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Eco Tan

I am OBSESSING over everything Ecotan by Sonya Driver at the moment.

Being quite pale I love to have a tan as I’m often mistaken as looking ‘sickly’ because my face doesn’t tend to see the sun very much #firstworldproblems.

Face Tan Water has literally changed my life. OK maybe a slight exaggeration there – but seriously, where has this product been all my life!? I apply it every second day after I’ve cleansed my face at night and it absorbs so quickly I can then apply my evening facial moisturiser. Best part about this product is that no one will notice. It’s a light effortless addition of colour to your complexion without clogging your pores or causing you to break out. As someone who has suffered from horrible skin since my teenage years, yes, even into adulthood – and don’t even get me started on pregnancy skin… I have to be so careful that I use clean products.

What are “clean” products you say? Well let me me just tell you that there is a reason you probably don’t know or understand the ingredients list on the back of your skincare. Some of the most heavily marketed products are so damaging to your skin. They may be working on the surface level but they are doing a whole new world of damage underneath.

I am super passionate about skin care because it’s something I have struggled with for the majority of my lifetime. In year 7 I was wearing foundation to school every day to hide all of my pimples. At the time there wasn’t a huge market for ‘natural’ skincare and I’m sure you’ve realised a lot of companies may use that as a selling point when in actual fact maybe one of those ingredients (and a very minimal amount at that) is included. But hey, what would marketing be if it wasn’t a little bit deceiving right?! They want the “sales”.

Georgie Stevenson hosted Sonya on her podcast and hearing her story and how her incredible business was created was so heartwarming and inspiring. I love to support businesses who have a real and genuine purpose in this life. I also can’t help but rave about them to everyone I meet!

My newest additions to my beauty cabinet are Glory Oil, Coconut Mint Body Wash and Hempitan – Body Tan Water. Hempitan is not something I would recommend to someone who isn’t familiar with tanning. It literally applies like water so if you miss a spot it can be rather obvious and you may look a little odd… work quickly with this product and enjoy the fact that it dries almost instantly and you can reapply multiple coats if needed. It didn’t smell or stick into my dry areas (knees/elbows/ankles etc.) like most tanning products do for me and also didn’t transfer onto my clothing or my bedding which is one of the best selling points I have! Those who tan on the regular will feel my pain with this point of difference!

The body wash is divine, but if you don’t like peppermint then this isn’t for you because the smell is quite potent. I adore the scent and I’m hoping regular use of this product will help improve my pregnancy induced yet never disappeared skin condition, which literally has me looking like a pink Dalmatian all over my torso (not cute!). I’ve been feeling the need to steer away from regular soap bars for some time now and this has well and truly won me over. Yes it’s more expensive that your traditional soap bar but for me it is ALL about the ingredients.

Glory Oil is a product I wish I had invested in sooner. You use this like you would a moisturiser. You can even mix this in with your moisturiser if you choose. I personally love it on it’s own. It’s a multi use oil that you can use on your body in areas that may have stretch marks, scarring etc. or on your face. I have a lot of scarring on my face. I’ve been to a specialist to enquire about having the scarring treated and I was told it would cost me thousands due to the different types of scarring I have. Icepick scars, pitted scars… you name it I have it. All I want is to improve my skin. It will never be glass like, airbrushed perfect skin and I’ve come to terms and accepted that. I have every faith that this product will help me achieve my goal. Progress not perfection am I right?

In light of my recent new found love with this product range I have gifted my mum some goodies which she is now in love with. I trialed the Super Citrus Cleanser and as someone who wears makeup daily I still revert back to my Arbonne cleanser because I found that although this cleanser was beautiful it wasn’t as effective as I’d hoped. I have treated her to the Super Acai Exfoliator as well as my original favourite – the Face Tan Water.

I have no doubt over time I will continue to purchase every item in her range but for now I’m just extremely grateful that this line of products exists and it ticks all the boxes: Certified Organic. All Natural. Proudly Vegan. Cruelty Free. Toxic Free. Oh and did I mention is was Australian made and owned!

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Guidance

As I sat in bed shuffling my angel cards, 3 cards fell out of the deck, I placed them back in and kept shuffling. Of course I read them first to see if these messages were what I would then select for myself once the cards were spread out.

It got me thinking and reminiscing about how I longed to have a gift from an early age. I used to think people who could hear voices or see things were so special. They were blessed with a gift I so desperately wished I had. I saw them with tarot cards and would walk into those mystical stores in awe.

I never thought I would own my own set of angel or tarot cards, I didn’t know we all had this inside us. That even though we may not hear other people’s messages or see their angels, what we can tune into is our own guidance. Trusting that what we need to hear will show up for us in the moment that we need it. That just by surrendering to not having all the answers and asking a question or just by simply asking for what we need to hear in that moment it will all be revealed. And that if the revelation doesn’t appear straight away that it will in divine timing.

It takes some time. Lots of soul time. But once you have that connection, that deep rooted connection to your intuition you will never feel lonely and you will never doubt yourself. The more you trust in yourself the stronger the bond. The more the messages flow through so easily to you. The more you come home to yourself.

I bought the Rebecca Campbell work your light cards and they are not only incredibly beautiful but all of the messages through these cards resonate so strongly with me.

I find the best way to delve deeper after I pick out my angel cards is to journal. Sometimes I have no idea what I’m writing I just simply let the words flow through me onto the page without thinking. I use the card or cards I have selected as my journal prompt. Putting the internal dialogue I have onto paper about how I’m feeling, what emotions may have stirred within me after pulling the cards and referencing their meaning in the booklet. Once those words are out on paper you’ll be amazed how freeing that feeling can be.

Often there are things I don’t want to talk about to someone, or maybe there is no one to talk to. Those are the times you can turn inward, journal it all out, no matter how silly it may be but essentially it’s like venting to yourself. You may be pleasantly surprised that the words you write, end up being the words you need to hear. You had the guidance inside you all along.

Try it some time if you feel called to do so, pick a deck of angel cards to start with. See which ones resonate with you, which ones you are drawn to. Maybe you’ll use them, maybe you won’t …the universe works in mysteriously wonderful ways.

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Manifesting a more compassionate community

I’m finding myself in this really weird predicament where the world is very ‘us’ and ‘them’ right now. Where somewhere along the way we have forgotten to just be kind. Paranoid about what everyone else is doing and needing to have an opinion. But maybe it has always been like that. Between the ‘office staff’ and the ‘warehouse staff’. The ‘managers’ and the ’employees’. The hierarchy. There seems to be such a great divide right now between the people who ‘choose’ to vaccinate and those who don’t and those who ‘choose’ to wear a mask and those who don’t. Those who ‘choose’ to be with their loved ones and live their lives and those who follow the rules and ‘choose’ not to. Essentially it is all a choice that some seem to have forgotten they have.

What happened to understanding that everyone is on their own life path that we stopped focusing on our own lane? When did we gain the right to comment and judge and criticise someone else’s life we know nothing about?

I’ll admit I’m triggered when people comment about how they believe those who don’t wear a mask or choose not to vaccinate are ‘selfish’. Firstly, why should I care what someone else thinks of me? Yet I feel myself conforming. Wearing a mask to make others feel comfortable when I don’t believe in it.

What I have noticed (and these are just my observations) is that there are a lot of people struggling and rather than getting angry they seem to be more compassionate. Their personal struggle is embracing the collective struggle of those around them. They are spending their days trying to build up others, supporting those enduring the same pain and trying with all their might to stay positive.

Yet the ones who aren’t impacted, who can safely transition to working from home, who don’t have to worry about money flowing into their bank accounts, who might be retired or in a position where the ripple affect of tragedy hasn’t impacted them. Aside from adjusting to the hermit life and complaining about the lack of toilet paper on the supermarket shelves or the inconvenience of being told to wear a mask, they seem completely oblivious to how bleak and impactful these lockdowns are to the small business owners and the like.

Perhaps my empathic nature makes me understand that there is something greater going on. Maybe my intuitive pulls and guides have led me down the paths knowing that this conditioning and power struggle is something I don’t want to bow down to.

In the same breath I don’t bark at people for choosing what they believe in. I’ll happily listen to those who have taken the needle who then preach to everyone who will hear it, I don’t argue with them, I simply listen. For some reason and from my own personal interactions they only seem willing to hear the sound of their own voice. They aren’t willing to take on board any alternatives other that what they believe to be the truth. How is that fair? Why do we all need to conform, we have the right to consent to so many things in our life. If you don’t consent to sex then it’s classed as rape. So how is putting something in our bodies that we don’t consent to any different?

My views are my own. Yes, I have cautioned my loved ones but at the end of the day it’s their body, their life path and they need to do what they believe is right. My mum and my grandmother have both gone ahead with the needle. Their doctor and specialists encouraged them to do so. I was slightly dramatic and told my mother that she was going to kill my grandmother. I know, I know but I don’t want them to be guinea pigs. That was the one and only time I was so brutal and blunt but in my defense, it all stemmed from love.

All I’m hoping is that somewhere along the line freedom comes into play to make a choice and that doesn’t get taken away from us. You do you and I’ll do me, I’m not hurting anyone with my opinions but I do believe that at some point we need to drop the struggle and come together and just be respectful of one another.

Those with mental health struggles shouldn’t need to be anxious about not wearing a mask in public fearing that someone will verbally abuse them. Everyone is going through a struggle we know nothing about so why do we feel so called to make judgment?

I am the only parent at pick up and drop off who doesn’t wear a mask outside the school gates. This is my decision, I want to smile at my child when I pick him up from school and be able to breathe in that fresh air. Common courtesy means when I’m not well I stay home but to be honest I thought that was always just a general rule, aside from when you send your kids to daycare because that’s when all bets are off and they don’t seem to care about spreading germs (fellow parents will feel me on this one!)

I’m not ignorant to the fact that yes people can get extremely ill, but I do believe that we are all responsible for looking after our immunity, fueling our bodies in a way that keeps us healthy, exercising to maintain our fitness and indulging in some self care that revitalises our mental health. Not everyone is blessed with a healthy immune system and I am so sympathetic to that fact, but I don’t believe the lifestyle of being cooped up at home is something that would strengthen that immunity in any way shape or form. Stress is a huge factor, yet it never seems to weigh in.

This has never been about ignorance, it’s simply about fighting for the little people. The people who have a small business who have lost everything and have now lost their will to fight. Those who have families who have taken their lives because the struggle is too much. Those who are clinging onto that last bit of hope but can’t see the light. To me no one is more important than the other. The people who own these large companies, earning and producing these pharmaceuticals, what if they channeled that energy into a third world country and saved the millions starving and without clean water? Just a thought. A small drop in the ocean.

Instead of solely caring about ourselves, what if we start caring about the collective? What if we all became a community who just accepted each other and our individual beliefs without needing to be right or wrong? A little bit of respect goes a long way so what if that small change could in turn make the world a better more peaceful place right now?

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Walking away

I performed an act of self love today.

I resigned.

I’m creating space for something better to come into my life and for the first time in a long time I have no idea what that is but after being inspired by a conversation between Phil Good and Lorrie Ladd I realised that this is the next right step. I received my sign and I’ve known I need to leave for a very long time. I’ve either been convinced or guilted into not leaving so many times but I am actually doing it.

I didn’t tell anyone because I didn’t need anyone’s energy attached to my decision or to influence me in any way. Especially not Luke’s. My job has been the stable force in our relationship whilst his has been an extremely rocky road. I have supported him, held him up and been there with positivity and love every step of the way.

