The Lively Show: Radical Self Love And Disordered Eating With Gala Darling

The Lively Show featuring Gala Darling

It was such a delight to connect with Jess Lively and be featured on her excellent podcast, The Lively Show. We sat down for an action-packed half hour to discuss radical self love, how to deal with disordered eating, blogging, business and coping with challenges.

Click through to listen!

Jess is so sweet and friendly, and I really enjoyed chatting with her. After we finished the interview, we stayed on the line for another half an hour, talking about our multiple mutual interests! Aw. I think I made a new friend!

Be sure to click through to see the show notes, including lots of links to the (many!) things we talked about!

Heard on The Lively Show...

If you’re in need of some inspirational, smart and uplifting listening, head on over to The Lively Show archives, and have a browse!

Much love,

Share Button
Radical Self Love Letters

Things I Love Thursday: Big Skies And Spring Fever


First up, can we talk about the utter gloriousness of this photograph? It’s got me feeling all swoony. (My husband jumped over a fence to snap the shot for me. What a peach!) Few things are as gorgeous as pink blossoms against a blue sky, don’t you think?

There is so much to be in love with this week, though really, that’s true every week. It just seems like I’m FEELING it more lately, and trust me, it is not lost on me that I started feeling really good about life around the same time I started writing gratitude lists!

It has been a wonderful week of socialising and seeing special friends from distant cities: Sarah Wilson, Shrinkle, Queen of Blending, and my coven lovelies. The weather has been incredible (I’m choosing to ignore the bizarre snow- and hailstorm we had on Tuesday night!), and life feels expansive and uplifting.

J’adore… Weird dreams about Paris Hilton Taking Sarah Wilson as my date to Gabby Bernstein’s Miracles Now event — go and see her, she’s on the road right now! Meeting so many beautiful radical self lovers Taking photos of cherry blossoms and daffodils wherever I go Selling old clothes and giving my closet a massive clear-out! Full moon rituals Rose oil and sigils Chanting (my new favourite thing) Doing interviews with sweet babes (my chat with Jess Lively is coming tomorrow!) Long, meditative walks Pulling The Empress and The Chariot (and by the way, Biddy is a blogcadette!) Gifts from Cynthia Rowley! Staying up late, listening to J Dilla and brainstorming Spending some time getting up close and personal with some very nice cars Antici…pation! Obsessive key-ring research (I get hooked on the weirdest things) — I am in love with this Kate Spade job Crazy-good hauls at Buffalo Exchange Selling out our San Francisco Blogcademy class! (If you missed out, be sure to come see us in Chicago!) Be Here Nowish Jazzed-up full moon energy Flowers, flowers, everywhere!

“Love is not enough; intelligence is not enough; powerful strength is not enough. You may put everything on one side of the scale, but if you are missing gratitude, you shall lose.” (Yogi Bhajan)

So, what are you grateful for today? Put it on Facebook, share on Twitter, tell a friend: you never know how a demonstration of thankfulness can change someone else’s day.


P.S. The title photo was taken with my awesome (and tiny!) camera, the Sony NEX-5N, which I totally recommend. I edited it using A Beautiful Mess actions: I’ve been playing around with them, and they’re fantastic!

Share Button

Got Blogger’s Block? Here Are 50 Ways To Kick Its Ass!

Got blogger's block? Here are 50 ways to kick its ass!

Confession time: I wrote this piece because this morning, I had blogger’s block! Normally, I schedule my posts ahead of time, but the last couple of weeks have been so nutty that I’ve been flying by the seat of my pants. I woke up and stared blankly at my screen for a while… Until this came out!

Blogger’s block happens to the best of us. If you’re feeling stuck for topic ideas, glom onto one of these and get writing! The best way to beat blogger’s block is just to start typing, I promise.

