The Less We Hold Onto

 

 

I am passionately interested in the way our beliefs, habits, patterns and thoughts form the world around each of us. It’s fascinating how different a web of reality each of us can spin around us. What I have noticed is that the less we hold onto — the less attachment we have — to things being a certain way, the more space we create for something altogether beautiful and magical to flow into our lives.

 

It’s when we crack open the pathways to the unknown that life really starts to take form in ways that are no longer defined by the limitations of the human mind… the things that we believe to be true simply because we were once told they are and as a result have experienced them over and over and over again until they form a kind of truth for us, a solid beliefs system in our cells that replays itself.

 

That’s why I love travelling so much. It provides us with an opportunity to disengage from those patterns and gives us the gift of self-reflection where we can ask ourselves 3 important questions:

 

Is this really true?
Does it serve me?
Do I want to continue in this way?

 

Travel acts like a truth serum. It is the best cure for being self-centred and close-minded.

 

Through travel, you step beyond those limitations created by living in your own bubble and experience the wealth of possibilities in the world. Your approach moves away from being culturally defined to being universal. It’s an opening of the heart. Non-travellers are more susceptible to being stuck in their monotonous patterns. Travelling jolts us awake. So we learn to see ourselves and others in such a different light, and thereby expand our mindsets and the possibilities available to us in life.

 

Travel not only invites us to see the world anew, it gives us a fresh look at ourselves.

 

The greatest benefit of travelling is the unique view it gives you of who you are a human being in this world. By placing you outside of yourself, travel provides you with an objective view of what you have been habitually doing, as well as the anonymity to risk new ways of being in the world. It challenges you to rise up and become someone far more in alignment with your dreams and values.

 

Nothing in the future can ever be certain

 

It’s my last week in Mexico. I am lying on my stomach on the second bed in our hotel room that I have dubbed “the office bed” reflecting on my past 6 weeks in this wild and sunshine-y country. These past 6 weeks in Mexico have thawed my heart and reignited my spirit in ways beyond words. I feel most alive amongst the chaos and clashing colours and sometimes illogical ways of doing things.

 

Before I came to Mexico I spent many nights despairing about where I had gone wrong. For so long I kept blaming myself for feeling so sad and lacklustre, but it turns out, that I had been pushing myself to fit a situation that simply did not work.

 

It is not my place to ask others’ to change. I believe that each and every one of us is responsible for our own happiness. When I first realised I was unhappy living in the small town in the desert in Canada, I spoke to Julien about other opportunities and options, which he quickly waved away. He is happy, where he is. I respect and admire that he has found his place in the world.

 

The conclusion this sentiment left me with was that, in order for me to get what I need to be happy, I would have to leave someone I really love, behind. Since then, many things have changed.

 

With time alone to think, my determination to do what is right for me, grew. I wrote about my reinvention, which caused a sensational stir, and suddenly my words were being heard by my beloved in a way that they had not been before. Alternative places to live were listed and new doors began to open. I consulted several girlfriends on the sudden change in heart I was seeing, and we all agreed that men seem to require radical action to truly hear what is going on.

 

Feeling uncertain about the future, I tried to broach the topic a few times, when my beloved came to join me in Mexico. I wanted to know, for sure, what he wanted for himself and his life. I didn’t want our relationship to be a result of the fear of letting each other go, but because we can actually see a future with each other. Just like I would never expect someone to change for me, I want to be with someone who can accept me exactly as I am, with all of my idiosyncratic chaotic quirks.

 

I will never be a demure housewife who stays at home to have children and simply does as her masculine companion requests. I will always want to travel, to experience new things, to risk it all in the name of intuition. I want to live a life that heralds love and passion and creativity before everything else. I don’t want to be defined by practicalities or meticulous logical steps. I choose to trust in something that I cannot see: a vibration that defies the odds of reason. I believe in freedom, wildness, magic and miracles and am living a life that is made up of such. It turns out I have big dreams to fill, bigger than I knew I had. Conventional expectations are never going to meet those dreams.

 

One night over a couple of rare margaritas, I blurted out all my feelings, messily sobbing between words as I tried to relate the depth and breadth of all I was feeling. I seldom drink, the sour liquid lubricating my emotions and bringing them to my tongue, in ways that before I couldn’t.

