** AD-Press Trip: This Spa Day was complimentary for the purpose of review however all thoughts are my own **
There is nothing quite like the heavenly invitation of a day where you can cocoon and surrender into complete and utter relaxation.
And this utter nourishment was exactly what I experienced last Thursday at The Connaught Hotel and Spa where I was given the most caring invitation to experience a beautiful complimentary day of pampering with my Mum.
From the soft touch of massages, facials and manicures, to feeling the holistic nurtuerance of a sauna, steam room and jacuzzi, to savouring a luxurious meal in between, there is nothing quite like tending to your most sacred vessel in this way to make you feel truly enchanted to the core of your being.
Moreover, there is nohing more needed in these times than spending time dedicated to immersing yourself in an environment dedicated to helping you to deeply unwind and surrender into ultimate tranqulity.
Nestled in the heart of Bournemouth, my hometown in Dorset, lies The Connaught Hotel and Spa, one of the finest boutique hotels in the surrounding area with 81 luxury bedrooms split between the main hotel and the adjacent Connaught Lodge.
What is so beautiful about the location of The Connaught Hotel and Spa is that, since Victorian times, travelling to the coast for a vital dose of clean air, and plethora of other health benefits, has long been a tradition in the UK and this is truly how Bournemouth flourished.
Nowadays, Bournemouth is still famed all over the world for its award-winning 7 mile stretch of breathtaking white pearly sand coastline and with the perfect location of The Connaught Hotel and Spa, you still have the opportunity to flock to the seaside to restore yourself just as the Victorians once did!
Not only will you be staying in the very heart of Bournemouth, but you’ll also be provided with complimentary access to the Bluewater Spa facilities and gym where you can ‘escape to a world of calm and relaxation.’
Designed to make you feel completely relaxed and restored, the Bluewater Spa includes an 18m indoor swimming pool, Jacuzzi, steam room, sauna, four spa treatment rooms, a fully equipped gym and a stunning relaxation lounge.
In addition, for local residents, you are able to take advantage of these facilities alongside a gym membership.
For our spa day, my Mum and I were able to access the facilities mentioned above and we were also so kindly offered an additional treatment. As you dive into the video below, I’ll allow for you to feel like you were experiencing our treatments alongside us!
My Mum picked the ‘Power Breakfast Facial’ and then added on a truly tranquil hand massage to finish.
The ‘Power Breakfast Facial’ is the perfect facial to book at The Connaught Hotel and Spa if you are looking for quick results, or need your skin to feel cared for, but don’t have much time.
Equal parts playful and nourishing, this facial is infused with all the ingredients that you would find in a healthy breakfast like oats, honey and fruit juices, and replicates their magic in this pick me up facial!
My Mum’s facialist, Elena, nurtured so much of my Mum’s skin in a short period of time with a deep power-cleanse, a nutritious scrub and mask, revitalising face massage and a truly surrendering scalp massage to finish.
At lunch, after coming round from her deep state of relaxation, and this is someone who struggles very much to turn off her busy mind and spirit, she said it was the most perfect choice for her. In addition, she felt that it would be a wonderful taster session for those new to facials or to understand their skin more intimately than before.
A facial is quite possibly one of the most popular spa treatment not only at the The Connaught Hotel and Spa but also universally so it’s a truly wonderful choice to pick.
Although cleaning our face, exfoliating, and moisturing our skin are part of our daily rituals, there’s nothing quite like having this done professionally and savouring the true benefits of a deep facial massage, which in turn stimulates blood flow and promotes relaxation.
Aside from the ‘Power Breakfast Facial’ that my Mum enjoyed, The Connaught Hotel and Spa offer a variety of different types of facials, and each one is designed to address specific skin concerns. If you’ve never had a facial before and don’t know where to start, as my Mum so rightly says, this can be a wonderful starter facial for you! It’s also, of course, the perfect one to add to a busy schedule.
Rocks On The Mediterranean Massage
For my treatment, I simply couldn’t resist the ‘Rocks On The Mediterranean’ massage! Just the mention of ‘The Mediterranean’ drew me in instantly as, of course, it brings to mind intoxicating images of glistening azure waters and stunning beaches, punctuated by pretty hilltop villages and extreme feelings of wanderlust!
But in addition, since of my experience of Cellulitis in November last year, I promised myself to treat myself to more massages. Especially after my Cousin’s partner says her monthly massages have been such a comfort for managing her Fibromyalgia.
With Scleroderma and other conditions, there’s something even more luxurious and healing then the added benefits of soothing heat from the hot stones to truly nurture your body holistically.
In case you didn’t know, a Hot stone massage is a type of massage therapy that involves the use of smooth, heated stones. These stones are then placed on specific points on the body to heat and loosen tight muscles.
The heat from the Hot Stone Massage helps to relax the muscles, making the massage more effective.
There are truly endless reasons why Hot Stone Massage has a number of benefits, including….
Relief from muscle pain and tension
Reduced stress and anxiety
Relief from headaches
My masseuse, Sharon, was so exceptionally talented at delivering the most hypnotic and incredibly delicate experience where I left feeling like I literally had gone to heaven! The oils used from the Temple Spa products was also simply mesmirising and left my skin feeling silky and soft to the core!
From head to toe I felt utterly transformed and it also unlocked a lot of things for me afterwards in the most heart-opening of ways that felt so incredibly healing to experience. I also, as perhaps you can imagine, had the most peaceful of sleeps that evening!
At The Connaught Hotel and Spa their Hot Stone Massage is 75 minutes and is an experience they argue ‘you just have to have at least once in your life.’ I truly couldn’t agree more!
