Reflection & Planning

With all the end of year activities aside, it’s natural for us to reflect on the year that’s passed and start planning for the year to come. This can be a time of frustration and disappointment, thinking of all that we did not do that we’d hoped to! But if you really stop to think about all that you did achieve and allow yourself to truly celebrate those achievements you’ll probably notice that each year you not only achieve greater things than in the previous, but that you also set yourself higher expectations for the next.

This year has been a big turning point for me, I really set out to dig deep and realign my values with my purpose, rediscover the ‘me’ that got lost in the bigger picture of ‘us’. After putting so much energy into aiding others in realising their dreams I almost lost sight of what my own dreams were, and the fact that they actually serve a greater purpose beyond myself. In the end I realised that there is merit in pursuing my own personal dreams rather than setting them aside, so I stopped to reflect and made some pretty big decisions to refocus on what I personally wished to achieve. Which lead me to go back to university, take on post graduate studies in Collective Entrepreneurship and this has meant I’ve spent the last three months pushing my personal boundaries, maintaining  my current business but shifting from travelling to trade and instead selling my wares more through my online store, word of mouth and wholesale. This was rather daunting, as it was the first peak season in years that I did not do a single market. The irony of this is these last 3 months I’ve had the lowest level of stock in my online store on top of not doing any markets and yet I’ve actually sold more this season that any previous!

The process of digging deep inside of my self to  reclaim my self confidence and personal identity  was reassuring, but also confronting at times. I felt like I was stretching my family’s resilience, as well as my own, we reached Christmas absolutely exhausted and in great need of rest and rejuvenation. Last year we hosted Christmas at our place which spanned over several days, feeding up to 14 people three meals a day, over several days. This year we kept things super simple and quiet, it was just the four of us and it was wonderful. We all really needed the down time; time to reflect and time to just be. For the past week hubby & I have spent almost every day tending to our garden, reading, journalling, lying on the grass under a big old gumtree, napping when we’ve felt the need, catching up on lots of talking… and shared many moments of comfortable silence! We’ve let our boys sleep in each day, spend hours just playing, but have also encouraged them to read in the middle of the day and assist with caring for all our animals. It’s been like taking a much needed holiday without even leaving home.  We needed to let go of traditions and expectations in order to be kind to ourselves, refill our wells and prepare us for service in the year ahead. Our careers are both careers of service to others, honouring our environment and fostering community. 2016 for us has been a year of recognising the need for change in certain areas of our life and then commencing the transformation immediately… 2017 will be about the realisation of more of our bigger picture dreams building on the foundations we lay down in the previous year.

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Reaching Christmas exhausted, did also mean we had not truly recognised and celebrated some of our achievements for the year. For me personally it was things like focusing on my studies so much that while the High Distinction’s I received were exciting and reflected the realignment of my values and purpose I felt like I was letting my family down in the short term, forgoing income by not trading at markets in order to maintain the hours required for my studies, and it wasn’t until I entered my sales for the season that I realised I had in fact sold more than any other peak season this period as well as completed my first trimester of study to a high standard. On top of taxiing children to and from school, music lessons, school performances, taking trips to Sydney to deliver stock to retail stores, attend a conference, a PR event & catch up with friends… oh all while contributing to the maintenance of our home and little farmlet and all that entails. It is so easy to overlook what we’ve achieved in life and feel like we ‘should’ or ‘could’ be doing more!

After listening to Marie Forleo’s interview with Brendon Burchard on the topic of his book ‘The Charge’ I took on board the idea of setting an alarm at 3 hourly intervals throughout the day to check in with myself on what I was thinking about & what I should be thinking in order to reach my goals. I discovered after a couple of weeks that I was running on auto pilot, doing all that I could to reach my goals, so instead of needing to be reminded to work on the priority tasks I needed to remind myself to take a break, let my mind rest and recognise my achievements along the way. There is so much that I have achieved this year,  and not all of it was planned for… some of these achievements came about as a reaction to challenges that were not planned for. The challenge of isolation had become so acute this year that events unfolded that opened doors and wounds that I would not have chosen to experience but in hindsight they have been some the greatest lessons I have learned to date… making me truly stop and assess my life, my purpose & my future direction. So now I am taking steps to not only overcome this, but assist others in overcoming their own challenge of isolation, recognise their own talents and foster their dreams… the inception of the Creators Nest is high up on my priority list for 2017. To find out more about this venture visit this page here.

What about you and your dreams for 2017 though?

Why not make a list of what would you like to introduce into your life in 2017? And simple steps you could take in order to achieve this.

While you are at it, why not list what you achieved in 2016… things that you had not planned for, but in response to your own challenges you opened doors that you had never considered opening before?

