Hello love.

It’s no secret that I have a history of anxiety and depression – both of which are symptoms of complex post traumatic stress disorder (cPTSD). And extra cherry on top for me, this all lead to living with low self-esteem too.


Anyway, I thought I’d write something for #mentalhealthawarenessweek – because I know first hand how easy it is to let any diagnosis become an identity or a new label to wear, and how it can all add to feeling broken and unable to do the things in life that you dream of doing.


I know this is post is aimed at business owners but in all honesty, it applies to anyone who wants to sort their shit out and grab life by the balls.


It can feel overwhelming at times when your creativity is your source of income.

The pressure to always have fresh ideas, see the world in a different way, and to come up with new and engaging content and ways to help people with your creations.

There’s also the added pressure of being someone who is often told they’re inspirational and an influence on others so…


What if you’re not feeling it today, this week, this month?


What if you feel like a fraud?


What if you’re not actually feeling very happy at the moment?


What if self-doubt and inner resistance is taking over?


The struggle feels very real as it is when you’re a creative or visionary business owner or leader, and it gets tricky too with the mental health issues running in tandem with this.


To be a business owner, or a creative, or anything that involves pushing past your comfort zone – you need a solid foundation to build upon. Otherwise whatever you’re building will likely topple down – just like a house.

The thing is though, a lot of the solid foundation building is done in childhood, and if you’re living with any of the conditions I mentioned, it’s likely you’re missing the odd key piece or two and it’s up to you to work out what’s making you wobble and put it in there yourself.


That thing for me has been routine. I know, I know – not very rebel that, is it?!


Yes, my rebel nature fights this. Really fights it.

But the thing about working through this is about knowing yourself enough to know what you do need, and how to approach it your way – to make it work as an act of kindness and discipline instead of the shouty and incredibly unhelpful ‘wtf is wrong with you, you douchebag?!’ – which is never going to make any new habits, good behaviours or progress stick.


This is how routine is good for the hand I’ve been dealt with my own mental health:

Anxiety – this helps me by knowing that there’s a set of things that happen each day. Even though I couldn’t bear to have my whole day controlled and regulated, by doing an amount of regular, non-negotiable shit each day, it brings a sense of ‘this is what happens here’ – which feels safe, even though parts of me do try to resist the hairy balls out of this.

Depression – this helps me by giving me a sense of achievement. Even when I’ve been at my very worst, just sticking to routinely making my bed and a cup of tea has been a fucking win in the past. Don’t knock the simplicity when you’re in this mental head space. By pushing through when the heaviness tells me not to really can make you feel so much better. There is a fine balance though – see above about self-flagellation and make sure the pushing and discipline is done in kind parenting voice and not the one of your judgey and shaming psycho grandma.

cPTSD – this helps me by helping me create new habits. New habits eventually become new neural pathways to undo the faulty coping mechanisms my mini me created all that time ago.

Self Esteem – This again gives me a sense of achievement, proving to myself I can do things, even simple things and assists in overcoming the pushback of my old identity (the one that tries to prove I’m a useful piece of shit) in the form of resistance.


So this is my current routine. I’m 1000000% aware that this list is quite a bit longer that most of us have time for usually but I’m doing more during lockdown, because again, this is a time of much uncertainty and change. Plus, there’s not much else to do right now anyway!

#1 – Have a set time to wake up.

I know this sounds simple, but for me this is a huge one.

I have a huge amount of resistance to getting out of bed in the morning. And it’s not just because I’m a lazy bastard.

I first became aware of this unusual pattern when I lived in Berlin in 2001. By staying in bed, I was telling myself that nothing bad can happen to me here. It was my way of self soothing and a way to keep me ‘safe’.

When I went self-employed, my rebel brain tricked me into keeping this in place – cos “aint nobody telling me when to get out of bed and shit.”

It’s taken almost 20 years to spot this sneaky mind trick and try to correct it – so yeah, when I say this one is a biggie for me, I mean it!

#2 – Tea.

Clearly, it’s a fucking warm and comforting hug in a mug on a cold morning – with the added benefit that it doesn’t poke you with a stiffy as soon as you embrace it (not that that’s a bad thing, but you know, this is about productivity and getting out of bed and doing shit and shit 😉

#3 – Journaling.

Empty your brain. Literally vomit out all of your thought loops, patterns, beliefs you didn’t know you had onto that page and out of your head. By doing this you don’t take all of this stuff into the day with you.

I liken this to skimming off the scum inside your brain – doing this helps you find out that you have the solution underneath all the noise, you just have to make space for it to come out instead of looping around your brain incessantly.

The added bonus of this task is that you start to spot ideas you’d not normally notice too. It’s all about making space, making the unconscious conscious and lightening the mental load.

This takes 15 minutes each morning. I do this whilst my tea cools down.

#4 – Reading.

Something positive. Like a biz book or something. Just a cheeky 10 pages before you even dream of picking up your phone and falling into a scroll-hole. Honestly the difference to my day in doing this and the other things above before even picking up my phone is HUGE. My day is much less reactive and adrenaline fuelled. Put good shit in your brain before you put bollocks in there!

#5 – Exercise.

I’ll be honest here. This is a new one for me, but I’ve embraced daily exercise since lockdown.

Typically I go to the gym on occasion and pole dance class once a week but I resist the hairy balls out of doing something regularly. But changing my mindset from ‘go do some exercise’ (never happens regularly) to ‘go do a self discipline challenge’ (i.e I fucking dare you, I bet you can’t stick to it) has really helped spot the way I try to talk myself out of things. It’s also helped me see how you do one thing, is how you do all the things and as a consequence of this simple mindset tweek I’m now exercising twice a day.




Oh and as a reward for doing some exercise in the morning, I come home and have tea number 2 – because some of us can’t function in the real world until tea number two has happened!


