Category

Mind, Body + Soul

Category

BULLIES be gone

In loving memory of Dolly Everett.

I began drafting this article some time ago but never got around to completing it. After hearing little Dolly’s story, my heart was broken. A sweet and innocent little girl pushed to a place where she felt there was no other way out of the hell that surrounded her. It scared the sh*t out of me as a mother and had me in tears and also brought back raw emotions of my own as I remembered those dark, unworthy and defeated thoughts. But, I was an adult, she was just a little girl. I needed to share this as a tribute to her.

Dolly was a 14 year old girl who was subjected to relentless bullying before she decided to take her own life. It’s hard to fathom that some people have the capacity to actively go out of their way to cause someone that much pain – a story enough to make you sick as a fellow parent or even just a fellow ‘good’ human.

BULLYING.

There are not many things I hate in life, but this is of them! An eight letter word that for some reason is breeding popularity, has ended so many lives and even had me contemplating my own last year. When did it become cool to be cruel? Did I miss something? ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!

“Oh my god did you see what he/she was wearing? I’ll send you a screenshot”

“Why does he/she look/dress like that?”

“Did you see his/her instastory? How pathetic. Who does he/she think they are?”

“Omg they’re so ugly/fat”

“Oh god they need to eat – anorexic”

“He/she is so fake seriously, no one likes them”

“They don’t have anxiety, she’s just doing it for attention”

Now, it’s my turn to be a bitch – SERIOUSLY, SHUT THE F*** UP!!!

If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all. I get it you’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea and that’s totally fine but there’s a big difference in difference of opinion to blatant bullying.

If you’re building friendships on tearing people down, there is seriously something wrong with you and your clique of friends. Blowing out someone else’s candle won’t make yours any brighter!

And, I am not just talking school yard bullying, the bullying I have endured and witnessed as a 31 year old women and even as a mother is even more atrocious!!! Coming from people who are ‘meant’ to know better. The parent shaming, the name calling, the list goes on. Get your shit together adults, just stop – seriously just stop!

How can we expect kindness and acceptance from our children if we are not leading by example?

I have people that hate me that don’t even know me – go figure. Or people that think/claim to know me but wouldn’t have a clue what I am TRULY about. Some of my blog friends have hate pages created about them when people only know them through a few squares on a screen. Have we really become that insensitive?

If it’s become a trend to get together and rip someone to shreds for your own entertainment and ego then I’m here to be the trend breaker – I won’t stand for it! There are nbv humans at the other end of such hateful comments.

What happened to kindness and love? Do we really have to wait until someone takes their life to realise the implications of our actions?

It’s really simple – THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK. And in this digital era, THINK BEFORE YOU POST, COMMENT OR WRITE! If what you have to say doesn’t add value, then DON’T say it. Stop the games, stop the shaming, stop the cryptic bullying posts, just STOP THE BULLYING. Or should I say, just STOP being an ASSHOLE!

If someone has bothered you, talk to them the old fashioned way and don’t just start an unnecessary hate campaign against them which can be easily avoided.

And if you’re watching/hearing someone else subjected to hateful comments, have the guts and loyalty to stand up for them even if it means standing alone – I do! It’s the people who have the courage to do this that will change the future for the better. But if we don’t stand up NOW and stop this ridiculousness, I truly worry what kind of future my children will grow up in?

Every human has the right to be treated equal and the buck starts with us.

Trade bitchiness for kindness because let me tell you something, kindness feels f***ng amazing! The look on someone’s face when you’ve helped them without expectation or given them a compliment is priceless and worth its weight in gold!

But be genuine, don’t just give a compliment then stab them in the back – be authentic and true to your word.

Say hi to strangers in the street, stand up for someone who doesn’t have the courage to stand up for themselves, exercise random acts of kindness and be a trailblazer for good in a world that’s trying to force you to be bad!

Let’s put an end to this pathetic and life threatening trend, let’s bastardise bullying – BULLIES BE GONE!

In a world where you can be anything, BE KIND!

So will the real people please stand up? *mic drop*


If you or anyone you know need crisis support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Or, if you would like to make a donation to Dolly’s dream, I have listed details below;

DOLLY’S DREAM FOUNDATION

BSB: 035 313

ACC: 237623

 

the A word

Heart racing.

