Screw Being the Good Girl

We all hold ourselves back. We come armed with a whole lotta baggage around nearly every aspect of our lives and this translates into another suitcase full of fear.

Some of my fear I understand – fear of not being smart enough, pretty enough, successful enough (you know, the usuals). But others are even more ridiculous and seem to be even harder to fight my way out of.

For me, apparently one of the heaviest bags is MY NEED TO BE NICE. I keep trying to lose it on the airport carousel, but no luck so far.

 

 

Now, everyone SHOULD be nice. Respect thy neighbour, be kind to others etc etc, but there are some of us who are “good” to the point where it robs us of our own joy and affects our health. Sound familiar? Any “hell yeah’s” in the audience?

Where is the line? Where are the boundaries around “being a good person” and who decides whether you are or not at the end of the day?

If I were a religious person I’m sure that would be sewn up for me, but it seems that because I’m not, I tend to give away that power to… well just about anyone who wants it.

 

I’ve been wondering about how many things I’ve let go that really mattered or needed to be stood up for because I didn’t want anyone to see me as “bitchy” or “greedy” or “nasty”. Even typing those words makes me feel ill.

We know we should make decisions out of love rather than fear and yet when it comes to being “nice” I think we can often get the two confused.

If someone says something that makes you uncomfortable, you should feel as though you can tell them that it’s not okay. That doesn’t make you a horrible person, it makes you a strong one.

If you are being bullied, pressured into doing something you don’t want to or made to feel bad about a decision YOU made (and it was damn well the right one), you are entitled to tell them to back off.

 

I think we can get so caught up in being liked that we forget what is truly important.

Our values, beliefs, intuition and self respect.

 

 

CARE TO SHARE?

Have you struggled with these kind of boundaries?

How do you choose what is right for you?

 

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Back Yourself Baby

2014 had me harden AND soften.

It taught me to guard my time and energy fiercely but also to open up more to those who are deserving of both.

It taught me more about sinking into my feminine and balancing this with my goal-orientated masculine side.

It showed me that I was haemorrhaging money for others and how deeply that was affecting me with guilt and shame.

It showed me how much I identified with being superwoman and how much damage that was doing emotionally.

It opened me up to understanding men more, which in turn helped me cut down the drama in my own life.

 

I don’t want to dwell too much on the past because I’ve learned that it’s just a small part of my story but there has been a lot of change in the last little while.

 

 

This year is all about BACKING MYSELF. It’s about authenticity, doing what’s best for me and those I love and taking back responsibility for everything that is feeling ick or not where it needs to be.

This year is about owning it, about having big ideas and the self belief to then get them out there. About amplifying, about whinging, about trailblazing.

We all have the power to take inspired action, to set our intention and pave our own way but we become complacent or defeated and simply give up. Our fear paralyses us. We fail and can’t stare that in the eye.

I don’t know about you, but I feel as though I’ve been afraid my whole life. Instead of having one foot in the present and one in the future, I rush ahead to all the things which might happen (all the bad ones anyway). I’m always so cautious and fearful of falling flat on my face but really – what’s the worst that can happen?

 

It’s time for us all to back ourselves, start getting shit done and enjoy the process.

It’s time to relish your down time and smash it out when you’re feeling juicy and inspired.

It’s time to set boundaries but love hard.

It’s time to live without fear, shame or regret.

 

TELL ME: How are you going to back yourself this year gorgeous?

 

A Sincere Yes

Right now I feel sick and I’m in tears. I just sent an email to a lovely friend of mine who is getting married in January overseas saying that I can’t make it.

The amount of shame I feel about this is overwhelming. I can’t attend because I don’t have the money. Something about me that you may or may not know – I never have the money.

I will put flights on my credit card each and every time someone gets married because I don’t think there is any other option. I have never considered not going before. YES to me in these situations is a knee-jerk reaction and it has taken it’s toll on my bank account and my health.

I saw my incredible kinesiologist Kerry (yes I’ve gushed about her before, it’s never enough) yesterday and we tackled the deep reason behind why I do this. I want to be the best friend, best daughter, best girlfriend ALL THE TIME. Saying no means that I become unacceptable. I’ve stopped giving and therefore I am a terrible person.

So much of my identity is caught up in being a giver. Being generous, whether it be with time, energy or money. This is why boundaries have been such a big theme for me this year and this feels like the last piece of the puzzle.

Saying no is a form of self love I’ve never let myself indulge in before (even the way I worded that sentence is interesting. Saying no is an indulgence? Haha). But when I say YES simply as a reaction, often it’s not a SINCERE YES.

