Slow, deep, steady goes a long way


In Yoga, we aim to cultivate a quality of breathing that has three defining characteristics; slow, steady and deep. I say this daily in my yoga classes but it applies equally to most circumstances and situations and serves well as a mantra for life.

I’m about six months into my passion pursuit as owner, operator of The Yoga  Tree  in Auckland, New Zealand. This goes some way to explaining how I’ve virtually disappeared since my last post about Wanderlust. There have been many days since, where I’ve felt my breath has been anything but calm and under control yet here I am; stilling breathing, still blogging and still in business.

Like having a child, nothing can really prepare you for a life of self employment. You  are utterly dependent on your own mettle, wit and ambition to keep you afloat. It’s scary, hernia inducing stuff. I’ve been fortunate to have supporters to keep my spirits up when they were down and to encourage  me when fear and self-doubt took over. The students too, amazing wells of encouragement.

It’s all part of the process I suppose but it’s no less difficult when you question whether you were really sane leaving everything that is secure and known for total uncertainty.  Hence the breathing and the necessity of going it slow, plumbing the depths, being consistent.

Steadiness with ease….It’s something we also strive for in yoga and those lessons have also served me well as a fledgling entrepreneur.  Getting better, AT ANYTHING, takes time and patience. You just keep showing up, you bring your best, and you persevere without self judgement if possible.  That last bit is the tricky part. The Ego loves to mess with  your mind. The silent voice of your egoless Self doesn’t judge. It quietly pats you on the back and tells you everything is going to be okay.

Listen to that one next time you doubt yourself or question whether you are mad for wanting to chase a dream or build a better life for yourself.

It is never a straight line to success. Far from it. In pictorial terms, it will resemble a one year old’s self portrait as shown above.

My top tips? Simply put:

1)Write down your goals.

2) Visit and revise frequently.

3) Do things that make you happy and calm to give your strength to do the hard work.

4) Never give up.

5) Surround yourself with positive, happy, supportive people who believe in you and aren’t afraid to give you honest advice.

6) Trust. Trust in the process. Trust yourself to make good decisions, especially those that come from heart and aren’t motivated by just the desire to make money.

The money comes eventually, first and foremost, find your flow.




And the winner of the Wanderlust giveaway ticket is……


I had many inspiring and heartfelt submissions come through for the Wanderlust Great Lake Taupo social media contest so rest assured choosing one “winner” was no small task.

With apologies for the delay, here’s a presentation of our candidates starting with our winner Emily at the top. Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to write in.

May your windfalls come to you all in pleasing and unexpected ways so you may achieve your goals.

Happy reading…

  • What would happen to my life and me if I won 1st division lotto? I was asked this question when I did a presentation course a year ago as my off-the-cuff question and guess what? You’d think it would be an easy question but I actually stumbled and did very badly. Some attendees at the course later said they wished they got asked that question, as they would be able to answer very well. It’s not because I have no idea what to spend my money on, oh no, I am a Fashion Buyer as a profession so I spend big as part of my job! It’s not because I have no material dreams or things I want to buy. No. I stumbled on this question when I was asked on stage was because I wanted to give a meaningful answer. I wanted to answer with truth and authenticity. Oh yes, I could buy as many designer items I wish to; I could buy a house, a new car…a this and a that. My life would not be very fulfilled and the lotto prize would be a waste on me if that were the case.
  • I spent 18 months 5 years ago, travelling around Asia exploring the world and myself. I also achieved one of my life dreams of volunteering in an orphanage. The work itself was very challenging as it opened up my heart the way I did not want it to. The volunteering work I did as well as the travelling took me to all extreme emotions one could ever feel. Frustrations, sadness, anger, happiness, aliveness, peacefulness and the list goes on. But, amongst all the emotions, I felt fulfillment and contentment for the first time in my life! I was not only putting my energy in doing something for myself but also giving in a selfless manner that gave a meaning in my life.
  • I am still looking for that meaningful answer to what I would do with my life and myself if I won 1st division lotto but I am not sure that I will ever stop looking for an answer as life will not be a mystery if I knew. I want to end with this quote from Rumi

    “You may make a jewelry flower out of gold and rubys and emeralds, but it will not have fragrance.”

