moving as there are just some things in life that are simple out of our control.
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
“We need to introduce a little balance into your life. Part of this balance means not missing out on some of the marvels of life around you, the fun, some excitement, or other challenges in life.” – Catherine Pulsifer
Ever since I can remember I have really struggled with the post holiday blues! No matter how long I would go on a holiday for I would always find it unusually hard to get back to normality without getting really depressed. I would dread it so much I would regret even going on a holiday in the first place which is totally ridiculous.
So here I am, home after leaving Bali a few days ago which was literally the BEST holiday I have ever had. My family and I jumped straight back into normal routine with work and school and I’m feeling more content than ever.
I thought I would share some tips on what I use to keep the holiday blues to a minimum and hopefully it can help others too. ♡
Welcome to what we got up to for our last few days, as I’m typing this I am about to enjoy our final dinner in Bali so I’m going to make the most of it! We had a really fun couple of days so I hope you enjoy this diary entry
Here is day 6 and 7 of our Bali adventure. The longer we stay here the less I want to leave, I really feel at home here in Bali.
Don’t forget to check out day 1 – 2 , day 3 – 4 and day 5 if you are new to my travel diary.
Here is day 5 of our Bali adventure, i’m starting to get a little sad at how fast it seems to be going but am determined to be present and enjoy every moment we have in Bali.
Don’t forget to check out day 1 – 2 and day 3 – 4 if you are new to my travel diary.
We are now on travel diary number 2 which will feature day 3 and 4. If you missed my first diary entry click here to see what we got up to on day 1 and 2. We are all absolutely loving Bali life and cant wait to share what other adventures we get up to along the way!
“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” Dalai Lama
For as long as I can remember I have had an inner demon that enjoys making me feel uneasy about everyday tasks, or can make an exciting day into an anxious day or makes me worry about not having anything to worry about. It was around the age of 17-18 that I remember hitting an all time low and feeling so helpless I called the beyond blue help line and cried to a total stranger about how lost I was feeling. I can’t remember exactly what the advice was she gave me but she did recommend a book for me to read and it was while I was looking for that book that I stumbled across my now favourite book. The Art of Happiness by Dalai Lama XIV, Howard C. Cutler
“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” – Mark Twain
“Pay It Forward Day” is a global initiative that exists to make a difference by creating a huge ripple of kindness felt across the world. They believe that everyday small acts, when multiplied by millions of people can literally change the world for the better and I could agree more.
“Unity is strength… when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.” Mattie Stepanek
Here in Australia it is a public holiday for ANZAC day (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.) Every year, thousands of people join to pay tribute to and remember those who have served to keep us safe and to also share our gratitude to all those that are continuing to serve to protect Australia, its people and its interests. Like with any event in the world there is always some controversy and I totally respect other peoples opinions (when shared kindly) as depending on our circumstances we may have had an entirely different experience at that time to others.
For me I feel that there is something so special about events that can get people to set aside their differences for a show of solidarity. It proves that we can stand together, and it gives us hope that despite life becoming more and more complicated we can come together in unity and peace.
Whether you are celebrating ANZAC day today or if you’re just going by your usual everyday routine, I highly recommend taking a moment of silence. Think about all of the wonderful things in life you have to be grateful for. It doesn’t matter how long you choose to be silent as even 5 minutes can help balance your mind, be more mindful and encourage self-compassion. Your 5 minutes of silence may be small but if you are giving your best self in your everyday life it can be a powerful contribution to making the world a better place today.
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.”
I have mentioned before that my dream is to one day be able to help people overcome fear and self doubt by setting meaningful goals and then help them in closing the gap between where they are now and where they want to be. I have previously shared my tips on how to draw your future which is a visual way of setting goals so today I thought I would put together some more tips that can be used in combination with visual goal setting or on their own.
“Children learn to smile from their parents.” Shinichi Suzuki
I am a mum of two children, I have a son who is 7 and a daughter who is 5. I started writing this post with the intention to share all of the wonderful things that happen when you become a parent and although there are SO many amazing things that do happen I wouldn’t feel 100% authentic not talking about some of the struggles with some lighthearted humour.
