chronicles of a bespoke, simple, adventurous life

Monthly Archives: October 2012

How to get your mojo singing ‘Hell to the Yeah’

Truth be told I’ve been trying to get my mojo to sing loud and proud for an age, to middling success.

To get things hip hop moving along I spent a couple of days at the first ever Blogcademy in New York city.  It was hands down one of the best things I’ve done to move my ideas forward in a really long time.  The BEST.  I think I may have a choir of mojo about to sing Hellalujah.  It got me thinking about how we get our mojo’s to sing…..I’ve jotted down some ideas at the bottom of this post if your needing a wriggle on.

Two gloriously affirming days hanging out with 29 other fabulous bloggers at the direction of three superstars of the blogosphere (and all things individual expression) Gala Darling, Nubby Twiglet and Kat Williams.  And lets not forget the superstar of photography Lisa Devlin.

I was plunk in the middle of a master mistress class and it was amazeballs!

The alchemy of hustle is all about living your joy and passion on your own terms and these women were rocking right out on that, they are alchemical hustlers in the truest sense of the title.  They are tap dancing on the head of their passionate reason for being, and it is a glorious site to behold*.  Unabashed, unadulterated full expression of self with the added bonus of making a very successful living from it.  Is there no other holier grail than that?  Well for me there’s not, its my life’s work.

The workshops style and delivery were perfect for the way I learn.  Informal, packed with awesome content (from lessons learnt, tips, the basics, what works, what doesn’t etc) and with loads of space for Q&A.  I came away learning SO MUCH about all things blogging and how to make my blog  fabulous.  I am inspired with a game plan = ignited.  And unexpectedly I learnt about the power of really living my mojo, singing from my own voice full time (not part).  Over two days I soaked up the authentic voices of our teachers and it unconsciously washed over me and settled into my psyche.  Seeing somebody else rocking it out prompts your subconscious to say “hey, why not join in”?

The other surprise gem has come from the community that has sprung to life and that is continuing to grow.  A big nugget shared was the power of community, collaboration and support and the life these bring to our work, ideas, inspiration and selves.  It’s the relationships that make the difference.  I am loving being a part of this community.

Blogcademy graduates on a high after finishing the workshop. Photo taken by Femke Leemans.

So if you’d like to get your mojo singing ‘Hell to the Yeah’ you could try a few of these:

  • get clear about your joy/passion, what you want to do.  this is a good read if your a bit murky.
  • feel more, think less
  • get your vision up where you can see it, it helps keep the main thing, the main thing.  I wrote about how to make a vision board here
  • start dabbling or dive right in, there will never be a perfect time (because there is no such thing as perfect) there is just now
  • build your community – meet other like minded peeps for fun, inspiration and ongoing support.  Veronica Varlow who attended Blogcademy wrote an awesome post on how to build community here
  • get some steer and support on how to make it happen, I just found out about this fabulous woman/firestarter.  want more than just a book/online resource?  a life coach can be an incredible resource for creating change or a mentor could be your thang
  • make self care a priority, good food/sleep/balance/water/friends/fun are all part of the equation
  • learn from the best, ask questions from those that have done it……soak it up (trust me it is priceless gold to be in conversation with people who are successfully singing from the top of their mojo’s lungs – see Gala, Nubby and Kat’s links above).
  • be yourself, its a fruitless task being anybody else

What gets your mojo singing loud and proud?

*My description of these fabulous woman may to some sound a tad gushy, it is not.  I write with authenticity and honesty on the things and people that genuinely inspire and motivate me (and shining a flood light on powerful woman is a good thing, I feel).  Seeing individuals doing their thing/joy and being truly themselves is powerful, it is a massive agitator of change and enhancer of mojo happiness. I found that out this weekend in bucket loads.

travel what an interesting ride, oh and fabulous people…..

