Three P’s of Living a Life of Intentional Presence – Pace

The second P is for Pace.

Have you defined your own pace or are you at the mercy of the one that other people and other things have set for you?  

Your pace is basically how fast your life is travelling.

Do you remember that movie Speed –  from the 90s?  Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves?

Basically if you haven’t seen it, the whole movie is about this bus that can’t stop because if it does, it will blow up because it has a bomb on it.  If the speedo on the bus goes below 50 mph, then the bomb explodes.

So you have these people on this bus who are FREAKING out, and Sandra Bullock is driving like a crazy woman, hitting cars and running reds and even taking out prams, because she can’t stop the bus.

She just has to keep driving.  And driving.  Even if it means launching off unfinished freeways into mid air.

You remember the movie right?

Anyway, the point is, sometimes we can feel like Sandra Bullock,

And we’re driving a bus that we can’t stop!

Anyone feel like that?

I want to tell you a secret.

There’s no bomb on your bus.  

You CAN slow down.

And I want you to know you have PERMISSION to.

There’s that other P word that we don’t really know how to use much as women.

Have you defined your own pace or are you at the mercy of the one that other people and other things have set for you?  

We live in a really fast paced world.

Everything around us demands an immediate response.

Social media demands urgent responses to online interactions, otherwise we’re seen as distant or worse, rude!

There’s also the pressure of ‘the climb’ – (you know what I’m talking about – the pressure to be the best at what you do etc etc, to achieve something that looks like success.  etc etc etc. you fill in the blanks) of living a life that involves constant hustle and moving and shaking.

The climb is ok if it aligns with a pace you’re comfortable with and can handle.

But have you asked yourself what pace you are comfortable with? 

If you keep going at the pace you are right now, do you have the mental, spiritual, emotional and financial capacity and energy to sustain it? 

And not just sustain it but to thrive in it?

Looking ahead in 12 months, where am I going to be left?

Burnt out and overwhelmed, or calm and contented?

I read this great book called Present over Perfect a while back.  There’s this great quote by the author…she’s talking about presence.

“Present is living with your feet firmly grounded in reality, pale and uncertain as it may seem.

Present means we understand that the here and now is sacred, sacramental, threaded through with divinity even in its plainness.  Especially in its plainness.

Present is rejecting all the climbing up and choosing to simply come down.

To come down to the ground, and to God, to the soil, the vibrations of life.  Present is settledness.  Stillness.  Rest.

Present is no to chaos and yes to calm.

It is a deep seated sense of all rightness…it is acceptance and contentment and ease.”

I love that.  ‘Present means we understand that the here and now is sacred even in its plainness.  Especially in its plainness.’

I remember when I was a kid how I used to find solace in simple things like lying on the carpet, or sitting under a tree looking up into the canopy of leaves.

When was the last time you lay on the carpet in your lounge room, if for no other reason than to just lay there.  (Make sure its vacuumed 😉

I think hustle has been glamourised in ways that somehow validates our lives as being important or successful.

I find that there is a lot of false guilt around the idea that if we are not busy – we are failing in life, or slacking off?

Did you know that as a creative, you actually have to schedule in ‘margin’ time or deliberate space to disconnect from the pressures and the busyness in order to be your most productive?  

Your brain won’t work in the areas you need it to, in those areas of innovation and imagination etc and creativity, if it’s stuffed too full.

It just shuts down.

And what does a slow activity look like?

For me it looks like sitting on my kids’ beds at night to scratch their backs as they go off to sleep.

I’m not allowed in the teenager’s room much anymore so I go and share my love with the other two.  Haha

It’s taking time to sit at the beach for a few hours when I have a day off, instead of working to tick off the next project on my vision board.

It’s indulging in a whole day’s song writing when I should be doing the housework.

It’s not feeling pressured to answer every comment on social media or answer my text messages as soon as they come in.

That’s an especially difficult one in a world that is on hyper drive when it comes to expectations about how available you should be.