So here is a list of the first 30 things that came to my mind about my experience with parenting so far.
I hope you enjoy and let me know if you can relate to any 😊
Thank you so much to my beautiful blogging friend Anita from Discovering Your Happiness for nominating me to get involved in this “Get to know me tag.” ♡
I love getting to know people and my experience in the WordPress community has been so positive. I have met so many beautiful souls on this journey so I cant wait for you to learn a bit more about me and for me to get to know you a little more.
“Everyone smiles in the same language.” George Carlin
I was inspired to write about this post after watching the commonwealth games that just finished here where I live in beautiful QLD, Australia. I love watching the games not only for the incredible talent these athletes have (gymnastics is my favourite) but also because it’s a time when we get to celebrate people of every gender, socio-economic status, race, orientation or ability in the one place in harmony and peace.
It really got me thinking about how much focus we tend to put on the things that divide us rather than what binds us and are quick to judge without even talking to someone. We have so much we can learn from others but because of fear we don’t even ask.
Check out this video (It only goes for 3 minutes) which has such an important message and the power to change the way we see others and find something in common with people we assume we wouldn’t.
I have shared this with family, friends my team in work and now everyone here as it’s a message we need spread. It’s amazing how asking a few simple questions can make you realise we’re all more a like than we seem but also remembering that our differences are 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 more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his influence, his power for good. Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom.”- James Allen
I recently shared 5 benefits of staying calm in preparation to share this post which will give you some advice on how to bring some more calm into your life. If you haven’t already read that post click here as its important to know why bringing more calm into your life will benefit you so you have the motivation to implement some of the tips below.
“Gratitude is riches. Complaint is poverty.” -Doris Day
I’m here to share my rocky journey of keeping a gratitude journal and the best solution I found to keep it consistent. I have read so many books, articles and blogs about why we should keep a gratitude journal and there are even scientific studies that have proven that keeping a gratitude journal is beneficial for health and well-being. Just like I sometimes forget to eat the daily recommended intake of fruits and vegetables I often forget to write in my journal too, but I truly believe it is just as important. At the start of the year I stumbled across the perfect gratitude journal, it was simple, clean and even prompted you to write down a daily affirmation which is something else I wanted to incorporate into my daily routine. When I went on the website to order it I discovered they had an app version which was perfect as I’m a little embarrassed but not afraid to admit that if there is something I am VERY consisted with in life its checking my phone, so this was perfect, and I’ve never looked back! The APP is called “The 5 minute journal” and one of the the most valuable features for me is being able to set an alarm to remind yourself to do your daily entry.
If you are new to keeping a gratitude journal or are just lacking some inspiration to know what to write, I have shared below a quick overview of the questions you’ll find in the journal and some tips on how to answer them.
☼ MORNING ☼ (Focus on the good and set your intentions)
I am grateful for…. – Whether it’s a good night’s sleep, a sunny day, your children’s smile or your comfortable bed there is always something to be grateful for.
What would make today great…..– This is my favourite part to fill in as it really gives my day focus. I use my goals as inspiration for this part so for example, if it is a working day I might write “Have a catch up with my manager to plan our targets for the week” or “Do 5 coaching sessions today” or “Go and eat lunch outside.” On a weekend they may be “Take our children to the park” or “Wash the car.”
Daily affirmation, I am…….– Depending on how I am feeling or what I have planned in the day will inspire my daily affirmation.For example it is my day off today and I don’t have any plans so my affirmation is simply “I am going to embrace the rhythm of the day.“
☽ NIGHT ☾ (Reflect and empower)
3 Amazing things that happened today…..- I’ll be totally honest as this can be SO easy if your day has gone to plan or it can be SO difficult if you have had a really rough time. If I have had a rough day I think about what could have made my day worse and that really opens up a whole new perspective on the day and I start finding all the amazing things that did happen.
How could I have made today even better……- This isn’t about dwelling on the things you did wrong it’s about taking ownership of the choices you did or didn’t make that you can do differently to give yourself a better outcome. If I felt rushed in the morning I might write “Set my alarm earlier to give myself more time to get ready.” or if I snacked on junk food I would write “Prep my healthy snacks before I go to work.” Whatever it may be, it is an opportunity to empower our minds to take control and remind ourselves that everything we do is a choice.