Emily Gan


  • If I won the lottery I would spend my every waking hour training and inventing three ground based acts to perform with a travelling circus called Spark in Thailand – who fundraise for a month by performing their acts to tourists on the popular Thai islands, then take their troupe to the Thai-Burmese border to perform there show to Burmese refugee children while also bring support supplies, such as firs aid kits and food. I can’t think of a more rewarding audience to perform acts to and Wanderlust Taupo would really help my partner acro routine I’m planning with my mum. I also want to do a doubles fire poi routine with her and I haven’t yet come up with a third. But one of the routines need LED to be involved – I’m thinking an LED costume for doubles acro. Living in New Zealand Christchurch I’m finding a very limited amount of Acro yoga teaching. None in fact. Although I have found an absolutely amazing acrobatics teacher called Mim Syme, but I am always wanting to expand my knowledge. After travelling with the Spark circus I would spend a year in yoga training to prepare myself for yoga teaching level 1 immersion in Thailand, and then level two in either Bali or the Amazon (probably the Amazon as that will be the perfect opportunity for me to meet some sloths, which I have always wanted to do). From there it’s unknown but by then I will have a qualification under my belt and will perhaps be ready to Acro yoga training in America. Honestly I will do this without winning the lottery it might just take me a wee bit longer.

    Thanks so much for the opportunity to tell you my plans (lottery or not) and being able to enter this competition.




  • Passion to me is learning. Learning that goes above and beyond a massive student debt!  At 24 I am a student, collecting qualifications that intrigue my mind. I have little money, yet being a light for a friend who’s blue or seeing a stranger smile because you’ve given them the time of day reminds me that I wouldn’t have it any other way. I wish to inspire people to lock into their own potential for happiness & wellness. Winning lotto would be the ultimate chance to fullfill this dream. I would use the money to expand my experience, to search for the roots of many of our ‘modern’ philosophies on wellness, the mind, spirituality and self actualisation. I would love to develop my interest in natural healing by seeing how it’s done around the world, To experience and embody the culture and their origins, in places like India, Africa and Indonesia. I would do Bikram teacher training somewhere fabulous like Thailand, and stay until I got sick of coconut water, long hot nights, dancing and living on the beach! I would bring this insight back to NZ and settle in my own little piece of paradise, in the greenery overlooking the sea, with a Lotus Belle tent in my back yard-so sleeping under the stars is always a possibility! My house would be cosy comforting and self sufficient-I’d live off the land growing my own herbs veggies and teas! I’d do endless raw ‘baking’ and brew my own organic cider. Inviting friends over to try my treats! I would set up a practise for people and offer wellness retreats, for people who want to escape the hustle of city life, to see the stars without light pollution, and to ponder how incredible our human experience. 




  • If I won the lotto, the first thing I’d do is go to the bank and pay off all of my parents debts, then show up at their house with champagne and a letter confirming their financial freedom. After this I would travel, taking part in yoga and meditation workshops/ retreats all over the world, and learning as much about natural wellness for animals from people everywhere who may have knowledge in this, as this is my passion. I would also visit and donate to many animal rehab centres and conservation projects. After this, I would return home to NZ and buy a lovely, sunny and cosy home on a few acres of land where I could have horses, my beloved dogs, and maybe a few other animals, as well as grow all my own fruit and vegetables. I would also build a studio on my land with a beautiful view, with a room for yoga and meditation and another for art, and a second lovely little house for my parents to retire in. I would still finish my degree and continue to work with animals after my travel break and follow that career path, but the lotto would surely make things easier! :-)

    Thanks and bless,




  • As the question “What is my passion” goes around and around in my head – I sit on my work chair contemplating all the superficial and mundane things I enjoy: material goods, aesthetics, pleasures of the ego: pleasures of the mind and body… But those don’t sit long with me…. and soon enough I get this feeling of shallowness that takes away what I just though was my “passion”… and then something different arises.. and that’s when I realise that I am most passionate when I am Inspired.
  • My passion lies in being inspired and from there everything else cascades into different areas of love, internal movement and passion. I am most passionate and eager to share myself to the others when I am inspired by experiences that are brought to me by: seeing the world, spending time with people who I truly love and admire, animals who show me an instinctive intelligence we all have underneath our complex minds; special encounters that change how I perceive myself and give me a hint of possibilities in change.
  • If I had all the time and money in the world I would dedicate myself 100% to being Inspired, through cultivating my own receptivity and sensitivity to the world – through yoga and meditation, healthy simple and clean eating. I would ensure that my environment is positive and supportive by living in a creative, diverse environment  – most likely in a beautiful place in a coastal and sunny town.
  • I would love to tap into my passion for animals while training dogs for The Blind Foundation for instance –  incorporating that mission into my daily life and creating an opportunity to help people in need.
  • I would also like to think about spending more time being kind to others and really listening to those who trust me with their stories, experiences and feelings. I would like to think I would spend more time trying to do my bit to make my friends and family happier – by being a better friend, a better person and dedicating quality time to others by putting my ego aside and being present for them.
  • One thing I would love to dedicate my life to if I could is to create and support environmental awareness that shifts us from self-centred economical gain to long term responsible solutions towards a World we all share and we all want need to look after: a disruption of our accepted norms of thinking to consider how we treat our Planet and everything on it – a goodness to be spread right across all parts of life and living in this temporary yet transcendent life.
  • Last but not least, it would be a legacy to have the chance to inspire others by living a purposeful life that reflects intention in action for a life lived with Passion.              Melisa


