Body Love takes on Auckland. Eeeeek!

Last week, Court and I flew to Auckland to run our very first Body Love NZ workshop in the big smoke, with a whopping four ladies signed up the week leading up to us leaving, you could only imagine our concern as to how we were going to accomodate such a large group! Insert positivity, faith, and the manifestation master aka Courtney Durr, and you have yourselves a near sold out workshop the day of, a total of 22 ladies. Choosing to fly Jet Star meant we were up, and at the airport five hours before our domestic flight to ensure they couldn't come up with a reason to not allow us to board, additionally, between you and I, I carried on 7.4kg of carry on luggage, AND a back pack, who's laughing now Jet Star, that'll teach ya for leaving me in Auckland that time.  I’m sorry, Jet Star, you were actually great, this time. 

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As we laughed at each others faces and sung to pass the exhausting 50 minute flight Courtney very proudly ripped her boarding pass into a million pieces as we were landing, this decision denied Court her SkyBus discount on arrival. $1 extra later, we were sitting pretty on that public transport, dreaming of the day someone holds a sign for us at the airport, “free donuts” haha I’m sitting here laughing so hard at that, so great, no what I meant was “Body Love NZ” and then leads us to our black, four door Jeep Wrangler *dream car*. Alas, we spent the next six hours pretending like we were ace Aucklanders, drinking coffee, ordering granola bowls and hop’n on and off city link buses. Three buses later and we were no nearer to our destination, “I wonder which way Parnell is?” I say to Courtney, trying to at least figure out which side of the road we want to be on. “Parnell is that way” chimes in a man from behind, amazing! “Oh thank you, do you know which bus we take to get there?”, “Oh mate, don't ask me for directions, I ain’t from around here” he replies. Cool. I guess he had good intentions to start with. Cracking under the responsibility I succumbed to ordering us an Uber ride, $6.20 and 7 minutes later we were there, cheers Rusole, you're a lad. 

4pm and we were greeted by the lovely Jess at the Parnell Biz Dojo, the space that would host the evenings 'Intention X Action' workshop. What a space!! The outside balcony was laced with sensational fake grass and sported mini golf, darts, and plenty of el fresco dining space! The next hour then consisted of me trying to "decorate" our booked room with all of our pretty things I had packed 70% of my carry-on luggage space with; pink rugs, gold tapestry, blue mandalas. Alas the newly laid carpet wasn’t having it, combining a stunning mix of blood red and grey, our decor was very unwelcome. ‘A blank canvas is good for creativity’ At least thats what I told myself when we had hardly any clothes to wearthat weekend because more than three pairs of undies was a luxury I just couldn't afford with my 7kg luggage limit #balln

So rewind to that previous week where I ask Court how many we are catering for, “four” she replies, “yeah how many for” I say again, “four!”. Oh, I see where this is going. I could have catered it myself at this stage, "let's aim for 20" I said to Court, her relentless optimism rubbing off on me. We ended the evening on Thursday with 22 guests, and a delicious selection of 'Fresh to Go' salads, veg sticks, and dark chocolate, YUM. The workshop went off without a hitch, was enjoyed by all, and made us crazy for more! Hence the launch of the Wellington version as soon as we got back (get excited lasses!).

Our awesome Auckland Intention x Action workshop ladies x

Our awesome Auckland Intention x Action workshop ladies x

Friday was our day off to sweat, explore, and chill, starting the morning with a lush breakfast at ‘Big Sur’ cafe in Grey Lynn accompanied by some of our lovely Auckland Lemons who introduced us to The Movement Lab (@movementlab). I'm not much of a "yogi" but @abbyleebony ’s class was so great! It definitely gave me a new appreciation for yoga, mainly because Abbylee massaged my head at some point in the meditation, apparently she did this to everyone, but I think they were just jealous. Here, we were lucky enough to be joined by Jane from @yogaconnection, Buffy from @organics, and our biz queen mentor Mak @makaiacarr, what a fun bunch of gals #squadgoals hahaha I’m so lame. Our day continued with a hilarious dose of Fifty Shades Darker featuring sing alongs to the sweet top 10 songs it included, as well as some shout outs to the beautiful man that stars in this film, does anyone else get giddy over guys in white dress shirts?! 

