Mastering the Mind – Overcoming my Fear of Flying

I never used to be scared of flying in the slightest.

My first flight was when I was 18 to visit my boyfriend who worked on the mines. My maiden voyage was spent in the front seat of a Skipper charter plane to Granny Smith mine site. I sat at the front seat squealing with delight and excitement as the plane took off. Meanwhile the 25 men on the flight, commuting to work, all rolled their eyes with disdain. No-one was ready to share my enthusiasm at 5:45 that morning.

The flights that followed became very regular, I ended up working at that same mine site only a year later taking that same route to work every two weeks. After a few months of working there I took another job, this time on a small mine site where I flew to work in a 4 seater plane to work. That plane was no more than a car with wings, in the sky. This has to be, quite possibly, one of the scarier ways to fly, especially with even the slightest bit of turbulence. Sometimes we spent the flight white knuckling it for the whole 1 hr and 45 minutes.

I am a seasoned traveller. I have flown from London to Perth alone without a worry in the world.

Flash forward to 2012, when my first ever panic attack changed my life forever. Following the full blown attack that hit me from nowhere one December afternoon I began to get very claustrophobic. Places that never held any fear for me started to make me very afraid; but the two that topped the list was shopping centres and planes. Basically, my fear was of having another panic attack in that space and feeling trapped. Whenever I got my panic attacks I felt as if I need to run, far, far away. I desperately needed fresh air and I needed to be as far away as possible from the situation I found myself in. My flight or fight response was on overdrive. Slowly, I worked on my shopping centre fear as I faced it more regularly. However, the plane fear was still there. The recent plane crashes and disappearances only compounded my anxiety. I hear the door lock and the captain say ‘prepare for take off’ and my body and mind are off… the heart is racing, my armpits sweating and my brain is spouting ridiculous scenarios in my head:

‘what if I have a panic attack and rush over there and open the door’

‘what if I have a heart attack and die’

‘what if the plane crashes’

‘what if I completely lose my mind’

‘what if…. what if…. what if…. what if….’

In the recent trips I have taken I have always self medicated whether it be valium or booze. One of the goals of going away to work on my yoga teacher training was to finally master the mind, to release the grips that anxiety had over me. I flew home from Bali yesterday and much to my disappointment, it all resurfaced. I found myself in the same damn position. My heart started racing and my mind was becoming out of control. I reached to my handbag in defeat. I hadn’t had anything to drink but I had my one spare valium that I carry at all times in case of emergency. Instead of taking that valium, I looked down to my recently inked foot… ‘Breathe’ my tattoo whispered to me. ‘Breathe’.


I closed my eyes and started taking deep breaths. I followed my variation of a meditation that we learned at our teacher training.

So Hum Meditation

Inhale your breath rises from pelvis to throat.

Exhale your breath rises from throat to pelvis.

Imagine your breath like the tide of the ocean.

The tide rising on inhale, falling on exhale.

Inhale pelvis to throat, exhale throat to pelvis.

Now that you have established this flow of breath, listen to the words:

‘So’ on the inhale.

‘Hum’ on the exhale.

‘So’ on the rising tide. 

‘Hum’ on the falling tide.

I followed this for ten minutes. My fear and anxiety were gone. I felt calm and composed, ready for my flight. I have realised fear will alway be there. Your ego will always be there to scare you with its ‘what ifs’ but you don’t have to listen to it. Listen instead to your breath, your breath is your anchor. It will look after you, and lead you to the truth. The truth is you are going to be ok. The truth is; fear is a waste of your imagination. Breathe, always remember to come back to your breath. Onward and Upward Bound xo

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Don’t cry because its over, smile because it happened… (Dr Seuss)

Hello from Bali, for the last time… well of course not the last time. But for a little while at least.

Tomorrow marks the last day in this adventure.

It’s time to go home and see my pup, my family, my friends, return to my life but not as I knew it.


I miss gazing into this little guy’s eyes..

I am really looking forward to it. Earlier in the trip there was not one part of me that even wanted to think about ever returning home but I think extending my trip was the best thing I could have done. I am starting to miss creature comforts of home; you know the important stuff like unlimited vegemite at my disposal, showering with my mouth wide open, cooking myself a delicious home cooked meal and full access to my wardrobe (ahem… ahamkara! #yogajokes).

