One of the stops on the customised tour my friendly Balinese taxi driver made for me last year was to a small coffee plantation.
But they grew much more than just coffee.
As soon as I walked up the stone steps I saw something I’d never seen before. Vanilla beans hung off a vine climbing up a tree. It was more exciting than sighting a celebrity! I snapped photos like I was beside the red carpet of a movie premier.
My guide didn’t speak fluent English, but he pointed out a cocoa tree as we continued down the path. I took more photos. Then he guided me towards some animal enclosures.
“Maybe they sleep,” he said, tapping the wire.
All I could see were large logs with big hollows in their curvy sides. Apparently, home to mysterious creatures sleeping inside.
“Kind of cat,” he said.
“Ohhh….” I said, curious and at the same time confused.
I held my camera at the ready, unsure what might suddenly appear, and wondering why they had animals in the coffee farm. Perhaps it’s a kind of peculiar attraction, I thought. A way to get more tourists.
“Ah, here. Here!” he said, pointing to a furry, half-asleep weasel-looking animal with a long, fluffy tail. It was blinking its eyes.
“Oh, hello there,” I cooed. “Sorry, I’m so sorry to wake you.” I still didn’t know what it was.
“Ok, you ready?” asked the guide and we continued down the pathway, past a clove tree (another cause for excitement from me and more photos), down to a landing where he introduced me to a woman.
There were more cages with more ‘cats,’ and the word Civet on a wooden sign above.
“So, the animal, eats the coffee beans, and then we collect the droppings, clean them, peel them, roast them and grind them to make a very special coffee. Have you heard of this?” she asked me.
“What? I’m sorry. The animal eats it, and then you make coffee from it? Really? No, I’ve never heard this before,” I said.
“Yes, yes. We collect the droppings, and roast them. It is very safe. Very clean. Look,” she took me to baskets with the beans in each stage of the cleaning, peeling, roasting and grinding stage.
“You want to try?” she asked.
“Oh, no, I don’t think so.”
“Here, have a smell. This is the animal coffee, and this is normal coffee,” she held two bowls to my nostrils. The animal coffee smelt smooth, sweet and soft. I was tempted to try it, but unsure of what my sensitive stomach might do to such an exotic beverage. I politely declined.
Instead they served me a tray of herbal teas and flavoured ‘normal’ coffees to try. I sipped each flavour, enjoying the lemongrass tea and vanilla coffee the most.
Another guide took me back up the mountain, and we talked about the plants. I was having a ball, recognising, learning and naming the tropical fruits and vegetables which, up until two years ago, would have just looked like part of the tropical vegetation and not something edible.
Cassava, tarro, betel leaf, carambola and mangostein.
My friends Jessica and Susana know a lot about celebrities in Hollywood, where as I tend to know the names of plants and how to grow them. Jess is often telling me stories about people I’d never heard of before; the Kardashians; Adel; someone else I can’t recall the name of who’s just had a documentary made about them. The girls think it’s a hilarious game, introducing me to popular culture. I like to listen, because it means I know what they’re talking about when we get together.
And I’ve found, the more you know about a topic, often the richer your life becomes.
Instead of wishing your life was more exciting, engaging with instead of enduring what is in your world brings much more joy.
Now, I know I like listening to Adel. And I know you can drink coffee that’s been pooped out by a civet. And now you know that too. You’re welcome to talk about it at your next dinner party.
Recognising plants has brought a richness to my life similar to recognising birds (which I’d like to get better at). It makes travelling a kind of celebrity spotting game. I find it as fun, and often more rewarding, than any trip to Hollywood.
Although, I once met Geoffrey Rush in New York, and I was truly lost for words. I even forgot where I lived when he asked me.
Plants, thankfully, make me a lot less nervous.
PS. Want to learn how to have a fulfilling online business as a creative entrepreneur? Bschool Closes in 12 Hours
If you want to grab my bonus package valued at over $2275 and get personalised coaching from me plus many more goodies (including all my ecourses and ebook) enrol here. Enrollment closes 7am 6/3/14 Queensland time (8am Australian EST).
I’d be SO honoured to help you grow your garden, grow your business & grow your life.
Get all the details of my Bschool Bonus package here. xx
We all hold assumptions that life is a certain way, because it’s how we’ve experienced it in the past.
Not long ago I thought I was a pretty hopeless case when it came to relationships. I thought there must be something wrong with me, because they never really worked out. Three months here, six months there, one lasted for six years (but it was on and off again).
But over the past couple of years, I met more and more women who had supportive relationships, and I allowed myself to want one too.
Then I met Andrew. And my world view changed.
Something funny happened… Since we’ve been together and shared our story, we’ve had so many people tell us how they met and fell in love within days or weeks and quickly moved in together, got engaged or even got married.
These days at work, Andrew has had lots of really tough, hard-working blokes open up and share how much they love their wives, how they knew from the beginning they were soul-mates, how they value their wives more than anything in the world.
Almost every week I have people email me sharing beautiful stories about how they met their partner or spouse, fell in love and have been together so happily for 6 − 36 years. How they love being married and how it just gets better and better every year. How blessed they feel and how joyful they are to hear about another love story as happy as theirs.
But Andrew & I hadn’t heard or noticed those love stories in the past.
We thought relationships were hard. That you had to work at them. That our past experience and struggles were normal. And therefore, we believed that was the way it was and the way it simply must be.
Sometimes it’s not until you open yourself up to another possibility in life, that the evidence can be seen.
Sometimes it’s a case of ‘I’ll see it when I believe it.’
We had no idea we could be so compatible with someone of the opposite sex. And how being compatible is so helpful when it comes to having a happy and deeply satisfying relationship.
Do you base your beliefs around making money on your past experience?
So often we believe making money has to be difficult. Boring. Unfulfilling. It’s just the way it is. Everyone else is doing the same thing. It’s normal to either hate your job, or fit your life around going to work 9–5 everyday (instead of fitting your work around your lifestyle).
Even if you are not in business for yourself, you’re still in the business of marketing and selling. You’re marketing your skills and selling your time and energy to your employer.
I remember when I was growing up, my parents were very successful from the time I was about six years old. They made millions of dollars in the course of my childhood. I saw how leveraged income works, and how you could live a lifestyle largely based on your own terms (think travelling the world, sailing boats, adventurous holidays, big houses, & weekdays lazing on the beach). It all fell apart when they got divorced, and I decided to become an artist instead of follow in their foot-steps.
However, led by my parents example, I’ve always been aware of the value of leveraging your time and effort.
Leveraging means not just taking the pressure off yourself, since we only have a very limited amount of time and effort to give in exchange for income.
Leveraging also means you are making it possible to help many more people with your skills, gifts and expertise.
Using the internet means it’s so much easier to offer your knowledge in products, packages and services that help people get results and improve their lives. I can help more people grow a garden with my online programs, than I could working with people one on one.
Just imagine, all those gardens popping up like little green dots on a map of the world in back-yards and on balconies of people who’ve done my courses and read my ebook? How incredible. I still get so surprised & thrilled every time someone I’ve never met says they are eating organic veggies they grew as a result of my work.
