Dear universe – I must confess it has been seven months since my last blog. It has been playing heavily on my mind that I have not been blogging. It’s not that I haven’t had anything to write about… In fact the opposite is true. So I decided that the best way to lay this blogging demon out of my negative mind chatter was to blog! Settle in for a read as I have a bit to catch you up on…

2014 had all the makings of a most spectacular year. My treatment from 2013 was working, I had been around the world showcasing my curves and crutches. I was back on my bike training for my dream of completing a half Graperide, and did so, inspiring some new gorgeous LeapStars to do the same and was blessed to cross the finish line with my soulmate and husband in his first ever bike event. I have discovered the wonderful benefits of eastern medicine which has kept my pain levels manageable. I have had the most wonderful opportunities to share my good news around the South Island, as I went on a roadshow for two different clients. It was breathtaking to travel and speak in Nelson, Blenheim, Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown. Leap is leaping ahead. Tutuman, Lou and Emma have been rocks as we took on five more contractors bringing our team to nine. This has opened more doors to ensure Leap offer the best holistic service for all of our clients. We have a fabulous range of clients from aged 8 – 67 and watching them grow in confidence and strength every week is so often reason I have continued to get out of bed and keep going.

On personal growth I have been blessed to be one of a handful of people from around NZ who have been meeting each month as part of the BE Leadership Program. All of us facing our adversity head on each month as we unravel who we are and how we can lead social change in our communities. I have had been meeting Fiona Miller a growth coach regularly who had helped me put into perspective who I am and what my legacy is.

I am sure that I am pulling off to the outside world that my world is wonderful. As my dad used to say “kiddo you have a great telephone voice… Meaning that no matter what is going on no one would know”. I think it’s because I could have been a great actress… Getting up every day to perform for the world. And then there is my more positive and rational brain believing I can pull off positive because it helps me get back on track quicker…

Because you see…..

This year has been one of the hardest years I have faced since my diagnosis – emotionally, spiritually and physically. I have done more writing this year than I ever have. Writing is such a cathartic way for me to process my world and find solutions to get back on track. It’s just not seemed right to publish my musings this year. I am sick of hearing about my woes so why on earth would anyone else still give a damn! I have had an enormous challenges and feel like I am stuck on a mouse wheel instead of the rollercoaster I used to love. Going up and down is fun…. Going around and around is not so fun. My mentors and medical team have helped keep most of my darkness away from the world. They all share the same view (maybe with different words….). “Cate, mentally you are a strong lady, but your body is constantly fighting itself and each year. It is your body that is dealing with the stress. It is your body that is slowly deteriorating as it copes with what is happening.”

If my body would let me I would jump up and down stomping my feet, yelling IT IS NOT FAIR! Hospital visits, new diagnosis, more teams, a broken house, an unloved garden, fighting with the neighbours, an EQR project manager who isn’t in our corner, an EQC process that is confusing, feeling like we stayed positive for four years just to be treated like “complainers”. Overwhelmed with grief… Tears as the rubbish bins head down the driveway – missing my nan and her hugs and wise words. Tears as I drive through town – feeling nostalgia as the great memories flood back of our beautiful city. Tears as I pack away the “box of memories” for my kids that will never be. Tears as we “perch” in a house that no longer feels like home, with that feeling of anguish and exhaustion and we are only at the start of the process. Moments of anger and grumpy outbursts at Riwai when I can’t get up without his help, turn the shower on or lift a cup without dropping it. Guilt as I see him be the best carer he can be so I can continue to do what I love and help others find their smiles. Exhaustion from doing the tiniest of movements when only a few months ago I was biking without a care in the world. Loneliness as I keep it all hidden as much as I can. Insomnia as I manage the pain.

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a cruel disease. Still there is no cure, it’s unpredictability so frustrating but tomorrow is a new day and another chance for a new beginning. Every day I am out of a wheelchair is a great day. Despite my dark moments I have the opportunity to make a difference in the world. I am so grateful that I have a strong mind, tenacity to turn this around, an awesome soul mate and brilliant medical team to work through this. My LeapStars give me a plethora of opportunity to discover good news to share. My Leap2it! Philosophy is my own daily plan to fall back on. Continuing to discover my way to love life, enjoy exercise, appreciate myself and surroundings, have a positive purpose, access hydration, be inspiring and be inspired and be part of a fabulous tribe.

