How To Nurture Your Nature With Mindset Coach, Suzanna Jones-Medley
Image: Saraphi House
It's so easy to lose yourself in this hectic, modern life.
The pressure of constantly having to appear like you've got it together is magnified even more through social media. Oftentimes, this creates a need for us to find gratification externally and we forget that what can make us happy can be found inside us. This challenge to reframe our thoughts, be more introspective and harness our inner power led us to our interview with mindset coach, Suzanna Jones-Medley.
We discuss what nurturing your nature means, accepting yourself as the first step to inner peace and how women's collective energy can create inspirational and transformational experiences.
Let's start with an introduction about yourself and your journey into the wellness space.
Ooh it’s so hard to think about where it all began… I feel that wellness or at least my awareness of its importance has been a part of my psyche since my teens. Through various forms of self-help, I’ve always sought personal development; mainly on emotional growth for myself and for those around me. There was a reason they used to call me the ‘Thai Oprah’ at my old workplace! I was always keen to lend an ear whenever I could.
On physical growth, I didn’t pay that much attention to be honest - I enjoyed most sports at school and knew that I “had to” try and watch my diet and weight. When I wasn’t consistent, it got me down, so I just stopped trying so much. I would use busyness as an excuse and simply got lazy when I was at university and started working. I would use financial success and external achievements as a distraction, but all this was so temporary. I was always wanting more, and it was never ending! I would replace my physical and emotional wellbeing with other things - holidays, dinners out, work promotions, tv shows, you name it.
I started getting anxious about things, overly sensitive and it clicked one day that I needed to slow down, and work on balancing my lifestyle. To not punish myself with what I wasn’t doing, but to actually start enjoying the process, little by little. Even the tough stuff, like going to the gym when I didn’t feel like it. Mind over matter, right? Conquer your mind and conquer it all, that’s what I believe. I now love weightlifting and have been training consistently for 4 years. All because I learned to love the process. So my mindset is what I focus on daily; it’s an ongoing journey.
Now that I understand myself better, I’m dedicated to spending my time on helping others with their journey of inner clarity and discovering their wellbeing.
As a mindset coach, how did you manifest your newfound knowledge, both personally and professionally, to start Saraphi House?
Personally, I have always been picking up self-help books, listening to podcasts, watching motivational videos, and taking in information from any resources I could get my hands on. Anything at all that contributed towards the growth of my mindset I was up for.
It all made sense when one day, a leadership and mindfulness Coach came into my old workplace. He talked about neuroscience and how our brains worked. I loved this stuff, and the science-based theory behind it. With this information, I had the awareness and the power to shift thoughts, thus the ability to shift my emotions. This workshop planted a seed in my mind and made an impact on my professional mindset also. I questioned my 10-year career in Chef Recruitment and what I actually wanted from life, personally and professionally. I realised that it is okay to deviate from the norm and from what society, friends and family expect of you. If they show resistance, it’s only because they’re projecting their fears onto you.
Not an easy decision, but my husband and I took our leap of faith and went travelling in South and Central America for 3 months. I knew I had to invest the time in ME. Slow down, step away from routine and gain new perspectives. On our return, I decided to deepen my insight and knowledge on mindset and neuroscience through my professional coaching course with the very same coach, Alister Gray of The Mindful Talent Coaching Academy.
I surrounded myself with positive people who supported my new journey, got a job running events in a beautiful ‘urban retreat’ and wellbeing space in London called 42 Acres (which I couldn't believe I got, but it’s all because I asked and I put myself out there!). One of the biggest things I’ve learned is ‘to feel the fear and do it anyway’. So here I am, ready to face my fears head-on and about to open Saraphi House this November 2019 in my hometown of Chiang Mai, Thailand. Am I nervous? Yes of course, but I now know I can handle it, so it’s exciting nerves!
Could you elaborate on what nurturing your nature means to you?
Nurturing your nature to me simply means to look within yourself and to appreciate yourself for who you truly are. No comparison, no self-defeating stories, or harsh judgements. Just pure self-love; you as you are. It’s tough, and we all need to dig deep to rediscover this.
