3 January 2014, 09:11
It was bittersweet to say goodbye to beautiful Queensland… But the time had come. We had four classes to teach!
In the week we spent with Tourism And Events Queensland, in the capable hands of Jess and Celeste, we managed to pack in more activities and incredible experiences than I could have ever imagined. So of course, it was only right to make a video of our weird and wonderful time in Queensland.
Click below to get an eyeful!
We’re so thankful to Tourism And Events Queensland, as it was their generosity in bringing us over to Australia that enabled us to come and teach four sold-out classes. Because of them, we realised how much enthusiasm they have down under!
We can’t wait to come back at the end of the year, and if you’d like to join us, be sure to register soon because we’re almost out of seats!
Photos by Janneke Storm.
1 January 2014, 09:11
Gearing up to make 2014 a real celebration? I hear you, babe!
Over the last few years, I’ve written stacks of articles on goal-setting, becoming self-actualised, planning and scheduling your time, how to have a retreat at home and even what to do when you feel burned out… And it felt like a good time to compile them in one place.
These articles will really, really help you turn 2014 into a year beyond your wildest dreams!
Get It Done, Girl! Lessons Learned From Daddy Darling.
Here’s a tremendous system to help you get things done, for good this time! Jump into it: I promise it will transform the way you live and work.
Don’t Just Survive, THRIVE! How To Become The Best Possible Version Of Yourself!
Abraham Maslow wrote all about how we can become self-actualised, aka live to our highest possible potential every day. This article rolls all of his ideas up, as well as sharing a few of my own interpretations of what he meant.
How To Feng Shui-erise Your Wallet For More Prosperity… & Maybe Even A Unicorn Or Two!
Maybe it sounds silly, but clutter can be a killer. In the same way that we de-clutter our closets, living rooms and offices, we can do the same thing to our wallets (and really feel an impact!).
100 Things To Do Instead Of Procrastinating On The Internet!
It’s all too tempting to dither around on Pinterest, I know… But here are 100 things you can do instead. Oh, and before you say “Procrastination is procrastination, whatever form it takes”, I have to beg to differ! It’s often when we take a break from the screen that we have our best ideas… And you never know where they might take you!
How To Have A Fabulous, Luxurious Retreat — & Produce Your Best Work Ever — Without Leaving Your House!
Desperate to get out of the house and spend a week doing yoga on the beach in Mexico? Me too, girl. But if it’s an unlikely dream, don’t sweat it: you can have a retreat at home, too!
In Praise Of Calling It Quits: What To Do When You’re Burned Out, & How To Get Your Spark Back.
The burn out blues are real. Some people will tell you to grit your teeth and push on through, but you’ve gotta know when to hold ‘em… And when to fold ‘em. It’s okay. Take a break, and come back feeling refreshed!
A Girl On A Mission: How To Write A Personal Mission Statement!
Mission statements are most commonly utilised in a corporate setting, but we can use them to wonderful effect in our personal lives, too. If you’ve always wondered about writing your own, I have tips!
10 Fantastic Ways To Get Ready for 2012!
Oh, ignore that title… These ten ideas are great for getting you ready for a new year, no matter how far in the future it may be!
How To Live A Beautiful Life.
An oldie but a goodie. A little less Pinspiration, a little more living out loud!
Better Sleep And A Bigger Smile: These 10 Apps Will Change Your Life!
Truth: your phone can change your life. Here are ten apps that will have you sleeping like a baby and walking around with a huge grin on your face!
Make 2013 The Best Year Ever: Resolutions For Bad Girls & Geniuses!
Sick of the same old resolutions? Here are a selection of kickass resolutions for bad girls, geniuses, and maniacs of all kinds!
5 Ways To Increase Your Inner Peace — & Decrease Your Outer Frown — Today!
Ommmmmmm! A few suggestions to help you get your chill on.
How To Make This The Best Week Ever!
This piece quickly became one of my top 10 most popular articles ever. The suggestions are easy but meaningful, and could make all the difference in your life!
On Starting Your Own Business, And Being A Productivity Unicorn
An interview with Jen Dziura about getting epic amounts of stuff done… And what does it really take to start your own business, anyway?
