I find art, films and pop culture incredible at lighting the fire of my own desires within me. And what an indulgent way to motivate us to create change through our own inner compass and the work that we do in the world. If you are thinking about joining me for HER WAY, here in chronological order from the most recent all the way to the ’40s, 13 series & films to inspire the HER WAY woman inside you
1. Self Made (2020), Madam C.J. Walker
Equal parts an entertaining account of the first woman millionaire, and a sharp critique of the margins along which Black people endure in a long history of systemic racism and gender-based oppression. The first to be born free of her six siblings, Walker, born Sarah Breedlove, withstood the blows of familial betrayal and rancour competition to revolutionize Black haircare. Walker’s story is one of devotion, shifty ingenuity and absolute mettle against the backdrop of post-slavery racial and gender oppression.
2. Girlboss (2017), Sophia Amoruso
Inspired by Sophia Amoruso’s best-selling book, this series follows the rise of Amoruso’s multi-million dollar fashion empire, Nasty Gal. Britt Robertson plays the starring role of Sophia, a rebellious, broke anarchist who decides to start selling vintage clothing online. As her passion — and retail fashion empire — begins to grow, Sophia unexpectedly becomes a businesswoman, who starts to realise the value (and difficulties) of being the boss of her own life. Alongside the likes of Charlize Theron and Kay Cannon, Sophia Amoruso serves as an executive producer.
3. Joy (2015), Joy Mangano
If you love rags-to-riches tales, this one’s for you: delve into the makings of Joy Mangano’s million-dollar household industry empire that’s also based on a true story. Ms Mangano, played by the illustrious Jennifer Lawrence (who has signed on to play disgraced biotech entrepreneur Elizabeth Holmes in the upcoming movie, Bad Blood), starts as a single mother who scrapes by as an airline booking agent. After her breakthrough invention — a self-wringing mop — Ms Mangano navigates tricky business terrain in which betrayals abound, and allies become adversaries. But in the end, the woman this movie revolves around is the one true heroine we admire.
4. The Intern (2015), Jules Ostin
How the tables have turned. Anne Hathaway, who played Miranda Priestly’s fashion-unsavvy assistant, plays Jules Ostin, an enthusiastic CEO and founder of About The Fit, a Brooklyn-based e-commerce fashion startup. In the span of eighteen months, she builds her startup from her own kitchen to a full-fledged company with more than 200 employees. Pair her with an old-school Robert DeNiro playing Ms Ostin’s senior intern and you have a blossoming friendship packed with plenty of career advice. And if that doesn’t make you break out the popcorn, the movie portrays her husband, Matt, as a stay-at-home dad who gave up his career to take care of their daughter. Well done, Hollywood.
5. The Devil Wears Prada (2006), Miranda Priestly
Though she isn’t really an entrepreneur, she’s one of the most powerful and iconic bosses in recent movie history: the queen of all queens, Miranda Priestly. Played by a scathing Meryl Streep, Ms Priestly is the editor-in-chief of the fictional fashion magazine, Runway — it’s widely speculated that her character was based on Anna Wintour, the real-life editor of Vogue. When she’s not striking fear into all of her employees’ hearts, she’s juggling fashion shows, meeting with designers, and building one of the most cutthroat but powerful companies in movie history.
6. Sweet Home Alabama (2002), Melanie Smooter
Reese Witherspoon plays Melanie Smooter, a successful fashion designer in New York who has reinvented herself to hide her small-town Southern roots. Though the movie’s more interested in her love life than entrepreneurial ventures, there’s something in Ms Smooter’s character that we don’t see enough in romantic comedies. She refuses to sacrifice her work for love (why should she be expected to, anyway?) and embodies the talent and ambition of a self-driven woman relentlessly following her dreams. Who cares about the drawling countrymen of the South and the McDreamies of New York? Melanie Smooter is the only character we should care about, and the only one we need in our life.
