While talking about death can be tricky, and even seem taboo, it’s one of the many facets of life itself. We encounter death every day when we read the newspaper or turn on the TV, but we are mostly detached, as losing a loved one is not necessarily something everyone goes through.

But having gone through the motions of grief recently, I’d like to talk about what we are learning from this aspect of life that none of us can escape from experiencing at some point or another.

Things will change forever, for the better.

As I write this article, today marks two years since I lost a parent to cancer. And still, two years on, it never ceases to amaze me how daily, things about the world just seem to be making more and more sense to me. For instance, this quote two-and-a-bit years ago would have seemed like another hippie-esque cliché reserved for bumper stickers and tacky household nick-knacks…but hindsight is a beautiful thing.

“The flower that blooms in adversity, is the rarest and most beautiful of all.”

You see, while grief is (I believe) one of the most gut wrenching, confusing, and horrific human emotions, it also has the potential to be one of the most beautiful and rewarding. I’ve always felt a sharp pang of shame when I say I am grateful for my grief – but had I not suffered such a tremendous loss, I would not have the positive outlook on life that I have today.

 

Nothing is as big as it seems

Problems begin to disappear, because in comparison to what you have just experienced, trivial issues like the toaster breaking or missing the bus are put in true perspective. These are minor, if not irrelevant speed bumps in the grand scheme of things, and you will forever take them more lovingly in your stride.

 

The clichés are true.

Back on the bumper sticker talk… “Carpe Diem – seize the day!” “Life is what you make it,” “Live every day like it’s your last,” “Life is short, buy the shoes.” Hell YEAH I want these cringe-worthy statements slapped across my car, because they are damn well true. Life is short – very short – and so unbelievably, incomprehensibly precious. And this kind of over-the-top enthusiasm about life is something you feel when you witness death first hand.

 

Love never leaves you.

Grief is never easy. It creeps up on you and disguises itself, buried deep within those fleeting moments when something doesn’t quite feel right.  It can also pop up during times of bliss and joy – it seems so crazy to cry when you are laughing, but the extreme range of emotions sometimes crossover. Just go with it. This is because when you lose someone, you lose a piece of yourself, and when that piece is taken away nothing will ever quite be the same.  The beauty is that while you have lost a part of yourself, you will always carry that person around in your heart and when pain and sadness do pop up, it is just a reminder of the beautiful love you shared.


You will learn to speak your tongue.

Unfortunately for us humans, there is something that seems to holds us back in critical emotional moments. Those moments when your soul is aching for you to verbally express your love and affection toward somebody, but the fear of rejection or sounding silly makes us bite our tongue. Goodbyes are never easy, but when you have to say your last goodbyes, for real, you find a tremendous amount of courage to let the love flow. And it will probably keep flowing as life goes on. Tap into the child inside of you who has no reservations about expressing emotion, happy or sad.

 

Grief affects everyone around you.

The natural reaction to when a friend is going through a tough time is to reach out and offer your shoulder to cry on, should they need it. But during times of adversity, particularly when dealing with death, it’s important to understand that everyone reacts differently.  For example, if you’re going through a break up, usually your girlfriends will want to pop a bottle of bubbly and take you for a night out on the town. However, there isn’t really a text book method of support for when the grief stems from someone’s passing.

While you may crave empathy and nourishment, understand that you need to be empathetic to those around you who might not know how to handle the situation. Speak with your friends, and ask them if they are okay – they may be grieving too. Don’t be afraid to be direct and discuss support, even if it means asking that they call you every day for a chat. I can almost guarantee that if you ask, they will.

 

splendour in the grass miann scanlan sunset

miann scanlan splendour in the grass festival style fashion pink pastel hair

splendour in the grass sunset festival fashion

Top, Sportsgirl | Shorts, One Teaspoon | Boots, Vintage | Bag, Vintage
Sunglasses, Nick Campbell | Jacket, Thrills

splendour in the grass music festival fashion style

miann scanlan splendour in the grass fashion festival style hunter wellington gumboots

miann scanlan bianca boulden phoenix wilde splendour in the grass festival fashion style

sunset festival season music splendour in the grass market

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Top, American Apparel | Shorts, One Teaspoon | Boots, Hunter from The Iconic | Bag, Vintage
Sunglasses, Nick Campbell | Jacket, Love Somethin | Rings, Aloha Vice, Grace Bijoux, Love Somethin

splendour in the grass music festival 2014 sunset

splendour in the grass style festival fashion summer leather black boots chain accessory leg boho

miann scanlan splendour in the grass pastel pink hair festival fashion style music australia byron bay

