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Category: Guest Blogs – Inspiration Corner


Living yoga off the mat with Karen Spitz

Living yoga off the mat with Karen Spitz

Posted February 23, 2016

This blog series is a reflection on how incredible yogis are living yoga off the mat – taking the powerful and ancient principles of yoga into their world. ++ Karen is one of those women who literally light YOU up and the room she is in because she shines so bright. One a yoga student of mine, I (truthfully) would look forward to the moment when Karen would walk into class. She is bubbly, effervescent almost. ALIVE. She’s one of those rare souls that just seems to OOZE an understanding that life is joy. Life is love personified. Which is why when you get to know Karen and her story below you’ll appreciate her light even more. I know I did, and still do. The way she lives yoga off the mat, what  she is here to do, and how she is doing is truly an inspiration. Please, stop whatever you are doing and read the below. You’ve got 3 minutes. It’s worth it. love + light, Claire Finish this sentence: Trigger warning: contains themes of sexual abuse. My yoga practice is… ever-changing. I am not static and neither is my practice. Accepting this reality makes it easier to identify what I need in the present moment and take action that is most beneficial. To me, yoga means…. a place of connection. It is no longer the ‘thing that just happens on the mat’, it is how I treat myself and others, how I understand things, and now it is how I make the world a better place. My experience of the mat has… been and still is one of extreme humility. I am in awe of the practice’s ability to challenge me, to show me how strong I am, how much I am capable of, while at the same time giving me unquantifiable comfort. I am deeply grateful that the practice meets me where I am at regardless of what I bring to it or how long it’s been between ‘down dogs’. It is there ready to hold me and it allows me to unfold as I need to. The biggest shift/epiphany/moment of insight I’ve ever had during yoga was….. The greatest gift yoga has given me is one of connection. As a survivor of early childhood abuse I lived for many years almost entirely dissociated from my body. I had a fractured, apathetic relationship with my physical being. This disconnection manifested as very toxic emotions, thoughts, physical symptoms and constant pain. Yoga opened the door to acceptance. Fourteen years on I still have to work at it but yoga gave me that feeling of deep joy in my body, the deliciousness of movement and a comfort in my own skin. Yoga has given me a home. Quick Fire Questions: What are the lessons you carry on a daily basis, off your mat? Connection, presence, authenticity. The practice doesn’t lie – if my brain is agitated, I find balance challenging. If I am exhausted then holding myself up is hard. It’s all there in the practice, particularly the bits I don’t want to see. And the anger that I feel towards my teacher when she makes me “do something”… it has nothing to do with her or that third Utkatasana. I brought that into the room. Being connected to myself, present and bullshit free allows life to flow through me unimpeded and that is the best version of myself. Why are these important to you? Because what is the goddam point if we are super-bendy, hot-looking and zen on the mat but we are an asshole to our mothers, friends and colleagues? The practice in and of itself is not the point, the real stuff happens once we close the door of the studio and are out of the world. That is when the real Yoga starts and what the work on the mat prepares us for. What yogic principle have you translated for yourself – what, how and why? Non-attachment, non-attachment, non-attachment – I say this three times so I remember. I have been working with this for SO long. I really struggled with this concept, resisted and riled against it [loudly]. I am a smart, passionate, engaged woman, how can I be non-attached? I thought this equated with a kind of ‘giving up’ which I refuse to sign up for. Now that I understand this as a surrender to the outcome, while I still do my bit, I feel almost comforted by this notion. Surviving trauma comes with a whole host of shitty aftermath and a lot of ‘why me?’. Non-attachment allows me to be grateful for what the trauma taught me or what I have chosen to do with it without having to be grateful for the trauma. More broadly, I don’t accept a world where we are silent about sexual violence but I understand that we can choose do our bit [or not]. How and when we see the changes we want to see, no one knows. We just have to keep at it. What does ‘Living Your Yoga’ mean to you? Finding my little corner of the world and starting there. Being of service, trying to do so as gracefully as possible even if it doesn’t look as glamourous as I think it should or doesn’t happen on my timeframe. Choosing compassion over anger. Staying open when I want to close. Being real, not the kind of real that makes me look good on social media but the kind that makes me feel like I am plugged into life. ++ Karen’s goal for 2016 is introducing 100 teachers to trauma informed teaching. See her website for workshop details Connect with Karen: Website | Facebook | Instagram Read more

