The Things We Do For Love



Like most people, I watched the Royal Wedding over the weekend and through the fancy hats and dresses, I observed Meghan’s face and mannerisms. She was so graceful and reserved, almost looking uncomfortable. I said to my husband “I really hope she’s not sacrificing who she is for Harry”. No doubt there are loads of things she will now have to do differently. He replied, “Maybe being with Harry is bringing her closer to herself. She also has a great platform to launch her humanitarian campaigns”. Aaahhh, good point mate!

This had me looking at our relationship in a different light. About 7 years ago I moved from Perth to Melbourne to be with my husband. I wanted to see if how I felt was real and also, I had nothing to lose. I was the single one in my group of friends whilst everyone else was getting married and having kids, so it was time for me to spread my wings and try something new.

Moving was scary and so different to what I’d imagined. I was naïve to think that I’d just get there, knock Adam over the head like a cave woman and drag his a*se back to Perth. I mean who wouldn’t want that?! What I came to learn very quickly was that he had a great life in Melbourne and if I truly wanted to pursue this, I was going to have to knuckle down and get acquainted with new friends, thermals and great coffee – not so bad right?

Honestly, our relationship has endured many highs and lows based on geographic location. I hate the cold with a vengeance and he loves winter. Skiing gives me anxiety and he LOVES snowboarding. I miss my family every day and of course he loves his family, but I’m an only child from a massive Italian herd. It’s different! I used to feel like I needed to sacrifice so much of who I was for us to work, but as time goes by I realise; If it wasn’t for our relationship, I wouldn’t be who I am now. I wouldn’t be running my own business and experiencing a great life in Sydney (yep another move). We’ve worked so hard together to create a life that is ours, a life that has seen us both grow and evolve.

I’ve had to get used to change being constant in my life, which has made me more resilient. I’ve had to face my own demons and overcome them. I’ve shed so many layers of who I thought I was, to find out who I truly am. It hasn’t come without the tears and heartache, but that’s all part of the journey. We don’t have kids yet so maybe ask me how I’m going when that happens and it might be another story…

What are some things you’ve changed for the people in your life who are nearest and dearest? And how can you frame it differently to see the positive? We are so quick to judge situations in a negative light, until we start to see the lessons and the growth. We can only shift our perspective once we leave our comfort zone and invite new ways of thinking into our lives. Imagine the possibilities when we see things differently!

mental health, Mindfulness, Uncategorized, wellness

5 Signs of People Pleasing


Don’t we all just want to be happy and get along? Most of us search for connection and understanding with others, desiring for life to be peaceful. We avoid conflict as much as possible.

Unfortunately, we also spend a lot of time doing things out of obligation, because we feel bad, because our family said so, or because we come from a culture of keeping people happy at the expense of our own peace. Self-defeating right? Well it doesn’t have to be….

I’m finally coming to understand that it’s ok to say NO, to put myself first and walk away from people who no longer support me and my vision for the future. It’s so hard to be honest with yourself and question why certain people are still your friends, or walk away from an interaction with someone, knowing they just suck the life out of you. The worst part? You agree to do it all again the same time next week, just to keep THEM happy and avoid that awkward conversation.

There are so many signs to show us how much people pleasing we actually do on a daily basis, but I’m going to share with you my experiences:

1) I don’t mind, whatever you feel like/want to do/want to go:

If you are always the one who is compromising your choices, tastes and preferences, you need to STOP. Share your opinions and what you would like to do with people and if they are not respecting that, it’s a clear sign they don’t respect you.

2) Blah blah blah blah, ok thanks for the chat – BYE!

If you have someone who always calls to dump their shit on you and doesn’t even ask how you are or bother to listen to what is happening in your world, move on. This person is self-absorbed and does not see the value in you, so why waste your energy.

