Monday, March 30, 2015

Build your nest

I love this hot air balloon my ten year old made!

It reminds me not only to think about how I travel through life
but also that through on our own wings we can sail above the clouds!

This week I’ve been thinking a lot about ‘our tribes’ – and how we ‘build our nest’ in life. I’m not talking about the financial value of our lives - I’m talking about what we create in terms of who we share our lives with (family, friends, a lover, work colleagues etc…all of the people we let into our little circle) and what we do to make life the joy that it should be.

It’s hard to walk this journey alone. It’s difficult to tread a path when you become weary! I know! I’ve been there! 

Right now I’m going through a time of transition and big changes…in the past two and a bit years, nothing has stayed the same. Things have altered at a frantic rate of knots. I felt a bit like I was on an express train and never quite sure of the destination. And yet, somehow, miraculously, I always managed to end up where I was meant to be!

Because things have been so unsettled and unsure I had to find ways to ground myself, to feel settled, to be organized, thorough, determined, strong… It always begins and ends with writing for me! It is easier for me to be on a path to self-discovery when I write about it – share it, and talk it out with ‘my tribe’. It’s a blessing to be surrounded by people on the same spiritual path to not only self-discovery but working to make the world a kinder place! I read their blogs, share their experiences, talk and soul-search with them, ask the hard questions and nut them out together!

However, these past weeks I’ve struggled to focus on anything but exercise! I’m so glad I started this routine – today I am 20 days in with consistent exercise (never missing a day!) I had put off doing such a vigorous routine for years because 16 years ago a fall left me with an injury and I felt like it was all beyond me. However, working on my core strength and being diligent in exercising, has in fact improved the situation and I am getting nowhere near as much pain as I was (something I discovered in NYC when I was walking everywhere – it was the best thing ever!) It’s just not good for us to sit on the couch, bed, or at a desk all day long. We need to constantly and consistently move our bodies. A sedentary lifestyle doesn’t do us any favors!

The only other thing I’ve been able to make happen lately is running errands for the kids. I’m still struggling to write, but I want to try and articulate where I am at. I think I need to do the brain dump! And I need to flex my writing muscle! I’m going to have to force myself to focus – difficult when I’ve ‘other’ (special) things on my mind…

This week I was just slightly excited to read in the Media that Taylor Swift is ‘with’ Calvin Harris! Now if that’s not a music-match made in Heaven I don’t know what is! They should have a child together – can you imagine!? My daughter said she can’t wait for the album Taylor writes once they break up! I had to laugh! There is truth to that statement. However, I’m just as interested in the album they might write while they are together!! Please God, let them collaborate! Now that would be amazing….that would be a child they could create in itself! Oh sweet music to my ears!

What I love about Taylor Swift is this – 

I love her song 'Shake it Off' for that 'don't give a flying f...k attitude!!!! I love that she uses the media's portrayal of herself to write amazing songs that people can relate to, and she's making a fortune off the reputation OTHERS put upon her. It's the only way to do it. Turn the negative into a positive. She's a master at it!!! I have to admit, I LOVE her stuff when she writes from the perspective of a broken relationship - because we can all relate to that on some level, can't we. Oh the broken hearts :*( STILL, that said, I really do hope these two produce a lot of music together - it would ROCK THE HOUSE!

I have a lot of respect for Tay Swift! She's an amazing artist and very clever with her words. She's a great role model for young girls. I'm not interested in how many men she's dated. If it gives her fodder for music, great! Things don't work out for a reason. You can't crucify a person for that! Maybe she needs to make better choices in love  ha ha! But her industry is a fickle one and it would be hard to make any relationship work, especially at her age - it's getting harder and harder for all of us at any age! I love it when people take life experience and use it in their craft like she does. For her it's her songs...for me, books and blogging! I applaud her! It's inspiring! Dear John is one of my faves from that point of view... hmm I can think of one particular person to apply this song to!

Yep, it’s all about collaboration and who we allow to help us create that nest – or as part of our tribe! When we find the right puzzle pieces, the ones that interlock perfectly, magic happens…I know because it’s been happening to me…the last three weeks have been a whirlwind inside of my heart and mind because things have been evolving 'fast', things that I can’t wait to share. I love this journey of change. I embrace it whole-heartedly now! And I feel grateful for the ebb and flow of the tide as it carries me into a whole new world! It's never dull! I hankered for adventures...and they came...and they're still coming!

