• Life lately…

    I feel like I covered off a big money update last month… so, time for a life update!

    I’ve shifted into a new, slightly different role that’s just the challenge I need. Dreamed up a new awesome freelance offer (I’m often referred to edit books and help put together online courses, and now I’m seeing a need for ongoing strategic and editing support with regular daily/weekly content). Finished NLP (neurolinguistic practitioner) certification and now am cooking up a coaching offer (which I envision as being a next step up from my course, and broader – more life and money, not just money). Watching Parenthood and Better Things; next up Ted Lasso, and catching up on the later seasons of Gilmore Girls (even if I hear they went off the rails)

    But realistically the thing that takes so much time, energy, bandwidth… is parenting.

    Sooo… here’s a braindump of life on that front 😊

    Toddler eating + ongoing food intolerances

    Spud is firmly in the beige food phase. I don’t blame him. All his intolerances really do restrict things.

    Dairy, seafood and fish, nuts (though all are improving, especially I thiiiink that last one?) – it cuts out many options, especially for an already picky toddler.

    A couple summers ago he returned to nightly screaming around midnight, waking and squealing bloody murder. It took a few days but eventually I pinpointed the likely culprit: my granola, which he’d started eating as well. So much for healthier breakfast cereals! Nuts were not identified in the ingredient list, but I imagine there were probably trace amounts. And when you can’t trust the inclusions on the label, you start making your own. So, I now make my own granola every week.

    When we did Hello Fresh for awhile, he was also struggling at nights. Again, I can only assume trace presence in some of the ingredients.

    The last few months, he’s started vocalising it, constantly telling me he has a sore tummy. That’s helpful, rather than me just surmising it from his actions and behaviour.

    What’s helping? This kiwifruit bowel health stuff is magic for soothing digestive issues fast. Also still doing these Renew Life kids probiotics, but the kiwi stuff is gold for quick relief. (I also have these digestive enzyme tablets on hand as a backup.)

    Obviously avoiding, though not totally, those trigger foods helps (dairy is in so many things, and lingers in the body too, as it’s slow to process through).

    Favourite things

    Screaming surprise! at me constantly.



    Countdown farm blocks.

    Hot wheels.

    Dinosaurs and sea creatures.

    Counting out syllables.

    Sounding out letters.

    Asking questions, always. Are there lots of cranes in Ukraine?

    Revelling and struggling with…

    Teaching him how to think. This coaching really is the crux of parenting IMO.

    Responding neutrally.

    Asking questions. Open-ended, ideally.

    What have you tried? What else could you try?

    What about X? Strong-willed kids do better with suggestions than instructions, or at least this one does.

    I want him to form his own thoughts. Do things for himself. Learn to think and work through things for himself.

    So I find myself always trying to come up with analogies and examples.

    Sometimes it’s easy – ‘hug it!’ I said, telling him how to stay on the spinny thing at the park.

    Sometimes not. A page was ripped in his book – ‘”put it in the bin” was his response (as usual). I said ‘ if you get a scrape or scratch or bruise, are you no good, should I put you in the bin?’ Possibly a bit harsh but I think the message got through … nope, you’re still you and you’re still working just fine.

    I try to show when I’m learning too – making mistakes, having difficulty doing something. We saw BMX bikers doing all sorts of daring tricks as the Easter show, some wiping out pretty badly. I was thrilled. We were in the front row right up close. What better way to see people trying, failing, getting back up and trying again?

    His perfectionism tendencies (‘put it in the bin!’ ‘I’m done!’) are strong. “You’re perfect” he’s told me, even when I clearly show I’m not. But the other day, I heard “It’s not perfect but it’s fine” – and my heart soared.

    Staying calm, modelling calm nonviolent communication and a can-do attitude, reminding him we can figure anything out and fix things. Spilling milk in the morning always results in upset. But you know what? We don’t have to wipe up every drop immediately, as you’re probably going to spill more before you finish.

    My family of origin is very judgmental, quick to share their thoughts and opinions. I want to foster the opposite. Cultivate non-judgmental, open-minded curiosity.

    It’s possible. Could be.

    Very little is black and white in life here on earth. I try to reflect that in what I say.

