Ways To Help Ukraine and Ukrainian Artists and Etsy Sellers You Can Support

Ways To Help Ukraine and Ukrainian Artists and Etsy Sellers You Can Support

Dear enchanted ones,

Like you right now I’m sure, I have been watching the unfolding news from Ukraine and every single corner of our globe that is affected by war, colonisation and occupation with the heaviest of hearts.

As a result, this post is dedicated to ways that you can help the people of Ukraine alongside supporting the work of Ukrainian artisans and Etsy sellers who you can support directly.

Most compassionate soul, I just want you to be reminded that no matter how hopeless and helpless you might feel right now, I believe that both you and I can also use this same heaviness to expand our hearts and cultivate the deepest emphatic imagination we have to make this world a better place.

Thank you so deeply for your time and attention through being here. May these links and the following information lead you to hope and feel into our inconnectedness even more deeply.

I was reminded of this yesterday when I was in the waiting room for my specialist appointment.

My hands were completely numb, as usual, with Raynaud’s so I arrived early to warm them with my little pink handwarmer.

As I did, an old lady with a gorgeous bejewelled walking stick and the most whimsical face mask with cats on asked with curiosity how long I have lived with Raynaud’s.

I told her that Raynaud’s had been something I had known since childhood and that February was Raynaud’s Awareness Month and that I had felt disappointed I wasn’t well enough to show up.

She smiled at me with a wise understanding saying that from time to time she too experiences Raynaud’s attacks that have plagued her all her life. I asked if she had seen a doctor and seemingly puzzled, she had no idea it was something that should be examined.

Another lady had just joined the waiting room and joined our conversation explaining that she was worried about her daughter who exhibited the same symptoms and would now urge for her to be seen.

One waiting room and yet multiple souls who have now felt seen, helped and witnessed.

May you know that you don’t have to move mountains to better the world and that through the smallest acts of compassion you can radiate change, impact and support across the tapestry of our landscape.

Links to Support Ukraine

A fantastic link that breaks down how you can help from the country you’re in

A wonderful Google Doc with donation links and extra information

Click here for a wonderful article by Gina Martin on Substack with plentiful action pieces and resources

Ukrainian Etsy Sellers and Artisans

(Please note that due to the horrific circumstances in Ukraine it may not be possible for sellers to dispatch physical item right now however you can ask about gift cards or other ways to support their artistry)

One of my favourite Instagrammers is beautiful Natalie of Your Ptashka and I adore her beautiful shop just as much.

Natalie is the creator of Your Ptashka couture a brand inspired by her love of fairytales, old movies and books and the magnificent Ukranian countryside.

Inspired by a lack of tenderness, feminity and fairy vibes in clothing, Natalie began to create her own designs that were the embodiment of nature’s elegance and fantasies from the creations of her soul.  

Natalie deeply desires for each of her dresses can be “straight from the fairytales born to make your dreams come true. The dresses you can bequeath to your daughter.”

Supporting Natalie with a gift voucher would be such a wonderful and thoughtful way to support her breathtaking designs. I am so lucky for a world with both Natalie and Your Ptashka couture in it.

Click here to shop gift vouchers from Your Ptashka

Svetlana Krasiuk from Kyiv, Ukraine is the creator of ‘Lovely Doll’ with a desire for this to be a ‘doll for your soul’.

Lovely Dolls are created to decorate your home, fill it with light mood and joy, or to become a wondrous gift for your family and friends.

Created in 2013, purchasing one of these dolls for yourself or your loved ones would be a gift everyone would truly treasure.

If Svetlana is unable to send her beautiful dolls out right now, please consider buying a gift voucher.

Click here to purchase your Lovely Doll

Iryna is a Ukranian artist and the founder of Eten Iren who lives and works in Lviv, Ukraine and makes these stunning polymer clay delicate jewellery pieces.

This gorgeous Pansy earring is so dainty and feminine and of course, Pansies have such sweety symbolism.

The Pansy symbolises the love or admiration of one person for another. Especially so in Victorian England when the Pansy flower was used for secret courting! This was because any display of love or passion was severely frowned upon and in order to communicate to potential romantic partners, the Pansy was employed!

What a beautiful way to say you are thinking of someone you love buy making a purchase of some of Eten’s jewellery, or a gift card.

Click here to purchase the EtenIren Jewellery 💐

When I was in Kyiv a few years ago I was utterly mesmirised by all of the beautiful angels that were at the craft stalls.

Angels have been an integral part of the symbolism of various faiths and I have always felt a huge connection to them.

Angels are beings that are said to be the messengers of God, working closely with God to help mortals by guiding and guarding them.

Throughout history, the very words ‘angel’ and ‘guardian angel’ have entered the common lexicon, regardless of your religious beliefs.

In this delicate most enchanted imagination of an angel, we see this darling angel created by Oksana Boyko from Khmelnytskyy, Ukraine in a sweet tradition dress with curly golden locks and a pretty sunflower Vinok (more of which, is mentioned below). The angel then holds a Dove, a sign of peace, alongside Ukrainian traditional blue and yellow ribbon shades.

I cannot wait to purchase the real version of this breathtaking angel, but digital copies are also avaialble. Please see which is best for Oksana to send.

Click here to purchase Handmade By Povitrulya Angel

Olga Chemerys from Mariupol, Ukraine is the creator of these incredibly adorable easy to follow crochet patterns that can be downloaded as a pdf pattern.

One of my very favourite designs is this sweetest, most whimsical crochet bunny cupcake pattern that will help you to make beautiful bunnies for Easter time!

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE THIS MUFFICORN PDF PATTERN

The delicate flowers, herbs and colourful ribbons of the Vinok, a traditional Ukrainian flower crown, is one of the oldest symbols of Ukraine that deeply inspired my Beauxoxo hair accessory range. 

From afar, yes, perhaps the flower-woven headpiece might remind you of a bohemian accessory you might spot at a festival or wedding, however in Ukraine, the Vinok isn’t merely a pretty accessory, it is deeply rooted in Ukraine’s early history.

Described in songs and legends, Ukrainian the Vinok has a long history that was first mentioned in Shumerian culture in XII-III BC and can also be seen as a continuation of an ancient tradition preserved from the original Greek and Byzantine tradition of wedding head wreaths. 

As well as a symbol of marriage and purity, the Vinok is also viewed as a symbol of the bright sky above the head of the one wearing it and seen as a protector from evil spirits and illnesses.

Click here to buy this stunning Vinok design above by Ukrainian designer NarodniyDimUkraina

Other Artisans Raising Money For Ukraine

Click here to purchase Jennifer Mazur’s Mesmirising Paintings that currently give back to Ukraine

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE MY OWN WORKSHOP SACRED SIMPLICITY

(PROCEEDS SPLIT BETWEEN SRUK AND UKRAINE)

Click here to purchase one of Maria’s Singing Scarves that currently gives back to Ukraine

Precious enchanted soul, thank you once more for reading this post. Do you have any Ukraine links or artisans that I can add to this post? If so, please leave the links or details below.

May I also just send you the warmest embrace and remind you to sit in your heart with hope, and to treat each day as a gift to bring all that is needed for us to be of service and for you to extend love. 

This is a time to believe in the enchantment that still lingers all around us even when it seems insurmountable to do so. For if you can imagine such wonderment, you can imagine it as our future. And most importantly, you can create it.

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Review Of The Wintering Box by Leneth Witte The Spiritual Feminist and Sanne Giesen The Wild Roots Guide

Review Of The Wintering Box by Leneth Witte The Spiritual Feminist and Sanne Giesen The Wild Roots Guide

Enchanted one, what is your experience with Winter and Wintering? Do you find Winter a season of struggle and long for the warmer, sunnier days? Or do you sink into the surrender of a long Winter period?