If you are looking for a relaxing and therapeutic massage, then a Hot Stone Massage truly is mind, body and soul altering in the most divine way!
However, it is important to say if you have a chronic health condition like I do, please be sure to ask your therapist to apply a lower pressure than perhaps normal.
The Relaxation Lounge
After our treatments, we made our way to the relaxtion lounge where we could simply melt into a soft resting place, hydrate and embody our treatments even more deeply.
From floor to ceiling the relaxation lounge is decoarated in a rich black shade with golden lights flickering all around you to make you feel like you are floating in the most relaxing place on Earth!
I absolutely adored how nothing could be expected of anyone here. So often relaxation rooms can be bright with light pouring in and we can then be tempted to read or talk but The Connaught Hotel and Spa truly invites you to be with nothing else other than yourself and this was of course, so incredibly relaxing.
It almost reminded me of the art of ‘dark meditation’, that is, quite simply the art of mediating in a dark quiet room.
Believed to be inspired by the Chinese religion of Taoism, Taoists would use caves to meditate, and throughout The Connaught Hotel and Spa you do see references to Taoist religion in their Relaxation Lounge.
Whether intentional or not, The Connaught Hotel and Spa have truly created a very special and sacred place for you to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday and to practice this sense of reflection as ‘dark meditation’ is often done in a quiet and dark space away from sunlight or artificial light.
Whether you use the relaxation room after your treatment like my Mum and I did, or you fancy taking yourself for a moment of quiet after a pool or gym session, this is a truly beautiful spot to begin or end your day coming back to your centre and re-calibrating your whole system.
The Connaught Brasserie
After our treatments it was time for Lunch at The Connaught Brasserie!
Awarded an AA Rosette, The Connaught brasserie and gin bar (with over 200 varieties of gin, should this be your thing!) are both open to hotel guests and local residents alike. In addition, the restaurant also serves an incredibly moorish afternoon tea that certainly looked spectacular!
The blend of dishes you will find at the restaurant are a fusion of traditional and contemporary favourites, creatively designed by the talented team of chefs.
From grills and salads, to tapas and mouth-watering desserts; all of which can be enjoyed in The Connaught Brasserie or alfresco on the beautiful terrace garden if it’s a sunny day.
Sadly, on our trip, the heavens were pouring with rain so we didn’t eat on the terrace and instead opted for the cosy indoors.
My Mum went for a warm soup of the day with fresh crusty bread and I opted for a zesty, refreshing smoked salmon dish with beetroot. It was just divine! It was such a bright and balanced dish and the perfect light meal for a day at the spa when I didn’t want anything too heavy.
Straight after our lunch we went back downstairs and rounded off the day with a trip to the sauna, steam room and jacuzzi that felt utterly blissful. After reading our books poolside, we relunctantly gathered our things, showered and headed back home feeling so incredibly cared for.
The Benefits Of A Spa Day
I truly hoped you liked experiencing this beautiful Spa Day my Mum and I had at The Connaught Hotel and Spa. More than anything, I hope this is something you will experience for yourself! Here are just a few ways a Spa Day can benefit your mind, body and soul.
1. Improved Mental Health: One of the biggest benefits of a spa day is the potential for improved mental health. The relaxing atmosphere combined with treatments such as massages, facials or body wraps can help reduce anxiety and promote feelings of calmness and relaxation. It can also help with conditions such as depression as it provides a chance to relax and reset.
2. Increased Relaxation: Modern life can be incredibly busy and stressful, leaving little time or energy for relaxation. A spa day provides an opportunity to switch off and relax, which can leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. This can help improve sleep quality and help you better manage stress.
3. Reduced Stress: Stress can have a significant impact on our physical and mental health. A spa day is a great way to reduce stress by providing an opportunity to relax, unwind and let go of tensions. This can help boost your mood and energy levels, leaving you better equipped to tackle life’s challenges.
4. Improved Physical Health: In addition to its mental health benefits, a spa day can also improve your physical health. Treatments such as massages can help relieve muscular tension and promote improved circulation, which can help reduce pain and increase flexibility.
5. Improved Relationships: A spa day can also be a great way to improve your relationships with friends or family members. By sharing a relaxing experience, you can strengthen your relationships and enjoy quality time together. How to Make Time for a Spa Day Making time for self care can be challenging, but it’s important to prioritize your mental and physical health.
How To Make The Most Of Your Connaught Spa Day:
With seven miles of soft golden sand, the internationally renowned Russell Cotes Art Gallery, an A Grade II* Victorian villa, award winning nightlife and an area of the country full of enchantment, a trip to The Connaught Hotel and Spa is the perfect way to immerse yourself in all the beauty Dorset and East Hampshire holds.
So, if this is something you would like to experience let me leave you with a few tips to make your time even more special:
1. Book in Advance: I highly suggest scheduling your day at The Connaught Hotel and Spa in advance to ensure you have the time set aside for optimum self-care.
2. Take a Day Off: To make the most of the facilities and to maximise your day, I highly suggest taking a day off work to dedicate to relaxation and rejuvenation. My Mum and I felt SO deeply surrendered to our experience that we flopped back home and have the most deepest slumber that night!
3. Combine Activities: There is so much to see and experience in Dorset and East Hampshire so it’s definitely worth combining a spa day with other activities such as a weekend away in Bournemouth, other parts of Dorset, The New Forest, or planning it when any events are going on in the surrounding area.
4. Make it a Regular Occurrence: The Connaught Hotel and Spa makes it incredibly easy and accessible to self-care a regular occurrence with very by scheduling in regular spa days. This can be a great way to maintain your mental and physical wellbeing.
