Eat, Pray, Love...


Eaten: way more gluten/dairy/animal protein than my body needs or wants (and it shows)

Prayed: for safety, health and happiness during our travel adventure and thanked the universe for our good fortune in two Greek orthodox monasteries and most of the churches on Ikaria

Loved: both what is different and what is the same about the various people and places we have met, as well as each other in different and more lovely ways than I had imagined


Thea and Ilia of Theas' Inn


POST 4: 29th September 2016, Athens, Greece. 

We have been ‘on the road’ now for exactly one month. One down, ten to go. This is both comforting – we did it! – as well as scary, because the last four weeks have felt very much like a holiday and for that reason I’m not convinced that they 'count'. Although holiday is exactly what we wanted – a warm up for us all: time to practise living out of a rucksack, to acclimatise to being together all of the time, a chance to slow down and enjoy the lack of deadlines. I thought I might feel panicky and perhaps regret our hair-brained decision once we’d left home but actually it’s been quite the opposite (apart from a 2 minute wobble when scrolling through everyone's 'back-to-school' photos).


Photo caption: strawberries, purslane and vines (left); feeding the goats (right)

In fact, not having any routine to follow nor having anyone to answer to has been SO liberating. We can do what we want! When we want! Which is kind of odd for me. Because as a Virgo, I like structure. Actually, that's an understatement, I LOVE structure - I followed the Gina Ford parenting method for goodness sake. But too much of anything starts to feel restrictive. And we were at that tipping point just before we left (come to think of it, this might well have been precisely because I birthed three kids in three years all of whom were 'encouraged' to follow Gina Ford). So in keeping with the walking paradox that I am, I had to go from one extreme to the other: from a strait jacket to naked; from parochial to feral; from a settled life to a nomadic one. And whilst I felt a bit guilty about dragging the kids along with me during the plannings stages, my doubts were proven to be wholly unfounded. We are all having a brilliant time!


Photo caption: pottery workshop - making traditional coil pots (left) and painting my wheel-made dish (right)

So what did we do in our last two weeks on the enchanted island of Ikaria? Well, we built on the rapport that the kids had already helped us to establish with the locals during the first week of our stay. This was made easier by the fact that the tourist 'season' had already come to a close and we were part of only a handful left. In fact, even the majority of the Greek owners of shops, restaurants and rooms had either already headed back to Athens when we got back from Syros or were planning to. So our first move (in an attempt to manage our waistlines and watch our budget) was to move to self-catering studios just opposite our old lodgings at the aptly-named Artemis.


Photo caption: chillaxing in a beach bar (left); the view from our room at Artemis (right)

This boasts a stunning view of Nas beach, a gorgeous pottery shop and overlooks the ruins of the temple dedicated to the goddess of the same name. And we filled our time with the simple things in life: we created ceramic cups, pots and jewellery by hand and on a wheel at the Artemis pottery workshop; I thinned the vines on Ilia’s farm (from which the food and wine is harvested for Thea's Inn), and we fed his menagerie of goats, sheep, hens, geese and rabbits. We milked his goats (or at least attempted to - I thought it would be easy with my extensive experience of the Mandela swing pump but no, I got a mere squirt compared to Ilia's strong jet) and then learnt how to make fresh cheese from it. And whilst Andrew shovelled and spread fertiliser amongst the vines, the kids picked the last of the season’s strawberries and my new favourite salad vegetable: purslane (a delicious leaf whose firm, crunchy stems and small leaves taste like a cross between salty samphire and watercress).


Photo caption: modelling my new hand-made necklace and bracelet on our balcony (left); Raphael on the wheel - not bad for a 3 year old (right)

We did quite a bit of exploring too: we drove from one tip of the island to the other in the search of yet more secret beaches and trekked to a beautiful waterfall at the end of a steep canyon where we left five individually-crafted cairns in homage to it. (We had intended to go swimming in the fresh water pool below but I boycotted the idea after spotting no less than three crabs and an eel swimming in the river just round the corner. Luckily I only found out on our return that our sandals were “the wrong shoes” to have worn as there are snakes and scorpions on the trail!). We pilgrimaged to a haunting cave whose energy I found so moving it was almost overwhelming (I later found out that it is said to be the birthplace of Dionysus - no wonder the energy was strong - he was the God of wine, fertility and divine ecstasy!). We discovered even more formidable, pre-historic rock formations and came across yet more charmingly quaint churches (I have a new thing for tiny, village Greek churches – oozing spiritual energy with their simplified forms and pared-down but still gorgeously ornate, decorations).


