Dear Sydney…

Dear Sydney,

The past week has been overflowing with more reflection than usual for me. If I gave you an hour inside of my brain I assume you would be quite exhausted and possibly terrified. I am celebrating a year of living here in Sydney. I moved to Australia at the end of July 2015 but I went backpacking for two months up the East coast and I landed in Sydney at the end of September 2015, for what I thought was a few weeks. When I moved to Australia it was my intention to live in Melbourne. My teacher besties I met in Thailand moved there and when I visited the fall before I fell in love. I came to Australia not knowing exactly where I would end up, but I had an open mind and an open heart. After a few weeks in the hostel I was running out of money, so I knew it was time to get another job. My job search began and I made the Library of New South Wales my go-to spot. Something about being in a library makes me feel safe and at home.  It was while I was living in this cheap hostel, searching for a job, checking my bank account after every purchase, exploring the city on my own, that I began stressing about the future and if I really made the right decision. I struggled with loneliness and intense anxiety.  I wrote in my blog a year ago how I took myself out to dinner for the first time at a fancy restaurant and forced myself to enjoy my own company, without my phone or any hesitation. It felt weird and uncomfortable but overall, it was liberating.

A year ago I had no idea that at this hostel I would meet the man that I am now in love and happily living with. I had no idea that my passion for health and wellness, helping others, and sharing my journey would turn into such a huge driving force in my career and my life. For all my travelers out there, I know you can understand why traveling makes you so reflective but if you don’t travel much, I would love to explain why. When you travel or live abroad, especially for long periods of time, your life goes into a time warp and months seem like years and days seem like minutes. It feels like you just left home but it also feels as if you have existed in this universe forever. You develop a routine in your new turf because despite the need for freedom and adventure, human beings are all creatures of habits. When you move away from everything you’ve ever known, you are left with yourself. You are left to define yourself, in whatever manner you desire. The people you meet may learn about your past from stories, photographs and Facebook stalking, but a traveler meets everyone at face value, as the person they are today. It’s a beautiful way to approach life and a particularly comforting way to approach people.

The whole concept of the travel bug sounded silly to me at first. It sounded cliche and overused and quite frankly, trite. But a harsh reality you face in this world, is that cliches only construct meaning in your life when they are relevant to you. The travel bug isn’t a creature you want to take lightly. Now that I have lived abroad for 2 out of the last 3 years of my 20’s, I am heavily addicted. I am in love with the way it feels to explore new cities and look at every minute moment as something special and worth remembering. I am in love with the feeling of coming and going because it constantly reminds you how good you have it. When I travel home, I see the same city I grew up in with fresh eyes. All my favorites of home become that much more divine and sacred. Even though I have lived in Sydney for a year now, it still feels fresh and exciting to me. When I got my teaching job, experienced a few weeks of summer in Sydney and met my handsome Englishman, I felt an overwhelming feeling of contentment. I felt satisfied, grounded and “home” in a way that is difficult to verbalize. I asked myself out-loud, and many of my friends, “Why would you ever choose to leave this?”

14513701_10207078253059514_1304929781_o

Continue reading

Leave Your Shadow

I’m passionate about discussing and sharing about difficult topics in order to allow other people to feel more at peace and beautiful within their own skin. It’s easy to talk about happy, exciting things but what we really need to talk about is the hard stuff. My thoughts today are on body image. As a health and fitness nut and coach I am constantly talking about, thinking about working on my own and helping others to have a positive body image. Self love and confidence is one of the MOST important gifts which I hope to instill and inspire in others but also one of the hardest things to attain. I think I have a very unique perspective and one I’m willing to share with you to try to expand your grasp of what it means to love yourself and the journey I went on to get there.

As a child I was the epitome of awkward; lanky, big feet, glasses, braces and of course the infamous unibrow. I was a nerd and a bookworm but genuinely a pretty warm and loving kid. I could play in my imagination for hours upon hours. Luckily, today that still is the case.

In my adolescence I realized that most girls were very concerned with how “skinny” they were. I could eat cheeseburgers, pizza, ice cream every night and nothing stuck. I’m not saying this to brag whatsoever, I am simply stating the facts. It is hilarious to me how people can poke fun at themselves for being overweight as a child or in the past but as soon as you mention the opposite problem people want to shut you up real quick. I was teased by friends and strangers about being skinny but I knew I couldn’t help it so I just laughed it off.

