30 November 2010

Looking At Your Goals Every Day

DAY 30

So here we are, at the very end of our month of Now!vember.
Thank you to Clare Lancaster and the team at Women In Business for the inspirations which we utilised to guide our writing each day.

It has been a terrific journey and I have enjoyed both the experience of daily posts and your responses to them. I think we have well and truly lived today's inspiration and not only looked at the goals for living shared via the WIB poster, but been thoughtful and considerate in our reflections and writing associated with each one.  It was a true pleasure for me to follow some of you back to your own space where you had written a post linked to the daily quote and to read the feedback that you received from your own readers. 

So, now I have two months of daily writing down and I'm wondering what you, my regular readers would like my new blogging goal to be?  
I have some thoughts about the directions about where I'd like to go, but because you will be sharing the experience with me I thought that you might like to have some input too!

Here are some considerations:

* More daily posts but with a different theme?

* More daily posts and with the same 'inspiration' focused approach?

* Less regular but more in-depth posts?

* A return to my 'finding gifts' posts which was an eclectic collection of the 'unexpected and lovely' from within my life and beyond.

* Something altogether different? I'm up for a challenge!

You will be looking at the result of this 'writing goal', so if you've been lurking and not adding your opinion in, now's your chance to have some say in the direction of this blog.

Looking forward to your responses,

PS: Adios little birdy you have served us well. x

29 November 2010

Give Thanks

DAY 29

Today's message is a simple one...

No matter where you are in the world.....
Thank you for stopping by, reading, commenting or following along.
You make a difference right now!

28 November 2010

The Less You Spend - The More You Have

DAY 28

I guess that this is a very apt mantra for this time of the year but I have to admit that at first glance I thought it a little incongruous and envisaged something along the lines of Ebeneezer Scrooge counting his material wealth as a treasure more precious than life itself.

Then I was reminded of a 'Grace Card' that I often choose when it's my turn to give thanks at the evening meal...

The more you give
The more you get.

The more you laugh
The less you fret.

The more you do unselfishly
The more you live abundantly.

Perhaps 'The Less You Spend, The More You Have' could be inserted into this verse too.

For me spending less relates to many areas of my life not just the fiscal.
Spending less energy on worry, fear or anger = more space I have in my mind and heart for peace, calm and love.

Spending less time mindlessly watching tv, surfing the net etc = more time to spend with family and being creative = true satisfaction and increased energy!

Spending less time being stationary and more time being active = greater energy = increased health = all sorts of wonderful opportunities!*

Being thoughtful before expending is a valuable life skill and one that I am trying to cultivate....slowly but surely.

Until we next meet, enjoy the Now!

* More on this when I tackle Chronic Fatigue in a future post.

27 November 2010

Gathering Gratefuls

sharing the gratitude.

Each week Maxabella whips around the hat for us to pop our slip of paper containing a list of gratitude.

Here's mine for the last week full week of November.

My FAMILY will top the list this week because I was able to spend time with them and that's rare!

My brother works in a job where he spends three weeks away from home and one week at home.
This week he was at home [which is an hours drive South of where I live] and brought my 3yo niece to visit for a day and night.....my heart sings!

My parents made the 45min drive to our home to have breakfast and some lovely memory making moments with us all before having to scoot off for another appointment.

I'm still finding little reminders of their time here, treasures by the front door [a pile of asphalt pebbles gathered on a walk down the road], the deconstructed wooden Panda puzzle on the tv stand, my tray of coloured pencils and an impromptu drawing in the tv room...love, love, love it!

Having a brilliant family GP who is also a great friend

The middle child had her nose broken in a Representative Basketball game last weekend.
After consulting an ENT it was determined that she would have to have an operation on Friday to have it reset. That part was fine, what wasn't fine was the exorbitant [and I'm not exaggerating here] cost attached. 
After issuing an oath that wasn't even close to being Hippocratic, we consulted with our GP who said that this particular fellow charges 5x the regular fee and that it wouldn't be a problem to find an excellent replacement for next week...Yeah!

Receiving a beautiful GIFT of art.

Have you heard of the amazing Chantal Vincent?
Chantal is a very talented artist and this week I was gifted with two wonderful Christmas stamps that she created for me as part of a giveaway!

The most amazing thing is that the wreath is totally bespoke. 
It is covered in starfish [because our Christmases are Summertime beachy] and Chantal emailed me several times to check on details.
When the package arrived in the mail this week and I opened it, I was beyond thrilled! 

This is a sampler of what I will be putting on our Christmas cards, candle wraps, gift tags, party invitations etc this year and into the future!
Thank you Chantal.

