Last drinks

Hi Lovelies,

If somebody had’ve told me 8 days ago that I’d be writing this today, I probably would have poured myself another glass of wine in defiance and laughed.  Anyone that knows me, knows I love a drink or three, (ok, or ten),  so the decision I’ve made has taken me a little by surprise.  But then again, it hasn’t.

What on earth am I talking about you ask?  Well it goes a little something like this…

I’ve always admired people who don’t drink alcohol at all.  Thoughts they’ve inspired include:  “Wow!  They must be really strong”;  “How amazing to not need it to relax and be sociable”;  “They must be saving SO much money”;  “They seem really confident in themselves”;  “They must be so productive every day”;  “How great to never have a hangover”! and much, much more.  If I’m really honest, I’d have to say I’ve felt envious and wished I could be like that too.

It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a few years now.  My inner voice has been telling me to give it up for some time.  Since this voice has been talking to me,  there’s been a few occasions when I have given myself the chance to feel what it’s like to not drink, for 3 weeks here, or a couple of months there and each time, it’s been nothing but positive.  But…I’ve always gone back to it.  It’s been too much fun to give up altogether.

However, l recently read Brene Brown’s amazing book ‘Daring Greatly’.  It’s all about shame, vulnerability and the human relationship with both and it made me realise many home truths.  I realised how much shame I had in my life and a great deal of it came down to my relationship with alcohol.

Now I’ve never been an alcoholic by any means.  In fact, when I’ve wanted to, I’ve been extremely disciplined with it.  I wasn’t drinking every day either, far from it.  I’ve attended countless functions and watched everybody drink while I drank mineral water.  BUT, I’ve always been an all or nothing person, so when I’ve not felt the need to be in control, I have totally let loose and after the first drink or two, something inside of me has gone ‘more, more, more’ until I’ve found myself not having an ‘off’ button.  The aftermath is ALWAYS shame and that affects how I feel about myself.  The result?  I don’t like that person.   I feel like that person is not who I am and as someone who is REALLY healthy most of the time, I’ve found it hard to reconcile that part of me.  THAT is not fun.

The choices I’ve made when I’ve been drinking are not my best work either; like eating when I’m not even hungry as well as eating foods I know my body doesn’t digest well, so I end up feeling like crap physically too.  And let’s not mention embarrassing social media posts (that have been deleted as soon as I’ve realised what a dick I was being).  Then I find myself asking ‘why do I always do this’?  The answer?  Because I’m not with myself when I make those choices.  I’m not ‘conscious’.  Well, life is too bloody short to spend time unconscious me thinks.

I’ve also felt like a fraud.  I’m in the final stage revisions of my book, which is all about healing and getting to a place of authentic health but how can I honestly put something like that out in to the world when there is an element of my health I’m still not comfortable with?  I can’t!!  That’s not authentic and I don’t want to be a liar.  I want to be raw, honest and truthful, so in order to do that, I need to make a change.

Last week I happened across a book by a Perth woman by the name of Rebecca Weller.  It is called ‘A Happier hour’.  I read the first chapter and so much of it resonated with me, so it got me thinking about the whole drinking thing again.  Rebecca is a health and wellness coach and the book is about her own journey of quitting alcohol.

A couple of days later, I met up with my best friend Judy for breakfast and we got chatting about it.  Judy has been sober for nearly six years and she knows it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time.  I told her I felt like I was preparing myself to give it up… “But I just have this event… and that event …and this event…coming up”.  What she said next really hit home.  “Yvette, there will always be something.  That’s life.  But what I can tell you is this:  giving up has been the best thing I have ever done”.  I could see how much she meant it and thought to myself, ‘I want that too’!

So, I decided I was going to finish the book and see how I felt after that.  Only that didn’t happen.

Later that day I realised I was ready.  I didn’t need to read someone else’s story first.  The only story that matters here is mine.  And that was it!  So last Wednesday night, I had my last drinks and I didn’t even know that’s what they were.  I think that was a great tactic because if I did know, I probably would have drunk a whole lot more, just for the sake of it.

