for fools and dreamers…

for fools and dreamers…

for fools and dreamers...

 

There is a thick, sweet mist that hangs out in the early morning hours, heavy with the promise of heat ahead waking me up the past few days. The syrupy sensation rouses a concealed part of my brain remembering lives lived in hot, tropical climates from a small island in Fiji with only natives for 2 months, to university in FNQ in Australia to Thailand and Bali in Asia, to Goa and Kerala in India, to the jungles in Belize, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Mexico.

 

For the past 10 days while recovering from this strange sickness I have been on a wildly psychedelic nostalgic carousel ride trying desperately to recall at what point I disconnected from my inner wildness. It was a compromise I had to make to function in the world in a way that lines up with the fragmented structures and rules that make up our society. I feel like I can’t trust my own mind as I reminisce on a life that was etched into the fleeting momentariness of life with idyllic pleasure sidelining the challenges of never really knowing where I was going next or how I was going to make the money to exist in a world that requires currency.

 

I love making money. It’s a fun, creative, expansive pursuit for me. Learning to handle my finances, value myself and my work, and grow to a certain level of affluence has been such a gift for me. It is one of the ways I have reparented myself. By meeting my own practical needs. Yet I resent the way our survival is based on a system of exchange that is designed to care for so few. I recently invested in a course on money to grow my knowledge and wealth but led with the question of how we can approach the pursuit of wealth and the comforts, choices and freedoms that it brings with the integrity that we can do so in a way that is inclusive and can ultimately uplift everyone. Sadly, our educator gave the same answer I have heard over and over again. Either you make the system work for you or let the system override you. In short, there is no alternative. This is what we have to work within the here and now.

 

Not having the energy nor the capacity to “do” much the past 2 weeks, I have immersed myself in a world of documentaries. ‘The Velvet Queen‘ is the most exquisite and breathtaking nature documentary I have ever seen in my entire life, further deepening my recent yearning to reconnect with my inner wildness and go live immersed in nature again for a while. ‘Fools & Dreamers‘ tells the incredible story of how degraded gorse-infested farmland has been regenerated back into beautiful New Zealand native forest over 30 years. ‘The Earthing Movie‘ brings science to meet the indigenous knowledge of why we need to interact with our lands skin-to-earth. ‘A Simpler Way‘ follows a group of people exploring building and living in a community in the hinterland of Australia. ‘The Art of Life‘ filmed in Hawaii is a documentary about the art of living outside of conventions, in deep integrity with one’s essence. There’s a theme here. Can you see it? It’s part of the reinvention I am attempting to access in myself, which is less about becoming, but rather returning to my truest essence in a way that is not isolated from nature.

 

In these deep inner quests, I have discovered renewed gratitude for my work. The fact that I get to take several thousand people (and growing) on journeys of my philosophical musings and discoveries. The fact that my healing becomes your healing. The fact that I can teach and share what I come to understand and learn on my life journey… is such a magnificent and delightful pleasure.

 

My focus this year has been The Mentor Training. Alongside that, I am developing and updating some of my shorter courses. ‘Affluent’ and ‘Her Way’ will get a turn in the sunshine again this year, both run live. I am working on a new one ‘Renew’ — on how to carry yourself through a season of becoming (as I am right now) alongside bridging the gap between fear and creating/doing what you’re called to — after your enthusiastic response to my questions last time.

 

I am also thrilled to reveal that two new private client spaces are opening up starting in June. There’s more information about mentoring with me 1:1 here and if you’re ready to immerse yourself in your own inner journey press reply to this email and we can explore the next steps together.

 

These past few weeks I am dreaming up a way to take all I have created professionally over the past 8-10 years and see if I can integrate it into a way of life that is made up of days lived mostly outside barefoot, connected to the Earth, in a place or places that allow me to revel in the wilder parts of my nature. The parts of me that spent most of my twenties chasing festivals due to the simple way of life and community those events offered me. The parts of me that were teased for taking my shoes off as soon as I could from younger than 3 years old. The part of me that remembers an ancient remembering of who I am and where I truly belong.