Photo caption: the teeny church on the very tip of the eastern edge of Ikaria both outside (top right); and inside (top left); Dionysus' birthplace (bottom right); the stalactites inside the cave (bottom left)

I even had my bottom warmed (actually ‘burnt’ is probably the better word) whilst hovering over an underwater, boiling-hot, thermal-spring jet. Apparently it had also recently been visited by Jamie Oliver whilst on the hunt for new, super-food recipes!

So clearly the island holds an energetic attraction for many and not just for those who want to join the Blue-Zone centenarian club. We have continued to enjoy meeting an eclectic range of visitors: a musician and the new star of the Time is Art documentary sequel who also introduced us to a slightly far-out branch of Mayan Astrology according to which each of us has their own Dreamspell Galactic Signature (I’m a Blue Night in case you were wondering); a fellow women’s circle holder and healer from New York; and a bohemian Austrian couple who were one of the first groups of travellers to come to Nas 35 years ago when it was renowned for both its authentic food as well as for its nudists (the beach still boasts a few ageing versions). Maybe its allure lies with its palpable energy (apparently some can’t stand it and have been known to leave the very day they arrive) or maybe it's because it is, for the most part, so unspoilt (there was no electricity in the village of Nas until the 1980s) which has allowed its raw and haunting natural beauty to remain mostly intact.


Photo caption: my solo hike to Dionysus' cave - to ward off impending vertigo (at times it felt like the path was leading me off the edge of a cliff) I told myself to "just follow the red dot" (top left); half way there (top right); our trek upstream to find the hidden waterfall. The view back to the sea (bottom left) and into the mountains (bottom right)

And what are the things that we have learnt during our first month of travel? That the kids culinary repertoire has not really expanded despite forcing them to try at least one mouthful of each new food (“too many herbs”, “too spicy”) and that instead they have discovered a new love of olive oil and have been gorging on white bread drenched in it at every meal; that I need to wear a hat in the sun if I am to avoid returning looking like a mottled prune (I am now speckled with sun spots despite wearing daily factor 50 – one of the disadvantages of being over 40?) and that I should take photos of every room in every Airbnb we stay in as evidence of the state in which we left it: we learnt this the hard way - to our shock we were wrongly accused of leaving our accommodation in Syros in a complete mess which, according to the photos that were sent to us, looks like it had actually been burgled. And unfortunately for us, the owner doesn’t know that I am a Virgoan, control freak as well as a neat obsessive because I have no photos to prove it. It is slightly stressful knowing that her email notifying us of this was cced to her ‘family lawyer’ and that she hails from the most litigious city on the planet, but we are trying to let it go for now.

Other things that we have learnt? That Andrew and I still have no will power when it comes to eating out and that we consistently over-order; that one should never eat olives fresh off the tree - they are inedible; that the kids are amazing swimmers even when faced with waves that are much, much taller than they are (thanks to the intensive swimming course they underwent just before we left); that Raphael never, ever stops talking unless he is eating or asleep and that Coco never, ever stops singing unless she is asleep (when she sleep talks instead).


Photo caption: dramatic scenery - where the mountain bowed before the sea (top); very rough seas didn't deter my lot. To clarify this shot somewhat, Andrew is 6ft 5 - see how much bigger the waves are than him and yet my brave little kids didn't bat an eyelid. Bobomama preferred to stay on the beach reading Vogue (bottom left); views of nearby islands from the very eastern tip of the island (bottom right)

Most importantly perhaps, we have learnt that we need to keep an eye on our budget earlier on in the month rather than tallying everything up in the last week. Currently, we are £200 over which I blame entirely on a overzealous bourgeois side: we booked flights to and from Ikaria rather than a ferry (the 35 minutes versus 7 hours just looked too tempting despite costing double) and we opted for a taxi to take us into the centre of Athens from the airport rather than the metro (this cost us a whopping £89 instead of £15). Needless to say we didn't repeat this mistake.