Also, list some of your unexpected challenges. Write down what you learned from these experiences? What they brought to light that you may not have given focus to had these events not occurred?

Enjoy the final days of 2016 with your loved ones and remember to take the time to reflect & plan for the year ahead… but don’t forget to be kind to yourself, recognise your accomplishments, celebrate them, especially those that took place because of challenges you faced that never thought would happen, but they did and you survived and possibly even thrived because of this experience.

I look forward to you joining our Creators Nest community, sharing the journey of  inspiration and encouragement that could transform your dreams into reality… living a life you love is not out of your reach… even if you too have a family in tow.

<<=  by marie-nicole =>>

xx 

 

 

 

 

Open Studio

ONE DAY ONLY : the studio of by marie-nicole will be open to the public… giving visitors an opportunity to speak to me, the maker, in my creative space, about my artisan crafted work, running a micro business from a rural location, handcrafting wares from a shed in my backyard and shipping them all around the world!

Any excuse to have a little soirée in my workspace is a good excuse… doing what you love needs to be celebrated with those who appreciate the hand crafted and supporting local businesses.  Should you wish to buy Christmas gifts, there will also be a gift wrapping service available on site. All while sipping on some bubbly and enjoying the beautiful atmosphere of this studio atop a hill, on the edge of a village, in rural NSW.

Refer to flyer for more details.

<<== by marie-nicole ==>>

xx

 

 

Open Studio Invite - Dec 2015 (2)

no [wo]man is an island…

“No man is an island” by John Donne

This quote has been hot topic in our little home over the past few weeks… particularly in relation to how what we choose to engage in can affect those around us, at times the affect is a negative one on others even if we do not mean for it to be. This affect can be in your immediate surroundings or it could be abroad, choices we make daily affect more than just ourselves. Aside from this though we’ve also discussed how in order for us to achieve our family goals we rely on everyone contributing.

Over the weekend while hubby & I worked together in the kitchen preserving our harvest Master 12 was outside digging a new garden bed so we could plant more garlic and Master 7 assisted him, by helping take out the rocks that lay beneath the soil. Aside for the physical assistance, just having someone else working along side of Master 12 while he dug the bed seemed to provide the extra motivation he needed to complete the task. Upon completion of which, both the boys came inside, joined us in the kitchen and shared stories of their experience digging the bed. It was wonderful to see them beaming with a such sense of achievement and teamwork.

This same sort of support and encouragement often takes place between hubby and I, at times one will set to work on a task and that the other may not feel inclined to commence but the simple fact that one of us has started the other naturally starts to assist, resulting in not only the task being completed faster but with us sharing the burden or in most cases the joy! Even as a sole trader I too rely on the support of others to achieve my goals, in many different forms, a small example of that this week was having three separate people in my network of friends source blankets on my behalf.

Over the course of the years, I have had many people contribute to my ‘rescued & repurposed’ mission, from furniture for our home to resources for my work. I also rely on the knowledge and skills of others that I myself do not have or have not yet developed. It is impossible to be everything all at once, so even as a sole trader enlisting the help of others is necessary, as is being open to working with others who compliment your skill set and fill in the gaps. Something that my husband and I have developed over the years in our home is the understanding of which skills and strengths we each have that enable us to work together to achieve our goals more effectively. Letting someone else lead is not letting go of a sense of self if have more skill or natural ability in an area. We often swap the leading role depending on the task at hand. Unfortunately we are not in a position at the moment where we can work side by side full time career wise, but our personal skills, goals and aspirations compliment each other and would be well suited to a working collaboration. Even if we were working together, it is would still be important to stay physically connected to a network of people beyond our four walls or fences… which is why I have volunteered my time over the years to community groups. Ofcourse I still rely on earning an income through my own work and cannot devote all my time, but providing the physical [wo]man power required to make positive changes within our community is so very important to both of us.

Fostering a sense of pride, connectedness despite difference and building on skills within a community is something we have both had as personal and career goals for many years. We have always hoped to contribute in this way to the community in which we bought our own place in… now that that time has come, the seed inside us that has lay dormant waiting for just the right conditions to germinate is starting to sprout. The bigger picture of this goal will require the support of others as well as working in collaboration with others… but it is one that we hope will give back threefold, so nurturing this sprouting seed has become all the more important right now. It is exciting to be in this position and see the possibilities of bigger dreams reaching the point of possibly becoming reality. But… “no [wo]man is an island”… there is still a lot more work to be done!

Hoping you too feel connectedness… with your community… in both the physical and digital realm.

<<= by marie-nicole =>>

xx