Today I share that even when you are 40 years old, bullying still occurs, which is so sad, and pretty pathetic.
Two weeks ago I was sent some nasty messages through one of my social media accounts. It happened on a Monday, the start of the week, and that really seemed to set the tone for the day, and unfortunately, my week.
[NB I didn’t respond to the messages, and then the next day they were deleted.]
The last several years I have worked extremely hard to change my mindset, especially around what other people think, because of course, that is none of my business. This time, however, it nearly got the better of me.
For four years, two in primary school and two in high school, I was subjected to the stereotypical “Mean Girl” behaviour. I have always been a mentally strong person and got through those years by practically reading nearly every book in the library, and pretty much keeping my head down and immersing myself in my studies. Eventually I found a group of girls that stuck with me to the end of my school years.
Fast forward 23 years later, and those earlier years triggered me when I was again exposed to Mean Girl action again. This time I had me an arsenal of tools. Want to know what I do now?
Think before you respond, and sleep on your response. Clarity can always been seen with a lighter heart and clearer eyes.
I have also set an actual time.
Eg “I will reflect and wallow in self pity until 4pm. After that time, I will let the bullshit feelings go.”
Pick an empowering affirmation quote.
My favourite activity is to go through Pinterest and pick a quote that is inspiring and helps to elevate my vibration.
Writing it in your journal and create a graphic to put on your phone wallpaper for the day also helps.
For Stage 5 Mean Girl shit, I sit in my home studio, pick 3 - 4 oils intuitively, make up a small 5mL roller bottle, and then read up on what the oils I have picked mean emotionally. This an educational experience, you would be surprised, that your mind and body picks the ones you need at the time.
If its minor BS, the blend my darling son created, to make others feel better, I use for the day.
So if you’ve experienced Mean Girl BS, try some of the above ideas then drop me a message on my socials to vent.
Trust me. You will feel a heap better by releasing in a safe, confidential space.
I have an awesome gal in my circle who I trust with my ventilations and always feel better when she puts me back into flow.
Hope these ideas were helpful.
PS. If you liked this blog post, make sure you subscribe!
Image from Unsplash
The You, Me and ASD Podcast...
This project has been on my mind for a while.
So I decided: “Why not?!” and have FINALLY finished the notes for the Pilot episode and Episode 2! I am SO freaking excited!
A big thank you to the THREE incredible partnering local businesses that have come on board to support me, I cannot wait to reveal who said “YES!” while this idea was growing inside my heart and my mind.
So what will the podcast be about?
I will be sharing the range of experiences through my own ASD journey with my son Albie. We are including topics such as nutrition, ways to stay active, how we survived homeschooling through COVID; just to name a few.
While some episodes will be just me chatting, sharing solo; along the way I will have some amazing special guests. One I have wanted on the show has already said YES!
Cannot wait for you to hear and follow along with our podcast.
If you’d like to know when each episode is available for your ears, please feel free to get in touch.
Danai xo (and Albie!)
Image used with permission from The Beau Studio. IG: @the.beau.studio
Below is a blog post I was humbled to write for my amazing friend, Danielle Rathman from Heartbeat Handicrafts!
Hands up who had the ultimate girl gang at school… anybody?
I’m almost 40, hahaha I said “almost”, and I have only recently discovered my community now. As we get older, connecting to like-minded people seems so much more valued, appreciated and held close to our heart.
The three main choices which determine the group you end up connecting with are: the feel of community spirit, support and sense of belong. This could be a mother’s group, book club, work team, your family or the sporting group you are a part of.
For me, I am extremely grateful that I have one girl gang that encompasses the two sides of me. The mother and the business mama, but why is that important?
You are not alone.
Your mother’s group have all experienced the same thing you have: caring for a child. With that comes along feeding highlights and lows, routines, sleeplessness, and the never ending loads of washing and all the cleaning that needs to be done.
You are supported.
