Aquo's Speel, Hinchinbrook Shire...

You’ve got what it takes, but it will take everything you’ve got.

I have been running ‘Aquo’ for a few years now. When I started, I had no idea about how any of this techy stuff worked – Now I’m a queen at it! I started writing about a heap of different ideas to help you live a much more organized & fulfilling life. The idea behind this blog is to be very, very real. My aim was and always will be to help others that are going through/have gone through similar obstacles that I have faced/are facing.

My name is Amy Irvin (Haha it’s so weird saying that!) I was Amy Aquilini or as many people know me – Aquo. In 2013, I had a horrific quad bike accident that left me with a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), In 2017 I bought my first home (Since I was a kid I have always said I would own my own home by the time I was 25, and I made it, just…) and had a beautiful baby boy named Jack in June that year, then in 2018 I married my partner Andrew and we fell pregnant again towards the end of August 2018.

Fast forward to the end of March 2020, the world is rife with COVID-19, the world should just go into lock-down already! THE SOONER WE GET IT OVER AND DONE WITH THE SOONER IT WILL BE OVER! Wake me up when it’s all over! But seriously – everyone be smart about their daily practices please!

I think in many ways, I’m living proof never to give up hope with anything that’s thrown at you in life. Never stop trying to better yourself – you will be surprised how changing the things that are thrown at you in life from a negative to a positive, will improve your overall quality of life.

Flush out the toxic people in your life, even if they are family – trust me, they are bloody everywhere! By doing this you will feel a massive weight being lifted from you. You will be able to live a much more fulfilling life.

Get up, put a smile on your face (regardless of what your going through), deal with your shit and make the most of it!

Aquo Xx

Aquo's Speel, Hinchinbrook Shire...

COVID-19 Pandemic…

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This morning I received an email from Dean Graziosi & Tony Robbins, one of those automated emails that I usually delete unless the subject line catches my attention. This one caught my attention for some reason, It read ‘My advice as coronavirus spreads’ – so I opened it and read it through not knowing how much it would change the way I perceived the virus.

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Dean Graziosi & Tony Robbins

The first question that caught my eye was ‘So how do we find the strength and the certainty to feel okay and focus on solutions?’ and as I picked away at this email, I started to become more positive about the entire situation. Yes – this whole situation will hit the world hard, more people will die, people will end up in hospital, but if we each individually do our part and take sensible precautions, we would end up better off wouldn’t we? Let’s all educate ourselves so that we know what precautions need to be taken to give ourselves and everyone around us a better chance of fighting Coronavirus.

I really would like to know what you think of this pandemic – so please, please comment, post, share, like, I want to hear from you.

I feel, in a time like this we need to all come together and support each other, support small businesses, do everything we can to not only look after ourselves, but those around us. This morning when I woke up my mind instantly started racing thinking about how much this virus is going to hurt our small town, how many small businesses are going to shut down. It’s scary to say the least but I have faith in knowing everything will be OK, I don’t know how, it just will. The big man upstairs (God) has helped me out before and I believe he will help us get through this pandemic.

I pray for my family, my friends, those who turned against me and the world.

Lord, it saddens me that many people don’t understand the power of prayer and even mock me for taking my worries to you in prayer. So I pray first for those who do not believe in you. Where is their hope?

I’ll admit that sometimes you seem silent when I so desperately want to hear from you. It’s torture waiting on you, and yet I will wait because I know my prayers are not in vain. I don’t know if the latest crisis will affect my family or me, but you are omniscient Lord, so I pray that you will spare us.

But if fallout touches any of my loved ones, please comfort them with your healing balm. Sometimes our own choices can put us at risk. So Lord, I pray that we would all be judicious in our actions and interactions.

I can remain in perfect peace because I put my future in your capable hands. Amen.

I believe that in a time like this, where chaos is prevalent, we need role models who will set an example of resilience and wisdom for others, all around the world. Someone to guide you, to help you keep your inner strength, stay positive and continue living your best life. I’m trying my hardest to grow in such a way that I can be one of those role models. I have found my purpose in life – to help others.

