PERCEPTION & SELF-WORTH

After visiting a friend who made me try on all of the tight clothing from her wardrobe, she said to me in exasperation “you have such a nice figure – why do you dress the way you do?”. I thought I dressed nicely. However looking down at my 2 sizes too big boyfriend jeans and loose jumper, I thought “yes. Why do I dress the way I do?”. I dress for comfort. I do think I’m quite trendy, however I do dress a little bit like a boy at times. Even my therapist asked me “why do you dress down all the time?”. Do I really dress down?

The one thing that stands out about me, is that although I may have my head in the clouds in regards to a lot of things in life, I have my feet firmly planted on the ground. Having a sense of humility about me is a trait that I think is a positive. I’m not one to lose myself to vanity or anything else like that. If I was I’d be one of those girls who always is dressed immaculately and gets a weekly blow-dry, spray-tan etc. That’s not who I am – not to say that I don’t “bring it” when I do get dressed up to go somewhere, but it’s not what I’m about, and I think its a dangerous trap to fall into.

The one thing that I want people to see is the real me. Not who I appear to be on the surface. Not my work or my bank balance. Me. So I tend to dress down 90% of the time. To the point where during the week I don’t brush my hair or wear any makeup. “Makeup is meant to enhance beauty, not to hide it” as my father always tells me.

Just last Monday as I was wallowing in self pity (I have fallen into the trap of doing this a lot of late), I decided to indulge in a little retail therapy. Even though it is only a temporary fix, it really does do wonders. I wandered into Kookai to bite the bullet and buy some tight dresses. Those of you that know me know that I rarely do tight clothing.  

“You are so effortlessly stylish” the sales assistant said as she approached me. I looked down at my mismatched outfit. I was wearing leopard print jeans, a white fur vest, and a slogan t-shirt which I thought was quite appropriate for how I was feeling. “Not all those that wander are lost” it read.

“Well it’s certainly effortless because I just threw on anything quickly and left the house”. I responded to her. This was the second time this had happened in as many weeks.

I was in Freedom buying some cushions the other week. I was wandering around in a daze painting a mental image of how I wanted to style my new bedroom suite. Upon going to the counter, the clerk said to me “I have been watching you wander around the store and I was telling the other girls that you are just stunning. There’s something about you”.

I was dressed in short overalls, my hair was so filthy it was stuck to my scalp and fashioned into the worst top-knot you have ever seen, my face free of makeup. I resembled that of an apprentice plumber. 

“Um, I look like I’m about to go cotton picking” I said to her. I really did. If there was a theme to my outfit that day it was certainly one of the farming variety.

“You can’t even see it. You don’t know how beautiful you are”.

Was she for real? Or was she just blowing smoke up my ass so I would spend up? Clearly her eyes were painted on.

“Do you have kids?” she asked.

“No”. I answered. I hate that question.

“If you had kids you’d be one of the yummy mummies at my kids school”.

I laughed. Its’ always nice to be flattered. But I honestly didn’t see what it was that she was so taken by.

Being a perfectionist I am highly critical of myself, and most times all I can see is my flaws. I’m unable to accept compliments. My friend Venessa pointed this out to me yesterday.

“Why do you do that?” she asked in frustration.

I hadn’t even realized that I did do that. It all comes down to self-worth. How much do we value ourselves?

My guru asked me to do an exercise the other day and name five positive attributes about myself. I have done this exercise with him before and I have them written down on a post it note and stuck to my computer screen. I began to rattle them off.

“No, no, not from some script. You tell me what you think of yourself.” he reprimanded me.

“Hmmm. I’m smart…”

“Well if you were smart wouldn’t that mean intelligent?”

“Yes”

“What else?”

“I have a good sense of humour”

“What else?”

“I’m beautiful. But not right now. I look terrible right now.”

“Well then you can’t say that because you don’t believe it. What else?”

I couldn’t think of anything else. And then Todd started to rattle them off to me. Things that I clearly didn’t see. If he had of asked me to name my flaws it would have been a much easier task.

“You’re creative, strategic, sexual, quick-witted, friendly, communicative, stylish, you love traveling, you’re adventurous, you’re quirky, you are a free spirit…”

Yes. Yes I am. And sometimes it takes others to be able to make you see your true worth. Our perceptions of ourselves are often skewed for whatever reasons with even a mirror not giving us a true indication of who we really are. After all, the mirror shows us in reverse…

“Outer beauty attracts, inner beauty captivates” as the saying goes. This is what I want people to see when they see me. Or perhaps what really needs to happen is I need to just learn to see it for myself.

