Tag Archives: inspiration

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

 

Source of image 

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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 🙂

The power of gratitude

13 May

Written by Kirri White.  Follow me on twitter or facebook or email me  kirri@happymumsathome.com

There have been times in my life when I have found it next to impossible to be happy. Dark lonely days, where smiles and hugs from family members failed to penetrate my blanket of despair.  A pervading sense of disconnection, apathy and complete inability to experience gratitude….

Yup, that was me.  I’ve suffered from depression and I’m ok writing and talking about it.

I know I’m not alone.

Depression is the third largest individual health problem in Australia after heart disease
and stroke. (ref)

1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will experience some form of depression during their life. (ref)

Each year, approximately 1,000,000 adults and 100,000 young people in Australia experience a depressive illness. More than 50% will not seek treatment. (ref)

For me, one of the most challenging facets of this illness is the fact that there are many people who would prefer not to hear about it, or acknowledge it as a real illness.  Depression may not be as taboo as it was twenty years ago but “mental illness” of any sort is still stigmatized.

How bad does it feel when you attempt to share your pain, only to be told over
and over –

You’ll be ok, you just have to try harder.

Don’t cry – we don’t have to talk about it anymore, ok?

Come on, snap out of it! Think about how this might be affecting your babies!

Helpful, no.  Hurtful, yes.  Understandable?  Yeah, I get it.  If you’re depressed, you are a definite fun-assassin!

But that was then and this is now.  That part of me has faded into the background and a newer version emerged – genuinely smiling, appreciative and happy.

Most of the time.

So what if that black dog comes round for another visit!  I’m far more resourceful and resilient now and the knowledge that I have beaten depression before is both comforting and empowering.

 

The power of gratitude

Believe it or not, expressing gratitude on a daily basis was one of the most effective weapons in my arsenal for defeating depression.

I was fortunate that even in my most depressed state – I never gave up. I knew that I could fight my way back to wellness even when the actual experience of being happy seemed as far away as the moon.

I took to recording my ugliest thoughts and fears on paper, in a hopeful effort to have them disintegrate into the harried scrawls of ink.

I also began a daily gratitude journal.  Maybe I couldn’t feel those sunshine thoughts, but surely I could find a few things to be grateful for?

Writing one or two sentences every day was something I knew I could commit to.

Some days it was being thankful for nothing more than a great cup of coffee or a two-hour stint of uninterrupted sleep.  Other days, observing the melodic babbling of my babies or the stoic way my Canadian family braved the brutal winter elements; were enough to keep my feet planted in the realm of possibility.

I also noticed that the act of recording gratitude accumulated to the point where I could soon find five things instead of just one to be genuinely thankful for.  My list began to grow and flow with ease and eventually I started to feel the gratitude rather than just write about it.

After six months of committing to this practice and combined with counselling, exercise, medication and the loving support of a few family members and friends – I was able to reclaim my passion for life.  Damn, it felt good!

I’m not saying that this daily practice of being grateful was a cure for my depression but I do believe it was a crucial factor for recovery.

How can gratitude increase happiness?              

The power of gratitude and its positive effect on mood and well-being has been widely documented (see here).

Being grateful moves your focus from a mindset of scarcity to abundance.

Appreciating and noticing the small blessings leads to a focal point of more – more positive things to take note of and a heightened awareness of the miniscule details that bring pleasure.

Moreover, like many habits – the longer you do it, the easier it becomes and the more powerful the effects can be.  Gratitude helps you maintain a more positive outlook and contributes to emotional well-being.

It also has social benefits – we all prefer to hang with positive people, right?

Creating an atmosphere of gratitude in your home

It can be challenging trying to instill an ‘attitude of gratitude’ in your home.   Children are notoriously self-centred and unappreciative, particularly when it comes to their own family members.

I have found that the most effective way to increase an appreciative atmosphere is to model the behavior.  Children get annoyed when you constantly tell them to thank every person they meet but if they notice you always make a point of giving thanks when called for, they are sure to follow suit…eventually.

Writing small notes or sending emails of Thanks in a timely manner is also an effective way to teach gratitude.  Thanking
Grandma on Skype for a birthday gift, or writing a note to a teacher for a fun lesson well taught are recent examples of gratitude my girls have initiated.

Nature provides endless opportunities and spectacles for inquisitive minds to marvel at. A rainbow or butterfly on your walk to the park.  Eating lush tropical fruit on a hot summer’s day.   Observing natures gifts together is not only fun for kids but also reminds us big kids to take note of the things that we so often take for granted due to years of familiarity.

My favourite, most effective display of appreciation in our household is the ‘Gratitude Prayer’.

We take turns at dinner time to have a prayer of gratitude – a practice that the girls enjoy and add their own flavour to –

I’m thankful that my hair was pretty today and I got to see ‘Barbie in a Fashion Fairytale’.