Interview Series: Living Yoga off the mat with Kosta Miachin

Interview Series: Living Yoga off the mat with Kosta Miachin

Posted July 11, 2014

This blog series is a reflection of how incredible yogis are taking the powerful and ancient principles of yoga off the mat and into their world. Today we have Konstantin ‘Kosta’ Miachin, of Vikasa Yoga. I was lucky enough to stay at the Vikasa Yoga Retreat and met Kosta, The founder of Vikasa Yoga. Kosta’s passion for yoga blossomed in 2004 when he set out on his own journey of self-discovery. This journey has taken him to the far reaches of the world, from remote Himalayan ashrams, to his initiation by a master monk in a sacred Sak-Yant ceremony in the North East of Thailand. Kosta is a certified yoga instructor with four different schools: Yoga 23 (Ukraine), Sivananda (India), Ashtanga Vinyasa (Thailand) and Andiappan Yoga (Hong Kong) and maintains close ties to many other yoga schools around the world. ++ Finish this sentence: My yoga practice is… ongoing, and ever evolving. Seems like the more I know, the more horizons open up that were hidden before. To me, yoga means…. evolution, creativity, understanding and wisdom, all leading to enlightenment through practice. The biggest shift/epiphany/moment of insight I’ve ever had during yoga was…when I experienced the energy of kundalini awakening, and realizing that that is only the beginning of spiritual practice. Many realizations happened at once when this happened. Many mysteries and doubts dissolved, and a lot of things became very clear… I can say that was a spiritual awakening… It changed my understanding of practice greatly. Quick Fire Questions What are the lessons you carry on a daily basis, off your mat? They are countless… a really big one is not taking things personally… people act the way they act because they are who they are, they do things because they want to do them, not because they are trying to affect you in a certain way (most of the times). Therefore, a big lesson is to learn to accept the reality the way it is, and stay neutral and conscious all the time. Neither me, nor anyone else is the center of the universe, it does not revolve around any of us – realizing that makes life much easier. Why are these important to you? If I don’t follow this simple wisdom I will simply burn out during the teacher trainings. On average we have 35 people, who are all going through heavy emotional cleansing, and of course I am at the center of it all. Therefore if I start taking it personally, a burnout is guaranteed. Every teacher training I learn a lot from this, and this is also a very good practice for me and for keeping the ego under control. It helps me evolve in so many ways. What yogic principle have you translated for yourself – what, how and why? I’d have to say I can summarize all the Yamas (yogic principles) in one sentence – treat others the way you want to be treated yourself… And treat yourself the same way first. Do what’s good for you instead of judging yourself. (that would summarize Niyamas) Those are so simple to think about, but sometimes hard to follow What does ‘Living Your Yoga’ mean to you? Actually, one of my favorite sayings is: You cannot do yoga, yoga is your natural state… what you can do is yoga exercises, which will reveal to you where you are resisting that state. Therefore, living my life means living my yoga to me… Realizing that you are already one… Once you realize, that realization is not going anywhere, it stays permanently, and then you are living your yoga… BIO: Konstantin ‘Kosta’ Miachin and his pioneering brand of yoga called Vikasa, represent the ‘evolution of yoga’. His vision is one of raising human consciousness and making the world a better place by spreading the message of love and peace. This mighty task is being accomplished at Vikasa yoga retreat by focusing on the study of yoga with an emphasis on holistic health, organic food and an inspiring environment that is conducive to personal transformation. The vision for Vikasa yoga was born on Koh Samui with Kosta’s realization that the deeper dimension of yoga is a spiritual journey and a conscious evolution of the individual. Seeing this as the ultimate human endeavour, he committed his life to supporting others on this path. Connect with Costa / Facebook / Website Featured Image by Kevin Wrenn Photography ++ I love that I was able to share Kosta with you and his beautiful way of living yoga. I love his perspective and I especially love this comment that we should treat others the way we want to be treated. SPOT ON. I dig that he’s a guy and highlights that yoga is NOT just for women. It’s for every soul out there whether they are black, white, male, female, gay, straight etc… It’s unifying. Ok my gorgeous readers, your turn. Let’s give Kosta some love in the comments below! Love + light, Claire x Read more

