Please, Stop asking if I’m pregnant.

This entry is a little off topic to my general posts, but I really feel like I have to put this out there! I think the New Moon in Scorpio is still affecting me with just saying things how it is.

My husband and I got married 8 weeks ago now, and you’d be surprised by the comments I have received in that time about pregnancy and babies.

(Photo: My Husband and I on our wedding day)

“You only got married because you’re pregnant, aren’t you?” Or “You don’t need to say anything, I know you’re pregnant”

*face palm*

I’m sorry to disappoint you all, but you’ve got it all wrong!

Is this just a given these days? You’re expected to have a child immediately after you’re married? Or the reason behind getting married is because you’re already pregnant? I’m not sure If they’re being rude or they’re just too excited for us to have a baby.

A couple’s choice to have a child is a very personal and private thing. You don’t know if we can’t conceive, been having difficulties for years or maybe we just don’t want to have children right now? Whatever our situation, it makes me feel so uncomfortable when I’m asked, and I’m sure there are many other woman who feel the same as I do.

Literally this week alone I’ve had the question put on me by family members and messages from friends on Facebook Congratulating me on my pregnancy because they can tell I’m pregnant from my photos I’ve posted!

Um what?!

I’m sorry if you think you’re seeing a baby bump there, but sometimes girls just get bloated or more times than likely my eyes are bigger than my stomach and I’ve just eaten way too much!

I constantly feel like everyone is looking at my stomach for that baby bump, watching my every move to see if I’m having a wine with my dinner or passing on the deli meats & soft cheeses.

Then there’s the age thing… I’ll be 30 in 5 months and how could I possibly forget that my fertility clock is ticking because I’m reminded ALL the time by family, friends and even strangers!

And don’t get me started on the pressure of grandchildren…

My Niece and I.

(Photo: My Niece and I)

Please keep in mind your seemingly innocent question might cause someone grief, pain, stress or frustration. Sure, for some people those questions may not cause any fraught feelings — but I can tell you, from my own experiences and hearing about many friends’ experiences — it more than likely does.

I think people just need to take a step back, mind their own business and not have expectations or assumptions of when a couple are conceiving. When the time is right, it will be announced. If you’re eager to know, then you’ll just have to wait patiently.

I promise, if or when we are we’ll tell you—when we’re ready.

Xx Jes

Cleaning out my closet – In more ways than one.

With the New Moon in Scorpio starting last week, I think I have succumbed to its influence. I’m feeling strong at the moment, saying what’s on my mind, standing up for myself, and just brutally emptying the contents of my life that no longer serve me.

“Scorpio is intimate with the natural cycles of death, rebirth and transformation. Scorpio is our ally to destroy, eliminate, & let go in order to heal the past, recreate, begin anew with passion. Scorpio’s cycle is here to develop our resilience. Completions and endings are all around us right now. Some will be painful & disturbing. What Scorpio illuminates is our power to respond”.

Whatever this influence is having on me, I think I like it! Here’s what’s been going on;

Last week, I was off work & in bed with a terrible migraine and I was looking over at my wardrobe and thought to myself ‘how much ‘stuff’ is squished in there?’. It wasn’t messy, but just alot of stuff! Shelves filled to the brim with handbags, scarves, hats and the floor taken up by 40+ pairs of shoes. Now for me to be thinking like this is weird, because for anyone who really knows me, will know how much of a shopaholic I am (or was). Once upon a time I would go shopping for a new outfit, bag, or accessory every week… why? Because I could! Plus I had parties & events on every weekend with my pageantry, so of course I had to have something new to wear! I had never thought of my wardrobe in this way before, it was like I was seeing things from a new perspective!

Anyway… the next day I put things into motion. I was on a cleaning frenzy. Unlike anything I’d done before, I ripped almost every item of clothing hanging in the wardrobe off its hanger and took it to my local op shop! I filled 7 large garbage bags full! And another couple bags for the bin! I’m talking clothing with tags still attached, expensive dresses, bags and show stopping heels I had worn once or twice. It didn’t even cross my mind to sell them, no second thoughts if I’d wear it ‘someday’, I just wanted it all gone!

