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Surreal Times

It's unreal. Four months in and nothing is as it once was. Who knew we'd ever find ourselves in this situation? After the social unrest in Chile and the long quiet summer months, I felt we could finally breathe somewhat, the fear of going out into the streets had receded and our kids could go back to school unafraid. We knew new protests were being organized, of course, the anger of the people hadn't truly died down but it did feel like life was slowly going back to normal. 

Nothing prepared us for the shock of a global pandemic. I mean, what does? I'm still in shock and wake up each day in disbelief. Chile appeared to be managing the earlier months better than other countries but alas a complete lack of understanding by the government of those living in poverty here and unable to stay home exacerbated the spread of the virus. 

Many who can't afford to stay behind closed doors and need to get out to support their family, well, of course, it got out of control and the virus continues to spread. 6000 cases per day, 200 deaths every 24 hours. We are at a critical stage here in this country. The hospitals are collapsing and still, people are out and about defying quarantine measures. I don't see an end in sight. 

It's been a surreal time. I move in and out of waves of emotion, from gratitude for our situations (we are incredibly lucky compared to so many) to crying out in frustration. We were supposed to be in the UK now, visiting my elderly parents. I have no idea when I will be able to see them again. 
I hold on to hope because right now that's what we have. This situation has also forced me to be more present than ever, to focus on simple pleasures, to getting to know my children better, to really see and listen to them without my mind wandering to my to-do list as it always did.  I´ve also bonded so much more to my close friends during this time, I can count them on one hand but the important thing is I can count on them. 

I've had this blog for over 10 years now and what a journey it's been. I hate where we are now but I do know that there is a purpose to this absolute mess the world has found itself in. I want to believe that this is the awakening I have always intuited over the years. Something had to give.

From Chaos Comes Transformation

There comes a time when life seems stagnant. Everything all around you seems to have come to a stop, business has slowed down, opportunities are non-existent...

Funny isn't it how everything can change in an instant?

I wrote the first sentence a few months ago when life did indeed feel that way. I had no idea what to do with myself. I was feeling frustrated with myself and my aspirations, unsure of where to venture to next, what to do with myself...the kids were at school all day, photography work had slowed down enormously and I was left with myself and my hectic thoughts wandering aimlessly through the weeks. But it wasn't to last long and sure enough, an opportunity arose that was perfect for me shortly after and actually what I had wanted to do all this time! I am now working part-time for an online travel company managing their social media. It's crazy, isn't it...I look back now and wish I had actually enjoyed the quiet, been more present during those months as life has become busier than ever now and of course photography has picked up again and I have about 5 photoshoots booked for the next few weeks.

And now on to more serious things...

Chile is currently in chaos. It's all become very surreal but totally understandable. This anger. You can feel it in the air all around. So much inequality it's ridiculous. It's been bubbling for too long and finally, it is exploding in a myriad of ways around the country. I am in my own bubble here and feel incredibly privileged but I also feel very helpless. I'm not really sure how to feel right now. But one thing I do know is where we want to go, at least in which direction we need to be heading. Of that, we are 100% certain. As hard as it may be, it has to be done.

Much love


2019 so far

Two years have passed since my last post on this blog. Do people still actually read blogs I wonder? I think most people these days just use social media to post about their lives ... I took quite a break as I just couldn't find the inspiration within me to write. It's slowly coming back to me though. And the lack of inspiration coupled with the question of whether people actually read blogs these days had me taking a breather.

But here I am again, back to where it all began so many years ago. I'd be lying if I said life is the same; I mean of course my kids are older, and I find myself in a completely different phase of my life as a parent right now and well also so much has happened, so many changes, losses, gains, challenges,....life is always changing I know that well and resisting it is never helpful so while I have had my darker days, I have come to embrace it all equally, the ups as well as the downs and try not to dwell too much on how things were instead accept life as it is, continuously evolving, of course if we are awake and conscious of it all enough. We are ALWAYS learning. Even if it may not always feel like it. Even if life feels stagnant and mundane. There is always something to take note of and learn from.

