“A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking because her trust is not in the branch, but in her own wings. Always believe in yourself.” – Anonymous
I’m a fixer upperer. I’m not sure where this desire for improving things stems from, but I seem to get a greater satisfaction from renovating something existing, than from building from scratch. Whether it’s a house or a life problem, I love nothing more than getting stuck into a project.
So with my latest project being my health, I’m a little hindered by my lack of a medical degree; which is why Dr Libby Weaver is my new best friend.
In our 29 August issue of Metropol, Dr Libby talked about her latest book – The Invisible Load. A guide to overcoming stress and overwhelm, it covers the mental side of stress; how much of what we perceive as stress (such as that overflowing email inbox!), isn’t actually stressful (unless it really is life-threatening) and that the inner turmoil that we experience as a result of letting these things get to you is one of the greatest health crises facing the modern woman.
I don’t do life by halves; something my three kids, three dogs and the full time job that I passionately live and breathe, will attest to. I love every single one of these areas of my life, but it is a lot of love to juggle.
I’ve now got my hands on a copy of The Invisible Load, so it is perhaps ironic that the only problem I now have left to solve is how to find the time to start reading it.
“In a world where you can be anything, be kind.” – Jennifer Dukes Lee
Dear Friday night emailer,
I usually start my email responses with ‘thank you for your email’. Unfortunately, in this case, I cannot do that.
I’m unsure if I’m more shocked or saddened by what you chose to email me; a complete stranger and someone for which you had no idea of what was going on in my life at that moment.
You mentioned your letter to the editor was not ‘publishable’ and I agree, but it was also not ‘send-able’. Yet for some reason, you thought it was OK to send it to me. Is it because the act of emailing de-humanises the recipient? Because I suspect – or at least I hope – that the email you sent me wasn’t how you would speak to your own family; your own friends; even your own acquaintances. If you’re about to click ‘send’ on an email you wouldn’t want someone sending your own child, then don’t click send.
I’m not sure whether it was Tiki Taane’s tattoos or mohawk that offended you so. Had you read the associated article, you would have found that there is so much more to Tiki than tattoos and a mohawk.
In fact, you would have found the back story of one of this country’s most prodigious talents; the story of a father; of a partner; of someone’s son; the inspiring story of how music saved him and of the beautiful way he proposed to the love of his life, with their children alongside.
I’m not angry with you for sending that email. If anything, I’m sad for you. I’m sad because the world is a big, vibrant melting pot of diversity and you’re never going to see the beauty in that.
“If I asked you to name all of the things you love, how long would it take you to name yourself?” – Anonymous
At a recent team building breakfast, we had to open envelopes and discuss the questions inside as a clever way to invoke conversation between those present. However, it seems nobody in our table of women had a quick answer for ‘What’s your favourite part of your body?’ In fact, one of lovely ladies I was enjoying breakfast with that day recognised that, “this would be a lot easier if we were listing things we dislike!”
And yet, our bodies are capable of the most amazing things, automatically, every single day, and we take them for granted, focusing instead on the pimples, the wrinkles and the stretchmarks that cover them. Perhaps it’s time we change our perspective on our bodies and start reminding ourselves every day just how amazing our bodies are.
Did you know alcohol is actually poisonous to us and the body cannot excrete it? So our clever livers transform it into something it can excrete so the toxins don’t poison us. While the ability to grow a baby inside us is amazing on its own, breastmilk actually changes its composition to meet the nutritional needs of the baby or babies. So if you express milk and line it up on the bench, you’ll see a beautiful rainbow of shades to illustrate the changes.
There are millions of amazing processes that our bodies do every single day and I don’t think any one of them is less impressive. So don’t forget to remind yourself every day just how amazing you are.
“Always remember that life is precious, you are precious and treat yourself accordingly.” – Dr Libby Weaver
We live in a world of self-help books, of Google diagnoses and of armchair psychology. We’re constantly trying to be the best versions of ourselves and the highest bar often isn’t the expectations others set for us; it’s the expectations we set for ourselves.
As a goal-focused A-type personality, I love aiming high and the constant quest for advancement. But where does that leave what we already have in our lives?