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So please, if you need to reach out – REACH OUT! There’s no malice here, I’m here to offer support in this time where the world resembles somewhat of a zombie apocalypse…

Aquo Xx

Aquo's Speel

The Mindset Mentor…

Until I started writing about The Mindset Mentor, I had only ever listened to the podcast – a bloody good podcast but I was ready for more and up until this point I love everything Rob Dial has to say, I have NEVER disagreed with ANYTHING he has came out with.

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I believe not every mentor, life coach, guru or the like, works for everyone… I believe you are drawn to the energy, but mostly the back story of the person you will loose sleep over and become somewhat obsessed with – I’m not talking fatal attraction shit but haha.

This is Rob’s story – “I was raised by an amazing mother and a father who struggled with alcohol addiction. As a child I struggled a lot with my own self worth, and limiting beliefs. My passion for speaking came at a young age.

When I was 15 my father passed away from his long time battle. I remember thinking that I never wanted someone to have to go through what I had to go through. So I went to a could of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and asked if I could speak at the meetings. I wanted the people in that room to understand how their alcoholism affects not only them, but their loved ones as well. To my surprise, I was rejected as a speaker from all of them because they only allow those battling with the addition in the meetings.

I then turned my focus elsewhere. If I couldn’t help the people who in the meetings, how can help others battling their own problems? Whether that is addiction to food, work, negative self-talk, or toxic relationships.”

This awakening that has recently occurred in me has seriously changed my life! I no longer let my past control the way I think or feel about myself. To all those people who are no longer by my side – I wish you well in your life, but now you’re just somebody that I used to know.

It’s all about self-evaluation, When you wake up in the morning what is the first feeling you feel? Is it something like – “Oh i’m too fat; today’s going to suck etc. etc. etc.” I used to be like that, but changing the way I thought, one thought at a time has gotten me to the point of being able to stop myself from thinking negatively about a situation. Not every time – BUT I’m getting better at it.

Rob is obsessed with personal growth – hey me too! I’m all about riding the positivity train – and those who know me will be like “yeah, right!” But I really am all about that now and I’m becoming a faster, stronger, better person because of it! I’m noticing daily changes with my whole mindset, It’s insane!

All in all, I’m never going back to be the person I used to be – EVER! If I could give you one piece of advice it would be this – “Get yourself some kick-ass mentors! But not just one, try one for every part of your life that’s important to you.

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Aquo Xx

Aquo's Speel

Toddlers – like a blender you have no lid for…

Today is the start of a new decade – 1st January 2020. I woke up this morning more drained than usual – I have gotten into the routine to get up by 5am and going to the gym for an hour. This morning I thought I would start off doing the right thing (omg shocking right?!) my body needs a break so I rolled over and slept in till 7.23am. I then got up to a rather loud house – “Andrew I need coffee.” I am so not a morning person but can surprisingly get my ass out of bed at 5am and get to the gym by 6am, go figure.

My two year old made me put Blippi songs on, which I’m cool with because it’s all life skills he’s learning. He turns to me when the ‘months of the year’ song comes on and started singing it. I told him that his birthday is in June he looked at me and said “Yeah, I’ll be five.” – Ah nah bud, three… It went back and forth till he lost interest and it got me thinking…

Don’t wish you were older – ever! I was the youngest of all my cousins and always wanted to be older… I ended up doing questionable things to try make myself feel older, I don’t regret anything I have done in my life cause it made me who I am today. One of my friends once told me “All you can do is try be the best mum you can be.” I am so grateful for that statement, it has made me stop and think before creating some monstrous shitstorms!

Recently, I’ve really started to find the person god put me on this earth to be – and you know what? – I love the shit out of her! She’s a pretty amazing human being. A better mother, a better friend, a better daughter, a better wife, you name it. I’m actively trying to be the change I wish to see in the world and I have started to see it happening all around me. It’s pretty wonderful actually.

Don’t wish you were older… EVER!!! Just let it happen, find your WHY in life and try your best to be the most confident, kindest version of yourself you can possibly be.