So that’s my current routine and it’s helping me loads. There are other things you can do as routine and that I’ve toyed with in the past.

I am a fan of today’s hoorays (gratitude), meditation, dancing and ‘I’ve done lists.’ If you’ve ever done my happiness challenge, you’ll know these well 🙂

Writing this post has made me realise that I do other things to manage mental health which includes what I eat and my self awareness journey. But that’s probably for another post. Maybe I’ll write a part two soon.

I know this seems a lot. To me it did for a long, long time. But as Elizabeth Gilbert said in one of her posts quoted below, the stakes are far too high if I don’t take the time to do it:


“The reality of my life is this: Managing my mental health is very nearly a full-time job. I don’t take it lightly, because the stakes are high. Like many of us, I have a mind that is a very dangerous neighborhood. Left unattended, my mind will fester, rot, and roll me over the brink into anxiety and depression. I have a particularly muscular storytelling instinct — and the world has rewarded me generously for that! — but the dark side of my gift is that my mind is also capable of generating terrible, frightening, life-annihilating stories about myself and about the world. I can scare the living shit out of myself, and—in the process—destroy my life.
The battle begins quite literally the moment I wake up in the morning. With the first moment of consciousness, the insanity begins. The terrorist who lives inside my mind begins bullying and threatening me.
But I’m not powerless.
Over the years I’ve adapted practices to keep my mind flourishing and my life contented.
The first thing I do every single morning is pray. (Specifically, I pray to be relieved from the bondage of self.) Then I meditate. Then I dance. Then I write myself a letter from Love. (This is the most important part of my day, when I connect to Love herself, and ask her what she would have me know today.) Then I do a The Work of Byron Katie Worksheet on a stressful belief. At various times in my life, I have gone (or will go) to therapy, to yoga, to 12-step programs. I’ve taken medication at times. Whenever I see a church door open, I walk in, take a knee, and pray. I try to reach out to somebody every day with a message of Love, which ends up helping ME. I practice generosity, which also helps ME.
It’s an all-day job. It’s why I go to bed so early, so I wake up early, and begin tending to my mental health!
It’s a lot.
But nothing matters more, and nobody else can do it for me. I accept sacred stewardship over this mind.”


Have you got any routines that help you manage your mental health?


If this resonated with you and you want support working through this, Professional Rebel’s Courage and Confidence Crew is just what you need!

A community for unconventional, creative and rebellious women who want to develop the courage and confidence to live life unedited – find out more here!




You are moving.

You are growing.

I know that sometimes it doesn’t feel like it.

But you are.

You don’t notice because that’s the way of the world.

We’re taught to focus on all the things we’re not doing.

We’re taught to concentrate on all that we’re not good at.

It’s not your fault.

That was how school worked.

Focus and work harder on the things you struggle with.

We’ve all taken that pattern with us unto adulthood.

I know it gets you down.

I know how hard your heart aches for your potential.

It aches because it’s there.

It’s meant to be.

That’s why you feel it so strong.

And it’s frustrating.

Feeling like you’re moving so slowly.

With it always just out of reach.

Demons from your past clinging onto you.

Pulling you back into the heavy swamps you’re trying to get out of.

Bringing you down.

Feeling like you’re never enough.

Like you want to give up.

And the way to get through this?

Keep things.

Things from your past.

Things that you wrote.

So you can see.

Your dreams are coming true.

It may not be overnight.

But you’re working.

At a pace that suits you.

That suits your nervous system.

And at a pace that is embedding it in.

For good.

So that when you’re there.

You feel like you earned it.

There is no fluke.

No overnight success.

Its part of your journey.

And you’re on your way.

I know it feels hard at times.

But it’s ok.

You’re not on your own.

You have got this.

You just need to document your journey.

So you can see that you are moving.

And you are growing.

And everything is exactly how it’s meant to be.

So stop looking at the things you lack.

Look at where you’ve come from.

And what you’ve brought with you.

Skills. Lessons. Momentum.

And notice what you’ve left behind.

Beliefs, habits, behaviours.

The emotional baggage that weighed you down and slowed your progress.

You are moving and you are growing and you have so got this my love.

Every time that it feels tough and the world feels like it’s been working against you, come back to this message because it’s for you.


Side note:

I wrote this because I was having a little sort and declutter of my office last week and found my old business plan.

Now, I am not a planner – I hate feeling constrained by too much in my diary, schedules that leave no room for creativity and flow, and even setting goals with times and shit on them make me feel constricted like there’s no room to breathe.

I no longer try to fit myself into that box that clearly isn’t marked for me and believe it or not, it works for me. Despite everything ‘they say’ and despite all the ‘rules’ and ‘ways things are done’, just going with my flow works for me and it’s been since doing ‘me’ and my way, that business has just clicked fully for me.

As I picked up my business plan, I had the sole intention of chucking it straight into the recycling. I opened it to have a quick look and at the front of it, was a short proposal, an intention I guess.

And all of it has come true.

Even the bits that didn’t fit me, I did them and corrected course as I got to know myself, what worked for me and whatI enjoyed the most. So I wrote this in case someone needed to hear it. Because sometimes it really does feel like you’re moving so slowly but seeing this has shown me I am moving and I’ve achieved everything I wanted.

Written sometime in 2010, maybe 2011, I have spent the last 8 or 9 years doing exactly what I intended, trying things out, learning about myself, trying on new hats, learning even more about myself and finally nailing what it is I’m about and how I help people.

Sometimes we miss how far we’ve come so I just wanted to let you know, you’re on track, there are bumps in the road, and even if you take a detour, have a little break or lose faith in yourself every now and then, it’s ok and you’ve got this.



p.s. if this resonated with you and you want support working through this, Professional Rebel’s Courage and Confidence Crew is just what you need!

A community for unconventional, creative and rebellious women who want to develop the courage and confidence to live life unedited – find out more here!


