Boutique Media and Communications

Posts under Our blog

New Border Restrictions – Disproportionate to the Risk

New Border Restrictions – Disproportionate to the Risk

posted on: July 24, 2020
in: Our blog

As much as possible, we try to keep our online space here a place to spread the good stuff.

But as we’ve watched our twin town communities on the Victorian-NSW border unravel into chaos this week, we’ve felt called to speak up.

Since the NSW Government announced new, tighter border control measures a few days ago, it’s been a time of despair, confusion, disappointment and division for border towns right along the Murray River.

We understand the reasons for the border closures. Absolutely we do. And we acknowledge that we all have a role to play in fighting this second wave of COVID-19.

Our dear friends and loved ones in Melbourne are in Stage 3 lockdown due to the outbreaks down there, and we’re more than willing to play our part in the regions to do what we can to help stop the spread.

When the NSW Premier first announced the border closures on July 6, communities like ours here at Echuca Moama (where there are no cases of the virus), immediately fell in to line. Yes, it was an inconvenience that impacted every touch point of our daily lives, but the inconvenience for those locked down in Melbourne, and for those fighting for their lives in hospital was far worse – and we kept that front of mind at all times. It was for the greater good.

We were adapting to the restrictions and we were doing so largely without complaint. The border permit system was working for our local communities and representing our unique needs.

But not anymore.

When the NSW Government sought to tighten those border restriction rules this week, they appeared to do so without any foresight or understanding of how cross border communities operate.

Many of the new measures that came into effect on Wednesday morning are unworkable, poorly thought out, and disproportionate to the risk. We are being disadvantaged and we are being penalised – and that’s exactly what the NSW Government promised they would not let happen.

Since the new restrictions came into place people have been unable to access workplaces, schools and essential services. Some businesses are being forced to close their doors, and the impacts on service delivery by organisations including hospitals and disability service providers has been devastating. Some pregnant women have even been threatened with fines if they attend their regular hospital because they’re just outside the NSW Government’s narrow border zone.

In small border towns like ours, which operate as one community, and where the main service centre lies in Victoria, kids on the NSW side of the river have been locked out of sport, dance, swimming, music lessons and the like. If we were in lockdown and dealing with a blanket ban on all those activities our kids might understand, but try explaining to them why their friends three minutes away in Echuca are able to continue on as normal, when they can not. And why every child in metro NSW surrounded by clusters of COVID can continue as normal, yet they can not.

With no tourists in town, and many townsfolk themselves now prohibited from supporting their local businesses, the economic impacts are going to be immense.

While there have been some exemptions to the restrictions made in recent days due to pressure from affected communities, they don’t go far enough.

Confusion, mixed messaging and inconsistent advice is coming from border check point officials, and while they’re doing their absolute best in very challenging circumstances, in some cases their instructions don’t match the information coming out from NSW Government departments.

People are feeling defeated and powerless, and the relevant authorities are either too overwhelmed to help, or just don’t seem to care.

Now, I know we’ll get no sympathy from Melbourne when it comes to these matters, and we’re not asking for it. Our hearts go out to our comrades in the city whose kids are remote learning again, and who can’t leave home unless it’s for supplies, caregiving, exercise, study or work. Those are huge sacrifices to make and we know many are living on a knife’s edge.

But the fact of the matter is that the virus is not present in our community. And for as long as that remains to be the case, it’s important for our local economy, and the wider Australian economy, that we keep operating while we can.

Regional areas in Victoria and NSW are not in lockdown. But here on the borders we may as well be. We’re being disproportionately impacted – collateral damage you might say.

Our border communities have been patient until now, because we’ve been trying our best to do all that’s been asked of us in an attempt to help shut this monster down – but it’s important our voices are heard too.

We’re happy to play our part to minimise the risk of spreading COVID-19, but the measures taken to contain the spread must be proportionate to the risk. The NSW Government has not provided any convincing rationale as to why these tighter rule changes, which so disproportionately affect our border communities, were necessary.

We’ve written to the NSW Health Minister and Minister for Regional NSW seeking an easing of restrictions and further exemptions to take the pressure off our struggling communities and to allow us to return to our border bubbles that were working so well.

We encourage you to do the same (contacts below). Most importantly, hang in there crew. This pretty little riverside home of ours is under immense pressure right now, but we’re a resilient bunch and together we’ll emerge from this stronger than ever.

