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Because you’re worth it

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Yep, I can see the irony of this title already. A blog about self love and self worth using the tag line from a multi-million dollar cosmetics brand fuelling purely on women’s LACK of self worth.

You’re worth using our makeup to feel beautiful, because chances are without it, you don’t!

Okay that was a cynical side of me I rarely show, but felt the pull to get it off my chest.

Now that that’s done, let’s dive in, shall we?

Self worth.

Gosh it’s a biggie. 18 months in business, coaching a range of clients with all kinds of backgrounds – men, women, mum’s, teenagers, business owners, performers, those with a mental health challenge, those with eating disorders, relationship challenges, the list goes on and on…and it ALWAYS comes back to self worth.

Why?

Because if we don’t feel personally ‘worth it’ then what’s the point?

If we don’t see ourselves as worthy of living our dream life, then are we really going to try our hardest to succeed at our dream job?

If we don’t believe we are worthy of our OWN love, then how can we expect anyone else to love us too?

If we don’t believe we are worthy of health or beauty or vitality, then are we going to FEEL healthy, or beautiful, or vibrant?

You can bet your bottom dollar not! (First time I have ever used that phrase, how fun!)

I have had beautiful clients sit before me in tears, their life in shambles, not knowing which way forward, because deep in their heart and soul they don’t even know what it FEELS like to wake up feeling deserving of a GOOD life. To actually OWN your RIGHT to happiness and love.

I held a workshop a few weeks ago and part of it was around developing our own personal affirmations, telling ourselves the things we really needed to hear. When it came time to share them, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. Thirty women in tears proclaiming they want to feel worthy of love, they want to feel worthy of putting themselves first, to feel worthy of living their dreams.

Why don’t we already feel like this?

In my experience the opposite of self worth is guilt, and shame, and dare I say it, disgust.

Instead of thinking: I DESERVE to take time out for myself because it is good for my mental health, we think “I couldn’t POSSIBLY take time out for myself, it makes me look lazy and I’ll feel bad.”

Or rather than thinking: I AM WORTHY of my dream job and living an incredibly abundant life, we think “Who am I to think I can live an amazing life? What makes me special?”

I can see you nodding along with this.

I have been working on this with my clients for a while now, and it always comes back to the same thing: cultivating self love. That being said, it doesn’t mean I have it all sorted!

Recently I have had an influx of client bookings, writing gigs and speaking and workshop bookings. My business is thriving and I am forever grateful to be able to do what I do for a living every day. Alongside the bookings, I am also regularly approached to provide my services for free.

Since starting my business I have never offered a free coaching session – not even to my best friends or family members – because I see the value in what I provide as a coach, and for clients to really excel their needs to be a true VALUE EXCHANGE.

Think about it – if you have invested your money into bettering yourself and your life, you can guarantee you are going to be doing your homework, showing up on time and putting in the work. As a result, my coaching is going to be super successful for you because it comes back to how invested you are in the work.

If I were to offer a free session, chances are you aren’t going to do the work, or value it as highly as if you had financially invested in the coaching.

Makes sense doesn’t it?

That being said, I receive multiple requests for free writing and speaking gigs. My own self worth has been tested time and time again in this regard. The main reason I do what I do is because I want to HELP people. It is my driving force. So when a charity or amazing foundation or business requests my help by providing free content, a big part of me really wants to do it.

However, what I have realised in my time working on my OWN self worth – is that in providing my services for free, I am undervaluing myself. Not only that, but I am undervaluing paying clients who see the value in what I do, by prioritising free work over them.

Having this realisation left me feeling a bit yucky at first. Wanting to help as many people as I can, I felt guilty turning people away who don’t have the funds to book me.

But the guilt is quickly replaced by self worth once more.

I am an ambassador for the Children’s Tumour Foundation and provide pro-bono support to Macquarie University for their Chair of Surgical Oncology fund. I already work for both of these foundations for free. So why am I feeling guilty?

