#246 – GROWING WITH GRACE, with Simone Callahan



Welcome back to another episode 🤩

Join me as I sit down with Simone Callahan, author of the inspiring book Growing with Grace and a gorgeous friend of mine – as she shares into her transformative journey through yoga and self-discovery, which has deeply influenced her approach to life and wellbeing.

Key takeaways include:

  1. Insights on Resilience and Positivity: Discover how Simone harnessed yoga and meditation to help overcome personal adversity and find inner strength.
  2. Yoga as a Transformative Practice: Simone shares her two-decade yoga journey, highlighting how it has reshaped her physically, mentally, and spiritually.
  3. Wellbeing Strategies: Including insights into the healing power of nature.

…and you’ll hear many other practical wellbeing tips that can help you navigate life’s challenges and seasons, enhance self-care, live more purposefully and find inner peace.

Whether you're a yoga enthusiast or someone seeking to enrich your life, Simone's story offers valuable lessons and practical tips for nurturing your wellbeing.

Tune in for inspiration for your own journey towards a healthier, more joyful life – and remember to check the show notes for a link to join Simone and Kristina at their upcoming retreat!

As always, I’d LOVE to hear what resonates with you from this episode and what you plan to implement after listening in. So please share and let’s keep the conversation going in the Dream Life Podcast Facebook Group here.    

Have a wonderful weekend …and remember, it all starts with a dream 💛



Dream Life Founder 


  • Learn more & register here for our SOLITUDE RETREAT (HOW TO)
    🌿 Unveil the Art of Solitude: Learn how to run your own personal solo retreats – while on retreat with Kristina 🌿 
  • Buy Simone's new book Growing with Grace here...
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  • Join my virtual book club GROW for May where we'll meet weekly on Zoom to discuss and squeeze the learnings from Robin Sharma's brilliant new book, The Wealth Money Can't Buy (which explores true wealth beyond financial success). Learn more here…
  • Buy Robin's new book The Wealth Money Can't Buy here...
  • Join my Platinum Coaching Program - where in May the focus is on the Power of Our Subconscious MindsLearn more here.
  • Read more about how to create your own solo retreat here...



Hi there and welcome back to another episode. Today, I have another inspiring guest for you. My friend, Simone Callahan. Simone has just come out with her first book, Growing with Grace. And in this episode, we'll be talking about how a childhood spent outdoors helped shape her appreciation for nature and why it has a deep connection with her wellbeing.

Simone shares how for many years she struggled with her life path until she discovered yoga. Her yoga practice and well being rituals supported her to become more aligned with who she was.  Through a dedicated 20 plus years of practicing yoga, she has transformed emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Simone's wellbeing tips will help you navigate life's obstacles, support your self care journey and live a more meaningful and purposeful life.  Simone found her life purpose through her wellbeing journey. It made her stronger, more resilient and joyful and has given her more gratitude for life.  Her wellness journey was instrumental to her healing process when her marriage ended,  and Simone explores the power of self care, resilience, bravery, and positivity. 

Her new book, Growing with Grace, uncovers the holistic relationship between yogic wisdom, inner peace, nature, and spiritual well being, and offers meditations and breathing techniques on Hour long yoga sequences and tips for healthy, conscious living. Simone says, the season and chapters of my life have shaped me.

It's taken a lot of work to reach a state of acceptance, but I'm there. I feel comfortable in my own skill. And I love that quote because I think that is something we all want.  Simone will be our yoga teacher at my upcoming solo retreat on the 15th of May. 2024 on the Mornington Peninsula. She is such a beautiful yoga teacher and her yoga practice is slow and peaceful and caters for all levels.

I will link to the solo retreat in the show notes in case you wanted to join us. I love this episode and I know you will too. So let's dive right in.  Hi,

Simone. I am so excited to have you. A very warm welcome. Thank you, Christina. It's nice to see you.  Oh, it's so nice. You know, having a podcast is one thing, but doing a podcast with a friend is another level. So I'm super excited because we're just going to have a fun conversation. Before we get started, I would love to ask you, did you have a dream as a child, something you wanted to do or become or have?

I always thought that I was going to be a vet, because I loved animals. I grew up in farmland around market gardens and we always had animals around us, but then a couple of times I got bitten by a dog. So my idea of being a vet sort of changed after I'd been bitten by a dog because I thought, well, no, that's no good sign that animals don't bite.

I don't think they like me very much, so I better not become a vet.  No, apart from that, that's all I really remember from being young, that, you know, it's something that really stuck in my head. Apart from the normal thing of, you know, we were the same age, you probably were in love with ABBA as well. Like, I always thought that I was going to be part of the band, and one day I'd be discovered and they'd want me in their band, but apart from that, no, no dreams.

