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


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......

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Beautiful Quote.....

"As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same".
Nelson Mandela (via the go to girl)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Inspiring Read....

This weekend I finished reading the book "Full Circle" by John Maclean". Here is a brief description of John's background and achievements (as described on his website, www.johnmaclean.com.au):

During fitness training, while cycling near his hometown, John was hit by an 8 tonne truck when he was just 22 years old. The impact resulted in John suffering multiple breaks to his pelvis and back, a fractured sternum, punctured lungs, a broken arm, and left John a paraplegic. It took astonishing courage and determination, but somehow this near-fatal accident was the making of him. Despite the grief of what he had lost, the excruciating physical pain and the challenges of daily life in a wheelchair, John decided he would become bigger and stronger than ever. He set about proving himself in the toughest events the world had to offer.

In 1995 John made history by becoming the first wheelchair athlete to finish the world's toughest multi-discipline sporting event – the Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon, drawing on all his inner strength to continue to the finish line after falling outside cut-off times in the early stages.

The following year John narrowly missed the cut off time again, this time due to a flat tyre.

In 1997 he not only finished within the cut-off times, he beat a third of the field and became the first ever wheelchair category winner. In 2002 John became the first non-American inducted into the Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon Hall of Fame.

Many more extreme sporting challenges followed, including becoming the first wheelchair athlete to swim the English Channel, complete the gruelling Molokai Ocean challenge (World Championships for open water paddling), racing in the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race and winning a silver medal at the Beijing Paralympics.

The charitable foundation he established in 1998 – the John Maclean Foundation - is a national scale organization providing support and assistance to Australian wheelchair users under the age of 18, and has now raised more than $2,000,000. The foundation's mission is to inspire, motivate and enable physically challenged kids to chase their dreams and live life to the fullest.

"In business and in life, we all face obstacles and crossroads. While my 20-year story seems like an extreme account of setbacks and facing up to them, the message is not about those obstacles, or how they got there, more about learning to see challenges, or adversity if you like, and welcoming it as a fuel to feed off . Any of the great people I have met have harnessed adversity and turned it into an energy that allows them to achieve so much more. All of us can do that, we simply have to make that choice."

There are so many quotes and comments made by John that I found so inspiring. I've made a note of them so that next time I need some motivation (or to snap out of focusing on anything negative), I can read them. Here are some:

"I surround myself with positive people who enrich my life and who make me want to be a better person".

"Some goals you achieve, others you don't. In the end, it doesn't matter. The key is to keep on setting them".

"Sometimes you don't get it right the first time. But keep going, keep chasing your dreams because the journey is as important as the destination".

"If you don't see it and believe it, you won't achieve it".

"I believe there are four keys to a successful life - belief in yourself, commitment to your family, responsibility in business or work, and giving back to your community".

Some wise, wise words........

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Goal Achieved....

Today I achieved my goal of running in the Sydney Running Festival (I did the 9km bridge run). I had no intention of running it - I was going to walk, since I have been sick alot lately and haven't been running at all. But the vibe of the day got the better of me and I just had to run. The weather was sensational and it doesn't get much better than running alongside Sydney Harbour to raise money for Cancer. Thanks heaps to my lulu pal Elizabeth who accepted the offer to join me at the last minute and who ran with me despite not being 100% herself. Yeah for us!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Exactly what I needed today....

Over the past few days, little voices have been creeping into my head - these voices are starting to question whether following my heart and passion has been a selfish act. I know that it hasn't been a selfish act in the sense that being able to go to work everyday in a place where I can live each day authentically, makes me a better bel, mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend, and person in general. (Which is amazing, and I feel truly blessed). For the most part I have had, and continue to have faith in the idea that following my heart will lead me where I need to go and that the universe will take care of me. But the reality is, I have a family. An amazing husband and gorgeous son whose lives are affected by my decisions. My primary concern for them at the moment is the risk I have taken financially. I have never been one to dwell on money or to make decisions about my career or life path based on how much money I make (truth be known I can't remember if I have ever actually asked a potential employer what my wage/salary would be in my entire life - the job itself and the difference I could make always came first in my mind). But the stark reality is that I now make less than a third of the income I was making teaching and, that in the long term, we as a family will only be able to survive with me on my current income for a few more months. Its not even that I want to live an extravagant lifestyle or anything - but just being able to pay the mortgage, feed and clothe us, pay for daycare and every day necessities cannot be done with my current income. So my dilemma of late has been how to reconcile following my heart and living authentically, with the reality of needing to support my family financially.

