Monday, 29 June 2015

Push thyself

I struggle with confidence, I like to do things perfect straight away, up front. Well this just doesn't happen in life and I've given up doing so many things throughout my life just because I couldn't get it right first time.

This is a trait I've been trying to challenge over the past 2 years and even more so this year as I'm sick of missing out on moments, lessons and achievements just because I'm not ‘perfect’. This weekend I had a real breakthrough moment, I was so proud of myself.

My lovely friend Lynda from Homelea Lass asked for volunteers to test out her draft crochet pattern of a lovely blanket she’s designed. I love crocheted things and it's a skill I would really like to possess. So this weekend past I decided to give it a go. I know some basic crochet stitches but I'm still very much a beginner.

Well the crocheting was a series of errors, undoing, redoing, undoing, redoing, missing stitches, misunderstanding instructions and still after 6 hours not getting it right and only ending up with 4 rows done completely wrong. But the best part was every time I made a mistake or had to start again, I just laughed – something I wouldn't have done last year. I kept saying to myself “you’re learning, you’re a beginner, each row redone it another row learnt”, and it was all true, I was learning, I am a beginner and each row was practice. One day I do hope to be at least half as good as Lynda but I have to remember Lynda was a beginner once too. 

We seem to do that, we forget that we have to start as a beginner before we can become a pro. We always want to skip the beginner part and be pro straight up. We struggle with the process of going from one to the other. The journey between those 2 points can be tough, annoying and long but they can also be fun as you push yourself to achieve something you've never done before. We can’t always excel first time (maybe the odd fluke), it all takes time, patience, practice and effort. In the end sheer determination will pay off.

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Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Visiting a memory... 8 years on

Let's travel back in time to the year 2007, it was early July and very cold. A 22 year old girl was being picked up from work by her boyfriend of 4.5 years.

When her boyfriend arrived at work, she found a single red rose on the passenger seat. Once she got in, she was advised they would be going a little afternoon road trip. Upon asking where the answer she received was "a surprise".

After driving for about an hour and a bit they arrived at Wentworth Falls in the lovely Blue Mountains region. Finding a park they both processed to follow a walking track that took them to an amazing view of the falls (hence the name Wentworth Falls).

Waiting until other onlookers had left the scene the boyfriend got down on one knee and proclaimed his love and ask the girl to marry him, which of course she said "YES".

Fast forward now 8 years and that boy and girl have been married for 7 years and are still very much in love, also if you haven't guessed already that 22 year old was me.

So why am I telling you this quaint little story, well last Thursday for the first time in 8 years we went back to that very spot where MJ proposed to me all those years ago. It's quite funny and strange to visit a place with such memory attached to it, like visiting a dream.

This time though we walked down to the top of falls and explored a few of the bush tracks. It was magical, I could almost hear the soundtrack of Lord of The Rings as we wandered through mist and speckled rain.

Memories are fascinating creatures, it's a blessing to keep them alive. What memories do you like to keep alive?

Photos by me

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Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Health & Wellbeing at The Wellness Show

Last week I visited the iconic Luna Park with a lovely friend of mine for The Wellness Show. It was a free show with some great speakers and wonderful stands all about health and wellbeing.

We heard from Therese Kerr, who talked about all the chemicals and toxins that are in our beauty and cosmetic products.

Oh my gosh talk about a mind explosion. I knew there were nasties in products but I didn't realise how many and how sneaking the industry is. Did you know that the cosmetic industry is self-regulated? Meaning that the safety of the chemicals in cosmetics are deemed safe by the people who create them. Meaning there is no independent testing to see whether or not these chemicals are in fact safe. Shocking news!! Plus you can buy the word organic and stick it on your product even if it’s not organic, so make sure you only use certified organic.

The one thing that I really took from Therese’s talk was if you don’t want chemicals on your body, stop putting them on there, find safer alternatives, also another point that struck me was “you are either moving away from or moving towards health – there is no in-between”.

Justin Robinson from the Geelong Grammar spoke about expressing gratitude.

Gratitude is a choice, you choose to be grateful, only you can make that choice no one else, it’s in your hands. Gratitude is not just a thought it’s an action, because when you think grateful you will then want to act out gratefully too, there are flow on effects. So take the time every day to find something, no matter how small to be grateful for.

Jenni Madison from Coconut Magic talked about as you might have guessed coconut oil.

She spoke about beauty being the by-product of being healthy and happy. Also the power of plant foods: foods that cleanse, foods that heal and foods that offer nutrition.

I always use olive oil for cooking but I'll be switching to coconut oil now, as did you know when olive oil is heated up it becomes a carcinogenic.

Coconut oil also helps balance blood sugar (which is good for my hypoglycaemia), stops sugar and carb cravings and is very powerful for digestion. So much goodness all in one oil, I'll have to start looking into this more – I know I'm a bit late to the game but better late than never.

Last speaker we listened to was Kristine Carlson talking about “Don’t sweat the small stuff”.

Kristine talked about the five principles of the mind.

1. The principle of thought – “What is the quality of your thinking?”

50% of our thoughts are negative and 80% of those thoughts are repeating every day.

2. Principle of moods – “How does my mood shape my day?”

Moods are like the weather, they go up and down.

3. Feelings

What would it be like to return to our natural state of mental health and wellbeing as quickly as children do?

Acknowledge your feelings and emotional state without getting ‘caught up’ in the story.

