After losing her husband in 2019, then navigating her own grief (and that of her three young children) through Melbourne’s endless lockdowns, Lisa was certain 2023 would be her year.
But life had other plans… some health issues with complications, business burn out and a freshly broken heart, Lisa started questioning ‘Is this really it?’
And, of course, it’s not. So Lisa is doing something radical. She’s packing up her life, and her three kids, and heading on an overseas adventure to find her spark again.
In this episode, you’ll hear more about what lead her to this place. Why this trip? And why now?
Harvest is coming to Brisbane on the 12th of July and Sydney on the 13th of July! Get your tickets here!
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Prefer to read? Access the transcript here
I just gave myself I think it was a bit less than a month to prepare for and pack up for and organize a 5 month trip with my 3 kids. And that’s fair enough. It’s not everybody’s cup of tea. But the fact is that this has been a long time coming. So if you have found me and have come back to the start to hear about what is going on with this trip? And you don’t know who I am. I am Lisa Corduff. There are stacks of episodes before this that you can go and delve into. But I figured, let’s just give a little bit of background.
Now listen, I don’t think I’m very unusual. In many ways because it is July 2023. And all of us have lived through a pretty crazy few years. If you weren’t down with living and embracing uncertainty, then you’ve had a crash course in that. And there have been restrictions. There have been struggles with children, with businesses and work. There’s just been a complete reshuffle, and it’s continuing. And I am a part of that too.
Years and years and years ago, My husband and I used to talk all the time about where we wanted to live, how we wanted to live. We had 3 kids in under 4 years. It was this perpetual question. We had moved away from our family for his career and lived in 2 different cities in Australia for a decade, had our kids away from home, and it was always like, what are we gonna do? Are we gonna just, like, do we do caravan life and just go out on the road?
He was quite artistic. He was also an aerospace engineer working full time. To support this life that we were unsure we really wanted. If you are only new around here, he actually passed away in September 2019 after a few years of recovery from alcohol addiction. And his struggles were many and complex, and I won’t go into them now. Needless to say, it was a a really, really
tough time for quite a few years while I was watching him struggle with mental health stuff and
Obviously, the addiction was sitting there under the surface and building up, building up, building up, unawares to me for a lot of the time until 2017 when things really took a turn.
I kept thinking maybe if we just traveled, maybe if we just got out of here, maybe if we said no to the rat race, Maybe if there was a different way, he would be better. Everything would be better. Now over the years, I very much unpatched my codependent habits of trying to fix people around me. But the truth is, I had an urge to do something a little bit different with my life. Fast forward to 2023, I am a solo mom raising my 3 children who are now 12, 11, and 9.
We are living a life that we sort of now have, by default, I guess, not necessarily consciously chosen, very much enjoyed. And I appreciate a huge amount of luck and privilege to live the life that I do. But always sitting there under the surface, I’ve had this, is this the right way for us?
I had really wanted to take my kids and go somewhere after their dad passed away. We’d actually separated 9 months before he died, but it was a shocking, horrible, tragic experience for all of us. And then COVID hit, and we couldn’t really go anywhere.
I was actually in a relationship with an amazing man who I am so lucky to have been with over the last 4 years. That relationship ended this year. But at the time, I was like, no. The stability is what we need. Routine is what we need. Their family, as often as we can see them during all the lockdowns in Melbourne, is what we need. And so I allowed it to be okay, that we just we stuck around, and we lived this life kind of by default.
Something felt really off for me in 2023. Look. I thought at the end of 2022, I’d really got my energy and my mojo back. I was like, yeah. Bring on 2023. This is it. This is happening. It’s all gonna be so different, so great. I’d really let a lot of balls drop with my business in 2022. I have been selling ecourses online since 2014. I absolutely love what I do, but I just didn’t have the energy and the drive and the motivation like I used to have. I started looking around at my industry in particular and just seeing some things that felt really, really, I guess, just unaligned to my own values. And I really had a big question mark around a whole load of things.
