Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Apologies for my absence my poor little blog....

Oh little blog, how I've missed you! The Christmas period has been quite chaotic. I feel as though I need time to stand still for a week so that I can catch up with everything (or more importantly, rest to get over everything). Christmas came amidst a blur of work (I have worked every day since boxing day, so already feel as if Christmas Day was a lifetime ago). I'm feeling as though I need to re-group so that I can start 2010 in a great way. So I'm starting by coming back to my little blog, since I feel the need to be inspired and inspiring. Its so easy to get caught up in day to day things and then start thinking, "Oh I don't have anything that is noteworthy to post about". But, really I need this blog for myself. Regardless of whether anyone else even reads it, it brings me back to a part of myself that I need to visit consistently. A place where I can focus my attention on, and celebrate, myself, my family, the joys in life, art, creativity etc and hopefully inspire others to do the same. So nice to be back....

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Today....

Cheeky smiles from my little man.

Great experiences with guests at the store.

Meaningful chats with lulu friends.

Life changing (in a good way!) news from another friend.

Burgers and beers with an amazing lulu friend for dinner.

Making a difference.

What more could a girl ask for?


Monday, December 21, 2009

Expertise...

"Ignorance can be an advantage, and feedback an incredibly useful tool. It allows you to share the journey, which helps make writing accessible to beginners. And it allows you the courage to do things you would not do if you waited until you already know everything, especially because as you learn more, you learn how much you don't know."
Aaron Wall

Sunday, December 20, 2009

You were right sis, I can't put it down.....


I started reading Andre Agassi's autobiography yesterday and I cannot put it down. It is so interesting to see just how different his life was and is behind the scenes, as opposed to what one would imagine. Even if you are not necessarily an Agassi or tennis fan, this is a great read. Here's a little description for you:

From Andre Agassi, one of the most beloved athletes in history and one of the most gifted men ever to step onto a tennis court, a beautiful, haunting autobiography.

Agassi’s incredibly rigorous training begins when he is just a child. By the age of thirteen, he is banished to a Florida tennis camp that feels like a prison camp. Lonely, scared, a ninth-grade dropout, he rebels in ways that will soon make him a 1980s icon. He dyes his hair, pierces his ears, dresses like a punk rocker. By the time he turns pro at sixteen, his new look promises to change tennis forever, as does his lightning-fast return.

And yet, despite his raw talent, he struggles early on. We feel his confusion as he loses to the world’s best, his greater confusion as he starts to win. After stumbling in three Grand Slam finals, Agassi shocks the world, and himself, by capturing the 1992 Wimbledon. Overnight he becomes a fan favorite and a media target.

Agassi brings a near-photographic memory to every pivotal match and every relationship. Never before has the inner game of tennis and the outer game of fame been so precisely limned. Alongside vivid portraits of rivals from several generations—Jimmy Connors, Pete Sampras, Roger Federer—Agassi gives unstinting accounts of his brief time with Barbra Streisand and his doomed marriage to Brooke Shields. He reveals a shattering loss of confidence. And he recounts his spectacular resurrection, a comeback climaxing with his epic run at the 1999 French Open and his march to become the oldest man ever ranked number one.

In clear, taut prose, Agassi evokes his loyal brother, his wise coach, his gentle trainer, all the people who help him regain his balance and find love at last with Stefanie Graf. Inspired by her quiet strength, he fights through crippling pain from a deteriorating spine to remain a dangerous opponent in the twenty-first and final year of his career. Entering his last tournament in 2006, he’s hailed for completing a stunning metamorphosis, from nonconformist to elder statesman, from dropout to education advocate. And still he’s not done. At a U.S. Open for the ages, he makes a courageous last stand, then delivers one of the most stirring farewells ever heard in a sporting arena.

With its breakneck tempo and raw candor, Open will be read and cherished for years. A treat for ardent fans, it will also captivate readers who know nothing about tennis. Like Agassi’s game, it sets a new standard for grace, style, speed, and power.

Just the day I needed....

Today marked the start of Christmas festivities in my family. My Dad's side of the family all got together to share gifts and catch up (with such a big extended family, we can't catch up with everyone on Christmas Day). It was exactly what I needed to re-focus on what is important and to be reminded of just how lucky I am to have such a great family. My cousins, Emma and Alexandra made my Nan an amazing movie with photos from when my Nan was young, and of all our family members. It was so great to see so many photos of my Nan that I had never seen before. Much love to both Emma and Alexandra for taking the time to put this together and share it with all of us.

My Dad and Step-Mum gave my husband and I a terrific hamper full of goodies. It also came with a kimmidoll for me, named 'Sakura'. My Step-Mum chose it because she thought the meaning behind the doll represented me so well. The card reads: Sakura 'Clarity'. My spirit grounds and gives focus. You release my power by consciously living each moment. Discover the joy, clarity and peace that flows from being fully present in your life. I am so touched by this thoughtful gift. What a great day!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Seth Godin's new e-book = AMAZING!

For anyone who hasn't visited Seth Godin's website, DO IT NOW! He recently released a free e-book titled "What Matters Now", where he has compiled more than 70 big thinkers, each sharing an idea for you to think about as we head into the new year. As Seth suggests, there are probably too many ideas in there to absorb in one sitting, and some may not apply to you. But the point is to think, to cycle, to talk about it.

So I really have nothing more to say than "Read. Be Inspired. Pass It On".

Awesome Day....