Since doing the books, we have however managed to keep the overspend down by subsisting on just 65 euros over two days including accommodation, food and wine - I splashed out on a 500ml plastic bottle costing 1.20 euros containing a white of no known provenance, no known grape variety and no known vintage. It was delicious. (Just don't tell anyone I am a wine specialist). Unfortunately though, this meant we didn’t sleep a wink. Our budget Airbnb flat may have been superbly positioned in some respects (only 10 minutes walk from the Acropolis and based in a very up-and-coming district bursting with trees and vegetation, dilapidated mansions, quirky boutiques and trendy art galleries cum coffee shops) but it was also located a) on the first floor just above a traffic intersection (think revving motorcycles) b) facing a busy roundabout (think accelerating motorcycles) and c) literally no further than 10 metres away from an overland subway line (think very loud screeching of metal on metal as each train went round the bend opposite our room every 15 minutes).


Photo caption: culture balanced with play - view from the Acropolis (left); view of the Acropolis (right)

To make matters worse, there was a crane stationed just outside the front door for both days of our stay relieving the builders in the flat above us of the rubble and furniture they had just demolished (think hammers banging, saws cutting and the crane device inching up and back down all day long). How every single person that bothered to write a review of the flat failed to notice this beats me. Were they all deaf? Drunk on Ouzo? This hardship was partly assuaged by our tour of the Acropolis itself. It is just as splendid (despite undergoing renovations) as it was 23 years ago when I last visited. Predictably, I took pretty much the same photos as I took then although these now include a few more wrinkles and three small people.


Photo caption: another day, another cliff walk (top left); majestic scenery (top right); a beautiful cat we fell in love with during our river gorge walk who followed us back to our room and whom we decided to secretly adopt for a couple of days. Just don't tell the hotel (bottom)

Our next destination is Myanmar. It feels exciting. And also slightly daunting. Not just because it is one of the South East Asian countries to which I have never been, nor only because I haven’t been back to the region in 7 years. The thing that makes me most nervous is that it is the first time I’ve been with children. Three of them. All under 7. And that Myanmar is not touristy. At all. In fact, it only really opened its doors to foreigners in the last decade and some still feel it should be boycotted because of its political regime. But I'm not going to focus on that. I'm going to stick to my new mantra which is to ‘follow the red dot’ just as you do on a European nature walk – you know, those little chalked or painted stripes and dots that are placed strategically on trees or stones to show you the right way? Well I’ve decided to keep in sight only the next metaphorical dot and no more than that. To live just one day at a time and to react to the circumstances that unfold around me rather than try to map out an unknown future.

This is partly as a result of the Human Design reading (a bit like astrology) that I was gifted for my birthday just before we left (which said that if I adopt patience and accept the flow of life rather than pushing my own agenda regardless, all the right opportunities will come my way - and I like the sound of that!) and partly because it’s not that much fun being a planner. Unsurprisingly, it’s actually quite stressful trying to control the unknown because guess what? You can't! What is surprising however is how easy I’m finding this! Probably because I am a far less stressed parent since we left. The children definitely are being raised by the proverbial ‘village’ here which means that I am hardly ever in charge of all three by myself and if I do get to the point where I am about to get annoyed with them, I leave them with Andrew until I’ve got over myself. Thankfully these episodes is now quite rare because the kids are generally much better behaved as a result of spending so much time with others. They now get a lot of attention from a lot of people. The one potential downside of this is that they get too used to it. I worry slightly that they might come back super needy and assuming that everyone already loves or should love them. But since that's eleven months away and doesn't fit in with my new mantra, we’ll just have to cross that bridge if and when we get to it...


Photo caption: a very tall man in front of a very tall building (left); our ridiculous flat in Athens - please note traffic light bottom right, crane in front, roundabout just to left and overland subway line right ahead (right)

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First the shabby, now for the chic...