I’m writing this in the very plush bar at the hotel I’m staying at near LAX airport.  Tomorrow I fly to New York.  I can’t tell you how excited I am, I have wanted to go to New York for an age.

Today, after having spent 3 days in San Francisco I drove to LA.  What was to be a leisurely six hour haul down the freeway turned into about 8.5 hours, I won’t go into details………but lets just say that LA’s parting gift to me was a slow trawl of traffic.  I multi tasked and ate my dinner (a fabulous kale salad and a rosemary breast of chicken bought from a health food supermarket).  It was a SLOW trawl, chewing and steering was very doable.

I’m a little side swiped that 21 days have passed, and in the same breath I’m not.  It’s been an interesting journey, and I have more to write on some of the fabulous gems of people and places that I stumbled upon.  And also of the interesting process of travel, and of me in travel…..and what I stumbled upon in myself, and still am.

I spent my 21 days checking out local eateries, eating delicious food (predominately seafood) drinking fabulous wines and doing a smidgin of site seeing …..

LA – interesting

Las Vegas – interesting and educational, I wrote about that here, including a big photo gallery

Santa Barbara – an idyllic town….and I had an interesting chat over dinner (in a seafood shack on a pier) with Israel about Aristotle…..

San Luis Obispo – Caitlin, Dylan, Kaleigh I had the BEST time with you’s all, I won’t forget it!  You redeemed my faith in America.  Truly.

Big Sur – spectacular, though I was a little hungover for the drive….

Carmel by the Sea – the houses don’t have numbers and theres no traffic lights!  Oh and great wine tasting….and the seafood = awesome!

Monterey – the most ethereal and magical neon treats from the sea at the Aquarium

Santa Cruz – a tasty mexican meal washed down by a great margarita

Sonoma – awesome township, wines/tastings and fabulous food, a great night out with a crew from boston……too much bubbles…..

Healdsburg - awesome wines and food,  a little travel/battle weary……

San Francisco – interesting and REALLY expensive.  highlight was stumbling upon a blues bar and  dancing with locals into the wee hours….

I’m in LOVE with this image found on a wall in San Francisco. In LOVE.

driving forward

to be driven

and to respond to your own voice*

your needs, calling, longings….

she can be a challenging road

maybe more so because….

theres not that many companions on it when you skip jump out of the well trodden lane

not so many in their volume

confirming that your choice is okay

that you’re okay,

but it’s the right road (well, for me)

it feels a bit unsure at times, quite a bit

and theres much stumbling

and wobbly wheels in amongst the drive forward

but theres a drive and the direction is north

and I’m happy with that

* your own………maybe at first it doesn’t sound like your own voice

it calls into attention your uncomfortableness

the agitation of your despondency

rubbing away like salt in a paper cut

uncomfortable, but not unbearable

so you can have a conversation for awhile

maybe longer than you want, than you need……….change delayed

but interestingly

change is such an oxymoron

patient as a doting grandparent

and as ready as a raging bull

An incredible Creme Brule with a glass of local sticky (Healdsburg, Sonoma) accompanied the writing of ‘driving forward’

my holy grail of joy

On day 13 of my 30 days in America I find myself having lunch in Sonoma deciding how to spend the next week mooching through both Sonoma and Napa wine regions.  After my visit to the info centre I was overwhelmed with options…….there are SO many vineyards, hotels and spas!

To move through the overwhelm I decided on a glass of local Chardonnay and some prawns…….and am now ensconced in a LOVELY hotel room (also muchos affordable).  And shortly am off to taste wines…..

For those of you that don’t know me well, I think I’m entering the holy grail of weeks……where I shall roll around in mud like a pig with a large grin on my face at all times.  Nothing to me is more relaxing and brings more joy than good food and wine and I am very excited to be here!

No disrespect to LA, Las Vegas, Santa Barbara, Saint Luis Obispo, Big Sur, Carmel by the Sea, Monterey or Santa Cruz……but I’ve found my place of happy on this trip.  Well lets not get ahead of myself, theres still New York for nine days coming up which may have me waxing lyrical, but right now I can’t see anything topping this.

