Self-Discovery Circle: my new eBook for women

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When I wrote and published my children’s book, Making Mindful Magic little did I know that my path would lead me to writing about self-discovery for women. Ironically, writing that book for children was a significant step in my own self-discovery journey, as I opened to the creativity that lay hidden, dormant inside me.

I found as I became more mindful myself and practiced the techniques, that I not only connected more with the moment I was in but I also connected more deeply with myself. Especially those times spent in meditation drew me further towards the discovery of my real self, the one that had often been in hiding as I allowed expectations from society and others to dictate the person I was supposed to be rather than the person I really was and wanted to be. Living a life that doesn’t reflect us is not sustainable and I found in myself that it leads to discontent and feeling unfulfilled.

 I realised the more I was prepared to spend quiet time alone with myself, the more I craved it. I made time for the space to be with myself, to learn about myself and to feel at peace with that I discovered. I was in fact practising self-love on a deep level, without even realising it.

I became drawn to tools that helped propel me forward on this self-discovery journey, one that has certainly not concluded. It is a continuum with no end but the journey is glorious, often challenging but always rewarding. This is also true for when we feel brave enough to use what we find and accept about ourselves as a means to reflect our true selves in the way we live our lives. This to me is why we are on the self-discovery path – ultimately leading a life that reflects ourselves is the way to happiness.

My new eBook, Self-Discovery Circle: Inspiring and creative activities for women, is a guide to engaging in a range of inspiring, creative activities to help us to learn about ourselves. The tools outlined in the eBook are those I have found rewarding personally on my own self-discovery path and want to share with you, including:

  • Meditation

  • Journaling

  • Experimental art

  • Movement to music

  • Engaging with crystals, essential oils, sound experimentation, oracle cards

  • Connection with nature

  • Reading inspirational texts

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 Some activities, like meditation, inspirational texts and nature connection will help you appreciate and become more comfortable with creating the quiet space within to connect with yourself more fully and to perhaps open to a different point of view. Others like experimental art and movement to music will invite you to a place where you can feel the freedom to express yourself without the fear of judgment or expectation. Putting your thoughts on paper by journaling will help you express issues that are forefront in your life, perhaps past issues or things that bring you passion and joy.

The element of play leads us into our experimentation with crystals, oils, singing bowls and oracle cards which we approach with a spirit of child-like curiosity and wonder that is often so far removed from the responsibility and routine of our daily lives as women.


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Women can use this book in many different ways – alone or with a group of like-minded women. You can use one single activity at a time or build a series of them as I did in the women’s circle workshop that was the inspiration for this book. You will be guided in ways to maximise the benefits from these activities.

This book is for you if you feel that you need more time to spend with yourself, learning about yourself. Consider using it also if you feel there is a part of you that is needing to be honoured and is being held within for any number of reasons. Perhaps you just like the sound of trying new experiences and are curious. If you recognise already that there is a relationship between leading a life that more fully reflects who you are and feeling satisfied, contented and happy, then this book is also for you.

I'm excited to share with you the tools that have helped me on my own self-discovery journey and it is my sincerest wish that by learning more fully who you are and using what you find in your life that you will find greater contentment.

Download your free sample of Self-Discovery Circle: Inspiring and creative activities for women, my new eBook here

Purchase the eBook in our shop here

Five Healing Modalities to Try

It is human nature to want to be the best version of ourselves that we can be – we are seeking that knowledge and the search brings us comfort. People are being drawn to alternative healing modalities to help them heal from past pain and hurt. It is not necessarily that we are very broken but we have become so expert at burying our pain and covering it with activity and busyness that any step into healing is valuable for accessing our highest selves. The more often we go there, the better for us, the people around us and the world as a whole.

It is from this place that I planned three weeks in Bali before landing in my new ‘port’, Italy. I'm drawn here over and over because it is such a healing place, a spiritual place, a place where I have experienced both these dynamics and where I want more. I went back to a few old favourite therapies and tried a couple more that are new to me. You may know of them form experience yourself or want to try them, wherever your location. These are generally universally available and just the experimentation of trying something new will move you forward in your journey and most likely deliver some deep release and healing in the process. 

This is a little taste of what I experienced:

1_Sound Healing

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I entered the very sacred space of The Pyramids of Chi, created in the peaceful countryside, just outside Ubud. There are literally two pyramids built from channelled instruction to capitalise on the very special energy created in a pyramid form. An hour of sound from a variety of bells, gongs and bowls brought me to a state of deep relaxation and gave me access to a deep energy within where I felt very connected with my soul. There are many soul-seekers in the pyramid but it is an experience that brings you deep within yourself in a very solitary state. This is how I reflected:



A symphony of sounds

Surround me

Invade my space

Deep into my bones

I surrender to the peace

To the healing

To the solitude

Over and over it comes in waves

Each wave washing me in love.


2_Traditional Balinese Healer 

I have long since wanted to experience their wisdom and how I found mine was a story of trust. My driver from the airport touched me with his expression of the Balinese nature of reverence and both his knowledge of local healing practices and the fact his father was a holy man in their village led my intuition to trust his advice to visit Made Lunas and my trust was rewarded. Part psychic, part channel and part healer is how I would describe him, engulfed as he was in ritual and symbolism. He had many personal messages for me but these reflections on his universal messages are uplifting for all of us: 


Made’s words had the underlying theme that I need to trust my heart to know where I am headed. He said all will be well if I continue with love in my heart. All the why, who, what, how questions keep us in our head and not in our heart where the truth really lies, always lies. My family and friends are widespread but he brought comfort when he said, ‘It doesn’t matter that you are not physically in the same location for love to continue because love is in your heart no matter where you are.’ His parting words,  ‘Above all else trust yourself, the universe, God. Believe in yourself, feel confident.’ 


3_Breathwork

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This is another session experienced at the Pyramids of Chi. Upon simple instruction an easy technique began of continual, cyclic breathing that allows access to a high functioning part of us, deep within. It is accompanied by music and the instructor and her assistant allowed me to feel very held throughout. It was a beautiful thing to experience this access to myself with revelations about past, present and future easily filling me with a peace and love that was so very real it was tangible. Again, this is something you experience with a roomful of people but your own experience is very personal, losing awareness of those around you. This is one of my later reflections on the experience:

As it progresses, much release happened for me and I felt I was being pulled back to my core – how soft and gentle I was as a child, like that is my true nature and it felt like my easy place. I want to incorporate more of that into my life and way of being. I'm thinking it affects things like, I don’t always have to be right, it’s okay to give in and accept something other than what I want – not always and not when the issue is core to my beliefs, but sometimes when it just doesn’t matter.



