Transformative Travel Part One – London

 

 

I lived in London for a brief part of my 20’s; had my 25th Birthday in hamstead heath, coming back after the winter in Edinburgh to turn 26 and get married on Kings Road in Kensington.

(Followed by our hand fasting in Ireland with Kate by my side )

The last time I had been in London was 11 years ago for my her wedding.

The wedding of Kate and Will actually (that joke is bordering on ‘Dad’ status by now but it never gets dull for me!)

I was still married and went from Kates magical wedding in Surry back to Ireland to finish packing up my house to leave and return home to Australia. I had been back and forth so many times (between the Isles and Oz) in the previous few years, that I just assumed that I would be back again in no time.

This wasn’t to be the case.

I can’t really explain the sudden nature of the need that filled me.

I had to go to London.

I had been contemplating a retreat in Greece (more on that next)

London, it seemed had set off the alarm and was calling me home.

That’s the feeling of it anyway. It felt simply that I had to go. It wasn’t even a matter of questioning it.

For weeks it played on my mind day and night, schemes of how I might justify it plagued me literally every waking hour and then I started dreaming of catching flights and running through airports.

The need was not subtle or going to subside any time soon.

And so I lept.

 

If you find yourself drawn to an event against all logic go.

The universe is telling you something.

Gloria Steinem

 

Landing in Heathrow was as expected at 5am; hilarious.

The queue took forever and once I got to the front I could see why. The officer I handed my passport to (in complete silence while trying to make my face look as bored  as the image on the front page) was ready for a cracking chat.

He proceeded to ask me where I was staying and had I been here before and did I realise that London was a very big city and not at all like a sleepy suburb of Perth (that we had flown out of).

I assured him yes Sir I was well aware of what I was getting myself into and that I was in fact much (much) older than the straight out of school gap year students that stood around me and was going to be ok. Thank you for checking though.

And so now to work out where I was going and how to get there.

Kate and Will had been held up by a cancelled flight in Spain and so weren’t home yet. There was anxious whatsapp messages awaiting me upon arrival. They wouldn’t be home until this evening.

Girlfriend and walking testimonial for my Coaching Immersion Tina who is off on a year long around the world trip with her hubby and two boys JUST happened to be in London the exact weekend and so I sent Tina a message to see where she was at.

Talk about timing!

Serendipity loves company and so trundling through the Underground up and down way too many steps I eventually found myself at Marble Arch, in the most stunning boutique hotel, having the best shower of my life and breakfast with a dear friend like it had always been planned this way.

 

 

 

That really was the feeling of the whole trip. That all the things that occurred were already planned, I just had to show up with my “well I wonder what will happen today” attitude and watch the magic unfold.

The night after I arrived was reserved for the beautiful evening guiding a group of women with the Goddess Space.

Pop over to read how that went.

And from then on it was Kate and I, many kilometres of walking a day, daily yoga classes, my fairy god babies and a very busy Will who was graceful in the face of his house and newly unemployed wife being absconded with.

 

 

 

As I found myself walking the busy pre xmas streets of London I was overcome with the reality of just how much of myself I had left behind.

How much of my creative wild soul had been left on this island 1000’s of kilometres away from my home on the Gold Coast.

It was impossible not to feel Just HOW much of myself was available to me here connected to this land that I had long forgotten the song to.

There was a cellular embodied recognition of the dirt and cobble beneath my feet.

My lungs recognised the air they inhaled, and my soul called me, deep in my bones to stop, feel and call her home.

The lost parts of myself.

Depths of feeling and memory, mine and not mine recoiled toward me on those streets and found their place back in my heart.

Sliding back into spaces of longing, love and homecoming.

Like a new harmony added to much loved favourite song my heart expanded and remembered.

Soul retrieval – this is the only way I can describe the depth of feeling. I’m still unable to talk about my experience without the tears coming.

