The lone wolf’s guide to dealing with loneliness

Image found here

I’ve always been a bit of a lone wolf. Despite being an outgoing and social PR girl who gets paid to communicate with others, at heart I’m an introvert and in between bursts of social activity, I generally need long periods of time alone by myself to rejuvenate.

While I’ve always loved my independence and prided myself on the fact that I live alone, I’m not afraid to travel solo and I legitimately enjoy eating out and going to the movies by myself…lately I’ve been struck with more than my fair share of loneliness.

Perhaps this has something to do with finding myself single among a sea of couples, or potentially it’s about moving house and dealing with a lot of life change in a short period of time.

Whatever the reason one thing I know is loneliness hurts…it singles you out, hits you hard and weighs you down!

So how do you deal with the loneliness? Well if you’re anything like me and at first you don’t quite recognise the emotion you flail about anxiously and try to distract yourself from feeling anything by reaching out to unsuitables, partying to forget your troubles and trying your darndest to fill your time with mindless social activity.

After a while though you start to realise that distractions don’t quite always work. See loneliness is a tricky emotion…it’ll catch you and weigh you down even when you’re surrounded by a crowd of people. All you can really is to do is acknowledge the loneliness, accept the fact that you feel this way and develop a plan to deal with it.

Below is my plan, I hope it helps you if you’re feeling lonely and struggling to deal:

  1. Figure out what triggers the loneliness to flare up. Maybe it’s photos of engagement rings on Facebook or perhaps it’s when your best friend gets all gushy about her pregnancy. Whatever it is, being aware is the first step to dealing with it.
  2. Work out a plan to soothe and manage the loneliness. While ideally you want to prevent feeling lonely, if you are triggered have a plan in place to soothe and make yourself feel better. Maybe you journal or meditate, reach out and call a friend or go and visit your family.
  3. Whip out your calendar and note down everything that’s happening in your life. I put down my gym classes, dinner with friends, when I’ll be studying, the time I’ve set aside to work on my business. Everything I can think of goes in my calendar and then everyday when I look at it I know have plenty of social activity to look forward too. If it looks like a light week I’ll reach out and make some plans, even if it’s just heading to the gym for an extra class or deciding to take myself out for coffee to read a great book one day.
  4. Keep focused on your goals and what you want to create in your life. I like to write my goals down everyday. It’s a great reminder of what you’re working towards. I’m currently studying life coaching; I recently launched an online coaching business and next year I’m going to Paris. All three are big exciting goals that are 100% focused on me and don’t require a partner.
  5. Stay open to meeting new friends or a partner. Write down all the qualities and values that are important to you in your relationships. Read over it regularly and keep it in mind when you’re out and about, particularly when dating. This will stop you wasting time with people who you are not compatible with just because you feel lonely.

While in the midst of loneliness it may not feel like it but this time is just one period in your life. You’re not a problem to be fixed and there’s nothing wrong with you – embrace your life whether you’re single or partnered and make the most of it, it’s the only one you’ve got.

What are your top tips to handle loneliness? Comment below xx

Step Four: How to make inspired intuitive decisions

sample_3d

Sign up and get my FREE eBook

So we’ve built the foundations – we’ve figured out what you’re yearning to create in your life, we’ve established what’s holding you back and we’re moving through it, we’re working on amping up your self-love and belief muscles and now you’re ready for action.

Ready for a leap of faith and to take inspired steps to achieve your audacious, crazy, courageous, out there goals.

Ready to move from the well-trodden path and bust out of that awkward and constricting mould to live your dream life in a daring new reality.

But how do we know what decisions to make? How do we stop the fearful crazy thoughts from ruling our headspace when trying to make a BIG decision? We use our intuition baby!

The Dictionary defines intuition as:

1. Direct perception of truth, fact, etc; independent of any reasoning process; immediate apprehension
2. A fact; truth; perceived in this way.
3. The quality or ability of having such direct perception or quick insight.

I personally define intuition as that knowing, deep down in my core – specifically my gut – of what the right action is to take, no matter how scary, insane, heartbreaking or utterly divine…my gut has never failed me.

My gut told me to ditch the corporate Sydney life and move to the USA where I slowly began to rebuild my self-confidence after a soul shattering couple of years battling depression, heartbreak and anxiety.