7. Chocolat (2000), Vianne Rocher
Forget Johnny Depp — Juliette Binoche is the real star of this delectable movie as Vianne Rocher, an expert chocolatier who opens her own chocolate shop in a small orthodox French town. Part-time single mother part-time business owner, she does much more than sell chocolate, though. Over the course of the movie, her shop helps bring together families and empower individual women despite conservative challenges, and we can see the long-lasting effects of her business as Ms Rocher uses her artisan craft to transform the town’s community for the sweeter. Tradition meets revolution: Ms Rocher mixes together a dash of sumptuous romance, a sprinkle of entrepreneurial magic, and tops it off with everybody’s favourite chocolate chips.
8. You’ve Got Mail (1998), Kathleen Kelly
Kathleen Kelly, the proud owner of the NYC-based bookstore, The Shop Around The Corner. Ms Kelly, played by Meg Ryan, struggles to keep her family business afloat after a mega bookstore chain, Fox Books, moves into the neighbourhood Though the movie takes a Shakespearean turn with the owners of the rival bookstores soon falling in love, Ms Kelly’s fearless determination to overcome financial challenges, not to mention her incredible passion and dedication to her job, is one of the top-selling points of this movie. Whether you find Ms Kelly’s online relationship with a stranger heartwarming or alarming, watch this movie for her character alone. (Tom Hanks as a capitalist isn’t bad either.)
9. The Associate (1996), Laurel Ayres
If you set the movie Tootsie on Wall Street and switched Dustin Hoffman for Whoopi Goldberg, you would have the basic premise of The Associate. Goldberg plays financial analyst Laurel Ayres who is determined to break into the male-dominated world of investment banking. After getting passed for a promotion, Ms Ayres decides to start her own firm — as a white man. She dreams up the impossibly well-connected fictional persona of Robert S. Cutty as the face of the business, and with her own financial expertise as well the help of a complicit secretary, Ms Ayres proves to be a successful independent stockbroker behind the man. If for nothing else, watch this to see Goldberg in a heavy pound bodysuit and how good her make-up job will be.
10. Steel Magnolias (1989), Truvy Jones
In one of the earliest movies that put Julia Roberts on the map, she and the other four female main characters share the spotlight in this touching movie about a close-knit group of women getting through tough times. Truvy Jones, played by Dolly Parton, owns a hair salon in a small Louisiana suburb — it’s at the salon where the women meet by coincidence and the rest of the plot follows. In a movie where none of the men really matter, Truvy’s boss character marks a positive portrayal of women in business, and her leadership and responsibility in the group reminds us that, sometimes, we all need someone to lean on.
11. Baby Boom (1987), J.C. Wiatt
Watch this if you love babies — a radiant Diane Keaton plays J.C. Wiatt, a work-obsessed management consultant in Manhattan whose world gets turned upside down after inheriting a toddler. As she raises the baby on her own, she tries to climb the male-dominated corporate ladder and is faced with both the hardships of single motherhood and gender discrimination. Will she accept demotion after demotion, or will she venture out to new business prospects? Without spoiling the end, there may or may not be baby applesauce involved. Whatever she decides to do, though, Ms Wiatt represents the struggle of balancing personal and work lives and reminds us to thank our mothers more often.
12. Mildred Pierce (1945), Mildred Pierce
When your husband leaves you for another woman, what do you do? If you’re Mildred Pierce, you raise two daughters on your own and independently finance yourself through selling baked goods, waiting tables, and finally opening your own restaurant. Even if black-and-white films aren’t your thing, this crime drama will leave you on the edge of your seat quietly cheering for Ms Pierce, played by a stunning Joan Crawford. As her life takes a turn for worse at every corner, Ms Pierce remains a strong-willed and empathetic character who wants the best for her children – as a former wife, current mother, and successful entrepreneur, she gives hope to working women everywhere.
13. Lucy Gallant (1955), Lucy Gallant
Don’t let Hollywood’s 1950s chauvinist themes stop you from watching this gem: follow jilted-at-the-altar New Yorker Lucy Gallant, played by Jane Wyman, set up shop in a fictional Texas boomtown and straddle the conflict between pursuing career and love. She runs her dress store out of a brothel, relies on loans from shady bankers, and is continually courted by a romantic interest, but Ms Gallant’s journey from humiliated bride to fashion designer is, for lack of a better word, quite “gallant” indeed. If you know how old movies usually end, this one will be no surprise, but Ms Gallant’s self-made path to success feels very true to life and inspires the entrepreneur within us all.
