By Olivia Suleimon
"I've always been lucky enough to live near a lot of trees or water. I saw a pretty clear connection between going outside and spending time in nature and feeling better and more connected with myself. It's been a gradual process, it wasn’t an intentional thing, I think it just make sense- in this world where we are constantly on our phones and constantly plugged in and logged in with technology, it's so nice to disconnect. I feel like it’s the only time I can really hear my thoughts and be at peace with myself. It just feel so right."
"I always thought i'd go to uni, i'd get a degree, i'd work for a big company, i'd have a secure job and I guess I tried to do that but in trying to do that I realised how unnatural it felt. I started thinking that I really don’t care about this and I really started to question what I do care about, I tried to make a conscious effort to think about the direction I was heading in and to question the things I was taught as well. I guess that’s it, I started to think more about what was important to me and it was about becoming more in tune with myself.
I went on a journey to try different things until I realised what I liked and what I didn’t like. I think it became pretty clear that I had no interest in sitting in an office- physically, it just doesn’t make sense.
I don’t think its healthy for a human to have to sit down at a desk, looking at a screen for 8-9 hours a day, and then to come home and spend a couple hours watching another screen and sitting. Honestly it seems like a way of numbing people and I think that when you live like that you can become so exhausted that you don’t have the energy to question why you’re doing things and your just in this rat race trying to survive. I thought about what I would get out of living this way and the only thing I can really think of is money and if that’s the only thing im going to get from that lifestyle its not worth it for me."
"I used to get really anxious. It started when I was in high school; trying to get a good mark so I could get into a good uni and all of that.
I think the way that I was taught to cope and what I observed off other people was to kind of tell myself no don’t get stressed, don’t feel like that, pull yourself together and keep going and I saw it as a weakness. By being more and more hard on myself I would get even more annoyed at myself and that would make me more stressed out.
While studying counselling I learnt that in dealing with anxiety, something that a lot of people tend to do is shame themselves, so it's where you could have this anxious feeling that arises, and if you then beat yourself up for having it, it then creates a cycle where you're constantly getting mad at yourself and feeling worse and worse. If you acknowledge the feeling instead of trying to run from it and fight it, by just accepting it and acknowledging it and then just letting it float away, I found that this kind of helps me deal with any negative feelings. I just kind of let myself feel them and in letting myself feel them they kind of almost dissolve away.
By staring at something face on and confronting it you realise theres not that much to it. A feeling is just a feeling and it's not going to do anything to you so I think that’s probably the biggest thing I learnt over the past year."
"The more effort I put into things I believe in and the more I believe in myself the easier things become. It's really weird, after I started House of Holism, all of a sudden, when I would share my ideas with people, the feedback I got was just incredible. As soon as I told one of the guys I work about my own project, it turned out he had a project that was so similar and we never connected on a spiritual level before because, I guess I don’t want to freak people out, or make them think im a crazy hippy or something. Im trying to ease into it and kind of share what I believe on a level that’s a bit easier to connect with and take something from with out overwhelming someone."
"A lot of people are raised a certain way and have certain beliefs and I think that a lot of people don’t open themselves up to other ideas; maybe from a fear of what they’ll find if they do reassess things and try and explore themselves. I think it’s a pretty scary thing to do, you’ve got to do a lot of self reflection and you realise things in that past that you’ve done that you might not do again. It's also hard because with knowledge comes responsibility, so the more you know about yourself and how your actions impact other people the more responsibility you have to do something about that in a positive way and I think that its probably easier to not look at those things."
"Negative feelings are pretty hard to avoid, especially with the world of celebrities, social media and technology now. People can present a really edited and filtered version of their lives and I think there is a lot of competition to make your life seem better than someone elses life. In magazines, you’re constantly presented with images of perfection that are photoshopped, that aren’t real and with materialism as well, we're living in this kind of commune consumerist society, we’re constantly getting messages that if you buy this you’ll be more beautiful, that if you get this car youll be happy. At one point I did try and find happiness through material things and I realised pretty quickly that’s it’s a really hollow way to live, you're never going to be happy that way and you’re never going to feel good about yourself if you believe that you’re going to have to have something that costs money to feel good.
Unfortunately that’s just part of the mindset that comes with living in the world that we live in, if we felt good about ourselves we wouldn’t spend money on things and all these big corporations wouldn’t survive."
"A lot of people need to hear that they are enough as they are. You are beautiful, you are loved and if you’ve got a dream, just got for it. "