Van life: a journey in patience & gratitude

Van life: a journey in patience & gratitude

The Van roof went back on last night. Today is the second day of glorious sunshine that has been forecasted for this week and I am glowing. Vitamin D will be my go to this winter, as I adjust to winter again after 12 months.

Mystery the magick van 1

Mystery the magick van 1

Hopefully today it will all be sealed up so if there’s any moisture the rest of the week I can breathe easy. It’s been almost 2 weeks to get this work done: lift the roof, remove the old seals, trims, screws and all the flakey crunchy rusty bits. We treated it with a rust killing acid that turns the sandwitchy rust black. It’s really cool process – that’s science folks.

It’s been an emotional journey too. Restoring my van while living in it – every blog I’ve read says “things I’d never do again: live in a van while restoring it!” And now I believe them. However it’s really given me the perspective that – this is my house, I’m restoring my house. Sure the last two weeks it’s been like living in a tent – with a foot gap between the roof and the body of the van and a flappy tarpaulin keeping the rain out. My thanks and gratitude goes out to a warm sleeping bag and blow up camping mattress, my amazing immune system and crystallised ginger, hot tea and kombucha! Next up patching the tiny holes that we uncovered after stripping away the flakey rust, and putting the windscreen back in with a new seal. Oh to be wind proof and a little more vaguely air tight again. It’s exciting.

Mystery the magick van 2

Mystery the magick van 2

 

Over the weekend I went to a monthly witches “Cauldron” a coffee meet-up with a focus on trees. It was so wonderful to talk again about our connections to nature. Asking permission to work with leaves, branches or flowers, and feeling instinctively the response from them. We talked about the changing of seasons, and the shift out of summer – oooh to listen to them all speaking about how much they love Autumn. I’ve been terrified of it, surrounded by people in the southern hemisphere who view Canada as one whole country of cold snow and ice in the winter – and many, many Vancouvrians who speak of nothing but rain, rain, rain, rain and more rain.

I’m again feeling like I got sucked into group think and felt overwhelmed by it. Okay, sure it is probably going to rain HEAPS here over winter, but it hasn’t been so bad yet, and I’m enjoying the shift in seasons (when I’m not freaking out about weather sealing my van). It’s only been as cold as Melbourne and Auckland get in Autumn, nothing drastically terribly horrible has happened yet weather wise here at all – except the hurricane on the West coast was called Florence. Oooooo.

I am excited – my wee little wood fire stove will go into the van in the next week or two (not exactly sure how/ when) and I’ve started planning out my new floor plan – trying to get even some of the wonderfully creative interior design ideas out of my head onto paper and think of all the little spaces I can use, create and build. How to decorate, and infuse this van with my flare, creating my own magical castle inside my tiny home on wheels. IT’S SO EXCITING.

Mystery the magick van 3

Mystery the magick van 3

I am actively choosing to be excited not worried.
I am actively choosing to be excited not worried.
I am actively choosing to be excited not worried.

 

Van life is exhilarating and I don’t want it any other way, and I’m learning the patience to enjoy the journey just as much as I will revel when she is done. OR will she ever be fully finished? Am I ever going to stop tweaking, restoring or changing little things.. Probably not. It’s going to be a wonderfully cozy and nesty winter, I’m looking forward to having my space that I can invite others to share it with me. To bask in its cosiness beside me.

Self love is my sacred ritual.

Self love is my sacred ritual.

A collection of thoughts:

Traveling is like getting to know another dimension of yourself under a microscope. Everything in heightened.
Adventure, stress, excitement, exhaustion, feelings, happiness, and displacement. Being able to feel at home in yourself when your surroundings are constantly changing and on the move, letting go. Letting go of perceived stability, routine, things in the past that will never be the same again. Opening up to the unknown, new versions of friendship, new journeys, new depth of understanding of self and what my body needs, what is important to me, what I love, who I love and even what it means to love.

I feel like I’ve had three life times already on this trip – I’ve seen so much, fallen love a little with Irish countryside and all over again with traditional music. I feel so fortunate to be able to make these travel opportunities happen. ♡
Traveling on a shoe-string budget.