Understanding the value of leveraging was why when I saw Bschool three years ago, my ears and eyes pricked up. I’d been selling my fine art paintings for close to a decade. Having successful exhibitions around the country. But I knew in order to create more stability in my life and find more time to heal my health, I needed a way to leverage my income.
I didn’t know a single person who had a successful online business. Just like with relationships, I was blind to what was possible, because I hadn’t been exposed to people who were living proof.
But through the incredible community in Bschool, I met and connected with people who do truly amazing things. And as a result, I began to do amazing things too. Like teach people how to grow organic food online. Like ‘what the?’ Who does that?
Having other examples around you lifts you up. Makes wild ideas seem possible. Possible to find your soul-mate. Possible to be really, truly, happily married. Possible to make money following your passion.
Who would’ve thought?! (I’m so glad it’s true, it is possible).
If you don’t know somebody who’s achieved what you desire in your heart, how can you do it too?
We learn most from personal stories & seeing others around us succeed.
I love the example of the four minute mile. No one thought it was possible to run a mile in under four minutes, but when Roger Bannister did it, athletes all around the world began running a mile in under four minutes too.
Knowing it was possible to break the record, and seeing someone actually do it, lifted their belief in what they could achieve and so many runners smashed their personal bests one after another. It was a phenomenon.
Having an authentic, heart-based online business, based around generosity, honesty and service is another such phenomenon.
Marie Forleo’s Bschool has opened up the possibility for so many of us to follow. It’s exciting and literally changing the world view of thousands of entrepreneurs all over the world.
So, whether it’s finding your soul-mate, having a happy marriage, or making money from an online business which leverages your passions, I’ve found opening yourself up to what is possible and surrounding yourself with people who have forged the path before you, is a sure-fire way to stop letting your past dictate your future, and instead step into a whole new world of success, love, fulfilment and prosperity.
I’ve been having a blast welcoming the new Bschoolers into my private Mastermind Group and setting up the content I’ll be sharing with people who decide to sign up to Bschool via my link.
It’s my deep honour to share the processes I’ve learnt which allow me to enjoy a healthy, happy and wholehearted lifestyle with them, and I’d love to help you get your business, garden and life growing in ways you never dreamt possible.
Don’t let your past dictate your future.
Our minds love to think what they ‘know’ from the past is The Truth. That what we’ve done in the past is The Only Way. I’m here to remind you it’s worth examining that belief.
Open yourself up to just noticing what other people have discovered and how they are living. You can create a future unlike anything you’ve experienced in your past.
It is possible. I believe in you.
PS. Want to see what other people have done through Bschool? Check out this page, it’s chock-a-block full of inspiring personal success stories.
PPS. Want to get over $2275 worth of my bonuses if you decide to join Bschool?
I’d love to be your mentor, your cheer-leader, and your guide to creating a future unlike anything you’ve experienced in your past. Living wholeheartedly is so, so worth it ~ and I know you can do it. Like I said, I believe in your ability to create a future full of prosperity, fulfillment, and success.
And in case you’re wondering, Bschool closes enrollment in 5 days. xx
Three years ago a business course changed my life.
And every year since, I’ve loved sharing it with others, because I’ve seen it change so many other people’s lives too.
I’ve seen it:
- Give budding entrepreneurs the tools to build sustainable, highly profitably online businesses that revolve around their passions (my business included)
- Provide community and networking with like-minded people where deep friendships flourish.
- Teach bloggers, creatives, and business owners how to make the money they need to find the time and space to heal their health (I raise my hand here)
- Spread a message of consciousness, mindfulness and presence to entrepreneurs all around the world
- Provide creative people with the tools to make money from their art, design and photography
- Show not-for-profits how to create platforms to spread their message sustainably
- Help small business owners finally put all the pieces together to create a business that supports them with freedom and money.
Best of all, I’ve seen it touch lives and bring out people’s best selves. It’s more than a business course, it’s a tribe of people with hearts for serving and changing the world.
The course I’m talking about, is Marie Forleo’s Bschool.
Click play on the video to discover how Bschool helped me grow my business, have plenty of time to travel, and connect with some incredible women. You’ll also learn all about why I’m excited to be offering my Down-to-Earth Bschool Bonus package to to everyone who enrolls in Bschool through my link.
If you haven’t seen Marie’s free video training, don’t miss those.
Excitingly, many of you are ready and waiting to sign up today, and asking where my link is so you can score my biggest Bschool bonus package ever. I’m calling it the ‘Down-to-Earth Bschool Bonus.’
Thanks for waiting… I’m in the Outback of Australia and getting internet can be tricky But, drum roll please…. here it is!
My Biggest B-School Bonus EVER is Here!
Enroll for B-School 2014 through my link between February 19th and March 5th, and my collection of everything is your bonus.
& Score All These Awesome Bonuses!
Grow Your Garden, Grow Your Business, Grow Your Life.
The Abundant Veggie Patch System – eCourse ($550 value)
My acclaimed 6 week online gardening course for beginner gardeners delivers practical techniques to help you transform your back-yard into a delicious organic veggie patch. Weekly self-guided videos, audio and pdf classes, and a private online class community, for interactive support & community connections.
Grow Organic Food in Pots – eCourse ($350 value)
This practical e-course will help you convert your small space, balcony or patio into a private sanctuary, overflowing with delicious organic food in pots. Discover what to plant, where to plant it, plus simple ways to set up automatic irrigation. Step-by-step guidance with weekly self-guided videos, audio & PDF classes, & a private online community.
Grow Abundant Herbs & Green in Pots – eBook ($25 value)
Do you secretly want to feel the satisfaction of saying “I grew that!” when you make salads, herbal teas, & soups for the people you love? You can! If you follow the steps in this ebook you’ll be successfully harvesting your own herbs from pots in less than 14 days.
90 minute Group Q&A Coaching session – ($250 value)
We’ll get on the phone or Skype to brainstorm how you can best implement the lessons you’ll be learning in Bschool. I’ll coach you and share my personal experience running a successful online business for the past three years. We’ll become super focused on how you can take your passions and turn them into income.
Private “Down-to-Earth Bschool Mastermind & Mentoring Group” – ($1000 Value)
Having access to what was once a small, intimate mastermind group for Aussie Bschoolers was how I became friends with Susana Frioni, Jessica Ainscough, Rachael MacDonald, Amanda Rootsey, Yvette Luciano, Tara Bliss, Hayley Carr and many more incredible business-owners. It’s led to more connection, more income, and deeper friendships than any other course I’ve been enrolled in. You’ll be able to make amazing new friendships too!
The official Bschool group is now well over 6000 students, so I want to provide an intimate, private group for you to connect with your fellow Bschoolers where you’ll find years worth of guidance, connection & support into the future.
Plus, I’ll be offering you Playful and Down-to-Earth exercises to integrate what you’ll be learning through Bschool into your business and your life. I’m SO EXCITED to be sharing these with you!!!!
A Whole Lotta Love + Encouragement – (Priceless)
I deeply believe in the work Marie is doing with Bschool (I’ve seen the results it creates in entrepreneurs’ lives around the world) and I want to see that freedom, confidence and joy rub off on you.
