Inspired by the fabulous Jenny Raymond, Founder of Mamazou within the Female Entrepreneurs Association online community, I’ve decided to follow her lead and create my own A to Z list of words that I hold close to my heart. I think this is a great snippet of some of the content I’ll be producing throughout the month of June. I’m also going to nominate fellow bloggers and influencers to follow my steps and create their own A to Z. Wendy Hung– Founder & Editor of JetsetTimes, Paige Manginello- Founder of Be The Boss of You, Rebecca Voss- Founder of The Happy Passport, Ariana Kajic- Founder of The Bosnian Aussie, Anna Quick-Parker Founder of Anna’s Friends and Ella Dvornik- Founder of I Am Ella.
The A to Z of AK | Let’s Go
A Ambition | For as long as I can remember, I’ve been an ambitious person. Whether I wanted to be a ballerina, vet, footballer or fashion stylist. Whenever I had a goal that fuelled my purpose to get up in the morning, I went above and beyond to make anything I dreamed of come to life.
B Balance | These days I place my focus on balance and maintaining a healthy lifestyle overall. A few years ago I went to extremes where I would either be working all the time, partying or isolate myself from the world. Now I don’t feel guilty about having a good night out with friends after working hard all week or deciding to have some time alone because I do it all in moderation.
C Confidence + Creativity | As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realise that having the confidence to love yourself is a reflection of how you perceive the world around you. Growing up, the concept of ‘loving yourself’ had a bad, self-centred connotation that meant that you only cared for yourself and not the world around you. These days I’ve come to the conclusion that loving yourself enables you to confidently love the world around you unconditionally. And a selfless love is a great love. As for creativity, I have finally figured how to nurture and cherish my mindset, something that growing up was confused because I was forced to believe there was nothing that could evolve from my creativity and I should settle for a more “normal” life path. Learning to accept that I am a creative, visionary and entrepreneur was the beginning to a better relationship with myself and I am so thankful every day that I didn’t listen to the external voices around me but to the voice within.
D Discipline | I am one of those people who requires a lot of discipline to get things done. Living in London may have it’s perks but it also has a long line of distractions. So, in order to stay disciplined, I write out all my goals and after I cross each one off, I allow myself a small celebration and get straight back into it.
E Empathy | Adopting empathy in situations that aren’t in my favour has helped me stay in alignment with my true self. I no longer react to people and situations, I take a step back and try to relate to people and situations.
“I had to forgive you to forget you. Moving forward meant letting go of hate, now there’s nothing left.” r.h Sin
F Forgiveness + Family | This is an interesting one because it has taken me a very very long time to stop being an enemy of myself in regards to a situation that happened a decade ago. I’ve spent the majority of those ten years glossing over the roots of a major personal incident that I found hard to not only admit it actually happened but also forgive myself and most importantly, the perpetrator. Forgiveness has freed up the dark corners of my soul and through empathy and understanding, I have come to realise I survived for a reason. As for family, in the last two years I’ve not only began to respect the meaning of family but also consider it the most important foundation of existence.
G Gratitude + Gym | Gratitude is something I practise every day, morning and evening (I use my Five Minute Journal) and I find that it keeps me grounded, focused and receptible for even more greatness. I only started with the gym last August and it was a big move because there was nothing more I feared than going to the gym and working out in front of others when I considered my body “not so perfect.” Particularly when I am days on end writing and creating content, I feel my emotional and mental state in need for a good sweat session and an hour at the gym has worked wonders for my well being.
H Health | Ten years ago I spent a lot of time at Doctor’s offices and hospitals. It was a very scary time for me because I didn’t know if my body would keep feeding itself more poison, continuing the cycle or if I’d ever get better and be healthy again. Fortunately, I did get better and these days there is nothing more important to me than my health. I very rarely get sick because I listen to my body and pay very close attention to what it’s asking for. If I feel run down or exhausted, I take a step back and figure out where this is coming from. Maybe I haven’t been exercising enough, maybe I’ve devoted too much time around someone who is in overtime or maybe I just need a day to rest.
I Intuition | My psychic abilities have always freaked the shit out of me and those closest to me. Last month I woke up and had to message my old flat mate in Sydney and ask if she was ok because I just woke up and something was telling me to message her as I had an off feeling about her energy in that moment. She responded several minutes later with a picture of her car, “I was just in a car accident, hit from behind, everything is ok though, no one hurt but car is a write-off. Your message just gave me goose bumps.” I’m pretty sure this was the universe’s sneaky way of reminding me stay loyal to my intuition.
