55 assholes: your best teachers

What if your best teachers were 55 assholes? In this comical video below the late self-help author, Stuart Wilde expresses his gratitude for assholes and what they have taught him.

“Isn’t it fantastic that free of charge I’m surrounded by 55 assholes, they are going to teach me a lot about myself.”

At some time or other we all have to deal with assaholic personalities; from garden variety jerks to full blown sociopaths there are plenty out there to keep us on our toes. Whilst it’s normal to feel upset by an asshole sometimes the best thing you can do is step back and gain some perspective. What helps me is to just see it for what it is; to call it out, even if that be just in my head.

This person is behaving like an ass. It might have nothing to do with me. They might be very skilled insensitives, highly adapted pricks, super cunning douche bags. They might be addicted to control, power or subtle manipulation. I don’t have to take that crap on. Neither do you. Easier said than done I know.. but maybe this video might help.

..And lets make a pledge to not be assholes ourselves today.


Why allowance can work better than acceptance


Dear brain, grant me the serenity to temporarily ALLOW the things I can’t change … because I wouldn’t want to ACCEPT them, since acceptance might be a self-limiting concept that blocks the potential for those very things to actually become changeable in the future.

Eh.. what the? If things aren’t changeable then how do they change? And why have I butchered and de-spiritualised, the serenity prayer?

Let me explain!

We all know there are some things that at this very moment in time, we might need to accept. Say it’s a cold and gloomy winters day and all you can do is rug up and deal with it. You might prefer the sunshine but for now you just accept that it’s winter.

But what if accepting things keeps them habitually locked in place?

Take for example my friend Lucy who always hated winter. Year after year she would complain about winters (which she said exasperated her depression), and found it hard to just “accept it.” So instead, she allowed it, for a time, until she had the resources to literally move to the desert! Sounds extreme, but now she owns a house that roasts in the heat all year round and says she couldn’t be happier.

I’m not saying we should all consider moving to desert just because we might not like winter, but for Lucy a sense of acceptance might have held her back from this adventurous choice and novel solution to her winter blues!

So why use the word “allow”? Doesn’t this word mean essentially they same thing as accept?

I think there’s a subtle but important difference. Accept has a certain futility attached to it; a sense of permanence. I accept this thing which is likely to hang around for good. Allowance on the other hand has a more temporary feel. I allow myself this chocolate indulgence but as of tomorrow I’m going to reduce sugar. To me allowance isn’t a prediction.. you’re not imprisoned by its fate.

There is a popular therapy used by many psychologists called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy or ACT for short. It can be very helpful for people experiencing mental health challenges and I love how it incorporates mindfulness. On the other hand I’ve noticed many people using ACT as an excuse to not actually push the boundaries of possibility. To get lazy and to devalue desire.

Mindfulness stems from Buddhist philosophy which sees desire as the root of all suffering. But I personally believe desires are the root of motivation and meaning. Of course sometimes they are destructive or we get addicted to certain insatiable thrills but generally speaking I believe a joyful existence is a dynamic dance between desire, action and allowance.

So how about Allowance Commitment Therapy? .. or should I just allow the the word accept? Perhaps I should accept the word “God” in the serenity prayer rather than replacing it with “brain” to keep the atheists happy. My wisdom says brain/God… what’s the difference… the brain is such as mysterious and commanding beast it may as well be worshiped.






The problem with emotional bypassing

spiritual advice

Recently I came across the term “spiritual bypassing,” which is a tendency to bypass negative feelings or life problems by focusing on only positive and uplifting spiritual ideas. For example a person with cancer might focus on getting better, faith healing, going to church and praying with friends rather than contemplating or responding to their illness. The problem with this of course is that they may miss real and practical ways to deal with their problems or else suppress their fears which may resurface in future with greater intensity.

Spirituality aside I think this concept can apply to emotions generally (even for atheists) and for the sake of this post I’ll call this “emotional bypassing”. This is a tendency to bypass negative feelings in attempt to feel better, more positive and rational about life. It’s the habit of “thinking your way out of feeling bad”, to a a degree which might be counter productive.

