I have been waiting for the right time to share this story.
I lie on the bathroom floor of my childhood home, feeling the cool blue tiles press against the small of my back. On the floor beside me two little pink lines are emerging on a paper stick; clear, bold, unmistakable. As I look up at the ceiling, my hands immediately go to my stomach, and I can’t help the smile that spreads across my face. Suddenly the week before makes so much sense; getting violently ill at Schoolies after just a few drinks, mumbling something to the paramedic about a baby, waking up in the middle of the night with waves of nausea rolling through my body… I hear keys in the door downstairs and rush to shove everything back in the box. For now this is my secret, and there’s only one person in the whole wide world I want to tell.
He’s been away in Bali and I can’t wait until he gets home so I can share the news. We’ve only been dating for a few months, but having children is something we talk about all the time and I know it’s something we both want for our future.
We’re sitting on his bed and, knowing I had taken the test before I came over, he looks at me and asks,
’Really?’ He groans and shoves his face in a pillow.
My stomach drops. This isn’t how this is supposed to go. He’s supposed to be excited. He’s supposed to smile and hug me and tell me everything is going to be okay.
Seeing the pained look on his face and his body folded over on the bed, I think that’s the moment I know I can’t go through with the pregnancy.
We sit in the waiting room giggling and making jokes; two kids, completely out of our depth and unable to comprehend the gravity of the situation we’re in. A counsellor asks us questions, “How do I feel?” “Do we understand the risks involved in the surgery?” “Why are we making this decision?”
“We don’t feel emotionally or financially equipped to handle the responsibilities of a child at such a young age. We feel as though it would be unfair on the child to raise it in a tumultuous environment without adequate resources or emotional support,” I explain.
“Well that was well-rehearsed,” says the interviewer, bemused.
“No, she’s just really good with words,” says my ex.
After taking two pregnancy tests and putting on my hospital gown, I’m lead into a freezing waiting room where a tiny TV is playing re-runs of Cirque du Soleil. I have no idea how long I’m sitting there, but it feels like hours. Other women come and go, we smiled politely at each other. Some are crying, others look completely numb.
I don’t know if it’s part of the routine procedure, but they give me an ultrasound before I go in. Lying on the table, I catch a glimpse of the technicians paperwork, 7 weeks scrawled across the page in blue pen, is all I manage to make out. He runs the wand across my stomach and pauses over the lower right hand side of my abdomen. The screen is angled away from me, but I swear I can hear the heartbeat.
He asks me if I want to see. I say no.
Two nurses wheel me in to a brightly lit theatre. One makes polite conversation about my plans after school. “I’m going to study journalism. I think I want to be on TV,” I tell her.
The last and only other time I’ve been under general anaesthetic I was terrified, but this time I’m exhausted and just grateful for the chance to close my eyes.
The moment I wake up after surgery, I feel empty. As though there’s a gaping hole on the lower right hand side of my abdomen. I burst into tears. The nurses try to give me orange juice and crackers, while explaining that it’s totally normal; my hormones will be going crazy for a while.
I waddle out of recovery and he’s there waiting for me.
He smiles when he sees me but concern quickly spread across his face when he sees the state I’m in.
I cry the whole way home.
My mum buys me chocolate freckles and asks me to keep this to myself. I don’t tell anyone, I’m terrified they’ll judge me or tell me I made the wrong decision.
No one asks me how I feel. There’s no debriefing or family discussion.
I feel like everyone just wants it to be over.
In the next few months HSC results come out, I get accepted into uni and move away… Life rushes on as if nothing happened, and yet every year I’m left counting months and days and weeks in my head, trying to figure out how old my little boy would be.
I’ve been waiting for six years to share this story. I trusted that I would know when the time was right, and I feel it now.
A few months ago during meditation, my baby boy visited me. He told me he was fine and that he would be back when I was ready. I apologised for making him wait. “Don’t be silly mum, I’m so happy here.”
A few days later I was at an event and sat down next to a girl my age who happened to be a Clairvoyant and Medium. Without knowing me or my situation, she began talking about Souls and pregnancy.
Being pregnant for the first time herself, she spoke about how she didn’t think she would carry to term. Having communicated with her unborn baby girl, she got the sense that she wouldn’t choose to stay this time around.
The way she spoke had me fascinated; so matter-of-factly, yet with such deep love.
“Do Souls choose that?” I asked, on the edge of my seat.
“Of course. They knew what would happen before they incarnated.”
She continued to explain that some Souls are of such a high vibration (so connected to Source and their true nature) that in order to get used to the denser vibration of earth, they choose to incarnate for a short period of time in the safety of their mothers womb before beginning their journey here. To come straight through would be incredibly disorientating for them.
“You both chose this scenario, to play a role in each others lives that would serve each of your Highest evolution.”
By this point tears were streaming down my face. I remembered… I saw the message my boy had been sent to deliver; a Divine wake up call that this was not the life I wanted for myself. Although intellectually I had always known I made the right decision, a part of me had always held on to ‘What if?’
In that moment, six years of guilt dissolved in an instant.
I knew even at the time that the experience was both a turning point and a catalyst for me. It pulled into razor-sharp focus the life I was creating unconsciously, and showed me just how little I wanted it after all. I didn’t want the safety and security of a family of my own. I didn’t want to put my dreams on hold. I didn’t want the responsibility of raising another human being when I didn’t even know how to look after myself, and I didn’t want to be trapped in a relationship that was destroying my self worth.
In the debate between pro-choice and pro-life, I chose life, my life.
Of course there were the times when I wanted nothing more than to meet the human growing inside of me, and I tried to convince myself that everything would sort itself out. But I have to admit, the reasons I wanted to continue the pregnancy were entirely selfish and superficial. I didn’t want a child, a teenager or a young adult; I wanted a baby. I wanted tiny jumpsuits and beautiful cribs, and the attention that being a new mother inevitably brings. I craved unconditional love from someone I could dress up in cute outfits and take for coffee dates with my friends, I wanted all the decisions I had to make after graduation to be made for me, and I fell in love with the idea of never having to be alone again. We talked about having a baby like it was getting a new puppy.
It would be so cute…
We would have so much fun…
Neither of us were ready for the reality of raising a human being.
My own research and experience with clients over the last three years has proven to me time and time again how significantly a child’s early experiences and the physical, emotional and mental health of their parents influence the person they become. I didn’t want to start that relationship from a place of fear, anxiety and resentment; the resentment I would feel toward my child for all the things I could never do because of them, and the resentment they would feel toward me for all the things I could never provide.
I realised a few years ago that my desire to fall pregnant was actually a misinterpretation of my desire to create. I wasn’t using my creative energy in any meaningful way, so it was stagnating inside my body and I didn’t know what to do with it. Conceiving a child is, in its most basic form, a creative act, and one that – in the moment – seemed a lot less risky than starting a blog or publishing a novel.
When I began to own my power as a creator – consciously making decisions about who I wanted to be and what kind of life I wanted to live – I lost all interest in having a baby. I realised creating my own life was an exciting adventure in and of itself. Today, I feel truly and deeply fulfilled by my creative projects and even though I know I’ll be a mother when the time is right, my blog and business are the perfect outlets for my creativity.
Having said that, not a day goes by when I don’t think about my decision, and sometimes emotion overwhelms me. Not because I regret it, but because I had a choice when so many women don’t. I am so incredibly grateful that I was born in a time and place where I wasn’t pressured by my parents or society to marry someone I didn’t love just because we fell pregnant. I am so so lucky I had the option to learn from my mistakes and choose again. It is a freedom I don’t take lightly.
There are women I know who have chosen a different path to me – young mothers who are incredible at what they do – and I have nothing but admiration for the girls who continue to dream big and achieve their impossible dreams, despite the challenges of being a young parent. I don’t know if I would have been one of them.
I know my recount will comfort some and infuriate others, there are few issues that are so divisive. But as hard as it might be to believe, I’m not trying to justify my decision. I wanted to share this story because despite the fact that 1 in 3 women in Australia have had an abortion, it’s an issue still very much shrouded in secrecy and shame, and shame is indisidious in the way it holds us back from being who we’re here to be.
For so long I was so scared to share my story because I didn’t know how people would respond and yet when I started to open up, I was met with overwhelming compassion and a surprising number of women saying, “Me too”. Now I can speak about it openly, and it is my hope that it encourages other women to do the same. Not just online, but in conversations with one another. Whether we like it or not, it’s part of our shared experience and shame and secrecy are impenetrable barriers to the connection we’re all craving.
To the women who have told their story before me, thank you. Your bravery inspired me to share my own. To the women still carrying their secret, I love you.
You might not resonate with the spiritual side of my story, but even if you don’t, please let go of the guilt around your decision. Guilt is unproductive at best and destructive at worst, and what happened in your past (whether it was yesterday or ten years ago) has no bearing on the kind of future you can create for yourself.
Life never ends, it just changes form.
I know he’s still with me and when the time is right my little boy will make the journey earth-side. Until then, I’m content having another guardian angel watching over me.
I’m writing more about this part of my story in my book, which will be published some time in the next year. Until then, if you want to share your story, please do. This is an open space of compassion and non-judgement and everything we discuss here will lead us closer to greater love, deeper truth and higher understanding.
I became a Life Coach at 22 (two days before my twenty third birthday) and for the last two years I have had the privilege of working with the most amazing clients from every season and walk of life. One of the most common limiting beliefs I come across in young people who feel the call to take up coaching is, ‘But aren’t I too young to be a life coach?!’
A lot of the time this belief stems from the parents, teachers or other significant adults in our lives who made us feel inferior or powerless because of our youth. In the post-industrial culture they grew up in, children were ‘seen and not heard’ and very few were bought up to question their place in the world.
We inherit this worldview which manifests when we say things like, “Oh, I’ll just wait till I’m older then I’ll start the blog, then I’ll build the business, then I’ll quit my day job and move overseas” …as though someday we will reach a point where we feel ready to do all the things we’re called to do.
Like all the other tools in its arsenal, the ego is going to try and use our age against us, as a reason why we can’t do what we’re here to do (and it goes both ways – I have mentored women in their fifties who fear they are too old to be coaches!) Our job is to gently shut the door on it, and choose a new belief instead.
It’s not the years in our life, it’s the life in our years
Those of us who are drawn to coaching usually have a story we want to share with the world; lessons learnt, fears overcome, transformation undergone, and it doesn’t matter how long we’ve been on the path, it’s our willingness to share what we’ve learned along the way that will be of service to our clients.
You don’t have to be at the end of the road, just a few steps ahead of the people you want to coach.
I have coached women in their twenties, thirties, forties and fifties and have not once felt as though I couldn’t add MASSIVE value to their lives through coaching. The challenges we face (especially as women) are ageless and Universal and the Beautiful You coaching process alone is enough to produce massive shifts and radical transformation. If I ever feel out of my depth, I come back to the process, embody my authentic self as a coach and TRUST that this client has been guided to me for a reason.
To the naysayers who ask, “But aren’t you a bit young to be a life coach?” All I can say is, “No, actually. I have a mission and purpose on this planet, and a deep desire to serve the world, and I’m not waiting until it’s more socially acceptable for me to start sharing my experiences and using the gifts I have been given to make the impact I was born to make. I know I have a lot to learn, and I plan on being a student until the day I die, but I know enough to make a difference, and that’s all that matters.”
If you have a message on your heart, there are people who need to hear it. If you feel called to make a difference in the world, whatever that looks like for you, don’t wait until you’re ‘ready’, ‘older’ or ‘more qualified.’ You have been chosen for this time, place and purpose. If anyone questions your intentions, just acknowledge that is their reality, and then go and create your own. Don’t let your youth hold you back, you have been preparing for lifetimes for this.
Two years in to my coaching journey I am learning, growing and evolving every single day, as a coach and as a human being. And the beautiful thing is, I get to take my Tribe on that journey with me. The best coaches aren’t the ones who have it ‘all figured out’, they are the ones who invite us in to the middle of their mess to let us know we aren’t alone.
I am creating a tribe that values authenticity and transparency, a tribe I can come to when I’m struggling, and ask for help… it’s a relationship where we all teach and learn from one another, and it’s nourishing on a level I could never have imagined.
The best advice I could give to young coaches is; You don’t have to have it all figured out. Be HONEST about where you’re stuffing up, where you’re struggling and where you have a hell of a lot to learn. But also be unapologetic about what you know in your bones to be true. What knowledge did you come into this lifetime with? What was written on your cells and imprinted on your DNA when you were born? Stand firmly in your purpose and power as a human being and as a coach.
You know enough to be of service… and that will always be enough.
At the end of last year I met a boy (still don’t know why I can’t call them men, feels wayyy too grown up). He messaged me on instagram and I didn’t think much of it until we started talking (and let’s be honest, I stalked his photos) and I realised we had quite a bit in common.
We messaged back and forth for a while and the banter was great. He made me laugh and asked amazing questions. One particular day we got into this hour-long conversation about sacred sexuality and how both of us really wanted meaningful sexual encounters with partners who didn’t drain or fuck up our energy, by the end of it I was getting butterflies every time I got a message from him so eventually I suggested we get a drink (I know, #thirsty).
I was nervous as all hell walking down to meet him, but I also couldn’t stop smiling. He was sitting looking out over the water when I got there, with his back facing me. Literally, the second I laid eyes on him, I knew he was The One. I have never been so sure of anything in my life.This was the person I was meant to spend the rest of my life with. It was the same depth of certainty that I felt when I found coaching and discovered my purpose. It’s like your whole body resonates with the depth of Truth and all other possibilities fall away until all that’s left is what’s right in front of you.
‘Hey stranger,’ I smiled, knowing full well we’d known each other a hundred times, in a thousand different lives before this one.
We talked, non-stop for about two hours. And as he was speaking, it was like he was going through the ‘ideal guy’ checklist I had in my head,
“I love the ocean.” Tick.
“I’m pretty spontaneous. I have a motorbike and I usually go for week ends away down South.”
“I surf and I love camping.” Mother fucking double tick.
I mean, come on.
We walked along the water and he kissed me underneath a lamp post. It was the stuff romantic comedies are made of.
The next few days were perfection.
He’d message me in the morning and call at night. I didn’t obsess over him the way I had with new guys in the past and it was the first time I didn’t try to speed up the relationship or manufacture intimacy. There was a part of me that sensed we’d have a lifetime to get to know one another, so what was the rush? Unlike previous flings, I didn’t see him as a distraction, but as someone who motivated me to show up more fully in my business and life.
After we got off the phone one afternoon, he sent me a message saying, “talking to you makes my Soul happy.” (#Dying)
He has his own business (I have a thing for tradies, sue me) and because we both get to choose what hours we work *swoon* he came over during the day to go to the beach. We lay next to each other telling stories, asking questions and laughing about anything and everything. After a few hours, I kissed him at his bike and walked back up the hill home.
The next day something changed. He didn’t call and he used my first name in his good morning text message (basically the kiss of death for any new relationship). Eventually I got, “Can’t come over tonight and don’t think I’ll be able to catch up over the week end either.”
I was walking so I called him. No answer. I called him again, “What’s going on? Is everything okay?”
He sounded out of breath, distant, “Yeah, it’s fine. What’s up?”
The banter was gone, along with the smile in his voice. I started panicking.
“You didn’t call this afternoon. Why can’t you hang out this week end?”
Did I do something wrong? Have I completely misread ALL of the signals? Does he think I look fat in a bikini? Did I reply too quickly? Did he read one of my blog posts? Did he meet someone else?
“Yeah sorry my phone was on 2% and I was on a run.”
He was running, literally, away from me.
I kind of knew what was coming, but I had to make sure. I sent him a message the next day asking if everything was okay. I was a bundle of nerves and anxiety until I got his response, “There’s nothing wrong as such… You kind of went from 0-100 real quick the other day when I couldn’t talk on the phone…You’re an amazing girl, I think maybe we would be better as just friends.”
My stomach dropped.
I fucked it up.
I met my soulmate and I fucked it up.
Everything I ever feared about myself was true. I’m not good enough. I’m not hot, cool or special enough. I met the perfect guy, and I drove him away.
***To be clear, I believe a soulmate is someone we feel like we’ve known before (in another life), or we were meant to meet. There’s something familiar about them and we know they are in our lives for a reason.
Thankfully by this point I knew that the fastest way through was to surrender to the situation. (Somehow I don’t think I could have numbed this one out even if I wanted too). I spent the next 24 hours crying on my yoga mat, mostly in the foetal position, as all the pain of past heartbreaks, rejections and fears came up to the surface. It felt like a piece of my heart had been ripped out of my chest.
In the weeks that followed, I analysed the situation with psychologists and psychics, I made girlfriends give me Tarot card readings and tore through endless pages in my journal, desperately trying to wrap my head around the situation. I’m totally not ashamed to admit I even Googled, ‘Why is my Soulmate running away from me?’
Eventually we (my spirit guides and I) agreed that he wasn’t ready for me. I was too powerful for him, he knew I’d call him out on his shit and he wasn’t ready for that.
Looking back now I’m kind of leaning more toward the idea that I wasn’t ready for him.
I realised it wasn’t the situation itself, it was the meaning I was attaching to it, ‘this means I’ll never be with my soulmate, this means all the work I’ve done on myself wasn’t enough, this means what people have said was true and no one is ever going to want me, this means I’m unlovable.’
Of course I was devastated when those were the kind of thoughts I had running on repeat.
I don’t think he’s the guy I end up with. But that’s the thing about soulmates; they’re not always meant to be in our lives forever. They show up to support us and/or trigger whatever needs to be healed, and when the purpose for the relationship has been served, you can both move on.
I know it feels like the end of the world when you’re in it, but from where I’m sitting now, I can’t help be anything but GRATEFUL for the whole experience. It forced me to look at the ways I still relied on other people (especially guys) to validate my self worth. Why was I so shattered by the thought that this guy didn’t want to be with me? Why did I attach so quickly? Why was I so triggered by a guy I couldn’t control?
It reminded me what I tell my clients over and over again; rejection isn’t about your inherent value, it’s about compatibility. It’s not an indictment of your worthiness, it just means you’re not meant to be.
And it showed me what’s possible, the connection, the chemistry, the certainty… I know I’ll feel that way again (on an even deeper level), and that’s why it’s so easy for me to say no to anything that’s not in alignment with that now. Because I know it’s possible, and I believe it’s possible for me.
Whatever relationship drama is unfolding in your life right now, can you sink into the knowledge – just for a second – that everything is unfolding just as it’s meant to? If you’re at the end of a relationship, can you look for the meaning? What did you learn? What can you be grateful for? Can you trust that something even better is on its way? And if the relationship you’re in isn’t in alignment with the HIGHEST thought you’ve ever had about yourself, or the GRANDEST vision you have ever had for your life, can you gather the courage to walk away?
Can you relax knowing that what misses you was never meant for you, and what is meant for you will never miss you?
If you desire it, you can create it. Decide what you want and then get ready to be taken on the ride of your life as you are prepared to receive it.
Knowing that, can we all agree to have a bit more fun with it?
How many times have you heard that, from your parents, siblings or older friends?
The amount of people I meet in their forties, fifties and sixties who wish they had started chasing their dreams earlier is astonishing. And yet those of us at the other end of the spectrum – just starting out on this crazy journey – are questioning if we’re ready to go deeper, reach higher and step out boldly in our mission and purpose on this planet.
Most of us have figured out by now there’s no ‘end game’ to this life, but there is also no limit to what we can accomplish or how good things can really get. And all I can think about is this idea that the sooner we start, the further we’ll go. The more we’ll learn, the more fulfilled we’ll feel, the more people we’ll help, and the better life on the planet will get for everyone.
Why are you putting off your purpose? What are you waiting for?
The nature of humanity – just like the Universe we live in – is to expand, grow and evolve into infinity. Just like the cosmos, human potential has no limit. As we move into this new era of consciousness, everything is SUPER accelerated. Everything is happening faster. We are manifesting at lightning speed and it’s taking less external drama for us to awaken to the reality of who we are and the magic of why we’re here. We don’t need to go back to square one, or keep humanity on the hamster wheel by repeating the mistakes of the past. We are here to pick up where the generation before us left off. It is EASIER for us. The path is SMOOTHER. Things are happening more quickly. Sometimes I find myself downplaying my ability to manifest, or looking for ways to make it harder than it actually is, and then I remember that it’s allowed to be easy.
The knowledge, wisdom and experiences of hundreds of thousands of years of human evolution has combined to produce you. You don’t have to spend your twenties in a haze of alcohol and one night stands just because that’s what your parents did, or because that’s what everyone around you is doing. If crazy nights out don’t appeal to you anymore, you don’t need to deny that because you’re afraid of ‘missing out on your youth’. If it feels good for you, by all means go for it. But if life feels boring, unfulfilling or downright draining, then give yourself permission to ask for something more.
You don’t need to wait until you’ve travelled more, worked longer or read bigger books before you start sharing your message with the world. Pick up a pen, start typing a blog post, hit record on your camera and give us what you’ve got.
Limited life experience? Please.
You know you’ve been here a hundred times, in a thousand different lives before this one. And now your Soul has come back to remind humanity of how it’s done. Of who we are and why we’re here. You have everything you need to start helping others right now. And everything else you can learn along the way.
What knowledge did you come into this lifetime with? What was hard-wired into your DNA and written on your cells when you were born? What do you know without knowing how or why you know it? The answers our world is seeking right now are buried within you.
Don’t apologise for your boldness, don’t downplay your depth of knowledge. Let them call you entitled. Let them tell you to sit down and ‘wait your turn’ knowing, deep down, that you don’t have to wait a moment longer to be who you came here to be and do what you came here to do.
What if I told you that everything that’s happening is what is meant to be happening? By ‘meant to be’ I mean, created by you – on some level – to serve your Highest growth and evolution.
Play around with it. How does it feel? Do you believe it?
If you think of your Life as a tree and your external reality as the fruit, the kind of fruit you are creating is a direct reflection of the health of the tree. If you don’t like the fruit you’re producing, you have two options. You can keep cutting off the fruit (all while criticising yourself with thoughts like, ‘I can’t believe I grew that fruit again. I should not still be growing this kind of fruit’) OR you can go within and heal the root of the tree.
In ‘Return to Love’, Marianne Williamson reminds us that just as a tiny acorn is already programmed to become a giant oak tree, we have everything we need within us to reach our full potential. We just have to get out of our own way and surrender to the natural unfolding. It’s supposed to be effortless, and if it’s not, it’s an invitation for us to look deeper. What needs to be healed? What’s stopping me from effortlessly expanding into love?
I’m at a point now where I am so sick of the struggle. If it doesn’t feel good, I’m not doing it. If I know my Soul is calling me to do it, then I’ll find a way to make it easy and fun and JOYFUL. I’ll go inward. I’ll heal the root.
If you don’t like what you’re creating right now, you can choose again. You can ‘re-create’ the experience you seek to have.
By loving the part of you that created it.
Nothing has changed in your external reality, and yet everything is different. I go deeper in the sequel I made to last weeks video, you can watch it here:
(if you liked the tree analogy, you will love the video)
There is nothing that is happening, that is not MEANT to be happening (ie. was not created by you on some level) so give thanks for WHATEVER is showing up in your life right now (and give thanks to your Self for creating it) because if it’s not serving you directly, it is gifting you an opportunity to choose again, to ‘change your mind’. And what’s more fun than creating again to reflect your new Highest thought about yourself?
When we start consciously re-creating our individual reality, we can consciously re-create our collective reality. We can – quite literally – change our mind.
I used to be stickler for loose ends, everything I touched would have my fingerprints all over it, marking my territory. I refused to make decisions if it meant saying no to something, I’d refuse to break up with guys even when I wasn’t feeling it anymore, always giving them just enough attention to keep them interested, I avoided difficult conversations at all costs and lashed out in anger when I didn’t know how to say good bye.
I clung for dear life to people, habits and identities.
Now I kinda get off on putting things to bed; closing the lid, wrapping a big bow around it and putting it away (with a warning label if necessary) for a rainy day or for all eternity. Closure is cathartic, it’s liberating…but it’s also freaking illusive. I hear it all the time, “I can’t stop talking to him, I haven’t had closure.” “I can’t seem to let go, something is holding me back.” “I’m scared if I close this door, nothing better will come along.”
Sometimes we get our fairytale goodbye, sometimes the page is torn out before we’re ready and the jagged edges leave track marks on our heart, and sometimes life closes a door for us. Someone dies, an ex gets engaged, a window of opportunity is slammed shut and we are left with a choice; are you going to bang on the door and demand all your unrealised expectations be met, or can you gather your memories and walk away? Your power lies in what you do next.
Closure is a pact you make with the Universe that says, ‘Okay, I trust this thing has run its course and what is coming is greater than anything I leave behind.’ It’s a state of inner peace that starts from the inside and travels out. It’s a solo mission, a journey you have to make alone. That said, there are a few ways to make it easier.
Forgive. The only person you can control is yourself, and you deserve peace. Apologise if you need to, even if you don’t hear it back. Grudges are for people with to much time on their hands and you my darling, have bigger battles to fight.
Feel. You’ve gotta let your Soul have the experience it’s craving. Scream. Cry. Write a letter and never send it. Meditate. Pray. Replay the picture in your head of what could have been over and over again until it brings you to your knees. When you’re done, rise from the ashes. Survive.
Focus. Fix your eyes head. How much lighter do you feel now you’re not carrying around the weight of your past? Did you learn anything? What do you have to look forward to? You get to begin again now but stronger, wiser, You 2.0, and that’s the most beautiful thing of all.
What do you need to let go of? An old love (read this), an old self? (read this). You have the power to begin again in every moment, you get to decide when you’re over it, you get to put the bow on the box and move on with your life, and maybe that’s all the closure we really need.
Happy Friday my love. I adore you. I’m cheering for you. I’m loving you,
Last week I had the pleasure of filming something super exciting with the Women’s Fitness team. Introducing… The Awkward Girls Guide to Unshakable Confidence. In this two part video workshop I share my top tips for cultivating confidence from the inside out so you can show up as your authentic self in every area of your life.
You can check out both video workshops on the WF website: http://www.womensfitness.com.au/video/?id=8865&cat=wellness
How many times have you berated yourself for not having the motivation you needed?
“I just need to stop being so lazy”
“I just need to suck it up and get it done”
“I just need to work harder”
“I just need to push through”
We have this misconception that if only we tried harder then we would be able to start the website, finish the blog post and stick to the diet. But what if we didn’t need to push through the barriers, but allow ourselves to be pulled by a force greater than us?
I’m a little bit done with the whole ‘pump them up’ motivation of the old school personal development world. I have seen too many people crippled by the belief that they are lazy or unmotivated because they can’t stick to a diet or learn to meditate no matter how hard they try.
There are a million possible reasons that you’re not moving forward, but being lazy is not one of them.
You’re not lazy, you’re scared.
Everything you do is born out of a belief about who you think you are. If you are resisting doing something you know in your heart is going to catapult you into a new realm of success, joy and abundance, it’s a sign that your desired action doesn’t match your current identity. What on the outside looks like a reluctance to do anything productive is actually a paralysing fear that if you contribute, your contribution won’t be valued. You are terrified of what’s on the other side of that blog post, that website, that new morning routine. Sometimes it’s the possibility of failure. Most of the time, it’s the possibility of success.
Lazy can be substituted for scared of success in the same way defiant can be replaced with scared of change, and violence is synonymous with a fear of intimacy. These so called ‘negative’ character traits are all just different manifestations of fear.
If you don’t believe you are worthy of being a NY Times Bestselling author, you won’t sit down to write the book. If you don’t believe you are worthy of experiencing inner peace, you won’t want to practice meditation.
Sure, you can push yourself to do almost anything. And indeed, some people do. But wouldn’t you rather be pulled? Wouldn’t you rather it felt good? Wouldn’t you rather bound out of bed in the morning and race to sit down at your computer than use every last ounce of willpower to open your laptop only to procrastinate for three hours?
Because that’s the thing about willpower, it’s a limited resource.
There is only so much you can push yourself to do, but when you are pulled by a force greater than yourself, there is no limit to what you can accomplish.
When I first started on this path, I took all my old strategies; work your ass off, strive, achieve, strive some more and applied them to my new career as a coach. Because that’s how you become successful, right? Wrong. I ended up right back where I started. That’s when I realised that I was on the right path, but with the wrong mindset.
And a new paradigm, calls for a new way of thinking.
If I’m honest, I believe the wave of female entrepreneurs coming through now are being called to show the world how we can do it with ease, how we can get shit done without the struggle and how we can work our way up, while having fun along the way.
Because really, what’s the point of creating these incredible careers we love, if they’re going to be as difficult and uninspiring as the old ones?
If it’s not fun, don’t do it. If it doesn’t feel good, you’re missing the point.
You don’t need to work harder, you need to love yourself. You don’t need to hustle, you need to heal. When I talk about self love, I’m taking about seeing yourself as the infinite being of immeasurable potential that you are – and knowing that success in all its forms is your birthright. I’m talking about letting go of any part of you that doesn’t believe that and aligning totally with who you want to be.
Whenever I have to ‘force’ myself to do something, it’s a sign my goals don’t match my current identity. I know it’s time for me to go inward and upgrade my ideas about myself (because I’m sure as hell NOT going to downgrade my goals) When I’m confident that I am here for a reason and I have an important message to share with the world, then I will be inspired to sit down and write an outline for an event talk. When I am in a space of total confidence, I want to create new content, I want to work on my website and create my eCourse, I want to jump on and do a FB live. I even want to clean my house – because those actions are a REFLECTION of who I believe myself to be.
I had a session with a coach recently about how I could better serve my tribe and something she said really landed with me. I was raving about how much you (and our whole generation) value authenticity and how badly I want to keep tearing back the veil to show you that you’re never alone when she said, “Well, they can’t read your mind Jae. Tell them what you want them to know.”
So I’m telling it. All of it. The raw, messy, ugly parts of my story. The heartbreaks, the low points, the stuff I’ve hinted at but never spoken about. The reason I’m sharing this stuff about my past is because I want you to know that no matter what you’ve done – or what has been done to you – there is no limit to the joy you can experience, the love you can receive or the kind of life you can create.
I’ll be releasing more detailed posts on each of these points over the next few months but for now, this is what happened…
I grew up with a father who had manic depression and bipolar. He didn’t receive a formal diagnosis until I was seventeen, so we always thought his erratic behaviour and periods of withdrawal were just ‘dad being dad’. On Boxing Day 2010, I was playing WII Dance with my sister when mum told me she was taking dad to hospital because he ‘wasn’t coping’. I hated the fact that his illness was this big ugly secret that no one in my family talked about, it’s one of the reasons I’m so passionate about sharing my struggle with depression; this stuff needs to be hauled out into the blinding light of day.
I was the quintessential ‘good girl’ at school. Total teachers pet and over-achiever, I lived for praise and recognition. I didn’t have a lunch time for four years because I was running between SRC meetings, debating club and musical rehearsals. I always knew there was this other – much darker – side of me and around year nine I decided it was time for her to have the spotlight. I started cheating on tests, sneaking out of the house to meet up with guys and got caught drinking at school. I was addicted to the thrill of leading a double life – standing up at assembly during the week and riding in beat up VW’s with boys smoking pot out of pencil sharpeners on the week end, until…
When I was sixteen a series of naked photos of me got leaked around my school and several other local high schools. They made their way back to my workplace, my dance studio and my parents. My two worlds collided and any semblance of the good girl reputation I’d worked for was gone. I didn’t get school captain – a title I’d been waiting my whole life for – but got elected Senior Sacristan instead (white robes and all). The irony was almost funny.
Not long after, my parents dragged me to see a psychologist and I was diagnosed with depression. I saw her once a fortnight for the next two years and have been in and out of therapy ever since. As painful as it can be, I love the process and will probably keep going forever and ever because we were never meant to do this alone and the human mind fascinates me so much.
From the ages of 17-20, I was in and out of an abusive relationship. We went from having screaming matches one minute to declaring our undying love for one another the next. I put my dream of moving to Sydney on hold for the promise of a fantasy life and we moved in together after dating for three months. It wasn’t until my psychologist drew the cycle of domestic violence on a piece of paper in front of me and I saw the last year of my life flash before my eyes that I realised I needed an out. Leaving that relationship was – to this day – one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.
I fell pregnant when I was eighteen. To the same boyfriend. My mum decided that we were completely ill-equipped to handle a child (she saw how toxic we were together) so on the 10th December 2010 I had an abortion. (I’m going to be writing more about this part of my story in the next few months. It’s an incredibly sensitive topic, but one that needs to be spoken about. I still feel my little boy around me and I know he’ll come through when the time is right).
I worked as a stripper and put myself on a sugar daddy dating website while I was at Uni to help pay the bills and because I thought it would be fun. By this stage, I was heavily invested in this idea of myself as a ‘party girl’ and obsessed with having experiences that would make great stories later on. I was shit-scared at the time but spurred on by my desire to experience everything this life had to offer, and my fear of ever being ‘average’. I credit that same desire for helping me start my own business and giving me the drive I need to get my message into the world.
I have been completely and totally addicted to sex. It took me a while to acknowledge that I wasn’t just exercising my freedom as an ’empowered woman’, I was actually in a lot of pain and this was my way of avoiding it. As part of my healing journey, in 2014 I read a book called ‘The Invisible Bond’ and decided to energetically cut the emotional and spiritual ties with all of my past partners. When I moved to Sydney, I put myself on a ‘man ban’ and didn’t date or sleep with anyone for a year. I’m still a sexual being but these days I’m focused more on learning everything I can about the link between sex and spirituality and using sacred sex as a way to deepen our connection with each other and the Divine.
I got friend-zoned by my soulmate. At the end of 2016 I met one of my soulmates and after a whirlwind romance (time means nothing when it comes to these kind of connections) he told me he thought we’d be better off as friends. Queue days of me sobbing on the floor in the foetal position as years of insecurity, self doubt and a desperate need for external validation were dredged up to be healed. I emerged lighter than ever before.
I know what it’s like to not be able to pay rent. Starting a business is scary as hell and while I fully believe the Universe supports us when we step out in faith and do what we are called to do, I also know what it feels like to walk around the supermarket with $10 to your name wondering how the hell you’re going to buy food that week. I’m currently working through a lot of my limiting beliefs around money and I can’t wait to share some of the breakthroughs I’ve had to help you create abundance doing what you love.
The reason I’m sharing all this is because I want you to know that this “happiness” stuff didn’t come naturally to me. I had to fight for it. There was a lot of darkness I had to work through before I could embody the light.
I also want you to know that your past has no bearing on the kind of future you can create for yourself. I used to think that what I’d done determined the kind of life I was worthy of experiencing – that because of the people I’d hurt, and pain I’d caused, I’d have to somehow ‘pay off my debts’ – and now I know nothing could be further from the truth. We are ALL worthy and deserving of a life beyond our wildest dreams. Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.
Now it’s your turn.
You have a choice (always); you can let your past limit who you become and what you achieve, or you can let it shape you, teach you and transform you into someone greater than you ever imagined yourself to be. Let nothing go to waste.
When we deny our story it defines us, when we own our story we can write a brave new ending.
I GET A LOT OF MESSAGES SAYING, ‘YOU ARE SO BRAVE FOR SHARING THAT’ ‘HOW CAN YOU BE SO VULNERABLE AND OPEN UP LIKE THAT?’
AND THE ONLY REASON I AM GOOD AT IT NOW, IS BECAUSE I WASN’T FOR A REALLY LONG TIME.
I WAS REALLY GOOD AT KEEPING PEOPLE OUT – I WAS REALLY GOOD AT PUTTING ON A MASK – I WAS REALLY GOOD AT ONLY SHOWING PEOPLE WHAT I THOUGHT THEY WANTED TO SEE.
AND I LEARNT THAT THAT IS THE FASTEST ROAD TO LONELINESS. BECAUSE IF NO-ONE KNOWS THE REAL YOU, HOW CAN THEY LOVE THE REAL YOU?
YOUR EGO WANTS TO CONVINCE YOU THAT IF YOU SHOW PEOPLE WHO YOU REALLY ARE, THEY WILL GO RUNNING IN THE OTHER DIRECTION.
IN REALITY, IT DRAWS THEM IN.
THE CONNECTION WE’RE ALL CRAVING IS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF VULNERABILITY.
ADMITTING TO THE WORLD I HAD A SEX ADDICTION.
ADMITTING TO THE WORLD THAT I HAD AN ABORTION.
ADMITTING TO THE WORLD THAT I WORKED IN A STRIP CLUB AND SLEPT WITH MORE GUYS THAN I CAN COUNT.
THERE’S POWER IN THAT.
BECAUSE WHEN YOU OPEN UP AND SHARE YOUR STORY WITH THE WORLD – NOT JUST THE SPARKLY BITS – BUT THE DEEP, DARK SHAMEFUL STUFF, GUESS WHAT HAPPENS?
YOU ARE MET WITH A WHOLE CHORUS OF ‘THANK YOU’S’ AND ‘ME TOO’ AND ‘I THOUGHT I WAS THE ONLY ONE’. AND SUDDENLY SOMEONE ELSES PAIN IS LESSENED BECAUSE YOU SHARED YOURS.
AND THEN LIFE GET SO MUCH SIMPLER, BECAUSE YOU CAN SHOW UP AS WHO YOU REALLY ARE WITHOUT WORRYING ABOUT HOW OTHER PEOPLE ARE GOING TO PERCEIVE YOU.
THERE’S SO MUCH FREEDOM IN THAT.
I CAN SPEAK ABOUT ALL THIS STUFF NOW BECAUSE THE THINGS I DID DON’T HAVE A HOLD ON ME ANYMORE.
THERE IS SO MUCH POWER IN YOUR PAIN, BEAUTY IN YOUR BREAKDOWN AND MESSAGES IN YOUR MESS, AND YOU’LL DISCOVER IT ALL WHEN YOU SHARE IT.
A FEW THINGS:
Vulnerability hangovers are a real thing. When you open up to people there’s a rawness in the aftermath, like after you rip off a bandaid. Keep detaching from the outcome and breathing through it. You can do this.
Open up to people who deserve to hear your story. Use that razor sharp discernment of yours to determine when someone has earned the right to be let in.
In October last year, my little sister turned 21. Those of you who know her, know she is the most BEAUTIFUL human – inside and out – that you are ever likely to meet. She is one of those people who just radiates kindness wherever she goes. Everyone she meets is better for having known her and having her as my sister is one of my life’s greatest blessings.
To celebrate, we decided to rent a house in the Byron hinterland. Now, this house was ah-mazing. It had stunning panoramic views, a heated infinity pool and spa and an outdoor deck the size of my entire apartment, but despite all of these incredible features, the most interesting part of the entire house, was the master bathroom.
Why, you ask?
Well, this particular bathroom had a shower. And this particular shower was COMPLETELY surrounded by floor to ceiling mirrors.
There was nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. Which ever way you turned, there you were, your entire body illuminated by the light flooding in through a giant glass wall.
Old me would have bolted straight for the hills at the site of this bad boy but instead, I sucked up my courage, stripped off my clothes and faced myself front on, from every possible angle.
For someone who refused to look down in the shower or stand naked in front of the mirror for a solid decade of her life, this was a freaking REVELATION. I was finally falling in love with my body, and it felt amazing.
But this kind of shift didn’t happen overnight.
I know firsthand how debilitating it can be to be at war with your body. I also know how liberating it can be when you fall in love with the skin you’re in… SO I’ve come up with 3 simple challenges you can do RIGHT NOW to start building a relationship with your body founded on respect, joy and unconditional love.
1. Everything starts with gratitude.
Sometimes we forget what an amazing gift we have been given in our bodies, this beautiful vessel for our soul to experience the world around us. Take a moment to think about what a blessing it is to be able to marvel at the beauty of a sunrise, hear the lyrics of your favourite song and communicate openly with those around you.
BODY IMAGE CHALLENGE: Write down 3 parts of your body you are grateful for and why. For example, I am grateful for my voice that lets me share my message with the world.
2. Stop comparing.
It’s hard in our culture to not get caught up in comparisonitis (wishing we looked more like someone else). Remember, another person’s beauty is not the absence of your own and to hide your authentic self from the world is to rob humanity of something that has never been before and will never be again.
You don’t have to be pretty like her, you can be pretty like you.
BODY IMAGE CHALLENGE: Take a look at the people you follow on social media. Do they make you feel more confident, or less? If you feel ‘icky’ every time you scroll through instagram, it might be time to do a social media cleanse and get rid of any accounts that don’t inspire you to feel good about yourself.
3. Redirect your energy.
Take all the energy you spend obsessing over your physical appearance and channel into the things that make you come alive; start a blog, write a novel, start a revolution. I promise, the less time you spend counting calories and the more you focus on doing the things that light you up, the more your life will change from the inside out.
BODY IMAGE CHALLENGE:
Start a creative project. It could be a collection of short stories, a sketch pad full of drawings or a line of your own handmade clutches. Make it a priority and spend time expressing yourself creatively as often as you can. Passion projects are good for the soul and you never know where they might lead 😉
Every day you spend obsessing over your body, is a day you could have spent changing the world.
I know how hard it is, in a world that is constantly trying to tell you that you need to be smaller to be worthy of love and respect and attention. But, I promise, your worth is not dependent on how your bum looks in a pair of jeans, or the size of the dress you wear out on a Saturday night.
Now it’s your turn! What do you love about your body? Let me know in the comments below!
You are on the cusp of something amazing; a promotion, a new relationship, a business that you have been so excited to launch and suddenly your motivation flatlines, you lose all sense of interest and you find yourself spending all day in bed watching Netflix and devouring a block of chocolate. Sound familiar?
When I started turning my life around – practicing yoga and meditation, surrounding myself with amazing people and investing in my evolution – and experiencing the joy, peace and goodness that inevitably followed, it was exciting, but also scary as hell. I found that I could only stay ‘on track’ for a certain amount of time before I took a detour or backslid completely.
Every time things started picking up – my relationships were thriving, work was great, I was eating well – I was so afraid that I would be caught off guard and plunged back into darkness, that I started looking for ways to fuck it up. I’d pick a fight with my parents, go out and right myself off or spend an entire day in front of the TV.
So why the hell, in a culture so obsessed with finding happiness, was I ruining my chances of experiencing it?
Because it feels vulnerable to feel good and were afraid it won’t last. Because positive feelings like joy, happiness, bliss and abundance are seriously powerful and that kind of energetic current can shake up our emotional structures.
It wasn’t until later that I realised I was doing what Gay Hendricks calls ‘Upper Limiting’. Hendricks’ theory suggests that there is a certain level of joy, success and happiness that we can tolerate and if anything happens to supersede that limit, we will – consciously or unconsciously – self sabotage. When our external reality exceeds what we believe we’re worthy of (things get ‘too good to be true’), it’s as if a wire trips in our brain and we short circuit, snapping back to a state of being we feel more comfortable in. They key to overcoming our upper limits, according to Hendricks, is to increase our sense of self worth and thus expand our ideas about what we’re worthy of experiencing.
For some, this work is simple. They can grow effortlessly, making minor adjustments along the way and not thinking too much about it. But for those of us who have known darkness, and are coming – perhaps for the first time in this earthly experience – into light, there is an adjustment period. It takes time to embody this new – higher – state and feel comfortable maintaining it.
When I imagine my journey, I picture a spiral staircase. The work I did at the beginning was getting me from the basement (depression, anxiety, addiction) to the ground floor. From there, I could start to climb. And the higher I go – the more I expand my ideas about what’s possible – the more excited I get about the fact that it really does just keep getting better.
These days I can sit comfortably in euphoria, and as Life rises to meet my expectations, and my dreams and visions continue to manifest at lightning speed, I continue to expand my sense of self worth so I can accomodate these new – lighter – states of being. With each “levelling up”, I check in; Do I believe I’m worthy of experiencing this new level of success, happiness and abundance? Can I sit with these feelings of excitement, gratitude and joy without attaching to or depending on them?
How much joy can you tolerate? Are you avoiding making the necessary changes in your life that you know will elevate you to a new level of joy, success, bliss and abundance because you’re afraid of what that will mean? The following exercise, which I learned from one of my fave people on the planet right now, Peta Kelly, has been as absolute game changer for me:
Rather than consciously – or unconsciously – looking for things that could go wrong, flip it around by asking yourself, “How does it get any better than this?” Eventually, you will re-train your subconscious mind to look for opportunities to expand into new realms of happiness. Couple this with consistently cultivating self love and turning up your worth-o-meter, and there really is no limit to the kind of love, joy, success, bliss and abundance you can experience in this lifetime.
Want to overcome your upper limits so you can expand effortlessly into the infinite potential you know exists inside you? This is one of my zones of genius and one my FAVOURITE areas to work on with my coaching clients. Click here to book your FREE 30 minute consult to see if coaching is right for you. There is no obligation to sign up until you decide what is right for you and you would be amazed at the life-changing breakthroughs you can have in just 30mins of one on one conscious conversation 😉
It is safe for you to be happy. In fact, it’s your birthright. There is no such thing as ‘too good to be true’. You are worthy of the best this life has to offer. Full stop.
How does it get any better than this? I intend to find out.
Feel like you have a message to share with the world but there’s too many people sharing the same message and not enough people to hear it?
I’ve got a word for you.
When 4 per cent of the population becomes fully conscious it will be a tipping point for humanity. It will create a ripple effect that sweeps the entire planet and ushers in a new Golden Age (within our lifetime) unlike ANYTHING we’ve seen before.
4 per cent – that’s 300 million people – People in your family, your social circle, your workplace who are waiting to hear your message from YOU. No one else.
There are more than enough people waiting and ready to evolve and we need every single voice we can get speaking life and Truth over this planet and her people.
What knowledge did you come into this lifetime with? What was hard-wired into your DNA and written on your cells when you were born? Stop wasting time institutionalising your passion and normalising your knowledge. Anchor into your Truth.
What is the message you are here to deliver? Go spread it like wildfire.
I’ve been restless lately. I’ve been so acutely aware of every detail, every movement, every second as it ticks by. It’s one of the joys of being conscious – time moves slowly and you fully arrive in every moment. But rather than enjoying it, I was getting frustrated. It’s too slow. I was getting caught in obsessions, fixating on small things, second guessing every step simply because I had the time to. I sat down with my journal and asked God what was going on. This is what He poured onto the page.
Lose yourself in action. Act, act and act some more. Make mistakes, fall flat on your face. This is the time to take risks. You are so aware of every emotion, thought and spec of dust in the atmosphere around you because you’re sitting still. Stillness has its place but you tend to lose the details when you’re on the fly, hurtling toward your goals at lightning speed.
If you’re tired of looking out the window, speed up the train.
Start charging ahead. Bite off more than you can chew. There is time for idle thought and introspection – indeed in every day – but don’t you long to collapse exhausted into bed at the end of the day completely spent, eyes sparkling and body heavy from running the race I’ve set before you?
I have given you so much youthful energy to expend and you’re holding back, treading cautiously, filled with self doubt and afraid of messing up. Yet I will tell you child, now is the time to mess up. Make a beautiful, ugly, life-altering mess and learn from the pieces you pick up along the way.
You have been chosen. So have many (in fact all) of my children so don’t let your fear of – or craving for – significance hold you back or stop you. You are allowed to crave being seen; standing out, rising up and speaking out – it’s part of your Soul’s purpose for being here. So when the details becomes distracting and being conscious feels like a chore rather than the greatest gift you’ve ever been given, speed up don’t slow down. Throw yourself into everything and see what sticks.
There is space for your mistakes. There is more than enough room for error and there will always be more than enough time to be what you might have been.
