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.
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


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!:


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.


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.


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.


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.


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'.