 

Let’s see, where that takes me, and us. Thank you for being here.

Love,

Vienda xo

 

P.S. Thank you, for all your enthusiastic responses to all of my questions in my last email. There was an emphatic ‘yes’ for both the Renew idea, as well as potentially adding a subscription option to my writing, so I can take you deeper down the rabbit hole with me. A writer whom I admire and also happens to be one of my readers, Emily, suggested I include journaling prompts or even guided journaling practice with the paid version of my emails so I have been sitting with this idea and allowing it to formulate itself further. I had to postpone all my dates due to my health but look forward to seeing where this adventure takes me and will report back promptly with funny and embarrassing insights.

 

a new story

a new story

a new story

It began like this.

I get back into bed. And shake and shake. It’s too much. I can’t stop.

The C-test shows negative.

On the third evening, the fever breaks. But during those feverish days and nights, something new emerges inside me — a powerful force asking me to reclaim my life. I had become complacent. I know it. Not in the basics like exercise and sleep and work, but in the subtler, more nuanced parts of life. The webbing that holds it all together.

I felt a strong calling, unlike any I felt before. It was visceral and palpable. Two words kept rising up.

More.

And less.

More of what makes life worth living.

And less of drains viscous life force from me.

After decades of living on the sidelines of modern society, only dipping in when and as I needed to, the past two years I had submerged myself in it entirely and as a result of having learned to barriers to protect me from the bombardment of information on how to have a morning routine, what 11-step beauty routine to follow, and that women’s empowerment is all about making more money I had lost myself.

On the fourth evening, I delete my emails from my phone, mute everyone on Instagram and promise myself not to return to the space until I am anchored in the purest, rawest version of myself.

The next morning I wake early and lay in bed listening to the birds sing. I meditate. I feed my cat. I strip the bed and put it in the wash but have to lay down right after as it takes all the energy out of me. After 4 days in bed with fever and shakes my body is weak.

I am remembering how to let my body be a prayer.  It is teaching me how to be slow, still and present again.

Vienda xx

P.S. Over the next few weeks/months I am taking myself through a personal renewal. An intentional restoration of mind, body, heart and soul. A returning home of sorts. I’m going to note down the process. Would you be interested in me teaching it to you? Because no one is alone in this world — and seeking support can be a beautiful thing.

P.P.S. I’ve started dating again. Well, in theory. I’m going on 3 dates with 3 different men as soon as my body is strong enough to walk the 400 metres to the closest cafe again.

P.P.P.S. If I started writing a secret monthly £3 subscription with 2-3 emails per month — where I can write and say all the things that I don’t otherwise — would you pay?

the difference between mentoring, coaching & therapy

the difference between mentoring, coaching & therapy

the difference between mentoring, coaching & therapy

 

Self-actualisation is the process of becoming “everything you are capable of becoming.”

 

There’s no script for that. Everyone has to find their own unique ways to hear the inner wisdom that can help them live a life of truth. Only you can determine what living your fully expressed truth means for you.

 

Self-actualisation doesn’t involve perfection or things always going smoothly. You can become self-actualized and still face difficulties. But it’s not something you can do alone. You will always be influenced by the level of guidance, support and mentorship you receive.

 

We live in a culture that values instant gratification, superficial beauty, lavish possessions and excessive consumption making up for what it lacks in emotional depth, community, creativity and meaningful connections.

 

When things don’t work out or we don’t get what we want or feel empty inside we often try to fill our time, space and home with more perfunctory things, people and experiences. Every dysfunctional human behaviour is an attempt to escape suffering. We don’t stop for a moment and consider that perhaps what we feel we are really feeling is the disconnection from our truth.

 

This is where mentoring steps in. A heralded guidance back your own potential, knowledge, wisdom and heart. Your return to self-actualisation.

 

But first, let’s explore the difference between mentoring, coaching & therapy.

