Share It Forward Sunday

Perhaps I can blame it on the scorpion full moon hanging low in the night sky, but it has, quite frankly been a crappy week.

But crappy weeks somehow bring out the best in me. I become more determined to find the good, to see the positive and to be grateful for who and what I have in my life. I’m not being ignorant or building a life of fantasy. Choosing to focus on the beauty of our world gives me courage to keep going. It helps me to gather strength, and it feeds my soul.

The more I focus on how amazing this world is, the more I want to be part of it. The more I want to celebrate. The more I refuse to give up. Yes, I’m a stubborn little shit, as my mother used to say, along with many of my teachers…and perhaps the odd partner and manager…

So todays clip was found on Upworthy. Yes, it’s an ad for an insurance company. But the story is still inspiring.

I hope it reminds you why you are in this world like it reminded me. And if you have had a crappy week too, then hopefully this helps you get out of bed in the morning!

Enjoy lovelies.

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Things I love Thursday

image_t6

Some things I have loved…very much…this week:

the warmth seeping through me from a friend simply holding my hand,

the hum of the kitchen at my favourite cafe,

the shelter of my sweet protective husband,

sleep…deep dark sleep…

the sweet taste of hot honey tea,

a breakfast of champions cooked by my son,

a genuine apology…too rare these days,

a midnight text message full of love,

the dark blanket of endless sleep…

strong, powerful words of courage,

an unexpected call to fight, and a cheer from the gallery above,

sweet, rich, homemade baked cheese cake with a son who listens,

tears,

watching someone I thought was lost follow her dream…magik,

finding a moment to be grateful for against the full scorpion moon,

long hot showers…

soft woollen blankets…

sleeping

until

tomorrow.

 

Share It Forward Sunday

You’re a goddamned treasure whether you want to believe it or not. 

-Savannah Brown

 

You may have noticed that I love poetry…words tumbling and dancing together to create a story or an emotion that touches our hearts and souls. That describes our experience. That creates the world around us.

Poetry Slam is usually a competition where poets read, perform or recite their work. It’s awesome stuff and YouTube has many amazing poets that you can watch. There are also lots of local Poetry Slams in most major cities. Melbourne has a vibrant community of poets that you can connect with here or if you are interested in a slam, here.

This week I wanted to share Savannah Brown’s poem: What Guys Look For In A Girl: A Slam Poem. Her work has been posted on A Mighty Girl and Upworthy a few times, and she also has her own facebook page. I love her! Savannah is 17 years old. Her poems are passionate, angry, honest, uplifting and beautiful beyond words. As she says, she’s just a 17 year old girl from Ohio who likes making videos and stuff…

She also writes awesome poems…

Hope you love this too…

 

Special thanks to Upworthy for the transcription below:

When I first learned that no one could ever love me more than me, a world of happiness previously unseen was discovered because somewhere along the line of ageing and scrutiny and time, I was taught to despise myself.

But I made sure I kept myself beautiful so someone would love me someday, so I could belong to someone someday, because that’s the most important thing a little girl could ever want, right?

I was 13 the first time I was embarrassed about my body, of course it might not be the last, and I remember stuffing my bra in the morning, tears stinging my eyes, hoping, praying to something that I could look beautiful enough today, braces and all, for the ruthless boys who mercilessly told me I was worthless because my boobs weren’t big enough.

And I would go home and put on a sweatshirt with my eyes closed, deny myself the right to be shown myself because I didn’t dare want to insinuate beauty in regards to something so insulting as my body.

But, I mean, we all end up with our heads between our knees because the only place we’ll ever really feel safe is curled up inside skin we’ve been taught to hate by a society that shuns our awful confidence and feeds us our own flaws.

And sometimes when I need to meet the me that loves me, I can’t find her or remind her that the mirror is meant to be a curse so that I could find her in my mind, but when he or she shouts, “Let me out!” we’re allowed to listen.

