Last week I was sitting at my desk staring blankly forward at my computer screen. The little gold vintage clock that sits beside it was ticking at me incessantly. Every time it jerked across to the next minute I felt it mocked me a little more. I looked down to the notebook that my pen had been tapping ferociously against, to find it was covered in hundreds of orphaned autographs.
But then my eyes drifted to my To Do list and I felt hot and angry and overwhelmed. My chest was puffed but my shoulders were hunched over as if my body was subconsciously protecting something. Those old questions popped up… did my heart just skip a beat? Did it just double bounce?
I felt blocked. And I am not (only) talking about the type of mental block that stops someone like me – whose employment revolves around wandering wonderings – but the type of feelings that immobilizes even the most productive of people. A fog that absorbs your body and creates a tangible discomfort that you can’t… quite… put your finger on.
I was anxious. And you know what? I am not the only one.
It seems that everyone that I speak to at the moment, every blog post I read (like this stellar example from Sarah Wilson) people are describing this indescribable ickiness. There has been a palpable bout of rage-inducing communication malfunctions and brain farts that is sweeping my social media channels. There seems to be renewed belief and new devotees to the previously woo-woo astrological belief of Mercury Retrograde (read an all-encompassing article from one of my fave’s Gala Darling here).
Now as you know from my previous mentions of it (here) I am no stranger to anxiety. And though I manage my anxiety disorder through lifestyle changes and choices that doesn’t mean I don’t get side-swiped by it occasionally. And especially when there is this bizarre collective tension in the air.
So how do you shake this funny can’t-put-your-finger-on-it feelings? Grab a post-it and be prepared to jot these things down and stick ‘em above your computer. Try these solutions. In order of importance. (more…)
Have you ever met one of your idols? One of those people that – maybe unbeknownst to them – had a major transformative effect on your life. A few days ago I did just that when I worked backstage at the launch of Jessica Ainscough’s book Make Peace With Your Plate and, of course, met one of my heroes Jessica Ainscough.
While I have interviewed her before (here) this was our first face-to-face meeting and I was a little excited and a smidge nervous. My dalliances with ‘celebrity’ have been renowned for their outrageous uncoolness. Back in my party days I literally tackled every Big Brother evictee I met (of which there were 8). I was once walking to a Josh Pyke concert and he walked past me. On sight, I stopped dead in my tracks and fell over backwards (my husband has still not let me live that one down). I also cried when I met super-brain journalist Jana Wendt and mumbled something along the lines of “intelligence… you goddess… me… good… clever”.
So yeah. Being in the room with the likes of Jess, Melissa Ambrosini, Drapht, Wes Carr and the Earth Events girls could have gone one of a million ways – some explosive, all embarrassing. But when I did finally bump into this talented group of people I was served my first of many lessons of the night… (more…)
Valentines Day is coming up and I am super excited about it. Seriously, what’s not to love? It is a day dedicated to love and gratitude and the outright enjoyment of life and the people you share it with. And nooky. But while romance is glorious and all, I did get hit with a lightning bolt realisation the other day while coaching one of my gorgeous gals;
Most women in today’s society have a self-love deficiency.
We are too busy / tired / embarrassed / *insert excuse* to take time out and really pamper the hell out of ourselves. To stop and think about nothing but right now. To think about no one but yourself.
Let’s change that shall we? I put my thinking cap on and wrote down exactly what I like to do when I am wanting to show myself a bit of love. Those favourite things that give me a bit of a cuddle when I am in an indulgent mood, or I am feeling overwhelmed. The things that restore balance. The love letters to me, from me.
And so I created this Self-Love Hamper a’la Emily Ehlers worth over $230! (more…)
After a fairly lacklustre highschool experience I have to admit – I didn’t have the greatest faith in females or my relationship with them. I accepted this for the most part and – while I developed some amazing girly relationships – mostly stayed away from the packs.
I convinced myself that I was ‘a boys girl’, that women were too hard and that maybe I just didn’t fit in with most ladies. Actually, maybe I just didn’t fit in?
That was before I met my tribe last year – and one sister in particular!
Lets face it, smart phones are bloody handy. No matter how many flowers are in your hair or how bare and dirty your feet are these little rectangles make our lives easier. My inner hippie and I argue about it frequently but it is what it is. Unless you are Amish, technology is here to stay.
