Saturday, 21 December 2013

So Long 2013…

Wow, it's hard to believe that it's been over a year since I began writing this blog. What a journey it's been.

2013 has been a very interesting year for me: full of personal growth, new experiences and a lot of fun! As the year comes to a close I feel a real sense of excitement for what's to come. A new business opportunity recently landed in my path so I'm thrilled to begin 2014 with a list of goals and a steadfast austerity to making them happen.

Also on the cards is Love.

The guy I mentioned in my last blog Disappointment, Vulnerability and Victory actually contacted me the day after I posted the blog. (The Universe certainly has a sense of humour, non!) I've seen him a couple of times since then and things have gone well; the conversation flowed, we got each other's humour, and I find him incredibly attractive.

But alas, it seems my initial instincts were right. He's just not that into me. Yesterday I sent him a message asking if he wanted to catch up for breakfast today. I'm taking his lack of response as a no! But before you feel sorry for me at yet another failed attempt at finding a match, I'll spare you the distress.

Last night I had a breakthrough (love those!). Yes, I like this guy. He's funny, smart, charming, full of charisma and is a gentleman to boot. Well, on the surface anyway. I don't really know much about him other than what I have taken at face value. But last night as I sat plotting the new year I saw that for all his amazing qualities, we're just on different pages of the dating book. He's after casual fun and occasional company, I'm looking for The One.

And that, I realised, is totally OK.

So, I've decided to thank the Universe for sending me a wonderful example of how a man can be. He has so many qualities I want in a partner. All I need to do now is add "available for committed relationship" to my list! Ta-da!!!

You see, every person we meet and every experience that occurs on our path is an amazing opportunity to check in and see whether the life we're living is the life we want. In this instance, much of what I want in a man was put in front of me (thank you!!). I guess I just wasn't clear on whether I really wanted something long-term or not. But now that carrot has been dangled in front of me I can honestly say "I do!"

And boy does that feel good! I am finally clear on the fact that yes, I am ready for a committed, loving relationship, and most of all I have clarity on what kind of man I'm after; funny, a gentleman, inspiring and a creative thinker. Someone who provides loving hugs and can give me a look that says "I love you" without even saying a word. Sign me up!

So with the Love department taken care of (with a check list in tow I'm leaving it up to the Universe to go find someone while I remain open and ready to allow them into my life), there's also the business side of things. Which incase I haven't kept you up to speed, is just beginning to look very interesting as well!

As you may recall, this blog began with my following a set of principles laid out in Jacqueline Harrison's book, How To Create A Business From Nothing, which then became our co-authored book: Stress Free Business. The book is still in the pipeline. However, we have very recently taken over an exciting business project that will be launched in early 2014. I'm keeping the project under wraps for now, but suffice to say it's exciting and has enormous potential. It's just a matter of us getting our heads down, creating a watertight business plan and executing it successfully.

I am so excited about this project I cannot even tell you. 2014 is going to be a very interesting year!

Love, business success and wealth are definitely on the cards and I feel good about all the hard work I've put in to make that happen. This year has shown me that setting a goal (for me that was finding Love and becoming a millionaire) is important, and the steps to achieving that goal are generally to put one foot in front of the other (check). But the new thing I learned this year is that being flexible and allowing things to unfold organically has an altogether brightening effect on the Soul.

I set out to edit Jacqueline's book and to blog about the business principles she was writing about. Over the past 12 months, that journey has morphed into co-authoring a book, realising some of the failings that were blocking my own business success (e.g Beating Financial CancerGet RealIt's Time To Shine and The Egomaniac Strikes Back), and recognising that tied up in all of it is my desire to love and be loved! If I'd been adamant about following my original business-only plans I would never have uncovered the intricate web that makes up the emotional and spiritual side of me. And from what I can see, it's all sooo intricately linked. One thing cannot possibly exist without the other.

The business of life, and the business of business, is the business of love. It's all the same thing, delicately weaved into a gorgeous bejewelled web that sparkles with infinite possibilities.


