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.Read More
It's the difference between trying to build up walls and dismissing other people as soon as I've decided that they're too hard to deal with, and learning that there are ways of setting boundaries without being a total dick.Read More
I want to shift the world out of limiting, and false beauty standards which not only keep us living in fear and shame in ourselves - but that breed fear and competition amongst women. I want us to be able to move beyond the overwhelming idea that our value is determined by the men in our lives, or by the supposedly finite amount of affection, money, opportunity, and attention they can afford to toss our way if we're deemed to be enough.Read More
In my last post I made a passing mention of the cult classic 80's film, 'Heathers' - purely in reference to the fact that I'd been playing croquet at a picnic over the weekend, and to be honest, it's been on my mind ever since. It turned out that nobody else at the picnic had seen Heathers before, so I gave a super brief, non-spoiling description to the interested guests that, "It was a cult 80's high school film starring Winona Ryder and featured heavy doses of dark humour".
The comparison was immediately drawn between it and 'Jawbreaker', a film which I remember watching on VHS when I was still in the early years of high school, and starred Rose McGowan and featured a cameo appearance her then boyfriend Marilyn Manson. For the record, I really enjoyed this film when I was young - and I'm a little tempted to give it, and 'The Craft' another viewing - just for shits and giggles and "old times sake".
Anyway, this all got me thinking about pop culture references to Girl Gangs - particularly in the films I grew up watching - and the interactions between female characters in them, and I was struck by how overwhelmingly negative the relationships were.
In pretty much all of them, there's backstabbing bitchiness, competition over boys, perfectionism, idealised superficial beauty - and murderous cat fighting.
Even if I think back to stuff I watched as a kid - 'The Addams Family Values', 'Daria', and the relationship between Darlene and Becky in 'Roseanne' - the sarcasm, snark and straight-up resentment that played out between these fictional girls, was intense! And yes, I totally identified with the "odd-girl out" in all of these examples.
About the only examples I could think of which featured solid Girl Gangs, were 'Now & Then', and 'The Baby-Sitters Club', which was originally a book series (books that I devoured copies of faster than my Mum could bring the next one home from the Second Hand Book Shop) before being made into a film. The fact that I grew up and became a Nanny, is no freaking coincidence when you think about this.
This isn't just limited to films intended for teen audiences ('Bridesmaids' is a good example of this), although it's super prevalent in the whole high school film genre.
In reality, most female relationships are not this fraught - and for the most part, these films are a great excuse to hang out on the couch in your PJ's with your own Girl Gang, eat pop corn and laugh at the absurdity of it all. Yet the overwhelming message in most of these instances, is that as girls, we are automatically and intrinsically pitted against one another and will fight to the death.
There's rarely any real, deep learning - let alone genuine self-acceptance that takes place by the final act of the film, and whatever "feel-good" message we end up with, is usually pretty generic and superficially blase. I could very easily get into a rant about how this is all because patriarchy is still a thing, but that's not really the point of why I wanted to write this post.
I suppose I've been thinking about this sort of thing a lot more recently - especially since I created The Rad Bitch Girl Gang. Although in truth, I've probably been thinking about this - at least on a personal level, since I started on this whole adventure of rebuilding my own world over the last few years - because my focus is on creating positive, supportive relationships and safe spaces which encourage and facilitate growth.
So as not to sugar-coat stuff, I've definitely had my share of falling-outs with girlfriends, and regrettably have dished out as much Girl-on-Girl negativity as I've copped over the years, but it's a pattern I've worked damn hard to recognise, repair, to change and improve upon.
One thing I have DEFINITELY recognised over the years, is that I am far more likely to treat others well, and to feel confident in my relationships when I'm feeling confident and comfortable within myself.
I believe that there are three sides to this:
- First of all, we have to do the work to create our own genuine sense of self confidence.
- Secondly, there's the Karmic side - What you put out into the world comes back unto you.
- And thirdly, I wholeheartedly believe that we teach others how we to be treated through how we treat ourselves.
As much as I think it would be cool to have a well known pop-culture reference to point out as an example, and confidently say, "YES! THIS!! This is exactly how my Girl Gang feels!" I honestly can't think of one - yet! So, in the meantime, I suppose I'm working to create what I hope to see more of in the world - groups of amazing girls and women who treat themselves and one another beautifully.
I'm proud of the fact that The Girl Gang is a safe space for many of The Rad Bitches to share and support one another, and I'm proud to know some incredible women who are working to empower women in ways that will seriously change the world.
Remember, each of us is enough as we are.
There is enough in the world for each of us.
PS: '10 Things I Hate About You' will probably ALWAYS be my favourite high school movie, ever.
