Wednesday, 24 April 2013

On seeing the human in us all.


Hello, my name is Tam. I'm a girl with feelings, happies, sads, annoyances just like you and generally, I'm fumbling through life just as you are. :) Why am I telling you this? 

The other day I had a spare moment and absent-mindedly started browsing the intarwebs and I stumbled upon a public chat room on a ning site in which a few people were chatting. I think the people did not realise that the chat room was public and that anyone browsing (like me) could read their conversations because they were writing some things about other people ("high profile" online people in my circle of peers) that I assume most people wouldn't simply share so blatantly if they knew anyone could read it. They were so blasé about it, as if talking about which shoes they did or did not like, rather than people. This was pretty shocking to me. 

Then another thing happened just a couple of days ago. A Facebook acquaintance got the wrong end of the stick and thought I deleted a comment of hers (I hadn't), she seemed upset in general. A lot of comments on my posts come through while I'm asleep (as I'm UK based), so I wasn't able to attend to her being upset straight away (I usually do if someone is upset on a thread of mine; I care). 

So when I woke up in the morning and looked at the thread I noticed she was upset and checked out her profile page to see if she was ok. Then, I was about to send her a personal message when I scrolled down her page and noticed she had written an angry post about me with stuff in there that would make most people hide in a corner and cry for a week; according to her I was narcissistic, constantly shared videos of myself singing, over-shared my 'nauseating life', loved being 'fawned over my groupies', produced crap art and a whole bunch of other quite horrible accusations and judgements I won't elaborate on. So that was super fun. 

While I was fairly able to look underneath all the judgments and see her pain and how this was *her* stuff, (when someone really goes overboard on judging you, it's actually easier to see that it's 'their stuff', lol, if the accusations are more subtle you can make it all about yourself more easily, so I have to thank her for that, ha), I was still blown away by how some people just seem to forget that 'people you know online' are people with feelings too. (I'm sure she didn't mean for me to read it, she must've thought the post was protected, but even still, I wouldn't ever dream of writing something similar to what she wrote about me anywhere about anyone, protected, public or private).

I know I live my life quite publicly and have acquired a fairly large "following" over time. (I put 'following' in inverted commas because to me each and every person who reads my stuff, or is part of my ning network, is an FB friend/ acquaintance, takes my classes, watches me on youtube etc etc is a beautiful, flesh and blood, alive with feelings and needs human being to me. No, I'm not always able to connect with each and every person personally, but I respect and love them all the same.)

Sometimes when you're seen to become more 'high profile' (whatever that is!) or more successful, and have a larger network of people 'following' you, it triggers stuff in people. Sometimes it's jealousy, sometimes it's admiration, sometimes it's celebration and sometimes it means that people forget that a 'successful person' is just like you; a person with feelings and needs who can hurt just like you. 

It's almost as if becoming more successful makes people feel that they have permission to bash you around more than they would with someone who is less in the public eye. It's like that with celebrities. When you see what people write in the newspapers or online about celebrities it can be so mean and judgemental, like they're not people anymore, but just some sort of public property that can be bashed about and judged. 

And I'm not putting my success/ growth/ "fame" on the same level as celebrities (lol, I'm glad it's not like that, I'm scared to imagine the 'shit' I'd have to deal with!), but Justin Bieber, Beyonce, Obama, Angelina Jolie, Eddie Izzard, Tony Blair, Me, You, The Homeless Person on Your Street and your Neighbour: all the same. All flesh, blood, human, with feelings, needs, sads, happies and ambition and dreams and hopes and inspiration and insomnia and whatever. We're all just people, people. No better, no worse than anyone else. Human. And need to be treated as human, not as shoes. 

The other thing I want to bring up is this. When you 'follow' someone online, however way you do it: FB/ their blog/ youtube, whatever. The only thing you glean from their lives is a mere snippet. Some people share more, some people share less. Even the person who shares deeply in depth stuff about their lives is still someone whose story is incomplete: you do not know them fully. There is so much more to a person than their online output. Notice how your own brain tries to fill in the blanks. The assumptions we make about others based on snapshots and snippets of that which they do share. And notice how those filled-in blanks are highly influenced by your own story, your own baggage, your own life choices. It's what some people call 'projection'. When we know only some stuff about others we project the rest and 'the rest' is very biased by you.

