Sunday, September 13, 2009
Monday, September 7, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
A couple of things that I have noticed over the last few days are:
1. How debilitating fear of the unknown is. Today I was unable to focus on anything. I literally was in limbo until I heard what the Dr said. As the appointment time arrived and went I found myself pacing around my house and then minutes later climbing my fence to cut a large branch off my neighbour’s tree that blocks my sun, (work that one out?) I needed to hear the information I was dreading yet at the same time yearning to hear!
2. The wonderful and abundant support from my new network of school friends. I received hugs, emails, texts and many offers of help. It warmed my heart and made me feel good in what has been a terrible couple of days. It surprised and humbled me. I am so pleased to be apart of such a loving and supportive school community.
Another two days. Waiting.....
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
I have been feeling really flat the last few days. Lucy has a bad night time cough and I am averaging around 4 hours sleep a night. She is fine during the day and is as perky as normal! I am not sure how kids do this. They have the ability to feel “great” no matter how little quality sleep they get (well mine does anyway). Currently as I sit at work (obviously not doing any) she is at home dressed ready for school outside (it’s 7.30am and 12 degrees) on the play equipment. Rearing to go!
I am sitting at my computer in the office waiting for my motivation and energy to kick in!
After feeling so energized to go back to study and find work that I am passionate about I feel stuck already. With worries about redundancies at work and my father having another health scare I am now questioning my decision to go back to study. If I did go back and undertake a counseling course – would I really be able to find a part time job that could support my daughter and I?
I know money doesn’t necessarily make you “happy”, but so much of my life is dominated by it! I am typically one of those people who work to live. I don’t have any huge career aspirations, I don’t feel driven to do anything in particular and I desperately do not want to return to full time work. I could quite happily not work and fill my days with lovely creative, active and charitable activities. Well this is not going to happen and I need to stop fantasizing about it!
So I will work through these doldrums and embrace the sun, fragrance of spring and get organized and energised! I need to to surround myself by supportive and creative people. I will help my friends and enjoy coffees and chats. I will accept that I must work and not judge or compare what I do to other people. I will cuddle Lucy and be grateful that she is so full of energy and the bright spark of my life and maybe I should embrace and try the suggestions in The Happiness Institute’s Monday blog;
“Maybe happiness and success comes down to what we do every 15 minutes! Maybe happiness and success comes down to what we do in each and every moment rather than across a whole day or week or year! Achieving happiness almost certainly comes down to practising a few simple disciplines each and every minute so determine what actions you need to take to find more happiness and focus on doing them as often as you can in every 15 minute period throughout the day!”
Happiness Institute Monday Aug 18 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
I try and practice meditation when I know I am more likely to experience inner talk. For me it is when I am driving, doing housework and cleaning the dishes.
Until I started meditation classes earlier this year I had no idea just how much my mind was overworking! Rethinking conversations I had earlier in the day, thinking about what I need to talk to someone about, criticising myself for having the extra serving at lunch, mentally putting together meals for the week, organising to do lists......it is constant!
The worse kind of self chatter is negative self talk. I’ve recently read a lot about the impact negative self talk has on us, in particular on our behaviours. One article suggested recognising when the chat starts, acknowledging it and then focussing on something else or actively turning the negative self chat into a positive thought.
I have a lot of negative self talk going on in my mind and reducing this is my new challenge, and I am going to be positive about my ability to quieten the voices.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Sourced from the Spiritual Business website:
Daily Ritual: 5 August 2009
27 things about you
Write a list of 27 things you would like to change in your life and what you would like to replace them with.
Scarcity- Abundance and so on.
This way you are moving 27 things inside yourself and by the end of the list you will be vibrating at a higher level. Open to possibilities and open to change.
I loved the idea of taking something I perceived as a negative and thinking about how it could become a positive. The glass is half full rather than half empty view on the world really uplifts me and allows me to see what is possible.
Too often I think, we are bombarded by friends, peers, colleagues and the media with negative and depressing information. Drama, bitchiness, crisis and tragedies or near tragedies are part of our daily environment. Too often the good and inspirational stories just don't make it into our conversations or news!
By openly thinking about the things I would like to change about myself gives me a good starting point for that change.