 

Therapy also called psychotherapy or counselling is a treatment process about healing hurts, re-parenting, and bringing resolution to personal pain. It focuses on problems, their sources, the symptoms that result from those problems, dysfunctions, trauma and diagnosis of disorders. It is a doctor/patient relationship where the therapist/psychologist diagnoses and prescribes remedial ‘solutions’ to the patient.

 

Coaching is a process of using questions and feedback to facilitate the client’s capabilities and resources into self-generated change and action. Action that is designed to achieve goals and take a client from where they are in life now, to where they want to be. A coach assumes the client is the expert in their own life, and that the coach is simply there to help the client elicit their own answers. This unique distinction enables the client to develop their own capability, creativity and resourcefulness from the coaching process.

 

Mentoring is an approach that involves providing advice, guidance, and sharing one’s own personal story. The focus here is on a particular skill, knowledge or experience that a mentor has deeper background knowledge in, that is passed on. Mentoring is particularly effective because it offers you access to someone who has been there and done that and can guide you through the same thing. They can understand you and where you are at so intimately because they have experienced it.

 

Mentoring also tends to be a longer-term relationship in nature. Many of my private clients work with me for a year or more. Coaching, in contrast, tends to be shorter-term, as it is only necessary to help people achieve certain goals. Once a person has achieved a goal, they are typically done with that coaching experience.

 

Mentoring tends to be a more informal and friendly relationship, than perhaps coaching and therapy because instead of deflecting and separating yourself from your client’s experiences you openly offer vulnerable and truthful insights into your own experiences and challenges which makes them feel less alone. By holding space and witnessing someone without judgement you help them to feel when they are not able to and thereby regulate their emotions and experiences. You co-regulate by being calm, loving and compassionate and liberate people from their “self” stories, narratives by holding them accountable to them.

 

Neuroscience tells us that brain development depends on a human to human responsiveness. Many of us had times in our lives when those around us were not able to be present with and available to us. Mentoring as per The Mentor Training program ensures that your clients feel heard, seen, witnessed, accepted and enjoyed to restore and repair imbalances in their lives. So they can return to your natural state of living a fully expressed life. A self-actualised one.

 

What I am teaching is an intelligent heart-mind-body approach to holding space for people in a safe and beholden way. If you have lived life and moved through challenges, whether personally, in a specific career, in your spiritual journey, your relationships and more, you certainly have the natural skills there already. What this training will give you is a framework with which to move forward.

 

It’s about building trust, knowing and owning your own projections so that they don’t interfere with your clients, and offering a container that allows them to self-remedy. Because we all have access to the answers but need to feel seen, heard, and witnessed in our human journey. Like the way small children always say “watch me!” when they are trying and learning something new… we never stop needing to be validated and supported in our growth end evolution.

 

Mentoring offers that witnessing that we would otherwise receive from our elders, community and wider family that is lacking in our societies today, from someone who naturally falls into that position because of their unique insights, experiences and predispositions. The fact that you have both: extensive life experience and an intuitive knowing and ability to tune into people and hold space for them, makes this training the perfect springboard into turning these skills into a service that is sorely needed.

 

Join The Level 1 & 2 Mentor Training program here.

 

Level 1 takes you a deep dive into your own mind, heart and intuition in order to become an effective mirror and sounding board for your clients and others in your life.

 

Level 2 gives you the pragmatic structure and processes required to have in place to hold mentoring sessions.

Like all of you, I am doing my best.

Like all of you, I am doing my best.

Like all of you, I am doing my best.

I hesitate as I write to you today… I’ve deleted and rewritten this first sentence five times already, unsure of what to say, what not to say. What’s true, honest, kind, nuanced enough. Maybe it’s also ok to just be imperfect and human right now.