Things got even more savage when I cleared out the dresser too and then proceeded to move the entire dresser to the garage to take to the tip! Yep, I was on a mission to clear things out! I’m not entirely sure if hubby was impressed or concerned by my actions that day…

After I completed my clean out rampage, I sat on the bed with a cuppa looking at what I had done. The lightness I felt was indescribable! I felt accomplished! There was so much space and the room just looked brighter and fresher! My mind felt clear! The items left hanging in my closet were all soft, feminine, floral pieces of similar style which I could see with ease, just a few pairs of sandles and boots in a perfect row, and dainty accessories stored in rattan baskets on the shelf. Everything was so neat. It was beautiful! No more slinky night club dresses, no more tacky sequin numbers… no more business attire.

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I had just created more space in my life to welcome new things. Not new things like more clothes and material objects, but new things such as life, love, creativity, and thinking space! All those ‘things’ that were just taking up room, making clutter, using up good energy. They were items of my past, and now they are gone and I feel free! It’s like I can finally see what kind of person I am now just by looking in my wardrobe.

Creating space is not necessarily about throwing things away or cleaning out your wardrobe. I’m talking about the internal space, the mental, emotional and spiritual space in our lives.

I’ve also been slowly going through the laundry cuboard, kitchen draws, throwing away things we don’t need, use or want. And my diet has also had a switch up, cutting out alcohol and most sugars. It’s like a full life detox!

Another example of my clean out this week is a recent incident with some friends. Word of mouth got around to me that a couple of my friends had been saying some not so nice stuff about me, and when I found out I instantly felt a rock in my throat… Hello anxiety! This feeling lingered with me for days… It wasn’t pleasant. I didn’t know what to do, except more yoga to try shift this yucky feeling. Do I confront them about it?, or do I just let it go and just keep my distance? Then I thought, if they were true friends, there would be no need for them to speak about me in the way that they did, real friends don’t do that. So brutel Jes decided it’s time to cut cords. My next move after that was Facebook… Yep I went there! Scrolling through my newsfeed, I began to cull ‘friends’. People that don’t align with my values, or my lifestyle, people who don’t really know me, I just got rid of, and boy it was liberating! I didn’t even feel guilty. This feeling of just not caring and wanting to eliminate took over, and I thank Scorpio for helping me do it. This process got me thinking about the friendships I have in my life, and I’ve decided to narrow my focus on the most important people. The friends I consider family, the ones that understand it takes two to make a friendship work – I’m focusing my attention on those friendships, rather than spreading myself so thinly to try and please everyone.

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While this moon cycle has been wonderful in helping me declutter the ‘stuff’ in my home, it has also been a blessing in helping me declutter my mind, body and soul. Clutter is not just stuff on the floor or in your wardrobe. It’s anything that gets between you and the life you want to be living.

Clutter isn’t necessarily ‘things’, clutter can be in your emotions and thoughts too. Our brains are working so hard trying to keep up with our busy lifestyles, friends and family, work life and multitask 1000 thoughts, that our body & soul gets exhausted, which then starts to affect our overall health and wellbeing. This is when things like anxiety & stress set in, and nobody wants that.

What I know for sure is that when you declutter, whether it’s your home, your head or your heart, it is amazing what will flow into that space. It will enrich you & your life.

I honestly feel like I’ve just walked up another step this last week, moving up to where I want to be. I feel I have accomplished alot, mentally and physically and I feel super proud of myself knowing I’m finally doing things for me!

