Why do we deny ourselves happiness

Why do we deny ourselves happiness

How often do you hear yourself say, “I can’t afford that?” or “sorry I can’t make it, I don’t have the money right now?”

Recently I was invited to an impromptu girls’ weekend to Melbourne and within 24hrs five of my closest friends had booked their flights and were busily organising the weekend.  I hesitated, not because I didn’t have the money, but the money I did have was earmarked for an overseas trip I am taking with my boys next year and it was my boys last weekend before heading off to their dads for the school holidays.

So here in lay two moral dilemmas, the first, as a mother to get over the guilt of spending money set aside for the family, the second, the guilt of not spending time with my boys before they go to their dads.

It wasn’t until one of the girls told me it only cost them $70 using frequent flyer points that I seriously started formulating in my head a strategy to make this trip happen.

The desire to go was starting to get pretty strong for a number of reasons:

  • It’s been a hard and massive year, starting out with rebuilding after the devastating floods that hit Townsville
  • I was burned out by May and knew I haven’t taken enough time to rest and recover
  • I have my boys 44 weekends a year so why am I feeling guilty
  • I had enough frequent flyer points to burn
  • My overseas trip is eight months away, giving me plenty of time to replenish the coffers

But the biggest reason was, I had put out to the Universe this year that I wanted to do a girls’ trip to Melbourne and here was the Universe was handing it to me on a silver platter so who am I to deny the Universe.

And what a weekend it was. 

I had decided I was going to channel my 19 year old flirty self of old, you know, the one before kids, marriage and divorce.  The one who knew how to have fun without the worry, stress and responsibility of real life.  The one who once met a guy in a bar and within 3 hours was taking a road trip to Cairns for the weekend (still can’t believe I did that and so glad my Mum never knew about it).  And oh boy, did she come out, in a big way. 

So off to Melbourne we went.  From the time we arrived until the time we left we laughed so hard my jaw started to ache.  We shopped up a storm, swapped clothes and shoes, helped each other with our make-up, it truly was like a massive girls slumber party.  We were all vibing so high and boy did other people notice.  Everywhere we went we had random men and women come up to talk to us, compliment us and just hang out with us.  I remember thinking, no amount of money could ever replace the amazing memories we were creating.

What I had forgotten though, was my 19 year old self also used to do ‘dawnies’ most weekends and getting home as the sun was rising wasn’t something I had thought of but obviously my inner child had.

48 hrs later, I have arrived back home, sleep deprived, suitcase full and a camera full of memories that money cannot buy.  I feel like I am vibing so high right now I could tackle the world (after I get about 24 hrs sleep that is).

There is even talk of making this a regular event and when I look back at all the money I have spent in the past on counselling post divorce to make myself feel whole again, a girls trip every few months sounds like a much better (not to mention cheaper and enjoyable) plan. 

So next time you catch yourself turning down an opportunity to enjoy living life, stop and think about how you can still enjoy freedom and life-style without breaking the bank.

If you want to stop worrying about how you can find the money to have fun like I just did this weekend book an insight and empowerment call with me today.

Want to know more about what I offer? Head over to my programs page and read all about the packages I have to offer to help you live your happiest self.

Until next time

Love and gratitude

Leisa

The wound is where light enters

The wound is where light enters

The wound is the place where the light enters you” – Rumi

No truer have these words been than this week.  Ever had one of those days/weeks/months or even year where you’ve felt like throwing it all in? 

Well that was me earlier last week.  Monday morning, I woke to find myself feeling angry and despondent, ready to give up on all that I’d worked so tirelessly to achieve these past couple of years. By lunchtime Monday, I’d fallen in a complete heap.  Mentally, emotionally and physically I was burnt out, done and dusted (and it’s only May!!).  One might think this strange, but in amongst all my anger, bitterness and sadness, I was actually excited.

I was excited because I had seen this pattern before and knew that on the other side of completely falling apart, I would level up and achieve even more than I had thus far.

But I found myself asking “where did this anger, rage and sudden desire to throw in the towel come from?”  I’d had an amazing weekend with my family and friends at the local races.  I’d met some lovely new people, the kids were behaving better than ever, business was going well and I was excited for the new programs we are about to launch.  So why was I feeling this way?

Thankfully I have an amazing coach myself, and after an hour of crying and counselling , I was slowly returning to my old self.  You see I’ve learned in the past that the only way past an emotion is through it.

