Self Care Sunday: On Maintaining A Beautiful Space

Self Care Sunday: On Maintaining A Beautiful Space

With the beginning of the New Year, I'm committing to a new special series here on the blog, dedicated to Self Care Sunday. Each week I'll share about what Real Self Care looks like in practice for me. And I'm starting off with something which may not actually seem like a self care practice: CLEANING HOUSE - LITERALLY.

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On 2015: A Year In Review

On 2015: A Year In Review

I'm not really one for big New Years Eve parties, and to be honest I hope to spend the night at home with a couple of my besties watching Madonna movies and drinking Sailor Jerry's in my pyjamas.

But before any of that happens, I like to spend some time reflecting on the year that was. I think that this is really important, because it's really easy to just allow the days to float on by with indifference, but when I stop and take stock I'm always struck by just how much has happened.

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On Things to Do When You're Feeling Just A Little Bit Shit

On Things to Do When You're Feeling Just A Little Bit Shit

So on the back of the icky and stressful feeling week, I decided to share some of the things I like to do to boost my mood and make myself feel like a bit more of a Rad Bitch. Some of these are big things, and some of them are quick and easy wins, because let's face it, when we're feeling a just a little bit shitty is not always the time when we're at our most patient - well I'm certainly not anyway!

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On Handling Stress and Traumatic Events

On Handling Stress and Traumatic Events

I know I talk about this a lot, but if there was one thing I could teach the entire world, it would be that we don't have to be 100% okay all of the time. It's okay if we're not okay, but it's important to tune into how we're feeling, and to figure out what we need.

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On Why I Called My Brand 'Rad Bitch'

On Why I Called My Brand 'Rad Bitch'

Rad Bitch is about supporting women to empower themselves, to own their voices, stand up for themselves and express their views with confidence.

Rad Bitch is inspired by the incredible, radical women who have, and do stand up together to carve out space for us to speak up and shine in our own ways.

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On The Artful Business Conference 2015

On The Artful Business Conference 2015

Thank you so much to everyone who has made Artful 2015 so awesome! Thank you for the hugs, the high fives, the inspiration and encouragement, the thoughts, tears and the belly laughs. I appreciate everything we shared and learned together over the last two days.

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On Letting Go of Fear: Dead Weight and Pink Balloons

On Letting Go of Fear: Dead Weight and Pink Balloons

And as the conference started to loom closer, I could feel myself starting to slip back into some of those old patterns - although thankfully, I've kept to my limit of two coffees a day, and I haven't taken up smoking again.

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On Relationships, Self Care and Role Models

IMG_3501_2Last Saturday morning, Jordan and I loaded up the MINI and drove out to Seville, which sits in the Warburton Valley, just beyond the urban fringe of Melbourne. While everything about the weekend could very easily have set the scene for a sneaky romantic weekend away, we actually went away to celebrate my Lil Sis's Wedding Day. Every part of the weekend was beautiful, relaxed and joyful for all involved. Jordan and I arrived in Seville nice and early and ate a lunch of pasties from the local bakery. We then met up with my Dad, checked into our accommodation at Dalblair Bed & Breakfast (Jordan and I stayed in the beautiful apartment @ Waters Edge), and enjoyed a lazy swim in the pool, before getting ready for the main event of the afternoon.

The view from the window of our accommodation at Dalblair.

The wedding was held at Killara Estate, which provided the perfect backdrop for the Lil Sis and her new husband, to celebrate their marriage - with all three of their beloved staffies in attendance. I don't want to spend too much of this post describing the wedding, as I feel that it's a story the newlyweds to share should they wish to - aside from saying that it was such an honour to share in their day, and to celebrate with them.

What I really want to share with you all, are a few thoughts I've had brewing over the last fortnight since posting about Self Care Sunday - and what even is the point of practicing Self Care?

Last weekend was actually the first time that some of our family and friends had really gotten to hang out with and get to know Jordan properly - and definitely the first time they'd gotten to see us really messing around and having fun together as I kicked off my shoes and we started dancing around, giggling and pretending as if we knew how to lindy-hop. I have it on good authority that a few happy tears were shed by those who've known the Lil Sis and I since we were born, at seeing us both so puke-worthily happy.

