On The Importance of Taking Time Out

On The Importance of Taking Time Out

It was starting to become clear that both my boyfriend and I were long overdue for some time out of the house and away from our desk - with a few little technical glitches popping up and testing my patience to prove it.

Taking an extended break isn't a priority for us right now, but we weren't about to let that stand between us and a relaxed few days together.

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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 Feeling Ick and Comfort Foods

IMG_3662This weekend has been far quieter than the last few - and definitely quieter than I had planned on this one being. I had honestly been really looking forward to heading out both last night and today, but unfortunately have caught myself an ick. It's nothing serious, just a cold, but definitely enough to have taken my voice away and replaced it with a hearty deep and gravely bark. In the spirit of focusing on the positive, and considering that I missed out on seeing them play last night, I recommend that you all go and check out the psych-rock goodness of House of Laurence. Seriously, their tour diaries always look like their adventures are super fun.

Add this to the facts that I was supposed to attend a picnic this afternoon to help my friends celebrate their first wedding anniversary, and that my neighbours have set up an outdoor cinema in our courtyard and are currently chilling out on bean bags watching Clint Eastwood films, and I'm dealing with some seriously Knowledge Of Missing Out.

So, what's a girl to do when she's feeling ick and trying not to cough up a lung? Well, in my case I'm using this as a healthy reminder to take better care of myself. I've spent most of today rugged up in my PJ's, I've taken a nap and done some writing.

IMG_3659Check out my 'Sassy while Sick' PJ Styling.

While I don't want to weigh in on the whole "Food as Medicine" thing that's become a massive, polarising and sensationalist shit-storm in the media at the moment, for me there's no denying that certain foods at least help me feel more comfortable, and as if I'm taking care of myself when I'm sick.

In that spirit, I've decided to share with you all some of my favourite comfort foods, and most of these have been passed down across generations - and not just in my family.

Hot Fresh Lemon and Ginger Tea in the mornings.

Anything with Garlic, Chilli and brightly coloured vegetables.

I'd love to say that I up my Vitamin C levels with Fresh Citrus Fruits, but the truth is that I have never liked Oranges or Grapefruits, and I can really only handle them if their flavour is buried beneath lots of other yummy fruits.

I do however LOVE fresh berries, so I eat as many of those as possible to help boost the anti-oxidant levels (but mainly because I love them).

Creamy Pumpkin Soup is by far my MOST favourite comfort food when I'm not feeling well. Usually, when I cook soup for myself, I roast the pumpkin, garlic and onion in maple syrup before cooking the actual soup. I've had to resort to buying pre-cooked soup this time (I know, I'm devastated by this) because we've recently discovered the biggest flaw with The Kitteh Palace having an original kitchen - our oven doesn't work!!! Also, my stab mixer died and I haven't had the opportunity to replace it yet, so I can't puree anything at the moment.

Another massive favourite of mine, is a Hot "Buttered" Rum Toddy. I've had lots of requests for my recipe for this, which is honestly the entire reason I'm blogging about having a cold in the first place!

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So, without further a-do, here is my Hot "Buttered" Rum Recipe, although it's really just a list of ingredients that I never measure, I just add in willy nilly as I see fit, so use your own responsible discretion here.

Sailor Jerry Spiced rum

Nuttelex Spread (if you're making a non-vegan version, just use butter)

Agave Nectar, of Maple Syrup (again, if you're not vegan, you can use honey)

Ground Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves and Cardamom

Fresh Cloudy Apple Juice.

To make it all hot, I heat the apple juice in a saucepan over the stove, before pouring it over all of the other ingredients - either directly in your own cup, or in a teapot if you're making enough to share.

I'd love to know, what are some of your favourite comfort food recipes when you have an ick?

Until next time, stay healthy, everyone!

xx

Kym.

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On Deep Conversations, Creativity, and Rad Parentals

Alice_Queen-CroquetIt'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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bIz5S3S2QE

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.

xx

Kym.

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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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 Perfect Imperfectionism

10390355_10153003845691013_1764185762239940673_n Over in my Facebook Group, 'The Rad Bitch Girl Gang' I make a point of hosting "Self Care Sundays". Basically, each week I highlight something small that I've done, or plan on doing during the day to make myself happy, and encourage others to do the same. Some weeks I'll catch up with a friend for a coffee and a chat, others I'll put on fresh pyjamas and read all day.

This morning I participated in a Practicum Class with my Coaching Peers as part of our assessment towards our certification. Today I was coached by the lovely Theresa Burke, while our classmates were able to listen in, and provide us with feedback at the end of our session, and it was such a wonderful way to start the day.

You see, I haven't been feeling the best of late, so I've been holding back and hiding from the world a little.

Holding back from blogging as much as I would like.

Holding back from recording videos.

Holding back from creating a podcast series of interviews with some seriously amazing Rad Bitches (Super exciting!!).

Holding back from writing newsletters.

Holding back from making myself available to ACTUALLY COACH!!!

While I haven't been feeling so great lately - and I'm talking 'Randomly bursting into tears and telling Jordan that "I'm really sad right now!" in the middle of the supermarket' levels of not so great - I'd been waiting until I felt as though I'd at least learned something worth sharing - or had found my way out from this little patch I'm experiencing, to write about it or share.

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This morning Theresa helped me to see that a big part of what I write about, share, and encourage others to get comfortable with, is IMPERFECTION. I was really quite shocked to realise that as comfortable as I am with BEING imperfect, I wanted to be able to write about it perfectly - and with hindsight. We then identified some practical action steps that I could start taking today in order to start building my confidence around showing up in the world NOW.

After our session ended, we received some really amazing feedback - not only for Theresa's coaching skills, but also in regards to what I'd shared. It turns out that some of our peers have been dealing with similar feelings of insecurity and fears around putting themselves out there - and that some had been looking to me as somebody who's confident, and who is definitely "showing up", so they gained a lot from hearing what I had to share. Now it's kind of like, "Duh, of course, Kym! Teach by doing. Lead by example. You know this!" and it seems obvious.

My confidence is not innate. With every post, interview, or photo on Instagram, I have to make a conscious decision to put myself out there in that way - and sometimes that's easier than others. Being confident in who I am, and what I know, is something I'm constantly learning - and I know that I'm not alone in this.

I think that what struck me most today (as it often does), is that sometimes during sessions when I'm being coached, I'll find myself relearning things that I already know - or even more poignantly, that sometimes I really need to hear the same messages I'm sharing with my clients. To show up and be seen, or to let people know when things aren't ok and allow myself to admit when I'm struggling is important, because here's the thing, NONE OF US ARE FUCKING PERFECT, and sometimes other people need to see that in us, too.

So, if you I'd like you to consider this a reminder that Rad Bitches have shitty days sometimes, and if that's where you find yourself right now, then it's totally ok. Sometimes it's better to accept that this is where we're at right now, and spend some time getting to know what we actually need - rather than trying to force things to be "better".

xx

Kym

PS: I finally finished Amy Poehler's book, 'Yes Please' and I totally recommend it if you're feeling a little "bleurgh" (or if you're feeling amazing), could use a little reassurance that you're exactly where you need to be, or just want to giggle.