Anything is Possible, in your own Way!

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“I feel the Need…the Need, to CLIMB!!”

Well this is something that took me completely by surprise, how my life and mindset further evolved in a massive way, after I first attempted to “Climb – in my own way” by walking the steep ocean Boardwalk at Coolum on the Sunshine Coast in 2012.  That day was my version of climbing the gorgeous Mt Coolum – but to do it in a way that I knew I had a chance of at least making it to the ‘top’ of a steep slope.  That day was also my first fundraiser for SBH Qld – which I also attached (all on the same day/night!) my Goal to Walk down the beach on Sunset, and my first ever Standup Slowdance.  What an introduction to, what was to shape the direction and rest of my life, in a huge way!
What a MASSIVE DAY/NIGHT – I literally could not walk, for almost a month afterwards! haha 😀 But – this day/night was to shape my future, in ways I just did not realise at the time!

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Never in a million years back then, did I even think it was possible that I could one day, climb an actual Mountain…and more!

Fast forward to further down the track of Chasing my Dreams, and achieving many other things (some big, some ‘just fun stuff’) that, once again, I previously didnt think were possible (but…over time I came to realise – as is my mantra – “Anything is Possible…in your own Way!”).  Achieving, and doing many of these things that “I’d love to do that one day!”, even just the smaller, fun stuff, had such a wonderful effect on my confidence – I’d realised that there was one major thing holding me back – my mindset.
With a switched-on mindset, with support structures around you (people, and the environment you surround yourself with), and with the willingness to adapt that Goal/Dream to doing it “in your own way” – Anything really is Possible!

Then came 2014, the year of my 45th birthday – a milestone that was very important to me personally.  I got to thinking, what can I do to celebrate this – to ‘pat myself on the back’ for smashing this milestone out of the park?
‘Climbing something’ was the first thing that entered my mind – again I thought, well an actual Mountain is out of the question right now (but, just quietly in the back of my mind, I really was starting to think “Maybe this can become real…maybe?”)
I’d always been fascinated with indoor rockwalls, mountains, and the adventurous mindset of climbers who scale them – some as if they were just flying through the air up that surface.  That was it – I HAD to celebrate my special day by attempting to do this.  So, once again, after working my butt off in my physical training/therapy – and meeting the owner/founder of the awesome RockIt Climbing gym here on the Sunshine Coast, them kindly arranging the support I would need on the day to attempt (achieve) this – I woke up on my birthday, raced down to RockIt – and next thing I was scaling that wall! haha it was SO MUCH FUN!!!
I made it up to the 6m mark, the Wall was 8m – I was very proud of even being able to make it a couple of metres, let alone 6! And there it was, I was a climber – in my own way,  and with my guide near me if/when needed, but I was doing it!

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Fast forward (although it seems like a decade between 2014-2017!) to mid/late 2016.
Something that felt so delicious sparked deep inside of me and told me, with absolute certainty and not a shred of doubt in my mind…

“I CAN CLIMB MOUNT COOLUM – I *NEED* TO DO THIS.  I NEED TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN!!”

So, once again I worked my butt off with my training – but with an extra special dose of motivation – this is IT, my Dream I had always thought wasnt actually possible – I’m on my way to actually attempting/achieving it! I CAN DO THIS! (as the amazing human Matt Golinski himself said to me before I attempted the 2km Walk in the Sunshine Coast Marathon – those words are very dear, and incredibly motivating to me now!).
It really felt like a dream at times, very surreal – this is actually going to happen.
THIS right here, is the Magic of Chasing your Dreams – the once ‘impossible’ (even if just in your mind) was steadily turning into This really IS Possible! Wow.

July 2017 (ironically, the ‘number year’ of my beautiful ‘racing family’ and Team who gave me the wonderful opportunity in 2011, which turned into….well this website and how I now live my life, says it all, really!) arrived – and I was off – meeting up with my Team who were supporting me up & down that beautiful Mountain…

While I didnt make it to the very top (after 2hrs of gruelling, exhausting but exhilarating effort and shuffling through all of those beautiful rocks and raw nature – I have come to absolutely love rocks and big boulders, all their various natural forms, curves and colours, sitting there ready for me to explore and navitage my way around them) – I was absolutely satisfied with my achievement.  I got my view, I got my Goal…I GOT MY MOUNTAIN!! Wow…

That was it, I was addicted – just as Racing is in my blood – Climbing had slowly crept in over all those years, and was now embedded into my very soul.

