I used to say to people ‘I feel like I live my life in the red lines of a car speedo’.

Always maxed out. The environment and situations I kept finding myself in, or more honestly putting myself into, were high pressure. I was not an ER doctor, I worked in marketing, in an office. A regular day was 7 to 7 and it was action packed. I would run not walk, eat lunch reading emails and going to the toilet was the only break I’d get. There was a lot of pressure to get things done in totally unrealistic time frames and to do these things I’d have to pressure other people to also work like a crazy person.

That was my life, day in day out. The toll it started to take on me was I couldn’t fit my cloths anymore, my digestion was terrible and I felt like crap all the time. Emotionally I was on a knife-edge. I started drinking coffee with lots of sugar. I wasn’t alone. The people I worked with were also on the same path and we would feed off each other, and justify our actions. It was like a badge of honor.

One day there was a health check in the office. The CMO came into my office and all but physically dragged me there. The results were not great for a person in her early 30’s. I felt embarrassed and started to make some changes. That old saying “I wish I knew then what I know now” as there are many things I’d do differently. Repairing and rebalancing after living in the red lines takes more effort than if I hadn’t let things get out of hand. I was so numb to my body it had to shout at me to listen.

About 10 years ago when I was working in an advertising agency in Auckland I invited my yoga teacher Karla Brodie to run a class in the agency. I was nervous. The people I worked with were extraverted and outspoken people who definitely did not do yoga. I was worried they would laugh or make fun of my yoga teacher or that they just wouldn’t turn up. What I saw instead was a full class of people who intently listened. I could see light bulb moments for people as they experienced the class. People talked about it for weeks and kept practicing what they had learnt. But we only did it once so with time we all revered back into our old patterns. I vividly remember the impact that class made on my colleges and I wanted more of that for more people.

It will sound cheesy but here goes. Helping people to feel good is at the core of what we do and why we formed Hum. We are here for the people where everything looks fine on the surface. They have good jobs, nice homes and can buy lots of nice things. They are productive members of society. We want to be part of the solution that effects change for people by teaching simple and effective tools they can do for themselves so they feel as good on the inside as they look on the outside. WELLNESS IS SOMETHING YOU GIVE TO YOURSELF.

self care