4_Theta Healing

Dr Sujatha at  Amrtasiddhi  in Ubud, Bali

Dr Sujatha at Amrtasiddhi in Ubud, Bali

Theta Healing is an energy-based healing modality that works on changing negative beliefs that are deeply held and are stopping us from achieving our full potential in all areas of our lives. It is a little like re-educating us to think more positively about ourselves. These are some of the beliefs that I appreciated having re-enforced as I move into a different phase of my life:

  • My happiness does not detract from anyone else’s

  • I deserve to be happy

  • I am entitled to choose my own life path

These are clearly everyone’s right but our lives are so conditioned by society’s expectations that modalities like this serve us very well to re-enforce that we are ultimately our own source in life. This Theta healing session was with the wonderful Dr Sujatha who I’ve known for many years and who started Amrtasiddhi an Ayurvedic medical centre in Ubud, Bali.






5_Ayurveda

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Healing with Ayurveda is something I’ve been doing for over 10 years now and I was fortunate to have 10 days at at one of my favourite places, Sukhavati Ayurvedic Retreat. During this time I undertook what is called Panchakarma, a series of specific treatments that focus on elimination of toxins to bring us to a state of wholeness, balance and wellness.  But it is not just the physical healing that takes place here. There is meditation, yoga and opportunities for long periods of silence and reflection. It is indeed a blessing to have an opportunity to  escape the daily grind as basic needs are met with love and care. It brings me often to a place within myself where long held pain can rise and be acknowledged free from the busyness of daily life. Here again is a place that is filled with others but the experience is deeply personal. This quote form, Discovering the True You with Ayurveda: How to Nourish, Rejuvenate and Transform Your Life by Sebastian Pole  sums up its essence: 




“Because we cannot scrub our inner body we need to learn a few skills to help cleanse our tissues, organs, and mind. This is the art of Ayurveda.” 

I feel grateful and blessed for this time here in Bali where healing is a long-held and easily accessed tradition. Spending this time with and on myself has brought me to a greater sense of me, helped heal some long-held pain and allowed me to centre and reflect on my life and where I am heading. We’d love you to share any of your own experiences with healing modalities in the comments. 

Feel the Rain

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‘Some people get wet and others feel the rain. These are wise words by Bob Marley.  I thank him for them because since I found them, they have stayed with me as a life goal. I want to be that person who feels the rain! 

In order to feel the rain, we need to be willing to accept an experience as a whole, accept the difficult aspects and embrace the opportunity it brings.  In Ubud during a week of experimentation with some healing modalities I had not experienced before I came to know this to be true. On a personal recommendation I tried a session with a particularly renowned reflexologist – I knew it would be painful but perhaps hadn’t anticipated the extent or depth. When I left, I was expecting to feel revitalised but instead my back (that he had identified as troublesome), felt painful and I felt disconnected from the previous gains I had made through months of work with my chiropractic network healer back home. And so continued both my discomfort and my discontent. The negative thoughts were flowing and disrupted me from the blissful state generated by days of sound healing, chakra balancing, breathwork and meditation. 

My journaling brought me another perspective as is a common occurrence for me. I was asked to welcome the reflexology as an opportunity to bring another dimension to my total Ubud experience. This is what I wrote: ‘It may feel like it broke some harmony but harmony can be restored on another level and you can be more harmonious than ever before, in a deeper way. That is how revitalisation works – take what is known and already present and made and add new information, experiences, people and renew the original so it is better. Take the reflexology experience in the same way. Be grateful and welcome the re-calibration with your physical self that it brings.’ Strangely or not, when I embraced this philosophy the ‘re-calibrating’ began and my back and whole body feels whole again. To bring that new aspect into my physical being I had to look at the experience in a totally different way, one that sought the positives rather than the negatives. I also had to be brave in the first instance to try something new and potentially painful – that is how we move forward and facilitate and embrace change in our lives. As I recently wrote in another blog post, in the words of Brenee Brown, ‘I choose courage over comfort’. 

As part of my week in Ubud, I also visited a wonderful traditional Balinese healer and one of his messages was for me to keep learning and to share what I find. This is one such learning – I want to keep trying new experiences and adding them and assimilating and accommodating them into what I already know and into who I already am. In doing so, I want to feel the rain and not just get wet! 

A Lesson in Trust

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It’s pretty standard spiritual thought to trust that things will work out but sometimes the universe conspires to test our belief. If you follow me on social media or read my blogs you’ll probably know that I am embarking on big changes in my life. I’ve got my Italian Visa allowing me to spend some quality time there living like a local.  Sounds perfect – but lurking in the background (or some days in the foreground) was the air of self-doubt. Some days I felt like I was in hiding, not brave enough to venture out and claim my place. My head would go into the questions – why, how, what? Not surprising, given in just a few short days I was to leave the security and comfort of places and people I have called home all my life.

Meanwhile my regular spiritual tools were sending me messages - for three days in a row I pulled the ‘Trust’ card. I then pulled the ‘Solar Plexis Chakra” card- the seat of power and self-esteem! Keep it coming universe! It was the reminder I needed to believe it would all come together! It got me over the line and I set off to try that new version of life.  

Many months ago I planned to spend some time in Bali before my Italian destination. Bali is synonymous with healing, it has an energy that transcends traffic conditions and tourist numbers. Its people are gentle and caring and softly go about the business of daily life whist maintaining a reverence with their daily offerings to their god. I love coming here as it has been the home of some very significant healing for me physically, emotionally and spiritually. I'm here now in Ubud as I write, only a few days into a three week stay but already the peace and the release this place gives me fills me with gratitude for the opportunity, for the wonderful spirituals and healers who are here, for the heart-warming kindness of the people and for this lush tropical paradise that reminds me of how strongly I feel the pull to be in nature. 

