Eating the Elephant

So one of my New Year’s Resolutions this year was to get into Public Speaking…

I kind of achieved that goal when I started working for the University as a Student Ambassador and began running workshops with High School kids. The thing is though, to be completely honest with you, running workshops with school kids on Journalism and Public Relations was always in my comfort zone.

Then, an opportunity came up when I was asked to run a workshop at #ONEWorldSummit in Melbourne. A group of highly motivated, inspired youth leaders makes an awesome audience and I was instantly excited… but also instantly nervous. I took this as a good sign.

I was initially asked to speak on Project Management. “Sure”, I thought, “I run lots of little projects, I manage my time effectively and can organise a team through from initiation of an idea to it’s execution”, but something just wasn’t right. This audience are changemakers, I want to inspire them.

I just so happened to be given a Book…

The book was called “How to Eat an Elephant” and it was about making little changes to your daily habits and routine to become healthier and more mindful. I thought the idea was great – to take this massive and somewhat arbitrary┬ávision of “becoming more healthy and mindful”, and breaking it down into manageable chunks to actually get going and take the steps which will get you closer to the goal. I started to think that this applied to all big goals in life, and the reason we often get stumped on a goal and can talk about it but find it hard to take action is that it seems so bloody big. I’m pretty confident all of us have at some point or another been faced with a vision or a problem to which our initial response is “Where do I even begin?!”

So I Changed My Angle, to Tackling the Elephant

I have taken some of the most useful theories, concepts and exercises which I have come across that have helped myself and others close to me break our goals into manageable chunks. The following presentation should have enough information on it to be useful even if you weren’t in the workshop, and my details are in the opening and closing slides if you would like any further information. You can also contact me here.


It’s one thing to care and be passionate about a cause or a goal, it’s another thing to actually figure out how to tackle it, much like ‘eating an elephant’. In This workshop on effectiveness, we’ll be breaking down the huge goals and passions we have into manageable chunks. A number of exercises and activities inspired by awesome change makers around the world, focusing on your own goals, will have you looking more analytically at your vision, your thinking and your actions. You’ll leave ready to take that first or next step towards achieving your dream and making change!


30 Day Yoga Challenge

So since the Marathon 3 months ago I really haven’t exercised much at all. My body took a long time to properly recover and I have found tenderness to the ligaments on the outside of my knees, I don’t want to push my body to injury by working it too hard after such an intense experience.

I’m maintaining health by walking a lot, and being mindful of what I’m eating and drinking. I’m not satisfied though. It’s not the exercise I miss per se, and I’m thrilled with the shape I’m in; I think it’s the structure of training which I miss, the endorphins, the routine, and yeah – the challenge (along with the sense of accomplishment).

Settling back in to Australian life from a UK Winter I’m seeing people exercising everywhere. The weather’s great and we are living in Saint Kilda; quite a funky, fit, lifestyle focused community. However if I’m not ready to start running again and without wanting to spend ridiculous fees on a gym membership, what can I do?

My boyfriend Marcus joined a local Yoga club, which offers multiple varieties of Yoga practices, from the calm and relaxed Yin Yang, to the more intense and heated Hot Flow yoga (and a few fitting somewhere in between). I had tried Bikram yoga in the UK last year and have to say I was quite unenchanted. But hearing Marcus talking about this yoga club, the casual friendliness and welcoming nature of both the teachers and the other students, and the variety of practices on offer I decided to join for their new member introductory offer: $35 for 30 days.

Now, I have heard of the 30 day challenges. Friends of mine in the UK had done so with the Bikram yoga, and the thought entered my head. Could I do it? Should I do it? Would it be good to do it?

It played around in my mind, and I realised there was no reason not to give it a try. The first yoga class I attended the first day was great. My only other reference point being Bikram, the warm but gentle and relaxed slow flow yoga was a wonderful surprise. I looked at what class I could take the next day… The only times I could attend were hot Yoga classes. Now whilst not as intense a practice as Bikram, the room is still warmed to about 40 degrees celcius, and being their most popular classes, the rooms are packed with lovely sweaty people. I took the class the next day and did not enjoy it in the slightest. My breathing was sharp and I found it almost impossible not to breath through the mouth, and I found my self dizzy and lightheaded. However I made it through, and, whether you want to call it out of foolishness, or dedication to my self-appointed challenge, signed up for the same style class the next day (today).

I woke up feeling great this morning, and even quite keen for the class, despite last night’s experience. I’m not sure whether it was the change in attitude, a different teacher, or a little bit of practise the last couple of days, but today’s lesson was 100 times better. I was more relaxed, more comfortable, and found my breathing very deep and natural.

My skin is also looking amazing, and a lot of muscular tension in my body is already starting to ease.

If this is somewhat due to 3 days in a row of yoga practise I can only imagine what a month will do!

So I’m in it for the long haul. I’m interested in noticing any changes in my body, mind, skin, and sleep patterns and will report back at the end of the 30 day challenge, hopefully victorious!