Traveling as an extroverted introvert finally having a moment completely alone to crash, cry and be vulnerable with myself. Realising how “on” traveling requires on to be. Feeling grateful but also so helpless when surrounded by both gratuitous displays of wealth and drug/migrant poverty… and not knowing how to make a difference in each place I go.

Learning more about my spirituality, my ancestral roots, the respect for nature and culture that builds a motorway around a tree because it’s a Hawthorne fairy tree… meeting wonderful people and shooting them for a queer tarot card, in different places around the world…

Looking at the grey rainy-sky with patches of blue and remembering loved ones lost. ♡

“…feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear, instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we’re holding back. They teach us to perk up and lean in when we feel we’d rather collapse and back away. They’re like messengers that show us, with terrifying clarity, exactly where we’re stuck. This very moment is the perfect teacher, and, lucky for us, it’s with us wherever we are.” ― Pema Chödrön

I trust my abundance is in my pleasure. I trust it is in my alignment. When I feel abundant I am abundant, when I feel happy that is my definition of success.

Pleasure is success, the way it feels is success. When I am in a state of self love, I am going towards what is good for me, what is right for me, what is aligned with me.

When I am not able to pleasure myself, not loving myself it exposes where Im at, my inner circulation of love.

I am worth of pleasure and love and I will make time for it. Taking a moment to check in and trust myself to look after myself. Trust that I will check in with myself, help myself process big feelings my whole nervous system softens. I become less anxious, I feel better and radiate joy, life and vitality.

Create Magick: Waterfalls in my heart

Create Magick: Waterfalls in my heart

I’m breaking my addiction to struggle, guilt and lack of self pleasure. Moving from my head into my heart… Working through the discomfort, feeling it, and challenging my belief systems and changing where I focus my energy and healing.

Breathe in nature, breathe out gratitude. Feeling so small in this giant planet, and feeling an appreciation for the temporaryness of everything through my rose tinted glasses of wonder, curiosity and joy.
Learning self generated happiness, learning to let go of external validation and examining all the patterns and resistances in myself for what it can teach me.
Being thankful for the gentle and precious love and strong trusted friendships I have in my life. Making space for sexual and non sexual intimacy and examining my subconscious desire. Stepping back from “group-think” influence and allowing space to listen to what my gutt is telling me with out feeling like I need to know “why” or defend my desire.

Self love is my sacred ritual.

Create magick: Self love is my sacred ritual.

Create magick: Self love is my sacred ritual.

When an adventure allows you to discover more about yourself and grow from it. Thanks Canada you’re showing me love and how to love myself more.

Finding patience to just “be”, love to share and heart to open to the unknown and unexpected.

Momemtary, temporary, transient, impermanent, fugutive short lived, fleeting. We pass each other by and we don’t share our time for long. We have a change of mind and the moment ends and life goes on. We go on by ourselves and that it wont be for long. Then we find someone else, it starts again. I should let go.

I think of you more than you know. We weren’t a big deal and you’ve probably forgotten me, you seem happy – guess that I am too. But I can’t forget about you.
There was something great about you, something that will never be the same without you, something that I’m gonna miss but I guess that is how it is. And live goes on.

Aloneness is presence to ones self.

Create MAgick: Sunset on my soul

Create Magick: Sunset on my soul

My goal is to do something that scares me a little bit every day. To say yes to new opportunities or doors that may open. Even if it doesn’t work out or I get it wrong, I’m actively working on being my truest self and putting myself out there just a little bit more than yesterday… I’m responsible for my own adventure so why not make it an open, interesting and heartfelt one?

My happiness is my own damn responsibility. ♡♡ And the life you manifest is the life you get. So here’s my life full of love, happiness and adventure. Not in some wishy washy new age kinda way. But in an authentic *it’s not always easy* “I’m constantly working on being a better person for me, so I love myself more.”

Diary of a #queerwitch 2018

Mystery the Magick Van: Van life.

Mystery the Magick Van: Van life.

When I decided to move to canada I met someone who was from Canada and who’d offered to sell me their vehicle. Sweet I thought, I’ll have wheels and will be able to travel and sightsee as soon as I get here. Fast forward a month in and it still hadn’t happened. I started looking around not knowing what I was really looking for, to buy a van.