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Anywhere I am..admiring a sunset, looking out at the ocean, local mountains – anywhere there is rocks, I am instantly drawn to them – I need to touch them, to explore them!

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In my element!

But still, I thought I was done.  I thought Mt Coolum was my one and only chance to Climb – especially as this body of mine was getting older (I was 47 at that time) – and also after my Climb, being hit full force with influenza, dislocating my finger, losing function of my arm – with surgery and a rough, long recovery to ‘get it back’.  Plus being hit with a serious mental health crash.  Thats it I thought, I’m done.  This part of my life is over.
I started to let go and to grieve ‘the woman I was, and the life I had built up since 2011’.
Throughout anything else that has happened throughout my lifetime, this was undoubtedly one of the hardest things to come to terms with, and to accept that this was happening.  I had an insight as to what elite athletes are saying when they talk about ‘life after sport, it can hit you like a ton of bricks and leave you at loose ends.  Something that is such a big part of your identity, is now over’.  This scared me, as I could somewhat relate – in my own way. I felt that I may be heading back towards my ‘pre-Chasing my Dreams life’ and the person I was, where I just felt…lost.

But..my mind and life had other plans! After a long, mentally tough two-year break from “all things Chasing my Dreams” (and my life, really) to recover from everything that had hit me since that magical Climb in 2017 – I started to get itchy feet to get back out to raw nature again, it hit me quite by surprise.  “Uh oh…there it is!” I giggled silently as I felt it…that feeling deep inside me that tells me, I need to get back out on another adventure! My 50th birthday was approaching, after all…another milestone – and you know what that means… 😉

Another gorgeous local area had always been in my mind, to find a way to get there (but knowing it just was not an easily accessible area, so I’d basically accepted that thats one thing I’d have to just not have a ‘want’ for – except, as someone offered once, to ‘piggyback me there’).  But you know what entered my mind…thats right… “easy, who needs easy when I know I want to do it?” haha.

And then my want to trek the rocky, off-track distance to Serenity Falls (from Harrys Hut end, Buderim Rainforest) was born…more pushing hard at my training, hearing from others what the trek is like, seeing photos and coming up with somewhat of a Game Plan – next minute my 50th birthday arrived, and I was off to get these beautiful Falls I had heard and seen so much about, with my Team around me…

While it wasnt a steep mountain, Buderim *is* a Mountain so it was a steady incline trek which took many, many hours to get there (and back out again).

The effort was very, very well worth it!

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After Serenity Falls was done and dusted, I laughed and thought “Well this really is it this time – my last hurrah – I am 50 after all and surely its time to slow down and face ‘Life after my big Fitness Goals’?!”.  I had started to come to a healthy acceptance this time, unlike after Mt Coolum when it hit me like a ton of bricks.  But again, my mind had other plans…(who’d have guessed, right?)

Just days before the Covid-19 situation got more serious, and evolving overnight/by the hour at that stage without much warning in March 2020, I was speaking with a staff member at O2 Performance (an incredible, newly built world class training facility housed at the Sports Hub, here on the Sunshine Coast – which I am absolutely blessed to be able to push my body and mind to its limits, at) about our local Mountains…in particular, the picturesque Glasshouse Mountains. At the end of that conversation – one of those beautiful Mountains was cemented into my mind as my next big Fitness Goal, with this inspiring young mans encouragement – Mt Ngungun.  Yep, thats right – I was intending to do ANOTHER Climb (as always, linking it to raising funds for SBH Qld (Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Qld), and about to commence training for it! haha “Somebody stop me!” (while of course, having serious respect for the serious Covid-19 situation foremost in my mind, and being prepared to wait until ‘the right time’ to do this).
I had recently been to the entrance of this mountain, while on a local roadtrip with an acquaintance – funnily enough, ‘something’ struck me that day – I was soon to find out what that feeling was about!
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With this beautiful Mountain in my sights, I was determined to do all I could, to achieve it.  Only to have the news that, days later, my awesome training facility was being closed because of Covid-19 – and we were being asked to stay at home unless it was essential.
Being high risk, I took this very seriously, and so my life, as others also experienced, as I knew it came to a screeching halt.

