THE INSPIRATION CORNER WITH CANDICE AIKEN
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
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 your routine?
Hahaha – and now that I’ve just said that, there ARE still a few things I incorporate into my daily routine.
Every day is different for me depending on if I am seeing clients or if I have a project I’m working on, but at the moment it looks a little something like this:
7am: morning routine including oil pulling, drinking oodles of water, grounding, yoga, meditation, breakfast of a smoothie or something else that’s yummy and nourishing, an hour long walk in the rainforest with Curtis and the dogs.
9am – 5pm: my ‘work’ day which usually consists of one-on-one coaching with my clients, interviews, Skype calls, creating new recipes, emails, blogging, working on products (like eBooks), we also have an hour of power which is where Curtis and I just write for a full hour regardless. It’s amazing what can happen in your life when you just ‘show up’. Then somewhere in there we may play golf or tennis or another form of fun and exercise. We may also take the dogs out for another long walk.
6pm – 7pm: Dinner and dancing around the house to loud music… we also do our washing and a bit of cleaning.
8pm: This is around the time we have distance Reiki healing sessions with clients and if not then we chill out on the couch together watching a movie, doco or one of our favourite TV shows.
9pm – 10pm: evening routine including more yoga, sometimes meditation, reading and winding down.
How do you find balance + happiness?
Balance and happiness come from doing the things I love – the things that light me up, the things that make me bounce right out of bed in the morning and say “I am so grateful to be alive!”
Usually that includes being completely immersed in nature all day long, writing something from my heart, a sweet yoga practice with my favourite teacher of all time (Elena Brower via yogaglo.com) or a guided meditation, and lots of cuddles with my hubby and pups.
How do you practice self-love?
I remind myself every day that I am beautiful just the way I am. Self-love lies in acknowledging where you are, accepting ‘what is’ and letting go – surrendering – detaching from the outcome. We are all beautiful and we are all love – regardless… no conditions because love can only be considered real love when it is unconditional.
I have personally experienced many moments where I did not feel love toward myself and thankfully, I now know how to pull myself out of it with my daily reminder. I also show my body the love and respect it deserves through what I eat – which is nourishing organic plant-based foods and LOTS of leafy greens.
What’s your favourite healthy recipe?
Ohhh, I have many and I would normally say a raw dessert of some kind but I’m giving the sweet stuff a rest right now, so I’d say my ‘Eggplant and raw cashew ricotta cheese mini wraps’. Recipe HERE.
What are you non-negotiables when it comes to your lifestyle (food, diet, exercise etc)
Although I like to mix up my days and go with the flow, there are definitely a few things that I tend to do every day because they are incredibly important to me at this point in time and that is: connecting barefoot to the earth, long walks in the rainforest with Curtis and the dogs, cuddles and deep conversations, yoga and meditation, green smoothies and mega green salads, exercising to the point where I work up a sweat, writing for an hour daily, and I also make a point to learn something every day through one of the many courses I am doing or reading one of my beloved books.
How do you deal with those moments/days when you are lacking in motivation?
If ever I am lacking in motivation (and it definitely does happen), then I walk away from what I am doing in that moment. Not in a way that is ‘giving up’ or ‘throwing in the towel’, but just to be able to get some space and gain a new perspective.
Sometimes it may mean that I need to be completely disconnected from the world, from absolutely EVERYTHING and just ‘BE’. In those times, it’s not unusual for me to be out of contact or literally drop off the face of the earth.
I believe we need those moments for true balance, to connect with ourselves and our true nature by disconnecting from everything else, then learning to accept ‘what is’, and to understand that there is a higher purpose for everything. In doing so, I always find that I rediscover my passion and motivation for life; gain immense clarity and am overcome with a sense of peace and feeling of freedom.
What’s one thing you wish you could pass onto friends and family about health and wellness?
I wish I could pass on my ability to see things from a different perspective.
Curtis’ diagnosis was a huge wake up call for not only him, but for me too.
Suddenly my eyes were open. All the walls I had built over the years came crashing down – and it was amazing! I can’t pretend to not know all that I know now and as scary and uncomfortable as it can be sometimes, it has changed my life for the better.
I now understand there’s something bigger out there, I understand I am here for a reason and I understand that although we go on different journeys in life, our paths are leading us to the same place – a place of unconditional love and acceptance.
I wish I could pass this onto my family and friends so they too could see the unlimited health, happiness, love and compassion that lies within them, that we are all ‘one’ and that the world is really a place of love and not to be feared.