A RARE AND HONEST PEEK INTO MY WORLD – BALANCE, POLARITIES, AND PUTTING UP WALLS

I ordinarily write in a humorous fashion where I can, but today I have managed to overwhelm myself into a state of despair and self pity. We all have our peaks and valleys, and today I am at the bottom of the valley. In fact if that valley contained a river also, I would actually be on the river floor. Curled up in the fetal position. Sobbing uncontrollably.

So let me begin….

Balance is an interesting thing. For those of you that have read Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now”, you will know that nothing in this universe is without its polarity. He teaches that black cannot exist without white, that space cannot exist without the planets and stars, and that an empty room cannot exist without the four walls surrounding it.

It is the same with our personality traits too. Whatever trait we possess, we will always posses the flip side of that trait, to create the perfect ying and yang balance.

I, for example cry every single day. I am very sensitive. I over think things and I really let things eat away at me. But I also have this incredible knack for putting up walls and not only do I not let anyone in, I also protect myself from letting anyone get too close to me. You could liken me to a cactus. I’m not entirely sure why I do this. However those that do not know me on a deeper level might see me as being quite flippant. Trying to turn everything into a joke, and keeping things light. But in reality I feel everything very deeply, and get hurt very easily too. Those are my polarities.

Here’s an example of that balance for you, which is somewhat of a negative.

I was upset just last night. I was actually beside myself. My tears wouldn’t stop flowing and the last thing I wanted was to be on my own. I am by myself a lot. More than the normal person I think. I work in solitude within my business, with the only contact I have being with clients over the phone. I write in solitude. I also don’t go out all that often, so I’m kind of my own worst enemy when it comes to isolating myself. I am also an expert at it.

Anyway, back to me being upset. The reason why is irrelevant (because I don’t want to go into the details as to why because I don’t want to let anyone in) but I do think Sundays are a hard day. I was discussing this with my friend Venessa the other day who informed me that that’s why she always works on Sundays – because everyone is with their partner or family on those days and it can be hard, so working is a welcome distraction. I can’t help but wonder if that’s why I throw myself into work the way I do. I am often referred to as a workaholic. Am I really only distracting myself from what is?

Having been in relationships from the age of 14 is also something that I feel has been detrimental to my emotional development. I am somewhat stunted in that department. I have been told I have a high mental IQ, but a low emotional one. And it’s funny. I look much younger than my almost 34 years (which in itself is remarkable as I don’t get all that much sleep), and there is a theory that my sometimes permanent state of emotional adolescence and childlike wonder (even though in certain aspects I have more adult responsibilities than some 50 year olds) has manifested into the physical – preserving me in a Peter Pan like fashion to resemble that of someone who is much younger than my chronological age will elude to. Which is obviously a welcome physical side effect, but emotionally leaves me incapable of being able to fully connect with myself.

So how am I not able to connect with myself?

I phoned a friend last night, in tears, asking if I could come over for a cup of tea and to talk about what it was I was feeling. I was incredibly lonely. Overwhelmingly lonely in fact. She told me to come over. So I got into my car and drove over to her house, and when I got there the walls came flying up. That’s my thing. I am excellent at building a fortress around myself. I went there to cry and be comforted, however I don’t ever want to appear vulnerable so I falsely and foolishly made myself seem strong and like I wasn’t falling apart. I couldn’t cry. I wouldn’t cry.

She made me a tea, and brought me chocolate, like a good girlfriend does, but I never allowed myself to fall apart. I wanted to. I wanted to be able to break down in tears, and have her hug me and tell me it’s all going to be ok. But I didn’t. And this is my flaw. Pretending to be strong when I am anything but. Being a perfectionist and worrying about distressing other people with an overt display of emotion whilst on the inside I am having a meltdown. I am almost envious of those that are able to fully connect with themselves and feel what they are feeling. I certainly felt it, to the point where I was almost physically ill, but what I was displaying on the outside told a very different story. I held it together like a trooper.

I don’t know why I see it as a sign of weakness to fall apart. We should allow ourselves to feel what we are feeling. Particularly as women.

I think my mother helped tipped me over the edge yesterday too. I had gone to my parents house for dinner, and she told me that she missed me and asked where I had been all week. I had been working. Working and isolating myself. I am the master at it. She looked at me and said “I don’t want you to go into your shell and think that nobody cares about you”. And that’s exactly what I had been doing. It’s confronting for someone to be so intuitive and realise you have been found out. Sometimes I think people see a lot more than you think they do. And it’s a contrast to what I really want. I love people. I love to talk to them, to make them laugh. But at times I feel as though I am a thorn in ones side, so I would rather go into that proverbial shell. But in attempting to keep out sadness, we also keep out happiness, and I find I am as a result my own worst enemy.

