What are my goals?

Hey There Lovely,

It’s been a while since I’ve shared anything here but today felt like a good day to do share some thoughts. I’ve got a little story to tell you about myself and my inner critic/inner mean girl/ego or whatever you want to call it, for the sake of this story I’m going to call my inner mean girl, Janice, (sorry any Janice’s out there, I don’t think you’re anything like my inner mean girl). So anyway this story all started when I saw my Chiro a few months back and he asked me ‘Caitlin, what are your goals?’.

I froze up, what were my goals? All I could think of was the goal to read 40 books this year but I didn’t think that’s what he was implying at. He was talking big goal, like start a multi million dollar ground breaking company type of goal. Ok, maybe he wasn’t meaning that but that’s how Janice interpreted it anyway.

But what are my goals?

The question left me in a bit of a meltdown.

What are my goals? What are my goals? What are my goals?

That one question lead to other questions.

What am I doing with my life?

What’s my ‘purpose’?

How am I making a difference in the world?

Ahh so many questions and I don’t know the answers.

So back to my goals, I have a goal to read 40 books this year but is that connecting with my purpose or making a difference in the world? Janice was saying definitely not. What about some of the other things on my list then? Learn french, finish my diploma in Management, make candles, spend a weekend with my sisters, fly on a plane somewhere.

Janice kept denying all of these as proper goals. ‘She’, Janice/Inner mean girl thought that none of these goals were right. They weren’t big enough, or they weren’t going to help me live my ‘purpose’, or make a difference, or earn me money. She also thought I’d probably fail at any goals anyway. Holy moly is Janice a tough one.

My rather immature response to Janice and her tough ruling was to do nothing. Just to stop, to not read any books, stop making things, and not do anything that I enjoyed, I just watched lots of Netflix and Youtube. Exciting right? Not really. I was also letting Janice win in her mission to keep me ‘safe’.

The less I seemed to ‘do’ the more I felt like Janice was stomping her feet and going “Ok Caitlin hurry up, what are your goals? What are you doing? You’re not making the most of life.” Janice can be really confusing, she doesn’t want me doing something incase I fail or stuff up but she also thinks I should be doing something because that’s what other people are doing. If I saw someone on Instagram or read about a person in a magazine who was all about living their life on purpose, making the most out of each day, sharing their gift with the world Janice would start comparing me to them. She can be so full of attitude and contradicting at times.

So this last week or so I basically got tired of Janice’s BS (which is really my own BS). I decided it was time to put a stop to Janice ruling the show and to say:

“Hey Janice, welcome I know I can’t make you leave but please go chill and let me do my thing, OK?”

With Janice taking a back seat I have been able to get clear on a few things.

Number 1: I decided to embrace where I am on my journey at the moment. To live this chapter to the fullest.

Number 2: I decided to turn back to what I value the most which is Joy. So while reading 40 books, making candles and learning french may not be earth shattering goals they do bring me so much joy. For now I’m going to make joy my goal.

Number 3: As cliche as it sounds I’m going to listen to my heart a bit more and get Janice to take a backseat. If my heart says create or explore I’m going to find ways to do that.

Number 4: Feeling like I need to “Find a purpose” and “Make a difference” has got me in a bit of a rut. I’m realising how I contribute to the world can be entirely different to how someone else contributes, which is more than ok. Me doing me and you doing you is so important. I’m also realising there’s no need to discount what I’m already doing, just showing up as me.

This has been quite a rambly post and I’ve changed it so many times while writing it but I think that’s life, make it up as you go along and for me find the joy in it all.

I’ll leave you with some final thoughts.

What are your highest values? Are they connection, creativity, community, kindness, leading, love, peace?

Whatever your values may be make a goal to do one little thing each day that lets you connect with that value in any form.

If you were to give this chapter of your life a name right now what would you call it?

Step back from your day to day and get an overview of your journey at the moment. You may not know how this chapter may finish but know that it’s an important one in this big adventure of life.

How has someone made a difference in your life recently, big or small?

Reflecting on how someone else has contributed to your life may help you realise how you’re contributing to others.

