Less is MORE!

Since quitting my job a few months ago I have had such a strong realisation that less is actually more. I was having a discussion with a few of my close mates over the weekend about values and different experiences and I was explaining that I don’t think I ever want to be someone with a lot of money. I don’t want a lifestyle of spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars on superficial and materialistic items because money doesn’t bring you happiness, things don’t bring you happiness. I’ve watched money ruin people and destroy families. I’m aware that we need it to live but since not having a constant weekly income I am so much more thankful and appreciative for the little things. Whether that be someone shouting me a meal or putting petrol in my car or buying me a chocolate. I’ve learnt to have fun without spending money and I have explored and experienced some of the most beautiful places ever as a result of “not having much”. This is the fullest and happiest I have ever been in my whole entire life. I feel like I’m actually living.

After explaining this to my mates, one of them suggested we watch a documentary called the minimalist.

This documentary is essentially about people who have been in high roles/ positions with work, earning big money, living in huge houses and having a life of “luxury” but found they were so ridiculously unhappy. There are 2 main men who created this concept of minimal living – Living with the bare essentials. A few shirts, shorts, one jacket, underwear, a few items of furniture etc. They go around telling everyone their story and how much their lives have changed since living life this way.

This got me thinking and inspired to make a change in my own personal life. I went home and cleared out my whole wardrobe, all my drawers, everything I owned and I got rid of 3 bags full of clothes because I just don’t wear them. I also got rid of 2 whole bags of “stuff” that has been sitting in my cupboard for years. As I was clearing the clutter of my personal belongings, I was clearing the clutter in my mind.

Everyone’s idea of minimal living is different. I still have a wardrobe full of clothes, the difference is these are clothes that I will actually wear. Does this mean I’m not going to go shopping and buy new stuff? No. It just means that I want to be more conscious in what I buy and question if this is going to serve a purpose in my life?

These are clothes I’m throwing away.

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This is my wardrobe after throwing out my clothes.

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Another thing this documentary made me realise was the fact that I was giving way too much of my time to social media. In a negative way.

For the last few days I have turned off my notifications to Facebook, Instagram and snapchat. I check throughout the day occasionally but I’m not sitting and scrolling for hours. I’m choosing to be more present and invested in the people I’m spending time with.

Every morning when I wake up, instead of scrolling pointlessly through my phone I grab my journal and write down a few things I am thankful for. This has had such a positive impact on me and how the rest of my day plays out. We should always start our day off thankful.

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I was so impacted by this documentary and by blogging about it I’m wanting to challenge you in ways you can prioritise. How can you minimise things that aren’t important and maximise the things that are?

Every single person in the world deserves happiness – Your happiness is in your hands.

I’ll close with the quote they closed with off the documentary.

“Love people and use things, the opposite never works”.

By Bethany Calverley.

 

Jessica McDermott!

My Cousin, my Best friend and my soul sister. This is my Jessie, my forever friend. I’ve known her my whole life and absolutely adore her more than anything. I am beyond proud of her and am so thankful for her honesty with this project. Photographing her wasn’t hard at all, her beauty shines, you’ll be able to see it in her photos. She’s natural, wonderful and completely captivating.  I hope you can see that Jessie.
Written at age 22.
Jessica McDermott:
1. What is your idea of beauty?
My idea of beauty is probably totally warped and influenced by what I’m sold by the media but I am on a journey to fix my view of true beauty. In my head I know beauty as ones strength, kindness and courage! Beauty is more a personality trait rather than appearance. Although this information is yet to drop inches from my brain to my heart!
 2. Where do you place your worth?
Every day is a battle for me to place my worth in God rather than in my insecurities.
Unfortunately I haven’t yet got this concept and I find myself placing my worth in what others think and in other peoples success. I’m slowly learning that other peoples success is not my failure.
 3. What has been the biggest obstacle in your self worth journey? 
The biggest obstacle for me on this very long self worth journey is probably how others look.
As a mum I expected to ‘bounce back’ {as I was told I would hundreds of times}  but when I didn’t after 6 months I found myself hating myself and the way I looked, then I fell pregnant again! After the birth of my second I was even more harsh on myself and still am now. I find myself looking at other mums who did ‘bounce back’ and wanting to cry because I didn’t. It almost sounds stupid as I type it but for me it is a real obstacle that stops me from being happy and feeling beautiful or of any worth. How sad that so many of us feel this way? is our worth really measured by size?
 4. What has been your biggest achievement in your self worth journey? 
Not a huge achievement nor does it happen regularly but sometimes I get up put clothes on that aren’t PJ’s, do my hair and makeup and I feel good! To me that is an achievement! My goal is for that to be more common 🙂
 5. How do you view yourself today?
Today in this very moment I feel powerful! I am proud of myself and how far I have come. I am on my way to the woman I want to be! I feel beautiful as I sit here typing eating a cookies and cream magnum {YUM!!} at this very moment I couldn’t care what anyone thought of me! This is not always though….. some days I struggle to look in the mirror.
 6. What are 3 things you do to practise self love?
1. I do a facial! I always feel great after I pamper myself!! Y’all should try it 😉
 2. I sit and stare at the ocean! It makes me think and it calms me, when I’m calm I put things into perspective and I become empowered! I am inspired by the strength and beauty of the ocean.
 3. I write down all negative thoughts I’m having or anything I’m worrying about and put it in a box. To me writing it down is a release and putting it away is like putting it out of my mind. I then think of something I like about myself for every bad thing I put in the box.
 7. If you could give advice to your younger self in regards to self worth and body image, what would it be?
It doesn’t matter! At the end of the day no matter what number is on the back of your dress, YOU ARE BEAUTUFUL!!!! Happiness and health is what counts. Be happy, nourish your body and live for yourself!