My gut told me to move back to the country to be closer to my family where I was propelled down my self-development journey which ultimately led me to follow my passion of being a writer and a life coach.

My gut has gently guided me numerous times to end relationships that no longer served either myself or the other person despite it being heartbreaking and downright scary to be brave enough to call it quits.

My gut has always guided me to take the right action at the right time, even if I ignored it endlessly…it usually gets to the point where the words bubble up in my mouth and I can no longer avoid making the RIGHT decision.

But what if you don’t get the gut feelings? What if you’re not feeling connected to your intuition? Well it doesn’t always have to be a gut feeling, it may be an intense feeling of knowing for you, or perhaps a great rush of happiness and love that indicates you’re making the right decision.

However if you’re connection to your intuition is a little out of whack, below are my top tips to rekindle the flame:

1. When someone asks you to do something, stop – wait – and feel your body’s reaction. Do you feel tight and restricted, like you just don’t want to do it or do you feel excited, inspired and ready for action? Listen to your body and answer NO if you don’t want to do it and YES if you do…trust your intuition and she will slowly start to show up more for you.

2. Meditate and connect with your body. By quieting the constant chatter in your mind for just five minutes a day you will slowly start to develop a deeper awareness within your body and connect with your intuition and your knowing more fully.

3. Free write in your journal on whatever decision is causing you confusion or pain. Don’t restrict yourself just let it flow and go for at least ten minutes – you will not believe the deep insights that will come pouring out of you if you don’t censor yourself and just allow the thoughts to flow.

4. Get out into nature on your own. Go for a walk on the beach, take a hike in bushland or spend some time quietly sitting beside the river with your own thoughts. By being alone, out of your normal habitat and connected with nature – you will clear your head and allow true knowing to shine through.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the last post in this blog series and I trust that you feel like you’re well on your way to loving yourself, trusting your intuition and moving courageously forward in the direction of your dreams. Next week I’ll be sending out my free eBook which combines the four-steps from this process in one handy location you can refer back to anytime, but you can only get access if you’re on my list. You can sign up in the sign up form on the right-hand pane or in the pop-up.

As always comment below and let me know how you’re going, I really would love to hear xx

Step Three: If you want to love your life you need to love yourself!

Step Three

Do you believe you can do it?

In the previous two weeks we’ve established exactly what you want to create for your rockin new reality, we’ve figured out what’s holding you back and determined the steps you need to take to bust those blocks so you can start moving effortlessly forward. If you missed step one click here and if you missed step two click here.

This week we’re going to work on amping up your self-love and confidence muscles so you feel empowered enough to take action and so you can start to truly believe you are worthy of actually having your dream life.

Do you feel like you’re worth it?

Honestly ask yourself…do you feel like you deserve to quit your job, make a heap of money, go live in Paris and have the life of your dreams? If you answered yes with no qualms then that is AWESOME – rock on sister!

However if, like me, you said yes with a little secret stirring of disbelief in your core then you need to work on really loving and accepting yourself so you can start to truly believe you are worthy of achieving your goal.

Why is it so important to love and believe wholeheartedly in yourself? Well if you don’t and you go chasing after your goal without establishing the building blocks of self-worth you will unconsciously feel like you don’t deserve it and ultimately end up sabotaging yourself.

For my new business I have a big income goal. I write it down every single day and it reminds me exactly what I’m working towards when I plug away at my day job and then come home to spend another couple of hours working away on my business.

However it’s so crucial that I consistently work on amping up my self-worth and my belief in my VALUE, otherwise I will ultimately end up feeling like I don’t deserve to make that big figure and sabotage myself. Probably through procrastination, giving up or some other self-induced subversion.

So how can we cultivate more self-love and belief?

1. Write down three things you value about yourself every single day. Yes yes, I’m adding yet another thing to your journalling list, however by taking the time to consciously think of three things you love about yourself every day your belief in your value will skyrocket. It needs to be something new and specific everyday. This is a fantastic tip courtesy of Kate Northrup’s book – Money: A Love Story. A fantastic read if your goal involves manifesting money!

