'Don't dismiss the potential of positivity'
HELLO to all the lovely souls out there getting ready for a brilliant and very busy Christmas.
I have always loved Christmas time in Australia because it is warm, rainy and feels like home.
This is also when I start to really reflect back on the year we've had.
2016 has brought many extraordinary changes throughout the world - changes that have been both incredibly positive and truly challenging.
As we are all connected on this big, beautiful Earth, my heart goes out to every individual who has worked to create a positive year.
This year I am especially inspired to see so many young people making a difference.
With the youth of our society pushing for a peaceful and well-balanced planet, I have real hope for a bright future.
Although as the days have turned into months since the very beginning of 2016, I have continued to discover quite a large need for more kindness as a whole.
Now, more than ever, in a day and age with greater platforms, such as social media, to reach out to each other, we must remember that kindness is the key to life.
It is important to stand up for what we believe in, but there is a way to speak our mind in a thoughtful and considerate way.
It's true that we should all remember: kind words cost nothing.
Early on in the year, I found a quote which I have kept with me:
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead
This quote has driven me forward all year, empowering me to keep trying my best to inspire others to make a difference.
Sometimes positivity is a challenge. There are days when you just want to curl up in bed, but we have to try every day to find the love and light and happiness.
We must find this for our family, our friends and especially ourselves. In turn, by doing so, we are each adding to create a more balanced world.
I have to say that my family has been the greatest influence and pillar of strength for me this year, like every year.
Having a handful of people around you that genuinely care means so much.
In the end, no matter how many individuals are in your life, there are a select few that will always, always be there for you.
This year, I have watched my little brother celebrate his 13th birthday and I have to say, he really isn't that little anymore! He's taller than me now and growing up to be a remarkable human being.
He has embraced his passion for wildlife photography more than ever during the year and is achieving so much.
Many people will ask me how he is so knowledgeable or why it is that he is 13 and yet he can speak like a 30-year-old when it comes to photography.
To be quite honest, he is the scientist of the family and he is more like Dad than you could ever imagine.
My gorgeous Mum also continues to go from strength to strength.
Never in my life have I known an individual so kind and yet so unshakably strong at the same time.
She will always be the most inspiring woman in the world to me and also the greatest mother.
She has been there for both myself and Robert every single day as well as continuing Dad's legacy with Australia Zoo and Wildlife Warriors.
I don't think the world will ever know someone quite as amazing as she is.
I have also felt very blessed to have my wonderful other half, Chandler, with me here in Australia for a lot of the year.
We had adventures everywhere from Tasmania for Tasmanian Devil conservation work, to Far North Queensland for our annual crocodile research trip. We all enjoyed having Chandler at Australia Zoo too, teaching him all about zoo life.
To find someone who is genuinely as excited about conservation and wildlife work as I am is phenomenal.
He really is one of the most kind-hearted people I have ever known.
Despite the fact that our relationship is still occasionally long-distance (he left to return to Florida a few weeks ago), I am grateful every day that he is such a big part of my life.
And no, don't worry, we have no plans to get married just yet!
That has been one rumour floating around for a while.
However, to be young and incredibly happy together is something really special.
We are more than content to just enjoy the time that we have together.
I must admit that I am sad to see 2016 ending soon but I can't wait to start living the next chapter upon the arrival of 2017.
Time just keeps pushing on and you know, it's true when they say you need to revel in each moment because they become memories so quickly.
I'm always grateful for the opportunity to reach out and share some good thoughts which is why I'm really glad you took some time to read this article today.
Sending good vibes to you this Christmas and new year.
Love & Light,