I am now going to sit with every decision I have to make that affects my time, energy or money. Am I making this decision out of fear (of disappointing someone, seeming boring or missing out) or out of love?

If you can relate to this, please I’d love to hear from you. Have you said yes too many times and it’s taken a toll on you in some way? Have you found a way to manage it that’s worked for you?

Traveling alone

The form this trip has taken has changed three times. At first it was going to be in June with my ex-boyfriend, then with a girlfriend of mine and finally here I am in Paris traveling alone.

Being a Sagittarius in love with travel, the whole traveling by myself thing didn’t really phase me initially. But about 5 days out, the fear started to creep in. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what the fear was specifically but it was along the lines of “What if I’m not strong enough or savvy enough to do this by myself?” and you know what, maybe I’m not. Maybe some bad shit will happen but I’ll never know what I’m capable of without trying.

 

Add on top of that the crippling fear and expectation surrounding running two international singing workshops. Am I sure that someone will turn up? No. My best friend said something very powerful to me which made me rethink that particular “failure” though. She said “Why not be proud of the fact that you committed to the idea despite your fear no matter what the outcome is?”

It took a few days but I eventually truly believed that I’d be okay if the workshops didn’t run because nobody signed up, BUT THEN I shared it on my Facebook page. My friends wrote amazingly positive posts and messages about how brave and incredible I am and that completely derailed me.

The weekend before I left for overseas, I had a bucketload of mixed emotions. I was excited (of course). I was scared, I was sad (leaving behind my puppy, my relatively new boyfriend and my friends and students). I was angry (at myself for being so emotional over what I’ve now named “first world lucky people problems”.

I’m sorry, you’re upset that your friends are too supportive? You’re teary because you’re leaving your wonderful boyfriend to go galavanting around Europe?

Shut. Up. Princess.

That may sound harsh but I kinda needed my fierce self to give me a light slap in the face. It was a slap out of love and it was the wake up call that I needed. I got to the airport and I was like “Let’s fucking do this!”

 

So, I’m here. I’m still terrified and way out of my comfort zone but I’m also FREE. I’m taking the reigns and not worrying so much about other people and their opinions. My dream has always been to add more exploring to my life and this is the first step in the right direction.

Someone reminded me that Ill be 29 this December and stated that “We’re getting old” but to be honest I feel like life is just starting to take shape at this age. As over achievers we always push ourselves to to X, Y, Z by (insert year or birthday here) but if we’re consistently growing and challenging ourselves, isn’t that enough to be proud of ourselves? More than enough?

Why panic about what we thought COULD happen when that won’t change a thing? I’ve done more than my 16 year old self thought was possible and you know what? That’s fuckin’ good enough.

That tough question

I think I’ve learned more about myself in the last few months than in the last 28 years. It’s amazing what a tremendous amount of change can bring up. I’ve had moments of pure excitement, buckets of tears and for the most part, a lot of coasting.

For me, coasting is as bad as death. If I don’t feel like I’m forging ahead, I feel stagnant, stuck and awkward. But sometimes that’s exactly what you need, physically and emotionally and for once I decided to listen to my body and my intuition.

However, I may have coasted for a bit too long. I let life give me whatever it wanted and just nodded and smiled. I let people drain my energy because I didn’t put up any boundaries. I stopped creating things and learning (two of my favourite activities). I didn’t really have the energy.

I’m not sure I realised how much I was coasting until I saw my lovely kinesiologist (Kerry Belviso you champion). She asked me a very simple question – “What do you want?”

I had no answer. My mouth just dropped open and nothing came out. I didn’t know.

I used to know exactly what I wanted. The business that let me travel. The light-filled apartment by the beach. Living overseas for a few months a year. The adorable pug puppy and supportive boyfriend. I was on track with all of it, and then everything changed. A positive change but it made me rethink everything that I wanted. Unfortunately I just hadn’t replaced those desires with any new ones.

So a couple of nights ago after my card reading, I put pen to paper and wrote down a few wants. I told myself that they didn’t need to be specific and could allow space for life to take me wherever it wants me to go, but I had to have some idea of what would add even more joy to my life.

  • I want to connect more with my tribe (HI!)
  • I want to feel more responsible but enjoy that feeling. Abundantly responsible.
  • I want to live minimally.
  • I want to save money with ease.
  • I want to attract more abundance and more like-minded souls.
  • I want more freedom to travel.
  • I want fewer things but more luxury.
  • I want to love more fiercely.
  • I want to feel fit, healthy and alert.

Even typing out those phrases gets me excited. I feel like I finally spent a bit of time trying to dig for the very thing I was missing – clarity.

T E L L  M E:

What do YOU want (I’d love to hear yours)? Have you spent any time sitting with your desires and getting clarity around what you truly want?

