Coming home

 

Being human is the strangest thing. I’m not sure I’ll ever really get used to it. Some people seem to be born anchored into their bodies. They feel at home in them. Other people, like me, always have this sense of one foot in, one foot out. While I am having a physical experience in this sweet body of mine, a part of me is still very much in the ethereal. Somewhere between the magic of dusk and the black of night where the things lie that we cannot see, and I find life to be quite strange.

 

The way my mind and mood alters when my body isn’t well. The way that tears come without any explanation. The way I feel anger or sadness but can’t attach it to a reason. Until I journal and I write about the feelings and then from somewhere words come together under my pen and bring with them both relief and wisdom.

 

I wonder about other people, how they seem so sure about what they feel and why. How the world seems to make so much sense to them and everything is either wrong or right. I sometimes envy their lucidity on what life is and what we are doing here.

 

For me life feels like a myopic blur: I can see the way the walls breathe and how everything is not really real. I see energy instead of solid objects, wavering between solid entity and vibration. I see how people feel from the vibes that emanate from their skin. I listen to their words, but, more closely I listen to the things they don’t say, in between.

 

We moved into our own house a little over a month ago. The last time I lived in a place of my own was in a little studio apartment in Paddington, Sydney in 2011. That’s 6 years ago. The time before that was a room in Hackney, London in 2005. And the time before that was in Trinity Beach, Cairns while I was at university in 2002. In between I was always just passing through somewhere. Renting a room short-term or sleeping on a friend’s spare bed or sofa. I never stayed anywhere long enough to commit to a home of my own.

 

Waking up here every morning brings with it a soothing reassurance that I can relax now. I am finding my little rituals: half a lemon squeezed into warm water and sitting with it on the steps of our porch; yoga or exercise on my yoga mat next to the only piece of furniture, a giant paisley armchair, in the corner living room; picking the raspberries as they ripen; making smoothies packed with more goodness that my body can probably absorb.

 

Here, I can breathe. I am left alone with my sensitivities to the physical world. I don’t have to put up boundaries to the enormous waves of information and energy in the outside world. Here, I can be still.

 

We are slowly working on filling the house with unique pieces of furniture. Pieces that mean things to us. It takes time, and it’s ok, time is something we have. I desperately want houseplants and Julien gently indulges my whims. I scour the local online classifieds and find a listing: houseplants all $4, with dark and grainy pictures underneath.  Julien calls and reports: it’s an old man in a hair salon in an alley downtown… he says we can come by tomorrow.

 

In the morning we go to the salon. The door says open and I pull on it. The smell of Ammonium wafts out as I step in and see a little old man deftly working tiny curlers into the hair of a little old woman sitting in a chair. I’m here to see your plants! I smile. I’m just setting a perm,  as he points at a few sitting on the counter… I see some that I love straight away. There are more downstairs… He takes me down a set of stairs and turns the lights on pointing to some sitting on a window sill and more on a bench.

 

Julien follows me down and as we look around we feel like we have fallen into a secret wonderland of antiques and old things for sale. Julien finds an ancient lock and chain that he wants to put on the gate that opens to the alley from our secret garden for $1. I scoop up a couple of plants I like and then head back upstairs to collect the others I’ve already had my eye on. Big juicy elephant ears, and heart-shaped vines, and palm fronds growing out of a pink trunk. I’m in plant-love.

 

The old man tells us that he grows the plants at home and then brings them in to sell. He shows me how to grow more of the plants from cuttings and gives me his business card. I ask him if I can call him to ask questions and he smiles. Julien doesn’t want to leave and asks the man where he gets all his treasures from. With a twinkle he leans over and tells us he has many clients that are dead or dying, and they give him all their old things when they go. We leave feeling that we have stumbled into a magical place of enchantment. I make Julien promise me we will go back every month and search for treasures.

 

 

The next day Julien goes back to work. He works shifts at the jail, 4 days on, 4 days off. It annoys me because I hardly get my work done when he’s around. It means that I work weekends now, when he is working them. I haven’t found my rhythm and complain to him about it.

 

My day is filled with catching up on emails. I email the women I’ve had 1-on-1 calls with during the week and draw up their unique mind-maps for what the next steps are. I love this part as much as I love being on the call with them. So much intuitive wisdom that isn’t mine flows through from under my finger tips as I type. Sometimes those emails become novels, there’s so much left to be said. Sometimes they are short notes reminding them that they already have exactly what they need, that all that’s left is to look within and trust.

