“There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness” -Dalai Lama

Compassion is the ability to show empathy, love, and concern to people who are in difficulty.

So, self-compassion is simply the ability to direct these same emotions within, and accept oneself, particularly in the face of failure.

But why is it so hard to treat ourselves kindly when we experience great pain?!

Whether it be anger, frustration, failure, anxiety, fear, financial issues, health issues, sadness, grief, work issues, relationship woes - we all suffer, regularly!

Self-compassion involves acknowledging your own suffering and responding kindly. I personally think it’s very engrained into our ‘kiwi way’ to be harsh to ourselves, and I am going to fight the good fight to change it!!

We need to ensure we are treating ourselves with the same warmth, caring and kindness that we would extend to someone we love if they were in similar pain.

I recently spent time on a course in ACT (acceptance and commitment therapy) and the legendary Russ Harris shared his wealth of knowledge on the subject. I’d love to share all of what I learned, but that would involve a book (that Russ already wrote ‘The Happiness trap’) so I will condense as much as I can, in order to help you learn to develop some of your own self-compassion…because if you can’t love, support and back yourself, then there’s going to be a problem at some point.

There are many people who have little or no experience of self-compassion.

Some actually find it really threatening, overwhelming or just ‘too hard’.

There are ways to start building self-compassion and these are through Russ’s 6 basic building blocks. So if you are one of these many who are keen to up date your self-compassion score, then read on!

Start with one of the six, then select another, and do the same thing. Slowly, but surely you will build that self-compassion right up.

The six main ‘building blocks’ of self-compassion (according to Russ, and I strongly agree):


    If you ‘contact the present moment’, the right here, right now, with an attitude of openness and curiosity, you are more able to consciously and intentionally notice and acknowledge your own pain. This is so different from our usual mode of ‘turning away’ - suppressing or running from it (I am good at running from my pain! Literally running! what do you do? drink? game?Netflix?)

    When this starts to happen, it can be a great time to say out loud what you have noticed e.g “I am noticing I am having thoughts about being patronised” or “I am noticing that I am having painful feelings of being un-included”. Simply acknowledging the situation and your feelings is a HUGE step towards self-compassion.


    Learning to separate ourselves from our thoughts and beliefs is another tool. We all know how quickly our minds are to judge and criticise us, pointing out our flaws and failures, labelling us as ‘not good enough’ in millions of ways.

    We need to learn to ‘de-fuse’ from all of the harsh self talk. It’s pretty much impossible to magically train ourselves to stop talking that way to ourselves, but we can learn to defuse from those ‘not good enough’ stories. We can notice, name and ‘un-hook’ ourselves from these thoughts. Let them come, stay and go, in their own good time, without getting caught up in them or pushed around by them.


    The value that forms the foundation of self-compassion is ‘kindness’.

    All types of self-compassion practice - wherever they may have originated from - revolve around this powerful core value. So if we think of kindness as the glue that holds together all the other elements of self-compassion then we are on the right path. If we acknowledge our pain, the aim is to then treat ourselves with kindness. There are so many ways to do this:

    Kind self-talk - be caring when we talk to ourselves - everyone makes mistakes, be caring and gentle towards yourself.

    Use kind imagery - ‘loving kindness meditation’ or ‘inner child re-scripting’.

    Use kind self-touch - place a hand gently on our heart or on top of a painful feeling and send warmth and caring inwards through the palm.

    Do kind deeds - self-soothing rituals, spend quality time with people who treat us well, or self-care activities.


    This is where we accept our thoughts, feelings, emotions, memories, urges and sensations. We ‘open up’ and ‘make room’ for our thoughts and feelings, allowing them to flow through us, without fighting them, running from them, or being controlled by them.

    All too often when pain shows up in our lives, we try to escape it through activities that tend to make our lives worse in the long run e.g we turn to alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, zoning out in front of TV, dropping out of social activities, isolation, self harm. These are not kind ways to treat ourselves.