Feel to heal – pause.

4. The principle of separate realities – “How does my reality collide or cooperate with others?”

You are always coming at life from your own lens. The filter is made from my past, beliefs, valves etc.

5. Present Moment Living

Fear takes us out – Love brings us in.

You are only 50% engaged in what you do – wow that was a mind blower.

Happiness comes from perspective in life.

Hope you enjoyed what I learnt and the reading the notes that spoke to me the most. When the Wellness Show returns next year, I'll differently be there as there’s so much to learn in this world, fascinating stuff.

Photo taken by me

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Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Book Review - The Body Battle by Sheralyn Bucknell

Many people might not know this but I've struggled with a body battle for most of my life. It's really only been in the last 2 years I've become comfortable in my skin and (dare I say it) happy with myself.

The Body Battle deals with the cause behind the issue of why we struggle with body image and weight. It's not a physical thing like we all think it is, it is more spiritual and about how we view our value.

Sheralyn Bucknell is a pastor at C3 church in Oxford Falls. So yes this is a Christian book but don't let that stop you if you don't have a faith or a belief as the truths about how we see and value ourselves and our self worth will speak to every woman out there.

At the end of each chapter there are journal questions to answer which I found very insightful and helped me delve deeper into why I've struggled most of my life.

I was really captured by the idea that God would be interested in my health and weight issues. Everything we do and experience in life is connected to our beliefs and spirituality, so why would something as big and powerful as our body be any different. We can be free from this war and the freedom is through God.

This book has really helped me connect with God in a very different way than ever before and I'm so grateful to have found this great resource. I hope it can help you too.

The Body Battle is available online at either Word or Koorong.

This is not a sponsored review I just really liked the book and wanted to share my thoughts with you.

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Friday, 5 June 2015

7 Apps To Make You Smile

Smart phones have been getting a bit of a bad wrap lately about how they can diminish happiness, but like all things in life it depends on how you use them. 

Smart phones can actually help contribute to your happiness, so I wanted to share my favourite 7 apps that help contribute to my happiness.

1. Duolingo - Learn Languages for Free

There's nothing more happiness worthy than teaching yourself something new. Also by teaching yourself a new language, you open yourself up to literately a whole new world. 

Plus added bonus this app is free - woo hoo!!!! 

Everyone knows Instagram (you can follow me here). I love Instagram as it's such a positive social media platform, full of amazing pictures and really inspirational people and businesses. 

This is also a free app, so even better. 

This is a great app to track your mood everyday, it provides a helpful graph to show you your recent daily mood patterns. 

I've found by looking back over the past weeks I can see what days were better than others and track what affects my mood. 

This app only costs $1.29, bargain. 

I love yoga and I find it really helps me to keep centred and to relax. Yoga Studio has 65 ready-made yoga & meditation classes for all levels from beginner to advanced. 

So now you can do yoga anyway and everywhere. 

This app does cost $4.99 but it's well worth the investment. 

I love Chantelle from Fat Mum Slim, she is awesome and her Photo A Day challenge was created to make you stop and notice the world around you, which can help you with happiness. 

This is a great app that can be used in conjunction with Instagram, where you can use filters on your photos, add sayings and clipart as well. 

This app costs $2.49. 

Afterlight is another great photo editing app that is quick and straight forward to use. 

Full of wonderful filters and frames, you'll have so much fun using it. 

This app costs $1.29

Flow Free is a simple yet addictive puzzle game, it's a real strategy game. 

Plus it's a fast game, so you can play it when you have to wait somewhere for 5 minutes. 

Also as the name suggests it's FREE!!!!

Bonus App!!!  

I'm a little bit of rebel so I wanted to share just one more app that I find makes me happy. 

I'm a huge Simpsons fan (more so the good old classic Simpsons) and this app has bought me so much joy as I get to build my very on Springfield - woo hoo!!!

Plus the app is free, yes there are in game purchases but you don't have to buy them to play the game, I've been playing for about 3 years now and I think I've spent maybe $5 on the game all up and only cause I really wanted to own the Duff Brewery and get Otto the bus driver. 

Let me know if there are any apps you use that help contribute to your happiness? 

This post isn't sponsored or anything I just wanted to share my favourite apps that put a smile on my face. 

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Monday, 1 June 2015

Enjoy the process

How often do we start a project and get so excited about the end product that we just can’t wait to finish and the project takes longer than we thought and we start to not enjoy the making? Or we just rush through so we can get the project done and move onto the next one?

I love being creative and creating wonderful things but annoyingly I get so caught up in the end product and if I don’t get fast results I lose interest. I’ve got a cross-stitch I’ve been doing for 6 years cause of this annoying habit.

I’m working on enjoying the process of making instead of rushing to the finish line, slowing down my thought pattern to just focus on each step at a time. Savouring the moment of each stitch, each thread, each square, feeling the material between my fingers or the wool in my hand. Being in the moment, instead of the future. Being fully present in what I am making, engaging all the senses. Thinking only about the current step and catching myself when I stray too far forward.

It’s not just in creative endeavours you can enjoy the process, you can enjoy the drive, the packing for holidays, the folding of clothes, smelling the shampoo while you wash your hair, walking to the shops. It’s all about being present in each moment and savouring what’s going on around you not thinking ahead too much.

Do you enjoy the process? Are you present in the moment? If so how do you do it, what do you do to savour the moment?

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