Dear wanderer,

Perhaps you grew up dreaming of receiving your Hogwarts letter, or stumbling upon Narnia. Perhaps you long to visit Pemberley, to Defy Gravity, or to go to the ball. I will write you that letter, and build you that wardrobe. [A metaphorical wardrobe, that is.] Here you will find step-by-step lesson plans with takeaway homework assignments that show you how to embody fictional heroines in the everyday. This means chasing your dreams and making the impossible happen with your own inner magic.

For the full experience, you can Own Your Story, or enroll in Leading Lady summer camp.

You have the potential. Heroine Training provides the tools.

Welcome to our headquarters, where dreams meet reality, where fiction is cherished, where magic is real.

Sincerely, your guide on this journey,

P.S. Read more about Heroine Training

Normal Won’t Happen. You Have to Make it Happen.

Normal Won't Happen. You Have to Make it Happen.

I’ve fallen into the habit of waiting for life to be Normal again. 

“After this, it will be normal”. “When my schedule is more normal…”, etc. 

We were in the process of moving for about three months, I’ve been traveling on top of traveling, and prior engagements happen to be happening all at once.

I just wanted ordinary.

After moving into the new flat, we flew to Paris right away on our annual obligatory winter holiday away from not-so-sunny Scotland. When we came back, we still had no furniture (it arrived the next day), but for some reason I felt like Normal would happen. Suddenly there wouldn’t be unusual tasks and out-of-the-ordinary days. I wanted ordinary for once! I wanted to fall into a routine and surrender to a schedule.

It didn’t happen of course. 

And here’s the thing: normal doesn’t happen. 

Normal doesn’t act. I am responsible for making it happen. I must impose normalcy upon life when it feels unusual. It’s like they say it will never feel like ‘the right time’. 

Normal Won't Happen. You Have to Make it Happen.

There’s always something odd going on, and usually it’s not an exciting odd. 

It’s waiting at home for the furniture to arrive. It’s traveling to Paris for a vacation, but having to sort out the logistics of printing tickets and making sure I don’t forget to pack things. No matter how glamourous something seems externally, there’s always stuff. This stuff infringes on daily life. In a not fun way.

I’ve come to accept that there will always be stuff to work around. I could spend energy resisting and resenting that, or I could spend it making normal happen.

Normal Won't Happen. You Have to Make it Happen.How to make Normal Happen

For busy people, normal doesn’t happen on its own. Here are some ways I’ve implemented Normal Life.

  • Create an Ideal Week Template. Identify what you want Normal to look like, on a regular basis, to have  a sense of what you’re aiming for.
  • Schedule the important but seemingly optional stuff first. Fitness is a great example of this. Block it into your calendar, weeks or months in advance. Fit other things around it. Those of us who work from home are the worst at this – technically we’re free all the time. But not. Set these boundaries for yourself.
  • Stick to the routines that ground you, even when you’re in a rush or on vacation. Posting on Instagram every morning gives me a burst of productivity. On a day when I’m not doing any other work, this one act helps me feel connected to my projects and community.
  • Honour your feeding times. Ensure that there is ample time to eat, and that you know where to find options. Nothing like scrambling to find a suitable lunch in limited time on an empty stomach. Pack, prepare, do your research.
  • Take some time to work through a seemingly impossible to do list. If you have a big project going on, whether it’s organising a tea party or moving into a new flat, write down all the little tasks that are piling up, and decide which are most important. Which ones need to get done this week, which ones can be shelved for later. Decide what you can and should do this week, and put the rest on hold.

How do you make Normal happen?

P.S. There’s a video of me reading this post aloud in my Heroines in Training Facebook group. I’m planning to do more like it, so join us if that’s your jam!

Passion Planner Sizes: Compact vs Classic

Passion Planner Sizes: Compact vs Classic

What size Passion Planner is right for you?

Passion Planners come in two sizes: Compact and Classic. After using a Classic size for two years, I downsized to a Compact this year, and I adore it!

Here I break down the benefits of each, and my recommendation on where to get started.

Passion Planner Sizes: Compact vs Classic

Get your Passion Planner Discount!

If you’re purchasing your own Passion Planner, use code XANDRA10 to get a 10% discount.

P.S. Take a peek inside my planner every week by signing up for the Secret Garden.

Musical Morning Pages

Musical Morning Pages

I start each morning with journaling. 

[This is Heroine Training Lesson 1, after all]

It’s a version of Julia Cameron’s morning pages, but with music. The music is critical. 

I put on one of my curated playlists or set my iPod to Shuffle and let the music suggest tempo, mood, and commentary just by its playing in the background.

Listening to music is like stretching, a yoga for my emotions. 

It energises and inspires, races and slows. A song can cheer me up, or it can understand my struggles.

I don’t listen to much music while I work because it distracts me into a different adventure altogether. I have a typing playlist (mainly The Social Network) for work, but when I write, that is my time to let the music run free.

Musical Morning Pages

I’ve been working on feeling my feelings

Acknowledging my emotions before trying to tape over them with a happier face, or tie up my enthusiasm like a dog on too short a lead, desperate to race around. 

Music helps me figure out what I need. I can find songs that match my mood, or when played randomly, realise that there is another mood perching on the surface that I hadn’t even noticed.

Sometimes I get so wrapped up in my tasks that I have no idea what I’m feeling. 

When I push through resistance to get things done, I don’t look around to see what I’m pushing. Musical morning pages are my time to observe. Check out what’s consuming me, what’s fascinating me, what I’m working with today. 

Each morning, instead of pushing it aside, I let it out before plowing through the overgrown grass that is my day. The music tempts my truth out of its burrow and into the open air, so I can see it plainly.

P.S. It is almost summer, which means that more lessons inspired by the theatrical process are just around the corner. Leading Lady is open for its pre-sale next week, for my Secret Garden subscribers only. Join us?