I can’t wait to wake up and practice yoga in the backyard while my dog sits by my side; to give my mum the biggest tightest cuddle; to laugh and play with my cheeky nephew; to see my sister’s smiling face; to meet my girlfriends and walk along the Perth coastline watching our glorious sunsets; to see how much my best friend’s baby belly has grown and give it a big rub; to have a wine (or 3) with my other best girlfriend; to dive into the icy cold waters of our beaches and feel completely refreshed.


I am excited to get all my girlfriends together and start a yoga class with them, to practice everything I have learned and teach them the amazing things you can learn about life and dealing with challenges just by visiting your mat and honouring yourself.

I am going home with a bagful of tricks to deal with the hard times, a memory full to the brink of beautiful moments, a body reenergised and ready for action, and a heart full of love from the amazing friendships I made along the way. I am ready for the next chapter and whatever that might be.


my gorgeous fellow yogis

I still don’t know the grand plan when I return. I just have a list of intentions:

  • continue with my yoga & meditation practice
  • share what I have learned with others
  • keep my creative juices flowing
  • not to be hard on myself; wherever I am is where I am and that is ok
  • trust that no matter what, everything is going to be amazing

Whatever comes after that, well only time will tell!

Onward Bound xo


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The Demise of the Vegan Yogi

Damn it! I have gone about this all wrong.

Note to self for the future and all others that are considering heading off overseas for training, retreat or detox. Follow this valuable advice..

Holiday FIRST, Detox SECOND.

Three weeks of solid daily yoga practice combined with tropical weather and vegan food does the most amazing things for your body and skin. I was literally radiating at the end of the training; my skin was glowing and my body was looking better than it had in years. I was strong, healthy, fit, and glowing from the inside out.

The first few days after the teacher training I kept up my yoga and vegetarian eating styles really , really well. Then the cracks started to appear.

I think it was maybe about a week after we completed it that I had my first reunion with meat in 5 weeks, in the form of a hamburger. I had sat there at dinner with my husband and girlfriends on previous nights ordering my vegetarian dishes green (literally) with envy at the delicious burgers that were coming to the table. I could do this, it was fine, I didn’t even miss meat… Who was I fooling?!

On the night before it all went pear shaped (pun city here!), I laid awake thinking of those burgers. It was all I could think about, my body ached for meat, my dreams were filled with burgers, beautiful… beautiful burgers…

So the following night I made it my mission to get myself the most delicious burger, and it was a meal dreams are made of. How had I survived so long without this?!

The next night I still hadn’t sated this hunger for meat, so I went to another restaurant for another burger… and then the next night, and then the next night…


My girlfriend and I had to laugh as we sampled the burger on the menu at every restaurant in Canggu over the next few nights, Deus, Betelnut, Echo Beach, Lacalita. We certainly weren’t fitting the mould of the authentic vegan yogis, in fact we were failing miserably at it.


The DELICIOUS burger @ Lacaliti

Needless to say, my banging yoga bod is a distant memory. Instead I am rocking a noticeable burger belly…

Ahhh who runs away to yoga camp and comes back to tighter jeans? Yes that’s me, I do!

Don’t even get me started on the boozin’.. With no work to wake up to, and your only priority every day being to pick where you watch the sunset. Well it gets pretty hard to knock back the happy hour specials…


Aint that the truth!

So if there is one thing you take away from my blog it’s this; always finish with the detox, ALWAYS finish with the detox.

Onward Bound xo

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Isn’t it Ironic

Yesterday I hit an emotional wall. I had been feeling unwell and a little bit homesick.

I have no idea where it came from but it hit me like a freight train.

Suddenly I was convinced that I couldn’t move away from home, the idea was insanity! What had I been thinking?

I read a heartbreaking article about Rachel Brathen (Yoga Girl) and the death of her dog, who was her baby. I have a dog that I adore. He has been my best friend and seen me through so many highs and lows over the past 10 years. He is my partner in crime. When life served me challenges that almost broke me he was the one that laid there spooning me while I sobbed into his coat. He has been the one who makes me smile and laugh with his big brown eyes that are filled with so many words and so much love. He is the one that follows me to every end of the house even with his old rickety hips just because he can’t bear to be anywhere but right by my side at all times. How could I even think of leaving him?!  What kind of mother am I?! …

What kind of mother will I be…

Ok, if I am being totally honest I know exactly where it came from. I had just got my period after it was suspiciously overdue.

