For me, right now: October 2017

I can’t quite believe I have been blogging for over over two years. I still feel like a beginner, finding my voice. I recently read a post by Cait Flanders on slow blogging. It prompted me to reflect on why I blog. For me, it’s about connecting with others. To increase connection, I want to put more of me into my blog. To date, I’ve shared a lot of advice about decluttering and slow living based on my experience, but not a lot about myself.

So here goes, I’ve put on my big girl undies and I’m going to get a bit more personal. I’m starting with a regularly monthly feature on what’s happening in life for me, right now. Let me know what you think.

Continue reading “For me, right now: October 2017”

Advertisements

Three books for when you’re stuck in a rut

Three books for when you're stuck in a rut: Destination Simple, How To Live A Good Life, Finding Your Element

It is spring, the days are getting longer, I’m enjoying my evening beach walks and I feel great.

Noticing how great I’m feeling now, I realised, I hadn’t been feeling so great through winter. Nothing was bothering me in particular, I just felt a bit flat and unmotivated. I was stuck in a rut.

Fortunately, a change of season was all I needed to switch gears and feel excited about life again. Lucky me. Lifting yourself out of a rut isn’t always so easy. If you’re searching for help to get going again, I’d like to point you toward three books I found really helpful when I felt blah and lost.

Each book guides you through a series of actions to reorientate your life. What I really appreciate about all three books is the emphasis on experimentation. Each offers some general principles along with a range of bite-size exercises designed to get you trying new things or thinking in a different way, rather than a blueprint to be followed.

Continue reading “Three books for when you’re stuck in a rut”

3 Things To Do When You Feel Overwhelmed By Life

3 things to do when you feel overwhelmed by life

“Help please. I feel like I’m a total failure. With working and trying to keep on top of things at home, I feel like I am dropping the ball all the time. Does anyone else feel this way? What is wrong with me? How do you mummies manage it all?”

So read the plea from a fellow mum. I could relate. Three years ago, I could’ve been the one posting this in the local mum’s Facebook group. I was giving it my all to be a good employee and a great mum, but I didn’t feel like I had a decent grip on either role. Life was a blur of one narrowly adverted minor disaster after another. I was a crap friend and a bitch of a wife. As for anything else, there wasn’t room, that would all have to wait for “someday”.

I was totally overwhelmed by my life. I had never worked so hard to fail so miserably. And not just miserably, spectacularly. Sobbing-loudly-at-my-desk-a-colleague-bundling-me-into-her-car-to-take-me-home type spectacularly.

What advice could I offer this fellow mum to helpprevent her becoming a burnt-out mess? Over the last three years, I’ve learnt a lot about how to live a full and meaningful life and push your limits without pushing yourself over the edge.

Continue reading “3 Things To Do When You Feel Overwhelmed By Life”

How to declutter toys without the guilt

How to declutter toys without the guilt

Ahhh, the joy of a child playing quietly in his room. I pop my head around the door, only to see tufts of white stuffing poking out from under my son’s bed. Hmmm, it turns out that ‘playing quietly’ was actually disembowelling the large, handmade red velvet bear his aunt had given him.

With my less-than-impressed-mum face, I admonished him for 1) using scissors on anything other than paper, 2) not caring for his toys. On the inside, however, I was beaming. The sweet relief of getting rid of an over-sized, slightly creepy toy your child loves, without having to be the bad guy!

The thing in my home I feel the most torn about decluttering is toys. Fewer toys to trip over and tidy, that’d be fantastic. Plus, too many toys isn’t great for kids, I get that. But, the toys aren’t mine, nearly all of them were gifts, and they all seem so beloved.

Mum guilt about too many toys vs mum guilt over taking toys away – wow, which great option should I choose!

Decluttering toys, a great idea, but in practice, just another emotional minefield for the modern parent. It doesn’t have to be that way. You can make a lot of progress on the toy situation quickly and easily, without having to play the bad guy. Here’s how.

Continue reading “How to declutter toys without the guilt”

Taking your first steps to slow living in the real world

slow living, minimalism, busy, ban busy, busy boycott, slow down, productivity, simple living

So, you want to slow down? Where do you start? What does slow living even look like in the real world? You’ve got commitments and responsibilities! Don’t worry, slowing down doesn’t mean you’ve got to ditch everything and park yourself up in a hammock.

My approach is “slow not lazy” – slowing down doesn’t mean doing nothing. In fact, slowing down can help you to achieve more of what really matters.

My commitments and responsibilities used to leave me feeling worn out and overwhelmed, but today, I thrive on them. What changed? A lot, but the most important thing was my mindset.

“Everyone’s rushing around, and look at you – sitting there all calm!”. I was at a women’s networking breakfast in the lead up to Christmas. The meeting was due to start and everyone was rushing in flustered and fussing around as they took their seats. When a colleague leaned in and made this remark to me, little did she know the burst of pride and empowerment I felt.

I was calm. Not because of my schedule, commitments and responsibilities, I was calm despite of them. I’d just dropped my son to preschool. I had to leave the breakfast meeting early to tutor a class for a sick colleague (swinging past home on the way to pick up my husband who needed the car). After finding a ride back to my office, I had an hour to finalise my work for the year before back-to-back meetings until it was time to collect my son. It was one of those crazy days. Days like these used to leave me a frantic, frazzled mess. But there I was – calm, focused and present. Surrounded by a tide of busyness, I felt its presence, but it didn’t sweep me away. This is slow living in the real world. Continue reading “Taking your first steps to slow living in the real world”

Mindfulness and me

Mindfulness is an essential component of what slow living means to me. I’m excited to be featured in the Mindfulness and Me series on Mission: Mindfulness .

Mindfulness, Meditation

I’m no expert, and mindfulness certainly hasn’t come easily to me. Overtime, I’ve developed a set of practices that work well for me that I share.

You can read about:how I suck at meditation (I’ve been a beginner for 10 years!); how I make mindfulness part of my day; how it benefits me; and my tips for anyone trying it out for the first time.

One of the questions Hayley asked me was, “Do you have friends or family who use mindfulness techniques too?”. I realised that I had no idea, but I wish I did. With that in mind …

Do you use mindfulness techniques? What works for you?

5 easy steps to master your to-do list

When things get busy, do you feel like a slave to your to-do list? Are you ticking things off, but don’t feel like you are getting anywhere? Or maybe the list is so long you’ve ditched it completely?

I’ve been there and I’m happy to say it doesn’t have to be that way! You can take control of your to-do list and achieve more of what really matters – without the stress.

Continue reading “5 easy steps to master your to-do list”