And lastly know that you’re not alone in feeling uncertain, in having a ‘Janice’ run the show, in getting stuck with what you should be doing in life. I’m in the same boat just trying to make sense of it all too.

Lots of love

Caitlin xx

 

Embrace

Last week I went to a showing of the movie/documentary Embrace and then followed it up by going to a live talk by the creator behind the body image movement. These two events bought up so many thoughts, ideas and realisations for me that it has taken some time to get them all down and be able to share them with you and heads up this is a lengthy post.

Embrace is a beautiful, powerful, inspiring documentary with a big message, Embrace your body and don’t waste any more time hating your body. It all began when Taryn Brumfitt shared a before and after photo of herself, before was her competing in a body building competition after was herself as herself and the photo created some big conversations about body image. You can watch the little trailer here.

My Story

To start with I want to talk about my journey and thoughts around body image. I have a distinct memory of being about 9 or 10 standing near a gate with my friend while our mothers were talking. I think my friend may of bought the topic up and it went something like ‘yeah I think I’d like to loose a little bit of weight around my thighs’ I replied with something like “yeah me too and around my tummy”. Our mums must of overheard us at that point and said we shouldn’t be thinking about things like that. And they were right, we really shouldn’t of been thinking about things like that we were so young. I have another memory from when I was even younger of being in a school race and hearing a spectator, who happened to be another student only a couple of years older than me, say look at her little tummy moving. To say that comment didn’t impact on my life and relationship with my body in some way would be a lie. While the effect of the comment wasn’t huge or dramatic it did pop up every so often as the voice of my inner mean girl and critic and it made me a little hesitant about clothes or activities sometimes.

Somewhere along the line, and I’m not sure when, but I started caring a little less about how my body looked and for the most part I was and am comfortable in my own skin. Growing up I was introduced to Louise Hay and the idea of loving yourself and I think that’s what did it for me. I no longer cared as much about what the other students at school thought or said because I liked myself and I didn’t have to be any different just because they thought so. I also learnt that I am so much more than how I look and that it’s what on the inside that matters. In more recent years since I finished school I have been on my own journey of self love and acceptance with myself as a person and with my body. I still have moments of self doubt, and moments where I’ve thought to myself huh I look kinda yuck but I don’t let myself dwell on it.

These days majority of the time I can look in the mirror and smile back at myself and think hey yup I’ve got a pimple the size of a blueberry on my face but damn look at those leg muscles. I’ve become grateful for my body as well for all it does for me, for allowing me to explore, play and live life and for all the little things it does without me even thinking about it. I’m also grateful for being in tune with my body and being able to listen to it when it says, rest, more water, little less chocolate today, lets dance. My relationship with my body these days is to make decisions from moment to moment, to find the things that make me feel good and to create balance.

Discovering Embrace

I remember watching the project video for Embrace before it became an actual film, Taryn asked ladies to give a word or two to describe their bodies. At that point in time I had known that there were other woman who maybe didn’t like their bodies and that the media was a contribution to that but I didn’t understand just how many people hated their bodies or how much. It really hit me hearing so many woman say how disgusting their bodies were when all I kept thinking was but you’re beautiful and unique. I remember the last lady replying her body was soft and luscious and that made me smile. I thought heck yeah, I can call my body soft and luscious too. Every body is different and yet everybody is the same in that they are our homes, they do so much for us every minute of every day with out us even thinking about it. Our bodies know how to breathe and move and digest food. They really are amazing machines and why would you hate something that does so much for us. We are grateful for our cars that get us from A to B and yet our bodies do the same and we don’t really think about that.

Seeing Embrace

When I heard that Embrace had become a movie and that it was coming to my city I knew I had to see it. The first time it was on I didn’t get to go but the second time around I committed to seeing it. I was in tears before the movie even started when I heard the beautiful lady, Jess, who organised the event speak and share her story. I absolutely loved the film, I walked out in tears but also with so much love and joy in my heart. I don’t want to give to much away but thought I would share a couple of my thoughts from the screening:

  • You are perfect just the way you are, don’t spend another minute hating yourself.
  • Woman are freaking amazing and when we connect we can create a movement
  • Be gentle with yourself and be gentle with one another
  • Cherish, your body, your life, each other

