Friday, November 30, 2012

In the moment.

I've always struggled with being a living in the future person instead of a living in the present. It took me a long time to try and accept to just be content with the here and now and not think about what I will be doing tomorrow, next week, next year. I was always looking forward to something that was about to happen and that moment would pass me by so quickly that before I knew it I was waiting for something else. I couldn't just accept and be happy with the fun and joy that I was experiencing that day because I was too busy waiting for another moment. However, there were those days when simple things like driving to the beach on a hot summers day would open my heart completely and make me realise how lucky and special I am to live here and be here in the now.

Travelling around the world for four months really opens your eyes to what you have and what you have always taken for granted in your life. It could even be the little things like our squeaky sandy beaches, ease of traffic and Australian's laid back lifestyle. It was all these minor details that I yearned for when I came home and although I loved travelling, I realised I had taken everything for granted before as I was living in the next moment. I have now come to appreciate what I have in my life and the beauty of living on the Gold Coast. I used to look at the negatives of being here with the lack of jobs being the main downfall, but things just seem to fall into place once you stop and take life one step at a time and now I wouldn't want to be anywhere else and have an amazing job that I like to wake up for. 

The Gold Coast has an amazing laid back lifestyle, we live our days by the beaches with bare feet and sandy hair and our evenings outdoors enjoying the hot balmy nights. We have a little sense of pride and joy living here that I think other places lack. Although I have lived on the Gold Coast my whole life you would think I would be over it, and I am, sometimes. There are some days when I just want to fly away and live somewhere else, but I just did that. I lived in about 13 different countries in the matter of months and while I was away in these exotic and extraordinary places it was a nice, content feeling to be coming home. And I came home to a great job and a great place that I just didn't even see would be a possibility before. 

When you open your eyes and heart to what you have you realise you have a lot and you wonder if it was always this good all along. Did I really live this close to the beach? Was getting to work never an hour long commute but a 15 min drive? Is the majority of the year warm temperatures so I can enjoy the beach all year long? Although the Gold Coast- and everywhere you live- always have some cons... the grass is always greener on the other side, right? But we have got it going on here, and in Australia in general we are a happy bunch that enjoy great company and the outdoors. And you know what, once you realise that life isn't so tough it's really a lot more fun. So get up early and enjoy the sunrise with a walk along the beach because in some places this just wouldn't even be a possibility. So soak it up while you can.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The rest is still unwritten....

Within us we all have a story to tell but often it is the story of the past, the challenges, the hardships, the friends who hurt us, the men who left us and the things that didn't work out.  We all have a life story, one that we hold on to with our dear life as if that is all that ever was and ever will be, but little do we know that we have an unwritten story a whole book full of new pages where we can start over and begin writing the real story of the life that we are destined to live.
Landmark Education, an intense personal growth seminar which I went through in my early 20's teaches to differentiate between reality and our stories - between what happened and the story that we tell ourselves and most often made up about what happened.  It's liberating to be able to see our own made up dramas and saga's and finally stand in truth and power knowing that all it takes is just a paradigm shift in our thinking which will lead us to a new page, an unwritten one, a truthful and honest one which finally sets us free.
I turned on my iPod last night and 'accidentally' found a song called "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfied. I didn't even know it was on there, it's as if God had placed it there for me at this perfect moment to inspire me and that it did!  As I was lying in bed listening to the words I realised that I had finally closed a chapter and opened a new book with many blank pages and one that is unwritten.  What that means is that I can create whatever story I want as beautiful, magical and inspirational as I want it to be.  So many of us hang on to things, we don't forgive because we think it's better that way, we don't move on because we are afraid, we don't try something new because we are stuck in our story of how it is and we believe that there is some force outside of us holding us back.
We all have an unwritten story within us and at any time we can choose to finish that book and say "The End".  Whether the end is a happy one or a sad one is not important, some stories end tragically and some happily but life goes on beyond both of them and as my dear New Yorker friend said the other day that time waits for no one, it doesn't care what you're doing, it just goes on.  We think we are in control but then life comes along, or in his case hurricane Sandy flooding homes and wiping people out where they lose their homes and belongings.  And for those who believe in something beyond our physical world we see that nature lovingly gives us the chance to start over, put the past behind us and create something new.
How beautiful is this universe teaching us, even through (perceived) disaster to live in the now, to be aware, present to what and who is before us now and that the past no longer lives anywhere other than in our minds.  It is our thoughts that make us suffer not the past or what happened to us - that part is over, we survived but in our mind we play the story over and over again, if we only opened our eyes and looked around us we would see that the past is no longer here and that the only thing that is, is our beautiful unwritten future.
"Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten"

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Imperfection is beauty.