In days gone by, I would have hidden my feelings from the world, had a silent cry in the bottom of my shower and that would have been the end of it.  I would have put on a mask to show the outside world and just soldiered on. 

But these days, I’ve learned to recognise that if I am feeling this way, then there are probably a dozen others feeling the same way, each and every day.  These same people likely look at people like me, who to the outside world seem to have their sh*t together and think that my life is perfect.  Because in today’s modern society, with digital photos, filters and editing tools, we tend to only show the outside world what we want them to see.

No one sees the broken tears at 9 o’clock at night after a hard day at the office or a challenging day with the kids.  No one sees the stress we feel each and every time a bill comes in that we are struggling to pay.  No one sees the struggle we experience some days, just putting one foot in front of the other. 

But why is this?  Why do we hide our true feelings when all we really want is connection?  Do we fear we will be judged by society if we don’t have our sh*t together all the time? 

I used to put so much pressure on myself to be the best version I could be.  A few years back, I was nearly hospitalised for exhaustion whilst doing University.  I had put so much pressure on myself to achieve.  I was so burnt out I was drinking Red Bull just to stay awake long enough to study for my exams.  Looking back, I know it was me, and only me putting that pressure on myself. 

These days what I’ve come to recognise is that no one can function at their best each and every day.  No one can be superwoman (or man), each and every day.  No one, no matter who they are, how rich or poor, successful or unsuccessful, can function at great heights each and every day.

So next time you find yourself heading towards a downward spiral, take time to acknowledge it, look for the lesson within, allow the emotion to flow through you, but most of all, take time to rest, recuperate and heal.

Love and Gratitude

Leisa

The Pain we hide on Mother’s Day

The Pain we hide on Mother’s Day

Since my first son was born, I used to joke that all I wanted for Mother’s Day was a day off from my kids.  Now this statement might sound absurd to some, but to many, it’s probably going to resonate with your thinking as a Mum at one time or another.  Especially if, like me, you’ve been doing this gig on your own for quite some time.  And I’m not just talking about the single Mum’s, because you can still be in a relationship and feel like you’re doing it on your own.  Hell, when my Ex walked out, I was slightly relieved because now I only had to look after two kids, instead of three. 

This will be my twelfth year in this life as a Mum and my ninth as a fulltime single Mum.  Mother’s Day is always a bittersweet reminder for me, for my marriage fell apart literally days before Mother’s Day all those years ago.  I still remember opening a present from my boys that my own Mum had helped them pick out, bursting into tears for the joy and sadness I felt all rolled into one. 

Fast forward nine years, and I’m still experiencing that combination of joy and sadness, but these days it has nothing to do with my previous marriage or husband.  These days, the joy is felt when my boys now old enough to pick out their own presents, cook me breakfast in bed and surprise me with a beautiful gift.  But the sadness is now felt because they no longer seem to need me on this day.  To them, the Xbox and their friends seems of a higher priority.

As the Mum of two tweenagers, I knew this day was coming, but now that it’s finally arrived, I am now longing for the days when I was their world.  When we used to do everything together and wherever I went, they came too. 

Today of all days, when all attempts to get them out of the house to enjoy some time together were met with resistance, well, that was it, I just lost the plot.  What a terrible Mother I must be to yell and scream at my kids at how selfish and ungrateful they are.  But truth be told, in today’s modern society of disconnected families, it’s probably what many Mother’s are thinking, but too scared to admit for fear of being judged.  Today of all days, I no longer feel the need to put on the show of being a perfect Mum who’s got their shit together.  Because I am just like all those other Mum’s out there, doing the best I can with the life circumstances I find myself navigating each and everyday.

As a new Mum, I read all the books, trying to arm myself with the knowledge I needed to make sure I got it right. But one thing I remember my own Mum telling me, that has stuck with me all these years “All these books are great, but a baby can’t read a book so you’ll just have to figure it out as you go along”.

So, this is a shout out to all the amazing Mums out there just trying to figure it out as they go along, you are doing an amazing job. 

Tag and share this with a Mum who you think is doing a great job.

Love and Gratitude

Leisa

Part 16 – Against my better judgement

Part 16 – Against my better judgement

The deadline for the Ex to pay me out of our house was rapidly approaching all the while I’m trying to find out how to get the house up to scratch so we could get it on the market.

