Category Archives: Career

Living the dream

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A few days ago I said to someone “congratulations, you’re living the dream.” Afterwards I wondered, what does that even mean? So often we say to people, wow, look at you, living the dream! But what is “living the dream”? Who’s dream are we referring to anyway?

My dream is to work not because I have to but because I want to. It’s having the freedom to do whatever, be wherever and study whatever. It’s having options. I’m working towards that dream, and I can feel it coming. But unless you know what you’re working towards, how do you know what to do to get it?

What does “living the dream” mean to you?

Life, death and everything in between

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I know, I know, I’ve gone and done the disappearing act again. Well, let me put it to you this way. When I disappear for weeks at a time it’s usually because something big has happened, or I’m having another life shift (I’m really starting to get used to these).

So, my explanation for this disappearance is the very sad death of my dear 95 year old Nanna, and then another life shift. But first, my Nan.

Nan was a strong lady and one of my inspirational people, having raised 7 children and looked after her own parents during a period of no electricity, out on the farm, with no neighbours, while her husband worked all day. Yikes!! She had all her wits about her, though her body was weak, right up until the last week of her life. That was when she began the dying process.

In hindsight, Nan knew she was going long before she went. It was little things we’d all noticed over a period of time but never really put two and two together. The day she began having delusions and ended up in hospital we all realised that the inevitable had probably come.

I made it my goal to be there with Nan in hospital as much as possible over those 9 days. I don’t know why, but I wanted to be there to experience the process. I’m sure it sounds morbid, but all of a sudden I had this fascination with the whole dying process. Enough so that I decided to see what oh wise Google had to say about it.

Turns out there is an actual process and it begins a few months before actual death. There were stages that my Nan had been through, and it turned out that, according to several sources, Nan was in her final days of life. She went from being a normal, albeit slightly immobile old woman to being barely able to speak, unable to eat or swallow, and floating in and out of consciousness. All just like *that* (clicks).

And reading about the dying process really helped me understand and accept what was happening. This combined with my belief of what happens after death, I found all the information almost…comforting. Nan had been waiting for this day to come for a few years, I believe. I mean, what else do you do in a nursing home, really?

I knew that Nan was done, she was tired. We all knew it. She’d seen 19 grandchildren and 9 great-grand children. She’d seen her children born, get married and in some cases pass before her, as well as her husband. She’d spent the last 30 years of her life living on her own, and despite constant visits from her family that must have been a lonely life.

So, 9 days after being admitted to hospital, she died peacefully, on her own, in Werribee Hospital’s palliative care ward at 12:30am on Saturday 14th August. Just half an hour after Friday 13th. Although she’d not been alone the whole time she was in hospital, Nan chose a moment she was alone and at peace to leave this existence. Typical Nan, not wanting a fuss to be made.

It will take a while to get used to the fact that our family of 52 no longer has a leader, our Matriarch, or, as one cousin put it, The Don. Nan was behind every thought and action in this family, even if those thoughts and actions never came from her. She was an enormous inspiration to me, as I would often find myself complaining about parenting…like having cracked nipples when trying to breastfeed number two. When Nan told me she had years of constantly painful boobs from her never-ending breast feeding I shut the hell up and dealt with it.

As for the life change, during this period of Nan’s dying I was again questioning my own place in existence. I’d found alternative therapies, writing and PR but I didn’t quite feel…there yet. I hadn’t quite found my niche. While Nan was in hospital I spent a lot of time talking to my family, sometimes offering advice, sometimes just listening. At the same time, two of my friends were going through an incredibly rough time, and I found myself desperately wanting to help them, listening to their problems and offering advice where I could. And all of a sudden, it hit me. Counselling! That’s what I’ve been put here for, to help people through their life problems. I often find that people I’ve only just met are telling me their problems, so that even they don’t know why they’re doing it. I get this wonderful feeling from helping people, or even just being there for them when they need to vent. And so, as of next year, it’s back to school for me!