The last couple of years and in particular the last couple of months I have grown to realise that imperfection is beauty. Our own little quirks and imperfections in not only our looks, but our style and character is what makes us each unique and individual in this world. The other day I was sitting at Starbucks sipping on my skim mocha in one of the most beautiful places in the world and my home, the Gold Coast. I was people watching (again!), with so many different types of people coming and going past me, whether they were here for a long time or a short there was one thing that made everyone visit. The Gold Coast has some of the most beautiful surroundings with stunning long, white beaches and blue skies. But even one of the most amazing places in the world there are still imperfections, just as there is in people. The small patches of dirt coming through the grass as it hasn't rained in weeks, the exhaust of traffic zooming past: nothing is perfect. 

We read in countless magazines and see plastered all over our television screens the hunt for perfection that celebrities are consistently chasing. But how can one describe and pin point what "beauty" exactly is? People put themselves through countless surgery's, trying to change into someone else and by doing this push some of their closest family and friends away and ultimately push themselves away from their true self, all on the quest to be "perfect." But are they satisfied? Do they look in the mirror and think that they are now more beautiful? More wanted and more loved? Some maybe, but mostly people are never satisfied, always wanting to look different or better or more beautiful. We all need to accept that we are all individual and each have our own little quirks that we need to embrace in order to make us stand out as our own in this world. It may be a gap in your teeth, freckles on your nose, big ears or a mole in the wrong place, but it's all these simple quirks that set us apart and stand out. No two people are made the same for a reason, because we don't want to live in a world of look-a-likes. So embrace what you have been given and love what you've got because at the end of the day the thing you hate is going to be the thing someone loves. ♥

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Where did you get that? I want it...I need it

Some days I feel like a rock star wearing a leather jacket or my studded boots, other days it's girlie all the way with floral dresses, my hair flowing in the breeze and my nails painted red.
When I was younger I used to reinvent myself every few years, these days with disposable fashion we can do it every few months and are often pushed from the outside world to shop till we drop.  I have to say that as I get older and wiser the urge to reinvent myself becomes less and less.  Perhaps as women once we get past a certain age we get to that place where we finally feel cushy comfy in our own skins.  We no longer need a new dress to make us feel better, another pair of shoes that costs how much??!!, looks amazing but you can only get to the car, into the restaurant, back in the car and home in them because those "killer" shoes really are a killer.
So how do we reinvent ourselves from the inside out, giving ourselves something that lasts beyond the next season?  What is it that makes us feel whole and centred, what is it that makes us walk tall without the Gucci heels?  I have been on a journey for many years now, one that began when I was around 21 where I began to do things that made me better on the inside.  Practising yoga for over 17 years now I can say that there is no better feeling than being on a yoga mat and lying in corpse pose at the end of the class connecting to what what it really means to feel sexy, beautiful and whole.
After yoga there is no care in the world, there is no sense of urgency to buy another "thing", to want "more" but instead I have found that wanting "no thing" is the best feeling in the world.  Vipassana teaches that all human suffering come from wanting what we don't have, which is craving for more and more and our hate of the things that we don't want, which is an aversion to the things we dislike.  We crazy humans oscillate between those two states constantly, it is no wonder that we have trouble finding peace and the right thing to wear because we have "nothing" in our wardrobes either craving something new or hating what we have.
Reinventing myself I have discovered is about the growth of my soul and not the growth of my wardrobe which inevitably I become bored of after a few months, investing in a pair of shoes can give you happiness for a little bit but investing in your soul will give you such deep joy that the shoes will never provide.  The peace of mind you get by never again needing to say to someone "where did you get that" because you too want it, you crave it, you can't live without it.  When you discover that the only thing you cannot live without is yourself that is when you will become the most beautiful and radiant and the heels will be nice but not necessary.  What will be necessary is to feel whole and connected with the most stylish and priceless thing in your life - being yourself.
And for those who still want it and need it check out the rockin styles I wouldn't mind reinventing myself into this season.

Monday, November 5, 2012

I love you.....Baby

 Looking for inspiration (as you do on a Sunday night) I turned on the TV and found myself moved deeply by a story on adoption.