Interview Series: Living Yoga Off the Mat with Alexa Nehter

Interview Series: Living Yoga Off the Mat with Alexa Nehter

Posted June 10, 2014

This blog series is a reflection of how incredible yogis are taking the powerful and ancient principles of yoga off the mat and into their world. Today we have Alexa Nehter. A German born and raised science educator turned yoga teacher, author, speaker, coach and passionate surfer Alexa Nehter inspires a wide audience around the world with her relatable and encouraging approach to yoga and mindful, electrified living. Alexa facilitates retreats in Australia, Fiji and Europe, as well as courses and workshops to teach the true ownership of yoga and a life that is real, uplifting and juicy. Enjoy! ++ Her mission is to educate the world about the transformative power of yoga, mindfulness and the choice of living lightly, in a way that is inclusive, inviting and inspiring for others. Finish this sentence: My yoga practice is… first and foremost a fluid approach of undoing and re-discovery of what is true in the moment. I ask: Who am I. What am I doing here? Am I happy? Am I free? Are you? (Because really: you are me and I am you, but not really. Really?) My yoga practice is also an intention to elevate others and a continuous invitation for my community to practice, to embrace evolution (even if not always pain free and comfortable) and awake to their own truth and authentic expressions. To me, yoga means…. surfing the wave of freedom, of all universal expressions of energy. Yoga means love. Yoga means heaven. Yoga means tears, sweat and discouragement. Yoga means exploring resistance and finding freedom on a daily basis. Yoga means asking questions and learning. Yoga means to be curious, to trust, to learn, to step up, to let go, to hold on and to let go again. It means to flow and to be steady. To let go of your old stories, and to tell new stories, steadily. Yoga means to be weightless. Yoga means to wake up. Yoga means to elevate others and us. Yoga means creating a community of lovers and compassionate helpers. Yoga means creating world peace, conscious living and did I say love? What is love? Living love is Yoga. Living yoga is Love. My experience off the mat has… opened my eyes that it’s not about me. No, it’s about us. You, me, the planet in space. It has also solidified my commitment & mission to serve and enrich yoga students and yoga teachers with the wisdom and knowledge I gained and aim to translate in the most relatable way, to inspire commitment, integrity, endurance and confidence for creative, positive yoga leaders in order to make the world to a place of a self-less thinking community, recognized and celebrated freedom, health and peace. I’m part of a movement called ‘Off the Mat, Into the World’ which empowers people through workshops, community collaborations and local/global service projects. The mission of this OTM is to harness the power of yoga to inspire and support conscious activism and instigate grassroots social change.   The biggest shift/epiphany/moment of insight I’ve ever had during yoga was… when I attended my first ever yoga class. After 90 min. of emotional and physical awkwardness, having a laughing fit with my best friend who practiced next to me, I ended up in Savasana and in bitter-sweat tears of joy. I felt so, so soft. So vulnerable. There I was, in touch with my heart. Like an old missed friend, I was in touch with my soul again. There it was this light, the fire that burned so still, yet strong, telling me that it’s all good, it’s all good. Telling me how perfect I am, how good life is, how joy is the expression of love! Of Life and this joy is always there, always. Quick Fire Questions What are the lessons you carry on a daily basis, off your mat?  Presence & Mindfulness: Every encounter with my hubby, my family, my friends, my yoga community and coaching clients give me the opportunity to remember that I am part of something bigger, that we all share the same life, the experience of suffering and joy. Over the years of practicing mindfulness and yoga I have let go of the idea of wanting others to be so I am comfortable. I have opened up to a greater ability acceptance and tolerance, even though my ego nudges me at times. Through this I have made wiser choices of the people I spend my time with, the energy I receive of others is really important to me. Integrity & compassion: I love giving, but…. when I was working as a high school teacher and beginning yoga-preneur in the past, I overlooked to gift myself the pure sweet self-love and –compassion to maintain the vibes necessary to be there for my community, authentically. If I neglect the work I do on myself. The meditation, the yoga practice, a balanced diet and nurtured relationships – how can I be an authentic messenger for exactly that message? I don’t want to leave the impression I have it figured it all out, but I do know that it takes consistent work, commitment and most importantly a vision. This vision of an aligned, full, juicy life must be part of our daily practice. Mindful living, sharing and supporting each other are the best tools to do exactly that. I have created a monthly event called ‘One Week Differently’, which is a monthly free one week mind-body-soul detox challenge for women. In this week the women in the group chose a few things that they’d like to adjust in their lives. Having the principles of positive and self loving self talk, ‘one step at a time’ and gradual shifts as priority. The underlying humming of the week is loving kindness and self-compassion in order to plant the seeds for a soulful and transformative journey. Fluidity & freedom: These are my favorite words, my everyday mantras. I’m a surfer. I love riding waves, even bigger ones. Those can teach me the most […] Read more