Got A Sour Spirit? Here’s How To Kick Your Own Ass… With Love.
Did you have a big bowl of Grumbo™ for breakfast? You can snap yourself out of it with these simple tricks.
The Secrets Of Body Language: How To Up Your Personal Power, Decode Anyone, And Get Whatever You Want!
Once you know how to read body language, you’ll realise that there is a galaxy of unspoken communication swirling around you at all times!
Get It, Girl: 10 Ways To Make The Most Of Any Workshop Or Event!
Planning on attending a workshop or conference this year? This one’s for you. I initially wrote it for our blogcadettes, but quickly realised it applies to anyone who’s actively learning!
How To Survive Your Saturn Return!
In your late twenties, and feeling like everything is hitting the fan? Don’t worry, it’s not just you: it’s your Saturn Return! Here are some suggestions to help you sail through the storm with grace and style.
Hey, Tired Girl… Here’s How To Get The Happiest, Dreamiest Sleep Ever!
Tossing and turning with a head full of nightmares is no way to spend your night. This is for those of you aching for a trip to the Land of Nod.
Happiness Is Simple: Why Too Many Choices Make Us Miserable & 5 Ways To Improve Your Life!
Did you know that your life can be happier when you have fewer choices? Yep, simplicity is truly the road to joy. Here are some ideas to help you pare down your life.
The Ultimate Guide To Making Your Period Suck Less!
One of my most popular articles for a reason. Make that week more pleasant and we all win!
When The Magic Fades & The Doldrums Set In: How To Avoid Becoming One Of THOSE Couples!
If your relationship sucks, it will sour the rest of your life, too. Don’t just stay inside and order food every night, go out and enjoy yourselves! This post has plenty of ideas to keep you busy.
How To Get Calm In A World Full Of Crazy!
An excellent question to ask yourself is: If you continue on this path, how will your life look this time next year? It’s time to act!
10 Really Easy Ways You Can Love Yourself More Today!
Of course, lovin’ on yourself should be high on your priority list, whatever year it is!
Radical Self Love Letters and DARE/DREAM/DO
My email courses are an incredible way to start the year with a fabulous, sparkly bang. Join thousands of other women and receive a little magic in your inbox!
Join me for my live chat: Making Magic In 2014!
On Saturday the 4th of January at 2pm EST (11am Los Angeles, 7pm London, and 8am Wellington on Sunday the 5th), I’m going to be broadcasting live from Darling HQ, talking about how to make the most of the year to come. (It will be recorded and posted on Youtube afterwards.) Click to RSVP and submit any questions you might have! Oh… I forgot to mention, it’s FREE!
Let’s do it!
Picture by Chad Wys.
31 December 2013, 10:04
It’s New Year’s Eve here in New York City, and the energy is palpable. From borough to borough, people are getting excited and exhilarated for 2014. The whole city is ready to sip champagne and get sprinkled with confetti!
Every day of our lives, we’re given choices about how we want to live, how we want to feel, how we want to behave. But the start of a new year feels symbolic and important. As we sail forth into 2014, we feel more optimistic, more positive, more enthusiastic about the next 365 days.
I’m a big fan of the “crowding out” method. Essentially, you fill your life — and your mind — with so many good things that the “bad” stuff doesn’t have enough space to grab hold of you. When you apply crowding out to your nutrition, you eat your vegetables first (that way, there’s less room for delicious but admittedly unhealthy fried chicken). In your daily life, you can crowd out your toxic friends with positive, encouraging people; you can crowd out reality television with a wonderful library card obsession; you can crowd out sleeping in with a morning meditation practice.
It makes sense, right? Once you make room for the positive in your life, and you prioritise those things, the sucky stuff falls by the wayside. You simply don’t have time for them anymore.
Which brings me to my next point…
When I created Radical Self Love Letters a few months ago, I had no idea what would become of it. The idea was simple. 30 days of loving emails, to remind you to be good to yourself.
My thinking went like this: when you start your day on an uplifting note, you crowd out anxiety and stress. And when you do it regularly, you begin to make that positivity a daily practice.
From the original post:
What are Radical Self Love Letters?
One of the most challenging things about learning to fall in love with yourself is the fact that it is a daily practice, and it requires daily work. But our lives are all so busy and densely-packed that making time to engage in a little self-care quickly slips to the bottom of the priority list.