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Courtney Cook!

This is One of my most treasured friends Courtney. I’ve known her since our early high school years. We met at youth and small group and from there our friendship grew. Courtney is incredible, humble and so loving. Our friendship is unique and I am SO proud of her and her journey of self love and self acceptance. Read her words of courage and embrace the beautiful girl she is.

Written at age 20.

Courtney Cook:

  1. What is your idea of Beauty?
    I think beauty is something that is all around us, found in places and people we would not expect or we don’t see in ourselves. I think beauty is shown differently through each human, thanks to God’s crazy, good imagination.
  2. Where do you place your worth?
    From past experiences I often struggled with worth. I’m not quite sure when it changed but it had something to do with my relationship with God, He mended my heart and I found a love that was everlasting, embracing and whole.
    Through my spiritual journey I found my worth along the way.
  3. What has been your biggest obstacle in your self worth journey?
    Feeling unloved, unwanted or unneeded.
    Under appreciating myself and who & how I’ve been made to be.
  4. What has been your greatest achievement in your self worth journey?
    Pushing past the feeling of being unloved, unwanted and not needed. It took a while because for years I had something, someone pushing against it but once I was able to accept that it wasn’t my fault, that I was not these things because of something one person had done to me, it really have me a sense of freedom, self worth and self love.
  5. How do you view yourself today?
    Stronger,
    Wiser,
    Healthy,
    Loved,
    Lucky & able.
  6. What are 3 things you do to practice self love?
    Exercising daily is one of my main ways of practicing self-love, it’s not something I do for others but purely for myself.Nourishing my body with foods I believe do so, despite what others say about it.I also spend time with myself; I journal, read, walk or listen to music. Spending time with myself allows me to a better me for whatever is ahead.
  7. If you could give advice to your younger self in regard to self worth and body image, what would it be?
    You are who you are, and those things you dislike about yourself right now you will learn to love.
    You’ll love the colour of your hair despite the torment,
    You will appreciate your size no matter what the person standing next to you looks like and all the things running through you head you will overcome and be stronger for it.

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Unveiling Beauty.

I’m going to be starting a new photography project for my blog called unveiling beauty inspired by the book captivating!
My vision is to create a space where girls are able to feel comfortable to express themselves through their own individual self image, share their body image story and beauty back ground without fear of judgment! I’m all about being raw, real and authentic so it’s basically going to be the same series of questions to a different bunch of girls with how their self image journey has played out, along with some photos that highlight THEM in all their beauty. This is a project that’s been on my heart for a while now and to finally see it start to come to surface is beyond exciting for me!

It’s close to my heart because my entire teen years were filled with doubt, discouragement, hurt and emptiness in regards to my self image. I’m so damn passionate about this and I am going to try my very best to make a difference for the generations of women to come and also for the ones that have been! I want women to gain perspective of other girls body image journies. I want this space to be relatable, empowering and inspiring! I want them to know that they aren’t alone in their awful thoughts and that they can conquer feelings of doubt! Join me on this journey of self love and a movement of beauty!

 

Golden Hour!

20.12.16!
I can’t even begin to explain how creative my God is. This was a spontaneous sunset adventure, I’d just come from my cousins house when the whole sky lit up gold. My mum and I hussled ourselves and quickly chased the last hours of light. I had no idea my eyes and my soul were going to encounter such a wonderful sight. We landed our selves at Long Jetty on the Central Coast. I kid you not when I say it was every season in one that evening. There was rain coming from light pink fairy floss clouds, lighting bolts in every direction, a fierce gold and orange sunset, thunder rumbling in the back ground of it all as well as a rainbow in the midst of dark psychedelic tie dye clouds. I was really bummed that I wasn’t able to capture these sights with my camera, my iPhone sufficed but didn’t do the view the justice it deserved!

