Unspoken Conversations are the topics that are often swept under the carpet, whispered amongst the closest of friends and bitched about by many. I want to create awareness about difficult things that people face in life; grief, mental health, money, illnesses, family troubles, relationship difficulties and putting yourself first. I want to tell the truth about things that really matter.

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Are You Spiritual?

I used to think...that spirituality was something only tree hugging hippies who wore tiedied attire, smoked bongs and spent their days chasing fairies through the forrest believed in...

I now know...that spirituality comes in all shapes and forms, based on everyone's individual beliefs...and that perhaps,  just maybe, I'm a whole lot more "spiritual" then I first thought...and trust me, while I love my Vietnamese baggy bum pants, the only high I get is from life itself! Yup, I'd stereotyped spirituality into a neat little box because I wasn't quite sure about it, and everything we're not comfortable with seems to be deemed "bad" in our eyes so we shut ourselves off from exploring it's potential...

Take for example Christians...Christians are highly spiritual people in that they believe God, the Holy Spirit, created Earth, giving life to humans, flora and forna to flourish and survive despite the temptations that he lays in front of their paths...A spirit...A guy whom lived thousands of years ago created the oceans, the seasons, the flesh...He created a garden with an evil snake and a built a boat where he shipped animals off two by two to save a doomed population...(or something like that, I'm not going to pretend that I know the bible off by heart but from my childhood memories from church, this is what i learnt). I mean, seriously, if we took away faith and belief, then the story of God and Jesus would probably seem a little far fetched; like something someone with a highly creative brain (or one on that green stuff that we were talking about earlier...might be able to make up!)

***I must make it clear here that I am in no way against Christianity and I fully respect and appreciate Christians views and values; in fact some of the most influential people in my life are Christians and I love their perspective on life!

I'm just showing a perspective on faith, spirituality and beliefs that some may not have thought of before...

So, while some would say "seeing is believing" and I can't "see" God therefore he must not exist...others "see God everywhere", in every little creation that exists in our world's.

It therefore becomes apparent that faith comes from believing in something wholeheartedly because it connects with you, it brings meaning to your life, it guides you through the challenging times and provides light during the best of times.

It has only been recently in my own personal discovery and challenging of everyday beliefs, that I've awakened my spiritual side and started questioning why, when so many people identify themselves as Christian and can believe in archs full of animals, resurrection and angels, that many people who praise alternative gods, mother nature, meditation, fairies, angels, spirits and the like, are still sometimes viewed as witches, out of the norm, slightly round the twist with their head up in the pixie clouds.

What I've learnt... and here comes my bombshell...my epiphany...my spiritual awakening...I now believe in angels or "spirit guides..." I now believe that our bodies are just a vessel for our personality or spirit and that when we die, our spirit is set free, and may take on different forms that can create visions, peace, love and comfort for those left behind on earth... I know believe that when you learn to love yourself, what you are doing is reconnecting with this spirit inside of you; the thing that makes you, YOU. That gut feeling you receive when you meet someone new and you either instantly have a connection or you get a bad vibe...that energy that you can sense and feel from people around you...that self talk that goes on inside your brain...let's face it you're not talking to your kidneys or your bladder or your legs...you're talking to you...your spirit.

It is my belief...that we all have a spirit...I truly believe that the reason there's so much unhappiness and such high cases of mental illness and divorce, heart disease and the like is largely because we have become disconnected from our spiritual selves. ..or ourselves if that makes people feel more comfortable.

We've switched off our gut instincts...we're running 50 million miles an hour to impress, dress, create, labour,  socialize and fulfill that we've stopped listening to what we really really want...

But what I've learnt through meditation and the beautiful guidance of two wonderfully spiritual women in my meditation classes (thanks Emma and Ngahuia ), is that when we reconnect with ourselves, with our spirit, with our personality, that's when we can find true happiness...that's when we can feel free.

I'd share this advice...don't be afraid of your spirituality...In an essence what you're saying is that you're afraid to be you...but you are truly amazing...

Imagine how empowering it would be to believe in yourself?

Imagine the writers, painters, singers, doctors , scientists, discoveries, advancements and enlightenment that we could all share if people believed in their spiritual self...

