It’s Time

 

I was en route to breakfast with a friend the other weekday morning {and by en route I mean I had just started my car} and, looking at the clock on the dash, I realised I was going to be late. Again. Unless my trusty Corolla had all of a sudden become a V10, I was not going to make the half hour trip in 15 minutes.

As I grabbed my phone to text her {“Running 10 late as per usual”} I had had enough. I was embarrassed by having to write that text again and realised that I was the only one who could change that.

My Husband knows this story all too well. In drastic measures, he’s now taken to telling me a fake time {which I have calculated is roughly 15-30 minutes off real time} to ensure we’re out the door on time for important events. To my credit, I am trying. I hate being late and rushing around, but it just seems to be the way it always works out.

If it’s work-related, I won’t be late – although my last workplace had a bit of a warped sense of time which did not help my problem. One bit.

But if it’s an appointment – say beauty, physic etc – I’ll most likely arrive either bang on time or a few minutes over the clock, much to the frustration of the person I’ve booked in to see.

I know where I go wrong – poor planning and not allowing enough time spent in traffic. Sigh.

What this little breakfast outing did highlight for me was that I, like my Husband, am sick of being late.

As you read this, I’m lucky enough to be in the beautiful Byron Bay on a mid-winter getaway. Friends of ours were kind enough to have their amazing wedding in Noosa, so we’ve escaped afterwards for a bit of sun and surf. It’s done wonders for the soul and we’ve lapped up the time to read books that were gathering dust on our bedside tables, give our faces some light and generally do whatever we have felt like doing – which hasn’t been all that much!

I’m also lucky enough to be heading back to a brand spankin’ new gig when I get home. I’m so pumped! It’s a great opportunity and I can’t wait to sink my teeth into the challenges that lie ahead in the next few months.

So, this is the perfect time for me to stop and assess the parts of my life that I haven’t been all that thrilled with.

It’s amazing what being unmotivated does to you, and it’s only just now that I have started a mental list of things I’d like to change, that I’ve become aware of just how slack I have become in the last few {or more} months.

Here goes…

1. Be on time. No excuses.

For me, this means allowing EXTRA time for traffic, public transport and getting ready and out the door. This also means prioritising and not trying to cram a million things into the mornings.

Usually my mornings have gone: gym, walk pup, shower, dress, breakfast…make lunch…out the door {“shit I’m late!”}.

Future mornings: gym or a long walk with the pup {if I do both then the walk with the pup becomes a run to the park and throwing of ball to wear her out a bit}, shower, dress…OUT THE DOOR! No time for breakfast sitting down at home. I’m going to get back into the habit of eating after I’ve left the house. This seems to work best for me. It’ll also mean being far more organised with lunches and packing the night before.

Another time-saving tactic I’m going to employ is setting a timer on my phone to give me ample warning for when I need to be out the door.

Note to brain: this involves pre-thought into how long it will take to get places. From where you live now…not where you lived six months ago…GUILTY!

2. Invest more time into my Little Ray of Sunshine.

Back in March, I signed up for the amazing Rachel MacDonald’s Bright-Eyed and Blog-Hearted e-course. I was pumped! I loved Rach’s blog and it was her own that inspired me to start this one. So I was keen to hear her tips of the trade on how to reach more lovely readers and make my blog somewhere worth visiting!

Of course, then life ‘happened’ and I allowed it to be an excuse for never. really. starting.

Now, with the second round of bright-eyed students eagerly awaiting for the course to start, it’s the perfect chance for me to follow through with my intention and get this baby rocking!

3. More time for me.

Meditation. Yoga. Running. Cups of tea. Reading.

Just some of the things I enjoy and ways that I recharge. While we’ve been away, I’ve been able to do a few of them – mostly the reading and cups of tea – but I’m making the things I love a priority for me in this next phase of my life and career.

I haven’t run more than a few kms at a time for MONTHS. Seriously, months! Back at the start of March, we moved house and I’ve never found new running routes nearby. It’s time to dust off the shoes and get the blood pumping again! To help with this little challenge, I’m setting myself the goal of running a few fun runs later in the year – 10km in Melbourne Marathon, 14km in City2Sea and finally, half marathon in the Sussan Women’s Fun Run. Intentions set!

4. Following through.

Firstly, a massive SORRY to those people who, over the last six months or so, I have promised to do things for and then never followed through. Trust me when I say that I WANT to do these things for you. I just have the tendency to over commit and can’t physically get through it all.

