Spirit + Soul

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17 articles in category Spirit + Soul / Subscribe

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

 

“The cure for everything is salt water – sweat, tears, or the sea”ocean surf miann health wellbeing meditate peace love kindness yoga

 The small collective of words I trust you’ve seen before by Isak Dinesen holds a spell over me. They’re akin to the reason I live by the ocean, every morning photographing my undying love for a 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.

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Up and at ’em 

ocean surf miann health wellbeing meditate peace love kindness yoga

A little while back you might have seen this blog post titled THINGS I THOUGHT I’D NEVER SAY where I list a number of well rehearsed lines I once blurted out over and over as a way of defining myself. Without realising, I was doing some serious affirming to the point where I would block out things from my life (like yoga, which is basically considered a cardinal sin in my books).

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A few posts back we spoke about our inner dialogue and how more often than not (I’m going to take a wild guess and say 9 times out of 10) it’s negative and self berating. Mean things we wouldn’t ever say about another person or to a person – this is the stuff we’re telling ourselves internally, and what’s worse, saying it to others out-loud.

So we know announcing our insecurities is toxic. Well, what now?

It’s time to unlearn those well rehearsed lines sister, because you’ve got them so down pat that I’m going to give you some new ones to master. Let’s re-write the script of your life where you give yourself the dazzling lead role. You are the heroin who saves the day (after all, no one else is going to ride up on a handsome horse and save you), so why not play her?

With time and with practise, eventually you’ll graduate from understudy to lead actress. You’ll be leaping around the stage light as air feeling free and confidant. Like the most practised method actor, you will become the heroine, making life of the words written in the script and grow into the strong woman who is in control of her life and of her thoughts.

Since posting these positive affirmations on my Instagram and Tumblr, I’ve had countless emails and comments from girls putting these affirmations in to practise. Most have been printed out and stuck on a mirror at home, a moodboard or above a desk at work.

More recently some girls in Queensland were mowed down by a speeding motorist, one in particular was very badly injured. I had heard it on the news, feeling so disconnected to these young women. How could I help? As if The Universe heard my calls, a friend of mine worked with the pair and passed on my affirmation to her colleague still recovering in hospital. She was struggling with how to deal with a new and unfamiliar body. I heard that my affirmation had been made the background to her phone and almost instantly my words inspired her to learn to love her body and completely shifted her perspective.

So let’s start with my two favourite positive affirmations I’ve ever written. These two pack a powerful love-filled punch. Saying these to yourself every morning is an extremely powerful way to invite in fresh, positive perspective. At first you might be met with resistance, and you might think you sound silly, even like a phoney, hearing these words come out of your mouth. But that’s okay. Change doesn’t happen overnight, especially when we’re trying to kick a habit we’ve had for so long. That’s why I’ve created the affirmations below.

From me, with love, to you…

Affirmation miann scanlan positive self love miann scanlan affirmation positive self love body image

If you’ve ever used my affirmations, please share your experience in the comments below or email me via this page.

All images and words are my own.

Have you ever taken the time to think about the dialogue we have with ourselves?

That audio loop constantly reminding us of our own deepest, darkest, secret insecurities.

Whether the words we hear inside are positive, negative or simply fleeting thoughts, our inner voice has a lot of power over us.

So who’s doing all the talking?

We might have these well rehearsed lines that we think define us, running over and over in our internal dialogue. We don’t even realise that saying them out loud is a pretty powerful way to seal the deal.

What we think, and what we say, is our reality. We become our thoughts.

From my past I can recall sentences I repeated over and over to myself, to friends, even to perfect strangers. I made these proclamations as a way of defining who I was. Thinking back now, I cringe at the thought of those words coming out of my mouth. It almost feels like another person was saying them.

A few years on and I’ve made peace with a lot of what I once said.  So here we have it, my list of…

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I love yoga

Old Miann: Yawn… Yoga is so boring! I need to be running around like crazy. I can’t sit still!
New Miann: Yoga makes me feel connected, grounded and calm. It helps place my trust in the Universe and makes me feel love and gratitude.

I don’t drink coffee

Old Miann: I’ll have a tripple shot vanilla latte thanks. Sleep, what sleep?
New Miann: I have so much energy from fruit and I have deeper sleeps.

I disagree with you

Old Miann: I’m proud of being a “fence sitter”, that way I avoid any confrontation.
New Miann: Forming and sharing my own opinions is rewarding, I enjoy expressing myself and sharing my beliefs.

I am always full of energy

Old Miann: How am I ever going to have enough energy to have a baby?
New Miann: I can’t believe I don’t crash out at 3pm and have regular energy levels all day, coffee and sleeping pills are a thing of the past.

I don’t eat dairy

Old Miann: Not sure if I’m full or hungry or feeling sick, better go skull some milk. Hangover? Pass me that wheel of brie.
New Miann: I know how to really listen to what my body needs and am connected to what my body rejects.

Are there words you say that berate your integrity? Do you want to press the mute button on that negative dialogue? Let’s try something. Write the sentences you commonly fall back on in the comments below. Next week we will talk about how we can make space to invite in some fresh, positive perspective.