What an awesome day. It started with a coffee and a walk in Centennial Park with a friend and our little ones. Then I walked to work and did some admin stuff at the store. At midday two of my lulu peeps and I hit V Club for a Zumba class (we did our first one of these last week and are hooked!). We then had lunch and did more work in my favourite book store, followed by a Hatha Yoga class with one of our lululemon ambassadors, Kelli Prieur. Kelli's class was challenging but fun (the headstands and handstands were cool). She also really brought my focus back to what is important when she discussed gratitude at the end of the class. I definitely need more gratitude in my life right now. Time to crack open that gratitude journal again I think.....

P.S Isn't my Boo Boo sooooo cute. I just had to show these photos off!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Boo Boo is back!

My Little Man came home today. I feel like I haven't seen him or my husband for weeks! This afternoon was my first ever Christmas Concert as a parent (wow, I can't believe it!). The Little Man was having some attachment issues and spent half the time in the audience instead of in the performance space, god love him. When he was out the front though, he was soooo cute. He was waving to everyone and singing the songs and generally being gorgeous. The really fun part was trying to stop him from stuffing his face with all the party food that was put out afterwards!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Ah ha's.....

Image by blondepowers via flickr

"Our biggest fear is not that we are inadequate
Our biggest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure
We ask ourselves, who am I
to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
Your playing small doesn't serve the world
We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us
and as we let our own light shine
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same"

Marianne Williamson

These concepts are ringing very true for me at the moment. Some, I 'get' completely and others are a work in progress. I cannot agree more with the idea that when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. Over the past year I have worked hard to find my light and share it with other people (and to come to understand that it is ok to do so). I have shared the 'real' me and been more authentic than ever before in my life, and by doing this I have given myself and others a gift. When we are happy with ourselves, understand ourselves, celebrate and share ourselves with the world and are authentic in everything we do, it inspires others. It allows them to see how wonderful life can be and motivates them to get out there to find and spread their own joy.

In the past I have had a hard time truly believing the idea that our biggest fear could be that we are powerful beyond measure. Who would be afraid of being powerful? Wouldn't we all love to get to that point in our lives and when we did, wouldn't we grab it with both hands? Apparently not. I can attest to this. I am powerful in my own life. Sharing my life experiences and being my true self has had an amazing effect on the people around me. I have seen this, felt this, been told this. I know this to be true. If this powerful self is the very same person who made a huge life change this year and left her teaching job to join the lululemon family, why then do I let fear and doubt creep in and essentially play-down the power that I know exists within me? The answer to this question only started to dawn on me in the past week. It is because I am letting past disappointments cloud my mind. I haven't realised it, but I must still be carrying them around with me.

What I need to trust is that I have found my place to be powerful, where I can take that leap of faith and throw everything I have and everything I am into this life and I will be supported. I'm not going to be 'dropped' or be told 'Be Big, Be Powerful - ok stop, now you're too powerful', as has happened in the past. I need to fully let go and trust that the culture of lululemon and the amazing people I work with is where I can finally be me and achieve greatness. I did truly believe this when i first decided to change my life and work with lululemon, but I've let fear creep in since then.

I made an enormous stand for my own greatness in changing how I live my life, and in changing my career path at the time in life that I have (age 32, with a 1 year old). I need to keep holding myself accountable. I didn't put in the hard work and make those big decisions to come to lululemon to be mediocre. I came to lululemon because I truly believe with all my heart that I have finally found the place where I can be the powerful person that I am, and where I will make a difference in a way that goes beyond anything I could ever have imagined for myself. I'm here, its here and its time to do this! So I am a lululemon store manager by July 2010, I am Regional Manager for lululemon by July 2012 and I am General Manager of lululemon athletica Australia by July 2016. Whooo hoooo!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Missing Boo Boo....

Boo Boo (aka My Little Man) has gone on a little holiday with his Daddy, Uncle and cousin. And I miss him like crazy. (Alas I am working so cannot partake in the nice trip to a seaside location - boy would I love to get away though!). We had lots of Mummy and Boo Boo time on Friday afternoon and evening, and Saturday morning, so when the time came for him to head off for a few days, it nearly broke my heart. That moment where they realise you are putting them in the car seat but you won't actually be joining them in the car, is the saddest.....

Having said this, the ability to sleep without being woken up at 4am is wonderful - I won't lie. I was able to head out on the town with the lulu gang last night, which was also fun. Pretty dresses, champagne and girl talk is essential every now and then.

Anyway, love to my lovely husband and Boo Boo. Don't get up to too much mischief on your boys trip!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Feedback.......

This week has been a very powerful week for me so far. And it is all because of feedback. We all need constructive feedback in order to help us achieve greatness. Yesterday I received two emails from lululemon colleagues whom I really admire. I was overwhelmed by the feedback they gave me in terms of where they can see me going with the company and about who I am as a person. Exactly what they said is not important for this post (although I do think Belinda Youll General Manager lululemon athletica Australia has a nice ring to it don't you? - I was going to write ha ha here but I deleted it as I would be playing small and I'm all about playing big!). What is important is the impact that this feedback had on me and how it made me feel. And what I want to pass on to everyone is that you should never underestimate the impact you can have on someone by offering them honest and positive feedback. One encouraging word, sentence or conversation can literally change a person's life. You may think it is insignificant but it could actually be a defining moment in their path to greatness. The best thing is, we all have the power to be that person for someone else, so get cracking with that feedback!