So how about you? Do you need a Spa Day too? If you’re in Bournemouth I truly couldn’t recommend anywhere to stay more than here!
One of my key words for Spring is ‘consistency’ and ‘rituals’ and and after experiencing this beautiful day with my Mum, it made me dream about how I’d love to immerse myself in this once each season to reset, to recaliberate and to restore myself.
Living with multiple chronic illnesses makes me appreciate even more the sacred responsibility I have towards my beautiful vessel that carries me through all the things I still desire to serve the world with. As a result, it’s with absolute loving stewardship that I know I must make a consistent commitment and investment to my wellbeing regularly where I can because the benefits are simply life-altering.
I’d love to know if any of you love spas as much as I do? In what ways will you tend to your sacred vessel today? Have any of you been to The Connaught Hotel and Spa? Leave all your comments and meaningful shares below!
Welcome back to Enchanting Conversations! I’m so incredibly thankful you are here. And I’m also so incredibly thankful for your loving words of support from the first episode of this podcast where I uncovered the origins of the word enchantment for you so that we could start this journey knowing exactly what we are seeking through these conversations.
And as I mention at the start of these episodes, my desire is to share stories as part of these conversations. There are, of course, innumerable reasons stories are so magnificent and important, but perhaps in short because I truly believe we ARE all made of a constellation of stories stirring within us that showing us what is possible. As Victoria Erickson, one of my favourite writers of all time so poignantly says:
“Whatever story or struggle you’re going through right now (no matter how seemingly small) is significant and beautiful. And I hope someday you tell it and own it down to each detail. We never know all the ways we might move someone. All the ways we might save ourselves.”
So today, I wanted to share my own story and thread the tapestry of my own pathway to enchantment for you. Above all, I hope it can deeply inspire you to weave your own web of wonderment wherever you are right now on your path.
And also because despite having blogged for now 13 years, honestly, I can’t process that my blog is a teen, but anyway, I’m aware some of you will be completely new to me and my work.
Having said that, as I explained in my last episode, this podcast is truly a journey for me to simply use my voice. The intention was a simple as that. And with that, I wanted to embolden my heart with courage at this early stage of this venture to take you on a quester through my enchanted pathway.
So, like many wondrous stories begin, once upon a time I grew up enjoying a classical enchanting upbringing in Dorset in the south coast of England although the roots of my family are from the North of England in the Wirral and Liverpool so I consider these spots to be my true home.
As a child, I was utterly mesmerised by fairytales, mythology, folk tales, nurturing wildlife animals and the arts. I adored nurturing wildlife like birds and hedgehogs and deers, and outside of this, I feel like I spent every waking moment creating things. I was especially shaped by my Celtic heritage and I spent most of my time adorning my soul in the music, the arts and stories that shaped my heritage. In fact I was so in love with the Celtic arts that I actually played the violin when I was 4 simply to play all the fiddle music I grew up with! And at the same tender age I also started to play the piano. I’d say now that the piano is now my one-true-love.
So overall, it was truly a deeply blessed childhood surrounded by utter wonderment, wanderlust and full of precious years bathing in my vivid imagination.
But sadly, there were also some shadowy parts. I was born with the classic inflammation combination of eczema and asthma, and most the time my porcelain skin was red raw from inflammation. I also had severe Raynaud’s so I was perpetually cold! This was absolutely fine to manage at home….until I started school and interacting with my peers. It was then year by year that my experiences of being rejected, abandoned, and simply being a misfit started to erode my enchanted heart. I adored learning, more than anything, but I felt so deeply dis-connected from my peers.
I had to constantly carry around steroid creams, inhalers, gloves and I absolutely loathed people commenting on my health because I felt that my vulnerabilities were being illuminated for all to see.
Thankfully, my long auburn hair and eternally doll like style gained me attention and groups to weave in and out of but I struggled immensely to find those soul-nourishing and like-minded friendships who truly cherished the enchanted part of me.
So, although I dreaded going to school to see other people the inner-world I had created in the safety of my home was such a blessing to me, and something I would continually charge my soul with.
I was also so troubled with how quickly my peers wanted to grow up. I eternally felt like that episode of Friends where Joey tells Phoebe Santa isn’t real, haha. If you know the one I mean! That was basically me everyday! But also, in addition I had absolutely no idea about anything trending or popular. I was besotted with Vivaldi, and the Impressionists. Still, to this day my most precious childhood memory was visiting Claude Monet’s garden in Giverny. But truthfully, there are some things now you’d be shocked that I don’t know about as a millennial haha.
However one of the biggest takeaways from my childhood was the blessing that I have always felt immensely lucky that I have understood my dharma from my youngest years because it still hasn’t changed: I have always longed to serve the world with my creativity, learn about the richness of the arts and bathe myself in all things serenely beautiful that I can then share with the world.
However, consumed by societal expectations, I enrolled at University to study music and art history. Two subjects I of course adore more than anything and yet I just knew in my bones that University was not going to be the right environment for someone like me who was so tender-hearted, highly-imaginative and highly-sensitive.
And this proved only too true because I knew on the first day of University that I was not where I was supposed to be, however I was terrified to quit and disappoint everyone around me. But of course: I was completely unaligned with the fabric of my enchanted soul.
Day by day, layers of sadness, disconnection, pain and torment during these challenging years tumbled upon my mind, body and soul and truthfully, it does all feel too raw to discuss so publicly, however, in a nutshell it was during these years that the most tender shadowy parts of my childhood magnified by a million percent.
And, because I had no safe home I could recharge or escape to my disconnection led to very, very, very severe depression as well as the seeds of 80% of the serious chronic health conditions I have today.
