Archive | October, 2012

30 day Feel Damn Fine challenge


In my hometown we’re swiftly moving into summer, and all the usual BS around “Get your body beach ready!” abounds. To be honest, I’ve caught myself slipping into this mentality a bit too – thinking “Oh noes, summer is almost here, I better lose a few kilos”.

But rather than go on any kind of diet, exercise kick or cleanse to try to shed any extra weight, I thought I’d take on a challenge of a different nature.

A challenge that was filled with kindness, feeling good and positiveness.

And rather than keep it all to myself, I thought I’d share my challenge with you and invite you to join in.

It’s called the 30 Day Feel Damn Fine challenge – after my post “Mastery of Feeling Damn Fine Every Day” – and it will be a month filled with simple, joyful activities to help you feel on top of the damn world.

Take a few minutes to watch the video above where I’ll explain everything in a bit more detail. Then jump on over to the Facebook page to declare “Hell yes, I’m in!”

If you’re on Twitter and / or Instagram – tag your tweets and photos with #30xfeeldamnfine

Let’s build our tribe. Invite your friends to join in too.  Let’s support, motivate + inspire one another to live our best life.

Here’s to feeling damn fine.



PS - a couple of quick notes about what this challenge is NOT.

It is not a challenge so you can lose weight.

It is not a challenge to add another thing to your to-do list. Choose small sustainable activities that you like to help combat daily stress.

It is not a challenge to feel guilty about. If you forget /become too overwhelmed to do your activities for a few days, just jump in again when you can.



Body Love SOS


How many times a day do you look in the mirror and feel shame? Have you ever grabbed at your belly and thought yuck? Do you hide from cameras or cry at your reflection?

For me, this was a daily battle. No matter what size or shape I was (and I’ve been a few) I was never happy with how I looked. I never felt good enough, pretty enough or thin enough and I hated my body for it. This resentment lead to some pretty wild disordered eating, punishing workouts where I tried to “whip myself into shape” and a whole lot of misery.

Many years later, this is what I’ve realised. Sitting in a mood of resentment around how you look will never bring the bodily perfection you so desperately crave. If you always say “yuck” or “I hate you” or “I wish you’d just go away” to those body parts you believe are flawed, how could you heal them and achieve your ideal body anyway?

Anger and fear, whilst strong motivators, are not sustainable motivators.

You end up feeling burnt out, strung out, overwhelmed and sad. The days start to feel like molasses and eventually, one of two things will happen.

1.You will rebel.
All that calorie counting, those punishing workouts and the head-full-of-body-worry gets boring, tiring and time-consuming. Once you feel restricted and resentment starts kicking in, you scream “GAH! F*ck this” and run straight to the cookie jar.


2.You will give up.
The constant striving for perfection yet simultaneously never feeling good enough is exhausting. A little voice inside begins to whisper “what’s the point?” and all of a sudden *poof* - your motivation disintegrates like a puff of smoke.

*sigh* There’s gotta be a better way. How do we get the body we crave in an easy and everlasting way?

With loving kindness.

I had the equation the wrong way around! I thought that having the perfect body would liberate me and bring me joy.

When in fact, loving the body you’re in liberates you and brings you joy. When you love yourself, a natural respect arises with ease. You nourish your body with nutritious food, movement becomes pleasurable, you know how to rest and recharge. You become empowered and serene.

You may find that weight is released more effortlessly down to a more ideal state. But more importantly, you’ve released the cycle of dieting, bingeing and self-loathing. The relentless obsession with calories in vs calories out is transformed into ‘what will bring my body joy right now’.

And the beautiful thing is you can do it right now. You don’t have to wait to be your perfect weight or size before you can fall in love with you.

Here’s a simple visualisation technique that you can use to begin loving the body you’re in right now.

Close your eyes and take 3 deeps slow breaths.

Think of someone who brings you joy. Someone who is easy to love. It could be your baby nephew, your beloved dog, or your best friend. Did that thought bring a smile to your lips? Great.

Fill up your heart with all the big, kind, fierce love you feel for them. Let it grow, bigger and brighter. Keep breathing.

Now open your eyes and with that super strong lovin’ feeling in your heart, look at a body part that is benign, that doesn’t give you any angst. Perhaps your little finger or the top of your foot. Transfer all that fierce love in your heart to that body part. If it helps, keep imagining that body part belongs to the person you love.

