Using ‘Distraction-Deprivation’ for Self-Connection

The Artists Way.jpg

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


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


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.


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.

child of fortune marlena.jpg

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

_MG_5179 edit 2.jpg

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


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.

Read More

Finding our Creative Selves

self-discovery art 31 oct 2018 - rec.jpg

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.

An Invitation to Open, Explore and Play

Recently, I gathered some gal pals from different walks of life, from different parts of my own life and we played (literally and figuratively) with some ideas I had to hold self-discovery workshops for women. Held in a safe, non-judgmental space, in this workshop we gave ourselves the tools, space and time to open to being and discovering our real selves. 

And now I’m opening up this workshop, or circle as I’m calling them, to you all - An Invitation to Open, Explore and Play will amongst other things use meditation, journaling and experimental art to open us to ourselves. The first self-discovery circle will be held on Saturday afternoon 10 November at 3.00pm in Brisbane. 

This call to share in this way has been precipitated by my own life and growth. I’ve undergone big changes in my life circumstances that came about through external factors and also from my own personal discovery of my need for a more spiritual and self-connected way of living my life that more deeply mirror who I am as a person. These circles reflect my desire to share with women the tools that have greatly helped me along the way to becoming more secure in my own skin, more introspective and more confident to be the reflection of who I truly am.

Mindfulness has shown me that when we are in the present moment, we are not only connected to what is happening in that moment but also to ourselves. This opens us to knowing, accepting and loving ourselves. This knowledge helps us to more fully live our lives as a reflection of our true selves, to be on our own special path, and this brings us a deep sense of peace and belonging. Isn’t that what we truly seek?

Women play important roles not only in our own families but in the whole fabric of society. We bring what masculine energy often does not – a caring, creative, collaborative, openness but those very gifts can be difficult for us personally to manage. Often that feminine energy is heavily focused on duty and the fulfilment of others well-being as being more important than our own. I felt stuck in that space myself but I’m learning to move out of it. There is no finishing line on this type of learning but I am now at a place where I can say that I know myself well and value myself enough to realise that harnessing this feminine energy must begin with women’s own self love and self-knowledge. 

Softness and strength are partners not opposites.  As women learning how to open to our own soft, creative selves, we are not inviting weakness. We can be soft and gentle and loving as well as strong women who live our lives according to what we believe, and who we really are.  But first we need to give ourselves permission to explore and discover our real selves in a safe, playful space which we hope to create in the self-discovery circle.

Each person’s soul journey, lessons and purpose are different but the women attracted to this work in the self-discovery circle are those who feel they don’t focus enough on themselves and want to concentrate more on discovering their gifts and true nature. There will be exploration through easy, simple, playful tools that can be incorporated into everyday life. Ultimately living a more mindful life is the key to opening to your true self, to presenting your real self to the world, however that may look. You’ll be encouraged to be gentle with yourself, to trust yourself and, to embrace what you find in your self-discovery because what you find will be exactly what you need to allow yourself to live a life that more fully reflects who you are. It is a safe place, amongst women, without judgement. 

Opening to my creativity was inherent in my own self-discovery path and here in our circle it isn’t about the product but rather about a process of experimentation that opens and frees you to see yourself as the creative soul that perhaps you have not acknowledged before.   Creativity is such a present moment experience that it allows us to go within ourselves, to leave the mundane issues of life for however long we can manage, to give ourselves enough self-love by giving ourselves permission to focus on ourselves and celebrate what we find, to show up as we really are for others in our lives.  

As sisters we share much, including the long history of struggle to balance our feminine energy with the masculine energy that is so strong in our world right now. 

‘Being with real people who warm us, who endorse and exalt our creativity is essential to the flow of creative life… every woman is entitled to an Alleluija Chorus.’

- Clarissa Pinkola Estes in Women Who Run With The Wolves.

We Have all we Need Within us

Sometimes you read something and it illuminates you. These words from the warrior woman and author of the sun and her flowers, Rupi Kaur, I find irresistible and life affirming, if not life changing! 

Rupi Kaur - 2.jpg

It is a passion of mine to believe those words to be true, to discover those things deep within that we have buried for any number of reasons that give us permission to bloom into our true and beautiful selves and move forward on our path as we always were meant to; that is my definition of the journey of life.

