LOOKING THROUGH THE LENS WITH VIENDA MARIA
The next Muse in our “Looking Through the Lens” series is the ever inspiring Vienda Maria – writer, creative, intuition follower. We are so excited for you to get to know Vienda and read her insightful words as we journey beyond the surface.
Who is Vienda Maria?
Haha! I never know how to answer this question…
I’m a writer, creative and mentor. I make money doing a few different things: as a writer — I write about things that matter — I take pieces of my soul and spin them into words as reassurance that we’re all in this together. I mentor women — in 1:1 sessions I help them navigate big changes in their lives — offering them support to return to their truth and provide frameworks for them to change careers + start businesses that fulfil their heart and souls. I also work with brands — creating beautiful content for branding and marketing.
Ultimately, my message is about choosing freedom in every situation, finding the magic in the every-day and navigating this incredible human experience with radical self-trust: looking at your intuition and internal guidance for the answers, instead of seeking them outside and being hung up on external assurance + validation.
I’m 35. I was born in Salzburg, Austria. My mama is Austrian; my papa is Italian. He died in a car accident when I was 10. I speak German and English fluently. I shyly butcher Spanish and Italian. I have a funny motley accent because I’ve lived in many, many places, Australia featuring most highly (no-one can resist those beaches!). The past 12 years I’ve dedicated to non-stop traveling around our beautiful globe and after a last 6-month hurrah through SE Asia, have ended up in Canada.
Why, you ask? Because 2.5 years ago I fell in love with a (very handsome) Canadian stranger on the side of the road. I’m swapping it all out for a garden, a 1950’s bungalow-style house + love. I couldn’t be happier.
And in this moment, how do you spend your days?
Self-care is featuring quite heavily in my life at present.
After 12 years of traveling, plus more sleepless nights of parties in my early twenties than I care to remember, my body had decided “basta” (enough! in Italian) and is teaching me to calm down and slow down with adrenal fatigue that simply requires me to chill the f out! It’s wonderful having to devote myself to caring for myself at such a level because it actually feels so damn good! Suddenly I’m not skipping meals anymore and choosing wine over dinner. I don’t drink much, I never have, but when I did I thought it was always a choice between drinking and eating. In fact, all these changes have made me realise I’ve been dealing with a very subtle form of eating disorder, where starving over nourishing myself was my norm.
Beyond that, I work full-time in my creative business creating courses, working with brands and teaching women how to fully own their lives through the choices they make and the way they think, feel and approach it.
Intuition seems to be a focus for you right now, what led you to this point and why is following one’s intuition so important?
I started working with intuition about 10 years ago. I noticed this internal struggle that went on within me every single day: where this soft gentle whisper would tell me one thing — and I could feel it in every part of my body — yet chose to ignore it in favor of a voice that demanded much more of my attention, one that was quite manipulative, persistent and loud. Time and time again I regretted that decision, so one day I sat down and wrote a letter to my intuition. Here is a template of what that looks like in case you want to write your own:
I am sorry I have been ignoring you for so long. It’s not because I don’t appreciate you, but because I was taught not to listen and trust you, or that you are wrong.
Thank you for the way you have _____________.
I now make a pact and a promise to connect to your guidance and hear your wisdom.
Please guide me when I _____________.
Please speak louder when I _____________ and show me the signs even if I _____________.
I may not always heed your call as I learn to recognise you more. Please be patient with me and show yourself in ways that I can understand.
Thank you for being my _____________, my _____________, and my true _____________.
I love and appreciate you.
[your name here]
Soon after I wrote a letter, very much like this one, literally days later, I found myself in another one of those ‘internal struggles’.
I was meant to go on a date with a very cute boy; a dreadlocked ballet dancer. On the morning of that day, I woke up, stretched and went outside to our backyard in my panties and t-shirt for a few minutes to catch some sun. Moments later, the back door slammed shut, and for the first (and last) time of living there, was suddenly locked out of my house. Barely dressed, I walked around the sides of the house, looking for ways to break in. Nothing. The neighbours weren’t home and there was nowhere I could go. So I sat down and waited. I heard my phone ring. I ran around the house and saw it, happily buzzing away on my bed, with no way to reach it. I was late for my date. Several hours later my housemate arrived back home, and let me in. I apologised profusely to my date and rescheduled. Only to discover that this very cute boy, had some serious anger problems, a drug addiction, and was on too many counts entirely wrong for me.
In hindsight, I realised that my intuition was trying to tell me very loudly (as I had asked) not to meet this boy. But I was stubborn and determined and had to find out for myself. This particular incidence prompted me to completely surrender myself, my life, and my decisions to the wisdom of the universe, as communicated to me by my intuition.
How do you follow your intuition?
It’s simply a checking in with myself and how I feel. Over the years I have developed a unique kind of sensitivity that allows me to hear and listen to my intuition on a moment-to-moment basis. I think the thing that helped me shift into that space the most is the realisation that anything violent, negative, manipulative or strong is NOT intuition. That’s all fear, ego and mind talking. Even when I am being warned, intuition is always soft and gentle and neutral.
Why could a person feel blocked from their own intuition?
They don’t trust themselves. Trust is the core principle to intuition and it means that you have to learn to listen to how you feel and act on that without external validation. I would suggest to practice taking time throughout the day, checking in with how you feel, and adjusting your choices and environment to align with what feels right for you. After a while you’ll notice that when you do that life becomes much sweeter and smoother.
“Trust is the core principle to intuition and it means that you have to learn to listen to how you feel and act on that without external validation.”
When you are caught up in your head or just really busy / distracted in life, how do you get back to earth (and into your body)?
I devote tremendous amounts of time to being alone and simply sitting with myself. I recently spent two very fun and jam-packed weeks in London and on the last day I awoke with a ringing sense of anxiety and I knew that I had lost my balance and gone into a heady overdrive over staying centred in my body. I rolled over onto my back and meditated for a while which is an instant fix, but I’m more interested in how to bring those meditative feelings into my day to day. I do that through checking in with myself and giving myself plenty of solitude so I can stay connected.
Tips for others to follow their intuition
Intuition is a phenomenon of bridging the heart and the mind, through an intangible sense or feeling. It describes the ability to acquire knowledge without inference or the use of logical reasoning. The word “intuition” comes from Latin verb “intueri” translated to the word intuit, “to contemplate”. Intuition is often interpreted as the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning.
It is an ability available to all of us, commonly known to be an aspect of our right brain function, and requires strengthening, just like a muscle. The more you use it, the easier it is and the faster it responds. If you want to start following your intuition, begin with an intention, write your intuition a letter, and then start listening. It’s that simple.
“I’ve discovered that when I bring mindfulness and love into my tasks, everything can become a beautiful ritual.”
Do you have a favorite ritual?
I have many very unembellished rituals that take place throughout my day: meditating right after I wake up with I’m still between worlds and my mind isn’t too active yet, warm lemon water before my day begins, journaling, walking in nature / yoga / strength training, drinking tea, writing, cleaning. I’ve discovered that when I bring mindfulness and love into my tasks, everything can become a beautiful ritual.
(Click on the image below to enlarge if writing is too small)
We are so inspired by how committed Vienda is to caring for herself, following her intuition, and embracing mindfulness in the day to day.
Where you can find Vienda –
Website :: http://viendamaria.com
Instagram :: @viendamaria
Photos provided by Vienda Maria
Did you just love Vienda’s interview? What was your favourite takeaway?