16 week challenge of Radical Self love

2nd January 2017 I started my 5th (and absolutely not final) Isa Body Challenge.

What that means, is I started a challenge that would span over the next 16 weeks where I got to push myself physically and mentally to reach some new goals that I set – and set some new goals I did. You see, as I just mentioned, this was my 5th 16 week challenge that I did, and THIS time, I wanted it to be unlike any challenge I had done before, I wanted to get some results I hadn’t had before. That meant it was going to absolutely take some sacrifice of my sacred ‘balance lifestyle’ I live and breathe by and it would take me setting some new challenges for myself.

But what challenge could that be? I wondered.

Because YES I live and breathe balance (I mean if there was legit a poster child for balance it would in fact be me – hello eating a salad with a glass of champagne) but 365 days of the year I look after my health.

I eat clean. I exercise daily. I cleanse once a week. I use my Isa products daily and with heavy commitment. So what was I going to do this time to see the changes?

Morgs and I both knew the answer to that question, even though we weren’t sure we both wanted to admit it – the answer started with no and ended with booze. You heard it right, no booze.

I must immediately state here, that it IS a 16 week challenge but we did not go booze free for the whole 4 months, that was a little TOO extreme for us, what we did instead was commit to THREE of those months booze free. Still pretty (read; very) extreme if you ask us. A challenge we knew of course we could do (especiallyyyyyy with how many people were telling us we’d never be able to do it!) but we knew would be extremely challenging.

There was another huge decision I made headed in to this challenge. This time, there would be no attention given to weight or cm’s dropped (or bf % etc). THIS challenge was just all about falling more than ever in love with the process of health and fitness and no number at the beginning, middle or end was going to define my success.

So off we set, Jan 2nd rolled around, as did the 3rd, 4th, 16th, 27th and 30th of January .. training was on point, food was planned and eaten and isa was consumed with extreme commitment (like always). We felt good, we were seeing results (of course!) and were powering on with a month already down.

We welcomed February 1st slightly reluctantly as with the coming and passing of that date, we knew no more booze for us, the challenge begun and the task was set. Not a drop of alcohol was to pass either of our lips for the next 3 months.

And here is what you have to know about me.

Some may call it stubborn (aka mum, morgs, those that know me very closely) but I call it grit. I don’t ever have to make the same decision over and over again. With me, I just need to make the decision ONCE and then I do what I need to do to conspire to make it happen.

So although multiple friends were telling us there was NO WAY we would make or last the whole 3 months – I knew we would do it with ease. Would it be a challenge? Of course. But was there ever one question in my mind that I wouldn’t do it. Never.

Here is the other thing you need to know.

This wasn’t done as a bravado thing of ‘hooray wow for us we made 3 whole months without drinking” thing – if it was for that maybe I would have buckled (probably not though). It was done as a ‘I want to genuinely see what this can do for my body cutting out booze for 3 months”.

MANY a time a friend generally when they were boozed and I was asking to just sniff their drink (yes, not ashamedly that happened many a time) would say “ohhhh go onnn just have a sip I won’t tell anyone what does it matter” – but each and every time I replied no. Because again, it wasn’t about the badge at the end to say we’d made it to 3 months (what a lame badge haha), I just sincerely wanted to see if it’d make a big difference or a difference at all to our results.

And you want to know the god honest truth?

I just don’t know I saw the ROI. Return on investment.

But just wait, you have to hear me out.

You see, I LOVE to have a drink, and by drink I mean champagne (or a really good rose on occasion and even a solid red when the mood calls for it). LIFE, to me, is a celebration.

Drinks at the pub on a sunny afternoon you say? I’d love to. Go down south and have a red wine by an open fire? You had me at hello. Join you on the upstairs balcony at sunset with a cold glass of bubbles babe? Be up in 2 mins. Come for dinner at that new restaurant that has a fabulous champagne list? I’m already here.

Giving all of that up then for 3 months was a really big deal. Some people in our life who aren’t big (or good – HA) drinkers or are superrrrrrrrr strict with their diets lifestyle laughed at us that we thought it was such a big deal to give it up for that ‘long’. “3 months of no booze? I could do that in my sleep” they said. And they could have – because they’re no fun. Kidddingggg – because that’s just who they are, but it’s not Morgs and I, we LIKE to have a drink and we absolutely ENJOY said drink.

And maybe our expectations were just too high. Or maybe I am too accustomed to just always feeling good (I know that is a big factor I will get in to shortly), or always being happy with my body – because here is my exact succinct thoughts.

Did I look fantastic on April 24th, the official day 90 of no booze and the official day 120 of the 16 week challenge? You freaking bet. I looked sen-bloody-sational (and by the way isn’t it fantasticccc that a woman can actually sincerely say that about herself?). But have I looked just as fantastic in previous 16 week challenges where I haven’t given up the booze? You.freaking.bet.

I absolutely have to state here though was it the BEST or leanest I have ever looked in any of my challengers? The answer is yes we (Morgs & I) seem to think so, I definitely was waking up in that final 10 day count down where we REALLY go all out with being super good with food and water etc and literally saying aloud “far out” when I would see my mid section shrinking and toning still with a few days to go.

Waking up the day before my photo shoot I actually said to Morgs that for sure I can see the results of not drinking for the last 3 months as it really was (or at least felt / looked like) the leanest I had ever been.

So was it worth it though? Well of COURSE it was as the results INTERNALLY as well are untold.

But would I do it again however? For THAT long anyway?

Honestly?

Probably not.

You see, here is the one thing (if I had to just pick one) that I learned over the last 16 weeks, 12 of which were booze free.

I LOVE to look toned, have a rocking 6 pack (or my resemblance of it), be slim and healthy.

But I also love Champagne. And Chocolate. And hot chips. Anddddd Taco’s. And dinners out. And did I mention hot chips?

And I love both of those things as much as the other.

What I learned is that when I say I am the queen of balance, I am in fact the QUEEN of balance, and I can more than ever own the pants off that.

I have come to realise this about myself more than ever….

It’s not about how you look – it’s about how you want to LIVE.

And I want to live with a glass of cold champagne to toast a delicious sunset and laugh until my belly aches over hot chips and late dinners out with the best of friends. (not worry about has the menu got grilled fish or steamed vegetables or are there gluten free options – no.thanks).

Because to get as lean as I did whilst maintaining and building the muscle I did and having my ab’s come through more than ever – ladies don’t for ONE SECOND think that it doesn’t’ take sacrifice and hard freaking work.

The girl on the left (again, who still had a rocking bod don’t worry I honour that as my normal) is someone who still trains daily, has her isa every single day and doesn’t miss her weekly cleans days, BUT, I also have all of the other fun stuff in moderation – the Champagne, the chocolate, the hot chips and the taco’s (and…. ALL the other stuff).

The girl on the right, who has a rocking bod for sure just more lean and toned and tight and smaller – was someone who trained daily (still), had her isa (still, of course) but just was A LOT more strict with the other ‘fun stuff’, not to mention as we all know now, no booze for 3 whole months.

And again? Was it worth it? Of course, challengers for me and seeing just where else I can take my results are always worth it

The one thing I did learn from this challenge which in and of itself was life changing however was to FINALLY be able to actually HAVE control when I DO go out and I learned phenomenal self control (more than ever) on not feeling I need to choose the naughty things off the menu.

You see, being someone who IS extremely disciplined and behaved with food 95% of the time, and 100% with my Isa – when I am travelling or out and about its rare that I say no to the food that isn’t always a great option on a menu (when done in moderation though of course it’s fine). But being someone who has a freedom lifestyle and who travels the world all year round, those habits actually haven’t served me the last year or so. I can say that I although I FELT fantastic, I was slipping on to the side of living a little bit toooo balanced I would say.

So for 16 weeks, actually choosing the salad when being out and about and sucking back a soda water instead of a couple of glasses of champagne and a bowl of hot chips “because I can” – was honestly THE best thing I could have engrained as a new habit for me as now I know I can have the balance of course, but I DO need to keep that balance in check as well.

The biggest lesson and intention I had going in to and am proud I came out of the challenge with though is this.

I can’t tell you the weight amount lost, nor the BF% dropped or the lean muscle gained or maintained.

It wasn’t about any number because numbers don’t determine your worth and they absolutely are not the things to make you happy.

