a year of breaking open — Vienda Maria


2020, in a poem:

I flew 5,740 miles across the Atlantic ocean to a new seaside town I’d never lived in before and cried when I couldn’t find a place to live midst pandemic until a stranger reached out with a little flat that’s been my home for 8 months now. I withdrew from the world into my own creative imagination when the world told us to stay home. I held in my heart all those whose hearts were broken through losing loved ones, leaving loved ones, and letting go. I tightly squeezed everything I could out of every sunny day and every friendship and heartfelt connection. I gave myself grace in my business and in my life, not to create too much or expect too much, but just to be here, every day, and show up fully present with openness, tenderness and love. I grieved the loss of an old version of myself, the loss of a family I never really had, the loss of love in its many iterations across my lifetime and went back to therapy. I have been up and down mountains this year. My heart broke open over and over again. I questioned my existence for days on end wondering where I belong. I received a note from a stranger saying “you’ve been very much on my heart of late. you are wholly and resoundingly safe, supported, and loved.” and wept at the intuition and kindness from a woman I’ve never met. The world cracked my heart open with all its beauty and its brokenness.

Life, an initiation of heartbreaks.



It’s definitely been a wild one. For us all.


Collective grief is dripping off the walls at the moment. We have all experienced a loss of some kind and many of us, myself included, are navigating this in some sort of isolation. Bearing witness to each other’s pain is uncomfortable, but we have to learn to embrace it to create a new relationship with grief and loss and uncertainty.


I read somewhere recently that community is the antidote to grief.


The desire for community and belonging has been a strong one for some time now. I dream of living in a village of friends where we all have our own homes and come together daily to share and support one another. But there’s a caveat. I’m repelled and exhausted by the “new age spiritualism” narrative that seems to have taken over the internet. Big words and theories are thrown around by youngsters who’ve barely lived. I don’t want to be apart of it. I don’t want that in my community. To me, truth is simple and spirit is found in the subtle nuances of daily life, love and nature. We don’t need to complexify the multifaceted life experience with cognitive distractions. Everything we need to know is right here and it’s so uncomplicated.

For me personally, this year was hugely paradoxical. Incredibly beautiful and deeply painful. I had more space and time to myself than ever before. After having always been surrounded by people and communities I struggled with the loneliness of being without that and also cherished finally being able to soak in my own spirit for everlasting periods. I reconnected to people who have always lived in my heart and allied with new ones. The circumstances of the year uncovered deep-rooted trauma I didn’t know I had. Some stemming from childhood. Others from unpacking western culture and modern societal norms. I learned that if you look for trauma, you will find it. And that acknowledging and working through your trauma is one thing but carrying it around as wounding to negate taking responsibility is another. I’m working on owning my part in things and letting the rest go.


[su_quote cite=”Rachel Carson”]We still haven’t become mature enough to think of ourselves as only a tiny part of a vast and incredible universe. But man is a part of nature, and his war against nature is inevitably a war against himself.[/su_quote]


The thing is, I have always been one of the fortunate ones. I have worked online for 7 years now. That didn’t change. My business thrived as more people joined the online sphere. I don’t have children to worry over. My life became my simpler, insular, contained into a smaller sphere than I’m used to. After a life of going anywhere and everywhere on a whim, I barely left the 10-kilometre radius of the seaside city I currently call home. And I’m still searching, still looking for the perfect place. A home to call my own. I feel like I’ve been searching my entire life and while home resides within me, it is also a place outside me that I am craving with some urgency to sink into.


I spent 20 years of my life following my heart across the globe whimsically exploring the lands of my planet. This year my heart led me to find a place to land and nest. While I fully intend to do that it doesn’t come naturally to me the way travel has. Its feels awkward and uncomfortable to allow my roots to take hold deeper than they have before. I sense a great resistance to the simplest, mundane things. Going grocery shopping. Paying council tax. Unblocking a clogged sink. And while I don’t miss airports or aeroplanes I do miss the momentum and spaciousness of foreign landscapes rolling past me while I centre myself. For years I practised anchoring myself within and finding a sense of grounding in the unknown. That’s always been my safe space. Now I am being asked to let go of that and connect to the land I find myself in in a whole new way.


What is left is a space of deep listening of what is wanting to be left behind and a claiming of what is coming next. It is a noticing and allowing of the energy to tell me what is wanting to partner with me to guide me into the new.


It feels like we have reached a point where the “old way” just isn’t working even though we have been told our whole life that this is the way it goes. Within each of us exists this natural force that wants to drive us forward in life. The caveat is that it doesn’t fit neatly into any pre-made boxes. It has a song and beat of its own. This is where the fear and uncertainty seeps in… the sense that this thing that we don’t know cannot be safe or trusted and all it is asking us is to commune with our own inner nature. It’s big, potent, powerful, necessary work. And it’s terrifying. We all meet each other here at some point in our lives, whether willingly or because life has brought us to our knees. Sometimes both.


It doesn’t require a noble purpose or a grand ambition; it’s okay to just wander through life following the threads of what lights you up until you die. Our western cultural narrative has tricked way too many people into thinking their lives have to have them looking for a great lightning strike, some flash of great meaning and deep insight whilst they miss out on everything else. In reality it’s mostly the little things that really matter.


The more I tune into my essential nature the more I recognise how much I have to override my innate gentleness, that softness and sensitivity in order to operate in this world. Having to adhere to linear, masculine energy undermines the powerful nuances and delicate nature of that feminine essence that resides in all of us which has messed up our human species and the planet considerably. I’m trying to find another way forward with all this.


Being a human being, a woman, a creative, running her own business making her way in the world on her own is a ride. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve reinvented myself and my work and the ways that I share pieces of my heart with you in the last 7 years. I’m currently unveiling the next version of myself and look forward to meeting her with you.


As this year comes to a close I don’t come with big, grandiose statements or insightful revelations. I simply have a commitment to myself to keep my heart open and trust the unfolding.


2021, may you be gentle with our hearts.


Thank you for continuing to share your heart and life with me on this online journey. It’s fun, weird, wonderful, awkward, inspiring, and confusing. I’m deeply appreciative of the watching, liking, commenting, communicating, and connecting. Truly, deeply, from the depths of my heart, thank you. No really, I mean it. Thank you. No, you hang up first.


Photo by the lovely Fern.

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