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 ….

 

 

Creating Holiday Rituals that Nourish

keri krieger blog, how to survive xmas, end of 2017, women's health coach, emma kate co

 

The end of year can be so tricky to navigate.

And I know I’m not alone in observing this. Obligation, unrealistic expectations, clashes of values and needs, it can all seem too hard. It doesn’t need to be this way though.

In my ongoing sorting and repacking of my storage unit, I found a photo of my sister and I somewhere around 1995. It’s a hilarious photo because for some reason we felt the need to kneel down beside my big kitchen table next the spread of food we had prepared. It’s this weird but festive photo with our almost disembodied heads next to plates of food! Let me remind you that there was no digital photography at this point!

I wish I had’ve taken a photo of it before packing it back away. This photo reminded me that for a number of years while we were still living in the same country we would celebrate our ‘Holiday Festival’ on the Solstice on the 21st Dec. This is when we gave each other presents and shared the highlight real of our year and our wishes for the next. *

This felt meaningful and connected as I didn’t align with the commercialism of the season (I still don’t) or the Christian one on offer. I made up my own rituals, borrowed a few from my pagan leanings to honor the summer season and I was on my way! Just add people I love, great food and music. In our childhood my sister played  ‘The Muppets Christmas Album’ version of the 12 days of Xmas so much that regardless of whether we are  together I hear Miss Piggy screeching 5 Golden Rings until the 2nd of Jan.

*(This was also a time in my life when I left a slice of birthday cake out for the ‘elementals’. True stories. Now I just eat all the cake myself! I figure I’m an elemental too!)

As the years have passed and my baby brother and sister were born, I adored celebrating with them. Their excitement at the Xmas tree, all squishing into the same bed as they couldn’t agree with who was going to sleep in the big bed with their sister! There was even Mass in the melting North Queensland heat with my quasi Catholic parents. I found my feminist alignment with this by ‘hanging out with Mary’ and feeling into the genuine reverence present. Which was undeniable.

My ex-husband was a huge xmas fan. The decorations were epic, the carols continuous and I’m ok with never having to clean up that much tinsel again! The holiday season in the norther hemisphere it has to be said feels so much more authentic to me. At that time of year it can be really nourishing to celebrate and raise your spirits. The gift of a white winter solstice is something I enjoyed so much.

My siblings are now 20 and 22 but my nieces have since been born and I have once again loved creating rituals with them and my sister. No longer two disembodied heads at a table but trying to keep the presents a secret and grab a minute of quiet time together.

This year I find myself at another ritual crossroads. My younger siblings are all grown up, my sister and my nieces living overseas and my parents having parties with friends of their own. (That of course I could join).

I am finding myself leaning toward the ways I naturally love to celebrate and looking forward to creating space in my life for these thing for the first time in a long time. Simple, natural and homespun fun. And honestly while I don’t want to make a huge deal about this one day, after an enormous year I do want to soak up the spaciousness of having a week off and connect with my loves in a way that feels meaningful and not contrived.

I’m feeling into what 23 year old Keri would want to do because whilst we often search into the future to see what our older wiser self might think, there is wisdom to be found in the simple honestly of our younger selves too.

I want you to know that if the season ahead is hard for you, that you can create your own meaningful rituals.

Some ideas you could play with are;

Volunteer for your local charity.

Celebrate an ‘orphans xmas’ with your besties.

Even solo, create and plan ahead for a beautiful day; food, candles, activities that you love doing.

A day in a hammock with a book sounds just divine to me, or curled up by the fire if your Xmas is a chilly one. Making a big gratitude list of all the things you’re thankful for this year is a heart lead way to keep your focus on all that is abundant in your life.

Some other resources you might find helpful-

You can reflect and unravel your year with my Alchemical Year Play book

Alexandra Franzen has this ritual here I think I might try.

And my gorgeous friend Kris has these cards that inspire wonderful connection between people, pop them out if you’re in a group of people that might not know each other well.

 

I’d love to hear how your approaching the holiday season.

What spiritual practices or festivities do you align with?

And know too that if you’re really struggling don’t go it alone, there are support services you can connect with.

x

K

 

 

It needs to be included that as I’m writing this my neighbours child has launched into a sing- a -long version of Jingle Bells on the keyboard. It’s official. The seasons is ON!

 

 

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Yin, Yang, Desire and the constellation of receptivity and hope.

 

Desire is a constellation of creativity receptivity and trust.

There is so much written on chasing your desires, as if desires and goals have become all mixed up.