What I did focus on though was becoming a woman even more determined to fall unconditionally in love with herself – be it the left or right photo.

What I CAN tell you as well, is that I fell more in love with the JOURNEY of self respect, self care and self LOVE with my beautiful body of mine more than ever.

It’s not about a number on a scale. It’s not about measurements lost. It’s not about a trophy or applause. It’s about how much could I just love and honour my body – and use THESE results as my new foundation. No bouncing back with a little ‘toooo much’ balance #thereissuchathing and how much stronger can I get from here.

My fitness and health journey is at a point in time now where more than ever I want to show women the only goal you need to work healthily towards is loving and respecting your body, and the only competition you only ever need to look to is not the woman to your left or right – but the woman staring back at you in the mirror.

I woke up the day after this challenge and went back in to the gym, had my 2 shakes in the day (and granted, a couple of glasses of champagne) and as I sit here writing this today, I am on day 1 of a double cleanse… Your health and results truly are an EVERY DAY quest … not a sometimes or maybe or for an event or goal quest.

So am I proud of the results gained over the last 4 months? You freaking bet. But was I madly proud and in love with the woman before? More than I can say. I AM excited to make THESE results this time my new foundation to build upon though and to my superstar trainer Lochie Horner, THANK YOU for putting up with me for another 16 week challenge and training me weights + food wise to be the strongest (by far) and happiest I have ever been.

P.s ladies if you’ve gotten to the bottom of this blog – well done firstly, you have a bigger attention span than a goldfish which apparently is rare these days, but if you are someone who is just so ready to take serious control back of their health and want to do their own 16 week challenge under my support and coaching and love – then drop by our inbox and let’s have a chat – info@annaandmorgan.com (you literally have nothing to lose by just touching base).

 PHOTOSHOOT PHOTOGRAPHER + HAIR & MAKE UP:

Photographer: Belinda Rae (from Belinda Rae Photography aka best photographer in ze world)

Hair & Make Up: Hair by Olivia Martin & Make up by Caitlin Bongiovanni ( from Olive & Cait Hair & Make Up Perth aka the best Hair and MUA’s in Aus!!)

15 years of Contraception – My own Tale.

I remember it as clear as anything.

The day I got my period for the very first time.

I was in year 9 (so 14), and just before I left for school I went to the toilet and there it was. Spots of blood in my knickers. I screamed out for mum and mum came to tell me ‘it was here! It’s ok, it’s exciting’ and she came back with what I remember at the time felt and looked like a nappy. It was a pad of course, and I was told this was my new normal for 5-7 days a month.

I got to school and had Home Economics (sewing) first up and remember SO excitedly telling my girlfriends that I had (finally) gotten my period!!! I say finally because I felt like SUCH a late bloomer. All of my girlfriends had gotten their periods around 12 – 13 and I was the last one to get it.

I felt like such a WOMAN and was genuinely excited about it all.

And then, just.like.that I was put on the contraceptive pill. I think it was for a multitude of reasons, the main one I am sure was that ALL of my girlfriends were on it and I know I was saying to mum I HAD to be on it too, and to be honest, looking back, it was just the absolute ‘done’ thing ‘back in those days’, as a young girl, you got your period, you went on the pill.

And that was that.

Off I went on this new journey to woman hood – not really having any understanding WHY I was bleeding once a month just that if I got my period it meant I wasn’t pregnant, if I didn’t get it, it meant I was. Now, I am sure I did listen harder in health class and I DID pass the class with an A, its just periods weren’t something we cared about at 14 years of age).

That relationship with the pill and I went on for 5 years and I never really had any problems with it. Obviously as I got older and in to boys and partying I would skip the sugar pills every so often to ‘skip my period’ not thinking another thought about it.

I truly had absolutely ZERO relationship with my body and her cycles and to be fair, neither did anyone around me. We were young, on the pill and didn’t know any better.

To be fair here as well, I should mention that it probably WAS a good thing I was on the pill and I don’t regret for a second going on it so young. Being a young woman with minimal to no respect for myself or my body and the decisions that go along with it I am glad I had something looking out for me when I couldn’t make smart decisions for myself.

5 years went by on the pill without any hiccups or symptoms. I was regular with my period, I had no skin issues, I don’t feel like my moods were any different – than what a normal adolescent hormonal woman’s are.

Then at 19, Morgan and I (after already being in each others lives for 2 years prior) got in to a relationship. I became his and he became mine and the rules just changed a little bit. What I mean by that is sex was absolutely going to be more regular and on going and we BOTH didn’t trust the pill enough.

{ For your viewing pleasure. At 19 & 23 years old, 6 months in to our relationship }

So back to the Dr I went (Morgan in tow – I was like I may be the one who has to be responsible for the contraceptive but you can freaking be a part of it also!) with a whole load of information I had around different forms of contraception. I can’t say that at 19 I still had this body self love and self respect thing worked out (because I absoltuley didn’t – it was probably when I became the worst at looking after myself) but one thing I DID start to have was more of a thirst for knowledge around what I WAS going to put in my body.

And that was the first sign intuitively I got from my body. I KNOW that for a fact.

Here’s why – because I started to question Contraception.

At that stage, I had only been on the pill, and it had “only” been 5 years, but at 19, knowing as a woman I DID want babies eventually, AND being in a relationship with a man I already loved deeply, I just started to question and have concerns around long term effects of contraception on my body.

I had narrowed my search down to 2 alternative choices.

  1. The needle jab you could get that lasted a few years and stopped your periods.
  2. The Implanon.

Both seemingly seemed to be the most foolproof non baby makers for 2 regular sexually active and in love people and seemed to have the LEAST amount of symptoms or negative things to say about them (online anyway).

So imagine my surprise when my (amazing) female Dr told me ethically and morally she would never and could never give me the needle jab – she said in her professional opinion it shouldn’t even be an option for women and it absolutely has far too many side affects and even non explored potential issues.

I immediately took the needle jab off the table, but immediately had an uneasy feeling in my stomach – like what the actual fuck are us women doing to our bodies if a medical professional is saying they refuse to give me a form of contraception that was extremely readily available.

So my last option was the implanon, to which my Dr WAS a fan of and told me it has a 99.99% success rate if our goal was to be on a healthier form of contraception but I had to know it would have 1 of 4 ‘effects’ on my body and they were;

  1. Everything would in fact stay normal. I just couldn’t fall pregnant but my ‘fake’ period essentially would come every month, same time, same heaviness / lightness.
  2. My period would become a lot heavier – but for less days.
  3. My period would just become lighter.
  4. I would get no period.

She also said I had to at LEAST give it 3 whole months to settle. This bad boy lasts up to 3 years, so 3 months you have to give it to see IF your body sort of accepts it and after that if it’s not vibing for sure take it out – but not before.

I said ok, and in it went.

And for 3 months, 3.whole.months… I spotted. It was emotionally and physically draining AF. I didn’t feel too crazy mood wise and my skin didn’t break out like some women’s does, but the spotting was relentless. Which I KNEW wasn’t normal but I trusted my Dr and her words of “give it 3 months”.

Then on day 91 – so literally, LITERALLY 3 months and 1 day, I woke up and I wasn’t spotting any more. So I decided my body was ok with this form of contraception and in it stayed.

For the next 3 years, I stayed relatively normal with my periods, they just weren’t at all like clockwork like I was used to on the pill, but I was ok with that.

The 3 years seemed to pass by quickly and Morgs and I didn’t have so much as a tiny ‘scare’, so when the time came to get it out with its 3 year expiry, the decision was a simple one for me to just get one put straight back in. I was 22 and still ab-so-lut-ley not ready for babies and that is what contraception was to me.

Here is where things get contemplative and hindsight’ey … about a year in to my 2nd implanon, I developed adult acne. I was 23 and had NEVER ever battled any issues with my skin and BOOM overnight I literally had what was adult acne.  Because I had already been on the implanon for 4 years at this stage, 3 years with my first one and a year in to my 2nd, and because it in my eyes was just the ‘same’ as the pill which I’d been on for 5 years, NEVER ONCE did it cross my mind that this was the first extreme sign my body was giving me telling me something wasn’t quite right with it.

My adult acne story is honestly a WHOLE other story unto itself, but just know I tried absolutely everything to get rid of it (except roaccutane there was just something SO damn un settling about being told roaccutane could kill or deform an unborn child so “you couldn’t be pregnant if you went on it” that turned me off that drug for LIFE). And after YEARS of battling it and getting it settled, I did manage to have it calm down.

