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Are you one of 8% of all people?

Are you one of 8% of all people?

 

Did you know that, according to Forbes, only 8% of people actually do what they say they want to do, and follow their dreams, per year?

 

Social psychologists say that it’s because just saying things like “This year I’m going to travel.” or “This year I’m going to get out of the cubicle and create a lifestyle that make me feel happy, excited and whole!” is too vague, and doesn’t include achievable metrics, necessary for people to take action.

 

When I first started dreaming of having a lifestyle that included getting paid well for doing work that I love, lots of travel, devotion to my inner and outer growth, and spending time around genuine people who were enthusiastic and brilliant at what they were doing, what I really knew was what I didn’t want.

 

I knew, in a very roughly estimated way, how I wanted life to look like. I wanted to be free from the social obligations and limited paradigms that included working long hours for little money, suffocating your own soulful creative expressions, and getting drunk on the weekends to still the sullen heart that was crying out to be heard. But I had no idea what steps to take to actually get there. On top of that, I didn’t have people around me who were living examples of the life I wanted to create for myself. Nor did I have any support from those around me to go for those big dreams.

 

Without a fundamental example to guide me in the direction that I wanted to lean, I felt like I was making it all up.

 

I was always the one with my head in the sky, and big, lofty intentions and desires. I spent most of my early 20’s hanging out with troubadours, gypsies and misfits, because in those places I discovered a sense of limitlessness, that I couldn’t detect in conventional society. Even though most of these people were poor, they had a similar dreams to mine. Freedom. The kind of freedom that allows you to explore your own psyche, to actually get to know yourself, so your choices stem from an inner urging; a spirited uprising, rather than an external expectation.

 

By the time I reached 26, I fell out of love with the reckless lifestyles of the misfits. While they were free in their day-to-day, they’re were just as stuck as the rest of society, chained by the beliefs that they were victims, and the world was against them, and that being a creative artist or gentle dreaming soul meant that you would never find you place in the world and could never enjoy wealth and abundance. They were the outsiders, and firmly placed themselves there.

 

I went on a personal mission to find my own way.

 

A way where I was free to be myself, and to have a life that included beautiful, affluent experiences, and made a positive impact in the world, while allowing me to be the greatest expression of my purpose that I could possibly be. It seemed so impossible and far-fetched to begin with. I had so many beliefs that my dreams were not designed for me, but for other people, who had the opportunities and support systems that I didn’t have.

 

Given, there are many people who have advantages that you may not have. And yet there is something deliciously rebellious about, despite any disadvantages that may be holding you back, to prove yourself and the world, wrong. Sometimes, the mere fact that what you want is almost untouchable, is exactly what makes it achievable. Because you are willing to go places, no-one else has.

 

In my search I read books about manifesting, about living your purpose, about money mindset, about breaking through limitations, about astrology and moon cycles, about spirituality and about setting goals. I travelled in northern parts of Africa, in India, Asia and the Middle East. I tasted foods from the spoons of princes, and from the hands of beggars. And I lost myself, and found myself many times over.

 

Here’s what I learned that put me in the 8% of all people.

 

 

Living your purpose is a moment to moment practice.

 

I used to think that I had to figure out what my thing is first, and then passionately throw myself at it, until it was complete. While that approach does work for some people, it doesn’t for me. As it turns out, my thing is ever-evolving. And the living my purpose part? It’s showing up as my best self in every single moment.

 

My purpose is literally showing up, as myself, in the very best way that I can. Some days it means writing that scary email, article or post; creating something new; or speaking to that person that I admire beyond words. On other days it means building a nest in my bed, and holding down the fort with cups of tea, and words of anguish, and tears. Because some days my purpose is being in the beautiful flow of life, and other days it’s being in the messy wildness of it. Living my purpose simply requires me stepping up to what the day holds and being the human container of it.

 

 

No one has it all figured out, and no one can give you the answers. You really do get to make it all up.

 

For most of my life, I was under the impression that, somewhere out there, someone would hold all the answers for me. The answers to how to do the things I wanted to do, how to ask for the things I desired, how to approach the people who I admired, how to make that first $million. And while there are many incredible people doing many amazing things, they are stumbling forward blindly just as much as you are. Some of them have just stumbled forward blindly a bit further than you.

 

You can learn from others, their successes and their mistakes, but what works (or doesn’t work) for them, will be different for you. There is only one way to find out, and that is to try it. Every time you take step forward, you will learn what works for you and what doesn’t. You literally get to make up how to design your life, using your imagination, trusting your intuition, and following what feels right.

 

 

Setting goals and intentions, and planning ahead isn’t the antichrist.

 

I used to be terrified of setting goals and intentions. I would say that I didn’t want to limit myself in this way, because it took away my freedom. But there was something deeper than my fear of losing my freedom running the show. I was terrified of failing. I was paralysed by the thought that I might not be able to achieve what I dreamed to have, do and be. So I saved myself from feeling the pain of failure, but not having anything to fail. Isn’t that clever.

 

I thought goals were rigid markers in my path of life, and that I couldn’t adjust them, to match my ever-changing reality. But I was wrong. Learning to set goals and intentions, gave me tangible and achievable metrics, that motivated me to take action. And when I “failed” I learned what wasn’t working, so I could do more of what was working.

 

 

Want to know the magic formula? = Get clear on what it is. Break it down. Start doing it.

 

The easiest and fastest route to actually doing what you say you want to do, and living your dreams, isn’t knowing how to do it. It’s getting clear on what is it is that you want to be, do and have, and then breaking it down into tiny micro-actions that you can do every day. Those micro-actions are grounded in your current reality, and simultaneously leaning towards the reality you are designing for yourself. The question you want to be asking yourself is What can I do right now, that leads me closer to being where I want to be?. And then do that.

