Interview with Kerrie Bannister – Women’s Counsellor : Therapist

Interview with Kerrie Bannister – Women’s Counsellor : Therapist

Kerrie Bannister is a women’s counsellor from Sydney.  Through her work she aims to provide women with the space to explore their struggles, to have the opportunity to understand themselves and what is truly important to them.  She believes that these discoveries can then pave the way for living in the world in a way that is meaningful and authentic, and in line with our own values and belief systems.

I love this interview with Kerrie.  Her answers to my questions were honest and insightful.  Kerrie and I both hope you enjoy this interview as much as we love bringing it to you.

For my readers who may not know you I’d love for you to start by telling us who you are, what you do and how you are making a big impact in the world right now.

I’m a woman who’s becoming more and more comfortable in her own skin the older she’s getting (fast approaching 50)! I’m very fortunate to live and work in a beautiful part of Australia; the Northern Beaches of Sydney. I enjoy walking the nearby beaches, dabbling in anything creative, having lots of time on my own (yes, you could call me an introvert) as well as with my husband and now grown up family and beautiful grandsons. In the working world I’m an emotionally focused therapist running a private practice for women. How am I making a big impact in the world? I hope through one therapeutic relationship at a time! I believe the healing of one person has the power to create a ripple effect through their life and connections and out into wider community.

Can you tell us a little bit more about how you became to be a counsellor and how your own journey inspires you to do the work that you do?

As is often the case with counsellors, it began with my own experience sitting in the counselling room in the client’s chair. I remember a curious part of me observing the process and thinking “I could do this… I want to do this”. Admittedly, there was resistance for a couple of years as I knew that it would require committing to the difficult work of self-discovery which I was a little afraid to do. However, once I embarked upon it, that journey in itself is what continually inspires me to do this work. Through my own process I now know firsthand the difference it makes to understand what has impacted me, what formed those old inner beliefs about myself and the healing that can take place when you are able to move out from under those often damaging influences. Seeing this process unfold for my clients also encourages me and keeps me committed to this work.

I know that you take an emotionally focused approach in your work. Can you explain to us what that means and how this looks in your client sessions?

As it suggests, an emotionally focused approach always holds at its centre the individual’s emotional experience. It’s about learning how to heed our emotions as information; helping us to understand and recognise what is important to us, what our needs are and how to meet them. Rather than focusing on changing cognitive responses, the emphasis is on increasing emotional awareness. This means helping the client tune in to their reactions and responses; what it feels like, where it sits in their body, finding ways to express what has happened or is happening for them. This allows clients the opportunity to work through their experiences in a safe way which brings with it the possibility for relief and change.

You also do a lot of creative work with your clients. I’d love for you to tell us a little more about this.

The majority of the work unfolds through verbal exploration, however, bringing in creative elements often allows the process to open even further. Sometimes it can be hard to put into words an experience, an emotion or a sensation in the body. In these instances, with the client’s permission, I may invite them to explore it in other ways. This could be through means such as drawing, writing or using objects to represent a feeling or a part of themselves. It brings a sense of play and curiousity into the exploration and can help provide relief around painful emotions as well as deepen self-understanding.

What do you believe the ‘key’ to self-healing is?

Carl Rogers said “The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change”. I believe a pivotal key is the development of self-compassion; to be able to view oneself with kindness and understanding, to be able to acknowledge the painfulness of our experiences and offer ourselves comfort and support. It’s being able to metaphorically scoop up that little person who lives inside each one of us, hug them tight and tell them that we love them. And for that little person to believe it.

If you could give my readers, who may be just starting out on their own self-healing journey, one piece of advice what would it be?

Take a moment to acknowledge how courageous you are being! Moving toward healing can be slow, hard work – be patient and gentle with yourself along the way.

What truly inspires you in both your life and your work?

How incredibly brave people are! I sit in awe at the courage I see in my counselling room; the courage and spirit that enables a person to keep on their journey toward healing, their refusal to give up.

And if my readers would love to connect with you and support you in the work you do, where is the best place for them to start?

Take a visit to my website, www.kerriebannister.com.au where you will find more information about my practice as well as my blog The She Room. Feel free to pass my information onto others and, of course, if you live in Sydney and are looking for a counsellor, please contact me – I’d love to work with you.

Professional Bio:

Kerrie BannisterKerrie operates a women’s counselling practice in Dee Why on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, providing a safe space for women to explore their struggles; to have the opportunity to understand themselves and what is truly important to them.

As an emotionally focused therapist, she has experience working with a range of diverse concerns including anxiety, depression, abuse, childhood trauma, relationship issues and life transitions. Kerrie is passionate about working alongside women; providing the space, support, guidance and safety necessary to move towards a stronger, healthier life.
www.kerriebannister.com.au

Interview with Kate Callaghan – The Holistic Nutritionist

Interview with Kate Callaghan – The Holistic Nutritionist

Kate Callaghan is a holistic nutritionist, personal trainer and lifestyle coach who also happens to live in one of my favourite places in the world – Wanaka, New Zealand.  Kate specialises in hormone healing and it was her own journey from healing a body that was infertile (due to hypothalamic amenorrhea) that lead her to doing the amazing work she does today.