2. Consciously watch your thoughts and become aware of any negative self-talk swirling around in your head. Replace the nasty thoughts that tend to run on repeat with more positive self-talk and be your own bestie for a change. I like to try using affirmations…the practice of looking yourself in the eye in the mirror and actually saying “I fully love and accept myself” can be absolutely life changing.This one can be challenging though so be gentle with yourself and accepting of where you are right now – no one’s perfect and we can’t expect our thoughts to be perfect all the time either.

3. Take the time to forgive yourself and others and release past hurts. This one is a big one, I find that holding on to past anger, guilt and regret really stops me from loving myself and exactly where I am at on my journey. Particularly if the person you most need to forgive is yourself. Denise Duffield-Thomas recommends writing it all out in a journal and then saying out loud to each person you need to release “I forgive you, I’m sorry and I love you.” I love this – it’s super simple and it works! Another great idea for bigger resentments and pain you’re not quite ready to let go of is to try a releasing ritual…Vienda Maria has an amazing a seven-day releasing ritual.

4. Finally self-care is another important step to loving and valuing yourself. Do you eat right, exercise, get enough sleep and generally take care of yourself and give your body the nourishment and the love it needs? The way you treat your external body is a reflection of your internal worth…how are you treating yours?

Stay tuned for the final part in my four-part blog series where we get you ready to take considered and intuitively right action.

What self-care tips keep you loving yourself? Let me know below xx

Step Two: Discover exactly WHAT is holding you back!

It's time to break free from what's holding you back

It’s time to break free from what’s holding you back

So you’ve figured out exactly what you want to manifest to break you out of your mould and create a life that genuinely lights you up…but something’s holding you back.

Maybe it’s your internal fears repeating on a loop:

“I can’t quit my job to go travel, I’ve got a job others would kill for with good benefits. I’ll lose so much money and my savings will take a big hit. I’m too old to travel. What if I make no friends and spend a year on my own on the other side of the world? What if I get sick?”

Or perhaps you’re encountering external resistance from friends, family or even your significant other who don’t understand why you can’t just be happy in your current situation instead of feeling like you have to shake your whole life up.

How do you find the courage?

“If you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done before.”

It’s human nature for fear and ego-driven thoughts to pop up when we are going through a change in our lives or even considering a change. Particularly if we’re chasing big goals…our fear driven inner biatch rears her ugly head and says to us “who are you to do that?” But actually “who are you NOT to do that?”

You need to become okay with the fear and find the courage to listen exclusively to your burgeoning intuition, otherwise the fear will rule you, keep you playing small and never allow you to live a daring life that lights you up.

So how do you learn to sit with the fear and be okay with it:

1. Practise mindfulness and live in the present moment – there’s no point having a freak out over something that may not happen for another six months (or EVER) when you’re at work, doing your job – embrace the NOW.

2. If it feels like your fears are eating you alive, sit down and journal them out – write down everything you feel, every outlandish, crazy thought you’ve ever had. Once you’re finished read over them, acknowledge them and then let them go by tearing them up and throwing them away or burning them. Release the fears and let them go.

3. Focus your meditation practice on accepting and releasing your fears. From meditation alone you will begin to become more centered and connected with your true heart’s desires, meaning you will be able to distinguish between fearful thoughts and what you truly want.

What about the naysayers?

“The more you love your decisions, the less you needs others to love them.”

When I quit my corporate Sydney job and decided to spend 12-months nannying for a family I’d never met before in Los Angeles with barely three months between the day I made the decision and my departure, I experienced resistance from unlikely external sources and this really upset me.

However, I honestly should not have been surprised about the resistance as I essentially asked for people’s opinions as a means of justifying and validating my decision – this was a big mistake.

I really recommend that you become secure and confident in your big goal before you tell any of your friends or family about what you are planning. Particularly if you are sitting on a decision I would recommend that you make that decision on your own before telling anyone.

While I know that any resistance I received was not actually about me and was more about what my decision brought up for the other person – by providing them the opportunity to give me their opinion it allowed them to try to sway my decision for their own personal motivations.

Whereas if I had made my decision, created a plan, set it motion and then told them exactly what I was doing without asking for their opinion…it really doesn’t give them an opportunity to say “oh I don’t understand why you would want to do that, you have such a good job blah blah blah”.