It’s only been seven days (8 if you count today) but already I feel so strong and powerful for listening to my inner voice and making a decision for my physical, spiritual and mental health (not to mention the money I’ll save!).  I also have the same sense of ‘knowing’ that I had when I started seeing Jem.  I know this is so right for me.  I know this is who I’m meant to be.

I’m not thinking of it in terms of what I’m ‘giving up’, instead, it’s all about what I’m gaining.  I’m gaining better health; better connections with people due to being so present; more energy; better sleep; better choices in terms of how I fuel my body (as well as everything else); and so much more.  So in that sense, I’m not giving up anything at all really, am I?

Love & Light Always,

Yvette xxx

PS – I think some of you may be falling off your chairs right now!

Observe

Hi Lovelies,

This may sound like a weird thing to say and please excuse my french but I fucking love getting older!  It’s the best thing ever.  The word ‘older’ generally denotes a sense of degeneration but in my opinion, the opposite is the truth.  I feel like getting older is getting better in so many ways and given my current state of mind, I wouldn’t go back to my youth for anything.

Why?  Because the older I get, the more I see life though different eyes.  I now see things through the eyes of an observer and I’m not just talking about observing others.  I am talking about observing myself as well.  And that my Lovelies, is what changes everything.

I used to be so caught up in the spin cycle of life and had no sense of the space that exists around our thoughts or the connectedness we all share.  I found myself reacting to this and that with no discernment of perspective or awareness of my unruly thoughts.  My ego ruled my mind and became the motivation for everything.  I wouldn’t call that living.  It was exisiting.  Nothing more and nothing less.

Now I’m far from perfect.  I still get reactive at times and have to slap my ego around occasionally (especially where social media is concerned) but now, more often than not, I can keep myself in check with my sense of self awareness.  I question my motivation before acting and if I can see my ego rearing it’s ugly head, I put it back in it’s box and stop what I’m doing.

At the end of the day, the only ‘likes’ or validations we really need are our own anyway.  What we think of ourselves is what matters the most.  Everything else is simply ego based and in reality, the ego is like a black hole that can never be filled if you don’t think highly enough of yourself.

When I was really ill with bulimarexia, I was totally ruled by the voice in my head and had absolutely no idea that voice was not ‘me’.  It told me I was never enough of this or too much of that and those thoughts were literally killing me.  Then one day, I was given the book ‘You Can Heal Your Life’ by Louise Hay and upon reading it, I suddenly became aware that I could talk back to my thoughts and that voice talking back was the REAL me.  The other voice was what I referred to as  ‘the monster inside my head’.

It is clear a lot of people suffer from uncontrolled thoughts of a similar nature to what I have described and it comes down to low self esteem.  It is like having your very own bully inside your head and the longer it is allowed to control your mind, the stronger it gets.

So many unfortunately never get to the point where they can put space around their thoughts and understand that is not who they are and my heart breaks for them.  Having an awareness of being aware is the real you.

What it all comes down to is a lack of consciousness.  Instead of being mindful, present and here in the now, thoughts run away in to the past or the future and back again as well as in to negative patterns like comparison and criticism.  But, the more you are aware and ‘with’ yourself, the more you can talk to yourself like you would a best friend.  This enables you to also be present with others and relish in the experiences life has to offer.

As Eckhart Tolle so eloquently puts it in his best selling book ‘A New Earth’…if you are not in a state of acceptance, enthusiasm or enjoyment, you are out of alignment and being out of alignment leads to unhappiness not only for yourself but for others too.  That observation has yielded yet another dimension of an improved reality in my world.

Since I read ‘A New Earth’, which I’ll be honest, I started and restarted several times until I was ready to digest the information it gifted, I’ve noticed a real change in myself. Instead of getting shitty at something happening around me, my awareness has been leading me to the thought of ‘acceptance’….and that in and of itself has taken away any negative emotion tied to the experience I was having.  The rest of the time I seem to be in an organic state of acceptance, enjoyment or enthusiasm anyway, so it’s only negative reactions to external stuff that I’ve needed to adjust.  There is always going to be a lot of that however.  We all have loads of stuff happening around us on a daily basis, so this newness has been quite profound.

