Sunday 7 September 2014

A privileged accolade

I have some humbling news to share.

News that plants a big cheesy smile on my face.

Five fellow bloggers have selected Paper Planes Connect for The Liebester Award – an award system among blog creators acknowledging the fine efforts of their writing companions. It has German origins and translates to mean ‘dearest’ or ‘valued’ among other endearing terms.

A big warm thank you to Nikki deVet, Ariadne Kaps, Jennifer Kennedy, Carly Jennings and Meegs Gogall for recognising the value of Paper Planes Connect and its stories. It means the world to me and the connectors on this page.

I have answered the 10 questions each blogger have asked of me below. Think soul-stirring secrets. Getting comfortable with big fears. Sharing deeply rooted desires and dreams.

So, let’s begin shall we?

Nikki from is a seeker exploring how to create a life she loves living

How did you end up at this exact point in your life?

With belief, positive action, compassion and a whole lot of love and support from my nearest and dearest.

What was your New Year’s resolution for 2014?

I didn’t necessarily carve up a resolution this year. Instead, I followed Danielle LaPorte’s suite and centred on how I wanted to FEEL. This year my word is Light (in all its marvellous carnations!)

What is your favourite city and why?

As someone who adores jungles and the sea, cities haven’t always been my cup of tea, but I must say that I love London. It’s got charm and royal flair. Its trimmed edges are juxtaposed with quirky and arty expression.  It’s a place of counter cultures. Multiculturalism at its finest. I love walking down the street and seeing a lady dressed in a hijab with child in hand; a man playing his harmonica to Bob Marley beats in the name of freedom; a lady in her sixties dressed so eloquently in a finely pressed suite with a fashion label that probably predates her ancestors.

Are you head or heart driven?

Heart, though I consciously check-in with myself when the head and heart play tugger war.

What is your favourite quote?

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” – Maya Angelou (I adore Maya!)

What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

Craziet, yet best? Stepped out of the expectation mold, left security behind and embraced hands with wild and free.
What is your favourite food?

Mango, dark chocolate, guacamole, grilled fish, coconut, quinoa – and not all together!

Who is your biggest inspiration?

Rachel MacDonald for her intuitive business approach and ability to manifest a life she truly loves; Aung San Suu Kyi for her unwavering belief in the right to freedom on behalf of her people; Frida Kahlo for her raw honesty through her art, self expression and iconic style.

What would you tell your 16 year old self?

Chill, you’re in for an awesome ride!

What is number 1 on your bucket list?

To meet my dear friend in Nyarugusu refugee camp in Tanzania where he has lived most of his life and started an amazing peace-building project among young people within the camp to end the transference of prejudice from one generation to the next through sport, music and art.

Ariadne Kaps from Yoga + Other Stories is a yoga teacher and coach with curious, beautiful souls who want to shape their lives into something conscious, whole and true.

