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Space to breathe

Space to grow

Space to be

What do you long to fill your life with, if only you had the space?

Join me as I share calm, serenity and hope, and gently guide you to clear space for breathing, growing and being...

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Dance like no one is watching

February 7th, 2009 · No Comments

image from quotablecards.com

image from quotablecards.com

Dance. Love. Sing. Live… what more is there than this?

Vicki Baum said “There are short-cuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them.

On the days when we’re feeling a little blah there is nothing like stirring up the blood with a little foot stomping or hip wiggling or shimmy shaking to lift our spirits (preferably with great music, played loud).

I believe you cannot do a good twist or jive without a smile on your face… so we’re sharing all those happy dancing hormones with you as we dance through February at The Calm Space.

Join us?

There’s plenty more for you this month – in fact a whole month full of dancing and loving over at The Calm Space (and way too much for me to go on about here)… We’d love for you to join in the dance – come on over and kick off your shoes… and please leave a comment or two – we’ll be certain to respond.

www.thecalmspace.com

→ No CommentsTags: Calm Space

An Ode to Summer

January 29th, 2009 · 2 Comments

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summers day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time.

~John Lubbock

Summer, glorious summer. We complain about the heat and about the humidity. Today I found myself feeling very sorry for my southern friends who are frying in continuous days of temps over 40°c. And thank ful for the rain here that cooled things down a little, even as it sent the humidity levels soaring.

Then as I took my lunch outside on the verandah in the company of my dogs, and relished the breeze that sprang up intermittently, I realised.

Is not this the perfect time to rest? To sit very still? To be?

summer at Mudjimba - Karen Wallace

Is that not what summer is all about? A time to be patient. A time to keep our cool. A time to listen, think, breathe.

We try to subvert the natural order of things when we wish the season past already. For without the summer, how could we appreciate the approach of autumn?

Summer is the time when one sheds one’s tensions with one’s clothes, and the right kind of day is jewelled balm for the battered spirit. A few of those days and you can become drunk with the belief that all’s right with the world.

~Ada Louise Huxtable

→ 2 CommentsTags: Getting Still · Heart and Home

Happy New Year to all…

December 31st, 2008 · No Comments

And now let us welcome the New Year – full of things that have never been…

~Rainer Maria Rilke

Tonight we see out another year. Where it’s gone, I’m not sure. It seems to have flown by in the blink of an eye, yet I am having a hard time remembering New Year’s Eve 2007… that was only yesterday, wasn’t it?

To you, my friend – I wish a happy reflection of the year gone by, a rousing celebration of the start of a new one, and a year ahead full of possibilities and resounding with magic.

Happy New Year!

→ No CommentsTags: Noticing Miracles

Two birthdays and an adventure…

October 2nd, 2008 · No Comments

The first of October marks two significant birthdays in the world of blogs and online magazines (well, MY world, anyway).

The Calm Space celebrates it’s first birthday this month with a huge lineup of prizes, and wonderful articles, ideas and celebrations on the theme of Adventuring.

Happy 1st Birthday Calm Space and a huge thank you to all our wonderful contributors!

Joyful, Jubilant Learning (or JJL as it’s affectionately known) also celebrates with two years of wonderful writing, learning and conversation! I am a proud contributor to JJL, and you can find some of my recent articles here. Take a look at the wonderful conversations that happen there in the comments, they really warm my heart.

Happy 2nd Birthday JJL!

→ No CommentsTags: Calm Space · Joyful Jubilant Learning

Clearing Space and Expectations

September 3rd, 2008 · 6 Comments

Once again, I’m learning lessons about how my mind works.

When you stop doing something you’ve been doing for as long as you can remember, (in my case, working as an employee), you fully expect to free up these huge gobs of time every week. And in those enormous hours, you’d be justified in thinking you’d get all those things done that you never had time for before. Wouldn’t you?

Hmm… so why isn’t it working out that way?

It’s always been my ‘theme song’ to clear space in my life to let the good things in. And I know that the universe abhors a vacuum – if you clear space, something will always rush in to fill it.

What I hadn’t experienced before is the speed and sheer ferocity with which the space gets filled!

Last night, as I was feeling once again like I was waaaay behind as I shovelled yet another load of whiltes in the washing machine, I realised my problem.