Now it’s his turn to support me. Fear of him not doing that is what’s kept me stuck for so long. I am someone who values security (it’s something I have realised is one of my core values). I have always had a “back up” plan when it comes to income. I have always relied on myself until I had the kids and gosh did I struggle. There was always this need for something else to fill the void in case what I had disappeared.

SO. Let me be completely transparent. I wrote all of the above before I actually resigned. Am I the only one who needs to psyche themselves up to make a massive decision? To some it might seem quite trivial, for others a no brainer but as a true over thinker my head sometimes manages to rule over my heart.

I didn’t resign the next day. My boss was dismissed and the manager I was going to hand my resignation into then had to leave with a family emergency. I took it as a sign. Silly, silly me. I let things continuously get worse whilst still trying to convince myself “maybe it’s not so bad”. It’s a common theme, you want to leave the relationship but you think ohhh it could be worse I’ll wait a bit longer, he/she was so nice to me today. Maybe it will get better….

Why do we keep lying to ourselves and punishing ourselves fearing that nothing can take it’s place? We keep ignoring our intuition and it keeps us stuck.

When I finally resigned 2 weeks later there was no freeing feeling. I wasn’t completely elated. Confetti didn’t suddenly fly at me from all angles. I just knew in my heart I’d made the right decision and now I needed to tell my husband.

Days of silent treatment followed. So many tears. I didn’t get the support I hoped for and emotionally I was completely shattered. I got “I don’t understand what’s so hard about 2 days a week”, “you need to find something else” and other submissive comments like “I’m not happy in my job either”. You see I actually needed to remind him that this wasn’t about him, this was about me. That if things were so bad that I was throwing in the towel then he needs to trust me because I am someone who can endure a lot but this had reached a pivotal point where enough was enough. But I am not someone who complains about work everyday. Regardless of the circumstances everyone I encounter there would think I’d swallowed happy pills on the daily because I wasn’t going to allow how people treated me to affect how I showed up.

It was a very lonely journey through the weeks that followed because I not only had to keep showing up for my 4 weeks notice but I also had to block out his worry and negativity. 9 years is a long time to be with a particular employer but I am not unemployable and I knew that so I couldn’t comprehend why he didn’t.

I was extremely fortunate that 2 weeks after I resigned one of the other department managers phoned me at home and asked me if I could work full time. There were a number of people who were genuinely disappointed that I was leaving and wanted to find a way to keep me there which was so humbling. I told her I couldn’t, like I had done many times prior when I first enquired about a job within her team. Initially she had told me not to leave, to hold on and something would hopefully come up. I couldn’t wait. This time she managed to pull some strings, and she somehow got the management team to agree to hire me part time working the same days and very similar hours to what I was already working. I would be given a laptop with the flexibility to work from home (which is something I had requested in my old position but they had no interest in me helping them, that would mean they had to admit they needed me and that was never going to happen).

The night of my last day I came home and the tears were uncontrollable. Even though I had cried many a time throughout this process that last day stuck in me like a knife through my heart. My boss had made it very clear to the rest of the team she would not be in and had found out that I was staying within the company so she was quite pissed off. She skyped me a message to say goodbye because it was clearly unbearable for her to even speak to me at this point. I thanked her none the less and let it be.

I’ve been through some really shitty times but I was at a really low point both mentally and emotionally and after doing the right thing, not wanting to cause any waves I honestly thought a little more effort or appreciation would be shown. Not even a handover. O fucks given on their part. I let them get to me one last time. My whole mantra throughout was just ‘leave with grace and lead with love’ and it was painful at times but I know it was the right course to take.

I followed through on my resignation, finished up on the Friday and then started with my new team on the Monday except I now work for the agency. Everything worked out just as I knew it would. I’m a big believer in ‘having faith’. It was a little rocky at first but I’m currently working from home and I don’t have to see or hear any of the drama I was exposed to before. My brain has been able to function thanks to tasks that actually challenge me and I work in a team that appreciates each other. I don’t care for the drama or the gossip, I just want to focus on what I need to do because life is too short and I’m not about to waste more time. If this environment turns toxic, I’m out. I think I’ve raised my energetic minimum and what I will stand for because I know what I bring to the table and I am comfortable in who I am.

Our relationship needed to go through that hurdle too. As hard as it is to admit. When we first started dating I never would have told him how I really felt. I would have swallowed my feelings, apologised even though I did nothing wrong and probably stayed working in that toxic environment just to keep the peace at home. With each experience we grow from this, he may not like my reaction, he may not agree with my actions but he knows what I expect from him and what I’m not willing to settle for anymore.

The reality is that it was never going to be the right time to leave my job. I knew in my heart what I wanted from that outcome and I truly believe that I manifested my current reality. The instability of needing to work for an essential business is something that played on my mind but that was out of my control. I just needed to block out the noise and surrender to the unknown trusting that things will always work out in my favor and exactly how they are meant to.

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Another day, another tantrum

I recorded my daughter having a tantrum.

Originally it was just a ‘let me document this for when you’re older’ purposeful intention.

Then I thought to myself, she’s 3 so how about we attempt to interpret how to manage these emotional outbursts since they seem to be awfully frequent. Some might refer to these as a “toddler tantrum” and said toddler “labelled” as a ‘threenager’. Both would be correct in my opinion.

For those of us empathic parents, witnessing these bursts of emotion, they are truly soul crushing and mortifying. First you’re overwhelmed with the emotional saddness and as time progresses an angry fire starts brewing.

Most tactics say to “ignore” the behaviour. Unfortunately like the saying goes you can’t fit a square peg in a round hole. She is a unique, firey little being and I’m sure it’s something we will grow to love about her. In that moment I just wanted it to stop. I wanted to help her, teach her how to cope and for us to coexist in the same space where in that moment I respond with what she needs.

I’ve learnt yelling does not help. No surprise there. Threatening to leave/take something away from her to entice her out of her rage is also no reprieve.

I picked a quiet moment after dinner when we were still sitting at the table. It was just the two of us left and I told her I wanted to show her something.

I pulled out my phone and replayed her tantrum. As the video started her face began to drop and her eyes slowly glazed over. She burst into tears. It was like she had taken herself back to that exact moment and it broke my heart that I had caused her unnecessary pain. She had told me (correction ‘screamed’ at me) she didn’t want me to record her. I didn’t listen but I did the dutiful thing by inserting the disclaimer prior to pressing record that I would in fact be recording her.

She reminded me after the replay she hadn’t wanted me to record her. I did my best to explain to her that I love her with all my heart but I need her to tell me, in that moment what SHE needs from me.

Did she want to be left alone?

Should I have taken her to a quiet place for her to sit?

Did she just need me to hold her and cuddle her?

The last option was what she wanted. It was certainly not my autopilot reaction.

She may not be able to express how she’s feeling in that moment or what brought on this life shattering tantrum but instead of causing more internal trauma for her all I genuinely wanted to know is how I can support her.

It’s one of the reasons I was genuinely scared to birth a girl. Not to categorise or put gender types in a “box” but I feared that females are emotionally complex. Being one myself I can definitely attest to that fact.

She is teaching me so much about myself and I’m hopeful that in turn I am raising emotionally aware little humans. How she deals with her feelings are so different to Jacob but the discovery/getting to the root of the problem side for me is very much the same for both. I prefer to be removed from the scenario when we discuss it to see if their outside perspective can help us both see some kind of reason.

I’m basically a mother feeling into my knowing and trusting my instincts to guide me. Whether they be right or wrong as long as they work for my little family that’s all that matters to me.

It’s a working progress but one thing I am good at is loving them wholeheartedly. We will continue to cuddle out all the tantrums until that tactic no longer works but in time I’m almost certain we’ll get better at communicating our emotions no matter how big or small they are.

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A different kind of love story

Love looks different this time.

I thought, and correct me if I’m wrong that love was supposed to be this soul hugging, sinking-like-quick-sand, overbearingly obsessive can’t-live-without-you feeling. Where you spend every waking minute with that one being, who lights up your heart and makes you believe in every fairytale you’ve ever read. That one person who believes in you when you have doubts in yourself and you truly believe you can’t live without.

It’s so hard when that person you have wholeheartedly and unconditionally loved breaks your trust because you doubt every single sign and niggle that urks you inside reasoning with yourself that “No. This is my foreverafter”.

We were meant to be forever“.

It took me a long time to come to terms with that fact. So many sleepless months where I woke up checking phones I couldn’t unlock and that had no trace of evidence left behind. My weight had plummeted and my skin therapist educator at night school was baffled at why my skin was at it’s worst with unmanageable acne. So many of those nights I wanted to avoid driving home. This constant sick feeling in my stomach was what I had accepted as my new normal.

Most people had no idea what was going on in my life. I was a state away from my family and friends and I didn’t want anyone worrying about me especially when I had no ‘proof’. I contemplated drowning myself in the bathtub at home many times because I just wanted the pain to end. Maybe I should run away. Maybe I should stay, rent a place in Rose Bay, buy my sausage dog and create my own happy ever after. I weighed up so many options all while I was being told I was crazy, and creating things in my head that weren’t true. ‘Emotional abuse’, was what one of my friends used to describe what I was going through – she had heard about it on Oprah.

I fell in love for the first time at 18. I met him over the phone through work and he made me laugh and smile and we would talk for hours. There was one issue, he was in Sydney and I was in Melbourne. I’d never had a ‘serious’ relationship before so everything was new to me. We started writing letters like pen pals. In one of his letters he was so vulnerable and confided in me that he had one hand, it was how he had been born. But what he lacked without his one hand was made up in his heart and that right there melted me. I had no idea what he looked like, but I cared for him and had such strong feelings that it didn’t matter. I flew to Sydney to meet him and by the end of the weekend we had both said ‘I love you’ and it killed me to leave him. The next 6 months we had set up a joint bank account, our families had met and I had moved to be with him… it just felt so right (and I ignored every sign that told me otherwise).

She was a girl from work (aren’t they all). They had spoken about how if they weren’t with their current partners that they would be together. She would send him pictures asking for outfit advice and I would wonder why? I don’t even ask him for outfit advice. Then there were the pet names and the fact that even though he was supposed to be on the road most days (being in sales) he was making extra trips into the office. Apparently she spoke to my boyfriend more than she spoke to her own. He knew so many details and personal ones at that, about her life I just had to wonder. I was so naïve back then and he knew that, he also knew that there was no possible way of me ever finding anything out no matter how many questions I asked. I was working full time and studying my diploma of beauty therapy at night school in the city 3 nights a week so my plate was well and truly full.

He came back from a work trip one day and had brought me a ring. It was beautiful and so perfect in the shape of a bow – so intricate and delicate from Michael Hill. He would always do thoughtful things like that. Flowers, something special he’d find somewhere on his travels. It was the little things I loved and appreciated. This time I asked him if he had bought it for her? I didn’t want it. It felt like a guilt gift. Had she been with him on his work trip? Did he want to buy it for her but had purchased it for me instead because he’d felt like he had to? Did this mean anything anymore?

I just couldn’t do it. I was so broken.

This was someone I thought I was going to spend my whole life with. I had literally moved my life and pulled myself away from my entire family who I was very close with to be with him. We were house hunting and had literally almost bought one. Another ‘sign’ I failed to see.