Top, Free People | Shorts, One Teaspoon | Boots, Vintage | Boot Chains, Grace Bijoux
Bag, Vintage | Sunglasses, Nick Campbell | Jacket, Love Somethin

These are just a few snaps from my birthday weekend at Splendour In The Grass 2014. As a first time festival go-er I had absolutely zero idea about what people wore, what was acceptable to wear (bring an occasion dresser at heart) or how I should dress for the weather. But I decided to stick with my guns and go with what I know best: Comfort!

While any music festival is such a fun opportunity to experiment with style and even wear things you otherwise wouldn’t normally leave the house in (suede and tassels for days, anyone?) as a first timer I accented what you will normally catch me wearing – shorts, a comfy top, boots and statement sunglasses. Mixing texture and pattern between the tops and bottoms while still having a relatively neutral colour palette, I thought I’d make my outfits pop by dying my hair pink after about four years of lusting the trend. And I love it!

For those of you that are thinking of going next year, grab yourself a pair of gumboots and old leather boots you’re happy to get dirty and always, always bring an over-the-top fluffy jacket!

More photos and a full blog post will coming this week to the Free People blog. A big thanks to my friends Bianca, Yan Yan and Ari for making the weekend so magic!

Last week I jumped on a plane from the Gold Coast to fly over to one of my favourite places on earth to document behind the scenes of the Cleo x Billabong campaign shoot. Flying into Sydney with some of the legends at Billabong, Cayleh and Jamie, we meet up with the rest of the crew at Sydney airport.

Alissa, the beautiful Fashion Director at Cleo Magazine styled the collection. Jason Ierace is a legendary photographer (chances are if you’ve picked up a magazine in Australia, you’ve seen his work) and his assistant Simon. Then there’s Budi. Budi is the pocket rocket hair and make up genius. He also is the master at creating the perfect sandy bum. After I saw him put together the first look on the model, I was immediately trying to work out a way to convince Budi to come with me everywhere with me I go.

We touched down in Bali and made our way to Sanur where we picked up our amazing model, cute-as-a-button Nat. She’d arrived before us after over 36hrs in transit making her way to Bali from where she lives in New York. Then we were ready to take the boat over to the Gili Islands, a small group of islands just of Lombok, Indonesia.

The best way I can describe the Gili’s is what I had imagined Bali would be like before I had ever been there. On Gili Trawangan, there’s one road around the whole island, no cars, no scooters, no dramas. The only way to get around is by bicycle or horse and cart. The water is crystal clear and a striking turquoise, the people are friendly, the tourists are relaxed and everyone is always smiling.

We got settled into our massive villa after a dip in the private pool with all the gear and prepped the samples, jewellery and bikinis for the next morning’s first day of shooting.

The first day day of shooting was for the CLEO x BILLABONG campaign images. Budi got to work on deepening Nat’s already NYC summer bronze, tousling her hair and giving her a fresh, sun kissed face for the day. We set off in search for the first location which only took us a few minutes to find on the picturesque island. We stumbled upon two white hammocks swinging gently in the breeze between two trees….. The rest you can see below. The next day was spent shooting the collection again, this time in a more stylised way for the Cleo editorial. It was so amazing to watch Alissa, Cayleh, Budi and Jason work to create such different looks for the same garments.

In between lots of swims, lots of fun group dinners and some down time, the team also took the opportunity (and made the most of the stunning location) to shoot two other editorials for Cleo magazine. I’ve never seen a team work so hard in such a dreamy holiday location. See for yourself the magic below!

Processed with VSCOcam with b1 preset

(Left to right)
Jason, Photographer | Miann, Blogger | Budi, Hair and Makeup |Alissa, Fashion Director
Nat, Model | Simon, Photography Assistant | Cayleh, Billabong (aka Mumma) | Jamie, Videographer

To read my interview with the ever inspiring Tara Bliss (yes, that’s her last name) over on her blog Such Different Skies, click here. Thank you Tara for helping me open my heart. x 

SUCH DIFFERENT VIXENS: MIANN SCANLAN

Stunning. Captivating. Vulnerable in the softest and most surprising of ways.