 

My friend Claire and I open enrolments for our first ever joint project The Heartful Biz. It’s the most casual and relaxed release of a new creation that I’ve ever had. It feels good not to have to push or force or frogmarch it onto people. We both know that the right folks will be called to participate. We want to revolutionize the way that we do business. All heart, no hustle. After all, that’s what we teach, too.

 

At night an old familiar feeling haunts me. I feel like I am covered in invisible shackles and I desperately want to run away. It scares me. I haven’t felt that feeling for a long time now. I had secretly hoped that it would go away. My mind starts racing and I question everything: this house, my relationship, being in Canada. Julien reaches out to snuggle with me but I tell him I feel like a prickly pear and don’t want to be touched right now. I feel bad. I don’t want to push him away. I really do love him. But when I feel like this I can’t be touched by anyone. I do the one thing that every spiritual teacher has ever taught me: I sit with the feelings and allow them to wash over me. Every time my mind tries to lure me into an escape plan I come back to feeling my body, the prickly, uncomfortable sensation of being here, of being alive, of being human.

 

Sleep starts to take over. It is comfortable and safe. The next morning my impulse to run to somewhere far away is gone. I go back to wondering why being human is such a strange thing.

 

My Kind Of (Heartful) Biz

 

I never wanted a business. What I wanted was a lifestyle: a way to make money that gave me the freedom to travel the world, or work on my bed in my underwear if I wanted to; to help people and; be creative. Those 3 very simple concepts for what success would look like, guided me.

 

When I began “business” was a foreign concept for me. I had exhausted my available options and come to the conclusion that I was the world’s worst employee. I never enjoyed investing my precious time and energy into work and projects that I didn’t wholeheartedly believe in. The only person I wanted to devote that much of my life to, was me. I felt that I had one alternative left: to start my own business.

 

I had no idea what I was doing. Despite this I held a tight (terrified) grip to my vision and didn’t give in when things got tough. Day-by-day I figured it out. The first year was the hardest. I put enormous amounts of pressure on myself to be somewhere or something that I was not. The second year was filled with enormous growth: stretching my ability to show up, to receive, to put myself out there, to take knock-backs and failures and get back up again and do it all again the next day. The third year things shifted and started to flow with ease, mirroring my own personal development.

 

My business has supported me for 4 years now and along the way I have written over 500 articles, been published in digital and glossy magazines, created 3 online courses, mentored at least 100 women, and lived in over 10 different countries. I did it all following my heart and trusting my gut every step of the way.

 

Creating a heart-led, heartful business was not something that was taught when I started. All the courses and programs out there were all about strategic approaches, and systemized structures and cold, hard facts and launches. From the beginning I wanted to do things differently. I wanted to feel deeply, heart-first dedicated to my work and to the people who my work touched, and do it in a way that aligned with my values was was an authentic expression of myself. It was about creating a thriving vehicle for change for both myself and my clients and customers.

 

Early this year, I came together with my friend Claire and in response to extravagant amount of questions we both received on how we run our businesses, we put together a 2-day workshop called ‘The Heartful Biz’ that we ran in London over one weekend in late April. The reaction we received from folks around the world who wanted to come but could not was astonishing. After we ran the workshop, still high on publicly presenting our completely candid versions of how we built our heart-led businesses, we decided to turn ‘The Heartful Biz’ into an online workshop.

 

Behold: The Heartful Biz. Build A Heart-Centred Business That Works (Really Well).

Registration opens today (right now) and class begins on Saturday August 12.

 

This workshop is just like the live version: it feels like we bring you into our worlds, homes (where the videos are filmed) and businesses and show you how things really work, when it is heart-led. Over 12 video lessons we teach you:

 

☾ Authenticity & Being You In Your Business
☾ Crafting Great Copy & Telling Stories
☾ How We Use Social Media (& What To Post)
☾ Creating A Newsletter That Grows & Connects You With Your Community
☾ Creating Fabulous Services & Products
☾ Making Money: How We Do It
☾ Using Astrology To Elevate Your Business
☾ Working With Your Menstrual Cycle
☾ Overcoming (Inevitable) Fear
☾ Balancing The Masculine & Feminine In Business
☾ Structures & Systems To Find Your Flow
☾ BONUS: How To Create Live Workshops & Events
☾ BONUS: Manifesting In Your Business

 

This is an invitation to join Claire and I for The Heartful Biz and learn everything we figured out through hard work, following our hearts and lots of experimentation. We share our biggest block and blunders and how we have overcome them, the tools, systems and structures we use that actually work, how we come up with and create products and services, the way we harness that natural cycles of the moon and our menstrual cycles to be productive and inventive, and so much more.