I am loving that... I've opened my mind and life up to spirituality...that I've chosen to reconnect with myself and my internal spirit...that I know, that I live every single day true to who I am and what I believe in...

How can you connect to your spiritual self? Meditation is a great place to start (or one I've found incredibly beneficial! ) Choosing to put yourself first and to listen to your gut instinct is another...

Repeating the words, I am enough. ..I have got this...I trust myself...These are always to reconnect and grow in your love for yourself...

So my question to you is are you spiritual?

Do you believe in angels, god, fairies, guiding spirits?

Do you believe in yourself?

After every session in meditation a card is pulled for you with wisdoms from the angels...and I can tell you one thing...Every card that has ever been chosen for me has been BANG on; and that's when I started believing that perhaps there was more going on in this world then I'd lead myself to believe...

Perhaps I'm on the verge of my spiritual discovery...

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxx

Monday, 10 August 2015

Oh Baby; A Mentally Fit Mama

The decision to become a mummy has always been a "big deal" to me and perhaps for very different reasons to the "normal" worries that come with making such a big, life changing decision.

I didn't want to start a family until I felt mentally fit, until I had worked through my own personal insecurities, anxieties and barriers, so that I could approach parenthood with an open and healthy mind, full of self love and care.

This may seem a bit "over the top" for many, but for someone who has suffered from severe depression in the past, I knew that traveling down that road was something I wanted to avoid again at all costs, and I knew that I was at a higher risk of falling ill  with postnatal depression because of my personal history.

So how did I know that the timing was right to start a family?

I just knew; like when you know that you're ready to be married or ready to make the next big commitment to move in together or to chase your dream.

I had grown to love myself, accept who I was as a person and the choices I had made and continue to make in life.

These sentences don't come easily, and they certainly don't come without years of tears, self doubt and criticism, worrying
about how on earth I'd cope without any sleep, terrified that i would fall into a heap and that I'd be lost in the uncertainties and concerns about my abilities to be a mummy.

Fortunately for me, I have developed my "bag of tricks" over the past 4 years since my "great depression."

Without a doubt, being active in my pursuit for mental fitness and learning to prioritise my health and resilience above everything else has given me the confidence to cease taking my depression medication and to trust that I'll be okay, because I have found genuine happiness by first loving myself.

While I didn't have to stop taking my medication when I fell pregnant, under careful guidance from my obstetrician, I chose to slowly wean myself off (and it's a good thing I did because I spewed throughout the first trimester and wouldn't have been able to keep it down anyway haha!)

For anyone who has ever suffered from depression, then you know what a huge decision that was to make, not only for myself but for my husband to be supportive too, given the reasons why I had started taking them in the first place.

But low and behold, I was fine...I didn't fall into a heap...I didn't dramatically go backwards or have anxiety attacks...I did however find myself super attuned to the signals my body was giving me, and at times probably over worried about tiredness and stress thinking oh jingos. ..is it coming back?

So how have I overcome my fear of my mental illness returning and how have I learnt to trust my intuition, to believe that I am enough, that I've got this, that my body is made to grow and birth a child and to learn to trust and know that I'll be the best possible mummy for our baby?

I have invested my time, money and energy into exercising and strengthening my mind and I have never felt healthier, happier and more energized in my life.

Here's some of the best choices I've made and couldn't recommend enough to other mummy's  who are keen to become mentally fit before bringing bubs  into this world.

1. I joined Mana Mamas,  a 6 week program run by the inspiring, caring and nurturing Ngahuia at the Mana Wellbeing Centre.... I seriously loved the experience so much!  If you're having a baby whether it's your first or 5th  time then I highly recommend investing and indulging in this special time to honor you as a mama,  to learn to calm your mind, trust your instincts, destress, mingle with other mamas, laugh at ngahulias  infectious personality, and take time for yourself to reflect and enjoy this incredibly special journey! Life remains busy when you're pregnant unless you choose to slow it down and create time just for you, to bond with bubs and enjoy the precious memories you're creating, like feeling bubs  kick!

2. My husband and I made the choice to bring our child into the world using techniques we're reading about in a hypnobirthing book, and attending sessions with our amazing hypnotherapist Chantelle, from Indigo Phoenix Hypnotherapy.

