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Archive of ‘Fabulous Women Series’ category

Fabulous Women on the Other Side of Forty: Michelle Marie McGrath

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HOW HAS LIFE CHANGED FOR YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE OF FORTY?

I can wholeheartedly report that I was delighted to turn 40 and close the door on what was an extremely challenging decade in my 30’s. It was not pretty and for many years I felt as though I was in a never-ending dark tunnel. To say it was a period of exploring my shadow would be an understatement.

I experienced many life changes in my 30’s including an unusual type of miscarriage (molar pregnancy), cancer scare, divorce, depression, insomnia, anxiety and panic attacks. The end of my marriage was a huge catalyst for me. I felt incredibly betrayed, but really it was a great metaphor for where I was not listening to my own inner wisdom.

I was depressed for a number of years and I learnt what it really meant to start to learn to love myself. Many of my close friends also fell away as I experienced some huge internal shifts. I explored and studied many healing modalities during this time too. Although it was painful, these were invaluable experiences that brought me so many gifts and different perspectives. Many blessings came from these experiences and it gave me more compassion for other people. Our biggest challenges are often hiding our greatest gifts. That’s the short version.

I feel this is really the best time of my life and I’m very excited about what’s happening in my life currently and what’s to come. I have so much more clarity and confidence in who I am and what’s important to me. I also care so much less what other people think and I don’t have the same desire or need for external validation. What a relief!

ON YOUR WEBSITE ’SACRED SELF’, YOU HAVE CREATED SOME GORGEOUS PRODUCTS THAT ARE DESIGNED TO REMIND YOU TO LOVE YOURSELF UNCONDITIONALLY. WHY DO YOU THINK SELF LOVE IS SO IMPORTANT?

To me, self-love is THE answer to most challenges. It’s become quite a buzz word in the past few years and I think there is often confusion about what it means. It’s not all about green smoothies and coconut oil, nice though they are. It’s about self-responsibility, being truly honest with yourself and taking ownership of your life.

When I embarked on my personal quest to open up to 100% self-love about 15 years ago, it was so foreign to me that I didn’t understand what it meant. I was depressed for several years and kept asking myself what was wrong with me and what I most needed. The answer was self-love. It was just an intellectual concept and I had to dig deep and keep asking myself some very confronting questions. Gradually I started to see the external shifts that came as a result of deep self-reflection and making different choices.

My business never started as a business. It was really my own personal exploration and the start of listening to the intuitive guidance that I was receiving. As I turned inward I started to have a lot of clairvoyant and clairaudient experiences that often meant I didn’t get much sleep. The more I listened and trusted this wisdom, the more unfolded and most of it was a surprise to me.

The alchemical oils in particular took on a life of their own and started coming through in 2003. 9 years later and there were 33 that created a self-love range. I felt like I was just observing really and sometimes wondered if I was crazy (I still do!). This expanded into a busy face-to-face energetic healing practice, then distant healing and intuitive readings, self-love cards that have just been reprinted, roll-on perfumes, coaching and my podcast.

YOU ALSO HAVE A SUCCESSFUL PODCAST TITLED ‘UNCLASSIFIED WOMAN’ WHERE YOU INTERVIEW WOMEN WITHOUT CHILDREN WHO ARE LEADING INTERESTING AND AMAZING LIVES. CAN YOU TELL ME A BIT MORE ABOUT THIS AND HOW IT CAME ABOUT?

This has been another one of those experiences that I wouldn’t really have foreseen but it was the seed of an idea for a couple of years. I felt like the subject chose me and I did have some resistance to it as it just felt like such a HUGE and sensitive topic. The idea just wouldn’t leave me alone though and I’m so glad that I listened to my intuition and let it lead the way. It’s been so enriching for me personally and I receive so many messages from women thanking me for creating the podcast.

Ever since I was a little girl I was never convinced that I would definitely have children. It seemed like one option but I never felt excited by the idea, in the same way I did about other forms of creation. I got married when I was in my mid-20s and it seemed like there was lots of time to think about it. I never felt any urgency or need though to ‘make it happen’ as I was always (and still am) interested in so many other life experiences.

However, through my own family and our society, it is how we are culturally conditioned to believe that being a mother and wife should be a central driving force of our lives as women. If it is not something that you feel strongly about then there can be misunderstanding and judgement. There are soo many reasons for this and so many outdated stereotypes that are unsupportive for ALL women. We need to all support each other’s life choices as women, mothers or not. Every woman’s life is sacred. Your body, your life and your choices.