There is also much talk of ‘being able to receive’ often in the same conversations as talk of the feminine, and the divine feminine. Women are relearning and meeting their own embodiment for the first time.

Often these conversations are couched in the same energy that we have been operating in which is to say a very masculine direct way in which we believe we are required or to ‘go out and chase’ and hunt down the things in life we want to experience. This is not the way to cultivate the feminine and heal our exhaustion from over doing.

To be blunt a lot of this discussion is just a dressing up of Masculine principals in a pretty spiritual dress. It is not helping us to connect any closer with the innate wisdom we have as women because of our physicality and it’s energetic workings.

(Please know that when I talk about masculine and feminine I’m not talking about men and women. Transpose the words yin and yang if that helps to create understanding.)

Let me ask you……

If your animal body were able to give you all the feedback she needed if she were able to purr in satisfaction or roar in pain and anguish or share her hearts desires in the safe nest the two of you create in the still moments of the day what would she say?

How would you relate to her?

Would you push her to chase down and hunt her dreams or would you let her cultivate her magnetism ?

Desire is like the pull of the moon. The shoreline doesn’t have to ‘do’ anything to have the ocean come rushing at her.

Neither do you.

What if we could truly feel our desires and not just the absence of them and the pain that can cause us, but the spaces within us that they could inhabit and in that sensation create the receptivity to embrace them and TRUST the timing of their arrival.

What. If. That.

What if as women we were able to connect with our innate receptive nature and trust the divine pull of our desires to steer our course across the skyline of our lives?

How much more energy would we have access to each day to take care of our needs and the needs of our families and businesses?

How much less struggle would be present, the self doubt, self loathing and guilt.

Lets talk about the guilt for a minute here.

A dear friend shared with me that in A course in Miracles guilt is referred to as an interruption (I haven’t quite got there yet its slow going!)

An interruption.

An interruption to you and the conversation that you and your soul, your animal body and your very necessary clever human mind are in.

This affects every possible way that we as women show up in the world. It informs us of our not enough-ness of our occasionally too-much-ness. It tells us we shouldn’t ask for so much or hunger for a life that our bodies are telling us is possible.

It encourages us to dampen down those feelings any way we can with food, with alcohol with technology with drugs. And before you know it that clear sonic path way between us and our desires is littered with static and disruption and we distrust the transmission we are hearing.

Our light is dimmed, the twinkling constellation of our lives feels lost in space.

It interrupts our creativity and the permission this needs to take form in our lives.

Let the guilt go.

For all the women over eating, under eating, over working, distrusting the presence of love in your life, be gentle with yourself, the path back to yourself can be a challenging one. It is a not a journey of addition which we are familiar with but of subtraction, which is frightening when we have bought into the existence of not enough and lack and denial.

Let me be clear here we are not talking about subtracting elements of you but of the layers you have worn in error hoping to improve or please or diminish your brightness. This subtraction is a revelation. Quite literally a revealing.

Take your time with your souls rebirth there is no rush.

Remember the co-ordinates to that constellation.

Hear the pull of your desires hidden in the longing and hunger.

Feel the receptivity present in your body.

Trust the unfolding of your heart in your life.

You are woman. Creatress. Huntress.

There is Magic and Desire in you enough to births stars.

Beheld.

 

 

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2016 It’s A Wrap!

Emma Kate Co 2016

 

 

2016 A year in review.

It’s hard to believe but I don’t think I have ever done a review post before, but 2016 you were different!

It was a wholehearted year where finally I felt like I could truly (and not begrudgingly) embody my belief that life is happening FOR me not too me (or AT me as some times it has previously felt!)

It was a strange year though in the sense that I kind of felt time got stretched in all sorts of weird ways and most of year actually happened some how all crammed into the the last few months. In fact the first half of the year felt like a different year all together.

Was I alone in this?

Something quite fabulous happened around September where all of a sudden all the work and planning that felt a little bit like it could be going nowhere suddenly went EVERYWHERE!

Lets start at the beginning shall we!

The seeds for the year were planted in Dec 2015 when I attended a Violet Gray intention circle. I wrote about it here. The gorgeous Alex invited me to one of their circles where each attendee makes their own crystal bracelet and my word for the year found me. SHINE.

I wasn’t quite sure what that word had in store for me, but it felt like backing myself, being seen, confidently standing my ground and letting my light shine. To be of service in the most bold and beautiful way. Letting the truth that I have the right to take up space really take hold I put my hand up and raised my voice.