Then came the expiration of my 2nd implanon at the age of nearly 26 and yet again, Morgs & I still weren’t at all interested in trying and for 6 years we hadn’t even had a ‘scare’ so, in went my third implanon.

Which really leads us to where I am at today.

But here is a big dirty secret you have to know about me and something that I still can’t believe I ignored for so many years.

Are you ready?

For the last 6 years, so for the last 2 implanons…..

I haven’t had a period.

Not one. Not a symptom. Not a spotting of blood. Nothing.

And here is the worst part about all this – at age 23 is when I REALLY fell in to the practice and understanding of self love and started doing hardcore work on falling in love with who I am and all parts of me, and I KNEW better. I KNEW it wasn’t normal to NOT have a period – I intimately knew it. I talked to my girlfriends and best friends ALL the time about it. And yet I wasn’t called to do anything about it.

Until recently.

After years, and years, and years of self care and self love work, I literally couldn’t ignore what my body was trying to tell me for all these years. That I needed contraception and fake hormones GONE from my body.

About 7 months ago, Morgs & I had a big chat around ‘what next’ and ‘when’ (still years away guys – sorry haha) and I mentioned then I really had a calling to get my implanon out. I said since the very first time I got my period, I immediately went on synthetic hormones almost telling ‘her’ (my body) – you don’t know best, and I need something un natural to control my body, and I said it wasn’t ok in my eyes now that that had happened for 15 years. He agreed completely (of course he did he is a legit legend) and said let’s book the appointment to get it out.

Then the weirdest thing ever happened – I battled with my decision. I QUESTIONED my intuition, and ladies, please know, don’t ever, EVER do that.

And because my body and intuition knows best, it started trying to get my attention. I wasn’t listening to my own desire to come off contraception, so it needed to intervene. So it GAVE me my first period after 5 ½ years. Truth be told, having not had it in so long, we thought I was pregnant. My boobs doubled in size, I got cramps, I was tired, and I was a little nauseous. Admittedly all things that used to happen when I got my period ‘back in the day’. We pee’d on a stick (and by we I mean literally we, morgs stood at the door with Zeus in his arms and me and the stick in the toilet) – and it was negative.

I have to say as well – I KNEW it would be. Because again, my intuition said so and I WAS listening. Then a day after that, I got my first period after 5 ½ years – my body LITERALLY overrode the implanon.

It was her way of saying ‘babe, trust us, you aren’t listening to your own advice so please don’t be mad but we are over riding you’.

And I laughed and said to Morgs ok so THIS time I have to listen.

But guess what? I still didn’t.

This current implanon expired the end of this July anyway, so I kept telling myself, “well who cares, it’s only a few more months.”

And then ‘she’ did it again, she gave me another ‘pseudo’ period (4 months ago). And again, I was happy she did, I was even PROUD of my body for literally over riding the fake hormones I was so stupidly pumping in to it.

But still. I thought well, it’s getting so close to July should I just ride it out and remove it when I should.

Then the funniest thing of ALL happened – MORGAN started to get at me about it, asking me WHY hadn’t’ I booked the appointment yet and I really should as he knows it was a big and important decision for me and my body.

But still…. Do you see where I am going with this? 😉

THEN, my body did the ONE thing I can NEVER ignore and she freaking KNOWS it. She fucked with my skin. Big time. For years it had been flawless (with the odd break out of course, I am human) but overnight about 3 weeks ago, it felt like it developed adult acne overnight. I laughed and smiled and apologised to her, truly I did. I then got it. I surrendered. I couldn’t ignore her any more.

And it’s funny what happens when you finally surrender – and decide with certainty what you need to do, your body gives you MORE signs, because almost immediately I started to say to Morgan how I didn’t feel like myself. I was ok, and genuinely still positive etc, but I said how something wasn’t right. Like I was fighting something off, except it wasn’t a cold. I just didn’t feel ‘grounded’ physically is the best way I can describe it, and I knew in my deepest of cells, it was the final push and sign from my body telling me I NEEDED to get these fake hormones out of my body.

So yesterday, at 11:10am, my Dr removed my 3rd and final implanon, after 15 years of contraception, 9 of which has been with an implanon.

And I cried. I was an emotional ball of tears and snot (in the car after of course, I remained the polite snot free patient for my Dr) and I couldn’t stop shaking. Not cute shakes, I’m talking full body shaking.

If you’ve followed me by now you know me (heyyyyy friends and readers of years) and know I am totally open about some of my more woo woo beliefs, and this is absolutely one of them.

I honestly believe it was my immediate body reaction to it’s freedom – to 15 years of fake hormones flooding my body – and now it is free.

And I feel….. free.

I feel like for the first time in my womanhood journey, I am allowing my body to do what she’s’ meant to do, that is, to find her natural rhythm and rhyme.

I have claimed all of my body back. She’s 100% mine again, and I can’t tell you how happy that makes me.

I am excited to feel out this journey now, be super gentle on myself, kind to myself, and enter self-love practices like never before, and really just honour my body as she finds her own groove again, but does so 100% naturally and fake hormone free. First task at hand is entering a 2 day deep cleanse immediately. 

A new practice I have already implemented is saying 100 times a day (who knows how many to be honest but as many times in a day as I remember) …. “I approve of myself and love all of me” – just gently reminding my body how much I do love ALL of her and giving 100% approval back to ‘her’ to do her job magnificently.

I must say this as well. Entering this new space of no more synthetic hormones in my body is MY decision based on my own body and beliefs and readiness. I am 29 now and have spent MORE than half of my life telling my body it wasn’t good enough to be natural and work itself out by itself – but that is my belief system, it doesn’t have to be yours.

I am also not saying contraception is bad, not by any means, I am just saying it is no longer something I personally am for – but it could be something your body needs for medical reasons. So you need to do what you need to do for you and your body.

That’s the beauty of our bodies, they know what we each need, our job is to listen.

The other thing is, I don’t regret the last 15 years either. Regret is just something I never have as it’s an energy I don’t ever want to hold in my body, I am grateful I have gotten to 29 and in the health and position I am in from every decision I have made up until this point. Contraception and all – I cannot and will not ever regret it.

I am equal parts grateful now though I have made a new decision intuitively listening to my body and am excited to see where this leads me physically, emotionally and spiritually – you see I personally feel this was my intuition asking for 100% natural reign to step even more in to my role I am here to play on earth – and just to love and nuture my body in a way I never have.

So here we go essentially. You’re up to date now and as always, I am so damn grateful for my blog that 6 years on, still acts as my online diary where I feel I can always show up vulnerably and share the journey’s I am on.

I am committed to taking anyone who wants to come along for the ride on it as I use this space to keep sharing how it all goes for me and how my body goes with finding her re balance and harmonising groove.

But for now, I am off to have a bath, read a book and love on this beautiful body of mine as much as is humanly possible.

The art of showing up for your inspiration daily

It’s funny how it always happens. The writing that is. Every single day I open a fresh word document and stare at the blank piece of paper, willing something to come forth, I show up for my inspiration even when I don’t necessarily have any idea where to begin that particular day or what, or I know where to start. So instead, I just start.

I just start tapping away at the keys, maybe writing what’s around me or a private journal note to myself, and just like that, a moment of inspiration comes, as it always does.

The same exact thing happened this morning. I was sitting in a beautiful café in Noosa before the rest of the world is really up, drinking what I honestly believe is the worlds best cup of coffee and a moment of divine inspiration came from the notion of this whole ethos of ‘just start’, of showing up for your inspiration even if you’re not sure she’s coming.

You see, my act of writing even when I feel ready, even if I feel a creative spark in the moment doesn’t stop me from beginning. I know if I sit at my computer, and just show up for the writing process –  magic will eventually show up too. But it wouldn’t if I didn’t just BEGIN.

The same could be said for so many other things in our lives.

We want change.

We seek adventure.

We desire that bold love story.

And yet we aren’t even taking that first step in the journey to begin, telling whatever power that be you believe in that you’re ready.

Because if there is one thing I have learned, when you move, the universe moves. (Pop in God or Ghandi or Allah or whatever else spiritual belief you have if universe doesn’t resonate with you).

You take a step, the universe takes a step. You be courageous in showing up, the universe will equal parts show up for you.

