home sweet home

I am Australia bound in T-minus 2 days!

It’s been a year and a half since I’ve seen my loved ones – the longest time I’ve ever been away. It’s certainly been hard at times – home-sickness has definitely reared its uncomfortable head. But for the most part, it’s been fantastic, and I’m extremely proud of how well I’ve adapted to life abroad. But it’s time, it’s time to pay a visit to my roots.

How blessed I am to have a home that makes being away from so tainted. I know how lucky I am.

travel

I will be home for a month, and when I return to Canada I will be relocating to Vancouver to pursue my career goals.

I’m excited to head home, but it also doesn’t yet feel real. I had my final day at work today, and saying my goodbyes to the team felt so surreal. Even as I write this, my place is filled with half-packed boxes & suitcases, but it still doesn’t feel like I’m really leaving. This always happens to me with big changes; it doesn’t sink in until after the fact. I know when my plane takes off on Tuesday afternoon that I will be overwhelmed with emotion, but for now I’m feeling a slight detachment, kind of like I’m watching from the outside in.

I am returning to the motherland to attend my best friend’s wedding.  I’m so excited for that, what an incredible celebration it’s going to be!  I’m also feeling anxious, as a close relative has just been in hospital for a biopsy and we are awaiting the results. This came as a real shock to us, I guess you can never prepare for these things. It’s so strange to feel two opposing emotions at the same time. But they both stem from love, which I guess makes sense that they can be experienced simultaneously.

I cant wait to be amongst the familiar – people and surroundings. To share home cooked meals with family, to smell the eucalyptus, to see the ocean again, to walk along the beach and feel the sand between my toes. But most of all I cant wait to hug my friends and family so tight – that’s what I’m really going home for.

This trip for me is all about ~

  • togetherness with loved ones
  • re-connecting to my roots
  • celebration
  • long walks, long chats, and extra long embraces
  • catching up with old friends
  • enjoying the moment
  • gratitude

I know as soon as I arrive home that I will be grounded. Though in these final days before I leave, it’s going to be a struggle to stay present. My mind constantly wanders from such highs to lows – sometimes in the same breath. Excitement and anticipation are juxtaposed with anxiety and worry. It’s been a bizarre experience for me.

I need to ground myself, and make the most of my final days in my beautiful mountain town.

I’m just glad that in a few short days I will be where I need to be right now, home.

Now all I need to do is click my heels together three times . . .

There’s no place like home . . . there’s no place like home . . . there’s no place like home. . .

“Where we love is home, home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

suitcase

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who fuels you?

Do you realise how powerful your words of encouragement are?

Why is it that we hang onto negative comments, or constructive feedback so much tighter than we do positive, kind words?

I can bring to mind within seconds any comments that have been critical, constructive or downright hurtful – yet ask me to list all the wonderful, positive affirmations that I have received over the years and I’d have to really rummage around to find these buried deep in the recesses of my memory bank.

Most people I coach are exactly the same. When asked what they are great at, what they do best in the world – the answers trickle in slowly and cautiously, like pulling teeth. Yet when I ask people to step outside of themselves, and think about what other people would say; what they are often complimented on, what people rely on them for, what their friends or family would say they are great at – it becomes so much easier to rattle off their strengths.

Why do we do this?!

Perhaps it’s a fear of looking full of ourselves, or that we will seem too ego driven.

Or perhaps we are better at acknowledging the greatness in others, ahead of the greatness in ourselves.

So I shared with you previously how a year ago I took the plunge, and moved to the other side of the world. What i didn’t tell you, was the support network that gave me the courage to leap into the unknown.

I am blessed to come from one of the most nurturing families on earth. As the years go by, I am feeling more and more grateful. I have only been met with possibility, love, support and encouragement from all of them, and this was so evident when I made the decision to move overseas. My chosen people, my “sista’s from anotha mista” are also responsible for giving me the strength and belief in myself that made this scary big move possible.

These people really did fuel me on my adventure.

I took three pieces of gold with me onto the plane that day. Three handwritten letters, from my twin sister, and my two best friends.