Hearing Taryn Speak

Walking out of the movie screening I knew I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to hear Taryn speak, I bought my ticket as soon as I got home. Taryn’s presentation was about Embracing our bodies and also about sharing our voice and message with the world. Some little thoughts I took away from the event were:

  • Embrace that things happen
  • Live your life on your terms
  • Practice a little kindness
  • Tap into gratitude
  • Have a laugh
  • Do things on your terms
  • Move for pleasure not punishment
  • Do things that make you feel alive

Towards the end of Taryn’s presentation she asked we turn to the person next to us and share how we are going to share our voice with the world and what little step we are going to take to continue our journeys of embracing and loving ourselves. By some coincidence I ended up sitting next Jess, the lady who organised the event. I turned to Jess and burst into tears, I was feeling all the emotions but we had a beautiful chat. In that moment I did make a little commitment to myself to share my story (which is this post) and to continue sharing my stories here on my blog, even if it’s just for myself, and to continue to embrace my perfectly imperfect, beautiful and amazing body now and into the future. I have embraced.

Beauty in this moment

I read a blog post many years ago with a key idea that has stuck with me. The post was called The 5 Most Beautiful Things Project, which you can read here. The idea was to stop every hour or so and take note of the 5 most beautiful things around you in that moment. Over the years I have done this little activity many times, it is something I have come back to it often when things are feeling a little funky or I need to slow down for a moment. While I was working more of an office type job a few years ago there would be times when things would be feeling not so great. In those moments I would stop, take out a pen and scrap of paper and write down the 5 most beautiful things in that moment. Even on days where I thought everything sucked I managed to write down 5 little things. The things on the list were simple like having a bottle of cold water beside me, or the single conversation with a customer that had made me smile that day. When I had finished my little list I would then tuck it under my mouse pad, by just having it there it would help remind me that maybe things didn’t suck so bad after all. I have written these little lists many times since including on my overseas adventures to help bring myself back to the moment and so I can fully appreciate where I am.

These days I don’t often have pen and paper on me when I’m at work but I still often stop to appreciate the little things and the beauty of life around me. Many times I have stood looking at a sunset or moonrise or smiled at the little kid watching as we prepare his meal. I may only stand there for the length of one breath but it’s a moment where I am consciously present and admiring the beauty around me, it also brings me from my sometimes crazy head and thoughts into my heart.

The reason why I’m sharing these little stories is because I recently did a Character Strengths quiz and my top character strength was appreciation of beauty and excellence. Which surprised me a little as I had never thought of being able to see beauty around me as a strength. To me it’s a little activity that allows the beauty of life to not go unnoticed. So here’s my challenge to you: take 5mins or even 10-30 seconds right now to pause and appreciate the beauty and simple things around. By doing this you can lift your mood, help to slow you down and bring you back to the present moment. It can also help you to see another side to things which previously you may of considered sucky. I’m definitely not a scientist or expert so I have no scientific evidence or research to back me up I’m just speaking and sharing from experience. I want to share this because I really believe that with a little practice and mindfullness this activity can do wonders, it can really help to make your day happy.

To finish off I want to share with you the 5 most beautiful things for me right now, 10am 20/2/17:

  • the sunflowers given to me as a gift
  • the gentle breeze of the fan on this warm day
  • a day ahead without any plans or appointments
  • sitting here allowing words to flow onto my screen
  • time with my family

Over to you now, what are the five most beautiful things for you in this moment? Extra points for writing it down, they are lovely lists to look back on. Maybe leave a little comment below.

Lots of Love

Caitlin xx

Hey 2017

Hey There,

I know we are already three weeks into this year and I’m only just writing a blog post now but that’s okay, today is still a beautiful day of 2017, do I need a better reason?

Before I dive into my thoughts on 2017 I want to share a little of my reflections on how 2016 unfolded. Looking back over 2016 the biggest theme for me was Gentle, learning to be gentle with myself. When I did first begin looking back over the year all I felt I had achieved was lots of work with a few trips to see my family (who live at the beach) in between. I didn’t feel as though I had achieved much or even done much but when I started really thinking about the events of the year and how it unfolded I really had. The trick was to release the idea my year and basically how I live my life had to look a certain way. Truth be told I really, really liked how 2016 played out for me. Yes it was a year with full time work but work itself bought about so many opportunities for growth and learning as well as joy, laughs and a few tears. In between work I travelled to New Zealand, spent time with family and friends, mastered a cookie recipe, bought a new laptop, created, played, and lived life. So thank you 2016, you really were a pretty sweet year.

