Lulu Agan of SwellWomen: “Radical acceptance of the TRUTH of where you are in this current moment is vital”

Radical acceptance of the TRUTH of where you are in this current moment is vital. It’s important to check-in with yourself regularly and honor where you are and how you are feeling. Avoiding the truth can cause you to feel stuck, anxious, and stressed out which can trigger bad habits such as binge-watching TV, drinking […]

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Radical acceptance of the TRUTH of where you are in this current moment is vital. It’s important to check-in with yourself regularly and honor where you are and how you are feeling. Avoiding the truth can cause you to feel stuck, anxious, and stressed out which can trigger bad habits such as binge-watching TV, drinking excessively, using food as comfort, etc. Accepting your truth allows you to reflect and identify any change that needs to take place. This simple acknowledgment will catapult you into taking inspired action in creating healthier habits and ultimately have you feeling good again.


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 Do To Cultivate Our Mental, Physical, Emotional, & Spiritual Wellbeing”, I had the pleasure of interviewingLulu Agan.

Chief Officer of Bliss and Owner of SwellWomen, Lulu Agan strives to inspire others to prioritize their health & well-being, live a more balanced existence, and find their bliss. Lulu’s dedication to finding her own #SwellLife has led her to help countless women to reimagine their own possibilities and to rediscover their infinite potential.

A graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, Lulu is a Certified Wellness & Lifestyle Coach powered by the know-how and the experience to empower her clients towards making healthy, sustainable changes over the long haul. Her work as a Private Chef for the past decade-plus has been invaluable in helping to promote the benefits of healthy eating and top-quality cuisine. Lulu embodies the passion and drive to bring other women together to discover a new sense of vitality and limitless growth, and has worked tirelessly in her commitment to living authentically and in harmony with her surroundings.


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 grew up in upstate New York in a small village near Buffalo that had more cows than people. LOL! I’m the oldest of 4 children with strict Catholic parents that stayed together until my Mom’s dying day just short of 50 years. I was a super shy tomboy with a big imagination. Born with the desire to explore the world. My Mom said I never crawled, I went straight to walking and when I was gifted my first bike for my birthday (in January, by the way, during a massive blizzard), I put on my snowmobile suit and was determined to teach myself how to ride it, going well into the evening and finally feeling freedom for the first time. I was 5 at the time. My Mom said that around that same time, I would spin my globe and say, “I’m going to live there and there one day” pointing to Chile and Spain. At 9 I had my first psychic experience — it freaked my family out so I shut that down real quick. Long story short, I was an oddball and felt trapped. I was smart, driven, passionate, shy, and felt incredible spiritual energy running through me that words could never explain until I stumbled on yoga. All that and yet I felt like I had to suppress who I was to avoid being judged. So I became the person I thought everyone wanted me to be…the perfect A-star student and athlete. And that title came with a lot of baggage, unfortunately.

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

I was born to teach, I knew that from a very young age but didn’t know what that meant until recently. So, in all honesty, I first pursued a corporate career because (1) I thought that would make my Dad proud, and (2) I didn’t want to become a school teacher because I wanted to make a lot of money so I could travel the world. I was clever, I put an international twist on my studies because I knew that would be my ticket to travel. I climbed the corporate ladder quickly wining my first VP offer at the age of 33. I lived in Chile at the time and as I sat in front of the President of Latin America at the time who offered me the position I ask, “So this is what it feels like to make it to the top?” I resigned a few days later deciding that it was time to start living my life for me and pursued my dream of opening a luxury retreat center in Spain. That’s a long story for another time, but all the interesting twists and turn including one of the most earth-shattering moments of my life have lead me to where I am today…Owner & Chief Officer of Bliss of SwellWomen inspiring women to unlock their fullest potential and live their bliss.

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’m very fortunate to have crossed paths with many inspiring people throughout my life all of which have played major roles in encouraging me to live authentically and unapologetically, but I give the most credit to my Mom. She always stood by my side, even during my wildest pipe dreams, and encouraged me to step into my truth and power. I remember her saying, “Lynette (that’s my birth name) if anyone can do it, it’s you.” She gave me my wings to fly even though she wanted to keep me close by her side. So thank you, Mom. Your love will forever fuel the flame to pursue my dreams and live my bliss.