Kids’ Homeschooling: 3hr     Bikram Yoga Series completed: once     Rain: once     Books read: 0     Parks visited: 5     Favourite local dish so far: giant prawns     Local food now sick of eating: goat’s cheese/yoghurt     Average adult one-on-one time spent per day: 2 minutes     Number of steps required to descend/ascend from our Syros dwelling to the edge of town: 275     Number of times we have had to carry moaning children up them: every single time     Total number of Greek words learnt and used: 10     Number of cheap pairs of sunglasses bought and damaged before I had to resort to a decent (ie. expensive) pair (despite leaving my three expensive pairs at home so that they didn’t get damaged/stolen during our trip): 2     Item of packing I definitely didn't need to include: hairdryer


POST 3: 14th September 2016, Ano Syros, Greece. 

Living like locals is all very well but sometimes a girl needs a little bit of glamour. Especially on her birthday. The older I get, the more I feel it necessary to ‘go away’ in order to feel sufficiently special. (Demanding? Moi?) So having weighed up various options, including Amorgos (almost purely because it is where my favourite film ever, Le Grand Bleu, with its formerly swoonsome lead actor Jean-Marc Barr, is filmed) and Mykonos (dismissed as too Ibiza-chic for our current parents-of-three-under-seven status – it would just get frustrating not being able to join in with the parteeee) we settled for an injection of sophistication and busyness from the nearby island of Syros. Its bustling main town, Ermopoulis, is the capital of the Cyclades group of islands and is home to the Aegean university, immigration office and even a casino. It offered the perfect antidote to the stupor induced by seven days on the rural idyll of Ikaria. That said, the island is actually pretty tiny; it took only ten minutes to cross over to a beach on the opposite side and you could probably explore the whole thing in a day.


Unlike Ikaria, which mostly consists of barren rock rising steeply out of the ocean, with its main road circling at least 50 meters above this, on Syros most of the road network is at sea level itself. This has made for a blissfully welcome change because going to the beach no longer demands we assume the qualities of both goat (balancing precariously on tiny outcrops whilst scaling down a rock face) and donkey (carrying towels, body boards, water, snacks, towels, wallet etc) at the same time. That missing adrenalin rush has been transferred instead to the place in which we are staying - largely because there are no internal stairs. These have been added as part of a renovation and since railings wouldn’t fit in with the rest of the (very arty, tasteful, minimalist) decor, there are none. We tried to ban the children from using these vertiginous death-traps joining each of the house’s four floors by themselves but that only lasted about an hour. Now I’m just crossing my fingers.

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Photo caption: narrow medieval streets with overhanging balconies (left); our scary, internal stairs (top right); multi-coloured wood contrasts with white-washed walls, green cacti and mottled stone pavings (bottom right)

Otherwise the house (found on AirBnB) is pretty awesome. It is part of the original medieval settlement of Ano Syros founded by the Venetians in the 13th Century. Crammed higgledy-piggledy on top of one another, as well as scattered on either side of a steep hill, the stocky, thick-walled dwellings slightly resemble a giant’s unsuccessful Jenga game, all of which is ring-fenced below by a crumbling, brick-lined moat. Counter to expectations, crowning the hill-top is not a castle but a huge Catholic cathedral, the latest (and fifth version of a religious monument erected on the site) built in the 19th Century. So, sitting proudly atop the opposite hill (no rivalry intended of course), is an equally huge Greek Orthodox church built at exactly the same time.

Narrow, winding steps criss-cross over the steep mound that is the old town, both connecting as well as separating inhabitants from each other. Our house boasts no less than three doors onto street level, each of which is at a different height. Our windows look almost directly into our neighbour’s about a metre away on each side. It is both comforting as well as disconcerting.


