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Today is the day. I’ve got butterflies in my stomach, and my heart is pounding.

The Free-Spirited Collective

 

I’m truly ecstatic to be sitting here at my desk today, writing this to you. I’m so psyched because today is the day.

 

Today The Free-Spirited Collective officially starts.

 

It’s far too often that I get notes that say, “I have big dreams to live a flourishing life of freedom but I don’t believe it’s really possible”.

 

It’s notes like these that remind me that I’m following my purpose: to help women who want to do great things in the world, choose freedom in every area of their lives, and to step up into their power and rise.

 

You do deserve to live with freedom and fulfillment and excitement and joy every single day.

 

To create a space where you can truly step up and live a life of true freedom, The Free-Spirited Collective came to me and unfurled in my imagination. Then slowly the idea turned into notes and thoughts on scraps of paper. Followed by meetings with people who helped create content, strategy and designs.

 

And now, this:

 

The Free-Spirited Collective is a monthly membership subscription that helps free-spirited seekers stay consistent and inspired on their path. It’s a community of loving women who want to do life differently: guided by heart and intuition, connected to the cycles of life, moon and stars, and lead with a rebellious sense of wonder at our natural life, and wanting to be at the leading edge of it all, experiencing the edges and expanse of our existence.

 

It’s a space where you can make incredible shifts. Some subtle. Some radical. All life changing.

 

Through The Free-Spirited Collective, you learn how to make your work joyful and purpose driven. You start taking action on the dreams and ideas and visions that have been simmering just under the surface for months or years. You master how to bring the spirit of freedom into every element of life. And you are held in a tight, warm circle of your people, your tribe.

 

The best part? You get to Pay What You Want.

 

It’s an honor to share this monthly membership experience with you. TFSC is as powerful and transformational for me as it is for every one of you who joins.

 

I really hope you’re among them.

 

Join me for The Free-Spirited Collective.

 

It’s Wednesday evening and I’m sitting in bed.

It's Wednesday evening and I'm sitting in bed.

 

It’s Wednesday evening and I’m sitting in bed.

 

We are almost at the end of the month and as I look back over the past days and weeks, I recognise how surreal and bizarre they have been. It already feels like a dream, and like I’ve almost forgotten.

 

The initial enthusiasm on the 1st of April, a rainy day filled with creative inspiration, followed by a week of introspection: during yoga; and the realisation that I’m getting older.

 

I thought a lot about freedom. The freedom that happens when you stop holding back. How, when I dedicated myself to freedom, at the tender and naive age of 23, I discovered that life wasn’t really how they said it was going to be. And the cost for freedom. A cost that at times seems almost unbearable.

 

Those first two weeks of April I felt so light, inspired, unstoppable. What was it that made those days so fun and free and easy?

 

Compared to the second two weeks of April, where the days and my body felt flat, like a heavy fog was pushing me down and telling me to stay low. Why were my energy levels so distinctly different from week to week?

 

The way I see it, I have been given a lesson in practicing what I preach. To listen. To trust. To let go.

 

Many days, too many days — unfavourable to me having a productive month —  like I had envisioned for myself. Instead of getting stuff done, I touched depths of my internal world and life experience, that I have previously only hoped for.

 

It feels like a coming home.

 

After years of grappling with pragmatic stuff, something has started opening up and I am able to relax into things more. Practical things like my work, money, time, what other people think, how to do things ‘right’, and whether or not someone finds me agreeable, have stopped troubling me so. Instead, I feel an incredible depth of trust, and a sense of wonder and curiosity.

 

A new kind of effervescence is beginning to weave its way into my life.

 

The more that I live, the more that I see the signs of magic everywhere. Magic that can only be experienced through devoted observation and being open to not knowing, and not understanding. Just trusting.

 

On New Years day this year, I wrote on a piece of paper what I really wished I had access to, in the world. I wish I kept that piece of paper. What I do remember however, was that it held the very first pieces of longing towards a creative community where spirituality and freedom were grounded into experiential and applied concepts and exercises. Where the ‘spirit’ world is bridged with the ‘real’ world.

 

The more I connect with my intuitive wisdom, the more I reaffirm that the truth, and the course to happiness; to freedom; to fulfilment and excitement, is truly simple and easy.

 

Just this morning, I was thinking about all the complicated tools and strategies that we have fabricated, to create positive change in our lives. As if each time we want to change, we have to undertake a grim emotional surgery. As if we are so resistant and stiff and vapid.

 

I don’t think it needs to be so hard. I think it could actually be really easy. And I also think that we can only do it together, as a tribe, as a community. Woven together through our intrinsic attraction to that which uplifts us and holds us to our integrity. A common desire to rise.

 

I looked. But the words and dreams I wrote of that New Years day, didn’t exist yet. So I decided to create it.

 

All my creations start with questions.

 

What experience am I designing here? Why does the world need this? How can it evolve into something that brings the highest good to everyone immersed in it?

 

Most of the answers came easily.

 

They want freedom, just as much as I want freedom. They want to taste it on their blood and feel it course through their veins. And I know there are others, so many others, who want to be a part of a compelling movement that allows them to choose freedom — and change their life’s pathway — in a space that is safe and nurturing and supportive. 

 

The last question however, took some time to answer.

 

Six weeks ago, I wrote in my journal. I wrote about how I had the structure of this creation down, but I had no idea how to share it with the world. The conventional ways of sharing a product and service didn’t feel right. Not this time. I didn’t want to hawk and push and peddle this thing out in the market place.

 

This thing is… different. Special. It has a life of its own. I don’t even really know how it’s going to unfold each month. All I have is the basic structure and a strong calling from somewhere deep within me to create this place; this space. For me and for you.

 

Hours after writing in my journal, I stumbled upon an article. Through this article I divined my answer.