    What I’m thinking about

    Thinking about starting school in term 4, and holiday care…

    Thinking about planning his first plane trip…

  • Getting more intentional about my belongings

    CURATING MY HOME - starting with books

    As a renter, I lived with a hodge podge of random furniture and belongings. I really couldn’t commit to anything, because I moved so frequently, and often had to upsize or downsize accordingly.

    Seven years after moving into my own home, I still very much live with a random assortment of things. And I’d like to be more intentional about what is in my home.

    I feel my family was very much in the ‘grab it if it’s free/cheap’ camp. Books, CDs, toys weren’t really carefully curated, more just whatever came our way or was on sale.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m very grateful for all the freebies we’ve received. I just want a bit more curation in my life.

    I’m going to start with books. Reading is a core part of my identity.

    But, I don’t buy books – I live and die by the public library.

    That said, there are definitely a few books I think I could happily own and come back to over and over.

    Right now, all the books I personally own were gifts or freebies through work. I’ve made a list of books I would like to own and will start looking out for ways to acquire them frugally.

    I’m also getting better at saying no to my mum, who is always offering me something or other from her latest round of bargains from the op shops, picked up off the roadside or gifted to her.

    I still don’t really care about decor, colour schemes, matching sets … but these days I do want to carefully curate what I surround myself with. To be more selective. More intentional.

    Do you choose your stuff, or has your stuff chosen you?

  • Wishful thinking

    I’d like to have so much money that I could have …

    a chauffeur

    a chef

    holidays every quarter that somebody else plans and books for me

    a dog walker 2x a week

    go WILD at the fancy cheese shop

    spontaneous weekend trips without looking at the bank balance

    Clearly, I’m exhausted because that’s about all my imagination can stretch to right now!

    Seriously though. Goals should be ambitious yet achievable, IMO. At least 51% believable.

    For now, I’m pretty happy to be in a position to:

    go out to eat on a public holiday without even thinking twice about the 10% surcharge

    give three-digit donations (not just double digit)

    buy the thing I want upfront, not the cheaper alternative (always leads to regret!)

    What are you daydreaming about? Any goals for 2023?

  • When you feel better, you do better

    feel better, do better

    Everything is about how you feel. As the Maya Angelou quote goes, people may forget what you said, but never how you made them feel.

    How you feel influences how you do anything. EVERYTHING. It impacts how you show up. Feeds into what you do and how you do it.

    To some extent, it’s true: what you put out comes back.

    Hey, I’m not into the ‘good vibes only’ vibe. Denying emotions does not work. Toxic positivity – no thanks.

    But I do think it’s important to do ourselves a favour and limit wallowing and spiralling, and do our best to shift out of that mode before it goes too far.

    When you feel better, you do better. Full stop.

    In money and life.

    You think more clearly, quickly, confidently (that’s gold when you’re in the hot seat for a job interview).

    Stuff flows out of you, just pours forth from your fingertips and tongue. You write and speak in full flow – it almost bypasses your conscious brain. Like you’re a conduit, channelling some deeper spring of brilliance.

    You make better, more aligned decisions without agonising for weeks, going back and forth second-guessing yourself.

    And you can’t get into that beautiful flow state unless you’re feeling good.

  • 7 reflections on parenthood (four years in – where has the time gone?!)

    7 reflections on parenting


    It’s been quite awhile since I wrote about anything parenting-related.

    That’s not to say I have nothing to say!

    It’s just been… overwhelming at times.

    Here are my latest reflections/lessons.

    On boundaries

    There’s a bit of a parallel here. I’m learning boundaries with my kid, just as I need them in my own life in general.

    It’s a little bit easier with a toddler, to be honest. I know we need them for safety, for example. With adults, it’s for the sake of sanity – which is easy to discount/dismiss. As a chronic overgiver/overfunctioner, learning to say no to people of any age is an ongoing journey. It’s a trip.

    On learning who I am

    Just like money makes you more of who you already are, I think parenting intensifies your personality traits. I’m clearer than ever on who I am. Sometimes I don’t recognise myself in my worst moments. Sometimes I’m blown away by how well I hold up.

    On patience

    There is no shortage of patience required in parenting. With the repetitive questions. With repeatedly setting limits. With often saying no.