Everyone thinks their way out of feeling bad at some stage or other. This is a fairly normal response to unwanted experiences. You’ve heard it before, your friend says his job is dull and boring but “it pays the bills and puts food on the table.” However it can be problematic when it is overly relied upon at the expense of just feeling what you feel.

Emotions are there for a reason. They are a guidance system, a message, a signal to reflect or do something differently. Maybe it’s time your mate looked for a new position or is in need of a holiday. Maybe he needs to explore dullness and boredom through mindfulness and learn to accept those feeling as part of the diverse contrast of their day to day lives.

Something I’ve found with myself is that thinking my way out of feeling bad can be superficial and fail to address core beliefs. These core beliefs can be subconscious or hidden and sometimes those beliefs just want the opportunity to be heard and validated before anything can be done about them. I also find emotional bypassing a good excuse to avoid taking action towards my goals. In other words if you ignore your emotions you can remain stuck.

We live in a culture that values a positive attitude. I often see this reflected in employment adds, “looking for positive vibrant sales person with a can-do attitude.”  We make an assumption that being positive is actually a superior way to be. Yet allowing our fears, being careful, cautious and at times negative are some of the qualities that have made civilisations thrive. Take for example farmers preparing for the worst case scenario of a crop failure. Storing up reserves and salting foods for long term preservation. We can see many examples of ancient civilizations who carked it because they got to cocky.

Having said that being cocky has it’s place. The saying fake it till you make it exists for a reason. But it’s all about balance and finding the right middle ground for you.

Also you don’t have to be anything. You can be a chronically miserable person if you want to be. There’s comedian called Doug Stanhope who has some hilarious comedy skits built on his self professed depressive state. “I’m Doug Stanhope, and that’s why I drink” he says, whilst holding a beer and smoking on stage.

There’s no right way to be. It’s just the diversity of life and what you aspire to that matters. Allowance and authenticity are powerful forces for change. It’s ironic how they work.

I would challenge employers to consider different ads. “Looking for an anxious hyper vigilant person to write occupational health and safety policy. Must have the ability to notice potential hazards that could result in workplace accidents.”


Why alternative medicine needs a new name

Alternative, integrative, complementary, holistic and functional medicine. These are just some of terms used to describe new, emerging, understudied, unappreciated or at times dubious therapies which haven’t yet made it into mainstream medical practice. But none of these terms, in my opinion, truly reflect the their potential to become the new “conventional”.

Alternative reeks of rebellion and the fixed position of rejecting convention. Complementary suggests tools that merely assist rather than replace existing protolcols. Integrative and holistic hint at the same conclusion. Functional points to the dysfunction of the mainstream medical model; it risks aggravating the advocates of a tried and tested approach.

So what else is possible? What’s another word that could be used to describe a type of medicine that’s non-conventional but shows great promise? That doesn’t offend the existing experts but lends itself to exploring the cutting edge of discovery? That doesn’t fuel a division between ideologies but rather acts as a powerful catalyst for change? I have an idea but before I get to it lets look at alternative medicine and why it often gets rejected or dismissed.

There are a myriad of reasons why a particular modality, therapy or product might be debunked or ignored by the mainstream. Sometimes these reasons are valid; take for example “caffeine infused underwear for weight loss”.. a product that seems incredibly bogus from the word go. So it won’t come as a surprise if I tell you that it was found to be a complete scam.


Wacoal fined $1.3 million for making false weight loss claims about their “caffeine infused” underwear.

Health scams induce a sense of skepticism in us all. No one wants to waist their time on a product or service that is expensive and doesn’t work. It can be heart breaking or even life threatening for people to get sucked into false claims. That’s why mainstream medicine values its clinical trials and evidence based process because they strive for proof that a particular treatment works.

However, a lack of clinical evidence doesn’t mean a particular treatment or product lacks promise. Bogus scams aside, there is a sea of valuable knowledge in the alternative medicine world and many products or therapies do demonstrate excellent potential.