💫 Lee.

Contacts:

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard – office@hazzard.minister.nsw.gov.au

Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro – contact@deputypremier.nsw.gov.au

Farewell to Homeschooling

posted on: June 5, 2020
in: Our blog

I don’t know whether to celebrate or cry right now.

I’m relieved that it’s over, but I’m sad in equal measure.

It’s been so hard. And yet it hasn’t. 

For the most part, this rare, slow time with the kids at home has been a gift – and I know that it’ll probably never come again.

I’m glad that I don’t have to carry the weight of responsibility of teaching these young boys any longer, but I’ve loved being so involved in their learning. I’m incredibly proud of how they’ve adapted and how much they’ve grown.

I’m going to miss them ‘needing’ me, but I’m so looking forward to going to the bathroom again on my own without being followed in (seriously – was this just me or did everyone else’s kids always get stuck on a maths problem whenever you went to the loo?) 

I’ve despaired at the never-ending piles of mess they’ve created, at them interrupting my zoom meetings mid-interview, and at watching them eat us out of house and home. 

But boy I’m going to miss them – their noise, their craziness, their fun and their hourly doses of love.

I’ve cherished getting to know my kids – I mean really taking the time to stop and understand them. And I think they’ve come to know me on a whole new level too.

The conversations we’ve shared in these strange times would never have surfaced if not for this period of isolation and remote learning. And for that alone I am so thankful.

I’m grateful that I freelance from home because I haven’t had to manage the logistical nightmare that so many others have faced in juggling their kids with outside employment. But in the same breath, I’ve cursed that I work from home because it’s been an impossible juggle that has taken me right to the edge – and at times I’ve been so desperate for an escape.

Not for one second do I take for granted the fact that my experience has been a privileged one. Tears spring to my eyes at the mere thought of what life has been like, and continues to be like, for so many others around the world (and even right here in my own community) who are not in the fortunate position that we are.

But I figure I have two choices. I can either reflect on this time and our personal experience as a negative one, or a positive one.

I think you know which way I’m leaning. 

Now somebody pour me a drink!

x Lee.

Productivity in times of social isolation

posted on: April 8, 2020
in: Our blog

Here at The Splendid Word we have mostly worked from home since our inception nine years ago, and we have ‘mostly’ been thankful for the opportunity it provides to juggle work and home life.
I use the word juggle here because it rhymes nicely with struggle.

For those of you now working from home, you will understand that the struggle is real and many of us are now becoming acutely aware of what it takes to get shit done now that we are ALL at home to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Over the coming weeks we’ll be sharing tools we use to get work done at home, which has literally become the centre of our universe.

Working from home can be a challenge whether you’re living by yourself, with pets, children, or both. Distractions are real and there is always someone or something looking to take your focus away from work.

Some of you may already be pros at working from home, while others are adjusting to this new normal, which looks set to be with us for some time.

So, how do we get work done and keep our deadlines here at TSW?

School holidays have always offered a challenge for us and we are hoping this practice will hold us in good stead as we brace ourselves for what looks like at least 12 weeks of kids now studying at home – yikes!
In the past we’ve used various routines and tools that help keep us on task, however we need to say upfront that there is no one perfect solution and it doesn’t always work.

Firstly, I thought I’d share my average day and some of the challenges and hacks I’ve discovered along the way. Most mornings I actually plan out every hour of my day. And even though it does not always go to plan (most days actually) at least I have a guide, somewhere to start and something to refer back to when my day veers off track (again, this is most days).

Mornings are best for me, and I’m lucky we have teenagers (never thought I’d be saying that!) who sleep in late, which means our house is relatively quiet first thing. This is when I get the bulk of my work done.

Distractions…

However, even with a quiet space there are still distractions: emails, phone calls (it’s only natural some want to chat more during social isolation) and messages pinging through from various group chat platforms – WhatsApp, Messenger, Zoom and Google Hangouts, to name just a few.
These are all wonderful tools for this new socially isolated life of ours… BUT they are extremely distracting!

The news is also a constant distraction, with everyone keen to keep abreast of government announcements and/or any positive or negative updates on ‘flattening the curve’. This current pandemic situation has us all on high alert – for good reason – but this also reduces our ability to focus on work.