Plus I want to encourage you to find your passions, hone your skills, and make money from your investment in your education. I’ll be your cheer-squad during the course, offering tonnes of encouragement and inspiration along the way. I’ll also be sharing personal resources, tools & techniques I’ve found helpful to actually IMPLEMENT what you’ll be learning and integrate it into your own business & life.
PLUS a Complimentary Invitation to Nicola’s Private….
After you graduate from Bschool 2014, you’ll be invited to come and celebrate with me and your fellow Bschoolers for an afternoon of relaxing by the beach on Queensland’s stunning Sunshine Coast, Australia. This isn’t a typical ‘disco-style’ beach party, think more ‘sunsets over water, with a glass of wine (or juice!) celebration.’
You’ll be responsible for getting there – I’ll supply the wine, tapas & festivities!
I just know if Bschool is calling your heart, if you feel compelled to take your life in a new direction, or if you want to finally put all the pieces together to create a business that supports you, then you’ll find this course a truly transformational experience and we’re going to have a great time together.
Here’s to your Down-to-Earth Bschool Experience.
PS. Questions? Please feel free to hit ‘reply’ and I’ll get back to you asap (we are travelling but will have reliable internet from tomorrow for the next week or so! I’d love to help you.) xx
Last week my dear friend Susana Frioni and her gorgeous little girl (who is a very talented artist) came to stay, and while her little lady drew picture after picture on huge blank papers, Susana and I explored our Core Desired Feelings until they popped with enthusiasm and dripped with joy.
It was kind of funny, because when I looked at the evolution of one of my words for this year, it sign-posted a very significant shift in my outlook and priorities. At least, it did consciously.
To begin with I said I wanted to feel ‘purposeful’. However, when Susana and I played her game of going deeper by exploring how that word sounded, tasted, felt, and looked, I couldn’t get excited. It felt heavy, hard, fractured and difficult. Like a school room full of books with a teacher standing beside a black-board checking off whether I’d done my work each day.
My personality is naturally achievement-driven (I’m an ‘Achiever’ or a ’3′ on the Enneagram personality profile, which basically means I love getting stuff done and my mind can be consumed with ideas of things to do), so putting ‘purposeful’ on my list was almost like reminding a cat it wants to sleep. Totally unnecessary.
Instead we substituted it with a word I’d initially written on my list, but I’d scrubbed off because it looked too silly. Too frivolous.
What I didn’t know was how it could feel soooo damn good.
The word was Playful.
This year, I want to feel PLAYFUL.
Andrew and I laugh so hard every day at all kinds of weird stuff, it makes my spirit sing. If one of us is jumping into a skit or forming a new character in an impromptu role-play, we get in alongside and play off one another. Because we feel safe to be silly together, we also feel safe to laugh our heads off. Regularly. Usually at ourselves.
Playful also extends into a bunch of other avenues of my life too. Into my creative writing, painting, and business activities. Into the courses I want to create and offer this year. Into the deep soul nourishing space of spirit, love, and taking risks.
Playful sounds to me like a big box full of fresh new paints, pencils, glue, coloured pens, pastels, and clean paper to play on.
It sounds like a year worth investing in; like swimming in the waters of inspiration, intuition, spirit, humility, and exploration with the Playful flag flown high on my ship as it crashes through the waves of life.
Feeling Playful in Real Life
Knowing I want to feel playful has changed some of my decisions, just small things in day-to-day life (which is what it’s all about anyway) that have enhanced my sense of daily fulfillment. Instead of simply working through a ‘to do’ list each day, I’m asking myself what I can do to feel playful. Here’s a list of ways so far:
- Buying green pants instead of black (simple, but effective playfulness. I sometimes feel like I could join a circus wearing them).
- Drawing and painting in the evenings instead of watching movies.
- Inventing a ‘Studio in a Box’ to make creativity possible even on the road (Andrew and I have been absorbed many nights sitting around a tiny little table in our motel rooms making ‘Wisdom Cards’ with paints, soulful questions and collage).
- Relaxing my defenses and laughing at myself where years of coping strategies had built up to protect myself from feeling too vulnerable.
- Playing ball with and chasing Lacey Jane, like every day, multiple times a day.
- Making up stories, songs, characters and even poems with Andrew.
- Wearing more colour in general.
- Going on ‘Wabi Sabi’ photography expeditions – photographing old and decaying things while high-lighting and noticing their beauty.
- Relaxing on some of my more dutiful activities, clearing them out altogether, or limiting the time I spend doing them.
- Taking ‘Deep Play & Deep Dance’ breaks when I’m getting sucked into the vortex that can be found inside my computer.
Painting Explorations Using My ‘Studio in a Box’
Photography Expeditions & ‘Wabi Sabi’ Adventure Walks
Lessons on Being Playful from Miss Lacey-Jane
Lacey is my Playful Role Model. She ALWAYS loves to make the best of things and have a good time.
For instance, when we had her spayed, she had to wear one of those terrible looking dog collars, “The Cone” we called it, to stop her from chewing out her stitches.
Well, once the anesthetic wore off, she explored this new apparatus she’d been endowed with and found she was quite fond of it…
It became her personal ball-throwing device. She’d use it to scoop up her tennis ball and throw it for herself. Or outside, she’d use it as a shovel, flicking dirt and digging holes until she was sitting in a cool patch of soil and happily covered with dust.
It didn’t matter she was ‘supposed’ to be feeling sorry for herself with her limited mobility. Instead, she found ways to turn a disability into a delight. She’s a little sage wrapped in fur. A blessing of softness and joy.
Your Invitation to Be Playful
I invite you to join me in a Playful year. That doesn’t mean everything will go smoothly (of course life isn’t really like that) but I’ve found being mindful of feeling Playful makes the journey a whole lot more fun.
Here’s to a wonderful year. I’m so thankful, excited and blessed to have you in my life as we journey together nurturing our health, happiness and creativity.
PS. What are some of the things you do to feel Playful? When was the last time you played? Feel free to share your experience in the comments below. I’m always so interested in this stuff! We really do inspire each other to grow when we share journeys together.
PPS. Ready to Enrol in Bschool? Enroll in Bschool here and score my Biggest Bonus Pack ever.
Last year was an awesome year for me, but how did I make it happen and how can you have an awesome year in 2014 too? Well, a very large part of what supported me in 2013 was having a business that reaches thousands of people, sharing what I love, and turns my talents into income.
But it wasn’t always like that.
Three years ago I didn’t know how I was going to pay my mortgage with my limited health and energy, let alone have enough money to invest in quality foods, travelling the world to wonderful places and working at a pace that allowed the time I needed to focus on getting well.
I remember I was clicking around on the internet, like you are now, when I found a link to Marie Forleo’s Bschool. Intuitively, I knew it was right for me and I enrolled the next day.
Since then, SO many things have changed in my life for the better, because of her teachings.
In fact, apart from my mum, I’d have to say Marie Forleo’s probably been the most influential person in my life. (She even helped me find my gorgeous husband Andrew, but I’ll save that story for another time!)