Here’s the thing: if I don’t recognise the value in what I do, and that payment is a necessary part of that, then I am of no help to anyone. I end up spreading myself thin, for no financial benefit, and before long, Universe forbid, I can no longer write, or speak, or coach because I am no longer making money.

I have seen it with my family who are musicians – asked to work for free because of the exposure they will receive. My partner’s friend runs an electrical business, and is constantly asked for discounted rates. Chances are you know someone, or ARE someone, who deals with something similar. Or maybe you are the person asking for the free work?

In doing this, without even realising it, we are potentially saying we do not value that person’s time or efforts – and as a result, will never be satisfied with the work they do. There will also be a build up of resentment in the person doing the free or discounted work for you. The relationship has not been built on value exchange, and rather on guilt and a lack of value.

I was discussing this with a client recently who is starting her photography business. She is no longer interested in offering free work because she has done the work on her own self worth and sees her value (#clientwin!) That being said, she is comfortable with a value exchange – so taking unpaid photos for a yoga studio is okay by her, if she receives classes in return. See how there is a real exchange of value here? It doesn’t HAVE to be financial – it could be an exchange in services, in time or in cross-promotion.

On the flip side, if you ARE caving regularly to ‘freebies’ and ‘mates-rates’ – ask yourself why you are doing it. Chances are it is less to do with helping the other person, and more to do with recognising your own value.

Where are you undermining your own self worth? Is it in the work you do for a living? The people you spend time with? The way you spend your OWN time (on what you think you SHOULD do versus what you WANT to do?)

How can you start to see what you are really worth?

Repeat after me:

I am worthy

I am deserving

I will no longer undervalue the incredible person I am

Because guess what? You’re worth it.

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Last week a stranger called me fat…

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It’s true. It went something like “So now that you’re fat you are trying to convince everyone else and yourself that you are healthy…”

The picture he was responding to is the one I have shared above. A before/after of a different kind.

I have become privy to sharing these kinds of images on my social media channels – an attempt to break down the stereotypes we have around what ‘healthy’ looks like. That even though my ‘before’ image looks the picture of health (with my toned body, thigh gap and abs), I was actually extremely unwell. And that while in the after photo I am more curvy (even more so than I am right now given this was taken 2 months into a Europe dream trip where I ate whatever I wanted) – I was far healthier in the second photo – mind, body and soul. Even though I don’t have the abs, and heaven forbid my breasts are bigger.

When I posted this photo I didn’t expect much, because I wasn’t doing it for any kind of ‘exposure’ or external validation. I was sharing it for my clients – the ones suffering anorexia and bulimia, the ones who have attempted suicide and self-harm driven to helplessness because of an obsession with the way that they look. I was posting it for young girls growing up in an era like never before – where ‘fitspo’ and eating disorder encouragement Instagram accounts are easily accessible at the click of a button. Where ‘skinny teas’ are even a thing (why?!) I was posting it for anyone who has ever looked at themselves in the mirror and burst into tears. For anyone who ever fad dieted in an attempt to feel better about themselves, only having the opposite effect, and feeling far worse. I was sharing it for my sister, for my mother, for my family and friends – all of us who have ever felt ashamed by the beautiful bodies we have been given.

So you can imagine my surprise when the post went semi-viral. I had to re-charge my phone 7 times that day, until I eventually gave up and switched it off. More than 5 thousand people liked the post (and for someone who gets excited at 100 likes, you can imagine the overwhelm). I doubled my followers overnight. My message requests went through the roof. Messages like:

I am 18 from Paris, and I want to tell you how inspiring you are. I am struggling with a binge eating disorder. I feel alone. And sad. Seeing your account made me a little less alone and thank you for that. 

Thank you for this post. I am trying to love myself but it is so hard some days. I see a post like your and we have very similar bodies, but one difference – you smile more. I need to learn to love mine and then mine will be beautiful like yours. Thank you for the inspiration. 

Today I am in the first situation – obsessed with my body, my weight, the gym…my goal is to like myself and never feel this culpability again. And when I discovered you, it makes me strong because I know that I will arrive, I have hope, because it is possible. 