Much of alternative medicine is really just understudied medicine; systems and modalities that haven’t gone through enough rigorous testing to be accepted into conventional practice. Sometimes this is due to lack of funding or lack of interest in a particular system. Other times there isn’t enough financial incentive to have a particular practice investigated. There can also be issues with the type of evaluation used; some argue that clinical models for pharma drugs are not appropriate to examine other protocols that work in a more complex and synergistic manner.

Despite these barriers it is not uncommon for an alternative idea to feed into conventional practice. In fact natural products have been the most successful source of potential drug leads in all of western medicine’s history. Take for example the anti-malerial drug quinine approved by the United States FDA in 2004, isolated from the bark of Cinchona succirubra.. which had been used for centuries for the treatment of malaria. There are endless examples like this where folk medicines were studied and became catalysts for scientific breakthroughs.

Nevertheless, there tends to be a dismissive attitude from both conventional and alternative practitioners towards each other. Conventional doctors can be incredibly skeptical, closed minded and quick to dismiss the alternative as pseudoscience, quakery, fraud or spiritual woo woo. If it hasn’t been studied, replicated, peer reviewed, published and widely agreed on then it either doesn’t work or is far to risky to recommend, they might say.

Conversely alternative practitioners are highly suspicious, sometimes outright paranoid about conventional medicine, emphasising the terrible risks of side effects, critical of a perceived failure to look at the root cause of illness, and guard their modalities from a potentially corrupt profit driven force . .. and it’s probably true to say that the thirst for profits has corrupted health care, but as we have seen above with our caffeine undies, it happens in all arenas.

I once asked a gastroenterologist if he would collaborate with a gut health nutritionist to help me resolve chronic gut pain I was experiencing. Both refused to communicate with each other. The gastroenterologist said “nutrition is not my area, plus a lot of those people are just out to get your money”.. the nutritionist said “a gastroentrologist can’t solve this, they just prescribe drugs that mask the symptoms.” It was greatly disappointing to hear the brutal dismissal of each others area of expertise. I wondered why they couldn’t simply communicate and collaborate?

This incident reflects how medicine has become specialised and segmented, sometime at the expense of the patient’s health. What would it take for this to change? For better dialogues between specialisations to become more widely adopted. For the alternative and mainstream to communicate better rather than fuelling a sense division? Surely there’s merit in the meeting of both worlds?

Thats why I think alternative medicine should be renamed emerging medicine. No longer stuck in some obscure corner out of sight and out of mind.. emerging medicine has got somewhere to go. It’s counting itself into the future. It’s not dismissing itself but it’s not dismissing the establishment either. It’s open to evaluation, it’s evolving and alive. It knows it could be the next big thing.  It welcomes scientific inquiry as well as keeping the skeptics on their toes. Most importantly it fosters dialogs between the new and old and and a sense of mutual admiration and respect.

Perhaps you can think of a better word to conceptualise this health revolution? Perhaps a word is just a word and not that important at all. I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.





I’m back and the blog title is the same (for now)

Hello lovely people. I’m back in wordpress land and I have kept the blog title the same (for now). Last month I went through a blogging slump where I felt a bit frustrated with the topic of mental health and I thought about morphing this site into something different. But in reality I think I just needed a break to do some personal contemplation, reading, walking, mediation and refocusing. Over the last few weeks I’ve spent less time on the internet and more time reading real books. There’s something refreshing about good old print… but I’m back now surfing the interwebs with renewed interest.

The frustration I felt in relation to the mental health arena will probably come up again no doubt. It extends to my frustration with the entire medical model, which I believe has been corrupted by a profit driven pharmaceutical industry, that ironically doesn’t always have people’s health as it’s top priority. Okay so maybe I sound like a conspiracy theorist or scientology driven anti-psychiatry campaigner but I promise you I’m neither.  No, I don’t belong to any obscure religious groups and there’s no cult agenda behind this blog.