And to you DEAR READERS, whether you have just stopped by for a quick squiz, left a comment, decided to follow along or mentioned my space on your own blog, thank you!

Until next we meet, remember to enjoy the Now!

Never Stop Learning & Experimenting

DAY 27

Recently I have been doing some exploring into my Family Tree.

If you have been following along for a while now you would know that I am able to draw down upon some pretty serious longevity genes.

Grandmother Verlie celebrated her 103rd birthday this year and her husband, my darling Granfather Bob passed away at 101.  My other Grandmother, Grandy Jean also lived beyond 100, and as I trace back through both family trees, there is a consistent thread of many who lived long, long lives.

My maternal grandparents in particular are an inspiration to me because they lived in their own home unassisted well into their nineties.  The thing that really kept them vital was that their days, and their lives in general, had purpose.
Both were involved in their community in service groups, sporting organisations and their church.
Grandmother was still knitting until quite recently and they kept a beautiful home and garden.

Scrabble and crosswords were pastimes that my Grandmother enjoyed immensely and my Grandfather was an active member of the local historical society.
It used to crack me up to think about them delivering 'Meals On Wheels' to people who were at least thirty years their junior!

Whenever I share this information with people they are quite impressed and say to me things like "Wow! You're in for a long ride!" or "It looks like you're going to live a long time."

The thing is there is a BIG difference between living a long life and LIVING a long life.
To be able to have a healthy body and mind and to enjoy a sense of purpose and connection within a loving community of family and friends is my ideal.
It would be terrific to have the capacity to continue to learn new things and to stretch my 'self' for at least another forty years.
But as we all know, there is nothing certain in this world and so it is my maxim that I will try my hardest to make the most of the 'now'.

I hope to be able to keep learning, experimenting with new ideas and experiencing all that this world affords me for as long as it is possible to do so....however long that may be.

26 November 2010

When You're Doing What You're Passionate About - The World's A Better Place

DAY 26

Passion, it's a fascinating beast no?
That powerful and compelling emotion that prompts us to act and react in the most interesting ways.

It induces an energy that is sometimes tangible and often infectious.
To be able to live my life with passion has been both a gift and a demon.

You see the problem is that I have often allowed my passion to drive me, rather than me directing it.
For most of my vocational life people have commonly said to me "Wow! You have such passion for this!" which is true.  
What is equally true is that I allowed my passion to overtake other parts of my life and over time this fire almost completely burnt out my life spark.

 So now I find myself in a position where I am learning to manage my passionate energy and discovering new arenas in which to invest my passion.  This has been a long and painful road [they say that the most important lessons often are the hardest to learn] and there have been many detours along the way.

Part of this journey has seen me rekindling my passion for words and writing via this blog and I extend a sincere thank you to all of you who have encouraged this.

In closing I ask you this....If you won $20 million on Lotto tonight, what passions would you be eager to indulge?

25 November 2010

Build Your Days Around What Is Important To You

DAY 25

There is a favourite game I like to play and it works equally well with friends over a mellow glass of 'something-something' late at night or with kids in the car on the way to school.

It's called "Imagine Your Ultimate [.......]"

No, that is not meant to be a swear word in there, although I guess you could.
The intention is that you can fill the space with something wonderful.....holiday, adventure, school camp, home, friend....usually it's experiences but it's your game now, so anything goes.
The only rule is that there are no limitations, it's your 'ultimate whatever' so you can make it as big and bold as you wish.

One of the great bonding moments that I've shared with Cpt. V's middle child was an evening spent imagining our 'Ultimate Day'.

We started with how we would wake and what we would see when we first opened our eyes.
We described in great detail every aspect of what our 'Ultimate Day' would involve.

As the conversation unfolded we realised that we both have lots of similar elements that we would both incorporate and that we both value family, living in a semi-rural environment and having animals and music in our lives.

By the end of our chat I had a VERY clear idea of what this special person loves most in the world and was amazed at the clarity of the vision shared.
In fact we could have easily made each other a Vision Board after this discussion but I think it probably is most special as images in our own minds.

I would love to share some images with you from my ultimate day but for some reason BBB [Big Bad Blogger] won't let me upload, so we'll save those for another time.

Until next we meet, enjoy the 'now' imagining you ultimate....

24 November 2010

Word of the Week

[n] mental weariness from lack of occupation or interest.
The feeling of being bored by something tedious.
Listlessness, tedium, lassitude, languor.

