Top five mistakes novice paddlers make when they start out


“Just get in and follow the person in front of you” they said.  sound familiar?

Yep that was my intro to waka ama too.   I’ve learned a lot by trial and error since then but the biggest thing I had to do was unlearn all the bad habits I had picked up from coaches along the way.   I have spent the last two years going back over my stroke, breaking it down into fundamentals and basically start over.  Through that I picked up some key areas I notice other novice paddlers make or are still making.  There is more than just five but I have focussed on some key ones I think are important in getting a good start.

1.  Many paddlers don’t get a good catch.

There are many paddlers, who instead of starting with a good catch by getting a good angle on the blade, they are pulling before the blade is buried.  This makes the stroke inefficient and reduces the potential for glide of a canoe and speed.

They usually have a negative angle, meaning blade enters the water after 90 degrees, after the power phase, which pushes the canoe down reducing glide.

They usually pull the paddle before it is planted.  This can look like the wheels are spinning, or feel like it’s really easy to pull through the water, meaning you actually haven’t grabbed much water so won’t be going far.

They also do a double movement at the catch.  Something I used to be guilty of until recently.  And it came down to my interpretation of what was most important, or what I was taught about catch.  Told to spear it like a fish and then push and pull. Sequence is important in a stroke and making sure everything is engaged together to push, pull and drive together really is as hard as it sounds.

2.  Top arm elbow is too high.

I don’t normally get caught up in exactly where peoples areas and legs should be except when it comes down to efficiency and injury prevention.

Many paddlers when starting out flare their elbow out above their head to try and get reach.  This opens up the shoulder and rotator cuff to extreme pressure and potential injury and also limits the application of power production. Its best to keep your elbow below your shoulder to make the most of your power.

A good way to tell if you elbow is too high, have a look at your shadow.   Or if you are starting to feel discomfort in your shoulder area this could be why.

3.  Many novice paddlers suffer from the death grip

They hold the paddle too tight.  When I first started paddling I used to get really sore forearms.  I learnt pretty quickly it was because of my grip.

It is important to keep a relaxed grip on your paddle to avoid blowing up your forearm muscles.  Staying relaxed helps you to recover in your recovery phase of the stroke.

4.  Most beginners lean on the ama making the canoe tippy.

I know as a beginner is really easy to just lean left, especially when the ama lifts a little. The thing is you need to get used to being comfortable with the uncomfortable and balance your posture.  When the ama lifts everyones first reaction is to lean left, and then the ama usually jerks right and hello huli!

It also reduces the glide of your canoe.  Try sitting more balanced, so weight across both cheeks and use your core. This sets you up for so much more efficient paddling in the long run and less injuries.

5.  Most new paddlers just jump in the waka and go.

This I believe is partly due to the club culture, but at some point there needs to be a connection with your surroundings, other paddlers, the water, and whats going on around you.  There are hints to help you perform better in the natural environment, as corny as it may sound it’s totally true.   I see it all the time with people who are new to the ocean, they attack the water instead of falling into its natural flow.

Ok so now what?

You can’t fix something if you don’t know its broke so have a look and analyse where you are at first.  The best way to work out if you are doing these things is to ask your coach, or someone you can trust to be honest with you.  Otherwise get someone to film you and give you the proof.

Once you know what you need go about finding someone to help you fix it. I have a bunch of resources from my own journey of sorting out my stroke and would be happy to share with you.  Or if you are a bit more serious about sorting yourself out drop me a line and lets chat.

If there is anything in here that has created a lightbulb moment for you please jump on my facebook page and share.  It would be great to get more discussion going around it.  Paddling can be so isolating at times and its easy to lose motivation when we think we are on our own.

As always, thanks for following my journey,


Hiria x

#imagine Believe #achieve

Share your light bulb moments on my Facebook page

My top 6 High performance mindset hacks for everyday life


What if you approached each day with intent and purpose just as elites do, rather than waking up into ground hog day.  And brought out your inner champion in your life or business?