And that’s fine – technology is not (always) the bad guy. I love being able to connect with my tribe through it and I am constantly inspired by the people and movements that are delivered to me by it. But the thing is, a lot of us are spending way too much real time in a virtual word. Our noses stuck to screens that do not serve us.
I am not ashamed to say that I struggle with it! I have a job that is heavily entrenched in social media and it is all too tempting to get stuck down the Facebook rabbit hole. You feel me right? One second you are on your phone for a valid reason the next you are 53 photos deep into a wedding album of a girl you haven’t seen since highschool with a million things better to do.
But it’s not just the time-wasting aspect that is affecting us. Back in the day the sun would go down and it would tell our bodies to turn off and go to sleep. There may be a few candles but that’s it. Now as soon as the sun goes down the TV and lights come on and our body clocks – our circadian rhythm – is thrown out the window. The combination of exposure to light and bad sleep comes along with a whole host of health problems – depression being a large one.
So after an eye-opening cafe experience the other day (70% of people on their phones, entire tables not talking) I decided I was going to get real and break this addiction. I was going to get serious about turning off technology. A black-out if you will. And you know what? Since embarking on this little experiment, my productivity has improved, my sleep has too, and I am just more present in general. Big wins. Won’t you join me? (more…)
I don’t know where you are in the world but I can tell you where I am. I am in Perth and it is HOT. In fact… most places in Australia are on the ‘warm’ side right now. We are about to go into our third day of over 38C (100F) heat. We even got up to 44C (111F) – say whaaaa? But I’m not complaining. It is summer in Western Australia after all – the stuff dreams are made of.
Here’s a little picture of me and Boogie down south for any one needing extra bait to visit here any time soon.
Anyway, back to the point.
On days like these soup is probably the last thing on your mind. That is until (more…)
The other day, while decluttering my little cottage, I stumbled across a stash of diaries from my early teenage years. I cringed, marveled and giggled through the tatty pages like a voyeuristic uber-creep.
My fifteen-year old self gave me further proof that us humans just love to over complicate things.
Then I saw an entry from 31st December 2001. I was 15. I was on an aeroplane heading back from my motherland – England. I was watching four different time zones New Years Eve’s fireworks. And frankly, I was shitting myself. This was the very flight that kicked off my phobia of flying (a phobia I plan to conquer this year). (more…)
As always, most important things first. Try to say Fully Rad Raw Pad Thai three times, as fast as you can.
Simple Simon my friend, you and your pies have met your match! Now, back to the recipe.
I was reflecting back recently on life since I discovered the right way of eating for my body. What was so unnatural and foreign to me then is something I am so at home with now.
When I first decided to quit sugar and grains* completely** I didn’t have a handle on Biochemistry 101 and where carbohydrates fitted into the picture. Basically – In a complete bastardisation of science – starches are carbohydrates is glucose is blood sugar which creates insulin which is the fat-storing hormone. Clear as mud.
* – I still occasionally eat the grain-like seeds; quinoa, amaranth, millet and buckwheat.
** – By completely I mean The 80:20 Rule. 80% of the time I am strict, 20% I relax.
Long story short – if I wanted to effectively cut sugar, I needed to cut starch too. (more…)
At the beginning of this year I sat myself down under my favorite tree and planned, visualised, mind-mapped and dreamed up the next twelve months. Before I knew it I was surrounded in pages and pages of scribbled soulful strategies. These are strategies that a few years ago I had not even heard of, and now are such an intrinsic part of me. It is also the happiest I have ever been in my life. Coincidence? I think not.
These. Tools. WORK. You’ve been warned.
So, I decided to write a short blog post to include the tools, the epiphanies and the knowledge that was scattered around me. Give a template for anyone else looking for a bit of clarity. Literally within a few hours two pages had turned to forty! I was illustrating zen yoga chicks. I taught myself how to use InDesign (badly). I was a woman possessed. Before I knew it I had created my first eBook; Illuminate: A Workbook to Inspire and Ignite. But now that I had it, how do I deliver it to the world?
One of my themes this year is Give (more on that below) and so I decided that this workbook should be given free to anyone who joins my tribe and signs up to my newsletter! (You can sign up here). For you, I will give the gift of clarity and soulful goal-setting. For the world, I will release a whole load of hungry, driven amazing women who are focused and ready.
A crowd favorite seems to be the two chapters on choosing themes for your life ahead and so I thought I would share one of them as an extract from the workbook and after that indulge myself by sharing my themes and what they mean for the blog. Enjoy!