So, what can we do to combat distractions from all corners, particularly those coming from our handy little smart phones? If turning your phone off is not practical, try using some handy built-in tools such as the Do Not Disturb mode – extremely under-utilised in our opinion.
You can also turn off all notifications on your phone and just check-in a couple of times a day – this is my preference. I also subscribe to the ABC News bot through Messenger and receive three updates a day, which is more than enough.

Helpful tools and growing a forest…

And when it comes to checking that ‘one’ thing on your phone and falling down the ‘rabbit hole’ for half an hour, I use the Forest app. Forest allows you to set a block of time (which you decide) and if you make it to the end, you grow a tree for your forest! Alternatively, if you touch your phone during this set time, the tree dies. Yes, it’s a little drastic but it actually works really well for me.
The trees might not be real, but the flow I get from joining a couple of 30-minute blocks together is awesome. Breaking the interruption game is the key to this app, as research states it takes 22 minutes to refocus on a task after you’ve been dragged away by distraction.
See the Forest App here – you’ll love it!

Do you listen to music?
I swap between two main Spotify playlists when I am in ‘work’ mode: Your Favourite Coffee House and Jack Johnson Acoustic. When I have these playlists on, I am mentally in a productive working space – in theory. And, every Friday at 4pm I play Bob Marley – Legend to signify the end of my working week – a glass of wine usually follows.

Blocking out the noise!
Investing in a good set of headphones also works wonders in a shared working space, and is particularly handy for blocking out choice teenage music!

We love Trello!

We’ve talked about Trello a lot when it comes to productivity and planning and I find that right now if I don’t list things, nothing gets done.
Prioritising what needs to be done is also important, however we can get overwhelmed with a list of 50 plus things. Trello recently shared Top 5 Blockers to Your Productivity and they suggested to list:
* 2 items you’re currently working on,
* 2 items you’re planning to work on next, and
* 1 item that you think you’re working on, but you’re not actually doing it at all. We all have one of these and it’s usually something we’re avoiding. I would suggest you just ‘eat the frog’ and get this task done ASAP.
Visit here for the full list of productivity tips.

Brooke over at Slow Your Home Podcast advocates a master list and then a daily list which includes ONLY three things.
We love this concept and I often use it for non-work-related tasks like housework. For me it eliminates the feeling that there’s so much to do and I’ve no idea where to start (which often leads to me doing nothing!).

Importantly, during this unusual scenario we find ourselves in, remember to be kind to yourself… it will be slightly messy and imperfect. Also, remember to schedule in some time for the ‘fun’ stuff like exercise, gardening, creative pursuits or a simple lunch break. I admit, I often eat lunch at my desk, when I could be outside in the sunshine with my pugalier Harry (pictured). A much better option!

We’d love you to share what you’re doing to get work done in this new (albeit temporary) way of life. What hacks do you have, what playlists do you listen to, and what routines or tools help keep you on task? Share over on our socials or drop us a line at christy@thesplendidword.com.au.

Happy working from home everyone,

Christy
xo

The Little Town That Could

posted on: March 19, 2020
in: Our blog

This is a good news story is about a little town called Colbinabbin – a small farming community in central Victoria, with a huge, huge heart.

The gorgeous rolling hills of Colbinabbin

It’s got a population of just over 100 (according to the welcome sign), but it’s always punched well above its weight – in sport, in agricultural production, in community spirit, in fight. Especially in fight.

If you grew up at Colbo, as I was lucky to do, you’re damn proud of that fact. Even long after you’ve moved away, you still wear it as a badge of honour. Once a Colbo girl, always a #colbogirl.

At Colbinabbin, people care about their town. And people care about each other.

For the past two years, the town’s general store has been on the market. It’s the only food store in the one street town and it’s a vital piece of infrastructure that binds this beautiful community together. Without it, the whole town would suffer. Not only would residents be forced to travel 25km to the nearest local centre, or 50km to Bendigo, but the township could be looking down the barrel of eventually disappearing altogether.

With the store’s future becoming increasingly uncertain, a group of dedicated locals started fighting for its survival.

They formed a community cooperative in the hope of raising enough money to purchase and renovate the business themselves.

With a deadline set for yesterday to raise more than $400,000 in pledges, Colbo was literally in a race against time.

But they bloody did it. In a matter of days this incredible little town hit that target, and in doing so secured the future of their general store, and their community.