    If we can treat ourselves kindly in these circumstances, then we have ticked one big box! e.g reaching out to friends, eating in a way that serves us - vegetables, fruit, good whole foods, taking a bath, reading, heading to the movies with friends, going out for a nice walk, or to a gym class, dance class, whatever makes you happy, but serves your health and wellness.


    Often when we are in great pain we invalidate our own emotional experience, meaning, we don’t acknowledge it as a valid experience. It’s kind of a normal and natural part of being a human!

    Our minds tell us we shouldn’t feel like this, or react a certain way, we should handle things better. Often, our minds belittle us - telling us we are over-reacting, or that we are weak, or have nothing to complain about. Now, this type of harsh, critical, invalidating attitude is the very opposite of kindness.

    We can and should remind ourselves in a calm, friendly voice that having feelings and thoughts is natural and very human.


    Often when we are in great pain, our minds generate thoughts like ‘I am the only one going through this / no one else understands / why me / everyone else is happy’.

    This is totally common and natural. However, the problem arises when we decide to ‘fuse’ with our thoughts - get all caught up in them, buy into them…and then feel disconnected from others, we feel like the odd one out, no longer part of the group, and the pain feels worse, because we are now suffering on our own.

    If, on the other hand we developed a sense of connectedness with others, then this could help our pain. So next time you feel this way how about trying to spend time with people who you know care about you, and be fully present with them, accepting their kindness.

    You can also actively think about how your pain is something you have in common with others. Pain tells you that you have a heart, and care very deeply. Your pain is not a sign of weakness or defectiveness or mental illness, it is a sign you are a living, caring human being.

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive” - The Dalai Lama

SO - as you can see, self-compassion is a construct of various elements, and there is no one agreed definition of what it is, or formula for developing it!

However, you can use some of the above elements from above to begin to find a little self compassion for your beautiful soul.

You deserve to!

Social media survival tips and tricks

Social media survival tips and tricks


When Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat felt like they had started to rule my life. I hit the wall. I knew I needed to get off the 'gram and stop watching endless stories about people I don't even know, and lives I honestly DO NOT need to be involved in.

I wasn't necessarily comparing myself to anyone...but more just endlessly scrolling, and not being present AT ALL in my own life.

It was easier to scroll and look at everything else, than deal with the relationships, work, house work, friendships, responsibilities that were ACTUALLY in front of me.

Some people say they compare themselves to others on social media...but I wasn’t doing that as surely by now we all know that sh*t ain’t real. (yes?, no? maybe?…P.S It' ain’t real)

No one is perfect, with a perfect house, or a perfect body - or if you think they are living the dream, I can ensure you that there is something else in their life that is lacking (what even is perfect anyway?)

I guess I was suffering more from this horrible pit in my stomach. I struggle to name the emotion, as it wasn’t jealousy, or FOMO, or excitement, anxiety or anything I ca easily touch, it was more of a self-hatred BECAUSE I knew I needed to get off and be more present, but I just wanted one more dopamine hit!

Seeing scenes like this DRIVES ME NUTS!…BUT…I know what it is like when it draws you in…like a drug.


I wasn’t even spending much time on it! However, after my concussion I actually struggle to be on screens for very long anyway - so am much more aware of the physical response to screen time that I used to be, so my sense of it is all very heightened, and I start to loathe the fact that I am scrolling, rather quickly!

So - I did it. I shut things down. I spent 3 days completely OFF any social media. It was HEAVEN. I was so present and happy in my own life, and realising that was all I needed.


Whether its a month or just an afternoon that you need to take a break from - go - do it! Be strong, be disciplined, the invite to the event will still be there when you go back…and if it’s really worth it, you will find out through actually talking to your friends anyway.

So here are some tips and tricks, some reminders about the ‘love hate’ relationship we have with social media:

  1. Don’t believe the hype on social media, remember that we celebrate our wins on these platforms.

  2. Hardly ever do we share the down times!

  3. Life is a roller coaster, there are good days and not so good days. There are highs and there are lows and social media has taken the role of letting us share the awesome moments with our friends, family and ‘followers’. However, it doesn’t offer that space for us to share our lows.

