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
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.
It's been a really interesting couple of weeks here at The Kitteh Palace, as always, I've been pretty busy, and to be completely honest with you, at times things have felt just a little hectic. There have been a couple of nights when I've crashed into my armchair after work, given up on the idea of cooking dinner. Having battled extreme fatigue levels, anxiety and depression at various times during my life, I'm now extremely aware of my needs, and the importance of incorporating self care in my day to day life, so I've been working at holding the ship steady, while zipping along.
The very night that I published my 'About' page on this blog, I received a phone call from a friend who I used to work with when I was about 20. Back when we worked together, I was pretty much at the messiest time in my life. I was working at three different, physically demanding jobs, being under-paid, attempting but failing my teaching degree, dealing with full-blown insomnia, and partying WAY too many nights a week. I had also gone from one ridiculous boy situation, to another, even MORE ridiculous boy situation - which went on for the next five-or-so years (Yes, I'm serious. Like I said, MESSY).
Now, the interesting thing here, is that even at that time, despite the mess I was creating around me - and despite of our age difference (she was in her 30's at the time), I often found myself supporting my friend in the very same way I do for clients now! Talking with my boyfriend after I hung up the phone, took me back to those days, and somehow in spite of the hangovers and sleep deprivation - the memories of our personal struggles, and the pain I was trying to numb were super vivid. I sat with them for a few minutes, before realising that memories like these are EXACTLY why I believe in the work I'm doing.
I honestly believe that we're given this decade known as our 20's to try shit out, fall down, destroy some stuff, and learn what works and what doesn't, (and even as I'm typing this, I'm worried it will come out sounding super dull and boring) so that by the time we hit our 30's, we have enough of an idea of what serves us (As well as what doesn't!) so we can seriously kick arse and really make the most of our time here.
And believe me, I know just how challenging this shit can be to sift through. But what happens if we get to the end of our 20's, or even to the end of our 30's, 40's or even the end of our 50's, not having learned these lessons? Do we just keep on repeating the same patterns, living out the same (in my case, destructive) behaviours? I truly get that sometimes, all you need is someone to hug you while you cry it out, and others you really need to hear is, "Harden the fuck up, and sort your shit out already!" from someone who genuinely gets you.
I want to tell you, that even though over the last two weeks, I've had moments where I've bordered on overwhelm with my workload, not only does it feel worthwhile when I know that I'm working with Rad Bitches and Girl Bosses so that they don't keep living out the same stories over and over. It feels worthwhile when I remember that I now know and understand my limits, and that the work I'm doing is challenging me in ways I genuinely enjoy. I'm growing, and I'm learning every day, and the challenges are nowhere near as overwhelming - let alone soul crushing, as the ones I used to go into battle against every day.
In light of all of this, I sat down and wrote an ebook, which you can download for FREE!
I've included some of my most favourite pieces of wisdom, which have helped me get through some of the most challenging times in my life!
I'm sharing this with you all, in the hope that if you’ve come across this little book at a time when you’re feeling stuck, or maybe even find yourself screaming, “LIFE, WHY YOU BE SO HARD FOR???” that you’ll be able to flip through it, and know that you’re not alone!
I'd love to know what you think of it!
In other news, Jess and I have been working hard behind the scenes to put my first coaching package together; I've been completing my course work; joining in on practical coaching sessions with my classmates; as well as participating in a new project with the amazing Elle Roberts (stay tuned, I'll be announcing the details of this in the coming weeks!).
I sat my Level 1 Health and Wellness Coaching certification exam yesterday, before Jordan and I headed into the city for an Art Gallery and Bagel Date to celebrate.
We visited ACCA, the NGV International, and Anna Schwartz, before walking down to the (still essentially abandoned) Docklands precinct for the exhibition opening at D11.
Thanks again for stopping by, and than you to everyone who has shared their support and words of encouragement over the last few weeks and months. I really appreciate your thoughts!
Until next time,