I also want to acknowledge Elizabeth, who is one of my fellow lulu's at the ivy store. She gave me some incredible feedback this week as well (how lucky am I this week?) by telling me how much she missed my presence while I was away at the lululemon conference in Melbourne. She also told me that I had changed her entire experience of living in Australia by making her feel included and welcome. (Oh my gosh, I'm tearing up re-living this conversation!). Anyway, thank you sweet pea. Your words meant so much to me. xx

This was my morning....




My Little Man, Bondi Beach, Turkish toast with Vegemite, a skim latte and a run. What more could a gal ask for?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

This is why I do what I do....

Today I had an amazing experience in the store. I met Michel and Helene who are part of a group of four Canadian cyclists from the Motor Adaptation Foundation who are in Australia as part of their “Seeing Beyond” World Tour. This group's incredible adventure began back in 2003, and by 2012 they hope to have completed 42, 195km across at least 4 continents. Backed by Lions International, and more specifically by the Lions Club of Quebec l'Ancienne-Lorette, these four Canadians have been leading by example, riding across North America and Europe to show the world that everyone, young and old, including anyone with disabilities, needs to take an active part in life and maintain good mental and physical health. The group have achieved their goal of riding 4,219.5km in Australia, and did so in 39 days. And, get this: The youngest member of the team is 68 years of age!!!!!

Michel and Helene initially came in the store because they wanted to purchase an inspiring gift for someone and decided to get him one of our water bottles. Once I heard their story, I told them they could choose four bottles, one for each person in their group, and take them as a gift from lululemon to congratulate them and support them on their journey. They were completely overwhelmed by this offering and said that the I 'heart' lululemon bottles would always remind them of me. (They also said they would be telling everyone where their bottles came from). Even more touching was the fact that they returned to the store later in the afternoon, because they wanted to have their photo taken with me (Awwwww!). Despite being from Canada, Michel and Helene were not familiar with lululemon. I feel quite privileged to have been their introduction to our culture and brand.

How lucky am I that I get to have these wonderful experiences as part of a days 'work'?

Note: To read more about this group and their inspiring founder, you can click here.

How is this for an awesome dessert?

Last night my twin sis and I went out for dinner to a cafe around the corner from her house. The food was all really, really nice but the dessert was the best. Rich chocolate and peanut butter fondant topped with salted caramel icecream. My mouth will be watering for days to come just thinking about it........

Monday, November 30, 2009

Inspiring Words....

For anyone who doesn't know, Randy Pausch was a professor of Computer Science, Human Interaction and Design at Carnegie Mellon University. Watching his "Last Lecture" is something everyone must do in their lifetime. This lecture was really for his kids (Randy put it together because he was dying of pancreatic cancer and wanted to leave this for them), but millions of people all over the world have watched it and taken something away from it. You can find a number of Randy's inspiring and humorous lectures here and here.

For those of you who are short on time right now, I will leave you with some great quotes taken from the "Last Lecture".

" We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand".

"The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. The brick walls are there to stop the people who don't want it badly enough".

"Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted".

"Follow your passions, believe in karma, and you won't have to chase your dreams, they will come to you".

"It is important to have specific dreams. Dream Big. Dream without fear".

"When we're connected to others, we become better people".

On time management: "Here's what I know:
Time must be explicitly managed, like money.
You can always change your plan, but only if you have one.
Ask yourself, Are you spending your time on the right things?
Develop a good filing system.
Rethink the phone.
Delegate.
Take a time out."

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Weekend Gratitude....

I've been a bit stuck lately with updating my blog. I love it and I miss it when I don't check in, but thoughts of not having anything interesting to write creep in every now and then. In an effort to kick myself out of this rut, I'm going to randomly select a topic and write about it. Today I'm choosing Gratitude, as this has featured in a number of the blogs I've been reading. I used to religiously write down 5 things that I was grateful for every night (Thanks for the tip Oprah). Sounds corny but it completely changes the way you perceive each day and assists you to focus on the positive rather than the negative. Here's my list for the weekend:

  • I am grateful that I had breakfast with my little man at a cafe yesterday morning.
  • I am grateful that my little man had a mid-morning nap with me yesterday.
  • I am grateful that I got to spend time with my Dad, Step-Mum and brothers yesterday (as well as the little man!).
  • I am grateful for the chocolate sundae I had yesterday (YUM!).
  • I am grateful that I had a great day with my lululemon peeps at work today.
  • I am grateful that I have tomorrow off and can catch up on some creative projects.
  • I am grateful that I have tomorrow off so that I can prepare for the lululemon conference that starts on Tuesday.
  • I am grateful that I get to go to the lululemon conference in Melbourne this week.
  • I am grateful that I get to spend time with my awesome fellow lulu's from all over Australia this week.
I am sooooo excited for this week (while at the same time being a little sad that this thing I have been looking forward to for so long will come and go). But I have no doubt that this will be a life changing experience for me and I can't wait to share it with you all!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Fun Times....