She’s genuine and incredible. Last year she was interviewed by Oprah as a thought-leader for the next generation, before that she spent time with Richard Branson (I’d love to meet him one day!) and has been featured on Tony Robbin’s interview series about entrepreneurs.
I met her in person two years ago at her Mastermind Retreat in Santa Monica, and she’s even more adorable and real in person than I’d hoped from her wonderfully warm online presence. I highly recommend her as a teacher and mentor.
…Because she’s smart, compassionate and wise beyond her years.
In celebration of B-School (which opens in a few weeks) she’s created a new video training series about what it really takes to start and grow your business in today’s world.
Here’s what you’ll learn in the first video:
- Why creative entrepreneurs, in particular, are wired to succeed in the digital era (don’t worry if you aren’t quite sure of your business yet, you’ll appreciate this and can leverage it for yourself).
- The big changes that’ll take place online in the next few years. If you have an online presence, you need to know this.
- Marie’s step-by-step 6 Pillar roadmap to online success. This can eliminate your feelings of overwhelm and give you clarity and direction.
I remember I struggled with so much fear, self-doubt and lack of direction in the beginning. I felt like I was missing the boat and time was getting away from me. I felt so scared I was going to lose my house and felt sick in my stomach at the thought.
If you can relate to this, I want you to know you don’t have to experience feelings like that. I highly recommend you check out Marie’s videos because she can help you use the gifts you’ve been given to make the difference you were born to make.
This video training series is 100% free but, since it’s the lead up to the B-School 2014 program, she won’t be keeping it up forever.
So come and grab the training while it’s there. And create your BEST year yet in 2014!
P.S. If you’ve ever said to yourself “I have SO many ideas, but I need a plan, structure and guidance to follow-through” then this series is for YOU
IMPORTANT NOTE: I’m a very proud affiliate of Marie Forleo’s B-School. I don’t recommend anything lightly, but I fully believe in the power of this work and may earn a referral fee if you take the course from my recommendation. I believe so strongly in the value of this course I’ll be offering an awesome bonus pack to anyone who signs up through my links from the 19th of Feb. Here’s to creating a life and business that supports you. xx
Every year for the past three years my friends Susana Frioni, Jess Ainscough and I have riffed about our Core Desired Feelings (a concept we’ve gleaned from Danielle LaPorte) until we come up with 3 − 5 words that sum up how we want to feel, but most importantly that pull us towards expanding, rather than contracting, for the year ahead.
I invite you to come for a romp through the past 12 months with me, where there were unexpected opportunities, saddening losses, and heart-opening love. All wrapped up in five simple words. How I wanted to feel in 2013…
Gentle, Significant, Supported, Inspired, Peaceful
Let’s see how things turned out.
But before we dive into the specific feelings, the interesting thing to note is I don’t feel like I worked as hard last year as I usually do, because while I was focusing on finding ways to feel the way I wanted to feel and making choices based on those core desired feelings, personal and professional opportunities came quite naturally and joyfully (including getting married)!
I didn’t write a list of goals and then strive to achieve them. Which is the painful, often unfulfilling way to craft a year and a life. Instead I did what Danielle suggests and focused on how I wanted to feel, and then followed the breadcrumbs to experiencing a year that turned out to be well, pretty darn WONDERFUL.
Not long ago I was exhausted in bed, without the energy to have done half of this stuff. I’m so, so grateful for my renewed health and the lessons I’ve learnt along the way. I hope my story can help you bypass obstacles and instead find the fastest, easiest route to enjoying awesome health and fun this year.
My Core Desired Feelings in 2013…
» Trip to Bali
When I felt I was close to burn-out in April, I realised I needed to be gentle with myself and ‘fill my own well’. So I booked a spontaneous trip to Bali for a solo writing retreat. It turned out to be a time of deep soul reflection, letting go, and rest while I journeyed through Hiro Boga’s beautiful online course “Rule Your World from the Inside Out.”
I hired a driver to take me to interesting places away from the bustling tourist spots and found myself smiling with delight as nature reminded me of her exquisite beauty at the Butterfly House.
» Bought a Van
In order to continue feeling gentle when I got home from Bali, I followed a small vision I had of my dog Jordie sitting in the passenger seat of a van. Driving along the highway near my house, I found the van we needed, transformed it into a safe, colourful gypsie-style home, piled my dear old faithful companion into the passenger seat, and took off with no agendas other than to reach Melbourne in time for the Better Homes & Garden’s expo, and to spend time with my precious dog.
It turned into a nine-week journey down to Hobart and up again, with plenty more time spent journeying into my soul and the soul of my business, this time facilitated by Hiro Boga’s beautiful online course “Become Your Own Business Advisor.”
It was the perfect way to celebrate my dog’s life and experience the Beauty of Gentle Transitions (and turned out to be my most popular post ever).
» Expos, Events, Speaking & Workshops
A number of business-related projects came along last year that felt significant. I felt very proud when I was invited to have a stall at the Better Homes & Garden’s expo. I was also honoured when the editor of ABC Organic Gardener magazine asked me to write and illustrate an article on Permaculture (it’s in the current edition if you want to grab a copy).
Third was speaking and presenting for Earth Events’ super-fun-filled ‘Raw Beauty’ workshops, and subsequently having standing room only for my workshops on How Herbs Can Support Your Health for the Women’s Lifestyle Expo. Being featured in Salt and Profile magazines and two radio shows was also an honour.
» Gardening with Jess Ainscough
Creating a garden with my dear friend Jess Ainscough and filming her Edible Garden series felt significant, not only because it was helping her to transform her brown thumb into a green thumb, but also because it reached tens of thousands of people around the world too. Sadly it was during this time that her beautiful mum was passing away, and the courage and love Jess embodied on a daily basis was astounding.
» Painting with Jess
Jess had long been begging me to teach her to paint, so our painting dates fell into place during her grief sabbatical and became part of what she now calls her soul medicine. I loved having her come over to share my studio and teach her simple processes to push paint around while navigating her waves of grief. I felt incredibly blessed to offer something to my friend and thankful to be able to share the healing effect painting has had through the ups and downs in my life too.
» Upgrading My Van
A significant step for me personally was upgrading the van, from an old Toyota that’d travelled more than 650,000 klm (she literally blew up on the way home one day) to a new reliable, comfortable, safe and air-conditioned model. I call it our chariot (after the infamously funny ‘Hercules Returns’ for any Australian movie nerds out there). Having the new van has opened up my world more and more, and fits in beautifully in helping me feel this next CDF…
I’ve never been one to think much about feeling supported until I came across Hiro Boga’s work. I thought life was pretty much about making do with things the best you can, not relying on others, and certainly not expecting too much support in the process.
But Hiro helped me to shape a new vision of what it means to feel supported, and one of those ways for me was to have a reliable vehicle that didn’t need me to call the RACQ every two weeks.
Feeling supported also fed into the best and most significant event from 2013… falling in love with my Beloved and getting married.
» Getting Married!!!
When I was dating, I came across an opportunity to choose. Between old and new ways. And it was easy, because when I wrote down all my core desired feelings, Andrew ticked all my boxes. Every. Single. One.