It’s likely that you already follow Miann and the beautiful work that she shares with the world: The imagery. The finer details. The way she so beautifully curates and collaborates. The delicate blend of fashion and wellness, of the ‘x-factor’ with her unmistakable earthiness.

But what you may not know about this social media maven, is that she has an incredibly tender heart. The emails that we have exchanged have left me tingling with a smidge of privilege that I always feel when someone has opened up to me.

I so very much enjoy that sensation of one person reaching, and the other person reaching right back out, even if it is through the channels of cyber space.

Anyway, this isn’t about me.

I want more, more, more of Miann Scanlan. And I bet you do too. Stick around for a few minutes, and get to know this angel a little better…

SHARE YOUR SOUL

Sum up your mission in one sentence.

I want to inspire self-love, gratitude and connectedness in young women. (I tweeted that once, and it kind of stuck).

Can you share with us one of your most vulnerable moments (and in hindsight, what made it so beautiful?).

I landed in New York last year to spend a month in the city traveling around on my own. On the first night (after visiting an ATM and withdrawing a lot of cash) I had my wallet stolen out of my handbag. I woke up the next morning without realising. A little hungover, hungry and totally lost with not a cent to my name in the country. It really rattled me, I felt so alone, so vulnerable and hurt by humanity.

Over the next two weeks I walked around feeling scared and I thought that everyone was out to get me. I couldn’t strike up a conversation with a barista, people on the street shoved me out of the way. It’s a strange feeling being so deeply lonely in a city of nine million people. I decided that I needed to get on my mat and connect with some yogis. I found a class in Central Park which finished off with a savasana under the trees. I walked all the way home with my head held high and heart open once again. I even found people to be perfectly chatty and warm. I realised that I was feeling disconnected from others because I was just disconnected from myself.

What turns you on – cranks your dial right the way UP?

When women come together and support each other. In Australia there is such a prevalent culture of tearing each other down, something that I’ve never really been able to identify with. When I travelled through America I really got a taste of their collaborative attitude. I’m all about coming together with creatives to achieve great things rather than competing. It’s a waste of emotional energy and time.

What makes your blood boil? (Honestly)

When people can’t be truthful – further to that, when people spin their lives based on a lie. I see it happen a lot on social media and I guess that’s the downside to the beautiful web that connects us all.

How do you define ‘peace’?

It’s that sense of contentment you find only when being deeply present.

Belly laughs. Outbursts of ecstasy – the kind that leave you crippling over in agony from the sheer joy of it… What’s one of these memories that stand out for you?

When my friends and I were hanging on the Sydney harbour and decided to take the boat over to Manly for lunch. We anchored just off the shore and took the little inflatable boat to the sand, but the real fun started when we had to make it back to the boat after lunch. We jumped into the rubber duckie trying not to get our boots wet. Then we couldn’t quite push the boat off the sand. Then the tiny motor burnt out about 3 metres from the shore. So I grabbed a two foot long broken oar and tried to paddle us toward the boat in high wind, light rain, and all while wearing a ridiculous big fluffy jacket and cowboy boots (standard). My girlfriend had on an equally over the top outfit for a day on the boat. We were going in circles, about to sink only to look up and find everyone in the fancy restaurant on the pier filming, laughing and waving at us. We eventually made it to the boat and thought the embarrassment was over, until we heard well over a hundred people on the Manly ferry as they started cheering and clapping. I haven’t laughed that hard since I can remember. I hope that one day the footage surfaces on YouTube.

Looking back, how have you most GROWN?

I can pinpoint the moment my life changed, the moment my third eye literally opened and I truly began to SEE. I can see how differently I walk the earth. I can see truth in it’s beautiful form, and my sense of truth has changed. My priorities are different, they involve less narcissism and more love. I’ve grown in the way I approach situations and react to things. I am more calm, collected and understanding.

If we all looked up your name in a dictionary, what 5 words would we find to describe you?

Contemplative, dreamer, hermit, tender, bohemian.

QUICK & SLICK

Combining my passions with a business I love makes me feel … complete, steady and sure.

