Wednesday, November 23, 2011

How to be Happy - Part One

Dearest friends,

Most of us spend our entire lives searching for happiness. Looking and planning for those magic moments when we will be 'happy.'

But when those moments appear are we too busy with life to notice that we should be happy?

What if you could find the joy, the happiness, the love in every moment that you had. In the hot and the cold days, in the supermarket, sitting in the car, at work, at play, morning, noon and night. Wouldn't that be incredible? I reckon that most of you would like to do that but some don't know how. "How am I supposed to find happiness when the kids are screaming and it's hot and we're stuck in the traffic and the air-con's broken?" How about REMOVING THE NEGATIVE?!

Turn each negative situation around - traffic is just cars on the road - feel blessed that we live in a country that is rich and people can afford to have cars - and remember that YOU ARE THE CARS ON THE ROAD!! Start today - turn the negative words around - say more positive happy and energetic words. Tell yourself YOU ARE INCREDIBLE. Tell OTHER PEOPLE THEY are AMAZING!! Enjoy seeing people's faces when you answer their questions with "AMAZING" "INCREDIBLE" "OUTSTANDING" Appreciate people for the amazing work they are doing. Say THANK YOU SINCERELY to the supermarket attendant, the cleaner, the retail assistant. They all need someone to brighten their day! And if you make them smile that is not only leaving a profit in their lives, but in your life, and in other's aswell.

APPRECIATE the everyday stuff! One of my latest joys is appreciating the place we live in. QUEENSLAND!! It's the best - instead of saying I live in Qld now I say "I live in a tropical paradise!" It's amazing how GREAT you feel when you are doing a quad stretch after your morning run and look up to the sky and say OUT LOUD in a nice loud happy voice "I LIVE IN A TROPICAL PARADISE!!"

And don't think that it is something you'll do when you have time. START NOW.

And please, let me know how you are going and if you have any amazing tips or hints or stories about how you are positively changing the world. :)


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Moment times

There is much to be said about being ‘in’ the moment.

It is a phenomenon that has much written about it; books, and studies, and yet many people still struggle to live in the present. It is also something that cannot be completely achieved – that is the success of living in the moment cannot be a total immersion in the subject. You cannot live your entire life in the present moment or there would be no planning for future events or reminiscing about the past, both of which are very important in self development and personal enjoyment. Extremes in these ideas can lead to unhappiness – living too much in the past; like the man who blames his upbringing for his ‘unsuccessful’ life, or worrying too much about the future; or the woman who is forever worrying about upcoming bills. Neither of the people in these examples can live a life of complete happiness and fulfilment as they are constantly concerned with events that have either occurred or haven’t occurred yet – both of which are out of their control. We are all guilty of living out of the moment at particular points in our lives – and a certain amount of this is necessary. It is still important to plan ahead for some of life’s events; planning a holiday, planning for a wedding or birthday to a certain extent aids for a smoothly run day. However, over planning (which we are all guilty of at one point or another) can sometimes destroy the chance of the magic of the moment, and the surprise events which occur randomly. If a holiday is planned to the enth degree there is no room for discoveries, surprises, unplanned circumstances which are often the highlight of people’s lives. Some of the best days of my life can be described, at best, as loosely planned.

Personally, I have been an over-planner. I have worried too much about fitting everything into the day and creating magical experiences without actually enjoying the experience while it occurs. This can lead to remorse when the event is over. But being aware of this is half the challenge.

Time moves along so quickly – don’t ever underestimate that fact. People are here one minute and gone the next and while they are here enjoy every second of their company. When they are gone there should be nothing unsaid. Much of the melancholy felt in regards to death revolves around things unsaid.

Don’t hold anything back. Live in the moment. Live for now.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

It’s Just Me.

This week I just wanted to post a little more about myself in general, I just feel like I should share a few things that I have come to my mind about the person I was and the person I want to be. There are a few stories that I still don’t want to think about – they are not my proudest moments, but I’m sure in time I will learn and grow to accept them as part of my past and then I may be able to share with you also.

Last week I was catching up with a friend that I hadn’t spoken to in a while, and she asked me how I was and… what drugs I was currently on for my back. It is so hard to describe the feeling I got when I could say; ‘well actually… none.’ She asked, ‘What? Not even tramadol?’ (For those of you who don’t know, tramadol is a strong pain killer which has some fairly nasty side effects that really took a toll on my body). And I could honestly tell her that no, I wasn’t on any pain killers; no steroids, no tram. The most I’ve been medicated in the last two or three months is a couple of panadol.