I feel blessed that I can have this time where everything is just kind of falling into place in a way that… well I could say I never imagined it, but that wouldn’t be right… I did imagine it, I did focus on it, and maybe I even created it! You know it’s like the guy who says “I’ve never had a speeding ticket” and the very next week he gets one! When I was 15 I said something like not ever having had a broken arm or leg, when my then crush said “Shhh, you’ll speak it into existence!” He understood the practice even then! That statement has always made me so mindful of my words …even 30 ish years later! 

I am a firm believer and strong advocate for actively creating the life we want…focus on that thing (or things, why limit yourself to one), that you want most and then watch it evolve! Take the negatives and turn them into positives - out of the lemons make lemonade and then use the left overs for tequila shots to celebrate!  You CAN DO IT!!! Don’t think for one minute that you can’t!!! Our strongest desires always yield, always manifest themselves, always happen! Well they do if you believe in it! Faith is a big part of the equation too, because without that, nothing can flourish and grow! You have to put in 100% FAITH! That’s just how it works. Then you need to put your energy into the proposal or idea. Create the vision. Make the dream board, surround yourself with good intentions – create a pinterest page (secret or not), use pictures from a magazine or take the photos yourself, cover a wall, a pinboard, fill a diary with ideas – whatever it takes – and then practice positive thoughts every single day! By doing this you can bring that beautiful life towards you! The power of thought and even mere suggestion is an amazing thing!

It’s a little spooky because it seems like every time I write something I bring that into my life. So I am concentrating on creating a future through words. I want to see how far I can take this. If I systematically write about the things I want to happen…or weave things into ‘my story’ that I think could happen; it’s a little bizarre, but they are actually happening! It gives a lot of credence to books like ‘The Secret’, ‘The Celestine Prophecy’, ‘The Power of Now’ and ‘a new earth’ and the like. My own research has proven their theories – we become what we think, or life evolves as we imagine it. But what if we could literally write our own stories? 

Things have begun to happen that I wrote in my third book that nobody knows about yet because it won’t be published until June/July! There are only two people that know the content of that book – myself and my graphic designer who is formatting it for me; and I haven’t even told him the stuff going on behind the scenes in my life. This theory/idea/information just blows me away! So either I am writing by premonition (each time), or I am speaking/writing certain things into existence. It’s like these words/books possess a magical quality! It makes me very careful about how I write them. When I first discovered the power of my words after writing ‘Falling’ it shaped my second book ‘Torn’ a lot, but never more so than book three ‘Wild at Heart’ and as the fourth one begins to take shape in my mind, I am ever mindful of the power behind my words and the world I can create now! The story can get a little distorted or one element can belong to another facet of my life, but it’s interesting that the key points I have written about are coming to fruition!

When I re-read all I’ve written in terms of my fiction novels and see the parallels in my life it is quite astonishing. At first it was a little creepy! But I am learning to channel the ability to make the journey evolve the way I want it to!

Of course in order for conditions to be favorable you need the right essence – part of that is Faith as I said, a good portion of it is the people you allow in your space (who you build your nest with), and how you view the world. If you think negatively it attracts the negative. If you think you’re having a clutzy day you’re likely to keep dropping things. If it starts off bad, change it! Think ‘NO, today is NOT going to be one of those days!’ Refuse to accept it. Deflect it, repel it! You can you know!

The other day as I drove around and around the carpark looking for a spot, I was becoming annoyed with doing laps and to no avail. I was starting to see myself walking a block to an appointment. No way! I decided to flip that around and visualized a close carpark…I got one in the exact spot I required it. And yes, I know we can all chalk stuff up to coincidence. We can all complain that life just doesn’t go our way! Believe me – I’ve been there! That’s why I am actively thinking a different way and putting it into practice every single day! I only think about what I WANT to occur, not what I don’t want! I focus on nothing less than the desirable outcome…and somehow, via a miracle, the power of positive thinking, and through the layers of life, I am being 'given' the people and the things I need to complete the circle, for which I am utterly grateful! 

And there it is – Gratitude is the pinnacle of it all! Be grateful for what you have, don’t be dragged down by what you don’t have!!!  Keep your eye on the ball/the prize/the goal! Believe…dream…and then believe some more! You will be surprised at the magic that can happen when you do!

I guess the moral of the story is – never underestimate the power of the written word!!! Now go and write ‘your own adventure!’

Here's some pictures from my gallery - 
*click the pics to view the larger version!

Monday, March 23, 2015

The calm after the storm...

