Monday, 1 April 2013

Just breathe

What do you do when you feel like you pushed too hard, like you're exhausted, regretful, fuzzy, confused.

What do you do when the weekend has come and gone and your facing down another long, busy and hard week at work?

What do you do when you really want to just hide away? To wear pajamas for a month, watch movies, read books and eat peanut butter toast.

You take a deep breath, and put behind you the things you did wrong, the things you could have done better.

You take a deep breath, set your alarm and think only as far as the meditation you will do first thing in the morning.

You take a deep breath, and another, focusing on the in, focusing on the out.

You take deep breaths until you fall asleep and can try again tomorrow.

(Image via

Saturday, 9 March 2013

The third space

Of all the downfalls of commuting to work (of which there were a few), it turns out there was an interesting upshot.  


Two hours each way between work and home to be exact.

Now don't get me wrong, I love my job. Sometimes a little too much. But it can be stressful. And I took for granted how healthy it was to have space and time between work and home.

Now I'm a 10 minute bus trip away from work. It's amazing. But an unsettling side effect has been the return of some old habits, like staying back at work and bringing work home - both literally and in my head.

I think a lot of people struggle with this issue of boundaries. When you enjoy your job or you care a lot about it, it can be consuming and it can be a challenge not to bring it home. Whether it's overt - like talking about it non stop, or less obvious, like finding you're upset, snappy or distracted because of something that occurred during the day.

At a conference I sat through years ago a speaker was talking about this and came up with the idea of the third space - the necessary in-between space between work and home. For some people it's a commute, a long drive home, a song, for one CEO it was actually building a separate entrance to his home where he could shower off his day and change out of his suit before he saw his family.

Without the funds to build myself a new entrance, I have opted for a walk. I have discovered that if I walk home from work, I can give myself 30 minutes to process my day, shake out any stress and worries. By the time I get home I can make a conscious decision to leave my day behind. This allows me the headspace and the energy to be all the other things I want to be and do.

Do you have a third space? Do you need it?

(Image via the chicdepartment )

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Just write

When I started this blog, I committed to writing a post a week. I figured that was not over committing, and it meant that each week I was accountable for doing something positive for myself. If I had nothing to write about, then I was straying from my goals of health, wellbeing and balance.

So here I am, confessing, that for the past couple weeks I have struggled to pull out my laptop and write. Partly because I felt I had nothing meaningful to write about, partly because I have been busy and distracted with work and life, and partly because I am still finding my routines after the move, and on most days, I am feeling more unsettled than balanced. 

But I am getting there. Day by day, week by week, I am feeling more comfortable in my own skin and in my surroundings. Our place is starting to feel like home and I have started to carve out some new routines and spaces that feel healthy and restorative. Like walking home from work, doing yoga stretches each morning on the patio, Sunday afternoon grocery shopping, coffee and spelt toast at Sonoma, flowers from the fratelli fresh market…

And so I have pulled out the laptop, pushed aside the excuses, and here I am again, making a commitment to write about this journey, every week, even when it feels hard or unworthy. 

Because that was the point wasn't it. 

(Image via pinterest)

Friday, 1 February 2013

A weekend at Swami's

The Hindu religion tells the story of Lord Ganesh, lord of success and destroyer of evil and pride. 

The story goes that the goddess Parvati created a boy out of the dirt of her body and told him to guard the entrance of her house while she bathed. 

When her husbandLord Shivacame home, the boy Ganesh would not let him in, like he was instructed. Unimpressed and growing madder and madder as the boy continued to refuse him entry, he took a sword and in his rage, cut the boy's head off.

When Parvati saw what had happened she broke down in grief, for she loved this boy as her son. To make amends, Shiva sent his guards out to search the lands for a any child who was sleeping facing north, not facing his mother.

The guards returned with the severed head of an elephant.

Lord Shiva started to protest but Parvati stepped in. It didn't matter if Ganesh had the head of an elephant, he was her son, and she would love him, no matter what he looked like.

It is a reminder that we should not judge others by appearances. And this is the biggest take away from my weekend yoga retreat at Swami's. 

The place was not luxurious, the reviews were less than encouraging, and Swami, her son Sanjay and Gavin the masseuse did not on first glance appear to be the gurus/mentors/spiritual guides we were looking for. 