This journey to my mediocre, minimal, simple and slow life style has been an incredible experience so far. While I have only been learning and practicing this intentional living for about 6 months, I know that this is the right path for me. I can’t tell you how to live your life, there will be many people who can’t and won’t give up the materialistic things, the ‘likes’ and comments that feed their ego on social media or the desire for bigger and better. – Sacrifice sleep for productivity. Strive for excellence. Go big or go home mindset. While I don’t judge that kind of lifestyle, because I have lived and breathed it, I just know how much better life feels for me since I’ve changed my habits. To change your lifestyle to a slower and simpler one you must consciously make that decision, you have to want to do it, and for the reasons behind it. It’s a personal choice, and no one should judge you for wanting a quieter life.

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Feeling overwhelmed? Stressed? Feel like nothing is going right for you? Maybe it’s time to have a clean out… Home, mind, body & soul. After all it is a perfect time to do so under the service of the new moon. This phase will last until the next New Moon on December 18th, so surrender and let the universe guide you.

“This Scorpio New Moon comes with a commanding, uncompromising air of forcefulness, urging us to tap into our innate raw, alchemical power, asking us to take the lead that weighs us down and turn it into shimmering, glorious gold.

“The patterns, cycles, relationships and duties which have run their course are now ripe for reinvention, ready to be broken down into simple matter and recycled back into our physical, energetic, emotional environment; we owe it to ourselves to turn all of it into something that is honestly, genuinely aligned with our vibration and our direction.”

I’d love to know if you have felt influenced by this moon cycle, and what has come to you during this time. Please leave a comment, I read them all.

Xx Jes

A slow life is a better life.

If you read my first blog post, you’l know that over the last 6 months I have been practicing slow & intentional living. (Which i’ll be writting more about in future blog posts)

With the end of the year fast approaching, everyone starts booking up their diaries with work functions, Christmas parties, school concerts, family do’s and then the Christmas shopping… This time of year gets hectic and we start to lose our minds trying to juggle and multitask work, kids, appointments and all the chaos that comes along with Christmas.

I thought I’d share my thoughts with you to perhaps give you a little helping hand on how to handle the next few weeks by living slower and with simplicity. Yes! It is possible! I’m no expert, I’m still learning and i’m not trying to tell you how to live your life, but if my way of living can help or inspire you to live a better & more wholesome life, then let me be here for you.

While most of us work and will most likely be working harder and longer hours during the lead up to Christmas, we must remember to nurture our mind, body & soul and not burn ourselves out.

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When we think of slow we typically think that we are dumb or falling behind. Slow isn’t dumb, it’s purposeful! And slow won’t cause you to fall behind, it will allow you to catch up – with your friends, your family, your digestive system & life!

Slowing down can be a real challenge for some, but slowing down will save your life! A slow life restores peace & balance. Your work becomes more satisfying & relationships will come to mean more to you than your job. In a slow life you will focus on food. You will value its cultivation and preparation as much as you relish the meal. The quality of the “things” in your life will come to mean so much more than the quantity. There are so many reasons why a slow life is a better life, but i’ll delve deeper into that another time.

For now I’ve listed 5 things to help you slow down and to be a more thankful and gentle person leading up to Christmas.

  1. Have quiet, slow mornings.

Who doesn’t love a lazy Sunday morning in bed with a cuppa?… This luxury doesn’t have to be just for weekends! Make sure you are starting everyday like this! Wake up slowly, sip your coffee and look out the window for 15 minutes before you get up for the day.

I always wake earlier than my husband, so I crawl out of bed and go open all the curtains, and if it’s a warm day I’l open the up the windows too. I pop the kettle on, say good morning to our dogs and budgie and then potter back to bed to sip my coffee. (and sometimes one for hubby too if he’s awake) I love slow mornings because it gives your body and mind a chance to actually wake up. I always feel so grateful during this time too, looking out at my garden, and at the photos hanging on the bedroom wall, snuggled up to my husband, everything is so quiet and perfect in that moment. It sets the mood for my whole day!

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2. Move slower.

To slow down your life, you need to slow down your body. Practice slowing down your walk – stop power walking everywhere! And stop scoffing down your meals, take your time and actually savour each mouthful.