If your first thoughts are,

because its hard work,

I don’t have time

Well, then sorry dear you are in the wrong place so should probably stop reading.


Still here?

Then sweet, you are on the right track to making your dreams come true.

Elite athletes have drive, determination, focus and ambition, much the same as anyone who is passionate about what they do.  It makes sense to apply the same logic to your life or business as they do to their sport.  I mean, why wouldn’t you right?

Here’s my tips on having a high performance mindset. Give them a bash and see what is possible for you.

  • be you first.  When you are strong in who you are and your identity opportunities open up to you.  This is where confidence comes from.
  • have a plan or goal. This gives focus and will be your anchor when you hit those tough days.
  • visualise it, athletes use mental imagery a lot to create realness around your goal.  visualise the process, not just the end goal. Visualise how you feel, what the environment is like so that you are prepared mentally and your session plays out as you wish.
  • Take action, daily.  Its the daily act of showing up that matters. it doesn’t always have to be physically, but you do have to pay some attention to your goal daily even if its resting or planning, something that keeps in the front of your mind.
  • Have balance, so learn when rest is needed.  Without sleep our body cannot grow and neither can our mind.  Its just as important as good nutrition and hydration so make sure you do this.
  • seek help or guidance when needed from a coach.  How many top athletes do you know got their on their own? Seriously?  You will always find someone has been at their side at some stage.  A coach is able to offer unbiased, real time feedback and give you that accountability boot when it gets hard and you start to slack off.
  • Attitude. The kind of attitude you approach your goals with will determine the outcome. So if you want good things to happen you need to think good things. Learn how to rewire your brain and mindset to produce positive verbal and body language and thats what you will receive.

If you liked this please share the love with someone else. And thank you for reading.


Go get em champion!

Hiria x


#imagine #believe #achieve

Stuck in a rut? Maybe you are standing in your own way?

For years I would look at other people who looked like they had it all with envy.  I wanted to feel like how they looked, happy, content, excited to greet each day.

My reality was so far removed from that though.

On the outside it all looked pretty awesome.  I even had a friend say,  “yeah she has a cute house, cute dog, cute husband and cute kids, she’s got it all”.

It definitely did not feel like that on the inside.

At home, all I could see was days on end of clouds, or like a really humid day when you see that haze across the horizon, there was no clarity or feeling, just a numbness and an ever deepening hole of sadness.  This might sound weird but I liken it to a horse wearing blinkers, your view narrows, and narrows and so does your hearing.   Almost to the point where you totally distort what is being said.

I don’t know at what point in my life it started for sure, but what I do know is it got worse and worse.  I finally came to a point where I had to do something because deep down I just felt there was more.  Even though I had that negative mind chatter telling me otherwise I couldn’t help but recognise that feeling in the pit of my stomach that something wasn’t right.

I became aware of the two voices in my head and the power of them.  I watched them both and began to learn what they fed off.   It came to a point where I needed to make a decision, because I realised I had a choice and I chose to step out of that space.

It finally dawned on me that I was holding myself back with all the negative talk about being worthy enough, guilt from years of mood swings and lashing out, poor decisions I had made in the past playing over and over in my head and keeping me there.  My rut was caused by me, no one else.  I had to stop blaming everyone else for my situation.  It’s true when they say what you focus on is what you create. I was focussed on drama form my past and kept creating it, over and over.  Initially that made me angry, but then I chose to move forward and it soon became my power to thrive, not to heal but to thrive.

In my journey I had to let go of some friends and family. I had to surround myself with truly authentic people who focus on love and positivity.   Don’t worry, not hippies or anything, just straight up honest down to earth normal people. You see, to be in touch with your inner self you don’t have to be anything but yourself.  It was the mirroring of others that got me in this situation to start with.  Initially I thought some of these friends had ditched me but I realised it was me who was pushing them away because of the stories I was telling myself.

