Today's powerful woman is some very dear to me, as Jess has actually been in my life for around 6 years now and it has been amazing to watch her to become such an inspiration to many people including myself.
Through her journey of living in gratitude, finding her purpose and speaking her truth she has an incredible voice that helps thrones of people both off and online.
Your initial online journey was very different to where you are today. Tell us more about what first inspired you to create your initial blog.
After finishing my University degree in 2014, I went to Tanzania for two months to teach Photography, Art and English to street children. At the end of my degree I felt lost and was unsure on where I wanted to live, what I wanted to do and who I wanted to become. At the time, friends and family joked and said that I was off to ‘find myself’ but ironically, it is what I did. The experience opened my eyes to a world I had been so sheltered from and truly shook me to my core. In those two months I experienced not only true loneliness but a deep inner happiness too. I was forced to spend time alone, create new friendships and reflect on just how privileged we are in the Western world.
Whilst in Tanzania, I was inspired to create a Travel and Vegan Food blog to share about my experiences and how to survive as a vegan when travelling. I had always loved writing and sharing my experiences to help others. From there, I continued to grow my vegan blog for the following 4 years, working with brands, reviewing products and gaining a presence in the vegan community.
Over the last couple of years your life has made a huge shift. Tell us more about what happened and how you completely changed your life.
After returning from Tanzania in 2014, I still felt lost. I had discovered a love for travel and wanted to continue. I completed my TEFL course which allowed me to teach English abroad and began to make plans to go to Vietnam. But, the Universe had a different plan for me and I fell in love, therefore putting my solo travel plans on the back burner. For the following near 4 years I jumped from job to job, city to city, trying to find this ‘thing’ that had been missing. I got a salary job as I thought it would make me happy. I moved into a flat with my then partner and began planning a life together, saving for a mortgage to eventually buy our first home. I put my heart and soul into making my vegan blog a success and eventually quit working in London to blog alongside managing a vegan café. But, when I finally got to where I thought I wanted to be, it wasn’t enough. Inside, I was empty and deeply unhappy. Despite everything on the surface being picture perfect, I had lost touch with who I was and how to make myself feel whole. I had become reliant on those around me, status and my possessions to bring me joy. At the end of 2018 I made the decision to leave my relationship, quit my job and move to Devon to stay with my parents. Although it was the hardest decision I have ever made, it was the fresh start I needed to take a step back and focus on myself.
When did you take interest in spirituality and what was it that made you want to explore it more?
In my second year at University I stumbled across meditation and mindfulness. I remember going to my first meditation class and being amazed that I could escape my thoughts for a moment. At that time I was mentally in and out of a dark place and wanted to work on loving myself. My self-love journey truly began at that time as well as forging my spiritual path. Shortly after I read ‘The Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle and was blown away at the concept of living in the present. The book changed the way I thought and allowed me to question things from a place of love. I dipped in and out of meditation, mindful practices and so forth throughout University and beyond. But it wasn’t until the end of 2018 that I really turned to my spirituality for guidance. Having well and truly hit rock bottom at that time, I knew the only way to go was up. The rebuilding began and I implemented meditation, yoga and walks outdoors into my daily life for clarity. I invested in my first deck of Oracle Cards and used them to connect with my intuition. My spiritual practices that I implemented at that time are still practiced daily as they are my foundation for inner peace.
You have now dedicated your social media platforms and your blog to spirituality. How does having a creative outlet like that let you express yourself?
Coming out of the spiritual closet at the end of 2018 was transformational. Leaving behind my vegan blog that I had built for 4 years prior was a difficult yet necessary decision. I had realised that I was using the Vegan label as a mask, hiding who I truly was. Changing my direction to a more spiritual approach felt like coming home. I had never felt more authentic or true to my inner self. As soon as I began sharing my difficult experiences, I realised I wasn’t alone. I knew that what I had to share would be of value to others. My blog itself and writing has taken a backseat as I have found the confidence to speak my truth on my podcast and using video. Instagram stories have enabled me to show my true authenticity from the comfort of my own home and share in an instant without the editing or post-recording fears. Plus, Instagram has been a lifechanging platform for me in terms of connecting with likeminded people and bringing one another closer together. When you show up as your true vulnerable self, everything shifts.
What kind of career opportunities would you like to see in your life in the next 12 months? is there anything particular you are working towards?
Currently I am working on sharing my voice as much as possible and am open to doing so on many platforms. I love my podcast and the incredible guests I have interviewed and I want to pursue this further in 2020. My next project is recording online courses to share all I have learnt and to inspire others. I am in the process of planning a Living In Alignment day where I bring the incredible community together to share one another’s stories and offer uplifting support. My soul sisters and I will be hosting a women’s circle to drink ceremonial cacao, meditate, share and offer card readings - in the hopes of inspiring others to connect inward and trust their intuition. This is all on the cards for 2020 and I cannot wait!
What is your advice to somebody who wants to feel happier, find themselves and is seeking a more abundant life? Where should they start?
My biggest piece of advice is to meditate. Get quiet and really tune in to your body and connect with your inner self. You can do this cross legged on the floor or by walking mindfully outdoors. Whatever feels right for you. You see, too often we rush from one thing to the next, never taking a moment to check in. As uncomfortable as meditation can initially be, once you connect with your inner self you can begin to build a relationship and find the inner peace. Happiness is an inside job. No other person, place or thing will make us happy. It is something we choose to work at on a daily basis. And with that happiness comes self acceptance and self love which means loving ourselves even when we don’t feel happy or blissful. It is accepting that we are cyclical beings with lots of emotions - all of which are valid. This goes hand in hand with abundance too. If we do not feel like we deserve wealth, be it monetary or in the form of opportunities, we will never receive it. We have to work on our self limiting beliefs firstly but also recognise how abundant we already are and express gratitude. And finally, spend time by yourself! Truly get to know you and what YOU want. If you can go travelling solo, I would totally recommend. At any stage in your life, be it when you are single, in a relationship or retired - step outside of your comfort zone and enjoy your own company. Once you build a strong relationship with yourself and love being around you, everything shifts! We have to remember that we are enough as we are. It’s society and our conditioning that tells us we aren’t. Return to your highest self by looking inward and all will fall into place.
You were recently interviewed by Swedish News about your minimalistic lifestyle and Scandinavian style home. What does living in minimalism mean to you and how does it improve your life?
Minimalism is about living intentionally, aligning your life with your values and only allowing in things and experiences that bring joy or serve a purpose. Being interviewed about minimalism was such a wonderful experience and a reminder that what myself and my partner are doing is impactful. We have simplified our possessions by identifying what we need and what brings us joy as well as setting clearer boundaries with how we spend our time. With less clutter in the home, we have more time to spend as a couple, on our creative pursuits and with friends and family too. It is much more than the Instagrammable plain white walls and stark IKEA furniture - it is a lifestyle choice and one that has improved our quality of life tenfold. I would urge everyone to take stock of whether their possessions bring joy or serve a purpose and reflect on how much stuff you actually need!
What are the 3 things you are most grateful for right now?
For my beautiful support network - my partner, soul sisters, family and Living In Alignment community.
For my self growth journey last year- 2019 has been a year of both challenges and successes!
For my morning coffee with OATLY Barista - it so is the simple things in life!
What do you think makes a women powerful?
Standing in her authentic truth. Being unapologetically herself and standing up for what she believes in. Not apologising for showing emotion or being too ‘feminine’. For owning all parts of herself, darkness and light. Empowering and uplifting other women to achieve their goals from a place of love. Recognising her weaknesses and using her strengths for good. Remembering that she has all of the power within her and she can return to that at any time.