Designed for the woman who wants to share her message and change the world.
Since the beginning of time, women have come together and redefined the landscape of life through their inner feminine wisdom like a force of nature. They did it through storytelling, collaboration, and community, with grace and ease.
Today, we return to this purpose, again. We create businesses as a vehicle for our message… in a new way.
I spent years — 8 years to be precise — unlearning the rigid ways I’d been told would be the only way I could be successful. Being a woman, with a fluid, soft and cyclical way, bringing forth a way of business that is feminine, graceful, and true to my nature, means that I am often faced with a battle of old paradigms.
I had to risk the unknown and experiment with new ways of holding and running a business. I had to define my own meaning of success. I had to walk between fear of desolation and faith in my beliefs that business could be done differently. I am still learning, and I have come so far, designing this business as an extension of myself in a new way. Her way.
I know this is an enormous challenge for so many women.
We are in a time of great change and innovation. The old ways of running a business are disintegrating and we have a chance to replace them with something much more honoring of our cyclical, human, gentle natures and far more sophisticated.
You have to unlearn the strategies, and the linear, systematic approach to working, to surrender to the feminine trust-led, heart-led, intuitive, present, intentional way of creating and running your business.
The Women’s Business Training is a 5-week deep-dive into building a business model that is gentle, intuitive, and impactful. Across the month I will guide you through the exact steps, processes, systems, and strategies I use to share my visions, my message, and my heart with the world. And make good money from it, too.
Registration opens: Monday 4th October Registration closes: Friday 29th October We begin: Monday 1st November
4 live calls held every Tuesday at 5 pm GMT
Europe: 6 pm CST
Australia: 4 am AEDT
USA: 12 pm EST / 9 am PST
Delivery: 5-week training
☽ Weekly live & recorded calls ☽ Worksheets, templates & examples ☽Online community
[IMPORTANT: When you register, make sure you tick yes ✔ to receiving emails otherwise you will miss the most important information. If you accidentally missed that step you can opt into emails following these steps.]
Orientation Week: with prerequisite groundwork Training Call 1: Tuesday, November, 9th at 5 pm GMT Training Call 2:Tuesday, November, 16th at 5 pm GMT Training Call 3:Tuesday, November, 23rd at 5 pm GMT Training Call 4:Tuesday, November, 30th at 5 pm GMT
1. Principle foundations
Why women should be running businesses (and the world).
The secret of women thriving in business that most don’t know.
Choosing the message you want to share with the world.
The divine force that will move your business forward.
Setting the tone of your business.
2. Energetic systems
How to set your workday schedule.
How to stay motivated and disciplined with ease.
Handling the tasks that you’d rather avoid with joy.
Exactly what you need to do each day to create the impact you want.
How to set business aims and measure the results to guide you.
3. Pragmatic service
Developing your offerings, services, and products with love.
Understanding your value, setting your prices, and managing your money.
How to invite and share instead of manipulate and hustle to make sales.
Managing the highs and lows of inspiration and income.
How to deal with times of doubt.
4. Intuitive expansion
Expanding and growing your business and message.
Staying aligned with your integrity and inner wisdom.
Knowing what the next steps are as your business evolves.
Staying grounded, committed and true to yourself (in your own lane).
Finding a rhythm and flow that allows your message and business to be an extension of your life and you.
This training is a chance to build a business model that is aligned with your own nature. I aim to show you how you can run your business with more ease, in a more gentle way, giving more space to health, kindness, taking care of yourself and others. I will show you how to address and transcend underlying fears and guilt.
I want to show you that things can be done differently. In a new way. Her way.
[IMPORTANT: When you register, make sure you tick yes ✔ to receiving emails otherwise you will miss the most important information. If you accidentally missed that step you can opt into emails following these steps.]
Kind words from past HER WAY women:
Before taking HER WAY I felt as if I was swimming in air. I had a bucket full of dreams, ideas, and hopes, and it felt all too good and crazy to come true. After HER WAY, I feel like my aspirations and ideas are very much possible and needed in this world. I feel self-confident about my ideas and ready to take action. My favourite part was the weekly Live calls. The energy and learnings each week were huge. My biggest takeaway was that each person’s expression of their uniqueness is worthwhile and valuable for our world. Related to that, I took away that people are merely the channels of the bigger messages of the universe, which makes business ideas so much more meaningful to me now.