But you know what….and again this is the pure Magic of Chasing your Dreams – that Goal, that beautiful Mountain, stayed with me in my mind throughout my entire many-months isolation at home, through all the incredibly tough struggles that hit me personally/mentally during that time – especially when I got ill early on and feared that I may have caught this serious virus that was surrounding us.

Now, fast forward to mid-July 2020, and being back at O2 Performance for just under a month now, and loving being able to push my body & mind through whatever I set it – I havent set a date yet for this latest big adventure yet (I’m still in a bit of disbelief that its actually happening! haha) – it may not be till 2021 given its already mid-year and I’ve had several months of immobility due to Covid-19 restrictions and gym closure – but I do know that from now until I achieve it, my mind is fully switched to doing absolutely everything I can, to give my body and mind the best chance possible for this.

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More Climbing…told ya, I’m addicted. Anything and everything, I just have to Climb it! 🙂

First task: Get rid of my “Covid Curves” which crept in over the last few months of less movement, more stress and uncertainty (and personal stressors that hit) – its time to get my mobility and condition back which I’d also lost – ready to train so I am able to conquer this beautiful Sunshine Coast Mountain!
Mt Coolum will always be my ‘special one’ as it was the one that I never believed I could – but then I did…but this one is going to be special too – as all my Fitness Goals, and other Dreams, even the fun stuff, are – in their own Way! Who knows if this may be my “last hurrah (Take 2!)” – it may be, I am getting older (and starting to feel it! haha)…all I know is, I’m going to do everything I can, to keep climbing and Chasing my Dreams (fun stuff, and the big ones!), for as long as possible!

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GAME ON

MT NGUNGUN HERE I COME – I cannot wait to meet you! 

A Tick off the List…with a twist!

One of the first ‘ticks’ (Dreams) on my List I wrote down in 2011 was, because of my absolute love of nature, and waterfalls:

“14. Find a waterhole/waterfalls that I am able to access in my wheelchair”

…well…this has taken a very surprising, and awesome, turn – because now, not only have I found a waterfall that I can access – I now have the courage and strength, after my Mt Coolum Climb in 2017 (I apologise I havent yet updated with a post about this incredible day in my life…as my previous post/vlog states – a lot has changed since then, I’ve basically been AWOL for 2yrs!) to, as I did for Mt Coolum – get out of my wheelchair and either walk on my crutches, and/or ‘bum/shuffle/crawl’ over the rocks and raw nature – basically do anything I need to do, to reach a waterfall that is only about 10mins away from my home – Serenity Falls in Buderim!

For decades, I have wandered happily along the 600m timber track, being totally surrounded by the gorgeous tranquil rainforest – but also knowing that at the end of that track there was a rocky stretch to navigate over, which opens up to the beautifully serene and picture-perfect Serenity Falls.

I had always accepted that, because of how rough (for me at least, it apparently is an ‘easy walk’ for an ablebodied person) it would be on me to get to the Falls – that I was perfectly fine with having that timber track as ‘my way’ to experience that beautiful area of our Sunshine Coast, my home – but, at the very back of my mind there was often a very small thought drifting in of “I’d love to get there one day…I just need to find out how”.

Then – my Mt Coolum Climb happened.  I then fully discovered just what this body and mind of mine was capable of!
A couple of years (the years I went AWOL as I said above) went by, with some huge personal struggles to conquer – through these events, I had basically said ‘goodbye’ to, and grieved, the woman who did whatever she could to chase her big Fitness Goals – and grew to be perfectly content at the time for Mt Coolum to be my ‘last hurrah’.  I was also getting older, so I had to face and accept that it was ‘Game Over’ for that part of my life….or so I thought…

This year, I have been on an awesome transformation, for the positive. After a huge amount of work I have done on my body, and my mind throughout this year – I now feel that I am back to ‘Me’, the Me who I had grieved and let go of – the Me who loves to challenge myself in whatever ways present themselves to me in my life (except forced challenges, like health hiccups etc – those challenges can stay away thanks! 😉 )

Photo Credit: Hayden Evans

The Me who feels like I CAN actually do this – I will be attempting to get to, and see the Falls, right in front of me – THIS Sunday, which also happens to be my 50th birthday, a massive milestone personally, as there have been times in my life I honestly felt that I could never reach this age.

