Gratitude – looking back on the year that was 2017!

As 2017 is coming to a close I have been reflecting on the year that has been 2017. I do this every year and have done so since I was a teenager. I pull apart all aspects of my life – health, career, relationships, life in general. I consider what went well, what didn’t go so well, what am I proud of and what would I like to achieve in the following year.

For me, 2017 has been the most challenging year of my 31 years of existence, especially on an emotional level. I could look back and say that I hated this year, but to be perfectly honest with you, while I have been pushed to my limits, I have bounced back with a vengeance, and have grown so much – emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually.

This year I focused on self-care, and I suppose, learning to love the person that I am. That it is perfectly OK to take time to process, to feel and to release. I learnt how to channel my negative emotions in a positive way – I joined the HIIT Factory. This was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I stepped out of my comfort zone. I have done challenges and exercises that I never thought I would be able to do. I focused and completed a 6 week challenge, as well as completed the 30 sessions in 30 days challenge this month. Exercise is not just about your physical health, it is your overall well being. It shows how much your mind has control over you, and the need to push yourself to challenge the self talk. Not only have I become stronger and fitter, I have met such a great bunch of people, which brings me to my next point.

My relationships with my family and friends have strengthened. I have met so many new people this year through starting a new job, joining the HIIT Factory and attending meditation classes. Meeting so many people who all come with their own stories, who are there for one another, to build each other up and support each other has been amazing. I don’t remember ever meeting so many new people in my life! I also think having a common interest has also assisted in meeting these great people.

I am grateful for the roof over my head, and my new roof that I will move into at the start of next year. I am grateful for Teddy and Gattin – there is never a dull moment when they are around!

I am grateful for my body. It carries me around every day. It is healthy. I am also grateful for all of the tools that I have been given to look after my body properly.

Overall I am grateful for this life that I have been given. Yes it is tough. Yes we all have to go through stuff. However it is this stuff that we go through that makes us stronger and appreciate life even more. It helps us appreciate the small things. I love nature. I love the bush, I love rain forests, I love the beach. I love the sound of birds. I love the smell of flowers. I love rainbows. I love the smell of the rain. I love the warmth of the sun, and I love having to rug up on a cold day. There is so much to appreciate!

So, what next? What will 2018 bring?

Happiness, health, positive relationships, new beginnings, change! Bring it on!

I think and I feel that 2018 is going to be amazing!

Wishing everyone a safe and Happy New Year!

May your 2018 be filled with Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows!

Mel xo

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

So I am a wee bit delayed on the blogging front, and I am aware that Christmas was 2 days ago – and wasn’t it wonderful?! Christmas has always been my favourite time of year. For those of you who don’t know, I am a December baby…but most often than not I forget that my birthday is approaching because I am thinking about CHRISTMAS! The carols, the trees, the decorations, the food, the people, the joy, the laughter. There is just this magic that is around Christmas time.

I also find that Christmas evokes a feeling of nostalgia. Where you reminisce of a time where you were so excited in the lead up to Christmas. The thought that you had made it onto Santa’s Nice List. On Christmas Eve carefully placing out a glass of milk, a cookie and a carrot for the reindeer. So excited that falling asleep seemed impossible, and that you actually believed that you heard the jingle of Santa’s bells and the sleigh landing on the roof. Then on the day of Christmas, waking up super duper early to open the gifts that had been left in the stocking and underneath the tree. Spending the day playing, being with family and eating. There is nothing quite like the excitement a child feels at Christmas time.

How about as an adult? I still love Christmas. I still get excited about it. However the excitement is for different reasons. I get excited to see the excitement of my nieces. I remember exactly how that feels, and in turn their excitement is infectious, and you can’t help but to be excited too! Then there is just spending time with the family. That is the most beautiful part. Being in each other’s company. No where else to be, no where else to rush off to. To just be together and appreciate one another.

In my next blog I will be focusing on gratitude and the year that has been 2017. Ever since I was a teenager I have always spent the final days of the year reflecting on the year that has been, and what I hope to manifest in the following year.

Stay tuned.

Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows (and Christmas lights)

xoxo

Yas!!!

So a few moons ago I wrote about my year of yes…that I was going to do things that scare me. Things that get me out of my comfort zone, and last night I really felt that I lived up to my personal promise.

