Erin is a passionate self love advocate, guiding and inspiring others to live a life of self love and self care. Here she shares how she practices what she preaches and feeds her love for travel.
How did your journey to a self-love and holistic living begin? What inspired you?
For close to 10 years I struggled with low self-confidence, poor body image and an unhealthy relationship with food. I thought I knew how to eat healthy foods, but my main motivation was always to lose weight. I thought that once I lost weight I would be happy. Then one day in this quest to “improve” my body I found myself in a Bikram yoga class. It was hot, stuffy and I felt like I was going to die, but it sparked something within me and I was back in the hot room the very next day. This lead me down a rabbit-hole and I started trying as many different types of yoga as possible, and the more I practiced yoga the more I dropped into my body and my breath. I started meditating, then journalling, and then found myself nose-deep in wellness blogs and spiritual books. The two women who helped kick start my journey into self-love and holistic living were two Aussie babes who continue to inspire me, Jess Ainscough and Melissa Ambrosini.
By this point I had experienced a total mindset shift. I no longer felt the need to change my body so that I could start to feel like I was good enough, and I started to realise that I am exactly who I need to be. I had a realisation that my body needs to be cared for, rather than battled with. I fell in love with myself and the benefits that a stillness practice added to my life.
What is your ethos on self-love and holistic living?
I believe that the key to wellness is accepting and loving yourself in the present moment. It’s not about waiting until you’ve lost 5 kilos, found your perfect job, met the man of your dreams, or anything else outside of who you are. Self-love really is the key to living a life you love and feeling happy within yourself. We can choose to start loving ourselves, right now, exactly as we are.
For me, holistic living is so much more than just what we eat. It’s also has so much to do with how we feel about what we eat, and why we eat the foods that we do. Holistic living means learning to listen to and trust our bodies, and I think this can only be done once we stop counting calories and stop weighing ourselves every single day.
Along with self-love another key to holistic health is adding stillness to our lives. When we take the time to be still, we can connect with ourselves on a much deeper level. We all have an inner voice which speaks our truth (you may call this your heart, your soul, your inner guidance, or anything else). I think we all need to reconnect with who we truly are, so that we can live a life that makes us feel good.
What does wellness mean to you / what makes you feel good?
My philosophy for life is simply doing what makes me feel good. This means that I get to define wellness on my own terms. It means I make the rules, and that they can change as I continue to grow and learn more about myself, my body and life.
Wellness means listening to my body, and trusting that it knows what it needs. It means putting my self-care first and nurturing myself on a physical, mental and spiritual level. I eat in a way that makes me feel good. Usually that means lots of seasonal fruits and veggies, but also means that I can eat good quality dark chocolate without feeling guilty. I move my body in a way that makes me feel good. Somedays that may mean running up the stairs at the beach, sometimes its strength exercises while watching the sunrise, some days it’s a sweaty Ashtanga yoga class and other times it’s a slow yin class. I know I’m on the right track when I feel vibrant, energised and truly alive.
You say you breathe, live and work travel – how so?
I currently work full-time for an Australian wholesale travel company, so I spend 5 days each week immersed in the world of active travel. Thankfully, my job includes an educational trip each year, where I have the chance to get out of the office, hop on a plane, and get to experience our tours firsthand. On top of that, I aim to travel overseas at least once a year on a non-work related trip and I love to explore the many places that Sydney and Australia has to offer.
I tend to travel with my partner, but I have a solo trip to Europe lined up in the next couple of months which I’m super excited about. I’ve travelled quite extensively around Europe (although there is still so much more to see) and I’ve recently started exploring a few Asian countries including Thailand, Nepal and Indonesia.
Travel allows me the chance to learn so much about myself and this amazing world we live in. When we travel we see the world through different eyes. We are curious and open to new experiences. We are present and completely in the moment when we travel. We appreciate every single day, even when things don’t go to plan.
Through travelling I’ve realised that no matter how differently we all live, on a deep level we are all the same. We are all connected. Travelling, particularly through poorer countries, has helped me realise just how lucky I am to live where I do and to have all of the opportunities that I have. But it also shows me that we don’t need much to be happy – happiness isn’t really about what you have, but is more about how you feel about what you do have.
I also love that travelling pushes me out of my comfort zone, that it forces me to try new experiences or foods. It pushes my buttons, in the best ways possible. I think the world and the people in it are amazing and fascinating, and I want to spend my whole life seeing as much of the world as possible.