This year much of my learning has been about vulnerability and so I have shared what is happening for me. It has been good to get it off my chest!

However… I have been here before.. Winter is tough for us. With spring less than four weeks away we believe the mouse wheel is about to break and … A familiar feeling that we haven’t felt for a long time is back… Hope! With a dash of courage!

Tomorrow on my zimmerframe we head to my rheumatologist for my 11th year check up…..we feel it will be good news 🙂 …




Today is one of those days where I really struggle with my disease. My amazing nan used to give me a big huggle buggle on days like this and say to me “it’s alright love, it will be alright”. I really miss her gentle tap on my back and the soothing sound of her voice saying “there, there as the tears roll down my cheeks”

I miss her today – she was always there when I came home from a hard day at the hospital. We would make a cuppa and I would raid her lollie jar then we would yabble yabble about the appointment or in today’s case the appointments until all the tears had gone and I had “my ducks in a row” and felt ready to face the world again. She always helped me come up with my answers and let me do it in my own unique way.

RA is a crippling and nasty disease and for the first time probably ever I am publicly sharing the enormity of how I feel on days like this. It is a constant battle and balancing act for me, Riwai and all those around me, it’s ups and downs so overwhelming at times. The words “you have had amazing results before and we will look at every possible angle to get you back on track” are little comfort on days like this, the reality setting in that we are running out of options and those options available come with their own list of debilitating side effects. This is serious stuff…. A crippling disease with no cure, no rhyme or reason and no real definitive pattern to plan for. The mind plays all sorts of tricks and the chatter constantly ringing in my head and filling with whys and how comes. I miss my own exercise and am constantly reminded of what I wish I could do – of course that is my own fault no one forced me to work in the wellness and fitness industry. My morale bones could see a gap and knew someone had to make a change and help thousands like me. Some days though i get super frustrated. Still i really dobmiss doing my own exercise . I would love to have a me to train me and run around a netball court one last time… Even run around the block pain free sounds so appealing.

I get so over having no taste or appetite, feeling lethargic all day and wide awake all night. Giving myself an enormously hard time because my rational mind knows I have done incredibly well and all little steps i take do make it ok. i swing from feeling blessed to be building an incredible business based on my adversity… and deep down I knowing it will be ok – to moments like today I am impatient and …..

This 30 secs I am over it!!! This 30 seconds i want to jump up and down and say its unfair! I am sick of hobbling, sick of strangers telling me I shouldn’t be in that disability park, sick of getting up an hour earlier than I should so i can get this old body moving and functioning as I want it too. I don’t want another health professional to tell me how incredibly amazed they are at how I have held the progression. Over joints swelling and aching, my ears aching from my TJD joint being inflamed. Sick of dropping things, restless legs and having to get Riwai to help me with so many simple daily tasks. i would love to pick something i like off a menu instead of chosing what I can cut myself without worrying. And seriously Idon’t need another stranger on the end of the healthline phone line telling me just take a couple of paracetamol. If i am ringing it is because I am in aworld of pain and probably tried all the “scripted” answers….. Yes rest is good but really I need to know which opiate in this array in the shoebox I front of me is best for sleeping and which is better for day time. Yes I am well aware that my CrP is good, ESR good, chest xray clear, so the steroids, dmards, painkillers, anti -inflammatories are all working…. Yes maybe they are masking my symptoms.. Thank your for the creams and more pills for all the allergies, spacer for my inhalers and I totally get the lack of strength and muscle wasting is normal. Thank you for the millionth time – i know I am doing great!

Why aren’t you taking some of “that” more regularly – oh because the box didn’t tell me I could. Yes definitely take this was that and stop that with this….and then try that… But if you feel worse in the morning you should see your GP.

Wow that’s a low peak flow – but you are taking your inhalers and you are on steroids??? Really ok your Pulse good, BP perfect. This is a complex auto immune disease Cate and I would say that your immune system is shot…..

REALLY!! You don’t say!!!!