Photo caption: he timeless back-streets of Hermoupolis

As glamour goes, Syros is not particularly so. We’re not talking designer Mykonos. But there are funky shops, majestic Venetian mansions, shady outdoor restaurants and a few cool-looking wine bars. The scene feels both timelessly Greek as well as up-and-coming; authentic as well as swanky. This balance was beautifully exemplified by Ono: a cool beach bar/restaurant sufficiently in tune with the scene to consider itself not merely an eatery but a ‘concept’, adorned with pre-requisite sunset loungers shaded by crocheted parasols, outdoor and indoor massage areas accompanying the in-house spa (which I did sample), Crystal champagne at 400 euros a bottle on the wine menu (which we didn’t sample), a designer clothing and eyewear shop, and anthemic beats. Unbeknownst to us before choosing it as the venue for my birthday celebrations, it has already featured on Vogue’s list of ‘under the radar’ must-visit Greek island bars. So as a true Bobomama, I did.

a bit of Champagne

Photo caption: BoboMama loves a bit of Champagne (top); sunset at Ono concept (bottom)

As for the nitty gritty of travel, I am already bored of all of my clothes. In fact, I was fed up after about 5 days and my daily selection hasn’t got any larger (apart from a sneaky pair of sandals and some jewellery). I am also most definitely over doing the laundry. Rather sadly (as it is so mundane), this is proving to be the second biggest challenge of the trip so far. Not surprisingly the kids are not producing any less for me to wash than they did at home and yet here I am equipped with only two paltry tubes of travel wash and a miniature travel washing line (pegless though – pretty nifty actually) which hangs only half a load at the best of times.

Past outsourcing experiences have not been entirely positive: our old hostel in Ikaria managed to re-categorise everything that would formerly have been considered ‘light’ into a new ‘shade-of-blue’ category (despite my having pre-divided the load before submitting it - clearly they thought I was being fussy and just bunged it all in together); and they then managed to shrink Andrew’s t-shirts in the tumble drier. These shouldn’t be allowed on the island at all frankly, given its searing temperatures and its famous meltemi summer winds, but it was exactly because of the latter and the staff’s fear that our clothes would be blown off-shore by them that they resorted to using one (at least that was their excuse).

Unfortunately for Andrew however, when you are 6ft 5 with a long body, not one millimetre of t-shirt material can be spared; his resulting crop tops had to be ‘let go’ of. In Syros, I do now have my own machine but the spin cycle doesn’t work so everything comes out weighing a ton and needs individual hand-wringing before being hoisted up the gravity-defying, rail-less stairs onto the roof terrace to be scorched of all colour (I have at least learnt this – clothes must be dried inside out here).

Greek Orthodox church of Syros

Photo caption: the 19th Century Greek Orthodox church of Syros. There is something about the unabashed gawdiness of these that I just love. They always have a great atmosphere and feel very warm and inviting (left); I'd never seen this before but I'm assuming this was the fashion at one point? It's not a great one. Tiny spaces are left for the head of the painting to poke through; the rest has been "adorned" with silver. Presumably because it was thought to be more precious at the time and therefore more of a tribute to God? Unfortunately all of the paintings in this church had been covered in this way (right)

The biggest challenge of all however has been carving out adult together/alone time. As we are now in a house as opposed to spread over two hotel rooms, this has meant we can share a room instead of being divided up amongst the children (good). Unfortunately however, this has not meant that we have actually spoken together for longer than 5 minutes without either being interrupted or falling asleep with exhaustion (bad).

At the moment we are still being very active and like to go out for most if not all of the day to explore our destination. This is exciting and fun but does not leave much time for anything else. The time left over has to be spent on eating, food shopping, pharmacy visits, homeschooling or catching up on work, which doesn’t really leave any space for reflection, self-reflection or adult conversation. I am finding this quite frustrating, but know that we will get better at this the longer we are abroad and the more we are able to stay in one place.


Photo caption: The warden of the church had been looking after it for no less than 45 years. Prior to that he had sold fish and chips on Manley Beach, Australia. He couldn't wait to sneak out into the vestry to play his harmonica and show the children a little jig. You can never judge a book by its cover! (left); My birthday "cake" Greek style. The most honey-drenched baklava you can imagine alongside orange and honey-drenched polenta (?) cake. Luckily the kids didn't really like it so I had to have their portions too (right)

I have nonetheless managed two bouts of solo exercise even though this freedom came with a price to pay: yoga on the beach (I felt like a pretentious numpty doing it in the first place but even more so when the whole of the local Greek population stared me through the sequence) and a brisk walk to the nearby village in the dead of night (the only time I could squeeze this in was between 10.45 to 11.45pm). The positives on both occasions were serene, beautiful surroundings and in the latter case, nothing other than the moon and starlight to lead the way. It was pretty special.