Here we are angel! 30 blog posts in 30 days done and dusted. I wanted to take a moment to thank you so much for going on this journey with me. Knowing you would be reading these posts has held me accountable to writing them, and it’s given me so much joy knowing my words have found their way to you. I started this exercise because I was craving discipline around my writing. I also wanted to challenge some long held beliefs I had about the nature of creativity and my role as a writer.
I am so proud of myself for showing up every day (it wasn’t always easy) and I wanted to share what I learnt this past month. I hope it inspires you to take action on your vision, or continue to find ways to express yourself creatively.
• Not everything you write has to be profound. I was caught up in this idea that every blog post had to be a literary masterpiece, and it was stopping me from publishing anything. Your writing doesn’t have to sound amazing to be true. Sometimes you can just tell it like it is and let the concept speak for itself.
• Progress over perfection, always. I had an entire folder of half-finished documents that I’d deemed ‘not ready’ to be published, and my sneaking suspicion was that they would stay there forever if I didn’t do something about it. There will always be another opportunity to add to or edit what you write, the most important thing is that your work is getting out there now.
• I am allowed to fuck up. ALL of the best writers throughout history produced shit work at some stage in their lives, who am I to think I’m any different?
• There is room for my voice. There is so much noise online, and I didn’t want to contribute to the chaos with anything less than my best work. While it’s a great sentiment, the only way I’m going to reach my best is by doing the work.
• It doesn’t matter if fifty other people have said the same thing, you haven’t. And the way you word something, the examples you use or the insight you have might be exactly what someone needs to hear to spark that revelation.
• Write, and the ideas will come. When it comes to creativity, there is always more where that came from. When you commit to writing every single day, you turn on your creative tap. All the ideas that were once stagnant inside your energy field begin to move through you and create this endless stream of creative inspiration. It was really overwhelming at first; I was constantly whipping out the notes app on my phone to jot down sentences and post titles, but it reminded me that there is no shortage of subjects, and the more you create, the more ideas you have.
• Keep showing up. My core desired feeling for this year is ‘magnetic’. Rather than chasing down opportunities and abundance, I am doing the work and trusting that the opportunities that are meant for me will find me. Rather than being the lighthouse running all over the island, I’m turning up the wattage by pouring my heart and soul onto the page. That way, people who are meant to find me can see where I’m at (and much to my delight, they have!)
• Writing isn’t about creating something new, but translating the eternal. When I’m writing, I’m not ‘making up’ ideas, I’m articulating what God/the Universe/my Higher Self wants to communicate through me. I’m not saying that everything I write comes straight from God himself, but my best writing happens when I clear my channel, get out of my own way and let the Muse work her magic through me and onto the page.
I’m going to be back, sooner rather than later. I want to ride the wave of this momentum and see where it takes me. Thank you so much again for being here. Which post was your favourite? What did it bring up for you? Has it inspired you to set your own challenge? I would love to hear from you in the comments below.
I had the most amazing morning at the Lululemon breathe yoga event today. They put on meditation and vinyasa classes in an old church in Mosman and it was the most stunning setting to practice in. I walked in to a hundred mats laid out on the old dusty wooden floors looking up to high ceilings and stained glass windows. My girlfriend had saved me a spot so I plonked down right in the centre of the room, underneath a colourful glass Jesus smiling down at me. It was magic.
After our Vinyasa there was a panel interview that I didn’t plan to stick around for but I’m so glad I did. One thing stood out for me that I just had to share here. It was a discussion about the evolution of modern yoga and of course, given the environment, the conversation quickly moved to the evolution of consciousness happening on the planet right now. One of the men on the panel – who I later found out was Keenan Crisp, co-owner of Power Living – gave an analogy that so beautifully described what we’re experiencing on earth right now.
He asked us to picture a lightbulb in a dark room, not illuminating much but the space around it. As you gradually increase the wattage of the bulb, more and more becomes visible. You begin to see things you couldn’t see before; dust on the floor, debris in the corners. The brighter the bulb, the more you can see. He explained that this is what’s happening on the planet right now. As more of us ‘wake up’ to the truth of who we really are – Divine beings having a human experience – and begin to live from this space of inherent oneness and connection, the collective consciousness becomes so bright that it begins to illuminate even the darkest corners of the world. Gradually, all the things that were once hidden, are hauled into the blinding light of day.
It appears on the outside that things are getting worse, when in reality they are just being uncovered. Corruption has always existed, injustice has always existed, poverty, hatred, greed always existed, but now more than ever, they are part of our conscious awareness. So much so, that we can no longer ignore them.
He spoke about how humanity is entering a Golden Age in the next 20-30 years that has been thousands of years in the making. And when just four percent of the population (300 million people) become fully conscious, it will be a tipping point for civilisation – the effects of which will ripple throughout all of humanity.
We have the opportunity now that the lights have gone on, to choose the mess we want to clean up first. Each of us will choose something that resonates with our soul, and as we continue to use all the gifts, technology and experience at our disposal to solve the problems our world is facing, we increase the wattage of the bulb until the whole world is bathed in light.
I sat there with a massive smile on my face, my body tingling in response to the Truth of what Crisp was saying. This is why so many of us chose to come back in this lifetime, to lead humanity into this new era – to walk the path and to be the examples. There have been many before us; Jesus, Buddha, Krishna and now it’s our turn.
I used to think feeling everything so deeply was a curse, a problem to be solved and a flaw to be ironed out. I rode out unbearable highs and unspeakable lows with resentment, wishing for once everything could just flat line so I could have time to catch my breath. When something good happened, my excitement was always marred by a sense of fear that things would be over as soon as they began and I didn’t think I could take the crippling disappointment, so I shut down. I hardened my heart against the world and resigned myself to feeling half as much of everything; the pain, the disappointment, the joy, the hope.
I was reading a book recently that made me look at all the areas of my life where I still put up these walls to protect myself and thus am not able to experience or express my fullest love. It was called Dear Lover by David Deida and it showed me a pattern that played out almost daily for me; a situation arose that triggered an old wound, memories surfaced and emotions threatened to break through the surface of my calm exterior, so I went into survival mode; protect, contract, escape.
It showed me that “shutting down” is a form of self-sabotage masquerading as a survival tactic. It’s one of the tools our ego uses to make sure we never reach our full potential. It robs us of the depth of human experience by keeping us from every venturing out of our comfort zone.
“Practicing love often means feeling through fear: intentionally opening yourself when you would rather close down, giving yourself when you would rather hide.”
So I wanted to urge you today to stay open.
Opening isn’t a weakness. Opening in deep surrender awakens a strength you never knew you had. The strength to remain present in the face of calamity, the courage to face your pain rather than running from it. Opening feels like a weight off your shoulders, a deep sigh of relief, a sense of connectedness to all things in this world and beyond. It looks like generosity in the face of scarcity, acceptance in response to rejection, love in the face of fear. It’s smiling when someone takes your car space, forgiving the person who betrayed your trust, looking for the message in the mess and knowing you don’t have to navigate this life alone. It’s looking for Divine guidance, it’s searching expectantly for opportunities, it’s being humbled by gratitude and flawed by wonder on a daily basis.
Try it now. Breathe in. Breathe out. Feel your body relax, your walls come down, your heart melt in your chest. Soften. Forgive. Let go.
Ask yourself, are you fully present with the person in front of you, or distracted by your own internal dialogue? Are you meeting them in their pain or closing down to protect yourself? Are you opening to receive the blessings being bestowed upon you, or hiding beneath layers of insecurity? Whenever you catch yourself in judgement, anger or fear and you can feel the walls closing in around your heart, I challenge you to stay open. Stay open when every fibre of your being is telling you to shut down. Don’t eat, shop or drink to numb the experience. Stop indulging in distraction, masking your pain with cynicism and your anger with apathy. Allow yourself to feel (it’s why we’re here).
Let your heart be broken by the pain of the world so that it will spur you into action; let the rage of injustice fuel your flames of purpose, let the unbearable lightness of gratitude crack your heart open to even greater depths of love. I know your mind is worried you won’t survive, that the pain will be too much for your fragile constitution. But I promise – though it may bring you to your knees – it will not be your undoing, you are made of stronger stuff.
When I finished the book, I made a promise to myself and I would encourage anyone seeking a richer and more graceful life experience to make this promise too,
“I will soften. I will keep my heart open to love. I will allow myself to receive with gratitude all that is put before me. I will risk hurt, disappointment and rejection, for I know I cannot guard myself against pain without numbing myself to joy. Even when it hurts, even when it’s the hardest thing in the world to do, I will stay open to the love that is flooding through me in every moment.”
Thank you so much for being a part of this journey. This is so much more than a community, it’s a revolution of consciousness and together we are creating the world we want to live in by becoming the people we were meant to be. I’m so proud of you, and I’m honoured that you’re here.
So I got Tinder. I’m landlocked (20mins from the beach with no car = landlocked) and one of my aunties is really unwell, so I think it was an attempt to distract myself for a little while when I don’t have the ocean to wash all my worries away.
First of all, it’s super overwhelming. Girls if you’ve been on it for a while, you will have to tell me how you do it. I don’t know about other areas but North Sydney does not have a shortage of insanely good looking single men. Seriously, some of these guys look like they just stepped of a freaking Paris runway.
I’ve been on it before at different stages of my life, and every time is the same. Excruciating small talk, life story in 150 characters, half-assed drinks invitation, repeat.
I lasted about 48 hours this time around.
I deleted it this morning and had the most amazing self care day watching my favourite Woody Allen movie instead (Vicky Cristina Barcelona in case you were wondering) in between meditation and naps in the sunshine.
As I was walking out the door this afternoon, I had my headphones in and music blaring, dappled sunlight was filtering through the red and brown leaves and I got this surge of genuine happiness. It’s a feeling I get more and more these days that I haven’t really found a name for yet (if you have one let me know). It’s a combination of intense gratitude, wonder and pure joy where you just look around at your life and go, ‘Holy shit, I can’t believe I get to experience this.’
It was so different to the superficial spasms I’d been getting all morning (dopamine firing in my brain) that it got me thinking about the different kind of ‘highs’ we experience and if they are all created equal.
I used to be addicted to compliments. I fished for them like they were a food source. I loved the rush of adrenaline I got when a new guy showed interest in me, and would mould myself to be exactly what he wanted, because I was terrified that if he saw the ‘real me’, the attention would go away. These little rushes of adrenaline are worlds apart from the deep abiding joy I feel almost daily now so I decided to split them up into Ego highs and Soul highs.
Ego highs are a response to someone else’s acknowledgement or recognition. Soul highs come from within.
Ego highs only last a minute, soul highs stay with you for the rest of the day.
Ego highs keep you on the hamster wheel, always looking for the next hit. Soul highs sustain you.
Ego highs keep you small and dependent, scared of losing the attention you crave. Soul highs inspire you and set you free.
Ego highs stimulate your body. Soul highs penetrate your being.
Ego highs are a means to an end. Soul highs are the means AND the end.
Ego highs wreak havoc and create drama in your life. Soul highs make you a magnet for your deepest desires.
Ego highs leave you feeling anxious about what’s next. Soul highs make you excited about what’s possible.
There’s no judgement attached to any of this, it’s just an observation about how different behaviours produce different outcomes. I’ve experienced both and now it’s up to me to choose based on who I want to be. I know that in the long term ego highs leave me starving, so I’m going to commit to doing things that feed my soul. The investment is greater, but so is the reward.
“We walk the earth with our eyes turned skyward, for there we have been so we long to return.”
Leonardo Da Vinci
For as long as I can remember, whenever I was in pain or upset I would cry out, “I want to go home”. I could be sitting in my bedroom in the house I grew up in, and yet I longed for a sense of familiarity, belonging and union with something greater than myself that I knew existed but couldn’t remember where. It wasn’t until much later that I realised I was longing for a place that wasn’t of this earth.
“The fact that we feel homesick for a place we’ve never been, is proof that our True home must be in heaven.”
Across all faiths is this underlying idea that we are not just our physical bodies, we are in fact spiritual beings having a human experience. And part of what we’re doing here is trying to reach enlightenment by experiencing, realising and living as the Soul while still in the body. We transcend the physical in order to access the Truth of who we really are.
We incarnate from the metaphysical world of the infinite into the physical world of the relative in order to experience who we really are, in the face of that which we’re not. In our true home in Heaven, we exist in a constant state of Love. Love is all that is. Yet in order to experience the fullness of that Love (which we long to do), we have to go somewhere where the opposite exists. It’s like living your whole life in a tropical paradise that’s a balmy 30 degrees every day. You don’t actually know how warm it is until you visit somewhere with snow. When you leave your island home and find yourself in the cold, you suddenly have a reference point by which to measure the temperature.
At the highest level, God seeks expansion through experience. If God is the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end (All That Is), we are the manifestations of His/Her desire to experience what He/She already knows. We are enacting Source’s journey back to Love. At the Soul level, each of us is here to experience whatever our Soul wants to know about itself. For example, I might know that I am unconditionally forgiving, yet how could I experience that unless I had someone to forgive? My Soul knows that she is pure Light and radiant Truth, yet it is only in the face of darkness that she can see how bright she really shines.
In order to have the full experience, we had to forget the Love and beauty of the realm from which we came, so we adopt what Neale Donald Walsch calls, “the amnesia of the Divine.”
We wander around with a God-shaped hole in our heart, desperately hoping to catch even a glimpse of the peace, joy and love our Soul knows it is capable of experiencing in this lifetime. We are invested in forgetfulness, buying into the illusion without remembering why we created it. Unsure where to look, most of us settle for cheap imitations; the rush of orgasm, the thrill of an affair, the temporary euphoria of substance-induced highs. We become addicted to the imitations, unaware that the Source of all joy, wisdom and understanding is already buried deep within us. It’s like scavenging outside for crumbs when there’s a feast waiting at home.
And that’s what it means to ‘wake up’, to be born again, to receive the gift of salvation; to be free from the illusion that this is all there is, to experience that which we already know. It’s both the purpose and meaning of our lives, it’s who we are and why we’re here. Life is therefore not a process of learning anything, but of remembering what we already know.
The ‘fall’ of Adam and Eve wasn’t about temptation or sin, it’s a metaphor for the desire to experience duality. When Eve ate from the tree of knowledge of Good and Evil, she didn’t cause the downfall of mankind, she began the greatest journey any of us has ever embarked upon.
I spent so many years searching for the sense of security, peace and connection that I knew was my birthright, and the only experience that has ever come close is what I feel in when I’m in the presence of God, when my hands are outstretched, my heart is open and my voice is crying out for Him. I can taste the sweetness that nothing of this world – not the sweetest food, the best orgasm or the shiniest medal – could ever rival, I feel a peace that no house, car or relationship has ever been able to provide, and I catch a glimpse of Who I Really Am – a being so Divine, so Holy, so Pure and so innocent that I hardly recognise her as myself.
I know you feel it to. The longing, the restlessness, the hunger. You’ve searched for it in all the wrong places and it’s lead you to nothing but dark paths and dead ends. Now it’s time to come home. To Yourself, to your Truth, to the place inside you that remembers what it’s like to be infinite.
“My soul is from elsewhere, I’m sure of that, and I intend to end up there.”
It’s no secret that I’m a massive fan of Gen Y and the work we’re doing in the world. However, I also know that’s not a super popular opinion, so I’ve decided to make a list of all the things I love about millennials and how we’re changing the world. Feel free to add your own in the comments!
One of the things I love most about millennials is that we crave authenticity. Millennials don’t so superficial. We can smell BS from a mile away, which is why we are far more likely to respond to people (and brands) that share their failures, flaws and behind the scenes outtakes rather than just a glossy highlight reel.
We demand transparency. We are a generation of whistleblowers and watchdogs and we want to know what’s going on behind closed doors. And, thanks to one of my favourite trends of the past decade, ‘hactivism’ (using hacking technology to access previously top secret information), if there’s something untoward happening in our governments, media or corporations, we’re going to find out about it.
We value community. The age of individualism is over, and millennials are set on re-connecting with our tribal roots. We know that life means nothing without people to share it, so we are harnessing the power of the internet to create both virtual and in-person communities that enrich and support us.
We’re engaging in conscious relationships. We no longer have to couple up for economic or emotional security, so our relationships have become vehicle through which we experience personal growth and transformation. We’re no longer staying in relationships that deplete or depress us, we’re falling in love with ourselves first, then finding someone who magnifies our strengths and has a vision that complements our own.
We’re passionate and purpose driven. What some have labelled entitlement is really just a desire to do meaningful work in the world. We don’t want to prop up industries that aren’t in alignment with our values for the sake of a paycheque, we want to use our skills and talents to make difference to people’s lives. When millennials know the reason behind the work we’re doing, where it fits in the bigger picture and how it’s going to help people and the planet, we become unstoppable.
We’ve re-defined success. While our parents ran around ticking boxes and accumulating posessions (degree, house, car, stable job, spouse, 2.5 kids), we are creating our own ideas about what it means to be successful, and it’s largely based on how we feel, rather than what we have. We couldn’t care less if you have a Kate Spade handbag or a holiday house, we’re more interestedin how you feel when your head hits the pillow each night.
We value collaboration over competition. We’ve busted the myth that for us to succeed, someone else has to fail. We have adopted an abundance mindset and tapped into the incredible power that comes from working with – rather than against – one another.
We’re also entrepreneurial. If we can’t find a job we want, we’ll create one.
We’ve taken our education into our own hands. We realised pretty quickly that thirteen years of school left us completely ill-equipped to handle the challenges of the modern world, so we seek information outside traditional avenues. We read, listen to podcasts, watch documentaries and take full advantage of the global library of information at our fingertips. As a result, we are far more conscious than any generation that has come before. We want to know how our clothes are made and where our food comes from. We question why we do the things we do and we’re taking greatest tools at our disposal; our time, talent and money and investing them in companies and causes that are in alignment with our values.
We’re inclusive and open minded. Access to a vast spectrum of different world views and the ability to connect with people regardless of their geographical location has awakened us to the power of perception. Thanks to blog posts, Youtube videos and social media rants from all over the world, we have developed the ability to change lenses with ease. And the moment we adopt another’s perspective, we understand pretty quickly that we what we have in common is greater than anything that separates us.
We’re also less attached to absolutes than ever before. We intuitively sense that nothing is ever black and white, right and wrong are relative terms, and that opposing Truths can exist simultaneously in this world of Divine dichotomy. Rigid identity structures like religion, race and political affiliations are becoming less appealing as we crave the freedom to explore new ideas and create our own ideologies.
We’re infinitely creative. How many young people do you know with a blog/instagram/podcast or Youtube channel? Gen Y are making the transition from consumers to producers by using the countless platforms at our disposal to bring our ideas in the world. We know that having outlets for our creativity makes us more productive, peaceful and ultimately more fulfilled.
We’re not waiting to do what we love. Say what you will about the age of instant gratification, butone thing millennials won’t wait for is happiness. We’ve decided that working for two decades in a job we hate isn’t worth the retirement package, so rather than postponing joy or sacrificing years of our lives, we’re finding ways to travel, create and explore now, while earning a living doing what we love.
We’re doing the work.As we become more aware of the connection between the thoughts we think and the reality we create, many of us are seeking out coaches, healers, mentors and psychologists to let go of limiting beliefs and expand our ideas about what’s possible for our lives. We’re taking responsibility for our emotional baggage and dealing with it before we pass it on to our children (You’re welcome, future kids).
I wholeheartedly believe each generation is equipped with the exact skills, talents and experiences they need to solve the challenges that they face. Just like generations gone before us, Gen Y are learning from the mistakes of the past and dream wildly about the kind of future we can create. I am grateful every single day that I get to be a part of a generation that, in the face of challenges unlike anything the world has seen before, have developed a new resilience, tenacity and refusal to be disempowered or go back to sleep. We are asking the right questions, we are leaning in instead of pulling back, and we let our anger spur us into action.These are the kind of people I am surrounded by every day. If this doesn’t sound like the kind of millennials you know, maybe it’s time to become one 😉
Okay so it’s 11.21pm and I still haven’t published today’s blog post. Why? Because I just finished binge watching the entire first season of Girlboss. Thirteen episodes…in a day. Worth it? Fuck yes.
I had the pleasure of hearing Sophia Amoruso (the founder of Nasty Gal) speak at a Business Chicks event late last year. The news of her company going under had just emerged the day before and yet she insisted on showing up on stage to share her story. I was blown away with not only how courageous she was, but how passionately she spoke about her business and spreading the message of female empowerment through entrepreneurship. (And also kind of impressed about the fact that she started a company at 22 that turned over $300 million in under a decade).
The series captures perfectly the wave of female entrepreneurship taking the world by storm in the last ten years. It’s smart, funny, real, and the coming of age story millennials have been waiting for (Sophia has a Nokia brick, an old school apple mac and plenty of other throwbacks reminiscent of the 90’s).
It covers themes that we can ALL relate to; self doubt, fear (oh my god what if no one buys my stuff?), perfectionism, and the romantic connotations of going it alone that have no place in reality. It also depicts beautifully the challenges of maintaining healthy relationships while starting a business. Sophia is killing it online, while her personal life is going to shit.
It’s the one Netflix series I can actually say leaves me feeling inspired, rather than guilty AF for spending four hours in front of my laptop. It’s reminded me that to be a #Girlboss sometimes means pissing people off, and that’s okay. You don’t have to be super accommodating – apologetic even – all of the time. Not everyone is going to like what you do, and not everyone has to. Sophia has these random outbursts where she punches walls and yells at people and those scenes resonated so deeply with the part of me that just wants to go crazy and destroy shit occasionally (Like I wrote about yesterday).
It’s also a reminder for me to stop taking this stuff so seriously and do it my way. Who cares if your website isn’t perfect, who gives a fuck if you don’t have a sales funnel? (I also want to start saying Fuck, you know, more than I already do). The whole point of this life is to do it on your terms, and when a woman decides to rip up the rule book and follow her gut, you know she means business.
As a teenager I would have random outbursts. I oscillated between unbearable sadness and uncontrollable rage. I went from being on the verge of tears to searing hot flashes of anger in a heartbeat. I was a tsunami of destruction, lashing out at everyone, leaving nothing but pain in my wake. I hated seeing the way people around me suffered, but I didn’t know how to stop. The turmoil inside of me needed to find a way out – and the judgement and criticism I fired at them was nothing compared to the hostility I felt toward myself.
Growing up I was argumentative, but I was also articulate. “Because I said so,” was never enough to satisfy my enquiring mind and I would launch into hour long tirades about the injustice of not being allowed to sleepover at a friends house or go to a party.
I signed myself up for debating in year seven and loved coming up with counter arguments to highlight the flaws in the oppositions case
When I was twelve, I didn’t agree with a new development project being built on native bushland in the suburb next door so I gathered a group of my closest friends and made a documentary about the danger to local wildlife. Construction went ahead (shocking) and months later when we went for a family lunch at the site, I made a scene and refused to get out of the car.
I never shied away from confrontation and I was always the first to speak my mind when something didn’t sit well with me.
And then suddenly I discovered it wasn’t okay for me to be angry or argumentative anymore. My outbursts were met with condescension; Don’t be such a drama queen or derision, What are you PMS-ing or something? I learnt that anger was unfeminine, and being loveable usually meant being agreeable.
As a society we are uncomfortable with anger in women, quick to label them “hormonal” or “crazy” and we are afraid of anger in our men. Generally speaking, men’s anger manifests outward as violence and mass destruction. Women on the other hand, turn their fury inward where it becomes self hatred, self criticism, self harm. We suppress our anger and bury our frustration beneath layers of decorum, in an attempt to be peaceful, calm, together, poised. We internalise our fury, either waiting to deal with it when we’re alone or never dealing with it at all.
And yet anger is the siren call of injustice, alerting us to the places in our lives and in our world that need to change. The fiery anger of a woman is one of the most powerful forces on the planet. The fierce exasperation of a woman scorned, a mother threatened, a Goddess wronged, is what sparks revolutions and ignites fires of transformation.
“She is not a nag, she is an oracle.”
When I started on this journey of growth and evolution, I thought that meant renouncing anger all together. I went from having random outbursts to keeping everything to myself, breathing through the knots in my stomach and saving passionate rants for my journal. Fast forward a few years and I have come to realise that keeping everything bottled up is just as dangerous as lashing out, and anger – when used correctly – can be an incredible power source.
Rage stems from our inability to accept things the way they are. And that’s a beautiful thing, because it means we are acutely aware of what needs to change. The challenge is re-directing the anger from ourselves – where it manifests as self-destruction – and using it to destroy the systems and structures that no longer serve the world. We need to give ourselves permission to feel angry, upset, frustrated. From these emotions stems radical acts of bravery, kindness and unconditional love.
We need to harness our anger and use it to change the world.
What makes you so angry you could scream? Below the petty surface drama of your boyfriend’s sloppiness or your bosses inadequacy, what are you really mad about? Misogyny? Inequality? Apathy? Dishonesty?
Stop apologising for your outbursts, as though you have no right to feel enraged. Dig deep into the knots in your stomach and unravel them with an oration of truth. Rant if you must, destroy what no longer serves the world and then in the wake of your destruction, rebuild with honest intentions.
“Little fierce hearts get called stubborn, argumentative, loud, obnoxious and out of control. They smash through boundaries and continuously answer back. Little fierce hearts are changing the world, they need to question everything, including your authority…They are the force of raging flames and it is our job to direct those flames without extinguishing the fire.”
Your anger is a gift. Wield it skilfully, direct it accurately and stoke it regularly, and that fire will save the world.
If you ask me, having an authentic and intentional relationship with something greater than ourselves is the number one key to a meaningful and fulfilling life. I can say with confidence that Spirituality saved my life and without it, I wouldn’t be here today (as in, alive and breathing on this planet).
I used to think that religion was for people who couldn’t deal with the fact that life was finite. Today, my relationship with God is the most important thing in my life. I pray, meditate, read Angel cards and go to Church.
After spending years of my life using alcohol, sex, achievement, gossip, food (and anything else you can imagine) to try and fill the void inside me, Spirituality (well, God) has fulfilled me in a way that nothing else has, and delivered me into greater joy than I ever thought possible. I have had so many undeniably Divine experiences in my life since I opened my mind (my heart was already there, waiting to come home) to the possibility of God, it’s hard to imagine life without the miracles. And yet, there was a time when I thought it must be too good to be true, that there was no such thing as an all-knowing, all-loving Source and if there was, it wouldn’t want anything to do with me.
Today I wanted to share the story of how the Light found me in the middle of a Brisbane nightclub. And how, after that night, I went from avowed atheist to Spirit junkie, totally captivated by crystals, crucifixes and the life of Mary Magdalene.
I use the word God because it resonates with me. For some of us, the word itself holds a lot of pain and negative associations, and it might feel better for you talk to The Universe or pray to your Angels. The relationship with the Divine looks different for everyone but without it, we don’t even scratch the surface of the uninhibited joy our soul is capable of experiencing here on earth.
“Make your own Bible. Collect all the words and sentences that in your readings have been to you like the blast of a trumpet.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
In this video I share my journey into spirituality, and 3 tips to help you cultivate your very own spiritual practice.
What really excites me about the time we’re living in now, is that our generation is ushering in a new wave of spirituality that is closer to the Truth than any that have come before it. It’s transparent, accessible and all-inclusive. We’ve stopped looking for God outside of ourselves (in people, places and ‘things’) and we are discovering that He (or She) has been within us all along.
I’ll be sharing more about this topic as I continue to delve deeper into the meaning, wonder and awe-inspiring Love of this Supernatural life.
Following your dreams is scary is hell, and sometimes the road less travelled gets lonely. Today I wanted to share some examples of what happens when following your passion pays off to inspire you on your journey.
For the last two years I’ve been front row at an event called #Radlivin, the creative genius of Liv O’Connor (Don’t Tell Summer). Liv’s idea was to get a whole bunch of game changers together to share our ideas, collaborate and get insanely inspired to live our dream lives now. I walked in last year and immediately felt that sense of tribe. Every one had that combination of blind ambition, wild optimism and fierce desire to make a difference in the world that I live for (AND most of us were under 30).
Everyone at both events spoke about their work with such passion, energy and pure love it brought me to tears. The thing is, we all deserve to feel that way about the work we do in the world. We all have that dream, that vision, that idea within us that is bursting to be brought to life, all we need is the courage to make it happen. I walked out of there (after jamming with Ziggy Alberts on the D-floor) with a fire in my heart and so many ideas that I couldn’t WAIT to bring into the world.
I compiled a list of the epic human we got to hear from. Check out their websites, get involved, spread the word and let them inspire the hell out of you.
For all the surfers, sufferers and survivors, One Wave are a non-profit surf community raising awareness for mental health. Grant and his awesome team started surfing in their suits to get people talking about mental health out in the water and now hold Fluro Friday events up and down the coast.
One Night Stand
Founder Jamie Green was left sleeping on his cafe floor after his fourth business went under, instead of giving up he used it as inspiration for his next project; tackling youth homelessness. Every purchase of One Night Stand sleepwear is a meal for a young person sleeping rough.
Created by 2 teenagers on the sunshine coast, Tidal highlights young creatives (think surfers, skaters, writers, photographers and artists) while raising raise funds and awareness for ocean conservation.
Thank you Water
Thank you uses profits from the sale of their bottled water, food, soap and skincare range to provide life-changing services for the 1.4 billion in our world people living in poverty.
Clean Coast Collective Making sustainability sexy, Nat and Dan are two insanely good looking humans on a mission to rid our oceans of plastic and help us transition from single-use materials (think coffee cups, straws and plastic bags and water bottles) to re-useable options.
What struck me most about these legends was that very few of them had a business background, all they had was an idea and a fierce desire to make a difference in the world. They stopped caring what other people thought, re-wrote the rules and did things their own way.
If someone was to write a biography about your life, would you be happy with how it read? Life is way to freaking short to be in a job you hate. Stop waiting for the “right time” (there’s no such thing) and you’ll never feel ready to go after what you really want. Jump, and the net will appear.
If you have an idea you are bursting to make a reality but there’s a whole lotta fear and self doubt holding you back (What will people think? Can I really do this? Where do I start?) shoot me a message so we can brainstorm ideas and get you in action! Nothing lights me up more than seeing young people creating epic shit for the world.
These last few months I have been learning how to receive.
Asking for help is one thing, actually being open to receive it is another. How many of us spend our whole lives practicing giving love to others and yet aren’t able to receive it when it shows up right in front of us? We shrug off kind words, refuse gifts, deny favours and why? Do we feel unworthy of receiving or do we want to keep the scales constantly tipped in our favour?
“Until we can receive with an open heart, we’re never really giving with an open heart. When we attach judgment to receiving help, we knowingly or unknowingly attach judgment to giving help.”
For those of us whose life’s purpose involves service, it can be terrifying to open ourselves up to receiving help from someone else, especially when we don’t have anything to offer in return. So much of our identity is tied up in being a giver, a pillar of strength and stability that people can rely on. We pride ourselves on being able to “do it on our own”, even when we’re at breaking point and can’t do much at all.
As often happens when there is a lesson to be learnt, I recently found myself in a situation where receiving help became one of two options. I could either take graciously from those around me, or risk losing everything I had worked so hard to build. My pride reared up almost immediately, creating an internal war that wreaked havoc within me for weeks. I realised I had associated needing help with weakness, when in fact knowing when to reach out shows great wisdom and strength.
It’s only in the last few days (after an incredible soul mentoring session with this Divine woman) that I have begun to relax into the energy of receiving and allow myself to be held and supported by others without stubbornness getting in the way.
The energy of receiving is deeply Feminine (guys, before you freak out – we ALL have both Masculine and Feminine energies within us that we must balance and integrate if we want to experience greater wholeness).
Unlike Masculine spirituality which directs energy outwards, Feminine spiritual practice is grounded, earth-based and Goddess-centred. So in order to connect back in with my feminine energy, I’ll be spending more time in nature, more time connecting with my body (starting with my first time at No Lights No Lycra tonight!) and more time tuning into and trusting my own intuition.
My current mantra is,
“I deserve to receive”
Going it alone has romantic connotations, but what could be more beautiful than the Sacred Union of two perfectly balanced halves of the whole Divine dichotomy? If we want to be able to give from a place of abundance, we must also learn how to receive freely without judgement or shame.
Do you have trouble receiving love in all its glorious forms? Let me know in the comments below. I can’t wait to hear about your experiences. Have a beautiful week my little game-changer. Remember, to ask for help is an act of bravery, to receive it is an act of love. You don’t have to carry the weight of the world alone.
A few years ago I was asking this exact question. I had just done a ruthless cull of my social circle and there were very few people left. I was coming home to myself and strengthening my self love muscle, but I felt really alone. I spent most Saturday nights at home with my journal, ignoring all the texts and booty calls coming through on my phone, ‘Come out tonight.’ ‘Are you out?’ ‘Where are youuuu???’ until eventually they stopped coming.
Once I had a sense of who I wanted to be and the kind of life I wanted to live, I started seeking out experiences that my ideal self would love. I looked at the kind of people I wanted to be, where they hung out and what they did for fun.
I started going to events and workshops by myself. I got over the stories that told me, ‘I’m not good enough’ ‘I’m not there yet’ ‘I won’t fit in’ and I showed up. I sat in the front row and I took notes from people who were living the life I wanted to live.
While I was there I spoke to people. I asked for their number, I added them on Facebook, I realised they were just as hungry for connection as I was. I reached out to girls on social media and offered to buy them a green juice. Not with the expectation that I would get anything from them, but with a genuine desire to get to know them on a deeper level. The Universe honoured my bravery and placed the exact people I needed on my path, but I had to show up first.
These days I have to pinch myself when I think about the incredible humans who surround, love and support me. They truly are the next generation of conscious leaders and game-changers and I am so grateful to be doing life with them.
Here are a few ways I called in my tribe;
1.One of the best ways to attract amazing people is to be one! What does your ideal friendship look like? What qualities do you want in a friend? Now take a good hard look in the mirror, are you embodying those qualities yourself in every area of your life? If you want a bestie who is generous, start shouting coffee more often! If you want someone who listens to you, become the best goddam listener on the planet. Think about all the qualities you want in your new friendship group and do your best to embody those qualities in everything you think, say and do.
2. Let go of the friendships that no longer serve you. When your energy is tied up in maintaining draining and toxic relationships, you don’t have room for new people to come in. When you stop saying yes to the people who bring out the worst in you, you make space for new people and experiences to come into your life.
3. Be okay with being alone. If you don’t like your own company, you won’t trust anyone else who does and you’ll most likely sabotage your relationships when they reach a certain point. Learn to love spending time with yourself – fully experience all of your amazing qualities and see how wonderful you are to be around, then invite certain people whose energy aligns with yours to share in some of the magic.
One of the reasons we decided to host Unbound, was to give women the chance to meet their soul sisters. I know how great it feels to be in a room full of like-minded women and strike up a conversation with someone you feel like you’ve known for lifetimes. This is your chance to get amongst people who get you and inspire you to become the person you want to be.
I’m going to keep it short and sweet today and share with you a mindset shift that has been rocking my world lately. It’s called ‘impressing vs empowering’ and it’s seriously life changing stuff.
It all started with a gentle nudge from my soul as I was about to take the millionth photo of my day at the beach to post on snapchat. I was fiddling around with different angles and trying to get the perfect lighting when it asked me,
What are you doing? Are you trying to impress people, or empower them?
At some point in our lives, we are going to come to a crossroads where we have to decide if our life’s purpose is to impress people or empower them. Are you going to spend your precious time on this planet accumulating wealth, possessions and accolades in order to gain the attention and approval of others, or are you going to quadruple your impact by equipping and inspiring people to reach their full potential?
When you post on social media or have a conversation with a friend, are you trying to make yourself seem important or genuinely aiming to be of service? Do people feel jealous, insecure or inferior around you, or are you constantly building them up to believe that anything you have achieved, they can too?
Empowering comes from a place of self love. It requires you to humble yourself before others by admitting you don’t have it all figured out. It means teaching from the floor rather than the stage. It means sharing all of yourself – not just the sparkly bits. When I shifted the focus from impressing people with my appearance and achievements to empowering them with my energy, a massive weight was lifted off my shoulders. I don’t have to be perfect, I just have to be me. I don’t have to have it all together,I just have to be share my truth. Now I spend less time worrying about how I’m going to be perceived and instead focus on infusing everything I do with the intention to uplift, enlighten and inspire those around me.
As leaders of the next generation, it’s up to us to be the example for our parents, children, friends and tribes and as we all know,
True leaders don’t create followers, they create leaders.
When all is said and done, do you want fans or friends? Do you want to be revered or remembered? Because here’s what I know for sure; a life lived in the pursuit of accolades is soon forgotten, but when you live your life with the intention to empower others, the legacy you create will live on forever.
Good morning sunshine. I wanted to get really honest this morning, for a change 😉 You might be surprised to know that this ‘happiness’ stuff doesn’t come naturally to me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s the most natural thing in the world, but it doesn’t just ‘happen’, for me at least. I have to work at it, every single day.
I have a sneaking suspicion that if I let myself, I would be the most depressed human on the planet. But I’ve been there, and it wasn’t fun – so I choose happiness instead. How? By committing to joy every single morning.
By committing to self-care rituals, morning meditations and knowing I don’t have to listen to the negative voices in my head. By engaging in pursuits I adore and asking how I can use the gifts I have been given to serve other people and make their journey a little lighter. By recognising that loneliness has nothing to do with the people around you but the love within you.
By acknowledging that if I feel like shit, there’s an underlying reason – there’s something I’m not saying, some emotion I’m not feeling or some thought or idea I’m not creatively expressing.
By asking myself, ‘Where is there stagnant energy trapped in my body?’ and then doing yoga, dancing or some other form of movement, to release and shake it out.
By asking myself, ‘What am I not creatively expressing?’ then sitting down with my journal and writing until my fingers bleed.
By asking myself, ‘Where am I ignoring my intuition?’ and then getting on my meditation cushion for half an hour.
By asking myself, ‘What do I need to let go of?’ and then having a really good cry on the lounge room floor.
This morning I started by asking, ‘What energy am I feeling that isn’t my own?’ I’m mourning for the families in Syria at the moment. I’ve only caught glimpses of the news and what I’ve seen on social media but it’s enough to make my heart ache. If I don’t acknowledge that, or understand that, it seems like I’m sad for no reason. (I’m on holiday in one of the most beautiful places in the country, how can I possibly feel sad?) But that’s why it’s so important to go deeper. To face head on whatever emotion you’re feeling and lean into rather than pulling away from it.
It’s called spiritual practice because you have to work at it, every single day. Is it easy? No. Is it worth it? Abso-fucking-lutely.
This post was originally sent out as a love letter to my tribe. Not on the list? You can join here.
Last night two of my beautiful girlfriends wandered into my mama’s house, barefoot and hair wet from the ocean and we sat outside under the stars talking about all the things we’d missed in each others lives.
I am always amazed at how conversations can go from surface stuff to baring your heart and soul so quickly. One minute we were talking about a guy one of us is seeing and the next we’re swapping stories about subliminal messages of self worth we received from our parents growing up. Our conversation flowed seamlessly from stories of travelling across India and how to deal with a growing third world population, to our new resolve to eliminate the word ‘should’ from our vocabularies.
But one thing stuck with me, even as we held each other tightly at the door, giggling with the excitement of being in each others presence for just a few hours, making plans to see each other again before another year had flown by. It’s something I had heard and spoken about many times before, but the weight of it had never really hit me like it did in that moment. It was the concept of self belief.
We spoke about how everything we had ever accomplished in our lives had first started with the belief that we could do it. And everything we wanted to accomplish but hadn’t, was hindered by the fact that we questioned our own capability.
I realised in that moment that the only difference between those who were doing what they really wanted to do, and those who weren’t was the belief that they could. Self belief was either programmed into them from a young age or they took the time to cultivate it within themselves as they got older.
The fact is that our subconscious beliefs influence our reality and we are continuously creating situations in which what we believe is proven to us over and over again. Take your beliefs out and examine them. What do you believe to be true, about life? About the world? About yourself? If you assume life is a struggle to be endured, it will be. If you believe you were born to make manifest the glory of God within you, you will.
If the belief that you can do anything wasn’t instilled in you as a child, start now.
Start by telling yourself you are worthy and capable, even if the words feel foreign in your mouth. Visualise landing your dream job, write your acceptance speech, speak about your goals and visions for the future as though you have already achieved them. “I’m thinking about…” becomes, “I am going to…”, “I want to…” becomes, “I will…” and watch as your external circumstances rise to meet your subconscious conviction. You become aware of opportunities you never saw before, you say yes where you would have said no and you stop sabotaging your chances of success.
As I watched the girls leave, arms wrapped around one another, I caught myself saying a silent prayer for them. It’s the prayer I have for you too, every single day. I pray that you would know your greatness and experience it often, that you would realise the infinite beauty, light and wisdom that exists within you and that you would believe wholeheartedly in your ability to bring it forth into the world.
Welcome back! One more sleep until the long week end kicks off. Who’s excited? Arrived in Noosa today with my mama and sister and we’ve had the most perfect afternoon. A sunset swim, dinner at Bistro C and drinks at a super fun mexican-style pizza bar. I’m currently sitting on the balcony of our hotel, under the most stunning full moon and to be honest I’m about ready to fall asleep (got up at 5.30am for yoga) but I had to share this piece of advice with you first.
When I think about the best advice I’ve ever received, there are certainly a few contenders, but this one in particular has been on my heart lately and I have a feeling it’s going to connect with you. It’s from the ineffable Marie Forleo and it goes like this;
Start before you’re ready.
Whatever you’re dreaming about, whatever you’re planning, whatever it is that you really want to do, start before you’re ready.
Because the thing is, the timing will never be perfect, you’ll never have all your ducks in a row and I don’t know a single ‘successful’ person who ever felt totally equipped to go after their dream.
You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.
Just start where you are and do what you can and one by one, the next steps reveal themselves to you. As long as you keep following the guidance of your heart, you will always end up exactly where you’re meant to be.
I know you have vision for your life and the world, and you don’t need to wait one more second before you bring it to life. Whatever it is you have to offer, there are people who need it – and they don’t care if it’s perfect or pretty, they just care that it exists.
What’s the one thing you’re going to start right now? Let me know in the comments below.
Is there any better way to spend an afternoon than cuddling up with a good docco? Back when I had Tinder, my bio said that my idea of a perfect date would be documentaries and chill. I love being transported to another world, learning about something I knew nothing about and having endless topics of conversation to bring up with friends. This is a compilation of my favourites from the last year or so, most of them are on Netflix or Youtube so grab your laptop and work your way through. I can’t wait to hear what you think!
An honest indictment of the state of modern consumer culture and the impact it’s having on our internal psyche and external environment. Funnily enough just a few weeks after I watched it, I packed my whole life into storage and have been living out of a carry-on suitcase for the last month. I guess you can say the Universe thought I needed a practical lesson to back up the theory. I have been SO much more conscious about what I buy since watching this and totally surprised at how little stuff I actually need to be happy. Check it out on Netflix!
9. Requiem for the American Dream
The American Dream is moving further and further out of reach for most US families with 14.5% of the population living below the poverty line. This film looks at the growing inequality between the classes of society in the US (and Western world as a whole), who is responsible and what we can do to fix it. Check it out on Netflix!
8. Audrie and Daisy
A timely look into the world of sexual consent, cyber bullying and the dangers of small town rhetoric, this docco actually inspired this post about my own experience being the centre of a nude photo scandal at 16. Check it out on Netflix!
7. Inside Job
A fascinating break down of the 2008 global financial collapse. Easy to understand, a struggle to comprehend. Really interesting as a case study for what’s happening with the Australian housing market at the moment. Check it out on Netflix!
A lesser known fact about me is that I’m actually a massive conspiracy theorist. Yup, New World Order, aliens in the centre of the earth, 9/11 was inside job – the lot. This was one of the first films to send me down the rabbit hole and open my eyes to the real power players running our financial, political, educational and religious institutions.
5. The Human Microchipping Agenda
Another eye-opener. If you haven’t heard about human micro-chipping, you can read about it online. There is going to be an attempt over the next decade to enforce mandatory chipping for things like banking, shopping and doctors visits, marketed under the guide of ‘convenience’ and ‘safety’. The current vaccine debate taking place in the media at the moment isn’t about health, it’s about testing the publics response to government control over our own bodies. If mandatory vaccinations are green-lighted, it shows the publics willingness to sacrifice our autonomy. Check it out on Youtube!
4. Hungry for Change
What’s the real reason behind the global obesity crisis? When we have enough food to feed everyone, why are close to a billion people still starving? What’s the real cost of the agriculture industry on our soil, atmosphere and ultimately our health? This documentary takes a behind the scenes look at the multi-billion dollar diet industry and empowers viewers to know what’s really in the food they eat. Check it out on Netflix!
Aussie mum Taryn Brumfitt has started a global movement with this documentary encouraging women to embrace their bodies of every shape, colour and size. She is fighting back against the media and advertising companies overt sexualisation of women’s bodies and is reclaiming our right to define what it means to be beautiful. You’ll laugh, cry and want to show it to your 16 year old self this docco. Get the girls together for this one. Check it out on iTunes!
2. Tony Robbins: I am Not Your Guru
This film always gets me SO hyped up about the power of coaching and how personal development is changing the world. I remember my parents listening to Tony Robbins tapes in the car when I was growing up, so to see him still spreading his message of personal empowerment and changing lives every day is phenomenal. He is the definition of a Superhuman and you will get so much value out of watching him in his element. Even my non ‘woo woo’ friends love this docco. Check it out on Netflix!
1. The Mask You Live In
Hands down the best documentary I’ve ever seen. It takes a look at societies definition of masculinity and how our ideas about what it means to be a man are breeding a generation governed by violence and misogyny. Every man and his mother, sister, wife and girlfriend need to watch this one. Check it out on Netflix!
Which one’s have you seen? What did you think? I’m always looking for new recommendations so let me know your faves in the comments below!
Hola Amigo. Happy Tuesday! I’m sitting at the airport, about to board a flight from Sydney to the Gold Coast to see family over Easter. We’re going to Noosa for a few days and while I’m excited to see everyone, I honestly hate leaving Sydney. I actually miss the city (mostly Manly) when I’m away. Weird, right?
The prospect of going home for a week got me thinking, (Side note: how awkward is this stage of your twenties when you actually have no idea where to refer to as home so you just call everywhere home and hope people get what you mean?) mostly about how moving away from my family was both one of the hardest but best decisions I ever made.
I often ponder the fact that all the decisions I’m most grateful for now, are the ones that were the hardest to make at the time. They were all based on intuitive nudges, often made no logical or rational sense and required a massive leap of faith; the decision to leave an abusive relationship, the decision to move to Sydney, the decision to quit my internship at a leading network newsroom, the decision to break up with someone I thought I would marry, the decision to set aside four years of University to study life coaching, the decision to start my own business at 22…
I often think about how much easier it would have been to stay put, get a job in journalism, marry someone I dated in high school, have a few kids and live happily ever after. But then I remember that easy wasn’t what I signed up for.
I’m all for going with the flow, and moving through life with ease and grace (even more so now I’m embodying the Divine feminine) but there are times when you have to step up and take the path of most resistance, even when it doesn’t make sense, even when it’s scary as all hell, even when everyone around you thinks you’re insane.
Because what’s right for your Soul doesn’t always make sense to your mind. So while our soul knows exactly where to go and what to do, we do everything we can to convince ourselves we’re stuck. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve tried to bargain with God about something He wanted me to do.
I want you to start a dance studio in the Northern Beaches.
Umm…no, thank you.
Yeah, I’d rather not.
Of course we always have a choice, but following that inner knowing that says, ‘move here, date him, forgive them’ will always deliver a greater reward than staying in your comfort zone ever could. That’s what people mean when they say that ‘fortune favours the brave’ – the Universe rewards us for following our heart wherever it leads; people show up, things fall into place, opportunities present themselves and you get lead to exactly where you’re meant to be.
