Monday, 13 February 2017

How different are you now from your childhood?

Have you ever thought about how you were as a child is a reflection on you as an adult? I know, its Captain Obvious but if you really take the time to think about it, it can be very insightful.

Think back to being a kid – what did you like to do, how did you act around your family or friends, were there any habits that you were known for?

Now consider your school years. What were you like at school? What subjects did you absolutely love – and would be up the front of the classroom for? Who were your friends, and what kinds of things did you love to do with them? Can you remember how you behaved with your mum and dad, or brothers and sisters? What were your favourite hobbies, and did you have a favourite movie or song that you would watch or listen to, over and over.
 It’s funny – when you do the reflection you can see why you are the person you are today. Are you still the same you, just a little older and perhaps having learnt more about life and whatever interests you?

Did you see any patterns – perhaps in the type of relationship you have with your parents and family members, or even the types of people you like to be with. It may be the answers if you are questioning things in your life.

When I look back at my own childhood, I can see that I’ve always loved having a close group of friends, and that I’ve always played the role of being the initiator (usually of mischief or fun!) and the peacemaker – making sure everyone is on the bus having a good time. When I talk about what is important to me, it’s always the same. I love my family, my friends and having a fun time. Nothing’s changed.

I’ve always loved English and History, and creative subjects like Music & Home Economics. Now, writing is so important to me, and the understanding people (history) and creativity (music + food) comes to life through marketing.

Being the second youngest, I always relied on having someone to look out for me, and I didn’t have to worry too much about stretching out on my own. I moved from home into my new house when I got married so never lived out of home or travelled (until later in our marriage), and then my husband took over some of the role of taking care of me. Now I’m working more on my personal development, some of this makes sense to the grown up me. It doesn’t change things, but it gives perspective to grow from.

If you are at a stage in your life that you want to change direction, and are looking for what is next – this might be a place to start. Taking a look at what you really like to do, what makes you sing.  If it doesn’t feel like ‘work’ – that’s the feeling you are aiming for. It puts you a step closer to finding your purpose.

And just for the record – my favourite movies were Xanadu & Grease, and my favourite song was Mr Postman by The Carpenters. What a pump up!

How about you? Would love to hear if you want to share childhood comparisons, or even your favourite movie and song as a kid. Just don’t ask me to sing them unless you really mean it…

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Live more with Less - how to give away your belongings with grace & style 101

Happy new year!

What a cracker of a start to 2017 - it's been great. Hope you have had a great start too.

I went to a seminar this week on numerology, and found out that this is a number 1 year. Really simply, years work in cycles of 1-9 in numerology, and each stage in the cycle represents something different. You can google this to find out your birthday & name numbers, and what they mean.

2016 was a number 9. This means the end of the cycle. So you may have experienced change, or the ending of  things happening in your life. This was so true for me - I left my corporate job after 26 years, which changed my view on not only my attitude towards work but my personal life as well.

2017 is a number 1. This is the beginning of new cycle, a blank canvass set up for the next 9 year cycle. Isn't that nice? It's the opportunity to decide what life will be like for you going forward, and setting the tone for that. In the first 3 months of a number 1 cycle, you should do a couple of things.

1. Think about what you don't want to take with you into the new year / cycle.
This is really important - Don't take your baggage into the new cycle. It could be a number of things, for example,  thinking, physical self or objects.

Have you ever really though about your thinking and behaviour patterns? For example, is there a way that you think that you just want to stop? For me, its being confident in what I can do - no negative self talking coming along for the ride in 2017. You want to take the lessons learnt from experience, not the bad behaviour patterns.

What about physical? I don't want to take the excess weight and inactivity into the next cycle with me - I want a great set up for a thin, strong and sexy me. So my goals include exercise, sleep and diet. So basic, but so necessary.

