My Midlife Survival Kit: Jeannie Bourke

Healer, spa founder and magical thinker, Jeannie is a Sydney beauty legend. Her salon, Venustus, has been a go-to wellness destination for over 30 years.

Venustus spa has been a Sydney institution for over 30 years. Its owner, Jeannie Bourke, is a legend in the local beauty industry. For her, Venustus is far more than a treatment centre.

“In this extraordinary life, we focus on the light, the magic makers, the healing, the big important life work, the journey of ethics, integrity, moral code, love, kindness and courage,” says Jeannie of the Venustus philosophy. So far, so not your average beauty destination.

“Each morning we open the space with a smudging ceremony of sage, palo santo and incense,” says Jeannie. “We honour our spirit animals and our spirit guides, calling in all the magic makers, the white witches, the healers, the light workers and the high priestesses, to help in the healing that will take place for you today.”

Yes, you’ll have an amazing massage or beauty treatment, but you’ll come away with an experience that has been so much more.

We can’t all get to Sydney, but we can channel a little bit of Jeannie’s magical thinking by taking inspiration from her midlife survival kit. These are the things she swears by for her own sanity and healing.

Rip Curl g-bomb long sleeve Hi cut 1mm spring suit, £85.67

Living in Sydney, I go ocean swimming every morning at 5am. My lightweight wetsuit means I can swim in any weather. If the beach is closed due to big surf, I just get in the ocean pool.

Whilst under the sky before going in, I hand over all my concerns and worries. I say them to myself in my mind, and then I ask the universe/god/higher source to take them and get back to me with answers when they can.

I come back under the sky later in the day for those answers.If the  ocean is not close by, use your shower to activate your crown chakra at the top of your head. Let the water hit your crown, then your third eye and then throat – as long as you can if you tilt your head back safely. It feels like a waterfall, calming the mind, activating your creativity and speaking your truth.  If you can find an actual waterfall, well…

Add It To Your Midlife Survival Kit

Rip Curl

Venustus rose grandiflorum facial serum, Aus$199

For me, skincare has to be minimal and it has to have meaning, heart and memory.

This serum is a blend of certified organic rose essential oil and jasmine absolute, suspended in a blend of organic hazelnut, peach kernel and rosehip oil.

In aromatherapy, rose and jasmine have the energy of love and divine hope. I put the serum in my hands and hold them in front of my face, inhaling three deep breaths. Then in my mind, I say “love of self, love of another, communal love, universal love”. It’s a small meditation, just 15 seconds, but it’s life changing morning and night.

Add It To Your Midlife Survival Kit


Lemurian Quartz Crystal, from £12

My Lemurian quartz crystal was given to me by one of my healers. They told me the legend of an ancient civilisation called Lemuria, similar to Atlantis, but more spiritually developed. As their time was coming to an end, the Lemurians programmed these crystals to teach their message of oneness and healing, messages that would be revealed when the energy on earth was ready to receive.

The Lemurians seeded the crystals, encoded with their ancient knowledge and wisdom. I hold mine everyday and I can feel this energy. Every evening I place it in the dirt (return it to earth to heal) in front of our home, then every morning take it with me into my day.

Add It To Your Midlife Survival Kit


Midori blank notebooks, £7.50

I have at least five notebooks on the go at any one time: I carry them around in my bags, on my desk, in the car… Once they’re finished, they get ‘retired’ at home. 

To help with any problem solving, I write down conversations word for word – whether with my tribe at work, my bestie, my friends or family. We problem solve for each other, come up with the best ideas and write them down.

Add It To Your Midlife Survival Kit


Hammock, from a selection.

Every evening, you’ll find me back out under the sky waiting for the answers. 

Hammocks remind me of our best holidays with my family. They go diving and I lie in a hammock, reading and taking notes. Every time I lay in my hammock, I’m reminded of those experiences.

Add It To Your Midlife Survival Kit


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