When I recently described the feeling I get from travelling (head clears, heart lifts, creativity soars, and a definite feeling like I'm hovering above my former self and life when I return) someone suggested it might be the experience people get from meditating. And then it clicked. Yes, it probably is. In the past year a few things have happened that I'm less likely to turn away from the idea of meditation. David Lynch does it every day (he's a creative high achiever - surely an endorsement if I ever needed one). A friend who is perpetual motion has started and loves it (so it's not just for chilled-out boho types). And I am a recent yoga convert (nine months and going strong, even though I was very dubious).
But perhaps one of the best reasons is that my neighbour is living the life that so many of us dream about. She gave up what many would consider a dream job - art director for an interior magazine - and has never been happier or more content. I'll let her explain why, but if you're interested to know more about Julia or her classes then check out her website Divine Motion - she has a new class starting on Monday 5 July.
Oh, and the photos are ones that Julia took (she's also a photographer) on a trip to the Amazon at the start of the year as part of her studies.
Which five words best describe you? Playful, caring, independent, bright, authentic.
What was your first job and what path have you taken since? When I left university with a math’s degree I decided that I wanted to be a graphic designer. Somehow I got lucky and was taken on by a small design agency in London who taught me the tools of the trade. I spent about 11 years working in this industry and although I love design I somehow always felt that I wasn’t good enough or that I wasn’t in quite the right job. I couldn’t figure it out.
While I was working as an art director for Better Homes and Gardens magazine in Sydney I began exploring the world of meditation and healing. My whole life transformed in the process and I realised that I wanted to help others in the ways I was experiencing.
So I studied and explored a myriad of healing and transformational practices and ended up making a career catapult from design to healing. I am now working with individuals, offering private healing sessions, and with groups, offering the Divine Motion series; a movement and meditation series designed to help people move into living more freely and joyfully.
I have to pinch myself all the time to see if I’m dreaming or this is really happening. I now LOVE what I’m doing. And all the design and marketing experience I have is proving invaluable in running my business. It’s funny looking back and seeing how all the random experiences along the way now fit together perfectly.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? The importance of loving oneself. For me this ongoing lesson is challenging and yet seriously rewarding. It means really allowing whatever arises inside of me to be there without trying to push it away or change it. It’s about deeply accepting who I am in each moment rather than trying to be who I think I should be. The more I live this way the more amazing life becomes.
What’s your proudest career achievement? Every time I have the privilege of witnessing a person connecting with and discovering their essence... with that part of themselves that is effortlessly who they are, that is complete, fulfilled, and joyful. In that moment I know that something very good is happening. I can’t say I feel proud so much as incredibly grateful and excited to be part of facilitating that opening. That’s really why I’m doing what I’m doing.
What’s been your best decision? Signing up for the first meditation course I did. I don’t remember having ever thought about meditation beforehand and am not sure that I really knew what I was signing up for but my friend said it was the best thing she’d done that year so I thought I’d give it a go. That’s when everything changed for me... it was that blue pill/red pill moment in ‘The Matrix’.
Who inspires you? Gangaji, Mooji, Eckhart Tolle, all musicians!
What are you passionate about? Dance, meditation, music, living my truth and helping others live their truth, photography, swimming in the ocean.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? I read a series of books a few years ago called Life and Teachings of the Masters of the Far East. They document the journey of some US scientists in the late 1800s who go to the Himalayas and meet these so-called ‘masters’. The masters are beings who have been alive for hundreds of years, are able to materialise and dematerialise at will and basically stick around to help the evolution of humanity. Crazy as it may sound I know someone who has actually met such a person ... I’d like to meet one myself! Not sure which category that falls into... living or dead?
What dream do you still want to fulfil? To fall in love!
What are you reading? Perfect love, imperfect relationships: Healing the wound of the heart by John Welwood
images courtesy of julia berkeley