I’l admit, I often find myself power walking and rushing myself through meals, more so at work, but I’m becoming more conscious of it and I really try to slow myself down. I especially practice slowing down in the supermarket – You know the place where mums are yelling at their kids to behave, couples arguing over what pasta sauce to buy & the impatient people huffing and puffing inline at the registers… I take my time with my basket and shopping list, and just float around the isles, humming along to the music playing overhead & collecting items I need. Just because everyone around you is moving quickly, doesn’t mean you have to as well. By slowing down your walk, you’ll feel calmer and happier. Give it a go when you’re at the grocery store next, and by the time you reach the check out and the cashier is asking how your day is, you’ll respond in a calm and more gentler way – try it! Then practice it everywhere you go!

With Christmas shopping about to begin, don’t let the chaos of people rushing around, or over worked and grumpy sales staff bring you down and get you stressed. Remember – slow down, be mindful, and enjoy your gift buying.

3. Appreciate the little things.

When was the last time you went for a walk and stopped to smell the beautiful flowers growing in the gardens, looked up at the moon or collected shells along the beach? If you want to slow down your life, you must appreciate the little things.

When my husband and I take our dogs walking, I’m always coming home with a collection of flowers and foliage that I’ve picked along the way. I then either take them to work to put in a vase on my desk to brighten my workspace or I keep them on my nightstand as a lovely sight to wake up to!

Taking in the little things (Which are actually the big things) gives you a greater sense of appreciation for life.

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4. Take a time out.

Everyone needs time for themselves, it’s vital in staying sane I believe! Whether it’s taking yourself out for a coffee and reading the paper or just pottering in your garden, you need to be on your own sometimes.

For me, having alone time gives me time to reflect and clear my head. My favourite things to do by myself are yoga, gardening, meditation, walks in nature, or even just laying on a blanket in the sun with book!

Make sure you schedule out atleast 30 minutes a day for yourself! Run a bath, or go for a walk, start small and see how much better you feel.

While I’m not a parent (yet!), I do understand finding alone time can be hard if you have young children, but you have to make it work! This has to be a priority in your life for your wellbeing. Having ‘you’ time isn’t selfish, infact by taking time for yourself you are able to recharge and fill yourself back up. By taking time to look after your own mental health, you can give back to your children and family more. Would you rather have no alone time and be drained with your cup half full, or take time for yourself and be a happier, more fulfilled mother/father/husband/wife/friend? I know what I choose!

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5. Switch off!

With technology so prominent in our lives today, it means we are always available and overstimulated. You know when someone gets annoyed at you because you haven’t replied to their txt right away or you didn’t ‘like’ their status on facebook they posted an hour ago… I personally hate it when people come at me complaining I haven’t messaged them, I don’t have my phone on me 24/7, and I don’t want to either!

I believe that smart phones and social media are like drugs… we’re addicted! Last month I was sitting at the airport waiting to board a flight, I looked around and quickly noticed every woman, man and child had some kind of phone or tablet in their hands, with their heads down… No one was talking to eachother & I found that really concerning! It really opened my eyes to how brainwashed we all are! From that moment I’ve consciously been aware of how much I actually use my phone! I make the effort to try and leave my phone in my bag while out with friends, and not bring my phone into the bedroom at night. By having my phone on my nightstand meant it was the first thing I reached for when I woke up, when I should really be turning to my husband first thing for a good morning kiss and cuddle, not the bloody phone!

You don’t need to post on social media every day, & you don’t need to respond to that txt right away, the world will not end! Don’t let technology distract you from living in the moment and living life. We too often get caught up in other people’s drama, and you don’t need to carry that weight on your shoulders. Limit your online time as much as possible & don’t become a slave to it!

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So with Christmas only a few more weeks away, try slowing down, do things with intention, and be mindful about your energy and the energy of the people around you. By nurturing ourselves, we create space for gratitude and love, and that’s what we all want to be feeling, especially at this time of year.