I found out that his Mum had actually encouraged him to pursue this girl, it wasn’t her fault in any way but her words to him were “you don’t owe anything to Daniella”. No he didn’t, but common decency would have and should have told him to end things with me first before he decided to do whatever he was doing.

She was a woman I had trusted and loved like another mother. I had shared things with her I didn’t trust with many people and I felt like I had been used and cast aside. I’m far from perfect but loyalty is extremely important to me. If I could describe their mother-son relationship it was beyond close that it was almost incestuous (which I had failed to truly notice). She knew intricate details about my sex life apparently that she had shared with her other daughter in law and her family.

I am an extremely private person so when her daughter in law called to find out exactly what was going on with our breakup I found out so many things that absolutely crushed my soul. His Dad on the other hand was absolutely beautiful, he had adopted me like the daughter he never had. He was the kind of man who would take the shirt off his back and would be there for me whenever I needed it. He didn’t like going out, other than going to work but he made the effort to visit me in my apartment before I left and promised to come and visit me in Melbourne. Even when I had moved back to Melbourne he would call and check up on me and ask me to come and visit.

The day the “new” girlfriend had been brought home to meet the family, his Dad told me he had locked himself in his bedroom because he couldn’t open his heart to someone else because of me and how much I still meant to him. He was so disgraced by how I was treated and it was him who had confided in me that his wife was the one encouraging the ‘cheating’. He called her a witch and absolutely despised her, and I pitied him so much.

I’ll never know. I still don’t know. I don’t even think he would have the heart to tell me now if I’d asked him all these years later. I know he wasn’t proud of how he acted, I know he held a lot of regret and she knows too that he never loved her the way he had loved me. I’m not saying that in a way of having something over her, it was merely what was repeated to me. He couldn’t understand why. Why he didn’t care about her in that way after they had “officially” gotten together when I ended things.

Sometimes I wonder, if a relationship is built on deceit then is that the right foundation to make things work? Especially when you could have gone about it in a respectful way?

The story told to all of his/our friends was very different from the truth. I think it may have been about me wanting to return home to Melbourne or some other lie. Oh I think “he” ended it possibly, it was all a twisted tale. Only one of the wives in our group who I was extremely close with knew the truth but I kept my mouth shut. Sometimes it isn’t worth the fight just to have your point of view pushed across and at the end of the day, is it really anyone else’s business? He had to live with what he had done, I just had to live with how it had affected me.

The day I left Sydney I left a note on the kitchen bench with my keys beside them. My note was short, it wasn’t heart felt and only stated something about the house. My best friend had flown up to Sydney to drive home with me. Part of me feared his mum might actually do things out of spite because I had somehow unearthed some truths to his extended family once things all came to light. I was itching to get out of there and just go home.

About a year later I reached out, I had this feeling that things weren’t right with him. I’d had enough time to come to terms with things and I had just needed space. We hadn’t spoken at all, and I left every trace of a memory of him in Sydney. Every little thing he ever bought me was inside a storage box I left in the spare room. My first rugby jersey, every little piece of jewelry, every letter, every card and anything else I could think of. I wanted none of it. I went through his friends wife, quizzing randomly if everything was OK? She confirmed my gut feeling. He was still with her but he wasn’t in a good place. I reached out, and the reception from him was perfectly warm and neutral. I think a part of us had missed each other because we were such great friends too.

He told me that he was with her and that he wasn’t happy. They had just celebrated her birthday and he didn’t even want to organise anything which is a far cry compared to what we had always done together and the effort he had made. He was very much like his Dad in that caring, giving way. He had tried to leave and she told him that she’d kill herself if he did. I said “Well, give her a knife, I can promise you she won’t do it”. Very bold and ballsy (totally unlike me) but I believe that’s crossing a line and in my opinion the people who threaten people never actually do it – him leaving her was not going to end her life. At the end of the day, I simply wanted to know that he was OK but I told him that as long as he was with her I couldn’t be his friend. He broke up with her the next day.

It was never about me getting her back or hurting her in any way, but I didn’t want anything to do with her, and I also didn’t want her feeling how I had felt with someone else lingering in the background even though I had no intension of ever rekindling things.

Moving forward, we never shared a kiss, we never slept together, we were simply just friends. Best friends. I would fly to Sydney and stay with him in our old apartment (that he still rented once I’d left) and he surprised me and flew down to Melbourne to support me through my Nannu passing. In the beginning he begged me to get back together, he promised me everything I had ever wanted. Travelling overseas together, getting engaged, him moving to Melbourne. I could have said jump and he would have said ‘how high?’. But I had closed that chapter and a part of me would always remember what he did and fear he would do it again. It’s not a way to live and it wasn’t fair to hold that over him and create some invisible boundary.

I stopped talking to him after I met Luke. Luke’s thinking is a little old school. That boys and girls can’t be friends. I don’t agree with that and we had always joked that we would end up being at each others weddings. The biggest thing for me is that I knew being in his life would stop him from meeting his next soul mate (because no, I don’t believe it’s just ONE person anymore). The other massive realisation that I had was that he knew me so well, too well. That I would constantly set that bar so high it wouldn’t give my new relationship a chance if I constantly compared how he was with how it was now. I didn’t want him knowing me better and somehow sabotaging something in my brain because I couldn’t build up to that standard. So I let him go. It’s shameful on my part because I ghosted him and stopped returning his calls and messages, but I couldn’t do it. He would think of every reason to stop me and I had to do it this way, and I’ll always be sorry for that.

I’ve learnt that sometimes people aren’t meant to be in your life forever. There is a purpose to every person you meet. Whether it be to teach you a lesson or to help you find something in yourself, to heal a wound or to simply sprinkle joy and hope. Not everything lasts, and that is OK. It’s not meant to. What’s meant for you will always have a way of finding you when you least expect it to. But most importantly, always lead with LOVE.

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Nasty Rats

I am not a violent person.

I’ve never picked a fight or thrown a punch, although I have imagined myself doing it many times over! I’m more of the timid, shy kind. I would hardly have even voiced my opinion growing up fearing any kind of confrontation. My battle burns inside me. I’ll have a whole conversation, resulting in me victoriously winning the battle, playing over every scenario with every detailed conversation pre planned in my head… yet nothing has actually happened. Tell me I’m not the only one?!

But. When someone tries to hurt my child, this unwavering fire ignites inside and I am ready to tear whoever that person is into tiny little pieces so much so, that they can no longer find the scum of a human they once were. Slightly dramatic I know, but I am one passionate mumma!

Being a preppy I genuinely didn’t think we would need to cross this bridge of explaining to my children that there are deranged humans out there who spend their lives tormenting innocent people for no reason at all. Especially not 2 weeks into a school year!

Randomly at dinner one night Jacob told me that 2 boys came and grabbed him and his cousin in the playground at lunchtime that week. His recollection of the event was so vivid I literally asked him if it was a dream. “It was real life, I promise” he claimed. Being my child he also knows I don’t tolerate lying… so when he was so adamant this actually happened I had no choice but to believe him.

Who were these boys?

What did they look like?

Where did they come from?

How old were they?

“I don’t know”.

Apparently they wore a white t-shirt. AKA the school uniform and one of them had hair like me. Very descriptive Jacob… you have to laugh.

His ninja moves helped him escape the clutches of the boy who grabbed him so much so that the boy went off into the yard. Then Jacob focused his attention on freeing his cousin. He grabbed at the older boys arms until he let his cousin go and they sped off to safety in the playground. Very heroic on his part and not an ounce of fear in his story telling. I was so proud of him and I genuinely didn’t think he was in any danger until my mind had time to process it and I dug a little deeper.

He swore to me that he did nothing to provoke these kids. “They were nasty mum”. There was no doubt in his mind. “They’re nasty rats”. [Insert my little giggle here] When I asked him if he had hurt this boy when he was pulling his arms off his cousin he casually responded to me, “No mum, he was still alive”. I cracked up laughing, “Of course you didn’t kill him hunny!”.

We slowly but surely got more information out of his cousin who hadn’t spoken a word of the incident to his parents. Another little friend at school had witnessed the incident and upon asking, confided more details to his mum that he had also run to get help and the teacher in the school yard had ignored him and kept talking and talking. Now that made me livid.

That entire evening I played over in my mind what I would do to these two boys when I found out who they were and what I would say to them. How I would rattle their bones with fear so they would never come near my child again or even think about tormenting someone else. I told you I was a little crazy.

My brother was bullied as a child, in school and also from family. I still replay those thoughts in my mind because I know deep down this has all contributed to who he is today and my only wish is that I could go back in time and be bold enough to say something – to somehow make it right. I have seen first hand how these incidents stay with you and shape you into who you become, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but the self love work and body image issues that come with bullying over your ‘weight’ are horrific and for most people, they never recover. Bullying is bullying, any nature of bullying has the same damaging effect.

I don’t want this for my child let alone someone else’s and after sharing with some of the mums in his class I was horrified to find out that another child in his class had been strangled and dumped on the grass by an older child at lunch time in the past 2 weeks. He hadn’t confided in his parents either. Luckily his buddy had come to his aid and his sister and the grass stains on his shirt had given away the story to his parents.

A few days passed, some more mixed messages from teachers, lots of “you need to calm down” from my husband, sleepless nights being so worked up and still things had not been resolved. When I found out these boys had been confronted and then lied to the teachers I was reeling.

Finally on the Friday the Vice Principal sought me out in the school yard at the end of the day to explain how she had handled the situation. I couldn’t fault her, she had handled it perfectly and my mind was well and truly at ease. In saying that, Jacob has been worded up to tell these little pip squeaks that “my mum knows where you live and she’ll get you”… I was going to throw in a “you better sleep with one eye open”, and “she’ll break every bone in your body” but I decided to keep it PG for now.

He can’t understand what all the fuss was about, he thinks he’s a superhero (which he is and always will be in my eyes) but as a parent I feel like it’s my duty to ensure his safety and protect future victims. I explained to him that he was lucky, had he not been there his cousin might not be so lucky and if we don’t speak up and do the right thing then these bullies won’t take responsibility for their actions. We have to be the change we want to see in the world.

My reaction to inflict pain on someone who is hurting someone else isn’t right, fighting fire with fire isn’t something I have ever taught my kids. It’s something I need to work on but the purpose of sharing my story is to be raw with emotion. I am a mother and my protective maternal instincts are on a whole different level of crazy. I have a feeling my children will be the ones schooling me on how to control these emotions, but as long as they are OK – I’m OK.

So I guess my take home message with this is to take a breath, pause and take about a 100 more deep breaths. Always find out the WHOLE situation before you react and sometimes as hard as it is, we need to step back and trust that someone else (far more experienced) can handle the situation and have our children’s best interests at heart. He was fine, it hasn’t scarred him and it’s shown me just how resilient he is. If this is a testament to how I’ve raised him then I will take this as a win and be so damn grateful that he’s safe and so sure of himself.

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A missed opportunity

I thought this was going to be my big break, this blessing had just magically fallen into my lap and I was so hopeful.

…and then it was over before it had even begun.

I’ve been asking my spirit guides for some guidance for some time, scared to take the leap on my own and needing someone to mentor me in the beauty field to help boost my confidence to put myself out there. They sent me one last year, and she has been nothing but pure kindness to me.

