Well hello there 2016.. wait, is it almost February?

When I first came to yoga I didn’t realise at that stage how much my life would change, or at that stage how much it needed to to change. All I knew was that I was having crippling panic attacks that I was too afraid to treat with medicine as I was trying desperately to have a baby and was so scared of the damage it could do. I was living in a constant state of fear, being ruled by what ifs and being scared stiff of my future.

Things I have learned after three years of regular practice of yoga that have changed my life:

  • Take time to rest and recharge. I would never say no to event, regardless of whether I even wanted to attend, unless I was busy doing something else. I completely burned myself out. Now I take the time to think if it positively aligns with what’s important to me and if it doesn’t I don’t go, simple as that. There is no point saying yes to attending something then spending all week dreading it. If that’s how I am feeling then I shouldn’t go, simple as that.
  • Releasing control. I don’t know what’s going to happen 10 minutes from now, let alone 10 years from now so what’s the point in stressing or trying to control the outcome. I can keep working towards my goals and dreams but if I stumble or get veered off track by life’s challenges then I need to accept what has happened, learn from it and go forward with it.
  • Looking after my body makes me a whole lot happier than abusing it. I used to LOVE drinking, well I used to think that I did. If I look back with honesty, its quite clear that I never loved it and it never loved me. I would wake up feeling the shame of the night before, forever the exhibitionist and life of the party after a little bit of alcoholic lubrication. I have always got violent hangovers, 8 times out of 10 my Sundays were spent cradling the toilet bowl swearing ‘never again’ yet there I would find myself, again and again. The buzz I get from a yoga session makes me a whole lot happier than a bottle of wine.. today, but especially tomorrow.
  • Happiness is a state of being not a destination. I used tell myself that when I had a baby, I would be happy. When I stopped working an office job, I would be happy. When we moved down south I would be happy. When I lost 5kg, I would be happy. Then I just started to understand that I was wasting time not being happy right NOW. Since I have decided to be happy in the present moment, I feel like there is less I need. My focus is on experiences and filling my void with material items and vices.  Now, I am happy, right now.
  • Yoga is called practice for a reason, as you can never perfect your practice. Every day you need to get on the mat and your practice will change, grow and transform throughout the days, weeks and years. Life is the same, it will also change and you will grow and transform. I will never be perfect, and I will never have a perfect life. It’s a guarantee. I used to aim for perfection, now I just aim to live life as authentically as I can.  I love myself the way that I am, from how far I have come, to where I have yet to go.
  • Breathe; the most important lesson I have ever learned. The breath is our life force. It is the barometer of how excited, relaxed, nervous or calm we are. Breathing is what keeps US ALIVE. Yet I never placed any importance on it or gave it any attention. Once I learned to control my breath, anxiety slipped away and I started to experience the current moment and all it had to offer.

Thanks for the messages of love regarding the IVF. Unfortunately it wasn’t successful and I have decided that I’m not emotionally, physically or financially equipped to go another round. After three long years I am releasing control. What will be, will be. Perhaps life is just sending me down another road that will all make sense eventually.

Onward bound xo

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I’ve got my game face on…

Well its been over three long weeks since my last post. I have been grappling with what to write about. I swing on a pendulum between over sharing and not sharing enough.

However, I have to be true to myself and what I promised myself when I started to write this blog. I wanted to share the good, bad and ugly.

I am an open book and what you see is what you get. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I can’t lie to save myself; and believe me I have tried and it always ends in disaster. Except if we are talking about story telling here where my theory is ‘never let the truth get in the way of a good story’… I have been known on occasion to embellish the truth, only when I get excited…

Only three months ago I declared that my aim in life was to go with the flow and enjoy life… ‘Que Cera, Cera, whatever will be, will be’.

It’s easy to adopt those feelings when you are far away from reality and living life on a tropical island. Back at home, this presents many more challenges and the cracks didn’t take long to appear.

Here I find myself again and all I want is a baby, more than anything in this whole entire world. It occupies almost every one of my waking moments and is the defining feature of my colourful dreams. Suddenly I have returned to constant googling of pregnancy symptoms, peeing on purple sticks and pink sticks, playing out the names of my future children, the games we will play, the songs we will sing… only to be shattered again when my monthly foe arrives and I realise its another month wasted. I feel like time is slipping away and I am still no closer to being a mum.

We made the decision early one morning; I had indulged in a couple of wines the night before catching up with old girlfriends. I came home, took myself off to the bedroom where I sobbed for hours while playing Coldplay Fix You on repeat… over and over and over again. Wailing along to the melancholy lyrics while poor old MOB sat helplessly in the lounge room of our teeny tiny apartment. A sobering reminder of why I don’t like to drink any more.