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Nelson Bay!

Earlier this year (2016) I was dealing with a very rough break up. One day my mum came into my room, told me to get dressed so we can go on an adventure. We didn’t have any idea where we wanted to go, we just drove and ended up at beautiful Nelson bay. We went on a dolphin cruise and met some really incredible people. We shared our joys, passions, trials and hurts. It’s a truly wonderful thing when strangers can come together and share life. This day was a clear turning point in my break up process and my growth as an individual.

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Experience, Learn & Grow!

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I’ve been busy taking some time out to do a lot of personal growth. It hasn’t been a matter of feeling un inspired, it’s been quite the opposite actually.

These last few months have honestly been life changing. Since the last time I wrote a blog post I have met so many incredible people which have empowered, challenged, hurt, loved and inspired me. A few life lessons I have come away with are:

Learn from your experiences – Every single human being in this world has faced both good and bad experiences. For me personally this year has bought its ups and also it’s downs but the main thing I have taken away from each individual experience is to have an open mind and embrace everything from different perspectives but also for what it is. We are constantly growing, learning and changing in life and if you can try your best to take away the positives from the hard things your facing you can have the power to bring happiness to an awful situation. I can 100% guarantee there is always at least one good thing in painful experiences, you might not see it or feel it in the midst but over time you’ll be able to look back and realise simple blessings in disguise.

Just do it – We all have a goal or dream that seems so far out of our reach yet the yearning in your heart for it becomes stronger. Dream it, Chase it, DO IT! I have learnt so much about myself these last few months, one of the main things is that I can do absolutely anything I set my mind to and so can you!!! I’ve had a dream of heading to a third world county to be a part of some sort of mission trip since forever. This year I looked at what I’m passionate about and I booked a trip to Cambodia an Thailand. Sometimes we just need to push ourselves outside of our comfort zones to completely embrace our dreams. Am I prepared to go overseas? Nope. Will I ever be completely prepared? Nope!!! I’m nervous, petrified and excited and I know that this trip is going to be life changing, not only for myself but also for others. Make your dreams a reality and JUST DO IT. I know and have seen first hand how quickly someones life can be gone, it’s too short to sit a round in the same boring routine. Push yourself and challenge yourself to do and be more!

Open your heart again – Let’s talk about heart break. We’ve all been there and every break up is different but in the end we all get the same result of our comfy being gone and feeling a little lost with a sickening feeling in our bellies and physical pain in our hearts. It sucks but as weird and as stupid as this sounds I am actually so damn grateful for every single one of my breakups, every single fight, every hurt, every tear and every inch of pain I have felt. I am thankful because as much as the process of a break up hurts (and boy oh boy does it hurt) they help make you who you are. There is just something different about experiencing a breakup and the healing process from this takes time. Again everyone is different for some it may take a few months and for others it may take a year or even more. Always be mindful when you are in your healing process that you are able to set the pace, you are able to establish your own personal growth and you get to start over as many times as you need. There is someone out there for everyone, know your full worth and don’t settle for less than what you deserve. There are so many wonderful people to keep your heart closed off, take risks for love and don’t fill your head with what ifs!!!

Do things that make you happy – I actually don’t think I can stress this point enough. We have one life on earth, Please make it wonderful. Spend your days doing things that fill your heart with an unexplainable, contageous joy. Don’t make excuses like your too busy. You should never be too busy to fit stuff in that you love to do. If you aren’t content in your job, in your relationship, in your life then take steps forward to change it and to break vicious cycles. We all need to find our clarity and find our happy and a lot of the time this comes from doing simple little things that we enjoy. I believe we should take an hour out of our day to embrace our strengths and try new things or continue to grow and challenge ourselves in things we already love doing.

Surround yourself with beautiful people – This last point is closest to my heart right now. I am so so blessed to share the friendships/relationships I do with the people in my world. I have realised that I have a really special bunch of friends, people I can be myself around, cry with, laugh with, adventure with and do life with! I have had my fair share of awful and toxic friends which makes me even more appreciative of the people that i am close with now. Your vibe attracts your tribe. I have really made a conscious effort to surround myself with people that challenge me, love me and help me become a better person. Each person in my life plays a different role and each one inspires me in a different way. Surround yourself with people that make an effort for you and accept you for the person you are.

By Bethany Calverley.