So all in all that’s my 30 seconds of frustration blurted out…. I feel much better and forever hopeful that today’s appointments will lead me back to the track I want…. One thing is for sure if I stay on this negative track before too long I will hit the end of the track and a big brick wall which will be harder to comeback from. So thats the rare and wee scenic negative detour over and that was all I needed to remind me what Thomas (the tank engine) would say…

I think I can, I think I can- wahoo!!!


Today is 1000 days since my world changed for ever. It has been a roller coaster ride and it is so so super exciting that my new world has really only just begun. May 31st 2013 marks a tonne of reasons why I shouldn’t be in business, a tonne of reasons why I shouldn’t be in Christchurch and a tonne of reasons why I should really be in both. Mother Nature dished us a cruel blow and followed it up with thousands of aftershocks. I have been blessed to continually open up the gifts of opportunity that present and make the best of what I have been given.

Today I decided to celebrate by doing a random act of kindness for every hour I was awake today. What a most magnificent day it turned out to be :

6am – Despite enormous pain I did not cancel any clients, had a dose of Vitamin P (pet cuddles) and thanked my husband for being awesome.
7am – Sent a text to Thank a LeapStar for all she has done for me
8am – Offered to do a special plan for a special lady
9am – Lent out my phone so a stressed lady could find hers
10am – Yelled across the car park and told someone that they looked fabulous in purple
11am – Hugged someone and told them they were amazing
12pm – reminded someone what a great job they do and what the mean to me then shouted lunch
1pm – thanked two local businesses for their great service
2pm – opened a gate for a lady lifting a heavy gear bag
2:30 – delivered flowers randomly to someone who just made a big life decision
3pm – visited a classroom of young children and told them how cool their teacher was
3:30 – let a grandad cross the street not at the crossing because he and the kids looked super stressed – even though I held up traffic!
4pm – delivered someone’s overdue study for marking because they were at work and weren’t going to make the deadline
4:30 – shopped for party items for a 4yro because her daddy is in hospital and her mummy is under alot of pressure
5:00 – wished a random man in the a street a happy birthday (after overhearing him say it at the bank) and then rang up and thanked the bank for its great service today and always!
5:30 – delivered some flowers and a card early for someone’s birthday to help cheer them up.
6pm – wished the team at the chemist and the doctors a magnificent weekend
7pm – thanked medical team for staying back late for me
8pm – rang the after hours duty manager to thank the afterhours nurse for all her help
9pm – thanked the on call GP for his patience and honesty
10pm – arranged for my hubbie to take some of our friends kids to the rugby tonight.
11pm – promoted a local business via Facebook
12am – posted my blog to inspire others to do many small things often and have many blessons throughout life 🙂

It was a very humbling day. in amongst all the giving i was also balancing my own trapeeze as my medical team worked with me to avoid a hospital visit. Kindess and patience won the day and this one tonne post eqc milestone that will forever carry beautiful memories. It reinforced that please and thank you are still Magic words do make a difference in someone’s day. I also have an amazing brooch and bundles of special memories now attached to it. It is made from an old map of chch so was a perfect match for me today. It will always be a reminder that smiles, hugs and random acts of kindness really do make us count our blessons :).


Follow your Dreams

I have been blessed to always have a mentor in my life. They have been people I have been inspired by and always helped me through challenging times. So often they have been sounding boards and get me well enough to challenge me if I have gone off the rails. When my Nana, who had been my life time inspirer and mentor became unwell I decided to search out a different kind of mentor. My business was going well and growing at phenomenal rates, however, with this came a sense of unbalance. WNana was diagnosed as terminal it was clear that business was not my number one priority, this scared me as I loved what I did but when it came to family, somehow I was able to drop everything to do what was right in my heart. The thought of losing Nan was overwhelming so I reached out to a grief counsellor to help me cope. My gorgeous friend thought it was such a good idea “Only you Cate, would pre plan your grief!” I pondered this for a bit and laughed realising she was totally right. My grief counsellor was amazing and together we put so many wonderful things in place in the last six months.

I was able to rediscover some real passions and discover what made my heart sing and what inspired me on a very personal level. Much of this I was able to share with Nana before she passed and it has totally helped me to cope when days aren’t so peachy.