This coupled with my lack of motivation this year has meant a recipe for disaster and I’m not comfortable with it. At all.

So, you’ll be pleased to know I’m making a list {and checkin’ it twice}. All you lovely people who I owe things to – bits and bobs I’ve promised over the last little while. They’re coming! And if you wouldn’t mind…a gentle push to get things done would be SO appreciated!

5. Going easy on myself. 

Self-love. That’s my aim. It’ll take a while to stop the degrading, negative thoughts that we’re all guilty of, but I’m determined to live the brightest, shiniest life I can! And that starts with LOVING myself {and my aforementioned flaws}.

So, for now, that’s it! My intentions for the second half of this amazing year.

I’m getting back on my feet and I can’t wait for what’s to come! Thank you, dear readers, for your patience, understanding and LOVE over the past little while. I hope you enjoy the things that lie in store for Little Ray of Sunshine.

Images from the lovely Lorna Jane’s Pinterest. Script print from the amazing Jasmine Dowling.

 

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Long Weekend Love

 

We’re lucky enough to have a long weekend here in Melbourne Town (thanks Queenie!) and have celebrated L.O.V.E. all round with a wedding, engagement party and a new engagement!

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Today after a slow start, we’re off to celebrate our own love by finally grabbing some time together.

It’s all about a long drive, sipping wine and chilling out…

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Enjoy! xo

Images:  Pinterest | Pinterest | Pinterest

 

Monday Foodie Love | Kick your week off right

I love baking my own snacks. Not only do they taste better homemade, but you can make sure that everything you’re putting into them will nourish your body. No processed rubbish, no sugar, no wheat. Just delicious goodness.

Here’s one of my favourites. I’ve been known to overbuy bananas just so I’ve got an excuse to make this delicious bread!

This recipe is taken from one of my fave online finds – The Healthy Chef. You can find the original one here, but I’ve altered this one using ingredients that I LOVE.

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Banana Bread 

Ingredients

Approx 2-3 smashed ripe bananas

3 free range / organic eggs

2 tablespoons raw honey or rice malt syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla
essence

¼ cup coconut oil (or oil of your choice)

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ tsp baking soda ( bicarb soda) + 1 tbsp lemon juice

2 cup flour of your choice (I use wholemeal buckwheat flour) or almond meal

¼ cup ground flaxseed (linseed) or chia seed

 

Method

Preheat your oven to 160C.

Combine smashed banana, honey, oil, cinnamon, vanilla, eggs, bicarb and lemon (the lemon activates the bicarb). Do this by hand or in a good mixer (if you’re lucky enough to have one!).

Add the almond meal and flaxseed and mix well.

Lightly oil one loaf tin and then coat liberally with extra almond meal or desiccated coconut – this will prevent the cake from sticking.

Spoon batter into the tin and bake for  45  minutes to 1 hour (a skewer inserted into the centre should come out dry).

Cover the top with foil if over-browning. 
Remove from the oven and allow to cool before turning out the loaf.

Makes 1 loaf serves 12.
keeps in the fridge covered for up to 1 week.

ENJOY! And spread with Coconut Chocolate Butter if you’re so inclined (and I am…).

 

Love and sunshine. xo

Photo: The Healthy Chef

Inspiration | Letting it all go

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I’ve made it no secret that the last month or so has been challenging {catch up here}. I feel compelled to publicly share when I have gone through a rough time as I don’t believe it’s helpful for anybody, particularly not myself, if I portray an image of having it all together and kicking goals 100% of the time. That’s just unrealistic, unhelpful and {let’s face it} makes us all feel a little crummy.

I am also passionate about breaking down the stigma associated with mental health. We talk about exercise and feeding our bodies with nutritious food – shouldn’t our minds and souls get the same attention?

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Since returning from Nepal, and while I was over there surrounded by inspiring people and beautiful countryside, I realised a few truths which hit home during the final few days of the trip. The most important one was around protecting myself – not only to allow me, and those close to me, to flourish but also to ensure that I have enough energy and time to do what I love, and not just what I’m good at.

I’m going to pump up my own tyres for a second here {bear with me!} and say that I am great at helping people. Need someone to save the day? I’m your girl! Don’t have time to bake something? Don’t worry, I’ll do it at 10pm at night when I’m home from a dinner date with friends. Stuck in a rut and have no idea how to get out of it? Leave it with me, don’t you even worry about it!

