How to hold a “Festival of Me”

How to hold a “Festival of Me”

You are worthy/ Du bist wert voll - mixed media art by Ursula Markgraf

Mixed media print “Du bist wertvoll” (You are worthy) – SOLD OUT

My birthday is today *yeah* which always makes me feel kinda funny. I do love my birthday and I love celebrating it. But the last years I kinda struggled with the “how”.

How do you celebrate yourself?

The older I got the harder I found that. I did not feel like having a big party. But I also did not want to spend the day just like any other day. What could I do to make it feel special?

When I asked in a group on facebook how others celebrate their special days, Candace – an arty and sea-loving Internet-friend of mine – talked about having a “Festival of Me”. I loved that idea so much  that I asked her to write a post for my blog about that. Everyone deserves a Festival of Me, right? So here it is:

You are worthy/ Du bist wert voll - mixed media art by Ursula Markgraf

Dear Birthday Girl,

Welcome to your Festival of Me.
Today would be a day I take myself to the sea.
By car or van or plane or train or bike
or on my own two feet.

After a fresh, nourishing breakfast with coffee,
and/ or a delicious tea ( I am having a white tea with rose petals today).
Or a joyous sparkly smoothie. What does your body want this morning?
Today could be a day I book myself in for a relaxing massage,
and pamper myself to high heaven and
take a walk or
curl up in a warm spot and
reconnect with every cell in my body.
And tell them, hey, thank you for
always working so hard to take care of me.

I might get my hair done, and have a
giggle with the hairdressers
over trashy magazines.
I might put on that dress or hat or little piece of jewellery
because today is that day
I have been waiting for to wear them.

I would take myself to the forest, or the park or the sea…
with a great book, and my Journal for Me.

In it I would write all the delicious dreams
I would love to have for myself in my life.
This is a safe space, this is a lush garden.
For your dreams, hopes, loves, fears.

I would write all the wonderful things that have happened, big or small.
Look for them.
I will start with : I am alive.
When my head starts to think about things I need to
solve and change and get over and understand before
anything else can happen.
I will rewrite these things to ask:

What is it that I seek?
I seek love, joy, peace, beauty
and fun.
I seek healing I seek feeling like everything is ok,
and there is nothing wrong with me.
I seek meaningful connections with
sisters and brothers of the soul.
And it is done.
You have come such a long way,
you have been loving, you have been brave,
you have always done the best you know how.
And so have the people around you,
whether you know them or not.

Today on my Birthday Festival of Me
is a day to collect all the pieces of me
and love them.

I would read my Journal of Me,
my Mermaid Memo,
often to remind me of where I want to go,
to help me make choices (is this towards what I want?)
and to record the wonderful little things that unfold:
seeing hearts everywhere,
seeing little signs you know are for you or you would not have noticed it.

Remember that feeling of ease and flow when it happens.
Always use that as your inner guide.

Happy Birthday Lovely.


Candace Loy


Birthdays are special simply because you were born.
Spend it on your own or with loved ones, however you like!
And you know what, this Festival of Me, could be any day you want!
Schedule it in and make that time the next time you can.
Maybe next weekend? :)

About Candace:

I followed my heart to the ocean and moved from Singapore to Australia to New Zealand,
where I paint, surf, and am researching sustainable seafood and learning how to dive and
I lived in Melbourne for a few years when I was in brain research.
It is also where I learnt to surf on the Great Ocean Road.
Melbourne is a city of many festivals:
and so I started treating everything like it was a festival, including birthdays!!
Because things are more fun like that.

On my birthday last year I took myself 4 hours’ drive up north to a beautiful surf break,
and stayed with friends on the way.
The world is your friend when you move around alone.
Pay attention to how you are feeling inside and trust it.
Let yourself chat with people on the way.
A little exchange about the weather, a little giggle over something funny.
These little moments remind us that we are never alone in all this,
we are all in this together.
I love you and have a wonderful Festival of Me.
I have plenty of great stories and eco-friendly products for mermaids coming up.
Including an eco-friendly waterproof journal. Wait till you find out how it’s made!!
Get the free mermaid manifestival and updates at HERE.