Treat yourself gently on this journey, let guidance come gently, explore avenues for self-discovery gently, create gently, communicate gently, let the feminine energy within you grow and blossom as you yourself grow and blossom as well. 

We need to honour ourselves by making the time and space to reveal the real version of ourselves, the real person deep within that sometimes lives with the struggle to be free, that sometimes lives with criticism both from herself and those around her of what she does, thinks and feels. 

It is not an arrogant thing to believe yourself to be your own source – when we honour our own special being, we are more fully able to honour others. Let yourself be the example to others in your lives. If you honour yourself and truly believe that you have all you need within yourself, you only need to find ways to open to it, to dig a little deeper than you have ever dug before and to rejoice at what you find, no matter what it is you find. Judgement has no place here, only acceptance of our true selves. 

These can be applied to everyone but my interest in women and how they find themselves and see themselves is warming my heart as I write because it is also part of my own personal life journey. Women who choose to explore this too can help others do the same – their children, family members, their friends and lovers. It can be an ever-expanding circle in reality. All life’s realities started somewhere so why not with a gentleness of spirit that comes when we honour ourselves and believe in ourselves. It’s the ripple effect. Create meaningful, mindful, free, self-fulfilling adults and they will be the example for a future generation to move forward. Not only by pure example can we do this but also by the sharing of the knowledge and the experience.

Thoughts like these are coming more and more into my writing and into my social media. They are bound with my belief that fostering a new generation of adults is tightly aligned with allowing ourselves to be the best adults we can be so as to be the example and give guidance to that generation.

On Being Brave 

Artwork: The Great Wave at Kanagawa (from a Series of Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji) by Katsushika Hokusai.

Artwork: The Great Wave at Kanagawa (from a Series of Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji) by Katsushika Hokusai.

I’m being called to make changes in my life, some of them enormous. I’m no stranger to making big changes but this is, I’ll admit it, making me feel less brave than I’d like to feel. I’m not really ready to share too much about this particular change, it’s in its formative stage so needs some brewing before it’s ready to air but I am looking around me and seeking inspiration to be brave, to step into my own self more fully and to be open to what I find.  

I feel inspired by people who are brave and go out into the world to make change, to believe in themselves enough to begin making a wave, no matter how small the start. I love this too as an example to our children of what it means to be brave and to be a true open-hearted warrior. It is so easy to be the opposite, to sit in safety and hide and as parents and teachers if we seek to be inspirational to our children how amazing if we can find some place in our lives to show them bravery and commitment so they too will believe they can be a strong warrior themselves.

In times of finding/questioning/challenging my own bravery, I am often am called to revisit Brenee Brown. If you have ever heard her speak (here’s a link) or read any of her books (names )  you’ll know she is a woman who steps out of her comfort zone and  speaks and writes about difficult topics difficult like shame. Her wisdom brings comfort to many but in doing so she bares her soul and often. I so admire her for being brave and for having the courage of her convictions. 


Recently I felt blessed to have found and to take part in the Worldwide Womb Blessing. It is an example of how a woman, Miranda Gray began to flourish her own idea; she put the idea and herself out there for her dream to foster more feminine energy into the world. Not only does she see it as personally healing and empowering for women as part of their journey to being their real selves but she also whole-heartedly believes in feminine energy as a way back to world healing, so strongly entrenched in masculine energy as the current world is. Not only did I love the womb blessing experience on a deep and personal level  but I loved even more that this started with a woman who was brave enough to begin such an event.

Every week on our Instagram feed we feature an instagrammer we admire. This week we featured @kindstars who as a teacher runs a Kindness Club at her school and promotes kindness on her feed! Speaking up and beginning something like this is a seemingly small act on the world stage but it is powerful at a grassroots level and has the capacity to blossom as the lives that are touched by her initiative will be multiplied many times over!  

But if you want to be a living example to your children in being brave, you don’t need to foster a world-wide event, become a world authority, or even begin a local initiative. You can be brave in your own life in so many ways and it starts in knowing your own truth and being brave enough to stand in it. It is what living mindfully fosters, to take the values we identify as our own and then to live our lives by those values.

For me, I want to be brave for myself but I also want to be a great example of bravery for my children. The reality though is they have been far braver than me and I have learned from them that to be brave and live your own life is all there is. They have abandoned unsatisfying lives and careers, moved states and countries and really are an inspiration in bravery for me. Your own children may be living examples of bravery for you or you for them. Whatever or whoever is currently fostering the role of bravery it is an assurance that better lives come when we live as a reflection of ourselves.

