Hi! I'm Cherry, the creator of Free Spirit Unleashed.
First there’s no need to tell you that I love to live life to the full – after all, I’m a free spirit just like you.
In my case my need for adventure is satisfied by travel, which I love, and I also crave the simple things in life. I don’t like monotonous routine and luckily I don’t have to have one. But it wasn’t always this way...
For many years, when I was younger, I lived the kind of life people would associate with a free spirit. I travelled, I changed jobs when I got bored, I pretty much did what made me happy most of the time.
I manifested whatever I needed in the moment without any forcing or struggling, and life pretty amazing.
I didn’t actually realise I was doing anything different, I thought everyone lived like that.
But as time went by, people around me started to try and make me conform to their idea of a secure, responsible adult. And they almost succeeded... but I've always been a bit of a rebel...
.... and luckily, just at my lowest ebb I had a huge 'aha' moment that changed my life...
Life is a magical adventure if only we would let it unfold without fear, grab the opportunities that come our way, and see the silver lining in the inevitable clouds….
The first 30 years of my life were full of adventure, lots of fun, and things seemed to happen effortlessly. In fact people always said to me ‘you’re so lucky….’
It wasn’t until I experienced my own version of struggle, that I realised the reason for that luck. It was simply because I always followed my heart, not worrying about what other people thought or whether I was doing it the 'right' way or not.
My father's favourite saying was 'Take a chance, win a prize' and it stuck in my mind, becoming somewhat of a mantra to me... it didn't occur to me that many others would think that a rather foolish philosophy to follow...
But, in any case, everything always worked out. (That's another thing my dad always used to say 'It'll all work out OK, you'll see' and at that point it seemed he was right.)
It was only later on, when I started comparing myself to others and feeling that I hadn't achieved what I should have (material things that I didn't even value, if I had been honest about it), that I found myself becoming trapped.. but more about that later.
First - let me give you a little background...
I’ve loved travelling since I was very young. I remember my first international flight to Switzerland when I was 7, long before flying became the norm. I was hooked!
I grew up in London, shopping with my mother in Oxford Street and walking the dog on Primrose Hill and Hampstead Heath - (for those of you who know London). But we left that behind when I was around 9 and by the time I was 13 I had lived in Scotland, Singapore, Zambia and South Africa… easy to see why travel has become second nature to me!
I emigrated to Australia in my late 20’s, where I lived mostly in Sydney, with a few years in Darwin and Perth along the way, as well as Byron Bay – an idyllic spot on the far north coast of New South Wales. During this time I also continued my love affair with South Africa.
Over the years I’ve had some great adventures, travelling overland from Johannesburg to London with a group of friends, backpacking around Israel and unexpectedly falling in love with Cape Town, to name a few of my favourite experiences.
I always followed my sense of adventure, my yearning for freedom and my love of fun, and the things I needed always appeared, and opportunities always came my way to do the things I loved.
But then something changed.
When I was just past 40, I got ensnared in the world of comparing myself with others and replaced my wonder at the world with material aspirations. At that point it seemed to me that perhaps I had been living life all wrong, and that my mother was right – it was time to grow up, settle down and act my age.
At that time I was working in Corporate Australia earning a six figure income. Everything looked great from the outside.
But I felt I was a square peg trying to fit into a round hole..
And despite being successful at what I was doing, I always felt I was playing a role, that it wasn’t really ‘me’.
So I tried… I tried really, really, really hard – for quite a few years I tried to fit into this world but just couldn’t quite make it.
Yes, people liked me, I enjoyed their company, but I didn’t feel ‘part of it’… I felt like I was kind of on the edges looking in. And it was hard work. I knew I should be grateful - over the years I’d had some great jobs, the money was good - but I just couldn’t feel inspired about it.
I should have felt secure and content, but I didn’t – I felt trapped and frustrated instead.
Added to everything else, I’d been so used to being carefree, that this feeling of stagnation made me begin to feel my life was passing me by and if I didn’t change something soon it would be too late.
I found myself wearing a mask more and more. I just felt miserable.
I wondered why my life had become so… unfulfilling, when it used to be such fun.
I was stressed out, trying to control everything and feeling exhausted - constantly working to stay ahead and 'get results'.
I set goals and visualised what I thought I wanted, but I was so disconnected from my true self by then that I what I thought I wanted, was actually just what I thought I should want. It was a far cry from how I’d lived before – carefree and thriving.
It was only some time later that I realised why this was, what the first part of my life had been all about, and how I could recapture my mojo.
At this point though, my life seemed to have taken a turn for the worse - I felt lost, I felt alone - how had it all turned out this way?
Starting around this time, I had 3 loud and clear messages from Spirit to shift my focus away from this idea of 'fitting in and earning money' back to a more free-spirited way of life... it happened three times because the first two times I didn't listen!
The first was through a book - or a series of books I'd seen in bookshops over and over again but had never taken the time to investigate... finally I did and I learned that there was a new paradigm emerging, a massive
shift in consciousness happening on our planet.