With the support of my awesome crew beside me, I will be doing absolutely everything I can, to reach the picturesque Serenity Falls in Buderim, in person – a place I have only ever seen in photos/video.  I’ll be totally immersing myself in raw (and beautiful!) nature, Chasing and living a Dream, that I, until this year, thought would only ever be in my dreams…and not actually bringing it into my life.
Wow….I cannot WAIT!! This feeling I’m experiencing right now, only days out from this special Dream off my List – THIS is what I live for…this is what I thought I (well I had, but here it is again haha) had let go of, after these past two years, and onto, as I thought (but Life had other plans!) a new and different phase of my life than I’ve been living since 2011.  Got to love the twists and turns of life, huh…it really does surprise you at times!

Serenity Falls…I cannot wait to meet you! ❤

Where have I been…and where to from here?!”

Im baaackkk! 🙂  Hi all….rather than write a (as we all know I can be a bit longwinded at times haha) post to update where I’ve been the last 2.5yrs…I thought I’d put it in a vlog instead! (a lot has changed since I went AWOL…and it seems ‘vlogs’ are the way to go now so I guess I’d better keep up with the times! haha)

This next 3 weeks until my 50th will be very busy preparing myself for a special way I am choosing to celebrate this massive personal milestone (hint: there’s a big hint in the below video – and elsewhere on my website >>> 😉 …hehe) – plus spending time winding up a number of ‘loose ties’ that need to be dealt with before 2019 ends (as many of us know, December is a very busy month overall!) – but I will do my best to update you on how my magical Mt Coolum Climb went in 2017 as soon as I can!!  It. Was. INCREDIBLE!!

As the Great Man himself, Dick Johnson says:

“The only thing you get from looking back is a sore neck!”  

My Mt Coolum Climb tunnel-focus has kicked in BIG-Time!!!

I apologise for the lack of updates since the beginning of 2017 – knowing that my Mt Coolum Climb IS, and WILL be happening this year (my 3rd, yearly attempt) I’ve been very tunnel-focussed and doing the very best I can to prepare for it, along with dealing with everything else in my life behind the scenes.   Its all getting very exciting!

(I may not be posting any/many new site Blogs between now and July 8th, the date of my Climb – so jump on over to my Twitter @ChasingDream17 for more frequent (quicker) updates! My time and focus is very streamlined, now…heading towards the home stretch towards the big day….and the HUGE Climb!)

SURPRISE TICK OFF THE LIST
My bucketlist in general is taking a back seat until after my Climb is done….but I did manage to sneak in a cute, surprise little tick off the list recently when out on Whale One, off the coast of Maroochydore/Mooloolaba…
“229. See a turtle in the ocean/its natural habitat” – I’ll be writing a blog about this cute little visit from “Tommy the Turtle”, after my Climb – my tunnel focus has me not wanting to concentrate on anything else but getting up the top of that beautiful Mountain, right now!

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He popped his head up just after the photo – Tommy’s there…even if he’s hard to see! haha

#117 GET BACK UP ON A HORSE
Aside from preparing hard for my Climb, and spotting Tommy the Turtle…I’ve been back to Sunshine Coast Riding for the Disabled for more sessions on their beautiful horses, slowly getting over my fear of being back up on a horse, since being bucked off twice, a number of decades ago!  My confidence is slowly growing, and Im actually enjoying it now…which makes a change from when I first got back up, I was very scared! THAT right there is exactly why I did it though…to work through that fear I had held onto for so long!
https://chasingmydreamsbucketlist.com/2017/03/15/117-get-back-up-on-a-horse-tick/

SBH QLD FUNDRAISING
As always, I am still striving to raise as many funds and awareness as I can, for SBH Qld (Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Qld).  Sunshine Plaza Maroochydore are continuing to be a very much appreciated source, to be able to be placed at their Community Site a couple times a month – this has proven to be very successful, in getting the word out about SBH Qld, and also to raise these muchneeded funds.  SBH Qld relies on community support to continue its programs to support over 700 families in the State of Qld.