It’s no fun…

Feeling like you’re missing out on life; days, weeks, months and years passing you by.

Feeling the fire in your belly slowly fading away.

Putting on a brave face knowing you’re dying on the inside.


It’s slow torture…

Knowing you’re on the wrong path but not knowing how to do anything about it.

Feeling like there’s something wrong with you – like your brain is broken.

Beating yourself up over and over, looking at how things aren’t right and never taking in and receiving the good things.


It’s a lonely place…

Feeling alone and different. Wishing you could find people who get you.

Looking up to people you admire do things the things you want, wishing you had the courage to do the same.

Wondering if you can ever feel amazing about your life, if that’s even possible.


And above all else, it’s such a fucking waste – not being able to see all that you are, all you have to offer and how magic your life is and can be. And maybe, just maybe, little you can make a difference to someone, to your community or even someone all the way across the globe.


Sometimes it’s a case of looking at it from another angle. Sometimes it’s a case of working through what made you start looking at life like that. Sometimes it’s having someone on your team helping you out of the little hole of semi doom and gloom you’ve landed in.

Despite feeling like that all my life (and still having it creep up and bite me on the ass when I’m on a roll – hello saboteur, I see you!), I realised, after working on it for fooking YEARS, that I have a super power. It was ignoring this (not being able to see it for love nor money) that lead to feeling so goddamn awful and putting on a brave face so as not to burden anyone with my woes for so many years.

My super powers are being able to see people for who they really are – like reading between the lines, seeing through their bullshit stories and genuinely being able to light up a room with my super sunshiney energy.

Imagine having that skill, knowing you can really bloody help other people get out of their heads and see who they really are and show it to them using photography and mentoring.

Imagine having the power to lift people up and encourage them that they’re worth something, that they’re able to follow their dreams and find out who they are and what they need from life, then cheering them along as they do it.

Imagine giving someone permission to be themselves so they can feel light, unburdened and more free.

Imagine having that ability under your belt and not doing a goddamn thing about it because you’re stuck in your own head being told by that voice that you suck and you’ll never amount to anything, withering away in your own despair and letting life pass you by.


The Dalai Lama once said, “The World Will Be Saved By the Western Woman”.

Not just one woman – don’t worry, my ego hasn’t done a full on flip reverse. I’m not Kanye West.

No one (neither men nor women) is going to do jack shit if they’re crippled by their own inadequate sense of self.

If you look back at history, we’re the first generation where we don’t have to marry if we don’t have to, us ladies have freedom to work if we want to and men can stay at home and raise kids, we can vote, we can travel, we can communicate with the rest of the world and find other likeminded people. But there’s a whole lot of other stuff implying we can’t – family, guilt, shame, media, beliefs, fear of what other people think and keeping up with the Jones’s – all of this can keep us in our own heads going round in circles like a headless chicken and going nowhere fast.

If we can’t free ourselves from the bollocks, nothing really happens. We might make a change in our lives but oftentimes those old feelings and thoughts do come back and slowly drive us potty all over again and more often or not we retreat or mess it all up. That’s what I mean when I talk about having everything aligned – not just our dreams and desires, but our thoughts and beliefs too.

I want people to start telling themselves that they are good enough. That their ideas matter, that their dreams and desires are worthy of coming to fruition, that we can create lives and businesses that inspire the next generations, that we can create wealth for good causes and things that matter.

I want people to feel good and feel that they matter, so they can step outside of their heads and into their hearts, to carry out that passion project, to help those less fortunate feel seen and heard.

I want people to see who they really are and all that they’ve achieved so they can inspire their kids and the people around them – especially those worse off who have started life with the shitty end of the stick.

I want to show people that you can have fun, that life doesn’t have to be so serious, that your best ideas and moments come from when you’re not trying too hard, when you accept what is and be in the moment, you can be happy.


By taking steps to stop believing all this BS in my head – the negative voice, the stories I tell myself and the beliefs I’ve picked up from others along the way, I am able to help others be themselves and love their lives.

I want to lead by example so awesome peeps like you can stop doing work that drains you; so you can reframe the bad stuff to see just how strong you are, to see your value and that you matter and that you deserve to be seen and heard.

I want to empower amazing people like you to really live, make the most of their time on the planet in a way that suits them and not in a way they think they should, to set up their dream businesses, do the things that matter to them.

I want to help people take steps to break free from anxiety, depression and self doubt – all those things are are messages to say something needs to change. Not listening to who you are and what you’re here to do. Not listening to myself and telling myself the wrong stories were making me unhappy and taking me down a path that wasn’t right for me.

I’m just a woman who wants to make the world a happier place.

Not just by forcing a smile and pretending all is sunshines and rainbows, we don’t do bypassing around here.

I want people to see who they really are, celebrate it, enjoy their moments… and just let go of being a fucking cunt to themselves all the time.

There really is no need.


So yeah, imma gon’ put on my super suit and do what I can to leave the world in a better place than when I found it.



p.s. if this resonated with you and you want support working through this, Professional Rebel’s Courage and Confidence Crew is just what you need!

A community for unconventional, creative and rebellious women who want to develop the courage and confidence to live life unedited – find out more here!



The way I felt about myself fuelled my anxiety and depression.

And depression and anxiety fuelled how I felt about myself.

I’d brave it and make some big changes in my life, like get a new job or move house, and it helped for a short while – like as a nice distraction and something to focus on for a bit but then this empty feeling would eventually creep back in.

It went on for years.

Little did I know that picking up a camera would be the start of putting this life long cycle to bed.

You see I never planned to become a photographer – it just sort of happened… a happy accident, a fluke.


Due to childhood trauma, my little yet awesome brain developed a little differently and the connections to my memory kinda got jumbled up. This left me unable to remember huge parts of my life – not only the bad bits but also the adventures, the experiences, the stuff worth living for.

