Welcome back to the second regular instalment of my scrapbook… pictures + words + rambly goodness of what I’ve been up to and what I’m thinking!
It’s been really sweet hearing your feedback about my latest blog posts – from trolling + letters to my trolls to the last scrapbook to the podcast. I’m feeling really invigorated + creative + vulnerable + good. Back in my sweet spot of creating + sharing.
I honestly felt quite vulnerable about sharing it.
I feel like the boy who cried wolf… but more like the girl who cried “home!” Still… I know it’s a good choice for my lil family. I am still both super excited + slightly anxious all at the same time. I’ll keep sharing + keep writing about the journey.
Keep writing my way home.
You know, maybe that’s the real home here.Creating. Writing. Expressing. Journeying. Connecting. Sharing.
It’s been my constant, my joy, my sweetest saviour.
Thank you all deeply for your love + support + encouraging words, both now + over the past 11 years. It’s been a constant miracle in my life.
So… let’s get into the scrapbookery!
Beth is a pizza MONSTER. Seriously. She’s 16 months old + she puts away half a pizza easily.
I’ve never seen her so incredibly excited about food.
Definitely Italian in a past life.
I bloody love the Timehop app — such a lovely way to celebrate and remember the passage of time.
This day in history: on the left… three years ago today, having a beach dinner in Cairns with my toddler Starry.
One year ago today, cuddling a moon faced baby Beth.
One year ago today. Can you believe it?
All together now on three: 1, 2, 3… awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww….
I call this look my “Sporty Spice in Puffer Jacket and Uggs” look. You can copy it if you like. Suuuuuuuuper stylish this season.
And yes, everything I wear matches. Including my hair + glasses.
They like holding hands in the car. #bestfwends #starryandbeff
School holidays: we all haven’t gotten out of our pyjamas in days. #realparenting
Sometimes I wonder if my drawings are Ye olden day selfies.
This one, my five year old mama’s girl who has always been attached at the hip to me, who would move back home to the uterus if she could. She squuuuuezes herself to sit on a chair with me.
“Should we move to a bigger chair Starry?
So I don’t squash you?”
“No mama. I like being squashed by you. So close tooooogetherrr.”
Special moment one year ago: I learned why adults should never, ever go on teacup rides unless they like barfing.
“Not even 7pm and I’m ready for bed. It’s been a big week already. Lots of good changes happening in my world and it is physically and energetically exhausting as I integrate them. Will tell you more about them soon once I’m able to. I’m off for a shower and bed with a full belly of Indian curries.”
Aaaaaaand… after a good 12 hour block of sleep… I feel SO much better! Amazing, right? Ha!
So, like, MONTHS ago… when the whole team was in the throes of birthing the new Academy membership site + the workbooks… and we ran out of chocolate one afternoon… I mentioned it here on Facebook, because OBVIOUSLY, it was an EMERGENCY situation, and we were SUFFERING.
A week later… I get a surprise package… of bunches of deeeelicious raw chocolate — the beautiful creator Ros uses the workbooks to grow her chocolate business + decided to send us some of her own creations to power us along.
It was basically the most delightful thing ever.
I would have taken a photo, but… we ate them all. I stole this from her website instead.
Six months ago, I announced we were moving to Tasmania. Well… we actually DID move to Tasmania.
And now… we’re moving again.
I know. I know.
I CAN SEE YOUR FACE FROM HERE.
So… why are we moving?
And WHERE are we moving?
… Back to Canberra. The city we left 5 years ago.
The city that was an incredible place of creativity + spirituality + culture + friendship + community for us.
All the places we love are there. (Almost) all the people we love are there. 98% of our friendship circle is either in Canberra or just down the road in Sydney.
We don’t have great, healthy, thriving relationships with either of our families. Not for want of trying. We certainly have given it a rather good go in the last five years to create community + connection with them. It hasn’t worked.
And that’s okay.
It’s been one of the biggest, best lessons in my life: how to have boundaries. How to say no. How to remove negativity, control + untended-to mental illness from my life, and from my daughters’.
I’ve really grown up over the last five years.
Moving to Proserpine made me become a sovereign adult.
We got to spend time in the town I was born. We got to spend time with my grandmother before she died. We got to spend time by the ocean. We got married.