Here are some of my 27 things that I would like to change about me and what I would like to replace them with:
No time - more time to enjoy life
Stress - calm
Clutter - organisation
Frustration - acceptance
Tiredness - endless energy and vitality
Migraine - overall wellness
Sweet tooth - balance and moderation
Sensitive - strength
Emotional - perspective
Monday, July 27, 2009
I am loath to admit that I often hide in the kitchen/pantry snacking on something naughty that I don't want Lucy to see!
I know a few fully grown women who are also guilty of this - my sister has a secret stash of smarties that she hides from not only her children but also her husband! Hilarious!
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
I have been unhappy in my current role for sometime, for lots of reasons, and have been looking rather unsuccessfully for something to inspire me! So rather than applying for any more roles that I will not be happy in I have decided to return to study.
In the last six months I have learnt so much about; myself, health, well being, happiness, joy, the present, relaxation, silence, mindfulness, holistic approaches, alternate philosophies ....the list is endless and I have loved every moment of it.
Having studied psychology at university it isn't a huge stretch to think I would enjoy and be good at counselling/coaching, it has just taken me 17 years to work it out. So I look forward to approaching this next stage of education with zest and hopefully the conscientiousness that I lacked first time round.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Friday, July 3, 2009
Having found something in the paper or online that sparks a bit of interest and ticks most of my boxes I sit down and spend time putting together what I think is a good example of why I would be suitable for the position , only to not hear back (ever) or receive an email telling me that unfortunately on this occasion I have been unsuccessful.
I would like to think that I am worthy of a little more than an email. I would like to think that my application had some sort of impact on the audience and that in itself would warrant at least an interview or call? Who am kidding – what I really want is my perfect job to be handed to me on a platter with the exact salary I want with the exact conditions I want.
I have been working with my lovely personal coach Kate who is helping me to identify my key skills and reinvigorate confidence in my own abilities, that I seem to have lost. Maybe when I rediscover this belief in myself I will start applying for the right jobs and putting together applications that shout why I would be perfect!
Thursday, June 11, 2009
I love a "sign". After posting this last night I got my Zen Habits blog update this morning...and what do you know, it is about slowing down. Love it!
Slowing down is a conscious choice, and not always an easy one, but it leads to a greater appreciation for life and a greater level of happiness."
Monday, June 8, 2009
Things that please my senses make me feel good.
My daughter smiling
Organic and textural pieces
Weathered and pre loved provincial furniture and items
South of France and Italy – and pretty much most of Europe
Nature – raw beauty
My home – clean, tidy and warm – filled with flowers, laughter and the scent of oils and good home made food
The leaves rustling in the trees
A storm brewing outside
The water lapping the beach
Sunday afternoon in the burbs
Music that is beautiful, haunting, melodic, uplifting
Rain on a tin roof
Magpies at dawn
A church choir (in Europe an added bonus)
The freshness after a storm
The saltiness of the sea (even sea weed is beautifully refreshing)
My daughter when she is clean and warm from the bath
Freshly cut grass
Fresh fruit and veggies at a market
Wattle on a warm day in the bush
Fresh flowers – jasmine in Spring, Christmas lilies in December, Jonquils in Winter.....
Essential oils – lavender, lemongrass, peppermint
Horses and the leather of their saddle and equipment
A fresh cut Christmas tree – scent of Christmas tree
The aroma of an afternoon of cooking
The softness and warmth of my bed, especially on a cold winters night
The texture of nature – sticks, rocks, leaves
The sand between my toes
Cool water at the beach on a warm day
A hug from my daughter
A hot shower (4 mins only of course) or a hot bath
The warm soft fur of a cat or dog
The coolness of stone
The bitterness of a strong coffee
Fragrant herbs and spices
Watermelon – crisp and cool
A lovely dry white wine
Pretty much anything sweet
I seem to spend so much time and waste so much mind space worrying about the things that don’t make me happy I sometimes forget just how much does make me happy, and how much is beautiful and wondrous in my world!
Monday, May 25, 2009
* And finally link back to the blogger that tagged you.
7 things that make me Awe-summm! Wow! That is seriously hard work and putting it into writing even harder!
1. I like to help people – being a typical Libran I like balance and order. Helping others to see the wood for the trees is something I enjoy and think I am good at (is that the right saying?)
