It’s been a while since I donated my time and I decided that I should.  There have been many different ideas rattling round but I decided I wanted to do something soon.  I submitted to Wanderlust in the City for Auckland and thankfully, they accepted me.  I’ll be helping out at the festival, and this to me is just awesome. I’ve been super psyched about Wanderlust hitting our shores and have thought about how much I want to go.  When I started to think about volunteering, I didn’t immediately think to do it for Wanderlust, because I wanted to attend, and then I realised, wouldn’t it be great to attend by giving? I decided to change what I think I wanted my Wanderlust experience to be, and I want to help the organisers put on a great event, and I want to positively impact attendees too.

I definitely need to think harder about my time this year and how I can make time to volunteer some more this year.

I’m now considering how else I can help out, starting with my hair.  I think I might chop and donate it before the end of this year.  Lastly, I will continue to donate to the organisations that my husband and I have already nominated.



Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga

Here we are in St. Mary's Bay, enjoying SUP yoga. The photo is from Flux Westhaven

Here we are in St. Mary’s Bay, enjoying SUP yoga. The photo is from Flux Westhaven

Last week I tried Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga for the first time and I loved it!

I wanted to try something new on my birthday, because I think its important to spend your birthday that way.

I woke up early on Saturday morning and drove across the Auckland Harbour bridge to get to the class and I was looking forward to it, and was apprehensive too.

I had been wanting to try SUP yoga for a little while and had not had the opportunity, but to be fair, I wouldn’t have taken the opportunity earlier.  I had it in my head that I wasn’t good enough to do it.

I’m not sure what gave me the impression. It wasn’t a sense of self worth that I was missing, but it was the actual physical strength that I thought I lacked.  I had put it into my head I had to be either good at yoga or at paddle boarding or both. I didn’t realize that had gotten in my own way, until I was presented with the opportunity to SUP yoga for my birthday.  I immediately said yes, and then all the excuses came bubbling up to the surface to make me doubt my decision. However, I had already made the decision to commit and I really wanted to do something new and challenging for my birthday.

So I went and I did it and if you forgot what I wrote above, I loved it.

Getting out the anchor point was a bit of a challenge, because I had only paddled boarded once, in March, and didn’t really remember any of the technique and tips. I had already made the decision that while I didn’t want to fall in, that I would be OK if I did and it would contribute to a memorable experience. Sidebar: I definitely prescribe to the idea that if you’re not falling you’re not having fun or pushing yourself; although sometimes I forget that when I take a particularly nasty fall.

Our instructor, Katrina,  had gotten a gauge of how comfortable on paddle boards we were, and also how comfortable we were doing yoga. She lead the session according to our abilities and offered modifications to poses to make them easier or harder, as suited for each individual.

It didn’t take long for me to realize the best way for me to enjoy myself on the board, stay with my breath, focus, listen to my body and find my stability, and stay with it.

The best part of doing it was the fact that I got out of my own way. If I hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t have realized just how much I enjoyed it.

If you are in Auckland, I would highly recommend coming out for a SUP yoga session. Katrina teaches every Wednesday at 6pm and every Saturday at 8am. Contact Flux to book your spot

Wanderlust Auckland

Recently added to the Wanderlust Auckland experience is the one day Yoga in the City event next year in March, held at Western Springs Park. 

My understanding is that there is going to be a big four day Wanderlust in NZ for 2015, and may be in the Taupo region, who knows.

I really enjoy yoga, but attending something like this is a bit out of my comfort zone; so of course, I’m trying to lean into the idea of attending.

At the very least, it couldn’t be a bad experience and at the very best it could be a very fascinating one.

Check out this video from the creators of Wanderlust as they talk about their NYC in the city event.

Listen: David Dallas Falling into place

Not exactly hot off the presses or any sort of an inside scoop. But if you enjoy hip hop, have a listen to David Dallas’ latest release, Falling into place, I’m pretty sure it’s been out for at least two weeks and it’s in heavy rotation at our house.

Since being in Auckland, I’ve had the opportunity to see David Dallas live.  He legitimately seems humble to be on stage and looks like he’s having as much fun as you are.  The first event I saw him at was a summer music festival, on a big stage. The next time I saw him was at his album release last month, held in a skate shop on High St. in the CBD, pretty awesome how intimate the gig was.  The next time we’ll see will likely be in March when he opens for Eminem, we’re pretty excited.

“Dallas doesn’t brag, or boast. He doesn’t say he’ll be that guy to crack the U.S. from the Antipodean hip hop ranks. But he’ll chip away, and he’s made an album that should bring him to a wider fanbase.”

Check out  what else Billboard had to say and listen to the stream of the album.




Play: yoga

My form isn't perfect, but there it is anyway, upward bow, full wheel,  urdhva dhanurasana, whatever you prefer to call it.

My form isn’t perfect, but there it is anyway, upward bow, full wheel, urdhva dhanurasana, whatever you prefer to call it.

