2015 was a bizarre, brilliant and absolutely bonkers year in so many ways.
Both personally and professionally it has been one of my best, but all set to a backdrop of chaos. Like dancing a Viennese Waltz to the sweet melody of a Sepultura song.
There have been highs; like launching my business (and seeing it fly), finding my voice, going on a life-changing holiday and spending real time with my favorite people. We’ve had daring adventures, rambling meanders and conversations so long it makes the Odyssey look like a limerick. On that subject, one of my resolutions for the upcoming year is to dabble in poetry again. Not beautiful poetry – childsplay poetry. As such…
There were also some epic lows
That were a little on the nose
But I stayed happy
When it was crappy
You’d like to know how, I suppose?
2015 was the year I finally figured out how to stay happy in a crazy world. That’s not to say I haven’t been moody, upset or just a downright dick at times or that things haven’t gone wrong (oh, they did) but I have found a way to move through this world with joy, positivity and a much brighter outlook than I previously had.
Below is my messy, eclectic review of 2015 – full of random musings, lessons, book recommendations and oracle cards. Enjoy.
+ Watching my daughter grow into a funny, feisty, fearless creature, with a hankering to perform.
Case in point, this stirring rendition of Fireworks by Katy Perry.
+ This guy. (He was so proud of catching that fish).
+ Launching my creative copywriting business
At the beginning of the year I was writing the copy for my health coaching website. It was hard work and I kept coming up against blocks that felt less like hurdles and more like giant neon signs flashing “STOP! TURN BACK. DO NOT PASS GO!”. So I did. On a whim at 2am I decided to stop fighting and instead listen to the faint murmur that was saying “Psst… you love writing. Why don’t you do that?”. So I did.
Within the first week I was booked out, was excited to get to my desk every morning and the on-the-job learning felt enlivening, rather than terrifying. My second client was one of my favorite authors. I did the copy for a real life princess. And beyond any titles, I got to work with incredible ladies who were taking their life by the balls. This wasn’t just the universe giving me a nod, it was screaming “FUCK YEAH” as it moshed in the front row.
+ Standing on the mountain-top.
This video was like my rebirth. It was the turning point that saw me let go of any concerns of how people saw me and instead putting the weight into how I saw me. It felt useful and – judging by how many people flooded my inbox with “oh my god, I love champagne too” declarations – it was. Who knew bubbly could be so poignant?
+ A Life-Changing Holiday
Things really started to change in August, when I traveled up to a remote station called Quobba. This is where everything fell into place. It was the removal I needed to let all the lessons I’d learnt over the past few years to settle and grab hold. It was what taught me calm, connection and contentment. It inspired me so much that I wrote an eBook about it (which is released soon – jump on here to get notified when it launches).
+ Welcoming this creature into our home. Meet Joanie. Part cat, part monkey. All prankster.
+ Delightful everything
Whether it was my daughter, my husband, my writing, or an awe-inspiring view – this year I put delight back on the map. All of a sudden I found it wherever I looked. Delight changes everything.
+ Female friendships are the best
Maybe it’s age, maybe it’s mindset, maybe is divine serendipity… but the girlfriends I have in my life make everything better. As I’ve spoken about before, up until last year I would’ve considered myself a “guys girls”. Nowadays I could not live without my girlfriends – old and new. The long walks with epic talks, pondering purpose, watching movies and crazy karaoke. Find your femme de le creme.
Special mention goes to these bozos. My highschool besties that all came crashing (literally) back into my life. It’s important to keep the people around that make you act like a grommet, talk endlessly about poo and laugh at awkward puberty stories.
+ Moved out of a house that would randomly electrocute family members, and into a glorious sixties abode just 700m from my best friend.
+ My bestest best friend – who I’ve lived 5000kms apart from for 8 years – moved home. We can finally have face-to-face conversations again.
+ Going on adventures with my daughter. And there were a lot of them!
+ We even managed to tire her out at the Royal Show to the point that she fell asleep having her face paint. #winning
+ Romantic lunches with my husband.
+ Getting featured on Sarah Wilson’s media for talking about Celery Boners (and sustainability)
+ Working in cafes, drinking kombucha and experimenting with my food choices.