What drives this blog is a quest for truth in the spirit of activism; to explore the inconvenient facts that your physician might not have told you such as:

  • There is a serious lack of research on the long-term outcomes of people taking psychiatric drugs. The few available studies suggest that all the major classes of psychiatric drugs add little additional long-term benefit, and for some patients they may lead to significantly worse long-term outcomes. EEEK!!!
  • The concept of a chemical imbalance in the brain is a theory not scientific fact… it’s never actually been proven… double EEK!!

The quest for mental health is broad, epic, complex and controversial. Brains live in bodies and bodies inhabit the planet. Environmental scientists tell us our planet is sick, and our behaviour unsustainable. It’s not surprising then that much of this is reflected in our individual pathology. But conventional practice keeps selling the dream of a simplistic problem (broken brains) and magic pill solution. And I keep bumping up against people who have this view… and sometimes I get OVER IT!!

But I’m going to keep my chin up and keep asking questions because that’s me. I’m a curious soul with a sensitive BS meter. So what else is possible? How do we go beyond the corporate slogans and cultivate real, authentic, genuine and lasting mental health? How do we thrive in an insane world?

Anxiety is excitement with no place to go

anxiety is excitment

The late Psychologist Fritz Perls, founder of Gestalt therapy, often said “anxiety is excitement with no place to go”. Whilst I don’t believe this quote explains anxiety in its entirety I do believe it points to a type of anxiety that is the result of suppressed or misidentified excitement. I can certainly relate to the feeling of not knowing how to realise my excitement for certain goals and projects and therefore feeling a sense of pent up frustration, which at times can bubble up into an intensity.

I know for myself I need to take action on what excites me. This is key.  Lately I haven’t been doing this nearly enough! I have my reasons, health issues have arisen or life gets in the way but I believe it’s important to keep coming back to what is exciting and either FIND A PLACE TO GO with it, make a plan, or map out a path that’s going to get you there. Easier said than done but still important to remember when navigating through those difficult times.

When I was in my 20s I explored the idea of becoming a Dance Movement Therapist which is a type of body-centred psychotherapy that often incorporates Gestalt type ideas. I did some volunteering for a dance therapy association and took some classes which I really enjoyed. I wasn’t much of a dancer in the traditional sense but enjoyed the creative and improvisational process. I remember in one of the group workshops the facilitator kept singling me out to say “you are a real sensation seeker” … “look people she’s a real sensation seeker.”

At the time I didn’t know what she was on about but later I read that “sensation seeking” from a psych point of view is “the tendency to pursue sensory pleasure and excitement. It’s the trait of people who go after novelty, complexity, and intense sensations… and who are often “easily bored without high levels of stimulation” (Psychology today). Right on the money teach but I have no idea how she could have known this about me based on my movements dancing around like a freestyle idiot. LOL.

I went off the idea of becoming a dance movement therapist because I decided to pursue the music path instead. This is where I felt I had I had more skills/ ability but dance therapy has always been one of those careers that I’ve thought is very much underutilised and under the radar. It’s often an excellent choice for people who find talking therapies limited in their effectiveness. It’s used a lot with dementia patients, people with eating disorders and in drug and alcohol recovery. Perhaps it’s also ideal for real “sensation seekers.”

Sometimes you can talk about “anxiety” until the cows come home but really what you might require is to move, find direction or take action… to let your body talk and to remember your excitements. Below is a wonderful clip from a dance therapist on the topic where she explores the idea of anxiety as excitement in relation to her work with a client. It’s a wonderful clip and I hope you enjoy it!


Rethinking this blog

Hello great ones! This blog has been a bit quiet lately as I’ve been mulling over how to morph it into a theme that continues to inspire me. Initially I was driven to write about holistic mental health, to support the work of Dr Kelly Brogan and other health practitioners who are offering an alternative to the pharma based treatment protocols. I was angry about over prescription of psychiatric medications, the corruption in conventional health care (see talk below) and the lack of awareness about evidence-based alternatives.

