Anxiety: a photographic journey 

Hey everyone! 

I hope all is well, just a quick update before I get into this post, the new job is going great! I absolutely love being an editor of a growing furnishing publication. Be sure to check out www.furnishinginternational.com when you get the chance and follow us on Facebook and Instagram. 

The crystal healing course is also going well! I’m very happy with my results this far and I’m excited to continue with the course and to eventually be able to practice on my own clients! 🙂 

I wanted to take the time to share a body of work by 23 year old photography student, Katie Joy Crawford. This post was originally shared on BuzzFeed so be sure to check it out here

Katie has shared in photos what it feels like to have anxiety. Pictures speak a thousand words and these ones certainly do that and more! Those who understand what anxiety feels like, this will hit you right within your soul. Those who don’t, you will gain some insight into the world of anxiety so perhaps this will make you more empathetic when you hear about it. 

As someone who has anxiety, and as someone who has studied photojournalism and media, I could relate these images on multiple levels. 

Feeling like you’re suffocating

Being stuck in your own head

Feeling stuck in your life

Feeling paralyzed to act

Draining oscillation between depression and anxiety

Feeling trapped

I hope you can appreciate these photos in the same way as I did. 
Love & light,

X Cat. 

Anxiety: a photographic journey 

Crystal Castle & Shambhala Gardens

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All you crystal junkies out there, listen up! If you have never been to Byron Bay before, what I’m about to show you will BLOW YOUR MIND!

The Crystal Castle & Shambhala Gardens are located about 30 minutes away from Byron Bay in the town of Mullumbimby.

FUN FACT: Iggy Azalea was originally from Mullumbimby.

DOUBLE FUN FACT: Iggy Azalea’s actual birth name is Amethyst!

Well how bout dat, COINCIDENCE? I think NOT!

Crystal Castle is basically a theme park for all spiritual / crystal lovers out there. If you’re not open minded or into this kind of thing, save yourself the $28 entry fee. I understand it’s not for everyone. Wish I could say the same for me, but we all know that I loved every minute of it and walked away with $200 worth of crystals (special mention goes to Nick for the early Christmas present). Hi, my name is Catherine and I’m a crystal-holic. Don’t judge.

Ok, I promised myself not to ramble on with this post, I’d rather bombard you with beautiful pictures so you can all see the tranquillity and beauty of this place for yourselves. Make sure to visit if you’re ever in the area!

img_6152Crystal Guardians: World’s tallest geodes standing at 5.5m tall and weighing 20 tonnes.

  Rose quartz: Feeling the love.

Flower up: Garden walks.

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The Castle: How’s the serenity?

Om: World Peace Stupa.

Happy place: Crystals.

Oh Look!: More Crystals!

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Who dat, who dat?: Amethyst Cave.

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Last but not least: cash me outside in the bamboo reeds. So zen.

Hope you all enjoyed the humour and happy snaps within this post!

Remember to laugh & love this week.

Until next time,
Love & Light –

x Cat.

Crystal Castle & Shambhala Gardens

A Byron Retreat

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Within my last relationship, for as long as I can remember, all I wanted was to book a small holiday and getaway.  It didn’t have to be as big as travelling overseas, nor did we have to go interstate, I would have been happy retreating to a small Victorian beach town. There was something about going on an explorative adventure with the one I loved which really appealed to me. Critics will tell you to hold off on going away with your partner because it can ‘make or break’ you, but I never saw it that way. I saw it as an opportunity to create new memories, and gain new experiences, learn new things, smell new smells, and expand our pallet with the tastes of new regions.

Unfortunately, the more I wanted and expressed this to him, the less he wanted to go away with me. I couldn’t understand after being in a relationship with me for three years, why he was always dismissive and disinterested in the idea. When it came to his mates asking him to go on trips however, he would greet the topic with much more enthusiasm. Was there something wrong with me? Was I not fun enough? This issue alone caused an array of insecurities within me as I struggled to understand the cause of his indifference. Perhaps this was one of many red flags, which ultimately lead to the demise of our relationship.

>> Fast forward two years >>

Step by step, I take in the sights and smells of the lush green leafy environment around me. Walking trails leading us through age old rainforests provide a tranquil and calming surrounding, leaving us at one with nature. A wild wallaby greets us as we explore the trails and wild bush turkeys scurry along the paths. The buzzing sound of insects increase as we walk by ponds scattered with lily pads and lotus flowers. Native birds sing to each other amongst the treetops. Finally, we reach meditation point – a bench overlooking the water, the epitome of stillness and mindfulness. Despite being at the peak of a relapse with my anxiety – I feel so safe and happy, I’m finally away with someone I love.

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Nick asked me to be his girlfriend after dating exclusively for 9 months. To be honest, we were exclusive from the first day we met. I lay down the law pretty quickly one that one … hey, can you blame me for not wanting to share my men!? Luckily for me he doesn’t like sharing his women either! This set up automatically provided us with a foundation of trust that we were able to build upon as we continued to get to know one another.  As I alluded to in my previous post, I have never dated anyone who knows the full extent of my anxiety, until I met Nick. He has taught me that I am worthy of love and being cared for wholeheartedly, despite having an anxiety disorder. I don’t feel like I need to hide the extent of my anxiety from him, if anything, he encourages me to teach him more about it so we can work together to better manage it. I can’t tell you how reassuring it is to feel as though we are combating this as a team.

You can just imagine my excitement when Nick suggested we go on a little trip together – a little retreat to help us relax before the busy Christmas period. I think I teared up when the topic was suggested. To think that someone who I had been dating for 6 months ‘unofficially’ – wanted to go away with me! I almost had to look twice, behind me, to make sure he wasn’t talking to someone else! And despite feeling very anxious the morning we were leaving, Nick held my hand, told me he loved me for the first time and said that we will get through this together. He asked me to be his girlfriend in this moment. #keeper #goals

The Byron at Byron Bay Resort & Spa offered the perfect getaway for optimum relaxation and tranquillity. I highly recommend this resort for those considering visiting the Byron Bay region and surrounds. Essentially, the resort is built within luscious rainforests, so you truly feel as though you are living amongst the trees. Walking trails within the resort allow you to explore the various wildlife, trees and fauna and there is even a trail leading to a beautiful lake. Another trail leads you to the lovely Tallow Beach – where Nick and I were lucky enough to spot a baby whale.

I can’t stress enough how vitalising this trip was, not only in helping me with my anxiety, but also for our relationship. I believe the trip brought us closer together, it was a well-deserved holiday after a tumultuous previous year (2015).

Being at one with nature is good for the soul, and I really felt this to be true while we were in Byron. Next week, I will post about our beautiful visit to Crystal Castle and Shambhala Gardens. All you crystal lovers out there – keep an eye out for that one!

In conclusion, I want to speak to those of you unsure or afraid of going away with your partner. Stop doubting yourself and the integrity of the relationship. Get out there and make new memories. You might discover something new about yourself or your partner that makes you fall in love all that much more. As far as I’m concerned, you have nothing to lose, and everything to gain. Don’t let fear stop you from creating the best memories life has to offer.

Until next time,

Love & Light,

X Cat.

A Byron Retreat