I could not have been more wrong. The weekend was enriching, nurturing and relaxing. The people were warm, welcoming and insightful.

Sure there were some funny moments, when dear Swami who seems to be suffering the ailments of old age told the same stories over and over, when she almost forgot to feed us dinner and when we were woken every 15 minutes by smoke alarms with low batteries. 

But when the retreat was over, I felt something had shifted. And I left feeling clearer and calmer. I left feeling loved. I don't think I will forget my weekend at Swami's. 

(Image via Pinterest)

Friday, 25 January 2013

Off to a yoga retreat

It’s the long weekend – what do you have planned?

I have decided to escape for the weekend and head to a yoga retreat with my friend Emma.

With the excitement of moving, my energy levels have been all over the place the last few weeks, so I have been looking forward to two days of stretching and rest to balance myself out again.

After we booked and paid for said retreat, we made the mistake of going on trip advisor for tips. These reviews are just too good not to share.

Wish me luck.

Not entirely sure I will come back balanced so much as hungry…

"For Drinking they only served tan water and some tea. We got sick and our tummy hurt a lot. The pool is full of leaves, the spa is dirty as hell and the rooms for your personal comforbility like the massage room and the tea rooms seemed like they have not been used for ages. The tea room seemed to be used as a cat litter pan and the terrace was a paradise for spiders and other insects."
"It was hard to get along with Swami because she was telling the same stories all the time and if you wanted to say something she would not let you."
"An exercise I’ll always remember was walking around a tree on rough gravel without shoes. It hurt but overcoming that was very calming and a bit addictive."

"Swami casually mentioned on our last day that she hadn’t known anyone was coming."

"The cooking was appalling, varying from bland to weird tasting. No desserts, no coffee, some nice herbal teas though. We were even asked to do the dishes on one occasion!"

(image via pinterest ) 

Friday, 18 January 2013

A post about moving

The removalist trucks are about to roll in. We're really doing this.

I want to go. We need to go. I want us be healthy and I can't look at my husband, exhausted, bags under his eyes, no energy, any longer.

And I am tired. Oh to sleep in until 7am on a work day. To be able to have a life after work...hobbies, exercise, I don't even remember what that looks like.

And I want the adventure. The adventure that is fun and challenging but brings you closer together when you realise as long as you have each other you have home and everything will be ok. That feeling that only comes when you push yourself out of your comfort zone.

But I can't help but feel just a little emotional about leaving our home.

The little two bedroom unit we bought together when we were 23 years old, with glimpses of the ocean and a beautiful sea breeze. We fell in love the moment we saw it and over the years and have made it our own.

It's the home where we learnt to live with each other and look after each other. The home where we brought Paris the cat home and slept on the lounge room floor for two days to help her adjust, and played Angus and Julia Stone when left the house because when it was on she seemed to stop crying. The home where we planned a wedding and learnt to cook and watched storms over sav blanc on the balcony, and had Christmases and talked and cried and argued and loved.

I adore the walls we painted, the bamboo floors we laid and the new kitchen we put in last Christmas.

It's the home we have returned to after trips around the world.

It's old and it's not fancy but it's ours.

(Image via observando )

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Alcohol free zone

Did I mention I am going alcohol free for a month?

Now for the record I do not require alcohol to function in my everyday life.

But I do fancy a glass of wine (red, wine, sparkling- as long as it is quality and comes in a long stemmed glass). I fancy a glass when I go out, when I am catching up with people, when I have had a stressful day at work. And because we are among friends I don't mind telling you that the frequency of those glasses tends to increase depending on my stress levels at the time.

And herein lies the problem.

So I have decided that in the interest of New Year health, and in response to the fact that wine is not and should not be the solution to all that is wrong or scary in the world, I will spend January alcohol free to prove to myself that I can. And as a bonus I hope to also promptly farewell my Christmas kilo.

I am one week in - including New Years Eve - and I won't lie, it has been a little tough. But I am starting to feel the physical benefits of my self-prescribed alcohol detox. I will keep you posted on my progress. I just wont tell you all about it over a glass of chilled Rose....Oh Rose....

(Image via pinterest)