3) Downplaying your own happiness and success:

There will always be people triggered by your happiness and ability to create the life you want. Clear signs are when that person makes passive aggressive comments or questions your choices with a smirk on their face, as if to catch you out and expose something sinister to their friends about what’s ‘really going on’. The sad thing is, that person is probably just really depressed in their own life and feeling jealous. Don’t shrink who you are to make them feel better. Have empathy but don’t waste too much time on them.

4) Ah, yeah, sure, ok, I can do that, um….:

The language of NO can be really tough, especially if it’s being said to our family and friends. Often, we say yes to things and days later we regret committing! Be honest with yourself and those around you. Phrases like, ‘I need to be at home this weekend’ or ‘thanks for asking me but I need some time out at the moment’ are not offensive, it’s just putting your needs first. Wouldn’t you rather be honest, than show up as a half-arsed version of yourself when you just aren’t feeling it?

5) 50 First Dates syndrome:

Do you have someone in your life where your friendship feels a bit like each time you meet, you need to warm them up like a car engine on a cold winter’s day? It’s always you accommodating for their social awkwardness or lack of connection. These friendships need to slowly die or end quickly – the choice is yours.

Life is way too short to waste time with the wrong people. Ending friendships and distancing yourself can be painful at first, but your future self will thank you one day I promise!

mental health, Mindfulness, wellness

Growing Pains in Self Awareness


I wish I could tell you my path to self-discovery has been easy but that would be a huge lie! I’ve found parts of myself that I never knew existed which had me wondering, ‘Wow did I really used to be that much of an a*sehole?’ Especially through the teenage years where I probably resembled a mix between The Exorcist and a Gremlin (sorry mum).

I’m still learning every day and I hope I continue to do so as the years go by. The truth is we are all constantly evolving and growing, hopefully trying to become better people before we sign out of this lifetime.

My path to seek a higher awareness of who I really was, kicked off when I was 21. I had just thrown a stiletto at one of my ex boyfriend’s heads in response to rumors of infidelity and wound up weeks later in conversation with his mother, about how it might be time to get my anger issues under control. Look, it was an age thing but also? I come from a hot blooded Italian family! We will give you the shirt off our back but if you screw us over, we lose it and I MEAN lose it.

The self-discovery was on and off for the first few years; a meditation class here, a herbal remedy there and even a few psychics to help me understand WTF was happening to me in my 20’s where it just felt like every decision I made was the wrong one, and I kept gravitating towards people and situations that were completely the opposite of who I wanted to be. The problem was I actually had no concept of the real ME, Melissa.

Fast forward to present day in my 30’s after a thousand sessions with some of the best coaches, healers, and natural therapy practitioners in Australia and I’m here. I definitely have a much stronger sense of who I am and what I stand for, but that hasn’t been without a lot of physical and emotional pain when you dig deep. The payoff? An amazing sense of lightness that comes after shedding each layer of life that no longer serves you. Sometimes those layers come in the form of a job, a relationship or even a friendship. Sometimes you legitimately feel like you can’t peel yourself off the floor after having a self-awareness ‘growth spurt’ and other days you feel like the happiest and most enlightened person to walk the Earth.

So how do we get through the growing pains when we commit to getting to know ourselves? You stick with it. You find your people. You get really good at spotting the bullsh*t and refusing to stand for it. You expand. You become happier than you ever thought you could be and you start seeing life in colour, not greyscale.

If you want to dig a little deeper and are ready to get onboard with self discovery, drop me an email – mel@timetoexhale.com.au. Clearly after reading this you’ll realise I’ve not always had it together, but it’s what brought me here so that I can help and understand others. I can’t promise it will be easy at times but I guarantee I’ll be there standing beside you the whole way!



mental health, Mindfulness, stress, anxiety, depression, help, support, wellness

Mind Empty or Mind Full?


Over the years people have asked me what I’m into, what I want from my career and what I like to do in my spare time. Sometimes I’m referred to as a ‘hippie’ a ‘tree hugger’ or I get asked; “Are you into those crystals and oily things?”