 

If you feel this course tugging at your heart, it’s a sure sign that it is calling you to learn and approach business in a different, more heartful way. We would love to have you on this 2-day journey into the hearts of our businesses.

 

Learn more and register for The Heartful Biz 2-Day Workshop HERE.

 

If this course leaves you feeling nothing at all, please saunter right past it. It’s clearly not for you. Follow your heart and instinct. That’s all we really want to teach, after all.

 

Photo: Hayley Richardson

How to use the energy of the days of the week

 

We don’t flailingly and aimlessly live and feel the way we do without reason. There are a whole host of influencers impacting how you feel, and what you do, every day. Your emotions, if you have slept, your last conversation, the sun, moon and stars, and the energy of the days of the week all play an important role too.

 

One thing that we often overlook is that each day of the week brings with it a unique vibe, atmosphere and energy.

 

Have you ever wondered why Monday feels like such a drag? It’s because Monday is influenced by the Moon and the vibe is all about quiet introspection and being alone. But in our world Monday is the first day of the working week and we are expected to feel like we are full of beans (even when we are not).

 

You know how people get really excited about Friday? It’s not because everyone hates their job and wants to run around shouting “FRIYAY!” at the top of their lungs. It’s because Friday is influenced by the planet Venus and the vibe is all about excitement, socializing, beauty and romance. It’s an upbeat energy compared to low-key Monday.

 

Every single day of the week has a different vibe. And when you know how to harness the energy of the days of the week, and make them work for you, your entire life changes. Instead of pushing against the current, you’ll flow with it.

 

To make it really easy for you — starting on Monday — I’ll be sending you exactly how to use the energy of the days of the week over 7 days. One short email per day outlining the vibe, do’s and don’ts so you can start living your life in tune with the natural cycles of each week day.

 

You’ll learn how to be happier, more productive, spontaneous and creative.

 

Simply enter your email address and I’ll send you a new prompt about each day of the week, every day, starting on Monday, for the next 7 days.

 


 

Enjoy!

xo

 

— July special: Creative Mapping Sessions —

 

Something that I am certain of beyond all else is that for us to live in a world that reflects freedom, acceptance and unity, we have to change the way we “do” life. That’s why I provide tangible frameworks  — creative maps — to help you decipher a new path to tread.

 

I work with two types of women:

 

— 1. Women who find themselves at a paradoxical crossroads and know that the old way of living is no longer for them but feel terrified about stepping into the unknown. I help them overcome their limitations, identify their true hearts longing and provide them with a practical step-by-step plan into their new future.

 

— 2. Creative women who find themselves either at the very beginnings of their business dreams, or a year or two in, and are wanting to finally step up and do great things in the world through their work.

 

I normally work with these women over a period of 3-6 months because it gives us the time we often need to dive deeply into the work we are here to do. But after my Creative Intensive sessions in London I’ve been longing to provide the same kind of concise creative maps to folks in single session formats.

 

Behold: 1 hour Creative Mapping Sessions for the month of July.

 

During a session we can: get clear on what you actually want in your life and how to get there, resolve relationship issues or distressing experiences, work on your creative project or business idea, review and spruce up your website, get unstuck around something you want to manifest, develop an exit plan from your current life and a leap-of-faith plan into a new one, structure a year of wanderlust-satisfying travel (and ways to support it), decide on how you want to reinvent yourself, outline your book, brainstorm a long list of blog-post or podcast ideas, generate the structure for a workshop or course, provide you with the inspiration to go for your dreams, and so on.

 

You will get:

 

— 1 hour of time with me
— a recording of our creative mapping session
— follow-up notes in an email outlining your next steps
— and a hand-drawn (by me) PDF of your creative mind-map to stick on the wall

 

If this sounds exciting for you, book your Creative Mapping Session with me, HERE.

 

When you book your session make sure you fill out the top 3 things/projects that you’d like to focus on while we’re working together. Spaces for the Creative Mapping Session are limited and this July special, as you may have guessed, is only happening for the month of July.

 

If you have questions, please email me at studio@viendamaria.com. If you were wondering about working with me on a longer basis, I have 1 mentoring spot left. You can learn more about what that looks like here.

 

I’m getting better… Here’s how I’m dealing with my adrenal fatigue

 

It’s been 3 months since I learned that I have adrenal fatigue. Since that time I feel like life has been swirling around me so rapidly I cannot keep up with its force.

