As I have shared before, in 2015 I feel compelled to share more with you on the people, the places, the causes and the reflections that are currently leaving me wanting more. Satisfying that inner seeker in both you and I, that craves knowledge, adventure, wisdom and insight. And whilst I would love for you to leave each and every post feeling utterly inspired and empowered to dive deeper - I also want each story or insight that I share to bring you an overwhelming sense of contentment with the present moment and what is utterly real for you right now. I personally have struggled with the balance between contentment and being a seeker for a little while. Yet I refuse to believe that you cannot have both. In fact, finding contentment in knowing and accepting my own desire to seek out more in life has been one of the greatest practises and lessons I’ve experienced this past year.
And so with that said, I want to share stories with you of those who I feel really embrace that sense of wonder and curiosity, whilst ever so gracefully exuding a genuine connection to the here and now. I want to help you find your own inner peace with wanting to be it all, see it all and feel it all, by creating the space for you to witness the contentment that others show in what they do, how they live and who they are.
Today I want to introduce you to someone who really embodies all of the above for me. I had the pleasure of meeting this gorgeous soul in Cairns late last year, where she invited me into her home, treated me with delicious, fresh watermelon and chatted away with me about freedom, fear, vulnerability and essentially living the lifestyle of her dreams. I was blown away by her presence and found comfort in the fact that not only do we share a fondness of the ocean, but also a bad memory of not so distant past experiences!
For those who don’t know her, Vienda Maria is a life coach, writer and creative who spends her days travelling and exploring the world, all whilst running her online business and teaching women how they can create their own reality by uncovering their own truth and embodying their full potential. This interview will be shared in two parts, with today’s part exploring the in’s and out’s of living a lifestyle that is in alignment with your truth, the importance of courage and curiosity, using your intuition to guide you, moving past what other’s think, and Vienda’s core value – Freedom. Enjoy!
What does freedom mean to you?
Freedom to me is several things. Freedom is knowing yourself well enough to make the choices that are right for you. Because being shackled to social conditioning is the opposite of freedom to me. People think that they are free, that they are making choices that are free; but the fact is that they have actually been brainwashed essentially, or conditioned by society. We all have. But it’s about acknowledging where we are acting based on social conditioning and where we are acting based on our own truth. So freedom to me is definitely discovering your own truth and leading from that place.
What feeds Vienda?
I love feeding my senses on all the different levels – music, creativity, art, colours, being active and moving my body in different ways, dancing, walking and exploring the world. Human interactions and connecting with people is a huge part of what feeds me – its really, really important to me. Especially when I meet likeminded people who inspire me and make me think. There is so much untapped potential out there, and we just need to be open to it. And also being open – if you can’t be open to receiving, you can’t absorb everything that feeds our soul.
What roles do curiosity and courage play in your day to day life?
I don’t think anything would happen in my life if I didn’t have curiosity and courage. Curiosity is the thing that drives me forward – I’m always interested in learning different things. I think learning is one of my highest values, alongside freedom and love. And because of that curiosity, I want to learn about cultures, I want to learn about people, I want to learn about myself and my environment; and the courage is the bit that helps you get over the fear when things are scary!
What would you say is your favourite and not so favourite parts of your lifestyle?
Firstly, I would like to just make sure that everyone is aware that no matter what lifestyle you choose, they all have their pros and cons. You just have to weigh them up and figure out which is best suited to who you are. I would not recommend the life I live to every person, because I live with a lot of insecurity, unknowns, and I don’t climb too far into the future because it just wouldn’t work. But I like it that and I thrive off that; it’s like a thrill to me, like living on the edge of life. For me, it’s really exhilarating and enlivening, where as for someone else it could be super frightening, and actually supress their wellbeing. So knowing that about yourself is really important.
Pro’s of this life – the freedom! One of the things that I feel is almost an addictive quality of this lifestyle is that because of the way that the experiences constantly change, it forces you to be in the present moment a lot more, so you’re much more here and now, rather than being in the past or future. To the point where my past memory is so bad, because there is so much going on right now that I can’t remember what happened years ago! I’m grateful for the past – it has given me all this richness and helped me get to where I am now, but there is no need to hold on to it.
Living this unconventionally lifestyle is such a sensual experience, because you get all of this new input all of the time. It makes being creative and growing as a human being and creating things that are different so much easier, because you are seeing so many different things all the time.
Also, the friendships! Essentially I have this beautiful family of travelling folk that I meet along the way, we are covered over this planet and sometimes we spend time together, and sometimes we don’t, but whenever we want to we can see each other and know we have this amazing connection. None or us or most of us aren’t blood related, but there is what I would call this tribe of travellers and nomads that live on this planet that I get to be a part of and it’s awesome.
One of the hardest parts of this lifestyle is definitely saying goodbye. I avoid it at all costs. I always just say ‘Ill see you later’ and I don’t like saying goodbye. I get attached to people. It’s not about the places for me, its definitely about the people and so constantly saying goodbye can be really challenging. I fall in love with people all the time - I don’t mean as in men, but as in human beings. There are so many amazing human beings on this planet.