If you have a partner and you’d like to quit your job or go on a big trip I would recommend you also prepare a plan and do all the math before broaching the topic with them…because if you just say an offhand “honey I want to quit my job…but I don’t really know how it’s going to work” then it is much easier for them to just say no and not even consider it. However if you’ve got a full plan worked out, logical steps in place and they can form a picture of how it is realistically going to work in their minds – the answer is much more likely to be a resounding YES!

Stay tuned for next week’s blog post where we amp up your self-love and self-belief muscles and get you ready for action.

What’s holding you back from achieving your dreams? Comment below and let me know xx

Step One: Get crystal freaking clear on what you want!

IMG_7831copy

It’s time to break free…

Are you stuck in the drudgery that is your day-to-day life? Do you yearn for more? Deep down knowing you were meant for greater things than spending Monday to Friday in your boring 9-5 job, living purely for the weekends.

Maybe you secretly dream about quitting the corporate world to go live in Paris? Or you’re desperate to start your own business as an entrepreneur? Perhaps your heart is calling you to ditch that so-so relationship so you can flourish solo?

Whatever it is you’ve got BIG dreams but you’re not quite sure how to break the mould, get past the resistance and forge your own path to create a bold new reality.

I can help! As a life coach and writer I motivate and inspire women to break free from an unfulfilling conventional life to transition into the courageous and audacious life of their dreams.

In my four part blog-series we will:

  1. Unearth your dreams and get crystal clear on what you really want so you can start to create the life that lights you up.
  2. Identify what’s holding you back and develop a plan to combat any naysayers or resistance in your life so you can move forward effortlessly.
  3. Learn the simple steps to get empowered and amp up your self-love and confidence muscles so you feel empowered and confident enough to take action.
  4. Discover the right time and the right action to take that daring dream and turn it into your new radical reality.

What do you really want?

So you’ve felt a few stirrings in your heart and you think you may want to book a round-the-world ticket and travel for six months, but you also kind of want to go volunteer in Asia, or perhaps you want to live in France for a year? You’re really not sure…all you know is you want OUT!

One of the most challenging steps can be to figure out exactly what we want, however it is crucial to get clear before you start taking action because if you go chasing after a dream that you feel very wishy-washy about and you encounter resistance, it becomes very easy to give up.

You need to get clarity on what you really desire and then once you’ve got that laser focus you will get super committed to your goal and you will start to work towards manifesting your amazing new reality.

So how do you figure out what you really want? Below are my tops tips to start to get crystal clear on exactly what you want you want to create in your life:
1. Create a soothing quiet environment. I like to light some candles, turn on my rock salt lamp, make a cup of herbal tea and turn my phone off to ensure I won’t be disturbed. Grab your journal but before you start writing take ten deep breaths to calm and centre yourself and from there turn inwards and begin to free-write on what your ideal reality would look like. How would you FEEL? What would it look like? What would you be doing? Go for as long as you feel you need to and once you have finished read over what you have written. Has a clear theme started to emerge? Maybe if there are many conflicting ideas go through and underline or circle anything that is repeated or that resonates with you. Do you feel clear about what your ideal life would look like? How would you feel in your ideal life? It’s really important that your goal means something to you…if you want to travel do you really want to feel more FREE? What’s the underlying emotion you want to feel that you can tie your goal to so it represents and means more to you then just ‘I want to go on a holiday’.

2. If you feel clear on what you have created GREAT then you can take part in this next step to gain even further clarity, however if you’ve found a recurring theme in your journalling but you’re not sure, it’s a great idea to do some meditation focused on your heart centre. By taking the time to quiet the chatter in your head and focus on your heart centre, you will open yourself up to developing a deeper connection with your heart and as your thoughts settle you will create more awareness in your life and clarity will follow. Be gentle with yourself, this is not just a one-off and I really encourage you to create a meditation practice in your life to gain further awareness. There are many great resources for guided heart opening meditations, here’s one from Connie Chapman which I highly recommend: click here.

