Create your own serenity.

You have to find that place that brings out the human in you, the soul in you, the love in you. – r.m. drake

We live in a world where people are ashamed to face and confront themselves, their past, their hurts and their wounds. We pretend to be happy when we’re not, painting the outside in bright and shiny colours when the inside is in ruins. We care more about what other people think of us than we do about how we feel. Why do we do this?

There is so much we try and keep hidden from ourselves and from those around us, things that have caused us so much pain and suffering. All those dark, ugly and painful memories and thoughts. A lot that we would rather forget happened. In the past I have always been one to keep it all buried deep down inside than it bring back to the surface. But the truth is that until we come to terms with what has happened and we cleanse ourselves, we cannot heal all our past wounds nor can we truly move forward with new goals, new friendships and new loves. And those painful experiences will continue to have power over us and we’ll continue to be their victims. It all begins and ends with your mind. What you give power to, has the power over you, if you allow it.

One day it just clicks; you realise what’s important and what isn’t anymore. You learn to care less what other people think of you and more about what you think of yourself. You will realise how far you’ve come and you remember when you thought things were such a mess that you would never recover. And you smile. You smile because you are truly proud of yourself and the person you’ve fought to become.

“Healing doesn’t mean the damage never existed. It means the damage no longer controls your life” – Akshay Dubey

“Don’t forget that you’re human. It’s okay to have a meltdown. Just don’t unpack and live there. Cry it out, pick yourself up and then refocus on where you are headed. Happiness is a habit. Cultivate it!” – Elbert Hubbard

And remember to live everyday with intention. Daily life can be busy, hectic and sometimes overwhelming. It may sometimes feel like finding some inner peace and calmness is hopeless. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Small and smart changes over time can bring great rewards.

Nic’s Habits to START TODAY.

  • Think positive
  • Drink more water
  • Wake up early – enjoy the whole day, you will be surprises what you will accomplish and the time you have for you.
  • Go to bed early – get those 8-9 hours
  • Eat wholesome foods
  • Exercise regularly
  • Get outdoors, enjoy nature
  • Read more
  • Do you to-do lists
  • Face your fears
  • Set goals; long & short term
  • Do what makes you happy
  • Put yourself first for a change
  • Learn new things
  • Don’t fear failure
  • Its okay to say no
  • Slow down
  • Declutter your world, declutter your mind
  • Journal and talk to someone (friend, family or therapist)
  • Never give up on your dreams
  • And start TODAY

Do You Examine Your Life Enough?

I like to be a life-examiner; I journal, I blog and I now talk through my experiences, emotions & reactions to help me understand my life. I can now easily say “Yes” to the question of my blog, but can you?

Most will probably say maybe or I don’t know? If that is you, take the next few moments to really analyse yourself. Take a step back and examine your life and where you are in it. If you love your answers,  great! But if you don’t like your answers, then that is where the work on yourself begins. In the coming weeks I will address my own answers but for now, grab a journal or a piece of paper and see where these questions take you? It’s a rainy Sunday and reflection time sets me up for the week ahead.

“Self-reflection is a humbling process. It’s essential to find out why you think, say, and do certain things… then better yourself.” – Author Sonya Teclai, TheGoodvibe.co

20 Questions Every Woman Should Ask Herself.

  1. What do you really want in this moment, right now?
  2. How do I want to be loved?
  3. Who do I need to forgive?
  4. Am I in my body?
  5. Do I love myself exactly as I am now?
  6. What did I love as a child?
  7. What would I love to learn?
  8. What is my super power?
  9. When was the last time I felt truly joyful?
  10. Who is my community?
  11. What is beautiful to me & do I have some of that in my life?
  12. What can I let go of?
  13. Do I know the sound of my own true voice?
  14. What practise consistently brings me home to myself?
  15. What do I want my legacy to be?
  16. What have I done for myself today?
  17. What is my story?
  18. Have I planned for my own death and my survivors?
  19. How can I speak with more love today?
  20. Can I ask a better question?

Image result for quotes about self-reflection

Armidale, I’m Frustrated!

So this week’s post is different to my normal blog topics, I had something else to post but today’s events really were ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’ and made me so frustrated I needed to type it out.