As well as being an epic tool to remind myself of all the good things in my life, like a visual gratitude diary, I started using photography to explore emotions, like spotting patterns in my thinking or using it as a way to express how I felt, like when I was going through a painful break up. I wasn’t really a ‘talker’ back then.

I never expected the camera to take me on an adventure escaping the 9-5 and setting up my first business (FlukePhotography) – it was a success… well, for a few years anyway.

It wasn’t until I realised I’d slipped back into feeling deeply unhappy again that I knew I had to work out what was going on.

How could I be unhappy again? Was there something wrong with me?



I worked out that I didn’t trust myself.

I didn’t believe in myself.

And I couldn’t see myself for who I really was.

When it boils down to it, the truth was that I didn’t accept myself.

I thought by stepping out of the into the world of self employment that I’d be taking life and stuff more into my own hands, but that couldn’t have been further away from the truth.

You see when you do a thing, if all of you isn’t aligned to that thing – your words, your actions, your beliefs, you soon find yourself bumping head first into walls and you won’t know why. It will start to drive you insane.

Taking the plunge and doing a brave to follow my heart only highlighted just how bad I felt about myself. I didn’t know what I was doing and I didn’t believe in myself enough so I just starting doing what I thought I should. No one teaches you how to run a business, so I looked at what everyone else was doing.

And then it hit me smack in the face.

I had slipped back into exactly the same cycle I thought I’d broken free from.

Doing what I ‘should’ be doing – what was expected of me.



This is probably why most people stick to the path mapped out for us. It’s less uncertain. It’s less likely to have us rejected and questioned by our loved ones. The thing is though that this path also fills us with so many thoughts, possibilities and anxiety about all that we have to do to keep up.

We can never do enough, be enough – there’s always something we should be doing to lead these perfect lives expected of us. Everyone else around us seems to have it sorted.

By following this path we loose touch with ourselves. We get crippled by the things we think we should do and stop listening to ourselves and what we, as individuals, want and need in life.

We have stories playing in our heads, some almost as old as we are, clashing with what we dream of and stopping us from getting to where we want to go. We keep looking on the outside for acceptance and approval that we’re doing the right thing. We keep pushing and pushing, losing touch with who we really are and what we need. Doing what we should until we don’t know who we are any more – this is what’s fuelling our depression and anxiety.

I realised that when we hop on the should train, it causes us anxiety. Our heads go into overdrive.

And when we keep doing what we should and not what we want and need, we get depressed.

It’s the body’s way of telling us something is wrong.

But we don’t listen.

We keep going.

Until we don’t know who we are any more.

We try and fit ourselves into roles and boxes. But what good is it playing so small, squeezing ourselves to fit and live false lives?

We stop feeling. We listen to our heads instead of our bodies.

Picking up a camera initially to help me remember things lead me to on a path to really reflect upon my life and the lives of those around me..

When I realised what was happening to me, I wanted to step out of it. I wanted to stop listening to the voice in my head and start living from my heart so my life would mean something to me.

You see, I believe the world we live in today tries to make us feel bad about ourselves.

When we feel bad about ourselves, we keep looking for something to fix it – something outside ourselves to make how we feel go away.

Constant messaging about not being good enough keeps us inside our own heads, beating ourselves up like there’s no tomorrow, comparing ourselves to other people, feeling like we’re never quite where we should be.

The longer we stay in our heads, do as we’re expected and ignore our true feelings, the more pain we cause ourselves leading to things like anxiety, depression – but it can become too much to bear so we do things to numb out, activities, more thoughts, more doing what we think we should.

And repeat.

It’s madness.

Honestly, if anyone actually heard the utter bollocks going on between our ears, we’d all be living in a mental hospital.

And nobody talks about it.

Which is why I DO talk about it.

I want to help.

You see I’ve realised that stopping all these behaviour and thought loops, we give ourselves a sense of freedom. No longer are we too worn out by our thoughts and trying to do everything we think we should. We get the headspace to live more purposefully and do more things that have meaning for us.

So I’m on a mission to do help people feel good – about life, about themselves, about who they are so the can send ripples of awesomeness and joy out into the world and make it a better place.

If I can help people feel better about who they are and do more things that matter to them, then so can you. It’s bloody life changing. And you don’t have to move to the other side of the world to do this… unless you want to ovbs!


p.s. if this resonated with you and you want support working through this, Professional Rebel’s Courage and Confidence Crew is just what you need!

A community for unconventional, creative and rebellious women who want to develop the courage and confidence to live life unedited – find out more here!



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So last night, every speaker’s nightmare came true…

Actually, scratch that, last night, every person who fears public speaking’s nightmare came true.

My mind went blank.

That’s right.

I got up on stage, delivered a few lines, got people giggling, then boomph, nothing.

No words, no thoughts, nothing.

I froze.

Rabbit à la headlights.



I’d get it if I were supposed to be giving a talk about Celtic coins or current SEO trends which I would have had to learn about in advance, but I planned to talk about myself and my experiences – something I talk, write and teach about regularly. It’s my own life FFS, not rocket science!

Well the good news is, I didn’t die.

I think that’s what most people fear about the whole public speaking thing. But I’m still here to tell the tale and I wasn’t swallowed by shame either and this is what I’d like to talk about – sometimes the Universe delivers things to show you how far you’ve come.

Last night, I got up on stage, introduced myself and started telling the tale about growing up with low self-esteem and having no confidence and how that can contribute to things like depression and anxiety. I’m guessing the small vulnerable part inside me was feeling, well, small and vulnerable opening up on this occasion, so my protective saboteur hopped right in and took over the controls of my brain.


There’s a part of your brain, your ego (what I call the headcunt at times) doesn’t like you stepping out of your comfort zone so it gathers the ‘protection’ crew to throw in something like shame to stop you making a tit of yourself and as a result, you either do make a full on tit of yourself, or you go and beat yourself up afterwards. Ego loves that:

“Ha, look at you, getting too big for your boots.”