Now, on to 2017. In the lead up to the new year I knew I wanted to choose a guiding word for the year but nothing had really come to me. On New Years Day my beautiful aunt commented on an Instagram picture how the universal theme for the year was cherish, cherish yourself and the rest will follow. That really connected with me. In the tail end of 2016 there were a couple of times where things were a bit of a struggle mostly because I was run down due to not looking after myself first. I feel like 2017 is a time for change, I am realising how important it is for me to cherish myself and to prioritise this and then to share and shine my light next. I also want to cherish each day, friends, family and the little things in between, cliche I know but it sits right.

And if I needed any more confirmation on the importance of looking after myself first I received it during my recent chiro session. My chiropractors are all really great people and the guy I saw this week asked me what do I do for myself, we were talking about stress, I replied not really enough. He reminded me just how important it is for me to look after myself and do something for me every day, even if it’s just five minutes, we need recharging. So for me 2017 is a year of cherishing. (You can read more about the year of cherishing here.)

There’s a few other themes and ideas I’m feeling into for this new year. I have been inspired by my beautiful Emma Kate Co ‘Write your own adventure 2017’ planner to well write my own story, to live life on my terms and embrace all of it, the real, the messy, the joy and everything in between. (~Emma Kate Co).

I was also inspired by a video clip that I came across late one night last year, it left me in tears.

 

This song and video really hit home for me. How often do we stay in our same routine and comfort zone? I know over the years I have stepped out of my comfort zone and surprised myself big time, (6months solo travel in Canada when I was 20), but surprising yourself doesn’t have to be doing something big like jumping out of a plane, it can really just be facing a fear, making a choice that’s important to you, or trying something new even if it’s just a food.

Tying in with the them of surprising yourself is adventure. Adventure is a big thing for me, I even wrote a post about Little Adventures last year and how we can bring a little adventure into our everyday. I didn’t end up fully following through on the commitment I made in that post to plan an adventure for every week but I want make a slightly more flexible commitment now. I want to add adventure to the year wherever, however and whenever I can, whatever that may be.

So there you go, a year of cherishing and adventure sounds pretty good to me. I have know idea what this year will bring for me but I’m ready. What about yourself, have you chosen a guiding word or theme? How can you surprise yourself or include a bit more adventure in your days?

Here’s to a beautiful 2017 and may you cherish yourself and your days be filled with love, joy, health and abundance.

Lots of Love

Caitlin xx

Little Adventures

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That really is one of my favourite quotes. Life is one big adventure comprising of all the little adventures and chapters in between. Adventure can be an actual adventure such as travelling overseas or to another country or it’s the little things like moving out for the first time, a new job, exploring a new coffee shop, opening yourself up to new experience, people and places.

I’ve been on a few big overseas adventures and somewhere in the middle of my last adventure I realised some of the things that keep drawing me to travel, one being breaking the repetition of the everyday. I also love to lose myself in new things and experiences, to meet new people and also to get to know myself better. I travel and adventure to explore life and what it has to offer, to step out of my comfort zone where things are new and different, while I was on this trip all of this was true. But then the trip ended and I came back to ‘reality’, everything was familiar and comfortable again and I let the day to day patterns take over

I’m familiar with this change between adventures and day to day life which is why during my last trip I also began to realise that maybe adventures don’t have to be limited to overseas travel. Maybe I can bring adventure to every week or day. So during that trip I began writing a list, a list of big and little adventures and activities, a list of mini adventures to make it feel like I’m travelling without actually going overseas. When I came home I forgot all about that list until the other day when my feet were itching so badly to travel again, to explore somewhere new. Realistically at the moment overseas isn’t quite possible which is ok because in a large way it’s the feelings of travel and adventure I’m chasing.