 

Astonishingly, I discovered that Julien felt similarly on many of the topics we explored that night. The gap between us wasn’t as wide as I had perceived it to be. While he doesn’t share some of my ambitions and risky heart-first approaches, he shared with me his own beautiful vision of his life and our future. We agreed that things would to change and this year would unravel differently.

 

Because I have a very loose attachment style and my dedication to living a life on my terms is paramount, I would have walked away far too easily if he hadn’t been so adamant to find a way that works for both of us. Love is a beautiful thing, but there’s so much of it all around that I have a tendency to let go of relationships too easily. I’m grateful that he has been so persistent in negotiating another path.

 

So for now, we are heading back to Canada in a week. I intend to focus all my passion, new-found inspiration and creative energy on various big projects I have coming up for work until I fly away for a couple of months to spend May in London (more details on that soon) and June travelling Europe with one of my best friends. We will spend the summer together in Canada, preparing our house for rent and then, are planning to move to the very progressive city of Victoria on Vancouver Island soon after that.

 

Nothing in the future can ever be certain, but as we attempt to navigate a solution that works for both of us, we are learning more about ourselves and each other. Our love is deepening. We are both growing. And maybe that’s all that really matters.

 

How to feel free, even when you’re not

 

I’ve had a few personal revelations recently. In the thick of reinventing my life, an unexpected thing happened in Mexico. I realised that I was holding onto beliefs that were absolutely wrong. Beliefs that stopped me from feeling truly free. Freedom is one of my highest values, I will do almost anything to feel free. Discovering that I had built my own gilded cage felt startling.

 

Here are some examples.

 

When my van broke down in Australia 3 years ago, and I couldn’t determine where I wanted to live next, I decided that I was incapable of choosing a place to call home. It felt heartbreaking, having all the choices in the world, and not feeling called to, or at home, anywhere. The only thing I knew was that I wanted to be with people that I loved. So I settled on the idea that I could and would live anywhere, as long as I was with someone I loved.

 

With this simple decision, I gave my freedom and power away. The freedom and power to choose, to make my own decisions and to follow my own heart.

 

In the past few weeks, I’ve had to recall that decision that I made. I was wrong. Tying myself to a person in order to choose a place to stay didn’t work. Nor was it fair on the other person. So I’ve changed my mind. I can choose places that I want to call home. And from now on, I will.

 

For years I believed that I wasn’t any good at running. As a kid, I loved running. I was all limbs and very fast. In my late teens, after not running for a long time, I went for a run with a friend one day. After a short 10 minutes, my lungs wanted to explode out of my chest, my hands were sweaty, and I was exhausted. I decided it meant that running was not for me and made excuses and gave reasons why I wasn’t a runner.

 

For years, I never gave running another chance, until one day, recently, walking on the beach I broke into a slow jog. It felt exhilarating but also tiring. Every time the sand gave way under my feet or I had to lift them higher to elude a wave I thought about stopping. Then my handsome man appeared alongside me. Ever practical he said, “If you want to start running, it’s best to start with intervals”. So he timed me, 5 minutes of running, 5 minutes of walking, 5 minutes of running, 5 minutes of walking… The next day he increased the intervals, 6 minutes of running, 5 minutes of walking, 6 minutes of running, 5 minutes of walking… After a week I was running for 20 minutes straight.

 

I am surprised how much I love it. The first 5 minutes are the hardest, but as my breathing and feet find their rhythm, and my body warms up, I enter a phase of lucid consciousness where nothing exists but the feeling of being alive. I wonder to myself how long I’ve kept myself from this feeling because of a tiny decision I made years ago.

 

I have a friend who is very smart, smarter than most. She is quick-witted, intelligent and picks things up fast. She desperately wants to get out of the 9-5 job and monotonous life she’s created for herself but she believes that she can’t. At some point, she decided that leaving her job and the city she lives in is a greater risk than anything else. Every which way she turns, all she sees is obstacles and dead ends.

 

“I just want to be free!” she moans to me frequently. “You can be.” I always reply. “No, I can’t.” is her answer. There’s nowhere else I can live and there’s no other job that will give me the benefits of this one.” “Your decision.” I smile. Just like me, she has made a decision that stops her from doing something that makes her feel free.