 

I wondered as  I stood on my hill in Hamstead Heath if maybe it was the nostalgia of a women in middle age looking back on her much younger self, maybe unresolved pieces of my ended marriage.

But this was not the case.

It was forward moving, enlivening.

A remembering of a richness that still lives in me.

Like a carefully stored dress, found in an attic, preserved waiting for the wearer to remember.

And like most truly magical moments it was also perfectly mundane.

We caught the tube, we dropped the girls off at school, I did laundry, we ate Ramen and bought groceries.

We went to galleries and drank gin and ate cloud cake.

We did lots and lots of yoga

 

 

We made magic with the girls in the garden. I am “Fairy G” after all.

For all the versions of myself past and present that haven’t had these opportunities I will be grateful for all my days that I went.

The thing about an old city is that you can meet yourself again and again.

Old self and future self sliding past each other with a wink.

Recognised but incognito.

The ultimate state of reinvention .

 

 

This trip was just for me. A deep soul connection that I needed.

With this landscape, with a very dear friend of 20 years and new friends courtesy of the internet.

Those people that you chat to and can’t believe it’s the first time you’ve met.

When it feels like you’ve  been doing lunch always.

Rhiannon is one of those people. Conversation that felt like a warm embrace, like we were picking up from where we left off.

A soul sister with needles and bangs and doe eyes and and that signature fierce spirit beneath the softness.

Watch this space as I just know there is collaboration in our future!

And so fighting back tears, (as I continued to do for the next couple of days) we parted at the train.

Till next time, not goodbye.

Never goodbye.

 

The oak trees, the light, the herbs that spoke to me in every hedgerow.

London I love you.

Till next time.

 

And with tears cascading down my cheeks she had one last rainbow wink for me as I turned my sights on Athens ….

 

 

How to know when it’s time to let go of your work.

Rockupuncture, Acupuncture, Sydney Essential Health, Keri Krieger,

This is Keri from 2008, she had just created Rockupuncture and it was about to create a whole new life for her, but first it was going to burn everything to the ground. Dramatic but true.

 

Around the middle of last year I acknowledged a feeling that I had been having for quite a while;

That my Sydney Rockupuncture roadshow’s were on the way out. I don’t have to wait for something to be flunking, to be unenjoyable or to be a grind to know that it’s time to go.

It’s ok to part on friendly terms.

AND as you might know by now, I’m a pretty intuitive woman and I just had the FEELS.

It was time.

So I did what any self respecting sensible intelligent person would do, and ignored all of this completely!

This is because I have such a great amount of emotion and gratitude attached to Sydney and my time with my clients over the last 9 years.

NINE. YEARS!

I first flew down to treat at Sydney Essential Health at the end of 2009. A guest from Lifestyle Health Retreat, Gwinganna who was an acupuncturist at SEH said before she left the retreat, “you should come to Sydney” and then another guest asked me when I was coming down so she could book in and then all of a sudden I was in Sydney working!

It was that fast and that simple.

I learnt on the run, created a mailing list, trademarked my modality name, and I was off!

I can not truly tell you, just how grateful I am to all my clients for letting me into their lives and trusting me with their health and hearts. What I might not ever have let on in my desire to be professional is just how big a cross roads all this was for me.

I was newly divorced, and newly creating my own business. It was epic to say the least.

I was literally reinventing myself and Sydney played a very big part in that.

The other people that I need to thank (while this is turning into an oscars speech!) is Carol and Neville, my Sydney ‘parents’ that once upon a time were ‘just clients’ .

I don’t have the space here to go into just how much their generosity and love has transformed my world and made my practice in Sydney possible.

I turned up on their doorstep, declared myself their long lost eldest daughter and spent 6 weekends a year in their spare room!

It blows my mind that this modality landed in my heart and hands and it went on to pay the rent, the pet insurance, took me to New York, Chiva Som in Thailand and introduced me to almost all the magical people that are in my life today.

I know some of you reading this are going through your own reinvention and it can feel terrifying to wonder just how it’s all going to work out. It will I promise.