I really liked the chocolate easter egg I ate and I hope I get some more tomorrow.

Every now and then they also delight with their thoughtfulness and an inkling that they are beginning to grasp the power of gratitude-

Thank you for my daddy who works so hard….my sister who is an angel from the sky cos she plays with me at school…. and my uncle who I miss lots and lots.

That’s it from me today.

Let me know in the comments how you like to ‘get your grateful on’?

~Kirri

How champagne and a friend like Lucy can lead to kick-ass inspiration!

27 Apr

I had a different blog post ready to go today. One I had painstakingly pored over, edited and re-edited.  Then something major happened.   I spent three hours with my friend Lucy over a lovely champagne brunch and was so inspired that I had to write about it….today.

I’m warning you now that this is a ‘write and hit publish’ piece.  There will be no well-researched ideas and possibly even a few typos or ill-chosen words.  Sometimes you just have to run with it.

A bit of background for you- Lucy and I have been friends for over 10 years.  We met in a particularly classy joint (for the Gold Coast) and I’m pretty sure Lucy was fresh off the school bus!

I remember her as a fun, friendly, naturally gorgeous and unaffected femme with a light-bulb smile and heart to match.  Someone you liked instantly.

We shared in a good six months of epic fun with a large group of mutual friends.  Following that, life took us on separate paths and adventures and for several years we had little contact, other than the usual social media exchanges.

Like many friendships, ours had been one firmly planted in ‘good times’. We actually knew very little about each other – never talked about our dreams, fears and passions or what as a coach, I now refer to as the “real “stuff. Yeah, the bravado of youth had something to do with it but that doesn’t mean those things didn’t exist.  Being vulnerable was a road we either consciously or unconsciously chose not to venture down.

This week, that changed.

Our conversation scratched beneath the surface and in three hours we learnt more about what really mattered than in the ten years prior.  We shared our goals, passions, mind-blocks and secret business ideas. Furthermore, we learnt that not only could we support each other – we had mad skillz that could be used for mutual benefit!

I came away feeling motivated, energized, and inspired.

A real life example of how a few words of encouragement and talking over heart-felt desires can reaffirm and stir that belly-fire.

Freakin’ love that feeling, right?

 

Get real

Made me think though.

How many times do we ask friends how their lives or jobs are going, just because that’s what we do?  Much like a perfunctory kiss – we do it out of habit, devoid of any real intention.

How’s work going?  Still at the same place yeah?  What are you up to this weekend?

Often, it’s one of the first things we learn about one another…a piece of information we quickly process and hand out later, to indicate we know the person by what they ‘do’

He works for a bank.

She takes care of the kids at home……

They’re both travelling round South America, taking pictures of native bird species…or something.

Who really cares right?

Me? Not so much.

I do, however, want to know what you like to do for fun, what instrument you regretfully stopped playing when you were ten and the top five places you want to travel to before you die.

I’m even more intrigued to hear about the exciting possibilities that keep you awake at night….the stuff you have been pondering for the past three years but haven’t had the guts to share with anyone – just in case you don’t end up doing it.

Why do we keep all that brilliant stuff inside anyway?

Are we scared we are going to be judged or laughed at?  Or, are we scared to step out and shine?

Do yourself a favour now.  Stop asking friends, family and even acquaintances about their job and start finding out what their real story is.

Start sharing your real story while you are at it.

We all have a talent, purpose or message to share with the world.  We all want an opportunity to shine.

So get busy sharing that special stuff with those that matter.  You never know where it may lead to.

                                                                        

Surround yourself with positive, passionate people

Much like my champagne soiree with Lucy; sometimes all it takes is the right opportunity and inclination to ‘get deep.’

I’ve written before about how people are wired to desire connection.

The world is run off relationshipsFriends, family and even acquaintances provide a veritable buffet of wisdom, skills and encouragement.  Readily available and often untapped.

You get to choose your network so stick with the peeps that will lift your game, expect the best and deliver the most.

In short:

– Surround yourself with positive, passionate people.  They will help change your reality.

– Be genuine and vulnerable. See the possibility in others and share that belief in one another.

– Success is not mutually exclusive. By helping others with their dreams, we breathe possibility into our own.

– Your success equals my success.

Is it pure chance that I got exactly what I needed at this point and time, delivered right to my door step?

I don’t believe so.

Perhaps it was just our time to really connect.  Maybe the champagne enabled the conversation to flow that bit easier.

All I know for sure is that I am extremely grateful for friends like Lucy…and bubbles.

~ Kirri

Don’t forget to share  your own stories of encouragement and inspiration in the comments and please share the love by hitting the facebook or twitter buttons!

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