 

It’s fascinating just how often my friends and I unintentionally restrict ourselves by making decisions and telling our selves stories about who we are and what we are capable of. Even though we a freedom-seekers and rebels and truth-speakers, we still find ourselves caught in a web woven by our desires to feel in control.

 

I am dedicated to a lifetime of doing the work of releasing these limiting beliefs that lead to liberation. So much so, I even teach this class on the process that I use to do exactly that.

 

It turns out the key to feeling free, even when you’re not is to make a new decision. I am free when I recognize that control is only an illusion.

 

How I automate + streamline my heart-led business using digital processes + systems

 

There are a lot of articles out there about how to systemize, manage and run an online business. And while having such an extensive range of tools is wonderful, often they are overwhelming and excessive. Since this is a question that I am asked very, very often, I thought I share exactly how I automate and streamline my heartful business using systems and online tools. It’s super simple. It’s easy. If I can do it, so can you. This might just be the most practical post I have ever written.

 

To be really clear, processes are how I do it, and systems are what tools I use to do it.

 

— Changing my involvement with consistency, by showing up, every day, even if just for 10 minutes, changed my entire business. I used to think consistency is boring and lacks imagination and spontaneity, but I’ve discovered that it is the container that holds everything together. Having a business is like having a relationship, you have to nurture it, consistently, to earn its trust and devotion. Discipline runs along the same lines. It’s about doing what you say you will do. It’s about sitting down and getting work done even if for a millisecond “I don’t feel like it”. In the end that feeling very quickly goes away.

 

— Illustrated in the screenshot above of my Google Calendar, I use the energy of the days of the week to block specific tasks. Mondays are for introspection and self-care, I don’t work Mondays. Tuesdays are for strategizing, client calls and writing blog posts. Wednesdays are best for communication so writing important emails, more client calls, and interviews. Thursday are for marketing and managing finances. Fridays are for creative work, i.e. my next project or program. Saturdays are for prepping my next week and organising my life in general (both business and personal) and Sundays are for fun with friends. I rarely work on weekends unless I have a target date coming up.

 

— I use my Google Calendar (I pay $5 USD per month to use G-Suite as it syncs my calendar, emails and everything and lets me customise it with my logo) as my running go-to ‘to-do’ list so I can what I’ve got coming up simply by checking my phone. On the right-hand side, you can see I’ve also typed my daily, weekly and monthly tasks as a reminder.

 

— I generally work until my ‘list’ is done, and I’m intentional around keeping my daily lists small (3-4 things) because I suffer from over-optimism on how much I can get done in a day.

 

— I  keep tangible ‘to-do’ lists for specific projects in my planner, (here I show you how) where I break down each objective into tiny steps so I can cross them off as I go. For example, say I wanted to develop a 1-hour workshop, I would write down every single thing I need to do down to the most minute task, like “write welcome email” or “create sales button”. It helps me fell organised, stay focused and trick myself into feeling really accomplished because I get to cross off so many things as I go.

 

— I am the most productive when I work intensely over short spurts of time. It’s amazing how much I can get done when I know I only have 3 hours in a cafe or a morning, as opposed to a whole day or even a week. Learning to manage my time and efforts in very focused ways while having strict boundaries around self-care have the been the key for me.

 

— One of my biggest lessons last year was around resting enough and having fun. While these two self-care principles seem very simple it’s fascinating how quickly I can override them in favour of feeling busy (= feeling important and valuable). I used to wake up blurry and anxious and get straight to work. Now, I schedule time away from work on my calendar. The first few hours of my day are filled with self-care: meditate, visualise, affirmations, journaling, exercise dry-brushing, shower, tea/cacao, before I even make it to my desk.

 

— I work 4-5 hours intensively and then give myself the option to walk away after that unless I feel inspired to continue. I’m more effective this way and notice that I get waaay more done than most people who work 8 hours 5 days a week.

 

— I use the ‘80/20 Rule‘ to focus my efforts on the things that bring me the most results and very quickly let go of anything that doesn’t work anymore. The deal here is to constantly be willing to adjust, change and learn. What might have worked for a few months will not always work, especially with the rapidly changing face of online business.