When you feel comfortable, slowly and gently extend that feeling to another body part, one by one, until you get to the “kryptonite” body part (for me, it’s my belly).

Keep thinking about your beloved. Bring that feeling back to your heart and send that love straight to the kryptonite part. Now radiate this feeling throughout your entire body, grounded in your fierce loving power.

It may take a little while to fully feel comfortable doing this exercise, especially if you’ve been a body hater for many years like I was. You may feel silly or sad or scared. It’s ok. Give yourself time and kindness. It takes courage, patience and love to heal.


4 steps to do a 180 on perfectionist anxiety

It was 2am and pouring with rain. I was at an outdoor music festival waiting for my partner to begin his DJ set. As we sat drinking warm tea in a cafe tent, I noticed a couple of young, attractive girls sitting at a table next to us, also sheltering from the rain.

One of them was checking to see if her make-up had been smudged by using her reflective silver iphone cover as a mirror. As she pulled a tube of mascara from her bag, I overheard her say to her friend with terror-filled conviction “I never let anyone see me without make-up, not even my boyfriend.”

She seemed so afraid if people saw her true self, they would judge her to be flawed, so she covered it all up with a false sense of security made of pink powder and eyeliner to convey her projection of perfection.

It seemed to me what she was really saying was “I never let anyone see me vulnerable”.

I know this is true for me too. When I recently wrote about wanting to up my game to serve my tribe better, I still worried that by opening up and being vulnerable that I would put people off.

And it got me wondering; where else in life do we dim the luminosity of our inner truth because of the fear we will be judged, excluded or unloved?

Vulnerability can be crystallised into one core fear - the fear of not being good enough. So, we hide our true self through control.

We try to control what others will think of us by only presenting our “good side”. We try to control how others love us by showing them what we think they want to see. Or we try to control the future through obsessive preparation. (NB: I have done all of these things)

The truth is that we can never really be in control. In all areas of life, there is an element of uncertainty. If we reject the element of uncertainty, and try to control all the risks, dangers and flaws that we perceive in our world, we potentially miss out on all the wonderful, spontaneous surprises that uncertainty can offer.

Say you’re on an early morning stroll through the park when suddenly $50 tumbles across the ground in front of you. A friend calls unexpectedly and they’re in town for one night and want to catch up for dinner. You meet a friend of a friend at a party, really hit it off and go on a date. Did you plan any of this? No. Were they wonderful surprises? Yes.

When we accept that life has a level of uncertainty, and that sometimes unexpected things happen that are good, we transform our attitude from one of anxiety and fear, to one of wonder and curiosity.

Transform anxiety to wonder

I have a habit of “future tripping”. I often catch myself in a loop of anxiety-inducing “what ifs?” So I tried doing a 180 on my anxiety with this little exercise.

1. Replace each potential threat with a positive outcome

For example “What if no-one likes my presentation?” becomes “What if everyone likes my presentation?” Curiosity replaces anxiety, and it becomes much easier to access creativity to make a great presentation.

Or “What if that guy I like rejects me?” becomes “What if he says yes?” Resilience replaces fear and makes you feel grounded enough to ask out your crush.

Or most importantly, “What if I’m not good enough?” becomes “What if I am completely enough?” Wonder replaces shame and all of a sudden, the person that was never good enough to be loved becomes a person filled with beauty.

Your wondrous being is made of 50 trillion cells that are genetically wired for success, to keep you safe, whole, and thriving. How good is that?!

2. Feel the difference

Your whole nervous system that was once on stand-by just in case something terrible happened, is now rejoicing in the wonder of a positive future. Feel the difference this 180 on anxiety has created.

What does it feel like? A tide washing away the fear? Roots growing into the earth to keep you steady?

3. Embody it

Where does this feeling reside in your body? Which body part feels brighter, lighter or more obvious? Attach this feeling to that body part.

4. Label it

What one word sums up this feeling of wonder? By labelling your emotion, you can easily recall it, use it like a mantra and flood your system with the dopamine rush of wonder again.

So for me – this transformation from anxiety to wonder feels like a cool breeze, it resides in my heart, and it’s called “Groundedness”.

The next time I’m future tripping, I imagine a cool breeze flowing through my heart and a chant “Groundedness” over and over. Then I can move forward with a sense of wonder and calm.

Did this exercise work for you? What’s your emotion called and where is it embodied? Let me know in the comments below.