They received huge investment from locals, but also from further afield – from people who have lived in the community in the past, or who have connections to the area.
Because once you let Colbo in to your heart, you never let it go. It has that enduring kind of impact on people.

A couple of years ago, this same community saved its swimming pool from closure in a David and Goliath type battle against the local council.
Before that, two women saved the 110-year old Colbinabbin pub, re-opening it after it closed down. They later sold it to another two amazing women with strong ties to the town who have injected new life into the much-loved establishment with events, live music, twilight markets, a pub choir and a one-day music festival – Octolbo.
Painting is also about to start on the Colbinabbin Silo Art Project, which will see all six silos painted in what promises to be one of the greatest silo art canvases yet seen in Australia.

Colbinabbin – the little town that could.

I couldn’t be prouder to call you home.

 Leonie xo

#spreadingthegoodstuff

Spreading the good news about COVID-19…

posted on: March 13, 2020
in: other stories, Our blog

As spreaders of the good news, we’ve been digging deep this week to try and find some good news around the coronavirus, which has now been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

According to media reports the WHO had delayed this announcement to avoid public panic.
As of Wednesday, nearly 120,000 cases and more than 4200 deaths had been reported worldwide, in more than 120 countries. According to WHO, the fatality rate for the disease is 3.4%.
These are worrying times and the situation is changing hour by hour, day by day.

There is fear and when there is fear, there is panic. Panic buying is still happening and probably won’t go away anytime soon. In the meantime, local authorities and governments scramble to put systems and procedures in place to cope with an increase in cases and help to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

So, is there any good news to report? Here’s what we’ve found:

A Cuban news article declared that we are facing a serious health issue, as well as a pandemic of panic. However, they also insisted that not all the news is bad, and listed 10 good news items about coronavirus, including:
1.  We know what it is.
2.  We know how to detect it.
3.  Most cases are mild.
4.  Most people get well again.
5.  Only 3% of cases occur in children under 20.
6.  The situation in China (where it began) is improving every day. Due to strong control and isolation measures the number of diagnosed cases has been declining for weeks now.
7.  The virus is easily inactivated in just one minute by cleaning surfaces with a solution of ethanol (62-71% alcohol), hydrogen peroxide (0.5% hydrogen peroxide) or sodium hypochlorite (0.1% bleach).
8. Washing your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub kills the virus in one minute – this is good news folks. You don’t need a million rolls of toilet paper… you just need to wash your hands.

Toilet paper jokes aside, washing hands is very important and it’s the one thing we have been talking about at home. Hand washing is being seen as super important on the frontline (which is pretty much everywhere now), as it is THE best way to stop the spread of any virus in your home, your school, at work and in the wider community.

It is also true that hand washing has become cool again. I laughed out loud when watching ABC’s The Drum discussing a TikTok video about hand washing which has literally gone, well… viral!

The case in point is Vietnamese dancer im.quangdang, who has created a clever hand-washing dance, to a very catchy tune, to combat the spread of coronavirus. Over on Instagram is has been viewed 92,599 times and on TikTok the video has amassed more than 200,000 reactions and we’re hoping it will catch on… literally!

Watch the full clip here.

Everyone’s favourite doctor of science, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki of Triple J radio recommends that to wash your hands properly you need to spend 2-3 mins to thoroughly get the job done. This sounds like the perfect opportunity to slow down for some mindful breathing or a mini meditation.

The New York Times has also shared a list of positive actions to combat the virus, including:
1. Keep your hands clean, and keep your distance from sick people
2. Stay home if you are sick
3. Unless you are already infected, face masks won’t help.

This is important, as there are many people in the health sector who ‘actually’ need masks… so don’t buy them if you don’t need them.
The publication also reminder its readers that the average fit and healthy person who falls ill from COVID-19 might suffer a dry cough, fatigue and fever and feel unwell for a week or two, before recovering fully.

This folks, is good news and what we should be focusing on.

In other good news the WHO has also encouraged us to not kiss, hug or shake hands when we greet people, which is music to the ears for those in the community who dislike any physical contact when greeting. Now you can safely keep you distance without feeling rude. The WHO recommends for now we wave, bow or nod.

We’d love to hear of any good news out there in the community about COVID-19. I have seen photos on Instagram of people giving out free toilet paper, which is a refreshing change from watching others literally punching each other for the last packet on the supermarket shelf.