I now navigate my way through life from my whole wellbeing, making sure everything I do impacts on my physical, spiritual, mental/emotional, and social connectedness in some way.  When I operate from this space my life is so much easier, decisions are easy to make and I don’t have the drama around me that I used to because I am clear on where I am, not just where I am headed but right here right now.

What I learned really quickly was spending too much time in the past (most of us do) or trying hard to control the future, we end up in that vicious cycle of drama.  The only thing you can change is right now right here and there very rarely is any problems right now in this moment is there.  Can you see the power in knowing this?  It is key in realising we create the drama ourselves.  And yes, we get put into some situations that are out of our control, but you still get to choose how you react to it.  This is what the fight or flight mechanism was created for, to give yourself the space to make the best decision for your survival and to do that you need to be present.


Coming off my end of wave in the Hyundai Pro Longboard Tour


It takes me back to a day when I was out surfing some really big swell that had come through on the back of a storm.   I got a few nice waves and then my last one (its always the last one), I got smashed.  I tumbled and pushed down by this wave and totally lost my orientation. I didn’t know which way was up and it was dark.   I panicked for a second and went to swim, took three strokes and still did not surface. That’s when it happened, I gave in, surrendered to what was happening.  I was resisting what was happening and my panic got in the way of me being able to make a good decision. As soon as I relaxed, my body floated up to the surface and there I was. I grabbed my board and caught the next whitewash back into the beach.

That is a valuable lesson I will forever hold onto because it taught me the importance of being here right now.  My mind was in a space of panic because all I could think about was what was going to happen to me rather than what was happening.  Can you see the difference? What was going to happen hadn’t played out and was taking all of my focus so as soon as I surrendered to what ‘is’ it gave me the space to make that decisions to relax.

I refuse to accept that depression is an illness. That is what kept me in that space for so long.   And if you were to diagnose me I would say it would have been pretty severe, especially with all the suicide attempts.  What I know now for sure is that this experience has been a gift, an opportunity for me to reset because I had come away from my centre, and now I am whole again and stronger than ever.

I am on a mission to change how people look at depression. It’s not an illness that can be easily medicated, the evidence is right in front of us all in the fact there is none.  Please share with anyone you think needs to hear this.

To do this I have set up my business as a mindset trainer for women, although men follow my page too. This is what gets me excited to get out of bed in the mornings and do what I do.   If you haven’t already please go and LIKE my Facebook page.

If you need some help getting out of your rut flick me an email or PM me on my Facebook page.  I offer a complimentary strategy sessions to help you gain some clarity and to see if we are the right fit for each other.  Because I only work with women who are 100% committed to taking back control of their own lives.


Hiria x

Strengthening my connection to me….


From about the age of 3yrs old I have memories of how my mother used rongoa Maori (maori medicine) in everyday life.
She used to keep bottles of sea water in the wardrobe which would come out for important karakia (incantation).
And I also remember going on adventures into the bush with my dad to retrieve the various plants my mum requested for healing.

When I was about 7 or 8yrs old I vividly remember going up into the bush on my own and collecting the leaves of various native plants, taping them inside my book and labelling them with their name, where I found them and what they were used for.

The ocean played a huge part in our lives too from providing us kai but also healing.
When I look back now to those moments in time I realize they were all lessons.
It’s little wonder I was so attracted to these essential oils at a time in my life that I really needed them.
I’ve always acknowledged our connection to nature because I have witnessed it from a child and seen the amazing things that can happen.
But like most as we grow older and get caught up in that daily grind and hustle and move away to “better ourselves” we slowly close our senses off to that connection.

It’s as though right here tonight I have had an epiphany and can feel the huge responsibility as a Maori to ensure the integrity of rongoa by using ‘correct tikanga’ when working with wairua (spirit) and connecting to the plant, which is the key to potentising its effectiveness.

