The importance of feeding your soul

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This week has been slow for me – business wise. Some of my projects are on pause, some are nearly ready to start and the rest are completed. This is the first time in 8 weeks that I’ve had spare time so I need to use it wisely dammit!

Yesterday I booked some flights around the USA (my brother is getting married in Vegas) and decided to re-design my biz website The Lover Lab
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(Don’t ask! I hated how quickly I designed the last website so I redesigned it last night). 

With some spare time up my sleeve today (seriously, WTF does that saying even mean!), I decided to get out of the house and work from my favourite cafe for a few hours. Skim cappuccino, my headphones and a laptop. Three of my favourite things. Am I sounding like a wanker yet?

Today is going to be all about nourishing and feeding my soul.

This one small change in my day-to-day routine will reap huge benefits for me. Yep, a trip out of the house and heading to a cafe is life altering stuff. Ha! My mind will benefit from the change of scenery, my body gets to move and breathe in fresh air and my spirit will be motivated. 

Morning routines are so important. You’ve heard it countless times I’m sure. It improves your mood, your productivity, the way you react to situations and basically sets the tone for your entire day. I’m a Taurus and thrive on routine but I’m shaking things up today. 

Why? To feel good. To expand and grow. To transform my life.

Sure that sounds like something a life coach might say, but the truth is our own well-being lies in our hands. It’s our responsibility to shake things up and be a bad-ass ninja every now and then and try a new routine.

The cafe chick is looking at me weird. Maybe singing in cafe to a Ben Howard track is a no-no? 

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My Daily Struggle with Infertility

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This is a post for anyone struggling with infertility right now. I’ve been wanting to write a post about my own daily struggles with infertility for while but the idea has kinda morphed into a need to validate those around me who are struggling instead.

I needed to let my own struggles with infertility bubble away inside until I was ready to let my fingers do the typing. 

Cue spewing of words onto a page. Ta-da! 

There are a couple of reasons why I’m deciding to write this post today at 7.32am. Beautiful baby Gammy in Thailand. The passing of Robin Williams. The Australian couples stuck in Thailand who can’t bring home their newborn babies. The message from a dear friend about her unique journey to motherhood. 

All of these stories have touched me and I recognise and acknowledge their struggles. Mia Freedman published a post on Mamamia a few days ago about struggling with infertility and feeling like a failure. Reading about her struggles left me in a puddle of tears because I recognised her pain. Her words validated my own feelings and my own struggles and it felt good to have someone understand what it feels like to struggle with infertility. 

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Mr Lover and I started trying for a baby back in March 2008. It’s now August 2014. You do the math! We’ve tried everything, and I genuinely mean E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G to conceive a baby; romantic walks on the beach, cold showers, steamy showers, putrid Chinese medicine, herbals remedies, acupuncture, countless IVF treatments, ovulation kits, moxibustion burning (the neighbours hated this!), an experimental surgery, travelling (cause everyone conceives when they’re relaxed) and prayed to baby Jesus. 

We have also spent close to $60,000 trying to expand our family and I’m proud to say we’ve survived it. Our bond is stronger than ever. Mr Lover still loves me – even when I’m a psycho IVF drug witch – so I think I’ll keep him!

You may remember reading my post last year about losing our babies. It was devastating and life altering to lose another baby, nearly lose my life and be told I had to wait 12 months to conceive again. 

I thought I was ready to begin IVF earlier this year and started taken the drugs to prepare my body. But circumstances (and a shit load of nerves) will prevent us from trying again this year which saddens me. Life keeps moving on and I feel like I’m wasting days, minutes and seconds the longer I wait. I’ll be 35 next year and my eggs aren’t getting any younger. 

Among the tidal wave of emotions I get the pleasure of experiencing on a daily basis, I also have to face the reality of lots of girlfriends announcing pregnancies and having babies. I’ll admit that 99% of the time I am overjoyed, thrilled and bursting with pride and happiness for them. But if that 1% catches me on a dark day, the earth plates shift and I explode with sadness. The ‘woe me’ cries can last for days. 

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This infertility road gets so lonely sometimes. I’ve had friends join me for a short ride, but luck strikes and they get to switch tracks to the shiny yellow brick road to parenthood. It’s a dream come true for them, but Mr Lover and I get stranded and left behind on the rugged infertility mountain road. 

My body has failed me again and again. My function as a women is to produce children and I’ve failed. Just like Mia said, I failed my babies, failed my husband, failed myself. My body has failed to produce and nurture and the guilt THAT delivers just swallows you up and takes you to some internally dark places. 

This has been my biggest challenge to date and there are so many times I’ve wanted to wave my white flag and surrender to a life of scrumptious dogs and travelling the world with Mr Lover. But my Dr keeps reminding me that IVF could work for us and a gorgeous, beautiful, generous friend has offered to carry our baby for us. So life is still delivering us options which is my current silver lining.

Never in my life have I struggled with one issue for such an extended period of time. But you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m a better woman for having gone through it. I’m almost thankful. The lessons infertility have taught me have created the woman I am today. Strong, resilient, determined, empathetic, patient, focused and compassionate. It’s also taught me how to deal with loss, disappointment & heartache. 

My struggles are out in the open for all to read. I want to be a voice for those who can’t yet talk about their struggles. I’m pretty much a walking and talking infertile boom box. So many women (26 and counting) have contacted me this year privately after reading my post about losing three cherubs and shared their stories with me. It is always an honour to receive these messages. The greatest gift in all this is my story is helping others to open up and share some of their grief and frustration. It is such an honour to offer these women in return heart bursting love, abundance of support and a life long connection that is truly treasured.