When speak to those who are dying about what they’re going to miss the most in the world, it’s never the pressure, the deadlines or even the success that comes from meeting all of the above.
Instead it’s the simple things they say they will miss the most; the feeling you get when your significant other tells you they love you; the feeling of your child’s arms wrapped tightly around your neck; your dog’s excitement when you walk in the door at the end of the day.
So if that’s what we’re going to miss, why not fill our lives with more of that? Don’t forget that happiness is a choice. It’s time to stop striving for ‘your best life’ and start striving for a good life.
If you’re still in doubt, head along to see Dr Libby Weaver later this month, she’s likely to tell you, “You are enough, you have always been enough and you always will be enough”.
“In most cases, suicide is a solitary event and yet it has often far-reaching repercussions for many others. It is rather like throwing a stone into a pond; the ripples spread and spread.” – Alison Wertheimer
There’s a poignant saying that ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ and, while it was likely penned to provide encouragement for those grappling with the challenges of a difficult experience, it is not necessarily accurate in its sentiments. Because, as we know, we all process feelings quite differently. For some, grief really does have the power to make them stronger, for others, it has the ability to break them.
Depression has long been a taboo subject in New Zealand; something which is discussed behind cupped hands in the lunchroom, if it is even discussed at all. Well-known New Zealanders such as Mike King, Oscar Kightley, John Kirwan and Jay-Jay Feeney have all lent their names and their profiles to getting mental health into the public consciousness. But for every high-profile New Zealander to propel the discussion into the public sphere, there has been one that has been lost. Greg Boyed, Charlotte Dawson, Sophia Hawthorne and Pua Magasiva, to name just a few.
There was a record 668 deaths in the 2017/18 year. That’s 668 too many. Not talking about it hasn’t done us any favours. So, let’s talk about it. Let’s shine the spotlight on mental health, depression and suicide. As a society we must do everything we can to recognise the signs of depression and learn how to best support those who are suffering. We owe it to each and every one of them.
“Never underestimate the valuable and important difference you make in every life you touch. For the impact you make today has a powerful rippling effect on every tomorrow.” – Anonymous
It is with heavy hearts that we heard of the death of Stephen Collins last weekend. One of the most passionate advocates for Christchurch, he touched the lives of many in his fervent fight to make the city great again.
Stephen Collins never did things by halves. When he created Collins Real Estate in 1972 it grew to the largest in its market before amalgamating with Harcourts to form one of the largest real estate companies in the country. It was Stephen who developed the technology, systems, training and education programmes never before seen in New Zealand, which made Harcourts the global leader it is today.
He lost several buildings between the earthquakes and the consequential Government blueprint, but despite the city’s physical disfigurement, Stephen remained one of its most fervent supporters, after all, he’s never been one to shy away from a challenge. He always had a soft spot for the city that his parents had arrived in during the war.
“Christchurch has been good to me,” he said to me in late 2014. “It has been my business base for most of my life and I felt I had a responsibility to reinvest back into the city.” The striking six-level, river-inspired building at 151 Cambridge Terrace was what he could do to replace what had been lost and, much like Harcourts, it has become a stand-out for the city and a tribute to the man himself who lived life passionately and deliberately.
Our hearts and thoughts are with Liz and their family at this time.
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi
There’s somewhat of a workplace hazard in my line of work in that when you surround yourself with passionate, inspiring people every day, something sometime is going to rub off. This month it really has and I’ve made some pretty drastic culinary changes myself.
In the pages ahead, you’ll find interesting and compelling viewpoints on sustainability in the food sector – how we can seek to feed a population of 10 billion by 2050. Suzy Amis Cameron – wife of Hollywood director James Cameron – talks about their journey to greater sustainability, for both the planet and our health.
The Camerons, who are both vegan, are passionate campaigners for the worldwide reduction of animal agriculture and consumption. But does the vegan lifestyle stack up nutritionally? We put that question to Dr Caryn Zinn, a New Zealand Registered Dietitian and senior lecturer and researcher at AUT.
Internationally, nationally and even locally there are some exciting things happening in the culinary space. We’ve checked out Rangiora’s very own Fools of Desire café, which has been exploring alternative protein sources and introduced insects to its menu last year.
