Featured

Welcome to mindful.mel

Hello everyone and welcome to mindful.mel.

What is mindful.mel about?

I created an Instagram account that I named mindful.mel. It was just an idea, that I was going to use it to write down my thoughts and feelings around different things that mattered to me. It contains quotes and my ramblings on life, happiness, love, and my ways of being more mindful in this constantly busy world. So I decided to take it one step further and turn it into a blog.

I look forward to seeing where this new journey is going to take me!

I hope you enjoy reading!

 

Once upon a time…

Once upon a time you were born. You were born into a world where you eventually went to school, once you did this you would go on to study or start working and embark on your dream career. You would meet the man or woman of your dreams, buy a house, get married, have kids and live happily ever after. Put your hand up if you have done all that? If the answer is no, how do you feel about that?

We are brought into a world where we know that we have to work hard to achieve certain things, such as good grades at school, and work hard to get the job we want, or that promotion. However, there are other things that we think would just happen to us. You would just meet the person that you are supposed to spend the rest of your life with. You would just fall pregnant easily, and you would carry on doing all the family things that society tells you that you should do. What if those things haven’t happened yet? Are you deemed a failure? And who decides that you are? Unwritten rules that have been made up because “that’s just what people do.”
No-one prepares you for if you don’t meet your person. No-one prepares you for the fact that you might have a low fertility rate, or be infertile. No-one prepares you that the career that you thought was your dream career, wasn’t going to be what it all cracked up to be. Very rarely does anyone tell you that its ok if haven’t achieved the things out there above. There is no expiry date on these things except for the imaginary one that we place on ourselves.

For every time you wish you had met your future husband or wife, there is someone else wishing they could get out of their current relationship. For every time you yearn for a child, there is someone else wishing that maybe they had waited a bit longer to have their child. For every time you dread getting your butt out of bed and head into work, there is someone out there wishing they had your job. It is all a matter of perception. I know firsthand that taking into consideration other peoples circumstances is not always easy, especially when they have the things that you want so badly, yet have no control over.

I have also wondered when do you get to that point when you just accept it for what it is? When do you accept and resign to the fact that you might be single forever and you are truly ok with that? When do you accept the fact that you may never be a mother or a father? When do you accept the fact that you might feel like you are constantly chasing your tail trying to find your “calling” in life? Before anyone interjects with the whole “oh, but it will happen to you” and “it will happen when you least expect it” or “you’re a good person, good things happen to good people” let me tell you that these things are not helpful, because no-one knows that these things are going to happened. It is not guaranteed, just like the invisible rule book outlined above, there is no rule book stating that all of these things will happen to every single person that graces the earth with their presence.

Acceptance isn’t always easy. Allowing to move into the flow with how your life is going is not always easy either – especially if you like to have control over ever miniscule aspect. Coming to terms and realising the things that you can control and change is important. The aspects of life that you have no control over, or don’t have the ability to change is what you need to let go of.

Control and change what you can, let go of everything else.

The Past, The Present and The Future

“Be here now is all about being present and not fearing what you don’t know” Andy Whitfield.

If you were to answer the question “who are you?” How would you answer that question? Often your response would make up your name, your age, that you are a partner, a mother, father, daughter, son, the suburb you live in, your career. That there, is what you would say makes up who you are as a person. However, if you stripped all of these aspects of your life away, how would you answer the question “who are you?” What characteristics make up the person that you are? Of course some of these traits would certainly be shaped by the fact that we might be a partner, a daughter, a baker etc. Interchangeably our experiences can also alter our characteristics. I guess it could come down to the nature vs. nurture debate. While I do think we are born with certain traits, other traits and behaviours are learnt. As we get older we have our own experiences that alter our perceptions of different situations, which challenge our belief system and in turn influence who we are as a person.

You are not defined by your past. Yes, those moments happened – happy, sad, heartbreaking, life-altering experiences happened, however those moments are gone. There is no point holding onto those moments, for they no longer make up your present. Just as the future…We can get so caught up in the planning and the goal setting. Constantly striving to achieve something. While having goals is wonderful, having direction is important – the future hasn’t happened yet. It will happen, and just like everything in our past, it will be gone. You are not defined by your past, nor are you tied and restricted to what you anticipate will happen within the future.

Live in the present. Be present. Enjoy these moments for what they are. When you are present and in the moment it allows you to open up to new experiences, and you may just be surprised where you end up. The universe works in mysterious ways.