I loved learning that it is ok to not follow strategies and to go with what my inner voice or intuition tells me, even if I don’t see the whole plan and the process throughout the end until the outcome. And also, the idea of handing things over to God/ the Universe, etc. It was really great to have this different perspective, and I loved being a part of this program.
The moment you said that you do not think we always need degrees for a certain type of work (a few exceptions of course) and that self-study combined with talent can be enough to create amazing outcomes for clients. I needed to hear that so badly, as I was a full-time doubter – always telling myself I cannot do this or that before I studied it. I loved the listening partnerships! It was so amazing to connect with a person I barely knew on a deep level right away. But my most favourite part was INSTINCT, as this course opened my eyes!!! I found my true strengths and for the first time ever, I have been honest with myself. I know now what I really enjoy doing and can finally build a business around it. I have already received two inquiries in the last week since setting up a new IG account – and I take it as a sign that I am in my element now.
I was so impressed at what a rich resource was created here. The summary notes from the calls are absolutely packed with such clear wisdom and insight and it’s all incredibly useful and applicable. My biggest takeaway or ‘aha’ moment was that it can be easy, and feel good, and it can look different for everyone, and I can trust that I know what’s best for my business at every level. Following the course was easy and simple. The content shared will add value to my life and business for years to come. The impact is enormous!
Before HER WAY I felt as if I needed to have certain goals completed to a very high standard before I could launch my business model. Now, I have a better understanding that entrepreneurship is a process and that my product will develop as I grow. I pivoted to focus on the essentials so that I can launch sooner. The 80/20 rule was revelatory and I already see it taking shape in my work. I manage staff and sometimes things don’t go as planned and I don’t want individuals to be hurt. If I conceptualize the universe as being in charge, I can see past the immediate situation. I can think in terms of the universe having a greater plan for all of us.
Thank you for creating HER WAY. It has been an incredible month for me and the people you attracted are wonderful, loving, warm-hearted, kind, inspirational, powerful women. All a reflection of you. I talked with other women of the group that we never have experienced such an uplifting and supportive group of women before. I am so so grateful to myself that I followed my intuitive feeling to take this course even if it felt silly at that moment – I don’t even have a business but still invested in this business training. Lol. It gave me so much value and I feel once I figure out my message I know how to proceed from there.
Honestly, this course has taken me to some unexpected places. I signed up for it because I wanted to find some flow and ease in my work and to find “my way” of integrating all my interests and careers somehow. But some questions triggered me to go much deeper into myself and led to quite a deep, heavy inner work. Frankly, I found this quite exhausting, which was one of the reasons why I stayed mostly on the sidelines. But I also found it very exciting to see what came through from all the deep stuff! (More on that maybe someday 😉) Now I feel I have released so much burden and I can finally start to feel the flow and momentum of life. I also start to get a glimpse of what the integration in “my way” might look like. And above all, I feel I now have the necessary tools to navigate the changes that are coming into my business. So thank you 🙏
I’ve never been in a group before where I’ve felt this kind of energy from the group. I’ve been in other group programs and they have been nothing in comparison to this energy that I felt from HER WAY. I felt it was a reflection of your energy Vienda, that natural, beautiful energy that you have. What I loved about the calls was that they didn’t feel scripted or rigid. They felt like you were just sharing your stories and it felt amazing to be a part of and witness that energy. I’m so so happy that I was part of this group and was able to dip into this energy and also contribute to it. It was really an amazing experience and I just wanted to tell you, thank you for offering this opportunity to connect to so many incredible women that you have attracted into your own field. Just: thank you.
Wow, HER WAY was simply magical, out of this world. Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart. The course and your wonderful teachings were a total breath of fresh air that my life needed right now – it was all so timely. I am navigating a period of huge change right now in every part of my life (career, relationships, ways of being & living) and it feels equal measures of exciting and terrifying. But HER WAY reminded me of my power, that I have limitless potential to create in this world and that following my intuition (however scary it feels) is my duty to the universe. I made a number of huge life decisions in March, and I’m not sure I could have made them had it not been for my journey through HER WAY, your empowering & refreshing teachings, and the supportive community. Everything just clicked. HER WAY was so much more than a course on how to run a business intuitively as a woman (which would already be profound enough). HER WAY was a whole way of life – challenging my deep belief systems.
