Why it’s important to return to a child-like state of wonder

Posted on: Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Play

This morning, I sat down and watched my daughter perform a concert.  We were her audience, and I watched proudly as she stood up there (in our lounge room) and strutted her stuff.  She did a mean cover of Redfoo’s “Let’s Get Ridiculous”, the theme song to Peppa Pig, and then made up her own little number.

It was beautiful.  Precious.  And she reminded me of me at that age.  Ok, let’s be honest, she’s pretty much a Mini Me.

Watching her took me back to my childhood, and the endless concerts and performances I used to put on for friends and family.  I loved to make people smile.  And not just for the applause, but because I genuinely loved seeing people happy.  I’ve always wanted those around me to radiate joy.  To light up.  Shine.

She doesn’t know this yet, but I am inspired by my daughter.  Her innocence, her sense of wonder and her complete presence.  She, like most children, are wholeheartedly in the moment.  She doesn’t give two hoots what anyone else thinks of her.  She is who she is.  She embraces that.  And I LOVE it.  And I will do everything in my power to make sure she never believes anything different.

She, as I did when I was a little girl, spends hours upon hours drawing, painting and creating.  It’s her thing.  Pages upon pages of paper are filled with colour, shapes, people, animals, number and squiggles.
If I sat down to draw now, as an adult, I know exactly how it turns out… That need for perfection.  The need to start again if something doesn’t look right. Perfect angles and colours.  Something that should be fun, turns into something that gets judged.  The fear of what someone would think of my drawing.  As adults, the fun, innocent tasks are turned into fear-based activities that have us paranoid about what someone is going to think of what we produce.

Where is the fun?  The innocence?  The play? 

Play has become a bit theme in my life over the past few weeks.  One of my core desired feelings for 2014 is PLAYFUL.  And I realised recently that it is the one that has been most neglected.  As a Mum, surely it should be the top of my list?  Nope – there’s always washing to do, work to be done, dishes to be washed, food to be cooked, social media to be monitored.

PLAY.  Something that should be embraced wholeheartedly and take us so deeply into the moment that all we have is joy and wonder.

Why don’t we play anymore?  I believe that it all comes back to the thing that holds so many of us back – fear of what other people will think.  But why?  Why should I be fearful of what my children think if I dance around like a lunatic with them?  They LOVE it.

Over the weekend – I put it to the test.  I had an hour long drive home from a beautiful workshop completely on my own.  My iPod was filled with my favourite tunes, I turned the volume up, wound down my windows and sung and danced (as much as you can safely) til my hearts content.  I felt alive.  Fulfilled.  FREE.

At the red lights, things really started to get really funky… The dance moves turned up a notch.  People looked.  They smiled.  And I would say that 98% of people that looked, drove away with a little spring in their step.  At least that’s what I’d like to think.

Play is infectious.  We all want to return to that child-like sense of joy more often.  We can get so bogged down in work/financial/life stresses that we can forget what it’s like to really have FUN.

I’d love for you to take a moment and really connect with your inner self.  Take yourself back to when you were younger – maybe 6 or 7.  What was it that you LOVED to do?  What had you feeling joyful, elated and special?  And of that, what can you now take into the present day?  What can you enjoy now that will bring you back to those feelings?

A Spice Girls dance off?  Baking a cake AND licking the spoon?  Drawing or Painting freely?  Running from one end of the garden to the other as fast as you can?  Jumping through the sprinkler in the backyard?  Climbing a tree?  Making a daisy chain?

When I play, I am present.  And I feel more like myself than in any other “role” I play.  

I think it’s time we dropped the pretence, dropped the masks of adulthood and revel in FUN.

And you never know… in that moment of play, you just may find your calling…

I’d love to hear from you – what can you do to bring back more fun into your world?  Do you make time for play? 

Just be YOU

Posted on: Friday, March 28, 2014

I’ve got a quick one for you today, beautiful.

A little challenge for the weekend…

Owning all that you are, really is the ultimate act of courage.  But it is also the ultimate act of self-love.

