Too scary to write about or do?

11 Jun

Written by Kirri White.  Follow me on twitter or facebook.

You can also contact me by email –  kirri@happymumsathome.com

This post is part of the #trust30 writing initiative, inspired by Ralph Waldo Emersons “Self-reliance” that encourages you to look within and trust yourself.  You can find further details regarding the challenge here.

Day nine prompt by Author Mary Jaksch:

Emerson says: “Always do what you are afraid to do.” What is ‘too scary’ to write about? Try doing it now.

(Author: Mary Jaksch)

Too scary to write about…really?  There is nothing I am afraid to write about.  A lot of scary stuff I have explored remains in a journal aptly titled ‘Don’t you dare’.

Just because you can write about it doesn’t necessarily mean you should – at least in such a public space.

Something that is too scary for me to DO?

That’s easy. To write about.

Confront my fear of public speaking.

(I have Terry to thank for making this more public… in the comments section of an earlier post. Cheers mate!)

My eldest daughter is now seven and required to give little talks in front of her class on a weekly basis.  Maybe its show and tell, discussing the highlights of her weekend or what healthy snacks are in her lunch-box that day. Whatever the topic and for whatever reason she takes to it like the Beckhams to Prada.  Most unlike me.

There have been many times when I have had to take centre stage – speeches and debates at school, presentations at university and coaching seminars. I can do it the but I hate it and I’m not good at it either.

Lets just say that there was a good reason for me being nick-named “Little Red” or “Blossom”.

I’m not going to state here and now how I will exactly tackles this fear, which in my defence is now termed Glossophobia and has been cited as one of the most prevalent fears held by people all over the world.

What I know for sure is that if I don’t do anything about it….My coaching business will not grow in the direction I want it to and I will not be all that I can be.

I will be limited by fear and that’s not how I want to continue living my life.

The other terror that scares us from self-trust is our consistency; a reverence for our past act or word, because the eyes of others have no other data for computing our orbit than our past acts, and we are loath to disappoint them. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

What I would say to myself -five years ago and five years on?

9 Jun

Written by Kirri White.  Follow me on twitter or facebook.

You can also contact me by email –  kirri@happymumsathome.com

This post is part of the #trust30 writing initiative, inspired by Ralph Waldo Emersons “Self-reliance” that encourages you to look within and trust yourself.  You can find further details regarding the challenge here.

Day eight prompt by Author: Corbett Barr

What would you say to the person you were five years ago? What will you say to the person you’ll be in five years?

What would I say to the person I was five years ago?

All that hurt you’re still carrying around?  The raw grief that separates you from others, leaving you both fragile and indifferent? The experience of having your anchor stripped violently away from its mooring, leaving you alone, lost, untethered?

As unbearable as it still seems now…..you will move forward.  The pain will endure but with less power and gravity. You will learn to keep it tucked away in your pocket and surprisingly, there will come a time when you can draw strength from his memory and smile at his face.

From this place of heartache, you will learn, grow and love more than you ever imagined.  You will experience first hand that death does not have the power to end a relationship. Love endures and binds forever.

And that ugly little voice that used to taunt about death and pain and illness?  It will become a benign reminder that this month, day or year could be your last.

So you had better make the most of it!  Seriously.

And you do.

What will you say to the person you will be in five years?

You are one lucky beeyatch! 

Where did you get those shoes?

~Kirri

There will be an agreement in whatever variety of actions, so they be each honest and natural in their hour. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Daring to be bold my way

9 Jun

Written by Kirri White.  Follow me on twitter or facebook.

You can also contact me by email –  kirri@happymumsathome.com

This post is part of the #trust30 writing initiative, inspired by Ralph Waldo Emersons “Self-reliance” that encourages you to look within and trust yourself.  You can find further details regarding the challenge here.

Day seven prompt by Author: Matt Cheuvront

“Next to Resistance, rational thought is the artist or entrepreneurs worst enemy. Bad things happen when we employ rational thought, because rational thought comes from the ego. Instead, we want to work from the Self, that is, from instinct and intuition, from the unconscious.

A child has no trouble believing the unbelievable, nor does the genius or the madman. Its only you and I, with our big brains and our tiny hearts, who doubt and overthink and hesitate.” – Steven Pressfield, Do the Work

The idea of “being realistic” holds all of us back. From starting a business or quitting a job to dating someone who may not be our type or moving to a new place – getting “real” often means putting your dreams on hold.