I knew it was going to be one of those ugly cry moments when I finally read them.  As I sat on the plane on the third leg of my epic flight, I finally felt ready to open them. At the risk of sounding like I’m tooting my own horn, I want to share some excerpts from these letters with you. In doing so I hope to highlight how important our relationships are with each other, and the power that we all have in supporting those we love:

  • “If there were to be anyone taking a trip like this with such an open mind, heart and determination to explore the world – it would be you. With your passion for adventure, optimistic attitude and zest for life, only time will tell what magical knowledge, experience, and people you will meet along the way . . . you are a gift to this world and it is waiting for you to experience it all.”
  • “Wishing you the most fun filled, adventurous and life changing trip! Smile, dance, sing and enjoy every single day of your amazing adventure! I’ll be there with you in spirit!! I’ll miss you madly and be thinking of you constantly.”
  • “You have such a power Jules, a spiritual energy that not many people posses, and I hope you harness that super power in every situation going forward because your unique instincts will only propel you to your amazing fate.”

I still get choked up when I think of the love, the encouragement and the unwavering belief in me they had.

They believed in my vision more than I did – that’s an incredible thing to feel. Their inspiring words empowered me and reinforced why I was on this journey. My head space went from one of anxiety and fear of the unknown, to one of quiet confidence and a deep belief that everything would be ok, because I was strong, capable and deserving.

I cannot tell you what that support meant to me sitting on an airplane headed to a foreign land. Their love gave me the courage to leap into the new chapter of my life.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to acknowledge other people. Never underestimate the role this encouragement plays in shaping those around us. It fuels, gives strength, lights fire and fosters belief.

“Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

We assume that others know the greatness that lies within them, but we all need constant reminders. Often it’s as simple as  holding up a mirror just so others can see how wonderful they truly are.

We are not islands.

We all need to relate to others, to feel connected, and most of all – to feel LOVED.

Thank you to all my energy sources, you know who you are.

Who can you fuel today?

youthinkyourenot

you are someone’s everything

I recently minded my girlfriends animals for her while her and her husband holidayed in France.

I haven’t experienced anything or anyone being so dependant on me before. Hank and Charlie relied on me for their food, water, walks and love. I was their everything. They were all alone while I was off at work, and just me walking up the stairs at night brought them so much joy! Such simple pleasures.

They slept in my bed, sat on my yoga mat (see below!), curled up in my lap while I was on the computer and watched every single move I made. They slept when I slept, and woke when I woke (fortunately!).

hank

I haven’t yet experienced motherhood, so for me this was the closest thing.

It got me thinking, who are the people in my life that are my everything? Those people that shape who I am as a person. The ones I rely on and build my life around. Maybe I don’t rely on them to put food in my dish everyday, but never the less, they are my life support.

“To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.” – Bill Wilson

I am lucky enough to have a whole network of these people. It starts with my ‘core people’, my family – both blood and chosen. Then like a sunbeam radiates out to my friends, co-workers and colleagues.

My support network feels like a glowing sun fuelled by a burning dense core.

My core people support me, listen to me, encourage me, inspire me, challenge me and most importantly give me unconditional love. It’s this love that is the real life support. I can feed myself, but I can’t always love myself as much as they love me.

It’s this love that gives me the confidence to go out into the world and live big every day.

You are someone’s everything.

Who are you choosing to be for those people?

How are you supporting them?

What one thing could you do that would strengthen that bond the most? That would make the biggest impact on them and/or your relationship?

Make sure you go and do it today.

onepersonsworld

finding my true north – Wanderlust

Isn’t it wonderful when something completely out of the ordinary happens?

I just won a ticket to Wanderlust!!

For those that aren’t aware the Wanderlust events are:

“A one-of-a-kind festival bringing together the world’s leading yoga teachers, top musical acts and DJs, renowned speakers, top chefs and wine makers, and much, much more — all in a setting of breathtaking natural beauty.”

Check out this wicked little video package of last years Wanderlust here in Whistler. It certainly wet my appetite for what’s to come!

wanderlustwhistler

I couldn’t believe my eyes when i opened up the email, I thought have they got this right? I hadn’t even entered a competition! No it was right. Just another example of why I work for the best company in the world – lululemon athletica. Surprising and delighting with a beautiful gift, expecting nothing in return. (Turns out some of my colleagues got a free pass too which makes it even sweeter to share the experience with my beautiful team! yay!).

Wanderlust has been something I’ve viewed from a far in awe. It’s not yet in Australia, and I would see videos, images, and hear amazing stories from this far away festival, it all sounded too good to be true. I can only imagine the sense of community formed by so many people gathering together all just wanting to connect, to love, to grow and to practice together.

It has been a crazy busy couple of weeks for me, lots of travelling to the city for work, late nights, early starts, long journeys. I’m looking forward to stopping to pause. Stopping the busy-ness to re-connect to nature, to my breath, and to my spirit which always shines brighter after practicing.