Even the situation I’m in now (living the gypsy life while I look for a new apartment) it would be so easy for me to say, ‘Mmm…I might just move home for a few months – it’s cheaper, logistically so much easier and I’d have more time with family,’ BUT I know my Soul (her name is Zoe) is calling me back to Sydney. That’s my home now, and even though it requires me to show up with everything I have every single day, I kinda love that it brings out the best in me. With every challenge I face I’m expanding my idea of who I think I am and breaking through limitations about what’s possible for my life. It’s great to come home and relax for a week or so, but I’m here on earth to evolve and expand – and that kind of growth doesn’t happen when you’re comfortable.
It’s easier to put on the TV than be alone with our thoughts, it’s easier to post passive aggressive statuses on social media than have a difficult conversation with someone who hurt us. It’s easier to settle for your current reality than conceiving of one beyond your wildest dreams. But the beautiful thing is, the more you awaken to the reality of who you really are, the less resistance you experience around making decisions in alignment with your Soul. You come to know enough about the faithfulness of God – you experience enough miracles – to trust the process.
Comfortable is overrated. And I can guarantee that it’s not what your Soul came here to experience. Make the hard decisions. You have more courage than you need and more support than you realise.
My flight keeps getting delayed – I’m pretty sure it’s so I can finish this blog post (thanks Angels). I can already tell something epic is waiting for me on that plane. See you tomorrow!
I’ll be honest, when I wrote the first draft of this article over a year ago, I was writing about a concept rather than a reality. I wanted to chat about endings and rejection and how they aren’t a reflection of our worthiness, but a calling to move forward, no matter how painful.
And then in March of last year, my dad decided to leave our family. I’d just moved to Sydney when I learned that he had moved out of the family home and started a new life almost overnight. As new information emerged and secrets came to light, it became clear that he wasn’t the man we knew him to be.
I was completely blindsided.
Although he said he wasn’t leaving ‘us’ (my sister and I), it’s hard not to take it personally when the first man you ever loved chooses another family over his own. He had his reasons, many of which I understood, some of which I will never comprehend, but a year on and I was still struggling with the assault on my self worth. “How could he do this to us? Why would he want to leave? What could I have done to make him stay? “
That’s when this message took on a whole new meaning and I finally learned to let go with grace.
I believe people come into our lives to help us grow into the people we were made to be. Our souls make agreements before we’re born to assist each other in learning a particular lesson or experiencing a certain part of ourselves, and when the purpose of the relationship is served, it either ends or changes form. The same principle applies whether it’s a parent, a partner or even a particular time in our lives.
When faced with rejection, it’s common to blame ourselves for things not working out. “What could I have done differently? Where did I go wrong? Why couldn’t I make this work?” But the thing is, it has nothing to do with your inherent worthiness, it just means that your path is no longer compatible with theirs. And just because you aren’t compatible, does not mean you aren’t enough. It means the purpose for that relationship has been served (even if you can’t see it yet) and the Universe has something even better in mind for both of you.
We have this persistent belief in our culture that endings are failures. Whether it’s a marriage, a business or even the end of a life. And yet, the idea that anything is ever really final is a construction of the ego. In the physical world, endings are devastating. In the metaphysical world, they are a natural progression. Because we are all expressions of the same consciousness, nothing in time or space can ever separate us from one another. Everything we lose comes back to us in another form.
Being faced with the end of something is not the time to call into question your worthiness, it’s an opportunity to reassess your desires and intentions. “What do I want to create in the space left by this person? What do I want to call in that is going to be bigger, better and brighter than anything I’ve had before?” Whether it’s a relationship, a job or a season in your life, let go with grace and trust that you are making way for something even better to come rushing in. If it helps your healing, write a letter (even if you don’t send it) thanking the other person for all the things you learned from your time together. With time, you will be able to see where this chapter fits perfectly into the story of your life.
I’ve spent the past year mourning the loss of the dad I grew up with and I’m still deciding whether I want to build a new relationship with the man he is now, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I would never want to hold another persons happiness against them. All we can control in this life is our actions and how we respond to the actions of others. He made his move, now I get to choose mine. Right now that looks like taking a step back to let time work her healing magic. “It doesn’t mean I’ve stopped loving him, I’m just loving him from a distance.”
Whatever you are being called to release in your life right now, I hope you find the strength to let go with grace, secure in the knowledge that what is coming is greater than anything you have left behind.
When was the last time you were down on your knees? When you closed your eyes, bowed your head and let it all out to the Universe in a heart-felt, tear-stained, honest to goodness prayer?
For some of us, prayer has negative associations – and understandably so. Having grown up in strict religious homes, prayer brings up painful memories of reciting countless Hail Mary’s and Our Fathers’ to seek forgiveness and avoid retribution for our ‘sins’. For others, prayer is an act of desperation reserved solely for when we’ve exhausted all other options. If you let me date this guy, I promise I’ll be a better daughter. If you give me this promotion, I’ll donate ten per cent of everything I earn to charity.
But what if prayer wasn’t about asking the Universe for what we want, but positioning ourselves to receive what it already has for us?
Prayer is like a spiritual reset button. It’s an act of surrender that reminds us of all the beautiful things we have to be grateful for. By aligning our thoughts with a higher perspective, prayer enables us to rise above life’s obstacles and get a glimpse of the meaning and purpose behind our current circumstances. When things don’t go our way, all we need to do is ask God to shift our perception and He will begin to show us the missing pieces of the puzzle, reassure us that this is all part of a greater plan and give us guidance on how to move forward. In this way, prayer helps to shift the collective consciousness of the planet by reminding us of our inherent connectedness with each other and the Source of all life.
Sometimes life brings us to our knees, so we can start to pray.
When I started including prayer as a part of my daily practice, I found I was less anxious, I had more clarity and a deep and abiding peace began to permeate every aspect of my life. When the world tried to define me by my past mistakes, prayer reminded me who I really was. When I began to doubt my worth and seek validation outside myself, a few moments in the presence of God showed me that everything I needed could already be found inside me. It was as though a massive weight was lifted off my shoulders when I realised I didn’t have to navigate this life alone and there was a never ending source of strength and Divine guidance available to me in every moment.
So if we’re not reciting passages from the Bible or bargaining with the Divine, how are we supposed to pray?
First, ask yourself, who does it feel right to pray to? Is it God, The Universe, Your Higher Self or even a guardian angel? Then carve out a time in your day that feels sacred to you. It doesn’t have to be a formal affair, it could be as simple as getting in the shower at night and having a conversation with God about your day. What went well? What are you worried about? If you are stuck on what to say, these 3 simple steps will help you get the most out of your practice;
1.Start with Gratitude. Give thanks to the Creator for all the wonderful things in your life right now. Start small; a roof over your head, food on the table, family and friends, and work your way outwards; the freedom to do what you love, the support of your tribe, the privilege of being alive in a time of infinite possibility.
Even if the only prayer you ever said was ‘Thank you’, that would be enough.
2.Lay it all out. Tell God what’s going on, give Him a rundown on the current state of your life – the good, the bad and the ugly. Sometimes just saying things out loud sparks new insights and gives us clarity we didn’t have before. Go into detail, and don’t be afraid to ask the big questions. Even if you don’t get an answer right away, it will come later in a book you read, a conversation you have or an opportunity that comes your way. Some great questions to start are, “Who do I need to forgive?” or “What do I need to let go of in order to move forward?” Repeat your prayer daily and be on the lookout for a response.
Don’t worry about ‘taking up too much time’ or coming across as needy, time doesn’t exist in the metaphysical realm and the Universe loveshearing all of our challenges, fears, hopes and dreams.
3.Give it all up. The most powerful prayer you will ever say is, “Your will be done”, when you surrender your best laid plans and intentions to the Universe and say, “Okay, now you take it from here.” Surrender doesn’t mean ‘giving up’, it means aligning your desires with the calling placed on your life. Often we get so caught up in what we think we should be doing, or what the world (our parents, friends, society) wants us to do, we neglect the gentle murmurs of our soul as it tries to guide us toward our true purpose.
As children of the Universe, we are already programmed to self actualise and reach our full potential in this lifetime (in the same way a tiny acorn already holds the blueprint for a massive oak tree and an embryo already has everything it needs to become a baby). All we have to do is continue following that still, small voice within. One of my favourite prayers is, “Use me, Lord, that I might know the joy of being used by you.”
Churches are great for prayer, but so are mountains and cars and showers and dance floors.
Of course you can also pray for safety, protection, for clarity around a particular situation. You can pray for world peace and the alleviation of suffering everywhere. You can also magnify the power of the experience by including others in your practice. When you wake up in the morning, say a prayer with your partner. Ask for protection over their lives, favour over their circumstances and pray that your relationship would grow stronger through the trials you face. If you have children, find a prayer that resonates with you and teach it to them. Start at the dinner table and together before bed, you will be amazed at how quickly their young minds are shaped by repeating such life affirming words.
If all else fails, just have a conversation. God/Source/the Divine isn’t angry with you, nor does He/She want to punish you for anything you’ve done. He just wants to be part of your life, He wants to comfort, guide and help you become the best, happiest version of yourself. Wherever you are right now, no matter how long it’s been or how much resistance you feel, take this opportunity to open up the lines of communication.
A few weeks ago one of my close girlfriends sent me a message asking if she could show me a letter she’d written to me. She told me she’d recently been in therapy and a number of memories from her childhood had surfaced, some of them involving me. I knew straight away it wasn’t going to be an easy letter to read.
I made sure I was in a good headspace, and took my phone down to sit on the beach.
Tears welled in my eyes. The letter detailed the ways in which I had bullied her when we were both in middle school; the names I’d called her, the way I’d excluded her and put her down. How she had gone looking for the root cause of negative thought patterns and discovered long-repressed memories of being tormented by someone who was supposed to be a friend.
“I wish I could just shrug my shoulders…but I continue to feel resentment around these issues and it’s difficult for me to continue our friendship,” she wrote, “I had almost unconsciously thought to just move away from our relationship and continue our lives without each other, I didn’t want to cause you pain by raising these issues and I didn’t want to revisit old wounds…”
I sat on the beach with my stomach sinking lower and lower as I read about how she’d felt all those years ago, knowing how hard this would have been for her to write.
But then came the final sentence, a lifeline.
“…but I don’t want to lose our friendship. Is there a way we could open up a dialogue about this?”
My heart nearly burst out of my chest. I could not believe the kindness, grace and mercy she was showing me in that moment by not only opening up and sharing the wounds of her past, but giving me a chance to right the wrongs I’d committed.
I called her that afternoon and apologised profusely over the phone. While I don’t consciously remember the events she described, I can see how it would have happened given my eleven year old view of the world. I was projecting my own insecurities onto her in an attempt to dispel the pain I was feeling. Like most girls at that age, I was shockingly self conscious and unbearably insecure. I didn’t know how to handle it, so I took it out on her.
We chatted for hours that afternoon about what we remembered from school and what we were going through at home. And as we spoke, what struck me most was the beautiful sense of connection I felt in the wake of our vulnerability. It felt warm, safe and uninhibited. It was like our friendship had been on the brink of collapse and instead of letting it fall apart, we took it to a whole new level. The beauty of that feeling sparked a revelation; these are the kind of conversations we need to be having.
While the rise of social media has the potential to strengthen connections, it’s also created a culture of disposable friendships in which we’d rather throw someone out and start again than have the difficult conversations that are essential for building and sustaining relationships. While it’s great to make new friends, the deep connection and intimacy we’re all craving comes from consistent vulnerability, navigating conflict and building trust over time. And like anything in life, the more we invest in these relationships, the deeper they become.
I am still in awe of the bravery it took for this amazing woman to not only delve into her past but to share it with me, having no idea how I would respond. That letter – even though it was painful for me to read – was the most beautiful gift. And even though what followed was messy, scary and hard, I will be forever grateful that she chose to bring it up rather than letting our friendship go.
I’m convinced most people have no idea what they really want. I sure as hell didn’t.
When I first moved to Manly last year, I was living the life. I had just moved in to my dream apartment with my soul sister, we were both working from home and our lives were like something out of an insta story. We’d go for coffee in the mornings, spend hours on the beach during the day, go for long lunches and spend the afternoon watching the sun go down over the water with a wine in hand.
I should have been having the time of my life and while I was so incredibly grateful, I still felt uneasy. I realised there was something missing and it’s lead me to the conclusion that most of us are barking up the wrong tree when it comes to what we want from our lives.
You don’t get your life back by having more hours in the day—you get your life back by spending the hours you do have, well.
Ash Ambirge, The Middle Finger Project
I used to think the goal was to have as much ‘free time’ as possible to spend with friends, travelling and ‘doing nothing’. And yet now I have the option to spend my day on picnics and acai dates – those things means nothing without the work I do in between.
We dream about spending every day lying on a beach with a cocktail in hand, but there’s only so many drinks we can down before the restlessness kicks in. What we’re really craving is to make a meaningful contribution to the world. We’re drained at the moment not because we’re doing too much work, but because we’re doing the wrong work. We don’t want more holidays, we want to experience freedom and joy we think a holiday will bring, and we do that by unleashing our unique gifts on the world.
I read Tim Ferris’ 4 Hour Work Week a few years ago and while I appreciate the sentiment of automating your income so you have oodles of time on your hands, I just kept thinking, what else could you possibly want to do? What’s a more satisfying feeling than knowing you’re using your unique gifts to alleviate suffering or add value to the life of another human being? What could possibly be a better use of your time?
We all have this fire deep within us, a longing to make a difference in the world that no amount of partying or Netflix binges will satisfy. We feel the most alive when we’re using our creativity, connecting and collaborating with others and growing in the process.
These days I’m working on striking a balance between ‘doing the work’ and ‘living the life’. I realised that lying on the beach is so much more rewarding after a morning of creating epic content and going out with girlfriends for a glass of wine is so much more fun after a day of coaching the next generation of conscious game-changers.
It’s not about ‘earning’ my down time, but knowing where my priorities lie and what’s really going to bring me the most joy. Sometimes you just need to read a book by the pool, or zone out with an episode of Friends, but those things feel so much better when they’re the byproduct instead of the goal.
It started the way most relationships start these days; with sex. He’d just broken up with a long term girlfriend and I had a reputation as a good rebound. We started seeing each other pretty regularly – nights out with his friends, camping trips, the occasional dinner and movie date. Then one night in his car I told him I didn’t want to see him anymore, he asked me to be his girlfriend and that’s when we made it official.
The next few months were a whirlwind of HSC, nights out and fights with my parents. They’d never liked any of the guys I bought home but this was something else. (I suppose bringing your not-yet eighteen year old daughter home drunk at 3am isn’t the best impression a guy can make). The first few weeks as a couple were incredible. We saw each other almost every day; we went on adventures, sang in the car at the top of our lungs and confessed our undying love for one another.
By two months in, things were pretty intense. I noticed that we had a lot more contact than I’d had with previous boyfriends. It started off fairly harmlessly, he wanted to know where I was and what I was doing. But then the contact became incessant. If I didn’t reply to a text straight away, he would call. If I didn’t answer, he’d keep calling until I picked up. If I wanted to spend time with my family, he questioned my commitment to the relationship. You get to see them all the time, why don’t you want to see me? The months after I graduated high school were an emotional tug of war between my family and him for my time and attention, both of them subtly undermining the others intentions.
He started comparing me to girls he’d dated in the past – she didn’t do that, you wear less make up than her, other girls don’t dress like that – and undermined my confidence by focusing on my flaws; most of the time by reminding me about my past. I can’t believe you were with that many people, I am so glad you’re not like that any more, you’re lucky that I’m even with you – not many guys would be willing to date you after all that. It was as if all the worst things I’d ever thought about myself were being re-affirmed by the person who claimed to love me more than anything else in the world.
I was always upfront about the fact that I wanted to move to Sydney after school, but he wanted to move to Brisbane for work. He tried for months to convince me to stay. What’s in Sydney? Why would you throw all this away when you don’t even know what you want to do with your life? He was right. I had no idea what I wanted in Sydney, just that I’d felt an undeniable pull to the Northern Beaches ever since I was a little girl. I didn’t know the first thing about living on my own, let alone in a new city. There was something inside me that knew there was more to life, but I had no idea what it looked like, and the stability and security of a wedding, house, kids and a puppy seemed so much safer than the risk of the unknown.
I applied for Uni in Brisbane. The night I told him, he left a ring on my bed, “You’ll get a bigger one in a few years,” he promised.
We moved in to someone’s granny flat in a suburb close to Uni. Despite it being an absolute dump, it was fully furnished and we didn’t have to sign a lease – a part of me must have known it would be an easy out if I ever decided to leave.
As soon as we moved in together, things went downhill fast. Without the buffer of our families, we were at each others throats constantly. All regard for privacy went out the window, he had all the passwords to my phone, computer and Facebook and made a habit of going through my messages each night to see who I’d been talking to. His last girlfriend had cheated on him and – given how we’d met – it was as if he didn’t trust me not to do the same. If you loved me, you’d tell me. If you didn’t have anything to hide, you wouldn’t have anything to worry about. Some nights I’d try and end our fights by pretending to go to sleep, but he didn’t like going to bed with things unresolved so he’d shine the torch from his phone in my eyes until I gave in and fell asleep with my head on his chest.
One week end we decided to head back to the coast to see friends. We were out drinking when he pulled me aside to tell me that I wasn’t being ‘fun enough’ and I should loosen up (the week end before he got mad at me for being ‘out of control’ drunk at a party). I got angry that he was keeping me from my friends so he pulled me into the bathroom to talk in private, but security saw and we got kicked out.
The fight escalated quickly, like they always did, and I just wanted to leave. I cried and begged him to take me home, but he refused and took my phone so I couldn’t call my parents. I cried harder. I was nearly hysterical on the side of the road when a police van drove passed. He pulled me into his chest. ‘Is everything okay?’ one of officers called out. ‘She’s fine,’ he called back, ‘she’s just drunk.’ I continued to cry as he picked me up and carried me across the road onto the beach, telling me that if I didn’t shut up he was going to ‘strangle me and drown me in the fucking ocean’.
He put me down on the sand and started telling me off for being such an embarrassment and ruining both our nights. I looked up at the stars that were blurring together through my tears. The last few months of pain, anger and suppressed emotion seemed to come up all at once and I started having a panic attack. ‘I just want to go home,’ I begged the night sky through my sobs. Eventually he gave in and called my parents. My dad came to pick us up. He tried to apologise and explain himself but my dad just told him it was between the two of us and he didn’t want hear about it. He let him in the car and drove him home without a word, while I sat silently sobbing in the front seat. I don’t think I’ll ever forgive my dad for that.
The following week my parents drove to Brisbane to move my stuff out of the apartment. I wasn’t allowed to have any contact with him and for once, I didn’t want to. They booked a room for me in a back packers so I didn’t have to miss any classes but the second I was alone, I was calling and begging him to come back. We continued an on again/off again affair for the next eighteen months. I moved into college, he was there every other night. I started seeing someone else, and still he pulled me back.
By this stage, I had no support network. My relationship with my parents was in tatters, my little sister was overseas, friends from school had all moved away and after almost a year of being subtly undermined, my self esteem was at an all time low. I didn’t know how to be by myself, even for a night and I was wracked with fear and self doubt. I questioned everything – the smallest decisions became the biggest ordeals. What to eat, what to wear, how to act. Because I had become so reliant on him for everything, there was a part of me that genuinely didn’t believe I could survive on my own. The outside world felt like a dark and dangerous place that I was seriously ill-equipped to handle.
It wasn’t until my psychologist at the time drew the cycle of domestic violence on a piece of paper in front of me and I saw the last year of my life flash before my eyes, that I knew I had to get out.
‘It starts with the honeymoon phase,’ she explained, ‘everything is perfect and you both feel on top of the world. Then the subtle put-downs begin, the attempts to control become more evident, there’s a build-up of tension in the relationship until the inevitable explosion happens (like that night on the beach). Then comes the apology (I’m so sorry, I can’t believe I did that. I don’t even know what came over me, I promise I will never do it again), the justification (well if you weren’t such a slut, I wouldn’t have to be so protective. If you didn’t drink so much, I wouldn’t have to get so angry at you) and you start to think that maybe it was your fault, and now you’re overreacting. The dust settles and you’re back in the honeymoon phase, ready for the whole thing to start again.’
She explained that when two people begin that cycle, the only way that anything is ever going to change is if one person leaves.
Life is full of hard decisions and what we experience is a result of the choices we make. The reason I am where I am now – thriving, happy, successful – is because I took the path of most resistance and left. I knew it would be fucking hard work to rebuild my life without him. From where I stood – a terrified nineteen year old with no self esteem and no one to turn to – the easier option would have been to stay, to ‘make it work’, to kid myself into thinking that one of us could change, and leaving was, to this day, one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. But I truly believe the Universe rewards bravery and radical alignment and the greater the risk, the greater the reward.
Four years on and not a day goes by where I am not insanely grateful for my decision and exceedingly proud of myself for making it. I often marvel at where my life is now and how much of what I experience is because I refused to settle for less than I deserve.
My family often wonder why I don’t hold more resentment toward him, how I can look at him with nothing but love and compassion. And it’s because as long as he’s the perpetrator, then I’m the victim. And playing the victim doesn’t sit well with me. The second I took responsibility for the part I played creating a toxic partnership that bought out the worst in both of us, the second I was free to choose again. I could step back and see the message in the mess, and I knew it wasn’t something that happened ‘to’ me, it was something that happened for me. It showed me all the parts of myself I had yet to love and for that I will be forever grateful.
If you haven’t been reason enough for someone to change their ways by now, you never will be. Nor will they ever change as long as you’re around. Respect their right to be happy, and your own, and let them go.
I wanted to share this part of my story in order to shatter the misconception that it’s ‘weak’ women who get caught in these cycles and ‘monsters’ who keep them there. I have always been – and always will be – a strong, fiery and passionate soul, and there was still a time when I couldn’t conceive of my life without a man in it.
I know there are women (and men) in toxic relationships who think either think it’s ‘normal’ or want to leave but don’t know how. The thought that saved me in the end was that, the sooner I left, the sooner I could meet someone who magnified my strengths and built me up. I knew there was more out there, and this is the only way I was going to experience it.
Relationships shouldn’t be about just ‘getting by’ or staying together for the sake of it, they are a Divine union of two souls – a vehicle for experiencing the highest expression of Truth. But because there are so few examples of what a healthy relationship looks like, most of us tend to settle for mundane companionships or toxic strongholds.
We can’t be what we can’t see, so these days I make an effort to spend time with couples I admire and seek out the kind of relationships I want to emulate. I watch how they interact, the way they speak to one another, the way they handle conflict. It’s opened up my ideas about what’s possible when two people join forces and made me even more excited to be part of a conscious relationship.
As I watched my ex’s wedding on snapchat last week (our mutual friend was a groomsman), I was nothing but happy for him, and grateful that we both had the strength to walk away from something that clearly wasn’t serving us. The relationship served its purpose and there were far better things in store for us both. Regardless of what happened between us, we deserve real, healthy, unconditional love.
And so do you.
All my love,
Domestic Violence National Hotline (02) 8294 1924
National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service 1800 737 732
“The wounds of the parents become the destinies of their children, unless the children wake up and do something about them.”
When I read that sentence in my book the other night, the words completely knocked the wind out of me. So much so that I actually sat up in bed. This. This is what I’ve been talking about. This is what I know in my bones to the True with a capital T. We are destined to repeat the patterns of our parents – passed unconsciously from one generation to the next, unless we wake up – become conscious of them – and do what we need to heal.
We all have shit from our childhood. Fact. Your parents either neglected you, smothered you or – if you’re like mine – did a fun combination of both. My father was emotionally unavailable, my mother adopted me as a surrogate partner. I was both the confidant and the mediator, the lightning rod* absorbing all the tension in their relationship.
*Lighting rods attract other people’s emotions, give them a safe, comfortable environment to discuss their difficult memories, and in turn get rid of some of their pain. When done consciously, it can be an incredible service to offer someone, adopting the role unintentionally can prevent the formation of healthy emotional boundaries.
My mum derived a lot of her self worth from her role as a ‘mother’, so attempted to thwart my self actualisation by imposing stringent restrictions on my social life. In order to regain a sense of control and power, I acted out by sneaking out of the house to meet up with guys. (I was also using the attention of the guys I slept with as a substitute for the attention and approval I never got from my father #twobirds #daddyissues).
Because mum was so horrified at the thought of me having a boyfriend, I thought it meant there was something wrong with me so all my relationships (and sexual encounters) were covert, undefined and shrouded in secrecy. I developed a pattern of dissociation and ambiguity that lead to me keeping my mouth shut when I was caught in the cycle of DV for over two years, a series of ‘on again/off again’ relationships, the inability to define clear sexual and emotional boundaries (refusing to be someone’s ‘girlfriend’ or declare my relationships publicly) and the gut-wrenching anomaly of being desperate for connection but terrified of commitment.
It’s important to note here that none of this is about blaming your parents. When you trace the wounds back through generations of unresolved issues and the people who bore them, it’s hard not to circle back to compassion. You realise that we’re all just doing the best we can with the shit we’ve been given and – mercifully – the shit seems to be lessening with each new branch of the family tree.
I’ve seen what the future looks like, and I’m not going.
I used to be terrified of ‘growing up’ because I thought it meant responsibilities, obligations, commitments and an overwhelming resentment that encompassed all three. I think part of the reason I acted out for so long in my late teens and early twenties is because I was trying to postpone the transition into adulthood. If I right myself off every Saturday night, I can convince everyone I’m not a real adult yet.I didn’t realise that you could actually create the life you wanted to live, and if you didn’t like the path you were on, you could change direction.
Look at the ideas you have about money, sex, food, work and relationships… Have you adopted the unconscious beliefs of your parents (I’ll save you some time, yes you have). And – the real question – are they serving you?
I could try and forget about my past, until I unconsciously attract someone whose subconscious beliefs lead me to re-enact my parents relationship OR I can consciously examine the way I behave in relationships, create a positive vision for what I want in a long term partner and work on closing the gap between the two.
SIDE NOTE: Don’t just intellectualise this stuff, you have to feel through it. It’s not enough to recognise a pattern and go, ‘Oh, so that’s why I crave approval from my older male boss’. You have to grieve the father who never gave you the attention you wanted, you have to mourn for the little girl who lost her innocence and you have to get angry for the teenager who was robbed of the opportunity to find her voice. (Working with a coach creates a safe space to feel through these emotions, while helping you get clear on what you want to create and the precedent you want to set for generations to come).
What excites me most about the generation coming through is that we’re doing the work. It’s part of what makes me so proud to be a millennial. We’ve seen our parents stumble and flail their way through unhappy marriages, stifling 9-5’s and family feuds, and rather than resigning ourselves to trudging blindly down the well-worn path, we’ve decided to create a new one. We’re going to therapy, hiring coaches, reading self help and investing in our own growth and personal development. There’s no more sweeping secrets under the rug, or hiding skeletons in the family closet, we’re owning our stories with fierce bravery and optimism for the future.
We are healing our own emotional wounds, and breaking generational patterns in the process.
For all the incredible humans doing this work, thank you. You are setting a new standard for not only you and your family but humanity as a whole. Just like the physical Universe, the nature of human beings is to expand and evolve, and the more awareness, compassion and grace we bring to this process, the faster it will be and the further we’ll go.
One of my beautiful clients had the most epic breakthrough recently and I just had to share it with you. She’s a mama of three beautiful kids and was struggling – like so many of us do – with not having enough hours in the day and feeling overwhelmed by her to do list. It was affecting her relationships and getting in the way of her goal of living in the present moment and fully soaking up the juiciness of her life and amazing family. In our first session she told me about how she desperately wanted to simplify her schedule, but there was nothing she could bear to get rid of.
I asked her to go away and have another look, to see if there was anything she’d missed. By our second session her outlook changed completely and she came back to me beaming with pride. “I realised that I couldn’t get rid of anything in my schedule because I really love everything in it,” she said with a massive smile on her face, “I have a new appreciation for my routine because I realised I created it like this for a reason. Take driving the kids around, for example. We decided to enrol them in after school activities because we want them to have the best opportunities for the future and I’m actually really glad they get to socialise with their friends and do the things they enjoy.”
“Now I don’t think of it as though I have to drive my ten year old to soccer, I decided that I get to spend an hour of uninterrupted time with my growing boy in the car – where we can talk about how he’s feeling and what’s going on in his life. It’s completely changed my perception and I feel so much more in control of what I’m doing. Instead of rushing from one thing to the next without thinking, I can appreciate all the parts of the life my husband and I designed.”
She went from being a slave to her schedule, to the creator of it. How much more empowering is that? The moment she shifted into this new state of mind, she found that instead of falling into bed exhausted at the end of a long day, she had time to kiss the kids goodnight and spend some quality time with her partner.
Now, she has officially eradicated the word ‘busy’ from her vocabulary.
We get so caught up in our routines, we often forget that we chose all the external elements that make up our lives; our job, our relationships, where we live, our schedule – and we can change them whenever we want to.
It’s almost second nature when someone asks us, “So, how’ve you been?”
We have this idea in our heads of how parenting or ‘being an adult’ is supposed to look. Everyone else is running around, so I better jam enough activities, chores and goals into my schedule so I have to run around too. And yet, how much of it is really necessary for a rewarding and fulfilling life? If you Google ‘busy’, the word itself means, ‘full of distracting detail’. Bam. What pointless activities are you allowing to distract you from what really matters?
I have a pretty cruisey schedule – I designed it that way. I like to have time to smell the roses and I hate the feeling of being rushed. I used to feel guilty for having so much time on my hands to do all the things I wanted to do – coffee on the beach, mid-morning gym sessions, afternoon swims in the ocean – and then I realised that everyone has the same ability to design the life they want to live.
It doesn’t matter if you’re wrangling a house of five or living the single life, you are the almighty creator of your one precious life. If your job is draining you, choose again. If your routine doesn’t make you want to jump out of bed in the morning, create a new one (and fill it with all of your favourite things). If driving your kids around is making you miserable, either remind yourself why you want them to do after school activities OR cut back on the extra-curricular’s. (Trust me, your kid would prefer a parent who is present and excited to be there for them over an extra gymnastics class any day).
There is nothing in this life that we have to do. In a world of infinite possibility, we have been gifted the power to choose what we want to experience as part of our reality. That’s where the fun begins.
So… you may have seen on instagram that on Saturday I went to a nude yoga workshop in Darlinghurst with Rosie Rees. I’ve been following Rosie on social media for a while and love all her stuff so as soon as I saw she was bringing her workshop Sydney, I knew I had to be there. After doing so much work on healing my relationship with food and my body last year (which you can read about here), it seemed like the perfect opportunity to celebrate how far I’d come while also taking me even deeper.
Everyone was asking me leading up to the workshop if I was nervous (none of my girlfriends would come with me) and most seemed genuinely surprised when I said I wasn’t. I was so sure I was meant to be there, so I was more excited to see what was going to unfold.
The day of the workshop was massive in and of itself. I was speaking at a women’s brunch in the morning so was up early preparing food and getting myself organised when I saw on snapchat that my ex was getting married. Woah. A year ago something like that would have floored me but – thank you Jesus – I was able to let it go (after watching the snap stories 2473834 times, let’s be honest). I had actually registered for the Sunday workshop, but put my hand up when Rosie asked if anyone wanted to change. I wasn’t sure why at the time, but that’s when it all made sense (thank you Universe). The brunch and the panel went amazingly well, and before I knew it I was heading into the city.
The second I walked in Rosie gave me pretty much the best hug I’ve ever had in my life. It literally felt like she pierced through a wall in my heart and melted it. Watching her move around the room, the first thing that struck me was her presence, she is the embodiment of the Divine feminine; the graceful strength, the quiet power. It was a sight to behold.
A few other women walked in and that’s when the butterflies started; it was pretty surreal making small talk with a girl your age knowing you’re about to see her naked. I snuck up to the bathroom and that’s when the self doubt kicked in, Am I wearing the right thing? Will I stand out? Should I have shaved for this? Despite the voice in my head, I made a promise to myself then and there that I was going to just notice everything that came up for me without judgement and trust that I would get whatever I needed to out of the experience.
The energy was palpable as we entered the studio; calming, sensuous and Divinely feminine. I picked a spot in the circle to put my mat and then chose an Angel card from the centre of the room.
The Goddess of Awakening; this is a wondrous time of exploration, romance and creativity. Your Feminine creative spirit is being nourished and awakened by the star of Venus.
I don’t want to give much away because I think every woman should experience this for herself, but as we began with a guided meditation and the robes and sarongs came off, I sneaked a peak at the women in the circle around me and what I saw took my breath away.
I bore witness to a raw, untamed power unlike anything I have ever seen. It was tribal, primal and the most natural, beautiful thing in the world.
Visions of women coming together throughout history, to connect with one another and the earth in sacred rituals, gatherings and ceremonies flashed through my mind. I get now why hundreds of years of patriarchy has tried to suppress, degrade and disconnect us from our feminine essence. This shit is powerful. If every one of us embodied this power in every aspect of our lives, the world would change overnight.
We shared stories about body shame, eating disorders and the endless search for validation in relationships and sexual promiscuity. As each woman shared her story, the rest of us sat there nodding in recognition and understanding. We really saw her, and she was us.
Looking around the room, I was filled with this deep reverence for the female form. We all looked so different, yet every single one of us was unbelievably stunning. I don’t know how we’ve managed to narrow our ideas of beauty down to one image, because nothing could be further from the truth. I also realised that despite my history, I have never really been intimate with anyone. I’ve taken off my clothes and gone through the motions but I have never experienced the kind of real, deep physical and emotional intimacy that I caught a glimpse of in that room. Not with a partner at least. It made me excited to think that I haven’t even scratched the surface when it comes to the kind of connection and pleasure that we are capable of experiencing in these physical bodies.
As we moved into a beautiful Yin yoga practice, I cried with relief at how much shame I have already let go, of how much more time and energy I have to spend on things that make me happy (instead of obsessing about my ‘flaws’), and of how grateful I am that I get to do this work now instead of in ten years time.
Rosie encouraged us to explore whatever sounds wanted to come through us. Some women let out beautiful orgasmic sighs, some roared and others hummed with vibrant life. I was in shock when a childlike giggle burst from my lips. It was the most innocent, pure, kind of bubbling laughter that reverberated through my whole body. I was a pretty serious child – I don’t actually remember ever giggling like that, but I knew it was the little girl inside me letting go of her shame, fear and seriousness and coming out to play. The innately sexual part of me that had been suppressed, misunderstood and mistreated my entire life began to emerge in all her glory.
As we rolled up our mats after sharing our thoughts about the night and some incredible food, no one was in a rush to get dressed. We walked around chatting and laughing with one another, and it made me realise how deeply we have been conditioned to ‘cover up’ physically and emotionally and how good it feels to let those guards down. I wanted to stay in that room forever.
I stayed at a girlfriends that night – it was the perfect place to have a debrief over champagne and chocolate. I fell asleep with the biggest smile on my face and wholeness in my heart.
I had a bit of a vulnerability hangover after sharing this photo on insta, and I blushed a little when I remembered how natural it felt to be naked in a room full of strangers.
Something has shifted within me. I felt it on Saturday night, the next morning and I can feel it sitting here now – this energy in my womb – it’s guiding me, calming me and fuelling me all at the same time.
My To Do list got mysteriously deleted from my phone and computer (twice) and I’m receiving all this money out of nowhere with nothing but gratitude. I know I’m awakening the Goddess within – she wants to create and dance and breathe and rest and receive and play. She wants to surround herself with beautiful things. She wants to surrender and serve. Right now she wants to go watch Friends on the couch. She’s beautiful, untamed and deeply powerful, and I’m already madly in love with her. It’s the kind of love where you know things will never be the same again…
“Life is a learned skill, but instead of teaching it, our culture force-fills developing minds with long division and capital cities – until, at the end of the mandatory period of bondage we call school, we’re sent into the world knowing little about it.”
What if you could wake up every day filled with excitement, clarity, purpose and deep gratitude for the life you’re living?What if you could heal the wounds of your past so that you were free to experience a life unbound by worldly expectations? What if you saw challenges as opportunities for growth and all your relationships were supportive, enriching and full of love?
Coaching is about getting from where you are to where you want to be. Coaches facilitate the journey inward. We teach what wasn’t – but probably should have been – taught in school; self love, introspection, emotional intelligence. While psychologists and counsellors hold space for you to delve into the patterns of your past, coaches help you craft an inspiring vision for your future.
Since my first coaching experience with the beautiful Heidi Rose in early 2015, I have been working with at least one (sometimes two) coaches at a time on everything from body image to branding. Right now I’m working with the amazing Jodie Matthews to radically transform my money mindset (and it’s blowing my freaking mind).
“A healer isn’t someone you go to for healing, a healer is someone who triggers inside you the ability to heal yourself.”
Coaching isn’t about ‘fixing yourself’, it’s about acknowledging you have infinite potential and investing in someone to help you activate it. We all have blind spots – unconscious thought patterns that govern our behaviours – and sometimes we need an impartial third party to help us bring them to light. There is immeasurable power in having someone on your side who is just as invested in your success as you are. The most successful people in the world work 1:1 with coaches and mentors (Just ask Tony Robbins and Richard Branson)
Coaches do not give you the answers, they hold space for you to find your own.
Coaches ask the right questions. They encourage you to challenge the stories you tell yourself and the beliefs that no longer serve you. I’m not good enough, I’m bad with money, I can’t lose weight, I’m scared of commitment. They may choose to journey back with you to where those beliefs were first instilled, but their focus is on replacing them with new affirmations that are in alignment with who you want to be.
“Life coaching was a way for me to figure out where I wanted to go, and have someone hold me accountable.”
Georgia, coaching client
So Why do I Need One?
Coaching expands your ideas about what’s possible for you and your life. Coaches have a unique ability to see life without the limitations. When we look at the world, we don’t see labels and boxes, we see a realm of infinite possibility. While your whole life people have told you to be ‘more realistic’, a coach will encourage you to dream bigger. They will give you permission to envision your ‘best case scenario’ and then the tools and encouragement to make it a reality.
Coaches will call you on your excuses, they will hold you accountable to your highest potential. A great coach holds up a mirror to reflect back to you all the beauty, wisdom and light you possess, so you can use it to create the life you’ve always wanted to live.
Coaches help you find the message in the mess. When everything falls apart, a good coach will help you uncover the beauty in your breakdown. They will be there for you as you piece together all the fragments of your past and help you pave a new way forward. A coaching series is a homecoming. It’s a process of tuning out all the ‘noise’ and re-connecting to your inner voice.
My clients have goals like;
To be unapologetically myself
To love myself deeply and completely
To live in the present moment and be grateful for the little things
To live in alignment with my Truth
“Through coaching, I have learnt to slow down, dwell less on the past, worry less about the future and focus instead on enjoying the here and now. I used to get so lost in self-destructive patterns, now I notice when it’s happening and know what to do to return to a peaceful state. Naturally, this has had a flow on affect both in my career and personal life, both of which are much richer.”
Emily, coaching client
Fast Track Your Evolution
Most of us have figured out that there’s no ‘end game’ to this life, but there are new levels of consciousness we can access and higher planes of existence we can inhabit. There is no limit to what you can achieve or how good you can feel and the sooner you start, the further you’ll go.
If the same infinite potential exists inside all of us, then the only difference is if and how we bring it into the world. The people we admire most are the ones who have tapped into the infinite wellspring of energy and creativity, and are acting as channels for Divine inspiration to flow through them into the world. Coaching fast tracks our evolution by pin-pointing the areas in which we’re acting unconsciously. We are destined to repeat the patterns of our past unless we do something to change them.
“My coaching series has changed the way I see myself and my life ahead. I am able to make decisions with confidence, trust others and trust myself and I am more comfortable asking people for help and helping others in need.”
Josh, coaching client
Can’t I Do it By Myself?
You can spend thousands of dollars and years of your life reading every self help book, watching all the videos and going to every workshop you can find OR you can employ someone who has already done all that to pick out the information that is relevant to you. Let’s be honest, there is a lot out there. And with the demands of work, family and a social life, who has the time? Rather than getting super overwhelmed sifting through hundreds of theories, techniques and tools yourself, why not enlist the help of someone who can do it for you? As coaches, we LOVE combining ancient wisdom with new research to figure out what works and what doesn’t when it comes to personal development and living life on your terms. We have libraries worth of resources that we can prescribe to help you on your journey. As a result, you’re going to go further, in less time and with wayyyy more ease and grace.
“I had the realisation that I didn’t have to figure out everything out on my own. It can be daunting to open up to other people but it gives you access to a whole new world of support and encouragement.”
Maddy, coaching client
Is it worth the investment?
When it comes to your own growth and evolution, the more you invest, the more you get back. Fact. Real commitment is having skin in the game, it’s putting your money where your intentions are and fully declaring, “I am all in”. I used to have blocks around investing in myself financially, I’d put in the time and energy but not the mula. It’s funny looking back now because I had no problem dropping $200+ on a dress for a night out, but couldn’t bring myself to spend that on a coaching session or workshop. I was all, “What am I really getting out of it?”
“I would highly recommend Jae to anyone looking for coaching to achieve more from life. Prioritize yourself and make the investment. You will not regret it.”
Then in 2014 I got a message from my Grandma (who passed away three years before) and spent every last cent in my account on a place in Marie Forleo’s B School. I didn’t know it at the time (I just knew it felt really exciting) but that was the first step to finding my passion and truly fulfilling my purpose on this earth. Since then, I have had no qualms about investing big bucks in personal development, intentionally of course, because I know I’m going to get it back tenfold. I am still reaping the rewards of all the money I’ve invested in myself over the years, and I can hand on my heart say I wouldn’t be where I am today without it.
“The purpose of a big investment never to buy a coach’s investment in me (that’s already a given). It is to get me deeply, truly invested in myself.”
I hope this has cleared up some of the misconceptions around coaching. In the next ten years having a life coach will be like having a dentist – everyone will have one. We’ll set new and exciting goals for each stage of our lives and then go in for regular tune ups.
“If you’re thinking of undertaking a coaching series, go for it! Jae is one of those people you meet once in a lifetime – she gives out light and embodies positivity. Her love for her life path is so clear when you see the heart and the enthusiasm she puts into you. If you dive into a coaching series, Jae will dive with you, and I promise you won’t regret a minute of it.”
When I was sixteen, a series of nude photos of me got sent around several of the local high schools by a guy in the grade above me. They made their way around my workplace, my dance studio and back to my parents.
I had total strangers tell me I had ‘destroyed my future’, that I’d never get a decent job and that no one would ever love me because of what I’d done. And for a long time, I believed them.
I watched a documentary recently called Audrie and Daisy, which was about a teenage girl who committed suicide after video footage of her being sexually assaulted got circulated around her high school. It broke my heart. Something in the story resonated so deeply with the part of me who knew what if felt like to be at the centre of unwanted attention. The girl who thought that somehow it was her fault, that she’d never be able to escape the things she’d done and that her past decisions would limit her future potential.
Watching that film, I knew I had to share this part of my story.
This post isn’t a statement about victim blaming, slut-shaming or whether or not we should be sending nudes (sorry mums and dads). This post is for every girl who has had her trust broken or her right to privacy compromised, every girl who has been told that she should have ‘been more careful’ or ‘have some self respect’, for every girl who has been conditioned to believe that she can’t be a ‘good girl’ AND a sexual being, and for every woman who feels held back or boxed in by what she’s done or what has been done to her.
I was reading up recently on the Madonna/Whore complex. Basically it’s a theory that says women can be divided into two categories; the girls you sleep with, and the girls you marry. For anyone who doesn’t think we need feminism in the twenty first Century, this bullshit is Exhibit A. I grew up believing that because I was curious about sex, enjoyed it and pursued it freely, I would never be ‘marriage material’. I settled for being treated like absolute shit in relationships because I thought I had to ‘take what I could get’ when it came to guys. I had everyone from my parents and the media to strangers on the internet telling me that ‘good girls’ didn’t sleep around or express themselves sexually, and that if I wanted to get married, have kids and a respectable career one day, I’d better look after my reputation and keep that side of myself locked down.
The idea that I could be both an NRL cheerleader AND the Prime Minister of Australia never occurred to me because all the movies I watched and grown ups I listened to told me I had to choose what kind of woman I wanted to be. I now know – thank God – that women are multi-faceted creatures with a supernatural depth that transcends all the labels and limitations the world seeks to place on us.
To some, this will all be common sense. To others, it will be a freaking revelation. Because this is the kind of small-minded rhetoric that still gets peddled around dinner tables and classrooms in small towns around the world. Why do areas with the lowest populations have the highest suicide rate? Because this kind of mentality permeates the culture; labels, reputations, singular identities and two dimensional realities.
This is why women repress their sexuality, this is why girls pigeon-hole themselves with limiting beliefs about who they are and what they can do. This is why a teenage girl would rather end her life than live with the aftermath of her assault. (FYI, the whole masculine identity thing is also a total mess and we’re gonna deal with that in another post).
It’s time to break down the walls we’ve built around ourselves; the shame, guilt and the feeling of being ‘held back’ by decisions we’ve made and the labels we received because of them. Here seems like a good a place as any to start.
My darling girl,
I don’t give a shit how many people you’ve slept with, I don’t care if you sent naked photos of yourself in confidence or posted them online for the world to see. I don’t care if you did it to get attention or get back at your ex.
You are a miracle.
Your brilliance cannot be boxed, no one can measure your magnificence, and no identity the world can project upon you will ever come close to capturing the reality of Who You Really Are. You can be the Madonna and the Whore, the Prime Minister and the cheerleader. You can be the ditz and the domestic goddess, you can grace the cover of FHM and be president of the P&F. You are worthy of the BEST this life has to offer. You deserve the greatest happiness, the most expansive joy and the wildest success. You deserve to be loved, adored and appreciated for both who you are and what you do.
Your past – the things you’ve done, and the things that have been done to you – have no bearing on the kind of future you can create for yourself.
I am living proof that no matter how far ‘off the rails’ you think you’ve travelled, life goes on. And not just ordinary life; amazing, breathtaking, blissful life that leaves you overwhelmed with gratitude and in awe of your Creator.
I don’t share naked photos anymore. Not because I think it’s immoral or dangerous, but because I don’t crave the attention like I used to. I got really honest about why I was doing it and it was always to satisfy the cravings of my ego rather than the desires of my soul. As I move into this new space of self love and deep reverence for my physical form, the exhibitionist within me is expressing herself in a more conscious way.
I’ve found a way to bare-all that’s much more fulfilling; it’s writing posts like this. I prefer baring my naked soul because I know this is the stuff that can be of service. You know what’s better than being told you have a great ass? Being told that your words made someone’s day, that your story gave someone hope, that your authenticity inspired someone to chase their dreams. Showing up and being seen for who you really are, that’s the kind of vulnerability that fuels the connection we’re all craving, that is being naked.
There was a time when I thought I would never write this post. The battle against my body seemed to be the one mountain I would never climb. I would go around in circles, coming up against the same obstacles; bingeing, emotional eating, restrictive dieting and hating what I saw when I looked in the mirror. I honestly thought it was something I would struggle with for the rest of my life. I think every woman knows this journey, some have walked the path before, others are waiting to begin – each of us up against years of conditioning, programming and subconscious messaging designed to keep us small (literally). This is the story of how I took my power back, went from self loathing to self love and healed my relationship with food and my body.
It’s Australia Day, 2008. My sister and I are riding our bikes around the small town we grew up in, jumping in and out of the crystal clear water wherever we can find the space. The path along the creek is teeming with families and kids our age walking around drinking UDL’s and cans of Smirnoff. Despite already being self conscious about my fifteen year old body, I’m feeling particularly brave wearing just a pair of shorts and my bikini top.
