I first came across Andrea’s blog at the start of this year. I’m not even sure how I found her, but I was having a pretty turbulent time. I signed up to her newsletter after reading a bit about Project Self and the positive emails began to pop up at the right moments.
Reading about what Andrea had been through and how she managed to switch things around, became a real eye opener to some of my negative thought patterns that I hadn’t noticed before. It took a real shift in my thinking to begin implementing some of her techniques, but it made a huge difference to the way I was approaching certain lifestyle choices. Andrea talks about mindfulness and observing the voice in your head and not taking it too seriously. She adds a dash of sarcasm (which I love) whilst being practical and deeply honest.
In the words of Ru Paul: “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love anybody else?”
I can’t recommend the Project Self blog enough, if you’re the sort of person who likes to read tips about getting happy and leading a fulfilling life.
Once I started reading, I was hooked and Andrea’s regular emails kept me going through some tough times, like a Kiwi cheerleader. A good example if this was when she talked about not wanting to wear a certain dress for fear of somehow “offending” others, even though she would have looked stunning in it. I was about to go to a wedding and decided it was best to dress down, so as not to “offend”. Just before the wedding her email popped up and basically encouraged me to wear that BGD (Bloody Good Dress) and I did so with confidence. I got in touch with her to thank her for her advice, and we got our chat on from opposite sides of the world.
Andrea is my first guest in the “EDIT asks” series. This section is dedicated to asking inspirational people about their homes. I hope you enjoy her answers!
Where is your favourite spot in your home?
The corner in my living room by a huge floor to ceiling window that looks over my neighbourhood where the morning sun comes in. I have cushions and nifty low-down chairs where I sit and write and mediate most mornings.
How do you feel your home supports your BGL?
I love my home to bits. It’s FULL of windows, so it’s really light and bright, all white painted brick, and it’s really spread out and quirky, it makes me happy every time I look around as I’m very visually driven and I love being in a space that inspires me. I lived in a house with few windows when I first moved to Melbourne and felt really isolated and down, which was when I realised how important lightness and openness was to me.
Are there areas of your home that you feel could improve? How might you make those changes?
My garden could do with a fair bit of work. I love it, but I often forget to water my plants. Luckily my watering systems handle that now, but I’d love to plant some more vines to cover the fence in the back garden. Other than that I love my house just as it is!
If you could take 5 items only from your home, what would they be and why?
– My boyfriend, Bloody Good Chap :D he makes everything (including my house) more awesome with his calm, kind presence.
– The pallet coffee table and the weird wobbly shelves that I built, because I love them and they remind me to make time to do my favourite things – building projects. I love imperfect things where the materials and building process are visible in the final design and finish.
– My low-down meditation chairs – because they’re awesome and comfy and allow me to sit with my legs crossed comfortably and near to the ground, I can’t seem to sit on normal chairs without putting my feet up.
– That’s all! I don’t like to have too many things or attach to anything, I’ve lived out of my backpack so much of my adult life I value the freedom that comes with not owning anything that you wouldn’t want to part with.
Are there any old home habits that you feel used to make you not lead such a BGL?
Running around my house (literally running to save time), stressing about washing and cleaning rather than focusing on my business.
Spending too much time in my house/ at my desk without getting out and about and clearing my mind – it makes me anxious if I stay inside for too long, yet it’s so easy to do when you work from home and live with your partner!
I used to live in a total mess, never made my bed, stuff everywhere, on floors, piles. After superyachting and working for pedantic billionaires I started to appreciate how nice it is to live in an ordered, tidy environment, and now my home is (mostly!) pretty tidy and ordered and not too much clutter. I used to think it was creative and fun to be messy, but I think my Mum was right when she’d tell me that a cluttered room = a cluttered mind. Before learning mindfulness, cluttered mind was definitely going on!
How do you create space to be mindful each day?
I have little craft post it notes round the house that have mindfulness cues on them like “notice the sensation in your hands. Look up and observe what you see,” etc. I have a “notice the sensation of your hands” on the fridge and a guest that stayed wrote on my blackboard-painted fridge with chalk “I notice the sensation of fridge.”
I keep my space uncluttered which makes me feel less cluttered internally, and I have a space by the window where I sit and meditate and write in my gratitude journal, it’s surrounded by cushions and is always light and bright and makes me feel calm just being there. I also often use incense and sweet orange oil in oil burners around the house (just to be a super cliched meditator), because it reminds me to focus on my senses, which is a mindfulness practice in itself.
I think you’ll agree that was a wonderful tour around Andrea’s home and her lifestyle. If you’d like to read more about Project Self and BGL (Bloody Good Life), head over to her website at projectself.com.au and I’d recommend signing up to her newsletters.