Wellness Wisdom for Busy Women is not about the perfect body or the perfect morning routine. It’s about real women who understand that good health underpins every area of their life and shapes who they are and how they show up in the world. Get a glimpse into the lives of women just like you and find out how these women prioritise wellbeing… no matter how chaotic life is!
If you’d prefer to watch, head over to Instagram when you’ll find the recorded conversation or click play below to listen while you multitask.
Otherwise, keep reading to discover what wellness means to Che Johnson. Che is a Soulful Copywriter who uses words to help big-hearted humans grow their communities, elevate their wealth and make the world a better place. Che holds a special place in my heart because she’s the genius who came up with our new business tagline ‘a life brimming with vitality’ which just captures our brand in the most magnificent way.
Che is one of the most fearless and free-spirited people I know and I have learned so much from her in the few short years I have known her. She is obsessed with personal expansion and vulnerable sharing so this is guaranteed to be a juicy conversation!
You’ve done a lot of work for us and are well-versed in the Vitalita approach… but I want to know, in your own words, what wellness means to you.
I think I have a very different definition of wellness than the majority of humans out there and I was thinking about this today in preparation for our time together and I realised that the things that make me feel most well all boil down to one thing and that is connection to self.
I know that when I feel most unwell and, to be honest with you, I’m going to a period in my life where I don’t feel my most vital, well self. You know just for the past few weeks, it ebbs and flows. But I notice that it is when I am lacking that self-connection and I’m very much in my head, not living life very presently, very attached to my phone and the to-do list. And I think back to the times in my life where I’ve just felt just so good, really alive and it has been when I have felt so attuned to me. So that’s my definition of for me what wellness is.
Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing that you don’t feel at the top of your game. I don’t think that invalidates your ability to talk about wellness. In fact, I think it’s good to be reminded that life isn’t like the highlight reel we see on social media.
Absolutely and you know today I was thinking ‘oh gosh, I wish I was feeling so great because it would be such a nice energy to enter this space with’ but like you said, I get so sick and tired of seeing highlight reels on social media and I understand why people do it, especially if they’re running a business and selling things and they want to be perceived a certain way… But I think it is really refreshing. And, like you said, I love open, honest, vulnerable conversations because actually living like that all time isn’t realistic. You know, I’ve met really huge online health entrepreneurs in real life and it’s so fascinating because you get to see that that’s only one aspect of them and people can’t function like that constantly.
Recently you shared: WITHOUT HEALTH, THERE IS NO BUSINESS! And, by extension, without health there is diminished quality of life in general. Can you talk about that?
Absolutely. I mean, I don’t like to have opinions about things that I haven’t experienced but I have a lot of friends who are mums, for example, and you know mum guilt seems to be very real for people and I say to my friends that you can’t truly show up and be the mum you want to be if you’re not looking after yourself first. You have to come first.
And it’s the same with business, it’s the same if you’re employed by someone in a ‘normal’ job, and even in relationships. I don’t think that our relationships – romantic or friendship – can flourish if we’re not taking care of ourselves first.
What does wellness actually look like for you?
It’s such a hard thing for me to articulate because it’s just something that I feel but I’ll give you an example. So I co-worked with a friend today and I was walking home and I looked down a street and there was just the most beautiful view of of the water and the mountains in the background and I thought to myself I should just go down there and sit down for a while and soak it up. And, because I’m not feeling my most well self at the moment, my mind said: ‘No, you have somewhere to be!’. I had nowhere to be. I was just walking home, I was done with work for the day you know but it’s sort of like but this really ungrounded frenetic energy that doesn’t allow me to just be in the moment and appreciate the natural beauty around me.
When I feel really connected to myself, I just envision the water and it’s still, really still calm water. Whereas, how I’m feeling at the moment, it’s like waves being smashed up against a wall. It’s just this you know feeling of deep, beautiful calmness and I don’t necessarily move through life slower but I feel like this really feminine flow where I’m not in a hurry and you know like I’ll have a cup of tea and I’ll savour it rather than just scarfing it down without being present. It’s just something that I feel within myself and I think if everyone took the time to think about it I think they would know what that feels like for them when they are feeling connected with themselves.
I feel like wellness is a conscious act. It is a devotional act to show up and support our wellbeing, whether that’s moving our bodies physically or sitting down to meditate for five minutes. I don’t think that these things come naturally to the average human. It actually is a conscious devotional act and it’s really hard when you’re in that frenetic state where you feel so busy and you have responsibilities, children and people vying for your attention it’s really hard to switch that and show up for yourself but it’s so important.
What is the relationship between wellness and creativity?
Thankfully at the moment even though I’m not feeling great things are flowing thank goodness! But I have had times where I just can’t work because I’ll either sit at my computer and they’ll be no words or read back on something I’ve written and it will just be crap, just a complete and utter waste of time.