As we climb out of the water and mount our bikes to head home, a guy a few years older than me walks passed with his girlfriend. He looks me up and down and slurs, “Yeah, keep riding,” with a smirk on his face. His girlfriend slaps him playfully, looking back over her shoulder to mouth an apology, but it’s too late. My stomach drops, my world crumbles. Everything I ever feared about myself is true. I’m not attractive, I’m not desirable, I’m not worthy and I’m not enough.
I scroll pro-ana blogs and experiment to see how long I can go without food. I practice putting two fingers down my throat, trying to dredge up the shame I swallowed with that second chocolate brownie. I lament to my mother about the size and softness of my stomach, she shows me which ab exercises reduce belly fat.
My breasts grow almost overnight and suddenly I’m the subject of gossip and the butt of jokes. Relatives and strangers comment on my changing shape, as though my body is public domain to be deliberated. I learn that my body is not my own. I walk into the kitchen after dinner out with friends, “You can’t possibly still be hungry.” I learn that my bodies signals can’t be trusted.
I hold myself up against billboards and pictures on the internet and they all tell me one thing; shrink. Shrink and you will be beautiful, and before anything else, beautiful is what you should aspire to be. I stand in front of the mirror and pinch, suck, poke and prod. I squeeze a tape measure around every inch of skin, using the numbers to define how much I’m worth that week. I hide in the pantry, looking for something to fill me. My mind blanks as I reach for packets and jars, a brief reprieve before the guilt kicks in and I berate myself ceaselessly for a lack of self control.
I’m desperate to be noticed. I crave being seen. I take photos on my phone and send them to boys. When I’m drowning in a sea of insecurity, their shallow compliments keep me afloat.
I grew up believing that fat was the worst thing a person could be. Worse than being mean, selfish or boring, fat was the ultimate failure. The subconscious messaging I received was that to be overweight meant you lacked discipline and self control. I thought that being skinny was synonymous with being happy. That having the perfect body somehow made you immune to sadness or other negative emotions. Like, how bad could things possibly get if you looked amazing in a bikini? If you were thin then people paid attention to you; boys wanted to be with you and other girls wanted to be like you. To be thin, was to be beautiful – and to be beautiful was to be adored, cherished, loved. Life was an endless exodus away from fatness and toward thinness.
You can imagine the war that started internally when my e-cup boobs came in overnight. Dance costumes had to be altered, bras and bikinis had to be special ordered and I was constantly asking for a bigger size in change rooms. The changes in my body sparked a downward spiral in my self esteem. In my mind, with every kilo I gained I was becoming less important; my ideas less valid, personality less loveable and my dreams less achievable.
By the time I was sixteen, my body was a tool I used to validate my dwindling sense of self worth. I used it when it suited me, to get attention and validation from guys. The more I was willing to show of it and the more I was willing to do with it, the more approval I got. It made me feel powerful. I traded recognition for respect and mistook attention for love. The rest of the time I either berated it with criticism or ignored it completely.
For most of my teens and early twenties, I felt like a floating head walking around completely disconnected from my body. I didn’t identify as my body, it felt like an annoying attachment that kept betraying me by not doing what I wanted it to do or looking the way I wanted it to look. I hated how easily I could be brought down or carried away by the emotions that arose inside me; a wave of insecurity that would leave me hiding under the covers for days, a flash of anger that always left a wake of destruction in its path. It was too risky and far too painful living in my body, so I checked out. For almost a decade, I didn’t look down in the shower and I couldn’t touch my stomach without a wave of nausea flooding through me. I dreaded walking past mirrors or shop fronts and I used to yell at my mum for taking photos of me when I wasn’t looking.
By the time I left home at eighteen, it became apparent that in addition to my negative body image, I had also developed a pretty damaging relationship with food. Food was my anchor and my security blanket. When everything else in my life was uncertain, I could always count on the jar of peanut butter in the fridge. I would use food to suppress negative emotions; discomfort, anxiety, boredom. Even positive emotions – excitement, joy, happiness – were always accompanied by something to eat. It was as though I couldn’t bare to feel anything fully, so I sought a way to dull the experience.
“Compulsive eating is basically a refusal to be fully alive. No matter what we weigh, those of us who are compulsive eaters have anorexia of the soul. We refuse to take in what sustains us. We live lives of deprivation, and when we can’t stand it any longer, we binge.”
Geneen Roth, Women, Food and God
Before I even knew what it was, bingeing was a regular part of my life. If had a bad day, a fight with my parents or an assignment due, bingeing offered an incredibly effective distraction. There was no thought or awareness, I would stand at the fridge and put whatever was on the shelf into my mouth. Because I refused to have anything unhealthy in the house, bingeing usually meant raiding my housemates cupboards for whatever had the highest sugar or fat content; four slices of toast with tablespoons of honey, two wraps, half a packet of biscuits and coconut oil straight from the jar. It wasn’t until after I had consumed the entire contents of my kitchen that the guilt kicked in. I felt totally helpless and completely out of control.
The promise of a diet is not only that you will have a different body; it is that in having a different body, you will have a different life.
In 2013, I lost nine kilos leading up to my twenty first birthday. I was eating broccoli with chicken or tinned tuna for every almost meal and smashing myself in the gym 5-7 times a week. Everything in my life revolved around getting the numbers on the scale to drop. I kept a food diary on my phone and wrote down everything that passed my lips and at the end of the day I’d give myself a rating based on how ‘well’ I’d done. A smiley face meant it was a good day, an angry face meant I better try harder tomorrow.
I would measure and weigh myself in the morning and my mood for the entire day depended on what I saw on the scale. I was obsessed with #fitspo blogs and instagram accounts and would spend hours drooling over photos of girls lifting weights or posing effortlessly in bikinis. I would deprive myself all week and have a ‘cheat day’ on the week end, which usually meant buying a block of chocolate on the way home from the gym and making myself sick by finishing off the whole thing in one sitting. A few weeks before my birthday I started taking OxyElite and would happily pop four a day, completely ignoring the liver failure warning on the label.
But even when I was at my skinniest, my anxiety didn’t fade and I wasn’t any happier. I still had bad days and moments when I felt unworthy and insecure, and I was so preoccupied maintaining my new weight, I didn’t have time to focus on anything else or enjoy my life. As soon as my birthday was over and I didn’t have a goal to work towards, the weight came back and the battle raged on.
Hitting my ‘Goal weight’ in Oct 2013 didn’t feel nearly as rewarding as I thought it would.
As I watched women my mums age berate themselves for eating an extra slice of cake, apologise for taking up too much space and obsess over their physical ‘flaws’, I started to think maybe this was just part of life as a woman. I hated the idea of passing my insecurities on to my future daughter, but I couldn’t see a way to break the cycle.
So I started working with coaches (including this amazing woman) and read and listened to every intuitive eating, eating psychology and body positive book, blog and podcast I could get my hands on. There wasn’t one pivotal moment, but a series of small but deeply significant revelations that healed my relationship with food and lead me back to my body…
1. I got angry.
When I discovered the extent to which mainstream media tries to keep us small – literally – as a form of disempowerment, I got angry. By making thinness the ideal and celebrating women who shrink, we get the message that we are not allowed to take up space, a subconscious belief that ingrains itself in our collective psyche. It’s the belief that stops us from speaking up when we are being taken advantage of, it stops us demanding more from partners who mistreat us, and it stops us creating epic shit and sharing our unique gifts with the world.
As I continued pulling back the veil to expose the corporate agenda behind our BS beauty standards, it got easier to rally against my own inner critic because I knew they were both just trying to stop me wielding the full force of my power as a conscious woman. A woman confident in her own skin is no longer an obedient consumer, she no longer drains her time, energy and resources trying to “fix herself”. She shows up fully as her authentic self. She is a force to be reckoned with.
Physical beauty is great for selling, but a beautiful mind is great for healing, planning, dreaming, creating and loving. Beautiful minds will save the world.
2.I focused on my strengths.
That insta-famous bikini model posting photos of herself looking toned and tanned in various exotic locations? Yes, she could have done a lot of editing/had surgery/spend thousands on a celebrity trainer, but you know what? Some girls really look like that – and that’s amazing! Go them! You have your own set of unique gifts and God-given talents that are exactly what you need to enact your purpose on this earth, and they might not have anything to do with how you look. Say it with me now, “I was not born to be an instagram model.” (Unless you were, then carry on your merry way). Being trapped in jealousy or comparison is usually a sign we aren’t fully embracing our Genius. Ask yourself, ‘What am I really good at? What do I do really well?’ then go do that.
3. I shifted my perspective from the external to the internal.
My journey this year has been letting go of the belief that people will only listen to what I have to say if they like the package it comes in. As women, we are taught from such a young age that beauty equals success, and for so long I was hung up on this idea that in order for my thoughts, opinions or ideas to be taken seriously, I would need to measure up to societies standards of beauty. That belief kept me from showing up fully in my business and in my life.
How many of us are held back from the work we are meant to do and the joy we are meant to experience because of our obsession with living up to someone else’s idea of beauty? How many of us delay happiness and postpone joy, waiting until after we’ve lost the weight or dropped a dress size, to be active participants in sucking the marrow out of our lives?
These days, I’m focusing less on impressing people with my looks and more on empowering them with my energy. I realised I would so much rather invest my time cultivating compassion, sharpening my intellect and developing the kind of inner radiance that inspires people than forcing my body to take on a shape that isn’t natural for me.
I get that some people absolutely love pushing their body to see how far it can go, but when I think about how much effort it took to maintain my ‘goal weight’, I can honestly say it’s just not worth it. As with anything in life, you have to ask yourself, do you want it because that’s the experience your soul is longing to have, or because everyone tells you that’s what you should want? Is it your dream or someone else’s dream for you?
4. I let go of my obsession with losing weight.
After nearly a decade of trying to get smaller, the thought of giving up scared the shit out of me. I clung to diets because they gave me a purpose, losing weight made me feel accomplished. It was easier to write a meal plan than it was to map out a plan for my future. And it was easier trying to change my body than it was to change the world.
I also thought that if I wasn’t following a strict eating and exercise ‘plan’, I would completely lose control and binge until I was the size of a house. And for a while, I did go a little crazy. I had to rebuild the trust between me and my body. I needed to prove that I was sticking to my word this time and I wasn’t going to deprive it any more.
But when I stopped labelling foods as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ and started giving myself unconditional permission to eat whatever I wanted, eating an entire block of chocolate lost its appeal. I could have it, so I didn’t want it. If I did end up over eating, I quickly forgave myself and moved on. No judgement, criticism or shame, just unconditional acceptance. I quickly learnt that most of the time I didn’t actually want the chocolate, I wanted the way it made me feel; worthy, deserving, full.
Instead of using food to suppress my emotions, I started tapping into my bodies natural wisdom. I started by opening up the lines of communication. I wrote her letters in my journal, apologising for all the times I had ignored her, made her sick and used her to satisfy my ego desires. I promised to take care of her, trust her and always ask her what she needed. I spoke to her like I would my best friend or little sister. Much to my delight, she started talking back.
I love you.
I love you too.
Today, my relationship with my body feels like rekindling a romance with a long lost lover; we’re both still marvelling at all the things we can do together, getting excited about what this means for our future and falling more in love with each other every day. Like any great relationship, ours is based on trust, communication and mutual respect. I speak kind words to my body, I don’t make her do things she doesn’t want to do, and I trust that she knows what she needs in any given moment. Sometimes that means making a big fat pasta dish, sometimes it means stopping when there’s still food left on the plate. I still apologise if I drink too much wine and wake up with a hangover. She forgives me and we go and do something to make us feel amazing again.
Exercise doesn’t feel like a chore, it’s a way to expend all the beautiful energy that runs through my body. I don’t slog it out at the gym to burn calories or punish myself for overeating, I move in ways that feel good. Lifting weights makes me feel powerful, dancing makes me feel sexy as hell. My body is an incredible vehicle I have been given to fully engage in this earthly experience, and I love it regardless of its shape or size.
No more guilt. A Christmas picnic with girlfriends at the end of last year. Knowing I could eat whatever I wanted meant I could enjoy the food AND the company without feeling anxious or out of control.
I know this is an ongoing process – as my body changes, I will need to continue practicing self love and some times are going to be harder than others, but never again will I let insecurity hold me back. The beauty standards set by society will continue to change, but I reserve the right to decide what’s beautiful to me, and my definition of beauty is all encompassing – there is room for everyone. I am so excited to see – in our lifetime – a generation of women liberated from the shackles of self loathing, free to share their unique gifts with the world and I am so grateful for the women before me who have publicly embraced their bodies at every size.
Wherever you are on the journey, may these words guide your way home.
Do not be afraid to take up space. Consciously expand until your presence rivals galaxies. Should your body say anything about Who You Are, let it say nothing of willpower or self-control, let it tell the story of your curiosity, your bravery, your compassion. Should you seek to be less of anything, may you be less worried about making yourself look acceptable.
When you go looking for validation or proof of your worthiness, may you go only to the Source of all fulfilment that lives inside of you. May the only picture of your progress be a reminder of how much your spirit has grown. May you appreciate your body as the temporary home your soul chose for you to inhabit. May you defend her sovereignty and honour her wisdom. May you praise her in public and pleasure her in private.
When you look at your body may you see our mother earth incarnate; in every crevice and fault line, in the veins that run like rivers, in all the mountains and valleys that ripple across your skin. And when the time comes for you to leave, may it be with gratitude as the veil is lifted and the joy of returning to infinite oneness can no longer be contained.
All my love,
Healthy, happy and thriving the week end after I published this post. A year ago, I never would have posted a photo like this but these moments deserve to be captured and all bodies deserve to be seen.
If you are looking for more on this topic, check out the recommended resources below and if you feel called, I would love for you to share your story in the comments below.
This year was massive. Who else feels that? It seems like everyone I speak to is still reeling and wondering, ‘What the f*** just happened here?’ This has been one of the most trying but truly transformational years of my life, and I can see that mirrored in the collective. We’ve all been forced to deal with some long-repressed wounds that have been lying latent in the subconscious. We have been continuously tested and triggered, and called to do the deep healing work necessary to move into this next stage of our evolution.
For me, so much of what has happened this year has been internal. For once in my life, I’m not defining the success of the last twelve months by the content I’ve created, the money I’ve made or what size I am in time for summer. I feel accomplished and unbelievably proud, but all because of the resilience I’ve built, the mindset I’ve cultivated and the inner peace that permeates my being. I’m not defining or valuing myself based on what I’ve achieved, but on the person I have become. In a culture that appraises us solely on our ability to produce and consume; How much did I make this year? What ‘stuff’ did I manage to accumulate? I feel like I’ve outdone the system, while also exposing the BS conditioning that’s been behind it all along.
When depression knocked me out of the game earlier this year, I learnt pretty quickly that despite all the ‘work’ I had done finding my purpose and dropping everything to follow my passion, I was still completely missing the point. The addiction to achievement that had been programmed into me from day one was distracting me from what really mattered. I realised that my worth wasn’t dependent on the number of clients I worked with or blog posts I wrote and I didn’t have to run myself into the ground trying to ‘save the world’ in order to earn my place on this planet. I remember that life is essentially playful and that, despite our best efforts, none of us are actually going anywhere.
So I started doing things just because they brought me joy; dancing, drinking coffee, taking an hour to do my make up. I fell in love with the process and dropped my attachment to the end result. My desire to make a difference has deepened, but I create because I want to, not because I feel like I have to. I realised that some wounds don’t need to be fixed, they just want to be felt. I discovered that the path to success isn’t an upward trajectory but an unpredictable roller coaster with plenty of loop-de-loops and downhill slopes thrown in. And while the free falls of failure are painful, they are all worth it. Because it means you’re trying. It means you’re awake. It means you’re doing shit that matters.
Whatever this year brought up for you, now is the time to reflect, recap and put to rest. Give credit where it’s due, be liberal with your gratitude and even more so with your compassion. Grab a pen and piece of paper and ask yourself,
What did I learn, about myself? About the world?
What did I do, create or experience that I am really freaking proud of?
How have I changed? In what ways have I grown?
What qualities did I embody?
What word would I use to describe this year?
Celebrating my baby business’ 2nd birthday!
In 2017, I’ve decided I’m not going to hustle anymore. I’m really tired of running around trying to ‘make shit happen’ and smashing head first into brick walls. I’ve realised how much our collective conditioning says that life has to be ‘hard’ and after twenty four years I’ve decided to let that go. It doesn’t serve me, so I’m not choosing it. It doesn’t mean I’m no longer working for what I want but the work I do will be inward healing rather than outward hustling. I understand now that if I want to manifest something in my reality, I don’t have to go looking for it, I just have to open myself to receive it. My core desired feeling is magnetic. And damn that feels good.
As I move further into alignment with my soul’s mission, I feel like my business is moving in a different direction. The ‘why’ is the same – awaken, enlighten and inspire the next generation – but the ‘how’ looks different. It includes finding your purpose, but it also expands beyond it. I’ve been listening to my soul and it’s telling me to write about what I know, what lights me up like nothing else; topics like mental health and spirituality, addiction and creativity, God and sex. It wants me to give you – with no holds barred – the exact tools and strategies I’ve used to quite literally change the trajectory of my life, so that your journey is as meaningful, powerful and freaking blissful as it can possibly be. So get ready for brand new content, epic resources to support your journey, and a new website so stunning you’ll never want to leave.
2017 is going to be massive. For all of us, and our planet. If we surrender to the unfolding and grow where we’re called, we will move through it with grace and power, consciously creating whatever we want at lightning speed. If we resist, we will be at the mercy of collective chaos. To make the most of the accelerated expansion and transformative energy on the planet right now, use these questions to set crystal clear intentions for the New Year,
How do I want to feel?
What is my soul craving more of?
What do I need to let go of?
What am I ready to call in?
If anything was possible, what would I do, be, create and experience this year?
This is it my love. Another revolution around the sun in our own little fragment of time and space. Thank you for all your incredible love and support this year. In the grand cosmic game that is life on this planet, there is no one I’d rather be playing with.
I want to give a massive shoutout to the amazing Sophie Hardcastle and her book Running Like China. Her harrowing recount of a battle with mental illness not only offers hope for the one in five young people struggling, but gives those on the outside a window to look in. In the book Sophie suggests writing a letter to yourself to read during relapses, so when darkness roars across the sky and you want to leave this life behind, you have something to remind you of all the reasons you have to stay.
This is my letter.
You are here for a reason.
You know it, you have always known it.
You have work to do here. You have minds to awaken, souls to enlighten and hearts to inspire. You have mountains to move and messages to deliver. You have systems to change, rules to break, beliefs to challenge, talents to unleash. You have light to give and darkness to discover. You have lessons to learn and really fucking beautiful things to create.
I know that being a human is hard work and you just want to go ‘home’, but it’s not time yet. The fact that your heart is beating means that there are things your soul still wants to experience here on earth.
I know you can’t see it right now, but there are so many beautiful things about this life.
Even if it doesn’t right now, writing makes you happy. So does sunshine on the nape of your neck, sunrise over the ocean and a glass of rosé overlooking the water. You love almond lattes and peppermint tea and the full moon takes your breath away.
You have friends who adore you.
You have this way of making people feel excited and inspired, like they can take on the world. You see the beauty, wisdom and light in others even when they don’t see it in themselves. You have a superhuman empathy that most people don’t understand (it’s one of the reasons you’re struggling right now) and a God-given gift for articulating the complexities of this human experience. Your words heal, your presence uplifts, your light inspires. You have already helped so many people and you are going to help millions more.
You have so much to look forward to. You will meet people who challenge you and change the way you see the world and you will experience moments of Divine revelation so powerful they will alter you on a cellular level. You will know joy so pure it will soothe your earthly wounds. You will love so deeply it will crack you open.
The tears will stop, your fire will return and the words will pour forth again. Your writing will be a channel for the Divine to flow through you into the world.
You will make yourself proud.
I can’t even remember what you’re going through right now. I think our mind protects us by blocking out the pain. Just know that it’s okay if all you did today was brush your teeth and take a shower. If you can’t make it out the front door, that’s okay too. You are worthy. You are valuable. You are more than enough.
I know it doesn’t feel like it, but there is meaning in all of this. The many facets of melancholy shape you, teach you and change you. They fast track your growth and evolution, they destroy you so you can be rebuilt. Remember? We experience darkness so we can know ourselves as light. It takes a special kind of faith to surrender to the dark night of the soul, secure in the knowledge that the sun will rise again. When the waves drag you under, relax and find an anchor. You aren’t being drowned, but cleansed.
I know it doesn’t seem like it right now, but there is more love in this world than fear and the evil pales in comparison to the good. The battle has already been fought. The war has already been won. We’re all just enacting the illusion of Source’s journey back to love.
Even when the loneliness overwhelms you, you are never truly alone.God is still there, even if you can’t feel Him and there is an army of unseen forces protecting, comforting and fighting for you in every moment.
When the clouds roll in and darkness roars across the sky, remember your Divine appointment. You are a messenger, a visionary, a healer, a shaman, a leader, a shepherd, a lightworker. You have been preparing lifetimes for this.
And when all is said and done you will return home, not a moment sooner than you are meant to, ensconced in a starry bliss. The veil will be lifted and with the limitations of the body forgotten, you will remember who you really are.
Until then darling one, you have work to do – and you have to be here to do it.
I have finally decided to put my journalism skills to good use and start an interview series with what I consider to be the next generation of conscious leaders; the kick ass millennials – just like you and I – who are living their truth and doing shit that matters. In this interview Madison Hedlund and I get real, raw and honest about the issues affecting our generation; religion and spirituality, purpose and politics, cultivating compassion and blazing a trail on the NEW path to success. THESE are the conversations we need to be having and it makes me so happy (I literally break out in goosebumps half way through the video) to be able to hold space for this information to come through us and into the world.
Back in April I wrote about my relapse into depression, and at the time I promised a follow up. I sensed then that it would be important – I could feel deep within my soul that even though I couldn’t see it, there was meaning and a purpose for what I was going through. But even so, I never could have guessed back then just how much I would learn during this season, and just how deeply it would impact me and my life. What I’ve learnt over the last few months has forever altered the way I see the world, especially this thing we call ‘mental illness’. This post is a pretty raw recount of what I discovered through darkness and – having come out the other side – what I think is the real reason behind the mental health epidemic affecting our generation, and what we can do to solve it.
How I Healed My Depression
Here are the facts:
1 in 5 Australians have directly experienced some form of mental illness.
Suicide is the leading cause of death for young people aged 15-24.
Suicide rates in Australia are at a 13-year high, up 13.5% from 2013.
The World Health Organisation estimates that by the year 2030, depression will be the number one health concern in developed nations.
In our culture we seem to hold the belief that sadness is ‘wrong’ and happiness is ‘right’ – that if we are sad then we need to be fixed. Nowhere is this more evident than in our treatment of mental illness. The accepted narrative is that our symptoms are a result of a chemical irregularity wreaking havoc in our brains and skewing our perception of the world. Bottom line; there’s something wrong with our biological make up and we need to fix it. But what if the chemical imbalance wasn’t the cause of depression and anxiety, but a symptom of something much deeper?
As I come out of this dark night of the soul, I am convinced that depression has very little to do with brain chemistry. The fact that suicide is the leading cause of death for 15-25 year olds speaks to a problem greater than a chemical imbalance. It’s a sign that something in our society, culture and way of life isn’t working.
There are plenty of potential culprits, but they all come down to this; we are out of alignment. Our mind, body and soul are trying to tell us that something doesn’t add up.
If you’re looking at the world today and you’re not grieving, I don’t think you’re really looking.
From the moment we’re born we are conditioned to compete with one another for empty idols like money and attention, we grow up in an education system that stifles our creativity only to graduate and realise we have inherited a world on the brink of destruction and are grossly unprepared to handle the challenges that face us, the planet is suffocating under the weight of our endless consumption, we have a corrupt economic system that channels wealth and power from the masses to a select few and thousands die every day in futile conflicts orchestrated by a fear-based power structure that uses violence to further their own ego-driven agendas.
We are bombarded by advertising that encourages us to spend our time, energy and resources striving for unattainable standards of ‘beauty’ and ‘success’ while subsequently eroding our self esteem and we have foregone our innately spiritual nature in favour of an obsession with the physical, taking our need for validation, guidance and fulfilment outside ourselves. We bear constant witness to violent images of death and destruction designed to overwhelm and desensitise us and we have built a society based on economic principles like individualism and competition over humanitarian values like community and relationships. Add to that the widely unknown effects of the barrage of toxic chemicals we ingest on a daily basis and it’s no wonder we feel helpless, disconnected and out of control in our own lives.
Maybe my inability to adapt to the world is not because I’m crazy but because I’m paying attention. I’m the canary in the mine and you need my sensitivity because I can smell toxins in the air that you can’t smell, see trouble you don’t see and sense danger you don’t feel.
Glennon Doyle Melton
What if being anxious or depressed could more accurately be described as having an acute sensitivity to the state of the world and our place within it? What if your ‘mental illness’ was in fact an allergic reaction to modern life?
Because we are all expressions of the same consciousness, what happens to one of us is felt by all of us. It doesn’t matter how sheltered or #blessed our lives are, it doesn’t matter if we don’t watch the news or know what’s going on in the Middle East,our spirit has the ability to pick up on things our mind can’t comprehend. Our energy is attuned to that of people we may never meet but whose pain we can feel as if it were our own. What if our sense of hopelessness and foreboding was an invitation to get our collective act together, or a precognition of what’s to come if we don’t?
The wisest question when we are deeply sad is not, ‘How can I end or numb this pain immediately?’ The wisest question is, ‘What is the meaning of this pain? What is it revealing to me? What is it calling me to understand?’
If there is anything this year has taught me it’s that every season serves a purpose, even if we can’t always see it. Sadness itself holds a special place in our evolution; it is the birthplace of change. Sadness is the siren call of stagnation, alerting us to the areas of our lives – and our world – that aren’t working, so we can do what we can to change them. It’s an invitation to unravel, to allow what we know to be destroyed so that something better can take its place.
What I first thought was a huge step back this year ended up being one of the most fertile periods of growth in my life to date and I have come out the other side because I did the work. Instead of suppressing the pain (as I have done countless times in the past) I dove headfirst into it and – with the help of mentors, psychologists and guides – I felt my way through. I became a student of my suffering and the lessons I learnt this time around – how to deal with failure, receive with grace and break my addiction to achievement – have changed me on a cellular level.
Now I want to change the conversation around mental illness. I’m no longer buying this narrative of depression and anxiety being life long battles that require a lifetime of medication just to get by. This isn’t something that we should be slapping a bandaid over, this is something that needs to be hauled into the blinding light of day. Yes let’s break the stigma, yes let’s get people talking about their experiences, but to what end? So a GP can write a prescription to sedate you long enough to continue about your “normal” life, or so the pain you are experiencing can finally crack you open and reveal to you all the areas of yourself, and our world, that are ready to transform?
I’m not naive enough to believe that what worked for me will work for everyone. I also know that there are cases in which medication has been used to bring people back from the brink and give them the time and headspace to heal, and for that we can all be grateful. But it will never be a substitute for the deep, healing work that this illness is inviting us to do, in ourselves and in the world. We need to listen to our bodies and give ourselves permission to feel. If you need to grieve, then grieve. If you need to scream and cry for no apparent reason, let it happen. Your soul is mourning things your mind can’t understand.You are adjusting to a life bound by the limitations of an earthly body, on a planet severely out of alignment with the natural world, in a culture founded on values fundamentally at odds with your true nature. Of course it hurts. Let the pain lead you down the dark path of your shadow self, seek out those who can hold a light for you there, and then emerge with the wisdom that only darkness delivers. Find an outlet, build a platform and share your story and ideas with the world.
Out of all the periods of human history, this is not the time to numb. In numbing against our own pain, we in turn numb our ability to connect with others in theirs. True compassion is cultivated in our lowest moments, when we have fallen from grace and the mercy of others becomes the soothing balm to our open wounds. And when we refuse to allow ourselves to fall, we alienate those who need our help most because they are a reminder of a pain we don’t want to face.
Depression and anxiety are not physical problems, they are spiritual ones andthe chemical imbalance is a symptom, not the cause.
Mental illness is not something to be downplayed or romanticised, nor is it something to be relegated to a mere physical ailment that can be ‘managed’ with a pill. Those who have been brought down by it are not crazy or broken and we don’t need help numbing our pain, we need help healing the world that caused it.
To my mental health warriors,
Being attuned to the injustice, fear and oppression in the world doesn’t make you weak, it makes you awake. I know it feels dark, heavy and overwhelming, my heart breaks when I see lower energies surfacing all over the world. But in this new age of authenticity and transparency, everything that no longer serves us is coming up to be healed. It’s all part of the plan. Humanity is waking up, and you and your beautiful mind are being asked to lead the way. The inner transformation you are about to undergo is a microcosm of the shift you were sent to bring about on the planet.
My prayer is that you would be empowered by the knowledge that your pain serves a purpose, that there is beauty in your breakdown and messages in your mess. Above all I pray, that in whatever way, shape or form it takes – whether it’s now or as we pave the way for generations to come – all of our suffering would be of service.
‘Fine, I’ll come back,’ I said, ‘but I’m coming back with a mission. I’m not stepping back into the matrix, I’m going to join the special forces who are trying to free everybody from it. Because yes, I’ve got these conditions – anxiety, depression, addiction – and they almost killed me, but they are also my superpowers.’
Glennon Doyle Melton
All my love,
Want to share your experiences? Start now in the comments below. I can’t wait to hear from you.
Ps. I’ll be doing a Facebook Live on this topic over on my FB page this Thursday night. I’ll be sharing more of my personal journey and answering any questions. Make sure you’ve liked my page: facebook.com/jaeschaefer and tune in at 7pm. See you there! x
You know those chats that leave you buzzing, the conversations that are energising, inspiring and make you feel like you could take on the world? Do you want to invite more of those into your life? Maybe your conversations feel more draining than anything, talking to people has become a chore and life is a series of one meaningless interaction after another. You crave connection, the feeling of being seen, heard and understood.
These days so many of our interactions are surface level. We’re terrified that if people knew the real us, they would go running in the other direction so we put on a mask to match the situation that we’re in. Before I started practicing conscious communication, most of my conversations occurred through a filter of self-consciousness. I would be half listening to the other person and half to my own stream of inner dialogue. Does he care about what I’m saying right now? Should I really be telling her this? Am I what they expected? I wonder what they think of me.
The other person would say something that triggered an unhealed wound and instead of being grateful for the opportunity to grow and evolve, I would lash out of my own unconsciousness and try to defend the mask I had worked so tirelessly to craft. On a micro scale, that’s why we find it hard to have meaningful relationships. On a global scale, that’s why we have world wars.
When you are living authentically and in the present, the mask becomes unnecessary. You know that what you have to offer as your True self is far more valuable than any identity you could project, and you show up with the confidence and grace of someone who knows that they are exactly where they are meant to be in any given moment.
When I started approaching conversations from this space, I was able to engage with people on a level I never had before. I was lost in their stories, riding the waves of their pain and exultation until the boundaries of time and space that only exist in the physical world began to melt away. That’s when you start to get a glimpse of the inherent connectedness of all living things. You pull back the veil of separateness and the illusions of this physical plane to find that we are all expressions of the same consciousness and beneath even the greatest differences, we are made of the same stuff.
I can tell now, in every conversation, if the other person is present with me or if they’re processing everything I say through a veil of their own insecurity; judging the situation, judging me, looking for ways to advance their own agenda or just biding time until it’s their turn to speak. When someone is fully engaging with you, there’s no agenda, no secondary dialogue going on behind their eyes. You don’t feel rushed or judged, you feel supported, heard, understood. Hours can pass like minutes and you walk away feeling inspired, validated and connected to the other person, yourself and the Source of all life.
These days, most of my conversations feel like that; epic exchanges of energy. There’s no time wasted on small talk or superficial gossip – we go from ‘Hello’ to ‘Do you think romantic relationships are a way to deepen our connection to the Divine within us?’ in 0.5 seconds, and I LOVE it. So how do we call more of these conversations into our lives and connect with one another on a deeper level?
These are the techniques that I used to take my conversations from superficial to sacred.
Be secure in your own worth. It’s hard to engage fully with someone if you have put them on a pedestal. Likewise, you won’t fully connect with someone you are secretly judging as inferior to you. Stop questioning your right to be there by thinking about your hair, how your clothes fit or desperately searching their face for signs of judgement or criticism. Hold your ground. Show up. You have a something to offer this person, quit obsessing over the physical and focus on inspiring them with your energy.
Approach every conversation as though it has been Divinely orchestrated (which it has) and as though you are exactly where you are meant to be (which you are). You are constantly being positioned in relationships and situations that will give both parties an opportunity to connect, learn and grow. Whether you’re talking to the cashier at Woolies or the love of your life, every person you meet has something to teach you.
Come from a place of service. Rather than going into a conversation asking, ‘What can I get out of this?’ start asking, ‘What can I give?’ You have something incredible to offer everyone you meet. It might be a few words of wisdom, a new perspective or even just some much needed encouragement. You don’t have to always know what to say. Sometimes it’s our presence and not our answers, that are the greatest gift in the conversation.
Practice active listening by clearing your mind and focusing your full attention on the person in front of you. Dont rush to fill the silence and trust that when the time is right, the words will come. When I’m coaching my clients, I imagine myself as a channel for Divine guidance to flow through me into the world. I don’t have to know what to say, I just have to be open to relaying the messages I receive. Anyone can be that channel, all it takes is an open heart and a clear mind.
Ask questions with the intent to understand rather than to respond. And when you do respond, do so in a way that will serve the progress of the conversation rather than your own Ego. That’s what it means to hold space for someone – to momentarily forego your own ego to be fully present with another person. It invites a level of connection that can be life-changing for both parties.
When you seek the other persons value with the intent to explore it rather than exploit it, the conversation becomes a vehicle for the manifestation of truth, beauty and pure creative energy to be brought into the world.
Open up. We form connections through vulnerability. That doesn’t mean spill your darkest secrets to the woman next to you at the bus stop (although I have done this on an aeroplane and she ended up introducing me to one of my best friends so there’s a place for everything), but when you feel that connection with someone, build up a foundation of trust by sharing something deeper about yourself. You would not believe the amount of times I’ve voiced my deepest shame only to have the other person turn around and say, ‘Me too.’
Conversation, collaboration and connection are the most powerful vehicles for social change we have at our disposal. When we realise how similar we really are, we stop wanting to kill each other. When we strip back all the false identities, we can re-humanise ourselves in a culture that is constantly trying to disconnect and distract us. Conscious conversations have the power to break down the walls that separate us; they are the key to freeing us from the insecurities that keep us imprisoned in our own minds. Yes it makes you vulnerable, but when you connect with the someone on that level, chains are broken, shame is lifted and the communion of your minds unearths wisdom that has the potential to move mountains.
This is the story of the time God spoke to me on my balcony. It’s the story I tell when someone asks me how I had the guts to up and leave the path of self destruction, neurosis and what ‘the world’ wanted me to do, and forge my own instead.
It was coming towards the end of a ‘wellbeing day’ that I had to re-connect and focus my intentions after a busy couple of weeks. I had been feeling extremely connected to the Universe all day, every step I took and decision I made was filled with purpose and Divine intention. My writing was flowing freely and with ease; it was one of those days I felt as though I had a book inside me and if I just sat at my computer and kept typing it would present itself to me, complete (and it probably would have if I didn’t physically shut my computer and go to the gym). I was sitting on my balcony with a cup of tea, reading A Return to Love in my yoga pants and feeling pretty blessed.
At this point in time, I was about to start the fourth and final year of my Journalism degree. I had spent my summer doing work experience with a magazine in Sydney, I was Deputy Editor of an online magazine for women and I was a couple of weeks in to an internship with a major network newsroom. It was safe to say that I was doing everything right to secure my spot in the field. The only problem was, it was a spot I knew I didn’t want. You see, it was around the same time that I was starting to re-discover the world of personal development and spirituality. I was dabbling in meditation, practicing yoga and devouring every book and blog I could get my hands on.
I had learnt enough to trust that God had a vision for my future, but my own plans were pretty hazy. I knew at this point I wanted to start a blog where I could share everything I was learning and encourage people to realise their own infinite potential but I didn’t know how that would look as a career. I also knew that I wanted to live in Sydney. Brisbane – although I adored the incredible people I had met there – never really felt like home to me. With all this in the back of my mind, I kept plodding along in my routine, figuring I’d give myself another year of honing my skills as a writer and working to save enough for the move while I finished my degree then I could start living the life I really wanted to live. It wasn’t exactly an appealing decision to me, but it was a safe one.
As I sat there with my cup of tea, suddenly the thought occurred to me, ‘Why don’t you just do it now?’My ego jumped in pretty quickly, ‘Because you’re not ready, you don’t have the financial stability, you don’t have the time, you’re too young and you don’t know the first thing about starting a business. Just put it off for another year and then you can re-assess, that’s obviously the logical choice here.’ But something inside me had been awakened and refused to be subdued. I stopped reading, closed my eyes, held the book to my chest and asked the Universe plain and simple, ‘Am I ready now?’
The response was overwhelming.
It was as if the heavens opened up in that moment. An incredible sense of purpose, excitement and uncontainable joy (the magnitude of which I still haven’t been able to replicate to this day) flooded through my entire being. A massive smile spread across my face and I actually started giggling out loud. I saw my Grandma (who had passed away two years before) smiling, and I felt God give me an unmistakable and resounding, Yes. Images flashed through my head of my blog, and me proudly sharing the link with family and friends. I saw myself standing on stage talking to hundreds and thousands of people and taking days just like this one to reflect, meditate and share the messages I was receiving with the world.
As the fear and self-doubt washed away I felt excited, limitless and safe. In that moment, I could plainly see the beauty, light and wisdom that existed not only in me, but in every human being on the planet. It was a glimpse of Heaven and of God within me. As I opened my eyes, the mountains and trees before me were bathed in golden light. I got the impression that God was showing me the future that awaited me if I followed Him. It wasn’t an invitation to join any particular ideology or religion, but to leave my old ways behind and start following the guidance of my soul.
I made the decision then and there to quit my internship and use every cent of my savings to enrol in an eight week online business course run by the formidable Marie Forleo. It was, along with my decision to become a Beautiful You Life Coach, the best investment I have ever made.
What followed were a few days of inspired action. Quitting my internship was definitely the scariest part; sending the email felt a bit like jumping out of a plane. I had no idea what I was going to do apart from ‘start a blog’, but there was no denying that what I received was a direct message from Heaven and I knew that when I took that leap of faith, God would give me wings.
Since that afternoon, I have been lead by what I like to call my Internal Guidance System (the GPS of my soul) on journey of a lifetime. There have been tears, tantrums and traumas but through it all I have been supported, nurtured and guided to heights greater than I ever thought possible (and I’m only just getting started). Of course there are times when the voices of the world hijack my conscience and I veer off track, but I am quickly brought back by some event or obstacle that reminds me that God sees way more from His perspective and it’s going to be a hell of a lot easier with Him leading the way.
Starve the ego, feed the soul.
It doesn’t matter how passionate or committed we are at the start, our ego will alwaystry and plant seeds of doubt in our mind about why we can’t go after what we really want. Some people believe it’s our subconscious trying to keep us safe, I believe it’s a supernatural force (re-enforced by a very real and very pervasive culture) trying to keep us sedated. Either way, the only antidote is to continually recommit to our Truth. There are moments every day when I am distracted by the impulses of my ego rather than guided by the murmurs of my soul but each time I make an effort to re-align my thoughts, words and actions with my true desires, and even though I can’t see the whole staircase, the path keeps unfolding for me one step at a time.
I wanted to share this story as a reminder that Divine guidance is only a prayer away and that in His infinite wisdom, God uses everyone to do His work here on earth.At the time this was all happening I was still getting drunk every week end and sleeping with anything that moved, but God saw something in me that I had lost in myself. He saw potential, He saw promise, He saw a purpose.
Sometimes our soul speaks to us in grand moments of enlightenment, sometimes it’s smaller synchronicities or a feeling of excitement and pure joy, but when you tune into that wisdom and start taking action on the messages you receive, that’s when the magic happens. This is what we mean we talk about bringing heaven to earth. It’s not some esoteric religious BS, it’s an invitation to bring the love, compassion and beauty that abounds in the metaphysical world of the infinite into the physical realm of the relative. It’s an invitation to be in communion with the army of angels who are ready and waiting to assist us in every moment.
Whenever I’m tempted to stray from my path, I think back to that day on my balcony and how much has changed since I said Yes to that calling. How many wounds have been healed, how many miracles have been worked in, around and through me. It flaws me on a daily basis.
In whatever way your soul speaks to you, listen. If you’ve never heard it, don’t be afraid to start the conversation. It’s there waiting for you, in the seconds before sunrise, in the silence before sleep, in the stillness of surrender.
What do you believe to be true about life, the world and yourself?
I’ve always been a dreamer but recently my ideas about what’s possible for my life have been expanding. It’s like these internal walls that I didn’t even know I had are being completely destroyed and my mind is opening to new possibilities and new ways of thinking and being in the world. It’s super exciting and it got me thinking about how much of what we achieve in life is determined by what we think is possible. A lot of these beliefs exist in our subconscious but even though we might not be aware of them, they are affecting the chances we take, the choices we make and the way we show up in the world.
In this video I share my top tips for uncovering limiting beliefs and a super simple strategy for overcoming them to unleash your full potential. If you struggle with self sabotage or can’t seem to move forward in one area of your life, you won’t want to miss this one.
How to reprogram your subconscious beliefs:
Recognise the thought pattern and speculate about where it came from without placing blame or becoming fixated on the past.
Change your inner dialogue surrounding it. “I’m not smart/talented/attractive enough to chase my dreams” becomes “everything I need to follow my dreams already exists inside me.”
When faced with the same situation, consciously change your behaviour to match the new belief. Your mind will eventually catch up.
I hope this video has served you in some way. Now, I would love to hear from you in the comments below, what is one limiting belief that’s been holding you back and what are you going to use to replace it? Remember, there is nothing you can’t do, nothing you can’t have and no limit to what you can become.
If you liked this video, make sure you share it with your friends and enter your name and email below to join the next generation of game changers following their passion and changing the world in the process.
I used to be addicted to drama. Whether it was picking fights with the guy I was seeing, gossiping with my friends or arguing with my parents, the world as I knew it revolved around the latest ‘scandal’ that was unfolding in my life. He didn’t text me back, she’s being distant, work is slowly killing me and there’s nothing I can do about it.
Drama is a result of unnecessarily prolonging conflict. By overreacting, refusing to take responsibility for our circumstances or just being really freaking stubborn, we turn trivial conflicts and unimportant events into epic sagas that drag on for weeks, months and even years. Today I’m going to unpack why many of us find it hard to break the habit of engaging in surface level BS and the secret to cleansing your life of drama once and for all.
Drama is addictive.
Despite its negative side effects, drama fulfils our need – however briefly – for attention and validation. For as long as that problem exists, we get to play the victim and/or the hero. We divide up camps into those “with us” and “against us” and engage in an elaborate game of us versus them. We forget the fundamental truth that we are all connected and that what we do to another we ultimately do to ourselves and fall prey to the belief that we are somehow in competition with those around us.
But it’s not just theatrics we become addicted to. When you find yourself in the same situation often enough (hooking up with someone new for example) your brain starts to develop neural pathways that link that situation with a ‘positive’ outcome (in this case, an ego boost). From there, every time you are faced with that scenario (let’s say someone starts messaging you on Tinder) even if you know it’s not good for you, you are more likely to repeat the behaviour that your brain recognises will help you get your fix (helloooo self sabotage).
Drama is a distraction.
After a fair bit of soul searching, I realised I was using drama during my Uni years to distract myself from the fact that I wasn’t following my passion. I wanted to make an impact on the world but I was so terrified of deviating from the traditional path that everyone wanted me to follow, I played it safe by obsessing over things that didn’t really matter. I was also really freaking bored. As exciting as the highs and lows of addiction might seem, the inevitability of it all is completely mundane. There’s only so long you can live in your comfort zone before you start looking for something to replace the lack of action and adventure in your life. (Netflix binges anyone?)
Drama distracts us from what we are meant to do in the world by making relatively unimportant things seem like matters of life and death. Whether it’s friend drama, family feuds or the on and off again drama of a toxic relationship, it’s all a smokescreen for the real desire of our soul; to use our unique gifts in the service of others.
And we lap it up. Because it’s easier to be well-versed in the age old battle between your grandmother and your aunt than it is to understand the intricacies of the Syrian conflict. It’s easier to whinge about your boss than it is to quit your job and start the business you’ve always dreamed of, and it’s easier to play in the shallows of a shitty relationship than it is to dive deep into the relationship between you and your Soul.
Conflict is a necessary part of a healthy relationship, both with others and with yourself, but prolonging that conflict by refusing to confront it head on is a sure sign you are looking for a distraction.
“The working artist does not permit drama in her life, she harnesses the need for drama and transforms it in her work.”
Eventually, I got sick of my own bullshit. It became exhausting trying to keep up with who I wasn’t talking to and holding onto grudges when I couldn’t even remember why. There was also this little voice in my head saying, ‘What are you doing? You know this shit doesn’t actually matter. When are we going to get on with saving the world?’
I learned that there is a difference between drama and excitement. When you are on the path of your soul, there is plenty of action, excitement and adventure to keep you on your toes. The natural highs and lows of a spiritual journey are enough to keep anyone thoroughly entertained and engaged, without needing to manufacture trivial conflicts.
Now when I hear people complaining that ‘drama just seems to follow them wherever they go,’ I can’t help but call them out. If you have drama in your life, it’s because you have permitted it. You have entertained the people, circumstances and behaviours that make up the soap opera of your life. When you are really sick of the jealousy, competition and conflict, you won’t tolerate them anymore.
These days inner peace is my priority. Yes, conflicts still arise – both internally and externally – but instead of feeding them with rhetoric and knee-jerk reactions, I look at what I have to learn from the situation and do my best to resolve it. If I find myself seeking out or engaging in surface level stuff, I know there’s obviously a deeper issue I’m not addressing. I’ll do some journalling, call in whatever I’m craving and then I can get back to saving the world.
If you are ready to own your purpose, step into your authority and focus on the work you are really meant to do in the world, here’s a few tips to cleanse the drama from your life once and for all:
1. Resolve conflicts as soon as they arise by having open and honest conversations with people. Get comfortable with confrontation.
2. Keep disagreements between you and the person involved. If you need a third party perspective, go to someone you trust and give them a general outline without going into specifics or trying to get them on your side.
3. Know when to let shit go. Ask yourself if it’s really worth bringing something up or if you can move on with your life. Some battles are worth fighting, but not all of them.
4. Look at things from the other persons perspective. “The true mark of maturity is when somebody hurts you and you try to understand their situation without hurting them back.” Maturity starts when the drama ends.
5.Recognise that the qualities that aggravate you about another person also exist within you, and they are being triggered because they want to be healed. Take responsibility for your wounds by working with a counsellor or a coach to let go of limiting beliefs and stop sabotaging your chances of success.
6. Stay away from people who fuel the fire. Having a friend who threatens to fight anyone who is not on your side might seem like the picture of loyalty but there’s more to be said for a friend who will help guide you to the high road.
Are you a recovering drama queen, or ready to drop the drama in your life so you can get on with the work your soul is calling you to do? I would love to hear from you in the comments below!
Remember that you have an irreplaceable role to play in healing the world that you are destined to enact simply by being yourself. It’s going to take everything you’ve got, but to settle for anything less would be to cheat the world of your brilliance.