Ennui circa 1914 Walter Richard Sickert
Elliot: What do you mean dinner's not ready yet?
Louisa: Sigh

23 November 2010

Leverage Everything

DAY 24

Of all the lines from our inspiration series, this is the one that I have had the most difficulty matching with my own values.
My initial reaction was negative, thinking that it was advocating selling my soul for the mighty [?] dollar.
But in the spirit of staying in the now and trying to tackle this from a creative angle I have come up with the following:

Lever = seesaw = shared fun 

My question for you is "When did you last leverage some time to have fun?"

How long has it been since you have bounced on a see-saw, skipped with a rope, played 'Hide-and-Seek' or enjoyed a game of Tiddlywinks?

Take It One Step At A Time

DAY 23

The road that I'm traveling as a newly-minted, full-time step-mother has been an interesting one to say the least. Before I committed to this role I did what I always do when faced with a new challenge...I hit the books.
Actually that's not quite true. I tried to find literature that gave me some sort of constructive guide to this messy situation but there was very little out there that I found to be of great assistance.

There were a plethora of titles about parenting in general, supporting kids through separation and divorce, single parent guides....but not so much for that tricky beast the step-parent.

Fortunately the children's father, Captain V. is a very hands-on and committed Dad and he has been a patient guide and mentor. Not only are we nurturing our own relationship, but he is helping me step-by-awkward-step to parent his children with him.

I am very much at the novice level and often feel like I have two-left feet firmly lodged between my molars but the kids are fantastic and we are slowly finding our 'groove'.
When things go awry I have to remind myself that this is just the start of our dance together and that I am very fortunate to have two extra-large feet to stand on [his not mine!] when the 'steps' get too tricky. 

In closing this post today, I would like to extend a special thank you to Naomi at Seven Cherubs for her support and friendship.  She has written a brilliant post on what it means to be a mother which I would encourage you to read. For me it was such an empowering article and reading it gave me the impetus to write and share this post with you today.  If you know someone who could do with a boost to their parenting 'self', I suggest you print it off and share it as it holds lots of wonderful wisdom.
Thank you Naomi for this gift.

Until next we meet, enjoy the Now! and if you're visiting from Allison's 'Weekend Rewind' thank you for giving this particularly heartfelt post another 'play'.

22 November 2010

Trust Your Intuition

DAY 22

Women's intuition, hunch, gut instincts, inspiration, perception, sixth sense.....call it what you will but I'm sure we have all experienced it.

The question is how attuned are you to not only 'hear' it but to also trust it?

I recently read an article by Mark A. Paul titled "Trusting Your Gut: How to Lead Using Your Instincts".  In it he states

"We were all born with natural instinct.  We cried when we were hungry - not because we were taught to, but because it was our instinctive response to our physical need.
Emotion calls on instinct too. The 'fight or flight' response to fear is one most of us have experienced and, with the adrenaline pounding through us, we know the reaction was not the result of a calculated decision-making process.

Instinct is insight based not on reason, but on awareness.  When we allow it back into our consciousness, we can become more effective in many areas of life...allowing it back calls for a heightened sense of openness to our self and others.

For me, trying to be aware of staying in the 'now' has helped me heighten my instincts and intuition.
My mind isn't rattling as much anymore with the 'might be's' or 'should haves' that it once did and I have found that I am beginning to develop a greater trust in my perception of what's really happening.

What about you?  What is your perception of your ability to trust your instincts?

This post is part of my Now!vember series.  Several fine blogeristas are joining in and you may like to hop on over to their space to read a different take on this topic...

21 November 2010

Give Yourself Permission

DAY 21     
Over the years I have worked with a lot of teenagers and pre-teens.

One aspect of their development that I have had the privilege to support has been their awareness of 'self'.  
I've found that music is a great way to connect with most people, but teens in particular respond well to lyrics & a snappy tune.
The following song has a powerful message for everyone. I have used it a lot with kids, and as it fits particularly well with today's line of inspiration I thought you might like to share it too....enjoy!

Permission To Shine
Bachelor Girl

Hey, what would you say
If I can't play the hero tonight
Cos lately I've been feelin' like
I can't get anything right

I've been fading into the woodwork again
And I'm feelin' like I just wanna hide
But guess what
I'm gonna try something just a little bit different this time

I'm gonna give myself permission to shine
I'm gonna shine so bright
Gonna make every head wanna turn
You're finally gonna see me
Give myself permission to shine
Gonna light up the night
Shine a little of my light on the world

I've been crazy
I've been holdin' myself back for so long
But I've got so much I can give
Don't wanna be afraid to be wrong

You know I'm not too good at too many things
But I've been gettin' real good at gettin' down on myself
But guess what
I'm gonna try to break free from this prison I"ve built

I'm gonna give myself permission to shine
I'm gonna shine so bright
Gonna make every head wanna turn
You're finally gonna see me
Give myself permission to shine
Gonna light up the night
Shine a little of my light on the world
shine a little of my light on the world 
shine a little of my light on the world
shine shine shine

Oh, that's right
I'm gonna try something just a little bit different this time

I'm gonna give myself permission to shine
I'm gonna shine so bright
Gonna make every head wanna turn
You're finally gonna see me
Give myself permission to shine
Gonna light up the night
Shine a little of my light on the world

(Give myself permission to shine)
I wanna light up the night

Shine a little of my light on the world 

This post is part of my Now!vember series.  Several fine blogeristas are joining in and you may like to hop on over to their space to read a different take on this topic...