+ Getting brave and cutting my hair shorter for the first time in 15 years.
+ Watching my best friends daughter becoming my daughters best friend.
+ Being proud of my body, even the bumpy bits.
+ Yoga at Samudra.
+ Going on a romantic date to an Ed Sheeran concert.
+ Karaoke with my school besties. Rocking out to Mr Boombastic.
+ Long walks with soul sisters, solving the problems of the world.
+ OPRAH!!! (the below was our “we’re going to Oprah and have lemons also” pose #awkwardposers)
+ Getting back into the ocean.
+ I invested in myself and my business big time.
+ Adventures with my family
+ Dancing to The Prodigy at 3am on Christmas Morning with my hubby, little bro in law and his epic girlfriend.
+ Writing an eBook due to launch soon (get on the list here to hear when it launches first)
Books I loved
The Big Leap, by Gay Hendricks. This helped pull the rug out from beneath the feet of my inner saboteur. It showed me that I could be great.
Better than Before, by Gretchen Ruben. Monumental in terms of my personal development. So simple, so straight-to-the-point.
The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield. Should be on the required reading list for all creative entrepreneurs. The guide to pushing through writers block and going pro.
Simplicious, by Sarah Wilson. Sustainability meets scrumptiousness plus sugar-free goodness. The ultimate cookbook for people that give a shit about the planet and their own health too.
In Praise of Slowness, by Carl Honore. Transformative. This will help you get real on time and how you use.
Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert. Still going, still loving. It’s no wonder the entire internet is talking about this big, magic book.
High, by Tara Bliss. This book launched in 2014 but it’s been like a bible this year as I mosy on through my relationship with the tipple. More to come on that later.
Play, by Dr. Stuart Brown. 2015 was the year I untethered my inner child and let her loose in the candy shop that is my life. Play gave me all the science-y stuff to satisfy the logical part of my brain that thought playing was optional.
You can be happy and still want to be better.
A few years ago, I subscribed to the notion that self-love meant you accepted yourself as your are; to strive to be something different was “against the rules”. I was wrong. You can love every inch of your body and self and still try to be better. That is the highest form of self-love.
Life ends mid-sentence
This year I have been reminded of mortality far too frequently. It has seen an immediate family member battling through what Sarah Wilson would describe as “a clusterfuck of shitfulness”. I’ve watched as my own family and friends lost their loved ones, friends, dogs and mentors. I’ve lost friends myself. One of my biggest heroes Jessica Ainscough left us far too early. And the world lost a hero in Robin Williams. This is before we even cast our eyes over the global suffering this year from Paris, to Syria to Liberia. It’s been overwhelming.
The only real positive is the fact that it reminds us that we aren’t guaranteed a set amount of time on this planet. We might only get a week’s notice before we need to vacate the premises and sometimes we’ll get none at all. Sure it’s morbid but it’s also motivating. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Do what you love. Be awed by nature. Hug tight. Kiss a lot. Explore your life and all the possibilities of it.
Dare to have the hard conversations
I’ve never liked hard conversations, but that’s kinda like saying “I don’t dig ingrown toenails” isn’t it? No one does – that’s why they are hard! But my superior ability to avoid confrontation was starting to chaff. Leading me to do things I didn’t want to just to keep the peace. It also meant holding back on what I really thought and thus doing a disservice to the person I was in a conversation with. The truth likes to be told.
In one such situation, one of my best friends Dino was counselling me when he looked me square in the eyes and said “I’ve learnt that almost everything you want is on the other side of a difficult conversation”. So I awkwardly waded into them. With clients. With friends. With my husband. And sometimes with myself. And guess what? Turns out Dino was right (though don’t tell him that).
Life is a whole lot more simple when you cut the drama, draw in the deep breath and say what it is you mean.
Just get it done.
Sometimes you just need to stop complaining, stop searching, stop rationalising and quashing and just get it done. Whether it’s losing weight (which I did) or starting a business (which I did too) or writing a book (you guessed it – did that too); going for the things you want doesn’t always feel good. Avoiding these tasks feels like a reprieve but all it really does is stretch out the process (and the pain).