And so ends my last blog of 2013: a positive reflection on one of the most amazing years of my life. Since beginning this journey (which involved having no idea of how to even start a blog) I've written 39 blogs and notched up over 4500 hits which is amazing! Which leads me to my final blog words of the year:

Thank You.

Thank you so much for reading this. Without you, this blog would be nothing more than a diary entry. Writing about my journey in such a transparent way has been really therapeutic for me and it feels very special to know that somewhere out there is a community of people who know me more intimately that I could have ever imagined. I love reading your comments and I am truly humbled by the fact that people from all corners of the globe, (that I have never met), have dedicated a few minutes of their time to reading my stories.

I am truly grateful to all of you. By being there with me, you have helped me to grow as a person. I hope I have done the same for you.

I hope that the next chapters continue to capture your attention and that you enter 2014 filled with Love, inspiration and a wealth of joy.

Until next year…

Love. This. Life.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Disappointment, Vulnerability and Victory

Today I saw The Butler; the true story of a black house servant who served at The Whitehouse for almost 30 years. What an inspiring movie.

As the film opened I wasn't sure where it was going; was it about racial equality? Was it about family values? Was it about patience leading to virtue?

By my reckoning, it was about all of that. And more.

As the film came to a close, Forest Whittaker (The Butler) had a change of heart and saw life through new eyes. I won't give away what that was incase you watch the film, but suffice to say it touched and moved me. I thought about how often we remain trapped in our own views and opinions and don't realise we are pushing other people or higher experiences away.

Why would anyone do that? Why would any of us choose to push away another human being or the chance to be a better person?

Using examples from the film, the reason we push people away is often due to pride, stubbornness and ego. But what good does that serve? Why would we put our personal pride before the choice to love someone? It doesn't make any sense and yet we do it all the time. And, as with everything, there's the flip side; putting others first instead of giving ourselves love. It's the exact same thing in reverse. As far as I can see, neither option makes much sense.

Both lead to varying degrees of disappointment. And that's where I sat earlier this week when I recognised that for decades I have been pushing men away because I've been afraid to be vulnerable. A perfect example of that occurred this week, although this story has a rather nice twist…

From Tuesday through to Thursday this week I was feeling disappointed because a guy I was growing to like isn't into me. (Stop me if you've heard this one before…) Before I go into the details let me take you back to four weeks ago when I was on yoga retreat in Maui – where the story of my disappointment was born.

I don't remember exactly how it came about but I found myself on day two of Kelli Prieur's Heartglow yoga retreat curled up in child's pose feeling tears starting to well up in my eyes. As I lay there, with my forehead resting on the floor, I felt a huge burst of sadness wash over me. Hmm…

After class I went back to my room and felt compelled to write a letter To All The Men I've Ever Known. In the letter, I forgave all the men who've had an influence in my life. I forgave them for being anything from controlling and overbearing, to dishonest and mean, to being too nice, and even loving me when I wasn't able to receive it.

Yeah, I know, it doesn't necessarily make sense, it just felt right.

It was a letter with a spiritual rather than logical flavour and it made sense to me. I was essentially letting go of all the stories I'd made up and held onto about all the men in my life.

It wasn't them, it was me.

A few days later while the sun set on Maui's horizon, we were instructed to get into horse pose and told we would hold the pose for 4 minutes. Yikes. My mind instantly went into overdrive and 30 seconds into it as my shins burned like a volcano, my inner peace went from cool, calm and collected to can-you-stop-this-red-hot-pain-please.

In short: I didn't like it.

"Breathe into it," quipped Kelli, the instructor. F*ck you, said my inner yogi.

As I stretched my legs and came out of the pose I spotted a fellow yogi behind me squatting low, still as a statue of Buddha with a face like an angel. Yeah, f*ck her too. I could feel how strong my unwillingness to hold the pose for more than 10 seconds was as my mind went from tantric to tantrum. Regardless of the inner chatter I decided that I should just get back into the pose and try again. So I did. With at least 3 minutes left on the clock I spread my thighs and squatted low, shins still burning, mind still flaring. And that's when it hit me.


