Aimee Teesdale: “Learn to ask what life is trying to teach you”

Our emotions are the results of our thoughts and beliefs usually stemming from past experiences, and it’s important not to deny or ignore them. Instead you want to allow them. Allow yourself to feel whatever it is you’re feeling. Don’t try to ignore it by going down an Instagram or Netflix rabbit-hole with a bottle […]

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Our emotions are the results of our thoughts and beliefs usually stemming from past experiences, and it’s important not to deny or ignore them. Instead you want to allow them. Allow yourself to feel whatever it is you’re feeling. Don’t try to ignore it by going down an Instagram or Netflix rabbit-hole with a bottle of wine. Allow the emotion non-judgmentally, too. Recognize, with the aid of meditation, that the emotion is arising within you, it is not who you are. The more you make space for it within you, the less troublesome it becomes.

Often when we refer to wellness, we assume that we are talking about physical wellbeing. But one can be physically very healthy but still be unwell, emotionally or mentally. What are the steps we can take to cultivate optimal wellness in all areas of our life; to develop Mental, Physical, Emotional, & Spiritual Wellbeing?

As a part of our series about “How We Can Cultivate Our Mental, Physical, Emotional, & Spiritual Wellbeing”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Aimee Teesdale.

Aimee Teesdale is an international success coach, speaker, author, podcast host and digital nomad who is living her dream life whilst enabling others to live theirs. Using her signature 5D Method™, Fearless Framework™ and Love To G.I.V.E. Approach™, she enables service-based business owners to accelerate their success and create financial freedom from doing only what they love faster than ever.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

I was born into an ordinary, working class family in a working class town in the UK. We qualified as a ’low-income family’ according to government thresholds and my parents were always encouraging me to do well at school so that I could create a better life for myself. I’ve always held myself to a high standard and have strived to achieve my full potential. I was the first in my family to go to university (where I studied psychology) and I was also the first to start my own business. But I was also plagued with low self-esteem and self-hate for as far back as I can remember. For years I never felt good enough and didn’t actually believe I had the capability to run my own business. Looking back, I now understand that all those struggles are what fueled me to become the person I am today, and are now the reason behind my purpose to help others.

What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.

I’ve always been interested in psychology and personal growth, mainly because of my own personal struggles as mentioned above. I instinctively knew that one’s mindset is fundamental to everything, from career success, to health and wellbeing — even our friendships and relationships all hinge upon how we see ourselves. After graduating from university, I followed the norm and did what I thought I was supposed to do: I moved to London and got a full-time Monday to Friday job in a fancy corporate office. But 18 months in, I remember looking around at my colleagues, seeing their blank faces staring at their screens and I thought, ‘There has got to be more to life than this!’ I knew I wanted to have the freedom and autonomy that comes with self-employment, so pairing that desire with my love for psychology and my experience with my own personal growth, becoming a coach and inspiring others to overcome their limiting beliefs was a no-brainer.

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?

I wouldn’t be who I am today if I hadn’t invested in working with other coaches, particularly mindset coaches who helped me change the way I viewed myself. There’s one particular coach that I have continued to work with because he has a firm understanding of how we are all creators of our own realities. I don’t know anyone who is more committed to mastering being a creator of his own reality, and thus he has helped me enormously to master creating mine. But, I’ve also had my life changed just from the uttering of a single sentence. For example, when I was 21 and just starting my graduate job, I asked one of my fellow graduates what she wanted to do when the scheme completed a year later. Confidently, she replied: ‘Start my own business’, which ultimately she did, and very successfully at that. I was gobsmacked. Until then I thought that being a business owner was exclusively reserved for an older, different class of people to which I didn’t belong. Seeing her do this opened the doorway for me seeing it as a possibility for myself too. Which all goes to show just how much the people you associate with influence your life.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?

When I started my business, I made the mistake of investing most of my time, money and energy into learning and setting up the ‘business’ side of things such as my website, branding, marketing etc. Progress was slow. Whereas, a friend who started his coaching business at the same time as me, took off a lot quicker despite not having much of an online presence or strategy. When I asked him how he was doing it, he told me he was working with a personal coach (whereas I was working with a branding coach.) Eventually I changed tactics and started working with the same coach, and that’s when things really accelerated for me too. Similarly, I experienced great success immediately after attending a 10-day meditation retreat which then tailed off when I neglected my practice. Midway through a coaching course, I suddenly realized that my success was entirely dependent on my wellbeing, not my website. I’ve dedicated much more of my time and money to optimizing my wellbeing ever since and sure enough, that’s when I’ve made the biggest leaps.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

Off the back of the sudden insight I mentioned above, I went on a week-long group retreat with my coach to focus on improving my mental wellbeing. As I walked up to the sofas on the first day, I immediately spotted a book he’d placed on the table. This book had a profound presence to it; it was like it was radiating energy and calling me to it. The book was called The Way Of Mastery, and similarly to A Course In Miracles, it is a life-changing text that sparked a series of spiritual awakenings within me. It teaches you how to overcome fear and discover your true authentic self. It brought to light my own subconscious fears so that I could let go of them. And because I had then gone deeper within myself I was able to go much deeper (and thus have a greater impact) with my clients too.