I’v tried yoga before, however it was always halfheartedly.  Part of it was because I thought of it as exercise, and the other part – though I didn’t know it at the time – was because I hadn’t found the right style of yoga for me.  Once I had been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) I started to consider yoga being part of my lifestyle.  Since making that lifestyle commitment, I have practiced for months at a time, however I have moved every six months for the last four years, so it still has been very difficult to practice regularly.  Over the last 2 years practicing yoga has been something I’ve really enjoyed and I find it really easy to get to my mat.  Every time I fall out of practice, I think that I missed yoga or wonder when I’ll next start; then when I start again and I’m in class, we start moving through poses and it hits me, just how much I needed it and that feeling reminds me how much I love it.  When we moved to Auckland in December, it was top of my priority list to find a yoga studio and by April I had started.

I’m not an advanced yogi by any stretch of the imagination but I am where I need to be right now in my practice.  It means that I can still be ambitious about where I’d like to take my practice, but I don’t have to beat myself up that I’m not there yet.  It means that I can smile as I fall out of balancing postures that just the day before I was able to hold. It means that I can try a new pose, have zero expectation to nail it first go, and just be excited that I was able to figure out how the heck to get into that position.

Yoga has meant that I’m not being as hard on myself and as a result on others. It also has given me back my confidence with movement and strength after getting my RA, and for that reason alone, I will continue to dedicate 1 out 24 hrs a day at getting on the mat.

Keep perspective, do a stocktake

Last year in December, my husband and I moved up to Auckland, this was a big deal for a number of different reasons. We moved to the North Island, after living in the South Island for six years. We left our family, friends, our jobs, and everything that was familiar to us, but we needed the change.

We were both positive about the move, because we were ready for it and being positive about change makes change feel better. I believe that once you make a decision that you know to be good for you, embrace it.  Sometimes change can feel difficult or scary, or make you feel out of your depth. When I feel like that, I do my best to remember that it was our choice to move, so we should have fun and try to enjoy.

Having the right perspective helped us with our move, because we did feel some of those things, and at times, when things were difficult, as we were trying to establish our routines, flat hunting, navigating our way to the grocery store, dealing with drunk drivers who hit our car (ya that actually happened the first night were in the big city), it was our perspective that kept us from thinking it was a bad decision.

However, it’s been 11 months since we arrived, and last month I was feeling a bit bummed about city living.  I started focusing on the crowds, the traffic, the commute, blah, blah, blah, and I then one day, I heard myself being such a downer and it made me stop and roll my eyes, because I thought it was so lame that I was complaining

So I decided to do a quick stock take of all the awesome since arriving in Auckland, and when I did, I realised that I was even more lame than I thought initially, because I really did have a lot to be grateful for.  I had opportunities to enjoy things living in Auckland, and I was allowing the little things get in the way.

Here’s my stocktake:

  • We live right on the water
  • The summer we had was exceptional
  • I got to go swimming after work at the beach all summer
  • I am lucky enough to take the ferry to work everyday, and it’s so reliable. And once I’m in the city, all I have to do is take a 15 minute walk up the street to get to work
  • I am able to visit any number of cafes across the city and try out any number of awesome dishes
  • We have re-connected with old friends that have moved to Auckland and we have made new friends to share experiences with
  • I have seen so many awesome shows: Circolombia, Group F, Beyonce, Cirque du Soleil, Wicked, Wayne Brady, Russell Peters and we’ve already got tickets to see Jack Johnson and Eminem this summer
  • I’ve attended the Auckland Arts Festival, the Fringe Festival, the Readers & Writers Festival, New Zealand Film Festival, the Lantern Festival
  • My husband met one of his favourite authors, Raymond E. Fiest, and I got to see one of my favourite authors speak, Dr. Libby Weaver
  • Even in the city I have the opportunity to go stand up paddle boarding
  • My yoga studio is only five minutes away from my work
  • My rheumatology specialist is only 15 minutes away from home (previously I had to drive 3 hours to see my specialist)
  • Just an hour drive away from the city and I tried surfing for the first time in seven years
  • We were lucky enough to go on holiday to Queenstown and the Waiarapa
Shredder in Backyard

This picture always cracks me up. It’s our cat, Shredder, in our backyard. Totally looks like he posed for a picture while on holiday. Yet another thing that’s awesome about our move, we live in a nice neighbourhood that is safe for our cat too.

So there you have it, off the top of my head, I could do a stock take and it was better than complaining about the four or five really lame things that were getting me down.

Doing the stock take was a real eye opener for me. I realised that I was letting myself get bummed about something that wasn’t worth feeling bummed about.  It gave me an opportunity to reflect on all that was awesome and it helped reset my frame of mind, so I could appreciate what I had around me.

I do miss the South Island and all the wonderful things to do, the people, our friends and family, but the North Island has been good to both of us too and it’s nice to miss the South Island and look back at our time there with fondness.