Shortness of breath.

Sweaty palms.

Thoughts so loud, I turn the radio off.

Distorted vision.

Alaia crying.

Migraine onset.

Welcome to my world.

They say a photo speaks a thousand words well, not always. The smile on my face and the gleam in my eyes is definitely deceiving, under the surface lies a whole other story.

It’s something I was always unsure if I would share just yet but, with my sole purpose of wanting to inspire and help others, how could I possibly not be real with you all?

Anxiety. That seven letter word that has seemingly taken over my day to day life over the past three months.  If I had to put my finger on a moment or event that triggered it, I would say it was my ectopic pregnancy loss but, I also believe it is a culmination of life events, motherhood and a recent drama which funnily enough really flipped the switch into full force.

So, what is it? Let’s start with the textbook definition:

“the state of feeling nervous or worried that something bad is going to happen”

My first thoughts – understatement at its best. So here’s my definition which I hope does more justice for sufferers:

An intense state of feeling overwhelmed, nervous and worried, sometimes for no good reason, accompanied by sweating, a significant increase in heartrate causing heart attack like symptoms, loud and overbearing thoughts and a gut wrenching feeling inside your stomach or chest also causing nausea. Sounds dreadful right? Well it is.

To onlookers, anxiety is often not detected. It’s silent and mostly only affects its victim. Because it comes with such a stigma, people often shy away from sharing their feelings. Society expects sufferers of anxiety to be weird, introverted, crazy or different in some way, but this couldn’t be more far from the truth.

More often than not it’s the so called “normal” person sitting right beside you, the girl with the bubbly personality, the overachiever at work who always gets a promotion, the clown of the group or that mum friend you think always has her shit together that in fact is suffering in silence.

One thing for certain, anxiety does not discriminate. Sadly, a staggering one in four Australians will suffer anxiety at least once in their life – one in four!!!! So why aren’t we talking about it?

It’s time we raise the lid on it and become more transparent and educated on it.

You see for me, I am totally new to this anxiety world, I am still identifying my triggers. And, while some days I am completely unaffected, other days I am so consumed and would like nothing more than to stay in bed all day and sleep it off, but I can’t because we all know a mothers job never sleeps.

Motherhood brings with it, its own share of anxieties – how will I get this all done? Am I doing a good job? What will other mothers think of me? I want to be a mum but also want to work and have a social life – how do I manage that? The pressures we put on ourselves are endless.

Some days, you just want to throw your hands up and claim defeat, we all have those days right?  But, instead, I find solace in retracting to a quiet room while Alaia plays, just to gain bearings again or even meditate. If I am out, I remain quiet or withdrawn which can make me seem socially awkward at times but it’s what gives me comfort in those moments. I know some people reading this will be shocked as it’s a far cry from my old bubbly, carefree, lively and social butterfly self, but lately it’s been my reality.

It sucks, it really sucks.

And while I kept convincing myself I didn’t chose anxiety, it chose me – I would be lying. A lifetime of high standards, perfectionism and people pleasing would lead me to this point. But, I am learning.

I am learning that firstly, I am not alone. SO many share this struggle with me and some are far worse. I am learning that I can manage the symptoms – I am finally making ME a priority because sometimes as mothers we lose sight of this. I am now on a mission to work on my mind, body and soul daily – I exercise, meditate and invest in self-development on a regular basis. And lastly, I am learning to love myself – would I be so hard on someone else as I am on myself? Definitely not. It’s time to be gentler on me.

The point of my article is far from a pity plea, but instead an arm reaching out to someone else out there suffering in silence, to shed light on a topic on that for so long has been taboo.

It’s a reminder for us all to really think before we speak. Is what we are saying going to add value to the people around us? If not, then why say it?

We may assume to be good judge of characters, but as I always say, never judge a book by its cover. Unless you have read every single chapter, you don’t know someone’s full story.

Moral of the story – be kind, always. Everyone has a story, every mama has a story and this is just one chapter of mine.

Breast bringing out my best

Click bait header right there – cheeky I know. Well, you know what they say, sex sells and this is important – so, please keep reading!  