Last night all of the lululemon crew from the store I work at attended a special screening of George Clooney's new movie "Up In The Air" (Due to be released in Australia in January, 2010). The movie is directed by Jason Reitman of 'Juno' and 'Thank you for Smoking' fame. A woman who works at Paramount Pictures rang us out of the blue the other week and asked if we would like to go. Of course we said 'yes' but we were curious to know why she picked us. She said that she personally loved our clothes and coming into our store, and that we all seemed like exactly the kind of people who would enjoy this movie. And I did. It was really, really good and so awesome for all of us to go together, along with our partners, fathers, best friends, and some of our regular guests in the store who are like family. Here is a summary of the plot just so you get an idea of what it is about:


"Ryan Bingham's (George Clooney) job is to fire people from theirs. The anguish, hostility, and despair of his "clients" has left him falsely compassionate, living out of a suitcase, and loving every second of it. When his boss hires arrogant young Natalie, she develops a method of video conferencing that will allow termination without ever leaving the office - essentially threatening the existence Ryan so cherishes. Determined to show the naive girl the error of her logic, Ryan takes her on one of his cross country firing expeditions. But as she starts to realize the disheartening realities of her profession, he begins to see the downfalls to his way of life".




Make sure you go see it!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Contradictions.....

This week seems to be a week of contradictions for me. In my head I am happy and excited for so many things eg. lululemon party on Thursday night where my husband and sister Alison are going to help, along with my sister Lauren who is going to sing, going to a special screening of George Clooney's new movie "Up in the Air" tonight with all the lululemon gang, going to Melbourne next week for the lululemon conference, making T-Shirts that people have ordered from me for little bubba's for Christmas. Its all good. So why then do I feel so cranky? Why can't I stop letting other people's negativity and meanness (a word?) affect me so much? Hopefully I will get to spend some time today being inspired and I will be able to 'suck it all up and get over it' so to speak. I hope so.........

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Welcome to new friends!


Two new friends have joined our lulu family and I wanted to officially welcome them. Anthony and Maya, you guys are both fantastic and if there is anything at all we can do to support you, don't hesitate to ask. Looking forward to a long and fun-filled journey with you both! X Bel

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Another goal achieved......

I'm giving myself a pat on the back because tonight I finished the 5th and final book in the lululemon core library. I'm pretty chuffed considering that I have only been at lululemon for just over 4 months and I have also read at least 7 other books in this time (As you can probably guess, I LOVE reading). All 5 books in the core library (Good to Great, A New Earth, The Goal, Focal Point and The Tipping Point) have been well worth reading as I have learnt so much more about areas such as goal setting, business and reaching my potential. I am so grateful that I have had the opportunity to be exposed to the life changing culture that is lululemon. The best thing is, that it isn't a secret. Anyone out there can pick up these books and share in the culture - I highly recommend that you do.

Boy with balloons in Afghanistan.......

How cute are the two munchkins on the right?

Image by via littlebitsandblogs

Strengths finder......


A couple of weeks ago, I completed an online test called "Strengths Finder". It is a test which determines what your talents are and then provides you with a detailed analysis of how these influence your life. The main philosophy behind the test and the book that it comes from is that to achieve success you should focus on, and maximise these talents (rather than focus on your areas of weakness). When I discovered what my talents were, it was clear as day to me why my life has been so wonderful and fulfilling this year. It is because I made the conscious decision to follow my heart and move my life in a direction where I could use those talents every day. It makes such a difference when you can do this.

I will give a brief description of my talents/strengths below, as they give you a further glimpse as to who Bel really is!:

MAXIMISER:

People who are especially talented in the Maximizer theme focus on strengths as a way to

stimulate personal and group excellence. They seek to transform something strong into

something superb.

EMPATHY:

People who are especially talented in the Empathy theme can sense the feelings of other

people by imagining themselves in others’ lives or others’ situations.


DEVELOPER:

People who are especially talented in the Developer theme recognize and cultivate the

potential in others. They spot the signs of each small improvement and derive satisfaction

from these improvements.


INPUT:

People who are especially talented in the Input theme have a craving to know more. Often

they like to collect and archive all kinds of information.


POSITIVITY:

People who are especially talented in the Positivity theme have an enthusiasm that is

contagious. They are upbeat and can get others excited about what they are going to do.


It really is fascinating stuff. For anyone who is interested, the book you need to buy is called "Strengths Finder 2.0" by Tom Rath (you need to buy the book to get a code to do the online quiz).

A great read.....

I just finished reading "The Wolf of Wall Street", which I could not put down. It is the tell-all autobiography of Jordan Belfort, who became one of the most infamous names in American finance in the 1990's. He narrates an astounding but also hilarious tale of greed, power and excess, which no-one could even begin to make up. Thanks so much to my twin sis who recommended that I read this book. I loved it so much that I've moved straight onto Jordan's second book, "Catching the Wolf of Wall Street", which I'm sure will be just as entertaining. If you want a book to laugh through and totally lose yourself in, then this is for you. Happy reading!

Bel update....

My posts have been a bit scattered lately, so I thought I would bring you up to speed on where I'm at in my life right now. (The time absolutely flies by. I can't believe we are half way through November already!). Anyway, lululemon is going great. I am very excited to say that I have been invited to attend the first ever Australian lululemon managers conference, which is being held in Melbourne at the beginning of December. Three days of fun, lulu friends and inspiration. I can't wait! Also on the lululemon front, I applied to join the lululemon blog team (which is run out of Canada), and have been accepted, so now I will get to blog there as well.

Home life is heaps of fun at the moment. The little man is soooooooo cute that I just want to kiss him to death every minute. He has completely stolen my heart. My lovely husband and I are enjoying spending time as a family and marveling at all the funny things our little one does.


My little man on a police motorbike

I am also working on some creative projects, in particular, designing T-shirts for little ones. I already have a few orders placed for Christmas which is really cool. (My first prototypes are in the picture below). Feel free to let me know what you think!