I had allowed myself to start to get excited. Its funny how the mind plays you. Here I was fresh from my yoga teacher training, excited and ready to start moving on and in a different direction. I hadn’t abandoned my dreams of having a baby, but I was ready to focus my thoughts and attention on new dreams and desires. I had accepted that it was time to put that on the back burner for a while.

Then nothing, no period. FOR A FEW DAYS. I am never late.

The fantasy started to play out perfectly in my mind.

Well of course, this is exactly how it happens. I quit my job, pursued my yoga dream, spent the past couple of months playing in the ocean and sun, then I reunited with my husband after weeks apart, drinking cocktails, watching sunsets, planning our new life overseas and making some sweet sweet love. This is when you do fall pregnant and now I was. All I needed to do was RELAX, just like everyone said. What a cliche! What a beautiful cliche.

I was going to return to Australia; tanned, happy, relaxed and pregnant.

One of my closest friends is 4 months pregnant so we would be pregnant together. It was perfect. Would I tell her by text? No I would probably take her out for a cuppa. To a coffee shop because we wouldn’t be drinking wine, order tea because we wouldn’t be drinking coffee.

I am the first to admit that I let my imagination get ridiculously out of control. I also realise I probably sound completely insane. After 2 1/2 years I should know better than that.

Some things are too good to be true and unfortunately that was one of them.

It really hurts sometimes. I feel like having a baby will never, ever happen for me. At times I break into a thousand little pieces and I am unsure if I remember how to pick myself up or how to feel happy again.

I remind myself that this is why I don’t let myself believe it could happen, because it hurts too much when it doesn’t. I feel hopeless. I feel stupid. I feel like my body doesn’t work properly, and I can’t do the one thing that comes naturally to being a woman.

Then I have a big cry, get a good night’s sleep and when I wake up and realise I actually haven’t lost anything. Life is still beautiful and there are so many things to feel gratitude for, and I will be ok.

The time will happen when its right.


Onward Bound xo

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Never Give Up, but Always Let Go

For the past few weeks I have seriously been thinking that its time to move away from home and live abroad for 6 months or more. I feel so overwhelmed all the time by things I have to do, places I have to be, people I need to see at home. It is all self inflicted and stems from me constantly overcommitting to things and subsequently stressing out when I have too many plans in my diary. As I grow older and wiser I am realising that I need time alone and occasional isolation to recharge my batteries. I need to honour my need for downtime.

This trip was a challenge for me to just be, not fill my schedule with a million things to see and do. To just be in the moment, enjoy the silence, reconnect with myself and relax.

It was only meant to be a 6 week trip.

It started with a week in Ubud immersing myself in the culture and spirituality to prepare myself mentally and physically for my yoga teacher training.  I attended varying classes and workshops at the Yoga Barn and Radiantly Alive. I am so glad I chose to do this as I managed to start shutting down the emotional and mental connection to my ties at home and started the journey inwards. I also set myself a challenge to not eat any meat or drink any alcohol in the lead up and during the training. By the time I caught the boat to Gili Meno I was completely ready to let my guard down and give myself completely to whatever I might experience during the training.

I spent 3 weeks on Gili Meno living and breathing yoga. This was the most transformational and amazing experience I have ever had and I shared it with 18 other amazing human beings who have become like a family to me. I will write more about the teacher training one day as I don’t believe I have digested everything fully and want to write about it more once I have had longer to reflect on it. Basically along with learning the asanas, pranayama, meditation and other limbs of yoga I spent a lot of time cleaning and clearing the rubbish I store inside. It was hard, and sometimes it broke me but the calm and peace I felt on the other side was nothing short of magical.

Halfway through the teacher training I called my husband in tears, he had to change my ticket and extend my trip. I NEVER, ever wanted to come home (I have the tendency to be slightly dramatic)… but in the interim I was definitely seeing out the full 60 day visa and staying in Indonesia. I was in no way ready to come home and go back to my old life. I needed more time on this journey, to continue working on myself and being free from the restraints and the commitments at home. Luckily I quit my job to come here so apart from my husband and dog, I was free to do as my heart desired.