Which brings me back to that list I wrote. Why do we wait for adventure? Why do we think of adventure as a month long trip overseas? Why can’t we explore new places in our own home town? Why don’t we find ways at home to open our senses and step out of our comfort zones? Don’t get me wrong making a big overseas trip is pretty epic but there are so many other ways we can include a bit of adventure in our everyday.

From today I’m vowing to include a little or big adventure into each week and I’ll keep myself accountable over on Instagram. For me that might be as simple as spending a few hours exploring a part of my city I haven’t before. Maybe trying a new café or restaurant. Go indoor rock climbing with a friend (who’s up to join me?), go to a museum, spend an hour taking pretty photos. Go on a day trip or maybe spend a night somewhere, chat to strangers, be a tourist in my own backyard. Do some of the things I would do if I were travelling. I want to do these things to make the weeks count, break the everyday pattern and to enjoy all there is to experience and maybe calm the travel bug for now. It is so possible to have mini adventures and they don’t have to involve a lot of time or money just a little imagination and a sense of adventure.

adventure

The book (and movie) ‘Me Before You’ comes to mind, and if you haven’t read the book or seen the movie yet you really need to! I dog eared so many pages because of their beautiful quotes. One of my favourites though is
“You only get one life. It’s actually your duty to live it as fully as possible.”
I know it’s a super cliché one but I think it’s pretty perfect. I really want to make an effort to bring adventure into my life in big or small ways and that starts now after all Life is One Big Adventure.

A Happy, Sweet Day

  
Yesterday I had such a beautiful, happy, sweet day. It was so lovely that I wanted to write about it, for everyone to read and also for my future self. I started the day by pulling a card from Gabby Bernsteins’ deck Miricales Now. I set the intention to pull a card with a guiding theme for the day and the card I pulled was ‘I make time to recharge my battery. The world needs my energetic light.’ So beautiful and fitting, it was my day off and it’s been a month of learning and growing and moments that were a little sucky. The weather has also been cold, grey and rainy and I felt I hadn’t properly seen the sun for quite a while, I know it’s winter but I need a bit of sunshine to help fuel me sometimes. 
Over the course of the day there were 23 things (plenty of other little things) that made me happy:

  1. waking up to see blue skies
  2. making myself pancakes for breakfast
  3. chiropractic appointments
  4. being the only one in the park
  5. being in the park on a beautiful day
  6. wearing sandals and a t-shirt
  7. reading a good book in the sunshine
  8. working on a course that lights me up
  9. lunch with my nana in an outside cafe
  10. having dessert
  11. fresh juice
  12. kookaburras laughing
  13. chats with my mum
  14. chilling in my room
  15. eating a homemade muffin
  16. walking in a beautiful park
  17. reading under a jacaranda tree
  18. listening to Hamish and Andy on the radio
  19. having leftovers for dinner
  20. 23′ at 5pm in winter
  21. chats with a beautiful friend/cousin
  22. watching a trashy soap and eating chocolate
  23. going to bed with fluffy socks

 

  
You see I wanted to write about this because all of the things I’ve written on the list made me happy but they didn’t require a lot of effort or money, they we’re such simple joys that one by one recharged my batteries and filled my cup just a little more. The weather played a big part, blue skies and 23′ at 5pm, I’m lucky to live in Australia where this is a day in the middle of winter. 

One of my favourite movies is ‘About Time’, I’ve written about it before and if you haven’t seen it watch it now. (Possible spoiler alert) The quote that always gets me is: (PS he’s a time traveller)

“Tim: And so he told me his secret formula for happiness. Part one of the two part plan was that I should just get on with ordinary life, living it day by day, like anyone else.

But then came part two of Dad’s plan. He told me to live every day again almost exactly the same. The first time with all the tensions and worries that stop us noticing how sweet the world can be, but the second time noticing.

How beautiful! Yesterday was all about a simple mindset shift, I can’t travel in time and take all the suckiness out but I can choose to see how sweet the world can be and take the time to relish in the simple joys that make me happy with the day I’ve got. 

Future Caitlin remember this: when things are a little sucky and you’re struggling to remain positive remember you only live this day once, the not so great times will pass but make sure you do 1, 2 or 23 little things that help remind you how sweet the world can be. Take the time to do what makes you happy and that recharges your batteries, you can’t go running around on empty. 