 

I would give the power back to the people. Instead of creating a program with a price tag, I will let those who feel drawn to be a part of this movement, choose what they wanted to invest in it. In themselves.

 

This is my very first foray into Pay What You Want pricing. As unconventional as this is, I want my pricing to boldly represent my message of freedom. In this particular circumstance, the freedom to choose the right price for you.

 

As I sit here in bed tonight, with just 3 days until I release this beautiful project out into the world, I wonder how it will grow, evolve and unfold in the coming weeks, months and years. Trusting that it is becoming something bigger than I can hold on my own, and that will grow beyond my imagination. I know that soon, it will no longer be mine. But rather, ours.

 

A collective creation for the free-spirited.

 

Gently, calmly, it is coming out into the world.

 

Free 7 Day Releasing Rituals Program

Free 8 Day Releasing Rituals Program

 

Rituals bring a formal acknowledgement of what was, what is and what might be.They invite structured witness to life, thereby bringing about tremendous healing and manifest blessings into life transitions, by bringing attention to that which is sacred.

 

Rituals bridge the gap between your inner and outer worlds, your spirit and your body, unifying them into a tangible experience that place a special moment in your heart, soul and memory as you move through life.

 

In order to make space for change and move forward in our lives, we often need rituals that help us separate one chapter of life, from the next.

 

Releasing Rituals is an 8 day program to help you do exactly that, in a sweet, conscious, healing and nurturing way, that you can apply time and time again, in many different circumstances.

 

Today — starting now — join me for my Free 7 Day Releasing Rituals Program. 

 

This free program is a sent out as a daily email lasting over 9 days from the day you sign up, taking you through the phases of letting go and releasing to make space for more love, happiness, magic and flow in your life.

 

Accompanying every email an audio recording of each of the steps, including the meditations and incantations, to guide you along the way. So all you have to is press play, and follow along as you listen.

 

You will need: an open heart and mind, a big imagination, a powerful desire to release and let go, and a few essentials.

 

  • Pink candles (as many as there are people you are letting go of in this circumstance).
  • A white candle.
  • Incensence, palo santo or sage.
  • A large heat-proof container.
  • Salt.
  • Wine or juice.
  • Lavender moisturizing lotion or oil.
  • A journal + pen.
  • An enormously large piece of cardboard paper or pinning board for your dream board.
  • Old magazines

 

Are you in?

 

Join me for my free Releasing Rituals program and I will email you a new step, every day, for the next 8 days.

 

Registration for the program is now open. Simply enter your email address:

 



 

Over 6,000 words; 7 days of meditations, affirmations and exercises; plus a recorded audio version so you can simply follow along; the Free 7 Day Releasing Rituals Program will help you through those challenging times.

 

Use it over + over, forever + ever. Love x infinity and beyond.

 

If you’ve got a friend who would benefit from releasing something in their own lives, please invite them to join us, and share in the goodness!

 

 

Releasing Rituals

 

 

Kind words about the Free 7 Day Releasing Rituals Program:

 

“Just like de-cluttering your physical space to bring in clarity, it’s also essential to acknowledge & clear out your internal space removing stress, pain & anxiety in your spirit to move towards your goals/dreams.

Releasing Rituals is the perfect tool to help you do that. This program contains a sweet audio full of meditations, rituals and affirmations to help you gently release blocks and even the supply list makes me happy– candles, incense, paper, pen & lavender moistening lotion – get ready for some sumptuous self-love!

This program is perfect for those in a tender spot, I just sent it to my BFF who recently lost her job & used it myself to help release old anxiety around finances.  Thank you Vienda!” — Desha

 

 

 

Releasing Rituals

 

 

 

“Releasing Rituals is as gorgeous as it is helpful! Vienda has created something that’s woven with magical underpinnings, perfect for helping the gypsy wanderer who wants to permanently check her baggage.” — Emily

 

 

 

Releasing Rituals

 

 

 

“Vienda writes the way I imagine a guardian angel would, with sweetness, warmth and no holds barred honesty. This makes her the perfect guide for doing the deep cleansing and releasing work that will inspire you to let go of the past, knowing you are safe and secure enough to step into your own brilliance and live the life you deserve.”  — Sophie

 

 

 

Releasing Rituals

 

 

 

“Releasing Rituals is a very powerful and soulful program. It’s fresh and beautifully written, and guides you through each step with encouragement and love. It’s helping me to accept what has happened, move forward and let go. I recommend this to everybody for it will not only help you heal right now, but you’ll be able to apply it to many situations in the future.” — Victoria

 

 

 

Releasing Rituals

 

 

 

“In our fast paced society, it’s not uncommon for the juggling act of life to leave us feeling stressed, lacklustre and downright overwhelmed. Too often we don’t make time for reflection and release and instead, continue on with the chaos and crazy of our minds.

It does not surprise me in the slightest that Vienda (a lady who lives for unconventionality, love and purpose), has created Releasing Rituals; the antidote to the ‘I’m Too Busy’ epidemic.

Her words, visuals and soothing audio will guide you to slow down, rest and create space for what you truly need to bring into your life – and let go of what you don’t. Simply put, this 8 day program is magic in motion and will cause miracles.” — Claire

 

 

 

Releasing Rituals

 

 

 

“Vienda is the most perfect gem of a person to take you gently by the hand and guide you through a week of releasing rituals. Her calm and centred energy allows you to really FEEL and FLOW into the process, without fear or hesitation – her delicious dulcet tones combined with the most relaxing music in the audios carry you softly through each exercise, holding the most beautiful space for you to explore & TRULY let go. Even if (like me!) you’re a self-aware, self-development junkie, constantly working on yourself, journalling and meditating, this program is STILL for you – it is a gorgeous opportunity to slow down, clear some space & have a week of super-charged sumptuous self-care.” — Rhiannon

 

 

Releasing Rituals

 

 

 

“Releasing Rituals has inspired me to commit to a morning meditation practise. Vienda’s program has helped me make peace with a certain part of my past I obviously hadn’t been willing to let go of. Thank-you Vienda for enabling me to let, go, make peace and grow. I trust you with all my heart, left with a feeling knowing the universe has my back.” Hannah

 

 

Logo design by Marija Rathe from Posy Willow Studio.