With Radical Self Love Letters, you’ll be getting a personalised email love note every day. A reminder to live more boldly, be more exceptional, take more risks, be more compassionate, and cherish yourself.
Each letter contains my personal reflections, concepts to think about, a prompt or action to explore, and some wise words to keep your heart light.
Maybe you’ll read your Radical Self Love Letter in the morning, while you drink a cup of tea or chew your toast. Perhaps you’ll let it soak in as you travel to work, on the bus or train or in the back of a taxi. And maybe you’ll read your letter just before you drift to sleep. Either way, it will become a part of your routine; a way of carving out some time to focus on taking care of yourself.
Allow me to show you it’s possible to believe what you want, and do what you please!
Hundreds of babes rushed to sign up, and at the end of the month, I asked for feedback. Had it made their days happier? Had it inspired them to go deeper, choose their thoughts more carefully, transformed them in any way?
In a word: Yes. Yes, it had.
I also asked them, “How could I have made Radical Self Love Letters better?”
The overwhelming response went something like this…
“Thank you for your lovely emails that helped me to start my mornings with more hope and sprinkles of inspiration! I wish it was for 365 days of a year!” (Justina)
“You asked us what we would change about RSLL. How about RSLL 365 days a year?” (Alysa)
...And who would I be to deny my babes?!
I’m so delighted to announce the 365 Edition of Radical Self Love Letters. Which means… YES! You’ll receive a Radical Self Love Letter EVERY DAY of 2014! How great is that?!
The system is simple: Radical Self Love Letters is a subscription service, with a recurring payment of $20/month. Your credit card or Paypal account will automatically be billed every month. Easy-peasy! (And you can cancel anytime if you’ve had your fill!)
Are you in?!
Click the heart to get started!
“Thank you SO much for the past 31 days!
Opening my inbox and seeing a love letter in there has given me a little flutter of excitement every day. I’ve woken up in the morning, looking forward to finding out what Gala has in store for me today.
It’s been eye-opening to say the least, and I honestly feel that I’ve become happier and healthier over the past 31 days. For nothing more than just having more reason to smile, more reason to appreciate myself and the beautiful world around me, and more reason to look forward to the future.
Thank YOU! Thank you for being my radical love letter, not just for the past month but for the past few years xoxoxoxoxo” (Christie)
“These last 31 days, I had one thing to look forward to every day, a letter from you! Everyday it reminded me of who I am, who I am becoming, & who I want to be. I was encouraged and supported, although I didn’t always follow through with the challenges. I know every day I am working on me, that everyday is a day that I can take time and give myself a break. I must say I am sad that I won’t be receiving these emails anymore. This was the best money I’ve ever spent. You are amazing!” (Taylor)
“Just wanted to write to you and say thank you for 31 days of love in my inbox. I am really missing reading your daily emails and I really hope you will do another email series at some stage.” (Kerry)
“For the last 31 days I have woken up excited to get your next letter, counting down the hours until I hear my inbox beep. ... Your letters have been the best friend I have needed this past month, giving me that bit of advice, guidance, inspiration and guidance to get me through each day. I cannot thank you enough for what you are doing. You have taught me so much and your letters are helping me find myself again and learning to truly love myself again because I am fabulous! I only wish these letters didn’t have to stop today!” (Angela)
“Best. Love Letter. EVAR! I really, really, really needed this today. Are you psychic?! Thank you so much for your amazing wisdom, Gala. You truly are magical.” (Amanda)
Got questions? I’ve got answers!
Q. Yay! I signed up. When will I receive my first Love Letter?
A. Hooray! After you click on your confirmation email (which will be sent to you immediately), you’ll get an introduction. Your first Radical Self Love Letter will fly into your inbox in 24 hours!
Q. Hmmm… I signed up, but I never got anything in my inbox. What do I do?
A. Your subscription is linked to your Paypal email address, and that’s where all the emails will be sent. If you want your Love Letters sent somewhere else, forward me your Paypal receipt and let me know where you’d prefer the emails to go.
Next up, check your spam or trash folders for your confirmation email! You will need to click on this confirmation email to activate your subscription.