  4. Scrolling through social media actually gives our brains little dopamine hits, that perk us up, this is why we constantly scroll, mindlessly and endlessly sometimes! Searching for the next hit and the next.

  5. Businesses share their successes, as do athletes, parents, employees etc, but you can rest assured they are all dealing with the same struggles of running a business, being a parent, training sessions, work being work and the rest of it! They just don’t share these ‘standard’ parts, because they are seen as boring.

  6. Social media is a tool used to excite us.

  7. It is very important to take a step back and be aware of your screen time on social media platforms. Put the phone or computer down and practice some mindfulness. Be present with yourself, with those around you and enjoy your life that is playing out right in front of your very eyes.

  8. Don’t believe everything you see on social media either. It is a marketing tool used to grow businesses and platforms for people. Look around you, have conversations with the real people at your work, in your house, on your bus, at the sports field and be reminded of the true realities of life.

  9. If you feel your mood darkening, or feelings of envy and bitterness. Put the screen down and walk away. It is vital for your mental health to practice enjoying the moments you are in, without having to compare yourself to anyone else. Take control of the situation, and remember it is not a hidden camera into the lives of others. People have selected what they wish to share, and no doubt taken many photos to get there, and adjusted their status updates many times, to look good!

‘You do you’! Practice gratitude each day by finding 3 things you are grateful for, and writing them down, instead of searching for the next hit of dopamine on your social media list.

I think, as a person with a following it is our responsibility to stay real and true, be genuine and honest. As well as be responsible for our own mental health and follow those that make us feel good, inspire us, uplift us and put a smile on our dial.

I could type for days on this subject - but I wont. Because you know it all, already.

Just promise me one thing…

Go hang with the family, hang with the pet, hang with your friends, or give them a call. Connect properly.



All of it, the good, the bad, the ugly. LIVE peeps!



My top tips + realisations around working from home, alone.

Do you work from from home, alone?

One minute it seems awesome, flexible and calm the next minute your lonely, stressed about the mess/dirt (that you can now see surrounding you because you feel like you never leave your house) and your bored with your own company.!

Getting right into the zone is super easy with no distractions from home!

Getting right into the zone is super easy with no distractions from home!

Personally, I DO love that i can have my music on or off, I can wear whatever I want, it is quiet when I need to concentrate, I can just jump straight into ‘the zone’ without any extra chat, and then if my house is full of children or adults I can still finish a few projects to the hum of noise, I can pop in and out as I please, I can switch off if I magically get my work all done, and there is no judgement from the walls in my house! I also love that if the kids are sick on my ‘home work days’ it’s not a problem for them to rest in bed while I work (and sneak cuddles).

I do NOT love that I can see the bedrooms that need cleaning, the bench that has dishes to be put away, the floor that needs vacuuming, people sometimes pop around while I am working - confusing me being at home working with me being free for a chat because I am home, and the lack of people to bounce ideas off, and to pull energy from.

I did, however notice my own mental health started to become a little ‘un-well’ a while back, and after a fair whack of self analysis I realised it came down to working at home, alone. I ignored it for a while and tried to hang out with friends more, but everyone is also working, so it isn’t quite as easy as that! Plus with a young family to look after, time with them is at the top of the priority list after 330pm each day!

I had a good chat with myself and decided to reach out, and was lucky enough to be offered the opportunity to spend 2 days a week working as a personal and group coach with other great coaches and awesome clients. This ticks all the boxes for laughter, banter, idea sharing and uplifting the spirits.

This has literally changed my mental health hugely - and I think it is really important to share, because if you are home alone all day working and not being forced out into the big wide world then you are not getting that human connection that we all need and desire so much!

Sure, it’s not so easy to find a role as flexible as I have managed to, but if you put it out into the universe you never know what might happen!

That is literally what I did. I accepted my situation and sent it out to the universe.


That week I received a phone call asking me if I would like to be a virtual health coach contracted to a business that is affiliated with GP’s throughout NZ. What the heck?! crazy right?! So I jumped at that opportunity and now also have an online team that I meet with every 2 weeks (this is with my health coaching role for Melon health) which is awesome. Majority of them are in the North Island, and it is great being able to banter and be productive via the screen. Technology for the win in these situations.

