Self Development Not for the Faint Hearted

Self Development Quote Dana Atkin

Working on yourself can be HARD work. Especially when you’re fighting your ego the entire way and dragging yourself kicking and screaming towards change like a stubborn toddler throwing a tantrum. 

It is not easy. It was never meant to be. We’re re-wiring our brain, our beliefs and our attitudes and that’s hard stuff sometimes. We’re wried for survival and survival is all about keeping the status quo. So when we try to change things, we become that stubborn toddler who wants just 5 more minutes at the park. Who wants an ice-cream and who refuses to eat his dinner because he doesn’t want the potato on the plate (even though we know full well we don’t have to eat it just because it’s there).

We’re in routine. But routine can be mundane and routine is never changing and ultimately, we as humans actually like variety and change. We just don’t like the process it takes to get there because it’s not an easy transition.

Knowing it’s worth it can help. So too does having faith that it will all come together, despite the evidence to the contrary. Self development is not for the faint hearted but it certainly is for those who seek change and are willing to do the real work to get there. Tantrums and all.



Levelling Up

Power Up and Level Up

Many of my students ask me about life as they work through the Kinesiology course. What happens is this: During the course, they work on all their old “stuff” and working on all the old “stuff” helps us release the heaviness from ourselves, and as we release that, we raise ourselves up. We raise our vibration (power up) which means that we level up or upgrade our life. Think of it like Super Mario when he gets one of those mushrooms that makes him invincible. Raising our vibration or levelling up, makes us a little invincible to certain people and situations. Suddenly, it’s like the universe sees that you’re not a vibrational match to those circumstances anymore so you become more aligned with something better. When we don’t actively seek the new, powered up level, that we have kind of known all along or had been considering then the universe conspires to level us up on our behalf.

When this happens, it often feels like things have been stirred up because we haven’t deliberately (consciously) chosen the shift. We go through restructures at work, our family life feels a little off, our friends suddenly feel like they don’t fit in our world anymore. Life feels like it’s happening to us.

I’ve seen students intentionally upgrade. They’ve chosen a new career path while they’re studying, they’ve met the love of their life, they’ve been given great opportunities that they otherwise would not have had. I’ve also seen some split from long-term relationships, be made redundant from work, have friendships naturally dissipate. It’s all part of the upgrade process. If the people around us are working on levelling up too, then the shifts are less pronounced. They feel like little hiccups, not mountains to overcome. And eventually you find that you’ve grown together, not apart. This goes for work, family and social lives.

Next time you’re feeling like your world is being turned upside down, consider this: Are you levelling up?

The Chameleon Effect


A chameleon is recognised for it’s unique ability to blend into its surroundings. It is a natural survival skill of the creature. As human beings, we see this quality as a benefit. The ability to adapt to any environment and blend in can be useful in many situations but does it do more harm than good?

I personally have been a chameleon for most of my life, ever since I can remember I have blended into the crowd, taking on their qualities. A fun crowd? I’m a fun person. A quiet, subdued crowd? I’m a subdued person.

It was only recently that I discovered that what I thought was a great tool; a unique skill to have was in fact holding me back. It was keeping me invisible and It was helping me to play small. It was a disguise for fear.

If a chameleon changes it’s self to blend in for survival, then what am I trying to survive? What is the benefit of blending in? As it turns out, for me, this was about not being judged for being my true self. I had a limiting belief in my subconscious form early childhood that was on repeat in my mind when it came to crowds which said, “I can’t be myself and be accepted”. Whoa! So instead of being my authentic self, I would become someone else entirely just to be accepted. I was trying to survive judgment and non-acceptance.

As a Kinesiologist, I have had many sessions around the issue of judgment and I am always helping people to understand that it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about you. What they think about you is their own “stuff” coming out of them. It has nothing to do with you. So it was nice to understand what this feels like at a really deep level that actually spanned essentially my entire life!

Two points here:

We are all human. Even your practitioners are human – they have sore muscles, nutrition imbalances, out worn belief patterns to work through. No one is immune to upgrade.

Being our authentic self makes us more powerful within ourselves. It means we can work towards honoring our self, honoring what we desire, what we feel, what we value. And in doing so, we can let go of the “chameleon effect” because when we honor our authentic self, there’s no need to disguise because the power that comes from authenticity is second to none.

Ask yourself, where am I being a chameleon? What am I trying to survive in that space / situation? How can I be more myself and feel safe next time?

Find little ways to be more you. Add make up, add a piece of jewellery that says “this is who I am”, keep a crystal in your pocket as a reminder to be more open about who you really are. Little steps will add up and before you know it, you’ll have dropped that disguise and the chameleon effect.