And I love helping people, don’t get me wrong. But I am a serious YES person and with that comes consequences. I’ve always been aware of this, and had thought I’d come a long way in learning to say no to people. But I learnt the hard way about a month ago that I hadn’t come far enough.

When I fell onto the plane back at the start of April, I was exhausted. Arriving back in Australia on Sunday morning, I was amazed at what good it had done me just to get out of the country and be present and focused on one thing for two weeks. It was a relief and despite the hard {but amazing!} work that came along with the trip, I feel rejuvenated and refreshed.

So here are the discoveries I made and the promises I penned to myself as a result…

I need to look after myself, so that I’m at my best and able to pursue the things I love and nurture the relationships that are important to me.

For me, this involves:

  • Eating well: I fell into the trap of picking up convenient food from the cafe and muesli bars from the supermarket instead of making my own lunch and healthy treats. My body pays me back when I don’t treat it nicely, so it’s time to get back on track.
  • Exercising regularly and moving my body every single day: I’m out of whack with my usual exercise routine and am feeling very worse for wear as a result. I remember how amazing I felt when I was moving my body everyday and realise that I need this for a clear mind and to be at my best. I’ve booked my pilates classes for the next week and have made an appointment at the gym for a program. Body – let’s do this!
  • Allowing myself time to relax and unwind: this is the trickiest one for me as I hate sitting still and am constantly up and about. Unless I’m by the pool or beach on holidays, I can’t justify sitting on the couch reading a book or a magazine. I LOVE these things but if I’m home I have a stupid belief I should be on my feet cleaning or in the kitchen. Yuck. Challenge accepted!
  • Learning to say no: see above!
  • Protecting myself: by saying no more often to things that drain me or don’t serve me well and instead prioritising things that are important to me, like my amazing Husband!

While I was discovering these steps that I need to take in order to set myself up to be happy and content with my impact in the world, one quote was also resonating in my mind…

If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.

– Tony Robbins

I love this quote! It sums up what I believe – if you’re not happy with something in your life, change it! No one else is going to do it for you. I’m sticking this on my wall and applying it not only to my life but also to my work. It’s time to shake things up!

With all these things fluttering through my head, it was a great exercise to write it all down. I wrote pages in my journal and was able to sum it up with the ideas above.

I also accepted that I have to let things that almost broke me go. There’s no point in hanging onto them like baggage, that doesn’t serve me well.

So, this is me saying I’m ready to move on. Deep breath in. Big breath out.

These experiences have made me a stronger person today, I very much believe that. And I’ve learnt some really valuable lessons from them that I might not have otherwise. So {in a way} I’m thankful for them.

So here goes!

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Love and sunshine. xo

{As a side note, thanks for your non-judgement lovelies and allowing me a space where I can be open and honest with myself, and hopefully encourage you to do the same!}

Images via Lorna Jane Pinterest

From Afar | Wrapping it Up

photo 1

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photo 3 When I hopped on the plane to come to this beautiful place, I was pretty wrung out. I figured I had two and a bit weeks of intenseness to go and then could give myself a slight breather over Easter before getting back into swing of things well and truly.

I hadn’t thought about what it would personally mean to me. I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to go and put my gifts to use in a country like Nepal, but it hadn’t really occurred to me that I might be changed personally by this trip.

I hear amazing stories of inspiring people overcoming odds everyday, it’s part of my job and, sometimes, it’s easier to forget that these are actual people, with real stories and a face to put to the name.

But when you’re in front of that face, there’s no denying the impact of the person’s story on you and your need to respond.

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One of the most powerful things of being part of a Global One trip is being able to reflect as a group and gather your thoughts collectively on the things you have experienced. I’ve been blessed to have been part of a group of ten amazing women, led by Matt Darvas who is fortunate to currently call Nepal his home, and the thoughts that have been shared in this group have been life changing.

We have challenged the traditional mentality of poverty coming from a lack of material goods or wealth, worked through hard times as people felt overwhelmed with the task ahead of them after being moved by what they had witnessed and shared some personal reflections along the way.

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The thing that has stayed with me front of mind has been the notion that we may not be able to change things ourselves, and it might take longer than we would like, but just because we’re one person, doesn’t mean we’re not making an impact.