My answer – I’m into anything that makes me happy! Which includes practicing mindfulness, something we can all fit into our lives even (especially) if you spend a lot of time in the corporate environment. Mindfulness simply means giving your undivided attention to the present moment, something we can all do and have probably done before.

Have a think about the times in your life when you have been so immersed in something that everything else just slips into the background. Cast your mind back to a movie you were so engrossed in that you just couldn’t take your eyes off the screen, playing in the park with your kids and pushing them on the swing, or maybe just sitting down after dinner is done and enjoying some chocolate or a glass of wine!

All these moments in time help us understand that life is to be enjoyed. The moments where we stop multitasking and really start to see everything in front of us for what it is. This allows us to slow down, relieve stress and keep life in perspective. We can be in flow with the present instead of getting caught up in our minds asking ‘what if?’

Are you struggling to find time to be in the present? Simply stop where you are right now and pay attention. Notice the smells and sounds around you… what can you see?… slow down your breathing and listen to it. Following simple steps like these can help you feel ‘in the moment’ no matter where you are or what you’re doing. Being self-aware is the first step to mindfulness. Time to Exhale is all about making it possible for people to reconnect with themselves and find balance in their lives. Mindfulness training is just one of the things I would love to help you with.

To raise awareness for Mindful in May, I will be offering 2 for 1 sessions to anyone who books with me across the month, so if you refer a friend your session is free! For more details email me at – mel@timetoexhale.com.au


mental health, stress, anxiety, depression, help, support, wellness

5 Signs It’s Time to Talk


There is so much pressure in our society today, for people to keep it together and just “get on with it”. But what if you keep trying day in and day out, only to feel completely lost, exhausted, stressed and teary at the drop of a hat.

Social media can make us feel even more depressed when there are countless images of people’s highlight reels of life, always happy and posting messages to stay positive and motivated. (Hey I get it, it’s my job to motivate people) but even I have to take a step back sometimes and realise when I’m not having an “Instagram worthy” day, week or month and that it’s ok. In fact; it’s MORE than ok, it’s completely NORMAL.

Recognising and admitting when it’s time to reach out and talk to someone is the hardest step, but the most crucial to ensure you stay on track and look after your mental health. Here are just a few signs that it might be time to seek out support:

Food choices:

Having the occasional cheeky burger or pizza meal is ok, I’m all about moderation. However, when these choices become the norm, it’s your body having a reaction to an emotional void that needs to be filled. Next time you hit the vending machine at 3pm, check in with the emotion you are feeling before reaching for your wallet.

Withdrawing socially:

Bingeing on the latest Netflix series for 7 hours straight can be amazing when it’s called for, and some days you just need time out from the real world. Same deal with junk food though, if this is your go to activity every weekend or weeknight, it may be time to phone a friend and have a coffee, to talk about what’s really happening in your life.

Can’t sleep:

Waking up in the middle of the night to visit the bathroom is standard, but if you regularly find yourself unable to get straight back to sleep for hours, ticking over all the things you need to do tomorrow, then your mind is working overtime and may need to offload the information to get a decent night’s rest.

Mood swings:

Feeling like you can take on the world, but then wanting to hide from it all in one day is a sign that your adrenals are out of whack. You could be in constant fight or flight mode. This is great for when a tiger is chasing you in the African jungle, but not when you are on a deadline, or rushing around taking the kids to 25 different after school activities. Take a breath and pick up the phone, it’s ok to put your hand up and say “I’m not coping”.

Anxiety and panic attacks:

These can often happen in the moments of nothingness, like driving, doing the dishes or making a cup of tea. You feel your chest tighten and you become short of breath. You then start to hyperventilate and panic while bursting into tears. This is a clear, if not THE clearest sign that something is not right and hasn’t been for a while. Get help. You are worth it. Your boss, your kids, your partner can all wait. Book yourself in for a professional appointment with someone and talk.

If you are feeling any, or all of these signs then please reach out – mel@timetoexhale.com.au.

If not to myself, at least a friend or a loved one. If you know someone who is going through a tough time, please share this article – it might be what they need right now.