Kate helps women heal from hormone imbalances so that they can thrive, not just survive.  She has also just published her first book and she tells us a little more about it in this interview.  I know you will enjoy both Kate’s story and her message for you all.

For my readers who may not know you I’d love for you to start by telling us who you are, what you do and how you are making a big impact in the world right now.

I am an Australian holistic nutritionist, dietitian and personal trainer currently living in beautiful Wanaka, New Zealand, with my husband, daughter and cat (yes, I’m a crazy cat lady. I’d love a dog but we’re currently renting. Boo!). I specialise in women’s hormonal health – I help women optimise their wellbeing through food, movement, stress management and self-love for lifelong health, happiness and hotness!

I know that several years ago you were in a completely different space health wise than you are now. You describe yourself as having been a little ball of muscle with the ‘ideal’ body, but while you looked the part on the outside there was chaos inside. Can you tell us a little more about what was going on for you at this time, how you felt physically and emotionally, and how it was impacting your life?

Ahh yes – COMPLETELY different space! I was a group fitness instructor – exercising was what I did for a living, but I took it to the extreme and did not fuel my body appropriately (pretty hard to do when you’re doing up to 16 hours of hard-core exercise a week!). Basically my body fat was too low (that’s how I had a very definite six-pack for abs), I was under-eating, over-exercising and taking on too much psychological stress, which culminated in my reproductive system shutting up shop. I was diagnosed with hypothalamic amenorrhea which, in very simple terms, means my brain decided that is was not an ideal time for reproduction (as it sensed I was in a “famine” of sorts), so it shut off communication to my ovaries – my period stopped and I became infertile.

How did I FEEL? Well, despite having the “ideal” body, I felt like crap. I had low energy, no libido, I was moody – it wasn’t pretty. Emotionally I was a wreck. We wanted to start a family; however the doctors were saying that this would not be possible to do without medication….all because of how I had treated my body over the years.

This was obviously the catalyst for a huge change in lifestyle for you. Can you tell us about the healing journey you went through and how it has influenced the work that you do now?

Absolutely a huge kick in the rear-end! In order to heal from hypothalamic amenorrhea and restore my period I had to eat more, exercise less and manage my stress, which seems easy in theory, but in reality it was much harder. My body had, in a sense, become my identity. I was known as “abs” to some people. I had women coming up to me everyday asking how they could look like me.

Mentally, it was a huge hurdle to get over. However, my reasons for doing so were pretty significant – I was infertile, wanted to have a baby (at the age of 27), my bone density was not great and I didn’t want to find myself in a wheelchair with osteoporosis by the time I was 40.

So I made the changes – slowly, but surely. I cut down my exercise, I increased my food intake, and I incorporated daily stress management techniques. However the most important change I made, that made all of the other changes possible, was treating myself with love and respect – every single minute of every single day.

You have also just written a book, which is very exciting! Can you tell us about the book, whom you have written it for and how it is going to change the lives of those that read it?

YES! My book “Holistic Nutrition: Eat Well, Train Smart and Be Kind to Your Body” is all about how to get your hormones in their happy place by adopting simple strategies around food, movement, stress management and self-love for long-term health and happiness!

In my book you will discover that, whatever you particular goal might be – from boosting fertility, losing body fat, gaining some muscle, reducing bloating, sleeping better, increasing energy or not worrying all the time about what you are eating – you will need to understand and get control over your hormones.

Why? Because your hormones control pretty much everything in your body and brain – from how you look (including your ability to maintain a healthy weight), to how you feel, to how easily you fall pregnant. They can even play a role in whether you cruise or struggle through menopause. Hormones are the thing. You need to keep them happy if you want to be happy!

Who is it for? Women! All women! Seriously – there is not a single woman who has come into my practice (or even that I have met on the street) who has their hormone health sorted. There is a lot of misinformation out there and I want to help dispel it and provide realistic and sustainable alternatives (which means no more deprivation and no more self-hate).

What do you believe the ‘key’ to healing is?

Ooh – I think looking at things from a holistic point of view and nourishing yourself on all levels is really key. So that means nutrient-dense foods, biologically appropriate movement, daily stress management, good quality sleep and loads and loads of self-love and kindness.

Also realising that there is no “one-size-fits-all” – what works for Susie next door won’t necessarily work for you. And what works for Johnny down the road DEFINITELY won’t work for you (I talk about in my book how what works for men often does not work for women and what to do instead). It is also important to acknowledge that what works for you now might not necessarily work for you in the future. You need to be adaptable – listen to your body and don’t be afraid to change paths if your current one isn’t cutting the mustard.

If you could give my readers, who may be just starting out on their own healing journey, one piece of advice what would it be?

Start with self-love. Once you love and respect yourself everything else falls into place. If you do not love yourself you are not likely to nourish yourself with good food, kind thoughts, appropriate exercise and regular R&R. Start with self-love, people.

What truly inspires you in both your life and your work?

So much! I am inspired by the incredible journeys of my clients and the women who email me on a daily basis to tell me how happy (or pregnant) they have become as a result of treating their body better.