Maybe not in the way you think it will, but it will.

So I’ll get to the crunch shall I? The feeling that I was avoiding continued to get bigger, and I couldn’t avoid it any longer. So I employed a technique that I hope you might be able to use in your life too;

I wrote to ‘Rockupuncture’ as if she was an entity (which she kind of is)

Now if this sounds a little weird hang in there. It’s a really helpful psychological tool to let a different element of yourself or a usually inanimate situation express their purpose to you.

And here is some of what she said….. “ It’s been an honour to serve you and care for and provide for you. I need a break now and so do you. Let your starlight guide you. Let your wild heart out of her tethers now it’s safe. I’m no longer the right container for what you’re offering. It’s natural to cling to what we know and while you are truly out in deep waters now, look down and you might see you’ve grown fins since you last looked.” I can’t deny any of that. It feels so true, (if a little cryptic!)

Nature abhors a vacuum and while I would dearly love to know all the answers ahead of time I have to trust that whatever is coming next needs the space I am creating, whilst sending Rockupuncture off with immense gratitude.

I didn’t realise just how emotional I would feel making this announcement. It’s a creative chapter of my life that’s coming to an end, but I am already wondering what I will create that will take me back to Sydney more often.. or perhaps to Melbourne to those neglected folk who have still been asking me when I’m coming back.

Stay tuned.

 

And know that if you have a situation in your life that is in transition and you’re wondering what it might say if it could speak that this tool will work for you too.

Let me know how it goes

 

 

x

 

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Wholehearted love – my conversation on the Unbreakable podcast

Late last year I was thrilled to be asked to share my story on Nicole Mathieson’s Unbreakable podcast.

Nicole is a kinesiologist and confidence coach who guides her clients back to their heart so they can build a life of deep fulfilment and contentment.

We delved into how I got where I am today, from that first inkling that something wasn’t right to the upheaval and exploration that led me here.
You can listen to our chat here.

The Practical Magic of Feng Shui

 

Art by Brandy Woods

Art by Brandy Woods

 

The last few weeks have seen me re-arranging the furniture like crazy. This is a pretty normal habit for me. Seasonally I like to keep the energy in my home fresh and keep clutter from building up.

But after 3 moves in 13 months last year I was taking no chances so last week I had Feng Shui Consultant, Building Biologist and Nutritionist Kate Woods come to my house and check things out.  Kate is one of the very few building biologists in the country. As corporations come to realise the link between productivity, staff health and that our environments directly impact that, this field is set to explode. And of course as an acupuncturist I wanted to make sure the energy in my house was being supported. I wanted to feel like the energy of my home was working WITH me. In acupuncture treatments we take into account the external causes of illness and these can include the obvious things like external trauma, too much heat, wind, and dampness but also other ‘pathogenic factors’. I looked at this like an acupuncture treatment for my home and couldn’t wait for Kate to work her magic. It’s an incredibly precise science, and I wondered how I would possibly measure the results.

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Over scheduled + Underproductive.

Unknown copy

 

 

* So I first posted this in 2014 after an almost May to August work bender… I absolutely do not recommend anyone doing anything so bonkers but here’s how I mostly pulled it off and tips that now really do work to keep things sane with it gets crazy!

 

 

If you ask someone you bump into in the coffee shop or at the school drop off how their day is you’ll be quite used to hearing people say. Busy. Like busy covers everything somehow.

I caught myself saying it as I rushed from one thing to the next from one appointment to the next, even from fun enjoyable things like dinner with friends I was racing.

Now its likely that if this sounds like you, your what Dr Libby Weaver has coined a ‘rushing woman’ in her book Rushing Womens Syndrome. If you’ve had a treatment with me its at this point I would be talking to you about your Kidney energy and running on your adrenals.

What I did notice is that for me at this particular time I caught myself a good bit of the stress and the rush wasn’t just from the feeling that I had ‘so many things to do’ but from the feeling that I wasn’t actually getting the things I needed done…. and thats because I wasn’t.