Aquo Xx

Aquo's Speel

Positive & Negative – with a brain injury…

So – so today my depression has me writing this piece in bed. I just had a shower – my first shower in 32 hours. My family are meeting at Rollingstone, and there’s no way I can bring myself to face anyone. I was born into the Sugar Industry in the Herbert and have been Sugar Cane mad ever since, but this year the season has broken me. This season has made me despise the Sugar Industry – amongst other things… and it makes me hate myself because of it. I feel so alone…

My husband has been home 9 out of the last 72 hours and I could cut the tension between us with a knife. The sugar cane season in the Herbert is set to finish over the following weekend and I’m telling you it’s a week too long. I’m all for making a living and working hard but I feel so neglected it’s not funny!

Today (the following day) I went training at Tweak with Louise (my trainer) and she can always put me in a better mindset. Georgia Satellites -Keep your hands to yourself was the first song that came on and it put my head in the game – I worked harder than most times I work out. The angry bird in me wants to come back BUT I wont let it.

This season has taken my head to some pretty messed up places – It got me thinking – There is no way I am the only wife in the industry that this has happened to. It sucks because I FEEL SO FREAKING LOST! I feel – I’m all alone… there’s no one here besides meee…

Yes – my sense of humor is pretty messed up, to the point where my father-in-law dropped in the other day and I said “Your lucky there’s no knives flying your direction!” He kinda gets my sense of humor – more than my husband most times.

Give me a month and I’ll be back on top of the game (of life) again. This is how it’s going to be for the rest of my life, It’s not I had… It’s I have a brain injury and I’m going to have to accept that. My best mate said years ago – “I admire your resilience, the way you bounce back.” Because I ALWAYS DO! BUT – I push myself. I am so hard on myself, I say things like “stop being a little bitch and get your head back in the game!”

This season has me thinking – maybe I’m not cut out for this, and that makes the way I’m feeling 100 times worse – Cause I’m dad’s little operator (well, not anymore) but that’s what my life would of been had I not had my accident. I think there needs to be support for the wives in the industry. Nothing to do with Canegrowers or QSL but maybe Wilmar? I still have to figure it out but I’ll have a chat with some of my contacts and see what we can come up with!

This is not – oh I want to kill myself, It’s actually far from it, and yeah – at times I’m selfish… but I would never do that to my boys if no one else. Shits bad NOW but I think I just need time away BY MYSELF – to get inside my head and reset… on a nice beach… away from this town for a night even… to see how good I really have it!

Stop being a little bitch…

Aquo Xx

Aquo's Speel

Where’s the positivity at?

Morning all you beautiful people! Just a quick thought – My boys and I watched Sunrise this morning (what! Your saying daddy was actually home? 🤔🙄😂) and Sam Mac was wearing a banana suit trying to boost the ‘positive vibes’ in Melbourne – well, I think that’s where he was… it was hard to hear the tv with my two and a half year old screaming TRACTORRRR! It got me thinking – It’s not just Melbourne where positive vibes need promoting… IT’S THE WHOLE WORLD!

The way we perceive ourselves and the world around us has an enormous impact on our experiences. Yes – It is so much easier to sit there and be negative, trust me I know… I’ve had to try very bloody hard to bring myself back from some pretty dark places. That’s not big noting myself or anything, that’s the honest truth.

Positive energy doesn’t just help us better enjoy our day to day experiences, it also impacts our health and relationships. Look around the place (Ingham and surrounds) – so many people are ‘throwing in the towel’ when it comes to their relationships.

I’m not saying I have a ‘perfect relationship,’ our marriage is far from perfect – especially towards the end of the sugar cane harvesting season. HOWEVER we talk – we talk about everything. I’m not just talking marriages, it’s friendships etc that are falling apart.

I go through my little ‘hate session’ for a few weeks, but having had a brain injury I have educated myself on mental health since moving home at the end of 2014. It’s much easier being able to recognize what’s going on inside my head and being able to redirect my thinking to be more positive – it makes life so much easier!