I am inspired by other women working in the same field as me.

I am inspired by my friends.

I am inspired by my daughter, Olivia – her complete and utter innocence, with so much potential. She inspires me every day to do better and to be better.

And if my readers would love to connect with you and support you in the work you do, where is the best place for them to start?

I would love that! I can be found here:

Website: www.theholisticnutritionist.com

Facebook: The Holistic Nutritionist (@KateCallaghanNutritionist)

Instagram: @theholisticnutritionist

Twitter: @TH_Nutritionist

Thanks Nicola! Xx

Professional Bio:

Kate Callaghan - The Holistic NutritionistKate is a holistic nutritionist, dietitian, international speaker, personal trainer and mother of one, living in Wanaka, New Zealand. Kate is the author of “Holistic Nutrition: Eat Well, Train Smart & Be Kind to Your Body”. Having experienced hormonal chaos and infertility, and managing to heal herself naturally, Kate is passionate about healing women’s hormones and fast-tracking them to health, happiness and hotness through nutrient-dense foods, rejuvenating movement, unconditional self-love, and mindful and sustainable practices. You can find Kate through her website www.theholisticnutritionist.com, or via her social media:

Instagram: http://instagram.com/theholisticnutritionist

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TH_Nutritionist

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/kcallaghan1/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/katecallaghannutritionist

Interview with Carly Hicks from Holistic Life

Interview with Carly Hicks from Holistic Life

When I first came across Carly Hicks and read about the journey she has been on I reached out immediately to see if I could interview her.  Carly’s story about self-healing from chronic illness is exactly what I love to share with you all.

I hope you find her story as inspirational as I do and that it encourages you to continue on your own journey of self-healing.  Carly and I both hope that you enjoy this interview as much as we have loved sharing it with you.

For my readers who may not know you I’d love for you to tell us who you are, what you do and how you are making a big impact in the world right now?

My name is Carly Hicks, or you may know me as Holistic Life.

I created my website Holistic Life in 2014 after I was diagnosed with Autoimmune Gastritis two years prior. It was a space for me to share my journey with chronic illness and I hoped to inspire others to look after their body through food and lifestyle changes. I never thought I would be connecting with people all over the world, sharing their stories with chronic illness and having a space where others could feel supported in such a dark time in their life.

Chronic illness can be hard and I wanted my space to help others to not go through the journey alone. Together we can support each other and help each other rise up above chronic illness.

Can you tell us how your Autoimmune Disorder made you feel physically and emotionally, as well as how it impacted your life?

I lost my grandmother who was the light of my life a week before my 24th birthday and exactly a month later my body shut down. I started experiencing memory loss, was unable to gain weight, extreme chronic fatigue, paralysis to my right side, light sensitivity, and I was only about to digest 4-6 foods without my symptoms intensifying, or being in extreme pain in my stomach. I was bounced around from so many doctors and specialists, all of whom really had no clue what was going on until I finally found an amazing Naturopath who put me through for an endoscopy where they picked up Autoimmune Gastritis, Helico Bactor and B12 deficiency. I was also tested for MTHFR which came back positive, as well as Pyrolle disorder. It was a lot to take in at the time and I really had no clue what it all meant, but I was grateful I had an amazing Naturopath who I worked with to slowly get my health back on track.

I was only 24 at the time and not having the energy to do anything, whilst my friends and partner were leading the life I used to live was hard. I just had to take it day by day. I found that gradually each day would get better and it allowed me to look at my life from a different angle. I was able to become more aligned with myself and let go of certain situations and people who didn’t have my best interest at heart.

The last four years have given me the biggest gift … my self worth. It was a long slow process with regaining my health, but one I wouldn’t trade for a second. My disease brought me closer to myself and I’m forever grateful for that.

You talk a lot about how you were able to heal the damage done to your mind and spirit, and that you were able to halt the symptoms of your Autoimmune Disorder through natural remedies, healthy eating and a lot of self love and self care. Can you tell us a little bit more about what this journey looked like for you?

To start off with it was a low salicylate diet which was only 4-6 foods for approx 12 months. From there I slowly introduced certain herbs to help heal and seal my gut, as well as a lot of vitamin supplementation because I was so deficient in practically everything. Once my body slowly started to allow more foods into my diet I transferred over to the Autoimmune Paleo portocol, and from there I discovered I had a love of cooking and creating new dishes. I found being in the kitchen helped me lower the anxiety and stress associated with my illness, plus my creative side kicked in and I found I had such a passion for it that my passion became my purpose.

I then started to incorporate daily meditation and more time in nature. These then allowed me to practice more mindfulness in my life. It’s amazing once we start to quiet the mind, and come back to ourselves, how much our life starts to flow and we stop resisting what we really desire.

I know that you followed the Autoimmune Protocol Diet during this time. I’d love for you to share more about what this is and how it made a big impact on your health.

I first started on a low salicylate diet for the first 12months of my healing because my gut was so damaged, and my nervous system was reacting to everything. From there I incorporated my healing protocol to the AIP and found that I was making leaps and bounds, because the AIP protocol allows the body to basically reset itself.