I feel so lucky that I’m in the position where I can follow all of my passions; writing, PR, photography, alternative therapies, and now counselling. I plan on making a big difference in this world, and I plan on using all of my skills to do this. I know I’ve found my niche finally, and I have to say, it’s a bloody good feeling.

How to de-clutter your life to get what you want

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This is a long post as it is a step-by-step guide on how to de-clutter your life to discover what you are passionate about and what direction you should be taking. If you want to pass on the fluff just skip to half way down the post where the list starts.

I learned the hard way that if you’re not doing what you’re passionate about and what truly makes happy then eventually you will begin to question your path in life.

I’m sure this isn’t relevant for everyone, but let’s face it, we’re so busy focused on what our ego wants- money, materialistic things, holidays, houses- that we never give thought to what our true selves want. We are motivated by money when we should be motivated by passion, joy and happiness. If we remove the money factor and concentrate on the latter then over time (as I will prove to you later in this post) the money will follow anyway. It is amAZING the things that happen once money isn’t your motivating factor.

If, eventually, you do find yourself in that depression where you don’t know who you are and what you want in life, I can try to help by sharing with you what I did when I reached that stage one year ago. It’s a step by step, very easy process, but you have to be brutal and honest otherwise you’re wasting your time.

So, to try and get to that point where you have a clear idea of who you are and what direction you truly want to take, you need to de-clutter your life and your thoughts. You need to get past all that crap you think you want, to unearth your true desires. I did this process over a period of a few weeks and I cannot tell you how much it helped me.

How to de-clutter
PART 1- De-clutter your life

  1. Get yourself a brand new diary, journal or notebook. This is the first day of the rest of your life and it will help immensely if you have somewhere to write down this sudden flashes of insight which you will get once you start de-cluttering.
  2. Go for regular walks or find a space to sit and spend some time alone. I’m lucky to be living near a river so I went down there most days for a couple of weeks. Try not to think about anything, just watch what’s going on around you. Don’t allow your mind to rest on any thought for too long, just notice it and let it go. If you find you simply can’t stop thinking about things, then make the subject of your thoughts this step-by-step guide. Don’t think about work, what you think you want, the house, the chores, money, children, anything. Observe the types of thoughts that pop into your mind. Yes, this is a form of meditation, and it’s vital for clarity.
  3. Make a list of all the things you are currently doing in your life, and next to each thing write the reason you are doing them. My list went something like this (motivating factors in brackets):
    – Studying (MA Writing & Lit)- because I love reading and writing and learning new things (passion).
    – Doing PR for the Williamstown Lit Fest- because I need money (money) but also because I like the Lit Fest as it gives me a chance to network in the industry of writing and publishing (money & passion).
    – Real Magazine- I love writing and combining this love with being able to help teenagers (passion) and because I thought it would look good on my CV (money).
    – Travelling in Aust Magazine- because I love travel, writing and mags and this is the perfect opp to get published as a travel writer (passion- at the time I was not getting paid for it)
    – Helping other people with PR stuff- to earn extra cash and to network and meet people that could help me in the future (money)
  4. Next, write a list of the things you are doing that you don’t really want to be doing. For me, it basically meant removing the ones that had only money as a motivation. Just, for a moment, forget about money, and concentrate on which ones are making you happy. I know this is hard to do if you have a mortgage and bills to pay and mouths to feed. But think about it. If you’re happy doing what your doing then money isn’t a factor.
  5. This is the hard part. The things you’re doing that you don’t want to be, get rid of them. Be brutal. Now, if your job is included on this list then you can hold off on that one for a while, but everything else must go. If you can’t do this then you’re not ready for the next steps yet, so come back when you are. When I did this part it meant letting down some people. But by then I’d decided that my happiness and sanity was far more important, and that these people would get over it. If they held it against me then they weren’t the kind of people I wanted in my life. If they’re worth having in your life then they will be supportive and encouraging. And let me tell you; the relief of letting those things go that I didn’t want to be doing far outweighed the guilt I felt for letting people down.
  6. The next step is to write down the things that you want to be doing that you’re not. This can be anything from your ideal jobs to your relationships to hobbies. All the things you want in your life that you don’t have, put them down. In this list you can include money, because we know that money is necessary for survival. But the thing is, you can make money from doing what you love, so this is where you need to differentiate. My list looked something like this:
    – Part time job as an Editorial Assistant
    – Make a veggie garden
    – Yoga and meditation
    – Getting paid to write
    – Playing with my sons without being impatient and mean