It was a theme that unravelled through out the year so beautifully. I also moved into a gorgeous new home at the end of 2015 and the first few months of this year were filled with purchasing cushions and plants so much so that many of the planned furniture purchases still haven’t happened as I keep coming home from nurseries and Bunnings with even more plants! (who actually needs a kitchen table anyway?)

2016 had its heartbreak moments that I explored in this post HERE. And as I check in with myself enjoying the spaciousness of retrospect I can see an experience that will forever leave me knowing that I can do hard things with Grace.

It certainly wasn’t the most difficult experience of my life but the wholehearted way I took care of myself, the way I honored the process and let myself be guided by the ancient wisdom I offer to my clients was a bit of a revelation. Duh I know right!?

This experience has really shaped the way I have moved forward in my life since and the unapologetic way I choose to live through this natural lens.

There were daily walks with my four legged love

2016 year in review Keri Krieger

Lots of Live music.

My month long festival of birthday was celebrated in my usual over the top style for most of August. Yes all month, why the heck not?

 

Keri Krieger, 2016 It's a wrap

 

And where would I be with out the fire works that Sydney puts on every-time I come down for my Roadshow!

A review of 2016 would not be complete without a mention of the amazing women that populate my life. I spent a rich and delicious weekend at Dr Libby’s Beautiful You weekend in June. (if you have not been GO it’s even more amazing than you think it will be! )

Stand Out Alison Hill Life Coaching

 

Celebrated like it was 1999 at the book launch of Ali Hills book Stand out. (go get it!) and found myself shoulder to shoulder with so many women I admire and look up to, whether it be at events or around my kitchen table.

A deep bow to the women in my world!

Again Dec 2105 saw the start of some amazing growth in my business and coaching practice that flowed through to the rest of 2016 .There was this article on Mindful Collective.

I featured on Nicole Mathesons podcast Unbreakable. You can listen to the episode here.

I adore this women and her way of showing up in the world. It’s irreverent, and feminine and wholehearted. Conversations with her are one of my favorite things.

I spoke at the Soul Sister Circle Sessions held at Warehouse 5 on the Gold Coast. And again found myself collaborating with women I truly admire and respect. Tahlee, Jasmine and Bec the founder of SSC are creative pioneers in their fields. The magic, and power of having 100 women in a room sharing their stories is not to be underestimated.

Soul Sister Circle Sessions Keri Krieger

 

The big decision that I made in 2016 that shaped the end of the year and is very much providing the main flavour of 2017, is the choice to attend Tigress Yoga Female Yoga Teacher Training for a whole month in Bali.

Yup a whole freakin month in Bali. And you know what people (like me and perhaps you) say, that if it’s meant to happen it will but you need to take the first step. Well I took that step, not knowing where the money or time was going to come from but just knowing deep in my bones that this work was the perfect marriage of soulful restorative practice for myself and a necessary piece of the unfolding puzzle that is my coaching practice.

So it won’t surprise you that the money of course appeared, and then some. Going to further prove (in case you need proof.. sometimes I do!) that when you are truly in alignment with something, you will be supported.

The path, whilst perhaps not paved with unicorn glitter will naturally and with a degree of ease unfold in front of you. I’m equally excited and reverent about this experience which I know will be one of great revelation to me. I’m trying to approach that mindfully although every. single. cell. in my body also wants to cartwheel at the thought of being in that tropical heat with mango and coconut awaiting my tastebuds every day!

The new year is off to a wonderful start with the birth of my second niece. Little Abigail made her way into the world on the morning of the 1st of Jan. I had hoped to be at her birth as I was with her sister, but she had other plans. So another trip to our nations capital is on the cards!

I also thought it might be fun to share my reading list for the year. And also reveal my little addiction to teen fantasy fiction…. there really is no better escapism!

Lastly, if you would like an opportunity to reflect on the year that was using the 5 elements I have a play book for you. You can find it here.

 

Elle Luna, Dr Libby, Keri Krieger

I read in no particular order ……

A Year of Yes Shonda Rhimes

Rising Strong Brene Brown

Outrageous Openness Tosha Silver

Women’s Wellness Wisdom Dr Libby

Speaking Out Tara Moss

Cross Roads of Should and Must Elle Luna

Love Warrior Glennon Melton Doyle

When Women Were Birds Terry Tempest Williams

Stand Out Ali Hill

Celeste Roland Perry Wild Wood

The Wrong Girl Zoe Foster Blake

 

My drug of choice is teenage fantasy fiction and I make no apologies for my behaviour! (I can inhale one of these in a single Sunday afternoon)

Garth Nix The Old Kingdom Quartet

Cassandra Clare Lady Midnight

Claudia Gray Trilogy

Blood in the Beginning Kim Falconer

The final Terry Pratchet book.

