Hi there! I’m writing this with a hot chockie in hand after 6 hours straight sleep from my business class flat bed…. I’ll be landing in Paris in two hours.
This was me yesterday at the airport at 7am. Wearing sunglasses because a) it looked more Parisian Chic and I was trying to get into the ‘flow’ but mostly because b) I’d had NO sleep and my eyes were like ****holes in the snow and NOONE needs to be subjected to that :)
Since about October last year, I have been doing a whole heap of mindset work on the concept of abundance and up-levelling my life. I read Denise Duffield-Thomas’ straight-talking book Lucky Bitch, I highly recommend it! It’s all about being grateful for the things that you do have instead of on what is lacking. It’s about recognising what is economy in your life compared to what is first class, it’s about taking responsibility for upgrading your life instead of blaming others or making excuses, it’s about investing in yourself and in things that make you feel good and doing more of that….
So I decided to apply this abundant thinking to my Paris trip. Travelling alone is hard sometimes, and I wanted my experience to be the best possible, for many reasons, but the main one being that I bloody well deserve it!
Let me just make something clear here. To me, the definition of being abundant is not just about money – because let’s face it, I am by no means rich.
to me, the real meaning of abundance is the ability to live joyfully.
I’ve noticed that people often say to me that I am lucky, or that I know how to live. And that might be true to a degree but I have worked hard and been open to opportunities that present themselves to me and I also am not afraid to ask for what I want.
I always talk to my Photography Business Breakthrough girls about how people value and spend money on what is important to them….
I’ve chosen living by the water, time freedom, the ability to travel to amazing destinations, to feel a bit glam with the odd night out to nice restaurants… I’ve risked the safety net of a steady employment income to live the way I want to. But I also don’t have a wardrobe filled with lots of expensive clothes or jewellery, or spend hundreds of dollars a week going out, because I don’t care about expensive fashion that as much.
I have carved this life for myself. I have purposely chosen to make the best of what I have in my life. I know what makes me happy right now. And I will do all I can to live as abundantly and as joyfully as possible.
I certainly don’t have it all. I am a romantic at heart – I want to be married to my soulmate, to experience the joy of parenthood together, to be a family, to share these beautiful destinations I travel to with the love of my life…. But until that happens I refuse to sit at home and cry about it or not live my life because I am alone. I refuse to focus on my lack. I really am so lucky to live this abundant life of mine, and hopefully the person I end up sharing my life with will be drawn to that independent happy positive side of me, and love me even more for it.
So anyway, back to business class.
I’ve flown business before to London with Citi and also had a free upgrade to New York a few years ago, but this time I decided today I would notice all of the little things and be hugely grateful for them rather than take it for granted.
There is something so magical about flying business.
You turn up to check in, there are no lines, there are lots of welcoming smiles. Extra baggage and no stress if it’s a kilo or two overweight. Priority through customs, complimentary business class lounges . A smorgasbord of food and wine and drinks in the lounge before you leave. Wifi that works and comfy chairs with high backs so you can sit properly and work, or lie back and snooze. Someone who tells you it is time to start heading to the gate. No lines to board the plane. A glass of wine before you have time to even sit in your seat. A stewardess who addresses you by Ms Stephens every time she speaks to you and introduces herself as Tracey in case I need anything throughout my flight. Asking if I would like to move my seat because there are better ones that might be more quiet. Four course meals served for breakfast lunch and dinner (the food just kept coming and coming!! and I know I could say no. I didn’t). Fresh fruits and healthy options along with as much wine as I would like. Lavender facial cleanser, citrus facial mist and body lotion in the bathroom. Jurlique travel bag with lip balm, and face cream and toothbrush, socks, eye mask, earplugs. Movies on demand with big proper headsets in hidden compartments. Adjustable TV for my viewing pleasure…. And I haven’t even gotten to the flat bed with sheet and thick snugly blanket and comfy pillow.
By the second leg, after the sleepless night before I left and the stopover in Hong Kong, I have never been so grateful as to be able to lie down flat and sleep for 6 hours straight like I just have. I didn’t even notice that our flight was an hour delayed on the tarmac (’cause I was already asleep!).
Here has been my 29 hours in iPhone pictures :)
Flying business class makes you straighten your back and walk taller, smile more, feel less stressed and tired from travelling, feel a little more important, feel less lonely that you are on your own. There is something inside that you makes you feel worthy of asking for a hot chocolate or a glass of red (or your third glass of champagne if you so fancy) in the middle of the night when everyone else is sleep. In economy I would feel like I was hassling them or being cheeky.
And why is it that I feel more worthy asking for more? It’s because I invested in myself. Because I valued myself.
It’s because I believe I deserve it.
I realised while writing this, I get the same feelings from flying business class as I did with taking on my assistant Rach. Paying someone who takes some of the stress away from me has made me cope so much better and allowed me the freedom to start thinking about my next offerings and also allowed me to get on this plane knowing that everything is under control while I am away. She is my “Louise from St Louis” (Sex and the City reference for those who don’t know!) and I am so grateful to have her in my life.
Since I started the Lucky Bitch Bootcamp – and then subsequently took Rach on, I have been raving to anyone who will listen how great it is to invest in help. My sister came up in the weekend and we were talking about her hiring someone to help her. I told her how I was initially scared about the cost of having an assistant/editor/angel in disguise, but now I can’t imagine how I managed before.
Coincidentally my income has risen because I am being more efficient with my clients, so it covers the cost of paying Rach. (As an edit two years later, every single time, I have invested in myself since this, I make more money!)
My sister had all this guilt around feeling like she should be able to do it all. I asked her how much she charges as hour. She told me. I then reasoned with her that if hiring some help freed her up to work even just one extra billable hour a week, then the cost of that help would be covered completely.
I actually believe that outsourcing a few things when you have three kids aged 2,5 & 7, you run two of your own businesses as well as working for someone else, is a necessity not a bloody option!!! Pretty sure I convinced her to my way of thinking by the end of the weekend :)
And I can guarantee she will find the money easily to cover the cost of making her life a little easier and happier, just like I did.
So what can you do in your life to up-level that will make a difference to how you could live more joyfully? Hire a nanny? A cleaner? A personal trainer? How much more productive and clear would you be if you could free yourself to do more of what you want to do? Or how much more of happy and healthy mum and wife might you be if you had an extra hour or two to exercise, to play with your kids, or just for your own sanity, to spend stress free time with your husband??
For me it’s a no brainer… I have found that the more I focus on living joyfully rather than on what I don’t have, the more money I make and the more opportunities like flying business class come my way….
Try investing in yourself. Start with something small like a facial or a regular massage and notice how you walk a little taller or lighter because you feel good you have looked after yourself. How about just putting makeup on and getting a little more dressed up than usual when you leave the house. I know it sounds fickle (and trust me I don’t wear makeup every day), but don’t you just FEEL better when you make an effort for yourself?
In her book, Denise talks about ‘incremental upgrades’ – because let’s face it, there does need to be a balance between upgrading your life and going broke doing it!! Try something small today and see how much happier you are for it, it works :)
So now I am in Paris, I arrived safe and sound and am sitting outside in a little coffee shop waiting to get the keys to my apartment. This is what I am looking at.
Stay tuned, tomorrow I’m going to post some pics of my first day in Paris, wheeee!!!
(and this is me once I got the keys with an actual physical map (old skool!) to map out where I will be spending my day, yay)
Oh, and if you want to test drive Lucky Bitch and see what it is all about, you can grab a free chapter of Denise’s book “Get Rich Lucky Bitch” here.