2. I notice the detail in things
3. I like to talk and am able to communicate with people and naturally fit into most social settings
4. I am open to new concepts,ideas and philosophies and am interested in other's views and ideas.
5. I go out of my way for my friends and acquaintances – offering help where I can
6. Being a mother fills me with joy and wonder and I love being a part of our school community
7. I appreciate how fragile our environment is and am making conscious steps to act responsibly and instill these ideas in my daughter
I am new to the world of blogging so my list of blogs I follow is not huge but I have some lovely ones I do follow. From my gorgeous meditation teacher Kate James to the wonderful ideas and thoughts of Zen Habits. A Heart in Provence is beautiful and feeds my love of all things that are gorgeous. Some of the images are astounding. The same could be said for the beautiful images in the Smitten Kitchen gallery of photos. Truly amazing.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
It is stressing me out a bit that I don't seem to be able to "manage" all aspects of my life at the moment. I need to get better at doing the work stuff that has to be done when I can do it rather than waiting till the last minute.
How can I motivate myself to get the less enjoyable aspects of work off my to do list and in doing so de-stressing myself!
Why is it I will spend half an hour on facebook and not balancing the bank statements in MYOB? (ok that is an obvious one). Why is it I will sit and write on my blog rather than attending to the mountain of paperwork on my desk at the moment. At 37 I would have thought I would be more conscientious than when I was younger - but it doesn't seem to be the case. I seem to be going backwards.
Somewhere along the way I have lost interest in my work life (apart from the social interaction). I lack career ambition and really, really don't know what I want to be when I "grow up". This lack of clarity is impacting all areas of my life.
Reading, researching, talking and exploring alternate options are high on my to do list. With lots of scenarios up in the air at the moment hopefully I will find a "solution" soon.
Until then I will plod along, doing what I have to do to pay the bills and keep the business running, and at least enjoying the wonderful things in my life at the moment; the lovely Lucy, interaction with our new school friends, hanging out with friends, gardening, listening to music, going to the beach and collecting shells and sticks, enjoying a latte, reading and watching the leaves autumnal showcase.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Yesterday we walked the coastal trail from Mentone to Ricketts Point (not that far but considerable for a 5 year old) collecting shells and sticks along the way. Rock pools were a source of great delight for my 5 year old in her new gumboots! The joy in something so simple, so natural - just priceless!
A wintry day at the beach is one of life's hidden wonders! There were only a handful of us brave enough to venture out, but that just added to the feeling of doing something special. We greeted the few beach goers we encountered with a knowing smile or nod! Like we shared a wonderful hidden secret.
During the week in my normal search of the internet for new and wonderful organic/natural products I found a fantastic website which had a recipe for Morning Glory Muffins (http://www.ebfarm.com/). Saturday's batch were so wonderful and nourishing that I made another batch today to freeze for school lunches! Just call me Martha!
The wonderful Earth Bound Farm also has a recipe book that I have ordered - The Earthbound Farm Organic Cookbook - full of what looks like delicious, organic, seasonal food. The muffins are full of fresh organic apples, pineapple and carrots and make you feel good just looking at them.
The only other thing that would have made this blast of winter absolutely perfect would have been a fire to sit in front off, alas I don't have one of those, but I can dream!
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
I did some exercises yesterday as part of a book I am reading and reviewing for work (Spiritual Business). I had to list 40 things I love......I started slowly but was surprised once I started, how easily lovely and wonderful things filled my mind...the purpose of the exercise it to remind ourselves of the things we like rather than always focusing on those we don't.
On my list were; the smell of cut grass, the beach, my daughters laughter, my home, shells, warm weather, flowers, the colour green, chocolate, olive oil soap, lavender, candles, Christmas, coffee out or at home, smell of the ocean, rock pools, nature, jasmine, good food (a bit too much), things that please my senses, Barwon Heads, bushwalking (not that I get to do much of it), essential oils (orange and lemon burning at the moment), a cold crisp charddy,......the list went on.
It was an enjoyable and worthwile exercise and supported my quest this year to take each day at a slower pace and to appreciate the moments a little more.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Term one is over - I can't believe I have been a "school mum" for a whole term already. It is April and the year seems to be flying by.