Its resisting the pressure to conform to being busy because society tells me I should be.

Everyone has their own rhythm, their own speed at which it feels right to sit at and to move at.

You CAN choose how you live your life and how busy you get.

Don’t be like Sandra.

Slow your bus down.  Get off it if you need to occasionally.

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Cate Williams is the Founder of the Inspire Collective, a Singer-Songwriter, a wife and mother of three beautiful children, and a pastor. As an Introverted creative, she understands the courage that is needed to not only develop your creative voice, but to then share it with the world. Cate’s ability to catalyse creative talents and businesses, and then translate those dreams into reality, is one of her greatest strengths.

She understands the value of failure in building success and of the hard work involved in any worthwhile venture, and accomplishes this with integrity and authenticity. Her strategic foresight enables growth for those she runs alongside, while her songs resound with hope and healing, as she sings about subjects born from real life challenges. Her debut album Dance of Life is available on iTunes, and she is currently recording her second Studio solo album, due for release early 2019.

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The Three P’s of Living a Life of Intentional Presence – Priorities

” Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” Socrates

I don’t know about you, but this quote hits me hard every time I read it.

I’m trying to make attempts in my own life to replace the busy with calm and the frantic pace with intentional presence.

Busy doesn’t have to be the new normal, and since when does being busy equate to having a successful life?

What if our answers to the ‘how are you?’ question were ‘contented’ or calm?’

Or relaxed or ‘present.’   

I’m sure that would throw a few people off centre, if we answered like that.

Well, I think its more a possibility than a far off fantasy – but we have to be willing to make some changes.

Do you want to know what they are?

There’s 3 and they all start with P (to make them easy for you to remember!)

The first is PRIORITY

I want to ask you 2 questions.

What do you think about most? 

What is pulling on your heart right now in this season?

Answer these two questions and I’ll tell you where your priorities should lie.

So much is yelling for our attention. 

People, projects, crises, problems to solve, deadlines to meet.

But I want you to think about this idea…. 

Whenever you say YES to something, there is less of you for something else.

For every yes you give others (yes I’ll help at the school, Yes I’ll cook a meal because your kids are sick, yes I’ll have the party at my place…)

Someone or something else that perhaps should be getting your YES, is actually getting your LESS.

For example, I took around 6 months to say YES to a health coaching program I was invited into, because I knew that if I committed, I would have to give up certain things.

Ahhhh, like chocolate.  And I just didn’t know if I wanted to!  You know?

Plus, I’d have less time at my disposal because I’d have to exercise and stuff….

Who was at our first collective at the start of this year? 

I spoke on living an aligned creative life.

Part of the process of finding alignment is that you know that there are only a handful of things you can commit to wholeheartedly if you’re going to do them well.

I pulled out that great Warren Buffet quote where he says,

‘The difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

At the start of the year, my big 3 priorities were the Inspire Collective, my music and my family.  And that hasn’t changed.  They are still my priorities, however the balance has shifted.

Since I gained a teenager, my life has had some dramatic alterations made to it, not by choice but out of necessity.

I find myself standing at the sink more often, washing dishes, sitting on the couch when they’re in the room, trying to be present as an anchor in the midst of my reality that is now ‘teenager town’.

Every time I say yes to another commitment, it takes me away from my key priorities. I have less to give my Big 3. 

Makes sense right?

Do you know what your big 3 priorities are?  What is pulling on your heart right now? What are you thinking about the most?

What are you saying yes to and what is getting your less?

Is it your creativity? 

Is it your physical health? 

Is it your friendships? 

Is it your emotional wellbeing? 

You fill in the gaps as its applicable for your own life.

You need to move toward those things, not away from them.

I had a chat with a beautiful songwriter friend a few weeks ago. She’d just been nominated for a prestigious music award, and her season is demanding that she show up with tours and performances but she has a toddler.