A fellow beauty therapist but with experience in a product I haven’t used for very long. Her knowledge and experience is something I truly valued. I’m very open and generous with what I know, where I’ve sourced things and how I came to be. You ask it, I’ll tell you. She is exactly the same. It is so refreshing. There is nothing for me to gain by hiding information from someone else. I’ve always been of the opinion that there is plenty out there for all of us and ‘sabotaging’ someone else by withholding information or pretending I don’t know is not in my nature. Naturally I want everyone to succeed and I do believe in karma. I believe what we put out into the world we will get back tenfold. The world needs more love, more kindness and more compassion.

I was so incredibly nervous to do her lashes the first time I met her. There is this unspoken pressure when you’re working your magic on someone who can perform the exact same treatment as you do. I purposely didn’t ask too many questions when she booked in with me. The more I knew about her, the worse my anxiety would be. But, after she left that day (incredibly happy with the result and with the product I used) I knew she had walked into my life for a reason. She had been sent to me.

Out of the blue I received a phone call from her the other week. She had text me to see if I would be willing to take on her clients because she had found a full time job at a salon and was in the process of selling her home. I hesitated for a minute but I thought yes, this is just what I need. We spoke on the phone and discussed the idea of me purchasing her products as she uses another gel nail polish range from the same company I source mine from. She offered to spend time with me to teach me the process of application and a few other tips and tricks and I was so grateful – of course I said YES! I was overwhelmingly excited for my beauty future. Finally, I would be able to leave my corporate job and pursue my dream.

I spent a few hours with her at her home salon one evening and it was incredible. She is a beautiful soul and she had nothing to gain by mentoring me and sharing her knowledge with me. We went through all of her polishes and I made a list of all of the colours I would purchase from her and all of the supplies I needed to invest in before I took on her clientele.

Within the next week, 2 of her clients messaged me to book in. I hesitated so many times before I finally spent the $500 and purchased everything I needed… I still needed to pay her for her supplies (which was penciled in for the following Sunday after she had finished with her last client) – but it was an investment. And with an extra 25-30 clients on my books it would be completely justified.

Wednesday night came and I received a message. It was her. She told me the job she was supposed to have started that Monday had fallen through. She had emailed all of her clients to tell them she was reopening and was no longer able to sell me her products.

My initial reaction was disappointment for her because I knew how much she was looking forward to this new opportunity. I had hoped it would open the doors into a new sector of the industry she had wanted to be trained in. I couldn’t believe they had blindsided her, shame on them.

Then my heart sank for me. I had just spent a lot of money I was not in a position to spend right now and I felt like my dream was slipping through my fingers once again. I won’t lie, I was disappointed she messaged me and hadn’t called. I was now also stuck in a predicament where I had 2 clients I now needed to unbook. One of the ladies wasn’t schedule for another 2 weeks but the other had been booked for that weekend. I messaged her straight away. I had always said if for whatever reason she decided to return to working for herself I would happily let all of her clients know so that they could return to her. My husband didn’t seem overly happy with that response but again, this is my life – my morals – and my decisions. It wouldn’t feel right.

No matter how hard I tried, her client still wanted to come and have her nails done with me. We live within walking distance to each other so I completely understand, and having small children means my hours are limited to late nights, weekends or when Gigi is at kinder once a week. Those hours suit her perfectly.

For me, I never want to take something away from someone else that I don’t believe I’m entitled to. I struggled with this for a few days, and felt a lot of guilt. I know I need to remain true to myself and continue to be open and honest. The last thing I wanted to do was burn a bridge with someone I truly respect and admire.

I pulled an angel card that night and it told me to ‘SHARE YOUR VOICE’. Somehow writing has a way of putting things into perspective for me and it has. Everything has a purpose.

I saw her client on the Saturday and she was lovely, we got along so well – she was a cavalier lover like me and she adored my dog Charlie. She picked one of my new polishes that I hadn’t had time to practice with so I wasn’t 100% happy with how they turned out. I only charged her a minimal amount even though she insisted on more – I’m a perfectionist and if my work isn’t up to scratch I can’t justify making someone pay.

Sometimes I think she was sent to me as a test. If I really want something do I need to be prepared to lose it to show the universe just how serious I am?

The whole scenario ate away at me for days. I called my mentor to clear the air because something in my gut still didn’t feel right. She told me she had received a booking request from the lady I had seen the day before and that when they had spoken on the Friday she had told her she felt guilty about cancelling with me which is why she had kept her appointment. Somewhere in this little web of lies I couldn’t tell who wasn’t owning up to their part of the truth. What it did do was cement my decision to call her other client. I phoned the lady on the following Tuesday and explained everything over the phone and offered to carry the appointment over to my mentors appointment books for her. It was all settled over the phone. When I phoned my mentor she questioned me on who called who. I think she was genuinely shocked that I had initiated the conversation, but for the first time I had a seed of doubt about our friendship.

It made me realise, I don’t want her business. I want my own. I have always wanted a clientele based on word of mouth. Not marketing and strategies and coupons etc. I want people who align with who I am because I want the experience to be meaningful. Through this I have also noticed that I need to believe in myself more and I need to take actionable steps to get what I want.

What if I don’t let a lifetime of fear win me over? Maybe it’s my turn to leap.

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The year that was

To a lot of people 2020 was something they would rather forget, a year filled with tragedy, lower than lows and all round disappointment.

If you ask my husband he would agree. Maybe aside from the fact a sheer miracle allowed us to get married… but I’ll save that mini miracle for another blog.

He lost his job 2 days after we got married. 6 months of unemployment meant he was blessed with quality time with our children he won’t ever get back. Jacob starts Prep this year so we were fortunate to not be home schooling and the previous year (2019) was jam packed with long hours and weekends spent working.  He missed so much time with our minis.

In the moment he didn’t appreciate it and if I’m being honest I’m not sure if he ever will. He was more consumed with our bank balance and wanting to work and worrying about when that would be. We have very different perceptions on life. My theory is that the money will come but this time, time is something we will never get back. Personally I think we are doing OK, I’m pro “worrier” so if I think we’re ok – we are. Every sign I asked for gave me this inner knowing that everything would work out. I would rather be there for our children and struggle/budget/go without than miss out on seeing them grow and experiencing their milestones. I do see things from his point of view (I’m not a complete hard head) – that you work so hard to get where you are that you don’t want to go backwards but in my mind, my thought process always wins over. Believe me when I say there is only so many times you can tell someone “we are going to be OK” before you just stop responding.

I’m an empath, I worried for him and I absorbed a lot of his energy and I worried that our kids were absorbing his energy too. It really doesn’t ever stop, the worrying…

I had such high hopes for 2020. It was going to be OUR year. I was going to build up and kick start my beauty business and prioritise my dreams. That wasn’t to be. Divine timing said not yet. And that is OK.

So to reflect on the year that was.

My Nan was really sick, to the point that palliative care were making arrangements. Me being me, I wasn’t giving up without a fight. I knew even at the ripe old age of 94 she wasn’t ready yet – the signs that kept appearing only confirmed what I felt in my heart. My healer performed reiki on her. Helen has an incredible gift and she can connect and heal through a photo as long as she can see their eyes and that person allows her to. I’ve never told my Nan (and I probably never will) but my mum knows and we are both firm believers that she has everything to do with the reason we still have her with us.

I did lose my Nonna later in the year and in turn have had to do a lot of healing work relating back to my childhood. She would always call me, asking me to visit. I didn’t go. I almost ran into her and my dad earlier this year at my doctors clinic (she lived less than 5 minute from my mum’s house). My doctor was aware of our family history and told me of our close call. It’s been a few years since I saw her… the last time I tried she hadn’t changed. There was a lot of love for her, but so much hurt and I’m very conscious of who is around my children and the influence they have in their lives. My gut told me to stay away. As much as I trust my instincts I still hold guilt that I should have been there even if it hurt me. I’ve always felt like we have a duty to look after our parents/grandparents and I should have been the bigger person, let it go and just fulfilled my obligation. It’s something I need to work on but I know no matter what, she always loved me. I saw her one last time in her hospital bed and I got to say goodbye. She wasn’t speaking. She looked nothing like I remembered and that broke my heart. She was a woman who prided herself on how she looked when I was younger and I still remember her with bright lipstick and rollers in her hair. I sat with her and placed an amethyst in her hand and held her. Her eyes were closed, she never responded but I’m sure she heard me. As I left her eyes opened a little. Maybe she knew I was there, and maybe she didn’t but I knew if I didn’t see her that day I would regret it and my inner knowing told me that was her last day with us – and I was right.

On that same day I also reconnected with my dad.

Over 7 years has passed and he was ‘going away’. These 2 people who lived so close to me yet I had nothing to do with had walked back into my life and stirred up so much I had bottled up and shoved into a tiny dark corner of my heart. But that’s just it. It was still there. It never goes away.

I didn’t want to see him. I went there for the sole purpose of saying my goodbyes but he had turned up with my Zio.

In the hospital car park right before I went in to farewell my Nonna he hugged me and he said “Sorry“. He cried, and it was a side to him I had never ever seen before. I completely surrendered to that moment in time. I was so overwhelmed and so mentally unprepared. That was all I needed and all I had wanted to hear for a very, very long time. To some people it’s just a simple word. To me that word carried so much with it and it was what I needed to realise that I didn’t want to feel how I’ve felt anymore. I don’t want to carry that through life. It’s time to let it go.

With these 2 events happening at the same time my 2 half brothers and my Zia and Zio and 2 cousins came back into my life. The day I saw them all together clearing out my Nonna’s garden, which had been so neglected, I was in tears. I hadn’t realised until I was hugging my cousin just how much I had missed them until that moment. It was like a piece of my heart had found it’s way back to me and I never wanted to let it go.

Having them back in my life made me realise that the family members who walked out of my life earlier in the year had carved this path and as much as I struggled with them leaving I had never been more grateful. Toxic people seem to have a way of weaving their way into my life. I know they aren’t good for me, I know I need firm boundaries, but their brokenness makes me pity them and want them to find the healing they need to become better humans. I needed these lessons. I needed to be burnt… but it never gets any easier when that cord is cut.

The truth is I am overwhelmed by life sometimes. I need to retreat and recharge and in those months of being in “lock down”, having that time away from people helped my soul. It tested me, it tested my relationship with Luke but the hard times also have a way of bringing out people’s vulnerability which in a sick, sad way I love. There is no ego, we just are.

This year gave me the opportunity to look inward. To prioritise my healing with every breakdown. To continue looking for signs from the universe and to truly value the connection I have with the people in my life. In the moment I felt miserable, but when I look back I am so eternally grateful.

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Gifting with meaning

This year celebrations looked very different to those held in previous years. Financially things have changed and our current work environments or lack of have made us reassess how we chose to celebrate. We haven’t felt the joy of being able to have our families around us to share the love and celebrate another year and we also haven’t been able to justify spending what we usually would on gifts for each other either.

Truth be told I’m not a gift person. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate it more than anything and am so grateful, but it’s not my love language. If you write me a note with a beautiful message that for me speaks volumes. I just want to be loved and appreciated so when our birthdays were coming around and the usual questions of “what do you want for your birthday?” arose I literally said “Nothing, how about we don’t do gifts this year?”

Luke was paranoid because he thought I would say that and then still buy him a gift for his which would result in him feeling guilty. He was trying to decipher if I was just playing mind games with him… but honestly, I just wanted my family around me and to have some cake because it’s definitely not a birthday without some!

