Month: June 2017

The Bolt From The Blue

In The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin writes that one of her main reasons for starting the project is because ‘One dark night, my phone was going to ring…I wanted to prepare.’

Despite reading the book innumerable times, I had never paid much attention to that part – perhaps because it sounded vaguely hyperbolic in nature – and I assumed that the emotional resilience provided by happiness was maybe just a side effect of happiness rather than a reason to cultivate it.

But yesterday – my phone did ring.

My beloved friend Matt had taken his life in the early hours of the morning. The mental illness he’d been battling for the last several years became a burden that he couldn’t carry any longer. He was a trusted friend, housemate and confidante to me for the best part of fourteen years and I can’t believe that he’s no longer here.

I don’t know whether my own emotional resilience is strong enough to create a buffer against grief. Time will tell I guess. But I just hope that wherever Matt is now, he is free of his suffering.

Farewell dear friend. Sleep peacefully.

Love,

P.S. This blog was supposed to be a lighthearted discussion of cookbooks and capsule wardrobes, not a place to examine the heavy things. I guess that sometimes life just has other plans.

 

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Goal Setting With Powersheets

I first heard about Lara Casey’s Powersheets from Kelsey Van Kirk on the Purposeful Home Podcast. Kelsey and her co-host Allie Casazza were discussing their intentional goal setting practices and the idea of having a word for the year.

The word of the year thing wasn’t new to me as it’s a fairly common practice in Bullet Journal circles. Back then, I’d chosen the word ‘Commit’ for the year and I’d written down a few goals:

  • Get to goal weight
  • Get a new job or a new role at my current job
  • Develop personal style

Realistically, the only one I’ve made progress on was the style goal. So when I heard Kelsey raving about the process of Lara Casey’s Powersheets, I decided to check them out. It doesn’t hurt that I’m a sucker for any sort of planner! Lara’s site, Cultivate What Matters is beautiful and Lara’s energy is contagious! I bit the bullet and ordered a six month set of Powersheets.

I received my Powersheets on Thursday, merely hours after getting the news that I had missed out on a promotion I’d gone for. This felt like something of a sign that it was time to sit down and redefine what it is that I want next. The first part of the planner involves extensive prep work, diving in to personal characteristics and reflecting on your current situation. It allows room for brainstorming, goal drafting and creating action plans. It’s a lot to do, but you don’t need to do it all at once.

I spent my Sunday morning exploring the Powersheets. I want to take my time with my goal setting and actually enjoy the process – it doesn’t hurt that the Powersheets are so gorgeous and that Lara encourages you to be creative and ‘get messy’ when crafting your goals!

I decided to start with my health goals. Health is my biggest challenge and I am prone to becoming overwhelmed by information and conflicting points of view. I tend to focus on periods of extreme restriction followed by epic binges – usually in response to some emotional upheaval. And once I start on sugar or refined carbs, it’s all over. This is the biggest thing I want to address. I used my Bullet Journal to brainstorm, then went through the Powersheets process and found that the I was able to clarify my goal in a way that felt right – not overly complicated, restrictive or intimidating.

I’m going to recalibrate my relationship with food.

Stay away from the foods that make me feel out of control and inspire binges, eat more of the foods that nourish my mind, body and soul. Not worry about carbs, calories, macros, fasting, avoiding dairy or banning sweet potatoes.

Just eat real food. Kindly and gently.

Here’s to my first new goal and those yet to come.

Love,

P.S. A full review of the Powersheets to follow…once I’ve had time to dig in a little further and assess how well they work for me. So far, they seem promising!

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Yoga To Turn Your Morning Around.

Anyone who experienced an Australian childhood in the 1990’s is familiar with the entertainment gold that was ‘Bananas in Pyjamas,’ – a five minute show chronicling the trials and tribulations of two men in banana suits and three people dressed as giant teddy bears.

Anyway.

There was one particular episode which saw the bananas get up on ‘the wrong side of the bed.’ Their grumpy moods infected their day and everything went downhill from there.

That’s how I felt when I woke up this morning – stressed, tried and over it before the day had even begun. And it was raining. Ugh.

Although there’s a lot to be said for ‘pushing through,’ I didn’t even attempt the gym or a power walk this morning. I decided to treat myself to a Yoga session from Classic Flow, a beautiful podcast produced by the ABC. Lara’s beautiful tuition is accompanied by classical music on piano and cello and makes for a wonderful immersive experience. As this is audio instruction, it is best suited to those with some Yoga experience, however there are videos of the sessions available here.

 

I set up my mat in front of the fire and got stuck in to the ‘Rinse and Release’ episode. They say that in Yoga, how you show up on the mat is how you show up in your life and today, I was stuck and I was cranky. But after half an hour, I feel like the worst knots had been smoothed out of my body and my mind and I was able to front up to the day in a slightly more productive frame of mind.

I love that something so small can turn the day around – it’s a timely reminder that even when life feels out of control, we have the power to make a difference.

If you are in need of some soothing Yoga in your life, check out the Classic Flow podcast here. Or if you want to feel better about your day (or just need a 90’s nostalgia hit!) you can relive the exploits of the Bananas in Pyjamas here.

Love,

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