So many times we let go of the very things in our life that may bring us joy, or stop following our curiosities because we aren’t feeling inspired in that moment, failing to realise that if we just BEGUN, the very inspiration we seek is at the other side of that beginning.

For arguments sake, let’s just take my writing as the perfect example.

I love to write. Like, I LOVE to write. It’s a practice and a habit that I will always circle back to. Always. But for a long time there, I stopped. I stopped for a multitude of reasons, ‘not having enough time’ was one of them (HAAAAA not even an excuse ever more like I wasn’t prioritising my time right around what brings me JOY) but another huge one was I just wasn’t sure anymore WHAT I would write about.

And then one day I woke up and missed it so much I didn’t even care that I wasn’t sure what I would write or if my creative juices would return, I just sat down and told myself I wasn’t leaving my desk until something showed up for me, anything showed up for me. And as soon as my fingers started tapping at the keys words and feelings of creativity started to show back up for me.

But if I hadn’t of had the courage just to sit down and get clear with the fact I was going to stick at the ‘thing’ until I produced something, anything, a whole other week (or month, or YEAR) would have passed by without me writing again.

I want to turn it over to you though? What is it for you?

Do you love going to the beach, running, pilates, yoga, getting back in to sport surfing, painting, adventure, quilting, drawing, (I could go on and on and on here) but keep saying the time isn’t right, or the moment isn’t calling for it, or whatever other lie (because that’s what it is) you keep telling yourself.

Because I am telling you right now, that you just need to show up to it.

Put those running shoes on and just take the first step out of the door.

Book the app for yoga or pilates, get in the car and turn the key.

Pick up your surf board, and go to the beach (even if you don’t get out, you took the first steps).

Pick up the paintbrush and just splash something, ANYTHING on a piece of paper.

The point is you don’t need to make anything perfect, we aren’t going for perfect, we are going for progress. Because in my books progress IS perfect.

And if you keep thinking that you have to wait for the inspiration to come before you sit to get in your creative flow, you’re going to be waiting a very long time. BUT, and here is where the magic lies, you show up for your passion BEFORE the inspiration hits, the very act of showing up for it will allow it to flow through.

You know the magic I am talking about too.

You could have put off going to yoga all week, because you just weren’t “feeling” it. Then you force yourself to go on a particularly busy day, and you and that Mat connect like never before (I’m talking move over Ghandi you could write a whole book on peace and meditation) and you walk out of there thinking WHY did you not just push yourself to go in the first place.

Magic.

You could have slept in all week telling yourself you’re too sore or tired this week to do your morning run, but then in one forced moment at the end of the week, you FORCE yourself to climb out of bed, put your running shoes on and head out the door – and that morning you hit your stride like never before and feel a trillion dollars walking back in the door hot and sweaty.

Magic.

You could have been avoiding your laptop for days putting off writing that blog piece or big status for the week, telling yourself you have writers block. But when you finally DO sit with the blank piece of paper staring at you and you just start tapping away at the keys to write, words flow through where you don’t even know where they’re coming from and you get the whole piece done in record time.

Magic.

But you know what?

There are also going to be those days you will show up for it, and get whatever your ‘it’ is done, and inspiration still didn’t come a knockin’ let alone a rockin’.

And you know what? That’s ok too. Because that’s just life, and you just have to be ok with it. Remember, it’s not always going to be perfect, we don’t need perfect, we need progress.

The point is you just need to show up to your passion or what lights you up regardless of the outcome. To show up for it for the love of it, never expecting anything of ‘it’ in return.

I don’t write for any other reason than I love doing it. I don’t write for anyone but me. Each time I pour something on a blank piece of paper it’s as if I think not one soul will read it, I show up to it because I love it, it’s that simple. And yet over the years, because I have shown up for it, people DO read it and it has rewarded me some phenomenal things. But with or without that reward, my writing and I are bound over some sacred daily devotion.

Showing up for your joy or love of something isn’t some big life shattering change either.

It’s nothing grandiose.

It’s nothing outstanding.

It’s nothing earth shatteringly profound.

It’s just you doing what you love, every single day, whether inspiration has struck or not, that’s all.

But isn’t that life personified? I believe that life is simply a series of beautiful moments withheld in each day, and it’s when those days are strung together you create a masterpiece with your life.

It doesn’t have to be grandiose every day.

You don’t need to go for outstanding in every moment.

Your days don’t have to be continuously profound.

What you can strive for though is that beautiful moment withheld in your day, every day, showing up for the love of something – be it reading, or writing, or running, or singing or cooking – and when you turn around, in weeks and months and years to come, its those moments you showed up for whether you felt inspired or not, that will make you realise what a divine masterpiece you have created with your life.

You don’t need the perfect time, or the perfect setting, or the perfect inspiration, or the perfect conditions to start, you just need to start.

And I hope you start today.

Don’t ever forget it’s your DAYS that turn in to your weeks, then its your weeks that turn in to your months, and your months that turn in to your years. It’s not about having a great year, it’s about making phenomenal days, because it’s our days that create our year.

So start today.

Show up for the love of your favourite things in every day, and I promise your life will become the masterpiece you deserve.

If today was your last day – would you be happy with how it was lived?

Sitting on a plane some 35,000 feet above the air, I have just finished watching the movie ‘Me before you’ – and have been emotionally moved like I can’t explain.

First of all, let it be said, that it is by far, the saddest movie I have ever watched of all time, full stop, no returns.

Sobbing madly on the plane (I’m talking uncontrollable tears) with poor Morgan (read; lucky Morgan!) sitting next to me unsure how to console me, one of the beautiful flight attendants spotted me, put his hand on his chest nodded at me like “I know what’s going on here, I know what you’re watching” disappeared, and re appeared with about 10 serviettes and a bottle of champagne for me and came back to my seat saying “You before me?” to which I tearfully just looked at him and started crying harder  as he handed me the bottle.

You see, I love love so fucking much. I love love more than I will EVER be able to articulate. Ever.

Sometimes, and it’s hard to explain it but my heart will actually ache from loving so hard. The beautiful thing is, I know everybody has this capacity to love this hard, I just think I am just tuned in to it.

Seeing grandparents holding hands or calling each other sweetheart or darling literally riddles me with emotion, hearing of other peoples love stories makes my heart explode – and don’t even get me started on weddings.

But I love ALL love.

Love for one another; aka relationship love – sure I love that.

But love for humanity and kindness for all others – that is unconditional love to me which is even better than love and THAT is what makes my heart ache in the best way possible.

So to watch a movie where two people fall in love – despite Will’s differences already had me crying throughout the movie. Lou’s character was just the most beautiful, kind, sincere, genuine, positive woman who truly had a love for life and others. A sincerely beautiful and endearing quality to have. And yet, the inevitable still happened, that inevitable of which I can’t even get in to still because it’s far too traumatic and devastating at this raw moment to discuss.

What I DO want to talk about however were two resounding messages that so potently hit me right in this moment and brought me to pouring this blog post out still sitting on the plane, trying to stop these tears from falling and I sit here and write this.

P.s I interrupt this short post to update you on the amazing flight attendant Travis who just came back to check on me to see if I was ok – and I said I was writing about it and he said “oh darling” and I started crying again!! Haha Qantas you need to give Travis a payrise and a promotion he is all that is good and just in this world. Let’s continue on however….

What I DO want to talk about however were two resounding messages that so potently hit me right in the heart, like, took my heart, flipped it around and around and then burst it open filling the whole damn plane with glitter and unicorns and love hearts (think cartoon style).

And it was these two things….

You’ve only got one life and it’s your duty to live it as powerfully and beautifully as you can.  

You can’t change who people are – you can only love them.

I want to speak to the first point first – and I get so perplexed with that statement because I think people have become so numb to that point having heard it in instagram inspiration posts and in books FAR too often.

So forget what you read – focus on how you FEEL when you read it.

People can think “you’ve only got one life” as SO cliché but I just want to shake those people and be like WAKE THE FUCK UP because you DO only have one life. And with that life do you want to be living even one DAY not as you pleased? I hope the answer is no.

I believe, trulyyyyyyy believe, I live a beautiful life – but do you want to know the secret as to why? It’s not the ‘stuff’ that is filled in it it’s the MOMENTS that I create.

I fundamentally live as though each and every single day is my last.