I have been using the essential oils for the past 6 months now and the impact it has had on my own healing (torn Achilles) and whanau health has been huge.  I also use them for preparation with my training and getting me in the zone and focused.
I love how it has given me the ability to take responsibility and control over the little things I would usually run off to the doctor for.
I spent years attaining my degree and post grad studying about the human body and what makes it tick inside and out and right now I feel I have finally connected the dots.

What I know now for sure is that it’s not my identity I lost, it was my connection to it.  Pressures of society on how to be made me feel like I had to shut it out.
I am going to share what tools I have used and continue to use in my daily self care/wellness including karakia, exercise, good food, essential oils, and taonga because they all contribute to improving and maintaining my hauora (well-being).
In the meantime if you want to know more about essential oils or other strategies I have used to take back control of my wellness take up my 30min complimentary strategy offer where we can see if we are a good fit and if I have the solution for you.

As always, much appreciation for following my journey,


Hiria x

Laptops, meetings, and breastfeeding – It’s what you make it mama!

img_5900Yes you read that right, and damn straight!

I’ve been in business for seven years now and one year in my hubby and I got pregnant with our first little one.  Six years on and now we have three.  They are now aged six, four and one years.  I also have a twenty year old boy is off at university.
Being a working mama is hard.  But no one makes it harder for us then ourselves. Straight up truth right there.
You have a choice as to how you live your life, or live in the conditions of your life.
I left my day job not long after my baby was born and I have had a sharp learning curve with balancing work and my kids.
This word balance has been the bain of my motherhood. We all know what it means but it has become this crazy ideal that doesn’t seem to be achievable.
As always, I reframe things to fit me and have done with balance. But before I go into how I make it work for me I will share a little experience I had that has stuck with me.
I remember coming in from a surf with my hubby, we had our little one and I think I was pregnant.  This guy was leisurely packing up his gear after a surf too and made the comment that having kids was the best thing in life and that if you don’t take the time to enjoy that, then you shouldn’t have kids.
That really messed with my head and it has off and on for years.
I really believed what he said and felt hurt because I was running this business, full-time and trying to raise a baby. So much guilt of being a bad mama.
But, there was something inside me that said that couldn’t be true.  I knew deep down inside that when you become a mama you don’t give up who you are, and that’s essentially what a lot of mama do.  I’ve always been a rule breaker so I was determined to make it work.
I had my latest bub a year ago now and I have kept her home longer.  I put all  the others in care from 6 months old.
Gasp, yes I did.
I did what I had to do at the time.
I have been reflecting on what that guy said to me all those years ago and really working at this work life balance.
How did I do it?
  • Prioritise
  • change language
  • Be present
I had to prioritise my activities and really focus on what would work the best for me and give the best return.
I had to change my language around being busy and set positive affirmations in place to ensure my subconscious was working for me and not against me.
And finally I really had to work on being present, in the moment.  I know everyone is talking about being present these days but you know why? Because it bloody works and is truth!
I took lessons from my training dairy and how I approach my training and mirrored it in my work and family life.  Seems like a no brainer to me now but it was a like a huge epiphany to me at the time!
We generally don’t see these signs until we slow down a bit and take notice.
So I urge you mama to keep on keeping on, but do it your way. You know its your way when you feel enlightened and valued.  But as soon as you begin to feel let down or betrayed you know you have come out of alignment.
If you want to know more about how I reframe it to work for me please get in touch. I would love to share my experience with you. You can  also grab a copy of my  How to be more Kick-assy for FREE.  Flick me an email on
I believe that the energy we put out there really impacts on the world so please if you found this useful pass it on.
As always thanks for tuning in,
Hiria x
#workingmama #balance

Are you having one of THOSE days?

When things just don’t seem to be going your way.

Frustrated, anxious and even a bit angry, nah yeah, real angry.

Have you stopped to ask why?