The last 6 years of my life have been filled with different drugs and it did affect both my body and my mind. It kind of feels like a haze which I have finally stepped out of. I read an article in Bmag (a Brisbane city publication) yesterday regarding addiction to prescription medication which is a real issue within our community and one that needs more attention. I was addicted to pain killers and it is a vicious cycle. I had pain so I took pain killers that the Doctor had prescribed. But, the doctors don’t stress just how addictive these drugs are. It astounds me now (as it did my mother at the time) the blasé attitude some doctors take to really strong medication. Like one physician in Hobart who prescribed steroids to me with a repeat on my first visit to him, without a second glance.
I was taking way more than the recommended amounts to just take me away from my body. To be in that haze and not be living what I perceived to be, to be honest, a crap life. I also on many occasions did stupid things like drinking alcohol which at one point lead me to believe that the bones in my arms were on fire. Which seems like a humorous anecdote now but was really dangerous for my health.

Please remember I will never write anything here for your feelings of pity. I just want to be honest and let other people know that you can turn your life around. You can go from depressed, addicted, sad, flat, lazy, upset. To AMAZING. WOW. WONDERFUL. OUTSTANDING. Try using some of these words in your everyday life. It’s super cool to see people’s reaction when they ask me “how are you” and I reply “Awesome thank you!”

If anyone wants a little inspiration in their life I would whole-heartedly recommend The Muscle Professionals Blog. The studio is located in Moray Street, New Farm for those Brisbane-ites wanting to check it out. Luke Archer, the director at the Muscle Professionals, is a professional body and lifestyle specialist. He has changed my life, and he can change yours too.

You can check out The Muscle Professionals blog at

Live and love every moment.


Saturday, June 4, 2011


(My goal for exercise at the moment... abs!!).

My thoughts are really jumbled at the moment - I must apologise for the messy-ness of this post - I have just finished a 6,000 word assignment and my brain is a little frazzled. I do have alot to share with everyone about all the things I have learnt in the last couple of weeks. I'll touch on a few:

The last couple of weeks have been an interesting journey. There has been tears, laughter, fun and change. All wrapped into a neat little package called LIFE. It's awesome isn't it? I have learnt so many new things - how to budget when things may be tough, that the pomelo came before the grapefruit and is delicious(!) and that when things change and uncertainty seems to be ruling your life, take a deep breathe, relax, take time out for yourself, and just ask for what you do want.

I've asked for a few things from the universe this past week - they may only be small things but I'm testing the 'ask and you shall receive' theory. Thus far, it has worked a charm!! Seriously, I begin my days now with a simple request. Sometimes it is for someone to bring me a coffee before my shift is over at work, other things are longer term goals that bring opportunity into my life (this week it was employment). It is incredible how it works!! I'm converted. You have to ask for what you want, put a specific idea in your head, a timeframe and believe!! But it has to be specific, so instead of saying 'I want more income' be specific. More income could be a dollar!! State exactly how much you want, when you want it by, the job title/position you desire. Put it out there and the universe will provide.

The second thing that I have really been itching to write about is one simple word...
How can we expect to achieve anything in life if we don't define exactly what it is we want? It's like an assignment... the very first thing you do is define the topic. And defining why is so important. If you think about it, why is the reason we do anything. And why is the most important thing to remember everyday. Whether it is your why for getting up at 5am on a Saturday morning to go and run up and down stairs, or why you need to finish an assignment, it is what drives you. It is why you want to loose weight, gain muscle, eat healthier - any change in your life. Your reason for doing something, your why will get you through the change. It's like quitting smoking. I used to smoke. It is a horrendous habit. But when I was at Uni I didn't have a why to give up. I know there are health risks but you can block them out because you think that won't happen to you. My grandfather died of emphysema but that still didn't stop me because I thought that he was old, had smoked for years and that I would quit one day before it damaged my health. My 'why' came about in the form of a fairly brutal wake-up call. My best-friend was in hospital, as she often is, and I was there visiting, as I often am, and she found a pack of smokes in my bag. She is one of the approximately 3,000 people in Australia with Cystic Fibrosis. She has no control over her lung function. Yet I do. And I was destroying the very thing that she was willing to spend her entire life fighting for, lungs. Once I had my why, it was so much easier. Things don't seem so hard to achieve when you have why. For example, remembering your why when you are working out will get you to push a bit more, go a bit further. Remembering why will get you through your tough times. And it is important to clearly define your why. Make sure you have it set out so you can refer to it throughout your day to get you through the moments that seem unachieveable.

Why is so important.

If you don't know it then you can loose focus, loose direction.

Think about what drives you today, write down some goals and rules for your life. Write down your why. And gain perspective.

