Why My Wedding Isn’t About Me

beach wedding

I really hate planning events and always thought I wasn’t very good at it. When I started dancing in 2005, I began co-creating all sorts of events and then producing all sorts of dance-related competitions, recitals, battle jams and workshops. I was holding 2 events per month for my dance studio which gave me both stress and joy, anxiety and thrills – the before and after effects of a passionate effort to help grow the scene.

You have to be pretty organised and detail-oriented to run events smoothly; my natural aptitude is the complete opposite of these skills, however gaining practice on my weaknesses helped me immensely in all sorts of aspects of my professional and personal ambitions. For that, I am grateful.

I was driven by something more than my ego. I enjoyed seeing the dance community come together – grow, build and celebrate a shared passion of music, hip hop, movement and so on. I also had the most amazing and supportive group of artists and volunteers that shared my vision and believed in the positivity of what we were creating.

Then I quit my job and decided to take a break – from my career, from running a business – which I had poured so much of myself into for over a decade. It was time to reassess how I had changed and what I wanted for my life. Then I met my husband.

I was single for 3.5 years and I purposely stayed that way because I was constantly refining the sort of person I wanted to spend my life with and was very quick in filtering people out of my life romantically. I also don’t think I’ve ever envisioned any sort of wedding in my life, even though I was 90% sure I would get married some time in my 30s.

That, along with my minimalist approach to life, made me want to keep things simple and true to my self and my partner.

We eloped because we could keep things hassle-free and make our special day all about us. The only thing I had to organise was ordering the rings and booking the wedding celebrant. It was all about minimising stress, which would have otherwise taken the fun out of the actual event. It was perfect.

The Hawaiian is the extremely romantic one in our relationship and desperately wants a more formal ceremony with our family and close friends; my mother absolutely dreams about a Hawaiian wedding and so for them, it’s a big deal. I’m just going with it. It actually gives me a little bit of anxiety, with all that event planning that I’m just not keen on.

But it’s not about me; it’s about the people who want to celebrate with us, which is a beautiful thing.

I’m not going to think about how we could better allocate the money (extensive travelling through Europe, investing in real estate or using as business capital for example) or fuss about the effort involved. I guess I will just allow things to happen.

My wedding isn’t about me. It’s about allowing others to celebrate our love.

Sculpture by the Sea + Bondi to Coogee Walk, November 2016

The start of our Bondi to Coogee walk during the 2016 Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi.

Meditate in nature. Quote by mztrina.comShoutout to one of my life friends Anna Kim for suggesting this during one of our many enlightening conversations. It inspired me to catch Sculpture by the Sea at Bondi with a fellow life friend @chiapoco on its last exhibition day. The next few days will show snippets of what we found while exploring the Bondi to Coogee walk during this outdoor art installation series showing.

I never understood art until I was advised just to think about how it makes me feel, what it might reveal about my subconscious mind and if it influences how I see the world. So for the first time ever, I’ll share my thoughts on just a small selection of what I was able to capture on that day.

Taking some time out to appreciate the beauty, abundance, purity and perfection of mother nature is always therapeutic. It really puts things into perspective.

—> Follow my series of wisdom snippets on Instagram – some my own thoughts, others that have inspired me – that I’ve connected with deeply. I hope you find them useful.

The beginning of Bondi to Coogee Walk in November 2016, NSW Australia, image by mztrina.com

Nature is just perfect 😻
We started our Bondi to Coogee walk early in the morning to catch this magnificent view. What a way to start the day.

"Cosmic Trumpet & Embrace 2" by Canberra artist Hanna Hoyne, Sculpture by the Sea Bondi 2016

“Cosmic Trumpet & Embrace 2” by Canberra artist Hanna Hoyne. I actually saw a gramophone/phonograph with the adult in foetal position as a link to the birth of how we experience reproduced recorded sound; obvious to my psyche as a dancer and inherent passion for music. The accompanying chair to demonstrate the appreciation of the sounds, the music, due to its position next to the loudspeaker.

"Bye Gone" by Lucy Barker, Sculpture by the Sea Bondi 2016, image by mztrina.com

“Bye Gone” by Lucy Barker was something I immediately related to, growing up in a very digital family and working in digital my whole life. The artist’s description is that of a futuristic fatalist view of our current cultural issues of anxiety and inaction (the emojis) with an ancient look (sandstone tombstones).

I instinctively chose this 😎 emoji, which reveals to me my ultimate emotional reaction to most situations – laid back and chill, letting it all go with a smile (or smirk). Usually my fav is the upside down smile 🙃 which usually translates to “WTF” feelings but in a more nonchalant mood than an angry one.