2023 was my year to get back in the game. And it was like, I was putting my foot on the accelerator, but I was in neutral. I wanted to go, and I wasn’t going anywhere. And so a few amazing things happened this year, and you can go back and listen to the recent episodes. The story of writing harvest gives you a lot of insight into what has evolved in 2023. I had some health complications. Obviously, I had a relationship and was just looking around thinking, what am I doing? What are we doing?
And all those old thoughts that I used to have about how we do life, and is this the right way, and it’s kept on creeping up. In fact, it was a conversation that I had with my then partner in January that really set me down this path of realizing I don’t think I ever fully chose the life that I’m living over. And it was when he was asking what I wanted, and I couldn’t answer him. I didn’t know.
I think I’ve been so on that treadmill of just getting through, getting through a marriage separation, getting through years of in and out of rehab with my husband and recovery and keeping a business afloat to support our family and keeping The kids. Okay. And things as stable and consistent as I could for them. I mean, caring for someone when they were in recovery dealing with a marriage separation and everything that entailed.
And then the death of this most significant person in my life and figuring out how to navigate myself and my children through grief, and then COVID hitting and navigating everyone through that and home learning and trying to keep a business afloat. And I mean, it’s been a lot.
It really has been a lot. And as I said in the very beginning, I don’t think I’m unusual in terms of Having had significant life events happen over the last 3 years, 5 years, change was thrust upon us in many, many ways. But also, there’s been a lot of active choosing, people choosing different things. Lots of relationships ending, lots of businesses ending. It’s been really big. We’ve seen changes in our kids that we could never have predicted. Well, I mean, pandemic wasn’t on my list of things that were gonna be happening in 2020. I don’t know about you.
And so I was at this place. Nothing felt like it was working particularly well. This voice in my head was telling me I even know what I want. I don’t even know why we’re doing life this way. Hang on. Is education even setting our kids up for the life that they’re gonna lead? All my kids know is this little bubble that they live in, and that didn’t feel cool to me anymore. I am looking at the life of teens and just thinking, woah. Number 1, how am I gonna navigate this? It feels really huge as I stare down the barrel of it. My son will be 13 in September. And I don’t know if the answers lie here. I don’t know if I can find them pounding the pavement that I have pounded over the last well, since 20 17, we moved back here. I I started to think that I needed a different type of medicine to what has been healing me these last few years.
And it needed to be a bit radical.
It really needed to shake things up. My life is so routine, and it’s lovely and enjoyable. I do really like my life, but it was like, no. Something has to interrupt this flow, this pattern. And I started to think about travel medicine, and I started to think about what happens to our brains when our senses are being assaulted by new sights and sounds and smells, I started to think about the activity in my body when I thought about a big adventure, I I started to pay attention to what was gonna really turn me back on. And it wasn’t gonna be here.
I needed a completely fresh perspective. I need to step outside. Of my little comfortable universe and shake things up in a much, much bigger way. I need to be able to answer the question of what I want. Honestly, with myself, And then with the people around me, I absolutely lost Compass Point, a North Star.
Everything just got so muddled the last few years that I I just don’t know. I I think I was just defaulting into something, and I wasn’t consciously choosing I’ve read a lot and spoken to a lot of people who would be classified as leaders And I actually put moms in that group, people who have held other people, held things together for others and for themselves over the last few years. I know that there’s a lot of people just desperately trying to either pivot or reimagine what life could look like, what business could look like, what the next step is, like, what what is it? And it’s kinda hard to do when you’re feeling burnt out or when you haven’t reconciled the debt of grief and trauma, pain, all of that stuff.
You can see it literally everywhere. People just really, really trying so hard felt like I was trying really hard to. And I got to a point where I had to be honest with myself that the answers weren’t going to come by doing the same things over and over. Even the way that I used to find my spark a few years ago, Number 1, it isn’t actually available to me right now. I used to take little trips away from my children. I can’t actually do that right now because of certain things going on for them.
So how am I gonna do this? Let the old tools just start working. With a huge, huge dose of compassion for myself, I realized I didn’t have it, I just didn’t have it in the way that I wanted to have it. And so I started to really think outside the square about what was possible.And lucky for me, I run a business that I can do from anywhere in the world. In fact, that was 1 of the most intentional things that I have ever done with my life. Was create a location independent business. I don’t actually have to be here.
