The Hard Truth on What Causes Burnout

No one leads their professional life with the aim of burning out. So how does burnout happen? What motivates us to push beyond our boundaries? Why do we persist with unhealthy behavior and attitudes when we are clearly on a crash course towards burnout? For most, the...

Fire, Blame, and How to Cope with National Tragedy

A couple of weeks ago, I was scheduled to catch up with my friend James for a drink. He’s originally from Canada but forty years in Australia have worn the edges off of his accent. It was a Friday, and the forecast was 45 degrees Celsius. We were going to meet about...

Have Opinions? I Need You!

About a month ago, over lunch at a local seafood spot on the Portuguese coast, I decided to write a book about burnout. “That’s such a great idea,” my partner agreed as he took a sip of Sagres.  I was kind of surprised he didn’t blurt out “FINALLY”, as he’s been...

Why I love therapy

We get a lawyer to do our legal stuff, a mechanic to fix our car, a hairdresser to tame our locks, an accountant to take care of our taxes. Why is there still a stigma around therapy?  I’m not ashamed to say that I’ve been in therapy four times. And I think it’s...

Coping with unexpected change

About three weeks ago, I was packing my possessions, excited to be heading for the east coast and what felt like myriad new opportunities to move forward with my life. After a few setbacks and side swipes this year, I was 1000% ready to be moving into a new phase. The...
The Hard Truth on What Causes Burnout

The Hard Truth on What Causes Burnout

No one leads their professional life with the aim of burning out. So how does burnout happen? What motivates us to push beyond our boundaries? Why do we persist with unhealthy behavior and attitudes when we are clearly on a crash course towards burnout? For most, the...

Fire, Blame, and How to Cope with National Tragedy

Fire, Blame, and How to Cope with National Tragedy

A couple of weeks ago, I was scheduled to catch up with my friend James for a drink. He’s originally from Canada but forty years in Australia have worn the edges off of his accent. It was a Friday, and the forecast was 45 degrees Celsius. We were going to meet about...

Have Opinions? I Need You!

Have Opinions? I Need You!

About a month ago, over lunch at a local seafood spot on the Portuguese coast, I decided to write a book about burnout. “That’s such a great idea,” my partner agreed as he took a sip of Sagres.  I was kind of surprised he didn’t blurt out “FINALLY”, as he’s been...

Why I love therapy

Why I love therapy

We get a lawyer to do our legal stuff, a mechanic to fix our car, a hairdresser to tame our locks, an accountant to take care of our taxes. Why is there still a stigma around therapy?  I’m not ashamed to say that I’ve been in therapy four times. And I think it’s...

Coping with unexpected change

Coping with unexpected change

About three weeks ago, I was packing my possessions, excited to be heading for the east coast and what felt like myriad new opportunities to move forward with my life. After a few setbacks and side swipes this year, I was 1000% ready to be moving into a new phase. The...

How (and why) I stealth visit

How (and why) I stealth visit

Sometimes you have to risk hurting others to look after yourself. Visiting places I’ve previously lived, so that I’m nourished rather than exhausted, involves being selective. Whether it’s Amsterdam, Adelaide, Agadir or Aljezur, I used to try hard to catch up with...

A near-death experience

A near-death experience

I nearly died yesterday, and something within me has shifted. Driving on a four-lane Spanish highway at about 8am, tunes cranking, I was cruising behind a large truck carrying earthmoving equipment. When I was about to shift into the left lane to overtake it, the...

Why I love being outside

Why I love being outside

After almost a year away, I’m back in Europe. It’s something of a homecoming, as I lived here for more than 15 years. And with all the crisscrossing roadtripping I did from the north of the Netherlands to the southern tips of Spain and Portugal, the whole continent...

Vipassana II diaries

Vipassana II diaries

About a month ago I realized time was ripe for me to finally undertake my second ten-day Vipassana meditation course. I completed my first one in Portugal almost 3 years ago, and the experience was transformative – even though I slacked off on my meditation practice...

3 tips for coping

3 tips for coping

As humans, we tend to believe that we exercise a high level of control over our lives. We make all kinds of choices, about work, health, education, family, what Netflix series we watch, and we are chuffed when these choices have the consequences we desire. It gives us...

Wintertime musings

Wintertime musings

For a few years I lived an endless summer – June-July-August in the northern hemisphere, Christmas and New Years down south. My wardrobe dwindled to dresses, bikinis, sunnies and Havaianas. It was as awesome as it sounds. This year, after winter in California I’m...

Lessons from roadtripping

Lessons from roadtripping

“Life is a highway”. Perhaps that’s why I love roadtrips so much – they are a literal expression of the existential journey we are on. We pass through places or phases, things go wrong and we fix them, sometimes we are elated and sometimes we feel (or actually...