THE INSPIRATION CORNER WITH DR ASHLEE GOOD

THE INSPIRATION CORNER WITH DR ASHLEE GOOD

Posted December 12, 2013

The Inspiration Corner is a weekly series where I interview inspiring soul-centred wellness advocates on what inspires them. We dive deep into Inspiration, health, wellness and self-love. Meet Dr. Ashlee Good. She’s a gorgeous 28 year old Osteopath and Health & Wellness Coach. I love Ash’s approach to wellness. She’s always been fascinated by the Human Body and it’s healing capabilties. This led her to study Osteopathy where she developed an an outstanding knowledge of the body, how it is composed, how it functions. Following this Ash wanted to take her ability to heal others to whole new level. Not wanting to focus on just one piece of the puzzle – the structure of the human body, Ash started studying Health Coaching to tackle nutrition and food, and other lifestyle factors. I love learning from other wellness lovers – finding out how they choose to live, what inspires them and what they are passionate about refuels my fire and love for health. I hope you enjoy Ash’s perspective on healthy, wellness, inspiration and more. Oh and be sure to check out the AWESOME recipes she’s included! Oh and I’m also a tad jealous that Ash has such a brilliant name – Ashlee Good. Which has lended itself to an even more kick-ass business name “Good Being”. Connect with Ashlee Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Website   Tell us a little about who you are, what you do, how you got here. I have always been interested in health and wellness but only ever dabbled in it from time to time. After completing my Osteopathy degree after 5 years of study in 2009, I felt I had a good understanding of the body and health. But as I started working with patients on a daily basis I soon came to realise the huge role nutrition had to play in the way people were feeling. It sparked a passion that has taken me on quite a journey of self discovery, nutrition education, and the beginning of a blog! I am now an Osteopath and Health and wellness Coach passionate about educating and inspiring people to live healthier and happier lives. I am determined to show people how being ‘healthy’ feels – many people out there believe they are healthy, and they are far from it. I am also very interested in teaching people about the importance of healthy digestion, and the role inflammation plays in ill-health. What INSPIRES you? Mother nature and her beauty. Beautiful words. All of the amazing women I have met online who are also on this path to spread the wellness love. My clients, who trust me and inspire me to keep learning and sharing my knowledge with them. My boyfriend Matt is always inspiring me to do bigger and better things. And people like yourself! Where do you SOURCE your inspiration? Outdoors, at the beach, I feel free, open, and creativity is at its best for me. Online – I have a beautiful collection of inspiring blogs which keep me inspired. And through books – I’m in the middle of Dr. Libby’s Beauty from the Inside Out at the moment, and I love it. How do you USE that inspiration? How does it integrate into your life? When I am inspired, I feel like I can expand and create things and blogs that inspire my readers to delve deeper into their life and tune into what their body really wants. Mindset is massive, and I try and teach all of my clients the importance of crowding out – adding more of all the things that make you feel good, which will slowly crowd out all the toxic and negative things. I also use the inspiration from what I see and read to motivate me to accept myself, love myself, be grateful for what I have. Being in a good place myself, positions me perfectly to be the best coach I can be. When it comes to health and wellness what’s important to you? Eating a well-balanced, nourishing diet. Self-care has become a big priority – this involves positivity, daily exercise and lots of greens. And surrounding myself with people who enrich my life is also important. What’s your routine? Wake in the morning, lemon in warm water with ACV, head to beach where I will either run, swim, surf, or hit the gym. I meditate on the beach for between 5 and 25 minutes before coming home and getting ready for work. Monday to Thursday’s I am in the clinic, and Fridays and weekends I work from home doing my health coaching and working on my blog. Depending on the day, I may walk after work, usually cook dinner and sit down with my partner Matt to relax. I usually read before bed, and write in my gratitude journal. In the new year, I will be spending more time at home with my health clients, and less in the clinic. How do you find balance + happiness? Balance has been a challenging part of building a business. I’m so passionate about what I do, that I want to do it all the time! But I’ve come to see the importance of balance in all aspects of my life. So I allocate time for fun, for time away from my computer, time with my partner Matt and for time being surrounded by friends. It can be so easy to get tied up in your own little online world, but making that time away to be surrounded by real people face to face has made the world of difference in my happiness. How do you practice self-love? Affirmations daily. I write them throughout my diary, I say them throughout the day. I ACCEPT and love my body. I eat nourishing foods. I exercise. What’s your favourite healthy recipe? I do love my green smoothies, but I’m a total cacao addict. I also love my Chocolate Almond Butter Fudge Cups! Or my acai bowl is pretty good! (YUM! – […] Read more