True value

Sometimes you have those days that just knock you flat on your ass. The emotions are intense, the interactions appear to be monumental and the future impact overwhelming. I’ve had a week full of those days. I have so many pages of journaled thoughts and feelings that I wasn’t sure what to write about in this space, so I decided to just start writing and see what fell out…

I think one of the biggest messages that is becoming apparent this week (which I have spent in Sydney for some space) is VALUE. The value we put on relationships, time and ourselves.

The amount of support I have received over the past couple of months has been phenomenal. It really is true that your friends come out of the woodwork and stand beside you when you need them most.

I guess what makes me sad is that sometimes it takes these awful situations for us to realise just how much these friends are worth. How much value they add to our lives. I’ve been thinking a lot about why this is and (for me anyway) it’s because we are now spread so damn thin.

 

I have about 300 friends on Facebook (a number that is far less than some people I am linked to) and yet most of them don’t know about my split and the changes going on in my life. I told those closest to me and have subsequently told people as I’ve seen them, but there are dozens of people seeing posts about my life that would have no clue.

Apparently we can only stay connected with a maximum of 150 people at a time (according to Prof. Robin Dunbar’s anthropology research) and yet our social media accounts lead us to believe that we’re able to cope with more.

If I look at the VALUE of my online relationships I might realise that Dunbar knows a thing or two about his field of study. There are a lot of people I’m friends with on Facebook who I am simply just acquainted with. I keep connections because of fond memories of who I was (or they were) in the past. I keep some because of obligation to mutual friends. I keep others because I feel guilty removing them because they’re really nice people.

 

The other day I deleted someone who has been a toxic influence in my life for a decade. I have thought about doing it for a long time but never picked up the courage. Just writing that sentence is a little hilarious. Having enough courage to simply push a button? The truth is I was waiting for our relationship to morph into something positive. For him to change. For me to change. For it to work. Sometimes it’s just wishful thinking and your lives would be cleaner and happier without the other in it. But why did it take so long to sever that connection?

This leads me to ask the question:

Why do we carefully handpick our fruit and vegetables, service providers and gifts for others but we don’t take the same care when choosing who we allow in our lives?

We collect friends like coins or stamps nowadays and watch the number on our social media accounts grow (along with our sense of popularity and importance) without even wondering what impact it will have on us. It almost embarrasses me to write that because I am definitely not immune to the allure of more friends and feeling more supported, but in reality don’t we all know it’s just an illusion?

They say we are a product of the 5 people we spend the most time with, so surely the rest of them leave their traces? Why would we not want them all to be positive, inspiring, encouraging traces? By spending time with some of my favourite friends (my personal cheerleaders) over the past few weeks I’ve realised that they are the key players who deserve my time and emotional energy. Those are the people I truly value and who truly value me. So why not be content with having those people and those people alone?

Is it that we don’t realise that it’s a privilege to be in our inner circle? I still struggle to believe it even as I bring up the concept, but if my badass fierce version of myself was in control she’d be getting all sassy with me telling me me to step up and get on the self respect bandwagon!

If we start to believe that our inner circle is of the upmost importance and see that it’s our choice who we let in and who we don’t, would different people make the cut? Would we not be so blasé about who we let in? Would we expect more from our connections and therefore have more meaningful relationships?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. How do you feel about your connection collection? Are you ruthless in who you let into your inner world? What value do you put on yourself and your relationships with others?

 

What do you expect?

Recently someone brought my expectations to my attention, making me aware of how often I have a fixed idea of exactly what I want to happen in any given situation. I always thought it was good to focus on what you wanted, you know in terms of manifesting all that good juju and whatnot; but I’ve come to realise that it’s my expectations that often lead to my biggest disappointments.

With constant expectation, there is no room for pleasant surprises. No room for real joy.

But what’s the difference between knowing what you “deserve” and having high expectations that actually hinder your ability to enjoy life? Is there a happy medium?

 

The more I reflect on it, the more it comes down to relationships for me. Maybe that’s the only place where expectations can be valuable, if not necessary. Not that we should come to expect people to be a certain way, but we should expect a certain level of respect or consideration.

We can’t predict the future or outcomes of situations outside our control but we can allow (or not allow) ourselves to be treated in a certain way.

 

There have been too many times in my life where I have comprised on this. Let people walk all over me when I was younger, blurred my values for others, accepted a type of behaviour I shouldn’t have in order for people to like me (or stay close to me), and perhaps this is why expectations have become such an issue. It’s been a way of protecting myself.