Other travel perils to note so far have included a horrible, poisonous anemone sting for Xanthe which has metamorphosed over the last week from what resembled a large burn, to a criss cross of varicose vein-coloured lines and finally to an itchy host of slightly oozing, pitted scratches. I had no idea anemones were poisonous. Luckily at the time I had some Anthisan with me on the otherwise deserted beach which, I was later told by a pharmacist, made all the difference. We will now be avoiding all rocks with any form of sea vegetation on them just to be safe!


Photo caption: school lunch time entertainment Greek-style. Having popped to the park we heard whistles and shouting so I rushed the children down to the port to see the street "carnival". It turned out it was just the kids on their school lunch break. Hoards of them playing in the square surrounded by mothers sipping coffees in the cafes surrounding it. There were about 15 of these electric cars doing a loop round some trees. Irrisistable (left); on our walk into the port one evening we came across this 7 year old boy putting on a puppet show for passers-by. His grandfather in the room behind had proudly made it for him based on his favourite boytime activity. The "soundtrack" to the puppet show was blaring with granny and a friend sat on little wooden chairs showing encouragement. It was so lovely (right)

What I am loving on the other hand, is meeting so many new people, each with their own story and intrigue: a Bulgarian/American couple in their 60s from San Francisco tracking down every centenarian on Ikaria as part of their quest for the secret elixir of life; a ceramicist from the Acropolis museum (we have already lined up a family pottery day); a renowned Turkish director; an aspiring Greek actor/director and his wife who founded the quirky This Famous Tiny Circus Theatre Group; a half-Indian/half-Italian (just think of the food delights he must have sampled growing up) former New Dehli B&B owner who will shortly be returning with his lovely French/Swiss/German girlfriend to set up and run a new one this autumn (he has inspired us to re-route our travels in order to go and visit them), the French host of a residential 5 Rythmns dance group and a beguiling young man who I met on the deck of the ferry leaving Ikaria who had been staying, along with various other urban hippies, in part of a controversial "camp" located on the beach of Nas. I had already learnt from our former hostel owners that these were somewhat pejoratively referred to as ‘river dwellers’  (since they merely sleep in the gorge at night but enjoy the creature comforts of the restaurants above the rest of the time). Half way through our esoteric conversation he let slip that his father is an eminent politician. I do love a fellow Bourgeois Bohemian.

Certainly we must seem above-averagely fascinating for once with our family-of-5-taking-12-months-off-to-travel-the-world tale, and perhaps this is bringing out the best in others. Or maybe we are just being exposed to the more laid-back, off-season travel crew. Either way, the world does definitely seem like a more open, exciting place once you’ve committed to exploring it!

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On listening to your dreams...


I used to think that my body was just a vehicle for my desires: my mind wanted to achieve certain things, my body executed them. It wasn’t until I was really ill last September with a recurring flu that would lay me out flat with a high temperature for about a week a month until February (yup – 6 whole months of it) that I realised the body is far more than a group of muscles at our mind’s beck and call. Our body is actually the messenger for the soul / heart. I always remember when I first heard the word disease pronounced DIS-EASE. It was a revelation. Of course! If we are not at ease with ourselves, this is manifested in the specific part of the body that can teach us most about it. Often, we only need to look at our particular symptoms to find out where we need to redress the balance. No surprises to most people that know me that mine would usually point to ‘letting go’. By working on this and each time seeing just how many levels this could be felt on (and also consciously "not working” – part of letting go is obviously not to force things), I have been amazed to see most of my symptoms literally disappear. (If you want to know more about this, check out the following list of symptoms based on Louise Hay’s incredible insights).