It’s time! I can’t look back with regrets, and there is no doubt in my mind that I was put on this Earth to be a mum. This a dream that refuses to die no matter how much yoga, meditation, gratitude and acceptance I practice. My inner voice still whispers to me that I can’t have a life wondering ‘what if’.

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So IVF, I’m coming for you!

Unlike last year, I have a bagful of tricks up my sleeve… I know what to expect, how to deal with stress, the importance of self love and acceptance, and most of all how to deal with failure if that’s the outcome. I am strong and resilient. This life can’t break me, no matter how many challenges it serves me. 2014 proved that to me.

I have also learned to put my fears to the side, they have no place in my mind. I used to view IVF as a failure, a big scary exercise that I wasn’t strong enough for. I am realising that it isn’t a reflection on my lifestyle, or a punishment for something I am doing or not doing. It’s not because MOB and I don’t drink enough green smoothies and eat enough organic food, we tried that and it didn’t change a thing. It’s just because sometimes bad shit happens to good people.

I know now that this has been a blessing in disguise, not falling pregnant yet. I have learned so many lessons and had amazing experiences that I wouldn’t have had otherwise, and they have only served to make me a more patient, understanding and loving person.

Perhaps I still have lessons to learn, or maybe it’s finally my time to shine. Only time will tell.

To quote my diary – 2015 is my year. This first half has been abundant with wonderful moments, it has delivered me plenty of surprises and changed my perception of the world and how I live my life. I believe it has plenty more to offer and that’s why I am getting back on the horse and giving it another go.

I’ve got this… We have got this.

Challenger… READY.

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Onward bound xo

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The Naked Yogis

What a way to celebrate International Yoga Day.

I find myself in a dark room softly illuminated by the glow of candles. Outside there is a wild and wooly storm, the wind and rain lashes against and rattles the window. It’s a stark contrast to the warm, welcoming and cosy environment inside. I am on all fours, running through a cat/cow sequence with 20 other gorgeous women, who like me are all naked. Stark, bare, beautiful, and NAKED.

Tonight I experienced my first ever nude yoga class.

Now let me commence with my original comment when someone told me about Nude Yoga.

“Gross, just GROSS. Nope, no, definitely not!’

In my mind I had a visual of a well lit room, filled with naked bodies in uncompromising yoga positions, a rear view vision of downward dog. Shudder.

However, this idea kept presenting itself and after a girlfriend told me about a class currently being run in Perth and after reading the brief; a women only restorative yin style yoga class in a candle lit room.. well I was more than a little intrigued.

Yoga is all about stripping back the layers, finding and connecting with your true authentic self. It is about acceptance and love, especially of yourself where you are, right here and now. Metaphorically and literally, I could see how practicing yoga while naked could align with that concept.

Earlier in the week I put my name down on the waitlist and let it go. This week there has been a lot of buzz about Rosie Rees and her class at Twisting Peacock so I thought there was little chance of getting the opportunity to attend. Until, 1pm today when I got the email: ‘you have been moved from the waitlist to attending’… My stomach dropped, my heart skipped a beat. Oh dear, what had I got myself into?! I would be lying to say I wasn’t a little bit excited.

It was nerve-wracking to walk into a studio ALONE to attend a nude yoga class, I felt embarrassed and nervous. I am pretty uncomfortable without my layers, I don’t sleep in the nude and I very rarely strip down to the bare basics (unless there is lots of wine involved but that’s a whole other story).

The class was an interesting journey emotionally. For the majority of the class I wasn’t aware of other women in the room, apart from on an energetic level. I could feel them in the room with me and make out their shapes moving in the candle light. I was a lot more connected with myself; what I was feeling and what I was thinking. It was a great way for me to practice, as one of my biggest obstacles in practising with others is my struggle with self comparison. My ego taunts me with constant reminders that I am not as flexible or capable as others in the class. However tonight it truly was as though I had stripped back the layers and was left my own internal self.

A lot of old memories and feelings presented themselves during the two hours.

It was a beautiful experience as I reflected on how far I had come. This is the girl who used to struggle massively with her body image starving herself throughout her teens. I still bear the scars on my legs from self harming when I was young. I often struggle with intimacy and affection. I have spent so many years of my life hating, hurting and abusing my body in various self destructive ways.

Something beautiful happened tonight and I realised that this has all changed. As I looked at my body in the soft glowing candlelit I felt a whole lot of self love. My heart was bursting with love and acceptance; for me, myself and all that I am.

  • I love my ribs that poke out to look like an extra set of boobs (as the kids would torment me as a teen that the bottom ones were bigger than the top)
  • I love my massive mole on my cheek (‘moley, moley, moley’… kids are so cruel)
  • I love my knobbly knees and bowed legs
  • I love my alien toes with the extra knuckles
  • I love my not straight, not curly, not wavy, mousey hair
  • I love my little dimples on my bum that won’t disappear no matter how much exercise I do
  • I love my boobs that seems to be on a mission to disappear out to the side and under my armpits
  • I love my half innie, half outey belly button that looks completely different to everyone else’s

In that moment that I loved every single bit of my body, from the top of my head to the tips of my toes.