Photographs by  The Travelling Light

Photographs by The Travelling Light

While I'm here I'm undertaking many spiritual ceremonies and healings with all manner of modalities, some I am a repeat visitor to but others like today’s session with a traditional Balinese healer is new to me. How I found him is itself a lesson in trust but that’s for another time. I found being with the healer was a sacred experience, filled with ritual and one that resonated deeply with me. He re-enforced all manner of aspects of my life and touched on what we all worry about – family, health, career, relationships, finances.  It surprised me with the depth of his understanding of my life and me personally. Obviously, this isn’t the place to reveal all I was told but I would like to share his universal message around love and trust.

His underlying theme and the one he kept returning to was that I need to trust my heart to know where I am headed and that I will be safe, loved and all will be well. He said all he told me would happen if I continue with love in my heart. He further explained that the why, who, what, how questions, keep us in our head and not in our heart where the truth really lies, always lies. He said God has nothing but love, so take his example and trust that all will work out in your life. 

He made life sound very simple, full of hope and certainly trust. His life of course is a reflection of that belief– he lives the life of a simple man, trusting his well-being is a given. Being in Bali itself is a re-enforcement of that principle too. The people have an energy that is enviable and the simplicity of their own lives is evidence that trusting all will work out is a convincing principle to live by.  There is a big world out there and to find my real place in it I need to trust both myself and the universe to find it.

"I trust in the ebb and flow of the universe. I trust that life’s bigger than what I can see… And I trust that no matter what happens, I will be all right."       

~ Oprah Winfrey           

Welcome the Challenge

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I love Brenee Brown.  I’ve watched more than a couple of times to her latest offering on Netflix, ‘ The Call to Courage’. It’s not because I didn’t get the message the first time! No! I got it so much I wanted to keep pretending she was my very own personal life coach, willing me forward! I’ve been loving her messages around vulnerability for quite a while now but this one speaks to me like she actually is speaking to me!

The thing is though, I already know this message by heart, the one that keeps telling me to step into my power, to be brave enough to make my own life no matter what anyone else thinks that life is looking like. It’s been there very consciously in recent times but sub-consciously it’s been there all my life.  It’s part of my life lesson to find the courage to be the real me and live my life as a reflection of it. 

I’ve actually now put a lot of steps in place to make this life of mine happen as I want it to. I’m good at organising to make things happen but from time to time, often the actual stepping into the plan myself was elusive. It sometimes feels surreal but I finally have that elusive Italian Visa in my passport that will allow me to taste the different life I’ve been coveting. Amongst the excitement and satisfaction there are many emotions that float in and out. Anxiety around how this will work out or even at times, if it will work out is underlying. There is guilt at leaving family members but I'm tempering this with the sage advice from Brenee. I am taking her words very personally when she says  ‘to live in the arena…to be brave with ..life. ..to show up…take chances ….have a go at life.’ I'm listening to the message to be brave and to be proud that finding the courage to be vulnerable and to take risks is part of my plan. 

I'm coaching myself as well to get me through the processes, decisions, paperwork and organisation that were needed and still need to happen to get me there. At times I can feel my body carrying the old tension so I'm willing myself to relax and stay calm, to let go of past habits and issues, to actively breathe instead of holding that breath in. I'm using what I’ve learned to stay in the present moment rather than to think too far ahead though. I'm telling myself to look at each part of the journey as mine to live, to thank myself for the organisational gifts I have, working through that long list to get myself there. I'm looking at those jobs as just steps and to welcome the satisfaction of a job well done! I'm letting the love flow to myself for being brave, for having a go, for daring to try something different with my life.

As part of my Italy plan and before I arrive in a few weeks, I’m spending some time in Bali, a place where deep healing has happened for many, including myself. Let the healing be deep, intuitive and full of self-love and opening to the brave me. I want to be bountiful with myself to welcome the abundance of new connections, interactions and learning both for myself, with myself and about myself. 

So I’ll openly use Brenee and her words of wisdom to keep my courage up as I enter the arena and like Brenee, before I get out of bed in the morning I’m going to use her words and tell myself, ‘Today I choose courage over comfort’ for there will surely be discomfort, disappointments and moments of self-doubt but against it will be the satisfaction of knowing that I dared to give life a push. When I accept her advice, I feel in possession of my life and my emotions as though I have put some angst and fear to bed. I also feel mellow and accepting of where life will take me and what it will bring. I feel grateful and blessed for my opportunities. 

Motherhood is a Complex Gift

Mother and Child by Gustav Klimt

Mother and Child by Gustav Klimt

This weekend in my part of the world it’s Mother’s Day so thoughts of motherhood are quite naturally with me. I have many blessings in my life. I feel them intensely when I am with my children. It’s not often we are physically together being geographically spread across continents but we are emotionally together no matter where we are and for that I am immensely grateful.

I view motherhood as a most special gift. I am filled with wonder at how this came about, the sheer brilliance of human creation. In the words of Pamela S Nadav, ‘There is a special sweetness on being able to participate in creation.’ I know it, I am grateful for it and I celebrate it. 

But it is not only the physicality of motherhood that is intriguing but also the idea that we have influence on the spirituality of our children, a role neither mother nor child may even be aware of. I love that such an icon of our time, Oprah Winfrey says as much,

‘I believe the choice to become a mother is the choice to become one of the greatest spiritual teachers there is’. 

This idea is not only beautiful and humbling for me as a mother  but it made me ponder on what we as mothers learn and pass on in some form to our children in our role as  spiritual teachers as we are nurturing lives and in the process help shape them.

To me mother hood is:

An opportunity to give and receive nurturing, wisdom and joy. 

It is a way to learn about humanity in all its forms - strength and weakness, vulnerability, openness and challenges. 

It is a way to learn about yourself, to define boundaries and to keep re-defining them as individuals, life and circumstances change. 

It has hurt

It has worry

It has shame and guilt as we strive for the unattainable model of mothering perfection

It has incredible and tangible joy and happiness

It has satisfaction at what you achieve as a mother and individual, what your children achieve as individuals and what together you achieve. 

It is an opportunity for reflection, humility and gratitude  

It teaches restraint, knowing when to step back and when to offer help and advice 

It offers each of us, mother and child, the opportunity for independence and growth while still maintaining strong bonds that will not diminish 

But mostly it is an opportunity to give and receive absolute love. 