Don’t dread the parties, school plays, busy days at work and the shopping. Enjoy it all, be thankful you have festivities to go to and thankful you have a job that pays the bills! Be that beacon of light to spread joy to others!

When we live slow, we give back and become more strongly connected to the Earth, to our communities, to our friends and to ourselves. A slow life is one that seeks the right balance between spirituality, sensuality, introspection and community.

A slow life is a better life!

To be continued…

xx Jes

6 steps to host your own Goddess Circle.

Now you’re probably wondering, “What is a goddess circle?’ Well, it can mean something different to each person, so feel free to redefine it as you see fit, but essentially, it’s a ritual that has been around since the beginning of time. It’s about creating a safe space for women to come together to celebrate, nurture, be vulnerable and support each other, without judgement. With respect for each other, and ritual, whether simple or complex, the circle gives us space to be honest and face what we need to do. Joy, reflection, challenge, true emotion – it’s all there!

‘Circle space’ is very different from ‘social space’. In social space we chatter, tend to gossip, and are not always aware of our surroundings. In circle space we slow down, reflect and become aware of where we are and why we are there.

I have been facilitating women’s circles (Goddess Circles) for 6 months now, and as time goes on I’m finding my circle growing, with women reaching out to me wanting to be apart of this sacred & intimate ritual. Spending time with people you enjoy, with whom you can be open and supportive, is a profound aspect of self-care.

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Us women thrive on feminine energy, it’s what inspires us and makes us feel filled up. You know when you haven’t seen your girlfriends in weeks, and you start to feel overwhelmed or like you’re going to explode because you just need your soul sisters for advice, support, and just a good hug… That’s because our soul craves nurturing, feminine energy. We need our soul sisters, to be there for us, to love us and hold us, through the good times and the bad.

With social media, emails and texting so prominent in today’s society, we’ve really lost the closeness of true friendship. While it may seem like you’re up to date in all your friends lives because you know what they ate for lunch today, the truth is your relationships aren’t nearly as strong as they once were… This is why I love circle space so much, because it’s an opportunity to spend quality time with your soul sisters, and really connect and get in touch with the people who really impact your life. Get back to reality and share your experiences with the ones who bring light and happiness into your life.

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You don’t have to be a trained yoga teacher, coach or whatever to be able to do this, it’s really just stepping into your own leadership and bringing other women together.

I’ve listed below some of my tips for holding your own goddess circle with your soul sisters.

  1. Set a date and get those invites out.

I usually hold my goddess circles on a full moon or new moon as I personally feel connected to the energy of the moon, but you can hold your circle whenever you like, day or night, indoors or outdoors.

I usually send out invites a month in advance. You can download a moon phase calendar from an app store if you want to line up your circles with the power of the moon. I use one called ‘The Moon’.

  1. Plan food and drinks.

My circles are usually held in the evening, so my soul sisters and I gather for dinner before circle time. I ask each guest to bring a share plate, that way we end up with a whole variety of yummy food, and the pressure is taken off the host to provide all the food. It’s also a nice way for everyone to share their cooking skills, and favourite recipes. We put the assortment of yummy dishes on the dining table, and then everyone just helps themselves, it’s a really lovely way to start the evening because we can just sit, eat and talk, and eat and talk, and then some more eating and talking. In my circle, we try to ensure all the food is organic and vegetarian, nurturing our bodies with good wholesome foods.

As for drinks, I like to create mocktails with fresh fruits, flowers and sparkling water or kombucha. I don’t serve alcohol during my circles as I feel it’s better to have a clear mind.

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  1. Setting the mood.

As the host, you are responsible for creating an inviting sacred space for your guests so when they arrive, they walk into an oasis of peace and tranquillity. I take the day of my goddess circle as a perfect opportunity to spring clean the house. I like to open up all the windows and doors and let the fresh air flow through my home. While the house is well vented I also burn sage to clear away any negative energy and set my intention for the evening. Setting the mood is so important for your circle as this will set the tone for the whole evening. You want to make the space as warm and comfortable as possible.