When I’m with him I feel gentle, significant, supported, inspired and peaceful. It was a totally new experience for me to feel all those things in a relationship and that awareness helped us steer our experience to the deeper, trusting, expansive space of marriage with such confidence and knowing. Deepest. Gratitude. For this Love.
» Finding Mentors
Another part of 2013 was finding people to guide me along my journey by sharing tools and insights they’ve learnt before me. Mentoring has always been a huge part of my life. And last year I mentored with two wonderful people who’ve helped on my personal and professional journeys: Hiro Boga (who I’ve mentioned above) and James Roche for marketing and business advise.
I came across James through working with Ali Brown a few years ago. I love working with him; he’s a genuine, creative, heart-based entrepreneur and is helping me expand into the next evolution of my business for the new year. He also has a wonderfully contagious laugh that makes our 5am weekly Skype calls easier to get up for (he’s based in the USA and Europe).
» Creative Business Projects
Along with feeling significant, most of the business projects I embarked on last year also helped me feel inspired. I loved decorating the stall for Better Homes & Gardens, and I loved drawing the illustration for ABC Organic Gardener magazine.
» Exhibition of New Paintings
Having an exhibition at Artpeice Gallery after a year off (incredibly, I’ve been exhibiting for over a decade now, I can’t believe I’m that old) was another high-light. Being in my make-shift studio (with drop-sheets nailed under the cornice of my ceiling to protect the painted walls and lino covering my new flooring), dancing to iTunes and drinking wine with paint flowing off my brush and delighting me in unexpected ways is always a perfect way to spend an evening in my books.
Plus, Andrew loves to paint with me too. Perfecto.
» Travelling & Having Adventures
Travelling has long been the major way through which I feel inspired, so going to Bali, Tasmania, Thailand and outback Australia all fed my creative soul too. Even taking a simple afternoon drive led me to discover Probably the Most Incredible Story I’d Ever Heard.
I added peaceful to my core desired feelings part way through last year. As someone who has a tendency to move fast when I know what I want, whether it be new experiences, adventures, travels, courses or even significant relationships, I realised I wanted to temper that with time for integration, and an eye towards feeling peaceful.
I show up for my clients, family and friends better when I don’t feel anxious or like the world is shifting under my feet and I don’t know where to go next.
So, a few things I’m doing to feel peaceful include maintaining some sort of routine, even amongst my unconventional gypsie lifestyle (I’m currently writing this to you from a tiny town in the outback of Queensland) by simplifying and focusing on just two reliable self-care routines.
» 2 Self Care Routines
They include a daily walk (Lacey Jane loves this part, and she is an excellent reminder to get me outside to look at the changing trees, birds and neighbourhoods) and the other is writing and reflection. The quality of my writing isn’t the focus, just the regularity, and allowing myself the space to let my inner voices, selves and insights out onto the page. It creates space for calmness when all the different parts of me aren’t being suppressed or pushed under, but instead are being heard.
Reality in Action
Of course I didn’t go through 2013 feeling gentle, significant, supported, inspired and peaceful all the time. There were also times I felt incredibly anxious, surging grief, and down-right shitty.
What I’ve been learning though, is the more I acknowledge those feelings by bringing my awareness around them and meeting them as guests in my inner-sanctuary, allowing them space to be and asking what they may need, ministering to them as best I can so they can become part of my wholeness, then, there is space to redirect my attention towards my core desired feelings and as a result, my life keeps becoming richer and more fullfilling.
Soul-Satisfying Resources to Craft Your 2014
Here are four resources I’ve tasted, tested and truly love to help shape your 2014 into a year with soul, joy and wholeheartedness:
Hiro is like the grandmother of creative entrepreneurs and spiritual journeyers. I never knew much about chakras and the term ‘energy-alchemy’ made no sense to me. But I saw she mentored other women I admired (see below) and so I drove right in. Any time I’m feeling alone, bedraggled, threatened or unsafe, I sink into one of Hiro’s courses and feel my soul soothed by her wisdom, connected to the Sacred through nature, and restored back to right relationship with my world.
Leonie is a bubbling brook of bubbles. Her Create Your Amazing Year workbooks (both the Biz & Life editions) are great fun and have been the basis of my business planning tools for three years now.
Susana is my fellow adventurer on this path through entrepreneurship and service. Susana is offering a powerful program for women who want to Lead with Soul in 2014. I adore the way Susana has helped me over the years to get clear on what’s really important to me and my soul’s growth. Love. Her. Work. Applications close this Friday.
Where ever you are and whatever your dream is for 2014, I wish you all the resources you need for a wonderful year ahead. You are truly worth it.
“What does it feel like to be a wife?” I asked my dear girlfriend Christy after our wedding ceremony was over. “I’m not sure I feel it yet.”
“That’s because you don’t know yet what kind of wife you will be. You get to choose,” she said. “It’s what ever you make it, my darling girl.”
So, over the past month since the wedding, we’ve been crafting a marriage. We wanted to honour the love we’ve found and set things up for success right from the beginning. And what we’ve found is, as simple as it might sound, being gentle and kind with one another is the key that’s made this very quick transition into something that feels like gold.
We’ve chosen gentleness, kindness, an eye to peace, and much, much laughter, which has made our married life into a joyful dance, a comforting blanket, an hysterical stand-up comic session, and an emotional work-out all in one.
When angsts come up for either of us, we are remembering to focus on what it is we do want, instead of what we don’t want, and keep a gentle hold of the present moment and bigger picture. And we allow ourselves and each other to feel what ever it is we are feeling. It’s been very natural and surprisingly easy to swing into each other’s lives.
However, there has been a lot of time spent at my end in going through all my cupboards, drawers, closets and under the house, trying to make space in what has been a house for one person, into a house for a husband and wife.
Now, you may be wondering about the wedding and honeymoon, so let me tell you about the wedding first.
For the Big Day we wanted something very small and intimate, which resulted in a ceremony with just a handful of guests. It felt very old-fashioned in some ways. Instead of hiring strangers to do much of the ‘stuff’ that goes with a wedding, we hired or incorporated our friends’ talents.
My hair, for example, was done by my friend who’s usually a doctor. I sprung it on her at my hen’s party two nights before the wedding. Since I hadn’t arranged anything special and she was able to create a look that seemed elegant, yet practical (no hair falling in my eyes, that kind of thing) I went with that.
Amazingly, it turned out to be the hairstyle Andrew has literally dreamt his bride would have. We both had tears when I walked down the isle and our eyes met. I wanted to kiss him as soon I got to the front but luckily remembered I was supposed to wait for that.
The celebrant was an old friend who’s known me for fifteen years and she wrote the most beautiful and personally touching ceremony. However, in keeping with the unconventional path Andrew and I both love, it happened that the celebrant couldn’t make it on a Tuesday (I’d had a strong ‘intuitive hit’ with the date we were to be married, and it happened to fall on a Tuesday). So instead we asked my best friend Christy if she would stand in and read the ceremony on our wedding day.
It felt like a true honour to be married by my best friend. During the ceremony itself was the first time Andrew and I had heard the wording, so we looked at each other through our tears, smiled and melted and saw only each other.