The current total raised is so, so close to $9,000…I am so proud to have raised these funds, with the community support shown towards myself, and SBH Qld! I am hoping to reach the magic milestone of $10,000 by the time my Climb is over – who knows, I may be able to achieve this on the day as well!  If you would like to donate to this very worthy cause and help me reach the magic milestone of $10,000 raised, please feel free to click on the Donate button, on the right hand side of this page!

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WALKING TRAINING RAMPED UP TO A WHOLE NEW LEVEL!
My Climb/walking training went up a whole new level today, completely unexpectedly!
At Suncoast Fitness this morning, preparing to start my walking training – longstanding Suncoast member & now staff, Graeme strolls up “You need to get some weights on, for that walking!”
Next minute…out comes the chains/weight belt haha…it was awesome – and I definitely noticed a difference on just how much harder I had to work, with the extra weight on me!
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OK…next stop…Mt Coolum, here I come! BRING. IT. ON!!!

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#117. Get back up on a horse…Tick!

As outlined in my blog below, getting back up a horse has been quite a special journey…!

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From meeting the beautiful Flash, amongst other Sunshine Coast RDA horses
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– and being almost ‘thrown in the deep end’ by the RDA volunteers surprising me when I turned up on 21st February, saying that they wanted to get me up  (but with me being unwell that day which affected my balance, we didn’t go ahead with it).  At least I was a little more prepared with what was to come next session, when it finally happened!
We did, however, practice mount and dismount on the cute ‘pretend horse’, to see how we were going to manage getting up and back down again…

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Finally, after 28yrs of not quite being brave enough to get back up there onto a horse – on Tuesday 7th March, the day arrived.  I nervously but excitedly (have I mentioned how much I LOVE this feeling of nervous excitement, so, so much!!) drove out to the Sunshine Coast Riding for the Disabled complex at North Arm.  It is such a beautifully relaxed drive out to the country to RDA..and the complex grounds are just so tranquil.

Pulling up (it had been explained to me that Flash, the horse I met at the very beginning, may not be the horse I would ultimately get to ride, as he may be booked in for other sessions with other riders/participants) at the grounds, I saw the girls who were to assist me on the ride, surrounding a beautiful grey spotted horse which was all saddled up.  Turns out his name was Spot (funny that, with his markings! haha) and he was the horse which was to make my Dream come true.  I made my way over to Spot and the girls, and met this gentle giant.  What a beautiful horse he was, so gentle!  “Lets do this!” I thought.

Some last minute discussions on how we were going to get me from where I was on the ground, up onto Spots back – and the next minute, I was up there!  It turns out that all the hard work I have done with my fitness has really paid off, my core work especially…I sat up very straight on that horse, and didn’t find much trouble with my balance at all.  Awesome!

(the helmet we used is a ‘soft’ helmet rather than the standard riding helmet, as we had to take into account my hydrocephalus, the other helmets pressed a little too hard onto the front of my head, for my liking).

Still feeling quite uncomfortable about being up top of this magnificent creature, I steadied myself and then we were off for a short walk, turning around at the end of the field, and coming back again.  I had a number of handlers around me, reassuring me that I was ‘safe’ up there – I had a few memories come flooding back of the last time I got thrown off a horse back when I was 19…but I was determined not to let those memories and my insecurities stop me from enjoying this experience.

I was OK, until Spot suddenly stopped, and his ears were flicking in different directions…he was just having a good look around him, but it did make me feel a little nervous (given that when I fell off in the past, all I remember is ‘my horse’s ears suddenly “standing to attention” then the horse racing off, throwing me off in the process). I need to move past this fear…which is a big part of why I’m looking forward to my next session! At least I’ve taken the biggest step, and gotten back up on a horse…something I had avoided for many years.