    PART 2- De-clutter your emotions

  7. Write a list of every single thing that you worry about. Be thorough. Every. single. thing. A few on my list were:
    – That I will never figure out what it is that I truly desire
    – That I will always live in this suburb
    – That I will never be able to learn all the things that I want
    – That I will be a terrible mother and wife
    – That I will never have enough money to do all the things that I want to do in life- travel, study, etc etc
  8. Burn that list, and with it allow your worries and fears to be burned away with it. This is a little abstract, but try and let go of all these worries and have faith that the universe, or God, or your strengths will take care of those worries for you. Then, any time you find yourself worrying about any of these things, remind yourself that you burned them so they’ve been taken care of.
    Now let me share my experience of this step. My list was long, consisting of 19 worries. I did this step, and burned the list and every time I found myself worrying about any of them I reminded myself that the Universe would take care of them. A week later (it happened very quickly, and I know it was a week later because I’d been diarising all of this) I realised something. I was no longer worried about any of the things on that list. Not one single thing. How? Because my entire perspective had shifted. I’d had a paradigm shift, where things that I thought were important were no longer so. This shift in perspective had allowed me to let go of all my previous worries, because I’d realised that the things that were most important to me were already right there in front of me. That moment of realisation that I was no longer worried about those things was a true shivers-down-my-spine moment, and a testament of the effectiveness of this process.
  9. Diarise everything you do, how it makes you feel. Whenever you go to spend time on your own, take your diary. Thoughts will come through that you need to remember. Once I’d begun de-cluttering I got I guess you could call them messages, who knows where from, the universe, my guides, God, whatever, it’s all the same. By this time, too, I was volunteering at the Centre for Mind, Body and Spirit, to get a bit of peace and calm in my life. My counsellor had suggested I do some volunteer work to get out of the house (because part of my depression was that I felt like I didn’t have a life). But I didn’t want to go down the usual Red Cross, St Vinnies or whatever road because I felt that wasn’t true to who I was. So instead I thought I’d volunteer somewhere I actually resonated with.  Through this and my moments alone I began to get very clear ideas of what I needed to do. I will share some of these moments of clarity with you:
    – Stop lying to yourself: I’d been so focussed on finding that glamorous, well paid job with lots of interesting people, travel and money that I had lost what it was I really wanted. This is why sometimes your ego can be your worst enemy.
    – Defer my Masters for 6-12 months to focus on what I want: during this time I would do courses on meditation, practice yoga, learn about crystal healing and basically indulge my spiritual desires.
    – The reason I have changed my mind about what I want to do so many times (NFP PR, business management, corporate PR, journalist, writer, editor, photographer, consultancy) was because none of these jobs were considered important enough for me to hold on to. They were all missing an element, or I was missing an element. There was something I was overlooking.
  10. Find someone to inspire and motivate you, a role model, someone you aspire to be like. And find a quote or philosophy to live by. I have tonnes of people who motivate and inspire me, and my two quotes/philosophies are:
    “Why be ordinary when you can be extraordinary?”
    “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams; live the life you imagine!”
  11. If you just can’t see what you’re supposed to be doing, ask some very close friends what they see you doing. Often they have a very good idea of what would “suit” you without being distracted by ego. Example 1: Years ago, when I told a friend of mine that I was studying BA Public Relations, she replied “Really?? I pictured you doing something like philosophy or psychology.” Example 2: another friend has recently started studying Environmental Management. This suits her to a T, it’s exactly what I picture her doing, and she’s happier than I’ve ever known her to be in the 9 years we’ve been friends. You know when you look at someone you know really well and you can just picture them doing some jobs amazingly, and others just don’t suit? That’s what I’m talking about.