Today, let’s take a step away from rational thought and dare to be bold. What’s one thing you’ve always wanted to accomplish but have been afraid to pursue? Write it down. Also write down the obstacles in your way of reaching your goal. Finally, write down a tangible plan to overcome each obstacle.

The only thing left is to, you know, actually go make it happen. What are you waiting for?

This writing prompt had me flummoxed.  I kept envisaging BIG – things that involved changing the world, lots of money and a sense of danger   The seemingly impossible and frightening.

Strangely, I dont have a fear of a lot of so called adventure pursuits.  I’ve shimmied my way down rock faces, jumped off steep cliffs into dark waters and camped without a shower for three days. Ha – That’s big!

Sky-diving and bungee jumping look like fun, if I were willing to put that amount of money into it…which Im not.

Something bold that speaks to me? Something I gave up on too early or failed to pursue because I was too lazy, because it was too hard ? Because I was scared?

Investing fully in a new creative outlet.

Mastering a foreign language, learning an instrument or joining a local theatre. Any of these would be fantastic. They have often played on my mind but I have always assuaged my inner voice by remaining a spectator.

I like to be reasonably good at something straight away or with minimal effort and if Im not…I have a history of giving up.

So I did German for four years but could never get past an introductory conversation with my fluent father, played the piano for two but was put off by a perpetually grouchy music teacher.  I also danced on and off for more than 10 years (and was pretty damn good) but sadly, never moved past the thought of it not being a “real” profession.

Regrets and excuses? Yes.   Standing in my own way again…yup.

What am I going to do about it?

I’m not sure.  I do know that I will continue to have signs thrown in my path unless I take action- a flyer about a local theatre at the library, watching my daughter at dance class and experiencing envy…ditto husband when he turns Canadian-French on me 🙂

The danger of making promises is that someone may call me out on it and keep me accountable.

Yeah..you guys!

I will explore my options, see where intuition takes me and what I can access locally.   I can promise that I am driven to do this and that I will commit to taking up a new creative venture…sometime in the next couple of months.

Feel free to keep me accountable.

~Kirri

Our arts, our occupations, our marriages, our religion, we have not chosen, but society has chosen for us. We are parlour soldiers. We shun the rugged battle of fate, where strength is born. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Resolve to do only what makes you come alive

8 Jun

Written by Kirri White.  Follow me on twitter or facebook.

You can also contact me by email –  kirri@happymumsathome.com

This post is part of the #trust30 writing initiative, inspired by Ralph Waldo Emersons “Self-reliance” that encourages you to look within and trust yourself.  You can find further details regarding the challenge here.

Day six prompt by Author Jonathan Mead

If you had one week left to live, would you still be doing what you’re doing now? In what areas of your life are you preparing to live? Take them off your To Do list and add them to a To Stop list. Resolve to only do what makes you come alive.

Bonus: How can your goals improve the present and not keep you in a perpetual “always something better” spiral?

The notion of having one week to live is a lot easier to deal with than a mere 15 minutes and I imagine that I would spend much of it going about my ‘busyness’ in a state of denial…..given that I’m immortal and all.   But seriously – this question finds me in a good place.

Aside from over-thinking and a natural-born tendency to worry about others, I truly feel that I am currently living in line with my passion and purpose.   Moreover, I have more love in my life than I know what to do with….want some?  It’s good stuff.

If you had posed the same question six months ago, I would not have been able to provide the same answer…so that speaks volumes.  To me anyhow.

I think its inevitable to periodically be in an “always something better” spiral.  Not to say that I am immune to those feelings but right here and right now –

My life is filled with more love and blessings than I had could have ever wished for.

I am contributing to make my tiny piece of this planet a better place and I’m feeling it.

To Stop list:

-Minimise the over-analysis and pondering in general.  Daydreams are fun but continue to participate in life whole-heartedly.

-Fear Shmeer. Retaliate. Topple them one at a time but remember that you don’t have to do it all today.

-The pursuit of perfection and being everything to everyone?   It’s exhausting right?  Take a break from it.

To do list or things that make me come alive

Playing like a child with my kidlets.  Engaging and connecting, taking part in their games is not only fun but leaves me feeling loved up and carefree

Walking in the sunshine. I’m a regular gym goer and have just started running but going for a leisurely walk, preferably near the water and taking in the air and the life of nature increases my feelings of aliveness and peace.