In the past, I’ve been so caught up in the ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ of this world that even my hubby has called me “the everything police” because I’ve always had something to say about stuff going on around me that I felt was wrong.  There is no peace in that now is there?!  Now that I can (more often than not) bring acceptance to those thoughts, they bounce off me like a springbok bouncing through the fields.  And that is a lovely way to be.

Until next time.

Love & Light Always,

Yvette xxx

 

Precious time

Hi Lovelies,

I hope this year is treating you well so far.  Can you believe it is March already?  It feels like January flew and we just skipped February altogether don’t you think?  Where on earth did it go?

Noticing the pace of things has been a reminder to me to slow down as much as I can.  The only time we really have is right now and if we are too busy thinking about the past or the future (and not spending time being present) then life just passes you by.

I found myself not being present a lot.  I was spending way too much time scrolling through posts on social media that had absolutely nothing to do with me or left me responding with a negative vibration and it literally made me so upset I couldn’t stop crying a few weekends ago.  In essence, I wasn’t looking after myself properly. I’d lost balance and I’d lost my sense of how best to invest in my ‘now’.  So I decided to change that.

I haven’t deactivated altogether because I want to keep my blog and business pages active.  I get contacted for work a lot through social media as well.  But, what I have done is made myself conscious about what I choose to look at and how much time I allow it to take up, which is only a couple of minutes per day now. I will send birthday messages because lets’ face it, how good is Facebook for birthdays?  See what I did there?    I’ll also look at positive posts, inspirational posts and posts that make me laugh.  I’ll give credit where credit is due and show support to those that need it.  I think social media is great for that too.  But… the second I see something that reminds me I’m wasting time or is negative in any way, I’m out of there and logged out.  That way, in order to go back and have a look, I need to think, do I really want to log in?  Is this really how I want to spend my time?

Before I did this, I had several books that I hadn’t finished reading around the place.  So often in my down time, I intended to get to them but instead of doing so, found myself wasting time instead.  I was absorbing negativity and crap instead of the value these books have now added to my life.

In the 4 weeks since I made this decision, I have finished reading 3 amazing books that I feel will help make me a much better person than scrolling through so much of other people’s ‘stuff’ ever will.

The first book is ‘Chapter One – You have the Power to Change Stuff’ by Daniel Flynn, Co Founder of The Thank You Group.  Do you guys know about this?  The Thank you group is an amazing  social enterprise of young people who started a not for profit business purely for the benefit of helping others.  First there was Thank You Water – of which all profits go to providing safe drinking water in countries that don’t have access to it.  Then they released Thank you Body – from which all profits go to provide sanitisation products in underprivileged countries; and now there is Thank you Baby – which gives all profits to help Mums in underprivileged countries with their baby care.  If you see their products on a shelf – buy them!!  They have provided a platform in which every single one of us can make a difference by purchasing their products.  You can even enter your barcode in to their website so you can see just how the product you have purchased is making a difference.  Amazing right?!  You can find out more about them here http://www.thankyou.co

Then I read ‘The Dalai Lama’s Cat’, by Perth man, David Michie.  Another great read written from the point of view of the cat and the wisdom she picked up by living with His Holiness.  Such an easy and great read.  I highly recommend this one, especially to cat lovers.

Finally, I finished ‘The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People’ by Stephen Covey.  Another absolutely brilliant read.  If we all thought and behaved in the ways this book suggests, the world would be a very different place.

The strongest message that comes from all of these books is about how much better life becomes when we make it all about how we can serve others.  We get so caught up in what we can get for ourselves that we often lose sight of this, which I think is a great cause of discontent and unhappiness.  Reading books that help you do this is a gift we give both to ourselves and others in our lives.

I wasn’t giving myself permission to slow down before.  I was caught up in the mindset of ‘I should be doing this’ or ‘I should be doing that’.  I guess what I absorbed from social media contributed to this in a way as it can lead you to compare your life to those of others.

Spending my time in this new, mindful way has been the best reminder that the only thing we should be doing is really thinking about how we invest in our precious time.

What are you going to do on this beautiful day?  Enjoy it.  And make it count.