Mothering is a finely tuned symphony and one I'm honoured to be playing my part in. This symphony is played with great nuance when played well – knowing when to step up and when to step back, when to go softly and when to push a little harder. It is often trial and error borne of experience, mostly intuition but when love is the key we manage to find our way and the part to play. I am truly blessed.

Moving Above Circumstance into our Real Selves

Painting by Hilma Af Klint dove no. 13, 1915

Painting by Hilma Af Klint dove no. 13, 1915

There is something embedded in the pages of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way that makes me want to step into life as well as into my creativity. I love this book so much and the more often I read its wisdom the more I realise it’s not only for artists to re-affirm their creativity. It’s for all of us to re-affirm our own life issues and to step into our real selves, to find who we really are. 

One of its core tools is to write three pages every morning about anything! It even encourages us to write nonsense and subsequently without judgment but the more we write the more open we become as we free ourselves from expectation and allow the juices to flow, to step into that flow and be ourselves, let go of what we don’t want or need and to be open to what we find. It’s a creative journey but it is also an everyday journey. Whatever it is, it is an eventful journey that requires trust and a degree of courage in both ourselves and our ability to trust. 

I found the section ‘Finding the River’ and in it we are asked to let go of negativity and move with the flow of the river towards spirituality and trust, as we gradually loosen our hold on judgement and step into acceptance. 

We see that our moods, views and insights are transitory. We acquire a sense of movement. A current of change in out lives. This current, or river, is a flow of grace moving us to our right livelihood, companions, destiny.’

I love the way this quote encourages us to move forward into the flow of life, opening us to possibilities and acceptance of what we find.

I'm piecing this together with what I am experiencing in my own life at the moment. It is the last leg, the final piece as I put together what a different way of living may look like for me, for however long. I'm back in my home town to get the Italian Visa that will give me that freedom. I’ve found myself in accommodation that is challenging me – it’s aesthetic is not mine. It’s tempting me to wander into negativity and let the stories of doubt run free. The questions arise. Is this how you want to live? Are you prepared to give up some creature comforts to explore a new and different side of yourself and life? It’s so easy to go there but there is little hope of reward with this type of thinking. Here’s another pearl from Julia Cameron that is helping me grasp and hold onto the pointlessness of negativity, “Negative Beliefs are just that: beliefs not facts. The world as never flat, although everyone believed it was. You are not dumb, crazy, egomaniacal, grandiose or silly just because you falsely believe yourself to be.’ 

Aligned with this negativity is judgment and where I find myself is definitely a test for me about judgment versus acceptance. As I move forward into a new spaces and new people, I aspire to let go of the judgment and accept people and things as they really are, without my own ideas of what standard things and people should meet. Stories are so easily run, over and over when we let ourselves go there. People and places have their own journey and I have mine – I want to remember that as I move forward. That’s what can take us so easily out of the present moment. We ca instead choose to land our  bodies in the here and now, feel it embody the space and the whole environment we find ourselves in. 

To bring me to reality further this morning I pulled my regular oracle card and it tells me to ‘Listen to Guidance’ – It’s one I get a lot! So I start writing and I listen. My guidance steps up and lets me know that this is about opening to myself, others and my surroundings whilst staying true and firm to myself. I’m told that it is one of my lessons, one that becomes clearer to me as time moves me forward and I am often tested by circumstance. 

I'm told to write about, paint about, speak about it. It is my mission. I'm currently back in Australia for a short while to organise my visa to stay in Italy and where I have landed is not a space I have fallen in love with but I am told it is testing me, it’s the same thing, the same theme. I'm told to remain here, to embed my own energy here, letting other’s energy pass from this space to the outdoors and to fill it with my own. My energy, the one seeking self, remains and is true and worthy of how I want to live – on my own terms, without hindrance of possessions. Slot into the space as an owner of it, to be a reflection of the real me.

The Audition

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So this poem happened as I was strolling around the French Quarter in New Orleans. It served to remind me that despite all this activity and craziness there are always opportunities to re-ground and re-connect with what really matters. 

Sitting amongst the noise of performers on street corners and visitors over-celebrating was a young man sitting at a tiny table which carried an old-fashioned portable typewriter. The writer in me was immediately drawn to him and he told me he could write me a poem on any topic and I could pay him anything I liked for the outcome. 

Easily, from within I pulled the topic of self-discovery, a topic always close to me but rather abandoned as I spend several weeks touring around the US with a group of friends. We chatted for a while. He found the essence of what I was seeking with his words, delivered with simplicity but great potence. This is what I was given.

The Audition

The stage is set for 

a new audition, the meeting between

me and place

me and the possibility of me

as place draws it out of me

like a rib,

not the sort of self-discovery

we bandy about as kids,

but life has happened

hard and strong and good

and this isn’t about

jettisoning the bad

but finding the true,

not the provenance of the theatre

but true verite –

an audition for myself.


Lecco Morris, New Orleans, April 2019


I hugged him – he said all I felt in those lines of his, it was like he looked into my soul. This is an audition for myself to be myself, to carry that with me and not to be distracted by what happens around me but to keep the purpose in my heart, in my way of living. It’s not about forgetting all that has passed but about finding what there is at the very core of who I am and it seems new places open me to the possibility of another me. Finding a new place can serve me as a catalyst to open to my real self. I feel that place is coming and that me is coming.  

Life Reflects What we Know to be True

Photography by  The Travelling Light

Photography by The Travelling Light

As I sit here writing, I feel a sense of urgency to share of myself on a level that is opening and inspirational but also practical. I am being given the gift of time so I can facilitate this – I know it. It is what developing the women’s self-discovery circles and the soon to be released ebook, is all about. The new phase will be an opportunity to hold recurring circles on a regular basis in a new place, for however long that is. It will be an opportunity to finish writing that book, the one that keeps getting pushed to the background as life and its demands take over.

I am ready to significantly change how I live my life, far from the familiarity and ease to which I had become accustomed. In a few months I’m embarking on another stage in the re-invention program. I am the re-invention! I’ve travelled a lot but never lived anywhere besides the city I was born in. How simple was life when I could wake up, know exactly what was ahead and to engage easily with those I have known for a large part of my life or at least with people that I share some history, albeit even if that is only culturally.

But I know that is not enough for me to call this a life I want. I have no judgment on others around this, many times I wish it was right for me too but I know it isn’t.