 

As I sit and write this to you today I am ensconced in my new office, at my new desk that I proudly thrifted for $35, with a beaming headache that has been an occasional friend since the onset of my adrenal fatigue about a year ago. Beyond the headache however, I am getting so much better.

 

This week, I’ve been feeling an urge to share with you exactly what has been helping and working for me since I first learned about adrenal fatigue. There’s been some things that have made little difference, and other things that have made a huge difference.

 

Here they are. I hope they help you, too.

 

 

DIET

One of the first things I was told was that adrenal glands require an enormous amount of protein, 20g per meal to be exact, to be supported. This is a challenge for me as I don’t like beans and legumes and rarely eat meat. What I did do was purchase Vega One, a vegan protein and greens powder that was recommended to me, which has made getting enough daily protein much easier.

 

I cold-turkey quit all caffeinated drinks. It had to happen if I want to heal, which I do. While I only had coffee occasionally, even that was too much. I tried having matcha instead to no avail. It made me feel frantic and kept me awake at night. I do still sometimes have some chocolate or make a hot cocoa.

 

It was also strongly suggested that I start to eat breakfast every day 1.5 hours within waking up. I have always been a chronic meal-skipper, breakfast being the one that was left out most often so I had to change my approach to nourishing myself. Apparently when we skip meals it sends our adrenals a message that we are starving or in danger and woah there goes the adrenalin rush to keep us going. Not good.

 

On that same note, what I was eating had to change. I love to snack on raw fruit and vegetables, so much so, that my food intake centred on raw fruit and vegetables. It turns out however, that I could not have been doing anything worse. My body type is on the more delicate end of the spectrum as is my digestion and my body simply cannot handle breaking down so much raw food, so much so that it added stress to my adrenals. I had to start eating more cooked vegetables, preferably at every meal, and no fruit. I don’t do this all the time, but I try.

 

Here is what my meals look like, on a daily basis (except for when I get tacos or burritos from Senor Froggies):

 

Breakfast

  • Smoothie: 1 scoop of vega one, handful of spinach, half an avocado, blended with a glass of water.
  • Hot oatmeal cooked in water with banana and cinnamon, drizzled with maple syrup and almond milk.
  • Sourdough toast with avocado, salt and pepper.

 

Lunch

  • Sautéed vegetables with fried eggs.
  • Steamed leafy greens with poached eggs, olive oil and salt.
  • Open sourdough salad and egg sandwich.
  • Salad with omelette.

 

Dinner

  • Vegetable lasagna.
  • Kitchari (slow-cooked Indian lentil and rice dish).
  • Shakshuka (Israeli tomato and egg dish) served with sourdough.
  • Soups of all kinds, I am trying to use bone broth when we have it.
  • Crispy potatoes or sweet potato fries and salad.
  • Rice or quinoa with sautéed vegetables.

 

Snacks

  • Pistachios.
  • Almonds.
  • Apple pieces with nut butter.
  • Hot cocoa: half a teaspoon of raw cacao, two heaped teaspoons of collagen powder, a sprinkle of cinnamon, a spoon of raw honey, topped with hot water and a splash of almond milk.
  • Hot or cold turmeric latte: teaspoon of turmeric, a dash of ginger powder, teaspoon of coconut oil, two heaped teaspoons of collagen powder, teaspoon of honey and a cup of almond milk either heated in a saucepan or blended in a blender.

 

 

LIFESTYLE

The biggest lifestyle change I’ve made is to prioritize sleep. I’ve learned that the fastest way to heal adrenal fatigue is to give yourself permission to sleep and rest as much as possible. While this has been a challenge at times, there’s so much to do!, it’s also the one thing that is making the biggest impact in me feeling better.

 

When I’m tired I rest. I give myself permission to take naps whenever I need them. And I try to make sure I am in bed by 10pm every night. It’s not always possible, but sleep takes precedence over most other plans now. Yesterday I napped for 2 hours and then went to bed by 10pm and it felt amazing. My quality of sleep has improved since I’ve implemented more sleep into my life. All in all, it’s been the best thing yet.

 

Exercise is still important, but I don’t push myself. My aim is to walk for at least 45 minutes and do either yoga or strength training every day. Some days it happens, other days I only do one of the three, and sometimes I let it go and rest instead. I’m approaching my body and how I feel very intuitively and gently at the moment.

 

In general I am not pushing myself much at the moment. If I need time, I give it to myself. It’s a practice in trust that everything will get done and will work out, and so far it’s working. Trust is such a beautiful thing to lean on.