But it’s met by a chorus of conceited, egotistical narcissists. But since when was self-substitute a sin? Since when was loving who we are made an offense by morons that don’t matter? Change this physicality and that one. Don’t you dare shatter the illusion that you could ever be anything beyond paper-fine flesh and flashy teeth and fingernails. A code of accusations of not good enough, never good enough. Have you ever felt so numb that it hurts? Entertain me.

You can’t surrender to them. You’ve gotta remember that you’re the only thing you’ll ever truly have. And no, I don’t mean your body. Because someday that will go bad no matter what you do. I mean you. I mean the way your bright eyes go wild when you smile and how your laugh is so melodic it’s a song.

I mean the way your creativity is a compass that leads you to what you love. And you don’t need any miracle cream to keep your passions smooth, hair free, or diet pills to slim your kindness down. And when you start to drown in these petty expectations, you’ve gotta re-examine the miracle of your existence because you are worth so much more than your waistline. You are worth the beautiful thoughts you think and the daring dreams you dream, undone and drunk off alcohol of being.

But sometimes we forget that because we live in a world where the media pulls us from the womb, nurses us, and teaches us our first words: skinny, pretty, skinny, pretty, girls, soft, quiet, pretty, boys, manly, muscles, pretty. But I don’t care whether it’s your gender, your looks, your weight, your skin, or where your love lies. None of that matters because standards don’t define you.

You don’t live to meet the credentials established by a madman. You’re a goddamned treasure whether you want to believe it or not. And maybe that’s what everyone should start looking for.

Gala Darling Challenge #8

heroes

‘Write the birthdays of your personal heroes in your planner & work out a way to honour them on that day. ‘

– Gala Darling, 100 Things To Do When You’re Upset (The Sad Trombone List)

 

I have three personal heroes in my life, outside of my family, who never fail to inspire me to want to be better than I am. They are all quite different personalities and have contributed to the world in extremely different ways, but somehow their stories connect with me. I have only met one of my heroes, (Kylie, very briefly, at a Kids Helpline fundraiser) but they have all play such an influential role in my life. My spirit and heart seem to be on fire when I read an article or a book about them, or hear them speak or perform or give an interview. Their decisions, contributions, mistakes and determination inspire me to breathe through the fear and give it a go…whatever that “it” may be.

So it seems quite fitting to celebrate their birthdays in my own way and acknowledge the impact they have had on my life. Perhaps it will be with a cup cake and a whispered happy birthday…perhaps a re-read of a biography, (Richard Branson’s autobiography, Losing My Virginity, was an eye opener for me) or another afternoon watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Perhaps I will take action in their name…make a donation to one of their charities, or do something that I think they may find fitting, like go to the ballet, have a Pink Afternoon Tea to raise awareness and money for breast cancer…or perhaps try something a bit daring like rock climbing?

My three heroes, Audrey Hepburn, Kylie Minogue and Richard Branson are all so different, but all have become creative and determined game changers ~ refusing to become victims, overcoming extraordinary challenges to not only change their own lives, but the lives of others around them.

To me they are luminous and immortal.

Who are your heroes?

Take the first step!

ifyoustandfornothing

Day 112

One of my favourite quotes from the movie Sucker Punch is this: “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything!”

It’s true.

Because to make a stand for anything means that you know who you are in this world, and you know where you want to walk.

It’s not easy to do this. You need to invest in yourself and your heart. You need to take time out to think. About the world. And about who you are in it. You need to read books and articles and to listen to the wise and not so wise. You need to make some decisions. About the world. Especially about the kind of world you want to live in. And you need to make decisions about who you choose to be in this world and what you are going to do about that.

Because the greatest decision you will make will be about being brave enough to follow your heart and live the life you know you should be living.

The first step?

Make a stand. For yourself first.

Choose to fight for yourself.

Take responsibility for yourself.

Promise yourself that you will stop making excuses. Then take one step towards dream.