I am reading a book at the moment (the Shaman’s Last Apprentice, by Rebekah Shaman) about a Londoner that travels to the Amazon to meet the man she believes will become her teacher. When they discuss disease, he has the following words of wisdom for her:

“Disease comes when a person fails to listen to their calling. It is the spirit’s way of expressing that it is unhappy and in pain, and that it can no longer be ignored. We all have a guiding voice within that leads us through life. These guiding voices are our dreams, messages and visions. The need to make money stops people from following their dreams. Then people get sick. Illness empowers the spirit to be heard and to show the way to a more fulfilling life, for however long that is.”

I knew the bit about disease but I hadn’t ever clocked the other bit. The crucial bit! The bit about NOT getting sick. And that is to listen to and act upon your dreams, messages and visions. Much of the time we are too tied up in our mind chatter to hear it and too busy ‘being busy’ to take the time out to do so. We are also often fearful: scared of change and of letting go of our current creature comforts. But if we don’t listen to our own dreams, we end up following someone else’s. And that is just a waste. A waste of the unique spark of energy that fuels your specific blend of fabulousness. Which is destined for unique, fabulous things. If only we take the time to hear our hearts and give our dreams the respect we owe them by following them.

As soon as I read that particular paragraph a couple of days ago, I reflected on what my heart has been telling me for a long time, on my secret dream that I haven’t been following or believing in properly (even though I first heard it when I was about 8) because it seems too far-fetched and a bit silly and maybe a bit arrogant too. But I took the bull by the horns and booked, then and there (at a quarter to midnight) my first foundation course in classical shamanism taught by the author of another incredible book that shook my world.

I am beyond excited. It will either be a complete revelation and take me on a journey that I haven’t yet dared to embark upon, one that I wasn’t yet ready to take, or it will not resonate deeply and it will lead to something else that IS my true calling. Either way it is a step in the right direction. A step along the way of the heart.

So I took up the challenge. Now it's your turn! I dare you to join me: what is your secret desire / dream / vision? What small step will you take today, to help that come to fruition?

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Busking poetry

Late last year I took part in a four week course on the magic of holding circles. It allowed me to hone my intuitive skills and learn more about the art of holding space as well as pushing me to delve yet deeper into what my unique circle medicine really is. It gave me the confidence to run my own local, fortnightly women's circles and I feel comforted and energised by the fact that I am not alone. Indeed I am part of a growing global sisterhood of women who have all felt the call to lead circles either in their neighbourhoods or online with the desire to help people to connect to their authentic selves and dedicate time to listening to their inner voices. To feel, to release. To stop the glorification of BUSY!

One of these sisters recently went to a word and music event in Dublin, Ireland and came across this 'busking poet'. The way it works is that the poet asks you for a topic, who it's for and then writes away. She asked him to write a poem for us.


That someone can channel this kind of magic on the spot and create such an incredible piece of art in exchange for a donation and call it busking blows me away. It gave me goosebumps reading it. I had to share. What a gift!

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My Word Goddess Reading

Finding time to rest and reconnect over the busy Xmas period can seem like an impossible task. With overindulgence in terms of food and alcohol the buzzword at this time of year as well as being assaulted by all sorts of means to distract ourselves from our inner harmony including television and unnecessary consumerism, it can be hard to transition consciously through this end-of-year period of introspection to fully embrace the possibilities brought by a new year. If you would like a tool to help you on your way, I would like to recommend a My Word Goddess Reading from Amy Palko. She will source the goddess for you who will be there to guide and support you, prompt you and highlight exactly which parts of you are ready for healing and transformation. I just received my reading today and it feels so right. I am excited to be starting the new year hand in hand with this goddess and my word for the year has already got me thinking about the new possibilities the year will bring on a deeper, more intuitive level. I for one intend to make next year the most intuitive, magical, balanced one yet. Here's to your magical 2016!

Did you enjoy this post? Let me know in the comments or by sharing it with other social media! I’d love to keep sending you updates so feel free to sign up to receive posts by e-mail and click subscribe. Don’t forget you can follow me on facebookinstagram & bloglovin.