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?

Oh dear, over 30 years in the business world there are so many to be celebrated and the beautiful thing is that I always grew from them. One of the funniest stories was when I was working as a full-time chef. It was my first big cooking gig that swooped me off to work for a celebrity in St. Tropez, France for 5 months. I had just arrived and my client decided she’d like to throw a fun BBQ for 20 people the following day. I was stoked because BBQ was my specialty and I knew I could nail it. On the day of, I asked her husband to pull out the BBQ as I wasn’t yet familiar with the property. Sure enough, he rolls out the tiniest Webber charcoal BBQ that one can imagine which triggered an inside panic attack as I stood there smiling knowing that guests were arriving in 4 hours. Now, I know what you’re thinking, I just needed to cook everything off over time and serve. However, I had no clue how to light a charcoal BBQ because I grew up with gas. So, I made a late-night call to my Dad and he shared with me his “build the coals in the can trick” which worked perfectly. I was grilling away and when guests started to arrive I had to quickly switch to front-of-house duties and offer them drinks. I look at the meat, I estimated I had about 7 minutes on the one side left to go which is plenty of time to serve some ice cold French Rose. As I’m pouring the wine, I look across the lawn and the damn BBQ is on fire. Big flames are shooting out the BBQ! I smile at the guest, whose back is facing the lawn, and finish the pour all while trying not to lose my shit. I gracefully finish the rounds and then briskly walk, as calmly as possible so I don’t raise any alarm bells. I am completely freaking out while I search high and low for a fire extinguisher. Finally, I found one, I ran to the BBQ, pulled off the pork in an attempt to salvage it, and then put out the flames. I just stood there…ready to cry, but trying my best to hold it together. Two solutions popped into my mind: 1.) start pouring copious amounts of Rose ASAP and 2.) trim off the burnt layer off the pork and make triple the sauce to cover it up. And by the grace of God, it worked. So many lessons learned..one, in particular, was to make sure every future client had a gas BBQ.

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?

I am a big reader, so picking one is difficult. I think the one that jumps out is THE FOUR AGREEMENTS by Don Miguel Ruiz. I read this in my late 20’s and it played a pivotal role in changing my mindset. I still today live by these four agreements which have lead me to freedom from limiting beliefs, reduced suffering, and living with an open heart. I highly recommend it to anyone that hasn’t read it yet.

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

I’m a collector of inspiring quotes, so I’ll share two because they really motivate me to stay on my path…

“The way to your own truth, the way to a phenomenal life that only you can manifest in the greatness that you were created to do, is to just Be Yourself.” Oprah Winfrey

“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing we’ll ever do.” Brene Brown

I love these quotes because they empower me to embrace my unique self and live my truth. All the twists and turns in life (both positive and negative) shape us into the unique beautiful and powerful beings we were born to be.

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

2020 was the year that we expanded our offerings to include online virtual experiences. I launched our signature 6-week empowerment journey called Where’s The Bliss? ~ how to become unstuck and reconnect to your truth, power, and purpose in 30 minutes per day, a 30-Day Challenge to Get Good at Living, and Swell360 our exclusive wellness membership to help women reclaim their health and well-being. All of these were created to inspire women to prioritize their health and well-being and coincidently thrive during a pandemic. Now I’m working on spreading the word to help as many women as possible.

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.

It’s my absolute passion to inspire and empower women to unlock their fullest potential and live their unique bliss (aka ultimate state of well-being). To jumpstart your wellness journey, I encourage you to implement the following three habits which are based on SwellWomen’s Five Pillars of Wellness:

1.) TRUTH

Radical acceptance of the TRUTH of where you are in this current moment is vital. It’s important to check-in with yourself regularly and honor where you are and how you are feeling. Avoiding the truth can cause you to feel stuck, anxious, and stressed out which can trigger bad habits such as binge-watching TV, drinking excessively, using food as comfort, etc. Accepting your truth allows you to reflect and identify any change that needs to take place. This simple acknowledgment will catapult you into taking inspired action in creating healthier habits and ultimately have you feeling good again.

