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Is your dream big enough?

Dwellingup |  Photo: Amanda Viviers

We were shopping for something very specific, school shoes, school bags, you know the painstaking trip. My three year old became fixated on a pair of shoes that didn’t really match my idea of what was school efficient, plus they were a size and probably a half too big, with no smaller options. A meltdown was ensuing on both sides of the Mummy and Max team, with Libby slowly pulling anything within reach off the shelves.

This was the beautiful background context to today’s inspiring story.

We were one month old in launching our new business Maximus & Liberty, we were one week out of the craziness of a last minute trip to New Zealand and my patience was thin from the pain of growth and living a life inspired.

In fact, I was probably regretting taking courageous risks, more than I was feeling the beauty of our newborn dream realised.

Have you ever had those days.

Days of regret?

Days with overwhelmed feelings of “what have we done”?

Days when you realise that your friends and family are asking the exact same question without whispering the words out loud?

Dreams awakening are not for the faint hearted, it is easy to come up with ideas, but to actually have the courage to take the risk and have a go, that is next level faith. Back to Target and our school shopping expedition and what happened next.

As we walked past the linen and home wares aisle, my husband pulled a throw pillow off the shelf and threw it casually into our school themed trolley. I looked at him, not much was said between us, until I got home and I rolled my eyes.

As much as I live my life seeking and drawing out inspiration, there are days when another quote is just not what I need.

The pillow said this…

If you dream big enough anything can come true.

Some days lately I have wanted to throw the pillow out of our window.

Living an intentional life, living a life where you are designing the type of future of your dreams is not the kind of life for the fearful.

We were sitting in church on the weekend and our pastor spoke a message that challenged every regret in our today. His words were steeped in faith and expectation. He spoke about courage and taking risks, it was the exact message we needed to hear.

Courage to take risks,

Courage in wisdom,

Courage to take the steps necessary to live the life you have dreamed of.

It reminded us of a message we heard from Erwin McManus last year when he made this profound statement;

One of the great ironies is that most people do not think of themselves as artists or believe that they are creative.  Yet we all have dreams and aspirations.  We all have, if only as a quiet whisper, a voice within our souls calling us to awaken our creative essence.   Too often the voice calling us to embrace our artisan soul is overshadowed by all the voices that tell us we are less.

Most people have been diminished by the voices that have silenced their childlike wonder and faith.  Here, by the way, is a good measure for when you are hearing the voice of God- God never makes you less human; He always make you most fully and beautifully human.

True courage takes great risk.

The future does not belong to the faint hearted, it belongs to the brave.

Ronald Regan

Every day that I see that pillow sitting on the chair in the corner of our lounge room, it is like a beacon of hope to my soul and it implores me to take heart and courage stepping into the brilliance of God’s plans for our future.

Are your dreams big enough my friend?

Or can you do them without hope and help?

If your dreams are not scaring you, then maybe they are so achievable that you are making them safe and therefore God-less.

Step out and dream brave my friends.

Take risks and have courage to actually act today on the dreams that lie dormant.

Pick up that manuscript,

Type that blog,

Put on those exercise clothes,

Step into the great unknown,

Pull out that camera,

Write that book proposal,

Contact that person,

Step forward with what you have in your hands today, even if it is very, very small.

Be bold and courageous, your future self will thank you.






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those childhood memories that ruin our creativity

Sydney, Australia “The Grounds”

Every time I try to diet, go raw, eliminate sugar, go dairy free, gluten free or paleo, the worst result of my efforts is what I like to term my “Hangry Bear”.

One day I am focussed, motivated and determined, next minute I want to tear the head off any person that is in my vicinity.

Food and I have a very sordid past.

I don’t have a long list of ex lovers or a deep history of family dysfunction but I have a whole cupboard full of stories that will make a decent memoir one day.

A memoir about diets, failure and the never ending New Years Resolution of finding my health again.

My Hangry Bear self is always associated with food or lack of it.

My Hangry Bear comes out roaring especially when I feel embarrassed, when I feel shame and when I feel defeated.

The Bear self is not actually hungry, it is just demanding attention, it is asking for my help, it is seeking someone to tell it to calm down everything is going to be okay.

Lately I have discovered a story that is directly linked to the birth of my Hangry little bear. I was ten years old, I remember the colour of my ballet leotard, I remember the moment when my Ballet teacher read out the words, that would forever change my relationship with food.

One line written in stone, that birthed a angry, shamed filled relationship with food that has plagued me ever since. A little ballerina, who desired so much to live her adult life on a stage performing and dancing to make people smile.

The examiners words on my report card that year, completely changed the course of my life.

She wrote this; (I was not even in highschool yet)

“Amanda, has the capacity to go all the way to the top with Ballet, except she is too fat.”

Full stop.

Hello Hangry Bear.

Hello food as my comfort

Hello food every moment when I feel shamed, embarrassed or on the verge of dreaming for greater days.

I battle with food, because it is my arch nemisis of both pleasure and pain.

Talking with a counsellor recently she asked me this question “If you could go back to that moment and speak to the little girl what would you say?”

I replied “I wouldn’t talk to the little girl, I would walk straight up to that examiner and I would tell her that she was wrong. That words have such significant power over children and do you know the damage you have done in writing such condemning and shaming words over a young childs life. A child that so deeply respects and reveres you.”