When I realized that and when I stepped into what would feel like the next level of liberation Felisa, what is my next level of freedom? What does that look and feel like for me? It was giving myself the adventure and the kids an adventure that has always been lurking there for me in the shadows waiting to be realized. As soon as it landed for me, I knew that that’s what I had to do. But, obviously, a lot of things needed to fall into place to be able to make this a reality.
And it’s funny. My son a few weeks ago after I bought the ticket said, mom, it was just like, this is just something that we were talking about, and now it’s really happening. I’m like, yeah, mate. That’s actually how it works. That’s how it works. Things can sit there and be spoken about and be dreams and can be ideas, or they can be actioned. You have to actually do something.
And I decided that I was just gonna start to embody that it was a yes before it actually was a yes and see what happened, see what opened up, see what resistance there was, see how it felt to me. Because I needed to be the 1 who felt sure in this decision. As soon as I started to just in my body really feel like this was a yes. This was happening. Just dominoes started to fall, and it was beautiful. And pretty easy. And I knew it was right. I still don’t know what it’s gonna entail.
My original idea is very different from what we are doing. For some work reasons, I need to be back in Australia in November. But my original idea had been to spend a month in 6 different countries. So we would go for 6 months, and we would just props somewhere and just and be there for a while. Get into the flow of life in that place. That is not what we’re doing anymore. Time has not allowed for that kind of experience. And I am so excited with what we will be doing.
There’s still a lot that hasn’t actually been sorted. I hope you’re gonna come along for the ride, and I’ll be sharing bits and pieces about the adventure as I go. But I don’t even mind that it’s not all set in stone. I fully trust that this experience is going to be whatever it is meant to be for me. And whatever this next stage of my life is going to be, I think I needed to make it long enough to have an enduring impact a couple of weeks away. I wasn’t gonna do what I wanted to do.
And in saying that, I do really try and remain unattached to any kind of outcome from this. I just know that 5 months away from my house, even just the packing up clearing out that’s been happening, even just the idea of this trip has activated me in a way that literally nothing else has for a really long time. It’s a gift already, and it hasn’t even begun.
I really had to lean into the fact that in my life, I am lucky to have this choice And it is my choice to put it into action. There’s so much that I question about life these days, the society that we live in, the world our kids are growing up and into, and whether the education that they’re getting right now is actually the best way to prepare them. I mean, I mean, let’s be honest. It’s most certainly not. Especially with all the advances in AI and all this I just I look around and I just think things are going to really, really change. They need to really, really change.
I wanna talk to people from different places about how they’re doing life. What they learned from the Covid years Has it actually impacted them in real life ways? Are they okay?
Is anyone okay there?
But for me, personally, this is just a chance for a reset, a chance to hear myself in new ways. See this life we’re living in new ways? I might just miss it so terribly, and all I’ll want is to just come back. Get back into the swing of things.
As I said, there’s a million reasons why I am so grateful for and love the life that I live. But in terms of answering that question of what’s next, like, how do I find it? Who am I right now? After everything that I’ve been through, where is that spark? This felt like the answer.
And so we’re doing it. We are doing it wherever it’s gonna be. I’m really, really glad you’re here for the ride. This is gonna be the place that you wanna come back to to get the ins and outs. And I hope, more than anything, that me sharing this story is just a reminder. There’s so many different ways to live.
I’ve always been so inspired by the people who would pack up their families and go around Australia. So inspiring, I thought that’s not me. I could never do that. And I said the exact same things to myself when this idea landed. Who do you think you are, Lisa? You could never do something like that. And I’ve just walked the path and made it happen.
Life is full of examples of people doing things that they didn’t think were possible for them. So many of us are at a point where We desire to and almost crave shaking things up a bit. Maybe it’s just that I’m 43 years old. Who knows who knows? I’m not even questioning why I found myself at this place. I am just taking some personal responsibility for being here. And doing something positive for myself and my children with it.
Hey! I'm Lisa
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