I was not born here, I was born wayyyyy out West where things are not your everyday delight. My father was Police Officer and we lived in some not so amazing towns. We moved to Armidale where my parents were both from in 1998. I’ve always loved this town, freezing weather and all. I have always felt at peace here in this cute regional town set in the heart of The New England. It was an amazing place to grow up with great schools and a University, wonderful families and plenty of sporting. I appreciated having enough around me not to be spoilt and to really learn to make the most of my life. I moved away 2 years ago and still always felt Armidale was home. I may not live the rest of my life here but it always will have a soft spot in my heart. When I moved back in October to work on me with the support of being back with family, friends and a community I still loved, I was excited to be a part of it again. Man have I been disappointed.

The past few months have passed way too quickly, I have joined a few community pages and I have been extremely frustrated at the behaviour from some of the residents of this town. From break-ins to personal attacks, this town has started to slide but the most horrific part is noticing how much we do not support one another like we use to. We all know social media can be the devil and everyone loves a whinge online but one thing I do not get is how a group of humans can be so cruel and disgusting to one another. What happened to support, something I now rarely see. I’ve never personally had issues blow up for all in this town to see and make judgement on, but to come back home and see residents sitting behind their screens being absolute tossers to each other and getting a kick from it is appalling. Some of you really are a bunch cowards! Are we no better than our cavemen ancestors with this type of behaviour?

I have been reading a book called the Life Changing Magin of not Giving a F**K and it really has helped with my personal demons such as anxiety and anger, and it has opened up my eyes to only allowing good vibes into my life, being a better and kinder person and also getting rid of the toxicity in my life. I really do not know how so many people can bring such bad vibes into their own lives and the lives of others. So many of you thrive on the social communication of ripping into others just to cure what, your own boredom?! How can you thrive on such negativity? How purposeful is your life, really?

I get that there are some people who do morally incorrect things in this life, but remember we all have our own demons and no one is perfect. Terrible things happen in this life and some of this community do horrible things, but let the Law decide their judgement or if you’re religious let your own God judge them. What gives you the idea to think it is okay to slander, belittle and openly ridicule.

I am frustrated Armidale, frustrated that a community I once loved is turning on one another more often than it is supporting fellow residents, I’m frustrated that you’re creating drama for entertainment and that you feel you need to comment on the life of others publicly.

When we were children we were taught about bullies and how that affects the life of another, and in a world full of high depression, anxiety and suicide rates you feel it okay to fuel that fire.

I ask you this, who have you supported this week, who have you thanked this week, what have you been grateful for this week and who have your empathised with this week? Are you finding you have less support around you, that people are less grateful and more rude and that you’re annoyed at others? Well it starts with you, STEP UP Armidale and make a change!

“Without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community.”

Metanoia

When we know who we are, we are more able to live with intention. As most of you already know, this past year has been a journey of rediscovery for me; who am I and where do I want to be in life? For a month now I have been super quiet, apologies! I’ve been reflecting on the past, finding out where I am at right now and mapping out what’s next for me.

After a lot of journaling over the Christmas/New Year break, some quality me time and catching up with a friend I have not had one on one time with in way too long, I had one of those light bulb moments. That moment people call an ‘Epiphany’, but I like to refer to it as ‘Metanoia’; the journey of changing one’s mind, heart, self, or way of life.

I found myself saying “I value who I am, I love my life, I know I am worthy and after ever hurdle look how much I have accomplished.” I can proudly say I am so content with where I am and who I am right now. For so long I have been trying so hard to get back to that girl I once knew, the one who I felt was taken away from me. I loved that version of me but I am not her anymore. I still hold onto her dreams, her values, her optimism but as life’s hurdles approach us, they shape us, move us and we grow.

If you begin to understand what you are without trying to change it, then what you are undergoes a transformation. – Jiddu Krishnamurti

You may feel very secure in that pond you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know there is such a thing as an ocean. Holding onto something that is bad or good for now, may be the very reason why you don’t have anything better. Close your eyes and envision where you see your life in five years. Don’t get hung up on the details you feel you’re suppose to know (career, savings, marital status) but instead focus on the aspects of your future that are important. Do you see yourself in a new city, learning a new hobby or feeling a certain way? Can you ever be sure you are on the right path in life? What path do you see yourself on now, describe it to yourself. Did you have to make sacrifices to get there? What would you change?

Life isn’t fair, but its good. I find it great, but we all have our lows. When in doubt just take that next small step. Life is too short to fill your life with things and people that no longer serve greater purpose in your life. Burn candles, use the nice sheets, wear that fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special! Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful. And no matter how you feel, get up, get dressed and show up because those simple steps helped me more than you know and the best is yet to come.

I ask you this: Is there a difference between happiness and fulfillment? What does it take for you to be happy? What does it take for you to be fulfilled? Are the qualities the same?