Well, if like me, you struggle during this period of the year, what if Winter could feel like a nourishing, reflective and restorative time, instead of a dark and difficult season?  

Enter your winter self-care and self-soothing toolkit: The Wintering Box by my darling friend and sister Leneth Witte from The Spiritual Feminist and Sanne Giesen of The Wild Roots Guide.

In this post, let us dig into this gorgeous box together and explore the theme of wintering.

What Is Wintering?

Wintering

n. The act of staying at a place throughout the winter. vb. (present participle of winter English)

I must admit there’s a nervousness I feel in my body when the dark nights draw in.

As soon as we leave Autumn for Winter, I feel consumed by the dark evenings and the chill that radiates through my bones.

Wintering in the UK can feel like agony for my mind, body and spirit living with Raynaud’s Disease and Scleroderma and in the last few years, I have often sought comfort in sunnier climates such as the U.A.E where one of my best friends lives.

However, slowly but surely, as we creep into January and I see a glimpse of the lighter evenings, it also reminds me that the light truly does come back, eventually. Slowly and gently, it reappears softly at the edges, reminding us of this gracious balance that we seek.

One of my greatest intentions for this season of Wintering is to sink deeply into the rest, surrender and reflection that the darkness of the season gives us, and to nourish the whimsy and light of life that illuminates with more vibrancy when we sit with the darkness of our emotional life with utmost honesty and intention.

To bring this forth, I am reminded of this poignant quote by Katherine May from her seminal book ‘Wintering: The Power Of Rest in Retreat in Hard Times’ that has been like a balm to my soul.

“We have seasons when we flourish and seasons when the leaves fall from us, revealing our bare bones. Given time, they grow again.”

― Katherine May, Wintering: The power of rest and retreat in difficult times

Inspired by this art of Wintering, my precious sister Leneth from the Netherlands has provided the world with a ‘wintering toolkit’ alongside Sanne, (another Dutch angel helping you to re-connect with nature) brimming with soul-nurturing treasures that are sustenance for the remainder of the long cold days. 

Many of you will know my beloved friend Leneth from the chat we had on my blog here and from her collaboration with Honey Honey and her Rising Woman Flower Remedy Set.

In December we finally met (yes, we were internet friends!) and I was so fortunate to see this gorgeous The Wintering Box be put together.

The Wintering Box

Throughout my stay in a cold and damp Netherlands, The Wintering Box was so enthusiastically embracing to me mind, body and soul with all the things the season was throwing at me.

Bundled into this nurturing box, the concept of wintering is beautifully curated that comforts you throughout the dark and fallow times where we must retreat and repair ourselves.

Here’s how Leneth and Sanne describe this heart wintering offering:

Wintering Box: deep moments of self-care, reflection and inner expansion

Allow the darker months of Winter to inspire you to turn inwards, find stillness and celebrate all parts of you – the hidden, the raw, and perhaps the unexpected.

This box is filled with reflective practices, nourishing products and a lot of love! You can journey through all of the elements of the box at your own pace and revisit them as often as you like.

Your wintering box contains the following:

  • Your personal invitation to a sacred Wintering gathering (held on January 18th 2022)
  • A deeply restorative yoga practice
  • An immersive nature connection journey
  • A set of botanical ritual candles
  • A delicious grounding aura spray
  • And so much more

One of my favourite items in this gorgeous kit is the gorgeus, and calming stone Selenite that is wonderful to cleanse other stones.

In addition, Selenite, from the Greek word “selene” for “moon” is renowned for a peaceful, soothing energy drains that away negativity and clears blocks to healing. The perfect accompaniment to the Winter season.

I also so deeply cherished the opportunity to sit with the shadows of this season and explore these lessons through the accomanying journal prompts.

Throughout my stay in the Netherlands, I truly purged every single heavy thought that was swirling in my mind, and alongside the candles and soothing Chai Tea, the Wintering Box provided the perfect accompaniment to go deeply into my soul through the support of the rituals I created from the contents of the Wintering box.

white candles with dried flowers on in a brown box
a winter self care box with candles, journal book, white crystal and aura spray
black spray bottle with 'aura spray' text and a white selenite crystal
a chai tea teabag

I’m of course very biased, but I could not recommend Leneth more for her profound capacity for curating enchanted projects that truly nurture hold you in spaces to feel seen, held and nurtured.

After spending SUCH precious days with her last month in the Netherlands she truly is the embodiment of enchantment I seek and I love her so much very.

Coupled with Leneth’s capacity to hold nourishing safe spaces, Sanne’s profound wisdom from her work at The Wild Roots Guide has truly embodied her knowledge on wintering as a season of the soul, and what we can learn from nature about recovery and rest into this box.

Until then, as you wait for your box to be delivered, may you be comforted by these treasured words by Rilke on carving out an intentional cold season in your life:

“Tending my inner garden went splendidly this winter. Suddenly to be healed again and aware that the very ground of my being — my mind and spirit — was given time and space in which to go on growing; and there came from my heart a radiance I had not felt so strongly for a long time.”

R. M. Rilke On ‘Wintering’

Now I want to hear from you. Do you love the Winter period? Or do you struggle as I do?

I would love to hear your thoughts on Wintering, the contents of this box and all the other things related to this soothing season that brings with it a wise reflection on the necessity of rest.

Please leave me all your thoughts in the comments below and I can’t wait to continue the conversation there.

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE THE WINTERING BOX

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Are you looking for more whimsical, enchanted magic?

Each letter features exclusive oracle card readings, a carefully curated giveaway, whimsical enchanted monthly themes, recipes and more intuitive heart offerings.

Each letter features exclusive oracle card readings, a carefully curated giveaway, whimsical enchanted monthly themes, recipes and more intuitive heart offerings.

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♥ ARE YOU ABLE TO SUPPORT MY ENCHANTED LIVING BLOG?♥

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post and for being here. I love and appreciate you beyond words.

Have you found this post enriching or useful in some way? If you are able to, you can buy me a coffee to help support my blog’s running costs. Alternatively, please support my blog by sharing this post with your loved ones, or by signing up for the free Whimsy World Monthly Letter above.

Georgie xoxo is an Enchanted Living blog for those seeking everyday whimsy, with a heart full of wanderlust focusing on travel adventures, pretty crafts, chronic illness and words on finding the meaning in life through wonder and enchantment.

It’s my ultimate hope that there has been something on my blog that has enabled you to travel into the deepest realms of wonder and enchantment so that you can truly feel and embody your own world, and the world around you, that can be filled with more magic than you could possibly imagine. 

By supporting Georgie xoxo on Kofi, you enable me to bring these enchanting ideas and whimsical tales to life. Thank you in abundance for your love and support that is the strength that I use to create impossible things.

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Review Of Marketing Without Social Media Workshop by Leonie Dawson [ad-aff]

Review Of Marketing Without Social Media Workshop by Leonie Dawson [ad-aff]

This blog post contains an affiliate link. It does not cost you as the consumer any more than you would normally pay, but by using my links it allows me to financially continue to be able to make content for you. I only endorse products and services that I genuinely love and that I’m proud to discuss and share with you all.

Last year, Leonie Dawson released her ‘Marketing Without Social Media’ Workshop based on her incredibly bold decision to solely market her business away from social media.

I adore Leonie Dawson at the best of times, but this bold, courageous move made me love her even MORE!

But of course, as someone who has had a hair accessory business for 10 years at Beauxoxo, and told over and over how ‘social media was the best marketing option’, I was SO taken away with Leonie’s courage to step back and take a massive (or what I perceived to be at the time) risk with their business.