Monday, November 16, 2009

My Brush With Fame....


Yesterday Michael Buble' came into our lululemon store and I got to speak to him (sigh). He is so much cuter in real life than he appears in photos and on TV.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

On your bike......

Today was the second time I have ridden my bike to work (yes Mum, on the busy city roads). Despite fears of being hit by a bus or of someone opening their car door into me, I really enjoyed it. Its way quicker than walking but more environmentally friendly than driving. Thanks to my lovely husband for being my road cycling mentor. The real test will come this afternoon when I have to get myself home without my chaperone!

Friday, November 6, 2009

It's because I want you to be great that I'm telling you this.....

Image by harold.lloyd via flickr

These are the words that prefaced a conversation that a very good friend had with me yesterday. I was not expecting to have this conversation, but I wanted to mention it because I am so grateful to her for having the courage to call me on something that I have been doing in a particular area of my life. In a past life I would have been unable to take this advice as it was intended, and instead would have taken it as a criticism. But I can see how far I have come now that my response to such candid advice is gratitude. Thank you Schmoops - you're the best.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Dear Little Man....

Last night you decided that you weren't having a bar of sleeping in your own bed and I got you as my bed buddy for the night (how can such a little person take up so much room in a king size bed?). I was having a hard time getting to sleep so I just kept watching you and thinking back to the day you were born. In many ways I think my mind blocked a lot of that out, without me realising. You had quite a bit of trouble making your way into the world, so I didn't even get to hold you or really see you at all when you were first born. Initially I thought that hadn't affected me at all, but in hindsight I think it did. I had waited so long to finally see you and meet you and then it all happened in a chaotic, somewhat stressful rush and the moment was gone. I'm sorry I didn't get to give you a big cuddle and welcome you into the world. I'm sorry that none of the first few months of your life went as I had hoped. (I know I learnt so much through everything and am a stronger and hopefully wiser person now because of it, but I wish that hadn't come at the expense of those first few months of your life).
So last night really felt like a do-over for me. It was just like that first night in the hospital, where it was just you and I together (although I have to admit it was less stressful this time around without you gagging and choking every 10 minutes and me having to tip you upside down!). I got to stare at you and take you all in and listen to all your little noises that I have come to know and love. As weird as this is going to sound (and please don't think this gives you permission to do it regularly), thank you for insisting on sharing my bed with me last night and giving me that chance again. Being your Mummy is the best thing that ever happened to me and I love you with all my heart. xxxxxx

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Great Morning.....

Image of Centennial Park by p a w e l via flickr

I had an awesome morning today. The little man slept until 5:45am (this is a sleep-in in our world). My husband, the little man and myself went for a run in Centennial Park, where it seemed everyone was this morning (including the Premier of NSW). We then went home and had breakfast and walked to daycare. I then fulfilled another one of my goals and rode my bike to work. Busy morning, but a change to the usual routine did wonders for my mood.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Getting down to it.....

(Photo of my husband and I at sunset in Carmel, USA)
Today I was reading Gwyneth Paltrow's blog, Goop, and came across a really interesting set of interviews asking men the question "What does it take to sustain a happy and successful relationship/marriage?". This really got my attention because my relationship currently represents my greatest "area of opportunity" as we would say at lululemon. In most of my roles, I am going pretty strong. But as a wife, I am currently stumped. The combination of a baby, the stresses of the past year with my postnatal depression, changes to my life as a person, changes to my employment etc seems to have caught up with us, and boy is it hard to sort out. (This is not to say that the things listed above are negative or not going well, because they are great. Even so, its hard to keep all of the balls in the air at once). Anyway, I really needed some words of wisdom in this are and they came to me in the form of Deepak Chopra's response to Gwynnie's question. He states:

"Love beyond the ego has to be on a new basis. It's not about quid pro quo, giving as long as you get to take. It's mutual. It exists in a space between two people. The only way to be deeply happy in a relationship is to find that space every time you lose it. In this way, love goes beyond affection and being nice. Loving acts blossom naturally once you find the place in your own awareness that is love. Needless to say, becoming aware is a process, in love as in everything.

Consider how relationships develop. We get along well with someone else who agrees with our point of view. We feel an intimate connection; we feel validated in their presence. Then the spell is broken. The other person turns out to have many opinions and beliefs where we don’t agree at all. At this point, the war between right and wrong starts and the road to unhappiness unwinds.

The very fact that you are intimately related makes it even more painful to find areas of disagreement. At the subtle emotional level you feel abandoned. The beautiful sense of merging with someone you love is shattered. At this point love is compromised. Both people feel the return of the ego, which says, “I am right. My way of doing things is the only way. If you really loved me, you’d give in.”

When the need to be right fades, we stop having so many grievances and resentments, which are the fallout of making someone else wrong. Instead of wasting time with the ego's version of love, return to the place of love. To detach yourself from anger, resentment, and the sense of being a victim happens only in the space beyond ego. You can only find this space by devoting yourself to knowing who you really are. Leaving the ego behind is the same as the spiritual quest for the true self.

When two people are on this quest, they are on the journey to a kind of love that can never be taken away. The differences between a man and a woman fade in the light of a shared goal that is bigger than any ego need or desire. Every day becomes both a rescue and a surrender. Not a surrender to another person's ego, which can only feel like defeat. Rather, both partners surrender to the larger goal.