Good information is also important and you need to ensure you using the most up-to-date and legitimate source, which is probably not social media. Government and health departments are a great source, as well as the WHO, which has loads of information on its website about COVID-19 – this one was my favourite:

  • Be Supportive
  • Be Careful
  • Be Alert
  • Be Kind

Let’s focus on the things we can control and work together in these uncertain times – try not to panic, wash your hands and help each other out. Staying calm is hard to do, but it’s about all we can do right now as we let this virus run its course.

Stay well,

Christy xo

#speadingthegoodstuff

Images thanks to Instagram

Spreading the Good Stuff LIVE is back…

posted on: November 22, 2019
in: Events, Our blog

Spreading the Good Stuff Live Q&A returns for its 7th instalment on Thursday December 5 for an evening of Gratitude and Giving Thanks from 5.30 – 7.30pm at Junction Moama.

Escape the festive season frazzle and join the entire Spreading the Good Stuff Podcast Team (Christy, Leonie and Katrina) for a live recorded podcast conversation around the benefits of practicing gratitude and giving thanks.

At this festive, social gathering we will share our thoughts on the benefits of practicing gratitude in our homes and within our regional communities and will also discuss how even in the worst of times, there is always room for giving thanks. The conversation will include inspiring examples of both and will be followed by a communal thanksgiving grazing style meal and social gathering.

The Spreading the Good Stuff Live Q&A series commenced in June 2016 and examines the lives of extraordinary individuals within our regional communities who are making a positive difference in their patch.

Since its inception, these extraordinary, sold out events have covered profound and important conversations around suicide and mental health, living with disability and inclusion, foster care and adoption, people with passion, living with grief and sustainable living.

These conversations explore some of the big issues, challenges and opportunities of our time and always leave our audience enriched, enlarged and inspired to spread more of their own good in the world.

A succession of successful live Q&A events prompted the STGS team to expand its offering to a podcast in May 2018. This fortnightly podcast has since been listened to more than 13,500 times, with many previous Q&A live conversations shared as podcast episodes, with listeners tuning in from across the country. This event is a thank you to our loyal band of podcast listeners.

We’d love you to be part of the audience for this special live podcast recording on December 5!

Tickets are $35, strictly limited and must be purchased prior to the event. Included in the ticket price is a complimentary glass of bubbles and nibbles. Get your tickets here.

Spreading the Good Stuff for Self Love

posted on: June 28, 2019
in: Our blog

Earlier this year I was blessed when my Splendid Word partner in crime, Leonie Canham gifted me with a copy of Kim Morrison’s book The Art of Self Love.

I knew of Kim from the fabulous Up For a Chat podcast – of which I have been a long-time fan – and I also use her divine Twenty8 Essential Oils. And now her book has become one of the most dog-eared on my book shelf.

The Art of Self Love was a true gift, and a revelation at a time when I was probably feeling my most vulnerable.

Following a challenging period as a parent, and despite telling myself over and over that I was positive and strong enough, I was literally buckling under the weight of self-judgement and criticism.

I found myself unable to find a way out of the rut – a place I am sure many of us have been before.

Essentially, I was feeling guilt and shame and was really struggling to find the positive in anything – in both my personal and professional life – and this was a very unusual and uncomfortable place for me.

I had also lost confidence in my ability to achieve anything, in either my work life or as a parent.

The first think that Kim’s book taught me was that it is okay to fail and feel shame and vulnerability, despite this being a space of discomfort that most of us usually run and hide from.

Facing the fear and vulnerability was the first step, and not letting it define me was also key.

Kim’s message around facing your vulnerabilities and perceived failures really hit home for me at a time when I felt defined by circumstance in my life and judged myself accordingly.

In the past I had read similar themed books and listened to many a podcast on this subject – the incredible Brene Brown comes to mind here – however Kim’s story really resonated with me and her ability to find a way through the dark maze of self-doubt simply by practising self-care.

I finished her book in a week and it changed my outlook almost instantly. As a bonus, it also helped me rediscover my connection to essential oils, realise that I was merely dabbling in this space previously, and that there really IS power and comfort to be found in the right oil for what you need at the time. Reconnecting with essential oils has now become a non-negotiable, self-care ritual for me and can’t wait to learn more about this on Sunday at The Art of Self Love – An Afternoon with Kim Morrison.