“You made a right fool of yourself. You’re not going to speak in public again.”

“Everyone was laughing at you.”

Except this time, that didn’t happen.


I’m honestly pleased to say that the biggest ‘negative’ feeling I had was disappointment. I had a chance to tell around 100 people that they’re not alone and share the work I do and I messed up, got in a fluster, all out of breath as my lungs are still recovering from whooping cough.

I did feel a pang of shame, but it went away quickly and so, I actually found this whole experience profoundly healing.

I know I’m a fucker for silver linings and sprinkling positivity everywhere but even this took me by surprise.



So I just wanted to share with anyone who gets fed up and frustrated by life, the universe and everything throwing a spanner in the works when things are going well but there’s always a reason – it’s there to show you, you either haven’t fully learnt your lesson and it’s giving you more work to do or, in my case last night, that you’ve come a long way baby.


I didn’t judge myself, I didn’t let the negative inner chatter steal the show, I didn’t give up. I treated myself with respect and kindness, because you know what, we’re all human, we all fuck up and it’s what makes us relatable and likable.


And whilst my nervous system perceived this as a threat, and still threw me into a freeze response, it was so refreshing to see the inner work I’ve done pay off where I not only didn’t think unkind things about myself, but also that I didn’t die of shame afterwards either.


I was kind to myself and will continue to do so until my nervous system catches up to see that speaking on stage is not the same as a big grizzly bear.


I just want to say that most people prefer someone bumbling along but having a go rather than someone all polished who looks like they have all their shit together. It’s much more relatable and shows that we’re all human.


I’m really proud that I didn’t let one whoopsie cloud over all the other successes I’ve had lately – old me would have almost died of shame and gone into hiding. I’ve done remarkably well lining up opportunities and sharing my message since the new year and I guess part of me didn’t feel safe there and wanted to knock me back into my comfort zone. And that’s ok. I see it. I allowed it. I’ve let it go.


TLDR: You won’t die if you fluff up on stage. Pinky promise!


p.s. if this resonated with you and you want support working through this, Professional Rebel’s Courage and Confidence Crew is just what you need!

A community for unconventional, creative and rebellious women who want to develop the courage and confidence to live life unedited – find out more here!


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I never planned to become a mentor.

Well, except for that one time at Uni when me and my friends signed up to every society meeting that had free food at the meetings.

Yes, I left pockets filled with sausage rolls and biscuits and no shame whatsoever. And a couple of weeks later I had a CB check through. Nothing ever came of it though – they must have realised we only came for the food and not the mentoring.

Anyway, I digress.

So, this mentoring stuff – it sort of happened by accident, which in my experience is always the best way. Creative flow at it’s finest. Its whenever my life works best. And with the gift of hindsight, Ive been able to see just how much Ive always done this for people – I even recently came across an old letter from one of my teachers praising me for giving up my time to help younger pupils at school. Cheers Miss Fry.



Anyway, about a year or so ago, I received a call from one of my biz buddies, Joanne who works at Chester Voluntary Action – about a girl who had just dropped out of 6th form and was looking for some volunteering opportunities. She was interested in photography so Joanne asked if I would take her along on a shoot or two to build her confidence. 

We met for cake and tea and to have a chat. 

I saw a very lovely, yet totally unsure and timid girl. I saw a lot of myself in her – the not feeling quite like you fit with everyone else around you. Except this girl had bigger lady balls than I did at her age – she actually had the courage to drop out of 6th form because it was making her unhappy.

First thing I did was say how awesome she was for actually listening to how she felt and taking action. Some people go through their whole lives knowing something isn’t right but they don’t have the strength to do anything for themselves. They don’t want to rock the boat. They don’t want to stand out and be different. They don’t want to be judged. So they carry on regardless.

It felt like this was music to her ears. After all, there’s a set path after finishing school and some adults haven’t really cottoned on to how the world has changed since they were in that position.

I gave her a couple of dates to come on shoots with me and off we went.

In the car we talked about life, the universe and everything.

I felt really wise! She would often say, ‘oh my goodness, that makes so much sense’ or ‘wow, I’ve never really thought about it like that’. I’d remind her that I had many more years under my belt, had made enough of my own stupid mistakes and have also spent the past few years working on myself, working on personal growth and healing many years of shitty thoughts and trauma, as well as judgement from others about wanting something more for myself.

Since coming on to do a couple of shoots with me, she went and made a heck of a lot of connections around town, set up her own meet up group for other teens with self confidence issues and is soon to be jetting off to Australia for a few months. We still meet up every now and then for cake and tea. I still help with new perspectives on dealing with parents and boys but mainly it’s nice to know that in a way, the ups and downs of my life and my own issues with self confidence have been able to help someone else so much.


“When I dropped out of my A-Level’s-due to being completely unhappy – I thought I had totally lost my way. I felt as though I had failed at life! Marie-Claire helped me to see that it was only the beginning of the journey to my happiness and it definitely wasn’t the end of the world.
It’s been about 8 months since I met Marie-Claire and I am the happiest I’ve ever been! She has a wonderful positive energy that when I leave her presence I feel as though I could take on the world. She helps you to see the important things in life and to fulfill your potential. She is bouncing with self confidence and has helped me and many others to feel the same way about themselves.
She just has an overall gift for making people happy. I feel honoured and privileged to know her and I don’t think I will ever be able to thank her enough for the huge impact that she’s had on my life. “
Gaynor B. January 2017


I fell into this by just doing what I’m naturally good at and have helped hundreds of people since mentoring Gaynor. Sometimes all we need is someone to see us for who we really are. To validate us. To encourage us. To know we’re not alone.

If this resonated with you and you want to do something about it, Professional Rebel’s Courage and Confidence Crew is just what you need! A community for unconventional, creative and rebellious women who want to develop the courage and confidence to live life unedited – find out more here!