3. Once you know what you want I encourage my clients to develop a routine where they write down exactly what they want on paper EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. This is really important to ensure you are committed to your goal and that this is really what you want, because if you can’t be bothered to write something down everyday…say it’s moving to Paris for example, then you’re unlikely to pack up your whole life, save a chunk of money and get a visa to go to Paris. However if you do really want something and you write it down every single day it forces you to think about your goals on a daily basis and to consider what small action you can take that day to move you further towards your goal.

Stay tuned for the next part of my blog series where we will discuss what blocks are holding you back from chasing that big dream.

What big goal are you hoping to manifest in your life? Comment below xx

The beauty of cutting through your crap to the heart of the issue!

All by myself in the Indian Ocean

All by myself in the Indian Ocean

Lately I haven’t been feeling quite right, I’ve had a feeling deep in my gut of unease and I’ve been struggling to spend time alone in my own company.

Circumstances in my external world have also been a battle, I seem to be manifesting events that are forcing me to spend extended periods of time all by myself…which is what I really have been struggling against right now.

I have had at least four sets of plans with different people fall through in the past week from circumstances beyond anyone’s control. Basically the universe is slapping me in the face with its message, telling me to STOP trying to avoid what I’m feeling and just embrace it.

So what am I struggling against so desperately? Myself it would seem!

I just spent two nights in Sydney for my life coach training, meeting all my gorgeous classmates and spending a day learning from the amazing Julie Parker and Melissa Ambrosini.

The escape from reality was like a breath of fresh air and as I was the odd number in the class Julie invited Katherine from The Beauty of Life, who is a recent Beautiful You graduate to come and be my coaching partner on the day.

I could feel myself battling, struggling and resisting whatever was coming up inside me and so during my session with Katherine I raised the issue of my relationship with myself.

After a bit of toing and froing around the issue from me, Katherine asked me point blank “Well do you feel worthy? Do you think you deserve to have an amazing business and a wonderful relationship?”

I started to say “Oh yeah of course and then I was like wait a minute, honestly? NO I don’t!” And with that simple exclamation from deep in my core I knew that I had been denying and resisting my feelings surrounding my lack of worth and this was manifesting problems in my life.

Self-worth has been an ongoing issue for me and I’ve gone deep in the past and have done serious work to improve my relationship with myself which has brought about many wonderful external improvements.

However with all the changes in my life recently I’ve sent myself spiralling backwards on my journey, to a space of lack and not liking myself and feeling unworthy of having the amazing things that I am trying to manifest.

Within a mere half an hour of sitting and chatting with Katherine I had identified the one issue I had been struggling so hard against – probably for the most part of my teen years and all of my 20′s. Identified the source of my relationship and financial issues and identified a number of steps to start to move forwards.

That is the beauty of coaching – it takes someone skilled outside your circle of friends and family to ask you that direct question that cuts right through your CRAP to the essence and the heart of the issue and then allows you the space and the wisdom to work out your own solution…with zero judgement!

So what’s my solution? Going back to basics and the very tactics I used in the first place to begin to work on my relationship with myself – mindfulness and putting my ego in her place when she tries to be a nasty biatch, daily journalling, self-care and meditation.

What issue are you secretly resisting and hiding from? Have you ever had someone coach it out of you or call you on your crap before? Be brave and comment below xx

Love your decisions so much you don’t care what others think

Step out of the shadows and stop playing small!

Step out of the shadows and stop playing small!

Right now I am going through the process of transitioning my brand from Natural Bloom, an online space to get happy and healthy inside and out – to Aimee Croxon, life coach and writer who motivates and inspires clients to break free from an unfulfilling conventional life to create the audacious life of their dreams.

To say that resistance is coming up throughout this process would be an understatement.

I decided to make the move after the idea was posed to me by my business coach. I thought it was a good idea but I wasn’t sure I was ready until I undertook some market research on my coaching package (to be launched soon) and discovered that people were confused about why I was suddenly offering life coaching when I’d been previously been blogging about health and wellness.

As I’m studying at the amazing Beautiful You Coaching Academy I really want to create an online space that’s more reflective of my new business that is about to be launched. I am super passionate about helping others to transition from what no longer serves them and keeps them playing small into creating an awesome new reality.