Monday Mantra:: A perceived small change can make a big impact


Known as a divine paradox. What looks big is small, what looks small is big. Just because something appears to be a mountain, it is very likely a molehill. What appears to be a small gesture can very well mean the world to someone. Never underestimate the power of small things.

One of my favourite quotes is:

“If you think you’re too small to make a difference, then you’ve never been in bed with a mosquito.”

Adding what seems to be a small “one 20 minute walk per week” into your routine may well be paving the way for a big shift in your weight.
A small change in the way you talk about money can pave the way for a big energetic shift in your finances.
A small smile to a stranger has the ability to change their perception on their whole day.

The same goes when you’re on the receiving end. A small gift has the potential to change your life for the better, even if you can’t see it in that moment. A perceived small pay rise has the ability over time to change your perceptions on how you’re valued and have a flow on effect to those around you and possibly to a bigger pay rise next year.

The other week, I bought myself a bunch of flowers for completing a big transformative study week and everyday for  a week afterwards, I felt great walking into my kitchen to see a beautiful bunch of flowers on the kitchen table. It shifted my whole week into beginning each day with a positive thought.

What small thing can you do for yourself or for someone else today that has the potential to make a big difference in yours or someone else’s life?


As always, download and save to your desktop or phone or print it and pin it somewhere you’ll see it. When you see it, say it. And if you know someone who would also benefit from this mantra, share it.

The Cycle of Change: Anger

The Cycle of Change Anger Kinesiology Dana Atkin

The Cycle of Change: Anger

Following on from last months cycle of change article about denial, the next stage of change and grief is anger. Now remember that these stages don’t just relate to grief in the traditional sense. You can grieve an old way of being because change can be scary and to let a part of ourselves go (a habit, a look, a space) can cause us to go through the grief cycle.

Anger is the space where we get angry at the people around us, at the inanimate objects around us (printers, kitchen cupboards that squeak, chairs etc). Sometimes though, what we’re really angry at is not the other person or the object. Sometimes, we’re angry at ourselves. And it depends on what cycle of change we’re going through as to why we are angry at ourselves.

Take weight loss for example, sometimes people can be angry at themselves for letting themselves get to that point, in the case of changing career, we can get angry at ourselves for not following our heart sooner.

Anger is an emotion that is what we like to call the presenting emotion. It’s not necessarily the actual emotion in that it is often a culmination of other emotions that haven’t quite been dealt with yet. Because it’s often a pent-up emotion, it tends to “explode” and we feel like it comes out of nowhere.

Anger can be taxing on the body, mind and spirit. It’s a heavy thing to carry around with us and it causes the body physical stress too because of all the stress hormones circulating in response to our constant state of stress.

Consider how you tend to respond to stress.

  1. Do you typically run and hide? Or
  2. Do you tend to go into fighting mode? Or
  3. Do you freeze, much like a deer in headlights?

Based on your answer to the above, that is also your answer to how to diffuse your anger.

If you tend to go into flight mode, get walking or running to work it out of your legs. If you tend to go into fight mode, then take up a boxing class to get the pent-up energy out of your arms. If you’re freeze person, try meditation to calm to centre you.

If you tend to go into a little of each then try a little of each of the above techniques. It’s all about getting the energy to shift out of the body in a way that is comfortable for you and your body’s natural stress response.

Once the anger clears, then you’ll feel much calmer and clearer to deal with the next phase of letting go.

Stay tuned for next Month’s article in the Cycle of Change Series about Bargaining & Depression.

Monday Mantra:: With Faith, All Things Are Possible


As dream chaser, it’s so important not to lose faith even when it seems like all is lost, like that horizon is too far away, when it feels like it will never come together, it’s the perseverance to get through those times that empowers the dream, it drives it, it pulls it closer and it makes realising it all the more sweeter.

I’ve seen many clients recently who are feeling like all the work they’re putting in, just doesn’t feel like it’s getting anywhere. Yet, I can see a shift in their energy, I can see the transformation from the inside. They look lighter, more sparkly and their outlook has shifted, which means that it’s only a matter of time before the transformations are seen in their outer world.

Keep up the faith, invest in your “trust fund” and you’ll find the journey towards your dream so much more enjoyable.

Look for the Number 32
In Doreen Virtue’s Angel Numbers, when the number 32 show up often for you, especially when you notice it a number of times in one day means that you’re being told to keep the faith.

Notice songs, notice what people are saying (even when they don’t know what’s going on for you) they will often have a message there for you.