Literally hundreds of comments and messages like the above. Beautiful women who are sick of fighting life-long battles with their bodies. Crying out for understanding and love.

So when someone jumps on my post and calls me fat, it infuriates me.

And not for the reasons you might think.

I have done the work on myself enough to know that these comments are empty words – in fact, at first when I saw them, I would smile. You know you’re doing something right when you start pissing people off.

But then I sat with it. And got mad. How DARE these people feel it okay to body shame with absolutely NO idea of my circumstances. It made me angry for my clients, for my followers, and for all the women who had reached out to me offering love and support, crying out for help. These people were not to know if I was battling an eating disorder. If I was self-harming or heaven-forbid had attempted suicide. Do they not understand the power of a phrase like that, especially on a post aimed to inspire and uplift?

It also shocked me the number of men feeling it completely in their right to comment on my breasts. The sexualisation of my body has been something I have been extremely self-conscious of. I am bigger busted naturally, and constantly hide my figure behind baggy clothes, covering my face with my long hair. Truth be told, part of me has never wanted to be ‘seen’. I have been conscious of my body my entire life for this EXACT reason – sexualisation of my body because I have big breasts.

When I made a comment about this on my Instagram stories, again my inbox was flooded with women who feel the same. Incredibly self-conscious of their beautiful feminine shape, because they don’t want to be a ‘target’ for unwanted male attention. It really struck me how big an issue this is. And how I no longer want to hide behind the baggy clothes.

I LOVE my body and I have worked fucking hard to love it. Every single inch of it. But that doesn’t give ANYBODY the right to abuse it, shame it or sexualise it. Ironically (or maybe not) ALL of the shaming was from men. And that upsets me because I love men – my dad, my fiancé, my brother, my best friends. Is this a generalisation I am making or a real issue? And either way, what can we do to stop it?

Truth be told – I have no idea. But I am grateful for my post, and the comments it received, because it opened my eyes to issues far larger than before/after pictures or ‘fitspo’.

And mark my words I will make it my mission to promote body love every single damn day. For me, for you, for our future daughters (and sons). No more baggy clothes for me.

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Let’s talk about sleep, baby

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Honestly, nothing gets my juices flowing like a good 9 hour sleep. I’m not even kidding. I’ve just woken up from one of those incredible sleeps – where the minute you put your head on the pillow, you are out for the count, gone to the world, and before you know it, it’s 8am and your alarm is tingling softly waking you from your slumber.

Now, I know for a lot of you would be reading that with a bit of an angry or jealous twinge:

9 HOURS SLEEP?

WAKING UP AT 8AM?

WHAT DO YOU MEAN “ONE OF THOSE INCREDIBLE SLEEPS?”

Hear me out guys, stay with me.

There is nothing sexier than someone well rested. And yet, sleep is the most undervalued, underrated health tool we have free and easy access to (in my opinion).

We spend so much time focused on how often we exercise (not to mention WHAT we do for exercise. #F45 #aerialyoga) and the types of foods we are eating (#gf #df #vegan) and yet, we are walking around like zombies, topping up our caffeine fix every few hours, proclaiming to the world when we pull all-nighters or whinging about the awful sleep we had the night before.

And yet…we don’t do anything about it.

This cycle of wake up groggy, have a coffee, push our bodies, and roll into bed only to lie awake tossing and turning until we have to get up again and repeat the cycle all over again HAS GOT TO STOP.

It isn’t cool. It isn’t something to be proud of. And most importantly, it is not at all healthy.

When I see my clients for the first time, one of the first things we look at is sleep.

I can tell if someone is having a healthy sleep cycle by a few things:

  • How many hours of UNINTERRUPTED sleep they are getting (between 7 and 9 is ideal FYI)
  • How long it is taking them to fall asleep at night (15 minutes is great, 30 minutes not so great, any longer – serious issue)
  • How often they wake through the night (uninterrupted is key here folks, once you are out, you should be out for the count)
  • What time they are getting to bed at night (the hours of sleep we get BEFORE MIDNIGHT are worth 4 times as much to our sleep cycles as the hours we get after midnight)
  • How they feel waking up after a full nights sleep (you don’t have to be jumping out of bed on springs but feeling alert and awake is a given)
  • How many coffees they are drinking to ‘get through the day’ (personally I have a vendetta towards coffee and don’t drink any. 1 is ideal if you must, 2 I can make exceptions for, any more than that? Signals deeper issues)

Can you tell I am passionate about sleep? My friends are always tagging me in those memes like the one where your friends are making plans for a night out, and you nod along knowing perfectly well you will be asleep in bed.