Even more so, have you stopped to ask yourself what you are feeling?

More often than not when those days come around we are super busy, have an appointment we are late for, or a deadline we need to meet that you already went over and the kids or your spouse are just all up in your face and then you let rip!

OMG, yup, all hell breaks loose and cyclone Hiria is on the loose.

Then you feel crappy, deflated and guilty for taking it out on your family right?

Yep I’m speaking from experience here. And I have found I’m not alone in that.  The more I talk about it the more I realise that actually it is quite normal.

Yay I’m normal I hear you say, ha ha.

Right on! Now comes the tricky bit.

What you do next is what really matters. That next right move. So you exploded because of all these things. Now you need to stop and ask yourself.

What am I feeling?

Know it, feel it, see it of what it is. An emotion that has cropped up from something.  It’s not who you are.

Now ask, what am I resisting?

Because 99.9% of the time we blow up because we find ourselves in a situation we don’t want to be in, we are resisting it.  That’s when ego has jumped in and our unconscious thoughts start making up all this crap that’s not even real.

So what is it you are resisting?

Give a few moments and the answer will pop into your head.  You know what it is but you have let your ego cover it up for one reason or another.  Ego and cover ups are a whole other blog! But just quickly it’s either to do with a front you are putting up or you are letting someone else’s shit cloud your way.

As soon as you ask those little questions and the answer comes as to what you are resisting and instant calm comes over you. Clarity, free space in your head to be able to deal with the situation in that moment.

On my instagram account I shared the following example,

While out surfing with my hubby one day, I caught the last wave of the day (for me).  The swell was huge, messy and unpredictable.

I caught the wave and as I was making my bottom turn I could see I wasn’t going to make it.  I tried to quickly do my bottom turn back up the face to get some speed but the wave closed out and smash I was stuck in the washing machine.

It was a six-foot face kind of day and I got pinned down. Imagine getting tumbled over and over, water is brown with sand and dark and you can’t feel the bottom. I panicked and for a split second could not work out which way was up.

And then from out of nowhere I had this feeling, to just stop. Stop resisting and fighting the water.  I grabbed my leash and tugged it to make sure my board was still there and followed it back up. I scrambled back onto the tail and caught the next wave back in to shore.

The lesson for me was clear. Stop resisting. Resistance is a form of unconsciousness.  It clouds our judgement and survival instincts. Nature has this awesome power of showing us lessons and I believe we need to be more open to them.  From then on I have taken my lessons learned from the ocean and apply them to my daily life.


Another example,  I was in a situation where I could no longer openly talk with my boss which made things difficult as I was the manager. Any problems I would have I had to find a way to deal with them on my own. That proved difficult because the majority of the issues were due to a lack of understanding of the tasks on the bosses part when setting up the work.

There was a particular day where I had a discussion with this person and from out of know where it all went crazy. I really could not understand what was going on.

Anyway, it made me flip out at home and get stressed out. I was resisting what was going on. I got caught up in the chaos of that situation and let it affect me, and my family.

So I asked myself those two questions. When I realised what it was I was able to step back from it and look at it with a more positive lens. And with aroha. I didn’t react and make things worse for the sake of winning.

Within hours I find the situation all sorted.

So two questions to ask,

What am I feeling?

What am I resisting?

These are bound to get you back onto a path of harmony and consciousness.

Over the last two years I have pulled together a number of strategies I use to ensure I live a more conscious life.  They are in an easy PDF format to share.  If you are keen to have a copy flick me an email

I truly believe that the more conscious we are the better our world will become.

Thanks again for following my journey,


Hiria x

#imagine #believe #achieve

Remember to find me on Facebook and instagram and give my page some love

Who’s rules are you living by?


I am woman.

I am mama.

I am wife.

I am sister.

I am daughter.

I am friend.

I am business owner.

I am role model.

I am athlete.

I am teacher.

I am Maori.

I am pakeha.