Just be yourself – words we’ve heard millions of times.

Hellooooo… But how?

It’s not like anyone actually teaches us how, is it?!


We spend our youth paying homage to the high school hierarchy; fit in, or get the crap beaten out of you.

And after that it’s freak out about the future time; not a bloody clue – let’s just look what everyone else is doing, eh.

Oooh, then it’s onto the proverbial box ticking: career, relationship, marriage, babies, mortgages – and if we’re not there yet*, we don’t half go hard on ourselves with the shitty end of the stick, do we?

*before our friends / before 30 / when our families expect us to / when think we really should have our shit together.


It becomes a huge rat race, a race to someone else’s finish. The more we push towards it, the more disconnected we feel from who we really are – and we wonder why we’re acting a little bat shit cray cray.



I 100% believe that this is what makes us feel lost, confused and insecure as well as fueling the ‘oh so friendly’ fire of anxiety and depression. Especially seeing as we try to look like we’ve all got our shit together.


According to Martin Seligman, an American Psychologist dude, major depression is seen in 10 times more in people born after 1945 than in those born before. Seeing as we don’t tend to evolve THAT quickly as a species, maybe, just maybe, the root cause of most depression isn’t just a chemical imbalance?


And, to highlight that point a bit more, the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS) reports that the number of people diagnosed with depression has increased by 450% since 1987.


Could it be that simply pursuing someone else’s path in the modern age is actually making us unhappy?

I would like to share some insights from my own experience with depression – I had zero self confidence growing up, ‘shoulding’ my way into a life that was at least two sizes too small, feeling utterly lost, anxious and terribly unhappy. I’ve also included heaps of awesome blogs and content by other people which I think you will enjoy.

I know it’s a cliché but I learnt that it took truly going inside to find joy, inner peace, self-confidence, have better relationships and lead a life you really do love.

Looking outside didn’t work, well, not for me anyway.



Knowing and being yourself lesson no1:
People like you more.


I know this totes sounds counter intuitive – getting people to like you, but the fact is, you’re not getting them to do anything. You don’t have to work at it. Woohoo!

If you think about how flowers just attract bees without ever really trying; none of this getting fake petals or slagging off the snowdrops – they just grow and do their thing. The point I’m trying to make here is that by being you, in all your shiny awesome youness will attract your tribe – you don’t have to be anything other than who you are and the right people will find you.

By dropping the mask you will save yourself some precious energy and you will be more present, which means being a much better friend.

By the way, this whole getting to know yourself helps in the finding your soul mate department too.

Being yourself = all round relationship upgrades. 


Be yourself – No one else really cares that much

Embrace your Weird

How to always be yourself

Finding my tribe

Date someone you can be yourself with



Knowing and being yourself lesson no2:
You like you more.


I think we can all agree that the feeling of being ‘not enough’ in any situation sucks big hairy donkey dick. When you start knowing yourself and hanging around more with people who really value you, something awesome happens. You start to notice your strengths instead of where you don’t quite cut it. Suddenly you appreciate yourself a heck of a lot more and your self-worth goes up a notch or two! Aaaand when you know what you’re good at and you feel good about yourself, you’re not actually that bothered about what you’re not so good at any more.

The negative self-talk eventually pipes down and you realise that comparison can fuck right off, to put it mildly.

Being yourself = hello self-confidence! 


How to overcome social anxiety

Unique, not perfect.

Be yourself and go all the way.

Why you need to let yourself be yourself

Know yourself, know your worth

Know Your Worth: 5 Small Ways To Build Up Your Self-Esteem  



Knowing and being yourself lesson no3:
Fewer fucks given.


When you knock the old incessant mind chatter and comparisonitis on the head, something utterly awesome happens – you’ll find yourself with a whole heap of clarity and headspace.

Shutting the inner headcunt up makes way for the tiny voice deep inside us to step up and seem a little louder than before – you know, the one with the answers, the one that just knows what to do. Yep that’s right, you’ll step out of your head for long enough to get back in touch with your intuition, your gut feeling, the connection to you really are.

Suddenly the word should becomes a word you laugh at. There’s a freedom in that.

Being yourself = a sense of inner peace, ommmmmmm.


A psychologist shares the 10 qualities of the most authentic people

Free yourself from what you should be doing

Being true to yourself

Finding yourself

6 tips to find yourself



Knowing and being yourself lesson no4:
You know who is driving the bus.


Feelings can be fucking scary man, it’s no wonder we end up blotting some of them out – particularly the ‘bad’ ones. But carry on for long enough and you end up not feeling anything. Yep, that’s right, you numb out completely until you don’t really feel anything any more.

You have no enjoyment in things, you can’t be bothered and everything seems like such a huge effort. You might even start acting like a dick and blowing up about all sorts on inane crap.

But this is what happens when you live your life for other people. Something’s got to give, eventually. If you open up and learn to feel the full range of emotions, life becomes better, fuller, and more dynamic. You can’t have the good without the bad. To feel pure joy, you have to let yourself feel sadness – cutting one off completely will only mute the other.

Once you become aware of your emotions, you can then be a better person, partner and parent – you know what sets you off, you can drive the bus instead of your emotions.

Being yourself = Living the fullest of lives.


5 ways to find yourself when you feel lost

Accepting your darkest emotions is the key to psychological health

Unprocessed Emotion

Harvard psychologist – we’re getting happy wrong

4 steps to align your life with your true self

Happiness means being seen



Knowing and being yourself lesson no5:
Superhero life skills.


It takes a heap of courage to step out, drop the mask and be vulnerable. It’s like being naked all of a sudden – it doesn’t half tickle your shame switch. It’s totally no wonder why a lot of people opt for the easier option of ‘not going there’ but as Anais Nin once wrote:



Which I read as: you’ll only come out of your shell when you’re utterly exhausted from your own bullshit.