The ego's path is much easier to walk and far more familiar. I know that someone is on the path of love when they ask the following kinds of questions about their relationship every day:

  • Which choice is more loving?
  • What will bring peace between us?
  • How awake am I?
  • What kind of energy am I creating?
  • Am I acting out of trust or distrust?
  • Do I feel what my partner is feeling?
  • Can I give without expecting anything in return?

These questions don’t have automatic answers. They serve instead to wake you up spiritually. They attune you to a process that is more than “me” and “you.” When you become devoted to that process together, you and your partner will accomplish what seems impossible: your happiness will be as full for each of you as it is for the two of you together".

I can recognise that I am currently stuck in the hurt, angry, frustrated, irritated, stubborn, frame of mind that often accompanies relationship conflict, which definitely creates a barrier to moving forward. I know I need to work through this and that it is only when I move beyond this phase that anything can really be resolved.

Thanks Deepak for giving me a new perspective to consider.

Focal Point by Brian Tracy......

I am currently reading the 5th and final book in the lululemon core library, which is Focal Point by Brian Tracy. As always, I will share with everyone what I am learning along the way, as everyone can apply these ideas and principles to their own lives.

  • Among the most important personal choices you can make is to accept complete responsibility for everything you are and everything you will ever be. This is the great turning point in life.
  • Accepting complete responsibility for your life means that you refuse to make excuses or blame others for anything in your life that you're not happy about.
5 questions for superior performance:
  1. What am I trying to do?
  2. How am I trying to do it?
  3. What are my assumptions?
  4. What if my assumptions were wrong?
  5. What would I have to do differently if my key assumptions were wrong?
Clarity is the key:
  • To perform at your very best and double your productivity, you must be absolutely clear about what you want to accomplish. You must then identify and pursue the best way to achieve it. Be open to new information, be willing to accept feedback and to self-correct and be willing to abandon one way of working and embrace another if the circumstances warrant it.
How to increase your productivity:
  1. Have clear goals.
  2. Have a clear written path of action.
  3. Set priorities on your list. Use the 80/20 rule continually.
  • Identify the 20% of activities on your list that can account for 80% of the value of your entire list.
  • Work first on the items in the top 20%.

Why worry?.....

Once again, finances are weighing heavily on me. It is an issue which I am still finding quite challenging at the moment, what with venturing on a new career path, having a little one to take care of, having a mortgage and all the other expenses of daily life. So I went in search of some words of wisdom, inspiration and motivation and came across these ones which made me remember to keep it simple (and they made me laugh which was also needed).

Why Worry?

There are only two things to worry about:
Either you are well or you are sick.
If you are well, there's nothing to worry about.
But if you are sick,
There are only two things to worry about:
Either you get well, or you die.
If you get well, there's nothing to worry about.
But if you die, there are only two things to worry about:
Either you will go to Heaven or Hell.
If you go to Heaven, there's nothing to worry about.
But if you go to Hell
You'll be so busy shaking hands with friends
You won't have time to worry.

Author Unknown

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Beautiful yoga experience.......


Photos of Jemma from her website

Last Thursday night, I did a yoga class in a new studio at Paddington. The class was instructed by a woman by the name of Jemma Rivera, and it was one of the best yoga experiences I have had since starting work at lululemon. The whole feel of the studio and the environment she created was so calming. Slides of beautiful scenery were projected onto the wall throughout the class and each person had their own tealight in front of their mat. Jemma is a beautiful, beautiful soul and I highly recommend that you visit her website 'Jing Life'.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My Little Man Loves Jazz......

Last week the Little Man was messing around with our TV control and accidentally switched the stereo onto the radio. Out blared the jazz music station and so a discovery was made. Our little man LOVES jazz. As soon as we put it on he starts dancing and shaking around. Sooooo cute! Last night he was falling asleep on the couch next to me and he had his little face squished up to mine and his hands around my neck and his little body still couldn't help but jiggle to the music. I fall in love with him again and again each day.......

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

So much fun......

Yesterday I was lucky enough to have lunch with 14 of my fellow lulu's (including the CEO and CFO of lululemon athletica Australia). It was so great to hear what was going on in the other Sydney stores and to be inspired by the fantastic plans that everyone has. It is such a supportive environment to be in and it is awesome to be part of what is essentially a movement to make the world a better place. We had lunch at a cafe called 'Moo' on Bondi Beach. I had a great cheeseburger as well as a Mooteaser Milkshake (a choc milkshake with maltesers mixed through it. Too good). We then all finished up with mini choc top ice-creams. I had to discuss the food as I firmly believe in appreciating and enjoying the simple things in life!
As if that wasn't a cool enough day, later on I had a one on one goal coaching session/chat with the CFO at the Ivy. We had a glass of champagne and got to talk about Mum stuff and ourselves and lululemon, and it was such a lovely way to finish off a fantastic day. I doubt there are many companies where the CFO will fly up from Melbourne for two days and take the time to meet an employee and talk to them about their goals and their life. This is a very special place to work.......

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Gratitude...........

Yesterday was a great day because...

1. My little sister came home from Germany and we all met her at the airport at 6am.
2. The little man had an hour and a half sleep after we got home from the airport.
3. We had yum cha with my family as this is what my sister had missed the most!
4. The little man was full of personality today - so funny and affectionate.
5. The little man had a second daytime nap when we got home from yum cha (this is very, very rare let me tell you).
6. My Mum called from Indonesia (they don't get many phone privileges on the boat so this was special).
7. I got to spend some time being creative last night.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Bump in the road.....

