Happy 4th Birthday, Peony Rose Girl

Happy 4th Birthday, Peony Rose Girl

img_2419 img_2427 img_2428 img_2442


















From Nancy Tillman’s beautiful book: Wherever you are, my love will find you

I wanted you more

than you ever will know,

so I sent love to follow

wherever you go.

…So climb any mountain…

climb up to the sky!

My love will find you.

My love can fly!

..It never gets lost, never fades, never ends…

…My love is so high, and so wide and

so deep, it’s always right there, even

when you are asleep.


Love, Cupcakes, and Fairy Sprinkles, our beautiful girl xx


October is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month

October is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month

This month, on The Conscious Adventurer, we look at Perinatal Mental Health & Complications in Pregnancy. My aim is bring awareness, words, and compassion to this under recognized area, and  to acknowledge that pregnancy, childbirth, and beyond, do not always go according to plan, nor according to how things might be depicted in the messages around us. 

How to Create a Calming Environment with Essential Oils [Guest Post]

How to Create a Calming Environment with Essential Oils [Guest Post]

Internal and External Environments have been the focus on The Conscious Adventurer. To round the month off, it’s my great pleasure to share a guest post about creating a calming environment by Chantal Bernard.

Chantal has a passion for spreading awareness and sharing information about essential oils, mental health and chronic illness on her blog Painted Teacup! When she isn’t blogging Chantal enjoys spending time with her husband and their fur-baby, working as a social worker and helping her husband with the family virtual assistant business! Check out Painted Teacup and take a minute to follow Chantal on Pinterest & Facebook! Over to Chantal:

There are SO many ways to use essential oils however one of my favourite it to use essential oils to help create a calming and relaxing atmosphere! My favourite way to use essential oils for calming & relaxation is to use them aromatically in my diffuser (as opposed to topical application on your skin).

Today I want to share some of my favourite essential oils to use to create a calming environment and explain how to use them in a diffuser.


My 3 Favourite Essential Oils for Relaxation:

Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender has wonderful calming and relaxing properties! If you are just getting started with essential oils, lavender is a great one to start out with as it is also helpful in soothing upset stomachs, soothing skin irritations, promoting a restful night’s sleep and of course helping with relaxation!

Eucalyptus Essential Oil

The scent of eucalyptus is often associated with spas because of its relaxing properties! In addition to helping with relaxation, eucalyptus also helps to promote clear breathing which is an awesome combination after a long and stressful day! Check out all the ways to use eucalyptus essential oil here!

Cedarwood Essential Oil

I absolutely love cedarwood and it is an oil I often use on a daily basis to help promote a restful night’s sleep! Today I want to share a diffuser blend from my ebook called Essential Oils Made Easy: DIY Diffuser & Roller Bottle Recipes. This blend is perfect to use before bed as it creates a calming environment and promotes a restful night’s sleep!

Sleep Like a Log Diffuser Blend:

  • 3 drops of cedarwood essential oil
  • 2 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 100ml of water
  • Diffuser

Please note that diffusers hold different amounts of water depending on their size so you may need to adjust this blend for your diffuser.

How to Make This Blend:

First, remove the top of the diffuser and add water up to the fill line (or 100ml). It is usually recommended that you use room temperature water but be sure to read the directions specific to your diffuser. Next add 3 drops of cedarwood and 3 drops of lavender. Put the top back on the diffuser and turn it on! Now you can sit back & relax… and drift off into dreamland!

How to Use Essential Oils for Relaxation

Although you can apply essential oils to your skin, I prefer to use them aromatically (in a diffuser) for calming & relaxation! There are so many benefits of using an essential oil diffuser! The first benefit is that you only need a few drops of essential oil (usually 3-4) at a time. Using a diffuser means that anyone in the area/room will also benefit from the calming properties (or other feelings depending on the oil used) of the essential oil! If you are just starting out, you can find helpful tips for shopping for the right diffuser here. When using individual essential oils for relaxation simply follow the same directions I provided above for the diffuser blend!

I hope this post helped you to get started using essential oils to create a calming environment in your home!

To learn more about how to use essential oils, sign up to join my FREE 5 day email course which will teach you how to start using essential oils in 5 days! JOIN HERE!



Dealing with Difficult People

This month, on the Conscious Adventurer, we’re talking about Internal and External Environments. One of my readers asked about tips for dealing with self-centred people. 

It’s my absolute pleasure to have this guest post by Simone Wittmann about this topic. Simone is the creator of happyhealthylove.de and provides simple but effective fitness, health and lifestyle tips to help you live a happier, healthier and more balanced life. She’s also a real kitchen girl and likes to share new vegetarian and vegan recipes with you. As a psychology student, she’s all about developing self-love, understanding other and helping you become the best version of yourself. If you’re curious, check out her blog and don’t forget to download her free, printable goal-setting guide!

