Don’t ever be three feet away from success

My amazingly wise and wonderful sister, Leyla (we call her Lesly Gherkin, it’s a long story but feel free to call her that too) is on the same yoga, meditation, happiness journey that I, and many of you are on, too. She’s my go-to chick, the one I call upon when I’m having a bad day or feeling flat or wondering what my purpose in life is. I plan on having her on The Happiness Cocktail so that you can have a Lesly Gherkin in your life, too. She’s clever, I love her.

I especially love her when she tells me profoundly uplifting and motivating stories, encouraging me to realise that there are no limits in the tiny microcosm of work, home, family, friends and food that we call life. We all have unlimited potential, Happy’s, so why limit ourselves to thinking we don’t?

Lesly is currently reading the book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill (by the way, awesome name Napoleon, you were born to be some kind of rockstar.) In the book, Napster shares the story of R.U Darby and his uncle, who go off to ‘get rich’ by digging for gold. They borrowed money from their relo’s and neighbours in order to buy machinery and dug and dug and dug. They struck gold. Hooray!

However, their debts were yet to be cleared and after sending their machinery down again they were pretty pissed off to discover that the second round had been an absolute disaster. They got nothing. So, they quit. Suckers!

We’ve all had times in our lives where we wanted to quit. Things got hard, annoying, tiring, boring… whatever the case may be, I don’t know of one person who hasn’t quit at least one thing in their years. I, for one, have quit heaps of things: Kung Fu lessons after 1 class (too hard), swimming squad after making the national team (too many early mornings), Agricultrual Economics at Sydney Uni after 1 year (now that, in retrospect, was a blessing), however, my point is that we all quit for various reasons, mainly because we can’t be bothered or are too scared to continue.

Here’s the problem with quitting (as kindly demonstrated by R.U Darby and his uncle) – you forfeit your chance at success. By giving up, you hand over the reigns to someone else so that they can ride in, pick up where you left off and in turn, become the winner you always wanted to be.

Such is the case with Mr. Darby. After quitting they went on to sell their machinery to a junk man for a few hundred bucks.

The junk man used his infinite wisdom to ascertain that the Darby’s were quitters and that there was, of course, more gold to be found. So, he cleverly called in a mining engineer to do some research before using the Darby’s machery to dig in the spots he’d been advised. Here’s what happend: Mr. Junk found an insane amount of gold only THREE FEET away from where the Darby’s had literally packed up their shit and bailed. THREE FEET. I don’t do numbers (or conversions for that matter) but I can tell you three feet is a bee’s dick away from success.

So, here’s the moral of the story. Never give up! Never pack up your machinery because you hit a dry patch, or because things got too hard, or too scary. Never be three feet away from success because if you leave it behind, someone is bound to come and scoop it up from where you left off  and steal the success and happiness that is meant to be yours. And that, simply cannot happen.

Tell me Happy’s…

Have you ever given up on something?

Have you got a mentor or wise old (young) owl in your life or do you want to ask Lesly something? She can seriously give advice on anything from boys to bills, she’s awesome.

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Natural, organic and certified organic beauty products you really should be trying

The natural, organic and certified organic beauty arena is more complex than a week in the life of Lindsay Lohan. Unfortunately due to the industry being largely unregulated, there are many opportunities for money hungry companies cashing in on this rapidly growing industry.

So here, today, right now in fact, I’m going to take you through some of my favourite brands that sit under each category, to make the shopping process that much easier. Winner!

Oh, and before we dive in, if you’d like to know more about each category, why not scoot over to PRIMPED and then come back, I’ve broken it down into bite sized pieces over there so that you can understand what each category actually means, and why products are classified in this way.

Oh great, you’re back… Let’s get cracking.

1. Natural.


Burt’s Bees Avocado Butter Hair Treatment, $19.95

Dr. Hauschka Almond St. Jonh’s Wort Body Oil, $50

Yes To Blueberries Age Refresh Daily Repairing Moisturizer, $34.95

Jurlique 25th Anniversary Limited Edition Herbal Recovery Gel, $155

2. Organic.

True Solutions Cleanser, $70

KORA By Miranda Kerr Exfoliating Cream, $54.95

3. Certified Organic

Aum Rejuvenating Rose Hip Oil, $22.95

Endota Spa Certified Organic Bush Honey Skin Drink, $50

 

While each of the above brands have differing reasons for remaining within their category, I can safely say that each of these products is an absolute winner. Whether is the ultra-hydrating body oil from our dear Dr. Hauschka, or Miranda Kerr’s delightful exfoliator that is sure to clear the dirt out of your pores, I’m happy to pass these good-for-you treats onto you, Happy’s.