I was over-scheduled and underproductive. So if this sounds like you I have a few tips that have really helped.

1. Step away from the coffee pot! I’m serious. Now I’m not going to tell you to stop drinking coffee…. although I may be suggesting that your relationship with it needs re-evaluation. Coffee is as Elmo says a ‘sometimes food’ and if you cant imagine your day being successful with out it (as I have been guilty of) then you may need some relationship counseling!

At the very least please don’t inhale that early morning cup on an empty stomach as its almost impossible to come back from the adrenalin blood sugar roller-coaster if you do. Hint …..its also almost impossible to think clearly and rationally if your brain is not getting an even stream of glucose.

 

2. If your were a triage nurse in a hospital how would you rate your to do list? The triage nurse is the person in charge of rating all the bleeding moaning and wounded that walk in the door so the most life threatening ailments get dealt with first. Apply this to your daily planner and the jobs that are at the bottom of this list that aren’t really that important you…

3. Delegate them Date them (for another day and time that is more spacious) or you Ditch them… seriously I have found old lists, usually in the bottom of a handbag somewhere with random stuff on the end of a list that has NEVER been done I often cant even remember why it would have warranted being put on the list in the first place. And for those times when you are truly very tightly scheduled and its just the way it is and you chose it that way (oh boy really!) Here’s three things that will get you through.

Mindfulness. You can only be where you are right now. So be there. Your breath will help with this.

So for example when your replying to emails thats all your doing. And breathing slow and steady into your belly to remind your body that there is no need to switch on adrenaline. You aren’t being chased by a saber tooth tiger your doing emails, or getting on board a plane, or treating clients. Thats it. (that thing that you do when your at you computer and you forget to breath, it has a name now, its called screen apnea, breath please people!)

And how do you stay so calm and mindful in that moment, without freaking out thinking fuck! I forgot to call xxxx.

Heres how: As far ahead as is possible and sensible set a day or a couple of days in a week depending on what sort work bender your going into and be Extremely Crazy Efficient. You sit yourself down look at the time frame of the work ahead and you brain storm every single last thing that you are going to need over that time frame for you to be organised on time well fed loved and happy. Everything. Are you going to need new warm socks, yes? well put them on the list right next to the flights and the hotel.

Heading these lists with dates or locations so you do them in order is a great way to start. So on my 30 day non-stop bender I had lists Headed Mudgee, Sydney, Melbourne, Sarah’s Party etc in order of when they were happening and on those list heart shaped post it notes with what I needed to do (I am rather visual!) I eventually sat each of these lists on top of piles of clothing or equipment that was needed for each event so as I got to it I could cross reference anything else I needed to grab as it happened. It’s much easier to sit down and do just the one type of thing and get it all done.

So go through and order everything that needs to be ordered, sourcing gifts booking hotels and flights. Then you know its all done and your not trying to multitask which we know that really doesn’t work. You might choose to have this all digitally organised (I am deeply attached to my post it notes) however you do it, having it all laid out really helps so when your tired and not possibly at your best you know its all waiting there for you. I’m a pretty small operation but this works even better in a bigger set up so you can send it out to your assistants to pick things up without having to hunt around.

Last but almost most importantly is Boundaries. Serious rock your socks boundaries. For this one we kinda need to bring back that triage nurse, where the triage nurse is now in charge of incoming phone calls and email requests for your time and energy. For a relatively short term work bender the answer will quite simply be no. Fullstop. No I’m completely fully booked ( or whatever your preferred term is) until the end of the month. Now the really important thing here is to NOT book yourself up the second your get back from the Bender (as I am affectionately calling it ) ……because then the bender isn’t really over, and truly you need to stop at some point. A good triage nurse will know if its really important eg that amazing meeting with that really fabulous contact you’ve been chasing and then a few other things might need to shuffle. Having said that timing really is everything and sometimes actually, quite often people will be prepared for you not to be available at the drop of a hat and it truly helps to cultivate this in your personal and business relationships. Next week I talk about how you recuperate from your little bender burn out. xx

 

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Give me a ‘B’

 

 

Give me a B

Blogcademy Brisbane November 2013 


head mistresses

So, The Blogcademy, wow it feels like a year ago not a short few weeks. Thats Gala Kat + Shauna above doing their thing sharing their hard won knowledge and inspiration on day one.

