Featured Around The Web: Strong & Trustworthy Anchor of Hope


Through the week I contributed over at A Woman Inspired in a post called Strong & Trustworthy Anchor of HopeIn it I share a little bit about about my journey with depression and anxiety, plus some practical bits and pieces. Enjoy the read :)

“I’ve always been one to giggle and laugh at everything. In fact, I still giggle and laugh at everything. Having grown up in church, part of an amazing family, and never had any rebellious teenage years, many assume I had life “easy”. And to an extent, I did. But we all have situations we go through and stories to tell as a result….”

 Get the whole post here.

The Point of Purpose


[image via Pinterest]

The point of purpose is that it points you in a direction.

When you don’t have purpose your bearings are all wrong. You have no idea what is the right direction, the wrong direction, your north to your south or your east to your west. More than having no idea about where the directions are, you simply don’t even know where it is you want to go.

And when you don’t have purpose, you don’t have a need to discover and find out where it is that your life is going… Because there’s no point or purpose to.

See, hope seeks purpose, and purpose seeks motivation, and motivation seeks action.

When you have a hope for your future you have a purpose to do stuff. Hope gives you a vision, purpose points you in the right direction, motivation is the attitude to get going with the steps, and action is the hard work it takes for you actually get there. If you lose one of these, you become stuck.

That’s why hope is important and is a common theme on this space.

But hope is nothing without purpose.

The great thing about having hope is that it gets you looking forward and up.

The great thing about purpose is that it at least points you in a direction. Any direction is good because to get somewhere, anywhere, you at least need to be pointing a direction, rather than down at your feet. Once you get moving, it’s easier to make changes to your path and adapt along the way.

And when hope and purpose are united together, inseparable to the core, beautiful things are made of our lives.

Purpose is the backbone to your greatest dreams, desires, and hopes. It fuels your motivation and not only gives you that little shove you need to get moving.

In Greek, the word for purpose is telos; which means an end, purpose, or goal.

Purpose doesn’t just see the end or goal, but it sees the why behind the what. That’s what makes it so vital. It sees the impact it will have on people, the seeds of influence it will sow, the immediate responses, and the chain reactions you may never know about from people you’ll never meet. It sees beyond yourself and into the legacy created from it.

The best kind of purpose is a selfish-selfless purpose. One that knows they’re the exact person created for the job and that it’s benefit and purpose has nothing to do with them, but everything to do with what it will bring to others.

And it all starts when you point yourself in a direction. Start walking and you’ll find the right path.

Hope: Find Your Happy Place

Screen shot 2013-04-18 at 11.58.18 AM

[image: personal Instagram account, @bethjae. Williamstown, Victoria AUST]

Life is supposed to be enjoyed. It’s supposed to be something we cherish, take a big bite out of each day + experience…all with a joy + sense of contentment marred with challenge.

Sometimes though, as life + “stuff” happens to us, we can begin to stress + simply go through the motions of each day. And for some of us, these motions can break our hearts, minds + spirit, + suck the life straight out of you; thus, depression.

Something I know all too well.

For those who regularly read this space or follow me on Instagram, you’d know that for the past couple of weeks I’ve been house sitting down at the bay. Being there has taught me a lot, a whole lot.

See, depression is something that tries to keep you in bed + not experience the day. Depression is something that makes every little thing in life hard to do because you see no purpose in doing it. Depression is something that makes you want to stay inside the warm comfort of your home + bedroom.

For those who are also on this journey + know about depression, you’d know that one of the most common slices of advice you’ll hear is to go outside for a walk.

Going for a walk truly works wonders, but  I want to take this one step further…

Get outside + find your ‘happy place’ – somewhere outside the comfort of your home, that’s not too far away, easy for you to get too, + makes your heart sing.

We all have a place that makes us happy, at ease, home, + refreshed by. I’ve finally found mine these past weeks. And it’s so worth finding.

Screen shot 2013-04-18 at 11.58.37 AM

[image: personal Instagram account, @bethjae. Williamstown, Victoria AUST.]

The Bay.

I’ve always loved the bay but didn’t realize until now just how much I love + need it.

