| JESS MCAVINEY |
I met the lovely Jess at a soul circle recently, and really connected with her through her powerful story. We happened to be in a space that actually had her incredible creation on the wall- I had no idea it was hers, but I was admiring it all night, it was stunning! She is one talented lady, and I love the passion she has for her exciting new business, as well as how passionate she is about treating herself with love and kindness.
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?
I recently watched the documentary ‘Embrace’ by Taryn Brumfitt – if you’ve not seen it, get on that ASAP! – I watched it blankly, taking in what she was saying and all these incredible women’s stories but not really processing it all. A friend asked me if I was okay after it and I blankly said that I was, knowing full well how uneasy I was actually feeling. I walked to my car and before I could put my seatbelt on I absolutely lost it. Like I’m talking full on melt down mode, uncontrollable sobbing and everything! I was parked out the front of a café and people were shooting me worrying looks through the front window and gesturing if I was okay, obviously I was not okay haha! I remember having this moment of “what the actual heck am I doing to myself?” The way I was treating my body, the way I was beating myself up with my own thoughts, no one else was doing this to me or thought of me like this, I did this all to myself. I sent my friend Sarah a Facebook message and just basically unloaded every single thing I was thinking. I asked her what I was doing to myself, like I hope she had the answer for me. It might sound silly but ‘Living in the Moment’ by Jason Mraz came on my stereo and I swear it was that very moment when I decided to flip my perspective on everything, to forgive myself for what I had done that I didn’t like and all the negative things I had told myself, to start being kind to myself, appreciating who I am and all my good qualities. I had been working my butt off on this whole ‘self love/discovery’ thing for over a year, putting in the hard yards, facing stuff that I did not want to deal with, being raw, honest and ridiculously vulnerable so I guess it was a collection of things with this just being the final turning point. The thing is with life; you never stop changing so you’re always rediscovering yourself. Its not like I had this epiphany and all of a sudden I need to stop doing the work. It’s work, everyday, it’s being consistent with my meditation, journaling and checking in with myself but being gentle with myself if I miss a day here or there. A friend of mine told me recently that I seemed “to have my s*** so together” and by no means do I have my life together, I don’t think anyone does and if they tell you that, they’re lying!! I think I just have it a little more organised in a way that I can manage it and notice when areas are slipping and use the tools I know work for me to pick them back up before they hit the ground again!
HOW IS YOUR LIFE DIFFERENT NOW AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU?
My life has done a complete 180 degree shift!! If you had of told me 10 years ago that I would be where I am, having done what I’ve done and seen what I’ve seen I absolutely would not have believed you and swore you were cray cray!! But heck, here we are! I would have never thought I would have my own business, nor would I have thought how much joy it brings me! I used to be so shy and self-conscious, to the point where it was almost crippling, now once you get me started its hard to shut me up. Situations that used to terrify me now excite me! I just don’t care what other people think about me anymore because its like swimming upstream the Ganges River trying to change what people think about you, IMPOSSIBLE! Instead of worrying about a situation that is beyond my control I use my very favourite motto ‘F*** it’ and just know that if its supposed to happen it will and if its not then that’s okay and there is a reason as to why and trust that something better is just around the corner. “Those who are certain of the outcome can afford to wait, and wait without anxiety.” – A Course in Miracles.
WHAT WAS YOUR GREATEST FEAR OR BLOCK (EMOTIONAL, MENTAL OR PHYSICAL) THAT YOU HAD TO OVERCOME TO GET WHERE YOU ARE, AND HOW DID YOU BREAK THROUGH IT?
I think it was me, I was standing in my own god damn way! Well at least my ego was…
I think I’ve just learnt to flip my perspective on things, see the bigger picture and realise the more important things in life.
HOW DID OPENING UP AND ‘BEING AUTHENTICALLY YOU’ AFFECT THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU OR YOUR RELATIONSHIPS WITH THEM?
It was the scariest but also the greatest thing I’ve done. It’s terrifying because you’re not able to hide behind someone who isn’t authentic. Putting on a character is easy because if people don’t like you then you can almost justify it because you know that who you’re showing them isn’t the real you. Its funny though, for me once I started being myself and living authentically, I started attracting the exact people who I wanted to be around, learn off and build friendships and relationships with. Its true when they say your vibe attracts your tribe. My relationships had never been terrible in the past but now I have these absolutely INCREDIBLE relationships. My friend circle has definitely changed but I don’t see it as a bad thing. I have such a diverse group of friends now who I absolutely love and value their guidance, wisdom and friendship more than most of them will know.
DID YOU FACE ANY JUDGEMENTS OR CRITICISMS, WHETHER FROM YOURSELF OR OTHERS?
I think I lost count, or I stopped caring! I can’t change what people think so I just don’t care anymore! That’s on them, not me :)
WHAT IS YOUR TRUE ESSENCE? THE NATURAL PART OF YOUR BEING THAT MAKES YOU SPECIAL.
