Roula Selinas: “Be in the moment, it is inspiring”

Being out in nature we can appreciate the abundance and beauty that surrounds us, notice it enjoy it. Be in the moment, it is inspiring. It really helps us feel better. 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 […]

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Being out in nature we can appreciate the abundance and beauty that surrounds us, notice it enjoy it. Be in the moment, it is inspiring. It really helps us feel better.

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 interviewing Roula Selinas.

Roula Selinas is the author of Stronger You Can Overcome and Bounce Back from Adversity and her newly released book The Perfect Storm, inspirational speaker and mentor. Roula’s tenacity is evident in the huge adversity she has faced with cancer, setbacks, and complications, both physical and emotional challenges. In 2007 Roula’s life was turned upside down being diagnosed with leukemia and a secondary cancer from the treatment. What could have easily broken her made her stronger. Having triumphed in the face of adversities Roula speaks on empowerment to help others achieve their goals.

She shares resilience techniques to inspire and empower you to overcome self limiting beliefs and challenges and life’s hardest hits and transform your life. Roula has spoken at Herstory Global Women’s Empowerment conference in Sydney, the Ignite International stage, radio, libraries and other platforms. She was a finalist in Queensland’s prestigious Arch Williams, Brisbane speaking competition in 2017 and 2018.

Roula is the administrator for Australia in one the of the largest global writer’s forums Motivational Strip and was awarded the Australian writer and poet for literary excellence by Motivational Strips and India Governments premium literary institution of ‘Gujarat Sahitya Academy’ (Under State Government of Gujarat) during India’s 74th Independence Day. The honour was conferred on Roula for her literary excellence and contribution to world poetry.

Roula has an administration, bookkeeping and customer service background. Retail and small office management experience. Life skills counsel ling HH Dip (L.S.C.) Certificates in Business, Property and Administration.

In her spare time you will find her in the garden, in nature or exercising, writing or catching up with friends. Roula was born in Sydney and resides on the Gold Coast with her youngest daughter.

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 in Sydney, we lived in Dulwich Hill in my Uncle’s house with their family. Then we moved when I was almost two years old to Wagga Wagga, a little country town where they ran a fish and chips shop with their friends. They saw opportunity and moved to Haberfield when I was three; this is where I remember spending my childhood years. My parents ran a ‘milk bar’ called the ‘HMD Milk Bar’ short for Home Made Delicatessens seven days a week. We lived on the premises; it had all the basic necessities and a decent sized yard to play in. It was a popular shop in a strip of businesses in a nice neighborhood.

I had two brothers, John was four years older than me and Tony was seven years younger. I was a bit of a tomboy as well as a girly girl. We’d play cowboys and Indians, army games, touch football and soccer. I would play with my brothers and neighbors. I was quite good at soccer and played in school my teacher wanted me to play after school in the team but my Dad wouldn’t have a bar of it. ‘That’s a boys sport’. I would watch my brother train in karate at the hall in the back of our house, mesmerized. I wanted to do karate, but again I got ‘that’s not for girls’. Oh how things have changed his granddaughter plays touch football now and he couldn’t be prouder. There were parks close by where we would spend hours playing and hanging upside down on the monkey bars or swirling round and round on the witch’s hat. I was very active and would spent hours outdoors riding my bike, and later in my teens roller skating or skateboarding.

I spent my quiet time devouring books and would get lost in the world of fantasy. My favourite author was Enid Blyton at that time and the library was right at the back of our house, I would visit it often. I loved watching all the popular shows Jeanie, Bionic Woman and Wonder Woman and would make believe I had their powers. Because my parents were always busy working we learnt how to entertain ourselves.

I went to Greek school till the end of primary and learnt how to read and write Greek. I had a lot of relatives and family friends and I was close with my cousins. We had lots of outings and big get together. My parents were very strict more so because I was a girl as my brothers had a lot more freedom than I ever did. In those days it was very different.

I went to Haberfield Demonstration School, starting school not being able to speak English very well, because Mum insisted on talking to us in Greek. I had to attend special English classes despite this setback I finished in the top ten as the seventh smartest in school and went on to Fort Street a selective high school in Petersham. It was a friendly neighborhood with many customers that lived in and around the area including local ministers, mayors, senators and police all befriending my family and looking out for each other; they were very helpful and protective towards my family. In those days you were allowed to have guns to protect your business. The area was filled with many Italians. It was a very popular shop with schools close by and became the local hangout for kids and teens after school especially when they installed pin ball machines and space invaders games. I would play pin ball and space invaders for hours and even got to challenge some older customers.

It was a happy carefree time in my life where things were simple, I remember it fondly. We moved to Brighton Le Sands near the beach when I was almost 13 and I changed school and made new friends. Although my parents were very busy trying to provide for us, I felt loved and safe.