Positive thinking helps reduce our stress, improve our physical health, and drive us toward our goals and accomplishments. Positivity seems to come naturally for some, while others have to work for it. A saying dad taught me young was ‘shit happens’. And – that’s just it – shit does happen! It’s all about how you respond that matters. If you choose to be victimized by what happens, your negative energy will gain momentum. 

I am currently mentoring a person in Melbourne suffering from poor mental health and I feel it’s helping me uphold a healthy mental health outlook. Trying to help someone else is a way to see the world with a more positive outlook.

Another method I have used to help me be a more positive person when I start thinking negative thoughts is interrupting myself, with a BUT – The weather is shitty today BUT the cane really needs it.

Every single person reading this piece should take the time to watch this video…

COME ON ALL OF YOU BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE! I DARE YOU TO TRY PUTTING A POSITIVE SPIN ON EVERYTHING FOR A WEEK! – then make up your mind on weather you feel lighter in yourself or not. Let me know how you go! COMMENT… SHARE… LIKE! I want to hear from you!

Aquo Xx

Aquo's Speel

Winston Churchill’s 12 word definition of success…

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill

I have always felt that I have never actually seen anything through in my life – until I had my accident. When Andrew and I first got together, I started a certificate three in Business just to see if I could actually do it. I remember being out at the farm in the office with my mother-in-law stressed out and feeling like I was going to throw in the towel! when she sat me down and repeated the speel I made about never feeling like I have accomplished anything fully, it put my head back in the game. I went from feeling as if I would give up and be done with the course to finishing the rest of the course much quicker than I had to.

To say I have never seen anything through is an untrue statement. To me, the things I am proud of accomplishing are things you have to work hard for – have to work really hard for, I’m talking blood, sweat and many, many tears!

My thing at the moment is wanting to look like this –

And I’m not talking hot AF… no sirey!

I’m talking STRONG! The definition of strong according to dictionary.com is – having, showing, or able to exert great bodily or muscular power; physically vigorous or robust.

I would eventually love to start boxing. There’s just something about boxing that keeps me focused… maybe because it refocuses the angry bird in me haha. I did think of body building but I spoke to a few ladies who advised against it as it messes with your mindset. With a brain injury I will never be able to deal with all the mental pressures that come with it, and I’ve accepted that – now moving on.

I believe I’m quite a resilient person, and this shire (the Hinchinbrook Shire) needs more people like that. I love this place – but there is so much NEGATIVITY! and that needs to change. People need to start making time for their friends and family, when you have a spare hour (like seriously where???!!!) somewhere in your fortnight or month, take a walk on the beach, in silence, to process your thoughts and regather yourself. It was hard for me at 1st to go for a walk in silence, but now I love nothing more then the sand between my toes, the wind blowing through my hair and becoming in touch with the world around me.

According to the experts, it takes about 21 days to break or form a habit pattern of medium complexity. Habits which are more complex or difficult to incorporate with your lifestyle may take longer.

So you’re all probably wandering where I am going with all of this, but I have been trying to live my life as positively as I can as of late – I couldn’t even tell you how long it has been for. However, I know in my heart, that this is how I want to live the rest of my life. I am trying my hardest to live my best life so that I will be here for as long as I can be for my boys. That to me is success.

Aquo Xx

Hinchinbrook Shire...

Calling the citizens of the Hinchinbrook Shire!

How about a coffee and a bit of conversation! – who would say no to a free coffee right? I’m currently writing about Ingham but I would love to make it more personal. I would love to hear your stories about the Hinchinbrook district’s history!

Contact me via Facebook or WordPress and we will make a time to sit down for a chat!

Who wouldn’t love this place!

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you probably know what I’m all about by now. Help me to build a platform that surrounds the Hinchinbrook Shire with a bubble of positivity and make our whole community flourish again.

Once people realize that changing the world is difficult, they begin to give up on those dreams they had. They let those dreams wash away and replace them with “realistic” goals that other people give them. Maybe you’ve even experienced this yourself. Let’s start today with a pledge to move past “knowing” and into doing. Because knowing may be cool, but it’s doing that will change the world.

