Slice of Inspiration

We all get a little complacent in our relationships from time to time, which means that we must nurture the relationship with the one that we love to help grow affection, gratitude and the feeling of belonging. But in a busy world full of distractions and stressful triggers, it can be hard to remember that the little things we do, often without thinking, can unintentionally make our significant other feel insignificant. This has certainly been the case for me at times within my marriage; I know the importance of taking the time to invest in each other.

When I heard Jay Shetty’s podcast ‘On Purpose’, this really resonated with me on the concept of conscious relationships. The episode that inspired me to explore this topic for my slice of inspiration was: ‘7 Couple Activities Scientifically Proven to Bring You Closer’. There are some really good teachings in this podcast that can inspire us to nurture our relationships – some basic tactics that can be implemented straight away, and some that will push us outside our comfort zones to help build trust. My wife and I have been inspired by this and have committed to work our way through the 7 activities and see where it takes us.

“Relationships don’t last because of the good times, but because the bad times were treated with care” – Jay Shetty

Monthly Musings

When I first started thinking about this month’s blog, my ambitions and heart wanted me to talk about Tottenham Hotspurs winning the Champions League final on Sunday morning as my ‘Slice of Inspiration’. But alas it was not to be. As much as their journey has been an inspiring one – one that saw them dig deep on several occasions to battle the odds to get to their very first Champions League final – the final game was a bridge too far. As I am sure any sports fan can relate, the final result has left me feeling rather flat, but there is hope for my team as next season we do it all again! As my daughter said, ‘it’s okay Daddy, we might win the next game.’

Since my birthday in October, I have had a couple of Red Balloon vouchers knocking about for a flotation tank experience waiting to be used. So on a rare date day, I took my better half to for a float!

We were not disappointed. Essentially it is a big bathing capsule, filled with epsom salt water. The idea is to deprive the senses of outside distractions such as sound, light, temperature and gravity. In each pod there is 600kg of magnesium sulphate mixed in with 600 litres of water, heated up to body temperature. The water is so buoyant that when you lay down, you float to the top and bob about on the water! It takes a few minutes to get used to the experience and still your body and mind so that you are not moving about knocking on the sides or racing through your mental to-do list.

The experience was for 1 hour which seemed like a long time. Before we went in I wondered how on earth I would be able to relax and do nothing for that long! It seemed like a challenge I was not in the right head space for. But actually, the long work hours, toddler teething at night and all the other stresses that life throws at us, meant that I was in exactly the right head space for maximum benefit! I was a natural at this and before long slipped into a meditative state. 1 hour felt like half that time and I came out feeling like a new man! This is definitely something I will be doing again. If you have not experienced floating before, I encourage you to give it a go, block out the world and be at one! ommmmm…

Finance Bit

On the business side of things the market appears to be shaping up nicely. At the end of last year, majority of commentators were predicting the RBA to increase interest rates, but so far this year that has not happened. There has been no change to the cash rate since 3rd August 2016! In fact, the predictions this year have been swaying towards a cash rate reduction. Economists all over Australia are predicting that on Tuesday we are going to see a drop of 0.25% bringing the cash rate down to a record low of 1.25%. Westpac’s chief economist is predicting that the rate will be cut again in August, followed by another drop in November. His reasoning is that weak Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, falling house prices and rising unemployment ‘are consistent with the need for policy to ease through the full course of 20’. This certainly has been reflected in the banks pricing of new mortgage business. We are seeing some fantastic fixed rates being offered to customers right now, some have even moved on their variable rates ahead of the RBA meeting.

There is a definite sense of optimism back in the property market since the election; this week we saw the clearance rate hit 64% in VIC based on 461 auctions, plus there were a further 943 non-auction sales (courtesy of realestate.com.au). The conversations that I am having with real estate agents are much more positive about the outlook, so we continue to watch with interest.

Finally, It looks like APRA will be removing one of the macroprudential regulations currently enforced upon banks. What does this mean and will the lending flood-gates open? Have a read of my blog written earlier this month here.

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