What an incredibly loving thing it is for yourself, to show up each day, in front of your loved ones, and being proud of the person you are.  THAT is choosing love over fear.

You don’t even have to be original, you don’t have to be like anyone else.  You don’t have to pretend, you don’t have to hide.  You just need to be you.

The minute I started to believe in ALL of me, was the moment everything began to change.  I am so passionate about this.  I truly believe that we all deserve to just BE US.
YOU.  ARE.  ENOUGH.

To the people who love and adore you – you always will be.

Embrace it, baby!

I’d love to hear how you go with this.  Is there something you are holding back?  Are you ready to take that leap and share all that you are? 

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Be brave, be bold.  Be beautiful you.

Mama life always comes first

Posted on: Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I don’t talk much on this blog about my life as a Mum.

Not that it’s not important to me, because the truth is, it is my most important role in life.  It’s just that it’s never really come up all that much.

But before I go on, I feel like I need to say a bit of a disclaimer here… being a mother, doesn’t define me.  And it took me a very long time to get to this point.  Sure, my role as Mum has me pretty much “on” 24/7.  But being a Mum isn’t who I am, it’s just something I do.  And just because I’m a mother, it doesn’t mean I don’t want and need time to myself.  I really want all Mums or Mums-to-be out there to know that it is certainly not selfish to spend a little time each day just for you.  Of course there are days where that’s just not possible, but you should never feel guilty for wanting a bit of time out.

My role of Mother is one that not only changed the way I live my life, but it changed me as a person from the inside out.  One day, I will sit down and put a post together telling you just how much my children mean to me.  But to be honest, I find it so hard to put into words just how much love I have for these two little people.

The obvious fact is that I am a Mum.  And for me, being a Mum means that whatever happens – family life will always come first.

Quite often it means I don’t blog as regularly.
Sometimes it means newsletters don’t get sent out.
Occasionally it means I get a few weeks behind in study.
Sometimes emails don’t get answered so quickly.
It also means I have to pull myself up from looking at the way other people’s businesses are flourishing and just be ok with where I am now.

I don’t always have the luxury of time.   I don’t always have the luxury of quiet.  And sometimes, even though my mind is at peace, my outside world (and one very inquisitive 4 year old) is asking me a millions and one questions.

But that’s ok.  Because I choose my family.  And I have the luxury of being here (when I know a lot of people do not).

I choose to answer those questions to enable her to understand the world around her.  I choose to be here for the laughter, the tears, the sickness, the milestones, the sibling arguments, the nappies, the Kinder drop offs, the lack of sleep, the endless episodes of Peppa Pig, the craft, the dress-ups, the play dates, the spills, the smiles, the fun.  And the LOVE.

The reason for this post is really due to the fact that Motherhood, this week, has kind of kicked my butt.  Both my little ones have been quite sick (there was even a trip to the emergency room yesterday which wasn’t too fun… All is ok now though).  Both have demanded my time, my arms and my love.  There hasn’t been much sleep.  Balls have been dropped and calls have gone unanswered.  And self-care has completely gone out the window.  They have been my priority.
There’s been a lot of arguments between the two of them as to who can sit on my lap and who can get the most cuddles.  There has been food spilt, noses wiped, temperatures monitored, tears and lot of whinging.  I’m exhausted.

It is now past 4pm and I am still be in my pyjamas.  I may be physically drained and I may have a to-do list the size of my leg.  But as I lay there on the couch earlier with one of them asleep on my chest, and the other asleep snuggled beside me, I couldn’t help but smile and feel content.

I am eternally grateful to be a mother.

I choose my family because I want to.  And if that means that my blog and business take baby steps rather than giant leaps – then that’s ok with me.

Being a mother (and wife) is more important to me than any other role I play.  And those two sleeping and sniffly babies will never know just how much their love, and their role in my life, means to me.

I am blessed.

Nurturing Me, Nurturing You : Claire Baker

Posted on: Wednesday, March 12, 2014

“Nurturing Me, Nurturing You” is a series of interviews with the women who inspire me to inspire you.  

These are the women I draw inspiration from, the women who are out there shining their light on the world and the teachers who empower me (and you) with their words each and every day.  They are all trailblazers in their own way and I am so grateful to have them here at this space.