 

— I use Chrome’s ‘newsfeed eradicator for Facebook‘ to limit the chance that I get sucked into the Facebook vortex when I am supposed to be working and haven’t missed seeing my newsfeed at all. As I am learning how our behaviour is being used for better conversions for advertising, I am wanting to be more and more mindful around how I use this tool. I also deleted Facebook from my phone for a while but it didn’t last because answering comments in my Facebook groups through the browser was really tricky.

 

— I use ‘tomato timer‘ which is essentially the same as the ‘Pomodoro Method’ to put me into deep states of focused flow: 25 minutes of work, followed by 5 minutes of dancing, getting water, tea, etc. And again.

 

— Being willing to systemize the booking of mentoring clients in my online business was a game-changer that I came on board with, in early 2015. I simply use Acuity Scheduling. Payments are paid through PayPal, I can input specific work hours, include all my contracts, agreements and details so no more emailing back and forth and it only costs $10 a month (though I think they raised the prices slightly since I first signed up).

 

— When it comes to selling courses, I have a bit of a process. First, it’s about creating something at the intersection of what I am super passionate about and what other’s really need help with. I use surveys that I create through Typeform to find out exactly where those crossroads lie. Instagram and my weekly-ish email are the main places where I interact with and nurture my community, and I am always listening to their feedback and learning about what problems they need help with, the most.

 

— Once I have a topic in mind I start developing it using this unique process. I generally create the registration and start accepting payments through SendOwl page before I have completed the course/program/product. I teach exactly how I create, develop and sell digital products like classes and courses in my apprenticeship.

 

— Besides mentoring and courses, my third income stream is sponsored posts, predominantly shared on Instagram, and affiliates like BSchool and Ignite. I share brands and products that I genuinely love and use, and receive a small percentage of each sale.

 

— Money is my final topic in this list, and in many ways, the most important, because without money, you don’t have a business. I track my money every month in my journal, as I share in this free workshop, and set monthly financial goals where I project how much of what I need to sell to meet them. Then I use Money Manager EX to do my bookkeeping.

 

— I recently hired a Virtual Assistant intern who is helping me with much of the research, admin and backend processes every month, and work with a film editor to edit my videos.

 

 

Additional business resources:

— The 2-day workshop where I co-teach everything I know: The Heartful Biz
— The course that I took that helped me take the leap into creating my own business.
My 6-month apprenticeship where I teach you how to structure, create and sell your own digital offerings.

 

Here we are again

 

Here we are again. I am leaning over my laptop on my bed, sheets and pillows strewn about, listening to the soporific sound of the ocean crash onto the rocks a few arm-lengths away from me as I write to you today.

 

Since my recent admission that the pretty little town I’ve called home for the past year never really felt like home, many things have changed. The feeling I had of choking on an energetic oppression has gone. It has been replaced by a feeling that anything is possible. A feeling that I crave when I don’t have it. I like living and manifesting, from this in-between space. With the firm knowledge that we never arrive at an endpoint, I am comfortable to find myself in this sweet limbo.

 

I received hundreds of notes from folk sharing their own versions of a similar experience. Of being in places that just didn’t suit and having to contract and fold yourselves many times over just to fit. Of finally leaving, or still not yet having the courage to leave, even though you want to.

 

I also received a few notes from people disappointed by my words and experiences. Projecting their own personal frustration onto what I so vulnerably and publicly share. And that’s ok. Sometimes my self-expression and self-prioritization disappoint people. I adamantly hold the belief that the only person responsible for my happiness is me. Other people are off the hook, even if they feel disappointed. Knowing this, perhaps they will devote themselves to their own happiness, too.

 

I’ve spent much of the past two weeks asking myself a seemingly simple question. “What is it that I actually, really want?”

 

It’s a question that I often ask my own clients, and that I have always struggled to answer myself. I have this instinctual fear that if I answer it too specifically it will limit me to only having this thing that I have expressed, and nothing else. Being so precise with my desires appears to be at odds with my need to feel free. I know clarity to be the pointer to having what I want, and yet I must bargain with it so there’s room for something else.

 

“This, or something better.” I always say.

 

As I look at this internal conflict a little deeper, sitting here writing to you today, I recognize that what lies at the core is a fear that I cannot have what I want. That it is not sensible. That I’m asking for too much.