So now, on my admin days/online client days, I sure do love working from home alone.

It’s been a journey to get the balance right, but acceptance was key. So that is I wanted to share my journey to some form of balance and some tips to keep the brain happy, emotions at bay, and loneliness, boredom and lack of motivation minimal.

  1. Make sure you have a ‘work station’ where you will always work from. This is your desk, your space to leave lists, papers, invoices etc. Or if you move around, have a set bag/folder that travels with you for work.

  2. Ensure you get dressed (anything goes, but just not what you slept in!) before you hit the laptop.

  3. Clean up briefly in the morning, just as you would if you were headed out for the day, just do the necessary (make beds, clean up dishes, throw washing in machine and on etc)

  4. Walk to letterbox/walk kids to school/bike around block/go grab a takeaway coffee/post a letter/run an errand all before you come back into your house (just as if you were entering an office) to work.

  5. Have a set time that you start work each day - discipline peeps, that’s all that is.

  6. Water bottle on desk, snacks can be beside you, but don’t keep walking to fridge throughout the morning, you gotta work sista!

  7. Avoid social media, turn notifications off and focus purely on work, don’t get caught scrolling for life, it is not helping you in any way!

  8. Take proper lunch break, call a friend or family member/send or reply to messages, sit down to eat your lunch away from your work desk.

  9. I always head out for a break with my dog to re group, get some sunshine on my face, get the blood pumping and just to remember there is more to the world than just my house! You could set this time up as your daily break and meet a friend at this time too (just for the time allocated though!)

  10. Schedule your days, don’t just send it out into the wind that you have to work - ensure you are actually working. Save errands for evenings, your lunch break or weekends.

  11. Head out for your exercise (be it climbing, biking, gym, swim or run group, or family walk) as usual, schedule this into your diary too, and make it non negotiable.

  12. While out walking I might listen to a podcast relevant to work or make phone calls for work at this time, utilise this time efficiently so you know you are still ‘working’ but you are also rewarding yourself for a disciplined day so far.

  13. Have a finishing time for work for the day, then get to work on the ‘house duties’, and walk away from the zone where you work fro, e.g my office is in my house, I shut the door to it when I am not working, so i don’t feel magnetically pulled back in to do more work.

  14. Discipline, discipline is where it’s at. Treat it like you are going to your ‘office’ and set some expectations of yourself to get your work done before you play…it’s great having flexibility but you need to navigate your week so that you still get all of the work done. Sometimes its a bit of give and take.

Do you have anymore to add? I am sure I have forgotten something important! Please comment with any other awesome ideas you have or feelings you have around working from home alone, so we can support each other.

With that said, it’s time for me to take a brain break…let’s go pooch :-)


It's okay to just say 'NO'


It's okay to just say 'NO'

Sometimes saying "no" can be harder than saying "yes".  

Why is it that we find it so hard to give in to our gut feeling at times? Find it so hard to say "no thanks", or "No, sorry I can't help"? Many of us end up wearing ourselves down, spreading ourselves like butter so finely all over everything - just because we are trying to please others (or maybe it is please ourselves?) It's just not healthy.  Are we better to put ourselves whole heartedly into a few tasks, rather than half heartedly into many.  Not because we choose to be half hearted, but because physically we actually can't give any more!


My whole life (well since my teens) I feel like I have been chasing something. I have no idea what this 'thing' is that I have been chasing. Is it my pride? Is it proof that I can be something 'worthy'? Is it to prove I can be intelligent and make something of myself? Is it a desire to make money? I have no idea, because I can't quite pin point it.

This motto may have been a slight part of my problem.