How to choose freedom, even when you don’t feel free. (Continued…)

How to choose freedom, even when you don't feel free.

 

“Run from what’s comfortable. Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious.” | Rumi

 

Choosing freedom (continued from here) is literally a moment to moment decision that you get to make. It doesn’t matter where you are, or what you are doing. Freedom is after all, a feeling.

 

I always ask myself, even when I don’t feel free “What would make me feel freer than this, right now?“. I listen. And do that. I nudge myself back to freedom. Little by little, choice by choice. Until freedom is breathing fresh air into my lungs, expanding my heart, breaking me open again and flooding me with love and sweet, sweet relief. Choosing freedom feels like coming home.

 

Yet, it must be said, there is another discovery that comes with the invitation of freedom. The discovery that, from this moment on, life will be lived very differently.

 

There is a cost, for freedom. At times this cost may seem almost unbearable.

 

Yearning for freedom is easy. It fills an unquenchable thirst for adventure, discovery, self-expression, choice, abundance, joy, love, creativity, generosity and expansion. Choosing freedom takes commitment, courage, strength and unwavering trust.

 

It means choosing to feel free in the ordinary moments. To see beauty, magic and miracles in the mundane. Choosing to experience freedom, right here, right now even though it feels hard, and you’d truly rather run away.

 

Choosing freedom is an art. It means opening up, and saying “yes” and “thank you” to life and lessons even when we feel most broken, most vulnerable, and most like turning our backs and closing our hearts.

 

To choose freedom, you have to believe that it is worth persevering for. Freedom, contrary to popular belief, is not all open starry skies and limitless options. Sometimes it’s trudging for miles, feeling outcast, alone and separate from the world. It’s seeing the truth all around you, and being unable to close your eyes and make it go away. And then, still choosing freedom.

 

Choosing freedom, you must have the courage to say what you feel and be who you are, despite what others might think. It means that you sometimes have to allow yourself to hurt and use that hurt to grow deeper into freedom.

 

To choose freedom means you are willing to face yourself, be present with yourself, and understand that this is an individual journey that you can only do alone. Through this journey you grow and change and learn what freedom really means.

 

Choosing freedom means listening to your intuition and knowing the difference between when she tells you to go, and when she tells you to stay. It means not running because you are afraid, and not staying because your are frozen by your fears. It’s through these phases of moving ands staying still, change and transition, beginnings and endings, connection and disconnection, that feeling free becomes your devoted companion.

 

To choose freedom is to face your fears. Allowing yourself to feel your fears, to acknowledge them and embrace them, even when it’s the last thing you want to do, means that they dissolve in the face of your innate freedom. Fears are after all, simply false beliefs that are holding you back from feeling free.

 

Choosing freedom means to let go. Letting go of what you believe. Letting go of expectations of others. Letting go of how you think your life should be. Letting go of fitting in a certain box. Letting go of stubbornness. Letting go of who you want to love you. Letting of having things a certain way. It means letting go, and trusting, and letting freedom lead.

 

 

Image source unknown.

How to choose freedom, even when you don’t feel free.

How to choose freedom, even when you don't feel free.

 

Sometimes life feels so free. We have space and time, and choices, and feel alive and inspired. Freedom fills every nook and corner of life and our souls are soaring high in the sky, right alongside the clouds and birds. And sometimes life feels so stuck and bound, like we are shackled down by heavy chains with nothing but the darkness of a tunnel hitting a dead-end ahead of us.

 

Freedom appears to be such a fickle and faithless attendant. One moment it’s here. The next moment it’s not. Much like happiness and love, it is fleeting and capricious in nature.

 

But what happens when you decide to dedicate your life to freedom? What happens then? And what happens when all you want is freedom, yet it appears hidden, no matter how much you search?

 

When I was 23, I was drunk with the idea of living a life filled and fuelled by freedom. The idea alone infatuated me. It was at this tender age that I made a vow to myself to dedicate my life to creating, knowing, understanding, cultivating and teaching freedom.

 

With this resolution I discovered one unexpected and startling thing: that everything I believed to be true up to this point, was not.

 

I embarked on a journey of unlearning everything I had been taught, and rediscovering the world, life and myself, with new eyes.

 

Instead of chasing goals and achievements, I learned to tune into feeling and being present. I stopped caring about what other people expected of me and started paying attention to what felt right for me.

 

Instead of doing all the right things I was supposed to do to get a good job, I chose to follow my curiosity, heart and instinct. I decided not to become a psychologist after all and ended my studies after completing my undergraduate degree, embarking instead on an unconventional path of working in the creative world of music festivals.

 

Instead of fighting for being right, I surrendered into being equanimous. I learned that there is not right or wrong, black or white. Everyone holds a piece of the puzzle from their unique perspective. The human experience is limited from being all-knowing. When I recognised and accepted this, I felt instantly free.

 

Instead of cramming my mind with insecurities and trying to look like other people though rigorous exercise routines, self-loathing and cycles of starving and binge-eating, I softened my view of myself. I started walking every day, and spending time in nature. I ate what I felt like, when I felt hungry and celebrated instead of feared food. Instantly I lost weight and relaxed into a healthy, natural weight and body shape.

 

Instead of buying all the shiniest, newest, most-coveted objects, I developed a deep connection with the universe which left me feeling richer than anything I had ever owned. I sold everything I didn’t need and lived out of a suitcase.

 

Instead of chasing after boys and seeking out the perfect relationship, I grew into an intimate committed relationship with myself. I became unashamedly selfish, the way that Buddha teaches us to be. I learned than it is not my job to satisfy and please others. 