"Signed" by Jonathan Leahey. Sculpture by the Sea Bondi, image by mztrina.com

“Signed” by Jonathan Leahey. It made me sad this paper airplane, a symbol of youth and freedom, found itself stuck in bars, like a lot of adults in their self-created prisons.

43 shades of blue, 50 shades of grey / gray. "Measuring the Sky" by Mimi Dennett-Fountain. Sculpture by the Sea Bondi 2016. Image by mztrina.com

43 shades of blue, 50 shades of grey / gray. “Measuring the Sky” by Mimi Dennett-Fountain

I guess my way of appreciating this art is in creating this image.

"Vessels" by Andrew Burton, Sculpture by the Sea Bondi 2016. Image by mztrina.com

“Vessels” by Andrew Burton made up of tiny bricks, looks like fish who found themselves out of water and are headed back home.

"Concrete Carpet" by Alice Mcauliffe, Sculpture by the Sea Bondi 2016. Image by mztrina.com

“Concrete Carpet” by Alice Mcauliffe, just stopped me because I hadn’t noticed it the first time we passed it and it made me think of a magical carpet. How I wanted to climb down and imagine I was Princess Jasmine! #AWholeNewWorld

 

Here are some other random snaps.

Sculpture by the Sea Bondi 2016. Image by mztrina.com

Havaianas. Sculpture by the Sea Bondi 2016. Image by mztrina.com

Sculpture by the Sea Bondi 2016. Image by mztrina.com

Sculpture by the Sea Bondi 2016. Image by mztrina.com

Tree. Sculpture by the Sea Bondi 2016. Image by mztrina.com

Bondi to Coogee Walk, stopped at Gordons Bay.

We ended up stopping by a rocky bay to pet a Jack Russell who was trying to catch crabs over in Gordon’s Bay, where the underwater scuba diving trails are.

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Took a breather to enjoy the magnificent views, talking about life, perspective and good times.

Bondi to Coogee Walk cliff stop
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We had a leisurely brunch at the newly renovated Coogee Pavilion which had great soft jazz vibes, a barber shop out back, the cool ocean breeze flowing through, warm sun hitting us at our table by the window, freshly squeezed OJ and good coffee/chai… what more could you want!

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We talked about the things Chris had gone through in the past year and I commend him for having great resilience to get through it all. He decided on a whim to book a solo trip to Bali for a week and got this piece done. His body has artwork from all the places he’s travelled, that have cultural significance.

Chris Chiapoco Balinese Tattoo, Coogee Pavilion

Chris Chiapoco Balinese Tattoo, Coogee Pavilion
Walking back against the crowds that had formed during the morning, we didn’t really feel like stopping at too many other sculptures, though he would explain some others we hadn’t seen and how they work with the natural environment, reflecting light rays and using the positioning of the sky, the moon, all sorts of genius work that I deeply regret not appreciating sooner and in more depth. I can’t wait for Sculpture by the Sea 2017!

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My Daily Instagram Wisdom Snippet Series – Spreading Love, Positivity and Aloha

We make choices based on love or fear.

There’s a lot of negativity out there in general and so I thought, well why can’t I be one of those people that just spreads positivity? I have my haterade moments and can rant every now and then but that’s because I keep it real. We all break down. We all have our struggles. So I’m sharing all of it, the good with the bad.

When I started my journey of self development and enlightenment after the end of a long term relationship when I was 26 (I’m now 31), I read a LOT of inspiring quotes. I filled my Pinterest with the ones that really spoke to me, and there were plenty. So after a 2am Skype session with one of my life friends Anna who is currently living in London, I was inspired.

I’ve just starting creating quotes based on little thoughts I have during the day, during conversations with friends, after being absorbed in some book; and others I’ve seen or read are recreated.

I haven’t been great with consistency in blogging or posting on Instagram but it’s something I will focus on, apart from building my eCommerce businesses. There’s a lot of joy in people reaching out to you publicly and privately to tell you how they needed to hear what you shared, and that little bit of hope it brought to them just blows me away.

After living back and forth from Sydney to Hawaii, I’ve learned a lot about being comfortable in changing living conditions, in the power and deeper meaning of ALOHA and how to shift your vibrations to create more positive experiences.

So far, the quotes I’ve shared have been a combination of all sorts, positively themed and it started with “UNFUCKWITHABLE”. There’s definitely a theme around shifting your mindset, I guess because that’s where it all starts. Instead of being too heavily influenced by what’s around you, who’s around you – you have to have a lot more control over your thoughts and this will help you create the kind of life that you desire and deserve.

Goodluck, I hope you find it useful.

