Tuesday, October 30, 2018


We're moving.

And it's bittersweet.

Being part of a family, it's tricky to balance everyone's needs, dreams and desires.

And it isn't always a case of the one who shouts the loudest gets heard.

Pete and I have been having a recurring conversation about moving for many years, and now it is finally happening.

We moved from Melbourne to the Peninsula 13 years ago when I was pregnant with River.

Apart from Pete I knew no one who lived here. I think I'd only been to the Peninsula a handful of times.

Pete was connected to the ocean and land here through his surfing and photography, he had some long time surfing mates but they weren't people we spent a lot of time with.

I didn't really care, sure I'd left a big life and network in Melbourne that I'd created through my work in restaurants and as a journalist but I was ready for the next chapter - having a baby and becoming a family.

If I look back on the transition it wasn't without its tears, fears and frustrations but I was deeply happy in other ways because being a mother and creating a family was a deeply held dream.

It's taken a long, long time for the Peninsula to truly feel like home and ironically now that it does, we're leaving.

In the July school holidays this year we went on a camping trip to Waratah Bay and were instantly charmed.

We stopped in at a cafe in Fish Creek and were surprised and happy to find it owned by an old friend of mine from restaurant days in Melbourne. I knew Pete would be thinking this a 'sign' we were meant to be here.

Sure enough he did and the conversation about relocating to South Gippsland began.

This move is our compromise.

Ideally Pete would have loved us to be moving to southern New South Wales to the Bermagui / Bega area.

We have friends there living the life that Pete dreams of - sustainable, self-sufficient, in an artistic, creative community.

After many months of Pete trying to convince me that moving to southern New South Wales would be a great idea I had to find in myself a capital letters "NO"for him to understand that it was not something I was ever prepared to do.

Southern N.S.W. is eight hours drive from the Peninsula, 5 hours to Sydney and 3 hours to Canberra -that's not a location I'm excited about.

Now, one of the things that first attracted me to Pete way back when was his focus and determination to make his visions become a reality. I admired that. Any project or book he dreams up he stops at nothing to see it through.

Trying to deal with this quality when Pete applies it to a vision he has for the family is like trying to contain a tsunami in a paper cup. It has tested me.

And so, I feel like we are transitioning as a family to a new place and I am transitioning to a new place in myself.

A place where I learn to know myself better at this stage of life in my parenting, in my marriage, in my work. And it's scary. And exciting. Filled with challenges and opportunities.

It's time to grow. And sometimes that takes changing places.

Life is full of new beginnings. It's up to us to embrace them.

It doesn't erase what has gone before, it adds to it.

To quote Helen Keller, "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing".

And so off we go on a daring adventure. I'll be taking you all along with me :)

picture: Agnes Falls, South Gippsland.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Money Matters

Whether we like it or not money DOES matter.

How we earn it, how we spend it, how we save it.

There's no doubt our early role models influence our adult relationship with dollars and cents.

In my case, those role models weren't ideal!!

My parents idea of investing was going to the casino or betting on the horses.

My mum worked hard for her money but didn't manage it well.

Her underlying emotions of not feeling taken care of, anger and resentment towards my dad (he skipped town when I was four, that's a whole other story), and general overwhelm about life meant she spent money to make herself feel better. Only it never really worked because she wasn't dealing with the core issues of her inner emotional life.

If I'm brutally honest I've been repeating some of my mum's patterns (for different reasons) - minus the gambling.

Not that I'm blaming my parents, I'm a grown up now and make my own choices but where we come from influences the choices we make if we don't stop to reflect and make different, better choices.

I think honest money talk amongst friends is still widely taboo, it is another one of those life areas where many people want to give the impression they have it all sorted when really they don't.

I've been working on increasing my income because I have a tendency to stay in low paying jobs despite having skills that I could use in more profitable ways. That's not pretty to admit. And I'm the only one who can change it.

Relationship to work and money is both complex and simple, a bit like relationship to food or alcohol or exercise; intellectually we know the benefits of earning a decent income, saving, investing, budgeting, eating well, exercising and so on but what stops us from doing what we know is good for us?

Author of The Artist's Way, Julia Cameron calls money, sex, food, alcohol, drugs 'the deadlies' because for many they can have a huge emotional charge attached to them and when misused can indeed be deadly.

American author and money mentor Barbara Huson has written a number of books on the topic of women and wealth, Barbara says we need to do "the inner work as well as the outer work" - that is, it isn't as simple as writing a budget and sticking to it. We need to look at why we play small, why we self-sabotage, what are the deep emotions driving our behaviours. And her other main point is "the issue is never about money it is about power" it is about women stepping into their power in every sense not just financially.