This is the same person who less than two years couldn’t attend shopping centres because of crippling panic attacks. Yet here I was lying naked in a room full of strangers completely calm and without any fear at all. Do you understand how liberating that is?

The energy in the room is so hard to put into words. There was a feeling of love, tenderness, openess and acceptance. I didn’t feel insecure about my body. I felt connected with myself and every woman in that room, despite having never seen their faces or knowing their names.

We closed the class with a circle where we all talked about how we went with the class and how it made us feel. Just some of the words that rolled off our tongues were: nurtured, liberated, connected, happy, playful, sensual, beautiful and feminine. As I looked around the circle everyone was radiant, gorgeous and glowing. It was a truly transformational experience and one I will definitely be doing again.

Onward Bound xo

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Attitude is EVERYTHING

First things first, the ride I said I was going on totally happened today… High fives all round!

Secondly, I want to touch on exercising with your partner. Yesterday I said to MOB that some of my family wanted to catch up at Kings Park for an afternoon coffee and we should definitely pull the bikes out and go for a ride to meet them. Meaning; we grab the bikes and go for a leisurely ride the direct route of 2km, riding side by side talking about our feelings and the weather.

Actuality; MOB decides to treat this as his opportunity to smash out an Olympic riding record, plus decides to turn our relaxing bike ride into a marathon, tearing off ahead going the opposite way to the destination. Meanwhile, I am chugging behind screaming mercilessly for him to ‘slow down’, ’wait for me’, ‘I’m serious! If you don’t slow down right this minute!!’…

When I finally catch up to him.. ‘Well babe, I am going as slow as I possibly can’.

Cute little domestic ensues on the side of the road, then back on our bikes and kicking on with the marathon MOB has just spontaneously planned, which includes straight up the hill near Kings Park mind you. Now, I don’t know if you have ever done this aforementioned hill but this girl has trouble walking and running up it, let alone riding it. Halfway up I threw in the towel and grudgingly pushed my bike to top, puffing and panting.. Meanwhile in the distance I could see my darling husband leisurely doing laps around the round-about at the top with a big goofy grin on his face. Just chillin’, waiting for his woman to finally join him.

You know what really grinds my gears? (pun intended)… whenever we attempt to run, ride, walk, swim, play tennis together I am always the one left looking like the loser with a big fat capital L. No matter how many more hours I put in at the gym, going on walks or runs, practicing yoga… he is blessed with the ability to bounce back to where he left off and always kicks my ass in the fit stakes.

Yet despite the fact that I am slower, less coordinated and a bit of a whinger at times (who me?!), I love that he pushes me. When we first got together I couldn’t throw a ball or run further than about 100 metres. I wrote myself off pretty early in life as a drama kid, someone who didn’t care for any kind of exercise. He never took no for an answer, and the more I get out there and try things the more I realise that I never would have experienced some of the most special moments of my life. I have watched the sunrise from the peak of Mt Batur and the wild waves lapping the shore from the top of the Knob in Tasmania. Together we have snowboarded the POW of the slopes of Niseko in Japan and swam with the whale sharks in Exmouth. This year in the craziest turn of events of all, I became a yoga teacher!

Today, instead of just pushing the pavement and getting directly to our route, we rode the breathtaking grounds of the University of Western Australia then followed the Swan River with the Perth skyline setting the scene. We passed the iconic Boatshed, the winter air crisp and beautiful, the water shining and sparkling in the sun.

Attitude is everything. I can choose to be the diva sulking on the road side, or I can choose to enjoy the ride and have gratitude for what I experience along the way.

What perspective do you take?

Onward Bound xo

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Trick me twice, shame on me…

I love my dog more than words, as you may have picked up from my previous blog posts.

He is a 10 year old bullmastiff x german shepherd who looks and acts a lot like Scooby Doo. He is a big, tall, good looking stallion of a canine, albeit a massive scaredy cat. He is also one the most gentle and timid dogs you have ever met, his nature defying his big tough exterior. He knows that I am the only one that understands that he is really an 80 year old man stuck in a dogs body. I believe he is a sensitive, romantic man, who likes reading poetry, watching rom-coms and long walks along the beach. He has big brown eyes that gaze at me intently at every moment as through he is trying to communicate something really deep and profound. Ok, ok I am stopping, at the risk of sounding like the crazy dog lady… (too late?!)