In April I joined the HIIT Factory. I don’t like calling it a gym, because it’s not. It is High Intensity Interval Training. There is a wide range of classes that cater for cardio, strength and core workouts. Now joining the HIIT Factory was definitely out of my comfort zone. I don’t really have a problem going to places or starting something new with people I don’t know. It was more because mentally I thought I could not do those exercises. That my heart was going to pound out of chest and I would die on the spot….Fast forward 7 months and low and behold I am still alive my friends! Not only alive, but healthier, fitter and stronger than I have even been. Not only that, my mentality has changed. I can push myself harder, and I can do things that I didn’t think were possible. I also make healthier eating choices (I am not banning food, I have a balanced diet and will admit to dipping a teaspoon into a jar of nutella the other night – balance my friends ūüėČ

What does last night have to do with joining the HIIT Factory in April, I hear you ask? Well last night they held a Christmas Party and all members were invited. While I have met lots of lovely people while being part of this community, everyone to me were acquaintances. I argued in my own head about all of the reasons that I shouldn’t go – you should stay home, rest, you don’t know anyone, you won’t have anything to say, what if you make a fool of your self…but what did I do? I went! Not only did I go…I had the best time! I got to talk to people, I had things to say, and I certainly did not make a fool of myself.

Everyone was dressed up, everyone was chatting away, introducing each other to other members of the HIIT Factory. There were food and beverages, a DJ and lots of dancing! Boy did I dance, I danced so much that my knees hurt! I found myself looking around thinking how fortunate I am to have found these amazing people, who are all so different, who joined the HIIT Factory for so many different reasons, but because of that place we all had something in common.

The moral of this story is that you never know what could happen if you step out of your comfort zone! As the saying goes “I don’t regret the things I’ve done, I regret the things I didn’t do when I had the chance.”

 

Utopia

Utopia was a term that was introduced to me back in high school. I can’t remember now what it was that we were studying, but the idea of utopia was suggested, in which a place or situation is perfect.

Lately I have been wondering what my utopia would be? I’m sure if you asked a number of people everyone’s idea on the ideal world would be considerably different. Now please don’t get me wrong, I am not as naive as I use to be, and I am well aware that this world is far from perfect. However, there is nothing wrong with a little imagination or daydreaming of perfection!

What does my utopia look like?

The earth is clean – fresh air, free from pollution, the purest of water, fresh produce that hasn’t been exposed to harmful chemicals.

Animals roam freely, where human’s don’t disturb or destroy their natural habits. No creature great or small is in danger of extinction.

Human’s are just good, decent beings. The type that care and look out for one another. That have each other’s best interests at heart and are not motivated by personal gain.

That the earth was free from illness, and natural disasters.

That truffula trees actually existed., and Brown Bar-Ba Loots in Bar-Ba Loo Suits (thank-you Dr. Seuss).

All food and beverages were actually healthy for us.

Every Friday and Saturday evening were used for wining and dining, and rock and roll style/folk dancing was to be had within the local community. Everyone ate, drank and were merry. Everyone was happy.

Ahhh life could be a dream – shaboom shaboom.

Oh, and of course! Every day was filled with sunshine, lollypops and rainbows!

‚̧ Melissa

Music is in the heart <3

Music is such a powerful thing. It evokes so much emotion – happiness, excitement, sorrow, anger…There is a melody for every possible emotion I am sure!

I love music, I love all kinds of music…except for maybe heavy metal, that’s a bit much for me, but if it is something that you enjoy – then good for you!

I’ve always been aware, but maybe I have become more consciously so, about the effects different kinds of music has on your emotions. Lately I have been drawn to listen to some old school stuff that transports me to my late childhood days. I’ve been belting out tunes to Hanson, Spice Girls, Peter Andre, hitting those high notes with Mariah Carey and Celine Deon, as well as busting out my best boy band moves to 5ive and Backstreet Boys. These artists and their songs from the 90’s put an instant smile on my face and I just feel good all over! Those were the days my friends!

When I just want to chill or am feeling a wee bit melancholy I invite my good friends James Bay, Jack Johnson, Nora Jones, Passenger, Angus and Julia Stone, Missy Higgins, David Grey (plus a few others) to join me for a sing-a-long (or am I joining them? hehe).

Then there are the tunes that transport you to another time and place, where you could literally close your eyes and be any where in the world, or reliving another moment in time – dancing in your parents kitchen, sharing a tender moment with your lover, celebrating with your besties, mourning the loss of a loved one, rocking out at a concert – you could be anywhere! That is the beauty of music, that it is able to evoke these emotions and memories like they happened just yesterday.

So my friends, sing at the top of your lungs, dance like no-one is watching, let your hair down and let the music evolve you!

Sunshine, Lollypops and Rainbows,

Melissa xo

P.S Can’t wait until it is acceptable to start listening to the Hanson ‘Snowed In’ album. Oh Christmas carols, how I love you so!

 

All the small things

‘All the, small things’ sang Blink 182; “It’s the little things” someone once said (and some of us still use this quote today). “Big things come in small packages” – why yes we do ūüėČ

I have always been one that has appreciated the smaller things in life. Back in the day the things that made me smile, and made me feel happy may have been deemed as ‘corny’ but I feel as we all age, we all show an appreciation for the smaller things in life.