I'm sitting here on a dreary Sunday afternoon contemplating the quietness of my home. Lucy has gone to a friends house for a sleep over and I am experiencing something I haven't for a long time - quiet, and not just for an hour or two, a whole evening of serenity. No organising dinner, tidying up after a very splashy bath, arguing over bedtime and going to sleep. Quite a bizarre notion for me but one I will realish as it doesn't happen that often.
This afternoon I received confirmation from a friend that she and her husband were splitting up after years of marriage and having two young children. I spoke to her during the week and tried to assure her that she and the children would be fine and possibly better without the ongoing tension and I did something I haven't done for a while. I wrote a letter.
I wanted to send her some guided meditations as I thought she needed to find some time just to zone out and didn't feel I could just send the cd. I found my writing paper (in the back of the cupboard) and wrote some hopefully supportive words. It reminded me of how we used to communicate with friends and I found it a bit sad that we no longer write like we used to. There is something more personal about a handwritten note or letter than an email or facebook post.
I reminded her to appreciate what is good in her life right now. By focussing some of her attention on the good things - her beautiful children, her lovely warm home, her wonderful supportive family, her beautiful beachside suburb, her friends - hopefully she can find some energy and strength to deal with the hard couple of months ahead.
While I look around my warm house now I appreicate so many things - including the current peace and quiet. By tomorrow I will miss the noise and constant 5yr old banter.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
So on Friday night I had my first school function - a bush dance! I was dreading it! I am not really sure why - maybe it was the whole idea of a late night out with a 5 yr old who normally goes to bed at 6.30pm or the trepidation with which I approach a new and different social experience, possibly magnified as I am a sole parent and don't have the buffer of a partner to stick with in social situations.
Luckily I am blessed with the gift of the gab (funnily the 5 yr old does too) and found it quite easy to blend in - or maybe that was the charddy! Either way I was surprised to find myself enjoying the whole experience. From the bush dancing to chasing the kids around the dark playground.
The smile on my daughters face was priceless and the sound of the her laughter joyous!
We stayed to the very end and I will not be so skeptical about attending the next school function. Being apart of a community feeds the soul through friendships, conversation, play, laughter and pride. I felt proud to be apart of my daughter's school community and enjoyed the laughter and conversation over a drink with some new friends.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Saturday, March 14, 2009
My sticks are my photo from yesterday. I love the fact that I have influenced my daughter to take more notice of the world around her. She is constantly bringing me seeds and sticks and shells asking me if they are beautiful and insisting we bring them home. She has a nature bowl outside (it was inside until I realised that we were sometimes bringing home more than just the sticks and bits) and it is full.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
At one point I think I actually declared outloud "I can only do what I can do" and should stop feeling stressed for not being able to fit all the work into my work hours this week. It is what it is. So I rescheduled an afternoon meeting and got the more urgent things done and left on time to get home to pick the 5 yr old up from a friend's house.
A non meditating day and I can feel it. I had planned to spent 15 mins in the quiet of the office this morning - but the CEO scared me when he arrived not long after me! Glad he didn't find me sitting in the dark with my eyes closed and ipod on!
It did rain today, beautiful heavy rain that soaked the city this morning. It was as dark as night and just refreshing and invigorating to see the water splashing off the window sills. The garden looks more green - if that is possible! Hopefully more to come!
Note to self - add to personal to do list, find a new job that is more unique, colourful and creative. I know the grass is always greener but the grey office is just too colourless! I need to look outside the square.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
I am not quite sure what I was thinking when I suggested that the 5 yr old ride to school today. It was such a lovely morning, we were up early and all seemed good! We did make it 3/4 of the way there before I ended up pushing her bike, so I guess that is a positive. So is the fact I got to walk/run home and get some exercise done before 9.30 in the morning.
I enjoyed a productive and energised day of household chores - including using the grey water from the washing machine to water my limp looking james stirlings out the back and a peaceful meditation session.
I walked back to school with a positive mantra running through my head "she will want to ride home and she won't throw a tantie in the school yard".....well she didn't throw the tantie in the school yard as I bribed her with the idea of buying an icypole on the way home. She did throw a tantie when we hit the main road and she decided she didn't want to ride anymore....her legs were tired. So started a mexican standoff of mega proportions.
My patience won out (or maybe it was the threat of no icy pole) and she hopped back on the bike with me pushing her. We were talking by the time we got to the shops and she was positively perky after we bought her icy pole.
