by Vienda | 13 Jan 2023 | Biz + Blogging, personal update
It takes 17 seconds for a thought to take on an entity of its own.
My meditation teacher said this morning. Every morning since the start of the year I have been meeting her and a group of others at 8 am to meditate together to change the frequencies in our bodies so that we get out of our damn way.
When you focus on a thought for 17 seconds, you activate the vibration of the thought. And when you focus on a thought for 68 seconds, the vibration becomes powerful enough to manifest itself in real life. She says.
We do 20 minutes of focused awareness each morning, just to be sure.
These are the tools of our human supernatural sorcery.
How we choose to spend our time becomes central to our life.
Where we put our focus grows, expands and evolves as if focus itself is the water to a seed.
What we bring into our awareness commands the perspective we have in each experience.
I have not been shy in sharing that life, as I was experiencing it, has challenged me for the past 18 months or so.
The tipping point occurred when, one day in mid-October 2021 as I was preparing for my journey to relocate to Mallorca, I suddenly felt a sharp spasmodic pain run across the left side of my lower back that brought me to my knees and down onto the floor. I lay there, frightened and confused until the pain subsided a little and found that I could not stand up. Slowly, awkwardly, crawling on hands and knees, I ungracefully threw myself on the sofa. I found that, if I laid on my back, completely still I would be ok. Any movement however would trigger the sharp pain again. It was excruciating.
Terrified, immobile and alone I did what I could. I crawled to find some ibuprofen to ease the pain. I cancelled my meetings for the rest of the day. I booked an osteopath for the next day. And for the days following, I saw as many holistic specialists as I could. I would try anything, throw everything, at this painful problem.
It jolted me in such a way that I felt like I couldn’t trust myself nor my body, or my thoughts and I felt fearful, doubtful and full of anxiety. Everything I did was suddenly coupled with catastrophic thinking.
Catastrophic thinking, also known as catastrophizing, is irrational thinking that may cause you to assume that adverse outcomes will occur. Catastrophizing is a way of thinking known as a cognitive distortion.
This incident haunted me with continuous occasional recurring back pains, though never as severe, and long-term mental health symptoms that made it hard for me to enjoy the world and my life with the pleasure and optimism that had been natural to me before.
I felt broken and helpless.
Of course, there is more to that story. The back injury and resulting cognitive distortion that I experienced were a snowball response to many other things. Things we lived through, together. A decisive change in our world, the loss of freedom to move about and travel as we wished, coupled with uncertainty and lots of opposing messages begin flung around. Amidst the external chaos, I was forced to face and handle some of my own relational and familial trauma that I had suppressed and spiritually bypassed. Plus, I had a whole lot of emotional maturing to do, and it was not happening without meeting some hard truths and disappointing realities.
I moved to Mallorca, a shell of myself but with all the tools (and a lot of impatience) to return to wholeness. It took:
This morning, I woke up early… before my natural waking time between 7 am and 7.30 am. I don’t know what time it was. I leave my phone outside my bedroom. But I guesstimate sometime between 4.30 and 5.30 am. This happens whenever the spirits want me to listen and know I’ll be too sleepy for my ego to get in the way at that time.
Connect with your heart. Pour your attention and focus on your heart. Listen to what she has to say. They told me.
I placed a hand on my heart and kept my attention on her, delicately and gently, so the nuanced and subtle messages can make their way through. She told me what she wants. And that she wants me to ask for more than I have so far. I promised her to listen always and forever and reminded her that she will eternally be my guiding force. At some point, I drifted off and woke up again minutes before my 8 am mediation group was about to start.
As I went about my day today, I noticed a significant shift. I felt trust again. Trust in life, trust in my body, trust in myself. I felt a soft, warm pulsing emenating from my heart and wrapping me in love and comfort. I felt safe existing in the world without trying to protect myself with catastrophic thinking. I felt joy from the simple act of existing. I remembered how good it feels, just to be.
I quietly in my mind and heart, celebrated arriving here, finally, after so many gruelling months of throwing all my psychological, physical and spiritual tools at everything that was arising for me.
As difficult as this time has been, it has also been full of gifts.
— I learned what I truly need as a human being and a woman in this world, and to prioritise meeting those needs, above all else.
— I developed a deeper level of understanding and compassion for human suffering as well as a stronger discernment of things that I am not available for.
— I became dedicated to permitting myself to feel all those sloppy, grating, messy and dramatic emotions that wanted to make their way out of my body and thereby transcended the emotional maturity I had until now, to a point where I understood and could hold space for so much more than ever before. In myself and others.