Sometimes, as hard as it is, I just have to step back to look after myself and get back into alignment with myself and calm the mind a little bit before I can create for my clients.
I know that the women that follow you aren’t necessarily women business but I will just say for anyone out there who is, I think we owe it to the people that we are supporting to show up as our best selves and this is why I really do try and look after myself as much as I can even when it feels really hard because someone is paying me their hard-earned cash to create something and they don’t deserve any less than my best!
You are committed to doing life differently and you’ve come to recognise that some of the things you were told you should do – in your personal or professional life – just don’t serve you. In particular, I’ve heard you talk about the patriarchal trap of productivity. What do you mean by that?
This is something that I’m very passionate about and I don’t mean this offensively to anyone but sometimes I feel like we humans have a tendency to live like robots or like just little sheep, following what everyone else is doing and we’re not happy because of it. And I think there are a lot of systems, there are a lot of social norms and frameworks for living (eg. getting married and having kids) that people follow very unconsciously simply because nobody’s ever shown them a different way or they haven’t been awake or connected with themselves to feel like ‘hey, maybe that isn’t the path for me!’.
I know that these options are the path for some people. For me, I know my path is absolutely not working in a corporate role but I have a friend who loves it, she just lives for it, it lights her up. For me, there are certain things that I’ve tried. I tried doing the corporate job. What else? I’m in a same-sex relationship now but there was a point where I wasn’t and there was a lot of judgement but I’m like hey like that is not for me at the moment so I’m gonna try something different that I’m feeling is the right decision for me. There’s a lot of things like that that when you have an inner knowing you can just see through the BS a little bit and choose something more aligned for yourself even if it does go against what everyone else is saying is ‘normal’.
And very often that’s just like mainstream media saying it’s normal but all these outdated cultures that exist in workplaces that tell us that you know like we are a dedicated work if we sit it out desk during lunchtime and eat, or we come in early and we stay back late. That means we are dedicated to the cause and we are ‘worthy’.
The thing that really upsets me is that sometimes people think that it’s just what you tolerate. I used to live with someone and she would cop so much abuse at work because it was just like a normal part of the industry, she didn’t question it. And I’m like that’s actually not okay and just because that’s the norm there, doesn’t mean that you have to accept that and you have to be made to feel like shit.
I do sound like a bit of a broken record sometimes if people hear me speak but I honestly think that the key to everything in life is just knowing yourself and that can be really scary sometimes to go there with yourself because it’s not ever pretty but it’s only once you know yourself that you can consciously make decisions in your life about how you want to live, what values you want to live by, how you want to work or raise your children.
It’s very hard to know. We’re not taught this stuff at school. You know, we’re not taught to sit and try and get clear on our values and to build a life or choose a career from there so it takes a lot of introspection to able to know yourself on that level.
How has learning about the phases of the menstrual cycle influenced your approach to wellness and self care?
I’m not someone who like if you ask me what day of my cycle right now, I actually don’t know. I mean, I have a rough idea but what I’m trying to say is like you don’t have to know it inside and out in order for it to have an impact on your life.
For me, the biggest thing and I know that I’m very privileged in this way, is like when I am bleeding if I don’t want to then I won’t work and that is so different to these structures that have been set up, these patriarchal structures that have been set up and it took me a really long time to get my head around.
But just learning about the cycles generally. I mean we’re not the same every single day, I’m a different person every hour and so being able to have that awareness makes me a lot kinder to myself. I think I probably used to beat myself up when I would try to be productive when you know like I’m about to start my bleed or I am bleeding. So, I think the biggest impact it has had on my life is that I’m just a lot kinder to myself and more respectful of my energy and what my body is trying to communicate to me about what it needs.
And, thinking about the work you do Georgina, for me exercise has been a really big one. I love to remove my body in some capacity every day. I don’t do a lot of intensive exercise but I do know that when I am bleeding and my energy is lower, I don’t push myself to do intensive exercise. I don’t typically run, I’ll go for a gentle walk and just nurture my body that way. But I think that learning about my cycle has just helped me build a relationship and communication pathway with my body and my energy.
The way our systems and organisations are set up, there’s no understanding or respect for the ebb and flow or the change in hormones and the associated levels of productivity, focus, stamina and energy that come with it.
Absolutely and I think back to when I was at school (you know, a couple of decades ago), it was secret, it was taboo. It’s like [whisper], “do you have a pad?” It was something to be ashamed of your period.
I think there’s still a long way to go with menstrual cycle awareness but I think things are definitely changing. There are so many educators out there now and you know there are even some workplaces that give women a day off every month when they start their cycle. You know, that would have been unheard of 20 years ago!