I guess all of you know people who always make you feel negative and unmotivated, even if you are just talking to them about the weather. That person doesn’t necessarily have to be your boss, sometimes even the people that are close to you, your friends or family members can be one of them. You’re in a great mood, happy, positive and motivated and the moment you talk to them, you suddenly feel like something is weighing you down and making you feel uncomfortable. Those people can change your mood within a minute, am I right?!

I’ve met a lot of those people over the last few years, and I have finally found a way, how to deal with those negative, difficult people and what you can do to stay happy and positive!

Understand why they are being the way they are. Some reasons could include:

  • Depression – Everything is going wrong, you’re failing at everything, thoughts rapidly become negative, and coupled with stress, you can become extremely negative, and destructive.
  • Limited beliefs, pessimists – This and that won’t work, you don’t even need to try it.
  • Victim role – “It never worked for me”; They will always think just because they didn’t achieve xyz, you can’t be successful.
  • Close minded people – certain beliefs -They think women have to stay at home and look after the kids, no sex before marriage – they want you to be/act “the way you are supposed” to be/act and they don’t accept your behaviour.
  • Drama – Some people just like to have dramatic lives.
  1. Don’t just get rid of them

It’s so easy to say, ‘just get rid of them, surround yourself with positive people”, and to be honest, that is great advice, when you talk about ‘friends’ or people that you don’t need to have in your life. We all have friends – and ”friends”. Of course, you can choose not to spend your precious time with the people who make you feel unmotivated and uncomfortable. But often you can’t choose if you want to be surrounded by those people, your boss or co-workers, for example – plus, there are always going to be people who comment about you and getting rid of all of them would be impossible.

  1. See it as an opportunity to develope your character

Use that negative energy and ask yourself these following questions.

Am I in command of my emotions?

Can I stay focused and positive?

Am I focusing on what’s wrong with this person?

Is that person’s behaviour affecting my emotions?

By focusing on the negative aspects, you let them win. Try and challenge yourself to work on your character.

  1. Empathize

Whenever you are dealing with difficult people, try and remind yourself that you’ve been rude to other people too. Even if we are trying really hard to be kind, loving souls, we all have been rude. It’s normal that we’re in a bad mood sometimes and that we act in a way that we normally wouldn’t. Wonder what happened! You don’t know their struggles and stories. Be understanding and supportive, you never know what’s going on in their lives. Learn to use it as something that helps you improve your people skills.

  1. Ignore all the negative comments
    When someone is talking to you in a rude way, give a simple, neutral “I see” or “Ok” reply. Don’t let it get to you! Don’t let them win! On the other hand, when the person is being positive, reply in a positive and enthusiastic way. That way you show them, that a negative attitude won’t impress you, but a positive attitude is going to be rewarded.

A big thank you to Kumari for giving me the opportunity to blog here, I enjoyed writing it. If you liked this post, feel free to check out my blog for more. www.happyhealthylove.de

My hugest thanks to the wonderful Simone for this guest blog post. What strategies do you apply when dealing with difficult people? How do you ignore negative comments? We would love to hear from you in the comments below. 


*Authors opinions are their own and do not reflect on any organisations or affiliations.




What’s feeding your Psychological Soil?

What’s feeding your Psychological Soil?

This month, on The Conscious Adventurer Radio Show, we’re talking about internal and external environments and choosing these with awareness so that they can be more conducive to wellbeing.

This Tuesday, I had an interview with Dennis Enright and Vermis the Worm, which I had taped a few months ago. Dennis and Vermis had important tips about soil health and looking after the worms.


Vermis the Worm

I talked about the psychological soil that goes into developing us. If we think about our beliefs as a tree with the beliefs as tree trunks, the soil that grows those beliefs is our experiences. We learn not only from what was told to us, but also what we felt and observed.  So, when we observed how important women in our lives were spoken to or treated, that gives us a template for how women are treated. We also learn by what wasn’t done as well as what was done. When we were hurt or scolded for being a particular way, we learn a rule “it’s bad to be that way”. When praise is omitted or affection withheld, we learn another rule – I am not worthy of love. These experiences are incredibly powerful.

Our current experiences also matter though – like a tree, we are constantly growing. Those in our environment now can really nourish the soil of our growth or not. So, my invitation to you is to consider your beliefs about yourself and where they come from. Looking at those beliefs that no longer serve you, where did those come from? Also, are there people in your current environment who nourish you or who aid in these negative beliefs?

The visualisation I did on the show was about tuning into that younger hurting part of ourselves and sending messages of love and affection; holding that part in gentleness.