We started with working on what I loved, what I used to do as a child, what I could do for hours without needed a break. Then we focused on what was important to me – what were my values and why did I do things in a certain way and how could I be true to myself. When I had practiced these things we went on to releasing these in a creative way while also practicing mindfullness of others. Then we focussed on my body basics hydratiion, healthy regular eating, sleep well and exercise regularly for the first month. When I had my body back in some balance with small changes we moved on to noticing small things, decluttering and finishing off projects that were important to me. It has been a journey and I have discovered some most wonderful gifts along the way.

When the sessions had concluded I was so inspired by her story and the work we had done I have continued working with her as my Creative Coach. It has been a true blessing for me and my business has again gone to a new level. This time I feel far more in control of where I am at because I am in balance and when I go off the rails – I apply all the lessons that have inspired me along the way.

Thank you Dr Sharmaine Dobson – you are a true earth angel and I am blessed and honoured to have you in my life

C xx

Be Still and Listen

I haven’t blogged for a month. Every time I started the words didn’t come. On Feb 8th I lost a most remarkable woman in my life. It was a beautiful day. The birds chirped and the sunrise was magical. At 10.15am after a short battle with cancer my amazing and beautiful nan passed away peacefully at home surrounded with laughter, love and calmness. Just as she would have wanted. Her legacy will continue in the hearts of her family and friends and everyone she touched.

In the month that has passed it has been an emotional roller coaster. Some days it only feels like yesterday we were laughing over marmalade toast and other days I desperately want to feel her huggle buggles and smell her cooking waft out her front door. Then I realise……. if I just stop, and sit quietly and listen she is still here with me. In my heart, in the flowers I can smell, in the birds I can hear and if I slow down for a moment and breath in and out I can hear her whisper. “You will be alright love. It’s going to be alright” xx

Time Stood Still

The deafening sound of silence

A body of beautiful skin

Lying Peacefully

Her soul already in us

In the smiles we meet

A final goodbye to her garden

The sun peaks

Blackbirds sing, rose petals open

Her legacy lives on


Happy Waitangi Day to all my NZ followers. I love Waitangi Day. It has become a day of the year that I love to consolidate. The rush of Christmas is over, the world is going back to their routines and it is time for me to take a look at all the ideas that have flowed creatively and plan my action! In late December I always set myself a one month challenge so that it starts before traditional new years resolutions and it finishes before everyone is sharing how they have failed their new years resolutions already! The challenges vary from year to year and always end up with me having an abundance of new ideas and energy.

This year I have been blessed to care for a loved one who has been touched by crippling cancer. As my energy has gone into caring for her I have been constantly reminded about what is really important, how we function, what makes us smile and in essence what is truely needed to survive.

Every one on this planet has a gift and we all bring our own unique spin on the world. I have witnessed a truely remarkable women continue to communicate even on her death bed with touch, smiles and nods. It is the simple things in life that are so often the hardest to give but my nan still continues to give and listen. She has taught me this month to listen with my whole body and all my senses. I am listening with my eyes, touch, smell and ears. Only my nan could contine to teach me such wonderful things. The cancer may have beaten her body but it never took away her spirit or who she is. When she was asked by nurses if she would like more pain relief or to be able to hear the family she chose family. Her time here is close but she will forever be in our hearts. I have thanked her for all the lessons she taught be and now it is time for me to honor what I have heard by taking action and continue to be gentle on the world and listen to my body. Kia Kaha Nana and thank you for being you and getting me. Smiles and Huggle Buggles xx

As I write these words the clock has ticked over 4.15am.  It’s dark outside and the rain has begun falling ever so gently on the tin roof of  nana’s garage.   The house is so still I can imagine each rain drop.    My aunty has made me a cup of tea and brought in a wine biscuit as we have both been up caring for nana.

I sip my tea and nibble all around the pattern of the biscuit.     I savour the stillness, quiet and gentle sounds of the pre daw, the space of being able to think without distractions of the internet or others.

This savoring … it’s a magical act.