Bring on next session…I cant wait to get back up and conquer this fear even more than I already have! Thank you to all at Sunshine Coast RDA for making this possible..including of course Spot (and Flash, and the other horses I’ve met along the way of my various sessions of ‘familiarising’ myself with these beautiful beasts).

ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE….when you face your fears, and work through them!

Challenges keep me motivated!

OK 2017 – now that I’ve had the first day (Jan 1) off, recovering from New Years Eve – now that it’s January 2, its time to hit the ground running, and GET INTO IT!

Anyone who knows me, knows that I LOVE a Challenge…I’m a very goal/results-orientated person, if I have challenged myself to a set goal, I will do whatever it takes to get there!

I also love doing those ’30-day/monthly’ Challenges, whereas each day you have a mini-goal to achieve – and by the end of the month it (hopefully) has formed into a good/positive habit that becomes a part of your daily life/selfcare.

I’m starting off January 2017 by doing a couple of challenges:
1) Decluttering guru Peter Walsh’s “31 Days to get Organised” challenge. This has become part of my new year tradition, I think this is my 4th/5th one now – its now become more of a ‘springclean/refresh my home’ than a declutter – as I no longer have much ‘clutter’ to get rid of – and if I do, I find it so much easier to ‘let go’ of it now! Deeper housework/springcleaning is also exercise..so its a win-win for me!
2) A health/selfcare site I follow is starting Monthly selfcare challenges for 2017 – the first being ‘January – Journalling’

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My Challenges reminder on my computer desktop…keeping me accountable!

Towards the end of last year, I also brought myself a little mini-diary – every day, I started writing down any little ‘selfcare’ actions I took “sat outside with cuppa” “ate vegies for dinner” “do my stretches” “time out to read” etc – any little action I take during the day which is good for my personal selfcare.  I normally do these anyway – but its when ‘times are tougher’ that I find my selfcare goes out the window – this little pink diary keeps me accountable – its my daily challenge, to fill in at least one entry every day, into that diary.  What I’ve found now, a couple of months since starting this is – I HAVE to fill in that diary every day now, its my little ‘guilt factor’ sitting there on my dining table, daring me to do something ‘selfcare’ related, so I can fill in the little book!

It is said that it takes 21 days to form a habit – these monthly challenges are a great way to form new positive habits for yourself!

 

ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE….when you set yourself challenges/goals to achieve!

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Happy New Year!! My Word of Intention 2017 is…

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The word ‘bliss’ literally means, “supreme happiness; utter joy or contentment”.
Yesss…bring bucketloads of this on, for 2017!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE…When you live and follow your Bliss!

 

#206. Write down something I am grateful for, every day for a month (which turned into a year) – DONE!

AND THATS A WRAP!…for this awesome year-long Tick off the list – and for 2016!

Following on from my updates during the year of this very personal, and surprisingly empowering Tick off the list

#206. Write down something I am grateful for every day for a month

…today I filled in my final entry for this year, in my Q&A a Day journal…

“What is your most cherished memory of this year?”

Such a nice way to end ‘the year that was’ (and a year I want to forget), with being ‘asked’ through my journal to look back and pick out a cherished moment.  This is the beauty of this challenge…when I’m ending the year absolutely exhausted and healing from 2016 coming very close to breaking me – I am reminded of these moments which I will never forget…

Meeting Tobias the Quokka…
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…and, what has become my Christmas tradition I look forward to every year – the absolutely magical wonderland that is the Mooloolaba Christmas Boat Parade


Reading and reflecting on this final entry in my journal has changed my focus to “Ugh…what a year, I cant wait to leave it behind me!” as the final evening of 2016 approaches, to…”I am so grateful I got to experience these special moments this year!”
Don’t get me wrong, I will be SO glad to shut that door on 2016 at midnight – but my focus is ending the year on a more positive note now, because of todays final entry/day of this Tick off my list!