Being the eldest child of 3, in a solo parent upbringing, and being an Aries - I was always the one keeping everyone in line (some may have described me as just plain bossy!) a right little second mother to my poor younger brothers! Being a Mother now, I fear my own Mother may have been driven up the walls a few times purely because I was bossing everyone around. (However, we wont dwell on that, as of course, I am an angel now)

I was short at high school, I was always trying to grow taller, grow boobs, be one of the first to kiss a boy, first in running races, first in sport, first to get my license. Not because I am overly competitive, but purely because I just wanted it to be done. It's almost like it was a drug, and I was addicted to the "next phase", addicted to challenges (not necessarily scholarly ones, but challenges all the same). I started university at the age of 17, graduating at 20, I headed off on my O.E at 21 and snagged a man to marry at the ripe old age of 24. Always dreaming of an evening setting in a beautiful house with wonderful friends that I could cook for and we could laugh together. I mean, what was that? I should have been dreaming of skinny dipping in the Greek Islands (needless to say, I had already ticked that one off the list. Ahem, sorry Mum!) or I should have just been enjoying each day more for what it was? 

There I was anyway - always thinking ahead, working out business schemes and lifestyle dreams. Sure I was having fun at the same time, I couldn't say I have had a dull day in my life BUT why was I never just content and happy in the moment?

During moments like these I would be thinking about where I can take my business or planning out my day

I bought a house at 24, I had my first child at 25...and so the story goes, 3 great businesses, 2 children, gaining another qualification and the completion of building a house I was staring down the barrel of "what shall I do next?"

So, Yesterday I made one of the biggest decisions in a while... 

An amazing opportunity was basically handed to me on a plate. There was going to be so much hard work involved in getting it up and running - but I love that stuff, as you have read, I thrive on getting something moving! I like to be challenged. This time however, I was a bit tentative as I knew it would pull me out of my family time and into more work time (a work that I wanted to be involved in none the less) it would be demanding, time consuming, insanely rewarding and insanely awesome, BUT something inside of me seems to have grown up. I was hesitating and trying to work out why I was hesitating to take this opportunity by the horns and build another awesome business. I started to ask myself what is it in life that I am now after. What would I say as a Health coach to a client of mine in the same situation?


I decided I would give myself 2 days to hurry up and decide.  I had put a lot of time and effort had into this project already and my heart was becoming rapidly attached.  So, 2 sleepless nights and 15km run later, I still had no answer. "What would you say to a client Jess?"

This then gave me my answer. I had to make the call, and the answer needed to be "No, this just isn't what I need in my life right now".

I tell you what...It is about a million times harder for a woman who is driven to actually say "No", than it is to say "Yes". I know I am speaking to so many of you out there who are the same. It's like you see your life without responsibilities ( down one lane and then you see your real life down the other lane. You can choose to mesh the two, as I currently am and have found balance in my 'work' and 'family life', and am a lot closer than I ever have been to managing to find some 'play' in there as well.

As I told my soon-to-be-business partner that I just couldn't dedicate myself to the project enough, she was totally cool and understood.  I felt terrible to her, like I was letting her down, I was ridden with guilt and self anger and suffered a few heart palpitations as I realised I had just chosen to wander down the Lane of responsibilities.

I had just chosen my children over my career. I never ever ever thought that would happen to me. I was determined to be able to mix it all, to be Jess the warrior in all aspects of life, yet, it's turning out that maybe I am finally growing up and not having to chase everything anymore. Being content may just work for me for the next few precious years while my sons still want to hang out with me.  I'm proud of myself for saying "No" It was so much harder than saying "Yes"! It will also be hard to watch the project go ahead without me, but I feel humble and excited for the people who will be taking it over and I am happy with the decision I made.

So, after making the call to walk away from this amazing project, today - I have ridden a bike with my youngest (yes me on my bike too, not me taking him to a bike park to bike while I checked up on emails on my phone) I read him a new story, I was parent help at school, I swam with each child today while the other one had their swimming lesson, I cooked a beautiful (maybe biased) meal for my family and I started to help my eldest write the book he has been asking me to help him write for months. Today I think I finally found my success. I was chasing something that wasn't going to satisfy me - sure it would be great, but it turns out that what I needed was right in front of me.