However, no matter how compelling the argument and how much evidence the alternative presents… conventional thinking continues and deeply rooted myths persist. Many sheeple are just not willing to challenge the status quo. They believe what they’re  told and nothing is going to convince them otherwise. They are second hand people reciting old thoughtforms. They are not interested in thinking for themselves.

When writing articles for this blog I felt like I was trying to prove my truth.. to convince people of what I’ve always believed intuitively since the word go: that no health issue is isolated, that we are whole beings needing whole health treatment.. that people aren’t just random meat suits with broken biology… there’s a layer of meaning behind many illnesses … that pills are best as bandaids and have serious side effects to consider.. and that they are often not a long term solution. This is a gut feeling/ instinct that I’ve tried to validate by finding practitioners who share my opinion.. and there are many! But at the end of the day I’m done trying to convince! This is my belief system… things I think I know but can’t prove.

Holistic health, alternative health and complementary health.. I’ve been drawn to these areas since I was a teenager. I didn’t have to read evidence or literature to convince me to give them a go. I remember walking into a heathfood store when I was 15 and noticing how it just “felt good in there.” I never needed proof. I always felt at home in this world. I’m drawn to doctors like Kelly Brogan intuitively and don’t care if they get into controversial territory with their protocols. I try things because I feel a pull there. A gut feeling that there’s something relevant for me. I follow my natural curiosity, in an often non-scientific way and I’m 100% okay with this.

So moving forward, I think this blog needs a different theme.. a lighter feel. I’m so bored with the term “mental health” it’s heavy and ironically somewhat depressing in it’s nature. I’m so over even thinking about it. I’m still not sure where I might go though… I need more time to consider what else I can offer here. Bare with me.. I expect to find clarity on this soon!


Calm body clear mind: free online course!

I just noticed Dr Kelly Brogan is offering a free online mental health course where you can learn to how to treat anxiety and depression and leverage your mindset for transformation. Register here.

Dr Brogan is a New York Times bestselling author and psychiatrist who treats mental health with the greater whole body context in mind. She’s known for myth busting and spreading awareness about mental illness.


How this student survived a social media insult fest

Lauren Hellner

Lauren Kirsten Hellner, a student and actor who fundraised over $2k to pay her rent

This is so wrong! I can’t believe she’s raising money for her lousy lifestyle while homeless people are freezing outside…”

This comment caught my attention as I was browsing a facebook group for self-employed women … The post was accompanied by this derogatory news article about a struggling student and emerging actor who had launched a personal fundraising page to help pay her overdue rent.

I was taken aback. Not only by the facebook post itself but by hundreds of negative comments that followed. An onslaught of slander, hate and judgement; the commentators were relentless.

“Outrageous”… “Stupid bitch”.. “selfish and entitled” .. “is that not your classic con artist?”…  the insults went on and on as I scrolled through them in disbelief. Why was this fundraiser so triggering? What was so bad about someone asking for help when experiencing financial hardship? Why wasn’t anyone digging deeper and considering the real reasons why this student might be in trouble?

In the days that followed several other media outlets picked up the story, including a morning TV segment that was far more positive in its approach. But still there were many questions left unanswered. So I decided to reach out to this brave soul myself and find out the truth …and I’m really glad I did because what I discovered was a story of hardship, hope and transformation.

In this Q & A interview below Lauren reveals how she coped with crippling financial stress and social media madness whilst staying true to her dreams.

Can you tell me a bit about yourself; your career, background goals and general interests.

I grew up in Vaucluse in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. I went to the local public schools until year 9 when mum moved me to a private girls school. Sadly she passed away a few days after my 17 birthday and I was pretty much left to fend for myself. My dad was never really part of the picture. He was a violent alcoholic and mum pretty much made him leave when I was 4.

She would spend years switching the lights off and hiding us when he’d try to come kick the front door down while having one of his episodes. The Watsons Bay police station knew him well. He spent many nights there sleeping off a bottle of scotch. In saying that though, dad was also very personable and funny. He had a great sense of humour when sober and every year we were all invited to the annual Watsons Bay police Christmas party as a family.

