| HAZEL LOUISE |
Hazel and I studied at Beautiful You Life Coaching Academy together, and I recently had the pleasure of spending a wonderful week in Bali with her! She is one special girl who’s message I truly feel connected to and aligned with. Her vulnerability and ability to show her true self to the world is what I admire the most about her, and I’m thrilled to share her story with you!
Over on Instagram, we have just launched a May challenge together called illuMAYnate | FINDING THE MAGIC IN EVERYDAY MOMENTS | which we would LOVE for you all to be a part of! Plus one special person will be chosen to WIN our Presence Prize Pack!
Hazel is a Life Coach and Writer, passionate about inspiring and empowering women to live whole-hearted, holistic and wholesome lives. Her business ‘Her Beautiful Soul’ aims to spread a worthiness movement among young women by breaking down the social barriers around perfectionism and materialism. By encouraging young women to live with more vulnerability, authenticity and bravery she helps them strip off the layers they have been hiding under, so that they can shine the beauty within their soul.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO JUST GO FOR IT, AND START LIVING THE LIFE YOU LOVE? WAS THERE A TURNING POINT OR AN ‘A-HA’ MOMENT IN YOUR LIFE WHEN YOU REALISED YOU NEEDED TO MAKE THE CHANGE?
In a way, losing everything made me find myself and I am so grateful for that.
One of my favourite authors Tony Robbins has a saying that we only change our lives by raising our standards. Change occurs when we decide that the pain we feel from living life a certain way becomes so unbearable that we see no other option other than to step into the unknown and demand more for ourselves. When my long-term relationship fell apart suddenly I found myself torn from a place of familiarity, comfort and belonging. I felt like not only had I lost my direction in life but I had lost my identity. I had spent so long chasing illusions of perfectionism that I lost sight of what living life on my terms meant and what my own terms were. I realised that the pain of being heartbroken was nothing in comparison to the pain of living a life that wasn’t authentic.
So even though it hurt like hell and even though I had no idea where to begin, I chose to start my journey inward.
HOW IS YOUR LIFE DIFFERENT NOW AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU?
I believe that when we make a change in one area of our lives there is a flow on effect into another area. When we raise our standards for how our basic needs are met we begin to validate our self worth in areas we didn’t even recognise were lacking. To me the term ‘holistic living’ means addressing how we are addressing our needs emotionally, physically, intellectually, creatively, spiritually and financially. Our ability to make lasting change is dependent on our ability to spot the connection between what holds us back most in each of these areas.
The single most powerful change (and I am still working on it!) I have made that helps me step up in each of these areas is the belief in my own self-worth. I used to believe that self-worth was something that could be measured in grades or success at work or in busyness. But now I choose to accept that self-worth is my birthright. It is not something I need to earn or attain by what I do or how I act. By believing in my worthiness I have the courage to follow through on my big dreams and the tenacity to handle anything that life throws my way.
HOW DID OPENING UP AND ‘BEING AUTHENTICALLY YOU’ AFFECT THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU OR YOUR RELATIONSHIPS WITH THEM?
I remember listening to a talk by Oprah who said that “the only growth in life we should strive for is to become more of ourselves” and I believe it takes true courage and vulnerability to let ourselves be seen for whom we really are.
As silly as it sounds I was actually terrified of being more authentic around friends and family than I was around strangers. I was terrified of what they make think when I started writing about “the universe” and using phrases like “owning your truth” but you know what…. The moment I decided to step up and just do it anyway was one of the most liberating moments of my life. I realised that I needed to stop holding myself back because of something that wasn’t even in my control. I released the attachment to what other people where thinking of me and started stepping up into my own uniqueness – because I realised that is where my power lies. And then the strangest thing happened – the more I started to share these glimpses of my authentic self the more people close to me started making comments like “I love how honestly you wrote about…” or “I never knew you were so funny! How didn’t I see this part of your before?”
My power is in the thoughts only I have, the words only I can write, the experiences only I have had.
THIS is how I am authentically me.
WHAT IS YOUR TRUE ESSENCE? THE NATURAL PART OF YOUR BEING THAT MAKES YOU SPECIAL.
For a long time I didn’t really understand what people meant when they were referring to the term “true essence”. I couldn’t comprehend how there could be a part of me that was separate to my thoughts, personality traits or history.
Our culture spends so much time on judging and classifying people based on these things and then uses them as an objective measure of who a person is. Identifying my essence is about recognising the moments where I feel most aligned from the inside out with the world. I am a passionately curious being that is constantly questioning and answering; always looking for ways to bring new knowledge into my life. I am driven by the journey not the destination, always wanting to absorb as much experience as I can into each day. I ‘come alive’ most when I am creating or when I am surrounded by nature.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOURSELF?