 

Currently, I have friends who have lost their homes or are existing in isolated little islands of land cut off from anyone else in NNSW and SEQLD in Australia due to floods. I have friends who have been standing and sleeping on the steps of the Parliament House in Wellington, New Zealand peacefully requesting the right to continue their lives and businesses without being inoculated. Until a police force brutally moved them along. I have friends who recently did the same in Canada. I have friends, both Russian and Ukrainian, who feel heartbroken and helpless standing by watching as a man with much unresolved trauma and too much power wield deadly threats.

 

I am aware that these sorts of heartbreaking things have been happening in lots of places for a long time. I am aware that in my privilege I only care to think of them when they affect those that I love. I am aware that there is more that I don’t know and might be dismissing or failing to address. More than anything I am aware that as a human I have a limited capacity to understand or hold space for it all. Like all of you, I am doing my best.

 

Here’s what I think helps.

Appreciating what we have. Really truly holding close to our hearts the safety of our homes, the love of our nearest and dearest, the beauty and relief that we can find in nature, with furry friends, in creative pursuits. Having deep compassion for suffering. Acknowledging that life isn’t fair. Without allowing it to make us bitter or hardened, but rather softer, more flexible and willing to mitigate the unfairness. Responding with what we have available to us. Skills, resources, prayer, meditation, curiosity, wonderment, validation, acknowledgement, love.

 

Life is a strange, wild, messy, beautiful ride.
I’m so glad I’m here. I wish I read the fine print when I signed up.

 

This moment that I send this email marks the New Moon in Pisces, the last New Moon of this astrological year that ends in 18 days on March 20 with the Equinox. A refresh, and an opportunity to refocus, a new astrological year, perhaps a new everything. Accompanied comes a drive and inspiration for us to commit to a new path. In love, in our professional lives, and more.

 

I had made a pact with myself, that with this moment, I would share the two things that I have been deep in the creative trenches with for the past two months. But ultimately have been years in the making. Because they are the expression of the kind of world I want to live in. I’m going to quietly leave them here with you now, today, and then circle back again with more in a week or so.

 

Her Way — A 12-month community for women in business. Though it is never only about business. It’s sisterhood. It’s healing shame and fear. It’s facing fears with courage. it’s overcoming cycles of conditioning. it’s choosing to be of service from your heart. It’s transcending your old normal and replacing it with more, better, easier, kinder. It’s believing in yourself. And it’s a close-knit community of women believing in you too.

 

The Level 1 & 2 Mentor TrainingA 6-month live program with a mind-heart-intuition approach, to learn the method and cohesive framework to become a skilled and impactful mentor.

 

Wherever you find yourself in the world, under whatever circumstances I hope you are safe and well. You are in my heart. And if there’s something that I could do for you to soothe your tender soul respond in the comments section below. I will do my best.

 

on ageing gracefully, face yoga instead of botox, & a simple 5-part routine

on ageing gracefully, face yoga instead of botox, & a simple 5-part routine

 

Turning 40 plus being in a near-constant state of crisis the past 18 months means that my self-care rituals and routines have reached level 100. I always wished I had this kind of commitment and consistency to my self-care and if that’s the only gift 2020 and 2021 have given me, then I am grateful.

 

Here is my (almost) daily 5-step routine for youth, beauty, spirit & mental health. On a ‘perfect’ day in this order, on an ‘imperfect’ day in a scrabbled version of this from morning to evening.

 

I am a morning person as long as I don’t have to speak to anyone before 10 am. As in, I love mornings… slow, quiet, and alone. I know this is a luxury that many don’t have, so if this self-care routine seems inaccessible, take what you can and leave the rest. Don’t worry, I am enjoying it singularly on your behalf.

 

1. Check In

I only know I’m awake because my body starts stretching its limbs out. As soon as I do Danger comes for a morning kiss and cuddle while I wrestle him out of the way to reach for my Daysy and take my temperature. I could really just track my cycle using my cervical fluid and moods/body symptoms but after 4 years it’s an ingrained habit now. Then I close my eyes again, take a few long breaths and check in. How do I feel? What’s arising for me? How are my energy levels? What am I feeling drawn to? (I teach this process in greater depth in INSTINCT.) It allows me to connect to my intuition and body before I connect to anything outside of me. Some mornings I journal things of note in my Plannher. I have this free guided 28 Day Journaling Challenge you can try if journaling doesn’t come naturally for you.