My girlfriend saw it too. People really do see a lot more than you give them credit for. She looked me straight in the eyes and told me “don’t do this alone. Draw on whatever resources you have available to you to get you through this”. But in order to do that I must lower my walls and let people in. A catch 22.

It is very self destructive to behave in the manner that I do. I had a Skype appointment with my guru (Todd Savvas – www.toddsavvas.com) last night. He is very confronting and will tell you things that you likely don’t really want to know about yourself. One thing that stuck in my mind is his warning that I am going to destroy myself if I don’t start looking after myself. My inability to sleep, and my lack of strength physically due to being a tiny person with very little reserves and one that runs purely on nervous energy will be my undoing he warned. Quite ominous, and something that made me stand to attention. The light gets in through the cracks, and hitting rock bottom means the only possible way out is up. Being broken is the catalyst for change.

Did you know as humans we need something like 23 lots of physical contact a day? It may be just a handshake, or being able to read emotion on someone else’s face, or playing with a child. I have a deficit of physical contact because of the way my business is set up, and perhaps this is also what adds to the way I have allowed myself slip into, and wallow in self pity.

Another thing that is adding to my current level of despair is that my birthday is coming up this Thursday. And I hate my birthday. I always have. My guru asked me last night what it was that I wanted to do for myself for my birthday. I couldn’t think of one thing. Nothing. But now I can. I just really want a hug. As silly as that may sound. Because after all, man is not an island, and it’s important to let someone take your hand once in a while to help guide you back onto the right path.

INTERVIEW WITH DR NICK CAMPOS

Having written about my own opinion on it previously, IVF is something that I have always felt very strongly about. I do feel as though IVF is, at the end of the day, a big business, and I personally believe that couples are not provided with enough information before undergoing what is not only an expensive and invasive procedure, but one that is high risk, and with a relatively low success rate. It is one where the couples are almost always making decisions purely based on emotions rather than facts, and I do think it is important to get the message out there about the things that can potentially go wrong.

Dr Nick Campos, (www.nickcampos.com) is a teacher of universal principles and truths as they pertain to the health, wellness and evolution of the body, mind and spirit. Dr Campos is a healer in the art of chiropractic who is based in my second hometown of LA. Dr Campos read my article “IVF – Ill conceived?” and kindly took time out from his busy schedule to give me the opportunity to interview him over the phone about a number of topics.

Amy Anka: I wanted to get your thoughts as a doctor on what it was that I had written about in relation to the IVF process…

Dr Nick Campos: IVF is a business, and there’s nothing wrong with that, that’s not an evil thing, and it’s not a conspiracy, but it is dollars and cents. Like any business, the seller is going to up sell, and they’re going to paint their product in the most favourable light and there’s no doubt that there’s some advantages to the procedure, but I do think I agree with you, that it would be beneficial to the prospective clients for them to know all of the risks involved too. Often those risks aren’t discussed, or they’re downplayed.

When my ex-wife was having my first daughter, my daughter was about 2 weeks late, and the doctors wanted to induce the labour, which was fine. The reasoning behind that was perfectly ok, but there were two potential drugs to do the inducing. One was a slower acting safer drug, and this wasn’t presented in this way, it was just presented as far as duration and time, and there was a second drug that was faster acting and recommended.

I do vaguely remember her saying ( the OB-GYN) there’s a slight risk but she didn’t really say what that was and we had the opportunity to think about it. So of course I went home and I looked it up and it turns out the drug that was being recommended, the one that was preferable, was actually being used in an off label manner. Are you familiar with the term off-label drugs? Some drugs are used for something other than what they were intended for so one example is Wellbutrin which is used now to help people quit smoking, is actually an anti-depressant, that’s the idea (of an off-label drug). And so here is this drug, I can’t quite remember what its true purpose was for, but they found that it induces labour. However the risks were significant, enough that you’d say, “well why do we really need that?”

And that’s kind of a problem that I think is rampant in medicine. Things are changing a little bit today with people having access to information from the internet and so doctors are being forced to be a little more honest about it. But there was a time, and it wasn’t that long ago, that doctorness (sic) was next to Godliness, and so being a doctor made one almost a divine authority and so people accepted what the doctor said no matter what it was, and asked no questions because you just did what your doctor said because your doctor knew. I think there’s still a little bit of that remnant occurring today and that can be dangerous for people. Fortunately for us we have open access to information and not just from websites and web pages but also social media communicating like we’re doing now. We didn’t have these options ten years ago, and we’re fortunate now and its slowly changing things. Although I believe that the medical industry is probably one of the slower industries as far as change is concerned.