As I grew into a teenager I suffered the tremendous loss of my childhood best friend to suicide. She was absolutely gorgeous and “perfect” from an outsider’s perspective. I had countless people ask me, “what did SHE have to be sad about!?” Simply based on the way she looked. Why does an attractive exterior mean that you have an attractive interior? Why should struggling and feeling depressed be exclusive to people who have less appealing appearances? How can people be so ignorant as to not acknowledge that life is NOT all about how we look?

I spent the rest of high school learning what it felt like to look “pretty” and “skinny” on the outside but inside I was carrying so much grief, suffering and pain. I struggled for years trying to cope with the loss of my best friend and sure, I appeared normal and attractive on the outside but my inside soul and mind were in constant turmoil and anguish. I didn’t know what to say when people could only comment (negatively) about how lucky I was about being skinny. Or “shut up, you wouldn’t understand.” How selfish of you to exclude me from the “suffering club” based on my appearance? But, yet again, how is this something that any teenager could verbalize? Most adults still wouldn’t. But you know what, if I have learned anything about life, it’s that it is too damn short to walk on eggshells. I will bare my soul to you even if it’s about topics that are hard to discuss because real recognizes real and I simply refuse to silence my heart now that I have learned how to love myself properly.

Continue reading

The people I want to help

Today I hit a milestone goal in my business that I have been working really hard to achieve. Although it feels really good I can’t help but think about how much I still want to accomplish and how this is only the beginning of my journey as an entrepreneur and in fact my journey through life.

This week has reminded how powerful what I do is not because of the achievement I reached but instead what this business has done for me both mentally and spiritually( and of course physically. Two of my closest friends really needed my help this week. I was in a place where I could give them my full heart, attention, and advice. We discussed how easy it is to give advice but how difficult it is to take our own advice.

I realized how many people I have left to meet, touch, help and learn from. I realized how many mountains I have left to climb. I realized how important it is to extend your hand and your heart to those who need it and how that in turn helps YOU. I realize that I have the incredible platform in which I can do that, not just for friends in my immediate circle but for hundreds of people, friends and acquaintances old and new. Thanks to technology I have the ability to meet and be uplifted by so many beautiful, creative, inspiring souls around this big and beautiful world.

The people I want to help have open minds and hearts.
The people I want to help are always down for adventure.
The people I want to help may never like this post.
The people I want to help know they are made for something more.
The people I want to help might feel trapped, uninspired and stuck in a life that doesn’t make them want to spring out of bed in the morning.
The people I want to help feel a lot, have strong emotions and attach themselves to others.


The people I want to help have a spark in them that they may not even see yet.
The people I want to help CRAVE freedom in a way that can’t be fulfilled by being trapped in a cubicle or broken system.
The people I want to help may look beautiful and happy on the outside but have demons and pain past or present that hurts them deeply.
The people I want to help are ready for a change, ready to feel like they are a part of something and ready to take control of their own lives.
Continue reading

Growing Pains

Last week my headspace was very much fueled by sadness and anger for the victims of yet another gun violence tragedy in the United States. This week I am coming from a fairly different angle after experiencing a weekend full of not strictly positive experiences but instead experiences that encouraged heightened awareness of not only the good but also the bad.

Friday, I got back to the beach with my One Wave crew for sunrise yoga and a meaningful cup of coffee with my yogi friends. As I have mentioned before, One Wave is an organization that promotes mental health awareness so most people who attend are either suffering from mental health issues themselves or are closely connected to someone who is.

It doesn’t matter who you are, we are all affected by mental health and ultimately the natural highs and lows and peaks and valleys of life. We talked in depth over coffee about going through hard times, changing our frequency levels so that we can attract good things and actually believing that they are possible and warranted for our lives. It is amazing to me how deeply human beings crave the need to be understood. It is not something that is unique to a gender, age group, nationality, or personality type. We all want to feel like we aren’t in this thing alone. It is a beautiful feeling when you can make someone else believe they are not alone and usually all that requires is listening to them. We all have that power.

 

Continue reading