On January 1st of this year, I sat with my husband — as we do every New Year’s — and set our intentions for the year ahead. EASE and GRACE were the two words that sprung to my mind. I had a strong desire to move through my year — in fact, through every moment — with these two qualities as my constant companions.
But easier said than done, right?! With the endless daily perception of pressures all around us (like work, family and friends) it’s enough to rock even the most experienced zen goddess right off her meditation pillow. And then add to that, of course, the crazy pressure we (our Mean Girl) place on ourselves… it’s enough to make anyone pop.
I knew this year was going to be BIG, especially with my first published book Mastering Your Mean Girl coming out. Not only that, but I was hosting weekly Goddess Groups, launching the MA Academy Business Bootcamp, writing on my blog each week, keeping up with social media, emails, and speaking gigs around Australia, and being a step mama, wife, friend, sister, daughter etc… Then, a few short months into the year, I was also dealing (trying to cope) with my best friend passing away and my own health stuff too.
There was a while there where life felt really, really hard. So as you can see, I get it — I really do. I know what it’s like to feel completely snowed under, like you’re treading water with massive waves continuously crashing down on you. But, my dear friend, even in the most overwhelming of circumstances, we always have a choice: you can choose to move through anything with ease and grace, or you can choose to spend your time suffering. Even when you’re scrubbing the toilets and doing the housework, even when your to-do list is as long as the Thames, even when you’re filled with soul-wrenching when-will-this-ever-end grief… there’s always a choice, and I was committed to making it — no matter how far-off or far-fetched it seemed.
As I put the finishing touches on my book, I held that feeling of ease and grace, and I never worked on the book until I was in that state. Why? Because everything is energy, and if I am stressed and overwhelmed while I’m writing, you can bet your sweet tushie that you — my precious reader — will feel it in the end product. There ain’t no escaping it.
I was determined to carry this intention into every part of the book launching process too (which is notorious in the industry for being a ridiculously stressful time). And so far, this commitment has paid off. Despite still having a to-do list that’s as long as I’ve ever had, I’ve been surrendering to the process, relishing how the journey is unfolding, and upholding my choice every day… even when shizzle gets a little cray-cray.
Even when you’re filled with soul-wrenching grief, there’s always a choice to choose love.
Case in point: A few months ago, I had a 3-day photo shoot for the book. We’d identified loads of different photos we needed both in-text and for promotional purposes, so our call time was 5 a.m. each morning, and we shot until sun down. Each day included multiple locations across Sydney, at least 10 outfit changes (with different hair and makeup for each one), various props that needed to be coordinated, and a whole heap of different angles that needed to be captured. And as anyone who’s ever done a shoot before knows all too well: all of this is being juggled with one eye on the sky, chasing and racing the light, trying to get the best outcome possible… It’s a very full-on process!
On top of all of this, to be honest, I actually wasn’t feeling my best. I’d been excited about the shoot for months, and then just before go-time, a few health issues began to flare up and I started to feel… well, kind of flat! BUT, let me say unequivocally: these are the times when all that energy devoted to self-work and soul-growth genuinely pays off. Almost immediately, I became aware of my Mean Girl, of the stress threatening to well up, and of the feelings and emotions in my body. So before I got on set, I had an internal conversation and made a pact with myself: Girlfriend, I said, Do this with ease and grace, or don’t do it at all…
And the effect was amazing.
The day before I’d felt immense pressure. Everything was on me: I’d written the call sheet, I needed to make sure we were getting all the looks, I needed to make sure everyone was fed, hydrated and happy, I needed to make sure we didn’t run out of time, or go over time, I needed to make sure that I was showing up fully for the shots. I’d placed so much pressure on myself, but in that one conversation, I decided to drop it like it’s hot. I wanted to enjoy the process. I wanted to laugh with the epic team I’d assembled. And I genuinely wanted to do the whole thing with ease and grace. Which is precisely what we did.
And I firmly believe you can sense this vibe in the end product… (Seriously, how stunning are these shots? My beautiful soul sista Bayleigh Vedelago is a freaking genius!
So today, I want to encourage you to make a similar choice in your own life. Where can you add more ease and grace? Maybe it’s with your work, at home, with your health, or even on your yoga mat. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below (and also what you think of the pic’s!)
As always, thank you so much for being here, beautiful. Your willingness to step into your true power inspires the heck out of me. I love-love-love having you here.