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I’m not lucky, I work bloody hard! (The truth behind creating your reality…) 

 

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This time last week I received a phone call from the Daily Telegraph telling me a photographer was on their way to my house to shoot me for an article they were running on sleep the following day.

Then this morning, I was interviewed by a National news network on the radio discussing the same article.

I have also just sent off final negotiations to host an INCREDIBLE wellness event as their MC for two days in October.

Opportunity after opportunity after opportunity has been knocking at my door, and it is crazy to think that 8 days ago, NONE of these things were on my radar – not even thoughts in the back of my mind.

Now, I’m not sharing this to brag. I’m also not sharing this in the hopes of anyone else feeling inadequate.

But I think it is incredibly important to shed light on this amazing domino effect in my life recently that, yes, I have created. And worked bloody hard at.

Too often, as an outsider, we can view other people’s successes as ‘luck’. You all know the ‘overnight success stories’ that take, on average, 7years of behind the scenes work to achieve.

There is NOTHING lucky about what has happened for me over the last 7 days. All of it has been created BY me, and I want to share this with you all because you can do it too. You truly can. There is nothing that makes me any more worthy of success – be it in my career, my business life, my financial status, my relationships – ANYTHING. But you have to see that, recognise it and own it.

OWN YOUR WORTH. IT IS ONLY THEN THAT YOU WILL TRULY SUCCEED.

And don’t get me wrong, I don’t have this all figured out. FAR from it. In fact, these shifts have only recently taken place after MONTHS and months of investing in my own personal development. You guys don’t really see what takes place behind the scenes when it comes to how hard I work on myself and my business. For me, it never ever stops. But it is VITAL if you truly want to reap life’s rewards. You cannot sit back and wait for luck to land in your lap. It doesn’t happen that way. There is no quick fix or button to push. Which is why it is easier to just give up and become a spectator in your own life, living for holidays or weekends or the ‘gaps’ between actually living. But you are different. You know there is another way. I know you know this, because you have read this far.

So, how did I make these shifts, and how can you follow suit?

Journalling

A daily non-negotiable of mine, and the second part of my morning ritual after meditating. My journalling practice is a non-negotiable. What started as a way for me to clear my head at the beginning of the day has transformed into connecting with my inner most desires and the workings of my soul. Writing things down really clarifies what is fear based and fuelled by ego, and then what is more love and soul. When you can determine what motivator is running the show (love or fear) – then you can make some incredibly powerful changes.

My journalling has told me when to slow down, when to pull my finger out and do the work, and when to stop with the excuses. The lessons aren’t always flowy and loving – there are some harsh truths in there. But as Elizabeth Gilbert says, she has never seen a powerful transformation in a person that hasn’t started with the person in question getting sick of their own bullshit.

That is what journalling does for me. Calls out my fear and slaps me right across the face with what to do next. It is so much more than just a pretty book with nice words.

Channelling

I have some incredibly connected and inspiring friends, and I will spend time on Voxer channeling my feelings with them. Voxer is a wonderful app, as it allows you to communicate with someone without the interruption of talking over one another. I use this as a tool with two of my best friends almost every day – sometimes we can speak for up to 15 minute recordings at a time, because when you allow your mind to flow and the words to spill out, you can really get on a roll and answer questions you didn’t realise you always had within you.

I love to channel while walking in nature. I will stick my headphones in and just talk about how I am feeling. What came up in my journalling that morning? Where am I feeling stuck? What old stories do I want to change about myself? There have been times where we will end up in tears, but just as often in awe of what answers we always had inside us. It is the magic of allowing the space for the knowledge to come. Just being and trusting that you truly KNOW what it is you need to do in any given moment. Because you do. I see it with my clients all the time.

Alongside channeling Voxers, we also share our gratitudes for the day, and also where we need to hold each other to account. Just talking things out with someone on the same page as you can see incredible transformational shifts (hell, it’s why coaching works so well!)

We always have the answers in us – it is creating the space for these magic realisations that matters.

Energy Work 

I regularly see my Body Talk practitioner (and friend Ava) to recalibrate my energy, emotions and physical symptoms, to shift outdated modes of thinking and realign, ground and centre my energy. Body Talk is very similar to kinesiology and has helped me immensely from physical ailments like acne and gut health, to deep-seated emotional challenges and blocks.

I usually see Ava every three weeks or so, however in August my soul was craving more, and I was seeing her weekly for about 5 weeks. Yes, this costs me money, and yes, it can be incredibly challenging to sit and stare at the truth behind some of my blockages, but I care far more about my own personal growth and development than I do anything else. If you can’t invest money in your own health and wellbeing, what the hell is the point of anything, really? Because, #truthbomb, without your health, you have nothing. Simple as that.

