In this episode, Lisa talks about her family’s arrival in Melbourne; creating space for yourself during times of stress and overwhelm, and leaning into trust that hard seasons will give way to better ones.
To check out Lisa’s upcoming webinar on getting more “me time”, click here.
Prefer to read? Here’s the transcript:
Hey, welcome to the Podcast. Really excited to be bringing you Part 2 of the Moving series. I thought it might be useful for everyone to hear the good parts and the bad parts of our recent interstate move.
In the first episode, I shared what happened before we jumped on that plane. Some of the good bits, some of the tough bits, and some of the best things that I learnt. And today, I bring you Part 2. So, what happened once we boarded that plane? What was that month like before we found somewhere to live? What was the processing of this life event really like?
So, I’m sharing very honestly here. So, hopefully I don’t cry again, because what I have to say, it’s been pretty huge. This side of the move was kind of ugly in its perfection. So, what happened was, we packed up our house, and we had two nights that we stayed in a hotel, before we left.
So, this was when the movers were coming, we were doing the final cleanout, all that kind of thing. And I booked to stay in the same hotel – it was like service departments – that we moved to when we first arrived in Brisbane. So, I thought that was a really good idea, but in truth, it just ended up freaking me out.
We were in pretty much exactly the same room that we were in five years before, when we landed in this city, knowing no one, with a just-turned-two-year-old and three- or four-month-old. And there we were, with our family of three children, looking way older five years later – myself, I’m talking about – ready to say goodbye to this city that we’d gotten to know, and love, and what our kids knew as home.
It was a beautiful reflection time, but it was also a little bit of a headspin. So, we spent those days kind of on holidays, which was a really beautiful way to end. So, it was lots of pool time, and spa time, and walking around the city, and all those sorts of things. Nick was doing a lot of stuff at the house, still, but it was just really nice.
It was kind of nice not to go straight from our house to the airport. But we ended up at the airport. We made that flight by about a minute – they were about to just tell us that we couldn’t get on, and I think this family of five, looking a little bit frazzled with three children in tow, they took pity on us and put us on that flight. Thank you, Qantas.
And then, suddenly, I literally had no time to think, because it was so frantic that morning. Getting the keys back, the cleaning hadn’t been done properly at our house, so we were on our hands and knees. We thought we were just doing a final check, and it ended up being way more than that. Rental car back, because Mum and Dad had driven our car down to Melbourne for us, bless them.
It was pretty manic, to say the least. And then suddenly, we were on the plane. This is it, this is happening. Nick and I exchanged glances, and we were mentally holding each others’ hands and saying goodbye to the city that had been home for five years.
The kids were pumped. I was just going through the motions, I think, and when we got to the other side, we came out, and our beautiful families were waiting for us. It was a really, really lovely moment, feeling very supported, very welcomed back. And so began the Melbourne leg of this move.
It was pretty cold. Pretty cold. My parents moved down to the Mornigton Peninsula, and we thought that that’s probably where we would end up living. You know, because we didn’t have to be somewhere in particular for work, we thought, ‘Yeah, let’s do the Sea Change.’ But the problem is that the Peninsula is a beautiful place, but it’s never really grabbed me in the way that I would want ‘home’ to grab me.
Our holidays, as kids, were always down the Great Ocean Road. We were always down on the other side of the bay, and Mum and Dad just very randomly moved to Mornington a few years ago. Because I wanted access to them, we wanted access to Mum and Dad, so kind of tried, for a little while there, to find something on the Peninsula, but it just wasn’t feeling right.
In the previous episode, when I talked about trust, this was a point in time where I had to really hold fast to that trust. To knowing that I would know when it felt right. So began the trips up and back to Melbourne. For people who aren’t from here, the Mornington Peninsula is an hour’s drive into Melbourne. So, I just knew that we had to find somewhere to live, and that was what we set about doing.
However, something happened, and that was the crash. So, I had an event to run with the amazing Jude Blereau, the second Saturday we arrived. So, we arrived down there on about a Tuesday. So, that weekend, we were racing about town, just trying to find a house. We’d tried the Peninsula that week, and then thought, ‘Maybe we should just try somewhere different.’
So, went into Melbourne and started looking around some of the other areas. Didn’t find anything. And then, the following week, I was out, because I had this event with Jude on. But at the start of that week, someone looked at me and said, ‘How are you, Lisa? How are you going?’ And I lost it. I absolutely lost it.
It was like someone had opened a lid, and all of the emotions, and all everything – just all of it – it was, like, vomiting out of me. It was just, like, this release. Because things had been a bit rough for a few months, things weren’t right in our house, and we needed to make a decision.
Once we’d made a decision, everything happened so beautifully, and then once we were on the other side, it was just that one person looking me in the eye and asking how I was, just started this cascade of emotions.
I actually thought I was losing my mind. My brain wasn’t functioning properly, I was crying at the drop of a hat, I couldn’t make plans, I couldn’t make decisions. That suddenly the thought of deciding where to live – Melbourne’s a pretty big city – just felt completely overwhelming. And I had to run an event on the Saturday, and I couldn’t get it together.