I am so glad I persevered through the year through this challenge – I personally love those ’30-Day Challenges’ and have completed a few over the years (and have already earmarked a new one to start off 2017), but I didn’t know how I’d go doing this for the entire year – I attempted a ‘Photo a Day for a Year’ challenge a few years back, and I just got too sidetracked with my life itself, that I didn’t continue it. This Tick ended up becoming one of the favourite parts of my day – no matter what I was facing, or had faced, during my day – I was always taken back to my very personal thoughts and reflecting on my day, no matter what was going on around me – through this journal and Challenge.  How we each live through our days, no matter how we interact with the world – doing this is a very personal experience – and to put my thoughts (making sure I was doing so on the angle of ‘Gratitude’) down in words every single day during 2016 – it became something I very much enjoyed in my day, in the minutes/seconds it took to write my thoughts down from the prompt – even the rough days!
In this incredibly challenging year I have just been through – this little book was my ‘saving grace’ in a way…on a daily basis it brought me back to what was really important…my inner self, not my external situation at the time.

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I’ve come to really treasure this little book beside my bed!

Looking forward to the next year of thoughts to ponder – it’s going to be interesting seeing my previous words in 2016 to the prompts, when I fill in the new entries in 2017 (this is a 5-yr Journal)!

1st March 2017 – Update!
Well…the first two months of filling in entries in my 5yr Q&A Journal have been interesting to say the least! Comparing the ‘me, and my thoughts’ from exactly a year ago each day/entry, its very empowering to read and reflect on just ‘where I was last year’, to the ‘now, me’. Very, very empowering…all the hope for the future I had, all the fight it took to get me through ‘what was 2016’, it has all been very, very worthwhile to see, in my own words and thoughts, the changes in myself, deep down inside!

I’ve decided to add on a new angle of ‘Write down something I am grateful for every day’, by creating a Happiness Jar!

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I started this at the start of February by decorating up an old coffee jar into a colourful, fun container, and using bright sticky notes to note down anything which ‘brings me happy’ in my day.  This has become a little bit addictive – and yesterday being the end of the month, it was a lot of fun to take the notes out (I have stuck them into an exercise book as a keepsake) and read through my ‘Happy’ for February! I’m all about bringing in fun, colour and being creative as much as I can into my life….so this suits my spirit perfectly!

ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE when you bring yourself back to what’s important – YOU!

Word(s) of Intention 2016

wordsofintention

As this year started, I had in my mind the meaning (or the meaning I thought these words would take on for the year) of how my 2016 Words of Intention “Unplug & Reconnect” would make themselves known in 2016 – but lets just say – the vision I had at the beginning of 2016 (to digitally unplug, and reconnect to Mother Earth) was only a small way of how these words manifested in my life – they took hold of my life, in a completely different, but still very meaningful (and very powerful!) way!

Now that we are at the end of 2016 – I ‘unplugged’ in so many different ways – yes digitally, but with the way the year organically panned out – I also unplugged/was removed from situations, people, and ways I had been living my daily life which were just, so unhealthy (some would say toxic) for me – and I ‘reconnected’ to my life in some ways which I never expected (reconnecting to Mother Earth, the ocean which I love, through the disability beach mats being introduced to my beautiful Sunshine Coast was a special surprise for this year!)

BRING on the brand spanking new, Clean Slate for 2017!  Even though this year is definitely a year I will never want to remember/recall again in my thoughts/words – I have to say a big THANK YOU to the Universe, for taking my 2016 Words of Intention, and shaping my year into something which while incredibly, unbelievably tough to get through (I actually don’t know how I made it through, to be brutally honest) – its a year which further shaped my growth in ways I never expected!

Stay tuned in the next couple of days, for my 2017 Word of Intention – I cannot wait to get into 2017 and see what the Universe will do with this word/Intention, during the year to come!

ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE…When you set your Intention out to the Universe!

#241. Meet a Quokka….the ‘happiest animal on earth’ – Tick!

 

It’s become a personal tradition the last few years, to do something ‘bucketlist-related’ on my birthday! Having my birthday 3 days out from Christmas, it always seems to get lost/forgotten/missed with all the leadup to Christmas, people too busy/away etc – but what I LOVE about my birthday is, while everyone else around me is all stressed as its just days out from the big day (Christmas)…I’m over here like “Yayyyy…its my birthday!” haha love it! Not to mention, being born with my disabilities, my birthday is always a very, very proud day for me personally, for what I have survived and lived through since my birth – my day is very much worth celebrating..and even if no one else celebrates it, I get to do something pretty special on my special day – by doing ‘something I’ve always wanted to do’!