2.) PURPOSE

It is your birthright to be happy, joyful, and live your bliss. This means your ultimate goal is to become more of who you truly are and that starts with self-love and cultivating habits around bliss-care (aka self-care). This is non-negotiable and is the key to living a happy, healthy life.

It’s important to understand is that self-love is more than just feeling good about yourself, being confident, or taking care of yourself. Self-love is a deep appreciation and connectedness with yourself. It is truly accepting yourself as you are and having compassion for yourself.

To start, set one intention every day that is around bliss-care and get into action! This brings me to the 3rd and final step.

3.) ACTION

You can’t live your PURPOSE (your bliss) without getting into action.

THE BEST WAY TO GET YOU INTO ACTION USING THESE 3 STEPS

Set An intention

Commit & Take Inspired Action

Know Your “WHY” — how does this action make you feel?

NOTE: I take deep dives with clients on how to create Bliss-Care Action Plans, set SMART goals, and be accountable & sustainable, but this is the condensed version.

A simple example of something I practice regularly is a 4–7–8 breath technique that I call Bliss Breath.

1.) Intention: I’m going to practice Bliss Breath daily

2.) I set aside 3 minutes twice per day to complete 4 rounds

3.) My “WHY” is that it reduces stress and brings me to the present moment which is always where I find my bliss.

I encourage you to start here because these are three small sustainable steps that can be personalized and will get you into immediate inspired action ultimately cultivating a holistic state of well-being — mind, body & soul.

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

Yes, I have been cultivating a meditation and yoga practice for over 20 years! Both are very important practices because they provide me with total mind, body, spirit balance. Meditation is part of my non-negotiable morning bliss-care routine and sets me up to face the real world. As for yoga, I use the same foundation that I guided above. I acknowledge my truth on a given day to check in with what I need. Some days my body craves a sweaty vinyasa flow, others I may need to reduce stress through a yin or restorative practice, and if I’m exhausted I will opt for Yoga Nidra.

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.

Absolutely! And they are easy to incorporate into your daily regime…

1.) Drink half your body weight (lbs) in ounces per day. Water plays an instrumental role in helping our liver, kidneys, and sweat glands to move toxins through the body — as well as keeping us “regular”. Water is also incredibly rejuvenating, helps keep us looking younger and feeling more energetic, and it’s useful in preventing sugar cravings, keeps the skin hydrated, and the list goes on.

2.) Move & Groove Your Body Daily. This is non-negotiable because physical activity

  • Helps maintain healthy body weight
  • Flushes our stagnant energy & toxins
  • Improves Blood Pressure
  • Increases confidence
  • Improves motor skills

3.) Sleep 7–8 hours per night. Deep sleep is so important to help us recover and restore and is essential in helping us maintain strong immune systems, and is essential for cognitive and emotional health.

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 feel like when we are not in balance and have fallen off track with our healthy habits, it tends to throw everything out of whack and we cave in easier to cravings, quick-fixes, or perhaps don’t feel empowered to eat the things that make us feel good. I believe each of us is bio-individual which means what works for one may be another’s poison. So it’s important to become a curious investigator and fine-tune what works for you. This takes time and energy and that might just be the biggest blockage. Many people already feel too busy and in a state of overwhelm which means they rely on processed or take-out food to fuel their bodies. However, taking the time and dedication to cultivating better eating habits and sticking with them long enough to notice how good it makes you feel, plays a massive factor in your overall well-being, so it’s worth it!

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

The setup I provided at the beginning of our interview applies to overall well-being. When we honor our truth, live with purpose, and get into action by cultivating self-care practices, we will notice a huge difference in our emotional well-being. It truly is a magical formula!

