Move over 2013, there’s a new kid on the block!

I am forever grateful for the adventures and lessons of 2013. It was a year that at times felt like a decade, yet other weeks flew by in days. It was twelve months in which I worked harder, yet smarter and learned more than I could imagine possible.

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I am so lucky to have travelled widely this past year – to new places and to revisit old favourites, close family and friends.

I am glad I found music again – choir, guitar, ukelele.

I have learnt (and continue to learn) the value of good health through ills and dis-ease; and feel better, stronger, more “real” for the lesson. I’m embracing all my imperfections, and just trying to value the little things that go a very very long way to securing my happy equilibrium.

I cooked and ate and drank merrily through 2013.

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I am blessed to have met new inspiring folk. I have found more inspiration in places I didn’t think to look. I have read well – devouring novels, memoirs, non-fiction, journals and food magazines alike. I have de-cluttered, recycled and downsized my worldly possessions from 3 separate interstate locations to one (well, almost).

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But the biggest lesson has been finding my own space and time.
Space to just exist and have fun and cook, laugh, sing, sit, drink coffee and write.
Space also to reflect and truly learn from the hard things that are thrown my way – not just to shove them deeper and deeper down and just go on “coping”.

Space in nature to nurture (and be nurtured). I am busy each day cultivating a little parcel of space that allows me to grow, create, and push the boundaries.

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I found time to celebrate birthdays and milestones and new beginnings. Time to feel sadness and disappointments. Time and space to live in the hustle and bustle of a city paced life; to watch and feel the throng of busy-ness around me. Other times to relax in good company. Or time to be alone.

2013 was the first year in my life that I thought about myself (my bliss, happiness, hopes and dreams) more than others. Not in a selfish “the-world-revolves-around-me way, but more accurately I committed to looking after my self before I gave over to anyone else. There is reward beyond what I could imagine when you bravely place the highest value on your own self and what brings you happiness. So, I have finally made peace with myself and 2013 has taught me there is no shame in walking away from something that isn’t the right fit.

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One week into 2014 and the priorities are shifting further…the dreams and visions are becoming clearer, my inner voice is calling me to let go and live a more AUTHENTIC existence. 2014 will be about further refining my world, not being afraid to leave behind stale beliefs and old worn-out dreams. It will be about bucking my life-long habit of avoiding commitment and seizing each new day. There will be more travel, more reading, more time for singing and talking and of course eating and drinking well.

It will be more adventures to discover a stronger and leaner body. But a softer, gentler mind. And an open, grateful heart.

Welcome 2014.

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September:

 

 

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\\Last goodbyes

//New backyards

 

 

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\\Final stitches, sending parcels

//New projects

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\\Coffee dates

//Birthday love

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\\Blue skies, pretty clouds

//Heavy Melbourne rain drops on new blossom

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//Pedicures

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//Morning walks

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//Farm feasts with friends

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Of course there’s things I don’t photograph…like un-packing boxes, doing washing, painful physio sessions and lazy Sunday sleep-ins.

Thank you September, for bringing with you the sunshine and flowers and new beginnings of spring.

Until next year.

Standing stuck

Lately I’ve been feeling it. Hard.

This morning I walked into my room no fewer than 3 times, only to stop inside the door…what was it indeed I had come for? Where would I find it? I couldn’t quite put my finger on it…unsettling as it was, there is a lesson to be learnt.
What did I need to do to quieten that gnawing feeling inside my stomach that threatened to spill out?

Last night I stood in the centre of the room, taking all the chaos in – and not a moment before time. Given how much my world has shifted in the last month it was bound to catch up with me eventually.
I had thought that when the last box was unpacked I would settle. That when I walked around my new neighbourhood I would grow more comfortable. Or as I spent quality time with family and friends in Melbourne I would be filling my life with the balance and contentment I have always strived for. I figured now a few weeks in my new job, I’d start to see why I chose to leave the last adventure behind and return to physio for the next chapter.

But there it was again. The shadow had reared itself up and cast across me. The doubts crept in at night when I lay my head on the pillow, exhausted by having more time free than I was used to.

There was a heavy empty space that lingered, where one thing had ended and another just begun.
The “shoulds” and “coulds” had returned to my vocabulary.
My creative outlets – writing, singing, creating – all dried up.

The more I fought to fill my time with people and places, the more I felt alone and stuck in a fast-moving world.

Paralysed, struck with fear that glued my feet firmly to the floor, unable to fathom the next step forward.  The to-do lists in my head grew…I was  stuck wanting to and wanting not to all at the same time, with such fierce conviction that sometimes it took all my energy just to breathe.

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I thought making the choice would be the hardest part.

I figured saying goodbye to what I had out-grown was tough enough, but I was wrong.

It’s finding the next thing, searching for the next hand hold or stepping stone.
Looking out into the unknown with a plethora of opportunities in front of me has freaked the hell out of me.
Ironically, it is a circumstance of abundance that has sent me into a tail spin. I’ve always been challenged in life to act rather than just dream – I’m well practiced at procrastinating the days away, worrying myself into inaction as I “think through” the potentials. But this time – the anxiety, the fear, the worry of right versus wrong – have taken over and rendered me a chaotic mess.

Today when it all came to a head, I was floored by the overwhelming desire to curl up under the bed and wish the world away. Hoping that if I screwed my eyes closed tightly enough the chaos would be gone.  But instead I put on my shoes, headed out the front door and down the hill. I walked and thought and walked and thought some more.
My eyes let tears spill over – from emotion or the gale force winds blowing in my face, it didn’t matter.
Slowly the knot loosened in my stomach, my breathing deepened and the shadow lost its grip.

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And then I remembered some wisdom from last year:

it is not making the “right” decision that matters, but making one and giving it your 100% effort

We are strange creatures, us humans.
Lessons come from the most unexpected circumstances.

OK, so it’s been a little quite here on the blog front lately….let me just say that its got nothing to do with life being at all quiet or mundane. In fact the opposite is true – living out dreams and aspirations and working through plenty of hard stuff too. But that’s all for another day….this post has been brewing for a couple of months now!

Even though we are eight thirteen fourteen weeks into 2013 I feel like I have only just re-surfaced after a busy 2012. Life changing stuff. Scary change-your-world-fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants-and-dream-big kinda stuff.

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