How to delve more deeply into your spiritual journey

 

When I was a small girl I found wonder in the little things around me. I spent hours staring at flowers. I cried once when I saw a tree bleeding sap where it had been cut. I genuinely believed in fairies and would interact with them in my fantastical games. I often marvelled at the beauty of nature and pondered if there was some magic beyond what I could touch, feel and see.

 

With a difficult home-environment — a step-father who took his frustrations out on me with malicious words, and a mother who had lost herself somewhere along the way — I escaped into my fantasy world as much as I could.

 

As I became a teenager I found it harder and harder to translate my enchanted ideas into the world. My connection to nature and wonder started to fade until I was left with a cold, hard reality that saved little room for magical thinking. I became withdrawn, self-conscious and embarrassed by my inability to make sense of the world.

 

At 19, after travelling around Europe for 2 years feeling exceptionally disillusioned by life and the human race, I decided to study psychology: the science of human behaviour. I was seeking something… Some deeper understanding to life. I didn’t know what the questions were that I wanted to ask. I just knew that I had them.

 

In my final year of university, I started asking myself a very important question: Does God, or some kind of God-like energy or entity, exist, for me, as I know and experience life and the world? I hoped for a dramatic thunderous clash in the sky and an outpouring of proof that this wasn’t some weird thing religions had made up, but nothing happened.

 

I felt disconnected from the wonder, the oneness, and enchantment that had once filled me as a child. I set it aside as childish sentiments that one outgrows. Perhaps, being an adult really is a greyscale of mundanity and responsibilities, I mused. Maybe this is all there is… I questioned my motivation to do the things I was doing. Why was a getting a degree? Did I actually want to be a psychotherapist? What was the point of all this? I kept seeking. Looking for answers to questions that I didn’t know how to form.

 

A few months before my 23rd birthday, I woke up one morning and heard a bird sing outside my window. As I lay there and listened, an overwhelming sense of joy and belonging washed over me. I felt I heard a bird sing for the very first time in my life, and it was the most beautiful thing.

 

Lying in my bed, I noticed other things: sensations in my body that were new to me. I felt like I could feel every single cell in my body — alive and dancing — vibrating in tune with every living thing outside my window. A sense of well-being permeated my body and for the first time that I could remember, I felt what it is like to be fully present in the moment. This, a thought passed through me, is what God is. Connection to everything.

 

In those moments, my entire life took on an entirely new meaning, and I changed trajectory. I learned about the power of positive thinking, meditation, and manifesting, to name a few things.

 

I finally understood the question I had been looking for. What is the deeper meaning to life? And felt the answer. It’s not something that you understand. It’s something that you feel. And it’s everywhere, inside and outside, of you.

 

Since then my life has, in one way or another, been devoted to maintaining and intensifying my connection and relationship to source energy, God, the Universe. Name it as you feel.

 

There are particular practices that help me, and that I teach, to delve more deeply into your spiritual journey.

 

Look within for the answers.

I still catch myself sometimes, looking for the answers outside of myself, that can only be answered by my own soul and the connection I have with something greater than the physical version of myself. My greatest dissatisfaction comes from the habit of trying to fill myself up from the outside. Seeking fulfilment — from social media interactions and likes, from food, from drugs, from sex or love, from society’s ideas of success — never works. It is when I come back to myself, to stillness and look within myself for answers, that everything starts to make sense again. What that looks like is literally turning my attention inwards and listening. I will tune out the world around me and check in with myself. What am I feeling right now?

 

Breathe in, breathe out, and feel everything.

The fastest way that I know to reconnect to my soul and get out of my mental entanglement with the world outside is to breath. Breathing, when done with absolute presence, feels like fucking ecstasy. It’s not about making yourself breathe in a particular way, but rather, being an avid observer of your breath. The moment you watch and feel yourself breathe you reconnect and can start to really feel. Being able to feel yourself, your own energy, and every cell in your body offers you moment-to-moment wisdom on what is your own personal truth right now. What that looks like is whenever I’m doing something, anything, even writing this to your right now, I check in with my breath. Am I holding it? How does it feel to breathe? What else can I feel?

 

Give every moment your whole presence.

Our minds like to entertain us with a broken-record of chatter. Like a 2-year-old that wants your attention every single second of every day, we have to teach it to take a timeout, by recognizing that your mind is, in fact, not the centre of the universe. You are not your thoughts. Your mind is not the result of who you are. Rather it is a collection of information that it has gathered and is spouting back at you without restraint. When we stop giving our thoughts attention we disconnect from that frenzy and are able to sink into the wholeness of each moment. What that looks like is paying attention to every sensation, every moment, every breath, that is happening right now. I love how time and space expands and everything drops away when I give what I am doing right now my whole presence. This is not about thinking or doing: it’s about being.

 

Live in alignment with your truth and from your heart.

Grounding it all down into the physical, tangible, right-here-and-now world is the most potent practice of all. When I am connected to myself, when I listen and pay attention, and I am present with every moment, I am always receiving a stream of very subtle, soft awareness guiding me towards the next step. When I trust this spiritual counsel and act on it, always with total presence, my life flows and I am connected to the enchanting magic of life at all times. When I fall out of alignment and step forward out of fear my path becomes more difficult and I waver and begin to doubt myself.