If you have any intention of growing, you need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. That discomfort is a good sign; it means you’re out of the safe (but boring) harbor and are exploring the wild and wonderful ocean.
“Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.”
- Nothing you do has to look like what anything that anyone else is doing.
- Prioritize feeling good. No one will do it for you.
- Living with a loving – but slightly deranged – old dog has taught me that patience is one of the ultimate gestures of love.
- To keep people in your life that repeatedly hurt you is just plain masochistic.
- If you can’t stop thinking about it, don’t stop going for it.
- Action expresses priority. If your values are your family, friends, health, love whatever… act accordingly.
- Your happy place doesn’t need to be a physical location. You can find your feet again by simply writing your own manifesto, affirmations, smelling a certain scent or playing playlist (Bon Iver instantly relaxes me)
Songs that lit me up
- Mr Boombastic, Shaggy
- Work Song, Hozier (especially this lyric “I’m so full of love I can barely eat”)
- Downtown, Macklemore (extra points for the most joy-filled video ever)
- Green Garden, Laura Mvula
- Modern Drift, Efterklang
- Oh Sailor, Mr Little Jeans
- Shake it off, Taylor Swift (I also got my fangirl on here for Tay Tay)
THIS VIDEO. Tears.
The dancing. The song. All the emotions.
Rituals + Habits That Made Life Feel Good
Early mornings really work for me
This was the year of the 4am start. My body had started making a habit of lurching out of slumber at impossibly early times. Listening to the call I decided to make it official. Nowadays I get up and spend some serious alone time writing, walking on the beach, meditating and exercising. Before my bebes even wake up I have lived a whole private life. It makes me more patient, more creative and more awesome. Subtext of this text? Experiment with your own rhythm even if it sounds cray cray.
Oh… and sunrises.
Oracle Cards Are Fun
One of my favorite rituals of the year has been using oracle cards. Meditatively shuffling the cards, closing my eyes as I select one and then pondering how it fits into my own life all feels grounding. It’s the declaration that you trust in something bigger than yourself. My twelve month spread was also scarily accurate.
Still on the woo-woo train, at the beginning and end of each month I would check in with Mystic Mamma to see what was in the stars. It’s comforting and often so reassuringly on point.
Another addition to my mornings – turning off all the hot water at the end of the shower. It’s good for your skin and hair and is the equivalent of hooking yourself up to an IV of coffee.
Setting an alarm + getting outside multiple times a day
This was a must. To get outside and move my body and see the sky everyday; regardless of whether it’s hot or raining or windy. We are meant to feel the elements but – in the days of air-con and technology – it’s easy to pretend it isn’t there, thus getting out of sync with out natural rhythms. By exposing ourselves to the climate, it fine tunes our bodies to eat to the season, move accordingly and function better.
These memes made me laugh so hard, coffee came out my nose
(yes they are immature. No, I don’t care).
Podcasts I seriously dug
The School of Greatness with Lewis Howes. Check his episodes with Simon Sinek, Alanis Morissette and Lisa Messenger.
Beautiful Writers Podcast with Danielle LaPorte and Linda Sivertson. Feel you aren’t alone in the creative process. Favorite episodes were Elizabeth Gilbert (duh), Martha Beck and Dani Shapiro.
Elise Gets Crafty with Elise Blaha Cripe. So many useful episodes but adoring Episode 62 Dealing With Stress Creatively with Jason Kotecki.
Just Say, Yes! with Tiffany Han. So much real, actionable, relatable advice. Highlights were the episdoes featuring Danielle Krysa, Alexandra Franzen and Cyndie Spiegel.
And most of all…
The biggest lesson, experience, joy and everything in between has been a simple decision I made at the beginning of the year. 5 simple words I wrote that turned out to be my core philosophy and mission for that year and all the years ahead.
Rebel against modern day seriousness
This has been the year that I healed, reconnected and then released my inner child – something I think we all need to do if we’re going to delight in our lives. Living like a child has led to constant learning, daily wonder, pranks, giggles and a deeper understanding of who I am as a person. You can’t argue with that.
Here’s to 2016. May it be as beautiful and bonkers as it’s predecessor.