Julie Stafford
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When my husband Bruce passed from cancer, in 2006, I was pushed through the doors of grief by the presence of a pesky seagull that led me on a ten year adventure across several continents to explore who I could become in the next chapter of my life, as a single woman.

My 30 year love story with the man I'd adored was over, or at least that's what I thought. However, because I listened to the voice of my heart, my greater love story with this man found its wings.

Before my rocky small steps through an overwhelming grief became confident leaps of faith, I was drawn to travel to Dubrovnik - a city reborn from grief and redefined by the lessons and scars of war and a turbulent history. Dubrovnik began the redefinition of me. Later, I would taste Italy's exuberance and passion for life, and I got excited about life once more. In the 'city of love', I asked if I was entitled to more than one extraordinary love story in one lifetime.

Paris did not disappoint!

My first attempt at memoir - 'The Seagull, An Unexpected Love Story' - is raw in its emotion and questions about life, death, the power of grief and the afterlife. It questions what love is capable of when someone passes, and what it means for a woman to lose love and rediscover love. It affirms that life sometimes knocks you down so you can rise higher than you ever imagined, and how in the place you rise to, you so often find your higher more evolved self.

My journey pushed me to take risks. I was directed to trust my innate instinct. Every infinitesimal moment of my life became important. The characters I met on my journey, important to my rebirth, touched my heart and grew my spirit. And, along the roadsides of my rebirth, inspired by one rather special seagull, I learned that if you want to fly you need to give up everything that weighs you down.

My adventures have taught me that I am not my circumstance, but rather I am the possibility of the lessons written into all of my circumstances. And, if we pay attention to the small details of life, we will find the clues, in both the good and the not so good experiences that were always meant to be our driving force to be awakened and evolved.

And so, ten years on, trusting more and more in the voice of my heart, I wanted to go back to my memoir, and embrace it from a whole new perspective, looking more at the significance of so many seemingly inconsequential coincidences that when looking back on them, and joining the dots of them, I discovered something that made a greater sense to me that has become a kind of wisdom to me that I follow every day that has made my life rather magical.

My new memoir is lovingly called, 'Julie's Heart Voice'.
My greatest lesson, listening to the wisdom of my heart voice, is to know that my physical age doesn't define who I am or who I can become in the package of time I am blessed to call my life; only the song I hear resonating in my heart defines me. My job is to be brave enough to follow the rhythm of this song, everyday.

What if that song is there in everyone's heart, always meant to be your guiding force? And, what if you heard it and followed it, every day of your life? Would your life be a little bit extra magical too?


I love Albert Einstein's... "Imaginationis more important than knowledge." He gives me approvalto daydream. Dr Robert Schuller's,"What would you attempt to do if youknew you could not fail?" makes me ponder the possibilities of life anddares me to dream bigger. John F Kennedy's, "There are risks and costs to aprogram of action, but they are far less than the long range risks and costsof comfortable inaction." stirs my thinking. Could he be talking directly to me and t...

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