Because let’s face it both wading through managing our personal lives and marketing our businesses without social media feels so overwhelming doesn’t it? Our lives seem chained and completely enmeshed in these digital spaces, don’t they?

So, how did Leonie Dawson manage to step back from social media and sustain this abundant business?

Well, Leonie is going to share ALL about their journey and provide you with a vision for marketing away from social media in their ‘Marketing Without Social Media’ Workshop based on Leonie’s incredibly bold decision to solely market a business away from social media. Convinced already? Then, of course, you can head on over and sign up right here. It is just $99 after all!

But does the thought of abandoning social media for your business simply seem too good to be true? Is your mind swirling with doubts and questions about marketing a modern-day business without social media?

Well, allow for this post to be my heartfelt and honest experience of stepping away from social media both on a personal level AND from a business capacity so that you read first-hand how this journey has been for me.

As you read this post, do you have any questions? I also welcome you to ask me ANY and all musings and questions below in the comments on this topic!

Why did Leonie Dawson leave social media?

Let’s firstly start with why Leonie Dawson herself left social media.

In a truly poignant blog post Leonie writes:

6 weeks ago, I decided to try 21 days without social media. At the time I felt like I needed a short break, but I was also incredibly nervous about how I would go.

Here’s what I found though: my life is SO much better without social media. I am happier. More content. More creative. Wildly inspired. More present. I have so much time back – time that can be spent doing things I truly love doing. I have literally felt my brain healing. My heart, my soul, my art: all of it glistens with life again.

I am doing this for my one wild and precious life.

I am doing this because I believe that what is good for my creativity is what is best for my business.

I am doing this because I believe it would be out of integrity for me to market using social media now I know how damaging it is to people’s brains and spirits (not to mention democracy and conspiracies).

I am doing this because my best work has never been on social media. My best work has always, always, always been in blogging, writing books & creating programs. So that’s where I’m remaining. Firmly in my sweet spot.

Leonie Dawson

I literally had chills when I read Leonie’s post because I resonate SO deeply with these words and experiences.

Just like Leonie, who also adores blogging and to write first and foremost, I’ve journaled nearly every single day since childhood and being able to carve out and maintain this daily sacred ritual since 2009, that has proven to be a constant vital tonic during my best and most hardest times, has blessed my life immensely.

Writing to myself every single day in this way, or creating content for my blog, have been the places where I am able to mourn and celebrate and where I am able to listen and receive.

I truly can’t begin to say how much blogging has been my healing balm whilst managing my chronic health conditions and bringing out the mystery of my inner landscape.

For me, there’s nothing more special than taking pen to paper or creating these posts from scratch, and that allows for that deeply cerebral friction of thought to take place. And where the page suddenly expands before me. 

I don’t need to know what will become of my thoughts, I don’t fear that I will be teased and judged for the way I love to paint my imagination onto the page.

I can just surrender to the act of pure flow and then look back and admire the process of becoming who I truly am. And I can keep it forever. All my truths, foibles and discoveries. 

However, as Leonie Dawson suggests in the beautiful post above, attempting to write or create in the same way as blogging or similar on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and TikT-Tok feels more complex.

I want so very deeply to connect with you all more intimately than a thumb-sized image and a quick few lines of a caption.

In addition, I want a digital home that is MINE and mine only.

How did stepping away from social media change my life?

A full post about my experience of stepping away from social media can be found in this stand-alone post where I truly dig deep into the depths of vulnerability to share my entire thoughts and feelings on this journey.

However, in summary, I officially stepped back from social media entirely based on the decision that had landed in my heart back in early 2020 whilst I observed how the spaciousness and serenity that my time travelling had left me feeling.

Without a bombardment of digital connection, I felt even more deeply connected to the whimsy, wonder, and enchantment that both runs through me, and outside of me.

These words are so reflective of how my time stepping away from social media has been. And I’m just going to state this very vulnerably: I’ve never felt so isolated after stepping back from social media. I instantly became alienated and deeply lonely.

This was so fascinating to me because I thrive on silence, I thrive on solitude, and I thrive on aloneness. And yet this emptiness made itself very known to me.

Outside of my relationships changing, I had more time than ever to focus on being human. With that, accepting myself and learning to love myself unconditionally as a flawed and deeply feeling being.

Since stepping back from social media, I stick to the routines that help me feel settled and I practice all of the techniques I have learned that help to soothe me without seeking external validation or noise. 

This includes less distraction as I write my morning pages, buckets of creativity, an abundance of time spent in nature, and a feeling of deep inner peace.

Ultimately, what this experience has taught me is 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 on Instagram and similar.

Overall, 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 it was that reason alone that I just had to leave: to recover the person I always intended to be

I don’t thrive on social media and this experience has taught me that it is my sacred responsibility to always steer my mind, body and soul into places where I feel the love and safety I so desire. 

Moreover, I need to harvest all my strength and energy as a vulnerable person to sail these future periods of time. And for this, I want to remain in love and service for the things that I can bring my gifts to and help as many vulnerable people as I can. This is my dharma.

Ultimately: I dare to be known a little more deeply. Loved for both the great ecstasy of my enchanted heart and the ability to understand that I am also carrying immense grief. I simply cannot find this balance on social media.

How am I marketing my businesses away from social media, and how did this workshop help me?

So of course after unravelling my personal experience of stepping away from social media, since going on this journey, and taking the Marketing Without Social Media Workshop, how have I decided to market my businesses away from social media?

  • My Blog! Like Leonie Dawson, who has been blogging since 2004, I truly believe that blogs are an inexhaustible source of magic in this online landscape and it’s my great passion to help as many people as possible to discover this. So much so that I created an E-Course late last year called ‘The Art Of Blogging’ to celebrate my 12 years of blogging! Remember blogging is YOUR digital home! One where you do NOT have to battle with others for the spotlight you so deserve!
  • My Pinterest: I joined Pinterest when it was truly in its earliest form and I’ve always been blessed with incredible traffic from this platform. I will continue to cherish and nurture this. Do you need some help on your Pinterest journey? This year, I realised my newest E-Course called ‘The Art Of Pinterest.’ Meanwhile, find me on Pinterest here.
  • SEO: I focus heaps of energy on my SEO for my blog and Pinterest also helps tremendously with this. I cover basic SEO in both my online E-Courses but Leonie also does so in her ‘Marketing Without Social Media’ Workshop.
  • Podcasting and Youtube: These are two avenues I wish to bring into my business and I will certainly keep you updated with how I get on!
  • Substack and Patreon: I currently have a newsletter for my blog called ‘Whimsy World’ and I’d now like to create a bonus paid part of these offerings for either Substack or Patreon. If you’d like to follow me on Substack click here and I’m so excited about this journey!
  • I want to be a CREATOR! To bathe myself in all the things I find serenely magical.  To pour myself into art. To allow for music to transcend my being.  It has been this magic, faith, courage and love for myself that were all pieces that I had been searching for my entire life and I can finally grasp it all now I am not chained to social media.

Ultimately, whatever is Evergreen is where you’ll find me!

Bring on the blogs, podcasts, published articles, Youtube channels and similar.

Fundamentally, I always want my online world to be to be filled with long-form, slow-burning platforms that are drenched with people’s sacred callings.

Because with ALL my heart, it’s my great longing that we learn to slow down long enough to see the beauty that is right in front of us. And to me, that’s always done outside of social media.

Will I still post on social media? Occasionally, yes, but it’s not part of my strategy.

Unfortunately, I have found the need to check in every so often because some of my group programmes have sister Facebook groups and on Instagram, I am still working to bring people to my new ventures from the above.

In addition, I felt far less alone when I went through this workshop. You are joined by hundreds of others on a similar path and Leonie’s monthly calls, and the community forum felt so nourishing to me on my own journey with this.