It’s Sunday as I stand on a London Overground train between Hackney and Dalston, sardined by the most people than I have been in two years, my nose safely tucked into my own armpit to escape the humid wet-dog smell emanating in the carriage. I smile to myself about both being in such intimate proximity of other humans and the fact that, if things had gone to plan, I would have at that moment, been 1,222 kilometres south racing through France and into Spain in Punto-baby on a 24-hour visa.
But “not on your timeline,” the universe said.
At the start of September, I do something out of character. I sit down and plan my trip to Mallorca. I write down dates and book ferries and hotels and mentally start packing my things. This is kind of fun, I think, I get why some people love planning. And that’s it. I feel ready.
A few days later I receive a call from the lady whose flat I’m subletting. She tells me she is going to come to Brighton for 10 days to organise and pack some of her things, clean the flat, and handle the handover to a friend of mine that I’ve arranged to take over the sublet. Great! I say. Where are you going to stay? I am shocked and outraged as she tells me that she expects me to sleep in the living room while she takes my bed and bedroom.
The conversation intensifies as I tell her that does not work for me and she refuses to look into alternative arrangements. After half an hour of back and forth, I end the discussion and feel my body fill with holy rage. My boundaries are being crossed and I am quietly furious. I want to know what my rights are and contact Citizens Advice where someone assures me that she has no right to request to stay in my flat while I am living in it. They send me legal documents that I forward to her in an email with a calm and formal statement that she is welcome to access the flat at agreed-upon times but may not stay there. She does not reply.
I am unaccustomed to having to take legal action and hold such strong boundaries. My body feels tense and apprehensive at this new experience. I know I am doing the right thing and also rewiring the parts of me that would have once allowed me to be subjected to such overextensions. I feel it in that quiet place inside that shows me the way.
Halfway through September, I take Danger to the vet for his Animal Health Certificate required for international travel. Inside, we wait 45 minutes until she sees us and then tells me that she can’t do the health certificate because his rabies vaccine isn’t compliant with the brand they accept. You’ll need to get another vaccine and then have to wait an additional 21 days before you can travel. She says. I look at her with disbelief. We are leaving in 10 days. We have ferries booked. We have nowhere to live. She looks sorry in that polite way that British people do, big ‘it’s not my fault’ eyes. She gives Danger new rabies shot and as the chemicals hit his bloodstream he wets and shits himself. Poor baby. We both have a nervous system collapse and drive back home.
It takes me a few hours to collect myself and self-regulate through reframing the situation, rest, handing it all over to the Universe and taking tangible steps to accept these changes. I cancel all our hotel bookings, reschedule the vet appointment and the ferries across the English Channel and the Balearic Sea. I also take to Instagram and ask my community for help. I need a place to stay for two weeks until I can attempt my trip again. Within 24 hours Danger and I are generously re-homed. I feel deeply grateful and so supported.
Twelve days before my move-out date from Brighton I hear back from the lady I have been subletting from. An excessively long, emotionally charged email lamenting me for not allowing her to stay in the flat and accusing me of having destroyed it and inviting strange people to live in it. It’s so ironic. I think to myself. The flat is cleaner and nicer than it was when I moved in and she’s suggesting that I’ve turned it into an opium den. It’s ridiculous. This woman is clearly mentally unstable. Again, I go to Citizen’s Advice who advocate that I acquire written accounts from my neighbours who have visited the flat and see who comes in and out, to affirm that her suggestions are untrue. As advised, I respond shortly and formally with legal statements.
A week later, she replies, again trying to assert her control and dominance with a novel-length email that I skim-read to learn that she will no longer come. She requests peace and time to do an inventory of her things before she returns my £1,000 rental deposit and requires me to give the keys to her friend who will then give them to my friend, instead of me giving them to my friend myself. Fine. I’ll give her to the end of the year. I have all the legal documents ready including information that she is receiving government benefits while being out of the country and will destroy her if she tries anything. My fury with her disrespect and lack of common sense is high.