Also, You have to make a really concerted effort to stay grounded. To create a balance in my life, to ensure that I’m eating well and nurturing myself and taking care of myself, in the ways that I need to, because you don’t have that stability of a routine that most people have. For me – I don’t want that anyway, but it does mean that I’m much more aware of taking care of myself, and that again takes it back to being present. I am always asking myself, “What do I need right now?” and “Does this feel like a comfortable experience for me, or do I need to remove myself from it”. “Is this good for me or not”, “Am I lacking something”, “Do I need to go to bed early”, etc. And just being present in that moment, rather than having a routine that says I go to bed at 10:30 every night. And I think that’s something that really scares people – that not knowing of what’s next. For example, someone who is a Taurus - they really like to have stability and for things to be the same and of routine, so for them, this type of lifestyle may be too much for them. I think its really important for people to know the type of person they are, and stop trying to be someone else. No matter what, if you are living in a city and you would actually love to be in the country-side, be honest with yourself. And vice versa. Honour yourself and be truthful with yourself.
What have been your biggest challenges in achieving this lifestyle and how have you overcome them?
Well I started travelling on my own many years ago and I just decided a way to create this lifestyle so it was ongoing. But at the beginning, and sometimes now also, meeting people who have much limited perspectives on what’s possible in life can be a challenge. Dealing with their judgements, based on what you do for work and hearing things like, “How do you do that?” and “When are you going to settle down?”, which is always the next question! I believe I am very settled person. I’m more grounded than a lot of people I know who have a stable house and a 9-5 job they go to. One of the biggest obstacles is definitely moving past the judgement of others – I don’t feel like I have anything to explain to anyone else, because I am happy. And what ever anyone else thinks, is fine. But when they find it really difficult to accept you and you have to give them a little bit of encouragement and a spiel on why you have decided to make this choice, that can be challenging – especially if it’s your family. My mum sometimes has a hard time with the fact that this is the lifestyle that I have chosen, and she can’t fathom that it could possibly make me happy. It just doesn’t make sense to her.
And the other challenge would definitely be creating the business I have now. For a long time I worked for music festivals, and because of that work, I travelled. They actually sent me around the world and I got to do all sorts of amazing things and I loved it. And at a certain point I just burnt out, and decided I couldn’t do it anymore, I didn’t want to. I loved music, but it felt like a young person’s job and I knew I wasn’t going to be young forever. So I went back to my psychology degree and all the things I had been working on for years and years, and started developing this business. But you know, anyone in business, no matter who they are or what they are doing, they will agree that the first year is always hard core! So overcoming that challenge in building a business and creating something that could support me was massive. There is nothing that will push your buttons or make you grow more than starting a business. It’s been a challenge but a beautiful one, and now I am in this place where I can support myself really well and it’s constantly growing.
I certainly learnt that you really need to look at your own limiting beliefs to grow a successful business. Your beliefs about money, what you’re worth, what kind of value you add to the world, whether you feel you are good enough to do this work – there’s so much stuff you have to face up to if you want to do well.. And you have to do the work!! Otherwise you’re going to stay stuck and go nowhere. And some days you feel like such a failure. But that passes.
What boundaries that you have set up for yourself within this lifestyle to help support you, in health, business and every day life?
There not specific, as I always just check in with how I feel, because they can change a bit depending on what’s going on. But my main boundary is making sure I eat nutritious food, which for me is eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, mostly vegetables, and good proteins. Getting lots of sleep. Having space and time to myself. And honouring the work that I do. Because it is my income and I love my work. I really love it and I need the space and time to do it. Those are the main things, but usually I am mainly just checking in with myself – “how am I feeling in this moment”, “Is this right or is it not good for me?”, etc. Just always checking in with what’s happening around me and making sure that there is plenty of space in my world where I’m being taken care of .
What is your advice to someone wanting to kickstart their own self-discovery and get clear on the right direction for them?
We are usually presented with a lot of clues in life that we ignore. For me personally, I love journaling. Because once you start writing out what you’re feeling and thinking, it all comes out and you get to see it in a visceral way. Sometimes we don’t realise it until we put it into words. And often I just ask myself – “what do I need?” “What do I want?” Or “If life was perfect right now, what would it look like?”
I think it’s not so much that people don’t have the answers, it’s more that people don’t trust themselves or the answers they are finding. Or because society has conditioned us against trusting our own intuition, when really that is our own inner wisdom. Society has always told us to look outside of ourselves for support or approval from others, when in fact everyone’s truth is within them. So just tapping into that, listening and trusting that is huge.
Stay tuned for the second part of this interview which will be shared next Friday, where we dive into the roles of fear and resistance in living the lifestyle of your dreams, the scary experience that taught Vienda about vulnerability, and Vienda shares a few favourite and not so favourite travel destinations as well as what she has planned for 2015.
Vienda is a life coach, writer and creative who travels the world, teaching women how they can create their own reality by uncovering your own truth and embodying their full potential. This is where they discover their freedom.
She believes that when we live our lives from a space of love and soul, a transformational ripple occurs that changes our entire world. Making our planet a better, kinder, more peaceful place.
One beautiful, spirited human being at a time.
Vienda’s message has been shared by thousands across the globe across her own blog and platforms such as Cleo Magazine, Tiny Buddha and Roooar Magazine.
Vienda has written 4 books of her own, including the popular Releasing Rituals guide, and has been featured in 3 other books such as best-seller Love & Oneness.