Friday, 15 January 2016

One word // Surrender

Towards the end of last year it felt like I was given no choice but to surrender. And still I resisted it.

I had big plans for 2015. Bigger than big plans - a return to study, new work commitments and a few personal projects up my sleeve too, and daily blog writing (ha!) 

The universe, of course, had other ideas but did promptly offer me my asked-for serving of big - in the form of our darling Ruby. 2015 was BIG in the best way

It pushed me to rediscover myself, but mostly reminded me who I am and who I am striving to be.

I got better at letting go of the big {end} picture, instead focusing on doing what I could with what I had. 

I came to believe that would be enough. That my best is as much as I can do. 

I discovered so much more about trust. And that my intuition is always spot on. 

I learnt to ask. And how to let my heart answer.

I improved at listening. And finally accepted that it's hard for me not to talk.

I realised that people like to help. And I realised that I'm pretty good at helping and supporting myself.

I discovered that in doing less, I am able to give more. And in surrendering to this, I have felt more alive than I ever have.

Almost two weeks ago I caught myself holding my breath. As I exhaled, the word surrender rolled off my tongue. 

I knew immediately it was my one word for this year. My reminder to go slowly, to be present, to be kinder to myself. 


Have you chosen one word to guide your year? Do you set intentions? I'd love to know. Elisa x

~ Sharing my one word with Bron at Maxabella Loves here.

~ I'm excited to be finally putting my meditation training to good use this year. I'll be creating and soon sending out {monthly is the plan!} some free mindful word/photography prints, plus affirmations and journalling/meditation practices and prompts to go with them. If that sounds like your thing, feel free to add your email address via the form here

Thursday, 31 December 2015

Big // Joy // & something new

2015 has been BIG! So much learning, so much joy, so much love.

Ruby came into our world mid year, and wow - the joy {my one word for this year} she brought with her! She is the most chilled out, happy baby. I suppose being No.3 she had no choice but to slot into the rhythm we had already created. Her energy has filled us up on love and gratitude. Ruby has redefined our family, completed it and shown us what we knew to be true - that joy is infectious and that with a new little person in our family our love grows, heightens, expands, evolves in the most wondrous way.

This year has thrown a whole lot of change our way, and there's been much transition for all of us - hello new jobs, starting school and kinder for the girls, and of course adjusting to our family of four becoming five. There's been times when I've laughed because the alternative was crying {think everyone with gastro except the eight-week-old baby!} and I've struggled with accepting that I just can't do everything I want to right now. But ultimately we've survived change, and with a whole lot of calm - more than I knew I had in me. I've constantly reminded myself that I've got this and I can support myself and do it well - and those affirmations have made a world of difference to me.

I've twice declared {perhaps demanded} at the end of a year that the following year be slow and gentle, no big changes. Both times the universe has promptly served up bigger than big years. I'm not falling for that lovely little trap again... 

But this past month has seen me declare quite a few times that "Today is cancelled"... meaning all plans I had for this day are now thrown out the window... it might sound dramatic, but the minute I've discarded those plans {the to-do list, and what I felt I should be getting done} I've noticed a shift within me - surrender, acceptance... and I've become kinder to myself. It's reminded me that I have time, and to savour this time despite the day not panning out how I'd hoped. 

So on that note I'm not going to berate myself about the fact that I wanted to make wishes for the New Year before December 31st, that I wanted to cement my one word for next year, to meditate on my goals and dreams and to recreate my vision board... Instead I'm surrendering - perhaps my biggest lesson this year {one I'm still learning}, trusting that time will present, and choosing to savour now - including it's messiness and incomplete plans.


Wishing you a wonder-filled end to 2015, and some time to slow, reflect and set your intentions for 2016! May your year be marvellous and happy!

Biggest thanks too for the comments and messages here and on instagram during my blog hiatus - I am so grateful for the support. 

Oh and here's the SOMETHING NEW! >> While the loose plan for my next few days is some journalling and family time, I'm excited to get back to the blog and to this year send out some FREE mindfulness-inspired word/photography prints I am creating {each with individual affirmations, and instructions on how to best print them} - if that sounds like your thing, there's a sign-up on the sidebar, with the first print to be sent out before the end of January. Elisa xx  

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Eight years to calm

Almost eight years ago I was told that part of my destiny was to learn calm. To be calm. Might not sound like such a feat but at the time I had just emerged from severe exhaustion and ever-slowly out of what felt like an all-consuming frantic auto-immune disease and back into health. I was still recovering, and learning so much about my body and what worked and didn't work for me. 

I knew the opposite of calm had got me to that state. I knew I was learning calm. Very slowly. I was better at creating calm. But to be calm? That seemed impossible to me. And being told my destiny involved this invoked tears. Because what was calm anyway? And how? Staying healthy seemed so hard. Tell me how to be calm, I begged. 

Just the thought of having to somehow find calm as a natural state made me much less than calm. But of course, that was the whole point. Calm can't be controlled or manipulated. Calm just is. It can be invited though. And created, and embraced. And the instant this dawned on me, I surrendered - and all at once gave up on pushing myself to be the me I needed to be to remain healthy. 

Instead I focused on what felt happy to me, instead of doing and moving all the time I stayed still and breathed (and it was hard at first), I pulled away from anything that might equal busy which meant learning to say no (and that was especially hard for me). I read a lot, I spoke to a lot of people, I researched, I tried new ways of being/eating/moving and learnt so so much. And most definitely the eight years to this point right now (insert three babies, three house moves and various job changes) have seen me fine-tune my calm-for-me skills. 

Yesterday I cancelled plans (because rushing doesn't agree with me), a fortnight ago I booked into yoga classes again for this term (because I know my body, heart and mind will thrive in that one hour) and last week after setting up various creative pursuits for the kids I decided it was what I needed too and spent an hour drawing and painting. For the past three months I've been reading books and more books (on to my fifth) and for the past five days I have turned my meditating-whenever-I get-a-free-chance-habit into a nightly rhythm for as long as my mind, heart and body choose (sometimes five minutes, sometimes twenty). 

And today while I walked in the sunshine I wondered how my energy could feel so good when I'm on broken nightly sleep thanks to my beautiful teething almost-five month old baby. My answer to myself is this sense of nurture and self that's come from my investment in calm pursuits. Suddenly all the little things I've taught myself over eight years have come together. And I'm sure it's not one of them, but all of them. And I suddenly realised I'm doing more than okay. And I think I'm coming close to working out this calm caper. Well, for me anyway.


How do you do calm? And any book recommendations?