Honouring Ourselves as Women

Oceana by  Sally Mustang

Oceana by Sally Mustang

Recently, I have been deeply drawn to the sacred feminine and it feels like home. It is a relief to fully acknowledge to myself that I am a woman with all the variations I need to be truly me! I look around and see so many expressions of feminine energy in humans often not knowing how to deal with it as they navigate and struggle to live with their feminine energy and soul in a world predominately dominated by the masculine energy. I acknowledge that this applies to anyone identifying partially or mostly with the feminine, not in anyway confined to cisgender females. The world seems to tell us we must compete, we must push ourselves to be the best, to be the most recognised, to be the most outspoken if we are to be heard and appreciated. 

How releasing to acknowledge that if we are ourselves we are being our own version of our real feminine selves. We can be creative, open-hearted, connection based, welcoming of others achievements and greatness, caring and empathetic. I lived in a strongly masculine world for much of my life and I don’t want to live that way anymore. I’m over pretending I’m one thing when I’m not, about caring about things that I Don’t! I simply want to be myself, with no judgment around what that actually is and means.

I’m re-reading a beautiful book, Female Energy Awakening by Miranda Gray and I’ll review it at some later time but in it she is all about honouring, accepting and living in your real feminine self. She has further developed this theme by establishing a five time a year event that I’ve been drawn to. It’s the international womb blessing. It’s a virtual blessing based on a meditation that we all use at the same time. If you feel likewise drawn, this is where you can register and you can find out more about it here

I love the idea of thousands of people connected with feminine energy receiving a blessing together so we can all learn to honour our feminine selves and to heal by being honest and open to the tradition of revealing our real selves and living according to it.

Recharge With Alone Time

Watch Waves .png

I’m in an introvert’s paradise! I identify as someone who re-charges in her own company, not in the company of others. I don’t dislike others, I’m not anti-social, I just need alone time to feel energised. Being with others for a long period of time drains me like nothing else! I’m best in the company of a small number –  either being companionably silent or discussing topics that I find meaningful – small talk is a killer for me!

So this beach place I find myself, in Northern New South Wales, house-sitting, is a quiet haven for someone who loves alone time and quiet time! The beach is virtually deserted. I am alone with the surf, the sand, the sky! I can feel the wind on my face and the sand on my feet, the sun on my arms and the water on my toes and no idle conversation.

You could say I am ‘re-wilding’ by the beach! Its regular meaning is to go into the wilds all alone and re-connect with nature. I’m modifying it a little – I’m re-wilding at the beach, specifically one with virtually no people! It’s easy to find myself here and to connect with myself using two of my favourite vehicles – time in nature and being alone.

I have no real routine, other than getting up and going to bed, going for walks, eating when I please. Being creative is a large part of the day. I write. I draw. I make music. I fantasise about moving here, nesting among the sand dunes, with the seagulls for company. 

Having this time alone is teaching me to rely on myself in all its capacities. To be my own entertainment, my own company, to trust that I can be that for myself, to trust my own intuition, to believe that I know what is best for me. 

This is no indication that I want to live a hermit’s life – far from it – but what it does is teach me that I can live in the real world, but I can do that on my own terms using my own self as my guide, using my own self as the one who provides the guidelines for my life, the structure on which my life can be built. 

My vista is a mixture of blues and greens and whites – the vegetation of the foreshore, the water and sky, the rolling waves and the clouds and the sand. These are my companions and my inspiration! They demand I am creative, open myself to my inner energy and create something…..anything! When I create I am home. It is the doorway to my real self. Real self-knowledge comes easiest I find in the quiet and the peaceful and the solitude. It opens the gate for me. In the silence, I am open to the energy all around me. If we are constantly noisy how can we feel the energy, sense the energy, hear the energy of our surroundings and most importantly from ourselves?


wk 2 Aug.jpg

I am my Own Anchor

@ododua.aum ༒ Giuliana: ododua aum via Instagram

@ododua.aum ༒ Giuliana: ododua aum via Instagram

I’m searching right now to live what I intellectually know to be true.  I know I am strong, capable, kind, thoughtful and good company.  I want to fully live like I am all that to myself.

