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Mother of pearl

5 Apr
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Lightning lit up the sea, as she slipped away…

Two nights ago, a sweet soul slipped away. She was young. Courageous. And she left behind a little one.

While we only met a few times, her departure made a mark.

My ex partner messaged while I was in Vietnam, to say she was fading. Alone in an empty cafe, I scribbled my sadness in this poem:

 

Mother of Pearl

Did you hear the news today?

She only has a week to go,

Darkness has descended,

Her goodbye – painful, slow.

 

I know I hardly knew her,

And that we barely talked,

But I’m in this cafe crying,

She’s consuming my every thought.

 

How will that baby be now,

His mother gone too soon,

I hope he’ll always sense

her presence in every room.

 

How cruel to take the sweetest soul,

And snatch her from this world,

Send peace and love,

To the babe, without his mother of pearl.

 

Rest in peace, beautiful Nicki xx

On being thankful for every moment

3 Apr

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This morning I met a beautiful friend for an early morning swim, at Fairy Bower in Manly.

The dawn sunlight pierced the crystal sea, as waves rocked across reef. Sparkles radiated around us, frightened fish flashed at our feet, and a paddleboarder glided across the horizon.

Salt sizzled on skin as we waded in the cool pool.

In that moment, I was deliriously happy. Grateful that I was alive to see and smell and sense such a special scene.

In 8 weeks, I’m moving to Asia! Vietnam stole my soul, peeled back the layers, and I’m itching to return.

And so I’m making a point to bask in every magical moment while I pack up my life in Sydney. 

The spectacular shoreline. Crisp air. Fresh drinking water. Sunrise over the sea. Quiet streets. Dips at dawn. Gorgeous friends.

We should do it every moment: look for the lining. Appreciate being alive right here, right now. Wish for nothing other than who we are in this very moment.

Will you join me?

 

The feeling of freedom

3 Feb
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A lone kitesurfer. Free.

Deadlines don’t matter. Relationship issues can wait. Niggling, nagging thoughts mean nothing.

This is the feeling of freedom.

Fleeting freedom.

A slice of weightlessness. Abandon. Who-gives-a-fuck-edness.

That moment, that quick flicker of flight, flutter of ease.

That sudden soaring, sweeping, heart leaping love of the universe. And every soul that bounces through it.

I watched kitesurfers cruise on mighty surf, flying, flinging, higher, higher, their parachutes billowing as they danced at dusk.

Freedom.

These sole bodies bouncing and bounding and crashing and swooping. Without a care. Without fear. Without regard.

Let’s strip back. Let go. Loosen up. Soften our stance.  Love deeply. Lose gently.

Unwrap our souls. Set them free.

Let’s leap like kitesurfers.

Let’s be free.

The nomad’s guide to putting down roots

17 Jan

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I can’t sit still. Seriously. Even in the cinema, I wriggle and sigh and stretch and play with my hair. Two hours sat in the same seat? Gah!

It could be because my family moved house seven times before I was eight. And after relocating to Perth, no sooner did we settle in a space, we packed up and found another.

So I say I never really had a home. Houses, sure – and some pretty cool ones (including one that was DEFINITELY haunted) – but no home. We were like nomadic animals, roaming about with no destination in mind. We simply spotted a better watering hole and set off.

And in the past year, I’ve moved four times. FOUR!

I’m now back at the beach in Sydney. And part of me never wants to leave.

But the nomad in me is already itchy. Already restless. Thinking about far-flung lands, wondering if the other side of Manly might be more exciting, more me. Searching for a better watering hole.

So how can we nomadic souls stay still?

Because we really, really want to sometimes. I’m nearing 30 and should probably start thinking about ‘nesting’.

That’s not to say I won’t travel and explore and jump around. But I want to be in a place long enough to make connections, meet likeminded souls, contribute to the community and build my business.

It’s funny. I’ve just finished reading ‘The Life You Were Born to Live’ by Dan Millman. It uses the Life-Purpose System to calculate your path. My life path number 34/7 is described as struggling to commit. To work through issues of trust and security (the main life purpose for 34/7s), I need to stop flapping about, stay still and put down roots.

How?

Well, I’ve started with daily meditation. And by meditation I mean – try to block thoughts about what I’m going to do the second meditation ends. And ignore the itch on the end of my nose. And stop wondering how I’m going to be still in life when I can’t even sit still to meditate. It’s a struggle! 😉

I’ve also started getting out more, and trying to be more open in public. I’m meeting strangers in cafes – a few of whom have already turned into friends who are on a similar path. I’m reaching out to other business owners on the beaches, just for a chat, not to sell. Or I’m just striking up conversations with people on the beach…many of whom probably think I’m a tad cray cray. (All of this, by the way, is pretty frightening for a sensitive soul!)

And I’m expressing gratitude, in the moment. Like looking out at the water and saying, ‘thank you that I get to look at this beautiful view’. Or ‘thank you that this time I had the patience to actually bake the cake, instead of eating all the batter  and feeling really really sick as a result.’ Whatever works, right? 😉

Who knows if any of it is working. But so far, I’m still.