The AIP protocol is amazing for anyone with chronic illness, Autoimmune Disorders, Allergies or any form of inflammation in the body.

I’ve had such success with the AIP that I’m in the process of creating my own AIP cookbook and meal plan. It’s in the works as we speak!

What do you believe the ‘key’ to healing is?

The number one tip that worked for me is to always follow your intuition. You know deep down what is going on and the more space you give yourself to tap into that, the quicker you will get to the root cause of the issue and treat it. Our body knows exactly what it needs to heal and the quicker we allow ourselves time to listen, then the quicker we start to heal.

Always listen to that inner voice, your intuition will never steer you wrong.

If you could give those starting out on their own healing journey one piece of advice what would it be?

It’s hard to give just one!

I would say to always follow what lights you up, because when your soul is happy your life will flow with ease and grace.

Never be ashamed to do what makes you feel good no matter what others think. We only have one life to live so live this life for you, and only you.

What truly inspires you in both your life and your work?

I light up when I talk about health, and that’s why I decided to study a Bachelor of Health Science to become a qualified Naturopath. My passion is teaching children and parents the importance of nourishing our bodies from within with quality food, so that future generations won’t have to suffer through the growing rise of chronic illness.

I get a lot of inspiration from my nieces and nephews. They truly teach me that the importance of life is to laugh and not take things so seriously. We can learn a lot from the way children view the world.

And if my readers would love to connect with you and support you in the work you do, where is the best place for them to start?

To follow me on my journey with healing chronic illness you can find me over at http://www.myholisticlife.com.au/

I also share recipes catered to food intolerance, as well including gluten free, dairy free, and grain free meals.

You can also find me over on my Facebook page called Carly Hicks-Holistic Life where I share daily inspiration, facebook live videos and cooking demos, as well as on my Instagram page.

Professional Bio:

Carly Hicks from Holistic LifeBeing diagnosed with an Autoimmune Disorder at 24 helped Carly find her passion for creating healthy recipes, her love of natural remedies to heal the body, and how the importance of living a healthy lifestyle has allowed to heal from within.   She’s a Naturopath in the making and now on a mission to help show others how to take control of their health through healthy food choices and lifestyle changes.  If you suffer from food intolerance’s, looking to get that spark back in your life, or just looking for some tasty nourishing meals, then Carly has you covered.

Interview with Karen Meyer from Heartfelt Jewellery

Interview with Karen Meyer from Heartfelt Jewellery

This month I was delighted to be able to interview the lovely Karen Meyer from Heartfelt Jewellery. Karen is one of the nicest people I know and I have truly appreciated her support for both my business and me over the past year.  So in return I wanted to tell you a little bit about the woman behind Heartfelt Jewellery, as well as give you the chance to win one of her beautiful necklaces (just keep reading to find out how).

Karen & I hope you enjoy this interview just as much as we have loved sharing it with you.  So lets get started …

For my readers who may not know you I’d love for you to start by telling us who you are, what you do and how you’re making a big impact in the world right now?

My name is Karen and I am the proud designer and owner of Heartfelt Jewellery. It’s a place where you can purchase meaningful jewellery for yourself or your loved ones. My creations empower people to blossom into their true self, and keeps them on track to live a life filled with gratitude and soul.

On your website you say that the core of Heartfelt Jewellery is to ‘Be True To You’, and always live life your way. Can you share with us how you incorporate this value into your own life and business?

I incorporate ‘being true to me’ into my life by making decisions on what I need, and not what others want me to be doing. It’s taken me a long time to be in a place of feeling that I have the right to decide how my life plays out, rather than it being dictated by others opinions.

With my business, I stay true to me by showing the world the real me (no holds barred) through Social Media. I’m authentic with the way I interact with others and with what I post on my Instagram page.

My jewellery is also a representation of different parts of my life and what I’ve learnt. Showing my truth through my designs keeps me on track with staying true to me and hopefully will encourage others to live their truth as well.

I know you make your jewellery with love to be an inspirational reminder. What is the reminder that you want those that wear your jewellery to know?

That they are in control of their lives and are the only ones that can make their dreams happen. Each person needs to step up, own their decisions and celebrate every single part of their wonderful self every day – no more being ashamed of their uniqueness.

Can you share with us a photo of your favourite piece of jewellery and the inspiration behind it?

Wow! That’s a hard one to answer because each time I create a new design it becomes my favourite. Hmmmm……I feel a bit like what I imagine a Mum would feel choosing a favourite child but here goes nothing.

Life's Journey BraceletThe ‘Life’s Journey’ bracelet was the very first piece I created using natural beads and is made with Malachite beads and Swarovski Crystals. The bracelet means to embrace your life with joy! Look back at your past with gratitude for lessons learned, appreciate the here and now, and look towards your future with hope.

This design was actually inspired by a friend and her positive attitude towards the hard times life was throwing at her. It’s my go-to gratitude tool and makes me smile with pride when wearing it.

I’d also love to know who, or what, truly inspires you in both your life and work?