Christy was almost as emotional as us in some places, which was lovely too. She and I have been through thick and thin together over the last twenty years; she’s like a sister. So having her blessing and her presence up there in that sacred space was incredibly precious. (Even though the official paperwork had to be done later, but I’ll get to that.)
Andrew’s gorgeous grown daughter was ‘best man’ and read a very uplifting and yet grounded passage about marriage we’d chosen. Her genuine delight at seeing her dad so happy made Andrew feel like the luckiest man alive and me feel so welcome in their family. She was also our bonus photographer and took beautiful photos of the occasion.
My girlfriend’s husband, Matt from The Canape Project, did the mouth-wateringly delicious catering. Which meant we could just kick back with our guests and enjoy amazing food for two nights and two days (we hired a beautiful old restored Queenslander in Montville for the wedding, with five bedrooms so guests could stay and celebrate with us).
Bec from Sunshine Photography took the delightfully rustic, elegant professional photos. She’s done the photos for my website, so we were happy to have a photographer we knew we’d feel comfortable with. She was excellent at creating and capturing moments where it felt the world had dissolved and it was only Andrew and me.
Andrew’s best mate and his wife took care of setting up the chairs and the styling with ribbons, trinkets and chalk-board writing. I was ever so thankful for their help. As it turns our things take time to prepare on a wedding day and you can’t be setting up the chairs and getting your hair done at the same time. I relearned the value and joy that comes with allowing other people to help you.
My mum graced the audience with her incredible dignity and wisdom and gave me the biggest hug after the ceremony. She shared how thrilled she is to have Andrew as her new son-in-law and like me, feels like he’s been part of the family for ages.
It was, all in all, a glorious day full of love, joyful tears and laughter and new beginnings.
For our honeymoon we jet-setted off to Thailand, just one day after Andrew’s passport had been processed (nothing like cutting things fine). It was his first time overseas as an adult and I loved darting through the wild traffic in the back of the taxi, seeing his face light up at the rubber tree plantations, hickledy-pickledy shop fronts, tropical gardens and general mayhem you feel when landing in parts of Asia for the first time.
We took a boat and stayed on a little island called Koh Yao. It’s one of the last islands with an authentic local fishing village still largely untouched by tourism. There were limestone cliffs (like in the James Bond film) and we went on original long boats, visited the rubber tree plantations (so interesting to see how rubber is harvested!), kayaked around the bays, took a Thai cooking class, and gazed at each other to the exclusion of everyone else as we are so apt at doing these days.
It was everything and nothing like the honeymoon we expected. Sometimes we have an idea of what something should be like, and it either falls short or exceeds your expectations. Koh Yoa, with it’s unpredictable supply of electricity, oppressing heat, and isolation was both wonderful and testing, and that was the beautiful thing about it, because we came home more united as a couple than ever. I put on weight too, which I never do, so that’s a sure sign we are truly settling into married life!
Arriving home, we had another wedding ceremony. This time with the celebrant, to sign all the paperwork and make everything official. We hadn’t planned anything for this process and ended up having the second ceremony at her mum’s house, where my late dog Jordie had often stayed when I went away, so I felt connected to my dear old companion. And beautifully, this time little Lacey-Jane could come and play with the other dogs too.
It was actually a really lovely thing to do. We got to hear the ceremony all over again. We’d felt our love grow even stronger and we could delight in and relish the beginning of our partnership all over again.
Funnily enough, I was even more emotional the second time. But just when I thought I might have to take a break to gather myself together, one of the dogs placed his hamburger chew-toy between Andrew’s feet wanting to play fetch and we all broke out laughing.
We had champagne and the best scones, jam and cream I’ve ever tasted as we signed the certificate, and felt so calm, relaxed and genuinely happy. It was another very private occasion celebrating what we’ve created together.
Not long ago I didn’t have any examples of relationships I desired for myself. Marriage really didn’t hold much, if any, appeal for me.
Then I opened up and began noticing other young, often entrepreneurial women who had strong but gentle men supporting them all the way. Their examples changed what I thought was possible in this world. It also shifted what I was looking for in a partner. Instead of the usual adrenaline I was used to equating with love, I looked for something much deeper. More solid.
With Andrew it feels like a tree trunk growing through my chest, down through my abdomen and into the earth. It’s so grounded it’s unshakable.
He is my partner, my friend, my soul-mate. And now, he is my husband.
So, what does it feel like to be a wife? For me, it feels expansive, supportive and supported, secure, light-hearted, grounded and gentle. In fact, being Andrew’s wife feels like a natural extension of who I already was, only fuller.
I’ll be taking two weeks off over the Christmas break to go camping in the van with Andrew and Lacey-Jane. Then in the new year I have some exciting news I’ve been working on for months now, which I can’t wait to share with you!!!
Wishing you a very blessed holiday season.
“Believe that anything is possible.”
In May I drove to Melbourne and around Tasmania with those words stuck to my van’s interior. I read them every morning when I woke up.
“Believe that anything is possible.” It was a print of a painting by Stephanie Ryan.
At the time I was on a journey with my beloved dog Jordie, my dearest companion of 16 years. We were having her last harrah, as it was clear she was nearing the end of her days. Before then, I’d taken her for walks and let her off the leash on the oval of my small town, imagining what my life would be like when she was gone. Trying to prepare for how I would cope.
When the time came, I explored the Beauty of Gentle Transitions and found Lacey Jane, my gorgeous Cavoodle puppy. She’s been growing up these past few months and I’ve been growing too. Challenging my own presumptions of what is possible in this life. Discovering that what is possible is more than I dared to dream.
I’ve hinted at it in past blog posts, but I’m so happy to share this news with you… I’m deeply and resoundingly in love with a truly incredible man, Andrew.
He’s undoubtedly the Love of My Life.
The way it happened, was I joined eHarmony as a bit of a giggle, just to meet some men and perhaps make a few new friends (I work with and love spending time with lots of women, but I wasn’t meeting any men out here in the country) and low and behold I fell in love. With a man who truly loves me too.
Now, if you’re wondering how long it takes for your life to turn around, we met after sharing emails and phone calls over a period of weeks, got engaged after spending just eight days together and we’re getting married next week!!!
It sounds extreme, to be moving so fast, but it’s been so grounded right from the beginning and old-fashioned in our courtship’s solidarity it’s been truly wonderful. Especially since neither of us were looking to get married, until we met each other that is.
For a while we kept expecting to wake up and freak out one morning, wondering what the heck we were doing, but instead it’s kept growing stronger, even more solid and even more beautiful. We’re both so happy and amazed to have actually found each other.
Is anything really possible?
Perhaps anything is possible when you know your heart’s desire, set a date, and give yourself the support you need to make things happen. We’ve pulled together a wedding and planned a honeymoon within a month. And perhaps most incredibly, it’s been beautiful. Simple. Easy. Ridiculously fun. And joyful.
We’ve told our friends and family. Surprisingly, none have fainted or been overly shocked. In fact, some have said they weren’t surprised at all.
I’ve ordered three simple wedding dresses online. I’m trusting at least one will arrive in time for the big day. The others I’ll wear on intimate dinner dates with close family and friends around the county to celebrate our marriage after the ceremony.
We’ve ordered the rings. They should be ready a couple of days before the wedding.