Without further ado…

1. Write about your passion.

2. Set a timer for 9 minutes, and just start writing!

3. Find the best things in a category and write about them.

4. Research and write about your idols.

5. Take photos in your favourite place.

6. Make a list of your favourite blog posts on a particular topic by other bloggers!

7. Write about something you’re looking forward to.

8. Write a top 10 list.

9. Do something that makes you feel uncomfortable.

10. Go on a roadtrip!

11. Plan an adventure.

12. Ask your readers what they’d like to read.

13. Write a letter to an ex-lover.

14. Rhyme.

15. Tell a secret.

16. Write in somebody else’s voice.

17. Interview someone fascinating.

18. Go to an aquarium.

19. Just write 150 words.

20. Ask your friends or family for ideas.

21. Write about what you were like as a teenager.

22. Play with magnetic poetry.

23. Tell a fairytale.

24. Write about your favourite shoes, meal, book, memory…

25. Talk about a decision that was hard to make.

26. Make a mixtape.

27. Write about how you want your life to feel.

28. Write about what you’re thankful for.

29. Write about something which scares you.

30. Write a how to post.

31. Record yourself speaking.

32. Write about your body.

33. Put together a rebuttal of something someone else has written.

34. Write a letter to a childhood friend.

35. Spend time with a stranger.

36. Re-write and improve upon one of your most popular posts.

37. Go for a walk, take your camera, pay attention.

38. Create a character and write a story around them.

39. Read outside of your normal interests.

40. Put together your bucket list.

41. Write a letter to your future child.

42. Write an apology.

43. Share a mistake from your history that you learned from.

44. Make a video!

45. Try something completely out of character, then write about it.

46. Have tea with your best friend and see what unfolds.

47. Write about a second chance.

48. Create a new regular column or feature.

49. Write a piece on the evolution of your personal style.

50. Get up from your computer and take a day off!

Good luck!

Photo from Style Me Pretty.

Share Button

Put Down Your Goddamn Phone: The Perils Of Phoneland


Are you a phone obsessive? Do you walk down the street clutching your device? Do you sleep with it beside your bed? Do you tune out from people trying to have a conversation with you by constantly checking your screen?

I’ll put my hand up. I admit: my iPhone is taking over my life.

Holding my phone all the time is giving me anxiety. Because I’m never unreachable, I’m constantly waiting for something to come in, and always feeling the pressure to respond. I’m checked out of real life, not engaging with other people, and barely present. I’m perpetually waiting for something to show up on my phone that will bring me happiness, and I’m unaware of what is going on around me. I’m Gala in Phoneland, and it sucks.

The worst thing is that when you walk around with your eyes trained on your screen, you become one of those people who is not watching where they’re going, one of those frustrating and thoughtless pavement hooligans who weaves from side to side, always on the verge of almost-colliding with someone else.

There are plenty of studies which reiterate all of these points. Viz:

Being on your phone makes you totally oblivious. In this study, people who were using their cellphones failed to notice a clown unicycling right past them! Furthermore, the study found that the cellphone users “walked more slowly, changed direction more often, were prone to weaving, and acknowledged other individuals more rarely.”

Staring at your phone constantly can damage your eyes, even give you cataracts.

In another study, increased use of cell phones and pagers was linked to a decrease in family satisfaction and increased stress over a two-year period.

Also, 33% of people would rather give up sex than their cellphone.

It’s all a bit much. The evidence is damning!

This weekend, I realised that I didn’t own my phone, it owned me… And I decided to take some power back.


On Sunday, the sun was out and the weather was incredible. I took a cab to IMATS to visit my friend Amy from Sugarpill, and then I started walking. I walked from Pier 94 to Central Park, and then down 6th Avenue to the West Village (four miles in total).

I wanted to be really present, so I left my headphones at home, and I decided to make a point of not holding my phone while I walked. I took it out to snap photos of the Empire State Building and the LOVE statue by Robert Indiana, but then I’d throw my phone back into my bag and do up the clasp.

The result? I felt really present, and in-the-moment. I felt serene, despite the thousands of people around me. I didn’t feel frazzled, I felt united with the moment. It was a true walking meditation. I enjoyed the sunshine, the sights and the sounds. I gawked at people and drank coconut and strawberry iced tea. I felt the energy of the city around me, and experienced the lulls and peaks of foot traffic from street to street.