THE INSPIRATION CORNER WITH AMANDA DALEY

THE INSPIRATION CORNER WITH AMANDA DALEY

Posted November 28, 2013

The Inspiration Corner is a weekly series where I interview inspiring soul-centred wellness advocates on what inspires them. We dive deep into Inspiration, health, wellness and self-love. The very first time I met Amanda Daley was over a year ago when she attending a workshop that Mel and I held together. I was impressed, immediately by Amanda – having come from a corporate world, she’d taken the leap of faith and completely transformed her life. Like many of us coaches and entrepreneurs, we’ve all had to take a good long look in the mirror and say “is this the life that I want?” Amanda answered that with a big fat NO. Having struggled with low energy, adrenal fatigue and all that comes with that, Amanda made a choice to carve out a better life. She now helps others do the same through her work as a nutrition + lifestyle coach. I can’t help but yell out a ‘whoop-whoop’ whenever someone has an epiphany, an idea, an insight that completely changes their life for the better. I LOVE that Amanda did what so many people don’t do – she put herself first and found another way to live. This girl is a gun. She’s an inspiration. I’m honoured that she has graced my blog and know that you are going to dig her too! Enjoy! ++ Tell us a little about who you are, what you do, how you got here. I’m a nutrition & lifestyle coach, speaker and mentor. Ultimately, all of my work is about helping women live the life of their dreams with more simplicity & ease. Because life is too short to live any other way! After burning out after 13 years in advertising, I decided to create a life I loved in a completely new way. I started following my passion for healthy food  and after healing myself from Adrenal Exhaustion (a diagnosis I was told was so bad I might never come back from it) I ended up coaching women how to ‘unwind, nourish and thrive’ for themselves with my signature program The Fuel Formula. What inspires you, lights you up, gets your juices flowing? People willing to explore their own truth instead of following the ‘laws of society’ Where do you source your inspiration from? Since choosing to live this way I have attracted the most amazing like-minded friends who have become my constant source of inspiration. In a business sense, my mentors & inspiration are all overseas – America has another level of coaching happening that we are yet to see in Australia. How do you use that inspiration? How does it integrate into your life? Surrounding myself with like-minded people supports me to keep following my own path. Learning from people I admire who are 2 steps ahead in business helps me continually create unique and powerful results with my clients – as well as coming together to create my own dream life which is my deep driver. Life’s too short to live any other way. When it comes to health and wellness what’s important to you? Unwind, Nourish and Thrive are the pillars of my coaching programs. These came from the 3 things I have found to be game changing in my own health. Without any one, the other 2 can never fully happen.  Relaxing and clean nourishment are so under estimated. Once you clear up your internal channels in this way you naturally tune into your own intuition and life starts unfolding in ways you could never have dreamt of. I created my new program the Driven Woman’s Detox [http://www.drivenwomansdetox.com] to make this information easily accessible & super easy to action for people worldwide. What’s your routine? No day is ever the same – but the key components are: Meditation, movement, clean eating, coaching/mentoring, growing my business, meeting with friends for raw cake and chai tea, lounging at home with my husband, journaling & alternate nostril breathing – with aromatherapy oils splashed throughout (normally in that order). How do you find balance + happiness? By working in cycles. If I’m creating something for my business I’m all in and might not see my friends as much for a few weeks, but following that I never jump into a new project straight away, instead focusing on my home, husband and girlfriends for a while. After creating my recent Driven Womans Detox, I have turned my focus back to me for the next few months and letting the business ride it’s own cycle. Falling back into old ‘always on’ habits would be against my reason for choosing this path. How do you practice self-love? Caring for my body, releasing false beliefs and attachments, journaling and lots of sleep. The best thing about working for myself is that I can sleep at 2pm in the afternoon if my body is tired – I’m no longer trying to fit myself into someone else’s mould. I also plan my days around my own energy cycles so that I coach my clients when I am most energised, I relax when I naturally dip and these boundaries mean I can always give my best to others and honour myself equally. What’s your favourite healthy recipe? I’m obsessed with raw cacao mousse made with avocado, cacao, pea protein and a dash of orange flavour. What are you non-negotiables when it comes to your lifestyle (food, diet, exercise etc) While there are so many awesome options and I always follow what my body wants each day – there are some things that I know are make or break for me. Water, high-quality protein, green veges, stretching and plenty of rest. How do you deal with those moments/days when you are lacking in motivation? I have awesome friends who can switch my mojo back on in a few minutes by allowing me to chat out whatever has dulled my vibe. I learnt a few years back that this is part of my personal makeup – it’s like a starter switch […] Read more

THE INSPIRATION CORNER WITH CORA GEROUX

THE INSPIRATION CORNER WITH CORA GEROUX

Posted October 31, 2013

The Inspiration Corner is a weekly series where I interview inspiring soul-centred wellness advocates on what inspires them. We dive deep into Inspiration, health, wellness and self-love. Cora Geroux – her name just rolls off your tongue. And you know what, when you meet and speak with Cora she has such a beautiful juxtaposition of gentleness, a wash of calmness and a little edge to her. A light inside her that glows. A cheekiness, a gorgeously inquisitive soul, an open-heart, a resilient nature. Cora is a Yoga & Meditation Guide, writer, radical self-acceptance advocate and fear caller! She works with women, helping them discover their soul’s desire so they can live kick-ass, authentic lives. This lady is set to make waves. Seriously, when you read Siddhartha and Gary Zukav’s Seat of the Soul as a kid there must be something in you destined to contribute greatly to this world of ours. I know Cora through Yoga Village (where I teach yoga in Potts Point, Sydney). Cora is a beautiful teacher who is passionate about meditation, amongst many other things. She has recently launched her new biz Cora&Bodhi where she offers  free guided meditations, inspiring articles and yoga videos to help you find your truth. And if you don’t find her comments below as a refreshing as a cool drink of water, well then, I’ve got nothing to say! I hope you fall in love with Cora as much as I have! love + light, Claire x ++ Connect with Cora Websites | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest ++ Tell us a little about who you are, what you do, how you got here. Who am I? That is the eternal question isn’t it? I am just like everybody else, totally unique. I am passionate, driven and nerdy. I am also a total nanny, and in bed with a book and a cup of tea by 9pm most days of the week. I teach yoga & meditation because those were the tools that helped me manage my anxiety and accept myself after years of self-hate. I began teaching full time in 2009 and it hasn’t always been easy. Teaching has been a crash course in public speaking, confidence, customer service and business. I threw myself in the deep end and learned as I went and it was well worth it. Earlier this month I launched www.coraandbodhi.com, as a place to inspire other women to know themselves on a soul level and practice total self-acceptance. What INSPIRES you? Nature & humanity. Both are the most tremendous products of creation. The natural world appears so chaotic from the outside, but there is this cosmic intelligence underlying it all. Humanity appears chaotic, and it is. However, both just go on creating. Nothing is perfect, but creation still goes on anyway. How inspiring is that? Just go outside and marvel at what lies in front of you. Think of the amount of time, energy, determination and persistence it takes Mother Nature to create a mountain. If she can do that, I damned well better be able to reach my goals. Where do you SOURCE your inspiration? My muse or inner guide. Whatever you want to call it. My best inspiration comes from long periods of time in silence & nature. 99% of my ideas come to me when I am in meditation. I have a very very busy mind by nature, and in my day-to-day life not much has a chance to get in. Meditation has been crucial to allow the space for inspiration to strike. Either that, or when I wake up at 5 in the morning. If I sit in front of a word processor, or blank page before my mind has had the chance to wake up, the good shit comes out. How do you use that inspiration? How does it integrate into your life? My inspiration guides my life. Whenever I have an idea I write it down on a sticky note and post it on my wall. I have a whole wall in my bedroom covered in bright colored post it notes. I use these ideas to then create articles, yoga sequences etc. Inspiration is what gets me up in the morning. When it comes to health and wellness what’s important to you? Health and wellness has been a touchy topic for me in the past. In my teens early 20’s I had a very unhealthy relationship with food, exercise and body image. By the time I was 23 I began to learn about real health and wellness but used cleanses, and “healthy eating”  to cover up the underlying issues for me. I was deeply unhappy within myself, and hated what I saw in the mirror. This went on for years. About 18 months ago, I decided to eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted it. I now exercise (except for yoga) when I feel like it. Not when I think I ‘should’. From the outside my diet and exercise routine might not look as healthy as they did 2 years ago. However, I can tell you that I feel better than ever. I sleep more, eat more, exercise less and feel great. I eat mostly meat, fish, eggs, veggies, fruit, nuts, gluten free bread and dark chocolate. So what’s important to me now, might not look typically ‘healthy’ from the outside, but I listen to my desires and follow my intuition. I have never been happier. I believe that our bodies know what is good for us. If we just get quiet enough to listen we will know the meaning of true health. What’s your routine? I love the morning, but it takes me a really long time to wake up, so I wake up early around 5:30-6:00, 6 days a week. I spend the first 30 minutes to an hour of my day sipping a coffee and either reading or writing in bed. After that, I take a shower and practice yoga asana and meditation for around 30-45 […] Read more

