Things I love Thursday

easterOne of the things I love about Easter is hanging out with the people that are most precious to me; my family and closest friends. Easter marks the start of colder weather at this end of the world. Day light savings ends, the last of the humidity vanishes, and the we spend the long weekend eating and talking and watching movies together after spontaneous chocolate induced afternoon naps.

So many things to love this Thursday: my grandson hanging out in his bear suit~incredibly cute; interviewing some creative Japanese artists and musicians – such kawaii; freshly baked hot crossed buns with real butter and endless hot cups of tea; red sparkle cup cake surprises on my desk from the most precious cup cake faeries in my life! Loud and crazy family dinners; plotting and planning holidays and weddings…much romance, such excite! Yummy fish cooked by my mother in law who can transform anything into a schnitzel! Sweet smelling candles; late night cuddles and kisses with my love; exploring volunteer opportunities in my neighbourhood; cosplaying…because I can; hot coffee and long chats into the night with my precious friend; buying beautiful exotic tea cups and matching saucers – old school and so much fun; traditional lamb roasts; brightly wrapped chocolate Easter eggs and Greek biscuits; laying in bed reading…*sigh*

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Share It Forward Sunday

Wow! There have been so many stories and articles that have inspired me to be a better person and create a better world around me this week! I have wanted to share all of them! Here are a few to inspire you lovlies!

First up is an extraordinary story about a homeless man who is a beautiful writer. I always stop and try to do something, for people that are homeless, particularly young people. Whether it’s buying a drink, or donating a few coins, something is better than nothing, because you never know what their story is.

I also wanted to let you know about A Mighty Girl’s facebook page. Their aim is to inspire the next generation of history makers and they are seriously awesome for anyone who works with girls or has girls in their lives…all of us right? They are full of resources, books for girls, inspirational stories about extraordinary women throughout our history or currently making a difference today. Well worth the trip to face book land 🙂

Happy watching and viewing!

Things I love Thursday

It can be tricky to focus on the things that you are grateful for and that you totally love, when you are feeling like a rotten little egg. That said, choosing to see the good, the light, and the immortal will help you to breathe, and pull you up into the world of the living again. Sometimes, though, you need to kick your own ass and choose to be happy not matter what is going on around you.

So having dutifully kicked my own bum a few times and dragged myself out of bed and reminded myself to see the butterflies…here are the things I have genuinely loved this week:

Mad mental health dashes to Office Works to smell the rows of stationery with my friends Diana and Rodrigo; finding some amazing purple boxes to hide treasures in; starting my Gala Darling Radical Self Love Bible; going a little overboard in the craft section at KMart and the $2 Shop but loving the heart stickers, glue, textas and sparkle awesomeness; sending love to my adorable niece for her birthday and plotting when I can see her next; cosplay photo shoots in the most amazing gardens up in Emerald with my stunning friend Neko (Leia) and our photo guru Neil Creek; finding out that our show has been accepted for a community television station season ~ yes we ran around the kitchen and jumped up and down!! Oh my flipping god! Indulging in Easter treats (of which there are way to many) until I have a chocolate belly ache; sinking into Cristian’s arms to sleep; morning coffee, hazelnut flavouring (amazing right?) and chats with the beautiful Nikolai; singing Titanium at the top of my lungs while I wait in a very long and slow queue to get into the carpark at Supanova; drinking wine and watching Saving Mr Banks; and holding hands with my love~bliss!

Things I love Thursday

freedom_fly_wallpaper

DAY 92

Life is not always perfect. No matter how much you would like it to be. Sometimes bad things happen. This past week has been a crazy week for me, with many sickly moments. But in between the shadows and dark ‘kill me now’ thoughts while I lay on the bathroom floor, have been some beautiful and much needed things happen that I love and am very grateful for.