People come and go; even close friends and family members are not constant. But I never leave myself – it’s a strong statement but a manta I want to live by. 

I want my children to see it so they can be all things to themselves. It’s my gift to them, an offering only learned by experiencing it. I can’t only tell them this is a truth and then live my life not following that truth. 

I need and want to be the person who lives as she chooses, makes decisions based on her own values. I want to be a real reflection of myself in every way I possibly can. 

It doesn’t mean I need to be alone and selfish with no regard for others but there is a need for a deeper regard for myself, to fully engage in self-love as much as in love for others. It’s about a change of emphasis, a way of prioritising and building a life that works for me. It’s an invitation to myself to be real and authentic to myself.

 How can I move my life to a place where this is the norm and not the exception? I have structure and responsibilities like everyone has.

As I write this I am in a noisy café and this is a great analogy of how I can live my life whilst many other things are happening all around me. I can hold my own peace, be my own focus if choose to make it be.


wk 1 Aug2 -.jpg

Poem and pastel artwork by Lea

Operating at Our Best


I love the idea of being in your best place, doing your best work, being your best person, with the emphasis on what works for you because we all have our own version of ‘living our best life’. My thoughts this week centre around what this means to me and how you might also investigate what it means to you and your family and children.

Each week I write my blog here in the State Library in Brisbane. It’s a beautiful space – very open and the workspace I always choose faces the Brisbane River through a vista of trees. Aesthetics are important to me. Somehow being in beauty and being in an ordered environment help my creative juices to flow and for me to operate at my best. It’s not the same for everyone but this is what I’ve discovered through trial and error what works best for me. 

I know of others who can sit amongst any manner of mess and stare at a blank wall or computer screen and it’s an open invitation to create. For them, it’s like the mind can best create when their outside world is not ordered. Then for others, they create an entirely different environment as they seek what is best for them.

One of my children finds she can’t do her best creating on a computer – it must be hand-written in a journal and then transcribed to the computer. She finds it inconvenient but has conceded to herself that this is part of how she creates at her best. 

Not everyone has being creative as their focus for ‘living your best life’. For me to be creative is where I feel at home, where I feel calmest, most focused and most definitely most fully myself. For others, that is not the case and some feel their best uploading data or creating systems, managing people or places or any other manner of activities!

It’s part of the process of getting to know yourself and what works in your life. How fortunate we are that we are all different and have different ways of operating at our best. 

There are naturally restraints that don’t allow us to live in our best place all of the time but it’s a goal worth working for and prioritizing for an amount of our lives to be in that space. It will make a difference to our levels of contentment and joy.

As parents and teachers, there are opportunities to make sure we help our children to be aware that we all are different, to feel it’s a goal to find what allows us to operate in our ‘best place’ and to also help them find what is their own best place. 

We can offer them alternatives to try in their lives by way of experiences, activities, clothes, foods, environments… the list is endless really. Remember when they become engrossed in an activity, or in a particular space then it is a good indication that this entices them to be their best selves.  Being there allows us to almost lose knowledge of time, to feel exhilarated and contented but most importantly, in this space, we can be truly ourselves. 

I’ve always admired this quote from Michelle Obama and wanted to use it – I think it sits well here to close.

'Find your space. Find your spot. Wear what you love. Choose the careers that may have meaning to you, because there’s always somebody who will say, ‘I wouldn’t have worn that colour,’ or ‘Why didn’t you do that job?’ But if you’re comfortable in the choice and it resonates with you, then all that other stuff – it’s just a conversation.’

- Michelle Obama

Make Space For Your Authentic Life

Artist Georgia O'Keeffe and her New Mexico home from

Artist Georgia O'Keeffe and her New Mexico home from

Clearing out ‘old stuff’ can be most cathartic! I guess I’m in the mood after spending 2 weeks at a retreat and it feels like a new beginning is happening for me. I’ve written lately about living a more minimalist life here and so I’m trying to incorporate those findings into how I live my life. My reading is steering me to lead a life that is very authentically me, and part of this is making space for the newer version of my life. The one that is unencumbered by the past and embracing what is presently happening in my life with all its possibilities, the one that reflects me in my truest sense.