Love & Light Always,

Yvette xxx

 

Let it go (like a fart)

Happy New Year Lovelies!

I hope 2017 has started well for you and you’re being gentle with yourself after the crazy rollercoaster ride that 2016 was for most of us.  I certainly am, even though the lessons for this year are already coming at me thick and fast.  But I guess that’s what happens when you make self improvement a priority.

One of those lessons for me is about letting go of situations totally out of my control and not allowing the actions of others to affect my energy or feelings.  It’s not something I’ve quite mastered yet but I am sure as hell working on it.  Hard.  In fact, not a day goes by that I don’t do some kind of research to try and figure out how best to deal with my self in relation to accepting what ‘is’ and understanding that many situations we encounter in life may never be resolved.  They are what they are and that has to be ok or it will drive you mad.

Some people are really good at this.  They can cop an arrow to their bubble of protection without so much as the slightest piercing; turn around from the attack; pivot on the shiny floor underneath them and skip away like nothing ever happened.  I envy those people and strive to be just like them one day.  Sooner rather than later I hope.

And then there’s those like me.  I’m a super sensitive and empathetic creature, so when I know someone is choosing to hurt me on purpose, I feel it and as much as I’d like to shake it off like Taylor Swift, it takes a little time for me to process and work through in order to feel centred again.  As I get older, this stage is taking less time with each hit but it’s still something I go through before bouncing back.

We are constantly told ‘don’t give your power away’; ‘what you give energy to will remain’ and statements like this that tell us we should not be letting outside entities shake our core but we are all human having a human experience and from what I can tell, most people are affected by the words and actions of others.  We just get better at dealing with it over time.

Humans can be volatile creatures.  Many whom we come in to contact with and whom we may have close (or not so close) relationships with can be stuck in a place they never move out of and this leads them to behave in ways that are hurtful to others.  I’m sure we’ve all had our share of being on the receiving end of toxic behaviour and the hardest hitting are when you know the person is doing it with intent.  But no matter what, at the end of the day, we can’t control how people choose to treat us.  All we can control is how we choose to respond.

I’m sure you’ve heard the term ‘hurt people hurt people’.  If you remind yourself of this when these situations arise, it makes them a lot easier to deal with.

Forgiveness is also very important; especially when you’ve never even received an apology.  It is a gift we give to ourselves more than anything else and it doesn’t have to mean you forget.  These two dudes express it so eloquently that I had to include this rather than try to express it myself:

 

It’s a powerful video isn’t it?

It’s not easy to let things go but we simply must for our own peace of mind.  Focus on forgiveness; feel whatever it is you need to feel; talk it out and then let it go (like a fart).

 

Love & Light Always,

Yvette xxx

It has to stop!

Hi Lovelies,

It’s that time of year when a lot of us become reflective of the year that was and life that is and all that stuff.  That is certainly the case for me.

Like a lot of people, a shit load of stuff has happened for me both internally and externally and I find myself in a place that is unsettled when it comes to what I see going on around me in this crazy world we live in.

Without beating around the bush, I feel the need to speak up about something that really bugs me and that is, the ridiculous, unattainable perfection we are subjected to on a daily basis that is quite frankly making us as a society sick.

Literally.

Imagery is everywhere and yes, we are visual creatures and it’s human nature to adore pretty, beautiful, shiny things but I think when it comes to advertising and the media, it has gone too far and the resulting repercussions are distressing.

What do I see?  I see people getting plastic surgery and enhancements at an alarming rate and a ridiculously young age.  I’m seeing humans becoming more and more mentally and physically ill with eating disorders and body image issues; in fact the rising prevalence of this is in line with the increased exposure to media and particularly social media.  I also see a disturbing amount of people struggling with ‘not being enough’ in so many ways and I witness people being made fun of for how they look time and time again.

It’s not okay and it has to stop.

99% of what we’re seeing and aspiring to isn’t real anyway.  It’s been said before and I’ll say it again, ‘Even the models in the pictures don’t look like the models in the pictures’.

And you know what’s even crazier?  We KNOW the images aren’t real.  We KNOW they are largely (if not mostly) computer generated but we still SEE them and assimilate them in to our psyche and the result of that is what causes the aforementioned.  Crazy right?!