There is no better feeling than knowing that someone has your back, a shoulder to lean on (and cry on), and a sounding board. Being able to healthily vent and share is not only good for your head by discussing ideas and experiences, but also good for our heart and mental wellbeing.
Have you ever chatted to your group of friends about a topic that has been weighing on you, only to feel lighter after the discussion?
You have diversity.
One factor that makes my heart full when it comes to my girl gang: I have a group which has a variety of opinions and values, whether it is about motherhood, family life OR business.
My support group is predominately online, although I have met several members in person, and we have regular zoom catch ups fortnightly to keep in touch. There are times when our kids are featured in our virtual catch ups as well! Let’s not discuss the time I launched my first business and when my son decided that was the best time to do a nudie run through the house while I was live on zoom.
Online Vs In-Person
It all comes down to scheduling your time, but also your location, and I speak from experience.
With technology nowadays, the connections you make online can actually be stronger than the one we create face-to-face.One of my closest friends, I met online and she lives in New Zealand and who I chat to on a daily basis.
As a working mum who runs two businesses and is based between two localities every second week, catching up with my in-person friends sometimes needs to be structured with military precision! Most mornings you will see me buried in my planner, refreshing my mind where I need to be each day, and believe me, I am someone who does not like to be late or miss a meeting with someone I’ve made the time to catch up with.
My best pieces of advice
If you haven’t found your ultimate girl gang, do not worry, we have all been there, it just means the right group hasn’t come along yet. Be patient, you will find them.
Write down your interests.
Facebook is an amazing tool to find mother’s groups, community groups, and even mums in business groups. You can do a quick search to see what type of groups are in your area, or simply join some online ones that interest you.
I recently joined a couple of online book clubs and one happens to meet in my local area!
Try and schedule your catch ups the same day of the week or month. Knowing you are going to catch up on a regular basis, gives you something to look forward to!
Especially with what is happening around the world at the moment, particularly with social distancing, I get so excited every second Monday to catch up with my group online. Yes we talk about our businesses, but it also gives us a chance to connect with each other on a personal level, because on occasions we go off topic. Haha!
Make your connections count. The people you allow into your life get to see all facets of you; the good, the bad and the ugly. Share that and be vulnerable; this is where the solid friendships are formed, especially when we are real and authentic.
You have the power to choose who you bring into your inner circle. If the energy ain’t right, it’s okay to let those people go. It is human nature.
Sending you so much love and reminding you to hold your girl gang close.
Knowing Your Worth...
Three times over the past week the theme of “Knowing Your Worth” came up with three of my favourite people.
Why is it that our worth is questioned either by someone we know, usually a friend, or by ourselves?
I’m sorry to say, but it usually us, the creative kind, where our worth is questioned.
“Why is that piece SO expensive?”
“Oh, thank you. That looks amazing! You are such a good friend to do that for me for free. Cool. Bye.”
“Can’t you do that cheaper? Surely it will only take a couple of hours.”
Heads up people. This attitude is unacceptable.
• If you have a friend or family member who has a small business or side hustle, your vibe should be to support them by paying full price and NOT asking for a discount. Please, do not devalue that person. Give them a shout out on your socials, support their posts by engaging with positive and encouraging comments, and recommend them through word-of-mouth.
• Looking for an amazing artwork or one-of-a-kind piece? BEFORE questioning the worth of not only the item, but also the creative behind said piece, ask yourself a few of questions:
o How long do you think the artist took to create the item from start to finish? Their time is just as valuable.
o Realistically, if you were to replicate the item, do you have the experience (whether the qualification or training) yourself? Certification and qualifications cost money to complete and are just as priceless as the piece created.
o Can the item be purchased from another artist or store? Is the item unique to the artist alone?