Remember, with faith all things are possible.

As always, download and save to your desktop or phone or print it and pin it somewhere you’ll see it. When you see it, say it. And if you know someone who would also benefit from this mantra, share it.

The Cycle of Change: Denial

The Cycle of Change Denial Kinesiology Dana Atkin

The Cycle of Change: Denial

Change can be difficult for many people. Even our biology, our body is hardwired for survival. And because we’ve survived up until now with things exactly the way they have always been, then why should we change anything, right?

There is a process that we all go through with every change. We tend to resist it because of our built in survival mechanism. We fight it because we worry that if we change one thing, then maybe other things will change, leaving us powerless.

Sometimes change is thrust upon us and sometimes we choose to change wether consciously or subconsciously. Every change, regardless of how it comes about goes through a series of common steps. Including Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance and Letting Go. In this month’s article, I’m going to talk about the first step, Denial.

Often, the denial step is missed because it usually comes before the desire to change has been realised. We deny there is any problem with the current situation (be it weight, work. home or health etc) and we continue with things the way they are, often looking for other, not so healthy ways to satisfy the unfulfilled circumstance.

Our inability to recognise that something needs to change is frustrating to not only ourselves but also for those who love us. Then, when those we love speak up about the issue at hand, we get defensive because it’s true and we’re not ready to face it, or change it.

Consider this. Where in life have you been feeling defensive lately? Could your defensive approach to the situation be because on some level, there’s an element of truth to what the other person is saying? Is it something you’re willing to work through now? If not, write it down somewhere so that when the time comes, you have a beginning point.

Stay tuned for the next stage in the cycle of change, Anger.

Monday Mantra:: I Am Brave Enough

How brave are you?

Sometimes, one of the bravest things we can do is to look at what’s really holding us back.

Her are some questions to get you thinking about what might be holding you back from achieving your goals:

  1. If you already had what you’re aiming for, if you already achieved that goal you set, what happens next?
  2. What’s the worst thing about achieving that goal?
  3. What are all the consequences that might happen as a result of achieving your goal?
  4. What is the scariest thing about aiming for your goal?
  5. What is the scariest thing about achieving your goal?
  6. What are all the “What if’s” around this goal?
    (for example: What if I fail, What if I don’t achieve the results I’m looking for?, what if people think I’m crazy for even trying? What if my partner gives me an ultimatum – “me or your dream”? etc.)

Once you think you’ve come to the end of the list, go back and ask yourself these questions again. There’s always more there than in the first round of questioning.

These all take courage to look at. But once you know what all these what if’s are, what all the results may or may not be, it gives you the opportunity to look at them and to work through each of them. Knowing exactly what thought patterns you are dealing with is key to change.

The same works for business. Look at the patterns of behaviour that are holding the team or business back from achieving their goals. You might be very surprised to find a collective fear in there some where.

You’re brave enough to look at what’s holding you back, then be brave enough to go after your goals anyway!

Remember – download and save to your phone home screen. Every time you unlock your screen, repeat the mantra to yourself. I Am Brave Enough!

Be brave enough to look at what's really holding you back.

Be brave enough to look at what’s really holding you back.

Unexpected Treasures

if you choose to look for them, treasures can be found

if you choose to look for them, treasures can be found

On my way into work today, I saw a weed growing from a crack in the pathway.

Not long after that, I saw a crow eating bugs not from the ground or in flight, but from a side view mirror of a parked car and then again at the train station, birds were hunting the crevices of the platforms for food.

What came to mind was this simple little statement:

In the crevices of industry, treasures can be found

That is, if you choose to adapt to your surroundings and the circumstances presented, however unnatural they may feel or be, there can be treasures – if you choose to seek them out.

Happy treasure hunting…




My Kinesiology Journey: Chapter Two Begins

“It was as if this opportunity was meant for her. The timing and the availability all seemed to fit perfectly into her plans for the future.”

That’s how this chapter opens. I have been working with the college where I studied for the last few months in an administrative capacity on a casual basis and so when a room became available to practice from late last month, I was asked if I would like to come aboard as a practitioner. It was an obvious choice. The college is known as THE place to go to study kinesiology here in Melbourne and is known as THE place to go for a Kinesiology session and houses some of the most qualified practitioners in the world. Absolutely! I’d love to practice here!

So today marks the beginning of my practice in Hawthorn. It is an expansion on my already flourishing clinic spaces in the CBD and Mitcham but I have a feeling that this is going to be the space that really super charges my Kinesiology and clinic.

Here’s to an amazing 2014 and a fun, successful chapter two!