So, each day after my studies I entered into a secret life of all night blogging, reading about the arts and crafting things in my room at the time!
And this really did start the gestation for the slow growth of my online enchanted world as you might know it today. Everything I’m so blessed to have now started from those gentle seedlings from the Blogspot blog I started at University that has become my greatest companion ever since.
In its infancy, I was particularly interested in documenting my travels, beauty, fashion, style and the arts and simply anything that could comfort me as all these things had done in my early childhood. Immediately, it started to mute my loneliness and comfort my aching heart.
And I don’t think I realised at the time, but this online world I found myself in, so the time from 2008 and onwards, was drenched in creativity, connection and community. I was soon to find myself in the midst of what I still believe to be one of the most special times in the history of the internet.
And then to mute my aching heart even more, during these early days of University I also felt truly nourished by my weekend job at Lush Cosmetics and the sister make up company B Never Too Busy To Be Beautiful where I worked at the very first Lush in the world, in Poole! In case you didn’t know, Lush is a Dorset company!
However at this same time, whilst still at University, I was diagnosed with PCOs and Endometriosis. Two years later, I was diagnosed with a benign brain tumour called a Prolactinoma.
Then came Beauxoxo. I’m sure this will always be the thing I am known for and I open up my heart so widely to you if you’re still part of my world today.
As many of you might know, I opened an Etsy shop for my handmade hair accessories called ‘Beauxoxo’ from my University library. What some of you may not know is that I truly started this business yes, because I was creatively unfulfilled, but also because gradually I was getting more and more poorly and so desperately needed some extra income. So, I took a chance with my passion for creating hair accessories!
Beyond my wildest dreams, Beauxoxo grew exponentially and became the focus of all my time. Like my blog, this was such a fertile period of time for blogging and Etsy and my accessories graced the pages of magazines like Marie Claire, ELLE, Teen Vogue and were adorned by celebrities such as Little Mix, Katy Perry and Youtube stars like Zoe Sugg and Tanya Burr. I was also stocked in boutiques across the world with extensive travels in Europe and Japan.
I channelled every inch of energy I had into making my handmade hair accessories from bed or the very small desk I had in my University accommodation.
My daily routine consisted of getting up at 6am and going to bed at 1am to manage my business alongside managing a myriad of chronic health symptoms and depression at University.
However it was also during these tender years that I was becoming more and more poorly. So yes, on the outside, I was wildly successful but this came with the huge costly price of severe burn-out.
To the world I was brave, successful, courageous Georgie and I absolutely thrived on this external validation. I’ve never had so many friends, admiration, opportunities or graces bestowed upon me from my peers or society.
However, as I sailed into my early twenties a ‘clusters of symptoms’ started to develop within my body leading me to seeing up to 5 specialists on a regular basis. This led to a battle throughout my 20s with things that were completely unrelated to my endocrine illnesses. Instead, I was gathering answers for a great many unexplained or misdiagnosed conditions that were actually side effects of the auto-immune disease Scleroderma and chronic condition of Gastroparesis.
Like every undiagnosed, chronically ill person reading this knows only too well, suffering in such a way is not just physically draining, but also emotionally unbearable, and especially in such formative years of my life.
For me, to accept that modern medicine cannot restore me and that there is no cure is an ongoing grieving process. So often the choices and compromises seem unfair and without reprise when battling a chronic illness, and there are many of these double-negative decisions to be made most days that people just don’t see that naturally has felt like a huge dark cloud.
The end of Beauxoxo
So, it was with these diagnoses in 2018, with a very, very heavy heart I said Au Revoir to Beauxoxo as I lost the dexterity in my hands that I used to have. And I simply couldn’t bear the fact that I wouldn’t be able to create for myself anymore and so I had to put my creative soul first.
My Beauxoxo adventures came to an end in June 2019. Then came an emptiness. A feeling of utter loss and failure. The forest of connections and accolades I had collected over the years slowly faded to obscurity. I was left with my own tortured thoughts. I asked myself: What am I able to do now? What can I adapt my conditions to? And most haungtingluy, what is to become of me and this swirling sea of creativity I want to gift to the world?
Academy Of The Enchanted Arts
So slowly but surely, I started to connect my thoughts and findings and the bountiful creativity that emerged from it all led me to imagine the possibility of combining my passion for the history of art and music to reach as many people as possible.
This of course, has since taken the form of The Academy Of The Enchanted Arts and yet life gave this project so many stops and starts I decided it was time to take a radical pause.
Instead, I spent 50% resting and tending to my body, and the rest of the time on projects related to my passion for my arts for which no public recognition was required. And in addition, to peel the layers of societal pressure off my mind, body and soul and to simply to paint my life with courage, curiosity, patience, rest, receptivity, stillness, spaciousness, surrender and just truly to be in flow as I have added that paint to my canvas.
And over time, the colours of this canvas revealed itself to me and I vividly saw that life was helping me to emerge gently to do hard things. To seek a life outside of myself. To serve other people. To show up and continue to produce things that are valuable, even when my default is to hide safely ensconced in the warm embrace of my beloved cocoon.
So i then asked myself that if I were to begin living a life of even deeper courage, outside of my safe cocoon, what would that look like? What would I do? And what would I say?
And when life fell very quiet the whispers of my intuition became ever clearer: That my mission for me has always, always, always been helping people infuse their life with wonder, whimsy and enchantment.
So, in 2019 I launched ‘Whimsy World’ a free monthly e-letter that is now read by over 1000 enchanting souls as I also kept my blog going as best as possible during this period of great rest. By the way, these conversations are sponsored by this beloved e-letter of mine so if you would like to join us the link is below to subscribe completely for free.