Leaving the venue (which was deluxe by the way Bleeding Heart Gallery) I felt like I had been shot out of a spakley super charged cannon and into the future. The future where I was redrafting my bio and about me page, writing for the first time ever my blogging business plan, setting goals and timelines and spending afternoons on photo shoots for future blogs… oh yeah and holding down my day job and creating content… somewhere in there has been some sleep and the occasional meal.

Before you call me out, no, I’m not complaining. Its only now that I stop to write about the experience I can see just how much I have been inspired in the most practical put- it- into- action- straight- away kind of way .

And this of course is the kind of practical magic I love. Give me inspo please, give me sparkles and style but don’t leave me hanging with a big question hanging over the how.. and I wasn’t disappointed here AT ALL

 

me koala ears

That’d be me… with ears … its just how we roll.

Two whole days in a bloggers paradise. Where do I start?  Firstly I’ll start with how I felt because I felt so damn excited and not just in a ‘what will I learn’ kind of way. That of course was part of it but I felt excited in a way that hinted at a reinvention of myself like I’d been handed a big fat permission slip to be ALL of me, even the bits that I hadn’t quite worked out yet. Like the blogger bit of me, Yes?

People are shocked sometimes to hear that I’m an introvert and I associated quite strongly with that title. In amongst my closest friends I can be quite dramatic! So it was with a degree of nervousness that I turned up on the first day.  One of best things about  the ears.. beside the fact that they’re just amazing is that they instantly break the ice, you can be wild and fun and tap into that part of yourself that just really wants to GO THERE. And go there we did.

 

Bcademy overhead shot

My camera phone never left my hand! 

I could write for a month on things that I learnt and relearnt over the course of the two days but heres 2 short lists.

Things that I have been working feverishly on since Blodcademy

1.Writing writing writing!! I have 3 or 4 note books scattered around the apartment filled with hand written articles and inspo.

2.Getting up close and personal with my Bio and being real brave about sharing who I am and what I really really want to offer.

3.Tidiying up the visual noise, stream lining images and colours and design . This is the tricky stuff for me so I’ve had to learn to be kinda patient and ask for help .. its a process people!

 

 Things that have really rocked my world and will rock yours should you go in 2014 (and you should)

  1. Blogging is a business. Show up to work like you would any other job you want to be successful at.
  2. Hone your voice, get clear on your message and the people your speaking to and be unapologetically true to that voice.
  3. Have a Brand Audit – this is your visual voice. Get it clear.
  4. Nourish your muse, read outside your genre and make space regularly and with discipline and she will show up.
  5. Being generous giving value, adding joy and love to your readers life is the best marketing you can do.
  6. Invest in yourself!
  7. Sart before your ready and when you know better do better .

 

photo

Thanks to the Headmistresses I fell in love with the potential of who I can be, of who I am when I let down the saftety nets and think BIG and risk looking stupid on the off chance that actually I’ll just shine. (or look tired with a cupcake at the end of one epic weekend!)

These three women gave us a way of tapping into our super powers and rethinking that version of ourselves that we know all too well. We were given permission to shine, permission to stand out and have our say, we were given permission to wear sparkley ears through the mall in broad day light. To order sushi and juice and not bat an eye lid.  Just because.

 


group-shot

I want to marry all of you and live in a big sparkly pink house with all out pets…. well it would be fun for a week every year no? 

 

x

All photos except the tired cupcake courtesy of the wonderful Janneke Storm! www.jannekestorm.com