Objects - this is a biggie. I have been feeling for the past few years that we have too much 'stuff'. In the house, in the garage, in our life. So I've decided to pass it on.
Are  the things you have still relevant? Do you still relate to them, and have an energy connection? If not, then it's time to let them go.

I am inviting everyone to come to my house and help themselves to something I'm passing on. You may be shocked and surprised at how much their actually is. If you gave it to me as a present, then don't be disappointed by this move. I love that you gave it to me, and I have enjoyed it but now it's time to share the love and let the next person enjoy it too.

A friend passed on an article link for a couple of guys called The Minimalists. Now they are hard core - they can count the number of items they own. I'm not quite ready for that, but I want to strip back RADICALLY. I want to feel light, and the weight lift off my shoulders from knowing that the 'stuff' is gone. I want to really be conscious not to bring more back in through shopping. And I want to make sure that I live with the motto 'love people, not things' and live a meaningful life. This is going to be hard. So any help you can offer will be taken with much appreciation.

2. Set up your year - what do you want to happen?
The second thing is to think about your plan, and take this time to set it up. This is where you set the tone for things to come.
It makes a lot of sense, it felt right when the speaker was talking about this. I think you should go with your gut feeling and intuition more often, and this definitely rang true for me.

So it's time to let it go. Less is more. I'm going to apply that this year. Time is my best friend, so I'm going to treat it with respect and use it well. Learning to say no. Saying yes more often to the things that are important. And not getting caught up in consumerism. My goals are very different this year - they involve a lot of business goals as well as getting to know and love myself more, and they are so much more worth working on than spending lots of time shopping.

I would love to hear from you about what you are doing this year. This is a big deal for me to be so honest on a post and it would be so great to hear what you might be doing too. I would love people to support me, and equally, I'm a great support partner.

And yes - I'm serious. Come over and feel free to take something home to treasure. Laurel x

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

#IHeartCruising - A trip down memory lane from 2015

I found this in my drafts folder. You can't let a piece of writing go to waste, so thought I'd share! Disclaimer, there have been many more cruises since this time....

I always treat each cruise as though its a new experience, even if I have been on the ship before. It's like breathing in the fresh air after a thunderstorm, or the delicious aroma from a new jar of coffee. Even though you've had the experience before, there is always something new to enjoy each time it happens. And so it is for cruising for me.

My name is Laurel, and its been 10 days since my last cruise. At number 11 and counting (2 more already planned and deposit paid), its an addiction for me and my family. We have cruised with P&O, Carnival, Royal Carribbean and Celebrity. Recently I had the opportunity to travel from Singapore to Darwin on the newly refurbished Royal Carribbean Voyager of the Seas with my sister Lee, and these are my thoughts and top tips for considering the Voyager when you are planning your next holiday.

Starting a cruise from another country was a first for me as I've always travelled from Sydney. With this comes the opportunity to spend a few days in the departure port city to explore and shop!


I love Singapore. I've visited before and love how beautiful, clean and friendly Singapore is. There is so much to do, from the Singapore Zoo which offers breakfast with the animals through to night safari's, through to some of the best shopping malls and markets to grab a bargain. Don't underestimate the lure of shopping - we ended up shopping at the Mustafa Centre in Little India to buy a new suitcase! Then finished off the day with a delicious afternoon tea at the famous Raffles Hotel - just as a good as a Singapore Sling but with  hot cup of colonial tea.

You cannot go to Singapore without a visit to Sentosa Island.  This cool buzzing hub has beaches, light shows, shops, great places to eat and Universal Studios - the most fun place to go and be just like a big kid. We went on (nearly) every ride, bought heaps of souvenirs and at at Mel's diner - loved it all and had the best day. A great tip for visiting theme parks anywhere if you are in a group is to buy a team t-shirt - makes it heaps easier to find each other. 