I recommend you do these steps over a period of a few weeks. You need to have spent some time alone before your thoughts will begin to clear. I shit you not, once you’ve cleared your mind of all that chatter then insights will begin to come through.

It’s now a measly 11 months later and oh.my.god so much has changed. I realised that all this time in my life I’d been denying a very important part of myself, the spiritual part that yearned to help people, to grow spiritually and to learn. I’d always been interested in this kind of thing but never thought I’d make a career out of it because, you know, it’s not…real or something.

But I started volunteering at the Centre, and all of a sudden my spirit was being fulfilled. I stopped thinking about money and all of a sudden this voluntary position opened up opportunities to make money through teaching meditation and doing Reiki and crystal therapy. I am now doing everything I want to be doing and the money just came along with it. Somehow it just all worked out. And it’s because I’ve found a balance between nurturing my spiritual side and the desire to help other people with my love of reading and writing and literature and photography and travel. I’ve found a way to balance all aspects of my personality.

The most important lessons I learned from this process was:

  1. Don’t let money be your motivating factor
  2. Don’t deny any part of your personality or desires
  3. Don’t think you have to sacrifice happiness for money or vice versa. You CAN have BOTH.
  4. DON’T LET ANYBODY DISCOURAGE YOU! EVER! People will try to tell you you can’t do that or that won’t make you money etc etc. Don’t let them talk you out of it. Just take pity on them that they don’t have the positive, hopeful outlook you do, that they’ll probably be cynical and pessimistic until they hit the bottom.

Now, I know everyone is different, and that this spiritual side does not apply to everyone. But you can still follow the steps keeping in mind what it is that you do that makes you happy. THink about the moments in your life you’ve been happiest. What were you doing? Who were you with? Ask yourself why you are doing things. Why, why, why. Be HONEST. Be BRUTAL. Surround yourself with people who ARE doing what they love, people who are positive and optimistic, people who love life and all it has to offer. The more you focus on these people, the more they will come into your life. The more of these people in your life, the faster your own perspective alters, and the faster your own perspective alters the more good things you will draw in. I PROMISE. It is much like The Secret says. Stop focusing on what you don’t have. Focus on what you want and feel gratitude as though you’ve already got it. Make a vision board by cutting out pictures of things you like and want and sticking them on paper to get a visual of the things you want in your life.

And remember,  you do NOT have to sacrifice happiness for money. You CAN have both. In fact, if you’re doing what makes you happy, money is just not important anymore, and somehow, when you’re doing what you love, the money just flows anyway. If you have a mortgage, work something out. Put it on hold for 12 months while you spend that time exploring different options. A mortgage is the biggest obstacle in allowing people to do what they want in their lives. If you’re bank allows you to put it on hold for 12 months (as I know some do) then take that option. Spend that time doing different courses, studying, whatever you need to discover what makes you happy. Take up that hobby you’ve never had time or money to do. Do whatever you have to.

I really hope that this advice find the people who need it, and I would love for you to share your own experiences, or down the track if you follow this advice please share how it went. If you have any questions on how to do something or what to do next please feel free to ask. Or, if you have any advice you’d like to share that worked for you, those The Secret moments that have come true, then share! The more stories we hear from people we actually know (as opposed to a friend of a friend) the more inspired we are and the more faith we have that it can happen to us!! But have faith that life is awesome and you don’t have to accept things the way they are. You can change them.

Much love!!!

xo

How to not hire nuff nuffs

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Which type are you? I'm number 1...

It always amazes me to hear people complain when they can’t find an employee who will commit, who is good enough, a good writer, takes initiative or whatever else. And when I say it “amazes” me, what I really mean is it shits me. A lot.

I recently started writing for a new street magazine and met the editor for the first time last week. On asking him how many other writers for he had for the mag he sort of ummed and ahhhed and said that he’d had six writers for the last issue, but he wasn’t happy with any of them.