The shifts that have been made in my recent sessions have lead me to the point I am at now, where opportunities are knocking at my door, strangers are recognising me in shopping centres (legit a thing now, and so incredibly cool) and people and brands are practically throwing money to work with me. (SO GRATEFUL!)

It hasn’t always been this way and I have had to work SERIOUSLY hard on releasing so many blockages and beliefs around abundance, money, wealth, self worth, shining my full light, being ‘enough’, self sabotage, not wanting to show up. SO MUCH FEAR. It rears its head for me every damn day. But in shifting the energy with a healer, you are able to move through the discomfort, take on the lessons and grow from there.

It is NO coincidence that the themes of my most recent sessions have been to step out and be seen, allow myself to be successful and to stop hiding in the shadows of others.

Follow Your Bliss

This one is simple. Do the stuff that makes you happy and brings you joy. Laugh as often as you can. Follow the high-vibrational energy feels and guess what? That is what you will experience in your life. Pursue opportunities and watch them pursue you. Get out of your comfort zone, and watch people applaud you. Follow your heart rather than your head and watch life unfold perfectly, like a scripted movie. Even BETTER than a movie, because you are actually living it.

This absolutely works in reverse too. If you are working long hours in a job you hate, I bet you aren’t feeling too crash hot, are you? Your health may be suffering, and maybe your relationship? This domino effect can work either way – like attracts like, remember – and everything we think, say and do is energy. This is science. And it is so bloody simple, yet I see time and time again people falling trap into their own low vibrational mindset, wondering why stuff isn’t working out for them.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result.

Stop doing stuff that makes you feel like crap. Just stop. Follow your heart – even when it scares you, especially when the resistance is there. Watch the magic unfold for you when you do.

Creating Space

If you are the type of person who jumps from outing to outing, event to work to brunch to night out to second job to other thing – without a space in between for yourself – then sorry to break it to you, but you are really acting as your own worst enemy. You are repelling opportunity by filling your life with ‘stuff’.

In running from free time, rest, relaxation and ‘me time’ – you are also running from the natural flow and surrender that is needed for life to happen FOR you.

By creating conscious space in your daily life (this isn’t only about a free Sunday every few weeks, but about rest and space every single day) – then you are allowing yourself to receive. Because you have given yourself the energetic space to receive! It is as simple as that.

I didn’t have to force or strive or push for ANY of the three major opportunities that landed in my lap this week. THEY CAME TO ME. And I truly believe it was a result of the collective things I did above.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Do you believe in luck? Or are you creating your own reality?  Share with me in the comments.

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Wellness

My sleep time non-negotiables

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It isn’t a secret how obsessed I am with sleep. When I hit rock bottom in 2015, sleep was the bane of my existence. I was walking around like a zombie, in the crux of a horrible adrenal fatigue, and even though I could feel the tiredness seeping into my limbs (preventing me from training – even yoga or walking was too hard for me) – I just couldn’t get enough sleep.

I would lie awake in bed feeling physically EXHAUSTED counting down the hours it would take me to drift off. And when I finally WAS asleep, it was one of those awful half-awake ones where it felt like I was back awake every hour. I could be lying in bed for 10 hours and get only a couple of hours of real sleep. No wonder I felt like I’d been hit my a bus on waking every day.

During that phase of my life, I weighed everything I ate, avoided gluten and dairy and sugar like the bloody plague, and exercised multiple times a day. I thought I was the epitome of health and yet my health came crashing down from underneath me. Oh the irony.

A big factor in this crumbling of my wellbeing?

Lack of sufficient sleep.

Which is why today I preach more about getting sufficient sleep than I do about exercise and eating well.

Because here’s the thing – we KNOW how to exercise. We also know how to eat healthily. But do we really know how to get sufficient sleep?

My time in practice, coaching hundreds of women in learning how to live their happiest and healthiest lives, tells me we have a LONG way to go when it comes to managing our sleep the same way we manage our health by other means.

Sleep is VITAL when it comes to:

  • Alleviating stress levels
  • Maintaining vital and positive energy
  • A rocking libido
  • Weight loss
  • Preventing disease including heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes
  • Managing mental illness including depression and anxiety

And yet phrases like “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” perpetuate the notion that sleep is for the weak. Actually, it is the opposite – you cannot be strong, physically, mentally or emotionally, without sufficient sleep.