It’s true! I AM that friend. But only because I learned the hard way how vital sleep is for your wellbeing.

When I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue, at rock bottom, I was sleeping constantly. That’s the nature of fatigue right? But the QUALITY of sleep I was getting wasn’t good enough.

I was lying in bed for hours before drifting off. And when I did fall asleep, I was waking up every few hours tossing and turning. I would get out of bed after 10 hours feeling like I had been hit by a bus. I had to nap in the meeting room at my old job just to make it through the day, as otherwise I was literally falling asleep at my desk. My energy reserves were empty and the only thing I could do was slowly start to top them up (complete lifestyle overhaul anyone?)

What frustrates me the most is we aren’t taught these things. We aren’t sat down in PE class (at least I wasn’t) saying “Okay kids today we are going to learn how if you get your sleep cycle on point, you will become a far more productive, alert and focused person” not to mention the amazing effects sleep has on your athletic abilities (some of the biggest sports teams in the world have their own SLEEP COACHES to ensure they are getting optimum night’s rest for peak performance. If it’s good enough for them, hell, it is good enough for me.)

There are SO MANY WAYS you can get your sleep on track, so that you are getting a HEALTHY level and quality of z’s. I work on this with my clients in our 1:1 sessions, and I am lucky enough to be sitting down tomorrow with Australia’s leading sleep doctor Dr. Levi to chat further around ways I can integrate HIS teachings into my sessions with you guys.

Because sleep SERIOUSLY MATTERS. Just as much as exercise and nutrition. And it’s time we wake up to the facts and realise this.

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Exercising and eating well doesn’t make you healthy

 

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Well that is the closest headline to click-bait I have ever written. Who even am I? But I am glad I have your attention. Welcome. Take a seat. Prepare to be shocked.

I am ready to rock your world.

Here it is.

Are you ready?

(Okay suspense in becoming annoying, I get it, I’ll stop now.)

Just because you exercise regularly and eat all of the healthy foods doesn’t make you healthy.

There.

I said it.

Gosh it feels good to get off my chest.

But seriously – it is probably the biggest misconception of the ‘wellness world’ that I am seeing. That if you train your butt hard for hours at a time (or not even, just are consistent) and if you eat a #clean,  #glutenfree, #freeverything diet, then you are officially a healthy person.

I get it. We are bombarded with #fitspo social media stars with ripped abs and thigh gaps who LOOK healthy, sharing their training programs and meal plans with us, and we buy into what they are selling because, well, they are the picture of health right? And we want to look like them, even just a little bit right?

It’s okay to admit this guys, I feel you! I used to feel the exact same! If you are familiar with even HALF my story you will know I was ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE – sharing my ab selfies and meal preps and all of those things.

But, in my time as a wellness coach, I have learned that nutrition and exercise are one SMALL part of overall wellbeing. The challenge is, they are the only part getting the attention and ‘air time’. Why? Probably partly because fitspo is sexy and people buy things off good looking people. And also because exercise and eating well are potentially some of the EASIER health components to understand. Calories in, calories out right? Just don’t eat shit. Exercise heaps. It isn’t rocket science.

There’s a saying in the wellness world: mind, body and soul. Sound familiar? The notion that to feel TRULY well, on all levels, your mind (that is your mental health), body (physical body) and soul (spirituality, life purpose and passions) are all aligned. I truly believe this is the hidden key to wellbeing that isn’t being spoken about enough.