Lost Girl.

So you’ve hit your mid 20’s, are you feeling as lost as I do? Things start to take place that make you realise your growing up, maturing and time is moving way too quickly. They start as little things like all the brunch dates, going to bed early and preferring to stay in on a Friday night (I’m legit on the couch with Better Homes & Gardens in the background and… loving it). Or they can be monumental, such as graduation, promotion or those friend’s weddings I keep harping on about.

I never went to University, I couldn’t make up my mind what to even study. I remember in Year 10 having those meetings with the careers advisors, being fed all the information about choosing the right subjects for the HSC and asking us what career path we wanting to pursue. If you were like me and started school younger than the majority, you came home to your parents feeling overwhelmed & consumed. “I’m fifteen years old and I need to have an idea of a career now!” I did not pursue either of the two career choices I had in mind. I’ve now been with the same amazing travel company for 5 years, I moved up the ranks quickly; I was an assistant manager at 21, manager at 22 and I’ve been a global consultant. My job has opened up so many opportunities especially at such a young age and now I get to see the world through new eyes multiple times a year. In the past five years alone I have been to 17 countries, some of those more than once and in three months’ time I will be off again. Seems amazing right? Well, I’m not gunna lie, it is!

But behind all my exciting adventures you see, my life has also consisted of incredible heartbreak (more on that another time), battling anger issues & anxiety, taking anti-depressants short term just to get through everyday life without losing my sh*t, gaining 12kg not once but TWICE in five years! I’ve lost long standing friendships and I’ve lost a best friend to suicide. Everyone has their battles and this is just some of my story. I’ve now moved back to my home town to work on me, to find the me I once knew but a better version. I have no true direction of where I want my life to go just yet but I know I am in a better place.

“She has been through hell. So believe me when I say, fear her when she looks into a fire and smiles” – e.corona

I’m a lucky one, I know I’m strong enough to tackle it all. Life keeps moving forward and so must I. Grow through what you go through. I had a good friend recently tag me in this:

“She made broken look beautiful & strong look invincible. She walked with the Universe on her shoulders & made it look like a pair of wings.” – Ariana Dancu

So if life has handed you some lemons as well, here are some things that make me feel a little bit better about being completely lost and starting over after twenty-five:

  1. There really is no rush; these years are totally acceptable to move back home, be single, be broke and have Mum cook for you (but be grateful!). Breathe it’s okay to take a few steps back to then move forward with your life.
  2. The smallest things can have the biggest impact. Don’t take things for granted, count your blessings.
  3. Appreciating little things. Family always want to see you, Mum loves cooking for you (which seriously is the best after years of cooking for yourself or lack of some nights), love the rainy days inside at home with a good book and coffee dates with friends.
  4. Learning to be patience with the struggles so you can enjoy the success that comes after.
  5. You’re twentysomething; it’s the perfect time to be reckless, adventurous and carefree.
  6. Going on dates – the good, the bad & the ugly. Trust me I have some epic stories and have met some amazing people.
  7. It’s a time to be fierce, be brave and take chances.

“Sometimes you just have to give yourself the pep talk like “hello, you’re a queen, don’t be sad, you’re going great and I love you.”

-you got this!

A year in my shoes.

A year in my shoes. my twenty-sixteen

Twenty seventeen is here in 16 days and at first I was like ‘bring it effing on’. I’m exhausted, flat out broke, ready for a fresh start [all that New Year, New Me bullsh*t] as I felt my year had not been anything great.

Yes, I’ve travelled (5 countries this year), smashed goals and had some of the biggest career highlights; things I’d been chasing for half a decade, but I felt like a fraud looking back. Of course we only tell people what they want to hear and we only post on social media what we want others to see. #lifeonfleek

This past year has been probably my hardest one yet and there has been a lot I have not shared in its entirety nor have I been able to fully express my struggles and emotions. I seriously cannot remember having this many anxiety attacks, fits of rage and tears like I have in the past 12 months. Being so estranged from what I though was ‘my world’ and my own self; I don’t know if you know who you are until you lose yourself. This past year has been a journey of rediscovery; I truly lost who I was, what I loved and where I was going. You reach a point when you can no longer count the amount of devastation you’ve been through. But after each hardship, examine yourself. You’ll find that a better, stronger, more incredible version of yourself has emerged from the wreckage. Hopefully you realise to never regret the risks you’ve taken, or be ashamed of your failures, because they put you one step closer to your final destination. Every soul needs fire to transform; be brave whilst you burn, you are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress simultaneously.

