Well, hello there. Thanks for stopping by.
Who I am.
I’m a South African living a curiosity-driven life. I’m based in beautiful Innsbruck with the love of my life, Tirolean who has the tolerance of a saint and who not only puts up with, but often finds himself involved in whatever subject I am curious about at the moment! Although my interests are constantly changing, there are some constants in my life. Reading, scuba diving, star gazing, folklore, the Classics, storytelling, writing, brainstorming, building communities, people watching, sustainability and travelling (mostly on foot and by train) all feature in my life on a regular basis.
I write about all these things and whatever else happens to have aroused my curiosity at the moment.
What I do for a living.
I am fortunate enough to do something that I love for a living. I am a communication specialist and having spent 12 years running my own creative agency, focusing on things like branding, strategic planning, design, online experiences, and marketing, I now spend my days geeking out on what I like to call human-to-human communication, and then sharing my knowledge as a communication skills trainer, professional facilitator, and moderator. You can learn more at Whitbys (original, I know) and SciComm Success.
My secret life.
I am a professional oral and performance storyteller with an isiZulu stage name. I call myself Ziydliwa (yes, there is a story behind that) and I craft and perform magical storytelling shows for (mostly) adult audiences. I run a weekly story podcast called Stories and Supernovas: no interviews, just good stories are wise, wonderful and sometimes weird.
What I am embracing.
Having been a driven, “let’s make this happen” kind of person all my life, I have been working on accepting more and forcing less. I am educating myself about Zen, practise Zazen most days, and am incorporating the principles of Zen into my life gradually, but successfully. I teach Yin Yoga and Pilates classes in Innsbruck and offer multi-sensory meditation and reflection sessions for people who want more from life than a linear progress from birth to death. I love Zen koans and wisdom talks, and record a regular podcast of very short stories called Tiny Mindful.
What I am learning.
Good grief. This changes daily because there is so much to learn! However, thinking about constancy, I am working towards a PhD at the moment, exploring how stories and sensory inputs can affect our relationship to spaces.
The importance of people.
I am a firm believer in the power of people, communication, and conversations to change the world, and I organise regular events to connect, challenge, inspire, and encourage action.
What makes me happy (aside from my life partner).
Love walking barefoot, jumping in puddles, losing myself in a good book, bringing people together, throwing parties, cycling around town in a sundress and a big hat, drinking wine, history, vivid colours, cooking up a storm, the ocean, birdsong, basil, writing, illustrating, walking (not hiking), people-watching, tea, playing with words, paying it forward, growing chillies, making natural cosmetics, telling stories and finding sustainable ways to travel the world…
If you are interested, here’s what I am doing now.