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.

 

Bohemian Sisters Getaway — Mexico — December 4 to 9

 

BOHEMIAN SISTERS GETAWAY
LOCATION: SAYULITA, MEXICO
DATES: 4 — 9 DECEMBER, 2017

PRICE: $795 USD  BOOK IN USD
           £610 GBP  BOOK IN GBP

REGISTRATION CLOSES: 30 SEPTEMBER

 

 

A gathering of like souls — women who want to come together to share tales of growth and transformation — using the moon and planets to guide us through our days. Come, evoke the spirit of sisterhood and rise together as women in the laid-back bohemian surfing village of Sayulita. There are 10 spots available to keep this gathering magical and intimate.

 

 

YOU SHOULD COME TO THIS GETAWAY IF

Here’s the truth… After years of bohemian wanderings there is one thing that I am certain of: the road is always richer when you share it with sisters. And while the way that I travel now is changing, the call for wayfaring with like-souled women is still strong. In July I put out a call asking who wanted to come to Sayulita to talk about women’s things together. The response was strong and immediate. Clearly I wasn’t the only one feeling the pull. My friend Anoushka from London’s The Goddess Space and I have collaborated to create this getaway as an answer to that deep yearning. If you are feeling the calling too, you know that this is for you.

 

 

WHAT’S INCLUDED

☽ Daily focus and intention setting
☽ Daily sisters circle workshopping through specific themes
☽ Space and time for solo contemplation and union with nature
☽ Nightly shared dinners to celebrate, come together and share
☽ Daily activities including surfing, shopping and going to the beach
☽ A closing ceremony and ritual on our last night to invoke the sisterhood
☽ 3 midday meals and 2 evening meals out in the bohemian surfing village
☽ 5 nights accommodation in a beautiful Mexican-style villa by the beach in Sayulita

 

 

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED

☽ Transport and flights to and from our bohemian getaway
☽ Cost of meals and activities

 

 

YOUR CONTRIBUTION

☽ This is a sisterhood gathering where we all are equals and we truly encourage you to bring your own skills and passions to this getaway. Anoushka and I will be creating and holding the space and putting the formal structure of our getaway together and we want you to share your unique gifts with us too. Are you a photographer (either pro or enthusiast)? Great. Take pictures for us of our time together. Love cooking? Fantastic. Help come up with menu ideas for meals that we will share at the villa, go to the markets and organise teams to take turns to cook and serve. Enamored by art, design and creativity? Awesome. Teach us some of your magic. Have some transferable biz or life skills? Wonderful. Coach us through the how-to’s. It doesn’t matter what your skills are, what this bohemian sisters gathering is about is coming together, sharing and uplifting one another through each of our unique and potent talents. All ideas are welcome!
☽ When you have booked your ticket, email me with your contribution proposal: studio@viendamaria.com.
☽ Be willing to form into small teams to cook, serve and clean one meal each during our time together.

 

 

BOHEMIAN SISTERS GETAWAY BREAKDOWN

Monday 4 — Intention: Release what is not serving you. Working with the energy of the moon in Gemini we will be leaving our lives behind before we step foot in our villa and drift into the magical space that is our bohemian sisters getaway. We spend the first day getting to know one another, connecting, and anchoring our union with a sisters releasing ritual.

Tuesday 5 — Intention: Feeling your feelings, without judgement. Working with the energy of the moon in Cancer we will instinctively feel the need for peace and quiet as we settle into our getaway space. Our focus will be on gentle activities that we do together, space and time for solitude and self-reflection, and a sharing circle where we dive deep into our feelings and workshop through common threads and topics that we are all observing in our lives as women.

Wednesday 6 — Intention: Course-correct to follow your heart. Working with the energy of the waning disseminating moon our focus will be on reviewing our past habits, choices and patterns as they are the contrast we need to lay the foundation for a new approach. You are encouraged to pay attention to what lights you up and turns you on. Today’s circle will be about transforming ourselves through new decisions and devotion to follow our hearts.

Thursday 7 — Intention: I recognise my and your unique qualities. Working with the energy of the moon in Leo, we take advantage of this sun-loving vibe to recognise the beauty, talents, natural prowess and goddess-power in our selves and each other. Women often tend to shrink instead of expand and share their light. In this circle we will take turns showering one another in compliments, offering our talents to uplift and serve one another and sharing our unique achievements and ideas that we might normally hide in a safe, uplifting environment.

Friday 8 — Intention: I act on my heart’s guidance. Working with the energy of the moon in Virgo we will have a heightened appreciation for refinement in the arts, food, nature and people. This will be reflected in the activities we do that day and anchored into our circle which will focus on mapping out a practical plan on how to embody and integrate the lessons and experiences we have created in this space together. We seal this day with a manifesting ritual and celebration of ourselves and each other.

