Life lessons

  • OMG, I think I am a Spirit Junkie!

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    Before I start, please let me clarify (if you have never heard of Gabby Bernstein and her teachings) that I have not suddenly become addicted to vodka or gin (although I did have an intense flirtation with Midori around the age of 18- shudder!) No, this type of spirit junkie has a lot more to do with living consciously from your heart with love, but more on that shortly.

    For most of my life, I have definitely NOT considered myself a spiritual person. Apart from a brief infatuation with Sunday school as a youngster, mainly because I got to wear a rockin’ purple suede and lambswool vest (go seventies fashions).  For the most part, I have consciously chosen to steer clear of all things spiritual. In fact, whenever anyone has brought up their spiritual beliefs with me, my eyeballs would internally roll into my head (as my husband will tell you, I am the master of the eyeball roll- both internal and external). ‘Happy for you to believe what you choose, but that shit ain’t for me’, would pretty much sum up my thinking.  The whys of this, are perhaps best left for another blog post, but it seems that along with all the other changes that have occurred for me in the past year, in the last month or so something a little deeper within me was ready to shift.

    Case in point 1: I asked my mother-in-law (who has always held some deep spiritual beliefs) to buy me some Little Sage Oracle cards for Christmas. After she fell off her chair in astonishment, she did as I wished, and under the Christmas tree there they were.  Why did I ask for them? I’m not really even sure, as I have always avoided tarot cards and the like before, but these cards are truly beautiful and I am loving playing around with them. They also came with an affirmation card that was intuitively selected by Little Sage for me:

    The Inner Child- I am a perfect child of the Universe, regardless of my physical age. I am happy and safe as I continue to learn and explore the world around me.

    Yep, that truly does resonate with where I am in my life right now on the other side of forty (no eyerolls required).

    Case in point 2: On the spur of the moment I decided to buy a ticket to go and see the speaker and self proclaimed spirit junkie Gabby Bernstein when she recently came to Australia.  Now this was out of character for me for a number of reasons: I didn’t know anyone else going; I don’t tend to spend money on self development (shoes yes, but improving my inner being, ah no); and I really had very little idea of what Gabby spoke about or did. I had never read one of her books, or visited her website, yet a little voice inside me (my inner child perhaps?) told me very clearly to buy that ticket (well that, and the fact they had a one day 25% off tickets sale- I am always a sucker for a discount!) Am I glad that I did, because I soon realised that in order to be a spirit junkie you don’t need to float about in robes and a turban chanting ‘om’ all day (although if that floats your boat, go for it). Gabby is a stylish, authentic, relatable woman, and she admits to getting it wrong on occasion (she told a great story about having an argument in a cafe in Byron Bay with her husband, over her constantly checking Instagram, and getting busted by one of her followers who was dining there). Most importantly for me, she is a woman who speaks her own truth and knows how to have a whole lot of fun in the process. It was an amazing and inspiring night on so many levels, and I met some beautiful light filled women as well.  Here are some of the lessons that I resonated most with, during the 3 hours I spent in Gabby’s divine company.

    Measure your success by how much fun you are having

    Happiness is a choice I make

    Be willing to choose again every single day- it doesn’t matter if you fall off track, what matters is how quickly can you come back from that

    We control how we perceive the world around us

    Your words are either polluting the world or elevating the world- it’s your choice

    Our presence is our power- be truly present in moments throughout your day

    Begin a daily practice of stillness and commit to it

    What would your life be like, if you were free of judgement

    Give more of what you would like to receive

    You should lean towards joy in your life

    So there you have it my friends, whether you consider yourself to be spiritual or not, I don’t think too many people could argue with these messages.  Incorporating one or more of the above lessons into your everyday life could only help you to become a better version of yourself.  I, for one intend to focus on being less judgemental (of myself and of others), and be more joyous and giving, and if that makes me a spirit junkie, then ‘Sat Nam’ so be it!

    Wishing you all peace and love,

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    What do you think? Do you consider yourself to be spiritual? Or did you see Gabby yourself- if so, what did you take away from the experience…

     

     

     

  • New Year, new body?