But I could hear the anguish in her voice.  I could hear her wrestle.  Because she was trying to figure out how to give her best yes in the midst of being a momma to a little person whilst juggling the opportunities that were coming her way.

How do you balance it all she asked?  How do you do it all?   

I think as women we have an incredible capacity to multi task and to carry a lot in our hearts.  And sometimes we can do it all and then there are other times when the season demands you carefully assess what is at stake.

The question to ask always is, “By saying yes to this, where’s it going to show up as LESS somewhere else in my life.”

So what did I say to this gorgeous girl who desperately wants to be a good mummy but who has the attention of the Australian music industry on her?

I said, GO!!!!  Heck, If you have some freakish skill of combining touring WA with raising a toddler, then do it!

Or at least, see how far you can get and if something starts to break, reign it back in.  Reassess. 

And shift the fulcrum.

I wouldn’t recommend everyone do that, but if it’s YOUR season, you HAVE to take the opportunity!  You have to be the superhuman, wonder woman who, even if for a season, learns how to juggle touring with a toddler.

What is pulling on your heart right now and what do you think about the most?

Lean into these things and start to align your priorities in preparation for 2019.

 

thumb-Cate-Williams-8283

Cate Williams is the Founder of the Inspire Collective, a Singer-Songwriter, a wife and mother of three beautiful children, and a pastor. As an Introverted creative, she understands the courage that is needed to not only develop your creative voice, but to then share it with the world. Cate’s ability to catalyse creative talents and businesses, and then translate those dreams into reality, is one of her greatest strengths.

She understands the value of failure in building success and of the hard work involved in any worthwhile venture, and accomplishes this with integrity and authenticity. Her strategic foresight enables growth for those she runs alongside, while her songs resound with hope and healing, as she sings about subjects born from real life challenges. Her debut album Dance of Life is available on iTunes, and she is currently recording her second Studio solo album, due for release early 2019.

All the Struggles and Glory of being an Introverted Creative Leader

Have you heard of the term ‘introverted extrovert’?

What is it like to be a true introvert in a creative space, as well as a leader of change?

How do you navigate sharing the inner-workings of your soul with the rest of the world when it isn’t your comfort zone?

How do you balance motherhood, marriage and creating?

This is such a powerful conversation with Cate Williams about the process that she has undertaken from being a super shy and quite creative – now leading a movement and kinship of creative women in Western Australia.

I wanted to have Cate on the podcast, because I think those who are introverted and have a creative heart in leadership — can often be mis-understood. I love how she brings a real take on parenting through this journey and the honesty about motherhood as well.

A super refreshing and important conversation.

– Mish Pope

Listen to Podcast 

Cate Williams is the Founder of the Inspire Collective, a Singer-Songwriter, soon to be Author, a wife and mother of three beautiful children, and a pastor. As an Introverted creative, she understands the courage that Is needed to not only develop your creative voice, but to then share it with the world. Cate’s ability to catalyse creative talents and businesses, and then translate those dreams into reality, is one of her greatest strengths.

She understands the value of failure in building success and of the hard work involved in any worthwhile venture, and accomplishes this with integrity and authenticity. Her strategic foresight enables growth for those she runs alongside, while her songs resound with hope and healing, as she sings about subjects born from real life challenges. Her debut album Dance of Life is available on iTunes, and she is currently recording her second Studio solo album, due for release early 2019.

 

A bit like finding a Willy Wonka Ticket

More than another event,

The Inspire Collective for Little Girls,

Is going to be an exquisite experience.

An experience of dreams being awakened,

Imaginations being captured,

And moments turning into life long memories.

An experience of love,

Kindness,

Friendship

Belonging…

From the moment they enter The Platform Space Perth,

They won’t know what’s hit them!

Smiling, friendly welcomes,

Giant paper flowers, fairy lights and golden balloons,

The stage dressed and ready with props for Linzi Carter’s profound live art showcase,

And her inspirational, theatric-style message on identity & knowing who you are.