My formula is pretty simple:

NATURE  +  YOGA  =  BLISS  : )

It’s time to hit the re-boot button and refresh my soul.

I have signed up to three of the most renowned international yogis – Seane Corn, Ryan Leier and Eoin Finn. What a blissful day it will be. I have had the pleasure of meeting Ryan and Eoin previously, they are two of the most beautiful human beings I’ve come across. If they are a small taste of the clientele this weekend, it’s going to be an incredible festival.

I am full of gratitude for this opportunity.

I look forward to filling you in on my wonderful Wanderlust experience.

If anyone needs me tomorrow, I’ll be on my mat.

namaste.

explore | contemplate | practice | listen | create | move

truenorth

acknowledgement party!

Our words have more power than you will ever know.

There have been two specific acknowledgement exercises in my life that I will never forget – one of which happened today.

They both involve expressing gratitude and celebrating each other for who we are.  I have found them so powerful and inspiring, the effects have been profound.

Both exercises have been with my wonderful teams at lululemon athletica. I wanted to share them with you in the hope that you can experience the deep sense of gratitude that comes from them. You could get together with your colleagues, friends, family or community group.

2 WAYS TO ROCK OUT ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:

1) The ‘Love Note’ Exercise

Create a small card for each person with the heading “I like (person X) because . . .   “.  Write down the reasons why you like that person (*tip – make sure it’s authentic to you!). Pass the note around the group so that everyone has input on each individual card. It can be a word or a sentence, anything that springs to mind when you think of why you like that person – big or small. Present the card to the recipient & voila! Stand back and watch the look on their face, it’s absolutely priceless.

Below is the love note I received today, something I will cherish forever –

lovenote

2) The ‘Acknowledgement Circle’ 

Gather into small groups of 3-5 people. Pick someone to begin with, and start by going around the group and saying the following “(Person X), who you are for me is . . . ” ie/ “Dave, who you are for me is an inspiring cheerleader who always supports my growth.” Then follow this with the statement “What I wish for you is . . .”. Look into their eyes as you tell them, and share generously from your own experience of them. Once everyone has said their part, move onto the next person until everyone in the group has been acknowledged.

Now these exercises aren’t difficult, or timely, or expensive – but the result? It’s huge –

The biggest sense of sincere gratitude, love and genuine celebration of who were are.

As Mother Teresa once said –

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”

Perhaps you will forget tomorrow the beautiful words you say today, but the recipient may cherish them over a lifetime.

There is such power in sharing our appreciation and gratitude for others. Maybe because it’s such a rare occurrence. We often think positive things about others, but rarely communicate it. Whether you are hesitant to be vulnerable, or worried about what the other person may think of you, or simply just forget to – there’s something that holds us back.

My experience has been, if I am thinking it – I should say it. Don’t be stingy with expressing your feelings for others, be a generous giver that shares without hesitation.

We are our harshest critics, and we often focus on the things we would like to change about ourselves, the parts of our personality we are dissatisfied with, we beat ourselves up over ‘bad’ decisions, our physical looks, we compare ourselves to others – when in all honesty, those around us only ever see our truest beauty.

These exercises made that so abundantly clear to me.

The people closest to us are the best witness to our soul, and it’s so important to get that outside perspective on ourselves once in a while.

This only reinforces what I am such an advocate for – TO JUST BE YOURSELF!

live your passions they have more power than you know.

Embrace your uniqueness – because trying to be anything other than the magical being you are is just futile. We all have a unique gift to offer this world, what is yours?

So accept the praise and the acknowledgement you will receive with these exercises – take the upgrade!

It’s time to celebrate who you are.

fabulous

clarity through loss

My cousin passed away today.

After a courageous battle with a brain tumour, he is now resting peacefully.

He was far too young to go, a newly wed man in his early thirties. He had his whole life ahead of him.

I found this out while eating my breakfast this morning. Oceans away from my family, I just wanted to be near them, to talk to one of them, to hug them tight. I couldn’t help the tears fall as I tried to digest the news. I thought of his wife and family, and the loss they must be feeling. I thought of how unfair this was and tried to make sense of why this happened.

Then it hit me. It felt like a jolt to my system, like a physical and mental reboot –

LIFE IS SHORT.

It really brought things home for me. I could choose to question the meaning of life and how he could be taken from us so young. OR I could realise the deeper message that this loss brings – just how precious our lives are.