Apparently it’s hard to find good, committed writers, and he only has two writers that he really likes and wants to keep (yes, if you’re wondering, I am one of them *big grin*). This is strange, because I was under the impression that good writers are a dime a dozen, but apparently not. He gets people who email him once asking about submitting writing, then never following up, and the other type of person will email him about submissions, then ask him what they should write about rather than taking the initiative and putting forward suggestions.

Here I am thinking I’ve got a great job because I can write about whatever I want (as long as it’s relevant and interesting of course), which is exactly what I’ve wanted all along! And yet he finds it hard to find good writers! What the?

Then there was this post on Mia Freedman’s website last week about how she found it hard to find someone worth recruiting, and about how hard the recruitment process is. And increasingly I’m hearing, from various PR, writing and publishing people, about how many nuff nuffs there are out there who end up not being able to write well, don’t know their grammar and punctuation, or have outrageous demands.

This outrages me so much. Do you know why? Because I am one of those committed, hard working people dammit! I mean, I’m the type of person to fly to another state and help out, unpaid, just to prove my eagerness to learn about the industry and to meet my new editor! I go above and beyond for people, and am incredibly loyal (IF they deserve my loyalty). And I take a job not just as a job, but as a path to knowledge. In fact, I don’t do ANYTHING for the money, but because I love it. So, if you’ve received an application from me you should feel lucky.

But somehow, after over 50 job applications last year, I never received a single call. This tells me a couple of things. First, recruitment on the basis of a CV, especially in writing, editing and public relations is stupid. I know I must be doing something wrong in my CV because I’ve got a lot of experience and I’m good at what I do, but I’m clearly not putting that across. I know these industries are about communicating effectively, but a CV is just a piece of paper with dot points of what you’ve done. You have a set format, and there’s not much room for personality.

The three jobs (two writing, one PR) and one volunteer position (PR and editorial) I have at the moment were secured BEFORE they saw my CV. My CV was just an afterthought, a piece of paper which tells them my employment history, my experience, specialties and strengths. My CV was something they asked for AFTER I’d started working for them. But they were able to gauge, by my attitude and communication skills, that I am good at what I do and therefore worth keeping.

So, having had no luck whatsover with sending out job apps, yet having received three jobs on the basis of my personality confirms that the CV process just isn’t enough. And I put forward a proposal to change the recruitment process (in the communications/media/arts industries) to something like this:

1. Send a brief email explaining why they should consider you for an interview. This leaves room to inject personality while getting your point across in a succinct and effective manner. Much less time consuming for the recruiter, much better chances for the job-seeker: everyone’s a winner.

2. If your email was interesting enough then you are called in for an interview, where the recruiter gets a real feel for who you are and what you can do, as well as whether your personality will fit the workplace (because let’s face it, I know you can’t disciminate on personality, but it has a LOT to do with creating a good work atmosphere. What’s the point of having the best person for the job when they can’t get along with the rest of the team?).

3. Bring your CV to the interview. If the interview went well the recruiter can decide whether they want to spend the extra time learning about your employment history. If the interview doesn’t go well the recruiter doesn’t even have too look at it. If you haven’t been able to communicate the most relevant experiences you’ve had in the email and in the interview then you’re not good enough for the job, and the recruiter won’t be missing out on anything by not reading the CV.

So there you have it, the new recruitment process. I guarantee that if employee used this process they’d get far better results. It may be a little more time consuming than the current process, but if it saves you having to go through the process more than once then really it’s actually a time saver.

One of the jobs I applied for was with a very small media/publishing/publicity company that I won’t name. I read the website from start to finish and then pointed out in my cover letter all the spelling/grammar mistakes in the website and how, with me working for them they’d never have to worry about that. I didn’t get the job (I didn’t even get a call) but last time I checked their website they’d corrected all the mistakes I pointed out. Maybe it was a bit bold of me to do that, but I figured if they couldn’t deal with me pointing out how it needed improving then they wouldn’t appreciate what I had to offer them in the first place.

