HOW HAS LIFE CHANGED FOR YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE OF FORTY?
I can wholeheartedly report that I was delighted to turn 40 and close the door on what was an extremely challenging decade in my 30’s. It was not pretty and for many years I felt as though I was in a never-ending dark tunnel. To say it was a period of exploring my shadow would be an understatement.
I experienced many life changes in my 30’s including an unusual type of miscarriage (molar pregnancy), cancer scare, divorce, depression, insomnia, anxiety and panic attacks. The end of my marriage was a huge catalyst for me. I felt incredibly betrayed, but really it was a great metaphor for where I was not listening to my own inner wisdom.
I was depressed for a number of years and I learnt what it really meant to start to learn to love myself. Many of my close friends also fell away as I experienced some huge internal shifts. I explored and studied many healing modalities during this time too. Although it was painful, these were invaluable experiences that brought me so many gifts and different perspectives. Many blessings came from these experiences and it gave me more compassion for other people. Our biggest challenges are often hiding our greatest gifts. That’s the short version.
I feel this is really the best time of my life and I’m very excited about what’s happening in my life currently and what’s to come. I have so much more clarity and confidence in who I am and what’s important to me. I also care so much less what other people think and I don’t have the same desire or need for external validation. What a relief!
ON YOUR WEBSITE ’SACRED SELF’, YOU HAVE CREATED SOME GORGEOUS PRODUCTS THAT ARE DESIGNED TO REMIND YOU TO LOVE YOURSELF UNCONDITIONALLY. WHY DO YOU THINK SELF LOVE IS SO IMPORTANT?
To me, self-love is THE answer to most challenges. It’s become quite a buzz word in the past few years and I think there is often confusion about what it means. It’s not all about green smoothies and coconut oil, nice though they are. It’s about self-responsibility, being truly honest with yourself and taking ownership of your life.
When I embarked on my personal quest to open up to 100% self-love about 15 years ago, it was so foreign to me that I didn’t understand what it meant. I was depressed for several years and kept asking myself what was wrong with me and what I most needed. The answer was self-love. It was just an intellectual concept and I had to dig deep and keep asking myself some very confronting questions. Gradually I started to see the external shifts that came as a result of deep self-reflection and making different choices.
My business never started as a business. It was really my own personal exploration and the start of listening to the intuitive guidance that I was receiving. As I turned inward I started to have a lot of clairvoyant and clairaudient experiences that often meant I didn’t get much sleep. The more I listened and trusted this wisdom, the more unfolded and most of it was a surprise to me.
The alchemical oils in particular took on a life of their own and started coming through in 2003. 9 years later and there were 33 that created a self-love range. I felt like I was just observing really and sometimes wondered if I was crazy (I still do!). This expanded into a busy face-to-face energetic healing practice, then distant healing and intuitive readings, self-love cards that have just been reprinted, roll-on perfumes, coaching and my podcast.
YOU ALSO HAVE A SUCCESSFUL PODCAST TITLED ‘UNCLASSIFIED WOMAN’ WHERE YOU INTERVIEW WOMEN WITHOUT CHILDREN WHO ARE LEADING INTERESTING AND AMAZING LIVES. CAN YOU TELL ME A BIT MORE ABOUT THIS AND HOW IT CAME ABOUT?
This has been another one of those experiences that I wouldn’t really have foreseen but it was the seed of an idea for a couple of years. I felt like the subject chose me and I did have some resistance to it as it just felt like such a HUGE and sensitive topic. The idea just wouldn’t leave me alone though and I’m so glad that I listened to my intuition and let it lead the way. It’s been so enriching for me personally and I receive so many messages from women thanking me for creating the podcast.
Ever since I was a little girl I was never convinced that I would definitely have children. It seemed like one option but I never felt excited by the idea, in the same way I did about other forms of creation. I got married when I was in my mid-20s and it seemed like there was lots of time to think about it. I never felt any urgency or need though to ‘make it happen’ as I was always (and still am) interested in so many other life experiences.
However, through my own family and our society, it is how we are culturally conditioned to believe that being a mother and wife should be a central driving force of our lives as women. If it is not something that you feel strongly about then there can be misunderstanding and judgement. There are soo many reasons for this and so many outdated stereotypes that are unsupportive for ALL women. We need to all support each other’s life choices as women, mothers or not. Every woman’s life is sacred. Your body, your life and your choices.
These conversations, that I am so grateful to be having with podcast guests, are living examples of women all over the globe, who are creating lives of meaning beyond traditional paradigms. I wanted to create this resource for women who may not necessarily have women like this in their immediate circle and for them to feel understood, supported and inspired. Each woman has so much wisdom and so many gems to share. I love it. There is nothing that I find more inspiring than working with women who love themselves enough to express their truth and set themselves free to live a life that is truly theirs – and not one that is ‘expected’.
WHAT ARE SOME SIMPLE THINGS THAT YOU DO FOR SELF CARE?
I’ve learnt to make this a priority and start each morning with lighting incense or a candle and contemplating my intention for the day. Most mornings I go for a short walk and connect with nature. I find if I don’t do this then my day doesn’t really feel as productive as it can. I use my oils daily and I’m a longtime lover of vibrational essences. I also love some EFT and hypnotherapy. My partner and I also go for massages regularly. I find travel really inspiring and nurturing and over the past year I have started to make time offline more of a priority. This is only going to increase moving forward.
I AM BIG BELIEVER IN FINDING THE FUN AND JOY IN EVERYDAY LIFE. WHAT BRINGS YOU JOY?
Walking in nature, yummy food and of course even better quality chocolate! I have always been a bit obsessed with crystals, soy candles, chai tea and raspberries. Preferably all at once! I am a Piscean so I tend to have all my best ideas in a candlelit bath or at the beach. I meditate in the bath and elsewhere and I’m also a complete bookworm. There is nothing quite like diving into a book. I spend a great deal of time in the library. I also love travel and exploring new places. I’ve got some great travel lined up over the next year and I’m excited with the direction of my life and who is in it. Live music and stand up comedy are also extremely enjoyable for me.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR YOUNGER SELF?
Listen to your intuition as you know what’s right for you. Your opinion of you is the only one that matters! The only time I’ve ended up in places where I didn’t want to be, were the times I didn’t listen to myself. There were so many times in my 20’s and early 30’s that I look back on with compassion as I became an expert at ignoring some inconvenient truths. Keeping busy, slapping on a smile and saying everything is fine can only keep you going for so long before you crash and burn. Commit to being your own best friend and watch the miracles unfold…..
Michelle Marie McGrath is a Self-love Mentor to women who are committed to having a lifelong, loving relationship with themselves. She’s the host of “Unclassified Woman” podcast series which features inspiring childfree or childless women around the globe, creating lives of purpose and meaning beyond traditional paradigms. Part story sharing, part myth busting these conversations explore what it means for a woman to create a life on her own terms once she knows that having a child is not going to be a part of her story, whatever the reason. Michelle is also a co-author of “Love and Oneness” alongside luminaries such as Marianne Williamson and Danielle Laporte. Michelle is passionate about falling in love with all parts of herself, and creating tools that assist others to do the same. She creates Sacred Self’s self-love range of alchemical oils, self-love cards and I ❤ MY LIFE Organic Perfume Collection.
Download your FREE ebook “100% self-love” – 7 weeks of self-love reflections at http://www.sacredself.com.au and tune into her podcast series at http://michellemariemcgrath.com/category/podcast/