On Thursday December 22nd, I headed excitedly (‘big kid excited’ haha, as always happens inside when I’m about to tick something off the bucketlist!) to Wildlife HQ near the Big Pineapple on the Sunshine Coast, with the vision of a smiling quokka in my mind – exactly the feeling I wanted to have on my special day!

After meeting staff at the entrance, I then wandered down to the reptile exhibit to wait for staff who were going to take me on my Quokka Encounter, only to have a laugh at this enclosure…

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…given that it was motor racing legend Dick Johnson (and his son Steve) who inspired me on this whole bucketlist journey of mine back in 2011 – trust me to discover the “Crocodylus Johnsoni” crocodile today, of all days!

Jeremy from Wildlife HQ then strolled through the door, ready to take me to meet Tobias the Quokka…I was really ‘in the moment’ right then – and that’s what life is all about, living in the moment!  We wandered through the pathways of part of the Zoo (with Jeremy talking to all the animals along the way, calling out their names…so cute that they all have names! haha), heading towards Tobias’s cute little home – the last time I saw one of their resident quokkas (Tommy) when he first made the zoo his home, it was a rainy Saturday, and Tommy was all cozy asleep in his little burrow, so I didn’t get to see much of him at all…

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Perfect way to spend a rainy Saturday – asleep in your bed!

Before we knew it, we had arrived at Tobias’s little home…I heard him scurrying around at the fence before I saw  him – he knew something was up! (don’t know who was more excited, me for meeting Tobias, or the other way around! haha).  Wade who does the Encounter then went into Tobias’s enclosure and brought him out for me – Tobias was so, SO cute!  We then wandered out over the grass over to a bench to sit on, so I could officially meet the little guy.

Wade stood there for a few minutes, telling me all about this cute little bundle – then placed him in my arms! Awwww haha what a cute moment…he was so, so soft and cuddly – his fur was softer than I thought it would be, he was so cuddly, I wanted to bundle him up and take him home! haha.  What is said and shown about quokkas is so true – they have this adorable little smile permanently on their face, and are so innocent and playful – you can see why they are called the ‘happiest animal on the planet’!

*if you look closely you can you see his cute little smile that quokkas are famous for. I tried for a ‘selfie-style’ with a fullon quokka smile, like other photos I’ve seen..but this little man just didnt want to sit still towards the end of my encounter..so playful and cute!

 

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Look at that little face…look at it….awww and that little paw on my arm! haha Tobias you are SO CUTE!

What I really love about this humble little country zoo, is not only the passion and love that the staff obviously have towards their animals, for conservation and educating the public – but it speaks volumes that many of their animals were rescued from a zoo about an hour away, which was being closed down.  With nowhere to go, it took the dedication, energy, time, and money involved, of the people who rescued them, for these animals to be saved and placed in an environment where they are now safe to live out their days with the love of those who care for them. The zoo itself is such a lovely, natural environment – and nothing near like the ‘zoos of old’ where the animals were just sat in cages, with no stimulation throughout their days.

Shoutout and a big thank you to Julie, Charmaine, Wade & Jeremy for making my birthday visit to this amazing little Zoo for my quokka encounter, such an enjoyable way to spend my morning! Wade you were awesome with my encounter with Tobias, introducing me to him…and Jeremy, thank you so much for the mini-tour around part of the Zoo, as an extra touch to add to my day, I really appreciated the extra effort you put in for me! Now that I have purchased my Annual Pass, I look forward to my next Animal Encounter…I have my eye on Maly the beautiful big Sunbear…or the cute Tassie Devil girls, they were so funny when we went past them on my way to meeting Tobias – trying to act all ferocious, but adorably cute at the same time! Even sitting there talking to and feeding the mini horses…so very relaxing – come 2017 I’ll be spending more time in this tranquil environment, surrounded by and talking to the various animals – and meeting a few more of them too – I cannot wait to go back to Wildlife HQ again!

ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE…when you meet the ‘happiest animal on the planet’!

 

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