Top of this days hit list, however, was our mate Lucy from @mondyhustle, Luce had a freak accident last year and snapped her archilles, since then Luce has been through the ringer with a heap of complications that have tested her happy-go-lucky spirits. So when nothing is going right, you go left…into the Warehouse, and buy stick on mo’s from the clearance bin in a bid to bring on a lol. So great to see you Lucy, you are a rockstar, and we love you!

(You can click on the images below, it will move you through the slide show x)

Saturday appeared, and after the manifestation master aka Courtney Durr worked her magic on the weather, we rolled out our second Auckland bootcamp! Job well done lasses, couldn’t have done it without all your support (yes you, reader!). These awesome ladies came with big smiles, ready to take on whatever we had coming there way, we had some new faces which is always so cool to see, and we had some familiar faces from the workshop. A cute wee partner workout had everyone sufficiently sweating and starving! If anybody visits Auckland regularly (or not) Odettes was so frickn cool! Its like a Body Love dream in there, a mix of stunning blues, natural woods, and beautiful soft furnishings, and more importantly the food was SO good, I had this amazing herb scramble with greens on a hand made nut loaf, oh oh, and tea, @stormandindia make such great tea if you're a tea freak like me, I was able to try their coconut chai, dreamy. Life was great in this moment, I love how happy tea makes me feel.

With a quick pit stop at Megs place for a catch up and impromptu single release, ‘Sorry ‘bout your brollay’ was put together by myself and Courtney after we felt bad for losing my cousins umbrella the day before, keep an eye out for it on iTunes team, its bound to go viral. P.s. don't keep an eye out for it, its not on iTunes, it’s constructed with horrific grammar and the words change every time we sing it. Do, however, keep an eye on on Instagram stories for future hits, it seems to be a common occurrence these days, ‘Positive pants’ was one of my personal faves.

Just like that our Auckland adventure was over, and with the exciting prospect of a free cookie and a Koru magazine, that must have meant only one thing! Air New Zealand, take us home, friend! Boarding this flight, I sat back in my chair and couldn't help smiling, following your dreams really does wonders for the soul, with my nuggie by my side we took to the skies, a little more tired than before, but a lot fuller in experiences. What a heart felt reflection, Abs. On a more exciting note, the air hostess gave us each two cookies, because we smiled super hard at her. Not really, we made a joke about having everyones cookie that declined theres. Pretty sure that would have been more than two, but hey we will let it slide. Arriving back to find my 2005 Holden Barina in one piece was also ace, Strathmoore, thanks for not slashing my tyres, you’re actually pretty cool. 

Lots of love, 
Abs x

Real Women Inspiring Real Women #3

Cece is a true go getter. This girl exudes happiness and health through her smile and love of nature. Thank you so much chicky for always being positive and lifting the energy when it is low! You are amazing!!

Hey! My name is Cecelia, I am 23 years old and currently studying Outdoor Adventure to fulfil my dream of working in the outdoors :)

What do you think makes a woman beautiful?

There are so many things that make a woman beautiful. For me the most striking and beautiful qualities are self acceptance and an innate happiness with life.

This may be because these are things that I have struggled with and as I have become more accepting of myself (flaws and all), I have found myself less worried about my appearance and more focused on enriching my soul with experiences. This has lead to a much happier life :) 


If you had the power to change one thing in the world, what would it be?

It would be the way humans treat the natural environment. We need to realise that we are part of this ecosystem, not it's owners. There are a lot of positive changes happening already but I would love to do a system reset on the corporations and politics of the world, putting environmental care at the center of the agenda.


What is one thing you have struggled with in the past year? What helped you when you were struggling?

In the past year I struggled with finishing my honors year at university. I hated spending all my days inside at a desk, I was going insane from the constant pressure and all the reading and writing. I was lacking any sort of creative outlet, had lost touch with nature in a major way and was not near as social as I had been in previous years.  To be completely honest it was Body Love Blueprint that helped me get through it. Courtney's amazingly positive attitude, the other women in the group and our body smashing workouts always made me feel better. I would leave each session feeling stronger, both physically and mentally. I needed that strength to get through writing my dissertation and all the long days at the library. 

On a larger scale, Body Love also helped me make the decision to leave the academic, desk-centered world and follow my dream of working in the outdoors. Each week I saw how happy Courtney was as she followed her dreams and lived out her passion. Comparing this to how I felt looking for corporate jobs it was clear that I could not continue on that path. I knew that happiness was out there waiting for me and all I had to do was muster up the courage to reach for it!