Lessons from Woolly the Mammoth

Lessons from Woolly the Mammoth

At Mammoth Mountain ski resort, there is an actual mammoth on the slopes. Ok technically it’s a person who skis around dressed as a woolly mammoth. Appropriately named “Woolly”, every time I see this critter, I get excited in a way that makes me feel like a little...

Why you deserve a great boss

Why you deserve a great boss

Have you noticed how many LinkedIn posts are about how leaders should treat employees? It’s often the classic Richard Branson quote about putting employees first, or a similar one from Steve Jobs. Their proven logic is that if employees are happy, customers will be...

4 Tips for Handling New Situations

4 Tips for Handling New Situations

The new year is about fresh starts and new opportunities. It’s a time of possibilities and potential. But new situations can be stressful. A new school or workplace, a new city or even country: we have all experienced new situations that stressed us out. With four...

One key question every life coach asks

One key question every life coach asks

What would you do if money was no object? What comes so naturally and brings you such fulfilment that you wouldn’t need money to do it? These are classic coaching questions, aimed at establishing what makes you come alive, with a view to goal setting for your career...

How to Find your Passion

How to Find your Passion

We associate the word ‘passion’ with something fiery, a pursuit that comes so naturally you can’t fight it. Like, "if you find your passion you’ll never have to work another day in your life". Unfortunately, this is a big fat lie. Passion derives from the latin word...

Expand your comfort zone(s)

Expand your comfort zone(s)

Sometimes I push myself physically, sometimes mentally. Yesterday I did both at once: I climbed the Ha’ikū stairs.  The stairs, also known as the Pali Ladder or the Stairway to Heaven, were constructed by the US Navy during the Second World War for access to a secret...

5 lessons from knee surgery

5 lessons from knee surgery

When I saw the sunny, calm forecast at Mammoth Mountain, I couldn’t help it. Saturday afternoon, I jumped in the car and buzzed up to one of my favorite places in the world – my in-laws’ cabin in Mammoth Lakes. And on Sunday, less than 9 months after knee...

Why home is important

Why home is important

I’m settling into a home for the first time in more than two years. After spending most of my time since 2016 living out of a suitcase, I am tapping into a new, deeply domesticated vibe. And loving it. Scouring Craigslist ads for the right lamp, visits to IKEA (3...

How to set some 2019 goals

How to set some 2019 goals

The stores are full of Christmas tat, which can only mean one thing – it’s almost time for another new year. Before things start to really ramp up with festive parties and panicked gift-purchasing (which is the only way I purchase gifts), I am taking time to start...

Goodbye Amsterdam

Goodbye Amsterdam

Amsterdam has been a part of my life since I was a 16-year-old student arriving for a year’s exchange. Though I was to live on a dairy farm 50km to the north, the first week was spent with four other Aussies on induction in Amsterdam’s inner-west. Immediately, I was...

Emerging stronger

Emerging stronger

In flight from Bordeaux to Paris, and after a hectic couple of months in my homeland and now on the continent, I’m calm and focused again. A brief catch up: My 94-year-old father had a series of falls and was diagnosed with dementia He was hospitalized, and after 3...

Even life coaches get the blues

Even life coaches get the blues

Ever realized that you’ve gone past your reserves and burned your energy down to less than nothing? I’m right there. I am exhausted, emotional and angry. There are a number of ways I usually find grounding in order not to feel out of balance in this way. Eating right....

Learning in a Relationship

Learning in a Relationship

After a long relationship ended, I took time off from the whole concept and learned one valuable if annoying fact about myself: I’m great at being single. Freedom and autonomy are two of my favorite things, so being in a serious relationship again is proving...

Mustang Sally now baby

Mustang Sally now baby

There are decisions we make in our lives that are so defining, we have no clue when we make them just how much they will shape our future. It’s not just what we actively choose to do, but – sometimes even more powerfully – what we choose not to do. The mediocre job we...

Why I loved the Caucasus

Why I loved the Caucasus

I just returned from an amazing trip to the countries of the Caucasus: Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia. Snuggled between mountains and seas, this small area made a huge impression on my heart. There was a bunch of surprises: - it is way easier than we expected....

Turn envy into a positive

Turn envy into a positive

After quitting law, I went for celebratory drinks with a friend. Discussing plans for my future, I searched for the words to explain how I wanted my life to change. “I want to build a life that, if I overheard someone at the pub describing it, I would be Kermit-green...

The decision to not have kids

The decision to not have kids

This weekend, while my boyfriend is in Bali, I spent a couple of days with his kids. His daughters are aged 9 1/2 and almost 12, and are totally awesome. Smart, funny, kind, adventurous, easy going. It’s a pleasure being with them, and being a part of their lives...