Even boarding this plane, I have to say I always do get a little twinge of ‘I trust that we will make it safe and sound’ but smile knowing that if we don’t every single person in my life deeply knows how loved they were by me.

Because there are so many of these things that occur in my daily life ….

I love publicly pouring love.

I love privately pouring love.

I love writing love letters in peoples birthday cards.

I love telling strangers how beautiful they look.

I love complimenting mums I don’t know on how phenomenally they are doing raising their babies.

I love asking the check out chicks “tell me something exciting you love to do”.

I love saying “I love you” at the end of EVERY SINGLE ONE of my calls or catch ups with family or friends (and I love they say it back).

I love sending long text messages detailing just how proud of people I am or how much I love them and WHY.

I love that every day no matter how productive or mayhem’ish my day may look there is something in there that I LOVE to do (be it a yoga class, journaling, a beach walk, a dance to loud music – whatever!).

I love not having any control over being able to hide my emotion at any given moment. Loving too wildly (there is no such thing). Laughing VERY loudly no matter who’s around me and crying with complete strangers at the absolute drop of a hat.

I love making out with Morgan daily and telling him how much I love him (several times a day).

I love sharing so vulnerably in every given moment – and I love that I love doing that.

I love that I can look every person I come in to contact with in the eye and tell them that I hope they have a “wild, magnificent, wonderful, extraordinary, wonderful” day as I leave them (and then I love seeing their face as no one says that stuff anymore).

You see, sure my life has some pretty fun stuff in it but it’s never the stuff that makes it so wild and wonderful – it’s the moments and memories and people that I collect that make it so.

I believe it’s about filling my life with adventure, not material ‘things’ and having wild and funny stories to tell, not stuff to show.

I don’t really care what car you drive– I care if you took 5 minutes out of your day today to tell all the people in your life if you loved them.

I don’t care what handbag you have – I care if you snort laugh when sharing that story of that ‘one time when you skinny dipped in the Mediterranean” (if that is your travel style, aka that is one of my own fav stories to tell!)

Point is – our lives are absolutely and fundamentally NOT about what we HAVE, it’s about what we DO, and how much we have LOVED.

I cannot tell you the synchronicity of this post either, as I recently got to find and follow a beautiful fellow blogger –Lisa, the extraordinary woman behind  “Terminally Fabulous” and tragically, She is dying of terminal cancer.

She doesn’t have long left either – and she’s not ready to die (writing that just brings on more tears).

So when I say, ‘you’ve only got one life, and it’s your duty to live it as powerfully and beautifully as you can’ – I mean that with my whole being.

I OFTEN say, just IMAGINE if today was your last day – in fact I wrote a pretty long and heart felt blog post about It here, that if this morning, when your alarm went off, you didn’t wake up. Or you’re on your way to work and there is a freak accident. You can’t say it’s impossible because these sorts of things happen every single day.

I just want you to wake up and see that your life is not a dress rehearsal – there is no moment where everything is just going to click in to place and it’s exactly as it’s meant to be for you. You just have to show up every single day understanding that every moment is a choice.

You choose to understand that life is a gift.

You choose to say I love you more.

You choose to see the good over the bad more often than not.

You choose to just brush things off that aren’t worth holding on to.

You choose to forgive quickly.

You choose to love so wildly your heart hurts.

You choose you choose you CHOOSE.

So you guys, what if you could just choose better? A pretty wild statement right? Of course not, making a choice can be done from one second to the next with no real effort or thought – just choose better. We don’t need to get deep and woo woo about it, as one successful brand that you might know of says…

Just do it.

With that sentiment in mind, I also wanted to explore the second theme of the movie that hit my heart harder than I can truly articulate, which was;

You can’t change who people are – you can only love them.

Something pretty heartbreaking happens in the film – because of a decision one character makes (I don’t want to give away the whole movie in case you DO feel emotionally stable enough to see it). And Lou couldn’t change his mind, she couldn’t change what he wanted, she couldn’t change what he believed – and ultimately, she couldn’t change him.

She could only Love him.

And I just think that is the most beautiful lesson to bring in to our daily lives.

You might not be able to change the people in your life who challenge you the most.

You might not be able to change the fact that people in your life have wildly varying political or religious beliefs than you.

You might not be able to change the fact that you have a family member or friend that makes bad decisions.

But you can love them.

Unconditionally.

Don’t ever confuse unhealthily loving someone (aka domestic violence relationships – RUN far FAR far away in those cases – but that’s a post for another day) for unconditionally loving someone either.

I am talking about that work colleague who really grinds your gears because you have differing opinions.

Love them anyway.

I am talking about that parent who you don’t think gave YOU enough love as a child so you still have stuff around it.

Love them anyway.

I am talking about that friend who has decided to have wildly different religious or political views to you (set some boundaries of course, but)….

Love them anyway.

Morgan and I for the last year have spent half a day Thursday volunteering with the homeless. It’s not something that we ever or very very rarely post about or share, as we don’t do it TO share, we do it to serve. But every week, come rain, hot hot sun, or crazy hail storm (we have had it all), we go and pick up a bright Orange Sky Laundry van and go and wash our homeless friends clothes.

And every week, we hear their stories of alcoholism, or drug abuse, or how they escaped violent relationships, or how they’re just choosing homelessness as its easier and less stressful than living in homes west.

And you know what the greatest gift of all we give them?

A non judgemental space where they can just talk, and we aren’t there to try to change them, we are just there to LISTEN and LOVE on them. To ultimately; love them.

You truly can’t change who people are – and with all due respect, it’s not your RIGHT to, but you CAN love them.

And you want to know something?

If you focused on just these 2 things alone for the next month, living your life as powerfully and beautifully as you could – and hand in hand, not wasting energy on trying to change people, just loving them, I PROMISE and guarantee you that your life will radically change.

You really only do have one life – and no fuck’s are given as to how cliché that sounds. Because we do. And the faster that you realise that, and focus on doing the things and hanging with the people that you LOVE (vs the opposite) and LOVING people instead of trying to CHANGE people, the richer and more beautiful and more extraordinary your life becomes.

Fact.

Look, I know I’m just a kid in the scheme of things, in this beautiful vortex of wild adventure that we call life, but what I do know is your life can only go in one direction (up) if you choose to focus on two principles that I think really are fundamental to beautiful living.

So from me to you today, and everyday, I just want to lovingly remind you, you really do only have one life, and it truly is your duty to live it as powerfully and beautifully as you can.

And above all else – please remember we sincerely can’t change who people are – but we can LOVE them.

So do that.

Love and live with reckless abandon.

Love and live like today was your lsat day on earth.

Love and live like you mean it and you WANT to.

And watch your life unfold as the true gift that it is right before your eyes.

Oh, and p.s … I love you.

 

 

 

 

Is your opinion hurting or helping?

Last night I couldn’t sleep.

 I tried, and tried and tried, but I had all these thoughts swirling around my head and on the rare occasions that this happens (not being able to sleep from thoughts) there is always something that I do…

“Morgan, hey baby are you awake”

 “hgnagogngoag” (his noise he makes to tell me sort of, but he would be more so if I didn’t just ask him if he was awake).

 “I need to talk about something so I can go asleep”

 “babeeeee. Is it important ??”

 “Everything is important” (haaaa – not really because sometimes I’d like to talk about unicorns and my affinity with glitter but recognise that probably isn’t important to Morgan at 11pm at night)

 “Ok baby I’m awake, what’s up”

 “I need to just talk about this whole notion around opinions vs empathy”

 “that’s what you woke me up for? To talk about your opinion on opinions”

 ….. and away the conversation went.

 You see, here is the thing, the older I get, and hopefully SOME the wiser, if there is one thing I am learning for sure it is this.

 There is absolutely no one person who is right over another when it comes to opinion. I believe, (and this is just my opinion of course – ha) that when it comes to opinions, who is honestly to say who is right and who is wrong. You are BOTH right.

 Why?

 Because it’s all just perception at the end of the day.

 I know it’s a touchy subject, but I don’t care, as it’s SUCH a great example to use to articulate my point the best –  and that is, the global women marches that have recently happened (for whatever reason it happened, I am not getting in to semantics).

 As a HUMAN (not a woman, a human) I am super proud of all the women (and men) who marched showing unity and solidarity globally. I am also proud of women (and men) who decided to post their support of it on their social media and get behind something they believe in (aka have an opinion).