A few steps in the right direction…

  1. Choose a role model – someone who is living the kind of life that you want to live. Someone who makes a stand for the kind of things that are precious to you as well. Someone you can learn from. She doesn’t have to be someone you know. Read about her. Watch her Youtube clips. Watch her movies. Find out as much as you can about her and her journey to become a game changer.
  2. What makes your heart sing? When do you feel the most happy? When are the times that the day seems to disappear because you have been having so much fun, or you are so absorbed in your world? How can you do more of this? It doesn’t matter what it is.
  3. Start reading. Get interested in the world around you. Find the great speakers and inspirational leaders of our time and check them out. Go and play in your local library and talk to the librarians. They are amazing people! Who do you want to be in this world? What do you want to contribute? Open your eyes and get interested in politics. Yes, I said politics! Start with what’s going on in your own community. Go beyond your diet of the 6 o’clock news and find out what’s going on.
  4. Start small with one step. Promise yourself that you will take one step, no matter what it is or how big or small, every day. Try it for 30 days.

The most important thing is to take ACTION!

Just one step.

Please don’t wait for all of your ducks to line up. And don’t allow the fear of failure stop you from trying. You need to be brave and give it a go.It doesn’t have to be fantastic. It just needs to be one step.

Know who you are in this world. Take a stand. Don’t fall for anything!

Do Something!

inspirescript

Day 111

Some days are harder than others. You can feel a bit deflated. You tell yourself “What’s the use? It’s all so exhausting.” These are the days that you need to remind yourself of the good, the joy, the bliss. These are the days that you need to follow your heart. You know what you are capable of. It’s the story of your daydreams. You take yourself there in your head at the end of the day, on your way home on the train. Your dreams are full of “what if’s?” when you  fall into bed and bury your head in your pillows. In the corner of every hour, every minute, every second your desires call to you, wondering why you have abandoned them. You know in your gut, that you need to go. You know you need to say “yes”. You know that nothing is exhausting and everything has meaning when you are on the path that calls to you.

So choose. Today. Choose to walk another step towards your dream. Choose to answer your own calling.

“We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.” 
― May Sarton

Share It Forward Sunday

Day 110!!

Today I was inspired to read poetry in bed, laugh and giggle with Amelie, have a bubble bath with a ‘dragon’s egg’, feed my skin with coconut oil, cook fresh vegetable and red lentil soup, eat chocolate, talk with my beautiful dear friends and sons, and have a romantic dinner by candle light with my love.

Look up from your phone…

and if you are feeling a bit more inspired, then put your phone down…and change the world…

Hope your week ahead is extraordinary lovelies!

Gala Darling Challenge #6

gratitude

“Write a list of things that you appreciate right now, in the present moment. Focus on each of them & let the love inside you well up. Even when things appear to be going really, really badly, there are always things to be happy about.”Gala Darling 100 Things to Do When You’re Upset (The Sad Trombone List)

I love this challenge. It’s a great way to focus on the positive things in that are in your life right now. It doesn’t matter how small or big they are. People, events, things that surround you, achievements, quotes, songs…there is so much to manifest and draw your positive energy from.

The trick is not just to write down what you are grateful for, but to also write about how each thing makes you feel. What memories are evoked, what feelings you have welling up inside you. Focus on the here and now. Be brave an open your eyes. You may be feeling sorry for yourself. Be grateful for what you already have, no matter how minuscule it seems. You may be richer than you think!

So today I spent some time breathing and writing. I wrapped myself up in my largest and warmest winter cardigan. I popped on my fluffy Japanese house slippers and made myself a huge mug of milky hot chocolate with cinnamon. I sat myself down on our couch, lit all of the candles I had in the house and placed them on our Jarrah wood coffee table in front of me. I lent against a pile of soft white cushions and I wrote for over an hour in my journal about all of the things I am grateful for right now.

When I finally stopped I was amazed at how much I had written (3 pages!) and how much better I felt about myself and the world around me. If you are having a difficult time at the moment, or just feeling sad – this is such a good activity to try.