 

For me, one of the things I wanted to be is an eloquent, proficient and perhaps even mesmerizing writer. I wrote down what that would look like. I made a plan of how I could show up, every day. And then I started doing it. I had been writing for many years, but no-one saw my writing. In order for my writing to evolve and ameliorate, it had to engage with real people, and be breathed in by souls who would (or would not) connect with it. So I started a blog. The first 6 months of writing on that blog was awful. But I needed to be awful to become better. Otherwise I would have hidden in a closet forever. And from those first 6 painful months, an entire universe opened up for me, beyond my wildest dreams.

 

This is possible for anything. It’s a simple formula. Anyone can do it.

 

 

Everything in life is a reflection of you. You want to see change? Get committed and consistent.

 

One of my biggest fears in life, has always been loss of freedom. And in my mind, I merged feeling bored, with feeling stuck. Which meant that things like commitment, consistency and routine, were adamantly avoided. It wasn’t until one day in a Bikram Yoga class, where every single sequence is always the same, when I noticed that I had become stronger and more flexible, improvements that had only occurred because I committed myself to showing up for class consistently. I had one of the weird aha moments, when I realised that the same concept could be applied to anything else in life. In order for me to experience a positive change in any area of my life I had to commit and show up for myself consistently. For some people this is a no-brainer. For me, it was huge. If there’s one thing that I say to every single one of my clients, it’s that consistency is key

 

 

When you position your life with personal values and self-worth being top priorities everything changes.

 

I used to think this was very selfish. In fact many people believe this is selfish. Even my mother once told me that the choices I was making were selfish. But the caveat is that you are not living for other people. You are living for yourself. People who put their self-worth and personal values first, admire other people who do the same. It’s like joining an elite club of people who actually do what they say they want to do, and are living their dreams. Crazy, right? While this is an area I’m personally still working on, it feels good to have boundaries, and be able to say no with grace and ease, because my personal values and self-worth are my top priorities. If you take anything away with you from this article, I hope it’s this.

 

 

You won’t believe it when you see it, you’ll see it when you believe it. You have to prove yourself to yourself.

 

So many people are waiting to feel worthy, waiting for permission, waiting for the education, waiting to believe in themselves, before they actually do what they say they want to do, and live their dreams. That’s a lot of waiting. I get it. I spent many years waiting for those things too. When I feel confident, I’ll write an article for a big magazine. When I believe in myself, I’ll start a business. When I have my qualification, I’ll start teaching what I know. 

 

But that feeling that you’re searching for, it never arrives. That person is never going to give you permission, and you will never be more ready than you are right now. There’s another way to approach it. You have to believe that you have the courage and hunger to prove yourself. You have to believe that even of you don’t know the way (and most of us don’t) you will figure it out as you go. And most of all you have to believe that the unknown is your friend, and that everything that is meant for you is on its way.

 

 

Experts say that if you can’t measure it you won’t do it. I say, when you know what it is you want, and you ardently focus on it, you will find your way. When you infuse your dreams with practical steps, that you start taking right now, anything is possible.

 

I also have another dream. A dream to make the dreams of people who are stuck, easier to achieve. By giving them the support and tangible steps to do what they say they want to do. I’ve started doing that in my monthly membership program the Free-Spirited Collective. It might be just the right amount of hand-holding and thrust in the right direction, that you are looking for. I’d love to see you join us, if you feel called.

 

 

Photography by Jessica Shirley.

 

How to make a difference in the world when there is so much hate, hurt, bad and evil. 

How to make a difference in the world when there is so much hate, hurt, bad and evil. 

 

I do not watch the news. Ever. I do not watch the news, not because I want to put my head in the sand and ignore what’s happening in the world. I do not watch the news because I care.

I care so much that even after 5 minutes my face is wet with tears. My heart hurts. I begin to wonder how and why this insanity even exists. And I spiral into a dark place of helplessness and hopelessness.

I also know the news isn’t a well-balanced source. It doesn’t show the even worse terrors that are happening in lesser-known places. It dramatizes and over-emphasizes. And it certainly doesn’t show any of the good that’s happening in the world.

The news is a source of insanity, fear, danger, pain, terror, horror, panic, anxiety, worry and bad.

Over 10 years ago, I decided to stop watching the news and instead, to dedicate my life to bringing truth, beauty, freedom and love to the world. And also peace, kindness, compassion, acceptance, openness, connection and calm. Because I care more than words can say.

Even though I don’t watch the news, it doesn’t escape me, when traumatic events take place. I do have Facebook after all, and Facebook is now essentially the new TV.

And it seems that there are just so many things happening that are totally out of alignment with truth, beauty, freedom and love. I can’t tell you why these things are happening. It baffles me as much as it baffles you.

But I can tell you how to make a difference in the world when there is so much hate, hurt, bad and evil.

 

  • Stop watching the news. It doesn’t help if you too, end up in dark place of helplessness and hopelessness. You can’t help or make a difference from that space.

 

  • Remember that what you give your energy and attention to expands. If you focus on the bad things that are happening in the world, you feed them with your energy, even if you look at them and discuss them with disgust and horror.

 

  • Start with you. In order to be a clear shining light of truth, beauty, freedom and love, you have to embody truth, beauty, freedom and love. Is there anywhere in your life where you are out of alignment? Are you living your values? Is there some clearing, letting go and de-cluttering you need to do in your life? If you want to make a positive difference, become a clear beaming light.