 

2. Bathroom

A few years ago I noticed that my lower teeth were beginning to crowd and in a panic purchased retainers to wear at night to keep them straight. Once awake, I always have to go to the bathroom, then take my retainers out and clean them, and scrape my tongue with a copper tongue scraper to remove bad bacteria and toxins that accumulate in the mouth, improving oral and digestive health. At the start of this year when I decided I wanted to do something about the frown lines that were gathering between my brows, also known as mimic lines. I noticed that I could train my face to stop frowning during that day but not at night. And for whatever reason, I seem to frown a lot in my sleep. So I started taping the area taut with small strips of sports tape before I go sleep each night to retrain the muscles (unless I have company) and it’s working! So every morning I peel the tape off and then wash my face with a gentle cleanser.

 

3. Hydrate

Ageing is literally your body dehydrating. Just like a fresh, juicy plum turning into a shrivelled prune, that’s what happens to us too, so we have to do two things. One: hydrate and two; make sure that the waters of our body keep moving through the muscles and cells and in particular the lymphatic system through exercise, stretching and massage. I always joke about my morning drink line-up but it’s a very serious thing. When I’ve just spent 8-9 hours asleep I wake up thirsty. I start with 1/2 Litre of lemon water: half a fresh lemon squeezed, two parts room temperature water and one part hot water from the kettle. Drinking warm lemon water first thing in the morning on an empty stomach improves digestion, boost metabolism and helps maintain overall health by cleansing internal waste and removing toxins from the system especially the liver. Followed by herbal tea or dandelion latte. Or both. And sometimes coffee (which yes, is dehydrating but the bitter is good for the liver, and also, life balance).

 

4. Movement

The yoga mat gets rolled out next and I start with my face and do some lymphatic drainage massage and 10 minutes of Face Yoga with Glow In Face. I’ve been doing it for 6 months now and can see and feel a noticeable difference. My eyes are more open and the area around my eyes is stronger and less creased, my lips have become fuller and more relaxed. I viscerally miss it when I don’t do it. Followed by vigorous yoga from this YouTube playlist or Pilates with Lottie Murphy. And then a shower! If I haven’t sweated too much I dry brush first, 3 upward strokes per area, it takes 2 minutes, again to rehydrate the cells, and help flush out the lymphatic system. If my journaling didn’t happen earlier, this is often when I pull my Plannher out and get organised for the day ahead as well as write my thoughts and feelings to clear them out of my mind before I begin the rest of my day.

 

5. Wind-down

I turn my phone on aeroplane mode at 9.30 pm and start to wind down for the evening. I wash any makeup off my face using a magic makeup eraser and then use a gentle cleanser to make sure it’s really clean and sit on my sofa, sometimes with the end of a film or show playing and take 15 minutes to do a face massage that a lovely Russian friend with the most beautiful skin taught me. If I get her permission I’ll do an IGTV video of it for you one day. I use organic Rosehip oil and start from my neck and move upwards. It’s the most enjoyable thing and has done wonders for my hormonal acne. I wash it all off with a face cloth first and then use a cleanser again because my pores don’t like it when I leave the oil on my skin.

Most nights at this point I spend 10 minutes under my The Light Salon LED infrared light mask while doing either Yoga Nidra, or yin yoga because relaxation of the body and mind is everything. The mask naturally activates the production of collagen which declines as we age and helps skin heal. I have melasma from spending my 20’s in the sun without a care and it’s helping heal that a lot. So is potentially cutting a fringe again soon.

Things can get really unsexy hereon out: teeth brushed, retainers in, a strip of sports tape above each eyebrow hold the space between my brows taut, eye mask and bed. I’m not sure how I’m going to navigate that next time I’m in a relationship… If I’m still awake by 10.30 pm, I drop lavender oil on my pulse points and read by candlelight until my eyes get sleepy.

