INSPIRATIONAL WOMEN • INTERVIEW SERIES
With this series I am sharing my absolute admiration and honor of beautiful empowering women whom I feel deeply inspired by. Each is unique but they all share one important quality – living what they love with authenticity. I am impressed by their courage, passion and success.
Connecting & supporting each other is a theme close to my heart and through this space I will share their beauty and creativity with all of you.
Get mesmerized, empowered and inspired – Time for girl crushes & intriguing details!
With art you can create a vessel for connection. I felt an instant connection to Vanja, the talented artist behind Merakilabbe and the woman who you get the chance to read about in the ongoing interview series. I saw and understood her vision through her drawing and choosing of words and symbols. Art can be a sacred act, as I am a creative person and have been drawing my whole life – Vanjas creations are incredibly inspiring.
Her work goes beyond, she uses mandala, female shapes, ancient symbols, poetry and nature to synthesize new and old dreams. It is healing arts and a celebration of the sacred female in all of us.
You do not have to have all the answers but do what you love, and what truly makes you sing.
Get to know her story & advices – let the images communicate their magic. I am inspired by her way of living with authenticity and grateful that she shares her visions with all of us through her art and also her words in this interview! Thank you Vanja.
YOU ARE… Vanja Vukelic of MerakiLabbe
PATH OF SERVICE… Healing Arts through Narrative Cosmic Illustration and Sacred Geometric Portals + Thai Massage Therapy
YOUR MISSION… To encourage and nurture healing, welness, awareness and personal growth in us all so we can empower ourselves to create our own realities.
WHAT LED YOU TO HERE… Passion to express myself and connect with minds alike.
A TYPICAL DAY… usually awakened by my man’s soft kissess, and deep sniffing / loud slurping coffee noises around 6am. During the summer i go out in our yard and stand with my bare feet on the grass where i spend few moments in gratitude for Pachamama. Every morning I nurture myself with this smoothie : bananas, strawberries, brazil nuts, almonds, coconut oil, cinnamon, pecans, honey, spoon of spirulina, chia seeds, flax seeds and almond milk. Then after a super hot shower I am off to my (day) job where i work as a Social Media and Event Organizer at a Baby Store in Toronto. There goes about 10 hours of my day. Nights are always different ; from cooking dinner at home, spending time with our freinds, relaxing to some psychedelic downtempo, yoga, chanting, watching movies, long walks to staying home and creating from the source within.
WHAT DOES BEING A WOMAN MEAN TO YOU? To me It means to honor the sacred feminine within. To be in harmony with the great mother goddess and live in full respect for all existence. To have responsibility of my thoughts, actions, and words and expand my vision beyond my physical plane. To be creatress of life and in tune with all life cycles while accepting myself in my light and shadow in order to grow and evolve, but most importantly it is knowing i am one with spirit through which i see my potential of manifesting visions into reality in this cosmic web.
EXPRESSION OF CONSCIOUSNESS & SUSTAINABILITY? I am a huge advocate of self- expression through conscious living and self -reliance. I feel deeply that all of us are capable to live a self-sustained life, but it really is a matter of our own choosing. I can only speak for myself and say that most important part of my life currently is being conscious of my thoughts and actions while sustaining myself through my creations, growing my own food and living life on my own terms.
WHAT ARE YOU GRATEFUL FOR? I am grateful for my health, for my most amazing parents and family, my cat who I am learning so much from, and my man who is allowing me to be fully myself in all colors, forms and sizes. I am grateful for everything and everyone in my life, from the smallest ant to the largest star in cosmos.
IDEA OF HAPPINESS? I am not sure who spoke these words but my heart recognizes them deeply : Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony ☺
PHILOSOPHY ON FOOD & WELLNESS? For many years I’ve been ignorant and self-destructive, especially when it comes to food. This has changed, as now I know that the most important journey is that of healthy living through which we can ascend to higher dimensions and grow into better human beings. The reason I became a holistic practitioner is to spread the awareness of self-love and healing so we all can live our utmost potential.
WHO/WHAT INSPIRES YOU? Mother Nature is my truest inspiration. From the stars filled sky, to wise old trees, all the beings on earth, the air we breathe, I am so enchanted by all existence. I am also moved by sacred geometry, ancient civilizations and human psyche. My loved ones are my daily inspirations and my guidance to becoming the best version of myself in this dance of life.
Personal growth? So much to say here but I have read somewhere that a bad day for your ego is a truly wonderful day for your soul and I apply this every time I observe my thoughts, feelings or actions. It’s hard work to stay hooked to infinity , but what made me grow personally more than anything else is staying connected to nature more, my own self, and excluding everything and everyone who does not fit in my vibrational field.
