This winter has been a delciously introverted and reflective time for me. In the past, I would have glazed over this season – enjoying the fashion + snuggle time – but longing for the warmer months. But not this year. I have embraced it wholeeartedly for the season it is, and I have relished in the opportunity to slow down, reflect and really focus on where I am, and where I want to be.
I don’t pretend to have all the answers – goodness knows I’m learning new things each and every day. But that insatiable curiosity inside of me (more on that below!) has had a workout lately. And as I put pen to paper in my journal the other day, I realised a few big things that are true for me. In the spirit of Oprah – this is what I know for sure.
:: Motherhood is the greatest spiritual assignment ever. Parenthood in general is. “Let’s give you a life to raise + nurture. Then just go for it. Oh, but just when you think you have it all down pat, we will change EVERYTHING for you, and you’re basically back to knowing nothing again.”
Sweet motherhood. Would I have it any other way? Goodness no! But is it THE hardest job in the world? YES! I feel like it is the most crazy/wild/love-fuelled/terrifying/joyful/frustrating/wonderful rollercoaster ride ever. I learn so much about myself every moment I am with these two divine little humans.
I saw the incredible Rob Bell speak the other week (seriously, download his podcasts, buy his books – he is amazing!), and he spoke about the fact that each one of us is a unique phenomenon in the history of the universe. That no one has attempted to be you before. So therefore, it’s ok for it not to be all perfect. He then said how each child we have is a unique phenomenon too. No one has raised that particular child before. So therefore it’s ok not to nail it. We don’t need to be perfect.
Mama life – where else can you go through feelings of pure rage to pure love in the same microsecond. Hands down the best thing I’ve ever done.
:: Curiosity will get you EVERYWHERE. I’ve always asked a lot of questions. I was the child who spoke a lot through the movie wanting to know the back story of each character and what would happen next (funnily enough, my daughter is just like that now). I wanted to learn the greater “why” behind things. And while that didn’t necessarily translate into a thirst for knowledge as a teenager (why study when you can be social!?), it did make for one very curious, truth-seeking adult. The older I get, the more I want to absorb, discover and learn new information. From the great mystics, to Jane Austen, from the Stone Age to Outer Space, from Eckhart Tolle to JK Rowling. It is ALL interesting to me now.
A few years ago, I followed one particular curiosity – “how can I be the best I can be?”. I’m pretty sure that is a question that will never fully be answered, but it’s been quite the adventurous trip down the rabbit hole as I followed that trail.
I hate to quote him again (no I don’t – he is amazing), but Rob Bell also said “calling is over-rated and curiosity is under-rated”.
What would happen if we followed our curiosities?
:: Sisterhood and collaboration can set the world on fire. This has been a big one for me. Growing up, I never quite felt like I belonged anywhere when it came to female friendships. I tried (stupidly so, sometimes), but it all felt kind of forced. It hasn’t been until the last 6 years or so that I finally feel like I have my place in the world. I am surrounded by the right people. They get me. And even better, they really like what they see.
We see so much in the media about negativity from woman to woman. But what’s the point? What for? If we channelled that energy into something good, we women have the power to change the world.
It’s been in the last couple of months alone that I have seen just what a group of women can do when we collaborate for a greater good. When we get together and write a new normal. When through love, integrity and grace, we create a vision for ourselves that is both abundant and possible. We lead with softness, creativity and nurturing, yet fierce passion. Side by side. With nothing but love in our hearts. There isn’t space for competition or comparison. Because we know that together, we can change the world. Freedom, Flexibility, Health, Wealth. It’s all there.
It seriously gives me goosebumps. Watch this space.
:: Spiritual Practice is a non-negotiable. I learnt this hard lesson recently. Over the past year, I have let my spiritual practice slide in a big way. Neglect is a better word for it. But it is what it is. And I suppose I had my reasons/excuses. My eyes were open to what happens to me when I shy away from spiritual practice.
I lose myself.