And here I am now with this podcast that is simply a vessel for my truth and lived experience. It’s dedicated to every single person that has loved me through these past few years who has helped me ignite the emancipation of my enchanted soul and the imaginative mystical child within me who always just wanted to have the freedom to BE.
But, because life is both and, I feel very strongly that a life of ‘just think love and light and positively’ is nothing than words of shame. So, I sit in my very real corner of the philosophy and spirituality lens, and there’s not a day where I don’t grieve my health. And whilst of course, in my younger years I tried to will myself into good health I now just nurture my enoughness and allow myself to feel justifyingly terrified about my fate and living with these conditions. And yet I also know that there’s so much I can still bring to my life and to the life of others. And I know that my potential and destiny are still unfolding every day. For now, I strive to be the creative vessel I know I was born to be, and I couldn’t think of anything more meaningful in my life at this moment than to help people discover their own wonder-filled heaven on earth.
After years of trying, and failing miserably, to fit into the mold of society, I honestly can’t begin to tell you how free I already feel with no one to impress with this and no identify to form through this medium. It feels SO liberating. And now I just want to simply sing my enchanted songs into the world. Now I just want to play with life. With the birds, with Nature and with my creativity.
The wonderful Caroline Myss once said: “Turn your blessings into something we pass on like a string of pearls” And so, now, every single part of my offerings I bring to the world are drenched with my soul lessons and pearls of grace.
“Turn your blessings into something we pass on like a string of pearls”
My courses about blogging and online simplicity have been designed for highly-sensitive, creative soulful entrepreneurs from my experiences of healing immense burn-out with Beauxoxo so that I can help dreamers to build a life and creative business strategy full of ease, flow and simplicity. All whilst meeting their inner Creative Muse.
The Academy of the enchanted arts is the self-study online learning school I always longed for, designed lovingly for highly creative souls with a passion for art and music history, who also possess a deeply enchanted heart. This will take full fruition in 2023.
My hopes for my Enchanting Living Brand
And now, in 2022 when I’m recording this, as my Scleroderma and other conditions intensify, my body does feels heavier than usual, and after years of performing wellness online and in person, for which I regret deeply, I truly feel that since 2018, life has beckoned me into a deep well of much-needed slowness, privacy, connection and gentle sweetness as a grace of survival. And I can now truly understand the gifts of this.
At this point in my life, with whatever energy and vitality I have, I’m utterly devoted to channelling this same grace of life to someone else. I long for the work I bring to the world to infuse people with the hope that they are not alone.
My life has reverted back to childhood where I have a very intimate world around me. I dare to be known a little more deeply. Loved for both the great ectasy of my enchanted heart and the ability to understand that I am also carrying immense grief.
Ultimately, the story I have told you today has taught me how I wish people would understand how hard it is to feel loved while being pressured to be something you’re not. It feels so hard to encapsulate in words, but that’s how I felt growing up.
And I think one of the most uncomfortable portals of self-discovery has been learning to heal from feeling abandoned when I have come to realise that people can often love or admire a version of you in their head that isn’t the living, breathing, hurting, real you.
And THAT in itself is why truly, it means so, so much to me that you’re here. I hope there’s something in my story that can be with you as a source of comfort and contemplation as you set out to forge your own enchanted pathway in the world.
I think Sharon Blackie says it best in the Enchanted Life which is:
“To live an enchanted life is to pick up the pieces of our bruised and battered psyches, and to offer them the nourishment they long for. It is to be challenged, to be awakened, to be gripped and shaken to the core by the extraordinary which lies at the heart of the ordinary. Above all, to live an enchanted life is to fall in love with the world all over again.”
And more than anything, I truly hope this podcast can help you fall in love with the world all over again. Especially in these times. And I hope it can be a space that truly ignites a sense of wonderment within you to dream the world anew and that it sets you on your own exquisite path of journeying home to yourself.
So f you feel called to, I’d absolutely love to get to know YOUR story and hear your pathway to enchantment.
If you need some prompts for reflection, I’d love to offer these questions as contemplations for you to journal about. So, firstly, what is your own story? Secondly, What is the golden thread of your story? And finally, What are your learnings? And How can these learnings serve or help others?
You can leave your meaningful shares below in the comments and I can’t wait to connect.
And if you’re enjoying Enchanting Conversations so far I would also love to invite you, once again, to be part of my free community letter called ‘Whimsy World’ that I spoke about earlier.
It’s full of exclusives I don’t share anywhere else and features bespoke giveaways and opportunities to receive physical letters and postcards. So If you’d like to be part of this the link to sign up is below in the show notes.
Meanwhile, until our next conversation, or wherever we next connect, thank you again and again and again for being a vessel of whimsy, wonder, and enchantment with me here. Your support is a true blessing to me.
I so look forward to connecting with you after this conversation, and until then, with all my love and infinite blessings for being here. Take such precious take of yourself and speak next week.
What is the meaning of the word ‘enchanted’? Is it familiar to you in its association with the practice of spells and magic? Or perhaps the word enchantment is something you feel in the presence of indescribable beauty and magic?
In this conversation, we’ll be uncovering the origins of the word ‘enchanted’ so that you can truly come to understand this word more intimately as we look at the tapestry of how language and words have shaped our world.
🧚♀️ In this wonder-filled episode you’ll discover:
The tool that is used to dig deep into the layer of words and language
The root of the word ‘enchanted’ and the origins of this word
The fascinating link to enchantment, creativity, words and magic
Three invitations for you to take away and a bespoke journal prompt so that you can embody the enchantment of words into your everyday life
If you loved this episode, I’d love for you to subscribe (it’s 100% free!) and for you to rate it through Apple or Spotify.