I am so very excited to be bringing this series back for 2014.

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I am so grateful that the beautiful Claire Baker kicks off this series for 2014.  Not only is Claire an inspiring Health & Life Coach, Writer and Blogger at This Is Lifeblood but she is also a very dear friend of mine.

Our friendship began with a few comments on each other’s blog posts… “LOVE this Claire! (see, we really are kindred spirits!).” “We are totally kindred spirits Amelia!”… Which lead to a few e-mails, becoming “Facebook friends”, many more e-mails and then spending the day together in Melbourne last year.  As soon as I met Claire, I’m not afraid to say that it was a bit like love at first sight.  There was a familiarity there and I immediately felt warm and comfortable in her company.  We pretty much didn’t stop talking the entire day and the more we talked, the more we found in common.

What makes Claire such an special person to be around (and I suspect is the reason she’s such a sought-after coach) is her ability to create space for the people she spends time with.  When other people talk, Claire hears them.  She just doesn’t listen to the words, she really hears what is being said.  And the words that come out of her own mouth (or on the pages of her blog) are always honest, gentle, kind, authentic and at times, absolutely hilarious.

Her energy is positive, playful and infectious.  You can’t help but walk away from a day with Claire with a big smile on your face.  I feel incredibly blessed to call her my friend (if only she’d move back to Melbourne!!) and as I once told her – she’s “the real deal”.

Claire says that her dream is “to be me”.  I’d say she’s living that dream… and then some.

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♥  You are out there inspiring so many people each day, but who or what inspires you?
Oh SO very much. Yoga, Danielle La Porte, the ocean, my creative and soulful friends, a long walk, TED talks, my beautiful parents, solo travels, sunshine… the list goes on!

♥  What is your dream?
To be me. To live my life in the most passionate, authentic and loving way I know how; today that means dreams of coaching women all over the world, teaching yoga, writing books, travelling the world, waking up with a grateful heart each morning and going to bed each night vibrating with love. (Oh, that sounded a bit naughty didn’t it? – Ha!)

I wrote a post about my big dreams not long ago which I love to go back to to remind myself what really matters to me.

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♥  What do you think is the most important step a person can take right now, to start loving and nurturing themselves again?
Start doing things you love. Do them because you love them. Forget about career paths, money, time and drop the excuses and stories. Just figure out what it is you love to do and go and do it. There is no better way to connect with and nurture yourself than by doing what makes your heart sing.

♥  What does the term “being healthy” mean to you?
It may come as a surprise to some that I don’t believe health is a goal. Health enables our goals to be realised.
Health is aligning ourselves with our default; it’s being in tune with our natural state. Health is the vehicle that enables all that we do!

By eating a (mostly) balanced whole foods diet, staying active, maintaining strong and uplifting relationships, doing work you’re born to do and of course – connecting authentically with yourself and your true desires, we create a slate of health to build our best lives upon.

♥  A lot of people struggle with living in the moment, how do you stay present?
It’s certainly a moment to moment decision to be present. It’s a soft gentle nudge back to presence when your mind starts going off on its own tangent of planning and scheming and future-tripping… Yoga has really helped me with this as well as Eckhart Tolle’s The Power Of Now. That book has changed my life.

♥  What is the one song that is guaranteed to get your up on the dance floor?
Tonight by Rufus. Obsessed with them right now.

♥  Sometimes people can get caught up in the seriousness of spirituality/personal development and forget about having fun – what do you do to ensure FUN is not forgotten?
I’m glad you’ve touched on this, it’s so important not to take spirituality and personal development – and life in general really – so bloody seriously! I encourage my clients to incorporate a bit of fun and ‘being bad’ into their life on a regular basis.

This might mean sending hilarious selfies of yourself to your sister, not making your bed on the weekends, ditching your To Do list and heading to the beach or cooking that rainbow cake you’ve seen on Pinterest that’s not so healthy but would be a helluva lot of fun to make! 