A few weeks ago my darling MacMoodle had to go to Apple hospital to get her screen fixed. When the guy behind the counter told me it would be 5-7 days before I could pick her up, you could have knocked me over with an exhale. It’s 2016 for goodness sake! What paid service takes that long anymore?! Not only do I run my business from my laptop, I also spend the majority of my time reading, researching and connecting with others (okay, sitting on Facebook) online.
“Nope, this is great,” I thought after my initial freak out. “I’ve been wanting some tech free down time for a while now and this is the Universes way of delivering. Let’s just embrace it.”
The first night was the hardest.
I don’t have a TV at my house you see, so when I say I was alone, I mean really it was just me and the sun going down outside my lounge room window. I lasted about ten minutes before I panicked and tried hacking into my housemates laptop to watch Netflix while she was at work. No luck. So I had a realllly long shower, made tea and sat on the couch. I had music playing, blank paper and a whole evening stretching out in front of me with nothing to do. I took a few deep breaths and suddenly, a wave of happiness washed over me. I don’t know where it came from or how but I was giddy.
And then I started writing, a series of thoughts making their way onto the page in quick succession. Without distractions, the words flowed quickly and effortlessly. For the first time in months, I wasn’t worried about checking Facebook or having to fill in time with episodes of Suits, I was wholly and completely present. The week that followed was freaking blissful and chock-a-block full of juicy soul lessons that I wrote down – with pen and paper – and couldn’t wait to share with you. Here’s what I learned without my laptop:
1. I actually like my own company. And I think that’s really important. I used to hate being by myself because it meant the voices in my head that I had spent all week suppressing with alcohol, food and meaningless sex would start coming up for air. These days my inner dialogue is a lot kinder, I can turn down my ego (inner critic) when it comes up, and the rest of the time I’m either dreaming up new ideas or cracking inside jokes with myself (I think I’m hilarious). Living without my laptop reminded me of how important it is to build a loving relationship with yourself.
2. The idea that we need to be connected to feel connected is 100% bullshit. Remind me again why we have to keep up with what celebrities are doing on snapchat? Your life is just as valuable and important as Kim Kardashian’s and the less you engage in manufactured Hollywood drama, the more time you have for investing in and creating your own wild and wonderful life!
3. I can remember my dreams! As a way to cope with the dark night of the soul I experienced during the first half of this year (more on that later) I got into the nasty habit of self soothing by watching Netflix when I went to sleep. Without my laptop (and with a bit of inspiration from my gorgeous friend Heidi’s Digital Sunset initiative)I started turning my phone off before I went to bed and reading a book instead of scrolling through insta. Not only did I wake up feeling more rested, I started remembering my dreams vividly the next morning and have every night since! The next step is to buy a dream journal to see what patterns and messages from other realms emerge 😉
4. The importance of creating sacred space. What ever happened to those in-between moments? You know, the time when we’re not eating or sleeping or working or even sipping on a cup of tea? How many of us even have those gaps anymore? Our pauses are filled by messages and music and re runs and I think we’re missing out. We’re missing out on a chance to listen, to find out how we really feel and for ideas and creative inspiration to find us.
In a society so obsessed with doing, do we know how to just ‘be’ anymore?
It’s boring at first, and uncomfortable as all hell. But for once you don’t hear that niggling voice that says, ‘this is a total waste of time’when you watch tv or pick up your phone for the fiftieth time (that’s your soul speaking by the way). You get called out on your BS, ‘you know you can do better than that’ and you see the areas of your life where you have been settling for less than you deserve. Your inner dialogue becomes a lot clearer when it’s not muddied by adds on tv or conversations on Facebook, and you can trust that what’s coming to you is from the Source (your inner-guidance system) rather than second hand social conditioning. You can also tune into what you really need in any given moment instead of bandaid-ing your emotions or ignoring them altogether.
And after a while the thought of going back to technology feels…icky. You don’t want to open all the unread messages on your phone and you don’t care who tagged you in a post on Facebook.
It’s that beautiful transition from consumer to creator, when we realise our power and cease to be at the mercy of outside influencers pulling us this way and that. While before we guzzled down everything they put in front of us, now we consciously choose the resources we require to manifest our desired reality. We are no longer victims of the culture we live in, we are the creators of it.
Yes, technology is amazing and we are so freaking lucky to live in a time where we can connect to one another and share ideas in this space but we have to put the phones and laptops and social platforms back in their place; as tools we have been given to educate and engage with one another, not substitutes for the real thing. We are in control, not the other way around.
Don’t wait for your computer to die to experience the kind of clarity, connection and inner peace your soul is craving. I dare you to put your laptop away for the rest of the day or the rest of this week and see what happens (Heads up, the more you are resisting this idea, the more important it is for your souls evolution). Up for the challenge? Let me know in the comments so we can support each other along the way.
Something I come across a lot in my work is this belief that, “I’m too young to change the world”. We use it as an excuse to put off what we really want to be doing. “Oh, I’ll just wait till I’m a bit older and then I’ll start the blog, then I’ll build the business, then I’ll quit my day job and move overseas.” A lot of the time this belief stems from parents/teachers/adults in our lives who have made us feel inferior or powerless because of our youth. In the post-industrial culture they grew up in, children were ‘seen and not heard’ and very few were bought up to question their place in the world.
I have had SO many people after I tell them what I do, turn around and say, “Oh, aren’t you a bit young to be a life coach?”
All I can say to them is, “No, actually. I have a mission, a purpose and a deep desire to serve the world, and I’m not waiting until it’s more socially acceptable for me to start sharing my experiences and using the gifts I have been given to make a difference in the lives of those around me. I know I have a lot to learn, and I plan on being a student until the day I die, but I know enough to make a difference, and that’s all that matters.”
Today I want to unpack why being young is actually an asset that will help you change the world rather than something that’s holding you back. (I loved filming this one, and I know you’ll love watching it).
“It’s not the years in our life that matter, it’s the life in our years.”
Some of the most intelligent, conscious, kind and courageous people I know are under 25. Experience doesn’t always equal wisdom. There are people who die every day never having lived up to their full potential, never having awakened to the fact that we create our own reality and that life is supposed to be enjoyed rather than endured.
Just like the Universe we reside in, humanity is evolving. Each new generation is created with the gifts, talents and ideas needed to thrive in the world they are born in to. Those abilities are then activated by our experiences on this planet. Because of the state our world is in at the moment, it makes sense that we would be spiritually maturing or “waking up” at a younger age. It’s taking less external drama to awaken us to the reality that we are spiritual beings having a human experience and our purpose here is to remember our divine nature and live accordingly. We are awakening to our purpose at an earlier age because that’s what the world needs right now.
If you feel called to make a difference in the world, whatever that looks like for you, don’t wait until you’re ‘ready’, ‘older’ or ‘more qualified.’ You have been born on this planet and in this lifetime for a reason. Don’t know what it is yet? Download my ebook and take the first step to finding out.
If parents, teachers or unsupportive adults try to curb your enthusiasm with old faithfuls like, “Stop being so naive”, “Just wait until you’re older” or my personal favourite, “There’s no money in that, pick a real job,” just acknowledge that is their belief and their reality and you don’t have to share it (and then link them this post). You are allowed to surpass your parents emotionally, financially and intellectually. (You were designed to!)
“When you say yes to whatever future God wants for you, then all the capacities you need to manifest that future are born within you.”
Don’t worry about ‘how’ you are going to accomplish everything, there are a thousand unseen forces waiting and ready to help you fulfil your purpose on this earth who know nothing of worldly limitations like time and space. Say yes and the path will unfold one step at a time.
Is the belief that you’re too young keeping you from following your heart? Need a bit of extra love and support? Share your story in the comments below and I’ll see if I can share some guidance specific to your situation 😉 Know someone that needs to hear this? Link them the video and make sure you enter your name and email below to join the next generation of game changers hell bent on bringing heaven to earth.
Love and light,
JOIN THE TRIBE
What are you waiting for? Enter your name and email and step into the life you were born to live.
Hands up my high achievers? (Yep, that’s every one of you reading this blog). Back in April I posted about my relapse into depression. Not going to lie, the months that followed were pretty dark and at times deeply painful, but thanks to the incredible guidance from both my soul mentor and psychologist (who says the two can’t go hand in hand, hey?) I have come out the other side with a greater understanding of myself and a revelation that has changed the way I see my purpose and outwork it in my life.
I steam-rolled into this year with the same gung-ho energy that always accompanies me at the beginning of a new season. I had a list of goals I wanted to accomplish, expectations to meet and an idea of how it would all unfold. I was met with locked doors, brick walls and dead ends. Every request I made, it was like the Universe was saying, ‘No, nope, na-uh anddd no, you can’t have that either.’ I felt the sharp pain of failure as I put myself out there only to be knocked back again and again. By May, I was back in therapy for the second time in my twenty three years, trying to explain the waves of sadness that kept rolling over me.
“I’m really good at action steps,” I said to my therapist, “Just give me a few strategies for coping with sadness and a list of changes to make in my daily routine and I’ll be on my way.”
She paused for a moment, a smile forming on her face that was both patient and astute, “Why don’t we try feeling rather than fixing?”
I stared at her blankly. Umm…excuse me?
I have always been ambitious, goals-focused and achievement driven. My mother – the Queen of the To Do List – got me hooked from a young age on the satisfaction of putting a big, fat, felt-tipped line through chores, goals and extra-curricular activities. Debating team. Check. Public Speaking Champion. Check. Band six in Extension English. Check. Uni Degree. Check. I was always looking for the next step on my “path to success”, often ignoring what I really wanted in favour of what would make me look more accomplished. My opinion of myself was dependent upon how much I got done and how many ‘achievements’ I managed to accumulate.
Fast forward a few years and I had subconsciously developed the belief that I had to earn my place on this planet. I didn’t think I deserved to be born into such a privileged life so I hustled my buns off to prove that I was worthy of everything I received. Brene Brown calls this ‘hustling for worthiness’ and it looks like trying to prove to friends, parents, children (or in my case, God) that you are worthy of love and belonging.
Our world is so outcome focused. What will this get me? How will this benefit me in the future? What can I get out of this? (all daily thought processes for me). We celebrate success and promote productivity, determining our worth based on income brackets and how much material wealth we can accumulate. House? Check. Car? Check. Overseas holiday every other year? You bet. We get so busy leaping from one achievement and milestone to the next we forget the reason we wanted all those goals so badly in the first place. The same reason we ever want anything; because of how it makes us feel.
While it’s great to encourage achievement, problems arise when we value the performance more than the person behind it. Because so much of my identity was tied up in what I did, the love I had for myself was conditional. If I wasn’t publishing blog posts or coaching clients, I felt like a failure.
“Once we start basing our self-esteem purely on our performance, our greatest joys in life can start to seem like so much hard work, our pleasure morphing into pain.”
Yes, as people living a privileged life we have a moral responsibility to help those less fortunate but your impact will never fully land if it’s coming from a place of striving. Your actions will go furtherest when they are coming from a place of desire, not obligation. I want to help people instead of I have to help everyone.
As the veil of my depression lifts, I can see the lessons it was sent to teach me. I am learning how to separate Who I Am from what I do. God literally stripped me of my motivation to remind me that I am valuable and worthy even when I’m not crossing things off my goals list. I am just as much a Child of His when I’m crying on the kitchen floor as I am speaking on stage to a group of high schoolers. And I am slowly learning to love myself, even on the days I can’t get out of bed.
In order to reach our full potential without burning out along the way, we need a balance of two energies; doing and being. “Being” doesn’t mean veg-ing out in front of the tv for 8 hours, it means moving through the day with intention and staying present in the process, rather than focused on the outcome. So that even if you go to bed at night and you haven’t finished an assignment or published a blog post, it can still be a good day, if you felt good living it.
Achieve, yes. Change the world, you will. But for Heavens sake enjoy the process.
“What you do with your life is less important than how you live it.”
My journey over the last few months has been coming to terms with just ‘being’. That looks like getting out of my head and into my body by practicing yoga, dancing (Hello No Lights No Lycra!) and doing things just because they feel good. I am inviting more pleasure into my life and opening up to receive it without feeling guilty for not ‘getting shit done’.
Are you constantly trying to prove yourself? Is your self love conditional? Being the wildly ambitious go-getter that you are, it can be so easy to get caught up in constantly wanting to do and be more, especially on this journey of personal growth. But the truth is, you are amazing regardless of what you do. Even if all you did today was breathe and take a shower, even if you fought with your sister or failed an exam, even if you got rejected or stood up, even if you backslid or hurt someone you love, you are still worthy. You are still valuable. You are still loved.
I woke up this morning to this text from one of my soul sisters and it sums up beautifully everything I have learned over the last few months.
I know you are going to achieve amazing things in your life, but nothing you do will ever surmount the beauty that lives within you.
This post is part of a weekly series called ‘What I’m loving Wednesdays!’ where I share all my favourite resources, people and practices. Get ready for my top pick of articles, docco’s, music, books, apps, ideas, people and so much more!
1. Clue – Period Tracker App
Just voted best period tracker app in the app store, this little baby is a dream. You enter information about your moods, energy and stress levels, daily exercise and sexual activity and it gives you a beautiful graph of your cycle as well as alerts to let you know when you are fertile, likely to be experiencing PMS and due for your period! It has helped me get back in touch with my bodies natural rhythms and validate my crazy mood swings (Bonus!). Check out the website and download it from the app store.
I’ve been on Tumblr since 2010 and I love it just as much today as I did back then. It’s a great way to visually document my life and hone my personal style. Scrolling through my newsfeed is a constant source of inspiration and leaves me feeling totally abundant. You can check out my personal blog t0wardthesun (get ready for a pretty raw recount of the last six years of my life) and my coaching page ASK JAE where you can ask questions about anything relating to my journey, life, health, relationships, spirituality and personal growth!
3. Maca Powder
I’ve been adding a scoop of Maca powder to my breakfast smoothie for a few weeks now and it’s totally changing my life. Maca is an adaptagen and is known for balancing stress hormones, improving mood and giving you a long-lasting energy boost. There are a few brands to choose from but I grabbed one from the health food section of Coles (side note: If supermarkets have a ‘health food’ section, what does that say about the food in all the other isles?).
16 Men Reveal What They’re Thinking When They See Their Girlfriend Naked and it’s really freaking adorable.
“I’m doing everything I can to calm myself down and not get too excited.”
– Stephen, 24
This kids has designed his own syllabus and it involves snowboarding and spending time in nature. I love reading about new types of education that eschew the traditional system and focus more on creativity and life skills. After watching this video, I’m totally sold on the idea of homeschooling my future children.
That’s all for this week! What are you loving at the moment? Have a resource, article or video we need to know about? Post it in the comments below!
Last week, one of my best friends articles went viral on Vice, another friend took a job with Sky news and a third announced she was having a baby. I, on the other hand, got knocked back from a job waiting tables andddd couldn’t work out how to close the windows in my apartment (it’s freaking freezing) so had to spend the week sitting at my laptop with a blanket around my shoulders eating baked beans straight out of the tin.
I could have gone down with a serious case of comparisonitis and sent myself tumbling into a shame spiral but instead I went into full blow cheerleader mode and and got as excited as humanly possible about their success. There were messages, champagne and – if I wasn’t so broke – there would have even been flowers.
My friends are wildly ambitious go-getters (not to mention my BYCA sisters who are revolutionising the coaching industry and changing the world one client at a time) if I was threatened or discouraged by others success, I would probably never make it out of my pyjamas. Thankfully, I’ve worked out a way to be genuinely happy for my soulies success and really freaking proud of their achievements without letting jealousy, fear or comparison get in the way.
My friendships used to be super competitive. It was never openly discussed, but there was always this underlying contention about who was currently ‘winning at life’. If one of us got a great mark on an assignment, landed a job offer or hooked up with a lifeguard, the others would immediately convene behind her back in a conversation that went something along the lines of, ‘Oh did you hear about so and so? Mmm…how exciting…I wonder how that happened…*insert undermining remark here*.’ It was fucking horrible. We didn’t know how to deal with our own insecurity and fear of not being good enough, so we lashed out in jealousy and bitterness. Not attractive.
But that’s what happens when you live with a scarcity mindset. Jealousy comes from the thought that there is not enough love, success and attention to go around. It’s the ego persuading us that we need to do what we can to preserve the love assigned to us, so we struggle and strive, thinking we have to step on other people to get where we want to go. It’s a limiting thought that inevitably leads to an experience of lack and inadequacy.
Now I live with the belief that there is more than enough to go around and when someone I love “makes it”, it increases my chances of making it because I know thatthe same potential that exists inside them, also exists inside me. They don’t have anything that I don’t have, our brilliance just just manifests in different ways – some have an incredible talent for writing, others were made to kill it in the corporate world. We all have the same capacity for greatness within us, the only difference is if and how we access it and bring it forth into the world.
When you are your authentic self, you have no competition.
When we write our own definition of what it means to be successful, we build our own first place pedestal and we get to decide when we’ve earned the right to be up there. Sometimes other people recognise our success, other times the internal victories are the most rewarding, either way, there is room for all of us on the podium.
Now, even when I’m at my lowest point (shivering at my laptop in baked-bean covered pyjamas), hearing about a friends success doesn’t cause me to lash out, it actually inspires me to step up. There are a few different opinions on this topic, but in mind I have drawn a distinction between jealousy and envy and would argue that while jealousy is unproductive at best and destructive at worst, envy on the other hand actually motivates us to utilise our full potential. There’s nothing like seeing someone else get something you really want to awaken a hunger and desire within you to go and get it for yourself. It lights a fire in our hearts that inspires us to get shit done. The trick is to turn your dejection into drive by re-enforcing the belief that if they can do it, so can you.
The next time you feel a pang of jealousy, get your pom poms out and start cheering, secure in the knowledge that the more you celebrate others success, the greater your capacity to experience it in your own life. (And be grateful for the cosmic nudge, alerting you the deepest desires of your soul.) Your time will come, and when it does you will not only have the intrinsic pride of achieving with your integrity intact, you will also have a whole army of supporters in the stands ready to return the favour.
Our generation is forging a new path and as we make our mark on the world, we need to cheer each other on along the way. We’re not in competition with one another, we never were. When one of us makes it, we all make it and the sooner each of us uses the gifts we have been given to make a difference in the lives of those around us, the sooner we will live in a world we are proud to say that we created.
All my love,
Now I would love to hear from you! Have you had trouble celebrating your friends success? How did you change your mindset from lack to abundance? Let me know in the comments below.
Hola Amigos! I am so excited to bring you the first in what will be a weekly series called ‘What I’m loving Wednesdays!’ I come across SO many amazing resources, people and practices every day on this journey and this is my chance to share my favourites with you. Get ready for my top pick of articles, docco’s, music, books, apps, ideas, people and SO MUCH MORE. I’m kicking off this Wednesday with a selection of everything from a docco that blew my mind, a woman who changed my life and a Youtube channel that’s kicking my ass. Enjoy! x
The True Cost Documentary
I’d been meaning to watch this for ages and finally got around to it the other night. Holy wow, so glad I did. It’s an honest indictment of the fashion industry, in particular the ‘fast fashion’ phenomenon in which labour in third world countries is exploited to provide cheap clothes for brands like H&M and Forever 21. The conditions these people work under are horrific, not to mention the environmental impacts facing their communities from harmful chemicals used to treat the clothes and the stress on farmers to produce raw materials like cotton for lower and lower prices. Children are being born with defects, men are committing suicide by the hundreds of thousands and women are being beaten in to submission, all so big brands can meet the insatiable consumer demand. My main take away? Stop buying cheap clothes that I’ll wear for a season and then give away (only ten percent of donated clothes end up being recycled, the rest end up in landfill in third world countries like Haiti) and find out where my clothes were manufactured and by whom before I buy them. You can watch the film on Netflix and find out more about the #fashionrevolution at http://truecostmovie.com. Already seen it? Let me know what you thought in the comments below!
Danielle La Porte is having a Pay What You Can sale! In honour of Queen D’s birthday, she’s having a Pay What You Can sale this week on all the products in her shop. Woohoo! I have been a massive fan of Danielle’s for as long as I can remember – her writing cuts straight through the mind and speaks to my soul and her kick ass tools (like the Desire Map) have helped me get clear about what I want and set goals with soul. PLUS if you buy something through my affiliate link below, I get a lil’ cash kickback so it’s really a win/win! Here’s to doing conscious business.
Bad Yogi 10 Day Yoga Challenge For a few weeks after I moved I was whinging about how much I missed yoga but I couldn’t afford to join a studio just yet. Solution? Yoga at home! I stumbled across Bad Yogi’s 10 Day Challenges and her videos are super easy to follow and give me enough motivation to make it out of bed and onto my mat every morning. Yoga is incredible for mental and physical health and is a non-negotiable part of my self care routine. I’ll be back hand-standing and back-bending in no time. Check out Erin’s channel here: https://youtube.com/user/badyogitv
Turning Pro, Stephen Pressfield The sequel to Pressfield’s ‘War of Art’, Turning Pro tackles the barriers we face when transitioning from an ‘amateur’ into a true professional.
“In the fortunate talented few, the dark dimension of their natures will first resist the labor that creativity demands, but once they commit to the task, their talented side stirs to action and rewards them with astonishing feats. How many of us have become drug addicts, developed tumours, succumbed to pain killers, gossip and compulsive cell phone use simply because we don’t do that thing our inner genius is calling us to do?”
Once again, totally called me on my bullshit excuses and lit a fire under me to take myself (and my business) more seriously by showing up consistently as my true self. It got me thinking about the work I’m meant to do in the world and what I really want to share with you guys (Hence this video).
So there you have it, my very first What I’m Loving Wednesday! I can’t wait to bring you more resources, ideas and weapons to change the world in the weeks to come. Come across something we all need to know about? Let me know in the comments below!
When I tell people I’m a life coach the first thing they ask me is, ‘How do you get into something like that?’ So today I wanted to elaborate on my journey; from quitting an internship at one of Australia’s largest TV network newsrooms, setting aside the degree I’d spent four years working for and, at 22, starting my own business as a speaker, writer and Certified life coach. If you have ever thought about coaching or blogging full time, this one’s for you!
I first realised I wanted to be a life coach when I was halfway through a journalism and political science degree. I always knew I wasn’t cut out for the 9-5. I hated the idea of a corporate hierarchy, ‘living for the week end’ and someone else determining how much my time and energy was worth. As I clarified my options by asking myself the hard questions, What kind of impact do I want to make? What does my dream life look like? Where do I see myself in ten years? I was continually guided to blogs, videos and online homes of women talking about health, relationships, spirituality and creating a life you love.
I remember feeling an overwhelming combination of excitement, clarity and euphoria when I stumbled upon a career that combined soul-fuelled speaking, heartfelt writing and transforming peoples lives in a tangible way. This is what I was put on this earth to do.
Why do I do it?
Despite the fact that people told me I was crazy for giving up what looked like a one-track path to success, not knowing the first thing about starting a business and having spent tens of thousands of dollars and years of my life on a degree that was now – for all intents and purposes – useless, why did I decide to take the road less travelled?
Because I have a vision, of a world where everyone is making a living doing what they love. Where we all have the opportunity to use our innate gifts and natural abilities in a way that fulfils us and our purpose on this earth. That’s my idea of Utopia.
Because I believe in the inherent goodness of humanity and that when people realise the infinite beauty, wisdom and light they possess they live more conscious and meaningful lives and in doing so, enrich the lives of their families, friends and communities. Because I believe that the way to heal the world, is by first healing ourselves.
Because growing up, I saw too many people throw away their one precious life because they didn’t think they were worthy of going after what they really wanted.
Because we don’t need any more cogs in the capitalist machine. Entrepreneurship – solving problems for people in a sustainable, innovative and ethical way – is the way of the future. Using the incredible power of the internet to connect communities of like-minded individuals trading with one another in a fair and mutually beneficial environment is both a nod to our pre-industrial past and the key to a more prosperous economic and environmental future.
Because issues like body image, self love and personal fulfilment might seem like ‘first world problems’ but they all contribute to the functioning of a peaceful and productive society. Global revolution starts within the hearts and minds of every individual and every wound healed and soul liberated elevates the collective consciousness of our planet.
And, above all, because God lead me here. In His infinite wisdom, He wrote this purpose on my heart and buried within me all the strengths, gifts and talents I would need to fulfil it. Through lifetimes of learning I have been prepared for this incarnation – this time, place and this purpose.
What I love about coaching is that it gives people the vocabulary to articulate their feelings and share their stories. It’s about guiding them through their own emotional landscape and helping them find names for the landmarks they find along the way. A lot of the time our early emotional education doesn’t extend far beyond ‘I feel happy, I feel sad, I feel angry’ and yet the complexity of human experience suggests those terms don’t even scratch the surface of what we go through on a daily basis. By offering a client the terminology and the space to express their desires, hopes and deepest fears, you are not only validating and attributing meaning to their experiences, you are facilitating connections with the desires and fears of others which in turn increases their sense of love and belonging. You are giving them the tools to paint their masterpiece.
No, I’m not even going to talk about being able to work from home (or anywhere else in the world) in your yoga pants, networking events that feel like a magical reunion of kindred spirits or the group of cheerleaders that are there – virtually and in person – to support you on your journey. I’m not going to mention the joy of designing your career around your ideal lifestyle or having an outlet for your creativity and a platform to share your ideas. Because at the end of the day, this job isn’t about you at all. It’s about the people you serve. Coaching isn’t just another day job, it’s a calling. It requires every ounce of your mind, body and soul.
Honouring your Life as your greatest gift to the world.
Doing your own work and showing up as your authentic self every single day so that you can set an example of what it means to live wholeheartedly.
Sharing the most intimate parts of your story, if there is even the slightest chance they will offer comfort to someone in the middle of their mess.
Reading self help books, blogs and magazines until the words “authentic” or “consciousness” makes you want to vomit, but reading anyway because you literally cannot quench your thirst for greater knowledge and deeper understanding.
Hustling your buns off to build a business that serves your ideal clients.
Is Coaching for you?
“It makes me ecstatic to see other people answering the same calling that was placed on my heart because I know the world needs more coaches, healers and teachers who work from a place of love and service and for every person with a message, there are people who need to hear it.“
Do you love helping people create change, discover their inner radiance and realise their potential? Are you constantly being thanked for listening to friends without judgement and offering them the space to be exactly who they are? Do you love everything growth and personal development and supporting others with gentle guidance, encouragement, and wisdom? More importantly, have you felt the pull on your heart that says, I could actually do this.
If you have ever thought about having a career that fulfils you and your purpose on this earth, with endless opportunities for growth and expansion and impacting peoples lives in a tangible way, then I have some amazing news…
The Beautiful You Coaching Academy has LIMITED PLACES left in their October program. After selling out both their February and May courses, this is your last chance to start your journey to becoming a coach this year.
There is no other organisation, school or college I would even consider after my experience with Beautiful You. Julie’s commitment and dedication to her students make her feel like more of a loving Matriarch than a CEO and the energy and passion she invests into every one of her students leaves you feeling not only supported, but deeply valued for what you have to offer.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t have experience or any idea how to start your own business, Julie and Team Beautiful are there to guide you every step of the way. If you put in the work, you will graduate with a clearly defined mission, an online home that is a true reflection of who you are and the difference you want to make and the skills and confidence you need to share your gifts with the world.
You will also join an epic lineup of bad-ass #girlbosses including Melissa Ambrosini, Rachel McDonald and Jade Mckenzie who are all BY grads and I can guarantee you will meet your soul sisters along the way. (Without having met either of us, Julie paired my coaching buddy Heidi Rose and I together for our training and it felt as though we had known each other forever. Twelve months later I was standing beside her at her incredible bohemian wedding to her dream-boat partner Mitch. It was a total match made in heaven)
BONUS! When you sign up to the Beautiful You Academy through my affiliate link, you receive a 12 week coaching series with me to help you kickstart your new career path and experience firsthand the life-changing power of the coaching process.
You will also receive monthly one-on-one mentoring with me for the duration of the course; support, guidance and essential de-briefings to make sure you get the most out of your experience.
So what on earth are you waiting for?
If you have ever thought about coaching, this is your opportunity. The best advice I have ever been given is to start before you’re ready. No more waiting for the ‘right time’, or yet another sign from the Universe, it’s time to step up and make the difference you were born to make.
If you have any questions about the program, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be more than happy to set up a Skype date to discuss my experience and whether Beautiful You is right for you.
“You and your unique abilities have been made with the sole purpose of edging the human race one millimetre further along its path back to God. Don’t cheat us of your contribution, give us what you’ve got.”
Feeling called to start your coaching journey? Click here to find out more about Beautiful You and then book a chat with me here: email@example.com.
“Light can only be understood with the wisdom of darkness.”
If you had of told me that line a week ago I would have told you to take your woo woo bullshit and shove it up your a**. I know, pretty spiritual right? That’s how far into darkness I was lost. Fumbling, tired, hopeless and deeply depressed.
I was first diagnosed with depression at 16. I remember sitting in my GP’s office, ticking boxes about how often I felt hopeless or tired for no good reason. I got a referral to a psychologist whom I saw once a month over the next two years. As I began meditating regularly, doing yoga and pursuing my passion through speaking, writing and coaching, my symptoms all but completely disappeared. I still had bad days and experienced sadness and anxiety in stressful situations, but the foreboding melancholy and insidious panic that followed me around for the majority of my adolescence simply weren’t a part of my life anymore.
Which is why it was so easy to recognise when they came back.
I had just moved into my dream apartment in the Northern beaches of Sydney, launched my first eCourse (The Single Girls Guide to Sex, Self love and Spirituality), I was back in Brisbane visiting my sister whom I adore and attending a church conference I had been looking forward to for months. From the outside, I should have been on top of the world and yet I struggled getting out of bed in the morning. I started seeing negatives instead of positives, I woke up feeling drained, even after eight hours sleep and I went from being on the verge of tears to searing hot flashes of anger in a heartbeat.
Depression can manifest in different ways for different people, but there are certain similarities that characterise a depressive episode…
An insidious sadness sets up camp in your consciousness, you can’t put your finger on what’s causing it but you become acutely aware of all the pain and suffering in the world and suddenly you can’t help but take it on as your own. You wake up exhausted and a wave of panic washes over you when you realise that you have so much to get done and absolutely zero motivation to do it. Everything is a struggle. Getting out of the car or going to the bathroom feel like monumental tasks and you don’t know how you’ll survive if every day is as hard as this one. Things that once meant the world to you – for me it was my business, blog and closest friends – cease to hold the same meaning or promise of joy.
You can’t trust the voices in your head. (For someone who values critical thinking so highly and is constantly guided by her inner compass, acknowledging that my mind is my worst enemy feels conflicting, frustrating and impossibly overwhelming).
The thing with depression is you can’t just ‘feel it’ and move on, because – unlike normal emotions – it doesn’t let up when you draw attention to it, it continues to expand until it blacks everything else out. The temptation to seek momentary reprieve in superficial pleasures like food is almost unbearable (and when I’m in that place, staring at an empty wrapper after binging on an entire block of chocolate, I know what it means to be an addict.) You want to reach out but you don’t want to be a burden and it’s hard to find the words to articulate what’s going on inside your head. ‘I think my depression has come back’ isn’t exactly the easiest conversation starter.
I was lucky enough to have my mum staying with us at the time all this was going on. After living with my Dad’s mental illness for over thirty years, she knows the signs all too well. We went for a walk together one morning when she asked, “Are you okay?”. That was all the permission I needed to tell her everything. (I cannot overstate the importance of instigating those uncomfortable conversations. Some people have a war going on inside their head and they are praying for the opportunity to let someone in).*
Even though mental illness is a ‘state of mind’ let the record show that when you’re in it, it’s very real. These last few weeks have given me a harsh reminder of the reality I used to face on a daily basis and just how hard it is – when you’re in the thick of it – to pull yourself out. It fucking sucks. You can’t see the lesson or the meaning, and if anyone tells you this is all for some greater purpose, you just want to punch them in the face. It’s not as simple as ‘changing your thoughts’ or ‘doing something that makes you happy’, it’s a war made up of daily battles some of which you lose and hopefully, more of which you win. Even after all my reading, training and real life experience, I was ready to throw in the towel on this whole ‘journey to enlightenment’ business and expose it as a crock of shit. And then a series of events emerged that cracked me open and shed some light on my darkness.
That night, I lay out under the stars and literally felt as though I was being strip searched by the cleansing energy of the Universe. Everything that had been building up over the last few weeks was coming up to be healed and as I lay there in full surrender, I felt myself becoming lighter with every breath. When it was over I spoke to the night sky.
“Is all this really necessary?”
There it was. The voice of God I hadn’t heard for what felt like a lifetime.
“Because without it, you wouldn’t get to experience the relief you feel right now. You wouldn’t realise just how powerful you are unless you had the opportunity to use that power.”
“I guess so. It’s just so painful, that’s all.”
“I’ve missed you.”
“I never left.”
He’s right, of course. We enter this world for the very purpose of experiencing the duality that doesn’t exist in our True home in heaven. Homecomings require deviations. We can’t truly appreciate our own magnificence until we have seen the depths to which we are capable of sinking. We can’t know our power without an arena in which to wield it.
I had it in my head that I had dealt with all my “stuff” over the last few years and it was going to be smooth sailing from here on out (naive, I know). What these last few months have taught me is that our ‘work’ is never really done, and that’s okay. It doesn’t mean we are broken or that we require a lifetime of fixing, it means we have this incredible opportunity to discover our full potential by coming up against situations and scenarios that challenge and change us. We decide who we want to be by rejecting that which we are not. We continue to strip back layer after layer of emotional armour, each time getting closer to the truth of who we really are; beauty, goodness, light.
I have to admit that I sometimes get so damn frustrated with this whole motivational-inspirational-stay happy-good vibes only-smile always community. Because you know what, ‘good vibes only’ is not a healthy attitude towards life. Staying happy all the time isn’t realistic if you are right now residing in a human body on this spinning display of cosmic art called earth. Because sometimes life feels like shit. Sometimes people behave like shit. And yes, it is definitely a part of it all. It’s a part of helping make the unconscious conscious, of bringing light into the darkness.
We have to understand that life is whole – it’s ugly and beautiful – chaotic and perfectly in order – dark and light all at the same time. Everything in life is you and you are everything in life. It sometimes means that it isn’t pretty but it always means that it’s real and more importantly – whole. There is NOTHING that you are not. You are complete. The journey is not to add something to you, the journey is for you to uncover yourself, piece by piece, layer by layer, and standing in the world, completely naked, as you are – brutally authentic and pure. And I know that I can only get there by accepting and eventually loving all of who I am. So honestly, fuck the good vibes – bring me truth. Bring me rawness. Bring out the dark shit so that I can face it, get to know it and bring it into the light.
“Now, focus on what you want to call in. What do you want?”
“I don’t know.”
“Yes you do.”
Two hours before I couldn’t summon the strength to tell you what I wanted for dinner, now I began to list all the wild, wonderful and outrageous physical realities I was ready to manifest with hope and a soulful conviction. As I walked back inside my depression had lifted completely and the next morning my motivation returned with a vengeance. I picked up a post I had open on my laptop about the link between mental illness and spirituality. Light bulb. I also stumbled upon an article about the archetype of the Shaman, the Healer and the Sage and their role in the wider community and as I read, I felt as though I was awakening an ancient part of myself and unlocking knowledge that has been embedded in my soul for lifetimes, a discovery made possible only by my descent into darkness (more on that later).
I have no doubt in my mind that one day I will live a life free from depression. I’ll wake up and realise it’s been ten years since my last “bad day” but until then, I will not allow this illness to keep me small. I will not allow this part of my make up to stop me from doing what I was meant to do in the world. Because the thing is, we always have a choice. You can let this illness defeat you or you can do everything in your power to break the hold it has on your life. Yes, there are factors that influence the difficulty of that decision but there is always the choice to keep fighting or to let it win. There are things I can and will do to make sure I have more good days than bad.
First and foremost, that looks like seeking professional help. I know from my own work as a coach that sometimes we need an impartial third party to bring clarity to our thoughts and situation in a way that’s more unbiased than journalling or talking to a friend. During my teen years, I refused to ask for help because I was afraid of being a burden. I didn’t want to bring other people down by sharing how I really felt, so I feigned happiness in front of my friends and masked my sadness with anger when I was with my family.
It also means radically overhauling my diet. Over easter I ate a lot of chocolate and high sugar food and I was finding it hard to get back into exercise after having 6 weeks off post-surgery. One thing I have learnt from experience (and a TONNE of research) is the undeniable link between physical and mental health.
“Food is the most abused anxiety drug and exercise the most under-utilised antidepressant.”
I now know I have to be super vigilant about what I put into my body and some form of physical activity every day is non-negotiable if I want to maintain my mental health.
I am also drawing closer to God, relying on Him when my own strength fails me as it does time and time again. Depression is more than a neurochemical imbalance, it’s an attack of the Ego – a spiritual force that opposes God in order to keep us small and prevent us from making the impact we were born to make in the world. It’s a teacher and a guide, testing our faith and preparing us for what God has in store for us, and when we view it from this perspective, we can follow the calling all the way back to our Creator.
If you are battling with depression, I hope this post encourages you to keep fighting. I hope it helps to know I am right there with you, every minute of every day, and I know we can do this. This illness has caused enough heartbreak, death and sadness and it’s time to take our power back.
“People who are unable to stand within the dark places of life, those who are always running towards their happy places, are the same things as candles without flames. There is no worth in a candle without a flame, and we only add the flame when there is darkness. Without darkness, there would be no need for warriors and angels. Warriors are not made because the whole world is happy and angels were not formed because there are no demons.”
C JoyBell C
For my warriors.
All my love,
(*One of the most common questions I am asked as a coach and mentor is how to support a loved one living with mental illness. How do you empathise with someone when you have no idea what they’re going through? These last few weeks have reminded me of the incredible power of kindness; a smile on the street, a compliment from a colleague, a particularly friendly barista or bus driver. During my darkest days, they gave me hope that even though all I saw was death, life existed beyond the shadows of my mind. Have patience with your loved one and be kind to everyone you encounter, even if only for a moment, we all have the opportunity to be somebodies earth angel.)
In case you can’t tell from my insta spam, I am well and truly in love with my new apartment. For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to live on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. Don’t ask me why, maybe it’s the fact that I was born here, maybe it’s because the coastal vibes remind me of the small town where I grew up, whatever the reason, I have always had the feeling that this is where I am meant to be.
Anyone who has had to apartment hunt (especially on the beach in Summer) knows how stressful the process can be, but I was determined to use this as an opportunity to co-create effortlessly with the Universe and let my Higher Self guide me to my new earthly home. And my oh my did it deliver. Two weeks before I had to be out of my current place, I got a call from an agent offering me an apartment I had applied for on a whim (thinking it was way out of my league) even though I was the only one on the application and there is no way I could afford the place by myself. That afternoon I was racing over to Manly to have a solo inspection with the agent (almost unheard of in the Sydney rental market) and a week later I had the keys. I knew from the second I walked into our front courtyard that this was going to be my new home. Not only was it a million times nicer than the others I looked at, but it had the most beautiful energy and I could see the next few years of my life playing out here. Walking under the frangipani trees on my way to the front door, strolling down the hill to dive in the ocean, snuggling up with a laptop or journal in the afternoon sun underneath the lounge room window. Now I’m all settled in, I’ve had time to reflect on just how magical this whole process was.
Here’s how I did it.
I prayed and meditated.
At least 10-15mins every day, sometimes up to half an hour. During times of transition – especially involving uncertainty and the unknown – some form of anxiety is bound to arise. I knew that in order for me not to slip into anxious thought patterns, I would have to be extra vigilant with my self care routine and spiritual practice.
Prayer helped me get clear on what I wanted and allowed me to vent any underlying stress, fear and anxiety before they could slip into my subconscious, and meditation helped me strengthen my intuition and tune into the voice of God within me. When I knew I was being guided by my higher self, decisions like ‘Should I go to that inspection?’ ‘Should I apply for this place?’ – became so much easier.
2. I got clear on what I wanted.
I’m convinced the reason people don’t get what they want is because they don’t know what it is. We have a vague idea in our head of what our ideal life looks like but we’re missing all the specifics. And if you ask me, the specifics are the most fun!
When I started looking for a place (about 6 months ago) I wrote a list of all the things my dream apartment would have; timber floorboards, tonnes of natural light, built in wardrobes, walking distance to the beach and with a housemate I adore (and let me tell you, this place is all of that and more!). I visualised myself coming home and feeling peaceful, having a desk set up to write and see clients and going for runs along Manly beach in the morning. I wrote it all down and every time I thought about moving, I held onto that vision in my head and the feeling of being totally at peace in my new home. Then I let go of howit was going to show up and just trusted that it would.
3. I took inspired action.
The Universe lurrrveeees inspired action. We can’t just sit on our butt all day and expect things to come to us BUT there is a big difference between taking random swings and taking inspired action. For me, inspired action meant I only did things that felt really good. For example, I started off scrolling through gumtree, flatmates.com and endless Facebook groups posting ads and messaging randoms but the whole time I was doing it, it felt…icky. It was totally draining my energy and making me feel frustrated and hopeless, so I stopped. I took myself off all the different sites and focused my energy on asking, ‘What is the best case scenario here?’and ‘Wouldn’t it be great if…’ which helped me realise that I wanted to find an apartment I loved first and then focus on finding someone to move in after.
4. I made space for what I wanted to show up.
Aha! In order to show the Universe we mean business, we have to prove that we are ready to receive. For me, that looked like packing up my current room, even when I didn’t have anywhere else to go. I did a massive clean out of all my old clothes and got rid of everything I didn’t want at the new house. I also made a point of speaking in active tense whenever I talked about moving. Whenever anyone asked, I’d say, ‘I’m moving to Manly’ rather than, ‘I kinda want to move to Manly sometime soon-ish.’ It helped train my mind to be more aware of opportunities and when thoughts become words, words become your reality.
5. I released any blocks/fears.
This was a tip I got from a video interview with my good friend Liv O’Connor (from Don’t Tell Summer). I was getting a bit frustrated when things were taking longer than I hoped and I didn’t know what was going wrong on my end. Liv suggested becoming aware of any subconscious blocks that were stopping me from attracting what I desired. I honestly didn’t think I had any but I got out a piece of paper and starting writing what came to mind. It was amazing what came up; I’m afraid it won’t be as good as I imagined, I’m worried about having to start over in a new place, I’m scared I won’t fit in over there or make any new friends.
When I’d finished the list, I wrote an affirmation beneath it, “I am willing to release the limiting beliefs that no longer serve me,” and then re-iterated what I wanted in my dream apartment. I kid you not, within a couple of hours I got a message from my beautiful housemate Emma saying, ‘Oh hey! Are you still looking for a place? I’m keen to move out soon :)’ Turns out we don’t always have to work on ‘clearing’ our blocks, just becoming aware of them does the trick!
6. I raised my vibration.
The Law of attraction says that we must raise our vibration to meet the frequency of what we want to attract. So while I was waiting, I made sure to stay ‘high’ – that meant less time in bed watching HIMYM and more hanging out with rad people, eating good food and dancing around my lounge room to some killer girl anthems.
I also made an effort to stay in the zone of abundance. When we are in a time of uncertainty – especially financially – the immediate response is to go into lockdown mode and become a major tight ass. I knew – based on past experience – that for me to attract more abundance, I had to embody it in every area of my life, so I invested intentionally in workshops, went out to eat and made an effort to be extra generous wherever I went.
I love surrounding myself with beautiful things x
7. I didn’t settle.
There were a few times I could have said yes to places out of fear that nothing better would come along, but I knew this was a great opportunity for me to practice owning my worth and holding out for what I really wanted. Which brings me to my next point…
8. I turned up my worth-o-meter.
This was a MASSIVE one for me. There were countless times during this whole process when I had to dig deep and seriously own my worth. There were voices in my head saying, ‘You don’t deserve this.’ ‘This is too good to be true.’ ‘Why should it be this easy?’ In those moments, I took a deep breath and actually pictured myself turning up a dial in my mind. You have to believe you are worthy of receiving what you want (which all ties back to how much you love yourself) otherwise you will continually sabotage opportunities or miss them altogether.
9. I got grateful.
At the end of the day, gratitude is where it’s at. If you focus on what you love about your life, you get more things to love. If I’m having a shitty day, I will literally start randomly naming things I’m grateful for – no matter where I am – until I start to feel better. Sometimes it takes five minutes, other times it takes an hour. I was walking around Bondi the other day for about forty five minutes mumbling things like, ‘I am grateful for the colour green’ ‘I am grateful that guy has his shirt off’ until I started giggling. Seriously, whatever it takes.
My gorgeous housemate Emma and I squeezing into the back of the car with all our purchases after a trip to Kmart 😉 She is generous, driven, genuine and SUCH a blessing from above. Once again, God knew what I needed more than I did.
10. I kept the faith.
I would love to say that through every single inspection, rejection and obstacle that I had total faith everything would work out. The truth is, I had a few What the hell am I doing? moments and days where I was freaking out about money, change and all the possible outcomes of the next few months of my life. On those days, I phoned a friend or took my butt down to the beach to sit on the sand and meditate. The thing is, when we stay in the present moment, anxiety and fear cannot exist. So I took it one day at a time and tried to maintain my God perspective. Nothing is too big for Him, there are unseen forces at work in my favour right now, everything is unfolding exactly as it should and that helped changed my mindset from anxiety to inner peace.
It’s easy to have faith when everything is working out, the real test is when you are staring into the unknown and you just know you won’t be able to do this without some sort of supernatural help to back you up. I relied on God so heavily over these last few weeks – for comfort, protection, security, abundance and peace – and He came through for me, every single time. Although there are laws of the Universe that we can work with to make life easier for ourselves, there is also a God who created those laws and who is looking out for you every moment of every day, constantly presenting you with opportunities to have and become all that you were destined to be. If you are in a period of transition in your life, or there is something you really want to manifest in your reality, remember to love all, judge nothing and choose according to your highest thought about yourself, and His blessings will fall at your feet.
All my love,
Now it’s your turn! What have you manifested in your life and what is your number one tip for attracting what your heart desires? Let me know in the comments below!
I know I harp on a lot about finding your purpose, discovering the impact you were born to make and following your passion as if it’s the last thing you will ever do. And, believe me, I mean every word of what I say. But what I haven’t spent much time writing about is the process of discovering what you were meant to do and how long it can sometimes take.
The truth is, over the last twelve months, I have been learning an awful lot about patience. I spent a pretty big chunk of last year focusing on where I thought I should be rather than where I was. I was constantly freaking out that, ‘my business should be making more money’, ‘I should have launched a speaking tour and re-written my e-book by now’, ‘I should be blogging and filming videos once a week’. It literally kept me up at night, UNTIL I realised that by stressing about where I should be, I was missing out on where I was.
Like any journey, the process of self actualisation is fraught with obstacles and unexpected detours. There is no straight and narrow path to follow and most importantly, there is no ‘timeline’ for this stuff. Yes, there are things you can (and most of us must) do to pro-actively seek the circumstances in which your passions and natural talents reveal themselves; going to workshops, volunteering, getting work experience in an industry that interests you – but at the end of the day, you won’t have your major ‘aha’ moment one second sooner or later that you’re meant to.
Until then, learn to revel in the joy of uncertainty. I know it’s scary as hell, but it is also one hundred percent necessary for your own personal and professional growth. The time spent learning, researching, planning, dreaming and waiting is all part of it and every situation, obstacle and circumstance is preparing you for something beyond your wildest dreams. (One day, when you are majorly successful and kicking ass in a career you love, you’ll be nostalgic for the days when your life was a blank canvas and you had no responsibilities.)