So be it just saying "no" as a once off to helping a friend, or saying "no" to making it out to dinner because you are exhausted, or just saying "no" when you feel obliged but exhausted at the thought of saying "Yes" - remember, sometimes it is okay to say "Sorry, today it's a no".


Sure, I still have to work. I will still get up at 6am to finish my work or to exercise because I still need to say "yes" to some work opportunities (and I still need to earn some cold hard ones!) If i do it that way then I can still hangout with my family when they are awake.  How about you?

 Taking a step back from life for a minute and working out what I really needed to be spending some more time on, in or with was the best thing I ever did!

 Life is so short.  On that note, I better fly, I'm off to play Lego.




Being-a-dick with a twist of 'end-of-year-itis'


Being-a-dick with a twist of 'end-of-year-itis'

Both of my kids had ‘end-of-year-itis’ and the wheels were falling off everywhere we went. From anger, hyper-activity, lethargy and just general selective hearing to anxiety, overwhelm, stress and panic, and what I like to call ‘being-a-dick’. I know a few adults who had this too ;-)


Foundations for self care

Foundations for self care

Okay guys, I've been preaching about being kind to yourself for around 5 years's that going for you all?

I feel like a crap parent...

I feel like a crap parent...

I just ran into a Mum this morning who said “I’m a shit Mum”…she’s not…she’s an awesome Mum on every level, who has just spent the last 3 days telling herself she's a shit Mum.

The power of the inner voice huh. It takes over. It eats up your soul.

Anxiety and Panic attacks


Anxiety and Panic attacks

School just called to say my son is in the sick bay and could I please collect him. I know he's not sick today, he was fit as a fiddle when he left for class, I know I am about to deal with an anxiety attack.  As I pull up to school my heart breaks a little. I put my 'big girl' pants on and try to find my 'parenting hat'...


Take Ownership for your state of mind

Take Ownership for your state of mind

This week has been hectic. I seem to have projects all over the go. I am doing my best to stay ‘under-whelmed’ and ‘own-that-sh*t’ but, sometimes it can start to land on my shoulders and bog me down to say the least.

Your story


Your story

I find myself writing a lot of profiles lately. I love it. Any excuse to sit down and have a cuppa with someone. I find everyone interesting, everyone has a story - even if they don’t know it.


Passing our anxiety on to our kids


Passing our anxiety on to our kids

No one ever intentionally shares there anxious thoughts onto their children on purpose (why would you possibly? Your already anxious enough about raising an amazing child!) BUT, sometimes unintentionally your worries can easily land in the kids heads!


Staying on top of things

Staying on top of things

Just a quick vlog with some ideas about cancelling the overwhelm that looms every Sunday night. Planning your week out, looking at it and recognising everything that needs to be done. Prioritising and organising yourself, so that nothing sneaks up and flusters you.

Maybe we are not so open minded


Maybe we are not so open minded

I'm pretty sure most of us like to think of ourselves as 'open minded'. Open to change, open to new ideas, liberal, non bias etc? Well...perhaps not. My eyes were opened a little this morning as I dropped my 6 year old off to school.


Morning Motivation

Morning Motivation

I'll try to keep this brief. 

Don't hit the 'snooze' button if you want to OWN your day!

Handling Your Inner Critic

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Handling Your Inner Critic

It always makes us feel better when we know we are not alone. I am 99% sure I can say that the majority of you also struggle with your 'inner critic' and that it's not just me with a little voice inside my head saying 'mean' things to myself at times, finding ways to convince me to procrastinate or want to take the 'well trodden path' on particular parts of life.

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A sense of belonging

1 Comment

A sense of belonging

Have you ever felt like someone, finally really 'gets' you? Like they actually understand what you mean, without you having to explain yourself a hundred times? A real sense of connection?

Maybe you haven't felt that before, maybe it's something you long for, something you see on TV, movies, or on social media and you just wish you could find your 'person/people'.

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A little on my writing


A little on my writing

Surrounded by such beauty in Wanaka, New Zealand, I am constantly inspired and motivated to write. 

I have been trained through the Writers College of New Zealand and have written for many different resources, companies and individuals.