 

 

 

 

Lessons in Forgiveness – To the eBay Buyer Who Scammed Me

Forgiving doesn't make you weak; it sets you free

The last 24 hours were stressful. I haven’t written much about my experiences as an eBay seller since late 2015 after quitting my corporate job, because it didn’t seem like there was anything interesting about it. Based on people who have reached out to me in the past few days because of my previous post, I was very wrong. So here goes.

I’ve had a few issues here and there with eBay buyers who outright lie about something in order to get a refund or replacement. They were small amounts so I brushed it off and blocked them from buying on all my eBay sites and future sites. I’m very diligent at cutting people out of my life in general and filtering my customers is no exception. I don’t need their business and the headaches that come with it. There are plenty more honest people out there to do business with.

So this one was the most stressful so far, because they had the audacity to return a completely different item, damaged and used, claiming it was the item I sent them. I was furious when I opened the package and made steps to take care of the situation right away.

I contacted the buyer with photo evidence, keeping it brief and factual rather than an emotional rant. I leave those for my blog and my other half.

I reported the buyer then contacted eBay who checked my photo evidence and reassured me that I had done the right thing, and that no refund would be given unless I specifically choose to do so on their website.

I open a case against the buyer in the returns process which was swiftly closed several hours later, in the buyer’s favour. I saw this email come through only half an hour after it was sent at 2.30am and called eBay again to file an appeal.

They gave me bad news.

According to them, they have no way of verifying that the photo I submitted is in fact, the item that the buyer sent and/or received in the first place. The reverse logic applies but they favour the buyer because the customer is always right.

My rage and anxiety diminished as I quickly understood the logic of eBay’s ruling and I asked what I could do in future to prevent such situations. They weren’t very helpful so I ended the call and thanked them for assisting me.

I went through various scenarios in my head of how many other ways it could’ve gone but the process is so flawed that they will most likely favour the buyer each time.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more rational and logical in my thinking when I am put under stressful situations, rather than bursting into emotional and sometimes violent fits of rage. I saw the energy expended was not worth it and wanted to quickly resolve my thoughts around it, find the good in the bad, look for the lessons learned, then move on and be determined to do better next time.

So I calmed myself down, thought about how much the actual lost dollar value was to me. I’m not going to cry over the USD$110 they had been refunded; I just meditated myself into a more positive state. Once I did that, my whole being turned around and this is what I envisioned writing to the buyer and other buyers who scam me and other honest, hardworking small business owners.

“To the eBay buyer who scammed me,

No doubt you will be pleased that eBay’s decision was ruled in your favour with very little effort on your part. It’s ok. We both know what you did and I forgive you. I completely forgive you.

Who knows what situation you’re in that made you decide take this sort of action; maybe you’re a single father struggling to pay his bills. Or maybe your partner is distant and you fear losing them and this extra money and shiny new luxury item will get you in their good books. Perhaps it was a gift for your mother whom you love so much but you couldn’t afford it so you had to be creative. We all have our struggles.

It doesn’t really matter what the reason is. I’m glad I could be of help. I thank you for teaching me a valuable lesson and making me proud of myself and how I handled the situation. I appreciate the challenge it gave me with problem solving and conflict resolution. I’m grateful for the opportunity to show myself how much I’ve grown and matured.

You reminded me of only focusing on what I can control. I strongly believe in the formidable power and infinite wisdom of the Universe to hand out its karmic energy as appropriate. I will always strive to keep my karma as good, clean, positive energy where I have nothing to feel guilty about and nothing to hide.

Goodluck to you.

– Katrina”

And after I spoke that letter in my mind, thinking of this person and sending them warmth and love and forgiveness, I felt so free.

Video Of The Year: Michael Jackson – Black Or White / Presented By Tobias Ellehammer

Watching this dance concept video made me experience a spiritual high that I rarely feel from most things I’ve seen on social channels in the past few years. This one gave me goosebumps on goosebumps, teary-eyes and that breathless, overwhelming of rush kinda feeling, especially when I saw my hometown Sydney which then transitioned onto the Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo, Japan (with Yoshie, one of my all time dance idols) where I was exactly one year ago.

The choreography is exquisite and refined, maintaining a high level of energy throughout the video amongst a backdrop of various cities around the world. The worldly perspective reminds us that dance is a common and accessible artform, expressed in all types of cultures so beautifully as individuals unify to promote positive messages.

Dance is love.

Dance is freedom.

Dance will always be there for you, forgiving you for neglecting it, for prioritising other aspects of your life but it will always accept you and welcome you back with warmth and light.

Hands down the best video I’ve watched all year; my congratulations, respect and admiration go out to the brains behind it, Tobias Ellehammer and his team that put it together.