Maybe you are halfway through a Uni degree that you love but you have no idea what you want to do with it. Maybe you are waiting tables and taking art classes at night, no clue what comes next but certain only of how good it feels to have a brush in your hand. As long as you are making time for the things that light you up, all that is required is patience and a whole lotta faith.
Because sometimes all we can control is how we wait.
Are you getting anxious and stressed and complaining you have no idea what you’re doing with your life, or are you relaxing into the knowledge that everything is unfolding as it should and trusting that, as long as you are engaged in something you love, you are on the right path? Do you believe that everything happens when it’s meant to, or are you trying to manipulate others out of fear of not getting what you want? Do you believe that everything you are going through will make you a better person, or are you suffering through your trials and refusing to receive the messages they are sending you? It’s not about wondering if the events in your life have meaning, it’s knowing that they do and trusting that there are forces at work beyond your comprehension.
Even though you might not be aware of it right now, there is a plan for your life that involves a journey through different seasons, each one with new lessons to learn and blessings to discover and you are constantly being guided, supported and presented with opportunities to become the best version of yourself. All you have to do is stay in your own lane (quit comparing your journey to everyone else’s), lean into love and keep taking the high road by following your heart.
While I know how important it is for every individual to be outworking the purpose written on their hearts, I also know that finding your purpose is a process and just as important as what you discover at the end, is what you learn along the way. So, as scary as it might seem right now, embrace the uncertainty, fight to do the things you love as well as you can, be kind and trust that all will be revealed exactly when it’s meant to.
Introducing my new LOGO! The blue represents the ocean and the cleansing waters of Grace that changed my life and have the power to make all things new, a message that was spoken over my life two years ago and continues to run through everything I speak, write and all the work I do with my clients.
Blue is also the colour of the throat chakra which symbolises clear communication, wisdom and creativity.
The circle represents our mama moon and a connection with the Divine feminine, the fact that it’s not quite full is reminiscent of my work with young people at a time in their lives when they are full of potential waiting to be realised and their journey to self-actualisation.
The triangles you can see within the graphic embody the Holy Trinity and the 3 parts of existence; Mind, Body and Spirit that combine to produce a purposeful life.
The black text symbolises the shadow self and the work we must do to remember who we really are, while the white background depicts our ascension into light.
I hope you have had the most perfect start to 2016. I’ve been soaking up the summer sunshine and this morning I did a photoshoot with the super talented Georgia Pascale.
To be honest, I’ve been putting off having professional photos done for my website for a while now. I kept coming up with excuses because in reality I was scared, my insecurities got the better of me because I was letting my inner critic run the show. But now, I’m kinda tired of letting that stuff hold me back. (It’s just an illusion, after all).
I hope this serves as a reminder that we ALL face fear and Resistance from time to time but it’s usually a sign that you’re on the right track. I am so glad I went for it this morning because I had so much fun being in front of the camera and I can’t wait to share the final shots with you guys! What have you been putting off that you can finally go for this year?
For me, 2016 is all about You.
It’s about awakening the hearts and minds of the next generation and unearthing the potential I believe lies latent in every young person (actually, every individual) on this planet. It’s about planting seeds of possibility, igniting sparks of passion and fuelling flames of purpose. It’s about rallying the troops and unleashing a force for good on this world. Because I wholeheartedly believe that we will create the world we want to live in when we become the people we were meant to be. (I even wrote a Manifesto for our tribe of Game-Changers here.)
I’m currently working on a second edition of my first book, ‘What am I Doing with my Life?’ ready for my Schools Tour (everyone who has already purchased a copy will receive the 2nd addition completely free) and writing a new book called ‘Pray’ which I hope to release later this year.
My core desired feelings for this year are Open, Present, Powerful and Productive.
Have you done your goal setting yet? I cannot overstate the importance of setting clear and wildly ambitious goals in helping you realise your potential. I am convinced that the reason people don’t get what they want is because they don’t really know what it is (or they’re too afraid to ask).
Here’s a few questions to get you started; What do you believe? What do you stand for? What’s your vision for our world? What type of contribution do you feel called to make? Remember to focus on not just what you want to do, but how you want to feel.
If you need some help getting clear on what you really want, I’m offering 90 Minute Goal Setting Sessions until the end of January. Sometimes, 90 minutes is all it takes to change everything. Click here to find out more and message me to book.
I’m off to make protein balls for a camping trip tomorrow where I’ll be sharing all the best moments (including my hilarious attempt to assemble a 4 man tent) on my instagram @jaeschaefer.
If you’re heading back to work, I hope it’s doing something that you love. Whatever your day has in store, stay present, stay open and always believe that something wonderful is about to happen.
I debated for ages about putting this up but – as with everything I write – I wanted to share my experience in the hope that it will help someone going through the same thing. I was going to do a video but my hair has been in the same braid for 72 hours and I haven’t been able to wash my face properly so you’re getting a blog post instead.
Ever since my boobs came in pretty much overnight, they have been above average size and – I think – totally out of proportion to the rest of my body. I have been a size 12EE since I was 18 and have always wanted to do something about it. They got in the way when I danced, I’ve had lower back and shoulder pain for as long as I can remember and I can’t go running without them bouncing all over the shop, even wearing like four sports bras.
I actually had an opportunity last year to have the operation done but it didn’t feel right at the time. In hindsight, I can see that I needed to come to a place of deep love, respect and appreciation for my body before I could make such a big decision and make sure it was coming from a place of self-love. How many of us rush to change parts of our body because we think it will make us happier, more loveable? A few weeks before my surgery I stumbled upon an article by the ineffable Gala Darling which summed up my thoughts about the whole thing beautifully,
My philosophy is this. If it makes you feel good, and your intentions are clean, do it, but — and it’s a big caveat! — you have to love yourself first! Making a change to your external appearance won’t do anything if you haven’t done the internal work. If you can approach any kind of enhancement from a place of radical self love, you’re much more likely to be pleased with the results. But if you dislike who you are at your core, getting a boob job won’t make you any happier, you’ll simply displace your disappointment. You’ll probably start obsessing about your thighs instead.
In November last year, I booked in with Dr Dilip Gahankari from Advances Aesthetics on the Gold Coast. He was recommended by a few surgeons I know and his team were super friendly and made me feel really comfortable from the beginning. The procedure is called a Reduction Mammoplasty (aka Breast Reduction) and takes about two and a half hours under general anaesthetic.
The morning of my operation, Tori (my sister) drove me up to the Gold Coast Surgical Hospital and I did some deep breathing exercises and played on my phone while I waited for the nurses to come and get me. I had been under general twice before so I was surprisingly calm this time around. I walked into the surgery room and there was a big bright window along the wall with sunlight streaming in which made me feel instantly relaxed. Thanks to all the meditation I had been doing leading up to the day, I was able to catch my thoughts when they started to run away from me. Rather than thinking about the pain after surgery or the operation itself, I started thinking about all the cute bikinis I was going to buy instead! It worked like a charm.
The anaesthetist came over and put a band on my head to monitor my brainwaves and a drip in my arm then I remember him saying, “You might start to feel a bit light-headed,” before I drifted off to sleep.
The next thing I remember is being woken up by a nurse who was fixing some tubes under my arms that they used to drain the excess fluid. It was freezing in the recovery room so I was shaking pretty violently and it felt like there was a truck parked on my chest. I think they gave me morphine after that because I started drifting in and out of sleep while I was wheeled up to my room. Later that afternoon, Mum and Tori came to visit and we watched Friends on my little TV while I dosed.
I stayed overnight in hospital and got woken up by a beautiful nurse every four hours to do blood pressure and take antibiotics. They even gave me a local anaesthetic straight into two tubes in my chest which was pretty much the best thing ever. Despite a broken sleep, I woke up to the sunlight streaming into my room and feeling pretty rested. Dr Gahankari came to see me and check my dressings and said everything went really well and he was really happy with the results. He gave me some post-op care instructions and the nurse was able to take my drains out so I could have a shower and get dressed. Tori came and picked me up and we went to get my scripts filled from the chemist (and some Bliss Me Kombucha which is my new favourite summers day treat) and I came home to a nice big bed made up for me on the couch.
I’m on bed rest for at least ten days and I can’t exercise for 6 weeks which I know is going to kill me because I LOVE working out, but I’m just going to focus on eating really healthy, surrounding myself with beautiful people and doing lots of white light meditations to help me heal as quickly as possible. There’s a bit of swelling and bruising and there will some light scars which will fade over time. I’m taking arnica to help with internal healing and paracetamol every few hours to help with the pain. I also have to wear these lovely knee-high compression socks to keep the circulation going through my legs.
I’m not harbouring any unrealistic expectations about how this operation is going to change my life. I know that it won’t magically make me any happier, more confident or a better person. I do know, however, that it will alleviate the pain in my back and make it easier for me to be active and live a healthy life which in turn, makes it an act of radical self love.
Over the last twelve months I have come to love and respect my body in a way I never thought I could. It has been a long and sometimes painful journey – years of programming, negative self talk and using my body to fulfil ego desires rather than as a sacred vessel for my soul, wasn’t going to be undone overnight. But thanks to the beautiful support of my life coaches Heidi (from The Beauty Within) and Sue Muller (from SmileChickie) I can finally say that I love the skin I’m in and this operation wasn’t about altering my body to fit some distorted idea of beauty, but respecting myself enough to know I deserve to live without pain and discomfort.
Radical self love is about doing what’s right for you, and making choices from a clear and centered place. It’s not about pleasing others or fearing their reactions. Getting surgery doesn’t make you shallow or superficial, it doesn’t mean you’re not a feminist. Just like the decision to get married (or not), have babies (or not), run for president (or not), it’s your life, and you don’t have to justify it to anyone.
Thank you for all the beautiful messages of love and support I’ve already received. If anyone has any questions feel free to head to my brand new ask page or comment below. Also, if you have any recommendations for movies, documentaries or TV series you are loving, let me know!
Thank you so much for letting me share this with you guys and I can’t wait to bring you plenty more #bodypositive content in the future.
What do you when your thoughts are driving you insane? Listen to someone elses! Podcasts are perfect for those days where, no matter what you do, you can’t get out of a negative mindset. They are also a great way to utilise your time while driving, walking or sitting on public transport.
Two of my favourite authors interview their favourite authors about all things creativity, writing and getting published. It’s every writers dream full of practical advice and some serious inspiration.
Connie has an incredible way of extracting lessons from everyday experiences. She also has some epic guests who bring something new and exciting each week. I always feel totally inspired after listening to Awaken radio and love the actionable strategies she shares throughout each episode.
I had the privilege of doing a workshop with Susana in Brisbane a few years ago and have followed her work religiously since. This woman is a fireball of feminine energy. She taught me how to reconnect with my sexual side in a healthy and empowering way and explore my shadow self as a catalyst for personal growth.
5. ReWild Yourself – Daniel Vitalis
According to Vitalis, his podcast, “explores the strategies that our ancient human bodies and minds need to thrive in a modern world — awakening our instincts and freeing ourselves from the degenerative effects of human domestication.” Listen to the episodes with Kim Amani first – SO much juicy wisdom on human sexuality that blew. my. mind.
BONUS: The Rob Cast with Rob Bell. Love this man and everything he stands for. An awesome intro to spirituality and living in accordance with the Divine.
That’s my Top 5, what’s yours? Let me know in the comments below.
(If you haven’t read last weeks post, Why I gave up Sex, Partying and drinking to get Drunk, you can find it here.) This is Part 2; how I went from a self-destructive party girl to the woman I am today. It’s hard to write a How To for a journey that is so deeply personal and is still very much a part of my reality. I am still learning and growing and failing and changing every single day. But this is my attempt to summarise the changes I’ve made over the last few years that have had the biggest impact on my physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.
When I was doing research for this post by reading through my journals from the last two years, two things became immediately apparent;
1. Change takes place both in the realm of the physical (form) and the metaphysical (thought), one often preceding the other but neither of less or greater importance.
2. I was going to need a hell of a lot more than a 1000 word blog post. But here goes…
On the level of form;
I started meditating for ten minutes every day. I stopped watching the news. I overhauled my morning routine, instead of reaching straight for my phone to scroll social media when I woke up, I’d write down 3 things I was grateful for. If I was bored, I’d go to the gym (I became obsessed with this app). I watched TED talks and documentaries in between romantic comedies and trashy tv.
I joined a yoga studio and went every single day for a month.
I went to church and discovered the power of prayer, not as a way to get what I wanted but as a way to align my thoughts with a higher perspective (turns out miracles are more fun than wishes).
I invested in myself. I read (and still do) every self help book I could get my hands on. These were the ones that changed my life. I still remember sitting on my balcony reading Marianne Williamson’s Return to Love with tears streaming down my face as I remembered the truth of who I really was. I bought ebooks and courses and went to workshops and seminars, if there was a Wellness event on in Brisbane, you can bet I was in the front row scribbling notes like a mad woman.
I cried. A lot. Like, sobbing on the shower floor kind of tears. I realised later I was mourning the death of an identity, a painful but necessary part of growth.
I learnt to say no (a skill which deserves a whole post of it’s own) to boys, invitations, my parents and anything that didn’t light me up.
I made a conscious effort to not say anything bad about another person and see how long I could last. Instead of bitching and whinging about things I couldn’t change, I began to speak life and encouragement over the people around me. I stopped competing with my friends and random strangers on the internet and realised there was morethan enough success, love and attention to go around.
I learned about the importance of self love and started exercising my self love muscle by prioritising my emotional wellbeing. I adopted self care as a Divine responsibility by taking ‘wellbeing days’ when I needed them, having massages once a fortnight, taking twenty minute ‘sunshine breaks’ while studying and nourishing my body with high quality food. I wrote a List of all the things I love about myself and all the qualities I wanted to embody; confidence, charisma, compassion and then I acted like I already had them in spades.
I asked myself the hard questions; What do I want? What impact do I want to make? I wrote letters to myself from five years in the future describing how I wanted my life to turn out (a really powerful exercise if you want to try it).
On the level of thought;
I realised that my thoughts, words and actions had power in shaping the life I lead and that “positive thinking” isn’t about mind control, it’s about being aware of your thoughts and choosing which ones to believe. So I tapped into the part of myself that is awareness behind thought (what Eckhart Tolle calls our ‘Essence’) and became an astute watcher of the inner dialogue that occupied my mind throughout the day.
When I first started observing my thoughts, I’m ashamed to admit there was a lot of self-indulgent narcissism going on up there; this sucks, I suck, she sucks, why me, this is unfair, I hate this, she is so much prettier than me, I need to lose weight, should I go out this week end, why the hell are we learning about this, why hasn’t he called, of course I’m going out this week end, I should not have worn this, what am I doing with my life? My level of awareness didn’t extend far beyond my own bubble of what was directly affecting me.
But as I started to relinquish identification with the physical, the more my focus shifted from my body to my soul and instead of asking, What can I get? I began asking, What can I give? and I found lasting fulfilment in the service of others.
I also became aware of my Ego; the voice in my head that told me I wasn’t good enough, that had me constantly comparing my life to other peoples and that kept me trapped in fear, the force of Resistance that had governed my entire life until now. With time – and consistent effort – I am still learning how to tune it out.
I got curious about my behaviour. Why was I continually sabotaging my chances of being happy? I looked at the beliefs that I carried around subconsciously; Life is a struggle, success = sacrifice, love and relationships are more work than they’re worth, money is for people who are greedy and selfish, you can’t earn a living from your creativity, happiness is for people who are naive and ignorant to the state of the world, I have to strive and achieve to be worthy of love and attention. Ugh! So many toxic beliefs that I am so glad to be rid of now. I replaced them with beliefs conducive to happiness and growth (Read the 10 Beliefs that Changed my Life here).
I surrendered memories of the past and expectations of the future and committed to living fully in the present moment (Hint: You can set goals and have visions for your future while detaching from ‘how’ they manifest in your reality).
I realised my Oscar Wilde inspired hedonistic ideology wasn’t serving me very well and sometimes in life we have to give up what we want now for what we want most. So I resisted the temptation to settle, to slip back in to old thought patterns and behaviours, to call my ex and eat an entire block of chocolate (most of the time).
I resisted the siren call of my Ego, luring me in to a false sense of security and a life of complacency, and listened only to the excited murmurs of my Soul, leading me outside my comfort zone and toward a life beyond my wildest dreams.
I discovered that there are no such thing as coincidences and when you are living in alignment with your soul, the Universe starts to send you messages, signs and too-weird-to-be-accidental synchronicities that let you know you are on the right path. I became more aware of opportunities, met amazing people in the most random places and saw doors open that were never there before. Life started to make more sense and even the most insignificant events – missing a train, walking to work, hearing a certain song on the radio – became full of wonder and meaning.
I became totally in awe of the good days because they made me appreciate how far I had come, and I was even grateful for the bad days because they taught me more about life and myself than I ever thought possible.
There is so much more I want to share with you and I would love to turn it in to an online course or 6 week program, what do you think? Let me know what you would like to learn more about in the comments below.
If you’re on this journey, please know you are not alone. I know how hard it is to want to grow and become the best version of yourself when everyone around you seems totally content staying where they are.
Just know that eventually,
“the day will come when the risk to remain tight in a bud is more painful than the risk it takes to blossom.”
And when that day comes, I hope you have the strength to leave your old life and self behind, and become the person you were created to be.
DISCLAIMER: This article is NOT about placing judgement on anyone or any behaviour, it is simply a recount of my journey and an exploration of why I gave up a lifestyle I no longer enjoyed. Like all things, the behaviours in question (sex, drinking and drug taking) are neutral and can be used in service of the Ego or Higher Self, therefore it is the intention behind the action that should – and is – being examined. It is my deepest hope that this serves you in some way.
This time four years ago I was coming out of a toxic relationship, living at college and trying to ‘find myself’ in between Philosophy 101 lectures and student nights in the city. My weeks were spent sitting through classes that made me cringe, and my week ends split between rounds of Kings Cup over a bucket of jungle juice and hellish physical (and emotional) hangovers. On the surface, I was doing what every eighteen year old is supposed to do; meeting new people, trying new things and experimenting in every sense of the word. But beneath the up for anything first year, was a scared, confused and anxious young girl who didn’t know how to talk to people without a few tequila shots in her belly or a vodka lemonade in her hand.
Looking back, the college environment was pretty dangerous for an emotionally fragile seventeen year old battling with mental illness and a seriously low sense of self worth. I used the readily available supply of alcohol to numb the emotional wounds I’d developed from my previous relationship and the endless opportunities for social interaction to distract myself from the anxiety I felt about the future. My competitive nature meant that I always had to push the boundaries further than anyone else. My Ego loved the fact that I would always lose ‘Never Have I Ever’ and had crazy stories about drunken escapades to tell over pre-drinks. In my head everyone saw me as a free-spirited and fun-loving party animal while in reality I was an insecure mess chalking up ‘experiences’ in an attempt to make myself feel important.
When I moved out of college and in to my Sanctuary in 2013 (a beautiful, bright house with a balcony overlooking the mountains and two incredible girls whom I love and adore to this day), I was nursing yet another broken heart and a fierce determination that this year would, somehow, be different than the last. I was starting to get sick of the drama that came with the Party; the panic attacks, the bouts of depression and the niggling feeling that I was worthy and capable of so much more. I realised there was a limit to the number of times I could re-live the same night over and over again and eventually the people, the places and the week ends all blurred in to one and I couldn’t kid myself that the next night would be any different. So I started saying ‘no’ to nights out, stopped drinking altogether and took a (temporary) vow of celibacy. (There is a lot more to why I gave up sex, but that’s a post for another day).
When I started the journey home to myself, I came up against a lot of internal resistance. I backslid, a lot. Saturday nights were the hardest at first. The invitations would start coming in the afternoon, my Instagram feed was full of #sneakywine and #saturdaybevvy and I was sitting at home on the couch with my laptop and an empty evening stretching out in front of me. I remember ringing my mum in tears one night saying, ‘Everyone’s out having fun without me and I don’t have any friends anymore and this is not what your twenties is supposed to be like and I’m doing it wrong and I’m going to die alone.’ (I have a knack for the dramatic). After I got over the tears, I brought myself back to the reality of those nights and what they meant for me; drama, mistakes, anxiety and regret. I remembered all the times I’d posted photos sitting in the corner of a club when I’d lost my friends, the cab rides home where I was crying from dizziness or throwing up out the window, the fights I’d caused, the embarrassing texts I’d sent and all the strangers I’d woken up next to.
Looking back, I realise it was so hard to let go because my identity was so heavily tied up in this Party Girl persona; I determined my worth by how many guys I could sleep with or how many shots I could do without passing out. Without Saturday nights and Sunday hangovers, I had no idea who I was. What stories would I have to tell my grandkids? What would I talk about with my friends on a Monday morning? What would I do on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday night? If I didn’t have a guy that I was ‘talking to’, who would I message about my day? These were all questions that had me running in fear back to my Party Girl lifestyle over and over again, along with some more sinister fears and beliefs; If I wasn’t wasted, I was wasting my youth because this is what being ‘young’ is all about, right? If I didn’t have someone else in my bed, the loneliness would overwhelm me and I wouldn’t be able to cope. If I didn’t have these ‘adventures’ and ‘experiences’, what was the point of getting out of bed in the morning?
But as time went by, it became easier to say no. Whenever the urge arose to go out and right myself off, I started to think about what I was really craving; freedom, adventure, spontaneity. When I wanted desperately to message the last guy in my phone, I’d tune in to what my soul was really longing for; connection, intimacy, affection. Once I had identified the real desire, I could meet it at the source rather than searching for cheap substitutes for the real thing. I found adventure scaling Mount Coot-tha at sunrise, I found intimacy in sacred time alone with a cup of tea and my journal, I found affection in the gentle way I spoke to myself and I found deep, lasting connection in soul chats with my closest girlfriends. I realised God was using this time not to drown me, but to cleanse me. To teach me how to be alone, and to create for myself the love and fulfilment I so desperately searched for in others.
When I finally let go of that part of myself, it didn’t feel like a sacrifice, it felt like a relief. Without the shadow of my former self, suddenly I had this room to create the person I wanted to be, the life I wanted to live and the impact I wanted to make. I thought about what a perfect version of myself would look like, how she would act, what she would do, and anything that didn’t align with that vision gradually faded away. As I started engaging in activities that really nourished me (like writing or yoga), I didn’t feel the need to fill my spare time planning nights out. When I found coaching and started building my business, I had a vision to work towards and something to look forward to and most importantly, I had a channel for my creativity to flow through me in to the world. Creative energy and ideas were no longer stagnating in the pit of my stomach and making me anxious, they were being bought in to the world and used in the service of others.
When I realised I could create my reality, I no longer needed to escape it.
There is nothing greater than that first Sunday morning you wake up and realise your head doesn’t hurt, your mouth isn’t parched, there is no one but your teddy in bed with you and you literally have the whole day ahead to do whatever you want. And you get there by believing that what lies ahead is greater than anything you leave behind, that you are worthy and capable of experiencing the joy, the connection and the adventure without the drugs, the drink and the perfect date. NOW that’s not to say I didn’t pull out a fierce whip and nae nae on the cab ride home from my birthday dinner after a few wines last week end (and believe me, my girls and I know how to have a good time) but the important thing is I know my limits and I know how to satisfy my cravings internally without reaching for external substances or substitutes.
So why did I give it all up?
Because I needed time to heal the damage I’d done; physically, emotionally and spiritually. Because doing the work I am meant to do in the world became more important than self indulgent distractions, because my body was sick of being offered up to anyone who was willing to pay for the cab ride home and because my whole life I’ve had a dangerously ‘all or nothing’ attitude, and for once I wanted to use it to create a life that felt exciting, energising and inspiring.
This quote from Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art sums it up pretty perfectly (and if you haven’t read it, I highly recommend you get your hands on a copy);
“The working artist will not tolerate trouble in her life because she knows trouble prevents her from doing her work. The working artist banishes from her world all sources of trouble, she harnesses the urge for trouble and transforms it in her work.”
Creating the life you want to live is a process, and every day presents new challenges, temptations and distractions, but nothing beats the overwhelming peace that comes from starving your ego and feeding your soul. The satisfaction of knowing you are reaching your highest potential is worth missing a few nights out, saying no to the ridiculously good looking guy who wants to take you home and putting in the work that is needed on the journey of self discovery (more on how I did this next week).
If you are going through this journey, I would love to hear from you in the comments below. Are you thinking about giving up the party scene in favour of something a little more ‘You’? What breakthroughs have you had? What’s holding you back? If you want to hear more about this topic, let me know! In the mean time, watch this and this is a great read. Remember you gorgeous party animal, you don’t need to dance on the table to be worthy of attention, you don’t need to keep searching outside for what has been within you all along and I promise that when you look back on your life, you’ll never regret the nights you spent dancing around the lounge room in your pj’s, losing yourself in a good book and planning the beautiful life you want to lead.
It’s storming. I have a candle burning and music playing through the darkness and it feels like the perfect time to reflect on the year that was 22. I’m perched on a cushion, my fingers running over the keyboard with that all to familiar mixture of anxiety and excitement running through me. Will I be able to articulate the passion, the emotion, the message burning in my soul? Will it be good enough? Will I be okay if it’s not?
I’ve had a love/hate relationship with writing this year. I adore writing for this blog and the emails I send out each month (soon to be fortnight), mostly because of the responses I receive from the most amazing people who say my writing resonated with them, that it awakened something within them. I truly believe in the power of words to heal, restore and renew. To spark something latent within us or help us see things from a new perspective.
And yet…Sometimes just the thought of sitting down to write has me knee-deep in distraction. Resistance has been a real and ever present force in my life since the moment I decided to embark on this spiritual journey. It has manifested a thousand times in countless different forms, each one more cunning than the last. I’ve begun to think of my ego as the robot villain in the Incredibles; you know the one that becomes more intelligent the more you try to defeat it? It uses every tool you learn and weapon you earn against you, forcing you to constantly grow, expand and evolve, or stay trapped in the cycle of repeating the past over and over again.
My lesson this year has been patience. Learning to balance my drive and blind ambition with a devout faith in Divine timing. Knowing when to stay up all night typing until my fingers hurt and my eyes won’t stay open, and when to let go and let God take it from here. When to push and hustle and go after what I want, and when to surrender, take my time and let things unfold when they’re meant to. I still don’t have it all figured out. I so often find myself in tears of frustration when I think about the space between where I am and where I want to be. It’s like my soul is desperately longing to reach it’s full potential, and yet my body feels so…limited. There is so much I want to do and feel and be and sometimes the enormity of it all leaves me paralysed.
I’ll be the first to admit this journey can be exhausting. As one wound is healed, another appears and just as light filters through, darkness roars across the sky. It’s so easy to get caught up in the task of ‘fixing ourselves’ that sometimes we forget the purpose is in the process. I have to keep reminding myself to find joy in every step of the journey. And there is always joy. In the moments between the madness; the colours so vibrant they make your heart hurt, the messages so clear they alter the course of your existence and the love so deep it changes the structure of your cells.
This time last year I was stressing over assignments and resenting every moment of finishing my degree and right now, I’m about to fly to Melbourne to celebrate becoming a life coach and turning 23 with some of the most beautiful, driven, spirited girls that have landed in my life over the last twelve months. I feel present, balanced, focused, grateful, alive.
This is what it feels like to live a life of conscious creation.
When I remind myself of all the beautiful things that have happened in the last twelve months, both gratitude and disbelief wash over me and I start smiling like an idiot at the wonder and beauty of it all. I moved to Sydney (finally), I mastered the art of singledom (more on that to come), I met people who went from strangers to soul sisters in 0.2 seconds, and who I know will be in my life until the end. I learnt how to channel my desire to self destruct into a fiery passion to destroy what no longer serves the world. My family – the foundation upon which I built my identity – was torn out from under me, and I had to discover who I was outside the world I grew up in, and (this one still gives me butterflies) I became a life coach. Working with my clients has brought out a side to me I never knew existed but I fall more in love with each and every day. The heart-stopping joy, the overwhelming pride, the transcendent energy I feel after every session…I didn’t know it could get this good.
I am so much closer to the life I envisioned when I sat on my balcony one afternoon in Brisbane, just eighteen short months ago, and God showed me the life that awaited me if I trusted Him and stepped out in faith. When I decided to quit my journalism internship, turn my back on the degree I’d dedicated the last four years to, and follow the calling He placed on my heart. I get goosebumps when I think about how lucky I am that my soul chose this experience; this calling, this mission, this lifetime, and all the moments of synchronicity that continue to unfold, guiding me toward the life I was meant to live. Because when we go searching for meaning…we find it. And when we commit to honouring the desires of our heart, life ceases to be an uphill struggle and becomes instead a series of miracles that bear witness to the grace and goodness of God and the love He has for us.
What does next year hold? I have no idea. I know I’m craving more beauty; around me, within me, in what I create… and beaches with no people on them. I’m hungry for deep, soulful exploration of myself and those around me. I want to delve back into depths of my experience and create a road map for those trying to find their way out; an odyssey into darkness and a triumphant emergence into light. I want to speak. I want to start my own dance studio. I want to serve on a deeper level.
I’m calling in all the forces of heaven to assist me, to assist our planet and all her inhabitants as we enter this new era of consciousness, as we release the old and create the new. As we heal the wounds of the past and venture bravely into the future, remembering the truth of Who we Really Are and saving the world one awakening at a time. What we are experiencing all around us now is growing pains, the death of what no longer serves us and the birth of a new world order, and as more of us align with the light and discover our purpose – the real reason we are here – the closer we edge to the world I see in my wildest dreams, the world we all crave at our core, the world I know is possible in this lifetime.
The Almighty created you with the sole purpose of nudging the human race one millimetre farther along its path back to God. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got.
Steven Pressfield, The War of Art
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for being on this journey with me, this is just the beginning.
While it’s normal to feel nervous when we’re about to speak in public, walk in to a party or go for a big interview, anxiety arises in response to our thoughts about something that hasn’t happened or will most likely never happen. Unlike nerves, anxiety can have long term effects on our mental and physical health and severely affect our quality of life.
I was diagnosed with anxiety at 16 and told that (like depression) it was something I would always have to manage. Well, 6 years on and I can say that I am 100% anxiety free. Yes, I still get nervous as all hell but the underlying panic that used to follow me through the day has been replaced with an overwhelming sense of peace and the more I commit to honouring the calling of my heart, the calmer and more grounded I become.
Here are six things you can do right now to reduce your anxiety and bring more peace in to your life.
1.Turn off notifications on your phone. If you have a loving and engaged mother like mine (or even a super chatty boyfriend or bestie) your phone will most likely be lighting up like a Christmas tree for most of the day. This constant demand for our attention can split our focus and provoke anxiety by making us feel out of control or overwhelmed. Turn off notifications for Facebook, Instagram and group chats so you’re not constantly being distracted and then set aside five minutes every few hours to consciously check your social media and reply to any messages. I cannot tell you how much this simple practice totally changed my life.
2.Meditate. I started this new thing called ‘Stop, Drop and Meditate’. Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed – no matter where I am or what I’m doing – I close my eyes and take 10 long, slow, deep breaths. (Yes, I’ve done this in the middle of the office and on a crowded bus in peak hour). When life seems overwhelming, this simple practice allows you to take back control and remind yourself of what’s important; you. Rather than trying to suppress it or ‘make it go away’, lean into the discomfort. Where can you feel it in your body? What does it feel like, look like, sound like? Bring your awareness to it with total acceptance and feel it dissolve as you give it your full attention.
3.Focus on the present. I was a very anxious child. I would spend weeks worrying about exams and most Sunday nights begging my mum to let me stay home from school the next day. I remember her saying to me, ‘Jae, you’re not at school yet, just focus on what’s happening right now’. Although it’s taken me 15 years, I finally understand what she meant. Anxiety relies on our projections of the future and imagining ‘worst case scenarios’ in our mind, therefore it cannot exist in the present moment. Ask yourself, Is the scenario I am imagining happening right now? Am I safe in this moment?
There is no when or then, there is only now.
4.Journal. Grab a piece of paper and write down everything that comes into your mind. What am I really anxious about? What is the worst case scenario I am imagining? If you’re overwhelmed about how much you have to do, write a list of everything you have to get done, number them in order of importance and work your way through. Baby steps.
5.Interrupt anxiety with gratitude. Keep a gratitude journal beside your bed and write down 3 things you are grateful for every morning when you wake up. When you start ‘future tripping’, interrupt your usual thought pattern with a list of all the things you have to give thanks for in your life.
6.Stop ignoring your heart. My existential anxiety completely disappeared when I quit my journalism internship, started my blog and began pursuing my passion for life coaching. Like, almost overnight. When we’re not doing the work we are meant to do in the world, of course our soul is going to be anxiously vibe-ing around in our body. It’s like, ‘Come on, stop fucking around with that soul-sucking day job and become an author already’ or in my case, ‘Quit sucking up to lecturers and doing what everyone else thinks you should do and let’s go save the world together!’ Yes, following your dream is scary. Yes, there will be moments where you are thinking what the hell have I done as you stare at the last $3 in your bank account but I promise, when you are fulfilling your purpose on this earth, you have all the cosmic forces of the Universe on your side and they will move heaven and earth to take care of you. You are safe, you are loved, and you’ve got this.
“If you knew who walked beside you in every moment, on this path you have chosen, you would never be afraid again.”
You know the adage, ‘when the student is ready, the teacher appears?’ Well, for me, books have a way of coming in to my life when I need to read them. Since I picked up my first self help book (Men are From Mars, Women are from Venus) at 8 years old, reading has played an indispensable role in my learning, growth and evolution. Over the last 3 years, the following books have all impacted me in unique and profound ways; they have comforted, enlightened and inspired me on my journey and shortened my learning curve exponentially.
Pick a starting point and work your way through. Make notes on each one, copy down your favourite passages and the revelations they sparked in you and I promise by the time you finish, you will not be the same person as when you started.
A Return to Love, Marianne Williamson
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”
This book was the guiding light out of darkness and toward a life of love and inner peace, it laid the foundations for the life I lead now and showed me how to go from fear to love. It is, quite simply, the most transformational book I’ve ever read.
2. The Power of Now, Eckart Tolle
“If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place. Primary reality is within; secondary reality without.”
This book landed in my lap about 2 weeks before my parents separated and our entire family was thrown into a whirlwind of devastation and chaos. I honestly believe it was sent to prepare me – as much as possible in the situation – and it made dealing with the pain and uncertainty slightly more bearable. It gave me a higher perspective that was my saving grace.
3. High; A Party Girls Guide to Peace, Tara Bliss
“You don’t need a Vodka in your hand for us all to see how fascinating you are.”
This book helped me immensely in letting go of my party girl identity and discovering the real reasons behind my behaviour over the last 5 years. It asks the hard questions, What are you really craving when you reach for another drink or go home with a complete stranger? It’s a beautifully honest and practical guide for anyone ready to leave the Party behind (whatever that looks like for you) and create a life that feels really freaking blissful. Thank you Tara, you Goddess.
4. Conversations with God, Neale Donald Walsch
“The deepest secret is that life is not a process of discovery, but a process of creation. You are not discovering yourself, but creating yourself anew. Seek therefore, not to find out Who You Are, but seek to determine Who You Want to Be.”
Don’t be put off by the name, this book contains so much wisdom you have to stop at the end of every page and let the gravity of what you just read sink in. It’s full of ‘aha’ moments as well as a powerful guide for connecting with the Divine.
5. Daring Greatly, Brene Brown
“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”
This is the book that should be handed out to every human at birth. It’s a ‘How to’ for thriving in modern society.
6. Revolution, Russell Brand
“The richest 85 people in the world have as much wealth as 3.5 billion others.”
Funny, smart, enlightening. Brand shines a light on the startling inequality present in our modern world and warns that the system of mass consumption (and distraction) under which the western world operates is not sustainable. He asserts that change on global scale is triggered by every individual undergoing their own personal revolution of consciousness and uses his own story of getting clean and finding inner peace as a microcosm of what is possible for humanity as a whole when we realise we all come from the same source and are thus all connected.
This book lit a fire in my heart and cemented my desire to challenge the systems that govern us and let go of ideals and beliefs that no longer serve the majority of people in our society. It opened my eyes to the way our current system exploits the labour of the masses to channel wealth to the few and the power we hold, individually and as a collective, to create the world we want to live in.
Get ready to question everything you thought you knew about goal setting and uncover a way of setting ‘goals with soul’. Based on the idea that we never crave physical achievements but the feelings they produce, Danielle encourages us to anchor into how you want to feel rather than what you want to do. I now set core desired feelings every week, month and year that help me determine how to plan my days, run my business and show up in the world. Feeling good is my number one priority. If it doesn’t feel good, I don’t do it. Simple. Effective. Joyous.
8. The War of Art, Steven Pressfield
“The more important a call or action is to our Souls evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.”
For anyone who struggles with finishing a creative project or even just getting started, get your hands on a copy. Stat. Pressfield identifies a force – which he calls ‘Resistance’ – that prevents us from doing what we were meant to do in the world. It manifests in procrastination, self doubt and distraction, among other things and as artists and creatives (which we all are in some way) it is our Divine mission to recognise it so that we can be a channel for the creative forces of the Universe to move through us and into the world.
9. What am I Doing with my Life? Jae Schaefer
“If school feels like a struggle, if you can’t find the motivation to study, if you are scared or confused about what your future holds, know that there is nothing wrong with you, just the path you are on. You don’t have to wake up in ten years and wonder where it all went wrong, you don’t have to be a slave to your past or your insecurities. You don’t have to settle and you can have it all.”
Well I wasn’t going to leave this one out, was I? If you are constantly in awe of everyone around you chasing their dreams but haven’t yet figured out the impact you were meant to make, this book will guide you on a journey of self discovery all the way home to yourself. You can download your copy here.
Have you read one or all of these books? How did they impact your life? Is your favourite on the list? Let me know in the comments below!
When I began the journey home to myself, something I really struggled with was letting go of my party-girl identity and allowing myself to grow and evolve into the woman I so desperately wanted to be. My soul knew who it was, but it was like my mind had yet to catch up. I would be blissfully happy on my spiritual journey and yet, the moment an opportunity arose to have a wild night out with the girls or hook up with a guy from my past, I would slip straight back into old habits.
The more I experienced these ‘backslides’, the more frustrated I became with myself. I grappled with questions like, Why the hell am I sabotaging this amazing path I’m on? How do I stop repeating the mistakes of my past? How do I create a new identity without my old self catching up to me?
It wasn’t long after that I was sitting in church one Sunday night and, for the first time, I heard the message of Grace. I’d heard about the concept of grace before, but I’d never understood the reality of it, or what it meant for my life. What I learned that night changed everything.
Grace means a lot of different things to different people but to me it means total forgiveness and the freedom that comes from knowing you are loved unconditionally. If there is one thing I learned it’s that grace isn’t earned, it’s given freely. Accepting grace means accepting your worth is not dependent on what you do, but Who You Are. It is living with the knowledge that happiness, joy and an enduring sense of peace are your birthright, and then showing up to claim them.
It’s understanding that you are not your past, your fears or your insecurities, you are not the critical thoughts that keep you up at night and you are not a bad person for the ways you tried to kill your sadness. It is trusting that the Universe is self organising and self correcting, that there is no mistake or evil that cannot be used for good, there is no darkness that cannot be made light. There is nothing you can do that God cannot use for His purposes. Grace says, it doesn’t matter what you do, nothing can change the way I feel about you. It is supernatural love without conditions.
The antithesis of grace is shame. Shame keeps us small. It keeps us running back to our old patterns, unable to break free from the chains of our past. Every time we stumble, it’s there to remind us of our weakness. It’s the sinking feeling in your stomach when you wake up next to the same guy you swore you would never see again. It was the voice in my head that accompanied a raging hangover after promising myself I was done with drinking, “See, I knew you couldn’t change. Did you honestly think you were worth more than this?”
In the presence of grace, we grow. When you accept the power of grace in your life, everything changes. You realise your past does not define you and if you decide what you’re doing no longer aligns with who you want to be, you can start again. The desires of your heart become more important than the desires of your body or mind and any pursuit that doesn’t provide a sense of lasting fulfilment, loses its appeal.
For me, it meant I stopped fighting. When I realised God wasn’t trying to punish me, that He wasn’t angry at me or even disappointed with me, my guard came down. I realised I didn’t need to defend myself anymore or justify my actions. I was forgiven. That was it. Over the next few months, I experienced a softening of my heart that changed me from the inside out. I became less aggressive, defensive and judgemental and more open, accepting and vulnerable. I experienced a new depth of emotion that had been completely out of my reach before; my relationships – both with myself and those around me – flourished and I was able to give and receive love without restraint.
“When rules attempt to force us to do the opposite of what we want, Grace changes what we want.”
So how do you apply the concept of grace to your life and break destructive habits once and for all? That’s coming up next week. For now, rest in grace and rise in Truth; rest in the knowledge that God has forgiven you and rise up in the authority He has given you and declare it over your life. God is not your accuser. He is not your judge. He is your friend and protector. Don’t hide from the blessings He bestows because you are afraid you don’t deserve them, step up to claim them and let the goodness of His grace wash away the sins of your past and make you a new creation.
The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
Our relationships with people never really end, they just take different forms. Endings are painful, but they are just illusions. Love is eternal and we are all connected, therefore we shall continue to love all those we have ever loved, but in a new capacity.
At the end of a relationship, instead of holding onto guilt or pain, it’s important to reflect on the purpose behind the experience. What worked? What went wrong? With hindsight, we can see the incredible lessons we learnt from a particular person about who we are and what we want, and from this new perspective, comes a gratitude for what you had and the person you had it with. It’s hard not to love someone when you realise they shaped the incredible human you have become.
Here’s just a few reasons why I will always love my ex.
Because he showed me how strong I am.
Getting out of a toxic relationship was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. Having been caught in the cycle of domestic violence, I know the desperate longing to stay, even when all logic and reason tells you to leave. There was a time where I didn’t think I could live without him, and now my life is greater than anything I ever imagined. I know my worth, I know my value and I’m no longer willing to settle for less than I deserve.
I love the woman I am because I’ve fought to become her.
Because he showed me where I am wounded.
My relationships have shown me how quickly I resort to anger and control when I feel insecure or inadequate. How deeply I relied on another person to validate my sense of self worth. How little I knew about men. How wrong it was to go into the relationship asking what I could get, rather than what I could give. How desperate I was for a partner to ‘fix’ me and how I looked to them to fulfil the needs I couldn’t meet for myself. Working through these issues has transformed the way I relate to both myself and others and prevented me from repeating old patterns in new relationships.
Because he taught me how to let go.
To be truly over someone is to want them to be happy, even if you don’t play a part in their happiness. To forgive everything that went wrong in the relationship, your mistakes and theirs and look to the future with the belief that
“what was meant for me will never miss me, and that what misses me was never meant for me.”
Umar Ibn Khattab
Letting go of the past is one of life’s hardest lessons, and there’s nothing like a difficult break up to teach you how to let go with ease and grace.
Because he taught me how to love in a new way.
He taught me that love doesn’t require presence. Loving from afar is a different kind of love; it’s simple, uncomplicated, unattached and full of deep respect. There is a genuine sense of, “I want you to grow and I want you to be happy, and I’ll always cherish what we had but it doesn’t define me anymore.” It’s liberating and expansive, and it connects you to your Higher Self.
What have you learned from past relationships? What do you need to let go of? If you’re coming out of a bad break up or harbouring hard feelings toward an ex partner, call on some Divine guidance to assist you.
Please help me heal this relationship.
I surrender all of my pain, frustration, anxiety and heartache to you to be transformed into whatever you deem necessary for my evolution.
I am willing and ready to see this relationship with new eyes. Show me the method in the madness, show me the beauty in the breakdown.
I am ready to forgive. I am ready to let go.
I am ready to love in a new capacity.
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.
Ahhh that Sunday afternoon feeling. The sun sets on another week end and all of a sudden the reality of the week ahead hits you like a tonne of bricks. As you consider the prospect of another five days between you and freedom, the week end gone by starts to play on your mind.
I didn’t get anything productive done. I made some really stupid decisions. I spent way too much money and I wasted a whole day lying in bed hungover watching Gossip Girl. What the hell am I doing with my life?
For me, Sunday nights used to be full of anxiety. It was actually my favourite time to go out drinking (Sunday sesh anyone?) because I could forget about reality for a few hours and distract myself from the questions I had been avoiding all week,
What am I doing? Why am I here? Why aren’t I happy? Is this seriously all there is?
After a boozy week end, it wasn’t just the physical hangover that had me reaching for another drink; the piercing headache, the parched mouth and the nausea that no amount of hot chips or vegemite toast can fix.
What really got me was the emotional hangover that came with it; the agitation and panic that rose in my chest when I realised I hadn’t done anything I said I would and tomorrow was Monday and I had essentially just wasted another week end in a drunken haze.
These days, my Sundays are sacred. I will rarely plan anything in advance and prefer to make space for whatever my soul feels called to do. My week is so full of schedules and deadlines as it is, I love having that space to let the day unfold as it will. That said, there are a few things that usually end up happening and hopefully they will help you kick that emotional hangover to the curb and leave you feeling ready and refreshed for the week ahead.
My Sunday Ritual
Wake up with the sun and head straight down to the grassy knoll at North Bondi for a green smoothie and – if I’m feeling up to it – a walk or run from Bondi to Bronte.
Soul chats. My favourite Sunday evening activity is Skyping with one of my girlfriends where we catch up on everything that’s going on in our lives and plan our game-changing careers. Hearing about them killing it at work, uni and in their relationships (and working through things that are holding us back), leaves me feeling so inspired and ready to take on the world.
Planning the week ahead. Asking what I really want to to achieve this week and what I need to do to make it happen. When I’m feeling extra productive, I’ll mark out space in my calendar for exercise, meditation, self care, catch ups with friends and time to work on any projects that are due. (If you don’t schedule it, it isn’t real).
Late afternoon, I’ll usually head down to Rose Bay to watch the sunset over the bridge, grab some groceries for the week and my day usually ends curled up with a cup of tea and a block of loving earth chocolate. Content. Smiling. Happy.
This afternoon, if you start to feel anxiety creeping in, go outside.
Find a quiet spot in nature and watch the colours change as the sun goes down.
Breathe. Dream. Visualise how you want your life to look. Feel as if you’re already there.
Take a bubble bath.
Write a To Do List.
Grab a blank piece of paper and scribble every thought in your head until your hand hurts and there is nothing left to write.
Buy a heap of fresh veggies and make your meals for the week. Make chopping carrots a meditative practice.
If none of it works, ask yourself what you’re really worried about. Why does the emptiness always show up after a week end of bingeing? What are you dreading about the week ahead? A lot of my own anxiety stemmed from the fact that I hated my degree and the thought of another week sitting in lectures and struggling through assignments was enough to send me into a panic. Maybe it’s time to ditch your draining job or cut ties with toxic people. Maybe it’s time to focus on what sets your soul on fire and spend your time doing that instead.
Maybe it’s time to listen to your heart and ask yourself,
What am I really craving?
Sunday doesn’t have to be spent under the covers (unless you want it to), it can be a day for adventures and intentions and creativity and pure, simple, uncomplicated joy. You can have a whole lotta blissful Sundays that turn into beautiful weeks and meaningful years that turn into a life beyond your wildest dreams. What’s your Sunday evening ritual? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
I haven’t had a TV in my apartment since I moved at the start of this year. When I was little I wanted to be a writer but after years of people telling me there was no money in writing, I turned to Journalism to fulfil my desire to be in the public spotlight and voice my opinions, or so I thought.