It was fantastic. I came home feeling clearheaded and aware. Lesson learnt!

My new motto? Put your phone away, and keep your damn head up. Will you join me?

Much love,

Share Button

Knowing It vs Feeling It


On Friday night, I sat knee-to-knee with my friend Sarah, as we watched Gabby on stage. She was launching her new book, Miracles Now. The lecture was incredible, and afterwards, she opened up the stage for Q&A. The clock was ticking, and it was time for the party to wind down.

A woman approached the microphone. She was terrified, trembling, and she could hardly get the words out.

“I’ve been dealing with an eating disorder for 13 years, and I’ve been in and out of treatment. I’ve made some progress, and I believe all the stuff I’ve learned on an intellectual level… But I feel like I can never get there emotionally. I know that part of me is fighting for me to be healthy and happy, but not all of me. I just feel really disconnected from myself. I don’t know what to do.”

As I listened to her, I got a lump in my throat. I knew where she was coming from. I know what it’s like to intellectually know that what you’re doing is unhealthy, and to know that theoretically, it could all be solved quite easily. But then you look in the mirror and break down in tears, because you can’t stand how repugnant you are.

Knowing something to be true intellectually is very different from knowing it in your heart and feeling it to be true. You might know that you should forgive yourself, learn to accept yourself, and love yourself, but until you feel it deep within, nothing will change.

A lot of women that night mentioned that it was easy to forgive others, but almost impossible to forgive themselves. This is always the biggest challenge; we are always our own biggest critic. We forget that an act of forgiveness doesn’t have to be a big thing. It can be a small mental affirmation, I forgive myself, repeated throughout the day.

“The only difference between me and you is that I practice forgiving myself all day long.” (Yogi Bhajan)


Eating disorders come from that place that tells you you’re not good enough, that everyone else is doing so much better than you are, that you’ll never measure up and you’ll never be perfect. They grow in that place that condemns you for having too many feelings, for not having enough self-control, for being in a body that changes every day.

This woman felt alone in a room of 200, but the truth is that at least 150 of the women in that room were right there with her. New studies have just been released which say 75% of women have disordered eating.

If you’ve never suffered from disordered eating, the best thing I can compare it is to having your soul torn apart and dragged in two different directions. You feel like you are being severed from your spirit. The pain and loathing and anguish is beyond anything I have ever encountered.

We always think our problems are ours alone, but we are never as isolated as we think. Eating disorders are one of the ultimate secrets, and staying silent hurts us and the people around us. There is a way out, and once you meet someone who kicked anorexia’s ass or kissed bulimia goodbye, you realise it doesn’t have to be your identity. It doesn’t have to be destiny.

There are a lot of different ways to get to the other side: 12-step programs, tapping (this is even endorsed by the National Centre For Eating Disorders), meditation, yoga, art therapy, a combination of some or all of these things… The list goes on and on. There are even iPhone and Android apps to help! I also love these suggestions for recovery: print it out and put it somewhere you’ll see it all the time.

It’s time to take care of ourselves and do what is truly best for us. There is so much love that we are not giving ourselves, and while it’s tempting to give it to someone else, you have to help yourself first.

One thing I can promise you: when you move past your eating disorder, when you stop letting it define you, and when you start to gain an appreciation for your body, your life will be transformed. You will have hopes and dreams again. Your heart will be filled with the beauty of the world. It will be so radiant that it will make you gasp.

If you’ve already learned to love yourself or you are on the way, it is your duty to pass on what you know. It is your responsibility to use those tools to help other people. Radical self love and the journey of self-discovery is not about navel-gazing and self-indulgence, it is about learning how to turn up your own light so you can shine and illuminate the world for others. You can start to show them that your light is a reflection of theirs.


Bathtub photo from C-Heads. Perfection Is Annihilation image by Satsuki Shibuya.

Share Button