The choice was made. I picked myself up and decided that I would live today to the fullest in dedication of my cousin. I would be grateful to live this day, and not take for granted the fact that I am here, and he is not. I made a commitment to myself that I would appreciate every moment.

I walked into work along the valley trail and breathed in the fresh mountain air. I passed beautiful old fir trees, I watched the sun peaking over the mountain tops – getting ready to begin a brand new day. I heard the birds singing their morning songs, smelt the pine needles, and watched the clouds float elegantly across the sky.

I smiled at strangers, I said hello to everyone (all the people I passed, not just those that I chose to speak to) I consciously didn’t get flustered or stressed throughout the day at work (at things that only yesterday affected me greatly) – instead I just laughed. I didn’t sweat the small stuff, because in the scheme of things, the small stuff doesn’t really matter. I took slower, deeper breaths. I consoled people, I hugged more, I told people I love them.

I smiled today through sad eyes, and recognised the power of compassion. That everyone we come across probably has their own battles of some kind.

It’s amazing how shifting your perspective can open up a whole new experience for you. I decided to be grateful, and it bought more joy into my day.

As i strolled on home, I realised how lucky I was to have had another day in this beautiful world. I started thinking of all the things I want to do for others, how I can contribute, how I can express my love. I got completely out of my own head, stopped navel gazing, and saw my life truly for what it is – a blank canvas that I can choose to create meaning with.

Every moment is all we ever have. Yesterday is gone, and the future is not yet promised.

All we have is right NOW.

And in this moment we have the power of choice.

We have a responsibility not only to ourselves, but to our loved ones, to our community, to this world – to live with zest, to contribute, and most importantly – to love unconditionally.

It’s a shame that sometimes it takes such tragedy to trigger this innate knowledge. We have all heard it before, we all know it – yet we don’t always act on it. Why does such an important message slip from our focus in our day-to-day living?

Stress, anxiety, worry, overwhelm, greed – a toxic mix of emotion that clouds our vision. They fog up the lens that would usually show us how short and precious life is. Sometimes we fill our lives with so much busy-ness that we don’t make time to stop and really smell the roses – to appreciate every day we have.

Then day’s like today roll around to wake us from our slumber, to jolt some clarity back into our existence.

Death always has this effect on people.

It really hit home when my uncle passed away. We lost him to the most aggressive form of cancer – melanoma. It took his life within months. Again, another young man with so much life ahead of him, or so we thought. Him and his partner had so many dreams, so many plans, so many things they were looking forward to. But they didn’t get the luxury of time that we all seem to believe is promised to us in life.

The experience really made me think – why are we here? what do I want my life to contribute to? What legacy do I want to leave behind?

I decided in that moment to stop taking my life for granted. To stop waiting for some grand day in the future when everything will be perfect and happiness will finally reign over me.

Shortly after this loss I decided to take the plunge, to live my life to the fullest. I moved overseas, as I knew I couldn’t count on having the luxury of time in the future.

Somehow by realising my own mortality, and how fleeting life can be – it took away the fear, the doubt, the deliberation – and forced me follow my heart.

“On the death of a friend, we should consider that the fates through confidence have devolved on us the task of a double living, that we have henceforth to fulfill the promise of our friend’s life also, in our own, to the world.” ― Henry David Thoreau

I will be forever grateful for these realisations – what an incredible parting gift they left behind.

I hope they are resting in peace with the knowledge that they have had such a profound effect on the lives of others.

buddha

 

power from passion

I am high on life.

It sounds corny I know, but it’s true.

I feel alive. My heart feels bigger and is brimming with gratitude.

All because I truly LOVE what I do.

I have just finished a group vision and goal coaching session. This is one of my biggest passions, and when expressed, a powerful energy flows through me. I feel like I can accomplish anything! (To read my post on living your passion click here)

I haven’t always felt this way. In fact, this is probably the first time in my life. And it’s solely the result of consistently focusing on what I love:

communication. inspiration. personal growth.

By focusing on these things, I have brought more of what I love into my life. It’s the law of attraction working.

For me, the barrier between work and play has been removed. I don’t live for the weekends, I no longer dread Monday or celebrate Friday. I have a true balance in my life. My time ebbs and flows effortlessly between my personal, professional and social lives.

To tell the truth, I never really believed it was possible to feel this way. A few years ago I thought that stress, anxiety and the pressure of the daily grind were just part of life. Nope, turns out it was just part of the wrong life for me.