Following my Gili adventure my husband and I reunited in Seminyak. It was amazing to see him after almost a month apart. We met 15 years ago and have been together for the majority of that time, minus a couple of brief interludes. I married him 2 1/2 years ago (in Bali) and this was definitely the longest time we had spent apart for years. I couldn’t wait to share everything I had learned and experienced while I was away. There were so many times that I wished he had been there too because the knowledge I learned about life was indescribable and I wanted him to have shared it with me.

The night we returned to Bali a few girls from the course and I hit the cocktail bars in Seminyak, my first drink in months. My new family got to meet my old family, and it was a really special night. My husband and I then moved to staying in a little Air BnB villa on the outskirts of Ubud. We checked out the Bali Spirit Festival and did lots of exploring on the scooter.  We scootered the mountains of Ubud, the streets, the dirt tracks… Sanur to Canggu, every day a different ride to somewhere. Then we decided to move to Canggu to see out the rest of the trip. At home, we have lived with other people for the majority of the past 2 1/2 years so it has been nice to spend time alone together, and enjoy each others company again.

Since being in Canggu we have been checking out rentals as we are seriously considering moving over here. It has been a struggle at home over the past couple of years. A lot of our closest friends have been successfully having families and settling into that lifestyle. Their happiness and joy is wonderful to see and their kids are beautiful. However, it’s hard to be around that at the moment. I want a family more than words, its all I ever have known I have wanted. I had a tumultuous childhood and I used to dream of the day that I would have a happy, safe and secure family of my own. I remember looking at my husband when I was only 18 and saying, ‘that boy will one day be the father of my children’.

That being said, IVF seems to be our only option and I found the whole process too heartbreaking, challenging and expensive. It takes a strength that I am not sure I have, not again, definitely not yet. Plus I would prefer to look back on my 30s and say that I explored the world, challenged myself with positive experiences and outcomes, honoured myself and my feelings, and most of all enjoyed life. You only get one life and I don’t believe my life was meant to be spent in hospitals, having needles, not having sex with my husband, being in constantly obsessed with what I am putting in my body, fighting and crying, feeling lost, alone, and miserable.

No, that is not the life for me. I am a happy positive person. I enjoy laughter, sunshine, salt water and loving people completely without resentment. So its time to be happy right now, always focusing on the moment and the circumstances that I find myself in. Not wishing my life away on the one dream that can’t be my reality, right now.

Deep down I desperately hope that through following my dreams and desires that my ultimate one will come into fruition. If it doesn’t, I hope that these experiences teach me enough to realise that I can be happy and complete without my own children.

Until then, maybe its time to explore new things, make myself a new reality that involves sunshine, yoga, salt water and loving my husband completely.

Onward bound xo


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OCD – Obsessive Coffee Disorder

I like coffee, I love coffee… I would sell my soul for coffee. Yep definitely took it too far there but I do really enjoy going out for a decent cuppa. I am a serious coffee snob and my heart breaks a little when I get a bad one. I don’t drink a lot of coffee, it is definitely quality over quantity. I think I travel sometimes just to try out different coffee shops. It actually would be no word of a lie to tell you that shortly after checking into any hotel next on the list is a skim through trip advisor to suss out where I am taking my first coffee stop.


Having been travelling to Bali for the past 7 or so years I have to say every time I come here the coffee gets better and better, with so many amazing little coffee shops opening up over the place. Canggu is the final stop on my two month Indonesia adventure and I have definitely saved the best for last. This place knows its coffee!

Here is a list of some of the the most impressive locations I managed to sniff out in the past few weeks in my travels:

Anomali Coffee, Ubud

Tasty coffee, always busy.

Cafe Seminan, Ubud

Good coffee, although the little platter it gets served on is novel, after about the 2nd or 3rd visit it loses the excitement and ends up taking up too much room on the table. Cool vibe here, a hangout for lots of yogis, entrepeneurs, and writers.


Freak Cafe, Ubud

This place gets a lot of good reviews from what I have seen and they definitely pack some caffeine into their coffee. Halfway through my coffee I had to do a mad dash to the bathroom, it was far too strong for me! If you like yourself a strong coffee.. this place is for you.

Revolver Coffee, Seminyak

Seriously delicious coffee. It is an awesome dark hipster joint with a wicked vibe. Love it.

Betelnut Cafe, Canggu

This is the place to be in Canggu. The coffee is great, and they have Vegemite. At this stage of my trip that is a definite drawcard.


