“Don’t get older, get better,” implores front-woman of Aussie electro-rock band Def FX Fiona Horne in her tell-all new memoir, The Naked Witch.
Now 51, the author of several best-selling books on modern witchcraft, fire-dancer and more recently a commercial pilot in the Caribbean, says persistence has always been her greatest virtue.
“There’s nothing special about me – I’m not extra strong. I’m not extra gifted,” Fiona says.
“One thing I am, is persistent. I just can’t give up. I encourage you to never give up. Every single step you take in a better direction adds up to big, positive changes over time. And you arrive at the best version of yourself.”
Below are edited extracts from The Naked Witch of Fiona’s best tips for living happier and healthier than ever before.
Solitude no longer means cutting myself off from people in a familiar pursuit of feeling sad and abandoned. I don’t confuse it with loneliness. Solitude is uplifting, restorative, joyful. I can be in a plaza full of people in Old San Juan and feel solitude. I love being the eye of the storm – standing in peace as the world whirls around me. I find the best way to experience solitude as a healing, nourishing force is to be in Nature. Nature is the best therapy. I make sure I take a quiet moment to put my bare feet on the bare earth every day.
As I write this the rains of the past few weeks have finally stopped and the morning has dawned bright and clear. It’s a beautiful reminder that no matter how stormy and crazy life can get, there will always come the moment when clarity and peace reign supreme. I pay attention to signs; I trust them. Yesterday I had come to the end of a very busy day and I was sitting at Frederiksted Pier catching my breath and watching the last moment of the sunset … and feeling overwhelmed with the many tasks I had committed to: write a new book for my publisher, practice with Def FX for our 20-year reunion tour, write a new song for DEF FX, build my flight hours as quickly as possible so I can get a full-time job as a pilot, teach yoga, execute and fly the humanitarian aid flight I had committed to, find time to eat, sleep and also, just maybe, have a moment to relax and keep up my freediving and breath-holding skills in the ocean. I felt so overwhelmed it was paralysing and I didn’t know what to do. Something on the concrete to my left caught my attention. I walked over and saw this drawn in chalk … and I knew what to do.
Signs are everywhere if we are open to them. As long as we pay attention to them and stay out of our own way, everything can work out great.
I’m not talking about money! I have very little of it, but an enormous wealth of friends and good people in my life. I really live by the adage of ‘paying it forward’. I like to connect people with people, and people with opportunities. Rather than fullness in my pocket I feel fullness in my heart when I help someone. I hope the groundwork I have laid in my life, the experiences I’ve had, as well as lessons I’ve learned, may benefit others in some way. I experience great satisfaction in seeing someone prosper – or just smile – from my help. Or, in the case of my readings, hear the relief in someone’s voice when an emotional block they have been suffering from is released, thanks to my guidance. Wealth for me is now measured by the quality of life enjoyed with peace of mind, acceptance and by being surrounded by positive people and experiences – in that I am rich indeed.
A huge aviation milestone for me today… I passed my first Part 135 checkride today in the Piper Aztec. And for the first time pinned four bars on my shoulder. Other pilots will know what this means!! So grateful and happy to fly as Captain now for charter operator, Capitol Air and to focus on putting together my next aid flight to Haiti in November … just in time for Thanksgiving. Thank you to all of you for sharing this journey with me – your support means the world to me. #happyjoyousfree #grateful #femalepilot #captain #piperaztec #flyeverydamnday #meandmybird #avgeek #aviation #pilotsofinstagram #dontgiveup
My girlfriends are my lifeline. At times of joy and of pain they have been there. I really cultivate and treasure my friendships with the special girls in my life – and there’s no age discrimination! My island BFF is eight-year-old Haley! There’s also no species discrimination! My best animal girlfriend is my dog Fifi. Two years ago she came running out of the Crucian rainforest with a chewed-through leash hanging off her neck and bones poking through her skin … and rescued me. I love her so much it hurts. I am so proud of her and so grateful for her finding me. Friendships are the elixir of life.
Yoga is the foundation of my life now. I have always practised a little yoga over the years, but never in a devout and disciplined way. Until I moved to St Croix, which has a small, wonderful yoga community, and I was blessed to practise under the guidance of Laura Hunter Kaough – an amazing yogini and soul, who I can now also call a dear friend. When her husband’s job took their family away from St Croix, after four years of being her student, I started teaching her classes. I love the privilege and pleasure of sharing my practice and helping others grow in theirs. We create our flow together – I am grateful for the amazing students I have. Yoga is the key to living a flexible, energised life – physically mentally and spiritually. I take my mat everywhere with me.
I make sure I have adventures every day as well as plan future ones: Big and small. Having done so many things I am often asked what future adventures I am conjuring.Despite living in the Caribbean, I have a dream to go to the Maldives – on a beautiful holiday … or work there flying seaplanes for resort guests. At some point in my life I would also like to disappear into Mongolia with just a backpack and a yak-wool coat. I would love to practise yoga in India. I would love to walk the Camino de Santiago and visit my girlfriend who lives in a Witches’ forest in Spain. I’d like to go back to Africa and explore more of that extraordinary continent. And snowboard in Switzerland. My last big fear is snow! I’m terrified of slipping and screwing up. But I have a Swiss friend who says he’ll teach me, so one day I’m going to do it! As I think about my future plans, they all involve travel – further and outward, away from where I started. I will always be an explorer.
- Fiona Horne shares her incredible life story in the new book The Naked Witch (Rockpool Publishing $29.99), now available at all good book stores and online at www.rockpoolpublishing.com.au