Where’s your favourite place on earth and why?
This is always such a hard question – I imagine it’s like picking your favourite child. My favourite places are Nepal and Turkey. They are both completely different to each other but they both have such a captivating feel to them. The people of Nepal are the kindest people I have met anywhere in the world, and the stunning mountain scenery is truly remarkable. Not to mention the great trekking routes which take you out of the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu, and the colourful prayer flags swaying in the breeze. I can’t wait to go back, and next time I want to give mountaineering a try.
Turkey is such a vast country and I love how every single region is different. The food, the beaches, the history, the disorientating markets, the bizarre rock formations in Cappadocia – there is truly something for everyone. The sunrise hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia is one of the most memorable travel experiences I’ve had yet.
What’s an average ‘day in the life’ of Erin Williams’?
On an average day I wake up at around 5 am and take sometime to myself in the early morning hours. I like to start the day off with a warm cup of herbal tea, often with a splash of apple cider vinegar, then I pull out my journal for some soul searching, before closing my eyes for a quick meditation. I like to get outside most mornings and move my body and take in the sunrise. Some mornings I have to skip the morning exercise as I madly finish off my latest blog post.
I then head into work for the day, usually rushing out the door and making sure I’ve remembered to pack my lunch. I try to keep my self-care up throughout the working day – taking deep breaths whenever things start to feel a bit stressful, and getting out into the sun for a stroll around the block at lunch. After work I head home for a home-cooked meal with my man, which is often ready for me when I walk in the door (yes, I know I’m pretty lucky). Then to wind down I spend some more time writing or we watch some TV together. A couple of nights a week I also like to head off to a yoga class.
What’s you’re favourite meal?
I love anything spicy, but I’m very partial to a mean green curry. I also love anything with hummus. Thai and Lebanese/Turkish foods are definitely my favourite cuisines – I could eat them all day, every day and not get sick of it.
Who inspires you?
I’m inspired by anyone who is out there living their dream life. People who live with presence and passion inspire me daily. When I need a boost of inspiration I head online to my favourite blogs, which include: Tara Bliss, Rachel MacDonald, Claire Baker and Alice Nicholls. Lately I’ve been diving into the work of Marie Forleo & Marie TV (I’m currently working on creating a business and life I love) and I can’t get enough of Lucy Bourchier’s podcast ‘The Brave Exchange’.
What’s something people don’t know about you?
Most people don’t know how obsessed I am with the show ‘Breaking Bad’. Even though the series is now over, I still think it is the best show ever made and can see myself re-watching every episode again and again!
Top recommended resources or books for self love and holistic living?
- Nat Kringoudis and the courses she runs are a great resource for holistic living and taking charge of your own health.
- Gabby Bernstein -I’d also recommend anything by Gabby, there is so much value in her books and in the videos she shares online.
- Eckhart Tolle – he writes amazing books that will awaken you to the power within yourself and to the importance of living with presence.
- Lisa Messenger – her book ‘Daring & Disruptive’ is great for kick-ass determination along side a life of self-love.
- Melissa Ambrossini is spreading such a beautiful message about living from a place of love, and no longer listening to your mean girl. She was one of the first people who inspired me to find my own sense of self-love.
- Claire Baker – her book ‘This is Lifeblood’ is another must-read blog for tips on holistic living and finding your optimal health.
And for a little shameless self-promotion I also have a free ebook on my site, ‘Falling in Self-Love’ which is a guide to falling in love with yourself and finding your inner spark.
Top 5 tips for holistic living?
- Don’t worry about how other people say you should live or eat. Simply do what makes you feel good – whatever that may mean to you.
- Embrace the present moment.
- Take a look at the reasons behind your food choices. Are you following an eating style because it’s trendy or because you think that’s how you need to eat in order to be healthy? Or is it because this way of eating actually makes you feel good? When you’re eating for holistic health you can enjoy food, and receive both physical and mental nourishment from what you choose to eat.
- Listen to your inner guide. If something feels right for you, do it. And if something makes you feel uneasy, don’t do it.
- Spend some time thinking about how you want to feel – and then start living in alignment with these feelings. If you haven’t yet read Danielle LaPorte her books will revolutionise the way you think about your life and the way you set goals