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empowermenthealthuncategorizedweight and body image

My magic genie

I grew up in New Zealand and spent most of my childhood in front of a TV. Then at 14 years of age I moved to the Cook Islands. As soon as I arrived I knew I had to lose weight. My uncles were taller than me and I weighed more than them. Over the next year I focused on being fit and healthy. I looked at the clothes I wanted to wear and pictured how good my life would be once I'd lost the weight. At the...

financial lossfreedomrelationshipsuncategorized

A loss brings freedom

A couple of years ago I lost both of my houses and my boyfriend. At the time I was working 5 jobs, to keep up with the payments, as well as trying to support 2 families. This morning I have been for a long walk along the beach and had a lovely swim in the ocean. Although I have lost a lot in some respects, I realise I have also regained my freedom.


Appreciating every day

Earlier this year my friend died at age 26. She went to a party, then went home and never woke up. Even though I've always been big on not staying mad with people and I always gave my family a big hug and kiss before I went to sleep, her death has been an emotional reminder for me that every day really is precious. Now I live with my boyfriend and I don't let little things keep me angry, like if he doesn't do the dishes or if he leaves the toilet...

learningrelationshipsself discoveryuncategorizedwork

A journey of growth

I was working ten-hour days, yet I had little to keep me motivated or inspired. I had no boyfriend and was partying with abandon but felt empty and rudderless; my life was going nowhere fast. Finally, after a particularly boring day something just clicked inside me. I decided it was time for a BIG change. I packed my bags and, spurred on by my boss' anecdotes of his many travel adventures, took a leap of faith and set out alone into the world....


Too late to make amends

I remember my father as a large, broad shouldered, hard-working man. Whatever he did, he did it with a great sense of personal duty and pride: it was a reflection of who he was. As President of the Gardeners' Society, his own garden was the most beautiful in the city and our home abided by his motto 'a place for everything and everything in its place'. Once, after a few drinks, my father had a heated argument with his brother, each...


Much more than a job

As a young 17 year old I was trained to be a police officer but nothing prepared me for the day about two years into the job when I was called out for a motor vehicle incident. A car had hit a pole at high speed, exploded on impact and the male driver was incinerated. When I arrived at the scene I discovered he was a friend of mine. That day hit me stopped being a job. It became personal.


Home at last

After many years absence from my family’s Eastern European Church, I recently returned to attend the funeral of my childhood friend’s father. Walking in, I felt a welcome sense of familiarity. The church hadn’t changed at all. The look, feel and smell instantly embraced me. The service began and I surprised myself with the ease in which I chanted the Croatian prayers, as if I had been reciting them...

familygratitudehappinessuncategorizedyouth and teens

My “you’re not my father” attitude

My mum and dad split when I was 7. Then my step dad came on the scene and I really didn’t like him. I had that whole “you’re not my father” attitude. At some stage during my late teens it dawned on me that, despite the fact that my brother and I had given him such a hard time, he had always been so supportive of us. He was always helping us even though he...


Choosing a better future

I was with my boyfriend for five years and we had a good relationship. We had a planned pregnancy and were looking forward to our future…until he started taking drugs. Things changed and his new friends began hanging around. I stayed with him because I loved him, I knew the person he used to be and he told me he would end his addiction when our...