Dear enchanted one,
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.
After you listen to this episode, 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.
🧚♀️ In this wonder-filled episode I suggested the following prompts that are as follows:
- What is your own story?
- What is the golden thread of your story?
- What are your learnings?
- How can these learnings serve or help others?
- What has been your own pathway to enchantment?
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 to georgiexoxo.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 one,
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.”Victoria Erickson
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”Caroline Myss
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.”Sharon Blackie
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.