To download your copy of my FREE eBook 'A Rad Bitch's How to Guide to Life: From Post Break-Up Survival Mode, to Rocking at Life', click HERE. [contact-form][contact-field label='Name' type='name' required='1'/][contact-field label='Email' type='email' required='1'/][contact-field label='Comment' type='textarea' required='1'/][/contact-form]
It's been a funny old weekend here in Melbourne. Autumn is definitely in the air, and things are really starting to click. While we didn't really seem to get much of a Summer this year, I'm actually really looking forward to the cooler months and getting to retreat indoors, snuggle up in a blanket, and eat bowls full of creamy pumpkin soup.
In the meantime, Melbourne treated us with one more weekend of stunning sunshine, and what better way to make the most of this, than to head along to a picnic in The Royal Botanical Gardens for a spot of croquet? Well, in celebration of my friend Heidi's birthday, this is exactly how I spent my Saturday afternoon!
I had literally never played croquet before, and if you've ever seen the cult classic 'Heathers', and share my dark sense of humour, you'll understand why I enjoyed it so much - sadly my hair no longer accommodates a scrunchie.
Today's adventures, being Self Care Sunday, involved an early morning Coaching Practicum Session, followed by brunch with the parentals, some filming, as well as winding down for the night. I'm currently typing while wrapped up in my cosy pink slippers and pj's, having warmed my soul with a big mug of hot chocolate.
I'm starting to really enjoy filming and posting to You Tube. As much as I love writing, I have always had something of a mouth on me, so verbalising my thoughts has been a whole lot of fun - well - especially now that the content has lightened up a bit.
In this weeks two part video, I talked about reconnecting with my parents; the impulse to create and the importance of sharing. I also talk about realising that my parents are way cooler than me, and HOW influential they've been. You can check out Part One, below.
I still have to do a little more playing around with the editing suite before Part Two goes up, but it won't be far away!
Until then, have an amazing week ahead, and please click through to You Tube and check out the links to some of the other people, books, tumblr pages, and discussions I mention in the video.
PS: If you'd like to receive a free copy of my eBook, 'A Rad Bitch's How to Guide to Life', and receive doses of Kym Style Awesomeness, direct to your Inbox, you can sign up HERE
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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.
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.
TIME: 2pm - 4pm
WHERE: Melbourne, Victoria (exact venue TBA)
TICKETS: $55 each through Eventbrite
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.
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.
Jordan and I have just returned home after spending Christmas together in one of my favourite parts of the world, Merimbula on the 'Sapphire Coast' in New South Wales. We stayed in this stunning apartment which had literally JUST been renovated. It was the perfect location to chill out, unwind and reflect on some of the amazing things that happened over the past twelve months. Of course we also spent plenty of time on the beach, swimming, paddle boarding, and enjoying the sunshine with family and friends.
I know 2014 was difficult and challenging for some of my friends and readers, and I know many people are looking forward to a fresh new year filled with new opportunities.
While I don't believe that anything happens for a reason, I do believe that everything we experience is an opportunity to learn and grow as a person.
With that said, I'd love to share some of my wins for 2014, and invite you all to share yours!
At the start of the year, I sat down with a fresh notebook and a copy of the Kikki.K edition of Shannah Kennedy's book, 'Simplify Structure Succeed' and wrote down pages of goals I hoped to achieve over the next few years.
I listed things like having a loving partner who complimented me as a person and would support me in my crazy, that I'd love to own a vintage bike and a Mini Cooper, to live in a cute functional apartment, to study, spend time at the beach, and to surround myself with positive and inspiring people who encourage me to be the best person I can.
I wanted to feel more relaxed, to be more organised, and to get more consistent sleep.
I wrote that I wanted to be financially secure and not living payday to payday.
I wanted to cook fresh healthy meals for myself each day, and cut down the amount of coffee I was drinking.
I wrote about cuddling up in front of the heater with a blanket, a mug of soup, a good book and The Kittehs during the cooler months, and time at the beach when it's hot.
In no way did I ever imagine that I would achieve even HALF of what I wrote down, let alone within the year.
As crazy as it sounds, I've not only achieved these goals, but I've achieved even MORE!
Jordan and I are about to share our 12 Month Anniversary, we moved into our Dream Apartment: "The Kitteh Palace" in June (after our first Broken Dream Apartment didn't work out as I'd hoped), I began studying Health and Wellness Coaching and have started building my new business, I've attended networking events and conferences AND I even spoke at one!
I started my blog, made new friends, travelled interstate and stayed in five star accommodation, I have a bright pink bike and a black MINI, I've enjoyed plenty of cuddles with Kittehs and cups of soup and so many interesting books!
Most of all, I've met amazing women and forged closer friendships with some very special people.
I'm working on my Money Story, but it's a lot more positive now than it has ever been. I have a budget now, and realistic plans for increasing my income into the new year.
I stick to a healthy sleep routine and I was introduced to Barre Body classes thanks to my friend Emma.
