It’s a fine line between pleasure and pain

Yes, sadly missed Chrissy Amphlett summed it up well.

I have to admit, when I put my products out there I feel very proud of what I’ve created, but some days it’s harder than others not to feel like I am putting a little sliver of my flesh out there on a platter for all to see – the pleasure and pain of an online creative business I guess.

All the old nagging questions of ‘is it okay?’, ‘do others like my work?’ ‘what if it’s not good enough?’ creep in and it takes some serious mental talk to sweep those old patterns of thought away. My products are an expression of my creativity and I find it difficult some days to see where I stop and they begin because of the time I’ve dedicated and the passion I have for creating them.

I’ve taught myself (with some very hard yakka) to have confidence in my creativity and to attempt to get the intrinsic buzz I need from myself and not rely on others for it. But it can be hard. One off-handed comment can send me into a spin of self-doubt. Thankfully, I’ve not been on the receiving end of more than a couple of those in the past – and in fact some of my best ideas have come from those couple of off hand comments made by well meaning people – they’ve made me even more determined although it would have been easy to chuck it all in at the time. It’s all in how you look at those so called criticisms I guess.

So, when I get a beautiful message like the one I received today (below) I kick those old bad habit thoughts to the curb and know I’m on the right track. It’s funny how I can get so many heart-soaring messages, emails and phone calls but have chosen in the past to focus only on that one critical, albeit well-meaning, comment. No more!

“All of these products are so amazing! They look stunning and are so practical too!
Lisa was fantastic with the delivery to my friend who absolutely loved the bouquet.
I am such a fan of these gifts!”

So, although I try my very best to feel content and happy within myself with my little biz, I have to admit I get a big warm fuzzy when I hear it from someone else too!

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Are you good at feeling the love for yourself and being satisfied with that, or do you need a little help from others too?

Lisa xo

Baby Bouquets

Baby Bouquets

I couldn’t have said it better myself!

Today I’m sending you some link love.

Over the past week or so I’ve stumbled across a couple of blogs/articles which have really resonated with me. Their content relates to something I promised myself, here in blog land, that I would change – my struggle with feeling disconnected with reality due to being so ‘plugged in’ and ‘connected’ with technology 24/7.

I love Sam’s ideas in the first article about keeping particular times technology free and setting time boundaries with clients/customers. And at Handsfreemama… well, I love everything!

So here they are. Enjoy!

http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/live-smarter/work-life-balance/time-to-show-technology-whos-boss

http://www.handsfreemama.com/2012/05/16/what-a-hands-free-summer-looks-like/

Lisa
xo

Happy Pay It Forward Day!

It wasn’t very well publicised. In fact, I only read about it this morning in a local magazine, tucked away on its lonesome between an editorial on using grey water and tips on skin care from a local business. But there is was – Pay It Forward Day on 26th April. TODAY!

Pay It Forward Day is all about giving to someone else and making a positive difference. It can be a random act of kindness for an unknown person, or a calculated act for a loved one. It can be a smile, a helping hand carrying groceries, or giving up your seat for someone on the bus – all of which can make a positive change in someone’s life. Like I’ve told my class before – sometimes people may look positive on the outside, but occasionally the inside isn’t feeling quite so positive and their simple kind and caring act might make a difference to that.

I fully support a day where everyone is encouraged to act kindly and then ask the recipient to ‘pay it forward’. But, wouldn’t it be nice if every day was ‘Pay It Forward Day’? What kind of world could we be living in if everyone instinctively acted out of kindness for others, all the while making sure they were kind to themselves as well?

I’ve not been very good at being kind to myself in the past. I’ve judged myself, berated and belittled myself and often felt a sense of ‘just not being good enough’. I’ve often appeared happy – even too happy – when inside I’ve been questioning my every move. But why? I’m no different to those people who I have chosen to help. It’s only been in the last few years that I have realised that if I don’t look after my own needs, be honest with myself and ask for help and learn to be kind to myself -and that has sometimes meant making choices that have been hard – then I won’t be able to look after anyone else’s needs either.