I knew I wanted to be mobile, able to live in it while traveling, maybe longer. Suddenly my antsy frustration trapped feelings of not working for myself and being tied to one spot slowly started to melt away. I the idea I could live and travel anywhere around the city and driving distance on the weekends excited me so much. There was so much land, sights, nature and beauty right at my fingertips – mountains, lakes, seas and islands. It spelled freedom, and in a mysterious way my body energy started to slowly shift.

I ended up buying a cheaper van that needed a lot of love after the expensive one I wanted fell through because I couldn’t get away to look at it in time. The first two weeks I owned her were a tortuous mental turmoil thinking I’d made a terrible decision and bought a dud. I really didn’t know anything about my new van and I didn’t trust my gut that led me to her or even if I’d be able to make it work.

I love naming my vehicles.. I’ve had two green Turtle vehicles at different energetic ages. So I was expecting to find the name of my new van too. I think it took almost a month, maybe a few weeks till it happened. I believe in messages from the universe but this was the first time I’d felt anything at all close to an “out of my control” message. To me trust is a very important thing and I think vehicles have their own personalities in a way. The universe brought her into my life, but her name wasn’t entrusted to me till I trusted her and trusted my decision to have her in my life.

I was just simply texting a friend telling them about my purchase and all the work I’d begun to do to her and how much more I was going to have and I think I simply made the observation that “it was a complete mystery why this van had come into my life and if I had done the right thing and how much more work I’d have to do”. Then my fingers simply typed afterwards:

“Mystery the magick van”

I kind of felt stopped in my tracks, wait what!? Then I quickly followed up the text message with an exclamation – “I think that’s her name!”

“I just found out what her name was in that moment of texting you”

I was buzzing and I’m a state of surprise and somehow just realised and reinforce in my whole body that sometimes life is a mystery.

Sometimes I cannot understand why things happen or what direction all of these culminating things will take me. Trying to plan, control and minutely understand will not make me happy and will not help any kind of situation get better. Mystery was here to teach me this in a giant way.

Not only teach my to trust myself, to let go of control of the future but also to let mysteries be mysteries and enjoy the nuances of all the wonderful things that somehow I’m really having the time of my life learning now.

Skip forward another month and Mystery is in the shop having her carburetor replaced because hills stopped being possible to climb. I’ve just gotten off a bus and am I’m heading to work on the seabus ferry across Vancouver harbour listening to my favourite podcast. Half way through the woman being interviewed starts talking about the mysteries of life. Cue tears, my heart felt jerked, tugged on an completely vulnerable. The heart is so big and it breaks open and open and open. The blasted open energy of the heart is capable of enormous healing. I am here letting life break open my heart, letting this moment change me. Learning to stay with the feeling of knowing that my intuition never lies.

I don’t know what’s next I don’t know how life will pan out – I have to be in the Mystery. We’re so strange as humans we can watch mystery moving but when don’t know how it ends or don’t know the answers in our own lives we go crazy. It’s like living the High Priestess card – allow the Mystery. Allowing myself to be a mystery, allowing my life to be a mystery. I feel it is very brave and vulnerable to live like this – but it’s also a great adventure, which what I want my life to be.

There is no one else to save me, there is no one else to do my own emotional work for me, so I must rise up and save myself, dive into the mystery and follow my hearts. Stop listening to other people and doing what brings me joy. The grail or river of what I love and what makes me whole. I know I have SO much to give when I am in my joy. So much more love, healing, change and energy to share. It is not selfish to pursue what brings me joy.

What brings you joy?

What mystery are you sitting with right now?

Gratitude in the madness of change

Gratitude in the madness of change

1977 GMC Vandura #vanlife restoration

1977 GMC Vandura #vanlife restoration

What a crazy few days/week it’s been. I know I’m trying to slow down but this pace is exciting. From sleep over dates and getting to know and feel comfortable with a new human, to having my van stolen – AND completely surreally getting her back. Buying RV insurance then immediately using it the next day. The serendipity has been incredible in a way it has left me feeling completely out of control, and ungrounded where all I can do is trust, all I can do is let go. To release my attachment to any plans, and to work hard when opportunities and doors open to me.