 

“people will kill you over time. and they’ll kill you with tiny, harmless phrases like ‘be realistic’.” — Dylan Moran

 

For now, what I want is to move someplace else, to a place that can contain my heart and spirit. I want to create a home in a place that follows the same threads that my dreams are made up of. I want to travel, again, and more. I want to keep growing this transparent constellation of like-minded souls through my work and my words, with the intention to create a safe space for growth and truth as we navigate the leading edge of creating freedom and doing things a different way. I want to make beautiful things that help people feel and do, good. I want to keep playing amongst the stars with all of you.

 

Every day I work tirelessly inside of myself, dissolving my own fears and stretching my vision and ability to hold more of what is possible. I want to believe that I can continue to create a life filled with endless imagination. I know that to do so I need to change my viewpoint. Epigenetics, a modern study on how we can overcome our genetic predispositions and inherited fears, habits and beliefs — tells us that everything can be transformed — even our genes, by choosing our perception.

 

As I change my mind, literally, I also make choices that are better aligned with me.

 

Self-reinvention

 

Self-reinvention and new beginnings are major ley lines that will colour the power of your year. — Natalia Benson

 

I had written the title in December. When I read my horoscope for 2k18 this morning by one of my favourite astrologists, Natalia Benson, I knew I had gotten it right. This idea of self-reinvention this year is one that I feel to the core of my bones.

 

Last year I took a major detour in my life and chose something I had not done before: I moved to my beloved’s hometown in Canada to settle and enjoy a more fixed lifestyle for a while. I didn’t hide the fact that I deeply struggled, often bursting into tears. Nonetheless, I kept trying to find the magic. We bought a home. I decided that my sadness was a result of adrenal fatigue, until I had removed my copper IUD and all those symptoms were gone. And, I was still crying.

 

What I felt most sharply that left me feeling so lonely and isolated was the lack of community and culture. I was warmly welcomed and everyone was exquisitely generous and kind but I felt that I didn’t fit. The free-spirited, heart-led tribe that I accustomed to immersing myself in was replaced by people whose leading concerns were around security, stability and fitting in. Those who lived to feel free and alive, and willing to take leaps in the direction of inspiration and intuition was exchanged with those who preferred to recoil into a safe mediocrity, pulling each other into place with them.

 

While I know that much of the world is like this, it’s not my world. I worked hard my entire adult life to free myself from the tight grip of despair that leads to choosing safety over freedom, fear over faith, security over love. It was an inside job, but once I’d untethered myself, I couldn’t go back.

 

 

“Ordinary life does not interest me. I seek only the high moments. I am in accord with the surrealists, searching for the marvellous. I want to be a writer who reminds others that these moments exist; I want to prove that there is infinite space, infinite meaning, infinite dimension. But I am not always in what I call a state of grace. I have days of illuminations and fevers. I have days when the music in my head stops. Then I mend socks, prune trees, can fruit, polish furniture. But while I am doing this I feel I am not living.” ― Anaïs Nin

 

And so I cried, a lot, mostly in private, and questioned myself, even more, wondering where I had gone wrong. Over the months I grew bored, and sad and fat, not fat fat, but those extra 4-5 kgs crept on as they always do when I don’t know how to shift my misery. My body is always the first to know, even before I can intellectually acknowledge it. I felt like the Little Prince who says in French, “I have to learn to apprivoiser (domesticate) my inner flowers or storms.”

 

By the end of 2017, we both knew something had to change. Julien was always so compassionate and understanding about how I felt but lost on what to do about it. He thought that maybe I had to try harder. He is happy with this life that he knows. I offered a solution: I would travel more next year, maybe 3-4 months of the year. Maybe that would ease the pain of not feeling at home in his home-town. He agreed and I promptly rescheduled my trip to Mexico for January 1 and extended it to 6 weeks.

 

One week in this bustling tourist town of Puerto Vallarta, and my heart has been satiated with everything I’ve been searching for. Friendships with like-minded gypsy souls that float by, opening up conversations on following your heart and living by the wisdom of your feelings, fill my days. The expat community has absorbed me as one of their own and everywhere I go I bump into someone I already know. Chivalry is reborn as strangers hold open doors and help me onto buses and shower me with admiring words and glances that make me feel like art. Meanwhile, I wake every morning gushing with gratitude, the ocean soothing and washing away my pain, the sun refuelling my passion for living and my body sweating out the past year on hikes through the jungle.