No, no. I love, I love that. Yeah. I think all of us had a dream to you know, perform with them and we'll never know. You never know. Right.  So Simone, we got listeners from all over the world. So I'd love for you to maybe just share a little bit about your journey. My journey is I grew up in the market gardens, which is over near where our airport is.

When my family moved over there, it was quite a  new suburb. So we had lots of free reign around the market gardens farming. There was a lot going on and We just had this real sense of freedom when we were young. We always were on bikes, roller skates, skateboards. I mean, that was 70s. That's how you got around everywhere.

And I had a really blessed childhood. Every summer we'd go down the coast and spend six weeks down in my grandfather and grandmother's beach shack down near where I live now. And yeah, we just, I just had a really blessed childhood. I loved, I loved being a kid. I was a collector, I collected stamps, I collected swap cards, I collected coins.

And I remember spending so many hours in my room during my little collections of things, and it just always used to give me so much joy just being tucked away in my room and, you know, listening to music. So then I did a, I had hairdressing apprenticeship.  When I was finishing school and then I got into promotional work, where I met you,  many moons ago.

And then I crossed paths with my husband that I married, Shane, and my life sort of changed because then I started travelling the world with him, with the Aussie cricket team.  And that's sort of been my journey up until we got divorced maybe 15 years ago now. And that's when my yoga journey probably really kicked in after I got the divorce. 

I really sort of needed to find my own identity. And I sort of lost a bit of myself when I was married and had three young kids. So my yoga journey. I've been practicing for over 20 15 years, it's really sort of been my, my source of just everything really. My source of therapy, physically, mentally, emotionally. 

Yeah. I love that. We're going to touch about that in a, in a minute, because I'm so inspired the way you have taken to yoga to really transform your life and you do it so gracefully and so beautifully. So we'll talk about that in a minute, but I wanted to say congrats to this amazing book. I was so excited to hear when you were writing this book and I'm even more excited holding it in my hands.

It's called Growing with Grace, a journey into self discovery, well being, and the art of living consciously. And. I couldn't think of a better title for you, knowing you personally as well. But I wanted to ask, why did you want to write a book? To be honest, it wasn't something I wanted to do.  But after doing my teacher training in 2017, I built a lot more confidence internally.

It just came about, I think, at the right time. And I sort of, Last year put pen to paper,  and I'm old school, so I wrote it all myself. I'm not great with computers and all that sort of stuff, so during the winter last year, I just put pen to paper and just focused on different chapters, and luckily I had an editor from the publishing that are doing the book, and yeah, it worked out really well. 

Yeah, absolutely. I absolutely love it. So we're going to talk a little bit about the book. So let's start with the first chapter, which is all about emotional wellbeing.  Why is this so important to you? And also what's your tips for our listeners to get into emotional wellbeing? Well, our emotional wellbeing is, is really our mood and basically our emotional center.

It really controls our physical body, our mental body, our brain, and it's pretty much set up from as soon as you wake up. So our emotional center is really telling our brain how we're feeling. So if we can wake up and be positive and get outside, just connect with nature, ground, do some movement. Do some meditation journaling's a big thing for me in the mornings just to set the tone and, you know, maybe write down if I've had some dreams or if I've been thinking about something.

I think journaling is a really it's probably the most honest practice that you can really connect with yourself by journaling. My emotional well being is just really centered about how I'm feeling and how I set the tone for each day and it's work, you know, it takes work.  So it's really important for me to feel strong and to be emotionally sound, I guess. 

Yeah.  Absolutely. And we'll, we'll talk more about journaling in a minute cause I'm a big journaling person myself. And I think it's really helped me through so many challenges. Challenges and ups and downs. So we'll talk about that in a second, but I wanted to talk about India because it had a big impact on your life and you're just about as the time of recording, you're just about to take 15 women to India, which is super inspiring.

I definitely want to join you next time. So for anyone listening we'll make sure that you're following Simone. So you can come as well if you wanted to, but tell me why India first had such an impact on your life.  I guess because that's where I connected to yoga. I used to travel with Shane and the Australian cricket team and they went to India a few times and I was lucky enough to be able to go. 

And I was just in a hotel, probably one of the first times I went to India and I could hear chanting early in the morning and I just really resonated with the sounds. It was really calming and I remember lying. In the bed and thinking, Wow, what are these sounds? Where are they coming from? So I took myself down out of the hotel and I found the temple where they were doing the chanting.

And I just sort of resonated that chanting was a part of yoga. And I knew India was the home of yoga. And it was something that always fascinated me.  You 23, 24 years ago, there, there wasn't, So much yoga around like there is now, and I sort of didn't really know too much about it, but I always sort of felt like I would love to do this practice.