Things I have loved this week: watching my nephew perform with his band, A Gazillion Angry Mexicans, at their EP launch – yes he is a rock star! sitting in the backyard growing my vitamin D levels in the Autumn sunshine; singing wildly in my pyjamas; smelling perfume samples from my favourite Chanel line and keeping them in my bag; browsing through Alannah Hill’s new Winter range ~ LOVE, LOVE, LOVE; late night walks through the city; ice cream; dinners with my family; my bed; chocolate Easter eggs and hot cross buns; waking up to find my worried husband next to me on the floor; getting an awesome swag pack from the producers of the indie film Waterborne; more sleeping; handing out awards to amazing inspirational young people doing everything from fundraising to volunteering at a women’s refuge; my growing collection of heart necklaces; cuddles and kisses with my adorable grandson; hydralyte icypoles ~ thankyou to who ever thought of putting together these electrolyte chargers! *sigh*

 

 

Gala Darling Challenge: # 3

DAY 88

Time for a Gala Darling Challenge!

‘Turn up music you really love. Play it so loudly that it soaks in through your skin. Dance in your pyjamas. Feel the pain lift.’

So tonight I hung out in my favourite hot pink pj’s of the moment, (covered in black love hearts), with the air-conditioning on full, because we are having some hot (read sweltering) Autumn weather in Australia at the moment… and I imagined dancing to this awesome track (because I’m still on the fainting side of sickness and dancing is in the ‘no go zone’ for a little while longer), but I did let the song soak through to my skin…while I sucked on my hydralyte icy pole! Seriously made me laugh! Seriously made me feel human again! Perfect moment! #galadarlingchallenge

5 Ways to start with your heart

heart-07

DAY 83

24th March, 2014

When Brene Brown talks about being worthy it gives me goose bumps. Like Danielle LaPorte, she doesn’t speak about worth as something you earn or deserve. Being worthy is unconditional. Brene simply states that we are each worthy, even though we are not perfect. Danielle adds that we are all important. Incredible. Loved. Even though we are not perfect. We still deserve to be loved. Our presence is needed here.

Think about it. It’s like looking at your life hanging upside down on the swing while all the blood rushes to your head.

To say that we are worthy even though we are not perfect goes against much of what we are taught as children and adults. How many of us think – if only I am good enough, then I will deserve a good life. If only I am perfect enough, then I will deserve a perfect kind of life. Or if I do this, then I will get that. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve caught myself thinking “But I was so good!” “But I did the everything right!” while the bubbles disappeared down the drain and my world fell apart around me. I’m sure that I am not alone. I have heard plenty of others say, “But I’ve been good, why has my car broken down now?” “Why did my house get broken into, I’ve been good.” “I’m sick again, but I have been so good – I don’t deserve this.”

I’m sure that I am not alone. I have heard plenty of others say, “But I’ve been good, why has my car broken down now?” “Why did my house get broken into, I’ve been good.” “I’m sick again, but I have been so good – I don’t deserve this.” 

Of course our heads know that being good has nothing to do with some of the things that can happen to us or around us. Bad things can sometimes happen to good people. It’s just life.

What’s important though is how we respond to these very same things. Your car breaking down, or the house being burgled, your loved one dying or the relationship you hoped would work but didn’t, isn’t about what you deserve as a human being. And it’s not based on how good or perfect you are. You are a human being.

The nature of being a human being is that we are pretty flawed. Sometimes, no matter how good or lovely we are, we say horrible things or we do stupid things to people we love. Sometimes no matter how good or great we have been, other people can be mean or horrible to us. We know better, but sometimes we make mistakes. Often we fall over. But we are still worthy of being here.You are worthy of being here. Making mistakes doesn’t mean that you are no longer worthy of good things happening to you.

Being worthy, also doesn’t mean that you are entitled to everything. There is a difference. We are talking about being worthy in a healthy way.

So, let’s start with your heart.