How open and vulnerable do we allow ourselves to be? We don’t want to be guarded or stand-offish but is it also detrimental to be too open, too available? Does that limit how much we stand up for ourselves? Does it make us susceptible to bad behaviour?

Recently I have come to terms with what I expect of people and what I won’t tolerate and damn it feels good. I think we all need to decide how we will treat those around us and how we will allow them to treat us in return. It has taken me 28 years to get to this point and I still have work to do. Are you there yet?

 

We all have it in us to be able to shed that people-pleasing skin and the fear that comes with it and walk away if we need to. Sometimes it feels as though our self esteem (or lack of it) will never let this happen, but really isn’t it our fear of being alone or abandoned that is keeping us paralysed?

Why is that? Does it come back to our sometimes unrealistic expectations on each and every person that comes into our lives? Are we hoping that they’ll save us, fix us, help us make sense of the world? That seems like too much pressure to put on anyone. We should be saving, fixing and making sense of the world ourselves and only expecting that mutual respect and care from others.

If the sound of that terrifies you, you’re not alone. Having to be the one to pick ourselves up and move forward IS scary but it’s the reality isn’t it? If we lean too much on others we often end up pushing them away and being disappointed because they haven’t lived up to the superhero we depicted them to be in our own head.

 

Do we perhaps not have enough faith in ourselves and expect too much of others to compensate?

Letting her out

Some of you will feel as though you know me. You may have migrated from my last blog, you may have met me, you may even be friends with me – and if you are, you’ll know things have shifted a lot for me in the last few months.

Some of those changes have been sad and difficult (like breaking up with my boyfriend of five and a half years). Some of those changes have been exciting and scary (like deciding to go for it and get back into performing my own music).

The biggest shift of all though has been the feeling of empowerment from facing these changes head on.

People always tell you that you’re stronger than you know and y’know what? They’re right. No mater what shit-storm you’re in, you’ll get through it (and those who really matter will be there with you).

 

I wanted to start afresh. A new blog space free from my old ways. Free from the years of people pleasing. Free from the rewrites and edits. Free from any fear whatsoever. A place that would be messy but in it’s own way beautiful, just as life seems to be right now.

I’ve done a lot of soul searching in my twenties (as I’m sure you have too) but never alone. I think I’ve been single for a total of about eight months since I was seventeen. I’ve always been part of something… of someone, and now I’m not (an idea which feels thrilling and terrifying at the same time).

With some boyfriends I changed myself, contorting my personality into what I thought they desired (and would leave these relationships confused about who I truly was and what was real). In others I would see him change, presumably into what he thought I wanted (and I’d leave feeling a sense of guilt and bewilderment).

Now at 28, I have the chance to simply see what happens, to let who I am evolve by herself.

 

I don’t mean for this space to be self indulgent or voyeuristic. I want to have conversations. I want to know about your lives. I want you to feel like you can share some of the messy pieces here without judgement.

My last blog was very much focused on the light fluff on top (which is lovely) but I feel that more and more, we’re lacking the deeper connection. We lack the ability to take our masks off in their entirety. But why not share our failures? Why not talk about what keeps us up at night? Yes, sometimes meditation or a hot cup of tea can make us feel better, but sometimes life is murkier than that. Murky isn’t bad and it’s not something to attach shame to.

I know everyone who read my last blog was strong beyond belief. Most of you are women, smack bang in the middle of an identity crisis just like me, but are contributing to society in some amazing way. Imagine what we could do if we truly stepped into our power? If we stripped back the doubts and really went for it?

THAT is what I want this space to inspire.

I’ll be open and transparent with you and maybe one day you’ll open up right back. Maybe that day will never come and that’s okay too.

 

Here’s something to ponder this week: WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOUR FIERCE ALTER EGO WAS IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT ALL THE TIME?

We’ve all probably met her at some point. The version of ourselves who is fearless, who knows what she wants and goes for it without hesitation. She often appears for a split second or two and will vanish again as soon as our ego takes control, but she’s there. She’s always there.

I’ve been taking mine out of retirement more and more often these days. She pressed send on an email I sent a local producer with one of my songs attached. My ego begged her to stop because the song wasn’t finished or good enough, but she didn’t listen and went ahead anyway.

When the break up happened, she was the one who contacted my friends and asked for help and support. My ego was embarrassed and wanted to hide from the world but she wouldn’t let that happen.

She appears when I teach my students, start or launch new projects, talk to strangers, counsel my friends. She has her shit together and makes me feel as though anything is possible. Letting her out is a choice. We can let our fear and doubt rule us or we can let our fierce alter ego take over and move through the discomfort for us.

 

So, I ask you – have you felt her presence in your life and what would you being doing differently if she was more in control?