Savoring is usually applied to eating good food: take a single square of dark chocolate and put it in your mouth, but don’t chew and swallow it. Let it sit there, as you savor it, noticing its earthy notes, hints of citrus, the richness of its texture as it melts in your mouth. You swallow it almost regretfully after letting it linger, fully appreciating the delicousness of it, giving pause to think about the people who grew the beans, who roasted and grinded them and hand-crafted them into this square of joy.

But savoring food is just the start: you can savor anything, and you should. It’s wonderful. And it changes everything.

Savoring can teach you to be mindful, to stop procrastinating, to finally exercise, to eat less and more healthfully, to live life in the present, and much more.

And, as you read this, I urge you to slow down from your usual busy practice of reading quickly, and savor the reading of this article.

The Practice

The savoring of a square of dark chocolate is a great practice you can do once a day.

When you savor tea, or chocolate, or a handful of cherries … you slow down. You pay close attention — the closer the attention, the more you’ll get out of the savoring. You don’t rush to the next thing, but stop and give some space to the activity.  In that moment you don’t worry about what you have to do later, you are fully enjoying the present.

This is savoring, and it takes practice. You can do it right now, wherever you are: pause and look around you and savor this very moment. Even if it doesn’t seem to be special, because let’s face it you’ve done what you’re doing a thousand times, savor it. Fully appreciate the gift you’ve been given.

This is a practice you can do several times a day — find a few rituals for savoring, like enjoying your morning tea or coffee (without sugar), or taking a bath, or reading to your child, or having a tea ritual in the mid-afternoon, or snuggling with a loved one. The more you practice, the better you’ll get.

Doing the Perfect Thing Right Now

A constant source of anxiety for most people, in this day when we can do almost anything at any moment, is: “Am I doing the right thing, right now?” Should I be exercising instead? Should I be doing that housework? Are other people doing something better? Is there a better way to do this, a better tool, a smarter method, a faster way?

When you savor,  anxiety can melt away. You are savoring this activity, so you let the thoughts of everything else go away, and immerse yourself. You give it space and just do this, and fully appreciate it. And so you know that you’re doing the perfect thing, right now, whatever it is, because nothing can be a delicious as savoring this moment.

Eating Mindfully

One of the problems that causes many people to be overweight is that they eat too much (you might say it’s the main problem). A big reason people eat too much is that they eat large amounts of food, quickly. It’s tasty, so eat it fast! And get some more! I know, because I did this for years. Still do sometimes.

But I’ve also learned, much of the time, to savor my food. And when you do this, you don’t just cram it down your throat, but you pause for each bite (don’t reach for the next bite as soon as you put the last bite into your mouth), and you give it space, and you savor it.

This means that you really notice every taste of that bite, the texture of it, and give thought to where it came from, who made it, what went into it (not chemicals, we hope!), and what it will do for our body.

It’s hard to overeat when you savor each bite, and take your time. In this way, you can also learn to enjoy healthier foods, like dark leafy greens or raw almonds and walnuts or tempeh or tofu. You can also eat healthfully most of the time, and then enjoy a bit of birthday cake without overdoing it, because you just need a little bit in order to savor it.


I enjoy exercise, which is a statement most people probably wouldn’t make. I love the feeling of a good workout, the good feeling of lifting something heavy, the feel of the water washing over me as I go for a swim.  Most people dread exercise, and so put it off. But you can savor a workout. You can savor a good walk, swim, workout, run or  ride. Give the workout some space, and fully be in the moment as you do it, fully notice your body as it moves and works, fully notice your breathing and body.  Fully notice the air and smells and sights around you.

Savoring exercise makes it more enjoyable, makes you more likely to do it, and makes the time you spend doing it perfect.

Living in the Present

Savor everything you do, every experience. There is no moment that cannot be savored — even those routine moments, even those times when you’re having a conflict with someone else, even those times when you’re alone with nothing to do.

Savoring is about learning to live presently, to fully enjoy the gift of each moment, to give that moment the space and attention it deserves. It takes practice, but it’s a delicious practice.

Inspired by Zen Habits and spending time with my Nana Jan 2013.

‘As you walk and eat and travel, be where you are.  Otherwise you will miss most of your life.’ ~Buddha