Another trilogy I read at my sisters over Xmas!

Still currently reading from 2016 A Course in Miracles

Seven Thousand Ways to Listen Mark Nepo

I know there are some I have missed but I think thats as good a start as any if you are looking for a great read!

 

I truly hope your new year is off to a magical start and I look forward to connecting with you across 2017

x

K

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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Rituals to guide you from Breakdown to Breakthrough.

 

Healing Power of Ritual

Ritual is something that I have always used as a marker to honor times and places both physical and metaphysical in my life.

Ritual speaks to the deep unconscious places in us and has anchored intentions and goals for me when life has gotten hectic.

This can be as simple as a cup of herbal tea or something as elaborate as this water purification ceremony, I experienced in Bali. This Ceremony occurred whilst I was on a Tigress Yoga retreat in July last year. I went with all sorts of wild intentions, most of them unrealistic! One of them was seeing this holiday as a ritual place marker of healing and time out. The problem with this was that I had an expectation of what healing looked like.

My expectation was that I would go on this magical holiday (it was really really magical) I would have 10 incredible days off (the first 10 days of actual holiday down time in years ) and I would magically spring back like a magical elastic band version of myself. Viola! Keri 2.0. Expectations much? The reality went a little differently.

But it was EXACTLY what I needed and it was in fact just what I had been asking for. I just didn’t know it at the time because it looked a whole lot like MORE breakdown… nothing like I expected breakthrough to look at all.

It was much like this water temple purification process actually.

I don’t know about you but the idea of going to a truly ancient spring on a beach in Bali bathing in the ocean and being blessed and cleansed conjured up all sort of (unrealistic) images. Eat Pray Love has a lot to answer for, but as these images can attest I looked much more like a drowned rat than a divinely inspired Julia Roberts.

 

IMG_0389

Bucket after bucket of salty spring water is tipped over your head as you are chanted over and a cup of coconut water is offered to you that, somehow in-between gasps and dunks, you are meant to mindfully ingest.

The actual blessing itself was quite like being caught in pounding surf, where you mistime the waves and get dumped trying to gasp for air before the next wave lands on your head.

Most of the time instead of feeling serene and mindful, graciously letting go and inviting in my carefully thought out intention I was just praying that I was ingesting the coconut water and not actually giving myself some deadly parasite that would plague my health into old age… I’m still not convinced that didn’t in-fact happen.

Bali TY & Water Temple 043Bali TY & Water Temple 046-1Bali TY & Water Temple 033

Did I feel different? Did I feel changed? Did I leave a different person?

You better believe it.

That pledge that I made to myself, the intention that I had set in action had been witnessed by the gods. Lets be honest I’m an out of the closet Pagan!

I am completely in love with the Balinese reverence to nature and beauty; these places have power if for no other reason than we believe them to.

And that is enough for me.

Rituals - Breakdown to Breakthrough

I came home and I couldn’t in all honesty continue life as I had been. Working with out rest, running from heart ache, avoiding tending to some very large wounds.

In the following months everything unravelled.

A wonderful mix of anxiety, depression, shocking cortisol levels, high testosterone, absent estrogen, exhaustion, and an overwhelming inability to leave the house, left me bewildered and wondering how on Earth I had found myself having another breakdown. Seriously?

The REALLY important thing to realise here and this realisation is only available in hindsight. Is that ALL of this was actually me breaking through. It was the last point of contraction before the process of expansion could take place. And if I hadn’t had such an amazing team of people around me, if I didn’t have all the knowledge of my own years of training I would have believed that I was getting worse. Many people indeed told me I was.

I can tell you now that I wasn’t. Things do actually get worse before they get better but not in the way we think.

It has taken a huge amount of self belief, self care and faith to trust the intuition and self awareness that reassured me in the scariest of moments that this was not under any circumstance a downward spiral.

It was the upward one.

If you find yourself in this situation, in the heat of the moment it will be hard to tell the difference.

So here I am sharing my story with you, to let you know dear reader that there will be moments when you doubt your own resurrection story that ‘something has gong wrong’ with your carefully laid plans of healing your heart and soul.

Do not doubt yourself. Surround yourself with the best team of people you can find.

I involved medical science, herbal medicine, psychology, exercise and meditation.

And above all trust your intuition.

If this post speaks to you in your journey know that help is at hand. I’m kind of a specialist guide for The Dark Night of the Soul. (No water dunking required)

I’d love to hear from you. x

 

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