— I started to acknowledge that if I wnated to continue in this line of work I was going to need help and to allow myself to be supported and my team grew beyond the occasional contractors I’d hire from 1 to 3 people.
— And it led me to develop the leading edge body of work, which is a fusion of all my education, my childhood challenges, and my career working with private clients and teaching groups bt in person and online into The Mentor Training.
It is something so unique, and so needed in the world, that it already holds its energy and magnetism. I ran it for the first time across 8 months in 2022 and enrolments have just opened up for the 2023 training on Monday. We’ve already ushered a few new students into our space and cannot wait to welcome the rest of you. I would love you to check it out and feel into whether this is something that calls to you.
Remember, your heart will always guide you.
Thank you for being here with me, as I somewhat unskillfully navigated the past year and a half. I did my best. And I am human and sometimes make mistakes. This period has taught me a lot and I sit here today tapping at these keys to send this transmission out to you with so much gratitude in my heart. For the journey. For the struggles that brought me to my knees. For the opportunity to grow. For my community, here. For you. For the ability to feel joy. For all of it.
These writings originate from my occasional (usually every couple of weeks, sometimes less, sometimes more) free email subscription. I like to save the best of me for this space that is so precious to me. If you would like to read more of these types of musings and transmissions, I encourage you to subscribe.
by Vienda | 16 Dec 2022 | Biz + Blogging, personal update
Some years are like being caught in a plunging wave that at first, beckons you with a playful curl and then, drops you into the frenzy of its internal tumble, before spitting you out against the sandy ocean floor with violent speed, leaving you floundering, fighting against the ocean’s mighty force to reach the surface and urgently fill your lungs with air. Over and over again. That was this year for me.
2022 has taught me to navigate the waves of life as a surfer does. With equal parts hope, determination, resilience and surrender.
I learned that I have more strength and capacity than I ever thought. It taught me a level of emotional maturity that was new to me that helped me handle the knockdowns. It gave me opportunities I didn’t know I wanted. It asked me to reclaim my life as my own. As a woman and a human in this very strange cosmic experiment that we call life.
My most recent piece of writing was about how when the question ‘what would make me feel good?’ isn’t big enough anymore, the question ‘how does life want to be expressed through me?’ replaces it. Read the article here.
In 2023, I am:
- Splitting the forward-facing parts of myself as A Person On The Internet into 3.
- Holding the inward-facing parts of myself close so they can rest in the chaotic mystery and intelligence of life. What that means is that my work is coming to rest in 3 separate specific fields instead of being all these other pieces at once.:
1. ‘Vienda’ as my personal brand. It always has been a personal brand in many ways, but I felt like I had to stunt and martyr parts of myself in order to be recognised as a professional in my field(s). It made me sad that I felt like couldn’t share myself fully, including how silly I actually am behind closed doors or how much I love clothes and fashion (almost exclusively second-hand because I believe in sustainability and new is never the answer) or how playful I am because, aside from being playful, I also want to talk about the truth of things which include difficult and confronting topics. I was afraid that too much playfulness would take away their weight and meaning. This part of my work will continue evolving, here in my emails to you, in all of my articles, in my writing over at ‘kismet’ and on Instagram.
2. Plannher as my first and so far only product brand heralding a new intuitive and gentle approach to planning, specifically designed to encourage one’s feminine nature, coupled with journaling practices for holistic, self-reflective, and introspection-informed growth and happiness. My COO Stephanie and I have big dreams and visions to see Plannher reach more people and the tools to be far more accessible across the globe.
3. The Mentor Training as the extension of my psychology, mental health and embodied healing background which aims to be the world’s most accessible and leading-edge training for people to help people by changing how we think about leadership and community while enhancing world peace through self-knowledge, compassion and tools for growth and change.
As of this morning, the website is as complete as it can be at this point, and I would love you to check it out, even if to let me know if we’ve missed any spelling errors (despite combing every page 100 x I’m sure we have missed something somewhere 😅) or haven’t been clear enough.
If becoming a trained mentor is of interest to you, I strongly advise you to join the waitlist, as those on that list will receive a very generous special offer valid only for 10 days from when enrolments open on Monday, January 2. Please peruse The Mentor Training website here.
Before I close this chapter and this calendar year with you, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart with the deepest gratitude for all your support, kind words, marvellous replies to these emails, solidarity during challenging seasons, and outpouring of generosity I receive from you, so very often.