When I go somewhere new, the first thing I find is the Hop On Hop Off bus terminal. You can buy your bus tickets there (save some money and buy the 3 day pass if you have the time) and enjoy all the popular tourist sites like Chinatown, Little India, the Marina Bay complex and Merlion, plus they also offer deals on other products and services. We used our tickets to get a discount on a spa treatment - we had a fish pedicure! If you haven't done this before, live dangerously and dip your feet into tanks of hungry fish who will nibble away the dead skin leaving your feet feel lovely and soft. A bit gross to start with but you get used to it. Thanks to the guys @spadetour who were so nice and friendly!

My top tip for Singapore? Plan in advance. Do your research and work out before you arrive what you don't want to miss because there are so many great things to do here.

Boarding in another country

The cruise terminal in Singapore is fairly new, operating since 2012 and was designed to accommodate the largest cruise ships with its deep waters and nil height restrictions. Coincidentally the first ship to use the terminal was the Voyager, so it was fitting that the new refurbed ship left from here again.

For a newish terminal, it felt complicated. The lines getting through the x-ray machines moved along quickly, but from there it was a blend of insufficient signage and seating through to excessive waits for boarding, based on the use of a clumsy colour code system. Bonus? We met a nice couple of Wollongong, Kay and Leon, who we hung out with for most of the cruise! New #cruisefriends. Downside? It took a couple of hours to move through the maze which was a bit frustrating - you're rearing to go onboard and start your holiday.

Once on board, after handing over your passport for safe keeping and custom procedures (unusual but not negotiable), there were photographers available for a getting onboard photo, but they were placed right in the middle of the boarding area near the lifts, so they were besieged by crowds of people trying to find their rooms and food - persevere because its a great memory reminder so worth the effort.

My top tip for boarding? Go straight in and get your cruise card then find a seat. Bring a book and look for water which is usually on offer, and then stay calm and relaxed during the wait.

We're onboard!

It's the most amazing feeling getting on board a ship. Enjoy every moment, and Bon Voyage!

It’s always about you (actually, me).

This is the real deal, and only connected for me today. You know that feeling that you have just criticised someone for something, and have the slightest suspicion that you do the very same thing?

Psychological Projection is a theory in psychology in which humans defend themselves against their own unconscious impulses or qualities (both positive and negative) by denying their existence in themselves while attributing them to others.”

You’re showing that you see the world and other people through the lens of your own self-perception – what you see in others exists in you.

In a negative sense, it’s about judging others for what manifests in ourselves. For example, you may judge people’s behaviour for not living up to an expected standard, but your own behaviour displays similar attributes.  I’ve experienced this. I’ve judged people for behaving in a certain way, but if I look closely enough, I’m actually behaving in the same way. Or, you might not like something about someone else's body, and you have the same feature.

I think as you begin learning more about yourself and developing a sense of self awareness, you start to become so much more aware of these situations. It’s a good head space, where you can understand and stop judging people, learn to love yourself and be more accepting.

On the flip side, the interesting thing is that you also project in reverse, for positive things.

When you are thoughtful and share, or display kind behaviour, this is projection. It could be that you’re that person that sends people beautiful notes of gratitude and love. Or you remember people’s birthdays or special occasions. Or you always stop and speak to the person that is by themselves. Maybe you are the person that always offer compliments. Or you just always smile, laugh and say hello. These are only little things, but they are demonstrating positive projecting. It’s your natural traits, and without even realizing, you are being a positive influence. I LOVE THIS! It's so genuine and beautiful.

Isn’t it nice to become aware that you see what you are, in others? And that it’s actually all about you. A responsibility for sure, but also a really wonderful view on the world. Because its unique to you, and you can own and influence it.

The idea for this article came from an email in reply to a Christmas card we sent. So thanks if you were that person, you have created some really interesting conversations and learnings for us, aside from the fact that your note was really beautiful and thoughtful.

And BTW, just to prove that nothing is a coincidence, this topic came up in 4 different conversations today. 

“See the light in others, and treat them as if that is all you see.” Wayne Dyer