As I watched Sunday Night on Channel 7 a story of an American couple who adopted 9 children after already having a few of their own, I could see the love that poured out of this couple to whom adoption was just a normal thing to do.  Most people would never consider adoption let alone another nine children from many different countries including Romania but this amazing couple brought into their life, their home and their hearts a baby who was abandoned at birth, born with no limbs and was close to dying.  They have given this baby who is now a young man a life full of so many blessings and opportunities including being reunited with the parents in Romania (read the full story here).  I never truly understood the need that some may have to adopt but after watching this amazing story I really got it for the first time, that the love we have is limitless, well for the evolved ones that is and when we open our hearts amazing things can happen to us and those around us.
Love (true unconditional love that is) has no boundaries and no limits and I have certainly experienced that over the past few years with people who have been sent by God as my earth angels and what a blessing it is that such love exists and that we can give that to eachother and for some like Debra Lee and Angelina this love extends far beyond what most of us would be comfortable with.
We often watch in awe as Angelina Jolie continues to add to her family, adopting more and more children and loving them just the same.  Unfortunately in Australia, unlike in America it is often a long process, sometimes up to 7 years to adopt a child and one woman who is rallying to change the laws and make it easier for Australians is Deborra-Lee Furness, the wife of film star Hugh Jackman who is also appealing for more Australians to adopt orphans.
Advocate and mother of two adopted children, Furness yesterday launched National Adoption Awareness Week, calling for all Australians to do more for the world's estimated 143 million orphans.
Furness was close to tears as she implored Australian politicians and the broader community to help orphans either by supporting birth families so they can keep their children or by adopting children who cannot stay with their birth parents."We have an ethical, moral obligation," Furness said.
"We are one of the most developed countries in the world and yet we have the one of the world's lowest inter-country adoption rates."
Inter-country adoptions currently account for 61 per cent of all adoptions in Australia. Furness wants the Australian Government to do more to both encourage adoption and to support parents of adopted children, especially children born overseas. Furness said that does not advocate any specific policy but believes that changes in public opinion will prompt law makers to develop more compassionate adoption policy.
ANGELINA Jolie's pediatrician Dr Aronson has slammed Australia's adoption laws, branding them ``uncooperative'' and calling for urgent change. New York-based Dr Jane Aronson, who founded the Worldwide Orphans Foundation, has been closely following the adoption campaign, spearheaded by actress Deborra-lee Furness.
Dr Aronson said she was shocked at the obstacles that Furness and Jackman encountered when they tried to adopt in Australia. "It's shameful and it's wrong that they couldn't adopt in their own country,'' she said. But Dr Aronson, who works tirelessly to tackle the challenge posed by the health care of orphans around the world, said the US system was far from perfect.

"Why adopting never works out well ... is because there is no single body that's set up in the government and committed to just adoption,'' she said. "You have to create a whole different structure. None of us can turn around to our country and say we have a great system. We don't.
"Australia, like most countries, has an anti-adoption attitude.

``Meanwhile, you have tens of thousands of individuals who would like to create a family through adoption.''
It is a sad reality and it is inspiring to see that there are women like Debra Lee who are changing the way the world works so that it does work for everyone.  I have often questioned the many laws that exist and why when there are people who can change them to make the world a better place and help people create a family through adoption that they make it so difficult.

I certainly remember what goes back four years now, where I volunteered at an orphanage in Venezuela.  One of the most dangerous cities in the world, known for it's poverty and the crime that goes with it where people are being killed for sunglasses or a mobile phone.
(me at Hogar Bambi with one of my babies)
 The experience abroad is one that changed me and only now 4 years later I realise just how much.  The memories and the love that I felt towards the children I looked after, the babies who's nappies I had changed, the bottoms I'd wiped and who's tears I had wiped away, this will stay with me forever. I admit, I did want to take them home and I and they did cry when it was time for me to leave.
As we often hear, everything that happens to us does so for a reason and that time at Hogar Bambi Orphanage was no exception, perhaps that was a defining moment in my life that I had forgotten until I turned on the TV whilst sitting on my comfy couch, in my comfy life. Nothing happens by chance and God speaks to us in many ways, sometimes it's as easy as turning on the G Channel on 7.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Take a Walk.

As I sat at countless airports during my travels overseas I watched hundreds of people pass me; coming and going. People from all walks of life, going to different destinations and different places, coming home to loved ones, moving away from their homes, starting new chapters and finishing old. I couldn't help but wonder of the people in my life, the ones I have and the ones I've lost. Some people you've wanted to lose, the ones that deep down you knew where a burden on your life and thoughts. Then there are the others that no matter what happens you couldn't imagine your life without them. And then, there are the ones that you seem to just slip away from, slowly growing apart in so many ways you don't even know it happened. I can't help but to compare these friendships and relationships to my clothing sitting in my wardrobe.

Just think of the Chanel bag, Burberry trench and Manolo's that you know you will always be able to love and trust. No matter how old, or how much you have been through you always know they will be there ready to use and share. Then there are those seasonal pieces, the items you bought because they were 'in trend', which were amazing at the time and you spent nearly every working day together but after time you begin to realise that they weren't so good for you after all and you grow apart. And finally you have the items that just seemed so good at the time like those sequinned shoulders and that ra ra skirt, you wore it once and then realised how much you didn't need it in your life after all. 

Not many people would understand how I can possibly compare your friends and loved ones with items of clothing, but our clothes and accessories are in some way our best friends. After all, we do spend every second of everyday in their presence don't we? We get up every morning and chose out a specific outfit just like we ring up which friend we feel like seeing and talking to that day. So as you clean out your wardrobe getting it organised for the next season (hello summer!) just think of what relationships are healthy and which are just being a burden, wasting your time and space. Fill your life with positive and happy friends that radiate good thoughts and bring out the best in you. And take a walk on the friends that are bringing you down and you know you can do without. Good luck, it can be a cut throat cull!
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