Additionally, if you have paid by e-cheque, your subscription won’t begin until the e-cheque clears. (It usually takes between 3 and 5 days.)
Q. What time will I get my Radical Self Love Letters?
A. They’ll come through every day at the same time that you clicked on your confirmation email. If you want your letters at a certain time — morning, afternoon, evening — activate your subscription at that time!
Q. I already did a month of Radical Self Love Letters… If I sign up for a year, will the content be the same?
A. Nope! The yearly subscription is brand spankin’ new content. Nice!
Q. Can I buy this as a gift for someone else?
A. Absolutely! (And aren’t you sweet?!) Just sign up as normal, then forward me your Paypal receipt and let me know their name and email address. I’ll hook it up!
If you have any other questions, be sure to hit me up on Twitter!
I can’t wait to get stuck into 2014 with a whole lot of radical self love. And hey… Have a FANTASTIC New Year’s Eve! Kiss someone wonderful, and fall asleep with confetti in your hair.
Photos by Chellise Michael.
30 December 2013, 09:11
What a year it’s been; in fact, probably the best year of my life so far. The major reason for all the excitement stemmed from The Blogcademy absolutely taking off, and resulting in many, many plane rides, lots of exploration, and a whole load of adventure!
Nothing makes me happier than that.
I wanted to do a little trip down memory lane and look at some of the highlights from the year. Do you ever do this? It’s a fantastic way to generate feelings of thankfulness and appreciation for everything you’ve accomplished!
No sooner had the year started than we were off to London to teach our second (and third) Blogcademy classes. It was absolutely freezing cold, and all three of us got sick… But we had a blast, regardless!
Photo of a photo of a photo!
While we were in England, we took a detour and spent a few days at Lisa Devlin’s Photography Farm. Brooke Davis took this shot of us in the (very) early morning.
Next stop? PARIS! We had a blast, twirling underneath the Eiffel Tower, eating lemon and sugar crepes, and spilling champagne all over the place (definitely a theme of 2013)!
We headed back to our respective homes, before meeting up in Portland, Oregon!
I absolutely loved Portland, and wondered why it had taken me so long to visit. It is so charming and fun!
After our Portland adventures, Kat and I spent a few days in L.A. getting into trouble before Shauna showed up!
It was Kat’s birthday while we were in California, so we did what any good American would: we took her to Disneyland to celebrate.
Our adventure to the 99c store to get these balloons inflated was one we’ll always remember!
I spent an afternoon with Will.I.Am (and a crazy media entourage) in the Bronx, checking out his latest project with Ekocycle.
One of the perks of the Blogcademy is definitely the creativity of our students. They give us the most incredible gifts!
New York City had the best class photo, I think! I used this shot as my Gmail background for months.
Since the three of us were back in NYC, the location of our first class, we decided to have a catch-up. It was great fun.
Then three of us spent a day in Bushwick shooting with balloons, throwing confetti, and drinking champagne in the street.
To celebrate my 30th birthday, we headed to the Greek Islands. It was — without question — the trip of a lifetime. What a beautiful place.
...Then we headed back to London to teach a couple of classes before heading home!
Six weeks later, we were on the road again: this time, we headed to Queensland, Australia, for an out-of-this-world week of sightseeing and excitement!
In Melbourne, we spent some time in a wonderful vintage shop… My post on it is coming soon!
The three of us spent a few days in Wellington, resting and recuperating, which is exactly what the doctor ordered! It was great to spend a couple of days with my parents, too.
From New York to London, Paris, Portland, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Austin, Santorini, Mykonos, London, Brisbane, Port Douglas, Melbourne, Auckland and Wellington, I couldn’t have asked for more.
Thanks to all the people I met, the new friends I made, the babes who made me feel at home, and of course, my amazing husband Mike, for loving, understanding and supporting me through it all.
Here’s to an even bigger and better 2014… !
Au revoir 2013!
27 December 2013, 09:11
Christmas is over and hopefully you’re feeling relaxed and well-rested, eager to jump into the new year with both feet. This is the last Carousel of the year, and if this isn’t quite enough reading for you, be sure to click on the Carousel tag for more!