There was a time, the Thursday I think it was, or maybe even the Friday, and I was talking to Jude, and I said, ‘Jude, I can’t stop crying. I don’t know if I’m going to be able to do this.’ And she said, ‘Just trust that you can. Trust that it will all come together.’
We’d been preparing for this for so long. We had our booklets, we had our plan for the day, we had slides, we had music, we had the food sorted, and a beautiful venue. My amazing Small Steps team were flying in. It was a really exciting time, and I couldn’t even decide what to wear.
Luckily, adrenaline kicked in, and that event was just, like, this beacon of amazingness in my life at that time. Meeting Small Steppers, and women who had only been little Facebook profiles, and first and last names. I always had to ask them what their last name was so I knew who they were.
But women who’d been in the membership for a long time. Women who’d moved through Small Steps to Wholefoods when it used to run. Women who had done Small Steps Back to You. There they were, in front of me, and I could touch them, and hug them, and know that they were real, and amazing women.
I can’t even just begin to tell you how much that filled me up, and how much it spurred me on to keep going in a time where, you know, I was losing my shit, I really was. It was magical. And that photo of Jude and I, and all the Small Steppers, it’s going to be one of my most treasured possessions, because on that day, their energy, their love, that community, it just meant everything to me.
So, after that event, and of course the adrenaline, and the energy that it took. You know, it takes a lot of energy to put a live event on. I mean, I crashed again. So, I didn’t think I could, kind of, get any worse, but I sort of did. All I did, I retreated.
So, I am a person – close friends of mine know this well – who they suddenly can’t get hold of when things aren’t good, or I just stop returning messages, or I don’t show up to things. I hide. I just don’t want to talk about things. I need to work away on myself, on my own.
Sometimes, I love talking things through with people. But the really big stuff, the really heavy stuff, I go internal, and I retreat. It’s why I couldn’t put a podcast together, I didn’t want to. I can’t force this business, because it’s so much a part of me. And so I trusted, and I shared a blog, where I just said, ‘Just give me a little bit of time to get through all this.’
And thank you, if you’re back listening to the Podcast, I appreciate you sticking with me on this journey. Because right now, I am so energised, but in that time, I wasn’t. And I allowed myself not to be energised. I allowed myself to not be the perfect mum, the perfect wife.
I allowed myself to find the transition hard. I didn’t tell myself that I was silly for feeling this, that I needed to get it together. I knew I would if I just allowed those feelings. I couldn’t make my brain work when it just didn’t want to. It had done enough, I needed to rest, retreat.
And that took the form of Netflix at night. It took the form of really simple, grounding activities with my kids. You know, not fussy, just being with them, doing one thing per day. Another thing that always helps me through is my work, which sounds funny, but getting out to a café in the morning.
Sometimes I’d just get up, have a shower, and head out the door at 6:00am or 6:30am, walk by myself in the streets of Mornington. There was a café that had Wi-Fi, and I’d just sit there, have some breakfast, have some coffee, and tinker away, without too much expectation on what I was going to achieve during that time.
I have the most fabulous team of women working with me, making all this happen. And you don’t see them, but they keep things rolling, and I am forever indebted to those women who allowed me that time to rest, and really carried the business, kept things rolling while I just did what I could.
The crazy thing is, pulling back totally allowed all this new energy – all these new ideas, this clarity, that I’d been searching for, for ages – to come through. I couldn’t quite believe it. It was just all downloading, because I wasn’t filling my time with my to-do list.
This is a lesson I need to keep learning, keep learning, keep learning. And it’s so much of what we do in Small Steps Back to You is like, ‘Let’s just create a little bit of space here so we can hear ourselves think, so we can get some clarity and we can move forward with purpose.’
Because for me, the baby and toddler years with my kids, who are now seven, five and three, it was that. It was just like, ‘What do I need to get done today?’ And you’d do it, then you’d do it again the next day.
I now see, you know, life is seasons. Life is absolutely seasons, and we need to not put too much expectation on ourselves, but also give ourselves a line in the sand moment for things to change a bit.
I recognise I’m in a different stage. Our family needed a line in the sand moment, and this move was it. But if I didn’t give myself space to just, kind of, bleurgh, all over town – I was just really out of sorts. If I didn’t allow that, if I’d just kept pushing through, I would not have the clarity that I have now about where life, my business, my family, is going.
We need to create space, you know. We need to shut down on the noise all the time. Those moments are where the magic happens. And so even when I was in it, I knew it was a season. I knew it wasn’t going to be forever. And as painful as it is for someone like me – I like to get stuff done, I have lots of ideas, I am used to having lots of energy, I am used to being able to just go for things.
Without that was really disconcerting, but I just leaned into trust. I trusted that this was what needed to happen on the other side of that seamless move. I needed to allow it to feel messy, discombobulated, uncertain, unstable. Hard. It was hard. And I’m so glad I did.
Because what was happening was, I was going from one thing to the next. I didn’t know whether to live here, there, where, blah blah blah. You know, Melbourne’s more expensive than Brisbane. We were changing our budget. We were really significantly changing, not just from one suburb to the next, but locations within the city. It was like I had too much choice.