Everyone just looks so chilled and so calm. And when I took myself down to a bookstore and I luckily picked up BKS Iyengar's book, The Path to Holistic Health. And I started reading it. And as soon as I came back to Melbourne, I looked up a Iyengar studio.  It's funny because I actually found it through the local paper.

That's how I found the yoga studio. Like looking in the local paper under yoga studios. That was how I found the studio. And it was luckily the Iyengar Institute in St Kilda.  And I joined with my girlfriend, we did a beginner's course and you join for six weeks. And I think I did about two years of the beginner courses before someone said, Simone, you know, why don't you go to the next level?

Why don't you get into the intermediate class? And I'm like, oh, I'm just so content just being here. I love the feeling. And I was a different person after I'd practiced yoga. So, and it was through being in India that it just sort of, that's how it all happened for me. Yeah. What brings you now back? Why do you want to take a group of people to India?

I love how devotional they are, I love the people, I love the connection they have with their land and their spirit. You know, they're so devotional. They have so many different beliefs, but all their beliefs, they're like, they're almost like fairy tales, but they so believe in the devotion of those, whatever they believe in, and it's so aspiring and inspiring, and I just,  I find such joy from being there, like I feel a real sense of ease.

In India, and I just love, I just love how simple life is there. You know, that there's so many that have nothing, but they, they have so much joy just from being, they're just being in, in themself and not worrying about, you know, having material things. And, you know, they, they love their land, they love their culture, and yeah, I just really gravitate to their way of being.

Yeah. And with the people that you are taking, are you going to do yoga daily or are you going to look around and what's the, what does the retreat look like? It's, it's a bit of an adventure, I've called it, because we'll do yoga and yoga nidra each morning, but then also there's one day where we trek the foothills of the Himalayas.

You know, another day we'll go to the Beatles Ashram, another day we'll go into these caves, which are quite sacred that you can meditate in, and then we'll have a dip in the Ganga. You know, we hike to waterfalls, we go to the Taj Mahal, you know, everyone wants to go to the Taj Mahal. So each day, as well as having the yoga, there's also other Things that they can go and see and we do and it's just, it's just a really nice experience to be able to do that in a group and there's 15 women coming and yeah, I really hope that they get something out of it and it'll be great.

Yeah, I have no doubts. I think a lot of listeners now will add that to their list of dreams. I've certainly added it to mine, so I can't wait to do it. And I think it's so nice to do it with someone who's been there and done it. So you don't always have to reinvent the wheel. No, you don't have to worry about anything.

They just have to get on the plane, arrive in Delhi and You know, we, we have a couple of days in Delhi and then we go down to Rishikesh, which is the home of yoga. And that's where we do a lot of our touring and adventures. And then we, we finish off in Agra at the Taj Mahal. So it's a full tour. There's, there's a lot going on, but I think it'll be a really great experience for all those women. 

Yeah. I can't wait to hear all about it and I can't wait to join you if you do a next one, another one. I'm hoping to do a couple a year. Yeah. Amazing. Amazing. So you'll hopefully have lots of people signing up now  after this. Beautiful, beautiful. So I've always been so inspired the way you do yoga so gracefully.

So for me, I've done a lot of yoga over the years and I've been to a lot of different studios in a lot of different countries and there are so many ways of practicing yoga  I feel at first it's so beautiful because you do it so well, but it's also so mindful. And I think you and me share the similar view of yoga that for me, it's really a spiritual and more of a mindful thing versus all these crazy movements that we sometimes end up doing in kind of the modern way of doing yoga.

So I love that. for you to talk about some tips on how people can get started and really see it as a journey for themselves versus, you know, being good at, cause I, I hear all the time, people say, I'm not good at yoga. And I'm like, which is such a shame. It's nothing to do with being good. I mean, I always tell people when you're on your mat, no one cares about what you're doing on your mat.

So when you hop on your mat, just really focus on what you're doing and how you're feeling because there's no competition in yoga. There's no judgment. It's just about practicing and feeling good and releasing and letting go and softening and allowing the poses for you to be. Resonate and to build strength from and to build flexibility and to build stability. 

And with those practices that we learn on the mat, we mirror that when we take them off the mat, you know, and we become stronger and we come more flexible in life and we come more balanced. And we tend to not be so reactive. You know, we're a little bit more responsive and. There's a real sort of genuine feeling of just wanting to feel good from the yoga which comes from the practice.

And my practice, it's probably a mash up of all my different yoga practices that I've done over the years. But as I've got older, I've really learned to do a very nourishing yoga. practice, but quite strengthening as well, because I think as we age, we get older, we still have to have that strength. So I like to hold the poses because I think by holding the poses, you're not only getting stronger, but you're actually, you're allowing the body to soften.