Lesson learned? Every exit is an entry somewhere else.
Advice given? That of impermanence. That nothing stays the same, everything changes and that we are pure consciousness observing these manifestations.
Advice for women? Be yourself. Do not compete. Do not envy. Show the world who you are because you are Needed and you are Beautiful and do not have anyone else tell you different. Be honest with yourself about all your strengths and weaknesses and share this light with others.
Advice for success? Align yourself with your soul’s purpose. Be patient. You do not have to have all the answers but do what you love, and what truly makes you sing. Make that your work and don’t stop until you succeed. Failures will come, obstacles too, but they will only make you stronger, wiser and closer to your dream.
Advice for your younger self? Do not worry what others think of you, it only matters what you think of you.
Quality in a woman? Fearlessness, Independence and Humor
Relationship Advice? Do not expect others to know exactly how you feel, what you think and so on… Direct Communication goes a long way in sustaining a healthy relationship.
Thing you always carry in your bag? A Book, tons of pens, my wallet, bottle of water, pashmina and a deodorant.
Daytime? Purifying home with Palo Santo in the morning and stretching.
Nighttime? I rarely skip my cup of Chai ritual every night.
Beauty? Morning : I cleanse my skin with Sukin Cleanser combining of chamomile, witch hazel, green tea and aloe vera and apply their facial moisturizer made from rose hip, sesame and jojoba oil. Sukin Skincare is best I have ever used. It is a Vegan, Organic and 100% certified carbon neutral company that my Skin adores! At night I apply their Purifying Facial Mask made from Kaolin Clay as a gentle treatment to soothe, de-stress, and tone my skin.
Medicinal? Mandala Silent Meditation and Bound Lotus Kriya are my daily rituals, as well as smoking ganja at the end of the day.
…for your soul? Reading and Writing
…for your heart? Cuddling with Andre and Nega (my cat ) + Travelling
…for the mind? Entheogens (they also nourish my soul, spirit and the heart as well ) ☺
…for your body? Walking, and a lot of walking + healthy diet and stretching
…for your spirit? Diving deep into my soul’s ideas and transforming them into illustrations, being full on silly with Andre ( we love being kids together ) and dancing to psychedelic sounds!
Breakfast? My fav brekfast usually consist of 1 bowl of fruits+1 bowls of veggies and yogurt on the side.
Lunch? Oh anything Persian, Mexican or Indian. It hurts me to choose favorite there.
Dinner? Rice and Gucamole with some Yam on the side.
Snack? Almonds, bananas, and watermelon.
Recipe? We eat mainly raw at home, but when we do cook it usually is a soup.
Blend 6 tomatoes- 3-4 garlic cloves ( we LOVE garlic ), 1 large carrot, 2 tea spoons of oregano, 1 whole onion, bunch of parsley, hand full of chia seeds, teaspons of turmeric and cumin and blend all together! Once in liquid form, squeeze 2 whole limes and let it simmer for 40 minutes. We make this soup few times a week and love it!
Treat? Yes! love treats : any kind of ginger molasses honey cookies, tea biscuits especially when filled with chocolate, nutella crepes , anything coconut filled, chai lattes .. i will stop now. ☺
Drink? Water, or a freshley squeezed watermelon water, or tea. I try not to drink anything else, but i have to be honest and say there is an occasional mojito or a beer when i go out.
Restaurant? Sheherzade, Persian Cuisine in the west end Toronto. Most fantastic food!
Skills? In myself : Writing and Direct Approach in communication. In others: Physical strenght and physical discipline, because i have none (yet) .
Kitchen appliance? The most amazing set of marble knives ! I love cutting fruits and veggies with them but sometimes i get carried away and test them on other surfaces, at which point Andre comes to rescue and takes them away from me.
Book? There is no book in the world that i love more, or that I have read more times then any other. It is Siddharta by Herman Hesse.It deals with spiritual journey of self discovery and has touched me profoundly in many ways.
Music? Reggae, Psychedelic Trance, Psychedelic Rock, Techno, Ambient… Some of my favorites are : Groundation, Gregory Isaacs, Bjork, Portishead, PJ Harvey, Lights in Babylon, Boris Brejcha, Chandra Lacombe, Deva Premal, Grouch, Pink Floyd, Carbon Based Lifeforms..and more….
Quote? “I must be a mermaid, Rango. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.” ( Anais Nin )
Artist? Alejandro Jodorowsky and Marina Abramovic
Place? Andre’s chest ☺
Plant? ALL Succulents
Beauty Product? Anything from SUKIN Skincare Line
Clothing? I love baggy, breathable handmade clothing. Anything cotton, hemp, linen or bamboo