March 13, 2015 cyclone Pam smashed into the islands of Vanuatu; a place I love! Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock (ha ha!) you already know this about me…and about the weather event! I dare say most people know how Vanuatu took the blow! It seems like a poignant reminder for me, as this day, two years ago I was waiting for my little brother to arrive on Australian soil after not having seen him for two and half decades! Then on Sept 13, 2013 we traveled to Vanuatu together with my youngest child, in what would be our very first overseas trip! I have such beautiful memories of that time, particularly of the Blue Lagoon and the Mele Beach Bar; I long to own one similar to this someday (the bar, not the lagoon – although a lagoon like that would be nice)… but probably on the other side of the world. Like many people with friends and family in Vanuatu I waited with baited breath for good news…I still don’t know. I still worry and wonder about Freddy our amazing taxi driver/tour guide, the children of the village who we met and fell instantly in love with, and the staff from the Beach Bar who we met at the time (just a small plug here – they make THE BEST wood-fired pizza EVER!!!! Hands down!) I am craving it to this day! And...what I do know that is the Beach Bar is open for business!  The resilient spirit of the people of Vanuatu will rise again!

I have been to Vanuatu twice and it just feels like a home away from home. They are such a hospitable people, and it is just the most picturesque place ever! The staff were so kind to us and I will never forget my experience there. It is one of those things I treasure in my mind.  

I feel so sad that they had to go through this terrible tragedy! They are people who already live with so little yet are so happy and humble. I learned so much from my little journey there!

(*Here's a selection of photos from that trip - Blog post continues beyond photos)

Freddy our driver!
at the Anchor Inn

Scene from the Mele Beach Bar!
Very different after the cyclone!

Freddy with my youngest!

Wood-fired pizza!

Mele Beach Bar

The loooooooong and arduous walk to 

Mele Beach Bar
Four of the male staff took him off me so I could eat my lunch
and packed him in safely like this!
Cozy and comfy!

Beach bar...

My little crocodile hunter wearing his Australia Zoo Safari Shirt
standing beside the Vanuatu Jersey.... $200 later...

He was so little then...

While Vanuatu was being put through the ringer my own little family was having a crisis as well! My father in law fell ill and was in ICU for a number of days with a severe infection, and shortly after his release from hospital had a mild stroke. While he was in the ICU the first time, my children traveled several hours to be with their grandfather. My eldest son at home requesting we buy the Ukulele he had been coveting; he’d seen it at a market just a day before. He wanted it so he could play with his Grandfather (who also owns one!) So that afternoon we drove to the seller’s house and purchased the instrument and my son was able to fulfill that dream of playing with his paternal grandfather. I was never so proud!

I was sitting in MacDonald’s with my daughter and her friends after they had hit the local show for the night, when we received the bad news… I dashed home and plans were quickly made, travel arrangements sorted and everyone out the door to visit with their grandparents. I stayed behind with a sick child. We didn’t need to take any more germs into that environment.

My little family were gone for a few days…oh how I missed them! It was a taste of what it will be like when I have to leave again…which looks like it might be coming up fast. A lot of things have changed around here of late…BIG THINGS! AMAZING THINGS! Things I am so utterly grateful for!

I spent today working out for four hours. I’m on a mission! I have a big event coming up soon and I want to be ready for it! REALLY ready! Not half ready! After which point I may have a rather large announcement to make! So watch this space… No I’m not pregnant! (Just you know, in case you were wondering…)

And this is what we've been up to lately!

My boy baked me a cake and it was amazing!

I love this room service with a smile!

My skater daughter's tie dye room!
Her wall & skate board
She created the wall mural herself!
See more here!

 My 20 year old son's brand new car!!
Hot or what!?! 

I love the innocence of this shot (below!)

The Get-fit kick!

I've discovered ballet again!

I adore this dress 'Miss Bradshaw' from 

Our babies...

Apparently we ALL love #ellen at our house!

Wonder which team Marshmallow was going for?
Italy or Wales...?
Had to be Italy, right?

....making a play for the ball!

Licorice in the sun!

Marshy and I chillin' together! :-)
She's convinced this is her bed....
when I get up she steals my spot!

My daughter is planning on doing this with her hair soon!
LOVE it!!!

Don't mind the top right one here either...

My new glasses....I liked them so much I bought 3 pair!
I know 'some people' like to 'copy' my style...
so sharing just in case ;)

I travel a lot and I am always paranoid I'll lose my glasses!
It's always good to have a backup pair...or two!

The red is my fave!

Hmmm light or dark...???
I like both!

Flashback to 2009 at Cracked Pepper, in the
Hunter Valley, De Iuliis Wines

Me today, a little shiny after exercising for four hours
and sans make up! ... but who cares!!!