Juggling Curve Balls

It’s tricky being the sole income earner while also trying to have Bear in minimum daycare and Ant at home while he breastfeeds so frequently. I’ve taken a leap and hired a lovely nanny to be with us some of the time to help me do some work. It’s a leap because, as those of you who are self-employed and with very young babies know, it’s hard to predict income.

I was very grateful to have our nanny with us while I recorded last week’s show. Bear was unexpectedly with us because he was sick. He wanted to be in the studio though and that’s why you can hear his voice in the background. at one point he wanted to take his shoes off (and I had a little conversation with him). I didn’t edit this out because this is how life is at the moment and if parents/breastfeeding mothers are to be visible in professional settings, then we have to accept that they will be with their children! Although I pre-record, I try to record all of my show at once, as  if we were on air. It does make it tricky though…At one point, Bear was on my lap, trying on my headphones as I recorded the meditation. At another point, he moved my timer button so I wasn’t sure how long Lucas Deschamps of NaturAlley and I had been talking for! Lucas coped like a champ though and gave a magnificent interview. I learnt so much! Do you know, for example, that inorganic celery may actually be toxic?

Now, speaking of juggling, my guest on today’s show can literally (and figuratively) juggle!!  Very excited that Nicola Brown, of NIBL (Nature’s Ingredients Brought to Life) is on my show today. Listen online: www.oar.org.nz.

The Mental Hooks that Snag our Productivity

The Mental Hooks that Snag our Productivity


OpenClipartVectors via Pixabay

This week, on my first radio show, my guest, Lucas Deschamps talked about doing research when it came to food and what we are eating. I loved Lucas’s comment “Don’t just eat something because it sounds good”. I commented that the advice about keeping an open mind and doing research sounded like what we try and do when we are mindful – are become curious scientists in our experiences. We step back rather than just accepting what our mind tells us.

So, having said that, and with #FocussedFriday in mind, I thought I’d suggest stepping back and noticing thoughts – mental hooks – that might get in the way of us doing the things that are most important to us. These are, I suggest, thoughts that trip us up and have us watching several episodes of Buffy (*cough* – you know who you are) rather than doing what might be more important.

Do any of these sound familiar or trip you up?

  • I’ll do that later – a common hook. My suggestion is to pin a time to it or discard it as a task. One productivity tip I read this week was about discarding one thing from your to do list before even doing it.
  • I’ll do that when I feel….(better, clearer, more sorted, etc) – tricky. Does that really need to happen? I see this in students who are avoiding writing research up because perfectionist thoughts intervene and the associated thought is unless I’m completely confident/sorted/organised, there is no point starting. My suggestion is to set a timer and do a burst of focussed activity on part of it.
  • It will just take 5 minutes – somehow, distraction tasks never take just five minutes. It’s also easy to get caught up in other people’s agendas.
  • There’s no point starting it right now…I’ll just….(check my email, go and have lunch, walk the dog, do…) – start small.
  • This is too hard/complicated/big– Things may seem very big and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Notice your reaction and perhaps your urge to avoid. Deep breath. Is it important to do this task? Can you ask for help, search for an answer, delegate it, or break it up into smaller tasks?

Did any of these mental hooks ring true for you? Any other hooks that you hear?

I have a workshop coming up in Dunedin where I’ll be talking about those mental hooks that keep overthinking in place. 

Conscious Food July – The Conscious Adventurer

Conscious Food July – The Conscious Adventurer

I believe living more consciously includes becoming kinder to ourselves, each other, and our world. I’m so excited about my new radio show The Conscious Adventurer on Otago Access Radio, 105.4FM and 1573 AM, Tuesdays at noon. You can listen in from www.oar.org.nz or download the podcasts from Itunes. Each month has a theme and for each show, I’ll do a short talk with psychological tips, then guide you through a mediation or visualisation related to the theme, then interview someone connected with the theme.

On The Conscious Adventurer, In July,  we’ll be looking at our relationship with Food and we’ll be bringing more awareness to our food choices. I’ll be interviewing Lucas Deschamps of Natureally – an organic cafe with loads of vegan fare, one of our favourite places to eat in Dunedin; Nicola Brown, a clinical psychologist and creator of NIBL, Tracey Loughran, a naturopath of Flourish and the Taste of Success Weight loss programme and Pip Wood of FoodShare.

That’s The Conscious Adventurer, Tuesdays at noon on Otago Access Radio, 105.4FM, 1573AM and podcast from www.oar.org.nz and Itunes.

My first guest, on Tuesday, 5th of July is Lucas Dechamps of Naturealley. Lucas is pretty passionate about organic food and food packaging, amongst other things.How many disposable coffee cups do you think we, in NZ, dispose of every year? Do you know that the vast majority of these are not biodegradable? What questions would you like to put to Lucas?

Food Conscious July

Puddles, Magic, & Foraging

Puddles, Magic, & Foraging


“Come! In!” insisted Bear, pulling on my dress. He was splashing in a puddle, and I had been watching him, feeling like there wasn’t enough space in my chest for my heart. Bear’s fascination with the puddles, his delight and absorption – how utterly magical. I was holding Ant in a carrier and this space with my two boys felt ethereal.

So, I got into the puddle with Bear who then started stirring the water with some long leaves. More magic.

While stirring the water, I saw lots and lots of cabbage tree leaves. I had been looking for these after a kind friend took pity on my dismal fire-lighting skills and gifted me a lot of dried cabbage tree leaves as kindling. They are the secret weapon. I started gathering leaves with great gusto. The trees were up on a small, but steep, bank and after Bear and I had climbed this, I realised that walking down might be a problem. If Bear was unsteady, there was a chance he might fall and hit his head.

More magic – I showed Bear how to sit down and scoot down the hill. “Agin!””Agin!””Mum!”.

It seems to me that foraging is about finding treasure in the ordinary and overlooked. Isn’t that what conscious adventuring is about?

“Conscious Adventuring – finding treasure in the ordinary and overlooked”

Compassion & Pausing

Compassion & Pausing

I was on the verge of emailing someone assertively and giving them a piece of my mind (not that I can spare any pieces, but, anyway). Something made me pause.

Rather unexpectedly, I met with the person in question and we had an unexpected conversation where I heard something of the pain they were experiencing. Gosh, am I glad I paused earlier in the day, not least because I was not adding to this person’s suffering, and, in fact, being able to help.

“The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause”

Mark Twain

Stricking that balance between pausing and action, between silence and speech, is tricky terrain in conscious living. In this instance (and more), that pause allowed a space for compassion.


Conscious Living

Conscious Living

I’ve been thinking a lot about what underlies the projects that I’m involved in and that I care about. I believe the underlying idea is Conscious Living. To me, this means, bringing attention to my thoughts and actions and knowing that I have a choice in what I do. I believe this to be broader than mindfulness – which is a state of mind at a particular moment that I can choose to engage in. To me, trying to live more consciously means, amongst other things, trying to reduce the impact I have on the environment, trying to live with more compassion, and trying to be conscious of where I direct my attention in terms of time and thoughts.  What does Conscious Living mean to you? Is it something you identify with?

JohnHain pixabay Mindfulness

Image thanks to John Hain via Pixabay

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