I had every intention of slowing down in September. No more teacher training weekends and you'd think my weeks would have been freer, but really that freedom just led to me saying yes to more shoots (oops). It's not such a bad thing, and certainly a great way to save more before two big trips, but life has certainly been full.
In between the fullness, however, I create space. Space to spend afternoons meandering beautiful botanical gardens in full spring bloom; space to laugh with friends over good food; space to lie down on the grass with Martin, our eyes closed, mumbling to each other about life as we soak it all up, savouring the minutes without obligation, simply resting in the comfort and gratitude of each other's company. Short moments of relaxation many times is plenty enough to remind you how accessible your own happiness is—it isn't something that exists only in the future, or in some distant place far away from everything and everyone you know. It's something all of us can reach for right now, if we really want to.
What I'm grateful for:
The weather's started to heat up again, after what I'm sure has been the slowest transition to spring from winter that we've had since I moved here. As much as I detest the brutal Queensland summers, I love the longer days—the brighter mornings are so inviting, and I can't wait to do morning runs by the bay again. I sometimes go 5-8 weekends without having time off (I don't say this begrudgingly—it's just the nature of the life I've chosen to live) so I really cherish the days I do get to go outside.
When it comes to places to go on the weekends, we are so spoilt for choice in Australia generally, but perhaps especially so in Brisbane. Our “big country town” is just big enough not to know everybody on the street on our way to work, but still small enough to be within a 1-2 hour drive of beautiful beaches, waterfalls, rainforests and hinterlands, all kinds of mountain hikes and more. Driving out of town always feels so rejuvenating and you feel like you've actually made your weekend count, especially when its spent amongst nature, which is completely and utterly free to admire.
What I've been thinking of:
In this busy time of year, my brain has returned to a somewhat frazzled frequency despite all the yoga, especially as my energy wanes and I long for that end of year break which is so close, and yet so, so far. I'm still pushing through and getting the last of my projects wrapped up before our trip to Tasmania in November, not to mention ensuring all our accommodation, flights, travel insurance, itineraries and so forth are in order for our Tasmania & Canada trips. I've been invoicing, editing, writing posts, trying to organise to see friends and family—no wonder my brain is full. All the more important for me to remember to create space amongst the chaos.
What I'm excited for:
The new year.
With the new year comes new opportunities. I have nothing concrete planned for next year, but we've let it be intentionally. It's going to be nice to simply see where things take Martin and I and to have somewhat of a clean slate to make decisions based on what we want out of the following years. We've had our busy time and kicked a lot of goals, but I feel a change coming, and I know it will involve starting to setup the life we want to live, exchanging busy weeks for slower, more meaningful days; still aiming to travel yearly but generally leading a far calmer daily lifestyle. Little by little, we swap old habits for new ones, cultivating healthy bodies, healthy minds, and a healthy, balanced life—this, to us, is our number one priority. There is nothing more important than your own physical and mental health.
What I've been doing:
Shooting for Broadsheet.
I mentioned in my last post that I've been doing lots of little shoots, and today I can reveal that those shoots are for Broadsheet! I'm really excited to be a contributing photographer; I've loved going to all my favourite little shops, cafes and restaurants to shoot them. If you haven't already heard, Broadsheet Brisbane will be launching in mid-November: keep an eye on the Facebook page ahead of the launch.
I've also generally been shooting, completing 3 other full day shoots during September. One of them was with the beautiful Sophia. It's been nice to have a small, steady flow of freelance photography work over the last couple of years.
After graduating from teacher training, I've been trying to take care of myself whenever possible, and part of that has meant my yoga practice has slowed down to only 1 class a week while I get the rest of life in order. I won't be teaching until next year, so I'm using this time to honour how my body, mind and soul feel—my soul has yearned to shoot; my mind yearns for a break; my ligaments, muscles, joints and bones already feeling the effects of doing yoga long-term after only 3 years. It's so important to listen to what our bodies and minds are trying to tell us rather than shoving it away. There's a time to push through, but there's also a time to be nurturing. Taking care of yourself takes a lot of self-love, and self-love takes courage, so ignore the part of you that tells you taking it easy is “weak”. I was like that once, but I know better now.
What I've been reading, learning, making:
Learning: First Aid.
As part of becoming a certified yoga teacher, I must also hold a first aid certificate to have public liability insurance and now I'm officially able to resuscitate people. Knowing basic first aid is a great life skill to have and I feel confident in knowing I would be able to help someone in a time of need. Seeing as I'm not able to donate blood because I am under the minimum weight requirement, I'm glad to have a way in which I can still give back one day.
Reading: Cabin Porn.
As our world becomes more urban, more concrete and more digital, there are many of us who simply want to return to simpler times and keep a piece of the wilderness to ourselves. Cabin Porn started as a blog by Zach Klein, co-founder of Vimeo, paying homage to these quiet spaces. Such was its popularity that they have recently released the Cabin Porn book, which I instantly pre-ordered. I began reading it on a long drive to Byron, and it could not be more perfect. If you too have a yearning to build your own quiet place somewhere, I highly recommend it.
Below: flux and flow, September 2015.