We’ve booked a beautiful venue where we’ll say our vows and make promises to each other under a tree, with a handful of people we love as witnesses.
But really, I don’t care if the dresses don’t arrive or aren’t perfect, or that the engagement ring will only be on my finger for a couple of days before we marry, or even what other people think. I just can’t wait to be married to Andrew. To be his wife.
It’s not something I ever thought could happen, that I’d fall this hard, fast and so surely.
But we just Know.
There is a beauty and boldness in just Knowing. Loving. Stepping out. Taking a risk. But do you know what? The risk we’ve both felt was in not following our hearts in this case, which are saying, “This is it. You have found him/her. Leap!”
The Boldness of Knowing…
I’ve found there’s something incredibly freeing, stable and productive that comes from Knowing. And leaping. But leaping with a sense of Knowing.
When I think about it, so many of the great things in my life have come about from a sense of Knowing. Before the outcome could be guaranteed; buying a house in the country; planting a garden; holding my first art exhibition; booking flights anywhere overseas; enrolling in courses such as Bschool; getting engaged.
And this time, it’s getting married. We just Know. Nothing has ever felt more natural. Which has come as a surprise to both of us. We just fit. We are so compatible it makes our heads spin. Sometimes it’s not really about time passing in life, it’s about Knowing.
But it wasn’t quite as linear as that. Not as straight forward.
We both cleared our clutter first; emotionally and physically. We got clear on the kind of partner we needed and wanted (I’ve dated a lot of men over the years and found what does and doesn’t work for me). Andrew knew he needed an independent woman. Which, you may have noticed, I am. Then, we put ourselves out there and took action, sometimes in ways that felt uncomfortable, such as writing an online dating profile.
We truly are soul mates. And I didn’t even believe in soul mates until I met Andrew!
For a girl who’s lived, travelled, worked, gardened, and dreamed alone for such a large part of her life, it’s a wonderful, surprising twist in the story I’ve told myself would likely be my future.
I thought I’d be a spinster. Someone who had many relationships, but never a soul-mate. Someone who intimidated the socks off most men. Someone who was so independent I wouldn’t fit into another person’s life. I thought I would probably continue dating a weird and wonderful string of professions; salesmen, artists, musicians, gypsies, preachers, teachers and cleaners and possibly, only if I was lucky, find someone who would fit into my life for a short season before we’d inevitably move apart again.
But, instead, I’ve found Andrew, who’s had a life as unconventional as mine. We’ve both lived on boats and on islands. In fact he’s lived all around the country, from the Pilbara to Mole Creek. He’s worked in over 35 different jobs, is excellent at what he does, has a massive beautiful heart and a set of values I truly admire.
I’ve never met a man I respect more. Which is really saying something. I’m so honoured I’m going to be his wife, and so thrilled he’s going to be my husband.
We just Know it’s the best thing for us. And we can’t wait.
We laugh. We love nature. We draw together, write together, read together. We really, truly, actionably and deeply love each other. And we are prepared to work together, and support each other in developing a relationship and life together where we each feel safe, cherished, and able to shine at our best.
What I find interesting, in looking back, when my health was teaching me to listen to my body and my heart, I couldn’t see much more than trying to get through the next meal without excruciating inflammation. I couldn’t see how I could transform my health and life by planting a garden.
When my dog was dying, I didn’t see how I could have a new family before Christmas. But a few days ago Andrew and I took Lacey Jane for a walk, and as they played on the oval where Jordie used to run, I saw my new little family, ready-made and here, now.
Being open to life’s twists and turns, listening to your heart, checking in with what feels true for you in your body, and being brave to take action are some of the lessons I’ve found have helped shape a life I adore and keeps evolving into a bigger, brighter, better version of what’s possible. What excites me, is the opportunity to help shape a world where others enjoy what’s possible to create their own bigger, brighter and better lives and health too.
Living your own unconventional life…
If you want to live an Unconventional Life, where you call your own shots, choose your own path, march to your own drum, and follow your heart, I’ve found you will need a few things along the way:
- Following a deep sense of Knowing what is good for you
- A touch of ‘who cares what other people think’ perspective
- Faith you’ll be supported by the Universe no matter what
- Willingness, determination and persistence
- Spontaneity isn’t essential, but I’ve found it is a by-product of knowing & trusting yourself and leads to all kinds of wonderful experiences
We are getting married next week (!!!) and then heading away to Thailand for our honeymoon. So to celebrate, I’m offering a Honeymoon Special this month on The Abundant Veggie Patch System! Get all the details below…
Remember, “Believe that anything is possible.” Following your inspiration, taking action and stepping out to create a life, relationship or garden you love is so, so worth it.
You’ll get to know Andrew over the coming weeks, months and years too. He’s truly wonderful. I just love him to bits, and he loves me to pieces.
I’m sure you’ll like him too.
HONEYMOON SPECIAL —————»»
If you want my personal help in creating an organic veggie patch that supports your health, then you have 5 days left to commit to a VERY special one-off promo.
Go through The Abundant Veggie Patch System and get your garden set up for Spring, and you’ll also get an exclusive private coaching call with me ($350 value).
My Abundant Veggie Patch System has helped people around the world grow their own organic food using simple, low-maintenance methods.
Info here » http://www.nicolachatham.com/courses/the-abundant-veggie-patch-system
This 6-week virtual home study course doesn’t usually have any live component but I’m adding one as a special bonus to celebrate getting married.
Stop worrying about pesticides on your veggies and discover the simplest way to grow organic food. It’s YOUR time to grow abundant veggies, develop your ‘green thumb’ and support your health with the best food possible.
Join by the 16th November and you’ll be invited to an exclusive private coaching call with me ($350 value).
Info here » http://www.nicolachatham.com/courses/the-abundant-veggie-patch-system
End 2013 with a garden you’ve always dreamed of, knowing you’re eating the best, most nutritious and delicious organic food possible.
Some people’s heros are sports stars or celebrities, mine is Deny King.
I’m not very ‘hip’ when it comes to popular culture. Basically I’m pretty uncool. Jess Ainscough had to explain to me who the Kardashians were (I’ve still never seen them), Susana Frioni is always introducing me to new music like Rihanna, and they both still laugh about the time we were driving along listening to the radio and I mentioned some music I’d enjoyed the week before, asking ‘Is there someone called Adele?’ They both nearly wet themselves.
I don’t mind not knowing. And I’m glad my friends share with me what they enjoy. But I don’t have a lot of bandwidth in my life to go searching out the Hottest 100, reading magazines or watching reality TV. I don’t usually enjoy those things, so they just doesn’t cross my radar.
However, I do have a nose for sussing out some pretty unusual people. I tend to think of them as people who’ve lived unconventional lives. Whether they’re artists, naturists, Permaculturists, adventures, authors, or something else entirely, their stories inspire me and I’m excited to share one of my all time favourites, my true heros, with you today in what I anticipate will become a bit of a feature on my blog known as An Unconventional Life series..
Hang on to your hat. Here we go. No Arias, Oscars, A Lists or record deals here, just good old fashioned interesting people doing weird & wonderful things.
Introducing… Deny King.