6 key steps to moving overseas successfully

6 key steps to moving overseas successfully

Moving overseas is an exciting and rewarding experience – but also challenging (which is what makes it so rewarding!). I’ve moved internationally a bunch of times and am in the process of moving to my fourth continent right now. So, what are the key things to do, to...

The biggest decisions

The biggest decisions

When I’m contemplating doing something that scares me and I need a reminder of how taking risks can actually be rewarding and safe, I ask two questions: What are the most important decisions you have made in your life? Stuck? Here are a few of mine, for inspo. -...

Almost 40

Almost 40

Tomorrow I turn 40, and I don’t give a shit. I mean it. I didn’t care about turning 30 or 35, and so far almost-40 feels fine. However, experience has taught me that I can be a master of self-deception. I’ve been known to be nonchalant in the lead up to Valentine’s...

Why I’m a happy gym bunny again

Why I’m a happy gym bunny again

After I quit as a lawyer, I worked as a receptionist at a small Amsterdam gym (for context: everything in Amsterdam is small, especially compared to California). It was awesome: the pay was low but it got me socializing, teaching yoga, and hanging with rad, inspiring...

What I’m learning from recovery

What I’m learning from recovery

With knee surgery now a couple of weeks behind me, I’m starting to see progress – this morning I did my first (sort of) sun salutation in more than a month. This kind of experience makes my ego soar, as it sniffs the possibility of a return to full activity. But it...

The upside of knee surgery

The upside of knee surgery

A few weeks ago, I blogged about how I rely on yoga and running for my identity. I lightheartedly mused on how one day I’d like to learn how to find that sense of grounding without needing physical activity, assuming that would be in my distant, heavily-wrinkled...

My Vipassana story

My Vipassana story

In 2016, I did a 10-day Vipassana meditation course in the south of Portugal. 10 days of total silence, minimal meals, no technology, exercise, yoga or books, and more than 12 hours of meditation per day. The experience had such a profound effect that I’ve already...

Uninspirational quotes

Uninspirational quotes

Inspirational quotes are huge on social media. Dropped like they’re hot on Instie by influencers such as life coaches, celebrities, sportspeople, and my mate’s 79-year-old mum. Lately, however, I’ve found that many of these quotes – ostensibly intended to inspire –...

How gratitude can hold you back

How gratitude can hold you back

I’m all for gratitude – despite my stomach turning every time I see it hashtagged. It feels a little #overdone. But as beautiful and important as gratitude is, sometimes we hide behind ‘gratitude’ as an excuse for not changing our lives. Take for example, a beloved...

How we express who we truly are

How we express who we truly are

Hanging out with a lot of Americans recently, my Australian accent is going through a weird renaissance. Living in Europe and Northern Africa, it became buried under an array of other influences: the beautifully intoned English of non-native speaking French,...

Who are your role models

Who are your role models

One of my favorite questions, during a long road trip or waiting for the food to arrive, is “what are your top five movies?” It’s a fun (if at times disturbing) way to get a snapshot of someone’s tastes and influences. Another one, which I use in coaching but have...

How to have brilliant conversations

How to have brilliant conversations

I love excellent conversations: those delightful exchanges from which I learn, grow or evolve. It doesn’t mean every conversation has to be dazzlingly insightful, about unicorns or existentialism. But it does mean both parties taking the effort to fully participate....

Finding confidence on the precipice

Finding confidence on the precipice

Two weeks into my skiing career, and I’m addicted. My second visit to Mammoth was super rad. The great thing about starting a new hobby is the swift progression you can make. My ego is loving this shit! Soon I’ll plateau, but right now I’m progressing in leaps and...

Why travel teaches

Why travel teaches

Leaving a place I love prompts me to suddenly stop taking the world for granted. When I'm in the flow of daily life I tend to forget that everything will return to dust, probably much sooner than I want it to. I'm too busy doing, to be. Then, I find myself departing...

My rookie year

My rookie year

In October 2016, I decided to ping over to Peniche, Portugal and finally attend my first professional surf event after watching online for years. There, on the beach, I met a bloke (with some assistance from a friend, thanks Liz!). Aside from being fun and hot, this...

Evolving at Christmas

Evolving at Christmas

Some people adore Christmas; some absolutely loathe it. Personally, my feelings on the topic are mixed. I love tinsel, carols, and the chance to share yummy food with people I love. There is nothing wrong with the holidays, per se. And yet Christmastime is also laden...

Why community is important

Why community is important

To me, community is the sense of connection and safety I experience in the world. It is formed partly by environment, but primarily by people in my life. Right now, my community is spread across the planet like Vegemite on toast, including Australia, Rio de Janeiro,...