The other thing is that I’ve heard some awful stories from HR people about how sometimes they won’t look at a CV JUST because they don’t like the font or the layout!! If this is true then it serves all those people right for ending up with nuff nuffs. But is it true? What about you? Are you a potential recruiter? What do you think of the new process? Is it realistic? Have you ever judged someone on the layout of their CV? Have you ever hired someone you thought they’d be brilliant who ended up being nuff nuffs?

A little bit more…

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I spent the last few hours organising my blog which now includes another three pages on my photography, writing and public relations experience (some of which still needs to be updated, but it’s 12:50am and I’m at my limit for the night).

Just a little bit more to satisfy your curiousity…

🙂

A call for professional advice…

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A writer...

I’m having a dilemma so I was hoping some of you very wise people out there might be able to help.

Work is really starting to pick up for me. I’m getting more writing, PR and photography gigs. I’m also starting up alternative therapies (crystal therapy and Reiki), as well as meditation workshops.

These two aspects are two very important sides of me; the writing, creative person, and the healing, spiritual person. I’m a big believer in a holistic approach to life, and in remembering that we are not just made up of physical particles but of energy as well, which is JUST as important.

...An alternative therapist...

So, my question is this. Being that these two sides- the writing/PR, and the spiritual/healer- make up who I am, do I split my services into two business cards or do I, like I would rather do, have one business card that has the writing/PR stuff on one side, and the alternative therapies stuff on the other?

You see, I want to have both things on one card (writing, photography & PR on one, Reiki, crystal therapy and meditation on the other)  because that’s me saying I am one person who does all these things. There is the spiritual side, and the physical side, and I am made up equally of both. I don’t want to split who I am into two business cards, that just seems wrong, like I’m denying myself or hiding parts of me.

...A photographer...

But there is the argument that a PR person may not be interested in an alternative therapist’s card and vice versa (although to say they are mutually exclusive is rubbish), and that it may be off-putting in that many people are of the opinion that no intelligent, smart and competent person can be into alternative therapies and other such “airy-fairy nonsense”.

So, I need some professional advice from you lovely people out there, particularly those of you in the creative/communications industries who don’t have much knowledge or interest in the alternative therapies and spirituality; would this put you off hiring me? Would you be intrigued? Would it help me stand out? Or would you think of me as some wishy-washy, unreliable hippie type?

Because the thing is, you never know when, as a highly stressed magazine editor, you may pull out that card to hire me as a freelance writer, only to discover that I also do meditation as well. And having a well balanced life is one of the keys to happiness!

Transmutation complete- a brief tale of depression

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Let me begin by saying that my transmutation is complete. I began as a 20something with no clue what I wanted, and after a year-long transformation I emerge from the other side wiser, more sure of myself, and what I wanted in life.

My new philosophy is do what I love, not what I must.

I’m finding it challenging to balance my spiritual desires with my physical desires, but I’ve found a happy medium. Here is the story…

It all started in May 2009; The Williamstown Literary Festival. As usual, I got carried away and decided that I wanted to become a publisher or editor. I began studying Masters in Writing and Lit. And I applied for job after job after job. Being a stay-at-home-mum wasn’t doing it for me anymore. I felt I was giving up all my goals and ambitions, while my husband, who has none, got away scott-free (I know this isn’t the case, but it seemed it at the time). It was my turn to get out in the world, use my skills and knowledge. So I started applying for full time jobs. I would return to work and Shane had agreed to take over home duties. All great in theory. Except that I just couldn’t find a job. In a space of six months I applied for well over 100 jobs,  with not.one.single.call. Who knew the publishing industry was so damn competitive? This coupled with my lack of a life, and the vision of my dreams slowly trickling down the drain was enough to put me into depression. For six months I spent almost every day crying. I didn’t want to get out of bed. My life felt pointless. Empty. As one woman said, no intelligent, ambitious woman can be satisfied by staying at home changing dirty nappies and doing house work all day. We need more stimulation than that.