Being a almost 31 year old (when did that happen?)¬†all of us have experienced shite of some kind. The universe¬†decided¬†for whatever reason to¬†make sure shite hit the fan and rained all over you, testing you, saying “what are you going to do now?” I refuse to let this smile be turned¬†upside down into a frown and instead make the most of the challenges I have been presented with, and be grateful for what I have and the life that I have been given.

Obviously there are the bigger things in life that I appreciate and am grateful for – my family, my friends, my job, my health, material things such as my house and car, but what about the small things?

So what are the small things that set my heart a flutter? I love flowers – walking down the street be it flowers in the gardens of others or in the park, in a vase, I don’t care how they are – they will always make me smile. Oh,¬†and¬†the sight of the first blossom, signalling that spring is coming.¬†Beautiful blue skies and warm sunny days, they can’t help but lift your mood. Although I am partial to¬†the sound of light rain on the roof, wrapped in a dressing¬†gown with a warm cup of tea in the¬†cooler¬†months.

Nature – the bush, the beach, a river, a creek, a lake, a forest, trees and leaves. I am my happiest when out in nature. Not only am I my happiest but I am also my most relaxed. When out in nature for a little while all of worries drift away, and for a time I don’t need to be anywhere but where I am.

Babies and Animals Рthe two things that you are advised not to work with РI love them! Babies in prams, their giggles, their little cries. Animals Рthe sounds of the birds, cats chasing butterflies, dogs wagging their tails happily, little ducklings following their Mumma in a pond. Babies, children and animals all have a wonder in life that I think we can all learn from. They appreciate what they see, hear, touch and taste. The expressions on their faces say it all!

There are lots of small things in this life that can make us happy and be appreciative. What are your small things?

Until next time, Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows,

Melissa xo

My year of yes!

Recently I finished reading Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. This self-help book was about Shonda’s experience of¬†living a life where she said no to pretty much everything.¬†One day her sister said to her “you say no to everything.” This simple statement changed Shonda’s life, where she decided to say ‘yes’ to everything that scared her for a whole year. Shonda’s year of yes changed her life for the better – she began to enjoy things that¬†she never imagined, she did things that she never imagined, and demonstrated exactly what amazing things can happen when you step out of your comfort¬†zone.

I found this book fascinating, and it made me think – what could I start saying yes to? Obviously saying yes to absolutely everything is not practical, nor do I want to compromise my own values and beliefs – so I’m not going to hit up my local drug dealer for a cheeky hit, start smoking cigarettes, or sleep with the next bird or budgie that comes along – I still have my dignity people! But what could I say yes to???

Yes to trying new things

Be it a new fitness class, a new hobby,¬†a different caf√© or restaurant, a new course, cook a new dish – who knows what else? And I am not going to write myself off as being ‘bad’ at something before I have even tried. Sometimes it takes¬†a little bit of time, practice and patience to find the ‘groove’ of trying something new – but who knows what is out there and what possibilities trying new things could create?!

Yes to socialising

It is so easy to fall into the same work/home routine. It’s so easy to say “I’ve had a big week, so I’m just going to stay in.” I’m going to get my butt off that couch (not that I sit on the couch often…I’m going to get my butt out of the house) and hang out with family and friends. Sometimes just hanging out with your nearest and dearest, or like-minded people can boost your mood and be just what you need.

Yes to self-love

It is so important to love ourselves in order to love others. How can we possibly love others if we are our own worst critic? We are often quick to point out or flaws, and talk down compliments from others, but¬†what is so wrong about acknowledging our strengths? Absolutely nothing!!! As a Kindergarten Teacher, our program plans are based upon children’s strengths – so I am going to apply this to my life too. This does not mean I’m not going to acknowledge my flaws, but use my strengths to help improve my flaws.

Yes to self care

Self care and self love come hand in hand. This year I have been working on self care and it has been brilliant for my own physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. Therefore, I am saying yes to continuing my self care practices – writing in a journal, meditating, going to the gym, reading a book, using body lotion after a shower, watching Netflix – what ever helps to recharge the batteries and heal the mind, body and soul. I have found doing a number of these things has helped me not only feel better about myself, but has made me more available to others.

Yes to healthy eating

For those who know me, I have the biggest sweet tooth. I’m the person who goes to a restaurant and will read the dessert menu before anything else. I am also notorious for not drinking water…or really much of anything else for that matter. So yes to the fruit and veggies, yes to the water and herbal tea – load me up buttercup!

I think that is a great start for my year of yes! As time progresses, and as new situations arise I am sure I will become more aware of other potential ‘yes’ moments. I will keep you posted on what else I stumble upon – wish me luck!

I hope my fellow readers join me – what will you start to say yes to?

Until next time – Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbow’s

Melissa xo