2013 was by far my most exciting, challenging, rewarding, energising, bone-tired and inspired year yet.
It confused me, guided me and tied me in knots. Led me to people and places that have mended and lifted me. Showed me a way to live and make money that excites me and is true to me.
I learnt SO much. I thought I’d share a few of my biggest lessons.
Love your body when you hate it the most
This year I learnt bona fide body love.
The post-baby awakening can be earth shattering. Mentally you know your whole world just changed though you don’t quite know how or what it means. The disconnectedness feels even stranger when you are staring in the mirror at a completely unfamiliar body. It can be hard.
So I decided – just 6 weeks after having a baby – to take some bikini shots and measurements and compare them with similar unhappy shots of 3 years prior. Good idea, right? My hatred and resolve grew deeper. I would walk in stifling heat; an experience that was a mixture of worry about Lucy and discomfort due to some fairly awful labour stitches. It was grim. I deprived myself of food and went on juice cleanses and crazy diets.
And guess what? For all the suffering, no weight change!
Then I won a scholarship to Jessica Ainscough’s Lifestyle Transformation Guide and the first phase was all about loving yourself. Things shifted and I went on a mission to shower myself with love. I started forcing love on every wobbly, stretched out part of myself. I pretended that I was my best friend and started talking to myself as such (i.e. I would never tell her she was fat, or worthless, or ugly).
I started exercising because it made me feel good. I would play beautiful music while I walked and instead of going for the route with the most hills I would go for the one with the most trees. I started yoga. I dove into self-care; oil-pulling, body brushing, meditating, affirmating! I allowed guilt-free indulgences like wine and cheese.
In the 6 months after treating myself kinder I lost 18kgs.
My body is still different to what it used to be but I love it for where it has been, where it is now and where it’s going.
I threw away the scales that I used to visit 4 times a day. I feel free.
When you are authentic you attract the right people
I was brutally bullied back in high school. Not that blatant kind of bullying reserved for the “nerdy kids” (AKA f*cking cool, intelligent folk that don’t give a shit about the Rusty sticker on your lever arch file!).
No, no, I had the type where I was singled out by a conniving girl within my group of friends and then systematically isolated and tormented. I came across as fairly popular but I would dread going to school in the morning and was very close to leaving school.
Due to my chequered history I have always been intrigued by those movie friendships where groups of women just adore each other, cheer for each other, lift each other up. It was at least a nice fairy tale.
(Editors Note; No pity party here! There were gems in my life back then and since those yucky years there are even more!)
But two things changed this year;
- I stopped caring what others thought and just did what made me happy
- I cut bad people from my life. The ones that sniped, showed zilch interest in my life, undermined or just took took took without any give. The way I decided? If I walked away from someone with an icky feeling in my stomach 3 times then I decided to cut my losses and the ties.
Since then wonderful women just started coming out of the woodwork. There were more tea dates. Encouraging messages. Love notes. Going for walks on the beach. Swapping books and clothes. And before I knew it – I was a indulging in divine secrets with my goddamn ya-ya sisters!
And beyond just those beautiful girls that fill my days I am also talking about you… reading this right now. This year I opened myself more than ever and the welcoming I have received has seriously blown my socks off. So for anyone who has stopped by my blog or hit reply when my newsletter lands or took 5 minutes to touch base via Facebook or Instagram. You guys are amazing. Thank you!
This year I lived authentically and found my people!
Do what you love
Two things to consider here;
- Life is long.
I got really sick of sitting in my cramped little corporate cubicle watching minutes tick past like hours. Life – if we are lucky – is long. I want to enjoy it. So I quit my soul-destroying corporate job, started studying with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and have now started my coaching business which is something I am excited about 100% of the time. Best decision ever!
- Life is short.
As I spoke about here - people die. Sometimes you get warning and sometimes you don’t. Either way, I would be seriously bummed out if spent my final day whinging about something that was totally within my hands to change.
Come at me 2014!
I feel the past year has been an epic game of Angry Birds.
I spent 2013 aiming my catapult. Pulled it back as far back as I could.
A few misfires here and there.
Try again. Try to get my bearings… figure out what to hit first.
Then all of a sudden; that moment! I have seen the perfect path. Crystal clear. I know where I’ve got to go and I am sure that I am aiming right.
2014 I am letting it go!
TELL ME: How was 2013 for you? What did you learn? What big, beautiful AMAZING plans have you got for 2014? Talk to me in the comments…