 

To live in alignment with my truth and from my heart, I keep coming back to myself and my connection with the ethereal, the energy that permeates everything and can be felt but not seen. The fastest way that I know how to keep coming back to this link between me and the Universe and keep diving into that spiritual relationship that I have cultivated is through journaling. I journal whenever I need more tangible answers: things that I can see and understand through my mind beyond how I feel. I teach much of my journaling practices in my 30-day journaling course. You can check it out here.

 

My turbulent journey with the copper IUD

 

Three years ago, after a series of pregnancy scares, I felt frustrated, lost and sad that my body felt like an enemy to me. I wanted to freely enjoy my sexuality without using hormonal birth control.

 

I spent many hours researching on Google for the perfect solution. But there really wasn’t one. Every answer was crossed by some kind of adverse secondary effect. I cursed men for not taking more responsibility. It is so irritating that we have come so far as a society and we still don’t have a healthy, natural, effective form of birth control that is widely used and known.

 

In my terror and fear, I decided to get a copper IUD. It seemed to be the best alternative I could find.

 

I felt anxious at the appointment and breathed through the pain on insertion like a woman giving birth. When At home I could feel this foreign object sitting in my cervix and felt a hot flash of anger rise through me. In hindsight, it was my body telling me “no!”. I intentionally disregarded it, feeling hopeful that the nurse was right, and I would adjust and start to feel comfortable.

 

It took 3 weeks for me to stop noticing the IUD sitting inside me. Then the leaking began. Clear, odourless, watery, liquid started leaking out of me drenching my panties. There was no warning or pattern to it. Then I started getting sharp pains in my ovaries and spotting in the week before my period. I went to see several gynaecologists and sexual health nurses who tested me but couldn’t find anything wrong. Give it 6 months to a year, they said, It will settle down.

 

My periods became a little heavier and longer than before, I started using a moon cup which I had never needed to before, but what I noticed the most was the extreme heavy tiredness I felt that never seemed to go away. Month after month it felt harder and harder to connect to my light, buoyant, joy.

 

I was having sex. I wasn’t getting pregnant. It was working. And that was the point. But I stopped feeling quite myself.

 

When I did my coconut water cleanse in Bali I bled the entire time. Under the assumption that I was detoxing old blood, I hoped that the cleanse would stabilise and harmonise my body, and I would stop leaking and paining so much. Nothing changed. In fact, it started to get worse.

 

I felt inflamed and bloated, my immune system weakened and I started getting colds often, and I lost sensitivity to sexual arousal. I started having a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep. Feeling happy and energetic felt like hard work. I didn’t connect these changes to the copper IUD. I thought I was simply exhausted and not taking care of myself well enough.

 

Every now and then my intuition nudged me, gently, and said Hey, that thing needs to come out. But at the convenience of not getting pregnant I stubbornly ignored it, with a silent, Yes, I know… I will… Eventually.

 

For two and a half years I suffered the pains and the leaking and inflammation. Insomnia and the lack of energy. It affected my life on every level.

 

Early this year I went through a series of health issues that included depression and anxiety that resulted in being identified as hormonal imbalances caused by adrenal fatigue. I threw myself into healing. It worked… for a while. Until it didn’t. I started to unexplainably cry again.

 

Hating your life when you have no reason to is one of the most bewildering, dishearting and paralyzing feelings. Especially when you know that there’s no reason to feel that way and still, you want to run away from yourself and your life faster than your legs can carry you.

 

I started listening to the signs. A friend shared her experience with the Copper IUD and how it had led to copper toxicity. Another friend told me a similar story. They both shared how the copper overload in their systems had impacted their lives, their mental health, and their relationships. The stories landed too close to home. I knew it was time.

 

I called a local health clinic and made the soonest available appointment. I had to wait three weeks to get it out. Two of those weeks I was travelling around San Francisco. The inflammation became worse, as did my insomnia. I often woke up at 4 am with sharp pains in my ovaries, while my inflamed cervix pressed up against my bladder, causing me to need to use the toilet more than normal, and not being able to get back to sleep.

 

Tired of being tired, unenthusiastic and sad, I counted the days until my IUD came out. On Thursday, a few weeks ago, by the hands of a kind and gentle nurse, it slid right out. As is common, she was quick to offer me hormonal birth control alternatives, and I smiled and thanked her, assuring her that I won’t be needing it.

 

Two days later my period came. As I slid into the soft, comfortable and familiar period-haze, I realized that I hadn’t been able to connect to myself and my body at this depth, for the last few years. It was sweet relief to be in touch with myself in this way again. It feels like sliding into a safe, warm bath of silken cotton where nothing matters and all the feels are amplified with a level of introspection and understanding that I do not find at other times of my cycle.

 

Since then things have changed. No more leaking. No more pains. My period has been as light and short as I remember it being before the copper IUD. I am sleeping soundly, and deeply. My energy is slowly increasing again, and I feel like I can think, and feel, more clearly.

 

I’ve dedicated myself to healing the damage that the copper IUD has done on my body which includes a few simple things: hot yoga to sweat out the copper and get the toxins moving through my lymph glands; lots of quiet yin-activities reading books, watching movies and being still; probiotic-rich hot foods like miso soups, steamed greens and vegetables, eggs and chicken. Zinc is the harmonizer for copper and the best way to gently detox is by consuming it. Epsom salt baths and gentle movement.

 

I am taking supplements and following a simple morning routine to support my system as I find my new balance.

 

— First thing in the morning for contraception, I test my temperature with a basal body thermometer when I first wake up, before I start to move around, and then enter it into my Kindara app along with checking and entering my cervical fluid when I use the bathroom. I still feel quite new to this even though I have been doing it for a few months, because the copper IUD caused my hormones, temperature and cervical fluid to be chaotic, so I couldn’t rely on them until now.

