The Mean Girl in my Head

The Mean Girl in my Head

Quieting the Voice of Self-Criticism

We are our own harshest critic. In fact, we are nastier to ourselves than we would ever be to others.

After my friend complimented me on what I was wearing one day, she commented, “I can’t wear t-shirts; they show my belly fat.” What? What belly fat? You have to understand, this lady is beautiful, she is not over-weight, and she always looks fantastic. And yet, she is always terribly self-critical. 

I’ve been reminded in several different ways lately how we are so much meaner to ourselves than we are to others. 

Read More

Joy: An Indicator of Spiritual Health

Joy: An Indicator of Spiritual Health

I chose Joy as my ‘one word’ for this year because it is a spiritual health indicator for me. Let me explain...

At my obstetrician check-up six weeks after giving birth, the first question he asked was, “Have you had intercourse yet?” That was a confronting question. Then he explained why he was asking about my sex life. It was an indicator. If I had not healed physically from giving birth, if I were not coping with my role as a new mother, if I had severe sleep deprivation or post-natal depression, the answer would be ‘No.’

Aparently, sex is the first thing to disappear from a new mother’s life when she is not going well. It is an indicator of general health and well-being.

For me, joy is an indicator of spiritual health and well-being.

Read More

The benefits of owning less clothes

The benefits of owning less clothes

I spent a few minutes going through my wardrobe again this morning and reflected on how different this process is two years after I first decided to get rid of most of my clothes.

I used to own a wardrobe overflowing with clothes. After spending 13 years as a stay at home mum, I enjoyed buying proper clothes when I went back into the workforce. I shopped the sales and grabbed some great bargains – pretty much anything that was cheap that fit me. I didn’t put an awful lot of thought into it. Buying lots of cheap clothes seemed smart at the time.

Then I found myself with a wardrobe full of clothes and nothing that I felt like wearing.

Read More

Dealing with Disappointment

Dealing with Disappointment

How to Persevere in the Wake of Failure 

I’m a failure. I’ve let people down. I’ve tried my best, and it wasn’t good enough. 

There have been a number of pastoral care situations at work lately where it just hasn’t gone well. Situations where people have come to me with needs, and have left disappointed. There are people who I tried to care for, tried to support, only to find out that they didn’t feel loved, didn’t feel supported, didn’t feel cared for, and it’s my fault.

Read More

I Survived Being a Mother-of-the-Bride

I Survived Being a Mother-of-the-Bride

My eldest daughter got married last weekend. It was a wonderful day, with all of our closest friends and family, celebrating a beautiful couple as they declared their love for one another. All the plans came together and ran smoothly, the bride and her maids looked stunning, the groom was emotional, and I wore my shoes all day without getting blisters. Perfect.

Read More

Making Friends with Monsters

Making Friends with Monsters

How I Use Gratitude to Defeat Stress

I haven’t been coping very well lately. There has just been too much to stress about: stuff going on at work, uncertainty around next year, changes with jobs for both my hubby and my son, not to mention my daughter’s wedding in two short weeks. It has just been all too much, and...

Read More

Too Much of a Good Thing (Part 2)

Too Much of a Good Thing (Part 2)

The year is a third over. Gone. Wow, where did that four months go? I started the year feeling super organised and in control. I had time blocked my calendar, prioritised my to-do lists, and set my goals. You can read all about my great beginning here. I can now admit that there has been not one week of the term that went to plan. Not one! 

Read More

Self-Improvement V Contentment

Self-Improvement V Contentment

Just a few weeks into the beginning of a new year and there is this fight in my world. Self-improvement and productivity is going up against contentment and peace. Late last year as I was finalising all my planning, I read 'Getting Things Done' by David Allen. I was all excited to get myself super-organised so that I could be more productive and achieve amazing things this year, to make the most of every day...

Read More

I Quit

I Quit

I’ve had enough. I don’t want to do this anymore. That’s it. I’m done. I give up.

It’s been a big year, and I’ve had enough. Enough suffering, pain and tragedy. Enough dishes, enough washing, enough grocery shopping. Enough packing and unpacking and sorting and decluttering. Enough of my kids exams and graduations and milestones. Enough driving in traffic and finding something healthy for lunch and deciding what to wear to work. I’m tired and I’ve had enough. I’ve had enough of Christmas already and I haven’t done one thing to prepare yet. I’m tired of everything and everyone and I want to quit...

Read More

A Birthday Reflection

A Birthday Reflection

This week I turned 47. I’m not upset about getting older because I have a great life, full of people who love me, people to love, a job that is challenging and purposeful. I live in an incredibly beautiful part of the world and I have opportunities to enjoy it. I spent my birthday sitting on the balcony of our 15th floor holiday apartment looking out over a picturesque beach, a sparkling blue ocean, whales swimming by. The white sand littered with colourful beach umbrellas, children playing, young adults kicking footballs and tossing frisbees. It was absolutely perfect.

Okay, 47. Too old to get away with immature stupidity, too young to...

Read More

It's Not a Good Time for a Holiday

It's Not a Good Time for a Holiday

We sold our house 10 days ago. Yay? It was a dream auction where there were plenty of people bidding and more than one family that really wanted to buy it. It was exciting and amazing. Everyone was smiling and shaking our hands. Then we signed the contract, everyone went home and left me sitting in my spotlessly clean, quiet house. It was all over in an hour. Done.

Then, reality hits. We have 30 days to find a rental and move. 29. 28. 27. By the end of the week...

Read More

Making Peace with Change

Making Peace with Change

We’re moving. Well, our house is for sale. We are ready to downsize as the children make plans to fly the coup. It’s a big, beautiful house, but it’s only home because we live here. 

Our real estate agent suggested we hire a professional stager to help us arrange and furnish the living areas. On a tight time frame this very efficient lady stood in my home and barked out instructions faster than I could write. She pointed at each piece of my furniture and said, “Move that out, get rid of that...

Read More

The Secret to Surviving Stress

The Secret to Surviving Stress

This week has been overwhelming. The steady waves of complicated life just seem to keep coming and coming and coming. It’s been relentless. Stuff going on at home, a really busy season at work, a friend’s cancer diagnosis. The list just seems to get longer and longer. I could go on, but you get the picture. You have your own relentless life and your own overwhelming list.

 

So, how do I deal with this well? I find myself wanting to withdraw, wanting to cry, wanting to give up, but having to keep going. The secret to surviving this season is...

Read More

When I Thought We Were Leaving

When I Thought We Were Leaving

Recently my husband applied for a job overseas. It was one of those 'follow your heart' dream opportunities. After 7 weeks of planning to leave, just in case, it all fell through. The End.

Then it dawned on me. We’ve been living differently since we thought that we would be leaving soon. I can look back and see lessons that I have learned that I may not have learned any other way.

Read More