Socialise more with friends and family  – organise get togethers rather than letting someone else do it or waiting for an invite.

Be bold, spontaneous….do and learn new things that challenge my perspective and extend my comfort zone.

~Kirri

Life wastes itself while we are preparing to live. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Where in the world?

7 Jun

Written by Kirri White.  Follow me on twitter or facebook.

You can also contact me by email –  kirri@happymumsathome.com

This post is part of the #trust30 writing initiative, inspired by Ralph Waldo Emersons “Self-reliance” that encourages you to look within and trust yourself.  You can find further details regarding the challenge here.

Day four prompt by author Chris Guillebeau

Not everyone wants to travel the world, but most people can identify at least one place in the world they’d like to visit before they die. Where is that place for you, and what will you do to make sure you get there?

I’ve done a fair bit of travelling – London, Paris, Greece, Turkey, Spain, South Korea, Canada and New Zealand are some of the most memorable places I have been fortunate enough to visit.  Sometimes I stayed for a week, sometimes a whole lot longer and as any avid explorer will tell you – there is not much that can compete in terms of the depth of life experience garnered, particularly when you’re young.

Senses are on high alert due to differences in culture, food, language, buildings and behaviour. You get to soak up artifacts and architecture previously viewed by media alone and if you are lucky enough…you get to discover that you are far more capable than you ever imagined.  On your own.

You may find yourself alone with bag stolen on a painfully overheated clunkered ole bus, headed in the wrong direction. With no ability to communicate other than hand-gestures *some tears* and charades, somehow you still manage to make that bus turn around so that you make your connecting flight seconds before gate closure.

Them be good times!

In retrospect at least.

While a passion to explore the world can most definitely provide you with a suitcase of unforgettables, it can also bring you back to a place of contrasting landscape rich in colour and as diverse as its inhabitants….. Australia mate!

The Majesty of Uluru

I had to leave home to appreciate what I already had.

I have lived in four cities and three states but have never been over the desert and into the west….part of my story that needs to be amended.

How will it happen?  Just wait and see.

Cheffy hubby and I have started “the trip” fund and hatched up a random plan which involves three small girls, skipping school and a winebago.

I’ll let you know how it plays out.

~Kirri

If we live truly, we shall see truly. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

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Life as a series of endless post-its…

6 Jun

Written by Kirri White.  Follow me on twitter or facebook.

You can also contact me by email –  kirri@happymumsathome.com

This post is part of the #trust30 writing initiative, inspired by Ralph Waldo Emersons “Self-reliance” that encourages you to look within and trust yourself.  You can find further details regarding the challenge here.

Day four prompt by author  Jenny Blake

Identify one of your biggest challenges at the moment (ie I don’t feel passionate about my work) and turn it into a question (ie How can I do work I’m passionate about?) Write it on a post-it and put it up on your bathroom mirror or the back of your front door. After 48-hours, journal what answers came up for you and be sure to evaluate them.

In my haste to get everything done that desperately needed to get done this weekend, I now find myself behind in this writing challenge.

Behind who?  I’m not sure, but I do know that I spend many days and weeks racing and rushing…hyped up on adrenaline and a barrage of less than kind self-talk.  Driven by responsibilities and the need to do, to create, to make something out of every waking moment.

I can spend up to an hour planning each and every week, and have a bunch of post-its adorning mirrors, doors and notebooks.

I’ve been told that this is a good thing.  I’m motivated, enjoy keeping fit, making it happen and have all my ducks lined up in a nice straight row.  Thanks for noticing…..so what the whispers of insomnia and anxiety in a mind that won’t shut the hell up?

Enter pretty pink post-it:

Moment of truth.

I have coached people on maintaining work-life balance.  I aspire to live a simpler, more conscious life and yet there are times when I have to admit to being a junked up overachiever.

The sleepless nights and jitter-bug mind are always an indication that I’m out of whack and headed to that place of pure whackness!

So what do I do?  To be honest, taking this time to reflect and examine is the biggest step of all for me.  It takes me back to a place of awareness and reminds me of the importance of checking in and making minor adjustments to my current path.

Some other things I know will help and that I can consciously commit to:

– Work smarter not longer and harder.  Work in specific chunks of time and take breaks.

-Prioritize and differentiate between what is really important and what is urgent.