These conversations, that I am so grateful to be having with podcast guests, are living examples of women all over the globe, who are creating lives of meaning beyond traditional paradigms. I wanted to create this resource for women who may not necessarily have women like this in their immediate circle and for them to feel understood, supported and inspired. Each woman has so much wisdom and so many gems to share. I love it. There is nothing that I find more inspiring than working with women who love themselves enough to express their truth and set themselves free to live a life that is truly theirs – and not one that is ‘expected’.
WHAT ARE SOME SIMPLE THINGS THAT YOU DO FOR SELF CARE?

I’ve learnt to make this a priority and start each morning with lighting incense or a candle and contemplating my intention for the day. Most mornings I go for a short walk and connect with nature. I find if I don’t do this then my day doesn’t really feel as productive as it can. I use my oils daily and I’m a longtime lover of vibrational essences. I also love some EFT and hypnotherapy. My partner and I also go for massages regularly. I find travel really inspiring and nurturing and over the past year I have started to make time offline more of a priority. This is only going to increase moving forward.

I AM BIG BELIEVER IN FINDING THE FUN AND JOY IN EVERYDAY LIFE. WHAT BRINGS YOU JOY?

Walking in nature, yummy food and of course even better quality chocolate! I have always been a bit obsessed with crystals, soy candles, chai tea and raspberries. Preferably all at once! I am a Piscean so I tend to have all my best ideas in a candlelit bath or at the beach. I meditate in the bath and elsewhere and I’m also a complete bookworm. There is nothing quite like diving into a book. I spend a great deal of time in the library. I also love travel and exploring new places. I’ve got some great travel lined up over the next year and I’m excited with the direction of my life and who is in it. Live music and stand up comedy are also extremely enjoyable for me.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR YOUNGER SELF?

Listen to your intuition as you know what’s right for you. Your opinion of you is the only one that matters! The only time I’ve ended up in places where I didn’t want to be, were the times I didn’t listen to myself. There were so many times in my 20’s and early 30’s that I look back on with compassion as I became an expert at ignoring some inconvenient truths. Keeping busy, slapping on a smile and saying everything is fine can only keep you going for so long before you crash and burn. Commit to being your own best friend and watch the miracles unfold…..

 

michellemariemcgrathbeloveMichelle Marie McGrath is a Self-love Mentor to women who are committed to having a lifelong, loving relationship with themselves. She’s the host of “Unclassified Woman” podcast series which features inspiring childfree or childless women around the globe, creating lives of purpose and meaning beyond traditional paradigms. Part story sharing, part myth busting these conversations explore what it means for a woman to create a life on her own terms once she knows that having a child is not going to be a part of her story, whatever the reason. Michelle is also a co-author of “Love and Oneness” alongside luminaries such as Marianne Williamson and Danielle Laporte. Michelle is passionate about falling in love with all parts of herself, and creating tools that assist others to do the same. She creates Sacred Self’s self-love range of alchemical oils, self-love cards and I ❤ MY LIFE Organic Perfume Collection. 
Download your FREE ebook “100% self-love” – 7 weeks of self-love reflections at http://www.sacredself.com.au and tune into her podcast series at http://michellemariemcgrath.com/category/podcast/

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Fabulous Women on the Other Side of Forty: Champagne Cartel

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With a name like Champagne Cartel, I just know I was going to love these two ladies even before I knew what they stand for! Carolyn Tate and Gillian Moody have created a positive online space for busy working mums where they focus on what matters. The ‘you’ that existed before the kids and the mortgage and your over scheduled life. They believe in daring to put yourself first and think mummy guilt is for suckers. Fabulous women? You betcha!

HOW HAS LIFE CHANGED FOR YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE OF FORTY?

Carolyn: I’m not sure it really has. Forty has really just been a number for me, and it hasn’t really presented any mid-life crisis or anything. I know I’ve never been more confident or comfortable in my own skin than I am now, and I feel like I am more capable and powerful than ever. My thirties were pretty much spent having babies and looking after tiny children, so now that my kids are a bit more hands-off, I feel like I can focus more on things that matter to me: my business, my friends, my interests, my health.