 But guess what?

 As a HUMAN (not a woman, a human) I am also equal parts proud of all the women (and men) who chose NOT to march and feel that that in itself was showing unity and solidarity globally for whatever they believed in. I am also proud of the women (and men) who decided to post their lack of support on their social media and not get behind something they didn’t believe in (aka have an opinion).

 BOTH of those decisions was based on their belief systems and values and PERCEPTION of what it stood for, making it their opinion.

I am not about to argue and get upset by someone elses opinion, what I WILL show however is empathy.

Neither was technically right but neither was technically wrong – it just is what it is. It is their opinion, and because that opinion is based off of their perception of what THEY believe in – really if you actually thought about it they’re BOTH in fact right.

THAT is why, you need not ever get upset or worked up over another person’s opinion. Its not YOUR truth, it’s THEIR truth and that’s ok.

 And I know what you’re thinking, (those that disagree with this sentiment because your opinion differs so you think you’re right …) “what a weak stance to have, she needs to grow a back bone and stand for what she believes in”.

 And to that I say;

 I have a backbone, and I have a range of opinions on a range of almost every topic, the difference is, I don’t get angry, spread hate or say things in the heat of the moment when someone has a DIFFERENT opinion to me.

 I simply recognise that my own opinion is based off my own belief set and values and perception of how I personally view the world which could be the polar opposite to someone else’s belief set and values and perception of how they personally view the world giving them a completely different opinion.

 That isn’t to say I am right and they are wrong. Or that they are wrong and I am right.

 That’s just the thing about opinion, we are both right because we both believe it with our whole soul.

 I swear on everything I love, the day I really fully truly actually understood this very sentiment – was the day my life became calmer, happier, less drama filled and did I mention happier?

 You are religious and have some super strong religious beliefs? Awesome.

You are atheist but believe in the amazing power of the universe? How beautiful.

You are a feminist and get angry about a lot of things? Good for you.

You are a woman who is anti feminists thinking they take us back 200 years. Bravo.

You are someone who vehemently argues for adopt over buying a dog from a breeder? I think that is beautifully noble of you.

You are someone that is an ambassador about buying a dog from a breeder vs a rescue as you know then you’ll have your forever dog and it won’t end up in a rescue shelter? All power to you.

 You see – it doesn’t matter what side of the argument you’re on, your both right, and there is not point getting angry and being mean or loosing sleep over someone elses opinion.

 What people believe and therefore stand up for is THEIR truth.

And what you believe and therefore stand up for is YOUR truth.

 Your truth is your truth and generally speaking, no one can take that away from you or change your mind on it, and I don’t think they should.

There are ALWAYS exceptions to the rule as well, I am not saying we just have to walk around and be zen to all opinions and accept them with no recourse. When I am talking about with all of the above I just have, I am talking about the opinions that obviously don’t hurt other members of society – every day stuff that is discussed far and wide in and offline. If someone has a violently differing opinion to you that is generally upsetting, by all means, use your internal indicators to know that that doesn’t bode well with you. You still however don’t have to get in a big debate with them, because I can almost guarantee its not going to change their opinion anyway – you just get the wonderful choice to unfollow, or unfriend or close that chapter with having them in your life. Simples.

The best part about this whole piece I have just written as well?? It’s just an opinion 😉 One you may agree or disagree on, but that’s just the best part, if you DO disagree, its your first chance to put in to place the whole idea of not getting upset or angry about someone having a differing opinion and simply accepting this as MY truth, and being ok with that.

The world doesn’t need more separation and arguments, it is crying out for more empathy, and it starts right here and now, with you.

And I promise you, truly deeply wildly promise you, that living in this way, will make for your most peaceful and calm life yet.

Image: here 

My 7 year journey

Facebook threw up the photo on the left the other day and I had to take several moments to breathe in the journey I have been on. The photos are almost exactly 7 years apart and what a journey it has been.

7 years ago, at age 22, as ‘confident’ and ‘headed places’ as I was (I had a big group of friends around me and was already in politics working full time + in my final year at uni) I wasn’t sincerely happy.

I had a body that was getting abused with bad food, binge drinking and recreational drugs (ecstasy every other weekend), and a mind that was completely devoid of self worth and emotional strength.

And one day I woke up, and decided to change, just like that. It was a night I was on pills and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror – and LITERALLY didn’t recognise the woman staring back at me. Body, mind & spirit. So I changed. Morgan and I transformed our lives S.L.O.W.L.E.Y – changed our whole diet, I stopped saying yes to music festivals & parties I knew I’d be tempted to take drugs, and swapped out tv for books. In 2010 I had my major jaw reconstruction surgery (life changing surgery to fix my severe underbite). I dropped 17kgs – 6kg from the surgery, 11kg on my own, (Morgan dropped 23kg) and started to change literally from the inside (mind) out (body). 2 years in to that journey, I found nutritional cleansing yes – and have maintained my weight and results with those life changing products ever since, but that isn’t where this initial transformation ever came from.

This came from knowing who I was with conviction- and making drastic changes towards becoming that woman. It was knowing NO ONE defined my worth but me. It was being sick of thinking my power was external to me – when I had the keys all along.

There isn’t an excuse in the WORLD I will hear from someone, especially a woman (one day I will share my ENTIRE story) as to why you are so stuck in fear to change. Not one.

You are not what you weigh, how you have or haven’t looked, who you have slept with, you aren’t your dark past, or a fucked up childhood, you are not your mother or fathers or families expectations. You are not your scars or your feelings of unworthiness. YOU ARE NOT YOUR MISTAKES.

YOU are the one who gets to decide how your story will go.

YOU are the one who gets to feel, determine & KNOW your worth.

YOU are the one who gets to find your voice. No matter how long it’s been lost.

YOU are the one who gets to find the fire & the fight from within and share THAT journey.

No one, not your past, not your old stories, not men (or women) who have taken sexual rights from you, not any abuse, not a dark history, not A.N.Y.T.H.I.N.G or ANYONE gets to tell you who you are. Only you get to do that.

YOU are a walking piece of art crafted for THIS lifetime not here to waste one second letting others define you.

You are the author of your life. And you need to understand that you get to claim all of your power & potency back in any given moment and write how the rest of your story will go.

Because I assure you – if I can do it, then you CERTAINLY can. Your time is now, the year has never been more perfect and the calling is officially on your life.

G.O and be the woman you were always born to be, and I will always be here – cheering you on the loudest <3

p.s I have to shout out to the main man in my life Morgan too who was there for every tiny step OF this journey and has supported me in ways that I can’t even explain

Changing my world, to change THE world…with you

I was never going to be the girl who accepted an ordinary life. It just wasn’t in my blood.

I knew that if I wanted a life different from others, especially a life way different than what society tells us is ‘normal’ (go to school, get a degree, get a good job, get married, own a house, work until you’re old, then die) then I was was going to have to always find the courage to live a little bolder and work a little harder.

That journey for me started early on in my life.

At age 11, I got my first job, delivering newspapers / junk mail to 80 houses around our neighbourhood for a few dollars a week, and thanks to that, I had saved my first $100 before I was 12.

At age 13, I got my second job, working weekend nights (whilst friends got to party earlier than me) at Dominos saucing pizzas.

I worked there for over 3 years and by 16 was working big part time hours (every other night and weekends) whilst juggling high school obviously full time.

At age 17, I left Dominoes to help another pizza business launch in our area and worked long part time hours finishing year 12.

At age 18, I got my first Full Time Job as a junior admin assistant in an Accounting firm (who are my Accountants for Morgan & I’s biz today!)

At age 19, I started my degree in Commerce, and continued to work full time and study full time over the next 3 years (graduating being offered honours – thanks but no thanks) graduating with a Double Major in Human Resources, and Management with a minor in Entrepreneurship.

At age 21, I got my job in Federal Politics and spent the next (almost) 4 years working my ass off having the time of my LIFE in our Perth based office & Parliament House in Canberra.

At age 22, I launched my first REAL business, Possibly Maybe – a dating website for 18 – 35 year olds. I wrote out a comprehensive business plan, got a bank loan and spent over $12,000 setting that biz up supporting myself through uni, and working full time.

At age 23, I launched my first blog (lifesshinyprettythings- which is the re branded annaandmorgan dot com today).