And be able to go deeper and also your mind is focused on the pose so you're not sort of off thinking about what else is going on because you're so focused on your breath and you're in the pose, you're in the moment and that's what life's about, isn't it? It's about being present and being in the moment.

Yeah. So for anyone who hasn't started their practice or wants to restart or, or change that practice, what are some of the tips for people to get into yoga? Cause there's obviously so much to choose from and so many different yoga studios.  I think the best thing is to just do some research, spend some time online, looking at different studios, even trying out different studios and, and seeing who you resonate with, seeing what practices you resonate with, because you might think that you want to go and do power flow, but then you might do a power flow and you might think, Oh no, that doesn't suit me.

Oh, do I have to, I don't like that. And then they stop at this. Every teacher brings their own authentic self to the practice when they teach. And as a student, You can learn so many different things from different teachers. So I think you've got to be open to trying different schools, trying different teachers, different styles, but also commit to it.

So give yourself a couple of months to really  try one practice, you know, a few times rather than just saying, Oh no, I'm not good at this. I can't do this because it takes time and it's like anything. It's a practice. You've got to learn it and you've got to keep learning and you've got to keep doing the work and keep practicing.

And I always say yoga is a life practice. You know, it's something that we can take through our whole life, you know, and I've been practicing 23, 24 years now. And for me, it's a habit. It's part of my life. Like, I can't imagine what my life would be like if I didn't have yoga. And it's such a grounding practice and it's so good for us physically, emotionally, mentally.

You know, it's just a, it's a force for good and I love sharing it. Yeah. Absolutely. I so agree because I feel when you try different studios and teachers, you, you just get so much more than just the yoga practice because I, I love how the different teachers teach us different things, have different views of life.

And I used to travel so much more. Before COVID, I don't travel as much, but I used to always search up a local yoga studio because I always felt, and I, you know, most countries that I've been traveling, you know, I've been English speaking teachers, but I did a yoga class in Japan or a few yoga classes in Japan.

I just had to follow. I didn't understand a language, but it was such a beautiful community. And I always feel for people who travel on their own and they don't like traveling their own. I always say, if you search up a meditation center or a yoga studio, you feel automatically part of that community because it's so not easy.

Ego driven. And I think that's one thing that really I missed during COVID. So I started practicing online, which I also love because I love doing it whenever I feel like it, I like to do it when I get up really early. So sometimes the yoga students are not up that early or open that early. And it's such a nice thing to do whatever suits you.

So have you had lots of experience doing it online as well?  I did a couple of classes when we first went into lockdown, I went into the studio and was doing some online teaching, but it's something that really didn't connect with me because I was always very old school and It was all about the teacher student connection and being on the hat and physically seeing and talking.

And I think online yoga has a purpose and there is, you know, a place for it. But I think if you really want to get into yoga and you want it to be part of your life, and you really want it to help you and support you, I think you've got to go to  a studio and search for some teachers and do practice in a studio with teachers.

Yeah, I agree. I think there's, there's so much more to it. It's, it's that feeling and that beautiful community feel and the connection you have with other people and not just with the teacher. And it's union, I mean that's what yoga is, it's union, it's connection and, and feeling that and being a part of something bigger than yourself. 

Yeah, absolutely, thank you for sharing that. Another important part of your journey and your book is the healing power of breathing and you do that so well, so tell us about that, how do we get into that? Well, for me, my breathing, I'm very old school so I still have like, people talk about all this mindful breathing and mindfulness and, yeah.

There's all these different terms for breathing, but for me, it's always been Pranayama. I was always taught through the Iyengar that we do our Pranayama practices. And there's quite a lot of different Pranayamas, but one of the most basic Pranayamas, which I like to teach and which is very easy to learn is, is the box breath, where you Breathe in for four, you pause for four, you exhale for four, and then you pause again for four. 

And that's a really well rounded, grounding pranayama. And you've got to do a lot of practice of Pranayama, but once you start doing a lot of Pranayama, it can really like strengthen your practice because you're, you know, you're expanding your lungs, you're opening your rib cage, you're really  focusing and honing in on the breath.

And I think that's like a really integral part of a yoga practice is having the Pranayama  and, For me, Pranayama becomes, you know, is there before meditation, because I think to really go deep into meditation, you've got to, the body's got to be open to be able to breathe and to be able to relax. And I think there's a real sort of strong base for me with the Pranayama and then my meditation practice.

I really sort of settle into it ease because I've done the, the breathing through the Pranayama and the movement of the yoga.  Yeah, and with with the box breathing, are there any specific amounts of rounds that you think just for our listeners to, to start? Yeah, if you're just starting maybe four to six rounds, which is, it doesn't sound a lot, but it is because you're, you know, you're, you're holding the breath and you're pausing.