And then tonight I came across the following words, written by jen lemen, on having the courage to create what we most need to find (thanks to Lisa from doorways traveler for posting the link to this). Somehow this has come to me right when I needed it most and Jen's words have given me the courage to hang on a little longer and have faith in myself and the universe.

I’ve been having an ongoing conversation with a friend about the artist life and about how difficult it can be to entertain creativity when so many other matters clamor for our attention. How can I paint when my house is a wreck? How can I start a new creative venture when I have a future to prepare for? How can I devote the time required to develop new skills when ____________ (insert name of spouse, child or employer) needs me so much? How can I even entertain art as a profession when all the little voices in my head tell me I’m being irresponsible to do so?

Wrestle with (or resist!) these questions long enough and well-formed patterns emerge along with a great divide.

My “real” life vs. Art.
My responsibilities vs. my dreams.
My head vs. my heart.

It’s an artificial divide masquerading as common sense. The kind of common sense that keeps you tame, locked down, a predictable cog in the consumer machine. Work, eat, sleep. Wake up in the morning, do it all over again. This kind of rhythm may keep you and everyone you love happy and comfortable, but comfort doesn’t transform us into fully engaged human beings. That process happens when we take risks.

Risks to love.
Risks to believe.
Risks to create.

Call it self-indulgent. Call it a privilege. Call it insane. I won’t argue. But there’s also something incredibly valuable that happens when we dive into the work of making risk-taking an ongoing approach to life and art. And feel free to define art anyway you wish. When we bring that daring side of ourselves to the fore, we not only grow as human beings, we increase the chances of stumbling on something that makes true social change possible.

Benjamin Zander, conductor and recent TED speaker, talks about this kind of process as "getting beyond "f*** it"–that place where you realize it makes no sense to continue to hold back, the place where perfectionism and ego fall away and all we’re left with is pure creative passion. Creative passion that can be utilized to solve problems, deepen empathy, increase understanding and change the world.

This is the kind of human experience our world needs today–and not simply because people engaged in meaningful work are happier and more productive–but because when we engage in our true work, we fulfill our obligations not only to ourselves and our loved ones, but to the planet as well.

What would it take for you to value the unspoken wish to spend your life in a particular way? What would it mean to say out loud the one creative thing you desperately long to do? Who would benefit if you were fully alive, fully engaged in the work that draws you in the most?

I’m thinking about these questions for myself these days. I believe there is a certain kind of hope that becomes possible for our world, each time we have the courage to create exactly what we most need to find.

A new find....

I came across the TED website via the doorways traveler blog (an amazing blog by one of my fellow Unravellers). TED is a small nonprofit devoted to ideas worth spreading. They believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So they're building a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world's most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other. There are topics, themes, speeches and talks on an array of different issues including science, business, the arts and global issues facing the world. I found the history of the foundation and the goals to be particularly inspiring so I wanted to share them here:

Who owns TED?

TED is owned by The Sapling Foundation, a private nonprofit foundation, a 501(c)3 organization under US tax code. It was established in 1996 by Chris Anderson, who was at that time a magazine publishing entrepreneur.

The goal of the foundation is to foster the spread of great ideas. It aims to provide a platform for the world's smartest thinkers, greatest visionaries and most-inspiring teachers, so that millions of people can gain a better understanding of the biggest issues faced by the world, and a desire to help create a better future. Core to this goal is a belief that there is no greater force for changing the world than a powerful idea. Consider:

  • An idea can be created out of nothing except an inspired imagination.
  • An idea weighs nothing.
  • It can be transferred across the world at the speed of light for virtually zero cost.
  • And yet an idea, when received by a prepared mind, can have extraordinary impact.
  • It can reshape that mind's view of the world.
  • It can dramatically alter the behavior of the mind's owner.
  • It can cause the mind to pass on the idea to others.