I’m going to a totally new town, where I literally know no one and where I will be establishing myself totally from scratch in a community that is small enough to notice a newcomer. There is nowhere to hide!  I’m going way out of my comfort zone. 

“Always go a little further into the water than you feel you're capable of being in. Go a little bit out of your depth. And when you don't feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you're just about in the right place to do something exciting.”

David Bowie

That then is the point. This is my opportunity for re-invention. This is calling me to live as a reflection of who I really am, without the history I’ve carried, without the expectation of family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances. It is a chance to be myself, to speak my truth and live it and to share it. 

I do have this strong feeling that I'm meant to share what I’ve learned so far. When I wrote the below list of what I know to be true for myself it was tempting to wade into harsh self-judgment but instead I am choosing to be kind to myself and accept it because it is personal and that is all I can express. Whether it is profound or affirming is for others to decide for themselves.

So this is what I’ve learned and know to be true for me ….


I know to be free to live as you choose is a life-goal 

I know to find who we really are is a never-ending journey 

I know the journey is the point not a means to the end. On that journey we learn own lessons and we help facilitate the lessons of those we meet. 

I know we can be free of our past ties, letting go of the expectation from ourselves and others

I know to dig deeply into oneself can be frightening, sometimes what we find is not what we were expecting

I know it takes courage to make changes 

I know that changes can bring discomfort or extreme emotions

I know self-judgment and all judgment is damaging remaining until we take active steps to move away from it and heal

I know a meaningful life doesn’t come from expecting possessions to fulfil us

I know to be a parent is both joy and pain

I know the ultimate goal of parenting is to let go

I know we each have our own lives to live

I know when I ask for guidance it comes

I know I must open to hear and receive the guidance

I know the guidance received is not always what we want to receive

I know we have free will in whether we accept or act on that guidance

I know people are inherently good

I know we can attract unlimited goodness into our lives

I know being in nature connects us with the grounded spirit of the natural world

I know there is a deep connection between opening to our creative selves and being our true selves

I know to be in the present moment is to also be with myself

I know to truly be with myself is what I seek


I am being given the gift of time so I can incorporate what I know more fully into my life as a reflection of my truth. I welcome it and I am grateful.

In Harmony with Place

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Whilst it is undoubtedly true that we can be at home within ourselves anywhere, anytime it also helps to find that special place that makes the feeling of ‘home’ within ourselves easier to access. These special places can allow us to blossom into who we are really meant to be.  

Perhaps it is for some of us where we are born but for others it’s a place that is discovered, that sings to us and pulls us in and when we find it, we know. Perhaps it is not a forever place but it is a place that calls us to live and learn a part of us that can only be truly learned there. Perhaps then that lesson is carried to other places and times. This is such a time in my life now and it is not something I ignore. I’ve taken some difficult options to get to the point where ‘I can’ so to put it simply, ‘I am’. 

I'm on a month’s sojourn in a tiny town in Italy called Mercatello sul Metauro that I’ve had an association with for almost ten years.  Little by little it’s taught me a lot. As Italian towns go, whilst it is beautiful, it is not filled with incredible monuments but it is filled with authenticity and peace and a slow way of life that pulls me in every time and I leave wanting more. I feel very grounded here. I am in harmony with this place, with its soul and its bones. It’s taught me about acceptance, acceptance for other cultures and people and their way of life and patience to put aside my expectations and to believe what needs to happen, will. It’s taught me gratitude for the opportunities I have and for who I am as a person and for the experiences and people that have been and are still in my life. 

It isn’t only this tiny place that calls me though; I'm feeling the need to spend time in Italy, to live a little differently and connect more fully with myself and my passions for self-expression through writing and art. This month in Mercatello is stage one. Stage two will come a few months from now when, armed with an Italian VISA, I’ll be free to explore more and settle in one place for longer.

When I first arrived in Rome on my way to Mercatello and even after the excessively long flight from Australia, I could feel the energy of this country. It was like coming home, coming home to me. It’s peaceful and calming yet also energizing and inspiring, calling me to write how I feel, to bring out the paint and create. But I can also sit and ‘be’ here without that constant need to ‘do’ and the combination is glorious and I am forever grateful for the opportunity.

And so it starts, this venturing into trying to live in my harmony place, at least for a while. I feel whole here, at peace here, free here. One of my favourite books, Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes challenges us to give ourselves opportunities to blossom and I’ve decided to accept the challenge. This is my time. 

‘I hope you will go out and let stories, that is life, happen to you, and that you will work with these stories... water them with your blood and tears and your laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom.’ 

-Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Celebrating Introversion

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I often use a quote to inspire me to write and this week as I was reading one of my favourite poets Rupi Kaur,  I was touched by both her insightful homage to introverts and that she gave me an opportunity to identify with her because I'm one too!

One of my favourite things is alone time. I'm not anti-social, I don’t hate people but I need time to be myself and space to be myself. According to statistics introverts are estimated to make up around 30% of the world. 

One of the key ways to know if you are an introvert is to gauge whether you re-charge from social interaction or whether it drains you. Not all social interaction though!  If you are exhausted by small talk and are energised by meaningful conversation then chances are you an introvert or have introverted aspects. 

Celebrate it and open to it. Accept yourself and so will others. Give yourself boundaries and keep them and make sure others do too as this is an important part of your self-preservation plan.

You can re-charge with mediation and quiet time. You’ll feel at peace in nature and soothing peaceful music will be your friend. Try some baroque music to lift your spirits, to inspire you and to let yourself soar.

If you have an introvert child, rejoice and explore and celebrate it with them as introverts especially will feel secure and valued and accepted if their true nature is seen as a gift. Encourage them to establish their own boundaries too – they are on the path to self-discovery and accepting their authentic self is your loving  gift to them and one they can carry always. 

Remember, whether it is you, your child, a friend, a family member or an acquaintance introverts are very sensitive so celebrate yourself or them because changing is not an option – it is part of being in acceptance of the true self! 