• This issue is close to my heart. Engaging a contractor for work that you are either not qualified to do, or do not have time to do, please consider not only the time it takes to complete certain tasks, but also the quality.
o Be clear on the job description and outline, prior to commencement of work. This gives the contractor a clear timeline in which the job is to be completed. If you change your mind throughout the project, the contractor’s time is valuable and still needs to be paid. That is a YOU problem.
o For example: Regarding a job where painting is required; it is not a matter of “just slapping some paint” on walls or ceilings. In these instances, preparation is usually required, whether it is washing walls, taping up or repairing even before considering opening the tin of paint.
o Once a quotation is accepted, negotiating on pricing AFTER the job has been completed is nothing but offensive. This a no-go in my books.
• Why do we question and devalue ourselves? Why do we feel our time or talent is not worth a price?
o Be confident of your worthiness! Have the mindset that if you are questioned or receive negative feedback from other people regarding your worth, then maybe they don’t deserve the fruits of your labour or talent. Good luck Susan in acquiring that item or service from someone else.
o Be firm. No freebies or discounts. No, Aunt Marge! The price is the price.
o You have worked hard at your studies. Getting that qualification, completing the training, or hunting down mentors who gave you the experience didn’t take five minutes or cost ten dollars. Always consider your experience and effort, before devaluing yourself fam.
Know your worth and also be mindful of another human’s. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was your passion or talent.
After recently finishing Gretchen Rubin’s amazingly written The Happiness Project, I decided to embark on my version in 2020.
If you’d like to have a look at the basic structure and learn more, head to: gretchenrubin.com/books/the-happiness-project/about-the-book/
Below are the Twelve Commandments I have come up with and also the intentions (not resolutions) I have set for the year.
• Think mindfully before speaking.
• One act of kindness a day.
• Blog at least once a week.
• In the presence of negativity, always draw on the positivity.
• Go with the flow, resist the resistance.
• 80% Yes, 20% No.
• There is always time for creativity.
• Don’t sweat the small stuff.
• Stay in your own lane.
• Don’t try and keep up with the Joneses.
• Wear your courage like a badge of honour, and just be brave.
• Remain Danai.
Intentions (I don’t like the word “resolutions”)
• Keep a one-sentence journal.
• Practice gratitude daily by keeping a gratitude journal.
• Practice lettering.
• Consciously use my planner daily.
• Read at least one French-inspired book a month, #thelittlefrenchbookclub
• Keep a Blank Book for the year, including our adventures and keepsakes collected.
I am a planner junkie, so within the planner I use weekly, I am using a habit tracker to stay on top of my intentions, while my daily planner is used to record any French inspired books I need to add to my book list and to also encourage me to practice my lettering daily.
If you are curious to follow along on my Happiness Project journey, you can follow the hashtags #thelittlefrenchbookclub , #theblankbookproject (which reminds me, I need to head to Officeworks and purchase a small, blank visual arts diary to start this section of my project. You would think I was a bit more organised… )
As the temperatures in Australia soar, we are expecting 45 degrees (celcius) here in the Hawkesbury, you will find me in my favourite winged back reading chair reading and journaling today.
Stay safe fellow Australians,
I have been on a tech detox the last couple of days and am loving it! My last post was on Christmas Day, briefly, to wish my lovely community a Happy Christmas. Stepping away from the socials and just leaving my phone on the table has made me more aware of being present with the home tribe and has also given me some time to reset and recharge after an anxiety fuelled holiday period.
Taking this time out gave me a break from trying to come up with content for my various brands and also let me explore a bit of reading zen where I could literally sit in my favourite wingback chair and read a couple more books, without pressure, to end my 2019 reading goal on a more respectable level. Although I was nowhere near the number I was hoping for, I am definitely looking forward to achieving a realistic book completion goal for 2020.
This tech detox has also allowed me to think about the outline for my upcoming Happiness Project, which I am implementing in the new year and has also given me the space to plan out the tasks I’d like to complete within the project as well. I’ll be sharing more in regards to the Happiness Project in my next blog post. In the meantime, if you’d like know more, or even start your own, check out the amazing Gretchen Rubin’s blog here.