 

  • Know that everything you do, say and give your attention to, had an impact. Your choices have a ripple effect on the entire world. And you get to decide what that impact is. Choose the be an example of what you want the world to be. Be loving, be accepting, be kind, be generous. First and foremost with yourself, and when your cup is full with the world.

 

  • Understand that you cannot be of help, if you yourself are not whole and full. If you are struggling in your life whilst giving everything away to others, that’s not helping. That’s adding to the imbalance. Do your inner work first.

 

  • Encourage others to take responsibility for the impact they have in the world by being a leading example of mindful, vulnerable and kind living and free thinking. Don’t tell them what to do. Show them what to do.

 

  • Seek out the good in the world. The more we focus on what truth, beauty, freedom and love there is, the more it expands. The more we band together the stronger we are.

 

To make a difference in the world when there is so much hate, hurt, bad and evil, we have to recognize that there is more than meets the eye. And that we never will have the full picture. And that the best place to start, is right here, right now.

Let’s make the world a little lighter, sweeter and easier.

 

The past 7 days have been big.

The past 7 days have been big.

 

The past 7 days have been big.

 

Big and unexpected and filled with the energy of a wind storm.

 

Big in the sense that there is some huge re-ordering and restructuring happening in many lives right now. Mine included. With the most recent new moon vibes there is a cool freshness in the air.

 

Right now is the perfect time to soften, tune in, and listen to what your heart and soul are asking for.

 

Now is the time to embody those new insights, and start doing what needs to be done.

 

Right now is the time to write a new story for your life. One that has been waiting to be written, to be crafted and created by you. Incidentally, that’s precisely what the theme of this month’s The Free-Spirited Collective is all about.

 

Be ready for everything to change beyond your wildest comprehension of what is possible.

 

But remember, insight without action is nothing. And action takes courage, a willingness to move with the winds of change and an understanding of how to balance both the driven (masculine) and receiving (feminine) aspects of yourself.

 

A week ago today, I packed up my life again and left Nelson after 6 months. Julien and I drove to Christchurch, and spent two nights in the bed of a stranger, whom Julien had serendipitously met at a cafe a few months earlier. A spirited, out-going, generous and passionate entrepreneur, with a fascinating life story that keeps you wide-eyed and entertained until even the stars go to bed.

 

Then we drove further south, and stopped at the first house that I had arranged for us to view, to move into. We moved into it right away. After years of honing my manifesting skills, I’m pretty good at getting what I ask for. Warm with plenty of sunlight, modern, clean and tidy, quiet, with parking, walking distance to yoga and the Farmer’s Market, great wi-fi, fully furnished.

 

I spent that afternoon catching up on the week’s emails. There was one intensely heart-felt tenor that ran through every email I opened and read that day: how to find the courage and inspired hustle to take action and do the things you say you want to do.

 

Folks were feeling stuck, fearful, self-sabotaging and giving their power away. I lovingly replied. And also shared my thoughts here.

 

At 7.30am the next day Julien received a phone call from his new boss, asking him to come to a meeting. When he returned home, something had changed in his face. There was a shadow, that hadn’t been there before. “Yesterday the federal government cut 80% of the funding for conservation to the region. The contract that we moved for, it’s gone.” He looked at me a little fallen.

 

That night I couldn’t sleep.

 

I kept thinking about how this change in plans is a chance to make a new choice, something that feels fun and exciting and uplifts our spirits. Instead of seeing this turn of events as an obstruction, I saw it as an opportunity. I started dreaming about palm fronds, and tropical waters, and swimming with sea creatures and working in developing communities.

 

As soon as Julien awoke, I pounced in him and unsuspectingly overwhelmed him with my ideas. “We could go to Thailand and live on the beach, and you could do your dive master and I could weave my magic, and it would be so wonderful! Or we could go to the Philippines and volunteer our time teaching English to street children and go surfing, or even work in conservation at a marine park!” My suggestions and enthusiasm were endless.

 

Julien is a practical man, with very logical responses like money, and time, and plans and such. I get it. Men need to cover their bases. Not everyone is as free-spirited, or has created a life where it’s as easy to up and go as me. So we are biding our time, and coming to a compromise. We will travel around New Zealand slowly, keeping an eye open for possible options along the way. And if nothing wonderful shows up by the end of the month, we will got to Asia.

 

My heart won’t still and is jumping with joy at the thought of a new adventure.

 

Now, it’s 9pm and I’m sitting in bed, with the electric blanket on and a row of 70% dark chocolate to my left. The temperature is 5°C degrees celsius outside. There’s one more thing that keeps circling back in my mind. It’s about feeling stuck when you are wanting to take action, and do the things you say you want to do.

 

There are two ways to approach this.

 

1. Let it go.

Take off the pressure and stop pushing, striving and forcing yourself to do something that feels too big and too scary. Often, when we let things go, we realise what we are missing out on, if we don’t do them. It takes away the fear and replaces it with raw hunger. Or, it’s really not meant to be.

 

2. Stop thinking about it.

Too many times, there is a thick mist of thoughts between where you stand, and what you have to do. Those thoughts are fears, future-tripping and self-sabotage that stop you in your tracks. But here’s the thing: those thoughts, they are not real, and you do not have to believe them.

 

Beyond those two things is something far more terrifying: remaining frozen in indolence. Because if you do nothing, nothing is exactly what you get. You have to take action to learn, to grow, to get it right, to heal, to understand and to create.

 

Life is messy. It’s not a perfect container where everything occurs in a pristine, linear form, and one things falls in faultlessly beside the other. At its truest and most real, life is chaotic, convoluted, complex, intricate, tangled, tortuous and confusing. It’s filled to the brim with uncertainty, fuck-ups and shamble.