There are so many amazing people I’ve encountered that have and continue to inspire me every day, so it’s difficult for me to pick just one. However in saying that … anyone that jumps over life’s difficult hurdles, learns something from those hard times and uses those lessons to better themselves, and make positive change, is completely inspirational to me.

I must say that I admire my husband more than he will ever know. From day one he has encouraged and supported me in every way he can. The proud look that comes beaming out of his eyes when introducing me as his wife fills my heart with happiness. He has never doubted or questioned me, not for even one minute, and when you have someone like that cheering you on you know that you have a one in a million guy. Sorry ladies but I’m keeping this amazing man forever.

I often purchase jewellery as an act of self-care. It’s just one way I show myself some love and remind myself that it is ok to do something nice for myself. I’d love to know what your favourite self-care practice is?

Admittedly self care has never been an easy thing for me as I tend to feel guilty when practicing it. There was a time where I made myself believe that I wasn’t worthy of taking time out for myself, as there were people around me that worked so much harder and were more deserving of doing so. I was afraid of being perceived as lazy.

Although I still need gentle and loving nudges from others to put things aside, and focus on what my body and mind needs from me, I have become a lot better in dedicating time for a bit of self loving (said she who is meant to be having a self care week, with no business stuff whatsoever, and is instead currently typing up answers to this interview *looks sheepish*).

Now back to the question at hand … my favourite self care practices are: reading as it gets me out of my ‘constant thinking and creating’ for just a bit; chilling at home with my husband with no Social Media or technology in sight; and having a good old yarn while playing board games or snuggling into the lounge together. Taking a bath is also a good way for me to zone out.

If there was one message you would like to share with everyone today, what would it be?

I suppose if there’s one life lesson I’ve learnt, and would like to share with everyone, it’s do not let your fears get in the way of trying new things or going for your dreams. By creating ‘Heartfelt Jewellery’ I’ve learnt things about myself that I wouldn’t have discovered if I hadn’t turned off the ‘you will fail’ tape, that was on a continuous loop in my head, and charged ahead with my idea.

And if people would love to connect with you, and support you in the work you do, where is the best place for them to find you?

Heartfelt Jewellery has a website (www.heartfeltjewellery.com.au) with a contact page so please feel free to send me an email. When visiting the website you can also sign up to the Heartfelt Jewellery newsletter which gives you exclusive offers throughout the year. How cool is that?!

If you would like to keep in the know with what’s happening with Heartfelt Jewellery, then head on over to my Instagram account at www.instagram.com/heartfeltjewellery

Your Chance To Win!

Sou Connection NecklaceFor your chance to win one of Karen’s beautiful ‘Soul Connection’ necklaces just tell me in the comments below what your favourite piece of jewellery and why.  The lucky person to win this necklace will be contacted on Saturday the 30th of July via email. 

 

 

And finally, I would love for you to tell us the meaning behind the ‘Soul Connection’ necklace?

Soul Connection:  Soul sisters are by our side through thick and thin.  They are our rock to steady us and our wings to lift us up towards our dreams.  These soulful women celebrate others.

Amethyst represents selflessness, strength and inner peace, and these are the exact qualities that all soul sisters possess. This stone is known for it’s powerful spirituality and protecting it’s wearer.

Professional Bio:

Karen MeyerWanting to help women become their best selves and celebrate how special they are, Karen created Heartfelt Jewellery around ten months ago. Her pieces are full of meaning, made with so much love and would be a perfect tool to remind anyone that they can achieve anything that they put their mind too. Heartfelt Jewellery has become a blessing in Karen’s life and she cherishes every moment that she gets to do work that lights her up every day.

Interview with Crystal Kapolitsas from The Healthy Patch

Interview with Crystal Kapolitsas from The Healthy Patch

Today I am super excited to be bringing you this interview with Crystal Kapolitsas from The Healthy Patch.  

Now, those of you that know me well will know that I am not the biggest vegetable fan in the world (although I do love fruit and anything about herbs!); however there is something about the certified organic healthy patches that Crystal, and her husband Anth, produce that has me dying to get my hands on one.

I also love Crystal’s story about how she used organic and natural food and healing practices to go from being grumpy, exhausted, fed-up and constantly sick to being healthy, well, happy and thriving.   I’m honoured that Crystal is sharing that story with us today, and we both hope that you enjoy this interview as much as we have enjoyed bringing it to you.  So let’s dive in …

I’d love for everyone to get to know you a little better. So let’s start by you telling us who you are, what you do and how you are making a big impact on the world right now?

Ahh where do I start? Okay… if I had to put me in a nutshell I would say…I’m obsessed with anything that can help me live a healthier life. I truly believe that food is medicine. I have had a green juice every single day for the last 3 years… and I believe that we can do anything we set our minds to – Including changing the world – It just depends on how much you’re willing to put in!

I’m also Co Creator of The Healthy Patch – The world’s first Certified Organic Veggie Patch Company on a mission to help spread the word on the healing powers of Organics + how to easily grow your own nutritiously rich supercharged edibles!

Creating mineral-packed microbe-rich soil rocks our socks – this is where it all starts – this is how you grow supercharged edibles!