We did an immense amount of healing. I suffered from then undertook an immense healing journey to recover from Post Natal Depression. My love + I were in a place of huge suffering in our relationship, and went to a relationship counsellor who changed our lives.
I got to break the spell that said:
I will only ever feel “home” if I am here, living in my family’s pocket. And that means giving up control over my life, my family + my sovereignty.
Moving to Kuranda made me realise exactly what I wanted. And exactly what I didn’t.
I got to live remotely. On an acreage. In a rainforest.
There are many, many, many things I’m grateful for about Kuranda.
The abundance of animal friends. The sweet school. Being surrounded by other hippies. Being supported by an incredible healing acupuncturist/doula + midwife through hyperemesis gravidarum. I don’t know if Beth would have entered our lives if it wasn’t for Kuranda.
We left wiser, happier, more grounded. With memories of what it was to live in the wild.
Moving to Tasmania made me come home to myself + my creativity.
I’m forever grateful that we moved here to Tasmania. It is a beautiful island with an energy that has healed both me + my husband.
Many years ago, my love lived here. He spent 25 years wishing he was back here.
He said sitting here, looking over Mount Wellington each day, has been more healing than words can say. That he could have spent $20 000 on therapy + not received the amount of healing he has just from looking at that mountain he wished for for so very long.
And now, we say yes to Canberra not because things didn’t work out. Not because we’re angry, or we’re running away. Goodness knows we’ve done that in the past. We felt angry about the disaster zone that was my family of origin. We felt like we were running away from the drugs in Kuranda.
Tasmania has in many ways healed the anger, sadness, trauma + pain that we’ve experienced over the last five years.
I keep getting the image of a Sikh temple we once visited in India. As you walk off the street, you take your shoes off. To walk up the stairs into the temple, you have to walk first through streams of water. It cleanses your feet before you can enter the temple.
Tasmania has been that for us. We came here with not just our luggage, but some baggage too. Emotional baggage that has been gently washed away.
We’re saying yes because Canberra holds the siren song of our hearts, and a great wealth of joy + love + support there for us.
Did we make a mistake leaving Canberra in the first place?
Gosh no. No, no, no x a million.
We are a billion times better, smarter, stronger for having gone on our 5 year adventure.
Plus, it’s basically like we’ve been on a working holiday living in some of the most beautiful places of Australia.
We cannot possibly be pissed with that.
We’re returning to Canberra with a better marriage, a family of four, a booming business + a much deeper understanding of ourselves.
So perfect. I have zero regrets.
And a heart full of gratitude for the lessons I’ve learned along the way (some of them learned the very hard way), and the huge amount of blessings we’ve received as a family as well.
We’ve been location independent for 5 years
All thanks to my business, which I am so damn grateful for.
I feel so lucky that me + Mr D have been able to devote ourselves to family time before Ostara started school.
Which is part of the reason we’re moving so quickly now.
Once we realised that Canberra was the right choice, we knew we needed to do it before January next year when Starry will start attending 5 days a week school (WOTTTTT I am going to miss her!!!!) And that because workbook season turns November/December/January into the wildest, busiest season of my workyear, I needed to get there before then.
We made the decision, six days later we bought a house, one month later we’ll be moving in.
What I’m most looking forward to:
I was laughing with a friend about Canberra. About how nobody understands why Canberra is just so intoxicating until you live there. It can get a bad rap for being cold + for being politician-ville. But honestly, the real parts of Canberra are this:
the most intellectual, liberal, gentle, loving folks I’ve found anywhere
the best of the best cultural attractions (art galleries + museums out the wazoo)
all the benefits of a major city with all the benefits of a country town.
For me personally, what I’m most looking forward to is:
connecting with all my tribe of friends again
getting reiki massages from my dear soul sister/mentor Deb
drinking mulled wine at the Old Bus Depot Markets
being in the same city as one of my mastermind sisters
traipsing around Hall Markets
hiking in the mountains
going to Tidbinbilla + Hanging Rock… my sacred places… that me + Chris spent many, many happy days at…
introducing my daughters to the land that held me + their papa so beautifully, so gently for so long…
taking Starry to where she was born
going to night classes for art + business at Australian National University
And so much, much more.