    I default to calm whenever I can, take a breath, seek to understand the underlying cause of behaviour first.

    I try to be playful and give choices at every step.

    But wow, this is a challenging age.

    On tuning in and trusting my intuition

    When something is wrong, I know it.

    I have become somewhat sceptical of many doctors. I am a huge believer in private health insurance. I’ve had so much better luck being taken seriously and getting help from specialists. I’m sad that if I didn’t have the money, it might not have happened.

    And paired with that, I’ve always tackled experiments with a pretty robust test and learn mentality – without close tracking and monitoring, I would never have identified the trigger foods behind Spud’s issues.

    On letting go and the nature of impermanence

    You cannot control other human beings. Accepting this is essential.

    Nothing lasts forever. The good. The bad. Things always change. Everything is a phase. Just go with it.

    And this goes along with letting go of the need for perfection. I can improvise. Trusting I can come up with bedtime stories about all sorts of random things on request. They’re not very imaginative, I grant you. Usually I wind up weaving a safety lesson (the climax is often a car having an accident … don’t ask) or one about eating healthy (trying new foods). Whatever. It doesn’t have to be amazing. I can make it up on the fly.

    On hanging in there despite the discomfort

    Perseverance. And lots of repetition.

    Applies to everything. Offering different/new foods. Toilet training. Bike riding. And of course, desired behaviours.

    Getting uncomfortable being uncomfortable. The toddler years are TRYING. They’ve shaken the self-trust I’d built. The doubts are bigger and louder, I’m triggered multiple times a day, and ashamed of how reactive I am.

    The tantrums/meltdowns are not easy to hold space for, especially as emotions were not generally acknowledged in my childhood.

    I struggle to straddle the line between validating and holding space, and feeding too much into things and letting them go too long. Knowing when to skilfully redirect, vs just distracting as a band-aid.

    On being a role model

    I haaaaated being told I had to set a good example for my little brother. And now the stakes are even higher. I am so not perfect. But I’m hoping I’m doing okay, that I am repairing my wrongs, and that I can reparent myself along the way.

    Parenting ain’t easy. But I suppose I can say it is absolutely fulfilling. I can absolutely imagine a parallel child-free life. But I chose this one and overall, I’m glad I did – despite all the challenges.

  • Here’s your permission slip to dream bigger (and the one question to start asking yourself today)

    start asking this question to get closer to your goals

    I used to HATE the question – what if you won the lottery?

    Ugh. What’s the point?!

    I didn’t want to dream big because I didn’t like to think about what I would never have – ironic, as this is exactly the same mentality I think underpins some people’s commitment to the ‘money doesn’t buy happiness’ trope which I LOATHE with all my being.

    Heck, I even used to work on a campaign called Dare to Dream and I think it always lowkey bugged me for that reasons. Semantics, people. Language is my thing. Word choice matters.

    Anyway, if you’re the type of person who tends to round off daydreaming sessions with a wistful or even bitter, “that would be nice,” I see you. I so feel you. I am you.

    AND… I’d encourage you to try something slightly different next time.

    Ending instead with “How could I?”

    Leave that open ended question hanging. Let your brain stew and store it away and start to mull over the possibilities.

    I know my lottery dreams are fairly modest. I’d plan another RTW trip and do more travel. Buy a house in a different suburb. Beyond that…

    These really are not outrageous dreams. Although they are very difficult and expensive and seemingly impossible in NZ. Or so it feels.

    But not actually impossible. If I were to price it out roughly, just back of the napkin calculations, they’re theoretically doable. I don’t need multimillions.

    HOW, I don’t know. But even just the idea that these may be possible? It’s such a huge shift. And it feels so much better. Lighter. Expansive. Warmer.

    So. Let “How could I?” be your guide for a bit. See how that feels for you.


  • I used to be afraid of getting older – but no more


    “You’ve changed.”

    Anyone ever said that to you?

    I veer between thinking “at the core, people don’t really change” to “people inevitably change, and it’s a given”.

    What I DO know for sure is that changing your identity is basically a prerequisite to any big, lasting change you want in life.

    I’ve never had a strong sense of self, of who I was, what I liked, what I didn’t like, what I wanted. For various reasons.

    As children, we form our identities based largely on what those around us reflect back to us.