Goodie bags,

Filled to the brim with so many treats tailored to every little girl’s whims and wishes,

An exquisite high tea,

Very much like something out of a story book,

Delicious in every way!

Pen pal stations,

Polaroid booths,

The most beautifully handcrafted scrapbook journalling,

Like nothing you’ve ever seen (months in the making!)

A live dance performance,

Opportunities for mums to mingle, and so much more.

All of this for only $49.95 per child,

Half that price for mums,

And generous sibling discounts if you are bringing more than one child.

Your little girl will be left feeling absolutely cherished,

Believed in,

And lavished on.

And what’s really amazing,

Is that you have the opportunity to be a part of the very first one!

It’s a bit like finding a Willy Wonka ticket;

A golden opportunity that’s rare and only comes around once!

We are building,

From the ground up,

A community of young girls from all over Perth,

Who are taught that they have a purpose,

That they have been made the way they are because of a reason,

And that courage and aligning with your creative purpose,

Will get you closer to your dreams and divine destiny.

This event has limited tickets now available.

I’m telling you,

It’s the event your little girl needs to be a part of.

If you are prepared to pay $80 for a ticket to Aladdin,

Then invest in something life giving and transformative for your little one.

Buy her a ticket to the Little Girls Inspire Collective.

I promise you it will inspire, equip and leave her with an unforgettable experience.

The link is here https://inspirecollective.breezechms.com/form/640b8197199246197821

See you there.

Cate xxxx

 

 

The sweet & sour of the school holiday rhythm

School holidays have their own rhythm.

Don’t you think?

It’s snuggles and sleepovers on the lounge room floor in front of the heater,

After staying up too late watching late night movies.

It’s the piles of laundry that get done if you remember to do them,

And the hours pouring over recipes on Quirky cooking because you have the time to think about what you are going to feed your family,

Instead of just trying to fit it all in between school drop offs and pick ups.

It’s leisurely and lazy and there’s a settledness that comes over the house,

If you choose to accept the rhythm of it all.

If, you do.

Often I’m the mum who’s trying to fight it, rather than surrender to it.

To herd everybody back into routine, and order and beds made before they get out of them… 😉

Because there’s also the ‘what can I eat?’ and ‘I’m bored’ a hundred times a day,

And the kitchen that is always full of dirty dishes and an empty fruit bowl,

Or the bedrooms that are constantly in a state of flux,

With things strewn across their floors because two out of my three little humans like to change their outfits 5 times a day…

And perhaps it’s this that makes me want to recalibrate things in my house and around me,

Like cleaning out the pantry cupboard,

And vowing once more that I’m going to stock up on rapadura sugar and almonds and berries and cacao,

Instead of chocolate and cakes and sweet and processed snacks.

But you know what?

Before I know it, they’ll be grown up and leaving home…

Then there won’t be the nagging and asking for something to eat,

Or the piles of laundry and wishing the house was cleaner….

Because it will be quiet and empty,

And different.

For now, I’ve taught myself to love the mess and the nagging and the unstructured days,

And to simply go with the flow and love the moments.

I have also just found out that my uncle has stage 4 cancer and once again,

In the midst of tears and the shock and the unbelief,

There is a sure as fire need in me to make sure I cherish my now with every single bit of  my heart,

And to not wish it away or try and make it perfect.

There is no perfect in this life we live.

There are just moments that are profound if we choose to let ourselves see the glory of them…

Happy school holidays my friends.

I hope you find the joy in each messy, out of routine moment and find your rhythm.

Cate x

Cate is a singer/song writer and Founder of the Inspire Collective – a creative movement whose mission is to inspire and connect women to discover their purpose, embrace their passion and live with courage and creativity.

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Choosing courage in the storm

We all have a choice when it comes to how we face our storms.

And it’s not a matter of if storms will come, but when.

Storms can look like illness and deaths,

Personal struggles such as loneliness, shame or fear,

To others’ criticisms and disappointments,

As well as relationship issues.