 

Each of these choices were part of the untethering that set me free. As it turns out, much like happiness and love, freedom is a choice.

 

To be continued…

 

Image by Neena Noel.

A back-stage tour of the last 6 months: My life in New Zealand.

 Tongariro Alpine Crossing where we climbed Mount Ngauruhoe

 

Right now, I’m sitting on our balcony in Nelson, at the northern tip of the South Island, watching the sun climb up into the sky. When I look out I can see the Cook Strait that divides the North Island from the South Island of New Zealand.

 

I literally can’t remember the last time I took you on a backstage tour of my life. As I look through my articles, the closest thing that I found was this one: My last month in Australia: A visual carousel. It came out in late October last year, just before we left to move to New Zealand for 12 months, despite some challenges along the way. Those of you who have been dancing alongside me for a while, will remember that I pulled back and took some time out from the online world, in order to deal with my personal and emotional life. It was a dark and sad time for me.

 

Since then, it’s been a whirlwind of life, love and adventure.

 

Mountain biking to the Bridge to Nowhere Track (Mangapurua Track)

 

Julien bought a station wagon when we arrived in Auckland, and decked it out with a bed, with which we spent a month working our way south. The chubby little Indonesian we bought it from was the kindest teddy-bear of a man you could ever met, and actually lowered the price when we were bargaining with him. It was the funniest thing. He had it on sale for $1,500 and after doing a thorough inspection, Julien was just about to offer him $1,300, when he was like “I’ll give it to you for $1,100.” We were like “What!?”. Some things are simply led by fate and fortune. It’s been the perfect car.

 

We spent 3 weeks in the tiny town of Raetihi, managing a small lodge called Snowy Waters, while we decided where to settle.  And when I say manage, what I mean is that Julien did all the running around and taking care of the place, while I answered phones, took care of bookings and ran my business alongside. It was an interesting juggling act!

 

While we were there we went on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing where we climbed Mount Ngauruhoe, an active stratovolcano also known as Mount Doom from Lord of The Rings. You can watch Julien’s video on how that went here. Don’t be fooled by the enthusiastic skipping in the video. The truth is, I came off that mountain cursing and feeling like an old lady whose hips were about to give out. Crawling up volcanic ash on hands and feet for 4 hours is no picnic! It was barely worth the photos from the top, but it is worth the story of a life-time that I will remember forever. The best memories are made through love and hardship.

 

I went mountain biking for the first time of my life, which was waaaaaay more fun (and scary) than I had imagined. We went to the famous Bridge to Nowhere, that you can see in the photo above. I really loved this place, it has a magical ethereal feeling.

 

Owhiro Bay near Wellington

 

Wellington was next on the map, which is New Zealand’s trendiest city, by far, and also windiest. After 3 weeks in near isolation in a tiny town of literally 4 shops, a church and a pub, it was so nice to walk around the streets, eat enormous steaming bowls of Asian soup, and explore the art gallery and museum. I bought the cutest vintage sunglasses in Wellington, and every time I wear them, I feel transported back to this vibrant city.

 

We spent a day walking around Owhiro Bay, 30-40 minutes outside of Wellington, holding hands, hanging out with seals in the sun and eating strawberries on the pebble beach. Every moment that day felt serene.

 

Ferry crossing from Wellington on the North Island to Picton on the South Island

 

By then, we had decided to choose Nelson as a place to settle. Everyone we asked told us that Nelson was one of the most beautiful, and sunniest places in the entire country. It seemed like a good reason to go there. The ferry crossing from Wellington on the North Island to Picton on the South Island was stunning. Things just became more beautiful from thereon.

 

As soon as we arrived in Nelson, Julien went into job search mode, as we looked for a place to live. It was close to Christmas and rental places were scarce, so we ended up subletting a room while we searched for something more permanent. There we serendipitously made friends with the loveliest couple, he from Canada, her from Mexico. It felt like arriving straight into loving arms, which made our first few weeks, and adventures so much more fun.

 

Nelson Lakes National Park

 

Together we went to the Nelson Lakes National Park.

 

Split Apple Rock in Golden Bay

 

And Split Apple Rock in Golden Bay.

 

We went out for dinners all over town and went digging for cockles together. (Julien made the most delicious clam chowder with them.)

 

A few days after New Year we finally found a big beautiful house on top on the hill in the centre of town and moved in. It was the first time in 6 months that we had stayed anywhere more permanently that a few days or weeks and I was relieved as my body and soul really needed some time to ground and settle. It was at that time that I wrote this article about rituals for moving into new houses.

 

Full Moon in Nelson, New Zealand

 

As soon as we were established, I opened up my calendar for new 1:1 mentoring clients and filled my books with incredible souls. My 6 month mentoring program is now full for 2016, which is such a delight. I still have some spots available for 3 month mentoring programs however. As it promised, 2016 has been very sweet indeed, and I am incredibly relieved for this.

 

Moving into this house has been exactly what I needed. After a massive product launch (see: Manifest More, which right is now available for a limited time at a Pay What You Feel price instead of the valued price of $137 USD), while travelling around Bali last year, and then not having a place to stop and take stock until this moment here, I was literally at my wit’s end, and utterly exhausted.

 

I started questioning my decisions, resented my inability to show up fully for you, my audience, and my business, and was fearful that I had somehow stumbled down a path that wasn’t quite right for me. As it turned out however, I hadn’t gone so wrong, rather I was physically and emotionally spent. As soon as I had some time to rest and ground, the world because easy and fun again.

 

I definitely learned that there are physical limits to my adventurous aspirations, and that running a business while moving non-stop can be very difficult, when I haven’t put supportive measures in place. My energy levels couldn’t keep up with everything, and that made me feel scared and like I was failing at life. I shared more about that in depth in my article: the conflicting paradox of life on the road.