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

After I got cancer I wanted to write a book to help people overcome crisis, and their darkest days to have hope that things do get better if we are committed and determined. We can thrive again. Stronger, You Can Overcome and Bounce Back from Adversity is a 7 step guide to heal from within was published. I became a speaker and since then my mission is to help others, inspire and empower them to have self belief and learn tools to reach their goals.

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?

My parents are my rocks they were there for me during my hardest times. I read a lot and got inspiration from many authors. Leon Nacson from Balboa Press was very helpful in publishing my first book. Rostrum GC Club 27 were very encouraging and offered a lot of support when I started public speaking and so did Sam Cawthorn from Speakers Institute.

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?

I never had a book launch I was going through a very traumatic time as I was separating from my husband and moved house three times. It would of been better to have a book launch to promote the book but I had too many things going on.

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?

There are so many books that made an impact on me. Anthony Robbins ‘Awaken the Power Within’. I attended his seminars and he is such a great influencer and a lot of the things he teaches resonated with me.

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

‘Stand Guard at the Door of Your Mind’ Jim Rohn. It’s really important what you let into your mental computer as this affects the way you feel which determines your outcomes. I’ve been through very dark days in my life, losing my friend, in school my brother and also when I was going through cancer twice and the separation from my partner of 28years and the family unit after cancer. This resonates with me because we can manage what we let into our mental computer. We can become aware of things so when we recognize when we are having negative thoughts we can slowly change them back to better feeling thoughts. We are human and we have a range of emotions, awareness is key to changing what we let into our mind.

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

I have finished a children’s book now I’m looking for a publisher. It’s a fiction/fantasy adventure for childrenaged5–9 years old to spark their imagination it’s filled with life skills and resilience skills. Our young ones need to learn these skills as young as possible because life is not easy there are many problems, obstacles and challenges to overcome in life some very severe and devastating. It will help them cope with life, get through challenges and have self belief. Learn to visualize and have faith they can achieve things.

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

I have a favorite cd I use for meditation it’s a healing meditation. Its 15 minutes. Guided visualization meditations are my favorite. I do yoga at the gym two to three times a week I love it, I find it challenging and invigorating. I love the challenging moves where we have to balance ourselves on our legs or on our legs in awkward positions; it really is a whole body, mind and spirit experience. Hot yoga is good, but sometimes I feel like screaming put the air conditioner on.

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.

  1. Exercise as often as you can keep active, it raises dopamine levels which makes us feel happier, and cope better with stress. Walk, or do whatever exercises you enjoy just get your body moving.
  2. Eat a balanced diet, it’s so important our diet is filled with wholesome food at least 70% to feed our cells so we can have more mental and physical energy and work to our optimum. You will find a huge difference in your energy levels and you will feel better.
  3. Be in nature, meditate or sit in a quiet spot to observe and connect to ourselves and just be in the moment. Walk in nature, be outdoors, be in the moment.

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?

Our habits and time prevent us. We all fall into patterns, establishing new healthy patterns to include more vegetables, fruit and a wholesome diet takes commitment and persistence until the habit is formed. Having time to prepare meals is another one, if we are time poor we can plan ahead and buy things to make easy quick healthy meals during the week.

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

  1. Take time to rest or sit in a quiet spot for 15 minutes or more, during a lunch break or during the day, depending on your schedule. Sit in nature, meditate, have a lie down. Your important look after you, don’t ever feel guilty about it.
  2. Exercise — I find I cope better with things when I exercise. Doing yoga or walking helps my mental and emotional state and I feel better for it.
  3. Connect with people, we are social beings and isolation for too long is not good. I love to spend time with family or friends.

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

When we smile we actually feel better. Granted there are days when we don’t feel like smiling. Smiling at a stranger can make their day and for that brief moment we connected we feel better too. Smile often it really is a good habit to get used to. Smiling is addictive smile more, you never know how much of a difference you can make to someone, it improves your emotional health.

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

  1. Have faith whether it’s in God, the Universe or a higher power. When I had cancer I felt my angels and God there supporting me.
  2. Pray -I pray often and ask for guidance from my angels. ‘Ask and you shall receive’ we need to ask and be open to receive
  3. Practice gratitude — it’s so important to be grateful this makes us feel better and attracts more good to come into our life.

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

Yes nature makes me feel centred, it helps us to connect and be one with the Universe.

Being out in nature we can appreciate the abundance and beauty that surrounds us, notice it enjoy it. Be in the moment, it is inspiring. It really helps us feel better.

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 think schools need to introduce more classes, programs and workshops specifically for Life Skills and Resilience programs. This will equip children and teens to have more skills to deal with challenges, bullying, loss and trauma. It will help decrease suicide and help prevent drug dependency. It will help them with mental health issues, more self belief, and deal with depression and find ways to be happier and stronger emotionally.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

They can follow me on social media under roulaselinas on facebook, instagram and LinkedIn and subscribe to my website and YouTube channel.

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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