As a makeup artist and part time model agent, I am aware I work in an industry that perpetuates all of the above.  I get that.  But that doesn’t mean I have to agree with what is happening.  I question how we got here and I think it’s up to all of us, especially those in the fashion / beauty / media / advertising industries, to start taking responsibility for what is happening and start asking the question “WHY?”

When a designer calls to ask for a model that is reed thin and obviously not healthy, I think we should be asking ‘Why do you want such a thin person to be in your campaign?’

When a photographer retouches a model’s body so much that they become almost, if not, totally unrecognisable, they should be asked ‘Why do you want this person to appear like an alien instead  of real?  Aren’t they enough?’

When a brand manager wants their images retouched to the point of fantasy and not reality, shouldn’t we be asking ‘Why do you want to use fantasy to sell your brand?’

When an agent says a model’s measurements are not small enough for their market, isn’t it time we said ‘Why?’  Who is it that expects the models to be so tiny?  WHO?  No one is taking responsibility for this and I think it’s time we ALL did.  It is up to every single one of us in the industry to be game changers.  I know it’s a mammoth task but I’m certainly up for it.  I think it’s time.

It’s clear in life that all things swing and roundabout.  What goes up must come down and all that, so I’m hoping that is true for the fashion and advertising world too.  You see, what I’m also witnessing is a revolution that wants to happen.  I see people cheer when a curvy woman struts the catwalk.  I see people comment on how amazing it is to see and hear about what is REAL in life and not this fantasy bullshit we are being fed… and that brings me hope.

I think what is real and true is what people want to see.  I think we’re tired of seeing perfection that doesn’t exist.  I think we want to know we are enough, just as we are.

I think it’s time to pull each other up and compliment each other for more than what we look like.  It’s time to give praise for who we are as people.  That’s my opinion anyway.

Are you with me?

Love & Light Always,

Yvette xxx

Respect

Hi Lovelies,

It’s been a while since I sat down to write.  Life has been hectic to say the least and a lot has gone on that has left me well and truly speechless, hence my absence.

Now that I’ve had time to digest some of it,  I feel the need to comment on how fired up society has been lately.  I don’t think I need to mention what about.

Whatever happened to the old social rule that you ‘don’t speak of politics, religion or money’?  It seems to have all but gone out the window of late, particularly when it comes to keyboard warriors on social media and the like.  It has become a free for all and the results are scary.  More segregation, separation and hate energy is spewing forth in to the world with vitriolic words than ever before and reactive, fearful respondents are taking part in a war of words that seem to go no where but downhill fast.

respect

What happened to respect?  If nothing else, don’t we all understand that we are all different?  Isn’t that what makes the world go around?  If we were all the same, we’d be robots instead of human beings having a human and completely individual experience.

As the amazing Anaïs Nin once said “We don’t see things as they are.  We see things as we are”.  There is no truer saying as far as I’m concerned.

And haven’t we all figured out that there is greater power in love and understanding than there is in fear?  I’d like to think that’s still believed by the majority of humans on earth.

The pendulum will always swing, it’s the law of gravity.  There will always be good and evil; truth and lies; day and night.  We need each of these to know, understand and appreciate the other.  One can simply not exist without it’s opposite.  How can we ever know what is right for us unless we know equally what is wrong?

All clichés aside,  I think we need to bring the focus back to ourselves in times of perceived darkness.  We need to love harder and respect others more wholeheartedly.  We need to understand that everyone has just as much right to believe in and stand for what they choose to, as we ourselves do.  It is not our place to try and sway anyone to our view uninvited.  That is merely going against the grain of love, compassion and respect, which in my opinion are the three cornerstones of peaceful living.

peace

Aren’t peace and respect what we all want?

It is simply impossible for anyone to know absolutely everything about the world, therefore there is no human that can be absolutely correct about all things.  It simply can’t be.  There will always be a story told by somebody, somewhere that will make you question what you thought you knew.

Each of us believes what we believe because of the life we have led.  It’s as simple as that.