  • I have already won the lottery of life. My belly is full,  I am warm and dry. I swim in               the freshest water, and can touch my toes (finally). I am in abundance. So if more money than I could possibly need arrived, unannounced, I would do the following: 
  • My aim would be to maximise daily joy and well being. I would wander round my world, and neighbourhood, giving it away in lots of small, unexpected ways. On my travels those I loved would find their mortgages paid, unannounced. Kids who needed stationary and uniforms, in the poorest schools of the world (and just down the road) would find them supplied by a stranger. My friend with cancer would never have to worry about her daughter’s wellbeing. A great street performer would be gobsmacked by the cash a passer by with a smile dropped in their hat. My Mum would see the Taj Mahal, at last. A kid who had never been anywhere would go more than just somewhere. And someone very special, who’s never been to Paris or New York, would see both. I might just tag along…

    Second, I would fund my passion. It’s a charity we’re setting up to make a big difference to many Kiwis, from all walks of life. It would be an investment of the best kind, paying increasing dividends over time. And the winnings meant it would get the best possible start.

    For me? Well, all things wanted would be for me too, because giving is a joyously satisfying act. It’s taken me awhile, but I know that now. 



If any of you were curious what I would do with a sudden windfall, well I would open my own yoga studio; something I have dreamt of doing for at least six years now.

Happily that dream has finally come true, not through a sudden windfall but through a series of planned, and unplanned, steps and missteps that led me in the direction of the people, places and experiences I needed to reach this destination on my own.

I am ever so grateful to all those individuals who helped to propel me along this path.  So if you are travelling through Auckland, please pop in to say hello at The Yoga Tree (new schedule coming soon!!! upon completion of the amazing new look there).

Love and light, Amanda

Equity crowdfunding explained in simple terms; an interview with Snowball Effect’s Josh Daniel

And now for something completely different.  No, no lectures on how to save during the Silly Season. Been there done that. You can check out some of my previous blogs on that subject.

This week’s blog is dedicated rather to a subject that’s been making news for some time in other jurisdictions but is relatively new to New Zealand; equity crowdfunding. To be clear, equity crowdfunding differs from regular crowdfunding where funds are made voluntarily towards some cause you support or were corralled into supporting financially.

Equity crowdfunding comes with a return, or at least the potential of a return at some unknown time in the future. Essentially, it’s an alternative form of investing. In what?  Well, that’s your call. At the moment, there is not a huge variety of choice, at least the only folks working in this space have three Kiwi start-ups they assisting with capital raising; one of them a brewery, another a filmmaker and the third a company that manages to turn industrial waste into good use.

To find out just how equity crowdfunding works, the risks for investors, what kind of impact it’s having in New Zealand and what the future holds, I asked Josh Daniel of the  Snowball Effect’s head of platform and investor growth to join me for an interview.

You’ll note this is not a studio production quality, but you’ll get the gist nonetheless.

Cool outfit and I’ll be sure to come back to Josh at a later date to find out just how big the Snowball has grown. Check it out.




Win a free 4-day pass to Wanderlust Great Lake Taupo. What is your passion and why in 500 words or less.



A question that gets asked regularly around my house is: “What would you do if you won the lottery?” and also “What do you love to do most?”

They make a good match those two questions.

Seems we all love to dream about endless holidays, the dream house, dream car, dream bach or what have you. Daydreams are free after all, so why not get swept away…  Still, have you ever noticed that it’s a question that tends to elicit a response that has more to do with what stuff we’d buy if we had sudden wealth, not what we’d do with our ample free time.

The second question is a more substantial one I think because it forces you to reflect more seriously on how you would like to spend your life.  I guess it’s more realistic. It’s a question that we should all be asking of ourselves on a more regular basis I think, unshackled from the thought of it making us “rich” because in reality, what makes us “rich” has more to do with the stuff we love doing and the people we love being with, and less about externalities.  I’m not minimising the importance of money here rather  placing the value of money in a  wider context.

My answer,  no surprise,  has to do with yoga. More classes, more training, more retreats… I’d do it if I were rich, or poor, happy or sad, old or young. It’s why I quit a full-time job sitting in front of a computer doing another skill I’d honed over 20 years but at the expense of my passion. No, there wasn’t enough time for both, not when you add in two kids and a dog.