I spend a week packing and cleaning until on the final day my lower back aches so badly I have to lie down in between washing the floors. I promise to book an appointment with an Osteopath as soon as I have arrived in my temporary home in London, the house of a friend of mine that is empty for a week while she is away. They are fully booked on Saturday and I have plans to see my friend on Sunday, the day I find myself in a fully packed overground train, and walking on the Heath for so many hours I have to support my back with my arm on the way home…
On Monday morning I find myself on an osteotherapy table in my bra and leggings underneath the gentle warm hands of one of the most attractive men I have ever seen.
He tells me that the acute back pain isn’t actually structural but rather a physiological response to the internal organs on my left (feminine) side contracting so tightly to protect themselves that they have pulled my spine and posture out of alignment. He asks me if I’ve been eating anything differently which may have cause inflammation but I instantly know it’s not physical. It’s emotional.
My finely-tuned super-sensitive system has been slammed with abnormal emotional challenges all month long and this is how it has responded. By curling into a fetus position within my own body. He spends an hour working through the tight muscles between my organs in my stomach, hips and back.
I feel relief and release and watch his gentle face concentrate on his work. Tall, dark and handsome, I wonder if it would be inappropriate to ask him to marry me. Come back in a week. He says afterwards. I’m leaving on Friday. I smile back regretfully. And you’re never coming back? His right eyebrow arches quizzically. Probably not. I laugh. At least not until after winter. I leave feeling much lightened and saunter across East London to meet up with a friend who jubilantly reveals that she’s pregnant. I cry, in part because I am genuinely so happy for her, but also because the emotional release from the opening of my cramped-in organs has begun. I find myself in tears from the smallest things for the rest of the day.
A full day of sitting down with private clients leaves me feeling stiff and sore. I book another osteotherapy appointment at another clinic, 90 miles from London, in the town I will spend the remainder of my extended time in the UK for the following week. A sleepless night of progressing aches and pains in my stomach and back bleeds into another full day of private clients. Moving, walking, bending shoots crippling pain through the left side of my body.
My movements begin to resemble those of Gollum as the gurgling protests in my stomach and acute pain that even seldom-used painkillers don’t offer respite to. By mid-afternoon the way I feel alarms me so much I call the osteopathy clinic seeking comfort. The girl who answers the phone looks at my file and assures me that it is expected that I would be unable to do anything but rest for up to a week as extraordinarily deep work had been done. I wish he would have told me.
I cancel the rest of my calls and the next-day yoga retreat that I had been given as a PR gift. Disappointed I find the only position that I can be comfortable in, lying down flat and straight like a sardine with my head propped up. From this place, I can watch films, type on my laptop and drink tea.
The next day, today, I just lie there and type. I type email after email until every email I’ve needed or wanted to write has been written. I write this. I pack up my life once more. Tomorrow we are moving to a new town. One we’ve never been to before. With a lighthouse and sandy beaches and an Osteopath who tells me to meet him outside of the rugby club that houses his clinic.
The month of September has been an extreme rollercoaster of tests from the Universe, recalibration, growth and healing. Landing me in this position here, right now. I know there are many gifts and lessons for me to learn. Lessons around flexibility and flow, around having humour when things change. Lessons around having a strong backbone and supporting myself when someone tests my boundaries, a sign of my growth and evolution as a human, woman.
It awes me how, over and over again, the body shows me that human existence is one interconnected system: thoughts, emotions, experiences, food, actions… everything you do impacts the whole. It’s a classic example of my reticular activating system in action. And if we zoom out and apply that same perspective on the world at large, there’s no question why the planet is facing the difficulties it is right now.
There are times in life where extraordinary things happen in an ordinary way and all the pieces of your life fall apart and then rearrange themselves like a cosmic puzzle piecing itself into place. The past week has been one of those times. I don’t have answers but I’m trusting the path my heart is being pulled, the kismet tug I’ve lived my entire life by.
It’s been 18 months since that pull brought me to Brighton, but it feels like a lifetime has passed here, living through the most unfamiliar oscillation of our current existence. These 18 months have had me see the world through new eyes. And fall in love with it in an entirely new way.