Let’s break the components down a bit for you:

MIND

Our brain is the hub of mental health. If you have experienced a mental illness before, you would understand how powerful the mind is. It can make you believe things that aren’t actually real. Sometimes, when you aren’t looking after your mind, it is hard to ‘turn it off’. Thoughts race, causing physical reactions like chest pain, heart palpitations and shallow breathing – but it all stems back to the MIND.

Some simple tricks for you to get your MIND in shape?

  • Meditation and deep breathing (I use the Insight Timer app)
  • Sleep – literally, you need AT LEAST 7 hours a night. I get between 8 and 9. People DO NOT TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY ENOUGH. I guarantee you that sleep IS as important as your squats and your bulletproof coffee
  • Read. Challenge your mind. Join a book club (like Soul Reads). Stop scrolling before bed
  • Journal. Write your thoughts on paper when they become too much (this is a brilliant technique for anyone experiencing anxiety. If you don’t have a journalling practice, start one. Stat.)
  • Practice gratitude to cultivate more positive and inspiring thoughts in your daily life

There are literally hundreds more things you can do to ‘exercise your mind’ – I am merely illustrating these as things that have worked for me.

BODY

Okay, so we get that we need to be exercising and eating ‘well’. But let’s get down to the nitty gritty – what does eating ‘well’ mean to you? Here is a little fun fact – there is no one ‘right’ way to eat. One person’s food of choice can literally be another person’s poison. Which is why dieting DOES NOT WORK. Well, it does work, for the businesses pushing the latest trend and making money from you. But as a whole, dieting is never in your favour.

Find foods that truly make you FEEL good. Make sure they are organic and whole foods – as close to their natural state as possible. Ditch the processed stuff, say no to refine sugar (this is standard) and then experiment. You might not need to be gluten free. And even if you ARE gluten free, check the labels of the foods you are eating. Be a conscious eater, not someone who jumps on the next bandwagon because it promises weight loss (eat for health people!)

When it comes to exercise, you should be genuinely looking forward to it. If it feels like a chore, it’s time to change it up. Some bodies don’t agree with going for a run or weight training. Just like yoga may bore you to tears. That’s okay! It doesn’t have to be trendy to be good for you. Find what gets you excited and move your body as often as you can.

SOUL

The most underrated wellbeing tool, in my opinion. And also the one that tends to cop the most slack for being a tad ‘woo woo’. Which I really don’t care about anymore. When people ask me what my secret to overall wellness is, I am totally unashamed to say it is spirituality. For you, that could mean going to church on a Sunday. For someone else, it is following their passions and bliss and what lights them up. Realising they have a purpose in life greater than what they do in their 9-5.

For me, my soul lights up when I am helping others – doing the work I get to do in the world. It lights up when I write, when I share my messages, when I have deep conversations with my soul sisters and soul mate. Angel cards are my latest soul hobby – as are crystals and essential oils.

For you, your soul might light up when you sing, or play music, or raise money for a charity close to your heart. Find your soul joy and invest AS MUCH TIME in cultivating spiritual work as you do exercising and eating well.

Now THAT is when you will really glow with health.

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Loving your rock bottom

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Something I am constantly telling my clients is that this whole ‘self love, personal development, mental health, live your best life’ journey is not a quick fix. Not even close. Hell, my job is to coach you guys on living YOUR best lives, and while I like to think I am pretty good at it, it definitely does not mean I have all my shit figured out. FAR from it.

Stepping into bettering your life is a LIFE-LONG commitment. There will be times you are killing it – your health is thriving, skin is glowing, you are sleeping your 8 hours and loving life. And then BAM one day you wake up on the wrong side of the bed after 5 hours sleep with a hideous break out and feel like you are back to square one.

You feel me?

What is important in these moments is not to judge them, or you, for feeling this way. Because guess what? WE ARE HUMAN. And part of the human existence is things aren’t ALWAYS going to be rainbows and unicorns. Even when we grasp at all angles and do all the ‘right things’. We actually set ourselves up for failure in thinking this way. Sometimes, you are going to wake up on the wrong side of the bed. Sometimes, your anxiety or depression will flare up. Sometimes you will get into an argument with a loved one.