When someone triggers you, online or elsewhere, it's a good idea to dig deep inside and look at what it is about you that is triggering you so much. I do it. Whenever I'm browsing online and someone or something somewhere triggers me, I don't go to the next chat room bashing this person or thing about, instead, I look inward and I own my shit. Then, when I've identified what is up for me around that person or that post or that image, I empathise with myself and then, I actively send love to that person/ post or image that triggered me in the first place. This is how I like to make the world a more peaceful and non-violent place: by owning my shit and working it out. Sure, at times I go off on one and judge and blame internally, and still: I always come back to owning it. Why was this so painful for me? Why did that person trigger me so. What inside of me needs love and attention? 

To quote Miki Kashtan:
One of the core milestones on the path of consciousness transformation is the moment when we can fully integrate the radical awareness that our emotional responses to the world and to things that happen to us are never caused by another person. This awareness stands in stark contrast to our habitual speech, which states that we feel what we feel because of what someone else did. Instead, we learn, if we apply ourselves deeply to this practice, that our emotions are only caused by the meaning we assign to what someone did, and that meaning is generated from within us, not by the actions.
But mostly, I just wish that people remember that whoever you're dealing with, online, offline, 'famous', local, whoever; we are all people that need to be treated with care, respect, love and understanding. And I want people to know that I'm just a girl with all the usual problems that girls have and I have ups and downs and lefts and rights and yays and omgs and glitter and broccoli in my life; just like you, just. like. you. :) I often don't shower, have bed hair, wear dirty socks, drink too much carbonated soft drinks and can be a beautiful mess. And sometimes I shine and love my life and have epiphanies with rainbows and moonbeams and happy stuff. Me, you, them; we're all connected and the same. 

And sometimes, seeing how people treat people online makes me want to hide away, skulk, dim my light, just live quietly, diminish, grow quiet, be afraid. And then something inside me roars and says: No. No matter how much someone else is triggered and is incapable of owning their own shit: I will not hide my voice. I am here. I am here to stay. I will shine, share, be who I am and how I need to be, want to be. And I will continue to try and connect, even with those who attack. And I will retreat or disconnect in peace from those who insist on not connecting. And I will continue to offer what I have to offer to those who want it and I will encourage others to shine their light and share their voice as well. I'm not going to censor who I am. Hi! I am Tam. I'm here to stay. :) 

Thank you for listening and being here. I appreciate you. <3>

Monday, 22 April 2013

Radical Wellness now open for Registration! :)



Are you, like me, fed up with not being as healthy as you could be?


Fed up with making poor food choices?
Fed up with being an emotional overeater?
Fed up not committing to an exercise routine?
And do you want change all that?! (Yes?! Me Too!)


Then join this program and let's get healthy together!

Using a comprehensive workbook (approx 95 pages), the transformative power of art, support through daily emails, meditation and an encouraging community of like-minded people, we will create health in our lives together!! YaY!! :-)

Sign Up Now!

(or read more information below)
£49 GBP
(approx $75USD)
Add to Cart

Watch the promo video: 

Program/ Course Details
Begins: 20th May 2013
Registration Opens: 19th April 2013
Registration Closes: 19th May 2013
(You won't be able to sign up while the course is running, it's not designed that way)

Hello, I am Tam and I want to get healthier! :) I work a lot on mental, emotional and spiritual health on my courses, but the physical side is always a struggle for me. I 'use' food for all the 'wrong' reasons and would love to change that. I'd love to begin using food for nutritional reasons only! I'll be more specific: for many years, I've struggled with making healthy food choices. I've somehow conditioned my brain to think that food can be used as a great strategy to sort out things like: anger, sadness, depression, anxiety, tiredness and a whole host of other emotional states. It's frustrating me that it's so hard to overcome this behaviour and I've finally come to a point that I want to tackle this problem head on! This kind of behaviour needs careful love and attention to overcome. 