"Worse than losing your sight is having no vision"


Monday, May 9, 2011

Who cares about debt when your emotional bank account is full?! :)

This week has brought with it so much CHANGE - what a beautiful thing change is! And it got me thinking that a lot of people are really quite scared of change. And it's true - if you don't embrace change you avoid it! You become wrapped into the same patterns each day and see new things as frightening and unachievable. I believe in embracing change - to LOVE life - because you never know what is going to happen next and that's the FUN part. Tomorrow you could get the promotion you have always dreamed about, you could win the lottery, or you could get hit by a bus. One thing’s for certain - you can't control the future. And while you may not be able to control it you can control how you think about it, how you react and respond to it and how you let it influence your life. Are you a person who can see the positive side of everything or the negative? Something that brought this to my attention today was the simplest of actions which happens to me all the time - dropping something on the ground! Instead of my usual negative thought ('damn it!!' for example), I thought 'This is great! An opportunity to pick something up!' Does that make sense? An opportunity to improve my surroundings - it reminded me of the Anthony Robbins mp3 Luke played me the other day - he spoke about living life according to a balance of pleasures versus pains. The way I understood it - it's like cleaning the house - in your mind you think of the pleasure of having a clean house vs. the pain of actually having to clean up instead of doing something you find enjoyable. What if we could find the pleasure in every moment - let pleasurable experiences shape our lives - not simply putting up with painful ones.

Tonight a friend messaged me saying how she and her partner were sick and challenged me to 'find the positive' in her case. To which I responded "With pleasure... you are both alive, you own your properties, you have 3 awesome children who love you no matter what, you live in the luckiest country in the world - a country in which no-one will kill you for your political or religious views. SMILE. You are SO fortunate!" Sometimes it is hard to find it but you can always find the positive - it is your decision. And I think that it is important to recognise that being happy is a conscious decision to make. At least in the first instance. It's about breaking the pattern of being unhappy or always seeing the negative. Currently I am trying to break a pattern - this being negative thoughts about either myself or other people. This sounds so simple when I type it!! "Just stop thinking negatively!" What I have noticed is that the brain goes wild when left to its own devices. I negatively self talk to myself all the time - telling myself I can't do something, I'm not good enough, don't look good - etc the list goes on... Well not for much longer!! As soon as I notice a negative thought in my mind a snap the elastic band on my wrist and think of something entirely positive regarding the situation. The same goes for negative, value judgements about other people. That happens ALOT. Which I am not pleased to admit, but for the sake of being honest I must share. We make judgements pretty much every hour of everyday. Based on the most superficial things!! The clothes/haircut/ tattoos a person has. This all relates to something I would really like to change about our world, the way in which women label and treat each other. I feel there is a great competition between women and that this is mostly negative. You see it everywhere... When a women comments on another who she thinks is attractive, rarely will the comment be that she is beautiful and that’s that. I hear women (and have done it myself) negatively put down others for their looks/clothes etc. For example last weekend a friend told me that I looked good in a dress but the way in which she did was "Bitch!! You look better in that than me" See the problem? I know it is mostly in jest, but how many times have you called a gorgeous woman a bitch because you either lack self-confidence or are jealous? It is time for us women to SUPPORT and LOVE each other.

Finally, it's my goal for every important person in my life to know that they are special and that I love them. And to tell them this - openly and honestly. This is so that if I died tomorrow everyone would know that I loved them with my whole heart and that nothing would be left unsaid. I don't think many of us could say that and I would like to create that change as well. I want to lead a life of no regrets - everything I do I back 110% and give 110% in effort and love. Even if it is one person at a time... tell them you love them! Let them know how important they are to you. It's a wonderful feeling going to bed at night loving and being loved.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Be FREE -> Free your mind - free your body - free your life

This week has been about change for me. And realising that the only thing that holds you back is your own mind.

This week I had a serious think about 'what I want to be when I grow up' - it's about time :) I have spent the last 5 years (and thousands of dollars) at Uni and still haven't exactly decided what it is I want to do with all these qualifications. I have been thinking - what precisely I enjoy in life and what I want to develop to fulfill my life. That for me is helping people; I want to improve people's lives, leave them with the tools to create a better life and create positive change in the world. I want to help people who want to be helped but also the people who don't know that they can be helped - the people who are just living their lives - who could be THRIVING, and exceeding all expectations. I was throwing these ideas around in my head and considering a career change, when all of a sudden this voice popped up, saying 'You can't do that.' It was so strange, I noticed it straight away because I had been talking to a friend who said that the only person holding you back is you. And it is so true!! Who is to say that I can't change my career path, try something completely different!! That voice in my head made me feel really defeated, really down. So I have devoted the last few days to realy positive self-talk. There is absolutely NO reason why I can't do anything I want to!! I live in a wealthy, democratic country, I am fit and healthy and have so many opportunities in life. Why not take advantage of them and do what makes me happy?!? I wonder how many other people hear this voice in their head everyday?