So when are you going to hold your Festival of Me? Get your calendar and set a date! Now! And let us know in the comments. :-)

Why it isn’t selfish to fulfill your dreams

Why it isn’t selfish to fulfill your dreams

When I was thinking about what blogposts to write for the rest of the year I really wanted to add a post about this topic. Cause honestly, that was one of my major fears when I started to work on fulfilling my dreams. Won’t people think I am selfish? What if everyone would only do what makes them happy? Am I an egoistic person?

By now I am certain that I am not egoistic or selfish and that the world would be a better place if people would do what made them happy and fulfill them. But when I sat down on the computer to write about why it is not selfish … the page just stayed blank.

Luckily I got some professional help. ;-) The wonderful coach Sandra Heim with her website (GERMAN) wrote this guestpost (Her guestpost was written in German and translated by me with her permission):

Does this sound familiar – your heart’s desire is calling and you start to open yourself up for new possibilities. But suddenly you are confronted with fierce resistence: “You can not do that”, “That will never work out”, “Do you care only about yourself now?” At that time you need to stay strong. Cause one thing is cretain: To fulfill your dreams is not only the best you can do for yourself. Here is why.

I still remember the reaction of my parents pretty well when I told them after I had finished my studies: “I will not take a regular job. I will write my first book.” They were not really jumping for joy, but they seemed rather desperate.

Of course I would have really liked to avoid all the conflict, but then I would have had to deny my inner voice completely and luckily my inner voice was too strong for that already.

Today, a few years have passed, I did not end up as a broke writer on the street and my parents are at peace with my path. Partly also because to a certain degree my choices lead to my happy marriage and their only grandchild.

Turning your own visions into reality often means that this first leads to chaos, which is followed by a new all-encompassing order. This order is beneficial to many people, not just yourself.

Follow your north star - mixed media art by Ursula Markgraf

Mixed-media art print “North star” – SOLD OUT

Fulfilling your dreams is not selfish,


 1. cause you will put a whole chain of positive occurrences into action

My first book was one of the many puzzle pieces that lead me and my husband together and gave my parents a happy daughter and a long-wished for grandchild. The voice inside you that encourages you to believe in your dreams knows more than you do. This voice wants the best for all involved and knows that your actions will have extensive consequences. If you follow this voice your life will be touched and enriched by many other people.

 2. cause it makes you a better version of yourself

To realize dreams means, that you have to give up parts of yourself in order to reach your future, like your strongest self-doubts or destructive habits. The stronger you hold onto your vision, the faster a new self-confidence will bloom and you will be a light for the people around you.

3. cause you will turn into a source of inspiration, especially for the people close to you

I am not sure how you feel about this, but when I can not do what I love (like sitting on my laptop and writing like right now) then I become grumpy. I nag at my husband, even though he did not do anything, am unjustly impatient with my daughter and so on … To follow my biz dream and work as a coach and author each day is my way of making sure that I am a content mom and wife the rest of the day.

Notice: If you express your visions and talents then you contribute to the well-being of your family and relationships.

4. cause you will make God laugh

Sometimes I imagine what God (the universe, the source or however you want to call it) feels like when he looks at us humans, his co-creators. It must be boring to always see the same things, mustn’t it? Human gets up in the morning, goes to the loo, goes to work, comes back home, sits in front of TV, goes to bed, gets up next morning … How refreshing must it be to watch someone finally do things differently? Someone who pauses and thinks: “Wow, I really must follow this idea! I don’t know yet how this will work, but I will open my own art gallery!” Making your dreams real means to give joy to God.

5. cause you will make yourself happy

Last but not least this is about you. You are the person that is closest to yourself, that you know best, that you are going to spend the rest of your life with and that you went through all ups downs with. Isn’t it appropriate to show this person’s dreams the utmost respect?