My interest in Louis Theroux’s documentaries led me to researching him. Among other things I learned: Louis Theroux is a cousin of Justin Theroux (Jennifer Aniston’s beau), and his father is Paul Theroux, famous travel writer. And because everything is somehow connected to Michael Jackson, you won’t be surprised to hear that Paul Theroux used to receive phone-calls from the King of Pop himself. The call he’ll never forget.
Oh, Charlie. Rolling Stone went into prison and interviewed Manson. It’s pretty weird, as you might expect.
I vote a hearty yes to glow-in-the-dark sidewalks!
Meet the Woman Who Waged an Artistic War Against Her Street Harassers. Brooklyn oil painter Tatyana Fazlalizadeh got fed up with dudes invading her space. So she started telling them.
Russell Brand rips Rupert Murdoch a new one.
And when I asked our Philosophy PhD-turned-VC why I felt most productive on a plane, he opened his Moleskine to the opening cover where he had this quote from Pascal pasted: “The sole cause of man’s unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in his room.” In other words, not being able to go anywhere cuts away the need to think about new stimuli—and finally allows us to focus.
Florida’s Strange and Beautiful Mermaid Theme Park! I can’t believe this exists!
Oh, TLC. Best Funeral Ever is a truly bizarre concept for a show…
10 personal finance tips from hip-hop lyrics. Yes indeed!
So, Elon University is offering a self-pleasure course to teach students how to masturbate.
My main babe Helen and her husband, Vasely, underwent some massive changes in 2013. She losing 66lbs by eating fat, and Vasely has dropped over 145lbs. It blows my mind! It was fantastic to see Helen in November, and she is feeling so much happier and more confident.
This recent interview with Paris Hilton is fantastic!
Haha! Here are the most perfectly-timed pictures of 2013.
John Saward is one of my absolute favourite writers. His stuff makes me laugh and think and swoon a little bit. Informerciless is a brilliant piece (see below), and I also really enjoyed pick-up artists, man caves, bad yearbook photos and Kanye West, and requiem for my hairline.
Watching television at four in the morning is to be profoundly, exhilaratingly free and alone, occupying a kind of fourth dimension where you can become everything but don’t have to become anything. Where you can get rid of your acne with six easy payments, where you are a renegade Godbro listening to Big Tymers in your Jeep Grand Cherokee as you peel out of the high school parking lot, but where you are also still sitting there, semilucid, eating waffles with your hands in the flickering glow of three blonde women nodding and applying creams to each other and trying to change their lives. It is a last salvation; you are safe to dream of plastic, homogenized American vanity without the realities of mirrors and fluorescent lights and people who think your thighs look like stegosaurus feet. Those people exist, but they are not here, only you are, triumphant and scared at the same time.
Carrageenan is scary. Kristin wrote all about it, because it’s in everything! (I can’t have it anymore, it messes up my stomach too much!)
Seth Godin on not trash-talking your own important work.
If you’re psyched to be productive in 2014, this might help you: Energy, Time, Priority, Work/Life: 4 New Ways To Organize Your To-Do List.
What if you don’t want or feel anything? Ask Polly: My Life Is A Beige Pointless Hellscape!
We imagine glory for people in the spotlight, but if they’re not balanced, what they mostly achieve is an anxious state of perpetual pursuit.
Beyonce and Jay-Z went vegan for 22 days.
It’s socially acceptable for women to identify as bi-sexual, but men seldom get the same courtesy. Why Should Fluid Sexuality Be Women-Only?
Research on women’s sexual desires (as opposed to their behavior) reveals the female libido to be, in the words of author Daniel Bergner, “omnivorous.”
Alexandra Franzen has a gift to give you: the gift of focus and clarity.
Wow. This is special! Porn Hub comments on stock photos.
The 14 Habits of Highly Miserable People, or how to succeed at self-sabotage. Total truth!
Cleaning: The Final Feminist Frontier, or why men still don’t do their share of the dirty work.
...a women’s desire for a clean home has deeper origins than just marketing. Cleaning, Hoschild says, is not simply physical work. It’s emotional work. “Letting the house go is in a way letting something deeper go. … You get a sense of safety in an orderly home,” Hochschild says.
Paul Jarvis doesn’t live up to his online self. And hey, none of us do!