On one of the first sunny days in late June, sitting on the beach with a group of girlfriends, I turned to them and say “I have some news… I’m leaving Brighton at the end of September.” Sad faces and well-wishings came with the question “Where are you going?” “I don’t know yet… I have friends in France and Greece and Spain and Portugal I want to visit. I think if I go see them the answer will come. Somewhere sunnier and warmer”. Mallorca, an island I’ve never been to, kept tugging at my sleeve.
13 sunny days in the past 3 months is the disappointment that some people call ‘Summer’ has etched my decision into my heart even deeper. I keep buying summer dresses on Depop under the pretense that it would encourage summer to finally start, but that did not work. I wasn’t thriving here anymore. At the start of the year, I had entered some kind of lackluster stagnation, a sensation I refuse to be a willing participant in. I don’t know how people live in a tiny box enclosed by the same four walls year in and year out. I am not those people.
My loose plan was to put my 3 bags that contain my life possessions in storage, leave Danger-baby with a friend, and travel for a month or three, while I let the cosmos move me to my next steps. Then, like dominoes falling, all my potential cat-carers pulled out, the place I might have stored my things was no longer available and I was left with a question in my mind. “If not this, then what?”
In my distant past, the not-knowing would have made me feel tense and uneasy. But the years I’ve dedicated to retraining my central nervous system to soften, relax and trust when the emptiness of the unknown arrives, have paid off. Ultimately there’s an opportunity for redirection and undiscovered answers here. When things aren’t flowing, I pull back and let go of any plans and ideas. This is the space where the extraordinary can happen.
Returning home from the 3rd festival in a month, satisfied and tired, on the 2nd day of my moon, I let my mind wander back to the topic haunting me, What are my next steps? My inner voice replies, You need a car. I can feel some resistance in my body. Ugh… a car. I don’t love driving and I’m slightly traumatized from the last time I bought a car, 8 years ago, that blew up after 3 weeks. This time is different, she says. That was the past. Let go of the past.
This feeling in my body, I know it well, alive with inspiration. It’s one of those times where I am transported to a realm where I am not in control and everything happens to me, for me. I love those times. It’s one of the reasons I love to travel. I get to access it more often in the spaces between. I type “used cars” into google and find a place with the best reviews. There’s a cute car there that looks brand new and only has 10,000 miles. I feel drawn to it immediately. I go to Facebook marketplace to compare prices and models from the same year.
I return to the original listing… there’s something about it, I don’t know, but I trust the feeling and leave an inquiry about it. The car dealer calls me back and answers my questions and I tell him I’m going to sit with it and then come see it if it feels right. I text my most practical friends to find out about buying cars in Europe vs. the UK in terms of quality, price, and ease of driving left and versus right-hand drive. In unison, they tell me that the UK is the best place to buy.
That night, sitting on the floor having a picnic with a group of girlfriends, I ask them “Does anyone here know anything about cars?” Most of them shake their heads, two of them nod and give me their best tips. “I am thinking about buying a car…” I continue. “What do I need to know?” The circle of women looks at me wide-eyed. “Where did this come from?” “I leave you alone for 24 hours and then this happens?!” “What? Why?”. We laugh and I tell them about the inner guidance I’ve received and show them the car I am thinking about. They oooh and aaah in approval. I’m going to go look at it tomorrow, I’ve decided.
It all happens really quickly. The car salesman whom I spoke to on the phone guides me to the car and as we walk I vibe him out. His energy is pure and clear. I can trust him. This is the only way I know how to make decisions. I feel everything and I’ve learned to trust my intuitive feelings unreservedly. He leaves me with the car to check it out while he moves some cars around the car center. The car feels solid, gentle, safe. A blue Fiat Punto owned by a grandma for 10 years who drove it to the high street once per week. We take it for a test drive while I ask him all the questions I pulled off a google search titled questions girls should ask when buying a car. It passes all the tests and I take it to a mechanic for a final check.
I buy the car. A new plan unfolds. It feels fluid, graceful, fun, easy. This is how I know I’m on the right path. Punto-baby, Honey Bear, our things and I are going on a European road trip across France and Spain to move to Mallorca. There are moments in life that I know will be extraordinary before they happen and this is one of those moments. I breathe in deeply as it comes.