Kindness for myself; I’ve learnt the last few months to just be gentle with myself. This life is too short to spend it at war with yourself and it’s so freaking liberating!!
Respect; for others and where they are on their journey in this crazy life. We’re all just doing our best in the world and with the hand we have been given.
Gratitude; for every single person in my life and every single thing I have. When you focus on what you have, you’ll see just how much you have! When you focus on what you don’t have its easy to get in a negative headspace and get hung up on what you don’t have. Being grateful is such a huge thing for me! At least once a day I take a mental note of at least 5 things I am ridiculously grateful for in this life.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOURSELF?
I love that I’m kind and respectful, that I speak my truth and how creative I am. I love that I love to learn new things and I hope that I never lose that. I love how passionate I am about making the most of my life. I love that I love to explore and adventure. I love that I push myself out of my comfort zone and discover things that I otherwise wouldn’t have known or found!
WHERE DO YOU FIND BEAUTY AND INSPIRATION?
Anywhere and everywhere! We are inundated with beautiful things in this world! However, more specifically I find inspiration in people; I’m lucky that I have some uber inspiring people in my life at this point in time. The way they live their life, the way they speak so passionately about what they do and what they love, inspires me every day. For my business I find inspiration in nature, from the driftwood I collect up and down the south coast, to a spiders web and how intricately they are woven (even though I am terrified by spiders *eugh*) On my recent trip to India I found some serious inspiration in their textiles. Most are still made by hand using old school techniques. I had the pleasure of witnessing and meeting some of the beautiful people who sit patiently weaving carpets, hand embroidering traditional saree’s or spinning wool to then knit ponchos.
AS A CHILD, WHAT DID YOU ABSOLUTELY LOVE TO DO?
Dance!! My god did I love to dance! Though that hasn’t really changed! I used to dance a ridiculous amount of hours a week in and outside of school. I love the discipline I got from it and the friends that I made who are still close friends today. Its such a great way to release, even now you’ll often find me stuck in traffic on the way home from work, having a good old car dance party!
WHAT LIGHTS YOU UP AND WHY?
Cue corny central!
My family – they are loud and absolutely crazy! With three older brothers, a soon to be sister in law and my niece and nephew, family dinners are a pretty chaotic!!
My friends – though the word ‘friends’ doesn’t seem to justify them, they’re so much more than that – are all kick ass chicks/guys in their own ways! From owning their own businesses, being ridiculously smart, having incredible wisdom, how passionate they are, their stories of the adventures they’ve been on, how courageous they are, how kind they are and basically how amazing they are!
I’ve had the opportunity to meet some pretty epic chicks through yoga, meditation and soul circles that have had the courage to get raw and real and share their stories. It takes some serious guts to bare your soul to a room full of people but learning about them, the things they have faced and the way they have gotten through them blows my mind. I hope one day they know just how strong they are!
I’m also partial to the good old story of a random act of kindness, I can’t help but light up when I see a kind act being carried out!
WHEN LIFE GETS BUSY, OVERWHELMING AND THE NEGATIVITY STARTS TO CREEP IN, HOW DO YOU UNWIND AND ALLOW YOURSELF TO ‘JUST BE’?
I go for a run if I’m uber stressed or angry. I meditate if I need answers or to create space in my mind or I find the closest beach and get my toes in the sand if I need to get grounded and back to myself. If none of these things are possible where I am, I close my eyes and focus on my breathing; it always brings me into the present moment and allows me to just be. I always joke that running and meditation is what has kept me sane but I swear its true! I know no matter what has happened in the day or whatever situation I’m struggling with I will find the answers I need in one of those things.
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?
It’s going to be hard and its probably going to bring up stuff that you don’t want to face but its also going to make you so much stronger than you ever thought you could be! It’s going to make you realise that you don’t have to beat yourself up and that you can say ‘you’re beautiful’ and actually mean it!! That you are worthy and you don’t have to settle for something that you don’t want! That you can have anything this life has to offer if you want it bad enough. Despite what ‘people and the media’ say, its okay to love yourself and that you don’t have to feel guilty about it! Know that you have everything you need to live a great life inside you! You came into this world and will leave this world with only one thing, you. That is all you need in this life to be amazing! “Just do you, cause you do you so perfectly.” – Jessie J
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE YOU?
It feels pretty dang wonderful! Though it hasn’t always felt that way but through some revelations in the last year and some beautiful people I’ve had the absolute pleasure of meeting I’ve just realised that if I wasn’t me I wouldn’t have met them, I wouldn’t be doing something that I love and calling it ‘work’, I wouldn’t have my ridiculously crazy, noisy family that I have and love. I wouldn’t have had some of the epic experiences I’ve had and that would be a terrible shame!