Here are some questions to think about first:

What is the story you hold deep inside of your heart that you tell yourself? I don’t deserve this because…

I don’t belong here because…

I can only belong here when or if I work really hard, or prove myself in this way…

If you think that you don’t deserve to be here or you are not worthy, then no matter what you do you will always feel empty. You will always be chasing your dream and pushing it further out of your reach at the same time. If you don’t think you deserve something in your life you will be the first one to sabotage yourself. You may just simply give up because it is too hard, or you will make it overwhelming, or perhaps you will stop making time and space for your dream to happen. “I just don’t have the time to attend that class, build that business, create that painting, direct that film…” Sound familiar?

Or perhaps you think the opposite way? I deserve everything no matter what…

I should be given everything because the world owes me….

I only do things for people when they do something for me…why should I go out of my way for someone if they don’t give back…

I only do things to look good, get some mileage….

Both Brene and Danielle would link this kind of story to fear. Shame. And a distinct place of lack. This is a place where you believe that only some people are entitled to the good stuff, and that there us not enough to go around. It’s not a good place to be. Mainly because if you are playing in this sandpit you are likely to be very conflicted and find yourself very lonely and wondering why.

So lets start with your heart. Lets start with loving yourself. Really love yourself – no strings attached!

One of  Garla Darling’s activities is to start with a Radical Self Love Journal! Yep. It’s pretty radical!

You can check out her other self love programs on her website, but I think that this is a great idea to start with, because it makes you create some space for yourself and focus on you; even if it’s just for half and hour.

Her first step for creating your radical journal?

1. Purchase yourself a beautiful notebook and while you are at it, find some good pens, pencils, stickers, magazines, glitter…whatever makes you feel like your five year old creative self. And don’t forget the glue and scissors! You don’t need to have heaps of money to do this either. You can find some beautiful and inspiring stationery supplies in K-Mart or your local $2 shop these days. I bought a gorgeous pack of purple notebooks from K-Mart with inspirational messages on them. I also picked up a great little journal with a red leather cover and completely blank pages in a small news agency. Or you can go all out and head to KiKi or Smiggle. But get something that you love and that you can carry around with you in your bag.Your journal is moving in with you for the next month!

2. Make a promise to yourself. Gala has a number of first steps here, but the one that spoke to me was from her first ever video tutorials from the Radical Self Love project. You can check her out on You tube, but essentially the first thing you are going to do is write a promise to yourself for the month. “I promise to love myself this month.” “I promise to commit myself to my own personal growth.” “I promise to see the good in people.” “I promise to look for the beauty around me.” It can be anything that means something to you.

3. Find a totem. Gala also suggests that here you might like to find yourself a totem. Something that will remind you every day of your promise to yourself for the month. It can be a necklace, or a gem stone in your pocket. Perhaps it’s a scarf or a hat or a special ring? Something that you can preferably wear every day so that when you see it or touch it you will be reminded of your commitment to yourself. I bought a heap of love heart and angel wing necklaces in all shapes and sizes. My sister in law found an awesome website where we could pick up gorgeous heart and wing jewellery for only a few dollars. I haven’t stopped wearing them since. Every day they remind me of my commitment to not only myself but to others. They remind me of what I have to give to this world.

4. Write down every compliment you receive for the next week. Every single one. And when you receive them, say thank you. That’s it. Thank you. Nothing else. “Your hair looks awesome!” ‘Thank you.” ” I love that jacket.” “Thank you.” “You are so funny, you should be a comedian.” Thank you.” And write it down. When I started doing this I realised that I wasn’t too good at graciously accepting compliments. I felt awkward and would generally say something along the lines of “Don’t be silly”, or “you don’t know what you are talking about” I had no idea how offensive I was actually being to the person who was taking the time to compliment me. But I also had no idea how, with every denial, I was sabotaging myself and strengthening my story of not being good enough.

5. Write down all of the things that are amazing about you. Of all of the activities that I love, this is one of the best. I have used this when I am coaching or working with young people and it is an eye opener. Often people start out struggling to come up with just one thing that they think is awesome about themselves. It can be a mix of really not thinking that there is much to like/love. It can also be about feeling like we are being conceited or stuck up if we consider what may be awesome about who we are. I’m not asking you to walk around thinking you are better than everyone else. I am asking you to think about your own uniqueness. Who are you? Because you are beautiful. Special. You are definitely incredible. Important and you deserve to be here. If you get truly stuck with this one, then ask your best friends. What do they think is amazing about you? Perhaps ask your parents? Or your favourite teacher or coach.