Where do I start? Ellen. God, I love Ellen! We need more Ellen’s in this world – more dancing, more cheer, more love, more compassion – anyone else feel me? I don’t even know her but her authenticity and positive energy somewhat transcends through the screen. Did I mention Ryan Gosling was on there today – God, he’s gorgeous! *batters eyelids*. Focus Solonge, focus. All jokes aside, what really caught my attention was a segment with Ricky Martin speaking about the hurricane devastation in Puerto Rico – terribly sad. Together with my feelings of sadness for Phil’s cousin diagnosed with a brain tumour, my emotion following the breast cancer ball on the weekend, plus the tragedy in Las Vegas, it really got me thinking…   

Anyone noticing a lot of negativity around lately – lots of sarcasm, bitterness, passive aggressiveness and just general bitchiness? Definitely felt the need to write this article as I think all of us (including me) need a reminder from time to time.

As a society we have suddenly become quicker to judge others and for some reason have less tolerance than ever before. Our social media savviness, while good at times, has also made us lose our social morale and human decency and have left us thriving for lifestyles that don’t really exist (remember Instagram is people’s highlight reel). We sit behind screens and are quick to criticise people we barely know. Sure, we see a few posts and Insta-stories here and there – but do we really know this person? Or even if we do know them, how can we be sure they are comfortable being their true selves around us? I know for certain if I feel discomfort around people, I don’t show my full self.

What happened to the days when you could be yourself without fear of being judged? Must we become a generation of such hate?

Ever noticed often the people with the least are the happiest and most loving? Why is that? What can we learn from them? It’s simple, they are humble. It’s because their happiness isn’t attached to things or other people, it lies within them. They choose to see the best in every situation. Here was Ricky Martin giving food donations to hurricane victims and one man with a smile which lit up the screen, stood among some rubble which he called home and said, “I already have everything I need” – he had nothing.

Why does it take us westerners often near death experiences to realise the true meaning and value of life? And sometimes even then, we revert back to our old ways. Why do we walk around living in our heads instead of our hearts? Have we really lost our conscious?

Similarly, as I sat there on Saturday night and listened to the incredible breast cancer survivors share their stories, it really hit home for me – these two incredible women pictured in particular. Bec (left) candidly shared of her mother’s cancer struggle only to find out later, she too had breast cancer herself – absolutely devastating. Farrah (right) shared some of her other life battles and also how she received her heartbreaking breast cancer diagnosis the day after she birthed her baby. I mean is there anything more gut wrenching?

What really hit home for me though is when Farrah said she spent a lifetime thinking she would develop a severe illness and guess what she did. It’s a perfect example of that old adage – what you think you become. Focus on the good in life! If we are wishing this and wishing that, are we ever truly going to be happy? It was then that Farrah realised this and changed her life for the better, leaving her then husband and living a more happy and fulfilled life – you could see the transformation written on her face. 

Why do we wait for tomorrow to be happy? Once I get this, I’ll be happy. Once this person does this, I’ll be happy. That is not saying not to like nice things or not to love people but don’t make that you’re everything because things go out of fashion and people fail us. We can choose to be happy right now, embracing all that we are – our imperfections and perfections.

Why do we lose ourselves in order to please others? Bronnie Ware, a nurse who spent several years working in palliative care wrote a piece called ‘Inspiration and Chai” where she outlined the top five regrets of the dying and number one might hit home for you, as it did me. Most wished they had the courage to live a life true to themselves, not the life others expected of them.

And believe me, I get it, I really get it, that the outside noise can be so deafening at times. But, there is no better time than right now to start living the life you imagined and being the best version of you. And, I am talking about the REAL you, the raw, authentic and unapologetic you – only you know who that is. There is truly nothing more beautiful than that and when you do that, you will soon see just how freeing that feeling is from all the supposed obligation and all the expectation.

So, I need to lead by example – here is my pledge to all of you, that I am going to be unapologetically me, no matter what that looks like to anyone! And if you like it, I’d love you to stay and share more of my journey and if you don’t click unfollow because I don’t need your negative energy around.

Don’t wait for tomorrow to start living, live today – right now in this moment, live and love! Be you, be truly you, be happy, be truly happy and most of all do the things that make YOU happy irrespective of what others think. After all, tomorrow is not guaranteed for any of us and today is the present therefore it is a gift. Each day is a new chapter of your life, go ahead make this chapter the best one yet, I dare you!