Some women fear the fire while others simply become it… r.h Sin
J Joy | When I first moved to Europe my moods were a bit bipolar. Although I was happy to be where I was, I also knew there was a lot of work to do in order to achieve the things that I wanted to achieve in my next phase in life. One mood I promised myself that would never ever change was the feeling of joy anytime I was around my family in Croatia who had no idea who or what I was about. In their eyes I was a weirdo who was lost in her own world. They couldn’t understand how I found happiness in small things like being in a village when I was mentally conditioned to be in a city but it was small things like that that brought joy to my heart because in a big city you forget about the joys of the simple life.
K Knowledge | Knowledge is power and you should never stop learning. I’ve always had an interest in philosophy, even when I was a teenager I was reading books ahead of my time. One of the reasons why I love living in London are the endless opportunities to expand your knowledge as many critically acclaimed speakers hold workshops and seminars in the city or even the opportunities to visit a museum or exhibition at your disposal.
L Love + Laugh + Live | This year, I’ve had a strong focus on love, not because I’m closing in on my twenties and my eggs are you know what (as someone recently reminded me by suggesting I should probably freeze my eggs soon…wtf). Ironically, as I’ve shifted my focus in this department, I’ve witnessed the departure of many people in my life who disrupt this alignment, leaving room for newcomers. It has been a very long time since I’ve been crazy about someone and I’ve never been more ready to love again. Laugh and Live fall under the same bullet point because you ain’t living unless you are laughing and recently I’ve had some magical moments filled with laughs and new connections.
M Mindfulness + Meditation + Manifest | Being mindful and self aware has been a marker for my healing process. I thought this journey was about being happy 24/7 so I’d freak out when I’d get an anxiety attack or slip into depression for a few days instead of addressing the cause and effect. I understand now that it’s okay not to be okay and I’ve meditated my way through many demons while on the other end, manifesting my present. A year ago, I used to make my coffee each morning and look down at Chelsea Harbour, an area I wanted to live in next in London. Could I afford Chelsea Harbour back then? Hell Freaking no and there was no way in the world I could even imagine how I’d afford that kind of privilege. But I stuck with my gut and swore I’d work out a way to make it financially viable and come to fruition. So every morning I’d look out of my balcony and say, “One day you’re going to be my home Chelsea Harbour.” After my summer holidays I was given one months notice to find a new home as my landlord had her son moving back into the flat. How does one find a home in London in one month? Let’s call that a miracle for now but what surprised me most was that I ended up finding a home in Chelsea Harbour, the area I had manifested to life for over a year.
N Nature | I try and spend as much time outdoors as I possibly can. I absolutely love taking long walks by the river, devising a personal manifesto in my head, repeating it over and over. Also recently, I’ve created an account with Santander Bikes and usually on a Sunday afternoon with my friend, we’ll go for a bike ride in Hyde Park. Riding my bike is also one of my favourite pass times when I am in Croatia as I hear the voice of my grandfather clearer.
O Originality | I believe there is nothing worse than being less than the person you were born to be and I highly doubt your original self is a replica of someone else.
P Purpose + Positivity + Passion | These three words go hand in hand. Figuring out my purpose has been the backbone of my twenties, whereas I did well in the fashion industry, I caught more attention sharing my story and motivating others through my writing. I allowed my twenties to be 10 years of lessons, hard work and patience. In fact, patience is another great word here. The moment I stopped expecting my twenties to look like what my life will be like in my 30s & 40s, is the moment I learned to live. Living a life filled with passion and positivity sounds easier than it actually is. As a creative person, there have been times where I didn’t want to carry on, when I wanted to give up- and by give up I don’t mean get married either. These were the times where I silenced everything in my life, turned off my phone (believe it or not) and spent hours on end rewiring my mindset to think positively while remaining patient with the process. These days, those days are less frequent because I have strengthened my emotional system and genuinely use gratitude as a reminder for how far I’ve come. Two years ago would I have imagined my life would look like this? I knew it would, I only had to train myself in dealing with negative obstacles and keep walking.
Q Queen | “You must always be the Queen of your life,” I hear the words of Life Coach, Jasmina Bjelica echo over and over. Read all about how to Jazz Up Your Life here.