    Honestly, what I had reflected back to me was mostly negative. It’s just how I was raised.

    Thankfully, in adulthood, I’ve surrounded myself with many people who lift me up. Through pure sheer luck careerwise, in particular, I’ve changed how I see myself gradually through the smallest of comments and observations, compounded over time. That helped build a strong foundation where there was nothing before.

    I borrowed their positive beliefs and reflections. I adopted them until I could actually embrace, integrate, incorporate them.

    I find that now I need less external input and validation.

    I can do it for myself.

    The training wheels are off.

    I literally feel more solid inside. Like I am more whole at the core.  I do the shadow work. I bring more consciousness to my days. I’m more aware of my thoughts, feelings, and reactions. I’m integrating all the parts of me, even those I started disconnecting from long ago, that started splitting off in response to difficult situations I couldn’t handle as a child.

    It’s like I was a page in a colouring book that’s now been filled in with gorgeous shading.

    I used to dread ageing. Now, I’m excited for all the time I have left ahead of me. I just keep getting better and better. I know there’s so much more to do, learn, and experience. To look forward to. As I’ve reconnected to my body, myself in my physical dimension, my wholeness of mind/body/spirit, the more I can feel things brewing that I look forward to downloading and channelling in the years to come.

    33 was a year of big personal growth. I can’t wait to see what comes next.

  • Stop looking for the silver bullet – the answers are already within


    Maybe you want to make more money. You’ve followed the gurus, bought the courses, done the work to uplevel your career or business.

    Maybe you want to do a better job of this whole parenting thing. It’s a constant struggle, battling with your past, as your kids and partner constantly trigger you from minute to minute.

    Maybe you want a better relationship. You’ve listened to podcasts and read blogs, tried a million techniques, but nothing sticks. Maybe things change for a few days, but it never lasts.

    You’ve been searching high and low for the strategies and tactics that are finally gonna make a difference. But at some point, it’s time to change tack. Call it quits. You’re exhausted. It’s all the same stuff, regurgitated info over and over in different guises.

    The truth? Success in whatever you are seeking isn’t found outside of you. 

    Beyond a certain point, the real solution lies within

    What you need is already inside you. 

    All the tactics in the world won’t do much until you sort out your inner stuff.

    The deeper work is the real work. 

    Your brain is used to dealing with people/conflict/setbacks in a certain way. It goes back to what it knows when thrown into those situations, even if those techniques aren’t necessarily helpful.

    The brain is a funny thing, resisting change with all its might. It falls back on what feels safe, and what it knows. Back into well worn patterns, comfortably trodden ground. Autopilot is so powerful. Like when you move house and find yourself taking the route to your old place after work, even though your new place is in the other direction. When you reach to adjust your glasses instinctively, even though you’ve got your contacts in. When you find yourself pulling your hairbrush through empty air, because you chopped most of it off just yesterday.

    It takes time to learn to gravitate towards new actions. To build that muscle memory (remember, the brain is a muscle!) and develop different reactions, physical or otherwise.

    You are more powerful than you know

    I feel as though there’s a tension in this space. For all the empowering talk about creating our own reality, there are so many outside factors – systemic, societal, physical – that shape our reality. Like it or not, there are some things we just can’t control.

    If we can’t control these external elements and we can’t control other people, what’s left?

    Only ourselves. Therapy and coaching will always focus on YOU. We can keep fighting for more equality, system change, justice, influencing bigger things beyond us. But ultimately, the only thing within your guaranteed sphere of influence is you.

    That might feel small. Depressing. But actually, going deeper and committing carries immense power. It changes everything. How you think. How you feel. Then, subsequently, what you do and how you do it.

    It’s hard to articulate and pin down. What they say, though, is true. How you show up makes all the difference. Your energy is palpable, and shifting your energy genuinely does influence the results you get back once you start taking action.

    And it starts within you.

  • Feeling stuck on your healing path? You might be missing the mind-body connection

    the power of the mind-body connection

    I remember the first time I realised the power of the mind-body connection.

    Years ago, I was listening to a guided meditation on the train. As I followed along, I literally felt the pressure and tension around my heart loosen and lighten. The stress and worry that had been weighing on my chest dissipated.