All these things I was doing, volunteering, bits and pieces of freelance work were pointless. It was time to declutter. I didn’t know what the hell I wanted with my life anymore. I felt my youth slipping through my fingers. So I started to declutter my life. It began by taking daily walks down to the river, where I would sit and stare, listening to the trickle of water, clearing my mind from thoughts. Just being. It was a nice change, not thinking about what I’m doing, want to do, or have done. Every day for one hour my mum would come over and watch the kids while I went for my walk. I took a diary to jot down thoughts, because once I’d stopped thinking, I started getting clarity on what I was supposed to be doing. The very first thought I got was: You need to declutter.

Right. I’ll do that. I made a list of all the things in my life that I was doing and why I was doing them. Anywhere there was a reason other than “because I enjoy it” I crossed off my list. I then went about cutting these things out of my life. These were odd jobs I was doing here and there for “experience”. It was tough, and I felt bad letting down so many people by saying “I’m sorry, I can’t do it anymore” but I felt so good after. Then I made a list of all the things I WANTED to be doing. Finally, I went through my house, from top to bottom, and got rid of everything I didn’t like and didn’t use anymore. And very slowly, my thoughts began to clear.

The second moment of clarity I received down at the river was: Stop lying to yourself. I have always been a spiritual person, but my adult life has been spent finding glamourous jobs that pay well and mix with interesting people, with lots of travel. You know the type. Good on paper. But as my priorities started changing I realised something. The reason I’d been so miserable was because I was completely disregarding the REAL me, the spiritual me, the non-ego me. By this time I was seeing a counsellor who suggested I do some volunteer work to get out of the house. The usual ideas came up; Red Cross, Friends of the Park etc. But I knew I needed something that I was lacking. And so I began to volunteer at the Centre for Mind, Body, Spirit. Those two hours a week became my lifeguard, my hope of sanity. There was a reason why these two hours were the happiest in my entire week. It was because the real me, the one I’d put in the back seat for so long, was finally being acknowledged.

So, I put everything else on hold. I deferred my Masters for six months while I explored the spiritual side of life. I meditated more, and the more I meditated, the more clarity I gained. I did courses. I enrolled into a Diploma of Metaphysics course to do Crystal Therapy and Reiki. Slowly, the volunteering turned into a job, bearing in mind that I had not been searching for a job or money. Now, I am going to be their Crystal Therapist, because wouldn’t you know it, a couple of weeks after I joined, their Crystal Therapist left. Funny how things pan out!

After 12 months of intense soul searching I finally reached my equilibrium with a very clear idea of what I want to become, and where I’m going to be in my future. On the one hand I will help, heal and teach all things spiritual, metaphysical and esoteric. And on the other, I will write, ONLY about the things I am interested in and passionate about, and I will continue with public relations, ONLY with jobs that I enjoy, not because I think it might get me somewhere.

My problem was that I was doing so many things which I thought would be useful for my future, but I didn’t actually know what my future was. Once I sorted that out, I knew what to be doing NOW. Hence my philosophy, do what you love. Now, without even having tried, all these things I love have begun literally just falling into my lap! I’m freelancing for a street magazine that focusses on art, culture and events. I’m a contributor for a travel magazine. This month I will not only be a published writer, but I will also be a published photographer. And next week I’m meeting with a woman who’s looking for a freelance PR person to do food publicity. FOOD publicity!! I LOVE food!! I’m also a meditation facilitator and about to start crystal therapy at the Centre for Mind, Body, Spirit. And in June I pick up where I left off with my Masters. Oh yeah, AND I’m waiting to hear if I got a scholarship to study MA (Western Esotericism) at the University of Exeter in the UK. Correspondence of course. But that would be oh so awesome.

So that is the story of past 12 months of my life. A bit long winded but hopefully something you can take with you. If you don’t know where you’re going, or what you want, you need to DECLUTTER and get yourself some clarity.

MUCH LOVE

Williamstown Literary Festival

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You may or may not have noticed my lack of posts over the last few weeks. I’ve been busily organising publicity for the Williamstown Literary Festival, which is on this weekend (Fri 1-Sun 3 May). I’m pretty lucky to have been given this opportunity, through Veronica of Market PR. She has been kind enough to mentor me through my first real account, and so far I think I have done pretty well!