When you take these new age quizzes about how to find your purpose or passion, at the top of the list is a question about what you most love doing. That’s meant to hold the key.

In my book, I make a similar point. The original title for the book was “Find Your Flow.” My hypothesis? When you find your flow, the money will follow. Don’t worry, I’m also hugely practical and realistic so the book is full of pragmatic stuff too that falls outside of the Law of Attraction principles. I’ve tested this theory and found it to be true, by and large, however I would qualify my findings and add that doing what you love is no guarantee of becoming a millionaire, at least not overnight. Neither is the road to success, however you define it, a linear one.

Simply put, research has shown that by doing what you love, you end up (through a whole lot of repetition) becoming very skilled at it, which in turn increases the likelihood of you earning a decent living from it.

Clearly, some skills and services are more in demand and more specialised so it’s not an equal paying field. The consolation for those individuals who love what they do but operate in a saturated field with a low barrier to entry and little remuneration, i.e. yoga, is that they are at least happy on the job. I can attest to this too.  Admittedly, there are many happy but frustrated yogis (and other low wage job lovers) who wish for more money in their lives.  Money management is a suitable cure for most of what ails these folks, although there is no doubt it’s a harder road relative to other more lucrative professions.

So… because I know so many people who are stuck in jobs they either hate or are simply a means to paying off the mortgage and financing holidays that they google and plan for while slogging it out 9-5,  I thought I would invite readers to craft a short essay to inspire some passion and purpose.

The reward for the most inspiring story (to be issued at an upcoming Auckland-based event I will be involved in – the details of which will be announced next month) will be a 4-day pass to Wanderlust Great Lake Taupo, Jan.29-Feb.1 It’s worth about  $550 in value. I will also throw in a free copy of Money Matters; Get your life and $ Sorted.

In 500 words, or less, please tell me what you would do if you won the lottery and why, not in terms of the material stuff you’d buy but how you would spend your time. You don’t have to be a yogi to join this contest either. I invite people from all walks of life. Just bear in mind if you are an international reader, the ticket doesn’t include airfare to NZ:) If you have no interest in the ticket and want to share your story, I welcome that too as I know many of you live outside of New Zealand.

You can post and share your story in the comment thread or drop me an email at Please ensure you leave an email where I can contact you if you are the successful Wanderlust ticket winner.





The price of living in paradise — is it really worth it? Amanda Morrall on the lunacy of Auckland’s housing bubble


Something is rotten in the City of Sails. I’ve known it for some time but when you are living in paradise, it’s easy to forget about foul odours, even if they are sweeter than Rotorura.

Okay, so this isn’t a Shakespearean tragedy I admit but it’s no less dramatic for me and thousands of others priced out of this ridiculous housing market. (How much can you afford?)

It’s hardly news, I know. World “experts” have been warning for years now that we are living in a housing bubble. The Economist, in one of its most recent issues (see NZ Herald report here) waved the red flag again but virtually no one seems to care, save journalists maybe.

It’s inevitable I suppose. You live with something long enough and eventually you become immune to the conditions, even if they are toxic. We’re like frogs in a slow boiling pot here, ignoring the shouts of bystanders urging us to get out, or stay out, but we’ve convinced ourselves that we’re luxuriating in a spa bath.

Two years ago I was writing about this bubble and the epidemic that had house crazed New Zealanders blindly piling into the market like zombies. Back then, the market was tagged to be more than 20% over valued, relative to incomes.

Now, according to the Economist, it’s risen to 30 per cent. We were ranked fourth behind Canada (32 per cent). Australia incidentally wasn’t much better at 33 per cent. Belgium took first place. Is it any wonder New Zealand banks, and their Aussie parents, are making record profits.

Regardless of the warnings, many (myself included) continued to dismiss these reports. What do foreigners understand about our patch of paradise at the bottom of the world?! We have land scarcity, we have beaches at our doorstep, we have hokey pokey ice cream and  Dan Carter dammit.

Well, this week I was jolted out of my yoga bubble back into the bleak financial reality of our housing bubble.

After being put on notice of my rental house being sold (the fifth since moving to New Zealand) I decided it was time to follow the herd.  Despite friends urging me to leverage up for the sake of home security and a good school zone, I couldn’t quite bring myself to marrying my bank for 30 years.

I decided to look outside my current neighbourhood (which clocked one of the steepest price increases in two years in Auckland) to find a more affordable crib for me and my kids.