Last night my vehicle was stolen.  I heard it start up, (holes in her muffler make for a super loud and recognisable sound) and drive off. My first ever 911 call and my body shut down into shocked eerie calmness while I gave the dispatcher details. I’ve never been in quite an intense trust situation where everything feels so dark, hopeless and out of control – when all you can do is feel that tiny glimmer of hope and feeling that it is all part of the journey.

Later that night the police called back having found my van, arrested the thief and told me to come collect it. In 1 piece, 99% unharmed and without impounding it or taking her off me! She lives, and we get to continue her restoration journey together – towards my dream of living in her on the road traveling. What a glimpse into the shadow world. Just before the new moon in Gemini!

Since then I have yo-yo’d between exhaustion, overwhelm and a beautiful reminder to share my gratitude, love and thankfulness for the opportunities, love, support and access I have to a means of transport, financial means of supporting myself and doing a up a van, and a life in a country where emergency services actually help – search helicopter and all.

 

I am feeling so grateful. This I’m back catching the bus to and from work because my Van has been hanging out at my mechanic’s house… I’m pooped. I am so thankful for my out of the box ways of thinking of things and not giving up. Being told by an auto mechanic that doing her up would take 50k and 12 months, too making wonderful leaps and bounds in progress giving her love has really warmed up my heart. It almost feels like my heart is being taught to love again in a way that’s completely new to me.

With a human body I’m not familiar with but am wonderfully attracted to – gentle, gorgeous and softly caring and sweet. To a vehicle I almost regretted for a second bringing into my life.  The clouds started all black with her till slowly my determination not to give up and to find a way around “the system” has opened up my heart to dreaming and imagining our adventures and travels together. It’s exciting, thrilling and a terrifying emotional roller coaster where I’m learning so much about the things I am scared of. Challenging the things or parts of my identity that I’ve been clinging to and how to smashing it pieces straight out from under me.

Woken up, lit up grateful, thankful and overwhelmed.

Riding the bus this morning and not having my headphones to loose myself in inspiring podcasts but to actually having to sit with my brain. Finding a precious moment to be present and create this stream of consciousness and gratitude. To feel grounded in an urban routine of stopping for a second to allow my mind space to breathe.  I wouldn’t have imagined a few weeks ago how happy I’d be to have a long bus ride to work.

1977 GMC Vandura #vanlife restoration

Pigeon post

Pigeon post

No pigeons were harmed in the sending of this letter.

I’ve been here three weeks. I still pinch myself when I open google maps and the little blue dot says “northern hemisphere” you’re in CANADA! Im falling in love with the place, so far the warmth of springs honeymoon phase has been delightful. The crisp fresh air, the snow speckled mountains in the north and the gulf islands have definitely caught my attention.

I’m currently writing to you on a bus off to my second hike/ camping trip since I got here. First was a gorgeous place called Salt Spring Island. I went over for a Beltaine ritual. The camp ground was not quite fully reachable by public transport and it was the easiest hitch-hiking experience I’ve had. I guess I did look obviously like a tourist and my accent is a dead giveaway.

The camp ground was the middle ground between sea and forest, gorgeous during the day, pines towering above me. Rocky foreshore , bleached drift wood, the smell of salt and wet earth and the distant sound of boat air horns as they leave the shore. Looking into the sky it’s unfamiliar to me. The stars are new friends I neeed to learn, a different angle to the galaxy reminding me the southern cross is indeed down under. We set up for the ritual, creating magick, and a maypole. I joined to help tearing colourful sheets into to long ribbons to decorate with the weaving dance of spring. Round and round to the beat of the drums and 40+ chanting voices, over, under, over, under. Many songs later we sit very well rugged up around our Beltaine fire toasting marshmellows and feeling the heat bring a ruddy glow to our faces. This is a freedom that is magick. This is my culture, my celtic heritige and it feels like home.

A few days later I find myself in a room of at least 100+ handsome and bearded men. You raise an eyebrow at me wondering what on earth has brought me here. No it’s not a Canadian farming or forestry convention full of plaid, cowboy hats and big leather boots. I did however find a store that did stock the epitome of that entire stereotype and nearly walked out with a pair of leather boots myself.

No I’m at the Vancouver Mens Chorus, which is 98% gay I’m told. They’re darlings and filling the room with their delightfully booming voice the room resonates with Musical theatre tunes “Anything goes” to slight more camp wonders “Is he Gay or just European?!”