AA – In regards to the risks associated with breast and ovarian cancer do you think that there is a direct link between that and the drugs that they administer in the IVF process?

NC: The most accurate and honest answer – I haven’t done any research in that area so I couldn’t give you anything definite, however , just like you said in your piece, anytime that the hormonal system is being messed with there’s always that risk. Hormones are a very tricky business. They are very precisely regulated by the human body itself. Humans coming in with human educated minds may think that it knows what to do but the human body is complex and people are individuals, so you can do studies but that doesn’t mean that people are going to fall into a cookie-cutter response so it’s a dangerous thing to play around with. So its’ something that needs to be taken into consideration. Anytime you’re playing with hormones there’s always a risk. Cancer is always a potential issue when you’re playing with the hormones. We even know that with the oral contraceptive there are real possibilities that long term use is increasing the risk of cancer.

It’s messing with the homeostasis of the body. It (the body) knows what to do and when to do it. The misconception is that there are flawed people and flawed systemologys and that’s the unfortunate perspective that medical science comes from. And probably will continue for some time until some thinkers are able to be able to change that. The paradigm is that there are flawed systems and flawed physiology. The reality is that nature knows and we can attempt to understand, but to do better than nature is not realistic.

Depending on what your belief system is as far as what kind of universe we live in, if you’re purely a materialist, or you think there are some other dimensions like spiritual dimensions and so forth, there are many possible reasons that things happen and don’t happen, and that all depends on ones belief system. In the realm of the material plane, I mean yeah, you’re messing with a natural process. If there’s something more than just the material then there could be other reasons – hard to say. But in your piece you said that everything checked out on both ends for you and your partner. An idea that somehow you’re going to improve on what’s already there when you know nothing’s wrong with you – I mean what, there’s nothing wrong with you, but we’re (the medical profession) going to do better anyway?

AA – Do you think that it could also be an emotional response (preventing a pregnancy)?

NC: Reality is reality and there’s no way to prove it one way or the other but you could absolutely be preventing it emotionally. Doctors would be the laughing stock of their association if they considered this to be a contributing factor. I was treating a couple that had been trying for 5 years and they tried IVF and it didn’t work. There was also nothing wrong with them and you can’t help but wonder what else is going on. There is definitely more than meets the eye. We’re definitely at an impasse in medical science right now and a lot of it has to do with the paradigm and medical science is unable to look past a particular point of view and think that they’re running into road blocks.

AA – What are your thoughts on botox? I know it has been around for a relatively short amount of time as a cosmetic procedure, and I know that it has been used prior to that for things like MS and the like…

NC: I’ve heard of it being used for muscle spasms but I haven’t seen it be all that useful for that either.

The long term effects of botox are unknown right now. As you said it’s fairly new. It also has risks. Yeah they might be small risks, but there are risks. There can be facial paralysis, and there’s various theories on why that happens whether there’s a reaction to the toxin itself or whether they’re hitting a particular nerve , but it seems right now to be such a low risk thing that in my opinion it’s a purely aesthetic issue and for me personally I don’t like the way it looks.

It’s possible that there are people walking around with botox and I’m not aware of it but I feel like I can tell and I think it looks weird. The best sort of models for the botox look is the American newscasters. I don’t know what it’s like over there in Australia, but the newscasters here in the States are all pretty much botoxed up and whatever else and they look weird. They look weird to me. That’s just my personal preference. I’m just somebody who prefers a natural look. I don’t mind wrinkles. I actually think people are more concerned about that than is necessary. I tend to like a natural appearance but that’s me, I’m weird. The thing that’s makes the face warm, the thing that makes the face interesting and unique are the lines. Lines are what show expression, so you know when somebody is truly smiling and it’s not a fake smile by what happens around their eyes. When people don’t have that it looks weird. But again that’s me.

AA – What are your thoughts on the prevalence of cancer nowadays, and chemotherapy as a treatment. Do you know of any known alternatives that have been successful?

NC: Cancer is much more complex than the current cancer intelligentsia acknowledges here. I believe that there are mental aspects, or psychological aspects–emotional aspects–things that would be real dirty words to most certainly anybody suffering from cancer, but to many people, and the organizations, and the institutions as well. There’s an idea that “how dare you blame the patient,” and it’s not a blame thing, it’s just that I’m quite convinced that there’s a lot more to cancer than just the physical. And the fact that cancer has been one of the most heavily funded illnesses in history yet they’re still no closer to finding any cure, or even knowing that much more about it. We’re no closer to finding a cure to cancer. So I’m convinced that there’s much more to it. With any healing the big part of the healing process comes down to belief, and ones intention and outlook. That may seem almost not sophisticated to say that. You would have to say, of course, that anybody who has cancer would have the intention to want to heal, but it’s more than that. So I believe that with any healing, first and foremost, both the patient and the doctor have to believe strongly in the treatment. We know of  cases of cancer that have gone through spontaneous remission. We hear of cancer cases that get cured by diet, or get cured by going to a spa in Mexico–these are real. And there are also people that get chemo, and they do better, and I’m sure that those people believe strongly that it’s going to help them.