But once you dare to do it, you feel a sense of power – and not the Donald Trump kinda ‘power’, it’s a real life force energy coming from within. It’s like someone turned the volume up on life – you really will shine like a fucking star.


Just like she says:

In a way, you’ll become a leader, giving others permission to do the same – to take control of their lives and live life to the full, their version of full.

Now not everyone will like this and it can hurt when old friends ghost you but you’ll start to care less, you’ll be happier in your own company, you’ll meet your own tribe, you’ll have more strength to say no to what isn’t right for you and you’ll be able to handle the toxic energy vampires in your life.

You won’t fear new experiences and you’ll be able to see your past in a new light. But I think the best thing about it all is developing what I call “bouncebackability” – true resilience, because life will still throw shit at you, you’ll still have wanky days – you just wont fight them, you’ll let them flow, knowing you have the strength to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and carry on all shiny and awesome and shit.

Being yourself = Realising just how fucking strong you are.


Take back your power

The courage to be yourself

Getting to know yourself what you like and what you want in life

How to become the unique and wonderful being you were born to be

The day I met a Happiness Ninja

Do this instead of being positive when everything falls apart



Now I know sometimes people don’t want to go there – what if you find out you’re a massive knob? Maybe you’ll really see that you’re not really that special?

All of us find things we don’t like at first and I’d be lying to you if I said that wasn’t a kick in the teeth. Nobody smiles at the thought of being jealous, angry and competitive but as the author of this post says “when you can remain standing when you feel your weakest, then you are truly stronger than you think.”


Running from the inside – the journey back to me



As someone whose life has completely changed by getting to know themselves, I’d love to invite you to come along for the adventure. Professional Rebel’s Courage and Confidence Crew is just what you need!

A community for unconventional, creative and rebellious women who want to develop the courage and confidence to live life unedited – find out more here!


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So I fell in a hole.

A pretty fucking dark one this time too.

I was unable to get out of bed most days and I literally froze, like a rabbit in the headlights, every time I sat at my computer to work.

I couldn’t understand what had happened.

I gave in. I went to the doctors.


Happy Pills

















Yeah, that’s right – the ‘Happiness Ninja’, on happy pills.

Surely that’s cheating, right?


There’s no shame in asking for help.

I repeat.


It’s ok to ask for help; to take a break from this madness; to press reset, pick up the pieces dust yourself off and start again.

After starting the year with a right bang; my mush on the front cover of a magazine in Australia, interviews with Virgin and Standard Issue Magazine, I’d gone on to line up the most awesome few weeks working with ideal clients all over the country. I’d been signed to a London Photo Agency and even braved pitching to photograph Denise Duffield Thomas’ Lucky Bitch UK event and got the j.o.b.

I was dead proud of myself.

I 100% expected this to carry on and to go on some right exciting adventures, and I assumed these adventures would be of the external, big wide world type.

The universe had other plans though – it wanted me to go on an adventure within; to face the demons we all try to run from (or ahem, that we sit on the couch, scrolling, numbing and ignoring).

I’d started noticing a pattern. I’d smash it, create awesomeness, ride the wave, love it, feel amazed I’d created this, then BAM. I’d get sick, I’d be exhausted, my whole being would ache to the core, I’d get depressed, and work would dry up.

I’d pull my head out my arse, get myself back out there, smash it, create awesomeness, ride the wave, love it, feel amazed I’d created this, then BAM. I’d get sick, I’d be exhausted, my whole body would ache to the core, I’d get depressed, and work would dry up.

Rinse and repeat.

It was subtle at first so I didn’t notice it. I put it down to what new business was like – peaks, troughs, feasts, famines. Later, as I got to know and understand myself, I put it down to being a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) in business, who just had to learn her limits and manage her energy a little better. But as time went on, this pattern became undeniably clear – as the waves I rode got bigger and bigger, so did the crash that subsequently followed.

Feeling defeated and utterly worn out by it all, my coach, Annette, suggested I go to the doctor.

“I’m not sure what’s going on, I’m here to see you about depression but the funny thing is, I don’t feel depressed – my head is happy, I know who I am; a sunny soul full of joy. I don’t think negative thoughts any more but often the life I am living is completely different to the unlived life inside me. It’s not my head that’s depressed. It’s my body. I feel like it’s letting me down. I have passion. I have purpose. I have drive. But I feel like some force is holding me back. Like my meat suit is two sizes too small for my soul or that it’s really made of a dense metal, weighing me down preventing me from moving forwards with my life.”

I swear this doctor was an angel. Not only did I get my appointment that very same day I called (umm, like that never happens) but he was so understanding and just perfect. He prescribed some pills and suggested I get some professional help with this.

I’m still waiting for therapy, as that’s how it is here now in the UK but something amazing has happened since – by using the pills as a break, to help take the weight off the daily struggle to just get up and fight the heavy energy, just so I could function, a few things came to light.

Whilst I’m no stranger to looking inward, I do throw myself into my work at times. Especially when something deeper is trying to get my attention, something that clearly needs healing. It’s just we don’t always notice we’re doing this. With my body feeling so heavy, I struggled to get to work and by just freezing when I sat down at my computer, I decided to take a break from the business and see what was trying to get my attention.

Also, knowing what a fucker facebook is for falling into the ‘scroll hole’, I came off that too. It was just instagram and cat pictures for me 🙂

I took a couple of weeks to solo-retreat, I meditated, I ‘now’ed’, I yoga’d, I walked dog, I made friends with butterflies, I journaled, I spoke to friends, family. I went bat-shit crazy on the self-care.

I found out I have complex post-traumatic stress disorder. I learnt that it’s not just soldiers and people from war torn countries who can get suffer with this. Trauma can affect anyone. We’re all different. What can bounce off one person, can completely annihilate someone else.


