By Jessica Williams, founder of Create Live Grow. Featured Image by adriana_glass
On Saturday 3 September, my friend Tara and I attended The Wellness Festival in Brisbane by Colour and Coconuts
Of course the event was in an uber cool warehouse venue called Lightspace. As we entered there were tressle tables, draped curtains and A LOT of coconuts!
We were handed a goodie bag – which is always the perfect way to start a Saturday – who doesn’t LOVE goodie bags!! Then picked our spot on a yoga mat ready for a sweat session with the amazing Elle Fit and Active with D.
Isn’t it crazy when you have been following someone on instagram and then you see them in real life? I had a couple of moments during the day where I saw a face and my brain automatically registered that I recognised them. I smiled – as if to say ‘we know each other’, then realised that I’ve just been stalking them for a very long time. They totally had no idea who I was. I liken it to when you see someone waving and you give them a full wave back, only to realise it wasn’t for you #awkies
So our ‘Sweat Session’ was actually super FUN and set a really amazing vibe for the day ahead, plus we got to keep our Cotton On Body Yoga mats !! Hence why we were in a strange spot in a corner, because I wanted THAT specific mat with the pretty pattern and I was not moving to a plain one even if it meant a better view.
Then it was off for a quick costume change in the car, and time for my beautiful friend Tara to do the ol’ breast pump #mumlife. It was her FIRST day away from her baby Bowen, and I am SO proud and inspired by her – she prepared all week so that she could take this time for herself. We reminisced and laughed in the car, and did the old ‘oh how times have changed’ – remembering when we used to sleep in my car after a bender in Byron – now days it’s yoga, coconuts and a little car breast pump action.
Back to a delicious ‘Galaxy Bowl’ – similar to an Acai Bowl but with activated charcoal. I tried to to look oh so casual while my first bite was filmed for their next promo video – Oh god.
Into our first speaker session with the amazing Melissa Ambrosini. I’m sure you have all heard of Melissa, and if not then she is the author of ‘Mastering Your Mean Girl’ – The no BS guide to becoming Wildy Wealthy, Fabulously Healthy and Bursting with Love.
This is the moment that I could appreciate where the name Wellness FESTIVAL came from. As she entered the room, the music was pumping, and we were all just as excited as we would have been at Big Day Out when our favourite band was about to come on stage. Again, oh how times have changed 😉
Melissa has such a presence, she is not only BEAUTIFUL, like I mean really? Is that really FAIR? but she is also SO confident and passionate about her message. We started with a guided meditation to bring the whole room into alignmen. You could definitely feel the energy shift, there was such a stillness even though we were among hundreds.
The main nugget of wisdom I took away from Melissa’s talk were the 3 actionables to help ‘master our mean girl’ – because as she says you can listen to as many talks or read as many books as you like, but if you don’t implement it into your own life then it is pointless.
STEP 1 – AWARENESS. Become aware of those thought in your head that tell you that you aren’t good enough, pretty enough, smart enough etc. The first step to change is the awareness that it is happening in the first place
STEP 2 – GENTLY CLOSE THE DOOR ON HER. When these thoughts knock on your door, rather than invite them in, let them sleep in your bed and stay with your for the month – gently say ‘thank you but no thank you’ and close the door.
STEP 3 – CHOOSE LOVE INSTEAD . Always come back to your heart rather than your mind, as it always holds the truth.
I later purchased Melissa’s hard copy book (as I currently have the audio version), and lined up to meet her and have it signed. Of course I went into the day thinking I would be so cool, calm and collected, have a real nice little chat, no big deal and be super smooth. But no… I was a bit of an awkward fan girl, but hey that just goes to show I care, right? I’ll go with that…
She is just as authentic, present and radiant in real life. It is a real testament to her dedication of self growth to see how her energy shines.
Next up we had the beautiful Sarah Holloway from Matcha Maiden. For those of you who don’t know of Matcha Maiden, they sell matcha from green tea leaves. They were one of the first to come into this market in Australia after discovering it’s incredible qualities while in Japan. The business only started 18 months ago and has now grown into a huge success, spreading the magic of matcha to thousands.
