Image courtesy of Ivy Road Photography

After a crazy day or when things feel just that little bit off, it's often that I'll jump in my car with my surfboard and hit the highway to seek refuge in the cool, calming waters of the Pass, Byron Bay. Yet, even with that flighty sense of urgency to run away, I always opt to take the long road into Byron, the scenic route, which takes me through a little town called Bangalow.

The quaint town is nestled in the hills of the northern New South Wales hinterland. The town speaks of simpler times, the yesteryears, where all you need is less... Before PYP, I'd only actually stopped once to put fuel in my car. A kind old man startled me as he opened my door and asked how much fuel I'd like. It's this kind of old-world human interaction that draws me to drive through this town time and time again.

Beyond the quirky boutiques and rundown gas stations, there is a deeper spiritual undertone to the town than meets the eye. Perhaps this is why the last time I visited, when headed for the show grounds for PYP, I felt a sense of support as I drove Bangalow's quiet streets, this time with a purpose. 

As I entered the show grounds I was greeted by ultra lush fields of green grass and a massive kata tipi dwarfed by ancient gum trees. A few hundred women gathered under tipi seeking shade, refuge from the sun, and inspiration from the events that were about to transpire. 

Image courtesty of Ivy Road Photography

Pursue Your Passion is an event with one goal: to inspire young women to pursue their creative, entrepreneurial and career aspirations, no matter how big or how crazy the dream.  And that’s what we did; All two-hundred-and-something of us looking to the speakers, to each other, and looking deep within ourselves to chase our dreams. 

Michelle, founder of Essence of Living was first to take the stage and reminded us that while it is best to dream, and dream BIG, that we must first check our intentions, especially if they come from a place of ego. If the goal is in place because we want to get rich quick, or perhaps paint a popular image of ourselves, then the work we will do to fulfill this, will ultimately be unfulfilling. She continued on through her personal experiences and then posed the question: what next?

We find comfort in our fear, and making the leap from our safety bubble can be absolutely terrifying. Biting the bullet and branding out is one of the hardest things you can do, I’ve done it myself and it’s scary! But Michelle urged us to come up with an AWCS (Absolute Worst Case Scenario). Because really, what is the absolute worst that can happen? We may stumble and fail, but if we never stumble and we never fail, we never learn. But what if you don’t fail? What if you succeed? You’ll never know until you try.

Michelle’s take away messages from the talk were:

1.    Get crystal clear on your intention

2.    Align that with a life of meaning (free from the ego)

3.    Find the right mentors

Then we met Lizzy - One half of the gypset lifestyle international powerhouse Spell and the Gypsy Collective. Lizzy is the kind of girl who although has it all figured out, isn’t afraid to admit that she’s still finding her feet, day by day. We met Lizzy as a young “ideas girl” growing up in a creative household full of paints and leathers and tassels and artwork strewn about the house. Though being the girl with great ideas, she didn’t know how this would translate into a university degree.

As a young adult, she ebbed and flowed in an industry which wasn’t her passion, and she kept walking down a path which didn’t quite feel right, but it was safe. After a breakup, she found herself living in Bondi in a really dark place and says “When you’re lost and you need a change, it feels like you’re constantly living your days in a dark room. But all you need is a light to come on, momentarily, for a split second, and it can change everything”. Her friends booked her into an inspirational workshop when she had her light-bulb moment, to partner with her sister Spelly (who was already working on Spell) and take the label to the next level.

Lizzy immediately lit up, her eyes sparkled and she became animated. You could see clear as day that this is her true passion, she had found it, and it’s that feeling we are all trying to find. She described it as “the turquoise feeling” when she was designing turquoise jewellery with her sister for the label.

Lizzy’s top take away messages which she attributes the success of her brand to:

1.    Embracing the online world

2.    Not being afraid to delegate, and build the team around you

3.    Keep the brand authentic

Last we met Lisa. The spirit within her is strong, and you sense that when she gets up on the stage. She emanates warmth and love, and you can tell she is a nurturer by nature. Lisa is a business coach and director of Sacred Women’s Business. As a child, Lisa was envious of those that knew what they wanted to do be when they grew up. But Lisa being Lisa, she moved into medicine to help people. During her time in medicine, she saw so many people on their death beds regretting and lamenting for not having lived to their full potential and eventually her role began to change and develop into what it is now thanks to a few light-bulb moments that totally changed tack on her course.

Lisa urged us to take the impulse dream within us seriously and commit to it with full purposeful presence. “Generally our expectation is that life will turn out to be more difficult than it should be. But do you think the dream would exist within your heart if you weren’t really capable of doing it?” Her advise was to expect something wonderful to happen, everyday, and it will redirect your energy, freeing up so much space for positive visualization.

Lisa’s takeaway messages from the day:

1.    Take the dream within you seriously

2.    Don’t be the victim or protagonist in your own life

3.    Expect something wonderful to happen, every single day

I had my own light bulb moment while at PYP. Many girls were asking me for social media tips, so I decided to package them all into neat little series of eBooks which I’ll be announcing the release of soon!

I extend my endless gratitude to the speakers, the amazing MC Shelly Craft (who had experienced her own moment of magic on the day), Helena and Kristal who brought us all together and of course all of the young women who are hungry for positive change.

Miann xx

Image courtesy of

Pursue Your Passion Guest Blogger

Miann Scanlan - Style & Wellbeing Blogger

"To some, fashion and wellbeing are opposing passions that traditionally don’t have a lot to do with each other and can even come with heavy and inaccurate stereotypes. I blur the line between two, making them both more accessible… I can meditate, cleanse my crystals by the moon, give love to The Universe and wear Alexander Wang."


She blends style and wellness effortlessly and is a true salt of the earth kind of girl. We love how she inspires others to embrace a more happier and healthier life through her beautiful writing and stunning images. (Be sure to watch out for her eBook coming soon!)