If you don't know where to start to turn your life around.. try anything!
"Imperfect action is better than perfect inaction.

On a side note, this week has started amazingly! In a nut shell I have started up Kung Fu (awesome!), I can do 10kg wall holds now, and 10kg step-ups. I have been training in the mornings and exercising at night as well. Work is brilliant - so challenging and amazing!! And Uni is awesome - it is a huge challenge for me as we are down to the 'pointy' end of the semester with only one month to go!!



Saturday, April 30, 2011


Hello, my name is Hannah :D

I would like to tell you how my life has changed; I am amazed by change and how much being positive has improved every aspect of my life :)

For many years I was quite unhappy; I would go into periods of deep sorrow and found it hard to see the bright side of life.

That was until I met someone who has changed my life forever.

The change was always within me, I believe, I just needed someone to snap me out of the way I was living my life. I had a fairly bad back injury which began when I was 15. It didn't get correctly diagnosed until I was 22. This meant many years living in a great deal of pain, and coping with the side-effects of painkillers, which, in my opinion, were worse than the pain. Some days it was so bad that I couldn't bend down to put on my socks and shoes, and for someone whose life was all about fitness it was immensely hard for me to cope with feeling like I was 50 years older than I really was.

My life was lived according to my pain. My pain dictated everything I did; it affected my mood and severely affected my relationships.

While my back had been steadily improving over the past 5 months I was still living my life as if I was still injured, avoiding exercise in case it hurt me further, and generally being a bit down in the dumps.

A few months ago I met someone whose blatant optimism was so intense it made me reconsider my life. I was a person who would tell you all the little worries within my life. Until I realised, with a little bit of help, that LIFE IS AWESOME. Everything within our lives is a positive – and if it is hard to see the positive then you need to look deeper. For example - recently, a very close family friend passed on and whilst grieving is a very necessary part of life it is important I have found not to get 'stuck' in the grieving process. After a week or so I decided to look at the death in a different way. Many different cultures see death as not the end of someone’s life, but a new beginning, a new exciting adventure that the person can now go on. I thought about this for a while and thought it was also important to remember the good times we all shared together, thinking back we as families shared some many wonderful times and it was fantastic to remember and smile and even laugh about jokes we had shared.

I started off small, just by answering with ‘great’ every time someone asked me how I was. It sounds simple but it is so easy to revert back to old habits of ‘fine,’ or ‘yeah, ok’ - you know the rest, answers which all contain negative connotations. I thought that if I said great, even if I wasn’t feeling it at the time, then maybe I would start to feel great. I was quite pessimistic about this. But... wouldn’t you know it, after a while I did start to feel great. I started to feel awesome!! And this got me thinking that if by simply saying a word I could feel this good, what other changes could I implement to not only improve my life but the lives of people around me.

I also began working out with a group in New Farm. I was very dubious about working out as I did not believe that I could run and in fact I hadn’t run in about 5 years. I couldn’t do more than 3 push-ups and once I started working out my body was screaming at me that this was wrong!! I could’ve given up. Just thought (as I had before) that it wasn’t worth it and it was too hard. But I had someone coaching me all the way. Telling me that life was awesome and that I could do anything! This week has been a huge week for me, for the first time in a very long time I have run at a good speed constantly for 5 minutes straight. This seems like a small goal but it meant so much to me! I also have worked my way up to 40 push-ups!! And can bridge now for 2 minutes straight. I have completed all my training mornings, gone for extra runs and walks and done exercises at home as well. I’m noticing the changes in my muscles and in my everyday life. Things are easier, lifting boxes at work, vacuuming, and everyday things like walking up the stairs.
Everyone in my group is an inspiration to me – these people are strong (both of body and of mind) they are kind and loving, they are always willing to listen and even cook up a BBQ at 7am!:) They all embody aspects of life that I wish to achieve, whether it be flexibility, a certain fitness goal or the love that they show for life. It’s easy to find someone to be your role-model when you are surrounded by role-models. Another role-model of mine is Tiffiny Hall - she has an amazing body and I am working towards having her kind of body!

I am not an expert on any of this, I just had a need to write this all down – it is amazingly liberating and awesome to see how far I have come as a person. Change is possible. You just have to DO it! Believe in it and it will happen! Each individual has the opportunity to make a difference. As a wise man said – ‘your mind is a powerful thing’, if you set your mind to something you will achieve it.

Love always