So what about you? Are you letting the tensions, worries and weather stop you from appreciating how sweet the world can be. What simple joys fuel you and light you up? How can you make today happy? 

Forgetting to Play – Little Thoughts Part 1

  
 

What did I like to do when I was younger? Where would I loose time?

I’d read or scrapbook in my early teens. But going back even younger I’d play games where I used my imagination and creativity.

I’d play with my dolls for hours, be their teacher, take them on holidays, throw them parties.

I’d play with my barbies and polly pockets. Living out intricate stories where the dolls would go to school or run shops and have sleep overs.

I’d play with my brother with lego. Building big lego worlds for a family who ran a day care centre and went on holidays in a big lego truck.

I’d play with paper and pens. Writing books and stories.

I’d play with my friends and siblings. Being the teacher for bike school, fairy school, scooter school, actual school.

I’d play on my own. Imagining a job for myself where I was the host of a craft show, a secretary for events offices.

I’d play with design. Designing the interior floor layouts of houses, classrooms, fairy shops and craft shops then play out a story in those scenes.

I’d play with young children. Filming our own TV show, planning school games with them, taking them on little adventures.

I’d play with scrapbooking. Loosing myself for hours in the world of paper, photos and creating.

I’d play with my laptop. Creating videos and designing little inspiational pictures.

When I was younger I’d play. I’m not saying I’m old now but I do think that maybe I’ve forgotten the act of play. Of loosing yourself in your own imagination and just trusting your creative process. Not second guessing everything.

Back then I didn’t fear not being creative. Dreaming up worlds and ideas and making plans was fun not scary. In the imaginative games we were in control of how everything happened. There was no fear.

But now I don’t play as much. I second guess all the time if I’m really creative. The plans and ideas I dream up don’t seem like good ideas or justifiable. I let fear take over and let it keep saying ‘What if?’. But it’s not what if something magical happens it’s what if something bad happens.

Sometimes I get in the flow things start happening and I start creating and dreaming and getting carried along a beautiful ride and then all it takes is a pause. A pause in the thoughts and the moment where a single fleating thought or feeling can pass and be gone but in it’s path leaves the thoughts of the mean girl again. The thoughts that say I’m not left handed so I can’t be creative, I’m not trained properly, my art doesn’t look like others I work in hospitality, you’re not a writer. What are you doing? You’re not creative? Things might go wrong.

I read a book the other day by a beautiful Irish author. The last paragraph of the book was a quote about thoughts and moments. How thoughts are fleeting and a lot can happen in a moment, it was beautiful and perfect.

I feel as though I’m reaching a point where I want to play again. I want to create and I want to let go of those what if’s and doubts because playing and creating is what lights me up and fuels my passions.

How do I plan on doing this? I don’t know, well I don’t know logically. But if I pause and allow myself to feel what I need to be doing I know it’s just to release all inhabitions and do it. Let myself explore and create with child like wonder, play and allow the magic to happen. 

I need to remember again that I’m a beautiful being with a light that can’t be dimmed and a love for play and creating, dreaming and imagining, wherever and whatever that takes me. I find joy in the little things that make me happy and that in turn helps the world.

I feel there’s more to this story, how teaching/leading seems to be a common theme, the need to create, and how I sometimes forget to do my own thing instead of what everyone else is doing, little stories that I feel like sharing.

I think I stopped playing as much somewhere along the way which has changed how I think about creating. Too much listening to what others have to say. Too much observing what others do and what they create and how they live life. That’s their story and I have to live mine. There’s freedom in that.

I am free to play and create.

Much love

Caitlin

xoxo

PS Just after I presse publish on this I saw the most fitting quote shared on Instagram by Susana Frioni “It’s not who you are that holds you back. It’s who you think you’re not.”

A little love for Ireland

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Happy St Patrick’s Day. I have to admit I have a little thing for Ireland and the Irish. I’d always been a little curious about Ireland then May last year (2015) I spent four beautiful weeks exploring the gorgeous Emerald Isle and it’s fair enough to say I’m a little in love. I wanted to share a little collection of Irish wisdom, thoughts and inspiration and he little things I love about Ireland in celebration of St Patrick’s day.