I share more about my move + my Canberra dreams in this podcast + video if you’d like to watch.
For those who’ve been around long enough…
You probably remember those days of delight in Canberra.
Here’s a quick trip down memory lane of just 0.0001% of the miracles that happened there:
And I also am practicing speaking every part of the story…
Not just the positive, but all my feelings.
And amidst all the excitement + joy + certainty that is in me, I also feel sadness about leaving my beloved ocean to move back to Canberra (a city in the alpine mountains).
A dear Canberran friend wrote me a sweet message though, and reminded me:
Just remember, we were always mermaids in the mountains too.
I also think I need to book more beach holidays, just to stare at Mama Ocean’s loveliness + get my dose when I need.
I feel excited… nervous… grateful… and full.
Never in a million years ago would I have thought five years ago that I was leaving Canberra to do a full circle back around to her. Never.
Me + Chris are Scorpios. Earthy creatures who love stability + stretching our roots down deep. We like certainty + permanency.
And yet this? This last five years of journeying + adventures + five homes in five years?
It was exactly what was needed.
As the Rolling Stones once said:
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometime you find
You get what you need
I’m heading back to the ‘Berra, my loves. Back to the land of art on fingers + tipis + goddess circles + deep belly laughs. To stone circles + white trees + kindred folk.
When the dull roar of the digital age overwhelmed my capacity for solitude and burst over my brain’s bow like a 80-foot wave crushing an afternoon’s picnic at the seashore.
But it happened.
I didn’t even realize how every waking moment was filled with push notifications, application alerts, status updates, newsfeed articles, arriving emails, instagram likes, text messages, and slack channels ringing. My beautiful, precious, limited life dissected into secondary slices. Lots of reading and deleting. Lots of reading and reacting. Seldom a lot of living in between the alerts.
Some people saw it. Even from a distance.
My boss. My co-workers. My wife, of course. But for me, clinging to my picnic basket in the sand, watching the crest high above me, they all sounded far away. I was going to listen, but I had to check just one more alert.
The scariest word in our language. Unplug, and miss something. Unplug, and forget something. Unplug.
We are healthy patients. Our bodies fine, but our minds are on life-support. Unplug.
I pulled the plug. Mostly, it was my smartphone. I got a new, shiny one. Somewhere, a nudge of sovereignty hit me. I wanted myself back. I wanted solitude, un-supported thoughts, I wanted to breath the free air without the mind-lung machine pumping in my head.
It started simply, like an addict making one promise.
Night time. A new app that turned stuff off at night. Seemed simple enough. I guess I didn’t even mean to take that one step, I just wanted to sleep and not wake up and see if I had an alert. 10 PM to 8 AM. Block this, that, the other. No email, no Facebook, no Instagram, no text messages… oh, this app doesn’t just stop the notifications. You can’t even reach the apps? Oh. Hmm… okay, I’ll try it.
That first morning.
From 6:30 to 8:00. Sipping coffee. Strangely naked. A device with a fully charged battery, but all the buttons I was used to pushing only showed a message that reminded me the device and I were no longer one. Separation anxiety, drowning in java.
I could get used to this, the thought flickered.
Yes, I can. I did.
Quickly, I’m getting addicted in a different way.
I’m addicted to space, time, and silence.
I’m addicted to that slice of morning before I’m ready to face the day, when the day is still hidden in my phone, not yet revealed. There’s nothing to look at, except the black disc of coffee sloshing in my cup. There’s nothing on the screen, but the windows beckon.
Beauty, close and far, reminds me that I am part of this, not that.
We have mined the substance out of life, condensed it, compressed it, confused it.
These tools, are wonderful. I like them no less, but they are dangerous. They are different. No one ever held a hammer too long.
These tools, they are different. They make us work. They take our time. They chip away at our sanity.
We must remember where we come from.
We used to go home at night, now we must send the tools home and return to ourselves.
The shakes will subside. That fluttery sensation inside, it isn’t fear, it’s exhilaration. Give it a chance. Give you a chance.
The next time you see an alert, bump up a level.
Don’t think on the level of whether or not there’s a task in that for you, think:
Do I need that now? Am I able to fix that? Does it need my attention? Is it going anywhere?
You’re too connected for your own good, that’s what I’m thinking.