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Make your own christmas advent calendar with me!

Make your own christmas advent calendar with me!

  Overnight, despite all odds and lockdown measures, a sense of Christmas has crept in. The lights are up, people's noses are pink from the cold and there's a feeling of grace and awe and togetherness. While I don't celebrate Christmas in a traditional way having had a very non-conventional life I do love the idea that it is another opportunity to celebrate love in all its forms and to make certain those we love, know it.   This weekend I've handmade a very sweet little Christmas tree from foraged branches covered in moss, holly and pinecones and turned it into an advent calendar with tiny chocolate parcels, love letters, as a surprise for someone special, and you asked me to show you how, so here we go:   PREPERATION: A week earlier I went for a long walk with my friend Nadia and together we foraged for twigs, pine cones and holly from the nearby parks and wilds. Finding things in nature is literally the most satisfying thing so that part in itself was so fun. That same weekend I ordered red and white twine and little cardboard pillow boxes from Amazon in anticipation of my advent calendar...

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anything is possible

anything is possible

    There are times in life when it feels like I am holding my breath waiting for something unexpected to happen. I'm scared to exhale in case my next deep breath will fragment the moment. It feels like anything is possible.   Most of 2020, particularly these past 6 months have felt exactly like that. Something entirely new is emerging in my world as I know it. I don’t have the answers yet, but I can feel which way my heart is pulling me and I’ve lived my whole life by that pull.   ☾ June   My entire body aches for human touch and interaction. We've been under strict lockdown for almost 3 months. The days feel long and hard and lonely. I'm grateful for Danger being so tactile and snuggly. Slowly moving between my bedroom, the sofa and the balcony I sometimes toy with the idea of working in a cafe 1 day per week. I've had Zoom-fatigue since April. I record a...

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9 books I read (+ loved) during lockdown 1.0

And then 2020 happened, the country I lived in went into lockdown for 3 months, and I suddenly had long stretches of time to immerse myself in any genre of reading that warmed my heart. These are the 9 books that allowed me to traverse universes and inquiry beyond the 4 walls of my little seaside flat.

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Let go.

  There it is. That dull and familiar ache. An empty wanting.   That dull ache in the depths of our psyche that we are constantly trying to fill with food and comforts and drugs and pursuits and people and evidence that we are doing life right.⁣ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ That dull ache that feels like the remnants of a broken heart or the whisper of disappointment or the sense that something is missing. That dull ache living in the background of our lives.   Often, that dull ache originates in the unresolved sense of defeat and loss that life serves us daily. Every pending fear, every plan upturned, every expectation for answers or for a response for someone... becomes a loss.   The biggest loss? The loss of sense of control of your external environment.   Most people are holding on so tightly to the illusion that if they get what they think they want — confidence to move forward, a perfectly executed plan, the sense of being ready, clarity before they leap, support from a friend or loved one — they will feel safe and be in control.   Sometimes it's better to let things be, let people go. Sometimes it's better to release expectations for answers or closure or for someone to...

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It’s been 6 years since I spoke to my mama.

  "Happy Birthday" read the subject line. I clicked on the email. The same two words were repeated in the body. "Happy Birthday". Nothing else. It stung more than if there had been no email.   It's been 6 years since I spoke to my mama. Every September I remember.   I love my mama. Every time I think of her which continues to be often, I send her love and wish her peace. I truly hope she finds peace. I also believe that she loves me. And that she has always done her very best. My mama has an undiagnosed and untreated range of mental illnesses. Her actions are steeped in trauma and wounding. And she has been unwilling to ask for or to receive help.   She was young, 21, when she had me. Crazily in love with a short, cocky Italian fuckboy (hi, papa, love you :) she wanted to have his baby. So she did. He didn't care. He told her so. She did it anyway.   One of my earliest memories is toddling in line while a soft, round Spanish woman ladled milky porridge into bowls and asking for mas azucar (more sugar). She laughed at me with sweetness and warmth and gave me more. I must have been around 18 months. We were living in Tenerife on the Canary Islands and I spent the evening hours in night-care...