I like to light candles (and I mean A LOT of candles), put on some beautiful music, diffuse some essential oils, and fill the house with fresh flowers.

I set up my circle space in my loungeroom, but you can set up wherever you have enough space. I lay out a round silk tapestry, and then create a mandala for the centre piece of the circle. You can use anything you desire to create your centre piece/alter. I tend to use candles, fresh flowers and rose quartz crystals.

I ask each guest to bring a pillow or meditation cushion to sit on around the circle. You can also ask guests to bring a piece from nature to help contribute to the centre piece.

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  1. Guest arrival.

As a guest, always be conscious of the energy you bring into the space. You may have left a household of screaming kids or had a rough day at work, and are feeling a little strung out, so make a conscious effort to leave those frazzled feelings at the door.

Also, try not to be late – the energy of hurrying and rushing isn’t a good way to start your evening as you carry that feeling into the space.

  1. Circle time.

After we’ve enjoyed a delicious wholesome dinner and our bellies are full and warm, we then gather in our circle.

I like to begin our circle with a sage cleansing ceremony. Starting with myself, and going around the circle we cleanse each other’s aura with the smoke from the sage stick, starting from our feet all the way to the crown of our head. We do this to clear negative energy which allows room for positive energy in your space and life.

We open the circle by lighting our own tealight candle from the main candle in the centre piece. This gesture acts as a ‘check in’ by each guest in the circle. It says ‘I am present, and I am here’. Other ways of opening a circle is by holding hands, reading a poem, humming, drumming, dancing or singing. Whatever feels right for your group, there’s no right or wrong way. You want it to feel comfortable and natural, not silly and awkward.

Generally, my circle has a similar ritual every month, we do a releasing ceremony, where we write down the things we want to let go of, and a gratitude ceremony, where we write down things we a grateful for. We go around the circle and read them out to each other. There is something powerful about publicly declaring what you want to let go of and are grateful for. It helps hold you accountable to your word.

On a new moon, I like to hold an intention setting ceremony, where we write down our intentions for the month and the things we hope to achieve. These may be as simple as wanting to finish a book or as big as getting that promotion at work. Same goes with the releasing ceremony and gratitude ceremony, we go around the group and read them out to each other, and then give input when necessary.

This aligns with the belief that if you call on the universe for help, the universe will deliver. Whatever you put out there, will come back to you in tenfold ways.

There is no time limit in the circle, so you can wrap up whenever it feels right. I’ve had some circles that last for 30 minutes, and some that went on for 4 hours. Sometimes things will get emotional, & there will be tears, and sometimes there will be belly aching laughter, and that’s all part of the beauty of the circle, you never know what direction the discussion will lead to.

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  1. Closing the circle.

In my circle, I like to close with a guided meditation. It’s a perfect way to manifest everything that was spoken of in the circle, & tap into your unconscious thoughts.

After meditation, we each blow out our own candle, which in turn says that the circle is officially closed.

We then sit and unwind with some herbal tea, healthy raw treats and plenty of hugs.

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Tips:

  • You may like to pick a theme or topic for your women’s circle. The topic can be the core discussion in the circle, where everyone can give their input or personal advice.
  • Ditch the phones! Technology is a huge distraction, so ask guests to switch off and put their phones in their bags for the night.
  • It’s important that everyone knows that what happens in the circle, stays in the circle. The circle is a safe scared space for everyone to express their truth, feel held and show up authentically. Honour that sacred sisterhood pact.
  • You may like to incorporate angel cards or tarot cards into your circle.
  • I like to set a dress code for my circles, asking guests to wear something floral or a white theme. It’s a nice feeling to dress up and honour your divine feminine and inner goddess.
  • Salt rituals are popular, so you could incorporate this into your circle.
  • You may like to run an activity in your circle such as flower crown making, stone painting or creating dream catchers.
  • Need help with putting together a playlist for your goddess circle? Some of my favourite tracks on my playlist are;

. Beauvois – Attente

. Asgeir – Unbound

. Trevor Hall – To Zion

. Tash Sultana – Notion

. Elle Watson – Walls

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Start by asking your close friends to a women’s circle, but don’t hold on to feelings if no one shows up at first, you’l find it’s not for everyone. I sometimes just had one friend who would come, but I was interested in what ceremony and ritual really means, so I kept doing it regardless of how many people came. If your intention is strong and purpose pure, women will find their way to you.