So much love,

The Power to change

We all make mistakes in life, heck I’ve made hundreds. Would I turn back time and change them? My answer may surprise you – no. We are all human at the end of the day and mistakes are what help us grow by teaching us valuable and often testing lessons. I wouldn’t be the person I was today, if it wasn’t for all the times I fell down.

Of course, I don’t condone going out there and harming or hurting people and labelling it a mistake. But I do believe people genuinely slip up from time to time and you know what, that’s ok! Life happens, shit happens.

If there is one thing I loathe it is when people say, “he/she will never change” – I call BULLSHIT! Everyone has the power to change. I witnessed this firsthand over the weekend with over 6000 people.

The power to change lies within us. When we make a conscious decision to WANT to change and when we realise we are DESERVING ofchange, it will inevitably occur.

One thing I struggled with for so long was the notion of guilt. I brewed on my mistakes from years and years ago and the guilt manifested horribly inside me. I tried to go back and mend the pieces which were unamendable. I replayed scenarios in my head time and time again. I spent so much energy on guilt, regret and worry – I robbed myself of true happiness.

Such feelings of guilt, regret and worry are some of the most useless emotions known to mankind. What do these feelings really do besides bring us doubt, anxiety and negative energy? Do they change our reality? Truth is those emotions and authentic happiness cannot coexist. You need to choose which you want to manifest.

Once I rid myself of guilt and made a conscious decision that my past would not define me, but instead my future would, I began to let go of those worthless and life-sucking emotions and began to live. But most of all I began to find my inner peace.

You see, most of the time we blame others or situations for the way we are feeling when really, it’s our own perception or the way we look at ourselves which defines our state of being. Every event in life has its purpose to test us, to teach us or to grow us.

We can choose to be internally referenced or externally referenced. When we are externally referenced, we allow peoples moods, thoughts, opinions and behaviour affect us and change our state. While, when we are internally referenced, we are so grounded that we are indifferent to the outside noise which can distort us.

You are deserving of the life you dream of, you just have to choose to focus on the right energies and path and it will lead you to your destiny!

This too shall pass

Alaia’s being super cheeky at the moment and really testing the boundaries. And while today I had so much client work, editing, housework and blogging I needed to do, I instead spent it chasing her around. It’s hard being a mother sometimes, heck its hard being a woman, wife or better still even just an adult at times. One thing I have come to learn though is, nothing is permanent – this too shall pass.

I remember Alaia going through a car screaming phase when she was about six months old. I can’t count on my hands the number of times I resulted to walking up and down the side of main roads or highways just to calm her before going on my way again. I cried daily thinking that phase would never end, but it did.

I remember bad teething nights and thinking – god my good little girl is gone, but she wasn’t.

I remember having fall outs with people I thought were truly my friends thinking I would never move on from the hurt, but I did.

I remember moments of being completely overcome and consumed by anxiety thinking there was no light in sight and my life was over, but it wasn’t.

I guess what I am trying to say is, we can become so consumed in moments, singular moments that we forget just how insignificant they really are in the scheme of things. When we take a step back and appreciate our challenges for what they really are and that there is always someone else facing harder realities, we realise they are merely a pebble in an expansive ocean.

It’s so easy to become over focused on the problem at hand that we lose sight of all the things we should be grateful for. Ever disliked so much that even the way they chew begins to bother you? That’s because that’s where your focus lies. Every little thing they do will in some way will begin to frustrate you.  Yes my daughter screamed in the car for those countless hours, but how lucky am I to be able to hear her voice? There really is a positive to every negative.

Change the way you perceive things. Really take the time to evaluate them and  think, “hey, is this really worth worrying about?”

Whatever your little hardship be today, realise – this too shall pass. In a week, month or year this will become a distant memory. So breathe, ride the wave and come out the other end stronger than ever!

And don’t forget if those around you experiencing hardship, help put their problem in perspective so they too realise, this too shall pass.

I truly believe each of us is exactly where we need to be in life, no matter how hard it may be for us to see this in the present moment. Life gives us obstacles to test us and help us grow and reach our truest potential. It guides us to where we need to be and who we need to be around.

