I've moved around a lot in my lifetime. I've shifted houses, countries and states more times than I can count on two hands, and at the end of this year; I plan on doing it again, albeit temporarily. While this decision has been hard to make, I truly believe it's the right one for now, and so in this update, I also want to share the joy that I have found through 'living like you are leaving'.
Anahata Studio Updates
As many of you know, Melbourne has had it rough over the past few years and without getting into politics, I believe now is the right time to explore a new place I've always been pulled to - The Sunshine Coast, Queensland. Not just to move away from the heavy energies that still blanket our city, but because I long for the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual warmth of a smaller community that offers endless summers. For those interested, I will continue to offer distance healings; I'll be setting up a healing space as soon as possible (Yes! You can come and see me while you're on holiday!); and I also aim to co-host some divine yoga inspired retreats for you - just as Melbourne winter is settling in. I will also be back in Melbourne on a semi-regular basis and will be full of energy to offer you the sessions you've come to know and love!
I will miss you all dearly, and for anyone that would like to book in healing sessions, here is the link (last booking to be December 23rd). For those of you that would like to catch up for coffee and say good-bye, I would love that too.
Living Like You Are Leaving
If there's one thing that excites me more than holistic health and healing, it's travel. Some of you already know that I'm eagerly anticipating borders to re-open to visit family in New Zealand, but I've also started planning my next group trekking tour (husband included) to Langtang Valley, Nepal as soon as possible (please let me know if you are interested in joining in 2023/24!), and would love to offer a side trip to India for anyone interested in this magical place without wanting to go it alone.
However, part of the excitement of travel is knowing that you are about to say goodbye to the usual confinements of life, so you start becoming open to the idea of change; of new experiences; of meeting new people; and perhaps even recreating yourself and your daily routines. Below, I've outlined some of my favourite things about getting into this change mindset, and while I often find it excitedly springs to life as you prepare to leave a place, I am also fond of the saying "change is as good as a holiday".
Try New Foods
Easy enough right? Melbourne is seemingly the last city in the world to re-open its arms to dining out, so lets embrace it with the offer of 'midweek money' to bring a smile to your face, and receive 30% of the cheque right back into your bank account. If you've always had a 'usual' spot or dish, try getting out of your comfort zone and trying something new. Taste is one of our senses that helps export us to somewhere new, or perhaps even better, takes us back to cherished memories of our past. Thai anyone? Indian Thali? Or maybe its finally time to indulge in that booking at Nobu...
Getting Creative With Your Wardrobe
Before I decided that the fashion industry wasn't the right fit, I absolutely LOVED my role as a professional stylist. Like, loved it. I met wonderful people, got to show them all my tricks on how to dress for their body type and accentuate their 'unique best bits' (as I called them), played 'dress ups' all day, and took pure joy in seeing someone's confidence transform when they wore something that was outside of their wardrobe-shaped-box (I feel like I need to re-add this service!). I could teach people how to thrift, how to buy on a budget, and which designer items were truly worth the price tag. All that aside, one of the things you need to ace as a traveler, is the art of minimizing your wardrobe, but maximizing your looks. Turn a silk scarf into a necktie, hair band, belt, bandeau or handbag accessory. Turn a high waisted skirt into a strapless dress, belted at the waist. Mix in a blazer for casual chic with your fav trainers and denim... I could go on, but this isn't just about being fashionably travel savvy, it's about dressing as the person you want to become until you have the courage to truly step into his or her shoes.
Discovering The World Around You - By Foot
Lockdown made us embrace our suburb by foot like never before, but now we are able to explore sister suburbs or states, how many of you actually have?
One of the things I love about landing in a new place is literally throwing down my bags, putting on comfy shoes, and walking as far as I can, for as long as I can to get a feel for the locale. 'Maps.Me' has long since become one of my favourite travel friendly apps to coincide with this, because you can download detailed local maps in advance, and it will aid with real-time directions on arrival. If you can't travel abroad or interstate, use the same principal to discover this city. Pick a suburb you've never been, take a train/bus there, walk until your feet are on fire, and don't forget to look up. Literally. There is magic all around us when we open our eyes to seeing it; and when you do, you'll feel alive with new inspiration in your moments of mindfulness.
