Chopping and carrying wood and starting.

I pulled the gleam of silks and satins and other such fineries from their dusty draw last night, and splayed them on the lounge floor.

Pre-loved scarves, shirts and shawls gathered from many an op-shop visit lay at my feet as I imagined the stories they could tell, the lives the women lived, the places they went……dreamt of going. You know of my passion for thrifting, re-purposing, simplicity and travel, well I also love the idea of self sustainability and making my livelihood out of these things……out of the things I love.


Living doing what I love has been my desire for a plethora of time, though now I seem more aligned to act. I am starting by making my line of ‘bags for precious things’ which I posted here three or so months ago.

Truth be told I’ve focussed to hard on the end game, the outcome of where I want to be. The end vision left me with an impossible path, grand canyon in its proportion in the valleys from ‘now’ to ‘there’. A preciousness and perfectionism of ‘this will be the thing’ rode the coat tails of every idea and drive to be creative. The weight of my desired life – ‘another life’ anchoring me firmly in my current position, the distance feeling SO impossibly long to travel that it rendered me unproductive and unmoving.

Try as I might to build my desired life I was my own gatekeeper, never realising the extent to which my forward wanting was holding me firmly fast to the spot. Having a vision of the end game, of the cathedral you want to build is essential, though I hand’t spent enough time chopping the wood and carrying it, let alone any time building and that’s where it’s all at. You have to do the yards, the hard work – every day do something to enable your desire into being. An analogy told to me by my lovely and patient psychotherapist who I used to work with when I lived in Sydney.

I live daily with my tendencies (built from past coping mechanisms) for day dreaming, escaping, retreating, abandoning, scattering focus, anxiety, switching off. I know them well, their well worn pathways and triggers, where they live, who they hang out with, and trust me these are not great allies for follow through. They are the WORST for follow through and have had me on a perpetual merry go round of ‘ideas stage’ and ‘starting’ for what feels like an eternity. Though there is always choice once we are aware of the strings we have allowed to pull our actions. And lets just say the passing of time has done some wonders for shifting their hold. There is nothing like getting older and running out of years to live your desired life to shift the hold of safety and wound.

I digressed there a little, sorry.

Though the stories that pull me in for more are those told with the veneer sanded off. And I didn’t call this blog and my business The Alchemy of Hustle for nothing. At the heart I want to know your wound and your victory because there is something so glorious about rising from the human condition. Glorious. And on occasion I’ll share my foibles and achilles heels on my creative journey.

Spring into it



I love this saying from Leo Tolstoy, because it’s SO true.  Spring magnetically pulls me forward and has me renewed in faith.  Weather in Auckland at the moment is warm, clear and crisp and from September 1 I’ve felt a little different, more ignited.  I mark my seasons entries by the equinox which is September 22, though regardless I was so chomping at the bit that I heralded it in on the first!  I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders and a new lease of space has been granted my person and plans, it’s all rather curious and exciting.  Thank you Spring I say!

Of plans and projects I have a bundle to keep me busy, focussed on – work, home, love and creativity (the small stuff!).  Though given experience too many on my mind means nothing moves forward, so I’m lightly holding them all with love.  And tending one garden bed at a time, a new approach for me which I’m finding a lot more enjoyable.  And doable.

I’m also right in the throws of making a Zine on creativity which I’m really excited about and can’t wait to share, heres a pic of the draft cover – its all to do with living with heart!


I hope this Spring time finds you well and engaged in a little forward momentum.  What project or plans have you got your gaze fixed on?  I’d love to hear xx

Image credit: Good Magazine, Sept/Oct 2013 Issue.


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.

creating change

Before jumping out of bed this morning I’ve been giving my mind and spirit muscles a wee stretch.  You know that  big long satisfying stretch you do to shake off sleep, that transforms you to ‘awake’ and on?  Well this is kind of similar though it looks to shake off/look at the ‘something’ thats not sitting right, thats creating a bit of drag in your slip stream.

I woke up this morning with a hangover from the weekend, actually from the last week or two.  A hangover of can I do this, can I consistently turn up to the change I want to create…..can I create and live my vision?  Some days I run at my goals/dream/vision with the determination and power of an Olympic athlete.  Others I bring the gusto of a pyjama wearing, dvd watching, snack eating, newspaper reading……..aged care resident.   The divide between the two is Grand Canyon in proportion with Miss Consistency a no show.  Well I lie, I consistently morph between vibrancy and lethargy.  Yes I consistently do that.  And to be honest lethargy is the clear contender for most tickets sold.

I have grand plans/vision.  They are sprawled before me out on the lawn like a bountiful picnic.

My vision includes living my joy – doing more of the things I love, being with love and in love, turning up to the world with humour.   Simply – abundant love, joy and laughter.  And yes I’ve had a wee nibble but theres been no paper plate on my lap groaning under the weight of potatoe salad, fresh bread, ham and mustard.  There is alot of untrodden green lawn between me and the bounty.  And possibly less than I realise (but thats another post).

This past weekend I’ve been a bit fluey so one could excuse recluse with a side order of lethargic.  But today I’ve woken up with the realisation formed from the last couple of weeks – the old pattern, routine and behaviours don’t fit anymore.  Dammit, but more importantly yay!  Now I’ve known for an age they didn’t fit.  I’ve known in my mind – logically but was still able to turn off logic, recline and forget when I so chose.  But this weekend my body, spirit and soul got it and theres no going back when you hit the trifecta.

You know when you’ve grown out of something, exhausted the joy?  When your needs are not being met.  What used to be a wonderful treasure trove of retreat and security is no longer, you keep on doing it but it doesn’t provide the hit it once use to.  Instead, when your in the old behaviour / action your present to what your not living, what your not allowing in.  You have big black rimmed magnifying glasses on with laser beam awareness flooding out through the lenses.  You don’t choose to wear them but you find them on your face and there near impossible to get off.

The comfy nooks and crannies of retreat from your authentic self  no longer are comfy, they’re more like pointy jagged rocks (not a place you want to spend time in).  Well I’m there.  And I know I’m joined by half of the global population, I am not special in my experience of this.  Its called being human and being at the coal face of change.

And I love it by the way – the power of transformation and the joyful gifts it can deliver.  I clicked recently that it is not ourselves (true self) that we seek to transform, we are perfectly imperfect.  It is the adapted selves and their behaviours and the solicitous affairs they hold with doubt, limitations and blocks.  Well, thats where the light of change is focussed for me.

Stretch over, faith and hope restored.  Nothing like a wee bit of writing aka distance to give me perspective.  The distance reminds me to take it all lightly and with humour, I am but a grain of sand in this cosmos.  I have two arms, two legs, health, shelter, food, family and friends.  All is good. I wanted to share though because I reckon loads of people could relate in some way. And thats the point of this post for me, to remind myself that ‘this’ isn’t about me, I am no different to anybody else.  I do not ‘have’ something that is incurable and immovable, I am human and this is change.  And getting on with the business of it is all thats required. With a truck load of laughter, compassion, love and delicious food of course.

I would love to hear your stories of change.  Of a new energy your creating into being in your life………do share.