THE INSPIRATION CORNER WITH MICHELLE MARIE MCGRATH

THE INSPIRATION CORNER WITH MICHELLE MARIE MCGRATH

Posted October 24, 2013

The Inspiration Corner is a weekly series where I interview inspiring soul-centred wellness advocates on what inspires them. We dive deep into Inspiration, health, wellness and self-love. I’m so excited to introduce you to Lovepreneur+ Self-love Mentor, Michelle Marie McGrath. Although, I’m sure this beautiful women who is making sure the message of self-love is heard by many doesn’t need introducing! Michelle creates Sacred Self’s organic Self-love range of Alchemical oils, bespoke Sacred Scents and popular self-love cards. She’s the co-author of “Love and Oneness” in the best-selling Adventures In Manifesting series and author of “7 ways to love yourself” ebook. Michelle is?passionate about falling in love with ALL parts of herself, and creating products that remind others to ?do the same. I was lucky enough to receive a gift from Michelle – her Surrender Alchemical Oil. It’s divine. Even better still, Michelle decided to send me a bottle of Freedom – not knowing about The Freedom Project or that I was having a moment of self-doubt around it! She is one intuitive woman. I know that you are going to devour her words. There’s real insight and inspiration in there – especially when Michelle details how she practices self-love. Dive in! Connect with Michelle Website | Facebook |Twitter | Instagram Tell us a little about who you are, what you do, how you got here. Originally from the UK, I moved to Australia when I was 25 to get married. I became immersed in personal development, natural therapies and healing courses. One memorable night in 2003, I was meditating and feeling particularly unhappy. I asked myself what I most needed and the answer was ‘self-love’. I had no idea what that meant and so I kept asking myself what that would look like for me. Surprisingly, I saw ingredients flying into a bottle, which created a “Self-love” Alchemical oil and it was so vivid that I made it. I stated a commitment to “let go of everything preventing me from embracing 100% self-love” and then proceeded to become very familiar with every part of me that was totally out of alignment with that intention. Over the next 9 years and I came to get to know myself and all the vulnerable parts of me that I had ignored, denied and repressed. I also intuitively received Sacred Self’s self-love range of 33 Alchemical oils during this time, which address the various aspects of self-love. For example Freedom Alchemical oil with its affirmation “I set myself free”, which is about assisting us to let go of self-imposed limitations. I learnt what it really meant to learn to love myself as I then moved through some big challenges and many life changes. I realised that I couldn’t rely on anything or anyone externally for my happiness and that nothing is guaranteed. It was my responsibility. So many blessings came from these experiences and it’s given me much deeper compassion for other people. What INSPIRES you? I am surrounded by so many inspiring people so the people in my life inspire me. I also love hearing stories of every day people overcoming adversity and courageously following their dreams. The power and beauty of nature is also an endless supply of inspiration for me. I feel immediately refreshed and uplifting spending time in nature, whether that’s by the ocean or in a national park. This, combined with travel, especially to sacred sites is also one of my absolute favourite ways of spending my time. Places such as Niagara Falls, the Himalayas, Uluru, Avebury and Assisi are ones that immediately jump out at me as places where I’ve received a lot of inspiration and insights. I love travel and have just got back from a wonderful women’s retreat in Bali. I receive so much from these experiences. There’s nothing like travel and learning about other cultures to expand our sense of what’s possible.…. How do you USE that inspiration? How does it integrate into your life? Time in nature and travel is instrumental for me and this is how I receive my Alchemical oils. This is how I live my life, integrating the creative force as it comes through me. I also use my ‘Inspiration’ Alchemical oil and its affirmation “I am inspired” when I need a reminder or I’m feeling frazzled. My business and life is creative and so I feel that it is integrated in this way. When it comes to health and wellness what’s important to you? I am very tuned into how my body is feeling and try to always listen to what it wants and needs. For me, all of the wisdom I need is inside me and my body will always tell me what’s most important if I ask the questions. I believe it’s so important to listen to our own body-wisdom, which has all the answers. What’s your routine? I eat mainly organic and local. I meditate and ask myself the question “what do I most need from me?” morning and night. I go for a walk each morning as I set my intention and contemplate the day ahead. I feel as though the day has not got off on the right foot otherwise and I’m not as clear. My day could also incorporate the use of hypnotherapy or EFT, depending on where I’m at and what’s going on for me. I usually have a walk again at some point in the afternoon. I have to spend a lot of time outside and connect with nature. How do you find balance + happiness? I think balance is a bit of myth and seems to be one of these things that people are constantly striving for. Our needs and desires change all the time and it’s being connected enough in with your own inner guidance, so that you can address what these needs are in that moment. Taking personal responsibility is extremely empowering. Happiness for me is derived in very simple things such as a good laugh with a […] Read more