Every now and then I hit a little bump in the road where I start to doubt myself. Last week brought me one such bump (hence my last post where I needed to give myself a pep talk as my self- esteem seemed to be hanging by a thread). I can slowly feel myself coming out of it but it has not been easy, let me tell you. I would even go as far as to suggest that this is the greatest knock I have taken in the past year, so it scared the hell out of me. I have done ALOT of work on myself in the past year, and it has been hard work. So to then be faced with a feeling that it was all being undone and I was sliding back into my old dark days was rough. But, as I have been doing with everything in my life, I need to try and look closely at what the universe is trying to tell me by sending me such a difficult situation. So far my thoughts are:

1. Relationships are HARD and each person in them has their own experience and perception of them at any given time (I already knew this one but its often one of the hardest ones to deal with). Keep working on them all the time.
2. Some days there is nothing you can do except fall in a heap, and it may be better to do this than fight it. Give yourself a break, cry if you need to and hopefully once you have let it out you will be able to keep moving.
3. I have AMAZING friends and particular family members who have held me up this week when I needed it (particularly my lulu family, my twin sis and my Mum).

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I Am......

I am kind

I am strong

I am lovable

I am passionate

I am a great mother

I am generous

I am creative

I am intelligent

I am compassionate

I am happy

I am brilliant

I am fun

I am grateful

I am thoughtful

I am generous

I am trying

I am me. And that's more than enough.

Monday, October 19, 2009

5 sleeps to go....

Five sleeps to go until my little sister returns home after spending a year in Germany. We can't wait to have her home again and it will be so amazing for her to meet her little niece and nephew who were both a lot tinier when she last saw them. Looking forward to our welcome home yum cha on Saturday!

Friday, October 16, 2009

An invitation to you all....

Our store is holding its inaugural Breast Cancer Awareness event this Wednesday night, 21st October. I urge anyone who is in Sydney to come along. There will be drinks, food, education, conversation and inspiration. Plus 10% of all lululemon purchases on the night will go to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Shopping and making a difference to others at the same time - how cool is that?

What are you going to do about the fact that you are here?

It isn't an accident that I am where I am in life right now. It isn't an accident that I am at lululemon at this particular time in my life (as opposed to any other). It isn't an accident that I have been blessed with the responsibility of guiding and celebrating the gorgeous life of my little man right now. I believe that I needed to go through everything I have gone through in my life up to this point, so that I could be in a place to appreciate, understand and truly be a part of this amazing movement that is lululemon. I needed to be pushed to the limits of what I thought I was capable of and even to have that moment where I was essentially choosing between life and death, so that I can help my little man experience the world and his life in the happiest and greatest way possible. I came to lululemon for a reason, I have a husband and son for a reason, I have gone through all these highs and lows for a reason. Understanding these reasons and acknowledging these reasons is all good and well, but there needs to be more.

So last night (with the help of some lulu inspiration), I asked myself the question "What am I doing about the fact that I am here?". The answer to the question of why I came to lululemon was to develop people. Now that I have sat down and actually thought about that question and answered it, it seems so obvious. The way in which I live my life and all of the choices I am making in my life now come back to this one thing. And the choices I have made in the past are intrinsically linked to that as well. I became a teacher so that I could develop young people and help them be all that they could be. I wanted to be, and I was privileged to be, the person who took a stand for my students. I was the voice whispering in many young people's ears saying "I believe in you, be great". Where I am now is just an extension of this and comes back to the same desire. I am passionate about everyone (including myself), living their best life. I love my fellow lulu's, my family, my friends, guests I meet each day and myself, enough that I want to do everything in my power to share what I know and what I am learning so that they and we can achieve greatness.

Regardless of where you work, what you do, how old you are etc I urge you to ask yourself "What are you doing about the fact that you are here?". What are you on this earth for? What have you been given this life for? Find the answer to that question and then get out there and live it!

Monday, October 12, 2009

My First Thanksgiving.....

Image by Smitten via flickr

So this weekend that just passed marked Canadian Thanksgiving. Since I now have a whole new North American family courtesy of lululemon, my little family were invited to share in our friends' Thanksgiving dinner. To put it simply, it was one of the loveliest things I have ever been a part of. There was GREAT food, amazing company, GREAT food, red wine, and did I mention there was GREAT food? We had spinach dip, turkey with gravy and cranberry sauce, stuffing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, cous cous salad, and a beautiful salad with strawberries in it, just to name some of the delectable items. As if this wasn't enough, we also had pumpkin pie (that looked just like the image above), chocolate cake, crumble and oreos. I was in food heaven! My little man also thoroughly enjoyed being the centre of attention, being the only child in attendance. The whole evening I just kept thinking how lucky we are to have made friends with people who are so welcoming, caring and supportive. I can't wait to return the favour to them when they join my family for Christmas dinner in December!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Laughter yoga with a beer chaser....


Last night we held a laughter yoga workshop at our lululemon store. It was run by a lovely young woman by the name of Kathy Popplewell who is trying to raise awareness of the healing and health benefits of laughter. She is about to travel down the east coast of Australia for 30 days, doing free laughter yoga workshops. Apart from raising awareness she is conducting a little experiment to see just how much of an impact laughing every day can have on your health and well being. I have to say, that by the end of it my mood was definitely elevated (a pretty good outcome considering I had been at work for over 12 hours yesterday!). It was a great challenge for me to do something completely different, to interact with new people and to share an experience with my fellow lulu's. (By the way, you don't actually do yoga. The workshop is based around laughter activities). If you ever get a chance to participate in a similar workshop, go for it.