Irish Sayings and Words

My name is Irish, Caitlin meaning Pure.

One of my favourite Irish sayings (of which there’s many)
‘A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything.’
Oh how I agree with that. I had a couple of big days last week which resulted in me feeling rather run down, and not in the best frame of mind before I went to sleep. I knew I had to do something about this, if I went to bed grumpy I was most likely going to wake up grumpy. So late at night I found some videos (of an Irish Comedian) that actually made me laugh out loud and have a really good chuckle. And you know what? I went to bed feeling a lot happier and had a great sleep and woke up feeling great.

‘Thanks a million’, was something I heard quite a bit while exploring Ireland, to me it’s such a beautiful thing to say (the Irish accent helps). To me it’s a little reminder to be grateful for the little and big things in your life and to express gratitude to the people in your life.

The Irish are great at having some Craic (pronounced crack), good old fun. I’m not much of a pub or club person but I did venture into a couple of pubs in Ireland that were full of people having a great time with good food, good drink and great music. So remember to have some fun, enjoy life.

 

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Leprechauns, Fairies and Irish Folk Lore

In Dublin I was so excited to visit a leprechaun museum. We were told fairy tales and Irish folk lore, got in touch with our inner child and allowed ourselves to believe in magic. On many of my little tours we were told about Irish Folk lore, the fairy people and the mischievous leprechauns. I was definitely reminded to stay in touch with my inner child and remember to believe in magic.

Irish Authors

I’ve got to say there’s something about a good novel written by an Irish Author. At the moment I’m loving Cecelia Ahern’s novels (the author of PS I Love You). Her books have left me wanting to visit Dublin and Ireland again and feeling more than a little inspired.

“And then one good thing happened that day, the first good thing, the only good thing, but sometimes you only ever need one good thing.”
― Cecelia Ahern, One Hundred Names

“Every single ordinary person has an extraordinary story.”
― Cecelia Ahern, One Hundred Names

“Life is a series of moments and moments are always changing, just like thoughts, negative and positive. And though it may be human nature to dwell, like many natural things, it’s senseless. Senseless to allow a single thought to inhabit a mind because thoughts are like guests or fair-weathered friends. As soon as they arrive they can leave, and even the ones that take a long time to emerge fully can disappear in an instant. Moments are precious, sometimes they linger and other times they’re fleeting and yet so much could be done in them; you can change a mind, you could save a life, you could even fall in love.”
– Cecelia Ahern, How to Fall in Love

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Good Tunes

It’s fair to say Ireland has their fair share of good music. I’ve always loved The Chorrs, Ronan Keating, Hozier and even U2’s song Beautiful Day.


So why not don some green, put on some Irish inspired music and have some Craic. Fall in love with a good novel and dream of an Emerald Isle…

Gentle Days with Less Busy

  
Last week I was visiting my family and one particular day myself and my youngest sister were having a rather ‘Lazy’ day. It was rainy and we were watching episodes of our favourite childhood show back to back while playing on our laptops designing and pinteresting away. At one point I thought I should be doing something else, I need to be doing something, going places, ticking things off a list (which I didn’t have). I was then  scrolling through Instagram and saw a quote “Does it get much better than this?”. That made me stop. Yeah I could have been playing at the beach, traveling, going to coffee or some other extravagant activity but I wasn’t and for where I was right then, with the company and what we were doing I was in my absolute element and it felt like it couldn’t get much better than that.

The same has happened the last two days for me, I’ve scored three days off in a row (which for me only happens occasionally) with nothing specific planned. I’ve just been taking each moment as it comes and at one point I caught myself thinking again shouldn’t I be doing something more? Shouldn’t I be making a big list of things to be done. When I get honest with myself though and pushed that mean girl thought aside I realise there’s actually nothing else I’d rather be doing in this moment. That I’m quite happy reading a little, baking, designing pretty things.