-Minimise caffeine and no chocolate at night (ooh that’s a hard one)

– Do more yoga, meditation and less running, dancing and metaphorical bouncing off walls

-Spend more time outside with the aim of connecting with nature

-Keep doing what I love but make sure I’m still plugged in to my family and friends

-Have one day a week where I am completely disconnected from technology – completely (also a hard one!)

– Make time to examine and reflect….That’s what I’m doing right now.

~Kirri

That which each can do best, none but his Maker can teach him. Where is the master who could have taught Shakespeare? Where is the master who could have instructed Franklin, or Washington, or Bacon, or Newton? . . . Shakespeare will never be made by the study of Shakespeare. Do that which is assigned you, and you cannot hope too much or dare too much. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

What’s one strong belief you possess?

3 Jun

Written by Kirri White.  Follow me on twitter or facebook.

You can also contact me by email –  kirri@happymumsathome.com

This post is part of the #trust30 writing initiative, inspired by Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Self-reliance” that encourages you to look within and trust yourself.  You can find further details regarding the challenge here.

It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude. – Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

Day three:

The world is powered by passionate people, powerful ideas, and fearless action. What’s one strong belief you possess that isn’t shared by your closest friends or family? What inspires this belief, and what have you done to actively live it?

(Author: Buster Benson)

I have to admit I have spent much of the morning struggling over today’s writing task….Why?  Because I’m not sure I hold one strong belief.

Is that bad?  It’s bad isn’t it?

Honestly…I’m a fence sitter.  I can see both sides of every argument.  I can empathise with all points of view which makes it difficult to stand up, hold a placard and speak boldly and passionately about a lot of topics.

What I am certain of is that there is rarely one definitive answer to many of lifes’ big questions and for all the research and evidence supporting one hypothesis, you will find another that strongly supports the opposing view.

Like fashion, belief systems come and go and my personal perceptions also keep evolving.

There are few absolutes and a handful of truisms.  This fact alone is what inspires me to keep searching, learning and evolving.

A thirst for knowledge and learning that life serves up in a rainbow of flavours?

That’s something I’m willing to stand up for.

*Final thought – I do have one strong belief not shared by some family members and friends….

Homosexuality is biological and we all deserve to be treated with respect and share equal rights.   That debate is over.

Today in a sentence?

3 Jun

This post is part of the #trust30 writing initiative, inspired by Ralph Waldo Emersons “Self-reliance” that encourages you to look within and trust yourself.  You can find further details regarding the challenge here.

Day two prompt by author Liz Danzico

Your genuine action will explain itself, and will explain your other genuine actions. Your conformity explains nothing. The force of character is cumulative. – Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

If ‘the voyage of the best ship is a zigzag line of a hundred tacks,’ then it is more genuine to be present today than to recount yesterdays. How would you describe today using only one sentence? Tell today’s sentence to one other person. Repeat each day.

Staying in line with the nautical theme, my sentence for today –

It’s much easier to change course when moving than it is standing still, so grab the reins and Giddy-up!

Yeah, I like to mix my expressions…so what 🙂

You have discovered you have 15 minutes to live….

2 Jun

For the next 30 days I will be taking part in the #trust30 writing challenge, an online initiative that encourages you to reflect on the now and create direction for your future.

Inspired by the Domino Project, it is part of a celebration of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s 208th birthday – a great thinker, who encouraged self-reliance and betterment.

Used to being the first one at the party,  I’m joining this challenge a day late…so expect a double post in the next day or two.  Please feel free to join me in the challenge or share your own musings in the comments section.

Day one: Writing prompt by Gwen Bell – “You have discovered you have 15 minutes to live”

Who am I kidding?  Anyone who has known me for more than a week is most likely to guess what I would be doing in my last 15 minutes on earth….blubbering  for approximately 450 seconds, flailing my arms wildly and then crying some more.

Most.Likely.Scenario.

However…somewhere between those deep gasping sobs, I would like to think that

a) I would not be chained to my laptop or iphone

b) I was surrounded by my family and loved ones

c) that I could see the skyline and feel the sand beneath my feet and

d) that I had a handy bottle of champagne in my possession….maybe even tequila?

I would be grateful for the seeds of love sown in my life, the ones that scattered and took root in the hearts of many.

I would regret that I held back too often, that I was too shy to follow up a smile with a meaningful conversation and that I had left many personal fears undefeated.

A whole bunch of plausible clichés come to mind….

