Tell me, could young Julia have dreamed of the life you have now? What did young Julia want to be when she grew up?
Oh goodness me I dreamed of being SO many things; a writer, a zookeeper, a tour guide, for a long period there I dreamed of being in the circus! I remember just always having a voracious appetite for learning, and *knowing*. Therefore my first career move was to work as a librarian - the idea of having all that knowledge at one’s fingertips was intoxicating to me.
I don’t think young Julia would ever have dreamed up the life I have now. I don’t think she saw herself as truly worthy of the level of autonomy + creative grace I get. The love that I have for my own business is something truly more spectacular than any fiction I could have dreamed up.
So how do you go from being a librarian to a kick ass meditation teacher, coach and facilitator of radness?
I *love* the word rad, speaking my language! I worked so happily as a librarian for many years (10 in fact!). I worked my way up to being a leader of a team of 7 rad librarians before I was 30, and I loved it. Until, one day, quite suddenly, I realised it wasn’t serving the way it used to. The stuff I used to love became heavy, and the thing I loved most - supporting the humans in my team - started to feel clunky. I wanted to truly support them with everything I had. I cared about them. I cared about their growth. And my own. And I just wasn’t going to be able to support big-hearted humans the way I wanted to within that organisation. So when my ‘side study’ of meditation became the thing I was lit up by even more, I knew it was time to step into that slipstream. Teaching meditation became the unofficial stealth version of the coaching I do now. Of the hundreds of women that came through my circles, I was seeing patterns in what they were working and growing through all the time, and I knew I could help on an even deeper level.
Has your interpretation of success changed over time, alongside your career change?
One-hundo-per-cent. My definition of success back then was most definitely informed by that patriarchal, societal conditioning of ‘get the most stable job you can and work up the ladder’ and everything that comes with that rhetoric. It served me until it was stifling me. Now as a coach the biggest thing I want people to be free of is that tick-box mentality of the goals that everyone is ‘supposed’ to be aiming for. In my ideal-world nirvana, we are all self-determining what ‘success’ means because we all fully understand how beautifully unique we are. In this world we’ve stopped pushing a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all definition of success onto everyone. When I coach women, ‘success’ is ALL about how they want to feel. Not what they have or what they achieve. If you have the beautiful house, successful job and oodles of money but you are utterly miserable, that, to me, would never be success. Is your heart happy? Do you feel lit up? Do you feel present, connected, content in your life? Those questions more define my version of what success is.
What was the biggest hurdle for you when you first went into business for yourself? And if you could go back in time, how would you coach Julia to overcome it sooner?
My biggest hurdle was (and possibly always will be, the growth continues!) my worthiness wound. It’s always about enoughness with my inner critic. What I’d love to tell Julia is that she is so much more than enough to do the things she wants to do. People want to learn from her, play in her zones, and are thrilled to pay her to do that. I wish she knew that the work that lights her up is worth so much more than she knows. That just because she finds something easy, doesn’t mean it isn’t so needed by many, many people.
I wish all women knew that. That they are just so much more than enough. And that their inner critic is utterly and categorically wrong when it cuts them down.
When you regularly hold space for others, how do you ensure you’re at your best?
I am always, always learning more about myself, and each layer I uncover tells me more about who I am and how I love to operate and thrive. I’ve learnt to hold a curiosity about who I am in each moment, each season, each year - I am growing and changing all the time. So this answer changes quite a bit depending on what version of Julia is in front of you! At a base level, I have to ensure my boundaries are solid, that I have as much creative spaciousness and personal spaciousness I need to feel nourished, loved and inspired. I never want to create or show up from a place of burnout. I also have energetic hygiene practices to ensure I don’t carry other people’s stuff around with me. Setting strong intentions for each session + doing a little closing ritual after each client really helps me send back what is not mine + hold strong in my own energy.
You’re a fan of the business date, which I think you call CEO day (?). Tell me more about that…
Ok, full disclosure, I learnt the CEO Day philosophy from my beautiful coach Victoria Bauman. The way I do CEO Day is to take myself somewhere lush for the day once a month (sometimes I work a massage or something equally delicious), and take the time to zoom out from being in the business to work on the business. This is where I get to extricate myself from the day to day tasks, look with fresh eyes at what I’m doing, not doing, would like to be doing. There’s always a flavour of dreaming in there too. What are my deepest desires for this business? Am I headed there or do I need to steer the ship in an altered direction? On CEO day I also do my Hot Cash Money Dates, which involves a gratitude practice for what is in my bank accounts, and just getting up close + personal with my figures. Yummy.
How could someone with a normal 9-5 job create their own version of CEO day?
I love the idea of everyone having their own CEO Days because often we’re just in the grind, the day to day, making sure we’re fed and watered and eating our greens, etc! Unless you’re a personal development nerd like me, there might not be a space, regularly, where you’re looking at what you’re doing, why you’re doing it and redirecting your ship to move towards where you want to go. I always talk to clients about doing ‘Alignment-Audits’ regularly; e.g. what are you doing in your life that you *really* don’t want to be doing, and why? What is taking up your precious life force energy that isn’t getting you lit? What do you really want to do instead? What makes you feel alive + how can we weave more of that into your day/week/month?
When it comes to rituals that bring you back to your true essence, what do you do when you have -
2 minutes: Breathwork! The power of the breath, I’ll bang on about it for days. Look up the Kundalini practice Breath of Fire (and thank me later!)
15 minutes: Meditation - something lush on Insight Timer
An hour: Bring a little ritual to my day, whatever feels yummy to me in the moment; candles, incense, a bath, journaling + I LOVE scripting (I have a free scripting masterclass on my website if you’ve never heard of it!)
Reading: Growing Up Disabled In Australia, edited by Carly Findlay
Watching: Rewatching old eps of Destination Flavour Japan on the SBS app, armchair travel!
Listening: Brene Brown’s podcast. Religiously.
Smelling: Home incense from Kin North!
Eating: the Spiced Chickpea recipe from the book Whole by Natural Harry
Learn more about Julia and her work here.
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