Create the space and time in your day to think. Surround yourself with some things that nurture you. Maybe pop on some music you love that inspires you. Sit yourself down in your garden or your favourite cafe. Treat yourself to a warm drink and some solid nurturing food, like fresh scones or biscuits. Now breathe. Look around you. What do you see? Who is in your world? What do you have? Focus on the good. Open yourself up to the blessings, great and small, that are in your life right now. Today.

Like me, you may find that your life is much fuller and richer than you first realised. You may find yourself feeling much more optimistic and happier than you thought!

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” 
― Martin Luther King Jr.

Just Dance!

Gothic_Lolita_Dancing_by_Gluttonygh0st

DAY 103

My dance teacher sat behind the desk and looked up from the print out of my yearly results. I had asked him if I could dance. I had meant did I have the results that would allow me to take dance as a major. I was holding on tightly to the wooden chair I sat on. My fingers were crossed. My legs were crossed as well. I’m fairly sure that I held my breath as I waited for his answer.

Until I had enrolled in the college I hadn’t had much formal dance training. My sisters were ballet dancers and I had taken the odd jazz class here and there. But I loved dancing. It was the thing I was most passionate about. I had picked up a dance minor as part of my teaching degree, and had worked hard to ‘catch’ up. I was fascinated by contemporary dance history and spent hours in the campus library immersing myself in the lives of inspirational dancers like Martha Graham, the mother of contemporary dance.

I spent weekends studying dance theory and every chance I could I stole time in the studios practicing my technique and rehearsing for practicals. If I would have slept in the dance wing of the college if they had let me.

But in spite of my passion and desire to be a dancer, here I was sitting across from one of the heads of the dance school waiting for him to decide my fate.

I was waiting for this man to give me permission to dance. I was waiting for him to give me permission to follow my dream.

Sometimes the person we lie to the most is ourselves.

We become very clever at blaming the world and those around us for whatever has stopped us from chasing our own dreams. The world and the ‘others’ are the architects of our own failings. If only someone had believed in me. If only someone had believed in me enough.

Somehow we convince ourselves that we have no responsibility for our lives and ourselves. It’s easier to live with ourselves if we have no control over what happens to us. We abdicate responsibility and wait for someone, anyone, to take control and give us the green light.

Perhaps you are telling yourself that you can’t achieve your dream because the world is against you and you never seem to get a break. You always seem surrounded by drama. Your family is a daytime soap opera. Your friends are always having a hard time. The dog needs an operation…and you are tired. Way to tired to follow your own heart.

We talk of ‘someday’, of ‘tomorrow’. We think of our dreams being reliant on something unattainable. If I just had more money or if I just had a better job with a better salary, if I went to a better school, or if I was with someone else.  If I just won the lottery then I could follow my dream.

So the truth is that if you are waiting for ‘someday’ then it will never happen. If you are waiting for someone else to give you the resources , or hoping to win the lottery to make your dream a reality, then you roughly have a 2,521,090 to one chance in Australia. I’m guessing that it’s higher in Western countries with much larger populations.

If you are waiting for something grand to arrive on your doorstep tomorrow, then don’t hold your breath.

Because it’s already arrived.

You arrived a while a go.

You are in essence the ‘lottery’.

You have within you all of the resources to create an extraordinary life. Within you is the ability and the strength to make your dream a reality.

You are all you need at first. And further down the track, as your life unfolds, you are still the essential ingredient to your story.

Who you are, what you believe about yourself and the world, and how you choose to be every day is critical.

You don’t need someone else to give you permission to follow your dream or to make your dream a reality, because you already have permission.

That day my dance teacher looked up at me when I asked him if I could dance. He smiled slightly as if he was confused.

“Do you want to dance?”

I nodded.

“Then you don’t need my permission to dance.”

No I didn’t. I don’t need someone else’s permission to be who I want to be in this world. Neither do you. Stop waiting for the package to arrive. The one that you think will make everything you have been waiting for magically appear.

Open the one that you already have.

Start changing your world.

DANCE!

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” 
― George Bernard Shaw