 

— I take a Vitex / Chaste Tree capsule on an empty stomach to help stabilise my hormones with a sip of water and then move to the kitchen to put on the kettle and squeeze a lemon into a tall glass. I always add a dash of cold water to the lemon juice before I top it up with hot water so I don’t cook the lemon and kill all its enzymes.  This concoction helps detoxify my liver which is working hard every night cleaning my body of toxins, especially the copper build up. I like making this “me time” and will often meditate during and after I drink the warm lemon water.

 

— I aim to do yoga in the morning before I start work. This doesn’t happen all the time but as long as I move my body and sweat in some way, every day, I’m happy.

 

— Mid-morning I make warm drinks with collagen and medicinal mushrooms in them, more often than not in either chai tea or healthy cacao. My favourite is Reishi or Mason’s Mushrooms mixed with collagen, maca, cinnamon, sea salt, a dash of honey and coconut milk. I had to stop drinking coffee because the copper reaction was so strong every time I had it that I would have headspins and feel really sick, followed by anxiety and exhaustion. It was awful. So I’ve opted for drinks that support and heal my nervous system instead.

 

— I often skip breakfast but if I am hungry I’ll usually have some kind of porridge made with either oats, millet or buckwheat cooked in water and then drizzled with cinnamon, honey and a nut milk.

 

— Lunch and dinner are always some kind of grain, vegetable and protein variety, avoiding gluten and dairy wherever possible. I’m not against those things, I just think that my body has an easier time without them, especially while it is healing. Right now, ramen-style soups with rice noodles are highly featured in my repertoire. While I love cooking, I don’t love cooking every day, so I often meal prep enough for a few days and then eat a variation of the same thing for 3-4 days.

 

— With one of those meals, I will take magnesium, whole vitamin C and evening primrose oil, all of which help support healing and detoxing.

 

— Intuitively when I feel drawn to oil of oregano, vitamin D, trace mineral drops or adrenal support I will take one of these in-between meals.

 

— In the evening I read before bed to help wind my mind down (here are some of the books I have loved and recommend so far) and take a milk thistle capsule before I go to sleep, again to help my liver detox the copper out of my system.

 

Eventually I will wean myself away from using so many supplements because I do believe that our bodies are ingenious at healing and supporting us, but for now, I want to give my process as much of a helping hand as I can.

 

My turbulent journey with the copper IUD has been an invaluable lesson in learning to listen to my body and learning about the contrast between when I am fully plugged in and when I am at discord with myself, my body and my intuition. This lesson seems to play a large role in my life’s karma as it shows up, over and over again under various guises. A lesson that I am deeply grateful for as it teaches me to lean further and further into living a life that is entirely intuitively guided.

 

 

These past 12 days in Northern California…

Vienda at Farm:Table in San Francisco

 

One thing that I love about going away and travel is the chance for reinvention. It provides a cosmic state of limbo from which I can see my life, both present and future, more clearly and access a broader, more creative perspective on where I want to go from here. These past 12 days in Northern California have been no different. While I’ve been here before, it doesn’t matter where I go. Travel acts like a truth serum, to experience a fresh perspective, simply the act of going brings it.

 

 

 

Friday + Saturday

 

The dreamy state that I wake up with at 4.40am to catch the first flight out of Kamloops, stays with me the entire day. I laugh wholeheartedly and loudly when our flight attendant turned her entire safety talk into a comedy act. Eat pretzels served with cranberry juice, and sleep.

 

In San Francisco, I take the BART into downtown and walk the 10 minutes to my hotel, feeling torn by terror and painful compassion by the countless homeless and their open sores in the streets as I pass by. I have become so sheltered and sensitive in the short time I have lived in Canada now. I begin to wonder if the Layne Hotel was been a terrible choice as I scamper off the alarming streets into its doors. Moments later, enamoured by the Victorian style room I fall in the bed equal parts relieved and excited.

 

The next day my best friend Lilly flies in from Hawaii. We count that we had travelled in 11 countries together now and reminisce on old adventures and spill our hearts and souls to each other as we only can when it’s the two of us.

 

In partnership with SF Travel, I arranged a few surprises for us that afternoon. First, a guided food tour around little Italy. We meet our guide, Tom, at an assigned corner at 2 pm, and are astounded and in stitches at his socially awkward and quirky manner. As he guides us from pastry shop for cannelloni to deli for salami sandwiches and everything in between, he entertains us with stories about himself told with a flourish of spit flying out of his mouth and a jolting stampede forward at every punch line, like a bull in Pamplona.

 

We run as fast as we can back to the hotel to change, giggling about our eccentric food guide, hastily preparing for an evening out. We have a reservation at Asia SF and have to be there on time.

Lining up behind a gaggle of overdressed giggling women I wonder what we were in for. We are both wearing skinny jeans and little tops that don’t meet the dress requirements.

 

Inside we are led downstairs to a dark nightclub with red velvet curtains and drink gin out of short glasses. We led back upstairs and placed at two seats by the bar with menus to choose from as our bartender explains what to expect. “You’ve got the best seats for the show”, she winks and takes our orders. Around us, beautiful big-busted women strut taking orders and flirting with the clientele. They are transgender men who prefer to be women.