I can never keep still and am forever in the pursuit of something new, that's my Gemini moon right there.  Right now I am still running my photography business but I am also now teaching English at a school once a week and adoring it! I love coming up with new creative ideas for the classes and I currently have over 15 students! Keeping me busy is what I crave. I can never sit still for long. And while my photography is still a great passion of mine, work has been slower than usual and I have needed to find something to compliment it. I would love to continue doing more with my photography but it's stalled a bit and perhaps with an economic crisis looming, people are wary of spending money on "luxury services". Aaah an artists life eh. A constant uphill battle; of course with surges of creativity and joy (and that's the beauty of it) but always needing to think of innovative ideas to keep going, hoping the bookings for sessions keep coming in and worrying if they take longer than usual. But the important thing is I still believe in myself and love what I do. That's what keeps me going forward.

I feel like I'm rambling now. That's enough for today. I'll be back. Night night from a cold and grey Santiago.


Going for It

Don't you just love the way life pans out sometimes?  Veering off the beaten track? Taking you places you'd not expected to be in...?

I never thought I'd be a photographer. I don't think it was ever a dream or great passion of mine until I got bought a Fujifilm in 2009 and began to take more of an interest in capturing beautiful images and trying to understand the settings behind them, forever googling and practising, following interesting photographers on Flickr. And of course, Chile was the perfect place with just the right light to be experimenting around in with its backdrops of snowy mountains, lashing waves of the Pacific, interesting architecture and people. And that golden afternoon sun....

I started to slowly enjoy this new found hobby of mine and realised I had a bit of a knack in getting great looking images with good composition.

I carried on practising, understanding more and eventually started my own business in 2012. It just felt absolutely right at the time and slot nicely into my life with two small babes (Tom was just one, Maia 2) my schedule was up to me and I loved being my own boss and of course still do!

Behold Sibylla Michelle Photography..,my little gem..that keeps going from strength to strength!


One lazy summers day I woke up from a nap, and for some reason this idea sprung up on me and I just went to my computer and created a Facebook business page and that was that. I was finally ready to begin this dormant dream of mine.

I mean, it must have always been there somewhere, lurking. I'd just never had the opportunity until then or the inspiration to nudge it awake, more driven by what was expected of me. Or what I thought I was supposed to be doing, not really tapping into the real possibility of me, an artist. I'd always somehow thought I'd be in the executive world, working for some multi national in sales or marketing at an office desk; it was after all what I'd started off doing after university and while I enjoyed it at first..I soon realised that it wasn't my true calling - I craved colour, vibrancy, freedom, art...

And it was only after motherhood, amidst the chaos of it all that I surprisingly found my inner calm.

It was in the long days of connecting to my family and to myself that made me realise what I should be doing. I am soooo ridiculously grateful to be have been able to stay home with my two kids in the early years and to have been able to tap into the artist in me. After all, I come from a family of artists... painters, sculptors, illustrators and poets...

Before all of this, I hadn't given it a chance. Perhaps the belief in myself was not great enough at the time. But then when it all finally made sense,  I couldn't pass it up.And I haven't looked back since. Here's hoping to many many more years to come doing what I love and bringing smiles to the people around me. It's all about finding your purpose in life isn't it?

Yoga my Medicine

Last year was not the greatest year health-wise. It's in those moments of weakness, those moments when you take your health for granted that it hits hardest.

It had been a busy start to the year with Maia starting at her new big school up in the mountains and me having to get used to the dreaded school run there and back most days. It stressed me out. I worried. She was suddenly so much further away from home and I thought about her up there constantly. Eventually the worry, the anxiety and stress of it all (coupled with other things that were going on in the year) got the better of me.

In May I started getting (weekly!) migraine/vomiting episodes. It was relentless. Every week I'd be back in bed, unable to eat, unable to do anything. The kids had to take the day off school or I'd have to ask for help in collecting and taking and my whole day was lost to this horrific inexplicable sickness that seemed to have invaded my body and mind. This was happening at least every 2 weeks , sometimes weekly and even when we were in the UK for 3 weeks (I thought perhaps the cleaner air and relaxed holiday away from it all would help but no I still got it three times). I look back at photos from when we were there and you can see I looked sick. I lost weight, was pale and just did not feel like myself at all.