And for those who knows me well – they know I definitely don’t shy away from bucking the trend. I’ve twice quit corporate Sydney ‘dream jobs’! Firstly to go live in LA for a year and secondly to move back to country NSW. Starting my own business as a life coach and being single by choice at 27 when all my friends are getting married and having babies being just another couple of examples.

However it wasn’t until earlier in the week when I took the first step and changed my Facebook name to Aimee Croxon and updated the cover photo and profile picture to images from my recent photo shoot that a serious case of the freak outs came up.

My inner mean girl got super nasty, reared her ugly little head and really let me have it.

“Who are you to have a fan page? You do realise that on your personal profile it’s now going to say you work at Aimee Croxon! Are you kidding? Can you imagine what people are saying about you behind your back? BLAH BLAH BLAH”

Seriously…that is the bitchy way I was talking to myself earlier in the week when this should have been an excitingly big and proud moment. I could say what is wrong with me? But it’s just such a common human thing that we do to ourselves, quite unnecessarily I might add.

So how can you STOP the bitchy mean girl from getting the better of you and start to love your decisions so much you don’t need others too?

1. Stop, breathe and acknowledge what a big momentous thing you are creating or doing in your life right now and be proud of yourself – you are creating your own rockin reality – you should allow yourself to feel awesome about that!

2. Be aware of those nasty mean girl thoughts swirling in your brain and when they arise make a moment by moment decision to be kinder to yourself. You can make a choice to go down the rabbit hole and let those thoughts ruin your day or you can get on board with you and be your own bestie.

3. If you feel like people are not supporting you and you’re worried about what they’re thinking about your choices, take the time to consider…how are YOU not supporting you? If you make the effort to love and be 100% committed to who you are and what you’re doing…you won’t need that external validation that what you’re doing is right – you’ll already know it!

So in a nutshell if you get on board and stop questioning your decisions, make the effort to be kinder to yourself on a moment by moment basis and take the time to acknowledge the awesomeness you’re creating…you won’t care what anyone else thinks!

What are your tips to break the validation seeking cycle? Comment below xx

Five ways to beat the winter blues

Image found here

Image found here

As the temperature has plunged over the past few weeks I have become increasingly hermit like – spending every evening at home and a good portion of the weekends too, venturing forth only for necessities such as food, wine and the unfortunate need to pay my bills by going to work.

While I’ve spent a good chunk of my time at home tapping away at my laptop and working on my new coaching business, I have also spent an inordinate amount of time watching bulk seasons of Game of Thrones, Sex and the City, True Blood and Nashville and quite frankly I am sick of the sight of my couch and my pyjamas - it’s time to quit the hermit act and get out of the house!

But how? It’s so cold! I can’t even remember what my figure looks like under all these layers! If you’re struggling like me take heed of my top five tips to beat the winter blues and we’ll have you outta your pyjamas and on your way to feeling rosy and fresh like spring is on it’s way to you.

1. Soak Up Some Vitamin D

The root cause of Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD) or the winter blues you’re feeling could be related to a lack of sunlight in your life. Not getting enough sunlight increases the body’s production of Melatonin which can produce symptoms of depression. Therefore it’s a good idea to try and get outside and soak up some sunlight in your lunch break for at least 15 minutes a day. Taking the time to sit in the light and enjoy the outdoors will also stop you feeling like you go to work in the dark and finish work in the dark and spend your whole life throughout winter in the dank, dark cold.

 2. Pump Some Iron

I know, I know! Who actually feels like doing exercise in winter? Certainly not me, which a classic example of why I now have to fight my way back from becoming a hermit and shake off those winter blues. Exercise increases endorphins which of course make you happy, keep your stress levels down and generally make you feel way better about life. Exercise also warms you up (if only for an hour) but it is a great way to get your blood pumping in the cold weather. Besides if you wait around to feel ‘motivated’ for the rest of your life you’d never get anything done EVER – exercise included so hop to it!

3. Be A Social Butterfly

This is probably my favourite way to beat the winter blues – by finding a really fun event that you can go to with all your friends and that you’re super excited about and really looking forward to attending. For the first time in probably four weeks I will actually do something social outside either my house or another friend’s house, at an actual event, with people I don’t know – golly gosh am I breaking out of my self-induced hibernation cave, will you join me?