Think back to when you were a child; smiling, laughing and running around with no care in the world. So innocent, pure and beautiful. You were born happy and there’s no need to look outside of yourself to find happiness. We just got lost in the journey of adulthood and what society has told us - how to look, act, talk, what to wear, what’s considered a good job, your place in the world depending on your financial status or race…..SO many stories, it’s exhausting!
Michael Neill’s quote says it all:
“Wellbeing is not the fruit of something you do; it’s the essence of who you are. There is nothing you need to change, do, be, or have in order to be happy.”
More people are looking to find themselves and their purpose in life. What advice would you give to people who are on this path?
Attend workshops, join community groups online, surround yourself with people who also have a growth mindset, read, listen to podcasts, there’s just so much out there as long as you’re willing to work at it. It takes patience.
This was truly impactful for me - write a list of all the things that you WANT in life. Spend time on this list because trust me, whatever you write down, it will come true. I wrote a list 2 years ago on all the things I wanted before I quit my job and I’m 80% from completion (from owning my own business to travelling to South America and even smiling more!) It’s now almost time to write a new list!
Don’t spend time thinking about what you don’t want. What’s the point? Focus on manifesting what you DESIRE, even if it’s the smallest things. Just start the list. Trust me :)
What do you believe are the essential steps to wellness in body, mind and soul?
The key to mind-body-soul wellness is to realise that they’re all interconnected. They are not separate. When you realise this, your growth journey will flow into place. I always think it starts with mindfulness and awareness. Catching your thoughts before they catch you. Everything else comes naturally after.
With focussing on your mind through meditation, breath-work, yoga, exercise, reading, going for walks in nature (anything at all that commands your full attention), it will allow you to slow down and be present. Think of how light and amazing you feel after you’ve done any of these activities. This is the first essential step. Shift from your head to your heart. Stop thinking and start feeling, everything else will follow.
Even if you are not a spiritual person or might feel that it’s hard to grasp because it’s not tangible, just start with slowing down and becoming more aware of your thoughts, listen to your body. Remember, it’s all connected - one feeds into the other so the stronger the mind, the stronger the body and the soul.
Tell us about the exciting upcoming event you're planning at Saraphi House!
For our November launch, we’ve got quite a few exciting events happening! As Saraphi House is my old family home, there’s been a lot of sentimental thoughts behind our in-house events, and one collaboration I’m super excited about is with my long-time friend Kymberly Maitland-Smith, a Reiki Healer and Conscious Creator who also runs her own retreat and wellness space called Soul Sierra in Cebu, Philippines.
Our Nurture Your Nature women’s retreat runs from 29th November - 2nd December 2019. When women come together with a collective intention, magic happens. Diving deep into our Divine, connecting with our pure self without judgments or insecurities. We’ll be free from make-up, no bra, deodorant (if you want!), no shaving - you name it! Raw and natural, baby! Only this way, can we truly embrace ourselves.
We love Speak’s values and can’t wait to share some natural skincare products and regimes after our face yoga session. Every product is so natural and sourced from plants so is the perfect addition to our self-love retreat.
This transformative experience will be supported by blends of MIND, BODY, SOUL activities ~ plant-based food, yoga, cacao ceremonies, goddess circles, reiki healing, sound healing, massages and more. See here for more info.
What would you like Saraphi House to represent for the wellness community in the future?
This vision is so clear to us (my husband Daniel and I). We want Saraphi House to be a safe retreat space for personal development and one that allows all communities to grow. Events will be creative and based around wellness, food and culture. We’ll run some of our own in-house events and we also want retreat and community leaders from around the world to blossom in our space with their groups. Our vast 12-acre space surrounded by nature is a perfect setting to be creative with personal development events.
No matter what background, sex, race, religion, sexual preference etc all communities are welcome. We hope to create impact and reach a wider audience, starting with the local Chiang Mai community first. This will happen slowly, through word of mouth and through building bonds with different communities. We are also talking to an amazing coach in New York who organises trips for inner city youths of New York. We can’t wait to welcome them to explore the beauty of Chiang Mai, to expand their horizons and to create beautiful memories with their tribe. This is the kind of impact we hope to create.