I harp on all about the key facts of sleep here, if you are interested. Like how, we should be aiming for between 7-9 hours of UNINTERRUPTED sleep per night. It should take us 15 minutes to fall asleep at night.

If, like mine were, your eyes are popping out of your head in the realisation your sleep is not at all ‘healthy’ – don’t worry. Below are my top tips for managing your healthiest, best sleep ever. Stick to these tips for the next 30 nights and I guarantee you, you will be sleeping like a boss in no time (take it from the girl who has 9 hours uninterrupted a night – unless there’s a full moon, obviously!)

MAKE FRIENDS WITH MELATONIN

Melatonin is our sleep hormone. In cave man times, when the sun went down, our melatonin levels would rise, telling our bodies it was time for sleep. We would wake with the sun, which would decrease our melatonin levels.

Melatonin MATTERS when it comes to sleep, and is totally determined by LIGHT.

This is why it is so important to be in dim lighting at least an hour before bed time. We forget this, and spend time in bright lights, with back lit devices all the way up to shut eye, and wonder why we can’t switch off and drift to sleep. Because our poor melatonin levels are confused – they think it’s still day time!

Make the effort to transition to dim lighting an hour before bed – be it light dimmers, lamps or candles, and notice the impact this makes as you physically wind down before bed.

Additionally, in the morning, switch on ALL the lights and get yourself in brightness as much as possible! Bye-bye melatonin, hello morning burst of energy!

(Sleep-pro tip: Those people going for walks in the dark before bed? Not actually crazy – they are getting their melatonin hit right before sleep!)

MAGNESIUM OIL – THE GAME CHANGER

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As much as I know all about sleep, there are times when I need an extra push. Enter, magnesium oil. When I was in the holds of my fatigue, I took magnesium supplements to aid my sleep, which really helped me at the time. What I didn’t know, is you can actually use a body OIL that has the exact same effect! SO easy and damn effective!

Introducing SALT LAB. These guys have been a huge game changer for me recently, especially as my heightened adrenaline levels lately have lead to longer time than desired falling asleep.

What I didn’t know is our bodies only absorb 20-50% of oral supplements, and the additional stress this puts on our digestive system and organs is unnecessary when there is a body OIL available that works even more effectively! Our bodies are able to self regulate and absorb what is needed when using an oil, putting no additional stress on our organs and digestive system. PLUS, because the oil is is absorbed through our skin, it travels straight into our blood cells – talk about a quick hit!

After only 3 days of using this spray, my sleep was back to normal. Now I don’t go a night without it. Just spray on your belly – it is literally that simple! (If it tingles it means you may be deficient in magnesium, and can add it to a carrier oil like coconut oil.) You can read all about the effects of magnesium and sleep here: but just know, it has totally worked for me (and Trent too!)

(For your chance to win one of two SALT LAB sprays, jump on my Instagram page stat and check out the most recent post!)

TEMPERATURE MATTERS

There is a reason I am such a fan of baths before bed! Not only are they bloody relaxing, helping you to wind down and get into a relaxed state before dozing off, but the drop in body temperature when you hop out of a hot bath (or shower) signals to your body that it is sleep time.

This is also why some of us like sleeping with the fan on in summer, but a doona over our bodies. We KNOW intrinsically what the right body temperature is for sleep – too hot or too cold and it just won’t cut it. Aim for around 18 degrees.

SO LONG SCROLLING 

I hate to be the bearer of bad news guys, but for a good night’s sleep you really need to get rid of your phones. And laptops. Even your Kindles. Back lit devices totally mess with our melatonin and also, we aren’t allowing our minds to really wind down. If you do everything else, but still scroll, and you have trouble with your sleep – it is time for the phone to go.

Try what I do – stick your phone on flight mode an hour before bed time and dim the lighting right down. That way even if you are tempted to check your phone, you won’t be distracted by anything! Switch up your phone for reading (using a warm lamp by your bedside), or writing down everything you are grateful for that day. We are all after more time in our day – so use this hour for YOU and make it pampering and productive.

LAVENDER OIL ON EVERYTHING

Yes Hollie, I hear you think, we know you love essential oils. Well it’s true, I do. And one of my favourites is Lavender because of its calming properties – not just for anxiety and stress, but for sleep too. We diffuse lavender every night before bed (and while we sleep) as well as two drops on our pillow cases. We travel with it. My partner is the most masculine guy you will come across and whinges like crazy when we run out of lavender oil.