Whatever they are, you have a choice.

You can brace yourself and try keep your head above the water,

Or you can let fear overtake you and drown in the midst of it.

I’ve found that often the choice to succumb to the storm is simply because we don’t know how to navigate it,

Or that we fear it will never end.

But storms don’t last forever.

We often find ourselves flailing,

And because we don’t know how we got there or when it’s going to end,

We give up and allow ourselves to be overtaken by the crashing waves and gail force winds.

I feel someone needs to hear this right now.

I remember a time in my own life when I was in between seasons.

I had finished up at a church and was awaiting the next door to open.

I remember feelings of loss, confusion, betrayal and a whole host of other emotions as I found myself processing the reality of what had just happened.

Discouragement can easily set in at these times.

And discouragement is the opposite of courage.

I remember writing in my journal this scripture,

‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.’  Romans 8:28

The funny thing about storms though, is that you can’t see the good that can possibly come out of one when you’re in one.

All you can see is chaos and monster waves,

No foreseeable way out or end to the madness.

But that’s part of what creates the atmosphere for change.

Something happens when we have to relinquish our control and let God take over.

Often it’s a process of simple surrender and allowing yourself to be carried by Him through the storm,

And not relying on yourself.

This process in itself changes you in one of the most profound ways.

Suddenly, you realise the deep care He has for your soul,

His supernatural ability to bring beauty out of ashes,

And the way He instructs you on how to learn the unforced rhythms of grace.

You see, going through a storm, you don’t come out the same.

It changes you and the trajectory of your life.

That particular storm reshaped parts of my identity that wouldn’t have otherwise been forged.

If I’d not gone through the storm, I’d be the same and that would have meant that many opportunities that I’ve been presented with following that time,

Simply would never have happened.

Storms prepare you for the coming season.

So chin up,

Hold fast to the promises you have received from God and navigate the storm the best you can.

Fight discouragement with big doses of worship and sinking yourself deep into the healing, restorative word of Christ,

And fight it with remembering who God has said you are and will become.

Don’t lose sight of the horizon.

Keep your eye on hope.

Look after yourself and find others who understand you and can support you in your storm, not judge you in it.

You don’t know what is happening in the midst of this crazy storm that is setting you up for your future,

Or that is changing the trajectory of your life for amazing things to come.

God is behind the scenes working everything together for your good.

Trust Him and His process.

Storms don’t last forever.

They pass.

And your storm shall also pass.

Much love today my friend,

Cate x

Do you have destination disease?

It looks like this:

You can’t enjoy the moment.

You get bored easily.

You are forever obsessing about the future,

And what you don’t have,

And the better life you’re not living.

When you do arrive at your goals,

You are not satisfied, and immediately start looking for new frontiers to conquer.

Your longed for experience is left found wanting.

How do you combat destination disease?

Some sure ways to make sure you don’t find yourself a victim,

Is by learning to enjoy the journey.

It’s a phrase I use a lot in my own life.

‘Enjoy the journey Cate.’

Don’t be found yearning too much for the next, or the future, or the other, or the rest…

But actively and intentionally and very deliberately,

Suck the marrow out of the present and the now.

The true meaning of that line from Dead Poet’s Society (still one of my all time favourite films)

Echoes through my life today.

I try to live it intentionally by actively participating in my now.

I don’t always get it right,

Especially as a visionary and a dreamer,

But I have become a much more seasoned ‘Presencer’,

Learning from my past mistakes.

When my children were younger,

I would wish away their nappy years and the midnight wakings.

When I was at university,

I would wish my exams were over and the holidays had begun.

When I was single,

I would wish I was married.

When I was married,

I would wish I had a husband who was mature,

Not realising my own immaturity and need to grow.

Realising a pattern, I decided that I needed to deal with this ‘wish heavy’ disease, before it dealt with me.