While he did many amazing things as a human, sailing for Australia in the 1976 Montreal Olympics and traveling the world going to galas and balls with my mum, he was a terrible husband and father. This didn’t bode well for my future relationships with men. I tend to date abusive men also and I have struggled to break free from this type, but I am doing much much better this year (🙄)

Anyway, dad died a year after mum and I have to say I was pretty relieved with his passing. He finally couldn’t hurt me anymore and I considered it a blessing. I finished high school a year after mums death. I didn’t pass my HSC and struggled to find a career for years that I felt I belonged in. I finally fell into retail and worked for some amazing designers selling mid-range to high fashion for about 15 years. This was amazing and I loved working with amazing fabrics and styles but alas I needed something else.

It was around this time that advertising for Open Universities began to appear. Basically anyone could pretty much enrol. So I did. I couldn’t even write an essay for one of my first subjects but still scraped through with a distinction overall for the subject out of sheer determination. I struggled through a BA Communications working full time managing a cloth in store and evenings in a restaurant and also studying full time.

I was exhausted and it was around this time I began to get sick. I was living in a tiny tiny little room on the ground floor of an apartments nestled (ok one metre away) next to an identical apartment block. There was zero natural light and lots and lots of mould. An autoimmune disease kicked in. I was always tired. My nails started flaming off and my scalp was always itchy regardless of whether I washed my hair everyday or every three or five days. The doctor said I had psoriasis and it was a breakdown of my immune system probably due to stress and overworking.

It-was-about-the-time-my (1)I decided to apply for Austudy and qualified so left the stressful management role and worked as a nanny. It was much better and my health improved. It was about the time my health started fading that I questioned what I really wanted to do with my life. I sat and ruminated for a long time and asked the universe to throw me some signs. The questions that came back to me were, ‘what did you always turn to in difficult times as a means of escape?’ And the answer was FILM.

You know that sweeping feeling that washes over you when you have found something you completely and wholeheartedly love without abandon? Yep. That’s what hit me. And hard. I love film. All films. Every film. The process of filming. Watching films and most importantly I started flirting with the idea of being in front of the camera. The thought terrified me. So I began doing some very personal work on building my confidence and working towards starting acting classes.

I eventually enrolled and after a few years started searching for an agent. The process of becoming an actress is equally satisfying and terrifying. All these emotions that simmer quietly under the surface are of course important to use for your work. Becoming an actress has helped me to find my voice in so many other areas of my life. When people say you’ll know when you’ve found your calling, it’s really really true.

You recently appeared on the morning show talking about your GoFund campaign to help pay your rent. Can you tell me a bit about what happened with your rent situation and how you found yourself in financial trouble? Was it related to the housing crisis sweeping across Sydney?

Finding publicity was never my intention when I started the GoFundMe page. I was in such a panic about receiving an eviction notice that a friend said start a GoFundMe. So I did. I thought nothing of it till a few hours later when I started receiving notifications that people were in fact donating. I was not only completely shocked but incredibly humbled that people were actually sharing with me not only their money but their love.

My rental arrears began a few years ago. About the same time I was struggling with juggling two jobs, acting and uni. I began work as a nanny and the family I worked for had a young child with autism. My studies had now taken me in the direction of psychology and as I had an amazing connection with this non-verbal little boy, I began training as a therapist to work with autistic children. So now I was juggling two jobs, training as a therapist and studying full time.

bondi beach

The iconic Bondi Beach, where long term locals are struggling to pay their rent

I let go of my other job to focus solely on therapy work and working toward becoming a shadow at a day care centre for this family. So my hours decreased and the family kept promising more work more work more work but after 6 weeks I was in dire straights. I worked out a payment system with my real estate agent but after experiencing a particularly gruelling relationship I was at rock bottom and emotionally spent.

