When the doubts come creeping in

When doubts start creeping in, it can be scary.

Beyond scary. They can rock you to your core, make you question everything in your mind. We all deal with doubts everyday -- will this outfit look good? Does my dinner taste okay or are they just lying to me? Do I actually have enough time to do everything?

What about the bigger doubts, though? Because something life-changing, whether it’s switching from whole milk to 2% or deciding to quit your job and go back to school, invites a much louder, larger, scarier school of doubts. The life-changing thing can seem great in theory, months before you decide to actually do it. But then you decide to do it, and suddenly all of your conviction is nowhere to be found. You feel lost, like someone changed all of the road signs without telling you and everyone else knew it. Suddenly you’re not only doubting that life-changing thing, but you’re doubting everything else too. You’re overwhelmed with doubts, and it can feel easier, even safer, to just decide to put off the life-changing thing. To stay within your comfort zone, your little area of well-known territory. And the doubts go away.

My challenge to you is to say “so what?” to those doubts surrounding your life-changing thing.

It could end up being a mistake -- so what? You’ll have lived and learned and pushed yourself. It could end up being amazing -- so what? You’re not doing this for the acclaim, you’re doing it because of a bone-deep need. It could end up changing your life -- so what? Lives change all the time, for all sorts of reasons. It could cause you to lose friends -- so what? Isn’t it better to know now who your true friends, your true soul circle is? It could cost too much money -- so what? You’re already paying an emotional/spiritual/physical cost for not doing the thing. Wouldn’t you rather pay a cost that you know will alleviate your soul’s cries? 

It isn’t easy to say “so what” to doubts or fears when they creep up. Believe me, I know. But the more you’re able to truly make the choice of acknowledging your fears and then doing that thing anyways? That’s what makes you sensational.

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How meditating for five days has changed my life (& how it can change yours, too!)

What if you could change everything, just by meditating for ten minutes a day?

What if you could feel more grounded? If your posture could improve? If you didn't feel overwhelmed by your to-do list? If you could take a few minutes and just breathe without freaking out?

What if you woke up excited about the day, instead of dreading it?

What if you were less prone to anger or frustration? If your first choice would be to find a solution to the problem instead of getting angry that there's a problem in the first place?

What if you could remove your ego from the situation?

What if you could focus for longer periods of time? If you could get more done in each day?

I bet all or some of that sounds enticing. I know it does to me! And let me just say:

I have experienced all of those things.

Not necessarily in that order, and not without falling back into old habits of being, but I can feel my internal landscape shifting. Just from meditating for about ten minutes every day. 

There is something so magical about when you walk away from a meditation session, when you feel calm and centered and hella powerful. Because connecting with yourself? It's a wicked confidence booster. 

I've been meditating every day since Monday (seriously, regularly for only FIVE DAYS) and I've already benefited so much from this amazing practice. So much so that I am making it one of my daily non-negotiables. (It's that powerful).

I understand if you're a little hesitant about all of this life-changing meditation stuff. It can seem a little woo-woo. And maybe it is, but does that mean that you shouldn't at least give it a try? After all, to meditate is just to "think deeply or focus one's mind for a period of time, in silence or with the aid of chanting," according to the Oxford English Dictionary. 

My challenge to you for this coming week: Take 10 minutes out of your day and meditate. Just give it seven days and see how you feel at the end of the week.

Because if five days can change my life this much, imagine what seven days could do for you!

Here are some of my favorite resources so far, curated just for you:

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Around Austin: #NMMakeSomeNoise

Last Friday, my parents and I decided to venture out into the madness of SXSW downtown for some adventuring.

Our first stop in the morning was the flatstock and music gear expo in the Convention Center, which was pretty cool! There are so, so many talented artists and getting to see different takes on the same band tours was really exciting. After that we stopped at the food trailer lot for lunch (I had some Chi'Lantro kimchi fries, of course!) before my mom and I headed to the Neiman Marcus Make Some Noise event!

Make Some Noise was a two-day event that consisted of panels + musical guests, although my mom and I only went to a couple of the panels on Friday. It was held at a house on Rainey Street, which was pretty fun! The only not as fun part was when it started raining about halfway through. And not drizzly rain, this was full-on proper rain. 

The whole event was about making noise, about not just sitting by and letting your life happen to you, but taking life by the reigns and taking control. Because you can either be quiet and sit in the passenger seat, or you can move over to the driver's seat, make some noise and live a more you-filled, exciting life that constantly amazes you and supports what your dreams and ambitions are.

The first panel that we saw was with Laura Dern, who I didn't realize was in Blue Velvet until I actually saw her. (Then I was way more excited!) I absolutely loved how open and authentic Laura was, and it was so interesting to hear her talk about raising her children, the work she's done over her career and with David Lynch, and on how the film industry is evolving and where it should go in the future.

The second panel was with Katie Lee, Lizzy Plapinger, and Rebecca Minkoff, where they talked about how they got started in their careers, what they wanted to be when they were little, the importance of having a good team behind you, and on sticking to your guns. There was one question that Audrey Gelman, the moderator for both panels, asked these ladies that has stayed with me over the weekend: What is one instance where someone (yourself or an outside party) has asked you, "who do you think you are?". Lizzy's answer in particular struck me, when she talked about going to board meetings with major music labels with her partner/co-founder of Neon Gold Records and not being looked at in the eye by any of the other label execs because they would only look at and talk to her partner, who happens to be a man. And that they decided not to work with those music labels if they wouldn't acknowledge her and her partner as equals in Neon Gold. 