Before my life got to its end point,

And I realised that the life I’d been given had been lived,

But I hadn’t actually lived it.

Destination disease will leave you feeling regret and a sense that you missed out on enjoying the life you were given because you were always wanting to get past your present.

Don’t let destination disease rob you.

Instead, cultivate the ability to experience what you have right in front of you,

Without wishing it away,

And without wanting it to be different.

And get grateful.

Bring present and gratitude go hand in hand.

Let deep heart, overwhelming thanksgiving rush out of your being.

The bible talks about entering God’s presence with thanksgiving and praise.

There’s something very wonderful that comes into play as we actively practice giving thanks for our now.

Grace and power is released to enjoy it and even to revel in it.

So I thank God for my present,

Including my trials,

And I thank Him that my children are healthy,

My marriage is blessed,

That I have enough food in my home,

That my university days are over,

That my life is full because I have learnt to suck the marrow out of it.

I thank God for the little things because they really are the big things.

Destination disease is a killer and it will stunt your journey.

So kick it by learning to immerse yourself in the present and practicing thanksgiving.

Find joy in the journey,

Because none of us knows what tomorrow will bring,

And this moment is the only one you really have.

Cate Xxx

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Cate is a singer/song writer and Founder of the Inspire Collective – a creative movement whose mission is to inspire and connect women to discover their purpose, embrace their passion and live with courage and creativity.

What do you have in your hand right now?

I am a firm believer in using what we have in our hands.

I am also a firm believer in the fact that we shouldn’t wait for perfection or having all our ducks lined up in a row before we do this.

Two years ago,

I started a ‘mentoring’ group for creatives in my home.

I had no idea how I would mentor them, or why they even wanted to learn from me,

Or what I had to offer them that others didn’t.

But I stepped out and offered my home to around 10 women every 3 weeks on a Thursday night,

Who wanted to learn how to grow in their ‘creativity’ and become all they could be.

We would meet, eat delicious cakes, and I’d talk to them about how to exercise their creative muscles,

How to use their gifts, and be bold and courageous and let go of what people thought.

I encouraged them to start that blog,

To write that song,

To paint that picture.

We would take the little creativity that we had in our hands at the time and faithfully use it.

What was a tiny seed two years ago has now become a rapidly growing movement for creative women called the Inspire Collective,

Which looks like:

A social media following of over 1300,

4 quarterly collectives a year of over 150 women,

A 150 person retreat that is sold out within days of issuing the tickets,

And a strong team of creatives that lead it who are passionate and incredible.

Mind blown.

God can do the most amazing things when you offer the seemingly insignificant, hidden and tiny things to Him in trust and surrender.

It’s almost like when you surrender your dreams to God,

And step out with what you have in your hands,

He is given permission to work on your behalf and make it great.

It multiplies and explodes exponentially.

 

 

It all comes back to taking the little that is in our hands and being faithful with it.

Whether that’s our kindness,

Our gifts,

Our ability to cook a nice meal for someone,

Or writing a blog that encourages others.

So I want to ask the question today:

What have you got in your hands, right now?

And what are you going to do with it?

Cate Xxx

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Cate is a singer/song writer and Founder of the Inspire Collective – a creative movement whose mission is to inspire and connect women to discover their purpose, embrace their passion and live with courage and creativity.

 

7 Secrets for a Mindful Christmas – Celebrate the Current

Happiness is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to look like and celebrating it for everything that it is.  Mandy Hale

We often have a picture of our life the way it is supposed to be.

Very often plans and expectations that we had don’t work out and we are left feeling a bit disappointed and ripped off.

What I’ve found works best is choosing to bring my focus back on what I DO have in my hands, and what I DO well and what IS succeeding in my life and the life of my family,

And then giving deliberate thanks for it all.

Yes, some days can be harder than others.

Yes, some days I find it hard to be grateful for anything,

But I have learnt that unless I pull my attitude back into alignment with one of thanksgiving and gratitude,

Then I lose and my family loses and those around me lose.