By the end of 2016 it was getting a little less but I was still having a few nauseous episodes where I felt too tired to get up, eat or even drink. I decided I had to do something about it. I had to take control. My body was taking control of me and I felt weak and just unable to prevent what was happening to me.

After my last episode at the end of December I decided enough was enough. Back in 2015 I had done a bit of yoga (from youtube videos) and remembered how good it had made me feel but I hadn't continued.

I started to do daily yoga. Every day for at LEAST  20 to 30 minutes. I began to feel stronger over the weeks, healthier, less stressed, less angry, less anxious. My body began to tone up, muscles became more defined, my mind happier. And guess what, not a single migraine/vomiting episode since. I've had a few headaches but nothing compares to what i was going through last year. I am now on week 16 (!!!) of daily yoga (I've missed maybe 2 days in that time) and wow is all I can say.

Getting on that mat at the beginning was hard, I had to push myself my body and mind to get through it. My body was weak and tired but in no time it woke up and adjusted well. Every morning and some evenings I take out that mat, place it on my wooden floor, light a candle, and put on my daily yoga video. Sometimes I'm too tired but I do it anyway and I realise it was worth it during the day as I feel energised, happy, positive and best of all have been Yoga my Medmostly headache free. Yoga is a miracle exercise, in fact it's more of a medicine, it has healed so much of me over the past few months and I could not be more grateful.

My go to yoga youtuber is Adriene Mishler and you can find her channel here:

Happy 7 Little Girl

And just like that a new school year begins. And already Maia will be on her first ever sleepover at one of her closest friends houses tonight. Her 7th birthday came and went and I have no idea how we got here.  My excited chubby little toddler has turned into this long-limbed artistic, kind, wild, loving little girl...and already I am missing her on her long days away from us. She, on the other hand cannot get out of the front door fast enough.

Her birthday was beautiful; we sat outside on a cloudy day and caught up with old friends while our children ran riot around the condominium gardens!

Happy birthday wild little girl of ours. I am so proud to call you my daughter, my girl.  I love you more than the universe and back a million times over.


I've had to shut down my blog yet again. Just as I was starting out my renewed passion for writing this year, I was forced to withdraw it all over again. I don't really want to go into details as to why exactly, but it won't be for long I can assure you. So while I may not have my blog published and open to all as it once was, I will continue to write weekly, my thoughts, my experiences, my lifes trials and tribulations. And eventually I will publish it again.

It is mid summer and for the first time in YEARS, I am able to relax while my kids play outside. I can hear them shouting and running to and fro but I am not in my usual distressed state. Of wondering where they are, what might or might not happen, etc. etc. It's a good place to be. The kids are older, more (kind of...) responsible, they absolutely know right from wrong and while yes they do sometimes end up doing things they're not supposed to (like dangling from the 2nd floor window the other day, poking the poor pigeon who'd broken a wing, flicking dog poo around, and shouting just that bit too loudly..) they are a far cry from just a year or so ago. I am welcoming this new found quiet with open arms I tell you. There are still the days, the long, chaotic, loud and draining days but they are becoming fewer and far between. It's a cliche but it is the truest of all truths, the early years of your kids lives fly by. While it may seem hard when you're in the moment, before you know it, new teeth are coming in, in-depth conversations are had and long days will be spent at school while you are left at home or in the office wondering how they are.....

March is just round the corner and Maia will be entering Segundo Basico just after her 7th (!!!) birthday, her second year at the school. It was a hard first few months getting used to the tedious school runs, missing Maia, worrying about Maia, preparing a thousand things (projects, lunches, playdates..) so I am hoping we are all a little more prepared this year.  It was certainly a chaotic start to 2016. And it will be Tommy's last year at his Montessori nursery. I will absolutely make the most of his last year because after that,  I will no longer be picking him up on foot, walking back hand in hand, talking about the morning, quiet lunches at home just the two of us. That will all be long gone.

I am determined to be more present this year. In the moment. Less stress about tomorrow and more about the now. It just aint good for me or my nervous system!

Back soon, I promise!