One thing that I took away from #NMMakeSomeNoise was that we all, women and men alike, have a source of incredible inner strength inside of us, whether we are aware of it or not. And that it is our right, and almost a responsibility, to live loudly. To make some noise, to stand up for yourself and put yourself first. Because living quietly, letting everyone else take and decide what your path will be? That's not living in a vibrant, authentic way. It can be scary to make that noise, to break out of your shell, but ultimately it will be so worth it.

The other part of the #NMMakeSomeNoise event was the super-rad house that Neiman Marcus put together! It was a fusion of art + fashion, with a different theme to every room. Some were centered around music, there were Kevin Aucoin make-up artists set up in a couple of the rooms for makeovers, a photobooth room (!!) where you got to blow glitter at the camera. I loved how colorful + vibrant the house was, and how much it celebrated making noise -- whether that is with you outfit, your makeup, or your personality.

Stardust Book Club | February Selection

For this month's #stardustbookclub selection, I've picked Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. 

I wanted to pick a fiction book this month, and I FINALLY saw the movie version (which was AH-MAZING) over winter break, and wanted to read the original story. I'm so, so excited to delve into the world of Nick and Amy again! Be sure to use the #stardustbookclub hashtag when you post on any social media. :)

Don't forget that the Twitter chat for January's selection will be happening on Friday, February 6! The time will be announced SOON on Twitter so be sure you're following to make sure you know when we'll be discussing The Desire Map (aff.)!

Six Tips to Help You Get Organised This Year

Today I'm so happy to be bringing you a post from Sarah Poppy, a fellow BEBH-er and an absolute delight! She's going to be sharing some of her top tips to stay organized in the new year. Over to you, Sarah!

It’s hard to believe that the New Year is already here. Before we know it, January will be over.

If like so many of us you are feeling unorganised for the year ahead, I am here to tell you that it is not too late!

We work best when we are organised so spending some time planning will pay off in the long run and help you get on your way to a great 2015.

Getting organised will help you to re-focus, feel motivated and be on your way to achieving your goals and having a great year.

1. Get yourself a good calendar or diary

This is number one in my book. As a busy working mum, there is so much to remember – work commitments, family commitments, kids appointments, birthdays, birthday parties and the list goes on.

Without a calendar or diary you will feel unorganised, forget appointments and important dates.

You may like a hardcopy calendar or you may like to use an online one. Whatever your preference for organising your life, you need to get onto it as a priority if you haven’t already. 

If you like a physical diary or calendar, here are some that I recommend.

2. Plan out your year

A yearly planner is a great addition to your calendar or diary. Having a yearly planner that you can put up somewhere visible in your home is a great way to record all the big events happening during the year; school holidays, weddings, birthdays, holidays from work, day care closures, overseas travel, public holidays, anniversaries and the list goes on.

Having a yearly planner allows you to plan out your year and gives you something to work towards or look forward to.

I have already scheduled my holiday to Bali in the middle of the year on my yearly planner.

3. Evaluate and organise your budget

A budget is another essential for me. Not knowing what money is coming in and what money is going out can leave you feeling stressed, overwhelmed and unable to pay your bills.

It is important to re-evaluate your budget regularly and for me the start of the year is a great time to do it, especially after the increased spending over the festive season.

A budget allows you to evaluate your current financial situation and set out your financial objectives for the year ahead. You may want to save to buy a house or go on a holiday or pay off some debts. You cant do this without knowing your budget.

There are some great budget planners that you can download online otherwise you could use whatever system works for you.

4. Set goals

As each year rolls around it is great to set yourself goals so that at the end of the year you can look back to see what you have achieved.

Break your goals down into the different areas of your life whether they are family, career, financial, fitness or wellbeing goals. Think a few key areas that suit your life and break your goals down under each.

Write them down.

Keep them where you can see them and review on a regular basis whether that is weekly, fortnightly or monthly – whatever works for you.

Give yourself time frames for your goals but also give yourself some flexibility to tweak and change them as the year progresses.

If you want to get creative with you goals you could make yourself a vision board, incorporating your goals. Once it is done you need to put it up somewhere that is visible.

This is a fun activity to do and placing it somewhere visible will constantly remind you of what you want to achieve for this year – keeping you on track.

5. Plan your meals

We all lead busy lives and having to think about what to cook for dinner every night can take a lot of time out of your day if you don’t have a plan.

Since going back to work after having my children, meal planning has become a saviour. There is nothing worse than leaving work, picking up the kids, getting home and having to plan what to cook.

Taking some time out of your week to plan you meals will save you time, save you money and reduce stress.

Planning your meals also leads to healthier choices and better meals for you and your family.

This can become a really quick activity once you are experienced in planning your meals and will free up your time to focus on other activities.

For more on meal planning and a free meal planning template, read my post ’10 reasons why you should plan your meals’.

6. Clear your clutter

Plan some time in your schedule to clear the clutter. Tidy up your office, sort out your wardrobe, clean out your kitchen cupboards, linen cupboards and any other spots around your home.

Get rid of anything you don’t use anymore – Divide these into three areas;

  1. Those that can be sold

  2. Those you can give to charity

  3. Those you need to chuck in the bin

If you have an office, the New Year is also a good time to clear the clutter from your desk. Get your files into order and continue with the filing system throughout the course of the year. Not only will it keep you organised, but you will know where everything is and if you keep on top of the clutter you won’t be doing this in a year’s time.

Having an organised home and office = an organised and focused mind. You get get focused when everything around you is in chaos.



Sarah is wife to Ben, mum to Hudson and Ashlee. In her professional life she works as a Marketing and Events Manager in the non-profit sector. She is passionate about mums returning to work after having kids and has created working mums collective as a place for working mums to connect, share stories and advice, celebrate successes and really support and empower each other.


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