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.

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! 

 
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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 http://www.mirandagray.co.uk/register.html and you can find out more about it here http://www.wombblessing.com/

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

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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?

 

 
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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.

 

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Poem and pastel artwork by Lea