20 November 2010

Be Your Own Hero

DAY 20

To create your own super-hero qualities is a great game of fantasy....or is it?
Being able to clarify and articulate the qualities that you value and how they would manifest is actually a terrific exercise.

Having spent some time reflecting on this very project I have come up with the following qualities which I believe would enable me to be my own hero.


Strength of character.... loyalty

Height and agility

A tough outer shell = resilience

A great sense of humour


Some of these qualities I possess in abundance.
Others I'm working on.
Others, require artificial assistance ie: stilletos!

What qualities would you define as super-hero worthy?

All images are by the amazing Andrew Zuckerman.
If you aren't acquainted with his books 'Creature', 'Wisdom' and 'Bird' you really should take a look.

For the fun of 'Flogging Yo Blog' so that others may share in your joy, visit 'Flog Yo Blog' Friday here.

This post is part of my Now!vember series.  Several fine blogeristas are joining in and you may like to hop on over to their space to read a different take on this topic...

Gathering Gratefuls

Mr. & Mrs. Bossy

This is how we refer to the two rambunctious rainbow lorikeets who have adopted our home.
They perched themselves on the verandah rail outside my bedroom window this morning and gave a wonderful rendition of 'I Did It My Way" at 6:00 AM.
Why am I grateful for this?  
Without them I would have slept blissfully into tomorrow and missed making the kids' breakfast and helping them get ready for Saturday sport.
That, and the fact that they are a bright & bust out funny little moves like the one below which is a daily source of delight.

Photo courtesy child #2

Successful Senior Graduates

Yesterday I was helping in our school's cafe.  As we were enjoying our morning break the senior students were getting ready for their final assembly and passing out ceremony.
To witness their unbridled excitement gave me goosebumps.
Good luck kids, enjoy your schoolies break!

Brilliant Australian Drama

I am an unabashed fan of the ABC, in particular their locally produced Dramas.
The latest offering is 'Pure Gold'.  If you enjoy sharp, witty scripts with multiple layers of innuendo and characters with depth you may just enjoy 'Rake' as much as I do.

The website overview of the show goes like this:

On any single day, Cleaver Greene is described as many things. Whilst his ex-wife may call him 'unreliable', his son will call him 'a mate'. To his learned friends at the bar table he is 'a real wag', to his jurors he is 'hilarious', and to most judges he is 'an outrage'. To the Tax Office, he is 'a defendant', to a certain brothel owner 'a legend', and to his former cocaine dealer 'a tragic loss'.

The clients he loves the most - the cases that thrill him - are those that appear to be utterly hopeless. There's something about being on the wrong side of conventional wisdom that feels right to him, be it at the bar table or the dinner table.

He will do whatever it takes to defend and save life's truly lost souls. The big sinners. Its drug lords. Its cannibals. Its bestialites. And at the same time, he will struggle to save himself, to stop himself falling back into the abyss that has characterised most of his self-destructive adult life thus far.

Despite his own hopelessness, his wit and charm have won him hordes of companions over the years. Most nights of the week, there is no shortage of invitations: dinner with a judge at the RMC (His Honour pays), or with some drug dealers in Chinatown (Manos pays), or with some of his copper mates at the Matador (no one pays).

Any gaps in his diary will inevitably be filled by either all night sessions in chambers preparing for court or similarly lengthy sessions at his favourite brothel, simply referred to by those in the know as 'the Club' (here, Cleaver is more than happy to open his own wallet). He tends to wake up bruised. Physically. Emotionally. Spiritually. Usually it's a combination thereof. 

He spends a nano-second wondering how his life came to this - living in a studio above a café in the Cross, without his wife and son, in love with a prostitute, defending hopeless cases. Then he gets up, puts on his dressing gown and a pair of brogues and goes downstairs for a coffee. Then it's out into the world - onto the battleground that is Cleaver Greene's day.

If you missed the first three episodes they are available to view or download here or you can click here for the website....enjoy [but make sure the kids are in bed before you view!].

Have a wonderful week and thank you to Ms Bella for hosting another Gratitude Linky.