 

I maintain that those are all external things I do and that mindset, internal habits and belief systems impact youth, beauty and mental health equally as much that I have practices around not addressed in this article. Would you like me to?

 

A snapshot of what I studied + did to work as a women’s mentor

A snapshot of what I studied + did to work as a women’s mentor

A snapshot of what I studied + did to end up working as a women’s mentor

 

I was always a dreamer as a kid, lost in my own fantasy world. I spent the ages of 10 and 11 training to be a mermaid by swimming endless lengths of our neighbour’s pool while holding my breath and sliding my body in wave-like motions so I could propel myself forward without arms. Knowing what I wanted to “be” when I was a child was a foreign concept. But what I did know was that I wasn’t interested in any of the options society offered me.

 

Here’s a snapshot of what I studied and did to end up working as a women’s mentor:

 

  • I completed a Bachelor of Science in Psychology largely out of self-interest but with the potential bi-product of becoming a psychologist at the end. I loved this 4-year course. Amongst many other things it gave me the ability to be analytical; to do real research to find the truth of things; an in-depth understanding of human behaviour; and the knowledge that we are always going to be our best case studies, so my teachings and practice are wholly based on what I know to be true for myself.

 

  • I went on to work at global music and film festivals for several years which are the ultimate study of human behaviour in intense environments and under extreme conditions which taught me more about behaviour patterns, trauma and conditioning across so many cultures and backgrounds than any course ever could. Meanwhile, my spiritual practices and journey became intertwined in my fascination with psychology and I started to understand how the two supported one another.

 

  • I added Reiki Level 1 & 2, Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) to my list of trainings as well as informal research and education in epigenetics, metaphysics, psychedelics, addiction, love, creativity, astrology, and more.

 

  • Things became more serious for my career when I decided to invest in the business course that became the framework and bolster for everything I have created in my career since, Marie Forleo’s BSchool. This business training gave me the structure and the confidence that I lacked to go forth and create my own business, being creative and helping people, on my own terms and in alignment with my values. BSchool changed everything for me.

 

BSchool was the intersection where my business finally blossomed; where I met and became friends with Claire Baker, and later, also collaborators, working together across a range of workshops and courses (The Heartful Biz and Your Own Online Course) as well as being affiliate partners with Marie Forleo’s BSchool.

 

Once per year, we create a unique experience for women like us to take Bschool too, with us to guide you.

 

By investing in BSchool with us you get:

        1. 👯 A place in Secret Women’s Business, our upcoming 3-month live group mentoring experience. value: $1650 USD
        2. 👯 Our popular 2-day digital workshop The Heartful Biz, with ongoing access to our brains & a vibrant community in The Heartful Biz Facebook group value: $345 USD
        3. 👯 Our NEWEST co-creation: Your Own Online Course value: $275 USD
        4. 👯A PARCEL OF LOVE sent to you from us, filled with:
          💗 A box of organic vegan chocolates
          💗 Vienda’s personal planner system Plannher
          💗 Claire’s book 50 Things You Need To Know About Periods
          💗 Stunning earrings handcrafted by a women’s collective in the mountains of Morocco
          …mailed to wherever you are in the world! Because we believe this is an investment and opportunity to celebrate, value: $229 USD

TOTAL VALUE: $2499 USD — for free!!

 

One of the most potent parts of BSchool for us was always the community piece however over the years as the business program has grown (hooray!) it became harder to find an intimate and safe group of sisters to journey alongside. So we took on ourselves to create an online space to support your business journey where you feel cherished, comforted and encouraged as well as offered the rituals and practical steps we take to keep our business growing and evolving.

 

Marie Forleo’s BSchool opens for enrolment today:  July 20th and closes in 9 days on July 29th.

 

Here are some important links for you:

 

 

For any other questions, please feel free to email me at studio@viendamaria.com.

 

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