 

Our first course arrives, tuna sashimi for me, shrimp salad for Lilly, and the first show begins as a gorgeous curvy tall transgender woman steps up into the bar and starts singing and undulating in a sparkly dress with a high thigh split, shimmying up and down the bar. She is followed by two more women, each with their own unique performance and set of skills.

 

The second-course is followed with a similar display and rounded out with dessert as we gape, giggle and admire the women around us who have gone to such great lengths to embody their feminine beauty.

 

Stumbling out afterwards we feel gleeful and grateful to be women and to have witnessed such a spectacular celebration of women in such an unusual way. I wonder why these transgender women could embody female sexuality and power with such grace and beauty while many of the rest of us feel compelled to hide and dull the aspect of ourselves. Is it because men are afraid of it? Is it because we are afraid of it?

 

 

Sunday + Monday

We wake up late, check out, and go for breakfast around the corner of the hotel. Farm: Table quickly becomes my favourite cafe in downtown San Francisco. Lilly has never been here before so I take her on a long walk to the Golden Gate Bridge and we get burgers at a diner on the way back while spilling our hearts out to each other. There are few people on the planet that I can share my most vulnerable fears and painful experiences with. Lilly is one of those people.

 

In the afternoon we catch a bus to Sacramento, to stay with a friend. He gives us his bed and takes us out for a drink and lays out all his camping gear for us to use and is kinder than anyone should be.

 

 

 

Tuesday + Wednesday

 

I pick up the hire car in the morning. Hiring a car feels like an enormous responsibility to me — I am nervous — but try to be a sensible adult. We pack it with all the camping gear, just in case, and I carefully wield us through the city and out towards the mountains and Lake Tahoe.

 

At the campsite, the sun is setting and a cold wind blows in. All of a sudden we are peltered with pine cones the size of my head and are showered with sweet-smelling needles. I look at Lilly and say that maybe camping is not such a great idea. We drive the South Tahoe strip finding a hotel that looks like out of the movies with a giant neon sign and fall asleep to the sound of wind squealing around corners.

 

Lilly and I compliment each other well: I take care of the pretty details and she takes on the practical things. When I wake up she is prepared with a plan. We pack up and drive to a trailhead to walk up for a few hours until we get to Eagle Lake. A few minutes into the walk we feel as nature quietens us. There’s this intangible magic between a human being and the spirit of nature that takes our breath away. At the lake, we lose our path and scramble over rocks like little children for an hour until we find our way again. Our stomachs rumble with hunger as we make our way down and drive to a hidden spot by Lake Tahoe for a picnic.

 

We decide that camping life is not for us. We are ill-prepared for the windy, cold weather that has decided to turn up and head back to Sacramento.

 

 

 

Thursday + Friday

 

I wake up at four am again, with sharp pains in my cervix, pains that have plagued me on and off for months. I count down the days until I finally get my copper IUD removed — the day after I come home — and gently place my hands where it hurts sending Reiki healing energy to the area. I can not go back to sleep.

 

We spend the next two days exploring and laughing and learning. While we see markets and walk around botanical gardens and sip wine at wineries I see a deep craving in my sweet friend: to be vulnerable enough to give herself to another.

 

Like many of us, her tender heart has been bruised and battered in the name of love, by those who knew no better. There’s an immediate reaction to protect the heart, through comedy, with invisible walls, and collapsed boundaries. I tell her it’s time. That she needs to listen to her heart’s yearning and change, to open up and love, but with revised clarity around what she truly wants. That the loving partner she seeks is there, but first, she needs to change her ways.

 

We find a charity shop and she buys me a fluffy blue sweater that I cannot put down. I love it, not just because it’s so soft that everyone I pass wants to touch it, but because I know that it will forever remind me of her, and these moments that we spent together.

 

 

 

Friday + Saturday

 

We share one last meal at a little place called the Orphan Breakfast House and I take the bus back to San Francisco.

 

It’s hotter here and I am sweating as I walk those infamous hills back to Layne Hotel. Moments later my friend Caz shows up too. We unpack our bags in our room and pick up snacks at Trader Joes and spend the afternoon on our beds allowing minds and souls to transition from where we both were, to here.

 

We are working on a surprise: a short film, together.

 

The next day we head out and end up in Japan Town where we get aura photos taken at Sharaku, a little Japanese clothes store. The owner recognizes us immediately and asks “Photo?” in a stilted accent as we run our hands across the silken kimonos. I nod and she motions us to wait while she rapidly speaks in Japanese to the women trying on clothes.

 

Caz buys a beautiful pink and red kimono and we are ushered into a back room. One by one she instructs us to sit on a bench and place our hands on a metal box while takes our pictures. I squeal when I see mine… it’s all yellow and green and pink and purple. The explanation that is printed out describes me perfectly.

 

We stroll the streets of San Francisco looking for cute corners to film in, slurp giant bowls of ramen at Yamadeya, meet dolled-up transgenders that give us directions and fall into bed after hours of walking.

 

 

 

Sunday + Monday

 

I desperately want to go to a flea market, something that I miss in the little provincial town in Canada where I live, and we find one in Oakland. We take the BART across the water and end up in a car-park turned marketplace where everyone speaks Spanish. To wrapped up in my excitement to notice that we are the only white girls there, I skip from stand to stand, searching for treasures.

 

I chat in Spanish to the guy who is selling pineapple and strawberry juice that gives us one for free and buy two silver rings and a vintage leather backpack to turn into my mobile office. This. This is my idea of heaven. A blend of cultures and people coming together. It’s places like this I feel most at home. Amongst the chaos and the madness and the jungle of differences that ultimately bind us.