So, today I encourage you (if you haven’t already done so) to ‘Pay It Forward’ to someone else and while you’re at it, pay it forward to yourself. Believe in yourself. Make some time to do something you love. Do what makes you happy. Plan for some ‘white space’ in your coming week to relax. You never know, by paying it forward to yourself you might just be paying it forward to the ones you love.

Have a beautiful weekend!

Lisa
xo

Pay it forward quote

Pay it forward quote

It’s All About Community

Recently, I left the safe shores of what I know and embarked on a journey into the new territory of philanthropy.

I’ve mentioned before that at the beginning of this year I felt an overwhelming need to give back in some way and after discussion with a Sista decided the best way to do this was with baby steps – hence registering Team Little Grasshopper in the Mother’s Day Classic coming up next month.

At about the same time I took up a keen interest in the work that Karinya House does here in Canberra. Karinya House for Mothers and Babies is a fantastic community organisation that provides transitional housing and outreach services for new or soon-to-be mothers and their babies. I noticed they were in urgent need of baby clothes, maternity gear and other baby essentials and decided then and there that I could help.

Being the sentimental fool that I am (yes, I say sentimental fool – others might say hoarder) I pretty much have EVERY item of clothing my son has ever worn (and not worn) since he was born. The same can be said for his toys and things I thought absolutely unwaveringly essential at the time – okay, so I was wrong about that Baby Bjorn I only wore once for fear of suffocating my newborn with my mammoth breasts… oh yeah, and that Respi-sense that was a great concept except I was so petrified of it going off in the night that I barely slept a wink while I lay in wait – for something that thankfully never happened. That thing lasted about a week.

So, this is how I could help.

The idea started small – to hold a swap party with my friends and then donate the left over items to Karinya House. Easy. Then I began to wonder. What if I asked others to host their own parties around the same time and we could combine our ‘unswappables’ and donate them. My exciting voyage had begun.

Since that decision was made I have been overwhelmed by the generosity of my community. I hoped that people might be keen to help out, but what I wasn’t prepared for was the overwhelming positive response and offers of assistance that came flooding in. What has blown me away even more is that people who don’t even know me have offered their help – from a beautiful PR professional in Queensland to lovely women in Canberra clearing out their wardrobes in aid of other women in need.

So, this blog post is dedicated to all those people who have encouraged my little idea and come out of the woodwork to support a cause that started as a spark and is growing into a wild (but contained) fire. In light of all the horrific events that have taken place around the world in the past week, you prove that people are inherently good, willing to help and give their time to do so. While I have been planning to support others you have supported them by supporting me. I thank you.

I’m so excited by the idea of what’s to come that I can see how I could easily become a donation/fundraising junkie. Although it’s an exercise in giving, there’s this intrinsic kick I’m getting that makes me question some days if I might be a little bit selfish even. Crazy – I know!

If you want to know more about Karinya House and how you can support them check out the page tab at the top of this blog, or email me on littlegrasshopper75@gmail.com.

Love,
Lisa xo

Give with love

Give with love

Sandy Toes, Quality Time and Sock Rolling

Hi everyone!

I’ve just come back from a magical 3 day coastal trip with my little boy and although I’m feeling refreshed and ready to tackle some serious life, work and charity goals, if truth be told I could have blissfully stayed in our salty air paradise for many more days and hung out in a place where it felt like time stood still.

As I sat on the beach on our final day, watching my son zoom around on the wet sand like an airplane, I became joyfully aware that my usually time driven, busy mind was still, focused on the moment and I didn’t even know or care what time of day it was. Was it time to eat? I was letting our stomachs lead the way and let us know, rather than my usual mindset of ‘It’s 1pm. Time to eat.’ It’s funny how when I’m not aware of time I tend to be a less hungry person. I wonder if my recently highly scheduled lifestyle has contributed to those few extra kilos!

Those who know me personally know that I often inflict myself with all kinds of ‘mother’s guilt’ and self doubt about all manner of things to do with my parenting, from ‘am I spoiling him?’ to ‘am I spending enough time with him?’ to ‘is he starting to look like Ringo Starr because I’ve left his haircut too long?’. But one thing I do know is that, although I work and do my best to keep some ‘me time’ in the diary, when I am with my little man I stick with the old adage of ‘it’s the quality of the time not quantity that matters.’