My adult response floored me.

I felt empowered, I felt overwhelmed at the capacity to stand up for my ten year old me.

I felt like for the first time in my life, I could rebuild those broken ruins and calm my hangry bear.

Maybe my bear could even go into hibernation for a very, very long time.

I am still battling every day at the moment with this area of my life, but Brene Browns latest book Rising Strong is completely unravelling these parts of my life and asking my shivering, shamed self to step out from those places that are holding me captive.

Chapter four and five have been very difficult chapters for me to read.

As we rumble with those Hangry Bears hiding in our deep places and when we face the true reason why we are responding out of shame, failure and hiddenness we cannot go back again without changing.

We can read words such as;

“Integrity is choosing courage over comfort, choosing what is right over what is fast, fun or easy; and choosing to practise our values rather than simply professing them.” Brene Brown

Here in this forum I can be all “you can do it”, “live the life you have dreamed of” and “Go make your dreams happen”…

I cannot be completely true to the whole picture, if I am not facing the sewer rats from my past, those stories from my childhood so deeply connected to my creative pursuits, dreams and passions and make you think that I have it all together.

I rumble and wrestle constantly with my weight, because I allow those stories from my past to frame my appetite instead of the truth.

When I choose courage when I look in the fridge rather than comfort.

When I choose to do what is right for my health, my family and my future rather than what is fast, fun or easy.

When I choose to practise the values I write about here instead of just professing what I think you want to hear.

Only then am I able to face those places of deep brokenness and see ever lasting change.

This year I am facing down that Hangry Bear and I am determined to discover what it is that provokes Him. I am determined to find ways to woo Him. I am wanting to live beyond this place of shame and embarrassment in my life.


That was heavy,

A question for our book club members who are reading along and commenting.

What goals have you set, that rock up on your New Years List every year? Do you have a Hangry Bear running around wreaking havoc, trying to undo your efforts every year?

Today, is the first time in a long time that I don’t want to press publish.


This book is hard work,



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Having courage to change the things we can…

Flowers, beach, inspiration
Flowers, beach, inspiration
Flowers are my favourite.

Humans are beautiful, humans are complex, humans are brilliant.

Every person we meet, every story we encounter is bathed in the harsh reality of humanity.

We are a swarming mix of emotions, agendas, passions, beauty, innocence, detail, forgetfulness and desire.

When Reinhold wrote the Serenity Prayer I am sure he was deep in the mess of humanity.

I can see him at his desk, with his pen in hand and his heart reeling in his throat, at the pain of trying to make a difference with his life in the midst of human story.

What part of the human story holds you back from letting stuff go?

What part of the human story compels you to step forward into the new?

I have found as I sit and listen to peoples story, many of them hold onto the stuff that they cannot change and then struggle to have the courage to change that which they can.

We get so stuck.

Do you feel stuck?

I often do.

The one thing I have been trying to do of late though is to start living the life I have always imagined. I have been stuck before because I realised I was waiting for someone to create the safety net in case I fail.

The more I step out and start doing the things I dream of, the more I realise that failure is just part of the human story. The question of those who are living deeply fulfilling lives is not whether they failed, it is whether they used the emotions and lessons from those failures to begin again.

Failure brings either two things;

  1. Belittlement. Where we allow the failure to define us.
  2. Wisdom. Where we learn and grow, living a life that is defined by what we have learnt in the failure.

My prayer this September is this…

“courage to change the things I can”

What can you change?

Do you need to ask someone for help?

The life you have always imagined to live is on the other side of fear. Yes, the brokenness of humanity means that there are some things we can never change, but what if we changed, what we can.

You might not be able to change where you live, but you can change your perspective.

You might not be able to quit your job, but you can start to build something in your life that brings forth your passion.

You might not be able to launch that dream that has been in your heart forever, but you could sit with a coach or mentor and find baby steps to start your journey toward it.

What is something that you can change?

This week I emailed another magazine editor with one of my manuscripts, I took a deep breath and just had a go. I find often in my life, the courage builds as I just step out and do it.

Taking small steps towards the massive goals I have always dreamed of.

What are you going to change today, to bring forward something new in your tomorrow?



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imageI was flying solo a couple of weeks ago to Sydney and I dug out a journal that I always used to write with, every time I flew.

It was a ritual.

I was on an aeroplane so often by myself that it became my high altitude muse.

As I leafed through these seasonal writings, it made me smile how many themes rolled from one year to another, but also how many themes fitted the exact season I was in.

I waited for my small, overcooked meal to come down the aisle and I lifted the journal to replace my tray and out tumbled some napkin drawings that made me smile.


Each beginning of the year as I travelled, I wrote on a single napkin, the one word I was to focus on in that year and brainstormed its output.

It was simple but it was revolutionary.

napkin series

This act distilled what I wanted to focus on in a creative way.

I have started a little napkin series and am encouraging you to do the same.

1) Find a cafe, restaurant, secret cubby house or a moment.

2) Find a nakin.

3) Find a sharpie.

4) Write one word that is necessary to focus on for this season.

5) Idea storm it.

6) hashtag #napkinseries for accountability.

A simple thought but profound one, if we actually do something with it.

Till we meet again.

Mumma V.