Call me idealistic and perhaps a little naive, I don’t mind.  I know my nature is to always look on the brighter side of life and I don’t believe that’s a bad thing, it is simply who I am.  I will always make my decisions based on my inherent nature and I’d like to think there are just as many people, if not more, out there like me than otherwise. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate and respect those that err on the other side either.  I understand that without them, I wouldn’t know which side I belonged to.

So, I am hoping the current reactive state I’m witnessing is simply a pendulum swing and that things will start calming down sooner rather than later.  I am hoping respect for our differences will prevail instead of an incessant need to convince others we are right.  Who’s to say who is right and who is wrong in their opinions anyway?  We can only ever say what is right for us.

Many things in life are simply out of our control but how we choose to respond to those things is not.  All we can do is focus on who WE are as humans.  If more of us did that instead of pointing the finger, this world would undoubtedly be a better place.  That’s the kind of world I want to live in.

Love and Light Always,

Yvette xxx

 

 

 

Embrace

Hi Lovelies,

I recently saw the incredible and life-changing documentary ‘Embrace’.  It was so brilliant and gut wrenching that I bawled my eyes out through most of it because it hit home so strongly.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, here is the trailer:

This film should be seen by everyone, especially by women and I ask all Mum’s out there, please take your daughters.  You won’t regret it.

You see the distortion of body image and how negatively most of us view ourselves has reached truly disturbing proportions.  The percentage of people, especially women, who dislike their bodies and / or the way they look in general is incredibly sad and society has a lot to answer for when it comes to the projection of an unrealistic and unattainable ‘perfection’ that we can’t avoid.  That is unless of course we crawl under a rock and stay there.

It’s everywhere.  Images of so-called ‘beauty’ that are not real.  It’s been said before and I’ll repeat it now.  Not even the models in the images look like the models in the images.  They’ve been stretched and slimmed and primped and smoothed.  Eyes are made larger; teeth are whitened; breasts are enlarged and cheek bones are raised.  Even Men’s biceps and other body parts I won’t mention are exaggerated and chiselled.  No one actually looks like the pictures we are surrounded by and although we all know that photoshop is the culprit, the visual  assimilation of these images are what we are absorbing, whether that be subconsciously or consciously.

The beauty and fashion industries are worth billions of dollars and are sold to us in the seeking of perfection.  A perfection that doesn’t actually exist and largely lowers the vibration of society as a whole by making people feel they are ‘less than’.

It’s sad and it’s time we all took responsibility for what is going on, not only for ourselves but for the children growing up in this world of false imagery.

We owe it to ourselves and others to stop the nonsense and start spreading the message that ‘you are enough’ as you are.  People come in all shapes and sizes and that should be celebrated.  It’s what makes each and every one of us unique and special.  We are who we are because of everything we have experienced in our lives and none of us should feel like we’d be happier or better off if only we had bigger boobs or lost 5 kilos or got botox to smooth our skin.  It’s bullshit and it’s time to change the dialogue we allow to come out of our own mouths and the mouths of others.

It starts with you.  Watch your thoughts.  Watch what you allow to come out of your mouth.  Watch what you allow to be said by those you care about.  Pull yourself up.  Pull your loved ones up.  It’s time to pull society up on this craziness.

As someone who has been in the fashion and beauty industries for 26 years, I know full well the effects this falseness has had on not only myself but on others around me.  Eating disorders are rife and people are unhappy in their own skin, which has a ripple effect on their whole life.  I’ve been conditioned to ‘talk the talk’ and ‘walk the walk’ and have been criticising my own self for way too long.  I’ve also criticised others’ bodies and appearances and I’m ashamed of that.  Very ashamed.

I’ve done a lot of work over the years to change this but I have to say, seeing this film has been one of the biggest game changers for me.  Truly.  Madly.  Deeply.

This film helped me to embrace myself, jiggly thighs and all and I want nothing more than each and every one of you to feel the same way about yourselves, so make sure you see it!  It will be one of the most valuable documentaries you will ever see.

I believe it’s creator, Taryn Brumfitt, is an Angel in disguise.

embrace

Have you seen it?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Love & Light Always,

Yvette xxx