I am me.

This is my reality. And gosh when I line it up like that and think about all the different rules that come with wearing those hats, damn, I’m exhausted.

And where the hell did all these rules even come from?

Who the hell cares!  I don’t want to waste any more precious time on that. It doesn’t serve me right now.

All I know is that for far too long I lived wearing these different hats with different rules and it was exhausting. I felt like I was working my butt off to please and not making any ground.

I know where I come from and that is enough.  What matters is right now.  Somewhere along the line we have become so caught up on the rules that we have forgotten whats really important.  And that is who we are in all of this.

Growing up in a rural area, predominantly Maori was choice! I was comfortable to a degree in my own skin. All I had to worry about was being tall and skinny (that’s a whole other korero).  After my mum passed and we moved back to Wanganui  I went to a Girls college.  It was then I experienced rasicsm for the first time.  It really shaped how I stepped up as a Maori and person from here on in.

All through university and working as a school teacher and then as an advocate in public health I found I would make allowances for people who were not knowledgeable of my culture.  I would watch how I acted and who I acted around for fear of coming across as too Maori.  Because every time I got caught up in a heated debate the race card would be pulled by the non Maori participant as an excuse for me standing up for myself.  It left me feeling helpless and boxed in.

There is a bright side! And I believe this has actually helped me to be the creative person I am today.

In business I have had people interview me about how I do business as a Maori. What does Maori business look like?  And who decides that.  I also had an instance where I was talking with a local government group where they wanted to work with Maori business but didn’t know where to start.  I asked them, what is a Maori business?

They said well, umm. I don’t actually know. And I quickly stepped in to say, you are talking to one right now.

You see Maori business for me isn’t about the image, having a hardcore Maori looking logo or even a Maori name. That’s what they thought.

I told them that for me, a Maori business is driven by it’s guiding principles. A set of shared principles that Maori live by and incorporate into business.  It is at the essence of how we operate as an individual and as a collective.

And it doesn’t stop there for me. It’s about taking all the rules, and working them to fit me and what I do.  So it serves me, today!  I am able to take the best of both cultures and thats why I am able to be as creative as I am.

As a mama, who’s rules do I live by there? Which side of me? I always struggled with knowing which foot to step forward with first.  And I know many Maori can relate to this.  Literally looking in the mirror and asking myself, am I Maori today? Or pakeha.  How do I solve this problem?  With a Maori lens, or a pakeha lens.  This really used to get me down and I struggled with it for years. I’ve always sat on the fence because there was the pro Maori group that were all staunch and angry and then there was the I’m brown group but I’m not Maori who would do all that they could to escape being Maori.  How will this impact on my kids? Do I send them to kohanga reo because they are Maori? Or do I send them to mainstream kindy so that I know they will get a better start in life. You see the conflict?   I struggled to operate with both sets of rules, separately. I let myself be boxed in.


As an athlete I could be whatever I wanted.  I made the rules. And I made rules that worked for me because it is such an individual thing.  I was in control of what my mind and body does, how it moves.  So why the hell couldn’t I take the strategies and rules in my training to fit other areas of my life?


Photos: Top left corner 9 1/5 months pregnant. Bottom left corner Winning Bronze Medal at Long Distance Nationals 4 days after tearing my achilies tendon. Right, 4 months pregnant competing in the NZ SUP Surfing Nationals and coming in second in my heat.

It was a case of taking in all those rules, sorting out which ones I thought actually served me and biffing the rest.  My focus has always been on a holistic approach to living and that has been ingrained in me from my culture. But even as Maori we still box ourselves in.  I’m on a mission to be true to myself. And that means across my whole life. A holistic approach to living. Eating good food, moving, being connected with self, nature, and being  conscious or mindful.  Only then will I truly be successful. This quote sums it up nicely for me.