Our choice to learn and practise hypnobirthing was not about going al  la natural, instead, it was about creating an opportunity to remove fear from birthing and to remain calm whether we need a c section, gas or natural!

I am loving how involved my husband is in the lead up and  preparation for our babys grand arrival,  how empowering reading the info is, and how I'm being able to enjoy my pregnancy without the fear of bringing our baby into the world!

We read manuals before we drive, do our research before we buy our house and get to know our partners before we marry them so for me I thought, why not investigate  options to give us an opportunity to enjoy and prepare ourselves for the best possible birthing experience that we can create?

3. I begin each week with a 930 am  meditation class with the beautiful Emma from Breathe Balance. I love starting my week with an open, fresh mind.  N matter how tired and stressed I am when I first begin the session,  I always come out feeling empowered and energized. 

4. I listen to a short 5-7 minute meditation each day using the Free Mind The Bump APP created by Beyond Blue, usually just before bed to whinde down from my day and to enjoy the calmness it brings.

5. I am eating healthier then I ever have in my life...I must admit that this isn't by choice (haha!) my baby and body is completely off sugar and is instead craving healthy snacks like nuts, fruit, scrambled eggs, oranges, water, meat, vegetables....okay and maybe chicko rolls, chicken burgers and anything savory haha but mostly nutritious food!  I can't believe the difference it has made to my energy levels, and despite the different sleep patterns my body is creating (first breakfast at 5am,  second at 7am  and third at 9th! ), I'm feeling great! 

6. I'm reading blog posts and stories that empower mama's  (and avoiding the scary ones about horrific birthing stories and "advice" for mum's which usually end up scaring the pants off of you!) My most favorite blogger is Amy from Happy Mama! 

7. I invest in creating time to kick back on the couch and do a guilt free big fat nothing despite all of the nesting I could be doing!

8. I surround myself with positive, influential and inspiring women who share similar beliefs about empowering ourselves to be healthy and happy mama's  and who respect and support the decisions we're making on our journey to parenthood.

9. I take very big, conscious, full belly breathes. 

10. I have chosen to work part time. Part time obviously means less money, but it also means that I have time to nest, I have time to go on lunch date's with my beautiful friends and family which I know is about to become a little more challenging,  and I have time to go to all of my appointments without the stress of asking for more time off.

Above all, I have chosen to create time to put myself and my mental health first,  because I know first hand, that I can't be a loving wife, caring friend, efficient work mate, loyal family member or patient and resilient mummy if I don't. 

This is just a snapshot of a few of the tools I have stashed away in my toolbox to help me to stay mentally fit.

I would love to know how you look after yourself and what tricks you've found to keep yourself fit whilst on on the journey to parenthood!

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty  xxx

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Oh Baby; Slow Down.

Our bodies are actually pretty intelligent things....really, when we think about it, we probably don't give them quite the credit they deserve....like for instance the subtle or not so subtle hints cough gigantic bags under our eyes and sleepless nights spent tossing and turning and huffing and puffing over just wanting to switch our brains off or tomorrow will be the same wave of blurred exhaustion as today cough, that these hints are our bodies very real way of saying SLOW DOWN.

Stop what you're doing.

Put down your phone.

Stop freaking out or bragging about your super full schedule or calender that makes you somehow feel successful despite the feeling of clasping for straws!

Take a deep breath.

Make some time in your life, be it 5 minutes to sit and read a blog post or 30 minutes to go for a walk and immerse yourself in the sunshine or a whole day to sit and do a guilt free big fat nothing....

Slow down...

This is actually quite a tricky post for me to write because embarrassingly enough, I must admit that I,  the mental fitness advocate, put yourself first,  take deep breaths, clear your schedules woman has actually had a pretty tough time practicing what she preaches lately.

Between renovations and 8 long weeks without a kitchen and loungeroom  (and please don't get me wrong here I am so grateful that we chose to renovate so I can work part time and be a full time stay at home mummy if I wish), my career taking off and empowering me to follow my dream of a project I'm really very truly passionate about, extending my learning and studying in Choice Theory and Reality Therapy so that one day I can facilitate the Take Charge of Your Life course as a dedication to William Glassers life, supporting and loving my husband and strengthening our marriage,  managing somewhat of a social life and growing our beautiful little human...life has gotten a little bit too busy for my liking.