I know that your health was a huge catalyst to starting you on the journey to the life you are living now, and the business you are running. Can you tell us a little bit about what your physical and emotional health was like a few years ago?

Huge catalyst!

From as far back as I could remember I suffered from constant pounding headaches, throat & ear infections & the flu. Yep – a lot of school was missed!

When I got to my early twenties I had no period, awful skin & hair, leaky gut syndrome (not that I knew it at the time) & literally no energy to do anything… ever!

Now lets go to the emotional Super angry – crazily emotional – always crying for no apparent reason & stupidly high stress levels! Life was pretty peachy hahaha

We would love to know the first steps you took towards changing your lifestyle, and what you’ve learnt along the way about health and wellness?

Over the years my symptoms continued to get worse – to the point where I was just freaking miserable!

I practically lived at the doctors who again & again would tell me that nothing’s wrong & I was really at the point where I just didn’t really care about my life anymore – everything was just too exhausting.

Then one night as I was on the internet – I somehow found an article about a girl who was healing her body from an illness with green juices. I ended up doing a bit more digging and found her health blog – The Wellness Warrior. I actually had no idea what a blog even was back then, but I was hooked. I read way into the night & by the next day had booked an appointment with a naturopath – a doctor who I never would have considered seeing had it not been for this girl that spoke so highly of them.

This naturopath blew my mind. In fact to this day he is still one of my greatest teachers.

He bombarded me with information on nutrition, the food we are eating today in the Western World & the affects that conventional produce can have on our body. Everything clicked, everything made sense. And it was like he just let me in on this big secret that could change my life forever.

By the next week we said goodbye to all of our conventional produce, processed foods, & anything that contained sugar, gluten & cows dairy.

We started learning about how to grow our own supercharged, mineral-packed, microbe-rich organic produce so that we could nourish our bodies with nothing but the most nutritiously dense foods out there.

I was DETERMINED to get rid of my symptoms… and I did!

The biggest lesson I’ve learnt from this whole experience is to TRUST!

Trust the process – Trust yourself – Trust your body!

For years I was always so scared of listening to myself… or fu*king up… or making something worse – And I certainly wasn’t in tune with my body… in fact even using the words ‘in tune with my body’ would have made me walk out the door.

I would pop every pill the Dr would give me without thinking twice – I would always discredit myself & I would never give myself space to do what feels right for me.

These days I trust myself more than anyone. If I need answers I will find them!

Can you explain to us a little more about how the food you now choose to eat (and grow!) has impacted your health, and how you feel now?

You know it’s so funny because it’s so normal to just go the the doctors or the chemist & spend a heap of money on pills to fix your symptoms, but all it’s doing is acting like a big bandaid (covering the symptoms up) – not actually fixing the cause.

When we made the switch to organics & then started growing our own extra nutritious organics, symptoms started disappearing & other things (like my period) started returning!

I was absolutely blown away.

Even though I had read about other peoples health journeys – I still wasn’t 100% sure if that could ever happen to me (again…no freaking trust right!).

But I kept at it – And soon I was just a completely different person.

My mood swings were gone. My headaches were gone. My skin – super clear… like no-makeup-needed-at-all-super-clear. ALL of my symptoms, every single one, slowly started to clear up.

My whole life I had been allergic to onion – Now I can eat onion without any issues thanks to my awesomely healed gut! Amazing isn’t it? That’s the power of supercharged wholefoods.

Apart from how you choose to nourish your body, do you have any other practices or rituals you do regularly to ensure your physical and emotional health continues to thrive?

Absolutely!

I do 20 minutes of Meditation every morning. I used to do TM but at the moment I have been leaning more towards Tara Brach’s “The Practice of Vipassana (Mindfulness) meditation – Tara’s awesome!

I also do around 20-30 minutes of Restorative Yoga every morning which focuses on deep breathing to stimulate the Parasympathetic Nervous System.

After that I put some Apple Cider Vinegar into a mug and down the hatch it goes… A nice kick starter for the digestive system before brekky…whoops I’m back to nourishing the body 😉

And lastly, we’d love to know more about what you are up to right now, where we can find you and how we can get ourselves an incredible Healthy Patch?

Sure! We’ve got some seriously exciting things in the pipe line for The Healthy Patch at the moment – I’ve been sworn to secrecy but trust me, it’s going to be AWESOME!

If you’re Melbourne based you can get your hands on a Healthy Patch right now – otherwise – hold tight! Big things are coming!

If you want to find me head on over to our Instagram or Facebook, or get your sweet little self over to TheHealthyPatch.com.au & sign up to the newsletter – Me & Anth send you an email every week with new & exciting organic goodness in it + you get an awesome eBook on all the gorgeous & vibrant herbs you can start growing & their health benefits! Other than that… drop me an email (hello@thehealthypatch.com.au) – I love hearing from you & always try & reply back to every one of them!

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Professional Bio:

Anth & Crystal from The Healthy PatchCrystal Kapolitsas – Health Coach, Researcher & Educator, Speaker & Co Creator of The Healthy Patch (along with her nutrition-loving hubby Anth) – is dedicated to educating & improving your life through the healing powers of Organic Wholefoods & growing your own ‘Super-Charged Food’.