I slowly got myself back on my feet and was whittling away at the outstanding amount but it wasn’t quick enough. They wanted to increase the rent and in order to do that I had to pay my arrears off first. I had a look around at other suburbs and the rent was the same if not MORE than where I was so I decided to stay and pay what I owed off rather than relocate.

I weighed up relocation costs against what I owed and it was in my best interest to stay where I was even with the rental increase. There is an absolute affordable housing crisis in all major Australian cities and popular suburbs. As travellers and backbackers travel to Australia and pay money to live in unsafe housing conditions in Bondi and the city, in rooms with multiple bunk beds and room mates, landlords pump up the rents. This in turn sees locals and people who have lived in the area their entire lives struggling to not only afford these unreasonable prices but also to find work.

I mean no disrespect to anyone who wants to come and give it a go in Australia but the strain of affordable housing and employment has increased ten fold in the past twenty years with the influx of overseas travelers who want to stay in Australia to live and work.

Rent for the apartment I live in was $180 per week eight years ago. It is now $450pw. That’s an incredible mark up for such a short period of time. I have lived in the apartment for nearly 5 years and have noticed that other apartments in the building are exactly the same size and landlords rent it out with two bunk beds in a one bedroom apartment charging each tenant $150pw for a bed and no contracts. It’s totally illegal and many many landlords are doing this throughout Sydney.

Two bedroom apartments in the city have four or five bunk beds and each tenant is charged $200pw. How are we meant to cope with this? It used to be so affordable to live frugally in Bondi and the eastern suburbs and still afford rent and nice things.

When your GoFund campaign went viral you received some incredibly negative and judgmental commentary. Was this emotionally challenging and did you feel overwhelmed? How did you cope with the negativity on top of the stress of facing eviction?

You kind of question your own values when you have complete strangers telling you what a terrible person you are for asking for help. They were comparing me to kids with Leukaemia who had GoFundMe pages and looking at photos on my social media and thinking I was spending all my money on shoes and designer gear therefore unable to pay my rent. But it just wasn’t the case.

But that’s the nature of social media. You only see snippets of people’s lives and generally only the good parts. They didn’t see the struggle or the skipping meals in order to afford new trainers or work shoes which were generally purchased on sale or layby’ed for months.

Something I have always found is that I work really well amongst chaos. It calms me. So I had this whirlwind of media and attention around me and it made me focus. I looked at my actions and honestly could not find fault with anything I had done. Why does someone have to be homeless before they can ask for help?

Yoga-exercise-and-uniI felt ashamed but not because I was in this situation but because I couldn’t accurately explain what had happened to me to get me to this point. I was embarrassed that I had been in an abusive relationship and it had destroyed me. I was embarrassed that it had gotten me to the point I couldn’t continue with uni and had to take a semester off to get back on my feet and feel safe. But you have to just keep living through the chaos and find the beauty amongst the disease.

Yoga, exercise and uni were essential at this point. Having assignments and reading about something other than what was happening on social media was vital. Learning to separate myself from the broken person people were trying to make me into and remember I was still healing and still moving forward and that change happens in the blink of an eye.

You also have to remember that none of these people slaying into you on social media would have the audacity to say such things in person and that if they did they’d probably be arrested hahhaa.

Do you have any tips for people out there suffering severe rent stress or eviction? How can they better deal with the pressure and uncertainty?

Communicating with your landlord and agent is imperative. Explain your situation and include them in your plans. Ask for help. There are such amazing fundraising platforms out there for legitimate reasons that people are just too afraid to use.

You-dont-need-to-beI wouldn’t change what I did or how I did it but it’s been such an eye opener into human nature both good and bad. You don’t need to be homeless to ask for help. It doesn’t make you any less of a human being asking for help. If anything, it opens you up to receive help and that is an amazing thing. We have all struggled from time to time. It’s the human condition. How we respond to it can help us to grow or it can hurt us. Find the best way for you.


If you’d like to learn more about Lauren you can check out her acting page here











Inspired action vs. reactive lack-based action

create reality
When it comes to taking action, whether it be planning a holiday, looking for a job or starting a blog, I’ve noticed there are two different types. There’s action that feels good… and then there’s action that feels forced, obligatory, heavy and at times almost futile. I call these two types of action 1) inspired action and 2) reactive lack-based action.