IMG_3440Now, the reason I'm sharing all of this, is not to be all, "OMG we had this amazing weekend away! Look how perfect my life is!" After we got home on Sunday, and I'd allowed the events to really sink in, I couldn't help but reflect on how much has changed - and funnily enough, I happened to have a photo which totally highlights that.

Partying on our last night of Art School - Back when we both smoked, and were still just mates who shared a studio space.

This rather unflattering photo of me and Jordan was taken at a time when neither of us were particularly healthy, nor very healthy. To be fair, we'd just pulled an epic couple of weeks at Art School, getting our folios together for submission and assessment at the end of our Third Year of our Painting Major Studies towards the Bachelor of Fine Art, so delirium and sleep deprivation, combined with alcohol, and regular job responsibilities had pretty well hit their peak.

At the time, I was in one of the "On Again" stages of the toxic On-Again-Off-Again, non relationship I had with my ex, I had spent three and a half years dealing with ongoing and complex health issues, and I drank too much too frequently. Shit was very much about to hit the fan, and the next year was to be one of the toughest I've ever experienced.

It strikes me now that so many people (and I know that they're saying this out of love - and partly because they may not have seen me for a while) comment on how happy Jordan makes me. This kind of bothers me a little.

The reason being that while I'm totally happy with Jordan, and I love that he challenges, encourages and supports me, I've worked my freakin' arse off to create a life which supports my own happiness - and I was happy as a Single Crazy Cat Lady.

This, I guess brings me to my thoughts on WHY Self Care Sundays (and self care in general) is so important. For me, self care isn't just about doing one small thing, once a week to make yourself happy. It's about accepting everything about yourself - including the stuff you kind of suck at, and building from there. It's about being the kind of person you love spending all of your time with.

While the purpose of self care is NOT attracting a partner - nor is it about creating the space and opportunity for a partner to come into your life, I have to admit that had I not put the time, effort and consideration into learning to really love the person I am, then I wouldn't have the kind of relationship that I do with Jordan now.

 

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Thus, bringing me to the other big event I attended this week. On Wednesday evening, I headed straight from work to Circa @ The Deck in St. Kilda, for 'An Evening with Lisa Messenger' presented by Suzanne Chadwick of The Connection Exchange.

I actually had the good fortune of seeing Lisa Messenger speak at The Artful Business Conference last year, but missed the opportunity to speak with her one on one.

At that stage (early September), I had literally just started studying Health and Wellness Coaching, and hadn't even set up a blog or Facebook page yet. Lisa was so generous with her time, and her words, and was keen to hear about my journey while she signed my fresh new copies of both of her books. I had already read Daring and Disruptive, but I spent this morning getting stuck into Love and Life, and I've already found myself nodding along with Lisa's story, and feeling as if it reiterates so perfectly what I'm trying to say here.

While I'm not the CEO of a publishing group, nor am I the Editor in Chief of a magazine which is currently sold in 37 countries around the world, one of my favourite things about reading Lisa's work, and especially about having met her in person, is how open she is - and how strongly she believes that anything is possible for any one to achieve - but most of all - how honest and true it feels to hear her say these things.

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When rich white dudes in suits with private school educations speak about achieving success, my eyes honestly glaze over and I feel like poking myself in the eye with a fork. When Lisa speaks about possibility, it FEELS genuinely accessible, and those rich white dudes in suits seem less intimidating - she is an Entrepreneur FOR Entrepreneurs after all!

The reason I wanted to share about meeting Lisa, and reading her books, is that she talks quite openly and honestly about establishing and practicing self care as a non negotiable, as it has formed the foundations for her success within relationships, life, and in her businesses. While I have very different goal and aspirations, it's genuinely inspiring to be able to look towards someone like Lisa Messenger and know that her past experiences are not THAT far removed from mine, and that she's just further along in her journey than I am.

Having Rad Bitches to look towards as Role Models, is something we talk about quite a bit within The Girl Gang, and I'd love to know - who are the women who inspire you to live at your biggest and at your best?

xx

Kym.

PS: I highly recommend checking out The (Renegade) Collective, as well as Lisa's books. They're fun, empowering, and easy to read - even if entrepreneurship isn't something you're interested in.

PPS: I haven't even had a chance to talk about the other amazing people I got to meet and learn about over the last few weeks, but I'm well over a thousand words now! Suffice to say, I've spoken with some incredible women who are up to big things!