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4 tips on how to find your people when you move to a new place

  There were days in the earlier months of 2020 where my entire body ached for human interaction.   I moved to Brighton 2 weeks before the entire country went under strict lockdown rules for 3 months. I had a home. I had Danger Zone. I knew a handful of people but I wasn't allowed to see any of them. It was hard.   From an educated perspective, I know that desire to form and maintain social bonds is among the most powerful human motives. 'Belongingness' as it is known in psychology is considered to be one of the 5 core human needs. Much of what we do across all cultures is done in the service of belongingness. The needs for power, intimacy, approval, achievement and affiliation, are all driven by the need to belong.   Over those long and sometimes sad months, I learned to be alone. This is how you deal with loneliness.   I also gained a new appreciation for community and made it my priority. Here are my 8 best tips on how to find your people when you move to a new place.   1. TALK TO PEOPLE Most people are shy. And yet everyone craves friendship and belonging. I can talk to anyone if there's a conduit. The other day I made friends with a man over a large wave that almost washed out...

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This is 39.

  Growing older is such a luxury and honour. Every year I become more myself, stronger, softer, wiser, kinder, happier, I let go of and move with things easier. This year was one of my favourite birthdays yet surrounded by friends, new and old, by the sea in the sun, laughing a lot.   There's a really powerful shift that happens when you embrace exactly where you are. No chasing other things/places/people. Not wishing they were different. Fully allowing yourself to be exactly where you are and celebrating the eternal motion of life.   When people ask me what's next my answer is always "I'm enjoying what's right in front of me. That's where I believe life gets really good."   At 39 I have lost the care for counting years in numbers. Instead, I want to count the number of times my heart swelled with love, the times I lived fully in rapturous joy, the times I broke down in tears and fell apart entirely succeeded by a new version of myself. I want to measure my life by my ability to stay soft when things are hard, to approach things gently when they are sharp, and to choose trust and tenderness in any conditions.   Over my lifetime I developed a high resilience for uncertainty. At first by...

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🌛 50% OFF all courses BIRTHDAY SALE 🌜

  Guess what?!   It's that time again! I celebrate 39 years of dancing around our sun tomorrow which also means it's time for my annual 50% OFF ALL MY COURSES birthday sale. The S A L E  is starting right now as I pressed send so if you want to scroll right down to what's available, go ahead.   Growing older is such a luxury and honour. Every year I become more myself, stronger, softer, wiser, kinder, happier, I let go of and move with things easier. There's a really powerful shift that happens when you embrace exactly where you are. No chasing other things/places/people. Not wishing things were different. Fully allowing yourself to be exactly where you are and celebrating the eternal motion of change and growth. I'll write more on this soon but for now: I'm taking the weekend off.   I spent the first couple of months while the UK was in lockdown updating and moving all of my courses onto a fancy new digital platform that makes them 1000 x more fun and easier to access. All of these are self-study courses that begin the moment you sign up for them, that you can do in your own way and time. I notice that some like to gobble them all up like hungry little munchkins and others taste them, little...

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Vienda’s Voice Notes — 1.

  "Millennials are a funny bunch. We have an irrational fear of boredom, a disproportionate love for avocado, and now, an incrementing fondness for uninterrupted voice notes."   Lying in bed the other day pondering how I could hold and carry some of the really potent, interesting and important conversations that are happening between you, my readers and digital community, and myself I came up with this idea. Raw, unedited voice notes much like the ones that are passed between myself and my closest circle, discussing the latest news and laying our most vulnerable truths on the table.   It started with not being able to keep up with all the excellent questions sent my way and not wanting to spend hours on Instagram stories or writing. It takes time and devotion to put together a good article, that sometimes I don't have space for. Running an official podcast just doesn't call me. I enjoy a select few podcasts, I tend to be a skimmer and just want the gold nuggets without all the fluff and stuff around those parts.   Recording a voice note allows us to be much more uninhibited in expressions and conveyance. There’s no editing – just you, my voice and whatever is on our mind.   This is an...

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5 free resources to raise your confidence post-lockdown

  Being human can sometimes be disheartening. Being human in the middle of a global pandemic filled with uncertainty and rapid changes that our nervous systems struggle to adapt to quickly enough can be entirely discouraging.   A few days ago I bumped into a friend of mine. She's one of those women I admire: genuinely warm and lovely, with the pragmatic air of being all-capable and proficient at navigating life. We chatted about the weather and the basil plant I baby-sat for her while she was away and then she leaned in closer and lowered her voice. "Do you... you know, because you work with women... do you have any tips on confidence?" The gentle vulnerability in her voice betrayed her inner struggle. "I've been hit hard these last few months and just don't know what to do anymore!"   "I'll share some resources with you," I promised.   In psychology, we learn that confidence is a belief in oneself, the conviction that one has the ability to meet life's challenges and to succeed — and the willingness to act accordingly. Being confident requires a realistic sense of one's capabilities and feeling secure in that knowledge. But what happens when your sense of capabilities have been destroyed...

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