For now, I will continue my time away from the tech world for a couple more days to draw on some inspiration for my social feeds, to map out my book list and other pieces of my project, and to make a register of the blog content I would also like to share.
Have a great New Year and have a safe holiday break,
Image from Unsplash
Finding Your Purpose...
What a brain fog of a week! Honestly, I haven’t felt so “cloudy” for a while. You know: where you feel like you are in a rut, maybe emotionally, mentally or physically; and a fog sets in making you feel sluggish, drained and fatigued? Well, that was me this week.
Luckily I had signed up for a couple of online courses and one being the @the.courage.project hosted Courage to Change course which I mentioned in last week’s blog post. I started off slow, with fear stepping in as distractions, procrastination, excuses and perfectionism, however I have since completed the remaining activity today, leaving me all ready and prepared for next week’s 5 Day Mini Manifestation course.
It is an amazing, centred feeling when you open up your mind and heart to an exercise and you have a lightbulb moment. Within this week, I seem to have found a purpose; and an exciting new project was born. The last month and a bit has definitely left me feeling a bit lost and a bit floaty, not really knowing for sure what is in store for me.
I have been given an opportunity to work alongside my partner in his business, contribute in a team again with the lovely girls at By a Farmers Daughter, and have another passion project which allows me to work alongside a few of some amazing friends I have met through social media. All three lovelies who have come on board, I have so much respect for and are queens in their respective fields of self-care, EFT tapping and courage.
Take it from me: if you have ever felt this fog-like feeling, there is sunshine coming your way. Move through the fear, pick up your backpack of courage and push through the proverbial forest of self-doubt, low self-worth and fear of judgement. The open field of space, clarity and purpose is just over there, can you see it?
I see you,
Image by: @newleafwriter on Instagram
Shattered Self Confidence...
I know right? Me. The girl who is usually so confidence, sure of herself and the one who cheers on not only herself, but others. The last week I have been plagued by a little meanie called self-doubt and been bullied by my inner mean girl.
“What if I’m not doing a good job?”
“Am I seriously cut out for this?”
“I seriously feel like I’m winging it.”
Be honest. Have you ever asked yourself these questions or spoken to yourself like this?
Well, guess what? It is time to STOP and take action.
What am I doing about it? This little black sheep is delving back into learning, has taken hold of the brave stick and signed up for my girl, Casey Pringle’s 5 Day Courage to Change online course. Want in? Drop Casey an email: email@example.com and get doing. I’m super excited to break down some blocks I have been experiencing and to bust through the BS stories I have been telling myself.
Is that all? Oh my goodness no! I’m journaling, EFT tapping like a mad woman and applying essential oils until the home tribe come home (I don’t have cows! Hahaha!)
I am lucky. I have some amazing women who have supported me, been checking in on me and lifting me up when I feel like the anxiety and self-doubt fog is taking hold. A big shout out to my main dollfaces: Kaz Jones (my oil goddess), Jess Munks (the tapping queen extraordinaire), Mia Bates and Bella Bonazza (my co-workers who make me laugh so much me cheeks hurt!). You, my fabulous four, have brought me so much love and light the past nearly two months. I am so freaking grateful for you.
Find your tribe and love them hard, like I do mine. And if you don’t have one: join mine!
Tell that inner meanie to STFU,
Image by me: Confidence blend curated by Wilde Essence + Co, from their Happiness Kit. Check out their Instagram feed: @wildeessence
My Unplanned Sabbatical...
To date, this post would have to be one of the hardest and scariest ones I have written.
A two week adventure away with part of my home tribe, suddenly morphed into an unplanned sabbatical. Why? My eighteen year career in the male-dominating lifting and safety industry had ended, and the first time since being a fifteen year old, I did not have a full time job. To say I have been scared; BIG understatement. Luckily, I have a super supportive partner who, thankfully, is a realist, and has an amazing talent of putting everything into prospective. “Here’s to not having to chase the big money. You have worked so hard and now you deserve a break.”: this was a statement from one of my first discussions with him about my future work life; at the time I was at an all-time emotional low, however, I keep coming back to this snippet every time I feel overwhelmed or anxious.