 

I feel more at home here, than I have in Canada in a year.

 

What happens next, I’m not entirely sure of. I am completely surrendering with trust and a singular intention — to chose the ‘middle way’ as Buddha counsels — while I navigate this self-reinvention.

 

Make 2018 the best imaginable [free 1hr video workshop]

 

To arrive at what already is here, we need intention and commitment and a practice to enable the heart to be quiet and the eye to be clear. Intention is developed in radically honest self-reflection, piercing to the deepest of our hearts’ longings. Intention arises from our hunger and opens to our fulfilment. 

 

At the start of every new year, and then every few months throughout the year, I perform a combination of planning, visioning and manifesting practices to align my life, intentions and actions to my unique, aspirational path.

 

Something that started as a fun way to share my practices has become a yearly ritual where I create an updated workshop to show you exactly what I do (right now) to create my life and align myself so that my visions, lofty dreams and fiercest hopes come true. My life is an actual testament to this work, and it’s with such gratitude that I can pass it on to you.

 

We are creating our reality in every moment. Every thought you think, every intention you set, and every plan you put in motion is a powerful conduit for what you create in this world, placing you on the leading edge of your life.

 

With encouragement to reflect on the recent past and the lessons learned, as the contrast of this takes us towards what it is that we actually want, I guide to where we discover for what we hunger.

 

A secret about knowing what you want: It doesn’t have to be logical or make sense. All it has to do is feel good (to you).

 

And then I show you how to align yourself to the fulfilment of the things that you want without having to understand or know how they’ll come about or how you get there. Because the ‘how’ is not your job. Your job is simply knowing what you want and paving the way for those things to arrive.

 

Once you get that all you need to do is set the intention and clear the way, that’s when the journey begins.

 

Are you ready?

 


 

Sign up* and I will instantly email you a heart-centred, intuitively guided and inspired 1-hour video workshop for manifesting a great future, using practical planning tools that I use every day, to make sense of what you are creating for this year.

 

*If you are already subscribed to my emails you will have received the secret password from me already!

 

Don’t worry — it’s a do-it-in-your-own-time workshop — so even if you’re busy right now, you can sign up and do it when you have time.

 

You don’t need anything except an open heart and mind, big dreams, pen and paper and a willing imagination.

 

 

☾↠❍↞☽

 

 

Kind words from workshop students:

 

Loved your workshop soooo much Vienda!!! It has helped me immensely in gaining clarity over what I want to focus on and achieve this year, as well as allowing me space to dream that everything I desire CAN happen! Thanks so much for putting so much of your time and love into it. You looked absolutely gorgeous too! — Kate, Australia

 

 

Just watched your workshop video (finally!) – LOVED it! Just what I needed to get my butt in gear. I keep saying I’m going to do all these things but haven’t gotten around to writing them down because I was trying to create my own template. The planner fills just saved me hours and now I can spend those hours filling them out! — Teresa, Canada

 

 

I absolutely LOVED your planning workshop. I’ve been sharing your concepts with friends and my own clients (of course quoting you!) and it has made such a difference to me. You make me feel as though freedom of time and an abundant business can coexist and is possible. I wanted to let you know how impactful that one workshop was and not just what you said or taught but all of the inspiration that sparked through me because of it. — Mish, Australia

 

 

I loved your 1-hour workshop, beauty! Thank you! I really loved your money manifesting/abundance tip! I create capsule wardrobes too… and our non-negotiable are the same! It was just such a joy to listen to. xoxox — Katie, UK

 

 

So ahh, I just went and ordered a planner! Totally looking forward to the focus and clarity I want it to bring. Thanks for your always beautiful and (what I love most) simple and easy way of doing things. x — Ainslie, Australia

 

 

Wow Vienda! This is so amazing and I am so grateful! I know I will work with this a lot. You are truly an angel!!! — Anna, Germany 

 

 

I just got a chance to watch your video workshop (it had been queuing for a few weeks), OMG so good, and so relevant to me right now as I am totally obsessed with my planner/journal. I took a whole heap of ideas from what you said and showed throughout the video and have now incorporated them into my daily/weekly/monthly processes. Thank You!! — Ame, Australia

 

 