 

Since living here, I have started singing lessons, am learning the ukulele and go to my local hot yoga studio 3 times a week. I am enjoying this time to just do my work and enjoy a calmer, quieter way of life in the peaceful and sleepy arms of New Zealand.

 

sailing around the spectacular Abel Tasman National Park

 

Concurrently, we’ve had the fortune to visit and explore many more beautiful places. Our friend Scott took us sailing around the spectacular Abel Tasman National Park. We spent 3 days gorging ourselves on freshly caught fish, diving off the boat into the fresh, crisp water, reading mystery novels and chatting about life and love and happiness. It was glorious. I never wanted to leave.

 

West coast region of Maruia and the thermal hot springs.

 

We drove around the west coast region of Maruia and soaked our bodies in the mineral-rich thermal hot springs, and played with seals in the spectacular town of Kaikoura. Julien made a video of that too.

 

Te Waikoropupū Springs

 

And most recently we drove to the northern-most tip of the South Island, Farewell Spit, and spent a few hours at the most incredible Te Waikoropupū Springs. They are the largest freshwater springs in New Zealand, the largest cold water springs in the Southern Hemisphere and contain some of the clearest water ever measured, with 63 metres visibility. Amazing! There are signs everywhere that say “don’t touch the water” but I couldn’t help myself. It was cold, very, very cold. Probably the coldest thing I’ve ever touched in my life. And so magic.

 

Sip Kitchen in Auckland

 

Two weeks ago I went on a whirlwind trip and flew to the Austrian Embassy in Auckland to renew my passport. There I met up with my sweet friend and the designer of Manifest More at Sip Kitchen over a delicious lunch that I still dream about today.

 

And now, I find myself here with you, watching the sun climb up into the sky. Again, we find ourselves at a turning point. After 6 months in New Zealand, and 5 of those months here in Nelson, we are about to embark on a new escapade, further south into the depths of the snow fields for the winter season.

 

I like New Zealand. But I don’t love it. It’s nature and landscapes are beautiful. But the culture, excitement and enthusiasm for creating a wonderful world and existence appears to be lacking. People are very sheltered and wrapped up in their own bubble, making conversations with locals bland and uninspiring. This is not a place for being on the leading edge of innovation. As my friend Lilly says “New Zealand is like being in an armchair”. Soft and safe and comforting.

 

Meanwhile, Julien has found his “dream-man-job” with a conservation program, where he gets to spend 5 days a week out in the field driving around on a 4-wheeler and shooting pests and imported animals like possums, goats and rabbits.

 

I’m excited because I always love discovering new places, and I’m looking forward to having all week every week to focus on my things, instead of being distracted by my handsome man all the time. I’m nervous because the town we are moving to, is… let’s just say my people don’t really reside there. And because I’m terrified of being cold! As we speak, I’m manifesting a new house with the best central heating system imaginable.

 

I’m also really excited that I will have 4 months to really focus on my projects, prepare and work, before I take 4 months off from mid-September while we travel around the rest of New Zealand (Queenstown: I’m looking at you!) and Asia later this year.

 

See? I’ve learned that this is important for me as I move forward. And I’m really excited about taking intentional time off for the first time since I started my business 3 years ago.

 

There. I think you’re all caught up now!

 

When you let go. When you stop holding back. When you embrace all that you are capable of, it feels like freedom.

When you let go. When you stop holding back. When you embrace all that you are capable of, it feels like freedom.

 

“You’re getting close. You’re at that breaking point. You just have to get louder.” She says to me.

 

“I’m scared. I feel like I’m yelling.”

 

“I know. But you’ll start to notice a difference soon. It’s not yelling when you do it right.”

 

I’m at my 6th lesson with my singing teacher. She’s teaching me how to use my voice, how to project it, how to actually be heard. This is why I’m here. Because this year was about learning to use my voice, and not just for singing, but for life, and singing is such a perfect way to start.

 

So far, my voice hasn’t been strong and loud enough. There’s a part of me holding back. Afraid.

 

“What does it feel like?” I ask. “When I actually allow myself to let go and sing as loud as I’m supposed to?”

 

“Freedom.”

 

Ah. I knew it. Freedom. My favorite word. It feels like freedom. When you let go. When you stop holding back. When you embrace all that you are capable of, it feels like freedom. Of course.

 

I find myself at this edge with my clients, often. “I’m scared. I feel like I’m fucking up.” they say, when they’re about to take a big leap in the direction of their dreams. “I know. But on the other side of your leap is freedom.” I encourage gently.

 

Singing for me is deeply entangled with some unresolved childhood trauma. Being loud and projecting my voice instantly transports me back to the years I spent hiding under stairs and in quiet rooms while the vocal storms of my mother and stepfather rose throughout the homes we lived in.

 

It’s the loudness that scares me, because that loudness used to signify danger in my life. If they hadn’t taken it out enough on each other, I would be next. Yelled at for anything they could find to blame me for. They were angry, unhappy people. It had nothing to do with me, and I knew that, but it still scared me.

 

As a result, all of my adult life I have been soft-spoken, avoided conflict and terrified to raise my voice.
Avoidance doesn’t resolve things, however. It just creates a comfortable pocket in which I can hide from one aspect that is asking to be stripped back, revealed and cleansed.

 

I know that thinking about the past and choosing to let go is not enough in this instance. I need a physical and psychological challenge where I actively learn that it’s safe for me to use my voice. And so I find myself in singing lessons every week.

 

I love singing. I also love learning to sing. And I’m excited to find myself at this edge, as terrifying as it is.

 

I will jump. I will sing at my full capacity. And when I do. When I finally get it, it’ll feel like freedom.

 

Image from FreePeople.com

63 freedom-igniting things I want to do in my 30’s (because I’m getting old…er).

100 freedom-igniting things I want to do in my 30's (because I'm getting old...er).