That’s just the beginning of the process. It’s a start to realising that you deserve to be loved. That you deserve to be here. Even though you are not perfect; you are worthy.

A letter to 10 year old me

DAY 80

I watched this cute video from the folk at SoulPancake today. They often post things that make you think outside of the box.

So todays video was all about asking people to write a letter to their 10 year old versions of themselves. They didn’t tell them that they would ask them to share the letters after  they had written them, so people were pretty honest. There was a lot of advice about taking risks and not being frightened and plenty of encouragement, especially around making it through difficult times and things getting better.

I got to thinking, what would I have told my 10 year old self?

  • Don’t wish your red hair away, one day the same boys who tease you mercilessly for being a red head will love you.
  • Find what you love doing, and don’t give it up for anything ~ even if someone tells you that you can’t do it! Keep singing, keep dancing and don’t stop writing!

What stood out to me more though was how some of the things that I would tell my 10 year old self may be very similar to what I would still tell myself now.

  • Don’t be afraid to take risks. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just do it! You will learn so much more from riding that bike than just looking at it!
  • Spend time with the people you love. They won’t always be there to hug.
  • People are more important than money. Really.
  • Work is only one part of your life, so don’t spend every hour of your life working ~ unless you are running away from something…

Most of all, I think I would tell us both to choose to be happy. You may think this is easier said than done, but the research tells us that we are the architects of our own happiness. We choose how we react and respond to what happens around us. We choose to be happy or miserable. Every day.

So I thought I might leave you with a video from Nick Vujicic who is both inspirational and chooses to be happy. Every day.

Things I love Thursday

Butterfly Color Effect HD Wallpaper

20th March, 2014

Yay! It’s things I love Thursday. So much to love this week!

A heartfelt gift of a single fresh red velvet cup cake-my total favourite *sigh*; amazing and inspirational feedback from followers of my blog…completely overwhelmed – thank you; hugging my crazy and beautiful giant sons; late night games of Weiss cards, pizza, movies and loads of laughs with friends; yummy Japanese lunches with my man; another enlightening desire mapping session; kisses in the late afternoon summer heat; butterflies, real and imagined; snuggles with our moosh of a dog, Cuba; building sand castles on the Williamstown beach with the awesome people I get to work with every day; beautiful orange and yellow roses on my desk; #100 happy days! birthday wishes to my gorgeous sister and my best friend…Heathcote and New York are too far away; a shared bottle of Brown Brothers with my love; walking to work under the light of the early morning moon; sinking into my panda slippers and hot pink pyjamas and falling asleep!

5 Quirky ways to love your body

DAY 73

12th March, 2014

A while a go ‘I fucking love science’ posted this cute pic:

cells

I thought it was pretty cute, and also pretty spot on. Our cells are totally in tune with us. They are totally connected with what we are thinking and how we are feeling. Getting ready to party and feeling pretty excited? Then your billions of little cells are partying right along with you! Feeling like you are trapped in the darkness and can’t get out? Then your massive population of cells are rocking in the corner too, moaning and groaning in the dark with you. Falling in love and consumed with passion, well don’t look now, but you have a few billion copy cats hanging around you…

Pretty awesome right? And quirky.

So it got me thinking, what are my top 5 quirky (but effective) ways to love my body?