THE INSPIRATION CORNER WITH CANDICE AIKEN

THE INSPIRATION CORNER WITH CANDICE AIKEN

Posted October 17, 2013

The Inspiration Corner is a weekly series where I interview inspiring soul-centred wellness advocates on what inspires them. We dive deep into Inspiration, health, wellness and self-love. Meet Candice. She is one half of the amazing duo – Curtis + Candice. Candice, like me, is Health & Lifestyle Coach, Writer, Reiki Practitioner and she is now training to become a yoga teacher. A woman after my own heart. I have always been drawn to Candice’s energy. I can feel her authenticity through her words and the work she does. I believe part of that authenticity comes from what her and Curtis call ‘Blessed by MS’. A few years back Curtis was diagnosed with MS (multiple sclerosis) which inevitably changed their lives for the better. My uncle suffered from and eventually died after a long battle with MS. I’ve seen what this disease can do first hand, but I do know that through the right mind-body practices that this illness doesn’t have to be a death threat. I thank both Curtis + Candice for changing their lives and sharing their story. I hope you enjoy Candice’s insights and inspiration. You will eat up her words, guaranteed. +++ Connect with Candice Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest Tell us a little about who you are, what you do, how you got here. I am a certified holistic health & lifestyle coach, writer, blogger, Reiki practitioner, yoga teacher in training and a risk-taking free-spirited nature lover. I have a serious passion for experiencing a life worth living… but things weren’t always this way. A few years back, I was overweight, lethargic and seriously unhappy. I lacked direction and purpose in my life, I struggled to get out of bed each day and to be honest – I didn’t like myself a whole lot. Then in 2010, my husband, Curtis was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. It was the kick up the butt I needed to take my health and happiness into my own hands. I transformed everything about my life. I changed the way I ate and the way I thought. I lost 25kg, found my passion and purpose, quit my uninspiring soul-destroying corporate job and moved to the middle of the rainforest with Curtis and my 2 dogs. My choices and my journey have given me a fresh new perspective on life and most importantly, I have finally learned to love the person looking back at me in the mirror. Now, I guide women from around the world to do the same… to overcome their limitations and create a body and a life they love because I truly believe that EVERYONE deserves to be happy, healthy and experience more love than ever.   What INSPIRES you? Curtis, nature – the beach, the rainforest, mountains, my clients, my dogs, writing, travelling, blue skies, animals, seeing and experiencing new things, learning, reading, deep and meaningful conversations, nourishing food, taking a leap of faith without knowing my next step, freedom, laughter, love, yoga.   Where do you SOURCE your inspiration? Although I know my inspiration can be found within at any time, I always find that when I am in nature, connecting to the earth – surrounded by green leafy trees, chirping birds, fluttering butterflies, crashing waves or towering mountains, I am inspired like nothing else – it’s like inspiration on steroids! In nature, I feel like everything makes sense and I feel like I’ve ‘come home’ no matter where I am in the world.   How do you USE that inspiration? How does it integrate into your life? I find that when I am simply present in nature, when I observe without judgement – I am ALWAYS presented with the most profound lessons… the answers I have been seeking to the big questions I’ve asked, suddenly become so clear. I have the most life-changing realisations. One thing in particular that has been a huge one for me is that nature never rushes or pushes – it just IS. A seedling takes time to grow into a tree and it takes hours for the day to turn into night. Because of this, I am now so patient with myself and with life in general. I don’t push, I don’t rush. I know that things take time and they will happen when and if they are intended to and I know that I am exactly where I am meant to be, always. There is alot of wisdom and inspiration in the observation of nature, if only we choose to see it and then learn from it.   When it comes to health and wellness what’s important to you? Being open, accepting and flexible! Although I follow a high raw organic plant-based way of eating, I am still flexible in that. Right now it’s perfect for me, but I can’t say that one day down the track it won’t change – in fact, it probably will. I have no idea what the future holds or what I may learn along my journey which will see me making different choices. 3 years ago, I couldn’t have imagined giving up my daily steaks and bags of lollies, and I have said that in recent times about my daily green smoothies – but really, who knows what exactly what I will be eating in another 3 years. There’s always new research coming out about what’s recommended, what’s healthy and what’s not. I don’t really think anyone has the monopoly on the perfect health and wellness routine. There is no one way of eating for everyone and it even changes for me depending on my environment, the season I’m in and how I am feeling. Life is ever-changing and I believe my health and wellness routine should be too. Being open and flexible allows for the ability to change whenever it feels right, whenever intuition guides me to or I learn something new and choose to implement it. Those that are flexible, never bend out of shape. 🙂 What’s […] Read more