 

And that is exactly what makes it so incredibly beautiful, exciting and worth waking up for every single day.

 

Your job is not to know exactly how everything is supposed to be. Your job is taking what you have in this exact moment, as chaotic and messy and crazy as it is, and sculpt it into a vision of your own design.

 

The creations you make from what you envision can only appear by putting one foot in front of the other and actively choosing to uphold your purpose: to listen to what your heart and soul are asking for. And to embody those new insights, and start doing what needs to be done.

 

The words that I encourage you to hold close these next few days, as you move forward are courage, change, taking action and balance. They will guide you, as you move through these powerful times.

☾↠❍↞☽

 

 

Photography by Champagne Victoria

 

 

My 11 day at-home spirit, love + nurture retreat, + banana milkshake + soup detox in New Zealand.

My 11 day at-home spirit, love + nurture retreat, + banana milkshake + soup detox in New Zealand.

 

A retreat is to the whole of life what meditation is to each day. The soul gathers new strength and, transformed and sanctified, returns to the tasks and duties that fill up our lives. Giving oneself is easier when the soul has renewed its interior provision. | Elisabeth Leseur

 

 

I felt the emotion creep into my throat as I said goodbye to him. He leaned over from the passenger side seat and kissed me. “Have fun” and “I love you” I croaked as tears started to well up into my eyes. And then he was gone. And just as suddenly, so were the tears.

 

It was 5.15am and  I had just dropped Julien off at the airport to board his first series of flights to Fiji. As the weariness of the early morning stilled my mind, the sadness of his leaving, was quietly replaced by an expanding joy: the 11 days that stretched ahead of me that were to be 100% mine.

 

Months earlier I had decided to do a cleanse or detox while he was away. I came up with different ideas and plans, until finally intuition guided my to something softer, gentler and sweeter: an 11 day at-home self-love and nurture retreat and detox.

 

The more I delve deeper into creating — truly creating — my life, through intention, manifesting and holding the space to receive, the more I learn about the cellular, and at times even DNA-level changes that I have to make, and that take place within me, in order for me to be able to match the frequency of the reality that I creating.

 

I have spent most of my life in some state of adrenalin. From a hectic and unstable childhood, to drug use, to intensive head-first travel, to corrosive intimate relationships; adrenal ‘excitement’ was my normal. To the point that peaceful, loving, calm in my life felt like there was something ‘wrong’. And I would create some kind of situation or drama, to return to that adrenal level of ‘excitement’.

 

What I have discovered is that anxiety tends to be habitual rather than consequential.

 

Most of us allow anxiety, fear and adrenalin run the show of our lives, without actually realising it. We have been socialized to believe that this is ‘normal” and if normal means mainstream, then yes, it is normal. But it doesn’t have to be. And it most certainly shouldn’t be, if you’re aiming for extraordinary.

 

In the past two years particularly, my subconscious addiction to anxiety and adrenalin, is a pattern I have been addressing the most, by making daily, conscious, micro-changes in my choices, and the way I approach life. Learning to relax and be at ease with calm, gentle, loving, supportive and nourishing experiences has been ground-breaking in changing myself at a cellular level to allow even more ‘good’ into my life.

 

This retreat was the next step of allowing myself to receive the wholeness and fullness of those changes, and devoting myself to them entirely, in a very practical way.

 

I spent the first day mapping out and planning what I wanted my retreat to include and set my intentions.

 

INTENTIONS

  • (filling myself up with) Deep rest.
  • (making space for) Big dreams.
  • (next level) Connection with spirit.

 

 

DAILY SCHEDULE

 

While I wasn’t strict with my schedule except for the first part: mediate; lemon water; get ready for the day; most days pretty much went like this.

 

7.30 — 8.30am: Meditate.

8.30am — 9am: Drink freshly pressed lemon with warm water, and prepare for the day.

9am — 12pm: Work. Write or do my 1:1 client sessions.

12pm — 1pm: Banana milkshake (frozen bananas blended with water, cinnamon and natural peanut butter) for lunch. Sit in the sun if possible, or read inside.

1pm — 4pm: Depending on the day and how I felt I would either work, especially if I had client calls. Or I would read, go for a walk, write in my journal, play my ukulele, sing, go to a meeting, get a massage, see my osteopath, or simply be still and rest.

4pm — 6pm: Have my soup, chill out, relax and rest, and get ready for yoga.

6pm — 8pm: Yoga.

8pm — 9pm: Take care of any last-minute emails and social media posts for the day, and get ready for bed.

9pm — 11pm: Either read and then do a mediation, or mediate and then go straight to sleep.

 

 

THE EXPERIENCE

 

The first two days my mind was busy tuned into a more spacious, relaxed way of spending my time and I felt so hungry, while my body adjusted to eating less and lighter. The second day I remember looking around the kitchen looking for anything, anything to eat, and I supplemented with a couple of kiwi fruit to keep my growling stomach preoccupied. After I adjusted, I immediately felt so much happier and lighter.

 

I noticed that, as I took more time out to feel, and be instead of do all the time, my body and approach to life became softer, gentler and kinder. It was a direct reflection: the kinder I was to myself, the kinder life was being to me, and that felt damn good.

 

In this first few days, I sat down and got really clear on my dreams, the process of which I shared in this Instagram post. You can tell in my writing that I already started to feel really, really good.

 

Over the next five days, my energy levels increased, my level of joy and appreciation for everything burgeoned and I started to adore my body at a whole new level. Halfway through my cleanse I had even lost 1.5 kilos, and that was without even trying. I was very reflective and shared those thoughts and feelings in this post here.