  1. Hot stone massages. It might feel a bit weird to have someone massage you with oil and rock hard stones, but as long as the therapist massaging you is qualified and knows what they are doing, this is total bliss. Your body will love you for it! Essentially the therapist massages you with the hot stones and then positions them down your spine to heat your muscles and relax you. Hmmm…heaven on a stick!
  2. Eat colours! This is about giving those billions of adoring cells the nutrients they need to keep you alive. So feed them a range of colours from each food group. So for example: orange coloured food such as carrots, sweet potatoes and pumpkin! Purples, such as blueberries. Loads of green coloured foods such as spinach, kale, broccoli and celery. One of my favourite food websites is Joe Cross’ website. You will find loads of juicing recipes and good food recipes to try.
  3. Get physical! In any way you can. Walk up and down the stairs. Dance in your kitchen to your favourite KPop or metal song on your IPOD! ‘Snuggle’ with your love…if you know what I mean! Maybe snuggle twice! Walk your cat. Swim in the ocean but only on moon lit nights.
  4. Mirror it! Find a mirror and give your reflection a good pep talk. Remind yourself what you love about your body. How cool you are. If you feel a bit awkward, take some time to write down your favourite things about yourself on post it notes. Then pop these up on your mirror so you can refer to them if you get stuck. Remember to be kind. Do you love you eyes? Think your hands are pretty cool? Love the way your smile lights up your face? What about your insides? Do you love how clever you are? How quick witted and funny you are? Do you love the way you can sing or the way you look after your mum or grandma? Still feel a bit awkward? Then imagine that you are telling the throngs of cells how much you love them. How cool they are when they sing in the shower or volunteer at the local soup van.
  5. Dress to impress …yourself of course. This one is about loving who you are and feeling good in your skin. When you love who you are, your body (aka billions of cells) usually reflects that loving. Dress in your favourite colours, or favourite 1970’s tee’s or designer outfits that you won on E-Bay. Let loose your quirky style and be true to who you really are. Because you are wonderful! And you have an entourage of billions of tiny cells that follow you every day to prove it!

“I do not trust people who don’t love themselves and yet tell me, ‘I love you.’ There is an African saying which is: Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt.”
― Maya Angelou

 

No matter how small…

DChitwood_NoActOfKindness

DAY 71

Day 2 of #30 Days of Kindness

It’s not difficult to be kind. It’s pretty simple really. The most difficult part is getting out of your own head space and thinking about making a difference to someone else’s life.

It’s estimated that over 50,000 young people don’t have a permanent home in Melbourne alone. It’s a staggering statistic.

Because of my line of work, I have learnt how rough homeless people have it – in particular young people. Whether you are sleeping on a string of friend’s couches, relying on emergency accommodation, or living rough on the streets, being consumed with getting by day to day, hour to hour and just surviving, is a nightmare way to live.

Many of the homeless young people I have worked with come from extremely difficult backgrounds, often betrayed by the very adults who are meant to protect them. They have very little in their lives and whatever they have they have fought viciously for.

Over the years I have been fortunate enough to be able to support the work of some fantastic, hard working youth homeless agencies. It’s afforded me the unique privilege to be able to participate in changing many of these young people’s lives.

The most surprising thing is that it doesn’t take much to turn some young people’s lives around.

An adult that gives a damn. One that is committed and who follows through. Some basic resources like food and shelter. A bit of support to get some work or get back into school.

An amazing friend of mine who worked in the homeless sector for years said to me once: “You may never know what the story is. You may never actually find out what led to that young person being homeless. But every kid deserves an adult who loves them irrationally.”

I agree with her.

So I may only have a dollar, or five to drop into someone’s cap. Other days I may be able to support the homeless folk who sell The Big Issue, as a form of income or the young person who sells their art work on the streets. The new StrEAT pop up coffee stands, that support the homeless into jobs and entry level certificates are my favourite place to grab a coffee and a bite to eat. Sometimes I am able to donate to things like food hampers or participate in drives for household goods. It feels pretty awesome to be able to help no matter how little or grand the help may be.

The best days though, are days like today, where I got to say hello and smile and hand a homeless young person some money, and with all the warmth I could muster, talk with them for just a few minutes. The smile back was totally worth it.

“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the greatest intention.”
― Kahlil GibranThe Essential Kahlil Gibran