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    Oh yes, it is well and truly that time of the year isn’t it.  Whilst standing at the checkout scanning the magazine covers for pictures of Ryan Gosling (just me?), you will be bombarded with taut bikini bodies and headlines such as 2015- your best body yet! Or my personal favourite, ‘Celebrity body special- Half their size!’ (Would it be rude of me to point out that if these women were actually half their size, then they would be in hospital attached to IV fluids?)

    Well, if there was an Other Side of Forty magazine on the newsstands (no, don’t worry I won’t be making that one of my goals for 2015- I know I’m not Oprah) there would be a picture of me like the one above. Make up free, big hat on, and having fun playing with my kids at the beach.  I would title it 2015- Same body I’ve always had, a little bit older, a little more wrinkled, a tad less perky, but goddamn it, I’m giving it my all to love what I’ve got!

    Now don’t get me wrong, on occasion when I look at my body I wish my thighs were thinner or my tummy was flatter (particularly after the indulging of the Christmas season). But really, if I have learnt anything from getting older it is this. Are you ready? NO ONE REALLY CARES. Do your kids care about thin thighs? No, they just want you to use your legs to play and run and dance with them.  Does your husband care whether you have washboard abs? Not likely, he would be happy if you just let him touch you more often. Do your friends look at your bum, and snigger and laugh and point?  No, I’m pretty sure they would only do that if you’ve tucked your skirt into your undies when you’ve left the ladies room! (or is that just my friends?)

    As with most things in life, no one really cares about what we look like as much as we think they do.  So I am asking you to forget about other people for the moment, and just focus on you. Take a look at yourself in a photo that you love and really notice yourself.  When I look at the photo above, I think of myself as a fun loving mum, wife and friend, feeling relaxed on holiday, and happy within myself. Now that’s a far better way to think about myself than scrutinising my body and thinking, “gee, I could stand to lose a couple of kilos.”

    In other words, what I am advocating for is a body that you feel happy in and can love and accept for what it is.  When you let go of your perceptions of what other people think of you, then you can truly focus on what a body you love really means for you.  Yes, I am aware for some people that might mean that you want to lose a few kilos to feel more healthy, and that’s more than ok. Because hopefully your decision will be coming from a place of self love rather than self loathing.

    If you are a parent, and you are confident and loving of the body you are in, you will be doing not only yourself but your kids (especially your daughters if you have any) a great service.  These days our kids get so many of their messages about life through the media and, lets face it, more often than not the message for young women seems to be that a hot bikini body equals a happy successful life. Tell your kids this is bullshit (swearing might actually make your offspring listen to you for a second) and replace those words with self love, and then start showing your kids how to do that by loving and accepting yourself.

    Maybe print out this little gem I have just posted on Instagram. Forget #fitspo, give me #truthspo any day (ok, so hashtags aren’t my thing, but you get the drift).

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    Yep, that about sums up my body lovin’ advice!

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    These are my thoughts on the matter, I’d love to hear what you think. How do you relate to your body, have you found it an easier relationship as you get older?

     

  • 6 Life Lessons for 2014

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    2014 has been quite an interesting and challenging year for me.  If you had told me at the beginning of the year, that I would have a blog up and running, be doing a life coaching course and have people I don’t personally know following me on Facebook and Instagram, I would have thought you had rocks in your head! I truly believe that is important to look back with gratitude on what you have achieved, before you look forward with intent. Therefore, I have decided to round off 2014 with a brief look at what I have accomplished this year, before I am onwards and upwards towards new and amazing things in 2015.

    Early in the year I attended the 2014 Big Hearted Business (un)Conference, where I discovered many new things about myself, including the fact that it was time to stop playing small in my life.

    Lesson Number One: There is no time like the present to move out of your comfort zone. In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take.

    I decided that I would enrol in a life coaching course that really spoke to my heart, rather than go back to a career that I no longer had any real passion for.

    Lesson Number Two: It’s ok to let some things go, in order to move on to where you feel you are supposed to be. Your business should be an extension of your heart.

    I decided that I had better start living like it was 2014, and get on Facebook and Instagram.

    Lesson Number Three: Social media can be addictive, but it has also introduced me to some amazing and inspiring people that I would otherwise have never come across.