PPPS: I've been getting back into hosting coaching sessions, and I'm totally loving it! Speaking with everyone I've held calls with has been so inspiring, and knowing that coaching is totally my jam has really empowered me to get myself out of that icky-funk I'd been in!

 

On Public Speaking and Hosting Tea Parties

IMG_3076 Last Saturday, I hosted my FIRST EVER coaching event, 'A Rad Bitch Tea Party' here at The Kitteh Palace. Holy Crapballs! I'd had such an amazingly exciting week in the lead up to the event - which in all honesty, was a good thing because I didn't even have the opportunity to get nervous about throwing an event, or wind myself up about what could go wrong!

In the week leading up to the event, I'd been interviewed by Jessica Nazarali for her 'Coach of the Week' feature over on her blog - eeee!

As if that wasn't excitement enough, on Friday morning, I had the incredible pleasure of speaking alongside Jess AND Gina DeVee on a Special Live Call about branding as a "New Coach". To put into perspective just how big a deal this was, it's pretty much the coaching world equivalent of having someone like Gala Darling offer to guest post on my blog. I was honestly FREAKING OUT about speaking to what turned out to be over 300 women, but I'm SO GLAD that I agreed to because I've had the opportunity to speak directly with some really incredible women about their dreams and their business aspirations as a result!

Luckily - given that I had all these exciting things happening in the lead up to my Tea Party, I happen to have some truly amazing friends who also happen to be a little bit nifty in the kitchen, because as much as I love baking, I would not have had the time to bake and prepare noms for the day!

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My buddy Lee from Cupcake Rivalry created the most stunning and totally badass cake especially for the day, and I'm not going to lie - It was at least 10 times more incredible than anything I would have been able to create for the day!

I only started to get the jitters about the actual event when my neighbour from directly below us let me know (about an hour before people were due to arrive) that he was having some mates around for a Jam Session at the same time as the Tea Party. I needn't have been nervous, as not only was the band good, they also provided the most perfect impromptu soundtrack to the afternoon!

My mum came around a little before the Rad Bitches were due to arrive, and helped me with a few finishing touches like setting the table in the living room, buying scones, welcoming people as they arrived, and filming the afternoon - THANKS MUM!

Once the Rad Bitches had arrived, we settled in with cups of hot chocolate. I talked a little about the events of the last year in particular, and the process I used for setting and achieving my goals, before we started sharing some of our goals for the year ahead: Travel, Parenting, Writing, Self-Employment, and Creativity were big themes which came up throughout the afternoon.

One of my personal favourite aspects of the day, was the intimacy of hosting a small-ish group of incredible like-minded, and yet uniquely individual women, and the safe supportive environment they helped create. I was so blown away by the depth of sharing, as well as the personal stories shared as the afternoon went on.

IMG_3118We took a break to enjoy the delicious cake (For the record, it was a 100% Vegan Friendly, Chocolate Mud and Vanilla cake), chat, doodle in notebooks, replenish our cups of tea or hot chocolate, and take a few selfies, before I invited my dear friend and client Jessi Anna to speak to the group.

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Jessi spoke so beautifully, and so generously shared her story, before talking about some of the profound changes she's implemented over the last few months, and the positive shifts that have occurred as a result. I'm so proud and grateful to have been given the opportunity to work with Jessi One on One, and especially grateful that she was willing to speak at the Tea Party!

One of the most inspiring moments, was during a conversation around limiting beliefs and perfectionism which led to possibly the biggest "Take Home Message" of the day:

IMG_3123I'd like to say a HUGE Thank You to the Rad Bitches who came along I really appreciate your incredible spirit and the overwhelmingly positive feedback. I'd also like to thank everyone who supported the event, but weren't able to make it on the day!

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I am already starting to plan the next event, and at this point I'm thinking that it will be held on Saturday the 21st of February, so check your planners and pencil in the date into your diary if you'd like to join us next time!

In the meantime, I'm going to do my best to get a copy of the recording to make available - either as a video, or have it transcribed into a blog post!