INSPIRATION CORNER WITH LIBBY MATTHEWS

INSPIRATION CORNER WITH LIBBY MATTHEWS

Posted October 10, 2013

The Inspiration Corner is a weekly series where I interview inspiring soul-centred wellness advocates on what inspires them. We dive deep into Inspiration, health, wellness and self-love. Introducing Libby Matthews. The other half of Julia + Libby. I recently interviews Julia – you can check it out HERE. Libby is based in Auckland NZ where she works part-time at the clinic My Remedy and is studying Naturopathy. Libby believes a healthy life requires much more than just a focus on food and believes in treating her clients as a whole person with health requirements which stem not just from food related issues. Libby oozes health and vitality. Not to mention how stunning she is! Enjoy her insights and inspiration Cx Connect with Libby: Website| Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram     Tell us a little about who you are, what you do, how you got here. My names Libby Matthews I am a Holistic Nutritionist from Auckland. Last year I graduated with a Diploma of Nutrition and that has completely changed my life, it is one of the best decisions I have made. I love being able to help educate others with their diet and well-being. I am currently completing a Bachelor of Naturopathy at Wellpark College in Grey Lynn, Auckland. My sister Julia and I both run a health and well-being blog called ‘Julia and Libby’, this keeps us really busy but we love it! What INSPIRES you? Happy positive people. Where do you SOURCE your inspiration? I get a lot of inspiration from my family and people that I meet in the health industry. Since studying Nutrition and Naturopathy I am constantly researching and reading new information on health and well-being so that is always inspiring reading what other people around the world do to stay healthy. How do you USE that inspiration? How does it integrate into your life? I use this inspiration every day, it helps me grow and expand into becoming more of the person that I want to be. Every experience that happens to us in life helps us learn, heal and grow, weather it is a positive experience or a negative experience. When it comes to health and wellness what’s important to you? To me, health and wellness all around is so important! I try to eat as much nourishing food that enhances my health rather then impair it, to exercise enough so I am physically fit and surround myself with positive people who make me happy. A positive outlook on life is very important when trying to reach your goals. What’s your routine? When I wake up I always have a green smoothie that is full of green goodness then I have a big breakfast so that I have enough fuel and energy for the day, I find that eating a big breakfast helps me make better food choices throughout the day. When I get home after work or uni I try to make time for myself, this ‘me’ time allows me to de-stress, unwind and rejuvenate. How do you find balance + happiness? No matter how busy I am I always take time out to relax and do something that I enjoy such as going our for a delicious dinner, going to yoga or watching a movie. How do you practice self-love? I think learning to forgive and let go would have to be a big one for me, as soon as you learn to do this it enables you to move forward in life. I try do something I love once a week and I also will reflect on what is going on in my life every week. Practising self love is the fundamentals for us to be able to love others. What’s your favourite healthy recipe? My coconut and banana bread served with coconut yogurt. Simple and delicious.  What are you non-negotiables when it comes to your lifestyle (food, diet, exercise etc) I follow a whole foods diet and I try to eat a lot of vegetables and drink a lot of water. I try to exercise three times a week and be in bed by 10.30pm every night  How do you deal with those moments/days when you are lacking in motivation? I try to take half an hour out of my day and listen to music or read a book, I find this helps a lot as I can focus better on tasks I need to do. What’s one thing you wish you could pass onto friends and family about health and wellness? Some people have health symptoms which they will ignore until they become a serious health issue, such as irregular or no periods, low back pain and constantly feeling sluggish. These symptoms if not checked out could lead to something a lot more serious and I think people need to take their health a lot more seriously because at the end of the day our health is our most important asset.   Read more


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