A new energy that invites us to live with authenticity, ease and flow. But whilst I desperately wanted to believe it, I couldn't see how to bridge the gap from where I was, so I carried on with my life the way it was
The second time was a couple of years later when I had a very strange experience whilst just sitting in my lounge one evening. I got the strongest feeling that I was being told to Just. Let. Go. Let go of all the struggle and control and worrying - and just allow the Universe to provide for me and guide me... It's impossible to explain, but I can still feel it today.
But again, it was just too scary to actually take that leap of faith, and so once more, I ignored the call to set myself free.
Fast forward a few more years, now back in Cape Town, this information came knocking again. I found another wonderful book. This time it was a firsthand account of a woman who had some experiences very similar to mine, but after feeling empty inside, had completely turned her life around and gone back to following her heart and living in the flow.
And then something clicked. Finally I listened to the messages I was getting loud and clear (but ignoring doggedly until now)...
And a little later I had another revelation: Hang on – this is EXACTLY how I used to live my life - except I didn’t know I was even doing it!
At that point I was running my own business selling personal development products, but things weren't going well.
I'd always dreamed of being able to help others find their own path to freedom - and continuing in my corporate career just wasn't going to get me any closer to that.
So in 2007 I'd left the corporate world behind for good and started this business. I thought I'd found the answer.
And for a time it was.
But after a while I realised that I had just traded my corporate job for a different kind of job - even though I was self employed, I was still working long hours, feeling stressed and not really enjoying it.
The great money I earned didn't make up for the feeling of emptiness I had. I wasn't helping as many people as I thought, and the company ended up in difficulties, leaving me high and dry, both emotionally and financially.
That brought me to my lowest ebb in my life and finally the penny dropped.
I realised what was missing - I'd somehow got caught up chasing money as the way to a happier life, rather than following my heart. I'd been hiding my own light, giving my power to other people, trying to fit in and not show my true character or use the wonderful gifts I'd been given.
I'd let go of living in the flow, where everything you need appears at the right time, and had started manipulating things, trying to control everything to get an outcome I thought I wanted - and I was exhausted.
I realised that I was a free spirit, and that being a free spirit was not some kind of fanciful, cool ideal espoused by people wearing bohemian clothes and being very artsy. It was who I was at my core.
And I finally understood that being a free spirit was something to celebrate – not to hide from the world – after all it’s who I am, so what good is it trying to pretend to be something else when it only makes me unhappy.
But it also occurred to me that everyone is born this way, but in a world that likes people to conform, most of us end up doing just that, disconnecting from our inner guidance and doing what we are told is best for us - even if it doesn't feel like it is.
It was time to step up and walk my own path again, it was time to remember how to live a free-spirited life, being my authentic self and being brave enough to just do what I wanted to do.
It was surprisingly challenging to let go and follow my heart again after so many years. But slowly, step by step - with many mistakes and set-backs along the way - I started to get back into my groove.
One of the outcomes of this consciousness shift that's happening on our planet, is a massive increase in advice about how to create a more fulfilling life.
People everywhere are waking up to realise they are not happy, their lives have slowly become a quagmire of routine and struggle, and there never seems to be enough time or money to find a way out.
And maybe you're one of those people, who, like me, have realised that yourr free spirit has been conditioned to conform to how society deems is the way for us to behave... But we're rebelling.
It's time to break out of survival mode. (It doesn’t matter if you’re earning 6 figures, or just getting by – you’re in survival mode if the joy and freedom has been sucked out of your life.)
There is a certain type of person who is perfectly suited to following in my footsteps - men and women who yearn to have more freedom in their live, to tap into their natural state of abundance, and who are sick to death of being stuck in their current situation, whatever that may be.
Those who crave more adventure, more authentic self-expression - and a return to how life is meant to be - one of joy, freedom and abundance.
Today I work with re-emerging free spirits from all walks of life - I specialise in helping you find your true path, which may or may not include leaving a corporate job for something more fulfilling, growing your business or starting new one, selling everything to go travelling, or simply changing your lifestyle to more authentically reflect who you really are.
I offer one-on-one personal mentoring, workshops and am currently creating an online program.
This story outlines how I re-connected to my path, how I got back to simply being myself, to realising that my strengths may not necessarily be viewed as such by the majority, but they are super powers when I choose to be me.
No doubt there are plenty of pieces of the puzzle missing in your own desire to reclaim your freedom, to embrace your free spirit and still thrive in the world, but if you choose, I can help you find your own way to doing what you were meant to do while on this wonderful planet.
Your next step, if you want to follow my footsteps and reconnect to the magical adventure of life, is to subscribe to receive my free email course in the form below:
Up until late 2015, I was living back in South Africa again! I spent a few years in Cape Town, reconnecting with many great friends, walking my Border Collie, Finn around the mountain and hanging out with my naughty ginger cat, Kitwe. I always planned to return to Australia and my dream is to live between there and South Africa….
Well, I've moved again - home to Sydney, Australia. It's great to be back and wake up to the laughing of the kookaburras and warbling of the magpies, and walk Finn on the wonderful bush tracks. I miss Cape Town, but once I'm more settled I'll be heading over for a visit.
I've learnt from experience, that's the downside of an international lifestyle. There is always 'somewhere else' that you miss, even when you're happy where you are...