“In today’s rush, we all think too much – seek too much – want too much – and forget about the joy of just being” Eckhart Tolle

To live with, or live without? That is the question!

At the moment we are facing uncertain times. Everyone is dealing with it in their own way, and that is because we aren’t all affected in the same way. Some people have lost their jobs, some people haven’t. Some people are at higher risk of contracting this virus; others have as much chance as anyone else. Most of us are waking up each day wondering what we are going to do with the day, and all of the days are strangely blurring into one.
While everyone is processing this situation in their own way, I guess I’ve taken on a ‘glass half full’ approach…every grey cloud has a silver lining etc etc. I posted a quote on my Facebook page the other day “In the rush to return to normal, use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to” Dave Hollis. This makes you really consider what is important to you. What was making you happy. What has been taken away that you can’t live without? I would be more than happy to go back to both of my jobs (this is a good sign), but I suppose there would be many people feeling somewhat grateful that this has been the push into another direction that they needed. On the flip side, there are our medical workers who may find themselves saying “this is why I do what I do” and others that could be thinking “once this is over, I’m out” and pursue a different career path. It is all individual really.
This situation is demonstrating to all of us what we can live with and what we can live without. How materialistic are we? What did we once think was essential, that really no longer is.
So here are the things that I have learnt that I can’t live without:
1. Affection –I’m a big ol’ hugger! So not being able to hug someone, especially those that I love, is very difficult.
2. Routine – I am a creature of habit. I have my days organised. This has kind of gone out of the window.
3. Having options – Do I want to go out? Do I want to stay in? Do I want to browse the shops? Do I want to go to the park or the beach? Do I want to visit family or friends? Do I want to stay in? (At the moment, the answer is stay in…it’s always stay in lol).
In many ways we are seeing humans re-connect which is beautiful to see (and I’m not talking about the scenes we are seeing in supermarkets) but people are really talking and listening to one another. We are going back to basics. My main concern, is that once this is all over, that life returns to the way it was…everyone busy, everyone rushing, that what we ‘have to do’ is more important than connecting with each other. I have hope that we are all learning valuable lessons here, ones that we can take with us moving forward.

Corona Shamona

Well! Hasn’t 2020 gone off to a flying start?!

Remember the end of 2019? Everyone was super duper excited about the prospects that 2020 would bring! What a brilliant number 2 0 2 0. Oh the possibilities!

Then 2020 arrived and stuck its middle finger up at us all – big time. I’m pretty sure I speak for the majority of us when I say that 2020 can nicky whoop. I’m ready for 2021!!!

Now, being in self isolation for me is like a double edged sword. I go from 2 extremes where I reveal in just plotting around. Nothing particular to do, just going with the flow and enjoying the down time to recoup. To the total opposite where I get so consumed with my own thoughts and convince myself that my life has been a failure, that I haven’t made a significant amount of difference in the world, that I am boring and I am going to be single…forever. Ridiculous? Maybe.

With Coronavirus greeting us with open arms, I can’t help but wonder why? Why has this all occurred, because in my eyes every situation is a lesson, be it good or bad. Obviously this virus has been detrimental to so many people in regards to falling ill and losing their lives. Absolute devastation. Besides ensuring that everyone up’s the anti on personal and basic hygiene, it has also forced us to slow down. To breathe. Many blogs ago I wrote about how we have started wearing our busyness as a badge of honour. That our personal value is based on how busy we are. We are being forced to think of new and innovative ways to ensure that we can still work and be productive, yet not in the same way as before. It is bringing us back to what is important – being with those that we care about most, and trying to keep work during work hours. Re-connect with our loved ones. To sit and listen, to have fun with one another again.

We are starting to really think about our values and our morals – what is important to us. I am a very affectionate person. So to not be able to hug my family or friends, or just reassuringly touch someone’s arm, is a difficult task for me.

I know that this won’t last forever and I keep telling myself “this too shall pass.” However in a world of instant gratification where we are use to everything happening straight away, riding out this wave for potentially the next 6 months is going to give us all a lesson on patience!

Here are some suggestions for those who are self isolating:
• Read a book
• Watch Netflix
• Clean the house
• Play with your pet
• Get out in the garden
• Lay on the grass and watch the clouds
• Play board games
• Call a family member or friend that you haven’t spoken to in a while
• Do the things that you find yourself telling yourself you would do if you didn’t have to go to work
• Journal
• Download a game on your phone
• Play with your children
• Enrol in an online course – lots of free courses happening at the moment
• Make a list of all the things you want to do once the self-isolation recommendations are over
• Do an at home workout – yoga, Pilates, create a circuit for yourself
• Catch up on sleep
• Meditate
• Get creative – bake, draw, colour, paint

The possibilities are endless!