 

There is a beautiful mosaic on a set of stairs on 16th street and we wake up before the sun to find it. I am quiet and slow and Caz barely manages as grunt as we make our way out and tumble into the waiting Uber. The early start is worth it though, as we get the most spectacular soft candy sunrise over the city. Moments like these are breathtaking. Caz gets to work and we film a little more before the sun hits us.

 

We find a cute cafe in a suburb filled with million-dollar houses and enliven ourselves with cups of coffee and matcha and pastries. A girl with pink hair sits next to us and writes postcards.

 

 

 

Tuesday + Wednesday

 

Caz is leaving. The friendship I have with her is spiritual. We understand each other at a level that requires no words. I like that. Our inner worlds are too vast and deep to elucidate. I often feel frustrated by the limitations that words can have and am relieved when I spend time with people whom I don’t have to explain myself too. We hug goodbye. I miss her already.

 

I have a few big-city things to accomplish before I leave, too. I need a winter coat for Canada and that perfect mix of underwear that is both sexy and comfortable. Things that just can’t be found viscerally online. I run around searching for the perfect items, stop by Lush for marshmallow bath oils and feel pleased with myself when I come home with a navy wool coat and 10 pairs of lacy panties.

 

In the afternoon I meet with Velvet Valentine. She is a San Francisco native, with iridescent memories of SF from a naughtier era, as she walks me around some of the famous streets feeding me stories of murdered cross-dressers and famous dancers that fell from grace. I know Velvet through a mutual friend, a man we both met 10 years apart in Amsterdam, who thought we might be well suited. He was right. Walking with her in these streets she feels like a sister even though I have only just met her.

 

That night I hold a mentoring session with a client from the hotel room. I really like this woman and love seeing how close she is to a massive breakthrough. Once she steps past the line of fear that is reigning her in, anything will be possible for her.

 

I stay up late and can’t sleep. I am on my own for the first time in 10 days and the wailing from the crazy woman outside on the street keeps me awake.

 

I wake up groggy and tired and ready to go home. I pack my bag. Somehow my suitcase seems to have doubled in size. I sit on it as I try to zip it up and pray that the airline will still accept it as carry-on. The hotelier gives me generous farewell. He is very cross and stern but I made him laugh several times during my stay and I think he is starting to like me.

 

The BART takes me back to the airport and I sit in a cafe while waiting to board, diving back into my overflowing inbox after 2 weeks of neglect. I read email after email and answer the urgent ones and leave the others for later.

 

As I board my plane I thank San Francisco, as always thank every place that I leave, for her gifts to me: a devotion to the creative fire that is slowly reemerging within me.

 

How to wrap intuition in structure to make it work for you.

 

I used to think that intuition worked like a magic crystal ball — it would tell me exactly what I needed to know — and then I would just have to go ahead and do it. But sometimes I felt frustrated — the direction that those intuitive ideas were taking me in — was unclear.

 

When you devote your life to being intuitively guided like I have, you want some certainty that intuitive living is actually going to work for you.

 

It wasn’t until I was being interviewed by Natalie when I realised that even intuitive ideas are wrapped in structure. No matter how illogical, magical and elusive there is always a way to bring intuition to earth by grounding it with tangible steps.

 

My approach is pretty simple.

 

I always start with a specific intuited idea, for example, that I need to start making more videos. I’ve had this intuitive message come to many, many times this year, but I’ve mostly ignored it. Making videos feels out of my comfort zone, and to start doing something new means to stretch, stumble, learn and make mistakes, which sometimes feels like too much work.

 

The longer I have left it, the stronger the messages have come, until finally, not making videos it feels almost as uncomfortable as doing it. The thing is, I can’t see any logical reason why I should start making videos. I like writing. I am good at writing. Isn’t that enough? 

 

My intuition acts as an extension of the universe. If there is one thing I have learned by now, it is to listen.

 

 

So I began.

 

— I started by writing down lists of ideas of things that I could make videos about.

— I experimented by filming a wedding I went to.

— I procrastinated and made up excuses why I couldn’t / wouldn’t do it

— And then I finally made one

 

All intuitive messages are here to guide you. Even when the reason why will often bewilder you. Obviously, there are no guarantees. You will never know if following an intuitive vision is going to get you somewhere. But sometimes it’s not about the results but about the process and what you learn along the way.

 

Intuition is smart and strategic.

 

Sometimes when I feel scared and insecure about what I am supposed to be doing I tune within myself again and ask. Are you sure this is what you want from me?

 

The answer is always Yes. Trust me. Intuition is always guiding me to something beyond my limited imagination, as long as I am willing to go there.

 

Fall in love with being with YOU

 

I have woken up early this morning, a Friday that feels like a Sunday, pressed half a lemon into a cup of water, and wriggled back under the covers with my laptop, this playlist that I’m loving at the moment, and an inordinate impulse to write to you about relationships.

 

There’s this romanticism around being in a relationship with someone, even at the expense of losing ourselves in it. Our culture thrusts upon us a sense of urgency around being in relationships, as if potential partners and your ability to show up in a relationship can only happen in a very small and finite gap of time.

 

The truth is, however that unless you have done and are willing to do the inner work around your relationship with yourself first and foremost, and secondly the expectations you have of others, relationships can actually be really hard, lonely and difficult.

 

So many people step into relationships with others simply to fill the void: the empty space within you that is desperately seeking love, affection, connection, visibility and validation.