Hungry Bird, Canggu

This coffee is the bomb. It is always bumping here and the staff are really friendly. They do the most epic little pictures in their coffees.


Milk & Madu, Canggu

They use the aforementioned revolver coffee. This cafe has an awesome layout and its always really busy. They have a rewards system if you are sticking around long enough (which everyone in Canggu seems to be). Side note: their chia pudding will blow your mind.

So thats some of the fruits of my labour, coffee touring around Bali. Twelve more days to go and I am really looking forward to trying some other little quaint coffee shops I have seen on my scooter travels. They are going to be pretty hard to beat!

Onward bound xo

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Wind beneath my Wings

My sister is 11 months and 13 days younger than me. Yep my parents wasted no time in getting jiggy with it after my birth (GROSS) but this is completely surreal to me as I am talking about two people who cant be within 100m of each other without the start of WWIII. I am fairly sure that my siblings and I were the product of not one, but four immaculate conceptions.

I seem to have deviated…

Back to my sister, during those two weeks we would dress exactly the same. We were TWINS… Even to this day in our 30s sometimes we will dress the same but in all fairness it is probably for only one day… not quite the dedication we had in our youth.

She means the absolute world to me, she is my life force in many ways. She is the one that picks me up when I am feeling down, makes me laugh in ways noone else can, sometimes she drives me so crazy insane I want to slap in her the face, yet she is my best friend and has been since the day she was born.

Unfortunately she was born with cerebral palsy. During labour there was a loss oxygen to her brain so her life was predetermined early on; she was never going to walk and never going to experience life the way I was. That has never stopped her and she continues to astound me with her strength and capacity to grow and kick goals, above and beyond anyone’s expectations… She was never meant to operate a wheelchair, let alone attend a normal high school (which she did right along side her big sister). She has a killer sense of humour. She brightens everyone that she encounters in her life with her determination and basically being as cool as shit. Last year she shaved her head to raise money for cancer, just because.

Sometimes I need a reality check and to find gratitude in the small things in life, because I am incredibly lucky and blessed to have what I have; use of my limbs, the ability to get up and walk to wherever I want to go, to travel, to practice yoga, to ride a bike, to speak and be heard. She has been my shoulder during my infertility woes despite knowing she herself will never carry a child. She manages to smile no matter what the challenge she faces and its beyond inspirational. Every time I lose my way, she is there in the background to give me a pep talk, shower me with love and affection and make me feel ten foot tall. I hope I make her feel even half as good as she does me.


After 6 weeks away from home I am really starting to miss her company.

Onward Bound xo

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And so it begins…

Well hi there from Bali!

I am not really sure what I am doing here, I don’t have a ‘theme’ for my blog, I have no idea where I want to take it and I am at a loss of what I want to share… I just know I have a story, well lots of stories, musings, and ideas, and they are taking up far too much space in my head. Time to get them out.

Why am I in Bali? This is my 6th week on a life transformational journey that I am taking at 32. If you had told me last year that I would have quit my job of 7 1/2 years, enrolled in a yoga teacher training course and spent two months finding myself in Bali I would have not believed you for a second.

This time last year I found myself in one of the more challenging times of my life. I had just come out of a couple of really traumatic months within my family. I had been failing miserably at falling pregnant since I had married 18 months before and had just booked in my first (to be unsuccessful) IVF cycle. I was in a pretty hectic cycle of anxiety and panic attacks. It was a shitty start to the year, to say the least. I was unhappy.

Now here I sit watching the sunset over Echo Beach, my mind calm, my body healthy and my soul shining through. I can’t have believe that my world could change so much over one year.

Ce La Vie; thats life. The world is constantly changing and no situation is ever the same as before. This is the truth for bad times, so have faith that through the darkness will come light. The pain and hurt in any moment will pass with time, and healing will come.

No moment will ever be repeated. I will never see this beautiful sunset with magical shades of blue, orange and pink ever again. I am learning to live in the moment, live without fear, live ruled by love, and live knowing that every experience has brought me to this place, right here, right now. Its a very special place and I am extremely lucky.


So, there you go looks like my first post is a heavy one… I also really like food, coffee, beaches, sunset, and cheeky beers while I watch those sunsets.

Onward Bound xox

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