Gillian: Forty was definitely a magical milestone for me. I had a cracking party with friends and family coming from far and wide and I really celebrated. Since turning forty I have become more self-assured and more confident, more clear in my intentions, more determined. I am highly motivated to be the best me I can be. And I am really proud of what I have achieved since I turned forty – I gave birth to my second boy in the most beautiful drug-free circumstances, it was something I had really wanted and was so happy about. Not only that but I’ve started regularly writing a blog, created a successful business with Carolyn, I’ve done my first ever 5 kilometre fun run and a bunch of other awesome stuff.

ON YOUR WEBSITE ‘CHAMPAGNE CARTEL’, YOU HAVE CREATED A LOVELY POSITIVE SPACE FOR BUSY WORKING MUMS TO TAKE SOME TIME OUT FOR THEMSELVES. CAN YOU TELL ME A BIT ABOUT HOW IT CAME ABOUT?

Carolyn: Well, thanks! I was home with my third baby, and Gillian was just about to have her second, and I just wanted to do something creative that would keep my hand in professionally (I was a freelance writer but now I run our business Champagne Cartel Media). I feel like we see so many articles online about how to be a better parent, a better wife, a better friend, a better lover…but not much about how to be good to ourselves. There is so much out there that is designed to make us feel ‘less than’. I wanted to celebrate us as women, and show others that the world won’t end if you prioritise yourself – quite the opposite, wonderful things can happen when we feel great about ourselves. The cascading effect of that is immense!

WHAT ARE YOUR GO TO STYLE TIPS FOR WOMEN ON THE OTHER SIDE OF FORTY WHO DONT KNOW WHERE TO START?

Carolyn: Buy the best quality staple pieces you can afford and then add to that as you go. Find three or four colours that really suit you and build your wardrobe around them. Watch blogs or magazines and learn how to accessorise – it can lift an outfit, and your entire wardrobe, from average to fabulous.

Gillian: As a makeup artist, my top tip is to keep your skin hydrated, this means drinking plenty of water and moisturising! Great skin is always in fashion. The second thing is to not be afraid of bronzer. It gives a fabulous brightening effect if you apply sparingly. I also think that a bit of lippie never goes astray. As we get older we lose pigment in our skin and lips so a little bit of colour is great for a pep up!

WHAT ARE SOME SIMPLE THINGS THAT YOU DO FOR SELF CARE?

Carolyn: I’m a big believer in the connection between healthy mind and healthy body. I run regularly and like setting goals. I’ll be running my first marathon in 2016 which terrifies and thrills me all at once! I also like to do small things like have a glass of champagne for no reason, sit under a tree and read a book, get my nails painted. Oh, and I love to spend time with girlfriends. There is nothing like some ladylove and belly laughs to restore your energy and make you feel fantastic.

Gillian: I couldn’t agree more about the importance of ladylove! I really try and make time for cocktails, dinner or brunch with my sister or girlfriends. A group of us have a regular 2 monthly catchup appointment in our diaries because if we don’t schedule it, it doesn’t happen. I also love to cook and prepare delicious healthy food. I am passionate about the power of fresh wholesome food and also the process of cooking. For me the ultimate in relaxation is stirring a pot, listening to my stock blipping away, cutting up some vegetables. Oh and I REALLY love my sleep. When I don’t sleep well, I find life a bit of a struggle. With small children, there are times when I can’t avoid having bad sleep, but making sure I don’t work late at night on a computer is a biggie for me.

I AM BIG BELIEVER IN FINDING THE FUN AND JOY IN EVERYDAY LIFE. WHAT BRINGS YOU JOY?

Carolyn: My three gorgeous children, of course. But also my business, a nice glass of proper French Champagne,a night out on the town with my husband, laughs with my girlfriends, runners’ high, those moments when I remember to be fully present in whatever I’m doing, great ice cream, videos of cats knocking over babies, the beach first thing in the morning, a great novel (and time to read it), a brilliant op shop find, the scent of frangipanis, yoga, feeling healthy and well rested.