 

 

SUPPLEMENTS

I was prescribed Vitex to help regulate my hormones that had been affected by the adrenal fatigue. The impact wasn’t instant, but after my 3rd and most recent cycle I noticed a distinct change in PMS symptoms: I didn’t have the same spotting and pains that I had prior to my periods anymore. My cycles still aren’t totally regular and that’s ok. There’s been so much happening in my life the past 3 months: I moved house 3 times, flew to London for 2 weeks and went on 2 road trips. All while running my business full-time. There really wasn’t much space for my body to find its rhythm in that time.

 

I was given a Skullcap tincture from my naturopath which is supposed to calm the central nervous system and help the adrenals feel safe and secure so they can heal. I did not feel much change from this, but I also always forgot about the second set of drops I was supposed to take. Maybe that would have made the difference.

 

I took 1000mg of Magnesium in tablet form to help calm nerves and anxiety and help my sleep as one of the effects of adrenal fatigue is night-time cortisol spikes that wake you up and frenzy and keep you awake.

 

I was dealing with was hormonal acne which affected my self-esteem more than anything and after some research invested in good-quality Lysine and Evening Primrose Oil which I take at night just before bed. Within days my skin cleared up and I found myself craving the Evening Primrose Oil which tells me that it contains something that my body really needs right now. I take 1000mg of the Lysine and 2000 – 4000mg of the Evening Primrose Oil daily, depending on how I feel and how many other good fats I have had.

 

 

 

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE

I’ve had a couple of acupuncture sessions. Each treatment was wildly different and put me out of action for at least 24 hours afterwards. I can feel that they work quite deeply on my central nervous system and adrenals. They are something that I will continue to keep having.

 

I’ve booked myself in for a session at the local float tank. The aim is to find things that are deeply relaxing and restorative to help my adrenals to stop freaking out. I’ll report back on how that goes.

 

11 inspiring things 1 woman manifested in less than 1 year

 

To celebrate manifesting and make it available to more people, from Friday 23 June at 9:00am PST to Saturday 24 June at 11.59pm PST Manifest More is $50 off using the code — mmv2 — at the checkout.

 

I often receive emails about how Manifest More has changed people’s lives. But I rarely share them. I really should do that more often! So when Nicola sent me an email filled to the brim with 11 inspiring things that she has manifested in less than a year, I had to share them with you. Here’s what she said…

 

Since I started Manifest More I often feel like a powerful magnet drawing in everything and anything but some seriously major shifts began to happen in October when I found out I was pregnant, so I’ll start there…

 

When I first saw the strong pink line on the pregnancy test, I was full of joy and immediately afterward full of panic. My husband and I literally live paycheck to paycheck. All I could think about was ‘how in the world are we going to support a baby?’. I didn’t allow myself to stay in that fear for too long. Your MM course helped me to focus my energies and I knew what I needed to do.

 

I needed to get into a flow of feeling amazing and full of gratitude.  I needed to trust the divine timing of everything. I needed to get super clear on what I wanted to manifest to feel good and safe bringing this child into the world. I needed to clear some deeply ingrained blocks. And of course, I needed to get moving! 9 months seems like a long time, but time moves in the most mysterious ways during pregnancy.

 

Over these past 9 months, the most incredible things have manifested both in my personal life and also in my business. To list a few…

 

1. A free trip to India with my husband.

 

2. I sold my wedding dress for $1300. It was so important to me to sell it to someone who would feel as amazing in it as I did… she was absolutely thrilled with it and I was so grateful to receive the money.

 

3. A co-sleeping cot was gifted to me by a friend who had never used it.

 

4. My best friend who lives in Canada surprised me with a virtual Skype baby shower complete with champagne and balloons. She gathered funds from all my loved ones and sent two suitcases full of gifts for the baby to my home in Bali. I opened all the gifts while my family watched me on the screen and every single item I had asked for was in there and SO much more. I feel so grateful to know that I have the things I need to be able to take care of this little one! 

 

5. I am planning on giving birth at a birthing clinic near where I live. This clinic is free to use, however, my husband and I wanted to donate $1000 for all the services they have provided to us and to support the clinic in aiding other women in having the opportunity to have safe, healthy pregnancies and births. This $1000 manifested through two $500 gifts given to us from family to put towards buying stuff for the baby. Since we had received everything we needed through the surprise baby shower we were able to make the donation.