    About a year ago, I heard about somatic therapy on the Over It and On With It podcast. That’s it, I thought. That’s what I need. 

    I found a somatic therapist in the city, a few minutes from my office, and booked a session. It was incredibly awkward. I sat on the couch. I talked and talked and talked. I filled all the silence. She barely said anything.

    And then I felt something within me. Coalescing. Shifting. I felt tingles. I felt hot and cold. I felt this ball, this mass of energy, manifesting inside my body, moving around, and eventually, worm its way toward my right arm, down to my hand, and out of me.

    It sounds batshit crazy, but that is the best explanation I can give you, and that is exactly what happened on that sofa in that hour.

    All I did was sit and speak my truth in this woman’s presence, and that is what happened.

    Later that year, I did a short Zoom session in which the practitioner helped me work through a sticky situation. I identified a person who was the source of my stress, focused on my body, and located her around my heart/chest. She was so stuck there, I couldn’t even get her to turn around 180 degrees.

    We worked on visualising her going down a golden path, and eventually we went our separate ways. She left my body, and I felt immensely relieved.

    I went on to write a boundary-setting email back to that person and felt great about it. (And perhaps amazingly, she responded well to it.)

    What to make of all this?

    I’m a pretty damn practical person. Pragmatic. Realistic. Sceptical. I take a pretty scientific approach to lots of things. I believe what I see. And I also believe what I experience.

    I believe there’s probably a lot that science hasn’t caught up and maybe never will be able to. In invisible planes and dimensions. Even if it weren’t for that… well, as a friend in the social sciences says… this stuff doesn’t really interest white dudes, generally.

    These days I would say I identify as somewhat spiritual; somewhat woo.

    I once worked with a couple of healers (that’s what they called themselves) and did a bunch of research into non-western/alternative medicine to support the course material they were creating. I stepped into a whole new world. Muscle testing. Chakras. I quietly scoffed at it all, but in hindsight… I gotta admit, emotions and trauma most certainly live in the body, and doesn’t it make sense that certain emotions are stored in/associated with certain body parts?

    If we think of emotions as energy in motion … they need to move; they need somewhere to go. That’s why movement and motion is part of completing the stress cycle.

    Instinctively, I realise I’ve always known this. I used to physically shake it off after a stressful interaction, like a dog does (or even when they dry themselves). I’d even meow aloud … that somehow just felt like a good release mechanism, a steam valve of sorts, letting it all move on through and out of me.

    Connecting to the body’s wisdom

    What are your happiest memories? When did you feel you were living and experiencing life to the fullest? When did you feel most alive? Were your senses really engaged? Were you caught up in thoughts, or enjoying the moment – engrossed and engaged in your surroundings, what you felt, sensed, saw, heard, tasted, smelled?

    We often spend our days living in our heads, our minds, and not in our bodies. I know that for me, that disconnection has certainly spawned troubles. The body will tell you when you’ve had enough. It breaks down. Depending how out of touch you are, it might take a few alarm bells. Your body compass will always, however, point you in the right direction.

    I’ve learned to start dropping down into my body and seeing how she feels about any choice I face.

    Does it feel light, expansive, open? Or does thinking about it feel small and constricted? That is a strong indicator of which way to go. Think about how you’ve physically felt when making decisions in the past, and how they turned out. Did you feel heavy, burning, tingling, cold? Use those as a guide to calibrate your body compass. These are all clues pointing you toward or away from something.

    As adults, we tend to detach from our bodies. Reconnecting is an integral part of healing, and the integrated healing that follows can be so powerful.

    Intuition and the inner voice

    I think back to when I was very young. To times my instincts, nudges, intuition were very strong. Times they turned out to be right. It would sound silly to describe those instances, which were hardly consequential, but very powerful and that I’ve never forgotten.

    The older we get, the more we learn to tune out our inner voice. To stifle it with logic. And sometimes we return and learn to listen once again.

    If you feel called to, later in life, you may want to dial back into that internal voice. Because we tend to regret not trusting ourselves.

    And if talk therapy isn’t cutting it anymore for you, like me, I so encourage you to explore somatic options. At that stage, continually mining the same old ground wasn’t helping. There was nothing useful to extract. I had to heal on the physical level, without necessarily having to go back into the experiences and rehash them.