It didn’t take long before I fell in love. A cute little alpine sweetie that  backed onto an old growth Kauri forest. For once, it was a property as billed. “Tranquil and secluded” and charming to boot.  It  ticked all my hippy boxes, then some.  I shelled out more than $25K above the asking price in hopes of realising my dream home. It wasn’t meant to be I guess. I was outbid, by how much I’m not sure. The sellers refused to say.

I’m still drying my tears but I feel like the fever has started to break at least.

What insanity convinces us that paying more than 30% above CV is normal and that $720K (the average in Auckland  now) is situation normal. When I last checked, average annual combined incomes were around $50K.

What kind of fool expects that house prices have no ceiling given their dramatic increases over the past decade. Have we learned nothing from the GFC?

Eventually, average New Zealanders won’t be able to afford their own homes, (even with their parents generous support) and eventually we’ll be bemoaning the loss of our best and brightest who will understandably fly the coop in search of jobs that can accommodate house prices.

My friends are in consolation mode. “It’s the same story everywhere. You’re not alone. Don’t worry, your dream house is out there.”

I’m a natural optimist so believe this to be true but I tell ya, it sure as heck isn’t easy to keep one’s spirits up in the City of Sails when the sun ain’t shining. Stories reporting on renter’s woes like this  certainly don’t help either.

I have one thing to thank for house prices in Auckland I guess; It cured my writer’s block.


Flowing amid the chaos and cross currents of life and finding money and joy along the way.

Flow is about more than cash flow. It is about life flow. Each of us creates our greatest wealth when we are in our own personal flow. Roger Hamilton



There’s a reoccurring theme running through my life that goes something like this:  “let go.”  Go with the flow  might be another way of stating it.

I hear myself uttering the words whilst teaching yoga, I repeat them to myself silently when I feel myself stiffening with stress or disappointment at something not going the way I’d planned and observe the process in nature  and watch with wonder and envy at the ease of flow in its purest state.

It got me thinking about how one can “just let go” from the rigid ideas we have about how to earn and grow money, the strict targets, the discipline and structures that all help one to achieve greater wealth and dissolve into a state of non-worry that gets us to the same point, financially.  Is that really possible?

On one hand, there’s the mainstream thinking that reinforces the 9-5 pm. paradigm where we work not for love but for money, routine and results…in the form of a regular pay cheque and maybe the odd promotion. On the other, there’s this idea of pursuing your passion, allowing money to be a secondary concern and thriving on a perpetual wave of uncertainty where opportunities knock on your door, not the other way around.

But does it have to be one or the other?

As with most things in life, it’s a balancing act that involves letting go of fixed notions and attachments to ideologies of any extreme.  Letting go is not a synonym for abandonment rather I see it simply as a way of releasing fixed ideas and opening the mind to possibility.

Can such a mindset be fairly said to apply to money and wealth management?

There’s very few I know who would said that money doesn’t matter and fewer still who would say they want less of it than more. In fact, the only person I can think of is my meditation instructor, a Thai monk in his 90s whose relinquishment of all worldly stuff ironically attracted to him money by the truckloads. But even this enlightened monk realised that money wasn’t something to be treated lightly. With the money that did flow his way, he created ways to channel it back to the people who needed it most; hospitals, daycare centres in the poorest areas of Thailand, to women who needed to learn skills to help them earn income for their families.

Naturally a monk who has no material desires beyond shelter, food and transportation to reach his temples across the world obviously has a lighter grasp on money than most of us yet his handling of it was very deliberate, measured and clear.  I believe this was the case because he knew very clearly what its purpose was, unlike most of us stuck with wants without fully understand why.

For anyone wanting to attract more money into their lives, I think this is a crucial question because it speaks to intention and then makes more obvious the pathway by which to achieve it.

When we know what are targets are, then we can aim to achieve them more precisely whether it is saving for a first time home, having enough for a great holiday every year, a new car,  money to start a new business or send a child to university so they don’t have to go into debt to get an education.  The details around the bigger long-term goal all of a sudden begin to take shape, removing some of the obstacles that stand in the path of our flow.

The why and what for is not an easy question to ask because it forces us to be honest with ourselves about what we want out of life instead of just imagining a better life that comes from being ‘rich.’

My journey through yoga over the past decade has helped me to see more clearly in this regard.  When I find myself thinking of the conquest of money, I remind myself to take stock of what I already have, and the real abundance in my life that has nothing to do with it.

In letting go of this idea that I need more, I discover or return to a place of truth and honesty with myself about my wants, and needs and what I long for most in my life. When I strip it down to basics, it’s about love, family, friends and living at peace with myself. More money would afford me more time with my family who lives across the world so I don’t minimise its worth or delude myself that it doesn’t matter. It absolutely does but within limits.