 

I turn 35 this year. In August to be precise (typical Leo, flaunting her birth month). 35!

 

When I was a little girl, I felt like being 35 must be the pinnacle of adulthood. However, from these uncertain heights, it feels like I’ve only just begun. It was only at 33 that I graduated myself from “girl’ to “woman”.

 

Now, I’m a girlish woman playing the game of adulting. Yet still to fully admitting the fact that I might, indeed, be all grown-up now. Simply because I don’t feel like I am. Which makes me wonder if anyone ever feels grown-up, other than in moments of self-observation, when they happen to make a very adult-like decision.

 

And strange things come with this adulting. With getting older. While I don’t feel 35, there’s an emotional maturity and stability there that has only come with age and experience. I care less and less what other’s think and say, and find forging my way on my terms, much easier than before.

 

Simultaneously, I’m also more sensitive. Life feels much more finite and vulnerable than it ever has before. The concept that it could all be over in a single fleeting moment has become all the more real.

 

There are other changes too. Every now and then I find a stray hair near my nipple. I have no idea why this is happening. I’m pretty sure that there’s no biologically valuable reason for it. If I happen to look up a moment too soon after applying liquid eyeliner, a tell-tale line is pressed upon my upper lid, be-telling of times when those eyelids where tighter and higher. Sometimes I wake up with creases across my chest, from sleeping on my side, a sure sign that the skin isn’t quite as supple as it used to be.

 

On Boxing Day in a sale this year, I bought my very first pair of what I would call “sensible” sandals. Don’t worry, they’re red, Italian leather. But the soles are, well, very sturdy. And well made. They’re not some flimsy thing that just looks good, which is how I used to roll. These shoes actually are comfortable. And I can walk long distances in them. It’s wild to think, that things have come to this.

 

Also, I couldn’t care less about staying up all night, whilst before, those long nights of adventures were what I lived for. I talk about morning and night routines, boundaries and life-harmony, like they are what keeps my Universe twirling. I find myself becoming a little boring: satisfied by simple pleasures, and good company, over needing to discover something new all the time. I say “no” more than I say “yes”, mostly, because now I know what it is that I like and want. Something that, previously evaded me, as I thought that I wanted it all.

 

While ageing has never concerned me, I embrace it with the sincere hope to do so gracefully, it does seem to have come on quite suddenly. Maybe a part of my has happily lived under the illusion that I would be 20-something forever. Until now, when I suddenly realise that I’m almost 35.

 

To ease this sudden realisation of just how finite and fleeting life is, I’m sharing with you a collection of 63 things that I want to do in my 30’s, to set this very precious decade of my life free, with a sense of having lived it fully.

 

I have broken them into 4 categories: learn, do, have, and be.

 

100 freedom-igniting things I want to do in my 30's: Play the ukulele (well).

 

LEARN

 

Play my ukulele and sing at performance-level. When I was a kid I desperately wanted to sing, and reluctantly my mother shovelled me off to an old lady who used to tour the world doing cabaret shows. While she was a colourful character that I will never forget, especially since she had agoraphobia, and hadn’t left her house in literally years, what she taught me was far from useful. Now, however is the time to fulfil my musical dreams and serenade you.

 

Ride a motorbike, well.

 

Spanish. I can speak Spanish at an intermediate level, once I’ve spent a couple of weeks re-learning it in Spanish-speaking countries. But I really want to feel confident with it, and not like I’m flying by the seat of my pants, which is how it feels now.

 

French. Speaking of languages. Here’s another one I want to learn. Just for fun. And also so I can do some of those other things on my list below.

 

Learn to dance. I love yoga. I’m great at Pilates. But my honestly, my brain-to-body coordination is not the greatest. At least, not when it’s choreographed. I look like retarded flamingo that desperately needs to pee, when I try to follow choreography. (My boyfriend says that I look like a newborn calf when I walk, graceful and stumbling at the same time, which gives you an idea of what my day-to-day looks like.) I’d love to learn a few awesome routines and break out in full dance at someone’s embarrassing family event one day.

 

Speak in public. I can speak to small groups with ease. I enjoy it. But having a big audience look at me with the expectation that I’m going to share something profound, scares me. Which is all the more reason why it’s something I want to learn. Public speaking is something that’s coming closer to me. I can feel it.

 

Astrology. I love and adore astrology, and every day I am learning more. This is a topic that I am deeply hungry for. This and how it connects us all to nature and how we can use these natural cycles to our advantages to stay aligned and in the flow.

 

Pottery. I have these daydreams of feeling the clay beneath my hands and watching as some incredible beauty magically appears before my eyes. Though its possibly not quite so romantic, I have to try, at least once.

 

Snowboarding / skiing. I have done both, but have no skills to speak of. It’s something I’d like to say I ‘can’ do.

 

Photography. This is something that I’ve been doing for a number of years, however all self-taught. I’m getting to a point where I really want to take my skills to the next level.

 

Calligraphy. It’s so pretty! Meditation in motion.

 

How to draw illustrations using a tablet. I truly love drawing. Pencil on paper. Pen on paper. When I was still building and growing this site, and had more time, I often used to do the illustrations for my posts, like this one on understanding your chakras. I’d love to do that again, but this time, directly into a tablet so I can use them.

 

Acro-yoga. The first time I did acro-yoga was with a bunch of hippies in Mexico. It was so fun, and being naturally flexible and bendy made it easy for me, that I never wanted stop.

 

Backwalkovers. It’s always been a dream of mine. I can bend backwards and touch the ground. I just haven’t mastered the kicking back over part yet.

 

Interior design. I love styling my home spaces, even if it’s just for a few short weeks that I live in that place. I cannot wait to own my own home, and go to town with the interior design and styling. I literally have Pinterest boards bursting with ideas, and things I want to create and make for my house. And I feel that a huge part of that, will be learning how to design with finesse, style, ease and within a budget.

