Today we are chatting with Hayley Fletcher (aka Hiddy) all about embracing slow, practicing gratitude and why it’s more important than ever for women to prioritise rest and relaxation.
Tell us about yourself and how you are helping modern women?
My key message to modern women is that I believe in hope and the power that is within all of us to believe in our dreams and to create a meaningful & successful life on our own terms regardless of our journey so far. I believe that the power of hope comes from the power of knowing our purpose and mission in life. Aligning yourself to your purpose and mission in the world, is about filling yourself up or like filling up your own cup.
I am a digital educator, minimalist, mum and overcomer. I am a Western Queensland country girl at heart. I live on a bush property on the East Coast of Australia close to Byron Bay now, where I ride horses, renovate my little house and create life-changing digital courses to help women banish busy and overwhelm. I started my career as a hairdresser, before moving into the exciting world of IT and digital education, where I created and delivered education programs, travelling the globe teaching hairdressers and beauty therapists to use industry software platforms to achieve better business productivity. I worked closely with the sales/marketing and research/development teams, in all aspects of packaging products up for market and rolling out new technology to hair and beauty salons across the world.
Almost to the day 5 years ago, my life suddenly and tragically fell apart as I experienced shock, grief, loss and heartbreak, completely blindsided by deceit and devastated by the breakdown of what I thought was a close and connected marriage. In 2014, I thought that things might be slowing down and simplifying for me. I also thought my life was healthy, that I was healthy and life was on the up. I thought I was living the dream … but that life turned into a suddenly shocking and gut wrenching horrendous nightmare. The world that I knew and had built suddenly was gone overnight.
The last 5 years have been spent rebuilding my life. I plummeted to the depths of despair, had no confidence or esteem and was medicated for severe anxiety and depression. I have redefined my values and mission and created a life that is slower and simpler than ever before. At the same time, I’m achieving more and feeling more fulfilled than ever. Now I use my tech skills and life-experience to empower busy mums to make positive change, embrace slow and live large with less.
Slowing down and getting more done is a big part of it, what are your top 3 tips to do this daily?
Regardless of our journeys so far, if any of us really want to, we can change our lives – first by slowing and getting present with what truly matters and why. The how will figure itself out. My life is testimony to this. My ritual for slowing down to get more done in my day always starts the evening before. It’s in how I end my day in the last 20-30 minutes before my head hits the pillow at night, that sets up my next day for achievement and fulfillment. There are actually 6 things I do consistently in the evening, and these can easily be found as a FREE downloadable if you sign up at https://www.hiddyandco.com/ My top 3 tips daily are…
- Visualise and focus on the feeling of what I want to achieve with the end in mind
- I write down 1 action that I will take tomorrow to achieve my vision and
- I plan 20 minutes in my tomorrow just for me, to simply be.
Sign up at https://www.hiddyandco.com/ for the rest! I promise, they are not hard, entirely doable and the returns will blow your mind!
How do you personally embrace slow in your day, while achieving more than ever before?
First of all, it’s an attitude. A choice that I make. It is most important to see it as that first and then be intentional about it. Hiddy & Co’s key concepts are ‘living large with less’ & ‘slowing down to speed up’ This does not mean going slow for a while so you can go faster again and get more speedy in life! To speed up means to have more vitality and hunger to go after our dreams, believing that we can change our lives if we truly intentionally want that, despite what has or hasn’t happened. In order to do so, I believe that we need to first slow down and face our fears front on which puts us in the know with our own truth. This is where our ‘meaningful mission statement’ comes in & we begin to let go and shed, to move into an understanding of what ‘living (our lives) large with less’ can actually mean for us. Often times, we will find that the rush is an excuse to help us feel like we are worthy and valued, but really it is masking our focus and flow.
Let me define ‘living large with less’ as I see it and explain how it can relate to modern women.
Living Large with Less …
Has NOTHING to do with money or materials.
Has EVERYTHING to do with self confidence, grace, integrity and faith.
The LESSER part of the phrase IS simplifying stuff – mental, emotional and physical.
The LARGER is joy and peace in the everyday and in the journey. Ultimately, this is what I call fulfillment. Joy and peace.
What greater treasures can we have than Peace and Rest and Joy? In facing each day with love and laughter. Even in facing the storm. Being able to say ‘All is well’
For modern women ‘Living Large with Less’ means …
You can let go of your losses and heartbreaks because they do not define you.
You can choose to gently build back your self confidence and your life on your terms.
You can face your challenges with grace and integrity, no matter what comes at you.
You can put your faith first, trusting that what is for you will not go by you.
Your life will be less of mental, emotional and physical clutter.
Your life will be large with promise and presence.
Living large with less is essentially about trusting the promise of life. It is about embracing JOMO. Forgetting about FOMO.