Saturday 9 — Intention: I move with ease and grace and am open to new opportunities and possibilities. This day marks the end of our bohemian sisters getaway and while the time will surely be filled with packing up and saying goodbye, let’s remember that we are all always in this together.

 

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The closest airport is Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport in Puerto Vallarta. Just look up Puerto Vallarta when you are searching for flights. I like to use the Google Flights search to find the best ones and then go directly to the airliner to book them. The space we intend to rent is Villas des Corazon (Villas of the Heart) and we will be putting a deposit down as soon as we have enough people committed to coming by booking their spot in our Bohemian Sisterhood Getaway. This event may become a more common affair in the different parts of the world if we feel that the calling is there. Spaces are not refundable, (unless under unlikely conditions we cancel the event) please commit mindfully. If something does come up, and you absolutely cannot make it, we will do our best to help you sell your space to another person. See my policies for further details.

 

 

My relationship status

 

Everyone loves the story of how we met. I love it too, which is why I am ready to tell it again and again… But first, let me start at the beginning.

 

 

— Relationship 1: Mama —

 

It was 2014 and I had just arrived in Australia a few months earlier. After 2 years of traveling Europe and North and Central America I wanted to finally heal the tumultuous relationship I had with my mama. I was bright-eyed and optimistic that love could heal all. If only I can love her hard enough, fully enough, enough enough, all the pain will go away.

 

The first few days were lovely, as they always are. Then slowly, the demons started to creep back in. Her fears of rejection and abandonment were more powerful than any love I could give her. I started to understand that it wasn’t my love that she needed, but hers. Our communication started failing and my heart starting closing as she accused me of speaking badly about her when I was on the phone to friends. She projected all her fears on me, claiming that I did and said things that I didn’t.

 

One day I walked into the kitchen and was listening to something she was telling me. I was resting my hand on my hip and practicing tree-pose. She didn’t like the way I was standing and started shouting at me that it indicted that anything she did was not good enough for me. Shocked, hurt, stunned and fed up I responded rudely, What the fuck is wrong with you! 

 

I felt bad about saying that, about not being able to stay open and love the way I had planned to, and sad about not understanding why my relationship with my mama was so filled with anger, hate and terror. All my life I felt like I disappointed her and I felt guilty that I didn’t enjoy spending time with her. She is my mama after all. Things between us were not “normal”.

 

Over time things escalated and I decided to throw all my spiritual and psychological practices at it. Instead of being involved with the daily emotional eruptions I became a gentle, calm, observer. What I noticed was that her actions, words and insults did not ever arise in response to anything that happened. She was creating drama when there was no reason for it.

 

It became clear to me that she carried enormous amounts of fear, hatred and anger in her body, and needed to release it in any way, creating traumatic episodes against anyone she could. I had seen her do it my entire life: to me, to my siblings, to her partners, her parents and her friends. It left her feeling sad, and lonely, and isolated, perpetuating her deep-set fears. She felt alone in the world and like she had to manipulate and torment those around her to get what she wanted and needed, which, as I had thought from the beginning, was love. But not the kind of love that is received externally, but a deeply penetrating self-love that creates absolute peace and self acceptance.

 

This realisation started my healing. It did not look anything like what I had hoped and imagined. Out of the pure love of a child to her mother I had enabled and protected her, despite her difficult outbursts, my entire life. I had carried the responsibility for her happiness on my spindly little shoulders and felt sad that I could never fill that void for her. Essentially, I had been trained into a co-dependent relationship with her. And to heal, it had to stop.

 

After another hateful tirade of words one day I called out for support to friends and was invited to work at an event in Sydney for a few days. This trip marked a shift in my life. I flew down from the Sunshine Coast, and with the space to see what had been happening in the past few months, made some new decisions. I created my first ever structured mentoring program which filled up quickly, and spent all my savings on a red van that I planned to deck out and travel the east coast of Australia with.

 

A week later I put out a classified ad to share diving and fuel from Sydney to Brisbane with me and did the eleven-hour drive with a sweet young backpacker from Germany, who kept me entertained with stories of his recent travels. I dropped him off, went and parked at a friend’s place, and together headed to a music festival for the weekend hidden deep in the bush somewhere.

 

I was dreading going back to my mama’s house, but it to be done. She was cold to me when I arrived, and shouted at me, You never help me! I understood that I was rejecting and abandoning her as she had feared, but never recognising her own role in the circumstance. It hurt and made me feel both sad and angry. I shook and felt my adrenaline spike as I packed my belongings and used an old futon frame to build a bed into my van. When it was time to go I said to her, I am going now. And I just want you to know that no matter what you say and do, I will always love you. She glared at me with a mixture of rage and sadness and without a reply. Despite that, underneath it all, I know she loves me, too.

 

We haven’t spoken since.

