Poetess and Entheodelic Storyteller Vanja Vukelic of Meraki Labbe creates art and poetry that are woven extensions of energy guiding you to heal through the alchemy of symbolism and reflection. Her work goes beyond just art and intentionally explores the unconscious realms of the psyche to connect and ground you with the energy of Mother Earth. Read on to find out about the practices that support Vanja in cultivating a deep sense of wellness in her own life.
I don’t usually follow any specific schedule and don’t have set time for going to sleep or waking up. TO DO LISTS on the other hand are a must, so the schedule entirely depends on what needs be taken care of and prioritized the following day.
My morning routine involves stretching, tongue scraping, and tea savoring in our backyard usually accompanied with music, dancing and laughing meditation in our living room.
While I write To Do Lists mainly for work, the rest of the day is always a mystery. I don’t make many plans in regards to anything else really and our evenings are never the same. Patio dinners with friends, writing, reading, drawing, meditating, going for a walk with Andre (my partner) or our favorite: ordering in and watching movies; I love spontaneous decisions and witnessing how each day’s journey evolves without too much effort of my own.
Typically I eat mainly steamed or raw vegetables, fruit, and all kinds of nuts. I grew up eating meat in the Balkans and the meals were never complete without one or two kinds of meat on the plate. It took me a long time to unlearn and decondition myself from such a lifestyle and I am happy to say it’s going to be almost two years now that I’ve eliminated meat from my diet.
I also avoid milk and dairy products and am on the next step of eliminating seafood from my nutrition as well. Sugary products and drinks are a BIG NO! Breakfast: Breakfast usually consists of oats with different kinds of berries OR a supercharged smoothie with: strawberries, bananas, spirulina, hemp and chia seeds, ashwagandha and maca powder, cinnamon (my favorite!), turmeric, almonds and soy milk. Lunch: Guacamole or some random salad with avocados, rice or quinoa, steamed vegetables and baked potatoes or yam. Dinner: Indian, Mexican, or Italian (pizza) cuisine. Snacks: Mangos, apples, Brazil nuts, cashews, peaches, and carrots with hummus. Drink: Water, tea, watermelon juice, or lemonade only! Splurge: Ginger and honey chocolate filled biscuits.
Oh, Fitness. Not a fan of any kind of sports or exercises. I know, it’s really bad. That being said, I love yoga and have recently resumed my hatha vinyasa flow in Sivananda Center here in Toronto. I also hired a personal trainer to help me tone and build muscle, which was an incredible experience for me witnessing the unfolding of my own strength and courage. It was also my first time EVER inside a gym, so that was both empowering and humorous at the same time.
Direct communication, flexibility, aloneness, and humor. I feel these elements combined can really not only maintain healthy connections, but evolve the loom of reality while exploring and weaving deeper force, creativity and potential within all our relationships. Direct communication is a well of trust, honesty, and vulnerability. It’s a practice that evolves with time, it doesn’t always come easy, but more often than not it strengthens the bonds or releases all that is unwanted. Flexibility is important to me because I need my space to be alone, to make my own choices, to grow how I want to grow without attachment to the relationships. This is crucial in also allowing others to exist as they are without the need to impose my own expectations and conditions of my ego on others. Alone time really helps to distance myself from these mental movements and reflect on life regularly. Humor is equally important. In a world where we are told to grow up and keep “childish” behaviours away, many neglect their thirst for wonder, playfulness and innocence and become extremely serious. I joke A LOT so my partner and friends must get with the program, otherwise there won’t be a future for us. It’s important to explore many aspects of the self in relationships, to know when to be serious, yet never ignoring our inner child.
Both Andre and I are artists and like to surround ourselves with plants, art and souvenirs from around the world. Our home is peaceful and quiet with simplistic, minimal, cozy décor. It’s important we have an influx of fresh air and sunlight at all times. We only have what we need at home, so our friends even to this day ask if we ever plan on buying any furniture or investing in our home. Ha! Deep down, we know we will always be on the move and not having a lot of “stuff” IS our definition of oasis. Calm vibrations, cleanliness, and fresh air support our wellness at home and we enjoy it immensely.
Stress-Release and Centering Tools
Writing, writing …and more writing. There is no better medicine for me than erupting all my thoughts and stress on paper. Only then, when I read back and reflect, I can realize and unscramble the bustle of my psyche.
Spending time in nature nurtures my spirit. Connecting with streams, mountains and the trees listening to their ancient song and dancing with the wind nourishes me, ignites my fire, evolves my imagination and deepens the appreciation.
Psychedelic festivals and electronic + reggae music bring me joy, amongst other things. Being surrounded with alike, loving, high vibe souls while dancing to primordial earthy rhythms fulfills me, takes me home. Also, deep conversations about the Universe, UFO’s, and ancient civilizations make me glow!
The happiest place for me is with Andre and my cat Neguinha no matter where we are.
My newly discovered love for drawing and mandala meditations helps me to explore the alchemy of both the conscious and unconscious realms, and by immersing myself into the mystery of symbolism and my own inner rooms of wonder, I am slowly discovering my message and direction. People around the world who connect with my art and poetry feed my soul and encourage me to keep walking, keep evolving and discovering my purpose.
Right now, I’m most excited about the fact that I’ve redesigned my reality! This year in September marks one year of my entrepreneurship path. My business is blooming and my visions are emerging further into the world. When I quit my 9-5 I was scared, sad, insecure, unsure of my journey, struggling with finances and emotions, and doubting my decisions. Now, I am proud to not only be sustaining myself with only my imagination but discovering my purpose of healing and opening a way of expansion for others so we can all become fully aware of who we are in order to live healthiest and most fulfilling life possible. The risk I took enabled me to live presently with myself and loved ones, realizing that there is no greater gift than to live in the NOW.