So you’re still wondering why I’m there? My wonderful friend Mama Alto, connected me with a person I’d have to describe as Vancouver’s music and theatre socialite / producer who invited me along to recruit more Canadians across a very broad age range for my Queer Tarot Project. Nothing like hitting the ground running.

I’ve officially completed 47 photoshoots, finishing the Major Arcana with 36 cards including all the duplicates. I’ve only another 45 to go, but I’m estimating maybe another 50 shoots to go to finish the Tarot Deck. Along the way creating all the individual videos that will be the card interpretations as well. The big goal tho is to make a short film / documentary, probably initally under 15 minutes to have ready for the Vancouver Queer Film Festival in March next year. Not unusual for me to do everything at once and set myself a gloriously ambitious goal. Nice in this case there’s no downside, if I can do it and make it happen I’ll be over the moon, if not the good news is these events happen over and over again year after year.

Manifestation is powerful ya’ll! I’ve been revelling in gratitude since I got here. I’m living in a beautiful house with a gorgeous room and housemate I met Burning Man a few years ago. I’ve got purchasing a vehicle in the works and decided I’d work for a few months so I could travel more extensively for the next few months after that next year. I am enjoying my own company, traveling alone and meeting all kinds of people out and about.

Thank you all so much for your letters and replies back to my emails. I’ve barely had any homesickness yet thanks to the love and conversations I’ve had at weird hours of the day back n forth to Australia and New Zealand.

I haven’t seen a moose yet. I’ve seen canada geese, a skunk at a safe distance a brown squirrel and 2 wild deer. I think half of Canada is serious about bears and the other half is writing books to pull my leg “a bear at my lunch”. I’ve walked through the bush in the dark at night scaring myself silly with the thought of a lurking cougar, to realise I’m in a populated park and the dogs everwhere aren’t going crazy barking.

The nudie beach is quite the experience, from wandering alcahol sales people to show ponys parading up and down the beach, I dont think I’ve ever been at such a busy beach surrounded by so many people completely starkers. New Zealand nudie beaches I remember, you’d just know not to approach that tent in the bushes 2m up the beach, with few people in cussing distance of one another.

It was a very warm day for spring, 26° I think, and I’m sitting there looking at the glistening water longing for a swim wondering why there’s absolutely no one swimming! Weird I think to myself, sure it’s a sheltered bay, and the water looks clean enough. So I think to myself “fuck it, I’m going in”. Thinking nothing would be nicer than laying there floating warmed by the sun, relaxing in the water. How wrong I was. Running in to get over the first dip chill I quickly realised this was no normal chill, this is the Atlantic Ocean and boy was it ICY. Running now up to my upper thighs in water, I was winded by the cold temperature change and proceeded to flail anything but gracefully face first into the freeeeeezing water. I couldn’t feel my toes almost instantly. “Okay” I thought to myself, “guess this is why there’s no one bloody swimming then!” I tried a couple more times but without a wet suit it would just be rather an unpleasant experience. Luckily the sun was divine and my skin warmed up and dried off in no time, leaving a baked and salt me to find my way home.

Anyways thats all from me tonight..

Wishing you magick and love

Xxx

Writing you a letter from Canada with love!

Writing you a letter from Canada with love!

Hello my friend, my new pen-pal – this is a love letter. I’m a long way away from NZ / Australia, I’m writing to you now before homesickness kicks in! I don’t think I’ve written anything or emailed anyone since March – It was a HUGE month. I went to Sydney had a fascinatingly sexy time there, ran a public Shibari Magick ritual then finished up the last Queer Tarot Exhibition held in Daylesford (the Queerest country town in Victoria).  Then I moved out of my house in Melbourne, a few days later I was jet setting off to the Gold Coast for Cloud Catcher – two weeks after that I left for Canada!

Honestly, today I sat down to dye my hair and it is all slowly catching up with me.. Have you ever felt like you’re in such a big state of change, flux that your feet aren’t on the ground but you just have to keep moving or you’ll fall out of the tornado that you’ve created? I’m used to doing things with a really quickly. Deciding I’m going to do something then immediately making it happen.  This whole year has felt like an ever escalating tornado, of learning, working, traveling and meeting new and wonderful people, that I’m likely never to forget.