Which dream do you want to make real? I would love to read your comments!

Sandra’s website is in German, however she is fluent in English and happily works with English-speaking clients. As a coach she supports moms to make their own businss dreams real so they are financially independent, express their talents fully while having enough time for their kids. You can schedule a first free session by emailing her:

10 ways to love yourself.

10 ways to love yourself.

Well, not THAT kinda love, cheeky!

Love yourself - mixed media art print - by Ursula Markgraf

Mixed media art print “Love yourself” – art print available HERE

Why would I tell you to love yourself you ask?
Well, because you are important! Because YOU are the most important person in your life. Think about it – you are the one that is always there for you, right? You are the one you can always count on. You have to have your back!
Yes, of course you have other friends as well. I am not saying they are not important. But many women simply overlook that they are important, too. Very.
So what if your relationship with you is not the best it could be? Well, here are some ideas how you can start to improve it:

1. Treat yourself the way you treat others that you love and care about.

Be gentle and kind to yourself. Why would you treat others nicely, but not yourself? Surely you deserve to be treated kindly!

2. Check your own beliefs about yourself.

Do you truly believe you are beautiful? You are lovable and loved? You are worthy? If you do not believe those things, why not? (And just for the record, yes, of course you should believe those things.)

3. Start using affirmations to tell you how wonderful you are.

For example you could have one that says „You are loved“ in your purse. Or let your phone tell you that “You are worthy”. Or hang an art print on your wall that reminds you “Love yourself”. ;-)

4. Take good care of yourself.

If you are stressed, sick or tired, try to think about what you would tell your kids or best friend in the same situation. Would you pressure them to just pull themselves together? Or would you tell them lovingly to take a break and rest?

5. Write yourself a loveletter.

Sounds weird, doesn’t it. But it is a nice way to truly think about what you think about yourself and give yourself some tender attention and love.

Love yourself - mixed media art print - by Ursula Markgraf

6. Have a me-date.

At least once a month. Once a week would be even better, but I know how crazy it can be with kids, family, work. When you have a me-date you only do what YOU love. Treat yourself to something nice. Be extra kind. No running errands. No „I am supposed to do that so I might as well…“. Just NO. Do something that YOU LOVE.

7. Dress yourself FOR yourself.

I realized some time ago that when I get dressed I mostly think about how others will see me. How crazy! Especially since I am the person I spend most time with.
So now I try to dress myself so I am happy with it. Sometimes I love to stay in my yoga pants and a comfy shirt all day. Yes, most people would not call that properly dressed. I am fine with that. :-) Sometimes I will get dressed up even though I am going nowhere in particular. Just because.

8. Hone in on what YOU need.

It is so easy, especially for women and mothers, to completely loose track on what their own needs are. We focus so much on what others need and get so used to being there for others, that we kinda loose touch with ourselves. Have you ever had this feeling that you simply do not know what you want, what you would enjoy right now, whether you rather wanna stay in or go out – read or paint – just sit still or watch a movie? Try to get more in touch with yourself. Try to get a feel for what you need. Sometimes this might be an evening at home alone with a movie. Sometimes it might be a coffee with a friend or a long walk. Practise to get better at knowing your own needs.

9. Be forgiving toward yourself.

If your child or a good friend does something wrong, you forgive. So do the same for yourself. Who says you have to be perfect. Noone is! So if you expect yourself to never make mistakes, that is totally unrealistic and kinda crazy. Right? Stop it.
(Noone said loving yourself would be easy.)

Love yourself - mixed media art print - by Ursula Markgraf

10. Listen to your intuition.

This has taken me a long time. And I am still working on it. But by now I deeply believe that we all have an inner knowing. Find it. Trust it. Honour it by listening to it.

I hope this list gives you some ideas. Have something to add? Please do so in the comments.

I would love to hear from you!