I absolutely love, live by and embrace the term #jomo which is the ‘joy of missing out’ but that doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes snuggle up with #fomo – the ‘fear of missing out’ because there is so much going on out there and it can be truly distracting if we let it. But ‘knowing in MY core first’ that slowing down to enable presence now, today, in this moment, in what I am doing right now, instead of anxiety in my past and stress in my future was and is where I not only want my focus to be, but most importantly where I believe I have to be. Where we all have to be.
Why is it more important than ever for women to prioritise rest and relaxation?
Life is fast and it’s getting faster. But guess what? We were not born into this state. This rush has been learned. Here are some excerpts from one of my favourite health professionals – Dr Libby Weaver, in the Introduction of her 2017 book – Rushing Woman’s Syndrome – The impact of a never ending to do list on your health.
- The swing between rushing and not rushing is driven by our beliefs and our behaviour is the expression of those beliefs
- The body cannot keep up with the rate of change the world now asks of it and so it is imperative that we take steps to create downtime where we can truly rest
- Our challenge is that our surroundings are changing at a rate never before witnessed in human evolution and while the world around us has changed rapidly, our bodies at the cellular level are basically the same
- Obviously we all know there will only ever be 24 hours in the day, but … how we spend our time is entirely our choice. Our perception of how we need to be & what we need to do in a day is influenced by both our biochemistry and our beliefs
Hiddy & Co’s concepts of ‘living large with less’ & ‘slowing down to speed up’ are aligned with my purpose in life because ironically my learning journey of huge unexpected grief and loss like never before, has helped me to learn, live and know to my core, that we don’t need as much as what we think. In my fall to lower than low, ultimately it was about me & how I navigated that, not about anything around me that I no longer had. So, step in – self belief – self talk – self love – self worth – comparison – and all the rest!
It is our self belief that affects our momentum, my adversity taught me this. Going for something I wanted as in rebuilding my life, but not believing that was who I was, because I was frightened and heartbroken, stopped me in my tracks. I had to be brave and courageous and push through anyway. My healing journey taught me that I had to have absolute certainty; I would find a way; I would take massive action and get brilliant results. In the beginning, I had to be absolutely certain that no matter what, my children and I would be together and ok; I would find us somewhere else to live and in our case it was a caravan on my sisters property; I would do the self confidence and self esteem work necessary to go back to hairdressing to pay the bills and from there I would build my online business and my brilliant results would be witnessing my children thrive as engaged young people and me healthy and healed.
Guiding and supporting women with information to help them along their journey to developing their meaningful ‘mission statement’ and transforming their life into one much slower and more achieving, is at the very core of my Hiddy & Co purpose. The professional purpose of Hiddy & Co is to infuse hope and transformation into the hearts and lives of mamas by providing education and tools to bring about empowering and lasting change in their futures for themselves & their kiddies. Ultimately, it is more important than ever for women to prioritise rest and relaxation because they need to believe that they are absolutely worth it and because of the rate of change in the world today, our bodies will not keep up with the mental talk we tell ourselves otherwise.
You are all about practising gratitude, what does that look like for you?
In short, a strong daily practice that stacks gratitude and changes my life! Hand on my heart, I know what it’s like to be terrified about the future – no money to buy food or put petrol in the car to get my children to school, nowhere to live, responsible not only for myself but my 2 kids as well. I had to get present real quick with focusing on what I had, not what I didn’t have or what I had lost, in order to survive, forgive and love. We were healthy, we had each other and I had a small bunch of incredible support people who believed in me – even when I didn’t believe in myself. I quickly became very grateful for these blessings in my life, they became my foundation to move forward with.
I think there is a huge conflict for a lot of people between growth and gratitude. Our patterns of focus affect the patterns of our life and to match our different needs, we focus on different things. If we are constantly focused on what is missing, it’s impossible to stay happy or fulfilled. And if you are an achiever, (I am!) we usually focus on what is missing or the next thing, if you know what I mean!
Here are 3 questions I have learned from Tony Robbins that I think are super important here to ask ourselves about …
What we tend to focus on more:
- What I have or what’s missing?
- What I can or can’t control?
- The past, the present or the future?
The general population focuses on what’s missing, what they can’t control and the past.
To grow, I know I need to focus on what’s missing and the future, but not all of the time. The balance is in the present. I have worked very hard to give up my expectation and replaced it with appreciation. The moment anyone can do that, I promise, their lives will change forever. Gratitude is the antidote to the 2 emotions that will destroy our lives. Fear and anger. (I knew I didn’t want to be scared or definately not bitter and twisted!)
I prime myself with gratitude every single morning. I have a strong daily practice that stacks gratitude and it has changed my life. I believe this is why my kids have come through into their teens so incredibly too, because I have taught this to them. So when we were living in our caravan on my sisters property in 2018, we were so grateful for the roof over our heads, the food in our little fridge, the comfort of our shared beds and simply being safe and together. Gratitude has been our foundation.
Where can we find you/your socials?
Thank you so much Hiddy for sharing your knowledge and experience with us!