WHAT WILL YOU GET IN LEONIE’S ‘MARKETING WITHOUT SOCIAL MEDIA’ WORKSHOP?’

What does Leonie Dawson’s ‘Marketing Without Social Media’ Workshop give you? In one word: FREEDOM!

I feel completely and utterly FREE from the shackles of social media and algorithms.

I now know that my one and only job is to create truly meaningful content that serves people deeply and that allows me to be able to receive for this service.

This workshop truly revitalised my weary soul. It feels serene beyond words to stop wading through the bombardment of information in relation to keeping up with algorithms and so on. I am free, I am free, I am free.

As a result, my marketing feels like such a JOYFUL process! I truly love marketing now! It feels so aligned and full of ease.

The workshop has given me a million new things to try and dig into that I have never tried before. Not to mention that all of these things are all so thoroughly heart-centred that it will be so wonderful to explore.

Finally, for anyone who has yet to step into Leonie’s world, her teaching style alone is just such an experience in itself!

Leonie has a masterful way of breaking down heaps of swirling information into bite-size manageable pieces that others may even try to sell for $$$$$/££££.

But what if you’re not ready to leave social media? Is this workshop still for you?

Are you still feeling a little unsure if ‘Marketing Without Social Media’ is right for you? Here are some of my favourite features that will hopefully truly help you to make the decision that is best for you and your business:

  • This workshop will really breakdown what marketing actually is, because our modern world truly will convince us it’s ALL about social media marketing, but this couldn’t be further from the truth!
  • This workshop will give you a carefully thought-out exit strategy if you do want to wean your business off social media in a risk-free way. Both personally AND professionally.
  • This workshop will give you guidance on reducing your time on social media whilst still getting results. And if you ultimately decide to leave social media, it will give you the support and guidance to do just that!
  • This workshop will give you options to add other marketing strategies to your business to make it stronger and more sustainable.

Tools I use to help limit or control my time on social media:

Before I bring this post to an end, I wanted to add some tools that truly helped me to limit and control my time on social media that could perhaps meet you where you are as you step on this pathway to social media freedom:

BlockSite: I think this is one of the tools that Leonie does actually mention in the workshop however it’s so wonderful that I wanted to mention it here as well. This is your standard ‘block websites’ that are distracting sort of app and a wonderful starting place on your journey to controlling or limiting your time on social media. There is either a free or paid version and I personally find the free version wonderful alone. I particularly like their ‘Pomodoro timer’ focus sessions that not only block websites that I find distracting but also remind me when I need to take a break.

UnHook: Is Youtube social media? No, I don’t think it is exactly and would put it in the same category of other slow-burning social media platforms like Blogging, Pinterest and Podcasts (by the way, I teach about the difference between slow-burning and fast-burning platforms in my E-Course called ‘The Art Of Pinterest’). It is, however, incredibly distracting! So, I have found something very special in UnHook, a browser extension that eliminates distractions on YouTube, including the recommended sidebar, endscreen video suggestions, user comments, homepage related videos feed, trending tab, turn off autoplay or annotations, and more. I literally open Youtube to a blank screen and then joyfully select what videos I truly want to watch from my Subscription tab. SO highly recommended!

News Feed Eradicator: This incredible tool removes all of the social media noise by replacing your entire news feed with an inspiring quote. Better still, you can still use the other functions, as usual, however, it eliminates the fact that you will get sucked into the attention hole. I have found this such a blessing as I navigate these websites. I can now choose where my attention will go as I sit down at my screen. Through doing so, I come to these websites with far more attention AND intention of what I will be doing on them.

Finally, dearest soul, have you ever let this Mary Oliver quote truly sink deep into your bones?

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”

– Mary Oliver

Wherever you are on your personal or business relationship to social media right now precious soul please remember this above all: Growing and marketing your business should NOT sacrifice your one and wild precious life!

Yes, that’s right, it should not cost you at any level.

It should not cost you your joy, your self-esteem, your hobbies and your wildly precious time.

I truly and passionately believe that we need to start looking into the multitude of options we have for a nourishing personal and business life.

Imagine the ease you would feel without sacrificing your one and wild precious life spinning ALL of the plates on social media?!

And what if it’s possible and more profitable too?

If my experience with stepping away from social media has taught me anything it that’s we all so hungry for a different way to do business.

If anything from this post has spoken to your soul, I truly couldn’t recommend the ‘Marketing Without Social Media’ Workshop more to free up your life for ALL the online ease you so desire and SO deserve!

Do you have any questions about my digital detox journey, and also, any questions about this workshop? It will be an honour to chat deeply in the comments.

Click here to purchase the Marketing Without Social Media Workshop by Leonie Dawson

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Dreamy Moons 2022 Year Of Growth Book and My Word Of The Year Simplicity For 2022

Dreamy Moons 2022 Year Of Growth Book and My Word Of The Year Simplicity For 2022

Dear enchanted ones, Happy New Year! How are you settling into 2022? I’d love to hear all about your wishes and desires for this year in the comments below this post.

Are you still in search of the perfect journal? If so, let me introduce you to the 2022 Year Of Growth Book by Annie Tarasova that she created for her stunning brand Dreamy Moons.

In 2020 I absolutely loved using the Lavendaire Artist Of Life Workbook that you can read my review of right here, however, in 2021 I switched to the 2021 Year Of Growth Book as I really desired both reflection and a space for unravelling the tapestry of all my creative ideas.

For 2020 I have found such a sanctuary of peace and deepest creative introspection within the pages of the 2020 Artist Of Life Workbook by Lavendaire.

Journaling is one of my most sacred rituals. It never ceases to amaze me how my inner wisdom will always pour onto the page in front of me.

For me, there’s nothing more special than taking pen to paper that allows for that deeply cerebral friction of thought to take place. And where the page suddenly expands before me. 

I don’t need to know what will become of my thoughts, I don’t fear that I will be teased and judged for the way I love to paint my imagination onto the page.

In particular, the 2022 Year Of Growth Book really makes space for my imagination to come alive on the page.

Through using the 2021 Year Of Growth Book, I love that daily I could just surrender to the act of pure flow and then look back and admire the process of becoming who I truly am. And I can keep it forever. All my truths, foibles and discoveries. 

So, let’s dig into the 2022 Year Of Growth Book and I’ll also reveal how I am being guided by Simplicity as my word of the year for 2022.

a black journal with gold embossed detail with text that reads 2022 year of growth book

A Look Inside The 2022 Year Of Growth Book

Although you’ll receive blog post review on your device of choice, I’d love for you to imagine that you’re caressing this journal unboxing with me.

When you receive this journal you unbox it from a beautiful white cardboard box full of Annie’s signature celestial design.

I adore the enclosed card with a note from Annie herself that truly makes you feel special and cherished by her and the whole Dreamy Moons team. I love that although Annie is so incredibly successful, she still fills her orders with so much intimacy.

You then hold the soft cotton black book in your hands and immediately I’m in awe of the gold bound at the edge of the pages and the black silky ribbon bookmark.

The Year Of Growth book is a truly opulent diary that feels like a truly luxurious ceremonial ritual to write in each day.

Having said that, I have only had the journal for a few months and you can already see from the photos that the cotton fabric has become marked despite it just living on my bedside table.

In terms of features, the 2022 version of the Year Of Growth Book is very concentrated on astrology and Full and New Moon reflections.

Of the 2022 release, Dreamy Moons describe this journal as:

“A diary with a focus on mindfulness, astrology, gratitude, intention setting, self-reflection, creativity and personal growth. It’s a thick, heavy book for every day journaling that will patiently wait for you on your bedside table or desk. Think of this book as a time capsule of who you are at this moment a time. A keepsake to look back on years in the future.”