He later got his own property where he built a home, worked as a tin miner and raised a family. The challenging conditions wouldn’t have suited everyone, but Deny adored nature and living close to the earth, and his lifestyle reflected those core values.
With a natural affinity for all sorts of wildlife, Deny loved painting the local birds. He also provided generous hospitality to visitors, and was said to be as strong as an ox. Plus, he could navigate and predict the weather like a true bushman.
Overall, Deny is remembered as a genuine, generous and gentle man.I read the story of his life about 8 years ago and his legend left an indelible mark on my psyche.
When I was in Tasmania earlier this year I took a light plane flight with Par Avion and visited his home in the south west corner of Tassie.
It turned out to be one of the best days of my life. Seriously.
I made a little home-video of the trip to share with you. Press play to come on an adventure to a truly remarkable place, made by a truly remarkable man.
Where it is…
Deny’s place at Melaleuca is in the south-western corner of Tasmania. We took off from Hobart and followed the coast down to his place, then flew back inland over the mountains. It was spectacular.
The flight to Melaleuca
The boat trip on Bathurst Harbour
Deny’s Veggie Patch & Garden
What a great day…
Deny had a simple, healthy lifestyle.
If you’d love to learn how to grow your own organic food, and live a little more of an ‘unconventional life’, check out my free video The 5 Secrets to an Abundant Veggie Patch. You can also download the free PDF guide to refer back to again and again.
In the video, I share what it really takes to start and grow your organic veggie patch. Plus, I share what every beginner gardener needs to know about making a garden that fits in with their busy lifestyle.
Have an awesome week Sprouter,
PS. If you want to find a fun way to live your own simple, healthy lifestyle, check out this video.
I’ve been away for six days. And six nights. Visiting beautiful gardens. Staying in millionaire’s homes. Visiting Fairfax’s incredible estate. Filming my dear gardening mentor Rosina’s workshop ‘Every Seed is a Miracle’. Getting inspired. Feeling grateful. Loving life.
So grateful my health keeps getting stronger.
To top it off, I came home and found a veggie patch and potted garden that’s thriving, despite not having any rain for ages. It pretty much prepared dinner for me, which meant I didn’t have to get take-away or plan my meal late at night, despite being away for a week.
God I love my garden. It makes creating healthy meals the most simple and straight forward choice. Even after a week away with nothing in the fridge.
So long as there’s a tin of smoked salmon or equivalent in the cupboard, dinner can be ready in under ten minutes!
I actually feel a little out of practice when it comes to writing… I’ve been so busy this month. Well, busy for the past few months actually. Keeping up a schedule that just one year ago I would have been pushing my health to accomplish.
These past few months I’ve been having fun:
- Speaking at the Earth Event’s Raw Beauty workshop
- Presenting two ‘Food as Medicine’ talks on the Sunshine Coast
- Filming the Edible Garden Series and designing Jess Ainscough’s gorgeous new organic garden
- Having a stall the the Women’s Lifestyle expo
- visiting Jamberoo Valley Farm & The Rift estate (check out the beautiful gardens in the photos below)
- Painting 13 new oil paintings for an exhibition
- Having ‘Beyond the Horizon’ exhibition open at Artpiece Gallery
- Speaking on radio (twice!)
- Flying to Sydney & visiting galleries there
- Filming Rosina’s Every Seed is Sacred workshop
- Illustrating a Permaculture garden design and writing an article for ABC Organic Gardener magazine
- Participating in two photo shoots
- Filming new modules for Grow Organic Food in Pots
- Renovating my veggie patch
- Forgetting to train Lacey Jane
- Buying an awesome new van
- Not to mention lots of very cool things happening in my personal life!
Wow. It’s been huge.
And the only way I can see I’ve been able to keep up the pace and not burn out, but instead wake up feeling awesome each day for months now, is because my health is more solid than it’s been for years and years and I put that down to having a simple, healthy lifestyle supported by my garden.
Yes. It really has made it so much easier to be busy when I don’t have to plan my meals other than to take a piece of organic meat out of the freezer to have with a massive fresh salad picked directly from the garden. I don’t have to spend hours preparing breakfast, lunch and dinner. It takes 10 − 15 minutes and tastes amazing. My stomach can digest the food easily because it’s so clean and fresh. Not to mention delicious!
I remember I used to lose days, weeks and months of productivity and fun because my digestive system was so bloated, inflamed and painful. It really was a nightmare. I’d be trying to listen to what someone was saying at an art exhibition opening and instead be thinking about the fact my gut felt like it was on fire. Which wasn’t what you’d call good for building relationships. Or I’d be asked to do a project and have to turn it down because I simply couldn’t rely on my health to be sure I’d be able to deliver the results.
At the height of the illness I spent most of my time in bed, and not in a good way.
It was in a ‘I-can-see-I’m-actually-fading-away-with-ribs-poking-out-and-will-have-to-book-into-hospital-to-go-on-a-drip-if-I-don’t-find-an-answer’ way.
Thankfully, I did find an answer. Mora therapy helped me discover my digestive system had been attacked by parasites and allowed my naturopath and me to test what foods I could eat that didn’t cause hours and hours of swelling. Interestingly, it was organic fruits and veggies I could eat without causing more pain. Week by week, month by month I got stronger. It’s taken a few years to really anchor my healing, but after this whirlwind of the past few months I’m actually impressed with my health for the first time since I was about 10 years old and bubbling around with energy as you do at that age.
Lately I keep thinking I’ll have to have a nap in the afternoon to get through the day, only to find it’s not necessary. In the mornings I wake up with a spring in my step and glint in my eye. ‘The day is here and I’m ready to rock it!’ I think, instead of rolling over and wishing for more sleep. I even get up around 6:30am! Previously unheard of unless I had to catch a plane.
I don’t live a perfectly healthy life. I still love to eat some rubbish now and then. But I know the cornerstone and foundation for my health is really strong with all the vibrant fresh herbs and greens I eat multiple times a day. In very large portions. And with great enthusiasm because they are so quick, easy, delicious, and you got it, nutritious!
Having a garden makes it easy to make excellent choices about what you’re fueling your body with.
It’s like finding the cleanest, most bubbling spring water and guzzling it right from the source with your face plunged into the water while slurping up the goodness.
Only with a garden, you can have control over it being right in your back-yard because you can create it. You don’t have to go searching for a spring at the foothills of a mountain. You can chose to create your own oasis. Making a veggie patch and growing organic food in pots has been the best investment in my health hands down. Better than supplements, better than doctors, better than gym membership. And a whole lot more rewarding and fun.
I’d love, love, love to help you make a beautiful potted garden to support your healthy lifestyle so you can have a simple and delicious way to fuel your body with goodness. If that sounds good, I invite you to check out my fun and interactive course Grow Organic Food in Pots. We begin next week and I can’t wait to work with you to create a lifestyle that is actually fun, interesting and rewarding while you support your health in the best way possible.
Here’s to learning to listen to your body and giving it what it needs so you can live a fulfilling, awesome life. It’s totally worth it Sprouter!
PS. My garden is my biggest support system for making it easy to live well. You could find the same thing is true for you xx