How lucky we are that local wellness advocates Liz Sefton at The Nourishing Home and Suzy McCleary from Echuca Family Acupuncture have joined forces to bring this incredible self-love expert to our region.

Sunday’s event at Moama Bowling Club will essentially be a lesson in self-love, where Kim will share the numerous challenges she has overcome in her life by using the power of self-care.

Kim is passionate about the fact that we are ALL capable of being our best selves and this event promises inspiration, authenticity, humour and high energy in spades, as well as practical tools and solutions to life’s ups and downs.
Kim’s bio is impressive and her journey, and all she has accomplished to date, will no doubt inspire and leave us all empowered to take better care of ourselves.

The afternoon will also feature life and career coach Tash Spencer, who has a background in psychology and social work, and supports women to get unstuck, rediscover their skills, passions and talents, and lead meaningful lives and careers doing what they love.

A portion of proceeds from the day will go towards the Love Me Love You Foundation – a non-profit organisation that provides interactive and engaging programs to help young adults to take control of their mental well-being and to live happier, more fulfilling lives. Founder of the foundation and former AFL player, Lance Picioane, will be on hand Sunday to discuss his own personal challenges and how he found a way through his coping mechanism of partying and substance abuse during his battle with depression and anxiety. This event will directly support Love Me Love You workshops, which will be delivered in our local region by trained facilitators based on real life experiences. In addition, there will also be a variety of exhibitors who have the ability to help you on your wellness journey… plus a fabulous goodie bag and amazing door prizes.

What a great way to practise the art of self-love: with experts in their field, in a room full of people determined to live their best life. This is the ultimate gift to yourself!

Can’t wait to see you all there Sunday,

Christy

xo

 

Go Where You’re Called……

posted on: June 18, 2019
in: Creativity, inspiration, Our blog

Illustration by the amazing Miranti Kayess, Sydney Australia

It’s been a while since I’ve worked in a ‘real’ office, but for the past few weeks I’ve been undertaking an in-house stint in communications and engagement with Major Road Projects Victoria on the Echuca-Moama Bridge build.

 

It’s my second in-house secondment with the organisation, and on both occasions it’s been a great opportunity to extend myself and shake things up a bit. I’ve genuinely loved working in a busy office space alongside the team of clever engineers, construction gurus and project managers who are delivering this once-in-a-generation infrastructure project here in Echuca Moama.

 

And if I’m honest, it’s also been a chance to test a niggling theory that maybe life would be easier working for someone else, than running my own business.

 

The morning tea breaks featuring scones with jam and cream, and the obligatory daily newspaper quiz with the team have sure added weight to that hypothesis. As has the regular pay check.

 

But it’s meant returning to that world of calling on friends to help with before and after-school care and sport-runs for my three young boys, missing important occasions at school, that dreaded feeling of asking for time off when your child falls ill, heading out into the cold to commute to the office, returning home after dark, and sacrificing my daily gym class. I know that’s the norm for most working mums, and it used to be mine. But it reminded me of why I made the change.

 

Don’t be misguided – it’s not all shinshine and lollypops at The Splendid Word.

 

Running your own business is bloody hard work. And when you’re talking about a start-up biz, the odds of longevity, let-a-lone success, are stacked firmly against you. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, more than 60% of start-ups fail in the first three years.

 

The fact that TSW is now in its eighth year, and continuing to grow, quite honestly blows my mind.

 

And as anyone running their own business can attest, it’s a 24-7 commitment. It requires enormous self-motivation, dedication, risk-taking, sacrifice, vulnerability, courage and passion. There’s practically no security in terms of when the next pay cheque might arrive, and you never, ever switch off.

 

But if these past few weeks working in-house have shown me anything, it’s that the grass is not always greener. There are perks and pitfalls in every line of work – and it all comes down to personal choice and priorities. For me, at this point in my life, the upsides of life as a freelance writer, far outweigh the hard stuff.

 

The freedom to choose the work that lights me up, the flexibilty to work my own hours (and yes, often-times that’s the graveyard shift), to be my own boss, to be at school when my kids get awards at assembly, to welcome them home when they get off the school bus, and to run them around to extra-curricular activities in the evenings, is a rare gift that I feel incredibly grateful for. And I know Christy feels the same.

