Welcome to another edition of the Women of Wellness. These amazing women are all dedicated to wellness and living life to the max – in a way that makes them feel vibrant and alive. They are devoted to holistic health. These women all follow their own definition of wellness, are connected to their inner wisdom, and are shining beacons of love and light out into the world.
Today Bree Hogan aka Starbrite Warrior is providing her insight into the world of health, wellness and spirituality.
Bree is one inspiring lady. She has a passion for healthy living and self-healing, a passion birthed through her own dealings with a chronic illness. She is living a life that shows the power of real food as medicine, and the strength that a healthy mind, body and soul connection can create.
Bree guides and empowers women living with chronic pain and/or chronic health problems to take charge of their own health and happiness. And I am so delighted to have her on the blog today sharing how she walks her walk and talks her talk when it comes to her health and wellness.
No two people are alike and we all need to have a definition of wellness that feels right for us. What does wellness mean to you and how do you keep it a priority in your life?
Wellness means being the best possible version of me and to be comfortable with whatever that looks like for ME. I have a chronic medical condition but that doesn’t mean I can’t be well. It doesn’t mean I can’t be healthy or happy. I am all of these things and more.
How I get there, to my place of wellness, is through yumma yumma wholefood, plant-based eating.
Making time to do things just for me. Every. Single. Day.
Spending time with loved ones.
Gentle exercise in the form of hydrotherapy, beach swims, yoga for pain management and weekly floatation tank therapy.
Koko black chocolate dates.
Life is good!
What makes you feel ALIVE and bursting-out-of-the-seams excited?
That’s quite a long list! Travel. Spending time with family (rare but precious since we live in different parts of the country). New challenges (for example, I just recently learnt how to make DIY Kombucha. Keeping the starter culture – aka the Scoby – not only alive, but thriving, has been fraught with equal parts excitement and first-time parental concern!). The first spark of an idea for a new writing project. Eating an amazing raw dessert. Working on my passion and turning my business dreams into a reality. Swimming at the beach. Getting entertained by my crazy, lovable, soft-toy-flinging pooch.
Personally I feel alive and in love with life when I focus on staying present in each moment. How do you practice presence and awareness?
I hit the beach (in the summer months anyway!) as it helps to ground me and put me back in the moment. I have developed quite the routine in the form of an early morning swim followed by some dry-out Zen time on the sand. I can really let go during this time and it’s the equivalent of meditation for me. I have struggled with a meditation practice in the past (cue the Type A personality!) but am getting better at it. The beach sessions are really helping in this area.
How do you get in touch with your inner guide? Do you notice a difference in your life when you start to ignore this voice?
My Zen time at the beach definitely helps keep the lines of communication flowing. It is the one time during the day when I am most present and aware; when I can really let go and just BE. I am much more open to listening to the messages my inner guide is trying to get through. As opposed to later in the day when I am caught up in work or other daily happenings and less likely to really pay attention.
I definitely notice things get a bit off-kilter when I start to ignore my inner guide. When I get caught up by the little things in life and don’t take the time to slow down the pumping adrenaline and pause for a beat, I won’t make the best decisions for my needs and wants. I tend to procrastinate more because I don’t have the necessary clarity. I tend to say ‘yes’ to things I should probably say no to. You get the picture!
The importance of self-love and self-care is starting to become widely acknowledged. How do you keep up your self-love and self-care practices when you have a jam-packed schedule and a to-do list that seems a mile long?
It is so, so important to rest and recharge our minds and bodies in order to operate at optimum health.
I have learnt that I really can’t afford, health-wise, to compromise in the area of R&R. I have a medical condition that I have to manage and if I get too busy or stressed my symptoms get a whole lot worse.
Daily self-care has become mandatory, not a nice-to-have, so I make sure that I prioritise me-time, even if it’s just 5 minutes. A cup of tea while reading a book. Sitting outside in the sunshine with my dog. A session in the hydrotherapy pool. It just needs to be something that I enjoy doing and at the same time, helps calm my brain and body and give me pause.
And if I happen to forget (because let’s face it, we can all get caught up in the moment), my trusty Mindful app on my iPhone reminds me to pause and take a breath. And we all know that we can’t ignore what our phones tell us to do!
If you could have an all-expenses paid trip to anywhere, where would you go?
Oooh this is a tough one as I have so many places on my bucket list. I think I would have to say Norway to see Aurora Borealis (The Northern Lights). I am in awe of the photos people have captured of this phenomenal light show and would love to experience it for myself. One day!
What’s your favourite book?
I am a total bookworm and always have several books on the go, both on my Kindle and in paperback form.
Books that I go back to again and again for light (aka I don’t have to think too hard!) reading over breakfast/lunch include the True Blood (Sookie Stackhouse) and Twilight series (clearly there is a theme here!).
By way of books where I am actively learning something new, at the moment I am alternating between ’18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done’ by Peter Bregman and Danielle LaPorte’s ‘The Desire Map.’
What blog have you been devouring recently?
Kris Carr’s blog is a definite favourite and one that I continually refer back to. Kris’s blog is always inspiring and full of great tips, recipes and uplifting messages.
What’s your favourite song to blast when you’re rocking out in the lounge room or in front of the mirror in your undies?
Yay an easy question! I can’t go past ‘It’s my Life’ by Bon Jovi. It’s been my song for many years now. I think I’ve worn out the repeat button on my iPod!
Spreading the Love
What are you currently working on?
I’ve just graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition as a Certified Health Coach and am working on establishing my health coaching business. Since launching my website late last year I have discovered a real love for writing and am enjoying building up my readership and also contributing to other online publications.
Where can we find you?
Bree Hogan is a holistic health coach, writer, speaker, wellness activist and mumma to one gorgeous fur-child. After a life-threatening illness in 2005 left her with ongoing health complications, Bree embarked on a healing journey using real food as medicine integrated with a healthy mind, body and spirit connection. Drawing on her firsthand experience, Bree has a deep passion to guide and empower women suffering from chronic pain and/or chronic health problems to take charge of their own health and happiness. Connect with Bree on her website, on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.