 

In the last few days, my level of ‘feeling good’ peaked. It is amazing what a little space, self-care and clean diet can do, in just over a week. I felt sexy, healthy and nurtured on every level.

 

In many ways, I felt like the time alone, and away from my man was imperative to do some of the inner releasing work that was a part of my retreat. Every day was dedicated to letting go of beliefs, attitudes and habits that didn’t serve me.

 

let it go

let it leave

let it happen

nothing 

in this world

was promised or

belonged to you

anyway

 

all you own is yourself | Rupi Kaur

 

 

This quote became the focus of my Full Moon ritual and echoed the essence of my 11 day retreat so beautifully.

 

What was especially interesting was that I was processing a lot of hidden, subconscious stuff around my connection and relationship with the masculine. This includes the balance of masculine within me, as well as my relationship with men and masculine energy in my life.

 

Alongside letting go of old habits of anxiety in my life, another aspect I have consciously been addressing is balancing the masculine in my life.

 

I have always found it much easier to work with feminine energy, flow, magnetism and manifesting, than I have with the masculine aspects of structure, action, strength and direction. Having a business to run has stretched and grown me in this way, as it requires a very fine approach with both aspects and using them at the right time, and there is plenty more for me to learn.

 

Speaking with my osteopath after one of our sessions, I learned that in order to create more balance it would be wise to develop my physical strength, especially in my upper body and core. Our bodies are always an indicator of our internal and experiential worlds, and mine is certainly on the weaker end of that spectrum.

 

It’s exciting when you find parts of yourself you never knew existed. Having a break from ‘normal’ life is such a wonderful way to explore and discover those parts.

 

I so loved having lots of space and time over those 11 days. They have been so soul-nourishing and my heart feels full. They have also given me a new standard of how life could feel every day, when I make space, time and self-care a priority.

 

Through simply giving myself space to ‘be’, I let go of many remaining threads that were imbedded in my subconscious, and hindering me for having and enjoying the next steps of life that I am embarking on. I notice that this year, life is taking me down a completely new pathway that has no prescription. I adore living life from such an intuitive, trusting and surrendered space, and love that I have found the courage and the guidance to approach life in this way.

 

I have no idea where I’ll end up, but what I do know, that it doesn’t even matter. It’s all about the journey, not about the destination.

 

THINGS I LEARNED

 

  • I often eat when I’m tired. Instead of taking time to lay down and rest or sleep, I’ll try to fuel my body with food, when what it really needs is rest. I know now, that taking half an hour to chill, is much better for me, than eating something, to refuel.

 

  • My body doesn’t enjoy ingesting coconut oil / cream / milk. For years I’ve been told that these are healthy fats necessary for a good diet, but as soon as I stopped including them, my skin cleared up and I felt lighter and healthier. I intuitively recognised that coconut products were the cause of this.

 

  • I used to think being physically strong is so unfeminine, but I’ve come to realise that my body actually craves being strong. Quite to my surprise it actually feels really good! So I’ve decided to commit to building up my body strength with weight training. This is a new and weird world for me, so any insights and support and beyond welcome!

 

  • It’s crucial for my mental and spiritual health to get plenty of rest and relaxation time. More than I ever thought I could or should allow myself to have. Learning to relax into my life and work, however, has benefits far beyond anything I had ever previously imagined.

 

  • Having meals organised and prepped for the week ahead is so supportive! A smoothie, a soup and a snack are all I had every day, and it’s something that I want to keep doing. It’s just about being organised, but the amount of time I saved, and could focus on other things that make me happy, was incredible. Plus I felt healthier, lighter and more nourished. Life can be so easy, when you are organised!

 

  • I feel so much more hydrated and less thirsty when I eat high-water content meals. Hydration through foods is key to good health because your body absorbs this water an it’s minerals faster and better this way. I am obsessed with being hydrated and tend to drink a lot of water, but I’ve noticed that this habit is also flushing out lots of the minerals my body needs. Eating water-rich foods is actually much more supportive.

 

 

My 11-day retreat ended much like it began. At the airport I arrived moments before he walked out, looking all scruffy and sun-tanned from his time in Fiji. He put his things on the back seat, climbed in the passenger side and leaned over for a soft, languid kiss. I missed this silly hunk of a man. But I enjoyed my time deeply nourishing and loving myself, and getting to know myself at a deeper level, just as much.

 

The Free-Spirited Collective — June 2016 — is an opportunity to create the experiences and life that you desire for yourself.

The Free-Spirited Collective -- May 2016 -- is an opportunity to create the experiences and life that you desire for yourself.

 

Your thoughts and words really do have the power to create your life.

 

The second edition of The Free-Spirited Collective has arrived, and along with it, the focus shifts from your practical needs to your ideas, thoughts, and communicationsthe stuff that creates your reality.

 

The act of creation is first an ideaan inspiration, an intuition, a moment of recognition. When you choose to hold your attention to that for a few moments longer, it becomes a thought. Once it is a thought, you then have a choice whether or not to take action to manifest it.

 

This month is the opportunity to gather your thoughts and ideasguided by your intuition — and create the experiences and life that you desire for yourself.

 

What’s included in this month’s TFSC:

 

 

PODCAST: How to design your action plan for the next few months.

As June is influenced by the energy of creative manifestations, this is exactly what this month’s podcast is about: How to design an action plan to make real your bright ideas, and create your reality through the power of planning for action. Multi-award winning author and spiritual teacher Marnie McDermott guides as through her process of DREAM. DO. and PLAN.