While travelling the States + parts of Canada with the family a few years ago, my favourite places (+ places I think about all the time + so want to go back to + live in) are Boston, Newport in Rhode Island, Vermont, + Niagara on the Lake.

Why those particular places? Because they all have bay’s of some sort.

I don’t care much for beaches, but bay’s? Well there’s something about it that holds a little piece of my heart. I’m not entirely sure why, for all I know it could simply be the sight of boats gently bopping with the rhythm of the water symbolizing a new adventure beckoning. But whatever it is, I just love it.

I could stay there all day just walking along it, soaking up the beauty of the water + horizon, watch the ships + boats come + go, + never be bored.

The point of a happy place is it’s somewhere that makes you feel at ease, peace, + at home. While there, it rejuvenates + refreshes you. No matter how many times you go there, you never tire from it or wish you were somewhere else.

You don’t have to do anything while being there. But simply being there does everything to you.

For some people, there happy place is being in nature, the bush, mountains, + beach. For others, it’s going to their favourite café or somewhere that holds a special memory for them. (Take note: pubs, bars + clubs so don’t count).

Whatever it is that makes your heart happy, go + find it.

You need to. We all need to.

When your world seems dark + you feel out of place in this world, you need something that makes you feel part of the world again + somewhat alive, even it’s a just for a little while.

When you have a teeny tiny, itty-bitty desire to go there, jump on that desire + go find or visit it.

Your self will thank you for it.

Surround yourself with colour + soon enough, slowly + hopefully, that colour will begin to rub back onto you again.

Take heart. Grab hope. Go find your happy place. And go to it again + again + again + again….

The Hope Of A Wildflower


[image via Pinterest]

“Wildflowers seemingly embody adventure, freedom + beauty. They grow where they please, bringing life to each place that they spring up from while painting the landscape in beautiful hues.” – Darling Magazine, issue 3

Today I finally had the chance to read the latest issue of Darling Magazine. It’s a stunning magazine (+ website!) encapsulating the art of a woman. One of the articles that grabbed my attention was a practical + beautiful piece on taming wildflowers.

But the quotes used to compliment the piece is what got me thinking. And so I went digging a little deeper into wildflowers.

“wildflower” = A flower of an uncultivated variety or a flower growing freely without human intervention.

// Wildflowers thrive in whatever soil they find themselves in.

// Wildflowers grow with little help from people.

// Wildflowers are low maintenance.

// Wildflowers are bright + beautiful, adding colour to their landscape.

// There is no one type of wildflower – there are many.

// Many wildflowers contain spices or medicinal properties too.

To be a wildflower means to not only survive but to thrive, in any situation. Going through a bad season in life? Thrive! Going through the most favourable time of your life? Thrive! Running low in resources? Thrive! Whatever environment – thrive!

But not only that, wildflowers have great spark + value. They bring healing when broken + flavour to whatever they’re added to. Even though they may not have been purposefully planted, they are not bound by their environment + bring forth something enriching.

Above all, their greatest hope is that no matter where they are, they will grow.

“You belong among the wildflowers, you belong somewhere close to me. Far away from your trouble and worries you belong somewhere you feel free.” – Tom Petty, Wildflowers

Hope: Why You Should Go For A Walk Or Run

:: this post is part of the ‘hope’ series. it includes bits + pieces of my journey with depression, anxiety + insomnia with the hope that it will illuminate, expose, + help ::

Screen shot 2013-02-06 at 9.24.35 PM

[snapped by me, via Instagram]

Running. Or walking.

Throughout last year my psychologist kept telling me to “go for a 45-minute walk, outside.. 3 to 5 days a week.” We have an elliptical trainer at home, so I’d go on that a couple of days a week. But, kept telling him I was walking outside too… when I wasn’t (but shhhh).

After doing this for a few months + still being frustrated, annoyed, lethargic, oversleeping, + so on,  I decided one night while driving home to bite the bullet + go for a walk. I knew if I didn’t do it once I returned home, I probably wouldn’t do it the next day either.. or the day after that.