Whereas a lot of people are mouth breathers, which isn't great. If you sleep and you snore at night, you should be taping up your mouth.  Because we should be breathing through our noses, that's what our nose is designed for, is for breathing. So for all you people out there, if you, if you breathe through your mouth,  don't.

Especially at night. It's, it's a really good way to stop snoring because if you can get tape now at the chemist and you just place the tape over your mouth and that, that actually makes you breathe through your nose and you'll find that you'll actually sleep better if you're breathing through your nose.

And a way to do that is, to tape up your mouth. But back to the Pranayama, we do the breathing through the nose for pause, and it's probably good to do four to six rounds. And then when you're feeling like you can do that easily, then you can progress and you can maybe do eight rounds. You know, some people I remember they used to do, you know, 30, 40 rounds of it. 

And they'd just sit in there and then they'd come away and it was like they had this bubble of ease around them, you know, they just looked so at peace from this, you know, certain pranayama practice.  But yeah, what's breathing is a really easy one to start. We all know, I think, or most of us know that how important it is and what a difference it makes if we, if we do shallow breathing and stress and we're not going to feel good versus if we do deep breathing, it's just makes such a difference.

And I always get reminded when I do, you know, meditation or yoga with someone else. It's like, yeah. Of course, I know this, but it's a good one to be reminded of when we are going through, not just for, you know, your before yoga meditation, but even in, you know, stressful situations. Absolutely. It's just come back to our breath and focus on that box breathing or just deep breathing where you're inhaling four and exhaling for six, just to really get back into that, you know, nervous system that, you know, so many of us live out day to day in the fight or flight, whereas.

You know, we really should be in our  parasympathetic nervous system, which is, you know, rest and restore, and that all comes back to our breath. Yeah, yeah, absolutely love it. So hopefully everyone is inspired now to breathe a little bit deeper and a little bit longer.  So let's talk about meditation. It's been such a big part of my journey and I don't know if I would have survived without it. 

I just feel like that's just so nourishing and so, you know, important when we live such a hectic life. And, and even if you don't live a hectic life, there's a lot going on in today's modern world compared to what I think, you know, life was like, you know, 50 years ago. So what kind of meditation do you practice and what kind of tips do you have for our listeners to kind of get into meditation?

Because what I often hear  probably more actually with meditation than yoga is that people say, I can't do it. And I'm like, yes, you can.  So love to get some tips for our listeners. You might be thinking that meditation is not for them. I think everyone should meditate. Meditation should be taught in school.

It should be a practice that everyone just does.  There's so much goodness involved in meditating and it's, yes, it's a hard practice, but if we just remember that, yes, we're going to have thoughts when we meditate, but the trick is just to not be attached to those thoughts.  They might come, but then you don't have to entertain them.

You can just go, okay, and then just come back to your practice. And the more you do that, the more the mind quietens and it's like anything, it's a practice, it takes time and you don't have to start with 10, 15 minutes, you know, doing meditation for five minutes is hard, but the more you do it and the more your body becomes used to the stillness, the quietness, the chatter starts to dissipate and it really, there's a sense of ease that comes from the meditation. And then when you're feeling like, Oh, I'm actually feeling like I'm not hearing all the chatter, then you can start to add a couple of minutes. And a lot of people say, but I can't sit still.

I say, well, just sit. Sit on a pillow and sit up against the wall, sit on your bed so you're comfortable so you've got a comfortable seat. You don't have to sit up, you know, like the Buddhas do and sit up all nice and tall and have the hands going, you know, it's nice to bring the index finger to the thumb because that's a really nice way to connect, but you don't have to do that. 

You can just have, you know, your hands facing up and, you know, one hand resting in the other. And then just. Just close down the eyes and just breathe. And all I say is, don't entertain your thoughts. Yes, they're going to come, whether you're meditating or not, you know, your thoughts are going to come, but it's a matter of you controlling your mind.

So many people allow their mind to control them, but if we're not listening to those thoughts and we're not taking notes, they say this, like hundreds of thousands of thoughts that we have in our mind, but it's just a matter of.  turning those thoughts down. And the more you practice that, the more you can take your consciousness inward just by, you know, focusing on not entertaining your thoughts.

Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. So for anyone who's new, do you recommend using an app to start with or just silence? Just silence. Or sitting outside in nature,  focusing on the sounds that are going on around you, all the sounds  you're coming with your breathing, all the sounds that are happening in your body. You know, that's, that's a really easy way for people to settle into meditation.

I think being outside in nature is really settling and calming and grounding anyway. So for people that want to start a meditation practice, I'd say go outside. And just in nature and focus on listening to sounds because if you focus on listening to sounds going on around you, you're not entertaining thoughts because having those thoughts because you're, you're listening, you're, you're connecting with something else.

Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. I'm inspired now seeing you outside and hearing the birds and stuff. I absolutely love that. And I also love, I walk first thing in the morning. I meditate before that often at home. And then I go out in nature and it just feels, you know, it just feels so connected to yourself and to the bigger world around us.

I think it's a very primal thing for us to do, you know, I think we spend too much time inside. So I'm always, whenever I can be outside, I'm outside. If it's cold, I just rug up. Like I'm actually,  I've just bought two acres where I live now, and I'm actually setting up like an outdoor desk. So I can, if I've got to do stuff, because I write down practices and my journaling and that sort of stuff, and I'm going to have it on a little desk outside under cover.

So I can be outside even when it's cold. You know, when I've gotta do some stuff. Yeah, I love that. That's an amazing thing.  One of the things that I love that you do is your sunrise yoga. And it's, for me, living quite far from you the journey down is amazing. I absolutely love it. And then doing your sunrise yoga in beautiful nature, and we just spoke about nature, but I'd love to know, how do you spend.

More time in nature, because I think we were just speaking that we need to be out more, but are there some tips for people that, you know, are you doing like a daily walk or do you do something specific? Obviously with your new desk, you'll be spending more time, but for anyone who might just be needing a bit more, a bit of a nature fix, because I know when you, your kids were young, you were always taking them to the park, regardless where you  traveling the world. 

And I think that's yeah.  Said that the kids always used to say. sleep. I always never had any problems with the kids sleeping, and I always believed it was because they would just get so much fresh air during the day. Like, as soon as we could be outside, even if it was cold, we had the jackets on. We were going for walks.

They were in the prams. You know, they were taking their toys for walks outside, you know, finding rivers for them to Finding lakes, just walking, just going to parks, just connecting with nature. And I think it's such a, it's such a tool for kids to learn, to be outside and explore and adventure and, and I still feel like that way now when I go out walking, I'll always, I always try and do a different walk, like take different streets, you know, I don't do the same one every day.

I've got a dog, so I'm generally out as soon as it's dusk.  I've got the dog on a lead and we're, we're down at the beach or we're, you know, we're walking through streets and then I'll either have a swim when I'm down at the beach or I'll bring the dog back and then I'll have a swim and then I'll come back and I'll do my yoga,  do my journaling, do my meditation and by then it's sort of sunlight and I'm ready to start my day, but I just feel so good from having all my little rituals that, you know.

Fill me out first.  Yeah, absolutely love that. I'm super impressed with your ocean swimming.  And and as you know, I'm I'm not the biggest ocean swimmer, but I did dip in freezing cold water in Antarctica.  So  that was an experience and I was thinking about you  , but I love it. I, I know that you are not always lover or cold water.

So first, how did you get into it? And secondly, how did you learn to love it? Because you seem to generally love it. I do. I love, I look forward to winter now 'cause I, I didn't like. The cold, I didn't like winter. I hated knowing that winter was coming and I'd be stuck inside. And then probably, it's probably over 10 years ago now a friend was swimming down at the local bars and she said, why don't you just come, just come and try it.

So. She'd have her flippers and she'd have her kickboard because she had a sore shoulder at the time. So I had my flippers, she had the kickboard, you know, we'd have these funny looking hats on our heads, but  I really found it as, it's a really hard way to describe how strengthening and how Powerful. It made me feel.

I think because, you know, it takes courage to get into cold water, but if you can overpower your mind, because your mind's telling, your mind always wants you to be safe. So, you know, by you going, into cold water when you've, you've been sort of trained your whole life to say you can't go in cold water, you'll catch a cold, you can't go outside in the rain because you'll catch a cold, you can't do this because you'll get sick if you go in the cold.

So these habits are formed in our mind, but I think when we loosen the grip, On, you know, things that we've been taught and we, we do things that maybe out of our comfort zone, it's, it's a powerful practice. And for me, going into the cold, it was so hard, but I love the feeling. I love the adrenaline. I loved how it made me feel like I just felt so good from being cold and, and seeing how the body is so powerful in warming us up. 

You know, when we, when we come out of the water, like it's within minutes that we're back, you know, into our normal warm state, but what it does to our body, it's so invigorating. Yeah, it's a, it's a powerful practice and now, you know, I've, I've got better at it and it's almost like a bit of a mindful meditation when I go in to the water now, like there's a real sort of sense of ease and I just enjoy it.

Yeah. So for someone who is like me, although I feel a little bit brave enough  after, after you, but you know, it was Yeah, well, you know, you can do it and you know, your body is capable of doing it. Absolutely. But for anyone who, who does not believe that yet what's a good Starting point, because I think what I, what I did in Antarctica is much easier, but then what you doing, because I had to jump down and I was there counting to three.

And I thought if I don't jump at three, I want them to push me,  but they didn't have to, because I thought I just want to get over and done with as quick as possible. But you actually walk in and I think that's much harder because you got more time to think. So, so what's the tip to actually get it?