At age 25, I started my Network Marketing Business. And this is the year we are planning on hitting Millionaire.

Here is the thing though.

Between the ages of 11 and 25 (so that’s some 14 years), I have absolutely been looking for that ‘thing’ – that thing that I have been looking for since I was born, that was going to allow me to create the life that we ALL deserve, that I knew a traditional job was never going to reward me.

You know, things like…

Travelling the world – not having to request leave for 4 weeks a year.

Earning an uncapped income based on effort – not being told what I was worth from a boss or corporation.

Working with who I want, where I want, when I want – not in an open plan office with negative co-workers in a tiny cubicle.

And achieving big goals and dreams – like retiring my mum and living life on our terms.

So at age 25 – when I found my current company and feel in love with the model of Network Marketing, imagine how excited I was to know that I had just found ‘the thing’, that thing being the vehicle to reward me the life I had looked for since I was a little girl.

But something else happened when I found this profession and decided to, and successful did, go for it.

People, not all, but a good few, couldn’t understand my choice, and I realised that there is still MUCH education required around this profession to change that, which I am more than ok with and willing to be a voice to.

Because here is the thing, I know I’m ‘only’ 28 – but I have done a lot, tried a lot of things, and spent YEARS trying to find ‘the thing’ I am most passionate about – and ultimately – it’s what I do now – helping people fall back in love with themselves and their health and helping people become financially independent and or free.

And yes, I recognise that some people still misunderstand this profession and business model – but I know it’s the one profession that I am so madly passionate about, one thing I love the most is you can be a Harvard graduate or a stay at home mum with no degree, but as long as you are passionate about the product and have commitment to hard work, you can succeed. 

You might think network marketing is crazy (or I have heard the word scam thrown around which makes me laugh), or not for you, but I am here to say whether you’re a raging fan of it, or someone who doesn’t fully understand it, or someone who actually talks bad about the profession, in 2017 I am going to humbly suggest its time that you started to properly educate yourself on it.

My paper round, my years working for a franchise, starting an online ‘traditional’ business, my working full time, my degree – although all PHENOMENAL things – were never going to give me the life I now get to lead…. and THAT is why, I can’t be stopped and won’t be stopped.

I really do believe I have spent 18 years getting ready for this next chapter in Morgan and I’s life where we play bigger, show up more and REALLY start to make some noise about what we do and what we love – so you can keep watching and wondering, or you can reach out and see what it is we ACTUALLY do vs. just assuming.

My mission is to help women step in to their true power, and realise they can wear all hats if they want to – be it a mum, entrepreneur, humanitarian,  a { insert your dream title here } – and do that whilst absolutely loving the skin they’re in and earning an income that will change their world which in turn changes THE world.

And please don’t think this is the be all and end all for me or has to be for you either. It’s the VEHICLE. 

I have passion projects ready to be launched now because I have the time and financial freedom to pursue them – including womens & couples retreats and womens weekend events.

It’s just that at 28 years of age, I have found the ‘thing’ that I get to demonstrate my courage with to live that bolder life and work a lot harder – and I couldn’t be happier.

For me now though, it’s about helping other women (and Morgan feels the exact same way when it comes to helping Men) find the courage to do the same.

If you were like me, and have tried a tonne of different things, and worked incredibly hard on someone else’s dream – but know that 2017 is the year you find the ‘thing’ for you too, then it’s absolutely time we had a little chat.

Answer the question at the bottom of this other page and let’s chat. 

I GET that network marketing isn’t for everybody, but I DO get that health IS – and what we have with our company IS the perfect storm.

No one, no doubter, no bump in the road is going to stop me (or Morgan of course) – THAT for sure is what I can promise you.

I want the same kind of women around me though – one’s that want to build a legacy, an empire, ones that are so certain of the life they want to lead that nothing and no one can stop them. If that sounds like you – you’re the woman I 100% want to work with and I can’t wait to have a chat with you.

You know your time is now.

You know you’ve spent your whole life getting ready for this.

You know you’ve got it in you to change your whole life.

And I’m here ready to show you how.

Chat to you soon beautiful lady.

 

The real reason you’re not moving forward

It’s Tuesday, my delicious hot coffee has been made with love and I have been staring at this blank white page for a few minutes now, willing myself to write. For inspiration to strike, for the topic that is burning most in my heart to will itself through me.

And as I sat here waiting for those magical moments to occur, I had the overwhelming urge to just start tapping at the keys to see what comes out instead– and as I do so, I am immediately struck with a thousand words that want to flow through me, but in particular, this idea around Fear, and what is truly holding us back.

I finished my book last night that I was reading the last week or so – the War of Art, by Steven Pressfield, and as I read the last word on the last page, I quietly shut the book and took a big breathe out.

And it came from the notion of ‘real fear’. We all have fear – of course, fear is needed, good even, as it’s what keeps us safe (sometimes too safe). But so often, in fact too often, we allow those ‘other’ fears, like fear of failure or fear of being hurt, or fear of loosing people to stop us.

But here is the real kicker, those fears, although totally valid and as real to us as the air we breathe, they’re not the ultimate fear that we have hanging over us day after day after day, and what really keeps us from writing the book, changing careers, asking for the guy on the date – is the ‘Master Fear’ – the fear that is so a part of us most people don’t even believe it to not just be the Master fear but a fear at all. And that is;

The Fear that we WILL in fact succeed.

That we stop ourselves, time after time after time and day after day after day – not because we are scared we will fail, even though that fear might minutely be there, but we stop ourselves because the unconscious thought of drastically succeeding and becoming who we were born to be, or finishing the book or finding the love of our life – is actually scarier than the notion of failing.

You might immediately cast that idea aside – and already be at work in your mind thinking that is absolutely nuts, but I have to tell you, laying there in bed last night, taking my big breathe out – I couldn’t have aligned with that idea more.

I couldn’t tell you the amount of projects I haven’t started, or speaking events I have said no to, or even posts I haven’t written – not from fear of failing, I KNOW no matter what nothing is REALLYYYY a failure, even if I launched a project and it didn’t go how I wanted, I’d be proud I at least started it, or if I bombed out at a speaking event, at least I showed my human vulnerable side, or if no one read a post, at least I had the courage to write it – failure to me is still a positive thing as I just think ‘failures’ are learning curves.

The reason, deep inside, if I truly had to be honest and vulnerable I haven’t started many a project or spoken at certain events or writing particular blog posts – as I do know that’s the next level for me, and succeeding is scarier to me than failure. Failure I can deal with. Succeeding requires all new levels of up skilling and living boldly.

I believe it’s also why deep down, I stopped writing.

You see, I said it just the other day – I LOVE to write. For 2 ½ – 3 years when I first birthed lifesshinyprettythings (the original anna and morgan dot com blog) I was committed to my daily practice of writing no matter what. It was quite honestly the thing that got me up early, and kept me up late.

Then life and business ‘got in the way’ (read: exploded in the most beautiful and abundant and life changing of ways), and writing took a back seat.

But deep down, I think it was a fear of where could this take me. Should I REALLY be allowed to have this much joy from allowing words to flow through me daily.

The answer is of that, of course I should. Joy and living in to a purpose is our divine birth right.

This whole notion of holding yourself back due to a fear of succeeding vs a fear of failing still might feel crazy to you, and don’t ever get me wrong either, fear of failure is still VERY MUCH a real and constant fear for us all, I understand that, but I just dare you to try it on for size next time you’re holding yourself back from something.

Check in. Show up to yourself and for yourself and ask yourself the harder question.

Are you scared because you’ll fail (because honestly, what is failure anyway but a beautiful lesson in life) or are you actually scared because you could boldly succeed. You know, fall in love, be admired, earn the respect, land the deal, speak up.

Because you just might find, like I had a quiet realisation for myself the other day – that I can take the next little step forward when I recognise the difference between the fears (here I am now still sitting writing vulnerably for you all for example) – because success, done with the right intention and in love and humility, maybe isn’t such a scary thing after all.

Marianne Williamson said it best when she said her famous quote, a famous quote might I add that has always been one of my favourites, and only has more meaning now I am birthed a new day recognising fear of success vs failure more than ever ….

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.”

And as the amazing Steven Pressfield finished his book with that struck me right in the heart…

“Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got”.

I know it might seem so far away, or implausible or maybe even impossible, but that doesn’t make it any less real or powerful.