This blog post more deeply explores parenting a sensitive or introverted child http://makingmindfulmagic.com/blog-posts/parenting-sensitive-child?rq=introverts

And for further reading on the topic I recommend:

‘Quiet:The Power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking’ by Susan Cain
‘The Highly Sensitive Person’s Survival Guide’ by Ted Zeff
‘Parenting the Highly Sensitive Child’ by Julie B Rosenshein 

Using ‘Distraction-Deprivation’ for Self-Connection

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This is not the first time I have blogged using this treasure of a book, The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron for inspiration. Today as is often part of my routine, I picked up this book, randomly opened a page and began reading about what Julia calls, Reading Deprivation. What I read, as is also often the case, really sang to me and I can easily relate it to my own life.

She writes that by depriving ourselves of the distraction (and obvious pleasure) of reading for a period of time, we are opening up to ourselves and giving ourselves every opportunity for self-connection which is so essential to leading the artist’s life of self-expression. It is of course applicable to every life, no matter the outlook or the occupation, no matter the age or the sex. At times many of us use reading as an escape from self-connection and present moment connection itself.

She goes further to say that she will be ridiculed for this suggestion, such is many people’s connection with it. What can't be denied though is her reporting that when folk follow this regime, and she suggests a week of it, if the creative juices were latent and hiding, then this is a sure way to get them moving again and into the forefront of a life.

From my own perspective, I certainly use reading as a distraction from living in the present moment. Instead of sitting and connecting with the waves as I sit on a beach, how much more interesting can it be to engross myself in a novel which removes me from where I am into some fantasy. There is certainly a place for this emersion but I need to acknowledge that time without it is a worthwhile pursuit.

I’ve attended a couple of retreats where as part of the 10-day program, not only was reading banned but also media of all kinds, conversation and of course the ultimate distractor, social media! This was terrifying to begin but the eventual realisation of self-connection was greatly helped by the removal of these distractions. I came to appreciate that there was only me, the present moment and me in it. 

You can use this on a sliding scale of course – is it only reading that we deprive ourselves of or is it also all media devices, all social media or even all conversation? Is it for an hour, several hours, a day, a week? Is this just for you or can you work it with others in your life – perhaps your children, your partner, your pupils? 

Whatever we can manage in ‘distraction deprivation’ will be worthwhile as we navigate through ways to closer self-connection and creativity. If you’re inspired to take up this challenge, we’d love to hear what you found along the way. Hopefully it will be a deeper connection to yourself as you allow yourself the luxury of time just with you.

Wild Woman Reaching

Painting by Lea

Painting by Lea

Wild woman reaching is often an enigma

She knows where she has to go 

But needs to break through so much to get there

She must know her pain

Conquer her pain

Her attachments

Her past lives 

Her programming

All holding her back 

She is tied to the earth

It is her home

Where she is free

Where she is whole

But reaching through 

She takes the earth with her and soars

To a new plane

Where she is free to be

Whoever she is

Wherever she is

All judgment is gone

Even her own

MAGIC MAKERS: Marlena Curlis, Child of Fortune, Crystal & Reiki-Infused Jewellery Maker

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Magic Makers is an interview series on the Making Mindful Magic blog exploring how different people - makers, parents, writers, artists, teachers - open to themselves, connect to themselves, how people make mindful magic.

Marlena Curlis, originally from Berlin, Germany, moved to the Byron Shire on the East coast of Australia a few years ago. Moving to Australia represented a chance to start afresh and explore things she’d never been able to delve into before - reiki and crystal healing, spirituality, writing, art and jewellery making.

In the process of exploring these things, Child of Fortune was born, a collection of sustainably and ethically produced healing crystal jewellery pieces and other accessories like eye pillows, all infused with reiki energy one-by-one by Marlena, herself, a certified reiki practitioner. The idea was to make something in the physical form that would be worn everyday, as a constant reminder of positive affirmations that could help women to become more empowered and fulfilled in different areas of their life. The products are designed to help women on their healing journey, to help them infuse their everyday lives with self-love and care.

We’ve recently begun stocking Child of Fortune reiki-infused crystal jewellery in our shop, check it out here.

We asked Marlena a few questions about her jewellery, how she hopes it will help women to connect with themselves, and how she connects with her own soul on a regular basis…

Tell us a little about what you make for your jewellery offering, Child of Fortune…

The healing bracelets I create are designed to support women in letting go of false beliefs that make us feel powerless, unworthy or unlovable. They help to establish new beliefs that make us realise how empowered and loveable we are. Choosing to remove limiting beliefs from our subconscious mind and affirming our greatness is a powerful way to manifest positive things in our lives.

Rose Quartz, reiki-infused by Marlena, a certified reiki practitioner

Rose Quartz, reiki-infused by Marlena, a certified reiki practitioner

The   I Release bracelet  , available online in our shop   here

The I Release bracelet, available online in our shop here

The crystals of each healing bracelet are carefully chosen for a specific healing purpose and come with instructions on how to program them for a desired intention. Every day the bracelet will remind you to repeat your positive affirmations.

From my own experience I know how powerful the mind is and how we can manifest anything we want by using daily affirmations.

The crystals in each bracelet support us on this healing journey with their vibrational frequency.

The   I Release bracelet  , available online in our shop   here

The I Release bracelet, available online in our shop here

I Am Connected bracelet  , available in our online shop   here

I Am Connected bracelet, available in our online shop here

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What made you want to create these beautiful pieces in the first place?

I discovered my passion for crystals when I moved from Germany to the Byron Shire. I started meditating with different crystals and felt how each crystal has a unique vibration that serves a certain healing purpose.

I didn’t want to limit myself using the power of crystals only during meditation, so looked for sustainably sourced crystal beads to create healing bracelets that I could wear every day.

I started to realise that everything I struggled with in my life, I had manifested by repeating limiting beliefs. When I became aware of these limiting beliefs, I could start to replace them with positive, healthy affirmations.

I immediately felt a shift in my life and saw how positive affirmations attracted good things into my life without any effort. With this in mind I designed each bracelet so that it helps women to become more empowered and fulfilled in different areas of their life.

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If you could solve one problem in the world, what would it be?

I would love to see every kindergarten and school in the world have a class that teaches children about emotional wellbeing.

I believe that emotional skills are at least as important as history.

Teaching our children how to identify and manage their emotions will create a more united world in which we communicate with each other in a healthier way.


How has your own creativity and self-expression played a part in Child of Fortune and what you’ve created?

