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.


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.


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