4. Look Hot To Feel Hot

This tip ties in nicely with the one above about being a social butterfly – go out and shout yourself a lovely outfit or an awesome accessory that just makes you feel HOT and you won’t feel so UGH about going out. Apart from work clothes all I’ve worn in the past month is daggy pyjamas and big jumpers so today I decided to treat myself to a purple figure hugging dress to wear to aforementioned social activity – now I’m even more excited to get out of the house.

5. Don’t Forget To Take Care Of Yourself

This is a really crucial one – in addition to making sure you exercise and soak up some rays you need to ensure you’re doing all you can to take care of yourself through winter, which includes getting adequate sleep and eating a healthy diet. If you don’t take the time to look after your health your immune system will be weakened and you’ll be much more susceptible to colds and flus which are only going to keep you stuck at home in bed, feeling miserable.

What are your top tips to break out the warm cave and reengage with the world this winter? Comment below xx

Why I’m writing my goals down everyday and you should too

image found here

image found here

Have you got big hairy audacious goals you want to achieve in your life? ME TOO! I think we all have those desires and yearnings in our hearts, quietly whispering to us. Or if you’re like me shouting at you until you just can’t ignore them anymore.

But how do they go from crazy, out in the stratosphere, unattainable, pie in the sky dreams to something you can actually manifest and achieve in your life? And no the answer isn’t watered down S.M.A.R.T goals that you can clearly see hovering in the distance.

The key is really quite simple actually – start by writing down your wildest craziest dreams every single day on a piece of paper or in your journal.

The act of putting pen to paper and jotting them down, not once, but consistently is a basic way to keep your goals front of mind and sends a clear intention to the universe that you mean business and you know exactly what you want.

Now the key here is to be really specific with what you want and what you intend to create for your life and then consistently write it down every single day. This practice will work for you in a two ways.

Consistent Concerted Effort Breeds Results

By taking two minutes every single day to scribble out your goals it will allow you to get really clear on what you want. If you don’t really want something in your life you’re not going to bother writing it down everyday.

For example while I do want to find the relationship of my dreams and that was what I wrote down on my first list, as I’m not really ready to go there yet it quickly dropped off for me and became something I no longer write down everyday.

Whereas starting my life coaching business, getting 15 clients (my ideal number), making a certain amount of income next financial year and going to Europe in April are my big ticket goals and I take the time to write them down every single day.

Doing this causes me to think…”well what can I do today to make that happen?” And here is the key – consistent concerted action (doesn’t have to be big effort either) builds up and helps you achieve your dreams. As you start to believe over time that you are going to get what you want you start to take positive steps to achieve it.

From writing down my goals everyday I took the leap and hired a business coach and then I applied for permission in my day job to have external employment. Both big steps that I could have sat on for ages. Another example is changing your employment to work at your Facebook business page, even if you’re still in your day job. So simple but sends such a clear message to both yourself and the universe.

What You Focus On You Create More Of

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying that ‘what you focus your attention on grows’. If you run around whinging about life and how poor you are and how everything sucks and have a lack negative mindset, while you may have the odd daydream about your goals all you are going to see are the negative circumstances.

Whereas if you embrace the present moment, have a positive mindset and take the time to focus your attention on your goals every single day. Imagining what it would feel like to have them and taking consistent steps to achieve them, you are going to create more positive experiences and lucky opportunities in your life.

This may sound a bit nuts for those who aren’t into the law of attraction, but even if you don’t believe in manifestation, by simply having a positive mindset and believing the world is on your side and you are going to achieve your crazy awesome goals, you will obviously be a happier person. However you will also be in a much better position to spot the awesome opportunities as they arise (because sometimes they aren’t always obvious) and take advantage of them.

What are your awesome, scary, crazy, out there goals? Share with me in the comments below and let it count towards writing your goals down for today xx

Furniture restoration with Websters Chalk Paint Powder

If you’re at all a fan of interior decorating and decor magazines you may have noticed the subtle rise in furniture restoration and creative upcycling.

With a tinge of rustic, country style chic and a nod to the bohemian, using some simple low sheen acrylic paint, beeswax and the piece de resistance…Webster Chalk Paint Powder…you can make over any piece of old tired furniture to create a colourful statement.