Lesson of the day - school for a 5 yr old is enough of a challenge - physically, emotionally, mentally - without the added addition of a 2km round trip on a bike - no matter how much mummy wants to get some exercise.
Instead I will be better organised to use my child free/work free time to find time for me. I have managed to find 20 mins a day to meditate, now I just need 30 mins 3 times a week to exercise. The benefits were evident today as I positively bounced from chore to chore after my morning run!
I must work out how to load my photos from yesterday and today off my phone. I am a bit of a techno moron!
American Idol about to start...so begins mummy time!
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
On autopilot, had the 5 year old at school on time. Had a couple of uninspiring chats with some mums. Everyone seemed a little flat. Maybe it was the long weekend? Me I think it is the challenges of running my own business, the challenges of being a sole parent and having a part time job I am not really fond of. PMS might have something to do with it to.
Rather than loath in self pity, taking on board mindfulness I headed to the shopping centre to stock up on buckets to collect my "grey" water and put petrol in the car. Better to be ticking things off my to do list.
Home and meditated for 20 mins emerging feeling more energised and a little more focussed. Another coffee and some work for the business. Money is a bit tight so am juggling a few bills at the moment - not sure how the ATO will feel when our BAS is late!
Another important me thing to do is to try and squeeze in some exercise. So just back from a 45 min walk, listening to some new and daggy music - got to love FAME! Walking route took me around the school (no I don't stalk my daughter everyday!) and saw the cherub in her sport class! Made me smile!
Also lifting my spirits is the greenery that surround the metro area I live. Amongst golf courses it sometimes feels like we are in the middle of the bush with the large gum trees and their lovely Australian aroma. This morning I saw the biggest Magnolia tree I think I have ever seen - the flower must have been the size of a dinner plate and brilliant white.
So having successfull ticked a lot of my list today I will ride out the PMT and spend some time reading in the sun and enjoying the serenity. Might surf the net for some other inspiring sites and blogs.
Monday, March 9, 2009
Anyway after noticing that the dog I am minding had dug another two holes in my lawn I decided it was time to try and revive my rather dead patch of greenery and headed to the local nursery, one of my favourite places! In between the squeals (such a wonderful sound) of my 5 yr old who loved going in search for the bird baths and other squeal (spelling) worthy objects, we managed to purchase the grass seed and a selection of flowering stuff (chosen by the 5 yr old).
What a delightful day it has turned into. The sound of giggles as she plays with her friend, searching the park for bits of tree (I like the way they look when they have been out in the weather, she likes seeds and other odd things to go in her nature bowl) and searching the local organic shop for good stuff for the environment and real looking fruit and vegetables.
I had an apithany (spelling) yesterday that I feel good when I am doing something good for the environment. So in keeping with making every moment great, I plan to do more of the things that make me feel good (common sense really). Today's new "good thing to do for the environment" is putting a bucket in the sink and collecting the water I use daily, while washing hands and dishes. I have to say I am astounded by the amount of water I would normally wash down the sink.
I also feel good when I surround myself with things I like the look, touch, smell and colour of. Hence the collecting of twigs and seeds. I do sound a little eccentric! I use them to make wind mobiles with shells. The 5 year old's cubby is adorned by them.
I haven't loaded my daily photo but have taken some of the 5 yr old planting her seaside daisy outside. I wonder what other surprises and experiences today will hold. Living mindfully is a tough assignment for someone who is a typical Type A personality and extreme organiser and list maker!
Sunday, March 8, 2009
This year is my year. In the turmoil that is the world we live in I have found myslef lost and without focus. Step one in this process was enroling in a meditation course. This has been life changing and allowed me to focus and calm the constant chatter in my head. It is also teaching me to be more in the now, appreciating what I have now, and not focusing on what I don't have.
My blog will be a daily reminder of all that is good in my life. I read recently about a lady who took a photo a day for a whole year to remind herself how wonderful her life was. I think this is a great idea. She is artistically inclined and the photos are gorgeous but it is something I am going to try. She plans on copying the document for both of her children, another lovely idea.
Last night I signed up to receive some newletters and updates from some lovely sites and I hope to learn more about alternate methods of relaxation, personal appreciation and appreciation of the world around me. From leaves to sand to seeds to rocks to birds to trees to water. So I begin.