The thing with the chemo is, it kills everything, that’s why people lose their hair, and they get skinny, and they get sick, and it’s heavy. It’s a heavy duty treatment. It’s the most heavy duty treatment that there is. But the human body is so amazing in that it can bounce back from that. So if somebody truly believes with the intention that that’s going to help them, I think that it can help but it’s harsh, and it’s a rough time for the person. I think that the most important thing with any illness is taking care of the body. And so whatever that means to the person. So it’s eating well, honouring the body. Exercising, physical fitness. I think you chose a treatment path whatever that is, you have faith in it, you believe in it and you go forth with it. There are many options available. There’s just so much more to it and there’s no way to deny the stories of the people who are getting better.

AA – I’d like to get your thoughts on the high diagnosis of ADD and ADHD, and the fact that children are so readily medicated…

NC: You’ve touched on something that I feel very strongly about. I’ve written quite a bit on my blog about ADD and ADHD. I believe everybody has ADHD or ADD. Everybody has an attention deficit. If we want to call it a disorder, well then that’s just where we happen to be medically and in our culture and society. But everybody has an attention deficit when they are being forced to sit through something that they’re not inspired by. So put me in front of a television watching American Idol and I promise you I will have ADD. I promise you I will be looking at my phone, I promise you I will be trying to start conversations, I will not have an attention span for that. If you tell me to watch American Idol and you’re going to pay me $1000 to do so, I will suddenly have attention. I think that we pay attention to the things that inspire us, so I just happened to mention financial because that’s something that would grab my attention. If you went to science and health and spirituality these things would all capture my attention but that doesn’t mean it will capture your attention and so with any of these kids they’re not being inspired in school, and so like I told you when there’s a new technology or a new condition or a new parameter to a condition, we see diagnoses go way up.

And so the history of ADD, in fact I would suggest that you went onto my website and do a search on ADD and you’ll get loads of posts and one in particular is about the history of ADD and it dates back to the mid 19th century. They were sort of categorizing children who were disruptive, you know they couldn’t pay attention in the classroom, and that parameter kept growing and growing and growing up to what it is today. The big thing that affected the diagnosis was when they came up with the drugs like Ritalin. Once Ritalin came around that was it. They went crazy of the diagnoses. Any kid that wasn’t conforming was going to get drugged. I can assure you that had I been a school child today, I would have been labelled with ADD and they would have drugged me guaranteed.

But they didn’t have the drugs back then in the 1970’s, they weren’t drugging the kids so they just had to deal with me. But today, now the ones making the diagnosis are often teachers, principals, school nurses – not medical doctors and the parameters have grown so large and they encompass so many things that if a kid is not conforming to any particular teacher or classroom or school, then they’ll be labelled as such (having ADD / ADHD) but really they’re just not being inspired in school. The teachers haven’t found a way to inspire the children. Very often the teachers just want an easy day like many of us do so they don’t always want to figure out how to inspire these children I do believe it’s a teacher problem.

The long term effects of Ritalin, or any of the ADHD / ADD drugs are not known and this is admitted by the FDA and other organizations. So they just call it research by trial and error and they’re doing it on kids. They’re doing it on our children and it’s a crime. I wouldn’t want to give my kids drugs and that’s the thing, would you really want to do this to your kid?

AA – And what do you think about the high number of prescriptions handed out by doctors? Is this because they are getting some sort of a kickback from the pharmaceutical companies?

NC: Doctors medicate so readily partly because there is an incentive for them from the pharmaceutical companies. Part of it is that there’s a belief among doctors that the public expect something and I think that that’s probably true. That when somebody goes to the doctors office they expect to leave with something. Medical doctors are master diagnosticians. That’s what they’re really good at. They don’t give you many tangible things to walk away with. Its not like you’re getting exercises, or your body work, or anything of that nature so the thing that they give you that’s tangible is prescription and so I think that’s another reason why so many prescriptions are handed out. They just believe that that’s what people want.

AA – And finally to wrap this up, what are your thoughts on alternative therapies, and the ability to heal from certain illnesses with the help of naturopaths etc?