The full feature list is as follows:

✦ Lunar phases calendar (both hemispheres)
✦ Celestial events
✦ Moon rituals and self-love ideas

✦ Full Moon and New Moon journaling
✦ Week per spread layout
 Weekly & monthly self-reflection prompts
 Weekly & monthly intention setting spaces
✦ Weekly affirmations
✦ Monthly overview

In comparison to the 2021 Year Of Growth, I truly love the greater space to plan your intentions and the detailed New Moon and Full Moon prompts that truly feel embodied for that particular season which is powerful to reflect and look back on.

I also love in many ways that, as someone who has journaled nearly every single day since childhood, there is truly more space to write your musings and to carve out your thoughts.

Writing to myself every single day in this way has been where I am able to mourn and celebrate and where I am able to listen and receive. I love the spaciousness I have with this 2022 design.

However, I do deeply miss the creative prompts that were present in the 2021 Year Of Growth journal.

The 2022 Year Of Growth journal has not kept the space for sketching or any creative journaling and I find myself missing that an awful lot.

Having said that, perhaps this will prompt me to start a separate 2022 art journal, so I’ll certainly let you know if I decide to do this!

Overall, I do prefer the 2021 Year Of Growth journal because the creative journaling feature was such an important part for me.

Nevertheless, Dreamy Moons have a plethora of gorgeous journals for the creative soul and it might be that I pair it with something else that can help to bring out my creative inner-world in more depth.

My Word Of The Year For 2022: Simplicity

“I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.”

~ Lao Tzu

For 2022 I am going to go on a journey with the word ‘Simplicity’.

And of course precious ones, I’m going to take you on this intimate journey with me through my blog (but especially through my monthly letters that you can sign up to for free either above or below this blog post).

In this increasingly complex world, simplicity is a luxury, don’t you agree?

My own reason for choosing Simplicity for 2022 was inspired by my current difficulties maintaining the intensity and complexity of my health flares.

Whilst I held tightly onto courage in 2021 to be my beacon of inner-strength to soothe these flares, with less movement came more vulnerability and thus I was naturally primed to find out a lot more about who I am and what I needed in those moments.

As you may already know, I hold the word of my year that I will journey with great reverence and adore to really dig deep into the soil of the multitude of layers it has. 

So, just last week when I spent all week at the hospital for some of my annual tests, I listened to the first of my collected books on the subject of Simplicity in the many waiting rooms called ‘The Laws of Simplicity’ by John Maeda. 

Maeda outlines that there are 10 laws in total in regards to Simplicity that I broke down in my sister monthly email called ‘Muse Mail’ for soulpreneurs who seek to dedicate their gifts to blogging (if this if you, and you’d like to sign up you can do so for free here!). 

Now, the first 9 laws Maeda sets out are probably things that you already think of when it comes to Simplicity that includes reduction, organisation, time, learning and so on. 

Ultimately, I’m not entering into a path of Simplicity to endlessly subtract things.

Of course, there are many things that do need to be thoughtfully composted as an essential process of simplifying and refining the things that are heavy on the mind, body and soul. 

However, it was the 10th law that had the greatest significance for me: “Subtract the obvious, add the meaningful.”

Isn’t that just so beautiful? And isn’t that what you’re ultimately here to experience on your enchanted path too? To seek a life that is laced with simplicity, meaning and significance?

Sinking deeper into this portal of simplicity gifting us with a greater sense of meaning, I was then reminded of one of my most profound reads of all time: ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ by Viktor E Frankl. 

In this breathtaking work, Frankl tells his story of surviving a concentration camp and how this experience led to his theory on the importance of meaning in one’s life (Logotherapy). 

Frankl muses that we all have the potential to experience meaning under any and every circumstance. In addition, he believes that humans have both freedom and responsibility to bring forth their best possible selves by realising the meaning of the moment in every situation. 

This is echoed by Sharon Blackie who, in her seminal book, ‘The Enchanted Life’ states that an enchanted life is one made up of “heart and meaning.” 

However, the focus of my efforts towards simplicity this year is to call back all threads of myself that have been lost to complexity over the years. Through doing so, I desire to plant a garden around me and within me, that is truly focussed on giving true value, service, love, compassion and meaning to all I do.

Including my blog. Due to the complexity of my health, I truly struggled to stay afloat last year and thus my content creation suffered.

As I step into 2022, I feel truly revitalised to bring you more meaning here than ever. Is there anything you’d like to see in particular?

I hope you enjoyed this review of the 2022 Year Of Growth Book. To those that already have it, how do you love to document your own year of growth within the pages?

If you have found yourself with a different journal this year, what is it, and what do you love most about it?

As I bring this review of the Year Of Growth Book journal to an end, I just want to thank you so very deeply for all your love and friendship in this space. I am beyond grateful to you and it’s impossible how to encapsulate this gratitude in words.

In addition, being vulnerable enough to share my heart here means so very much.

Would you like to receive more of this? If you would like to heart-riff with me and hear more of my thoughts and words I would be honoured to connect via my Whimsy World Monthly Letter. You can sign up directly from above this blog post or below it. It would be so wonderful to have you.

Until then, I’m wishing you a year ahead full of love, blessings and space for honouring yourself deeply always.

When you stargaze tonight or look ahead into the new day or year ahead of you, it’s worth highlighting the timeless words of Eleanor Roosevelt who once said:

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

May your 2022 bring you all the magic, whimsy and enchantment that you already have within you.

I hope in turn that these magical elements can rebirth you and sustain you through these times.

And may you share it with the world and shine your light evermore brightly.

With love and infinite blessings,
Georgie xoxo

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE THE 2022 YEAR OF GROWTH

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♥ Are you able to support my Enchanted Living Blog?♥

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post and for being here. I love and appreciate you beyond words.

Have you found this post enriching or useful in some way? If you are able to, you can buy me a coffee to help support my blog’s running costs.  Alternatively, please support my blog by sharing this post with your loved ones, or by signing up for the free Whimsy World Monthly Letter above or below this blog post.

Georgie xoxo is an Enchanted Living blog for those seeking everyday whimsy, with a heart full of wanderlust focusing on travel adventures, pretty crafts, chronic illness and words on finding the meaning in life through wonder and enchantment.

It’s my ultimate hope that there has been something on my blog that has enabled you to travel into the deepest realms of wonder and enchantment so that you can truly feel and embody your own world, and the world around you, that can be filled with more magic than you could possibly imagine. 

By supporting Georgie xoxo on Kofi, you enable me to bring these enchanting ideas and whimsical tales to life. Thank you in abundance for your love and support that is the strength that I use to create impossible things.

SUPPORT GEORGIE XOXO ON KOFI HERE

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Enchanted Christmas Gift Guide: For The Love Of Words and The Language Of Enchantment

Enchanted Christmas Gift Guide: For The Love Of Words and The Language Of Enchantment

Dear Enchanted Ones,

Today I bring you my first Enchanted Christmas Gift Guide for 2021 titled, ‘For The Love Of Words and The Language of Enchantment’ that is a fusion of the language of Enchantment and Etymology.

This gift guide comes straight from my enchanted e-letter community called ‘Whimsy World’ that you can sign up to either above this post or below.

Because Etymology (the study of the history of words) is one of my great passions in life. 

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, 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. 

Ultimately, learning Etymology, and reveling in, and restoring the true meaning of words is 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, “Enchantment”, through Etymology. 

Well, the word “enchant” was first used in 1374, with a meaning of “influence” or “delude”. Three years later, the literal meaning of “put under a spell” came to be.