 Suddenly every issue, problem and random behaviour in my life made sense.

Finding out I have PTSD has actually been the best thing ever.


My Life in a Spider Diagram
















Yeah, I know. I’m a fucker for silver linings but armed with this knowledge, the missing piece of my own puzzle, I know what I’m working with now and can move forward in a way that works for me.

Committing to a complete break from my distractions, earning a few quid doing part time admin work over summer and just taking it one day at a time. I’ve mustered so much strength and inner peace. I have gained so much clarity too.

It’s like I couldn’t see the forest for the trees.

So yeah, PTSD is a bitch. But I can be an even bigger bitch when I have to be.

I’m back and I’m really excited to tell you about the things I’ve got lined up… they’ll just happen in their own time, and I’m 100% ok with this.

I’m not letting this define me or put me in a box.

Big love xxx


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Imagine if you never changed your shoes.

Not the shoes you’re wearing today.

I’m talking about the ones you wore as a little boy or little girl.

Imagine how uncomfortable your little tootsies would feel as your feet grew and the shoes started rubbing, pinching and giving you blisters.

What would happen if you left them as they were?

The uncomfortable feeling would likely turn into unbearable pain. You’d probably start to walk a little funny with a limp or you would avoid walking at all costs.

What would your feet look start to like?

Do you remember hearing about the little Chinese girls who used to have their feet broken and bound so they could fit into the tiny shoes they were told they had to wear just so that they could be loveable? Their toes broken and bent, just to fit into something they believed would make them more desirable.

Where am I going with all of this?

We grow out of lots of things in our lifetime. Like shoes. And when they no longer fit, we get bigger ones to allow out feet to grow, feel comfortable and become the size they are meant to be.

But I was thinking about this the other day.

There’s something that we don’t change very often. If at all.

Our stories.

Think of the stories we tell ourselves about who we are.

Sit with it now for a couple of minutes.

 Who are you?

What is your role in your life?

Are you a mummy, a wife, a teacher, a school volunteer? A photographer just starting out, a part time blogger, someone who used to be a nurse?

Let’s go a little bit deeper than that, let’s look at who it is we believe we are.

Not very organised, lazy, shy, ugly, not very good at…

And where do these stories come from?

When did you decide these things were true?

If you’re anything like me, you probably created stories about your life from the things that have happened to you and the things you have done in your life.

But the thing is, when we create a story, it defines who we are. We assume that role in our life.

And it is who we believe we are determines the way we act. Every single day.

It hit me that the things I still believe about myself do not serve me any more. It’s almost as if I’ve outgrown them. I’ve not taken on board any of the things that have happened since I created these stories. And I’ve done a heck of a lot since!

 So if I continue living my life believing things I made up about myself, most of which were probably decided before the age of 10 (when I had oh so much worldly knowledge), with the odd one picked up along the way, then I’ll probably just keep acting like a bloody 7 year old is running the ship.

I’d never become the person I want to grow into.

I’ll just act like a scared little girl in a grown up’s body.

Here are some of the stories I’ve been telling myself:

I’m a scared little girl.

I’m shy.

I’m not very confident.

I don’t fit in.

Nobody likes me.

I feel lost.

Nobody fancies me.

I’m a sad little girl.

I’m a weak little girl.

I just want to be liked.

I’m depressed.

I’m a newbie photographer.

I don’t know what I’m doing in business.

Nobody takes me seriously.

Is that really who I am?

Ummm, NO!

If these things were really true, would I be spilling my guts out here and giving talks and workshops in front of people I’ve never met before? Would I have travelled alone in places like Thailand and Australia? Would I have been self-employed since 2012 collecting many happy loyal customers and wonderful testimonials telling me how the photos I took were so good I made them cry? Would people constantly message me to tell me I’m an inspiration and how the happiness work I do has helped them?

I don’t think so!

But because deep, deep down I believe something else about myself, these things don’t seem to go in. It’s like they bounce straight off me. If new information comes in that doesn’t reinforce the old story about myself, then I can’t take it in – I hold my stories dear to me. I must only believe that which I made up about myself at the age of 7.

Have a think about the stories you tell yourself.

I dare you to call bullshit on some of the old ones.

Prove yourself wrong. Step into the role you want to have and see how that changes how you feel about yourself. Feel better about who you are now and what you’re doing with your life. Not who you decided you were when you were 7.


p.s. if this resonated with you and you want to do something about it, Professional Rebel’s Courage and Confidence Crew is just what you need!

A community for unconventional, creative and rebellious women who want to develop the courage and confidence to live life unedited – find out more here!


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It’s super easy to say I don’t want this, I don’t like this, this doesn’t feel good.

But have you ever sat down and had a good think about what it is you do want?

You don’t want to feel sad – but what does happy actually look like to you?

You don’t want to work at this job – but what job is it you really want?

You don’t want to be single – but what does a relationship, an ideal relationship, look like to you?

Without having an idea of what you do want, you can end up with anything.

It’s like being in a relationship with an idiot just so you don’t have to go to bed alone every night.

It’s like bumbling along from one shit job to the next.

It’s like not making any changes at all because you don’t know what it is you really do want.

It’s hard to change things for the better if you don’t know what it is that you desire.

And it’s here where you just have to try something.

Not sure of what to try, think of the feelings.

It’s never about the thing itself, it’s the way it makes you feel.

The feeling you want is normally the exact opposite from that what you’re experiencing right now.

Focus on the feelings you do want and move towards them, rather than running aimlessly from what you don’t want to feel.

The thing that you give your attention to, is the thing that will grow.

And to feel bad about what you don’t have is such a waste of all that you have.


p.s. if this resonated with you and you want to do something about it, Professional Rebel’s Courage and Confidence Crew is just what you need!

A community for unconventional, creative and rebellious women who want to develop the courage and confidence to live life unedited – find out more here!



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