♥  If you could invite anyone over for a little dinner party at your place, which 5 people (dead or alive) would you invite and why?Danielle La Porte – to amp the inspiration vibes.
Mike Myers – to laugh my pants off.
My Nanna -  because I miss her and she’d make everybody feel lovely.
Ryan Gosling – to drool over.
Louise Hay – to say T H A N K Y O U.

Claire and I

♥  5 years from now… where are you and what are you doing?I’ve just turned 32 and I’ve celebrated somewhere fabulous (maybe Paris, Barcelona, Bueno Aires, Chiang Mai…) with my sexy, mega-inspiring partner (who I am still yet to cross paths with at this stage…) and maybe even a mini-me or two. I work with inspiring and innovative humans; writing, coaching, teaching yoga, exploring, sharing, encouraging, giving, being. Living!
Amelia : I can happily confirm that since this interview, the beautiful Claire has actually found that man! ;)  

THE SPEEDY SIX…
♥  Favourite exercise?  A year ago I would have said running. Today I’ll say yoga. Next year maybe Aqua Aerobics!?!
♥  Favourite colour?  Pink. I’m a Barbie girl at heart.
♥  Favourite vegetable?  Sweet potato at the moment. Roasted in coconut oil or mashed with organic butter.
♥  Favourite superfood?  Cacao!
♥  Favourite smoothie combination?  Banana, berries, coconut cream, chia seeds, coconut water, bee pollen and 180 protein powder.
♥  What are you grateful for right now?  LIFE!

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You can find Claire over at her beautiful blog, This Is Lifeblood or over on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

When you are over at This Is Lifeblood, make sure you download yourself a copy of Claire’s new (and SUPER gorgeous) workbook GET UNSTUCK – I am so grateful to be one of the contributors, and let me tell you it’s a book I have referred to a few times in those moments of “um… what next? I need clarity…”.  I know you’ll love it.

Freeing myself from the sweet stuff

Posted on: Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Today, I am quitting sugar.

Yes – yet another blog post about someone on their sugar-quitting journey.

I’ve done it before.  Yet this time – it’s completely different.

Last time I quit sugar, it was completely superficial.  I wanted to lose weight because at the time, I thought I was fat.  Completely fear based.  End of.

This time, I’m doing it because my body needs it.  

This time – I am guided completely by LOVE.

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It’s not about weight loss for me.  It’s an experiment.  An experiment to see if I come out the other side feeling clearer, more energised and less bloated.  I want to feel good.  I want to be firing on all cylinders.  I want to treat my body with love and respect.  I can finally say, with my hand on my heart, that I don’t give two-hoots what the number is on the scales (I don’t even have scales!) – this is about FEELING amazing.

I’ve never been a big sweet tooth.  I’ve never been one to not be able to have chocolate in the house for fear of eating the whole block.  I don’t eat processed sugar – it’s all been about reliance on the natural stuff.  For as long as I can remember, I have always needed a little something sweet after every meal.  Be it a handful of dried fruit, a piece of dark chocolate or a bliss ball.

The thing is – I’ve been telling myself for so long that this is what I “needed”, that it’s become yet another story I have hung on to.  It’s a habit.  And it’s one I would like to break.  I’ve been slowly weaning myself for the past couple of weeks, but today I go cold turkey.

From all accounts, quitting sugar brings clarity of the mind and a whole bundle of extra energy.  And with two little ones to run around after, I need that.  It’s got to a point now, where I am craving the energy over the sugar.  I want to wake up each morning with a spring in my step, rather than cursing the alarm clock.

How long with this last?  I don’t know.  But there will be absolutely no pressure, because as I said before – I am doing this out of complete and utter LOVE.

Why am I sharing this with you?  This blog has always been about my own journey to wellness, and sharing my wins and losses along the way.  This will be no different.

Ultimately, I suppose this is about freedom.  Freedom from habit, freedom from “the story”.  Two of my core desires this year were INTENTIONAL and LIMITLESS.  And I believe this little experiment fits in perfectly with both those feelings.

So today is the day.

Let’s do this.

Have you quit sugar before?  Are you sugar-free?  I would love to hear about your experiences with the white stuff.  

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