This is pretty genius and I am seriously considering giving it a try in my own life: The Notecard System for rembering, organising and using everything you read.
Absolutely loved this interview with Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat, Pray, Love fame, on how she writes. I agree with what she says 100%!
We say we love creativity, but we actually don’t.
“Eating disorders have always been a competitive sport, but social media just increases the number of people you are competing with.”
Attention, writers! Writing a book won’t change your life.
Here’s some unsolicited career advice for the Gossip Girl crew.
It’s better to run towards things, rather than away from them.
Beyonce Broke the Music Business and I love her for it.
On artastherapy.com, you pick your problem, then let art solve it for you!
I really enjoyed Autumn’s interview with Kate on being a new mother, and how body image plays into all that.
Women aren’t good at being arrogant self-aggrandizing jerks, even when it would help them.
On the rising intonation (or “uptalk”) that is so prevalent in New Zealand (and among valley girls).
In such instances, uptalk, rather than suggesting insecurity, may in fact signal confidence, paternalism, coercion or faux conviviality.
This is awesome: Nearly 25 Years of Fathering — and All I’ve Got Are These 3 Lousy Tips.
Higher resolutions. Can you commit to doing something every day in 2014?
Mike and I have been marathonning old episodes of American Horror Story (starting at season one) and I’m loving it. I also adore Taissa Farmiga, and I wish I knew how to pronounce her name. Check out these American Horror Story tarot cards!
This made me laugh until I cried.
Here are ten mind-blowing facts about yoga. Makes you wanna get out your yoga mat, no?
When you step onstage (literally or metaphorically), many people will cast you in a role of their own imagining. You will become, in their eyes: A guru – or an egomaniac; a role model – or an example of what not to do; super cool – or coldhearted… you see where I’m going with this?
Austin Kleon on 10 Things Every Creator Should Remember But We Often Forget. ‘Don’t wait until you know who you are to get started’ and ‘be boring’ are two important ones…
If you’re terrified to turn 30 (or to age in general), this is a must-read.
Celebrities pose with their younger selves! Cute.
Here’s why your name matters. Fascinating stuff.
Drake innately understands how to live in public in the post-post-post-modern era. Though he is a musician, he’s a pitchman first and foremost, and the product he’s pushing is himself, his narrative, his life. True fans of Drake don’t just consume the music. They consume him, and he, symbiotically, consumes them. It’s like being taken over by The Thing.
This concern with pleasing others over the self can, if you let it, consume your life to the point where suddenly everything you do is somehow performative. This isn’t Drake’s fault, but it sort of is. In the age of social media, anyone can become a public figure, simply by virtue of screaming loud enough and reminding enough people that you exist, to distract yourself from the inevitability of death by creating a hermetically sealed bubble in which you seem to matter. I live on Twitter, to the point where if I don’t tweet for three days, someone will text me to make sure I’m not dead. My friends and I can’t just have fun, we have to tweet about our mishaps, instagram ourselves having a good time, or else we haven’t instilled the requisite amount of FOMO in our peers so it doesn’t count. Doesn’t matter if we were too busy proving to others that we were having fun to fully appreciate the experience for its own inherent worth.
You can buy an urn that turns your ashes into a tree when you die.
You’re not a large corporation. Thank god.
Seth Godin says, when you’re offered precisely what you were hoping for… say, “yes.”
The Most Important Thing You’re Not Doing to Start 2014. Instead of setting goals for 2014, do this.
Keep the fear out by counting your blessings.
James Franco wrote a piece about the art of the selfie. It’s pretty silly… But some of it is on-point.
I love what Alain de Botton has to say on making resolutions.
And finally, this is one of the best things I read all month. When Your Mother Says She’s Fat.
As you sat in front of that pathetic scoop of mince, silent tears streamed down your face. I said nothing. Not even when your shoulders started heaving from your distress. We all ate our dinner in silence. Nobody comforted you. Nobody told you to stop being ridiculous and get a proper plate. Nobody told you that you were already loved and already good enough. Your achievements and your worth — as a teacher of children with special needs and a devoted mother of three of your own — paled into insignificance when compared with the centimeters you couldn’t lose from your waist.
Photo of Charli-XCX.