Ladies (and gents), if you’re currently struggling with infertility, grief or heartache, then I want you to know that YOU are not alone and I am here to hold you tight

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My version of a Meditation Cheat Sheet

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Go on! Get it out of the way now.

This is a safe space to roll your eyes and let out a “Is she serious?”.

Now, I’m not an expert on meditation. I am not a guru. I am not a wellness coach. However I do like meditating and I try and sit still for 10 minutes every day to focus on my breathing and intentions. Why? To become mindful, not mindless. I find meditation cuts through the day-to-day fog and delivers clarity. It forces you to be in the present moment instead of worrying about deadlines, dinner and dingbats.  Read more

A 10 minute pause in your day can work WONDERS! Have you ever tried it? 

Loads of people say they’ve tried meditation and can’t stop thinking. Or they’re too busy. Or it’s pointless. Yeah, I use to think like that too … until a year ago. I was overworked, constantly on call and feeling so stressed I wanted to stab people with paperclips. I found that taking a 5 minute break from my computer wasn’t working, nor was taking a walk during my lunch break.  

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I wanted access to calming music and stumbled across an app called CALM. It teaches you AND guides you to meditate in 7 very easy steps with a huge array of background music to choose from. You can select a 2 minute calm session or a 20 minute calm session. Or you can select from one of the many sessions available relating to anxiety, compassion, confidence, creativity, energy, forgiveness, gratitude …. the list goes on and on. I’ve meditated on my yoga mat, lying in bed (it has sleep mode), on the bus and on a park bench. It’s just finding the space and time that works best for you in that present moment. 

Here are my tips for a quick 10 minute sess! 

1. Acknowledge

Got a spare 10 minutes? Perfect. Acknowledge that now is a good time to take a pause in your day. 

2. Posture.

Find a comfortable position and a calming space. I often meditate sitting upright but some people like to lie down. Close your eyes and relax your back and shoulders as best you can.

3. Mindset

Notice the contact your body has to the chair or to the ground. Notice the weight of your body. Feel the tingles and sensations as your body relaxes with each breath in and each breath out. 

4. Body

Scan your body and mentally note any place where you have tension. Then, starting at your toes, gradually focus on relaxing your feet, calves, thighs, stomach, upper chest, hands, arms, throat, neck, mouth, eyes and head. Each breath helping to relax the muscles. 

5. Breathe

Bring awareness to you breath. It’s as simply as breathing in and breathing out. Think ‘in’ when you breathe in and expand your chest. Think ‘out’ when you exhale. Acknowledge those tiny short pauses in between taking a breath in and exhaling the breath out. (Those super soft pauses are my favourite!). 

6. Patience

If you catch your mind wandering, that is totally normal. Just acknowledge the thought and bring your focus back to your breath. Those nanoseconds of just focusing on your breathing and nothing else will extend into seconds and minutes with each session you complete. Just be patient with yourself darling. 

7. Practice

Set yourself the challenge to practice a 10 minute meditation for a week. Note any changes or benefits. You can practice anytime, anywhere. OK. Maybe you can’t practice if you’re performing brain surgery, but you get my drift. 

 

If you’ve never tried meditating and are intrigued, give the CALM app a go. It’s FREE to download and perfect for those wanting to expand and experience a little more awareness in life. 

Do you meditate? Have you tried it before? I’d love to hear your experience with it. 

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Thought of the week #47

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Thought of the week:

They say we overestimate what we can do in a day and underestimate what we can do in a year. I’d like to add that we often ignore the fact that what we can do in the present moment is enough.

~ Jess Lively 

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Our to-do lists never ends. It will continue to grow and grow and GROW for the rest of our lives and sometimes that pressure to action the smallest of tasks can feel suffocating. Pull out your to-do list right now and see if there is anything you can do in this present moment to action. Could be making an appointment, paying a bill or simply calling your mum. 

There is no time like the present so get your pen ready to place a big tick next to an item on your to-do list. 

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Schedules, squeals & pink lady bits

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Do you hear that?

Listen closely.

[Insert tumble weed vision here]

The Lover List is oh so quiet this week. Maybe you noticed. Maybe you didn’t. I’m normally really good at scheduling my posts for the week; my calendar is set, I have an app to store my ideas and my fingers are always eager to type.  Read more

However my time this week has been zapped after launching The Lover Lab design studio. Every spare minute I have is spent tinkering away behind the site, tweaking nuts and bolts and adding more content. Not to mention the design emails that keep dropping into my inbox. Each time I hear that inbox delivery ping, I squeal like a pig in mud.

Oh, the design projects! I’m immersed in colours, coding and connection. It’s goosebump goodness people. THIS IS ELECTRIC!  I’m a business owner and really proud of what I have created and the new clients I’m working with. 

I’m definitely not going to shy away from saying that out loud.

The only ‘downer’ (and I say that word ever so lightly) is my routine is all over the damn place. I thrive on routine and structure. Doesn’t everyone? I haven’t set my alarm clock in 6 weeks. I haven’t committed to daily yoga and meditation like I’d hoped. I’m drinking less, eating less and sleeping badly. My laptop has become an extension of me as I cram as much work in as possible. I’m forming an unhealthy habit and my spirit is telling me to snap out of it. 

So starting next week, I’ll be setting a new routine for myself. Early morning walks no matter how fucking cold it is outside, rolling the yoga mat out, zen-ing myself silly with meditation and making sure I guzzle 2 litres of water. Every. Damn. Day.

Have you ever had to change your daily routine? Did it take you long to settle into it? I’m guessing newborns can certainly change one’s routine, lifestyle habits and pink lady bits, right? 

The Lover List is, and always will be my baby. The weekend ahead is fairly low key for me so hopefully the sun is shining and I can punch out some great material to entertain you guys and girls next week. 

PS – How creepy is my smile in that pic? 

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