A Renewed Vision

A few weeks ago, I managed to getaway to Hepburn Springs thanks to winning a retreat organised by Carer’s Victoria. I was so grateful for that time away by myself, and I used the time to reflect on my journey with The Sacred Nest so far; and the direction that I wanted my next steps to take. During my reflections I came across several sculptures of nests, some photos of which are attached to this post. Each time I saw one, I was reminded of the inspiration behind the creation and naming of The Sacred Nest, which helped to renew my original vision for the space.

For me, a nest symbolises nurturing, home and family. What I find so amazing is how a collection of dried-up twigs, leaves, dirt and other discarded materials, with the right intention, can be placed to fit together to create a stable structure and home. Each nest is totally unique and imperfect, providing a tangible example of how our families and homes come in many different forms and experiences.

And so – in May 2021, four years after opening The Sacred Nest, my time to reflect has renewed my passion to provide a welcoming environment that provides programs that support families and carers to create happier nests! Although all visitors and families are welcome, The Sacred Nest was created with carers in mind, to provide a place of support and inclusion where children of all abilities are welcome and cherished. I am currently creating some exciting children’s programs which will hopefully be ready for the next school holidays so stay tuned to our Facebook page! For carers, this week I hosted my first Carer Support Circle, and it felt amazing to finally see one of my visions become a reality. I hope that I can use my experiences to help other carers where I can.

Since opening The Sacred Nest, I have completed training to become a qualified Stillness Meditation Therapy (SMT) Teacher, a Therapeutic Touch Practitioner and postgraduate studies in Nutrition to compliment my Food Science qualifications. I am currently training to deliver the Safe Sound Protocol from The Sacred Nest, more details on that coming soon.  My intention is to combine my personal experiences, my professional knowledge and my compassionate nature to provide a holistic approach to health and wellbeing.

So, in 2021, The Sacred Nest will deliver some exciting new programs, some of which are listed below:

  • Carer Support Circle (monthly)
  • Stillness Meditation (1:1, group sessions and courses)
  • Family Meditation Sessions (parent and child (all ages))
  • The Nourished Nest – nutrition programs for gut-health & special needs
  • Therapeutic Touch (relaxation treatment)
  • Safe Sound Protocol (auditory intervention program to lower anxiety)
  • Children’s Meditation & Yoga

I look forward to welcoming you to The Sacred Nest one day soon!

Cynthia Bartolo


Carer Resources



NDIS – (National Disability Insurance Scheme)                                               \

Using Nature to Boost your Immune System

ONLINE EVENT:  Using Nature to Boost your Immune System

Good nutrition is essential for a healthy body, mind and immune system.

In this webinar you will learn simple, natural and evidence based strategies to help keep your immune system in fighting form through this winter season, using natural ingredients that you can find in your kitchen!

Date:            Saturday, June 6th at 3.00pm
Duration:    1.5+ hours with plenty of time for Q&A.
Cost:            $35, includes a handout and a recipe document which will be                            emailed to you prior to the event.

To reserve your place, Book Here.

About Marieke….

Marieke Rodenstein is a Holistic Dietitian, Nutritionist and Functional Medicine Practitioner with extensive knowledge and over 15 years of experience in her field.

She has worked as a holistic dietitian in the Netherlands, India and Sydney and has run her private practice in Melbourne for the past 8 years.

Marieke holds a Bachelors degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of The Hague in The Netherlands and has completed the ADAPT Functional Medicine training through the Kresser Institute in the USA. She is also a certified GAPS practitioner and Mindd practitioner, has contributed to books by Sarah Wilson and Michelle Bridges, and was a long standing expert for Sarah Wilson’s “I Quit Sugar” program.

A Time to Nest

This is a time to nest. Time to not only get the physical jobs done around the home, but also for resting our body and for self-reflection. We may never get an opportunity like this again to really connect with ourselves, our children and others in the home. As I have quoted elsewhere on my website, a nest is a beautiful symbol of nurturing, patience and love. Although the love is always there, the busyness of modern life puts demands on us that often strains our patience and leaves less and less time for nurturing. I believe, and I hope, that over the coming weeks after we all adjust to our new routines, we will discover a new way of connecting to our homes, our families and most importantly to ourselves.

In light of this, I thought that I would share some of the things that I have found helpful over the past few years …


  • Read a book that inspires you, and those you have been waiting for the time to read
  • Take an online course that interests you
  • Recommence a creative hobby or try something new
  • Just rest! 10-20 minutes of quiet reflection/meditation as listed under the Spirit section. This really is exercise for you brain and nervous system to learn how to slow down and process information and emotions better. It even helps improve immunity! The ‘Insight Timer’ app is a good place to start and is free if you need some guidance.


  • Walking, whilst maintaining the recommended distance from others
  • Exercise at home, be creative!
  • Yoga – join the online streaming classes of the wonderful Maya.Earth 
  • Cooking recipes that nourish your body and improve your immune system. e.g. Bone Broths


  • Spend 10 minutes in meditation/quiet reflection each day, increasing the length of time when you are ready
  • Write in a journal regularly
  • Read or watch online the following inspirational authors:
      • Eckhart Tollé, Brené Brown, Deepak Chopra– or whatever inspires you


  • Cleaning, de-cluttering and organising your home
  • Learn new habits that will help the environment. e.g. Reducing plastics
  • Research and implement strategies to reduce the toxic load in your home. Recommended reading: “Low Tox Life” by Alexx Stuart & “Healthy Home Healthy Family” by Nicole Bijlsma
  • Gardening around your home or just spending time in the garden
  • Setting up or tending to indoor plants that help filter your air. e.g. Peace Lily
  • Start a home veggie patch – grow your own organic vegetables

I cannot stress enough how much food and nutrition impact the gut and immune system, and how much this understanding has helped me personally. I will be positing some recipes soon, such as tasty healing broths that you can make at home to drink or use in your other cooking. For those who need some support and guidance, I am available for Gut Health Consultations over Zoom or Facetime. Bookings are available on the ‘Services’ page, or feel free call or email me. An online presentation on boosting immunity and the current pandemic is coming soon also.

In the meantime, gargle with warm water and either lemon, apple cider vinegar or salt if you feel any irritation or pain in your throat. This can help to ward off any illnesses before they move any further.

Keep yourself, your family, your pets and your home healthy, safe and connected… I wish you all many blessings!


Pathways to Stillness

I am so excited to reveal my new ‘Pathways to Stillness’ program, which invites participants to experience a diverse range of practices that lead to stillness. Each week we will explore a different modality, allowing you to discover which practice resonates best for you.

Some of the practices we will explore include:
– Guided Meditation
– Stillness Meditation
– Sound Meditation
– Yoga Nidra
– Pranayama (Breathing techniques)
– Chair Yoga and other gentle yoga styles

With each session you will discover the challenges that you may face, as well as the guidance to move through them. Join our welcoming community as we explore the pathways together within the serene, nurturing space of The Sacred Nest.