After the workshop concluded, a few of my lulu pals and I went to the pub next door for drinks and a bite to eat. While I was with them, chatting and sharing stories, I couldn't help but think how lucky I am to be a part of such a special group of people. I have this whole new family where everyone supports each other and wants the best for each other. Its sad to say that this is quite rare in this day and age, so I am sooooo grateful. Even when I am not at work, these are the people with whom I would choose to spend my time. Every single member of my lululemon family is amazing in their own special way and knowing each of them makes me a better person. I heart them all........

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A Noble Cause....

I want to make mention of my Mum today as she has just embarked on a momentous journey. She is aboard HMAS Kanimbla, bound for Indonesia. As a medical officer in the Austyralian Navy Reserve, she will be involved in helping with the relief effort for victims of the recent earthquake in Padang. Whilst she has been on training exercises before, this is the first time that she has been deployed. It will no doubt be an amazing experience to assist people who are in such desperate need of help, but I'm sure it will also be quite confronting (and she has no idea how long she will be gone). We know she will do an amazing job and we are thinking of her every day......

Friday, October 2, 2009

Go out into the world and do good....

One of my very special lulu friends, Nancy, had her last day working in the store this week. I wanted to acknowledge her 'Amazingness' because she has played a huge part in making my lululemon experience so life changing. She took me under her wing straight away but also allowed me the freedom to try things and to learn through 'doing'. She challenged me, encouraged me, and acknowledged me. She is a phenomenal leader. Her guidance from a work perspective has been invaluable, but more than that I would like to thank her for her friendship and for sharing her life with me. The support she has shown to myself, my husband and our little man is overwhelming and I can't thank her enough.
Nancy, even though I have only known you for about 3 months, I feel as though I have known you forever. You make me think, you make me laugh, you make me hope. If ever there has been a person in whom I have 100% faith that they will go into the world and do good, it is you. Be strong, be great, be YOU!

P.S. While you are in Australia or even when you one day go back home to Canada "My Family is your family."

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dear Little Man....

You are so funny lately.

You love laughing.

You are very ticklish.

You love eating Rice Bubbles for breakfast (and you love sneezing as soon as I have put them in your mouth!).

You love climbing on things.

You love it when we hum the Harry Potter theme to you (Nanna Gail and your cousin Oscar taught you this).

You love all your dummies.

You love helping me take clothes out of the washing machine.

You love Daddy chasing you around the house.

You love our toothbrushes.

You love Yum Cha (especially BBQ Pork buns).

We love you. XXX

Monday, September 28, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY FLUFF!!!!!!


Wishing my littlest sister the happiest, happiest, happiest birthday ever Less than a month until you come home - Hooray! We can't wait to see you. We have missed you so much. The cupcakes are on ice for you..... xxxxx

PS. (I tried to do this last night so you would see it on your actual birthday but I had trouble with our internet. Sorry:( This way your birthday lasts longer!).

Saturday, September 26, 2009

My husband is amazing....

So my husband achieved something truly amazing on Friday. He ran for 8 1/2 hours, covering approximately 80km. The purpose of such a feat is to train for an epic run that he intends to do next April. His goal is to run from Cape York to Sydney, in order to raise awareness and money for post natal depression. (This will involve him covering roughly 100km a day for 2 months). I have been quite hesitant to talk about this and I know that for the most part my husband feels I haven't been very supportive of him in this quest. Its not that I don't want to support him but its my fear kicking in. Fear of how I will cope on my own, looking after a small baby and working full-time. Fear of the effect this will have on my husband's body and mind. Fear of the effect his absence will have on our relationship. Fear of lots and lots of things. I feel hypocritical discussing how inspired I am about people like John Maclean who complete amazing physical and mental challenges, but then not wanting my husband to do this. I am trying very hard at the moment to overcome this fear. I'm still a long way from doing this, but for now I do want to say how proud I am of him for what he did on Friday night and that I think he is truly amazing for following through with it.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Snap out of it......

Tonight I came across an amazing blog called the 'NieNie Dialogues'. At first glance it appears to be a lovely blog about a 28 year old woman named Stephanie, who adores her children and husband. Once I started reading, however, I became aware, that just over a year ago, Stephanie and her husband were actually in a plane crash which nearly killed both of them. It also left her in a coma and with severe burns (the burns are so severe that you cannot recognise her from previous photos). Yes, it is an extremely sad story, but I wanted to share it because it was just the wake up call I needed. I have been letting my mind and day to day thoughts be consumed by trivial things lately. After reading Stephanie's posts from the past year, hearing of her struggles, and also of her faith, gratitude and hope, I realised its time that I got over myself and focused on enjoying every minute of this wonderful life that I have been given. I urge you to visit Stephanie's blog and be inspired yourself.

I want to go inside.....


I came across this image on weheartit.com (great, another site that I will end up spending hours and hours looking at!). I want to jump into the shot and open the door to go and see what is on the other side......

My favourite moment.....

Lately I have a new favourite moment in the day. It is the moment where I stand at the glass door at Daycare and watch the Little Man just before I go in and pick him up. It is so amazing to watch him 'doing his own thing', interacting with everyone and everything else in the room, just being a little person. It always makes me smile and I want to capture the image in my mind to replay over and over again, because I know how fast time flies. I love my little man......