For now, please have an amazing week and stay awesome!

xx

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A Rad Bitch's Guide to Being Strong, Just For You

IMG_3724 I happened across a blog called I AM THAT GIRL during the latter part of last year, and it has quickly become one of my favourites. This morning while drinking my morning coffee, I read a post called 'Who Will Be Strong For Me?' which REALLY resonated with me. It took me WAY, WAY back to how I felt when I was 21, AAAAAALL over again - and yes, it is weird to think of just how long ago that really was!

I can remember feeling so burned out emotionally, and sitting up in the middle of the night, talking to the guy who was essentially my Boyfriend at the time (Although right throughout the 5 messy years we were on-again-off-again seeing each other, we flat out avoided labelling who or what we were, and staunchly refused that we were BF & GF.) about how as much as I loved being there for my friends, how completely exhausted I was. At the time, I can remember saying that I really wanted for somebody to offer me some space and support for everything to just. stop. for. a. minute.

The reality was that I was deliberately keeping myself busy to avoid dealing with things that were really affecting me. I was avoiding facing up to the reality of my mental health situation, and decidedly staying in unhealthy situations, taking on other peoples dramas and issues as if they were my own because they were a distraction from my own.

It has taken me a really long time to learn how to take a step back and maintain healthy boundaries - and I'm still learning to deal with me (which I know will take life long practice!).

What I do know is that taking care of yourself, and putting in consistent effort to deal with your own needs, will make you better equipped to support those around you.

This is why Flight Attendants instruct passengers, "In case of emergency fit your own oxygen mask first, before assisting children or others around you." While particularly as women, we want to help and support others first, we're no use to anyone if we've blacked out from lack of oxygen because we've been trying to help everyone else around us.

One of the lessons I learned from that time, and ultimately re-learned when that stupidly messy relationship finally ended, (which I included in 'A Rad Bitch's How to Guide to Life: From Post Break-Up Survival Mode, to Rocking at Life') is that sometimes our friends and family may not be the best people to turn to when shit hits the fan.

Honestly, "...unless you’re surrounded by total douche-lords, your friends and family want the best for you, they want to see you happy, and to rock out with you. This is NOT to say that you should put your issues aside – especially if you’re really struggling at the moment.

What I mean by this, is that while I’m sure you have amazing friends and people to support you through those times when shit just feels too freaking hard, at the end of the day – they’re not your therapist" - sometimes it's important to find support and guidance from someone objective.

Photo Credit: BENSHOOTSPEOPLE

Remember that you're never alone, and there's always someone nearby who's ready to support and assist you when you need. They may or may not be family - it doesn't matter, but spend some time identifying who you want in your support network, keep in touch with them, and reach out to them if you need. Take time out from other peoples dramas, because at the end of the day - Everyone has their own shit going on, and it probably isn't about you.

xx

A Rad Bitch Tea Party: Live Event to Kick Off an Incredible New Year

IMG_3467I'm hosting A Tea Party in Melbourne, and you're all invited! WHEN: 10th January 2014

TIME: 2pm - 4pm

WHERE: Melbourne, Victoria (exact venue TBA)

TICKETS: $55 each through Eventbrite

ABOUT:

Join Kym Seletto, author of ‘A Rad Bitch’s How to Guide to Life’ and Master of Real Talk, for an afternoon filled with some of her favourite things: Coffee, Cakes, and Coaching!

The Tea Party will be a professionally catered event, in a gorgeous Melbourne location - yet to be announced.

There will be cakes, scones, tea - and obvs. coffee (duh, of course!), as well as a professional photographer to capture all of the fun of the afternoon.

Best of all, there will be the opportunity to spend an afternoon in amazing company getting to meet fellow Rad Bitches in person!

I'll also be talking about how I became a Rad Bitch in the first place, and why I decided to study Health and Wellness Coaching, before leading a group coaching session around creating actionable goals and intentions for creating your own Girl Boss life in 2015.

I'm also super excited to announce that we will have a special Guest Rad Bitch Speaker joining us!

Ticket price includes a bonus 30 Minute one-on-one Virtual Coffee Date with Kym after the event.

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Your ticket price includes: Delicious catering, The opportunity to meet likeminded Rad Bitches in a gorgeous setting, A Rad Bitch's How to Guide to Life Group Coaching Session, A Special Guest Rad Bitch Speaker on the day, as well as a Bonus 30 Minute Rad Bitch Virtual Coffee Date with Kym Seletto after the event.