See you on the other side.

Vegas

My intrigue with Vegas came from the film Casino, ever since I’ve held a fascination with the city in its hey day and its story.  Created from nothing, built on sand, run by the Mafia, visited by movie stars and entertained by the heavy hitters of the day (think Rat Pack).  And to top it off Howard Hughes helped bring about corporate ownership of casino’s which ushered out the Mafia’s illegal shenanigans and brought us the shiny corporatised Vegas of today.  What a story, and what stories Vegas must hold in its ‘what goes on in Vegas, stays in Vegas’ Vault.

Intuitively I knew it wasn’t going to be my bag, but I still wanted to check it out, and on days 3, 4, 5 and 6 of my 30 days in America I did just that.  For a gallery of photos capturing the craziness and bright lights click here.

Sin city, as Vegas is affectionately called is smack bang in the middle of the desert.  I know this intimately because I drove in and out of it and trust me there’s a lot of desert (think 5-6 hour hauls each way).  Hot, hot desert.

the road to Vegas

A taxi driver scooting us to Downtown one night said that until air conditioning came along in the 40’s or 50’s Vegas didn’t take off as a holiday destination because people in their finery melted. I visited early October and it was HOT, a nice dry heat morning, day and night.

Imagine you’re in the middle of the desert (think cowboy and western films) and you stumble upon a steroid induced sparkle of a city like nothing you’ve ever seen before.  Designed from scratch for pure hedonistic pleasure and entertainment it’s architectural and graphic imprint shouts ‘look at me’.  Drinking is permitted 24 hours and establishments offer take out cups so you can wander and sip.  Smokers enjoy a puff on the casino floors.  Gambling is everywhere – at the pool it was there, built into bar tops it is there, and the casino floors crammed with black jack tables, croupiers and slot machines operating 24/7 is a site to behold.  The number of bars, clubs and restaurants is utterly phenomenal.   And there is luxury shopping crammed at every corner.

I found the city scape confounding and slightly garish, it’s crazy, loud and over the top and an environmentalists nightmare.  Your sense of time becomes lost as everything is open 24/7 365 days of the year……you start your day late and head out late.  It is truly unique and for good reason, one gargantuan adult playground where everything is at your beckon call is enough.  In my opinion.

I’m not a gambler or a clubber but I still found much to do.  Particularly looking at all the pretty neon signs (I love them) feathers (I bought some) and relaxing horizontal style by the pool.

Neon sparkle. It was everywhere…..

I do enjoy a spot of five star living and this place delivers in droves, a mate was in Vegas for work and was holed up at the Palazzo so I got to luxury couch surf for three days in a suite the size of a small apartment with views of the strip and a pool area to die for (yes I was lucky).  I know this is going to sound snobbish (but who cares), if your going to do Vegas save up and go five star.  There are plenty of hotel options to fit every budget, but the city is SO full on that retreating to a nice pad is medicinal.  Believe me.

The two key areas to check out are the Strip and Downtown. Las Vegas Boulevard aka the Strip is where all the top casino’s/hotels live inches from one another shining and putting on a spectacle to draw crowds as you walk its length.  My preference was definitely Downtown which is where Vegas started, its old school and the scale is more digestable……more me.

If you knew me, you’d understand I’m an authentic minimalist at heart.  Reproductions of classic architectural wonders plopped into foreign landscapes have zero appeal (Vegas brings you the Eiffel Tower, Venice Canal with operating Gondola’s, a Pyramid etc).  I also have no interest in ‘as much as you can eat and drink’ specials, luxury shopping and I have strong feelings on gambling and its insidious hold over many lives and the governments limited intervention.

So Vegas wasn’t really my thing but I’m definitely pleased I checked it out and I LOVED the neon signs.