My life has been touched by some uber amazing women whose passion for life and the way they choose to live it have really inspired me. Some are bloggers, some are not, their lives are all different and they are all special. I feel honoured and privileged that they are sharing their stories and sprinkling a little bit of their awesome right here. May you be wom-inspired!
Meet Kelly Exeter.
Kelly’s blog posts always inspire me to think a little deeper and a little more outside the box. I love her honesty and her wisdom and the way she looks at life. I also love the websites she designs, they’re so pretty! Kelly’s so wise and she’s also so inspiring. I’m totes honoured to have her here.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a mother of two, wife of one and a serial striver. I really need to satisfy that striver side of myself in order to thrive, but it also means I find it very hard to find a balance between achieving the big goals I set for myself … and the desire I have to be ‘present’ when I am around my family. So that’s what A Life Less Frantic is about – the ongoing push and pull involved in finding the time and space to do the things that are important to us in life, while still having the time and space to be our best selves.
Tell us 3 things you are and 3 things you’re not.
I am: driven, productive and kind.
I’m not: patient, a fan of cooking, someone who is able to sit still for very long.
Complete this sentence, ____________________ changed my life. How and why?
Reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain changed my life.
Up till that point in my life I was always at war with my introversion. I saw it as ‘uncool’ and ‘unsociable’ and no one wants to be either of those things in this day and age right?! So I was constantly trying to be more extroverted; forcing myself to do things I hated doing, but thought I should do (like go to parties and networking events, lots of heavy one-on-one consulting with clients). After reading Quiet I totally changed the way I looked at myself. Wanting and needing a lot of space and time to myself wasn’t a huge character flaw – it was an energy thing. And the better I was able to manage my energy levels, the better I was able to be to those around me!
What has been life’s greatest lesson?
That as much as we’d like to think we’re in control of our lives, we’re really only able to control the way we respond to the challenges life throws at us.
What is your biggest achievement?
Learning to manage stress better. When I’m stressed it affects every aspect of my life – but it especially impacts the people who are closest to me. This is not cool so being able to identify my stress triggers and avoid those where possible, while also better managing the effect stress has on me in general means I can be my best self for my husband and kids … and also the rest of the world.
What has been your toughest obstacle and how have you overcome it?
Making peace with the fact that I can’t be everything to everyone. And the fact that I just can’t chase every single cool ‘goal’ and opportunity that presents itself to me. I’ve overcome this by figuring out what’s really important to me in life: my family above all else. In the past I ran every request, suggestion and opportunity through the filter “can I do this?” To which the answer was always “Yes, I can!” These days I run everything through the filter of “Is this thing taking you closer to where you want to be in life?” And usually, the answer is “No”. I think one of the most important things we can do in life is figure out what we really want from life … and where we want life to take us. When we don’t know this, we feel a bit lost and can’t help but chase every opportunity that presents itself because that opportunity might be ‘the answer’. Of course, that opportunity is never ‘the answer’, it’s just something that adds to the overwhelm we’re drowning in,
Viktor Frankl says “Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how.” Everyone needs a purpose, what’s yours?
To help people be their best selves. Saying it so bluntly sounds exceptionally hubristic to my ears, but I can’t think of another way to describe it. INFJs (my personality type) like to help people bring order to their lives. But to what end? Why is it nice to have order in one’s life? Well I think when you’re happy and content and have lots of whitespace in your life, you’re able to be your best self more often than not. When we’re our best selves, we’re best able to serve both those close to us, and the wider world in a positive way. I can’t help but think that the more people in the world who are being their ‘best selves’, the better a place this world will be.
What are your words to live by?
The words in my Manifesto for a Simple Life: “Eat less, move more. Buy less, make more. Stress less, laugh more. Feel blessed, love more. Find a quiet spot every day and breathe.” Whenever there is something really rocking my world, I return to these words and they are both a great comfort, a great guide AND a great reminder about what’s really important.
If you could have any mentor, alive or dead, who would you choose and why?
Liz Gilbert. I saw her speak here in Perth a couple of months ago and was blown away by how clearly she was able to articulate her (amazing) thoughts. I would love to have Liz Gilbert on tap to just chat with whenever I liked!
If you could play hookie for a day what would be on your list to do?
Lie in bed, read, fall asleep, wake up, read, fall asleep, wake up, read … I think you get the picture!
You give so much to others, what do you do to take care of yourself?
I exercise every single day, I eat well and most importantly of all, I make sure I have time to myself each day where there is no one else around me wanting to talk to me or be held! Even if it means waking up at 4.30am (which it often does!) that quiet time is absolutely crucial to my being my best self.
Thank you for sharing, Kelly.
Let Kelly inspire you a little bit more…
on the blog
and on twitter