Even if you don’t use the app or buy the physical journal I have recommended you can still use the above prompts to start and end your day. It only takes a couple of minutes but with some consistency it will transform your life forever.
“For there is no friend like a sister in calm or stormy weather; To cheer one on the tedious way, to fetch one if one goes astray, to lift one if one totters down, to strengthen whilst one stands” – Christina Rossetti
Some of my most vivid unpleasant memories I have of my life include some sort of irrational violence or unreasonable reactions caused by anger, stress or pain. I initially started to write this post with the intention to share some tips on how to be more calm but thought its probably better to share the benefits of calmness first to really motivate others to implement the tips into their everyday life.
So here are 5 benefits as to why calm is so beneficial to yourself and others around you.
“The way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement.” – Charles Schwab
A HUGE thank you to Anita from Discovering Your Happiness for nominating me for this award. Anita has the most beautiful soul and continuously supports my blogging journey. Thanks again Anita!
The Versatile Blogger Award was created to feature and recognise blogs that have unique content, high quality of writing, and fantastic photos. As the webpage about the Versatile Blogger Award says: Honour those bloggers who bring something special to your life whether every day or only now and then.
“Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it. ” – M. Scott Peck
I recently wrote a post explaining “why I do what I do” but if you had asked me that question this time last year I would have completely blanked. It’s taken me 27 years to get to the point that I am at today and I couldn’t be happier. I sometimes wonder what my life would be like if I had got to where I am now quicker, but it is all my life experience that lead me to the path I am on now.
Below are some simple tips that helped me feel a little less lost and a little more confident that things would eventually fall into place.
“You’re not just creating your own happiness, you’re showing other people it’s possible.” Unkown
A couple of days ago I reached over 100+ followers which is an incredible achievement considering I didn’t think anyone apart from friends and family would read it so I want to say a huge Thankyou, Diolch, Gracias, Merci, Dhanyavadamulu, Dank u, Tack, Dankie, Kiitos, Arigatô, Terima Kasih, Takk, Grazie (I tried my best to say thank you in the languages of all those who have visited my blog from different countries) to every single person who has commented, liked, shared or followed Searching For My Inner Zen.
I thought this would be a great opportunity to share with you my “about me” for anyone who hasn’t already read it as I think its important to share with everyone why I write and share my thoughts with others all around the world.
“There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstance permit. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.” – Art Turock
I was looking through my note book yesterday and noticed that I had written down the word “DEFAULT” twice in a few days. I was in totally different situations and environments each time I wrote that word, but I remember the context being very similar.
The first time I wrote it I was in a coaching session learning about communication. The coach was teaching us that to become masters at communication we need step outside our own default to match other people’s default as it enables us to better build rapport and establish trust. The second time was during a conference I attended for work and had the pleasure of listening to an incredible motivational speech about obstacles giving us the opportunity to step out of our default and enable us to grow.
They say that words are the most powerful force available to humanity and I couldn’t agree more. This word has resonated with me more than I could ever have imagined. Default has suddenly challenged my thoughts, my now and my future as I don’t want to simply float through life and wait for things to come to me. I want to embrace change, face my fears, overcome obstacles and fulfil my purpose in life.
If you’re sick in living in default I would recommend asking yourself these 3 questions..
What is your passion?
What are your values?
What matters most to you?
Once you are clear of your answers make a plan to get to where you want to be as now you have something incredibly powerful; you have found your “why” and this is what drives motivation and activates commitment.
Please share with me your “why” as I love getting to know my readers!
“In every day, there are 1,440 minutes. That means we have 1,440 daily opportunities to make a positive impact.” Les Brown
I am SO incredibly excited to be sharing this post tonight because as you have probably guessed I have been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award!! This is a pretty big deal for me, not only because of the recognition that my blog is making people happy but also because I was nominated by the beautiful Anita from discovering your happiness who was the very first blogger I had ever followed and inspires me daily. Thank you so much Anita!
“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.
“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.
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.
“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.
“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.
“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.”
“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.
“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.