Since my childhood I have enjoyed creating and expressing myself through art. Being in a creative state of mind is like meditating for me. I lose track of time and my mind becomes very still. I am fully immersed in creating.

I Am Connected bracelet  , available in our online shop   here

I Am Connected bracelet, available in our online shop here

The joy and fulfilment coming from this state of being flows into every piece of jewellery I create. Being a reiki practitioner, I infuse each piece with reiki after creating it and seal the healing energy in each bracelet. This way, every bracelet is charged with healing energy in addition to the power of the crystals to support you on your journey to self-love.

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How do you practice self-care and self-love in your own life?

I have my self-care ritual that allows me to begin every day feeling at peace. Every morning before work I get up early enough to sit in my quiet space and meditate for twenty minutes. Sometimes I hold a healing crystal during meditation, sometimes I give myself reiki during it. Afterwards I do ten minutes of yoga to stretch my body and let energy flow through it. Then I say out loud each of my positive affirmations three times.

I always prepare a healthy breakfast like homemade muesli with coconut yoghurt and some fruit. I cook healthy with a lot of fresh vegetables because I know that what I put into my body affects how I feel. Still, I allow myself to have treats now and then because they make me happy and that counts too!

I make room for self-care days where I have baths, a cleansing face mask, long beach walks and focus on being rather than doing. It is so important to fill up your cup first in order to be able to give love, attention and energy to others!


Marlena’s reiki-infused, intentional crystal healing jewellery is now available in our shop, explore the unique, handcrafted pieces here!

Follow Marlena and the Child of Fortune journey here

Accepting Change

Wind Blowing from Mt. Fuji by Hosokibara Seiki (1885-1958) Japan

Wind Blowing from Mt. Fuji by Hosokibara Seiki (1885-1958) Japan

As a sequel to last week’s blog about the need to maintain myself amid the challenges of life, I realise what a major topic this is for me in my own personal development. Part of this is an acceptance of and commitment to change how I view myself, those around me and where I sit in the world. Change within us happens slowly but it does involve firstly a deep desire to make the change. 

It also involves accepting that life is not always going to be easy. I resonate with this Deepak Chopra quote, ‘All great changes are preceded by chaos’. I think this is often true as we abandon the safety of what we know and tip ourselves into the great unknown. We are asking ourselves to abandon that which we feel safe with and head towards what we don’t know. With this, internal and external chaos may result. 

Personally, I want to use myself as my own anchor in life, not relying on others as my anchor and to let go of the expectations of ‘should do’ rather than what my true self is guiding me to do. It isn’t selfish to think like this. I now see, I spent many years making sure I did what I ‘should’ rather than relying on what I ‘know’. It led me to a place of disconnection with myself and as I move forward on my path I want to embrace deep connection with the self and I feel it happening more and more. 

I totally empathise with the safety of the familiar but something has moved within me and I feel compelled to change both myself and my surroundings as I seek the best version of me that I can be – the creative me, the wild me, the free me yet also the introverted me which helps bring the peace and calm I crave.  

A different version of ourselves may be confronting to people around us as we move from fulfilling the expectation of others to living the life that reflects our real selves. Ultimately it is for the greater good of everyone to live with their own truth.  

Whether you wish to bring big changes or small into your life, change will be inevitable and sometimes those changes will not be easy. Accept them as part of the inevitable transition process towards a more fulfilling life.

Holding my own Space

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My onward journey of living a life I love that reflects my true self has some bumps on the path and recent travels have highlighted a few lessons I need to navigate.  Here’s one – I need to maintain my real self amid the challenging influences of life.

 It’s easy when I'm alone to be my real self, to satisfy my need for peace and solitude, my need to be creative. However, in situations like those I explain below, I find my real self can sometimes hide and instead the human self who likes to fit in and be accepted finds it easy to surface. There is this inner conflict between the instant gratification of having fun and doing what’s in my best interests.

 As I dig further into how my future may pan out, there will be challenges to maintain myself despite pressures from other people. Situations like this come to mind - meeting new people, trying to fit in with them versus being my true self and accepting that not everyone’s idea of me can be satisfied.  The logistics of life in a foreign country, of travelling as part of the adventure may offer me distractions from my path. I may meet others who will look to me to fill a need, perhaps a need I won’t want to fill but may feel pressured to fill. In scenarios like this it’s easy for me to lose the essence of my real self. So for me this is about affirming my standards of integrity and setting boundaries with myself and others.

Self-judgement can so easily arise when I  see some particularly strong souls who can maintain themselves and their truth amid the chaos of life. I remind myself that this is a goal worth pursuing but I am human after all and it’s okay to fail.  My goal in the short term is to accept myself and to acknowledge that I am doing the best I can. If I miss my routine, I miss my routine. Eventually I will remember that I need to create and I need to meditate. It's trial and error. I have the intention to establish boundaries and commitments with myself to check in with myself, and to have daily practices that nurture my true self. I know I can keep my routines and rituals that inspire and balance me, that protect and move me. I know I have the strength but it can abandon me and I fall for the easy and go with the flow of others and life in general and what arises can seem far more attractive and easier than a solitary twenty minutes of meditation for example.  It’s easy to forget who I am and what is in my best interests.

 I love this quote by S.Kelley Harrell,

 “We can’t turn our true selves off and on situationally and expect them to carry and sustain us. Rationing creativity results in bipolarism of the spirit. Our creativity is also our life force. When we turn it off and on like a spigot, we start to become less and less able to control the valve.” 

I can ignore my real self in short bursts but ultimately, I know that if that happens for a period of time, then I just feel less, apart from my soul and ungrounded. That’s not who I truly am. 

Trusting Intuition to Deliver

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This week marks the start of a new year.  Like many I have earmarked 2019 as a year of change. I’ve looked inward and pondered what might be, chosen how I want life to be and taken steps to make it happen. 

Recently however, the universe has been sending me some strong messages to step back from too much control and to surrender and let the universe take care of things. I’ve been offered solutions to problems that have arisen but some seemed too risky for me to let things work out without me. It’s not always easy to resist being human.

One of my current lessons is around scarcity - having trouble believing that what I need will be delivered if I just let go of some of the control and let the universe find a way to deliver it. Instead, a belief has creeped in centred around the idea that I’d better take what I can now because there won’t be anything better in the future. I’d thought I was further along in trusting both my own intuition and the universe’s ability to deliver but as what can happen when an unfamiliar and challenging situation arises, it’s easy to revert to former patterns. 