Just a word of warning though, make sure you always check the packaging when you’re on the hunt for a natural or organic skincare product, as sometimes they are mislabeled. Oh, and if you’re looking for a certified organic stamp that actually means something, the USDA and the O.F.C stamps are the most reliable.

Tell me Happy’s…

What do you think of these products?

Have you tried any of them?

Are you baffled about natural beauty or have it all covered?

Daily Obsession: Coconut Water

Coconut has officially sold out, Happy’s. He’s cracked out of his tough little shell and he’s made it OK for large juice companies to pretend that the juice in their plastic bottle is as good for you as the sweet liquid gold that happily glugs away inside a fresh, young coconut.

It’s not true, I declare. In fact, as a seasoned coconut pro and someone who could, perhaps, be named ‘addicted’ to said coconut, I need to plead with you to not fall into the trap. I’ve tried the bottled stuff, more out of research than anything else and what I tasted was a far cry from the natural stuff.

Coconut water is, as the world is quickly learning, actually very good for you. Mainly due to its high levels of potassium, it’s a natural take on Gatorade. That’s why it’s loved by sport-stars, and yogies.

Not to be confused with coconut milk or cream – which both have a very high fat content – coconut water is in fact very low in calories (99% fat free), low in carbs and completely natural. Plus it’s generally priced between $2-$2.50 for the real deal, so why bother with the bottled version when the natural version is cheaper, and tastier? Erm, no idea.

Putting all the marketing hype and celebrity spruiking aside for one minute, I have to stick up for this tasty little dude because he’s simply delicious. And while there are critics out there who claim that coconut water is nothing more than a fad, I tell them to chill out and suck it up, because with something as naturally tasty as this healthy delight, I’m thinking it’s going to stick around for a while. Hooray!

Add a little yin to your yang

It all started (like most good things do) with a coincidence. I was invited on a work trip but was unable to attend, so, as a consolation prize, the PR took to me Hayman Island a few months later.While up there, I had the opportunity to get a treatment at the day spa which included a private yoga class. It was delightful. I’m not going to lie.

Never really one to know my downward dog from my camel pose, I went into said class with lots of enthusiasm and no idea. The practice was yin yoga, which consisted of a series of poses that were held for 3-5 minutes each, and worked on releasing tension in your hips, lower back and butt.

With each stretch, I found myself fighting harder and harder. My hips were tight. It hurt. I wanted to swear and throw the little wooden Buddha in the corner at my teachers head. How Zen of me. As she instructed me to ‘breathe’, ‘release’, ‘let go and surrender’, the urge to throw something became stronger and stronger.

Here’s why: Women, in particular, tend to hold a lot of emotion in our hips. We hold anger, resentment, grief and frustration there. All the good ones, clearly. As a result, our hips become our emotional storage units and because of all this ‘storing’ they get tight, locked up and jammed with shit we really need to let go of, but rarely do.

That’s where yin yoga comes back into the picture. Our daily lives are so frenetic, fast-paced and ‘yang’, that we need to take some time out to reset the system and rebalance. This can be done through many avenues, including meditation and of course, yin yoga.

After my class, my teacher warned me that I may experience sudden outbursts of emotion. You know, go a little nuts. With a skeptical nod, I walked back to my room, only to be faced with an overwhelming sense of anger. Oh gosh, I was angry. She’d advised me to let it all out. Cry, scream, throw my pillow, punch the doona… do whatever it takes to release the emotion shit from my hips that we’d just spent an hour loosening. I did them all. In quick succession. Only to find myself more emotionally clear than I had been in months a few short moments later. The moment of insanity had passed, and in its wake, only space, clear thinking and really, really loose hips had prevailed.

The profound impact that practice had on my life was the catalyst for big chances going forward. It fascinates me that one small, seemingly insignificant event can change your path and lead you on a journey you had never dreamed of experiencing. Since that day, that practice in fact, I’ve started walking down the path of re-discovery. Practicing yoga regularly, reading eye-opening books like The Alchemist, The Celestine Prophecy and next on my list, Siddhartha. It’s a work in progress, my hips are perennially tight (even after a 40-day yoga revolution) and my meditation practice could be likened to getting a Brazilian wax (slow and painful), but I’ve never felt more alive, happy for fulfilled.

Sure, I’m new to this and a Kindergarten student in the school of spiritual living, but who cares? Not me. I’m too busy adding a little yin to my yang and sighing with relief that the little wooden Buddha was never thrown. Phew!