This has had me thinking about expectations, FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), not being present, feeling guilt over being ‘lazy’ and striving for busy. I’ve been placing expectations on myself that I need to constantly be busy, doing something, working on something, going somewhere. I also don’t want to miss out on things I think I should be doing. I feel that regardless of the fact I work a 40 hour week and often have days off with multiple appointments etc on I still feel lazy if I’m not ticking jobs off a list. All this keeps me from being in the present moment and stops me from enjoying beautiful gentle days doing the little things I love. Less is sometimes more.

So next time I feel myself falling into this pattern again I’m going to stop and ask

Am I wearing busy as a badge? 

How can I embrace the gentle days and feel a little more present?

How can I do less but with more focus?

Am I fully appreciating the company of another beautiful soul?

Am I taking time to do the little things that make me happy?

Have I stopped to stare at the sky for a while?

Have I savored my beautiful meal?

Have I done something to fill my cup up?

I’ll also remind myslef it’s ok if I don’t do big tasks and things today but instead did lots of little gentle things adding up to a lovely day.

Dance with life

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The first few beats came on, I turned to my sisters and without a word we were up dancing the macereana, when the song plays, you dance. We were at a concert in a stadium full of thousands of people and in that moment everyone stood up and danced. Full on hip shaking and in the groove dancing. When the song ended and we were all smiling and laughing I thought, this is awesome.

One of my guiding words for 2016 is dance. It’s not a word I would have typically picked but it seemed to pick me. It just kept coming to me and seemed fitting. The definition of dance is: dɑːns/verb: dance; 1.move rhythmically to music, typically following a set sequence of steps. To me dance can also be a way of going about your day to day life.

To me dance is all about dancing with the rhythm of life.

Dancing to the beat of your own drum (doing what lights you up and being authentic).

Going with the flow of life, dancing with the moment.

Dancing with your desires.

Feeling joyful, playful, womanly and happy.

Less resistance more flow.

Owing your body and moves.

Putting aside self doubt and dancing like no ones watching.

Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow.

Practice, dedication and hard work.

Learning as you go.

Living a life that causes your soul to dance inside your body.

Embracing the moment (if the music good you dance).

‘Opportunity dances with those already on the dance floor.’ ~H. Jackson Brown

Dancing to feel alive and vibrant.

Dancing as a way to lovingly move your body and lift you spirits

Dance to me is such a beautiful word to describe a way of life.

I am by no means a professional dancer or ever plan on being one, but there’s just something about the act and idea of dancing that I love. There have been times when I have participated in dancing. For eight years I did highland dancing which I was never that amazing at but I loved the dedication to it, the practice, feeling the beat of the music. I also did line dancing for two years with a couple of school friends and a group of ladies twice our ages. We did it for the friendship, the laughs and again loosing ourselves in the rhythm of the dance. I will never pass on a chance to dance with my two beautiful sisters, when the music plays we dance and we will dance til we are glowing and laughing. We’ve danced together in a park where the music was playing just loud enough for us to hear and people were walking past. There have been countless dance parties in our lounge room and we can dance for hours with wii dance. I won’t lie I also dance around my bedroom from time to time and was more than a little hooked on the 2015 season of American Dancing with The Stars with Bindi Irwin and Derek Hough, I’ve even read Derek Hough’s book Taking the Lead, even if you aren’t a dancer it is an amazing book.

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To really live out my word of 2016 I’ve started something I was a bit hesitant about, I’ve started going to Zumba classes. The entire first class I felt so uncoordinated and pretty out of my comfort zone but I smiled the whole time. I’ve been to three classes so far and I’m feeling more in rythym each time. There was the whole ‘I don’t want anyone to watch me dance’ thoughts that first lesson but quickly realised no body really cares, they are all to busy watching the instructor and there’s no mistakes just accidental solos.

So for me in 2016 I’m going to go about my days as if each day was a dance, embrace it fully, be in the moment, and feel the joy. I’m going to remind myself that things take practice and time. The sometimes I lead and sometimes I follow. And of course I will dance, show up to Zumba to lovingly move my body and throw dance parties in my lounge room. Because…

“Life is a dance, but it’s much more than mastering the steps. It’s pushing your boundaries, shattering your limits, and exploding in a breathtaking burst of life” – Derek Hough

So how are you going to dance today?