In our busy, stressed lifestyles it can feel like an indulgence to take time out for yourself. Yet it’s exactly what is needed to create more balance–mentally, physically and emotionally.
Speaking with Ayurvedic Therapist, Natalie Eve, it’s easy to believe she’d never be bothered by things like stress, inner critics, or having the confidence to grow her own business. Her warmth and openness immediately puts you at ease.
She stepped away from the corporate media world three and a half years ago and now works for herself, offering Ayurvedic massage and a fusion of therapeutic treatments to help women bring more balance into their lives.
Letting go of self-doubt
And while all that sounds divine, she speaks frankly about the past four years of training, and starting her business, as being a journey of finding her own rhythm, whilst constantly letting go of self-doubt and feeling like she had something to prove.
Before re-training and learning about ancient mind and healing therapies in India, Japan, and the UK, Natalie says her pattern of ‘wellness’ in her life was much more sporadic and ‘crash and burn’, at which point she’d seek restoration.
Picking up a Meditation For Dummies book during this time got her more curious about creating a healthier balance in her life. She says it’s always been much more about a process of getting to know herself, than about the actual well-being ‘tools’ specifically.
Becoming more self-aware
Research shows that when we’re more self-aware we’re more effective personally and professionally – able to make better decisions, be more confident and even build stronger relationships. And this extends across more spiritual, emotional and mindfulness-based practices. All teach that understanding our inner world is the starting point for bringing about change. Yet research has also shown that although 95% of people think they’re self-aware, only 10 to 15% actually are.
Wellness is about understanding yourself entirely and honouring what you need, to be well and balanced in your life. It’s about being in tune to your body and mind and taking time out for yourself. And I don’t think a lot of people know that. It is a necessity for healthy and happy living, not an indulgence or a treat like people often think. Natalie Eve
Creating the time and headspace
Natalie suggests we have to create the time and headspace to get started in the first place. And, for women, in particular, this can be challenging. They often carry the mental load of “wearing so many different hats” across work and home and don’t prioritize themselves. There’s a growing body of evidence showing how this emotional and mental strain negatively impacts the body and can even lead to disease.
Finding ways to release emotions
While Natalie’s treatments are applied to the physical body, she says it’s about so much more than that. It becomes a safe space for her clients to have that emotional release, and in doing so, start their own journey to creating more self-awareness.
She’s watched many clients make life-changing decisions in their careers, relationships and health, as their “keenness to look after themselves” grows.
Practices to reduce stress
While in her own life she’s certainly not immune to stress, she says she tries to remind herself that it’s literally a state of mind and she has a choice.
Knowing her own tendencies—like when things haven’t gone how she wanted and she starts feeling irrational and overwhelmed, she knows she’s in a “bad head space”—means she’s much faster at bringing herself back to balance. And the principles of Ayurveda have become her foundation for doing so.
In Ayurveda, imbalances in your individual constitution or body type can be identified through behavioral changes too, such as feeling more irritable or lacking motivation.
While some of Natalie’s consistent wellness practices include things like running, yoga, body treatments and spending time in nature, she also shared that becoming a mother has heightened her sense of attunement with herself.
She feels she understands her body so much more now and that gives her energy and confidence—physically, mentally and emotionally. Which has also helped her feel stronger and more focused in her business.
Tuning into your cyclical nature
However, you don’t have to be a mother to access this clarity. Cyclical natures are present for everyone—from paying attention to the phases of the moon, to the woman’s cycle and the seasons changing in nature. All of these cycles offer a way to step out of the current moment and connect with the bigger picture. Which Natalie says can feel empowering and give you back a sense of control.
Natalie runs her private practice entirely offline right now as a conscious choice to channel that energy back into her clients. You can contact her directly via email.
Natalie Eve is one of eight UK ‘Women In Wellness’ I interviewed in 2019 across different types and stages of business, to understand how they are growing successful businesses whilst bringing balance and well-being into their own lives. The remaining articles will be published throughout March in celebration of International Women’s Day.
First published on Forbes.com on 12 March 2019.