I’d much rather be on the winning team,

By learning to recalibrate my heart with the goodness and positive intentions of God for my life,

Than by resonating with the things that are going wrong or that don’t meet my current expectations.

Gratitude is a powerful antidote that soars above and beyond our circumstances.

So my questions for a mindful Christmas for you this year are these:

  1. List 10 things you are grateful for this year.  Write them down.
  2. Ask your husband/wife and children to do the same.
  3. Host a celebration night, out for dinner or at home, where you mention your list and get others in your family to do the same.  Then feast! Perhaps even exchange gifts in honour of the gift of being able to celebrate and be grateful for what you currently have in your life.

Cate x

Cate is a mum, wife, singer, song writer, pastor, teacher and blogger.  She is the Founder of The Inspire Collective – a creative network for women in Perth and is one of the writers for Kinwomen and 98five Sonshine FM.

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7 Secrets for a Mindful Christmas -Crush Self Criticism

Perhaps my favourite tip for a mindful Christmas season is this:

Crush the self criticism.

The struggle is real.

As women, when we’re not:

Doing the laundry, making meals, sitting with children doing homework, taking them to soccer practice, working full time, being attentive wives, renovating our homes, investing in our own growth, etc etc. the list goes on (and on),

We are meant to be operating on a level of perfection on all other fronts…

Example 1.

We all have the friends – and they’re well meaning ones – who announce that they’ve finished all their Christmas shopping,

By the end of November.

The other friends who have had their tree up since 7am the 1st December,

Donned with trimmings that look like they’ve consulted an interior designer.

Example 2.

The friends who’ve sent their Christmas newsletters out,

Complete with photos of their family portrait and glitter sparkles that fall out upon opening the envelope.

Good on them.

And I mean that sincerely!

I think those people have a gift.

And I love that they do!

It’s just that I’m not one of them,

And I’ve reconciled that it’s ok not to be one of them.

Truthfully, there are many of us who aren’t.

I have come to terms with some things.

I love my children and my husband and I give them the best I can of myself and of what I can do at the time.

And that’s enough.

Is it always perfect?

Do I always get it right?

Far from it.

But I have learnt that in order to have a healthy life,

I must first learn to crush the self criticism that so often accompanies the lofty ideals of having to have a perfect life.

Because let’s be honest,

Life is very far from perfect,

And letting go of self judgement in areas such as these is critical to a sense of well being and healthy living.

Why, especially as women, do we measure ourselves up against an invisible marker,

Reminding ourselves of how inadequate and how much of a failure we are if we aren’t organised?

Why is it easier to believe the negative self talk that we are disorganised, ‘bad’ mums,

Who have poorly planned their time (as if we have nothing else to do!).

One way to a mindful Christmas is to ditch the comparison and the feelings of guilt,

And instead,

Accept who and what your life is like right now and how things are.

And be happy and content with that.

You haven’t let the team down.

You haven’t let anyone down.

You have done the best you can do.

Let the rest go!

Christmas trees, cards, presents,

Yes, they are a great part of Christmas and a beautiful reminder of the season we are in,

But if you don’t have a tree that looks like it can feature in ‘Home Beautiful’ magazine,

Or a family portrait that could grace the pages of Country Road,

Then really, does it matter?

There are far more important things in this life,

Starting with the fact that you have probably done all you can to make your home as beautiful as it can be,

And made those you love, to feel as special as you can.

So my questions for a more mindful, less judgemental Christmas are these:

  1. Have you got a tree?  Is it up? If the answer is yes, then you are amazing.
  2. Write down what you have done in preparation for Christmas (instead of what you haven’t).
  3. Write 10 things about yourself that you do well.

Cate x

Cate is a mum, wife, singer, song writer, pastor, teacher and blogger.  She is the Founder of The Inspire Collective – a creative network for women in Perth and is one of the writers for Kinwomen and 98five Sonshine FM.

Cate singing