In Spring I promised myself: less technology, more books. I love reading, I can inhale words like a hungry caterpillar and delightedly find myself on adventures conjured up by creative minds with glee. So I cancelled my Netflix membership and browsed my rolling list of book recommendations to indulge myself with a Book Depository book-buying spree. Et voila: here’s my summer 2021 ‘best of’ reading list:
Give me a daughter of Poseidon, one of the most beautiful nymphs in the sea, turn her into a witch on a deserted island and have her make love with the hottest of Greek Gods and turn men into pigs and you have got my heart. I feel such an affinity with this story, and beyond that, the emphatically magical storytelling of Madeleine Miller. I ended up thinking in her poetic prose for days after the book ended and I just wanted more. One of my intentions of this summer of reading was to find writers who really know how to use words to evoke depth and emotion so I may learn from them and anything Madeleine Miller delivers.
So much so I also read this one by her which is equally as mesmerising and fascinating because in this retold story Achilles is gay (and not a rapist of women) and in love with a very humble, quiet, lowly man expanding my horizons of all the ways that love can be experienced, felt and seen. All the ancient mythical innuendos captivate my imagination.
As a very European white woman, I can’t imagine what it might feel like to be judged by the colour of my skin the way that many people are, so when The Vanishing Half was recommended to me I devoured it. A fictional story about two twins, black, who choose different life paths and how the colour of their skin and life choices affect their overall happiness and experiences leaving me with a fascination with how we all sometimes try to be someone or something we are not. And how sometimes we gain something from it, and sometimes we lose ourselves in this effort to reinvent ourselves.
I can’t stop thinking about this book… It’s an autobiography but challenges and breaks all writing rules and at times touches on topics that are really hard to read: rape, child abuse, drug addiction, but with the fluid finesse on someone who has felt deeply and reflected on the gifts of these hardships with ingenuity. If you want to expand your ability to feel big hard and beautiful feelings and read unconventional hard-hitting stunning writing, you need to read this book. I loved it. I am going to read it again. Soon.
Something that people are often surprised by is the fact that I love science fiction. Essentially my dream life is a science fiction period drama. Leave The World Behind is another book addressing modern topics: race, emotion, class, belief systems wrapped up in a science fiction plot that is utterly compelling. Nothing actually happens in the book except for a strange loud noise and some human speculation but I was terrified (in a really satisfying way) about 99% of the time.
Ursula Le Guin is the most fascinating author… the way her imagination and brain works completely fascinates me and this story is the best blend of science fiction, romance, psychology and post-apocalyptic possibilities I’ve ever read. Essentially it’s about a man who changes the world when he dreams and his psychologist, who tries to use his clients power for seeming good but in effect evil. I don’t want to divulge too much but rcommend it if you enjoy intricate, mind-bending, dream-based literature.
While I don’t have ‘getting pregnant’ forecasted, I am wholly committed to overall health which includes hormonal and fertility. I want my body humming at its highest best capacity at all times and having dealt with some hormonal issues in the past I wanted to learn about what would be recommended to someone who was considering making a baby inside their body. Awakening Fertility is a beautifully put together book accessing and compiling ancient wisdom from across cultures to apply to our modern world. It’s easy to read and has just the right amount of depth with a nod towards psychology and spirituality and how our beliefs and emotions shape our health as much as foods and physical practices
I’m leaving the best to last… My friends started rolling their eyes every time I referenced Sand Talk as I did so so so often, so much so it even inspired this piece of poetry. It’s one of the most profound books I have ever read and when I say read, I mean read read… going over pages and paragraphs over and over again to melt them into my bones. Written by an Australian aboriginal university professor on how indigenous thinking can save the world he ushers ideas that I feel are keenly familiar but absolutely ambiguous in the modern world as I know it. I don’t want to give you any expectations because I want it to grasp you by the heart the way it did me and show you another way of living: the new way. Also, the writing style is non-linear which make my brain feel like “finally!, you write/speak in the way I think/feel!!!’ — this book should be required reading for every human being. Please, read it. And then let’s talk about it and apply it.