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It’s strange for me watching this little portrait of my life which was shot back in September of 2013 by the inspiring René Eckert. Not only do I marvel at the size of my bum back then (just kidding) but I’m struck by how lonely some of the shots feel, especially the ones depicting the cubs’ and my life. My original intention for agreeing to make this short film was to, in some way, inspire those who watch it to realise that however challenging the situation, there is life to be lived. But after my initial viewing, all I could see was a snapshot of a broken little family and a woman doing all that she could to step back up. And like an unexpected slap across the cheek, I was left reeling in the truth of a painful chapter gone by.

When I watched the movie for the second time, again somewhat confused by my feelings, all I could think about was that I wanted you all to see more of just how much happiness there was and IS in our lives, despite losing gorgeous Andy. I wanted you to see more of the extraordinary Australian landscape that we are so very privileged to live in, and its abundance of blue skies and sunshine. And I wanted you to see the amazing support we have from our friends and community far and wide.

I didn’t want sympathy or sorrow, sadness or apology, or for anyone to be overwhelmed by our sense of loss, which is what I found myself feeling and giving to the woman and children I saw in the film.

But I realise now, after switching my mind off and having temporarily put my overpowering ego in the corner, that this is a really beautiful and accurate visual portrait of a very important time in our lives. It captures the incredible solitude and aloneness that losing a part of you will temporarily manifest.

When I reflect back just 8 short months ago, despite it feeling like a million miles away, I feel myself struggling to avoid the pain of the past which can feel as raw as a freshly sliced cut, depending on how long I choose to stay in that moment. But that was then and this is NOW, a time where I can now choose to let go……

So to you, the beautiful Maybe McQueen community, I bare and share myself once again and acknowledge that to really inspire living life to the fullest, we must remember to share the ups and downs, as it is the place in the middle, in the calm of reflection, that insight is born.

Nothing but love …..

 Words below taken from the Blinsickfreie site …

In all works of art, deep shadow is vital because it provides necessary depth and perspective. It follows that in a life painted with dark challenges, there exists the inevitable brilliance of opportunity.

Life coach Vashti Whitfield was staggered by the loss of the love of her life and father to her two children in 2011, Spartacus-starring actor Andy Whitfield, to cancer.

Around the same time, filmmaker René Eckert stepped away from his life’s work for several months when he experienced his passion dwindle into routine. He documented the cinematic story of his near-burnout which Whitfield discovered online soon after and contacted Eckert.

A series of emails culminated in Eckert’s unannounced arrival in Sydney in 2013, guided only by his overwhelming desire to merge her compelling narrative with his, and to inspire others to move forward with clarity, purpose and hope.

This film is a testament to Whitfield’s unflagging love for her husband, her children and the great gift of life, despite its seemingly insurmountable obstacles. And is a tribute to those who continue to navigate out of the dimly-lit spaces of adversity: those passionate, steadfast lovers of life and light.

  • Amanda Kostrich

    Wow! That was absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing and reminding me to breathe <3

    • Tracee R.

      I agree!

  • Nadine

    All, I see is growth, Vash. Lot’s of beautiful growth. Inspirational growth that spurts from love and beauty. It’s one of the most courageous things :-)

  • AmandaF

    Well done to Rene, this really is a beautiful piece with an inspiring story to tell.
    We are all our own worst critics but from what I can see, you are doing a remarkable job Vashti. Time spent with your children is special and you make it so. It’s true that not every day is going to be a good one but you should feel very proud of your achievements and your journey thus far. It’s good to stay strong but there will be times when you truly don’t have to, you have many friends to help share your load, you are not alone sweet lady.

    • Stephen

      I agree with you AmandaF

  • disqus_tuf3X3NBCG

    One word “Gorgeous”.

  • Tracee R.

    Simply beautiful. It’s quiet reverence for love and loss acknowledges the pain; yet nudges the courage to gently flow forward. Thank you for sharing.

  • Stephen

    Gratitude for sharing this most intimate video portrait of your family, life, work, and thoughts that you share with the Maybemcqueen community. It’s always so special and heart-wrenching at the same time. I can feel your loss and love in this video. Always crucial to try to move forward in another aspect of one’s life. Can’t wait to see more videos such as this and of course the Be Here Now film.
    Hugs to you Vashti, Indigo, Jesse, and to Andy from up above

  • Laz

    Thank you for being so open and sharing many intimates thing about your life and family, when I watch the video even crying a lot I could feel you loss and love very deep, you had the strength to move forward and you has been able to teach and help other moving on with their life including me . I can’t wait to see much more videos , blogs and of course the Be Here Now documentary. lots of love for you, Indi, Jesse and Andy from up above.