But then, there is still a long way to go because I still meet women to this day and they don’t realise it’s a thing, cycle awareness and how it impacts their energy. We have made progress but I’m all for women just talking about this more because like, you said, I think it can have a huge impact on the world. I think it’s beautiful – my partner and so many other men I know are becoming more aware of it also. My partner and I have the funnest discussions because of it and he helps me with my awareness and he’s more understanding of me also at certain times of the month when I do get a bit more sensitive or I don’t have energy to show up in the way that I normally would. So I think that it’s helping the world on many different levels.
Another thing you and I have spoken about is introversion and energy management, which is particularly important at this point in time when there is so much uncertainty, division and polarity. How do you take care of your energy?
I think like I think I used this word before but it’s like an honouring of the self. I think that so often in life we are so concerned with making sure everyone else is okay. As women we have a tendency to do this; we don’t want to disappoint people, we don’t want to cancel plans or be the person that’s always like a tentative yes. But, at the end of the day, without our health we don’t have a business, we don’t have quality friendships so you know that has to come first.
What is your one non-negotiable? What impact does it have on your life?
I don’t do anything every day!
This is something I struggled with for a long time. I thought I’ve got to have a regimented morning regime or you know like a winding-down practise and I tried that and then I would feel crap because I wouldn’t do it for any length of time.
I’m no Human Design expert but I’ve just been exploring my chart recently and I have learned that actually, I don’t thrive under a lot of structure when it comes to daily routines. I’m someone who is best off feeling into their energy and what they are desiring and then going from there. So perhaps that’s my non-negotiable actually!
It’s just like tuning in to see what do I want? Do I want to keep sleeping? Do I want to go for a walk or read a book or do some art before I start work? Do I want to walk down and get a delicious coffee? They’re never big things but I think that’s probably the key – just checking in with myself.
My friend actually introduced me to a book called The Miracle Morning. Essentially it’s steps that you go through each morning and it takes an hour. I was very much not in a routine at the time and I really needed an anchor to just help me feel good. So I did it for about a week and a half and it was wonderful and I think it could definitely work for some people but at the end of the week and a half, it just felt like another thing on my to do list rather than something that I was doing because I felt inspired to do it. But if there’s anyone listening who loves that kind of structure then perhaps, The Miracle Morning would be something good to Google and look into.
You signed up for your first half marathon. What inspired you to do that?
It’s up a mountain. It’s a constant incline up a mountain and I’ve never run more than 10 kilometres in my life. Do you know what? This is the thing I really love about me right. Sometimes there will just be something and I think ‘I’ve gotta do that!’ and a lot of the time these things are quite outrageous and very random. I heard about this run and I thought ‘I’ve gotta do that’. I mean, what a cool thing to experience! It’s gonna be really hard and I won’t be able to run the whole way up, I’ll have to walk but I’m being active, I’m going to be in nature, like fun!
Novelty reminds me of play. Even though running up a mountain may not seem like play for some people but I think that as adults humans we do forget to just play and have a good time and I think that whenever we do it, we feel good and that that inspires us in other areas of our life.
What’s so fascinating, and I think this feeds into work as well is that in order for something to be worth it’s got to feel hard. No pain, no gain. Like, “I mustn’t have been very productive today because it felt really easy and in flow”. I hear things like that a lot! But yeah, especially with exercise there are so many options out there for for fitness, there are so many fun things to do and I think like for me I’ve always been just a curious experimenter. I’ve tried so many strange things when it comes to moving my body I think that’s a beautiful remembering for people, that it can be joyful being healthy and moving this lovely body of yours.
Rather than feeling like it’s something that you have to do, it’s more like I get to do it, and then showing up for yourself in a really beautiful, nourishing way.
What call to action would you encourage women watching to take?
To reframe rest, and to know that resting is just as valuable and productive, that is just as valuable as doing. And that’s really hard. Even as a devotee for resting, it’s really hard for me sometimes, even when I start my bleed and that’s what I love to do. Some of that negative self talk comes in, some of this old conditioning comes in that tells me that I should do something.
I think that the more you can show up for yourself in that way and just gift your body and your nervous system and your mind some downtime, it can really change your whole life!
Your tiredness has dignity to it! Do not rush to pathologize it or push it away for it may contain great intelligence even medicine.
You have been on a long journey from the stars, friend. Bow before your tiredness now; do not fight it any longer.
There is no shame in admitting that you cannot go on. Even the courageous need to rest.
For a great journey lies ahead. And you will need all of your resources.
Come, sit by the fire of Presence. Let the body unwind; drop into the silence here.Forget about tomorrow, let go the journey to come and sink into this evening’s warmth.
They are such beautiful beautiful words. So beautiful. And may I just add one thing before we go that came up – just an invitation for women to be really open with friends about what’s actually going on in their lives because I think the more of us that can be just really real about how tired we are, the fact that our energy and our creativity has gone awol, you know just the struggles of being a mum or an entrepreneur. I just think the more that we can be unapologetically open about it, the more normalised things will become and the more free we will all be to express ourselves in our truth.