Two years in to a bachelor of Journalism at the University of Queensland, I wanted to run for the hills. Here’s a few reasons why I didn’t get into journalism and why I don’t watch the news, ever.
Like a lot of potentially addictive behaviours, watching the morning or nightly news is unproductive at best and destructive at worst. (And yes, I do believe media consumption is an addiction that controls 90% of the western population.) I didn’t realise how much I relied on my morning hit of the Today Show until I decided to stop. It seems so harmless from the outside, friendly faces that go from reporting on stories of genocide and mass killings one minute and giggling over a dog playing piano the next. It wasn’t until I ditched the daily download of current events that I realised the impact watching these shows was having on the way I viewed myself and, more importantly, the way I viewed the world.
Mainstream media serves a purpose; to disconnect, desensitise and distract the masses from reality by constructing a version of the world that supports the political, social and economical agenda of the people who run it.
The idea is that if they bombard us with horrific stories 24/7, our human tendency toward compassion is over worked to the point that we can watch thousands die on the screen in front of us without so much as batting an eyelash. (Lets face it, consuming violence has become as natural as drinking our morning coffee.) This tactic allows the powers that be* to continue to incite violent conflict overseas, destroy our earths resources for economic gain and gradually widen the gap between the upper and lower classes of society.
Here are a few things we learnt in Journalism school:
88% of Australian media is owned and operated by two companies, News Limited and Fairfax. Why does it matter that two guys control all the newspapers and tv stations? Because public opinion – from water-cooler conversations to talkback radio – is influenced by whats in the press. They don’t have to control what we think, they just have to control what we think about.
There is an entire industry built around the science of programming peoples minds to think in a certain way by repeatedly exposing them to particular information. It’s called Public Relations.
There is no such thing as objective reporting. Individual bias makes it impossible for us to be completely ‘fair’ when telling a story. For example, this entire blog post has been shaped by my experience of the world and written with the purpose of influencing you to adopt my particular stance on this issue. The difference between me and The Sydney Morning Herald is that I’m not pretending to write from the fence.
There are well-documented links between politicians (who create the laws), the authorities (who enforce them) and the media, that are steeped in secrecy and corruption. All three groups have been known to use the others to construct a particular picture of reality, mask unsavoury behaviour or further their own agenda.
The news appeals to the lowest manifestations of human nature – anger, jealousy, anxiety and fear – to make it easier for governments to exercise tighter controls over the population.
Want to increase surveillance of online activity? Plug as many stories on terrorism as you can, until people are so terrified of an outside attack they will gladly hand over their right to privacy, all in the name of ‘national security’. Want to shirk your responsibility to offer protection for refugees? Create a picture of scarcity – there’s not enough jobs, resources, houses to go around – and watch people turn a blind eye to the treatment of asylum seekers and start racist tirades on public transport.
The more we watch it, the more we are inclined to let those emotions dictate our behaviour. However, when we shut out the fear-based recounts of what is in reality only 0.01% of society, we quickly realise that our true nature is kindness, compassion and love and our deepest desire is for a sense of connectedness with all living beings. It is from this space that we can make decisions about how to live our lives and organise our societies that will not only benefit mankind as a whole, but deliver the sense of inner peace we all so desperately crave.
That is not to say that horrific things aren’t happening in the world, they are. But watching disasters unfold on a shiny flatscreen is not going to solve the myriad of complex problems humanity is facing. I believe it actually perpetuates the situation by re-enforcing the belief that we are helpless. And that is probably the most insidious and destructive thing mainstream media does; it strips us of our power by making us believe we don’t have any. We are bombarded with images of death and destruction so frequently that at first we feel sorry, then we feel helpless, then we don’t feel anything. How do you feel when you watch the 7 o’clock news? Empowered and inspired to make a difference? Didn’t think so.
The next question is why. Why do corporations, companies and CEO’s go to so much trouble to pit us against one another in the quest for an apparently dwindling supply of health, wealth, attention and success?
Because their power depends on things staying exactly as they are.
Because a world where the 85 richest people have as much wealth as 3.5 billion others doesn’t make sense when you hold it up against your own moral compass.
Because the web of corrupt ties that bind the media, big business and our faithful Government is protecting a system that preys on the insecurities of the masses and destroys the earths natural resources to channel wealth to the top.
And in order to keep it running, they need to keep us distracted. (Reality TV anyone?)
Because when you look at it closely, the entire system is a fragile deck of cards that requires immense effort to uphold and when you switch off your phone for long enough to have a conversation with the person sitting next to you, you realise everyone wants things to change and all it takes is for each of us to knock over a card and it all comes tumbling down.
Every individual on the planet – regardless of their circumstances – has the power to create incredible and lasting change in our world. Imagine the potential of people like you and I who have an abundance of wealth, resources and education at our disposal.
The reason we don’t wield our power is because we have forgotten we have any.
It’s the same reason we stay trapped in soul-sucking jobs and loveless relationships and mind-numbingly boring routines; because we forget we have a choice. If something isn’t working, change it. The ideology that says a single mother has to work three jobs to support her children while James Packer just sold a $50 million yacht is just that, an idea.
The reality is that there is enough to go around. There is enough space, food, housing. There is enough money. The big kids in the playground just don’t want to share.
They will tell you you just need to work harder, get a better education, get thinner, younger, smarter and eventually you’ll make it to the top. If not, at the end of the day, maybe some people are just more deserving than others. (Our entire celebrity culture is predicated on the assertion that some humans are more valuable than other humans. Convenient, huh?) So we spend our entire lives trapped in a cycle of working longer hours to make more money to pay for more stuff we never knew we needed while the earth is dying under the weight of our consumption and the big boys are laughing all the way to the bank.
Thankfully, the world is waking up.
The internet – as much as it has been used to perpetuate the insanity – could also be our saving grace. The ability to communicate (relatively) freely with people anywhere in the world means we are able to connect on a level we never have before. And even though our every movement online is being observed (that’s a post for another day), we can share stories and ideas and work together to solve common problems.
Sites like Humans of New York are working to unmask the illusory barriers that separate us from one another and tear down the imaginary borders of fear, hatred and difference that the media works so hard to put between us by awakening us to the reality that we are all made of the same stuff. When you realise you can relate to the desires, fears, pain and joy of the person on the other side of the screen, you are more empowered to help them (and less complacent about bombing them).
Here are some of the things you can do in your own life.
Turn off the TV.
Seek out independent media sources and be conscious of what, when and how you consume information.
Question everything you read, watch or listen to. Hold it up and examine it against your own life experience. Have I met any Islamic people who want to impose a totalitarian regime in my country? No? Okay great, no need to be racist today.
Practice meditation. I can’t tell you how much shit became apparent to me when I started tuning out of the world and into myself. My entire perception of the world around me changed. So many things I had turned a blind eye to before became glaringly obvious.
What do you mean my Nikes were made by a 5 year old in Bangladesh who works for 5c an hour?
I’m sorry, the bacon I’m eating comes from a pig that spent it’s entire life in a filthy metal crate?
Um, you mean to tell me that the reason I’m starving myself to be thin is because a multi-billion dollar industry is trying to distort my idea of beauty so I will spend my entire life hating my body and spending my savings on their products?
I also started to feel again. Now even a toilet paper commercial is enough to make me cry. And believe it or not, I prefer that my empathy be aroused at the slightest touch than to watch the world burn around me and not feel a thing.
Educate yourself. Read more books (I’ve found that people who take the time to write a novel often have better things to say). Watch more documentaries.
Focus on what you can change. Start with your own life and move outwards. Ask the hard questions. Where am I holding on to negative beliefs that no longer serve me? Who am I not forgiving? Where am I resisting my current situation? Who am I not loving? How am I helping to make the world a better place? Philanthropy isn’t an afterthought for when all our resources have been expended, it is the reason we are here. Make your life’s work an act of service and do it with so much love that people cannot help but feel it, and I promise you will be the happiest person on the planet.
Communicate. Connect. Collaborate. Remember, “Small minds discuss people, average minds discuss events, great minds discuss ideas.”
I don’t know if I’ll ever own a TV again, I don’t know if one day I’ll be able to look at A Current Affair and it’s outbursts of immaturity like a child throwing a tantrum that no-one takes seriously.
For now, I’m focused on fulfilling my mission; to awaken, enlighten and inspire the next generation of leaders to discover the purpose written on their hearts. To harness the vision, power and creative energy that I know exists in the next generation and use it to solve the problems of the world. To foster connection and encourage collaboration, to bring the grace and truth and beauty of heaven to create a new reality here on earth.
Queues. Traffic Jams. Writers block. Everything has a divine purpose when you stop resisting it and surrender to the beauty of the present moment.
2. Everything that happens is for my highest good.
The Universe is working for me. Everything in my life is either a blessing or a lesson (but probably both).
3. Inner peace is available to me in every moment.
Although my emotions may be turbulent and ever-changing, the depth of my souls peace is eternal.
4. My true nature is pure grace, truth, beauty, light and love.
Anything else is borne from fear and the insanity of forgetting Who I really Am.
5. I am here for a reason.
While my souls purpose is to awaken to the truth of Who I really Am, my earthly purpose is to encourage and inspire others to do the same. Everything I need to fulfil this purpose already exists inside me; it is the point where my talents and experiences meet my vision for the world. Fulfilling this purpose merely requires that I be my authentic self in the service of others. This is the true path to worldly fulfilment.
6. I am created in the image and likeness of God.
The same creative power that spoke the Universe into existence resides within me and therefore I have the power to create the life I choose.
7. I am a soul, I have a body.
…and it’s wise and strong and beautiful and it loves me, a lot.
8. My worth is not dependent on what I do, say or have, but on Who I Am.
It is not up to others to validate my existence or to fulfil my need for respect, attention or love. Everything I long for, I can find within myself.
9. Right and wrong are relative terms.
Our beliefs are shaped by our experiences, no one else’s opinions are more or less valid than my own. Acknowledging this Truth is the first step in cultivating compassion.
10. Every living being is connected.
What I do to another, I do to myself. We all have an essential part to play in elevating the collective consciousness of our planet. When we see within others the same beauty, wisdom and light that exists within us and treat them according to their Divine nature, the world will know peace.
For many teenagers, the prospect of getting a job and starting a life of their own can feel a bit like staring into the abyss. Without the right guidance and support, many teens experience anxiety and episodes of depression, often acting out because they don’t know how to deal with the myriad of life-changing decisions they are faced with.
Is your teen struggling to find a path they are excited to follow? Are they sticking their head in the sand and refusing to make any decisions at all? Here’s how you can support your teen in the quest to find their purpose and follow their passion to create a life and career they adore.
The summer after I finished high school was a blurry mess of wild nights, panic attacks and screaming matches with my parents. I’d spent the entire summer “celebrating” i.e. trying to forget about the future by drinking myself into a coma, and as the new year drew closer, I retreated further away from family and friends and into my own bubble of anxiety and distraction.
I couldn’t wait to leave home and start my life but I felt totally ill-equipped to establish myself in the ‘real’ world. Being asked to make such massive life-changing decisions about my future felt like being thrown in the deep end and while everyone around me seemed to be swimming, all of my ‘potential’ was weighing me down. I felt so many expectations upon me; from teachers, friends, my parents and a constant pressure to be “successful” which, from what I could gather, meant getting into the best University, studying the most prestigious degree your marks would allow and then choosing a career with the highest earning potential.
‘But I have no idea what I want to study!’ I protested.
‘You’ll figure it out when you get there,’ was the usual response.
So I moved to the closest city and enrolled in the degree that sounded the least objectionable. What followed was a battle with depression and anxiety, a series of life-altering mistakes and a journey down the path of self destruction that cracked me open, brought me to my knees and – after a lot of unnecessary pain – lead me to discover my true purpose. Looking back, it didn’t need to be that hard. My journey has lead me to where I am today and I wouldn’t change a moment of it. But if I can help one young person circumvent the panic attacks, the sense of hopelessness, the fear that arises out of indecision and the pressure to conform to societies definition of success, then I have been of service.
My vision is a world where teenagers are empowered to discover their innate talents and abilities and encouraged to use them in the service of others to create a career that fulfils them and their purpose on this earth.
And for me, discovering that purpose starts at home.
For a lot of parents, their child’s senior year is the ‘home stretch’, they can see the light of independence at the end of the adolescent tunnel and after years of dealing with moody teenagers, they are more likely to pull away than actively engage in the transition process. If your teenager is having trouble figuring out their next steps after graduation, here are 8 things you can to do to get them back on track and set them up for a future they can’t wait to start living;
1. Re-define success. Your teenager is growing up in a world very different from the one you grew up in, the introduction of the internet was a complete game-changer in terms of career opportunity. Your child will probably be doing a job that didn’t exist twenty years ago and if they can’t find something they like, an entrepreneurial spirit and the online marketplace means they can create one! Don’t get caught in the trap of thinking your teen needs a University degree to be successful, the two greatest commodities of the twenty first century are creativity and innovation, allowing your child to live outside the box is the greatest gift you will ever give them.
2. Play to their strengths. What is your teenager really good at? What lights them up like nothing else? The key to finding their calling is to find the place where their greatest joy meets the worlds greatest need. What do others ask them for help with? What could they talk for hours about? Instead of investing in a maths tutor to help your literary nerd, why not enrol them in a writing competition? Constantly trying to improve upon things they have no natural ability for can cripple a teenagers self esteem, while engaging in activities they are naturally good at will boost their confidence and spark ideas about how to make a living from their passion.
3. Embrace their differences. Underneath the labels, insecurities and expectations, exists the real individual that knows exactly what he or she needs to do to change the world, help them uncover it. What sets them apart from others their age? Let go of your expectations about who they should be and create space for them to be who they are, chances are it is greater than anything you could ever imagine.
4. Get them out of their comfort zone. Whether it be an internship, a part time job or volunteer work, help them step outside their comfort zone and into scenarios that bring out the best in them. Present them with opportunities to learn and grow as individuals. Often clarity comes from engagement rather than thought and as they venture into new terrain, they will find communities and workplaces that resonate with who they are and who they want to be.
5. Be the safety net. Most of us know that in order to succeed we need to fail over and over again. Letting your teen know you are there to catch them if they fall gives them the courage to try new things. The greater the risk, the greater the reward.
6. Foster social responsibility. At every stage in their development, make helping others a priority. Teach them to look for the problems in the world and see them as opportunities. Who are the people they can help? How can they use the experiences they have had, the talents they have been given and the skills they are excited to learn to add value to the life of another living being? When we use our gifts in service of others we are fulfilled, energised and inspired and we enrich the lives of our families, friends and communities; that sounds pretty successful to me.
7. Be a cheerleader. Does your teen respond to verbal praise, public recognition or physical affection? Persistently praise their creativity, their willingness to try new things and their resilience in the face of rejection. The thing about Gen Y is that behind our exterior of entitlement lies a bundle of insecurities that need constant, no-holds-barred encouragement to keep our fear voices at bay and remind us of our incredible capacity for changing the world.
8. Lead by example. Holding on to resentment about your own unrealised dreams is the fastest way to drive a wedge between you and your children. How do you expect your child to show drive and dedication if you have checked out of your own life? If the path you’re on now isn’t the one you envisioned for yourself, choose again. This is an exciting opportunity for both of you to discover your purpose, find the fulfilment you deserve and live a life you adore.
The current education model was developed to meet the needs of the industrial era and it’s going to take years for the research being done now about the importance of creative thinking and emotional intelligence to reach our classrooms. Rather than relying solely on the school system to educate your children, take initiative and teach your child how to gather information effectively, nurture their desire to solve problems and search for the point where their talent and interests coincide.
Present them with opportunity; it can be as simple as sharing with them something you found online, taking them to a library and seeing what books they pull out and surrounding them with people who will motivate, encourage and inspire them on their journey. Your job as a parent is not to say to your child, ‘Tell me what you want to be when you grow up.’ It is to look for what makes their eyes light up, to listen when they tell you about something they learnt at school, to let them teach you new and exciting ways of looking at the world and to love them through every mistake, every wrong turn, every bad decision and every crazy adventure, plan and dream until eventually one of them comes true.
I know I have a dark side. There is a part of me that is selfish, egotistical, lazy, spiteful, boring, petty, jealous, controlling, insecure, judgemental, irrational and insane.
There are times when I have allowed one or all of the above character traits to govern my choices and lead me down the well-trodden path of casualties and chaos. For a long time, self destruction was my default setting and anything on top of that was a hell of a lot of work.
Today I hold a more permanent space in the realm of contentment but every so often, I feel an uneasiness simmering beneath the surface of my peaceful exterior, threatening – in one fell swoop – to disrupt everything I have worked so hard to build.
I come to the crossroads and I’m faced with the choice; do I try and suppress my ego or can I channel the most destructive parts of myself into something productive?
Because the truth is, I’ve tried suppressing my dark side. It doesn’t work.
I’ve thrown myself into churches and workshops and gyms and self help books and picnics with uplifting people. I’ve stopped drinking and dating and masturbating. I’ve turned off the tv, distanced myself from people and places I know bring out that side of me. And I still get the itch. The reluctant admission that doing the right thing all the time is really fucking boring. The niggling feeling that there must be more. The resurfacing of that eternal question, “is this really all there is?”
The itch becomes a desire; to explore, to experiment, to test the depth of my newfound roots, the stability of my carefully constructed codes of conduct. The desire becomes a need; to defy, to push back, to self destruct. I stop meditating, I start binge watching TV series, I decide I deserve a bottle of wine and a block of chocolate for being so ‘good’. I neglect my writing and spend hours scrolling through Tumblr, I dismiss every idea or spark of inspiration that comes to me as being ‘inconvenient’ and let my unused creativity deteriorate into a ball of anxiety that resides at the pit of my stomach. I stage the ultimate act of rebellion against myself.
But why? Do I feel unworthy of finally getting everything I ever wanted? Am I growing impatient of the slow, gradual process that is growth?
What I’ve discovered recently is that the problem isn’t my emotions, it’s the expression. If I’m not dealing with the root of my desire how can I expect to control the craving?
Most of us have kind of accepted the underlying anxious static that permeates modern life. Everywhere we look there are messages telling us we need to do more, have more, be more. The pursuit of happiness has rendered us in a state of perpetual wanting and rather than expose the source of our discontent, we blame ourselves for not being ‘enough’.
“We are imprisoned within, hypnotised without, denying ourselves access to internal peace and external harmony. Can we execute the perfect jailbreak when we have become our own jailers?”
― Russell Brand, Revolution
What if instead of blaming ourselves for the frustration, the perennial discontent, the innate restlessness, we looked to the systems triggering our fear and the messages designed to evoke these unsavoury emotions within us? Better yet, what if we could use our inner demons, to spark an outer revolution
Because as sure as I have a dark side, I know there is also a part of me that is loyal, compassionate, loving, intelligent, generous, courageous, graceful, divine, open, content and pure light.
And when I feed that part of myself and utilise it in service of the greater good, I am energised, fulfilled and inspired. What if we could all see our dark side for what it is; misguided energy, misused anger, misdirected passion, misunderstood fear and instead of suppressing it, use it to manifest the Glory of God within us?
My insatiable need for attention can become the drive I need to get my message in front of the world.
My blind ambition and impulsiveness means I take the risks I need to create a business and life I love.
My yearning to submit uncovers an ability to surrender my life to a Higher Power, to put the will of God before my own.
My desire to rebel makes me a revolutionary. My avid longing to fight back, to revolt, to rise up and challenge the dominant ideals in our society means I can help destroy the ones that no longer serve us.
What parts of yourself are you trying to hide? What desires are you trying to suppress? Take them out, examine them. Ask yourself how you can use them to your advantage rather than letting them simmer beneath the surface and cause chaos when you least expect it. We have all been given an incredible power to instigate radical change in our own lives and the lives of those around us, we just have to learn to use it for good instead of evil.
“This is how I see it. As an artist it is my responsibility to not have a boring life. To feel deeply. To listen to stories of strangers. To try new things and go to new places. To say yes. To question everything and find beauty in the commonplace. And to fall in love over and over. Because through the highs and lows of love and heartbreak, I truly know what it is to feel.”
I am constantly torn between the gradual healing journey that is growth, and the wild, colourful spectrum of lessons we learn from giving in to temptation over and over again.
A part of my soul is wild and wants to run away. To live alone, to separate, to detach from the pain of the world. But I know I am where I’m meant to be. My story needs to be told here. I need to live among them if I want to change them. I need to destroy their hierarchies and structures and stories from the inside out. I need to let my limitless soul be bound by the shackles of earthly life so I can show others how to break free.
But I have to remember this part of me. This raw, untamed, earthly goddess whose soul belongs in the Garden of Eden with a flower crown on her head and the world at her feet.
The girl who giggles with wonder at the synchronicity of life.
Whose heart breaks over the beauty of a sunset.
Whose feet long to feel the earth beneath them and whose eyes hold a depth even she can’t comprehend.
The child of the moon and stars who doesn’t care for churches or dogma but whose very existence is an act of worship. Who loves fiercely and without restraint. Whose heart is open and messy and perfect in its brokenness.
I can’t lose her, the part of me with wings.
Today has been really freaking magical. I haven’t felt so content, inspired and overflowing with creative energy in the longest time. I’ve been reading Nirrimi’s blog and listening to Florence and the Machine and feeling the sun on my bare skin.
I’ve been writing and it’s not all perfect or even publish-able (yet) but it’s raw and honest and full of potential. I forgot what it felt like to write for the sake of writing – to let Spirit overwhelm me – to be moved to the point of tears. To feel so deeply connected to who I am and why I’m here. To disconnect from my earthbound self and exist as the part of me with wings, even just for a little while.
Shifts are happening. Within me and in the world. A new generation is awakening and I can’t believe how lucky I am to be a part of the Revolution.
To the girls struggling with insecurity, self harm, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, body image issues, bullying, bad relationships, abuse, trauma, any form of emotional pain…this is for you.
I want you to know about something that is happening in our world at the moment. It’s a movement, a global shift, an awakening.
In numbers like never before, young women are rising up to a new purpose. We have been called to lead, to guide, to encourage and to inspire girls just like you. Life coaches, mentors and wellness warriors with a vision for empowering girls to fall in love with who they are, discover their passions and step into the game-changing purpose for their lives.
There are hundreds of us coming home to our truths and waking up to a grand assignment; to venture back down the rocky path of adolescence just so we can walk it with you.
We are the big sisters you never had. We are the light at the end of the tunnel. We are here for you because there was no one there for us.
We have heard your stories, they are our own.
We have love in our sights and your name written on our hearts. With strength, grace, wisdom and beauty we want to fight for you, to stand alongside you, to run with you through the darkness into the stunningly bright future we know is waiting for you on the other side.
So please reach out. In your darkest moments, when the tears won’t stop and the walls are closing in and you are losing the battle with the voices in your head, seek help and I promise you will find it. Send an email, comment on a blog post, go to a workshop or invest in an online program. Our hands are outstretched, waiting for you to grab hold.
Here are just some of the amazing women committed to empowering young girls, find one that speaks to your soul and let her be your beacon of hope that life does get better and you deserve to experience all the beauty and wonder it has to offer.
I have been waiting for the right time to share this story. I lie on the bathroom floor of my childhood home, feeling the cool blue tiles press against the small of my back. On the floor beside me two little pink lines are emerging on a paper stick; clear, bold,...
I became a Life Coach at 22 (two days before my twenty third birthday) and for the last two years I have had the privilege of working with the most amazing clients from every season and walk of life. One of the most common limiting beliefs I come across in young...
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“I only wish I had learnt this sooner.” How many times have you heard that, from your parents, siblings or older friends? The amount of people I meet in their forties, fifties and sixties who wish they had started chasing their dreams earlier is...
What if I told you that everything that's happening is what is meant to be happening? By 'meant to be' I mean, created by you - on some level - to serve your Highest growth and evolution. Play around with it. How does it feel? Do you believe it? If you...
I used to be stickler for loose ends, everything I touched would have my fingerprints all over it, marking my territory. I refused to make decisions if it meant saying no to something, I’d refuse to break up with guys even when I wasn’t feeling it...
Last week I had the pleasure of filming something super exciting with the Women's Fitness team. Introducing... The Awkward Girls Guide to Unshakable Confidence. In this two part video workshop I share my top tips for cultivating confidence from the inside out so you...
How many times have you berated yourself for not having the motivation you needed? “I just need to stop being so lazy” “I just need to suck it up and get it done” “I just need to work harder” “I just need to push through” We have this misconception that if only we...
Hey world-changer, I had a session with a coach recently about how I could better serve my tribe and something she said really landed with me. I was raving about how much you (and our whole generation) value authenticity and how badly I want to...
Prefer video? Watch the moving, talking version of this post here. ALRIGHT I GOTTA GET REAL FOR A SEC. I GET A LOT OF MESSAGES SAYING, ‘YOU ARE SO BRAVE FOR SHARING THAT’ ‘HOW CAN YOU BE SO VULNERABLE AND OPEN UP LIKE THAT?’ AND THE ONLY REASON I AM GOOD AT IT NOW, IS...
Prefer video? Watch the moving, talking version of this post here. In October last year, my little sister turned 21. Those of you who know her, know she is the most BEAUTIFUL human - inside and out - that you are ever likely to meet. She is one of those people who...
Change your mind, change your life. Re-define what it means to be successful. There is more to life than getting a uni degree and a six figure salary. Think about how you can use who you are and what you know to help others and real soul-fuelled success will follow.
Let go of what you think you should be doing and have the courage to choose what will make you happy.
Get to know the real you. Who were you before the world told you who you should be? Underneath the labels, the insecurities, the expectations, exists the real you that knows exactly what he or she needs to do to change the world.
Channel your inner wisdom. Practice being rather than doing. Take ten minutes a day to sit in stillness and silence, tune into your gut feelings and listen to what your higher self is telling you. When you quiet the mind, the soul will speak.
Get amongst it. Throw yourself into situations that bring you joy and see what happens. Make an effort to step outside your comfort zone and into scenarios that make you come alive. Clarity comes from engagement, not thought.
Let go of fear. Failure is your friend, don’t be afraid of it. Know your worth and expect amazing things to happen in your life. When success comes to you (and it will), embrace it with gratitude.
Build a support team. Surround yourself with those on the same mission as you. The people in your life (and on your newsfeed) have a profound impact on the way you see the world, make sure they inspire and encourage you.
Make the transition. Our lives are the sum of our choices. If the life you’re living now isn’t the one you envisioned for yourself, choose again. Stop thinking of your dream as something that will happen ‘in the future’ and ask what small steps you can take right now to make it happen. Always start before you think you’re ready.
Time to change the world. Embrace your talents and declare them to the world. Take note of the things that matter to you, they are not an accident. Nurture your desire to solve the problems of our world and in doing so, you will spark the same desire in others. When we share our gifts we are fulfilled, energised and more compassionate and we enrich the lives of our families, friends and communities.
Love what you’ve read? These 8 steps form the basis of the 8 Chapters of my Ebook ‘What am I Doing with my Life?’ which will take a more in-depth and totally personal approach to help you design your destiny and create a life you love. Grab your copy here.
A woman of true beauty is a woman who in the depths of her soul is at rest. She speaks comfort; she knows that all is well and that all will be well. She is enjoyable to be with. In her presence, your heart stops holding it’s breath. A woman of true beauty offers others the grace to be and the room to become.
Captivating, Stasi Eldredge\\
I know what it’s like to be completely paralysed by the fear of not being good enough. I’ve spoken before about days where I didn’t want to get out of bed because I didn’t believe I deserved to see the world. More than that, I was terrified that the world would see me and I wouldn’t measure up. Insecurity is debilitating, it weakens your spirit and leaves you feeling powerless and unworthy of everything life has to offer. My own insecurities held me captive for far too long, my inner critic had me convinced that I had nothing to offer; I was too large, unattractive and lazy to be loved or listened to. I was so obsessed with comparing my physical appearance to the images of ‘beauty’ I saw around me that I ended up trapped in a narcissistic cycle of doubt, pity and self-loathing.
“Mother Theresa didn’t sit around complaining about her thighs, she had shit to do.”
The lightbulb moment came when I realised that my insecurity was not only destructive, it was also unproductive. Self-criticism and negative self talk not only keeps you stuck, it keeps you small. Every day you waste obsessing over your body is a day you could have spent changing the world.
My new house doesn’t have a full length mirror. It’s annoying but it’s also freaking liberating. I realised 90% of my negative inner-dialogue during the day started with that first glance in the mirror. My whole outlook depended on how I felt about what I saw.
I know a lot of coaches encourage standing in front of the mirror in your undies and repeating kind words to yourself no matter how you feel but right now, this is working wonders for me. It allows me the head space to think about the woman I want to become rather than obsessing over my physical ‘flaws’. It gives me the time to create the life I want to lead, a life of substance and compassion and head-spinning abundance, instead of worrying about my outfit.
I’ve spent less time obsessing over eating plans and exercise regimes and more time actively looking for ways I can help the people around me, less time stressingover having the perfect body and more time figuring out the impact I want to make on the world. All of a sudden, researching sustainable food production seems more important than scrolling through images of fitness models on Tumblr and learning about government censorship in western democracies is more interesting than calculating the number of calories in my last meal.
Not only have I gotten a whole lot more done, I feel more beautiful than ever.
I want you to reach that point too. I know you can.
Be selective with what you consume – find a documentary about something that fascinates you and become an expert on it instead of binge-watching an entire season of Keeping up with the Kardashians.
Cleanse your newsfeed – follow accounts that promote health and body positivity rather than posting an endless stream of girls in bikinis.
Some of my favourites on Instagram are:
Less TV, more books
Celebrate people who help make the world a better and more beautiful place – whether it be through their art, career or simply their compassion toward others.
Be one of those people – think about the impact you want to make. What’s the cause that speaks to your heart? Use the time you would spend scrolling fitblrs to find a problem in the world that only you can solve and plan your game-changing career. If you need a bit of inspiration, take a look at my Ebook.
Guard your heart – be incredibly selective with who you allow to give you advice and speak over your life.
Be an encourager – give compliments to anyone and everyone you meet, even if you feel silly. Never ever suppress a generous thought.
Connect with other women – your story becomes powerful when it is shared.
Cover up the mirrors in your house for a week and focus solely on shining from the inside out. You will be amazed at how much you accomplish when you are freed from the incessant chatter of a critical mind.
Rise, my darling girl. Take up space. You have SO much more to offer the world than just your physical beauty. Cultivate your mind, nurture your compassion and strive to nourish others mind, body and soul. When your sole aim in life is to spread love and light wherever you go, I promise you will grow more beautiful each and every day and your radiance will set hearts on fire.
[fusion_text]One of my goals this year is to ‘Live consciously and compassionately’, I want to minimise my impact on the environment and actively seek out ways to reduce the suffering of others. I want to tread a little lighter and leave the earth a better place than when I found it. The more time I spend in meditation, the more heightened my awareness of others becomes. My empathy has deepened and it has become almost impossible to ignore the injustice that exists in our world and the cries for help coming from those our society has deemed second class citizens.
In the information age its hard to feign ignorance about injustice but when the media, politicians and big business are all pushing their own agendas, how do we know what to believe? And with so many valuable causes and even more pressing issues, how do we know where to start?
I believe that every one of us has a message written on our hearts to share with the world; a cause that sparks our empathy and ignites our compassion like nothing else and it’s our responsibility to educate ourselves and mobilise those around us to realise the change we were born to create.
What’s the cause that speaks to your heart? What’s the story you were born to tell? What’s the battle you were born to fight? Global poverty? Domestic violence? Environmental sustainability? Factory farming? Mental health?
Instead of being sedated and controlled by technology and manipulated by the media, why not harness the power of the digital age to crystallise our message, wake up the masses and answer the calling that was placed on our lives?
I’ve enlisted the help of activist, blogger and cruelty-free goddess Samantha Pilkington to guide me on my journey. Sam is a beacon of pure honesty and compassion with a heart for animal welfare, human rights, ethical fashion and social justice. She inspires others to live more sustainable and blissful lives through her instagram and blog, http://samanthapilk.tumblr.com.
Sam’s growing popularity is a shining example of how desperate our generation is for change and how ready we are to make it happen. I am so grateful to be able to be guided by her light and illuminate her cause.
1. What issues are you most passionate about? What do young people need to know about the world we’re living in?
It honestly changes all the time. I read everyday and I’m always trying to keep as up to date as possible with world issues and ideas and I’m always finding new things to think about and it reminds me of how very vast, ever-changing and complex this world is. At the moment, for personal reasons, I’m focusing on issues regarding self-worth, body image and how people view their own character and personal qualities depending on their state of mind, social environments, relationships and home-life.
Young people need to know that while humanity is flawed, there is good in each and every one of us.
I see far too much competitiveness among young people, particularly among young women, and I detest the idea that if a peer is not a friend, then generally they are treated as a threat.
I’m passionate about promoting solidarity between peers, and I’ve been particularly vocal on social media about girl-on-girl competitiveness lately, and how I think it is not only wrong to judge and compete with fellow girls, but that doing this is contributing to a huge setback in women’s rights.
2. How has your lifestyle changed in the last few years?
I started uni! And moved to a completely new city. I changed my university degree three times. I got my first boyfriend. I lost my first boyfriend. I discovered I’m a very jealous person by nature. I learnt that behaving badly out of jealousy never works in my favour so I made a vow to myself to be compassionate and caring in times when I would normally act out of jealousy.
I fell in love for the first time. He didn’t love me back. It took me a long time to be okay with that, but I learned to live patiently and not to force anything that isn’t meant to be. I discovered I love singing. I overcame my fear of social situations. I got into exercise. I got lazy with exercise. I got back into exercise. I started partying. I stopped partying. I started learning how to balance partying and exercise with the rest of my activities, for a little bit. I forgot what I’d learned momentarily and got back into partying. I started working on balancing my lifestyle again. I fell out with friends. I made up with friends. I learned the power of loving myself. I forgot that power momentarily. I got that power back again. Like every other human being on this planet, my lifestyle has been one big chopping, changing event. I don’t think it will ever stop surprising me and that’s okay!
3. What shifts have you experienced within yourself in response to these external changes?
The main inner shift I have experienced is discovering the power of patience and letting go of things that I cannot control. I used to find myself getting angry and frustrated at how other people acted and wished I could just shake their shoulders and tell them that they were doing it wrong. But experiences have taught me that you can only control what YOU can control. You can only be the best possible person you can be and have faith that those who are meant to be by your side will find their way to you.
4. Does sustainability require sacrifice?
Sustainability requires substitute, not sacrifice.
5. What small (and big) things can we do to minimise our impact on the environment and reduce the suffering of others?
Check out smaller handmade labels when looking for an outfit. Use a reusable water bottle. Check that your cosmetics are cruelty-free. Try a vegetarian or vegan meal every once in a while.
6. What are your Top 5 resources for those looking to live a more ethical/sustainable lifestyle?
Instagram! That shit offers a realm of opportunity to learn about living sustainably as well as allowing you to connect with so many awesome people.
3. Read PEER REVIEWED articles and GOOD newspapers (try The Australian, not the Courier Mail).
4. Keep a journal to record everything you’re learning about the world so you don’t forget.
5. Your brain. Sounds a bit blunt but generally you are aware of the main things that are harmful to the environment (bottled water, littering, not recycling, buying from breeders instead of adopting from the RSPCA etc). Just think about what you’re doing and have that social and environmental conscience of yours ticking in the back of your mind.
Usually this is the time of year where I whip out my ten page goals doc and go through and check off whatever I’ve achieved in the personal, financial, professional, educational and physical columns before drafting up an even longer and more specific list for the year ahead. It’s exhausting but it has served me well, until now.
I have learnt a lot this year but what has stuck with me is the importance of tuning in to how I’m feeling in any given moment and using that to guide my actions. Often when we set material goals, we find that achieving them doesn’t give us the satisfaction we thought it would. Something is still missing and it’s because we are putting the emphasis on what we want to achieve rather than how we want to feel throughout the year.
So let’s reverse the process.
Focus less on what you want to DO and more on how you want to FEEL.
If you want to feel confident, inspired, creative then think about how that looks for you.
I’m in a really unique position at the moment. Having just finished uni, for the first time in 22 years, I actually have no commitments and nothing I have to do this year. At first glance it seems kind of intimidating but dig a little deeper and it’s freaking exhilarating.
In light of this, the thought of making a year long to do list just didn’t seem right. I wanted more freedom, more spontaneity, a greater focus on feeling. So I’ve decided to take the pressure off and come back and connect with my bliss.
Here’s how you can do the same.
Forget about what you think you should do or what you think will make you appear to have it all together and ask yourself the following questions;
In 2015, what would make you really happy? What gives you that butterflies in your stomach, little-kid-on-christmas-morning excitement when you think about it?
What does your heart want more of? More soulful connections? More challenges? More laughter and fun?
What do you want to change? What beliefs do you need to let go of? Who do you need to forgive? What situations do you need to release?
What habits do you want to cultivate? If you want to wake up feeling radiant and energised, what daily rituals can you adopt? (I’m thinking green juice and meditation).
Who do you want to be this year? You have absolutely no obligation to be the person you were five minutes ago. Are you ready to strip away all the masks and facade and step into your authentic self?
Reclaim your goals and trust your joy. You have the world at your feet.
I asked myself the same questions and my goals for this year reflect the answers that came to me, answers that gave me little heart flutters and giggly feelings of ‘oh my goodness wouldn’t that be nice?’
My core desired feeling for this year is OVERFLOWING.
Overflowing with love, passion, energy and creativity.
I want to:
+ Surrender my life, my plans and all conceptions of my ‘self’ until I am but a channel for the power of the Universe to flow through me into the world.
+ Embrace the freedom that is synonymous with this stage in my life. Find the balance between responsibility and spontaneity.
+ GROW; spiritually, emotionally, intellectually and LEARN from books, people and experiences.
+ Deepen my connection with the Divine, strengthen my intuition and commit to the evolution of my soul.
+ Live consciously and compassionately – minimise my impact on the environment, support small business and actively seek out ways to reduce the suffering of others.
+ Elevate, enlighten and inspire others through my writing, speaking and the way I live my life.
+ Live in a constant state of AWE and GRATITUDE for the miracles that are happening all around me.
+ NOURISH mind, body, soul – surround myself with beautiful, supportive, kindred spirits who inspire, challenge and support me. Always make time for juicy soul chats, picnics and wine nights.
+ Build the foundations of an empire that continues to serve others and fulfil my purpose on this earth.
+ Wake up with a fire in my heart and go to sleep with the feeling of contentment that comes from following your passion.
Affirmations to live by
“Don’t ever let a mad world tell you that success is anything more than a successful present moment”
“And every day, the world will drag you by the hand, saying “This is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this!” And each day, it’s up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say “No. This is what’s important.”
“You’ll never be crowned if you keep backing down”
Now it’s your turn! How do you want to feel this year? Grab a journal or a piece of paper and draw, write or scribble anything that comes to mind. Go freaking crazy. This is your life and you are the designer, the author and the creator.
Imagine your best case scenario, then go make it happen.
All my love,
PS If you’re looking for a little something extra to get you motivated and inspired this year, I am super excited to be a part of Maddison Vernon’s Kickstart your 2015; a twenty something’s guide to a body, job and life you love.Sign up here (it’s FREE!).
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At the start of this year, I posted about a situation in which I had to let go of a relationship that wasn’t serving me. It’s something that we will all have to do at one point in our lives, but a lot of us find really difficult. We think letting go of people means cutting them out of our lives in a dramatic showdown that’s painful for everyone involved. We think we’ll be labelled bitch if we break up with a guy or stop seeing a girl and we are so worried about hurting them, we come up with a million excuses why we should put it off or forget it completely.
After a few weeks of anxiety, emotional eating and a general dissatisfaction with who I was, I knew for sure this relationship was not right for me. I decided I was going to end it and I was ready with my big speech about how much better he would be without me, how lucky he was going to make the next girl and I felt at peace as I prepared for a loving, albeit emotional farewell.
That was until he rocked up at my door, whipped out those big brown puppy dog eyes and launched into a speech of his own. A speech which included the phrases;
“I’m not going to let you go, Jae. This is where you actually don’t have a choice. I am going to keep sweeping you off your feet every day so you can’t run away.”
“I will spend every day of the rest of my life trying to make you as happy as you make me.”
My heart just melted. I mean, what girl doesn’t want to hear those things?
And then the clincher;
“Please just let me in for one more night so I can show you how much you mean to me.”
I was literally standing there with World War 3 raging inside my head. On the one hand, I really wanted to let him in for the night, but I knew exactly what it would lead too; regret and resentment for me the next morning and more confusion for both of us.
It was then that I realised this was simply a matter of choosing between fear and love.
If I let him in that night, I would be making the decision out of fear- I was afraid of hurting him, I was afraid of being lonely, I was afraid I would never see him again and he would forget about me. My Ego had me clinging to this relationship because of all of these ‘What If’s’.
If I really loved him, I would give him permission to move on. I knew in my heart that I could not give him what he was searching for, so why not release him so he was able to start looking somewhere else? In that moment, I knew that letting him go would also mean letting go of the illusions of self doubt I had been harbouring and put me back on a path of self love and acceptance.
It is so easy to get caught up in the what if’s at the end of a relationship. We often know the moment a relationship is over but prolong the end because we’re afraid of hurting the other person or experiencing pain ourselves.
If there is someone in your life who is no longer meant to be a part of your story, be grateful for the time you have had and then let them go by cutting all physical, emotional and spiritual ties immediately (especially if it’s an ex). The healing process must be done alone. Don’t justify the continuing messages and phone calls by saying you’re ‘helping each other through the break up’, you are no longer each others responsibility and that’s what friends are for. I see so many beautiful couples using each other as emotional support at the end of the relationship. I know it seems like the natural thing to do, you are so used to leaning on each other when things get hard. But my darling, this is a journey you need to walk alone, with some gorgeous friends cheering you on from the sidelines.
Try and enjoy the newfound space and freedom. When we let go of things not meant for us, we make room for incredible blessings and beautiful new people to come into our life so start getting excited about all the incredible people you’re going to meet and experiences you are going to have, it’s going to be hard at first but I promise it is always always worth it.
Below is a prayer that will help. Say it through tears. Say it into your tub of post break-up ice cream.
‘Dear God, I surrender this relationship to you. I thank you for this opportunity to experience, to grow and to learn with another one of your precious creations. As we move forward, may you guide our footsteps and speak to our hearts, I ask that our true selves would shine through and our relationship would run its natural course.
All my anxiety, pain and fear, I give over to you, so that they would no longer cloud my judgement. Help me act from a place of love rather than fear and release things no longer meant for me, secure in the knowledge that what lies ahead is greater than anything I leave behind.
Heal my broken heart and grant me the wisdom to see this situation through Your eyes.
Your kingdom come and your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.
Send your ex love and light, and send them on their way. You can do it, you little warrior and I’ll be right behind you the whole way.
Be strong gorgeous one,
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After an incredible response to last weeks post, I knew I had to follow it up with something amazing. Last week I spoke about the battle that exists for the human heart, the fight for your attention, your joy and your life’s purpose.
When you are on a journey of growth and transformation, the enemy comes to confuse and to distract, to lead into temptation and lure into complacency and we must fight to reclaim our joy, our passion and our happiness. Those who don’t realise they are at war have no hope, they will continue through their journey in a haze of fog and indifference. Those who understand the battle will face even tougher challenges; the enemy will put up walls, cloud your judgement, place temptations in your path and you will have to constantly resist in order to conquer your very own demons and live the life you were called to. The enemy will dredge up your wounds, he will use your deepest insecurities and fears against you. So how do we fight? How do we stand against the darkness within us? Here are some tactics I have found useful, it is my deepest hope that they will serve at least one of you.
Address your wounds.
There are emotional wounds that exist deep inside all of us, most inflicted in childhood, some in adolescence. It doesn’t matter how incredible your upbringing was, you were born into a broken world and the pain of that experience is inevitable. These wounds have the power to shape the people we become and influence our mental and physical realities. The surest indication of your emotional wounds lie in the moments that you feel hurt, angry, jealous or any other manifestation of the ego. Any time you lash out at someone for something insignificant, when you find yourself spreading rumours or gossip about someone you love, when a small rejection stirs up a sense of heart-wrenching inadequacy, that is when you know you have stumbled upon a deeper pain. You could be forgiven for thinking these are completely normal responses, it is incredible how unconscious reactions like anger and fear become in our everyday lives. While it is completely normal to experience emotions, it is always our decision how we let them affect us. We live in a world that normalises insecurity, anger, anxiety and fear as part of twenty first century life. Inner peace eludes most of us when it is in fact our birthright.
“These pains you feel are messengers. Listen to them.”
Address your individual wounds, see them for what they are- memories, thoughts, ideas about yourself that no longer serve you. They do not define who you are or what you can achieve and they will have no power over your future unless you let them. Don’t just resist them, heal them. The more you ignore your pain, the stronger its hold on you becomes. It will begin to infiltrate every aspect of your life and prevent you from any form of self-actualisation. This is when the battle I spoke about last week begins, when your pain rises up asking to be healed and is met with ignorance or submission. So how do we heal?
Know your kryptonite.
“Let us lay aside every encumbrance and sin which so easily entangles us and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Hebrews 12:1
We all have different vices, what can be okay for some is capable of destroying others. Get to the core of your temptation, take it out and examine it. How does the enemy try to weaken me? How do I deal with my pain? Do I run from it, do I feed it, do I try to numb it with sex or alcohol or other people? Become acutely aware of any behaviour that doesn’t nourish your soul or serve your higher self. Behaviour that is unproductive at best, and destructive at worst. If you are not sure if something is destructive ask yourself, Does it empower me or drain me? Does it nourish me or deplete me? Does it make me feel good about myself or question my worth? Does it help me run toward the life I know I deserve or does it get in my way?
“Your dreams are as hungry as your demons. Make sure you are feeding the right ones.”
I believe that everything in this world is neutral and can be used in service of love or fear and it is our responsibility to recognise when normal behaviour has become an addiction. When you are spending all your time on Facebook, when you are more concerned with how you appear on Instagram than how you treat people in real life, when you reach for food or your phone to calm the anxiety rising in your stomach, then there is an imbalance that needs to shift.
Resist your temptations in all their forms and be acutely aware of who or what is your God. We all worship something, regardless of whether you are religious or not (more on this next week), but the deity we devote ourselves to has an incredible impact on the way we live our lives. Are you in an intimate relationship with your work, your money or your iPhone? Do you worship your partner? Do you define yourself based on your worldly success? These are dangerous pursuits that only serve to fulfil us temporarily. Until your loyalty, your identity and your happiness are derived from the Source of all life, you will go hungry, you will succumb to temptation, you will remain bound by the wounds of your past.
Spend time with God.
Set aside ten minutes every day for meditation, prayer, journalling or anything that disconnects you from the voices of the world and allows you to tune into the wisdom of heaven. If you are in the thick of battle, facing attacks on your motivation, your energy and your happiness, use worship as a weapon. Say ten gratitudes before your feet hit the floor in the morning and any time during the day when you feel attacked. It doesn’t matter if you are saying them through gritted teeth, if every word that comes out of your mouth feels like a painful lie, say it anyway. Love and honour yourself no matter what. If you give in, if you slip up, do not let shame or guilt overwhelm you and keep you stuck, be kind to yourself and fix your eyes ahead.
“The person who does not take up the sword of the spirit will lose in the battle for his or her body.”
Replace your desires.
“The secret of change is to focus your energy not on fighting the old, but building the new.”