So I'm choosing to slow it down.

I've acknowledged that I'm stressed and tired and a bit run down and I'm choosing to breathe in calmness and breathe out stress.

I'm choosing to only work my designated hours.

I'm choosing not to reply to emails the minute one pings to let me know it's ready and waiting.

I'm choosing to spend my morning off doing nothing but moving from the bedroom to the couch and writing a blog post and reading other inspiring bloggers wisdoms.

I'm choosing to breath.

I'm choosing to honor my body and what it's telling me to do.

So what's the point of this blog post? Sympathy?  To rant and get things off of my chest? To self counsel?

No...The reason I'm exposing my inner most thoughts and feelings is to show other people that mental fitness isn't about being in control, loving life and being happy ALL  of the time.

Mental fitness isn't about being super human or dedicating yourself to strict diets and meditation exercises.

Mental fitness isn't about removing sadness, stress and self esteem from your life.

For me, mental fitness is about being resilient in the trying times.

Mental fitness is about listening to your body and what it's trying to tell you and then, taking a big deep breath and going okay, I'm going to listen.

Mental fitness is knowing no emotion is bad and every emotion is necessary because it helps us know whether we're in balance or tipped.

I too have bad days. I too struggle with stress at times. What my Facebook tells you is only one part of the story and that goes for all of us.

So please, I beg you, listen to your bodies because chances are they're telling you what you really need to hear and you have the choice whether you listen to it or not.

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty  xxx

Ps  this is me slowing down my life!  Lol

Pss my most favourist  blog that I'm following atm  is this one; I can't recommend her enough


Saturday, 1 August 2015

Oh Baby; I've Got This!

Something amazing happens during pregnancy; your body, the body you've always had, the body that has carried you through life and all of its ups and downs, creates a precious baby.

So you might be thinking ummm yes Kirsty....that is what pregnancy is all about, creating a little human, but I just want to take some time to think about this miracle, the miracle of life, for just one moment.

Our beautiful bodies "have got this."

What on earth do I mean?

Well we don't have to read a "creating a baby for dummies" book, provide our brain and body with intrinsic instructions, create ridiculously long and arduous to do lists, and stress over our bodies ability to create a baby; it just does it...As though it's the most beautiful and natural progression of events that your body has ever had to follow.

Of course, there's thousands of books out there on parenting, childbirth and everything from what to eat, say and do while pregnant, but let's face it, we don't have to tell our baby right week 1, start replicating cells and DNA to create a human life form,  or week 24, start growing hair molecules with color pigmentation that will determine whether the baby is blonde, brown, black red or anything in between!

"Our bodies have got this!"

May I say that this realization is one of the most comforting things that I have learnt and discovered during pregnancy; that I don't have to stress, I don't have to worry about things growing according to plan or my baby having 10 toes and 10 little fingers because "my bodies got this!"

If, of course, at the end of the day,  our baby is born with a missing toe or a birth mark on its face, or with autism, or any other special circumstance, then I too know that "my body's got this" and so long as we can teach our baby to be resilient, then all will be okay.

So what is my message in today's post?

Sometimes I think we over complicate things, we stress out about things outside of our control, we choose to panic and cry and freak out and read and download every app  and listen to people's advice about pregnancy and parenthood, when perhaps we could be choosing to stay calm and to believe in our body and babies ability to handle even the most challenging of situations.

I for one need to let go!

I'm choosing to breath in calmness and breath out stress.

As one amazingly beautiful and spiritual lady has taught me;

"I've got this!"

"My body was made for this".

"I am enough".

Pregnancy is such a beautiful, treasured gift, but I'm not for a second going to pretend that it's always smooth sailing; life still goes on, things happen that are outside of our control and sometimes we can find ourselves a little more stressed then we'd like to be, but I honestly believe that if we can learn to trust ourselves and our babies, then we can create a positive pregnancy and birthing experience.

What are your thoughts?

What are some of your coping strategies will pregnant?

Look after yourself, (your baby) and those around you,

Kirsty  xxx

Thank you to a beautiful, generous, caring, spiritual soul for teaching me to trust my intuition!

Ngahuia  - Mana Wellbeing Centre 

Image via http://thenectarcollective.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/I-got-this-green-screen.jpg