I no longer ‘feel’ that those around me see me as “Amy Aquilini – The quad bike accident survivor.” I am now Amy Irvin, Aquo – Nice to meet you! I have been through the hard yards to be at where I am in life today, so now my next mission is to take on the world. The people that know me know that I can’t keep still!

“Maybe I can’t change the world, but I can affect the people around me; and if they in turn do the same, and affect those around them, then together we can change the world.” —Aaron Sheppard

It’s no longer about us – it’s about our kids! Let’s change the world for the better!

Aquo Xx

Hinchinbrook Shire...

The importance of family…

There are lots of people in this world that don’t realise how important family is. Specifically, a lot of teenagers that try pretty hard to not spend time with their family or try to rebel against their parents (haha sound familiar mum & dad), I could seriously teach the kids of today a thing or two! When thinking about this objectively, parents/family only want the best for you.

When times are rough and you think that no one believes in you, your family will always be there to cheer you on. Your family will always have your back. A lot of people in this world really only help people for self-gain, but (most) parents are willing to act selflessly for their kids.

My family has always been close, when mum and dad went somewhere, the four of us kids (my siblings and I) would always go – holidays, shopping trips, even when dad went to harvest in the Burdekin in 1998 we went as well. 

A negative event (my accident) was actually a positive being that it flushed out all the people around us that just weren’t strong enough to handle the horrible situation we were dealt. I’m not sitting here saying ‘oh poor me’, because I feel now we all have a really close knit group that actually respects one another, and doesn’t act like teenage girls in high school. Honestly, me personally, I don’t miss that rubbish at all!

We have always been quite defensive of each other, but since my accident that has amplified to a million! If anyone says anything in a negative way about our family, you will probably receive quite a hostile reaction out of all of us – and god forbid anyone has anything bad to say about me to my mother, good chance she will bury you alive!

It’s hard for us to let people in, especially me, I think it’s because of all the hurt that is the result of loosing family members and so called friends out of the circle. 

My relationship with my in-laws was great until I had my son, the first grandchild for both families. It then went rocky for a while as I felt like I was constantly being judged about the way I choose to parent. I’m so EXTREMELY happy that now we are closer than ever and I think on both ends we are now happy to discuss anything and everything whereas before it was like Chinese whispers, which sucked to say the least. 

I really don’t know what changed in me, but I’m finally asset peace in myself with 95% of my life and I feel amazing. Some time ago, I started reviving Reiki (a form of alternative medicine called energy healing) and slowly slowly I started noticing small differences in my being.  I learn’t to send love to those who hurt me and I was released from all the negativity in my life. I now feel so much lighter in myself. 

All those that have hurt me, well now they’re just somebody I used to know. I’m finally free of that tangled web of hatred, negativity, sadness and hurt. 

Life goes on, all the hurt and suffering you endure in your life will undoubtedly make you a stronger person and you will come to see and believe that everything is right in your world. For a long time, I ignored a lot of people that used to call family because I thought it was the easiest way of dealing with everything. WRONG! I learn’t standing up and facing your demons will transform all that negative energy in your life and you will then be able to let go. 

I am now able to have a civil conversation with those I used to be friends with. I don’t have time anymore for many of those I grew up calling aunty and uncle – many of those in that circle act like school children, winging, bitching, playing mind games and back stabbing their friends, imagine how they carry on about my family and myself! It’s so childish and it’s disgusting that people act like that. 

There’s many different ways to enhance your relationship with your family, but ultimately you need to learn how to let go of those that no longer serve a positive purpose in your life. A counsellor can teach you techniques for changing your thoughts, emotions, and behaviours to be the person you most want to be, despite what your family has done to you. Alternatively, you can turn to God – if you are a believer or for those that are more spiritual beings – Reiki is a wonderful option (it really helped me!). 

