I’ve decided something. I have decided to let you all into my little head and the process that goes on as someone who is in the spotlight. In my case someone who had an international broadcasting career, has taken 1.5 years out in Australian suburbia to be with my ill mother and is now embarking on re-entering the global media scene again.
“SO HERE’S THE THING ABOUT LIVING YOUR LIFE FOR ANOTHER PERSON, IT ONLY WORKS IF YOU MAINTAIN YOUR OWN EMOTIONAL BALANCE”
Since landing my newest gig (to be revealed soon), I have been on a process of getting myself ready for the big move and I often forget that getting out of my suburban funk and back into what I like to call “racehorse mode” is so natural to me (every time I have a big project coming up I seem to get extra motivated, as most people in my industry do) that I take it for granted that it does actually require quite a lot of motivation. I thought it could be helpful to me and you to break down and share this process.
When I was in my 20s I would always look outwards for others to prop me up in a funk, make me feel better but the older and more independent I become, I have realised you must SELF MANAGE. This is something that the Dalai Lama also echoed in his latest public talk in Perth (more on that below). The buck really does stop with YOU and YOU make the choice to work out what you need in your life and harness the motivation to improve things. I hope this motivates you.
In March and April of this year, I had lost my mojo: what I like to think is my charisma and my zest for creativity. I really had become very stagnant and bored with the endless mundaneness of life in Perth. I stopped exercising, was drinking Moscato in the middle of the day and stopped grooming myself to the standard I normally hold.
The process is worth sharing because the results are AMAZING! I feel back to my normal self again. It all started in March and April following my trip to work in Singapore in January. I had such an active and social time that the thought of living in Perth full time indefinitely made me feel sick inside. I had also just been told by my sister that I would have to clear all 8 bedrooms of my mother’s house. Literally get rid of everything that she and my father had accumulated over 70 years. It’s been a hell of a job and one that I don’t wish on anyone.
I was feeling very overwhelmed, stressed but simultaneously creatively starved, hugely frustrated at the lack of interesting work in Perth. I know this is a sentiment shared by many creatives based in WA. After a year of chilling out (not entirely true as I was on air full time for 9 months at Mix 94.5), I had the beginning of that fire in my belly again, the fire to be creative and part of something bigger again. This was something which had absolutely disappeared and burnt out when I left Dubai. This is how I realised what my mojo actually was, it was all about being CREATIVE and having an AUDIENCE and a STAGE to work on that paid well and that I respected.
When I was in Bali, turning 31 and sharing a villa with 2 of my mentors, I got a real kick up the butt from one of the girls. Even though I was going through some really confronting things here in Perth, being with my older friends who I deeply respect and them revealing their own much more challenging struggles to me, which they handled with such grace and positivity really inspired me. I had spent 8 weeks wallowing in my misfortune and my negative feelings. I wasn’t depressed but I was certainly in a funk. It was time to get out of it.
MOTIVATION FOLLOWS ACTION: Sometimes you just have to start. The Nike slogan “Just Do It” did not come from nowhere.
So let me let you in on “racehorse mode” aka “getting out of a funk” and some easy steps to getting your mojo back into your life:
1) Get back in shape.
Some of you have maybe seen my social media posts about how many inches I have lost in the 6 weeks I have been in the “zone.” This includes running 8km a day, 4 to 5 days a week. I also work out 1 to 2 times a week with a personal trainer who helps me to do resistance training which I absolutely loathe doing. I think you can clearly see the difference in my body between my trip to Bali in April and a couple of weeks ago. My tummy has come down even further since the image on the right. If you’re small like me and changes are hard to see, don’t be afraid to take before and after pictures to track your progress and give you a reason to CELEBRATE YOUR SUCCESS! #smallvictories #fistpumpmoment.
Like all posts on this blog, these images are unretouched:
In addition to getting my body back I was also concerned with my mental sharpness. I’ve always been a quick thinker and yet it seemed I was increasingly slow with grasping new concepts and processes. My host father in Switzerland suggested fish oil and those capsules have worked wonders! I take 2 a day. I was also recommended by one of my industry friends to take collagen capsules and as you can see from this image here. My skin is plumper and fuller than ever despite losing weight in my face.
2) Be your own personal stylist:
For a while now, I have been selling and getting rid of all my Dubai clothes which were crazy-coloured and had a lot of embellishment. That style was great for that city and fun for a girl in her 20s to be so experimental but getting older also means I want my look to be more demure. I also find less colour more calming.
This wardrobe cleansing has been a hugely enlightening experience but then it got me thinking about what style I wanted to have now moving forward. I decided that something minimal, where I could mix and match pieces to fit my new 30-plus year old identity was the best for me and my bank account. I discovered INTO-MIND which really goes into depth about how to cleanse and order your wardrobe and was hugely benefitial.
I decided Parisian-chic was the best look for me and my newly-pixie-cropped petite frame. If I have appointments for the day I will also lay my clothes out the night before and mindfully coordinate my look for the next day. Taking care of my presentation again (after letting myself go) made me value myself more. It is such a small thing but it reminded me of my old self. I’ve also changed up my makeup routine, no longer wearing heavy black liquid eyeliner and changed my red lipstick for a more day-friendly orange (see in the pics above and below). I’ll have an in-depth blog on this new look soon and how to cleanse your wardrobe soon.
3) Get a New Haircut
A new haircut, done really well can change your whole face and look. I recently took Mum for a make-over at Maurice Meade. She didn’t want to go to the hairdresser which was in-house at the nursing home. She wanted to have something more high fashion. She left feeling like a new woman and kept saying to me over and over “I feel so good…so good.” This haircut became her lifeline in what is quite a depressing chapter in her life.
That’s more or less how I felt after chopping my hair off into the perfect “long” pixie crop. I feel like Winona Ryder in Reality Bites. I just love it. I had to lose a fair bit of plump in my face to carry it off too! For amazing short cuts you should also see Mark at Maurice Meade in Claremont.
Sometimes feeling bored has a lot to do with feeling de-skilled. I used to create content almost daily for online, radio, TV and this blog when I lived in Dubai. Coming into a bit of a content-vacuum was nice at first (it’s also really important to switch off too, a lesson I learnt the hard way) but after a while the creative isolation began to really get to me. I recently started making videos again and taking courses.
If you can’t afford to purchase course fees you can buy some books in areas of your interest. Just take 5 minutes out of your day and ask yourself what you are curious about and buy books on those topics.
I BELIEVE YOU SHOULD SCRIMP ON FASHION BUT NEVER ON FURTHER EDUCATION.
In the last 6 weeks I’ve attended a Dalai Lama-lead lecture, writer’s course, blogging course, listened to Kirstie Clements speak, Kikki K Minfulness and Happiness workshops and read some of the most life-changing books. I’d really strongly recommend “Man’s Search for Meaning.” I’ve also been recommended “The Brain that Changes Itself” by Norman Doidge.
5) Do Something for Others
Just turning your dialogue outwards. Asking someone in service “How are you?” instead of being on autopilot. In my case, making a video for my Mum to celebrate our relationship which I fought to build in the last 1.5 years. The interaction with younger people and humour worked wonders for Mum, made her feel loved and unforgotten and indirectly made me feel proud of the emotional interaction we would never have had if I hadn’t come home. Watching this video made me feel that maybe all the sacrifice was not for nothing:
I also sold a big chunk of my old clothes at the markets and donated part of the proceeds to Camp Quality and the Nepal Earthquake relief effort.
I hope these tips help you to get your MOJO back and check back here soon for plenty more tips and tricks on getting your life together. Sorry this is brief but I LITERALLY have to RUN now!