You being here with me brings me the community and sense of belonging that I have always wished for.
Thank you. Until next time.
P.S. I promised some of you I would write a full list of the lessons I’ve learned in 2022, but there’s no more room for those in this transmission, so here are 3 of the biggest, with an exhaustive list due, in the new year:
3 of my biggest lessons this year:
1. Regardless of what we say, ultimately it’s our energy and integrity that matters. If actions thoughts and words are not in alignment, it creates cognitive dissonance, a fragmentation of the mind, body and soul and the things you say you want in your life can never arrive. Because you are out of alignment with them.
2. How beautiful it is for the understanding to fully land with you that you don’t need to chase things, prove your worth, or run to be seen, loved or validated. That actually, the more you recognise your value, worth and Beingness the more the world reflects all that back to you.
3. You can only become whole by seeing the parts of yourself that you don’t really love and staying with them until you find understanding and compassion for why they’re here. And then being really sweet and loving with yourself because you realise they come from an innocent place. That’s how their charge transforms from a burden to a gift.
by Vienda | 5 Jul 2022 | Biz + Blogging, personal update
Two months ago, at the climax of a covid-induce fever, I decided to reclaim my life.
Determined to reprioritise the things that are most important to me: community, connection, time in nature, a sense of motion and movement in life, and creativity, I decided to go all-in, with the little things that are the backbone of life. Simple pleasures. And edit out the rest. I also decided to restructure my business.
Over the past 8 years, I have written 100,000’s words. Over 700 articles. 100’s of entertaining emails. I was published in books and blogs and magazines. All for free.
Writing is my lifeblood. It’s the one thing, I do every day, with great pleasure. It helps me know what I think. It acts as a neutral observer. It often acts as my therapist. If you ask me what I want to ‘do’ with my life, my answer is ‘to write’.
One month ago I began a long-form secret subscription letter called ‘kismet’. A new space where I could freely explore the mysteries of life and my personal fate via words to share with you. In that month, I have written 4 articles for you, each including an audio recording and guided journaling practise video at the end. You can read, listen to, and journal along with me, here.
All 4 of them are free.
I suppose, secretly, deep down, I have always wanted to be acknowledged as an artist. One that writes. Whose life centres around creative expression. And for that expression to be validated through an energetic exchange.
In a world of highly consumed, fast-paced social media so many of us creatives are exhausted from the energetic imbalances of giving more than is often adequately returned.
I am on an assignment to change that.
Late last week I turned the subscription into a paid one. From now on, all new articles (aside from some occasional public posts) will be for paid subscribers only. The subscription is £8 per month.
This gives me the freedom for unfiltered expression for those who truly want to be a part of this kismet world with me, and offers me the privacy to honestly write about everything I want to write about.
What you will receive each month is:
- Subscriber-only posts, incl. audio versions, guided journaling prompts or videos and the full archive of past articles.
- You can post comments, be a part of our intimate conversations and join the ‘kismet’ community.
That night I lay in bed submerged in the deepest gratitude that people want to pay for my art as the first few paid subscribers signed up and I just… cried. Tears of thankfulness, tears of disbelief, tears of relief to have the courage to do something that I’ve wanted for a long time. To be paid for my art.
I am so excited to continue this adventure with you. Thank you for being here. You can join the free or paid subscription to ‘kismet’ here.
To get a feel for my writing:
- start with my blog and work your way through, or…
- for the popular personal updates that inspired ‘kismet’, go here
- for my musings on psychology, the soul and the human experience, try this
- for all my best tips, tools and behind-the-scenes insights into the way I run my business, click here
- for stories on body image, beauty, confidence and the random recipe continue here
- for submerging yourself into stories on travel and freedom, go here
- for my intimate explorations on love and relationships, go here
- for all things intuition and manifestation follow along here
- for all the books I’ve read and recommend, read here
- to explore your creativity with me click here
by Vienda | 9 May 2022 | personal update
Today began as a usual Monday morning… I awake with my furry lover curled in the crook of my knee, kiss him good morning and open the terrace door to let him out. In the bathroom, I remove my aligners, scrape my tongue wash my face… and then crawl back into bed. Half an hour later I awake again. Strange, I think, that never happens.
I move to the kitchen and fill the kettle with filtered water to prepare my morning hydration: 450 ml of warm fresh lemon and ginger. While the kettle boils I stretch. Left, right, hip circles, spine rolls. I’m feeling a little achy.