NC: We can’t remove the mind from certain aspects of the healing process. When the mind aligns with the healing, the healing happens. Placebo effect is what it’s called in the medical industry but I would just call it the power of the mind. In my opinion the mind is such a massive part of existence, more than we understand. The human mind in a major player in creating the universe around us and I believe that’s true in the healing process as well. The true healing where does that come from? I tend to believe that when you’re in alignment with the healing process you’re gonna heal . I’m pretty certain about that. Essentially that’s what it is. In the end, the end result is all that matters.

 

JARIO MAXI-DRESS

 

I love maxi-dresses, and I especially love racer-back ones. I bought this dress online from Asos for $129.00. I love the 70’s inspired print. I’m not normally someone who wears colours, however I fell in love with this one for some strange reason, and in my typical fashion, this one can be dressed up or down AND if you have a small bust like me – no bra is required. For an evening look, i would pair this with a black blazer and oversized boho bag, and sky-high black pumps.

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THIS IS A TALE FOR ALL THE FELLAS…

 

I love men. I always say this. However I cannot help but notice that chivalry is dead.

I am not available. Let’s make that very clear. I am impossibly friendly. Often to my own detriment, and one attribute that I clearly lack is assertiveness. You would think that after having been in business for as long as I have, I would have developed this trait. But regrettably no. Its like I have two different personas. My work one where I am no nonsense and very focused, and my social one – where I am a little naïve (or “lacking street smarts” as my friend Karen tells me).

And this is where I am indebted to my female friends, particularly my beautiful friend Karen. In all relationships, romantic or otherwise, we seek out a companion who has qualities that we ourselves lack. We are all like a mirror, and we naturally gravitate towards those whose traits we do not possess. Karen is very strong woman – something I am not, as I feel as though I’m going to hurt someone’s feelings, which is quite a contradiction as I don’t really care what other people think of me, but obviously I do to a certain extent. She is also very confident – I too am confident to some degree, however it is layered with self-doubt – I often feel like a fraud. I think a lot of us feel that way. She is also incredibly intuitive. I am intuitive, but I also like to see the best in people, so I often miss certain warnings signs about peoples personalities. And her biggest thing, is she doesn’t take any shit from anyone. I take shit from EVERYONE. That is something I must learn to master and overcome. Having a sweet and accommodating nature is not something that is necessarily a positive. Hence why my biggest role model is Kelly Cutrone.

I rarely go out, because I am old, and I enjoy my own company, however this weekend I did decide to take Karen up on her offer and leave the safety and comfort of my own home. I won’t go into any of the details of what transpired over the weekend (it was certainly an eye-opener) however I do have this piece of advice to offer.

I am very old-fashioned. Probably because my first male role model was my father. I have the best Dad in the world. He would do anything for me, and he is the perfect gentleman. He is a very simple man, very well-mannered, and has always allowed me to freely explore who it is I have wanted to become. “As long as you are doing your best, that’s all that matters” he would often tell me as I was growing up. And that is all that matters. So long as we are doing the best for ourselves.

I think that men are only capable of thinking with one head at a time – if you catch my drift. Men are very visual, and whenever men see an attractive woman, it is their natural hardwired response to attempt to “spread their seed”. I find this very offensive, as there is a lot more to me than meets the eye, and although I may be polite and have a slow reaction time to what it is that is often going on, I also rarely miss a thing. I am a very tolerant person, however having been with Karen over the weekend, she assures me that I am absolutely going the wrong way about things.

I am often very taken by the chivalry men display. I love it when they hold doors open for you, surrender their seat for you on the bus or train, pay for dinner, walk on the traffic side of the footpath – things I think all men should do. I also think that is a very “book-read” response to what women actually want.

So men, the things that women really want, is a friend. Someone that will be there for us in our times of need, and that will hold our hands and tirelessly walk beside us even in our darkest hours. Also, the little things count. Fixing things that we need fixing. Carrying heavy things for us. Giving us your coat when it’s cold outside. Making sure we have gotten home safely. Allowing us to be women and cry when we need to (in my case, most days). Someone to care about us.

And whilst flattery gets you a lot of places, it doesn’t get you everywhere, and we are a little more perceptive than what you give us credit for. When we look for a soulmate (romantic or otherwise), it is for somebody that will challenge us. To kick our asses and show us everything about ourselves that is holding us back. Karen does this to me on a regular basis, and I am forever grateful to being lucky enough to have found a friend that will help me when I stumble (which is quite often), and ensure my eyes are always open to the things I may not necessarily see.