In practical terms, a way to navigate one’s way through the chaos and cross-currents of the turbulence is to make a list. Establish firstly what is truly important and why. Then attach to those things a figure where necessary. In this way, you can begin to make sense of how much you need, and set in place some ideas, methods or means of making money that are in line with your inner values and goals. From that you begin to develop a greater sense of mindfulness about what it is you are doing, and why and from that an energy of flow.

P.S.  Just in case you were curious whether you are being properly remunerated for that job you are doing, here’s a link, with love,  from me to you.




7 spiritual laws of success and how to stay focussed on what matters most

giving and receiving
A great quote came my way yesterday by spiritualist/writer Byron Katie.

“Nothing comes ahead of its time, and nothing ever happened that didn’t need to happen.”

It’s a reassuring thought amid the uncertainty and confusion of life and during those times when we are plagued with the whys, and whens and hows and grating impatience at things not happening in the time frame that we want or expect.

During those times, it is important to return to the present, to one’s intention and also the breath. While we can dream, scheme, plan and action our desires, there are times, many in fact, when you just need to sit back and let things unfold in their own sweet time, trusting that they will come when you are ready to receive and others are ready to give.

So today, I thought I would share some sage advice on this subject from Deepak Chopra, who authored the book “Seven Spiritual Laws of Success.”

In addition to having a deliberate, well considered action plan to help you realise your dreams and goals, there’s an underlying mindset, behaviour and ethic that will help you get there more smoothly and possibly even faster. Something I need to remind myself of constantly as patience is not my strong suit.

With due credit to Deepak, here’s a brief summary of those seven laws.

1. The Law of Pure Potentiality: Take time to be silent, to just BE. Meditate for 30 minutes twice a day. Silently witness the intelligence within every living thing. Practice non-judgment.

2. The Law of Giving: Today, bring whoever you encounter a gift; a compliment, or flower. Keep wealth circulating my giving and receiving care, affection, appreciation and love.

3. The Law of Karma: Every action generates a force of energy that returns to us in like kind. Choosing actions that bring happiness and success to others ensure the flow of happiness and success to you.

4.The Law of Least Effort: Accept people, situations, and events as they occur. Take responsibility for your situation and for all events seen as problems. Relinquish the need to defend your point of view.

5. The Law of Intention and Desire: Inherent in every intention and desire is the mechanics for its fulfilment. Make a list of desires. Trust that when things don’t seem to go your way, there is a reason.

6. The Law of Detachment: Allow yourself and others the freedom to be who they are. Do not force solutions – allow solutions to spontaneously emerge. Uncertainty is essential and your path to freedom.

7. The Law of Dharma: Seek your higher Self. Discover your unique talents. Ask yourself how you are best suited to serve humanity. Using your unique talents and serving others brings unlimited bliss and abundance.

I keep this list posted on my fridge or at my desk to remind myself when I get impatient about the underlying internal drivers of “success.” You don’t have to be a yogi, or a Buddhist, to put these principles into practice. They are universal and you’ll recognise the truth of them I’m sure from your own experiences already.

Challenge yourself to put them into practise as part of your game plan for achieving whatever it is you are hoping to gain; whether it’s more money, a better relationship, a new job or a better living situation and always, always remember to give thanks for the abundance that you have already attracted into your life.

As a side note, I will be teaching this Sunday at Lululemon in Britomart so come on out to enjoy a complimentary yoga class. I will be bringing along copies of my book Money Matters; Get Your Life and $ Sorted to purchase and signing after class.

Oh and if you’re wondering why seven is the magic number, here’s an article published in the Daily Mail that sheds some light on the matter.

Shaking your money maker with words that count


Last week I wrote about overcoming self limiting thinking and self-doubt. I think that mountain is possibly more challenging than Everest. Mental mind traps are the greatest obstacles to success. It’s not lack of money, or shortage of time, or x, y, z that holds most of us back. It’s fear standing in the way of you realising your full potential, and your dreams.

I’m still climbing that mountain and here’s the depressing news: Unless you are fully enlightened (and not many are) that journey never ends. You either give up and give into the herd mentality and behaviour or you keep climbing, deflecting those toxic thoughts as soon as they come your way. It gets easier and easier to defeat them when your awareness of them grows.

On the bright side, and this is where you always want to return to when negativity starts clouding your mind, is that it’s an open road of possibility when you detour away from self-doubt. So, this brings me to today’s topic: Writing for a living, something I’ve done my whole professional life. It’s been a long journey so I will spare the full story of how I got from A to B. Suffice it to say, there’s been a whole heck of learning along the way.