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

Back in 2017, I was listening to Super Soul Conversations with Oprah & Shawn Achor on The Secrets of Happy People. He spoke about how contagious smiling can be and the idea that your positive attitude and behavior can quickly create a ripple effect, increasing the happiness of everyone around you. I was so inspired by this that I consciously choose to smile genuinely at every person that comes across my path. I even took it a step further and if I saw a stranger 3 times, I would say hello and most times introduce myself, especially while I’m out surfing. I have noticed their responses and witnessed that a smile can make a powerful shift not only in my energy but in theirs too.

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

I can absolutely share three, however, I’m going to be a rebel and share one. MEDITATION. It’s the most powerful habit I have cultivated that deeply connects me to source energy (God, universe, love, whichever word you prefer to use) and has made the biggest impact on my life. It’s the foundation of my spiritual well-being and the beauty of this practice is that you can start with 5 minutes per day. Everyone on this planet can find 5 minutes to be still, connect with your breath, and just be…in the present moment. I find that downloading an app like Insight Timer, Headspace, or Calm can help because you can choose to be silent for 5 minutes using a timer with bells or you can pick a guided meditation.

There’s science-based benefits of meditation including:

  • Reduces stress
  • Controls anxiety
  • Promotes emotional health
  • Enhances self-awareness
  • Lengthens attention spa
  • May reduce age-related memory loss
  • Can generate kindness
  • May help fight addictions

The benefits listed above hopefully will inspire you to carve out 5 minutes per day to meditate.

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

Yes, I love connecting with nature with a practice called grounding. It’s something we teach in our Get Good at Living 30-Day Challenge. Years of extensive research has shown that connecting to the Earth’s natural energy, by walking barefoot on grass, sand, dirt or rock can diminish chronic pain, fatigue, and other ailments that plague so many people today. And the beauty of this practice is that it can be done anywhere, anytime and you’ll reap the benefits in as little as 10 minutes. And to entice you even more, remember my recommendation to meditate? Well, you can combine this practice with meditation by connecting your breath to your mindfully taken footsteps ultimately bringing you to the present moment. And just look at the list of additional benefits..

  • Defuse the cause of inflammation, and improve or eliminate the symptoms of many inflammation-related disorders
  • Improve Sleep and promote a deeper sleep
  • Increase energy and vitality
  • Lower stress and promote calmness in the body by cooling down the nervous system and stress hormones
  • Normalize the body’s biological rhythms
  • Thin the blood and improve blood pressure and flow
  • Relieve muscle tension and headaches
  • Lessen hormonal and menstrual symptoms
  • Dramatically speeds healing time and can help prevent bedsores
  • Reduce or eliminate jet lag
  • Protect the body against potentially health disturbing environmental electromagnetic fields (EMFs)
  • Accelerate recovery from intense athletic activity

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.

I’m flattered, thank you. It’s my absolute passion and purpose to empower women to reclaim their health and well-being, to unlock their fullest potential, and live their bliss. I believe that when one steps into their truth, power, and purpose, they will inspire others to do the same. This in turn will create a ripple effect that transforms the world.

The movement started with my own journey and I’m just one of many mentors out there that are encouraging transformation. Each with our own voice, methodologies, and teaching styles. It’s my hope that each of you finds that one person that ignites the spark that already resides within you and inspires you to make small attainable shifts that will lead to a whole and healthier way of living yielding the abundance of bliss that is your birthright.

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 🙂

Oh boy, this is a really hard pick because I really do make a conscious effort to connect with women that inspire me. Inhale…exhale…my top picks, in no particular order and for very different reasons, are Oprah, Brené Brown, Mel Robbins, and Rachel Hollis. Can’t we make it an intimate lunch for 5? My treat…LOL!

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Feel free to check out our offerings at www.swellwomen.com and www.swellnesscoaching.com and we are most active on Instagram @swellwomen @lulu.agan. I also have a private facebook group called Swellness ~ Learn.Live.Love Bliss: https://www.facebook.com/groups/learnlivelovebliss

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

Thank you for this opportunity to share my practices and connect with your readers. Have a beautiful day!

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