I have had ups and downs, better and worse times when it came to managing this behaviour. Over the years, I've found a few things helpful:

          1. Living a conscious and mindful life
          2. Cultivating self-respect, self-love and self-empathy
          3. Conscious planning/ decision making (meal plans and other)
          4. Acknowledging self-empowerment
            (I am the one making the choices)
          5. Practising radical self-care
          6. Being in touch with and processing my emotions

This program was created to help me become more mindful and aware of my daily behaviour, experiences, feelings and needs. I have found that by filling in this workbook/ journal daily and by doing the exercises as outlined I am able to make more life and health-enriching choices. 

It is my hope that this program will help you too somehow!
Sign Up Now!(or read more information below)
£49 GBP
(approx $75USD)
Add to Cart


This program has a different layout to my usual courses. See the schedule below to learn more about the exact schedule and layout of the course:

Week 1. Prep Week

In week 1 we'll be preparing ourselves for the 28 days of implementing our health plan into our lives. Week 1 contains several information videos (talking ones, not art ones) in which I will be explaining how to go about filling in the daily pages. There will also be videos of myself and Gracie in dialogue and Andy too will provide some useful insights in some of the topics we'll examine in the first week.

Specifically we will be dealing with the following topics this week:

Day 1. Reasons why we want to become healthier: your whys.

Day 2. Exploring limiting beliefs which may hinder your health plan and noting down current common behaviour/ responses/ problems that hinder your health plan.

Day 3. Thanking the body.

Day 4. Planning your health, exercise, self care and food plans, some goal setting.

Day 5. Saying goodbye to unwanted behaviours/ thanking the unwanted behaviours/ writing a letter of love, encouragement, empathy and understanding to yourself before you start on your 28 day journey. 


 Week 2 – 5. The 28 day program: Implementing and Living Your Health Plan
During week 2 to 5 we will actually be living and practising our health plan. To support you, you will receive:

  • A 95 page workbook (also used during prep week) – in which you can fill in daily (and weekly) pages
  • 5 x 5 minute meditations (to be used at the start of the day to help you ground)
  • Daily encouraging/ inspiring emails
  • 1 Weekly art video (step by step) that explains a healing art journal technique
  • 1 supporting PDF explaining the healing art journal technique
  • 1 Weekly art video fast forwarded of a project I did that week

Art wise, we’ll focus on creating beautiful journal pages which incorporate some kind of healing/ feelings processing element. We’ll include fabulous artsy concepts into our journal pages like portraits, animals, whimsical characters, collage etc.

Both the art and health side of things are very comprehensive on this course!

Here is a little peek into the workbook! :)) --->
peekintoworkbook1 peekintoworkbook2

Printer paper for workbook and ring binder: 
Please print out the workbook and put the pages in a ring binder. The workbook is best printed out onto slightly heavier paper than regular printer paper. I'd go for 90gsm and if possible, print the workbook out double-sided to save paper!
(The workbook is a lot of pages). 
Paper (for Arting on):
A dedicated art journal. Start a new journal specifically for this program. The idea is that you'll do all your emotional processing in this journal. Get one that has thick sturdy paper, preferably 140lbs in weight. I like hot pressed paper, but cold pressed or mixed media paper is fine too. 

Water-soluble crayons – Caran D'ache Neocolor II
Acrylic Paints – Daler Rowney/ Golden/ Winsor Newton
Golden Fluid Acrylics (optional)


Watercolour pencils: Derwent Inktense/ Caran D'ache Supracolor (optional)
Graphite pencils: 2b & heavier
Graphite crayons are fun but optional

Gel Medium: Golden or Liquitex I have both heavy and soft. If you just want to buy 1 go for soft matte. Cheaper gel medium to use as an adhesive: Daler- Rowney Impasto Gel Matt/ Golden Matte Medium

Variety of patterned scrapbooking papers, magazine pages, book pages and photos. 