Cause I know you said to me, you just start really. Easy. Just do the tippy toes, then do your ankles, then do your legs, and even if you just immerse to waist high. You know, you don't have to go all the way under. And then gradually, your body adapts to the cold. So then as you're feeling a little bit better, it's not feeling as cold, then you can go a little bit deeper.

And then you can immerse. So it's just about taking your time with it, like, not just, right, I'm going in, I'm going to get under and then getting out. Think of it as an experience. And I find it quite a meditative thing to do now. It's very relaxing for me to get into the cold water. I love the stillness of it. 

It makes me feel powerful and strong. And I love how my body reacts to it and I love how, yeah, it's just a real sense of connection with the elements. And knowing that my body's protecting me, you know, it's, it's fighting to survive. And that's what it's all about. It's, it's almost shocking my system into like, wow, what are you doing?

But I'm going to work for you and I'm going to do this. Amazing. Yeah. I'm going to work on that. So I'll be coming down and join you. I love the chapter about grace. You say that the seasons and chapters of your life have shaped you. And you also say while the breeze hasn't always blown in your favor, which I think we can all relate to in our own lives, you have continued to grow and move forward.

That is not an easy thing to do. So how did you actually do that? Practice.  Unpacking the layers of what I was holding onto, because if  you don't let it go, you carry it around. And with yoga, we have so many tools that teach us about ourself and practicing non attachment. You know, we can't be attached to things.

Letting go,  because  there's always going to be obstacles, but you always have to keep going. Flowing, keep moving forward and the tools that have  allowed me to find this grace within and to have myself love and to go deep within, it's all been part of, you know, my yoga journey and just having those tools and learning that I'm good enough and just to keep working on myself and, you know, the more authentic I am.

You know, the stronger I'll feel, because what you see is what you get. And I think so many of us, we're too afraid to be ourself, because we're expected to be, you know, a certain way. We're almost sort of covered with our framing of what we're meant to be. But I think with yoga, it really allows you to find your purpose and unveil the layers and to go within and to do the work and  when you do the work that's how we grow through all challenges and through the obstacles. And yoga really gave me a purpose. Yeah. I absolutely love that. And did you find, of course, obviously you had a lot of grief as well not just for yourself, but for your children as well.

So did you find that that really, like the yoga practice and everything around that really helped with that as well? Yes, absolutely, because another thing we learn in yoga is that nothing's permanent. We're not, we're not guaranteed tomorrow, so  it's all about being present and being in the moment. And for me, it was a, it was a really great experience. 

Shocking time because we were all dealing with the grief and I, you know, three kids that had lost their dad. So it was, it was a really difficult time to navigate because we were in the public eye and people wanted to know how we were, but in another way, it was actually really nice because we just felt so held and so comforted by so many people.

And there was just such an outpouring of grief. And it was, it really helped us with our grieving. And I was lucky that I, I had my tools from yoga and I was to, to go within. And I really did a lot more sort of self care restorative yoga practices during that time and then a lot of breathing and meditation practices. 

Just to have that space, you know, because when you're grieving this it's so fluid, you know And one day you can be feeling great. And then all of a sudden you get these Explosion of sadness and you don't know where it comes from, but having the tools to just know that, you know, that saying, this too shall pass, you've got to hold the space for it and you've got to, you've got to feel it to heal it. 

And there was a lot of that, but yeah. Yeah. You did that very beautifully. So  thank you for sharing that. There are some beautiful prompts in your book in terms of when it comes to journaling. Can you just tell us a little bit about how do you journal? Because everyone does it differently and I love hearing how people do journaling. 

You would love how I do my journaling. I have so many books and whichever book I see or whichever book I'm using, I just, I grab it and I date and I just, I start writing. I just have one book and I fill that book up and then I go on to the next one. I'm always. Just writing in different books and because with yoga, when I'd come from a class, I'd always try and remember and write the class down and if the teacher would give me any little tips or something I'd learn, I'd write it down. 

So, half my journaling is in all my, my yoga books. So, I think journaling, as I said before, it's such an honest practice. I don't think there's anything more honest that you can do than journaling, and I think it is a real form of therapy. And I've done a lot of writing over the years, but then I've also, I've learned to just burn those books too.

There's something sacred about that. Burning books. I do too. Yeah. Yeah.  So, not all of them, but the morning pages that I do daily, I burn them or I shred them. Letting that go is a really powerful thing to do, for sure. It's quite a spiritual practice to just see what you've written just go up in little volumes.