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

Yes, it’s by Rumi, who says: ‘Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.’ For 20 years I chased success in multiple areas of my life thinking it would bring me the confidence, security and belonging I had felt missing since I was a child. Yet I never seemed to get there no matter how much I achieved. I was ‘seeking’ love, as Rumi puts it. Thanks to The Way Of Mastery and the coaches I’ve worked with along the way, I discovered that the love I was seeking was there all along, I’d just mistakenly put up barriers to it when I was a child through my own interpretation of events. Once I let go of those barriers, everything I’d been seeking plus the success I was striving for all manifested itself — because I had put in the necessary work for my personal growth and wellbeing.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

I’m on a mission to help as many people as possible return to love, and one of the ways I’m doing that is via my podcast ‘Next Level Success’. Each week I offer a transformational coaching session to an entrepreneur or business owner who is stuck with some aspect of their business or life. Perhaps they are not creating enough clients or income, hesitating to put themselves out there, or struggling in some way to create what they want. In the session I use my 5D Method™ to diagnose what the problem is (step 1) and help them delete it (step 2). I then publish the conversation as a podcast episode for others to listen to. Listening to others being coached can provoke deep insights within ourselves, and it also is a way for me to get the message out there that the secret to success is self-love. When I help my clients to love themselves and let go of limiting beliefs, they start taking huge steps forward with their business, on top of improving all aspects of their wellbeing.

OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. In this interview series we’d like to discuss cultivating wellness habits in four areas of our lives, Mental wellness, Physical wellness, Emotional wellness, & Spiritual wellness. Let’s dive deeper into these together. Based on your research or experience, can you share with our readers three good habits that can lead to optimum mental wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

Find some kind of creative outlet for your thoughts. In my case, I love to journal and write down what I’m thinking as it helps me to make sense of things and gain insights. I’ve diagnosed and deleted many fears this way! Others may prefer to draw or paint, for example, but either way it’s helpful to get our thoughts ‘out there’ so that we can detach ourselves from them and deal with them appropriately.

Once I’ve diagnosed and deleted any limiting beliefs or fears, I then declare something new (step 3 in the 5D Method™). Each morning I then ‘download’ my list of declarations, which are essentially reminders about who I am, by consciously contemplating the truth in them. This generates an empowered mindset for the day ahead, and then the 5th step is to then take action from this optimized state of mind. The actions I take are then far more effective in creating the results I want and then reinforce my declarations like a positive upward spiral! This is exactly how I help my clients to transform their lives, too.

You also want to find time to read, study, or learn new things. At any given time I will have an audiobook to listen to whilst driving, a physical book to read whilst I’m drinking my morning coffee, another book just before bed and I will most likely be studying some kind of course too. This is why my mindset evolves so rapidly and I can feel like a different person within the space of a few months — because I love learning!

Do you have a specific type of meditation practice or Yoga practice that you have found helpful? We’d love to hear about it.

The 10-day vipassana retreat I did really changed my life, because it gave me an experience of deep peace like I’d never felt before. So I spend a bit of time most mornings practicing that. The aim is simply to keep your attention on the present moment, so sometimes I like to focus on my breathing, or on my body and any sensations I notice arising. I also find the sound of my heartbeat captivating so I recently bought a stethoscope to be able to listen to it! That being said, simply shifting your attention away from your ‘problems’ through meditation will not necessarily solve them by itself. Personally I’ve found it far more beneficial in the long-run to diagnose and delete my inner barriers to peace (through journalling and coaching) rather than just focusing on something else for a while. However, I do use meditation as a way to be able to quieten down my mind enough to be able to do that.

Thank you for that. Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum physical wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

Firstly, choose an exercise practice that you enjoy. I train consistently 5 days a week, and one of the reasons for that is because I love it. Don’t force yourself to go to the gym if you hate lifting weights. Do something you enjoy for the sake of it, not that you do because you’re pursuing some kind of goal, and you’ll find yourself doing it consistently which is what ultimately leads to improved wellness.

That being said, the biggest determining factor in our physical health is what we eat. You literally are what you eat, and the vast majority of physical health problems are caused by a poor diet. For example, I suffered with acne for many years and visited numerous medical doctors and dermatologists. My acne only cleared up after I stopped consuming dairy — something no doctor had ever suggested I do! If you’re trying to improve your physical health, pay a great deal of attention to what you consume — both nutritionally and mentally. You wouldn’t put gas in a diesel engine — so why do it to your body?

I also think loving your body for what it is is important, even if you would still prefer it to be healthier/slimmer/stronger. When you love your body, it is far easier to make the desired changes you want, rather than trying to make the changes from a place of self-loathing in order to then be able to love it. I remember when I eventually let go of the idea that my body wasn’t good enough (and gave up many failed attempts to lose weight to try to get it to be) I quickly shed a few kgs without even trying.

Do you have any particular thoughts about healthy eating? We all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, etc. But while we know it intellectually, it’s often difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are the main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?