The word enchantment originates from Old French “enchanter”, which comes from Latin “incantare”, which again, means “to consecrate with spells, to charm, to bewitch, to ensorcel”, and forms the basis of the word “enchant.” The word later has become “incantation” in English.

But here’s where the mysticism of Etymology deepens. For, we can then separate “incantare” into the prefix “in, which meant “upon”, and the root “cantare”, which means “to sing”. 

And so, as we revel in the history of “enchant” we can understand it with new meaning: that sometimes songs can be so beautiful that they enchant you. 

In this video here, Sharon Blackie too digs into the Etymology of Enchantment and concludes therefore that the enchanted life is thus the process of “singing ourselves back into the world.” How beautiful?! 

However, I don’t believe that we should leave behind the magical roots of the word “enchant”. For words as a driving force of creation are steeped in magic (and we must reclaim this word in its raw essence itself).

Etymology 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. 

Ultimately, no matter our background, beliefs, or background, 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, dear enchanted ones, let us devote ourselves to language and remember that words are the enchanted songs of the Earth.

For remember that the world is alive with the songs of enchantment to the crackling of singing ice, to the fiery lava of volcanoes to the dawn chorus of birdsong that is their signal to the Earth that have made it to another new day to live out every inch of their aliveness. 

Here are some starting points for either yourself one, or your beloveds who love words and language just as much as you do.

FRENCH IS BEAUTIFUL E-COURSES

To me, French will always be a language I adore above them all. In fact, there’s not a day that I don’t listen to French music, or immerse myself in the silkiness of the language in some way. And I just adore breaking apart the language like a warm flaky croissant (not that I know what’s like with a dairy allergy, mind you haha).

For example, ‘I miss you’ is ‘tu me manques’ and that translates to ‘you are missing to me’ and….oh. Just oh. Such beauty. Because that’s truly how I feel during the time I’ve been parted from France and my friends there. I truly feel they are missing from my soul and I so long to be reunited with them.

Someone who is filling my life with all the things I cherish about France, the French Language, and culture is French Is Beautiful.

Originally conceived as a chic online language school for inspired (and inspiring!) Francophiles by founder Carrie Anne James, French is Beautiful’s offerings have developed alongside Carrie Anne’s life in France. It now includes courses on French culture and the art of living (the art of living).

Carrie Anne’s teachings are infused with her passion for French philosophy, poetry, style, literature, cuisine, wine, music, film, art, and well-being. I couldn’t think of a more merveilleux way to bring this Whimsy World to a close!

Click here to follow French Is Beautiful 

POETIC SOUL HEALER E-COURSES

Enchanted ones, do you remember how in the October letter I told you about my dear friend Yolanda who helped to re-shape the name of this offering from ‘Whimsy Wednesday’ to ‘Whimsy World’?

Well, the reason I wanted to mention Yolanda in this letter to you is that I wanted to remind you that she truly is THE Queen of words. With no question! And so, if you did enjoy October’s Etymology special dear you, I would love to share more details of Yolanda’s cosmic offerings here for you.

Because you see, whereas I orbit around on my whimsical fairytale esque Earthly realm, to know and work with Yolanda is to journey into the expansive sky rolled out before you and right into the Cosmos.

With all my heart cherished one, to experience the grandeur of what Yolanda knows is to truly embody the art of celebration, courage, and love in whatever ways you seek it.

Perhaps you want to carve out your word of the year for 2022, perhaps you seek to be guided to write your own destiny, or maybe you just want to explore what it is to dive into your full humanness through the spoken and written word.

Either way, head here to explore Poetic Soul Writing Workshops or the artistry of Journaling. And because it’s my birthday letter, I’m sure Yolanda won’t mind me directing you to her beautiful free poetry and affirmation gifts right here!

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE YOLANDA’S COURSES

FLEUR LA BELLE WRITING SET

Dearest enchanted one, now although you’ll receive this letter on your device of choice, I’d love for you to imagine that you’re caressing the silky pages of my favourite Japanese writing set and notice the smudged navy ink that’s been sealed with a velvet ribbon and the scent of rose petals.

Now, perhaps that’s too wonderful to imagine but what if I could actually guide you somewhere where you can get a taste of this beauty?

Well, to grace, elegance, and enchantment in a human being may I once again introduce you to Princess Fleur La Belle my beautiful sister, darling friend and my true Muse, Shirley Ann. 

Just this Monday, Shirley has released her free collection of Monogrammed writing sheets with envelope liners, gift tags, place settings, thank you cards, menu cards, and multi-purpose rose paper to wrap gifts with, cover books, line drawers, create perfumed sachets, or for candles.

Every initial is catered for so you can adorn and celebrate your life with these treasures. And to all you love! So, I hope you imagine this letter to you being composed with my ‘G’ writing set!

Shirley’s world is truly home to my spirit. So I know it will be home to yours too if you share even the slightest bit of affection for a life of enchantment.  

It is a world of freedom with wings for all those, that like me, want to step into a land of beauty, art, love, joy, wonder and magic.

Once you enter Shirley’s world, she will cherish you as the divine being you are, and stand in the fire with you if that is what it takes for you to witness this. I SO hope you love Shirley’s world as much as I adore and cherish the blessings she brings to mine each day.

Click here to receive your treasured gifts from Shirley

JAPONISME BY ERIN NIIMI LONGHURST

If there was a language that was just FULL of the beauty of the untranslatable at work then it’s Japanese. 

As some of you know during my time at Beauxoxo, I managed to achieve my dream of launching into boutiques across Japan as I’ve always been besotted with Japanese fashion and style.

This project was supported by some government funding I received from an organisation called UKTI. As a result of this funding, I studied Japanese intensely for a few years so that I was able to negotiate the business deals I created in Japan. 

I was very fortunate that one of my dearest friends lived in Tokyo and she was the only person I communicated to in Japanese outside of my lessons.

Tragically my friend Naomi tragically passed away in 2019 and her death leaves my heart still very broken. She was one of my sisters, and the kindest, most supportive, most loving Earth Angel my life has known. 

Naomi taught me SO many breathtaking Japanese words and oh how I long to have her back with me teaching me more. However, one word that has had reverence in my grief is this word she once taught me: “wabi-sabi”.

At its core, “wabi-sabi” is an acceptance of death through the acceptance of the cycle of growth, decay, and death that is the natural order of all living things.

To seep the meaning of “wabi-sabi” into your mind and heart is to be at peace with the transience of everything. So, when your mind is quiet and accepting, you take pleasure in objects and situations that display impermanence and imperfection. And when your heart accepts impermanence, you can live modestly, simply, so that your focus is on being rather than doing.

For more breathtaking Japanese words this is a stunning article right here. Meanwhile, for a gorgeous book to infuse your life with the profound healing of the Japanese language, ‘Japonisme’ by Erin Miimi Longhurst has a special place in my heart.

Click here to purchase  

2022 AURALIGN ASTROLOGY PLANNER

I’ve been keeping track of the moon’s phases for my journaling for a very long time now, and I love how intimately they affect me and what flows through.

For when you tap into the moon’s energy and flow with it, your writing and creative work are sure to be elevated.

Someone whose journal Moon prompts I adore is one of my favourite Youtube channels: Alina Alive.

Alina is the creator of The Auralign Planner, which aims to help motivate those who already respect nature and the stars, to stay more connected to it while manifesting their goals.

Through Alina’s stunning mission, she hopes to inspire you to stay connected with Mother Earth and the cosmos while getting aligned with your greater purpose. 

On Alina’s channel, you’ll find Moon meditations, journal prompts and so much more from her passion for holistic health and astrology. I hope you enjoy her gorgeous videos as much as I do!