"F*CK THIS AND F*CK YOU!" I screamed. At the top of my lungs.

Oops, did I say that out loud…?


Somehow, my self-editing button had been switched to "off" and my mouth was actually saying (screaming at the top of her lungs actually) what my mind would usually keep to herself.

You probably don't need me to tell you that at this point, everyone in the room was looking at me. The quiet, petite, mantra singing yogi; i.e. me, was losing her shit. And it was loud.

As I stood up straight I started punching the air with my arms and legs in what looked like a bad case of kung fu fighting Gangnam-yogi style. I kicked and punched at thin air, (still screaming) until after a few seconds the fire that had been raging within me dissolved. My kung fu moves smoothed out and as suddenly as I had burst into flames, I got all Beyoncé, twisting and twirling to the beat of an inner drum that seemingly could be heard, or at least felt, by the yogis around me. As suddenly as the rage had taken me over, I felt a huge blast of joy bursting up from my feet to the crown of my head.

And then I noticed Kelli standing right in front of me.

Oh-oh, I'm in trouble.

Rather than reprimand me for disrupting her peaceful yin class, Kelli Prieur became my cheerleader. Apparently she (and the rest of the yogis as they told me later) felt as though they had just witnessed a transformation. A bit like a cosmetic surgery makeover only without the scalpels and botox. My makeover was an internal one. And boy did it feel good.

By yelling and screaming my way through my pain I somehow managed to release what felt like a lifetime of suppressed anger. How it happened I have no explanation, but I do know that it came on organically and once I'd screamed the roof off, I felt lighter, brighter and happier.*

Although it sounds ironic, this very release is what led me to feeling disappointed this week. How? Well, within an hour of landing back in Sydney, I got a text message from a guy I'd been chatting with before I left for the life-changing yoga trip. Being on a holiday high I was feeling bold and cheeky and so I suggested we meet for dinner. It went well and I've seen him a couple of times since then.

However, as my interest has slowly increased it seems his has waned; hence my disappointment. But the story doesn't end there. As I sat within the see-saw feeling of disappointment this week I felt my body telling me something else. I sat still and listened, just like I had during horse pose. The same up and down feeling of disappointment was there in my chest, but faintly below it I could feel a vague sense that the outer edges of my heart space were also being tugged open. Hmm, I thought, what's that? And then, it hit me (again). BOOM!

I was feeling Vulnerable.


Beneath my disappointment was vulnerability. I got a clear sense that my willingness to be open to the potential of giving love and receiving love had also left me wide open to disappointment. But I realised my being vulnerable was a good thing. A breakthrough. I hadn't truly been open to giving and receiving love in years (maybe ever) and here I was openly liking someone, not quite at the loving stage but really, what's the difference? Being open is being open. Hallelujah!

Incase you haven't joined the dots, the message here is threefold:

1) In order to find a new way of being, I had to let go of some old stuff. For me, that meant taking myself away from my daily routine to a yoga retreat and screaming.
2) Letting go of that old stuff allowed me to feel safe to be vulnerable with a stranger who could potentially hurt me. As it happens, I did feel hurt, but…
3) At the bottom of my disappointment was a globe of light that I would never have found had I not taken the first step of Opening Up and Letting Go.

Just like The Butler, I had to release my pride and my ego before I was ever going to find the incredible gift that was lying at the bottom of my least favourite poses – horse and dating. Little did I know that by sitting in the sting of my burning shins and allowing myself to like someone I would burst through a ring of fire that holds the key to feeling good even when I'm being vulnerable.

And, just like The Butler, if I continue to face any inner or outer turmoil and maintain an openness and willingness to choose love, then I'm pretty sure my dream of eventually getting married and living in a beautiful beach house in Queensland is merely a few hours, days, months or years away.

Until then, I'll keep on being vulnerable.

*Screaming is not the only route to happiness, but it may help.