In order for these conversations to reach even more enchanted souls just like you, please consider sharing this podcast with your fellow enchanting loved ones!
For more information about the ‘Enchanting Conversations’ podcast head togeorgiexoxo.com.
I cannot wait to connect beyond this episode and unravel all of the whimsy, wonder and enchantment that is within and around you always.
With love and infinite blessings,
Dear enchanted ones,
Welcome to this first episode of my new Enchanting Conversations podcast.
First and foremost: With all my heart, thank you beyond all words of expression for being here. I am simultaneously so excited but also very nervous to bring this project to life, and your love, faith and trust is an anchor that has sustained me as I bring this into the world. So thank you again and again and again.
Secondly, I am using my whimsical Wendy House in my garden as my podcast studio that some of you might know through my blog or through my free Whimsy World monthly e-letter. Both of these links, by the way, can be found in the show notes below.
This spot is truly my creative haven in the warmer months, however, until I started recording this podcast, I didn’t realise that it picks up every single sound around me! So, if you hear an enchanted soundscape of birds and the pitter patter of squirrels playing on the roof, that is what is going on right now!
So, I really hope that you come to love this whimsical backdrop but of course, if you do struggle with my audio please let me know and I will work on this for future episodes.
But before I get carried away just wanting to talk about birds and squirrels, let me bring it back to the focus of this first episode. But truthfully, do not have fear, my love for birds and other mystical creatures absolutely will feature in the future, I promise!
However, for today, I want to talk to you about the language of Enchantment and Etymology (Et-a-mology) as we answer the question ‘What is Enchantment?’.
So in our first conversation together, I want to uncover what is the meaning of the word ‘enchanted’. And at this point I’d love to know what it means to you. Is it a word that is familiar to you in its association with the practice of spells and magic? Or perhaps the word enchantment is something you feel in the presence of indescribable beauty and magic?
In this episode, we’ll be uncovering the origins of the word ‘enchanted’ so that you can truly come to understand this word more intimately as we look at the tapestry of how language and words have shaped our world.
I’m going to guide us through this understanding of enchantment through Etymology (Et-a-mology) which is basically the study of the history of words as it’s one of my great passions in life.
Because truly, I think anyone who loves writing takes great pleasure in words. In what they look like, in what they sound like, in how they caress and expand onto a blank page or within our subconscious, and of course, the bigger place of them on the canvas of our lives.
For me, words have innate magic that becomes most potent when they come together in meaning and form synchronicity. And to be truly in love with language, and deeper still, life itself, is to dig deep into their layers of soil and uncover their richness.
Now, I must just add that my ‘flowery writing style’, and my seemingly young, very English childlike tones have been criticised ALL my life. Throughout my education and by my peers even today. Mercilessly so at times. And perhaps then, you can understand why this new venture of mine makes me just tremulous with fear.
Because whereas writing onto the page in front of me feels so natural and so comforting, speaking aloud feels so foreign and like I’m clinging to the walls of my comfort zone!
So, this is also a reminder that language is yes, wonderful, but also a tool used by some for allowing and disallowing, and a means of expression and of repression. Such is the contradiction, the paradox, and the great mystery of words too.
However for me, immense healing has been found in discovering Etymology (Et-a-mology), and reveling in, and restoring the true meaning of words as one of the many paths in life to the sublime, awe, and the Enchantment I hold so dearly.
So, let’s break down that word I hold so dear, “Enchanted”, through Etymology (Et-a-mology).
The word “enchant” was first used in 1374, with a meaning of “influence” or “delude”. It was then three years later, the literal meaning of “put under a spell” came to be.
We can also find origins from Old French “enchanter (enchantee)”, which comes from the Latin “incantare (in-can-tar-ey)”, which means “to consecrate with spells, to charm, to bewitch, to ensorcel” (in-sor-cell), and forms the basis of the word “enchant.” This word has later become “incantation” in English.
But here’s where the mysticism of Etymology (Et-a-mology) deepens. For, we can separate “incantare (in-can-tar-ey)” into the prefix “in”, which meant “upon”, and the root “cantare (can-tar-ey)”, which means “to sing”.
And so, as we revel in the history of “enchant” we can understand it with a new meaning: that sometimes songs can be so beautiful that they enchant you.
In the wondrous book ‘The Enchanted Life’ by Sharon Blackie (which, by the way, I consider as required reading for the enchanted soul!) she too digs into the Etymology (Et-a-mology) of Enchantment and concludes therefore that the enchanted life is the process of “singing ourselves back into the world.”
Isn’t this just breathtaking?! By the way if you want to hear Sharon Blackie discuss this in more detail then I will leave a truly profound video in the show notes where she explains this more deeply.
Now, as breathtaking as this is to me, I don’t believe that we should leave behind the magical roots of the word “enchant”. Because remember, this word also had roots in the forms of spells, and to charm and to bewitch.
Because when we look at the tapestry of how language and words have shaped our world, we see time and time again in history how words are a driving force of creation that are steeped in magic. In addition, I also believe that we must reclaim this word in its raw essence itself as magic has long been seen as something frivolous or full of superstition. No clearer and more heartbreaking was this seen in the Witches Trial.
Now, within Hebrew Etymology (Et-a-mology), ‘Abracadabra’ actually translates to ‘I will create as I speak’ and in Aramaic to, ‘I create like the word.’
Moreover, there’s the Greek “magike” that relates to “art” and the Old Persian “magush”, which is “to be able to have power.” In addition, in the Bible, Earth is described as an empty void without a life of form, and then, of course, as so many of know by heart regardless of our faith or beliefs, “…God said, Let there be light: and there was light.”
