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.
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.
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).
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.
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?
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.
👯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.
Blooming and flourishing — as an internal experience rather than a performative act — is something that has captivated me in particular across the past year. I had so many opportunities to look at the choices I make over and over again with curious inquisition to check in with myself whether they actually breathe the goodness of life into my bones, or if they are things I do because I presume that there is no other way. I face in myself a desire for life to feel good beyond what it looks like on the outside and the more that I lean into this I find so much of my external life is falling apart.
Which means change and disruption and movement and softening evermore into the unknown. And it means I’m leaving the UK, for a little while at least. This also means that this is the last time I’m offering in-person mentoring on this luscious slip of land.
If you’re in Brighton or London, and you’d like to hire me, here’s what I’m proposing:
— 1/2 day face-to-face mentoring session in Brighton or London at my/your home, a cool cafe or co-working space, whatever location is most convenient for you.
During this session, we can:
map out a creative plan/biz project/online course for something BIG you believe in;
acquire practical, tangible skills on how to embody feminine leadership in your life and work;
uncover key areas you want to transform, clear the blocks standing in your way and outline an inspired action plan;
learn how to tap into your intuition and inner wisdom to make the decisions necessary to take the next right steps;
get clarity around your life circumstances and what you really want in order to make the changes needed to be free
What you’ll get:
We’ll spend about 4-5 hours together, I’ll treat you to lunch, and we’ll have a wonderful, productive time! I’ll help you create actional measures and a plan, plus you get email access to me for a month after, in case any thoughts or questions come up as you navigate the homework and next steps.
Cost and time:
— £500 GBP for this 1/2 in-person mentoring session
— sessions start at 12 noon and run to 5 pm
— there are 10 spots available across July, August & September
— Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays work best for me
— Which date you potentially want
— Your preferred meeting location if you have one—otherwise, I’ll propose some
— The top 3 things/projects that you’d like to focus on while we’re working together
N.B. If you can only do a specific day but definitely want to book an in-person mentoring session please contact me and I’ll see what I can arrange. And if you need a payment plan we can work something out there too.
On a Friday in December, I travelled to Brighton and met Vienda at the most lovely independent cafe and we got straight down to business. Vienda’s approach was nurturing and honest. I left the session feeling empowered and excited – I wanted to cry with happiness. Since the half-day session, my Instagram following and engagement has grown substantially, I have had one-to-one clients book in with me, I have had many more sign-ups to my mailing lists and, perhaps most importantly, my vision and values are aligned. I have a clear picture of where I am at and where I am going. I feel hopeful, optimistic and focused whereas before I felt somewhat lost and confused. I have told many people about the session and they reply “I need a Vienda in my life”. I am so grateful I have Vienda in my life. I would wholeheartedly recommend working with her. If you are feeling drawn to it, trust your intuition. It will change your life.
15 years ago when I received the letter of invitation to continue my studies and undertake a Master in Clinical Psychology so I could become a practising psychologist I halted. In part, because I wasn’t sure I had accrued high enough grades to invite an offer; and in a larger part because I wasn’t sure I wanted to be a psychologist anymore.
Something about the way that we were expected to categorise and label unique, individual human souls didn’t sit right with me. From my own experience with various forms of therapy, there is a limit of how far into the psyche we can reach. Talk therapy is incredible when we haven’t had any more to explicitly share our deepest fear, traumas and shame. It opens up a portal for release and transformation.
It also summons the potential for getting stuck in the past, reliving all those things that happened before that hurt over and over again sliding the individual firmly into a narrative of victimhood instead of offering up an incentive that what is really important is what we do with those experiences to grow, to heal, to evolve.
From my understanding, clinical psychology has progressed somewhat since then. There is more room to include the individual, to see them not just as an animal but as a soul having a physical experience, and that the physical experience needs to be addressed as much if not even more than the psychological one. As we all now know, all trauma, memories and subconscious patterning lives within our cells and becomes an embodied experience that can only be unravelled through a combination of psychosomatic approaches.
I am excited and delighted to be educating myself further in that direction now that it is more freely available. As ever my skills and direction are shifting and evolving as I continuously undertake formal and informal studies to bring new things into my business container. Over the past year, I have had less availability for private clients as I create more space for the new things that are in the undercurrent of my own growth to come to the surface.
For the first time in 5 years, I have raised my prices just slightly this June to reflect my increased experience and capacity to hold space. My popular 3-month private mentoring container is fully booked out until September except for current and ongoing clients, but are open for interest now. I do have some openings for single 1-hour sessions throughout the rest of the year. I thought this was a good time to give you an insight into how my private mentoring works.
My aim is to support and guide women to redefine their life with a 3-pronged approach. Sometimes this is business-focused, sometimes it is personal-life-focused. Often it is a combination of both.
Talk therapy is based on the core idea that talking about the things that are bothering you can help clarify them and put them in perspective. Essentially it’s about cognitively bringing awareness to behaviours, patterns and the experiences in your life so that you can understand them, learn their root cause and renegotiate how you navigate life through systematic processes of self-awareness.
Identifying the patterns, beliefs, and habits that are stopping you from creating, and living the life that you know is meant for you offers us an entrance into the heart of things and how your body makes sense and replicates those. I always bring my personal flavour, experiences and holistic tools and perspectives into my sessions which makes them very successful.
Determining your core desires and drivers is about getting clear on what you actually want for yourself and your life, and developing tangible and embodied ’next steps’ that I hold you through. This is about giving yourself permission to dream BIG and act in alignment with the vision you hold for yourself.
3 MONTH MENTORING CONTAINER
6 x 60-minute Zoom video sessions per month held every 2 weeks
Email support in between to share wins and ask questions that will propel you forward. The email support is incredibly powerful when maximised (often acting as ‘extra sessions’), so I encourage you to do so.
In our first session together we will set specific aims for us to complete throughout our time together. You are responsible for taking notes and actioning the steps outlined in our sessions to keep you focused and moving forward.
Our sessions are entirely customised to your current needs, and we will cover all the emotional, psychological and practical aspects with a holistic overview to meet your aims as we create a new way of approaching your life together.
Your investment: £850 upfront; or £285 x 3 months payment plan.
SINGLE MENTORING SESSION Includes:
1 x 60 minutes Zoom session
Email support for one week after the session to ask questions and request further support
It is recommended to bring up to 3 key issues you would like to address in our session which you can outline in the intake form.
Our sessions are always very intuitively led where you can relax, ask questions, absorb the teachings and take notes of anything that offers you respite and practices or solutions that you can take to move forward.
Your investment: £150.
My mentoring days are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. If you cannot find a time in the calendar that is convenient, please email me, and we will work something out. Once you have chosen a session time the booking link will process your payment and take you through to a mentoring agreement form and a short questionnaire for you to complete to validate the booking and get me set up to prepare for our call. All sessions are held over Zoom for which you will receive the link in the booking confirmation email.
If you are curious about my terms and conditions, you can read them on my newly-updated policies page, here. Thank you for being here, and for reading about how private mentoring works with me.