I’ve written before that I'm making big changes to my life in 2019 by packing my possessions into storage, letting go of my apartment and spending most of 2019 overseas. I’d decided to trust my intuition more to lead me to being more self-reliant, to be brave enough to try living in another country for a while and to accept that all will work out as it should with whatever I need. That has been the goal and whilst still in my own country with familiarity as my friend, all was good. 

Enter my human self - fear, expectation, change and unfamiliarity - surfaced! After a busy time travelling in Europe with family and friends over Christmas, I had planned a quiet 10 days in Italy to explore my options for a place to settle for several months in 2019 that felt intuitively right to me. In reality, I found myself settling for less than felt right, ignoring signs being given to me both from my own intuition and the universe. In my accommodation search I began accepting the easiest option rather than trusting the best option would arise.

The first place I booked was done in a hurry, convinced as I was that I would not find anything else. The owner subsequently put up the price substantially just a short while before I was due to arrive with the option to cancel the booking. I  worried about availability and my issue with scarcity arose again.  I accepted it because it was the easiest option but I knew in my heart that this was ‘an out’ the universe was giving me. I arrived and from the first moment I knew this place was not right – the energy was deadening, it was cold in the extreme and very isolated. I gathered my internal fortitude and left.

This scenario propelled me into a head space where ‘scarcity’ again arose and so to quell my fear I accepted another place, using my head and not my intuition as my guide. It fulfilled my desire for a space with modern amenities but it also went against a number of my selection criteria – it wasn’t in the mountains, not in my preferred location, it wasn’t near a village or town but it was available and that was all that mattered to me in my ‘scarcity’ mindset.  When I arrived, I tried to convince myself that it didn’t matter, that the beautiful space with the wonderful energy was enough. It is on some levels  but it is isolated, I miss the mountains and I find all the driving its location entails, tiresome.  

It would be easy for me to indulge in heavy self-judgment but that isn’t helpful either. Now I’ve moved to acceptance. The postscript to this is that now I’m settled in one place and not moving around so much I'm finding myself returning to a place of peace within. Where I end up will come into my life, that I know. 

We are all human and I’m looking at lessons from the experience as a positive. I am in reality in one of the most beautiful countries on earth and I remind myself that wherever I am is a blessing.  It’s easier to come to wise conclusions in hindsight but in reality everything has actually worked out to help me learn the lessons I need to learn. All experiences have opportunities for growth, that  opening to acceptance gives opportunities to practice patience and gratitude.

I believe that what I need is available to me and that my intuition is what I need to follow to allow the universe to provide it. 

15 Mindful Activities for Parents and Teachers to Practice with Kids

15 Mindful Activities for Parents and Teachers to Practice with Kids

Looking for some calming, grounding, mindfulness activities you can guide you kids or students through at home or in the classroom? Given the opportunity and some simple instructions, kids can surprise you with their ability to slow down, be thoughtful, intentional and mindful in the moment. Try these 15 activities we’ve pulled together from our #mindfulmagicactivity series on our Instagram.

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Finding our Creative Selves

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We all agree that anyone who reads a book is a reader

But do we also believe that……

Anyone who picks up a pen is a writer

Anyone who picks up a paintbrush is a painter

Anyone who moves to music is a dancer

Anyone who takes a video is a film-maker

Anyone who plays an instrument or sings is a musician

These last two may be starting to cause a little anxiety but if we  now change ‘writer’ to ‘author’ and ‘painter’ to ‘artist’, the stress levels will really escalate for most of us. 

If you are anything like me, I would never have been brave enough to use those words when I described myself but I actually engage in all those creative pursuits on a very regular basis.  Many of us have been conditioned to believe that only the very elite are worthy of using those tags but why? The rest of us may have been led to believe that what we are doing if we don’t identify with that elite group is kind of meaningless and just passing the time! We’ve also possibly passed those notions onto our children as parents and teachers. 

Why are we so fearful of opening up to and identifying with our creative sides? Perhaps it’s time we acknowledged that these creative pursuits are helping us on our life journey. There is so much judgment that surrounds our creativity and there needn’t be! I believe we all have creativity within us and that fear is holding us back from using it. In some mediums (it was art for me) we aren’t even brave enough to try, in case we don’t produce something amazing. Judgement around creativity is heavily focused on the product but it is the process of exploration that actually leads us to be in the moment and to mindfully connect with ourselves. It allows us to know ourselves, to be ourselves and to eventually use that self-knowledge to live a life that reflects who we are. 

For me, it was in a particular stage of my life experience that I discovered the joy, the freedom, the exhilaration and the self-knowledge that exploring with art brought. When I truly came to believe that it was safe enough to try anything without judgment, I gave myself permission to engage in art. I was invited to attend an art course, I accepted and I’ve never stopped. It has allowed me to truly open to myself and connect with myself. I find it interesting to reflect that I would never have previously accepted the invitation but rather used my ‘old story’ that ‘I'm not artistic so I couldn’t possibly do that and I’ll say no’! 

I'm in love with the book, The Artist’s Way.  The author Julia Cameron opened my eyes to how we use the the notion of success as opposed to the notion of fame as indicators of our worthiness as artists! She argues that any period spent in creative work that allows us to open to ourselves, to be in the present moment, to feel positive about how we’ve spent out time, is success! Fame is when we require recognition from others for that success! If you want to feel free and open to explore who you really are, then let go of judgment – your own and others and give yourself permission to explore your creative side in whatever form that is meaningful for you. 

Being introspective, relying on our own intuition and allowing our real selves to shine allows us to move forward in whatever we choose to do without the pressure of seeking the approval of others or ourselves. We can always feel success if we allow ourselves to believe it’s a possibility and a reality. That is something we can share with our children!

If this idea interests and excites you, we still have a couple of places left in our self-discovery circle this Saturday in Brisbane. We’ll be using some of the tools that have helped me on my own self-discovery and self-reliance path. One of them is what I call ‘experimental art’ that focuses on process and not product, on connection with self and not judgment from others. This path is never ending, there is no finish line but that is what life is about after all – the journey! Above all I want to find home within myself and I can't do that unless I know myself.