{Podcast 024} Amanda Sandlin on how to find your true voice by making, making and making some more

Amanda Sandlin

You’ve heard the saying, practice makes perfect – the idea that if we devote ourselves to doing something with regularity, we’ll almost certainly improve and grow better at things just through sheer repetition.

Well, last year Amanda Sandlin discovered kind of by accident that practice has the power to crack us open, too, if we do it in a certain way.

She discovered that dedicating to just doing creative work every day, without judgment, without even necessarily trying to make money, can actually help us uncover our own voice and aesthetic. You know, that way of making or doing or expressing yourself that feels fully and completely you.

Yeah, that thing so many of us struggle with.

Amanda was struggling with it too, this time last year. She’d studied journalism and done a few writing gigs, then fell into graphic design after somewhat incredibly teaching herself how while working fulltime for Danielle LaPorte.

Then came an opportunity to move across the world to New Zealand, the perfect chance to go freelance. Thing was, Amanda had no idea what her real voice or style was.

So, she started what she called The Year of Making.

For an entire year, she gave herself full creative freedom to make anything she wanted. No judgment. No pressure. No need to sell anything. No need to even like what she was making. Just one condition: make something new every single day, no matter how small. 365 days. 365 pieces of creative expression.

Her Year of Making began in January 2015. In the months that followed, Amanda tried everything. Typography, illustration, stop motion photography, video blogging, even sewing – which she reckons didn’t work out so well. Sometimes she’d realise at 11pm that she hadn’t yet made something that day and have to scurry off and get making.

Of course, it was hard to keep up the momentum at times. But Amanda found that, after months of consistently showing up and doing the work, she began to make art that felt like an honest expression of herself, for the first time in her life.

Things get pretty deep pretty quickly in this interview. In the first few minutes, Amanda goes to a place even she wasn’t expecting and reveals a part of her life story that she’s rarely spoken about publicly. I reckon there couldn’t be a better demonstration of just how wholeheartedly she’s learned to express herself over the past year. Continue Reading →

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Homemade limoncello, the traditional Italian way

Peeling lemon rind to make limoncello

When life gives you lemons, throat-searingly strong home-distilled moonshine and a real live Italian imported direct from the motherland, you just have to make limoncello.

And preferably the traditional way.

Carmelo, who shall henceforth be known as The Italian, had popped Down Under for a quick Christmas visit. He’s from Milan but his family’s Sicilian, which is important because southern Italy’s where this grand liqueur originally hails from.

The Italian offered up his family recipe, the one they make each year to ensure their own never-ending supply of Sicily’s best limoncello. Yes, please. Continue Reading →

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{Podcast 23} Rosie Rees: get naked and go your own way

Rosie Rees She Makes Magic Podcast

If you could do anything in the world, and you knew that you could not fail, what would you want to do?

Back in 2012, sick, stressed and tired from working in the corporate world, this was the question that Rosie Rees’ good friend asked of her. Rosie, without pausing or even thinking, responded with “sex therapist”.

Strangely, at the time, Rosie was working as a recruitment agent, she was in a toxic relationship with an abusive and controlling man, and her Christian upbringing had imposed on her a whole world of hidden shame and guilt around her sexuality. It felt like a sex therapist couldn’t be farther from Rosie’s truth.

Yet Rosie says that her friend’s question sparked a fire and passion within her, giving her hope that her life could be turned around.

And, with this new-found hope, she went on to leave her corporate job and toxic relationship, start her online blog and coaching business, become a yoga instructor, quit meat, alcohol and cigarettes and, most recently, birth her Australian nude yoga tour.

Once Rosie sets her mind to something, she certainly doesn’t let fear, other people’s opinions or rational logic stand in her way.

If you’ve ever felt the pull to walk a completely different path from the one you’re on now but feel like it’s too scary, overwhelming or just plain irrational, this story is for you.

Enjoy.

Continue Reading →

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{Podcast 22} Beáta Alföldi: navigating challenges, fear and grief with grace and courage

Beáta Alföldi She Makes Magic

Beáta Alföldi’s journey begins all the way back at the age of four when she fell in love with dancing. Later in life, after winning a scholarship, she trained in America and eventually moved to England to work in the theatre. An opportunity, she describes, that allowed her to combine her love for dance, creative inspiration and travel.

It would seem like Beáta was living the dream life. Yet the Universe had bigger plans.

One evening, as she looked out over the theatre show she had tirelessly worked on for months, a little voiced asked “Is this it? Is this going to be it for the rest of my life?”

Many people would shy away from this question but Beáta – having always had a stead-fast commitment to only ever doing what she loves – set about rectifying the in-congruency between her current life and her soul’s desires, opening herself to a series of synchronistic events that propelled her down the path of yoga and then eventually leading her to discover shamanic and energetic healing.

In this interview, you’ll hear Beáta talk about her lack of self-belief, the challenges and the fear she bumped up against as the Universe guided her to step up and claim her gifts.

And you’ll hear the story of her dark night of the soul, a heart-breaking moment in which she lost her son, Alakai, during child birth. Beáta shares how this moment became the path to a new level of transcendence and inner freedom,  giving her the courage to fully claim and step into her life’s work and purpose.

Soft yet strong, courageous yet vulnerable, wise, grounded, intuitive, with a wide-open heart, despite the incredible pain she has experienced. Beáta is a beautiful blend of divine feminine qualities.

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{Podcast 021} Lessons in struggle and surrender on Alana Helbig’s epic solo road trip around Australia

Alana Helbig She Makes Magic Interview

When I last spoke to my awesome big sister Alana Helbig for the podcast series (episode #002), she was standing right at the foot of an epic adventure – preparing to drive all the way around Australia in Walter the Campervan, all on her own.

Nine months and 30,000km later, Alana’s returned home.

And god, what an adventure she’s had.

This is not a story about all the incredible places Alana visited, the people she met and the things she saw. Yes, these types of cool things happened along the way.

But Alana had always insisted that her road trip was more about a journey within, about stepping away from a lifestyle that no longer felt right and using this time alone in her campervan to delve deeply into her own self. A period of intense introspection. Choosing to go within.

Alana says if she had one word to describe her trip, it would be “struggle”. Which sounds pretty awful, right? And there definitely were some incredibly tough times.

You’ll hear Alana speak just so honestly about how she fell into a deep, dark depression, which for weeks she tried to ignore. After all, this was the trip of a lifetime, wasn’t it? Why the hell was she so sad?

Refusing to confront her feelings, Alana instead tried to numb out with emotional eating, which only led to weight gain, acne and a whole heap more negative self-talk.

It was only after something went really wrong that things began to shift.

Alana says after Walter broke down and had to be trucked almost 1000kms to Brisbane for repairs, a series of synchronistic events led her to a healthier way of living and a whole new understanding of herself.

You’ll hear her describe a moment of complete breakdown in a forest, and the realisation that followed the next morning. She also reveals how she finally let go of all the pushing, pain and struggle and shifted into a beautiful state of feminine surrender.

And that’s when the magic really began to happen.
Continue Reading →

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