While I have managed to make a living from writing, it’s never been a lucrative one, at least not so far. Does that mean you should abandon your dreams to become a writer? No. Because most of my writing has been in the field of journalism working for the media, there have been parameters around my income from writing. It paid enough to pay the bills but never really much more, which is fine if you want to stay on that treadmill.

I came to an important realisation recently while contemplating my relationship between money and writing. Outside of writing book reviews, and now blogging, I never used to write for the love of it. I wrote for my paycheque. Looking back this is where I went wrong. I know money is a huge motivator for many people, and even a passion for some i.e. Warren Buffett but even for Buffett (one of the wealthiest men in the world) his passion wasn’t money, it was investing which is far more interesting and exciting. Money was the byproduct of his passion and skilfulness at investing.

What I’m trying to say here is that if you want to write, don’t do it for the money. Do it for the love of it, or use the written word to convey what you are passionate about or perhaps knowledgeable about with a view to a) inspiring others b) helping others c) having fun or d) all of the aforementioned. When you are motivated in these ways, the money will find its way to you. If it doesn’t, then maybe your heart wasn’t really into it in the first place or maybe there’s just something you are more passionate about that needs your attention.

After reading through some of the comments on my site recently, I came across one that asked for tips about blogging. My apologies to that person, I only discovered your comment recently. As I am new to this blogging business, I don’t feel like I’m best placed to answer that question fully. However, a few weeks ago a book arrived in my letter box, written by someone who does. Serena Star-Leonard, author of “How to Retire in 12 Months” writes about making money from blogging and how she did it, in her first book. I haven’t read it yet so I can’t give you my review of it however I did read her second book “How to Succeed in Creating a Life you Love in 12 Months” and I can confidently say there’s some good information there for individuals looking to break out of the 9-5 routine.

Importantly, if you want to write, write. Just don’t think about it.


If you need five cents, don’t ask for three; aim big, be clear and go for it

My BF has a lot of original ideas. He’s one of those idea junkies. He also has a lot of one-liners that he enjoys tossing around; some good, some bad but they still evoke a smile or at the very least a smirk.

One that I never tire of hearing even though I hear it a lot is “No ask, no get.” We haven’t known each other too long but I assume he’s asked a lot over the years, because he has always seems to get his way. Not only does he have a lot of stuff but he always seems to rope people in doing stuff for him, usually free.

I suppose I’m a master at this in my own way, although I would consider it less skillful persuasion than reciprocation as I like to do things for others which manifest itself in an exchange system of sorts. I’m a believer in karma and the principle that what goes around comes around. It’s why I blog. While I don’t get paid for it, I like to share my thoughts and knowledge and hopefully inspire others to chase their dreams.

This morning as I was dragging my dog on a run and listening to music, I heard a great line which I stole for my headline above; “My mama always said that if you need five cents don’t ask for three.” It’s from a De la Soul song.

It got me thinking….

I’m not shy at asking for what I want but when it comes to dreams and desires and goals, I’ve tended to be a bit thrifty. Others might see me as ambitious but I’m what the BF calls a “quiet achiever” or a “doer.” That’s in contrast to the “dreamer” who wishes and fantasises about what they want but doesn’t take the necessary action to achieve their desires. In my own way, I’ve been able to go after what I want, usually with good results, but the targets have never been massive. I don’t like to be disappointed, so I suppose I’ve tended toward the conservative side of dreaming.

Toward the end of my run, I came to the realisation that I’ve been short-changing myself on goals lately. It’s not that my goals themselves are too skimpy, rather it’s been my attitude that’s been lacking. Some part of myself has been self sabotaging in the respect that I’ve felt I somehow wasn’t deserving of the things on my wish list. I also realised that as a result of my innate conservatism, I wasn’t taking the risks I needed to get what I wanted. In other words, while I wanted five cents, I was thinking I only deserved three, so there was disconnect between my goals and my belief in my ability to achieve them.

So what do I want presently that I’m not getting. A few things I guess:

While, I’ve been wanting to grow the number of followers on my blog, I haven’t been blogging regularly enough to attract them. When I inspected my stats recently I found that actually for the few blogs I have posted, I have some amazing traffic. So my perception was totally out of alignment with reality and that’s encouraged me to step up my game.

On the personal side, I’ve also been going in circles trapped in a pattern of negative thinking that was inadvertently holding me back from the direction I wanted my relationships to go. I’ve adopted a new attitude here and hopefully some new behaviours as well and already I’ve seen encouraging signs of change.

So what does any of this have to do with money? Everything.