Barbara writes about the different ways that men and women view money and power and that there is a way to think about power from a feminine perspective, she is not talking about women pursuing a traditional masculine sense of power.

While I deeply believe that our physical and mental health and well-being is our greatest asset in this lifetime, I also know that financial wealth brings a level of ease to life and provides choices that influence our physical and mental health.

I think it is such an important topic - our relationship to work and money - because at the extreme there are women and children living in poverty or living with domestic violence in its various forms because the women are not in their power - be that financial and emotional power.

I would love to see this change of course, and change starts with talking about it.

Something else to consider is the link between money, time and energy. I notice that when I am feeling depleted in one area I am feeling depleted in other areas too. If I pay attention to how I am valuing - or not valuing - my time and energy, it relates to my money as well.

Identifying 'leaks' in our money, time and energy can go a long way to increasing our emotional and financial power.

More power to us ladies!

I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences on this topic.

Leave a comment or send me an email nikkifisher@iprimus.com.au

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

On Being Vulnerable

Being vulnerable is not something I really excel at.

By vulnerable I mean having a go at something new and risking embarrassing myself or sharing raw emotions that show I'm finding something hard (I'm super good though with other people's raw emotions just not sharing my own about me!), I do this to avoid being embarrassed and because I want the world - the people who love me - to think I am capable, confident and have it all together - ALL OF THE TIME.

Which is of course completely ridiculous because I'm human, and I don't have it all together all of the time that is just plain unrealistic.

To get all psycho-analytical this comes from my childhood where my dad skipped town - literally - and my mum was left with me age 4 and my baby brother and so I took it upon myself to balance the scale and become a mini adult and basically do my best to be self-reliant and have no needs or wants. Ridiculous. And clever. Because that's how I survived.

At age 44 I don't need to do that anymore but a lot of the time I still do - negate my needs, push down, push through, shape shift, adapt. Be adaptable is a good quality, just not if it is so constant that it is at the expense of ourselves.

ASKING for help or for anything really has been excruciating for me and I generally don't even realise I need help or that it is an option to ask until it is too late ie. I'm a crying overwhelmed mess.

Anyway the emotional stockpile has been building in me lately and I've been giving vulnerability a go, revealing some raw emotion that I would usually hold and taking stock of what is working and what I really need to leave behind.

Even writing this post is an act of being vulnerable. (To all those family and friends reading wondering if I'm ok, yes I am :) I'm just writing from the place of 'start where you are')

I'm here to tell you crying a lot, expressing true emotion and feeling, finding my voice and speaking what's true for me is exhausting but so too is holding it all together all of the time.

I was talking with my sister-in-law this morning, being completely open and vulnerable, she's a mum of 4 that she gave birth to (who are young adults now) plus a number of step children over the years, and we were talking about how when children are little it is easy for women to lose themselves in their mothering, to lose that sense of self and that it is only as the children get older we are able to even realise that it's lost and begin looking to reclaim ourselves again.

Where to start?

It is like having all the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle scrambled inside and working out how to put them together again to create a beautiful picture.

In some ways that's where I feel I'm at. Again.

I say again because it is an on-going process this one of self-discovery, growth and renewal.

And I couldn't think of a more perfect picture to share of vulnerability, growth, renewal, innocence, strength and trust than this one of me pregnant with Sol and dear sweet River's little face resting on my pregnant belly waiting to meet his baby brother.

It was taken by a photography student that was working with Pete, she stayed at our house for a couple of days and I agreed to doing some portraits. Such a special time. And on the other side of the fear and excitement and vulnerability of being pregnant and giving birth was the gift of Sol.

Much love everyone xx

p.s. to anyone feeling vulnerable or scared to be vulnerable don't worry it's all going to be ok.
It always is one way or another.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Are You a Time Debtor?

A time what?

I stumbled across this concept of being a time debtor probably when I was procrastinating down the rabbit hole of social media but in this instance I'm so glad I did.

I've been a time debtor but I never knew until it was pointed out to me.

American author, book coach and podcaster Linda Sivertsen (aka Book Mama) is the one who introduced me to this concept of being a time debtor.

So what is time debt?

As defined by Linda here - Time Debt is:

"The misspending of time - either consciously or unconsciously - in ways that ultimately lead to a life half lived".

Similar to being in financial debt, spending our time in unconscious ways does not serve us.

The gap between what I dream of achieving and what I actually do has been W  I  D  E.

To close that gap I have taken stock of my time.

How do women fall into this time warp?

There are lots of reasons. 

My reasons include: 

- being a giver 

- not wanting to rock the boat

- not easily stating my needs and wants

- not prioritising things I want to do over and above all the things I feel I HAVE to do

And I've worked out what's behind that behaviour. And it's deep.