Few people know this about me, but I … am really afraid of flying – even for someone who travels so much my stomach still turns when it’s time for take off.

I secretly wish I could … stand up for myself. When it comes to friends I’m a loud and loyal bulldog, but when the attention is turned on me I’m quiet as a mouse. I never have been able to stand up to bullies, when I try it’s like my voice is stolen from my mouth and carried away with the wind. It’s something that I’m still working on.

To me, the words ‘Such Different Skies’ mean … the way I look upon the world now with a warm and grateful gaze. The skies literally look different. They’re so much bluer than I remember, but now I also see the beauty within the grey days too.

 

 

Tara Bliss is a spirit-stoked writer, mentor, yogini and inspirational speaker. She’s helped Party Girls find peace, been a lighthouse for Spirited seekers finding their way home to themselves, and even teamed up with her chef hubby to share radical, real food recipes with the world.

Her mission? To kick-start an avalanche of gutsy, fear-busting confidence and love (all with a side serve of swagger)! Think of her as your crystal-toting, skateboard-riding, raw-dessert-loving lumière, unveiling the path to peace and freedom, using Fierce and curious vulnerability as her compass. It’s time to embrace self-love. Seize adventure. Revel in unconventionality.

Connect with Tara on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram

miann scanlan free people novella royal bell bottoms flares hippy boho chic modern style surrey hills fashion

miann scanlan free people novella royal bell bottoms flares hippy boho chic modern style surrey hills fashion

miann scanlan free people novella royal bell bottoms flares hippy boho chic modern style surrey hills fashion

miann scanlan free people novella royal bell bottoms flares hippy boho chic modern style surrey hills fashion

miann scanlan free people novella royal bell bottoms flares hippy boho chic modern style surrey hills fashion

When I laid my eyes on these Novella Royale bell bottoms from Free People, I couldn’t help but feel the need to instantly shimmy my way back into the summer of love. Unsure how to wear such a bold (for me) print and silhouette, I had to do what felt right… and that meant throwing on a hugely oversized stripy top and hoping for the best.

Et viola…. If you can’t match it, clash it.

Pants Novella Royale | Top Free People | Hat Free People

photos by Katrina Parker for FP Me

miann scanlan celine skate board fashion deck designer stop it right now black and white

miann scanlan celine skate board fashion deck designer stop it right now black and white

miann scanlan celine skate board fashion deck designer stop it right now black and white

miann scanlan celine skate board fashion deck designer stop it right now black and white

miann scanlan celine skate board fashion deck designer stop it right now black and white

 

So I know the charm in these Celine spired decks by lord blogger babe Stop It Right Now is in the colour, but I can’t help with how much I’m in love with it in black and white.

I nabbed up two of her decks (does anyone have the third green one they want to sell me?) back in 2011 and they have since lived on a lot of walls in a lot of houses. I figured I’d use them in a shoot given I could never afford any of the actual Celine prints from that season. A chic alternative, no?

Jeans Mura (smiler here) | Heels Alexander Wang | Deck Stop It Right Now | Hair Edwards and Co
Watch Swatch (similar here) | Jacket Vintage | Tee Marcs (similar here) | Rings Baby Anything & Karen Walker

Images by Tess Leopold

 

I’ve teamed up with Price Line to put together a post for you about my favourite yoga asanas!

This is my number one favourite at the moment… to discover which other asanas made it into my Top 5 click here to read it over on the Get Healthy blog!

Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana)

I’m a sucker for a hip opener pose. They say when you open the hips you are open to more things in life. This is because deep hip openers are part of a larger process of breaking yourself from dependences. They’re also fantastic emotional releases as they unlock so much of the physical emotions that are held around this feminine area. This also is a fantastic back bend, chest opener and helps loosen up tight shoulders.

Pro Tip: Scissor your legs toward each other while tightening and locking your mula bhandas (in the pelvic floor) as this will increase strength and balance. If you want to ease into a back bend, tighten the gluts and core and gentle ease backward, pushing the shoulders back and down the spine and keeping your arms in line with or further back than your ears.