I love my passion for life itself and my determination to see whatever I start through to the end. I love that I will never give up on my dreams and I will put in the necessary hard work to ensure that I can live life on my own terms and say that I lived the life I chose to.
WHERE DO YOU FIND BEAUTY AND INSPIRATION?
I find beauty and inspiration all around me, but I seek it most often in two places: people and nature. In connecting with other people I find beauty (that which is imperfect and whole) and inspiration (those who are courageous, vulnerable and daring). In connecting with nature I find beauty (that lies in the raw and real) and inspiration (that which survives and thrives in its natural environment just being itself).
AS A CHILD, WHAT DID YOU ABSOLUTELY LOVE TO DO?
I was one of those children (and am probably still one of those adults) who had about twenty hobbies all at once without actually having any one particular passion. One of my happiest childhood memories is spending summer evenings going on bike rides with my family down to a farm at the end of our village. Even from a young age I was happiest when I was outdoors and connecting with the people I loved. I also loved; dancing and performing, playing in the woods building tree-houses, creating things models/painting/writing, and learning how to cook.
WHAT LIGHTS YOU UP AND WHY?
I have had to limit myself to just 10 things because the truth is I live my life centred around what lights me up! There are so many little things we can add into each day to bring about more joy and more enjoyment. For me this involves:
✧ Connecting with people who love having heart-centred conversations
✧ Long walks in nature
✧ Being creative in the kitchen and eating new cuisines
✧ Writing and journalling
✧ Travelling to new places
✧ Moving my body in mindful and purposeful ways (Yoga and Pilates)
✧ Cosying up with a good book and cup of tea
✧ Having a long soak in a hot bath with lavender oil and candles
✧ Putting on Taylor Swift and having a lounge-room dance party
✧ Having a phone chat to one of my best friends
WHEN LIFE GETS BUSY, OVERWHELMING AND THE NEGATIVITY STARTS TO CREEP IN, HOW DO YOU UNWIND AND ALLOW YOURSELF TO ‘JUST BE’?
When life gets busy and overwhelming I have learned that what I need most is consistency with ensuring that I set aside some time in my daily routine to ensure my “basic needs” are met. Some of the “non-negotiables” in my daily routine include:
✧ An early morning walk listening to TED talks (I find this helps take me out of my own head and often provides some good life insight and advice along the way!)
✧ A “grounding” practice – I call it this because at heart I am a Type A personality so sometimes (and especially if I am stressed) I find “meditation” in the traditional sense difficult. So instead I put on some relaxing music and just lie down and breathe. I set a minimum of five minutes on the timer, but often I end up doing more like 15 because it helps me become aware of my thoughts and what is going on in my mind.
✧ A gratitude practice – sometimes I write it down and sometimes I just think about it, but I always end my grounding time with a gratitude list. I list three things I am grateful for: one person, one possession and one action/event.
✧ I ALWAYS make time for breakfast and prepare lunch ahead the night before. I believe that one of the biggest self-love practices we can ever do is to make sure that we are fuelling our bodies with the necessary nutrition to help us perform in stressful periods.
One of the biggest mindset shifts for me happened when I realised that it is what we do everyday that has the most profound effect on shaping who we are. So even if I can only do a 20 minute walk instead of a 45 minute walk or a 5 minute meditation instead of 15 minutes I always find a place to make sure I do it.
I think self-compassion plays such an important role in helping our bodies and our minds through stressful periods of life. This may involve going to an extra yoga class that week or getting away into the countryside on the weekend to unwind, but sometimes it can be something even simpler like running yourself a bath, reading a favourite book or giving yourself permission for a sleep in and some down-time.
WHAT MESSAGE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER WOMEN WHO ARE WANTING TO RECONNECT WITH THEIR OWN NATURAL WAY OF BEING AND FIND THE BEAUTY WITHIN THEMSELVES?
Change can be very daunting, scary and difficulty to know where or even how to begin. There is no ‘easy way’ to navigate change and often the most personal growth comes with an element of discomfort or pain. Know that it is ok to feel this. There can be beauty within your pain if you choose to seek the lessons it could be teaching you. For me the first part of reconnecting with myself was about finding my voice. I did this by buying myself a beautiful notebook and pen and dedicating ten minutes a day to writing whatever came into my head. It was about starting to connect with what my true essence was by simply giving myself permission to do MORE of the things I love purely for the reason that they light me up and made me happy! If you start to get out more and become curious about the things that really light you up you start collecting little gems of information about what sparks off your soul and makes you come alive.