Money is a byproduct of intention, action and energy. When your efforts are out of synch from what you want then your energy is also affected because you are working at odds with what you want to achieve. When the two are matched, your energy is a positive one because you are in a state of flow.

When you are working in a state of flow, quite often you don’t even need to ask. What you want lands on your doorstep. This is the magic of flow and why I love yoga so much because it encourages this state of inner and outer connectivity.

Find your flow and the money will follow but it never hurts to ask.

Why do we keep doing dumb things in the face of bad consequences? The Money Paradox

By Amanda Morrall

What makes some people better savers than others?

It’s a question experts have pondered long and hard about particularly in the face of the looming demographic problem of too many old people living longer and longer and too little Government savings to support them all in retirement.

The solution that many OECD nations have adopted, including Canada, the U.K., Australia, Japan and the U.S., is to extend the age of eligibility for Government superannuation schemes, forcing people to work longer (and thus pay more taxes to feed pension funds) and to save more for themselves.

Curiously, New Zealand is an exception to this rule. It’s consider political suicide. Ironically, the voters who disdain the idea the most wouldn’t be affected by it.

It’s younger generations that have the most to lose from Government’s continued neglect of this issue. If current health care cost estimates (like 40% of GDP!) and longevity projections are anywhere near accurate, the NZ Superannuation won’t be around in its current form. It will either be means tested (i.e. if you earn or have assets above a certain amount of money you won’t qualify even though you paid into the scheme for years through your taxes) or it will simply be lower than it already is, and it’s not a huge amount to begin with folks. If you are mortgage and rent free with no debts, you’ll be able to pay your food and power bills essentially but don’t count of booze or fancy ice creams being in your shopping basket.

You can check the current entitlements here.

KiwiSaver has been presented as one solution to this potential savings dilemma and some encouraging strides have been made thus far. But will it be enough? According to many of the providers of these products, the answer is no. Naturally, you could expect them to say that as the more money you save into KiwiSaver, the more money they stand to make from the fees they pull in year after year (regardless of performance) from your hard earned savings.

This is why how much you pay in fees is REALLY important over the long-term. Many would argue that fees are actually a bigger deal than fund performance because they are constant. That’s not to say that how much you pay into savings isn’t important. After all it’s your savings and the more you pay yourself the more you’ll end up with in old age.

Right now the minimum mandatory is 3%. I’m talking about KiwiSaver still. That compares to 9% in Australia and that figure is changing to 15% eventually. Overseas, among those working in the savings area, there is a general view that a safe savings rate should be anywhere between 10 and 20% of GROSS income. In New Zealand, we’re nowhere near that but it’s difficult to know how many will fare given there is such a massive investment in the property market, as form of potential retirement savings.

Most of us know that, just like eating healthy, saving money is a good thing. The problem lies in our knowing what is good for us and us acting to effect those positive changes. For vast chunks of the population, there is a huge disconnect. Humans are perplexing creatures because despite our huge intelligence, we tend to make really bad decisions for ourselves, particularly where money is concerned.

Anyway, rather than focus on the negative, it is generally understood these days that’s it better to look at the positive so we can understand what we are doing right and encourage more of the same in ourselves and others. No one wants to be chastised or belittled or be made to feel bad because ironically, it just brings out the same bad behaviour.

Where savings are concerned, there is some interesting work and researching being done comparing saving rates and behaviours among different countries. Experts have wanted to understand why the Finns, Chinese and Japanese are so savings savvy relative to the countries to New Zealand and the U.S. In 2012, New Zealand’s net national savings rate was around 2% of Gross Domestic Product, or about 15% gross. (Source NZ Treasury).

So what can we learn from OECD nations where national savings rates are 20-40% of GDP?

According to Keith Chen, who explains more in this interesting TED talk, language has a lot to do with it. Chinese is apparently a futureless language; that is, it doesn’t distinguish between past, present and future. When this comes to money behaviour, this has a significant advantage because there would appear to be less distance mentally between the idea of getting old and actually saving for that eventuality. Retirement is not something that exists in the far away future but is accepted as an immutable part of present reality.

No one wants to think of getting old but obviously it’s a fact of life. Presented with that fact, or perhaps being reminded of it would appear to promote good savings behaviour. Experiments along these lines have supported this. The TED talk linked to above also references a study where individuals presented with an image of themselves in old age saved way more when reminded regularly of who they were saving for.

It’s fascinating stuff really. Accepting our paradoxical behaviours, our human limitations and silliness with money is all the more reason to implement systems aimed at saving us from ourself and importantly educating ourselves on these topics. Still more people would rather talk about sex than money I guess. Go figure!

Monkey See Monkey Do