“You can’t share your wisdom unless you come from a place of truth”

I came up with this quote while planning an exciting conference with a couple of other awesome ladies. Basically it means that you cannot stand true in your convictions unless you act as who you are, your inner self, being.

Now I’m not saying throw out all the rules. What I am saying is you need to find what works for you, don’t box yourself in and use rules as an excuse to not try.  Because many of the rules we have today are outdated but we still live by them.  Find what works while respecting your environment, work, family, business, healing.

As always thanks for tuning in,

Hiria x

#imagine #believe #achieve

P.S.  If you know you are living by someone else’s rules and want to change that then drop me an email. I’m putting together a workshop on how to live by your own rules.

Follow me on Facebook or instagram if you want to take control of your life like I have done!



My letter to you. Take charge of your life like a mother!

For those who are new to my page, here is a little background.

I started it as a way to help me through my depression when I got pregnant with my fourth child.  Soulwater became my strategy to helping myself heal. It was all about connecting to my soul, through the water.

I’ve written ‘that letter’ before.  For those of you who know what i’m talking about, my love to you.  It’s not a nice place to be.

A great deep hole of darkness, void of emotion, just numbness.

Feelings of defeat and failure, guilt and sorrow.

No matter how hard you try to explain the feeling to someone you just can’t.  When you get to that point you are done. All you want is for that pain to go away, so you write the letter.

I used to think that having depression and feeling the way I did mean’t I was broken.  In a sense I was but I felt like it made me less of a person.  How wrong was I!

Even though I felt lower than low and like there was no way out there was this tiny little voice inside me that kept saying , “The only way out is if you help yourself”.

Now what I came to realise is that I needed to work out how I got to this point in the first place.  I have one of those childhood stories that no child should have to experience.  And throughout my adult life I tried to show my worth and value by being the best at everything and going beyond what was needed.

Trying to be the best mama, wife, friend, colleague, employee, teacher, guide, coach, business woman, and so on.

Because of society’s norms I allowed my self to be boxed in under these labels. When I was an employee, thats all I was.  When I taught it was from a pedagogy perspective through the lens of a teacher to a student.  In business I was a business woman who had to commit all my time and effort to making my business work.  And as an athlete, it was training like an athlete 100% commitment. There was no room for anything else, or so I was led to believe.

Throughout my journey with Soulwater I was determined not to box myself in anymore.  It was taking up way too much of my energy trying to be all these different people.  I was done with being unhappy, pretending, and frustrated and left at the end of the day feeling shattered.

Why couldn’t I just be me in all those spaces? What if I woke up one day and just put on one hat?

That would be amazing! I would feel free. Have so much more headspace to be creative again. I would be able to enjoy my kids and my family.


I knew I wasn’t feeling alone in that because I have always had other mum’s comment on how they don’t know how I do what I do.  It used to make me feel like I was selfish and then guilty. But I have come to realise that actually for me to be able to serve all those spaces I need to make sure I am being looked after.  And yes we all know this but when it comes to the crunch and your day is not going to plan it’s normally your self care that takes the back seat right.

So that’s what my journey with Soulwater has been for me.  Finding myself because somewhere along the line I got lost trying to please others.

As a mama we work damn hard! You would do anything for your family.  So take that work ethic with you daily under one hat.  Look at the world through that lens and you see so much more love, kindness and awesomeness in the world because that what you will project onto others.

I’m all about pushing those boundaries, showing the world that a mama can do anything! I’m passionate about living to our potential and to do that we need to live a balanced healthy lifestyle. I do this by looking after my physical, spiritual, mental, and social (connectedness) wellbeing. If we care for each of these areas equally we are able to  step up into being our authentic self.

I’m on a mission to help other mama’s take charge of their lives like a mother! No regrets.  Because that’s who we are.

So put your self first mama and look after yourself the way you look after your family and the world is your oyster!

Take charge of your life like a mother!

Drop me an email on

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Hiria x

#fitness #goodfood #mindfulness #connection









Nga piki me nga heke, ups and downs and all around….