He surprised me with a candle and flowers which are my absolute favourite – and that is huge for him too because he doesn’t believe in gifting flowers because according to him “they just die and end up in the green bin” (he’s a practical man and a money man so his thought pattern flows a little different to mine). I’m a ‘will this bring someone joy?’ kind of girl.

For Luke’s birthday I wanted to exercise my creativity a little and think outside the box. Mentally this has been an extremely taxing year on him, and we were in the thick of it at the time of his birthday. In previous years when he was really down and out of work I took him to see a clairvoyant. Let me tell you before he met me he was so closed off from the spiritual world and I am not one to force my beliefs and opinions on others but with Luke, I have. I needed to open his mind – and I did this because I love and care about him and I knew deep in my heart it would help him. With a lot of resistance I didn’t cancel his appointment and he came along. I knew a small part of him was curious and it served it’s purpose and gave him hope.

1st gift was a reading:

Given that we were in lockdown and had 2 mini humans at home a skype appointment was going to be hard to manage but there is another clairvoyant I follow online who has a different style and approach and she has various packages which are quite inexpensive. Once you send through your details she emails you a file with your reading all typed out. There is no phone conversation at all. I love her style because it’s something you can refer back to and you can be very direct about what you would like to know by asking specific questions. For anyone curious her business page is: https://www.facebook.com/kismetawaits/

2nd gift was a Gratitude Journal:

I LOVE Kmart. Personally I have all of their little stationery books. A Journal, Life Admin Journal (with to do lists etc.) and Gratitude Journal. Luke is not a stationery man. He doesn’t document his thoughts let alone right a list of what he needs to get done daily. I know the power of gratitude and how it can change your mindset and even though he still hasn’t used it (I’ll work on that) I believed it was something he needed not something he wanted. Kmart have recently changed the colour of their Gratitude Journal to blush instead of Blue. I simply covered the book in the kids artwork to add a personal touch and to encourage him to look at it and possibly write something in it too! https://www.kmart.com.au/product/gratitude-journal/3082823?reviews=true

3rd and final gift was our wedding vows framed:

We were so fortunate to get married this year and aside from all of the headaches and drama of what was happening in the world it was one of the happiest days of our lives and it worked our perfectly and exactly as it was meant to. Funnily enough Luke wanted to write our own vows (if you know him you would understand he doesn’t come across sentimental or from the heart or the deep and meaningful type). His were written and submitted to our celebrant before I even had a chance to write mine which seriously warmed my heart. Thankfully he loved what I had written and mentioned that it would be nice to frame them so I documented that in my brain and thought this would be a beautiful gesture. I have a lot of craft supplies and some beautiful handmade paper. I purchased a frame from Officeworks, edited the fonts and sizing in a Word document and printed them on the handmade paper and ta-dah!

I could have spent hundreds buying him something fishing related or clothes or an experience but I’m a big believer in “it’s the thought that counts” and gifts like these are from my heart and something I hoped was meaningful to him. If you don’t have the finances to gift something of a particular dollar value maybe looking for inspiration from Pinterest or shopping on Etsy for something more personalised is the way to go.

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Be kind to yourself

I didn’t go in to work today.

I had every intention of going and I had started getting ready, lunch boxes were made and my mum had already arrived at my house. I was running late but I was going to get there.

Then I sat there and thought to myself I am exhausted, Gia should really see a doctor just to be sure and I literally asked myself “why I am doing this when I need to put myself first?”

The truth is because this is what I have always done. I put work on a pedestal. But this year has taught me many things and being disregarded and underappreciated has helped shape my reaction today. Usually I would be riddled with guilt.

So no, I am not the girl who “pulls a sickie” or has a “mental health day”. I literally have to be on my death bed to call in sick. Even then that phone call to my boss is crippled with anxiety. “Do I sound sick enough? Do they believe me? Should I have attempted to go in?” Or to avoid the phone call I push myself to go into work and then I’m either instructed to go home or have to excuse myself for the rest of the day. There have been times where I couldn’t even drive myself home. I’m that girl. The one with so much sick leave I could take a few months off…

This morning something came over me and I didn’t even call my boss. I messaged her because fucks given have reached about a 0 now… (my former people pleaser self is internally cringing at me even writing that). My head went over all the reasons I needed to be there today but in all fairness I was waiting for Gia to wake up (because the only time children sleep in is when you need to be somewhere) and I wanted to see how she was.

It’s been a loooooong week. Starting from last sunday where she was perfect during the day but during the night woke up horribly sick. Standard. So by the time I got her to finally sleep at 5.30am my alarm went off to go to work at 6.15am. Love that for me. I had an extra coffee and she seemed relatively happy so she went to her grandparents with Jacob for the day so I could go to work.

Anyone who knows me also knows my children love being “awake” and sleeping through the night is not something either have mastered (and we’re almost 5 years into this parenting thing – and trust me I’ve tried!) I won’t bore you with those details. But throw in a sick child, me being run down due to ‘sick child’ coughing and snotting all over me for the majority of the week + still needing to function and get everything done = basically a recipe for disaster.

I’m embarrassed to say I even snapped at my mum this week. She had called and messaged multiple times yesterday morning to check up on Gigi. I was in the middle of trying to get everyone ready, breakfasted and lunches made so we could get Jacob ready for kinder and after randomly checking my phone I saw her last message to call her, instantly thinking something was wrong. My mind raced to my nan. She answered the phone and I started to realise that me being MIA had sent her into a panic. I then had Luke calling me because she had phoned him wondering what was wrong and if everything was ok. Totally understandable – but the sleep deprivation and my head cold didn’t help and my patience was running thin. I was annoyed, I know she sensed that and so I downplayed everything and said we were all “fine” to avoid her leaving work to come and look after everything. My mum has a heart of gold and I am stubborn and will insist on doing things myself and a head cold wasn’t reason enough to let me throw out her day when I could function. Let it be known I am taking full responsibility for being the “bitch” in this scenario and I have apologised but a further gesture will be made because she is the last person who deserves to be mistreated.

Having the guilt of how I treated her on top of a day at work that I knew would quite possibly be stressful given we are going live with a new payroll system on Monday, I made the call to stay home and booked Gigi in with my doctor.

Oh and lets not even get into the stress I’ve had about avoiding the doctors knowing my child has every covid symptom but knowing full well it most certainly is not (all kindly due to suppressed immune symptoms and finally being exposed to human interaction and should I say it “GERMS” post isolation). No, I’m not ignorant. I just know my child and her coughing fits to the point of vomiting each night needed to be addressed. Everyone else has been “oh she’s just congested”, “it’s only been a few days”. But I just know. He heard wheezing in her chest and she is now on antibiotics so I am extremely relieved. We have a history with her, she’s generally fine throughout the day but the nights are horrible. No amounts of honey, Panadol, cough mixture etc. help and as hard as I try to listen to her breathing I don’t pick up on the wheezing they hear with a stethoscope. Chest infections are her jam.

So TODAY I put myself first. I trusted my motherly intuition and although I am beyond exhausted I will forever be grateful I have people in my life who care so deeply. Instead of putting all my priorities and attention into something and people who aren’t worthy know I need to celebrate and gratify the people in my life who truly deserve it.

To top it all off today is also WORLD KINDNESS DAY. As much as Kindness needs to be extended to others I do think we all need to be reminded to show some to ourselves (I’m still learning, but who’s perfect?!) and if you did or said something recently that you’re harboring some guilt over, make peace with it and try and think of something special you can do to sprinkle some kindness in that direction.

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Feeling ‘Unaligned’

I’ve always struggled with my current employment because I feel like it’s not aligned with my life or who I am.

Is it convenient? Yes. Is it flexible? Yes. Can I work it part time? Yes. …and it pays reasonably well for an administration position.

I received my 7 year service award via skype a few months ago and it’s actually been 8 whole years (I was a casual employee for the first year). I’ve attempted to leave numerous times and then I fell pregnant with Jacob and that pretty much forced me to stick it out. I sucked it up and my boss at the time was very compassionate. There was a build up of “incidents” at work and I had a break down. It was a combination of an ex I worked with and 2 ‘mean girls’ and everything else that transpired at the time. I went into his office hysterically sobbing and told him I just couldn’t be there anymore. He pulled some strings and transferred me to another site nearby so that I wouldn’t resign.

2 of those years I’ve been on maternity leave so I think it’s served its purpose and on a grateful note it has brought some beautiful souls into my life. Almost all of them have left the company and when I think about where they are in their lives right now it makes me tear up because they have seriously blossomed. Their careers have taken massive leaps since leaving, almost as though they were being held back. If I’m honest I just don’t think the company I work for truly recognises people’s potential. I’m not being biased. They are amazing humans and it warms my heart to see them thriving because you can tell someone they deserve so much better but not everyone believes in themselves to understand that is actually possible.

There are a lot of things (the bullying included) that have occurred since I started here. I’ve learnt so much. I’ve been exposed to a vast range of personalities. There’s been some blurred lines along the way but over all it’s helped shape me into who I am.

Blogging on the other hand is like therapy for me. It helps me to unpack what’s going on in my head, lay out my thoughts and analyse them. When I read it back I sit there and assess everything. Yes, I’m proofing for grammatical errors and the like but before I post it I am genuinely reading to see if this is how I want to show up in the world.

Being an introvert I am also someone who struggles to communicate my feelings. Unless that feeling is LOVE then believe me you will feel it in abundance. Writing helps me to articulate those feelings. It’s not something that comes naturally – I almost have to pry the honesty out of myself. My inner mean girl curses at me and makes me feel guilt for merely expressing a negative emotion about another human being especially if their actions or words have affected me. It’s as if I need to validate my emotions and their worth to myself.

To me it doesn’t matter how many people my post reaches or how many people ‘comment’ or ‘like’ it. I want to learn from my own experiences from the outside looking in. I’m not perfect and I use other people’s behaviour to help me navigate what I feel in my heart to be right or wrong. Sometimes it’s looking back on how I showed up in a situation, how I reacted or what I said that helps me determine if I need to do more work on certain aspects of my personality and where I need to grow.

I’m not sure what path my life is taking at this present time. I feel as though I’m in a transition stage where I am finding my voice, I’m sharing parts of my life I would usually keep to myself but I am also tired of being the people pleaser. Especially to those who don’t deserve it.

I listened to a talk by Gabby Bernstein the other night and she encouraged me to speak about my “transformation”. What transformation? I thought. I tried to pinpoint an experience in my life and then it came to me. Motherhood. So cliché I know, but nothing woke me up so abruptly like becoming a mother.

I have committed myself to being the best person I can be and showing up for my children as a positive role model. It hasn’t been easy but it’s something I work on every day. I try not to hide my emotions from my children, unless it’s worry, because I know they feel my anxiety.

For the first time in my life I have unapologetically done things that people have disagreed with. I have boundaries. I say “no”. I speak up when I feel like I’m not being heard in my relationship and I have come to accept that I am not for everyone. I have cut people out of my life and not looked back because they did not serve me. By serving I don’t mean on a plate – I mean in life (their toxic habits/behaviours etc.) Some of these people are family members. You know the ones you usually shut up and say nothing to in order to keep the peace, yet they have free reign over how they express themselves?

I have started trusting my intuition in a way I have never listened before. I look for signs at all turns in my life especially when I don’t know if I need to leap or hold back. I’m not afraid of failure like I used to be and I’m ok with things not lasting forever. If you asked me 10 years ago I would have told you I just wanted to fall in love with my soul mate and live happily ever after and that there was only 1 person in this whole world who was ‘just for me’. I want to hug her (and shake her) at being so naive.