R Resilience | I remember when I asked my last boyfriend why he liked me he said, “You’re fucking resilient, like nothing brings you down. It’s insane to watch.” Coming from a migrant family I didn’t know any other way. If I wanted something, I’d just go out and get it. If it didn’t work out, I’d get back up and try again. I never give up on anything I truly believe should be mine.
S Shine | Coming from a Balkan family, I was raised to be the same as everyone else whereas I knew my whole life I was different. Very very different. I didn’t think like everyone else and I didn’t actually want to, so I rebelled a lot against the norm. But growing up in a family unit where you are bombarded with the concept of being “normal” so that you don’t stand out too much was difficult for my inner child. Even up until this year I was dealing with my grandmother telling me to “not be too crazy” and she defined crazy as walking into a room full of elders and getting everyone to dance into the New Year altogether. I simply responded, “You may have succeeded with my mother, but you’ll never succeed in turning off my light.”
T Travel | Travel is an essential part of my life and one reason I know this is when I need to be at Luton Airport at 5am, meaning I have to be out of my house by 330am and I wake up minutes before my alarm goes off with no problem- That’s what I call a sign that I’m living my vocation. I don’t know what it is about other cultures, new cities and ways of life that excites me, but I literally thrive off it. On this point, I prefer travelling on my own and without any family or friends because I’m more present to the location. If there’s no WiFi, even better.
U Understanding | Growing up I was very confused in the behavioral patterns of my parents and even myself. One of the main reasons why I am so grateful I moved to be closer to relatives in Croatia is because I began to understand my family and upbringing a lot more. This in turn made me fall in love with my mother a year ago.
V Vulnerability | Last year I dated this being who basically said to me upon exit, “You know, if I were you, I wouldn’t tell the next guy so much about yourself and your past. I don’t think anyone would like to hear about it and it doesn’t make you look good.” It was cold hearted but I took it on the chin. I didn’t expect much humility from such a selfish person. Again with my Balkan upbringing where most bad circumstances are expected to be ‘brushed under the table.’ One of my breakthrough moments in my twenties was the moment when I realised my story, my past and my vulnerabilities had the capability to touch lives. When I was going through my abusive relationship ten years ago, I fought hard with my own self to find reasons to give myself another day to live. Now, when I come across girls who are living through what I onced considered normal, I find it easier to connect with them and help them see brighter days.
“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.”
W Worthiness | I’ve had two proper relationships in my life. One was a psychopath, the other was an angel. I never truly dealt with my pain and suffering from Exhibit A, therefore Exhibit B didn’t experience the love he deserved but his love in return was unconditional. I never felt worthy of this love and as our relationship progressed, I began to rot inside and felt I was living a lie. Uncovering my self worth was one of the most difficult and soul-baring experiences of my twenties because I started “adulthood” on the wrong foot and always felt inadequate on the inside.
X XO-Patron | What the F is an alcoholic drink doing on this list you may ask? It’s no surprise that my relationship with alcohol was intensified during my 20s, acting as the blanket for all the pain. Three years ago, there was an incident back in Sydney that changed my life and how I abused alcohol. I sculled so much Café Patron XO, unable to recall the night before and woke up to a message to take the morning after pill. Beyond mortified, I felt so exposed and vulnerable that I decided to quit cold turkey. Although I do drink these days, it’s not as often and as much as it once was. I will be also doing my Balkan Series sober. You can read about my experience with alcoholism and the community that helped me here.
Y Yoga | “I don’t know how you do yoga, it’s boring,” one of my girlfriends always tells me. I always say that the secret to yoga is a good teacher. Trust me, I suck at yoga but this doesn’t stop me from going back and trying again. If you saw my plank and have never tried yoga, this would only encourage you to try because I really do look ridiculous. I usually like Spin and High Intensity type classes but Yoga is in a league of it’s own for what it has done for my alignment, spirituality and focus.
Z Zlata | My mum. Growing up I was never close with my mother nor did I want to be, we just didn’t understand each other, yet we were so similar in many ways. In the last year, I’ve come to not only understand my mother but respect and love her the way I wish I always did. I get so excited when I hear from her or when we Skype for hours without arguing, indulging in a full adult conversation. A few years ago she started her own cake making business in Sydney and it has boomed into a success story, who would have thought she was an under cover Creative? Guess we know where my creativity has come from.
If you’d like to create your own A to Z, please do and share it with me on Twitter so that I can add it to this post!