THE POWER OF MANIFESTATION

 

Its my birthday in 20 days. I hate my birthday. I find it incredibly depressing. I don’t like anyone making a fuss over me, and I hate being the centre of attention, and birthdays will always ensure that you are made a fuss of all day, and I get very embarrassed by it all.

I have drinks on tonight in the city and I was racking my brain for what I can wear, and I remembered a dress that I bought almost a year ago that I have only worn once. I wore it to my birthday dinner in LA last year at Lisa Vanderpumps restaurant “Sur” in West Hollywood. My 33rd birthday last year was the best and most memorable birthday I have ever had.

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(Dress by “Staple the label”, shoes believe it or not by “Payless” – they have some awesome shoes sometimes)

Those of you that know me, know that I have been following Kelly Cutrone’s career since the beginning. She is a remarkable woman. She is strong, and unapologetic, and incredibly switched on. I admire her “I don’t give a fuck” attitude, and she is one of the best business women out there in my opinion.

When I read her books (“If You Have To Cry, Go Outside”, and “Normal Gets You Nowhere”) in May 2011, I bought them with the intention of getting some business advice. What was in the books however completely blew my mind, and was not what I was expecting at all, and everything she stood for was everything I had always thought but was too afraid to speak about. The moment I started to read her first book I was immediately taken.

“This book isn’t a book about how to be a smart businesswoman, because I’m not a smart businesswoman. Frankly, I’m not even that smart. What I am is fearless and intuitive. I’m attuned to the sound of my inner voice, and I’ve been following it blindly for most of my life, without any clear goals”.

I too am not what you would call “smart”. I left school at 15, and have learned everything I know from having had the opportunity to have worked with some brilliant people from the age of 13 who have kicked my ass, and helped me discover who it is that I am. I don’t think any amount of studying can help you with that, and I am grateful to the people that have been a part of my life and have had the honour of being able to surround myself with. I also don’t think any amount of study can prepare you for what it is that life throws at you, and all of the most important life skills that we acquire, generally come down to life experience rather than a piece of paper awarded by some university. Another thing that I think is so important is having a sense of humility. We are no better than the next person, and this is an important lesson to remember. We are not our looks, or our bank balances. And I for one refuse to be defined by any of those illusions.

So back to Kelly Cutrone. When I first began reading her books, I was overcome with a strange feeling. I felt an instant connection with this woman. I called out to my husband “This woman is a fucking legend! You don’t seem to understand! I’m going to meet her one day! I can feel it in my waters!”. Of course he ignored me. I’m a little eccentric at the best of times, and he just assumed that I was being my usual crazy self.

Within 6 months of having read her books, she ran a competition on Facebook to win a signed copy of her books, and funnily enough, I won. We have the same spiritual guru (Todd Savvas – another long story that I won’t go into this time), and when I told him about it, he told Kelly, and she responded that I’m “her favourite fan”. I was speechless.

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Six months later, I was in LA visiting some friends and spending my birthday there. My sister in law had tweeted me wishing me a Happy Birthday and saying that she hoped I ran into Kelly Cutrone whilst I was there. Kelly resides in New York, so it was hardly a possibility anyway. I was in H&M buying underwear at the time, and I get a tweet come through from Kelly herself, saying “Where are you – come meet me for your birthday. You are a true sister fan”. Holy shitballs. Is this actually happening? I immediately put down all of the lingerie in my hands and went back to my hotel to contact her. She had invited me to meet with her at her hotel the next day (which happened to be my birthday) for a drink. I don’t think I have ever been so astonished by anything in my life, nor had I been so nervous about anything either.

When I met with her, I wasn’t too sure what to expect. She came over and gave me a big hug. I almost burst into tears. It was a very surreal experience to be lucky enough to be able to meet your idol. Not everybody gets that type of opportunity. In my line of work, we get to meet with lots of celebrities – but this wasn’t like that at all. I was blown away by her. She was very warm, and incredibly friendly and talkative, and the best part of all, was she was so genuine. She’s actually quite attractive in real life too. She has long shiny black hair, and very little wrinkles on her face. She laughs a lot, and has a very motherly sense about her. Having said that, she is also very “no nonsense” and I would definitely never want to fuck with her. She is a force to be reckoned with that’s for sure. Traits that I would hope to develop myself someday. I have the utmost respect for everything that she has accomplished throughout her life and career.

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So the moral of this story? Like the old saying goes, “you can’t hit your target with your eyes closed”, and if you send something out there into the universe, and you want it that bad, somehow, someway, the power of manifestation reigns supreme. God resides in you, as you, and having had this experience, I can confirm that this is the only truth. Work out what it is you want out of life, and the world is quite literally your oyster.