 

The thing is, the other person will never be able to do you justice and love you the way that you deserve or desire, as long as you give your power away so easily by expecting others to be responsible for those aspects of yourself. You have to give yourself everything you so deeply crave, first. And then allow it to be mirrored to you in your relationships.

 

This has been such favored topic in my circles lately, that I even wrote an article on it titled You Are Not Unloveable. It is written for my friend who recently threw her hands up in their air of being exasperated by the lack of romantic love in her life. And all the women who feel the same. You can read it here.

 

I remember thinking in my early 20’s that relationships were the holy grail for happiness. I ended up in relationships easily, one after another, after another. And while the first few months of lustful delusions were heaven, the magic wore off too quickly. I found myself suffocating, losing myself and feeling resentful. Often the loneliness and feelings of not being understood felt worse that the fear of being alone forever.

 

Then one day, after another exceedingly difficult breakup, I decided I was done. No more. I didn’t need a man. I was going to allow myself fleeting romances, but I didn’t have space or time for any kind of full-time commitment. It was too much.

 

I dedicated myself to living a life filled with all the things I wanted: love, of all kinds. Adventure and work that satisfied me to the core of my being. Spontaneous creativity and a lifestyle that radiates freedom. A deep satisfaction and delight in my own company. Being in a relationship with myself became my everything. I learned that the leading principle to happiness is to fall in love with being with YOU.

 

Then one day I wasn’t alone. I stepped into an experience that has been an evolving co-creation of love. I don’t lose myself in it but I find companionship and solidarity in it. It is not a filler to what might be missing in my life but an addition to the many things in my life that bring me joy.

 

I write this as I sit in bed, after 2 weeks of being alone, while my love is away. I’ve had moments that have frightened me in how much I enjoy my own company, and how easy life is when it’s just me.  I don’t feel lonely. I also don’t miss the one I love. I feel complete, and whole and happy within me. There is no void to fill — being in or out of a relationship makes little difference to me — I’ve learned to fill myself up internally.

 

You are not unloveable

 

Recently, a friend of mine confided in me, that she had decided she was unloveable. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, she said, but I just can’t seem to make a relationship work.

 

She is beautiful: with big green eyes and long auburn hair and a slim pixie-like figure. She is accomplished: an actress, singer, artist and musician. She is delightful: filled with humour, generosity, kindness, compassion and love.

 

She told me about all the dating fails she had, and how attracting or even keeping a man seemed near impossible. I’m basically unlovable! she whispered with tears in her eyes.

 

When I was a little girl I filled my heart with love stories from the books that I was given. I knew that there was an essential formula: there is one special someone for everyone, the girl will undergo some horrible experience, and the boy would risk his life and fortune to rescue her.

 

Actuality revealed itself as I grew up. There is usually not a single special someone for everyone and no compulsory formula. For some of us there are many loves. For others there are few. We all have to overcome difficulties, challenges and obstacles as they form us into the humans we are destined to be. And there is no-one (really) who will risk their life and fortune for you. The only person who can rescue you, is you.

 

The more I experienced the world the more I saw that love is the only true thing in life. Love is mother nature kissing our eyes with her spectacular nature. Love is the random stall holder running over to give you a paper bag filled with hot, mini cinnamon donuts. Love is paying our bills with gratitude. Love is sweating and moving our bodies until they are wrung out. Love is holding hands with a child. Love is the barista who knows exactly how you like your coffee. Love is technology that makes people’s lives easier and better.

 

Love is all around us. We have cornered it into such a specific concept of how we think it should be that it has lost its visibility. I decided the only way to recognise love is to see it as something instinctive, emotional and individual that cannot be formed into a concept.

 

I thought about my friend: beautiful, accomplished, delightful, and unloveable. I knew it couldn’t be true. I wanted to help.

 

I started to do some soul-searching and talking to friends about why it was that some people felt stuck when it comes to love. More importantly, what needed to change so they could meet the need they have to share their lives with a loving partner. I know the simple answer is you are not unloveable. The more complex answer is you still have work to do.

 

I remember a few months before I met Julien, I decided that I was ready to step out of my 2-year man-sabbatical that I had taken, only to discover a man-drought. All the good ones are gone! I heard women moan. I knew it could not be true. While I had taken 2 years out of the relationship realm to do my own inner work, I had completed neglected to do the work in relation to others.

 

This is what helped.

 

Stop blaming yourself. There is nothing wrong with you, and you are not unloveable. Women need to let go of the idea of a being in a relationship as a reflection of self-worth. You are better off without him, as long as you still believe that having him makes you better, whole and happier. It doesn’t and he won’t. We attract what we are. And as long as we don’t hold ourselves at the esteem that we wish to be held, the man you so desire cannot do it either. You are all the things you wish to be. Now you have to begin embodying them. The next point is about how we embody what we want.

 

You date yourself. I teach an entire week of how to manifest love in my 8 week course Manifest More. One of the tasks I set is to write a list of all the feelings you want to feel when you meet the romantic love that you are calling in. Often we write the things that we don’t have, or are in contrast to what we once had.

 

We want someone we can trust after having our hearts broken when our last lover cheated. We want someone who is financially responsible after our ex frittered away his and your money. We want someone who shows us how much he loves is every single day. We want all those things, because we don’t have them, and we think someone else is supposed to give them to us.

 

Here’s a different approach. Do you trust yourself? Are you responsible with your money? Do you show yourself how much you love yourself, every single day? Take your “ideal man” list and see what things you do, for you, and which ones you don’t. That list is your work. You have to fill all those requirements in your life, first. Then he will show up.