I remember it being mid-July when I had a consuming, yet cleansing, journaling session where I had put out into the universe that I would like more time with Albie and to be able to put more energy into my projects: North Wellness Co and You, Me and ASD. Two weeks later I was given that opportunity. The timing may not have been ideal, especially with a two week trip to Fraser Island planned, then it dawned on me: This would be the FIRST adventure where I wasn’t rushing back for work. I could enjoy the time away and the disconnection from reality that little bit more. Finally I could experience “island time” how it should be: where the time space continuum slows right down and the experience - ridiculously laid back.
Well, it has been two weeks since we returned home from our trip away. It has been two days since my partner’s mother returned to New Zealand after spending the last week and a bit helping me pack up my rental to move back full-time into my partner’s home, and it has been a month since my full-time career ended.
Real talk: With so much more free time than I know what to do with, to be honest, I have been overwhelmed. Yes, I have had time to catch up with my mama friends. Yes, I am now more of a present parent, which shamefully, I felt like I had not been. [I went back to full-time work when Albie was seventeen weeks old!] Yes, I have more time to work on my projects and think about all the plans my partner and I have been discussing, however, still I am overwhelmed: by time, by the about of unpacking and minimising a lifetime of crap accumulated, and by finding myself again. Seriously, I feel lost and and like I am floating.
I find it epically amusing that the planner and scheduling demon in me hasn’t returned from Queensland. Where has she gone? When time literally controlled me and prevented me from doing so many things, now the days just seem to fly by without any sense of accomplishment.
Luckily it is Sunday which is the day I plan out the next week and I am happy to say that I am blocking out parts of the week for creating content, working on my projects, visiting my mama friends and also scheduling in the time I am working at my new casual job. There is still white space in my diary. White space scares me, but as they say “Everything happens outside your comfort zone” so I am embracing the white space and enjoying, at the moment, a slower life, just until I can find my feet and reconnect with the universe.
Stay tuned for more blog entries as I incorporate more writing into my Sundays and the journey to push myself outside my comfort zone.
Real talk this week focuses on and around a subject close to my heart: mum guilt and that feeling that you aren’t enough.
So, raise your hand if you have suffered or are suffering from this, sometimes, overwhelming experience. Go on, don’t be shy! I do! Absolutely!
I have been lucky enough to have been given the opportunity to test out an amazing Australian app for mamas called The Kite Program, the first personal development app in the world (!) designed for mums by an extraordinary one, the talented Hannah Hardy-Jones.
The first kite for me: Guilt be Gone; a mini program (or Kite) focuses on working through all things mum guilt by the way of completing one exercise per day until the Kite is finished. I have been journaling my answers and thoughts so I have a record to reflect back on at a later time. Am I the only one who re-reads their journal every now and then? Oh my gosh, don’t answer that!
What are your main issues and triggers around this subject? For me it is the serious FOMO (fear of missing out) of not being able to drop off and collect my son from school myself due to my work load, that dark dreaded feeling that I’m not enough, and my perception that I am a “part-time mum”.
It was so cathartic for me to write out how and what I felt, just in the moment, and completing this first exercise as truthfully as I could. I’m excited to see what tomorrow’s exercise is!
I love this app and also the mindfulness button: quick activities that can be done on-the-go for the busiest of mums. I am trying to savor these mindfulness activities to one per day and not rush through them! Clearly I am a huge fan.
Curious about The Kite Program? Click here and check out this amazing app and follow the program on Instagram: @thekiteprogram
You are enough mama,
Just an Endo mama and an ASD boy loving essential oils as well as the plant-based and wholefood life.