Georgia O'Keeffe, her home and her paintings amongst the canons surroundering her ranch

Georgia O'Keeffe, her home and her paintings amongst the canons surroundering her ranch

It is a wonderful project to embrace as a family and even in a classroom – do all these possessions really reflect us as a collective or even any of us as individuals? Chances are you’ll find many possessions that are cluttering up your life and keeping them could be cluttering up your energy. There is no doubt in my mind that objects have energy and if you listen to your intuition you’ll get the feeling of what is energetically positive for you and what is not. Be brave and let your life reflect who you really are and where you are going and get rid of what isn’t serving you in that quest.

Children can easily lean into this concept and embrace the notion that to be really themselves they need to examine parts of their lives that don’t really reflect them or their values. Perhaps it’s a stepping stone to letting go of material possessions that they never use and fostering generosity in understanding that others can use what we no longer need. If you live in a first world country the reality is, possessions may have appeared that you have no need or desire for. I believe to invite what we really want into our lives, we need to let go of what no longer serves us. 

An interesting concept in itself to explore with your kids is needs versus wants. The two can be very different. Some of us devote a lot of energy to procuring the wants because they provide entertainment, bring short-term satisfaction, or perhaps will bring us external validation! I’m not saying get rid of all the wants but it’s a life skill to be teaching our children, as parents and teachers to question and evaluate what we have, to examine our goals and the role possessions and our desire for them play in our lives. And importantly whether they reflect our authentic selves. A guiding principle I can leave you with from William Morris is to only invite and allow that which is useful or believed to be beautiful in our lives.  

Time and Opportunity Help us be Present and be Real


I have been blessed to spend 12 days at Sukhavati Ayurvedic Retreat on the beautiful island of Bali. I’ve been there many times before and totally enjoy the experience and gain wonderful health benefits from the deep cleansing. There is always an abundance of really interesting people to share the experience with and I go back to life, as I know it feeling invigorated and peaceful.

This trip, however, was different. This time for one reason or another there was less opportunity for social interaction, resulting in me spending more time alone. My health has always been excellent but this time, after a stressful period of my life, I had manifestations of that stress which meant my treatments were more intense so I couldn’t participate in general activities as much as usual so hence even more alone time.

Turns out this is what the universe had in store for me all along and this period was not only physically healing but emotionally, mentally and spiritually as well. During this alone time, I went within on a deeper level than usual. I  meditated a lot, up to 4 times a day, alongside my usual TM practice I did guided meditations that connected me more deeply with my higher self and spirit guides. I read inspirational books, one, in particular, it seems the universe was signalling me to read for a while now. It was there waiting for me in my room at the retreat, after being previously offered but I had never gotten around to reading it. The treatments themselves also culminate in a holistic whole mind, body and spirit cleaning so all these elements coming together were perfect timing for me. Sometimes everything aligns to allow you the time to engage in self-love and to accept the time and space to be open to re-discover your true self and what you are needing to move forward on your path.

All the messages I kept receiving were centred around a simple yet not necessarily easy premise, “Be present and be real’. If I’m honest, I have to admit that I had been doing a good job of distracting myself. I showed up when I needed to but my head had become skilled at distracting me from anything I didn't really want to deal with; painful things or boring mundane things or things that I just deemed ‘too hard’. It is when we are present and real with ourselves that we can face our reality in a very healing way. 

Now, after this period of healing, I feel far more centred within myself and ready and able to face the reality of life. My own intuition had already been telling me that I was distracting myself, the first step for change but I didn’t feel emotionally strong enough to make that change. I now feel so much more comfortable with myself, believe in my ability to deal with what arises and very importantly, to realise that this is life, I’m living, there are a series of challenges that happen – some fun and easy and others just the opposite! But to get to this point, time and opportunity were needed with myself alongside the acceptance of what I found. I don’t have all the answers but I do feel more able to keep asking them.

Find below a poem I wrote during my time away...

wk 2 july poem.jpg



5 Things We’ve Learnt Running a Mindful Business

Louise Lea Katie Mary Ryans Launch.jpg

Making Mindful Magic doesn’t just talk about living mindfully, we live it too! And that includes in the way we run our business. We’ve been running Making Mindful Magic for a few years now, with Lea at the helm and her daughters Louise (left) and Katie (right - that’s me writing this post this week!) alongside her, and we’re learning so much as we go, through trial and error. 