Crystal lives by the philosophy that Food Is Medicine & whole heartedly believes that a thriving body starts with thriving food!
The Healthy Patch offers Certified Organic ‘Super-Charged’ veggie patches filled with mineral-packed, microbe-rich soil so that you can have access to the Healthiest Organic Produce right at your finger tips!

For Crystal’s & Anth’s latest Super-Charged recipes, health tips, planting guides + a heap more organic goodness – head on over to TheHealthyPatch.com

P.S – Fan of drool worthy wholefoods + big vibrant clusters of growing edibles? Don’t forget to check them out on their socials below:

Instagram – Instagram.com/TheHealthypatch

Facebook – Facebook.com/TheHealthyPatch

Pinterest – Pinterest.com/TheHealthyPatch

Twitter – Twitter.com/TheHealthyPatch

Interview With Caitlin Nowland From Wabi Sabi Well

Interview With Caitlin Nowland From Wabi Sabi Well

I have only recently discovered the gorgeous girls from Wabi Sabi Well and have been diving into all the goodness that you can find on their website.

Today I am bringing you my interview with Caitlin Nowland, one half of the beauty and brains behind this revolutionary mixture of yoga, meditation and personal training.  I wanted to share Caitlin’s story with you as I love how raw and honest she is with sharing her own personal journey of self-healing with her body.  We both hope you enjoy it as well.  So let’s dive in …

For my readers who may not know you I’d love for you to start by telling us who you are, what you do and how you are making a big impact in the world right now?

I’m originally from the U.S. but I now live in Byron Bay, Australia with my husband Loren and our two little wildlings, Oliver and Isla and our dog Tui. Along with my business partner Brieann, I am co-creator of Wabi-Sabi Well– a comprehensive, holistic formula fusing metabolism-boosting movement, yoga, mindfulness, bioenergetic techniques, meditation and deep relaxation. The method integrates not just the physical, but also the emotional and spiritual elements to help you reconnect and return to a healthy state of balance, harmony and well being.

I’m really interested in knowing where the name Wabi Sabi Well came from. Can you share with us what Wabi Sabi means and how you integrate the philosophy behind it’s meaning into the work that you do?

Yes! The word wabi-sabi is steeped in meaning. Here’s the scoop. Back in the day, (we’re talking 16th century) a Japanese Tea Master named Sen no Rikyu tasked his son with tending to the garden. The boy undertook the assignment with zeal, cleaning up all of the debris in the garden, polishing each stone, raking the ground until it was flawless, tidy. Perfect. Rikyu stepped back and surveyed his son’s work. Rikyu approached a cherry tree and shook it so that a few bright blossoms spilled randomly, disheveling the perfectly manicured garden. This is the spirit of wabi-sabi. Striking a balance between immaculate perfection and the authenticity and natural beauty of imperfection.

Wabi stems from the root “wa” and refers to harmony, peace, tranquility and balance. Poetically, it means simple and in tune with nature. Sabi translates to “the bloom of time.” Wabi-sabi then, is the art of seeing beauty in impermanence and imperfection – in revering authenticity above all else.

Wabi-Sabi Well is our business name, but it also describes our philosophy and way of being in the world. It’s a willingness to accept things as they are and find wisdom in nature. It is an invitation to shift your focus from doing to being, from perfecting to embracing, from conflict to connection. It’s a clarion call to loosen your grip and reframe the way you see yourself and the world around you. We believe that it’s the secret to a lasting, harmonious relationship with yourself.

You have obviously discovered the key to your own physical, emotional and spiritual wellness. But I know that you have had quite a journey, particularly with your body, to get to the place you are at now. Can you share with us a little bit about your story and what drove you to dive deep into the world of health and wellness?

Like everyone, my backstory has a lot to do with the path that I’m on. Like so many girls, in my teenage years I struggled with an eating disorder and depression. Binging, purging, calculus level calorie counting, obsessively exercising, yep, yep, yep. Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt. Midway through my freshman year in college, my grades were picture-perfect, my diet was calculated down to the square root of sweet f all and my body (and personality) had all but faded away. My family intervened and I withdrew from classes to seek help. Psychologists and psychiatrists and prescriptions helped bridge the gap, but one day I woke up and couldn’t tell how I felt. Through the fog of anti-depressants and mood regulators, I just couldn’t feel…anything.

I realised that in my case (and I GET that this isn’t the case for everyone) that I had to decide to be happy. I had to wake up and fight for it every day by making decisions and choices that contributed to happiness. I didn’t know how to do this, I didn’t have the tools. At all. But I decided I’d just figure it out. Unwinding negative patterns and obsessive behaviour? It ain’t easy, sister. I’m sure many of you know that all too well.

Simultaneously, in the space of 4 years I contracted mononucleosis, Epstein Barr virus, Dengue Fever and finally, Lyme Disease. These diseases literally brought me to my knees and changed my life forever. For the better. I know that sounds weird, but it’s true.