I think first and foremost one of the biggest barriers is a lack of self-love. If we don’t love ourselves, we are not going to be motivated to love and nourish our body. I know I have a tendency to reach for unhealthy foods if I’m feeling fearful or unloving, and likewise I eat more healthily when I’m in a positive and loving frame of mind. After all, if you love something, you are more motivated to take care of it.

The other major factor is that people simply don’t want to change or give something up. They don’t want to give up unhealthy foods because they enjoy them (even for me, as someone who follows a healthy plant-based diet, I’m impartial to the odd cheese or chocolate brownie here or there!) In which case, it’s important to find equally enjoyable replacements so you don’t feel like you’re losing anything. For example, it’s easy to give up dairy milk because there are so many alternative non-dairy milk-drinks available now. I also didn’t want to give up eating biscuits when I went plant-based, so I just found vegan ones!

Finally, I think people don’t know as much as we might think, especially when the effects of unhealthy food are so delayed after the time of consumption, making it easy to deny their harm. People aren’t truly aware of what’s healthy and what’s not because there is so much false and conflicting information out there (often pushed out by the companies producing such foods). One of my favourite resources is as they conduct impartial reviews of ALL the nutritional research studies that take place and publish short, easy to understand videos explaining the overall conclusions.

Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum emotional wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

Our emotions are the results of our thoughts and beliefs usually stemming from past experiences, and it’s important not to deny or ignore them. Instead you want to allow them. Allow yourself to feel whatever it is you’re feeling. Don’t try to ignore it by going down an Instagram or Netflix rabbit-hole with a bottle of wine. Allow the emotion non-judgmentally, too. Recognize, with the aid of meditation, that the emotion is arising within you, it is not who you are. The more you make space for it within you, the less troublesome it becomes.

Allowing it then opens the doorway for us to inquire into the cause of the emotion, which is where the 5D Method™ comes in. From a place of non-judgemental allowance and being a witness to your emotions, you can diagnose what is the belief or perception at the source of it. Again, journaling is a great way to access this. Then the second step is to delete the belief. Deleting beliefs requires an act of self-forgiveness or letting go. It’s a choice to not believe something anymore simply for the reason that you just don’t want to. The lack of this act of self-forgiveness is what can make ‘positive thinking’ or ‘affirmations’ pointless. Without deleting a contrary belief it’s hard to believe something different, or as I call it, to declare a new belief which you then download through a daily practice of conscious repetition.

Diagnosing the beliefs and fears that cause our emotions is incredibly difficult though. We cannot see our own picture of reality because to us, that’s just reality. Therefore, hiring a coach will enable you to challenge and evolve your way of seeing the world much more effectively and thus lead to accelerated growth — and growth IS wellness. Life itself is constantly growing, and when it stops, it decays and dies, so be sure to actively cultivate your growth on a weekly, if not daily basis.

Do you have any particular thoughts about the power of smiling to improve emotional wellness? We’d love to hear it.

I’m sure putting on a smile can immediately elevate one’s mood, but in my opinion, finding out why one’s mood isn’t elevated in the first place will have greater long term benefits. Why force yourself to smile if you aren’t already feeling like it? Forcing yourself would be the same as denying how you are truly feeling and can make things worse. Simply accept (or allow) the fact that you don’t feel like smiling and then diagnose and delete what might be stopping you from doing so. Then you will begin to smile without having to force yourself!

Finally, can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum spiritual wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

Following your heart is number one. Your heart knows the way to your optimal state of spiritual wellbeing — you just have to listen to it. It could be to do with your career, your relationships, your friendships, or even just as simple as deciding where to go for dinner one evening. I see many people stuck in their spiritual growth because they are holding on to a job, a person, or a place out of fear instead of love, and fear is the antithesis of spiritual wellbeing.

Learn to ask what life is trying to teach you. If you are feeling stuck in life, not creating the results you want, or noticing repeating history in your circumstances, it’s because life is trying to teach you something, the lesson of which will increase your spiritual wellbeing even if you don’t recognise it as that.

Lastly, learn to love. Not just romantic partners, but everyone. Including, and most importantly, yourself. The more you love yourself the more you are able to love others and the more ALL aspects of your wellbeing will flourish. There really is no other purpose to life than this.

Do you have any particular thoughts about how being “in nature” can help us to cultivate spiritual wellness?

I love to look up at the stars on a dark night, watch a sunset, or look out to the vastness of the ocean. It helps me to re-focus on the bigger picture, instead of getting lost in my little bubble of reality that I call ‘my life’. It reminds me of the impermanence of all things, the interconnectedness of all things, and the magic in all things. I remember the truth that I am simply conscious, intelligent life, aware of its own self and here just to enjoy the experience of being alive. What a different world it’d be if we all could remember this more often.

Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

It’s very simple: less fear, and more love.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂

I would love to meet Vishan Lakhiani, founder of Mindvalley. Like Vishan, I believe the world’s current education system is failing at teaching people what really matters in life, and Mindvalley are tackling that. We both have the same mission — to raise human consciousness — so I’m sure breakfast with him would be incredibly inspiring and motivating!

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Readers can visit my website, follow me on Instagram, or subscribe to my podcast Next Level Success via iTunes, Spotify or any podcast player app.

Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.

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