 

You haven’t done all the work yet. Often women come to me saying I’ve done everything (!!!) and the man I want to manifest is still not here! It’s a sign that there’s still more work to be done. When I thought I had done all the work, and the men still weren’t there, I go on my knees and journaled. Help me please see what is still unresolved. Here’s a few things that helped me.

 

— Forgive all the past relationships including those with your father for any form of trespassing you felt they did towards you. When you hold resentment towards one man, you are holding resentment towards all men.

 

— Forgive yourself for the part you played in all the relationships you were in that didn’t work out, including the one with your father. It’s not your fault. It’s just part of your learning. You did the best you could.

 

— Cut the energetic cords and break your love contracts. I teach how here.

 

— Reflect on the beliefs and ideas you hold around men and relationships. If they do not support the experiences you want to have, review them, release them and replace them. (I’ll write about how to do this process in the coming weeks.)

 

Let go and trust. So many women have very fixed ideas of how love should look and how it should come and what should happen. That’s waaaaay too many shoulds in one sentence. Carrying around so many expectations and projecting them on another person, a human with a free will, is terrifying and repellent.

 

I love telling the story about how Julien and I met. He definitely wasn’t my “type” and didn’t have any of the things that I thought I was looking for. He lit his fart alight on our 3rd day together! Not really what I imagined was my ideal match.

 

Women can be so attached to the outcome, that they miss being present with what is actually happening around them. We want everything immediately. We want it delivered just the way that we think it should be. We think we know what our ideal partner should look or behave like. And if, what is delivered to us, does not exactly match that criteria, we believe it was the “wrong” delivery. And so we end up feeling stuck.

 

Our expectations will always be fulfilled. I used to think that real, passionate, exciting love meant I had to go for men who did drugs, didn’t keep their word, and didn’t respect me in the way I wanted to be respected. Over and over and over again I’d end up in relationships with men that were passionate and exciting, but also unhealthy, unsupportive and destructive. I believed anything less was boring. Until one day a man I loved, high on coke, pulled a gun on me, and told me to be careful.

 

It was enough to shake me from my lucid dreams of living in my fantasy-land of what I thought I a relationship looked like. I realized I never wanted to have that experience again, and started to seek passion and excitement from within myself instead of from the relationships I invited into my life. My expectations changed and so did the men I attracted.

 

Choose you. There is this tendency to seek for that sense of external validation. The ego needs proof that it is worthy over and over and over again. There is no end to this demand. The only way we can resolve the cycle is to stop looking outward for the confirmation that we are: attractive enough, worthy enough, loveable enough, smart enough, desirable enough, fun enough.

 

We have to choose the answers to that ourselves. And when we connect to the innocent truth of loving ourselves wholly, fully and in entirety, we learn that the answer is yes: you are enough. The step to take then, is to devote ourselves to loving ourselves in the ways that we want to be loved. You are not unloveable. I want you to prove it to yourself.

 

If this topic hits close to your heart, there’s a beautiful conversation around it happening right now on Facebook that I’d like to invite you to join.

Love in Mercury Retrograde

 

We went to a wedding this weekend. Julien’s hand in mine, warm and soft and strong, introducing me to family members I’ve not yet met. I made a video of it — my first ever attempt at capturing moments of my life in moving form — and I’m enamoured with it.

 

After the ceremony Julien turned to me and asked me if it made me want to get married. I said no. But I still want to have a party! I told him. Watching two people make a vow to be there for one another for as long as possible was beautiful. It led me to thinking about love.

 

One of the gifts that I have been given in this life is the unlimited ability to love and be loved. Love has always come easily to me. I have loved hard and often and many times felt the anguished heart-ache that happens when two united souls go separate ways. There’s a part of me that loves the heart-ache as much as the falling in love. The depth and fierceness of those emotions are one of the few things that make me feel entirely human.

 

On the same day of the wedding the planets moved again just slightly and we stepped into Mercury Retrograde: Mercury is the thinking planet. It’s rational and objective. Every 12 weeks, when Mercury goes more than 27.5 degrees away from the sun, the sun says, “Where are you going?” and yanks him back. Mercury rules communication, negotiation, perception, and judgment. It wants us to go back to the past. It brings skeletons of old lovers back into the yard.

 

 

Last week I received a friend request from an Italian man who works for the UN. I had a short and entirely unconsummated love affair with him when I was in India 8 years ago that lasted a full 3.5 days. I used to have a lot of those. As I travelled I sparked little moments of love leaving a trail of ignited hearts like breadcrumbs on the path behind me. I never made an effort to stay in touch with those momentary connections. I haven’t responded to his request yet.

 

 

A few days ago I opened my email to find a note from the man who I dated at university 17 years ago. It was short. It’s essence was clear: he never stopped loving me and hasn’t found love since. He is not the only man who has told me that. The 2-year relationship was not one that I remember fondly — we were both awkward and unclear on who we were — however it was the catalyst for my biggest spiritual and life choices and changes. I am eternally grateful for that.

 

I replied to him:

 

I feel so sad to read that you haven’t been able to open up your heart and love freely for such a long time. Love, in my perception, is one of the most valuable, important things in our entire human lives and to be without it is like to be without water, parched and slowly dying. I hope you can find it in you to completely let go and release the past and open up for many new loves to surface in your life.