  • Luckie


  • Carolyjavi

    Thank you, thank you, thank you lovely Vashti!! It is amazing. The words I take with me are: “keep on and move forward”, and yes I will and that’s all because of you and your positive attitude. Thanks again for sharing with us

  • Penny Douglas

    Kudos to you and to Rene for such a beautiful piece. I know these feelings all too well, after having more tragedy and terrible things happen to me in my life than anyone can ever imagine, but I have always had the never give up attitude, because that is the only to go. Not saying there were not many days, or times when I didn’t know how I could make it for one more minute, with all of the problems and also terrible pain that I suffer on a daily basis to top it all off, but somehow I have managed to keep going. You are doing a great job Vashti, and you inspire so many.

    I am listening to the sweet sounds of Adele, as I often do, and every time I do, I think so much about you guys. Her music makes me think of you for some reason but it makes me think of my life as well. Unlike you Vashti, I was married twice, and neither was very good. The second one was a nightmare from hell. My 2nd husband abused us and beat my little son and I, and we lived in fear and a prison every day for years. Such is a crazy life we all live and are on. I have started writing a book. I surely do need to finish it, as I think I could help alot of people too.
    Keep up the beautiful and great work Vashti, and on those bad days, just keep on smiling and living. Andy is with you all each day in spirit. Love and hugs.

    • Stephen

      Very inspiring Penny. I didn’t know some of the things you mentioned here. I’m so sorry you and your son had to endure all that. I’m glad you are able to come away with something positive. That takes courage and strength. I hope you get to finish the book. I’d love to read it.
      Thinking of you Penny

      • Penny Douglas

        Thank you so much Stephen. I really appreciate that. 😉

        • Stephen

          You’re welcome Penny. I’m always thinking of you.

  • Corinne

    Poignant and inspiring. I’m setting my alarm… Too many beautiful sunsets missed! Xxx

  • Malin

    I love it !
    It show´s your´s and even Andy´s unbroken believe in life. So beautiful and inspiring !
    Thank you so much !!!


  • Karen

    Tearful, touching, inspiring and beautiful ….

  • Rivke

    Wonderful! Many thanks to you and Rene for such a sweet, treasured and inspiring collaboration.
    Blessed Be!

  • Mari

    What a beautiful film; visually and in the story. You know Vashti it didn’t come across as sad to me or lonely, more peaceful and just life going on. You three seemed like a complete family to me, just as you are. It’s nice that you’ve come such a long way, I know you’ve worked hard to get there. Thanks for sharing!

  • Tanja

    Wow this is so very beautiful! It touched my Soul!

  • Kristin

    I see a strong and centered woman, children who deeply love their mum, and a mother who is a warrior for her children. I find this a beautiful story with a quintessential single mum!

  • Claire Abbott

    Beautiful words brought to life with gorgeous cinematography :) It’s amazing how, when you look back at something for a second time that you see a different meaning or feeling to it. Always an inspiration Vashti :)
    Love and light to you all.

  • Daria

    Simply beautiful. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your life. For inspiring us and showing us that you can find beauty and joy if you look for it, in pretty much anything. Your are an amazing woman and mother, Vashti. Here’s to a beautiful life!

  • susan mangan

    Beautiful inspiring piece, you strong, strong lady. And just to give u an example of what u have inspired; on the new year list u asked us to do for 2013 i had put down that i wud go from just boxing for fitness to competing. Well it took a little longer than planned but i have had two fights in de last month and they were both amazingly exhilarating. And i won both of them! not bad for an ole lady, eh? So thank u vashti and all my mmq family for this wonderful forum that helps, encourages and inspires us to live to our full potential. Love to u all. X

  • sandra

    magnifique reportage! Le sentiment que dégage ce film est la force tous simplement…. Un grand merci de la France et beaucoup de bonheur pour votre petite famille

  • millie

    Incredible. Can´t stop watching it. Lots of love to you and your extraordinary family

  • mimi81

    Inspiring words, Beautiful eyes that sparkle with wisedom, patience, intelligence, and an impression of knowing just a little more :-) thank you for sharing Vashti <3

  • michelbarreau

    Thank you vashti for thé vidéo i love you beautiful

  • michelbarreau

    Beautiful Thank you vashti bisous de France

  • Miya

    Thank you so much for your generosity, you’re such a beautiful human being, by your look and by your soul. This short film is just amazing, what a great job!

    You are inspiration, and i have a big admiration for you. Watching the short movie, i just felt a kind of peace mind (well, not sure to be able to say exactly what i feel and how i feel it) and, again, admiration.And the thought that i would LOVE to be one of your “client”.

    My emotions are still in the “storm area” since February, that’s remind me to breath.

    Thank you again lady ♥

  • michelbarreau

    Je regarde souvent cette vidéo et elle donne toujours et toujours une leçon de vie

  • Olga Popova

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