Thank you so much for your free workshop! (And also for your new moon & full moon journaling guides). So many great things have happened since I started journaling properly and everything just seems to fall into place, for example I worked in a really shit job (my boss was the worst) and when I felt like something needed to change and I set the intention to be more confident in my work and believe in myself and just quit I got called into HR literally like 2 days afterwards and they offered me a cancellation agreement (I can now stay at home for 4 months but still get paid!). Thank you for making me more aware of my own power and of my own self. Even now that I know I don’t have a new job yet I don’t panic because I know the Universe will guide me to a better job, maybe also in a different place, who knows?! Anyways, thanks again for all of your hard work, it is really appreciated. — Jessica, Germany

 

 

I watched it this morning, taking notes throughout and I feel so energized and inspired!! So helpful. Thank you. — Melissa, USA

 

 

VIENDA! I began my day with my supercharged rituals and felt called to sit and watch your new workshop – make 2017 the best imaginable – and I am SO GRATEFUL for you beautiful guidance, your positive, strong, trusting energy that you share and the truth and clarity you offer us that read/watch/listen to your content. SO much appreciation. I feel really clear about what I will create this year and also reminded how I naturally contribute and show up for myself and others. Thank you thank you thank you!  — Emily, Australia

 

 

Another miracle to add to my day! — Stacey, UK

 

 

Darling, you are a pure delight to watch! Magical – yes! You’ve inspired me no end with this ever-so-generous workshop. We share so many values and ideas. I’m currently working on my 33 capsule too. Big shift for me, but I’m excited! Thank you again. — Catherine, Australia

 

 

I watched the workshop today, I really liked it, especially the part about the days of the week according to astrology! I always felt that Monday was my quiet day! — Alessia, Italy

 

 

Thank you for your gorgeous workshop.  I’ve gone through it and I intend to go through it again!  And I’ll be off to find me a planner this weekend. :) — Amy, Australia

 

 

#myheartfullife — a short story about discovering my purpose + career

 

When I came up for air at the end of my graduate degree in psychology I looked around at the paths open to me and didn’t like what I saw. I seemed to have two choices: become a stay-at-home-mama (superheroes) or follow a career path that required me to give up my space, time and freedom (slavery). I didn’t like the look of either.

 

I felt sad and discouraged that there were so few options and out of the ones available, none lived up to what I considered, the nature of an aligned and in-tune life. Instead, they required a kind of hardening of the spirit, hustle to move forward and competition with others grappling over measly crumbs of a possibly fulfilling career. I chose an alternative (less esteemed) path…

 

I wanted to have fun and explore the world and garner a broad range of life experience that I could draw from. Somehow I had the wisdom to reach for experiences over titles or tangible things. I left every comfort behind me and made adventure my guide as I starting working in the music industry.

 

I was cool in those days.

 

Working as an artist coordinator at underground psychedelic music festivals I crossed the globe many times over. I had mystical experiences. I watched people lose their minds and lives to drug habits. I slept on floors in random squats. I rediscovered myself and the meaning of life over and over again. I made friends and lost friends and took lovers.

 

The one thing that stayed with me was the relentless curiosity on what made people do the things they did, say the things they said, and experience their lives in their own unique ways. There are as many ways to experience the world as there are people. Not a single one of them is the same.

 

I started writing about them. Every month I wrote long, psychologically-analyzed, descriptively detailed group emails about my travels and what I was seeing to my list of friends. Every month that list kept growing. People were intrigued by the strange bound-less unconventional life I was living. I didn’t have much money nor a permanent home. I lived off hope and dreams and the next adventure.

 

At some point, someone told me I should write a blog. I adamantly said “no”. It was 2008 and I wildly opposed to the Internet. I didn’t have Facebook. I chatted on MSN messenger once in a blue moon. And I wrote a monthly group email to my fast-growing group of world-wide friends.

 

That year I moved to London (for the 2nd time in my life). I slept on my friend’s living room floor while I looked for work. I worked making cold calls as a telemarketer out west for 3 days while it trampled my soul. I worked as a receptionist at a real estate agency in Clapham for 2.5 weeks which squeezed the life out of me. On my 3rd Wednesday, I went on my lunch break and never came back.