 

miann scanlan yoga swell being low lunch health fitness wellbeing asana beginners back bend hip opener pose asana yogi healthy health how to introduction

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lululemon leggings | vie active leopard print crop top
photographs by Tess Leopold

Excited to announce that I’ll be heading off to Bali on Monday for the next #MuliaInstaMeet along with my good pal Lottie Hall!

My itinerary arrived in the mail today along with a care package of essentials from the folks over at Coconut Revolution, including After Sun Gel, Coconut Body Lotion (sometimes my usual coconut oil can be a bit too heavy over in humid Bali!) and Coconut Hair Serum – a must for keeping my blonde locks hydrated in the heat.

Follow my trip to the stunning Mulia Bali in sunny Nusa Dua via my instagram @miannscanlan and the hashtag #muliainstameet.

mulia bali holiday essentials organic coconut oil hair serum blonde balayge travel vacation packing tips passport fashion style blogger

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I am undecided as to whether the occurrence of this post is serendipitous or just a case of perfectly poetic irony. Either way, it’s a story that makes me smile.

It all begins with your typical bare-foot childhood in the leafy suburb of Hawthorne, Brisbane. The local fish and chip shop was the hangout. We patrolled the streets on our BMX bikes and spent lazy summer days under the jacaranda tree at the park by the river. Somewhere between mud fights, grazed knees and countless games of tiggy, there was a boy named Benjamin Ringuet who lived one street over from me. But our paths never quite seemed to cross.

Though they came very close.

Ben and I went to the same primary school. He hung out at the same fish and chip shop as me and spent countless hours at the corner store in my street deliberating over the very same $0.30 lolly bags that I did. He even lived right across the road from the front gates of my highschool and was in the same circle of friends with all of my mates in our brother school. But it wasn’t until university when I was interning as a PR agency that Ben and I met, albeit briefly, I spied one of his dresses on a rack and I was enchanted. We  met in passing. I had a feeling I knew who he was, and he shared same sentiment.

Fast forward a few more years, I keep seeing his creations pop up in my Instagram feed, and just as Ben and I had grown up, so had his designs. They’re clean and sophisticated, but still exude a sense of fun, paying homage to the playful childhood we didn’t know we shared some years ago.

A girl can’t help but feel super chic and sexy in one of Ben’s designs. I had the pleasure of trying on much of the latest collection and you immediately get the sense that Ben knows the female body better than most women. His cuts tenderly pre-empt every curve, gently skimming over peaks and webs to create a smooth, flattering silhouette no matter your body shape. Here is my take on the Balaclava Signature Dress and it’s safe to say, we’re officially all grown up.

miann scanlan benjamin ringlet dress chic flattering curvy black little dress fashion style blogger casual  michael kors rose gold watch commes des garçons clutch opening ceremony nyc australian designer

 

miann scanlan benjamin ringlet dress chic flattering curvy black little dress fashion style blogger casual  michael kors rose gold watch commes des garçons clutch opening ceremony nyc australian designer

_MG_1962 miann scanlan benjamin ringlet dress chic flattering curvy black little dress fashion style blogger casual  michael kors rose gold watch commes des garçons clutch opening ceremony nyc australian designer

miann scanlan benjamin ringlet dress chic flattering curvy black little dress fashion style blogger casual  michael kors rose gold watch commes des garçons clutch opening ceremony nyc australian designer

dress by Ringuet available at Adrenalin Boutiuqe | watch by Michael Kors | clutch Comme Des Garcons from Opening Ceremony NYC | faux fur vest by Country Road | boots by Zara

Photographs by Tess Leopold

I trust you’ve seen this quote by Isak Dinesen superimposed over beautiful images of the ocean across the internet. And I trust the words resonate with you, the same way they do with the endless number of souls who share the message across social media every single day.

You see, that small collective of words holds a spell over me and is the reason I live by the ocean, every morning photographing my undying love for the body of water. Even catching a faint glimpse of the indigo horizon through parting trees is enough to fire up my instinctual senses and cause every cell within my body to yearn for a sweet submerge. If I am away from the water for even a few days, I feel my energy levels deplete and my mood drop – which is why my personal remedy to most ailments in life is literally the ocean.

Dating back to the age of ancient Greeks, Hippocrates placed great faith in the healing powers of the ocean and the marine environment, penning the term Thalassotherapy coming from the Greek “thalassa,” meaning sea, and “therapia,” meaning to heal….

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