Are you a nomad? How do you sit still long enough to put down roots? I’d love your help!

At dusk, I dream

13 Jan
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The view from my balcony. Dusk melts over Manly harbour.

Dusk is the most delicious time of day. A hush falls over the harbour beyond my balcony. The harsh summer sun melts into a scrumptious pastel pie.

Birds sing songs, swooping through the bush.

The soft spray of a garden hose.

Car doors slam, as surfboards are hauled from roof racks. Sand is sprayed off battered boards and onto cooling concrete.

It’s a time for clarity.

Solitude.

Elsewhere, friends prepare for a long, boozy night in the city.

I close my eyes. Appreciate the stillness. Accept my choice. Drink in the dusk.

On being your authentic self

13 Jan

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A new friend and I were chatting the other day about the global community’s quest for authenticity. Weirdly enough, the next night another friend called and said she was doing a self-development course which asked her to pinpoint times she had been unauthentic with herself and others.

The world is seeking authenticity. And truth.

Have you noticed it?

We want to know who makes our clothes, what’s in our food, the person behind a business…and in response to that push, films, fashion, food, literature, enterprises and so many other things are becoming more truthful. More wholesome. More transparent.

It’s a wonderful shift.

And it made me realise that I want to be more authentic. I hide behind a protective shell and it serves no one. I’m scared to trust, and so I retreat. I’m anxious to fit in, so I do things that jar with my soul.

In short, I’m faking it.

Being authentic is risky. You’ll polarise people – that’s a given. You might be lonely in your aloneness. You could lose friends.

But what’s the alternative? Being bland. Being boring and bored. Struggling. Getting lost in mediocrity. Leading a life that isn’t yours. Losing out on developing deep, lasting relationships…

And I truly believe that when we are our authentic selves, we inch closer to our life purpose. We embrace our quirks, become aware of what our body and soul need, and attract people whose authenticity gels with ours.

Authenticity is also about trust. When we’re genuine about our motives, attitudes and needs – and have the balls to put them out there –  we encourage others to be, too. This builds trust, up and around us. People trust us, they open up more, we trust them and open up more. It becomes an awesomely vibrant circle of sharing and trusting and being truthful.

Thoreau said it best: “Rather than love, than money, than faith, than fame, than fairness…give me truth.”

I’m working on it…

Will you join me in embracing your authentic self? Please do share your thoughts.

If it is to be, it’s up to me

6 Aug

Last week I was having a long overdue coffee catch-up with a friend. As we sipped our lattes in the  winter chill, she revealed that she’d broken up with her boyfriend after realising she had some things to work on. She’d also bagged a working visa, so she can stay on in Sydney, and moved into her very own studio apartment.

Now if that’s not an advertisement for taking charge of your life, I don’t know what is! My friend refused to sit around and expect the good things to come to her. She realised (and she told me this) that she has to create her own reality, and that if you feel like you’re waiting for something to happen, that’s your gut telling you to make a change. But you have to make that change yourself.

As I mulled over her news and congratulated her on creating a fun new phase in her life, a smiling face appeared beside me. It was a woman, bent down, waving and grinning at me. It took a few moment to place the face, but I realised it was my old hairdresser who had left the salon I went to 14 months ago. As the hairdressers code goes, if a stylist leaves, they can’t take their clients with them (or tell anyone where they’ve gone). So for the past year-and-a-bit, I’ve been struggling with a big mop of badly-coloured, frizzy hair, wishing I knew where my stylist had gone.

As it turned out, she’d opened her own salon a few doors down from the cafe. In the suburb that The Lad (my partner) calls home. When I stay at his place, I pass her new salon without even realising it. I had my hairdresser back!

After I bid goodbye to my friend, I dashed down to the salon to check it out. My stylist greeted me with a big bear hug and showed me around the space she’d recently taken over. Lured by the image of having smooth white-blonde tresses once again, I asked for a few little highlights (just a few, I swear) and we got chatting.

She told me about how she’d bought the salon on a whim. A series of events (similar to my experience that day) had led her to notice the salon was for sale and hand over a sizable deposit.

While she works to build her business and win new clients, she’s downsized from a pricey pad in a trendy part of town, to a granny flat that barely fits her furniture. It’s a sacrifice, an investment in her future. She’s putting in the hard yards because she has a dream to own a successful salon. One day, she said, she’ll have a nice big home.

And I truly believe that she will. Because she has that fighting spirit.

In one morning, I caught up with two inspirational women who have decided that their fate is theirs to guide. They’re taking charge. They’re holding the reins. They’re setting their future, and grinning widely in the process.

“If it is to be, it’s up to me.” Never has this mantra inspired me more!

P.S. If  you crave gorgeous hair at a reasonable price, using organic non-chemical products, skip down to see Erica at Chic Hair in Lane Cove (name to change). Phone (02) 9427 5088.

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