 

 

— Relationship 2: Lover —

 

A few days later, after soothing my heart in the company of friends, and preparing my new home on wheels complete with sweet little fairy lights, woven baskets and a mexican blanket over the luxurious bed that took up most of the space in the back of the van, I set out for my next adventure: I had to do the nineteen-hour drive north to Cairns before my new mentoring program started, and in time for a house-sitting gig a close friend had arranged for me. Again, I put out a classified ad to share diving and fuel, this time from Brisbane to Cairns.

 

The responses were many and hysterical: I received more “dick pics” from that one ad than I ever had in my life. And lots of enquiries from couples or friends, even though I clearly stated that there was only one seat available. There was one person who stood out, someone who wrote novel-length detailed messages with perfect grammar and signed off with JP. Based on the conversations we had, I assumed that she must be a girl. Men, after all, are infamous for their abrupt one-liners. We arranged to meet early Monday morning and make the drive together.

 

Pulling up outside the address I had been given, I was just a little surprised to see a burly looking man standing outside waiting for me. I guess I was wrong, I thought to myself as I jumped out of the van and ran around to introduce myself and give my new co-pilot a hug. He was funny, kind of awkward, as he responded with Ok, I can do hugs, and squeezed me back before throwing his backpack on my bed in the back.

 

In those first moments I remember thinking that his forehead was too big for his face, it was somehow unsymmetrical, and that his turquoise-ocean eyes were the most captivating I’d seen.

 

His name was Julien, from Canada, and a chronic over-sharer as his explained in detail that he was running away from a series bad choices and the inner calling to grow, expand, spread his wings and discover himself. At some point he said, in not so many words, that he had arrived in Australia firstly for a friend’s wedding and secondly, to travel, experience a new country and, in not so many words, get drunk and fuck all the girls. I was quick to put him in the “one-dimensional backpacker” and “definitely not my people” and “way to straight and normal” boxes.

 

Two hours later, driving up a big hill into the forlorn town of Gympie, my gas pedal stopped responding. I turned to Julien and told him and he encouraged me to quickly pull over. On the shoulder of the highway at the top of a hill on a public holiday, we were stranded, right at the start of our journey. He looked at the motor and defeated, told me that it looked like the engine overheated and is now totally kaput. I was in denial and responded that surely there was a way to fix it. My home and dreams for the next few months could not just end like that.

 

A kind local pulled over and told us that we wouldn’t be able to get in touch with a mechanic today or for the rest of the weekend, but that he had a friend that he could call for us. Ten minutes later a tow truck pulled up and dragged us onto his front yard. He told us we could stay there until we figured ourselves out and introduced us to his sweet family.

 

Devastated, vulnerable and heart still sore from my recent experiences, I crept around the back of my van, hunched down and started to cry. Julien came to find me, laid down in the grass next to me, and pulled me close for the sweetest, kindest, purest embrace I have ever received.

 

In the week that followed, our serendipitous friendship started to form into something else. We saw each other in new ways, I learned that the words he spoke often did not match the energy he put out and I was able to discern between fact and fiction. Julien is gentle soul who was still trying to live up to the strange expectations our western culture places on men. I saw him as an angel sent from heaven, taking care of all the practical elements that I had no idea about, parting out my broken van, and buying another vehicle to continue the journey together. He could have left that first day. He did not have to stay and help. To this day I’m not sure exactly why he did.

 

The first year together was an education for both of us. It wasn’t always easy, we both had a lot to learn about ourselves and how to be in a relationship together, but something compelled us to keep walking this path together. Almost three years later we have moved to his hometown between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Ocean in Canada, and things are sweeter than ever.

 

Sometimes people ask us when we will get married and we look at each other, share a secret smile and shake our heads, Probably never! That’s not the kind of relationship we have. Our promises are based on freedom, to love each other until it doesn’t feel good anymore, and be devoted to our own growth, no matter what wherever that may take us, no contracts required.

 

 

— Relationship 3: Soul-Family —

 

While I have not had the support that I craved and hoped for from blood-family, I have been inundated my entire life by the love, kindness, support and upholding of the friends (and even some strangers) that I call my soul-family. I doubt that I would be, do or have what I do if it wasn’t for the incredible people who have caught me when I have fallen, shared tears and laughter with me, and told me to reach for the stars and follow my heart, even when it made no sense.

 

For each and every one of you, I am so incredibly, deeply, thankful. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

 

Coming home

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

My Kind Of (Heartful) Biz

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Photo: Hayley Richardson

How to use the energy of the days of the week

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 


 

Enjoy!

xo

 

— July special: Creative Mapping Sessions —

 

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

 

I work with two types of women:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

You will get:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

You have not added an image yet. Please upload and apply an image.

You have not added an image yet. Please upload and apply an image.

POLICIES          ABOUT          NEWSLETTER          CONTACT