What motivates you when times are hard?
I’ve recently learnt that when things get tough, I can use that energy (the huff and the puff) to actually drive the good stuff. To burn the fire so to speak and propel forward. I’m a big believer in the ebbs and flows of life, so if you’re vibing low, the only place to go is up!
What makes you jump out of bed in the morning (in a good way)?
The sun seeping through the cracks letting me know a new day has begun and the itch in my body to move, whether that be running canal-side or in the park, or rolling out my mat to expand, strengthen and connect.
Where are your 3 favourite places in the world?
My home, Avoca Beach – The waves, the community, the markets, the tall gum trees, the birds.
My home away from home, Ubud, Bali – The smiling people, spirituality, rice fields, yoga, coconuts, saltwater pools, massages.
Mexico – Every inch of that glorious country. From the textiles and women of Oaxaca, to the waves of San Augustino, to the ruins of Tulum. Dead-set amazing.
What can you not live without?
My man.
What does self love mean to you?
Listening and honouring what you need in that moment.
Who are your sources of inspiration and why?
My sister for following heart and her dreams, despite the fears and doubts, and for completely re-shaping her life. So proud and inspired :)
Emily Brett, the founder of Ourmala, a small London-based organisation healing women who have been forcibly displaced through the practice of yoga. We have much in common. A relationship with yoga that is imprinted on our cells. A fondness of words and their capacity. A compassionate heart for refugees and asylum seekers. She is amazing. You can read more about Emily here in an interview I recently did with her at Hackney City Farm where the yoga classes are held.
Why do you do what you do?
Sheer passion and a deep seeded belief that words can change the world.
When was the last time you laughed so hard you thought you couldn’t breathe? what happened?
I had met a close girlfriend of mine a few weeks ago for a lunch/work date and we were talking about some struggles we were both experiencing. After a couple of minutes we caught ourselves focusing on the lack, and without even saying a word, burst into laughter. The fact we were both laughing about this same realization made us laugh more and more, and totally shifted our mood and perspective. Laughter is the best medicine.
What’s your biggest fear?
Not living from a place of truth and authenticity.
What’s your favourite Beatles song (I assume everyone has one)?
Yellow submarine! No, not really haha. Let it be.
Jennifer from Happy Trinity  blogs to connect, inspire, and infuse just a little bit more positivity into this world.

Why did you start your blog?

A desire to connect, create and cultivate change by honouring my soul’s need for ethical, spiritual and creative expression in my life.

What was a life changing moment for you?

Leaving my 9-5 job, packing a bag and jet-setting to travel and live in Europe for an indefinite amount of time.

Who would you invite to a dinner party?

Outside of the extraordinary friends and family in my life, I’d love to sit across from Kate Bush. Kate Bush is one of my all time favourite musicians. Her music speaks to me. I find her fascinating and odd, and so unique.

What song lifts your spirits, and why?

Xavier Rudd’s ‘Follow the Sun’ – guaranteed lift. With words like, “breathe in the air, set your intentions, dream with care, brand new moon and brand new sun,” how can it not!

What is your most stand out childhood memory?

There are too many goodies to choose from, but one close to my heart is a family holiday we took to Tioman Island, Malaysia. I remember playing Uno on a plastic table all together (my mum, dad, sister and I) in front of our beach hut overlooking the water after a full day of snorkelling. We played for hours until the sun set and it got too dark to see our cards anymore and our stomachs began to grumble. It was a good day.

What is the best advice you were ever given?

Trust in the process.

What are the last 3 books you read?

Gabby Bernstein - Spirit Junkie
Kate Northrup - A Money Love Story
Cheryl Strayed - Wild

How do celebrate life's successes?

By doing the things I love with the people I love. Dining over delectable food, taking a trip away, sinking into nature, having a massage, buying a book, piece of jewellery or art I’ve been eyeing off for some time.

How would your besties describe you?

Dreamer, believer, a little off beat, quirky, funny, creative, free spirit, sensitive, open, seeker, explorer, lover, passionate.

What is a typical day like for you? 

A typical day involves jumping out of bed to move and connect with my body, sitting in silence, followed by a healthy brekkie. Then I prepare myself for my work day ahead and zone in on the three main priorities on my schedule (anything else is a bonus!). I break my day into administrative tasks and creative time. Often there is candle alight and a stick of incense burning in the background, post-it notes with set intentions and ideas in the foreground. I break for lunch, often outside in the sun. If I’m seeking a change in scenery, sometimes I will move to a cafĂ© for the afternoon to channel my creative juices or sit under a tree in the park. The evenings are spent experimenting with food, relaxing with my man, or catching up with friends (A 'typical' day - but other times, it's a random mix of the above)

Carly from Living Brightly is a health and wellness blogger who speaks of her own health journey to inspire and lift others to live brightly.

What is your biggest achievement in your life to date?
Stepping away from all that is familiar to understand and love myself.
What has been the most challenging moment of your life?
Same as above. Stepping away from all that is familiar to understand and love myself.
Tell us a secret desire you have?
To volunteer with the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust; an elephant nature reserve in Kenya which cares for elephants that have been mistreated and orphaned, aiding their rehabilitation and return to the wild.