I really hope this article can serve a purpose to help others that are bearing a heavier than usual cross, to make you feel more at peace and realise that even if you are going through a hard time with your family – things will get better. I never believed that things would improve for me on the family front, but started chipping away, offloading a lot of it on my Reiki therapist (Sorry Nat!) Who after I left was probably cursing me for Making her so tired with all the negativity I was releasing. It took a few years to work through, but finally I’m at peace and feeling as if I could conquer Everest! 

“I’m learning how to walk away from situations or people that threaten my peace of mind, self-respect or self-worth.” – Unknown. 

Aquo Xx

The chorus says it all!
Aquo's Speel

Honesty – The quality of being truthful…

“The truly scary thing about undiscovered lies is that they have a greater capacity to diminish us than exposed ones. They erode our strength, our self-esteem, our very foundation.” 
― Cheryl Hughes

So ‘Your Dictionary’ says that “the definition of honesty is the quality of being truthful.” I believe honesty is the greatest quality you can carry in life, its a massive plus for people to respect you, and really, for you to respect yourself. 

Honesty is going to take you places in life that you never could have dreamed and it’s the easiest thing you can practice in order to be happy, successful and fulfilled. Honesty is part of the foundation of my core values and principles. Honesty cuts through deception and knifes its way through deceit and lies. Honesty leads to a fulfilling, free life.

For myself, I have come to realise that if your not telling the truth, why speak at all?

Honesty is not just about telling the truth. It’s about being real with yourself and others about who you are, what you want and what you need to live your most authentic life. Honesty promotes openness, empowers us and enables us to develop consistency in how we present the facts. Honesty sharpens our perception and allows us to observe everything around us with clarity.

Today, there are so many more shady people out there, you really can not trust anyone, its incredibly rare to come across people that are 100% straight down the line. I don’t know if Ingham has changed, or it’s that so much rubbish has moved here because it’s cheaper to live. But lets face it – Ingham will ALWAYS have small town syndrome, where some old men are worse for chasing gossip than the old ladies. Rumors float around on a constant basis about pretty much everyone, if you haven’t come across a rumor about yourself or your family, just wait your turn.

So many people get caught out cheating – if you want to cheat on your spouse, move to a city where your not known to every Tom, Dick & Harry! it’s pretty simple but, if your not happy, change your situation or leave. Only you have the power to change your thoughts or your thought pattern, don’t hang the blame on anyone else for the way you are feeling – that’s weak. Since my accident, I can’t lie to save my life! Seriously – you will know straight away because I will have a ridiculous smile on my face I can’t wipe off. I have also had to grow up pretty quick to deal with my situation – I’m now acting like an adult whereas before my accident, I was quite childish.

One thing I came across quickly was – if you don’t lie you don’t have to remember all the rubbish you have been going on about. My memory now is pretty much like an 80 year old – not even kidding! I forget everything! A few weeks ago, I went to a Diversity Forum at Tyto and after it was done I went back to speak to my father-in-law about it and my memory was blank! I had to pull out the run sheet, just to give myself some triggers to remember. If you don’t lie you won’t get caught out, it’s pretty simple. 

For myself, becoming the person I am today I am honestly feeling so good in myself! I have been able to let go of my past (most of it) and have started to work on my future. I no longer get caught up in gossip and I feel so much lighter in myself for it! Positivity is key! I try my hardest to be positive about pretty much everything going on in my life now.

Connect with honest people. Find honest friends. Find honest clients. We know they are there but they don’t like to show they are honest publicly. Whereas dishonest people are always trying very hard to show that they are honest. When something seems too good to be true then there is something wrong. So be careful and just enjoy your life. Do good have good and remember,  God or whoever you believe in – is watching everything.

That’s the why honesty is so important in our life. I know you want to say something, then please don’t ignore your great thoughts, share with me by commenting. So other people can also learn from you. The more we try to become honest the better this world will become.

Aquo Xx 

P.S – I found a few some interesting resources on the subject whilst doing my research.

Enjoy Xx

https://blog.owenfitzpatrick.com/the-true-power-of-honesty/

https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/power-honesty-really-best-policy/