 

Finally, I was hired as an events coordinator for a reputable dance company in Holborn. My boss was a micro-managing dragon-lady with horrible acne, but my co-workers were 5 angels from different parts of the world and together we represented the international department running dance events around the world.

 

I moved into a bright, sunny apartment in Hackney that I shared with a Spanish gay hairdresser who worked for tv and a fashion designer from Georgia (the country). This was the year that I threw myself into manifesting. After years of drifting with adventure my only cause I was ready to start wanting and asking for more, even though it didn’t all make sense to me at the time.

 

That sunny room in Hackney in 2008 was the foundation of my now popular course Manifest More.

 

London was and always has been like a mother to me: nurturing me, holding me and giving me space to soothe my soul and grow. After a year of working in an office and living in a busy city, I started to get restless. I was ready to move on and start creating something new in my life. I didn’t know exactly what it was that I wanted. I only knew what I did not want: to work in an office, headed by a dragon-lady, without adding anything meaningful and worthwhile to the world, for the rest of my life.

 

So I followed my heart and booked a flight to India. I didn’t know it at the time but I went to India to search for my purpose. I didn’t find it in the 4 months I spent there. What I did find was an unbreakable inner strength. And the deep desire to help people and be creative. I kept looking tangible answers. For that “thing” I was destined for to fall into my lap.

 

3 months in Europe. A month in the Middle East. 2 months in Thailand. A month in Japan.

 

A year later I arrived back in London. I felt more lost and confused than ever.

 

I tried to put some pieces together: I love fashion, and sustainability and being creative. I had connections in the fashion industry in India. I decided to build a small eco-friendly fashion brand. I called it Etica & Ella. With no understanding of marketing and sales and the confidence of a field mouse when it came to business I poured tens of thousands of dollars into an idea that dismally failed. The idea was good. But I didn’t have this systems, support or shrewdness to sustain it.

 

My boyfriend at the time suggested we move to Sydney for his career. Dejected with the word “failure” stamped across my heart I agreed.

 

At that time I decided 2 things: 1. that I knew with absolute certainty that I had to work for myself, and 2. that this was the last time I was ever going to work for someone else. I sat down and wrote a job manifestation list to end all lists of exactly what I wanted: A job that would teach me everything I needed to know about running a small business, that I could walk to from home, paid well and was close to my yoga studio.

 

Two months later, I became the business manager for an acclaimed author and motivational speaker. It gave me everything I wanted. While in that job, I started a blog, and wrote frantically every day, posting 3-5 times per day. I was finding my voice, figuring out my “thing” by actively showing up day after day and pursuing whatever lit me up.

 

2.2 years later in mid 2012 I decided I was ready to take flight and try again. I spent a year travelling while I built up my name, copywriting and managing social media accounts for other #bossgirls as I went. 3 months in Amsterdam. 3 months hitchhiking from Mexico to Panama. 3 months in San Francisco. 3 months in LA. In August 2013 I signed my first clients. I officially had a business.

 

That first year was haaaaard. Harder than I could have ever imagined as I navigated my own insecurities and the mysteries of running a business that was both authentic and financially viable. I moved to London for the 3rd time and discovered the heart-healing love of unconditional support that I received from the women in my life.

 

In agonizing anxiety on how I was going to make enough money to live each month and remain integrity and authenticity I kept showing up day after day after day with nothing but stubborn persistence to make my dreams of creating a job that allowed me to truly be an extension of ME as well as give back to the world. I left London for India and then Australia as I entered my second year of business.

 

Things started to feel lighter and get easier. I found my flow. Systems and business practices started making sense to me. I began feeling proud of my achievements and the tremendous journey I had embarked on. It was so much more than starting a #heartfulbiz. It was a life education that shone a light on every shadow in which I attempted to hide. I had unwittingly dedicated my life to growth and expansion.

 

Now in my 4th year in business, I continue to learn, to grow, to be stretched and expand. The process is much sweeter and easier now as I’ve put practices in place that hold me in a safe sacred space as I move through them. I see it as my duty to teach what I learn and share the journey and lessons to make it a little bit easier for all of us. That’s why I created The Heartful Biz with my friend Claire.

 

Right now we have a free 90 minute Q&A video for you answering 10 of the most potent questions we get asked time and time again about creating and running a heartful biz. Register to access the Q&A here.

 

Photos: Alana Rae Photography

 

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