How do you relax and take time out when your world gets hectic?

I love taking long runs/walks in the bush, it always makes me feel better to get outside, exercise and get my mind off things.


What’s your favourite quote?

"When a flower doesn't bloom, you fix the environment not the flower." Alexander Den Heijer

I love this quote because so many girls and woman spend their entire life trying to 'fix' themselves but this is ridiculous! We are all already perfect just as we are! It is the toxic environment that surrounds us; social media, celebrities, movies, advertisements etc, that needs fixing. The false images that these outlets portray put so much pressure on women to look and act a certain way that we are all trying to fit into a box far to small. We need to embrace our differences; they are the beautiful things that make us individuals.

Real Women Inspiring Real Women #2

The second woman in the R.W.I.R.W series is a lady by the name of Rachel. Rach is one of the strong leaders at Body Love Blueprint. Her presence is known whenever she is near and I love that about her. She is driven, opinionated, and so giving. She has come a long way from when I first met her two years ago, both physically and mentally. I really don't know what I'd do without this lady! Prepare to be inspired x

Hi , my name is Rachel, I am 31 years old and I am a physiotherapist.

What do you think makes a woman beautiful?

I think confidence makes a woman beautiful. When you are comfortable in your skin it shows and you show a light that everyone wants to be around. I don't think that size matters, some of the most beautiful woman I know would be plus sized in the fashion industry.

If you had the power to change one thing in the world, what would it be?

I think there is so much that you could change that would make a difference but I wish that we could see ourself the way others do. It would change our internal dialogue, make ourselves truly more happy and make everyone feel valued and worthy.

What is one thing you have struggled with in the past year? What helped you when you were struggling?

I have struggled with not feeling good enough. I berated myself for not eating the right foods, exercising enough, being a good enough physio, and being a good friend. I struggled with thinking that I was fat and ugly. 

What helped me through this was good friends, having fun things planned, inspiration through social media and exercise, which was a huge mental health help. Being surrounded by people in groups such as BLB and netball really helped as well. 

I found I needed to keep connected and centred to my universe. I realised that I will struggle with feeling not good enough, but by knowing my triggers and what helps bring me out of the funk is key to continued management. I accept that life isn't perfect but the flaws make you different and interesting.

What piece of advice would you give to women out there struggling with their appearance and overall self-confidence?

I think firstly, you're not alone. Work out what makes you happy and do it, don't let your appearance hold you back, and definitely fake it til you make it. Find a supportive group of friends/woman to exercise with and keep persevering!! Let your light show... You don't know who your inspiring around you.

Fave type of workout? 

"HUNDY CLUB"

100 Squats
100 Push Ups
100 Sit Ups
100 Alternating Lunges
100 Burpees
100 Glute Raises
100 V Ups
100 Lengths of Running
100 Mountain Climbers
100 Tricep Dips

45 minute time cap

Complete each movement in any order, any rep count, but aim to complete 100 of each before the 45 minutes is up.

Real Women Inspiring Real Women #1

Welcome to the beginning of the R.W.I.R.W series. It's all very well having a role model, someone who you aspire to be like who motivates you to be the best version of yourself but did you realise that you are also that person to somebody else? That you have this power inside of you to literally change the world for the better. 

The first women to answer the questions I have given her is a lovely lady named Jayne. She is such a big part of Body Love Blueprint and inspires me every week with her determination to not be discouraged by her injuries and to always always give it 100%. Enjoy the read, I certainly did!

Hi, my name is Jayne, I am 28 years old, I'm a member of an amazing movement and I am a strong independent woman.
 

Jayne, what do you think makes a woman beautiful?

Being true to yourself and not letting what others say or think about you get you down. “You are beautiful no matter what they say, Words can’t bring you down!” (I may have stolen that from a song :-) )

If you had the power to change one thing in the world, what would it be?

This is a very hard question. There are so many things that are wrong in the world, to name one is just too difficult. My head went to the old cliché of “world peace” but this is so open ended that it could mean anything. I think ultimately I would want to stop all the suffering. Whether that is from illness or poverty, no one should ever suffer from anything or have to see others suffer. I’ve been there first hand watching someone suffer from Cancer and I would never wish that on anyone.

