Hey everybody…how are you going? I hope you are doing okay x
As we come up to the end of January I am already feeling reflective and we are only at the end of the first month of the year! January 1st is traditionally always the time to reset and make plans for the year ahead, but here in Australia January feels different…do you think? We are still surrounded by all the ‘set your goals’ and ‘change yourself and your life’ messages, but I find the Summer holidays puts the brakes on us throwing ourselves into all of that. As much as we feel the pressure to start that fitness plan, get back to healthy eating or set those goals, it is almost as if for us, the year doesn’t start until February and we are given the chance to take a little more time to ponder how our year ahead is going to look.
We had high hopes going into this year (admittedly unrealistic) that everything was going to get ‘better’ and life would go back to ‘normal’, because it’s January, but it would seem 2022 is not ready to be an easy one just yet. As always, during difficult times, I find I am constantly reminded that it is these challenges that force me to stop and reassess my thinking about life and to slow down. It is so easy at the beginning of each year to fall into the pressure of the socially expected resolutions, but deep down we know the choice is ours. I saw this post on Instagram this week and it really rang true for me. It was the reminder that I needed to relax and get off that bandwagon. Perhaps this year hasn’t started the way you’d hoped. My studio has already flooded twice in recent Melbourne downpours and Covid isolations that have stopped many plans this Summer, but we have to keep mopping things up, dusting ourselves off and carrying on, whilst also trying to take the time to stop and appreciate the small daily pleasures.
Instead of having goals this year I am hoping I can maintain where I am now. I am starting to introduce more fun and simpler pleasures into my daily life. Previously I have been guilty of being caught up in the busy and putting productivity ahead of everything. This Summer I have been to the beach about 300% more than any other Summer since I moved to Aus…I live 5 mins from the beach. When my kids suggest meeting up (they are in their 20s) I always say yes. I want to be present and enjoy this time in my life and theirs, not always looking to the future. I am trying to take care of myself better...more movement, more journalling, more meditation, less fear.
what's been Keeping my head above water and inspiring me
great podcast episodes
We Can Do Hard Things with Glennon Doyle - this is the one podcast I listen to the day the episodes are released twice a week and feels almost like my therapy. This episode interviews Dr. Laurie Santos and discusses the big lies and truth about happiness. Listen here
How to Fail with Elizabeth Day - Steven Bartlett was a millionaire by 25, Sunday Times Bestseller by 28, the youngest ever Dragon on Dragon's Den by 29. He's also the host of The Diary of a CEO podcast, which recently reached the number one slot on both Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Steven joins Day to talk about his first business failing, a relationship break-up, toxic masculinity, his failure to tap into his feminine side, the art of making decisions and the power of knowing when to quit. Listen here
The Diary of a CEO with Steven Bartlett - Mo Gawdat - The Happiness Expert that Made 51 Million People Happier. I have just discovered Steven Bartlett through the How to Fail podcast and can't wait to catch up with all the episodes available. In this episode Bartlett interviews Mo Gawdat, one of my favourite podcast guests. Listen here.
books I have been reading
From award-winning actor and food obsessive Stanley Tucci comes an intimate and irresistible memoir of life in and out of the kitchen
I found this book inspiring because of Tucci's wonderfully evocative descriptions of the food and the ritual an connection of food that Tucci is passionate about. The beauty and simplicity in the small pleasures in life.
I'm not a Foo Fighters or Nirvana fan, but you'd have to have lived under a rock not to have heard of Dave Grohl. The drummer from Nirvana and then the lead of The Foo Fighters Grohl talks about his life and experiences following his passion with music.
I love reading about and watching documentaries about great musicians and hearing about what motivates their creativity.
My second time reading this book, but this time the message seemed to sink in that much more at this time.
Eliminate the nonessential in order to do something truly great
Have you ever found yourself struggling with information overload?
Have you ever felt both overworked and underutilized?
Do you ever feel busy but not productive?
If you answered yes to any of these, the way out is to become an Essentialist.
I have been following Mel's work for years and love her honest approach to the ups and downs of life and how changing your habits and attitude can help to make it better.
The High 5 Habit is a simple yet profound tool that changes your attitude, your mindset, and your behavior. So be prepared to laugh and learn as you take steps to immediately boost your confidence, happiness, and results.
A Room of Her Own: Inside the Homes and Lives of Creative Women
I love this book not only for the colour, but also for the inspirational women and world's they have created for themselves.
A Room of Her Own features the dazzling homes of twenty extraordinary women around the globe. Across sitting rooms and studios, salon-style hangs and table settings, this is a book of daring inspiration.
In this new Renaissance period - a time of artistic, cultural and intellectual rebirth - these women have chosen to carve out their own space to live creatively. Artists, designers, makers and curators invite us into their domestic and professional domains to reveal a world of meaning and purpose beyond status and consumerism.
I had planned to take some time off over Christmas and the Summer, but Covid had other plans for our plans. Once again I was so thankful to have my wonderful studio space at home, so I carried on painting. The upside is I now I have quite a few paintings arriving at their finishing stages...new work has gone of to waiting galleries...phew...and more will be uploaded here on my website this week x Don't forget to join my email list if you want to hear about new work and offers first. Join me here