What experiences do you find, enrich your psychological soil?


Image courtesy of Tusita Studio via Pixabay

Focussed Friday: The Grey Rock Technique

Ever had to deal with an emotionally draining person? Someone who seems like an emotional vulture, feeding off discomfort, angst, and negativity?

A few months ago, when dealing with an extremely challenging situation, I learnt about the “Grey Rock” technique. It’s based on the idea that emotional vampires feed off emotional reactions. Thus, when you don’t react, you are no longer attractive and the vampire moves on.

To do this technique, you imagine and channel a Grey Rock: uninteresting, uninspiring, and bland. You recognise the emotional hooks that are being thrown out but do not respond to them. You respond in a very neutral, disinterested tone.

For example. let’s say someone says, in a very agitated tone of voice: “You should have checked with me!! This has really messed things up for me!!!”. You might respond with “Oh? That’s no good” [in a very neutral and calm tone of voice].

“I’m very disappointed in you!! You never listen to what I’m saying!” You might try “That’s very disappointing” (in a bland tone of voice).

“You should know better! Why do you keep doing…!!” You might say “Thanks for that. I could do that differently I guess” (in a light tone of voice).

Perhaps it’s not an emotional vulture you’re dealing with. Perhaps it’s someone who is highly critical. Perhaps it’s someone who pushes your buttons and makes it hard to focus.

Can you see the Grey Rock Technique being of use to you?

A Special Project for my Daughter

A Special Project for my Daughter

[Warning; I’m writing about pregnancy loss]

This project has been growing inside me for so long – I don’t even know how long. Perhaps it was from the moment my daughter was born. Perhaps it was in the months that followed. Perhaps it was in the weeks, months, and years (hard to believe it; it feels like just yesterday that my daughter was born) that followed as women gifted me their stories of pregnancy related losses.

Losses that Change Us

There are all manner of losses that can change how we are. Perhaps it’s the loss of an imagined future when a pregnancy and birth aren’t what we had hoped for, perhaps it’s the loss of a physical part of ourselves or a disability that arises from pregnancy, perhaps it’s a traumatic birth, or perhaps it’s the loss of a child.

A lack of language

There are so many losses that we can experience and what I’ve seen is that we do not have the language to validate these experiences and that, too often, women (and men) present later on with issues that are not always traced back to the pregnancy related experience that gave rise to it. I’m thinking, for example of the woman who keeps trying to lose weight who reveals that life changed after a miscarriage when she no longer liked or trusted her body; another woman who has never forgiven herself for undergoing an abortion. A beautiful man tells me about the loss of a child – he has never told anyone else and there are no words for how deeply this loss has changed how he is in the world. People talk to me all the time about the children their mothers lost and I know in how they talk and how they are that even though their mother did not talk about these other pregnancies and children, that the mother’s mothering was affected as were the interactions with her living children.

My daughter’s mission and mine

I feel strongly that my daughter’s mission in this life is to help us voice these pregnancy related losses. To acknowledge these experiences. To celebrate all our children.  To understand that pregnancies and births are not always straightforward. To understand that loss in pregnancy can take different forms and profoundly affect the very identity of the pregnant woman as well as those around her. This is my daughter’s mission and I have been entrusted with it.

My Project

Last year, I made a recording of meditations for pregnancy related loss. I’ll be releasing this album in late September ahead of Baby Loss October.  Please join me in spreading the word that we need to talk about pregnancy related loss with compassion and understanding.


Image courtesy of hpgruesen via Pixabay

Getting through a Struggle

Getting through a Struggle

Sometimes things are a struggle, sometimes a challenge, and sometimes an adventure.

“How long can a baby continue screaming like this?” I wondered, as I held Ant and tried to get him to sleep. We were both not well and I was eagerly waiting to go to bed. Nothing was working…time seemed treacle-like. I was achy, feverish, and exhausted. My throat was painful.

Unfortunately, tiredness and lack of sleep are two perfect conditions for cultivating overthinking.

I started focussing on getting through each moment, using my “Jedi Stance”, my soles of the feet mindfulness exercise (where I focus attention on my feet and the ground and keep re-directing my attention back there) and deliberating trying to focus on generating gratitude. I was so grateful, for example, that the boys’ father was taking care of Bear so I could focus on Ant.