GO-GO DANCERS ROCK

If a picture tells a thousand words, I have no doubt you will be pleased with this post…

I wish we had go-go dancers here in Australia. They are friggin awesome. I love men. I love everything about them, and I have always been a sucker for half naked ones at that. My hen’s night back in 2001 was a fun night, and I really do enjoy the performance these male entertainers put on.

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I have been traveling back and forth to LA since I was about 18, but the first time I was exposed to go-go dancers was in 2007. My gay husband took me to a few of the local gay bars in West Hollywood (or Weho as it’s affectionately known), and I was mesmerized by what I encountered.

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The boys that dance up on the podiums have ridiculously good bodies. In a place where beauty is revered, and youth is eternal, these guys are no exception. They all look like Calvin Klein models as they gyrate on the bars and where you can tip them and cop a feel for your donation, should you be daring enough.

My personal recommendations for seeing the best go-go dancers in LA are to first start off at The Abbey on Robertson Boulevard. West Hollywood is a gay area, however this bar is a mixed crowd. Sunday afternoons are always fun there, and the food is pretty good too. Next door is Here Lounge, which I would classify as more of a gay bar, but it has a completely different feel to any of the gay bars I have been to in Sydney. At “Here” lounge, they even have a night where the boys go naked, dancing only with small hand towels covering their appendages. (Another thing that some people might find useful is the fact that if you pay them enough, they will even come home with you.) Also Revolver, and Eleven on Santa Monica Boulevard are fun places, however my personal favourite would have to be The Abbey.

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People generally finish up the night at Mickey’s on Santa Monica Boulevard which is about a 10 minute walk from The Abbey / Here Lounge. The drinks are cheap, and its open until 4am (however in LA they do have a curfew where they stop serving alcohol at 2am – but who really wants to continue drinking at that time anyway).

Gay bars are always super fun, and gay men generally love women, and are more than willing to burn up the dance floor with you without the expectation of anything other than to have a good time.

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Bar Marmont

Keep in mind, that these are all gay bars, and if you wanted a straight place (which are generally devoid of said go-go dancers), I would suggest going up to Sunset to some of the bars there (my all time favourite bar ever is Bar Marmont – its beautiful. It has butterflies all over the ceiling and decked out in cool retro furniture. It’s a nice intimate place where you can have a drink, and chill out, or go into Hollywood – which I find is a younger scene, but I think all of the clubs / bars in LA are pretty cool.

But for checking out the local talent, hitting up the gay bars is certainly a must.

FAUX-TOX

I have a friend who is a nurse who runs a botox clinic. She often lets me know when she is running training sessions at her clinic where I have the chance to get botox done for $100.00.

I am all about being natural, so whilst I try desperately to hang onto my youth, I just can’t quite get my head around injecting poison into my face to freeze my facial muscles in order to get rid of any wrinkles I may have. A lot of my friends do it, and they look fantastic, but I can’t help wonder if there are going to be any side effects in years to come. After all, it is a relatively new procedure.

Botox is one of the most toxic substances known to man, so it’s a pretty scary thought to be injecting it into your face. And because you need to do it every few months as the effects wear off, it’s also a little scary when that means your body is absorbing it into your system. I’m not saying I’m against it, nor that I won’t succumb to it one day, but for now, I’m a little too chicken shit to try it. That, and I like to do whatever I can to age naturally. And I also like to show emotion on my face. I am quite animated when I speak, and I don’t want anything about me to be fake if I can help it.

One of the ways I naturally try to eliminate wrinkles is by using a product called “Frownies”. You can buy them here in Australia for around $50.00 a box, however I get them from the US when I go as they are only US$19.95. One would think that they are a load of crap, but they seriously work. You can also get them on eBay for the same price.

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 What they are is these adhesive patches. First you decide where you want to put them (for me, I am often in a state of deep contemplation / confusion, thus creating a deep furrow between my eyebrows – I am often surprised too, so I have some fine lines on my forehead), and then you massage the area with your fingertips to increase the blood flow there. You then dampen the back of the patch, and apply it to the area, holding the skin taut. Once it is stuck you leave it on.

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The instructions say a minimum of 3 hours is best so I always do it before bed to give the best results. In the morning, I remove them in the shower (it’s near impossible to get them off any other way – they are VERY adhesive), and voila – not a wrinkle in site.

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It works in the same way botox does by immobilizing the area so you are unable to make the facial expression which causes the wrinkles. And whilst its effects are only temporary (it lasts a few hours as you get used to not moving the area), it is without side effects or risks, and most importantly its all natural.

I highly recommend it, and take it from me, it actually works.