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE THE 2022 AURALIGN ASTROLOGY PLANNER

THE ART OF BLOGGING E-COURSE

Are you ready to unlock your dreams and master The Art Of Blogging so that you can leave your treasured footprints on Earth? 

Because here’s the thing precious one: your unique words and language, your magic, your heart, your gifts, your talents, and the impact you’re here to make it is all the sacred embodiment of the unique expression of Nature that you are. You’re a one-of-a-lifetime masterpiece!

And so, this summer, I sat down to celebrate my 12 years of blogging and bringing my beloved handmade hair accessory business, Beauxoxo, to the world to create my very first E-Course called The Art Of Blogging so that I can help you bring forth your creative treasures to a blog.

Last month I exclusively launched it to you for the pre-sale and now the whole world knows. Because with ALL my heart, it’s my great longing that we learn to slow down long enough to see the beauty that is right in front of us. And to me, that’s always blogging.

I’m delighted to announce that this is just the start of my E-Course adventures. I’m so excited to dabble next in teaching you all about embodying enchantment.

Until then, if you know any budding bloggers to be who identify as a Creatrix or Soulpreneur in particular, I’d so appreciate you forwarding the details for this E-Course!

Click here to sign up for The Art Of Blogging E-Course

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Is there anything else you’re going to either treat yourself to or a loved one from this Enchanted Living ‘For The Love of Word’ Gift Guide? Please show every single one all your support in any way you can.

Wishing you a beautiful festive season full of all the traditions and things that you hold dear.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE WHIMSICAL ARTISANS AND SMALL BUSINESSES ON GEORGIE XOXO

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A Birthday Letter To Myself 2021 Edition and What Courage Has Taught Me

A Birthday Letter To Myself 2021 Edition and What Courage Has Taught Me

Every single year on my birthday on the 27th November, I write myself a letter from older me to younger me. This year, I journeyed with my word of the year ‘courage’ and here I pour onto the page all the wisdom it has taught me straight from my personal journals. If you enjoy these explorations, I write exclusive monthly letters to my enchanted living community called ‘Whimsy World’ and I would be so deeply honoured to have you on my journey. You can sign up above this post or below. Meanwhile, there will truly never be words that fully sum up just how thankful I am to you for receiving this letter in your heart. Your support, encouragement, and friendship mean so very much to me and I celebrate this honour of writing to you in these letters so deeply. With love and infinite blessings, Georgie xoxo

Dear Younger Georgie,

As you celebrate another year around the Sun, let me hold our tender spirit and journey back on a year of evolution and embodiment of reclamation through our word of the year ‘courage.’

As Brene Brown says: “Courage is a heart word. The root of the word courage is cor – the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage meant “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.” 

Whilst the World tells us ‘courage’ is synonymous is bravery or heroic, here comes great profound historic wisdom that shows that it is no doubt that what is within our hearts is what we can think of as “ordinary courage.”

So, each day, we set to write to this courage deep in the heart. To dig deep into the layers of what it means to live a courageous life and uncover the richness of this word. 

We started to ask ourselves: How can courage comfort us? How can courage expand us? What would courage do in this situation? How can cultivating courage strengthen our trust to surrender and to bring us with grace into the next thing that wants to flow?

Although it’s been a full year of journeying with courage, there are still so many layers and textures to this word that we just don’t know yet, and I expect we will continue to unravel these layers and journey with what it means to be courageous for the rest of our lives.

However, I think what we know for sure from 2021 is that, in many ways, to paint a life of courage is to pour liquid gold into every thread of our being, and to be more in tune with the whispers from the heart with everything we do. 

For the heart pumps and flows blood around the body and without it we wouldn’t survive. 

Moreover, Granny lived with a serious heart condition for most of her life, and even though when she passed last year a part of us went with her, we should still be sure that part of what it means to live a courageous life means that we are always holding her heart nestled close to ours. 

And thus, ultimately, it’s imperative that we look after our heart with everything we have so that hers will always have a safe place to rest.

Our first test of courage in our year around the sun came with the arrival of the bitterness of an early 2021 Winter. 

The bitter icy crust of the season swirled through our physical body with its usual fervency and expected intensity, and we allowed for the courage we sought to craft this year to hold us in the rest needed and gave ourselves permission to go slowly.

And then came a bitterness of a different metaphorical kind where deep reservoirs of shame tore through our heart and soul. And like the Hedgehogs we’ve come to so deeply cherish and nurture, we curled up against the internal and external bitterness and made a nest to hibernate deeply alone. 

Sinking deeper into isolation, and truthfully, self-hatred, we cruelly cursed ourselves for unraveling all of the inner and outer nourishment we finally discovered last year.

And thus, rather than bathing ourselves in self-compassion and self-love in these moments of great urgency where, of course, these soul nutrients were so essential, here we were, drinking daily the poison of shame that was never ours to hold and allowing for it to nestle into every single crevice of our mind, body, and soul.

At this moment we truly thought the courageous journey was over. For the cocoon had truly become crystallised and had become our everything as it always does. Our greatest safety. The space that we feel most nourished in. And yet, what is courageous about wanting to hide away all the time?

With the arrival of the sweetness of Spring, here we were, still deeply ensconced in this self-made cocoon, clinging tightly to the silky softness that surrounded us, refusing to let go because let’s face it, this has always been like honey to the bee for us.

Sinking deeper and deeper into isolation through both self-cocooning and shielding as a vulnerable person in a global pandemic, courage beckoned us with her whispers and gently led us down an unexpected path of self-discovery.

For, with few people we could see, and far fewer places we could go, it meant that we were ideally primed and prone to giving ourselves the greatest courageous challenge of all: To go on a journey of finding out a lot more about who we really were and what we really needed in this life. 

The first whisper and stepping stone on this courageous journey led me to us being guided to step back from social media.

We have always longed to be free of the shackles of these apps but equally held the very real fear of disconnection and abandonment from the world that had stopped us before as a multi-chronically ill being.

But we would tread gently: We would give this experiment 30 days and 30 nights and write daily about the experience as we surrendered to the act of pure flow of the cerebral friction of pen to paper and then look back and admire the process of becoming who we truly are. And then can keep it forever. For all our deepest truths, foibles, and discoveries along this path.

From the earliest days of our time away from a world with Instagram and Facebook, we learned to lean into the routines that helped us to feel settled and practiced all of the techniques we learned last year that could help to soothe us. 

So, we spent our days alchemising pain by having the courage to truly feel it, and by also bathing ourselves in all the things we always find serenely magical.  

To pour ourselves into art. To allow for music to transcend our being. To devote all our love to the birds and wildlife that surrounds us.

As time went on, once we were a month into our time away from social media we could really critically evaluate whether we, as fragile human beings, are simply built to be bombarded with so many different expressions of what it is to be human in any given day. Or to witness the copious ways of what it is to believe or to be alive. Isn’t this ultimately just too much for anyone to hold?

We soon realised that we dare to be known a little more deeply. Loved for both the great ecstasy of our enchanted heart and also to be loved by those who understand that we are also carrying immense grief.

The one-month experiment went from the intended one month to two effortlessly and before we knew it, here we were, nine months in with no desire to return to the digital world. Instead, we decided to stick to the routines that were helping us to feel so settled without seeking external validation or noise from the digital world.

Outside of healing a different sort of loneliness of the loss of some relationships and work opportunities changing with our time away from social media, we had more time than ever to focus on being human. And with this, to truly cherish the angels in our life who radiate their love to us in a myriad of indescribably magical ways that could never be encapsulated into words.

Moreover, we needed to hold onto the pearls of faith and trust from within, and accepting ourselves deeply for what was changing and being revealed within, and to love ourselves unconditionally as a flawed, feeling human, dealing with a period of transition in the best ways that any of us can. 