I'm so grateful for everything I've achieved, learned or experienced this year - the challenges which forced me to innovate and grow, the people who have offered me a safe space to learn to open up and to be vulnerable, the kindness of those who share their time, food, knowledge, friendship and support.
I am grateful that I pushed myself, that I have trusted my gut, taken risks and wholeheartedly believed that I am capable and deserving of better, then I set to work creating by reality.
I'm still learning to become a better communicator, and not to overcommit. I'm still striving to take consistent care of myself and eat healthy delicious food everyday.
2015 will bring some more exciting changes and challenges as I shift into the final stages of my course, and the next phases of building my Coaching business.
Thank you for being part of my year, and bringing your awesome into my life. xx
This weeks post comes from the first tip in my eBook A Rad Bitch's How to Guide to Life: From Post Break-Up Survival Mode, to Rocking at Life, and it feels like it's a message we all need to be reminded of from time-to-time. I've seen countless articles and email newsletters written on this topic recently, as well as questions from within my network of peers - Yep! Even us Coaches, battle with with the dreaded Comparison-itis from time to time!
You know that feeling, when you see some other Girl Boss totally killing at life. She's posting all these amazing photos across Social Media - Oh look, another Instagram photo on a beach with her puppy and Significant Other, followed by a Facebook update about that gig she went to last night. Whatever the case story may be - it doesn't actually matter.
What matters, are the stories and the meaning that WE attach to other peoples lives.
Sometimes we look at those around us with envy or jealousy. It's easy to get caught up in thoughts that there's some finite level of AWESOME available in the world, and that somehow, it's being unfairly distributed - especially when you're really struggling. Sometimes, it just feels so f*cking unfair!
"Like, really Life? How come SHE gets to have ALL of the AWESOME, while I'm stuck over here on Struggle Street? Gahhhh!"
Okay, if this is YOU right now? STOP!
Here are some really important things I want you to remember:
First of all, the people in your life, are here because you're YOU.
They love you and want to spend time with you because they damn well get the person you are. Unless you have totally shitty friends - this is a good thing! They love YOU - quirks, weird habits, dangerously high number of feline friends and all!
Secondly, EVERYONE starts out SOMEWHERE, and has a bad day every now and then.
This one took me a long time to realise for myself, so please don't beat yourself up if this takes some consistent practice - and some missteps along the way. It may be that the Girl Boss you've been shooting dagger-eyes at through your phone screen, once found herself in the same tired, old, warn through sneakers you're dragging your butt down to 7/11 for a sneaky 2am donut in (It's ok, we've all done it). There are any number of possible events that may have occurred, and choices she may have made about her life - let alone how much work she's put in in the mean time, to get to where she is now.
The take home message here - is not a new one, but it is an important one all the same: You can't compare your Page 1, to someone else's Page 101 and expect them to look the freakin' same. Seriously, plot and character development are crucial elements to any story that's supposed to make any sense - let alone great to read!
Third, whatever you get to see is NEVER the full picture.
Regardless of where you interact with others, be it at work, uni, the gym, online, or even through the media - you will never get to see a complete picture of who they are. Whatever you see of them - particularly online (or in the media) - will only ever be what someone chooses to show you. In reality, unless you're reading trashy tabloid crap - in which case what you're consuming is probably totally made up bullshit - you'll only get to see the BEST selfie that someone took, not the countless other ones which feature weird light, or the ones when their eye was half closed and they look kind of drunk. What we see is CURATED.
Fourth, it's great to have positive role models and people who inspire you, BUT...
Role Models should have a positive influence on you. They should INSPIRE you to grow as a person, and to be your own best self - they should not bring out feelings of defeat or hopelessness. If you've tried all the things I've suggested so far, and you've still got a severe case of Comparison-itis, I want you to remember that YOU get to choose what and who you see, or at least how often and how you interact with a given person. If you REALLY can't shake the negative feelings someone brings up for you, limit or eliminate the contact you have with that person - at least until you feel more confident in where you're at.
MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL, REMEMBER THAT THE ONLY PERSON YOU SHOULD BE COMPARING YOURSELF TO, IS YOU!
Check in with how you feel about what YOU are doing, feeling, achieving? Who do you share your life with? What do you have to show for yourself? What goals are you working towards, and how much closer are you to reaching them than you were yesterday? Last week? A month ago? Five years ago? How much have you grown and what have you learned from your unique experiences in life?
Ask yourself, "What AM I doing?" In spite of all the excuses you could be making, and potential set backs or barriers which would cause anyone else to throw their hands up in the air and scream, "F*ck this for a joke!" I guarantee that you're kicking more arse than you think you are - AND I'd be willing to bet that somewhere out there, SOMEONE else is looking up to you, hoping that their Page 101 looks half as freakin' AWESOME as yours does to them.
Thanks again for stopping in, and please let me know in the comments section below:
How YOU deal with Comparison-itis when it rears its' head?