 

6. Although I trust that my wish for a natural birth at the clinic will all go according to plan, we needed to have a backup plan just in case an emergency does happen. After my husband and I talked to a friend about the cost that would come to us if I do have to go to the hospital he said: “I’ll lend you the money”. He said if we need it, we’ll work out a payment plan afterward, and if we don’t end up needing it we just send it right back to him. I truly feel and trust in my heart that we will be able to have the birth at the birthing clinic, but it has given me and my husband so much peace of mind to know that if we do need to go the hospital me and the baby we will be taken care of.

 

7. Over the past few years, my husband and I have gone into a fair amount of debt keeping our non-profit alive. So often it has felt that we will never catch up, but I have been making a very conscious effort to keep my vibration around the debt and money very high and through your course, I have been able to get very clear on what we need. About 5 months ago, our accountant contacted us about a way to get some of our debt removed. It was a long (and at times emotional) process but last month we had $12,000 taken off of our debt! My husband and I were in shock for about a week! We couldn’t believe it. It felt like we had won the lottery. We still have a debt to pay but I have asked the Universe to be debt free and I know it is happening!

 

8. We manifested a home for 6 months. Since moving to Bali, we have been living in a sweet little one-bedroom flat style home. It was perfect for us and very affordable but we knew with a baby on the way and family coming to visit throughout July and August we would need a bigger space. I followed your steps on manifesting a home and totally trusted that we would find something we could afford where we would be happy. With the exception of 1 or 2 things the place we found has everything I asked for. We moved in last month and I have been able to nest and get ready for the arrival of our baby. I have no idea where we will go when our lease is up in November but I know and I trust that we will be guided to where we are meant to be. For now, we have this beautiful home and I am SO grateful every day for it.

 

9. When I first started on the topic of manifest more love I thought that it wasn’t really what I need to be focusing on right now. Then I realized that actually, I was really in need of manifesting love, just not in the romantic way I usually think about it. Since moving to Bali, I haven’t made many close friends. I have met people, but I haven’t felt that I have had a tribe around me. This has been particularly hard throughout what has felt like a very solo pregnancy as I haven’t had my closest friends with me to share it with. I also felt that I didn’t have female support for the birth of my baby because for a long time I didn’t have a midwife or doula who could commit to being there. I was feeling so much sadness around all of this early in the year. After doing some journaling and getting very clear about what sort of relationships I was missing and wishing for in my life so many wonderful women started to come into it! I was invited to join a mothers group and met the loveliest group of women who I am slowly building beautiful friendships with. My dearest friend and soul sister, Amy, moved to Bali with her family. And I met an incredible doula who will be assisting me during the birth of my baby. I am feeling so supported and surrounded by love!

 

10. One of the most important aspects of the work that my husband and I do is fundraising. Without funds, our projects simply don’t happen. Working through your course I realised that my money blocks were not only having an impact on me, they were impacting our organisation and in turn impacting our projects and the children we support. My husband had the same realisation. Knowing that our personal money blocks could have such an impact on others was a profound awakening for us and since this awakening, we have been applying your course towards our business. It’s often hard to separate personal from work because for us it’s all just life but there were some specific funds that needed to manifest for our projects and the kids. We wrote every detail out of what we needed and the total came up to $150,259. In the past two months, our organisation has raised $129,462 to fund education projects. We have never raised so much so quickly and without most of this funding, some of our projects would have been at risk.

 

11. A few days later Nicola added: A little update to the last story I shared with you… We received another grant/donation for one of our projects. Of the $150,259 we needed to raise we have now raised $143,109. Incredible!!

 

I just so wanted you to know how much you have done for me and my family. The gift you give to others through your work is invaluable. It has changed my life. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. I am eternally grateful to you Vienda.

 

To celebrate manifesting and make it available to more people, from Friday 23 June at 9:00am PST to Saturday 24 June at 11.59pm PST Manifest More is $50 off using the code — mmv2 — at the checkout.

 

 

Photo: Hayley Richardson

19 ways to get out of the box and be a rebellious game-changer

 

Sometimes it feels like the entire world is out to smush us into tiny perfect little boxes. This ends up making us feel terrible about ourselves. We wonder why our legs won’t fit or our hair keeps trailing out or the way we do things causes creases in our box. 

 

From inside the box we will never be good enough. Because it simply doesn’t fit.

 

I have sometimes had days where I would struggle with the concept that to be accepted I must fit myself inside a box. And those days I forgot myself and tried.

 

I would do my hair like a model I once saw on Pinterest and wonder if I should try out a new cut or get my eyebrows microbladed. I’d say the things that I know are expected of me to say instead of what I feel. I would bemoan my figure and it’s short, curvy body, and stick legs and arms and come up with some ridiculous exercise plan that I never follow. I’d wonder if I’m successful enough, on social media enough, making enough, and listen to some business coach tell me how to set very pragmatic, material goals.