I had ‘expectations’.

In the planning for my ‘retirement’, I may not have been able to imagine my days without work, but what I was able to do was develop this huge list of Things To Get Done When I Retire. And that list? Whew – if I work at it solidly for the next 10 years or so, I may make a dint.

Did I really think that all that would get done, quickly, completely and with ease within the first four weeks and then I could relax and get down to the serious business of growing a business?

The problem isn’t the list.

It’s my expectations that freeing up some time was miraculously going to get this all done. Especially when the universe, in it’s infinite wisdom, has decided I need to do other things.

It is so time to toss out those expectations and start developing a workable and inspiring lifestyle. With plenty of room left in for the little things that always crop up.

A Clearing Space Moment

What unrealistic expectations are you beating yourself up about? Are you doing the best you can do with what you have?

Then why are you beating yourself up about it?

→ 6 CommentsTags: Heart and Home · Reinvention · Watch Out for Those Potholes

Spring, Reinvention and Calm…

September 2nd, 2008 · No Comments

Spring is really in the air here in Brisbane. It’s been the longest winter I can recall for many years and that is making the warm breeze all the sweeter.

Spring is all about new growth, renewal, flinging off the layers and getting outside.

Already I am feeling much more inclined to clear out cupboards and sort through papers… it’s curious how different that is to even a week ago, but I am not complaining – it sorely needs doing. I’ve been on the reinvention path for a while now, and the sorting, purging and organising is one of those critical must-do’s in order for me to fully walk into my new life as an ex-employee.

And on the subject of reinvention - we’re talking much more about it over at The Calm Space in our September edition. I share some tips I found valuable on my own path of reinvention, and there is lots of wonderful wisdom, tips, encouragement and fun from our wonderful team of contributors! Take a bow Annie, Amy, Angela, Chris, Grant, Joanna, Joanne, Leah, Marc, and Marj!

Go on! What are you waiting for? The time is ripe and the wind is blowing the right way…

→ No CommentsTags: Calm Space · Reinvention

Our duty to be happy

August 8th, 2008 · 12 Comments

There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy.

By being happy we sow anonymous benefits upon the world.

Robert Louis Stevenson

I often think about being happy, what makes us happy and what stops us feeling content. (Drives my family crazy!)

On one of those thinking expeditions a few months ago, I came to the realisation that drastic change was necessary for my inner equilibrium. Something was throwing me off kilter. Way off.

I’ve been dropping hints about change here and there quite a bit lately, and now’s the time to tell you that the steps have been taken. The fear has been faced. The aftermath has been lived through.

Today is a red letter day indeed, and not just for the auspiciousness of the date.

For the last 20 years, I have held down a corporate job with the same company. I’ve borne my children while working for them. I’ve seen countless people come and go, made friends, grown as the company has grown and learned innumerable lessons along the way. I have grown up, I guess, working for them.

No longer.

I dropped off the key, Lee, I’m free. (Actually, it was a computer, not a key, but that doesn’t work in the song that’s been reverberating around in my head for the last week). Last night at 6pm I logged out for the last time.

This morning I woke up a free woman.

I no longer have staff reporting to me. I no longer report to the MD in another state. I no longer need to switch on my computer at 8am every morning and check emails. I no longer need to deal with complaining clients and recalcitrant staff!

I’ve left it in good hands – hands that are eager for the challenge, a heart that’s ready to take charge and a level of energy and enthusiasm that I had lost, somewhere along the way.

Now is my time. I’m not sure exactly what that will look like, but I am certain that The Calm Space is going to be a big part of that. The dreams and ideas are bulging from my notebooks and now, apparently, I’ll have time for them.

It’s going to take a bit of getting used to. Right now, I’m not sure I feel any different… but the two beautiful bunches of flowers remind me that something very special has happened this week.

Today is celebration day.

Here’s to being happy.

→ 12 CommentsTags: Noticing Miracles · Reinvention

Simplicity

July 6th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.

~E.F. Schumacker

I don’t profess to be a genius, and I know that I often tend to complicate matters when I think I am simplifying them, but this quote resounded with me. It does take a lot of courage to move against the flow… and to move against expectations and the pressure to conform.