It's not simply a matter of "I've run out of time today".

We all have the same amount of minutes in a day.

I've worked out that living in a place that comes from feeling like I'm always trying to catch up and that there's never enough time comes from these (somewhat embarrassing to admit) deep seated places:

- by not committing and claiming time I can stay small and safe ie. if I'm always running out of time to pursue or complete my creative projects then no one can judge or criticise me for what I've created. But it also means no one can enjoy or celebrate what I've created either. (this one comes back to self-belief / self doubt)

- I dread having to say "No" to other people's requests on my time (I am much better at this than when I was younger)

- if I say yes then I don't have to brush up to my emotions and the emotions of my family and friends when I say "No" (which comes from my deeply ingrained pattern of 'avoid confrontation at all costs')

Hard truths right there.

I bet you'd never thought of all those emotions in relation to how you're spending your precious time?

Neither had I!

You can watch Linda's Ted Talk about Time Debt and what to do about it here.

It's 12 minutes of your life worth spending on YouTube :)

So, what have I done about my time debting? Well it is a work in progress but a couple of easy things I've done is looked at my life and set some priorities.

It doesn't mean I don't want to still be a deeply giving and loving person, I do! Caring for others is what fills me up and makes me happy, but I've realised I can't do this at the expense of my own dreams, desires, health and happiness.

It's a similar theme to last week's post about filling our cup first before giving to everyone else.

The other major change I've made is, when I can I go to bed at 9.30pm or 10pm at the latest and then get up at 5.30am.

Having one and a half to two clear hours to myself in the morning before anyone else is awake in my house is a gift I'm giving myself.

It means I can meditate, journal, write, get some computer work done, exercise - whatever I need or want to do without question or interruption.

It means I start the day ahead, giving to myself first.

It's not possible for me to do this every day because I can't always get to bed that early but when I can I do.

I hope this concept of time debt makes some sense to you too and is helpful in making some much needed change.

Tuesday, October 02, 2018


Getting older is a gift.

Some people don't like to talk about their age, or complain about getting wrinkles or grey hair but I see it differently.

Last month I turned 44.

Turning 44 had a significance to it for me because it is the age that my Mum died suddenly of a heart attack.

I posted the photo above on Instagram with these words:

"I'm 44 today on top of the world here at Cape Byron Lighthouse with Sol and River and I'm using my 44th birthday as a bit of a 'community service announcement'. 

44 was the age that my dear mum had a sudden heart attack and died. 

Yes that completely sucked and now that I am that age and have some dear friends confronting their mortality much earlier than I would like them to be, my message is to look after your health as it really is your most precious asset (go and get the checks you've been putting off!), don't sweat the small stuff and love your family and friends with a big heart. 

And now for the rest of the celebrating. Lighthouse walk, early swim, good coffee, birthday cake!"

The day after my birthday I was sitting in a cafe in Mullumbimby enjoying the morning sun and coffee while Sol and River were around the corner browsing in the bookshop.

My look-after-your-health-and-you'll-be-ok bubble burst that morning when I received news that a perfectly fit and health conscious friend had suffered cardiac arrest. What?? No! This can't be true.

Sol and River came back to find me in tears, I was crying that my friend and his family were in this situation with him fighting for his life in intensive care and crying at the shock and unpredictability of life. That there really are no guarantees and assurances.

Not many people want to spend too much time thinking about mortality and the fragility of life but I think it is important to talk about it and think about it, it can shape the life you live and give perspective to what matters.

Maybe you'll choose to quit that job you hate or stop hanging out with people who drain you, change your diet so you feel more energised, cut back or quit boozing, the list goes on but I encourage you to take some time to reflect on what's working or not working in your life and seek to appreciate it more.

Folding the washing can wait, there are memories to be made.

Practice self-love and kindness everyday.

Nourish and nurture: yourself first.

Hypnotist and neuro-linguist practitioner Jim Fortin says, "Putting the oxygen mask on EVERYONE ELSE FIRST is a BROKEN STRATEGY. It does not work."

This was a big lesson I learned from my mum who soldiered on despite her inner turmoil, perhaps not knowing how to ask for help or who or never wanting to appear like she didn't have it all together. When, inside that was the truth.

If you want to read about the difference between a heart attack and cardiac arrest you can do that here.

And from a really practical point of view if you don't have a will or life insurance, make a will and look into life insurance. 

Sorry to be all a bit morbid and preachy but I feel so strongly about all this stuff having been up close to it.

Life and growing old are gifts to treasure, don't waste the days away.  Forgive yourself, forgive others and live life large.
Whatever that means to you xo

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