 

But none of that gave me the feeling I was really craving: to be accepted, just as I am.

 

What I have learned over the years is this: at a certain point you just have to accept yourself. No-one can accept you for you. It’s all you.

 

When I first made that decision I would repeat a mantra in my head, over and over again. Sometimes I would whisper it to myself. Sometimes I’d say it to the mirror.

 

I deeply love and accept myself.

 

Once you have made that decision the fun begins: you get to decide who you are, and what that looks like. You get to reinvent yourself! Over and over and over again. No boxes necessary.

 

Here are 19 ways that I live my life my way, live outside of the box and choose to be a rebellious game-changer.

 

 

1. I get my hair cut maaaaaaybe once per year. The rest of the time I let friends hack at it, I get experimental with or it, or it just grows.

 

2. I don’t take things personally. I know that whatever someone is saying, even if it’s directed at me, is actually about them. Not taking things personally means that I am free from guilt, fear, and expectations that others may try to place on me.

 

3. I always check in with what I think and feel before I do anything. I know that my truth resides within me and nowhere else. Which means that before I take action or make a decision I need to make sure that it’s right for me. Checking in is as simple as feeling my body and asking it how it feels about this thing. An easy, light, expansive feeling means I’ve got a “yes”, a heavy, dark, contracting feeling means it’s a “no”.

 

4. I quit getting my legs waxed and took my power back. After years (and probably $1,000’s dollars) spent in fancy waxing salons, I decided I’d had enough. I invested in a high quality epilator, this one to be exact, and have never been happier. My legs, underarms and lady-parts are soft, smooth and hair-free, whenever I want them to be. No extra hassle or cost.

 

5. I make up my own working hours. I know that I am most creative in the first 4-5 hours of the day… So that’s when I work. And on my two mentoring days per week, when my days often fills up, I focus on connecting with my clients. Plus: I use astrology to guide me on what I do, and on which days.

 

6. I don’t follow fashion trends. I adore clothes and feeling beautiful in the things I wear, but I genuinely have no idea what’s in style. I wear what makes me feel good: mostly pretty dresses, cute blouses tucked into jeans, skirts with t-shirts, and leggings with long tops and my long hair piled up on top of my head.

 

7. I practice radical self-trust. What that means is that I trust what I feel above any external influence. I don’t always get it right. But when I do, and I follow that, everything makes so much more sense.

 

8. I have a daily nonnegotiables list. It includes: alone time, lemon water in the morning, sweating every day, writing every day (even if it’s just journaling), meditation, eating lots of greens, being creative, nurturing relationships, and day-dreaming. If they don’t happen, nothing does.

 

9. I rarely scroll Instagram or Facebook. I’d rather be creating than consuming. 

 

10. I allow my intuition to guide me in every area of my life. I am not shy to admit that I have no idea what I am doing 90% of the time. I’m completely comfortable with not-knowing because I know that when I trust my intuition and follow that guidance, only the best can come of it. Sometimes it does feel confusing because the path ahead isn’t linear, and that’s ok.

 

11. I don’t care. That sounds like a really harsh statement but what I mean is: I don’t care about what others think of me or why things happen. I care about accepting what is and making the best of what I feel to be true, in every single moment. Not caring is the best thing ever.

 

12. I meditate, but not in the ways that popular culture depicts. My meditation is messy, raw and unfiltered. I meditate sprawled out lying on my back on my bed, I meditate lying in the grass, I meditate when I am walking in nature, I meditate when I do the dishes, I meditate chopping vegetables, I meditate folding clothes. Any mundane, simple task becomes a meditation in my day. I don’t do cross-legged-lotus-position “official” meditation. Instead, it’s an ongoing moment-to-moment practice in my life.

 

13. I refuse to use plastic bags everywhere I go. It’s simple and easy and we should all be doing it. 

 

14. I make doing my ‘inner-work’ a priority. I know that my entire life is a reflection of what is going on inside. I believe that we are all on a spiritual-physical quest to reach, embody, grow and learn. We are all becoming. And the only thing that I have found that makes this quest fun, playful and inspiring is bey being open to it, and willing to do the work that is required to move through the various lessons that it brings. 

 

15. I dance to almost any music. It’s embarrassing but I literally can dance to anything. Some people are very set around what music they find acceptable and what not, and while I certainly favour some over others, music stirs my soul and my hips start to move.