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The first night we moved from his pimping pad in the burbs to our tiny little unit he sat at the end of the bed whimpering, his paw smashing against end of the mattress. This is his code for ‘Let me up’. Being a 10 year old dog that has had not one, but two, knee surgeries his days of jumping up are over. His poor old rickety body just can’t handle it. He has been having a lot of trouble these days getting into the car or ute, climbing onto his bed which is only a couple of inches off the ground and basically just getting around in general. So I got out and awkwardly heaved him onto the bed, it was a new house and a foreign environment so he could come up and spoon mum for the night.

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But a sentimental blog about how amazing my wonderful pup is, is NOT the angle I am taking in today’s blog. No, he is a right little shit! Sneaky and conniving little trickster. I am dead impressed with him, I have to say.

Turns out, he may not be as disabled as he is letting on, no sirree bob!

MOB and I have left him home alone a few times, with free reign to the unit. We live across from a massive park and he is getting at least two walks and plenty of loo breaks a day, plus he has the bladder of a camel. Besides with his anxiety levels, he is much more of an inside dog than an outside one, another contradiction to his size.

Well, low and behold, every time we returned home he would stumble out of the bedroom.. blurry eyed with a sheepish grin on his face. The bed still warm from his body. How was he getting onto the bed?! He can’t get up by himself!

So we installed ‘Coop-cam’, set up a video camera to see how he was getting up on the bed with that sore, old and stiff body of his.

Well, see for yourself…

 

Well played sir! Credit, where credit is due.

He sure had me fooled.

Onward Bound xo

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Everyone give yourselves a nice big hug!

Why? Why not? It is probably exactly what you need. I bet today you have been beating up on yourself about something. You indulged in too many drinks last night. You skipped your gym class or ate your body weight in chocolate. You shouted at your kid after your promised yourself you would have more patience, now you are regretting it and thinking you’re a bad parent. It was raining outside today, so instead of cleaning the house and doing that massive pile of laundry, you decided to sit on your butt and do sweet FA.

It doesn’t matter what you did that is causing you to say nasty things in that head of yours, but stop it because you don’t deserve it.

The more workshops, yoga teaching, or wines with girlfriends the more I realise that we are total assholes to ourselves. Each and everyone of us! I say that as nicely as I can, but we just beat ourselves up ALL THE TIME!

It breaks my heart to hear all these beautiful amazing people out there who are doing the best they can, still listening to the nasty little ego inside their heads telling them that they are somehow failing at life and that they aren’t good enough.

Stop and take a moment to listen and reflect on those thoughts playing out in your mind. Now imagine that you are talking to your friend that you love and care about. Is there anyway you would even dream of saying that to them? No, you wouldn’t, because they don’t deserve that.

Instead you would say, you know what my dear friend? You are human, you are perfectly imperfect, and I love you. Don’t be so hard on yourself! You are a good person.

Then you would give them a hug. So please do that right now, give yourself a nice big cuddle.

That’s my Sunday musings!

Onward Bound

xo

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It’s oh so quiet… you may have been thinking..

You try blogging… actually make that do ANYTHING AT ALL… with NO internet!

I am officially completely lost without the internet. As you know, MOB and I moved house last week and have spent the best part of a week and a half negotiating with internet providers to get our internet connected quick smart. My list of chores have included:

  • preparing my internet profile for Bendable not Breakable which is not only my blog name but the business name for my mobile yoga studio
  • get my business off the ground – ATO jargon, registering business name, etc
  • complete paperwork and pay bills for for MOB’s business
  • update my acting profile with fresh head shots
  • blog
  • and the list goes on…

One common element required for every single one of these items is, you guessed it, the INTERNET.

This zenned out little hippy has had her zen limits pushed to the max but here we are, finally, with a temporary mobile broadband connection until the proper one goes through in just over ten days. Can you believe that in this day and age it can take almost three weeks to get an internet connection? How do people SURVIVE?!

Rant over, relaxation is restored.

This week I have taught two yoga classes, they have both been small but also success stories. My first yoga class last week, although not terrible, was nothing to write home about. I stumbled, uhhmmed & ahhhed my way through, and left the class feeling a little deflated and insecure. My girlfriend and her mum told me they enjoyed it but my bubble was burst.

One good thing about no internet to distract me was that in preparation for the classes this week, I found time to sit down and put pen to paper. I wrote out my sequences word for word (just the way my teacher told me to at the training). How quickly we forget what we learn.

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My little book of magic

The difference was dramatic. I was a lot more confident and I eased through the class with a smile on my face and in my heart. It just proves to me the need for patience and effort. I was so quick to assume as I practice the sequences regularly that I would be able to parrot off some cues and teach an amazing class. No, I need to show my students and the sequences the respect they deserve and make the time and effort to prepare and practice my teaching. Then I need to practice again, then practice some more.

After all, to quote the wise words of Anton Chekov ‘ Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice’.

Namaste,

Onward Bound xo

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