 

One thing that I notice with people who aren’t having the romantic connections in their lives that they desire is that they have a hard time both giving and receiving out of fear of getting hurt. Often the fear is much worse than the actual experience of it. It blocks them up and shrouds them in walls so strong and high that they are imperceptible. Being willing to let go and acknowledging that the pain of heart-ache is simply the other side of the coin when it comes to life and love — when we stop trying to control and micro-manage our lives — and instead embrace both sides of the coin, we can drop those walls and let love in.

 

Not that I am trying to give you advice… I am sure you have your own journey to follow wherever it may take you. My point is: don’t waste another minute pining over the past, release whatever is holding you back and go out and enjoy love. Love is infinite, there is more than enough of it and it is everywhere.

 

 

On Sunday I received an email from the last man I fell in love with before Julien. He taught me the meaning of soul mate: someone who brings about the lessons that your soul most needs to evolve. After a catastrophic night that involved cocaine, a gun and a bicycle in Amsterdam, I left and blocked him from my life to save myself from a sea of regret. That was 5 years ago now. When I see pictures of him my heart still overflows with affection even though we are not meant to be together. He wrote to tell me that I will always be his one true love. In my way, I will always love him, too. I told him so.

 

 

There is a reason for these unexpected love letters. Mercury is in retrograde: It wants us to see if there is something that needs to be followed up or closed in a former relationship. It is an opportunity to look back and heal the past.

 

On my birthday last week I came the recognition that I was coming to the end of a 9 year cycle. So much has changed in recent years. I have changed. With those changes the energetic ties to the past are dissolving and the paths are being cleared for an entirely new reality. In some way I have worked hard towards this, throwing everything I have at releasing that past. In some ways it has always been happening, fluidly, easily.

 

Love in Mercury Retrograde is good at that. It brings to the surface unresolved bindings to heart and souls and ideas that may no longer serve us in our present lives. Or that need to be rekindled because the story they hold for us have not yet fully played out.

 

 

 

This is 36

 

I turned 36 today. I love birthdays because they present a marker in the landscape of time rich with reflection and opportunity for redirection.

 

I am living in a country that was never on my ‘list’. I have a boyfriend who is 6 years younger than me. I own 4 boxes and 3 suitcases of stuff: the collection of my entire existence in physical form. I have traveled the world since I was 19. I have a business that supports me made up of dreams and imagination. I am a mess on paper.

 

This is 36. It is not what I ever imagined 36 would look like. I spent my entire life waiting to arrive at adulthood, only to realise that I have already arrived, and that it’s nothing like what I thought it would be.

 

If I had taken the traditional route I would have married one of the first two men who proposed to me. The Australian business student I met in my second year at university and dated for 2 years. Or the British bookmaker who brought me a sanctuary of stability when I was crawling my way out of a stimulant-fueled number of years working at music festivals. Maybe had babies. Possibly would have settled for ‘less than’ my soul calling.

 

But I didn’t. I wanted to lean into the discomfort of going beyond social expectations and live a life that was truly my own: heart-led, soul-compelled, intuitive living. My devotion to this took me places I had never imagined I would go.

 

I spent my entire youth chasing experiences. Strong, powerful, intense experiences that I would either embrace or recoil from. I needed the contrasts to understand what I had to choose from in life. This birthday feels like the year that I have been reaping everything I have been manifesting and sowing in the past 8 years.

 

36: is the answer to my prayers when I was 28, my hopes when I was 29, my fears when I was 30, what broke me when I was 31, my dreams when I was 32, what I surrendered to when I was 33, what I worked towards when I was 34, and what I let go of when I was 35.

 

36 is the fruit of a 9 year cycle.

 

Staring at my computer screen, listening to my new loves list on Spotify, I am trying to remember the tangible turning points that brought me to where I am now. How did it happen, for all those things to have come true?

 

There was a year of my life that brought me to my knees and broke down my walls until all that was left was pure vulnerability. I learned to say things like “I don’t know.” “Please help me.” “This hurts.” “I am confused.” “I am doing my best.” “I am sorry.” “This is what it feels like.” Often. With my walls down I started to learn to receive and ask for what I wanted.

 

I learned compassion: I fucked up, more than once. I got into a relationship that was neither healthy nor kind. And there were friends who held me through my painful lessons. And those that pushed me away when I most needed someone to say “Yes, you made a mistake. But it’s ok.” It taught me to open my arms and help catch those I love when they fall.

 

All that vulnerability and compassion gave me a sense of direction. I had to know what I wanted, and then not be afraid to ask for it, or go for it. Knowing, asking, receiving: they sound so simple, so obvious. Why was I having to learn such basic human principles? I don’t know if it’s just me, or of we all go through a pattern of learning, but I certainly did.

 

Learning to tune into my desires by following my curiosity, my excitement, those little sparks of light that came from nowhere and made no logical sense brought me to know what I want, moment to moment. Learning to say to myself first and foremost secretly, and then to the world more boldly, things like “I want to travel the world, once when I am young, and once when I am old.” “I want to make money on my terms.” “I want a home to call my own”. Because those things bring me happiness, freedom, joy. Learning to work towards those desires full of devotion, devoid of expectations. I found fulfilment in the process instead of the outcome and found that I can submerge myself entirely when I don’t care what the results are.

 

Today, lying on my stomach on our bed, typing I am so grateful for every single moment that has brought me here. I have learned so much, and am excited to learn some more, to taste the width and the breadth of life and sip up every encounter with an open-hearted enthusiasm. I don’t know what is next but I do know that 36 is a the playground for my future self.

 

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