 

How to plant and grow an edible garden. I am no green thumb. But I want to be. One of my best friends is a permaculturalist and I’m (secretly) hoping she’ll come and teach me here wise ways one day soon.

 

How to make vegan ice-cream. No, I don’t mean banana nice-cream. I mean real, coconut cream vegan ice-cream. My recent attempted resulted in coconut and vanilla flavoured icicles, totally missing the ‘cream’ part. Blah!

 

All about makeup. Seriously. I’m still just making it up based on what I’ve read in magazines and on Pinterest. I don’t wear a lot. Tinted moisturizer and mascara on most days. I add-on eyeliner or eye shadow and blush for special events. I’m cool with wearing little makeup, but I’d love to learn how to apply and wear it properly.

 

Plant médecine. We use plants to support our health and wellness, and while I like to use a lot of herbs in my salads and cooking, it’s something I’d love to learn more about, and do with intention.

 

How to make my own natural cleaning products. That actually work, and smell nice.

 

Flower crowns. When I was little my mum taught me to weave daisies together, and I made me feel like a princess. It would be so fun to learn how to make proper ones and wear them.

 

Massage. I love to massage my loved ones. It’s such a beautiful, nurturing way to give love. I would love to develop my skills into a proper massage sequence.

 

 

100 freedom-igniting things I want to do in my 30's: Get my nose pierced.

 

DO

 

Write a book (or 3). I love writing. And having had quite a decadent decade in my 20’s filled with every experience imaginable, I have a lot of stories to tell, coupled with many lessons learned along the way. The book is there. Waiting for me to write it. I’m giving myself less than 5 years to conjure it out of myself.

 

Swim with dolphins. And I don’t mean in an organised tourist-trap fashion, but rather, while dipping in the ocean, having the tremendous serendipity to find myself amongst these fine friends. I’ve come so close a few times, and I truly believe it’s something that will happen one day soon.

 

Take the Trans-Siberian Rail from Mongolia to Moscow. Can you even begin to imagine the beautiful photographs! Gah!

 

Get my nose pierced. After getting very excited about this idea, and after having a huge discussion about it on Facebook, I recently learned that in Ayurveda, getting your left nostril pierced assists and stimulates women’s reproductive systems, resulting in happier lady-parts. I rarely have pains and such, but the mood-swings prior can be somewhat overwhelming. Maybe this will help balance things?

 

Cycle the South of France on a week-long wine tour, tasting every tipple, and hopefully not falling off too much.

 

Spend a couple of weeks in Paris, with a girlfriend (or two). I’ve been to Paris a few times, and always only with lovers. There’s this uncomfortable expectation that hangs over couples to be ‘romantic’ in Paris, and I’ve never fully enjoyed it the way I want to. Holding off on cheeses and pastries so I look good naked for wild nights of passion, really leave something to be desired in my Paris experiences. I want to go with girls and oooh over lacy lingerie with them, eat chocolate croissants in windy, cobbled streets, and flirt with obnoxious Frenchmen, without guilt.

 

Create a community, a safe haven, and an inspiring platform for free-spirited women, like myself, to heal, grow and honour their own desires to create a life filled by freedom. This is starting to take shape and form with The Free-Spirited Collective. I have huge, touch-the-stars visions for where this will go. But as all things start, small steps. It’s an exciting time.

 

Start a band. (And perform in public.)

 

Go to more gigs and music festivals. There was a time when music festivals were my entire life. That is essentially all I did for about 5 years. I worked in them. I played in them. I danced in them. And then we had to take a break. I had to start diversifying my interests. I grew, and we broke up. But I really, really miss having them as part of my life. And hereby, with you as my witness, promise myself to go to more music festivals and gigs, from this moment on, for as long as I shall live.

 

Go to Brazil, Peru, Cuba, Colombia and Ecuador. Those places are sorely missing from my personal world map.

 

So is most of West Europe. There are places there, that I dearly want to get lost in.

 

Finish the suede leather bag that I started in 2008. It  might literally take me 10 years to finish this project, but I will. I bought the suede in a big bag from a leather factory in Shoreditch, London, and slowly started hand sewing the pieces together to create a patchwork suede handbag. Right now, this project is sitting in storage at my best-friend-from-uni Mel’s house, until I recover it, and many other belongings from around the world and collect them all in one place. One day soon.

 

Start presenting and creating sacred spaces in workshops. There are a few things holding me back right now: a) I really hate organising events and people — hence I’d love to do this with someone, who shares my vibes and who enjoys the organisational aspect of creating events; b) my audience where I am located right now is too small, I’d have to go where more of my tribe reside; c) I haven’t quite decided on content or context. I believe that this will all unfold soon. It’s manifesting!

 

Host monthly dinner parties. My obsession with feeding people needs an outlet beyond the people around me, before they begin to resemble something more rotund than necessary.

 

Collaborate with some amazing creatives and game-changers. As much as I love running my own business, I’m really craving creating some bigger, more impactful and greater, with some incredible like-minded souls. I feel 2017, this is all going to come together in a really beautiful and exciting way.

 

 

100 freedom-igniting things I want to do in my 30's: Get a pink inflatable flamingo.

 

HAVE

 

Have a love-fest. I’ve never been one of those girls who imagined a pompous wedding with 100’s of guest to titillate and lubricate with champagne. It’s actually something that;s started to appeal to me more, recently. The idea of celebrating a deep love, a love that might span the ages. It doesn’t have to last forever. But love should most definitely be celebrated with music and dancing and wine.

 

$1 million dollars in my bank account at one time. Considering that, these days, that’s not huge amount of money, it’s not too far-fetched an intention to work towards.

 

Own my own house. Seeing that I’ve been gypset of most of my life, and have never, ever lived in any one place for more 4 years, the idea of owning my own little place on Earth is both frightening and mesmerizing. I have grand plans for styling and design, and it’s something that I’ve been working towards and saving for, for about a year and half now.