I take my lemon and ginger to the sofa and start my face yoga routine. The glands by my armpits ache a little. I massage them to activate the lymphatic system. I work my east up my chest neck and face and then prepare breakfast. Fresh strawberries with natural yoghurt and green tea. My body continues to feel achey so I dance, gyrate, stretch some more and then sit down to work.
Inbox zero and most of my DM’s replied the aches seem to increase. I try some more movement practices but nothing helps. I sit down to begin work on some copy for one of my programs but my body won’t comply. The aches turn into shakes and I realise I’m freezing despite the 23 degrees and full tracksuit and socks attire
I get back into bed. And shake and shake. It’s too much. I can’t stop. I go get a Valium, the one thing I self-medícate with and only on the rarest occasions. I get back into bed m, cover myself with blankets, and will my aching muscles to relax.
My mind wanders to a memory, to yesterday, Mother’s Day in many parts of the world and the pangs of sadness I felt about my motherlessness.
The tears come. Streaming down my face, wet pools mark the pillows of my bed as I grieve a childhood without a mother or father present in my life. I hold myself in my arms and let myself weep. I remind myself that ‘I’ve got me’. I know I need to feel this. I need to let it wash through me. The only way out is through.
I believe these physical symptoms are part of the surfacing of suppressed grief, guilt and shame around a situation where I was an innocent child on the receiving end of a host of adult unresolved traumas. It’s why I do this work. Because these patterns… end here. With us. With our willingness to process them, validate them, release them and choose new ways to illuminate the world with the precious gift each human is made up of love.
I stay in bed. The aches and chills are still with me. Yet I know this too, shall pass. My devotion is simply to stay with the wounded child within until she feels safe and loved again. Everything else can wait.
by Vienda | 19 Apr 2022 | personal update
Walking into a thick, tall pine forest. With each step, the trees grow denser and slowly start to block out the sunlight until it is almost entirely dark. A constant twilight descends. It is neither day nor night. I am neither fully here nor elsewhere. I am half awake half asleep. Half broken half whole. Half grieving death half reaching for life.
I start to stumble unable to see where I am going. A subtle panic advances escorting every step. Memories… memories from the many lives I’ve lived in the past 40 years, distress from the many hurts I’ve felt the past 40 years, regrets from the many mistakes I’ve made in the past 40 years… rise up and humble me. All the things I had left untouched, unresolved, unanswered, unwitnessed, unacknowledged haunt me.
I cry for 18 months until there is nothing left to cry about. I forgive all I had shared pain in, atoned the regrets and felt the ravages left by a lifetime of bypassing the extremities of my humanity. The path through the forest, still in that twilight half-darkness, beckons me to continue despite the many junctures at which I question my sanity, my life, my purpose, my place in the world and everything I had once thought to know true.
Then slowly, day by day, little speckles of light start darting through the trees. The forest floor becomes dappled with sunshine as the trees grow slighter. Tiny moments of joy begin to creep into what had become a hardened and heavy heart. Involuntary protection from the aches it has persevered. Endless desolation is replaced by recognition of beauty. A new soft loving openness breathes itself into me.
And there I am. On the other side of the darkest forest, I have ever moved through. An initiation is complete. Maiden to mother. Truths revealed. Maturity claimed. Limitations frontiered. A new woman has emerged.
After 2 years of really intense growth and healing, I am coming out with an entirely new version of myself. While I’m still walking into life like an unsteady newborn I’m really excited and heart-wide-open for what this newest iteration of myself is bringing.
On a pragmatic level, there are so many aspects that have been named, faced and redefined. All things relating: romantic relationships, platonic relationships, familial relationships, and in particular my insolent unwillingness to the way I have played out childish narratives in all of those. All things feeling supported: finances, the entire concept of belonging, having and providing myself with a physical home both bodily and environmentally, community and the paradoxical intersection between my codependency patterns and tendency towards avoidant attachment responses when triggered. All things spirituality: how I had spirituality bypassed all of the above because I was too spiritually evolved and had already transcended it all until my spirit guides LOL’ed into their coupes of cava and hauled me back to my humanness reminding me that I am as evolved as the next person I walk beside and judge.
It has been a journey. I’ve made it past the edge of the treeline after that mammoth cosmic forest swallowed me whole halfway through 2020 and spat me out only days ago. Thank you for your patience while I figure out how life works on this new playing field again. Thank you for being the dappling light of love and encouragement, even if you didn’t know it, on the days I felt the darkest. Thank you for being there alongside me.
From one mere mortal made of stardust to another, I salute you.