Start an emotional journey with your friends. As a group whether you commit to meeting weekly, once a month or every couple of months, just make a commitment. Follow through with your plans and don’t send that last-minute raincheck. You will be bettering your relationships and ultimately bettering yourself for being a more conscious and involved friend. Besides, who doesn’t love an excuse to get the girls together for a bit of girl’s night in fun?

Have you been to a goddess circle before? I’d love to hear about your experience!

Xx Jes

Everything has changed & yet, I am more me than i’ve ever been.

‘Everything has changed, & yet I am more me than I have ever been’

I saw this quote recently on Instagram and instantly connected with it…who knew it would become my inspiration for my first blog post…

Now bear with me, I did go on a bit of a keyboard rampage with this entry, so make yourself a cuppa and settle in because this may get a bit tedious…

12 months ago my life was changing direction, and it was completely out of my control. There was a higher calling for me and the universe was redirecting my path, I just didn’t know it at the time….

Exactly 1 year ago today I was in Sydney, standing on stage as Miss Australia International 2016, giving my farewell speech and ready to hand my crown over to my 2017 successor…

I have been heavily involved in pageantry for most of my 20’s, I dedicated my life to competing, volunteerism and advocating for various community groups and charity organizations… it totally consumed me, I lived and breathed it.

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At that point in my life, it was what I did best and it gave me purpose. Pageantry gave this once shy girl a boost of confidence and a voice to be heard! Throughout my pageantry career I was fortunate enough to hold two Australian National titles, Miss Galaxy Australia 2014 and Miss Australia International 2016 along with competing in National finals of other systems such as Miss World and Miss Humanity. I was flown interstate and overseas numerous times with my duties, and got to assist many charity organisations. It was truly a crazy and incredible experience.

In this kind of environment you need to be confident, but not cocky. You’re also a brand ambassador for various hair & beauty products etc, so this means posting selfies and photos on social media every day promoting these products which can come off as a little self-obsessed in my opinion… I always tried my best to stay as grounded as possible and not let things go to my head. It was a very fast paced, ego boosting industry to be in.

During this point in time I had a full-time job, and I was also running two pageant systems… one which I ran as a business on an international level where I travelled to the UK yearly, and the other was a small pageant in my community which was part of our annual community festival which I gave my time on a voluntary basis. (How did I do it? I have no idea, but I did it)

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Toward the end of my last reign as a title holder, I began to feel like I was slowly falling apart. It was almost like I was shedding my skin like a snake. I found myself becoming more stressed, I was constantly emotional, and I started to feel the weight of the crown and my duties. I didn’t know what was happening to me because I always kept myself together, I always just handled everything, putting on a smile even though I was highly stressed out… something was happening to me and I couldn’t explain what or why.

Once my title was passed over, and I was back home in Melbourne, everything began to change… and it was out of my control. The universe stepped in and it took away everything pageant related from my life, whether I liked it or not.

The pageant system I ran, their international head office closed down and my Australian franchise foreclosed, and the community pageant I ran was sabotaged by a colleague and I was voted off the board. Both completely out of my control. This all happened within 3 months of each other. It was a really stressful and emotional time and life as I knew it for so long, was done!

I was lost! For years I had been moulded and shaped into a ‘perfect’ Jesica. Don’t get me wrong, I was always my true self and everything I did was authentic and from the heart, but I had to refine myself, always putting my best foot forward, always ensuring my image was clean and professional and it sometimes meant doing things I didn’t necessarily want to do, but this was my job and I had to work for it.