Teaching us from start to finish, how to attune with your true self to ensure your dreams are aligned with who you really are, down to the practical steps of breaking it down into monthly, weekly and daily tasks. Get your pens and paper ready for this one as you follow along, designing your own action plan for the next few months. Make sure you pause the podcast to take notes and catch up as you listen.

 

 

VIDEO: Believe in yourself. Trust in your ability to make your desires a reality.

This month amplifies the theme of establishing faith and trust in the self, and will provide the appropriate energy to tap into your intuition even more than you have before. Now is the time to rely on your inner compass, and utilize your dream life for information and inspiration. In this video I show you 5 key elements to believing in yourself and trusting in your ability to make your desires a reality.

 

 

E-BOOK: Your Inner Compass. 20 Ways to Tap into Your Intuition.

Our minds have two different operating systems. The first is easy, natural and fast. It’s instinctual. And this is where our lovely intuition resides. The second system is the analytical, focused, conscious side, and it works much slower. This eBook is filled with 20 fun and practical ways for you to access your intuition anywhere, no matter what. Connecting with your intuition is a practice that is to be brought into your daily rituals and habits, so that you can be guided by your inner compass all the time.

 

 

ASTRO GUIDE: June 2016 Astro-Guide.

June brings us the power of creation at our disposal. Creation begins with an idea, an inspiration, an imagining. We are as grown-up or mature, as smart or dumb, as confident or insecure as we choose to be and feel. Our lives are as wonderful or as miserable as we choose to perceive them and choose to act upon them to be. That is the creative power of this month. It is the gift of the knowledge and understanding that it is our mental energy to have ideas and thoughts and to make choices based upon those ideas and thoughts to create and shape our life experiences. As our astrologist Danielle Polgar writes, a helpful mantra for this month may be “turn that worry into wonder” — which means, instead of worrying, stay curious and in a state of wonder and awe about the possibilities. If you remain open and flexible, you might be surprised at how many possibilities seem to appear.

 

 

Join us for The Free-Spirited Collective, here.

 

 

Illustration by Victoria Rosas.

I’m closing my 1:1 mentoring spaces for 2016.

I'm closing my 1:1 mentoring spaces for 2016.

 

Late last year, while I was traveling from Australia, to Bali, back to Australia and then on to New Zealand, I wore myself down to the ground and exhausted every tiny ounce of my energy, trying to do all the things. Travel, explore, be adventurous, be a fun girlfriend and lover, show up 1,000,000 percent for my 1:1 clients, keep up with social media and writing articles, run a business and so on.

 

I ended up feeling overwhelmed, sad and like I sucked at life. It was awful.

 

I promised myself never to ravage my energy resources like that again. Even though I have been travelling with my business since I started it, 3 years ago, it had never compounded before, in the way it did last year. I had more clients, more travel, was moving around more rapidly, plus a partner-in-love-and-adventures to be present for. It simply became too much.

 

I learned that I need space and time, in all the elements; physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually in order to function at me best. It means that when I travel with my work, I do so slowly. When I work one on 1:1 with folk, I have the space to connect with them at a heart-and-soul level. And adventures are slow fuel for inspired writing and sharing.

 

We live in a world that glorifies “busyness”. Being busy means that you are important: valued, cared about, loved, popular, successful, and generally a big deal. Yet those metrics keep us out if sync with our lives and often take us further away from what we truly value and desire: connection, love, belonging, creativity, expression, beauty and joy.

 

What I want to glorify is “freedom”. And the truth is “freedom” rarely stems from “busyness”. For me “freedom” is excelling at the things that bring me joy. It means having more than enough time for the people who mean the world to me. It means that creativity take priority over paperwork. “Freedom” lies in the mastery of living life as defined by intuition and love.

 

So when new travel plans were being made for this year, I knew it was the divine occasion to do things differently, and create more space.

 

On the 17th of September we hit the road again, doing the long-coveted road trip around the south and north islands of New Zealand for 3 weeks. And then flying to Asia to spend the rest of the year exploring the oceans, jungles and temples of Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. I literally cannot stop thinking about pineapples every time I look at the world map to see where we are going! And then Canada early next year. Brrrr. It’ll be my first real, real, real winter, in a very, very long time.

 

I’m pretty ecstatic about it all.

 

Over those 4 months I will still be writing stories and sharing photos from all the beautiful places that we explore. But I won’t be working in a 1:1 capacity with any mentoring clients.

 

Saturday 11 June, I’m closing my 1:1 mentoring spaces for 2016.

 

I still have 6 spots available in my 3 month programs for this year.

 

 

THE ART OF ONLINE BUSINESS: 3 MONTH ONLINE BIZ + BLOG MENTORING

  • 6 x 45 min Skype calls + follow-up material
  • $960  USD

One-on-one mentoring for free-spirited souls at the onset of your online business, to help you hone in on how to begin, do what you love, and be profitable. Sessions can include: Personal Branding, Emotional Engineering, Marketing, Social Media, Website, Content, Action Plans, Money, Overcoming Fear.

EMAILFORMORE_purpleamethyst

 

SET YOURSELF FREE: 3 MONTH SPIRIT + LIFE MENTORING

  • 6 x 45 min Skype calls + follow-up material
  • $960 USD

Full-scale spirit-infused life coaching and mentoring to support you in clearing away the past, and doing the deeper inner work required to set yourself free. Sessions can include: Identifying Blocks, Limited Beliefs + Past Conditioning, Negative Patterns, Self-Awareness Practices, Tools to Release + Heal, Big Dream Exercises, Action Plans.