Does that mean all of your hard work has been for nothing?

HELL NO!

In fact, it is in THESE moments that you are really able to STEP UP – put what you have learned into practice, and really grow from the ‘rock bottom moments’ as I like to call them.

I was reminded of this myself just last week.

My theme for February really was: try and fit everything I wanted to do into my life with minimal time for myself ignoring everything I preach and have learned until I verge on a breakdown.

And then last week, the breakdown happened.

What is frustrating is I KNEW it was coming. I spoke about it in my last post. But it was all too late. Even though I had taken my foot off the accelerator, my body was already running on adrenaline. Hi there burnout, old friend, nice to see you again.

Feeling very sorry for myself last weekend (again, I am human, and also just being honest), I started to put into practice all of my learnings. My February theme of grasping at everything, stemmed from a fear of missing out. But in doing so, I was not allowing any room for space – space for the magic to happen, as it has done for me (and as I have shared) in the past.

My body was screaming out at me to STOP. Not even to slow down, literally to slam on the brakes. I had a really symbolic dream last week, where I was driving my car, and while my brakes WERE working, they weren’t working enough to stop when I needed to – at stop signs and traffic lights. So I ended up in danger, even though I was slowing down. Because I wasn’t STOPPING.

(Thanks subconscious!)

So last weekend, I stopped. Luck had it (totally not luck by the way, more divine timing) that the Friday night I attended Sarah Wilson’s book launch for her new book all about the anxious experience: First, we make the beast beautiful. Buy it. Read it. Read it again. Especially if you have anxiety or any kind of mental illness. Or even if you don’t but a loved one does. I spent the entire weekend in old tracksuit pants, devouring the pages between deep naps and some feeling sorry for myself crying. I let myself feel whatever came up. I journalled. And I realised that my frustration was at MYSELF. This was all MY DOING.

So, the coach in me was asking (yelling at me more like it) – WHAT IS THE LESSON?

And the lesson was to create more space in my life.

So…I resigned from the jewellery shop. My sanity depended on it.

While I love the shop and the people, the running theme was that, in filling my life with ‘stuff’ I was burning myself out. Like I have done time and time again. Only this time, I read the warning signs MUCH EARLIER and made a decision. Yes, it felt yucky and I felt guilty and the fear was present (working at the shop is my only source of guaranteed income).

But I also knew I had to practice what I preach. That nothing is worth holding onto if it is only fear holding you there in the first place. I knew that in resigning from the shop, my health would flourish and more importantly, I was creating space for the MAGIC to happen in my life again.

I resigned on Tuesday. It’s Thursday.

Here is the magic that has already happened in that time:

  • I have been offered a panelist position for a Beauty From Within event at MYER next Friday
  • I have been shortlisted for an opportunity to be a features writer for a renowned wellness publication
  • A leading wellness/lifestyle PR agency reached out to meet with me and discuss opportunities
  • I won a double pass to the Taste Of Sydney Festival
  • I booked a promotional gig that dreams are made of – the movie premier of Beauty and the Beast (5 years old me is SCREAMING at the thought)

Literally, all of this in two days.

It’s almost laughable except that I knew this would happen. So did Trent – every time I called him to proclaim a new bit of magic, he wasn’t even shocked. Didn’t bat an eyelid.

Speaking of, my left eye is twitching as I write this. Like a little reminder that my body is still playing catch up.

Cherish your bad days – embrace them. These are the days to put what you have learned into practice – to search for the nuggets of wisdom.

Don’t run from them. Don’t give up. Because they will just become bigger and yuckier and harder to deal with.

Take INSPIRED action. Talk it out with people (remember I am here for that).

And remember that if life is shaking you up, it’s time to pay attention as to WHY.

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Time to take my own medicine (a bitter pill to swallow)

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Today I forgot what day it is. (It’s Wednesday as I write this, but that isn’t the point.)

The reason I forgot is that the last week or so has blurred into one long day. Yes there have been moments of sleep breaking up the days, but life has been so full lately that it has been hard to keep up.

I’m not saying that to brag either – there is a note off disappointment as I write it.