Many factors can amplify the power of ideas: mass media, technology and market forces, to name three. In the past Sapling has supported projects that use these tools to leverage every dollar spent and create sustainable change in areas such as global public health, poverty alleviation, and biodiversity. More than $10m has therefore been granted to enlightened organizations such as the Acumen Fund, Environmental Defence, One World Health, and PATH.

Please do visit the site as it is soooooo informative and thought provoking.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Such a good day.....

I wanted to acknowledge what an enjoyable day I had today. For the first time in ages I have had a chance to catch my breath and get back on top of things a little. I sat down and wrote up my action plan for my goals for the next 3 months, which instantly made me feel better because I feel more in control of them. Its so true that you need to read your goals and assess them as often as you can. Doing this really keeps you focused and motivated.
I also made the effort to go to the park and ride some laps on my new bike. In an effort to cut down the usage of our car, and for exercise, my husband and I now have bikes. My husband is really good at using his to get around but its going to take me a little while longer to get my confidence up before I can tackle the city traffic to work. But thats ok. Its just good to be trying something new and different.
The Little Man was an angel tonight. He was very happy when I picked him up from daycare. He ate all his dinner, had a bath and then went to bed with no fuss. Fingers crossed he has a good nights sleep as he has been testing our patience (and that of our neighbours) recently. We can only hope!


Yesterday I took the Little Man with me to do the grocery shopping. To many people this is a simple thing that wouldn't phase them at all. But given where I was this time a year ago, it is somewhat of a mini milestone. This is not to say that I haven't spent time alone with my son, or taken him with me to do errands before now, because I have. But yesterday was the first time that I didn't sense my own hesitation and that I felt real confidence in myself. A year ago, at the height of my post natal depression, I would have felt a great deal of fear associated with being left alone or being the sole person responsible for the Little Man. Even though I have moved beyond those feelings I believe that they subconsciously creep in every time there is the prospect of me being alone with my son. This has absolutely nothing to do with my son (he is amazing and makes my heart smile every day), but rather everything to do with my self confidence. Realistically I know that I can handle any situation that arises but for most of the past year I haven't been able to get rid of the nagging idea in the back of my head that me being alone with my son is something I should try to avoid or that I can't do. So anyway, I think I have turned a corner (or perhaps I turned it a little while ago but have only just come up for air enough to notice it!) and it feels nice to stop and acknowledge it.

Go Kim!.......

I just watched Kim Clijsters win the US Open and all I have to say is WOW. The way she was hitting the ball is unbelieveable given that she has been out of the game for two years. And when they showed her little girl on the screen cheering at the top of her lungs for her Mum, my heart just about broke. As a Mum myself, I greatly admire the positive message that she has given to her daughter, and to everyone that you can achieve anything you put your mind to. What an inspiration......

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Checking in with friends.....

As you may remember, I did a course a number of months ago now called "Unravelling". I met some amazing women in that class, who I continue to be connected with via our flickr group. I haven't been able to touch base with them as much as I would have liked to of late, but tonight I really felt the need to check in with them. I was re-reading some conversations that were posted and one of my fellow Unravellers shared an inspiring blog post that came from Tracey Clark (creator of Shutter Sisters). I adore her reference to dandelions at the end. You can check out the post here.

P.S. This one particularly goes out to my lulu pal Emma T, who I hope will find this helpful in some way. X

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A New Earth (finished!).