Many desires come from a state of lack in that knowing what we don’t want makes it clear to us what we do want. Let’s use the example of learning to sew. Say you can’t find clothes that fit you ideally (lack) and so you decide you’d love to create your own funky pieces.

This desire feels exciting.. There’s some part of you that feels called to this challenge. It feels good to consider learning a new skill… and the thought of having custom made funky and original clothes fills you with joy! So you start to think about how you might achieve this goal of learning to sew. As a first port of call you might do an internet search and look for info, resources and classes on the topic.

Now the internet is a vast place with a trillion possibilities and as such you might find yourself experiencing information overload… with hundreds  of classes in your city… thousands of different types of machines .. and endless conflicting commentary about what brand and models are best/ worst .. you might feel completely unsure where to go next.

So what happens if you find your self getting caught up in negative emotions, like confusion and overwhelm? What happens if the longer your surfing the net the less excited you’re getting because there’s so many options it’s mind boggling? This is where you might tend to react to the negative emotions, and try to take control and “make things happen” to resolve this inner turmoil. You could find yourself frenetically making a shopping do list, enrolling in several online classes and ringing some friends to hound them on what they know.

The problem is, your dominant emotions through all of this are frustration, impatience, and annoyance.. you just want to resolve it already in fact you want to resolve it yesterday! And why are those machines so darn expensive!! Somehow you’re not even feeling exited about the project anymore.

This is lack-based reactive action taking. Action coupled with negative emotions is often not that generative. I know this because I’ve been through the process a million times. It’s like it creates it’s own tornado of negativity and then life reflects that back to you. The shop assistants are assholes, the internet starts playing up, .. you go to call your sewing guru friend but she’s away.

This, in my opinion, often happens when we take cerebral forced anxious action as opposed to inspired action.. So what is inspired action?

This is when the action simply feels “right” and in alignment. There’s often a flow and resonance to it. You still might feel eager or impatient but it’s in the context of a greater excitement that’s pulling you forward. Even if you’re pushing shit uphill and it’s crazy hard work there’s something you’re enjoying about it nonetheless, there’s a sense of trust that you’re on the right track. There’s a knowing that’s hard to articulate in words alone.

Going back to the example of sewing, if you were to approach it in an inspired action way you might still first, surf the net. But when you start to feel info overload you might, take a break and go for a walk. If you’re a spiritual person you might ask the universe “show me a good way to learn to sew” then you might go into allowance mode and trust that you will find a suitable course and that the right actions to take will come to you in due course . You might take it a bit slower because you’re more trusting. You wait for the next urge, inspiration or creative idea to move forward.

On your walk you might see a notice board out the front of the local milk bar… “fashion student offering sewing tutoring $20/ hr”. The pictures look really funky and so you call immediately, what a bargain! The student designer is lovely and her services provide a wonderful opportunity for you to get started with your hobby.  You just saved yourself a lot of internet search time and frustration!

Okay so it doesn’t always come about this easily but you get my drift. I’m sure you would have experienced these type of situations many times before. But if you’re anything like me, you might still need the reminder from time to time to refocus on trust and excitement!! Whilst it’s fabulous to have so many options in life it can also be extremely confusing when you need to make a decision. That’s why we need to keep tuning back in to our true inner beings, our broader goals and our positive overarching emotions.

Below is an vintage Abraham Hicks video exploring a similar concept. I believe it’s important that we keep returning our minds back to what excites us.. to keep that our dominant creative force. And sometimes when we do this the particulars can just work themselves out or we can take inspired action when it’s required.. but not in a forced and counter productive manner.

As Abe puts it “You blast that energy out in advance and you can create a visual, an absolute reality, that begins to vibrate of it’s own accord because you’ve given life to it, and then it vibrates and reaches out and actually beckons the action right out of you.” Abraham Hicks.