Nick was pretty easy-going. He felt like this decision mattered a bit more to me, but I knew we needed to feel that we were in a place that felt exciting, for this move to have been – to continue on this next phase. I had a vision in my mind, and it started to get eroded, because I started to stop believing it was going to be possible to have what I wanted.
Those things that I wanted have come about because of hardcore work I’ve done on my values. You know, values is the first thing that we start with in Small Steps Back to You, because I find if I am sure of what I value then that can be my compass point. So, it was easy to work out what didn’t feel right, because it wasn’t aligning with those values.
But when your kids have been out of school for a few weeks. When you’ve been living with your parents for longer than they expected, and you expected. When you can’t see the end in sight, and people around you are encouraging you to just decide on something, just settle for something. Maybe the expectations are a little bit too high.
My brother did say to me I was being a bit precious. Hmm, thanks bro! He was saying it with love. He was saying it because he could see that we were stuck, I was particularly stuck, and he just wanted to say something and encourage me to move through that. ‘Just make a decision. Any decision will do.’
But I had this feeling that I just didn’t want to do that, because one of my values is ‘inspired by place’. I think that where we live matters a lot to my mental health, to the amount that I move each day. I want to be in walking distance to things, I do not want to be getting in my car all the time. I didn’t want to have to buy a second car, and I wanted to feel like I walked out my door and felt amazing about where we lived.
So, I didn’t give up. I held true to that vision. I held onto it for dear freaking life, and once again, I just leaned into trust that because I saw this. Because this was what the vision was, that I could hold it and trust it, that it would all evolve perfectly. And so, it did.
We’re in a great place, in a great area. Walking distance to the things that matter to me. I mean, it actually couldn’t be more perfect. It’s forced us to downsize a little more, the house isn’t huge, but it feels so right. Before we left Brisbane, as I shared in episode one, the Netflix documentary Minimalism, reading a book called Essentialism, having anxiety in the family, and looking around at what is causing that, what could reduce it, how we could do life better.
We can do that in this house. I don’t need a lot of space, I don’t want a lot of space. I want to live a life where we have less stuff, but we do it better. We do it better than we have before. We design the life that we want to live. And I’m so, so proud of myself for holding the vision against all odds, and just not sacrificing on my values.
So, who knows how it’s all going to roll out from here. I don’t know, but I can tell you for sure that the moments of breakdown do lead to breakthrough. Time, and time, and time again I see this to be true.
Our family had a little breakdown. We had the dark nights. And now, it’s taken us back to our hometown, in a great house, in a great neighbourhood, and we have a flexibility and a freedom that we’ve never known before.
We actually don’t really know what to do with it. And that’s the next stage is allowing this new way we do life to evolve, slowly, but consciously. I don’t want to just head into doing things the way that we’ve always done them because we haven’t stopped and taken stock.
In Small Steps Back to You, that whole program is designed to be a line in the sand moment for the women who are doing it. To say, ‘Just because things are done a certain way doesn’t mean I need to keep doing them that way. Is this actually serving me? Does this feel good?’ I’m not saying you have to do an interstate move. In fact I don’t recommend it.
Most of the work that is shared in Small Steps Back to You – all of those eight exercises, nine including the values one – that’s all stuff that I’ve been working away on, quietly and consistently, over the last few years so that I could be in a place where we could take big leaps and trust the process.
So, I just wanted to share that if you are in the dark night, if you feel discombobulated, unsure. If you’re in a little bit of a breakdown moment, if you’re having a crash, let yourself crash. Call out for the help that you need, if you need it. Retreat, if you need to do that, but just be with yourself, and know that that stuff – that’s often where the gold is in our lives.
Because from that place, we can start a new path. When you’re on that status quo treadmill, and you’re just running, running, running, and you’re keeping up with the Joneses, and you just think there is no other way – those little breakdowns are a gift in disguise.
So, I’m so glad we had ours. I’m glad that, now, Nick and I can hold hands and walk forward together from this new place, a new vantage point. Life feels different, and I’m so excited by that. I’m so excited by the clarity that all this has given me for Small Steps Living, for the awesome stuff that I’ve got coming for the Small Steps members. And for the ease in which I can roll it all out. Because that’s one thing I’ve learnt for sure. Life doesn’t have to be as hard as we think it does. We have more choice than we realise.
So, that’s it from me. That is Moving, Part 1 and Part 2, and I hope it’s given you a little bit of an insight. I always want to be honest about – you know, when you see things on social media, or you might have seen me post stuff, keeping things lighthearted. There were certainly some very intense times for me, and I think I want to share that, because that’s life, right?
We’ve all got our different ways to get through. And my ways, and the things that I always come back to, is my Small Steps mantra. And in particular, the exercises that I share in Small Steps Back to You. You know, I shared in our Facebook group for that program exactly how they were playing out in my real life. It’s not made-up, it’s real, and it really helps.
So, we have another round of that coming up very soon. If you’re interested, I’ll pop the link in the Show Notes. But I hope that this has helped you see exactly where I’ve been at, why there haven’t been any podcasts for a little while, and let you know that I’m going gently on myself – but I feel energised, and inspired, and you can be expecting a lot more coming at you. I’ll see you soon.