Posted by: Cathy | May 7, 2014

Interview: Audra J

Our May interview is with Audra J of Sweet Talk Revolution.

Coach Blog 012214 audra 1. How long have you been interested in personal development? What started you on this path?

I lived in my ego for a long time, as many of us do. I treated my body poorly and endured toxic relationships because of a lack of self-value. I’d always been a little quirky and the feeling of being an ‘outsider’ took me to looking at others for validation, which meant denying myself love and trying to please the masses. I didn’t know how to love myself unconditionally. I had a habit of looking at myself in the mirror and encouraging myself to do better with criticism. It never did much good. During this time I didn’t have faith in my own strength, my own beautiful power. However, during a very tumultuous time some years back I started giving myself pep talks, telling myself that I was worth more, that I deserved to shine my light, and that other people deserved to do the same. I embraced my spiritual path, my divine side, my wild soul! My world exploded with unbelievably positive change. I found my strength, my direction. Slowly the desire to encourage others to pursue their divine wildness and detoxify their lives grew into a passion. It’s been a journey of sharing and every day is full of new change and beautiful experiences. It’s a lifelong adventure and I’m just getting started!

2. Who have been your biggest teachers? (Authors, bloggers, artists, coaches, etc.)

I have learned from so many beautiful women (and some men too). Lyn Thurman from the “Soul Path Tribe” and the other gorgeous people I met there were and are a beautiful family and they gave me courage to continue to be myself, despite all. One of my favorite Yoga instructors also inspires me continuously with her free spirit and desire to create, explore, and live joyfully. She takes life as it comes and is never afraid to share her good energy with others. Then, this may sound cliché, there’s my mother. My mom, who doesn’t agree with everything that I believe, do, or say…. but who tells me continuously that who I am is beautiful, perfect, and lovely. She is the woman who has dried my tears, set me back on my feet and firmly told me that I am capable of ANYTHING that I believe I can do, that I am who I am and should be proud. She is the one who has shown me how to embrace my inner “Child-Woman”, that curious and ecstatic part of me that loves unconditionally and sees wonder in everything. I have drawn inspiration from her own strength in life, her will to love, and all of the ways she’s taught me, both directly and indirectly, that being true to yourself is the key to joy.

3. What is the most profound life lesson you’ve experienced?

I learned, the very very hard way, that no one else but yourself can make you happy. During this same lesson I also learned that going against your true-self and true-desires is a recipe for disaster. Who you are is non-negotiable. You cannot change to make others happy, and you should never expect others to change to make YOU happy. My life experiences up to this point have culminated in an understanding that what you want is worth-it, your dreams and goals are valid, and you have the power to manifest joy and success in your life, with or without the approval of others. There is not a single person in this world who can tell you who you are, what you want, or what direction to take. You’re the captain and the crew of your own beautiful little soul-boat.

4. What lesson is most challenging to you? What do you keep re-learning or remembering but it hasn’t stuck?

I keep having to remind myself that I should not be ashamed of who I am. Who I am, inside and outside, is beautiful and embracing that is so important. Other people’s opinions of me are none of my business and they don’t change who I am. I’m also learning that there’s no such thing as failure, just a lesson and a step in the right direction. I allow fear of failure to envelop me from time to time, and it keeps me from doing things I am truly passionate about, things I truly believe in. I have to remember to look at myself every day and say “You’ve got this. You can’t lose if you try.”

5. Where do you go (physically, mentally, and/or spiritually) to help integrate your learning?

I spend a lot of time communing with myself. I meditate, utilize my sacred space for prayer, write, or find an inspirational place to just be. In those moments I’m only me, and everything that I’m learning and experiencing slowly starts becoming a part of me. In those quiet moments I feel connected, like I’m recharging. When I go back into the hustle and bustle of life I feel more empowered and capable of implementing my learning. Sometimes, though, you’ve just got to learn on the fly. There isn’t always time for taking a break from the world to review the “lessons-of-the-day” before you’re faced with the same circumstance or situation again. In cases like these you realize that you just have to be constantly aware of yourself, your Universe, and the possibility for growth in every moment.

6. What self-care practices do you have to support your well-being?

Affirmation, Affirmation, Affirmation!! I try to speak sweetly to myself, to my life, and to those around me. Negativity is a hard thing to avoid (I am certainly not above getting into a funk. My ego is still a pain in my rear!) but I do my best to make sure I tell myself “You’ve got this!” at least once a day. I take time to do things I like, too. I try new hobbies, do silly things, laugh as much as I can and treat myself to really-great-smelling anything(this seriously works for me). I give myself time and space to be me, no matter how busy I am.

7. What is something you’ve stopped doing to improve your well-being?

To venture into the side of physical wellness, I’ve stopped consuming and using certain things that muck up my body. I avoid harsh cleaners in my space and opt for more natural alternatives, I quit soda and processed sugars and I try to make sure my food is as fresh as possible (though, I am admittedly in love with Q’uorn products), however I don’t pay so much attention to this that it takes over my every thought. I’ve been known to scarf down some Papa John’s pizza and I KNOW Nutella isn’t all-natural (but that stuff is goooooood). I also try to use home remedies and herbal-medicine whenever I can. God bless modern medicine, but I keep it in the “use in case of mergency” section of options. Taking steps to make sure that my physical body remains healthy and well helps me keep a positive attitude and enhances my emotional and spiritual well-being.

8. What is a great personal development or well-being resource you want to mention?

Aside from Amazing Biz-Life Academy with Leonie Dawson? The “Simple Abundance” Day book and workbook by Sarah Ban Breathnach are phenomenal. I’m also a big fan of “Daily Guidance From Your Angels” by Doreen Virtue. That stuff is just so uplifting, and it’s a great way to start off or end a day.

9. What do you want to teach anyone reading this? What is the most important thing you want to share in this moment?

Be who you are, love. Be exactly who you are. Revel in your true-nature, your wild heart, and your free spirit. Accept joy into your life. Never let anyone tell you that you “can’t” or that you’re not enough. Love yourself with abandon every moment of every day and always let your light shine.

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