EMAILFORMORE_purpleamethyst

 

If you are interested in working with me 1:1, this year, now is a good time to jump on that chance. The best way to learn more is to email me directly, and we will arrange a free discovery call to chat and make sure we are the right fit.

 

Again, my email is: studio@viendamaria.com.

 

Photography by Luke Marshall Images.

5 latest books that have made me feel empowered, alive and vibrant.

6 latest books that have made me feel empowered, alive and vibrant.

 

Every few months or so, I write about the books that have had the most impact on me, lately. I write about them, because I love it when I discover word-gold, and the inner understanding that transforms my life through those words.

 

Every book I have ever read, has been recommended to me in some form. I very rarely take the time to explore bookshelves or the Kindle store, to find my next read. I want those recommendations to have a ripple effect out into the world, so you too, can experience your own inner understanding and ‘aha’ moments.

 

I like to read in bed mostly, or outside in the sun on the balcony, especially when I’m having a quiet, reflective day and pondering the meaning of life and the world. I use Kindle to read, because lugging the amount of books that I read around with me, is totally insane.

 

Behold, my list of the 5 latest books that have made me feel empowered, alive and vibrant. Please, enjoy them as much as I have.

 

 

5 latest books that have made me feel empowered, alive and vibrant: The Art of Asking.

 

The Art of Asking

If anyone can making asking for what you need and want, feel badass, it’s Amanda Palmer. It’s been such a long time since I have enjoyed reading a book this much, and learning, at the same time. Asking is something that we have been socially conditioned to believe is wrong, and yet, when someone asks us for help, we feel so remarkably good, and thrilled to be able to do something for someone else. Why is that? And how can giving and receiving work  Amanda explores this concept as she takes us on a punk-rock flavoured rollercoaster ride through her creative and artistic ventures. My favourite quote from the book is “When you love people, they give you everything.

This read is perfect for every artist, creative, entrepreneur and woman, who has ever had a hard time asking for what he or she needs. I don’t do star ratings on here, but if I did, The Art of Asking would get a 10 out of 5 stars. In fact, Amanda’s ferocious belief in the generosity human beings, lead the inspiration to my Pay What You Want price for my monthly The Free-Spirited Collective membership. Get your copy from Amazon.

 

 

5 latest books that have made me feel empowered, alive and vibrant: The Crossroads of Must and Should.

 

The Crossroads of Must and Should

My second favourite book in this writeup is this one by Elle Luna. The entire time I was reading it, I wanted to share quotes from her words on Instagram, and only managed to hold back out of trepidation that I would end up overwhelming everyone with enthusiasm. Elle writes about learning the difference between must: “Must is who we are, what we believe, and what we do when we are alone with our truest most authentic self.” And should; how most of us unconsciously imprison ourselves in the confinements of what our society and culture expects of us and tell us to do.

This book is about a gentle rebellion, and figuring out what your ‘must’ is, and then doing that, exclusively. “We each have a potential that was given to us at birth, but whether or not we cultivate it is entirely up to us. In its purest sense, Must is why we are here to begin with, and choosing it is the journey of our lives.” Get your copy from Amazon.

 

 

5 latest books that have made me feel empowered, alive and vibrant: Big Magic

 

Big Magic

Every creative ever must read this book about creativity by Elizabeth Gilbert. Simply because it makes the creative process that much more understandable. I felt quite elated that many of the concepts and ideas she shares were already a part of my own personal understanding of my creative process. It’s always so nice to be assured from someone who has been commended for their outstanding work in a field that you admire. I particularly appreciated her powerful prose on making the creative process not have to have meaning, significance or to be ‘useful’, but to do it, for the sake of doing it, and trusting the process as it guides you forward. Plus, her writing style is impeccable and I adore reading Liz’s words, on almost any topic. Get your copy from Amazon.

 

 

5 latest books that have made me feel empowered, alive and vibrant: Radical Self-Love

 

Radical Self-Love

Gala Darling was my inspiration to start blogging. After shunning the internet for years, I suddenly saw it with new eyes: an uncensored platform on which to take pieces of my soul and spin them into words, for all to see. When I first discovered her, she had a voice unlike anyone else, and she was speaking my language, which at the time felt like a fucking miracle.

Her book is an adaptation of an eBook she used to sell on her website, and while I really enjoyed reading it, I did feel a little disappointed that there was no new, juicy, unexpected insights included. What was once brand new and perceptive in her writing, is now a refined recapitulate of what is now already deeply ingrained in me after spending years doing my own soul-searching. Get your copy from Amazon.

 

 

5 latest books that have made me feel empowered, alive and vibrant: Clear Your Shit

 

Clear Your Shit

I spent the first third of this book emphatically nodding my head. So much of what he writes, I have thought in my own mind. It was a wonderful feeling of confirmation that, yes, I am on the right track with how I intuitively view things and the way we can actively reshape our entire lives by clearing the past, and belief systems that hold us back from being limitless. Dane Tomas captures the essence of what it means to modify yourself down to a cellular level, in order to create the kind of life experience you know is meant for you.

Once he gets into the ‘how to’ steps however, he looses me a little. This book is excellent if you process things predominantly through your intellect. And I recommend it highly to anyone that is new to doing their inner transformational work, and don’t have $1,000’s of dollars to spend on coaches, mentors and psychologists to help them on their way. However I personally, from experimenting on myself, find that the best way to ‘clear my shit’ is to work through it on an emotional and physical level, using my own processes that I have adapted.

Overall its awesome insight into how you can totally transform your life, by doing your inner work, and I am quite proud to say that Dane is one of my manifesting experts in my course Manifest More, as well as a speaker in the July edition on The Free-Spirited CollectiveGet your copy from Amazon.