So, the WilliLitFest is on this weekend. Aside from doing the publicity I am also going to lots of the events. But let me just give you a quick breakdown of who’s there:

– Andy Griffiths
– Andrew Rule
– Robyn Butler and Wayne Hope (ABC’s The Librarians)
– Denise Scott
– Alice Pung
– Amra Pajalic
– Leigh Hobbs
– Catherine Deveny
– Jackie Kerin
– Gideon Haigh
– John Harms
– Maureen McCarthy

The person who most captured my attention is Jackie Kerin. She is author of children’s book Phar Lap the Wonder Horse, but she is also writing about stories from Australia’s history that have otherwise been untold. See, I believe it’s the little things that really make up our history.

So, this is just a quick plug to say that if you enjoy reading (and if you’re here, I assume you do) or writing and need some inspiration, then I suggest you head to the WilliLitFest this weekend.

"Do what you love, the money will follow"

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There’s one thing I have never understood, and that is why students fresh out of school would want to hurry up and throw themselves into uni or a career without going out and experiencing life first. How can you really know what you want to do when you haven’t even seen what’s out there? Granted, I still don’t really know what I want to do…or at least how to get it, and I’m nearly 27. But my two years overseas certainly opened my eyes at what’s possible in the world, and what I do and don’t like. If school and uni and work are the only things you’ve ever been exposed to in life, how do you know what you want to do is actually what you’ll be happy doing?

Many of my friends went straight from school to uni. One of them is questioning why she is working where she is now, and another one is happy in a job totally unrelated to her degree, a job which didn’t need any qualifications to begin with. Doesn’t this tell us something?

Now that I have finished my Arts degree in PR and Journalism I am looking towards the next thing I would like to study- photography. I figure, why not become qualified in everything I’m interested in, which should arm me with enough knowledge and work to keep me reasonably happy for the rest of my life.

If you always keep in mind what you like doing and are truly interested in and passionate about then you should have no trouble finding the perfect career for you. Remember, do what you love, the money will follow. I can’t remember who said that, but it’s some pretty great advice.

Day jobs and night jobs

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It seems that we can no longer do what we love as a day job, as our time is tied up doing jobs that ‘get us somewhere’. Friends of mine, a couple, both have their day job and night job. One works as a trainer in one of the major insurance companies by day, and dances in one of Melbourne’s best hip-hop crews by night, as well as the occasional podium dancing. Her fiancé works in one of the Big Banks by day, and is DJ in some of the hottest clubs in Melbourne by night. Which makes me wonder, when did doing what we love take a back seat to doing what we have to?

Part of the reason I think is because people don’t have faith in their own abilities anymore. When I recently went to get a reading done at a psychic, the very first thing she said to me was that I am a great writer, but don’t have confidence in my ability to write, and don’t realise I am as good as I actually am. In high school I always told my trainer-cum-dancer friend that she was an awesome dancer and that she should do it professionally one day, but she would just laugh and shrug it off, not really believing me (or anyone else).

Another reason is because in my group of friends many of the things that we love doing are part of the Arts industry, a fickle and highly volatile industry that can make you an instant success overnight, and leave you in the gutter just as quickly. There’s no room for mediocre in this industry, so unless people are absolutely sure of their talents, they prefer not to risk it, sticking with the safe and secure instead of venturing out on a limb to chase their dreams. Hence, the reason why I am publishing myself on blogs and not in newspapers and magazines (not yet, anyway).
It’s quite sad really. We are living a life that we have settled for, rather than the one we want. Maybe this is just me, my husband, and my group of friends, but I’m sure it’s not. There are more people that would rather be working in a different industry, a different job, than there are people who love what they’re doing and wouldn’t change it for the world.

All I can say is if you stay true to what you believe, and remember what it is you love doing, then one day I can only hope that we will all be doing what we love, and not what we have to.