I planned for months, and prepared, applied for my visa, downsized everything and got my life in order. I was leaving and I was doing it right.  Also how powerful is manifestation? When I moved to Australia, I told myself and others, that I’d probably be there 5 years, then live somewhere else.. Then promptly forgot about it.

Here we are almost 5 years to the month later, and I’ve a flight ticket booked and a visa in hand realising that what you say with belief really does come to happen.  I wanted to live in the northern hemisphere and here I am, falling slowly in love with this place. I’ve fallen out of love with cities and I’m just working out how to break up with them.  Finding ways to live, support myself and make connections that don’t require being in the suburban jungle.

Back to manifestation. I’ve learned more about the power of manifestation in 6 months, than I could have imagined.  I thrived, not just survived. I wanted to see more of Australia before I left the country, and managed to make it all the way to Byron Bay, the Gold Coast and Springbrook hinterlands to the misty mountains where the clouds reach in to touch the earth.  After finishing up the last of my Queer Tarot Exhibitions, my energy and drive to keep shooting lulled. I was heavy with what I’d learned from doing the exhibitions and self doubt that I could have done it all so much better… Putting myself, my art and my expectations out there to be met with a different reaction to what I’d expected left me vulnerable and a little deflated.

I was reignited when I applied for a activist scholarship to Cloud Catcher Witch Camp.  All of you who are in my tarot cards helped me make this happen. Looking at the difference it’s made to your lives, stating what the importance to you of a Queer Tarot deck or a platform for yours and other Queer Voices – stirred up the fire in me again.  With the support of Spencer of Magick Australia, who I owe deep gratitude to I got accepted and met 90+ amazing witches, pagans, seers and fairies. I don’t think I’ve felt more accepted as “Me” in a way it was safe to be a sobbing mess, and simultaneously a confident speaker sharing my passion for a topic or leading ritual, all while having space held for me. I LOVE YOU and thank you, I know you all are reading this.

In the last 2 months before I left Australia I shot over 20 tarot cards!  I have still more than half that many to edit and produce, but I am slowly getting there, finding my feet here in Vancouver, a rhythm and routine.  Soon I will write about my journeys with each tarot card, how I experience them through the stories that I’m told, through the magick we create. I shot 6 cards at witch camp with wonderful humans. I’m not sure how we fitted it in, but I am grateful for the trust they showed in my, having really only just met me, to then tell their stories.

I crammed in 6 photoshoots in the very last week before I left.  A reignited sense of urgency, and passion consuming me, where I probably should have rested more, I didn’t I worked, traveled rushed around and enjoyed every second of it.  I love my periods of isolate, reclusiveness and hidden activity but I also love my Yang energy, fiery, extroverted and on go. This inspiration has a hold of me, a possession, obsession, passion project and I love it.  I will write soon at length the story I feel about how this happened, and how this inspiration chose me to come to form, to find a way to be realised.

Manifesting in a way I decide with complete definitiveness what I want, then put it out there to the universe.  In retrospect the universe has a wonderful way of testing my resolve to do all the things that I’d said I really wanted to do.

I wanted to work for myself full time?  Yes okay, then here is a redundancy package so you can move, and test out supporting yourself full time for 4 months before you leave while you have lots of support and friends around you.

You want to live a mobile life?  Okay well test if you can handle it by living out of your car and on people’s couches for a month in a city where you know lots of people and have all the options.

Want to live a more simple, less material life? Okay well downsize your entire life and material possessions into two suitcases, and really two suitcases because you’re gonna have to lug them around a while before you leave!

Now?  How do I want to support myself and travel here in Canada? Thanks Universe, I’m ready to keep learning.

Well they let me into the country and I truly am thankful for all my blessings. I wanted to first of all live with a friend or someone I knew a little when I first got to Canada.  Well my friends manifestation WORKS!! Not only am I sitting writing this from the most beautiful house, with wonderful housemates, the spring blossoms are out, the weather is crisp but warm, and hopefully I shall have a vehicle soon too. More about that when it happens.

I’ve put together a wee photo gallery of all my adventures here in Canada so far – Click here to take a look.