I have changed. I still don’t open up to people about my feelings but I’m working on that. My healing journey has been long and I still have a long way to go but when my soul calls on me to book a reiki session, I listen. When my healer encouraged me to go to yoga, I showed up every week to my kundalini yoga class (pre covid). When she gave me affirmations to repeat, I saved them on the home screen of my phone and when she told me that I needed to ground myself and spend time in nature, I did it. Because I’m showing up for me now. I’ve lived most of my life showing up for everyone else. Wanting everyone else to feel loved and safe and happy. I didn’t prioritise those feelings for myself. I wasn’t important enough.

I’ve realised that a lot of the people who come into my life that I try and help don’t actually want to help themselves. They complain and play the victim but they don’t want to change. They say they do, but they aren’t willing to put in the work. All it does is exhaust me. I finally had a lightbulb moment where I asked myself WHY am I putting so much energy into them when I need to focus that energy on myself. I want to change. I want to be a better me. What if I put myself first? Just once.

I’ve made a commitment to myself, to align myself with the person I came here to be. To show up in the world as someone I am proud of and to value who I am just as I am. I am not perfect but I AM worthy.

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Battle of the ego

Today got me real good. I was triggered. I was angry. I vented.

I still had a positive day, but this morning I had one of those moments where I was disappointed in the world we live in and wondering what happened along the way where people stopped being ‘kind‘.

Fridays are one of my working days. There is still minimal people in the office and we have a new receptionist who has just started with us. She is lovely and I went over to assist since we had a new casual turn up who claimed she was there to pick up a laptop as she would be working remotely. Unfortunately we didn’t have any notification and there were no emails to our team. She wasn’t told she would be sitting through an induction either, so we needed to investigate.

That was not the actual issue.

My issue was when one of our fellow colleagues inserted herself into the situation. She was horrible. When you start at a new company you are probably already feeling slightly nervous or anxious. You don’t know quite what to expect and in times such as these it’s definitely not the norm. This poor woman was verbally attacked.

Firstly she was lectured about us (‘the company’ as a collective) not releasing laptops to new staff who hadn’t been inducted.

Secondly her new boss was dragged through the mud about how she wasn’t following protocol and should have contacted HR prior to hiring her (…and if I’m honest I tuned out for the remainder of her rant on this particular topic because I was in shock.)

Thirdly she was schooled about HR and how our company works.

She is a casual. All I thought was “she” A. Probably doesn’t care. B. Is simply doing what she has been told. And C. Doesn’t know why you are still talking?!

She basically sent her away and I had to stop the woman from leaving and ask her if she could please just sit down and wait and promised her I would get to the bottom of it. There was no way I was sending her home without contacting everyone I could to find out what needed to be done. I’m not that kind of person. Even if it’s not my job I will try and help, and personally I don’t consider it a bad quality to have.

I spoke to her new manager and organised her induction and got everything sorted. That was fine.

What got me so fired up was the woman I work with getting on her high horse and acting all high and mighty. It was so disrespectful, so abrupt, so rude and honestly embarrassing. I don’t care who she is, what her title is or how much she gets paid. No one deserves to be spoken to like that.

I apologised profusely to the new staff member for her behavior and I’m almost positive she would have overheard. I shouldn’t be judgmental but as a woman who is in her 50’s and has a family and children and works a corporate job I honestly expected some social etiquette.

You see, I notice there’s a pattern. When they see someone as being ‘beneath’ them, they feel as though they can treat that person disrespectfully. It’s not how I operate. They aren’t my morals and I’m done with sitting back and watching people be so unkind.

She phoned the casual’s manager (whom she had been slagging off earlier). I overheard all her lies about how she never intended letting the new girl leave and how she “was going to call her” etc. etc.

Maybe I should have let it be. I didn’t. I was so livid and disgusted with her, I wrote the manager an email detailing exactly what had happened and asked if she could also please apologise to her new staff member when she spoke to her.

My colleague thankfully packed up her laptop and left the office not long after. Oh YES, that was after she dramatically exaggerated by trying to remind me of the last time someone walked out with a laptop without having been inducted. Oh and “apparently” we had no details of them either (no address/phone number etc. – we hire hard core criminals you see *insert eye roll*). I corrected her (which clearly she didn’t appreciate) about how yes, I did remember but we did have their details because the agencies always have these people’s details (or HR) and the laptop had been assigned to them. They simply didn’t have an induction prior to leaving the premises. I also made a comment about how I would never let someone leave without calling the agency or their contact at our company and wasting their time.

Let me be real here and although I might emphasize these words as I type them I spoke to her calmly and politely. I wasn’t rude to her. I didn’t try and belittle her in any way. I simply stated my piece and left it be. Her personality type doesn’t take ownership for their actions. In her eyes she did nothing wrong.

We are not a department store. We don’t have laptops lying around that random people come and collect. No one wakes up, drives to our company thinking oh I think I’ll work for [insert company name here] and walks in, collects belongings and leaves. Perhaps that happens elsewhere. No hunny, not here.

My boss was enlightened about the situation and I apologised to the agency because people like her and their attitudes and overall demeanor are the reason we don’t get sent “quality” people or are the reason we can’t retain temporary staff. Would you want to work in a workplace that housed these kinds of personalities? I think not.

My children fight a lot. They adore each other but they fight. I make them apologise and give each other a cuddle to break the ice and then we have a little debrief. Yes, they are 2 and 4 years old but they are old enough to understand.

I usually ask 2 questions:

1. Do you think that was kind?

2. Do you think [insert wrong doing here e.g. pushing your brother/sister] made [insert child’s name] heart happy or sad?

Can I tell you that every time I ask those questions my mini humans know what’s right and wrong. I can see in their faces that they feel remorseful when they realise how their actions caused the other to feel.

In that moment today I wanted to shake her, because kindness isn’t rocket science. And then I stopped and pitied her because if she doesn’t understand kindness at her age what hope does she have in this lifetime.

Maybe I take things too personally. Maybe her actions won’t affect this stranger, but to someone else it could have.

When I see someone’s ego/mean girl come out it’s not a pretty site. Maybe she felt proud of herself for showing up this poor woman. To the rest of us it just showed us the ugly side of her we know all too well.

My intention of writing this is not to shame her. Yes, I’m fuelled by anger at how she handled this situation but my hope is that everyone takes a step back and evaluates how they handle a situation. Watch your tone, your body language and how you articulate things because it’s so easy to be kind.

Don’t let your emotions take over your attitude and cause you to bring someone else down. Put that ego aside and Just. Be. KIND.

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Full Moon Circle

Wow! What an experience that was.

Last night (being Thursday October 1st) I attended my first Full Moon Circle with the beautiful Daniella Elias: https://www.daniellaelias.com/ This is something I have never done before. I was curious and I’ve heard her talk about this in her podcast and post on her Instagram pages too (she is the owner of Amity Created which I am obsessed with! https://www.amitycreated.com/).

I’ve been extremely emotional lately, and in saying that I mean more than usual. I was journaling the other night and the tears just would not stop flowing. I keep thinking back to situations in the past and how I would have handled things differently and something came up for me when I realised there was a person in a situation who really hurt me that I haven’t forgiven in my heart yet. She isn’t in my life anymore, she was actually a mother figure in my life many years ago. All this time I thought the person I needed to forgive was my ex boyfriend (who I made peace with for everything that happened) but I realised that I never held the space to truly let go of all the hurt she caused. I’ve been to reiki and I’ve had the evil eye removed but I know in my heart I never let that shift. I’m not someone who ‘hates’ other people. That is a word my mum never liked us using and although I’ve felt ‘hate’ in previous years I’ve acknowledged it’s not a healthy feeling to hold onto so now I work on feeling the hurt and then offering that person compassion.

There was a time I felt hate towards her, I’ll admit that. I look back now and think she was clearly doing the best she could with what she had. I don’t remember where I first read about this but it was so helpful in helping me to understand people’s actions and why they do what they do. I knew so much about her life and she knew a lot of intricate details about mine. There were aspects of my life she envied and I think she felt like I was taking her son away from her and that’s ok, everything happened as it was meant to and I can look back and be grateful for that entire experience.

When I saw Daniella post about the full moon circle which would be the final one she was hosting this year, I realised that:

A. Luke was still going to be working away so the house would be quiet and I wouldn’t be interrupted.

B. The kids would be asleep since it started at 8.30pm.

C. I could attend because it was held via Zoom.

D. I needed this. I didn’t know why or what was involved, I just knew I needed to do it.

After I paid I was emailed the instructions, which were extremely simple. Just a list of everything to have on hand as well as the zoom meeting details and all set out so beautifully in her downloadable file. I had my favourite crystal, a candle, my journal and a pen, my laptop, water and my sleep tea – and a box of tissues nearby (just in case).

Her energy is incredible. I wasn’t nervous at all which is unusual for me but she has this amazing calming effect when she speaks. I describe her presence as that of a light beam. There is something so special about someone who is living their life in alignment and pursuing their purpose that makes them glow.

The hour consisted of breathwork, a guided visual meditation, angel and self care cards and it was filled with moments of clarity and synchronicity for me. At one stage during the breathwork I had this overwhelming need to laugh. It wasn’t funny and not appropriate timing but I’ve experienced this before during my reiki sessions and my healer has encouraged it and reassured me it was a great reaction to have while releasing. I had tears streaming down my face through most of the full moon circle and no, that wasn’t a normal reaction from anyone else – it’s just personal to me and my experience. I think I’m going through something I don’t quite understand as yet where I’m letting so many things go that I’ve held onto for so long.

All of the angel cards she pulled resonated with me. She used the same deck I have at home (Rebecca Campbell’s Work your Light Oracle Cards (https://rebeccacampbell.me/oracledeck/). 2 of the cards she pulled were cards I have pulled out in recent times: Leap & Share your voice. Being me, after it was over I felt I needed even more recognition that the message was for me. I pulled out my oracle cards and as I turned the deck over the first card I saw was Leap, You go first. The Universe will catch you. That was all I needed.

For me it’s important to know that I’m not alone, that I’m surrounded by my guides/spirits/angels (whichever you believe in). It comforts me because I’m someone who constantly asks for signs and feels the need to know for sure because I constantly doubt myself. I woke up this morning and felt lighter. I put away all of our crystals I had cleansed in the moonlight last night and I am just so grateful for the space Daniella held last night and that I was fortunate to be apart of it.

…and yes, her name being the same as mine and spelt exactly the same was one of those synchronicities I noticed when I first came across her profile earlier this year.

If this is something you are open to then I hope you see this as a sign to try something new. It might not be for you and that’s OK, but it could be a truly beautiful and rewarding experience that will allow you to connect deeper to your inner self x

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Our new ‘normal’

We’re adjusting to a new normal at the minute. My husband has finally gotten a job offer after 6 very long months of being out of work. In the meantime, there has only been a few days here or there but nothing longer than 2 weeks. His mental health has taken a beating and his self-worth and overall confidence has hit an all-time low. It genuinely killed me to see him like that. Some days weren’t so bad but there were days when he was just so low my glass half full approach wasn’t helping and he would just cry. It didn’t matter how many times I reassured him that he wasn’t a bad person, he is someone who replays things over and over in his mind and he was holding onto a lot of hurt from ‘friends’ who had burned him in the past. Having all the extra time to think really didn’t help…

We live in Melbourne, and almost everyone around us is struggling. Especially the people who work in the same industry that he does. I was extremely grateful that they waited until 2 days after our wedding to make him redundant from his long-term role in March because he doesn’t cope very well being out of work even when its short term let alone in the current environment when we saw no rainbows in sight.