What would a perfect day look like for you?
Yoga, the beach, a good book, fish on the barbecue, a cup of chai, hand-held walks, a glass of vino with a view.
Summer or winter?
Summer - Hands down!
If you took away all the fear, what would you love to try?
When you look up at the stars on a clear night what do you feel?
Reading or writing?
Writing. I want the reins!
Which song has the most meaning for you and why?
Tracy Chapman – You Have A Fast Car. I remember analyzing this song as part of a module on change in year 12 English. I must have listened to the song a thousand times, understanding each word, its meaning, its purpose. To this day, each time I hear this song it reminds me of possibility and the power of change. It reminds me that we are in the driver’s seat.
Do you believe in soul mates and have you found yours yet?
Totally. He’s been by my side the past 8 years.

Meegs from Show Me Your Diamond writes about living a life full of passion, joy, vibrancy, fulfilment and connectedness, and of course, uncovering your inner diamond.

What inspired you to start blogging?
A thirst to express myself creatively, moving continents and seas away, and straight-up ‘you can do it’ advice from my mentor.
How do you get your creative juices flowing?
Sweet tunes, a cup of herbal tea (Teapig’s Peppermint and Liquorice at the moment), and a yoga and meditation sesh.
If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?
Berlin. That city is seriously calling me.
What is one thing you really want to do but haven’t got around to?
Rent a car and travel from town to town around Ireland and Scotland, taking in the highlands and the coast, and all that luscious green!
Or, go to the complete opposite part of the world and get lost in the mystery and magic and Nepal, India and Tibet.

Hmm… Flip a coin?
What are you most grateful for?
All the people I love in my life.
What is your favourite self-love routine?
A candle lit bath with some of my favourite essential oils. Preferably Cananga.
Sand or snow?

What is your all time favourite book?
Eat. Pray. Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.
If you were an ice cream flavour, what would you be?
Salted caramel. A fine balance of sweet and salty.
What really makes your inner diamond shine super bright?

People connecting, exchanging and sharing, and remembering we have a hell of a lot more in common than we do different.

Thank you girls so much for these heart-felt questions. I so enjoyed taking the time to sit and reflect. And now, with great pleasure, I would like to nominate these 10 blogging comrades for the incredible impact they are having on their communities.

Lauren Aletta from Inner Hue
Brittany Kate from
Vienda Maria from
Sarah Poppy from Working Mums Collective
Ruth Quick from Ruth Quick Nutrition
Kristen Graham from Wild Spirit Feather
Jenny Orenstein from
Carolyn Franzke from
Claire Byrt from Project Work Life
Lisa Bryan from Down Shiftology

My questions for you:

1. How do you show gratitude?
2. What does it mean to feel connected in your world?
3. What's your definition of community?
4. When you close your eyes and drift to your happy place, where are you taken?
5. Name your favourite artist and why
6. Sweet or savoury?
7. Why do you blog?
8. Describe a time when you consciously chose love over fear
9. If you were an animal, what would you be?
10. Describe the life you are creating

Can't wait to hear your answers xx


  1. Thank you lovely for answering the questions. Beautiful! I love reading more about you and get to know you better. You are on such a wonderful journey, can't wait to see it all unfold for you. Hope to see you in real life again soon gorgeous xxx

    1. Thank you so much Nikki for the nomination! Catch ups are a must SOON! x

  2. Aww I absolutely love that you took the time to answer all 5 batches of questions! So nice to get to know you more! Well done on building this inspiring space and can't wait to catch up soon xx

    1. Thank you babe for the nomination and your very kind words :) Yes, catch up super soon x

  3. Love your answers Leah! To all these amazing ladies questions! Thanks for taking the time, its awesome to get to know you more and connect. Love your work!! Xx
    ps. I have been to India and Nepal.. so amazingly breathtaking places, I nearly didn't come home.. Do it babe x

    1. Megan - Thank you! Nepal and India aren't far away. The pull is magnetic! xx


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