So, as you can see, Etymology (Et-a-mology) is simply brimming with these definitions that place an emphasis on the relationship between the spoken word and the act of bringing forth aliveness through creative magic.
And ultimately enchanted one, no matter our background, our beliefs, or our faith, I truly and passionately believe that the potency of the language we use, the words we are in possession of, and the words we choose to narrate our experiences with ARE a magic spell that can have a profound effect on the way that we and those around us navigate the world.
So I want you to really hold this close to you as you navigate your month. Notice how words come to you this coming month. Notice what words are said to you. Whether it be through your work, discussions with your loved ones, your text conversations, or the simple pleasure of picking up a book. Ultimately, remember that words are the enchanted songs of the Earth.
My journey with enchantment and digging into the roots of its meaning through language paints as clearly as ever that the world is alive with the songs of enchantment.
We can witness this in the crackling of the singing ice, something, perhaps you have seen this in Youtuber Jonna Jinton’s stunning videos from Sweden, or in the fiery lava of a volcano that is being captured with so much luminosity in Iceland right now, or even to the dawn chorus of birdsong that surrounds me right now.
By the way, do you know that birds use their morning chorus as their signal to the Earth that have made it to another new day? Truly, could there be a more stunning example of the songs of enchantment to echo that they are singing out every inch of their aliveness?
Since discovering that Enchantment means to sing yourself back to life it has truly ushered in a newfound sense of confidence that I had kept shackled inside me.
For as I said, my voice, the vehicle I am using for this podcast has been so mercilessly teased for being too soft, too girly, too childlike, and with all of this, it has taken me so much courage to truly sing my song into the world.
Learning about the roots of Enchantment truly felt like a medicine to my mind, body and soul. For, in order to liberate myself, and to be courageous, I wanted to use this podcast as an opportunity to start singing my own song.
So, as I draw towards the end of this first episode, I want you to reflect on how you can take action from the voice of your soul, your magic, your heart, your gifts, your talents and the impact you too can sing by bringing your own song of Enchantment into the world.
To help you to get started with this reflection, I have 3 invitations for you to uncover your own enchanted song so that you can celebrate your very aliveness through Enchantment.
Write Morning Pages or simply to write more each day. This is an incredibly powerful concept from Julia Cameron’s work called ‘The Artist’s Way’ where you truly free-flow onto the page in the mornings. Journaling is something I have cherished since childhood. For me, the act of taking pen to paper and allowing for that deeply cerebral friction of thought to take place is indescriably transformative.
Learn a new language. I absolutely adore learning new languages. Even though it’s not something I truly excel at, I love being able to converse the basics in quite a few languages that makes my travels that more magical and profound. I’m currently looking to deepen my skills in Dutch and French but to start German properly for a work project in Switzerland next year. By the way, if this is something that sparks your interest I so highly recommend Michel Thomas and his audio trainings. They are indescribably wonderful.
Write a poem, song or short story. You don’t have to share it, this can be something you keep close to your heart forever, however, it’s an incredibly beautiful use of time to truly spend weaving words together and sitting intimately with their unison on the page before you. You might also enjoy sharing these and this can be a beautiful letter or postcard you send to your loved ones. Alternatively, you might like to start a journal, Pinterest board, or simply the notes of your phone where you store beautiful words you find.
Before I get carried away and share even more possibilities, I’d absolutely love to know how you get on if you try any of my above invitations for bringing your enchanted song into the world. How can you use words or language to compose a melody of all the things you find serenely moving, beautiful or comforting?
Before I bring this episode to an end I truly want to highlight how much it would mean for me to hear from you on the theme of the conversation I bring here each week.
Because to me, meaningful conversations have become a lost thing in this social media age. However, their richness allows us to learn something important about ourselves, about the other person, or about the world – and, when this happens, we come away feeling better understood and connected with those around us and the world as a whole.
And now I want to hear from you. With a new understanding of the word enchantment, how will you use this to shape your world from today? You can leave your precious words and thoughts on my blog at georgiexoxo.com. Whimsy World.
I so look forward to connecting to you after this episode, and until then, with all my love and infinite blessings for being here. Take such precious take of yourself and speak next week.
With love and infinite blessings to you, Georgie xoxo
Welcome to ‘Enchanting Conversations’ a podcast by Georgie, a creatrix of the arts and modern-day enchantress where I’m on a mission to help you to discover a world of enchantment where you can experience a life with more awe, reverence and wonder than you can possibly imagine.
Brimming with mythology, inspiration, stories, dreams, the arts and seasonal enchantments, these weekly conversations are for wondrous souls who seek an illuminating portal for enchanted living.
Once upon a time, when I started my blog and Etsy business 12 years ago whilst studying art and music history and managing several chronic illnesses, I have always felt the pull to inspire others to infuse their life with enchantment because I intimately know how profoundly healing it is to be serenely moved by the everyday enchantment of life.
Three years ago, when I was no longer able to continue making my handmade hair accessories at Beauxoxo due to the intensity of managing these chronic health conditions, I decided to sell my business.
Fast forward to today, I’ve since made it my mission to create offerings that can open your heart and imagination to give yourself the trust to lead with curiosity, wonderment and creativity in everything you do so that you can embody the Art Of Enchantment in your everyday life.
These offerings have taken the form of my enchanted living blog, Georgie xoxo, my courses for creative soulful entrepreneurs, and the Academy Of The Enchanted Arts, where I guide my students to the re-enchantment of our world through the arts.