If walking is too slow, hire a bike. Ride into the small towns/suburbs that surround you and see how the locals do life. In South-East Asia, my favourite place to do this with Vang Vieng (Laos). Infamous for 'tubing', it is a small town that also has beautiful mountainous scenery sitting around the Nam Song river, and offers re-runs of Friends in almost every, single, restaurant. By bike however, you can explore much further than the tourist district and see families interacting, men having their beards shaven roadside, eggs being collected for your morning meal, and see kids playing in the streets with sticks and stones embracing all the simple happiness in the world. While to me, that memory is priceless, it's also a great reminder of all that we have, and the creativity we can harness by allowing ourselves to step away from technology for more than a moment.
Not a fan of going off the grid? Book a bike tour and head off to explore in the comfort of a group. You might even make new friends!
Technology Turn Off
Days without technology are super freeing because we stop chasing a world which exists at our fingertips, and start embracing the one we are actually living and breathing in.
When I started traveling solo, mobile phones weren't so much of a thing, and I loved that I only relied on wifi instead of global roaming. It meant that I had specified times to send emails, reply to friends messages, research activities and post a few pics. In our daily life, we rotate our world around hand-held devices, so much so that you can sit in any restaurant/café and see people interacting more with their phones than they are with the people they are actually, physically there with. When you go tech free, you allow yourself to be bored. To rediscover creativity. To meet new and interesting people. To strengthen bonds with people you are actually with. To embrace the sights, sounds and smells around you. To see and experience, and not have to 'record' every single moment of your day. Lastly, you get to stop getting caught up in the FOMO (fear of missing out) formed by social media, and live into the JOMO (joy of missing out).
Having tech free days is getting harder with enforced 'check ins', but as soon as you arrive somewhere you can still choose to switch off your phone or at least, turn it onto flight mode. Feel the relief of not being contactable in every given moment, and let it be your freedom.
Make A Bucket List
Have you casually floated through life wondering how you got to your age and haven't done any of the things you thought you would do? When you live like you are leaving, you start to look at every facet of life around you and re-assess. Your friendships, your career path, your home, your lifestyle, your partner... while they might seem stable to you, suddenly the courage you've grown to make your move has overflowed, and you want to 'lean out' your life (along with your wardrobe and cupboards). Instead of throwing everything and everyone away in haste, try this instead: make a list of all the places you want to visit and all the things you want to do (and have always wanted to do) in life; and THEN see what changes you need to make in order for them to come to fruition.
Live life on purpose, and with great passion because you never know when those freedoms might just be taken out of your hands.
Clean Out Your Cupboards
You knew this was coming right? Back in my styling days, I offered a 'wardrobe refresh' which basically meant I would come to a clients house, go through their wardrobe and throw out anything that would know longer need to be there (it's MUCH easier when someone else is doing this for you!), create a 'maybe' pile (usually full of sentimental pieces), tell them what 'basics' they should invest in and how to refresh the pieces that were left. You can do this not only in your wardrobe, but by picking off every space in your house week by week and getting rid of all the things you associate with the person you no longer wish to be. It could be clothes you bought when you were 'fat'; recipe books that don't suit your new found veganism; records you can't actually play; or magazines that are collecting dust. Make three piles: Yes, No and Maybe; and in another six months; go through the 'maybe' pile and get rid of anything you haven't used. It's powerfully freeing, and can really do wonders on your energetic field by helping to set the scene of the person you want to become, by truly letting go of the one you are not.
Dress For The Life You Want!
I'm not sure why I've had such a pull towards the material world lately - other than the fact that it has been out of reach for so long. We haven't been going out, we haven't been dressing up to go to work, we haven't been shopping or traveling.
Now that life is coming back to normality though, don't you think it's about time we revamped our look to reflect the life we actually WANT to live? Forget the trainers and trackies, lets get back to living like it's our last day on earth.
Like we are going to meet the 'love of our life' today.
Like we are about to go for an interview for the job of our dreams.