If you have been following my journey from the very start, my very first post ever explains how I hit rock bottom – I was the Type A personality, people-pleasing extraordinaire, who put everyone before myself. This lead to a myriad of health issues; namely acute adrenal fatigue, panic attacks, depression, leaky gut and psoriasis. My health challenges prompted me into a complete life overhaul – and here I am. Sharing my lessons with all of you – my tribe, whether you are clients or not.

The thing is, this week I realised I have a LONG way to go.

While, yes, people pleaser Holz cares less what people think of her nowadays, and yes, my self love is at an all-time high (compared to those few years back) – I still have much to learn when it comes to TRULY putting myself first (I say it all the time, personal development is a lifetime journey, not a quick fix!).

My last 5 days went a little something like this:

  • Friday: Work a full day at the jewellery shop, come home and clean house ready for an open for inspection the next day (in bed at 11pm)
  • Saturday: Up bright and early to give a talk at The Live Well Festival, followed by the open home, followed by a hens party for a dear friend (I ended up staying in city – and getting 4 hours sleep total. Not okay.)
  • Sunday: Up at dawn for Cupids Undie Run including ambassador duties (and running 1.5km obviously). Home by 12 (huge ass nap as my tank was running on empty…again NOT bragging. Very disappointed.)
  • Monday: Out supporting a beautiful friend in an amazing (secret…for now) achievement between 9am-6pm. Danielle La Porte at 6:30pm – 10pm (holy moly wasn’t she amazing?!)
  • Tuesday: Back at the jewellery shop for a full day’s work. Working on engagement party arrangements for this Saturday.

Here’s a few things I noticed when reflecting on the above sequence:

  • I didn’t get to see a single client in those 5 days (there was physically no space to!)
  • Not only that, I actually didn’t create space for ANY emails or business admin – let alone writing time
  • My sleep was seriously jeopardised – and sleep is my THING (for someone used to 9 hours uninterrupted sleep a night, 4 hours is NEVER OKAY)
  • I didn’t see my fiancé at all during this time
  • But most importantly, I actually had no time for myself. At all. Not once. (Except for my nap on Sunday)

This isn’t a whinge. It was my OWN doing and I am accepting full responsibility.

Because here’s the thing. All of the things I was doing, I genuinely WANTED to do, so I thought it would all be okay! It wasn’t that I felt I ‘should’ be doing these things. There wasn’t any people pleasing here. I genuinely wanted to do all of these things. That being said, hindsight has taught me that sometimes, even when we WANT to do all of the fun things, that isn’t always in our best interest.

Yesterday I started reading my body and noticed the toll this was taking on me – shortness of breath, light headedness, interrupted sleep, brain fog. All of the anxiety warning signs were encroaching their way back into my space and I was so disappointed in myself. How did I let myself get to this point when I had come so far? Isn’t this exactly what I taught my own clients? Did this make me a hypocrite?!

Rather than dwell on this though, I jumped straight into action – this was the perfect time to practice what I preach. So what did I do?

  • I took myself off to dinner for some one on one time with my man, to reconnect and just be
  • I focused on deep breathing and elongating my exhale (the only natural way to alleviate anxiety levels)
  • I ran myself a bath, lit candles, used Frankincense oil and chilled the f*** out
  • I was in bed by 9pm with dim lighting (getting that melatonin peaking!)
  • I didn’t set an alarm this morning and woke when my body wanted to
  • I dedicated today to ‘nothing’. The only thing planned was a facial, and it’s not like that was a chore!
  • I didn’t let myself get on my laptop until 5:30pm today – even if I really WANTED to, I didn’t.
  • I meditated for 10 minutes extra this morning
  • I journaled my little heart out
  • I repeated my affirmations (I am safe, I relax, I let life flow joyously)

These last few days (weeks if I am honest) have taught me that while yes, I have come a long way in terms of putting myself first, I still have a tendency to overdo it. Just because there are lots of amazing things happening, doesn’t mean I need to say yes to every single one of them. In fact, it is to my detriment when I do this, because I run the risk of only showing up half full to all of them – rather than my full, energised self. And that isn’t doing anyone any favours.