Our new normal soon became me returning to full time work and him becoming a full time dad to our 2 and 4-year-old. After my first mental breakdown I think he realised how much I was struggling to cope with everything at home in addition to work. My weekends were filled with cleaning, cooking and grocery shopping and I had no proper quality time with my babies which I was craving so much. I felt like I was missing out on them growing up and the mum guilt was real. Some mornings Gia would cry because she didn’t want me to leave and Jacob would tell me how he didn’t want me to go to work. Too many mornings I would cry on the way to work and one morning Luke called me while I was driving to express his feelings of not coping and I was a mess… I didn’t know what else I could possibly do to help.

Looking over this whole experience it’s definitely not what we wanted but it was what we needed. He has stepped up immensely. I now have someone who helps cook dinner, baths the kids… he even changes a nappy (because Gigi refuses to go to the toilet – believe me I have tried!). The cleaning side of things still needs work but he’s always helped with the washing or doing dishes so it is a massive plus and I’ll take whatever help I can get.

All of last year he worked his butt off. We had some financial goals we wanted to reach and a wedding to save for and so I don’t usually ask for any help especially with the kids because I only work 2 days a week and he worked every bit of overtime and weekends on the contract he was on. I’m honestly so proud of him but I’d be lying if I didn’t say it shit me that he’d be chilling on the couch or be on the phone while I’m cooking dinner and getting the kids bathed and ready for bed every night when he was home… the dynamics of our parenting were off but I sucked it up because for the most part I appreciate what he does and who he is as a person and the perfectionist in me is used to doing everything. I’m someone that doesn’t want to ask for help, I feel bad. It sounds stupid I know, but it’s just who I am. I want someone to “want” to help me and see that I need help rather than having to ask. Maybe I’m just really good at looking like I have my sh*t together even if I’m a mess… I honestly don’t know.

The company he worked for just after he was made redundant only had 2 weeks work for him but I had a really good feeling about them. I still can’t quite explain how I get these feelings. I just know things. I don’t hear voices, I don’t look for signs, something in me just knows. I told him that they would really like him and they’ll see how he works and they will call him back. 5 months later he randomly gets a call from them. He had just started the crappiest job in his entire career and trying to be loyal he almost missed an opportunity because they needed someone to start the next day (but he wasn’t aware of that at the time). He spoke to them again over the phone after that and they offered him another position. The only catch is that it’s over 2 and a half hours away from home. He had no choice but to take it. 

He left last Tuesday night. I cried. I’m tearing up just writing this because I miss him. He might do my head in and stress me out and gross me out when he farts ALL. THE. TIME. It annoys me that he steals the blankets and kicks me while I’m sleeping but it’s just not the same without him. He’s my person, and I’ve gotten used to him being around all the time. 

Thankfully we will get to see him every weekend. Most weekends will only be for 24 hours but we haven’t had to do this before so I am more than grateful for every second. He’s been offered jobs interstate in the past but his anxiety has always gotten the better of him and he’s had to pull out. Before we met, he did work away but it wasn’t this far. The hard part was explaining this to our minis. Jacob said he missed him after he left and hasn’t said much since. He talks to him every day when he video calls and the only thing he seems concerned about is who is going to take him fishing now (he’s told me his Nunnu has to!) I’ve assured him when we are allowed to go fishing again Dad will take him on the days he’s home.

Gia hasn’t adjusted very well at all, but she hasn’t quite expressed how she’s feeling. Being only 2 it’s not as easy to have a D&M with her. She asks me why Dad isn’t having dinner with us, why he isn’t coming home and if we’re going to Dad’s ‘new house’. With the current restrictions we can’t even go and stay with him so even though she had just started sleeping through the night that’s not happening anymore… she wants me next to her and she’s constantly reaching out to make sure I’m still there. When I told her I was going to work on Friday morning she looked panicked and she asked me why I have to go to work. I explained to her that she would be with Nanna and I’m coming home because I work close. Trying to explain the concept of time to two little people who only know 5 minutes (because we have a sharing rule of 5 minutes each) is really challenging. 

I’ve told them this isn’t forever, but it’s going to take some adjusting for all of us. What we’re feeling isn’t even half as bad as what Luke is, we at least get to be home together.

So I’m going to take the time to slow down, to be more present and to fit a bit more fun and quality time into our lives. Even in isolation I just want to focus on surrounding my minis with so much LOVE and keeping the connection.

Sometimes I get carried away with my never ending to do list of house work and all the organising and decluttering and odd jobs that I actually forget to have FUN. It’s a very hard pattern to break. I keep telling myself that I’ll make a day where I do none of the things I need to do and just make it about them and fun but I can’t help it. Now more than ever I know that is exactly what I need to do because they feel the shift with me solo parenting and they are my everything so I need to sacrifice my need to have everything sorted to allow us to just BE.

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The ‘Bergen’

Have you ever been in the room when someone is talking about you? They might be talking in code but you know you’re the topic of the conversation…

It has to be one of the most soul crushing things for a sensitive person. Yes. That’s me. I was having a reasonable day last week. If I’m being honest the ‘person’ I’m having issues with at work is someone I would label as a bully or as I like to refer to them, a ‘Bergen’ (tell me you’ve watched trolls?!) 

In an open plan environment, you try to block out the noise but some people’s voices just seem to carry further than their desk and when you know it’s about you it’s extremely hard to block it out. My heart literally sank and I felt this horrible nauseating feeling in my stomach. Perhaps she didn’t do it on purpose but I’ve unfortunately had many run ins with this type of personality before and I do feel like these ‘people’ know exactly what they’re doing. Sometimes this is the only way they can get to you when you cut yourself off from them.

I don’t speak to her unless I have to now. I’ll arrive at work and she’ll literally look right through me. She despises the fact that I get along with everyone and I feel like it’s almost territorial. We are very different people. I’m very much who I say I am. I will go above and beyond to help you; I am kind to everyone unless you do wrong by me. If I don’t like you, you’re basically dead to me, there is no communication and I will almost ghost you to your face except for the standard pleasantries. I acknowledge that I am extremely sensitive but certain people prey on empathetic people. They see our “feelings” as a weakness and they use this to their advantage. Sure, you might call how I am cold or bitchy in how I handle things but when I see that someone is ‘who they are’ and they don’t take ownership of their actions or try to better themselves then I don’t waste my time. They are not my people. I am also conscious of how people act and I pick up on a vibe when I meet someone. This particular individual I was proud to pick out straight away. You know the kind who’s really nice to your face but the second you turn around is stabbing you in the back? Yes, she’s that kind. And if this “experience” has taught me anything it’s that I need to trust my intuition ALL the time

There were a number of incidents that lead me to breaking point. For one I was working full time when I had previously only worked part time so my exposure to her behaviour was no longer 2 days a week. Let’s be real here, sometimes people are tolerable in small doses. I also became much closer with my team and some of them had confided in me about how they were feeling about how she was treating them and how it was affecting their home life with their family and their overall morale. When I heard her being a bitch and making mean comments, I would laugh it off and just get on with what I was doing. As the weeks rolled on though, I felt like an enabler because I heard the horrid things she said, I was witness to what she did and heard about them from her “targets”. When I went to help them, she went off at me. I literally walked into the office and she was waiting to verbally attack me about the fact I prepared a “stationery order” for one of our team who was in a different location. Her ego was out of control. I had bent over backwards covering every shift change and one Monday I was so furious because she tried to blind side me. One of our team members works till 6pm each day. They were away and I had been covering the shifts in the previous week but on a Monday, I need to start early because it’s payroll day. For that one day she should have covered the shift and I was under the impression she would have. She was discussing it before I came in and never said a word to me about it. 4pm came and she packed up her bag to leave. I knew she would do it, and leave me in the sh!t. Let me paint a picture here: she is second in line in the food chain in our team structure yet she doesn’t like to do anything out of her nominated tasks which includes her standard 8am-4pm working hours. She has no kids. No obligations. Nothing to rush home to. But don’t ask her to sit on reception because that is beneath her. It’s very hard to articulate sarcasm when I’m writing but I feel like you’re getting the gist?

As she was walking out, I asked her who should I call when I leave because no I was not staying till 6. (I have 2 children to go home to and if she’d been up front with me earlier, I would have made arrangements but not under these circumstances. I was livid. And no, I said none of this to her). She played dumb and pretended she forgot. She called our boss who then thought it was her fault that she forgot to organise a replacement. I was rolling my eyes as my blood boiled. She then went to ask our site manager if we could let one of the other offices look after the security. I was internally overjoyed when he said no and that someone needed to stay. That ‘someone’ was her. After I left, I made the decision that enough was enough. My boundaries were set and I was officially done with her. Dramatic I know but it takes a lot for me to get to this point and this was just the tip of the iceberg.

The next day I went to my car so her eavesdropping ears were nowhere to spy on me (because that’s another one of her wonderful personality traits – and yes, that comment also has a sarcastic undertone). I called my boss and I unleashed. I told her everything that had been happening while she was working from home over the last few months. She was shocked. I was shaking as I confided in her but she appreciated my honesty and although I explained I was more than happy for her to let this be she told me she needed some time to think about how she would handle the situation.

The next day they had a phone conversation, which resulted in said “bully” crying and leaving work. She had a number of days off over the next few weeks and from then on, the air between us has been like ice.

Little did I know our boss would confront her and then backtrack weeks later. She was awarded with a nationally recognised company award for her outstanding contribution to the business and our team. Everything I had complained about – she was praised for. The compliments were sickening. One of my co-workers showed me the email notification when she saw it come through and then proceeded to pretend to gag because she was so disgusted. Our whole team was literally like what. the. f@#k. just happened?!

How did I feel? Like someone had just slapped me in the face. Literally. I couldn’t hold back the tears. I cried most of the way home that day. I couldn’t understand what had just happened. Her, she couldn’t have been prouder of herself. She had gotten away with it.

We had a team meeting and she was congratulated by our management team and our boss told her how well deserved it was and I just couldn’t fathom what had happened in the last 2 weeks to change this. Needless to say, I had made myself the target in speaking up. My anxiety going to work had reached an all-time high, I felt sick to my stomach every day. I was experiencing chest pains and I was holding in so much of what I wanted to express. I went to see the doctor who told me I was fine so I booked in to see Helen for a reiki session because I was about to break and unfortunately it always seems I need to get to this point before I realise, I need help. I put a lot of pressure on myself because Luke hasn’t had full time work since March and on top of working full time, I was still trying to keep up with everything else I do at home,  prioritising the kids, my extended family and dealing with all the emotional baggage. I was emotionally/physically burnt out.

Reiki is the best form of therapy for me. She removes the evil eye; she offers me guidance and she literally heals my body and my soul. Every message I received intuitively through my angel cards and random messages and feathers placed in my path were that I needed to use my voice. I knew holding back would only cause me more anxiety and impact my health.

I drafted an email to my boss to explain how I had been feeling and I was so raw and honest with her about my opinion on how she and her successor had handled everything. It was in no way complimentary to her or her management style but I said what I needed to. I felt a wave of relief after I did. Her response the following day was another stab to my heart. It was cold and had a no f@#k’s given vibe. Apparently, I should have just been grateful for the extra hours she had offered me with Luke not working and she hoped I felt better soon. That was it.