So I ask you, just as Marianne has quietly tried all of these years with her quote, and Mr Pressfield in his phenomenal book – to stop playing small, it’s time you gave the world what you’ve got.

Little by little.

Day by day.

It doesn’t matter how fast these small brave acts of courage take initially, of you living more in to who you were born to be, it just matters that you act.

And today, and every day, I wish you the courage to do just that.

Here is to you, to knowing that there is nothing to be afraid of with success and that you have purpose and meaning on this earth that you get to so beautifully live in to.

The Week that was.. December Week 3

Forever and a day – I have wanted to share more VIDEO on this little old blog of mine to even better connect with you, you beautiful soul, who shows up in this space with me to learn and laugh along with me in this crazy thing we call life. But forever and a day, just like you yourself sometimes let fear hold you back, I have let fear hold me back.

The crazy thing is, it’s not even fear like “what if no one watches it” or “what if I look silly” – I am by it’s very definition, silly, so I KNOW I will look silly haha. It’s just fear of finally committing to sitting in front of a camera and sharing more of what I want to share, or even knowing where to start when I SIT in front of that damn camera.

However, I have come to a beautiful – I don’t think I have seen it done anywhere which excites me – compromise. Driving in the car the other day with Morgan, laughing at some beautiful Direct Messages I was getting on my Instagram with the Instagram stories that I do (which are always just me goofing around in my daily life) – I said to my love in a moment of inspiration, “I am going to create a video each week of ‘the week that was’, made up of all my Instagram stories, and share it on the blog”. “Amazing idea baby” he said – and thus the weekly blog post of “The Week that Was”, was born.

I know many of you already follow me on Instagram – and I am so grateful for that, thank you for following along in this crazy world of Morgan and I’s – but I am also acutely aware, many do not. I am also acutely aware, much to some of our shock and surprise – some people don’t even HAVE Instagram (say whaaattttttt) – so this post is really for those 2 categories of people.

  1. The people that don’t have Instagram, and;
  2. The people who don’t follow Morgan or I on Instagram so this is all fresh content for them.

For those that DO follow me on Instagram already, you can just skim over this weekly post 😉 But of course if you still want to catch back up on the silliness that generally occurs by ALL means re watch. But for you guys, I promise I WILL start posting more vlogs, so blogs that are video’d vs written. As I DO know the power in them, and I WILL get over my own shit about it.

But for now, enjoy the new update to the blog / website in the weekly edition of…. The week that was.

 

What sincere authenticity is to me – and why I am obsessed with it.

Sitting on the ground yesterday in the beautiful Perth sunshine, I got chatting to one of Morgan and I’s friends on the street who’s clothes we are honoured to wash weekly. For the purposes of her privacy I am going to call her Sarah.

Sarah and I were catching up on each other’s week and she told me that she had just started to read 50 shades of Grey, and I was interested to hear what book she was up to as I too had read the series I told her. We started snorting with hysteria though as I went on to explain…

“Isn’t it funny though how you totally need your man around when you read it as they are absolute turn on books (*note, Sarah is in a loving relationship). Except you have just read about how wild and hot and steamy Christian and Anastasia are and then when you go to do it you’re still just Starfish”.

Cue tears streaming down our faces kind of laughing because we both knew it was true.

The conversation continued on just talking about the normal things of life, kids, family, relationships, you know – the usual kind of conversation you’d have with anyone.

Mid shift I walked over to the toilets laughing quietly to myself again about our conversation about the 50 shades of Grey books, which made me think about the countless other times I have had that conversation with so many women since reading the book in 2012 – women in parliament, good girlfriends over a wine, strangers when I used to see them reading it in parks.

And walking back over to where our friends and Morgan were sitting that sunny afternoon, it dawned on me that THAT is sincere authenticity.

Not the fact that I can talk about sex or ‘risky’ books with anyone – that’s not the point. But the fact that no matter who I am with, no matter what I am doing, no matter where I am – I can just show up as who I am and say the same thing in front of a friend on the street or a member of parliament.

Now – do not get me wrong. I am acutely aware that some conversations aren’t appropriate in front of a Priest (for respect) or a 4-year-old (due to age appropriateness) or a Prime Minister (for, well, I suppose for respect although I personally think they’re just normal human beings) – so I am not talking about that. I know that sometimes, sure what we say or how we can act does have to differ slightly person to person – but there is a huge distinction between managing respect and being sincerely authentic.

Managing Respect comes down to just knowing what volume to be at I believe, but still always living in to who you authentically. And by volume, I don’t mean that literally.

I’ll give you an example.

Back when I worked in Federal Politics, I used to always have to go in to what I called ‘the big boy meetings’ – with Ministers of portfolio’s, or CEO’s of big corporations (i.e Alan Joyce), you were constantly also meeting ex Prime Ministers (my favourite one being the time I got to have a chat with the Hon John Howard) and current Prime Ministers (who at the time was Opposition Leader – Tony Abbott).

Now. If you know me well, (or not even well, if you just follow me on social media recently or over the years), you know that I am a pretty crazy, cheeky, fun human who has an affinity for the word fuck, being silly and champagne, unicorns (yes, even at the age of 28) and hot chips– just to name a tiny aspect of me.

So when I would go in to these ‘big boy meeting’s’ I would always manage my respect, BUT I would show up sincerely authentically as myself.

What does that look like?

It means knowing that in some moments, sure, the word fuck is not the best option so to not use it. It’s listening more than talking sometimes, it’s showing the more mature side of you whilst ALL the while being wildly authentic.

So what does wild authenticity look like in a situation like that (parliament) whilst managing respect.

It looked like dressing up as a love heart on valentine’s day and handing out chocolates to all the federal members – because who doesn’t want a chocolate from a love heart on valentine’s day.

It looked like never ever taking myself too seriously at any and all ‘party’ functions and almost creating the loudest most fun, hilarious group situation where we could actually let our hair down, laugh and all show up with our sillier sides.

It meant having a drink with all the serious Shadow Ministers at the end of the sitting week and starting a “peaks and pits” of their week – going around in a circle sharing what we could do better, and what we did well that week (and for grown men & women who run our country to look forward to that session we used to do in the chairman’s lounge all waiting to fly home – was such a fun thing for me).

It meant telling Alan Joyce to his face that although I loved his airline, if we didn’t get chocolates back on the Thursday flight home I’d start a revolt (tongue in cheek) and get us all to start flying Virgin instead. (side note: guess who had chocolates back on the flight home by that Thursday night….. me.

You see – you can be respectful when you need to be – all huge examples above – but you can still ALWAYS, ALWAYS show up sincerely as yourself.

We are moving in to a world where authenticity is the new currency.

We are seeking authenticity over perfection.

We are asking for everyone around us to throw down their masks – and bare their souls.

We are obsessed with compassionate acts and unconditional love (well I am) – which is birthed from humanity stepping away from who they were told to be and stepping in to who they were born to be – authentic powerful beings.

We are hungry for freedom – authentic, delicious freedom.

The universe is calling forth a rebellion of a new kind – and more and more are listening to the call, not being able to resist the pull to put down their masks, light their own fire and step more in to their sincerely authentic selves.

And it’s beautiful and inspiring and extraordinary to watch.

Sincere authenticity IS the black and its here to stay, so don’t be afraid to step in to your own true divine self more and more.

It’s speaking up when your soul says to.

It’s owning who you are in front of a priest, a member of parliament or a homeless person.

It’s saying what you mean and meaning what you say.

It’s being exactly the same person as to who you are in ‘real life’ as to the person who you are showing up as online (side note; I always feel like I shouldn’t even need to say this one, but in 2017 I still do think that reminder needs to be in there).

It’s taking off every single last mask you have been holding on to, throwing it in to the fire and burning them once and for all.

It’s owning the bad ass extrovert parts of you along with the graceful and introvert parts.

It’s having the balls to live your boldest, grandest, most TRUE life – and if that means being the quietest librarian the world has ever seen or the most impactful world leader the world has ever known – BEAUTIFUL – just make sure you are showing up exactly as you are every.damn.day.

My only wish for you today though, is that you start somewhere – and I suggest that somewhere is in the next instance you go to crack a joke but don’t because you think it’s not ‘cool’ or you don’t speak up on a topic you’re actually red-hot passionate about – you actually DO instead, because THAT is who you are.

 

 

 

 

 

Images: here,