One night after an amazing but exhausting day interacting with communities, we shared a story about a young girl throwing back starfish after starfish on a beach where thousands were stranded. Here is an excerpt, but you can read the full story here.

A young girl was walking along a beach on which thousands of starfish has been washed up during a terrible storm. When she came to each starfish, she would pick it up, and throw it back into the ocean. People watched her with amusement.

She had been doing this for quite some time when a man approached her and said, “Little girl, why are you doing this? Look at this beach! You can’t save all these starfish. You can’t begin to make a difference!”

The girl listened, then bent down and picked up another starfish, and hurled it as far as she could into the ocean. Then, smiling, she looked up at the man and replied, “I made a difference to that one!”

The old man looked at the girl inquisitively and thought about what she had done and, inspired, he joined the little girl in throwing starfish back into the sea. Soon, others joined and all the starfish were saved.

This story has stuck with me for the past week and it has reminded me of why I am passionate about my work and have always been interested in why we must do our part to help those in poverty.

My mind has been brought back to my first experience with poverty when I visited Cambodia ten years ago on a school service project. I had no idea what was in store for me career-wise, but it’s amazing to look back and see where those first seeds were planted in my life.

The challenge for me, as for all participants on this trip, will be bringing that renewed passion back home and keeping it going. I’m lucky enough that I’ll be in an office where I will be able to put this into action everyday, but I know I’ll  need to remind myself about some of the experiences I have had on this trip in order to keep my motivation levels high and my energy up. It’s a part of life, but gee-whiz, are we lucky to have it!

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{the gorgeous ladies kitted out in traditional clothing for Nepali New Year}

{the gorgeous ladies kitted out in traditional clothing for Nepali New Year}

Image: Photos are my own; Quote – Pinterest

 

From Afar | Breaking the Blog Silence

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Yep, it’s been a while! I can’t quite believe myself that Little Ray of Sunshine has been lonely for so long, but there you have it. The reason for the blog break was many – it was all a bit much. Between moving house, great but insane work and everything else in between, for the first time I can remember {at least for a while}, I couldn’t handle it all.

You see, I’m a yes person. Which is great! I love helping people and I love giving. It must be my love language {not to self: read the book that’s gathering dust on the shelf!}.

But a few weeks ago, I said yes to one too many things and ended up a mess. I’m fine to admit it now, but at the time it was painful and damaging, not only to me but to the ones I love, particularly Husband. I pushed myself too hard to please others and the result was yuck. I can honestly say that I hope I never experience anything like it again.

Since then, life in the fast lane hasn’t slowed, but in a great way! I’m writing this from Nepal – a country full of as many amazing people as there are idyllic views from Mother Nature – where I have had the pleasure of accompanying a great group of girls on a Global One trip exploring World Vision’s work in some really remote communities.

I decided to break my silence because while I have the pleasure of calling this trip work and I haven’t actually slowed down, the experiences I’m having and the people I’m meeting are fueling me for life back home. Most things are completely out of my control at the moment which, speaking as a control freak, can be scary but also freeing. In  just under a week I’ve been challenged, loved and reminded why I’m passionate about what I do. Which is nice. It’s hard to remain passionate in our day to day lives, so I’m all for anything that brings that back.

One of the simple things I’ve enjoyed the most about this country is greeting people.

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I wish we had an equivalent greeting in English. I feel like namaste speaks right to me, every time someone looks me in the eye and says it. It’s a brilliant feeling and I can just feel these people filling my soul up, despite their lack of access to the things I take for granted in my everyday life.

I know that when I head back to Melbs, the phrase will mean so much more to me than signalling the end of yoga class. I hope  it becomes my mantra and something to live by.

20140411-065549.jpgLove and sunshine. xo

 

Blog Break | Bigger Better Brighter

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Hola lovelies!

A quick note to let you all know I’m taking a little step back from Little Ray of Sunshine for the moment as I throw myself  into the amazing e-course Bright-Eyed and Blog-Hearted thanks to Rachel MacDonald from the fab In Spaces Between.

I’ll be posting sporadically for the next little while {sorry in advance!} but know that with this course, you are forever on my mind! I’m honing in and knuckling down to deliver the best possible content, so watch this space! Can’t wait to bring you the bigger, better and brighter Little Ray of Sunshine!

Love and sunshine. xo

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Images: Lorna Jane Pinterest