Gillian: My hilarious and awesome husband and two crazed boys aged 2 1/2 and 6. Eating my snack box of raw fruit and veg every day. My morning cup of tea. The phone conversation I have with either my mum or my sister every morning. Walking into my beautiful home after a day at work. The sound of a champagne cork popping. Getting ready for a night out, choosing an outfit, shoes and lippie. Christmas carols. Anything that is gold and sparkly. Fairy lights. Reading every night before bed. Writing a really great blog post. Walking to school pickup and dropoff. Coffee in my local neighbourhood cafe where I know am going to run into someone I can talk to. Having a bunch of wonderful neighbours. Working with Carolyn on Champagne Cartel. Running my makeup workshops and consults and helping women to feel great.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR YOUNGER SELF?

Carolyn: Back yourself, because you have unique and extraordinary gifts. Know you are enough and give the best version of yourself to the world. And don’t take any crap.

Gillian: You definitely will achieve those things you dream of. It’s all going to be ok, so just chill. Love yourself, be kind to yourself, slow down and make the most of those opportunities. Do the stuff YOU want to do.

 

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Thank you so much ladies, I love your answers and I love what you are doing to help busy mum’s feel good about themselves. You can connect with Champagne Cartel via their Website, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram

 

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Fabulous Women on the Other Side of Forty: Rachel Devine

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Rachel Devine is an acclaimed photographer, photo blogger at Sesame Ellis, mom of 3 and a fabulous woman on the other side of forty of course!

HOW HAS LIFE CHANGED FOR YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE OF FORTY?

I moved to Australia when I was turning 38 and pregnant with twins. It was a crazy time and really only after I turned 40 did things start to settle into the new normal of life with three kids in a new country! I became a citizen last year and am loving life here. I get more tired now that I am over that 40 line, but I have never been a night owl so early to bed and early to rise is working well for me. I am seeing my mother in myself a lot these days. She was 44 when I was born so I guess I am just starting to recognise the characteristics of the age I remember her being. She is still a spark nearing her 90th now so I guess I have a lot to look forward to. The main thing I have noticed is that I am calmer and more happy than I remember ever being. Oh, there were thrilling and exciting times in my youth, but I have learned to appreciate the simple day to day joys now. And I am confident in what I like and who I am.

IN YOUR PHOTOS YOU OFTEN CAPTURE THE BEAUTY OF THE LITTLE MOMENTS OF FAMILY LIFE. WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT TO TAKE BETTER PHOTOS OF THEIR FAMILIES/CHILDREN?

Never put the camera away. Really. I see so many people buy huge DSLR cameras when their kids are born with the intent to take beautiful pictures of their family only to find they are worried that they will break it or it is just too heavy and cumbersome to carry around. Get a great small camera like the new mirrorless ranges and take it with you. Use your phone if you must. Just have a camera and take pictures of your everyday. I think the very act of making photographs in a moment shared with my kids helps me remember that experience. And let the kids take pictures too. Not only will you actually be IN some of your family’s photographic history, you can really learn to love yourself by seeing you the way your kids see you.

YOU’VE HAD A PRESENCE ON THE INTERNET FOR MANY YEARS WITH YOUR BLOG SESAME ELLIS. HOW HAS IT CHANGED OVER TIME, AND WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR THOSE THINKING OF STARTING A BLOG?

I consider myself an accidental blogger. I started out by sharing images and little story snippets on Flickr in 2004. I migrated to my own blog a few years later as that became a thing. It was just nice to know that I owned the little spot of digital real estate where I housed my memories. That is why I continue to blog. Social media sites can come and go without your input and then all your handwork at documenting life is gone with the site. My blog is self-hosted and backed up regularly so that I have my virtual copy. As far as advice for someone thinking of starting a blog… That is a big question. I guess my main bit of advice is to blog for yourself first and stay true to that mission. The readers will come for that and stay because they trust what they will get it real.

WHAT ARE SOME SIMPLE THINGS THAT YOU DO FOR SELF CARE?

I make sure I read books for fun and not just work related stuff. I get outside and go for runs. I laugh often and often at myself.

I AM BIG BELIEVER IN FINDING THE FUN AND JOY IN EVERYDAY LIFE. HOW DO YOU HAVE FUN?

It is funny, I don’t really have any hobbies besides photography. I find taking pictures and looking at great photography to be such fun. I guess it is great that I get paid to do what I love! Running is fun for me as well because I do it for myself and not to win races. I pay for Apple music monthly so that I can listen to whatever I want when the urge strikes and that is often only when I am running. In the car, the kids have too much say over what we listen to! Also when I run, I get to see the sea. Being by the water is pure joy for me any day. I could never live far from the ocean.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR YOUNGER SELF?