One thing is for sure – 15 minutes is smaller than a grain of rice in the big scheme of things.

Yet, its long enough to give yourself a gentle nudge…to wake the hell up and not just to dream big but to live and love big….with a fearless heart and an open mind.

Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.
—      Ralph Waldo Emerson

How being a mum can lead to highly successful habits

24 May

Written by Kirri White.  Follow me on twitter or facebook.

You can also contact me by email –  kirri@happymumsathome.com

A couple of weeks ago, I had an Oprah-esque ‘Aha’ moment while watching Australia’s Masterchef.  One of the top 24 contestants, Kate – occupation ‘mum,’ was taking part in a team challenge which involved being woken (after two hours sleep) to bake artisan-worthy bread for eight hours straight.

A lot of the contestants emerged bleary-eyed and cranky, but not this Mumma!  She cheerily narrated that parenthood had more than prepared her for this type of challenge:

when you are a mum, you get used to having to work hard,
whether you like it or not, whether you feel like it or not.

Damn straight, I thought. This woman’s going to bake some killer bread!

Becoming a mum is fraught with experiences that can lead you to a whole new level of learning. From the very first moment you gingerly claim your newborn …your life is no longer yours.  You are officially ‘owned’, required to be on call 24 /7 and have orders communicated to you in a cacophonous language not yet fully understood by either parties.

Days and nights blend into the same monochrome and for many new parents, the outside world can seem like an alternate universe.

I know that some mums allegedly give birth to “sleepers” *dislike* but for most of us, becoming a parent is an exhausting exercise comparable to the effects of sleep deprivation-torture-tactics used in war-fare.

And no, you don’t get to call in sick….ever.

I have had to lay, vomit bucket at head-level while my three-year olds whined and pulled my hair in an effort to “stop mummy being boring”.  Fortunately, I also had my life-saving five-year old at hand, who was able to make lunch among puddles of juice and vegemite smears.

While many childless couples look forward to engaging in some serious ‘lounging’ on the weekends, mummies have forgotten that it is in fact the weekend.

No down time for you sistah!  It’s business as usual, 365 days a year.

Such is the nature of the unwritten job description.  You may not realise that ‘this’ is exactly what you signed up for but you step up and you do it.

Not to say that it’s all hard work and tears.  There are many positives to having your world shaken sideways by mummyhood. After a while, you catch your groove, and inadvertently find you have adopted a few habits of the ‘highly successful’.

For example:

You now have the permanent built-in alarm of a serious go-getter that wakes you up early no matter what. You may even morph into a healthier version of yourself, given that you no longer go out partying every weekend till 5am.

Establishing routines, organising schedules and planning events are things that have now become second nature. Household supplies and food are dutifully replenished, budgets micro-managed and a multitude of other tasks accomplished every day.

You get used to working diligently without being pushed, asked, thanked…or sometimes even noticed.

The mood of a small child can easily dictate how your day will play out from moment to moment.  As such you learn to adjust plans accordingly.  You become far more resilient and capable at handling the downright ugly and seemingly impossible. Even in public.

As your child’s first role model, you become more adept at building and maintaining positive relationships, promoting perseverance and cooperation.  With kidlet eyes now taking in your every move, you try to emulate ‘goodness’.  You become a leader without a title, far more responsible, self-contained and polite.  You become better at controlling and managing yourself and your emotions….most of the time anyway.

Flippancy to the side…being a mum can lead to strengthening all of the skills you gained as a singleton, with the addition of a few more.  In my humble opinion.

All learning has an emotional base ~Plato

Being a mum may not always educate the intellect but it does educate the heart.  The emotional intelligence I have gained in seven years of parenting remains unparalleled.  Coincidentally, emotional intelligence has been widely reported as one of the strongest indicators for success in life and directly affects ones psychological well-being (ref).

I read somewhere that the brain gives knowledge but the heart gives direction. As a mum even though your heart now moves independent of your body – the sense of purpose, passion and direction you feel can spur you on to achieve greatness in all areas of life.

Sidenote: Some of you may be thinking that this particular blog is biased and a tad dismissive of non-parents or even daddy’s.

I would concur.

But sometimes a mummy needs to hear that she is valued, competent, resourceful and freakin’ fabulous!

She needs to understand that the skills and experiences acquired through parenthood hold relevance in any environment and that she is a successful contributing member of society right here and now.

Nuff said!

~ Kirri

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