Another book down on my lululemon library list. Here are my final take-aways from A New Earth:
  • When you become comfortable with uncertainty, infinite possibilities open up in your life. It means fear is no longer a dominant factor in what you do and no longer prevents you from taking action to initiate change. The Roman philosopher Tacitus rightly observed that "the desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise". If uncertainty is unacceptable to you, it turns into fear. If it is perfectly acceptable, it turns into increased aliveness, alertness and creativity.
  • When you make the present moment, instead of past and future, the focal point of your life, your ability to enjoy what you do - and with it the quality of your life - increases dramatically. Joy is the dynamic aspect of Being. You don't have to wait for something "meaningful" to come into your life so that you can finally enjoy what you do. There is more meaning in joy than you will ever need. The "waiting to start living" syndrome is one of the most common delusions of the unconscious state. Expansion and positive change on the outer level is much more likely to come into your life if you can enjoy what you are doing already, instead of waiting for some change so that you can start enjoying what you do.
  • When you want to arrive at your goal more than you want to be doing what you are doing, you become stressed. The balance between enjoyment and structural tension is lost, and the latter has won. When there is stress, it is usually a sign that the ego has returned, and you are cutting yourself off from the creative power of the universe. Instead, there is only the force and strain of egoic wanting, and so you have to struggle and "work hard" to make it. Stress always diminishes both the quality and effectiveness of what you do is under its influence. There is also a strong link between stress and negative emotions, such as anxiety and anger.
  • Enthusiasm brings an enormous empowerment into what you do. Unlike egoic wanting, which creates opposition in direct proportion to the intensity of its wanting, enthusiasm never opposes. It is non-confrontational. Its activity does not create winners and losers. It is based on inclusion, not exclusion, of others. When enthusiasm encounters obstacles in the form of adverse situations or uncooperative people, it never attacks but walks around them by yielding or embracing turns the opposing energy into a helpful one, the foe into a friend.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A New Earth (cont'd).....

ABUNDANCE: Try this for a couple of weeks and see how it changes your reality: Whatever you think people are withholding from you - praise, appreciation, assistance, loving care, and so on - give it to them. You don't have it? Just act as if you had it, and it will come. Then, soon after you start giving, you will start receiving. You cannot receive what you don't give. Outflow determines inflow.

CHAOS AND HIGHER ORDER: "The snow falls, each flake in its appropriate place" (A Zen saying).

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Now here's a thought.....

Beginning today,
treat everyone you meet
as if they were going to be dead by midnight.
Extend to them all the care, kindness, and understanding you can
muster, and do it with
no thought of any reward.
Your life will never be the same again.

-Og Mandino

Monday, September 7, 2009


Image by likings of a girl (via flickr)

One of my beautiful new lululemon friends turns the big 30 today and I want to wish her a happy, happy day. I hope she realises how special she is and I want her to know how lucky I feel to have her in my life. Love and hugs gorgeous. xoxoxox

Friday, September 4, 2009

A New Earth continued....

  • The particular egoic patterns that you react to most strongly in others and misperceive as their identity tend to be the same patterns that are also in you, but that you are unable or unwilling to detect within yourself. Anything that you resent and strongly react to in another is also in you. But it is no more than a form of ego, and as such, it is completely impersonal. It has nothing to do with who that person is, nor has it anything to do with who you are. Only if you mistake it for who you are can observing it within you be threatening to your sense of self. 
  • Whatever you fight, you strengthen and what you resist persists. 
  • Whenever you feel superior or inferior to anyone, thats the ego in you. 
  • A very common role is the one of victim, and the form of attention it seeks is sympathy or pity or others' interest in my problems "me and my story". Seeing oneself as a victim is an element in many egoic patterns, such as complaining. 
Views on parenthood:
  • If you have young children, give them help, guidance, and protection to the best of your ability, but even more important, give them space - space to be.
  • The belief "I know what's best for you" may be true when children are very young, but the older they get, the less true it becomes. The more expectations you have of how their life should unfold, the more you are in your mind instead of being present for them. (Amazing point if you ask me......).

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Neighbourly Love...

I had a lovely surprise tonight. One of my neighbours (who has also become a very good friend over the past year), made dinner for me and brought it over. So sweet! I'm very lucky to have such caring and considerate friends in my life. I've been feeling really run down this week so this was a very welcome act of kindness.

Speaking of being run down, I'm receiving a wake up call this week reminding me that I HAVE to allow myself to have down time. I have a tendency to want to do so many things which often leads to no real rest (particularly when my sleep is limited by a little man who likes to wake up numerous times during the night!). The consequence of this behaviour is constantly being sick. So no more - its time to slow down and restore a bit of balance to my life. On that note, I'm off to test out my new meditation CD.......