 

 

Photography by Jessica Shirley.

My pretty peach planner has revolutionised my life. It’s a love story.

My pretty peach planner. A love story.

 

Late one night last year, during my detox in Bali, I had one of those sit-up-straight-in-bed aha moments. Simplifying and streamlining my life is a huge priority in my life for several reasons. It creates more time and space, it makes everything a lot easier, and it means that practical and organisational tasks feel less daunting.

 

I am organised. But I’m not someone who wants to spend lots of time organising. I like to have systems and practices in place that keep everything organised. I used to think that stuff was boring, but nowadays it necessary.

 

But there was one system in my life that was becoming the bane of my heavy travelling bags: my notebooks. As much as my life and work is online, I really love connecting pen to paper for: taking client notes, creative ideation, taking notes from books I like, journaling, keeping track of my income, moon rituals and business ideas.

 

This meant that each of those areas of my life were represented in its own little (or big) notebook, that I carried with me around the world. Everywhere I went, I took 5 or 6 notebooks with me. And as cute as that might be, it’s not practical, and is extremely wasteful.

 

Which brings me back to that evening in Bali, in bed, when I realised there had to be another way. I started researching ‘planners’ and ‘filofax’ across the internet and found tonnes of articles and blog posts dedicated to the art of organising ones life in one single book.

 

Immediately I was hooked.

 

And promptly spent the next 5 hours researching for the perfect solution: a beautiful planner that would lovingly hold all the words of my heart, soul and work. The one I settled on was this one in the pictures from Kikki K. They don’t have the peach colour anymore, but you can see their latest range here. (I got the textured leather personal planner in Large. And if I were to choose again now, I’d totally go for the tangerine one!)

 

I ordered it, had it sent to my friend’s place in Byron Bay, where I knew I’d be passing through in the near future. I am so happy I did. My pretty peach planner has revolutionised my life!

 

 

My pretty peach planner. A love story.

 

Now, everything I’m working on is organised into section with tabs, yet it’s still sitting prettily, all together in one beautiful book that I adore and take with me everywhere. My laptop and planner are literally all there is to my mobile office that I travel the world with. (Plus, obviously a collection of pens and such.)

 

I love that I can go through my planner every 3 – 6 months and remove the old notes I no longer need, and then fill it up with fresh new pages whenever I want. I buy my refills from Etsy.com and prefer to get unlined paper in both plain and rainbow!

 

I’m not sure, but I think I might be saving rainforests with this. (Now, if only the rainbow refills came in recycled paper, my life would be complete.)

 

 

My pretty peach planner. A love story.

 

To take you through each of the sections, here is how I organise my planner:

 

Calendar — Self explanatory really. I use my online google calendar to organise my schedule, and I use this calendar to pencil in my project dates and blog posts schedule.

 

To Do — This is my ongoing ‘To Do’ list. At the start I have my goals and intentions for the year. Then I break those down into months on the following pages. And then at the start of each week, I write down my tasks that need to be completed that week. This keeps me aligned with my goals and intentions, and means that I am consistently taking micro-actions towards want I want to experience, have, be and do in my life.

I usually leave  my planner open on that page so I can go back and check off completed tasks. At the end of the week I tear the page out of my planner, throw it away and start again. I personally don’t do daily ‘To Do’ lists because I feel stressed when there’s too much of a time limit and pressure to complete something. I am more likely to get my work down, when I feel like I have plenty of space and time for everything.

 

 

My pretty peach planner. A love story.

 

Coaching Notes — Here I write down every single mentoring session, to keep track of what we are working on and how many sessions we have had. I write the person’s name at the top and then the session no. so I can refer back whenever I need.

 

Biz Ideas — Is where I collect all of my ideas as they arise. Some of them evolve into fully fledged projects, while others fade away. Writing them down gives them all an equal chance to manifest, and once I had something on paper, I have a better idea whether it’s viable or not, and whether I have the passion and interest to invest into it and see it through. Once it’s got a skeleton structure, I flesh it out into its fullness in my Google Docs.

 

 

My pretty peach planner. A love story.

 

Money Love — Has become a favourite practice that my money mentor taught me. Every time I get a little ‘ping’ from my PayPal account, letting me know I have been paid, I enter it into this section. This file is organised into years: past years with monthly earnings are written out on a page each, with a total at the bottom. And for the current year: each month has a page to track my daily income, which is tallied at the end of the month.

When I tally the month, I also like to write little affirmations below it like: “Yes. Thank you! More please.” or “Money comes to me easily and frequently.” or “I expand in love, success and abundance every day, as I inspire those around me to do the same.” or sometimes “I am open to expected and unexpected financial abundance that arrives in a fun, safe and healthy way.”

Tracking your income is so important, beyond just being organised. More importantly (for me, anyway) is that it keeps me focused on abundance and gratitude for what I already have. I write down everything, even if I find 20c on the ground, or someone gives me a gift that has a specific value (like a free course, for example). When I first started doing it, I was surprised to learn that I was earning more than I thought. And within a few months my income started to double and triple, simply because I was feeling so abundant, instead of focusing on lack or not having enough. Isn’t it amazing!?

 

 

My pretty peach planner. A love story.

 

Intentions + Sacred Words — Last but by no means least, here I write down my monthly moon rituals, set my intentions and journal my thoughts and feelings. This space is extra special to me because the words I write here hold such potent power. I’m pretty sure this part of my planner is where all the magic happens, that creates the rest of my life!

 

And that, my friend, is how my pretty peach planner has revolutionised my life. It’s most definitely a love story.

 

 

My pretty peach planner. A love story.