I Surrender

It’s been too long since my last post, so I must apologise to all my loyal followers. I always intend to write weekly, but real life dictates unfortunately, and so you may find yourself meeting with me only every couple of months.

I feel compelled to write about my experience as a perfumer over the past year or so, and be forthright about the ‘blocks’ that can happen to those of us in creative fields. I have definitely been experiencing that for some time now. At the start, I found it frustrating, and I tried to push through it so I could get back to doing what I love, which is bringing you inspired fragrances. But those actions only compounded the problem, and so anything that I had been working on, pushing out, trying to create, fell short of the mark and just wasn’t, well, inspired.

I’m not sure exactly when, but some time over the past few months, I realised that I have been suffering from burnout, and I had an epiphany about my life and my work; I needed to let things be, and surrender to the experience.


And so, if I couldn’t bear to turn on the computer that day, I just didnt. And if I needed to sit on the couch and watch Ellen, I did (and still do!). And if getting into the studio didn’t feel right that day, I closed the door and went home. Or for a walk. Or for coffee with a friend. Or whatever my mind and body needed that day.


At first I thought the world would miss me. That One Seed would suffer for my lack or inspiration, that my customers would suffer for my lack of productivity. But none of those fears seem to have come true, and, in fact, I find myself being more real, more genuine, more ‘in the moment’, more creative in my every day life. And slowly the inspiration has started coming back. Not when I’ve penciled in a ‘day in the studio’, but at random moments, and I am finding that my ideas have been more original and more inspired than ever before.


Its a funny thing to surrender. Such a scary concept – as if surrendering means you give up and throw everything away. But I have found that surrendering actually has the opposite effect. Surrendering to me has meant finding who I really am, where my creativity actually comes from, being more me than ever before, and seeing life in a whole new light.





The Art of Happiness

A couple of years ago, I  spoke to a close friend who was heading for divorce from his third wife. He had bought a combie van and was driving down the east coast of Australia in pursuit of…well…happiness, he told me. “I just want to be happy”, he said. I know he was shocked when my response was, ” Happiness isn’t the goal in life.”

Everyone wants to be happy, that is true, and that is a good thing. But when the pursuit of happiness is your ultimate goal, as if happiness is a destination, then you’ll never get there.

happy people

Happiness is not in having a ‘perfect’ marriage, having a life devoid of stress or conflict, having enough money to do the things you want, living on the beach, having healthy children, being beautiful, successful, rich… Yes, those things can make us feel happy, but they are not happiness. If they were, then how do you explain the joy in people in African villages where famine, war, disease and poverty are rife. How can they be happy? Aren’t they disappointed with life? Isn’t there more they want?


I’m reading the book Life Without Limits by Nick Vujicic, the man who was born with no limbs…no limbs…How can he be happy? Isn’t life one big disappointment? Hasn’t he failed before he even started?

The answer lies in this fact: happiness is an art; a learned skill, a decision, a choice. An ability to rise above your circumstances and find joy regardless.

happiness quote

I have friends who have lost children, friends who are alcholics, drug addicts, friends who lost every cent they had in bad business situations, friends who’ve lost loved ones too cancer to young. The differences I see are marked: some can still smille, laugh, find meaning in life, while others are still struggling to come to terms with their loss, even decades later, and refuse to see the beauty in the world any longer.

Happiness is a choice. It is waking up in the morning with pain in your heart, and yet choosing to feel the warmth of the sun on your back, savoring a cup of coffee with a loved friend, making the decision to feel joy even though life has been cruel. Happiness is the pursuit of a positive state of mind despite the difficulties, set back boredom, pain, heartache.


Happiness is an art, and one that we all need to learn to do better.