    I thought I would try and teach myself to build my website, and so I did.

    Lesson Number Four: It doesn’t have to be perfect in order to start. Just begin.

    I rediscovered a long lost love of writing, and realised that quite a few people actually like what I have to say.

    Lesson Number Five: Follow your passion. You will become what you believe yourself to be.

    Finally, I have one last piece of advice for you, my lovely reader, that I failed to take heed of myself this year.  Lean in and listen and learn from my mistake.

    Lesson Number Six: Never EVER agree to getting a German Short-haired Pointer puppy just as your youngest child is about to enter Prep!

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    Before you start to look towards your goals for the new year, stop and think about what lessons you have learned this year? How have you surprised and challenged yourself?

     

  • The Evolution of My iPhone Addiction

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    I consider myself to be a reasonably well balanced person on the whole. I like to exercise a few times a week because it makes me feel good about eating more pasta. I try and have a few, well three, ok maybe two wine free nights a week, and I try and balance my actual clothes shopping purchases with virtual online store wishlists (try it, it’s quite therapeutic).

    But, it was a different type of store purchase that caused me the most sleepless nights, and for a while there consumed nearly my every waking thought- and that would be ‘free’ online games downloaded through the iTunes App Store.

    It all started innocently enough. I was late to the smart phone revolution, and was skeptical that I would use my phone for anything but as a phone and camera (oh, sweet naive soul). Before long, I was lured into my addiction by peer pressure- and not surprisingly that would be via my computer savvy kids. After purchasing a few ‘educational games’ (because that makes us feel better about all the time they spend on idevices, right?) I saw a review on the App store for a fun little game called Tiny Tower.  In this game you build floors and move ‘bitizens’ into apartments and businesses to live and work (sounds riveting doesn’t it).  After a few mildly obsessed weeks, I found myself seriously contemplating buying 500 Tower Bux for the bargain price of $24.99, so that I could buy the ‘Ultra Lift 3000 Extreme Elevator’ (yes, really) in order to move between floors quicker. What the bux was I thinking? Luckily, I was able to come to my senses, and firmly deleted the app, never to be seen again (with the odd twinge of regret- how awesome would that Extreme lift have been?)

    But like any addict, I was always on the lookout for something shiny and new to try- and boy did I hit the motherload, thanks to a load of mothers all busy playing with their phones at school pick up: Candy Crush Saga. Now, at this point you are probably either nodding your head with sympathy, have no idea what I’m talking about, or are huddled in a corner, eyes glazed and fingers trembling as you try yet again to get past level 270 before you lose all your lives. Many articles have been written about the vice like grip this innocent looking game can have on your life, and I was no exception. Children went hungry, the dog went unwalked, my husband looked at me with sad disappointed eyes every night in bed, as I would say without looking up, “just one more level and then I’ll stop” (which of course was a blatant lie- I mean they obviously invented spinning chocolate wheels just to torture me).

    A few months into my addiction, my husband “accidentally” deleted Candy Crush from my phone (he swears he thought he was deleting it from his phone, but I have my serious doubts). My immediate thought was ‘divorce’, swiftly followed by incredulous disbelief- I was nearly up to level 178, and all that ‘hard work’ had vanished without a trace.  Then, as I reflected on the amount of time I had actually spent playing this game, I eventually felt a sense of relief that I would no longer spend all my spare moments as a slave to colour bombs and striped/wrapped lolly combos. I was finally free from Candy Kingdom!

    So to any of my fellow app addicts out there, I can only offer the following words of advice: stay strong, delete that App, and make sure you remove it from the Cloud (you may need to pay a trained technician $385 to do that part- no one knows how that thing works). Then, just like me you can regain the joyous carefree life you once had, full of screaming kids, demanding pets, and complaining husbands.

    Yes, it feels so good to no longer be addicted to silly games on my phone. Now, excuse me as it’s been a few minutes since I last checked my Facebook feed, and I really must see if anyone liked my photos on Instagram!

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    I know I’m not the only one who has an iPhone addiction- I just swapped from games to social media- any tips or tricks to help me out?