Easter is a great time to face up to those personality flaws we all have and look for ways to feel better about ourselves. If Lent has passed you by, or if confessionals, Rosary beads or self-flagellation aren't quite your bag, try our guide to vanquishing those deadly sins in the most enjoyable ways this Easter, writes Anna King Shahab.


If your life's ambition is to dive into a room full of your own moolah, a la Scrooge McDuck, you may benefit from loosening up and throwing a wad of those hard-hoarded dollars at a thrilling experience.

Jump off the harbour bridge or take a helicopter tour over to Waiheke where you've booked a big table at Poderi Crisci to treat your family and friends to their famous Sunday Long Lunch, along with copious bottles of wine from the Crisci vineyard. Your generosity will be remembered for years to come.

As well, how about spending a little of your stash on someone who would really appreciate it? Foster Hope is an organisation that puts together backpacks for children who are being moved between foster homes -- which can happen with less than a day's notice. Items like new pyjamas, books, soft toys and warm clothing, seeing as we are going into winter, are welcomed, as are monetary donations to go towards filling the backpacks.


Shakespeare knew all about the pitfalls of envy and its close cousin, jealousy. His play Othello is one big tangled web of these two sinful emotions (and actually, pretty much all the deadly sins make it into the many-nuanced threads at play), and the devastating consequences they can lead to as rivals clash. Othello is currently playing at The Pop-Up Globe, with a cast that includes Te Kohe Tuhaka as Othello and National Theatre of Norway actor Haakon Smestad as Iago... "O beware, my Lord, of jealousy. / It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock / the meat it feeds on."



Life is too fleeting to spend it in a burning rage. Settle, petal, and get thee to a meditation retreat. Beginners on the 10-day retreats at the Vipassana Meditation Centre -- Dhamma Medini, in Kaukapakapa will learn from a qualified teacher, in a non-sectarian environment free from distractions, "A practical way to achieve peace of mind and live a happy, useful life".

In this peaceful 55ha property, rich with native bush and birdlife, you'll learn techniques of self-observation, to recognise the way negative emotions have physical manifestations such as changes in breathing. Ultimately the courses enable "self-purification by self-observation".


Drag yourself off Tinder and get your kick from nudie art instead. The Body Laid Bare -- Masterpieces from Tate, at the Auckland Art Gallery. More than 100 works trace the history of the nude, and the captivation of artists and viewers with the naked human form over the past two centuries. The exhibition boasts masterpieces by the likes of Henri Matisse, JMW Turner, Pablo Picasso and Cindy Sherman, as well as August Rodin's famous marble sculpture, The Kiss -- making its first ever trip out of Europe.


There are loads of ways to get more active this Easter weekend. Head off and explore the Waitakere ranges -- if the weather allows -- with any number of trails, or set yourself a really tough challenge (how about the ACM 10km swim from St Heliers Bay?) Choosing an outdoor activity, even when the weather is lousy, is a great way to get out of slothful habits long term because you learn that excuses don't cut it. There's nothing like a brisk 45-minute boot camp in the rain for upping the energy levels. Look for one at your local park. I can highly recommend BodyReboot -- for all fitness levels.

If it's the kids who are the lazy little sinners, refusing to budge from their screens, get them fit, water-wise and loaded with bragging rights with the Surf Junkie three-day school holiday programme at Omaha Beach.

Or gather the family and go give your local park some love -- check out Auckland Council's series of Amazing Race days happening in South Auckland parks in the week following Easter. Based on the reality show, participants race around the park following clues and collecting stamps and engaging in challenges and riddles along the way. Free and fun.


Get the creeping feeling you're becoming a little too self-centred? There's nothing better to put yourself into puny perspective than a visit to Stardome. They have a range of planetarium shows throughout the week, all of which will do a stellar job of reminding you that you're not quite the brightest star in the universe. Better yet, you can quietly console yourself with a glass or two at their "wine, cheese and astronomy" nights on Tuesdays.

Or you could scare yourself humble by signing up for the Shark Dive Xtreme experience at Kelly Tarlton's. After a bit of a safety debrief, you'll don scuba gear and slip into the predator tank with containing some 23 sharks, and no safety cage separating you.


Take a leaf from the French approach, and rather than indulging on copious amounts of cheap chocolate this Easter (goodness knows there's enough of that around), think instead about treating yourself to one special, handcrafted bit of Easter joy. At Miann, you can buy "Rabbirons" -- little rabbit shaped macarons -- nawwww! Or you can book into a four-course Valrhona chocolate-tasting menu.

Because boozing isn't deadly sin in itself (phew), you could enjoy a few of Devonport Chocolates' delightfully Tipsy Truffle Eggs -- rum and caramel, Amaretto and caramel or Blue Duck vodka, passionfruit and caramel. And at Vaniye you could opt for one creation to satisfy the whole family. They have an Easter Cake, which seems a very grown-up way to scoff Easter calories -- it's a chocolate almond sponge with a 70 per cent Valrhona mousse and cacao nibs. And here's one the Easter Bunny may not be able to hide -- the Vaniye showpiece, a whopping 1.6kg single origin dark chocolate egg which clocks in at $190, but you're buying pure, delicious un-sinful class.