Let's live life like we are ready to seize the opportunities coming our way, and show the world - we mean business. For me, that's beautifully feminine, often flowing clothes; with a hint of empowered female and crystals in my bra. For you, that might be a bad-ass CEO, it might be a soulful yoga teacher, or it might even be a Yummy-Mummy. Whatever life you have your sight set on, match it with the energy of your outfit choice and act as if you are already living it.
Best manifesting tip ever, I swear.
Why? Because when you feel the joy of the life/thing you REALLY want, and you start acting as if it is already yours without holding on to it too tightly, you live in a state of overflowing joy and unbeatable belief, thus pulling it from dream to reality... Remember to be grateful for everything that happens to you along the way though, because living into that high life you expect to eventually experience, also comes from being grateful for what you already have.
Explore Your City - Like A Tourist
While you may be all dressed up with no-where to go, I am here to give you fresh ideas for your weekends! I love adventure, and seek change as often as I can. While I am living in a city though, I really enjoy exploring every corner of it as if I was a tourist. Alongside your bucket list for life and the world, you must of course first explore your own backyard first. Not only does it help you become a savvier traveler, but also you get to see the beauty that you have often overlooked. Guides like Timeout offer you '101 things to do in Melbourne' or perhaps just a short '25 crazy things' is more your speed. Whatever you choose, you will find things to do with the family, friends, your partner or solo - and it will give you a whole new take on this big beautiful city.
Take Up A New Hobby
Does the though of being new at something scare you? Then this one is for you. If you are so happy living in your comfort zone, perhaps now is the time to break free and try something completely new. Mix with new people, learn a new skill, venture to a new part of the city and let your confidence climb. Everything is waiting for you at the end of your finger tips; all you need is Google, and the time, space and courage to commit. When you throw yourself into uncomfortable situations, your comfort zone grows and so does your confidence. So if you are looking for a way to start reinventing for realzies, this one if for you.
I hear roller derby is bad-ass if you're into bruises.
Pick Up Your Partner
Can you remember how it felt when you were young, wild and free and a stranger would pick you up at the bar? While I don't believe in cheating or open-relationships, I do believe that long-term-lovers can enjoy the spice of a new relationship - by playing pretend. If you really want to feel like you are exploring a new city or state of being, then why not book a hotel in the city, get dressed up and try and 'pick up' your partner at a mutually chosen destination. Send a drink over to them, lead with some flirty banter and use your best line to see if you can sneak a smooch or perhaps score a second date. Not only is there excitement in the whole experience of a sexy-staycation in your own city, but when you pretend to be 'strangers' with your partner, it opens up a whole new level of intimacy in the most remarkable ways. You get to know your partner all over again; you can leave the kids behind and be 'husband and wife' first; you get to feel that pang of excitement and attraction as if you are meeting for the first time; you get to let go of life's monotony, all while continuing monogamy.
Plus, it can be your sexy little secret, and you can revisit the fantasy any time you like.
Throw A Fancy Dress Dinner/Party (and please invite me!)
I don't know if this is just a kiwi thing, but I LOVE dress up parties and getting into the mindset of pretending I'm someone else (see above :D) - even if it's just for the night! In fact, when I was leaving Sydney for 3 months overseas, I decided to throw a part at my share-house, invite all my neighbours and finally tell my crush that he was... my crush. When you are dressed like Wilma Flintstone for example, all of a sudden, you want to eat paleo, wear your fav pearls and 'loosen your bone' (please say you've read "You Are A Badass" by Jen Sincero?).
When you are dressed like someone else, you start stepping outside of who you are in your usual reality and try on some new behaviors and quirks for size with somewhat reckless abandon. You somehow conclude because you are not dressed like 'you' tonight, that you shouldn't have to act like 'you' either. Just remember though, you are very much going to be 'you' again in the morning; so don't do anything future you will regret.
While it brings me great sadness to bid you all adieu in a temporary sense, I know that we will meet again in a warmer climate and will otherwise let you know when I'm headed back to Melbourne to offer as many healing sessions as possible while embracing the warmth of our catch-ups.
Sending much love and loads of light to all of you, and remember, that last day for Energy Healing Sessions (or perhaps wardrobe make-overs!) is December 23.
Love & light,
Monique Elouise xx
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