So, I probably would have a lot more journals and a lot more diaries, but I have, I have burnt a few over the years. There's a lot still floating around but they're all sort of a mix match of different books and different covers and yeah.  But it's, I think it's something that we all should do more of because there's a real sense of you can really see where you've been and see where you're going and when you can look back and read where you were and and know that things do change and you do pass things and things will come back, but then There's a lot of growth from journaling.

I agree. And I've said this many times on the podcast here, but that's the number one tool when it came for, in terms of work life balance. Cause I never really, I never had a burnout. There was a lot of things that I did not to burn out, but journaling, I think really helped because I'd never sat with things in my head for a long time.

And sometimes I needed to write about the same thing. And that's what I do like morning pages where I do like three pages and then I throw them away. So it's. It's just, it's like my therapy. So I, I completely agree. And also really helped me going through the challenging time when I lost the business and it was a real, it's really helpful.

And a lot of people actually don't believe when I say that's, that's really what got me through you know, there's, there's a mixture of things, obviously, you know, yes. Because some people can't express or can't talk about how they're feeling. But I think when you put pen to paper, you can really just, there's just a real element of self understanding, I think, when we can write, because it's coming from a really honest place.

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, I couldn't agree more.  Well, this has been such a, I could, you know, I could speak to you for hours, but I'm going to finish up with a couple of questions. One is, you mentioned before your morning routine, but I'd like to just understand what time do you get up and what's the sequence of things?

Well, at the moment I haven't been getting up till about 6, 6. 30, cause it's quite dark. Now we're coming into autumn and winter in Australia, so it's quite dark in the mornings and daylight savings. They haven't turned the clocks back so, well, I generally get up and then I'll have a glass of squeezed lemon because it's, it's so important for me, I feel it's, it's so important to have a glass of water as soon as you wake up because it's, it just starts your metabolism, it's hydrating, wakes me up, and then I'll wash my face with really cold water as well because that's another way to wake me up.

And then I'll go outside and I'll just. I feel the air on my skin, whether it's hot, whether it's cold, and I just, I close my eyes and I look up and I just say, thank you,  like, I'm just really grateful every morning when I wake up.  It's a bit emotional saying that, but yeah, that's what I do. And then I'll go for a walk, I'll have a swim  and then, yeah, I'll come back and I'll do my practice.

My meditations always last with my journaling because that's when I feel I've done everything and then I've got that little sort of creative thing going on in my mind and it's clear and  gives me a chance to just really let everything flow onto the paper and then meditation, one or the other.  But yeah, I have those little rituals daily.

So, what's your favorite book non fiction book or a book that had a really big impact on your life? I'd have to say BK Isayenga's book, The Path to Fantastic Health, because I, I still call on that now. It's like the Bible for yogis. Like, there is so many practices and it's so resourceful with anything I need to know.

If, if someone's going through something, they've got so many practices at the back of the book that have all different yoga for like ailments. You know, if you've  suffering something, you know, you can. Go to the back of the book and there's, there's a whole sequence of different things you can do for different things that you might be, be going through.

There's also all the different poses broken down, what they're good for. It's like my go to. So I'd really have to probably say that, that and the four agreements. I love the four agreements. Yeah, me too. Yeah. Both brilliant books. So thank you for sharing that. This has been so amazing. I just wanted to ask one more question.

Knowing what you know now, what kind of advice would you give yourself, say when you were in your late teens? You'll laugh at this. Eat your vegetables.

I wish I had listened to my mum when she told me to eat my vegetables.  I love that. Yeah, no, because I, I don't, I'm not a big fan of vegetables and I, I don't have sugar anymore. But I wish I had have eaten a lot more vegetables and salad because they're just, they really sustain you and they really, they're so good for you.

But for,  for so long I didn't, probably. Yeah. Well, now when you're in your new home, you need to grow them. So yeah, then you have to eat them.  Can't wait. Can't wait.  Well, thank you so much for coming on the podcast. And thank you for being here. Taking your time to write the book that we all will share it for a long time for anyone listening.

I'm linking to the book, obviously there's a lot of great practices for yoga as well, and lots of other tips, of course. So thank you for writing it and thank you for coming on. And I can't wait to hear about India. So I might have to get you back. for when you go next time and talk a little bit more about that experience and we can get more people to join. 

We can do a retreat podcast.  Yes. Can't wait. Can't wait. Thank you so much. Thank you, Christina. Namaste.  Oh my, that was so inspiring. I hope you are inspired to either start or do more yoga now and try some of the wellness tips she gave. I will link to her book in the show notes as well.  As mentioned in the intro, Simone will be our yoga teacher at my upcoming solo retreat on the 15th of May, 2024 on the Mornington Peninsula.

She is such a beautiful yoga teacher and it's slow and peaceful and caters for all levels. I will link to the solo retreat in the show notes in case you want to join us.  As always, I'll be back on Monday with a Monday Morning Motivation episode. I'll see you then.

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