 

Get one of those inflatable great, big, huge floating flamingos. I really need one of these in my life, to feel complete. Well, not really, but.. you know.

 

A complete capsule wardrobe. Maybe this is just a dream, but I love the idea of having an entire wardrobe that fits together with each garment, while also reflecting me and my personality precisely. Being on the road, essentially for 12 years now, with a few stops in London and Sydney along the way, I have maintained a small wardrobe of staples, but rarely do they mix and match well. It’s more of an “outfit per mood” sort of situation. One that gets limited further, by weather conditions.

 

A big, square white table. Perfect for flat-lay photography.

 

A video recording space. One of the challenges with moving around so much, is finding the perfect space to record videos. I’m quite pedantic about ‘atmosphere’ and ‘styling’ in my space, and sometimes use the excuse that my space isn’t pretty enough to keep me from creating some of the things that I want to create. I truly want to manifest the perfect recording space, wherever I am.

 

A banjolele. I found the perfect one in Airlie Beach when I was passing through, and haven’t found it anywhere since. I’ll find it again, one day.

 

An office with a bed in it. I’d love to separate my work space from my living space. But the truth is that beds are incredibly conducive to my creative work. Hence, an office-bed is required.

 

A mother-figure that I admire. One thing that I really crave and miss in my life, is to have an older woman, a wise crone, with whom I could share a deep connection with. As I never had a very close relationship with my own mother, it’s something I seek out in other friendships and connections. I’d love to cultivate a friendship with a woman who has had many years of life behind her, and is patient and content with the depths of experience she has had, and is ready to share and pass that on.

 

A spiralizer. I want to make zoodles!

 

Suede knee-high boots. Because they’re sexy.

 

A teleportation machine. The idea is so seductive, I believe that it will be invented in my lifetime. I have left my heart in so many places, with so many people around the world. I’d love to go and spend their birthdays and other special occasions with them, on a whim.

 

Get lazer eye surgery. I’m not totally sold on this however. I’m slightly near-sighted, which means that I wear glasses to drive, and sometimes when I’m writing and don’t want the laptop literally sitting in my lap. I’d love to have perfect vision again, but honestly, the idea of a lazer shooting into my eye scares me. Plus, I’m super into natural remedies and such, and not sure it aligns with my values. But it’s a thought. A possibility.

 

More amazing man-friends. In my 20’s most of my friends were men. In my early 30’s I started drifting towards the women in my world, and they have become the greatest source of strength and inspiration for me. Something interesting seems to have happened in my life that last few years. Essentially, it seems that when I’m unavailable for a more intimate relationship, men would just disappear from my world. I now have very few “real” man-friends in my life, and I miss them! I feel like there’s a real imbalance in my man-to-woman ratio. Life moves in phases, and that’s cool. Yet I feel called to attract more masculine energy into my life. I love men (just as much as I love women).

 

 

100 freedom-igniting things I want to do in my 30's: Be backup dancer.

 

BE

 

Be a back-up dancer. Between the ages of 11 and 14, you could find me gyrating in front of music videos on most weekends, emulating the dancers, and imaging that, one day, I would find myself in their place. While I certainly have no interest in making a career of it now, I do want to do it, someday.

 

Really, really good at my craft(s). I have so many passions: writing, drawing, singing, making music, mentoring and speaking with people 1:1 and in workshops, feeding people, photography, styling homes and spaces. I’m at a phase in my life where, now that I’ve figured out the things I love, I want to be really, really good at them. All of them. I know that the only way to become an expert at anything, is to do it often. So here I am, honing my crafts. Every day, rain, hail or shine. These things are the threads that weave together to create the tapestry of my life. Consistently doing the things I love.

 

At peace with my body. I’ve come a long, long way from the girl I was in my early 20’s. I had such a hateful relationship with my body. I literally wanted to get away from myself, and went through cycles of bingeing, starving myself, and using party-drugs and dancing, to keep myself looking that way I thought I had to look to be happy. At my thinnest, while I liked my body, the rest of my life was a disaster. Now, ,y relationship with my body is much, much better. I’m slim, at a healthy weight, I eat well, I’m strong and exercise almost daily. I love my body. And I am noticing something new: ageing. Frown lines. Smile lines. Sun spots. New lessons around loving and accepting my body.

 

Content. I think the concept of happiness is overrated. Life will always have ups and downs. That’s how we learn and grow. But if I can feel content, regardless of the highs and lows, then I am living a good life.

 

A published author. It goes hand it hand with writing books, but I want to be self-published as well as published by an awesome publisher that I adore.

 

An embodiment of all that I am. One of my fears in life is that I will leave a part of me unexpressed. That some aspect of myself will be left out or missed. Do you have those fears too? I wonder if I’m unique in feeling like life requires all of me to show up. It reminds me of my recent astrology reading, where I was warned to be careful not to over-exert myself in the enthusiasm to be and do everything.

 

Known as a good writer. I’m not quite there yet, but it’s coming closer.

 

The agony-aunt for FreePeople.com’s blog. Do you remember those teenage magazines with an advice column where you could write in and some mentor-type figure would tell you what to do? I want to do that. I want to be the advice columnist for FreePeople.

 

A trapeze artist! I took trapeze classes for a while when I lived in Sydney. Every Wednesday in my lunch break I’d walk from Fox Studios where I worked, to Moore Park where a trapeze was set up, and practice flying. I love flying on the trapeze so much, I’d love to do it again, and be a part of a performance one day.

 

 

What I’ve learned from writing this list, is that most of the things I want, are either to move my body or be creative, and always with people. Being expressive and being with people, appears to be the very simple, nourishing, fulfilling staple of life. Writing the ‘have’ list, was the most challenging. It seems that I place much less value on physical things than I do on experiences.

 

Image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.