Replace destructive habits with fulfilling ones. Find a new hobby, volunteer, fill your time with activities guaranteed to nurture your soul. Don’t spend too much time in your own head, open up to others, talk about it, be around people who make you feel empowered. In a world that constantly stimulates our base desires, it’s hard to rise above but it is also more important than ever. Although your heart is hurting, you are not your pain or your past. You are not your wounds or your insecurities. You are your dreams and your hopes and your visions. You are the light the world so desperately needs. Address your wounds, forgive those who have hurt you (including yourself) and know that God is getting ready to use you in ways greater than you could ever imagine.
Here’s something I wrote last week as everything was coming to a head, I hope it will help anyone facing their demons right now.
There is a battle raging in the heavens over my soul. I can hear God’s voice. When my eternal question arises, Who will fight for me? He answers, firm and loud and strong, ‘I will. You are mine’. And an immense sense of pride and adoration comes over me as if I am being swept off my feet.
I have watered the fruits of the devil for too long and I need to feed my soul with worship and praise. I have flirted with the enemy, I have questioned my faith, I have downright betrayed my heavenly saviour but He comes anyway. He is there, leading the charge of all the angels in heaven against the dark forces of temptation and lust and sickness and God’s army is winning. Although I have grown weary and stood on shaky ground for weeks, I felt God say to me tonight that – just like the dawn of a new day is almost upon us- so too is the fight for my heart. The enemy is growing weak, the more I look him dead in the face and shout God’s praises, the more I throw my heart into worship and meditation, the more I use my hunger to draw closer to God, the stronger our relationship becomes and the less the enemy will challenge me.
He is cleansing me, He is getting ready to use me greatly; at schoolies, at work, in my family, among my friends and He is making sure I am up to the challenge. If I can defeat the enemy of heaven, no earthly forces will hold a candle against me.
“You will find peace not by trying to escape your problems, but by confronting them courageously. You will find peace not in denial, but in victory.”
The battle between good and evil is a story we have seen played out hundreds of times; in books, movies and on tv, but what about the battle that rages every day in the hearts and minds of all of us? Just like on the big screen, there are opposing forces that are constantly battling for your attention.
This all became very apparent to me last week when I began experiencing a depression that had been absent from my life for almost a year. I would wake up with a cloud over my head and the simple joy I have come to know as part of my life seemed to disappear. It was then that a friend introduced me to the concept of spiritual warfare; the battle that exists for the human heart.
It’s called by many names; God versus Satan, the Ego and the Higher self, Fear and Love but it is something each of us will face as we get closer to realising and acting out our life’s true purpose. It will unfold differently for all of us, but for me it was a 3-pronged assault; the resurfacing of old temptations (and contact from some people in my past), an attack on my joy and a physical illness that left me floored. I was spending a lot of time alone and the conflicted dialogue going on in my head was making it almost impossible not to seek solace in external pleasures.
When things like this happen, it’s so easy to give in and slip back into old habits and patterns of destructive behaviour. You start to question everything you wanted, the validity of your dreams, the purpose that was so clear in your mind starts to look shaky and uncertain. Old emotions begin to surface, the fear voice kicks in, a situation arises and you find yourself standing on the brink- how many times have I given in and gone sliding back to square one?
This time was different. I was very aware of how pivotal these few weeks were in my emotional and spiritual growth. In the thick of it, I was furious at the Universe for testing me; how dare I face these temptations, can’t you see how hard I’ve worked to cut these people from my life? Don’t you know how much I’ve given up already, and you’re asking for more? I was overwhelmed by loneliness and then overcome by rage. All the progress I had made hung precariously in the balance of my emotional state.
To escape the turmoil of my mind, I went inward. I sat my butt on a meditation cushion and I prayed. The answer came to me- as it often does – in a book I was reading that talked about the battle for the human heart. How the Enemy, fear, the Ego- whatever you want to call it – will try and sabotage us as we begin to fulfil our potential. All the emotional wounds of the past will be dredged up and used against us over and over again and it is how we respond that determines our fate. When I had come to terms with the concept (ie got it past my bullshit filter) I began to see it – a fierce war being fought in the heavens, and I began to feel it – the assault on my heart, the ransom of my confidence, the dizzying veil of confusion that clouded my thoughts. Almost as soon as I bought it into awareness, it began to dissipate. It was almost as if I had turned on a light in a dark room but although the shadows had fled, the objects causing them remained. It forced me to examine the weights that were holding me down, tying me to my past and preventing me from moving forward.
You have to solve the battles raging in your head before you can bring peace to the conflicts of our world.
When you feel these attacks; sickness, depression, a lack of motivation, confusion, dizzy spells, think of them as warning signals from the Universe. Messages saying, hey, this is something you need to work on if you want to move forward. The Enemy isn’t an external force you can blame for your problems, it’s a part of you that has been neglected, hurt or suppressed and the longer you leave it unaddressed, the stronger it becomes.
God never uses anyone greatly before he tests them deeply
Over the next few days, I became immensely grateful for the experience. I realised it was one some people rarely have; those who remain in the safety of their past, their pain, their destructive habits, will never know the grand adventure that is growth. I look around now and see so many people in the midst of battle and they don’t know how to handle it. They right off unhealthy behaviour as an old habit, a character flaw as just part of their personality, their pain as just another part of an unfair life. You are worth more than that. Fight for the life you want. The battle just makes the reward that much sweeter.
As we heal old wounds we get closer to becoming the person we were meant to be. When we dispel the darkness, we make way for the light.
There is so much more I want to share, most importantly how I fought my way back from the brink and opened the door to new realms of possibility, consciousness and growth. It’s not just about acknowledging the conflict, if this is war then you will need armour and weapons to fight. It’s all coming up next week! As always, I would love to hear your feedback in the comments below.
Never underestimate the power of doubt to kill your dreams. Unmask the illusion, here you will find your strength.
As part of Mental Health Week, I had the honour last night of talking to two all-girls colleges about mental illness and how important it is to keep our minds healthy as well as our bodies. I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety for the last 5 years and it was incredibly liberating to share my story and have some laughs (and tears) with a room full of amazing young women. The girls were all so eager to learn about how to help the people they know are suffering and it was such an incredible feeling to be in such a supportive environment.
1 in 4 Australians will suffer from a mental illness at some point in their lives.
Just like we take measures to ensure our physical health, there are things we can do to take care of our mental health as well. Here are some tips I shared last night that have helped me immensely on my journey.
1. Be aware of your environment. You are a combination of the 5 people you spend the most time with so make sure you surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you. While we can love and respect everyone we meet, it’s so important to develop soulful relationships with people who make us feel like we can take on the world. If you ever feel like you need to prove your worth to someone, walk away.
Also be aware of your virtual environment, especially your social media accounts. The information you are consuming while you scroll is having a tangible impact on your mood, your thoughts and the way you view the world. It might feel like a good idea at the time to follow a million insanely hot fitness models (#fitspo) but comparing yourself to them can be really unhealthy, especially when it’s the first thing you do in the morning and the last thing you do before you go to sleep.
2. Practice self-care. Self care means putting yourself and your needs before anyone else. It sounds selfish because we are taught from a young age that we should put others before ourselves in order to be a good person but the reality is that unless you look after yourself, you won’t be able to look after anyone else. Putting yourself first means tuning in to what you need in any given moment. If that means getting a massage or a facial, do it. If it means skipping a 21st to stay in and a have a bubble bath with your hair piled on top of your head, do that too. Do things from a place of love rather than obligation and watch how much easier your life becomes.
3. Stop caring what other people think. What other people think about you is more a reflection of them than it is of you. It’s really easy to let insecurity hold us back from being the person we were meant to be because we’re afraid people won’t like us. But when you are truly yourself, the people who are meant to be in your life will be drawn to you with force.
4. Watch your self talk. You know those voices in your head that govern your everyday interactions? I used to have a constant stream of negative dialogue running through my head every minute of every day. You’re not good enough. I can’t believe you left the house like that. You want to do what? Who do you think you are? When I learnt that, with practice, you can switch those voices off, my life was radically transformed. If you have a negative thought about yourself, acknowledge that it’s just an illusion designed to keep you from becoming the best version of yourself and then let it go. (A lot easier said than done but stay tuned for your very own beginners guide to meditation and more tips on how to transform your thinking.)
Speak kindly to yourself, it’s hard to be happy when someone is mean to you all the time.
5. Follow your passion. Find out what it is you’re passionate about and pursue it relentlessly. Life becomes so much easier when we are engaged in doing what we love. If you’re struggling to figure out your purpose, check out my Ebook which guides you through a process of self discovery to find out what you were meant to do with your life.
Here are some of the awesome questions I received last night and my answers.
How do I support someone going through depression? What can I do to help?
In my experience, having someone to talk to is the biggest help. The thing with depression is that it makes you feel incredibly isolated, like you’re not worthy of experiencing kindness or love from another person. Even though it can be incredibly frustrating when someone you love becomes reclusive or withdrawn, try and be patient with them. Encourage them to communicate how they’re feeling in a way that you can understand and support them in seeking professional help.
How do I help someone experiencing a panic attack?
Amazing question. In my experience, there is nothing that can pull me out of a full-scale panic attack and I have to wait until it subsides but just having a non-judgemental physical presence there helps. Get the person to take long slow deep breaths, hold them if it’s appropriate and, even though you might feel helpless, repeating calming phrases can help to ease the anxiety.
How do I start a conversation about mental illness with someone I think might be struggling?
Ask the right questions. So many of our interactions these days are purely superficial and we can go days or weeks without feeling a real connection to anyone. When you talk to your girlfriends, ask about more than their last night out. Ask about their family, their relationship, if they’re stressed out about anything, what they’re excited about, what books they’re reading and what they’ve learnt recently from life in general. Be open about your own struggles and experiences and work on creating a safe and supportive space by being honest and giving them your full attention. Having these juicy conversations is how we form awesome bonds with our soul sisters and it’s the perfect opportunity for someone to open up about a mental health issue.
I am so grateful for the opportunity to share my story and to play a small part in removing the stigma surrounding mental illness so we can help the 1 in 4 Australians that are suffering. Help spread the message by sharing this article and telling your story in the comments.
The time around senior high school, graduation, and early university can be very, very difficult if you don’t fit the cookie cutter mould.
For me, this was when I really started to first experience new all-consuming levels of anxiety. I remember feeling so confused about my future and under a lot of pressure to make decisions. Expectations placed upon graduating highschool students can cause a lot of stress and from what I have seen in the papers nothing is being done to alleviate it. I gave myself such a hard time that often I would sink into unbearable bouts of depression. Here I was, a creatively-gifted person brimming with potential and yet I treated it like a curse.
“Why does this have to be my talent?” I would ask myself.
“Why couldn’t I have been born something with clear pathway, like a doctor or an engineer?”
The answer of course is now clear. Those are someone else’s gift, someone else’s service to the world. We all have our unique talents, and today I am so grateful for mine. But the suffering I went through was so unessesary- and today I am pumped to introduce you to someone who is about to change all that for many young women. Jae Schaefer, from jaeschaefer.com is a incredible writer, coach and ambassador for female empowerment. She has just released her first ebook, entitled “What Am I Doing With My Life,” which re-frames the traditional approach to career development.
Hi Jae, thank you for joining us- tell us a bit about yourself.
Thank you so much for having me. I’m a 21 year old speaker, writer and life coach in the making from the beautiful Gold Coast.
Tell us about your new book, “What Am I Doing With My Life?”
This book is really close to my heart. It’s something that has been brewing inside me for the last twelve months or so and I am so excited to be able to share it. It’s everything I wish I knew at 17. It teaches you the skills you need to tap into your inner guidance system and takes you on a journey of self discovery to help you figure out what you’re really passionate about and how you can turn that passion into a world-changing career you adore. I wanted to turn what is often a really scary time in a young persons life into an exciting phase of dreaming, planning and creating a path they are excited to travel.
What has been your own personal struggle?
Like most of us, I had no idea what I wanted to do when I left school. I knew I wanted to make a difference in the world and do something that made me excited to jump out of bed in the morning but I had no idea how to figure out what I was really passionate about.
After stumbling my way through three years of a degree I hated, I was completely lost. I was lacking purpose, direction and clarity and I began searching for meaning in all the wrong places. In my late teens, I developed anxiety and depression. I had panic attacks and days where I couldn’t get out of bed. I was terrified that I would wake up in ten years in a job and a life that I hated but I had no idea how to stop it happening. After some seriously bad decisions and big life lessons, I got on the path to self love. I discovered that the first step to figuring out your purpose is asking how you can use your talents and abilities to help others and then overcoming the fear that arises when we go after what we really want.
Today, I have an intense passion for sharing the knowledge I gained from my experience to help young people find out what lights them up and empower them with the strength to pursue their passion relentlessly. I live and breathe one of my favorite quotes, ‘Be the person you needed when you were younger.’
It is clear that many young women do not have self-confidence and have been taught to shut out their inner voices and desires. How should we tackle the issue? What needs to happen in order to feel good about themselves and their choices?
Absolutely. The first step is acknowledging that their are two internal voices that compete for our attention on a moment to moment basis and the one we choose to listen to is going to have a massive impact on how we live our lives. It’s so important for young women to have a practice of connecting to their higher self, their intuition, the voice that’s going to guide them to the most perfect version of themselves. There are so many external voices telling us who we are and who we should be and it’s hard not to get caught up in insecurity and the struggle to live up to others expectations.
For me, meditation and long walks in nature (away from technology) help me come back to that sense of inner peace and recognition of my inherent worth. It’s in these moments that I connect to who I really am and practice letting go of thoughts and ideas about myself that don’t serve me. As a community, we need to teach our girls that they are beautiful, incredible, capable and worthy regardless of what they do or what other people think of them and empower them to make decisions from a place of love for themselves rather than a fear of not being good enough.
I think surrounding young girls with affirmations of their brilliance is an awesome start and giving them books, lessons and role models that instil this idea that everything they need to succeed already exists inside of them. In my ideal world, parents and schools teach self love alongside Maths and English and emotional intelligence is valued just as much as intellectual ability.
What steps can readers do right now to get on the path to self-love?
1. Turn off your phone and go for a walk in a place you love. Try and stay present, take in your surroundings and switch off that internal chatter.
2. Make a Love List of all the things you love about yourself; physical traits, talents, little quirks that you have and put it somewhere you will see it every day.
3. Start meditating. Just ten minutes a day can totally change your life.
4. Begin each day by saying (out loud) three things you are grateful for.
5. Give compliments! Celebrating the things you admire in others actually opens you to receiving more of them in your own life.
A big thank you to Jae for sharing her tips and her new book with us, make sure you download a copy today!
I had so much fun answering these questions, massive thank you to Megan for her support. If you have any questions about my book feel free to ask in the comments below!
Ignoring your passion doesn’t just mean being stuck in a job you hate, there’s a more sinister side to suppressing your purpose. Rejecting your dreams and neglecting your vision will not only lead to a life unfulfilled, but cause repercussions that go beyond you as an individual. Today I want to look at the consequences of a life lived in complacency.
An individual who feels like he or she isn’t worthy or capable of contributing anything of value becomes a disgruntled employee, an angry spouse, a resentful parent, an alienated student. These are dangerous emotions. If not harnessed correctly, they become the breeding ground for disease, for hate, for acts of terror and violence. Sometimes they manifest themselves as addictive behaviours; emotional eating, alcohol and substance abuse. Often they become the gateway to violence that has the power to ruin more than the individual- someone so out of touch with who they are has, in his mind, every reason to destroy those who possess what he cannot.
What drives you? Are you motivated by money or keeping up an image of who you think you are? Are you compelled to wake up every day and go to a job you hate because you are afraid of what will happen if you don’t or are you motivated by a desire to make a difference in the lives of those around you? Are you repeatedly forced into situations that make you anxious because you are afraid of what other people will think or do you choose people and situations based on what will bring you the greatest joy in that moment? In the workplace and at home, passion is creative and energising, obligation produces the bare minimum. It fosters procrastination and complacency. It encourages sacrifice and breeds resentment. Passion is the great persuader, it can take you places that fear and reluctant effort never will.
Doing something you have a natural talent for is far more beneficial to your self esteem than struggling with what feels like hard work every day of your life.
Think of how you feel at the end of a day spent engaged in something you love versus doing something you feel obliged to. Think about your mindset and how this affects the way you act, how you treat people, the decisions you make. Now imagine a world where everyone comes home to their family energised by the irreplaceable feeling of contributing to the world, filled with the self actualisation that arises when you utilise your talents for the greater good.
Following your passion guarantees success, ignoring it guarantees struggle.
Growing up I was taught to view my quirks as flaws to be corrected rather than gifts to be developed. I was told I thought too deeply, felt too strongly and I should make an effort to censor my opinions. I was told my goals were too ambitious and routinely instructed on how to fit my dreams and desires into a preconceived mould of what it meant to be successful. I dealt with the anxiety that plagued my search for meaning by getting blackout drunk and waking up next to people I didn’t know.
The Universe will try time and time again to put you on your path and the longer you deny your souls longing for fulfilment, the greater obstacles you will face and the more pain you will experience. God puts up roadblocks; undeniable signals that you are on the wrong path. For me, a car accident at the time I started seeing my ex boyfriend (after a long and nasty breakup) was like a giant ‘Wrong Way Go Back’ sign that forced me to re-evaluate where my life was headed. Illness has the same effect, cancers have been said to completely transform people’s perceptions by destroying the walls they built and allowing love to seep through the cracks.
So how do we change a society with ideas of struggle and hard work so deeply ingrained in the principle of success?
We empower individuals with the knowledge that they can have everything they want, we raise children with ability to love themselves, we teach them how to find the innate similarities in all living things and then how to channel what makes them unique into a productive purpose for their life. We let people know how much we value them, not because of what they can do for us but because of who they are to us. We celebrate kindness and empathy, not just physical attributes and material possessions. We wake up every morning with an intense gratitude for the opportunity to do what we love in a world where so many are denied this simple privilege.
Go out and encourage everyone you meet to chase their dream even if it seems utterly crazy. Make decisions based on love rather than fear. Harness your passions and transform your cynicism into an energy and vitality that inspires those around you. Life is not a struggle to be endured, but an expansive and enlightening experience that allows us to extend our capacity to love and in doing so realise our greatest potential.
On Monday night I lured sixteen girls into my lounge room with the promise of tea, muffins and some juicy soul chats. I called it a self-love seminar and it was basically an excuse for a bunch of girls to get together and talk about a topic that’s really close to my heart.
After we’d stopped eating long enough to do a little meditation, I opened up about my own experience with self love and how it changed my life. Here’s a little recap.
The most important law of the universe- the truth that can be found in every culture, age, religion is this: Love others as you love yourself. Today, in our struggle to love others, we have forgotten how to love ourselves.
How are we supposed to love others unconditionally if we place restrictions on the love we give ourselves?
A few years ago, I didn’t like myself very much (understatement) and I valued myself based on what other people thought of me (mainly guys). This lead me to do a lot of things I’m not proud of but am super grateful for because they taught me the lessons I needed to be sharing this with you.
Why do we find it so hard to love ourselves?
Self love has often been lumped with notions of vanity, when in reality the two are polar opposites.
Self love is the willingness to see yourself for whoyou really are and the knowledge that you are worthy regardless of what you find, vanity is dependent on a disillusioned view of yourself that is both fleeting and destined to fade. The idea that self love is a dangerous concept was designed to keep us living in fear of not being good enough, constantly trying to improve ourselves to meet a particular view of perfection (and spending lots of money in the process.)
Why is self love so important?
“A woman who doesn’t require validation from anyone is the most feared individual on the planet.”
The way you feel about yourself is the basis for EVERYTHING. It governs the choices you make, your interactions with other people, the way you see the world and what you decide to do with the life you’ve been given. A person with low self worth lives in a constant state of comparison with others, too paralysed by the fear of not being accepted that they refuse to step into who they really are and fulfil their true purpose on this earth. (They also get kind of angry sometimes and feel the need to bring everyone else down with them.)
Awesome. So where do I get some?
Cultivating self love is a process. It is a conscious decision you make on a moment to moment basis to choose love over fear.
The voices in your head telling you that you can’t do everything you dream of are an illusion designed to keep you weak. Ignore them. Silence them with meditation, with constant, radical affirmations of your brilliance. The voice that brings up all the shitty things you’ve done in the past and all the reasons you have to be anxious about the future is your inner critic (or ego) and when you switch it off, you make room for a new voice that will guide you, support you and LOVE you regardless of who you are and no matter what you do.
Self love is having the courage to listen to that voice. The one that’s saying you can have it all, you don’t need their approval, you can change the world. It’s doing that every moment of every day and watching the incredible transformation that happens in your life.
At the end of the night, I had all the girls write a list of things they love about themselves. Some of them sat staring at the paper for five minutes, some of them had filled a page by the time I finished talking. I know for a fact there is no difference in those girls worthiness or capability, the only difference was their receptiveness to love.
So where to from here?
Write your own love list (I’ve included some of mine below). Every morning, drown out the list of things you have to do today with a list of things you are grateful for. Practice unconditional love with yourself and then with those around you. Teach your children, your boss, your girlfriends, your bus driver that their value does not lie in their grades, their weight, their past or their future. Show them who they really are by treating them with the kindness and compassion that flows effortlessly from the heart that knows how to love itself unconditionally.
My Love List
I love that I’m a bookworm
I love that I have big persuasive eyes that can make boys fall in love with me
I love the faces I make when I dance
I love that I am constantly questioning everything around me
I love that I eat peanut butter out of the jar
I love that I go outside my comfort zone
I love that I don’t settle
I love that I dance by myself in the car
I love the way my hair runs down my back
I love that I see and treat everyone as equal
I love that I’m strong (and getting stronger)
I love that I am always learning
I love that sometimes, I write really beautiful shit
In light of my Ebook launch, I wanted to share a bit about why I decided to write it and give you a sneak peak into how to figure out your life’s purpose.
Like most of us, I had no idea what I wanted to do when I left school. I knew I wanted to make a difference in the world and do something that made me excited to jump out of bed in the morning but I had no idea how to figure out what I was really passionate about.
After stumbling my way through three years of a Journalism degree (apparently that’s what you do if you’re good at English) I found my passion and with it, the key to unlocking what we were put on this earth to do.
The secret to figuring out what you want to do with your life lies is asking one simple question,
How Can I Help Others?
Every successful, fulfilling, rewarding and kick-ass career EVER has started and ended with the desire to help others. How can I serve? How can I be of assistance? How can I use the experiences I have had, the talents I possess and the skills I am willing to gain to add value to the life of another living being?
For me, my ‘others’ was a combination of people my age who were so sure they wanted to make a difference, but didn’t know how or even if they could. With so many distractions in our modern world, I wanted to harness the passion that I know exists inside young people and use it to enact change and solve the problems facing our generation through innovation and collaboration.
Adolescents are traditionally considered out of touch with what they really want, we have this history of young people choosing Uni courses they hate and jobs they aren’t satisfied with because they feel like they have to. It’s a combination of external pressures from parents, teachers and the media perpetuating this industrial-era idea that you should base your career choices on earning potential rather than enthusiasm and natural talents.
When I looked at my own experience and that of my peers, I was faced with a few significant questions that I felt weren’t being answered. Where is the support for high school graduates beyond matching their ATAR with a course admissions rank? Why are we waiting until students enrol in $30,000 university degrees to teach them that you don’t need a degree to be successful? An education system that uses standardised testing to determine intelligence and earning potential is disenfranchising the 95% of students who can’t rote learn an essay or solve for the value of x and the result is a generation of frustrated learners, disgruntled employees and a wealth of untapped resources.
What would our world look like if we taught a 17 year old how to figure out what they are passionate about, what inherent skills they possess and how they can use that to be of service in their social sphere, beyond the traditional ‘I like animals therefore I’m going to become a vet, you like writing therefore you should become a journalist’?
Instead of pigeonholing skill sets into these rigid career structures, we need to teach students that the modern workforce is a completely different landscape to what it was ten or twenty years ago, jobs are being filled now that never existed before, innovation and creativity are the greatest commodities of the 21st Century and the opportunities for collaboration in the workforce means that previously dismissed students now have the capacity to be leaders enacting global change. (And ps. if you can’t find a job you want, you can create one!)
We also need to empower young people to make decisions based on emotional rather than financial gain. I’ve heard teachers and parents discourage a students ideas by saying, “You’ll never make money out of that, pick something else” and it’s a massive disservice in my opinion- not just to the student, but to the future of the society they have the potential to change. Not only are you teaching that child that money is the sole objective of their working life, you are turning them away from the development of their natural abilities into a vocation that has the potential to solve a problem in our world AND offer them personal fulfilment.
When we give young people the capacity to make life-altering decisions at such an early age, we need to back them up with the skills and resources to make informed decisions that reflect the whole story, not just the parts we have experienced ourselves.
If you are in the process of figuring out what you are meant to do with your life (or know someone who is), there is so much more you haven’t been told and I cannot WAIT to share it with you in my Ebook, ‘What am I doing with my Life?’ which comes out in August.
If you want to learn more about how to discover your purpose and start a career you adore, subscribe to my newsletter below and get all the latest updates and info about my Ebook. And, as always, I would love to hear from you in the comments below!
Having a bad day that’s turned into a bad year? Feeling completely out of control of everything around you and stuck in a cycle of self-loathing and self-sabotage? Grab a piece of paper and a pen and get ready to turn your world around with these 5 simple steps.
1. Write a list of 5 things you are grateful for. Start small. I am grateful for the air that is flooding my lungs. Put your list somewhere you can see it and read it every morning.
2. Write down the personal habits you want to change. Take full responsibility for the way your life looks right now and think only of the things you can do to change it. Start with a positive,
“I love my body, therefore I will nourish it with the highest quality food and exercise to release endorphins.”
“I love it when I feel supported by my girlfriends so I will make an effort to support and compliment those around me whenever I can.”
3. All the changes you make to yourself and your life must come from a place of self love. If you are trying to lose weight because you think it will make you happy, think again. Happiness comes first, everything else follows.
4. Figure out who you want to be and then make changes to your daily routine that will help you get there. Want to expand your vocab? Make a pile of books on your bedside table and work your way through them, reading at least ten minutes each night.
5. Make a 5 year plan. Write down exactly how you want your life to look in 5 years time. This is probably the hardest part of the process, but it’s also the most fun so don’t hold back! Be specific about your job, your partner, the money you earn and where you live. Choose the colour of the coffee table in your lounge room. Don’t worry about HOW you’re going to get there, that’s not your job. If you find that you are limiting yourself to what seems realistic or practical, ask why? Do you think you deserve a yellow Lamborghini, your dream job and a partner that motivates and respects you? The answer is always, YES YOU DO.
You can spend as little or as long as you want doing these exercises but the more thought you put into them, the more effective they will be. Let yourself get excited about the endless possibilities that unfold. Block out the voice that is telling you all the reasons why you can’t have it all and listen to the one that is guiding you towards the life you have always dreamed of.
Okay so I noticed a lot of my posts recently have been about things I used to struggle with and have overcome or learnt to deal with. It kind of feels like I’m writing about some former life that I have emerged from all sparkly and new.
The truth is, there are still a LOT of lessons I have yet to learn and today I want to open up about 5 of them in what I hope will be a raw, honest account of the things I kind of suck at.
1. I still struggle with my eating. My weight has been bouncing up and down for the last 4 years and I have been ‘on a diet’ for as long as I can remember.
I have serious blocks around my relationship with food. My attitude is very much ‘all or nothing’ and most of the time I deprive myself during the week and then binge on the week ends.
The great thing is, I know I’m not alone! I have listened to countless stories from girls at war with their bodies, girls who know what they should be doing but can’t seem to shift the mindset that food is the enemy.
It is a topic I am extremely passionate about and am eagerly reading, studying and talking to as many people as I can about how to develop a healthy relationship with food and I cannot wait to share my insights and breakthroughs with you guys!
2. I still struggle with being able to drink in moderation. The concept of having ‘a few quiet ones’ was completely foreign to me 12 months ago and even now I find it hard not to get carried away and do things I regret. I think having a few drinks with friends is a great way to relax and have fun but a part of me still feels like I will be missing out on something if I don’t get to that ‘next level’ of crunk.
3. I am still holding onto stuff from the past, mostly things people have said about me. My ex boyfriend used to tell me no-one would ever love me after him. Even though I know he was wrong, there are days I still question my worth.
4. I am still learning how to give. Might sound weird but something that comes so naturally to some people, I have to practice on a daily basis. My sister for example, is constantly thinking of other people. She dropped her phone in a toilet last week and the first thing she did was message me from her besties phone to wish me luck in my exam. Crazy right? I have to remind myself to seek out the ways I can help people instead of waiting for them to ask and then not be afraid to offer my love and support to those who need it.
5. I am still learning to love myself. Sounds a bit hypocritical right? Preaching about the importance of self-love when I don’t wake up every morning wanting to kiss the mirror. Thankfully, I have learned that self love isn’t just a skill you learn and keep forever, it’s something you have to practice on a moment to moment basis. The great thing is, it gets easier the more you do it.
This isn’t a self-depreciation post, I just really wanted to remind you that every person you meet is struggling with something and the more vulnerable we are about the challenges we face, the more likely we are to receive help and support from those who have walked the path before us.
I think we all have lessons to learn and we are put in situations that help us learn those lessons. Sometimes the journey is really painful, mostly when we resist growth by insisting that we don’t need to change. But we can take comfort in the fact that every wrong turn, every difficult experience, every time we want to rage quit on life, we are one step closer to becoming the most radiant, exquisite and perfect versions of ourselves.
If you can relate to anything I’m saying, I wanted to let you know you are not alone. Feel free to share with me in the comments below anything you are struggling with. Anxiety? Loneliness? Peer pressure?
“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”
Hands up all the stubborn people out there. You know who you are. You spend your time forming well-reasoned, logical and statistically-based opinions about certain issues, you will fight tooth and nail to win an argument and you would rather die than be proved wrong.
Well I read something this morning that totally blew my mind. ‘There are some people that would rather be right than be happy.’ Can I get a hallelujah?
This is such a massive problem for so many people I know, and I was definitely one of them.
I looked at the happiest people I knew and thought Holy shit, what an idiot. They are so freaking deluded, how can they possibly be happy with everything that’s going on in the world? Don’t they watch the news? I am so glad I’m not that ignorant about life.
And then I’d go home and cry myself to sleep.
Then one day I stopped and thought, who is the real winner here? The person out there kicking ass and living their dream life, or me, sitting at home too upset with the state of the world to actually do anything about it. Me being cynical and suspicious isn’t actually serving anyone, and by constantly thinking about all the negatives in my life, I was creating a reality that made it struggle for me to get out of bed.
So why was I choosing what I thought was ‘being right’ over being happy?
I was so sceptical of inner peace, joy and love because I didn’t think I deserved them. As a result, I built up internal barriers to experiencing them.
My subconscious belief that I wasn’t worthy of being loved or achieving great things meant that my mind was constantly on the look out for things in the world that would re-enforce this belief. If anything or anyone came along and told me I was capable and worthy of being high on life, I would reject it because it wasn’t ‘realistic’.
Of course I wanted to be happy, but I thought happiness was a reward you got when you put in lots of hard work, got your dream body, an amazing job and a hot boyfriend. (Dream on right?)
What I have learned since is that the secret to happiness doesn’t lie in attaining something new, but releasing all the blocks you have to experiencing its presence. You actually don’t have to do anything in order to be happy. Happiness is our natural state, but most of us have just forgotten it because our modern world is constantly trying to convince us that we need all the extras.
How many of us are holding onto beliefs that don’t serve us because we are afraid of being wrong?
How many of us are afraid of fulfilling our purpose because it doesn’t seem ‘logical’ or ‘realistic’?
Here’s an example: my belief in God makes me happy, blissfully happy. Thinking that there is a force out there greater than myself gives me peace, security and the strength to do things I never would have done before. So, what if I’m wrong? Well, quite frankly, who cares? My belief has made my life infinitely better and if, at the end of my life I find out it was all a lie, I still made the most of my earthly existence and had a freaking good time.
There isn’t going to be someone on the other side saying ‘I told you so’.
We have to understand that there is actually no right or wrong way to view the world; there is only positive or negative, fear or love, happy or unhappy.
The way you see the world is your reality and it is no more or less valid than anyone else’s.
If it makes you happy and it doesn’t hurt anyone else, then freaking own it!
I am telling you right now that you deserve to be blissfully happy every single day. No matter what you have done, no matter who you have hurt or how messed up you think you are. If there’s something that you are unhappy about, challenge yourself to break down those barriers and let the love rush in, allow it fill you up and watch it overwhelm your life.
“It might be that to surrender to happiness was to accept defeat, but it was a defeat better than many victories.”
—W. Somerset Maugham, Of Human Bondage
Daily Affirmation: I don’t need anything or anyone to be happy. My happiness comes from within.
Agree or disagree? I would love to hear from you in the comments below.
We all know the benefits a positive attitude can bring to our lives, and how important it is to surround ourselves with positive people. But just who are these people and better yet, how do we become one?
Being a positive person doesn’t mean you have to be ‘on’ all the time. You don’t have to walk around with a smile glued on your face, beaming at the sun and complimenting random strangers.
It’s easy to look at the happiest people in our lives and think, ‘Well of course they’re happy, they have everything going for them’, but being happy has nothing to do with the caliber of our circumstances, it’s the way we choose to perceive them.
Positivity is a way of dealing with what happens to you and around you.
There are several attributes that positive people have in common, try applying them to your own life.
When faced with challenges, you see them as opportunities for improvement and growth. Failure is the chance to begin again, this time more intelligently.
When people are unkind to you, you understand that it is not a reflection of who you are. You try to look at things from their point of view instead of reacting emotionally.
You are grateful for everything in your life. You begin each day by listing the things; big and small, that you are thankful for.
You meditate. You don’t have to do a class or head to the beach every morning for an hour with your yoga mat (although wouldn’t that be amazing!) It simply means that you try your hardest to remain in the present while taking time to reflect inward about where you are going and who you are becoming. 10 minutes a day works a treat!
You reject negativity. You answer others complaints by helping them find the silver lining in the situation.
You bring out the best in people. You make others feel relaxed in your presence by being completely accepting of those around you. This comes from the knowledge that everyone is equal and absolutely EVERYONE has something to teach you.
Be the person others look to when they need a bit of sunshine in their day.
Try this: Wherever you are right now, look up at the sky and smile. Seriously, do it. Feel better? Now you can share this with someone who might be having a tough day.
All my love,
Have any tips for staying positive? I would love to hear from you in the comments below!
This week, I want us all to practice the art of forgiveness.
It is one of the hardest things to do but the benefits are infinite.
Think about the people in your life you need forgive; the girl who was mean to you in high school, a parent who ignored you, a girlfriend that disappointed you in some way. You might be surprised how much you are holding on too.
The next time you go to speak negatively about someone, seize this as your opportunity to practice. Try not to get caught up in the justifications for your anger or hurt, ‘they never apologised’ ‘they never even realised how much they hurt me’ ‘they continue to hurt others and have no idea’.
It isn’t your job to teach someone their own lessons. You have the opportunity to influence others by leading by example and the greatest example is to forgive, every single time.
Practice this today: If someone upsets you, hurts you or disappoints you, breathe into the hurt;
feel the tightening of your chest, the dropping sensation in the pit of your stomach
and then breathe out.
It is an art form that we must practice on a moment to moment basis. Literally, the second someone does something to upset you, forgive them.
The beautiful thing is, you also get to forgive yourself. I have to admit I find this so much harder than forgiving others. Forgiving yourself means letting go of every mistake, every wrong turn, every time you have hurt another person; intentionally or not.
It is incredible how much we continue to berate ourselves without even realising it.
I was holding on to some terrible decisions I’d made in the past. Every time I would think about them, my chest would tighten and an incredible feeling of self-loathing would come over me. My fear voice would use these thoughts as weapons against me.
‘You are terrible at making decisions, look at what happened last time’ ‘There’s no way you’ve changed’ ‘This happiness is just a phase you don’t deserve’.
Recognise this is just your Ego trying to hold you back. You no longer believe this limiting voice. What happened in the past has provided you with beautiful opportunities for learning and growth and you are grateful for every single wrong turn and bad decision, because they lead you to where you are right now.
And right now, you are exactly where you need to be.
Daily Affirmation: In every moment of every day, I forgive myself and others.
You, my darling, have incredible value. You are worthy of living a life beyond your wildest dreams. You deserve every moment of joy, happiness and bliss that can be afforded to you in this lifetime, just because you exist. Thats it, you do not have to do anything else except exist.
I wish I could be there to tell you every moment of every day. When you have a limiting thought, when you are overcome with insecurity, when you forget how truly beautiful you are, I wish I could be there to remind you.
Of course, even if I could tell you every day (and I will try my best, in one way or another) it’s not as powerful as when you believe it for yourself. We often look for affirmations of our worth from outside sources; we want other people to tell us how incredible we are before we believe it ourselves.
But the truth is, no outside validation will ever live up to our expectations. The love of another person will never satisfy our craving for love, and no amount of compliments, likes or accomplishments will satiate our need for acceptance. It must come from within.
You are worthy and capable of giving and receiving infinite, boundless, unconditional love.
When you hold this knowledge in your heart, the world becomes your playground, you free yourself to experience all the beauty life has to offer without guilt, anxiety or discomfort. You experience the world with a childlike wonder and move through life with grace and faith.
Remember, you are incredible, just because you exist. Any person, place or thought that tells you otherwise is an illusion and when you let go of these illusions, you return to the knowledge that you are pure light. You have a purpose on this earth and a gift to give that is completely unique, highly valued and desperately needed.
Today I have decided to take a Wellbeing Day. After an incredibly busy start to the year and an emotional couple of days, my body and spirit need a bit of a break. I love being busy but as an introvert, being around people can be very emotionally draining and having alone time is the best way for me to replenish my energy stores.
It always struck me as odd that we will take ‘sick days’ when our physical health is suffering, but with mental health issues there is a greater expectation to put on a brave face and push through. I am fortunate enough to be able to allow myself a day off from responsibility, but I can assure you I have to try really hard to block out the guilt that comes with taking a day off. There is a stigma attached to ‘me time’ in our culture; it’s seen as a little bit self-indulgent and the enemy of productivity. We are constantly being told we should do more, have more, be more, but the wisest people know that in order to present your best self to the world, you need to take time to look inward.
Today will be spent in my yoga pants; drinking tea and watching the Today show, calling girlfriends for a chat, catching up on some Life Admin and re-focusing my intentions for the next couple of weeks. What are my goals for mind, body and spirit? I will take some time for meditation and journalling and honour my body by going to hot yoga tonight.
I am super excited for what the next few weeks have in store, the power of the Universe is flowing through me and around me and I am working on fine-tuning my ability to receive its messages. No matter how busy things get, I will always make time for myself and try really hard not to feel bad about putting my wellbeing first.
If you’re having trouble justifying a day for you, ask the Universe for peace and try the following affirmation.
“Today I will take time to nurture my mind and body equally. I recognise that being there for myself will allow me to better serve others and follow my higher path.”
“The part of us with wings sometimes battles with our earth-bound self.”
I have been in a state of inner conflict over the past couple of weeks. Something in my life was off and, although I knew what it was, I kept making excuses in order to prolong the indulgence I was allowing myself. I was settling for less than what I knew would make me happy and it was affecting every aspect of my life.
The first indicator for me that something isn’t working is always my mental health; I battled with anxiety and depression during my teenage years and the feelings I associate with these illnesses begin to resurface in times of stress. I struggle to find motivation to get out of bed in the morning, I lose interest in exercise and eat in response to my emotions rather than internal signals. I also struggle to make even the simplest of decisions and, to be honest, everything I do seems pretty pointless. Obviously this isn’t how I want to feel every day and the whole time I was feeling like this, there was a little part of me saying ‘Remember how amazing you felt a few months ago?’ I reflected back on the days when I would bound out of bed, filled with intention and vitality, when I loved what I saw in the mirror and was filled with so much clarity about my future. I longed to have that girl back and I knew that as soon as I surrendered the situation to God, the weight would be lifted and my energy would be restored.
As soon as I allowed God to move through me, I was able to release myself from the situation and I will post more about just how I healed this particular relationship (which involved someone I care about) in Next Week’s Post. What I want to focus on today, is the mentality that allows us to indulge in these behaviours that bring us down; the mediocre relationships, the unhealthy eating patterns, the feeling that we can’t do any better and should just settle for our lot in life. I have always loved the above quote and I think it articulates this feeling beautifully; the struggle between the part of us with wings- our immortality- and our earthbound self. I’ve heard it described in many different ways before; our inner mean girl, the devil on your shoulder, the Ego; all of these terms are manifestations of fear that surface when we allow it to rule our lives.
The Earthbound self, the part of us that is not infinite, becomes apparent when we focus too much on the body rather than the spirit, when we forget that we are eternal and limitless, when we make decisions out of fear rather than love. This causes deviations from our true paths and the inevitable obstacles the Universe sends to try and get us back on track will start to crop up. That’s why we often find life difficult when we are not being our authentic selves; conflicts arise, our relationships suffer and ‘accidents’ begin to happen. (For me, there are no such thing as accidents and everything that happens in our lives is a message from the Universe that we can either ignore or learn from.)
While it is super important to remain grounded throughout our daily lives, we must not get too tied down by earthly matters. We are, first and foremost, spirits taking human form. If you start to feel weighed down by your earthbound self, take a moment to connect with the part of you with wings. Release yourself from fear, let go of self doubt and remember that you are perfect, you are infinite and you are worthy of amazing things.
Running away on the treadmill the other day, I started getting a little flustered and anxious. For once it wasn’t the increasing speed that had my heart racing, but the mass of visual stimulation around me. My gym is like most commercial spaces, there are four TV screens above the cardio section as well as individual screens on the bikes, elliptical and even treadmills, all of which are designed to distract you from the monotony of what you’re doing. Add to that the music most people have blasting in their ears while they row, ride and run and exercising can turn into an incredibly overwhelming experience.
More than anything, it made me miss yoga and how present it forced me to be. I was never rushing through each pose with the thought of getting out the door, I was moving with great intention through each movement. There is so much to learn about how our minds and bodies work during exercise. You can recognise the external triggers that make you want to run faster, or the thoughts that make you lose momentum in the middle of a set of weights. For me, catching my reflection has a massive influence on my practice- if it’s a flattering angle I’ll complete the set with gusto and smash out a couple more but if I happen to see a bit of stomach roll or a hair out of place, my inner critic surfaces and immediately I notice the effects on my performance. Mindfulness is a fantastic tool for self-development as it forces us to call out our insecurities and, combined with physical exercise, aids us in pushing through them. When that voice in your head tells you that you can’t do one more push-up or run one more k, recognise that this is a normal wave of self-doubt, replace it with a positive affirmation, and prove yourself wrong.
When we stop trying so desperately to distract or motivate ourselves with external stimulation, we find that all the motivation we need, we already possess. Next time you start a set of squats, instead of thinking about how much rep number 15 is going to hurt, bring your focus back to the number 1; remind yourself that you are in no rush to complete the set and good form is always better than speed. As you complete a press or lift, let it go and focus on the next one- constantly remind yourself to remain present. Running or riding? See if you can switch off the TV screens and even the music and listen to your thoughts. It takes a lot of getting used to and the silence can be unsettling at first. But I am a firm believer that only boring people can be bored and eventually you will unlock a part of your mind; your inner champion that had been silenced by infomercials until now, and they will be all the motivation you need as you work toward the fittest version of yourself.
The evening ran as a panel discussion with each of the girls sharing their experiences with illness, trauma and bad relationships and their journey to self -love that has transformed their lives and lead them to where they are today. The entire audience was engrossed and I sat there like a sponge, soaking up information about the power of saying ‘yes’, different forms of meditation and those all-important strategies for self-love.
Each of the girls had a unique message to share. Julie taught us to tune in to what we really need and to recognise that every negative emotion we experience is coming from a place of lack. “Ask yourself, do I need sleep? Do I need to talk to someone, to write, to forgive?” She also stressed the importance of sitting with our emotions and letting ourselves experience the pain and loss, rather than trying to suppress them.
Rachel, a massive fan of journaling as a tool for self-discovery, insisted that we ‘call out’ whatever feelings of fear or self-doubt we were having. “Write down what it is you are afraid of, and you diminish the power it has over you.” She also encouraged us to write a list of things that make your heart happy, and add to it constantly. It is here that you will find your passion and purpose in life.
Gala Darling is a force of nature. She is just one of those people who has said a big ‘F*** you’ to societies rules and is making up her own as she goes along. And what a path it has lead her on…from overcoming an eating disorder by using ‘tapping’ while high on ecstasy, to establishing an incredibly successful online brand that has allowed her to travel the globe spreading a message of self-love and sequins.
I had never understood how someone could be described as being ‘present’ until I heard Melissa Ambrosini speak. Her energy is incredibly vibrant and naturally stunning and I felt a deep sense of connectedness with everything she was saying. In particular, her advice on finding the love in everything you do. The majority of our lives will not be spent attending meaningful seminars and engaging in soulful discussions with our sisters (although wouldn’t that be nice!) but there is beauty to be found in even the most mundane of everyday activities; even doing the dishes and taking out the rubbish. “As I’m doing it, I’m thinking, I am grateful that I don’t have to sleep with my rubbish.”
She also stressed the importance of ‘exercising your self-love muscle’. “Just like anything else, it is something that you have to work on every single day.” She uses the difficult times in her life as a chance to put in to practice all the powerful tools she has developed and an opportunity to experiment with what works and what doesn’t in a particular situation. “Everything I do comes from a place of love. I no longer do anything out of fear or lack.”
Their advice as business women was to trust your intuition. Rachel swears she can sense energy simply from an email and it will immediately tell her whether or not she is on the right path. We learnt how to tap into the physical embodiments of our intuitive processes and distinguish between the internal dialogue of our intuition and our inner critic.
TIP:Put on a piece of music you can’t stand, close your eyes and allow yourself to feel the discomfort, the anxiety. What shape does it take, in what part of your body do feel it most? Then do the same with a song that you love and feel the physical response. Familiarise yourself with these reactions and allow them to guide you in business, in love and in your everyday decisions.
The girls were all from similar backgrounds, they grew up with mothers who empowered them with the knowledge that they really could do anything. It really drove home for me the message that there is no greater gift for a child than growing up with a mother that is kind to herself, that is proud of who she is and is a shining example of the power of accepting and loving who you are.
At the end of the Q&A was the movement element of the evening and you could feel the tension mount as the beautiful Susana Frioni encouraged us to kick off our shoes and begin to move intuitively to different styles of music. This was a fantastic opportunity for us to implement all that we had learnt about letting go of other people’s opinions and granting permission to be your authentic self. (That did not make it any less daunting!) Regardless, as the energy built thanks to some seriously rad Marilyn Manson tracks, we all let go a little more and before long everyone was jumping around in a frenzy to Florence and the Machine’s ‘Shake it Out’- the ultimate self love anthem.
“And I am done with my graceless heart, so tonight I’m gonna cut it out and then restart. Cause I like to keep my issues drawn, it’s always darkest before the dawn.”
Everyone was completely blissed out as the music slowed and we were left sitting, smiling with our hands on our hearts and an incredible sense of love for ourselves and the girls around us.
As I was saying to a couple of the lovely ladies from My Best Me, it was so great to go somewhere on a Friday night where we could dance like maniacs without drinking! As a 20 year old especially, I love hitting the dance floor with my girlfriends and going absolutely crazy to some seriously awesome tracks, but I hate the need to drink copious amounts in order to shed those inhibitions, and I am not a fan of the physical and emotional hangover I experience the next day. Yvette and the team at Earth Events are visionaries and I can only hope they’ll do plenty more events like this in the future.
A massive thank you to the amazing speakers, my gorgeous girlfriend Alannah for sharing the experience with me, and to all the other beauties in the room who created such an incredible energy that I felt so blessed to be able to share.