Meanwhile, Beefy Green founders, Brad Lake and Brendon McIntosh have turned their talented hands to making hemp seed nutritional products here in Christchurch. I’m all for innovation and pushing the culinary envelope out. After all, what good is our number 8 wire mentality if we’re not using it for the greater good? It’s certainly food for thought.
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Great things come from failure. Walt Disney, Henry Ford and George Foreman join an illustrious list of business greats who have experienced failure and bounced back – better than before. Recent advances in neuroscience have shown us that the brain is far more malleable than we ever thought possible and this may be the key to picking yourself up and dusting yourself off.
Noticing some students rebounded while others seemed devastated by even small setbacks, Carol Dweck made studying human motivation her life’s work. She spends her days diving into why some people succeed and some don’t and how much is within our control to foster success. Her theory of the two mindsets and the difference they make in the outcomes is incredibly powerful.
Dweck believes there are ‘fixed mindsets’ and ‘growth mindsets’, with success determined almost entirely on simply believing that you can improve. If you believe your qualities are unchangeable — the fixed mindset — you will want to prove that you’re right, rather than learning from your mistakes. Those with the growth mindset on the other hand, have a powerful passion for improvement.
“We like to think of our champions and idols as superheroes who were born different from us,” Dweck writes in Mindset. “We don’t like to think of them as relatively ordinary people who made themselves extraordinary.” This issue we caught up with the brain coach for the All Blacks, Gilbert Enoka, about how we can be high achievers both on and off the field. Enjoy.
It seems that I’m at that age now where, as cool as I think my new clothes are, my daughter doesn’t. In fact, she may even have referred to one of my favourite stores as ‘dowdy’. Ouch, the cutting words of a teenager!
But actually I’m OK with it. Georgia and I have very distinct tastes – distinctly different that is. But fact is, it’s never been my role to micromanage what she wears, nor to tell her what sports she should play or what friends she should hang out with. I’ve always viewed my role as helping her become the young lady she should be, in a safe and supported environment.
The world is full of different people – that’s the beauty of it and slowly, but surely, our young people are starting to recognise this. As social media comes under increasing scrutiny for contributing to poor mental health and body image, there are a growing number of young women who are using online platforms to empower and educate.
Locally, Kiwi influencers too are embracing the trend towards body positivity and empowerment. Whether it’s Auckland DJ and filmmaker Shaki Wasasala, aka Half Queen, showing off her body hair, writer and fat activist Ally Garrett proudly posing in a plus-size bikini, Sophia Malthus sharing the realities of life in a wheelchair, or wrestler and trans activist Leilani Tomoniko working to normalise transgenderism, it’s time for us all to get on the #bodypositivity bandwagon.
After all, in the words of Maya Angelou, “It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength”.
Mid-century décor is attractive, versatile and has staying power, with a classic shape and style that is timeless in its appeal.
When it came to deciding on designs for my recent flat renovation, I found myself overwhelmed with modern concepts and styles that didn’t truly reflect who I was. With a busy household I needed every piece to have a classic and comfortable purpose while staying true to a minimalist mindset. Mid-century modern décor was the answer.
Form and function are principles that we could live by and the defining characteristic of the mid-century period, which started roughly between 1935 and 1965 in America and throughout Europe. Frank Lloyd Wright, Warren & Mahoney and Arne Jacobsen are names synonymous with the mid-century design period which started roughly between the mid 30s to late 60s.
Juxtaposing sleek lines with organic shapes using new materials to reimagine traditional pieces for the modern household, there are a vast array of colours used from neutral to bold and notable graphic creations in contrasting black and white.
It has a resoundingly large following as of late and due to its popularity, you don’t have to spend a fortune on furniture as there are inspired pieces available at stores everywhere at every price.
Looking to invest in a treasured piece of mid-century magic? Ross Morrison of mr mod in St. Martins can accurately advise you on a piece’s origin, wood type, age, designer and correct restoration process. His recent show at CoCA last summer showcased selections from his vast mid-century collection and multi-generation passion for the genre.