Each Wednesday, I seek to bring you wonder-filled solo and guest conversations so that you will be able to connect and relate to the enchantment that is all around you. From the beauty, rapture and awe of Nature and the seasons, to the divine essence of the arts.
No matter the theme for each of our conversations, I hope that they can inspire you to create your own wonder-filled heaven on Earth.
So that you don’t miss the latest episode, please make sure you subscribe and follow for free through your favourite podcast service so that you’ll be notified when the new conversation is live.
For more information about the Enchanting Conversations podcast, or to leave your own meaningful shares inspired by these conversations, please head to georgiexoxo.com through the show notes below.
Thank you so deeply for being here with me.
Until our first conversation, with love and infinite blessings, Georgie
This review of Sculpture by the Lakes is so kindly courtesy of Darren North East PR
Dear enchanted ones,
Peaceful as it is popular, the breathtaking Sculpture By The Lakes near Dorchester in the county of Dorset is an unspoiled wilderness surrounded by the meandering River Frome, where you can truly envelop yourself in the serene and tranquil lakes that inspire this much-loved destination’s name.
Therefore, it’s hardly surprising that Sculpture By The Lakes has been described as one of the most beautiful and unique sculpture parks in the UK!
This Spring, this stunning location is the home to FORM; The Sculpture Show from the 30th of March to the 29th of May 2022 where art meets nature around the 26-acre park with monumental pieces in the main gardens, with smaller works that are shown in the Gallery and Sculpture Courtyard.
The FORM; The Sculpture Show exhibition seeks to place, view and enable you to purchase sculptures from award-winning sculptors across a breadth of styles and mediums in the most tranquil and beautiful of settings.
Regular readers will perhaps know that I have visited this gorgeous spot many times and for your reference, my previous visits can be found here in this handy archive for you to enjoy after reading about this latest visit.
“The way sculpture interacts with its environment, changing with the light, the weather, the seasons, means that where you experience it is vitally important. Putting large-scale sculptures in a museum or gallery diminishes their power, but in a beautiful, natural environment, that power is restored; they come alive. That was one of the reasons I started Sculpture by the Lakes many years ago, and why this was such a successful event last year. It is a rare and special opportunity for sculpture-lovers to see and enjoy the works of some of the best sculptors from across the UK together in one place”.
Simon Gudgeon, Sculptor and owner of Sculpture by the Lakes
How does art meet and inspire nature? And vice-versa.
Moreover, I was truly enchanted by the above words from Simon Gudgeon, Sculptor and owner of Sculpture by the Lakes, and his beautiful description of the symbiotic relationship between the sculpture and the nature that surrounds his artistry.
Simon Gudgeon (born 1958) is a British sculptor specialising in large pieces for public display, usually in bronze, but also sometimes glass or stainless steel who alongside his world-famous sculptures, also created Sculpture by the Lakes as an expression of his love for the beauty and wonder of nature.
Just like Simon Gudgeon’s mastery at bringing art and nature together in his sculpture, Claude Monet’s work is also steeped in a reverence for nature.
Monet’s words echo this time and time again: “The richness I achieve comes from nature, the source of my inspiration”, and in addition, “I do what I can to express what I feel in the presence of nature.”
But it’s not just Simon Gudgeon and Monet.
From time immemorial, artists have sought to use art as a way to explore the world of nature.
In fact, some philosophers including Aristotle once proclaimed that art can in fact mimic nature.
For Aristotle, nature is the embodiment and a true reflection of the artist’s inner soul.
Aristotle even once wrote that, “art not only imitates nature but also completes its deficiencies”.
With this in mind, what makes Sculpture by the Lakes so special is that each sculpture has been meticulously positioned in just the right place on the grounds to enhance the aesthetic qualities of each piece.
As a result, the FORM; The Sculpture Show exhibition exemplified that art is not only recreating the natural world, but that the placement of the sculptures aids in seeing nature in another light. Or indeed, using the art as a language in which to bring a voice to the nature around it.
This is so abundantly clear in many of my favourite sculptures by Simon Gudgeon and a plethora of other incredibly talented artists.
As I meandered around the grounds, and the myriad of paths, I was utterly captivated by the magical light and shade that danced on the sculptures that were mirrored in the blissful surroundings.
It’s beyond special to be in the presence of artwork that so masterfully reflects your enchanting surroundings, and this is one of my favourite things about this exhibition.
My FORM The Sculpture Show Gallery Exhibition
After a delicious lunch in the Cafe By The Lakes (this truly deserves a post of its own!), I wandered inside the Gallery where the FORM; The Sculpture Show continued with smaller sculptures and weaved the intricacy and beauty of the large-scale pieces by Simon Gudgeon into other pieces like jewellery.
Ending my visit in the Gallery was a further serene moment where the world continued to slow down for a few peaceful moments, and where the artwork around me could refresh, revitalise and ready my own creativity for new hopes and new opportunities. In particular, I truly will carry this inspiration into my Monet workshop.
In essence, any visitor to Sculpture by the Lakes is left with the experience of walking around a work of art through the sculptures and the environment that truly do exist in a unique symbiotic relationship. The FORM; The Sculpture Show exhibition illuminates this more than ever.
Wellbeing By The Lakes: Wellbeing By The Lakes is a 3-day festival exploring what it means to be mindful and how to live well in this fast-paced modern world. These 3-days of mindfulness are a curated blend of experts talks, meditation, movement sessions, art, live performance and healing therapies that will open your eyes to fresh experiences for wellbeing. Truly, for two years now this has been one of my favourite 3 days of the year! Click here to read about my experience
Sculpture by the Lakes is open Wednesday to Sunday, 10.00 am to 5.00 pm.