I yearned for something more. I made some big changes. And with those changes opened up new possibilities.

I now know my purpose.

I know what I was put on this earth to do. I have found my happiness through teaching happiness.

Its taken many years for me to stand in this place, and I’m forever grateful for the winding journey. I dedicated a lot of time towards self exploration and enquiry. It was frustrating at times, wanting to know all the answers right NOW! I tried to remain patient, as I knew that with time what I was searching for would come organically.

I now know more about myself, and as a result feel more connected to who I truly am. To what’s authentically me.

So my advice to you – get out of your head, and listen to what your heart is saying.

Listen again .  .  .  listen harder.

Your body intrinsically knows what it truly desires.

What do you LOVE to do? The more you pay attention to your heart – to your passions, to what excites you – the clearer the message will become.

It will become so loud that you can no longer ignore it, or push it aside for a rainy day.

It will force you to act upon it, and your life will never be the same again.

passion

new life

I will never forget the day my best friend’s baby was born.

Getting that phone call from the hospital felt surreal. In a daze I dropped everything to go and meet this little person. Everything felt like it was in slow motion, like in a dream.

I’d been staring at my girlfriends growing stomach for the past nine months wondering –  Who was inside? What do they look like? What are they going to be? When do we get to meet?

Walking into the hospital and seeing her with a baby girl bought on an onslaught of emotion. There were no words.

As I held this tiny bub, I could hardly even register her weight in my arms. I stared into her squinty little eyes and was completely in awe. Probably for the first time in my whole life.

Her name is Aurelia and she is the most precious thing I’ve ever seen.

Image

It’s amazing how new life makes you evaluate your own.

I started thinking – How can I support her? What can I teach her? Who will I be for her? Fundamentally, it made me shift my focus away from self, and direct it towards others. For Aurelia I am committed to being a loving, fun, supportive friend and mentor.

I hope to make her journey through life a little better for having known me. I know my life is already better for knowing her.

Happy first birthday! xxx

Do you have any little people in your life?

If so, what have they taught you?

Who are you committed to being for them?

winniethepooh

integrity

I recently attended my first yoga retreat. It’s been one of my goals for a while now – tick!

I felt so grateful and privileged to be there. I was a part of an amazing group of women who undertook a journey of total body and mind transformation.

When I checked into my room, I drew an affirmation from the ‘be the change’ card deck – it was Integrity.

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This definition struck a chord with me . . . to live my truth.

I’d always thought of integrity as having strong moral principles,  and in the disciplinary sense – ‘doing what I say I will do, when I say I’m going to do it’. This affirmation shed new light on an age-old concept for me.

At the retreat we called this “dusting off” words, shaking off the restraints of old definitions, beliefs, stigmas around language, and stepping into a whole new realm of possibility. It’s literally polishing old words to be shiny and new again. This ensures our communication is always powerful because we are aligned on the meaning behind our choice of words. Interesting huh?

To me, living my truth means spreading light, joy and love.

This message empowered me on my journey through the retreat, something I reflected on and consciously acted out. I focused on ‘living my truth’ during my solitary moments of reflection, when I interacted with others, and during my yoga practice. Aligning my thoughts, words and actions. Integrity. It felt dam good.

It made me more responsible for the energy I was bringing not only to my environment, but also to myself.

I got to thinking, this is something that could benefit me every single day. I don’t have to wait to attend a special retreat to be conscious of who I am being.

We all have a choice moment to moment as to what energy we bring into the world.

We are responsible.

Don’t wait, start NOW.

How will you live your truth today?

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Live in purpose, on purpose 🙌🏼 Totally digging living in your wild possibility! New on the BLOG: BUDDHA'S TEACHINGS #101.
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Are you mindful or mind-full? In today's blog I share about my learnings from my Mindfulness & Meditation course, and show you how to experience more presence and sweetness in your every day life. 
The Buddha knew a thing or two! 🔮
Head to the link in my bio to read it. 👆🏼 YESSS!!!!! Finally Australia 🙌🏼 Now, let’s make this legal! I am so full of love, excitement & gratitude for the overwhelming majority that voted in favour. To all my gay & lesbian lovers - you are finally equal. My social feeds are jam packed full of rainbows & I’m freaking loving it! 🌈🌈🌈
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Choosing the right coach is just as much about your heart as it is your head. Always trust your gut & follow your instincts. Because what is right for someone else may not be right for you. But there IS the perfect coach out there for everyone. I truly believe that. 
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