So in March, I will be practicing my no’s – not only to the things I don’t want to be doing, but more importantly the things I WANT to be doing, but that won’t allow me space to recharge, rest and fill up.

As Danielle La Porte said the other night, it is about creating BOUNDARIES, not barriers. Knowing when to decline something because my sleep, relationships or sanity (or all of the above) will be jeopardised. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

What’s something you have said yes to this week when you know deep down you should have said no?

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Does your vibe REALLY attract your tribe?

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I’ve just returned home from yet another inspiring lunch catch up, with an incredible business woman, paving the way in the wellness industry.

I have literally had about 6 of these catch ups in the last week alone – sitting across women I have admired from afar for years now, wanting to hang out with little old me! What is that about?!

Each of these ‘pinch me’ catch ups has been humbling to say the least. Like the eco-beauty advocate creating an EMPIRE in the natural beauty scene giving me advice on how to grow my business outside of coaching (watch this space). Or the sexual wellbeing coach gifting me her jade egg to try out, and chatting all things wedding planning (we are both engaged). Or working on a passion project with my intelligent, inspiring and BEAUTIFUL naturopath (and now friend). Not to mention oceanside walks with one of my favourite humans Melissa who is not only a friend but an incredible mentor and business guide for me.

Add to that my ALREADY incredible group of soul sisters and friends – from childhood, school, and life in general – and I sure have been feeling the warm and fuzzies recently.

It got me thinking – what have I been doing to attract so many incredible soul sisters, inspiring friends and truckloads of support into my life?

I see it a lot with my clients – struggling to find that group of friends who ‘get’ them. Where you can be 100% yourself, no holding back on your quirks, who understand if you want to choose a night in over a night out, who won’t judge you for your healthy way of life or the fact you are investing in coaching.

WHERE CAN I FIND THESE PEOPLE, HOLLIE?! I hear you all scream.

I hear you guys!

And to make it easy, I have narrowed it down to these few things that have worked for me:

  • Follow your passions. Love reading? Join a book club. Yoga your thing? Sign up to a local challenge. For me, my passion for personal development and self help lead to me joining Mel’s Goddess Groups – and in doing so, I have made some of my best friends with similar passions and beliefs to mine. It may be scary at first going alone – but in putting yourself out there, you open a world of opportunity for growth and amazing new people to enter your life (and chances are, lots of people will be going alone! You’d be surprised!)
  • Be your authentic self. Don’t hold back on your quirks or your differences because you are scared you won’t fit in. People LOVE authenticity – it is the main thing I get feedback on all the time. “I love how real you are!” Fear is the only thing standing in your way of being authentically you – to be specific, a fear of being disliked. But here’s the thing – do you really want to be friends with someone that isn’t going to like you for you anyway? Being unashamedly yourself is so damn refreshing and your friends will LOVE you for it.
  • Nurture your current friendships. The ones who light you up. I have a handful of friends that I speak with every single week. These friends stem from childhood friends from mother’s group, to high school besties, to ex-work colleagues, to soul mates (those people who just get you!) Nurture the friendships that light you up and make you feel GOOD about yourself. Make sure you make THEM feel good about themselves too. Check in on them. Be a GOOD friend. And remember quality > quantity.
  • Practice random acts of kindness. This is such a special one. If you love someone, show them! The last three catch ups I had with my friends involved some sort of gift – essential oils, a jade egg, a paid for lunch. These little acts may not cost much, but mean the world and are a beautiful way to show you care.
  • Reach out to the people who inspire you. You have nothing to lose. Tell people how you feel. There is nothing wrong with loving people! We don’t show it enough. They could be people already in your life, or someone you admire from afar. Once a week I send an email or message to someone I admire letting them know it. It leaves both you AND them feeling so great.

Remember that to attract more love from others, show more love. Love is energy – the more you emit, the more you will attract. It’s science. It’s fact. (And I totally just rhymed.)

What is your secret to cultivating beautiful friendships?

 

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