This past year I have lived alone for the first time and I encourage anyone in their 20’s to do this once; you will be surprised on how much you learn about yourself. I will admit there was a fair share of lonely moments (especially living away my home town) and I did forget to look after myself. My emotional and mental health was on the verge of breaking point, I stopped socialising and threw myself into my work as an escape, I ate poorly and I gained close to 10 kilos. In my darkest days I felt that so much of who I thought I was, was taken away from me. But enough was enough; I could not live in self-pity anymore, one day I said to myself ‘girl, you cannot live like this, you’re fuelling the fire’. I’m glad I lived alone, as only you can fix yourself, only you can motivate yourself! I started to get out of the house, do more with family and make more effort with friends, minimalised my lifestyle and it was such a breath of fresh air. There is something amazing about self-discovery; you grow into a better version of yourself.

I find myself going back to what I am grateful for to remember who I am. Three places that make me feel whole: a plane – ready to discover the unknown in a whole new world. Two, being around those I love the most and lastly I’ve always loved the shower – having the hot water cleanse my mind body and soul. I challenge you to ask yourself what are your three places that make you feel whole again and why? Looking deep down to the very depths of who you are, what would you find? I would find that I am fierce, loyal, independent, intelligent, amazing at my job, a caring soul with so much love to give, beautiful, funny, I put others first, I’m daring and loveable.  Sometimes you have to step outside, get that air and remind yourself who you are and what you want to be.

After some gratitude journaling and reflection, my 2016 was also pretty darn amazing; I had the courage to leave behind a toxic relationship, I moved back to the people that mean to most to me to ensure I had the best support network around, I’ve booked an amazing holiday to Europe with my Biffle (BF4L), I’ve grown a backbone, learnt what to give a f**k about and what not to, learnt whose opinions matter and those that don’t and who to distance myself from and who I need to make time for. Slowly I’m learning to let go of the things I cannot control, I am finding a love for myself again & I know what I am capable of.

“I don’t know if you know who you are until you lose yourself.”

I leave you with this; the 7 Rules of Life:

  1. Make peace with your past so it won’t disturb your future.
  2. What other people think of you is none of your business.
  3. The only person in charge of your happiness if you.
  4. Don’t compare your life to others.
  5. Time heals almost everything. Give it time.
  6. STOP thinking so much, it’s alright not to know all the answers (something I have to tell myself daily).
  7. Smile. You don’t own all the problems in the world
Aside

Because I’m twentysomething.

Because I’m twentysomething.

When I was thirteen, I couldn’t wait to be eighteen.  And when I was sixteen, I planned to be married by age twenty-six & have two kids by thirty. I’ll always smile to myself when I think about how time changes things.

A funny thing happens about the time you turn twenty-five. People start asking about marriage and kids and houses. You begin to worry about savings, retirement, and health insurance.  You start spending your money on plates, pots, new tyres, right? And sometimes you start to compare your 25 years with everyone else’s. You wonder if you’re on the right track, if you’re falling behind, you start going to your friends’ weddings and buying baby gifts for second birthdays. Suddenly you realize you’re at the exact age that seemed so far away just five years ago.

The older I’ve gotten, the more aware I’ve become of how quick these years pass and the pressure to fit the mould of all of the rest of the twentyfivers. How easy is it to become controlled by our age and the expectation of what that signifies? Well I say forget the expectation, forget the moulds. Live your life the way you want to, rather than the way you think you are expected to. Especially if that means taking a big jump, even if it feels like a free fall.  Maybe quit your job and go back to school if that feels right, get married or don’t, chop off your hair,  change your mind,  travel, end a relationship that no longer serves you, become a different or better person, maybe move away or move back home.

While you’re in your twenties, I hope you buy a plane ticket to anywhere in the world, I hope you get lost wandering all of the streets, meet new people, have interesting conversations over warm cups of tea, drink out of mason jars while dancing barefoot in the grass, spend time with those who matter. Set your goals and change them, say goodbye to all of the things that have held you back or no longer serve purpose in your life and vow to keep moving forward. Experience everything you can. My biggest fear is looking back on my life when I’m 80 and thinking ‘shoulda, coulda but didn’t’.

I hope you aren’t held back because of a number and that you don’t rush into things because it feels like time is slipping by. Do what’s right for you.  Your age is your age, but more importantly, your life is your life, don’t change your journey so that it matches someone elses. We need to walk different paths so the whole world can be explored.