This pathway courage took us down illuminated how uncomfortable, and yet how deeply needed this portal of self-discovery was as we learned to heal from feeling abandoned at our true core when we 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 in the digital landscape. 

Ultimately: By stepping back from social media we have recovered the person we were always intended to be. Just for us. Tears flow and flow and flow. Please realise how much of a deeply precious gift this is.

Furthermore, as a result of the above, we are now able to embody whimsy, wonder, and enchantment more deeply than ever before, and we continue to pour onto the online and offline spaces where it is wholly safe to show up just as we were divinely made.

May we remember to always place ourselves into places where we can thrive. When we are broken, allow us to question these environments and then allow for personal autonomy to remove ourselves. Let us remember to have a reverence for life and ourselves at all times.

In addition, we are also able to redirect this as fuel for deeper love and creativity in all we do. To be of love and service to the world with our wisdom and our journey. And above all: we have finally learned how to place our soul in our own hands.

How grateful we have been for this period of time where courage truly held us as we dug deep into the soil of the wounds we had, and how blessed we are to have had this period of deep introspection when we needed it most.

The beauty and serenity of late-Spring washed over us like a tender flower, and yet, a deep Prolactinoma and Gastroparesis flare cast a spell on us and left us bed-bound for the remainder of the season that continued to drift into the Summer.

The smog of grief and sadness of 2019 with haunting painful Prolactinoma flashbacks surrendered us in all the ways we feared it would. 

As a result, it then meant that these sweetest Spring days were spent feeling tormented, bewildered, lost, and deeply, deeply alone. 

Unable to work, to write, to type, or to use screens, our mind paced around and we pondered on these questions on a loop: What are we going to do now? What is to become of us and this swirling sea of creativity that we want to gift to the world? Could we have prevented this? Did we bring this on ourselves?

During this time, courage whispered a new path for us to discover: to allow for our imagination to make us feel refreshed, revitalised, and ready for each new day that greeted us where the blossom of our Spring tree-ripened into the abundant juicy fruits of Summer that we continued to wish would fuel the courage in our heart with the hopes, wishes, dreams, and opportunities that these seasons promise.

Through it all, we remembered the greatest lesson from battling that 2019 year: That feeling is alchemy and that these feelings that we expel can be the medicine that flows into our veins as the divine truth within your spirit. If only we have the courage and patience to be with it all.

Life was gently illuminating to us that hour after hour, and day after day, that our only work was to just be a vessel of receptivity that could let this period of time, and these courageous lessons nourish, restore, recalibrate and awaken our whole being.

Whilst we still of course took the time to sit with the grief of these flares we also allowed ourselves to embody our innate inner-magic that is our greatest source of personal solace.

To learn to memorise the sweet symphony of bird songs, to ask for help from those who love us, to escape into audiobooks, and to allow for the magic of curiosity to hold me with everything that came my way even, if, at times, I felt becalmed to constantly study this new way of being.

However, much like the first blossom that we glimpsed from our window, we sought to remind ourselves that each and every day something new from the day that has been, will then surely bloom into their next magnificent stage of being. And that as a mirror of Nature, that we are not separate from this. 

With this, it really opened our hearts and mind to the fact that we will bloom when the time is right for us. Whilst the World seemingly opened up worldwide, here we were, in another forced lockdown of my own.

And yet, courage guided us one day at a time that we were still growing and blossoming in the most tender and gentle of ways these symbols from Nature were our constant reminder on our hardest days. 

The ripened fruit of Summer had inspired and filled our soul with all the nourishment we needed to forage and store ideas for a series of Evergreen courses that could sustain us as we journeyed this period of the unknown with our health and work.

Birthed in the early Autumn, these e-courses would now guide creative Creatrix souls to start their own blogs and unique path of sacred creativity. 

Together, we learned the value of stewardship and the resourcefulness of Nature that had truly washed over us from the seasons before. And we celebrate the profound beauty of the opportunity to cradle and witness those led to these treasured blogging creations where they can now allow for their own hearts to crack open with the reverent beauty of the stories and wisdom they hold.

On our least hazy days, we started a butterfly garden as a gentle recovery project to be nurtured as deeply as the garden birds. Placing butterfly feeders around the garden we then held onto hope that they would come. And like magic they appeared. 

To quietly sit and watch these majestic creations felt indescribably special as they delicately sipped the sweetness of the nectar we had made for them and how they majestically weaved themselves from one flower to the next.

If life couldn’t gift us with even more magic, the late Summer greeted us with Hedgehogs that floated through the fiery orange leaves beneath the bird cafe and who have now made the garden their beloved base. Caring for them was the final jigsaw piece that welded together all our broken pieces.

In essence, the Spring and Summer taught us the power of continually seeking to be immersed in the sacred moments of the now, intuiting all that is sublime for us, and where we can remain open to the precious healing and magical significance of this very moment in time. 

And now here we are in the Autumn and, for the first time in two years, we are set to quester into yet another pathway of courage as we tentatively pack our great comforts up and adventure to our beloved base of The Netherlands. 

After all the trials, the tribulations, the sorrow, the grief, the pain, the frustration of the past few seasons, doesn’t stepping onto this particular path of courage just feel utterly miraculous? 

Without a doubt, here’s what this year around the Sun has shown us so clearly: That there are truly innumerable rewards for a life steeped in courage.

For each and every pathway of our courageous journey has given us the blessed opportunities to grow and experience all the richness and meaning this human existence has to offer.

Next year the call for Simplicity is calling us so profoundly and let us waste no time in, together, sinking our soul deep into its wisdom.

But until then, let us always remember of this journey around the Sun that: ‘We built a home of courage inside our heart where we have everything we need and more.’ 

May we truly cherish the grand unveiling of the secret courage that has always been in our heart space waiting to be explored and made manifest. 

Moreover, in those disenchanted moments where we cannot hear our courage roar immediately, may we also be reminded of all the ways we can ignite some magic within ourselves, and that we can always drown out the unwanted noise of life so that we can always taste the rapture and awe around us in whatever ways we are able to craft it from what we are given.

I’m so deeply grateful for this year of partnering with courage with you as a portal and quester into both human possibility in general and all the ways we sought it the most.

Now, younger Georgie, your one job is to try your hardest each and every single day to remember these courageous lessons and to always be in the most loving stewardship of your own being no matter what the days greet you with. 

Please regularly slow down to taste the daily sweetness of life’s everyday heartbeat, start already to chase simplicity over complexity, compose a melody of all the things you find serenely moving, beautiful or comforting, and always be sure to delve into everything that makes you celebrate your very aliveness.

Above all: Take care of us. Take care of our heart(s). Take care of our spirit. Take care of our body. Take care of our mind. Take care of the hearts of those you so adore. Take care of the Earth. Take Care of every living thing. For we are all fragile living things exploring what it means to be human and on our own unique courageous pathways. 

However, as well as the above, just know how wholly important it is to be you.

Don’t forever feel like a hermit who needs to float away in your unconscious when external life gets tough and make others wade through the mist to find you. It is safe to be seen, held, and loved in your own light, and also to share the tenderness of your inner world with others.

So, let’s please promise each other that we will never ever drink the poison of anyone again who tries to mold you to fit their ideal. Shame erodes the soul, yes, but only if you allow it to without checking in to bathe the wounds with love from time to time.

Just like those you cherish so much, you were also born as the magnificent being you were intended to be. It’s time to stop fighting that and remember this year’s courageous path to always seek the company of those who love you for the authentic essence you possess and then find all the ways to radiate that love and faith back out into the world as pearls of grace.

Holding you so very close,

Older Georgie xoxo

a birthday letter to myself

PIN ME FOR LATER….

a birthday letter from myself to myself

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