Of course, quantity does matter, hence why I’m shaping my little biz around my family – having the time to spend with them is on top of the priority list. But, I’m also a firm believer that it’s important for all of us to have time to follow individual pursuits, socialise with others and spend time in our own company. It makes our time together that much sweeter.

This way of thinking translates nicely across to my business as well. I have a finite number of hours (sometimes I swear it feels like only minutes) I can give to Little Grasshopper on any given day, therefore I must resolve to make those hours and minutes count. They have to be quality. The same goes for the gifts I produce. I may not be the fastest sock roller and onesie folder, but I have developed a methodical system that works for me and the end result is a quality product with attention to every detail.

I am resolved to endeavour to make every minute of my life a quality minute (even in those tricky, not my choice kinda situations) no matter what I am doing or who I am with. Unfortunately, this might mean slowly releasing things and people from my life that don’t add quality to it anymore, so that I can make more room for the things that do.

Like jumping waves in the pink sunset while holding hands with my little son. That’s my quality.

What’s yours? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

Lisa
xo

My first crack at a YouTube vid!

When I’m not busy parenting, blogging away about my life, teaching and/or talking, I run a little biz called Little Grasshopper. I made this a few weeks ago and plopped it onto YouTube to share.

It’s my first go at creating something like this for the public and although it’s simple, it’s a baby step in the right direction.

I have grand plans of making time lapse videos of how I got my little biz started and another one for the charity event I’m running for Karinya House in May and June of this year (see the above tab for more information on this). So stay tuned!

I hope you like it!

Lisa xo

Trying new things – be brave!

Hello everyone,

This morning I took my son, Max, for his very first ice skating session. He’s not a natural risk taker so was a little apprehensive, admittedly as was I for him, about the prospect of donning shoes with blades and balancing on ice where the potential for an accident was increased with every slippery wobble.

Upon walking through the doors to the rink, he immediately commented that he didn’t like the ‘smell of the place’ and that he didn’t think he would like to spend time at this place. I knew this was his ‘flight or fight’ mechanism speaking and he was using the first thing that came naturally to him – his natural proclivity for words – to ‘fly’ right on out of there. Some reassuring words were all he needed to take the next step.

As I tied his laces I knew his anxiety was growing – he was jumping around like a jelly bean and asking a million and one questions about ‘what might happen if…’. With soothing words of comfort and confidence I helped him into a standing position. Immediately, a broad grin came across his face. “I’m doin’ it, Mummy!”

This enthusiasm soon waned when he ever so tentatively stepped out onto the ice and grasped me and the edge of the rink with a vice-like grip. After about 5 metres of shuffling along the edge (and 15 minutes later) Max proclaimed that he wasn’t enjoying ice skating and he wanted to go home. Now, at this stage I could have just chucked it in, packed up and taken him home. But I just knew that if he tried a bit longer he might actually enjoy it and see some progress in his capabilities.

I’m so glad I went with my gut.

By the end of the hour session, Max had done 10 laps of the rink. Each with increasing confidence, speed and ability. Each new lap saw him working with a ‘model of gradual release’ until he only required my hand for balance. Sure, he had a few little falls, but he laughed, attempted to get up, laughed again and then we discussed a new way of trying to get to his feet. He tried and he did it. All he needed was a little vote of confidence from me and belief in himself, not to mention the willingness to have a go even with the potential for failure.

And he was reluctant to get off the ice when it was all over! “When can we come ice-skating again, Mummy?” he asked as we left. Music to my ears!

My very pleasurable and fun morning reminded me of a few things which I could bear to be reminded about once in a while. Sometimes things look hard, but when you believe in yourself and don’t hold the expectation of success on the very first attempt, you will always find new ways to get there. Trying new things is a part of the excitement of being alive – what’s the worst that could happen? And finally, in the famous words of little Dory, ‘Just keep swimming.’

Have you tried something new lately? Have you always wanted to do something but haven’t felt the nerve to do it? I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below.

Enjoy your Sunday afternoon!

Lisa
xo

Just keep trying

Just keep trying