So we’d thought it would be helpful to share with you what we’ve learnt so far, as a small business trying to do things slowly, organically, consciously. It’s been an interesting ride seeing what’s worked and what hasn’t and it always seems to come back to the fact that we need to do everything with love and good intention, without shortcuts or force, always in the spirit of being of service and connecting with like-minded souls out in the world. With so many of our readers also running small, mindful business we thought you might be able to relate! So read on…


1. Be real

We’ve found that the more we can reach into the deep well of our hearts and souls and express something real that’s going on right now, the more people will connect with our message. When Lea writes her blog post each week and the quotes you see on our Instagram, she bases it on whatever challenge or learning she’s facing that week in terms of mindful living in her own life. 

We can quote the masters like Eckhart Tolle and Deepak Chopra who’s words inspire us greatly all we like but we’ve always found our most successful content to be the content that Lea writes herself and pulls from her own well of inspiration. It’s almost like you guys can feel the strong connection between our words and us! So our first tip is to be real in whatever you do, draw your products, your marketing words, your blog posts, your workshops from the well of your own heart and soul and you can’t go wrong.

2. Connect and collaborate

Over the years we’ve tried all different kinds of ways to advertise, market and distribute our books, always with the intention to spread the message of our children’s book, Making Mindful Magic and other products and articles further and wider. It’s exciting when people connect with your message and what you’re trying to do in the world! And after much trial and error, the results are in: the absolute best way for us to reach new people and get our book and message out there is through authentic, organic collaborations with people doing similar things. Whether it’s connecting with bloggers or distributing our book through mindful education channels, paid advertising and marketing that seems to be a shortcut to expanding your reach for so many businesses online just pales in comparison to the results we see when we collaborate with someone who has a genuine connection to what we’re doing. So what we’ve learnt is that the most sustainable and successful way for us to get our business and our message out there is to forge lots of small connections with likeminded businesses and bloggers, building our network slowly and authentically with lots of small channels getting our book and what we do out to the right people for us.

By the way, if you’re a blogger, yoga studio, mindfulness practice, retailer, writer or anything else in between and you’d like to collaborate with us or distribute our book, drop us an email at, we’d love to hear from you and work with you!

3. Little by little

Little by little, every little thing adds up to something that grows bigger and bigger every day. We’ve not had any ‘big breaks’ as yet catapulting us into the world’s eye or to Oprah’s couch (yet) but we’ve had so many small wins - connecting with mindful bloggers, retailers, book distributors, yoga studios, magazine features big and small, hosting workshops and reading events and connecting with every single person who found us and reads our blog, subscribes to our newsletter or follows us on Instagram. 

What we’ve been surprised, delighted and incredibly grateful to notice is that all these things start to add up in time and before you know it, you look around and you have a community, a microcosm built all around your business and its message. So little by little, keep chipping away, do that workshop for 10 people, work with that blogger to reach a hundred people who might really love what you do, have a coffee with a blogger or writer who’s interested in your work, it all adds up and the little connections, moments and likeminded people you’ll meet along the way are almost the whole point of having a mindful business anyway!

4. Give it away

About two years ago Lea started to notice that whenever she gave books away, she’d always be paid back in return in one magical way or another. She’d give a book away to a publication and see 30 books sold in return when the magazine came out in the press. Or she’d give a book to a friend to pass on to someone in the mindful education world and she’d then be put in touch with a great distributor who could stock our book in small practices around Australia. 

It seems obvious but it’s something that’s really worked for us, again little by little, is to just give away your product or service when it feels right to do so, pay it forward without expecting anything in return, and we think you’ll find it comes back to you in some way or another. Doing business with the main intention of being of service and spreading your message and knowing that you will be valued in return always has been very successful for us

5. It’s supposed to be fun

Our final and most important thing we’ve learnt about running a mindful business - it’s supposed to be fun! And though we sometimes waver away from this rule, we always come back to it, the whole things is supposed to bring us joy and when we create and work from this space, we create our best work, we think you can feel it. If you think it would be fun to create that product, collaborate with that person, be featured in that magazine, host that workshop, that’s a sign you should do it - even if that feeling of joy is accompanied by a little fear at times! Make it fun and it will feel fun for your audience and customers.

Maybe you’ve learnt a thing or two also about running a mindful business, we’ve love to hear your learnings in the comments in our Instagram post! Comment and share here.