What is one thing you have struggled with in the past year? What helped you when you were struggling?

I didn’t really feel like myself towards the end of last year. It was hard as I didn’t know what to put it down too. A lot of things had changed all at once and it was hard to deal with. One of the main things was being told I wasn’t allowed to play netball until further notice. This seems so little but when you play it sometimes twice a week in the summer and three times plus training a week in the winter, it was hard stopping. I even ended up not watching my team play as it was too difficult. All I wanted to do was be on the court with them.

There were three things that got me through this:

1.     A very supportive friend’s network. A couple in particular who dealt with my emotional breakdowns even when they were dealing with things themselves; they still had time for me.

2.     My physio, Putting up with me constantly asking her when I could play again she would just laugh at me sometimes and say “you know the answer to that”. But her encouragement and exercises meant we were working towards getting me on the court, which was awesome.

3.     Body Love Blueprint. The themes that Courtney talks about and introduced every week made me realise there was more in life to be grateful for than just being able to play netball. Although there were the days I felt like rolling up into a ball on the couch and not go to the sessions I always felt really good after them. The results I was starting to see from these sessions was making me start to feel better about myself and start to move out of the funk I had been in for what felt like forever..

What piece of advice would you give to women out there struggling with their appearance and overall self-confidence?

Love and cherish yourself and make the most of the body you have! You only get one. 

Fave quote?

"LIVE, like there is no tomorrow. LAUGH, like no one is listening. LOVE, like you’ve never been hurt."

Gratitude is everything.

Setting goals is vital; having audacity is imperial to living a life of potential, but too often we look ahead to how far we’ve got to go, how much money we still need to save, the body we wish we had, or the weight we “need” to lose, that we forget to look back and see how far we’ve come. Sure you might not have reached your goal of 20 full push-ups yet but remember when you could only manage a couple on your knees? You might not have lost your goal of 10kgs but how much confidence and strength have you gained? I bet you wouldn’t mind winning the lottery today, I also bet you don’t realise how rich you already are with a roof over your head, food in your belly, and no crippling health issues.

Gratitude. It is the most powerful skill you can acquire. Gratitude means thankfulness, counting your blessings, noticing simple pleasures, and acknowledging everything that you receive. It means learning to live your life as if everything were a miracle, and being aware on a continuous basis of how much you’ve been given. Gratitude shifts your focus from what your life lacks to the abundance that is already present.

“Whoever has gratitude will be given more, and he or she will have an abundance. Whoever does not have gratitude, even what he or she has will be taken from him or her”. What you think you attract, positive or negative. So if you put all your energy into thinking you don’t have enough you will attract more of that. But if you focus on feeling grateful and satisfied with everything you have you will get more. This is called the law of attraction and it works in mysterious and wondrous ways.

By reflecting on our experiences and practicing gratitude, we can re-motivate ourselves to keep going, remind ourselves why we started and above all be content on this journey we’re all on. All you have is now so stop waiting for an event, the weekend, the perfect body, or for the right amount of money. Practice gratitude now. Happiness is now and it’s there for the taking.

If you want to learn more about gratitude and the law of attraction I highly recommend reading 'The Magic' by Rhonda Byrne.

Take a risk on a life you love.

Since leaving my job I've had people say to me, "wow, you must be doing pretty well to leave your job" and then continue on to ask me about my plans of where I will take my business. The thing I want everyone to know is that I didn't leave my job because I was financially and emotionally comfortable to do so and I didn't leave my job because I had a structured plan to follow. Quite the opposite really.

I left the security and comfort of my job because of intuition. Listening to your intuition requires a great deal of faith and courage. I had to have faith that even through the initial hardship and obstacles, I was creating a better life for myself and for others.

I left not to make more money but to create more space for opportunity, for magic. If you're full to the brim then you don't allow for anymore magic into your life. You have to constantly reevaluate what's important in your life, what's serving you and, in order to create space, you have to get rid of what isn't.

So yes I am scared and yes I understand that I will face a lot of challenges but I'm up for it! My purpose is bigger than me and that is what motivates me to continue. Quitting is not an option, in my eyes quitting would be selfish. I always have to think about the bigger picture!

Would you be okay being where you are today in five years? If not, maybe it's time to do some reevaluating; maybe it's time to take a risk for happiness, for a life you love.