The thing that Tara and I really loved about Sarah’s talk was how open she was about feeling unnatural on stage. She was also very raw about her own ‘mean girl’ thoughts – including not being good enough to be up there. I find this SO relatable and really helped us to connect with her and her message right from the start.
She took us on her journey of starting Matcha Maiden while she was also working full time as a practicing Lawyer. The times of feeling like she was a character in Breaking Bad, while they measured Matcha powder on little scales and packed it in their undies to make sure no fibres entered the packets.
Most of all I loved her message of collaboration. That by embracing others in a colaborative way, our success is multiplied. It’s natural to feel we need to ‘keep all the success to ourselves’ but we are only holding ourselves back from an exponential amount of growth and opportunity.
For lunch we had a delicious salad in a jar by by ‘All Real Food’ – of course I would drop the beetroot on my brand new white top and jeans – I also later dropped my sunglasses down the toilet, but don’t worry it was just water 🙂
Next up was the totally inspiring Lisa Messenger, owner and founder of The Collective Hub. I have been following Lisa’s Snapchat stories every day for months, and she snaps A LOT, so I feel like I know her really well. Seeing her in person, she seemed like an old friend.
She has a really relaxed approach to speaking which consists mainly of question and answers. This lead the talk in really organic way which meant she covered topics we have otherwise missed out on, like her experiences of forming a friendship with Richard Bransen.
I love this because I think it’s really interesting to see how each speaker made the stage their own. They didn’t try to fit within a box of how you ‘should’ present to a room, and instead did what felt right for THEM, and what makes them most comfortable.
Lisa had so many amazing insights – I mean of course she does. One piece of advice which I thought was really generous of her to offer was how to get your story into the media. She described how her team are literally BOMBARDED with press releases every single day. She suggested NOT go with the cookie cutter approach. Her team can tell straight away if it’s something that has been sent to every magazine, and doesn’t specifically relate to how it can benefit ‘The Collective’s’ audience.
She explained that if she receives a proposal that lists how it can benefit their readers, which section of the magazine it would work best in and something that really has heart, rather than just a sales piece , then it will pretty much always get through to publication.
Also make sure you send your submission to someone higher up the chain. Most people send it to the ‘low hanging fruit’, as I like to call it. We naturally assume that the people higher up are too busy and wouldn’t even see it, or lack the confidence to contact them. She said as a result, her editor hardly ever receives anything. She even gave us an email address to send them to, but I’ll keep that just for the people who attended 😉
Then it was time for even more FREEBIES arggghhh!! So many boxes of organic Cottons tampons in the ladies room, winning!! Cartons of delicious coconut water and more, before settling back in our seats.
Jacqueline Alwill, Nutritionist and Founder of Brown Paper Bag Nutrition was such a delight to listen to. Wow is she stunning but she also has such a beatuiful energy about her. Similarly to Sarah, she started her talk by explaining that she isn’t fully comfortable on stage and that she has recently begun to get much more nervous than she used to. She puts this down to her talks now being much more about HER and HER journey. Again this really helped form a connection with us in the audience, and inspired me so much to know it IS possible, even though it may seem scary.
Jacqueline explained the importance of the gut and how it really is our second brain. She took us through a delicious breathing exercise and reiterated the importance of BREATH for all aspects of our mind and body health, including our digestion.
Try this one at home – Shut your eyes and put one hand on your heart and one your gut. Then breath in for 4 counts, hold for 2 and breath out for 6. Do this 10 times in a row and feel the difference.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay to listen to the last speaker, Julie Stevanja, the CEO of StyleRunner, as we had to get back to baby Bowen. I’ll definitely chat with Midell, the Create Live Grow babe who won tickets and find out what she loved most about Julie’s talk and update this article 🙂
Tara and I both had an INCREDIBLE and INSPIRING Day, thank you SO Much Colour and Coconuts for halving us.
The Wellness Festival is hitting Sydney on the 15th of October get your tickets here.