I was battered, bruised, broken and depleted on pretty much every level possible. I had some serious healing to do. As I slowly rebuilt my immune system over the next 10 years I happily committed to whatever it took – antibiotics, Chinese medicine, homeopathy, naturopathy, vitamin injections, IVs, hot baths, ginger tea and wet socks, GI tests, Vitamin C flushes, elimination diets, you name it, I did it. Fully. Committed.

But what I struggled with was slowing down. I derived my sense of happiness and self worth through what I could control and what I could achieve. Throwing myself into work, smashing sales targets, never turning off, having my iPhone permanently attached to my hand, multitasking like my life depended on it, hair always perfectly coiffed, cultivating Barbi feet by wearing high heels (always), networking, hosting fundraisers, overdoing the whole social butterfly thing… It’s an attitude and a canon of behaviour that our society champions. Dream, believe… but mostly, bust your butt and achieve. Because you’re simply not enough just as you are. So despite all my healthy eating, supplements, treatments, et al., the Lyme Disease resurfaced. Something was missing from my heal-thyself strategy.

Ironically, the last piece of the puzzle wasn’t to do with my physical body in a direct sense. The last piece of the puzzle was a major mental shift. Getting out of the Type-A, achievement addicted, adrenal state. Transitioning from always DOING – always feeding my need to achieve (and temporarily soothing my sense of “I am not enough”) – to just BEING. Simply slowing down sealed the deal for my body and mind to realign and get back on track. Which has in turn, allowed me to manifest a truly fulfilling life.

What would you say the hardest part of your journey was and what work did you need to do to overcome this?

Slowing down, stressing less, trusting more. It’s an ongoing commitment, an ongoing learning curve. Like all chronic over-achievers, I still have to be super conscious of staying in the slow lane on a day to day basis. For me meditation is absolutely key.

What do you believe the ‘key’ to healing is?

Finding the underlying cause of your pain. You have to feel it to heal it. As author Rhonda Britten puts it, “the feeling you’re afraid to feel is running your life.” I believe that the antidote to any negative feeling is to feel it completely, acknowledge it, invite it in for tea. Hold space, raise the curtain and give the feeling the mic. Listen and watch as it begins to loosen, open up and eventually dissolve. Once we can begin to identify these stories and feelings we’ve locked away and bring them into the light and look them in the eye we’re on the way to healing. This may sound like I’m speaking specifically to emotional pain but I believe that our physical pain is inextricably linked to our emotions and history.

If you could give my readers, who may be just starting out on their own healing journey, one piece of advice what would it be?

Just one! That’s tough. I’m going to cheat and give three small pieces:

1. Be holistic in your approach. Nothing is isolated, everything is connected.

2. Get a second opinion, and/or seek out help from healers that will empower your and help you address your illness or pain holistically.

3. Just. Start. Don’t get overwhelmed and give up. Start small. Listen to your intuition and pick something that feels both promising and manageable.

What truly inspires you in both your life and your work?

The inspiration in doing this work is two-fold. First, the inner work. Wabi-Sabi well was essentially born out of necessity- and it has continued to grow and evolve that way. This work is representative of a personal evolution- well two personal evolutions really! Brieann’s and mine. It’s directly born out of our own learnings, experimentations and explorations into what really works for us. So our process of creating and sharing Wabi-Sabi Well is inextricably linked to our own growth and learning. It’s a constant evolution and I do it because I love it. Because I can’t not do it. I feel compelled, cellularly. I’m naturally curious and I hunger to learn more, to expand, to evolve. So I do it because to me, our individual journeys of evolution are the most profound acts of creation. The evolution the Self is an adventure that is rich with possibility and that prospect totally ignites me.

The second point of inspiration is bringing the work out into the world and sharing our creations. It’s an honour and an incredible privilege. I want Wabi-Sabi Well to be a resource for people to tap into and it’s incredibly inspiring and affirming when people write to us to share the impact that Wabi-Sabi Well has had on them- that spurs us on to keep rolling.

And if my readers would love to connect with you and support you in the work you do, where is the best place for them to start?

Thank you! Brieann and I would love to connect with your readers. Our website is wabisabiwell.com and it’s loaded with articles, workout videos, meditations, recipes, ritual guides and more. We’ve also just launched our online Shop, which is really exciting- our workouts and meditations are available to purchase so you can download and keep them. If you’re looking for a more personalised experience you can also book in for private online personal training sessions with Brieann or have us design an affordable at-home Total Transformation program for you. You can also find us over on Instagram and Facebook.

Caitlin and I both hope you loved this interview.  We would love it if you could leave us a comment below and let us know what was your favourite take-away piece from what Caitlin has shared with you today.  And if you know of anyone who you think would love to know more about Caitlin and Wabi Sabi Well then please feel free to share this interview with them.

Professional Bio:

Caitlin from Wabi Sabi WellMama, student of life, undocumented yogi, and wellbeing whizz, Caitlin Nowland lives in beautiful Byron Bay, Australia with her husband Loren and their two little wildlings, Oliver and Isla. Caitlin is co-creator of Wabi-Sabi Well.