My bestie who was a bit cynical about this whole oils ‘thing’ started using lavender oil when I found out she never dreamed. This told me she most likely wasn’t getting the deep REM stage of sleep needed for full body rest and restoration. Her first night diffusing lavender and guess what? She had a dream. And sleep hasn’t been an issue of her’s since.

Want to know where to get the best quality lavender oil for your sleep? Send me a message and I will send you a sample!

Truth be told, I do a whole lot more in setting myself up for epic sleep – these just scrape the top of the barrel. If you are keen to learn more, I HIGHLY recommend reading Arianna Huffington’s SLEEP REVOLUTION (#girlcrush) – or just watch this space, as I plan my next ebook on all things SLEEP!

How do you ensure you are settled in for an epic sleep? 

BUY your Salt Lab Magnesium Oil here! 

 

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Uncategorized

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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Wellness

Over-Achiever to Over -It 

My journey from top of the class, to bottom of the corporate ladder

Before I share my story, I want to thank you lovely reader, for clicking through. I hope some of what I share resonates with you in some way.

* * *

I was the girl in school that studied like crazy, and had the results to prove it. I’m not sure where my desire to ‘be first’ stems from, but I can trace it all the way back to primary school, when I received 100% in one of those state-wide English competitions, and was sent off to a presentation ceremony run by the University of NSW. I still have the medallion I was awarded that day. I was 9.

And so started my quest for achieving as much as I possibly could. I chaired our school SRC at 12, studied my brains out throughout high school and was awarded top in English, Drama, Society and Culture, Legal, Religion and Advanced English in year 12, as well as best senior debator, orator and performing arts. My UAI after exams was 93.

Throughout schooling, I showed a tendency towards anxiety. I would have regular break downs, or ‘stress attacks’ as my friends called them, mainly resulting from pressure I put on myself to be ‘the best’ at everything I tried to do – sport, drama, school, relationships, volunteering…the list goes on (I was lucky to have a family and parents who would have supported me no matter my grades, yet still I felt immense pressure to be first…from myself and myself alone!)

I was also one of those people that knew exactly what I was going to do when I left school – I would enrol in Uni and study journalism, and become a writer for one of my favourite magazines.

During my years at Uni I was managing a highly coveted internship at CLEO magazine while finishing my degree.

Then, life happened.

I finished my degree, applied for a number of magazine roles, and…nothing. Silence.

Sick of working in retail (which I had also juggled while studying), I put my feelers out for any ‘foot in the door’ ‘real world’ experience. I was lucky enough to get a role in a small marketing consultancy that was just starting out. In true ‘high achiever’ fashion, I quickly went from a temp admin girl, to personal assistant to the director, and eventually account manager.

I worked in the business for 5 years, met amazing people, loved my team, and learnt truckloads about business, marketing, strategy…and the list goes on!

It was 4 years into my role that I started getting sick. A lot. It felt like every second week I was taking time off because of a flu I just couldn’t shake, or feeling so exhausted I couldn’t get off the couch. At this stage, I was commuting 2 hours to and from work every day, was training at the gym at 5am 6 days a week, volunteering for my favourite charity, managing a very busy social life and basically having no time to myself.

I would wake up after 9 hours of sleep feeling exhausted, would burst into tears for absolutely no reason anywhere at all, and started feeling lightheaded, drained and not myself.

My body had given up on me. My quest to be the best, to constantly achieve and push myself, had left my mind, body and soul so unaligned that everything began to break down.

I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue, leaky gut, parasites, an unknown bacterial infection, psoriasis,  anxiety and depression.

Woah.

And so began my journey to wellness (one which I am still managing every single day).

I left my role of 5 years, stopped volunteering, quit the gym and moved home with my partner. My weekends are now kept as free as possible for resting and restorative yoga, my social circle has condensed dramatically, and I have since realised that life is not at all about being ‘the best’ at everything. It is about DOING your best, each day, and most importantly, doing what is best for you, your health and your wellbeing.

Today my life is nothing like it was even 6 months ago. I sleep until 7:30am. I no longer catch the bus into the city every day. I have traded corporate clothes for hippy pants, and rushed lunch breaks to sitting in the sun with smoothies and homemade salads.

And, slowly but surely, my body and mind are healing.

It is my mission in life to inspire as many people as I can to live a life that is truly right for them. One that lights you up, inspires you every day, and mostly, ensures you are the healthiest version of yourself – in mind, body and soul.

If I can help just one person realise that they are so worthy and capable of living their dream life – then I have done my job.

And of course, if I can have a little fun along the way, then even better! 😉

Here’s to your healthiest, happiest and best life ever!

Hollie xxxx

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