Remember we are not alone and that we are all in this together!

Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows!

Mel

2019! The Year That Has Been!

Well 2019, I’m not sure where you have gone, but you have been great! When I reflect on the year that has been, I know exactly where it went! Full of fun, new experiences and growth. There was never a dull moment in 2019, that’s for sure.

When I think about the last year, I would say it is one year where I stepped out of my comfort zone more than ever before, and this stems across a lot of aspects of my life – health, career and relationships. I attended social events that I normally would have declined, because of the unknown, I pushed my body in relation to what it is capable of doing, and that my friend I was shown that the power of the mind can really outweigh the abilities of the body.

So let’s take a trip down memory lane…

Health

This year my health was an interesting one. I continued training at my beloved Hustle and Thrive, and after the June challenge I would say I was the fittest and healthiest I have ever been. Back in May I challenged my body and my mind, with 7 other kick ass women, walking 60km at Coastrek to raise funds for the Fred Hollows Foundation. The training was gruelling, and I can tell you, during some of those training sessions I was ready to give up. My mind can be a bit of a b**ch sometimes. She was telling me “you can’t do this. You are already tired and sore. You are going to let the whole team down” (she’s a nasty piece of work, isn’t she?!). However, on the day, I got my butt out of bed, and I just did it. There wasn’t a moment on that day, not even when it was pitch black, and pouring with rain did I consider giving up. I just kept on going. I did it, we all did it!
I ran my first 10km run at Run Melbourne. What a high that was! Again, my nasty mind would pop up (I need to find a name for this self-talking negative Nelly, but not Nelly, that doesn’t ‘feel’ right). She would tell me how I couldn’t breathe. How my legs couldn’t go on. How I was slow. How I’m not a runner. How back in primary school I was always the slowest. Always one of the last people to be picked on a team. How I wasn’t allowed to try out for the Cross-Country Athletics because of my heart (more about my dicky heart in a moment). Despite all that, I did do it. I had my run coaches voice in the back of my head “feet in, tram tracks, shoulders back, breathe, remember to breathe. The last 3kms I want you to give it everything you’ve got – nothing left in the tank!” That is what I did, and I got there, out of breath but on a complete high! After Run Melbourne, I started considering my options for Melbourne Marathon and deliberated over attempting my first half marathon. I decided to calm my farm and stick to 10km to get comfortable and attempt to beat my Run Melbourne time.

Unfortunately for me, my heart had other plans. Our bodies respond in funny ways when we are stressed. Sometimes we don’t even realise how much pressure we are putting ourselves under until our bodies start acting in strange ways “Alert! Alert! Slow down!” So I was unable to participate in Melbourne Marathon, and had to give up training for a short period of time. I was gutted. I was gutted because I worked my butt off for that event. I was gutted because I was on a roll with training. I was gutted because it brought back those memories of when I was told that I couldn’t do certain things. At the end of the day, I am grateful for the investigations that were had. I listened to what the doctor’s said, because it was serious, and guys, I still have a lot of plans in this life, so I’m not prepared to leave just yet. Yes, I have an irregular heartbeat, but after some investigations it was decided that there should be no reason as to why I can’t go back to running, and training. Getting back into it was tough. My mind ruled the roost. I was scared of being out of breath, of discovering the decline in my fitness level and of my body hurting. I had to count on some accountability buddies to get me to classes, and I have since made a gradual come back.

Health and fitness in 2020: I have started considering my options in regards to events, and I am going to give the 10km at Run Melbourne another crack!

Be mindful about having a work/life balance.

Career

I finished studying! (For now! *insert eye roll*) It’s hard to believe that in this decade I graduated to become a Kindergarten Teacher, studied my Masters in Special Needs Education, and now I’ve thrown caution to the wind and have completed my Diploma in Remedial Massage and started my business – who would have thought?! Not me! But you know what? I would rather be challenging myself, discovering new things and pursuing what is going to make me happy, rather than feeling like I am stuck doing something that I was no longer fulfilling. Now I can’t tell you how many times I heard “but you are so good at what you do!” as though that was it for me. Yes, I have strong maternal instincts. I still love teaching children and caring for them. They still bring me joy, but the job itself was no longer bringing me joy. The paper work, it had become relentless, and I actually wasn’t seeing the point or the value in it. Paper work for paper works sake. When you are told continuously that you are ‘good’ at something, yes it is nice, but I started thinking, surely, surely there is something else out there that I can be good at. That I can reserve my maternal instincts to my nieces, to my friends children, and eventually when…and if I ever get the chance, my own children. Sure enough, I found something. Something that I am passionate about. Something that is going to help others.