  • 5 steps to crush your money goals this year

    5 steps to crush your money goals

    Looking back over my adult life, especially in the past few years, I’ve pulled off a few things that just didn’t ever seem within reach. Mostly financial, to be fair, but I’ve come to see that the process has always been the same – and I believe can apply to any type of goal.

    (One in the realm of theoretical possibility, that is. I’ll never be a pilot as I’m never getting back to 20/20 vision. Well, some might think it’s possible to heal one’s eyesight if one just believes enough; I’m not there. Nor will I ever be a pro athlete or musician. I’m not going to pretend that literally anything is possible for anyone.)

    So if you have big money goals, or other types of goals, here’s my best advice:

    Tap into your WHY

    Money needs a purpose. What is yours? Connect with the reason you want this money and build a laser clear vision of that goal. What will you do with it once it arrives?

    Decide that it’s a done deal

    There is a big difference between logically, cognitively knowing something vs deeply knowing and feeling it, all through your body and mind.

    You need to be 100 percent behind it. Locked and loaded at a bone, soul, deep level – knowing this is happening. If you can’t quite get behind it yet, adjust your goal to something that feels more aligned.

    You can feel that perceptible shift once it actually happens. Let go of the doubts and embrace your new commitment, trusting that success is inevitable.

    See it

    You need proof that it’s possible to keep you going. Find examples!

    Treat envy as evidence. If it can be done by someone else, you can probably have it too. Maybe not in the exact same way, but in another shape or form.

    Envy is often a signpost, signalling what you’re capable of and haven’t been tapping into.

    Feel it

    What if it was already yours?

    Let that certainty and knowing spread throughout you, cascading into every cell and permeating every corner of your mind.

    Imagine how great it would feel.

    Imagine how that version of you would go about things – how they’d think and act.


    Probably the part you’ve been waiting for, right? Stop dithering and take the damn action.

    I recently took part in a money making challenge. In that time, I focused on income generating activities, like warm outreach to former clients, putting together proposals in response to project listings, and engaging in select Facebook groups (giving value while also communicating what I offered).

    None of these actions yielded any direct results.

    But suddenly things picked up pace elsewhere. Referrals started coming in fast – and for bigger pieces of work with awesome clients.

    The universe conspires to help you when you start making moves. Take steps towards your goal and even if those don’t pan out, you’re moving in the right direction. Other opportunities have a way of cropping up, crossing your path in the most surprising ways. The payoff will come.

    But don’t rush it. Getting those foundational steps in first makes all the difference.

    Most of this is about intention and energy.

    You might hear “Money is just energy.” This refrain is a common catch cry in certain spheres. Not sure I buy into that. But for sure, the energy behind our money stuff counts.

    Years ago when blogs were at their peak, I made a fair chunk of money off blogging. Sponsored posts helped fund a not insignificant part of my RTW trip. Yet it hardly ever felt all that good to me. I often felt like I was cheating the advertiser in terms of value exchange (sense of unworthiness/not enoughness). This also carried over into freelance stuff – not feeling like I deserved the pay.

    In comparison, these days I feel rock solid when I get paid for freelance work. I no longer feel a little electric jolt when I get a payment notification – a physical manifestation of the surprise “they like me, they must really like me, they actually paid me for my work!” Instead I see those invoices paid and think “yup, that’s about right.” I’m grateful and joyful but not shocked.

    Another example…

    I’ve given away a lot of money in my life. Most of it, reluctantly, to people I know. Begrudgingly. And most never repaid.

    A small portion of that I have donated to causes that spoke to me. And that has been an entirely different experience. I loved giving that money. And I have found that the more I donate, the more comes back into my life in unexpected ways. Every time, not long after, something good follows. The universe is mysterious that way. But perhaps opening up your hands to give also opens them to receive.

    Be generous if you can, act from abundance, as your richest self. It feels good in the moment – and it pays off in the long run.

    And outside of the financial realm, energy absolutely counts.

    As a parent, I live this every day. How I show up directly impacts how any given interaction or situation plays out. Deliberately choosing playfulness over frustration and control, whenever I can, shifts the vibe and the outcome. Kids are incredibly intuitive and they know, they sense, what’s under the surface.