It seems to me that we get to a certain point in our lives – and for each of us, it’s a different point, caused by different circumstances and influences – and we feel the need for simplicity. We long for order, calm and a simple life – free of the pressures, demands and chaos we’re incessantly bombarded with.

For me, it was a disillusionment with the corporate world, coupled with the realisation of the need to feel grounded and reconnect with nature.

Simplifying my life has meant going within, seeking beauty and joy, and looking less for happiness from external sources. It will be a life long process.

This month at The Calm Space we’re talking about Simplicity. Each of our expanding team of contributors talks about simplicity as it relates to their own particular genius, and I feel blessed to read their inspiring words, and see their beautiful photography. We’d love to have you join the conversation.

→ 1 CommentTags: Calm Space · Heart and Home

The fringe benefits of failure… learning (more) from JK Rowling

June 10th, 2008 · 3 Comments

If you’ve been around for a while, you’ll know that I – and my whole family – are Potter fans. We’ve devoured the books, we’ve worn out the movies… and we keep going back for more.

Over the weekend, I was thrilled to find the clip and the transcript of JK Rowling giving the commencement address at Havard “The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imaginationhere.

We all know that JK Rowling is phenomenally successful… but it wasn’t always so. I have heard the story of sitting in a cafe, with her baby daughter in a pram beside her, writing the first draft of Harry Potter #1 by hand. What I guess I didn’t think about was why.

“So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had already been realised, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.

Failure gave me an inner security that I had never attained by passing examinations. Failure taught me things about myself that I could have learned no other way. I discovered that I had a strong will, and more discipline than I had suspected; I also found out that I had friends whose value was truly above rubies.”

It made me think about success, and how many of us settle for a moderate success because, well, because we don’t fail at it. And in so doing, we compromise ourselves, our dreams and often, our life, for a ‘settled for’ existence.

We get the car loan, the mortgage, the spouse, the kids, the school fees, the holidays and we feel tied to whatever it is that brings in the money to pay for our lifestyle. Even if it is slowly killing us.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

To do what matters most is all there is. We can learn from JK and others like her, without having necessarily to hit rock bottom ourselves.

Now is the time to do what you are meant to be doing. Don’t wait until you hit rock bottom. Don’t settle for.

There is a step or two you can take today. Then another step tomorrow. Maybe a little jump the day after that. Before you know it, you’ll be leaping and soaring and flying towards your dream.

Go listen to, or read, her speech – it’s magical.

→ 3 CommentsTags: Noticing Miracles · Wonder Woman

An SOB? Me? Who'd believe it???

June 2nd, 2008 · 4 Comments

I am honoured, thrilled, and slightly overwhelmed (and just a tad lost for words) at my inclusion on the gorgeous Liz Strauss’ SOB list.

(And for the Aussies, nope, not that sort of SOB.)

This sort of SOB:

It stands for Successful and Outstanding Blogger. And it’s very much a badge of honour.

Thank you Liz - you’ve included me with some pretty amazing people, which makes it doubly special!

If you’ve followed over here from Liz’s place, welcome! There’s lots to see and do, the kettle’s always just boiled and if the kids haven’t invaded, there should be some home-made biscuits in the jar.

You’re welcome to browse around as much as you like… there are no locked doors or barred windows here.

And once you’ve had your fill of The Clearing Space, I’d love you to step on over to the hot-off-the-press June issue of The Calm Space.

This month, the gorgeous (oh, and handsome, now – can’t forget our guys: ) contributors have all shared their unique talents and skills on the theme of FREEDOM.

It’s a hefty topic, and there are some great, thought-provoking posts, some good reads, a beautiful Breathing Space (once again using Amy Palko‘s gorgeous photography) and lots more besides…

[And for those of you who are curious about me, the person, you'll be interested to meet our newest contributor at The Calm Space, writing The Money Space. That's all I'm going to say... you have to go over there to find out more. Hint: check out my editorial here for the goss.]

PS I’ve been travelling and resting and recharging the last couple of weeks… lots to tell, lots and lots of photos to show you… as soon as I’ve had a chance to catch my breath I hope to find time to share some of it with you. Until then, keep well and be free.

→ 4 CommentsTags: Calm Space · Heart and Home · Noticing Miracles