It was late (around 10pm), cold + the rain had just started drizzling. I could have made excuses, but this determination overtook me: “just do it. If you don’t do it now, you’ll never do it.”

Grabbing some runner’s, finding some leggings, long-sleeved top, warm jacket, beanie, + scarf, I grabbed my iPhone, headphones + made my way outside.

That night something awoke in me.

I arrived back home feeling as if a cloud had begun lifting from my mind + the frustration that was building inside of me was slowly being released.

Since then, I make it a point to go walking outside multiple times each week (none of this casual walking either guys, you’ve got to work up a mighty sweat!). And, lately I’ve been working my walk into a run. Yay for progress!

:: why am I telling you this? ::

When depressed + anxious, exercising – or leaving the house – is the last thing you want to do. Everything within your body tells you to keep your butt firmly planted on the couch. If I didn’t have a moment of determination that would still be me. Now it’s much easier to get into it – in fact, I crave it – but  when there’s times I don’t feel like doing it, I know I have to do it even more.

Note: walking or running will not cure your depression. The reason I’m writing about this is that walking has been a magnificent help for my physical, mental, + emotional wellbeing. I am nowhere near being a professional in this area, but it sure is fun learning about + doing it!

This is a gem discovered in Hope Process + I hope it encourages + gives you a little nudge in the right direction.

:: why you should go for a run/walk ::

1. Clears your mind. // There’s something about being outside with nature that does something wonderful to the mind + soul. Sure, it’s great to go to the gym, but being outside, well the benefits are on a whole different level.

2. Keeps you fit + healthy. // Obviously.

3. Gives you time to think. // Some of my best ideas + revelations have been birthed here.

3. Gets you outside. // It’s breaks up your environment + thought pattern of only wanting to be home.

4. It’s what you were created to do. // I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately + will write about it at some point, but pretty much.. we are created to look after ourselves + be healthy. When we don’t, life begins to get a bit whacky + we suffer. Why? Because we’re not looking after our body; the thing that keeps us alive.

5. Makes you happy. // Endorphins, science, all that jazz.. Healthy people are happy people. Fact. The majority of people I walk past smile + say hi. Everyone’s so friendly. It’s beautiful.

6. Let’s the stress go. // You can’t help but return home feeling more at ease.

7. Successful people do it. // Studies have found that successful people run, are morning people, healthier, + have a good self-satisfcation with life.

8. You begin to love life. // When you’re surrounded by life, it can’t help but cause some life to leak back into your world.

Screen shot 2013-06-29 at 1.39.55 AM

[snapped while on a walk - I heart sunsets / image via Instagram]

:: Tips + tricks :: 

// start out once a week.. then twice.. three times.. four. Before you know it, you’ll be wanting to do it.

// create a regular path. One of the reasons I put off walking for so long was the ‘fear of the unknown – where would I go?’ Once I started, I made sure to walk the same path for a while + then began mixing it up a little (plus got competitive with beating my times). Creating a regular path makes you feel more comfortable + at ease.

// if you’re nervous about what you look like, go in the early hours of the morning/evening/night while you gain some confidence. It’s dark-ish. No-one can really see you. Don’t let that silly, little, annoying voice + reason put you off.

// buy quality runner’s. Your feet will thank you. (note: bought myself a good pair for Christmas – pic at the top – LOVE them! Puts a definite spring in my step).

// your muscles are supposed to be sore + you’re supposed to sweat. It means your muscles are being used + sweat, well, it’s like the saying: “sweat is just your fat crying.

// download the Nike+ app. It’s amazing. Tracks your time, pace, length, + so forth. Plus, it maps where you’re going which is a major plus when taking new routes.

// listen to podcasts. I try to listen to ones that go between 40 minutes to an hour. Because it’s one track, there’s no stopping to change songs etc etc. At the moment my favourite is the Elevation Church podcast with Steven Furtick. He’s a passionate communicator, it makes me feel empowered + be all, “yeah I can do this!!” when I want to stop.

// find what time of the day suits you best. Then stick to it.

..if you’re a regular walker or runner – what tips do you have? Would love to know! x

“The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” – John Bingham