Wow, March was the last time I posted! I knew it had been a while but didn’t realise it had been that long. Goes to show just how quick this year is going.

It’s been an interesting few months for me. Loads of ups and downs, as is life. I have truly been surfing those! For this post I want to focus on some of the key things I have noticed about me and others.

I have found that when I am on an up, and feel like I am shining bright like a star, I seem to attract loads of attention and find more people that I haven’t heard from in ages try to reconnect with me.

On the other hand, when I am a bit low, its just me, no one else around. I could sit here all day and analyse it in so many ways and hypothesise why but at the end of the day if I look at it simply. Light attracts light!

I enrolled in a life coaching course a month or so ago and its been fantastic. I thought it was pretty cheesy to start off with and some of the activities I have had to work through seemed counterproductive. But in reflection (as I type this actually) I can see how much i have grown.

From where I sit right now it’s hit home that it’s me. I have known for a long time and advocated ideas like ‘the choice is yours’ blah blah blah but is never really hit me like it has just now. So much so its compelled me to share it with you all.

My journey has been amazing, lots of lightbulb moments, learning and sharing. Last weekend I attended a weekend noho (course of learning) and had those lightbulb or ‘ako’ moments. I had many conversations outside of the formal classroom that just seemed too profound and organised as they answered questions I have been searching for. They were the kinds of things that put the hairs up on the back of your neck when you know that your life is playing out as planned. In this weekend I found a new appreciation for myself, and experience growing up. It shed a whole new light on things for me moving forward and has given me a confidence I never knew i had. I finally felt like the starts were aligning.

I also attended an event focussed on the journey of two awesome, inspiring local woman with a couple of dear friends. something I wouldn’t normally go to (unless it was Oprah of course). Again it was an evening of affirmation for me, solidifying I am on the right path.

However, today I woke up totally on the wrong side of the bed. My baby girl has changed her sleep patterns and no longer sleeps through the night. She has decided that she will wake a couple times in the night now and usually about an hour before i’m due to get up to train. It has meant I miss my usual morning training sessions which is one of my key strategies for keeping my sanity. It’s been a really tough day and I have internalised and focussed on all the ‘bad’ things. Argh, why can’t it be easier? Why does being positive have to be so dammed hard? Well I think I have finally found my answer. It’s not, it’s just that I enjoy being angry and upset. When I miss out on my training sessions being angry and upset encourages the hormone release I would normally get from training. sounds a bit crazy right. If not crazy, it’s stupid! Deep down I know that if I just made the decision to be happy then it would be ok but I end up having this internal conflict. It’s draining and I end up so tired and if Im not careful it’s not long before the black dog comes out to play. I am a lot better than I used to be and pick up on the signs a lot quicker. I don’t rely on anyone else to help me either because I have realised through my life that if I do that it’s not me making the choice.

So, what snaps me out of this cycle? Usually a workout but today a friend of mine posted a video on Facebook and along with a couple of other posts I realised I’m being stupid and it reminded me of my goals. I remembered this quote told to me on the weekend;

Ka ware te ware
Ka area te rangatira
hongihongi the whewheia
hongihongi te manehurangi
Kei au te rangatiratanga

Ignorance is the oppressor
Vigilance is the liberator
Know the enemy
Know the destiny
Determine our own destiny


This whakatauaki or proverb was used to support some korero (talk) that we were having over the weekend. The wahine who used it totally blew me away. It was my lightbulb moment.

Our ancestors were so intelligent and their language beautiful. It is hard for me to explain right now but I hope to one day soon. I am on a journey of rediscovery in more ways than one and are totally open to what lays ahead. That in itself has to be a good thing.

Just a wee reminder that this is an outlet for me to follow my own growth and gives me some accountability to myself. If you find anything in here helpful then that is a bonus.


Hiria 🙂

#imagine #believe #achieve