chronicles of a bespoke, simple, adventurous life

Category Archives: community and network

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.

learning a new craft

I found myself learning something new tonight.  And it was FUN.

At first I stumbled with clumsy fingers and an out of tune brain.  I felt like a fish in roller skates.  Progress was slow but leapt to a dazzling pace after encouragement and guidance from our fabulous teacher.

I’m working with a bunch of great peeps at the mo and I joined in on their monthly craft night, where the talented Genevieve teaches all who are interested how to crochet.  Yes you heard right, crochet.  In a pub.  Balls of yarn, hooks and budding crafty enthusiasm nestled in amongst pints, hot chips and great banter.

I managed to master single stitch.  Okay master could be seen as a slight embellishment, but Im proud of my wee length of string.  I shall take on a new stitch next month.

In the blink of an eye I went from not knowing how to do something.  To knowing.  I went from ‘this is really hard’ to ‘this is fun and easy’.  And in addition to the fun and connection, I got a timely reminder about the incredible capacity we each hold to try and learn things we don’t think we can do.  Okay so it was crochet, not open heart surgery…..but me thinks the principle holds true for pretty much anything.

Falling back in love

Falling back in love

Have you ever fallen out and then back in love with something?  With somebody?

I thought it auspicious on this Valentines day to share my refall back into love……back into love with my hometown – the North Shore.  I haven’t lived in New Zealand for ten whole years, I’ve visited a fair few times but not lived on the old home soil.  It’s undoubtedly one of my favourite places in the world and it definitely feels like home, though I can’t say I have found it inspiring……and there hasn’t been any pull to return to live.

Last night Ma and went for a spot of dinner and along the way we came across all these gems in our backyard.

Love a Duck Restaurant - Northcote

Green tea at Love a Duck

Delicious Prawn and Pork Dumplings

I hadn’t been to Northcote shops in an age.  It was great to see it so full of life and crammed with every Asian cuisine you can imagine.  The food at Love a Duck was exceptional and true Hong Kong style.  A treat I wasn’t expecting to come across.

View from Stanley Point, Devonport

View of Navy Ships from Stanley Point, Devonport

Driving around my old stomping ground of Devonport I was reminded of why I love it so.  It’s a beautiful part of the world, great little beaches, views across to the City and it’s crammed fill of old Villa’s and wide roads.  It is my favourite suburb in the North Shore and Auckland.  And I could live there again, no problems.

Glorious little second hand store in Cheltenham, Devonport

And I couldn’t believe my eyes while driving through Birkenhead (another old stomping ground)……the new Library was finally up and running (it took an absolute age to be designed and built).  What a lovely architectural find……a beautiful wee space.  I wasn’t expecting something so progressive from the council initiative – surprised was I.

Birkehead Library - Interior Shot

Birkenhead Library - Resting spot

Birkenhead Library - Sculpture

It’s official, I have fallen back into love with my hometown.  It’s got layers and colour and diversity and stories and beautiful beaches and unique landscape and a myriad of cultures.  And on this trip I was inspired.

On this trip I realised I hadn’t been looking previously, so I hadn’t seen all the colour, joy and beauty of this place that was right under my nose.  I saw new hidden gems that I didn’t realise existed……because I hadn’t been looking.

And there it is, I’ve fallen back in love because I lifted my head up and looked with open eyes and I was pleasantly surprised.

inching into my identity

inching into my identity

Of late I’ve been hankering to get in touch with my culture, my Maori roots.

I want to colour in the other half of my picture,  join a few dots and finish a few sentences about the why the who and the how of me.  My da was Maori, and his early departure meant I grew up Anglo (my other culture).  And if you didn’t know my lineage you wouldn’t know by looking, my physicality gives nothing away.  I have the whitest of white skin that burns after just looking at the sun, oh and Auburn hair.

I find identity such an interesting possession, part purchased for you and part created by your own will.  On the pre-purchased culture I was handed, though not shown I am curious to see and learn more.

And today I had a wee taste……literally!  Today I tried my first Hangi; food cooked in the traditional Maori method  - in an earth oven with hot stones.  Pork, chicken, stuffing, potato, onion, cabbage, pumpkin and sweet potato cooked by steam, fuelled by the hot stones under the earth.  Beautifully flavoured and melt in your mouth delicious.

the parcel of goodness about to be unwrapped

My 39 year old Auburn haired, white skinned part Maori self tried her first Hangi in the suburb of Redfern, Sydney, Australia.  Oh how my friend and I laughed at that, we laughed hard.  Though better late than never.

steamed goodness - pretty no, tasty YES

In celebration of Waitangi Day (celebrated in NZ on 6 February) Sydney’s Maori communities held their own celebrations around town.  I found myself outside a Maori church ‘Te Wairua Tapu’ in Redfern (which I had no idea existed) listening to the beautiful singing of the congregation. A friend Mel, her two kids and I waited as the food was dished out and we paid our ten dollars for a pocket of goodness.

And just like that I had joined in and tasted something new.  My foodie self just loves the way that food, community, culture and family are SO inextricably connected.  Using my taste buds was a great way to dip my toes in the water.

If I squinted my eyes today I thought I was in NZ, I was surrounded by more Maori people in the twenty minutes I was there than in the five years I have lived in Sydney.  I just had to look.