Two hours later, after trying various things,  I was so relieved to get into bed and was initially excited about feeling that sensation that happens as you enter sleep (do you know the one?) happening so fast. I quickly realised though that I was fainting and I immediately worried about what would happen to Ant if he woke and I was still unconscious. I hurled myself out of bed and grabbed my phone. The motion combined with everything else made me vomit repeatedly and I tried to get through to someone who could help. I didn’t feel I knew what to do except that I was worried about fainting and not looking after Ant. I phoned the hospital who put the call through to our national Healthline service. It was very difficult to speak and the person on the other end of the phone kept asking me so many questions. I wanted to drive to the ED but worried that I might faint en route. She wasn’t able to tell me what the cost of an ambulance would be so I ended up bundling up Ant and taking a taxi dressed in my dressing gown. Later, when less delirious, I remembered there were others I could have rung – I just knew I didn’t have much time and needed to get seen as soon as possible.

The hospital staff were utterly amazing, as usual, and kept me and Ant overnight. Ant fed almost continuously from about 9pm to 3am then he slept for 1.5 hours. He then woke and fed again for an hour before sleeping for an hour. Even though I wasn’t sure that I had any milk left the hospital staff were amazing and supportive. They came in and checked on me frequently. It was a busy ED on a friday night and yet one consultant calmly rocked Ant while I went to the bathroom. Another nurse aide took him for a 15 minute walk of the ward so that I could have a nap. No one suggested that Ant was unusual or that I was not capable.

Back home the next day though, Ant continued to feed and feed and I was so exhausted and still feverish. I used the same three strategies I had used before to get through. I deliberated – should I try to give Ant a small amount of formula? Ant’s weight has recently been dropping and I had been hoping to just get to 6 months of exclusively breastfeeding. Friends rallied and were supportive of doing what I needed to do to care for Ant. I was so tired and I could feel myself getting more and more into my head so I stopped and simply held my little boy and felt how hungry he was. How tired he was. How he wanted to rest but wasn’t getting enough milk.

I remembered I had some frozen breast milk! Aha! I hadn’t been able to keep building up my frozen supply with being ill but there was one packet. Ant drank it thirstily and still wanted more. The choice was then easy – I had to look after him and after a small amount of formula and breastfeeding, he finally, exhaustedly, fell asleep, and so did I.

So today, after having had some sleep, the world looks different. I feel better although still feverish and slowed down. Things feel like more of a challenge and even an adventure. I’m over 3.5 hours into trying to help Ant fall asleep and stay asleep. Tonight, however, I’ve had a lot of cups of tea (which I really enjoy), we’ve listened to music from my university days in the background, and Ant has allowed me to type this in my darkened study while feeding, being held, and rocked. He even contributed by waving his hands and deleting a line of text! And today, I’m even more grateful – that I was able to just focus on Ant and I because Bear was taken care of by their father, for medical staff, for friends, for living in a world where there is a something that I can do for my child when I’m struggling to feed him.

Even in winter though, in Dunedin, when there is snow on the mountains, there are jonquils emerging in my backyard. There is a brighter day ahead!

IMG_0315 (1)




Conscious Business August

Conscious Business August

August is Conscious Business on the Conscious Adventurer. We’ll be talking about relationships in business and work, what keeps businesses stuck (and the importance of measuring outcomes), flexibility in work, and the triple bottom line.

On Tuesday, 2nd of August, I interview Lynnaire Johnstone of WordWizard fame – copy writing and “helping businesses get noticed”. Lynnaire is also a gardener extraordinaire!

Here’s Lynnaire speaking ahead of the interview.

The Conscious Adventurer: Tuesdays and Fridays, noon (NZST) on 105.4 FM, 1575 AM, online: www.oar.org.nz and podcasts available.


Focussed Friday – Using tough times to identify areas for improvement

You know the saying “It’s when times are tough that you truly know who your real friends are?”. It seems to me that it’s when times are full on that you see what systems need tweaking or changed.

I was thinking this as I surveyed the bathroom/kitchen/lounge/study during the week. It’s been an intense week – in addition to the usual things, I ran a seminar on Wednesday night with absolutely amazing people (it was so fabulous) and then had a talk with a very special group of nurses on the inpatient ward I used to work on. So much fun! Such a joy to be part of. However, the state of the house did not spark joy in me…

Sure, there were things related to the seminar and the goody bags we’d made up; there were the usual debris of the day (bits of stickers, toy cars, etc)…but there seemed to be extra mess. As I had sprinted to get out of the house to the seminar venue with both the children, I became aware of things that were not set up for an effortless leaving. For example, there isn’t a laundry hamper in the bathroom (where I got changed), there wasn’t somewhere near the change table to put dirty nappies (the nappy pail and the hamper were by the washing machine); I didn’t have rubbish bins nearby to collect all the inevitable mess…some things didn’t have homes and that some (e.g., my keys) had homes was absolutely useful.As I raced around, I took mental notes of what was falling down and vowed to make some small changes. Even one new system will make life easier (as I know from the habit of training myself to leave my keys in the same spot).

When under pressure, have you uncovered a system that isn’t working for you?

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This