Our columnist shares her experiences of tough love parenting, finding your career soulmate, listening to your partner and why self-care is where it all starts. Check out her glow-getting product edit too
I first realised I was loved growing up with my family in Australia. It was a true-blue Australian upbringing. Raw and authentic, it was spent outdoors and nearly always by the water. I have great memories of camping and waterskiing on weekends. These days, I feel most loved when I'm laughing out loud, joyous and being heard. I value together-time with people I love. Being connected to nature and other humans is crucial.
On parental (tough) love
I have two sons - my youngest Cy is still with me and my eldest Flynn is at university in Boston - and like my childhood, theirs has often been spent outdoors, although in different countries. Being grounded is very important and although the boys have a more dynamic life than I did growing up, I still emphasise Australian values that revolve around reality, honesty, integrity, self-responsibility, courage, hard work, physical activity and most importantly manners. They've learned that people are equal and humility and kindness are key.
Parenting is the most rewarding experience and I feel blessed my children chose me to be their mum. I also have a better understanding of myself, of unconditional love and life through motherhood. I want to help guide my children on all levels, so I am more observant and conscious in my communications and I take care with the decisions I make and how I choose to live my life as an example.
I often say to my children “listen I’m not here to be popular, I’m here to guide you.” Parenting is a wonderful experience because there are so many different phases. I am constantly learning from my children and hopefully they witness some wisdom from me. My intention is to smooth difficult times with humour (not anger). I encourage them to follow their words with actions. Manners are a priority and I have taught them to be appreciative for all their experiences - the ups and the downs. I believe there is learning in everything.
On finding 'The One' in your career
To me, love is key in life and I have grown to love, value and appreciate my career path and the people who have guided me along the way. A career is like any relationship, and I have always chosen to be courageous, honest, committed, flexible and cooperative. I am mindful not to procrastinate when things get tough and instead choose to think outside the box and find creative solutions to problems. This is not always easy, and there have been many times when I have felt I've diverted from my true self. Having said that, I believe the journey is the destination.
If my diverse career has taught me one thing, it’s the value of authenticity. With this in mind, I found it was a natural progression to focus my current career in wellness, as it is such an important part of my own life.
I think it would be easy to characterise me as someone with big aims, ambition and drive, but my reality is my day-to-day stuff. Yes, I have been fortunate that my businesses have done well financially (most of the time) but it’s the balance of my love of work, family, friends and personal spiritual growth, that has truly given me a rich life.
I believe I have been blessed to meet inspirational creative people at the right time and I have never gone into a business without the belief that it truly is something I want to put my name to and dedicate my time and energy to. I am really proud that WelleCo was founded with my long-time friend Andrea Horwood, in the beautiful natural environment of Australia and that we are praised globally for our integrity and authenticity.
Why everything starts with self-love
Turning 50 was a turning point for me; I realised my lifestyle needed to be adjusted. I learned to listen to what my body wanted, not what I thought it needed. I swapped my diet for one that was predominantly wholefood, plant-based and alkalising and started taking The Super Elixir Supergreens . My body responded positively very quickly. I learned to slow down my eating and really enjoy every mouthful. I discovered my mental and emotional health is just as important as my physical health. In fact, it can influence my physical wellbeing.
I’ve kept an appreciation journal for years. I write entries such as, “I feel really connected to my children because I've been present and honest with them today even though I was tempted to be distracted by work”, or “I’m super-comfortable in my bed right now.” Connecting to appreciation keeps me well and is a form of self-love, in my view.
I swapped my intense workouts for more nurturing ones, such as a long bike ride, swimming, Pilates and yoga. In many ways, I’m in better shape now for it.
On romantic love
If I could tell my teenage self some lessons about love, I’d say that a loving union between two people is sacred. During my own journey, I have aimed to listen closely to my partners’ needs and allowed them to be themselves without wanting to change them. I have tried to listen to myself and be flexible and adaptable, but always stopping short of changing myself to please others. I value courage, cooperation perseverance, passion, and above all, remember that I am the creator of my own life and happiness. It's no one else's responsibility to make me happy.
On sharing the love
First, I pay attention to healthy and nutritious foods, be mindful, and stay active whenever I can. I then consider my loved ones. After this, I turn to work commitments. I have discovered that it’s the way I prioritise my life that keeps me strong and balanced and helps me be more focused and efficient in business. Starting and ending the day calm works too and helps to organise my mind and time. There is no set formula.
One of the best pieces of advice I was ever given, was to schedule everything into the diary with equal importance. Whether it’s a business meeting, yoga class or kids’ sport, I always write it in a diary, and am never afraid to say no when there is a clash. I have found it is an effective way to carve out time for myself and my loved ones.
Elle's top 5 self-care buys
1. The Super Elixir Supergreens
I take two heaped teaspoons of The Super Elixir daily in filtered water without fail. It is formulated with 45 plant-based, wholefood ingredients that the body recognises and absorbs at cellular level. When you are nourished and maintain a healthy pH balance, it assists with lowering acidity in the body that can lead to inflammation, low energy, weight gain and accelerated ageing of the cells.
It made me realise what a profound impact good nutrition can have on the way I feel and how this can show on the outside.
2. Therasage Portable Infrared Sauna
I love my portable infrared sauna by Therasage (a similar version is available in the UK by Firzone, £219 ) It communicates full-spectrum wavelengths, which are both deeply penetrating and highly therapeutic for improved blood circulation, natural detoxification and increased metabolic rate.
3. A medium bristle body brush
I am disciplined with dry body brushing. It is a great way to refresh, detoxify and soften the skin. It's especially important for a healthy lymphatic system. I always use a medium natural-bristle brush and put aside a few minutes before showering every morning. I find regular dry brushing softens my skin, gives good glow, and helps prevent cellulite. I follow with a hot, then cold shower. It’s brilliant for circulation. [Try the Mio Skincare Body Brush, £14.50]
4. Pat McGrath Cheek Shine
A makeup artist taught me to always emphasise my cheekbones. It’s a great way to draw attention to them without having to put on a lot of makeup, which I never do. I love Pat McGrath Skin Fetish Illuminator Kit, £70 which is a beautiful iridescent pigment that adds a natural shine to cheekbones. It’s really flattering and natural.
I try to remember to wear broad-spectrum SPF every day, especially living under the Miami sun. La Roche Posay make good sunscreens and I also like Invisible Zinc which is a physical sunscreen. I try to wear a rashie when I am in the water and a cowboy hat whenever I'm at the beach.
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