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I don’t regret any of those years, infact they were some of the best years of my life, and I experienced so much. At that point in time, I was meant to do that, but now it’s no longer for me.

Now, you might be thinking I’m making a big deal out of nothing, but pageantry was my everything, and when your everything is taken away from you, you have nothing left. The feeling of emptiness, failure, and defeat quickly overcomes you when you’re in this position. I had been living and breathing this for years, it was my identity…

So now that everything pageantry related was finished and gone, who was I without it? What did Jesica like doing in her free time (free time… what was that, I never had that…) it was so overwhelming and confusing that I fell into a black hole. I shut everyone and everything out for months, including my closest friends! This was rock bottom for me. I just didn’t care about anything anymore, I had no motivation and i felt really isolated and alone. One day I woke up and I decided I didn’t want to feel like this anymore, so I went to see my doctor. It was the best thing I did! She listened to me, and we discussed what I could do to help get back on track. (FYI I’m so proud of myself for asking for help when I needed it)

After spending a number of weeks on my own, pondering about my life journey and what was next for me, I started doing more of what I loved. I started going to my yoga classes more frequently, and I learnt how to meditate which really helped me with my anxiety and just reconnecting with myself.

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Life was slowing down and I started being more mindful about the things I was doing. Cooking and cleaning became my meditation rather than a chore, and slow mornings in bed with a cuppa became the normal, rather than a luxury. It took me a good 6 months to get to this point, so it didn’t quite happen overnight.

I started decluttering my home, throwing away clothes and possessions I didn’t really need anymore, especially everything pageantry related. I began reading more and learning about crystal healing, and getting intouch with my spirituality, changing my diet to a more plant based way of living, and spending more time out with Mother Nature.

It’s amazing how much life changes when you really slow down and go back to basics. I have discovered that in these practices of intentionally devoting time to create sacredness and tranquillity in my environment, I am so much more happier and at peace.

I’ve learnt to rest and nurture my mind, body and soul, forgetting about materialistic things and people that do not serve a purpose to my life, and listening to the Universe and Mother Nature. For the first time in my life I actually feel free, grounded and more connected all at the same time.

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Doors closed so new ones could open, and my recent marriage is proof of that. My now husband and I have been together for 10 years (we got married on our ten year anniversary) and throughout our relationship we had never really thought of getting married, more so my husband didn’t really believe in the sacredness of marriage, so we decided we were just never going to get married… It’s funny how once the doors closed on my old life, the doors to holy matrimony opened!

Life now is completely different, I am so much more at peace with myself… I could go on and on about the different ways my life has changed, but what matters most is that I’m happier than I’ve ever been.

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I’ve had friends drop off over the last year because they couldn’t handle my change… apparently I’m weird now (their words, not mine) or pageant friends who now want nothing to do with me because I no longer hold any value to them… but you know what, as much as it disheartens me, I’m totally ok with it!

My heart and my lifestyle isn’t for everyone, and as we get older we all change anyway! Life happens, relationships fizzle out, we change our hair style, we go from being meat eaters to vegans… everyone at some point in their lives will change. So when people criticize you of changing, they really need to have a good look within themselves. I have changed in so many ways, but I’m still me, I’m just a better version…And I like her! ✌🏻

I suppose the message in this blog post is to say that if you’re feeling like you’re coming to a fork in the road with a career, relationship or just life in general, don’t be afraid. Have faith and let go of what is no longer serving you, because once you close the door, it leaves space for new and incredible things. You just need to be open to believing it. Sooner or later the Universe will step in and make it happen anyway.

The universe always has your back, and it will always guide you to where you need to be. It will always show you, you just need to look for the signs.

Xx Jes

Ps. If life is overwhelming you and you’re not sure where to turn, I encourage you to go and have a chat with your local doc, they will gladly listen to how you’re feeling without judgement, and can advise you on what steps you need to take to get you back on your feet again. There’s so much to live for!