The Ex was not being very co-operative and was requesting an extension of time to buy me out of the house, siting that he had a job lined up to start at the end of January.  Against my better judgement not to grant this extension, I went along with my lawyers suggestion to give him a few more months.

The whole time, I had a niggling feeling in my gut that this was the wrong choice but tried to ignore it.  I’d learn years later not to ignore this gut feeling for more often than not, it’s spot on.

For a few weeks, things seemed to be going along smoothly.  The Ex returned from overseas, started his new job and was supposedly on track to get the loan re-approved.

Then suddenly without any discussion, I receive a letter from my lawyer stating that the Ex couldn’t get financing and therefore the house was to be sold as per the court order.  What the????

In that moment I felt like the ground had been ripped out from underneath me.  Despite my gut feeling, this still came as a shock to me.  I finally lost the plot.  All that calm and composed façade I’d been projecting to the outside world came crashing down. 

Dangerously close to tears the boys started asking me what was wrong.  Not wanting them to see me cry, I did the only thing I could do, I went for a shower, sat myself on the floor and cried my eyes out. 

I’ve always used the shower as my go to place for when I’m upset.  This is because I can wail like a banshee, cry my eyes out and then have the water wash away my tears before taking a deep breath as I step out and face the world again.  It also helps that there is a lock on the door so my kids can’t see me falling apart. 

After my shower meltdown, I did what I do best.  I picked myself up and started working out what I needed to do to get the house on the market.  Then I remembered that the house was in complete shambles and that I’d have to somehow find the money to finish the renos and get it up to a saleable condition before I could do anything. 

In the previous two years that the Ex had been in charge of finishing the renos, he’d supposedly spent $17,000 of our joint monies ‘finishing off’ things.  The only thing he’d really achieved was wasting our money making the house look worse than ever and burnt through all our money.

Not one to give up without a fight, I contacted the Real Estate Agent I’d been liaising with over the past few months and asked if he could recommend a builder and landscaper.  As luck would have it, he knew a local builder who worked together with his son who was a landscaper.  Not wasting anytime, I contacted this builder and within 2 weeks the house was on the market.  What my Ex had failed to achieve in two years and nearly $40,000 I’d achieved in 2 weeks and $24,000. 

Ten days later we got our first offer on the house.  But yep, you guessed, it couldn’t be that easy could it?

To find out more, tune in next time.

Thanks for reading.

Love and gratitude

Leisa

Part 15 – Doing the right thing was wrong

Part 15 – Doing the right thing was wrong

Still reeling from the fallout of the last few weeks, I got back on with life, trying to enjoy the last few weeks of my Uni holidays. 

Just before Uni was to return, I received a call from the University asking me if I’d like to do some casual work.  Having not received any child support for nearly two months, I jumped at the chance to get a little extra cash. 

Little did I know that little bit of extra cash was going to cost me a few thousand dollars in the months to come.

You see, what I didn’t realise (or even think of) at the time, was that by working a few weeks casually at the Uni, I triggered a section in our court order that would see me go from paying for 2 flights a year to 4 flights a year for the children to see their father.

Confused yet?  Yep, so was I.  As I was a fulltime student when we separated, I had it written into the court order that I only had to pay for 2 flights a year until I started work again.  Silly me thought this meant fulltime employment once I finished Uni and it didn’t occur to me to even check it.  But my Ex certainly did.  I don’t even know how he found out I was working but next thing I know I received a letter from his lawyer stating I was to now pay for an extra 2 flights a year.

Lesson number one, always read the fine print!  The worst part was, I only worked for 3 weeks and then went back to be a fulltime student (for the next 15 months) but unfortunately this didn’t matter, I was still on the hook for these extra flights regardless.

To make matters worse, the Ex had put in for a non-agency payment to Child Support for the last payment he made to me in December (under private agreement) after he was made redundant and suddenly I had to find the money to pay him back. 

At this stage, I didn’t even know what a non-agency payment was, let alone why I had to pay him money when I had the kids fulltime and he was enjoying an overseas holiday.  But anyone who’s had the pleasure of dealing with the child support system knows it’s not always about what’s right or fair.

This was just the first of many new things I would eventually learn about the child support system and compared to what was around the corner, a non-agency payment was going to start looking like a good thing.

Tune in next time to find out what happened next.

Thanks for reading.

Love and Gratitude

Leisa