Start your week with a grateful heart – you’ll be surprised just how much good you have in your life, you just need to focus on it.

Conveniently compassionate

Conveniently compassionate – we are all guilty of it. But why do we do it? Why do we wait for something awful to happen to show people we care?

I know, I know, we are all busy – we have work, kids, school drop offs, gym, countless appointments, social life, egos and the rest – but really? We have time for social media, our favourite TV shows and online shopping don’t we?

Truth is everyone is fighting a battle we know nothing about. And even though selfishly at times we may think our battles are greater than others, it all relevant to the person experiencing it. What we may perceive as a non-issue could be something catastrophic to someone else.

So in short, be kind!

Make time to check on those around you, just because. You never know the battles someone else is facing silently. By reaching out and showing compassion, you could quite literally be someone’s saving grace. I know the power of this firsthand as I was fortunate enough to be picked out of the darkness by  a handful of those close to me and the impact for me has been immeasurable – I will be eternally grateful to those people!

And, aside from myself , I too have witnessed those close to me experience tremendous hardship which has opened my eyes and heart to a greater level of compassion and empathy.

With that in mind, if someone acts out of character and treats you badly, instead of being quick to judge – which is the most common reaction, try and understand life from their shoes – what happened to this person to make them act this way? What battles have they faced to get them to this point?

Empathy and compassion are two of the most powerful emotions known to man and yet are such rare qualities in this day and age. If each of us make a conscious effort to exercise a little more of both, the impact would be considerable.

Empathy is about finding echoes of another person in yourself – Mohsin Hamid

Someone’s story may not be the same as yours, but doesn’t mean the pain is any different. Empathy is about finding that connection with someone to truly understand how they are feeling.

We are all humans at the end of the day and thrive on giving love and being loved. Life is too short to wake up with regrets, make time to show those around you, you care. You never know just how much it could change someone’s day.

Sending so much love and light to all reading this. And, my email is always open to anyone who wants to reach out.

 

The courage to be you

Isn’t it crazy that I considered not uploading this picture as I thought it was unflattering?  It really got me thinking, is this the kind of example I want to set for my daughter – being so self critical? Hell no!

I am a size 12 which latest research shows is the Australian AVERAGE – so why do I sometimes feel ashamed of my body? I have an hourglass figure and a bigger bust than most so naturally look a little top heavy but does all that justification really matter? No. Why do we as women find it so hard to be comfortable in our skin? Why are men exempt from this kind of judgement and scrutiny? I am not saying they deserve it, but why are we the only gender always under the spotlight.

We are so polluted as females with images of what we ought to look like – yet are these images a true representation of the mass population? I don’t think so. First being super skinny was all the craze and now it seems the bulkier big booty look is taking the lead. And now consequently, those on the lighter end of the scale are being bullied too – madness!

Why do we scrutinise ourselves or worse still why do we criticise each other as women when we are supposed to be in the same tribe?

Every single one of us is beautiful in our own way, whether it be a size 6 or a size 16, Kardashian booty or not. And believe it or not, each one of us is an inspiration to someone! There is someone out there looking up to us just the same way we are looking up to someone else.

Its time to stop self sabotaging and loving ourselves for exactly who we are and where we are right now! Because self love is the first step to progression and global acceptance.

Sure, if you want to change something about your lifestyle for health benefits, that’s totally fine – but do it for you and no-one else. By constantly comparing ourselves to others, we are robbing ourselves of true happiness. Forget who the world tells you to be and be who you are!

So, if someone hasn’t told you today or more importantly if you haven’t told yourself, you are beautiful! Don’t forget it.

Let’s top the negative self talk and instead teach and empower our daughters to love themselves just the way they are – because that’s really what we want for the future generation isn’t it?

What things to do you truly love about yourself? 

 

Your biggest critic

If there is anything I have learnt in my 30 years, it’s that we are often our own harshest critic.

For years, I was so self-conscious, lacked confidence in my professional ability, was anxious socially, always felt guilty for saying no (even if it’s what I wanted to do), beat myself up incredibly when I made a mistake and in general took too much on board of what people thought about me. Experience, mistakes and maturity have certainly changed me – and that is for the better!