With a desperate desire to learn the art of deliberate distressing, over the weekend I attended a Websters Chalk Paint workshop hosted by the gorgeous Creative Soul Studio who is primarily based on the South Coast however travelled to Dubbo to host this one-off event.

Websters Chalk Paint Powder isn’t chalkboard paint, and it isn’t made of chalk. It is a powdered paint additive that gives the paint a chalky texture when dry. There are many benefits to using Chalk Paint Powder including the fact that it will adhere to almost any surface with no need for priming or sanding beforehand.

As I’ve just moved into my house and I have been religiously stalking the apartment tours on The Everygirl I had been planning to set up a drinks stand in my living room for some time.

I found an old folding table from the Salvation Army furniture shop and took it along to the Websters Chalk Paint workshop to learn how to create the perfect piece of rustic furniture for my bar cart.

Websters Workshop

Arriving to this gorgeous set up I knew I was in the right spot and Jessie, the artist behind Creative Soul put us right to work mixing chalk paint powder with water and then with our chosen paint colour in a low sheen acrylic. My entire piece used less than half a cup of paint and only one and a half tablespoons of chalk paint powder…this stuff goes really far.

Mixing Paint

I chose the colour ‘French Riveria’ to match a bright chair I have in ‘Dark Jade’ which will contrast nicely with my Carob coloured couch (if it ever arrives).

Once we had our paint mixed and looking lovely we set to work testing it out on a piece of wood provided by Jessie.

Initially we painted a couple of coats, dry distressed half the piece using a sander and the other half was wet distressed using a wet scourer.

While as you can see below I went really hard with the wet distress technique and while it was slightly overdone it definitely has a charm to its distress.

Personally I prefer the dry distress as you can build up more, it’s more of a subtle look and isn’t quite so intense and this is what I chose to use on my piece.

Example

Once we had tested out both styles of distress we sealed the wood with Beeswax which smells absolutely divine and is 100% natural, so there is no nasty chemical paint drying smell.

We used L’essentiel Beeswax which is an Aussie made product that has excellent coverage, is cost effective and provides a subtle protective coating that helps add depth of colour, sheen and protects from the elements while assisting to give that time worn look.

Below is the piece I chose to work on, many of the ladies in the room had absolutely gorgeous antiques but I haven’t had time to scour second hand places and I needed something that it wouldn’t matter if I wrecked, seeing as I’m only a beginner not an old hand at this restoring furniture gig.

Before

I cleaned my piece with Sugar Soap Wipes (available from Bunnings) and then sanded it lightly on the legs as there were splinters coming off (hello cheap) before putting on my first coat of thin mixed paint.

The beauty of Chalk Paint is that it dries so quickly and while it was a mere 13 degrees and rainy outside my piece dried in maybe half an hour between coats, even less with the blow drier giving it a jump start.

Mid Way

Following my second coat drying I picked up my sander and began to give the piece a dry distressed look. While many paints, particularly acrylics would peel and curl off in strips when sanded, chalk painted pieces sand beautifully to give a time worn distressed look.

I sanded the areas that would traditionally show age and the signs of wear and tear first, so the edges and the corners of the piece, along with a general sanding over the top for a chalky finish.

Waxed and Distressed

After giving the piece a good distressing, I took my small wax brush and smoothed beeswax into all the crevices and corners before taking a rag and smoothing beeswax over the entire piece.

After leaving to sit for 10-15 minutes, using a clean rag you can quickly and easily buff the wax off and your piece is complete. It’s pretty amazing really that you can take an old crappy piece of furniture, clean it, sand it, give it two coats of paint, distress it and seal it in four hours or so on a really miserable day…and this is as a beginner.

Chalk paint is super forgiving as well, somehow I ended up with white bumps on top of my piece but they quickly and easily sanded right out during the ‘distressing’ phase of the project.

Next I will be finding a wooden or silver tray to chalk paint a lighter shade for the top of my drinks stand, photos to come of the finished stand with spirit bottles and glasses in tow.

Gift Bags

Do you upcycle homewares? Would you give Websters Chalk Paint Powder a go? How do you DIY in your home? Comment below xx