Settle petal…it will all be fine. I was just so anxious to get somewhere in life (not even sure where, just SOMEWHERE) that I think I forgot to even enjoy the daily things for the longest time. I was rushing to be a wife and mother and all that time I spent worrying that it would never happen, well, it turned out to happen perfectly in its own time. If it had happened with anyone other than my Alec, I would not have the lovely life I have now. So while I would tell myself to relax a bit, I wouldn’t change a thing because all that I have done and seen and even the mistakes make me who I am today and I am pretty happy with that.

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Unknown-1Thanks so much Rachel, I love your advice about getting the kids involved in taking pictures with you in them. I think most mum’s are guilty of always being behind the lens!

You can connect with Rachel via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and don’t forget to check out her blog Sesame Ellis

Fabulous Women on the Other Side of Forty: Kerri Sackville

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Kerri Sackville is a columnist, blogger, speaker and the author of ‘When My Husband Does The Dishes…’ and ‘The Little Book Of Anxiety – Confessions From A Worried Life’.

In her spare time she enjoys eating Nutella, fantasizing about Simon Baker, drinking caffeine and alcohol with friends, and lying very, very still on the couch.

Oh, and she is also a fabulous woman on the other side of forty of course!

HOW HAS LIFE CHANGED FOR YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE OF FORTY?

Gosh. My life looks very different from the way it did in my thirties. My writing career only took off in my forties. Both my books and all my high profile work (the columns, TV spots) came in my forties. And I separated from my husband at 44. I am living as the sole adult in a household for the first time in my life. It’s a massive change. I’d never before lived alone, or even decorated my own home. It’s been a huge step for me.

YOU ARE A SUCCESSFUL AUTHOR, WRITER & COMMENTATOR, AND YET YOU RECENTLY WROTE A BLOG POST ABOUT OFTEN FEELING LIKE AN IMPOSTER. WHY DO YOU THINK SO MANY SUCCESSFUL WOMEN FEEL THIS WAY?

You know, even when you ask me that I think, ‘I’m the wrong person to ask! I’m not successful!’ It’s weird because I know that I write well. It was always my strength. So it’s not about doubting my abilities, per se…. it’s more about not seeing myself as others may see me. I see myself as still struggling to establish myself in the industry. I guess women of my generation weren’t taught confidence; certainly I never felt confident in myself. And I think women are frequently far more introspective than men – we question ourselves whilst they just get up and do it. Perhaps that’s the reason?

SOME OF YOUR FUNNIEST (AND HEARTFELT) WRITING IS ABOUT BEING A SINGLE MUM OVER 40 IN THE WORLD OF ONLINE DATING. WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER WOMEN IN A SIMILAR SITUATION?

Oh lord. You really do need to be quite resilient. You cannot take rejection personally. You have no idea why a man may not be interested in you – perhaps he wants someone younger, or without kids, or who doesn’t remind him of his Aunt Mary. Also don’t rush into it. Take some time to work out who you are and what you need before jumping into the dating world, otherwise you’ll just repeat the mistakes of the past. And be choosy. You’re ALLOWED. Wait for someone you’re mad about, rather than the first guy who has two legs and a pulse.

WHAT ARE SOME SIMPLE THINGS THAT YOU DO FOR SELF CARE?

I nap, a lot. I love taking naps. I get exhausted with looking after the kids and working, and I sleep as much as possible. I also take baths, read a lot of books, meet friends for lunch, browse through shops, talk endlessly to my bestie…. all the things that bring me joy. And I laugh. A lot. My kids and I laugh all the time.

I AM BIG BELIEVER IN FINDING THE FUN AND JOY IN EVERYDAY LIFE. HOW DO YOU LIKE TO HAVE FUN?

My kids and I have a very joyous household. We have all sorts of private jokes and games that we play. We spend a lot of time singing and dancing and being silly. My parents are also frequently hilarious – dinners at their place can be fall-about-laughing funny. I am very careful about the people I surround myself with. I have a small group of very close friends rather than a large group of meh friends. All my closest friends share my sense of humour and we will text and message and make each other laugh during the day.

Web_140619_0320_BWThanks so much Kerri, it is great to meet someone who loves napping as much as I do!

You can read Kerri’s fantastic blog ‘Life and other crises’ here, or connect with her on Facebook and Twitter

 

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