For me, spiritual practice doesn’t have to be a lengthy, sit-on-a-cushion-for-hours-in-silence-whilst-bathed-in-nag-champa-incense kind of thing (actually, the nag champa is often part of it!). It’s not even a daily practice. But it is regularly checking in with myself. It’s being aware. Mindful. It’s meditating when I feel foggy. It’s playing with crystals when I feel blocked. It’s picking an angel card when I feel lost. It’s dancing for no reason. It’s listening to podcasts and audiobooks. It’s journalling. It’s gratitude. It’s affirmations. It’s doing the work. And not because I have to, but because I am a better person for doing it.
:: Exercise is THE secret sauce. This one is pretty similar to the above. Exercise is how I recalibrate. It’s the thing that wakes me up and knocks me out of my funk. As much as I have resisted it in the past (and boy, did I resist!), I now see it as the tool to light me up. I used to exercise because I felt “less than”. It was always a tool I used in an attempt to lose weight. Because I didn’t feel good enough. I went through a phase a few years ago where I fell in love with exercise for the first time ever. But then life/excuses got in the way, and I let that slip away (hello upper limit problem!). Sometimes we need to learn a lesson a few times before we really get it. That’s ok. Consider this lesson learned!
Do I always want to get my sweat on? No! But I’m learning to push through that and do it anyway. Because, like my spiritual practice, I am a better person when I lovingly move my body.
:: Self-love will set you free every single time. Another lesson I had to learn in a big way this past year (oh 2016, you’re really turning it on!). Self-love is the absolute non-negotiable for me (exercise and spiritual practice come under this too). I must be kind to myself. When those negative voices run the show, I feel angry, anxious and unworthy. Everything is a little more difficult. But when I come back to my heart, to my essence and to love – my life flows. I am more present, I am able to tackle the ebb and flow. And I am way more fun!
It’s a practice. But it is a practice that I never want to let go of again.
:: Every stumbling block brings you one step closer to more magic. Once again, this one relates to all the above. The past year was a bit of a mind f*ck. At times it felt like pieces of the puzzle where missing. Of course, there were some beautiful, special and amazing times – but on a whole, I didn’t feel quite like my whole self. I was hurt by a few people. I felt let down. I wallowed. And I felt really angry at myself. After having a huge few years of growth, suddenly I had come crashing down. And I was angry at myself that I had seemingly forgotten all those lessons I spent a couple of years learning.
But with hindsight, comes clarity. And I can see now why it all happened. Growth can be beautiful sometimes, but it can also be painful.
On the other side of it all? Magic. And a deep inner knowing that this time, I have learnt these lessons for life. Of course, there will be lessons that need repeating again. But these important ones have finally been instilled in me for the long haul.
Ebb and flow. Surrender. Trust. Pushing through those difficult moments of growth will always lead to gold.
:: Kindness is everything. I repeat – kindness is EVERYTHING. It’s so easy to look around the world at the moment and see the negative, the evil and the downright terrifying. But if we can open our eyes, it’s even easier to look around and notice the good, the kind and the compassionate.
At the moment, I often feel like I could easily wrap my family in bubble wrap and not leave the house. Easily. Because let’s face it – uncertainty is everywhere. But I don’t want to live like that. I want to see LOVE. To see the people doing GOOD in the world. Because although it often feels like this toxicity is the majority – it is by far the minority.
Look at the people who stop to help others carry their shopping to their car. The people who smile to you as you pass them in the street. The children laughing in the queue behind you at the check out. Those who strive to make someone else’s day a little brighter or easier – and not because they have to, but because they want to.
From the millions of volunteers working tirelessly around the world, to random acts of kindness that are present every single day. From families who love each other with everything they are, to the friends who stick by each other through it all.
This is what it is about. And these are the people who will make the world a better place. People who love, who share, who connect, who believe and who are KIND.
I believe in the good in people. I believe in generosity, and kindness, and LOVE.
We have a duty to use our voices for compassion, kindness and love. Not for judgement.
Love will always win.
I also know for sure that an almond mylk chai will soothe away anything, that a dinner party with good friends, good food and plenty of laughter can be etched in your memory forever, that a glass of champagne is always a good idea, that the Spice Girls will always be cool, that sunrises/sunsets take my breath away… But I’ll leave it there for now
I’d love to know, what do you know for sure?