From that day I stopped working extra hours. When they asked me to help I said no. I’m still working there. I go in and I do my job and I go home. I’m not the kind of person to sabotage my work based on my feelings but I don’t go the extra mile anymore and I know they have noticed the change in me. When she asks me if I want to talk, I politely decline. I stated in my email I don’t feel like it’s a safe space for me to be open and honest and that is how I genuinely feel. I’m not a malicious person.

I need time to forgive her in my heart but for now I’m still hurting and for me I need some distance to help me heal. I need to accept that not everyone sees the world how I see it. When I see a wrong, I want to make it right. Most people just want to put a band aid on it. Again, they are not my people.

Everything happens for a reason and I need to learn my lesson from this ordeal. To some it may seem trivial but I feel things on a whole other level than most. When you hurt me, you hurt me to my core. That’s not their fault, that’s just what makes me, me. One day (hopefully soon) I’ll look back and this will all make sense but for now I’m just going to sit with it for a little longer and feel the feelings until they pass.

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Card Making

I have been making cards from as young as I was able to do craft! It has always been something I’ve loved to do.

One of my first primary school business ventures was making cards and selling them to my Uncle (bless him) to hand out to family members each month. I look back now and laugh because I think I increased the price from $3 to $5 and he still supported me! Some were hand made and I then went on to using a computer program to design and write my own cards.

In high school I went back to basics and started crafting them again and sold them at a car boot sale. I convinced some of my friends to join in the fun and they made friendship bracelets and pencil toppers to sell out of my mums boot on the day. We had a blast and my mum was always completely supportive of all my ventures! I spent so many hours creating and was so passionate that I even applied to have my own craft stall at a market but I never followed through….

Living in Sydney (many years ago) I worked with a beautiful lady who was a scrap booking genius! She was super talented and she had me and one of our other co workers over for a crafternoon making Christmas cards one weekend and it reignited my passion to create yet I still don’t seem to make the time for it!

Thankfully my mini’s LOVE to create! We make a lot of mess and there are no rules (I just offer some ideas and encourage them to fill up the blank spaces to make it even more colourful!) Word of warning is that if you’re using PVA/glitter glue with little ones – you will probably want to be in charge because mine like to use the whole bottle in one spot on the card! Wet wipes are always handy to have close by!

Happy crafting! x

You will need:

  • Paper/Blank cards Source from Spotlight
  • Craft supplies

Some ideas of craft supplies we use are:

  • Glitter glue
  • Sequins
  • Paper cutters
  • Coloured paper
  • Scissors/Patter scissors
  • PVA/Glue stick
  • Foam shapes
  • Pompoms
  • Coloured icy pole sticks/match sticks
  • Coloured feathers
  • Stickers
Featured

Let’s make a RAINBOW!

A house in our neighborhood inspired me to make our own rainbow and it was a whole lot of fun for me and my mini’s in our hope to brighten up everyone’s day!

You will need:

  • Skewers (long skewers around 30cm) Source from your local supermarket or local party shop.
  • Glue gun
  • Hot glue gun sticks (my kids tend to use a lot of glue so depending on how big your rainbow is I would have a couple of packs on hand) Source from Spotlight/Officeworks/Bunnings/Big W/Kmart – Spotlight sometimes have a pack you can buy with a glue gun and glue sticks in a case.
  • SIDE NOTE: If you don’t wish to use a glue gun pick a heavy duty sticky tape that can withstand the weather.
  • Plastic plates in various colours (we chose to use the small plate size in yellow, orange, red, purple, blue and green) Source from your local House & Party Shop or you can pick these up at all of the above stores or the Reject Shop.
  • Scissors

Instructions:

  1. Plug in your glue gun to heat up and make sure you have this on some paper and a heat resistant surface.
  2. Cut your paper plates in half (or quarters/thirds, you could even leave them whole – which ever shape you prefer!). The amount of plates you use will be dependent on how big you would like your rainbow to be. We had to come back inside and make extras as we went went along. Bear in mind as your layers of the rainbow increase you will need extra and it will all depend on how far apart you place them in the ground as well.
  3. Using your glue gun run a line down the middle of the plate.
  4. Lie your skewer into the glue with the pointy end hanging off the bottom of the plate so you can skewer this into the ground.
  5. Place it aside and wait for the glue to dry/cool. We did one colour at a time and then once they were ready we stacked them and moved onto the next colour.
  6. Repeat steps 3-5.
  7. Take outside and place your plates in a rainbow shape.

Happy crafting! x

Featured

Believe in yourself

Are you someone who constantly encourages others to follow their dreams yet you fail to follow the same advice you offer someone else?

I am guilty of this. So guilty. Even now. I have friends who offer me the same advice that I’ve given them and I think why don’t I believe in myself like they do? What am I so afraid of? I’m afraid of failing. Deep down I know I want it badly enough yet I’m so scared I’m going to stuff it up. That’s life and we all learn from our failures. Some even say I hope you fail because it will help you grow. But I’m scared.

I’m 31 now and I have been “launching” my beauty career since my early 20’s. Beauty has always been my passion and it’s something I feel called to do. It’s not about injectables, the picture perfect photo, or the stereotypical social media ‘influencer’ look for me. There is nothing wrong with any of those things but I’m that girl that believes beauty is truly on the inside. I love making someone feel beautiful. I love making someone feel more confident. I’m a great listener and I have had the most incredible conversations with my clients (who up until now have been few and far between). I was really touched one day when my beautiful client cried as she expressed just how different I had made her feel and how she hasn’t felt comfortable to go to anyone else – it was such a huge step for her. At first I didn’t realise she was so emotional, to me everyone is beautiful. I don’t care what size you are, what colour your skin is, how many stretch marks you have (I’ve got plenty of those!) But for some people it takes a lot of courage for them to feel comfortable with someone else. When I spray tan people I’m not looking at their bodies and criticizing, I’m looking to make sure I haven’t missed any spots. The last thing I want is for them to be streaky or patchy but I get it. I have always struggled with my body. The last thing I want to do is get naked in front of a stranger but I think at some point we have to see that what other people think of us is none of our business and believe that we are all beautiful in our own unique way. I feel like I have some light to shed on this industry and I know I need to take that leap.

When I was younger I always went to the beautician with my mum and I still remember the times when I would secretly ask her if I could get a manicure and she said ‘YES’! Never did I think it would be something I would envision for my own career. That being said I have worked for some not so wonderful employers in this industry which lead me back to the safe comfortable world of admin. They have made me feel worthless, bullied me, belittled me and made me doubt my dream.

I realise now this was all part of my journey. I’ve made plenty of excuses over the years and put off following my heart. I always make sure that I put my family and their needs first and then if I have some time and energy for me I’ll squeeze it in but I don’t make what I want a priority. Lately I’ve felt like I need to change my career and I keep searching for jobs in the beauty industry and I found one that I thought would be perfect for me but they are looking for someone with extensive experience. It’s been almost a week since I applied and I sat there thinking to myself today, why do I feel the need to work for someone else… why can’t I take a chance on myself?

This reminds me of the quote “What if I fall? Oh but my darling, what if you fly?” – Erin Hanson

I’m making a promise to myself to believe in myself, to make a small effort each week to follow my dream and no matter how big or how small that step is, it won’t matter. But if I fall, I’m going to pick myself back up, I’m going to grow from it and I hope this inspires you to do the same. Our egos can be powerful and the negative self talk can often win us over but we will still feel unfulfilled if we sit with the ‘what if’s’. Life is too short, I think we owe it to ourself to be who we came here to be and if you trust your instincts and push through the fear I have no doubt you’ll fly.

Mum Wars

I interjected on a group chat with Jacob’s class mums.

Maybe I shouldn’t have but I felt like the topic was getting blown out of proportion and instilling fear into parents about what our children are being taught at school and in turn causing them harm.

The topic was “yoga and meditation“.

I know! I was a little confused at first and may have almost laughed out loud but I genuinely didn’t realise how “offensive” these topics are to a Christian woman and her belief systems. Literally, mind blown.

I’ve seen first hand how these practices have helped me and so many people in my life. Naturally, I am the first person to recommend them to anyone in need. Personally I am so grateful they are teaching this in school, and I have no issue with this being taught in a “catholic” school. Perhaps I’m too open minded. Or maybe as this mum has implied, I am simply “uneducated”.

She was horrified after researching the company who provides the school meditations to find that the woman is both a “psychic” and a “regression therapist”. When I read that I instantly thought, WOW this woman is highly intuitive and is using her gift to spread healing and peace in the most beneficial way to children.

Apparently her interpretation through her psychology degree is that regression therapy implants false traumatic events into people’s memories.

Internally that got my so fired up. She was so wrong in ever aspect of her “research”. I wasn’t going to respond. I probably should have gone about my day and let her play out her ignorant views.

But. It struck a nerve. Emotions are heightened at the moment with everyone in lock down and parents home schooling. They don’t need people inflicting fear into their mind about their children and their education from teachers and a school who only have their best interests at heart.

I felt the need to shut it down. So I poked the bear… gently.

After listening to some of the children’s meditations on YouTube (which I will definitely be playing for my kids at home now that I’ve found them!) I responded:

I know that might be this woman’s credentials but from listening to her meditations for kids it is mainly focusing on breathwork, calming the mind and using their imagination
I genuinely don’t think the school would purposely try and inflict any kind of harm or alternate teaching on them. It’s all purely for their well-being…
I’ve had a past life regression and many reiki sessions and all of those sessions need to be one on one so (and purely focused on healing) I don’t think anyone’s child would be at any risk of being exposed to bringing up any kinds of trauma in their meditation.
Just my thoughts though…

She quickly came back to educate me that without getting into a theological discussion (which she studied at uni and personally on the daily) that these practises are not permitted in the bible/by Jesus. She pays for her children to attend a Christian school and regardless of their intent they shouldn’t be teaching these practises. The meditation she listened to was “anti-christian”.

I knew it was a battle I was never going to win. I’m very conscious of people’s personality types and she would NEVER be wrong. She would always want the last word and her point needed to be MADE, HEARD and UNDERSTOOD. I’m sure you’ve encountered the type.

I knew she wouldn’t have appreciated my opinion as all the other mums seem to either encourage her or simply thank her for bringing it to their attention so I simply replied:

I totally respect your opinion and your beliefs and of course your concerns. I just didn’t want anyone to think the school would purposely do anything to cause any kind of trauma or harm on our children.

She ‘said’ she respected me also and my beliefs but I think we all know she believes I’m wrong and somehow converted by Satan (if that’s in the bible…)

Years ago that would have hurt me, it would have cut me so deep. Someone belittling me and making me feel like I was uneducated and insignificant. It doesn’t anymore. I have enough love in my heart to respect everyone for who they are and what they believe. I can see how someone who has such strong belief systems would be so passionate they have felt the need to complain to the principal and withdraw their children from class activities.

What I don’t think is right is how she went about it. Don’t create a war and build your army against something that doesn’t need to be fought. A school curriculum isn’t something that is thrown together, it is carefully curated to give our children a broad and extensive education over so many planning sessions and with so much thought and effort. Praise these incredible humans for the effort they put in. They are helping to raise and shape your children in ways we have no experience in. They don’t need to be attacked, come in on the angle of compassion and you’ll be greeted with understanding.