Brayer/ Palette Knives/ Scissors/ Rulers
Heat gun or Hair Dryer

Aquamarkers Letraset
Posca p
ens or posterpaint pens

Inks/ Sprays:
Dylusions Ink Sprays
Daler-Rowney Liquid Acrylics

Other: White Gesso & Clear Gesso
Gelli Plate (optional)Washi
Tape (optional)

Please assume that the list above is tentative and that you may need a few more bits here and there (although it's unlikely I'll suddenly come in with a new product!) or certain materials on the list might not get used. It's also not always necessary to use the exact same materials as I list above. Certain materials can easily be replaced by similar or other materials.

So if you're on a budget, don't go mad buying lots of new materials. 


ladyexerciseThis programme is not solely about weight loss. While in order for some of us to become health(ier), weight loss is a good idea, this programme was not written to focus solely on weight loss. Instead, the course is about an overall holistic approach to creating health and well being in our lives. A likely side-effect of achieving this is weight loss. I don't want the focus of this programme to be weight loss only as I think that misses the point and is going to make it less likely for us to actually become healthier. Additionally, extra weight is (in most cases) a side effect of an unhealthy approach to food. You'll agree that it's much more effective to treat the cause of an unwanted something in our lives than the symptom itself. In this case, the symptom is 'too much weight' and the cause is: unhealthy living. So, let's focus on 'living healthily' instead of weight loss and the weight loss will come too! :0) 

I am not a professional nutritionist/ therapist or psychologist. This programme is offered based solely on my own personal experiences and learnings in life. If you suffer from an eating disorder like Bulimia or Anorexia (or other mental ailment like depression), this is probably not the programme for you unless you follow it with the support of an experienced therapist.

Though I would love to be able to support you on a one-to-one level, I am unable to do so due to time constraints and other commitments in life. So, if this type of programme easily triggers or upsets you, I strongly recommend you withdraw from the programme or only follow it while having the emotional support of family, friends or trained professionals. 

Recommended reading and apps:

  • 'Eating Less: Say Goodbye to Overeating' by Gillan Riley
  • 'Eat by Choice, Not by Habit' by Sylvia Haskvitz
  • iPhone app for tracking calorie intake and exercise: NutraCheck

The video files are hosted on and can both be watched online and be downloaded to your machine. The video files will be in either .mov or .mp4 file formats. Both file types can be watched in VLC player or Quicktime which can be downloaded off the internet for free. 

Your PDF files can be read through a variety of programs, the most common one being Adobe Reader.

Always make sure that your flash player is up to date as out of date flash players can cause some of the videos not to play correctly or at all. You can update your flash player here

For browsers I recommend you use Firefox, though Chrome and Internet Explorer work fine too.

To download the video files you need to have a high speed internet connection (broadband). If you don't have a high speed connection you can stream the videos online (or the downloads will simply take a longer time).
  1. Can I download and keep all the materials? Yes you can. You can download the videos and watch them at your own pace in your own time, over and over.

  2. Do I have to participate in the healing/ health exercises? You don't have to, but the main focus of this course is creating health, so you would miss out on a huge element of the course if you didn't take part. It's cool though if you only want to join in on the art exercises.

  3. Do I have to upload my work? No. Uploading work and interacting/ giving feedback is entirely optional.

  4. Will I get a DVD for this course? No, DVDs are not included on the live course.

  5. How long will the videos and PDFs be available for? Until the end of December 2013.

  6. Can people continue to sign up throughout the course? No, as the program is very specific and because the course is likely to bring up quite a bit of emotion, registration will close before the course starts. I will run another few sessions of this program later in the year.

  7. Can I get a refund half way through the program? No. Refunds can be given before the course starts but not when the course has already started.

  8. Can I share the videos and PDFs with other people who are not on the course? No. If your neighbour or friend wants to take part in the course, they have to purchase a course space themselves as should you. Please do not share the course videos and PDFs with anyone else.

  9. I don't know how to download the videos, can you help? A description of how to download videos is given alongside every video posted. If that description is still too confusing you can email me and I will try to help you. Please note however that detailed advice and lessons on how to navigate IT cannot be offered. You will need to have basic IT knowledge to be part of the course.

I hope you'll join me on this exciting journey. Let's art ourselves healthy, yay! :)

Sign Up Now!(or read more information below)
£49 GBP
(approx $75USD)
Add to Cart


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