 

But if you ask me if we feel ‘lucky’ to have this flexibility and choice in our work life at The Splendid Word, the honest answer is no.

 

Luck really didn’t play a part in this business. And it hasn’t been easy. At all.

 

We’ve worked (and continue to work) incredibly hard to build The Splendid Word from the ground up – and not just over the past eight years. The seed to where we find ourselves today was sown way back in the classroom at school and university, and then in the busy newsrooms of print and broadcast media outlets.

 

Eight years ago, when I was pregnant with my third child, and deep in the trenches of juggling motherhood with a career in political comms, I made a choice.

 

I took a giant leap and went freelance.

 

I didn’t want to give up the career I had worked so hard to build, but I wanted to be around more for my kids as they grew up.

 

And so I gave up the security of a great job, regular pay cheque, superannuation and paid holidays in favour of starting a brand new business in partnership with a near stranger – Christy – who today is one of my very best friends, mentors and confidantes.

 

In the early days, our business model was a messy mix of us sitting up all night long writing content, and then stealing pockets of time on the computer during the day in between running around after our little kids. It was a hard slog, and we were definitely burning the candle at both ends, but it built the foundation for our family-friendly business, that eight years on, has grown to a team of five amazing freelancers.

 

Back in the early days, I often told myself and others that TSW was a temporary gig, and that I’d get a ‘real job’ when my three boys were all at school.

 

Well I’ve put that theory to the test these past few weeks, and as I return to my TSW office today my feet are firmly planted where I stand.

 

The Splendid Word has brought with it some of the greatest challenges and triumphs that I have known in my working life so far. It’s my ‘real job’, and I wouldn’t give it up for the world.

 

X Lee.

#spreadingthegoodstuff

Self care is not a dirty word…

posted on: March 21, 2019
in: Our blog

In our regular Spreading the Good Stuff podcast discussions we often talk about making time to nurture our own physical and emotional well being. And we understand that for many of us this can be a challenge, particularly when the ‘wheels fall off’ and life throws up challenges which consume both our time and headspace.

However, we all know that it’s when we are working through life’s challenges and tough times that most self care habits get put on the back burner, despite it being THE most important time to get enough sleep, eat well, meditate, exercise, slow down and refuel your tank.

Self care is no longer a dirty word and many of us have started to fully understand the benefits of taking the time to replenish and appreciate the subsequent boost of energy and positive mindset to help us tackle life’s challenges. But for many, self care can still be seen as a challenge, or guilty pleasure. Thankfully help is at hand.

Thanks to some talented ladies who make it their business to ensure we are showing ourselves the same care and attention we might give to family, friends and work, there are plenty of opportunities to practice self care.

This weekend in Echuca Moama there are two wonderful workshops dedicated to self care, starting with a Wellbeing and Life Success Immersion on Saturday with Erin Barnes at Next Generation Wellness. This event is actually sold out, which is no surprise. We chatted with Erin (who is actually Leonie’s sister) on our Spreading the Good Stuff podcast during January and it has been one of our most listened to conversations.

Erin is a passionate physical, emotional and behavioural expert and her work, which also include one-to-one sessions, aims to bring you comprehensible education, actionable tools and integrative behaviours to enhance your life.  Erin is a master at blending brain, body and behavioural science to help you achieve sustained and elevated wellbeing, and maximise focus and productivity to live your best life, which is something we bang on about a lot on the podcast. Erin’s immersion day offers practical and achievable tools towards greater wellness, a yoga session and delicious, healthy treats. And the good news news is that she is in town for a couple of days if you’re keen to lock in a one-to-one session of this ‘good stuff’ – find out more here.

We are doubly blessed in Echuca Moama this weekend to have another wonderful day dedicated to self care thanks to the lovely ladies at Well Soul Studio.

Beautiful You – Your Body Is Talking It’s Time To Listen is an event all about self care and will feature Nat Kringoudis (doctor of Chinese Medicine, acupuncturist, author, speaker and all-round natural fertility expert), Lola Berry (nutritionist, author and yoga teacher) and local lady Ellen McNeil (Well Soul studio chiropractor with a Diploma in Chiropractic Neuro-Developmental Paediatrics and yoga teacher). This incredible trio will help empower women of all ages to understand their bodies and discover how nutrition, movement, hormones and overwhelm can significantly impact our health. How good does that sound? The day includes workshops, information sessions and yoga and is designed for you, your mum, your daughter, your sister or your best friend, but you need to be quick as spots are filling fast. Book your place here.