 

16. I will do almost anything for freedom. 

 

17. When everyone goes one way, I go the other. I have a strange terror that rises up and makes the hairs stand up on my back, when everyone turns and starts taking the same direction. I innately don’t trust it. Popular trends make me uneasy and I question why everyone is trying to take the same path. It’s unnatural.

 

18. I often work sitting or kneeling on my yoga mat or bed. They say that sitting down for long times isn’t good for people, and I don’t. I lie or kneel or sit on the floor.

 

19. I stopped wearing underwire bras almost as soon as I started wearing them. While I enjoy the lacy sexiness, subtle protection and support of a bra, I feel very, very weird about the whole wire thing. Thank goodness that bralettes in all their fanciness are currently trending. On a side note, did you know that in 2009 Elena Bodnar invented the Emergency Bra, which doubles as a gas mask? Fascinating.

 

In what ways do you stay out of the box and lead the way as a rebellious game-changer? I’d love to know…

 

Surrendering to the creative pause.

 

Every time I sit down to write this article I stop. It’s really hard to write about the space-in-between — the creative pause — the gestation period… when I am in it. Yet these words are insistent on being written.

 

It hit me when I arrived back from London, though I had felt murmurs of it even back then. This strong urge to do absolutely nothing. When my friends write to see how I am I keep replying:

 

I just want to spend a week or two, alone, in nature, in a luxurious bed. And sleep, and rest and do absolutely nothing for a while! And then go back to the drawing board and see what I want to do. And I could… but I have commitments and responsibilities (clients and a new house… what was I thinking)!!? Lol. Jokes. I am really happy and life is good. I’m just going through a massive transition: physically, spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and sometimes I feel a little crazy.

 

One thing that I’ve discovered time and time again is that the creative process requires a gestation period: a phase where it simply sits in my body and incubates, before I start taking steps towards bringing it to life. 

 

You cannot create and put out at the same time as you receive. And right now you mustn’t keep trying to create. You must relax and receive.

 

I am most certainly in a receptive phase in my life. The two words that have accompanied me everywhere this past month are surrender and receive. I keep hearing them over and over again and sometimes I want to shout I am! and they reply More!
 

To begin with I was unwilling to surrender. But I have so much to do! I thought. Until I had no choice… The words, the motivation and the energy to do the things I do vanquished and I was left feeling hollow and alone, at the precipice of an existential crisis. Until I tuned in again… surrender and receive. And I finally did.

 

The first few weeks were tricky. I tried but couldn’t distract myself with tasks: my energy immediately deflated. Social media felt overwhelming, and sometimes even answering simple emails and writing in my journal felt too much. How do I balance the things I must do with doing nothing? I kept asking myself, the universe, and anyone who would listen.

 

Then I went through the 4 fours stages of surrender:

 

Denial: Maybe I don’t really need to slow down and surrender. Maybe I’m just bored and need to find more things to occupy my time.

 

Fear: What if people think I’m lazy? What if this feeling of living in a space-cloud never goes away and my enthusiasm never-ever returns!!!!

 

Guilt: Maybe I AM lazy! I should just get over myself and start doing all the things?! Am I just feeling sorry for myself?

 

Acceptance: I realise I am simply going through a change. I recognise that for my body to heal and my life to be lived at its highest expression, I need to slow down and surrender. I trust myself and I trust life to guide me.

 

I have entered my creative pause. In this place I must be open and receive. I know that on the other side of this time period, I will be filled with clarity, insight, direction and enthusiasm. But for now, I must simply surrender, be open to what the world is giving me and trust.

 

What that means is that I have limited my tasks to the bare essentials: just enough for my work and life to keep ticking on, while creating enormous amounts of time and space for quiet reflection and self-care.

 

Instead of filling my time with being productive, I take my time to prepare and eat good meals, play my ukulele and sing, listen to music and audio books, or do yoga and hike the hills nearby. I lie on my yoga mat or on my bed for hours, just feeling, allowing my awareness and thoughts to drift. I watch movies and tv shows that I would have previously considered a waste of time, and write in my journal, as often and as much as I feel drawn to.

 

I’m living out one of my fears: to have a very simple, boring existence, for a while. It surprises me how good it feels.

 

While I can’t put words to what this creative pause is bringing with it yet, I am catching glimpses of what the future holds. I feel more sensitive, the world had more vivid colours and is filled with more love, everything feels more significant, beautiful and touching, than before. I keep receiving these illogical downloads of how my world and my work will unfold from here, but my mind cannot make sense of them.

 

So I wait, patiently for this creative pause to unfold.

 

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