Career in 2020: Exciting times ahead! Who knows where my new found career is going to take me. It has already brought me so many exciting and new opportunities that I am going to continue to apply myself and roll with the punches!

Relationships

Relationships take all forms – family, friends, acquaintances and romantic relationships. I have had a wonderful year with my family and friends, we have created so many beautiful memories that I will cherish forever.

I have to say I have a bit of a laugh when I think about my love life during 2019. What an experience. This is an area I jumped wayyyyyy out of my comfort zone. Online dating, blind dates. I’ve been on more ‘dates’ this year than in my whole life, and what an eye opener that has been. With each person I have met I have become better at working out what I want and what I don’t want. I’ve broken my own rules, and I discovered that it’s ok to break your own rules, because it allows you to live…and will also remind you as to why you had those rules in the first place. I channelled my inner Ted Mosby, on the pursuit of finding ‘the one,’ and have declared on more than one occasion that maybe relationships aren’t for me, maybe I am suppose to be the ‘single Aunty.’ Then I tell myself to get over myself, and that is not the case at all. Who knows really.

I never thought I would be the type of woman that had to consider that her “biological clock is ticking” because it is a true reality, which I think has made me put more pressure on myself. However, I am increasingly aware of the fact that I am not willing to settle. I’m not willing to settle for less than I deserve, to be in an unhappy relationship, to wake up one day and feel like I just settled. Life is too short to be in an unhappy relationship, and at the end of the day, if my cards have been dealt and I am suppose to be that ‘single Aunty’ at least science has my back and I can have children on my own. The unknown is a scary thing, but you have to have your own back. You have to keep the faith because deep down I still refuse to believe or accept that these are the cards that I have been dealt with, and if they are, well, at least I’ve got a plan B!

Relationships in 2020: To be more present and focused when around loved ones.

So, my dear readers. That is 2019, summed up in a nutshell.

Thank-you for coming along with me on my blogging journey!

Have a safe and happy new year!

See you in 2020!

The Magic of Christmas!

When I was a child everything was magical. I believed that there were fairies that lived in the garden. I would try and find them. I believed that garden gnomes came alive and were friends with the fairies. I loved books by Shirley Barber (no relative of mine) that were about fairies, and they were so beautifully illustrated, that’s how fairies looked in my mind.
I believed I was Trini, the yellow Power Ranger. I had the ‘heart’ ring from Captain Planet. I believed my toys came alive at night, or when I wasn’t around – just like in Toy Story and Johnson and Friends. I had a great imagination.
Christmas. There was nothing quiet more magical than Christmas. The lead up to Christmas was always so exciting! Visiting Santa to ask him for a specific toy and have our photo taken, writing a wish list to send to the North Pole and having a chocolate each day from my advent calendar.
Oh the excitement on Christmas Eve where my sister and my cousins would be convinced that we saw Santa and his reindeer in the night sky, or that we heard his bells, or that we heard them land on our roof!
Christmas Day was filled with excitement. The ridiculous amounts of presents that were under the tree. The excitement was contagious! Surrounded by family and food. The whole day was special.
And that’s how I always want Christmas to be. When you stop believing in Santa. When you get older, and the reality of ‘life’ takes its toll. People who were once with us to celebrate such occasions are no longer with us, and in these occasions we miss them even more. You appreciate your nearest and dearest, and the moments that you get to spend together. I made the decision that I always want Christmas to feel magical. That the moment when you wake up in the morning, that it is a special day and that it will be until you go to bed that evening. That everyone that you surround yourself with feels the magic, the excitement and that they feel loved and appreciated too. Of course, making your loved ones feel this way should be a priority no matter what time of the year, but I think re-creating the magic is important too.

Belonging

She belongs everywhere
Yet nowhere at the same time
She gets excited by the city skyline
But can’t stand the hustle and bustle
The country air calls her
To hear the gravel crunching beneath her feet
The feeling of peace
As nature wraps itself around her
Only to be beckoned by the sea
As the waves lap gently up to shore
Then slowly leave again to the vast unknown
Where you a reminded that you are only small
In a world so big
Where possibilities are endless
And in these possibilities is held, the great unknown
She wants to be everywhere
Yet yearns to be certain of where she wants to be