So, it’s pretty clear that if you’re in need of some extra self care tools, Echuca Moama is certainly the place to be this weekend and we think it’s worth spreading the good stuff for!

Enjoy a weekend of wellness immersion, or even just a walk in nature with family and friends to refill your bucket. You won’t regret it.

Christy xo

#spreadingthegoodstuff

Image thanks to: www.weheartit.com

Tuning into some ‘good stuff’

posted on: March 19, 2019
in: Our blog

 

Can you believe we’re almost through March?

It’s been a busy start to the year for us, finishing off some large social media and event projects and opening doors to new and exciting content writing challenges for the year ahead.

In between our weekly content creation tasks for social media business pages, websites, marketing and communications plans, and brochures, we have found small pockets of time to pursue our passion project – Spreading the Good Stuff podcast.

Have you had a chance to tune into our podcast yet? It’s been full of so much good stuff!

We started the podcast early in 2018 with Katrina Myers from Barham Avocados, who was our first ever guest on the couch at Spreading the Good Stuff (STGS) live conversation series at Junction, Moama.

So far this year we’ve dropped five episodes, which you can find here, and the conversation has flowed from tackling goals for the new year, how to achieve health and fitness ‘your’ way, to a profound and moving discussion around grief.

Our most recent Episode #21, was a pre-recorded conversation from our sixth live episode of STGS with Shari Gotch and Tracey Farrell in November last year and is one you don’t want to miss.

There was not a dry eye in the house and we will be forever grateful to Shari and Tracey for opening their hearts to share what grief can look like and the many challenges of wading through it.

This emotional conversation explored the complexities, the misconceptions and the mystery of grief and touched on how we can do it better – as individuals, as friends and family members, and as a community.
We only scratched the surface on this topic, but know it was the start of many brave and much-needed conversations since, and have no doubt it will become a helpful tool for many to continue to listen, learn and share when it comes to living with grief.

More than 6000 people have now downloaded our podcast conversations, and since making it to our 20th episode last month we have been buoyed to continue to share the successes and challenges of achieving wellness in our often ‘busy’ and overwhelming lives, where caring for ourselves is sometimes the very last item on our ‘to-do’ list.

Self care has been a common theme so far this year and Episode #19, featuring Koondrook based fitness guru Rach Robertson in conversation with Katrina, discussed the importance of regular exercise for our wellbeing, and the important tip that one size does not fit all.

Our follow-up conversation in Episode #20 discussed how we all choose to keep physically and emotionally in shape and how to resist the urge of comparison when it comes to setting our personal fitness goals – which is not an easy task.

Episode #17, which dropped in mid January, was a fabulous conversation (one of our most popular to date) with Leonie’s sister Erin Barnes, who runs a wellness business Next Generation Wellness on the Sunshine Coast. The girls discussed how and why we often set ourselves up to fail when it comes to setting unrealistic goals and encouraged us to take the time to recalibrate and be gentle with ourselves.

Erin is a passionate physical, emotional and behavioural expert and this conversation discussed society’s obsession with resolutions and why we typically fall short on them. It explored an alternative strategy for a better way to achieve overall wellbeing and life success goals in the year ahead and we know you’ll gain plenty from this conversation.

In the following Episode #18 we unpacked our own experiences of intention setting, dreaming big, doing the work, letting go and rejecting the ‘all or nothing’ mindset, choosing action over perfection and decluttering. This was a BIG conversation and one we all benefited from, thanks to Erin.

We love delivering these fortnightly conversations to our growing audience and are extremely grateful to all those tuning in on a regular basis. This podcast is a real gift and we often comment it’s like a therapy session for the three of us to regularly set aside time to talk about the ‘big’ and important things in our lives.

If you’re keen to tune in to any one of our 21 conversations so far, subscribe via Whooshkaa, on iTunes or on your favourite podcast app. We also love hearing heart-warming feedback from our listeners and also suggestions for future conversations.

We have only just scratched the surface when it comes to the subject of women and wellness in work, family and community and we have so many stories to share with insights and advice from incredible individuals from across our regional communities who can help empower us all to live our best life.

Thanks for tuning in and helping us to Spread the Good Stuff!

Page 1 of 1512345»10...Last »